October 21, 2004 
Front Page

Commissioner hopefuls state

their positions

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Election day is less than two weeks away - do you know each candidate's stance on the issues?

To better inform local voters, The SUN recently asked Archuleta County Board of Commissioners candidates Nan Rowe, Robin Schiro and Ronnie Zaday to respond to a set of questions addressing four issues relevant to this year's race.

Schiro and Rowe are vying for the District 1 board seat. Schiro, a Republican, defeated Republican incumbent Bill Downey in the Aug. 10 primary election, earning the right to face Rowe, an unaffiliated candidate.

Zaday defeated fellow Republican and incumbent Alden Ecker for the District 2 slot in the Aug. 10 primary, and since there is no unaffiliated or Democratic candidate on the general election ballot, in effect Zaday is running unopposed as commissioner-elect from District 2, needing just one vote Nov. 2 to secure her board seat.

All agreed to participate in The SUN's forum. The following are the questions and the candidates' responses to each.

County airport

Question: With reference to county airport issues, do you view the potential reestablishment of an advisory committee similar to the former "airport authority" as a worthwhile venture? Why or why not?

Zaday: Establishing advisory committees for the airport and for other issues that affect our county is imperative.

These should be committees of concerned and involved citizens that would research and make recommendations to the board of county commissioners (BOCC).

The former "airport authority" made decisions, not recommendations regarding the airport; the decision-making needs to be made by an informed BOCC.

Our county is fortunate to have the resource of many very talented people; many of these are retirees; some local and some from other areas with a vast array of experience at solving problems.

Rather than "recreating the wheel" at every aspect of our county, I see several committees working closely with the BOCC to give recommendations and finding solutions to the issues.

These committees need to include people that have experience and knowledge of the issues, as well as concerned citizens that have differing opinions, (to work with roads, transfer development rights, airport, Vision and planning, to name just a few).

At the recent workshop regarding this issue, I asked that the advisory committee for the airport include not just all pilots or airport enthusiasts. I suggested that we find a committee member that is opposed to the airport to serve on this committee; I feel this would help to find solutions, and to look at the problems from different views.

I also know that a committee needs to have a task or mission that states what the purpose is and a time line to work toward. This allows people to get involved and be part of the solutions, knowing what the task is before them; as opposed to being appointed to a committee for a term with no direction, that type of committee gets old fast, members lose interest and little is accomplished.

Schiro: I am in favor of an airport advisory board to work with the board of county commissioners.

I think there were problems with the makeup and level of empowerment with the previous "airport authority." I believe the new advisory board should include airport users, business people from the community, and at least one of the BOCC commissioners as an ex-officio board member.

This board would provide input to the BOCC. They could be chartered to provide input on issues such as growth, maintenance, safety, long-range planning and costs.

As we have seen recently, inattention to the airport issues can be extremely expensive to the taxpayers of Archuleta County. This must be prevented in the future. I believe this comes from having balanced input from involved parties.

We must maintain close communication with the Federal Aviation Administration and must be able to respond with fiscal responsibility to the users of the airport as well as the people we put in place to administer the airport and ultimately the public.

By doing this, the airport would become a working part of our county rather than a side issue with expensive surprises.

Rowe: I totally support the re-creation of a county airport advisory board to the board of county commissioners.

Such an advisory board is clearly needed to apprise the county commissioners of the airport's ongoing activities and business, in order to enable the BOCC to formulate policy concerning the airport.

I grew up as both the daughter and sister of U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilots, so I've been exposed, to a superficial degree, to the myriad complex issues that surround the aviation business.

That nominal level of exposure revealed just enough knowledge to me to make me realize that a board of non-pilots, such as the board of county commissioners, is not qualified to make all decisions concerning our local airport without regular input from those who actually fly and are actively engaged in the operation of the airport. Such an advisory board would be a great asset for the board of county commissioners.

But how these advisory board members are selected is also important. I would hope that the process would involve the submission of applications directly to the board of county commissioners, not to the airport manager or to the county administrator.

The BOCC is ultimately responsible for the smooth operation of the airport, so they should also be responsible for the makeup of the advisory board.

Road maintenance

Question: With regard to road maintenance, are you in favor of policies that encourage the private formation of local improvement/metro districts to shift some of the financial burden for maintenance away from the county? Explain why, or why not.

Rowe: I certainly think the incoming board of county commissioners should explore more fully than have their predecessors the issues surrounding the formation of more local improvement or metro districts to handle road maintenance.

But, right now, it's premature for me to be able to commit toward or away from this option until I've had an opportunity to more thoroughly research and consider whether any other options might also be feasible.

I hope to create a new road advisory committee of informed and committed citizens to provide input to the board on all possible strategies for improving and maintaining our county's roads.

Certainly, encouraging the formation of more local improvement and metro districts in the county is one option.

But I'm not yet prepared to conclude that that's the only possible solution until I've had a chance to hear from some of our county's long-standing experts on the issue - both from within and outside the county government.

This issue will be one of the first priorities for the new board's attention very soon after being seated in January.

Zaday: I have spent a great deal of time over the past two months meeting with the public works department and getting informed of the "real road" situation.

Public works is working diligently to compile the information necessary for the BOCC to make sound decisions in this area. Huge strides have been made since May in the analysis and inventory of our road system.

I am not sure at this time that creating a handful of metro districts is cost effective to the county or to the taxpayers. There are less than 100 miles of roads that would be removed from the current county maintenance list and these roads are in several different areas. Creating metro districts involves costs, time and cooperation. I feel that we definitely need to have a citizen's advisory committee immediately to research the areas that might consider metro districts and get the information of costs and time involved to see if it would be proactive to consider this option.

I feel that the current task before public works is to update the inventory which had been neglected over many years and to project the costs of bringing all roads into the system.

The roads are the financial responsibility of the county and we have to make informed decisions as to how best to protect and promote our infrastructure.

Answers to road questions in the past: "there isn't enough money" and "we need to create metro districts" have not been justified by an analysis of the information.

This is an area that again I stress the need for a citizens advisory committee, to assist in the research and recommendations to the BOCC as well as to assist in the distribution of information to the public.

Schiro: I am in favor of policies that encourage the private formation of local improvement/metro districts, but not to shift some of the financial burden for maintenance away from the county.

Local improvement/metro districts could be used for non-county maintained roads as an option for those who want improvements faster than the county can provide them.

There is certainly evidence that they can work effectively, as can be seen by successful programs already within the county.

The county roads are a county financial responsibility. Taxpayers within the county are not getting the value in regard to road maintenance and improvement that they are already paying for.

The county first must identify what the true costs are for road maintenance and then reduce ineffective spending.

It is ridiculous to ask for, or expect more funding of any type, without first knowing what is currently being spent and where we can make cost-saving improvements.

This must include looking at administrative costs versus direct costs used towards road improvement and maintenance and this includes fair pay for the operators, mechanics and first-line supervisors.

Secondly, roads need to be identified and categorized correctly (not just taken off of the maintenance lists), so that we can accurately report and receive all of the funds due to the county from the highway users tax funds from the state that are due to us.

Finally, after these actions are taken, and input from the residents of any particular areas are received, it may be useful and beneficial for these groups to utilize local improvement/metro districts.

Roads are a complex and expensive issue for Archuleta County. It will take a blend of approaches to provide the level of roads that county residents deserve.

I am confident my background, education, and experience will provide the best solutions to this problem.

Land-use regulations

Question: Which of the following aspects of land-use regulation do you currently believe to be a higher priority for the county, and why - policies that focus on the preservation of open space, or policies that focus on protecting private-property rights?

Schiro: To me this question is like asking the emergency doctor "what is more important, to keep the patient breathing or to keep his heart beating?"

Archuleta County is a uniquely beautiful and attractive place to live. That's why most of us were drawn here, whether it was two years ago, 10 years ago, or two generations ago.

And, just because we may have been fortunate to find this heaven on earth earlier rather then later, it doesn't give us a right to now close and lock the gate.

The issues of open space and private-property rights are both critical, and must go hand-in-hand in order to manage our growth while protecting our wonderful quality of life.

With growth virtually unavoidable, we must strive to place policies in place and utilize land-use regulations that will preserve the environmental quality and "small-town" atmosphere that we love.

As we grow, open space will become more and more valuable in meeting this important objective. I believe the county commissioners must play a role in ensuring that the environment, scenery and life-style are protected.

On the other side, this area of Colorado and the Southwest came into existence thanks to the hard work and perseverance of the early families that settled here. Many of these families still have descendents exhibiting this same spirit.

We must respect this great tradition. Private-property rights must also be protected as we grow, as well as our environment.

I believe my role as county commissioner will be to work to identify and maintain this delicate, but crucial balance. I will not sacrifice one for the other.

Land-use and zoning regulations must be implemented and enforced that will give equal importance to both of these issues that are at the heart of what Archuleta County is all about.

Rowe: Until very recently, the higher priority of the two posed has clearly been the protection of private property rights in Archuleta County.

And with a very sparse population in our county, that was OK.

But our population has grown so much that the absolute "protection" of private property rights has been eroding what is good for the community as a whole. And we are, indeed, a community. And, as such, we need to consider, and implement, what is good for the community as a whole.

The viewpoint that private property rights completely and absolutely trump the rights of the surrounding community is epitomized by the plan to erect a massive "Village" up at Wolf Creek.

The landowner and his developer contend that they have the ultimate right to build whatever - and as much - as they desire, simply because the parcel of land in question is privately owned.

I strongly disagree with their position, and I'm extremely concerned about both the economic and environmental consequences to our community if their position is allowed to prevail.

In my opinion, one of the linchpins of a community plan is the implementation of some form of zoning.

Yes, zoning regulations restrict private property rights to varying degrees, depending upon the specific regulations in question.

But the ultimate benefits to our community as a whole, I am convinced, will far outweigh the disadvantages.

We need zoning in Archuleta County, and we need it now.

Zaday: I believe that we need to look at the priority of both open space and private property rights. The current land use survey that is underway is very important in answering the questions of where our county is heading in protecting open space and private property rights.

The performance-based code that will be established from the results of the survey helps us to protect private property rights under the Transfer of Development Rights Program, which encourages open space.

We are currently facing many changes in our county and our land use regulations need to be set in place, to deal with the future on a long-term plan not just "putting out the fires."

Many of us love this area because of the openness and the vast beauty surrounding us. We need to set our plan for the future into place and develop our regulations to protect areas, while planning for the needs of affordable housing, senior housing, health, education, law enforcement and administration facilities, as well as parks and recreation.

By setting the performance-based plan in place now, we encourage and create incentives for open space, while allowing flexibility for growth. I encourage each of you to fill out the survey online at www.archuleta.org or contact the planning department at 264-5851.

Commissioner roles

Question: What do you believe to be the management roles of a commissioner with respect to the level of administrative oversight and communication/cooperation between county departments?

Zaday: Communication and cooperation is one of the most important parts of running an effective and efficient county. Our county departments all work for each of you and it is absolutely necessary that the BOCC has administrative oversight, which means just that, OVERSIGHT.

I am going to be informed of what is going on in all departments; however the actual day to day functions are why we have department heads. I will make sure that the best interest of the citizens of Archuleta County is being served by having qualified and capable people handling the jobs they are hired for.

The BOCC needs to have the confidence in them to deal with the day to day county business, while the BOCC is preparing for tomorrow.

I am not a road maintenance operator, nor a solid waste specialist, nor vehicle registration specialist. You will not see me out fixing roads, planning landfills or supervising clerks. I will be finding ways to work with all of our departments, employees, and elected officials to find time saving and cost effective solutions to our issues.

I will be involved in setting up better communications within our county, as well as with other entities, i.e., the town of Pagosa Springs, PAWS, Upper San Juan Health Service District, Pagosa Fire and School Districts as well as La Plata, Hinsdale, Mineral and Rio Grand counties.

I believe assigning the tasks and monitoring the progress through communication is the best way that I can serve the citizens of Archuleta County. I believe communication with the citizens is the only way to create and know the public sentiment.

Quoting Abraham Lincoln, "In this and like communities, public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed."

Schiro: I believe the management role of commissioners should be one of providing strong leadership to the county administrative functions and county departments.

By this I mean that they should provide a well-defined vision of the direction of Archuleta County and how we'll get there. There must also be a strong strategic plan with specific actions that must take place within a definite time-line to make sure that vision is achieved.

All departments must define goals, establish action plans, submit reports, and conduct periodic reviews, while administering available resources effectively.

Commissioners should establish clear policies and guidelines that will assist and not inhibit administrators and department heads in performing their jobs. The commissioners should lead the activities of the county under the vision, goals, and strategic plan they put in place.

I am a firm believer that one of the biggest mistakes commissioners make is in trying to micro-manage the day-to-day functions of the county. Commissioners need to ensure that well-qualified people are hired, trained and supported.

Then they need to allow those employees to perform their jobs while encouraging them, and providing oversight without unnecessary interference.

It is also important that the commissioners do not relinquish their leadership role in identifying, approving, and carrying out the overall county plans. It should not be turned over to a single individual to act in their place.

Department heads, elected officials and the county administrator, all should have defined responsibilities and authority to carry out the tasks necessary within their areas of expertise to accomplish what is needed.

When communication breakdowns occur, I believe it is the role of the commissioners to step in and provide the leadership to pull the different areas together, break down any obstacles, and provide the appropriate resources to get things moving in the overall defined direction.

Rowe: I don't believe the appropriate role of a county commissioner is "management." It's policy making.

The only county employee that should appropriately be managed by the board of county commissioners is the county administrator, because the board is the only entity to which the county administrator is accountable.

The board's job is to make policy, and the county staff's job is to implement that policy. In implementing policy, county employees should be accountable to their department managers, not directly to the board of county commissioners.

Department managers should be accountable to the county administrator, not directly to the board of county commissioners.

To have any commissioner(s) attempting to manage the county staff would be redundant, demoralizing and counterproductive to the policy-making role that is appropriately the responsibility of the BOCC.

Having said that, I want to make clear that my door would always be open to hearing from any individual county employee concerning work-related concerns or problems. But it's not input that I would actively seek out from employees - managerial or not, with the exception of the county administrator.

With respect to the issue of "communication/cooperation between county departments," certainly that is to be encouraged and facilitated however possible.

If such communication and cooperation is not actually occurring among departments, the problems that stem from that lack of communication will, eventually, percolate all the way up to the board of county commissioners, who should ultimately be held responsible for the consequences - by the voters.


675 flu shots given in first countywide clinic; balance available 8-10 a.m. Friday for others

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"The public was so cooperative, no one was turned away, and the volunteers were great."

That was Susie Kleckner, director of the Pagosa Springs office of San Juan Basin Health Department, describing the four-hour flu vaccine clinic conducted Monday in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Approximately 675 shots were administered, Kleckner said, and vaccine also was distributed for the patients in Pine Ridge Extended Care Nursing Home.

Kleckner said the number of doses delivered leaves a short supply on hand.

It will be offered 8-10 a.m. Friday in the department offices at 502 S. 8th St., Pagosa Springs.

The rules for distribution will be the same as those for Monday's mass clinic - only the at-risk population is eligible.

That includes:

- children ages 6 to 23 months;

- adults 65 and older;

- persons ages 2-64 with underlying chronic medical conditions;

- all women who will be pregnant during influenza season;

- children ages 6 months to 18 years who are on chronic aspirin therapy;

- health care workers with direct patient care; and

- childcare providers and household contacts of children under 6 months of age.

"I'm just so proud of our community," Kleckner said. "There were long lines and very few complaints. In fact, many people complimented us on the organization of the vaccine distribution process and the professionalism of those assisting us."

The clinic resulted from a nationwide shortage of vaccine occurring after the product of an English firm, which was to provide 48 million doses, was found contaminated and all the product ruled not fit for use.

All pre-planned local clinics were canceled and use of the community center optioned to create one mass inoculation center.

Volunteers came from several organizations and dozens of individuals, from the local Mounted Ranger Troop, and even from several individuals and groups who donated cookies and doughnuts so those waiting in line would have sustenance.

"That's just the kind of community Pagosa is," said Kleckner. "Everyone pulling together for the good of all."

And while the remaining supply is small, there is a possibility more vaccine will be available down the line.

The federal government is apportioning skimpy reserves on a "most needed" basis, but there were reports this week that Aventis-Pasteur, the lone American producer and the one from which Pagosa's supply came, may be able to produce millions more doses before the flu season reaches its peak.

Survey shows Pagosans like outdoor, simple life

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

And the survey says protecting natural recreational opportunities like the Riverwalk, Reservoir Hill and open space is most important to local residents.

In fact, a recent community survey in Pagosa Springs showed 85 percent of respondents ranked protecting the river corridor tops on the list of capital improvements for the future.

That was followed by 81 percent highlighting open space acquisitions, 76 percent choosing to assure public access along the river and 71 percent wanting to optimize recreational resources on Reservoir Hill.

The next most-important items dealt with enjoyment of the natural amenities, including trails, parks and plazas. Of least importance among respondents was man-made features.

As a general statement, 88 percent said future development, "should respect Pagosa's established architectural scale, small-town character and historic identity."

Those are just a smattering of the results gleaned from a summer-long survey of residents and visitors alike aimed at marketing, planning and the local economy and presented Thursday to members of the Pagosa Vision Council, a group of public and private representatives working to develop a downtown master plan recommendation.

The community survey, commissioned by the town of Pagosa Springs and the vision council, was prepared and conducted by RRC Associates, of Boulder. Three different survey instruments were used. An "intercept" survey allowed for people to be randomly surveyed on the street and at special events. A total of 487 responded in this manner. Locals who were randomly stopped were asked to complete a longer, follow-up survey. A total of 51 locals randomly sampled also responded to the longer version.

The longer survey was also made available online or in paper copy for people to voluntarily complete. The sample size for these self-selected respondents was 321.

To test the quality of the random survey, income levels and ages of respondents were compared to income figures in the 2000 U.S. Census. Results showed the two were very similar.

Angela Atkinson and Chris Cares, of RRC Associates, and Andy Knudtsen, of EPS, an economic consultant, presented the survey findings. Atkinson is a resident of Pagosa Springs.

According to the survey, the average full-time Pagosa Springs resident is older, less affluent and family-oriented. Fifty-nine percent of respondents were over 45 with the average age at about 47. On the other end of the scale, just 20 percent of respondents were under age 34. One out of three reported incomes of $25,000 or less and families outnumbered other marital status categories.

Part-time residents were analyzed separately for marketing purposes. According to Census data, 23 percent of homes in Archuleta County are inhabited for "seasonal, recreational or occasional use." Second-homeowners who responded to Pagosa's survey proved to be older and more affluent than the full-time population, reporting average income levels of over $116,000 compared to average household income of about $49,000 among full-time residents.

Summertime visitors to Pagosa Springs showed an average age of 48 and an average household income of about $81,000, higher than residents in both categories. Other visitor data collected showed 30 percent of visitor traffic in the summer comes to Pagosa from within Colorado. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California followed. The "drive-in" market, those within a 200-mile radius, account for 27 percent of visitors. Texans and Californians stay the longest, on average about five days. Coloradans average just about one night.

According to those visitors surveyed, the top downtown draws are the "friendly atmosphere," "the Riverwalk" and "events and festivals." Things visitors liked least were "stores do not carry what I need," "parking inconvenient/hard to find" and "too much traffic."

The survey also looked at economic indicators for the community, such as "leakage," dollars flowing to other communities - and the "big box" issue.

According to survey findings, well over half of residents' monthly expenditures on clothing, household furnishings, automobiles, appliances and children's items are spent outside of Pagosa Springs.

The least leakage occurred in the areas of groceries and personal care, prescriptions, hardware and building supplies, and entertainment and restaurants. Inflow, dollars coming into Pagosa from other communities, was not measured in this survey.

As far as big box development of superstores goes, 59 percent of respondents "don't support big box development under any circumstances," while another 30 percent would support it only with some sort of controls. This response was fairly even over all income levels. When comparing marital status, opposition to big boxes was stronger among singles and couples without children.

Respondents were also asked what type of commercial development they would like to see in Pagosa. Tops on the list were small, independently-owned restaurants, more grocery stores, a conference/performing arts center, educational facilities and independently-owned retail stores.

Atkinson said now that the survey was complete, the key would be to make it a "living, dynamic document," used in developing marketing strategies, community consensus building and as a springboard for planning effects. As always, she said, any marketing attempts should including tracking results through future research to determine if efforts are successful.

Knudtsen, the economic consultant, suggested Pagosa needed to continue to work to increase total personal income, focus on market potential to fill holes currently present in downtown as far as retail, restaurants and amenities and look to additional fiscal revenue sources.

Pagosa's real advantage in the process, he said, was that community leaders were in a proactive mode instead of a reactionary one where people were already divided.

"Here I think you have an excellent opportunity where the community can come together ahead of time and chart the course," he said. The challenge is to balance between preserving the small-town character and constructing, "capital improvements necessary to improve the experience," especially when people say that includes natural amenities and access.

Complete survey results are available to the public at www.townofpagosasprings.com. For those without Internet access, paper copies will be available at Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard.


 Inside The Sun

Exploding ammo hampers firemen in Aspen Springs

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A fire in Aspen Springs Monday evening gutted part of a single-family home before it could be extinguished.

Fire Chief Warren Grams said firefighters were called to 207 Oakridge Drive around 6:30 p.m. Monday. They were able to perform an interior attack on the blaze that contained major damage to the kitchen, dining room and living room.

"The kitchen was completely destroyed," Grams said. Firefighters stopped the flames in the living room and dining room, however, the rest of the structure sustained heavy smoke and heat damage. Ammunition left in the house was exploding, making extinguishing the blaze a little more complicated.

A total of 22 firefighters with five tankers, two engines and two support vehicles were on scene.

No one was injured in the fire. Grams said the residents were not home at the time and food left behind on a hot stove apparently caused the blaze. A neighbor called 9-1-1.


Special ed count down in preschool, not districtwide

Special education numbers districtwide are not down this year, as might have been indicated last week in school board coverage.

Superintendent Duane Noggle said his comment on a decline from nine to four was in preschool special education, not K-12.

"Because our student count is so close this year to zero growth or even negative growth, we are watching even the smallest student count numbers, special education preschool included," he said.

In fact, he said, the district is "concerned with the huge growth in the number of high-needs students and that is why we added a teacher and an aide at the intermediate school."

There has also been an increase in the number of high-needs students in the high school, he said.


Land-use survey response lags, more participants needed

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

It's getting down to crunch time.

They're three weeks into the process, and they've received nearly 200 responses - but need a whole lot more before the deadline expires at 4 p.m., Nov. 5.

According to Archuleta County Building and Planning Department staff, participation in a countywide survey that will be used to aid development of new county land-use regulations is in need of a boost.

"We're grateful to everyone who has completed the survey thus far, but we know we need quite a bit more, " said Marcus Baker, associate county planner. "We are still well short of the numbers required to validate the results."

The survey, which requires an estimated 35-45 minutes to complete, asks residents to weigh in on a variety of crucial regulation issues that will be used to evaluate future development proposals within five proposed county "planning districts."

Early this month, the county completed a mass mailing of "postcard reminders" to boost survey participation and awareness levels, and current efforts include advertisements and press releases in the local media.

However, as of Wednesday, the numbers of completed surveys returned to the planning department from residents within each proposed district were well below target levels.

For example, results from the "Southwest District," which includes the Arboles area, indicated only 6 percent of the required total of surveys from this district had been received by the planning department - at least 149 completed surveys are still needed.

