November 4, 2004 
Front Page

Schiro tops Rowe in commissioner race by 549 votes

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The results are in, and Tuesday's general election vote tally indicates Republican Robin Schiro has defeated unaffiliated candidate Nan Rowe for the District 1 seat on the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners.

Likewise, though she needed only one vote to officially reserve her seat on the board, Republican candidate Ronnie Zaday, running unopposed, garnered 4,208 votes to gain the District 2 slot.

As a result, Schiro and Zaday will replace current board members Bill Downey and Alden Ecker, whose tenure as commissioner will come to an end Dec. 31.

When Schiro and Zaday join District 3 Commissioner Mamie Lynch on the board in early January, it will mark only the second time in state history a local governing body has been comprised entirely of women.

In 1960, the town of Hooper in Alamosa County became the first Colorado municipality to have an all-female governing board, including the mayor, clerk/treasurer and all town board members.

With regard to the District 1 race, preliminary totals provided by the county clerk's office indicate Schiro garnered 2,987 votes while Rowe amassed 2,438.

The figures show Schiro carrying precincts 2 (162-58), 3 (133-127), 5 (80-69), 6 (311-237), 7 (260-203) and 8 (237-198) while edging Rowe in absentee/early votes by a margin of 1,638-1,227.

On the flip side, Rowe carried precincts 1 (141-96) and 4 (78-70).

With regard to voter turnout - the totals suggest approximately 50 percent of the county's 8,557 registered voters cast ballots.

As for the remainder of races decided in this year's general election, the following is a breakdown of how other local, state and national candidates fared Tuesday.

(The figures in parentheses represent the unofficial total of votes each candidate received in Archuleta County only.)

U.S. President: At press time, nationwide vote tallies suggested Republican George W. Bush (3,555) defeated Democrat John Kerry (2,111) in the race for president. Kerry has since conceded.

Bush also took the majority percentage of votes in Colorado, garnering roughly 53 percent to Kerry's 46 percent.

Reform Party candidate Ralph Nader (40) gained roughly .59 percent of the vote in Colorado and a nominal percentage nationwide.

U.S. Senator: Democrat Ken Salazar (2,501) got the nod over Republican Pete Coors (3,012) in the U.S. Senate race. Totals indicate Salazar received just over 50 percent of the vote, while about 48 percent went to Coors.

Representative to the 109th United States Congress from Congressional District 3: Democrat John Salazar (2,325) defeated Republican Greg Walcher (3,102). State figures show Salazar received just under 51 percent of the vote total to Walcher's 47 percent.

Regent of the University of Colorado at Large: Republican Steve Bosley (2,918) received 49 percent of the vote to edge Democrat Jennifer Mello (1,850), who gained roughly 47 percent.

State Representative, 59th District: Republican Mark Larson, running unopposed on this year's ballot, gained 4,339 county votes.

District Attorney, 6th Judicial District: Republican Craig Stephen Westberg, unopposed on the ballot, picked up 3,947 county votes.

Judges - Colorado Court of Appeals: The majority of voters chose to retain Judge James S. Casebolt (2,897-yes, 1091-no), Judge Dennis Graham (2,855-yes, 1,083-no), Judge Arthur Roy (2,832-yes, 1,092-no), Judge Daniel Taubman (2,840-yes, 1,084-no) and Judge John Webb (2,871-yes, 1,042-no.)

Statewide vote percentages for all of the judges were nearly identical, with roughly 72 percent in favor of retention and about 28 percent against.

Judges - 6th Judicial District: District voters elected to retain Judge Gregory Lyman (3,202-yes, 1,062-no) and Judge Jeffrey Raymond Wilson (2,926-yes, 1,025-no).


Health district gets $50,000 line of credit for payroll

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A $50,000 line of credit is now available to the Upper San Juan Health Service District to ensure payroll can be met through the end of the year.

According to a resolution passed by the district board in an emergency meeting Tuesday, the note extends only through Dec. 31.

"Allen (Hughes) has assured me this is not a debt, it's simply a cash flow problem," board president Pam Hopkins said. Hughes is the district's business manager.

Hopkins said the emergency meeting was required because of some miscommunication with the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation. The district board had, several weeks ago, requested a similar line of credit from that board. At that time, some believed the credit had been extended, however minutes from the foundation meeting showed the agreement was to take the request under consideration once more information on repayment was received.

Oct. 29, when the district had just $14,000 in cash on hand to meet an approximately $24,000 payroll, a request for access to a line of credit from the foundation could not be approved. Instead, the district turned to Citizen's Bank which covered the payroll until a formal agreement for the line of credit could be signed.

Hughes said because of unpaid bills inherited from past administrations and a recent change in outsource billing companies that resulted in what amounted to a 45-day cash flow stop as the transition was made, the district is simply trying to catch up.

"This has happened a couple of other times," Hughes said, "and at the last minute a check has come in to cover it. There are four paydays left before the end of the year and I want to be sure we can cover those." As far as what this district owes in overdue bills, he said, that amount has dropped dramatically - from about $150,000 to about $75,000 now.

"How did you come up with the $50,000 figure?" board member Bob Scott asked Hughes.

Hughes said he expected to receive another $40,000 in property tax revenue before Jan. 1, as well as $15,000-20,000 in Emergency Medical Services fees. Money is also starting to flow into the district from the new outsourcer. Hughes estimated about $300,000 in receivable patient fees may still be collected.

When asked, Dave Bohl, chairman of the finance, audit and budget committee said a line of credit was appropriate considering the district's cash-flow position, as long as borrowing against 2005 tax income wasn't part of the plan.

Hughes reiterated that the line of credit extended only through the 2004 calendar year. The board would have to pass another resolution in January to extend the line of credit or borrow against 2005 tax funds.

Several board members asked Hughes to provide detailed financial statements tracking the use of the line of credit. Jim Pruitt suggested the district needs to take an even closer look at accounts receivable, breaking it down by date and payer type in order to better track how much money could be coming to the district and when.

The resolution to approve the agreement with Citizens Bank for a $50,000 line of credit was approved unanimously.


Pair held after long drug probe

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

After nearly a year of investigation, local law enforcement arrested two suspected drug dealers Oct. 26, seizing an estimated 16 grams of cocaine in the process.

Both Mark Coughlin, 35, and Tiffany Milburn, 29, of Pagosa Springs, were arrested and booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute following execution of a search warrant at 454 Lakewood St.

Archuleta County Sheriff's Lt. T.J. Fitzwater said a search warrant was issued for the residence based on intelligence gathering operations and information from confidential informants and known drug users.

A combined force from the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, Pagosa Springs Police Department and a Southern Ute Police Department canine unit executed the warrant about 5:30 p.m.

Fitzwater said the search of the residence uncovered an estimated 16 grams of cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, approximately $7,000 in cash and some drug paraphernalia including numerous baggies.

Following the search, Coughlin was rebooked on additional drug-related charges and Milburn was arrested. Both were still in Archuleta County Jail as of Nov. 1.


2004 Election Results

Archuleta County


George W. Bush - 3555

John F. Kerry - 2111

Ralph Nader - 40


U.S. Senator

Pete Coors - 3012

Ken Salazar - 2501


Representative to the 109th U.S. Congress

District 3

Greg Walcher - 3102

John Salazar - 2325


Regent of the University of Colorado At Large

Jennifer Mello - 1850

Steve Bosley - 2918

Daniel Ong - 211


District Judge 6th Judicial District

Gregory G. Lyman

Yes - 3202

No - 1062

Jeffrey Raymond Wilson

Yes - 2926

No - 1025


County Commissioner District 1

Robin J. Schiro - 2987

Nan Rowe - 2438


County Commissioner District 2

Rhonda "Ronnie" Zaday 4208


Amendment 34

Yes - 1312

No - 4013


Amendment 35

Yes - 3454

No - 2082


Amendment 36

Yes - 2071

No - 3273


Amendment 37

Yes - 2662

No - 2702


Referendum A

Yes - 1594

No - 3209


Referendum B

Yes - 3189

No - 1782


San Juan Water Conservancy District

Ballot Issue 5A

Yes - 1800

No - 2550


San Juan Water Conservancy District

Ballot Issue 5B

Yes - 1981

No - 2325


Bayfield School District

10JT-R Question 3A

Yes - 12

No - 6


 Inside The Sun

County voters reject conservancy district proposals

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

No, and no.

Those were the answers given to a pair of San Juan Water Conservancy District ballot questions by district voters during Tuesday's general election.

As a result, the district will not increase debt by $6 million for purposes of securing an undisclosed site for a future reservoir, as proposed by SJWCD Ballot Issue 5A.

Nor will the district be allowed to "de-Bruce," as was the proposal in SJWCD Ballot Issue 5B.

Vote totals provided by the Archuleta County Clerk's Office indicate Ballot Issue 5A went down by a count of 2,550 votes against the proposal and 1,800 in support of the measure.

Similarly, Ballot Issue 5B failed by a margin of 2,325 "no" votes and 1,981 "yes" votes.

The following is a breakdown of other local and state ballot questions decided Tuesday.

Bayfield School District 10 Joint-R Question 3A - tax increase for school needs: At press time, tallies on this ballot issue indicated 54 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the proposal with just five precincts and absentee ballots remaining to be counted.

The proposal received 12 "yes" votes from county voters and six "no" votes.

The measure - a mill levy override proposed by Bayfield schools - is aimed at providing the district an additional $999,000 in funds annually by increasing district property taxes by approximately $33 per $100,000 in appraised property value.

Amendment 34 - Recovery of damages relating to construction: Unofficial statewide totals indicate this proposal failed by a margin of 77 percent against and 23 percent in favor of the measure.

County votes against the proposal numbered 4,013, county votes favoring Amendment 34 totalled 1,312.

Had it passed, Amendment 34 would have, with some exceptions:

- prohibited limits, including limited damages for pain and suffering to $250,000, on a property owner's ability to recover damages when improvements to said property are not constructed in a "good and workmanlike manner"; and

- defined improvement constructed in a "good and workmanlike" manner as an improvement that is suitable for its intended purposes.

The proposal would have created a new section in the state Constitution, repealed the current law, and removed limitations on the amount of money a property owner can collect in damages, except for punitive damages and in lawsuits against governmental entities.

It also would have eliminated the current requirement that property owners and construction professionals try to resolve the problem before resorting to lawsuit.

Amendment 35 - Tobacco taxes: State voting percentages show this amendment passing with 61 percent in favor and 39 percent against.

Countywide, the measure received 3,454 "yes" votes and 2,082 "no" votes.

The proposed change to the state Constitution has a six-point format and will:

- increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 20 cents to 84 cents, or 320 percent;

- double the tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes from 20 percent to 40 percent of the price;

- specify that the new tax revenue be used for health care services and tobacco education and cessation programs;

- require the Legislature to maintain funding levels for existing health-related programs as of Jan. 1, 2005 and to use the new revenue to expand these programs;

- exclude the new tax revenue from state revenue and spending limits and local government revenue limits; and

- allow the Legislature, by a two-thirds vote, to declare a state of fiscal emergency and to use all of the new revenue only for health related purposes for up to one budget year at a time.

Amendment 36 - Selection of presidential electors: State and county voters alike voted down this proposal, 65 percent to 35 percent and 3,273 to 2,071 respectively.

Had it passed, Amendment 36 would have:

- eliminated the current system in which the presidential candidate receiving the most votes gets all the state's nine electoral votes;

- allocated Colorado's electoral votes based on the percentage of votes for each presidential candidate; and

- made the change effective for this year's presidential election.

Amendment 37 - Renewable energy standards: This measure received a split vote at the state and local levels.

Statewide, the proposal passed 53 percent to 47 percent.

County voters, however, voted against the amendment by a narrow margin of 2,702 to 2,662.

Amendment 37 will:

- require certain Colorado utilities to generate or purchase a portion of their electric power from renewable energy resources beginning this year;

- define the renewable energy resources that may be used to meet the requirement;

- limit the amount that an average residential electric bill can increase as a result of the requirement to 50 cents per month;

- provide financial incentives to certain customers and utilities to invest in renewable energy; and

- allow a utility to hold an election to either exempt or include itself in the renewable energy requirement.

Referendum A - Reform of state civil service system: This proposal got a red light across the state and locally.

State totals indicate the measure died 61 percent to 39 percent while receiving 2,550 "no" votes and 1,800 "yes" votes at the county level.

Referendum A would have amended the Colorado Constitution by:

- exempting about 140 additional state employees from the civil service system, also known as the state personnel system;

- changing testing and hiring procedures for filling vacancies in the state personnel system; transferring certain oversight responsibilities from the personnel board to the executive director of the Department of Personnel and Administration;

- allowing the Legislature to change certain state personnel policies and procedures by law; and

- expanding veterans' hiring preference to include members of the National Guard.

Referendum B - Eliminate obsolete constitutional provisions: "Out with the old" was the message statewide and locally for this proposal.

The measure passed 69 percent to 31 percent at the state level and received a majority of support from county voters by a count of 2,325 in favor and 1,981 against.

This amendment to the Colorado Constitution will:

- remove provisions that are obsolete;

- strike references to onetime events that have already occurred; and

- remove voting requirements found unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1972.


Application deadlines set for Operation Helping Hand

Residents of Archuleta County in need of assistance during the holiday season may apply at the department of social services office on Hot Springs Boulevard for aid through the Operation Helping Hand program.

Requests for Thanksgiving food must be received by 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, while requests for food, clothing and other assistance for Christmas must be received by 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6.

The Operation Helping Hand program receives donations from the community and works to distribute them to less fortunate county residents, focusing on the needs of children and senior citizens.

There are many components to the program including food boxes, Project Empty Stocking, Operation Winter Coat, Toy Outreach and the Secret Santa Toy Tree. Volunteers work to coordinate the many organizations and individuals who wish to help others in our community to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure as many holiday season needs and wishes as possible can be accommodated.

How can you help?

Food donation buckets have been put out at both City Market locations where donations of non-perishable food items are being accepted. You can also help by purchasing a City Market gift certificate and bringing it to The Pagosa Springs SUN or mailing it to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. These certificates will be used to purchase turkeys and other perishable items.

Monetary donations can be made to Operation Helping Hand account No. 6240417424 at Wells Fargo or mailed to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Watch The Pagosa Springs SUN in upcoming weeks for more information about the program, including ways you can assist others in our community.

Questions about Operation Helping Hand may be directed to the message line, 731-3735. A volunteer will return your call, if necessary.


Pagosa man, 73, dies when pickup hits tree

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A Pagosa Springs man was killed Oct. 31 in a single-vehicle crash on U.S. 160 four miles west of town.

According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Tony P. Lujan, 73, was eastbound when his 1993 Nissan pickup drifted off the roadway. The pickup hit a delineator post and a driveway embankment before becoming airborne and striking a tree.

Officials from the Upper San Juan ambulance department, Pagosa Fire Protection District, Colorado State Patrol, Pagosa Springs Police Department and the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department responded.

Lujan was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.


School board president Carol Feazel tenders resignation

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Archuleta School District 50 Joint "regretfully" announced the resignation Monday of Carol Feazel as a member of the board of education.

Feazel submitted her resignation to the administration Oct. 27, effective immediately.

She was the incumbent president of the board, having been elected in November 2003.

In her letter of resignation, she stated, "It has been a true learning experience for me and something which enriches my future. For that I would like to thank Duane Noggle, superintendent of schools, Nancy Schutz, business manager and former superintendent Terry Alley."

Feazel also thanked former board members Randall Davis, and Russ Lee, and incumbents Clifford Lucero, Jon Forrest, Mike Haynes, and Sandy Caves, all of whom she had served with during her six of years of board service, for the learning experiences they allowed her to have.

Haynes, the board's vice-president, said, "I speak for the entire board of education when I say we will miss Carol's leadership as board president. Her experience and direction allowed our board to function as a team rather than a group of individual members.

"I am thankful I was able to serve with Carol and gain from her knowledge of educational issues. She specifically worked with Sandy Caves and me, as new board members, to speed our learning curve and make us feel like valued members of the team."

The SUN was unable to reach Feazel for further comment.

The board will appoint a replacement for Feazel to serve the reminder of her term, which expires in November, 2005.

Individuals who may be interested in serving on the board of education must reside in Director District 1. For those unfamiliar with district divisions, the district in question is legally described as follows:

Beginning at the intersection of Hwy. 160 and County Road (CR) 600, the boundary line runs north along CR 600 to the intersection of Steven's Lake Road, thence northerly along Steven's Lake Road to the intersection of Dutton Creek, thence north along Dutton Creek to the intersection of U.S. Forest Service Road (USFS RD) 661, thence northeast along USFS RD 661 to the intersection of CR 400, thence north along CR 400 to the Archuleta/Mineral County line, thence west along the Archuleta/Mineral County line, thence north along the Archuleta/Mineral County line to the Archuleta/Hinsdale County line, thence continuing north along the Mineral/Hinsdale County line to the Continental Divide, thence west along the Continental Divide to the east line of La Plata County, thence south along the common boundary of the La Plata/Hinsdale County line to the northwest boundary of Archuleta County, thence east along the common boundary of Archuleta/Hinsdale County to CR 600, thence southerly along CR 600 to North Pagosa Boulevard, thence south along north Pagosa Boulevard to the intersection of Hwy. 160, thence east along Hwy, 160 to the beginning point where Hwy. 160 intersects with CR 600.

To apply for consideration and appointment to the board of directors, an individual must submit a letter of interest by Nov. 15 to the district office at 309 Lewis Street, Pagosa Springs or by mail to:

Superintendent Duane Noggle, Archuleta School District 50 Joint, P.O. Box 1498, Pagosa Springs, CO) 81147.

The board will review letters of interest at a Nov. 16 special meeting and will determine at that time the process for appointment.

For additional information, call the district office at 264-2228.


School district explains MaT project delay

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Seems like Father Time, circumstance and the unexpected just get in the way of even the best laid plans.

Start of construction for the new Archuleta School District Maintenance and Transportation (MaT) facility is, like the public library expansion, being delayed until at least spring. The original plan called for construction to begin in October of this year and be complete by the summer of 2005.

With the rising costs of steel, concrete, and just about every other building material, the lowest and successful bid from Jaynes Corp. was about $250,000 over the budgeted amount earmarked for the project by the Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

Cooperative discussions with the general contractor Jaynes and SmithCo, the proposed civil contractor, yielded some incremental savings; however, the district still needed more time for further detailed review.

Thus, the board of education made the difficult decision that the project should temporarily be put on hold. Subsequently, the board challenged the district to continue investigating possible cost savings measures with the architect and Jaynes.

As well, the district has been exploring other solutions, options and alternatives that might present multiple opportunities that had not yet been examined. This is ongoing.

The objective to move the existing maintenance and transportation facilities to a more functional and safer location and significantly reduce the congestion at the elementary school is still the district's key focus.

"Our goal to have this done before the 2005 school year remains unchanged," said a district news release which also thanked all the contractors and subcontractors who put time and effort into this project.

And it thanked the community for continued support.


Stolen pickup, believed used in area burglaries, recovered near Bayfield

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Police have recovered a truck stolen near downtown Pagosa Springs Oct. 9.

Assistant Chief Carl Smith, of the Pagosa Springs Police Department, said the Chevrolet Silverado stolen from the 300 block of South 8th Street around 2:30 a.m. was recovered abandoned on the side of the road near Bayfield Oct. 30.

The theft of the pickup is thought be connected to several recent burglaries in town, including four some time during the night Oct. 21 or in the early morning hours Oct. 22.

According to Pagosa Springs police reports, Ramon's on Talisman Drive, the Mud Shaver car wash near downtown, Dorothy's Restaurant and the San Juan Motel, were all hit the same night.

Thieves got away with a significant amount of cash at the car wash. A donation can was taken from Dorothy's Restaurant and a wall safe from the San Juan Motel. A burglary alarm at Ramon's apparently prevented the theft of anything there.

Smith said any information as to the whereabouts of the truck since its disappearance or the burglaries in question would be helpful to the investigation. When the red Silverado was taken, two bumper stickers were affixed to the vehicle, one reading "Save the ales," the other "I brew my own beer." Both have since been removed. It is possible the pickup made at least one trip to Durango.

Anyone with information is asked to call dispatch, 264-2131. Meanwhile, the investigation continues. "The pickup has been processed for forensic evidence and we're awaiting the results," Smith said.


Purses stolen from pair of unlocked cars

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Two purses were reported stolen from vehicles along Hot Springs Boulevard last week. Later, a purse and a wallet were recovered, minus any cash they contained.

Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger said in both cases purses were taken from unlocked, unattended vehicles.

"We caution people to please lock their doors, take valuables out of their vehicles and keep an eye out for suspicious activity," he said.

