November 11, 2004 
Front Page

School audit opens spate of good news

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

In a time of fiscal crunch for school districts across Colorado, the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint received a flock of good news Tuesday.

First, directors were given an overview of a recently completed audit of accounts and told "this is the best year in the 10 years I've been doing audits, with turnarounds to the good in many funds."

Michael C. Branch, local certified public accountant, called the financial condition "outstanding."

For example, he cited the food service program, noting the district had set out to increase federal aid and went even farther than expected.

Federal monies for the Food Service Fund increased $29,057 allowing the operation to show a profit of $12,692 compared to a loss of $15,947 the previous year.

"That," said Branch, "is remarkable. No food service operations make money anywhere. Yours did and that is spectacular."

That is just one aspect of the good news budgetwise.

Branch's report shows cash reserves up and exceeding the recommended level; General Fund revenues up 8 percent and exceeding expenditures by $196,000 with revenues exceeding budget by $662,000 and expenditures $1.315 million under budget.

Branch also was excited about performance in securing grant revenues for the district.

Grant revenue was up $111,595 for the year, "in a year in which grants were getting harder to get."

He said the change most likely is attributable "to the fact the district chose to employ former superintendent Terry Alley as a grant writer."

He noted that across the educational spectrum today grants are more scarce because the private agencies involved are more careful of where their grants go.

"Terry's efforts have made things better for the district because the grants are aimed at programs for the kids that you might not otherwise be able to afford."

The one weak spot in the presentation, he said, is the insurance fund but "you have little control, if any, on claims."

Still, it was not as bad as in other years. Claims were down by $102,646 and premiums exceeded claims by $92,058. "This is significant," Branch said, "in that you did not have to go into your reserves to fund claims."

But, he warned, it could change any time. "This might not be the case this year," he said. "You could get hit with big claims and the uncertainty of the fund would return."

Data source

His report was based on figures available as of June 30, 2004, which indicated combined net assets at the time of $17,703,294 with $9,861,289 in the general fund. Because the general fund revenues exceeded expenditures, he said, a budgeted portion of reserves was not spent. General fund revenues of $10,193,910 accounted for 45 percent of all revenues in the preceding school year.

A pie chart breakdown of district monies indicates 72.69 percent in the general fund, 9.20 percent in bond funds, 7.3 percent in capital reserve, 4.73 percent for insurance, 3.42 percent in grants, 2.1 percent in food service, 1.6 percent in expendable trust funds, 1 percent each in permanent trusts and student activity funds and 0.34 percent in preschool program funding.

Revenue in the year studied totaled $11,992,435 with $6,309,448 from property taxes, $433,890 from other taxes, $4,741,754 in state funding and $507,343 in federal funding.

Expenditures in the same time frame included $6,360,122 for instruction, $1,080,746 in building support, $889,844 in district support, $1,089,011 in maintenance, $607,959 in transportation, $450,937 in pupil activities, $527,672 capital outlay and $819,998 in long-term debt principal and interest.

The report was accepted by the board for study with the agreement he will return to answer any questions that may arise in that study.

Highly qualified

The financial data wasn't the only good news presented Tuesday.

Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board only seven school districts in the state have a higher percentage of "highly qualified" teachers under mandates of the No Child Left Behind program.

"Pagosa Springs right now has 97.65 percent of faculty in the 'highly qualified' category," he said. "We have basically met the challenge and it is something the entire district can be proud of."

Enrollment rises

One of the key elements of state funding is the student enrollment of a school district.

School officials, on the basis of early figures in each of the district's schools, had expected a decrease in total student body of about nine and a resultant decrease in state funding.

However, final figures for the state funding level as of Oct. 15, show a net enrollment increase in the district of 11 over last year.

Only the high school showed a decrease, with the junior high steady and increases in both the elementary and intermediate schools.

The current senior class , standing at 101, is the smallest in several years. Kindergarten registration is at exactly 100, the district's target at the beginning of the school year.

Biggest classes are the sophomores with 155, eighth grade with 142 and freshman with 126.

Noggle noted the district has 12 students involved in English as a Second Language classes ( students speak some English but levels are variable); and 11 students regarded as monolingual (where the student speaks only one language, usually Spanish).


Tunnel ready; awaits emergency phone line

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Soon, stopping on Wolf Creek Pass to admire the view may be a choice rather than a requirement.

With the snip of gold-handled scissors Friday, state officials marked the opening of the 900-foot tunnel east of the snow shed - a four-year project - and acknowledged completion of a 10-month highway widening project from the Lonesome Dove campsite to Windy Point. Daytime traffic stops and nighttime pass closers were a part of both projects.

"Safety and access, safety and access, that's what this project provides," State Transportation Commission Chairman Steve Parker said, going on to tout ease of negotiation possible on Wolf Creek's improved roadway, one of only two passes connecting this area with eastern Colorado.

The tunnel was constructed in two phases. Phase 1, contracted to Kiewit Western Company of Littleton for $10.3 million, began in late 2000 and involved blasting and excavating the tunnel.

Phase 2, which began in late March 2003, was contracted to ASI, RCC of Buena Vista for $12.2 million and involved placing a final concrete lining, installing tunnel systems and reconstructing the highway, shifting it over approximately 40 feet to align with the tunnel.

During tunnel construction, crews hauled away a total of 180,000 cubic yards, or 324,000 tons of rock, from the mountainside - enough to cover a football field to 108 feet of material.

The tunnel is now equipped with sophisticated lighting and monitoring systems to make passage as safe as possible. Sensors in the pavement, four cameras and other traffic and safety monitoring devices will provide real-time information to CDOT's maintenance crews and emergency service providers year-round, 24 hours a day.

Traffic roadway temperature readings and tunnel safety will be monitored by CDOT maintenance staff at the Hanging Lakes Tunnel facility east of Glenwood Springs. During inclement weather, or when a safety or traffic problem arises, a call can be dispatched from HLT to local CDOT maintenance, emergency service providers and the Colorado State Patrol for quick response.

Still, the tunel is not quite ready for vehicle traffic. Nancy Shanks, CDOT public relations said the tunnel will remain blocked off until an emergency phone system inside is "fully-functional." It was unknown exactly when that will happen as engineers wait for software to be delivered. Meanwhile, motorists will continue to be directed around the tunnel on the old roadway.

Richard Reynolds, CDOT Region 5 director, said the tunnel was part of 28 statewide strategic projects funded through a bond in 1999.

"This was one of our highest accident locations on this corridor," Reynolds said, thanking South Fork, Pagosa Springs, Mineral and Rio Grande counties for their patience and cooperation throughout the project.

"I can't tell you how many times I got stopped in traffic up here," Reynolds said. He applauded the results, commenting that, with one or two small projects left, Wolf Creek Pass is one of the premier passes in the state and one of the only ones to meet current design standards.

The reconstruction from Lonesome Dove to Windy Point, contracted to Kiewit Western for $14.2 million, improves the safety of a 2.5-mile stretch between mile markers 179 and 181. This project involved widening the two-lane road 12 feet, adding shoulders and auxiliary lanes and constructing retaining walls. This required blasting and removing nearly 500,000 cubic yards of rock.


'Village' huge issue; county seeks Mineral talks ...

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of Commissioners agrees The Village at Wolf Creek is a huge issue, but isn't prepared to adopt a formal position on the controversial endeavor.

During this week's board meeting, the commissioners offered brief commentary regarding potential impacts the village could have on the county, but stopped short of condemning - or supporting - plans to construct an alpine community of thousands on roughly 300 acres of private property just east of Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The board's sentiments Tuesday came on the heels of a presentation outlining an analysis and subsequent recommendation to the commissioners by county planning department staff.

According to the planning department's report, numerous staff comments supplied to Mineral County commissioners and planners regarding a variety of economic, ecological and emergency-service concerns were apparently not acknowledged prior to approval of the final plat for the village Oct. 26 and approval of the project's first phase Nov. 1.

The report also cites staff comments regarding a related draft environmental impact statement, or "EIS," released for public comment last month by the U.S. Forest Service, suggesting Mineral County "waits on the completion of and considers the results of the Forest Service's (final) EIS."

In short, the report indicates the county planning department believes such comments "were disregarded," stating, "The planning office received no response from Mineral County to any of these comments, nor did either commission reflect these comments in their resolutions."

Citing a "lack of information on negative impacts to Archuleta County," the report "recommends that the (Archuleta) board of county commissioners give formal opposition to the Village at Wolf Creek by way of a recorded resolution."

In response, Mamie Lynch, board chair, indicated she has a number of similar concerns with the village project, and expressed a desire to meet with Mineral County officials to review the pending scenarios.

"I just think that there is a multitude of problems here that we need to address with Mineral County in order to mitigate as many of these issues as possible," said Lynch.

Commissioner Bill Downey agreed seeking input on how to mitigate potential negative impacts would be beneficial.

"But I'm not really big on telling other counties how to run their business," said Downey.

"I see this as telling them the impacts their decision may have on our county," replied Lynch. "That's what I see."

To that effect, "I agree," said Commissioner Alden Ecker. "But I also think we need to take into consideration the legal limits we're bound to."

In the end, the board reached a consensus to direct staff to prepare a letter to the Divide Ranger District of the Rio Grande National Forest suggesting the comment period on the village EIS be extended 90 days past the current deadline of Nov. 22.

The board also directed staff to contact Mineral County officials in order to schedule a joint meeting aimed at addressing village issues.

In other business this week, the board:

- approved a minor amendment to the annual Emergency Fire Fund contract agreement with the Colorado State Forest Service;

- approved donation of an air compressor to the town of Pagosa Springs;

- approved a license to operate an ambulance service within county boundaries at the request of the Los Pinos Fire Protection District;

- directed planning staff to continue work on potential revisions to county outdoor lighting regulations;

- approved the final plat for Laverty Ranch Minor Impact Subdivision;

- approved a request from Musetta Wollenweber, senior services director, to pursue funding for the Arboles senior meals program from British Petroleum;

- approved a request from Sue Walan, county engineer, to distribute proposed changes to county road and bridge specifications for preliminary comments;

- approved proposed listing changes to the 2004 HUTF report;

- was presented a summary of the third-quarter public works report from Dick McKee, county public works director.


... town gives Honts chance to speak

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

What will be the impact on Pagosa Springs of a community of as many as 10,000 residents, located near the top of Wolf Creek Pass?

That is the question at the core of a number of concerns the Pagosa Springs Town Council has about The Village at Wolf Creek, a planned development of hotels, commercial buildings and single-family homes on roughly 300 acres in Alberta Park near the Wolf Creek Ski Area recently approved by Mineral County Commissioners.

It's also a question the town will attempt to answer by commenting on a draft Environmental Impact Statement on access issues being prepared by a contractor hired by the U.S. Forest Service and, possibly, by submitting a resolution to Mineral County.

After a special meeting Tuesday afternoon, the council tabled a draft resolution in opposition to the project prepared by staff to give the developer one more stab at addressing their concerns.

Mayor Ross Aragon said in a recent conversation with Bob Honts, chief executive officer and managing venturer of The Village at Wolf Creek, which is also known as the Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, Honts offered to meet with the town or the Community Vision Council, a group with public and private members, to answer questions about the village. Honts met with some Pagosa residents several weeks ago, but Aragon said Honts' "strong-arm tactics" and arrogance were contrary to a spirit of cooperation. Since then, Honts has agreed to a second meeting before the town passes a resolution in opposition to the project.

"I just want to be fair," Aragon said, adding that Honts is available the first week in December.

Town manager Mark Garcia said although the Mineral County Commissioners approved the project, it's not necessarily a sure thing.

"It may be a done deal from a certain perspective, but I don't think the developer has come close to determining whether it's feasible or not," Garcia said. Access permits from the Colorado Department of Transportation are still to be approved as are wetlands permits from the federal government.

During a public hearing at the last regular council meeting Nov. 3, two people addressed the project and its impacts on not only Pagosa Springs, but communities on the eastern side of the pass as well.

Pagosa resident Richard Goldman, initially a supporter of the project, said research has raised some concerns about impacts to wildlife, increases in population in Pagosa Springs and pressure on infrastructure, leading him to question his position.

"I just don't think we're ready for it," he said. "I think we need to be real cautious. I think we need to speak up about the size."

Dusty Hicks, a South Fork small business owner, said the timing of Pagosa's resolution was confusing, pointing out that towns and counties on the opposite side of the pass had been commenting on the project since March and, in some cases, back to 1987 when a land swap with the Forest Service took place. Communities east of the pass are behind the project, he said, working to see the benefits as well as preparing for possible impacts.

"You're 15 to 20 years ahead of us on capturing the tourism dollar," Hicks said. "In Rio Grande County we're looking for ways to get more jobs, raise income, looking for any way for our kids to stay and make a living." The Village at Wolf Creek, he said, will help fill seats in the schools, beds in the hospital, boost growth and bring people through the area.

"They're trying to be proactive," he said. "They're trying to make it work for them." He provided the council with copies of resolutions in support of the village from the town of Del Norte, Alamosa County Board of Commissioners, the town of South Fork, the South Fork Chamber of Commerce, Rio Grande County Board of Commissioners and the Upper Rio Grande Economic Development Council.

Hicks said speaking to Pagosa's town council was his own way of breaking the ice with the western side of the pass and opening communication. He added that he hopes to work for the village. As a native of the San Luis Valley, he said, it would allow him to help shape it instead of fighting its existence.

"I'm for the village because it can't be stopped," he said.

Although the council tabled its Mineral County resolution, they directed Garcia and town staff to revise the draft form, outlining concerns, and have it ready to go if necessary.

Council member Bill Whitbred asked that the council also be given a chance to review comments on the EIS draft statement on access. Those comments will be sent to Rio Grande and Alamosa counties as well as to the towns commenting on the development. The comment period ends Nov. 22.

 Inside The Sun

Twenty-six perfect marks lead intermediate school honor roll

Fifteen sixth-graders and 11 fifth-graders with perfect 4.0 averages lead the Pagosa Springs Intermediate School honor roll for the first grading period of the school year.

Sixth graders on the list released Monday were Rhyana Allison, Amanda Barnes, Ryann Charles, Gabrielle Dill, Mele LeLievre, Irene Madrid, Viridiana Marinelarena.

Also, Cy Parker, Crystal Purcell, Kimberly Rapp, Garrett Stoll, Sienna Stretton, Alisha Turner, Jefferson Walsh and Thomas Watkins.

Fifth-graders with perfect scores were Moses Audetat-Mirabal, Matthew Baker, Torey Bybee, Alexandra Fortney, Brandy Fowler, Samantha Hunts, Austin Miller, Timothy Palmer, Kristi Plum, Samuel Romain and Eli Velasquez.

In additioin, 33 sixth-graders and 38 fifth-graders with no grade below B, were named to the regular honor roll.

Sixth-graders on the list included Kelsea Anderson, Briana Bryant, Ashley Calhoun, Kayla Catlin, Cheyann Dixon, Denise Espinosa, Andrea Fautheree, Michelle Garcia, Mitch Johnson.

Also, Shea Johnson, Taylor Loewen, Joshua Long, Kelsi Lucero, Zachary Lucero, NaCole Martinez, Kaitlin Mastin, Michael Mathias, Tyler McKee.

Also, Bridgett Mechanic, Dakota Miller, Caitlin Mueller, Danielle Pajak, Erika Pitcher, Sierra Riggs, Ernest Romero, Randell Rudock, Rebecca Schaefer, Joseph Shovelton, Justine Smith, Kayleen Smith, Sara Stuckwish, Courtney Swan and Zack Thomas-Montoya.

Fifth-graders honored included Mattie Aiello, Sydney Aragon, Sigifredo Araujo, Tiffany Bachtel, Leslie Baughman, Laura Bell, Sarah Bir, Zachary Brinkmann, William Brown, Jerica Caler.

Also, Kyle Danielson, Angel Denison, Shelbie Edwards, Zoe Fulco, Gregory Griswold, Mary Haynes, Alexandra Herrera, Sierra Hewett, Zachary Irons.

Also, Katelyn McRee, Natasha Medici, Autumn Medlin, Charisse Morris, Desiree Pastin, Eurisko PeBenito, Michael Reynders, Julio Rodriguez, Lacy Romero.

Also, Tyson Ross, Shelby Schofield, Danny Shahan, Jonathan Shirk, Jeremy Smith, Destiny Soto, Tori Strohecker, Robert Swenson, Silas Thompson and Mariah Vasquez.


No applicants yet for school board vacancy

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

No applicants have filed as yet for the School Board District 1 seat left vacant by the Oct. 27 resignation of Carol Feazel.

The resignation was formally accepted Tuesday by the board of education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint which then reorganized itself to fill officer vacancies.

Mike Haynes, was nominated by his seatmates to fill the board presidency which had been held by Feazel. The motion was by senior director Jon Forrest who called it "a natural progression." At the same time, the board named Haynes as its delegate to the Colorado Association of School Boards for its upcoming winter conference.

Clifford Lucero was elevated to the vice presidency on a motion by Sandy Caves.

The board left open the district's seat on the Community Vision Council, a spot Feazel had volunteered for just prior to her resignation.

Directors felt it more important initially to get the board back up to full strength and choose a person for that post when that is accomplished.

The board scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16 which will include examination of any letters of application received by that time and possible discussion of extending the deadline (Nov. 15 at 5 p.m.) for a short period if no applications have been received.

The legal description of the board district from which the vacancy must be filled was published last week.

In general, with some exceptions, it lies between Pagosa Boulevard and Piedra Road and extends northward and westward to the Mineral and La Plata County lines.

Directors would like an opportunity to review applications and talk with applicants before recommending a choice for the vacancy.

If no applications are received, directors may lengthen the application period by two weeks, but probably no more than that, on the basis of discussion Tuesday.

The special meeting will also involve an executive session dealing with high school volleyball program issues presented by Noreen Griego, as well as a discussion of a District Accountability and Accreditation Committee resolution recommending creation of procedures to monitor student selection criteria for curricular and extracurricular programs.


Deadline extended for online submittal of land-use survey

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

It's always nice to get a second chance.

Formally, the absolute deadline for Archuleta County residents to comment on future county land-use regulations through participation in an online survey expired at 4 p.m. Nov. 5.

But if you had intended to log on and missed the opportunity, you're in luck - the closing date for submittal of online surveys has been extended.

For at least another week, the survey will be available for completion and submittal at the county Web site,

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

According to Marcus Baker, associate county planner, nearly 700 surveys had been collected as of Wednesday morning, including a large number of hard-copy surveys gathered from several locations across the county.

If you have completed a hard copy of the survey, "We're probably not going to turn anyone who has one away," said Baker.

"But we're not going to distribute any more hard copies of the survey," Baker added.

While surveys submitted online can be downloaded quickly by planning department staff, hard copies of the survey include data that will need to be entered into computer files manually.

"And since it will take a week or two to enter the information anyway, we're encouraging anyone who can get online to complete a survey in that time to do so," concluded Baker.

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


County assessor's office offers new Web service

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Assessor's Office is offering a chance to eliminate the middle man - or woman, as the case may be.

According to Keren Prior, county assessor, the public can now access basic county property tax information directly from the Internet free of charge.

At the onset of Tuesday's county board of commissioners' meeting, Prior told the board her office is one of 18 in the state currently participating in the "Colorado Property Tax Information Web Service."

As a result, a wealth of tax roll data maintained by the county assessor's office, including certified land values, primary property usages and certified tax amounts is now available at

Other information available at no charge on the site includes parcels' taxing districts, net levies, certified building values and certified total values.

For individuals and businesses interested in obtaining a higher level of tax information, the Web site offers the opportunity to subscribe to "basic service" at a cost of $600 per year, and "advanced service" at $1,000 per year.

Available search options on the site, said Prior, include queries according to property number, schedule number and physical address.

The service was established through collaboration with ACS, a national, government-services company which provides technology and software solutions for over 35 assessors' offices across the state.

A major advantage of working with ACS and participating in the statewide tax information network, said Prior, is the fact the service is not only free to the public, but also provided at no cost to the county.

Prior also indicated she believes the service will not only make public access to records more efficient, but facilitate other county departments' ability to access parcel records and run related reports as well.

"It should really cut down on office traffic, paper work and the number of phone calls," said Prior.

The service has been up and running for about a week, said Prior, and problems encountered thus far have apparently been minimal.

"There have been a few little bugs, but I think we've got the majority worked out," Prior concluded.


Tracing Veterans' Day to special salutes here

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

This is Veterans' Day, a federal holiday with the U.S. Post Office and all county, state and federal offices closed.

Most are aware of the reason for the day of tribute, established to honor those who have served our nation in all wars.

Originally called Armistice Day to celebrate the end of World War I, the occasion was marked on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time at which the war was officially over.

What may not be as readily known is that the holiday, under its new name, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Legislation changing the name was signed into law in 1954 by then President Dwight Eisenhower.

And, also little known, is the fact the Kansas city of Emporia is known as the birthplace of Veterans' Day.

Congress says so. The Senate passed a resolution last year declaring Emporia the founding city. The move also cleared the House and because it is a resolution, did not need presidential signature, thus taking effect immediately.

