December 2, 2004 

Front Page

3 suits seek to block 'Village'

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

As plans for construction of The Village at Wolf Creek move forward, fresh legal actions aimed at derailing the controversial project continue to mount.

According to a press release issued this week by Colorado Wild, Wolf Creek Ski Area, Colorado Wild and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council have all filed lawsuits to thwart development of the village.

Citing "tremendous public support to protect Wolf Creek Ski Area and the surrounding environment from billionaire Texas developer Red McCombs," the release states that Colorado Wild and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council sued the Rio Grande National Forest late last week in state district court.

A recently-issued Forest Service draft environmental impact statement, or "DEIS," addresses an application submitted by The Village at Wolf Creek Development Corporation requesting transportation and utility easements for the endeavor.

The application focuses mainly on the developers' request for access to their preferred entry point, a 250-foot strip of Forest Service land that separates the project site from U.S. 160.

To date, the Forest Service's preferred alternative is to grant the request via two access points, a notion that is drawing heavy criticism from environmentalists.

But the Forest Service is not the only entity that has recently become a legal target.

In addition, "Participants in Friends of Wolf Creek, Colorado Wild and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council have sued Mineral County over its recent final approval" of the village, says the release.

The release asserts Mineral County "failed to adhere to both state law and its own regulations, not to mention the public trust" while approving the project.

The release suggests the lawsuits are necessary because the village was approved "even though the developer has failed to demonstrate access to the state highway system" and because "major questions have been raised about the adequacy of water supplies."

Furthermore, the release claims the village "threatens rare fen wetlands - all violations of state law or Mineral County's own regulations."

Quoting Anna Ulrich, attorney for Colorado Wild and SLVEC, the release states, "Meanwhile, the board sought to limit public input to an unacceptable degree. Ignoring state law, it failed to publish notice of two of its meetings, at which documents including a basic map of the development plan were made available to the public for the first time."

The release also indicates Wolf Creek Ski Area has sued Mineral County in state district court as well, a disclosure confirmed yesterday by Andy Spielman, attorney for Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Because it is a matter of pending litigation, Spielman could not reveal the specifics of the lawsuit.

But, "Unfortunately, we did find it necessary to have to take this step," concluded Spielman.

Mineral County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution granting approval of the final plat for the village Oct. 26, and approved development of the first phase of the project in early November.

If it is built to maximum capacity, The Village at Wolf Creek will occupy roughly 290 acres of private land in the Alberta Park area, entirely within Mineral County and adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The resulting community would include a maximum of 1,200 hotel rooms, 222,000 square feet of commercial space, 129 lots for single-family usage and 1,643 multifamily units.

EIS comment deadline

Monday is the deadline for all public comments on the U.S. Forest Service draft environmental impact statement concerning The Village at Wolf Creek.

The DEIS is available for review on the Rio Grande National Forest Web site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/riogrande/planning/planning.htm.

Copies of the DEIS can be obtained from the following:

- Tetra Tech Inc., 5205 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1400, Falls Church, VA 22041;

- Divide Ranger District of the Rio Grande National Forest, 13308 West U.S. 160, Del Norte, CO 81132;

- Public Lands Center, 1803 West U.S. 160, Monte Visa, CO 8114 and;

- by contacting Bob Dalrymple at (719) 852-5941.

Written comments must be postmarked by Dec. 6 and sent to Tetra Tech Inc., 5205 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1400, Falls Church, VA 22041.

Comments may also be sent electronically to: comments-rocky-mountain-rio-grande@fs.fed.us or faxed to (703) 931-9222.

Comments should be specific, as Forest Service guidelines suggest "only those individuals or organizations who submit substantive comments during the comment period may file an appeal."

  

Town gets $200,000 grant for sports complex

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

As recreation moves indoors or onto surrounding hills for the snowy season, some of the staff at Town Hall are still seeing turf - yards of the green stuff marking the start of a new park along South 5th Street.

The Pagosa Springs Sports Complex, a field of dreams on nearly 16 acres of open space between the San Juan River and the high school that's been earmarked as a park for about 10 years, will reach some of its potential in 2005 with the help of the Great Outdoor Colorado local grant program.

GOCO's board earmarked $200,000 for Pagosa's park project Dec. 1. It was one of 25 projects and nearly $4 million in grants approved. A total of 47 applications were reviewed.

"I'm ready," Joe Lister Jr., parks and recreation director said. The master plan for the Pagosa Springs Sports Complex was completed in 2003 showing a multipurpose field, softball field, concession stand, restroom and storage, trails along the river, access for boaters and a landscaped outdoor classroom. In August 2003, representatives from the town, county and schools signed an intergovernmental agreement, each pledging $20,000 over three years for the project. The Rotary Club offered another $5,000 providing grant funds could be secured.

About $500,000 is needed for each of three phases to complete the project. Lister said this is actually the third time the town has applied for $200,000 in GOCO funds. The first two times it failed. He credited special projects director Julie Jessen for the success.

"This has been in my mind and in my predecessor's mind for a long time," Lister said. "The town board has talked about it for the past ten years that I know of."

The land was deeded to the town for open space by the sanitation district when the district turned operations over to the town. The only restriction was that it be used for park space. By the end of next summer, that's exactly what it should be.

Jessen said the total budget for Phase One construction comes in at $520,975. That includes the grant, a $150,000 match by the town budgeted in 2004, as well as donations by the school, the county and private entities. Included in the costs is engineering, onsite improvements and demolition, grading, utilities, parking improvements, landscaping and irrigation.

Engineering work has already begun, Jessen said. Construction should start sometime in the spring of 2005 and finish later that year. At the end of Phase One, the full-sized multiuse field should be complete. The field is designed to meet Colorado High School Activities Association requirements for soccer.

Lister said because of its size, the field can also be used for three youth soccer games at once, or for T-ball. Last season, over 300 youth ages 5-14 participated in the town's youth soccer program.

"We've utilized three youth fields at the elementary school," Lister said. "In Town Park we have two field that are undersized youth fields, but all of them are too small. They do not meet requirements for 12- and 13-year-olds." The multipurpose field could also be used for football programs, something the town has lacked because of field space and cost.