The stolen purses were lifted from vehicles parked at the U.S. Post Office and the Best Western motel on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Some of the missing property was later recovered on a trail and in a trash can on Reservoir Hill.

Both cases remain under investigation. Anyone with information regarding these crimes should call dispatch, 264-2131, immediately.


Meeting date set to present downtown master plan

A public meeting to present final concepts for a Pagosa Springs Downtown Master Plan is set for Wednesday, Nov. 17.

The Community Vision Council, a public/private partnership of community leaders, hired consultants Hart Howerton several months ago to create a master plan for the downtown area stretching from the high school to Lewis Street and from the junction of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 to the elementary school.

The consultants, a group of planners, architects and landscape architects, will present their concept to the public as well as field comments and questions, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

Following the meeting, the plan and specific design criteria will be forwarded to the Pagosa Springs Town Council for consideration. Future public hearings will be coordinated through the town.


LPEA chief exec Emery Maez is stepping down

Emery Maez, La Plata Electric Association chief executive officer, announced his resignation Oct. 27 to LPEA's Board of Directors and employees.

The resignation will be effective Jan. 3.

Maez, who recently turned 55, will relocate to his home town, Espanola, N.M., for personal reasons and for a business opportunity.

Maez became the utility's CEO in July 2002 and led efforts to cut expenses and return LPEA to a strong financial position.

When discussing the co-op's current situation, Maez said, "I feel that LPEA is headed in a positive direction and with the board's guidance and the employees' continued cooperation, management will move LPEA forward."

In a statement to LPEA employees he added, "I have enjoyed my tenure here, and while I am saddened to leave, I leave knowing that the employees' pride and the consumers' confidence is restored. With all of your help, management is ready to take the company to the next level."

Board president Davin Montoya said, "We're sorry to see him go. He came at a time when things weren't great around here, and Emery helped get things turned around. The board hates to see him leave."

The board does not have a special meeting planned to discuss a strategy for finding a new CEO. Members will discuss options at the monthly meeting Nov. 17.


36 perfect marks pace junior high honor roll

Eleven eighth-graders and 25 seventh-graders with perfect 4.0 averages pace the first quarter junior high school honor released Friday by Chris Hinger, principal.

The perfect mark eighth-graders were Anna Ball, Dylan Burkesmith, Joseph DuCharme, Rachel Jensen, John Jewell, Alexa Midgley, Kyle Monks, Julia Nell, Sackett Ross, Bailee Ruthardt and Brittney Siler.

Leading the seventh-grade list were Julia Adams, Riley Aiello, Jacob Anderson, Gary August, Ashley Brooks, Bridgett Brule, Megan Bryant, Casey Crow, Taylor Cunningham, Victoria Espinosa, Emily Greer, Michael Heraty.

Also, Paul Hoffman, Kara Hollenbeck, Amber Lark, Tamra Leavenworth, Haley Malesic, Kala Matzdorf, Amanda Oertel, Rebekah Riedberger, Sierra Shepard, Josie Snow, Ashley Taylor, Wesley Vandercook and Amie Webb (Shearston).

In addition, 49 eighth-graders and 40 seventh-graders were named to the regular honor roll with no grade below a B.

Eighth-graders so honored include Jordan Boudreaux, Eric Freudenberger, Zane Gholson, Jacob Haynes, Shelby Stretton, Jackson Walsh, Lily Hester, Alex Baum, Gracie Clark, Jacob Faber.

Also, Allison Hart, Samantha Hurlburt, Zel Johnston, Leah Silver, Nathan Trowbridge, Gabrielle Winter, Kyle Brookens, Cherese Caler, Jennifer Low, Stephanie Lowe, Shasta McMurry, Jennifer Mueller.

Also, Gregory Rapp, Raesha Ray, David Schaefer, Betsy Schur, Kade Skoglund, Bailey Wessels-Halverson, Blake Bahn, Ryan Hujus, Jessica Martinez, Judith Martinez, Thomas Patane.

Also, Juniper Willett, Andrew Abresch, Kyle Aragon, Brisa Burch, Dylan Caves, Aniceta Gallegos, Casey Griffin, Kelsey Hanavan, Jaclyn Harms, Ashley Iverson, Teale Kitson, Johnathan Pitts.

Also, Andrew Portnell, Heath Rivas, Steven Smith and Mattea Weddle.

Seventh-graders on the A-B honor roll were Jessica Blum, Jordin Frey, Jonathan Hudson, Katarina Medici, Douglas Rapp, Katherine Sturm, Shevi Tunnell-Hunt, Jessie Bir, Christopher Bradford.

Also, Preston Dale, Michael Flihan, Michael Gallegos, Joshua Jones, Dakota Ross, Nicola Shaw, Magaly Bejarano, Denise Bauer, Richard Goebel, Kiaya Humphrey, Brittni Johannessen, Waylon Lucero.

Also, Sarah Sanna, Taylor Shaffer, Lauren Silva, Sarah Smith, Mariselva Ramirez, Jordan Caler, Trenton Maddux, Sierra Olachea, Ryan Stahl, Carlee Tamburelli, Edgar Torres, Mary Brinton.

Also, Ryan Hamilton, Beth Lucero, Jessee Martinez, Rose Quintana, Wesley Ricker, Sarah Sexton and Sean Vick.


Ewe lamb replacement program sign-up opens

Sign-up began Oct. 25 for the Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program. No ending registration date was announced.

The Farm Service Agency program eligibility requirements include:

- having a beneficial interest in the sheep/lamb operation;

- have a financial risk in the sheep/lamb operation; and

- be a citizen or legal alien resident of the United States.

To be eligible for the ewe lamb and sheep operation, applicants must have purchased or retained ewe lambs for breeding purposes between Aug. 1, 2003, and July 31, 2004; retained qualifying ewe lambs in the herd for at least one complete offspring lambing cycle; and not have received funds under previous Lamb Meat Adjustment Assistance Program on the same ewe lambs.

Ewe lamb requirements include:

- not have been older than 18 months;

- not have produced an offspring;

- not have possessed parrot mouth, foot rot or scrapie; and

- be in compliance with all requirements relating to scrapie.

Sheep and lamb operations that purchased or retained ewe lambs for breeding purposes and that have since produced an offspring before the availability of this program are eligible for payment as long as the ewe lamb had not produced an offspring at some point during the qualifying base period.

Producers who receive payment for ewe lambs that die before completing the eligibility requirements must refund payments for those lambs when the total death loss exceeds 10 percent for the program year.

Ewe lambs sold before the availability of the program are eligible for benefits if the eligibility requirements were met. Verifiable evidence of such ewe lambs can be provided to the county committee to substantiate their qualification.

The payment rate for qualifying applicants will be $18 per qualifying ewe lamb subject to availability of funds.

All interested sheep and lamb operations should contact the Farm Service Agency office for further information and to apply for benefits.

The office telephone number is 247-9277.


Ed Center to offer GED tests

The Archuleta County Education Center will administer GED tests Nov. 13 starting 8:30 a.m.

Completed registration forms and payment of testing fees are required as part of the registration process. You will not be allowed to test without proper registration which must be completed at the center no later than Nov. 9.

Anyone interested in the testing program offered at the center may call 264-2835 or drop by at 4th and Lewis streets

Special Olympics seeks coach

Pagosa Springs Special Olympics will soon start practicing for alpine skiing at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Alpine skiing is offered to all adults and children with disabilities.

Practices will be held Sundays to prepare for the Southwest Regional Winter Games in early February at Durango Mountain Resort.

The organization is looking for an individual who is interested in coaching the athletes.

Contact Special Olympics volunteer coordinator Becky Berg at 731-3318 for more information.


Friends of Wolf Creek to hold public hearing

Friends of Wolf Creek will hold a public hearing on the proposed Village at Wolf Creek project Wednesday, 6 p.m. in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

Jeff Berman, director of Colorado Wild, is expected to attend the meeting and offer his opinions on several village topics, including a related draft environmental impact statement issued recently by the U.S. Forest Service.

"The Forest Service, thus far, refuses to hold genuine public hearings on their draft environmental impact statement, opting for 'open house' style meetings in an attempt to diminish public participation," says Berman.

"We encourage every Pagosa resident - opposed or in favor of the proposed Village at Wolf Creek - to join us Nov. 10."

For more information or directions to the clubhouse, contact Marilyn Hutchins at 731-9414.



Increased vandalism in area forests causing damage in thousands

By Ann Bond

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Ranger District is experiencing rising vandalism in San Juan National Forest areas south of Pagosa Springs, and the U.S. Forest Service is asking the public to help.

One possible cause of the increasing vandalism is a rise in teenage partying in these remote locations.

This fall, more than $1,000 in damage was done to a fence in the Willow Draw area, when someone drove over and broke off fence posts for a third of a mile. Fences on the National Forest are important to ranchers who hold grazing permits, who use them to rotate livestock from pasture to pasture.

Vandals are shooting up Forest Service directional signs on a regular basis, and driving over travel-management signs and breaking them off. Directional signs help keep visitors from getting lost and are important for public safety.

Travel-management signs are important for letting motorists know which areas are not open to motor vehicles.

Vandals also shot up the registration box and drove into the trailhead sign at the Little Blanco Trailhead, where visitors to the South San Juan Wilderness sign in.

Officials are also seeing an increase in off-road vehicle damage, including hill climbing and mud bogging. After one mud-bogging incident this summer, the driver was fined $500, and sentenced to community service.

Over the summer, the Eight Mile Lookout Tower was seriously vandalized; the door to its toilet and the windows of the tower shot out, and window shutters thrown over a cliff.

The lookout tower is an important part of the history of the Pagosa Springs area.

"These acts of vandalism have increased tremendously. In the last three to four years, we've seen tens of thousands of dollars in damage," said Ron Decker, Pagosa District Recreation Staff. "I cleaned up a party site three times in as many weeks in the same area just before the fence was vandalized, and picked up around a hundred pounds of broken beer bottles out of the fire pit each time."

Decker said the public can help by reporting any unusual activities they encounter on National Forest lands. Obtaining licenses plate numbers or names is especially helpful.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Decker at 264-1505 or Michael Ostrowski at (970) 884-1417.


Winter camping trips bring back memories as son's marriage looms

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

As I lay comfortably wrapped in the warmth of our electric blanket, I could hear the faint pitter-patter of gentle rain drumming steadily on the roof above. The moon was supposedly near full, but outside the overhead window, heavy clouds and the dank night air formed a near-impenetrable blend of moisture and mist, its resulting gloom even obscuring the hazy yellow glow from our closest neighbor's security lamp.

At such a late hour, Jackie and the cats were sleeping soundly, and except for me in my transitory restlessness, all was still in our humble household.

Like anyone during these pensive moments, I lay quietly, pondering a multitude of idle notions, and all the while, fully expecting sleep to befall me at any minute. But instead, as thoughts suddenly turned to my son, Tim, I found myself reflecting on several occasions in the 24 years since his birth. After all, as incredible as it seems, in a couple of weeks he'll be a married man.

Outside meanwhile, as the intensity of wind and rain constantly ebbed and flowed, the air temperature steadily dipped, and thermometer readings edged ever closer to the freezing point. Knowing heavy snows had already arrived in the higher terrain above town, I wondered if, upon my eventual awakening, the valley floor might be dressed in a blanket of white for the first time this early winter season.

Mental images of such storms brought to mind a similar dismal night many years ago, when Tim was but two years of age. It was a late autumn weekend, and we were camped with a friend, Bob MacCall, on Bob's wooded mountain acreage southwest of Montrose. Late that Saturday afternoon the skies unpredictably darkened, and the once relative calm turned to a stiff rising wind out of the north. Then too, temperatures fell abruptly, and as young Tim freely romped beneath the aspens, and in the great accumulation of leaves that had only recently fallen, Bob and I anxiously rearranged camp.

We set the pup tents a few feet apart and facing each other, then draped a green plastic tarp over the space between. The tarp and tents, with adequate rain-flies attached, were staked down securely, to hopefully hold against the violent gusts then sweeping through the sparse cover of an utterly denuded forest. Next, we placed the food and cook boxes in the center of the vestibule, and positioned the coolers on either side. With the Colman stove and lantern atop the cook box, our makeshift living quarters would sufficiently shelter us, while offering added warmth and cooking accommodations for the night, or at least until the fuel supply ran out.

When the first drops of rain began pelting the tents, Bob crawled into his, and Tim and I ducked into ours. After rolling out the foam pads and sleeping bags, and with a good hour of daylight remaining, we relaxed awhile, sometimes talking and laughing, and otherwise just listening to the mounting gale beyond. For the time being, we were comfortable and dry, and of course, it wasn't long before the stove and lantern were lit, and a pot of camp stew simmered over the open flame.

As darkness fell and the evening wore on, the frontal winds diminished, and torrential rains settled into recurrent showers. The temperature had fallen considerably, but even as the rain eventually turned to sleet, we felt the worst had passed, and the morning would simply be cold and damp.

We were half right. At 7 a.m., despite the lack of an appreciable breeze, the wind chill couldn't have been more than 25 degrees. But more than the cold, and well before our emergence into the light of day, we quickly recognized the unmistakable sag in the sides of the tents. Knowing that could only mean one thing, yet feeling warm and snug in our bags, neither Bob, or I, were in any hurry to crawl outside to see how much snow had fallen. Once we did though, there was at least a foot on the ground, and to add to our concern, it was still coming down quite heavily.

It's true, many years have passed since that particular outing, and I don't really recall the details of our escape to lower, dryer elevations, but I do remember little Timmy (as we called him back then) joyfully playing in the fresh powder, while Bob and I frantically broke camp and chained up the truck for our rather precarious drive over the primitive, unplowed forest roads to home.

Tim and I have shared innumerable experiences outdoors, though few were quite as dramatic as the early winter blizzard. But that same dreary night, as I lay in bed waiting to slip into slumber, I thought of another occasion that marked Tim's first real exposure to the fury of a severe summer thunderstorm. He was probably three at the time, and the two of us were the only occupants of a modest forest service campground near Piney Lake north of Vail.

Camped at roughly 11,000 feet, we'd set the same small tent under a grove of towering spruce trees, not far from the banks of the Piney River. There, in the glow of an open fire, we'd just finished a meal of hot dogs and beans, when I noticed the once-brilliant stars of the night sky had completely vanished. Before long, bright flashes were visible beyond the high peaks to the northwest, and when the first sprinkles came, we promptly withdrew to the warmth and relative security of the tent.

The storm ultimately let loose with such ferocity that I seriously considered grabbing Tim and retreating to the truck cab for a time. I remembered wondering how much the river might rise, and what condition the narrow two-track road out might be in, but, with the hard driving rain and constant lightening, followed almost immediately by deafening claps of thunder, I worried more about further traumatizing my young son. So, we snuggled up in the comfort of our bags, and as I held him close, we made light of every flash and subsequent crash, until the deluge eventually passed.

Many such memories crossed my mind that inclement evening in bed, and as I'm sure most parents do in the days before a child's wedding, I wondered how time could've passed so quickly. And, of course, as Tim and Jennifer look forward to their future together, no-one can say what it might bring. But I for one, bid them good fortune, and hope that one day, they too, can fondly recall many good times of their own.


Mule Deer chapter hikes rewards for poacher information

Colorado Mule Deer Association of Pagosa Springs has set aside two $250 rewards for information leading to mule dear poachers.

Association officials said the funds are to supplement those offered by Operation Game Thief.

For information contact the Pagosa Springs Chapter at PO Box 1888, Pagosa Springs CO 81147, or call Eddie Vita at 946-0145 or Dick Ray at 264-5546.


Public input sought by Forest Service on proposed land trade

Following a lengthy Feasibility Analysis, the San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District is asking for public input on issues to be studied in an Environmental Assessment (EA) of a land exchange proposed to the U.S. Forest Service by local landowners.

Tom and Margie Smith of Pagosa Springs propose trading to the San Juan National Forest 264 acres of private property, in exchange for 330 acres of National Forest land.

Private lands, which would become National Forest in the exchange, are:

- Laughlin Park: 62.5 acres surrounded by National Forest in the Jackson Mountain area northeast of Pagosa Springs, typified by subalpine forests, meadows, and wetlands in an area identified as lynx habitat.

- Spiler Canyon: 160 acres in the Kenney Flats area southeast of Pagosa Springs, typified by ponderosa pine forests, rangelands and a creek.

- Chaffee County mining claims, four patented mining claims totaling 41 acres surrounded by National Forest lands managed for semi-primitive, non-motorized recreation in an area above timberline near the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area.

Federal lands, which the proponents would acquire in the land exchange, are:

- Oak Brush Hill: 330 acres of National Forest land just off the Piedra Road west of Pagosa Springs adjacent to the USFS Job Corps Site (which is not part of the proposal); a dry hill of oak brush and ponderosa pine surrounded by private development, bisected by a road, and including an old gravel pit.

The public and private parcels are being appraised in accordance with USFS policies. If the appraisal shows that the federal parcel has more value than the sum total of the private, or vice versa, the values must be equalized before a transaction can occur.

The General Exchange Act and Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and Federal Land Exchange Facilitation Act allow federal lands to be exchanged for non-federal lands with higher resource and public values if:

- the transaction consolidates public and private lands inside National Forest boundaries;

- the exchange benefits the public, in terms of resources acquired vs. resources traded;

- public acquisition of the private lands is compatible with management of surrounding National Forest lands; and

- land values of the acquired and traded lands are equalized.

Public input will be taken for 45 days on the scope of issues to be studied. Letters must be postmarked by Monday, Dec. 13, and mailed to Pagosa Ranger District, Attention: Glenn Raby, P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment will be considered a 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 only submit anonymously will not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision.

For more information, contact Raby or Jo Bridges, Pagosa Ranger District, 264-2268.


Hunters having high success rate but accidents mar season

By Tyler Baskfield

Special to The SUN

Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) biologists are reporting success rates equal to or higher than previous years for the 2004 deer and elk second rifle season for most areas of the state.

Based on field reports, deer success rates in particular have increased over what had been seen in recent years. The higher success rates could be indicating a comeback for Colorado's deer population, which has been hindered due to the drought that has gripped the state for the past several years.

If there has been a downside to the 2004 big game season to this point, it has been two fatal accidents that have occurred. Hunting continues to be one of the safest outdoor activities, and the two fatalities have been disheartening for the DOW.

"There have been five accidents so far this year related to big game hunting, two of which have been fatal," said Mark Cousins, hunter education coordinator for the DOW. "While we are pleased that hunters are experiencing high success rates, we want to take every opportunity to remind hunters to be safe in the field. All of these accidents could have been prevented if these hunters had followed what they learned in their mandatory hunter safety class."

The DOW is reminding hunters who plan on hunting during the upcoming fourth big game rifle seasons to enjoy the high success rates, but, most importantly, to be safe while in the field.

"Hunters have already spent hundreds of thousands of recreation hours in the field this year and hunting is not only one of the safest outdoor activities, but it continues to get safer every year," said Cousins. "Hunters have the ability to prevent the vast majority of these terrible situations. We are reminding them to do everything possible to ensure a safe hunting trip."

The following reports provide hunter success and other useful information for hunters.

San Juan Basin

"The second season, like the first, has also been very good in the San Juan Basin," said DOW biologist Scott Wait. "There are many bulls being taken and some cows now."

While elk hunters are doing well in the San Juan Basin, those who have buck tags for the area have a lot of potential to harvest a large buck. Wait said first-season hunters reported a high number of bucks, with many of the bucks the biggest hunters had seen in years.

Wait said access remained good through the second season, but hunters should be aware that there is the potential for weather to roll in.

San Luis Valley

DOW biologist Chuck Wagner reported that for the first time in several years, those who hunted the San Luis Valley during the second season found conditions to be cool and moist, which added to success rates.

District Wildlife Manager Jerry Pacheco agreed that conditions were just about optimal for hunting.

"We have gotten snow where we needed it. It is helping with tracking but not restricting access," he said.

Hunter success with area elk has been good, with a larger cow harvest than bull harvest. Most of the harvest during the first half of the second season occurred above 9,000 feet. Wagner also said that there are still a lot of opportunities for those who have licenses to harvest older buck deer.


Loss of sagebrush habitat to drought threatens survival of sage-grouse

By Todd Malmsbury

Special to the SUN

Thanks to adaptable, dual root systems - one that delves deeply into underground water sources and another that lingers near the soil's surface in case of rain - the sagebrush has evolved over millennia into one of the most drought-tolerant plants of the American West.

Despite such hardiness, however, thousands of the aromatic perennials (Artemisia tridentata) died off last year in parts of southwest Colorado, apparent victims of several years of punishing drought. Now, "in some places, even the sagebrush is dying," said Jim Garner, a Montrose-based habitat biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW).