An Emporia shoe repairman named Alvin J. King is credited with getting the ball for change rolling by asking his congressman to try to change it to honor all who had served in the American military.

King had raised a nephew as his son and the soldier died in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II while serving with a Kansas National Guard unit.

Then U.S. Rep. Ed Rees fielded King's request, agreed with it and sponsored the legislation to change the name.

Emporia celebrated before it became effective, marking the first Veterans' Day in 1953, almost a year before President Eisenhower signed the new holiday into effect.

Locally, all veterans are being feted today by members of the eighth-grade classes at Pagosa Springs Junior High School in what has become an annual breakfast staged in the community center.

And, at the 11-11-11 memorial moment, names of the winners in the annual Reuben Marquez essay contest on patriotism will be announced in ceremonies at the American Legion Hall on Hermosa Street.

While there are dozens of veterans buried in Hilltop and other cemeteries around the county, relatively few of the graves were marked for the holiday as of a Sunday tour of the area.


38 leaks in a day spur junior high roof repair

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Repair of selected portions of roof on Pagosa Springs Junior High School is underway - almost.

Steve Walston, district maintenance supervisor, told the board of education Tuesday he had sought bids from several contractors after finding 38 separate leaks in one day following a recent heavy rain.

Only two bids were received and the lower one, for $20,000, was accepted. It was submitted by Tim Bilazzo who, Walston said, "has extensive experience in the field."

The problem, Walston said, is that in order for the sealant program to work properly the contractor needs a minimum of four dry days to let it fix.

While the project is underway, he said, we have not had the dry days necessary. When it does happen, he said, the work will take less than a week.

"We think we have isolated specific areas where most of the leaks are originating," Walston said, "but we can never be sure the way water tends to run to seek a lower level."

In other action Tuesday the board:

- accepted the resignations of Jolyn Ihly as a first-grade teacher, transportation mechanic George Reed and technology aide David Feazel;

- approved the hiring of Teddy Finney as an elementary resource teacher aide, Monica Archuleta as a half-time first-grade teacher aide; and Esther Ferry, Tom McCollough and Laura Schierenbeck as substitute teachers;

- saluted the fall sports squads in football, soccer and volleyball for their achievements and wished the volleyball team success at state this weekend;

- agreed to conduct planned board visits to the various buildings, starting Nov. 17 with the elementary school, to see first hand how programs are working and to visit one-on-one with both staff and students;

- heard superintendent Duane Noggle report the Colorado Association of School Boards has requested tapes of programs developed by Pagosa Springs High School's PHTV for showing at a state convention as representative of what students can achieve;

- lauded the Kids Voting program and those who managed it for "selfless dedication to the idea that every vote counts and you should know who and what you are votng for."


Pagosa Sanitation District customers could see rate increase next year

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

All residents of Pagosa Springs may face the same New Year's resolution in 2005 - spending more on sewer service.

A 23-percent increase in sewer rates is proposed as part of next year's sanitation district budget with another sizeable increase planned in 2006 to help fund an estimated $2.2 million in capital improvements including construction of a new waste water treatment facility.

"I don't see where we have much choice," Mayor Ross Aragon said at a Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District board meeting Nov. 3. Several other board members, who are also town council members, echoed the statement.

The current lagoon system, constructed in 1997, was built to last 6-10 years and has been operating under a temporary permit from the state since its construction. In March 2004, after the current plant failed to meet permit conditions 10 times over nine months, the state issued a letter of noncompliance threatening penalties of up to $10,000 a day in fines unless the facility was brought into compliance.

Noncompliance issues involved outflow limitations for ammonia, total residual chlorine, dissolved oxygen and fecal coliform.

To address the issues, the town hired an engineer to design both a temporary fix and a new sewer plant capable of meeting state requirements and serving future growth. Around the same time, Integrated Utilities Group, Inc., a consulting firm, was contracted to determine rate adjustments needed to fund future improvements and maintain the new facility.

According to the company's technical memorandum, the district, after property taxes, grants and other non-rate revenues are subtracted from the total cost, will still have to raise an estimated $300,000 in quarterly fees to cover maintenance of the system in 2005. In 2006, when construction of a new plant is set to begin, those costs will jump to nearly $460,000 and remain in that general range through 2008.

To meet the demand, the consultants recommended an increase in quarterly user fees from $34.50 to $45 per equivalent residential tap in 2005. A second hike in 2006 would take those same figures up to $67.50 per ERT per quarter.

Mark Garcia, town manager, said because of some of the expected grant funds the final numbers may have to be tweaked slightly. More grants would put less of a burden on individual sewer users.

But current tap owners aren't the only ones who will feel this hike. Plant investment fees, one-time charges collected to help pay for the impact of new growth, also called tap fees or impact fees, are possibly on the rise as well.

Currently, the town charges $2,000 per ERT for new development. The consultants suggested raising that to $2,600 per ERT, a 30-percent increase, in 2005, and then to $3,100 per ERT in 2006.

Bill Whitbred, a member of the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District board suggested starting at $3,000 per ERT to help cover remaining debt on a three-mile sewer extension east of town completed in 2003 at significantly higher costs than expected.

"Picking up the extra few hundred dollars couldn't hurt us," he said. The rest of the council agreed to raise the investment fees to $3,000 per ERT starting in 2005.

According to the rate study, the town's sanitation district serves 1,650 ERTs today. An additional 3,300 ERTs are expected to come online in the next several years.

The board will take a final look at the numbers and the budget at the next regular meeting Dec. 7 immediately following the town board meeting. They will also consider possibly preselling sewer taps for projects already in the works, provided the taps are purchased and used by deadlines still to be set.


Local district helps fight Arboles fire

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

An estimated 5,000 bales of hay went up in smoke along with a hay-stacking wagon and a tractor-trailer near Arboles Saturday evening.

Deputy Chief Tom Aurnhammer, of the Los Pinos Fire Protection District, said the hay bales and equipment were housed in a pole barn in the 400 block of County Road 975. Because of the volume of fire on-scene when Los Pinos arrived, they called for assistance from Pagosa and the Upper Pine Fire Protection District.

"It was a labor-intensive operation getting the bales moved out and wet down," he said. In fact, some of the hay was still smoldering Tuesday although the recent rain and snow was expected to assist in extinguishing any final hot spots. Water had to be trucked in from a point about two miles away.

The cause of the blaze has not been determined. "We're still investigating," Aurnhammer said. "It doesn't appear to be suspicious; we just haven't have the chance to pinpoint an exact cause." He estimated losses at over $50,000.


See the Downtown Master Plan at Nov. 17 meeting

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.


Fall book fair, carnival, tonight

at grade school

The Pagosa Springs Elementary School Fall Book Fair is underway through Nov. 18 in Room 19, during regular school hours.

With books available for the whole family, the book fair offers great gift ideas.

A Family Event Shopping Night and Fall Carnival will be staged 6-8 p.m. today in the school. Children must be accompanied by a parent for this event.

Volunteers are needed for the book fair and a variety of shifts are available each day. Call Julie Greenly, 731-9947, or Tomi Fredendali, 731-0060, for information or to sign up to help.

Scholastic Book Fairs works in partnership with Pagosa Springs Elementary School to provide a special book sale that will excite both parents and students about the joy of reading.

In addition to offering the newest books and educational materials, a book fair raises funds that provide essential school resources and support important school projects.


66 students pace PSHS honor roll with perfect marks

Sixty-six students with perfect 4.0 averages lead the honor roll for the first 9-week grading period at Pagosa Springs High School. Included were 22 seniors, 15 juniors, 18 sophomores and 11 freshmen.

In addition, 42 other students had grade point averages of 3.75 including five seniors, 10 juniors, 13 sophomores and 14 freshmen.

Seniors cited with perfect marks include Randi Andersen, Shiloh Baker, Kyrie Beye, Kelli Ford, Levi Gill, Esther Gordon, Esther Lloyd, Benjamin Loper, Manuel Madrid.

Also, Juan Martinez, Kelcie Mastin, Danine Mendoza, Audrey Miller, Jesse Morris, Ryan Ranson, Rachel Schur, Brianna Scott, Jacob Smith, Victoria Stanton, Courtney Steen, Alexander Tapia and Frances Townsend.

Seniors with 3.75 averages were Paula Alves, Brett Garman, Janna Henry, Christine Morrison and Chris Nobles.

Top scoring juniors were Heather Andersen, Daniel Aupperle, Sara Baum, Caitlin Forrest, Jim Guyton, Joshua Hoffman, Elizabeth Kelley.

Also, Matthew Nobles, Ricky Perez, Jakob Reding, Orion Sandoval, Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz, Katherina Vowels and Veronica Zeiler.

Those with 3.75 averages included Jake Cammack, Heather Dahm, Kari Faber, Sandra Griego, Jennifer Hilsabeck, Ursala Hudson, Brittany Jaramillo, Efrain Marinelarena, Emilie Schur and Charmaine Talbot.

Sophomores with perfect 4.0 marks were Shannon Baker, Hannah Clark, Kathryn Cumbie, Iris Frye, Kimberly Fulmer, Malinda Fultz, Alaina Garman, Casey Hart, Jennifer Haynes.

Also, Anna Hershey, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Sierra Lee, Shanti Johnson, Jessica Lynch, Elise McDonald, Jesse Miller, Laurel Reinhardt and Cassandra Ries.

Sophomores with 3.75 averages were Kimberly Canty, Joseph Gill, Jamilyn Harms, Kimberly Judd, Kyle Kamolz, Kyra Matzdorf, Tiffany Mayne, Ellen Niehaus, Ben Owens, Kelly Sause, David Smith, Grace Smith and Jenni Webb-Shearston.

Topping the list of freshmen with 4.0 averages were Chance Adams, Dan Cammack, Natalia Clark, Shannon DeBoer, Kailee Kenyon, Mackenzie Kitson.

Also, Allison Laverty, Travis Moore, Trey Quiller, Joshua Reding and Rebecca Stephens.

Freshmen with 3.75 averages were Madeline Bergon, Caleb Burggraaf, Patrick Ford, Bruce Hoch, Bradley Iverson, Stephan Leslie, Jessica Low, Michael Moore.

Also, Karla Palma, Trisha Perea, Keith Pitcher, Hannah Price, Forrest Rackham and Sara Schultz.



Tours set of lands areas proposed for forest exchange

On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20, the USDA Forest Service will host public field trips to the Archuleta County land parcels proposed for exchange between the Forest Service and Tom and Margie Smith.

The private land parcels offered for exchange to the Forest Service are (1) Laughlin Park, on the Jackson Mountain Road north of Pagosa Springs (containing about 63 acres); and (2) Spiler Canyon, off the Kenney Flats Road southeast of Pagosa Springs (about 160 acres).

The land proposed for exchange to the Smiths comprises two parcels of National Forest System land in the area known as Oakbrush Hill. This land area is adjacent to the Job Corps site on Piedra Road (the Job Corps site is not being considered for exchange). The Oakbrush Hill parcels contain about 330 acres.

Each trip will visit all three parcels, weather permitting, and last about six hours (including driving time). Each trip will begin at 9 a.m. at the Pagosa Ranger District Office at 180 Pagosa St. in Pagosa Springs.

Participants should dress for the weather and be prepared for short hikes at each location, and bring water and a light lunch. A vehicle with good ground clearance is advised. Forest Service resource staff members will host the trips and document observations of participants.

As part of the environmental analysis process, the Forest Service is inviting public comments regarding this proposed land exchange. The comment period ends Monday, Dec. 13. Comments received during this scoping period help identify the issues and opportunities that form the basis of the environmental analysis.

A draft version of the analysis will be available for additional comment later this winter. All written comments should be sent to the Pagosa District Ranger, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Springs, CO 81301.

Contact Glenn Raby, Pagosa Ranger District, at (970) 264-1515 for further information, and to RSVP so that we can reach people if inclement weather requires a change of schedule.


Avalanche forecast center open; awareness talk slated Nov. 16

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center's Wolf Creek Pass Avalanche Forecast Office has begun 12th winter of operation.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center is a division of the Colorado Geologic Survey and the Wolf Creek Pass office is in Pagosa Springs at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) maintenance facility.

The office is responsible for providing mountain weather forecasts and avalanche hazard assessments to CDOT maintenance crews on Wolf Creek (U.S. 160), Monarch (U.S. 50), and Cumbres and La Manga (Colo. 17) passes. This office along with others in Silverton, Carbondale, and the Eisenhower Tunnel cover all the Colorado mountain highways.

The Avalanche Center's main office is located with the National Weather Service in Boulder. Local avalanche forecaster Mark Mueller, begins his 28th winter of avalanche forecasting and control. Groups or individuals interested in avalanche safety or any other snow avalanche related matters can contact the Wolf Creek Pass Avalanche Office at 264-4826.

During the winter, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center provides a daily statewide mountain weather and avalanche hazard forecast for interested backcountry winter travelers.

The hotline for the San Juan Mountains is located in Durango and can be reached at (970) 247-8187. Daily forecasts and additional information can be found on the Avalanche Center's Web site,

A day spent in the mountains in winter should start with a call to the center's Avalanche Hotline or Web site. A community Avalanche Awareness Talk will be given 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

The talk is free and will cover basic avalanche safety information. All interested winter backcountry travelers are encouraged to attend.

Call 264-4826 for more information.


Final NRA handgun safety course for season Nov. 19-20

The Archuleta County Sheriff's Department is sponsoring the last NRA handgun safety course for this year.

This course meets all the requirements for issuance of a concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit in Colorado. There are 22 states that honor Colorado's CCW permit.

Class will be split into two sessions: the first on Friday evening, Nov. 19, for classroom instruction, the second a live handgun firing the following morning.

Class space is limited to 20 students. If there are more than 30 who wish to enroll, a second class will be scheduled within two weeks.

There is a nonrefundable $100 fee per student which must be paid in advance.

For class reservations, call Curtis Roderick at 731-1999 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, or contact him at the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department at 264-8443.

If there is no answer, leave a message and Roderick or one of the instructors will contact you as soon as possible.



'Village' impact

Dear Editor:

We are compelled to respond to your editorial, "Stay Close to Home," from Oct. 28.

A call for humility? The dictionary defines humility as a lack of pride. I am very proud of the fact that my great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Father John Kehler, came to Colorado with his daughters and granddaughters in 1860 and founded the Episcopal Church in Colorado.

I am very proud of the fact that my great-grandfather traded his shotgun for Gun Barrel Hill in what is now Boulder, Colo. I am not part of the problem I rail against. I was raised in Evergreen. My husband was born in Denver, a fourth generation native whose family homesteaded and ranched above Central City.

Most recently, my husband and I lived in Littleton and Castle Rock. We have seen what sprawl and unchecked, unfounded, and unrealistic development does. We remember the Vail Valley when there was no Vail. We remember Silverthorne before Wal-mart and Target and Starbucks invaded. We remember the once quaint, historic communities of Central City and Blackhawk before Vegas-style gambling destroyed them.

We are not against development and progress. We are for having a plan. You forgot one very significant fact: The ranch land and agricultural land that we now live on once belonged to the Native Americans. We are all squatters on land that once belonged to someone else.

We agree with you that we must turn our attention to the Community Vision Committee and the county land use survey. We already submitted our responses. But you cannot dismiss the Village as some far off development that we can do nothing about. Wolf Creek is in our own backyard. The Village will directly impact our community. We will be the location for affordable housing.

There is no school in South Fork. Our schools will be impacted by the 1,200 workers the developer plans to import according to the EIS. The Village will directly affect traffic, our already struggling healthcare system, our waste management, our fire, police, and emergency services. A development that will truck in natural gas to power its generators, transfer solid waste sludge via a private contractor, and require seven, 6 million-gallon water storage tanks is wrong. Let's not forget that the Environment Impact Statement to which we are all responding is only on 250 feet of road and that the developer is not being required to provide an environmental impact statement on the entire project.

I find it ironic, that the same editor who defends the rights to free speech for Mr. Sawicki, Mr. Feazel, and Mr. Bennett, has the audacity to call upon impassioned, concerned citizens to find some humility. As Helen Keller once said: "I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." That includes writing letters.

Richard and Leanne Goebel

Editor's note: Dictionaries are wonderfully flexible tools. When we open ours in search of a definition of the term in question our eye falls on "a modest sense of one's own significance." With reference to discourse, we see "courteously respectful."

We continue, with you, to believe the proposed Village at Wolf Creek is a poor idea. At the same time, we do not sense any irony in opposing all but minimal censorship while, at the same time, championing civility from all quarters. We have called for civil dialogue many times in the past - we will no doubt do so again.


Bigger deal afoot

Dear Editor:

I recently read the Forest Service request for input on the Oak Brush Hill land exchange and while it is interesting to read what the Forest Service says, it is what they don't say that is so alarming.

Why won't the Forest Service include all the facts concerning the proposed trade? In their quest to sugar coat the notice, they just happen to leave out real interesting stuff, like:

1. Tom and Margie Smith own the 1,300 acre-plus Dolese Ranch but do not reside on it. They are real estate developers from Kansas City who bought the Dolese Ranch to develop it. If they can get access (the proposed trade) they may develop hundreds of new smaller lots (some say 10-acre parcels).

2. The Smiths did not do their homework prior to buying the property and found they could not get the necessary access easements for a major development. The Smiths now want to trade 330 acres of open space so developers can gain access to the ranch. Why should the government ask the people of Pagosa Springs to bail out the Smiths so they can make millions of dollars from our sacrifice?

3. The Forest Service has knowledge of the Smith's intention to develop the Dolese Ranch on the eastern edge of the Oak Brush Hill property. The Forest Service is a willing player in the overall development scheme by this out-of-state developer which, if this trade goes through, would ultimately include major development on our open space. If preserving and managing National Forests for public use is their mandate, then why would the Forest Service even consider a trade of 330 prime acres of open space, full of wildlife and recreational opportunity for the citizens of Pagosa Springs, so that a developer could ruin forever the 330-acre Oak Brush Hill?

Don't get misled by the Forest Service. This proposal is much bigger than just the 330 acres of Oak Brush Hill property. The trade will open up an additional 1,300-plus acres of pristine land to the land-raping bulldozers. It will put a significant and unnecessary strain on the abundant wildlife in the area by reducing their existing wintering habitat. This trade, if approved, will eliminate a local resource with little or no offsetting benefit to the local citizenry. It will line the pockets of a developer, just like what is currently happening at Wolf Creek Pass.

We cannot let another developer and the Forest Service attempt to pull the wool over our eyes. Get Involved!

Clyde Grimm

Editor's note: The forest service land involved in the proposed transaction is federal land and, thus, belongs to a few more folks than "the citizens of Pagosa Springs."


Land trade foe

Dear Editor:

Today I read in the paper an article from the Forest Service talking about a proposed trade of the property known as Oak Brush Hill/Job Corps Site.

I would like everyone in your local readership area to know that I am against this trade and by this letter to your newspaper, I am asking the Forest Service to schedule public hearings to get input from the rest of our community.

The Forest Service has been working on this trade "under the radar" for over a year now, and it is time they come clean with the facts and let the public know what they are doing and how they got here.

Based solely on what I read in the paper today, the absurd notion that our community is somehow going to be better and benefitted by the Forest Service trading away 330 acres of prime wooded property less than four miles from town for some obscure high altitude mining claim and a few other properties also located miles from our community, is an absolute insult to common sense and good business practice.

Per the Forest Service's own article, three different land acts allow federal lands to be exchanged for non-federal lands with higher resource and public values if: "the exchange benefits the public, in terms of resources acquired vs. resources traded."

Mr. Raby, do you think that we all are totally stupid and will buy readily into the notion that 264 acres of obscure properties located in the case of the mines, several hundred miles from Pagosa Springs will somehow be as desirable as 330 acres of pristine critical wildlife habitat only four miles from town? Granted Laughlin Park and Spiler Canyon are located closer to Pagosa Springs than the mines. However, they are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of existing Forest Service property which we, the public, currently have access to provided we are willing and able to make the drive to the sites.

Exactly how does adding another 62.5 acres at Laughlin Park and another 160 marginally accessible areas at Spiler Canyon to the hundreds of thousands of existing Forest Service acreage in the respective areas benefit the Pagosa Springs public?

More importantly, how will your trade offset the loss of our beautiful natural 330-acre site and the despair of us having to watch bulldozers flattening trees, hundreds of houses being built, and SUV's full of people whizzing about? And how can you offset the tragedy of the big and small game suffering from the loss of more of their critical habitat? The site is now only full of peaceful silence, big and small game, hikers, hunters and other citizens enjoying a spectacular property with its priceless recreational value right here in our own back yard.

Perhaps your public appearance may answer these questions. Show some courage and schedule public hearings so you can stand before us and explain how this trade meets this one aforementioned requirement.

William Hodkin



Dear Editor:

Well it looks like Mineral County did the dastardly deed by approving Wolf Creek Village exactly as Mr. McCombs wanted it. What strings and payoffs had to be made only they will know.

The only thing Pagosa Springs can do now is to let Mineral County/South Fork citizens pay the price by providing the low income employees required by Mr. McCombs and providing housing for these employees with all the subsidies they will need.