Full buildout on the sports complex will require two more phases and additional grant funds. The town has earmarked $100,000 in capital improvement funds for Phase Two in the draft 2005 budget.

 

Weekend storm hiked area avalanche danger

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The holiday winter storm which swept across the state and nipped Pagosa Country last week brought with it both good news and bad.

First, the bad news.

In addition to creating treacherous driving conditions resulting in countless fender-benders, the storm system upped the state's avalanche danger significantly.

A recent report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center indicates the snowfall left behind by the storm prompted dozens of slides southwest Colorado through the Thanksgiving weekend.

"All together statewide, that's about 450 slides reported from Nov. 26-30," says the report. "That's a big cycle for November."

According to the report, in the western San Juan Mountains "the overall avalanche danger remains considerable at all elevations and aspects, but probably there are still pockets of high near and above treeline, especially northwest, northeast and southeast aspects. "

However, "In the Wolf Creek area, the danger has lessened and we rate it as moderate on northeast aspects, and low elsewhere," the report concludes.

That's good news for skiers who want to take advantage of rising snow levels at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The weekend storm brought over 20 inches of fresh powder to the ski area, drawing high numbers of skiers to the slopes over the holiday weekend.

"Skier numbers have been great during the past week," said Roseanne Haidorfer-Pitcher, Wolf Creek sales and marketing manager.

"Conditions were still marginal the weekend before, but then we got that big snow - about 29 inches - and had a record Thanksgiving," concluded Haidorfer-Pitcher.

The latest snow reports for the ski area indicate a summit depth of 66 inches, midway depth of 55 inches and year-to-date snowfall total of 97 inches.

Likewise, snowpack levels in area river basins have benefitted from the recent bout of wet weather as well.

According to data provided by the National Resources Conservation Service, snowpack in the Upper San Juan River Basin stood at 133 percent of average as of yesterday.

Of course, snowpack conditions can change rapidly between now and April, but thus far the levels are encouraging.

So are current storage levels in area reservoirs.

According to Gene Tautges, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District assistant general manager, flows from Dutton Ditch are continuing to feed Stevens Reservoir, which is spilling.

"It's still early in the water year, of course, but it's a good sign," said Tautges.

"We still have to be vigilant and play forecaster a bit, but my gut feeling is we may soon be able to close the ditch given the amount of snow we've seen in the high country."

Water levels in all other district reservoirs, said Tautges, are rising or at least holding steady, with Lake Hatcher at nine inches below spillway, Lake Forest 15 inches down, Village Lake 18 inches down and Lake Pagosa at 25 inches down but on the rise as of Tuesday.

Lastly, the early news for Navajo Reservoir is also favorable; the lake's elevation has been slowly rising since early fall and was listed at just over 6,026 feet Tuesday - up two feet from a month ago.

Due to a series of wet-weather systems passing through the Four Corners, the reservoir has made solid gains in the past two months.

A recent status report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation indicates "the monthly precipitation average in the basin above Bluff for the months of September and October was 220, and 100 percent of average respectively.

"Corresponding with these rain events, the inflow to Navajo Reservoir for the month of October was 55,000 acre-feet or 120 percent of average," the report concludes.

Thanks to the latest snowfall, inflows to Navajo have averaged over 700 cubic feet per second during the past week, while releases from the dam have averaged about 250 cubic feet per second.

When full, Navajo holds about 1.7 million acre feet of water at an elevation of approximately 6,085 feet.

As of yesterday, water content in Navajo amounted to roughly 970,220 acre feet, or 57 percent of capacity.

 

 Inside The Sun

 Archuleta County snow removal procedures

Winter storm season in Pagosa Country has arrived, and the Archuleta County Road and Bridge Department is offering a few reminders regarding area snow plowing procedures.

Because heavily-traveled, main roads are vital to the smooth flow of traffic through the county, they receive priority.

The school bus routes are among the top priorities; secondary priority is given main roads through subdivisions, followed by lower volume roads.

Currently, the department's responsibility includes all county and public roads within county limits, residents should keep in mind this does not include state highways, streets in incorporated areas (metro districts) or private roads.

Road crews report to work at 2 a.m. during storms accompanied by significant snowfall, and each equipment operator averages 150 driving miles each day at an average speed of 25 miles per hour.

While every effort is made to ensure roads that need plowed receive attention, due to the size of the area involved, some may not be plowed until late afternoon.

At times, it is necessary to plow snow well off the road into the county right-of-way to make room for the next storm.

The county road right-of-way averages 50-60 feet from the centerline of the roadway. This area is needed for snow storage, drainage and signage, and, to avoid potential damage, residents are reminded not to place landscaping or other objects in the right-of-way.

In addition, it is illegal to park vehicles on county roads at any time. A road obstructed by parked vehicles may not get plowed, or the vehicles may be towed at the owners' expense.

Residents are responsible for maintaining their own driveways and parking areas. The department regrets that snow must be pushed into driveways, but there is no alternative.

When clearing a driveway, be aware that is unlawful to push or throw snow onto or across the roadway. Snow must be stored/disposed of on residents' own property.

Lastly, the department offers the following tips regarding safe driving during the winter season:

- Plan a little more time to get to destinations during the winter months. Poor visibility, icy corners and heavy traffic may necessitate lower speeds. Courtesy and patience will go a long way.

- Proper vehicle preparation is very important for mountain driving. Windshield wipers and tires should be checked and replaced as necessary. Inadequate visibility and poor traction are the cause of many accidents.

- Plan a little extra time in the morning to clean snow and ice from vehicle windows, windshields and lights - it is the law.

- Common sense is the best prevention. Plan ahead, concentrate, then enjoy yourself.

  

School-Within-A-School enrolling now for next year, plans Dec. 16 program

By Crista Munro

Special to The SUN

School-Within-A-School (SWS) is an innovative educational program for first through sixth graders. The program is a part of the public school system and is free to all first-sixth grade students, with the only requirement being that a parent or mentor of each student volunteers a set number of hours each month.