Likewise, numbers from the "Southeast District," which includes Chromo and the Upper and Lower Blanco areas, showed a 12-percent total, meaning at least 122 additional surveys are needed from this district.

At least 159 additional surveys are needed from the "Northwest District," which includes the Aspen Springs and Chimney Rock areas. Results from this district indicate only 14 percent of the needed surveys have been submitted, to date.

The minimum number of surveys still needed from the "Northeast District," which includes the Holiday Acres and Loma Linda subdivisions, amounts to 149. The percentage of required surveys submitted from this district stands at just 19 percent.

Results from the "Pagosa Lakes District" are more favorable, suggesting 54 percent of the needed number of surveys have been submitted. However, at least 90 additional completed surveys are still needed from this district.

If totals still fall short of what is needed by planning staff at the deadline, "We can definitely consider extending the deadline," said Baker. "But only if we feel we can get more surveys by doing so."

Baker indicated another option would be to hold public workshops within each district to publicize the survey process and evaluate the survey comments already received.

"I believe we could go to each district and say, 'OK, this is what we've got, but we still want you to tell us what you think so we can make this as valid and legitimate as possible,'" said Baker.

A similar workshop, aimed at providing additional survey information and addressing related questions, is set for Oct. 28, 7 p.m. inside the county Extension building.

A third option, according to Baker, would be to consolidate the number of planning districts down to three if survey participation continues to lag.

"We'd like to keep the number of districts at four or five," said Baker. "But if we don't get enough surveys, consolidating in order to arrive at valid numbers is a distinct possibility."

In any case, said Baker, survey results will be implemented into the new code, but unless participation reaches minimum levels, survey feedback will not weigh as heavily as would be the case otherwise.

"The bottom line is, we are still going to write a new code even if we don't get the numbers back we're looking for," said Baker.

"But we think everyone would be a lot better off if they help us determine how to regulate their districts and keep as much guess work as possible out of the process," he concluded.

How to participate

The survey is available for completion and submittal online at the county's Web site.

In order to complete and submit the survey, residents should go to www.archuletacounty.org and click on the link near the bottom of the page titled "2004 Land Use Planning Survey," then follow the instructions provided.

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

Until the completion deadline of Nov. 5, 4 p.m., surveys will also be distributed at the 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.

Completed surveys can be submitted at the following locations: county planning office, county clerk's office, Arboles Store, Chimney Rock Restaurant, Chromo Mercantile, Ruby Sisson Library and Turkey Springs Trading Post.

Residents can also request surveys be mailed to their households by calling the planning department office at 264-5851 or 264-4785.


Overnight closures end on Wolf Creek

In what can only be viewed as good news for area drivers the last scheduled full closure of Wolf Creek Pass for the season has passed.

The roadway may still be reduced to one lane of travel between mile markers 179 and 181 at night, so motorists may expect delays.

They will not, however, be rerouted through New Mexico to reach destinations in the San Luis Valley.

Daytime lane restrictions in all three construction projects will remain.

The Lonesome Dove-Windy Point job at the east base of the pass is where the overnight closures have ended.

The tunnel project on the east side Narrows has delays possible from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The west-side paving project may also require temporary lane closures with up to 20-minute delays possible on weekdays and a 12-foot width restriction is in effect through the construction zone.

The tunnel project is still scheduled for completion this month, the paving project in early November and the Lonesome Dove work is to be finished before year's end.

Project hotline for the Lonesome Dove work is (719) 850-2553 and for the other two projects, the hotline is (719) 873-2221.


Trash container screening

tiff pits resident vs. PLPOA

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

An otherwise fairly routine session of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors was punctuated Oct. 14 by several confrontations with property owner George Esterly.

The first came in the public comments portion when Esterly first thanked members of the board for serving in that capacity and then asked them to reconsider the board position regarding trash can screening.

As addressed in the Property Owner Involvement and Input Initiative, he said, the board cannot be a change agent for covenants.

Rather, he asked that the board work on one such covenant (7-1) which he feels should never have been deleted. He told the board it is his opinion no court gives the board permission to remove trash can screening.

And, he said, he feels the purpose of the board is to enhance property values and asked that it commence proper enforcement, stating he feels the association is doing nothing to help the situation.

When the board reached the Old Business portion of the agenda, the discussion returned to trash receptacle screening.

David Bohl, board president, reviewed Resolutions 87-7 and 87-8 which removed the screening requirement for trash receptacles and propane tanks in July 1987.

Director Fred Ebeling said inspectors do enforce if trash cans are left out in the street and Bohl said, as a general rule, the receptacles are put away because most residents are well aware of the bear problem.

Esterly responded, referring to information packets he had distributed to the board that morning, that he had talked to area fire officials and they feel "we can meet the codes and still screen propane tanks from view."

Esterly believes the code deleted in 1987 needs to be reinstated to improve the area. He also said he has been informed the LP tank setback enforcement is the jurisdiction of the Department of Covenant Control and it needs to vigorously enforce the statute because the tanks "distract from the total view of the home."

Ebeling and Bohl replied the tanks are a "fact of life" in rural areas and "when everyone has them, they aren't a distraction."

When the board reached the recurring business section of the agenda, discussion of the Property Owner Involvement and Input Initiative produced another confrontation.

Director Gerald Smith took exception to what he called Esterly's "mischaracterization of the initiative" and read into the record the preamble and summary thereof.

He said that nowhere in it does it say the board will force changes of covenants or rules and regulations on property owners.

Rather, he said, "the board is trying to ascertain what the majority of the property owners want and to act on their wishes."

In other action, the board:

- heard a presentation from Fred Schmidt and Gene Tautges of San Juan Water Conservancy District regarding the upcoming mill levy ballot issue for purchase of a new reservoir site. Schmidt told the board the levy will be tied to purchase of the land and therefore won't be put into place for up to 10-15 years, or until the property owner wants to close escrow. Director Ebeling's motion to have the association donate $50 toward defraying costs of advertising the issue died for lack of a second. Several other directors said they could not be sure their constituencies support the issue.

- received a letter from a Village Lake family regarding the controversy over buoy line placement which will be forwarded to legal counsel for comment. The proposal would move the line from the last proposed route and would have a lock-and-key system to allow entry for property owners only.

- learned three applicants have replied to board invitations for membership on the Environmental Control Committee. They have been invited to attend committee meetings to gain first-hand knowledge of its operations and if they wish to pursue their actions after such attendance their names will be submitted to the board for interviews and possible appointment.

- heard a treasurer's report indication that, as of Sept. 30, $918,000 or 91.1 percent of the total dues assessment of $1,008,000 has been collected, the rate of receipt 1.2 percent ahead of 2003.

- heard an animal control report for September indicating two reports taken; four dogs impounded; one cat impounded; five dogs returned to owners; nine verbal warnings issued; three written warnings given; 17 miscellaneous citizen contacts made; and 14 calls from dispatch to animal control for service.


Sobriety checkpoint planned

The Pagosa Springs Police department, in conjunction with the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and Colorado State Patrol will conduct a sobriety checkpoint Saturday, Oct. 30.

Police Chief Don Volger said the checkpoint will be in the 800 block of San Juan Street (U.S. 160).

National studies confirm that roadside checkpoints increase the perception of "risk of apprehension" thereby reducing the number of alcohol related traffic crashes.

Local law enforcement authorities strongly encourage motorists not to drink and drive.


CU regent candidate overcomes rude welcome

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

When Steve Bosley, candidate for a seat on the University of Colorado board of regents, finally made it over Wolf Creek Pass Friday, he was ready to stop in town for some campaigning.

What he got was a rock to the head, tossed through the open window of his truck by an unidentified local youngster.

Bosley was able to pull over at a local service station. Emergency Medical Services responded; Bosley's wound was bandaged and he carried on, heading for another in a series of last-minute visits to western Colorado towns and newspapers.

The Boulder Republican is running for an at-large seat on the board against Democrat Jennifer Mello, who visited Pagosa Springs last month.

Bosley was president of the former Bank of Boulder for 24 years during a 35-year career in the banking and finance industry, but his most noted claim to fame is his role as founder of the world-famous Bolder Boulder, the fourth largest foot race in the U.S. He created the event and has staged it every Memorial Day for 25 years.

Bosley has been married to his wife, Francie, for 40 years and has five children and nine grandchildren. A graduate of the University of Colorado, he received an honorary doctorate from the institution last May.

Bosley claims he has "the experience, qualifications, commitment and passion" to help lead CU. He cites his skills in collaborative leadership and creative problem solving and highlights that he is "an experience-toughened businessman who has the ability to understand large operations, complex budgets and organizations" possessing "the toughness, determination, fairness and wisdom to help make the right things happen."

Those "right things," says Bosley, include dealing with what he calls the "perfect storm" financial crisis created by the "convergence of TABOR and Amendment 23. We are truly in a fiscal crisis," he says. " State funding for higher education is at a level that now jeopardizes CU's ability to meet its responsibilities of its essential future economic role in the state."

Bosley says he will take a "proactive" role to spread the word about the dire state of CU's financial health and, "when the state's elected leaders agree upon a solution, to actively campaign statewide in support of the solution."

He also believes the university must "demonstrate it is not wasting the taxpayer's money." This can be done, says Bosley, by establishing "a state of mind in which the regents, the administration, faculty and staff look for new ways to do anything and everything better, to reduce costs without cutting programs, faculty and salaries."

In terms of changing CU's image as a party school, Bosley see things "in simple terms. If you embarrass CU, you can't go to school here. Students will be treated like adults and will be held accountable for their actions."

Bosley stands behind CU president Hoffman. "She can't change the university's culture without an active and supportive board of regents."

The candidate indicates he is comfortable with the current system of electing regents - two at-large and one from each of Colorado's seven congressional districts.

If elected, Bosley says he will make a maximum effort to stay in touch with the residents of Colorado. "I believe passionately in realizing the potential of our children," he says. "I created the Bolder Boulder Memorial Day Road Race for the sole purpose of serving the community. Now I want to take that same passion to contribute again, to help lead, revitalize and assure CU's stable future.

"CU has a critical role in the future economic vitality of our state and makes a significant positive economic impact on Colorado. CU develops competitive graduates for the industries that will drive Colorado's future prosperity, turns one dollar of state money into sixteen dollars in gross state product and returns more in Colorado taxes than is invested by the state.

"State funding for higher eduction is at a level that now jeopardizes CU's ability to meet its responsibilities and fulfill its essential and future economic roles. On the current path, CU will not have any public funding in less than a decade, I will help find innovative solutions, lobby for reform and coalesce the university's many constituencies."


Civic education isn't just for kids

By Windsor Chacey

Special to The SUN

Civic education influences how knowledgeable citizens are, how attentive they are to public issues, how regularly they vote, how active they are in politics, how engaged they are in their communities, and how tolerant they are of the free expression of unpopular political views.

There is a vital link between education and citizenship. All citizens, young and old, need to understand the political process - from issues and governmental procedures to the positions of individual candidates - in order to participate effectively. Citizens also need to believe their participation can influence policy-making and community decisions, and they need to act on that belief.

Many institutions help to develop and shape our civic knowledge, skills, character and commitments. The family religious institutions, the media and community groups all exert important influences.

Schools, however, bear a special and historic responsibility for the development of civic competence and responsibility. They provide education about the core democratic values that are embodied in our founding documents, which underlie our system of government. Education in civics and government is essential to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy.

The goal of civic education in the K-12 curriculum today should develop a common bond to unite people of different regions, religions, languages, ages and ethnicities. Each generation needs a deep understanding of the ideas within the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federalist papers, and Declaration of Independence as a basis to help citizens resolve differences and address increasing complex policy issues.

Civic education also ensures that people have the necessary knowledge, skills and character to play an active role in society and government.

These Pagosa Springs/Archuleta County organizations are helping to ensure civic education in our county by volunteering their members to assist Kids Voting students at the polls Nov. 2 in the following precincts:

1 - Kiwanis; 2 - Democratic Party; 3 - Archuleta County 4-H Program; 4 - Arboles, Mitch Appenzeller; 5 - Aspen Springs Community; 6 - League of Women Voters; 7 - Rotary; and 8 - Republican Women's Club.

Constitutional democracy cannot accomplish its purposes unless its citizens participate thoughtfully in public affairs. Traits such as public involvement, civility, respect for law, critical thinking, and a willingness to negotiate and compromise are indispensable if the American form of self-government is to continue to succeed. Remember, take your kids to vote Tuesday, Nov. 2.


Special District Association cites Diane Bower

Diane Bower, district manager of the Pagosa Fire Protection District, has been honored with the 2004 Distinguished Manager Award by the Special District Association of Colorado (SDA).

SDA annually presents the Distinguished Board Member Award to a special district board member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication and service to their district. The award was presented at the SDA Annual Awards Luncheon, attended by more than 1,100 special district board members, managers and spouses.

Bower has been a key figure in the district for 24 years. She began her career with the district when it was under the management of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and was hired as manager when the board decided the district needed its own administration.

She has gotten the district on sound financial footing with a healthy reserve and a waiting list of potential firefighters.

Pagosa Fire Protection District began as a 21 square-mile area and under Bower's supervision has grown to include over 180 square miles, including the town of Pagosa Springs.

Bower has helped move the district from 15 volunteer firefighters to now over 75. She also initiated The Firehouse newsletter to provide a tool for communication with the taxpayers of the district.

For Bower's involvement and commitment she is a recipient of the SDA 2004 Distinguished Manager Award.


Ed Center needs volunteers for GED program

Looking for a rewarding way to spend some extra time?

The Archuleta County Education Center is seeking volunteer tutors for the General Educational Development (GED) classes.

Students must pass five tests to obtain their GED certificate. Tutors are needed in each of the five areas: language arts, reading, writing, social studies, science and mathematics.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with students who are preparing to take their GED tests. This includes students in county jail.

Being a teacher is not required. Just having general knowledge in these subject areas and two to three hours a week to volunteer is all that is needed.

The GED program operates 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5-8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.

Please consider volunteering. Wally Lankford, GED coordinator, will match your skills with a student who needs your help. Call 264-2835 to volunteer or for more information. Or stop by the center at 4th and Lewis streets.


United Way drive off to "tremendous" start

The 2004 United Way of Southwest Colorado fund-raising campaign is off to a tremendous start with several events and Pace Setter campaigns already concluded.

Over $182,000 has been raised toward the goal of $560,000. If the goal is reached, it will be the highest amount raised in United Way's history.

In Archuleta County, over $14,000 has been donated toward the county goal of $62,000.

Donations to United Way's work in Archuleta County support 15 local programs for children, youth, families and the elderly who are in need. This year's drive is led by campaign chairs Dick Babillis and Bonnie Masters.

The United Way drive has seen some early successes. This year's Pace Setters (local businesses that run their campaigns in advance of most others) have raised over $49,000 for United Way and include all City Market stores, UPS, Wal-Mart in Cortez and Durango, XTO Energy, Bank of Colorado, Citizens State Bank in Cortez, Empire Electric, McDonald's in Cortez, and every United Way partner agency.

Special events have generated nearly $78,000 to date. The Archuleta County golf tournament, sponsored by BootJack Ranch, netted $9,300 and the trail ride, supported by Matt Poma, doubled its total to $4,126.

United Way works in Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties to solve each community's human problems. Community Investment volunteers in each county have already determined which nonprofit groups in their community are most worthy of donations to this year's fund-raising drive. After a thorough review in April, May and June, 31 nonprofit organizations in Southwest Colorado passed United Way's rigorous tests and were selected as partner agencies for 2005. Fifteen of these agencies are helping to solve problems people in Archuleta County are experiencing.

United Way is currently working with over 100 local businesses to ask their employees to make a small, per-paycheck donation. Over 99 percent of donations stay in our community, with less than 1 percent paying dues to United Way of America.

United Way's overhead rate is only 16 percent.

Supporting businesses in Archuleta County include La Plata Electric Association, School District 50 Joint, Bank of the San Juans, Wells Fargo Bank, Citizens Bank of Pagosa Springs, Bank of Colorado, Old West Press and several others. Additionally, over 600 individuals in Archuleta County have been asked to lend their support to United Way's efforts.

Tim Walsworth, President and CEO, said, "The early success of the annual drive indicates to me that our community trusts United Way to solve local problems by investing their hard earned donations in the best nonprofit organizations. I'm very optimistic that United Way will raise its highest amount ever this year for people in need in southwest Colorado."

Final 2004 campaign results will be announced in February at United Way's Campaign Celebration event.

To find out how you can support United Way, call 247-9444 or visit United Way's Web site at www.unitedway-swco.org.

United Way has the following partner agencies in Archuleta County:

- American Red Cross, Southwest Colorado Chapter.

- Archuleta County Education Center.

- Archuleta County Victims Assistance Program.

- Big Brothers Big Sisters.

- Boy Scouts of America, Great Southwest Council.

- Community Connections.

- Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council.

- Habitat For Humanity of Archuleta County.

- Housing Solutions for the Southwest.

- Pagosa Outreach Connection.

- San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging.

- Seeds of Learning.

- Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center.

- Southwest Youth Corps.

- Volunteers of America.


Marine Corps birthday fete set Nov. 12

On Nov. 10, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the raising of two battalions of American Marines to help fight the British.

Since that beginning the United States Marines have fought in every climb and place from the American Revolution through Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Inchon, Khe San, Kuwait, Afghanistan and in the present Iraq campaign.

Today, as in the past, the Corps is confident that, "if the Army and Navy ever look on Heaven's scenes, they will find the streets guarded by United States Marines."

In Pagosa Springs, active and former Marines, former Navy medical personnel, families and friends of Marines will celebrate the 229th birthday of the Marines Friday, Nov. 12, at Montezuma's Restaurant. A social hour begins at 1800 hours (6 p.m. if you are no longer on military time) and dinner follows at 1700. The celebration will include the traditional cutting of the birthday cake.

Reservations are required for dinner and must be made no later than Nov. 6. For reservations and information, call Moe Mollender at 731-2279, Robert Dobbins at 731-2482, Don MacNamee at 731-0306 or Sepp Ramsperger at 731-4824.


Aspen Springs Metro District changes meeting hour

The time for regular meetings of the Aspen Springs Metropolitan District has been changed from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the months November through March.

Meetings will be held the second Tuesday of each month as originally scheduled in the Aspen Springs Metropolitan District building at 216 Metro Drive.

Meetings are open to the public.


New brand book compiled for Archuleta, La Plata counties

The La Plata County CowBelles have compiled a new brand book for Archuleta and La Plata counties.

All brands registered with the State of Colorado in both counties are listed in the new book.

The books are available for sale at Boot Hill Tack and Feed in Pagosa Springs for $6.50.


Village at Wolf Creek DEIS comment period opens

The Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) recently published the Application for Transportation and Utility Systems and Facilities for the Village at Wolf Creek Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

The Forest Service is required by law to provide reasonable access to private property across National Forest lands and is responding to an application request.

The DEIS analyzes the environmental impacts of the applicant's proposal to authorize the construction and use of road and utility corridors across land administered by the Rio Grande National Forest to access the applicant's private land.

Four alternatives are considered in the DEIS and, as required by law, a preferred alternative is identified.

A 45-day public comment period began with the publication of a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register Oct. 8. The Forest Service is seeking public input on the alternatives presented in the DEIS, as well as their associated impacts. Following the 45-day comment period, the comments will be reviewed and the Final Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared and available in early 2005.

Peter Clark, forest supervisor for the Rio Grande National Forest, will make the final decision. This decision may be one of the four alternatives or a combination of any of them.

To obtain a copy of the DEIS by mail, send a request to Tetra Tech Inc., 5205 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1400, Falls Church, VA 22041 or call: (703) 931-9301. Copies may be picked up in person at National Forest offices in Monte Vista, Del Norte, and Pagosa Springs. The DEIS is also available on-line at: www.fs.fed.us/r2/riogrande/planning/planning.htm.

There will also be three public open house forums on October 26-28 where more can be learned about the DEIS. For more information about the forums, contact the Rio Grande National Forest at: (719) 852-5941.


Good results on first season elk hunt here

Judging by reports from Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) biologists throughout the state, Colorado's first rifle elk season seemed to provide success rates equal to or better than last year.

The one universal piece of hunting advice that DOW biologists are telling hunters who are looking to be successful during the second, third and fourth seasons is for them to get away from the roads and the major trails.

"Hunters who get out on foot or wait patiently on a vantage point tend to have the best chance to harvest an animal," said DOW biologist Chuck Wagner. "ATVs are very useful for getting into the back country, but animals can hear someone approaching from a long ways away. Hunters who don't get out of their vehicle or off of their ATVs are seeing the sights, but very little else."

Hunters should keep in mind that there are different rules for ATV use depending upon what agency controls the land. Hunters who use ATVs are also asked to be courteous to other hunters regardless of the rules in the area.

"Most animals shy away from any roads or ATV trails," said Wagner. "Hunters should locate promising areas ahead of time and then plan on arriving well before first light in the morning, or be settled in on a stand several hours before dusk. Of the five bulls I saw harvested on opening day, only one was close enough to a trail to be brought out whole. The other four successful hunters had walked back in a ways and were boning out their animals in the field or using pack animals to retrieve their elk."

Hunters with either-sex licenses need to be aware of the regulations. For the majority of these license holders, cows, calves and four-point bulls or larger are legal. Elk with spike antlers are not legal, except in a few Game Management Units (GMUs). Hunters need to be sure to identify their target before they shoot.

Those who followed the rules and ventured off major roads and trails experienced a good first season in terms of hunter success.

San Juan Basin

"The first season was good down here," said DOW biologist Scott Wait. "Lots of bulls were harvested and there have been some good ones. It is indicative of the less than average bull harvest locally last year and the carryover to this year."

Wait went on to report that there were no access problems and that many hunters reported bulls still bugling.

San Luis Valley

DOW biologist Chuck Wagner reports good elk hunting conditions in the San Luis Valley during the first season with some light precipitation keeping vegetation moist, making for decent stalking conditions. Hunting pressure was spotty with some areas nearly hunter free and others with many camps.

"Success appears to be fair to good overall, although there are hot spots experiencing a lot of harvest, and other areas where hunters are not encountering any elk," Wagner said.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.


Rampant development in the wilderness a threat to nature's balance

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

It is autumn and the winds of change are sweeping over this great land of ours.

The leaves of vast aspen stands, once ablaze with dazzling shades of gold and orange, are now the newest layer of duff on the forest floor. Black bears, which have been feeding frenetically for weeks, are fattening and will soon den for their long winter sleep. Meanwhile, migratory birds and waterfowl are gathering for another arduous journey south as the mule deer and elk have begun moving to lower winter range.

It is autumn, and we recognize this seasonal shift in everything natural that surrounds us. We understand and anticipate such transformation and, in fact, have come to love it as part of the true glory in mountain living. But there are other, less apparent, changes in the landscape, which are not engendered by earthly movement or inherent biological function. Rather, they are human-caused, and seem motivated by self-absorbed materialism and a desire to accumulate wealth, at whatever the cost to our natural environment.

I have lived a lifetime outdoors and, throughout, have witnessed the steady erosion of untouched places to a rising tide of human expansion and urban sprawl. The woodland where I ran free as a child is, today, a housing development, and the vacant lot nearby, where I played ball for hours on end, is now a large power generating station. The small and prolific creek, which served as a proving ground in my evolution as a flyfisherman, is presently flanked by row upon row of houses, hotels and condominiums, and their associated parking lots and trash containers. Even today, in a broad open meadow across the highway from home, a new road has just been cut where, for months over the past several winters, a large herd of elk has spent afternoons and evenings scraping through the snowpack to vital forage beneath.