They can also provide the fire and police protection if required. Let Mr. McCombs suck the Rio Grande drier then it already is. Then there's all the sanitary needs of this humungous village that will have to be provided. We can only hope that Wolf Creek Village will not be as prosperous as they suppose it will be and Mr. McCombs and his corporation will pay that price too!

Do I sound disenchanted with Mineral County and the Forest Service? That's putting it mildly. Keep on your toes Pagosa Springs, there are a few more forest exchanges/land grabs that are lurking in the wings, and these are a lot closer to home!

Donna Kummer


Students 4 change

Dear Editor:

An Election Day show of support for the Kerry/Edwards campaign was held last Tuesday at the Bell Tower Park by a group of high school students, members of "Students 4 Change." The first of the group arrived at 5 a.m. to set up, organize and prepare for the day, which did not end for them until 5 p.m.

They held posters and signs, waved, danced and cheered, especially when they received cheers, waving and honking back from people driving by. Passersby of all ages stopped and joined them during the day. Strangers stopped and thanked our students for their efforts, one gentleman returning with sodas for everyone.

I was enormously proud of all of these young people, their dedication and passion toward what they believe in, and was especially proud of the respectful way in which they dealt with some of the occasional inappropriate behaviors that came their way. I am honored to have been part of their day, and to know these exceptional students.

Dale Morris


Salute to coaches

Dear Editor:

I would like to acknowledge Lindsey Kurt-Mason and Dorman Diller for their work as coaches for the Pagosa Springs High School soccer team.

Having just completed his fourth and last season on the team, my son has been the beneficiary of the hard work, dedication, passion and skill of these two men, and for that I am deeply grateful.

During the past four years, the team has had nothing but winning seasons; we've won the District more times than not. A number of players have gained distinction and recognition locally, regionally and at the state level. Lindsey has even won coach of the year. But that's not what I'm grateful for or impressed by.

High school athletics, in my opinion, is all about character development in adolescents, period. I don't care if my son comes home with a district championship patch from playing soccer, I want him to understand the discipline necessary to achieve his dreams and goals.

I don't care how many goals he's scored or points he's blocked, I want him to unconditionally value people regardless of their religion, race, lifestyle or nationality. Through soccer and Lindsey and Dorman's modeling, my son is more ready to contribute to the world in a way that benefits all of us. I think that is more important that any traditional team statistic.

This year, the soccer team lost their first five games - an unusual losing streak for our "boys." I saw more character grow and develop in all of the players during those losses than just about any other time my four seasons as a PSHS soccer fan.

Being gracious and tolerant when we win is not nearly as hard as demonstrating those same attributes when we lose, and lose, and lose. Lindsey and Dorman's leadership and coaching during the losing streak -- and during the winning streak that ensued - was positive, honest, compassionate and focused. Lindsey's constant energy, great sense of humor and passion for coaching in spite of the team's performance was an inspiration for the players' - what a great lesson for everyone.

When you average-out the hours spent working for, on, and with the team, Lindsey and Dorman probably get paid a coaching stipend that is no greater than a dollar or so an hour. Yet the lessons and experience they give our kids - like so many other teachers and coaches in our community - lasts a lifetime. Thank you, coaches, for making a big difference in the lives of our kids!

Jim Morris


Moral values

Dear Editor:

I do not understand why liberal Democrats fail to grasp why John Kerry, George Soros and P. Diddy were impressively defeated. If they'd stop watching Michael Moore crockumentaries they would easily identify at least one reason - moral values.

To those grieving 2,111 lost souls in Archuleta County who need assistance defining what our nation's presidential election was all about and not cave in to a state of manic depression, may this dim-witted word hog entertain you with some tantalizing food for thought.

The gay marriage amendment vote, for example, tells me America is absolutely alive and well. Liberals just don't get it. Most of us in this country will tolerate homosexuality until you put it in front of our children. If you do that, you'd better watch out.

Most every expert thought this election would hinge on the war in Iraq. They were wrong. This election was about right and wrong. It was about all us dummies between the coasts being fed up with the "politically correct" bull being forced down our throats. It was about Middle America hicks takin' a long, hard look at this country and not likin' what we saw. Somewhat similar to having a crazy aunt living in the basement; everybody knows she's there but nobody wants to talk or do anything about it.

As long as the Democrats have people like Michael Moore out front doing their talking this trend will continue. Mr. Moore and his Hollywood liberal cronies may have done more damage to the Kerry campaign than good. And they calls us dumb!

I had thought that the 1994 election disaster would have taught them a lesson. Why didn't it? Because they are the elite, the beautiful, the intelligent and can never be wrong. They always see fault in others but never in themselves.

Should any of you lost souls out there desire a clear clarification of moral values, ya might want to consider prayer. The real value of consistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him.

I like to think that reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Jim Sawicki


'Adult' behavior?

Dear Editor:

I am a 17-year-old junior at Pagosa Springs High School and I helped lead the student rally in support of John Kerry and the Salazar brothers on election day at Bell Tower Park.

First, I want to say thank you to all of the people who supported our effort that day. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of joy when so many people voiced their approval for our cause.

Three of us arrived at the bell tower at 5 a.m. and began making our signs. We stood out in front of that tower for 12 straight hours in support of our candidates and I have to say that I was really impressed with the positive reactions we got from so many in this town. We even had people stop by and give us food and drinks and many picked up a sign and joined right in.

Our rally was completely for our candidates and was in no way negative toward any other candidate in the election, which is why I was so shocked when many residents of this town treated us with such hatred.

There were even some adults in this town that I had known personally for six years who drove by us and screamed profanities at the top of their lungs while making obscene gestures. I expected to get some of that from our fellow students, but I thought adults would be a little more grown up than that.

Why would people treat us like that? We were doing nothing wrong. We were peacefully expressing our First Amendment right. We were not screaming or reacting negatively toward anyone who had a pro President Bush sticker on their car, so why were we treated with such outright hatred when all we were doing was supporting our choice for the presidency?

I have pondered that thought for the past week and I have found no answer. On that day at the bell tower, a few of us realized there many things we feel need to be changed in this country and in this world. We realized that things will not change on their own, and there have to be people willing to put in their time to make this world a better place.

So, we decided we would form an organization that we are calling Students 4 Change, with the sole interest of making our community and our world a better place to live. We're going to try to help students, not just adults, become informed about the issues that face us every day that most people don't even know about.

We feel that if we do nothing and just stand by, who will address these problems that our generation will soon have to deal with and fix in the future?

So again, we want to say "thank you, Pagosa," for supporting us in our effort to make a difference.

Michael Spitler


Community News

Troop 807 is scouting for food for needy

Boy Scout Troop 807 has distributed more than 800 bags locally, asking residents to contribute to the local food bank.

They ask residents to "please donate what you can," by filling the bags with nonperishable food.

Place the bags by your front door before 9 a.m. Saturday and a member of the troop will come by to pick it up.

If you would like to contribute but did not receive a bag, take your donation to Community United Methodist Church.

The Scouts thank everyone in advance for their support toward improving the local community by helping us help those in need.


Habitat will mark 10th year at dinner; volunteers needed

You can help celebrate Habitat for Humanity's 10 years in Archuleta County 5:30 p.m. Thursday Nov. 18.

A free orientation dinner and program will be held at the Our Savior Lutheran Church, 56 Meadows Drive (U.S. 160 and Meadows).

The organization is in need of new volunteers to lead the program in many different areas and to carry on the work and tradition of providing homes for those in need.

Anyone interested in volunteering or in finding out more about Habitat for Humanity is welcome to attend.

Bring a friend for free food and an enjoyable evening.

For more information or to RSVP call Chris at 731-6900.


The Great Hall of Pagosa

will be a holiday delight

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

The Great Hall developed as the principal domestic interior of the High Middle Ages, and was found within every kind of residence, from palaces and castles to merchants' houses and farmsteads. In those days, it was a living space, where everyone ate and slept communally.

But over the course of the Middle Ages, those who had the means left the hall for more comfortable apartments of their own. However, the great hall did not disappear. Instead it became an architectural symbol of the household and a ceremonial focus for its daily life, particularly meals.

And what meal could compare to the annual holiday dinner put on in the Great Hall of the King and Queen ... with music, magic, and entertainment accompanying the presentation and pageantry and of this festive feast!

Is there such a Great Hall in Pagosa Springs? Well, there will be on the weekends of Dec. 3-4 and 10-11, when the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters present their first Madrigal Dinner ... in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

There will be no visible traces of a basketball court or bleachers. Royal crests, banners and tapestry-like hangings will decorate the huge banquet area, set up in long rows of tables to accommodate 250 diners a night, while over 35 costumed singers, dancers, instrumentalists and specialty performance artists provide continuous music and entertainment. Incidentally, those attending are invited to come in period costumes, if they so desire.

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.

Pagosa's Great Hall will be the scene of a great holiday evening. Better get your tickets early.


Third annual free Thanksgiving dinner scheduled Nov. 21

First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs will host the third annual Thanksgiving Celebration Dinner for the community beginning 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21.

This event is sponsored by the Missions Committee, the "First Fruits" outreach of the deacons and by a number of members of the church.

Each year the invitations have been delivered to those who will not have the opportunity to celebrate the Thanksgiving season with family members, those who are in assisted living homes, those who may not be able to provide a meal on Thanksgiving Day and those who wish to have a wonderful meal with friends and neighbors of the community.

A delicious meal is prepared by members of the church and is free to those who attend. Any person or family who desires to come and did not get tickets may call the church office at 731-2205 and reserve tickets for the dinner.

This outreach program is a way in which the church can help the community celebrate with "thanks" for the blessings of the past year.

This year's dinner will feature country gospel singer Myra Green presenting a concert for those in attendance. CGMA winner and New Mexico native, Green presents new and original country gospel style music in the tradition of the Grand Ole Opry. The songs and music are written and produced by Ray Calcote of Revival Ministries in Farmington. He has written over 140 songs and produces a weekly radio show.

Green says, "Jesus has done so much for me. I am just an ordinary woman who loves to sing for Jesus. Yet, the work of the Lord in my ordinary life gives me a reason to sing, a reason to share. Ray Calcote's lyrics and music tell about Jesus in a manner that is clear, uncluttered, biblically accurate, and fun."

She has been a featured singer at evangelism conferences, does concerts in churches, RV camps and citywide crusades, and was named the Southwest Region Female Vocalist of 2000 by the Country Gospel Music Association.

Her style has been compared to that of the late Patsy Cline.

Green was raised in Farmington, is an accomplished portrait artist and a home-school mom now living in Glorieta, N.M., with her husband, Cliff and their children.


Gallery Walk tickets are available

By Marti Capling

Special to The PREVIEW

Tickets are now available for the second annual Gala Gallery Walk scheduled 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19.

This event is a fund-raiser sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council in cooperation with seven local galleries, each providing refreshments, music, raffle prizes and an opportunity to gather ideas for early Christmas shopping.

Tickets may be purchased for $10 or $8 for PSAC members at Moonlight Books, the Chamber of Commerce, WolfTracks, and the PSAC Art Center/Gallery in Town Park. Please present your ticket as you visit each gallery in any order you choose.

Pagosa Photography will feature "The Art of Portraiture," an opportunity to view portraits of many local Pagosans. As a special event, photographer Jeff Laydon will offer fun, casual studio sittings for a nominal donation to the benefit PSAC. Dress in your festive holiday outfits and take advantage of this photographic opportunity while enjoying coffee from Treasures of the Rockies and liqueurs recommended by Copper Coin Discount Liquors.

Further along Pagosa Street, hosts Jerry and Joan Rohwer of Moonlight Books will offer savory finger food, wine and coffee. In addition to providing literary variety since 1987, the gallery features the work of photographic artists Bruce Anderson, Lili Pearson and John Taylor. Original watercolors and oil paintings, as well as prints and cards by local artists Virginia Bartlett, Denny Rose and Jean Smith, are also displayed along with stained glass works by Joan Rohwer. Each participating artist has volunteered to provide an item for the raffle, so there will be several opportunities to win.

Also on Pagosa Street is Taminah Gallery and Frame Center, featuring distinctive jewelry and gift items in addition to original paintings, prints, sculpture and cards by local artists Milt Lewis, Claire Goldrick, Wayne Justus, Carole Cook, Randall Davis, Pierre Mion, Gregory Hull, Celia Ann Jones, Avonna Lee Landwehr and Pat Erickson, whose work took top honors at the recent PSAC juried art show.

Owner Karen Cox and her sales associates will provide refreshments and music, and a raffle prize, with local artists on hand to meet and greet.

New to the Gallery Walk this year is Astara's Boutique on Hot Springs Boulevard where Monika Murphy will be displaying her handcrafted clothing, including easy care day wear, holiday outfits and separates, cruise wear and sarongs, along with hand knitted silk shawls, scarves and ponchos. Monika also has handcrafted jewelry available as separates or sets. There will be informal modeling, wine and soft drinks, fruit and cheese to enjoy as you browse this unique boutique.

East of the stoplight, owners Cappy White and Monica Green of Handcrafted Interiors invite you to visit their eclectic gallery of home furnishings and fine craft, as well as works in wood, fiber, metals and stone by local artists Mike Selinski, Will Dunbar, David Smith, Tim Reitz, Steve Rolig, Bob Hutchinson, Dennie Finn, Frank Weiss, Sharon Garrison and Nettie Trenk. Cappy and Monica will provide refreshments and music for your enjoyment, along with a raffle prize.

Lantern Dancer Gallery and Gifts in the River Center also features a number of local artists, including owners Rosie and Jerry Zepnick, Syl Holly-Lobato, Darlene Raes, Richard Sutherland and Nancy Green, representing diverse mediums including jewelry, woodworking and paintings on rocks and feathers. A large array of jewelry will be on display, along with fine art, pottery, woodcarvings, gemstone globes and unique gifts. Rosie, Jerry, Syl, and Nancy will be there to meet and greet while serving hot apple cider and holiday treats. A drawing will be held for a $50 gift certificate.

At the far end of town you won't want to miss the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and Gallery. It's worth the drive five miles out U.S. 84 to view the originals and prints of many local artists, such as Milt Lewis, Claire Goldrick, Wayne Justus, Sue Weaver, Gary Morton, Bob Molin, Jocelyn Lillipop, Rom and Manuel Mansanarez, "Shoofly," Charles Denault, E.F. Norte, Chuck Ren, Frank Miller, Ron Owens, Rebekah Laue and others, along with wildlife photography by Marvin Cattoor, Judd Cooney, and Harry Bowden. Refreshments including shrimp and meatballs, dessert, and hot and cold punch will be served by hosts Vimmie and Dick Ray and their able assistant Jeanne Hanson.

Plan to gather up a group of friends and neighbors and purchase tickets early for a most enjoyable evening and an opportunity to support the arts council, our local merchants and artisans.


Argentine tango classes underway

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

Argentine Tango comes to Pagosa Springs again this month, 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 storm.

Classes will be 7-9 p.m. Friday and Nov. 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.


Boulder Acoustic Society will close Whistle Pig's season with concert

By Bill Hudson

Special to The PREVIEW

Friday marks the final concert of the 2004 Whistle Pig series, with a chance for Pagosa music lovers to enjoy the Boulder Acoustic Society.

This is a quartet of very talented young men from Boulder with 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. This intimate house concert will take place, as usual, in the living room of the Hudson House, 446 Loma St., in downtown Pagosa Springs, and the suggested donation of $10 includes homemade desserts and refreshments during intermission. Reservations can be made by calling 264-2491.

Next year will mark the tenth anniversary of the Whistle Pig Concert Series here in Pagosa, and many of the present audience members were there too - way back when - to offer support at the very beginning, and they still speak fondly of those early concerts.

For those of you who are newer to the community, here's a brief history of the concert series.

The Whistle Pig Concert Series was conceived in 1995 by Kent Greentree, a very talented songwriter and guitarist, shortly after he moved to Pagosa from the Yukon Territory in Canada. Kent's idea was to stage monthly "open mic" concerts at various Pagosa venues, with two aims in mind: first, to give local musicians an opportunity to perform for a live audience in a nonalcoholic, nonsmoking environment, and second, to use the funds generated by ticket sales to purchase a professional quality sound system for the Pagosa Springs Arts Council where local concert promoters and performers would have public access to those tools.

Kent, and a team of dedicated volunteers, tried out various locations for the concerts, finally settling on the Vista Clubhouse as their venue of choice. Kent began scheduling a "guest artist" to highlight each concert, usually chosen from the many talented local performers but occasionally presenting performers from surrounding communities.

The concerts were well attended by appreciative audiences, and after a few years, Kent had indeed met his second goal of purchasing a professional eight-channel sound system for PSAC, complete with microphones and stands, which is still in service to this day and can be rented by performers and private individuals for a nominal fee.

However, the concerts were very time-consuming for the volunteer staff Kent had put together, and as the years went on, the core group of volunteers became smaller and smaller.

When Kent decided to leave town in 1999 -- Pagosa Springs had gotten "too big" for him by then, he explained - he asked me to take over the series. My wife Clarissa and I continued to present concerts at the Vista for a couple of years, with a small, hardy band of volunteers, but I have to admit, it was just not that much fun, and the content of the performances, with a limited stable of local "open mic" performers, was tending toward "repetitive."

Then, in the fall of 2000, another songwriter friend of ours, Buddy Tabor, came to visit from Alaska and suggested that we try putting on a "house concert." We had never heard of such a thing - a concert in your living room?

Buddy explained that it was all the rage in western Canada. We took the challenge and started publicizing our first Whistle Pig House Concert, featuring Buddy as our first guinea pig - oops, I mean whistle pig. We had an audience of 18, but they all enjoyed the intimate evening and so did Buddy. And so the Whistle Pig Series was transformed into a house concert series.

The next year, we added a Whistle Pig Web site to our promotional tools, and soon found ourselves being contacted by an incredible range of touring musicians who had also fallen in love with the house concert concept.

Our 2004 concert series was able to present a great mix of local, regional, and nationally-recognized performers, including Celtic guitarist Jerry Barlow, jazz by the Jack Hanson Trio, country blues artist Jack Williams, mandolin wizard Bruce Hayes, the impossible-to-define Vermont songwriter Louise Taylor and another visit by Tabor.

Our intimate audience includes certain "regulars" but the concerts also attract a good number of visitors who just happen to be in town the weekend of the show. Overall, the reactions from both audience and performers have been quite appreciative.

As one musician stated following his performance, "I only want to do house concerts from now on!"

The Whistle Pig continues to be a volunteer-run event, with all donations going to the performers. Refreshments are provided by Artstream Cultural Resources, a local nonprofit arts organization, and by audience members who love to bake.

Reservations for this week's concert, featuring the Boulder Acoustic Society, can be made by calling 264-2491.


Keep someone warm, donate to Rotary Club's Operation Winter Coat

It is that time of year again, when the Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs has its annual Operation Winter Coat collection and distribution drive.

This year the distribution will be 1-5 p.m. Friday Nov. 19, in the Extension building at the county fairgrounds.

This is a great opportunity to go through your closets and find outgrown warm coats, hats, boots and gloves.

The community always gets behind the drive by opening various locations for drop-off of items and this year is no exception.

Items may be dropped off at Jem Jewelers, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Pagosa Springs Elementary School, Our Savior Lutheran School or Pagosa Springs Junior High School no later than Nov. 18.

"I know from past experience," said Kathi DeClark, last year's organizer, "that this is a wonderful time for anyone who needs such items to come by and pick them up - free of charge. There is always enough to go around."

For more information on distribution or collections, call Coleen Myers at 731-6378 or Gloria Haines at 731-2100.


Unitarians to hear Buddhist teachings

The Nov. 14 program for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will be presented by Katherine Barr of Durango who will speak on "The Uniqueness of Buddha's Teachings," and then lead the Fellowship in a meditation.

Barr visited the Fellowship last year in May and led a well-received meditation workshop. She is president of the board of the Durango Sanga, is a hospice volunteer, teaches meditation at a youth detention center in Durango and has intensively practiced Vipassana meditation for eight years.

She is also a graduate of the two-year-long Community Dharma Leader Program developed by Spirit Rock in Marin, Calif., to encourage and train leadership within small Buddhist communities.

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


Humane Society joins nationwide pet adoption program

Imagine a puppy's paw print in the snow ... a kitten climbing into a holiday stocking ... an orphaned Labrador-mix comfortably resting at the feet of his new best friend ... or an older tabby rediscovering the warmth of a spot near a fireplace somewhere in Pagosa Springs.

Creating more than 300,000 memorable snapshots and lifelong relationships is the goal of this year's "Iams Have a Heart: Home 4 the Holidays" campaign.

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs will team with San Diego's Helen Woodward Animal Center and more than 1,300 shelters worldwide, along with actress and animal lover Diane Keaton and the Iams Company.

Their goal is to encourage prospective pet parents to bring a pet home for the holidays.

This year's adoption drive takes place now through Jan. 2 at the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs.

"When I first got involved in Home 4 the Holidays in 2001, we had a simple and sincere focus - to save the lives of dogs and cats," said campaign spokeswoman Keaton. "It's remarkable and rewarding to realize this is now the most successful pet adoption drive in history, but our focus remains the same and there is plenty of work remaining."