The three SWS classrooms are all multi-age, beginning at Pagosa Springs Elementary School with a first/second and a third/fourth, then moving to Pagosa Springs Intermediate School for fifth/sixth.

A sense of community is developed in School-Within-A-School through parental involvement, community service, and multi-age classes, which build relationships over the years. Creativity and individuality are encouraged by involving students and parents in the curriculum, while meeting all educational standards.

Because of the individualized nature of the SWS classroom, the program can accommodate students of a wide range of ability levels.

First- and second-graders visited the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park in October and the Durango Children's Museum and Department of Wildlife's fish hatchery in November, where they learned about plant and animal life cycles. As an ongoing project this year, the students are learning Spanish from parent Sky Gabel. So far, they have learned greetings, courtesies, colors, numbers and body parts.

The third- and fourth-graders are learning to watercolor paint with artist Sabine Elge and to make origami peace cranes with SWS fifth- and sixth-graders Moses Audetat and Trey Gholson. They also recently studied famous Coloradans by making their own costumes and telling the stories of historical figures like Molly Brown and Jack Dempsey, the "Manassa Mauler." The first/second and third/fourth classrooms get together every Friday for the Reading Buddy program where the older children mentor the younger ones.

Fifth- and sixth-graders are making history come alive with oral presentations as well, creating a "living time line" of North America from 1492-1621. Because they have to present the material before the class, students remember the various explorers, dates, and, most importantly, the reasons behind the early expeditions of the continent. The parents are currently planning the end of the year trip to Denver.

The three SWS classrooms together have adopted a Hopi community in Second Mesa, Ariz., for the holiday season. The Pagosa students will learn about the Hopi culture and traditions as they collect gently used toys and gifts to send to boys and girls who might otherwise be without.

Then all three classes will join forces to present a creative holiday program 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in the high school auditorium. Refreshments will be served in the lobby following the show, which is open to the community.

The SWS program is currently enrolling students for the 2005-2006 school year. If you are interested in learning more about the program, you are encouraged to call the teacher for your child's grade next year and schedule a time to visit the classroom. Class sizes are limited, so don't wait.

The first/second teacher is Debbie Reynolds, 264-2229, Ext. 38. Morgan Anderson, the third/fourth teacher, can be reached at 264-2229. In the intermediate school, fifth/sixth teacher Heather Hunts' number is 264-2256, Ext. 450.

  

Big box task force works on recommendation

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

After digging out from under reams of research, survey data and legal language, the Large Scale Retail Development Task Force is working on its findings.

"We are really hearing a strong message from residents that people don't want a big box here," Kathy Keyes, chair of the task force said Wednesday afternoon. "We've seen a very emotional response from the Web site comments and people we talk to and the same things were pretty evident at the public hearing in September. All those things are leading to recommending size limitations and impact fees."

Keyes said, although the group decided early to consider presenting more than one recommendation at the completion of their efforts, it appears a consensus is possible although a final presentation is still in the works.

"We've used several Web sites," Keyes said. "There's an amazing amount of information out there and there are many, many towns that are looking at development issues."

Keyes said prior to submitting their recommendations formally, they hope to possibly access information from a retail and economic survey in the works for Pagosa Springs. "We're trying to figure out the next step," she said.

Both the town council and the board of county commissioners passed six-month moratoriums on big box stores prior to forming the task force. The boards set the size of big box retail at 18,000 square feet of retail space. Those moratoriums end Jan. 27.

The task force's mission statement was to "research the potential impacts of large scale retail development in Pagosa Springs. With input from all segments of our community, the task force will formulate suggestions for town or county action on large scale retail development."

To accomplish the mission, the task force researched a variety of big-box impacts on the community, including: social, tourism, economic, infrastructure, community and historical character. They've also looked into attracting businesses appropriate to the community's needs.

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

Comments for the task force's consideration of large-scale retail can be made at www.townof pagosasprings.com. Go online and click on the Web link directed at the task force.

  

Avalanche forecast center provides valuable information

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center's Wolf Creek Pass Avalanche Forecast Office is in its 12th winter of operation.

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.

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, www.geosurvey.co.state.us/avalanche/.

A day spent in the mountains in winter should start with a call to the center's Avalanche Hotline or Web site.

The Avalanche Center's main office is located with the National Weather Service in Boulder. Local avalanche forecaster Mark Mueller is in 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.

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.

 

Games manager class set at Humane Society thrift store

A Games Manager Certification Training class will be conducted by the Colorado Secretary of State's Office 5 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Humane Society Thrift Store community room.

The fee for a new or renewal certificate is $10, which can be paid by check or money order (no cash) on the date of training.

For any nonprofit to be able to conduct Bingo or raffles it should apply for a Bingo/Raffles License through the State of Colorado.

Licenses will be issued to any bona fide chartered branch, lodge or chapter of a national or state organization, or any bona fide religious, charitable, labor, fraternal, educational, voluntary firefighters', or veterans' organization that operates without profit to its members and that has been in existence continuously for a period of five years immediately prior to the making of application for a license.

In order for someone to be certified as an organization's games manager he/she must be a non-paid employee and must hold a membership in the organization.

For more information on organizational requirements, visit the State of Colorado Web site at www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/bingo_raffles/main.htm.

To preregister for the class call 264-5549.

  

Coats, clothing and food boxes given 130 families; 400 seek Christmas aid

The Thanksgiving holiday is over, but Operation Helping Hand is just getting warmed up.

After collaborating with Pagosa Springs Rotary Club to distribute Thanksgiving meals and clothing to more than 130 families at the Extension building Nov. 19, program volunteers are focusing their efforts on Christmas.

That means additional holiday help will soon be on the way for less-fortunate members of the community.

According to Operation Helping Hand organizers, more than 400 people have registered for Christmas season assistance from the program.

Program organizers coordinate the charitable work of area civic clubs, churches, businesses, organizations and individuals. Since 1989 Pagosa Springs' civic organizations and church groups have united to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure as many holiday season needs and wishes as possible are accommodated.