In many regions of the world, as human populations continually increase, so too does the demand for additional housing, related infrastructure, energy and essential services. Yet, while global society fails to embrace "zero growth" as a viable alternative to rampant expansion, the consequential strain on the environment, and the inevitable depletion of natural resources, will certainly bring our industrial civilization to a grinding halt. Many great philosophical minds of today, and earlier generations, have warned of this, and all agree, that only by establishing and maintaining balance between culture and nature, can man hope to survive another millennium.

With this in mind, an argument can be made for controlled growth and responsible development, when it is necessary to sustain quality of human life. But as the signs are increasingly clear, ill-advised growth, merely for the sake of conquest or personal riches, is plainly not in society's best interest.

As I write this, there is a proposal before neighboring Mineral County officials and the United States Forest Service (USFS) which, if approved, will allow Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, headed by Texas billionaire Red McCombs, to establish a high-density alpine metropolis adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area. As planned, it would include 1,200 hotel rooms, 222,000 square feet of commercial space (or the equivalent of 10 big-box stores), 129 single-family lots, and 1,643 multifamily units, all on 287.5 acres of private land surrounded by national forest. At build-out, the development would accommodate 10,000 largely affluent residents, or roughly two-thirds the population of Durango.

Bob Honts, a Texas real estate developer and president of The Village at Wolf Creek Development Corporation, claims nearby communities will benefit economically from the development, suggesting, "A rising tide will lift all boats." However, in my experience as a past 19-year resident of Vail, Colorado, I am more inclined to compare such ventures with a rising storm surge, which typically inundates local inhabitants, often drowning them, or leaving them crying for help. To be sure, the only ones benefiting from such ill-conceived ideas are those spending the money and exercising the power necessary to drive them through the obviously inadequate approval system of local and federal governments.

Another misguided enterprise even closer to home would give the publicly-owned 350-acre Job Corps site to a Midwestern developer in exchange for two distant private in-holdings of virtually half the total acreage and, in my opinion as a real estate appraiser, far less the value. Located a little more than two miles up Piedra Road on the right, the site now sits in the way of the developer's access to substantial property he's acquired adjacent to Stevens Reservoir, which he hopes to subdivide into numerous high-dollar residential lots. Currently, "historic" access is through private land, and deed-restricts development to as few as three residential lots.

Of course, if the trade proposal submitted to the USFS is granted, the developer will have unrestricted access to his land, and will almost certainly develop it and the Job Corps site as well. While this will obviously be a considerable loss to the general public as a practical, and easily-accessible, year-round recreation site, it will also serve as yet another detriment to our coexistence with wildlife. According to a map in the Archuleta County Land Use Plan, the Job Corps site is apparently part of a major migratory route and "severe" winter range for deer and elk.

These, and other disconcerting schemes presently emerging in and around Pagosa Springs, if allowed to proceed unabated, will indubitably result in higher living costs for us all, while diminishing recreational opportunities and the otherwise tranquil quality of life we know today. As said, responsible growth and development are not the issue, but we can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to those impetuous plans by out-of-state "entrepreneurs," solely for the sake of making them large sums of money, without genuine concern for the well-being of the community overall.

No doubt, there is true value in real estate, and its greatest fiscal return most often involves utilization at its highest and best use. But there are also certain "intangible" qualities associated with the landscape that simply cannot be defined in monetary terms. For instance, as we gaze upon a lofty snow-covered mountain range glowing in the afternoon sun, we can't help but marvel at the various shades of light and shadow which give depth and a sense of enormity to the scene.

Or, if we should spot a bear foraging in its natural environment, we delight in its antics and appreciate the rarity of such encounters.

Assessing the economic value of moments like these is impossible, but each of us knows the intangible values inherent in those experiences which move us emotionally, influence our happiness, and otherwise make life worthwhile. These are the feelings that overwhelm us as we behold the untouched pristine places of our natural surroundings. These feelings bring balance to our busy lives, and nature is why we're here.

As Sigurd Olson once said, "Nature is always in a state of equilibrium, and only when we manipulate it for our own purposes do we contribute toward imbalance. This could be the key to our problems. In our engrossment with material things, we do not fear or listen to the idea of inexhaustibility, but continue to pursue the goal of more affluence."

The winds of change are sweeping over this great land of ours, but if we can turn indifference to legitimate concern, and if we can generate sincere political involvement among the ranks, then we can temper the force of the blow, and steer it in a direction of our choosing.


Fourmile Trailhead upgrade planned; comment invited

The Pagosa Ranger District is requesting comments on the proposed Fourmile Trailhead Improvement Project designed to provide adequate horse trailer parking, car parking and improving sanitation by installing toilets.

The project site is in Mineral County and the pre-decisional Environmental Assessment (EA) is now available for public review by calling the Ranger district at 264-1509. The project EA is also available on the San Juan National Forest Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/projects.shtml.

The comment period ends 30 days after publication of opportunity to comment notice.

Comments should be e-mailed to comments-rockymountain-sanjuan-pagosa@fs.fed.us or faxed to Attn: Rick Jewell, at fax number 264-1538 or mailed to District Ranger, Pagosa Ranger District, PO Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 88147. If comments are sent as an attachment to the e-mail message, please submit them in Microsoft Word (MS-Word) format in a common font such as "Times."

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

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

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and will be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, those who submit anonymous comments will not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision.

For more information contact Jewell at 264-1509.


Beaver Creek Trail closed for

safety reasons

A section of the Beaver Creek Trail, No. 560, has been closed by the U.S. Forest Service due to dangerous rock slides and washouts.

The trail, on the San Juan National Forest northeast of Pagosa Springs, begins about three miles up the West Fork Trail and climbs to the Continental Divide Trail.

The portion of trail from the top of the first switchbacks to Beaver Meadows will be closed until further notice for safety reasons.

Signs alerting forest visitors to the trail closure are posted at the West Fork Trailhead.

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

Heroine, heroes

Dear Editor:

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank so many of the wonderful citizens of Pagosa Springs for helping my friend, Pam Richmond, and I get through a very scary ordeal.

At 5:50 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 5, we were victims of a violent crime outside of Alco. Two young men jumped us, threw my friend to the ground and tried to rob us. Pam had a front tooth broken off at the gum line and another broken in half. Along with a broken watch, her face, chest, knees, arms and hands were badly scratched and bruised.

Citizens immediately came to our rescue. Bonnie Thrasher was the first person on the scene. She jumped from her car while dialing 911 on her cell phone and managed to engage in a foot pursuit of the suspects. She risked bodily injury to herself in an attempt to help us. She is a heroine in the truest sense of the word.

The response time of the ambulance and police was amazingly quick. All of those wonderful people were angels of mercy.

A local dentist met us at the clinic Tuesday evening. While he was working on Pam, a pharmacist graciously met me after hours at the pharmacy to provide pain medication to help her get through the next few hours a little more comfortably.

These two wonderful men went above and beyond and truly exhibited the spirit of Pagosa. I'd also like to offer a heart felt thank you to local physicians for being so attentive and thorough with Pam on Wednesday. You did as much for her spirit as her body. Thank you.

Troubled youth are a nationwide problem. As a 30-year educator who watched a tiny community evolve into an overpopulated suburb, and a person who has lived with "big city crime," it would be my sincerest wish that the responsible youth, church directors, schools, police, senior citizens and parents of Pagosa will act in tandem and recognize that Pagosa's youth may need more attention. Something good is happening, that was apparent from the wonderful response Pam and I received during our crisis.

While growth is economically good for a community, unforeseen problems can taint the splendor of it. Growth is a multifaceted situation that has a domino effect on every member of the population. It truly does "take a village to raise a child" and therefore it takes effort from every citizen to avoid the pitfalls that can wreak havoc on its citizens. Popular after-school programs, updating and redefining new and more aggressive drug programs, and more city and church sponsored "family oriented" activities are just a few of the things that can help young people successfully navigate their way to adulthood.

I'm hopeful that our tragedy can help to inspire more to be done to keep every child from getting lost to a life of crime. Our children are such a precious commodity.

With loving support for Pagosa Springs and the new place I love to call "home."

Jana Aikman

 Environment woe

Dear Editor:

We really don't know which of the presidential candidates will make America a safer place to live, but we have a very clear choice on the environment.

Don't think the environment is important? You should. According to a recent report, at least 80 percent of all cancer cases are linked to environmental causes. These are independent of those caused by lifestyle, i.e. smoking, etc.

As president, George W. Bush has a terrible record on environmental issues. For instance, his "clear skies" initiative would allow 300 percent more mercury emissions into our air and water over existing rules. One in six women already has enough mercury in her body to risk brain damage, mental retardation, blindness, seizures and speech impediments in her child.

John Kerry has an excellent record in the Senate on voting for the environment. Now I don't expect anyone's going to change their vote based on this letter, but if GWB is reelected you might think about writing, e-mailing or calling the White House and asking him to stop relaxing environmental standards.

Other than leaving the world a safer place, what could be more important than leaving a cleaner, more healthy planet for our children and grandchildren?

Denny Bell

 Truth ignored

Dear Editor:

As a living historian, I find it fascinating how often history repeats itself.

Today, as we watch this presidential election process unfold, it is interesting the similarities of one event in America's fight for independence to the record of one of today's presidential candidates.

Let us consider the enigma of Benedict Arnold and John Kerry. Arnold who was an ardent patriot at the beginning of America's fight for independence, soon became disenchanted with the effort, as his personal ambition for power and success was not meeting his expectations. Brash, arrogant and brave to the degree that he was willing to risk not only his own life but the lives of those under his command, Arnold became immediately a "hero" with the defeat of the British at Fort Ticonderoga. Following successes gained him promotions to the rank of Major General and great favor with General George Washington.

But Congress and other commanders saw him as arrogant, insubordinate, and reckless. Arnold was given command of West Point in 1780 but immediately began to conspire with Lord Henry Clinton, (I'm not making it up), to hand over its 3,000 defenders and the fort for 20,000 pounds sterling, (about $1 million in today's currency). His plan discovered, Arnold escaped and later led devastating attacks against colonial forces.

Arnold, a military hero for both sides in the same war, seems to be a near perfect foreshadow of John Kerry.

"Decorated war hero," Kerry, having returned from the Vietnam, immediately began to conspire with the North Viet Nam Communists and Viet Cong. Kerry's treason was as Arnold's, not of a principled man but rather that of a selfish and ambitious one.

Kerry has repeatedly pointed to his war record as a hero for a lost cause in Vietnam, but has ignored the truth that his very actions after his service helped to bring about the eventual defeat of American forces and the murder of more than one million "undesirables" when the Communists took over the south.

Today, Kerry's photo is proudly displayed in the Communist war museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as a hero for the Communist cause in the war against America. Kerry has accomplished what Arnold did, by becoming a hero for both sides in the same war.

One can only imagine what could happen if Kerry becomes president. Americans in 1780 would have rewarded the treasonous Arnold with a hangman's noose. Today we would have made him senator or president.

God help us.

William Bennett

 Words distort

Dear Editor:

Those of us who watched the presidential debates witnessed how words can be used to evade questions and distort actual fact. Like a tennis player who tries to slam or spin the ball in hopes his opponent will fail to return it, words are used to attack or put a creative spin on reality in the hopes the speaker will look good and his opponent off balance and out of sync.

Now, who comes to town but a slick promoter who uses words to create an illusion of reality. He is the ultimate medicine man pulling his wagon full of magic elixir that, he promises, will cure destitution, loneliness, complacency, isolation, economic hardship, as well as a general feeling of being out of touch.

With buttery words from his honey tongue, he mesmerizes his audience with promises of wonderment. Almost hypnotized, I feel drawn closer to his wagon to better hear and maybe even obtain a bottle. I feel myself transported to the sea and being rocked gently in a boat that is rising with tide along with all the other boats.

But then suddenly someone grabs my ear pinching hard. It hurts dreadfully and I'm confused. I look and see my father. I see him talking to me but I can't hear him. And then the sound comes loud. He's shouting, "He stole those words from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, son. You live in the mountains, not by the ocean. This rising tide will flood the land and drive us from our home. Wake up! Wake up!"

I feel myself shaken, gently shaken. From far away I hear, "Wake up, dear. Time to get up." This time I open my eyes and see my mother smiling at me. "You must have been dreaming," she says.

It's time for all of us to awake from our slumber and look with sober eyes on the world before us.

Bob Honts is the quintessential, smooth-spoken snake oil salesman. Now is the time to quit with the words and drive his show wagon from our town. Shooting an arrow in his butt sounds revolting but I'm all for giving him a good old-fashioned American punch in the nose ... figuratively speaking.

Mark Bergon

 Reasons to vote

Dear Editor:

In 32 years of living in Archuleta County, we've known a few lucky people who came here for a good job. Probably all of us value job creation, a higher minimum wage and equal pay for equivalent job performance, but it probably didn't drive our decision to live in Pagosa.

In those same 32 years, we know of no one who moved here for extraordinary health care or health care benefits. We have fine medical practitioners, but most of us struggle to obtain or maintain adequate catastrophic care insurance or a cash reserve to meet unexpected medical bills.

So, why do people move to the Pagosa area? Because of the natural beauty and the extensive protected lands of our National Forest. If these are your reasons for living here, you have two compelling reasons to elect Democrats Nov. 2 or by voting early.

No prior federal administration has gone to the extremes that the current one has to invade delicate public lands for the short-term benefit of oil and gas companies.

The Bush administration has refused to reinstate the Superfund tax to make polluters pay for toxic waste site cleanup. It has relaxed key regulation in the Clean Air Act and has sought funding cuts for the Clean Water Act. It embraces proposals to reduce protection of federal wetlands. All this for the benefit of companies which don't care about the values we share in Archuleta County. Please consider your vote carefully. Remember why you moved here.

Kerry Dermody

 Evil filtering in

Dear Editor:

I was born and raised in Pagosa Springs. I also served Pagosa Springs as a police officer and police chief in the '70s. I hired, trained and sent your present police chief, Don Volger, to the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy.

I believe Chief Volger is doing a good job with the tremendous change I see each time I visit Pagosa. My letter is not necessarily all praise and filled with compliments.

With growth of population in Pagosa and Archuleta County you are certainly counting climbing numbers of scurrilous and rapacious individuals. I was camped out at Kenney Flats and had property stolen from my camp this week.

I see a lot of unlawful activity going on in town and out in far reaches of the county and I suppose law enforcement people are far outnumbered. I spoke with citizens who are discouraged with complaints of situations that allegedly are not being investigated or addressed.

I was driving up Put Hill and slowed down a bit in the 45 mph zone because of construction project and had a citizen shake his fist and flip me the bird because, I guess, I impeded his journey. To him, 45 meant 54. I think Pagosa is being flooded with dyslexic people or people are coming here who are used to California-style driving.

Yeah, I lived in California at one time, too. Arnie can have it.

I don't know what it is with people driving like a bat out of you know where, and speeding right straight to the doctor, the mortuary, or to pay a fine.

Whatever happened to our sleepy little town when I sat in the police car at 3 a.m. and saw only an occasional dog out looking for something to eat or an occasional skunk?

Progress, you say?

Perhaps I write from the viewpoint of a curmudgeon because I am certainly one of those who has no tolerance for scurrilous behavior. I'm sure Chief Volger remembers I did what I did to keep our town in control and the crooks in jail.

Curmudgery has not come easy to me or without knocks. But I have a lot of stories, praise and wonderful memories of the pathways and efforts of guys like Bill Downey, Herb Browning, Judd Cooney, Tom Richards, Roy Vega, Ernie Rivas and many, many other fine officers of the law who, together and cohesively, kept the town and county under control and the crooks on the run.

For Pagosa Springs, I have this to say: God bless you and keep you safe and secure from the evil that is filtering in with all the good.

Leonard Gallegos

Flora Vista, N.M.

 Pillage village

Dear Editor:

How is 1,200 rooms in three hotels, 129 lots for single-family homes, 1,661 multifamily units, 4,525 covered parking spaces, 222,000 square feet of commercial space - and a population of 10,000 year-round at an ultra-exclusive resort on 297 acres a good thing?

Bob Honts' and Billy Joe "Red" McCombs' Village at Wolf Creek is more like pillage at Wolf Creek. How is destroying a rare fen wetland a good thing? How is a homeowners association that will not pay municipal taxes to support fire, police, EMTs, hospitals, trash disposal and schools a good thing? How is the 450,000 gallons a water a day it will take to flush the toilets at the Village a good thing?

One minute, Honts says that this development will be for the people who already ski at Wolf Creek. Then he says that this development is for the higher-end skier, the type of people who don't already come here - the type who will fly in on their private planes. That he envisions the tri-county area of Archuleta, Rio Grande and Mineral counties to be the next Jackson Hole.

Yes, our property values will increase, but so will our taxes. Crime will increase. Our schools will be overcrowded. People who fly in on private planes will not shop at our little gift shops or eat in our restaurants. They won't have to. The Village will have 12 restaurants and enough retail space for two super WalMarts.

Honts envisions increased income levels and quality of life. What he really means is that if your income level isn't high enough you won't be able to afford the quality of life here. He's already stated that we are economically deprived. Our income levels and housing costs are not on par with the rest of Colorado. Good. That's why we live here. We can afford to live here. We don't have to deal with traffic and sprawl and we get to enjoy hiking and fishing and the beauty that God created.

Honts said he would use "every local resource we can." Yet the draft EIS from the Forest Service mentions an influx of 1,200 workers. When City Market expanded, they brought in crews to do the construction. Honts will bring his crews from Texas, pay them Texas wages and expect them to be able to afford to live here.

Honts suggests there will be a "tremendous interchange of money." For whom? Himself, Mr. McCombs, a few privileged realtors? What about our teachers? What about our small business owners? What about the regular people who live here and struggle to make ends meet?

"For every negative there are two positives," Honts said. We haven't found one positive yet.

As a community, we must band together and shoot a whole lot more arrows in the butt of this preposterous idea. Honts, we don't want to be Jackson Hole or Vail or Aspen. That's why we choose to live here.

Richard and Leanne Goebel

 Haunting Honts

Dear Editor:

After reading comments by Bob Honts of The Village at Wolf Creek Development Corporation last week in The SUN, I want to thank him. He makes excellent arguments on why not to build this project.

Honts: "A rising tide will lift all boats."

True, a rising tide can lift boats right out of their docks where they were secure. A rising tide can cause erosion of the landscape, just as the Village will erode the landscape of the Wolf Creek area. Obviously, Mr. Honts has not had much experience with rising tides. Perhaps he should visit Florida during the hurricane season.

Honts: "I think I'm doing you a good thing by bringing Red (McCombs) into this area."

Does this sound pompous to you? Do we need Red McCombs?

Honts: "I see Pagosa Springs, South Fork ... the entire tri-county area as a Jackson Hole."

How many Jackson Holes does the world need? There is only one Pagosa Springs, one South Fork. This area is special already. Let's not destroy its unique character by trying to imitate other "developments."

"Honts is confident the village would have a positive impact on income levels and quality of life in surrounding communities."

I see the world differently than Honts. More income does not necessarily lead to a higher quality of life. Our mountains, lakes, streams, meadows add more quality to our life than more condos will.

Honts: "The goal is to make the village a year-round attraction, 'the premiere mountain-recreation village in the world,' complete with timeshares, spa facilities and, eventually, a companion golf village and the possibility for a 'university conference center.'"

To develop in such a beautiful area is counterproductive: You wind up destroying what attracted you to the area in the first place. There are thousands of resorts with these amenities do we need more?

Honts: stating the aim is "to bring in the type of people who, today, don't come to the area ... the higher-end skier who will fly in commercially or on their own planes."

Really? Does this make sense?

"Honts says the village could create 2,000-3,000 jobs during its 20- to 30-year proposed build-out scenario, as well as "a hundred or more joint venture' possibilities."

Exactly! Just like a cancer, a noxious weed, or an invasive species. Will we let it in, let it "develop" and spread, or will we stop it while we still can?

"Village employees, said Honts, would more than likely reside in off-site 'moderate-income housing' and be bused to and from the workplace."

That's right, instead of a well-integrated community like Pagosa Springs is now, you will have a stratified, class society and all of its associated problems.

Honts, describing the village as "an opportunity for 'a tremendous interchange of money that isn't coming here today.'"

Ahh there's the rub money! Obviously Honts and McCombs are only interested in money. Such "interchange" of money would certainly degrade the quality of life we have today in this area.

Jim Hicklin

 A tough sell

Dear Editor:

Many years ago I attended a sales training seminar sponsored by one of our country's largest corporations in which the facilitator stressed the point that if you can create enough anxiety in a person's mind you can sell him/her almost anything.

Could it be that Jim Sawicki attended a similar seminar? Whether or not, he certainly applied this strategy in his letter to this column two weeks ago.

We have seen this strategy used very effectively by Republicans time and again during the last two decades. Do you remember that while the president's father campaigned for a kinder, gentler America his promoters pounded away on the Willy Horton theme and making the world liberal profane, as though a liberal administration would empty the prisons making it unsafe to be anywhere outside your won house?

After 9/11 they beautifully created the atmosphere of insecurity, reinforcing it with a macho pseudo-patriotism which called for us to fly the flag on the pickup and wear a flag lapel pin or be declared un-American, a sort of return to the Goldwater era slogan of "America: love it (our way) or leave it."

And now there's the Department of Homeland Security which routinely bounces us up and down with announcements of red, yellow and orange levels of insecurity, information which would be more aptly provided only to those in charge of maintaining "security." And all the while the implied emphasis is that only a conservative Republican administration is able or willing to keep us safe in these insecure times.

Mr. Sawicki suggests that only a leadership possessing the proper amount of testosterone can preserve America, and insinuates that Democrats don't have it or, at best, need to get more of it. But does Mr. Sawicki understand testosterone? Besides being the builder of the physical he-man attributes it is the fuel of male dominance and aggression, shaping attitudes of superiority that weaken bonds of love and attachment. Domestic violence, as well as other violent crimes, most often occurs where a male demonstrates a high blood level of testosterone, and a woman is most dangerous during the part of her cycle when her estrogen levels fall and testosterone effects appear. Truly, this is not the stuff to make a kinder, gentler America or to shape America's attitudes toward the rest of humanity.

Having been taught that strategy long ago and now reading Mr. Sawicki's letter, I believe it is more important than ever to carefully examine what the salesman is trying to sell rather than to buy it on brand name alone or appearance.

Henry Buslepp

 End of an era

Dear Editor:

Maybe five years is not an era, but it is long enough to get in comfortable habits. An example is searching the paper every week for "Cruising with Cruse." Last week I did this for the last time - with regret.

We readers have been treated to insights about Pagosa Country and self-deprecating accounts of exploits and adventures. We have learned about presidents, history, and various tidbits probably off the Internet. It has been light reading. Some of it has shed light.

Anyway, I am sure this is one of many letters thanking the paper for running the Cruse column. Maybe it's time for another book. How about "Five Years in The Sun"?

Jim Lincoln

 'Big Box' vision

Dear Editor:

The decision to allow a 'big box' into Pagosa Springs deserves careful consideration before expiration of the current moratorium. Choosing prudently will insure the decision reflects what is best for the future of our town.

Surely, there exists analysis of a big box's impact on towns similar in size to Pagosa Springs. Determining if those findings match our vision of Pagosa's future is vital to avoid making a decision we later regret.