Like other biologists working across the arid West, Garner has witnessed the effects of drought, wildfires, overgrazing, water diversions, and human population growth and expansion.

As it turns out, one wildlife species in particular relies on sagebrush habitats for its very survival: the Gunnison sage-grouse, a native bird that is listed as a species of concern in Colorado and is a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.

"When you see them declining like they have over the course of the last 20 years it tells you something's wrong with the ecosystem out there," Garner said.

In hopes of offsetting any sagebrush losses and increasing the long-term survival odds of Gunnison sage-grouse, DOW biologists are trying to stimulate new plant growth in targeted sagebrush habitats in southwest Colorado. Research indicates that sagebrush plants provide 90 percent of winter food supplies for Gunnison sage-grouse.

In summer, the birds nest under the plants and feed among the forbs that grow near them. The birds are so reliant on sagebrush plants for survival they are considered an "indicator species" for sagebrush habitats.

Sagebrush habitat improvement strategies include mowing down dead plants, transplanting bushes, seeding new areas, and researching ways to preserve existing plants. The improvements form part of a rangewide plan that is being finalized by the DOW, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and federal land management agencies.

Once completed, the Gunnison Sage-grouse Rangewide Plan would serve as a blueprint for conserving and upgrading crucial wildlife habitat in southwest Colorado and southeast Utah.

"Because of the importance of healthy sagebrush communities to Gunnison sage-grouse, we recruited the top experts in the country to help us develop the habitat improvement part of this plan," said Tom Remington, DOW Terrestrial Section Manager. "The result was a several hundred page guide to when, where, and how to treat sagebrush communities to benefit grouse."

Despite the challenges they face, habitat biologists are hopeful Colorado's sagebrush lands will recover and might even come back stronger, like forests that have been scorched to the ground only to flourish again. Recent scientific data indicate plants across the West have weathered long dry spells in the past. That includes the region's iconic sagebrush bush, which Native Americans have prized as a healing smudge herb for generations.

Thanks to research with radio-collared birds, Colorado scientists have learned more about Gunnison sage-grouse in recent years, and their work has elicited worldwide interest in this newly classified, unique species of sage-grouse. Birders from around the globe have traveled to southwest Colorado to watch the birds in the lek. Male sage-grouse are known for their flamboyant display of feathers and puffed chests during spring mating rituals.

To help keep several of Colorado's sage-grouse species off federal protection lists, the state has established four regional working groups. Common goals include brainstorming with local, state and federal government agencies, conservation groups, ranchers, and other stakeholders to come up with the best possible sage-grouse conservation policies.

Recently, Garner completed a Gunnison sage-grouse habitat protection plan for the San Miguel Basin Working Group in southwest Colorado, and is confident that radio-collar monitoring data will help the DOW establish policies to benefit the entire sage-grouse range in Colorado.

"Most everybody, I think, will tell you that they believe the chief problems with sage-grouse are habitat-related," Garner said. "Unfortunately, that means it's going to be a slow recovery effort. The present situation has developed over decades and it may take that long to set things right."

A major goal for biologists working in southwest Colorado is to generate new under-story growth in areas where black and Wyoming sagebrush varieties are found. Last year, scientists determined that 30 percent of sagebrush plants in Dry Creek Basin near Naturita died off, dramatically altering an important habitat for Gunnison sage-grouse.

"Habitat wise, the key issue is the Wyoming sagebrush," Garner said. "Grouse need sagebrush, but they also need understory plants for nesting and to eat. We have large stretches of Wyoming sagebrush in southwest Colorado that are basically devoid of understory."

It's no wonder habitat improvements take time. Biologists face a myriad of challenges, not least among them controversy over the most effective strategies and scientific approaches.

Among other considerations: The shallow roots of sagebrush plants suck up nutrients and water, making it difficult for other plant species to become established around them. As part of what biologists deem "tough love," some sagebrush bushes are thinned or removed to improve conditions for forbs, grasses and other herbs preferred by foraging wildlife.

Biologists must also weigh the merits of planting less-expensive non-native plants against the benefits of more expensive drought-tolerant native species. It can cost $3 per pound to produce the non-native small burnet, which does well in dry, lower-elevation areas. By comparison, native plant species, which must be gathered by hand, can cost $50 per pound to produce.

Overgrazing and noxious weeds are major concerns, too. Elk, deer, rabbits and other species are particularly fond of ladak alfalfa and other non-native plants that have been used to treat sagebrush habitats.

Another consideration: Anytime soil is disturbed it creates prime real estate for opportunistic weeds and other undesirable vegetation. Thistle, knapweed and cheat grass weeds can also take over entire sagebrush ecosystems.

"We've got to be very selective about where we put treatments. When you disturb the soil, there's a whole suite of species that are basically geared and designed to jump in if there's an opening," Garner said. "That's why you need to get something going out there."

Garner said efforts to save sage-grouse and their habitats won't be successful unless biologists work in tandem with private landowners, local, state and federal agencies, conservation groups, and others who have a stake in regions where the birds are found.

"People want to see what you are going to do," he said. "Creating the desired outcome is difficult unless you put some thought into it."

Biologists are hopeful that conservation easements and voluntary management agreements with private landowners will further enable them to target important habitats. Conservation easements enable private landowners to sell the development rights on their property to the DOW. One such program to purchase these easements is the Colorado Species Conservation Partnership (CSCP). Voluntary management agreements are generally less restrictive than easement purchases, and provide interested landowners with opportunities to work with the DOW to implement management practices that will benefit grouse.

However, convincing many landowners of the merits of allowing habitat biologists on their land to improve conditions for Gunnison sage-grouse isn't always easy. Biologists face myriad barriers, including absent landlords and the concerns of owners of working ranches.

"You have to convince them that you are not there to steal their land," Garner said. On the other hand, "We've had some landowners approach us to purchase an easement."

In the end, many scientists believe last year's sagebrush die-off could have been part of a natural life cycle that was accelerated by the drought. Even so, some observers are left wondering: If the resilient sagebrush is dying, what long-term effects will drought and human-caused factors have on other plant and wildlife species across the water-parched West?

"The ecological problems we're facing now probably started back in the 1880s. The whole thing has been exacerbated greatly by the drought," Garner said. "I can go out there and plant seed until I'm blue in the face, but if it doesn't rain, it's not going to come up. The single greatest thing that could happen is breaking the drought cycle."



Duly alarmed

Dear Editor:

The results of the recent community survey are timely and revealing relative to the "Village" at Wolf Creek.

"Open space," "protection of natural recreational opportunities," "assurance of public access," "respect for small town character" and "enjoyment of natural amenities" were top priorities of local residents. Of least importance was "man-made features."

How blatantly obvious can it be that the "Village" at Wolf Creek flies in the face of what's important to local residents.

Do Mr. Honts and Mr. McCombs give a fiddler's damn about what counts to their neighbors or about being team players within local communities, much less being environmentally ethical? Obviously not. They claim their project will be economically beneficial to adjacent communities when, in fact, it will be a detriment to local businesses and a burden to local taxpayers by saddling local governments with housing, social and health burdens.

Is there any resemblance of sanity in the concept of a "village" four times the size of Pagosa, as big as Alamosa and half the size of Durango being governed and managed by a property owner's association? The infamous trials, tribulations and woes of Pagosa Lakes POA clearly answer that question.

What's important to Honts and McCombs are the millions they will reap, the bright star in their developer's crown and a huge stroke to their massive egos. Indigenous character, local priorities, small town wholesomeness, quality of recreation and life be damned.

The "big box" question pales by comparison to the massive impacts the "Village" will leverage upon Pagosa, South Fork and surrounding areas. While the town of Pagosa Springs has formally conveyed it's firm opposition to the "Village" on four occasions through four different means, Archuleta County and the Pagosa SUN have been embarrassingly passive given the severe scope of the "Village's" negative impacts. And the Forest Service has shamefully minimized off-site impacts in their EIS.

They should all be duly alarmed about the impending carnage of character, integrity and quality of life in local communities and environments.

Mr. Honts repeatedly states, "A rising tide lifts all boats." The "Village," if anything, is a rip tide that will grab us by the legs and pull us into deep scat: a tsunami that will leave it's characteristic receding havoc as the developers float off into the sunset.

Listen up, Mr. Honts. Hear the cries of woe from the knowing hearts of us who live here, have lived here for generations, and will be here in future generations. Let Vail, Aspen, Summit County, Steamboat, and Telluride glory in the hollow glitz of overdevelopment and let the San Juan Basin and San Luis Valley continue their heritage of down to earth, close to nature integrity.

If you must develop Alberta Park, aim toward a scale and agenda that enhances and nourishes the human and natural conditions rather than undermining them. At least do it with integrity, continuity with local communities, and respect for the dignity of God in nature and nature's many amazing but sensitive facets.

Dean Cox

Editor's note: There has been no editorial support of the Village at Wolf Creek proposal in this newspaper. There has, in fact, been editorial comment to the effect we consider the proposal unwise. What has been emphasized here most often, however, is participation in planning efforts currently underway in Archuleta County. We continue to support these efforts.



No 'done' deal

Dear Editor:

No, we cannot stop growth. We live on a planet with eight billion - expected to double in the next 50 years; far extending resources of earth, air and water beyond "natural capacity" (thanks to fossil fuels and technology).

No one wants to be told not to have children or not to live where they choose. Yet, at the same time, it behooves those who live in this relatively unspoiled region to plan accordingly.

It's said, we start out as a Carhartt community, too busy working to plan, next the fleece community wants to plan but its almost too late, then fur takes over, and those who started out here have to move somewhere else.

Over the past six months I've attended numerous Mineral County and USFS meetings regarding the proposed Village at Wolf Creek. The village "grew" from its original reasonable plan of 200, to now 2,000 units and 250,000 square feet commercial space on 278 acres. It's not only incompatible with the ski area, but promises to skew life in this region from economics to lodging to small businesses that are the mainstay of our tourist industry, enjoyed by many "middle American" families as one place they can still come that is homey and reasonably priced.

It was devastating to watch the Mineral County attorney and commissioners slide through their votes on Resolution 0013 (for the development) despite the fact that numerous legalities were not covered including road access to the site and clarity around water availability, as stated by attorneys, citizens and neighboring communities.

Whether they were pressured in one way or another by a savvy developer we may never know; but it leaves many things to be hashed out in court, by environmental organizations and the ski area itself. It's too easy for agencies to wash their hands and leave the gray area to "someone else."

This is where grassroots effort is essential to weave it together, so that important things don't "fall through the cracks."

No, it isn't a "done deal" and neither is life in a small community called Pagosa Springs - where we can be very grateful that we have town council, planners and county commissioners who actually listen and have become very involved in planning for future development with the Vision Council - having put forth the effort to respond intelligently to our neighboring county and the USFS regarding the Village at Wolf Creek.

If you would like to participate in this ongoing process attend a meeting at the Vista Clubhouse Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.

I've sat in more official meetings and become more involved in local issues than I ever thought I would. It has been a good thing to actually be present and see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears. I would suggest to all who live here to do the same - get involved in what you care about - it will change your life, and have a positive affect on our future here.

Cary Ellis



Atrocity awaits

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to the proposed village development at Wolf Creek Pass.

My wife and I have been visiting Pagosa for over four years with the intent of retiring here. We tried to learn all we can about the place and the people of our future.

Although the physical environment of Pagosa Springs is extraordinary, what really stands out is the people. We have yet to meet anyone who would rather live anywhere else. This feeling is the heart of Pagosa.

Mr. Bob Honts, the spokesman for the village project, suggests that change is inevitable. He is probably right. But what kind and what amount of change should be allowed?

His alarming statement unmasked his intentions: "I see Pagosa Springs, South Fork, the entire tri-county area as a Jackson Hole."

I ask Mr. Honts, I ask the Pagosa SUN readership, have you ever been to Jackson Hole? I have been to Jackson Hole. To change the Pagosa area into something like Jackson Hole would be an atrocity.

Pagosa would forever lose that special quality that makes it so unusual. Home prices in Jackson Hole assure that only the rich can reside there. Season ski passes at Jackson Hole start at around $1,500.

Mr. Honts may idolize Jackson Hole, which clearly shows he's incapable of understanding Pagosa Springs.

Barry and DeEtte England

Santa Clara, Calif.




Dear Editor:

Our family had an unfortunate incident this Halloween weekend. I know there are a lot of "tricks" going around, but this time it wasn't funny.

The children's grandfather bought them two 8-foot-tall Halloween yard decorations, one a light-up ghost and the other a six-legged purple spider, which also lit up. Both have sentimental value.

We are all crushed and disappointed that someone would come into our yard and cut the ropes late Saturday night or early Sunday morning and steal them.

Who could do such a thing? Every year we look forward to putting up all our decorations and putting the ghost, which my kids nicknamed Boo, and our big purple spider on display.

Next year we will have nothing.

This happened out at Lake Hatcher area. We filed a report with the sheriff's department. If anyone knows anything, or has heard anything, this is a small town, please call the sheriff's department. We would very much appreciate it.

We are very saddened that such a thing could happen and very disappointed.

Whoever you are, you really hurt us and the spirit of Halloween. We're not laughing.

Michelle, Brittnie

and Bradley Kraft



Complete survey

Dear Editor:

I am calling on all citizens of Archuleta County to participate in the land use survey the county planning department is currently conducting. It is important for everyone to have the opportunity to influence how the regulations will affect you and your neighborhood, as well as the county as a whole. Surveys may be completed online at, or paper copies may be obtained at the library and the county offices.

It is important that enough people respond to the survey to ensure that it is valid. Please do your part.


Lynda Van Patter



Political litter

Dear Editor:

I have read numerous times in the paper about people removing Kerry/Edwards signs from others' properties.

Now let's see how fast the political litter is cleaned up after the election.

I still see litter from the election of the sheriff. So let's all see if it is OK to drive out of McDonald's and toss your trash and beer cans out the window as you drive home or if the county will enforce the litter laws.

Freda Whisman



Moral principles

Dear Editor:

In response to Raymond P. Finney's equation of his vote for Kerry (SUN 10/28), I address the religion/vote issue from a Catholic perspective. If Kerry is president as of this publication, it could well be the result of Catholics, influenced by decades of ultra liberalism, not knowing or practicing their faith, voting for Kerry.

One is free to vote and the Church does not endorse candidates, but it does teach moral principles to guide proper voting. Archbishop Burke (St. Louis, Pastoral Letter) echoing Cardinal Ratzinger, states, "The right to act in accordance with conscience presupposes it is informed with the truth God has inscribed in our hearts. We are morally bound in conscience to choose government leaders whose first priority is the protection of human life."

A Catholic, including politicians, who performs or supports (e.g. by vote) abortion effectively severs himself from the Church and is not permitted to receive Holy Communion because of scandal and sacrilege. St. Paul (I Cor. 11:27-29) and St. Justin (100s A.D.) listed living in accord with Church teaching as a condition for receiving Holy Communion. Thus, it is a contradiction to aver Catholicity and vote for or legislate abortion. Kerry even voted for the painful killing of live babies emerging from their mothers' bodies while publicly boasting of his Catholic faith!

Bishop Burke continues, "There can never be justification for directly and deliberately taking innocent human life; abortion, destruction of human embryos, euthanasia, human cloning. No voter can justify voting for a candidate who endorses these, which are so fundamental to the common good that they cannot be subordinated to any other cause." Furthermore, "the death penalty and war are different from procured abortion and same-sex 'marriage', since these are intrinsically evil and can never be justified. Although war and capital punishment can rarely be justified, they are not intrinsically evil." In some circumstances defense and stopping the slaughter of millions are not only rights but responsibilities.

Pope John Paul II (EV62d; CL38b) teaches, "no law can ever make licit an act intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to God's law ... one cannot justify a vote for a candidate who promotes intrinsically evil acts. In order to defend all human rights, one must first defend the right of life."

Just because something may be "legal" it may not be moral. For example, how is it possible that "legal" abortions in our country over the last 31 years have resulted in the deaths of over 40 million unborn children without outcry? Expediency replaces sanity; putative "rights" and "freedom" displace responsibility and reason.

The first Catholic Pope, the Apostle St. Peter, established the guiding principle. When he and St. John were charged by the court to "teach in the name of Jesus", they retorted, "whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, decide for yourselves." (Acts 4:18-20)

Eugene Witkowski


Community News

Civic Club Bazaar Saturday

supports Sisson Library

Ladies of the Civic Club are inviting the public to their annual Christmas Bazaar to raise money for the Sisson Library.

The annual event will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Featured will be a bake sale with pies, pastries, cakes and assorted other goodies.

There are 54 booths this year with a wide variety of items for sale including jewelry, pottery, art work, photographs, candles Christmas items, fiber, tole painting and much more.

Many lunch items will be available for those hungry shoppers desiring a break. Included on the menu are Polish sausage, beef brisket sandwiches (also available in bulk for takehome), hot dogs, sloppy Joes, chili and a wide assortment of drinks, both hot and cold.

You can buy raffle tickets from any Civic Club member at the library or at the bazaar. Tickets are $ each or six for $5. Raffle items this year include a painting, $50 money wreath, handmade quilt, pottery, hand-knit items, $50 in a basket, and many more special items donated by local individuals and participating vendors.

Buy those special presents, eat lunch, satisfy that sweet tooth, meet and greet those friends you don't see often enough, and do it all while supporting your public library.


Red Ryder, Little Beaver Daisy airgun set available

The Daisy Airgun Museum of Rogers, Ark. has produced a limited quantity collectible airgun set to commemorate two of the most famous American Western heroes: Red Ryder and Little Beaver.

Each set features matched numbered, fully functional airguns in a colorful collectible package that tells the story of Red Ryder and Little Beaver.

The walnut stock of each gun is laser engraved from original Fred Harman artwork and a certificate of authenticity is included. The edition is limited to 1,500 quantity.

Created by Stephen Slesinger and illustrated by Pagosa Springs artist Fred Harman, Red Ryder's image truly became a part of Americana when Daisy first placed it on the stock of the now world famous Daisy Red Ryder BB gun in 1940.

For decades, through newspaper comic strips, comic books and cliff-hanger movie serials, Red Ryder was accompanied by his Native American pal, Little Beaver.

The Red Ryder comic strip was the most famous Western comic strip ever published. From 1938 through 1977, it appeared in 950 newspapers. Translated into 17 languages and distributed on six continents, 600 million copies of Red Ryder and Little Beaver comic books and stories were sold from 1940 to 1957. From 1940 to 1953, Republic Pictures and Eagle Lion Productions produced 27 original movie features and a 12-chapter adventure serial.

The Daisy Airgun Museum, located in historic downtown Rogers, is operated by a nonprofit corporation dedicated to preserving and sharing a unique collection of antique airguns dating to the 17th century, and a comprehensive collection of Daisy airguns and memorabilia.

The museum is funded by private donations, visitors' admissions, proceeds from gift shop sales on-site and also sales online at as well as from proceeds from creating special limited edition products such as this.

The museum, open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, has relocated to 202 West Walnut St. in Rogers. Orders may be placed online or by calling (479) 986-6873.

For further information, contact Joe Murfin, (479) 621-4257.


Special class in Thai cooking

planned at community center

Do you love Thai food, but worry about coconut milk and deep frying?

Learn a new and healthy approach to Thai cooking. Come to the free Introduction to Thai Cooking class 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 20 at the community center kitchen conducted by Pao Tallman.

Yes, it's free except a $3 donation per person is requested to cover costs of ingredients. Space is limited to 15 students.

This class will cover basic cooking techniques as three dishes are prepared. It will start with delicious spring rolls that don't require deep frying, followed by Tom Kha Kai (chicken soup with galanga) and Pudthai (noodles). These are dishes that are quick and easy to prepare.

Students will have an opportunity to sample everything that is prepared. After class you can apply these lessons and create new dishes of your own.

Pao Tallman was born in Thailand and studied Royal Thai Cuisine for six years at Suan Dusit College (similar to Cordon Bleu in Paris) where she received a B.A. in Food and Nutrition. She has 20 years experience teaching in her field and has written several cooking textbooks which are used throughout Thailand.

Pao and her husband John moved to Pagosa two years ago and she is volunteering her time and sharing her talent for this class.

Call 264-4152 or drop by the community center to reserve your spot on a first-come, first-served basis.


GED tests scheduled in Ed Center Nov. 13; registration ends Nov. 9

Do you need to complete your GED testing?

The Archuleta County Education Center will administer the GED tests Nov. 30 starting 8:30 a.m.

Completed registration forms and payment of testing fees are required as part of the registration process. You will not be allowed to test without proper registration which must be completed at the center no later than Nov. 9.