Helping less fortunate

Operation Helping Hand assists our less fortunate neighbors throughout the county during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Some families and individuals seeking help from this program are victims of domestic violence, as well as children of single parents, physically or mentally challenged residents, or senior citizens living on a limited income.

Families seeking assistance for Christmas may pick up an application at the Department of Social Services, with offices at Town Hall. Forms should be completed and returned by 3 p.m., Dec. 6. For more information, call the message line, 731-3735. A volunteer will return your call, if necessary.

Project Empty Stocking

Volunteers have written over 400 requested items on paper stockings at both City Markets, as well as at Wells Fargo and Sears.

These requests range from socks and underwear to snow boots, pants and coats.

To fill one of these requests, remove a stocking from one of the boards, then purchase and wrap your gift, attaching the stocking to your package so the gift will be delivered to the correct individual or family. Stockings must be picked off the board by Dec. 12, the date the boards will be removed from the stores and bank.

Deliver your gift to Coldwell Banker The Pagosa Group or Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate on Put Hill, Kid and Kaboodle on Pagosa Street, Mary Fisher Medical Clinic on South Pagosa Boulevard, Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association administrative office or the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center by Tuesday, Dec. 14. Please help us fill our neighbors' empty stockings.

Secret Santa Tree

This program seeks to provide at least one new toy to each child in need this holiday season.

There is a special Christmas tree in the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center with ornaments for each child registered with Operation Helping Hand. There are also toy requests posted on boards at both City Market locations, and at Sears and Wells Fargo. Take a request from the boards by Dec. 12.

There are a variety of requests for toys in all price ranges. Requests include dolls, Barbies, dishes, cars, Tonka trucks, cassettes and CD players.

Last year over 150 children asked Santa for toys. You can be a Secret Santa by choosing an ornament from one of the above mentioned locations and deliver your newly purchased, wrapped toy to Coldwell Banker The Pagosa Group or Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate on Put Hill, Kid and Kaboodle on Pagosa Street, Mary Fisher Medical Clinic on South Pagosa Boulevard; Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association administrative office or the recreation center by Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Toy outreach

This branch of Operation Helping Hand provides an opportunity for children to get involved in the program. Parents may help their children select a toy or toys for donation they no longer use, but which are still in good condition. Used bikes, Nintendos, stereos and CD players are especially high on the wish lists of many young people. Volunteers are assisting with this portion of the Operation Helping Hand program by collecting and cleaning items.

Donations should be brought to the sites listed earlier by Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Kiwanis Club and The Key Club - something old, something new

The Kiwanis Club and The Key Club of Pagosa Springs assist with this portion of Operation Helping Hand by sorting items, and assisting program recipients with locating items they need.

Organizers receive numerous requests for used furniture, bunk beds, blankets, pots and pans, dishes, silverware and electric blankets. These items can be "used, but still usable."

Deliver your donations to the same sites listed above by Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Bucks for Bikes

Each year, the Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors raises donations to purchase new bikes for children through their Bucks for Bikes program.

Eligible children must qualify through the Helping Hands program. Last year the community raised enough money to purchase 53 new bikes for children between the ages of 5 and 16. This year the goal is to raise $4,000 for this project.

Businesses and individuals are invited to contribute to the program before December 8. Donations can be mailed to Brent and JaNae Christians at: Bucks for Bikes, c/o Galles Properties, PO Box 4867, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or drop your donation off at Galles Properties in the Country Center next to Radio Shack. Make checks payable to "Bucks for Bikes." Contact Brent or JaNae Christians at 731-6250 for more information.

Community United Methodist Church Snowflake program

Volunteers at Community United Methodist Church are participating by assisting families with their holiday needs in cooperation with Operation Helping Hand.

Christmas Food Boxes

Food donations are always needed for Christmas dinners.

It is the goal of Operation Helping Hand volunteers to provide the ingredients for a holiday dinner to those who otherwise would go without this holiday season. Nonperishable items may be placed in containers which will be located at both City Market locations by Tuesday, Dec. 14.

You can also help by purchasing a City Market gift certificate and bringing it to the Pagosa Springs SUN or mailing it to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. These certificates will be used to purchase turkeys and other perishable items.

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

Monetary donations should be made out to Operation Helping Hand and deposited in account 6240417424 at Wells Fargo Bank or account 20014379 at Bank of the San Juans. Donations may also be mailed to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

  

Mary Fisher update at LWV meet tonight

The League of Women Voters' monthly informational meeting will take place 6:30 p.m. today in the South Conference Room of the community center.

Members of the Upper San Juan Health Service District will present an update on progress being made at Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center. The public is invited to attend.

  

Rotary readies for winter coat

distribution

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 wonderful time for anyone who needs warm coats, hats, boots and gloves 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.

  

NWTF chapter providing turkeys to needy families

During this season , members of the San Juan Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation pause to reflect on all that they're thankful for - their families, friends, good health and the freedoms they enjoy in this country.

The local chapter is taking part in the Turkey Hunters Care Program providing turkeys to families through the local Helping Hand program, to help complete the centerpiece of an all-American Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

 

 

Free Thanksgiving dinner at First Baptist

A free Thanksgiving Celebration Dinner will take place Nov. 21, 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, West U.S. 160. Families invited.

  

New boat used to rescue dog from icy waters

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

If pets have karma, one lucky Labrador retriever cashed in Tuesday.

Members of the Pagosa Fire Protection District used a brand-new rescue boat, inflated in two and a half minutes, to pull the frightened dog out of Village Lake after thin ice snapped.

Fire Chief Warren Grams said the black Labrador was apparently running loose, wandered out onto the ice, fell through and couldn't get out.

Two rescuers, Lt. Mike Valdez, of the fire protection district, and Deputy Richard Robinson of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, donned exposure suits and entered the water to help save the dog stuck about 40 yards from shore.

The Labrador, whose name is unknown, came through the incident fine. The dog was transported to the recreation center to be warmed up.

Grams said the department took possession of their new, inflatable, certified rescue boat on Monday. Cost was around $6,000. He's hoping not to have to use it too often before people recognize the dangers of thin ice.

"People need to watch their pets and small children carefully," he said. "The surface of these lakes may be frozen, but it's not thick enough to hold much weight at all. People must be cautious."