If we need to wait until the town's vision is more clearly defined, so be it. Let us not be rushed into a decision whose ramifications we don't yet fully understand.

It would be a pity to unintentionally lose the charm and many of the small businesses that attract us to this special place.

Mike McTeigue

 'V.P. Gone'

Dear Editor:

During the vice presidential debate, Mr. Cheney challenged Senator Edward's attendance record, noting that a North Carolina newspaper called him, "Senator Gone."

To prove his point, he said that as President of the Senate, he is on Capitol Hill nearly every Tuesday while Congress is in session. Well, if that is true, he must be spending a lot of time just wandering around the Capitol. Records show that Mr. Cheney only presided over the Senate twice in four years.

Senator Edwards actually presided over the Senate three times during the same period, one more than the V.P. Then, Mr. Cheney said that he hadn't met Senator Edwards until the day of the debate. It turns out that there is indisputable evidence that the Vice President has met the Senator at least twice, first at the Senator's swearing in and later at a prayer breakfast where the two were photographed chatting.

If Mr. Cheney will lie about such an insignificant issue where he can be so easily proven wrong, what will he do when he is shielded from exposure?

Further, what does his record on the Hill say about his own engagement with Congress? Perhaps, we should call him "V.P. Gone!"

John W. Porco

 Detestable acts

Dear Editor:

This letter is addressed to all Kerry Democrats:

Ask any recent volunteer to the armed forces who they are voting for and the answer will be President Bush.

George W. Bush has proven he has what it takes to lead our country through these dark days, because he puts his trust in Jesus Christ.

John Kerry, on the other hand, will never earn the respect of our troops because of his Vietnam record and his lack of commitment to our soldiers in Iraq.

Kerry has stated that he will lift the bans on the hideous practices of partial birth abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Partial birth abortion is the gruesome procedure of partially delivering the baby, then killing the child and taking its organs for medical purposes. If the child were fully delivered from the birth canal, this would amount to murder under the law.

What is the difference between partially delivering the child or fully delivering it?

Embryonic stem cell research takes cells from children who are conceived in laboratory conditions, known as embryo farms. This procedure, of course, ends the life of the child. There are hundreds of thousands of these embryos that were brought to life during the Clinton years and are now frozen, waiting to be adopted.

When implanted in a mom's womb, these little people can grow to be normal human beings, and several happy children are alive today who were conceived this way because someone cared about adopting a frozen embryo.

President Bush supports adult stem cell research, which shows to be much more effective that the embryo kind, and no one has to die to obtain adult stem cells.

I really don't know how a person could knowingly choose to vote for a political candidate who promotes so many detestable acts in his platform, but if all the Kerry-Edwards supporters were brought together and laid end to end around the equator of the earth, the rest of us would be much better off.

Choose Jesus Christ. Choose life.

James W. Sanders

 Already a threat

Dear Editor:

We are Pagosa "part-timers" who own a home in Alpha and will move to Pagosa permanently next year. We suspect that we are not dissimilar from many "newcomers" to Pagosa relatively affluent and appreciative of a new quality of life for urban dwellers searching for respite from the rat race.

Therefore, by nature, we oppose development that would radically alter the character this place. But, we are also accustomed to the retail conveniences of the urban setting. The town and region is growing as more folks like us arrive and we applaud the efforts that are now underway, particularly in reference to the "big box" issue, to manage this growth.

It is curious to us that the reports in The SUN have contained little direct comment from the business community in Pagosa. Government can only do so much to control growth. Market forces, largely influenced by the response of the private sector, are at least as important. What is the strategy of local businesses to retain and increase their share of the local market?

The "big boxes" in Durango, and even Farmington, are already a threat to local business, as is the Internet. Local merchants need to formulate a strategy to meet this competition now, not just simply oppose it coming to their doorstep in a last ditch effort to survive.

Last summer we needed to purchase a couple of large ticket items. We checked out products at local stores. In both cases, the items were not in stock or brands we wanted not carried. We were told they could be ordered, but it would take at least two weeks. Our projects could not wait, so we drove to Durango and purchased the items at a store, in stock, from a wide selection for about 20 percent less than we would have paid locally.

Of course, while we were there we purchased a number of other smaller items that we would normally buy in Pagosa, despite higher prices.

Pagosa merchants need a "Don't Drive to Durango" campaign backed up by a solid service and pricing strategy. For example, they could custom buy over the Internet and get fast delivery as a customer service or, let us buy direct from them (with a built in service fee) from their own Web site addresses plastered all over town. We place value on buying local to support our community. We also value service, selection, price and convenience. Give us all this and we will pay a reasonable premium to buy in Pagosa.

Our time, fuel and frustration are worth a lot of dollars that can be captured by the local economy. Local merchants can prevent Pagosa's growing, affluent "ex-urban" market from spending a day a month in Durango buying saws and skis and stocking up on sand paper and socks. Start doing it now and none of us will want a "big-box." And guess what "big-boxes" won't want us either!

Bryan and Mary Sickbert

 Pay to write

Dear Editor:

Don't you think it's about time that John Feazel and Jim Sawicki start paying for the space that they take up in The SUN?

Claudia Smith


Dear Editor:

In a less guarded moment President Bush conceded that you can never totally eliminate terrorism and Senator Kerry added that likewise prostitution and alcoholism can never be wiped out, but that all can be reduced to a nuisance rather then drive our daily lives.

Sept. 11 was a horrendous shock, but that is now more then three years ago, and in that period no other attack occurred, homeland security gives much better warning and protection, and in perspective 50 times more persons were horribly killed in traffic accidents than died on 9/11.

Unfortunately security outside of the U.S. in particular Muslim countries has decreased as a result of increased radicalization of the younger generation. This presents a problem not only for us, but just as much for the majority of the local clerics who want just as much peace for their people as does our clergy.

This may open up an opportunity for discussion and possibly measures to reduce further radicalization, and less conflict, but it will take a different less confrontational approach than thus far.

Martin Witkamp


Community News

Lunar eclipse event set for Oct. 27

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

The last of the spectacular celestial events for 2004 will occur Wednesday, Oct. 27, with the total lunar eclipse.

This will be a breathtaking show if the weather cooperates and clear skies are in our good fortune. The total eclipse is not only a visually stunning display of the cosmos but an opportunity for education of the young and old alike. For one to appreciate what is being visualized is to truly understand what is occurring during this event.

An eclipse of the moon only occurs during a full moon, and only when it passes through some portion of the earth's shadow.

The shadow is comprised of two cone shaped parts, one cradled inside the other. The outer shadow is known as the penumbra. This is the region where earth blocks some (but not the entirety ) of the sun's rays. The umbral, or inner shadow, is the region where earth blocks all of the sun's rays from reflecting off the moon.

The total eclipse begins with the penumbral phase, which is followed by a partial eclipse, then the full eclipse. The eclipse in its continuum will end with a partial followed by a penumbral eclipse. From start to finish, the eclipse will last approximately three hours and 40 minutes. This time does not include the penumbral phase, which is difficult to detect with an untrained eye and devoid of interest to most outside of the scientific community.

Totality is when the moon is in full eclipse. It is estimated that the moon in totality will last 81 minutes during this eclipse. This is also the most beautiful stage for anyone who has witnessed its splendor. The moon in full eclipse creates its own color palette.

During total eclipses, one can expect to see colors ranging from red to yellow, bright orange to gray. A gray or dark brown moon is indicative of recent volcanic activity with airborne dust or ash in the atmosphere. In actuality, no two eclipses are alike, and all are a marvel to witness.

We can only imagine what our ancestors' thoughts were as they perceived this phenomenon. Lunar eclipses have been recorded in ancient history along with involved myths and legends to explain this lunar phenomenon. Different cultures at different times perceived this as a spiritual venue. Some ceremonies were performed to scare dragons from swallowing the moon or to ward off evil omens.

People without scientific knowledge created stories and legends as their way of explaining lunar eclipses. Some of these stories continue today. One such legend holds that there are more births during a lunar eclipse. With no scientific fact to collaborate, this finding remains an urban legend.

If we are lucky enough to have clear visibility during the eclipse, we are in for one of the universe's great shows. The total eclipse is visible to the naked eye; however, a good pair of binoculars will enhance your viewing experience. Various groups routinely form in celebration of lunar eclipses with festivities to celebrate one of the best shows in celesta.

Pagosa is fortunate enough to be involved in one of the celebratory as well as educational venues.

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association has invited all to a fall fund-raiser to view the lunar eclipse.

Ron Sutcliffe, archeo-astronomer, will be the guest speaker for the night. Ron has been conducting research at Chimney Rock for the last two years and is an expert on the Northern Lunar Standstill and its relationship to the Chimney Rock spires. This gives the public an opportunity to learn more about lunar eclipse, the night sky and other related phenomenon.

The fund-raising event will take place in a private residence in Pagosa. The program begins at 7 p.m. with the full eclipse at 9. The tickets are $30 per person, with coffee and specialty desserts included with the price of admission.

Reservations for this event are required and space is limited. All proceeds will be used to support Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, a nonprofit organization working in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, San Juan National Forest.

For further information, and to make reservations, contact Lindsay Morgan, program manager 264-2287 (daytime) 731-1280 (evenings). Please make all checks payable to Chimney Rock Interpretive Association.

This is an excellent opportunity for everyone to learn and enjoy the wonders of our universe.


'The Nutcracker' will highlight your fall calendar

Once again the ladies of the fashion show committee are hard at work planning another festive event.

Mark your calendars for Nov. 13 at the Parish hall.

This year's theme is "The Nutcracker" and will feature musical and dancing entertainment as well as the latest fashions. John Graves will provide piano music and straight from the stage there will be ballerinas.

Mary Meyer, fashion coordinator, assures the local shops will present the very newest in fall and winter styles. The stores will include Astara's Boutique, Happy Trails, Satori Boutique, Silverado Western Wear, Goodman's Department Store, Switchback, Upscale Retail and A Shoe or Two.

As usual, Dahrl Henley is planning an outstanding lunch menu. Tickets are still only $18 and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce. You can also reserve an entire table for 10, but you must buy the tickets first, then call Mary Daltroff at 731-5121 and reserve the table.

Tickets go fast and the event is always a sellout, so don't wait. Tickets are available now. Doors will open at 11:45 a.m., lunch is served at noon and the fashion show begins shortly thereafter.

As always, there will be many prizes from local merchants and if you should want to contribute a gift, call Yvonne Ralston at 731-9324 or June Geisen at 731-5429.

The show will feature the San Juan Festival dancers under the direction of Stephanie Jones, giving an excerpt or two from the "Nutcracker" ballet.

Profits from the past two years helped install a new ceramic tile entry, a vinyl tile kitchen floor and carpeted a stairway at the Parish Hall.


Free clothing Saturday at St. Patrick's

The leaves have turned gold, and the nights are really getting cold ... must be winter time again.

Time to get into the closets and try on your winter woolies.

St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, in cooperation with the Pagosa Outreach Connection and other service organizations, will be giving clothes away 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

The church is accepting clean, usable, gently worn clothing, linens, bedding items, children's clothes, shoes, and accessories for the giveaway. Please provide clothes on hangers if possible.

Anyone wishing to donate clothing and unable to deliver to the church are welcome to call 731-5801 for pick-up. St. Patrick's is at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., just south of Mary Fisher Clinic.

Everyone is welcome to come and get free clothing.

Volunteers are needed to unpack and arrange clothing through Friday prior to the giveaway. Please choose a time and sign the volunteer sheet in the narthex.


Buddy Tabor: 'A player and a poet' at Whistle Pig

By Bill Hudson

Special to The PREVIEW

Noted Alaskan folksinger and songwriter Buddy Tabor will be offering up his gritty, country-blues-inspired songs at this week's Whistle Pig House Concert, 7 p.m. Saturday, at the Hudson House.

Coming off the completion of his sixth album, Buddy's songs have continued to mature and to explore a wide range of subjects and emotions.

Buddy drives his original compositions like a man driving his pickup truck through the Alaskan wilderness. Which is only appropriate, since Buddy has called Alaska home for the past 30-some years. He's worked the canneries and fishing boats, hunted on the Arctic tundra and lived among the many diverse cultures that coexist on the "Last Frontier."

His songs spring from those experiences, sometimes like joyful cries, sometimes like aching wails. Folk legend Townes Van Zandt called Buddy "a player and a poet." EFolkMusic.com reviewer Bob Barlow, writing about Buddy's third album, wrote: "Blinding Flash of Light" is a CD poised so evenly on the knife-edge between hope and despair that it takes several listens just to determine where Buddy Tabor stands on the big questions he has chosen to tackle. Fortunately, it's worth every spin. Gifted with a gritty, honest voice and a solid grasp of country blues guitar, the Alaska-based Tabor plies his talents to weigh in on topics ranging from love ... to the exploitation of child labor ... to the nuclear annihilation of our planet ... "

The Whistle Pig Concert Series is pleased to present this remarkable musician "up close and personal" in the living room of the Hudson house, 446 Loma St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. and seating is limited to 45 people, so advance reservations are strongly recommended by calling Bill and Clarissa Hudson at 264-2491. Admission is $10 and includes homemade desserts, coffee and tea during intermission.

The Whistle Pig Concert Series is sponsored by Artstream Cultural Resources, a local nonprofit arts organization which promotes educational and cultural arts events and classes in the Pagosa Springs area. For more information about Artstream, call 264-2491.


Halloween party plans moving ahead

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

Plans for the first community center Halloween party are moving right along.

With the help of decorations borrowed from the Catholic church, community center staff and volunteers will transform the multipurpose room into a phantasmagoria of Halloween imagery to be enjoyed by all, 5-7 p.m. Oct. 29.

As of Friday we had the Shady Pines 4-H club doing a bean bag toss, PLPOA and Heather Hunt of School within a School both doing fishing booths of different kinds, the Lutheran School doing a putt putt golf game, NORA doing a shark toss and BootJack Ranch sponsoring an inflatable house. And for the young ones who like to hear scary stories, Friends of the Library will be reading them.

Those are just the games; then to frighten any loose wits about you, the Teen Center will host a haunted house and Sherry Smith will conduct a graveyard tour and the Senior Center will preside over a Mystery Box that invites you to put your hand inside.

Anyone who wants to look ghastly can receive a face painting by the Arts Council or get a temporary tattoo that glows in the dark from Rotary members.

Food, you ask? The Kiwanis Club will have hot dogs and punch, SWAP is doing an apple bobbing event and Bonnie Nyre from Slices of Nature will bring her hot caramel cider and pumpkin flavored coffee. The community center will sponsor a Cupcake Walk. Those of you who loves to bake, we need donations of cupcakes for this event. We also invite other interesting ideas.

The community center will sponsor a costume contest with categories as follows - Most Original, Most Gruesome and Most Elaborate. Start now thinking about how you can win a very nice prize.

We are still looking for other organizations, businesses (thank you Schmidt Chiropractic for the monetary donation) and individuals to join with us in sponsoring a game or food booth or some type of appropriate activity.

Here's a chance for the young and the young at heart to dress up and have fun. Call Mercy or Pauline at 264-5232 to take part in this fun event.


Father-daughter Purity Ball set by pregnancy center

The Pregnancy Support Center will host a father-daughter Purity Ball 6-9 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

Purpose of the ball is for fathers to pledge commitments to protect their daughters while daughters pledge commitments to purity.

This is a very special time between daughters and daddies.

The active presence of a father in the life of his daughter is important for her future. Author Evelyn Bassoff, Ph.D., makes this statement in her book, "Cherishing Our Daughters: How Parents Can Raise Girls to Become Strong and Loving Women."

"If our daughters are to flower," she says, "they need optimal growing conditions. Almost always this means being lovingly cared for by mother and father. It is from her mother that a girl learns to be a woman; it is from her father that she learns what to expect from men in the way of love and respect."

Dads, this is a special event for both you and your daughter. Be her hero as she enjoys the princess treatment. Since we want daughters to feel like princesses, we are asking for both dads and daughters to dress up, and "Sunday dress" is just fine.

The ball is for single girls at least 11 years old or older, and feel free to bring all of your daughters. The center is encouraging "surrogate dads" to bring a special young lady to this event who may not have a father in her life.

The cost is a recommended $25 per couple. If the cost is too much, come and enjoy the evening anyway. Music will be provided by KPCL's own Ole Blomberg and the center will provide desserts.

RSVP by calling the center at 264-5963 or e-mail response to pregcntr@pagosa.net.


Civic Club Bazaar slated Nov. 6 to benefit library

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 6, and remember it's less than two weeks away.

It's just about time for the Civic Club Bazaar, and your opportunity to pick up items for the coming holiday season. Close to 50 artisans representing a wide range of talents will have booths to ply you with baked treats, pottery, jewelry, decorations, and other handmade goods.

Crafts will be on sale and the prices will be reasonable. This is your opportunity to support our local artists and find presents to fill out your shopping list.

The Civic Club members also put on a delicious lunch so you can spend a lot of time browsing. Civic Club raffle tickets will also be available at six for $5 or $1 each.

As always, there are a number of items to be raffled. Among them, a quilt, an oil painting and cash prizes. All of the raffle items are currently on display at the library. The drawing will be held at 4 p.m. on the day of the bazaar.

The Civic Club Bazaar has a long history and grows better each year. The club supports the Sisson Library with proceeds from the annual bazaar booth rent and raffle ticket sales. Members also support other worthwhile community programs from other sale profits and dues.

Plan to come to the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard next to Town Hall Saturday, Nov. 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Come early, stay late and enjoy visiting with good friends while taking advantage of the bargains at this fun event.


Arboles holiday bazaar is

Nov. 20

The third annual Arboles Holiday Bazaar is scheduled 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 20 at Arboles Catholic Church on Colo. 151 just west of the Arboles community.

Featured will be baked goods, beauty, bath and body products, cosmetics, fragrances, handmade gifts, homemade candy, jewelry, Western arts and crafts, candles, candy, crafts, embroidered goods, health care products, homemade cookies, skin care products wool crafts and - of course - refreshments

For more information, call Jan Schell at 883-2571 or Lois Wright at 247-4708.


Harvest Fest set at Powerhouse Sunday, Oct. 31

Harvest Fest - the 22nd annual event of fun, food, and free games ... what more could a kid want is planned 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, at the Powerhouse gym.

The event is sponsored by Pagosa area churches, First Baptist, Restoration Fellowship, Pagosa Bible and Mountain Heights Baptist Church.

You may wear costumes; but not those that portray evil.

Please call Donna at 731-9042 if you would like to volunteer to help with this event.


Head Start sets Oct. 27 open house

A remodeled and expanded facility is the new pride of Head Start of Pagosa Springs and officials are inviting the public to see it.

An open house will be held 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, in the building at 475 S. 8th St.

The community is welcome to stop by, see the changes made, speak with staff and find out what's new.

Refreshments will be served.

For more information call 264-2484.


Film Society changes dates, sets trilogy review

The Pagosa Springs Film Society is moving to a new night and a new time.

This month's meeting in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall will be 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, instead of the previous 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting time.

The film to be screened and discussed will be the first of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Polish-French trilogy "Three Colors: Blue, White, and Red" (English title).

"Blue," starring Juliette Binoche, is a penetrating, hypnotic meditation on liberty and loss, and the rehabilitation of a human spirit after a painful tragedy.

A woman loses her family in a car crash. Following a period of emotional paralysis, she telephones an old friend who has always been in love with her, and tells him his chance has come at last. The denouement of this cold, heart-chilling, yet stunningly beautiful film reaches an unexpected conclusion.

This movie is subtitled and rated "R." A suggested $3 donation will benefit The Friends of the Library.

The UU Fellowship Hall is Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza, which is located on Greenbriar Drive, off North Pagosa Boulevard.

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.

Call John Graves at 731-9863 for additional information.


If laughter is a cure, teen center's a hospital

By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

The Teen Center is a second home for some of our kids in Pagosa.

This is a place where young people can share fun, new experiences, friendships and what's going on in their lives.

We open our hearts and our space to these young people and what a happy place we have become. If laughing is a cure for what ails you, then we are a hospital.

The teens have made this a great place to work and I thank them for that.

We are preparing our haunted house for Oct. 29. Oh, the creativity is booming, but it's a secret. Any teen who would like to help out can just stop in and there will be a job for them.

Last week our video camera crew got to film shadow dancing, hip hop and some of the Oktoberfest dances and folk costumes. The cameramen are comedians with the commentary. It is all practice and getting comfortable with the tools of the trade.

We will learn two new games this week: "Farkel" and "Sequence."

Wednesday is the Japanese Club meeting.

Friday is movie night.

The Teen Center is open to ages 13-19 and is located in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

Our phone number is 264-4152, Ext. 31.


Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct, 27, in the county commissioners' meeting room in the county courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

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

- public hearing for public comment for proposed changes to Section 25 — Outdoor Lighting of the Land Use Regulations.

- Continental Estates II — Sketch Plan review Re-plat of Pineview Dr. and Lots 45 and 46.

This is a request for the planning commission to review the Sketch Plan for the re-plat of Pineview Drive to vacate approximately 125 feet at the west end of the platted road right-of-way and for the consolidation of Lots 45 and 46, incorporating the vacated portion of Pineview Drive.

The property is at 238 and 101 Pineview Drive off of Easy Street in Continental Estates Subdivision.

The property is legally described as Section 32, Township 35 North, Range 1 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.

- update on Archuleta County Land Use Survey.

- review of the Aug.11, 2004, planning commission minutes.

- other business that may come before the commission.

- adjournment.


Blood drive slated here on Oct. 28

United Blood Services will conduct a blood drive in Pagosa Springs 2-6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28.

The site will be Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

This will be the last blood draw in Pagosa Springs this month.

Potential donors must have valid identification and can sign up online at www.unitedblood services.org.


Raffle, bake sale set for Pagosa

cancer victim

Friends and supporters of Pagosa cancer victim Rachel Howe are planning a 9 a.m. bake sale and raffle Saturday at City Market West.

Rachel is currently undergoing oral chemotherapy to battle breast cancer which has now spread to her lymphatic system, spine and hip.

Cakes for the cake walk or any baked goods will be appreciated.

An account has been set up at the Bank of Colorado for donations to offset the staggering costs of her treatment.

To help, or for more information, call Nita Niece at 731-9088 or Patsy Harvey at 799-4603.


Local Chatter

Woman's Civic Club keeps bazaar alive

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

The annual Holiday Bazaar, sponsored by the Woman's Civic Club of Pagosa Springs, is just two weeks off - Saturday, Nov. 6 - and will be held at the community center.

For many years, the Woman's (and please notice the singular spelling of woman) Civic Club of Pagosa Springs has sponsored the Bazaar. The purpose has always been to raise money for the local library. Along the way, the place has changed and so has the time and date, but the past two years the Holiday Bazaar has been the first Saturday in November at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

This year the Bazaar will open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. The drawing for the raffle will be at 4 p.m. and one doesn't have to be present to win.

Raffle tickets are $1 each and 6 for $5 and can be purchased at Sisson Library or from Civic Club members or at the Bazaar itself. Lenore Bright and others always have a station at the bake sale table. And also, there by the table, the items to be raffled will be on display.

The raffle is a good deal - 20 items or more. As in year's past, there will be a $50 money basket, a $50 money wreath and one of Margaret Wilson's handknitted stoles. And every year there is one big item. This year it's a good-looking quilt made and donated by the members of the Pagosa Piecemakers quilt club.