The center is also offering Parent/Child Together Night 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18. This month's theme will focus on "Feeding Your Piggybank."

Family Night is a time for parents and their children to explore a variety of activities through reading and hands-on games. This event is free, however, preregistration is required in order to ensure there are enough supplies for everyone.

Dinner will also be provided.

If your child needs a place to go after school, don't forget about the enrichment classes offered. For the month of November, classes for K-4 will include Spanish for Kids, basket making, Kids in the Kitchen, Creature Creators and the popular Fun Friday.

There are also tutoring classes Monday-Thursday. All classes are held in the elementary school 3:15-5 p.m. except Fridays which are 1:15-5 p.m.

The Homework Center is offered students in grades 5-9 3:30-5:15 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Friday activities are offered 1:30-5:15 p.m.

Computer classes on Microsoft Word will begin Nov. 29. These classes will run Monday and Wednesday evenings for two weeks 6-8 p.m. in the junior high school.

If your first aid or CPR certification is getting ready to expire and you need to recertify, give the center a call. First aid and CPR classes are offered for everyone, whether a health worker, hunter, guide, or simply an outdoors person

Anyone interested in taking classes offered at the center may call 264-2835 or drop by at 4th and Lewis streets.


Eddie from Ohio at Diamond Circle for Sunday concert

Four Corners favorites Eddie from Ohio return for a 7:30 p.m. performance Sunday, Nov. 7 at the Diamond Circle Theatre in Durango.

Eddie From Ohio has won legions of local fans through their near-annual appearances at the Four Corners Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs. EFO first appeared at the festival in 1999, converting listeners with their four-part harmonies, tight musical arrangements and on-stage humor.

They've also graced the stages of the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College and the Fred Shelman Memorial Stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in recent years.

Their November performance promises to be a cozy affair in the 250-seat Diamond Circle Theatre.

"If I had to pick one word to describe an Eddie From Ohio concert, it's fun," said Chris Aaland, Durango Society of Cultural and Performing Arts vice president, who has seen the band perform nearly a half-dozen times. "Through numerous festival appearances, the band has developed a special relationship with folk fans across the Four Corners. We're excited to present them in the Diamond Circle Theatre because of its superior acoustics and intimate seating. It should be an unforgettable evening."

With nine albums to their credit - all on their own Virginia Soul label - EFO blends a variety of musical styles, including folk, gospel, a capella, acoustic pop, bluegrass, country and western, Latin and Celtic. Songs like "Old Dominion," "Eddie's Concubine," "The Three Fine Daughters of Farmer Brown" and "Tommy the Canexican" have become staples on public and community radio outlets like KSUT and KDUR.

EFO includes lead vocalist Julie Murphy Wells, percussionist Eddie Hartness, guitarist Robbie Schaefer and bassist/guitarist Michael Clem. All four share vocal duties.

Tickets are $15 for DSCPA members and $18 for the general public and are available at Southwest Sound and Canyon Music Woodworks. DSCPA memberships, which start at $25 for the 2004-05 season and include discounted tickets to each concert, are also available at ticket outlets.

Now in its 15th season, the DSCPA is an all-volunteer Colorado nonprofit organization that presents concerts by an eclectic array of artists in the folk, bluegrass, alt-country, blues and world music genres.

The EFO concert launches a busy, three-show week for the DSCPA, which normally produces just 10-12 shows per year. The same week also sees singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler at the Diamond Circle Theatre Tuesday, Nov. 9 and alt-country and rockabilly guitar hero Dave Alvin at the Abbey Theatre Friday, Nov. 12.

"Due to artist routing through the Southwest, we were able to add a couple of shows by some of our favorite artists at unusually low prices," said Aaland. "What's even better is that we're able to pass along these savings to our membership and the ticket-buying public."


Royal Court will preside over Grand Hall festivities

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

In just the last few weeks, three hundred and fifty yards of fabric, two hundred yards of trim, and forty-five spools of thread have been utilized.

A new garment factory in Pagosa?

Nope, these startling statistics stem from Michael DeWinter's corps of creative costumers and their preparations for the Music Boosters' Madrigal Dinner, coming Dec. 3-4 and 10-11.

Thirty two authentic period costumes, along with fancy feathered and festooned head wear and custom made crown-worthy jewels, have been fashioned from scratch, while the gathering of other items has been in process since last March.

The Madrigal Dinner will reveal the finished product of these prodigious efforts in a festive musical celebration of holiday pageantry, feasting, and fun. A grand hall, as found in palaces when knighthood was in flower, will be replicated in the Pagosa Springs Community Center, where the Royal Court will preside over the bountiful banquet and be entertained by an awesome array of singers, dancers, musicians, and entertainers.

Since the attendees are invited to come in period costume, some Pagosans have already begun stitching and sewing. Others are rummaging through closets and old chests for long dresses, puffed sleeves, and anything that resembles the garb from cinema classics like "Shakespeare in Love," "Camelot," "The Princess Bride," etc.

Men, think Columbus or Robin Hood. Long robes or tunics would work if tights too effectively live up to their name. (Anyway, finding a codpiece in Pagosa might present a bit of a challenge.) However, if such dressing up is not your thing, just coming in your Pagosa Sunday best is quite all right.

In breeches and doublets

And jerkins and hose,

And corseted ball gowns

To swirl and to pose...

At this elegant evening,

From open to close,

You'll see fashioned finery

From heads down to toes.

The doors open at 7 p.m. and festivities begin at 7:30. Reserved tickets are required and may be purchased at the Plaid Pony (731-5262). Prices are $24 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $18 for students and children.

This promises to be a fabulous family holiday experience, so get your tickets early.


Prize-winning Boulder Acoustic Society closes out Whistle Pig season Nov. 12

By Bill Hudson

Special to The PREVIEW

The Whistle Pig Concert Series winds up its 2004 season with an intimate house concert by the Boulder Acoustic Society 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, at the Hudson House.

This highly unusual but extremely talented quartet features Scott Higgins on xylophone and percussion, Brad Jones on guitar, ukulele and vocals, Aaron Keim on double bass, ukulele and vocals, and Kailin Yong on violin, ukulele and vocals.

The group is making its first visit to Pagosa Springs, just a few weeks after winning the Emerging Artist Series Competition at Winter Park, Colo. To top off that prestigious award, the quartet's violinist was awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin, presented by renowned violinist Mark O'Conner at the Strings Conference 2004 in San Diego. As if that were not enough excitement, the Boulder Acoustic Society has just completed its first album, "So Many Stars in the Sky."

Scott, Brad, Aaron and Kailin are all accomplished performers and instructors in the Boulder/Denver area, each with a different background that helps create the unique sound that is Boulder Acoustic Society.

In addition to its diverse performances and outreach programs, such as a recent engagement to orchestrate and perform in collaborative concert with the Boulder Youth Symphony, and recording for their new album, members of this ensemble have been working on the composition and recording of soundtrack for the U.S. Forest Service 100th Anniversary Documentary, in conjunction with members of the San Francisco Symphony.

The group considers original music its priority, but creative arrangements of standards and well-known tunes are also part of Boulder Acoustic Society's eclectic repertoire.

The quartet calls their music "neo-acoustic jazz," but that only goes to prove how difficult it is to classify a range of selections that seems to defy classification - and which include influences ranging from ragtime to bluegrass, to hot string band, to swing, to 1940's ukulele tunes. The new CD, "So Many Stars In the Sky" features seven original pieces plus three noteworthy arrangements of traditional tunes, highlighting their combined performing skills and compositional talents.

The entertainment editor of the Colorado Daily wrote that the album is "... as pleasant and appealing a listening experience as can be imagined ... it lifts the heart and soul with a dynamic energy ..."

It was a "no brainer" inviting these young men to finish out our concert season this year, once we had received the rough draft of their new CD back in June of this year. We opened the plain-looking envelope in Clarissa's studio, and she stuck the mysterious disc in the stereo and pushed "play." We stood there dumbfounded as we listened to four obviously virtuoso musicians creating a musical sound unlike any quartet we had ever heard. By the time the second cut kicked in, we were both smiling in amazement and we knew that we wanted the group for our series. As it turned out, BAS was planning a tour through Colorado and New Mexico in November and we had not yet booked our season finale, so the match was made.

The group's violinist, Kailin Yong, who originally hails from Singapore, said he felt very honored to be the recipient of the second annual Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin. "I feel spiritually connected to the cause of this musical mission of peace," he said, upon receiving the violin. "I think it's one of the most beautiful things ever, to see people of all backgrounds come together, to be moved and transported to heaven by music, overcoming all the ugliness, hatred, and greed in the world. Our calling as musicians is to keep making beautiful music so that people are constantly being reminded of the positive side of life."

We invite you to make your reservations for this magical evening with the Boulder Acoustic Society on Friday, Nov. 12, at the Hudson House, 446 Loma St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.

The Whistle Pig Concert Series is a presentation of Artstream Cultural Resources, a local nonprofit arts and education organization. Suggested donation for the concert is $10, which includes desserts and refreshments at intermission, and all proceeds go directly to the musicians. Seating is very limited, so we recommend that you reserve your seats by calling Clarissa Hudson at 264-2491.


Learn to tango with In Step Dance club

Argentine Tango: It is the music, the dance, a culture and a way of life.

Argentine Tango comes to Pagosa Springs again in November, presented by the Instep Dance Club.

Les Linton, who learned this most elegant, romantic and sophisticated dance from Argentine instructors will teach the dance which, at one time, took Argentina and Paris by a storm.

Classes will be 7-9 p.m. tonight,Nov. 4, as well as Nov. 12, 18 and 26 in the PLPOA Clubhouse at 230 Port Ave. Cost is $20 per dancer or $30 per couple.

All adult wannabe dancers without partners are welcome. The dancing public is invited.

For questions or comments, call Linton at 731-1797.


Gay marriage is topic for Unitarians

On Sunday, Nov. 7, The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a service on the subject of gay marriage.

Ilene Haykus will present a program based on a sermon written by The Rev. Stephen Furrer, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe. In it, he differentiates between family form and family function, and stresses that families should be judged not by what they look like, but by what they do.

"Sometimes we have two women raising a child instead of a woman and a man. And sometimes there are two gay men. What of it? If love reigns in these homes, then these are wholesome places," he says.

Also, while many refer to the "sanctity of marriage," Furrer points out that it is not now, nor has it ever been up to the state to sanctify anything. That is the province of religious institutions and religious professionals - not the state.

A discussion of the sermon will follow its presentation.

The service and children's program begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship's new permanent home in Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.


Local Chatter

Thoughtful people keep writer going

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

People are thoughtful! When the announcement was made that flu shots would be given on a certain day at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, two people called to remind me, as if I needed reminding, but surely I did appreciate the calls.

I got the flu shot and then someone said to be sure and get a pneumonia shot. Well! That was something else. I had had a pneumonia shot years ago and I think that I had a follow-up shot. Anyway, some friends had different ideas as to how many shots were needed and how often they were needed so I called Susie Kleckner, office manager RN at San Juan Basin Health Department, and this is what she said.

If, before 65 years old, you got a shot, then you need one after you turn 65 - but leave five years between shots. If over 65 years old you only need one shot.

And you can always consult your doctor to hear what he or she has to say.

The good news for those high-risk people who did not get a flu shot: The San Juan Basin Health Department will hold a high risk clinic Friday, Nov. 19, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The department is located at 502 S. 8th St.

Fun on the run

A woman's philosophy on housekeeping

- I don't do windows because I love birds and don't want one to run into a clean window and get hurt.

- I don't wax floors because I am terrified a guest will slip, hurt themselves, I'll feel terrible and they may sue me.

- I don't disturb cobwebs because I want every creature to have a home of their own.

- I don't spring clean because I love all the seasons and don't want the others to get jealous.

- I don't pull weeds in the garden because I don't want to get in God's way, he is an excellent designer.

- I don't put things away because my husband will never be able to find them again.

- I don't do gourmet meals when I entertain because I don't want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner.

- I don't iron because I choose to believe them when they say "Permanent Press."


Senior News

Halloween costume party winners announced

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

We had a great turnout for our Halloween party.

Thanks to our finance department for judging the contest; what a team! First prize went to Betty Hayes, dressed as a witch; second prize to Johnny Martinez as the Scream; and Elaine Nossaman came dressed as Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother. Musetta and I were quite charming as pirates, and the kitchen created a wonderful lunch.

Thank you all for attending.

Qi Gong class has been canceled for Nov. 5. Sorry for any inconvenience.

The Medicare Drug Card question and answer session was well attended Oct. 25. Our Medicare counselors are here every Monday 11 a.m.-1 p.m., so if you have any questions about Medicare or the drug cards, please come in. We will also have two dates - Nov. 22 and Dec. 6 - when our Medicare counselors will be available 10 a.m.-4 p.m. to help you obtain Medicare drug cards.

We will have another blood drive at the senior center Nov. 9 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Please call 264-2167 for an appointment.

Also on Nov. 9 we will have our monthly Amateur Half Hour in the dining room. This is the opportunity to dust off your latent talents or show off your famous talents 11:30 a.m.-noon. Bring your music or instrument and add to the entertainment we already give you daily.

Our monthly White Cane Society support group meets Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. This group supports people with vision challenges. Come in for information and help if you or someone you know has vision problems.

Our senior board meeting is set at 1 p.m. Nov. 12. All are welcome to attend. Find out what your local Council on Aging is doing for you.

The Centenarian Project

This is a promotional activity of the Commission on Aging to celebrate the lives of centenarians across the state and recognize their individual century of achievement.

The project recognizes seniors who have achieved the age of 100 or older by awarding centenarian certificates prepared by the commission.

We request you and your family or friends identify our Colorado centenarians. We know statistically that centenarians are increasing in number, but we want to know them individually so they can be honored for their lifetime of achievement. Call (303) 866-2696 to receive your centenarian project card. You must send in the card 90 days before the birthday.

We still have a few Silver Foxes Den sweatshirts available for $20. Show your support, wear your sweatshirt proudly and stay warm at the same time.


Friday, Nov. 5 - Qi Gong canceled; veteran's benefits, noon

Monday, Nov. 8 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 9 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; free basic computer class, 10:30; blood drive, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Amateur Half Hour, 11:30

Wednesday, Nov. 10 - White Cane Society support group, 11 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 12 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.


Friday, Nov 5 - Salmon patty, mixed vegetables, parsleyed noodles, Waldorf Salad and sherbet.

Monday, Nov. 8 - Meatloaf and gravy, boiled potatoes, orange beets, whole wheat bread and melon cup.

Tuesday, Nov. 9 - Chicken salad, lettuce, vegetable soup, chocolate chip cookie and applesauce.

Wednesday, Nov. 10 - Beef burrito, black beans, Zucchini Olé and fruit compote.

Friday, Nov, 12 - Chicken Stew and veggies, coleslaw, cornbread or biscuit and citrus cup.


Chamber News

Fashion show is officially sold out

By Doug Trowbridge

SUN Columnist

It's official!

The annual Immaculate Heart of Mary fashion show and luncheon coming up on Saturday, Nov. 13, is completely sold out, so I hope you got your tickets early and won't be missing out on this wonderful extravaganza.

"The Nutcracker" is this year's theme, featuring music provided by John Graves and local ballerinas dancing their little hearts out for you.

Our Pagosa merchants will supply the very latest winter fashions and, as always, Dahrl Henley can be counted upon to create a menu to die for. It's a perfectly delightful way to spend an afternoon.

The door prizes donated by 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.

KM for Kids grants

Is your organization doing great things for kids?

Are you looking for a little extra money to help develop your programs?

Then mark your calendars for Nov. 8 which is the application deadline for the 2004 KM for Kids grants for Archuleta County. This year the Kinder Morgan Foundation has allocated $5,300 for the Pagosa Springs/Archuleta County area for 501 (c)(3) educational youth programs.

Eligible programs include: education programs at public or private schools (K-12), community organizations, preschool programs (home daycare programs do not qualify), arts and culture programs, public library programs or improvements, teen center programs, equipment for athletic teams, safety and swimming programs, 4-H and FFA programs, Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs - just to name a few.

This process usually takes place in the spring, but due to other obligations, the foundation was unable to distribute the applications.

The good news is that in the spring of 2005, you'll be able to apply for funding again. If you have not already received an application form, you can pick one up at the Chamber of Commerce.

Civic Club Bazaar

There's nothing quite like the announcement of this event to jolt you into the reality that the holidays are approaching, ready or not.

This bazaar, which benefits the library building fund, is always the delightful "season opener," giving you a head start on your holiday shopping as well as providing a fabulous opportunity to see everyone in Pagosa and catch up on all the latest scuttlebutt.

This year there will be 55 booths with jewelry, pottery, photographs, stained glass, toys, candles, cosmetics, needlework, tole paintings and Christmas items galore.

There will be a raffle with 30 items plus a grand prize of a Pagosa Piecemakers' quilt. The bake sale always includes the most decadent offerings and lunch will be served at the Café with brisket sold by the pound. Raffle tickets are available at the library, at the bazaar or from any Civic Club member for $1 each or 6 for $5.

Don't miss this festive event which will take place at the community center Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

If you have questions, call 731-4699.

Memorial bazaar

Another annual holiday event is fast approaching. The folks at Community United Methodist Church are about to embark upon their 43rd year of the Russ Hill Memorial Bazaar offering beautiful, handmade wreaths to ship anywhere in the U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and other destinations.

Of course you can also order what you would like for yourself or your local friends as well.

Funds earned from this annual affair allow the church to continue improvements in the youth and Christian education programs, contribute to adult education in the community and contribute to Christian camp scholarships, church youth scholarships and community assistance programs.

You can count on the Chamber being right at the front of the line to order a wreath which hangs over the front door of the Visitor Center during the holiday season.

If you would like an order form, stop by the church or give a call to 264-4538 beginning Nov. 15. Please act quickly because the orders can be filled and sold only until the volunteers run out of greens.

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 first night opening reception will be 5 to 7 p.m. Visitors to the show will be able to view the immense talent pool that resides in the Pagosa area and 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.

Business assistance

Joe Keck, director of the Colorado Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, will be in town Thursday, Nov. 18, to offer up his expansive business knowledge to a few lucky people.

As many of you know, Joe visits Pagosa once a month and offers the opportunity to sit down one-on-one and ask whatever questions you might have about anything.

Joe can help you get a new business off the ground or assist a business in the midst of growing pains. And, best of all, it's absolutely free,

If you are interested in making an appointment with Joe, call Doug at the Chamber, 264-2360. This is one of those can't-lose opportunities that come along every now and then, so take advantage by setting up your appointment today.


One new business member, one new associate member and four renewals this week. Our new business is the Wild Rose T-shirt Outlet owned by DeDe Deitz. at 476 San Juan St., across from the courthouse. You'll find T-shirts and sweatshirts for tourists, hunters, bikers and locals. Faux fur jackets, jewelry, cards and incense are also available. T-shirts start at $9.99.

Give them a call at 264-9039 for more information. Thanks and a free SunDowner to Shari Gustafson for recruiting DeDe into the Chamber family.

Our new Associate Member is Cary Brown.

Our renewals include James Huang with Hunan Chinese Restaurant, FastQ Communications, Stephen Saltsman with Flexible Flyers Rafting and Pat Richmond with the Creede/Mineral County Chamber of Commerce.

As always, we encourage you to "Shop Pagosa First" and especially our Chamber members whose membership is the ultimate support of our community.


Veteran's Corner

Veterans' breakfast, Marquez

essay contest winners Nov. 11

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

Students in the eighth-grade class at Pagosa Springs Junior High School will host their annual breakfast for veterans 7:30-10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in the community center.

All veterans are invited to attend this breakfast while the eighth-graders pay tribute to all of our local veterans.

There is no charge for the breakfast. This has become an annual event by the eighth- graders as part of their history studies. These youngsters will honor veterans, interview them and serve them breakfast.

Attend and support

All veterans are encouraged to attend the breakfast and support the good work and effort of these students.

I plan to attend and wear my newly restored Navy blues "Cracker Jack" uniform. I challenge as many veterans as possible to show up in their uniforms, too.

Marquez essay contest

Another event for Veterans Day is the annual Reuben Marquez Student Patriotic Essay contest. The family of well-known Pagosa Spring's WW II veteran Reuben Marquez sponsors this event. Cash awards are given to the winning entrants.

The winners and prize money will be announced 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the American Legion Hall next to the Pagosa Town Park.

If the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month sounds familiar, it is the time and date the WW I Armistice was signed, ending that terrible conflict in the early 20th century. Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, but was changed by act of Congress to Veterans Day, to honor all veterans of all wars.