On average, he said, two or three dogs fall through the ice each year. Some are fatalities.

 

 Outdoors

Light, shadow lend depth and clarity to everything

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

I had awakened before dawn and was lying on the daybed reading, when Fraser, our jet-black Burmese cat, suddenly crawled onto my chest for a nap. As he lay there just inches from my chin, his glistening ebony coat sparkled brightly in the soft glow of my reading lamp, and for the moment, parts of him appeared almost snowy white.

At first I thought it odd how the reflection of simple light from each tiny hair could alter his appearance so completely, but then I remembered a photography lesson my brother-in-law, Marty, had given me long ago, in which he described variations of light as being absolute to our visual perception of the world around us. He explained that even the slightest change can utterly transform an object or scene, a message I've considered ever since, and over the years, has contributed much to my broadening awareness of the intense beauty and grandeur of our natural surroundings.

I have long recognized the magnificence of those last slanting rays of a Rocky Mountain sunset which, when cast upon the tallest peaks of a lofty snow-capped range, seem to bathe the alpine landscape in a wash of luxuriant gold, then dazzling orange, and ultimately a deepening lavender, before fading to the cold and sullen gray of the final few minutes before dark. Of course, the mountains are stunning and majestic in any light, but their marked definition and inherent splendor in the brief phase of the alpenglow moves me to heightened and indescribable feelings of joy and admiration.

Such feelings have also come in the several minutes before sunrise, when the land was lighted and visible, yet still somewhat obscured by the last lingering remnants of the earth's shadow. As the great terrestrial rotation slowly advanced, scattered high clouds to the east and overhead steadily progressed through an opposite sequence of vivid and colorful display, beginning first with an unembellished hue of battleship gray, then almost indiscernibly turning from shades of lavender and pink to valiant oranges and gold, and finally, as the sun itself peered over the horizon, into the soft velvety-white more characteristic of daytime billows.

Beauty and symmetry are universal in the physical world, and radiant light allows us their full appreciation. From the smallest mineral-laden stone to the greatest of natural wonders, the disparity between light and shadow lend depth and clarity to everything. The angle of light, its luminescence, and any refraction all shape images and our impressions of them. We view our surroundings, but limitless variations of light define what we see, and influence how we understand and value it.

Any glimpse into the immense abyss of the Grand Canyon, for instance, is a great sight indeed. But the same view on a clear day just before sunset is an exceptional display, exemplified by a broader spectrum of color, slanting rays, and deepening shadows. The same is true of our mountains, high forests, and vast deserts. We gaze upon a picturesque scene time and time again, but each time it seems profoundly different.

I was driving home from Durango one recent afternoon, and as the sun shone brightly through a partly cloudy sky overhead, the surrounding forests were dressed in the warm blush of its direct light. But looking further east, I could see dark and ominous clouds building over Bayfield. From a distance, the cloudbank resembled a giant gray curtain with a wide progression of pure-white vertical streaks at its center. I naturally assumed a snow squall had developed over town, and as I steadily approached the outskirts, the sky ahead grew darker, the snowy-white streaks loomed larger, and it appeared the curtain was rapidly falling on the little community.

I entered Bayfield with the sun at my back, and at once, everything before me seemed awash in a cascade of miniature pearls. Sleet rained down heavily for several minutes, and the tiny bouncing balls accumulated in small heaps everywhere. The golden glow of the air around me gradually faded to pure mother-of-pearl, and nearby hills quickly vanished in the gathering mist.

The sleet eventually turned to light snow, but the localized squall weakened considerably just a few miles past Bayfield. Soon, with the leaden overcast loosening its grip, patches of blue developed and the sun peeked through again. The surrounding countryside, though partly shrouded in layers of heavy gray clouds, reemerged under a thin blanket of white.

As the miles and minutes passed, the sky gradually opened up, and only smaller pockets of precipitation lingered over the highest terrain. Dense fog banks still hovered in the deepest wooded valleys, but the sky was mostly a brilliant blue as the sun slowly dropped toward the western horizon.

Somewhere east of Deer Valley, while passing through thick ponderosa forest, I rounded a bend to the right, and suddenly there it was. Chimney Rock stood tall in the golden glow of the late afternoon sun. Its western flank blazed with a lavish yellow-orange, while its base and the very bluff it rested on had already dipped into shadow. The sky above and beyond was a deep ocean blue, though a few white billowy clouds hung on in sharp contrast.

As another few minutes lapsed, I passed very near the soaring pinnacle, but the direct rays of the golden sun had left it for the day. However, those lingering clouds in the sky above were then on fire with the same salient orange that only a moment before, had so warmly adorned the "Rock" itself.

Chimney Rock is a magnificent geological feature, and its intrinsic beauty and associated value are virtually immeasurable under any light. Of course, the same can be said of Pagosa Peak, Quartz Ridge, or any of our wild and undisturbed mountains, rivers and forested valleys. But as enchanting as these natural places appear, their particular appeal is as diverse as the variations of light that fall upon them.

With such never-ending beauty all around us, isn't that why we live here?

 

Letters

Authority traced

Dear Editor:

It is time to go back to the drawing board. We elected two new county commissioners and opportunity knocks. During the campaign each of the new candidates requested input from the citizens of Archuleta County. I hope as we install a new board of county commissioners that the lines of communications will remain open and active.

There is one thing that might aid in this process, and that is if the citizens of the county had a better understanding of what authority the commissioners can exercise.

Archuleta County, as a part of the State of Colorado, is limited to whatever rights or permissions the state Legislature provides. Over the years rules related to county government have been spelled out in great detail. Title 30 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (county government) sets out the duties of the board of county commissioners as the senior county administrators. Control of county finances and budget, related to all departments and special districts, is a major function. This information is available in the library, and though it is clouded with the usual legalize, you do not have to be a would be lawyer to get a picture of the limitations on the commissioners. The statutes also provide authority to act in circumstances that our commissioners have in the past refused to acknowledge.