During this year's Home 4 the Holidays adoption drive, the Iams Company will give a total of $100,000 in grants to the 20 participating adoption centers. Each adopting family will receive a starter kit containing food samples, coupons and important tips on pet care, behavior, training and nutrition, along with a Have a Heart Pledge and sweepstakes offer for a lifetime supply of pet food.

And, Veterinary Pet Insurance Company/DVM Insurance Agency will offer a five percent discount on insurance policies for any pet adopted at a participating shelter.

Prospective pet parents can learn more about the adoption drive by contacting Humane Society of Pagosa Springs or by calling (800) 566-5038 or visiting at or


Russ Hill Memorial Bazaar opens 41st season Monday

Forty-one years ago, 12 men and women gathered in a church basement with coat hangers, fresh pine and fir, pine cones and red bows to make wreaths to sell.

Since 1963, the bazaar has expanded to create wreaths and table arrangements shipped to all points of the United States and international destinations.

The 41st annual Russ Hill memorial Bazaar opens Monday, Nov. 15, at Community United Methodist Church of Pagosa Springs.

For the ensuing three weeks the church will be transformed into a colorful workshop with 40-50 workers gathered daily through Dec. 3 to make the holiday decorations.

Proceeds from the bazaar make it possible for the church Supper Fellowship group to support the ministry in the church and the community.

Last year, over 750 wreaths and 175 table arrangements were made, their sale netting a profit in five figures.

Originally, the bazaar's purpose was to raise funds for the needs of the church. In recent years, however, as the name of the church indicates, Community United Methodist has contributed over 50 percent of the profits from the bazaar to over a dozen nonprofit organizations in the community.

Volunteers from the community are welcome to join the church members making the decorations - more elves are always welcome.

Hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. The bazaar will also be open 6-8 p.m. Nov. 16 and 23.

Prices for the basic wreaths of pinecones and red velvet bows are $19 (8-inch inside width) and $27 (14-inch inside width). Table arrangements begin at $15.

Visit the church halls, decked out with sample wreaths and arrangements. Many people were disappointed last year when the makers ran out of greens, so citizens are being urged to place their orders is the first week of the bazaar this year.

The deadline for wreath orders is Wednesday, Nov. 24.



Thai cooking class set at community center

By Mercy Korsgren

Special to The PREVIEW

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, to be conducted by Pao Tallman.

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 some basic cooking techniques as you prepare three dishes.

You'll 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. Pao volunteers her time and talent for this class.

Call 264-4152 or drop by the community center to reserve your spot. This class is on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited to 15 students.



Parent/Child Together Night Nov. 18

Are you looking for ways to spend more time with your children?

The Education Center is offering monthly 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 literacy themes through a variety of hands-on activities.

The event is free, however, preregistration is required in order to ensure that there enough supplies for everyone. A Frito pie dinner will be held at the junior high school.

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

Have you checked your first aid or CPR certification lately?If it's about to expire, and you need to recertify, give the center a call. It offers first aid and CPR classes for everyone, whether you are a health worker, hunter, guide or simply an outdoors person.

If your child needs a place to go after school, don't forget about the enrichment classes offered.

In November these include Spanish for Kids, basket making, Kids in the Kitchen, Creature Creators and Fun Friday for students in grades K-4.

There are also tutoring classes Monday through Thursday, all in the elementary school 3:15-5 p.m. except Fridays when they are 1:15-5 p.m. For students in grades 5-9, the homework center is 3:30-5:15 Monday through Thursday in the junior high school. Friday afternoon activities are offered 1:30-5:15 p.m. for the same grades.

If interested in taking classes offered at the Education Center may call 264-2835 or stop by the office at 4th and Lewis streets.


Local Chatter

'Piggy-backing' aided successful bazaar

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

When a newspaper advertisement includes mention of an event not related to the business, it's called "piggy backing" and thanks to Ace Hardware and Slices of Nature, their ads piggy-backed the holiday bazaar held last Saturday at the community center.

This annual event is always held the first Saturday in November. The bazaar was great. It seems to get better every year.


The armistice at the end of World War I was signed at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.

Thus we have the history of the fixed day for the Veterans' Day holiday. The day was called Armistice Day but changed to include all veterans.

This is timely for Veterans' Day:

It is the veteran, not the preacher who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

It is the veteran who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag.

Chicken soup

Remember a few weeks ago the Local Chatter column on the healing power of chicken soup, commonly called Jewish Penicillin, and Judy Esterly's Grandmother Shaikey's recipe?

Well, chicken soup gets around.

The Nov. 12, 2004 issue of The Week magazine has this interesting item.

It seems that when a certain Minnesota health clinic didn't have flu shots to give out, they alternated, giving out cans of chicken soup and boxes of tissues. The state's immunization chief, Kris Ehresman says, "Well, it's better than nothing."

Do you have a recipe for chicken soup that you would be willing to share? If so, send to Local Chatter at the Pagosa Springs SUN, PO Box 9, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or to me at PO Box 4172.

Fun on the run

While still some years away from retirement, we can appreciate this item passed along to us. It's the ramblings of a retired mind ...

- I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped on. I can't afford one. So I'm wearing my garage door opener.

- Employment application blanks always ask "who is to be notified in case of an emergency?" I think you should write "A good doctor!"

- I was thinking about old age and decided that it is "when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it."

- I thought about making a fitness movie, for folks my age, and calling it "Pumping Rust."

- I have gotten that dreaded furniture disease. That's when your chest is falling into your drawers!

- I know when people see a cat's litter box they always say, "Oh, have you got a cat?" Just once I want to say, "No, it's for the company!"

- I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older. Then, it dawned on me, they were cramming for their finals.


Senior News

Local teacher wants seniors

to read with her students

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

Do you want an opportunity to help kids read? A local teacher, Ina Noggle, would like some help from our seniors.

She asks you to read with her fifth-graders one-on-one to help improve their reading skills. She offers convenient times to get together with her kids, so give her a call if you want to volunteer. Her work number is 264-2257, or call 264-6222 in the evening.

On Nov. 12 our senior board meeting will be at 1 p.m. in the dining room. All members are welcome to attend.

It's time to go to Sky Ute Casino, and Nov. 16 is your lucky day, if you like to gamble. The bus picks you up at the center at 1 p.m. and brings you back about 5:45 p.m. Sign up for the bus in the dining room.

If that isn't enough traveling, you can sign up to go to Durango Nov. 18 for Shop 'til you Drop! There is a $10 suggested donation for transportation; sign up in the lounge.

Nov. 19 is a very auspicious day. Not only is it Musetta's birthday, but the senior center has a lot going on. Patty Tillerson will be here to check blood pressures and Myra Miller will talk about diet and arthritis at 1 p.m. in the dining room. We will also have our free movie at 1 p.m. - "18 again!" This is a delightful fantasy comedy in which George Burns plays an 81-year-old whose soul exchanges bodies with his 18-year-old grandson in a freak accident. George helps out his grandson and finds out how people really feel about him. Be young again and laugh along with George about life. Popcorn is only 25 cents.

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.

With the approach of the holidays, we would like to remind you about the best-ever gift that takes all the fuss, muss, stress and bother out of your shopping - Pagosa Perks.

Pagosa Perks were introduced last year and were a big success. They can still be purchased in $10 increments, are good for six months from the date of purchase and are accepted "same as cash" at all Chamber member businesses. We accept them here at the senior center as well. Why not help out your senior parent or friend by buying lunches or transportation for them? You can purchase your Perks at the Chamber of Commerce along with a special gift envelope and a list of Chamber members who accept them.

We have a very special spot in our dining room - Table 9. The folks at this table add a bit of spice to the dining room; we'll affectionately refer to them as "the ornery table." These folks have been known to rearrange the numbers in Musetta's table calling can, make signs for letting the whole dining room know that their table is going first, steal the table calling can, turn off the microphone and so on.

It is with a sad heart that we say good-bye to one of our extended family members from Table 9. Bill Kimble passed away recently and will be so very missed, but I'm certain that the ornery table tradition will carry on. We don't think Bill would have had it any other way and we'll certainly miss his fun T-shirts.

Just a reminder: We will be celebrating November birthdays on the 19th. If you have a birthday in November, eat lunch with us and we'll serve birthday cake.


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

Monday, Nov. 15 - Medicare counseling 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 16 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; basic computer, 10:30 a.m.; Sky Ute Casino, 1 p. m.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 - canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 18 - Trip to Durango, leave 8 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 19 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure check, 11; diet and arthritis discussion with Myra Miller, 1 p.m.; Free movie, "18 Again!" 1 p.m.


Friday, Nov. 12 - Fried chicken stew with vegetables, coleslaw, cornbread or biscuit and citrus cup.

Monday, Nov. 15. - Hot beef sandwich, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and almond peaches.

Tuesday, Nov. 16 - Oven chicken, boiled potatoes, chicken gravy, carrots, whole wheat roll, and strawberry fruit cup.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 - Lasagna, Italian vegetables, tossed salad, bread stick, and fruited Jell-O.

Friday, Nov. 19 - Salisbury Steak, oven parsleyed potatoes with gravy, Brussell sprouts, roll, and plums.


Chamber News

Mary Jo Coulehan is chamber's new executive director

By Sally Hameister

SUN Columnist

Pagosa being Pagosa, I'm quite sure that by now you are aware that the Chamber has a new executive director, Mary Jo Coulehan.

We are delighted to welcome Mary Jo who has lived and worked in Pagosa for 11 years and has a distinct "hometown advantage" with her vast knowledge of the community and all the players.

Mary Jo has a strong management background in a number of different areas with Marriott Hotels and is no stranger to business, budget creation and maintenance, personnel management, volunteers, events and the critical role of tourism in our area. She successfully ran TLC's: A Bed and Breakfast for a number of years and most recently has been employed by the Kahns at Victoria's Parlor and Victoria's Reign.

An inveterate volunteer, Mary Jo has always been involved beyond belief with local nonprofit organizations and has garnered a number of accolades for her work including being the first-ever Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year in 1996, Rotarian of the Year in 1997-98 and Realtors' Citizen of the Year in 2000. In addition, she served for three years as president of the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs and was instrumental in securing land for the new shelter, creating Pet Pride Day and Auction for the Animals as well as developing the very successful Pack Rack Thrift Store. She has also served as a United Way advisory board member, a youth mentor and co-director of the Archuleta County Fair royalty for the past two years.

We are happy that Mary Jo has come on board with our Chamber and hope you will stop by the Visitor Center for our open house 4-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, to say hello to the new director and good-bye to the old one (in more ways than one).

Newsletter inserts

Time flies, I know, and it's time to be thinking about your insert for our quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué which will be coming out the first week of December. This is always the most popular of them all because it gives everyone the opportunity to enlighten all members about the holiday specials, the open houses and the great gift selections available at their businesses.

We encourage you to take advantage of this extremely economical marketing opportunity with the guarantee that it will reach each and every Chamber member.

All you need to do is bring us 750 copies of your 8 1/2-by-11 inch insert on colorful paper and a check for $40, and we'll take it from there. Please plan to deliver those inserts to the Visitor Center by Wednesday, Nov. 24. If you have questions, give Doug a call at 264-2360.

Santa, Parade of Lights

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, Dec. 4, for the official opening of the holiday season in Pagosa Springs: Christmas in Pagosa.

This has to be one of the dearest traditions in the history of Pagosa with the arrival of Santa at the Visitor Center, dozens of cookies baked lovingly by our "Cookie Queen" and board president, Sally Hovatter, hot spiced cider, magical moments captured forever by Jeff Laydon with Pagosa Photography, all our favorite Christmas carols provided by the Mountain Harmony Ladies Choir and the most magical moment of all, the countdown to the lighting ceremony. All of this takes place 3 p.m.-dusk at the Visitor Center Dec. 4, and we hope you will plan to bring all the little ones for what is always a memorable occasion.

The following Friday, Dec. 10, we will present the sixth annual Parade of Lights beginning at 6 p.m. What this one lacks in size it most assuredly makes up in sheer charm. The entries can always be counted upon to be entertaining, colorful, spirited and bright with the lights of the season.

Entry forms will be available at the Visitor Center, so please be thinking about what you can create. There is no entry fee and $100 prizes will be awarded to the best and brightest in the categories of business, organization and family. Give Doug a call at 264-2360 with any questions.

Memorial bazaar

The Community United Methodist Church is about to embark upon its 43rd year of the Russ Hill Memorial Bazaar offering beautiful, handmade wreaths to ship anywhere in the U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and to other destinations. Beginning Monday, Nov. 15, you can order wreaths and centerpieces created by the 40-50 little elves who volunteer their time every year for this project. Obviously you'll want to be there to order for yourself and friends here.

Proceeds from this project support 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 our wreath, which hangs over the front door of the Visitor Center during the holiday season. If you would like an order form, please stop by the church or give a call to 264-4538 beginning Monday. Please act quickly because the orders can be filled and sold only until the volunteers run out of greens.

Final Whistle Pig

Tomorrow night will be your last opportunity to attend a Whistle Pig House concert this season, so give a call with your reservation right now.

Bill and Clarissa Hudson invite you to hear the Boulder Acoustic Society featuring 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. This talented quartet is making its first visit to Pagosa Springs shortly after winning the Emerging Artist Series Competition at Winter Park.

If you would like to hear some "neo-acoustic jazz" in the intimate Whistle Pig home setting, give the Hudsons a call at 264-2491. A suggested donation of $10 covers the concert and desserts and refreshments served at intermission.

Seating is very limited, so please make your reservation as soon as you can.

Starting a business

The Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College invites you to attend a "Starting Your Business" workshop 9:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Nov. 17, at the Chamber Annex at Santa Rita Park in Durango.

The charge for this workshop is $10 and the session will address understanding the risks of starting a new business and ways to reduce them through careful planning.

Applications are available at the Visitor Center or you can call the SBDC at Fort Lewis College at 247-7009 for more information.

Parent/Child Together

Thursday evening, Nov. 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m. you are invited to attend Family Night at the Education Center focusing on the theme of "Feeding Your Piggybank."

This is a great opportunity for families to spend time together exploring literacy themes through a variety of hands-on activities. There is no fee but preregistration is required to ensure adequate supplies and enough Frito pies to go around for dinner.

Microsoft Word computer classes will begin Nov. 29 and will run Monday and Wednesday evenings for two weeks from 6-8 p.m. at the junior high school. If you would like more information or to enroll, call the center at 264-2835 or stop by the offices at 4th and Lewis streets.

Photography contest

The 17th annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Photography Contest is fast approaching.

Now is the time for local photographers to start making selections and preparing photos for display.

As always, the show will be held at Moonlight Books starting this year on Feb. 5 and running through Feb. 26.

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

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

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

Gallery tour

I've already mentioned the Chamber open house 4-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, and I have yet another great reason to get you downtown that night because the two events are totally compatible.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is holding its Gala Gallery Tour 5-7:30 p.m. the same day, offering all kinds of wonderful things.

The businesses you are invited to visit are: Pagosa Photography, Moonlight Books, Taminah Gallery, Astara's Boutique, Handcrafted Interiors, Lantern Dancer (in the Riverside Center) and the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park on U.S. 84.

There will be music, refreshments and door prizes offered throughout the evening. Tickets cost $10 per person, $8 for PSAC members. You can purchase your tickets at Moonlight Books, the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company and the Chamber of Commerce. Plan to come to the Chamber first and stroll across the bridge to walk Pagosa Street - or vice versa. You'll be in the downtown area, so there's no reason you can't do it all.


We have one new member and seven renewals to welcome this week and we are more than happy to do so.

Our new member is the lovely Felicia Meyer who brings us Standing Mountain Yoga at 450 Lewis St. Standing Mountain Yoga is a designated yoga space where beginner to advanced practitioners can gather together and practice yoga. They offer a stress-free environment where students can move towards greater health. To learn more about Felicia's new business, give her a call at 264-9418.

Our renewals this week include Ed Raymond with Resort Properties of Pagosa Springs; Gloria Haines with Century 21 Wolf Creek; Linda and Charity Love with The Hideout; Mark and Angie Dahm with Wolf Tracks Bookstore and Coffee Company; Marta E. Bonsignore with United Country Premier Brokers-Pagosa Springs; and Maggie Dix-Caruso, R.A., with Envelopment Architecture, LLC. Our Associate Members this week are our old pals and former board director, Andy Donlon and his wife, Sue. Welcome to all and thank you for your support.



Veteran's Corner

Update on vehicles for veterans' use

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

I salute all of our Archuleta County veterans on this special Veterans Day 2004.

As you read this I hope you all attended the annual eighth-grade Veterans Day breakfast at the community center this morning.

As part of their history studies these youngsters have established an annual salute to all of our local veterans for their service to our county. They interview, honor and serve breakfast to the veterans.

Vehicle updates

Archuleta County veterans are fortunate to have a well-established transportation system for their VA health care appointments.

We have a nice 2002 Ford Taurus currently for our transportation needs. A new Chevrolet Blazer 4WD is also now in our inventory for veterans to use in traveling to their VA medical appointments. The Blazer will be ideal for those winter trips to Albuquerque and Grand Junction VA Medical Centers. This vehicle is the result of a successful Veterans Trust Fund Grant received through our local American Legion Post 108.

New VFW grant

Not to rest on our laurels, I am working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 9695 in Pagosa Springs, to apply for a Veterans Trust Fund Grant to purchase another vehicle to replace the 2002 Ford. It is expected that car will have about 75,000 miles on it by the time we could be eligible for a grant to replace it.

These vehicles are used by our veterans who do not have adequate vehicles of there own, to travel to their VA health care appointments. Frequently these vehicles are used to assist some of our veterans who are unable to drive themselves to their VAHC appointments due to ill health or for other reasons. In the case of the latter we have a gracious list of veteran volunteers, or myself, who will drive the veteran to his appointment.

County support

Archuleta County also provides support for this program with routine maintenance, insurance and licensing. The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office provides the contact for vehicle scheduling.

It has been essential to have two vehicles because our veterans are required to travel to as many as five different locations for their appointments, often at the same time, in two different places. Our numbers are growing and I now estimate we have about 1,300 veterans in Archuleta County of which nearly 50 percent are enrolled in VA health care.

Fuel costs

The only requirement for the veteran who uses the vehicle is that they return it for the next user with a full tank of gas, and clean inside and out. This is a small price to pay for the privilege of using these transportation vehicles.

In our new grant application we are requesting additional funds to assist veterans with fuel costs and perhaps some stipend toward lodging when they have to travel to Albuquerque or Grand Junction VAMC. Of course this newest VFW grant bid won't be decided or awarded until July 2005. But we are hopeful and trying to plan ahead for our veterans' transportation needs.

Vehicle schedule

Vehicle use is scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis through this office. I urge any veteran in need of assistance to travel to their VAHC appointments to contact this office. Advance notice is necessary.

Also, I recently wrote about the Colorado driver's license requirement. You must possess a valid Colorado driver's license and that license must be cleared with the Department of Motor Vehicles. There are also some liability release forms at this office the veterans must complete prior to any use of the vehicles. Veterans should check with me well before a need for the vehicle so we can get all the required information.

Dispatch convenience

A reminder to all those veterans using the vehicles that the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office dispatch center is used only for picking up or dropping off the keys to the vehicles. The center is not responsible for any other matter relating to these vehicles. It is simply a convenience location for the keys. Any problems or complaints with the vehicles should be brought to my attention immediately.

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 264-8376, or e-mail The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Library News

Bazaar was a success, but

brisket ran out too soon

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

The Civic Club ladies are to be congratulated on a very successful fund-raiser for the library. I'll know more next week about how much they raised.

I do know that everyone was disappointed that the brisket ran out way to soon.

Booth holders had wonderful items and it looked like sales were going well. Our thanks to all who took part in this annual event.

There were many winners because of all the items that were donated for the raffle. Those names will also be listed next week.

Distance learning

Colorado State University sent the latest catalog on correspondence study and distance degrees.

You can learn by video, on site or online. CSU is consistently ranked as one of the nation's top universities in a wide variety of categories. They receive accolades from, among others, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine and the Princeton Review.

The program is ranked in the top tier "among public universities-doctoral" in a report in the 2003 U.S. News and World Report.

CSU has been delivering technology-enhanced distance education continuously for 37 years. We have a copy of the catalog but you can also visit the web site at

Colorado Biz

The November issue has a disturbing article about the water supply crisis that threatens all aspects of our lives. "A State of Thirst," is the first installment. It is written by Allen Best, one of the state's most knowledgeable writers on water issues.

Best writes about how and why our state faces a long-term water supply crisis, and what can be done about it. We are in a six-year drought that may last for many decades. Our water on the Western Slope all drains into the Colorado River. The river flows into Lake Powell which will be two thirds empty by next April according to Best.

We signed the Colorado River Compact of 1922. It is the document that doles out the available water to states down river from us. Because of the sustained drought, we may owe California water before this is all over. Water we don't have. Best will have the second installment in next month's Colorado Biz magazine.

Anyone interested in this subject should read both articles. We here in Archuleta County are in even more jeopardy since we rely on water right out of the San Juan River. We must learn how to live in our "semi-perpetual dryness." Colorado Biz may be checked out.