Accommodation worry

Local veterans continue to express discontent over the recent change in "accommodation" policies of VISN18 Albuquerque VA Medical Center.

Mary Dowling, director at Albuquerque, issued a directive in July that the medical center will no longer provide overnight accommodations for veterans traveling from out of the area for the VA health care appointments.

This is a severe blow to local veterans considering there is no public or private transportation system from our area to Albuquerque VAMC.

Dowling made mention of utilizing Disabled American Veterans (DAV) health care transportation in her directive. However, there is no DAV transportation from Archuleta County and the Albuquerque facility is over 530 miles distance.

No overnight help

Essentially, veterans must travel to Albuquerque in their own vehicles, and now must provide their own overnight accommodations while in Albuquerque for their VA health care appointments.

Considering this amounts to as much as 10-12 hours driving time it is almost impossible, and certainly not safe, for veterans to drive there, keep their appointments, then return to Archuleta County all in one day to avoid paying for overnight accommodations at today's high rates.

Many times these appointments require medications or treatments that preclude return travel the same day. No allowance in the new directive is made for these situations.

County transport

Many Archuleta County veterans utilize our veterans' car for these appointments thanks to our local veterans' organizations such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars working hand-in-hand with Archuleta County government. Still, the veterans must drive themselves, or in the case of ill health or other reasons, volunteer drivers assist with driving.

Express your concern

I urge all of our veterans to write director Dowling expressing their concerns for this change in policies.

Additionally, I urge you to write your congressmen and other high ranking officials who may bring pressure to bear to reverse the policy, especially considering our remote location from the Albuquerque clinic.

I have names and addresses of who to write at this office. Write, and fight for our needs.

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 Archuleta County Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, fax is 264-8376, e-mail The office is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Library News

Civic Club Bazaar puts many talents on the town market

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Please join us at the Civic Club Holiday Bazaar this Saturday.

Come to the community center and enjoy buying from the many different booths. We have talented people here. They offer a wide variety of items just in time for your holiday shopping.

The kitchen will be open with good food for brunch and lunch. The baked goods continue to be favorites. Our thanks to all of the participants who make this such a fun annual event. And don't forget the raffle tickets. Wait until you see the items you could win. The drawing is at 4 p.m. See you Saturday.

Quick guide for seniors

More state agencies can be accessed online. Ask for a free copy of the Web sites at the desk.

KIND news

The National Association for Humane and Environment Education, an affiliate of the Humane Society sent us a number of newspapers called "KIND News." The theme of KIND (Kids In Nature's Defense) is kindness toward people, animals and the environment.

Its emphasis on humane values, such as fairness, compassion, and respect seeks to encourage good character in children. The library will distribute copies of KIND News.

The newspaper's colorful design, simple vocabulary and engaging subject matter all help get children into the reading habit. Get your children interested in not only reading, but also the proper care and concern for animals. Pick up a copy today

New books

"Native Universe Voices of Indian America," is the inaugural book of the new Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. It features the work of many of our foremost indigenous writers, scholars and leaders along with a treasure-trove of illustrations culled from the collection and archives of the museum.

This magnificent volume celebrates the native peoples of the Americas; their beliefs and ceremonies, their history and the lives they lead today. Three hundred photographs complement the powerful voices.

Published in conjunction with the opening of the National museum, the book offers a new, deeper understanding of the Indian Americas.

"The Meaning of Everything: the Story of the Oxford English Dictionary," by Simon Winchester, is one of the notable books of the year. It offers a wonderful celebration of the English language. This is the story of the ultimate dictionary and how it grew. How is a dictionary created? Here is the account of the creation of the "greatest monument ever erected to a living language." He tells of the volunteers and the 70-year odyssey to create the "grandfather of word books." You'll have a different view of a dictionary after reading "The Meaning of Everything."

Too much technology

You try to enter your password on the microwave. You now think of three espressos as "getting wasted." You haven't played solitaire with a real deck of cards in years. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in person. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is that they do not have e-mail addresses. You chat with someone in Australia but haven't spoken to your next-door neighbor this year.

Cell phones ringing

The constant barrage seems to be everywhere. The library is not a very quiet place under most circumstances but more and more patrons and staff are complaining about the phone conversations going on at inappropriate times. We ask you to curb your calls or at least step into the foyer to visit.


Arts Line

Get tickets now for Holiday

Gallery Tour planned Nov. 19

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

Get your tickets now for the Holiday Gallery Tour scheduled 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19.

Tickets are available 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.

This year's tour includes Moonlight Books and Gallery; The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park's art gallery; Quartz Ridge Fine Arts Gallery; Pagosa Photography; Taminah Gallery; Astara's Boutique; Handcrafted Interiors; and Lantern Dancer.

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 either 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.

"Skins," scheduled Nov. 4, 5, 6, 11 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 14 at 2:30 p.m. is the next offering in The Mainstage Theatre at FLC. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 seniors, $8 faculty and staff, and $5 students.

Don't miss the benefit evening for "Skins" hosted by Fort Lewis College President Brad Bartel and his wife Laura. This special event includes hors d'oeuvres and wine tasting, a pre-show address by Dr. Bartel, a presentation by artist/poet Elizabeth Ingraham, a performance of "Skins" and an afterglow in the theatre lobby with Bartel, artists, performers, designers and musicians. Tickets are $100 per person. RSVP to Bartel's office at 247-7100.

Lost? Found?

Did you or someone you know lose two Colorado Quest cards? They were found by the Reservoir Hill trailhead and can be retrieved at the PSAC gallery in Town Park. Call 264-5020 for more information.

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 noon-3 p.m. or 3-6 p.m. Contact Victoria at 264-5020. There is a calendar available for sign-up, and training is included for new volunteers.

Contemporary chance

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

Upcoming workshops

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. 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. 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.

Slade 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.

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.

She also owns and oversees the Blanco Dove Artist and Writer's Retreat Center on the Lower Blanco Road. The center is set up for overnight guests, artist and writer workshops and groups who want to pull away and create. You can view Betty's art at the center this month, by appointment.

FLC workshops

Writing Personal Essays, 6-8 p.m. Mondays through Dec. 6. Writing a personal essay is a revealing experience to the writer about her inner life; it's a journey to self-knowledge. In this course, you'll study techniques for developing essay ideas, writing the first draft and revising it until it reflects what we have tried to express in a way that's also meaningful to our readers.

Students will receive both in-class and take-home assignments. This will be a hands-on class. Come prepared to write.

Isabel Viana has worked as a freelance writer for over six years. Her personal essays and articles on the craft of writing have appeared in Big Apple Parent, Writer's Digest, Writers' Journal, The Writer as well as in other magazines and on the Web. In 2001, one of her personal essays also won a Writer's Digest competition. Cost: $125.

Fundamentals of Editing, 6-8 p.m. Thursdays, today-Dec. 6. By learning the fundamentals of professional editing presented in this course, you will not only improve your skills and technique as an editor but you will also become a more efficient and expressive writer. You will learn to analyze in detail nonfiction prose for organization, logic, style, content, grammar, and usage and to improve the material through effective editing. This interactive seminar, focusing on the elements of strong professional editing, will involve in-class exercises and weekly editing assignments.

William R. Gray was a writer, editor, photographer, and publisher for more than 30 years with the National Geographic Society. Gray has traveled the entire globe on writing assignments ranging from history to travel to science to adventure. In the later part of his career he was an editor and then served as the director of the Society's Book Division for a decade, working with such notable writers as Stephen Ambrose, Daniel Boorstin, Arthur C. Clarke and Shelby Foote. Gray was also on the faculty of the prestigious Stanford Professional Publishing Course of Stanford University. He took an early retirement to move to Durango with his family. Cost: $125.

Classic Three Act Script Structure for Feature Films, 7-9 p.m. Thursdays today-Dec. 2. Classic three act script structure for feature film writers is a course that provides a structural overview of scriptwriting for Hollywood and independent films. You can expect to walk away with an understanding of how professional screenwriters write scripts for the film industry.

Participants will need to purchase "Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting" by Syd Field which will be used as a foundation for the class. Also recommended: "The Screenwriter's Workbook" by Syd Field and "Story" by Robert McKee.

Michael Thunder has his M.F.A. from the renown Writers School, the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. He is a writer's coach and a script consultant/analyst. Cost: $99.

Marketing on the Cheap: How Small Businesses Cut Costs by Writing Their Own Promotions, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6. No matter how small your business is, you have to promote your products or services in order to sell them. In this workshop, you'll learn the basic elements of copy that sells, from direct mail to brochures to press releases so you can write your own promotional pieces. If you're working on a piece of written marketing material, such as a brochure, a sales letter or a postcard, bring it to class and let us help you tighten it.

Isabel Viana has published trade and consumer articles in national and regional magazines and on the Web. She also writes direct-mail packages, press releases, brochures and other promotional literature for businesses. Cost: $75.

Scribbles, Scrawls And Tadpole People, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 20. There is a marvelous magical quality to children's first scribbles and scrawls. The product of their efforts and, more importantly, the process by which they create them provide insights into the child's mental, emotional, and physical development. While the progressive scribbles, scrawls, and drawings of all children, regardless of culture, will follow the same stages at the same ages, yet, expressions of individual personality also become increasingly evident. An overview of preschool graphic development and its significance in child development will be illustrated and discussed. A context will also be provided in which to understand and appreciate the graphic symbolism in children's earliest scribbles and drawings. This workshop will be of special interest to parents and teachers.

Jan Milburn Mark Reddy has a master's degree in the Psychology of Handwriting and has a special interest in cross-cultural aspects of preschool graphic expression in children and universal symbolism in writing. Mark has been studying handwriting since 1978 and is a certified graphologist, graphoanalyst, and master graphologist. Cost: $20.

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

"Writers in the Sky" at the Wilkinson Library in Telluride, Friday. For more information call (970)728-9799 or check out www.telluride

"Spirit in Hand" Holiday Exhibit and Sale at the Durango Arts Center, Dec. 14-24 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.

Contact DAC at 259-2606 or e-mail


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

Nov. 5-7 - Colorado Art Expo in Denver at Tamarac Square.

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

Nov. 12 - "Skins" benefit event at Fort Lewis College.

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. 18 - Photography club meets at community center.

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

Nov. 20 - Drawing class with Randall Davis at the community center, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Dec. 9 - John Fielder presentation at Durango Photo Club.

March 19-16, 2005 - Costa Rican Adventure Tour with Cynthia Padilla.

July 24 - Home and Garden Tour.

Food for Thought

Too much junk, and no way out

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

I'm reading a big city daily, and my eye falls on a startling headline: "Ball fetches $804,129."

I read on. Following a 10-day online auction, a baseball hit out of a ballpark by a allegedly steroidal batsman has been purchased for this astounding amount of money.

Not only that, but there has been litigation to determine who had possession of the sphere following a scramble amongst the rowdies in the stands after the home run was hit.

This is a clear sign the end of the world is near.

Two things strike me as I read.

First, the insane amount of money spent on a baseball. I don't care if the ball represents a milestone in the sport or in the player's career, it is an obscene amount of cash to be squandered on a baseball. In my mind's eye I see an alien archaeologist excavating the ruins of what was once a massive structure and fishing a deteriorated sphere made of hide sewn around string from the dust with his 12-digit paw.

"It was food," he tells his group of eager alien graduate students. "They obviously ate these spheres while they celebrated their rituals. We believe they dressed in tight, shiny clothing and suffered from profound dental problems."

That's if the ball doesn't get moldy and disintegrate in a couple decades from now.

After the end of the world.

I am temporarily comforted by the fact the purchaser of the ball chose to spend his money on an essentially worthless artifact. Granted, he could have donated the cash to a charitable cause, but unlike like so many who have more money than they deserve, he at least did not harm others in a self-funded, self-interested pursuit.

Second, the transaction causes me to reflect on the notion of owning useless crud.

I own useless crud and so do you, unless you're a Trappist monk or you belong to a fringe Buddhist cult.

I've got a house full of useless crud. It is fair to say my abode amounts to a slash pile of contemporary consumer culture.

I collect so much junk I rent a storage space in order to keep all my useless crud. I haven't opened the storage space in four years; I'm no longer sure what I'm keeping there. I can't remember where I put the key to the lock on the door. It's probably lost in one of the drawers in my kitchen, hidden in a tangled mass of useless crud. I'd look for it, but I'm afraid to open the drawers.

Very little of my useless crud is worth keeping.

Bottom line: I'm a very sick man. A victim of conspicuous consumption and clever advertising jingles.

I look around the living room and dining room of my house. I've had a lot of help in this venture.

It's obvious my wife is also a sick person.

We are pack rats.

A layer of crud obscures the top of the dining room table. The crud covers the top of the table like an alluvial plain, sedimented in strata in a long-dry river delta. There is layer after layer of paper on the tabletop: newspapers, mail, bills, notes. I dig to the bottom layer of paper and fish out a scrap. It is a note: "Don't forget Ivy's appointment with dentist, 4:30 p.m. Friday."

Ivy left home seven years ago.

The exterior of the refrigerator is a disgrace. Every inch of surface on the appliance is plastered with notes and faded photos, wads of them held to the door and side panel with grotesque magnets. There are photos there of people I do not know. They are smiling, they wave, they hold babies, they are dressed for a wedding.

Who are they?

The interior of the refrigerator?

Don't ask.

I push some debris aside and sit on the couch. I would put my feet on the ottoman if it weren't covered by a thick mat of magazines, none of which I have read. I pick up a few of the magazines and examine them: "Eat Sea Weed or Die Journal," "The Fibber McGee Quarterly," "Oprah's Investments for Oldies." Where do they come from? Who orders them?

I don't dare check my garage. I have boxes of crud stacked in the garage, put there when we moved to our home 12 years ago and not opened since. There are boxes of examination textbooks I received from publishers when I was teaching 19 years ago. I haven't read them.

I avoid opening closets, fearing what I might find there. After all, there are shoes in the furnace room that haven't been worn in a decade. What might lurk in a dark closet? A London Fog overcoat purchased in 1982? A Nehru jacket?

I have a dream: I am 80 years old. Kathy and I are still living in the same house. We smell stale and we never open the shades on the windows. We watch television 12 hours a day and eat soup from the can. Kathy wears a muumuu (she has seven or eight of the garments, each with a floral pattern so colorful it hurts the eyes). She slogs around the dimly lit house in a pair of threadbare bunny slippers. I wear one of two sweatshirt/sweatpant combos - one salmon in color, the other teal. There are stains on the garments that will never come out. I wear sneakers that fasten with Velcro. We keep at least 70 bottles of medications and supplements on our kitchen counter. We can no longer see the labels, so we just wolf down whatever is handy.

The contents of our kitchen cabinets and refrigerator are worthy of a science experiment. There are items in our cabinets that have been there for 20 years - crackers as dry as desert sand, sugar harder than cement, cereals that disintegrate at the touch. We have lived as long as we have because we eat foods stored in our refrigerator that are months if not years past their sale and use dates. We chow down on canned goods whose labels have turned to a fine powder, the sides of the tin containers swollen by gases generated by the decomposing elements within. Every meal is an adventure. Every meal is an inoculation of sorts.

Despite our failing senses, getting around the house is easy: We follow the paths.

That's right, we have stacked useless crud - especially old newspapers and magazines - on nearly every square inch of floor in the house, We have left narrow aisles to allow us to get from living room couch to kitchen (to fetch canned soup and medicines), from kitchen to bathroom, and from bathroom to the bedroom where we have stacked one dresser on top of another in order to provide storage space for our support garments.

Somewhere beneath a four-foot high pile of dirty laundry is a cat that died a few years before. We can smell it; we just can't find it.

My dream is, to say the least, alarming.

I mention my concern to Kathy as I gaze at her over the top of a green glass bottle replica of the Eiffel Tower filled with what was once extra-virgin olive oil and crammed with the pathetic remnants of stalks of herbs, long ago turned dirty brown.

Kathy shifts in her seat and dislodges a tall stack of AARP magazines and credit card offers.

"We need to inventory what we have," she says, "then assign each item a numerical value based on its importance in our lives. We will assign items a number between one and five, with five being absolutely necessary and one being of no use at all. We throw out everything three and under."

Sounds good.

"What about the girls' clothes and their toys, from when they were kids? Those have to be fives, don't you think?"

"You gotta be kiddin', chunky. Those belonged to our precious babies. We can't throw them out."

"Well, what about the 20 pair of running shoes in the hall closet? They have to go, don't they? They gotta be a one. How many 15-year-old shoes do you need?"

"I trained for the Boulder Bolder in some of those shoes. On sentimental value alone, they're fives. But now that you mention it, why do we keep all those T- shirts you got at racquetball tournaments back when you were still thin enough to play the game? Why are we saving those? Not to mention all those cheesy plastic trophies you won. I mean, if there's a fire in the garage - and there might be a fire in the garage since spontaneous combustion is a very real possibility - they'll just melt."

"What, my trophies I"

"And your ostrich egg collection? What is that all about?"

"Oh yeah. Well, just how long to you intend to keep the pack of alder-smoked salmon your brother sent us in 1994?"

"I'll get rid of it when you throw away your copy of Stan Mikita's 'I Play to Win,' and that pair of stinky hockey pants you wore when you were 18."

It's clear the dialogue will not produce results.

So, there we sit, dour, in the middle of an expanding field of useless crud.

"We're not going to solve this problem. We need to accept our disgusting situation and cheer up," I say.

"Yes we do," says my bride. "And I know how to do it: Broadway show tunes." She leaps from her perch and dashes to the back room, shoving a pile of newly washed sheets from her piano. She begins to play and sing, at top volume (which, if you know my wife, you realize is TOP VOLUME). "Give my regards to Broadway, remember me to Herald Square "

I decide to head for the kitchen. I clear a space on the countertop, moving one of two coffee makers, a blender and the shell of a long-dead juicer to the side.

I will improve our lot by whipping up a great elixir: (insert name of favorite meat here) in a mixed chile sauce. Something zippy, something to clear the head.

I decide to use chicken breast. I search for a heavy pan and a cutting board. I find them in a bottom cabinet, behind a mess of old wine bottles, beneath a tangle of electric cords and a pile of empty plastic bags.

I slice a white onion and 10 cloves of garlic. I soften the onion in olive oil over medium-high heat then pop in the garlic, some dried oregano and ground cumin, some salt and pepper After a minute or two (taking care not to burn the garlic) I add several cups of chicken stock and a can of diced tomatoes and their juice. I bring the liquid to a slow boil, add a container of Bueno frozen green chile (hot) and a couple tablespoons Espanola ground red. What the heck, I think, I'll toss in a can of Great Northern beans, rinsed. The pan is covered and into a 350 oven for three hours it goes.

There is only one decision with this stuff: How soupy do I want it? After three hours, the pot is removed from the oven and the chicken shredded into the thickened liquid. The seasoning is beefed up a bit and the pot put on the burner over medium high heat until the liquid is reduced to the desired state - thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

The mix is great for burritos. It's wonderful as breakfast, on top of a couple of corn tortillas, garnished with some chopped cilantro and a fried egg.

It's mighty good eaten from a bowl.

That is, if you can find a bowl.


Pagosa Lakes News

Swim team is back in pool training for winter meets

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Lakes' swim team has resumed fall training in preparation for winter competition.

The swimmers are in the pool 4:15-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Open swim and lap swim will continue to be available while the swim team is in the water, since just half of the pool is being turned over for training.

Start going through your closets for any unused coats, sweaters, hats, mittens and other winter clothing to donate to Rotary Club's winter coat drive. The items will be distributed 1-5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, at the county Extension building. Your items can be dropped off at the recreation center or delivered to any Rotarian.

It's way past time to get your chimney cleaned and inspected for defects or damage. If you haven't done so, there isn't time to procrastinate. Winter is here - for me the sure signal is the opening of the ski area. No more Indian summers, those sweet jewels of mellow warmth that pop up once in a while during the fall.

Have you been saving your old issues of The SUN for fire building? Black and white newspaper is ideal as color ink releases chemicals when burned. Now that The SUN has gone fancy, I discard the color front page. Roll or ball up newspaper to start a fire. Never use loose paper trash as the burning pieces can float out of the chimney and start a fire on the roof.

Years ago, David Mitchell wrote about collecting firewood in the Dear Folks column. Yes, nearly every home used wood stoves for heating. David estimated that each piece of firewood was handled at least half a dozen times before it made its way to the wood stove.

It's hard work to live a pioneer lifestyle. With more natural gas lines being laid in the community, the wood stove is gradually becoming an oddity. I like my wood stove and I enjoy the firewood gathering process. My husband continues to try to persuade me to convert over to natural gas heating. But that would rob me of my fall ritual of going out into the woods and cleaning out deadfall.