Over the past four years there have been at least two occasions when the commissioners' failure to act left the taxpayers of Archuleta County with serious problems. The first was on the Pagosa Lakes road project when the commissioners failed to act on the contractors' completion bond when the contractor failed to build or pave the roads to county specifications. The second was in the fall of 2003 when the Upper San Juan Health Service District obviously faced a financial crisis caused by mismanagement. If unauthorized expenditures from October 2003 to the election in May of 2004 had been stopped it would have helped the district now.

The problems have not gone away with the election. Evidence of this is clear from the letter of Mr. McKee in the Nov. 25 SUN. Roads and sustainable growth planning are just two of the several issues to be solved. It will take the best efforts and cooperation of the new board of commissioners and a knowledgeable citizenry willing to contribute.

Let us be aware of what the commissioners can and cannot do, then hold them to it for our mutual benefit.

Glenn Bergmann

 

Values, morality

Dear Editor:

On driving by the students out for Senator Kerry, I was shaken by their innocence and involvement.

Hearing later that some of our "adults" felt compelled to resort to profanity speaks less for their character and more for the self-proclaimed few with "values and morality."

Values are defined as a principle, standard or quality considered worthwhile. As 70-plus percent of the exit voters polled said "values" are important. I would presume that our "adults" would not have been among those polled.

Free speech is absolutely critical to a democracy/republic.

Appropriately we are quick to support our troops fighting for "freedom" but quicker still to attack a fellow citizen's right to disagree.

Where a nation is at risk, it is correct to limit dissention.

It is not treason to express dissent when the nation is not at risk.

Whatever this "war" is ... the nation is not at risk.

As far as politics are concerned, I'm not sure what is going on but more than a split between "red vs. blue" cultures.

One of America's preserving strengths has been it's size and diversity as these factors slowed down change or various kinds of social/political fads. While Colorado is a "red state" a short walk around Pagosa will tell you this is a town of choice, multiple denominations and full of citizens with national/international life experiences.

Evangelicals may represent the tie breaker in current politics; but they are getting scary ... their post-election power demands leave no room for other opinions. Recall the body count when power is combined with a group believing they have God on their side.

Beyond Michael Moore, demonization is common to both sides. Witness some of the SUN's letters to the editor. Beyond demonizing, it contained insults with a request for sanity from the stupidly wayward. I immediately associated these remarks with the current terrorist's evil. When we do so we "lower-the-bar" for the retaliation of others.

The acts of our "adults" can have only two outcomes for the youth:

1. A turnoff out of instilled social fear/disappointment;

2. Hardening of inclinations with negative responses.

America is much much more than an opinion, geographic place, religious denomination or southern accent; and it wouldn't hurt to remember we wouldn't exist at all without a couple of "blue states" in particular, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Dave Blake

 

Outrageous fee

Dear Editor:

The proposed increase of the garbage dumping fee from two dollars to ten dollars is outrageous.

I don't mind the developers trashing Pagosa but it galls me that they are doing it at my expense.

Bob Dungan

Arboles

 

No 'done deal'

Dear Editor:

On Nov. 10, 157 people gathered at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse to hear the current status of events with the proposed Village at Wolf Creek. Jeff Berman of Colorado Wild presented a history of the events leading to the present concerning the controversial project.

The end result is "This is not a done deal!"

It is encouraging to read letters to the editor from out of state persons who have opinions concerning the development. From afar, these letter writers may think they are unable to contribute their efforts to the cause, but please be assured, that is not the case.

Colorado Wild needs funds for attorneys as we attempt to block every avenue of the development. Everyone can help by making a monetary contribution to the cause. Whether the donation is $1, $10 or more, your contribution should be earmarked to "Village of Wolf Creek." Contributions should be sent to Colorado Wild, P. O. Box 2434, Durango, CO 81302.

Please visit www.coloradowild. org for in-depth information on The Village at Wolf Creek. Write letters to newspapers where billionaire Red McCombs resides; addresses of the newspapers are listed. Areas of concern are detailed to help in your letter writing. Send your concerns by Dec. 6 regarding the draft EIS to: VWC DEIS Comments, Tetra Tech, Inc. 5205 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1400 Falls Church, VA 22041; e-mail to comments-rocky-mountain-rio-grande@fs.fed.us, or fax to 703-931-9222.

At the end of the site you can sign in to be on the e-mail alert list. Become a Friend of Wolf Creek.

Marilyn Hutchins

 

Just a start

Dear Editor:

The Community Vision Council presentation last Wednesday was an eye opener. I am very impressed at the altruism of some community members in retaining very competent visionaries to develop objectives in conjunction with the community.

I heard numerous important points several of which I believe can not be overstated.

Growth has occurred in our community and it will continue at an accelerated pace in the coming years. Community members can get out in front of it and direct the growth or just let it happen. We are likely to dislike the second option results much more than the first.

Pagosa and by inference, Archuleta County, are now retail service based tax dependent, deriving an ever increasing majority of town/county funding from sales taxes. This particular trend is a one way street.

We should look very carefully at the tax revenue generated by businesses wishing to locate in Pagosa and if the business and its revenue is desired, we must aggressively regulate placement and the exterior design of those businesses. The presenters noted very clearly that incoming businesses want, need, and will abide with clearly stated design regulations. If the town does not require them, those businesses will take the path they want, which may not be compatible with overall town plans.

Our town, our way of life, are increasingly a tourist attraction.

This attracts new settlers who want that experience - bringing with them an overlay of their own expectations - thus change.

When an audience member asked about concrete steps that can be taken now, I heard mentioned working on the town entrances, creating better visual impact. Also obtaining a conservation easement on the property facing highway 84 as it intersects with 160 to our east. (Am I the only resident offended by the lighted star visible at that intersection?)

The overreaching need is to take this work, refine it as needed and accept, implement and codify it.

The suggestion of encouraging cross pattern growth along Hot Springs Boulevard and 6th Street would help keep growth concentrated in the core area counteracting the "strip mall-feeling" already much too evident west of downtown.

I hope this start will foster conversation, agreement and implementation.