Civic Club members man the kitchen offering chili, beans, hot dogs, etc. One can follow the eating pattern of starting in the kitchen and ending at the bake sale table.

A little history: the Woman's Civic Club of Pagosa Springs was started in 1910 to take over the actual operation of the Pagosa Springs Library with a collection of 202 books. It was housed in the basement of the Methodist Church. Today its objective is to continue to support the public library and give assistance to other civic projects when possible.

Fun on the run

Perspective on tourism

Traveling through New England, a motorist stopped for gas in a tiny village.

"What's this place called?" he asked the station attendant.

"All depends," the native drawled. "Do you mean by them that has to live in this ugly, moth-eaten, dust-covered dump, or by them that's merely enjoying its quaint and picturesque rustic charms for a short spell?"


Senior News

Record attendance for Oktoberfest

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

Wow, Oktoberfest was a blast and so very well attended with an even higher attendance than the previous two years.

Oktoberfest 2004 was dedicated to our fearless leader and event coordinator, Susi Cochran. Susi, we miss you and hope you are well and home soon. We live in such a wonderful area and are blessed with many wonderful volunteers; there is a special thank you for you in another part of the paper. Thank you to Archuleta County and all its visitors for your support in another successful year.

Our free movie on Friday is "Life is Beautiful." This film won at the Cannes Film Festival for Best Picture a few years ago. It is an uplifting film about an Italian family that faces hardships at the hands of Nazis, but manages to keep a positive attitude.

It starts at 1 p.m. in the lounge, and popcorn is only 25 cents. If you have any suggestions for next month's movie, call Laura at 264-2167.

We did not have a large attendance for our workshop on "How to Make Your Dreams Work for You." If you have a topic you are interested in and would like to teach it or have someone else teach it, give me your ideas and we'll try to make a class out of it.

We also didn't get any talented souls for our Amateur Half Hour, so I was forced to show off my juggling skills, which only took about 20 seconds. Please, please don't make me do this again, bring your talent to our next Amateur Half Hour Nov. 9.

Charlotte Archuleta forgot to join us for Amateur Half Hour, but came in Friday and played the piano and her old accordion. What a special treat and thank you, Charlotte.

Medicare counselors will be here 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, to answer questions and at 1 p.m. they will answer general or specific questions you may have about the Medicare Drug Card. This is a presentation you will want to attend, as the drug card issue can be complicated and Harold, Nedra and Patti can help you with any problems you may have with Medicare.

The days are getting shorter and cooler, so this is the perfect opportunity to dance. Our monthly dance club will meet 3 p.m. Oct. 26 in the dining room. Bring your dancing shoes and your favorite music and kick up your heels.

Don't forget to wear your best Halloween costume Oct. 29 to celebrate Halloween.

We will have a prize for the best costume. Patty Tillerson will be here on the same day to check your blood pressure, so make her guess who you are. We will also be celebrating October birthdays, so if you have a birthday this month, have lunch with us and we'll serve some frightful cake.

One of our seniors has a freebie to dispense - "Adopt Me! I'm warm and fuzzy and looking for a new home where warmth and comfort are needed and will be accepted. I am a goose down comforter too large for my last benefactor to be effective and useful. I may need a little 'needlework' to be able to do my job without worry. If you are interested, please contact Laura at 264-2167. I'm ready to go to work again!"

Help! Our summer volunteers have left for the season and 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. We currently have two openings and need substitutes too. You can make a difference in the life of our seniors, so please call and volunteer.


Friday, Oct 22 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; nail care by Dru, 11 a.m.; pinochle, 1 p.m.; free Movie Day - "Life is Beautiful," 1 p.m.;

Monday, Oct, 25 - Medicare and drug card counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Medicare questions and answers, 1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.;

Tuesday, Oct, 26 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; basic computer class, 10:30; dance club, 3 p.m.;

Wednesday, Oct. 27 - canasta, 1 p.m.;

Friday, Oct 29 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; nail care by Dru, 11; blood pressure check, noon; celebrate Halloween and birthdays, noon; pinochle, 1 p.m.


Friday, Oct. 22 - Roast beef with gravy, baked potato, green beans/mushrooms, roll and citrus cup.

Monday, Oct. 25 - Beef burrito, black beans, Zucchini Olé, lettuce, tomato and fruit compote.

Tuesday, Oct. 26 - Tuna salad sandwich, lettuce/tomato, tomato soup, orange wedges and cookie.

Wednesday, Oct 27 - Lasagna, Italian vegetables, tossed salad, bread stick and fruited gelatin.

Friday, Oct 29 - Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, Brussels sprouts, melon in season and cake.


Chamber News

Luncheon salutes efforts of Diplomats

By Doug Trowbridge

SUN Columnist

Those amazing ladies you see on the Preview cover this week are two of an extraordinary corps of folks affectionately referred to as Chamber Diplomats.

What is especially notable about Joan Cortright and Barbara Palmer is that they have been coming to work at the Chamber for over 20 years.

Yep, these two have been a part of us for all those years and continue to come back every spring to put in more hours serving every Chamber member and business in this community.

There are several Diplomats who have served faithfully for a number of years, but Joan and Barbara are the unequivocal Queens of Longevity, and we want to acknowledge their significant contribution to this Chamber and to Pagosa Springs.

They have not only served, but have done so with amazing good nature, cheerfulness and professionalism and take this opportunity to salute them and thank them for their great gift to this Chamber.

Here at the Chamber, we are about the business of celebrating all those special people in addition to Barbara and Joan who keep us afloat - our beloved Chamber Diplomats. This group of remarkable volunteers hosts our Visitor Center seven days a week during the summer months and on the weekends during the winter with absolutely no thought of anything in return. Mind you, they have been doing this for many, many years and are simply the heart and soul of our Visitor Center and could never, never be repaid for all they do. We will host a luncheon in their honor this week, and many grateful businesses have sent over tokens of their appreciation to put in their "goody bags" presented the day of the luncheon.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Diplomats for all you do for us. Know that we love and appreciate you more than we could every tell you.

Witches and goblins

We certainly hope you all plan to join the big Halloween party at the community center 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29.

There will be many festivities for all the little spooks and goblins including a costume contest as well as the food, games and activities with prizes galore.

As has been pointed out in the past, the safe, warm, dry environment of the community center is a vast improvement over the potential rain, cold and darkness involved in trooping the little ones around the neighborhood.

The kids will love it, and you can feel sure that parents will be equally as pleased to hang out and watch all the fun.

Pauline and Mercy at the community center will still welcome donations and sponsors for the party. Please give them a call at 264-5232 if you would like to offer a hand that night.

"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. A number of tickets have already been sold for this event, so don't tarry, tickets will sell out very quickly as it has done every year, and you will be exceedingly sad to miss such a lovely affair.

Should you want to put together a table of 10, you must first purchase the tickets, 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 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.

Photography contest

The time for the 17th Annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Photography Contest is fast approaching.

Now is the time for local photographers to start making their selections and preparing their photos for display. As always, the show will be held at Moonlight Books, starting Feb. 5 and running through Feb. 26.

The opening reception will be 5-7 p.m. Feb. 5. Visitors to the show will not only be able to view the immense talent pool that resides in the Pagosa area, but they can also vote for the People's Choice Award.

This show never fails to impress, so mark your calendars and plan on visiting Moonlight Books to check it out.

For more information on how to enter the show, drop by Moonlight Books and pick up the rules and regulations.

Volunteers needed

Looking for a rewarding way to spend a few free hours? The Archuleta County Education Center is seeking volunteer tutors for their General Education Development (GED) classes.

In order to obtain a GED, students must pass tests in five areas of education: language arts reading, writing, social studies, science and mathematics. Tutors in each of these areas are needed to work one-on-one with students preparing to take their GED test.

Volunteers do not need to be teachers, just have a good general knowledge in their chosen subject area and two to three hours per week to volunteer.

The GED tutoring program operates Monday through Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., and Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. If you are interested in helping out, call the Education Center at 264-2835 or drop by the Center at 4th and Lewis streets.


Our membership news this week includes four new members, one new owner and 14 renewals. Another great week at your Chamber!

Among new members, we welcome Allen Miller with Performance Cycle located at 2017 Eagle Dr. Performance Cycle offers ATV, snowmobile and motorcycle service, repair, parts and accessories in American and metric. Call them at 731-1480 for more information.

Next up is an in-home business, President Homes and Galen Erin. President Homes is an Owner-Involved Building™ Program offering 45 home packages with stick-built panelized walls, high quality name-brand materials, professional guidance and support for our customers and 100 percent home/land financing. You can call them at 731-0779 or (800) 494-6857, or check out their Web site at presidenthomes.com. And, of course, our thanks and a free SunDowner card go to Kathryn Heilhecker for recruiting President Homes into the Chamber family.

Brett Rodgers, with Mr. Rodgers Windshield Repair, is our next new member. Brett works out of his home and offers windshield chip and crack repair. He is proud of his ability to fix cracks up to 24 inches, so give him a call at 731-9237 if you need a little help with you windshield.

Rachel Hellwege joins us with Paws, Feathers, Fins and Friends Pet Sitting Service (PFFF). PFFF provides love and care for pets in their home or in the pet sitter's home. They welcome both locals and tourists who need someone to watch out for their furry friends. As members of Pet Sitters International, they are insured and bonded. Give Rachel a call at 731-8900 to get the lowdown on what she can do for your pet. Kim Braselman earns a free SunDowner card for recruiting Rachel.

Jackisch Drug has new owners and big plans. Rob Hooper will be the new man in charge and while I don't want to spoil the surprise, you'll be seeing some exciting changes going on in the future. I'm not sure that Rob has made it into town yet, but if you're in the neighborhood, drop by and say "Hi!"

Our long list of renewals includes; Sky Ute Casino and Lodge, August Vanderbeek with A Rainbows Den, Aspen Springs Metropolitan District, Alan Schutz with Pagosa Springs Golf Club, Doris Green with Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Wade Duncan with Genesis Mortgage, Bruce Spruce Ranch, Lyn DeLange with CSE Advertising Specialties and Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service, Dan Aupperle with Citizens Bank of Pagosa Springs, Junction Restaurant, Kim T. Ha with Shanghai Chinese Restaurant, Shirley Luhnow with Just Gourd-Jus® and associate member Elmer Schettler.

Our thanks to all our members, new and old. We are only as good as our membership and you make us great!

Veteran's Corner

Veterans served - and not just during war time

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

My semiannual subject this week is, who is a veteran?

I often repeat this information in this column because time and time again I visit with former members of the U.S. military who think they are not veterans because they didn't go off to war in some far corner of the world.

Wartime not necessary

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, very few VA benefits are limited to veterans who served during war time.

Many VA benefits, including the popular VA Health Care program, are available to veterans who have been discharged for or released from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. In some cases, for as little as one day of active duty service, if the veteran served before September 7, 1980. And, that one-day active duty service may have nothing to do with wartime service.

Active service

Most VA benefits do relate to active duty service. For instance, six months of military service for military reserve training purposes does not count toward active duty service in most cases. However, a veteran may qualify for benefits while in the military reserves if they were called up to active duty and completed the term for which they were called, and who were granted an other than dishonorable discharge. Veterans discharged early for a service-connected disability would also be exempt from active duty eligibility.

After Sept. 7, 1980, a veteran must have served for 24 continuous months of active military service, or have been released under special circumstances (under special VA or military policies and regulations).

Eligibilities differ

An exception to the wartime military service requirement would be for a veteran's pension claim based on limited income. VA pensions are granted only to those veterans who served during wartime. However, the veteran did not have to actually be in combat, only have served during a period of wartime. For instance, many veterans served in Europe or here in the United States during a wartime period. They would still be eligible for most wartime VA benefits.

Wartime periods

For these purposes, wartime periods are the following:

- Persian Gulf War - The period Aug. 2, 1990 through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation.

- Vietnam Era - The period Aug. 5, 1964 (Feb. 28, 1961 for veterans who served "in country" before Aug. 5, 1964) and ending May 7, 1975.

- Korean Conflict - The period June 27, 1950 through Jan. 31, 1955.

- World War II - The period Dec. 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946. If the veteran was in service on Dec. 31, 1946, continuous service before July 26, 1947, is considered World War II service.

Earlier periods are also considered wartime such as World War I, Mexican Border War, Spanish-American War and Indian Wars, but have very limited application to veterans or survivors living today.

Reliable information

Certainly VA benefits for any veteran may be based on individual circumstances of military service, or the specific rules for the VA benefit, which vary from benefit to benefit. Often well-meaning fellow veterans, friends and family members offer advice on VA benefits for which they may not be fully informed. I would urge all veterans to check with this office for the latest and correct information.

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

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


Library News

We can't build until spring

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Time has run out on our plan to start on the new library addition this fall.

The architect and Colorado Jaynes are in agreement that we should not rush the project. A series of unexpected roadblocks played havoc with our time line and cost estimates.

The major block was the rise in building prices in the last few months. These costs were "budget breakers," and we could not afford the severe hike in prices.

We've gone back to the drawing board and have arrived at a design that will stay within our budget and provide all of the options we wanted in the original plan. We will start construction as soon as weather permits.

While we are disappointed that the project is not under way, it has been a learning experience for all concerned. I am very proud of the board of trustees, the building committee, the architect and representatives of Colorado Jaynes who have all worked hard to overcome the many unexpected circumstances that have cropped up along the way. (The latest being a sudden lake in the crawl space due to the high level of ground water this year.)

I especially want to thank Don Heitkamp who also volunteers his time to oversee the project.

Because of the higher building costs, we have enough to build the structure but will still need to raise more money for added bookshelves, computers, furniture and accessories.

The final push will be to raise another $50,000 for these items. We invite everyone with a stake in the project to help us reach this final goal.


Arts Line

Holiday Gallery Tour scheduled Nov. 19

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

The second annual gala Holiday Gallery Tour will be 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19.

Join Quartz Ridge Fine Arts Gallery (Claire Goldrick), Pagosa Photography, Moonlight Books, Taminah Gallery, Astara's Boutique, Handcrafted Interiors, Lantern Dancer and The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and Gallery for the tour.

Each participating gallery will feature local artists and handcrafted items, food, drink and possibly music.

Tickets will be available Nov. 1 at WolfTracks, Moonlight Books, the Chamber, and the PSAC gallery for $10 ($8 for PSAC members).

Support our local businesses and artists and purchase fabulous, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.

Free theatre ticket

Fort Lewis College provides a 10-percent discount on groups of 14, with one free ticket to the sponsor setting it up/collecting the funds. Group tickets need to be purchased prior to show dates, with payment sent to FLC at one time. Tickets can be mailed or available at Will Call allowing patrons to arrive for the show as they wish, and not as a group. Instead of everyone coming on one night, different night purchases are allowed, but all tickets must be ordered at the same time.

Next production is "Skins," Nov. 4, 5, 6, 11 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 14 at 2:30 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre, Fort Lewis College. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 seniors, $8 faculty and staff, and $5 students.

Volunteers needed

Want to earn $5 per hour credit toward an art class? Then volunteer to help out at the gallery in Town Park.

Shifts are from noon-3 p.m. or 3-6 p.m.

There is a calendar available for sign-up, and training is included for new volunteers.

Contact Victoria at 264-5020.

Contemporary art

Are you a contemporary artist?

Do you want to get together with other contemporary artists for exhibitions, performances, happenings and educational events?

Contact Jules Masterjohn at 382-0756 and join DECAF (Durango Exhibitions and Contemporary Arts Forum).

Ongoing Workshops

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

Upcoming workshops

Beginners II: The Building Blocks of Watercolor, Nov. 3-5, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the community center with Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett. This workshop builds on The Basics of Watercolor - Beginners I and uses everything students learned in that class. Continue to work together, making it easy for you to create independently. You'll need all the materials from before, and just a few more things. Mornings will feature lessons and exercises about shapes, composition and design, choosing subjects, further study about value and color, and advanced techniques such as lifting, scraping, masking, glazing, working with sponges, salt, saran wrap, and waxed paper.

Afternoons will be spent painting, using the morning's lessons. The atmosphere is relaxed, with individual help from instructors during the painting sessions, and detailed handouts. Cost is $130 or $123.50 for PSAC members. Call PSAC at 264-5020 for more information.

Perspective for All Media, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Nov. 10-12 at the community center with Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett. This class is for anyone who wants to learn more about perspective and is open to all quick drying media. (No oil paint, please).

Each morning's lessons and exercises are aimed at helping you learn to draw objects - including buildings - in perspective. Included will be a review of aerial perspective and proportion. You will study and do exercises in one, two and three point perspective. Each afternoon, you will create - in your favorite medium - a work that includes the lessons of the morning. The atmosphere is relaxed, with individual help from instructors during the painting sessions, and detailed handouts. Cost is $130 or $123.50 for PSAC members. Perspective students must work in a quick-drying medium. Call PSAC at 264-5020 for more information.

Signature Gift and Greeting Card Workshop with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at the community center. Personalize your gifts and packages this year with watercolor and acrylic images. Betty Slade will demonstrate how to paint a Signature Christmas card and other gifts. Some of the items that will be available are hand painted stationary, book markers and gift tags. Other items will be on hand to paint such as checkbook covers, floor coverings, lampshades, and tote bags.

Betty will have many fun ideas to create. Cost is $35 for the class and $5 for supplies. The supply packet will include cards and envelopes, book makers and gift tags. Students will need to bring their own brushes, acrylic and watercolor paints. Bring a lunch. There will be a 30 minute break at noon.

Betty Slade has been painting since 1965. She paints in oils, watercolors, acrylics and pastels. She owned her own Signature Art Gallery in Albuquerque, was active with the Dallas Wholesale Show for many years and is the owner of the Hi Slade Publishing Company which prints and publishes serigraph and lithograph prints and cards.

Slade owns and oversees the Blanco Dove Artist and Writer's Retreat Center on the Lower Blanco Road. The Center is set up for over night guest, artist and writer workshops and groups who want to pull away and create. You can view Betty's Art at the Center during the month of November by appointment.

FLC workshops

How to Get Your Book Published, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 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 thirty years with the National Geographic Society.

Basketry for Gardeners, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23.

Adobe Photoshop, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, Oct. 25 and 27.

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 monson_m@fortlewis.edu or logon to www.fortlewis.edu, click on Community & Culture then Extended Studies.

Ideas wanted

The calendar of events is getting shorter which signifies that fall is here. 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

Colorado Art Open 2005 entries are due Oct. 29. The exhibition opens Jan. 14 and runs through March 13 at Foothills Art Center in Golden.

The Colorado Art Open is an all-Colorado artists, all-media exhibition offered biennially at Foothills. The exhibition showcases approximately 90 artists with an expected attendance of over 8,000 people from throughout the region and beyond.

Entries may be submitted in slide or digital form. Artists may enter up to four submissions for $10 per artwork. Contact Foothills Art Center at (303) 279-3922 or e-mail fac@foothillsartcenter.org or check out their Web site at www.foothillsartcenter.org.

Writers in the Sky at the Wilkinson Library in Telluride, Nov. 6. For more information call 970-728-9799 or check out www.telluride library.org/wits.

Spirit in Hand holiday exhibit and sale at the 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 info@durangoarts.org.

Adventure tour

Join artist Cynthia Padilla for a tour of Costa Rica. Journal, draw, paint, photograph or just enjoy this tropical paradise March 19-26.

The tour departs from Denver and arrives in San Jose. On day two, drive to San Carlos, visit the Arenal Volcano, and swim in Tabacón Hot Springs. Day three travel north to the Caño Negro Lake and Wildlife Reserve where you will enjoy a boat trip with exotic birds such as osprey, storks, and herons. Day four travel to Santa Rosa Park and stay in a jungle lodge, take a hike or go horseback riding. Day five, journey to the Guanacaste, one of the last tropical dry forests on the planet, stop at Santa Rosa National Park, and then arrive at your seaside hotel. Day six is a free beach day or choose to take a snorkeling excursion. Day seven, return to San Jose for dinner and prepare for your return to Denver on day eight. You must enroll by Nov. 1.

For more information contact Leanne at 731-1841 or e-mail at lgoebel@centurytel.net. Pick up a brochure at the gallery in Town Park.


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

Oct. 22-24 - Durango Arts and Crafts Style Conference at the Strater Hotel.

Oct. 22 - Application deadline for Spirit in Hand holiday boutique at Durango Art Center.

Oct. 23 - Writer's group meets at Jerry Hannah's from noon-5 p.m.

Oct. 23 - How to Get Your Book Published, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 - Salon at Jerry Hannah's with local writers, artists, musicians begins at 1 p.m. Contact Leanne 731-1841 for more information.

Oct. 25 and 27 - Adobe Photoshop classes at FLC Extended Studies.

Oct. 29 - Deadline for entry to the Colorado Art Open.

Nov. 1 - Enrollment deadline for Costa Rican Adventure Tour with Cynthia Padilla.

Nov. 3-5 - Watercolor Basics II, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., community center.

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

Nov. 11-12 - Perspective Workshop, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., community center.

Nov. 18 - Signature Gift and Greeting Card Workshop with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., community center.

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

Nov. 19 - Gala Holiday Gallery Tour in Pagosa Springs, 5-7:30 p.m.

March 19-16 - Costa Rican Adventure Tour with Cynthia Padilla.

July 24 - Home and Garden Tour.

Food for Thought

Meatballs versus meatballs: an autumn ritual

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

We are well into autumn.

For some, autumn is a colorful season, time for motor trips to view the leaves and their brilliant hues.

For others, fall is a festive season. They celebrate Oktoberfest and Halloween. They bob for apples and gobble bratwurst.

Yet others recognize it as football season. They trek happily to the local stadium, they tune their televisions and radios to games on the weekends.

For me, it is meatball season.

It is a profoundly gloomy time.

Come fall, there are meatballs everywhere. Working at a newspaper gives me a unique perspective on the meatball phenomenon and it affects me adversely.

I'm not referring to the meatballs you cook and eat. I'm using the word to label the goofballs who turn out in greater numbers in the fall than at any other time of the year: pinheads, yahoos, nincompoops, featherbrains, mooncalves, loud simpletons of all sorts. In general, they are those fellow citizens whose behavior and ideas make you question the value of the human species.

And whether you wish to remain part of it.

Autumn is the meatballs' favorite time of year. They emerge from the gray background in overwhelming numbers and proceed to do their distressing work.

For the most part, that work consists of spraying a thick film of venom and nonsense on everything and everyone in range.

Why is it, I wonder as I cradle my head in my hands, that more nonsense is dispensed in the fall?

Two reasons jump out: Fall is the traditional political season, and fall is when children are sent back to school.

There are no larger or more obnoxious groups of meatballs than the political crowd and a certain type of parent.

This year is a presidential election year and, as such, it is a prime breeding ground for the political meatballs. We can't get away from them.

If you haven't been inundated by a flood of meatball political advertising, you either live in a plywood shack miles from civilization or you are one of those effete bozos who gloats about a television-free life. The advertising creeps across the floor of consciousness like the backwash from a clogged sewer line. Given the utter lack of civility and concern for the truth exhibited in nearly all that advertising, affiliations aside, a plywood shack looks mighty appealing.

Meatballs obviously run most of the ad agencies in America. They are in charge of most campaign organizations; they write the speeches, manipulate the sound bites, spin the news. They will stoop to any level to get their way, concoct any story that serves their purposes, distort any information as it suits them. They inhabit every nook and cranny of the political flophouse. It goes without saying most political candidates are meatballs, so the situation is unbearable.