Winter around my home has a rather Carter-era air. The temperature is kept at a refreshing low 60s in the living area while the bedrooms hover around 58 degrees.

When visitors are expected, more logs go into the stove and I pull on a summer weight outfit.

Everyone knows that Halloween can be downright scary.

Imagine where Walt Lukasik, general manager of PLPOA found his heart after walking into the office on Friday morning.

There were 13 Walt Lukasik "clones" and every single one was eerily familiar.

So, if a frightened heart descends to the pit of the stomach, then Walt had to retrieve his.

Dirty trick!



A.R. Dillard

A.R. Dillard, 89, died Sunday, Oct. 24, 2004, at his home in Hereford, Texas. Memorial Services were held Wednesday, Oct. 27, at The Central Church of Christ, in Hereford.

Mr. Dillard was born Oct. 30, 1914, and served his country in World War II. He had been a miner, farmer and cattle feeder and lived in Hereford for the past 52 years. He has been a business and property owner in Pagosa Springs since 1989 and was an avid supporter of the community and chamber.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Melba; a daughter, Glenda Sue Tiner of Baytown, Texas; a son, Gary and wife Carol of Pagosa Springs; a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter.

The family suggests memorials be made to the Sisson Library building fund at P.O. Box 849, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


Judge Al H. Haas

Funeral Mass was said at 10 a.m. today in Durango's St. Colomba Catholic Church for Senior District Judge Al H. Haas who died Saturday in his La Plata County home. He was 80.

The veteran jurist began as an assistant state's attorney in La Plata County in 1957 then was elected to two consecutive terms as the lead prosecutor for the county before resigning in 1966 to go into private practice.

He continued his private law office until April 1981 when he was appointed to the 6th Judicial District bench by Gov. Richard Lamm, a position he held until his retirement in May 1996.

To his colleagues, Judge Haas was a guiding light who took young attorneys under his wing and helped them become better. Many called him "a judge's judge" when learning of his passing.

The veteran jurist had served in the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division in World War II, seeing action in Sicily and North Africa. A 1949 graduate of the University of Denver, he took his law degree there in 1951.

Survivors are three daughters, Sue Reinwald of Durango, Catherine Lane of Aurora and Carol Ronco of Englewood; two sons, Michael of Durango and Charles of Aurora; a brother, Francis, in Garden City, Kan.; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lou, and two grandchildren, Megan and Jacob Haas.

Military graveside services following the funeral were in Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.


Phil Lujan

Funeral services for Phil Lujan, 73, who died Oct. 31, 2004, are tentatively scheduled for Friday evening, Nov. 5, and Saturday morning, Nov. 6, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

Times may be confirmed by calling Pagosa Springs Funeral Options at 264-2386.

A full obituary will follow next week.


Business News


Unfortunate Sausage

Charlie and Cathie Berry own and operate the Unfortunate Sausage. They recently relocated from Vallecito Lake to Pagosa Springs. They brought with them their favorite recipes from past restaurant ventures, notably the Shoreline Inn at Vallecito Lake and Haggard's Black Dog Tavern.

Charlie and Cathie love their new property and home here and plan on enjoying the Pagosa Springs area and community for a long time. They are anxious to meet local residents and hope you will stop by the Unfortunate Sausage and introduce yourself.

The Unfortunate Sausage is located at 68 Bastille Dr. Visit them from 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. and enjoy a homestyle breakfast or lunch, or call 731-0415 for more information.


Preview Profile


Sue Ratcliff

Eighth-grade math teacher, Pagosa Springs Junior High School


Where were you born?



Where did you go to school?

"I went to Hinkley High School and Metropolitan State College in Denver."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"We arrived here part time in May 2003, and full time in May 2004."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I taught seventh-grade math at Thunder Ridge Middle School in the Cherry Creek School District."


What are your job responsibilities?

"To teach eighth-grade math and high school algebra."


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

"The most enjoyable is the support we get in a small school environment and the least enjoyable is not having other teachers who teach the same grade and subject."


What is your family background?

"I have a husband to whom I've been married for 31 years. I have a son who is 24 and who works for Echo Star and a son who is 21 and is prelaw at CU. Both live in Denver."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like how beautiful and gorgeous it is wherever you look. I like how there are no traffic jams, and everyone seems to be nice to each other."


What are your other interests?

"Cross country skiing, hiking, biking and reading."


Cards of Thanks

Friends, indeed

Once again it is time to thank my wonderful community and friends. Thank you to the staff at the Mary Fisher Medical Center and the EMTs who cared for Don and transported him to the hospital last Tuesday after his dolly/carpet accident. Thanks to everyone who rallied to the cause while I frantically tried to make arrangements for my three daughters while we headed to Durango for emergency services and the next day for oral surgery.

Thank you Jody Monterroso for being an angel in my time of need. Thank you old and new friends (and spouses as applicable): August Wienpahl, Carol Turner, Ilene Haykus, Karen Kauffman, and Lorrie Andrew for your wonderful support and help with the girls. Thanks to everyone for their cards and best wishes and to those at PAWSD for the great care package that brought tears to my eyes.

Whether you agree with her political stance or not, Hillary Clinton really does state it best "it takes a village." We are so very thankful and appreciative of our village!

Eternally grateful,

Don, Denise, Desiree, Demitrea, and Delila (Rue)-Pastin


A big loss

Bill and Helen Miller will soon be leaving their many friends and a community they have given much to. We cannot say enough to Bill and Helen to thank them for their labors of love, their kindness and encouragement, and the many fine contributions they've made to the Pagosa community.

Both were active in Community United Methodist Church, where Helen was a member. Helen did volunteer work at the Thrift Store and was chairman of the New members group for many years. Bill and Helen also worked at the annual Russ Hill Memorial Bazaar. Both were involved at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, where Bill was a member. Bill was also a member of Rotary Club and belonged to the Pagosa senior group.

As a cancer survivor, Helen was actively involved with Relay for Life and drove cancer patients to and from Durango for treatment.

The Millers will truly be missed. We will have an empty place in our hearts when they are gone, but will have many precious memories of this wonderful couple.

May the blessing of our Lord go before them, and His love surround them always.

Gary and Dee Vincent



Mr. and Mrs. Dalas Weisz, of Pagosa Springs, announce the engagement of their son, Nathan Weisz, to Julianne Lawler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Terence Lawler of Berkeley Heights, N.J. The groom is a graduate of University of Minnesota Pharmacy School. The bride will be a graduate of Reed College in Portland, Ore., with a degree in biology. The couple will be married Dec. 11 in Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur Mexico and will be living in New Paltz, N.Y., after spending two months traveling in Mexico.


Sports Page

Pirates second in state in 3A girls' cross country

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

After a week of rain and snow at home, the Pagosa Pirate girls' cross country team prepared themselves to face anything at state Saturday.

In the end, they faced "a gorgeous day to run" Coach Scott Anderson said and capitalized on that with a second-place 3A team finish. The team posted 107 points, just six points more than state champion Classical Academy, one of two teams expected to be the Pirates' main competition.

"We expected a really close race and it was," Anderson said. Basalt, the other 3A team competing for the top prize, finished nine points behind Pagosa. "With a six-point difference it was just too close to call. The team ran a good race, but Classical Academy was just a smidge better. We're pretty excited to get second."

As an individual, junior Emilie Schur paced the Pirates, finishing in fifth with a time of 19 minutes, 36.4 seconds.

"Some might have expected her to contend for the win," Anderson said, "but she's dealt with a few injuries this year and we're very pleased with how she persevered through them. To achieve fifth place at state is very good."

Sophomore Laurel Reinhardt, Pagosa's second runner across the finish, plowed past several other racers on the last, long straightaway to finish 29th with a time of 20:30.9.

"She's just an incredible athlete," Anderson said. Reinhardt was followed by sophomore Jen Shearston who captured 34th in 20:42.2, a personal record.

"Despite dealing with all of the pressure of her first state appearance, Jen ran her best race of the year and exceeded our expectations," Anderson said.

Sophomore Jessica Lynch was Pagosa's fourth runner across the finish, claiming 39th in 20:46.7 despite battling a cold.

"Considering her injuries at the beginning of the year which necessitated she miss half the season, she is a great runner for us and progressed well at the end of the year," Anderson said.

Heather Dahm, another Pirate who overcame some nagging injuries, rounded out the Pirates' efforts, finishing in 21:32.6 to capture 77th place.

A total of 134 runners competed in the 3A girls' race. Rachel Gioscia, of Buena Vista, won the individual championship, finishing well ahead of the rest of the pack in 18:27.5.

Next year should see Pagosa still in contention. Since Dahm and Schur started as freshmen, they have gone to state each year. First they were sixth, then fourth, now second. Only one more rung is left to climb.

Anderson said the battle cry for 2005 is "6, 4, 2 "


Pirates fight for personal best times at state meet

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

One hundred and sixty-two cross country runners took to the line for the start of the 2004 3A boys varsity state race Saturday in Colorado Springs.

Spectators took advantage of the beautiful morning, lining the fences near the start and standing two or three deep where the field narrowed.

The gun went off, cow bells rang and the race for a championship was on. It was eventually captured by Tim Hilt of The Classical Academy, a school which ended the day with a pair of championship trophies for team competition besides Hilt's individual honors.

Pagosa runners fought for every place, reaching their own goals with more than one of the boys nearing personal best times.

Senior Otis Rand led the Pirates to the finish, crossing the line in 17 minutes, 56 seconds in 40th place.

"I really applaud him for his efforts," coach Scott Anderson said. "To finish 40th at this level coming in as a senior as basically a distance sprinter says a lot for him." The time was a personal record.

Junior Orion Sandoval was next in black and gold, finishing just shy of his personal best in 18:11.6, in 58th place. His finish was a improvement of about 50 places over a year before.

"It just goes to shows how, with dedication and work, he was able to help lead his team to state this season," Anderson said.

Sophomore Riley Lynch, who finished in 133rd place with a time of 19:15, was a little disappointed at first because of his place, Anderson said. About 40 minutes after the race, when he still could hardly walk, he finally realized he'd left it all on the course, as much as anyone could ask for.

"Again, this is someone else who decided to dedicate himself to running and we have watched his progression all year," Anderson said.

Freshman Isaiah Warren claimed 134th place, crossing the finish in 19:18.1 right behind Lynch. "Watching the progress he's made all year as a freshman has been really fun as a coach to watch. It's one of the reasons we enjoy being out there."

Junior Paul Hostetter wrapped up the Pirates' efforts, claiming 142nd place in 19:34.3, a fine effort considering various injuries he faced throughout the year Anderson said.

Hilt won the race in 16:11.1. He was followed by Daniel Villagomez, of Center, and Todd Tolentino, of Brush. In team competition, Classical Academy was first. Colorado Springs Christian captured second and Rocky Ford claimed third.


Pirates dispatch Bayfield in District 1 volleyball

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pagosa's first opponent at the District 1 tournament was Bayfield and the teams clashed Oct. 29, with the Pirates taking the match 3-0 at the Southern Ute Events Center in Ignacio.

The Wolverines' presence at the tourney was somewhat a surprise, considering the team's lackluster regular season record. Bayfield got to the final four with a playoff win Oct. 26 at Monte Vista. The match with Pagosa figured to be a cakewalk for the Pirates who took the Intermountain League title with an 8-0 record, two of the wins over Bayfield.

The Pirates got out of the chute fast, wining the first game of the match 25-15 and giving their rivals only four earned points.

Pirate seniors led the way through the first half of the game. Middle hitter Caitlyn Jewell nailed a kill for the third point of the game, then slid to the outside to put the sixth point off a block. Lori Walkup began her tournament smashing a Wolverine overpass to the floor then scored the 11th point for the Pirates with a kill from the right side. Courtney Steen put a tip over the block and Bri Scot scored twice - from the middle and from the left outside. Pagosa had an 11-8 lead, with the game nowhere near as close as the numbers indicate.

Liza Kelley got her first point of the tournament with a kill from outside as did Kari Faber, attacking the Wolverines from the strong-side position. Jewell scored again as part of a five-point Pirate run, three of the points given up on Bayfield receive and hitting errors. Faber put a ball down from outside and Pagosa was up 18-11; Walkup and Jewell stuffed a Bayfield hitter to add another point to the score.

Steen nailed two points back to back, the first a tip, the second a kill. Caitlin Forrest hit consecutive unreturnable serves to extend the lead to 23-13.

Bayfield managed to get a weak roll shot to drop for a point but Scott answered with a kill from outside. A Pirate hitting error surrendered a point but Scott stifled any Bayfield hopes by scoring from the middle and ending the game.

Before the Wolverines knew it, they were behind 7-3 in the second game. Pagosa went in front with four points from Walkup. The senior went outside left for a kill, went outside right the next exchange and scored, came back to the middle to put a ball down and slid to the right to score cross-court. Scott added a point during the run.

All the Wolverines could do was put single points on the board, sandwiched between Pirate runs. Kelley killed for a score and Scott followed. Forrest stuffed a Wolverine overpass and Kelley put a ball down from the middle. Bayfield gave up points with numerous hitting miscues and Walkup killed for a point. Pagosa was ahead 16-7.

The Pirate blocks were consistently at the point of attack, with hands on the ball nearly every exchange. The Pagosa back row was moving better than it had all season and Bayfield was unable to score earned points; if a point went up on the scoreboard for the Wolverines, it was a courtesy from their opponents. Walkup scored, then joined Jewell to block for a point. Jewell came back on her own to stuff a Wolverine hitter and Pagosa scored again following a great up by Forrest near the back line. Steen scored from outside, Bayfield gave away three points with hitting errors and Walkup and Kelley soared to block a Bayfield hit and put it to the floor. Pagosa had the 25-12 win.

Bayfield had a chance to win the third game of the match, thanks to a letdown on the Pirates' side of the net. Pagosa surged ahead 5-2 with a kill and tip by Jewell, a kill by Walkup and a block by Steen and Jewell, then pushed farther into the lead on four straight Bayfield hitting errors. The teams exchanged points on errors then Pagosa came apart.

A Bayfield hit went unblocked and untouched in the back row and three Pirate miscues let the Wolverines back into the game. Steen scored with a back-row attack but a Pirate hit went into the net and a Pirate ran into the net. The game was tied 12-12. The teams tied at 13-13 following a solo block by Jewell. During a series of great rallies the Pirates went in front 16-13 but just as quickly as the lead materialized, it disappeared. The teams were knotted 16-16 - the last tie of the game and match.

Bayfield blinked.

A Wolverine hitting error gave up a point, Scott tipped for a score and two Bayfield attacks went out. Pagosa was ahead 20-16.

A Pirate net violation gave up a point but Scott scored with a kill to the back line. Another Pagosa hitting error gave up a point, but that would be it for Bayfield.

Kelley crushed a ball from the middle then put a power dink down for a score. A Wolverine hit a ball out and Jewell finished the game and match, 25-18, stuffing a Bayfield attempt at a tip.

Coach Penné Hamilton acknowledged the role her team's defense played in the win. "The defense was a lot better tonight,"" she said. "One of the things we wanted to focus on was our back-court movement and it was improved - people were moving their feet and getting to the ball. Our blocking looked better, too, especially as far as closing the block. It was the right way to start the tournament."


Kills/attacks: Walkup 8-18, Steen 7-16, Kelley 6-12

Ace serves: Steen 1

Solo blocks: Walkup 5, Jewell 3

Assists: Walkup 13, Kelley 10

Digs: Faber 9, Steen 8


Pirates take district title, will host regional tourney

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

With two District 1 tournament wins under their belts, Pirate volleyball players met the Centauri Falcons for the district championship Saturday at the Southern Ute Events Center at Ignacio.

When the smoke cleared, the title belonged to Pagosa with a 3-0 win (26-24, 25-22, 25-17).

The Falcons put up a fight, pushing the Pirates to the limit in the first game of the match.

Centauri took a 3-1 lead and led through most of the match, then came as close as you can get to victory without snatching it.

The Pirates played catch-up during all but the final moments of the game, suffering from a lack of blocking and a slow back row. In a reversal from what is normally the case, Pagosa had to rely on errors committed by the opponent to put points on the scoreboard.

Centauri led 19-13 when the Pirates managed to click on offense. Lori Walkup scored with a roll shot that dropped in front of Falcon defenders then killed from the middle. Courtney Steen put a ball down for a point from outside, the Falcons committed a hitting error, Walkup hit an ace and Liza Kelley blocked a Falcon attack for a point. Pagosa trailed 20-19. Centauri got a point with a kill through the Pirate block but Steen responded with a kill off the block.

Centauri got a point on a Pirate serve mistake and scored with a stuff block. The Falcons were in front 23-20.

Bri Scott came up big for Pagosa, hitting from the middle then scoring with an ace serve. The Pirates trailed by one point, but a serve error put Centauri on the brink of a win 24-22. Any successful attack by the Falcons or any mistake by Pagosa would give the first game to Centauri.

There were no mistakes on Pagosa's side of the net. Middle hitter Caitlyn Jewell, and Walkup, took control of the game.

Jewell began by sliding to the outside and hitting for a point. The senior then stuffed a Falcon attack for a point. The game was tied, 24-24, with a team needing to win by two.

Walkup got the two points. She went to the right outside and scored, then returned to the right outside to put a strong hit off the hands of a Falcon defender and out of bounds for the win.

In the second game, Pagosa took the early lead, 5-2, helped by a kill from Jewell, a tip of an errant Falcon pass by Steen, a block by Walkup and an ace by Caitlin Forrest. The lead faded, however, and the Falcons went ahead 7-6, then 13-8.

The Pirates awoke from their slumbers and struggled back into contention. Jewell scored with a kill, a tip and a block; Walkup got a point with a block; Scott hit inside the Falcon blockers for a point then combined with Walkup to stuff a Falcon attack. Pagosa had a 16-15 lead.

When the lack of a Pirate block allowed the Falcons to put a kill down, Scott responded with a hit that went off a Centauri blocker's hands. Steen killed down the line and a Falcon hitting error gave away a score. The Falcons would trail the rest of the way.

Sophomore setter Kim Canty, inserted mid-game by coach Penné Hamilton, blocked for a point. Kari Faber did the same and a Falcon hitting error put Pagosa in front 22-19.

Faber then went to the middle for a kill; Walkup scored inside the block and Steen ended the game with a hit that went down off a Falcon block.

The third and final game of the match saw the teams tie at 1-1. From there, the Pirates led to the finish.

Walkup and Jewell scored. Pirates 4-1.

Jewell crushed a Falcon overpass, Walkup stuffed a Falcon attack, Steen killed from outside. Pirates 10-4

Kelley dinked a ball to an empty spot on the floor off the block, Jewell slid outside to kill down the line, Walkup blocked for a point. Pagosa 14-9.

With Pagosa ahead 17-12, Steen killed off the Centauri block; Scott went to the left side for a score. Kelley followed suit, Scott and Forrest blocked a Falcon attack and Steen hit an ace. Pirates, 22-15.

Centauri got a point on a Pagosa hitting error but, following a long rally, a Falcon hit went out. A second hit went out of bounds and Pagosa was poised for the win 24-16.

Centauri scored one more point on a Pirate hitting error before Kelley ended the match and the tournament with a kill that deflected off a Falcon defender's hand at the back line.

"We were still struggling," said Hamilton of the team, "but we came out on top. We finished as the district champ and we got the No. 1 seed heading for regionals."

There were only three solid practices left before regional play and Hamilton said the agenda was certain. "We need to pick up on our blocking and we will work on defense. We'll work hard on these things this week."

The Pirates will need to be in top form heading to regional play as one of only 16 Class 3A teams to advance to tournament action this weekend. The Pirates host one of four regional tournaments Saturday.


Kills/attacks: Steen 9-20, Walkup 9-17, Jewell 6-14

Ace serves: Forrest 2,

Kelley 2

Solo blocks: Walkup 5, Jewell 4

Assists: Kelley 16, Walkup 12

Digs: Steen 9, Faber 8, Walkup 7


Pirates skin Bobcats 3-1 continue tourney streak

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Saturday Oct. 30 brought a second round of play in the District 1 volleyball tournament at Ignacio and featured a different Pirate team than the one that dispatched Bayfield the night before in Pagosa's first tourney match.

The difference was obvious as the Pirates struggled during a 3-1 win over Ignacio. The Bobcats were desperate, needing a win to stay in contention for a trip to the regional championships. Ignacio had lost a match Friday to Centauri and needed a victory over the heavily-favored Pirates.

The Bobcats didn't get close in the first game, as Pagosa rolled to a 25-14 win, with a strong performance on defense at the net from senior Caitlyn Jewell and major offensive production from Jewell, Lori Walkup, Courtney Steen and Bri Scott. The Pirates shot out to a 10-3 lead with production from each of these players.