Sincerely,

Edgar G. Lowrance

 

Teen responds

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the letter in last week's SUN entitled 'Dismal outcome.' The lack of facts and whiny liberal rhetoric urged me to answer the questions the author poses.

The author of this letter claims that the makers of many voting machines, a company called Diebold, caused us to "cast our vote into a known abyss." He claims that the election was rigged, framed so that President Bush could remain in his position. Unfortunately, the zero percent facts found in this letter prompted me, a 17-year-old high school student, to present the real facts: In the U.S., there are 3,007 entities named "County." There are over 191,000 voting precincts. (Source: USGS) This means that there is a total of 3,261 election supervisors, each with hundreds or in some places even thousands of employees. Plus, each voting district has a canvassing board with at least three people, a mixture of Democrats, Republicans, and sometimes independents.

Each state has a Secretary of State who oversees the votes before finally submitting them. Let's not also forget that the 191,000 voting precincts in the United States each have poll workers and poll observers. So, if we use math to calculate, it would take approximately 2,194,570 conspirators to rig the election. (Source: US.GOV) In regard to Ohio, there were zero touch screen voting machines there, and very very few in Florida. (Source: Diebold Systems.) Also, Diebold machines were used extensively in California, a state that Mr. Kerry won by a huge margin. Let's not forget that President Bush won both Ohio and Florida in 2000, and more than half of polls this year favored President Bush to take the state, as well as Florida, including Reuters, Zogby, Mason-Dixon, and Survey USA. So when you ask, "Do we really think this many Americans actually prefer things the way they are?" The answer is yes - just look at the undisputable evidence and facts. I am one of those people who actually believes that each vote counts. I actually have faith in this country, so I guess I must be a Republican. I have faith in President Bush. I do not go around hurling unjust insults at the opposition.

When it came to me making my own decision about whose side I was on, it was easy. I believe in traditional values. I believe that we must uplift America instead of constantly bringing it down with hatred and conspiracy. I believe that helping another country under the rule of a cruel dictatorship where people are oppressed, because we can, is noble. I value the freedom given to me that people in other countries would fight to the death for. I believe that every unborn child has a right to live. But most of all, I believe that the only way The United States of America will stay strong is if we keep God as the figurehead of our country. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord," Psalms 33:12.

Zach Mayne

 

EMS, S&R praise

Dear Editor:

Last month I visited my brother in Pagosa Springs, who took me on a hike into the Piedra River valley. He had been sending gorgeous pictures to me in Dallas, and I had to see it myself.

We were perhaps a quarter mile across a gravelly 30-degree slope beneath a crumbly cliff when one foot slipped while the other was trapped between rocks, and I felt something snap in my ankle as I fell.

I couldn't walk. Tied shirts to my knees with shoelaces and tried to crawl. Couldn't crawl. Used our belts and pieces of wood to splint the ankle and tried to walk sideways with my hands "walking" the uphill slope. That worked, but slowly, and this flatlander was winded every few steps. It took two hours to move 30 yards with at least ten times that far to go. I would need help, and waiting until dark would compound the difficulty.

My brother returned to his car, drove a mile or two to get a cell phone signal, and called 911. EMS arrived, decided they'd need help and radioed Search and Rescue. After weighing the rescue options, they brought a board with a single fat tire down to me, strapped me to it, and proceeded to drag me out. The tire had to be on the narrow trail, so the two men carrying the front struggled in the loose gravel above and below the trail. A third man pushed at my feet, and a fourth was 10 or 15 yards ahead pulling a rope tied to the board.

If the three holding my board were to lose their grip or footing, the fellow with the rope was their last chance to keep me, board and fat tire, from tumbling to the bottom. Search and Rescue performed heroically under difficult conditions.

EMS transported me to the medical center where I learned I had a broken fibula. I also learned Colorado finances search and rescue operations, at least in part, by S&R cards and small amounts added to sporting licenses.

My brother and I drove into Pagosa the next day to buy Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue cards, a mere $12 each for five years. It was a day late for my emergency, but I love hiking and camping and plan to be back in your lovely part of Colorado as soon as my orthopedist gives me the go-ahead.

EMS Technician Heather, the first to arrive, at my request later gave me a list of the names of the EMS and S&R people responding to my emergency, but I've misplaced it and regret I cannot list their names here. Many thanks to each of my heroes, however.

In addition, I write to urge your readers to invest in the cards and to urge their visitors to do so, too. It's a tiny fee that supports a most important service. I learned the lesson the hard way; let your readers learn it the easy way.

Stephan V. Polansky

Dallas

Kate's Calendar

Kate's Calendar

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Dec. 3

Last day for the Russ Hill Christmas Bazaar at Community United Methodist Church. Lots of pretty arrangements and wreaths available. The hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Dec. 3-4 and 10-11

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters present their Magical Madrigal Dinner in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and festivities begin at 7:30. Reserved tickets 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.

Dec. 3 and 5

The Pagosa Springs Community Choir will present its annual Christmas concert entitled, "Christmas is the Best Time of the Year," at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4 p.m. Dec. 5 at Pagosa Springs High School. Admission is free.

Dec. 4

Photo exhibit at Mountain Snapshots, 5-8 p.m. Come and share the September opening of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. featuring the Jicarilla Apache Tribe from Dulce, N.M. Music, food, drink and giveaways. Call Scott at 731-4511 for more information.

Dec. 8

Pagosa Women's Club will meet Dec. 8 at JJ's Upstream Restaurant. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. The Silent Auction Fund Raiser begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends at noon. John Graves will be playing Christmas music and a traditional Christmas menu will be served for lunch. Reservations are $10 and are required. Please call Treva Wheeless, 264-0644, by noon Monday, Dec. 6, for reservations.

Dec. 9

The Mountain View Homemakers will meet with Natalie Tyson who lives at 273 Meadows Drive. Directions: Take Meadows Drive off U.S. 160 West. First house on right.

Dec. 9

Pagosa Bow Club meeting, 7 p.m., Archuleta County Extension Building. Election of officers, 2005 dues structure and end of the year celebration.