Read the razor-sharp political commentary in most letters columns in newspapers; listen to the average radio talk show. It's depressing. It's the Meatball Nation, alive with cliché, plagued by one-dimensional sloganeering, rife with a hostility antithetic to a necessary solidarity as a people, accompanied by the sound of people's hands patting their own backs.

Listen to the promises made by candidates, at all levels. It's sad to think people believe them.

You want a Meatball extravaganza? Take a gander at a lot of what passes for parenting in many families. We are experiencing an epidemic of meatballs raising meatballs-to-be.

With the start of a new school season, the wreckage of the child-dominated family washes up on our cultural shore, debris produced by a terrible disaster. This is evidenced not only by legions of adolescent dimwits walking around with cell phones glued to their ears, clad in baggy pants and so empty headed they have no idea how to wear their hats, but by parents whose behaviors mirror an inability to accept their responsibilities, to admit the limitations of their children, to endure any criticism that strips them of the chance to live out their illusions through their offspring.

The start of the new school year is meatball season - as a growing number of parents assail school teachers and administrators whenever an assessment of the wee one does not harmonize with their own skewed visions. It is the beginning of the school sports season, during which the most rabid and demented meatballs roll forth, spewing their warped criticism and bile, demeaning the efforts of coaches and of players clearly more skilled than their child.

This type of parent demands a dilution of standards in the classroom, refusing to accept any but the highest rewards for their child's half-hearted efforts while, at the same time, allowing the child to indulge the garbage of contemporary entertainment at will. These meatballs roll on, seeking someone to blame, finding fault everywhere but close to home, anywhere but between their own ears. Autumn finds them most active, their paranoic eyes darting back and forth, their fevered brows knit, their fangs bared.

There are meatballs everywhere you look.

Fortunately, most are practically benign.

A few, unfortunately, are evil - those who persistently seek to harm others, whose malevolence is fired by a psychotic inability to reckon with their own failures and limitations, who cannot scan the arid desert of their own lives with a clear and honest eye. These meatballs are no strangers to shame, but remain oblivious to its stain.

I'm thinking all this as I sit in my living room on a rainy day, waiting for the skylight to leak.

I realize I'm cruising for emotional trouble. My fixation on the meatball phenomenon is leading me to a dark, dark place.

I take evasive action.

First, some cleansing breaths (I've been watching "Judy's Yoga Hour" every morning on satellite TV). I remind myself that one's disappointments are not the result of what others do, but of unfair expectations that can't be met. I feel almost Buddhist.

Next, I remember that the meatballs' nastiness, their shallow shadow play, is futile, of no value when compared to that which endures, to that which is absolutely important. Meatballs die. Better things endure. I feel like I'm firing right out of the Tanakh.

I tell myself I should not be bothered by those who mind other peoples' business. I should not be disturbed by mean-spirited and aggressive behavior. I should care about greater things, about greater ideas and souls.

After I take those breaths and distance myself from the icky mass of meatball humanity, I turn to self-analysis. Tend your own garden, you know? I realize I'm kind of a meatball myself. Not one of the malicious ones, but meaty at times, nonetheless. Maybe we all are.

Then I remind myself most meatballs are amusing. Humor is palliative.

How can meatballs not be amusing, with their transparent motives and their high-decibel noise? How can it not be amusing to watch the Meatball Circus of meatball endeavor, set off as it is against the backdrop of transience? What is not to enjoy about the goings on in the ego snakepit, the arena of the meatball's barely masked self-serving thrashing?

My chain of associations takes me to bedrock.

Ecce homo. I am secure again.

I need food.

I take my clue from Hermes Trismegistus: As above, so below.

It'll be meatballs. A fine autumn dish.

I stumble to the kitchen and whip a basic ball, one that can be cloaked in a variety of ways.

I mix equal parts of finely ground beef, veal and pork. If the meat is not ground fine enough at the market, I run it through the teensy disk on my Porkert Fleischacker 10.

To the meat I add half a white onion finely minced and one or two cloves of garlic, finely minced, then mashed. If I was in a truly "fine" mood I'd demolish the onion and garlic in the food processor, reducing the vegetables to a nearly liquid and highly flavorful state.

Then, I add a beaten egg, a mess of breadcrumbs to bind the mix, salt and freshly ground black pepper, some chopped parsley, a pinch of ground nutmeg and a tablespoon or so of either water or milk. The ingredients get mixed by hand until a whisper this side of emulsified.

The balls are formed. In this case, since I wish to forestall the return of my sour mood, the meatballs will be large, maybe two inches in diameter. I am going to need some real flesh bombs to soothe me. Those little cocktail pellets will work no magic when I'm dealing with profound ennui.

I scoop up a palm full of the meat mix, shape it, then roll it into a uniform ball. When I have finished balling up all the meat, I put the balls in the fridge for a few minutes.

I can brown the meatballs in a pan then finish them off in the oven but I am not going that route. I'll brown them in the pan, then allow them to cook through while they swim in some kind of sauce. I take the meatballs six at a time and brown them in olive oil over medium high heat in a heavy pan. When a batch is finished, I remove it to a paper towel on a heated plate and start on the next batch.

When all the meatballs are browned, a choice must be made. Something else is needed. The cloak.

A sauce, a gravy of some sort.

I am not about to retreat to the tried and true tomato sauce; I have been dealing with the mundane to the point of exhaustion and I refuse to opt for the lowest common denominator.

I take the pan in which the meat is browned and I toss in a bit more olive oil and a mire poix - finely diced onion, carrot and celery. I saute the vegetables for a couple minutes then I add a handful of crushed tomato, cooking the tomato until it darkens and emits that oh-yeah-it's-caramelizing smell.

Motivated by despair, I've opened an Australian shiraz and I'm working on my second glass of the stuff. It is cheap but drinkable, and I use some of it to deglaze my pan.

In goes some thyme, black pepper, a touch of oregano, a bay leaf and two cups of sturdy beef broth.

I have a bit of glace de viand on hand. Why not? In it goes and the concoction is reduced by two thirds over medium heat, with the seasonings boosted along the way.

Back in go the meatballs, out comes the bay leaf. I could be prissy and strain the sauce, but in my angst-riddled state I don't care enough to do it. The dish simmers, covered, until the balls are cooked through. The sauce is syrupy and coats the meatballs. I steam a couple sweet potatoes and puree them, adding butter, a dab of honey, salt and pepper. I steam some green beans and dress them with butter, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice.

I pour another glass of the shiraz. I drink it and pour another. I drink it.

It's a swell meal.

It improves my attitude.

There's nothing like a meatball to make you yearn for winter.


Education News

Space available for first aid and CPR classes

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

Space is still available in the Nov. 8-9 first aid and CPR classes being offered at the Archuleta County Education Center, at 4th and Lewis streets in downtown Pagosa Springs.

First aid certification is for three years and CPR certification is for two years. Tuition and materials are $45 for first aid and CPR combined, $35 for first aid only and $30 for CPR only. We will hold several complete classes during November and early December.

Computer classes currently being offered at the Education Center include Microsoft Publisher taught by computer specialist Cynde Jackson. This class still has spaces available and is being held on Mondays and Wednesdays Oct. 25-Nov. 3 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. A Microsoft Excel class taught by Dick Babillis is being offered Oct. 25-Nov. 10 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m.

Fun Holiday Ideas, a computer class especially designed to help you with your holiday newsletter or other publishing needs, is being offered Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 9-10, 6-8 p.m. Cynde Jackson will be the instructor for this fun class.

The popular Babysitter's Workshop is being offered for youngsters in grades 5-8 on three Friday afternoons in November. Classes will be held Nov. 5,12 and 19, 1:30-5 p.m. This class is a must for anyone who wants to learn how to be a competent babysitter.

Call the Education Center today to learn more about all of our after-hours classes. We offer adult classes as well as a variety of classes at the elementary, intermediate and junior high schools. For information call 264-2835. Or stop by the center to receive a complete schedule of fall events.


Extension Viewpoints

Measures recommended to control BVD in cattle

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Tuesday, Oct. 26 - 4-H Council elections, Extension building, 6 p.m.

Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD) is a disease that affects cattle of all ages. In Colorado, more than 20 percent of cowherds are diagnosed with BVD annually, which has a devastating economic impact on the cattle industry.

"We've established the Colorado Voluntary BVD program earlier this year to control the disease," said Jim Kennedy, veterinarian at the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Rocky Ford, Colo. "It's a multi-level program that encompasses biosecurity, vaccinations and strategic testing."

Kennedy's position is a joint appointment between the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

BVD reduces productivity and increases death loss in a cattle herd. Clinical signs include ulcers in the lining of the mouth and intestines, diarrhea, lower weight gains and diminished reproductive performance. Within a herd, the effect can be seen through infertility, abortions, stillborn calves, birth deformities and calves that are persistently infected with the disease.

The financial impact of the disease is estimated to cost the rancher $10 to $24 per cow. With feeder cattle, one persistently infected animal can cause a loss of more than $10,000 per exposed pen. In Colorado, there are 2.4 million cattle and calves across the state.

The Colorado Voluntary BVD program has three levels. For ranchers, the first step is to develop a quality biosecurity program that involves good herdsmanship, record keeping and appropriate vaccinations.

In the second step, strategic testing is used to identify animals that are persistently infected, which is a primary source of BVD infection. This occurs when pregnant cows are exposed to the virus, and the unborn calf becomes infected. Usually the calves don't show signs of disease, but they shed the virus in such large amounts that even vaccinated members of the herd become infected. Ranchers can choose from a variety of testing procedures and options. The cost of attaining a Level 2 status is less than $150 plus the fees for sample collection.

For ranchers to attain Level 3 status, their herds must be free of all persistently infected cattle. In addition to completing the requirements in the first two levels, individual tests must be completed on all animals in the herd. Eventually, all seedstock producers will be expected to provide documentation of the BVD status of the animals they sell.

"Vaccinations are an integral part of any control or eradication program but will not control the disease alone," said Kennedy. "If testing protocols are carefully selected with goals established before testing begins, the additional cost to move from Level 2 to Level 3 should be minimal."

Owners who complete the requirements of Level 3 are certified BVD PI free. This certification verifies that all cattle within the herd have been tested and have been found negative of BVD PI with the exception of any unborn calves. The calves are quarantined and tested immediately after birth.

For more information, contact Kennedy at (719) 254-6382.


Pagosa Lakes News

Vandals leave Lake Pagosa

pier with severe damage

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Last Friday afternoon, Oct. 15 at around 4 p.m., a property owner called the PLPOA office to report that children on bicycles were vandalizing the association-owned fishing pier at the dam at Lake Pagosa.

These kids had taken some big rocks and smashed one of the floating dock sections; by the time a PLPOA employee arrived they had left the scene.

This is a sad situation. The fishing piers are expensive items and were paid for by all of the property owners in Pagosa Lakes. The vandalized pier will be difficult to repair and once damaged to that extent, will never be quite as strong.

If you know anything about this criminal act, please call the association office at 731-5635.

And if, in the future, you see any suspicious activity at the pier or around any of the lakes, please inform the office and association employees will respond in person. Also notify the sheriff's office.

The lakes and amenities are maintained for all property owners and their guests to enjoy and any and all acts of vandalism will cost us all dearly.

Vandalism is a growing national problem. Last year this senseless crime cost United States citizens over $1 billion. Vandalism is a problem that gets to everyone in some form or another. It can affect your family, friends, property, community and your pocketbook.

Who is a vandal?

Over half of all crimes associated with vandalism occur in high schools. However, there is no typical vandal. Vandals can be good or bad students, girls or boys, white or black, rich or poor.

The largest age group arrested for vandalism is between 13 and 14. However, children as young as six and seven vandalize schools and park areas. Teen-agers with growing-up problems act destructively by misusing vehicles, spray-painting graffiti on public places, etc. Older youths often commit more serious acts such as damaging vehicles or machinery, burglary, arson or theft.

There are so many unanswered questions for me personally, that I will be seeking to educate myself on this issue. This most likely will not be the last time you'll read about vandalism in my column.

I'd like to believe that for every single misdirected young person in our country, there are 50 or more good kids. These are the ones who go about their business of growing up, schooling, athletics, etc., quietly trying their best.

The refrain "there's nothing for kids to do" is not true. There are many avenues for our young people to get involved: school-sponsored activities, town-sponsored programs, service organization opportunities, church activities, and the list goes on. It would be more accurate to say that for some kids, the will or desire to get involved with positive developmental activities is lacking. And if it is lacking, what can parents do about it?

I wish to acknowledge a group of youngsters who, last Sunday, spent the afternoon picking up trash in and around the core area of Pagosa Lakes. My thanks to Del Greer, Cela White, Kelsey Anderson, Rachel Jensen, Mackenzie Kitson, Teale Kitson and Sydney Aragon. The parents of these kids accompanied them and also helped with the roadway clean-up. Thank you parents for being positive partners for your children.

This is the time of year to watch leaves fall, feel the weather turn cold and get all wrapped up with school fall sports. This is also the time of year to work on budgets, to project, to plan and to look forward to a good coming year.

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association's annual budget meeting will be held 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25 at the clubhouse.

This is an open meeting ... come if you are interested in the process and wish to stay informed.



Merle C. McCaw

Merle C. McCaw, 83, died Friday, October 15, 2004, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango, Colorado.

A funeral service was scheduled 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2004, at Hood Mortuary in Durango, with Chaplain Myron Darmour officiating. Burial was to be in Oxford Cemetery in Oxford.

Mr. McCaw was born June 1, 1921 in Durango, the son of Wayne and Blanche McCaw. He married his second wife, Altha J. McCaw in Durango on January 11, 1990. Mr. McCaw attended grade school in Oxford and graduated from Durango High School in 1938. He attended Fort Lewis College at Hesperus and what is now Arizona State University at Tempe. He was a Demolay as a youth. Mr. McCaw had operated the family ranch near Oxford on his own since 1951.

He was elected to two six-year terms on the school board. Mr. McCaw was a charter member of the La Plata County Cattleman's Association as well as a charter member of Basin Co-op. In addition, he was a member of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association. since 1949, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the America Hereford Association, the American Angus Association, the American Scotch Highland Breeders Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association.

He is survived by Altha McCaw (spouse) of Oxford; Paul McCaw (son) of Farmington, N.M.; Martha Nelson (daughter) of Kirtland, N.M.; Dean McCaw (son) of Oxford; four granddaughters, two grandsons, one great-granddaughter, and six great-grandsons.

He was preceded in death by his father, Wayne McCaw, his mother Blanche McCaw, and one son.

Memorial contributions may be made to the La Plata County Cattlemen's Scholarship Program.

 Edelia Archuleta

Edelia Archuleta (daughter of Sinonita Maez and Lazaro Archuleta) and a native of Archuleta County, passed away Sept. 27, 2004, in Alamosa, Colo.

Born in Pagosa Junction on Dec. 6, 1924, her last residence was in Center.

She had five sisters: Marina, Andreitta, Cordelia, Melia and El Utilia, and a brother, Lazaro.


Business News

The Lodge at Keyah Grande

H. Alexander Talbot and Aki Kamozawa have been directors and chefs at The Lodge at Keyah Grande since January 2003. The Lodge is modeled after a family estate and the restaurant offers a four-course menu with two set courses, a choice of three entrees and a cheese or dessert course.

Selections are market-driven with ingredients flown in from domestic and international sources and all menu items are prepared in-house. The Lodge also offers diners an extensive wine list.

Talbot and Kamozawa encourage guests to arrive early to enjoy the fire pit and the Great Room.

The Lodge at Keyah Grande is open Friday and Saturday evenings 6-8 p.m. to local clientele, and can accommodate private parties. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 731-1160.

The Lodge at Keyah Grande is located west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160.

Preview Profile
Davona Benzel

Front desk receptionist, Archuleta County Human Resources

Where were you born?

"Cody, Wyoming."


Where did you go to school?

"Cody, Wyoming."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"August 2001."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I was a K-2 teacher's aide for 11 1/2 years."


What are your job responsibilities?

"Making people happy. I also specialize in child care and I ensure the clientele flow is productive."


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

"I enjoy working with the public. I love being able to direct people in need to the right sources for help. The least enjoyable aspect of my job is not being able to help someone."


What is your family background?

"I have two daughters and a son."


What do you like best about the community?

"I love the small, hometown feeling and my wonderful church family."


What are your other interests?

"Reading, crafts and decorating."



Kyle Bell

Kyle Robert Christopher Bell, son of Dianna Richardson and Jim Bell of Pagosa Springs will graduate Nov. 1 from the Anaconda Job Corps.

Bell, 20, entered the program in September 2002, earned both his GED and high school diploma, and completed the heavy equipment operating trade course. He participated in a variety of recreational activities offered by the center.

The Job Corps program is the largest and most comprehensive educational/vocational training opportunity for young adults in the nation.

Currently, the Anaconda Job Corps ranks 34th of 118 centers throughout the country. The center in the southwestern mountains of Montana is operated by U.S. Forest Service.


Sports Page

Pirate girls capture IML cross country laurels

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Pirates set the tone for a successful cross country post season Saturday by bringing home team first-place honors.

The girls outdistanced Bayfield by one point to capture the league title and the top finish at the Monte Vista meet which included 3A, 2A and 1A schools.

"We know each other well," coach Scott Anderson said of the Pirates and the Wolverines. "We know we're going to face them the next two weekends and nobody is going to raise a white flag, but we feel the competition is only going to make us better going into the last two races of the year."

To claim the team title, the Pirates put three runners in the top five. The three crossed the finish back-to-back-to-back in third through fifth place. Leading the trio was junior Emilie Schur who crossed the finish in 20 minutes, 47 seconds.

Sophomore Laurel Reinhardt was just 11 seconds behind, claiming fourth. Two seconds behind her, sophomore Jessica Lynch claimed fifth.

"Laurel has been running well all year," Anderson said. "Jessica is coming back to where she needs to be following an injury. They both ran a good race, but we'll be trying to squeeze a little more out of them over the next two weekends."

Pagosa's fourth runner, and the third sophomore on the varsity, Jen Shearston, crossed the line in 22:06, finishing 12th.

Junior Heather Dahm will round out the girl's varsity team for regionals and state this year. She finished 18th (22:26) in regional competition.

Senior Rachel Watkins captured the alternate spot to state with a one-second victory over teammate Drie Young. Watkins finished the day 26th, in 23:35. Young was 27th, in 23:36.

The remainder of Pagosa's runners included: freshman Dell Greer (25:57); sophomore Julianna Whipple (26:46); senior Pau Alves (26:59); senior Esther Gordon (29:43); and freshman Mackenzie Kitson (34:40).

Bayfield did edge out Pagosa - and everyone else - in individual competition. Wolverines Sari Sunblom and Steve Flint captured Runner of the Year awards by hitting the tape first in their varsity races.

The Pagosa boys finished sixth overall at Monte Vista's invitational and third in the league.

Senior Otis Rand crossed the line first for Pagosa, finishing 15th in 19:05. He was followed by junior Orion Sandoval in 29th (19:33) and Riley Lynch in 32nd (19:54). Freshman Isaiah Warren took the fourth spot on Pagosa's team with a 20:51 showing, claiming 53rd. Junior Paul Hostetter, 55th, will round out the varsity for post-season competition, finishing in (20:53). Freshman Forrest Rackham will be the alternate. He finished in 24:11.

Warren's time and performance are impressive for a freshman, Anderson said. "He's dealing with the pressure well." The result may be yet another trip to state for the boys.

"We're right there on the bubble," Anderson said. "I'm comfortable with where we sit, but we're right on the edge. Everybody's going to have to turn in a good race next week."

The chances for both teams to make the trip to Colorado Springs later this month will be decided in a second week of races at Monte Vista Saturday.

Regional action Oct. 23 begins at 9:30 a.m. for the girls and 10:15 a.m. for the boys. All races take place on the Monte Vista Municipal Golf Course, a fast, flat course especially suited for spectators.


Pirate kickers blank Telluride 3-0, extend winning streak to 10

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Ten is a very definitive number, especially when it sets the latest parameter of a Pagosa Pirate soccer winning streak.

It was reached in action Oct. 15 in Telluride when the Pirates blanked the much improved Miners 3-0 in a hard-fought Southwest Mountain League contest.

It was not the typical Pirate action in which they score early and then work ball possession and strategically impose their will on the opponent.

Instead, Telluride came out in a strong defensive stance and Pagosa, though on the attack repeatedly, was not able to establish its normal offensive pattern.

For example, in the first four minutes Pirate shots were going everywhere but in the net.

Caleb Ormonde, on the first possession was stopped by Miner keeper Walter Kvale on a shot he nubbed. Moe Webb got the rebound and Kvale stopped him, too. Then, Webb was wide left on a reverse from the middle.

So, the Pirates tried a new attack. Shan Webb's reverse header off a Kevin Blue corner kick popped off Kvale's gloves where Paul Muirhead got the rebound but fired wide left. Moe Webb's long drive on the short field hit a house behind the endline and Ormonde was stopped again by Kvale.

Telluride's first shot, in the 22nd minute, was a blast by Lane Smith that was wide right.

Shan Webb was blanked again and Ormonde stopped by Kvale off a corner kick.

Finally, at 28:31, Pagosa broke the scoring drought with senior midfielder Keagan Smith scoring from the right wing off a crossing pass from Shan Webb.

Then began the familiar litany of Pirate games - solo block by Levi Gill; two in a row.

After a blast by Webb hit the right corner of the net and Smith was wide left with a rebound, Gill blocked the next two Miner attacks.

At the 38 minute mark, Caleb Forrest got his first save for Pagosa on Telluride's first chance to get to goal, a looper by Jessie Lamb.

Gill turned in another solo block, Moe Webb was wide right and Kevin Blue's direct kick from 25 yards sailed over the net before Webb, turned defender, blocked another Telluride shot.

The Pirate frustration extended to a new name when Chris Baum's drive off a corner from Blue was stopped by Kvale as the first half ended.

Gill opened the second half with another solo block, Jesse Morris was wide right on a header off a rebound and Blue, Ormonde and Moe Webb all were stopped by Kvale before Pagosa broke the drought.

It came on a steal in the offensive zone by Ormonde who scored unassisted at 49:36 to increase the Pirate lead to 2-0 with a soft looper over Kvale's head.

On the ensuing possession, Gill intercepted and fired from 30 only to see it go over the net.

Moe Webb was wide left with a shot and then stopped on a breakaway by Telluride's Walker Tatum before he could get a shot off. Ormonde's header off a corner kick by Thomas Martinez was wide right and Muirhead's kick off the rebound went wide left.

Another block by Gill led to a Pirate corner kick and Ormonde's shot hit the crossbar with Shan Webb wide left on the rebound effort.

Then came four consecutive solo blocks by Gill before Forrest was called on for his second save.

And then, at 62:16, Pagosa hiked the lead to 3-0 when Baum found Keagan Smith on right wing with a reverse drop and the senior drilled his second goal of the game and third of the season.

Shan Webb was stopped by Kvale and Gill had a block. Forrest had a save on a soft roller and Moe Webb was stopped by Kvale. Gill had a block and Forrest his toughest save on a dive to his right for a shot by Lance Kipfer.

Then it was Ormonde over the top, Shan Webb wide left and a solo block by Gill.

And, as the game wore down, Keagan Smith was stopped, Max Smith had a steal and Baum's bid for his second goal of the season was over the top.

For Pagosa it was a regular season 10-game winning streak after five consecutive losses to open the year, three against state ranked teams.