New books

"The Bureau and the Mole, the Unmasking of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Dangerous Double Agent in FBI History" by David A. Vise is the gripping story of an American traitor and the man who ultimately brought him to justice. In 1979, Hanssen began to sell some of the country's most guarded secrets to the Soviet Union. Over the next 22 years, the information compromised decades of espionage work. In the mid-90s Louis J. Freeh, FBI director, discovered there was a mole and began to set the trap.

This is the story of the man who would bring Hanssen to justice, and the shadowy world of espionage. Hanssen was a seemingly All-American boy who became the perfect traitor. David Vise is a reporter for the Washington Post and a Pulitzer Prize winner. A screen version is in the works.

Our friend Clive Cussler has a new book, "Sacred Stone: A Novel of the Oregon Files." Here is a new series with the enigmatic high-seas action hero Juan Cabrillo. This is the second in the series, the first being "Golden Buddha."

The story tells of a young scientist in the remote wastes of Greenland discovering an artifact known as the Sacred Stone. Two terrorist groups are fighting over the stone which possesses catastrophic power. Cussler has created another exciting series to go with his "Dirk Pitt" tales. Cussler fans will not be disappointed.


I am so thankful to all of you who have responded to our fund raising requests. I will be listing names in the near future. To those of you who have not given to support your library, please remember that all donations are tax deductible and we will appreciate your thinking of us as you do your year end gift giving. There are so many important nonprofit organizations here that need help, and we all have to count on you - the generous giver. Do know that you truly make a difference in what kind of community we have.

Thanks for materials from Kerry Dermody, Scotty Gibson, Jeanne Kaiser, Ed Norman and Abby Linzie.



Arts Line

Galleries prepare for annual

walk as tickets go on sale

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

Only one week remains to purchase tickets for the Gala Gallery Walk 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. Tickets are at the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, WolfTracks, and the PSAC Art Center/Gallery in Town Park.

This $10 ticket ($8 for PSAC members) entitles one to visit the following galleries: Pagosa Photography, Moonlight Books and Gallery, Taminah Gallery and Frame Center, Astara's Boutique, Handcrafted Interiors, Lantern Dancer Gallery and Gifts, and the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and Gallery.

Each will be decorated for the holidays and will offer refreshments, music, and raffle prizes for your browsing pleasure, as well as an opportunity to meet several local artists and artisans. Mark your calendars for what promises to be a most enjoyable evening and a chance to support our local merchants and benefit the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

Portrait clinic

The November Pagosa Springs Photo Club meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, in the community center.

Featured speaker will be Jeff Laydon of Pagosa Photography who will present a clinic on portrait photography. New members of all levels are welcome.

Impact of the arts

The arts have a huge economic impact on the state of Colorado.

The arts industry in Chaffee County has nearly a million dollars in direct economic impact on the Western Slope, according to Arts for Colorado Impact Study in 2003.

The San Luis Valley Development Resources Group recently released an economic impact study of The Creede Repertory Theatre on Mineral County and the surrounding trade area, which includes Pagosa Springs. The theatre provides $2.8 million dollars of direct impact spending to the area. The theatre is the largest summer employer in Mineral County.

Legislators graded

A - Diana DeGette, D-Denver

A - Mark Udall, D-Boulder

D - Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction

D - Bob Beauprez, R-Arvada

D - Joel Hefley, R-Colorado Springs

F - Marilyn Musgrave, R-Fort Morgan

F - Tom Tancredo, R-Littleton

When it came to supporting arts measures in the last legislative session, five of Colorado's seven U.S. House members earned low marks from the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. Overall, Colorado ranked 45th with a C average.

The action fund, a nonprofit group dedicated to advancing the arts, assigned House members a grade based on their voting record on specific arts and arts education policy issues. The greatest weight went to how the representative voted on funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

This year, the NEA, received a large budget increase from President Bush, yet funding levels remain below pre-1995 levels. The Senate did not vote on arts-specific issues during the 108th Congress, therefore senators were not graded.

Recently reelected Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Littleton, and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Fort Morgan, received Fs for consistently voting against increasing funding for the NEA and for supporting slashing the organization's funding.

Carlos Espinosa, a Tancredo spokesman, told The Rocky Mountain News the congressman stands by his record and his proposal to shift money from the NEA to increase funding for wildland fire management.

"We're facing tremendous deficits along with an expensive war and how anybody can say that funding arts is a priority, is a joke," Espinosa said.

The only two representatives to earn As for supporting pro-arts policies were Mark Udall, D-Boulder and Diana DeGette, D-Denver.

DeGette spokesman Josh Freed told The Rocky Mountain News, "The challenge we face is a Republican-controlled federal government that has shown no ability or willingness to put its fiscal house in order. There's discretionary spending for programs that aren't needed. If those proposals were reigned in, there would be sufficient funding for the arts."

To find out more about the Americans for the Arts Action Fund visit their Web site at

Distinction award

The Colorado Alliance for Arts Education recently announced that the Aspen Community School, in Woody Creek, has received the Kennedy Center's Creative Ticket National School of Distinction Award for the 2003-2004 school year.

This award is given each year to only five schools in the United States. Winning schools demonstrate excellence in making the arts an integral part of their students' education. This prestigious award celebrates the extraordinary achievement of students studying the arts in school; raises awareness of the value of the arts in schools and communities; and promotes implementation of a rich arts curriculum in schools throughout the state.

Over the past six years, five schools in Colorado have received this prestigious award. Only California has had an equal number of recognitions.

Nomination packets for the 2004-05 Schools of Excellence Award will be sent to all Colorado schools in January. To be considered for the award, schools must demonstrate how music, visual arts, theatre, and dance are essential components of the school's curriculum; that they use imaginative learning approaches and environments for teaching the arts, and recognition that the arts are critical and essential to education; provide opportunities for parental involvement in the educational lives of their children through hands-on, creative arts-based activities; show those students have the opportunity to learn about other cultures through the arts; how these programs link arts education to the community and provide community connections that build value and respect for arts education by offering students diverse experiences beyond the classroom.

For more information on this amazing program visit www.

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 be 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.

The next show is "Skins," tonight and Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 14 at 2:30 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre, Fort Lewis College. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 seniors, $8 faculty and staff and $5 students.

Don't miss the benefit evening for "Skins" hosted Nov. 12 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 at the Fort Lewis College Theatre and an afterglow in the theatre lobby with President Bartel, artists, performers, designers and musicians. Tickets are $100 per person. RSVP to the president's office at 247-7100.

Contemporary artist

Are you a contemporary artist?

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

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

Ongoing workshops

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

Upcoming workshops

Signature Gift and Greeting Card Workshop with Betty Slade. Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 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 markers 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 owns and oversees the Blanco Dove Artist and Writer's Retreat Center on 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

Scribbles, Scrawls and Tadpole People, Saturday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.-noon.

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, 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. - $20.

Ideas wanted

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

Gift shop

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

Artist opportunities

"Spirit in Hand" Holiday Exhibit and Sale at Durango Arts Center, Dec. 14-24, is an opportunity for 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 at info@

Adventure tour

Join artist Cynthia Padilla for a fantastic tour of Costa Rica. Journal, draw, paint, photograph or just enjoy this tropical paradise March 20-27.

The tour departs from Denver and arrives in San Jose.

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

Sign up anytime.

For more information contact Leanne at 731-1841 or e-mail Or pick up a brochure at the gallery in Town Park.


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. 18 - Photography club meets at community center.

Nov. 19 - Gala Holiday Gallery Tour, 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 - Costa Rican Adventure Tour with Cynthia Padilla.

July 24 - Home and Garden Tour.


Food for Thought

A makeover for an old standby

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

I've imbibed a wee bit - swilling a couple glasses of an Argentine malbec - and I have nothing better to do than be slightly deranged, watch a televised episode of Extreme Makeover and think about eggs.

Trust me: the three things dovetail perfectly: malbec, eggs and the TV program. Actually, a healthy dose of malbec dovetails quite nicely with just about anything. Try it some time.

I'm glued to the set, adrift in cultural musings.

Jim and Elizabeth, from Akron, are receiving a his-and-hers makeover designed to transform their mundane appearances and shameful, shabby existences into something sparkly and wonderful. They are preparing to rise Phoenix-like from the ashes of their ordinary lives and ascend in a golden light to a plane few of us know: They are going to be beautiful in a tabloid sort of way.

I like this: It is America at its glossy, superficial best, where the state of the soul is wired directly to the appearance of the physical body. What could be easier to understand and to deal with? Alter the way one looks and, kazaam, the inner life is transformed; everything goes from bleak to hunky dory in a flash. You change your appearance and you attain self-confidence, people are attracted to you, you succeed in love and business, you have 3.2 children and you are sublimely happy.


I watch as Jim has his malformed nose redone, his wimpy body reshaped by a testosterone-riddled personal trainer, his eyes refocused by a space-age machine, his abundant body hair waxed away.

Elizabeth gets a new set of breasts (we don't actually get to see them, but we are given tantalizing hints via a scrambled-screen image. Liz receives a new nose, undergoes a skin peel, lip injections, liposuction - the whole works.

I think about eggs. Ova. Birds to be. Jim and Elizabeth. Back when they were misshapen and unhappy they were in the egg, so to speak, waiting to break to light, eager to hatch and burst forth as gorgeous fledglings, anxious to mature into ripe and graceful winged creatures.

I ponder the meaning of all this. I pour another glass of malbec.

I decide I like the egg more than the chicken. That's malbec for you.

I prefer Jim and Elizabeth pre surgery, pre Lasik, pre lipo, pre botox. I realize I'm an ova kinda guy. I am, for the malbec moment, the classic Aristotelian, captivated by the prospect of a natural transition from potential to actual, with no assistance from a Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon.

I must admit, though, I'm not totally opposed to forced alterations. I've been doing a bit of a makeover on myself, dropping some pounds in order to get my blood pressure in check, seeking to avoid a lifetime of medication (however long that might be). I have undertaken, to refer to the television program, a "mini-makeover"- a change, sans surgery.

As a result, I've had to part ways with some of the foods I enjoy most. It hasn't been terribly difficult (after all, I didn't do away with butter or cheese), but a life without pasta is diminished to a noticeable degree. I haven't had an intimate relationship with a russet or a baguette for months.

Pasta is the only thing I truly miss. I can do without white bread; I can get by just fine without refined sugar. But, with no pasta, there are nights when I wake at 3 a.m., my mind filled with thoughts of spaghettini. I lay awake in the dark, listening to the ticking of the clock, obsessed with thoughts of rigatoni.

One of the things I've kept in the diet is the egg. No reason to give it up.

In fact, I've increased my consumption of eggs. I can feel the globs of food glue slogging through my vascular system, clinging to my artery walls. I've OE'd on several occasions, but I don't regret a moment, a single egg.

I've prepared many an egg during the last five months and I've done a fine job of it. I can almost convince myself the thick splendor of a runny yolk is pasta, lacking a just bit of hard wheat flour.

The problem: I have been somewhat restricted regarding the method of preparation.

No quiches allowed - no dishes that involve pairing egg with any kind of crust.

For the most part, the eggs have been prepared in a humdrum traditional manner: scrambled (oh so slowly with a huge wad of butter, a bit of cream, over the lowest heat possible, curds forming at a snail's pace); fried, in a slick of nearly brown butter, again cooked slowly over low heat, touched with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper; poached and set atop a bed of garlicky sauteed spinach, the yolk flowing like Michael Maier's precious gold onto the greens; soft boiled, the yummy interior of the cracked shell scooped out and mixed with butter, salt and pepper, the mix so runny it is almost icky.

Eggs prepared this way are wonderful but, after a while, tradition wears thin.

When that happens, it is time to bake the egg.

Baked eggs, in my book, can take many forms but share a couple of things in common - specifically a method of cooking (in a bain marie) and a vessel (ramekins).

And, often, heavy cream.

Ah heavy cream.

Makes you feel all warm and cozy inside, doesn't it?

I haven't given up heavy cream. Or malbec.

I'll make a distinction here, one that is, no doubt, indefensible. But, I don't care. The distinction is between baked eggs and shirred eggs. Yes, shirred eggs are baked in the oven, but frequently without benefit of the bain marie.

Grant me my eccentricity, please. I'm baking now, not shirring.

The basics: butter a ramekin, put the ramekin in a 350 oven for a minute or two to warm. Spoon some warm cream into the ramekin and add chopped fresh herbs. Try tarragon - it's perfect with eggs. Gently break an egg into the ramekin, season with kosher salt and a bit of pepper and spoon a bit more warm cream over the top of the egg. Put the ramekin in a roasting pan and pour boiling water into the pan until the water level is two thirds up the side of the ramekin. If you wish, loosely cover the pan with foil. Put the roasting pan in the oven for 8 minutes or so, until the white of the egg is set but the yolk is still runny.

This is great stuff, but let's rip ourselves away from the ordinary and create variations on the theme.

Much like Jim's new nose.

Let's work some new takes on basic baked eggs.

Where to start? Since I don't write about things I haven't cooked, I set a date for baked eggs night. I decide Kathy and I will dine on a variety of baked eggs (made possible due to the separate ramekins) on the same night the next edition of Extreme Makeover is playing on the tube. Everything will click - pop culture, recipes, deep philosophical meditation.

I've worked up some options.

I light on a variation that is a takeoff on a recipe mentioned by M.F.K. Fisher. In this version, the egg is bedded in warm cream into which an anchovy fillet has been disintegrated. A bit more cream on top of the egg, some pepper and a dot of butter ahhh.

I have a bit of a squash and tomato melange in the fridge - a ratatouille-like blend of zucchini, yellow squash, fire roasted tomato, onion, celery, oregano, basil and garlic. It is nearly a paste and perfect as a base for a baked egg. I'll spread the warmed veggie mix in the bottom of the warmed ramekin and put a teensy bit of cream along with salt and pepper on top of the egg.


I also have a bit of leftover chile verde in the refrigerator.

I used pork loin as the meat in the chile and it is extremely tender. I'll mash the meat to a pulp, add it back to the liquid, reduce the liquid to a near gel and spread some of the chile in the warm ramekin. In goes the egg. Salt and pepper? A smattering of grated Campesino cheese? Certainly. A smidge of heavy cream? Need you ask?

For the fourth baked egg treat, I'll saute some finely sliced leeks in butter until they are soft - the white part of the plant only. I'll add some cream and gently cook the concoction until everything is silky and sweet and almost mushy. A bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper, a whisper of nutmeg (how about a hint of curry, instead?) and into a buttered, warm ramekin the leeks and cream go. In goes the egg (being careful not to break the yolk - perhaps it is best to break the egg first into a smooth-lipped saucer and gently slide it into the ramekin) and a layer of the leek and spice-infused cream goes on top.

I intend to eat my eggs with a salad of mixed greens, a gaggle of those goofy and horribly expensive little torpedo-shaped tomatoes and some oil-cured olives, all dressed with an emulsion made of extra virgin olive oil and a pomegranate balsamic my sister gave me for my birthday.

Kathy and I will sit in the living room, eat and watch as Janet, a legal secretary and lifelong ugly duckling, loses the equivalent of a whole person in a weight-loss program, gets a butt lift and a tummy tuck, a brow lift, porcelain veneers on her jagged fangs and a hair weave that disguises the fact she is going bald at age 31.

Oh, and she wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

It will be a fine yolk.

Where's the malbec?


Education News

Dropouts don't have to give up

on education

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

Dropping out of high school is not necessarily the end of a student's formal education.

Some students who drop out return a short time later to earn a diploma, some may pursue an alternative credential such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, and others may enroll in a postsecondary institution without have earned a high school credential.

A study by Berktold, Geis and Kaufman (1998) found that about 44 percent of the dropouts in their study had received a high school diploma or an alternative high school credential within eight years of dropping out of school. Of the 56 percent of all dropouts who had not completed high school within the eight years, 43 percent indicated that they were working on a high school credential.

The Archuleta County Education Center operates a basic literacy and GED program on a year-round basis so that students who have dropped out are able to continue their education locally. Twenty-six adult learners in our community completed their GED requirements during the last school year.

We now offer GED tutoring at our center 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5-8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. Wally Lankford, GED coordinator is available during these hours to assist students with their studies. If our tutorial hours do not work for a particular student we are able to pair the student with a volunteer tutor to accommodate a different schedule. Registration and counseling is available at the Education Center 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday as well as 8 a.m.-noon Friday.

What are the GED tests? They measure the major academic skills and concepts associated with four years of regular high school instruction. They provide an opportunity for persons who have not graduated from high school to earn a high school equivalency diploma. The GED Tests measure competency in five subject areas: Language Arts-Writing, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts-Reading and Mathematics.

Who is eligible to take the GED tests?

They may be administered to:

- adults 17 years of age or older;

- persons who are not enrolled in an accredited high school;

- those who have not already graduated from an accredited high school nor received a GED high school equivalency diploma.

When are GED Tests scheduled in Pagosa Springs?

- Saturday, Nov. 13;

- Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005; and

- Saturday, March 19, 2005.

Anyone who would like additional information about adult basic education and adult secondary programs available in our community, please give us a call at 264-2835. Or stop by our office at 4th and Lewis streets downtown Pagosa Springs.


Extension Viewpoints

Browsing deer can cause extensive plant damage

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Thursday, Nov. 11 - Office closed for Veteran's Day

Friday, Nov. 12 - Colorado Kids meeting, 2 p.m.; 4-H Achievement Night, 6 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 15 - Livestock Committee meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 16 - 4-H New Family orientation, 6 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 19 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1-3:30 p.m.; first year Rabbit Project meeting, 2 p.m.

Quick facts...

It is difficult to move deer out of areas where they are not wanted.

A hungry deer will find almost any plant palatable, so no plant is "deer proof."

The two types of deer repellents are contact repellents and area repellents.

Netting can reduce deer damage to small trees. Adequate fencing to exclude deer is the only sure way to control deer damage.

Although browsing deer are charming to watch, they can cause extensive damage by feeding on plants and rubbing antlers against trees. In urban areas, home landscapes may become the major source of food.

Deer can pose a serious aesthetic and economic threat. Damage is most commonly noticed in spring on new, succulent growth. Because deer lack upper incisors, browsed twigs and stems show a rough, shredded surface. Damage caused by rabbits, on the other hand, has a neat, sharp 45-degree cut. Rodents leave narrow teeth marks when feeding on branches. Deer strip the bark and leave no teeth marks.

Management strategies

It is difficult to move deer out of areas where they are not wanted. Not all strategies are practical for every homeowner. Frightening deer with gas exploders, strobe lights, pyrotechnics or tethered dogs typically provides only temporary relief. More practical management strategies include selecting plants unattractive to deer, treating plants with deer repellents, netting and tubing, and fencing.

Plant choice, placement

The placement of plants in part determines the extent of damage. Plant more susceptible species near the home, in a fenced area, or inside a protective ring of less-preferred species. A hungry deer will find almost any plant palatable, so no plant is "deer proof." Also, a plant species may be damaged rarely in one area but damaged severely in another.


The two types of deer repellents are contact repellents and area repellents. Contact repellents are applied directly to plants, causing them to taste bad. Area repellents are placed in a problem area and repel by their foul odor.

Repellents are generally more effective on less preferred plants. Apply repellents on a dry day with temperatures above freezing. Treat young trees completely. Older trees may be treated only on their new growth. Treat to a height 6 feet above the maximum expected snow depth. Deer browse from the top down. Hang or apply repellents at the bud or new growth level of the plants you wish to protect.

A spray of 20 percent whole eggs and 80 percent water is one of the most effective repellents. To prevent the sprayer from clogging, remove the chalaza or white membrane attached to the yolk before mixing the eggs. The egg mixture is weather resistant but must be reapplied in about 30 days.

Home-remedy repellents are questionable at best. These include small, fine-mesh bags of human hair (about two handfuls) and bar soap hung from branches of trees. Replace both soap and hair bags monthly. Deer have been reported to eat the soap bars. Materials that work in one area or for one person may not work at all in an area more highly frequented by deer.

Netting and tubing

Tubes of Vexar netting around individual seedlings are an effective method to reduce deer damage to small trees. The material degrades in sunlight and breaks down in three to five years. These tubes can protect just the growing terminals or can completely enclose small trees. Attach tubes to a support stake to keep them upright. Another option is flexible, sunlight-degradable netting that expands to slip over seedlings. Both products are available from Colorado State Forest Service offices.

Paper or Reemay budcaps form a protective cylinder around the terminal leader and bud. They may help reduce browse damage. Budcaps are rectangular pieces of material folded lengthwise and stapled around the terminal leader.

Tubes placed around the trunks of larger trees will help prevent trunk damage. Tubes may not, however, protect trunks from damage when bucks use the trees to scrape the velvet off their antlers. Fencing may be required.


Adequate fencing to exclude deer is the only sure way to control deer damage. The conventional deer-proof fence is 8 feet high and made of woven wire. Electric fences also can be used. Electric fences should be of triple-galvanized, high-tensile, 13.5-gauge wire carrying a current of 35 milliamps and 3,000 to 4,500 volts. Several configurations of electric fences are used: vertical five-, seven-, or nine-wire; slanted seven-wire; single strand; and others. When using a single strand electric fence it helps the deer to 'notice' that the wire is there if it is marked with cloth strips, reflective tape or something similar. Otherwise, the deer may not see it in time and go right through it.