Ignacio got points when the Pirates gave them away. Pagosa, in the meantime, got a kill from Steen and a point from Jewell when the big middle hitter slid outside on the attack; a point on a tandem block by Jewell and Caitlin Forrest and a point when Walkup demolished an errant Bobcat pass. The teams then traded a series of points and Pagosa was in front 20-14. Ignacio gave away two points with serve receive mistakes, Steen hit an ace, Forrest stuffed a Bobcat overpass and Liza Kelley put a ball down from the right side to end the game.

Then the picture dimmed as the Pirates shifted down a couple gears, wiggling into a 25-18 win, giving away 13 of the 18 Bobcat points with lapses on the Pagosa side of the net.

The impressive back-row movement that highlighted Pagosa's win over Bayfield the night before ceased. Pirate blockers were late to the point of attack; the entire team seemed sluggish and slow.

A 6-3 Bobcat lead was erased by a seven-point Pirate run during which Scott hit two kills, Steen nailed one kill and the two seniors combined to score with a tandem block.

After the Bobcats put a ball down inside the Pirate block, they gave the Pirates a gift point and Kelley went to the right outside to score. The junior setter/hitter killed again, this time from the middle and Scott hit an ace that struck the tape and rolled to the Bobcat side of the net. Pagosa gave up a point with no block and no back row then took a 15-9 lead with a two-hit call on the Bobcat setter.

The Pirates pulled out to a 16-10 advantage as Kari Faber stuffed a Bobcat attack. Ignacio scored twice and the Pirates took what seemed to be a substantial lead, getting five consecutive points, three on Bobcat errors, two on blocks by Walkup and Scott.

With the Pirates up 23-14, the host team put four points on the board, two of them earned. Scott stole the momentum with a kill down the line to the corner and a Pirate block ended the game.

The sluggishness and lack of intensity on Pagosa's side of the net worsened in the third game of the match and no aspect of the Pirate game functioned well. The pattern gave the Bobcats their shining moment at the tournament, a 25-22 win over Pagosa Springs.

Pagosa led 16-13, but a porous defense with no blocking and no back row response dogged the Pirate efforts from the beginning. The meltdown occurred as Ignacio ran off seven straight points, only two of them earned. Pirate hitters misfired and a faulty serve receive allowed a point. Ignacio had a 20-16 lead. The teams traded points before Kelley and Faber blocked for a score and Forrest put a kill down off the block. A Pagosa hitting error, however, stopped the run dead in its tracks.

Each team seemed determined to give the game away. The Bobcats committed a serve error but Pirate blockers failed to get hands on a Bobcat hit. Ignacio muffed another serve but a Pirate free ball hit the roof and cost a point. Walkup made one last effort with a kill of a wayward Bobcat pass but a Pirate setting error gave the game to Ignacio. For Pagosa, it was a case of How to Beat Yourselves in Five Easy Lessons. Don't block. Don't move. Don't pass. Don't set. Don't hit.

Subpar setting continued to plague Pagosa in the fourth game of the match, but the Pirates pulled off a 25-17 win to dash the Bobcats' hopes.

Pagosa built a 12-4 lead as Walkup killed down the line, Steen managed to put a roll shot to the floor, Kelley made a successful foray to the right side, Scott stuffed a Bobcat tip, Steen killed and Scott returned an errant Ignacio pass. From that point on it was a story of mistakes on both sides of the net.

Ignacio made more of them.

With her team ahead 15-11, Steen scored with a tip over the block. Jewell hit cross-court from the left side and Walkup scored down the line on the right side. The Pirate sets continued to fluster hitters, but the Bobcats could not capitalize, giving away four points with hitting errors of their own. Pagosa was up 23-16. Ignacio got one more point, courtesy a Pirate passing error, but the Bobcats hit two balls out to give Pagosa the final two points of the game.

"We won on a wing and a prayer," said coach Penné Hamilton. "We started OK in the first game, then everything went down hill. Before the match started, I told the girls we had to pick everything up a notch, not drop a notch, It didn't happen. We expected big trouble out of Ignacio. They had just beaten Bayfield and they were playing to survive, to have a chance to extend their season. It required a big effort from us, but the energy just wasn't there. But, all that said, we won. When it was all over, we won and that's what counts in the tournament standings."


Kills/attacks: Scott 9-29. Steen 9-26, Walkup 9-29

Ace serves: Scott 2, Steen 2

Solo blocks: Jewell 4, Kelley, Scott and Walkup 3 each

Assists: Kelley 15, Walkup 11

Digs: Steen 11, Faber 8, Walkup 8


Regional volleyball lineup loaded, two teams will advance

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Call it a miracle, if you will.

Better yet, call it the result of a long, hard-fought season with a raft of difficult opponents on the schedule.

Whatever the explanation, the fact is the Pirates were picked to host the Region D Class 3A volleyball tournament Saturday at the Pagosa Springs High School gymnasium.

The Pirates earned the role as host team after finishing the season undefeated in Intermountain League and district tournament play, and ending the overall season with a 17-5 record.

As one of five district champions in 3A, the Pirates figured to have a rough time getting a seeding in the top four of the 16 teams headed for regionals - the four tournaments that produce eight teams that advance to the state tournament at Denver.

Not so to the Colorado High School Activities Association volleyball committee that met Sunday in Denver to determine regional sites. That committee gave the Pirates the No. 4 seed and determined a tournament would be played in Pagosa.

The committee also seeded the remaining 12 teams, setting up the competition at Saturday's event.

Coming to Pagosa Country Saturday will be No. 5 Roaring Fork, No. 12 Weld Central and No. 13 Kent Denver.

Roaring Fork brings the best record to the event. The Rams were 11-0 in the Western Slope Conference and 18-3 overall, with losses to 5A Grand Junction Central, 5A Grand Junction and 2A Meeker.

The Rams defeated Gunnison, Cedaredge and Hotchkiss, each 3-0, at the conference district tournament.

Roaring Fork's attack is led by hitters Sarah Armstrong, Erica Pellend and Ashley Jammaron, and setter Carly Velasquez. Armstrong and Jammaron anchor the back row.

Weld Central is likely the best No. 12 seed imaginable, though the Rebels' 6-4 record in the Patriot League Central might not indicate it.

Not until one realizes the league is one of the toughest in Colorado 3A.

The Rebels went 15-8 overall with wins over some big programs, among them Brighton, Arapahoe and Kennedy. The Rebels lost to top-ranked 5A Grandview, to highly-ranked 5A Lewis-Palmer and to perennial 4A power Windsor. This season Weld Central beat Eaton three times, split with Platte Valley and dropped two contests to Valley. The team lost twice to Platte Valley at districts and defeated Roosevelt and Yuma.

The Rebels' potent attack is built around hitters Gina Clemens, Becky Klausner and Jaymee Martin, with Martin running the offense at setter. The back row features Martin, Klausner and Mahalia Marcotte.

Kent Denver finished the Metro League season 7-5 and fashioned a 15-8 overall record. The Sun Devils lost conference games to No. 3 seed Faith Christian, Middle Park, Holy Family and Denver Christian. The team suffered an out-of-conference loss to 4A Centaurus. The Sun Devils took third in district competition, losing to Faith Christian and Middle Park and defeating Denver Christian.

The Sun Devil attack is led by hitters Ali Nycum, Helen Peros, Callie Seymour and Lauren Schopp. The setter is Julie Warner. Nycum and Kelsey Smith are back row stalwarts.

Action at the PSHS gym starts with a 9 a.m. match featuring Roaring Fork and Weld Central.

The Pirates take the court in the second match of the day, meeting Kent Denver.

Roaring Fork and Kent Denver clash in the tournament's third match.

Pagosa and Weld Central play the fourth match and will be followed by Weld Central versus Kent Denver.

The tournament's final match pits the Pirates against Roaring fork.

There is a 20 minute break between matches.

"I was surprised by the decision of the seeding committee," said Pirate coach Penné Hamilton who, like most Pirate players and fans had expected to be on the road for regional play. "But we are very happy we don't have to travel, that we get to play in our home gym and sleep in our own beds."

Hamilton's teams have been to regional tournaments many times during her 19-year tenure as head coach. She knows the drill. "It's do or die at regionals," she said. "You have to pick up your game, play consistent volleyball and play aggressive. You cannot be timid and survive to go to state. We have the home court advantage and I hope we can use it."

Ticket prices for regional tournament are set by CHSAA. Admission Saturday is $5 for adults, $4 for students. Children 4 and under are admitted free.


Pirates beat Falcons for IML crown, host Roosevelt in playoff opener

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Head coach Sean O'Donnell has approved this message: The Pagosa Springs Pirates are undisputed Intermountain League champions.

"I'm very proud of our kids," said O'Donnell after his team dispatched the Centauri Falcons 28-0 Saturday in the IML finale. "The last couple of seasons we've had to share the league title, and it's nice to have it to ourselves this year."

In addition to the IML crown, the road win earned the Pirates home-field advantage for the first round of the Class 2A playoffs, and Pagosa will open postseason play against the Roosevelt Rough Riders at 1 p.m. Saturday in Golden Peaks Stadium.

The victory also clarified the postseason picture for the Falcons and Monte Vista - Centauri was eliminated from playoff contention with the loss, while Monte Vista got the nod as the IML's No. 2 seed and will face Roaring Fork on the road to begin the playoffs.

Had Pagosa stumbled against Centauri, IML standings and playoff rights would have been decided by a tiebreaker formula.

However, the Pirates left nothing to chance Saturday, overcoming a relatively slow first half to post their second shutout in as many games.

After setting up at their own 34 to open the game, the Pirates quickly moved to the Falcon 48-yard line on an 18-yard run by senior quarterback Paul Armijo.

Pagosa gained momentum as Armijo and junior running back Josh Hoffman alternated carries to the 26, Armijo threw to junior wideout Paul Przybylski at the 14 and Hoffman ripped up the middle to set up first and goal at the 4.

But the drive proved fruitless when a fourth-down field goal attempt fluttered into the end zone for a touchback, and Centauri took over at its own 20 with just over seven minutes left in the first quarter.

A pair of encroachment calls enabled the Falcons to move near midfield, but Pirate senior Richard Lafferty's tackle for loss on third and one foot forced a punt that rolled dead at the Pagosa 15.

Pagosa's offensive line opened up a gaping hole on the next snap, Hoffman used the void to race untouched for an 85-yard score that put Pagosa up six, and the extra-point kick by Daniel Aupperle made it 7-0 at 3:53.

Centauri's next possession was cut short by a Przybylski interception at the Pagosa 45, but the Falcons held the Pirates to three and out, getting the ball back at their own 40 after a facemask penalty on the resulting punt return.

A second-down sack from Pirate junior Craig Schutz brought the first quarter to a close, and the Falcons were forced to kick away after Schutz and Raul Palmer spoiled a sweep on third and long.

The Pirates took possession deep in their own territory, then ran into misfortune: Hoffman left the game with an ankle sprain after a first-down carry, and the Falcons recovered a fumble just inside the 20 one play later.

The Pirates dug in, and following a first-down stop for no gain by junior linebacker Jake Reding, Centauri eventually turned the ball over on downs at the Pirate 13.

Pagosa used a balanced attack to drive inside the Falcon 40, but the Falcons smothered a fumbled pitch at the 35 to end the threat with 4:55 to play in the half.

The Falcons marched to the Pirate 16, but again came away empty after Lafferty forced a late fumble that was gobbled up by teammate Marcus Rivas and the half closed with Pagosa clinging to a seven-point lead.

When the Pirates returned to the field for the second half, it was evident whatever O'Donnell said to motivate his team in the locker room was taken to heart.

Though the teams played to a stalemate for the first six minutes, the Pirates' efforts on both sides of the ball were marked by an increase in velocity and emotion.

The beginning of the end for Centauri came with 6:25 to play in the third quarter, when Reding dropped back into coverage to intercept a Falcon pass at the Pirate 41.

Armijo threw deep on the ensuing Pirate first down, and Przybylski's sideline grab was good for a gain to the Centauri 38.

Armijo then targeted sophomore flanker Jordan Shaffer for a gain of nine, and an encroachment penalty on fourth and short moved Pagosa inside the 25.

Pagosa's lead grew to 13 one play later when Aupperle took a left-side handoff, shook off an attempted facemask in the backfield, then cut back against the grain to elude several Falcon tacklers before crossing the goal line with 3:55 to play in the third.

Aupperle kicked the PAT to make it 14-0, then drove the ensuing kickoff into the end zone and the Falcons took over at the 20.

Centauri's deficit soon grew to 20 as Armijo returned a third-down interception to the Centauri 10, then took the next snap into the end zone for Pagosa's second touchdown in less than two minutes. Aupperle added the PAT, and Pagosa took a 21-0 lead into the final frame.

Pagosa was in scoring position early in the fourth after Manuel Madrid and Reding snuffed an errant punt snap at the Centauri 10, but the Falcons held, then took over on downs at the 5.

Nevertheless, the Pirates made good on the poor field position - Palmer tore through the line on fourth and long, blocked the Falcon punt and secured the ball in the end zone to put Pagosa up 27-0 at 5:33.

Aupperle's PAT made it 28-0, O'Donnell pulled his starters, and the Pirates' second unit played well in the final five minutes to secure the shutout and IML honors.

Armijo paced the Pirate offense in the win with 76 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries and completed eight of 12 passes for an additional 75 yards through the air.

Hoffman, who is questionable for Saturday's game, tallied 108 yards and one score on five carries, while Aupperle carried twice for 31 yards and one TD.

Lafferty topped the defensive charts with 10 tackles, followed by Reding with nine and Armijo and Bubba Martinez with eight apiece.

The win capped a regular season that saw Pagosa go 7-2 overall and 4-0 in the IML while giving up a mere seven points in league play.

When asked after the game if he expected to be atop the IML standings at the end of the regular season, "To tell the truth, because we wanted to put in a new offense this year, at first I really didn't know what to expect," said O'Donnell.

"But I knew we'd have a chance because we have great senior leadership, and it's been very satisfying to see those guys work hard to keep this team headed in the right direction this year," said O'Donnell.

"And my hat's off to Paul Armijo at quarterback," he added. "He's always dangerous on his feet, we can go over the top with him, he's always giving us 110 percent - he's a tough, strong kid who allows us to do the things we want to do."

With regard to Saturday's clash with Roosevelt (6-3 overall and 4-2 behind first-place Eaton in the West Conference of Weld County's Patriot League), "All I know right now is they play good football in a very tough league," said O'Donnell.

"And I know we're going to have to play our best football of the year from here on out if we want to move on," said the coach.

"But if we play hard and smart and get a little bit of luck - who knows?" O'Donnell concluded.

Ticket prices for Saturday's playoff opener, which have been established by the Colorado High School Activities Association, are $7 for adults and $5 for ages 17 and under. Children age 4 and under admitted free.


Pagosa 7 0 14 7-28

Centauri 0 0 0 0-0

First Quarter

Pag - Hoffman 85 run (Aupperle kick)

Third Quarter

Pag - Aupperle 20 run (Aupperle kick)

Pag - Armijo 10 run (Aupperle kick)

Fourth Quarter

Pag - Palmer punt block (Aupperle kick)


Pirate kickers bounced 7-0 by Holy Family Tigers

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Pirates 10-game soccer winning streak came to a crushing halt Saturday on the sunny Golden Peaks Stadium playing field.

That brilliant sunshine, warming from overnight below-freezing temperatures and coming between storms promising snow, was one of the few highlights for Pagosa fans.

With Pagosa, ranked No. 8, hosting Holy Family, ranked ninth, offensive outbursts were expected, but only the Tigers produced.

In fact, Pagosa was outshot 34-10 and never really got into the game. Add to that injuries in the first half to senior striker Moe Webb and freshman right wing Kevin Blue, who did not return in the second half, and two-thirds of the normal Pirate attack was unavailable.

There were, even in the 7-0 defeat, some bright lights for Pagosa, notably the outstanding defensive performance of senior sweeper Levi Gill with 13 solo blocks and four saves when rotating back to goal while senior keeper Caleb Forrest was under siege. Forrest had 23 saves in the Tiger barrage.

Also giving standout performances for Pagosa were junior midfielder Paul Muirhead who, at one point in the second half intercepted on five consecutive Holy Family attacks and keyed two of the best scoring chances Pagosa would have.

Sophomore sweeper Max Smith and sophomore offensive midfielder Caleb Ormonde also turned in full-effort play that bodes well for the future

Holy Family attacked immediately with the first shot of the game saved by Forrest at 1:02 on a free shot from 20 yards.

In quick order followed a block by Shan Webb, another save by Forrest and the first of the solo blocks by Gill.

A rare Pagosa offensive thrust with Chris Baum leading Moe Webb from left wing and Webb crossing to Ormonde was stopped by Tiger keeper Justin O'Hayre.

Another block by Gill and a save by Forrest preceded an attack by Holy Family's Matt Locricchio who was stopped by Forrest.

Moe Webb and Gill worked for a Pirate attack that was blocked, leading to the first score of the game at 19:57 by Holy Family's Kyle Addy, assisted by Tyler Sullivan.

During the regular season in Class 3A, Webb had been the second leading scorer (with 26) and Addy fifth with 17.

After a block-takeaway by Gill and a pair of saves on Tiger breakaways by Forrest, Gill was awarded a direct kick from 30 yards but it was wide right.

Holy Family's Derek Hanson was stopped by Forrest twice on the ensuing possession; then Matt Carpenters' bid was hauled in by Forrest and Sullivan was stopped on a high leap to his left.

The first of two fluke goals in the game made the score 2-0 Holy Family at 27:24.

With players from both teams exchanging clearing attempts in front of the Pagosa goal, Addy kicked the ball backward and a screened Forrest never saw it coming.

The attack stayed in the Pirate defensive zone with Forrest making two more saves before the score went to 3-0 at 30:53 on a reverse by Addy.

A goal attempt by Pirate senior Keagan Smith was the second save for O'Hayre.

Gill had a block and Forrest two more saves before the Holy Family duo of Addy and Sullivan scored again, at 33:56, with Sullivan getting the goal and Addy thew assist.

Just 39 seconds later, after Pagosa was unable to clear the zone, Sullivan scored again, Addy assisting again, and the Tigers were up 5-0.

Gill's bid on a full-field breakaway eluding six defenders, was stopped by O'Hayre and Chi Hoon Lee's effort off the rebound also was stopped.

On successive plays in the 37th minute, Blue went down and was carried off the field and then Moe Webb limped off, both done for the game.

Gill made a save with Forrest slipping down and then Forrest stopped a second Holy Family attack on the same possession. Then Gill made consecutive solo blocks as the first half wound down.

The second half opened with another takeaway by Gill, Forrest stopping a shot by Holy Family's Locricchio, and a midfield block by Pirate senior Jesse Morris.

With the 5-0 lead, Holy Family subbed backup keeper Matt Wolf for O'Hayre but it made little difference for Pagosa.

Addy drove one over the nets on a breakaway, Gill turned in a solo block and Forrest came up with the defensive performance of the game, stopping Addy twice on a breakaway.

But, at 49:44, the Addy-Sullivan duo made it 6-0 with Addy getting the marker on a drop pass.

Gill and Forrest stopped the next three attacks, each getting a save and Gill a block takeaway.

Pagosa's first scoring opportunity of the second half came on a Shan Webb breakaway but his shot sailed wide left.

Three consecutive saves by Forrest led to a Pirate chance for Paul Muirhead which was hauled in by Wolf.

Keagan Smith intercepted the inlet pass but his shot was wide left before Forrest was called on for another save against Sullivan.

The second freak goal made the score 7-0 when a clearing pass glanced off a Pirate player and then off the hip of Holy Family's Justin Hazlewood - right into the net - at 66:41.

Pagosa had only one attack thereafter, another Muirhead shot thwarted by Wolf.

There was another save by Forrest and three more solo blocks by Gill.

Pirate coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason told his team afterward he was proud of them "for turning your season around after five losses to open the year.

"No matter what happened today," he said, "it was a great season."

In the second half of the regional game, he noted "we played the possession game we had intended, just like we did the second half of the season."

And, he said, "great senior leadership on this team gave the underclassmen a taste of what they can do when the work together.

"We had a good roll," he said, "but failed to get over the last bump in the road."

That put the finish to a 10-6 season for the Pirates.


Scoring: All HF: 19:56, HF-Addy, assist Sullivan; 27:24, Addy, UA; 30:53, Sullivan, UA; 33:36, Sullivan, assist Addy; 34:31, Sullivan, assist Addy; 49:44, Addy, assist Sullivan; 66:41, Locricchio, unassisted; Saves, P-Forrest, 23; P-Gill, 4; HF -O'Hayre, 8; HF-Wolf, 2; Penalties: Yellow, HF-Hanson.