The 9-1 league record tied them with Crested Butte for first place, each having defeated the other 3-2 in overtime on the home-team's field.

Playoff times, dates and foes were yet to be decided (see separate story).


Scoring: 28:31, P-K. Smith, assist S. Webb; 49:36, P-Ormonde, UA; 62:16, P- K. Smith, assist Baum. Shots on goal, P-18, T-6; Saves, T-Kvale, 12; P-Forrest, 6. No cards.


Pirates get soccer scare from Center but win ninth straight

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Pirate soccer team reeled off its ninth victory in a row Oct. 14 in Center - but it wasn't easy.

In fact, it was a nailbiter for an entirely scoreless second half, the Pirates protecting a 2-1 first-half lead against a savage Viking attack.

As have many of the recent Pirate games, this one started with an early Pagosa lead thanks to the Webb brothers, Moe and Shan. And, but for an mistimed leap by Caleb Forrest, that might have held up as the game winner.

It came just 2:47 into the contest when Shan Webb stole a Viking outlet pass at midfield, passed to older brother Moe, and then broke on the right wing for a return.

Center's keeper came out to face Moe, the state's leading scorer in Class 3A going into the contest. But Moe knew where Shan was and his cross to the right insured the goal.

What became a fierce defensive struggle then continued for more than 13 minutes. and it featured, among other things, four of the 14 solo blocks recorded in the game by Pirate senior sweeper Levi Gill.

It also saw the Pirates struggle offensively, getting a lone shot on goal - by freshman Kevin Blue - in the 12-minute stretch.

The game was knotted at 15:14 when Center's Moises Jeminez, the coach's son, looped a high soft drive on a free kick from 30 yards.

Forrest, sure he had the ball, stayed planted but somehow misjudged the timing on his leap and the ball sailed over his 6-8 frame and into the upper right corner.

That sent the Viking faithful into cheers of delight and spurred the squad into continued pressure on the Pirates.

Again, it was almost 15 minutes before offense bested defense.

In the interim, a mostly midfield scrum, Blue was stopped twice. Center's Carlos Marino and Clemente Sandoval each was stopped on breakaways by Forrest, and Gill picked up another solo block.

Then, at 30:07, Pagosa took the lead it would never surrender. And again, it was the Webb brothers producing the goal.

Moe Webb came out of midfield with a cross from Chris Baum and went wide left, suddenly stopping and dropping a cross to Shan.

With the Center keeper charging right at him, Webb flicked it over his head, then swept past him for an unimpeded shot and the last goal of the game.

The balance of the half featured solo blocks by Chris Nobles and Gill and a save by Jesse Morris for Pagosa while Baldo Aguilera was wide left on one shot and over the top on another.

At the half, Pirate coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason warned his squad to "keep your heads. If you don't get a call you expect, keep on playing. You can't take anything for granted."

And, he reminded them the game plan had been to use the middle of the field to establish pattern, see the field and play the lanes.

But the second half started with Center showing the offensive thrust. Aguilera was stopped by Forrest on the opening play of the half and moments later a Center player's (no roster was given Pagosa or the press) shot on an indirect kick was over the net.

After a solo block by Nobles, Center lost the ball at midfield to Pirate sophomore Caleb Ormonde who beat three defenders for an open shot that sailed high.

Then the irrepressible Gill was credited with consecutive solo saves before Forrest made a fine diving stop on a shot by Sandoval.

Three more blocks by Gill and a Center shot over the net followed.

But the Vikings kept the pressure on and Forrest was called on to make three consecutive saves, the last tipping a blistering drive to his left and off the post to avoid the tying score.

Back-to-back steals by Paul Muirhead opened Pirate scoring drives that were turned aside by Viking defenders.

Two consecutive Viking drives ended with wide-right shots, followed by another Forrest save.

The Pirates best scoring chance of the second half came next and a pretty three-man give-and-go attack.

It started with Moe Webb slashing right up the middle, taking a blow from behind as he passed to Ormonde. The 6-4 sophomore looped a crossing pass to Blue racing the left wing, but his shot was wide left. He captured the Viking throw-in, however, and had another shot attempt thwarted by an interference calls on Center.

Blue was awarded a direct kick from 35 yards but it, too, sailed to the left.

Blocks by Shan Webb and Derek Monks stymied Viking attacks and then Ormonde was stopped from 20 yards on a header off a Muirhead cross.

Another save by Forrest, two solo blocks by Gill and a Keagan Smith shot wide left preceded the only penalty of the game, a yellow card to Moe Webb with just 2:02 remaining.

For Pagosa those two minutes were a drill in ball protection. Center would never get another shot and neither team was able to launch an offensive drive.

The victory hiked the Pirate record to 9-5 overall, 8-1 in the Southwest Mountain League with just a Friday contest in Telluride remaining in the regular season.


Scoring: 2:47, P-S. Webb, assist M. Webb; 15:14, C-Jiminez, UA on free kick; 30:07, P-S. Webb, assist M. Webb. Shots on goal: P-12, C-12. Saves, P-Forrest, 9; C-8. Cards, P-M. Webb, yellow


Pirate soccer champs will host quarterfinal; foe, date still unknown

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The first tie-breaker - goals allowed against common league opponents - gave Pagosa Springs the championship and No. 1 seed in Southwest Mountain League soccer.

As a result, the Pirates draw a regional round bye and will host a quarterfinal playoff game next week in Golden Peaks Stadium.

The foe and the playing date and time will not be known until after a Sunday seeding meeting involving all 3A qualifiers statewide. What is known is that Pagosa will be in the top eight of the Sweet 16 and as such will draw a foe from the lower eight.

The Pirates and Crested Butte each finished with 9-1 records in the league, the lone loss for each being a 3-2 overtime defeat by the other.

The tie-breaker decision went to Pagosa, which allowed 12 goals in the league to 13 surrendered by Crested Butte. The third seed from the league will be Center, which finished 5-5 and will be on the road for regional play.

State semifinals begin Nov. 6 with finals to be played Nov. 9.

Pagosa's Moe Webb was the league's leading scorer with 23 goals this season. His brother, Shan, was second with 16.

Both also ranked high in state lists with Moe second in Class 3A to Devin Gendreau of Weld Central (26) and Shan fourth with 16. Statewide, Moe finished fifth, behind Joel Trainer of Liberty in 4A with 28, Seth Benzinger of Montrose in 4A with 25 and Kyle Huntstiger of Durango in 5A with 24.


Pirates beat Bayfield, stay unbeaten in league play

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It was a short and basically sweet experience for the Pirate volleyball team, with a 3-0 victory over Bayfield Tuesday at the PSHS gym.

The evening would have been shorter yet, if the Pirates had not lost their intensity in the third game of the 25-10, 25-11, 25-20 win.

The sweetness will be complete should the Pirates manage to win their final Intermountain League victory of the season against Ignacio on the home court tonight.

The win over the Wolverines gave Pagosa a 7-0 IML mark (12-4 overall) and assured them of the top seed at the district tournament a week from Friday in Ignacio.

The first game flew by as the Pirates attacked relentlessly at the start, firing out to a 6- 1 lead with a solo block by senior middle Caitlyn Jewell, two kills by senior outside hitter Courtney Steen and an ace from junior Caitlin Forrest. Bayfield managed a two-point run before the Pirates went back to work, running off five consecutive points. Lori Walkup tipped for a score, Steen put another ball down from outside and Liza Kelley dumped a ball to the floor off a pass.

All Bayfield could do was put together a single point at a time as Pagosa extended the advantage to 21-6. On the way, Kelley scored with a power dink to an empty spot in the Bayfield defense, Jewell went outside for a kill, Walkup crushed an errant Wolverine pass and that was followed by a similar play from Jewell. Kari Faber gave the team its 21st point with a kill.

With Pagosa in front 23-7, Bayfield put three points on the board, only one of them earned. Walkup scored to take the serve back and Forrest served up an ace to end the game.

Before the fans were settled in their seats, the Pirates had an 8-3 lead in the second game, all points but two handed over on Wolverine errors. Bri Scott scored one earned point in the spree with a kill from the middle, Steen the second point from outside. Scott scored again, Forrest mauled an over-pass and Jewell nailed a point. The Pirates were ahead 16-7

Bayfield managed two points in a row, courtesy Pirate errors, with the one noticeable flaw in Pagosa's game - the service error - accounting for one of the points. The Pirates had 10 serve errors during the match.

Jewell halted any Bayfield momentum with a solo block and Forrest killed for a point. Bayfield provided a charity point with a hitting error and Walkup made it 20-10 when she went to the right side for a cross-court attack.

Bayfield managed one more point on another Pagosa serve mistake. Walkup killed, Bayfield gave away two points with errant hits, Jewell put the ball down from the middle and a Bayfield player crossed the line to end the second game.

The serve error dogged the Pirates at the outset of the third game, with three mistakes surrendering points as Bayfield went ahead 5-3.

Walkup responded by killing off the pass and Steen put a ball out off the Wolverine block. Steen then stepped up to crush a ball down the line and Pagosa was ahead, 6-5.

It didn't last. The teams tied all the way to 11-11 when the Wolverines surrendered a point with a ball hit out to knot the score then committed a second error to put the Pirates ahead. Faber then gave her team a 13-11 lead with a successful attack from the left side.

Pagosa managed a four-point run and looked to be on the way to the win. Walkup scored, Forrest served an ace, Jewell and Walkup stuffed a Bayfield hitter and Walkup put a ball down from the right side. The Pirates led 17-12.

The teams exchanged two-point runs, then single points. Pagosa was up 20-15, but there was no quit in the Wolverines. Bayfield scored four points in a row, the first on a serve error, the second on a ball hit out by the Pirates, the third and fourth points on aces muffed by a sluggish Pirate back row. Bayfield trailed by one point but could not sustain the effort: A Wolverine serve error gave up a point and Forrest came back with a kill.

Bayfield saw its final point go up on the board when a Pirate committed a line violation. It appeared the Wolverines would score again as their serve hit the tape at the top of the net and rolled to the Pirates' side. Walkup got a tremendous up on the ball and Liza Kelley powered a kill to the floor on the Bayfield side of the net. Jewell followed with a kill to the back line and Kelley ended it all with an attack from the right side.

"We started strong," said coach Penné Hamilton, "but we kind of fizzled at the end. Our hitting was better tonight and we'll need it when we play Ignacio Thursday (tonight). Against Ignacio we've got to get our block up, especially on the outside. And we have to ready for any kind of ball coming back at us. We need to hit the ball with authority on offense."

The Pirates and the Bobcats meet tonight with C team matches beginning at 7 p.m. The Pirates finish the regular season schedule at Montrose Saturday, playing 4A Montrose at 9 a.m. and 3A Olathe immediately after.


Kills/attacks: Walkup 11-15, Steen 7-17, Jewell 5-11

Ace serves: Jewell 3, Forrest 2

Solo blocks: Jewell 2, Walkup 1

Assists: Walkup 12, Kelley 11

Digs: Steen 9, Kelley 5


Ladies Golf Association

finishes league season

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association sent eight of its lowest handicap players to San Juan Country Club Oct. 7 for final league match play and an awards luncheon.

They played against Piñon Hills Golf Club and picked up 26 1/2 points.

Representing Pagosa were Jane Stewart, Barbara Sanborn, Sho Jen Lee, Bev Hudson, Audrey Johnson, Kathy Giordano, Josie Hummel and Nancy Chitwood.

The Pagosa ladies finished in seventh place this year. Final team placings in order are: Aztec Hidden Valley with 309 points; Dalton Ranch, 304; Piñon Hills, 297 1/2; Hillcrest, 295; San Juan, 290; Riverview, 287 1/2; Pagosa Springs, 278 and Cortez Conquistador, 242 1/2.

Team captain Sanborn said, "We did struggle at times this year, and we hope to do better next year."

She thanked all the Pagosa team players who participated this year and said she looks forward to successful results when play resumes in April.


Pirates take fifth IML match at Monte Vista

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirates continued their unbeaten streak in the Intermountain League Friday night with a 3-0 win at Monte Vista.

The only question during the match was how many earned points Monte Vista would put on the board before the action ended.

The answer was not many, as Pagosa ended the brief affair 25-9, 25-15, 25-18 allowing the hosts only 16 earned scores in Monte's total 42 match points.

Pagosa owned the net during the match, beating Monte with height and strength, allowing few direct attacks on the Pirate defense.

The Pirate attack was on track much of the time, led by senior middle hitters Caitlyn Jewell and Bri Scott, and senior outside hitter Courtney Steen.

Scott led the way in the first game, converting effectively from the middle against a weak Monte Vista block. Scott scored with four kills and added another two points with blocks.

Steen accounted for three points with two kills and a tip.

Jewell crushed a Monte overpass at the start of the game then wrapped things up at game's end with scores on two kills and one solo block.

Lori Walkup added two kills to the Pirate total; Kari Faber put a ball to the floor from outside. Steen served for seven points in mid game.

Pagosa shot out to a 4-0 lead in the second game with Jewell beginning the run with a kill of an errant Monte Vista pass.

Walkup ended the run with an ace. She and Jewell killed for points on the way to a 16-3 lead; Jewell served two aces as well.

An exchange of points on mistakes and a kill by Scott gave the Pirates the 18-4 advantage.

The inevitable was delayed slightly as Pagosa surrendered a number of points with miscues but Jewell slid to the outside for a kill and Liza Kelley hit an ace to extend the Pirate lead to 23-12. Monte got points on serve and setting errors but gave away the last two points to Pagosa with hitting and passing mistakes.

Pagosa took the lead 3-0 in the third game with an ace by Kari Faber putting one of the points on the scoreboard.

Steen killed for a fourth point and the teams exchanged scores with errors before Faber put a ball to the floor from outside to give her team an 8-4 advantage.

Kelley stepped up for a kill, Faber tipped for a point and the Pirates were in front 12-7.

Steen scored twice - once on a successful back-row attack - Monte continued to misfire on its side of the net and Pagosa was up 18-9.

In their one solid run of the night, the Monte players scored three consecutive points with a kill, a free ball to the back line and a solo block.

Kelley cut the march short, however, dumping the ball off the pass to an empty spot on the floor and Scott followed up with a kill from the middle.

Monte scored six more points - five unearned. For Pagosa, Steen killed from outside and tipped for a point; Scott came up big again and, with her team ahead 24-18, Walkup put a precise shot to the back corner of the court to end game and match.

"The girls came out strong and dominated the first game," said coach Penné Hamilton. "They pretty much shut Monte Vista down. Each game got a bit closer, but most of it was due to our own errors."

Hamilton's concern about the low ceiling and rafters at the Monte Vista gym was relayed to her players before the match. "I warned them about the ceiling," she said. "In general, we handled it better than they did."

The quality and tempo of league play is improving as the season ends and Monte Vista did some things in the home gym they did not do when they played at Pagosa.

"They blocked a few balls," said Hamilton of Monte Vista. "The higher the level of our play, the deeper into the season we get, the more other teams will block and dig our attacks. We need to transition right into our offense - do something with the pass and hit at them again."

The Pirates play their final IML match of the regular season tonight, Oct. 21, against Ignacio in the PSHS gym.

The action starts with C team matches at 4 p.m.

Saturday, Pagosa is on the road at Montrose for a 9 a.m. match against the 4A Indians and a match immediately after with 3A Olathe. Those contests end the regular season schedule.


Kills/attacks: Steen 8-19, Walkup 8-18, Jewell 6-19

Ace serves: Kelley 3, Jewell 2

Assists: Kelley 18, Walkup 10

Solo blocks: Forrest 1, Jewell 1

Digs: Scott 10, Steen 9, Forrest 8


Pirates trampled by Mean Moose in 41-19 loss

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Will the real Pagosa Springs Pirates please stand up?

One week after looking like title contenders and playing with controlled rage to hand Intermountain League foe Monte Vista its first setback of the season, the Pirates came out as flat as the San Luis Valley Friday at Alamosa and got trampled by the Mean Moose in a 41-19 loss.

Though little went as planned for head coach Sean O'Donnell's squad, one of the game's few positives is the fact the nonconference loss had no bearing on Pagosa's playoff hopes or grip on first place in the IML.

However, as O'Donnell told his 5-2 team after the defeat, if the Pirates want to win the IML title outright to ensure they host a first-round game of the Class 2A playoffs, the snooze button must remain out of reach for the rest of the season.

Early on, it appeared the contest would be another low-scoring affair as both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm.

But near the end of the scoreless first frame, sluggish coverage from Pagosa allowed Alamosa's Jason Espinoza to return a punt to the Mean Moose 47-yard line, and the home team posted a 6-0 lead with two minutes gone in the second quarter after Espinoza took a sweep 40-yards to the end zone.

Alamosa's point-after kick missed wide left, but the Pirates failed to gain a first down on their next possession and were back-pedaling again after Espinoza returned the resulting punt to the Pagosa 7.

Alamosa's Sonny Yohn tiptoed into the end zone one play later, and the Mean Moose led 14-0 after a two-point conversion toss from Clay Garcia to Dustin Bolt.

The Pirates briefly showed signs of life on their next possession as Josh Hoffman returned the Mean Moose kickoff to the Pagosa 37, then quarterback Paul Armijo hit wideout Jordan Shaffer for a first-down gain to the Alamosa 49.

But Espinoza stepped in front of an errant pass on the next snap, returning it for a 50-yard touchdown and Alamosa led 21-0 after a successful point-after kick by Michael Gallegos with 8:30 to play in the half.

Pagosa would answer with a ground attack on its next drive, and was able cut the lead to 21-7 on a 60-yard scoring run from Armijo followed by Daniel Aupperle's point-after kick at 6:24.

A roughing the punter call on fourth and long enabled the Mean Moose to extend their next drive to the Pirate red zone, but the march ended at the 17 when Pagosa's Juan Martinez pounced on a fumble to give the Pirates a late chance with 1:49 to play.

The Pirates went into hurry-up mode, and Armijo carried twice to move the ball into Mean Moose territory, then threw to flanker Paul Przybylski racing down the Alamosa sideline for a 45-yard touchdown to get Pagosa back in the game with 49 seconds to play.

Then came a delayed, curious call from the officiating crew - with both teams lined up for the extra-point attempt, the officials huddled momentarily near the 15-yard line, then littered the field with penalty flags.

To the delight of Alamosa fans, Pagosa's touchdown was subsequently disallowed, apparently because game officials had suddenly realized Przybylski had been bumped out of bounds before receiving Armijo's pass, and in doing so became an ineligible receiver.

The call led to a disheartening chain of events for Pagosa as six points came off the scoreboard, Pirate fans erupted in stark protest, Alamosa intercepted on the next play and the half ended with a crestfallen Pagosa team trailing by 14.

Bad news for the Pirates continued early in the second half - after holding Pagosa to three and out, the Mean Moose took a 27-7 lead two minutes into the third quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Garcia to Bolt.

Then the Pirates got a lift when junior Bubba Martinez blocked the extra-point attempt, and gained further momentum when Hoffman returned the kickoff to the Alamosa 38.

The Pirates converted a fourth and two to keep their scoring chance alive, Armijo hit Shaffer at the 2 to set up first and goal, and Craig Schutz snared a fourth-and-goal pass from Armijo to trim the lead to 27-13 at 4:20.

But Alamosa's Derek Russel blocked the PAT, and the Mean Moose answered with a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive capped by a 30-yard touchdown run by Yohn to give the home team a 34-13 lead with under a minute to play in the third.

The final quarter was no kinder to Pagosa - Alamosa tallied its final points of the game with a blocked punt for a touchdown just 47 seconds in, Gallegos kicked the PAT and the Mean Moose led by 28.

The Pirates got a touchdown with 13 seconds to play on a 62-yard pass from backup quarterback Adam Trujillo to Przybylski, but the game ended 41-19 in favor of the Mean Moose after Pagosa misfired on a two-point conversion try.

Armijo totaled 133 yards rushing on 14 carries in the loss, while Hoffman added 66 yards on 18 totes. Bubba Martinez recorded eight tackles to lead the defense, followed by Armijo with six and Jake Reding with five.

When asked if he felt his team was physically dominated during the contest, "I don't think we were dominated physically, but they were certainly prepared to play much better than we were," said O'Donnell after the game.

"I take a lot of the blame for that; we were probably not as focused this week during practice as we should've been," he added.

"And when you play a good football team like Alamosa, you can't wait to decide the game should mean something to you, even if it's nonconference, then make as many mistakes as we did and expect to compete," said O'Donnell.

With regard to his team's final two IML games of the season, "The bottom line is, if we don't win our next two games, we're not league champs and we don't get to host a playoff game," said the coach.

"And our kids definitely know that, so hopefully we can get back to business this week," concluded O'Donnell.

Next up for the Pirates is a homecoming battle Friday with visiting Ignacio. Kickoff in Golden Peaks Stadium is set for 7 p.m.


Pagosa 0 21 13 7-41

Alamosa 0 7 6 6-19

Second Quarter

Ala - Espinoza 40 run (kick failed)

Ala - Yohn 7 run (Garcia pass to Bolt for 2)

Ala - Espinoza 50 interception return

(Gallegos kick)

Pag - Armijo 60 run (Aupperle kick)

Third Quarter

Ala - Bolt 15 pass from Garcia (kick failed)

Pag - Schutz 2 pass from Armijo (kick failed)

Ala - Yohn 30 run (Gallegos kick)

Fourth Quarter

Ala - Russel blocked punt for TD (kick failed)

Pag - Przybylski 62 pass from Trujillo (2-pt. try failed)


Parks & Rec

Seeing youth sports at purest level

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The rest rooms in Town Park and South Pagosa Park will close this week.

Each year we blow out all the water lines to prevent freezing at the public facilities.

We continue to offer 24-hour rest room services at the Bell Tower Park. This facility is geothermally heated and is in a great location for the public.

South Pagosa Park

All the improvements by the park crew and volunteers has started the ball rolling on more improvements.

We had $5,000 budgeted for resurfacing some of the boxes. We plan to finish this phase of the resurfacing by late October. After reviewing the 2004 budget, and seeing the progress and local help, we have ordered more surface material to cover the remaining boxes in the park.

We are expecting the new materials to be delivered within the next couple of weeks. Anyone wishing to help set up another work day, please call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231.


The recreation department is winding down toward our annual youth soccer tournament. All games will be played at the elementary school fields, so come support youth soccer. The finals are scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30.

I observed one of my most enjoyable weeks of soccer in Pagosa last week. It started Saturday at the Town Park, watching the 5- and 6-year-olds, playing the game in its purest form: running, laughing, waving, and sometimes even going the right direction.

One of the teams had a lasagna lunch for the players after a season-ending game. Every team went undefeated this season, there were no losers.

Watching the young athletes walking around with a participation medal around their necks brought a smile to my face.

Then, up to the elementary fields to watch the older kids play. There are many kids who play on a traveling team. We did not have enough players to play the visiting Dulce team so Myles called together enough players to accommodate our neighbors from the south with a practice game against the children who didn't travel.

It ended in a tie, with an overtime, and then a five-player shootout. Watching the kids play with no pressure, just having fun, again reminded me the game is for the kids, and kids will develop their level of fun if we just leave them alone.

Then, on Monday night, I experimented with watching from far away from the stadium, far enough were I could not hear any of the commands given the kids by parents and coaches. I witnessed my son, Gabe, running, joking and just loving the fact that he was participating in a great sport with his friends and peers. It was like watching your favorite movie, with your child in a starring role.