Additional options include invisible mesh barriers, slanting deer fences, and single-wire, electric fences baited with peanut butter. The invisible mesh barriers are polypropylene fences of various mesh sizes, typically 8 feet high with a high tensile strength, that blend in with the surroundings. The baited fences attract deer to the fence instead of what's inside the fence. They administer a safe correction that trains the deer to stay away. They are effective for small gardens, nurseries and orchards (three to four acres) that are subject to moderate deer pressure. Deer are attracted by the peanut butter and encouraged to make nose-to-fence contact. Deer, like many wild animals, seem to respect and respond better to electric fencing after they become familiar with the fenced area.


Pagosa Lakes News

Survey project produces detailed look at lakes

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Last week the Association finished up the final part of a detailed lake survey project that was planned for 2004.

Earlier this summer the association, as part of the watershed study for Pagosa Lakes, hired Riverbend Engineering to create a detailed map of the bottom of the four Pagosa lakes: Hatcher Lake, Lake Pagosa, Village Lake and Lake Forest.

Using specialized survey equipment and sonar depth-sounding technology and taking several thousand data points, maps were generated to the one-foot contour level of each of the lake bottoms.

This is detail we have never had before and an important tool in the future management of the lakes. This gives us a snapshot of the bottom of the lakes including topography, shapes, structures, storage capacity and deposits.

The second part of this project was to determine what the sediment was composed of and how heavy or thick it was. The sonar sounding device gave us good detail of the bottom, being able to differentiate hard bottom from soft, but could not tell us exactly how thick the sediment or what it was composed of.

Last week we went out on the lakes to find out. We even got the boss, Walt Lukasik, to help us navigate and record data. We took core samples of the bottoms of each lake in several different locations using a sediment core extracting tool. As we expected, the hard bottom of the lakes is a combination of clay, silt, sand and rock, and on top of that is an organic layer of decomposing biomass.

We measured the thickness of the different strata we observed in each core, took photos and then sent the samples off to a laboratory in Durango the following day for a detailed analysis. We should know the results of those tests in a few weeks.

Learning what the bottoms of the lakes look like and what they are composed of will help us manage the lakes in the future. If we see buildups or concentrations of silt and sediment in certain areas of the lakes we can start formulating plans to reduce the sediment sources and possibly even remove or dredge certain areas of the lakes.

If we see certain areas of the lake that have higher than normal organic buildup we can install additional aeration units in those areas to help introduce the oxygen required for the breakdown or digestion process.

The four lakes in our neighborhood are in good shape; they are healthy and productive lakes that are a benefit to us all. Keeping them that way into the distant future is our goal. As our community becomes more and more urbanized, like it or not, it is going to affect the lakes and we are trying to develop long-range plans to limit those effects.

We should have black and white copies of the lake bottom topography maps available to anyone interested, some time after the first of the year. These might be handy for anglers looking for that big bass, trout or crappie. You can call or just come by the association office for a copy.

There will be a Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. The following agenda was approved by PLPOA:

- call to order;

- approval of agenda;

- approval of minutes of Oct. 14 board meeting;

- notes from budget work session of Oct. 25;

- general manager's report

- public comments;

- treasurer's report - written report to be distributed at meeting.

Committee Reports

- Recreation Center Committee - no meeting since last board meeting;

- Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee - report on meeting of Nov. 2, minutes to be distributed;

- Ad Hoc Lake Study Committee - meeting held Oct. 28, minutes to be distributed;

- ECC agendas and minutes included in DCC report for information. ECC board liaison Ray Finney's report included.

Old Business

- Placement of Village Lake buoy line. As requested at October board meeting, all information regarding the issue was sent to counsel. A draft agreement was to be here no later than Nov. 12.

Recurring Business

- continued discussion of "Property Owners Involvement and Input Initiative."

New Business

- At the budget workshop held Oct. 25 the board of directors instructed research into the question of the association maintaining fencing which separates Pagosa Lakes from adjacent National Forest.

- A copy of the proposed 2005 association budget included for review. There is no action required at this time. The association bylaws state the budget must be approved at the December board meeting. If the board determines that a future work session is necessary, that meeting can be scheduled now. By the end of November there will be updated balances on which to base the 2005 carry-forward.

- Affirmation of 11 DCC unprotested fines. Nine pertain to "unattractive (weed and grasses) growth."



William Kimble

William Dean Kimble of Pagosa Springs passed away Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004, at the age of 78.

Many Pagosans knew him as William, Dean, Pops, Bill or Willie.

Born in Denver to Arthur William Kimble and Ruth Edna Davis Kimble, Willie was a member of the Silver Foxes Den at the Archuleta County Senior Center.

A memorial service for Pops was held 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, 2004, at Dorothy's Restaurant in Pagosa Springs.

He is survived by a sister, Virginia; son and daughter-in-law Bill and Estella Kimble, and son and daughter-in-law Rick and Vickie Kimble of Pagosa Springs; stepdaughter Tracy and stepson Rick; three grandchildren, Tyler, Cynthia and Svgeid; and seven great-grandchildren: Tyler, Natalie, Marielos, Aracelli, Alicia, Gabrielle and Mason.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Silver Foxes Den, PO Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


Tony Phil Lujan

Tony Phil Lujan was born to Elizabeth Gallegos and Edward Montoya on June 20, 1931. On that same day he was adopted and welcomed into the home of Emilio and Consolacion Lujan of Trujillo, Colo.

Welcoming their little brother were Santana and Ruby Lujan and another adopted brother, Chris Atencio. Later, a baby girl, Della, was also adopted.

Phil attended school in Trujillo and worked, hunted and fished on the family ranch with his older brother, Santana. The family moved to Pagosa Springs in 1945 and kept the family ranch until 1965. Today it is known as Shenandoah Ranch.

He married Frances Stollestimer in 1953 and loved and raised her son, Rudy. To the couple were born five children. Two of those, Tony and Eleanor, tragically burned in a fire in 1959. Surviving the fire was their infant son, Emilio and later came son Marvin and another daughter, Elisha.

Phil was a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather and uncle who died Oct. 31, 2004. He had 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His two granddaughters, Angie and Valerie and their husbands were a blessing to him during his last months alive. He will be missed by his numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He is survived by his loving wife and constant companion, Frances; children Rudy and daughter-in-law Janette; Emilio and daughter-in -law Cruzie; Elisha and son-in-law Lance; Marvin and daughter-in-law Laura; brother Santana and sister-in-law Emma; sister Della and brother-in-law Bobby. Phil had a half brother from his birth mother, Manuel Martinez, and three aunts, Senovia Sanner and Susie and Lucy Candelaria. He is preceded in death by his children, Tony and Eleanor; a brother, Chris; a sister, Ruby and his mother-in-law, Genevieve Stollestimer.

Phil was a member of the Catholic Church. During his lifetime he worked at the sawmill until 1979 and then worked for the county until his retirement.

He loved to ride around with his beloved wife at his side, park on the main street and watch the traffic go by, go on picnics in Burns Canyon and ride to Arboles and surrounding areas.

He will be missed, for he was a friend to all who knew him.

An account has been established at Rio Grande Savings and Loan Association, PO Box 69, Pagosa Springs (80 Piedra Road), to help with funeral expenses.


James H. Watkins

Early Friday, Nov. 5, 2004, James Homer Watkins peacefully passed away and was ushered into the presence of his Heavenly Father after a struggle with cancer.

Jim was born April 19, 1928, in Crane, Texas, and was a resident of Pagosa Springs for over 51 years. On Oct. 1, 1941, he married Betty Phares in Alamogordo, N.M., and was married to his beloved sweetheart for 53 years.

His numerous attributes are not ones that were spoken through words, rather shown through actions. No words were needed to know his character because it was shown through his life and daily qualities. He was a man who took the difficulties in life and turned them into opportunities.

Jim served two years in the United States Navy from 1946-1948 aboard the USS Indra stationed in Shanghai, China. In 1953 he moved from Carlsbad, N.M., to Pagosa Springs and bought a ranch on the Lower Blanco. In 1958 he went to work for San Juan Lumber as a saw filer. Then, in 1964, along with his father, Ray, he started Wolf Creek Industries, where he designed the D-style log, and was the first in the state to specialize in milling house logs. Later, Gilbert Davidson and Bobby Lord became his partners, operating the business for 20 years.

The company's success was attributed to working hard hours each day and the help of many loyal employees. He also made generous donations of house logs to build numerous churches throughout the Southwest. He was a man of many talents, a creative entrepreneur who was always willing to start new ventures. In 1967 he started Wolf Creek Miniature Golf Course, and established High Country Lodge in 1988, along with the Snowball Express Tubing Hill.

For the 51 years Jim lived in Pagosa Springs he attended First Baptist Church, serving as a deacon and a leader in the church. For five years he was on the executive board of the Colorado Baptist General Convention in Denver. He was always a man who put the needs of others before him, always sacrificing himself for the good of others. He will be remembered for his strong faith, love and devotion to his family and loyalty to friends.

Jim was preceded by his parents, Ray and Thelma Watkins, his brother, Charles, and his daughter, Paula Finch.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Betty Watkins of Pagosa Springs; his daughter, Carla Bauer and husband Paul of Pagosa Springs; his son, James and wife Linda of Pagosa Springs; grandchildren Susan Williams and husband Bob of Westminster, Calif., Steve Parkhurst and wife Tina of Bremerton, Wash., Michael Moore and wife Debbie of Pagosa Springs, Christy Porter and husband Stephen of Castle Rock, Resha and Rachel Watkins of Pagosa Springs, Jesse and Dusty Bauer of Pagosa Springs; great-grandchildren Chris and Alisha Williams, Justin, Stephanie, Paula Jean and Katie Parkhurst, Brittany Bromley, McKenna and Trevor Moore, and Jamie Porter; a sister, Chessie McBride and husband Bill of Carrollton, Texas; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Jim was loved and befriended by many and will be greatly missed by all.

Memorial donations may be made to the Power House Youth Center, PO Box 1647, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

The memorial service will be held 2 p.m. today, Nov. 11, 2004, at First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs.


Business News

Kid and Kaboodle

Sandy Caves is the new owner of Kid and Kaboodle. Her goal is to offer toys and games that are reasonably priced and offer "that something that attracts the kid in us all."

The Kid and Kaboodle grand opening is 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13. Stop by and you can receive one of the many items that will be given away. You can also register to win a really big bear that will be given away Saturday, Dec. 11 (no purchase necessary).

Regular store hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Kid and Kaboodle will also be open Sundays, Dec. 12 and 19, noon to 5 p.m. for Christmas shopping.

Stop by Kid and Kaboodle at 472 Pagosa St. in downtown Pagosa to spark the kid in you!



Preview Profile



Judge William Anderson

Pagosa Springs Municipal Court Judge


Where were you born?

"Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada."


Where did you go to school?

"Southwest University School of Law."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"September 1, 1993."


What did you do before you arrived here?



What are your job responsibilities?

"I am the municipal court judge, so I hear cases regarding municipal code violations."


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

"I like dealing with new cases because it seems like there is still a good chance that I can make a difference in that person's life so they can turn things around and get back on track. The least enjoyable is dealing with the same offenders over and over again and it seems like I just don't get through to them."


What is your family background?

"I have a wife, Liz, who is also my office manager/secretary for my private practice. I have four children, my two oldest live in California. My daughter Lauren graduated from Pagosa Springs High School and now attends college in Pensacola, Florida, and my son, Jimmy, who is 17 and a senior at Bayfield high. I also have a grandchild and one on the way."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like the small town atmosphere. Where we came from it was so different, so we try to embrace the beauty and all it has to offer."


What are your other interests?

"Following my kids to rodeos, ice hockey and flying."


Cards of Thanks


SWS party success

The School Within a School program grades 1-6 would like to thank the community center for the booth space and all our wonderful parents and students who helped to make our Halloween party booth such as success.


The SWS teachers, Debbie Reynolds, Morgan Anderson, and Heather Hunts


Kids Voting

The Kids Voting Program sends a big thank you to our local sponsors who have made an investment in Archuleta County's future voters: Those sponsors were Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, Bank of the San Juans, 1st Southwest Bank, La Plata Electric, Rio Grande Savings and Loan and Wells Fargo.

A vote of appreciation also goes to the more than 40 precinct volunteers for making election day 2004 such a positive experience for almost 500 of our young citizens. The following service organizations adopted a precinct and assisted students in voting: Precinct No. 1, Kiwanis, Mercy Korsgren; No. 2, Democratic Party, Nancy Cole; No. 3, 4-H, Pamela Bomkamp; No. 4, Arboles community, Mitch Appenzeller; No. 5, Aspen Springs community, Cindy Gustafson; No. 6, League of Women Voters of Archuleta County, Jim Carson; No. 7, Rotary, Joanne Irons; and No. 8, Republican Women's Club, Melanie Kelley.

A special thanks to Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid, her staff and the election judges for their support of the Kids Voting Program.

Windsor Chacey, Kids Voting chair



McCormick - Kelley

Larry and Cindy McCormick of Pagosa Springs, and Sandra Kelley of Las Vegas, Nev., are happy to announce the engagement of their children, Amanda Melissa McCormick and Justin Lee Kelley. The couple will be married June 11, 2005. Mandy will graduate Life Pacific College in December 2005 with a bachelor of arts in biblical studies, specializing in biblical languages and cross cultural studies. She is planning to attend graduate school to pursue a career in teaching. Justin is graduating Life Pacific in December 2004, with a bachelor of arts in biblical studies, specializing in biblical languages and pastoral ministry. He will attend Fuller Theological Seminary in the fall of 2005 to pursue a career in teaching. The couple will reside in San Dimas, Calif.


Sports Page

Pirates win cliffhanger, advance to state tournament

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

They saved the excitement for the final match of the Region D volleyball tournament Saturday in the PSHS gym.

Pagosa Springs and Roaring fork, each their respective district champion and each with a 1-1 regional tournament record, faced each other for the right to move on to the Colorado 3A tournament at Denver.

After a marathon match that lasted more than two hours, Pagosa had the 3-2 win over the Rams - a victory culminating with a dramatic 17-15 score in the fifth and deciding game.

The teams were evenly matched and alternated wins in the first four games of the match. The Rams took the opening game 25-22. The Pirates responded with a 25-18 victory. Roaring Fork came back to win the third game 25-29; Pagosa captured the fourth game 25-19.

Both teams made numerous mistakes at the serve to keep their opponents in contention. In the first game of the match, each team committed several net violations to hand over points to the opponent.

Pagosa took an 8-5 lead in the first game, getting points on a block by Lori Walkup, a kill by Caitlyn Jewell and a hit from the middle by Walkup. The Rams got the 8-8 tie on the back of three consecutive Pirate miscues.

Liza Kelley scored from the middle but Roaring Fork got a point on a botched Pirate serve and the Rams pounded the ball through a porous Pirate block and put it to the feet of a motionless back row. The game would be decided by which team could put together more multi-point runs in the race to the wire.

It was Roaring Fork.

One particular run of four points was the coup de grace. Pagosa had stayed close, trailing 17-19 following a tip by Jewell and a kill from outside by Walkup, but a Pirate ran into the net to give up a point and rob the home team of momentum. A Pirate hitting error followed and another net violation gave up a third point. The Rams put a kill off the hands of a Pagosa blocker and the visitors led 23-17. The Rams nailed a kill that went unblocked then untouched in the back row and were on the edge of a win 24-18. Pagosa made a sterling effort, getting four straight points, one of them a solo block by Walkup. A Ram free ball then floated to the floor in front of frozen Pirate defenders and the first match was over.

Until the latter stages of the second game, there was no question which team would win. The Pirates dominated play and it was the Rams' turn to make the costly errors.

Kari Faber scored with an ace, Kelley scored with a hit off the block, Jewell stuffed an attempted tip and Steen got an earned point on a back-row attack. The Rams made one mistake after another to give away scores and Pagosa was in front 17-7.

Roaring Fork put together some two-point runs, each answered with a Pirate score - Jewell from the middle, Walkup from the middle, Steen with a kill down the line.

With Pagosa in front 22-14, the Rams made their last-gasp effort, scoring with two kills, crushing a poor Pagosa pass and getting a point on a Pirate serve-receive error.

Caitlin Forrest stopped the run dead in its tracks with a cross-court kill to the corner, the Rams gave up two points with hitting errors and the match was tied 1-1.

In the third game, the Pirates took the early 6-5 lead before surrendering four points with unfocused play. From that point on, Pagosa played an unsuccessful game of catch-up. Anytime the home team drew close, a bevy of errors on the Pagosa side of the court allowed the Rams to retain a comfortable lead.

A push late in the game got the Pirates as close as 19-20 as Jewell tipped and blocked for points, Walkup crunched kills from the middle and the right side, and Steen and Bri Scott followed suit from the left side. An ace by Steen that fell just inside the back line gave the Pirates a chance to overtake Roaring Fork and capture the game. Instead, two net violations gave away points and a Roaring Fork attack went untouched at the net and in the back row as the visitors got the 25-20 win.

It was do-or-die for the Pirates: They had to win the fourth game to stay in the hunt.

Roaring Fork got a 5-2 lead but it disappeared as the Rams committed four straight errors to put Pagosa in front 6-5. The Rams tied it with a hit that fell inside the block but Pagosa snatched the momentum getting a point on a bad Ram serve, a point on a block by Forrest, a point on a block by Kelley and a score on a Ram attack that went out of bounds.

Pagosa stayed in front to mid-game when sloppy play allowed Roaring Fork to close the gap, then take a 15-13 lead. A glimpse at the Pirates' body language did not inspire positive expectations and the potential for disaster was clear.

In rally scoring, a mid-game advantage is key to a stress-free win. Jewell gave the Pirates the spark they needed with a kill then, after the Pirates gave up another point with a lack of back row defense, the senior middle hitter returned to score with a tip and ignite a four-point Pirate run.

The Rams gave away a point with a passing error then surrendered another point with a call for four touches. After the Pirates managed two stunning back-court ups to keep the ball in play, Scott scored from the middle. Pagosa was ahead 18-16.

A Ram kill went unblocked but Scott replied with a point from the left side. A Ram attack went out; Scott and Steen blocked for a point and another Ram hit sailed out of bounds. Pagosa was up 22-17.

The Rams got a point on a Pagosa setting error but Kelley matched the score with a kill from the middle. Roaring Fork put a ball out off a Pirate block but Scott came back with a kill. A final Ram hitting error gave Pagosa the hard-fought 25-19 win.

When the match went to a fifth game, played to 15 (with a two-point victory margin required), the fans were on their feet, the noise level was high and the action was predictably intense.

In the rally scoring format, it does not take long for one team to get the points needed to win game and match. Roaring Fork had made it to 15 first in three of four games and the Pirates had to prevent their opponents from taking an early and insurmountable lead.

They did that, going in front 2-0, but the Rams came back to tie.

Pagosa got a 5-2 lead as Lori Walkup dominated at the net killing for a point, crushing an errant Ram pass and scoring with a tip. The Rams got a score when a Pagosa attack went out but the Pirates responded when Steen put a kill down on the back line and a Ram hit sailed out of bounds. Pagosa was ahead 7-3.

The lead would not hold.

There was no block for the Pirates on a Ram kill and another Ram attack went out off a Pirate's hands. A Pagosa passing error set up another Ram point and a Roaring Fork serve dropped at the feet of a statue-like Pirate serve receive. The teams were locked, 7-7, and the race was on.

It would be a very entertaining race.

Pagosa scored first as Scott hit from the middle. The Rams' setter scored off the pass.

Roaring Fork gave up a point with a serve error; a Pagosa player ran into the net.

Jewell scored from the middle; a Pagosa hit went into the middle of the net.

A Pagosa attack was touched by a Ram as it headed out of bounds; the Rams got a point when a Pirate serve went out of bounds.

Walkup gave her team a 13-11 lead with a tip and the Rams added a point on Pagosa's side of the scoreboard with a ball hit out.

The Pirates needed only one point to win.

Instead, Roaring Fork got four points to go ahead 15-14 - on a hit that fell inside the block, on a kill that went unblocked, on a Pirate attack that went out and on a Pagosa passing error.

You've got to win by two points.

Roaring Fork needed one point, Pagosa needed three.

It was a tall order, and the Pirates got 'er done.

The Rams helped when they mismanaged a ball in the back row. The teams were tied, 15-15.

A Ram went up to tip the ball. Scott blocked the attempt and sent the ball to the floor.

Pagosa 16-15.

Pagosa needed a single point, and Steen went in the air to hit from the outside.

A Ram defender went to her knees, shanked the pass, the game and match were over.

It was an exciting battle and the Pirates survived to play another day.

Pirate coach Penné Hamilton gave credit to the opponents.

"They were solid," she said of the Rams. "They ran a nice quick in the middle, but they missed a lot of serves and that was good for us."

When it came to crunch time, said Hamilton, the Rams changed their approach to the game.

"They started playing too careful against us at the end. That last game, we caught up and, at the very end, Roaring Fork made the mistake of not playing aggressively."