Parks & Rec

Pirate pride begins in the rec leagues

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

With the Pagosa Springs Pirate football and volleyball teams hosting this weekend's state playoff games, it may be the last time locals get to see this group of seniors play in a Pirate uniform.

The years of preparation that have gone on, with hours and hours of training time put in by coaches, players, trainers and cheerleaders, make it truly a community event.

Everyone in the community can be proud of our school and town.

If you take note of the following numbers provided by Colorado High School Activities Association, you would realize the accomplishments of our coaches and athletes.

In the state this year there were 8,953 volleyball players, 5,495 in boys' soccer, 2,170 in boys' golf, 2,839 in boys' cross country, 2,585 in girls' cross country, and 14,168 football players, participating in prep sport.

Our soccer team made the final 16, the girls cross country team earned second place honors, and now the volleyball and the football teams can advance with wins this weekend.

We at the parks and recreation department follow every sport because at one time or another we have run across these young athletes in our programs. Probably at 7 or 8, with their parents holding their hands before going on the athletic field for the first time.

It is such a joy to watch the development of these youngsters in all aspects of life, with many of their fun memories happening right here in a recreational league.

We feel our job is to provide fun and safe recreational activities for the children of our county. With a well-planned program, the families can develop the love of a sport, enough so that the children will continue to play and maybe someday play for those ever-so-proud Pirates.

Please remember we are the starter programs for most of the major sports offered in Pagosa Springs. However, we are not here to win a state championship and send our young participants on to regional and state competition.

Thanks to everyone who helps make our programs so successful. We look forward to seeing you all this weekend to cheer on our homegrown athletes.

Youth basketball

The 7- and 8-year-old basketball league is starting this week with over 50 young athletes signed up to play this year.

Some modified rules are put in to help the kids learn fundamentals and the general concepts of the game. Rims are lowered to 8 1/2 feet and smaller basketballs are used.

These rules are in place to teach proper shooting technique and to allow all children the ability to take some shots and maybe even score a goal.

It is such a thrill to see these kids and their parents smile and enjoy the practices and the games.

Parents, please do not hesitate to stop a parks and recreation employee and ask questions about the league and whether you can help.

At this age your child sees that you care and they bond with parents who get involved. They, too, are proud of their parents for caring enough to get them to practice, and for taking that extra step to be a part of their lives.


Is your child happy playing organized youth sports? Five questions to ask

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

More than 75 percent of kids playing organized youth sports drop out by age 12.

Overzealous parents, overly competitive coaches and unbalanced playing time are often cited as the reasons why.

"Preconditioning children to value only final results in sports competitions robs them from having fun and learning new skills in a positive environment," says Scott Lancaster, senior director of youth football development at the NFL and author of Fair Play.

"Questions like 'did you win?,' 'did you get a hit?' and 'did you score?' can be de-motivating for kids."

Instead, Lancaster suggests that parents focus on their children's enjoyment, measuring their success by what they learned and how they improved by asking these questions:

- "What did you learn today?"

- "Did you enjoy yourself?"

- "Do you think you are playing better?"

- "What's the one thing you would like to achieve in your sport?"

- "If you were coaching your team, what would you do differently?"

If kids answer negatively saying, for example, that they are bored or are not improving or enjoying the game, Lancaster recommends that parents get involved. "Rather than stand on the sidelines watching, become engaged as a teacher of the game. Approach your child's volunteer coach with other parents and ask to be assigned different teaching responsibilities at each practice.

Try to gather the correct tools to teach one or two skills within an organized structure for an entire season. With these tools you will become a useful resource for your kids and help create a better and more interactive learning environment for your kids."

Youth basketball

Sign ups for 9-10 and 11-12 youth basketball began Nov. 1 and continue through Nov. 26.

Basketball Skills Assessment Day will be held Dec. 4 with the Elks Club Shootout on Dec. 11. Practices will begin Dec. 13 with games beginning Jan. 4. Sign up today.

Soccer salute

A special thanks to all of the coaches and businesses that committed to coach and sponsor our children in our recent 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.

Hiring referees

The Pagosa Springs 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 at 264-4151, Ext. 232, or 946-2810 Monday through Friday, 1-5 p.m.


Division without rancor

Finally, it's over. Or, at least Election Day has passed and we are on the way to having the election results at all levels de-cided and set in stone. It seems appropriate to consider the tone of this election cycle, to consider some fact and entertain some notions about American politics.

One of the most common responses to the elections includes a note regarding how polarized we are as a people and how contentious the election process has been. Many regard it as one of the most negative cases yet in American politics, with sides more deeply divided and the rhetoric more poisonous than ever.

It serves us well to make the notions of division and rancor distinct: One does not necessarily entail the other. And it is helpful to examine our nation's political history when we hear claims about the calamitous nature of the process we have just experienced.

In fact, the recent election is not the most rancorous in our history. Granted, enough dirt was spread, in particular via electronic media, and at all levels, to sour the stomach. But did it equal the political nastiness of previous centuries? No. There are numerous examples from the 18th and 19th centuries - including duels fought to the death and statements that, printed or made today, would find the writer or speaker in court and burdened with serious penalties. Statements made in American political campaigns of yore by candidates and supporters, the slanted rhetoric in newspapers, was often appalling. The American public was lulled into a sense of relative harmony by campaigns waged during the first three-quarters of the 20th century. That sense was false.

Most now agree it is desirable in a time when the nation faces real peril to dry up the venom, to subdue the meanness so apparent in this year's campaigns. We are, after all, riding on this train together and it serves us no good to tear at each other and do harm to fellow Americans with whom we do not agree.

That said, division and a civil conflict must remain. In fact, the sharper our divisions on issues, the better. Can we have genuine political discourse without differences? We need division and the dialogue it fuels more than ever. Without real and clearly defined differences, there can be no compromise, no progress

We have an excellent opportunity now to refresh our national life and identity, regardless of who is declared the winner in any particular race. It is a prime time to look at our fellow Americans and understand we must rely on one another and use our divisions as resources, not as an excuses for unproductive aggression.

We believe this can be done by all but the lunatic fringe among us by reaffirming our faith in basic American political and legal institutions. As long as we retain our belief in these institutions and maintain a conviction that our constitutional foundation is solid and valid, we will make divisions and conflicts work for us; we can cooperate to ensure our national health and survival. Faith in our courts and our judicial process is key. So is faith in the representative government established and passed down by the wise founders of this wonderful constitutional republic. They gave us a system that is anything but perfect, but that remains better than the alternatives and ever susceptible to improvement.

Election Day is gone. Let's each take a long, hot shower then clarify our ideas and ask for clarification of those ideas different than our own. Let's be glad for our differences and resolve to be more civil in our inevitable conflicts, dedicated to improving our nation and our way of life.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

Fate has dealt me a kismet

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Kismet, I call it.

Neither a millionaire or a pauper, I appear destined to life, as do most of those considered middle America, in the cozy zone of resident.

You know who I am. You probably fall into the same category. Open your mail box and see who has the most mail. Is it you? Your wife? Your children?

At this time of year we've just completed a cycle when perhaps eight of ten items in the box are addressed to resident.

Now, I don't mind being a resident, since it shows I belong - somewhere. Unlike those who get mail actually addressed to them by name, I find it somewhat exhilarating to pretend who I might be as just plain resident.

I could be a professional skier setting up for the coming season at the Village at Wolf Creek. I might be a spy for a visiting prep athletic team intent on stealing the signals sent into the huddle from a Pirate coach. Perhaps, I'd be a defeated candidate for public office, hiding in shame as simply "resident".

Don't get me wrong. Being a resident is a great opportunity. Mail addressed that way does not have to be answered. Letters seeking donations may be ignored. Unfortunately, bills have a direct connection with those who incurred them and in most cases come right through with a real name and address on them.

Next on my list of mail might well be occupant. Occupant of what? The mail box? Those go directly into the neatly provided circular file in the lobby.

Still, why not be an occupant? The address does not imply a specific structure, but offers only the belief the person(s) receiving it actually dwell(s) somewhere. At least I would not be among the homeless as Mr. Occupant.

Ah, yes, the world is my castle and I the proud resident-occupant thereof.

But wait. Here's another common appellation for the junk mail everyone thought was replaced by e-mail spam - Boxholder.

If I pay the annual fee, called box rent, I would consider myself the renter of the receptacle into which the mail is delivered. If I were, in fact, a boxholder, I would anticipate standing near the mail delivery spot and holding a box into which the mail might be delivered.

Once I got a lovely card addressed to Richard Walrat. It was from a local real estate broker asking if I was interested in selling my property.

Now, I know that misspellings are easy to make and I understand that some poor scribes actually don't know how to spell.

Some take umbrage with misspelled names on mail. My father, for one, was always angered when someone added an "s" to our last name. I've seen him return mail to sender as "addressee unknown". I can recall one occasion when he returned a check for services performed because the awful "s" was there.

So why can't I just get mail addressed to me? To my family? Even to our cat.

As I said, it must be preordained, set into the cosmos as the ultimate goal for one of my character.

Neither occupant, resident nor boxholder am I. And I don't object to the "s".

It is, after all, kismet.



90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Nov. 6, 1914

Notwithstanding that Tuesday was a perfect day, the vote in Archuleta County was 25 percent short of what it was two years ago and accounts in large measure for nearly all the success that Democratic candidates had. The Democrats elected treasurer, assessor, superintendent of schools, coroner and commissioner, while the Republicans landed clerk, sheriff and surveyor.

Dr. George Crouse, the temperance crusader, raised 35 bushels per acre of bald barley on his O'Neal Park ranch this season - a dry ranch.

The excellent autumn weather is allowing uninterrupted work on the farm and as a consequence threshing will be completed early and much fall plowing done.


75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov. 8, 1929

Chas. F. Rumbaugh returned home this evening from a business trip to Denver, where, as a member of the Wolf Creek Pass Highway Improvement Association committee, he met with the state highway advisory board, which is this week preparing its annual budget for next year's highway work. He reports the amount secured for the Wolf Creek Pass highway will be in the neighborhood of $70,000 to $120,000. With the $130,000 already appropriated, it is reasonably sure that the additional sum will bring the total fund to at least $200,000 to be expended next year on the pass and its approaches.

Mrs. Libradita Sandoval fell from a dresser, upon which she was standing while plastering the interior of her home, and was quite badly injured.


50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov. 5, 1954

The new high school is to be officially dedicated at ceremonies to take place during National Education Weeks. School officials are making a determined effort to acquaint all local taxpayers with the school system in the county and with the new high school building. The new high school is a very nice building and one that all the district can be proud of.

Election is now history for this year and politicians will have some promises to live up to. The victors are happy and the losers sorrowful and some are pointing with alarm already. We have a hunch that this country will rock along on a pretty even keel as long as there is enough interest on the part of the voters.


25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov 8, 1979

A snowstorm moved into the area early Wednesday and moderate snows were being reported on Wolf Creek Pass late Wednesday. Little snow had fallen in town by that time but there was a small amount of rain. The storm brought hunters out of the woods and in many cases, into town. Winter travel conditions were reported on Wolf Creek Pass.

Hunters in the combined season are reporting good to lousy conditions. Some hunters have done well, others have seen no game. There have been no serious incidents, or accidents, reported in connection with the season. There have been the usual number of trespass cases, some violations of regulations, and some minor injuries.



Partners in Education

Volunteers support Pagosa elementary school

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Partners In Education.

That's the name of a group of parents, teachers and community members committed to being "a powerful voice for children, a relevant resource for parents and a strong advocate for public education," in Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

This year, that means monthly meetings, fund-raisers for programming and capital improvements, family nights, the holiday shop, an election day bake sale, chess club, a radio show, book swap, staff and volunteer appreciation events, fourth-grade end-of-the-year activities, a T-shirt design contest and the midsummer read along with Rotary.

"We get to do all the fun programs to help support the building," PIE coordinator Joanne Irons said.

PIE started in 2001 as an offshoot of the school accountability committee. Elementary school principal Kahle Charles said when he arrived the accountability and accreditation committee was trying to do too much. To stop spreading the volunteers so thin and retain the needed focus for accountability, the group split in two, creating PIE.

"They're basically a group of hardworking, supportive parents," Charles said. "They have a lot of energy and they're very, very positive people."

Since its inception, he said, the group has been both organized and focused, planning and completing projects to beautify the school, encouraging parent support and above all, making things better for the students.

In 2003, PIE helped purchase 25 chess sets for use by students and plans monthly chess tournaments this year. They raised over $4,000 for school projects, including four family nights. With the help of the kindergartners, they planted red, white and blue tulips in the school's garden, sponsoring a tea party in the spring when the tulips bloomed. They've also held contests for T-shirt and mural designs, helping students take ownership in the building they use five days a week for nine months out of the year. And those are just some of their efforts.

Charles pointed to a movie night as a good example of the group's success. Four different movies were shown at the school. Popcorn and juice were served and families were invited. It brought people together and into the elementary school for a good time. When the lights came back on popcorn, of course, was everywhere.

"Every parent there stayed until everything was cleaned up," Charles said. "Again, this is a very positive, hardworking group that follows protocol and doesn't need a lot of direction."

Still, they get a lot done.

Over the next two weeks or so, PIE members are aiming to raise $3,200 to build a climbing wall in the school's activity room using a "Buy a Rock," campaign. Anyone who donates at least $1 receives a "wrapped rock" as a token of appreciation as well as an invitation to a Rock and Wall Party. Each wrapped rock will proclaim, "I bought a rock for Pagosa Elementary School's climbing wall." The party will be scheduled when the wall is completed to show it off and congratulate everyone who helped with the project.

"This has already been approved by the insurance company and the school board," Irons said, at a recent PIE meeting. The rest should be a piece of cake, or pie in this case.

Around the same time period, the group will be conducting an election day bake sale at the City Market West and, one of their biggest annual fund-raisers, the book fair.

The book fair will coincide with the "Fall Harvest Family Night" Nov. 11 from 6-7:30 p.m. That night, families and students are invited to browse the book fair and enjoy carnival activities with an autumn theme such as potato stamp gift wrapping, apple bobbing on a string, face painting and maize puzzles.

Irons also put out a call for wrapping paper donations for another project on the horizon - the holiday shop. Each student in the elementary school will be given the opportunity to purchase inexpensive holiday gifts for their family through this PIE project. The shop will be set up in the school and all presents purchased will be wrapped for the students to take home. PIE volunteers will be on hand to help students stick to their budgets.

In the midst of all this, PIE members continually encourage community support of ongoing fund-raisers including Campbell's labels for education which helps the school earn points toward free merchandise for teachers, Box Tops for Education by General Mills which actually earns cash for the school through products purchased and the City Market Cares Program which gives the elementary school a share of money given back to the community by that company.

Through those corporate-sponsored programs, the school has collected over $3,000, plus more than 13,000 Campbell's labels.

Students are helping with another fund-raiser - this one note cards. Over three weeks in October, students were able to design their own note cards. The designs are printed, packaged 50 to a set and available for $15 each. PIE receives $5 for each set sold. In 2003, sales totaled 130, netting enough money to pay for one family night.

Irons said it is the goal of PIE to reinvest all the funds it raises back into the school the same year they're raised. Teachers are encouraged to come to group meetings with any requests. Requests are voted on by those members present.

Meetings, Irons said, are generally informal. Anyone interested is invited to come, participate and become a partner in helping make the elementary school the best place it can be for students, teachers and families. Those interested in volunteering with students must go through the school's background check and application process.

The next PIE meeting is set for Monday, Nov. 15, 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the elementary school. For more information, call Irons, 731-4289.


Pagosa's Past

Settlers began pouring in after treaty of 1874

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

The steps leading to settlement of Pagosa Country began about 1860.

An overview of what was happening in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico starting in 1860 provides insights into how that settlement took place.

Prior to settlement of Pagosa Country Hispanics, with a sprinkling of Anglos, occupied the Tierra Amarilla area in the upper Chama River Valley starting as early as 1860, perhaps earlier. In those days, the area was known as La Tierra Amarilla, a plural designation including a number of settlements.

The community we know today as Tierra Amarilla, the Rio Arriba County seat, was known as Las Nutritas. Scattered throughout the surrounding territory were the communities of Los Ojos, Los Brazos, Ensenada, La Puente and Plaza Blanca.

No one lived in Archuleta County, or for that matter in southwest Colorado, in 1860.

Across the San Juan Mountains to the east were a scattering of settlements in the San Luis Valley, protected from Ute, Apache and other Indians by troops stationed at Fort Garland.

North of the San Juan Mountains, prospectors panned their way in a southward march down the Rocky Mountains looking for gold.

In the year 1860, a man named Baker discovered gold bearing ore near what has become Silverton. A hiatus occasioned by the Civil War brought Anglo involvement in the area being studied almost to a standstill. Following the war, during the late 1860s, a parallel series of events precipitated settlement of southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. Gold was discovered at Summitville by 1870 and soon after gold was discovered near Ouray, Lake City, Telluride and other places in the extensive mountain range.

Most of the earliest prospectors and settlers entered the San Juans by way of the already established La Tierra Amarilla settlements, also the nearest place to purchase supplies.

A major problem was ownership of the San Juans. They belonged to the Utes, all of them, all of southwestern Colorado. A series of treaties were brokered in an attempt to keep the peace - treaties in 1863, 1868 and 1874, to start with.

Troops were stationed in La Tierra Amarilla during the 1860s at a place first called Camp Plummer, and later called Fort Lowell. The 1874 treaty, known as the Bruneau Treaty, opened up the area for settlement by confining the Utes to a narrow 15-mile from north to south band of land stretching from the Utah border pretty much to the San Juan River just south of Pagosa Springs.

Already by 1874 the communities of Del Norte, Lake City Silverton, Ouray, Parrot City, Baker City and Animas City were flourishing along with a considerable number of mining camps with names. Settlement was also beginning to happen along the San Juan River near its junctures with the Animas and La Plata rivers

Settlers poured in following the treaty of 1874. Relations between settlers and the Utes remained near the boiling point because the settlers held little regard for the remaining Ute reservation and crossed it almost at will. Furthermore, Utes all across Colorado were frustrated to the fighting point as they watched their allowed homeland in the mountains disappear.

Consequently, in 1878, a fort was established in Pagosa Springs. The military base at Pagosa Springs was first called Camp Lewis and later called Fort Lewis. It was located where the main block of downtown Pagosa Springs sits today.

Ten enlisted barracks and four officer barracks were constructed along with a number of other buildings. The number of troops stationed in Pagosa Springs fluctuated wildly, but may have amounted to more than 1,000 as an aftermath of the Meeker Massacre in 1879.

Settlement in Pagosa Springs probably began in late 1877, although a number of settlers unpacked in Pagosa Country in 1876.

Welch Nossaman built a cabin near town in 1876, but was forced to leave as the Utes burned his cabin.

A man named Peterson homesteaded on the Piedra in 1876 just south of the present bridge helping U.S. 160 cross that stream on its way to Durango.

Along the Navajo between today's Edith and Dulce a number of settlers arrived in 1876, including members of the Gomez, Archuleta, Garcia and Trujillo families, and possibly others.

Other pioneers may have settled near Carracas and in New Mexico in the Blanco, Largo Canyon and Gobernador areas.

More next week on the first settlements in Pagosa Country.



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Plenty of sun, blue skies expected through weekend

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Sunshine and starry nights.

Both are likely to be main characters on the weekend weather stage in Pagosa Country, according to the latest forecasts for the Four Corners region.

Reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction suggest a wide ridge of high pressure will remain seated over southwest Colorado until early next week.

As a result, blue skies, mild daytime temperatures and clear, crisp nights are expected to prevail through the weekend.

Highs today should stretch from the upper 40s into the low 50s by late afternoon, while evening lows are predicted to fall to around 10 degrees.

Friday calls for continued sunny skies, highs in the 50s and lows ranging from 10 to 20.

The forecasts for Saturday and Sunday include a chance for occasional clouds, highs in the 50s and lows in the 15-25 range.

An increase in cloud cover is in Monday's forecast, as are a 20-percent chance for rain or light snow showers, highs in the upper 40s and lows in the teens.

Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to bring additional clouds, a 30-percent chance for snow and rain, cooler conditions with highs forecast near 40, and lows in the teens.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 45 degrees. The average low was 21. Moisture totals for the week amounted to just under four-tenths of an inch.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit snow depth of 32 inches and midway depth of 30 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 200 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 590 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Nov. 4 is roughly 75 cubic feet per second.