His body language was that of a child enjoying the true nature of recreational sport. So, my suggestion to you is try backing off and just watching, maybe even put headphones on so you do not hear anything. You too will see your child just being a kid. It is quite rewarding.

Complaints, suggestions

If you are a parent, grandparent or coach and have a complaint or suggestion please come to our organizational meetings, or if you have complaints call our offices. If you need to talk to us, our doors are always open.

Please do not complain or make a scene on the fields, in front of the children, where we as adults are modeling behavior for our children. We can learn from each other, then educate our children on the whats, ifs and whys of recreational sports rules and regulations.

Please call 264-4151, Ext. 231, for an appointment.


Bill of Rights for young athletes

The Bill of Rights for young athletes was developed in the 1980s by Dr. Vern Seefeldt, professor emeritus at the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, and Dr. Rainier Martens, in response to growing concerns regarding the abuse of young athletes in the hope of creating guidelines to maximize the beneficial effects of athletic participation for all.

This bill has been used by a number of national organizations as a guideline for administrators, coaches and parents:

1. Right to participate in sports;

2. Right to participate at a level commensurate with each child's maturity and ability;

3. Right to have qualified adult leadership;

4. Right to play as a child and not as an adult;

5. Right of children to share in the leadership and decision-making of their sport participation;

6. Right to participate in safe and healthy environments;

7. Right to proper preparation for participation in sports;

8. Right to an equal opportunity to strive for success;

9. Right to be treated with dignity; and

10. Right to have FUN in sports.

Reprinted with permission from Guidelines for Children's Sports, R. Martens and V. Seefeldt (Eds.)., Washington, D.C. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 1979.

Volleyball leagues

This is the last week to sign up for coed 4-on-4 volleyball.

Where are all the volleyball players in Pagosa Springs? Put your teams together now for the upcoming season. Play will begin on Oct. 25 so get your teams together and contact the recreation office today.

Youth basketball

This is the last week to sign up for 7-8 youth basketball. Registration started on Monday, Oct. 11, and will continue through Friday, Oct. 22. Play will begin in early November. Don't miss your spot. Sign up today.

Sign ups for 9-10 and 11-12 basketball will begin Nov. 1 and continue through Nov. 26. Basketball skills assessment day will be Dec. 4 with the Elks Club Shootout on Dec. 11. Practices will begin Dec. 13 with games beginning Jan, 4. Sign up now.

Youth soccer coaches, sponsors

Special thanks go out to the coaches and businesses that committed to coach and sponsor children in our Youth Soccer League. Also, to all the assistant coaches, team moms and parents: We couldn't have had such a successful league without your generous sacrifices and tremendous help.


5-6 Division, 7-8 Division

Josh Severs, Chris Andresen, Chris Pitcher, Wally Lankford, Brock Gorman, Ian Weerstra/ David Gabel, Tom Greenly, John Egan, Duane Breman, Susan Kuhns, Bob Haynes, Tammy Romain/Liz Watuzack, Lori Lucero/Kristen Reinhardt, Matt Chavez.

9-10 Division, 11-13 Division

Jim Brinkman, Steve Koneman, Todd Shelton, Chris Smith/Mike Church, Jeff Baserra, Todd Ormonde, Gary Fisher, Jeff Laydon, Cliff Lucero/Craig Vrazel, Jack Searle, Josh Bramble, Bob Brown, Kent Lord.


Agape Gifts, Jann Pitcher Realty, Pagosa Custom Homes, Concrete Connection, Mud Shaver Car Wash, Brighton Custom Homes, CO Timber Ridge Ranch, BootJack Ranch, Edward Jones Investments, Design-A-Sign, M&M Drop Service, A Affordable Storage, Strohecker Asphalt & Paving, Alpine Electric.

Hiring referees

The recreation 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.

For additional information concerning any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, 264-4151, Ext. 232, or 946-2810, Monday through Friday, 1-5 p.m.

Take our time

The 2004 general election is underway, with early voting taking place and absentee ballots being sent out. Early voting began Monday and continues at the county clerk's office until 4 p.m. Oct. 29. Many absentee voters have received their ballots and have until Nov. 2 to return them.

Registered voters can request absentee ballots to be mailed to them up to Oct. 26 and can pick up absentee ballots at the county clerk's office until Oct. 29.

The more the merrier. Anyone registered to vote should participate - if not voting early or absentee, they should show up at the polls Nov. 2. In particular, those young people who are registered to vote in their first general election, or their first presidential election, should make a point of exercising their right.

There is plenty on the voters' plates this year.

First, a contentious and apparently close presidential race.

Second, a Colorado Senate seat up for grabs, fought for by Democrat Ken Salazar and Republican Peter Coors.

Democrat John Salazar is slugging it out with Republican Greg Walcher for the right to represent our U.S. congressional district.

Republican Robin Schiro and Independent Nan Rowe are contending for the Archuleta County Commission seat from District 1.

County voters living within the boundaries of the San Juan Water Conservancy District will decide whether to provide funds to purchase land for a reservoir. All voters in the county will have a say on whether to retain District Court judges Greg Lyman and Jefferey Wilson as well as several Appeals Court judges.

There are four initiatives proposing amendments to the Colorado Constitution. They are joined there by two referendums urging changes to the constitution. The topics range widely, from an amendment dealing with construction liability to an increase in tobacco tax, from a proposed change in the way the state's electoral votes are designated to a renewable energy proposal, from changes to the state personnel system to removal of obsolete constitutional elements.

We will pick a regent for the University of Colorado.

All in all, quite a load.

A load that demands study in order to make informed and intelligent choices.

Many voters have probably made up their minds, picked their candidates, decided how they will vote on the state ballot measures. A lamentable number of votes flow from unexamined partisan reasons, and many of those votes will be cast before Nov. 2, if they have not been cast by the time you read this.

We tend to agree with our colleagues at The Denver Post. In an Oct. 18 Post editorial, it was noted that, while the option to vote early is inviting, perhaps this is one election year when it is wise to wait. Until Nov. 2.

The races for president, U.S. Senate and House are in a state of flux, for all but the blindered partisan voter. It is hard to predict what information might yet surface in the presidential race, what events might take place prior to Nov. 2 that could tempt the uncommitted voter to lean one way or the other. The same can be said of our Senate and House races; there is time yet for change in the picture. Our local race for county commissioner has the potential for new and surprising turns before Election Day. Those who voted early the first three days of this week missed our candidate interviews in this issue. Did one of the candidates say something that might have caused a vote to be changed, had the voter waited?

Granted, the crush at the polling place on Election Day can be tedious. True, the trip demands some extra effort.

But, maybe this is the year we should take our time.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

I flu through the line in 2 hours

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Oh yeah! Sure. I was going to get there early, grab a spot in the line before the crowd gathered, and then be back at work in 45 minutes or so.

Great plan!

Except that several hundred others had the same idea Monday for the one and only flu shot clinic to be held in Pagosa Springs - to the best of our knowledge.

Granted, San Juan Basin Health planned well for the clinic, picking the most logical place, Pagosa Springs Community Center, that could handle a crowd that size.

They even started a little early because of the huge crowd which had gathered and the fact many were disabled.

They had seating inside for 180 people and the seats were filled all the time as people shuttled in and out.

The health department, of course, had no control over the weather and many of us stood outside in the rain for up to half an hour waiting just to get inside the door.,

Then there was another wait to get into the gymnasium where the shots were being administered.

Now why would a pacer put himself in that kind of situation?

Well, I've got to admit I have gotten flu shots as long as they've been available, and I've never had a case of the flu.

And, much as I dislike the idea, I'm now in that group of older Americans who were recommended as most in need of the shots.

The fact that an overseas producer shorted the U.S. 48 million doses by allowing its production facilities to be contaminated and causing the medication to be banned had nothing to do with it.

I'm just having too much fun in life to want to be knocked down by some foreign bug with a quivering sticker.

I'd never get to see the fallen leaves gather in the parks and on the country trails. I'd never get to see the state high school sports playoff action. I'd be reduced to a stay-at-home statistic if I got the flu and couldn't go out because I might transmit it to someone else.

And, I was cognizant of the fact that Colorado was the worst hit state in the nation last year, per capita. I wanted no part in setting a new record.

Still, standing in the rain and then waiting another 45 minutes inside triggered thoughts of "this is a good way to get the flu."

There were other factors which made it a wise decision. I got to see a number of old friends I don't always visit with.

I got to kibitz with Sheriff Tom Richards and his wife, Wyoma, teasingly chastising him for referring to her as "Granny," and I exchanged early Pagosa memories with Dewey Lattin.

An older woman preceding me in line was livid that both young children and the older people were brought to the same place at the same time. She felt they should have been seen at different times.

Capt. Mencor Valdez, also of the sheriff's staff, joked that neither he nor I could claim we were "gone fishin," something we once did with regularity as youngsters in Pagosa Country.

The quickest part of the day was the shot.


90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Oct. 23, 1914

Robert A. Howe, Republican candidate for surveyor, is one of the best known citizens of Archuleta County. He is one of the pioneers of this section and has been a resident of Pagosa for thirty years. He is a property owner and a substantial citizen. He is at present confined to his home with a broken thigh, but friends will no doubt look after his interests on election day.

Dr. A.J. Nossaman, Republican candidate for coroner, is another well known citizen of the county. He is a practicing physician, a large property holder and one of the most public-spirited men in the San Juan Basin. He has always taken an active interest in every move made to advance the prosperity of Archuleta County.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 25, 1929

E.B. Hoke leaves this week to spend the winter at Albuquerque, New Mexico. He reports the large house of W.D. Turner at Saddleback ranch on East Fork is about completed. This will be one of the largest houses in this county. The large room being about twenty-five by thirty-five feet in size, and containing a fireplace, faced with native stone, that will take a stick of wood six-feet long. The house is wired for electricity, and a plant will be installed in the spring. The house contains eleven rooms, besides two large bath rooms, and water is piped in from an infallible spring. The house is located in one of the most picturesque spots on the upper San Juan, fronting toward scenery that cannot be excelled even in beautiful Colorado.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 22, 1954

Last week saw the start of the big game season with probably more hunters in this area than in previous years. There were slightly more than 1,500 licenses sold here in town by the first of the week. With better than a week of hunting season still left there will undoubtedly be more hunters arriving and there should be considerably more game taken. If it should snow, much of the game will be forced to lower altitudes and the kill will increase greatly.

The Southern Ute tribal council announced today it has granted right-of-way to the state highway department to make possible improvement to Highway 160 in the vicinity of Chimney Rock. The project included straightening of the dangerous Devil's Creek curve.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 25, 1979

A storm last weekend brought about eight to ten inches of new snow in the high country and on Wolf Creek Pass. The Pass was icy early Monday morning and there was a serious truck accident just below the San Juan Overlook. Some minor difficulties were experienced by a few motorists, but generally travel posed no problem. Here in town snow fell Sunday afternoon, but melted almost as fast as it fell.

Elk season is in full swing and hunter success has picked up a bit since the weekend storm. There have been a few lost hunters, and all to date have shown up safely. No serious accidents have been reported in this immediate area that have been attributable to the hunting season.



The Twin Towers

Astronomers, volunteers prepare for lunar standstill at Chimney Rock

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The mystery of the people who inhabited Chimney Rock 1,000 years ago isn't going away anytime soon.

It's part of the romance, the pull, the intrigue of the archeological area 15 miles west and three miles south of Pagosa Springs and the two rock towers that mark its place.

The people of Chimney Rock left behind no writing, no pictures, no libraries to help us understand their culture, only the pieces of what they ate, what tools they used, what clothing they wore and some of the buildings they constructed. They arrived sometime around 1050 A.D. and left about 100 years later. The why is left to the imagination - and science.

Starting late this year and continuing through 2008, nature will put on a display that forms the basis of one of the scientific theories on Chimney Rock - that it could have been a place of pilgrimage and of trade for the people of Chaco Canyon, a large community 93 miles south as the crow flies, and perhaps more importantly, the source of a calendar to unite a growing number of small outliers.

Dr. Kim Malville, an astronomer with the University of Colorado-Boulder, who first proposed a link between Chimney Rock and important dates reflected in the skies above, stopped in Pagosa Springs Tuesday to talk about the connection he first demonstrated in 1988, the last time the moon rose between the two rock spires as seen only from the Great House Pueblo on the high mesa 1,000 feet above the valley floor.

Both the moon and the sun rise at different places along the horizon throughout the year. These occur at regular, predictable intervals that can be used to create a calendar. For instance, the cycle between full moons takes about a month. The sun will rise at the same point on the horizon each year on the solstice and equinox dates, marking the longest and shortest days of the year.

The moon also has a longer cycle. Every 18.6 years, the moon travels from north to south along the horizon, actually outdistancing the sun at the far ends. When it reaches these extremes, it pauses for several years and then starts the journey back the other way. The pauses are called standstills, and specifically, the northern standstill may have been marked by ancient people living at Chimney Rock.

Back in 1988, Malville said, he and some graduate students climbed up the steep, rocky trail to see if his theory about the moon rising between the rocks during the northern standstill could hold true. Each had two or three cameras to capture the event.

"At about 2 a.m. I and a number of skeptical students of mine saw a very brilliant, diamondlike bit of light appearing between the double Chimneys," he said. Only one of the cameras captured a readable image. Still, it proved the geometry was correct, added credibility to the idea it was possible a thousand years ago other people could have marked the same event and interpreted it as important.

Malville pointed to known activity on the site during the lunar cycles as further food for thought.

According to archaeologists, agriculturalists began moving into what is now southwest Colorado sometime in the 1050s, probably ascending the slopes above Stolsteimer Creek to attempt dryland farming.

In 1054, although near the end of its cycle, the moon would have still been rising between the two pillars as seen from the high mesa, a natural observatory, Malville said.

Around the same time, the Taurus Supernova appeared. It was so bright, it could be seen in the sky during the day for almost two weeks. "Next to the sun and the moon, it would have been the brightest thing in the sky," Malville said. Still the people didn't seem to take much notice. "We have no idea whether they noted it or whether it changed their lives or not."

What evidence they might have left has been covered up. Sometime in the 1930s, the Forest Service built a fire tower right on top of what was a fire pit used by long-ago people, scraping away remnants of activity there.

"People seemed to go on with their ordinary lives," Malville said, "with perhaps some kind of cultural memory of the event."

Then, in 1074, the moon would have appeared again between the pillars. Perhaps it was then, Malville said, that word of the events reached Chaco Canyon. At least, tree-ring dating of wood found inside the East Kiva of the Chacoan Great House - the largest building at Chimney Rock - which stands on the high mesa, puts initial construction about 1076 A.D. It also marks Chimney Rock as perhaps the earliest of a series of 100 to 150 outliers connected to the larger community at Chaco.

Other dateable material shows the Great House Pueblo at Chimney Rock was rebuilt around 1093, at another time when the moon was rising between the spires.

Malville said evidence in Chaco Canyon sites points to the people rebuilding or reconstructing their kivas or ceremonial sites about every 20 years - "or perhaps every 18.6 years," Malville said. "Perhaps this was some sort of ceremonial or rebuilding ritual the people went through," he added.

At any rate, the Great House Pueblo at Chimney Rock was not easy to build. Each stone, timber and chinking had to be carried from the valley floor. And it is unmistakably Chacoan in style, Malville said. It was also protected in someway by a second structure that would have blocked the causeway to the great house. People stationed there would have easily been able to control access to the site if ceremonies or rituals were taking place.

Another mystery is a series of houses built along the winding trail to the top of the mesa. With steep dropoffs on both sides and constant traffic, "this would have been no place to raise a family," Malville said. He suggested that perhaps these were the dwellings of the builders, the contractors of sorts who traveled from Chaco to Chimney Rock to set up this "observatory."

Then, around 1125, the people closed that chapter of their lives, leaving both Chimney Rock and Chaco Canyon for other destinations. Perhaps they left much behind, for the lunar ties to the heavens are just the beginning of what could have been happening at Chimney Rock.

Archeologists also uncovered a stone basin ground into the bedrock at Chimney Rock. The man-made depression is located near the Great Kiva and other structures below the great house.

"This is the only bedrock basin of this sort found outside Chaco Canyon," Malville said. And, anyone standing at the stone basin on the morning of the summer solstice can see the sun come up over the north wall of the Great House Pueblo above. The location of the Supernova in 1054 - before the great house was built - is exactly in line with the south wall of the great house with the walls meeting at the site of the stone basin if projected that far.

Along a nearby ridge, called Peterson Gulch Ridge or the Piedra Overlook, is yet another series of buildings with ties to the skies.

The largest structure on that ridge, Malville said, is exactly due west of the two rocks. Each year, on the March 21 and September 21 equinoxes, the sun rises between the pillars as seen from the site of that structure. At different times during the year, the sun can be seen rising between the rocks from homes built all along that ridge. As seen from the southernmost structure, the chimneys line up, one on top of the other, and the sun rises above them on the summer solstice.

Could these events have all been missed? Could it have been mere circumstances that aligned these buildings with the sky? Or did these people use their architecture to create a calendar of sorts? Was this the place that let people know when to travel to certain festivals, when to plant, when to celebrate? Was this a copy of the heavens on earth? Was it a place for people to ascend closer to the heavens, closer to the things that were at the spiritual center of their lives?

It's all speculation today, part of a mystery that will most likely never be solved. But starting this year, people can once again see the moon rise between the rocks and think, even believe, the possibilities.

"I think it will be a remarkable experience," Malville said. "Almost a kind of contact with the people who lived here before."

Starting with the Winter Solstice Dec. 26 and 27, the moon will rise between the rocks in different phases, from full moon to new moon and back, a couple times each month for three or four years.

Sometimes this will actually happen in the daylight. Other times it happen in the wee hours of the night. Plans for allowing people to see it - at least in real time from the visitor center since space is so limited on the high mesa - have been in the works for over a year.

Volunteers are needed. Chimney Rock Archeological Area, a 1,400 acre site, is operated by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, a nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service. For more information, call the Pagosa Ranger District offices at 264-2268.


Pagosa's Past

Tierra Amarilla land grant

covered part of this county

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

The expansion of settled territory in New Mexico prior to the 1846 U.S. takeover of that territory was accomplished by issuing land grants. Land grants were issued by Spain prior to Mexico becoming an independent nation in 1822, and by the Mexican government after 1822.

After the U.S. occupied New Mexico by military force in 1846, and as a condition of governing the newly acquired territory, the U.S. agreed to recognize qualified land grants.

The only one of those grants directly affecting Archuleta County and Pagosa Country was the Tierra Amarilla Land Grant. We sometimes hear talk of land grant property in Archuleta County other than the T.A. grant, but no such grants ever existed.

Reams of material have been written about the T.A. grant which, by fair means or foul, ended up in the control of Thomas Catron, a New Mexico lawyer who was the largest land owner in the U.S. for some time. He was a member and probably headed the infamous Santa Fe Ring, a group of U.S. transplants in New Mexico who managed to acquire large land grant acreages following the Mexican-American War.

A reading of Archuleta County properties recorded in the courthouse will reveal a large number of entries by Catron prior to 1900. All of the entries are connected with the T.A. grant.

As originally conceived, the T.A. grant included an area bounded by the Las Nutritas River on the south, the Navajo River on the north, the crest of mountains forming the skyline on the east, and a north-south line roughly following today's U.S. 84 on the west.

The first petition for the T.A. grant was made in 1814 by Marcial Montoya and others while Mexico and New Mexico were ruled by Spain. The successful petition was submitted by Manuel Martín in 1834 after Mexico had won independence. Using the surname Martínez, Martín filed on behalf of himself and 10 children he said wished to accompany him. Martínez claimed he lacked sufficient agricultural land to bequeath his children. He requested that access to the grant's pastures, roads, and watering places be limited to the grantees. This was an attempt on his part to acquire a private rather than a community grant.

When the Committee of the Territorial Deputation consulted with the Abiquiu town council concerning the Martínez petition, the council stated that the lands of Tierra Amarilla were of excellent quality and could support 500 families.

The council urged rejection of Martínez' request for limited access, recommending that roads, pastures, and watering places be left open to all residents of the Abiquiu jurisdiction. The Territorial Deputation agreed with the town over Martínez's strenuous protests, leaving the pastures, roads and watering places "free according to the customs prevailing in all settlements." The T.A. grant was to be a community grant.

At the time of Martínez's petition, Abiquiu still dominated commerce in the Chama River Valley. An Anglo party enroute from Taos to Southern California in 1843 along the Old Spanish Trail passed through Abiquiu. They left the following report concerning their observations.

"We found these people living in a very primitive fashion, footloose and free, unencumbered with worldly goods and ready, at an hour's notice, to accompany us on our travels. I remember contracting with an able-bodied man, some forty years of age, agreeing to pay him all he asked, an advance of two dollars, and giving him, after reaching California, a hat, a shirt, and a pair of shoes; the negotiation, which was closed on the spot, occupied less time than it takes to write this paragraph."

Abiquiu's importance as a trading center increased during the years of the Mexican Republic because Abiquiu was the eastern gateway of the Old Spanish Trail to California.

One of the principal routes of that trail passed through what is now Archuleta County. The date when traders first traveled the entire route is uncertain, but by 1835, the trade route was well established.

In that year, the son of an interpreter to the Utes, Manuel Gregorio Torres, of Abiquiu, offered a piece of land as security for payment for a captive Indian woman, promising full payment as soon as he returned from a trip to California.

More next week relating the history of northern New Mexico to the history of Pagosa Country. The information for this subject is taken from "Pobladores," written by Frances Leon Quintana.



Date High Low Precipitation

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Forecast: Old Man Winter headed this way

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Pagosa Country residents beware - Old Man Winter has been spotted, and he's heading this way.

In fact, some believe him to be here already, as evidenced by the ghostly shroud that has draped the San Juan Mountains in a thickening layer of white over the past few days.

Recent reports from Wolf Creek Ski Area offer further proof - telling of midway snow depths exceeding five inches. As of Monday, Wolf Creek's snow total for the month had reportedly surpassed the 11-inch mark.

At lower elevations, intermittent rain has been the norm, but recent forecasts provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction suggest areas closer to town may receive their first measurable snowfall of the season within the next few days.

The latest reports indicate a wet and cold low-pressure system is expected to hover over the Four Corners region today and tomorrow, then begin to move east by Saturday afternoon.

Gusty conditions are in the mix for southwest Colorado today and tomorrow as well, and winds are predicted to accelerate to at least 20 miles per hour by this afternoon.

Highs today should top out in the 50s, evening lows are forecast in the 20s. Rain and/or wet snow chances are listed at 70 percent.

Friday calls for mostly-cloudy conditions, a 40-percent chance for showers, thunderstorms and wet snow, highs in the 40s and lows in the 15-25 range.

Similar forecasts for Saturday through Tuesday predict fewer clouds, a 20-percent chance for scattered rain or snow showers, highs in the 50s and lows around 20.

A 30-percent chance for rain at lower elevations and snow in the mountains is in the forecast for Wednesday, as are highs in the 50s and lows in the upper 20s.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 57 degrees. The average low was 32. Moisture totals for the week amounted to just under .30 inches. Total rainfall for this month stands at 2.49 inches.

The Pagosa Ranger District rates the area fire danger as "low."

For updates on current fire danger and federal fire restrictions, call the Pagosa Ranger District office at 264-2268.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture describes regional drought conditions as "moderate."

San Juan River flow through town ranged from a low of about 140 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 240 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Oct. 21 is roughly 70 cubic feet per second.