Not the Pirates. "I told our girls 'play aggressive, don't tip, go for the win.' Our kids never gave up, no matter the situation. They realized if they lost, it was over. Even though we let them back in the game and let them get ahead at the worst possible time, our kids didn't fold under pressure. They showed a lot of character."

Bottom line, when all was said and done?

"I guess we were there to keep the crowd entertained and on the edges of their seats," said the coach.

The chance to do the same begins Friday morning at the Class 3A state tournament. Pagosa plays Valley Friday morning, then takes on St. Mary's in the afternoon. A final pool play match is set against Platte Valley Saturday morning.


Kills/attacks: Walkup 13-31, Jewell 11-22, Steen 7-32

Ace serves: Faber 1, Steen 1

Solo blocks: Walkup 6, Jewell 4, Scott 2

Assists: Kelley 20, Walkup 4

Digs: Steen and Walkup 13 each, Scott 8


Pirates begin pool play Friday morning at state tournament

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pirate volleyball players return Friday to the court on the arena floor at the Denver Coliseum for the first time since 2001, to participate in the Class 3A state tournament.

Only three of the Pirate starting six have been in this environment before. Senior hitter/setter Lori Walkup played as a freshman in the 2001 tourney, when Pagosa took second place in the state. Outside hitter Courtney Steen and middle hitter Bri Scott, both seniors, were on the Pirate bench at that tournament as freshmen swing players.

The venue and atmosphere are not mysteries to Pirate coach Penné Hamilton; the veteran coach makes yet another trip to the Big Show, setting an enviable mark in which her teams have made it to the state tournament 10 times in 19 years - a feat equaled only by a very small group of active coaches in Colorado.

The environment in the coliseum is strange when compared to the high school gyms to which most players are accustomed. There are five sport courts set up on the arena floor, most of the courts separated by tall nets to prevent the passage of balls from one to another. The courts placed side by side have little space and no net between them.

The five classes in Colorado, 1A through 5A, play matches simultaneously. Whistles blow constantly, music blasts from the stands, cheers erupt unexpectedly. The atmosphere is near chaotic and it requires a focus and intensity beyond that needed for a regular match.

Then, there's the competition. Each class in the state has advanced only eight teams to this final tourney of the year. In Class 3A, over 60 teams start the season; the eight that remain this week are divided into two pools for preliminary play.

Four teams survive pool play to go on to the semifinal round. Two teams face each other Saturday night to battle for the title.

This year, there is no easy mark in Class 3A. There never is.

The Pirates are set for pool play competition against Valley, St. Mary's and Platte Valley.

Valley, ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 throughout the regular season, advanced to Denver via play in the tough Patriot League, emerging as that league's No. 1 seed. The team from Keenesburg sports a 26-2 record, with losses during the regular season to Platte Valley and 4A Sterling. The team has been highly ranked for several seasons but was eliminated in district or regional play before getting a crack at the crown. The Vikings are finally at state and figure to be one of the pre-tournament favorites. Pagosa faces Valley their first match Friday morning.

St. Mary's, unlike Valley, is a tournament regular, showing up in Denver more often than not. St. Mary's brings that tradition to the fray after finishing second in a regional tournament last weekend. The Pirates from Colorado Springs have posted a 21-5 record, playing a difficult schedule that included several top 5A teams. St. Mary's lost this year to Doherty, twice to Colorado Springs Christian and twice to Lamar - a team Pagosa played mid season. Centauri, of the Intermountain League, took St. Mary's to five games in a regional tournament match. Pagosa and St. Mary's clash Friday afternoon.

Like St. Mary's, Kersey's Platte Valley Broncos are very familiar with the state tournament. Pagosa and Platte Valley have collided several times over the years, the first meting being a Bronco victory at the 1988 state competition. Pagosa smacked the Broncos in the 1996 tournament; Platte Valley defeated Pagosa for the state title in 2001 and beat the Pirates again last year at regionals. This season, the Broncos are 20-8, going 1-3 against Valley, losing twice to Weld Central (who faced the Pirates at last week's regionals) and dropping matches against Greeley West, Eaton and Colorado Springs Christian.

The other pool play Friday includes top-tanked Colorado Springs Christian, Weld Central, Faith Christian and Middle Park.

"We will discuss all the distractions that wait for us in Denver," said Hamilton. "We've got the three girls who have been there before, so it will be new to most of the members of the team. The 3A tournament is one of the toughest of all year in and year out. The pool we're in - every draw is tough. The best strategy will be to relax, have a good time and turn some people's heads."


Pirates defeat Kent Denver in tourney opener

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

There are times in sport when you have a bad match and you get your derriere handed to you in a sack.

So it was for Pirate volleyball as the team suffered a rapid 3-0 loss to the Weld Central Rebels at Saturday's Region D volleyball tournament

Since the Pirates are traveling to Denver for the state tournament Friday and Saturday, the lesson learned against the Rebels could come in handy: You cannot beat the good teams in the postseason if you do not play at the top of your game.

Weld Central is one of those good teams - as are the Pirates when they fire on all cylinders. The Rebels play in a veritable food processor of a league during the regular season - the Patriot East League - and face the increased pressure of Patriot League teams from three divisions during district competition. The Rebels came out of their district tourney the third of four Patriot teams to advance. They advanced, hampered by injury and illness, from of a rugged season that included play against the No. 1 Class 5A team (Grandview), a top 5A state tourney team (Lewis Palmer), one of the state's best 4A teams (Windsor) as well as Patriot powerhouses Valley, Eaton and Platte Valley.

The Rebels were finally healthy and ready to play near the peak of their game when they came to Pagosa Springs.

And the Pirates were not ready when the match began.

Pagosa dropped the first two games of the match by 25-14 scores before coming alive and pushing the Rebels in a 25-21 loss.

Pagosa's problems: blocks that did not get to the point of attack, sluggish back-row play on defense and passing that ran the setter behind the 10-foot line, preventing a fluid transition to offense.

Weld Central's strength: a varied and sophisticated offense, capitalizing on quick sets to a number of effective hitters.

Each game displayed a similar pattern; Pagosa and Weld Central stayed close through the middle of the game before the Rebels made a significant run or two, capitalized on Pirate mis-hits and mistakes and surged to the win.

In the first game, Pagosa closed to 12-14 before the short-set attack of the Rebels produced points and Weld Central stretched the advantage to the finish line.

In the second game, the Pirates stayed close in the early going, finally tying the score at 9-9, but the Rebels ran off four consecutive points and led to the end of the contest. They got three of the four points courtesy Pirate hitting errors.

Pagosa picked up single points the rest of the way, getting kills from Courtney Steen and Caitlyn Jewell, but three Pirate serve errors turned over points and the Rebels answered with two and three points at a time, capitalizing on a lack of Pirate blocking to secure the win.

With blockers again failing to get to the point of attack, the Pirates fell behind early in the third game and could not catch up. The Rebels led 15-12 when Pagosa got two charity points on setting and hitting mistakes, but the Weld Central quick attack clicked and the Pirates committed a setting error to find themselves behind 17-14.

Kari Faber put a kill down for Pagosa but the Rebels put up the short set with a fake attack from the middle and the ball went down from the outside. A soft hit to the line produced a point for the visitors and the Rebels were ahead 19-15.

Liza Kelley answered with a kill for Pagosa and Emily Buikema forced a return error in the Rebel back row. Again, however, Weld Central nailed a point on the quick attack and a Pirate setting error gave away another point.

Lori Walkup responded with a kill off the Rebel block but the Pirates could not grasp the momentum and gave up a point when a Rebel hit went out off the Pagosa block.

The Rebels committed a serve error to give up a point and Steen rose to the occasion with a point from outside.

Weld Central led 23-21, but Pagosa could not push through to the lead and the win; the Rebels scored from outside as a hitter crushed an errant Pirate pass to end game and match.

Coach Penné Hamilton was clear about what went wrong during the match and what needs to be absent from the Pirates' style as they take on competitors at this weekend's state tournament.

"We didn't block," said the coach. "The blocks weren't there and we left our back row trying to set something up in the face of a very good attack. We worked on the blocking all week, but we didn't get it done. Second, a team cannot tip the ball and win at this level. I told our girls you can't rely on the tip against a good team and I'll tell them again before we play in Denver."

The Pirates will have the opportunity to bring the lessons into play Friday morning as they take on Valley, a skilled defensive team, in the first pool play match of the state tournament for each squad.


Kills/attacks: Walkup 10-22, Steen 5-18, Scott 4-11

Ace serves: Faber 2

Solo blocks: Jewell 1

Assists: Kelley 9, Walkup 6

Digs: Faber 5, Forrest 4, Walkup 3


Weld Central does it 'quick' in 3-0 win over Pirates

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

There are times in sport when you have a bad match and you get your derriere handed to you in a sack.

So it was for Pirate volleyball as the team suffered a rapid 3-0 loss to the Weld Central Rebels at Saturday's Region D volleyball tournament

Since the Pirates are traveling to Denver for the state tournament Friday and Saturday, the lesson learned against the Rebels could come in handy: You cannot beat the good teams in the postseason if you do not play at the top of your game.

Weld Central is one of those good teams - as are the Pirates when they fire on all cylinders. The Rebels play in a veritable food processor of a league during the regular season - the Patriot East League - and face the increased pressure of Patriot League teams from three divisions during district competition. The Rebels came out of their district tourney the third of four Patriot teams to advance. They advanced, hampered by injury and illness, from of a rugged season that included play against the No. 1 Class 5A team (Grandview), a top 5A state tourney team (Lewis Palmer), one of the state's best 4A teams (Windsor) as well as Patriot powerhouses Valley, Eaton and Platte Valley.

The Rebels were finally healthy and ready to play near the peak of their game when they came to Pagosa Springs.

And the Pirates were not ready when the match began.

Pagosa dropped the first two games of the match by 25-14 scores before coming alive and pushing the Rebels in a 25-21 loss.

Pagosa's problems: blocks that did not get to the point of attack, sluggish back-row play on defense and passing that ran the setter behind the 10-foot line, preventing a fluid transition to offense.

Weld Central's strength: a varied and sophisticated offense, capitalizing on quick sets to a number of effective hitters.

Each game displayed a similar pattern; Pagosa and Weld Central stayed close through the middle of the game before the Rebels made a significant run or two, capitalized on Pirate mis-hits and mistakes and surged to the win.

In the first game, Pagosa closed to 12-14 before the short-set attack of the Rebels produced points and Weld Central stretched the advantage to the finish line.

In the second game, the Pirates stayed close in the early going, finally tying the score at 9-9, but the Rebels ran off four consecutive points and led to the end of the contest. They got three of the four points courtesy Pirate hitting errors.

Pagosa picked up single points the rest of the way, getting kills from Courtney Steen and Caitlyn Jewell, but three Pirate serve errors turned over points and the Rebels answered with two and three points at a time, capitalizing on a lack of Pirate blocking to secure the win.

With blockers again failing to get to the point of attack, the Pirates fell behind early in the third game and could not catch up. The Rebels led 15-12 when Pagosa got two charity points on setting and hitting mistakes, but the Weld Central quick attack clicked and the Pirates committed a setting error to find themselves behind 17-14.

Kari Faber put a kill down for Pagosa but the Rebels put up the short set with a fake attack from the middle and the ball went down from the outside. A soft hit to the line produced a point for the visitors and the Rebels were ahead 19-15.

Liza Kelley answered with a kill for Pagosa and Emily Buikema forced a return error in the Rebel back row. Again, however, Weld Central nailed a point on the quick attack and a Pirate setting error gave away another point.

Lori Walkup responded with a kill off the Rebel block but the Pirates could not grasp the momentum and gave up a point when a Rebel hit went out off the Pagosa block.

The Rebels committed a serve error to give up a point and Steen rose to the occasion with a point from outside.

Weld Central led 23-21, but Pagosa could not push through to the lead and the win; the Rebels scored from outside as a hitter crushed an errant Pirate pass to end game and match.

Coach Penné Hamilton was clear about what went wrong during the match and what needs to be absent from the Pirates' style as they take on competitors at this weekend's state tournament.

"We didn't block," said the coach. "The blocks weren't there and we left our back row trying to set something up in the face of a very good attack. We worked on the blocking all week, but we didn't get it done. Second, a team cannot tip the ball and win at this level. I told our girls you can't rely on the tip against a good team and I'll tell them again before we play in Denver."

The Pirates will have the opportunity to bring the lessons into play Friday morning as they take on Valley, a skilled defensive team, in the first pool play match of the state tournament for each squad.


Kills/attacks: Walkup 10-22, Steen 5-18, Scott 4-11

Ace serves: Faber 2

Solo blocks: Jewell 1

Assists: Kelley 9, Walkup 6

Digs: Faber 5, Forrest 4, Walkup 3


Pirates fall to Roosevelt, finish season at 7-3

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

In postseason play, superior performance and a little luck are often the key ingredients to a win.

The Pagosa Springs Pirates came up just short on both Saturday in Golden Peaks Stadium, falling 15-13 to the Roosevelt Rough Riders in the first round of Class 2A playoffs.

Ask junior placekicker Daniel Aupperle, and he'll say he should have converted a 47-yard field goal on the game's last play to win it for Pagosa - an attempt that qualifies as difficult at any level of play.

Ask Pirate head coach Sean O'Donnell, however, and he'll tell you the game's outcome hinged primarily on Pagosa's uncanny inability to stop Roosevelt's roll-out passing attack on third and long.

"It's unfortunate, because they were running the same play over and over again, and for some reason we just couldn't get it covered - that made a huge difference," said O'Donnell after the game.

Another major factor cited by O'Donnell was the back-and-forth shift in emotion and momentum, an advantage that initially swung to Pagosa on the game's opening series.

After setting up at the 20, the Pirates moved to their own 35 on a second-down carry by sophomore running back Corbin Mellette, who filled in for injured starter Josh Hoffman (ankle sprain).

The rhythm continued as senior quarterback Paul Armijo hit Aupperle for a gain of eight, Mellete carried to the Pirate 46, and Armijo took a keeper to the Roosevelt 31.

But after Armijo hit senior wideout Daren Hockett for a gain to the 16, the drive bogged down and the Rough Riders took over at the 12 following a stop on fourth and three with just under six minutes to play in the first quarter.

Roosevelt quarterback Steve Kielian led a ground attack across midfield, then hit Ben Mayes on third and 10 to move the Rough Riders inside the Pirate 30.

But the penetration ended via a quarter-ending sack from Pirate senior Richard Lafferty at the Pagosa 43, and the home team took over after the resulting punt carried out of bounds at the Pirate 15.

A false start helped Roosevelt hold the Pirates to three and out, and the Rough Riders got the ball back at the Pagosa 46 on the ensuing punt two minutes into the second stanza.

An 11-yard gain by fullback Wayland Rask set up first and 10 at the 35, and the Rough Riders took a 6-0 lead at 9:08 on a 26-yard keeper by Kielian on third and short.

Lafferty blocked the extra-point attempt, however, and the adrenaline boost carried into the Pirates' next possession.

Following Paul Przybylski's kickoff return to the Pirate 35 and Mellete's second-down gain to the 47, Aupperle took a reverse to the Roosevelt 24 and Craig Schutz pulled down an Armijo pass at the 3 to set up first and goal.

Armijo plunged into the end zone one play later, but the Pirates' PAT failed and the teams remained deadlocked at 6-6 with 7:27 to play in the half.

Roosevelt's Napolean Price reached the Rough Rider 40 on the ensuing kickoff return, but Pirate senior Juan Martinez took the ball back for Pagosa two snaps later with a fumble recovery at midfield.

Armijo kept the resulting drive alive by muscling away from a Roosevelt defender and breaking an additional pair of tackles to convert a fourth and six, but a botched snap on a 40-yard field goal attempt cost the Pirates a turnover on downs with 3:36 till the half.

Roosevelt got as far as the Pirate 35, but a late holding call ended the drive and the quarter closed with the score knotted at six apiece.

The Rough Riders began the second half at the 50 after a good return from Price plus a facemask penalty, and after an initial first down Kielian hit Justin Montoya on a subsequent third and 11 to keep the drive alive inside the Pagosa 20.

The Pirates would not allow six, but Roosevelt placekicker Kody Lemer eventually kicked a 35-yard field goal to put the visitors up 9-6 with five minutes gone in the third.

Then neither team mustered much offense until the Pirates got on track late in the quarter, and the deciding frame opened with Pagosa set up with a first down at midfield.

Armijo connected with sophomore flanker Jordan Shaffer for a second-down gain to the Roosevelt 35, a screen to Aupperle went to the 25, and Mellete finished the drive a snap later with a TD run to put the Pirates on top 12-9.

Aupperle added the PAT, and Pagosa held a 13-9 advantage with 10:07 to play.

But Pagosa's celebration was short-lived - Kielian threw to Price to convert a third and nine at the Pirate 45 on the ensuing drive, then hit Justin Montoya on third and five for a first down at the Pirate 14.

Rask rumbled to the 1 two plays later, then pounded in on second and goal to give the Rough Riders a 15-13 lead with 5:40 remaining.

Completions from Armijo to Shaffer and Przybylski moved the Pirates to the Roosevelt 35 on Pagosa's next possession, but a series of miscues forced a punt with under three minutes to play.

A clipping call on the return pushed the Rough Riders back to their own 4, but Kielian's gain to the 15 on second down forced Pagosa to burn its remaining time-outs and Roosevelt was able to shave the game clock down to 35 seconds before punting on fourth and long.

The Pirates took over at their own 47, and Armijo's first-down completion to Hockett plus a roughing-the-passer call put the ball at the Roosevelt 39 with 18 seconds to play.

After a pair of incomplete passes, Armijo threw to Shaffer for a nine-yard gain along the home sideline, stopping the clock with six seconds left.

Aupperle's 47-yard field goal attempt followed, but landed just short of its mark as time expired.

The result was a dramatic end to a season which saw the Pirates go 7-3 overall and undefeated in the Intermountain League while claiming the conference championship.

"Any time you line up to compete, you always know coming in that you might end up feeling like this, but it's still frustrating because we didn't want to go out this way," said O'Donnell after the loss.

"It's playoff football, and you have to minimize your mistakes," O'Donnell added. "You have to perform at your top level, physically and mentally, and we just didn't make enough plays to win the game today."

With respect to the season as a whole, "Obviously, we'd rather be moving deeper into the playoffs, but overall, it's been a very satisfying season for the other coaches and myself," said O'Donnell.

"We're very proud of these kids and also proud of what they were able to overcome and accomplish this year," he added.

Regarding the early prognosis for next season, "We lose another good group of seniors, but we'll get most of our guys back," said O'Donnell.

"And there are always a lot of fundamental areas the kids can work on during the offseason, like getting a little stronger and getting a little quicker. If they commit to improving, I think we'll come back hungry and very well-prepared," O'Donnell concluded.


Roosevelt 0 6 3 6 - 15

Pagosa 0 6 0 7 - 13

Second Quarter

Ros - Kielian 26 run

Pag - Hoffman 25 run (kick failed)

Third quarter

Ros - Lemer 32 FG

Fourth Quarter

Pag - Armijo 3 run (Aupperle kick)

Ros - Rask 1 run (kick failed)


Four Pirates claim league soccer honors

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Four Pagosa Springs High School seniors, all key players in the Pirate soccer squad's advance to Sweet 16 play this year, have been named for Southwest Mountain League All-conference honors.

Leading the list were premier sweeper Levi Gill and the league's leading scorer, Moe Webb.

Garnering honorable mention were goalkeeper Caleb Forrest, who missed five games during the season, and defensive midfielder Keagan Smith.

Gill was regarded by most league officials as the best defensive player in action and by teammates as the one who kept them in every game with his prowess at stopping opponent attacks.

Webb was the league's top scorer and the No. 2 scorer in the state in Class 3A with 23 goals and 11 assists.

Forrest had 56 saves in 683 minutes in the nets during nine games and was named for the second consecutive year.

Smith, heart and soul of the midfield defense, turned dozens of offenses around with his hardnosed tackling. And, late in the season, he became an offensive threat too, recording three goals and four assists.

For coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason's league winning Pirates, these four epitomized the teamwork necessary to make a prep soccer program work and keep developing new challengers for honors.

Joining Gill and Webb on the first team were Ryan Houseman and Chris Garren of Crested Butte, which tied Pagosa in record but lost on number of goals allowed to common league opponents; Hayk Sargsyan, Chad Collier and Bake Tankersly of Ridgway; Richard Stange, Ryan Wirth and Nick Joswick of Bayfield; and Walter Kwale of Telluride.

Named for honorable mention in addition to Forrest and Smith were Nick Catmur of Crested Butte, Carlos Moreno of Center and Jimmy Discoe of Ridgway.

Crested Butte's Than Acuff was named the league's coach of the year.

All four league qualifiers for state playoff action - Pagosa, Crested Butte, Center and Ridgway - were ousted as the teams in contention were trimmed from Sweet 16 to an Elite 8.

By Tuesday, the field was down to two, top-ranked and undefeated Faith Christian and third-ranked Salida which knocked off No. 2 Basalt to gain the championship contest.


Walk or run at the Turkey Trot, Nov. 25

The annual Turkey Trot will be sponsored this year by the Pagosa Porpoises Swim Club.

This year's walk/trot will take place Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, on a course near the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center at 10 a.m.

Participants are offered the choice of a two-mile walk or a 5-mile run. Competition divisions for men and women are set for 16 and under, 17-40 and 40 and over.

Prizes will be given out and baked goods will be available for sale.

Registration for the race takes place on the day of the event at the recreation center, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

For more information, call the rec center at 731-2051.


Parks & Rec

A look at how parks, recreation facilities are operated

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The parks segment of the department consists of me, the parks and recreation director, Jim Miller our parks superintendent, and Dreux Williams, our park employee.

Jim and Dreux have the job of keeping our parks and streetscape clean and operable.

All the turf used in the town parks system and at the softball complex, is maintained by parks crews. In the summer months we have as many as four part-time employees who assist in that busiest time of the year.

Winter months bring maintenance catchup, snow removal, and operating the ice skating pond at the east end of town. We cross over and help the street crews when there are large snowstorms.

Tree care, turf care, weed control, and trail maintenance are all part of our parks personnel job descriptions. So, when you are enjoying the great outdoor experiences Pagosa Springs has to offer, think of the town fathers, think of the crews that have done as much as the budget will allow to give in a clean, safe outdoor environment.

River Walk

The River Walk, providing approximately 6/10ths mile of paved hiking was built in 1981.

Since then, we have added paved trails to the east end of town, a footbridge connecting town and schools with the post office site.

We are planning and have budgeted for the extension of the River Walk to include Town Hall and the high school. So, with the foresight of our town fathers and the parks and recreation employees and boards, we keep building and adding to an experience we all can enjoy.

River restoration project

Our crews have not been too involved in the planning of this endeavor, however we support it 100 percent.

Rocks have been purchased to improve the recreational attributes of the river. The second phase of this river project will lead from behind the county jail to the Sports Complex. The project's first phase began in the early 1990s, with the idea that we would continue with the improvements now taking place in Phase 2.

Other benefits include preserving the river habitat for all insect and fish life, as well as controlling the river in high water situations.


Myles Gabel is our recreation supervisor; he wears a lot of different hats, depending on the time of year.

He is the head recruiter, producing coaches and players for all town sponsored recreational sports. He also recruits sponsors for the different sports, purchases all equipment, and schedules referees, field and gym space. Quite the juggling act for such a fast growing community.

Right now, the town offers youth basketball, baseball and soccer. We assist in club sports by scheduling public owned facilities. This has been quite difficult because in the past few years we have at least six different clubs/age groups in soccer and baseball alone.

Club sports are privately run sports activities, organized and usually overseen by a national organization such as AAU, AYSA, etc.

The club sports have the right to set fees and travel to neighboring communities to participate, with their own rules and regulations. They often have their own boards to help with their organization.

At various times of year Myles may have as many as 20 part-time employees, usually including referees, scorekeepers, and field/gym attendants.

With over 200 in youth baseball and 300-plus in youth soccer we need a lot of help to pull off programs of this size.

Director's post

My job is to coordinate facilities use, maintenance and construction of ongoing projects for the town. In effect, the department is responsible for the whole county in terms of recreation, however we work under the town administration, with the town budget.

Budgets, grant application, park rentals, purchasing, and reporting to the Park Advisory Council are part of the director's daily tasks.

Planning the 16-acre sports complex and raw water feeds have required a great deal of negotiation with schools, county and PAWS to produce solid intergovernmental agreements and good working relationships with these entities.

So far things seem to be going smoothly, however facilities in a community growing this fast cannot be built fast enough. Some ideas brought to our attention, other than the additional to the Sports Complex are an ice skating arena, tennis courts, more soccer fields, Frisbee golf and a dog park.

The meetings and the planning are never ending.


Reality of competition lies between extremes

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

For the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department, the idea of more competitive programs has come up often.

This topic is all over the sports pages and has often been filled with clichés. At one extreme is the belief that winning is the only thing. At the other extreme is the belief that the outcome is not important, everybody who tries out for a team makes the team and everyone participates.

Reality is probably somewhere between these two extremes. The importance of winning has been considered by virtually every recreation department, coach, parent, administrator and athlete involved in sports.

The Town of Pagosa Springs provides the recreation department to the community as an alternative means of wellness and physical fitness. Competitive team and individual sports are offered to older children as a means of providing individuals with the benefits of organized competition: self-knowledge, social responsibility, challenge, commitment and leadership.

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department programs are committed to the creation and maintenance of an environment in which all participants are encouraged to reach their potential and where challenge, competition and comradeship mutually exist.

Our youth sports program strives to promote the philosophy that the enjoyment of participating in team sports is of fundamental concern, with competition a natural outgrowth of that involvement.

Furthermore, our purpose is not to develop teams capable of competing at the highest levels, but to develop players whose behavior and attitudes are a credit to themselves, their families, and their community.

Regardless of our personal point of view on this subject, parents should emphasize to their children that while winning is an essential part of sports, his or her participation in an athletic program has many other complementary goals.

A key point is to get your child to acknowledge that while winning is a part of sports; it must be kept in perspective with the other valuable aspects of their involvement in an athletic program. Social development, fun, fitness, and learning a lifetime activity are a few goals that can be accomplished along with a successful season record.

Youth basketball

Sign ups for 9-10 and 11-12 youth basketball began Nov. 1 and continues through Nov. 26.

Basketball Skills Assessment Day will be held Dec. 4 with the Elks Club Shootout Dec. 11. Practices will begin Dec. 13 with games beginning Jan. 4. Sign up today.

Coed volleyball meeting

In an attempt to continue to offer the adult Four-on-Four Volleyball League, the department will hold a meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, in Town Hall. We will discuss many topics concerning ways to enhance this league and make it a viable sports alternative for Pagosa Springs.

Bring any ideas you might have to this meeting.

Girl's softball

If you are interested in becoming a part of the future of girls' softball in Pagosa Springs, contact Maddie Baserra at 264-6835. People are interested in developing girl's softball in the Pagosa Springs area and are looking for others interested in this goal.

Hiring officials

The department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating soccer, basketball, volleyball and baseball. High School students may apply. Compensation is $10-$25 per game depending on age group and experience.

For additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232.



Beware the pitfalls

We'll see a transformed Archuleta County Commission come the new year, with two members recently elected each re-placing a longtime member of the group. It is presumptuous of us to make suggestions to our representatives, especially before the next board assumes it duties, but hubris compels us to forge on.

We believe there are several pitfalls ahead for our new commission and we hope the dangers and consequences are obvious.

It is wise to note there is a veteran commissioner on the board, one who served a number of years ago and who returned two years ago to serve again. She is familiar with the history of the issues facing our commission, well acquainted with the personalities and pressures that have dominated and shaped the scene during the last decade. She is a valuable resource and should be utilized to the fullest. Not to do so would be an error.

It is valuable to recognize the risks in taking unilateral action and attempting to micromanage county departments. Our local government arguably runs best and in the best interests of all when a professional administration performs its duties and carries out the wishes of the majority of our elected officials. When a commissioner acts unilaterally, the process is disrupted. There is serious damage possible, not just to our collective well being, but political damage to officials as well. There are local residents who used to hold office, who attempted to micromanage departments and personnel, acting unilaterally. We can learn from their experiences.

It is advisable to hold to the principal of open government, clearly understand Colorado's sunshine and open records laws. There are few greater slaps to the public face than those delivered by elected officials who conduct their business in private, who make decisions out of view. A quorum of an elected board (which, in this case, is two members) cannot meet privately to reach decisions on public matters. More injury occurs when a board abuses its executive session privilege, one that should be exercised as infrequently as possible. Taxpayers must have access to as much information as possible concerning decisions made by the officials they elect.

Those officials are chosen to perform in a system of representative government. Government by committee is an idea that has been proven inadequate and corrupt too many times to be indulged again. Elected officials are not in office to use the crutch of committees comprised of "interested" citizens or to bend to their interests. Further, there is little value in appointing the same people, again and again, to task forces and committees. The concept of decision by committee radiates a warm socialist glow, but it doesn't work. We elect officials to spend the time and energy an ordinary citizen can't, on issues that are important to all of us; to make choices, not pass the buck. You want the job? Stand up, study the situation, talk to constituents, make decisions, take the flak. Use your duly constituted commissions, don't delay or dilute a process with yet another committee.

Lastly, it is instructive to reflect on what was promised during recent campaigns. Making good on select promises is less important than solving our many problems, step by step, on the basis of a realistic assessment of projects made in terms of the common good, executed with a wise use of personnel and available funds. The greatest good for the greatest number remains a vital principle.

All this said, a new commission must be given the opportunity to succeed, by friend and foe alike. Here's hoping the job is not made more difficult than it needs to be.

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 American, 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 Wolf Creek Ski Area. 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. 13, 1914

It is to be hoped that the differences between Prof. Powell and the boys in the high school will be amicably settled. Parents do not want their children to be parties to any disturbance in school nor have they any desire to limit the faculty in the exercise of supposed experience of conducting work. But even at that there are two sides to disagreements even between grown-ups and youngsters and it is barely possible that superior wisdom in the school room is not fatal to the dignity of its possessor if it should discover signs of intelligence in a few young Americans, who have ideas, possibly wrong ones of their own.

The man who is not satisfied with the way the election went is mighty hard to please.


75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov. 15, 1929

A Wisconsin snowplow was put into use on Wolf Creek pass highway last Friday, and the road is reported to be in exceptionally good condition for this time of year.

Four families are now under quarantine for smallpox, which made its first appearance in this city last week. About 200 have been vaccinated in the past week, and not many additional cases are anticipated here.

A crew of men are repairing the bridge over the San Juan above Juanita to Pagosa Junction, where they are at work.

The paint crew of the Denver & Rio Grande Western has moved from Juanita to Pagosa Junction, where they are at work.


50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov. 12, 1954

The new ski tow located just out of town on the Masco place is being put in shape for the first snow, if it ever gets here. Rates have been set for the season and may be adjusted at a later date if they are not satisfactory. The new motor that was donated by the town board has been installed and the slope has been smoothed out by Donald Bennett with the aid of the Belarde caterpillar. The tow will be in operation as soon as there is sufficient snow and will continue until spring.

Another week of ideal fall weather with beautiful sunshiny days and clear nights. The mercury dipped to 12 degrees Tuesday night, the coldest thus far this year. The country is becoming pretty dry but some rain and snow will fix that up if it ever gets here.


25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Nov 15, 1979

The school board held a brief, and fairly controversial, meeting Tuesday night at which teacher salary schedules were established, a budget adopted, mill levies set, and the president of the board was challenged on his eligibility to be a member of the board. This brought about a few hot words and is apparently an issue that isn't fully resolved at this time.

A draft plan for improvements to the County Airport will be reviewed at a public hearing November 20. The plan is a first step toward requesting grants for actual improvements to the airport. Present facilities are not adequate to safely handle the number of aircraft making use of the airport; particularly visitors coming for business or recreation purposes.



Cast of 58 prepares for trip through Looking Glass

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Jabberwocky. A rapping egg. Battling queens. Plastic light-saber wielding knights. A gospel group called The Responsibilities.

That's just a little of the fun wrapped up in "Wonderland," a wild and silly musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" set for production in Pagosa Springs Nov. 19 and 20.

Fifty-eight junior high students have been working since September, in class and out, to perfect their lines, strengthen their voices, learn the dances and conquer any fears of the stage. Now, they're into dress rehearsals. Lights. Sound. Music and a hall of empty chairs just waiting to be filled.

"This is the first time we've put it all together, lights, sound and costumes," music teacher and director Shawna Carosello said Monday between lifting curtains, calling in cues and prompting her students to sing and speak louder.

"OK, fix it so you're facing the audience," she said. And, when a group asked for a line, "You guys had this one. Go for it."

The Red Queen, Alice and a whole group of backup dancers finished an upbeat song about the rules of chess and the next scene began.

"Wonderland" is a mixed-up fantasy story about a young girl who, after a fight with her mother, dreams of a trip through a mirror into a world where everything is backwards. She wants to be part of "the game," finds her wish granted and she enters Wonderland through the looking glass as a pawn.

Her journey becomes curiouser and curiouser as she meets characters familiar to Lewis Carroll fans and a few new ones including a baseball team, train conductor and some star-struck tourists. In the end, Alice reaches the end of the game only to discover new responsibilities and face the decision of whether or not to go home.

The musical score is as varied as the characters - running from gypsy swing to do-wop to bluegrass with a few traditional numbers thrown in for good measure.

"It's been great having the chance to see everybody's talent," cast member Trisha Lucero said.

"She gets to bring out the pudding," her friend Donna Rivas said, adding that the scene is key to the whole play. Lucero is also helping with costumes, hair and makeup.

Rivas, who is playing the White Queen, struggled a little with her lace ballgown Monday.

"The lace is kind of itchy," she said. "It doesn't fit quite right." Still, Rivas said, taking a daily trip into a fantasy world and having the chance to dress up and play someone else is just plain fun.

The best part, Rivas added, has been working on her solo, "Anything's Possible," because it's hers and because of the message. "It says if you try anything and you wish really hard anything is possible."

When she tried out for the musical in class in September, Rivas said it didn't matter how she was cast, "as long as I got to be in it. I wish there was a blue queen though." As the White Queen, she's the "sweet, nice one."

Ashlee Courtney plays the Red Queen. "I'm the bad one," she said. She likes the role because of the Queen's "attitude and spunk," but worries a little about hitting some of the higher notes in the solo.

That, and memorizing lines have been the biggest challenge both girls said. To work the scenes they have called each other on the phone and had friends read with them.

"We sorta help each other out," Rivas said.

Jaclyn Harms, who's playing Alice, said she's spent sometimes five hours a day with her script trying to memorize everything. Her parents have helped out, as well as her teacher, Carosello, who opened her classroom for two-hour practices on Fridays.

Harms tried out for Alice along with seven other girls. Auditions, she said, were the hardest part of the whole thing.

"I was really nervous, but I guess I did OK," she said. "I think it's going to be fun because I get to kinda be the center of attention and I always wanted to be an actress."

Besides all that, she said, the musical is fun and funny. "We've been working really hard," she said.

Carosello agreed, adding that, besides working on lines and singing, the students had gone "all out" on their costumes. One bought a white tuxedo. Humpty Dumpty comes complete with a papier maché body and incredibly stretched out pants. The queens have sparkle and fur. A unicorn has even been thrown in the mix.

"It's been amazing just watching the soloists come alive," Carosello said, reflecting on the best part of putting together such a large production. "Kids you never would have guessed wanted speaking parts and when they tried out I gave it to them." She gave the example of one choir student who since fifth grade had never attended a concert.

"She's never missed a practice," Carosello said. "That's why we do this."

To pull all the props, microphone and choreography together, Carosello has had help from several high school students as well as from Dale Morris, Michael DeWinter and Lisa Hartley. Soon, they will all be put to the test.

"Wonderland," the script by James DeVita, music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur, will be performed Nov. 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The show is free and the public is welcome.


Pagosa's Past

Gobernador provided a new

route for Pagosa pioneers

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

We have been writing about the 1860s and 1870s. The 1860s decade set the stage for settlement of Pagosa Country and the entire Four Corners area, a settlement which took place during the 1870s.

As we have previously noted, Hispanics and a scattering of Anglos settled in the Tierra Amarilla area of New Mexico just south of Pagosa Country during the 1860s.

The Tierra Amarilla communities provided a foundation and supply base for subsequent settlement in southwestern Colorado. Many buildings of interest remain in the TA area.

It is noted by anthropologist and historian Frances Leon Quintana in "Pobladores" that home building styles in the TA area and also in Rosa just south of Arboles began to change at this time due to Anglo influences.

Irish-born Thomas Burns, living in TA with his Hispanic wife, helped introduce some of the 1860s building innovations which had sprouted earlier in Las Vegas, N.M. Burns built a two-story brick house in Parkview (los Ojos) featuring a steep-gabled roof and dormer windows as he remembered them from his Wisconsin boyhood.

Neighbors in TA soon began to build second stories with pitched roofs on their adobe homes along with balconies and outdoor staircases. As milled lumber became available, these new homes acquired a gingerbread appearance. Cedar shake roofs were replaced with sheet metal to reduce the fire danger.

A tour of homes remaining in the TA area, and there are many, will reveal this Anglo influence, a marked change from the flat-topped roofs of an earlier era and still used further south in New Mexico. The pitched metal roofs are also better suited to the increased amount of snowfall experienced in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. A day spent touring the TA area is a day well spent for the history buff with an interest in the Hispanic influence on the area. Forget touring Rosa - that frontier village disappeared below Navajo Lake many years ago.

I'm digressing for a moment to discuss a local history book I finally got around to reading. Titled "Gobernador," the book is written by Marilu Waybourn with Paul Horn. "Gobernador" is published by Aztec Museum & Pioneer Village, 125 N. Main Ave., Aztec, NM 87410. The first printing was in 1999. I learned of the book from Uri Ealum, an old timer I have interviewed several times. A photograph of Uri's smiling face radiates from one of the book's pages. Now to get down to business. Where and what is Gobernador and what does Gobernador have to do with Pagosa Country history?

Gobernador is a canyon running from southeast to northwest across Rio Arriba County in northern New Mexico with its northern termination on the San Juan River presently covered by Navajo Lake. You can visit Gobernador by driving to Dulce in New Mexico just south of Pagosa Springs, then following U.S. 64 east as if you were going to Bloomfield, Aztec or Farmington. Only a post office remains in Gobernador. Although there is a road sign, you will search in vain for a downtown community. It is mesa, canyonland, the landscape marred by groves of methane gas wells.

In times past, and to a limited extent today, Pagosa sheep and cattle raisers wintered stock in Gobernador, driving them overland across Caracas Mesa.

The book is professionally written and does not pretend to be an exhaustive history of Gobernador Canyon. It does point out that the canyon was sacred to the Navajos and contains many remnants of Navajo and Anasazi culture. A number of rock observation towers remain along the mesa rims, reminders of a time when Navajos resisted invading Ute warriors. Several petroglyphs also exist. The book generally contains accounts of several families living in Gobernador during earlier times. Families included are the Horns, Francisco Martinez, Desidario Martinez, Smith, Sparks, Romine, Juan Lopez and Gomez.

Local oldtimers will remember the Horn and Sparks families, and maybe others. The Smiths were Pagosa pioneers, George Smith having been born in Pagosa Springs, I think in 1879. A two-story log cabin now resting at the Fred Harman Art Museum was first erected on the Smith homestead in Hell's Hip Pocket a little west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160. Relatives of the Sparks family ran a hardware store in Pagosa Springs for several years.

The book contains an account of Uri Ealum carrying mail from Arboles to Gobernador in 1935 in a horse-drawn wagon containing a kerosene stove used to keep warm.

What amazed me most were the primitive living conditions of settlers coming during comparatively recent times. Wallace Horn came west in 1911 looking for a place to start a horse ranch. Little homestead land remained and 1911 was an especially wet year. A carpet of grass blanketed Gobernador Canyon. Horn homesteaded there, living first in a crude dugout, then erecting a jacal. Most years were drier than 1911 and obtaining water for household and livestock was a serious challenge. Life during the 1920s, '30s, '40s, and even into the '50s, was conducted on a primitive scale.

Last week's SUN contained an obituary of a Hispanic lady born at Gobernador, a Martinez I think.

I heartily recommend "Gobernador" for presenting a lucid, factual and non-romanticized account of day-to-day living as a pioneer.



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Outlook good for snow, rain into Sunday

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Winter sports junkies - keep your fingers crossed.

If the latest forecasts for southwest Colorado hold merit, snow depths across Pagosa Country should be on the rise for the next several days.

According to reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, a wet low-pressure system is expected to drape over the Four Corners region through the weekend.

The result should be a daily chance for moderate to heavy snow at higher elevations and a mix of snow and rain showers closer to town.

The chance for precipitation today is listed at 20 percent; high temperatures are not expected to escape the 40s, while evening lows should plunge to around 15.

The chance for snow rises to 30 percent for Friday, with highs predicted in the 35-35 range and lows anticipated in the teens.

Saturday calls for mostly-cloudy conditions, a 30-percent chance for rain and snow, highs in the upper 30s and lows near 10.

Sunday's forecast includes a 20-percent chance for snow/rain, partly-cloudy skies, highs near 40 and lows ranging from 5 to 15 degrees.

The weather outlook for Monday through Wednesday entails a 20-percent chance for rain and snow, variable skies, highs in the 40s and lows ranging from single digits to 15 degrees.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 59 degrees. The average low was 27. Moisture totals for the week amounted to .35 inches.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 34 inches and midway depth of 28 inches, with six lifts operating, all trails and 90 percent of the mountain now open for skiing.

For updates on snow and road conditions at the ski area, visit the Web at

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.

According to the latest SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin is currently at 109 percent of average.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture describes regional drought conditions as "moderate."

San Juan River flow through town ranged from a low of about 170 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 230 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Nov. 11 is roughly 75 cubic feet per second.