Dec. 9

Wolf Creek Trailblazers Snowmobile Club will celebrate the holiday season at their monthly meeting, 6:30 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall of the Methodist Church on Lewis Street. Members will share in a potluck supper. New members are welcome. Call Charlie Rogers, 264-4471, for more information.

Dec. 10

The annual potluck for the Sisson Library staff given by the library volunteers - 11:30 a.m. Spouses are invited.

Dec. 10

Pagosa's sixth annual Parade of Lights.

Jan. 6 to March 31

A free lunch will be served Thursdays at the Parish Hall, 451 Lewis Street, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Come one and all. Bring only your appetite. Meal is sponsored by Loaves and Fishes.

 

Community News

'Messiah' sing-a-long set Dec. 12

The community is cordially invited to Pagosa Spring's first-ever Christmas Sing-a-long 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, in Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street.

Come celebrate the "Reason for the Season" by singing along to five glorious choruses from one of Handel's most inspired works, the "Messiah."

Accompaniment will be provided by two violins, oboe, flute, bassoon, two trumpets and piano under the direction of Dr. Carroll Carruth.

Following these choruses, request your own favorite carols to sing.

A few copies of the "Messiah" score will be available for loan that afternoon but if you have your own copy, bring it along.

  

Loaves and Fishes, a new

nonprofit, plans free lunches

A newly-formed group of local women will offer a free lunch on Thursdays Jan. 6 through March 31 in the Parish Hall.

The nonprofit group, calling themselves Loaves and Fishes, has already received assistance from City Market and Wells Fargo Bank. They have asked various churches and civic organizations to donate desserts for each meal.

Meals will be served from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and the menu will vary. All are invited and should bring only their appetite.

Donations for the program are being accepted at Loaves and Fishes, c/o Wells Fargo Bank, 50 Harman Park Drive, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. No donations will be taken on site.

  

Join the Jester in the Great Hall for Madrigal feast

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

Tomorrow night, Dec. 3, is the grand opening of a different kind of production for the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters: their first Madrigal Dinner!

The doors open 7 p.m. and the festivities begin at 7:30 in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

This traditional Yuletide festivity goes back to the days when kings and queens, along with their knights and ladies, would host a grand holiday feast in the Great Hall of the palace. In Pagosa, this Royal Hall will be the completely transformed and beautifully decorated community center gymnasium.

It's not only an evening full of wonderful holiday entertainment, gorgeous costumes, pomp, and pageantry - it's also a sumptuous, four-course feast of fowl, catered by Michael DeWinter and delivered to the Royal Court at the head table on huge platters held high in a grand musical procession.

Up to 250 adoring subjects (who are invited to come in costume) will then share in the bountiful banquet, while being entertained by a chorus of 16 madrigal singers, dancers, a quartet of recorder players, a harpist and other instrumentalists, as well as jugglers, magicians, and the hilarious antics of the court Jester.

This holiday gala for the whole family will be repeated on the evenings of Dec. 4, 10 and 11. Reserved tickets are required and may be purchased at the Plaid Pony (970-731-5262). Prices are $24 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $18 for students and children.

There are still some good seats left, but they're going fast.

  

Community Choir, Children's Chorale plan two concerts

By Sue Diffee

Special to the PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Community Choir will present a concert entitled "Christmas Is the Best Time of the Year" with two performances in Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium.

Presentations will be 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5.

The program will open with the Children's Chorale followed by a short intermission. The concert will last approximately 90 minutes and consist of favorite Christmas songs selected to put everyone in the holiday mood.

The all-volunteer choir consists of 66 talented local singers under the co-direction of Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer and accompanied by Sue Anderson.

The Children's Chorale, directed by Sue Anderson, consists of 30 children ranging in age from 6-12. The accompanist is Rada Neal and the singing assistant is Judy Patton.

The choir is pleased to provide free admission for this program as their gift to the community. They gratefully accept your donations (which are tax deductible).

Christmas chocolates will be available for purchase after the concerts.

Second caroling and cake walk event slated Dec. 15

By Mercy Korsgren

Special to The PREVIEW

The second annual Community Center Christmas Caroling and Cake Walk will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15.

This event will be good old fashioned family holiday fun - an event not to be missed.

The evening will begin with folks gathered around a 12-foot Christmas tree inside the multi-purpose room to watch the lighting of the tree. Then, there'll be the Christmas caroling and a cake walk contest to be done alternately while kids get a chance to visit with Santa to tell him what gifts they wish to have.

A local photographer will be available for those who wish to have their children's pictures taken with Santa.

This event will be a success with the help, support and participation of the community. We invite interested singers and musicians, both individuals and groups, to join the fun and lead the carolers in singing holiday songs.

We also need donations of cakes for contest prizes. Volunteers are always welcome.

An event without food is no fun. So, we also invite a couple of nonprofit organizations to provide free food for the evening. Hot drinks and cookies are always popular. This may be an opportunity to advertise your organization.

We look forward to hearing from you. Call the community center at 264-4152, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

This event is free for everyone to enjoy the holiday season.

Lend a Helping Hand to your friends and neighbors

Operation Helping Hand assists our less fortunate neighbors throughout the county during the Christmas season.

Some families and individuals who seek help from this program are victims of domestic violence, others are children of single parents, physically challenged, mentally challenged or senior citizens living on a limited income.

Families seeking assistance for Christmas can pick up an application at the Department of Social Services offices in Town Hall. Forms should be completed and returned by 3 p.m., Dec. 6.

For more information, call the message line, 731-3735. A volunteer will return your call, if necessary.

Project Empty Stocking

Volunteers have written over 400 requested items on paper stockings that are on display at both City Markets, and at Wells Fargo and Sears. These requests range from socks and underwear to snowboots, pants and coats.

Secret Santa Tree

This program seeks to provide at least one new toy to each child in need this holiday season.

There is a special Christmas tree in the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center with ornaments for each child registered with Operation Helping Hand. There are also toy requests posted on boards at both City Market locations, and at Sears and Wells Fargo.

There are a variety of requests for toys in all price ranges. Requests include dolls, Barbies, dishes, cars, Tonka trucks, cassettes and CD players. Last year over 150 children asked Santa for toys.

The following is a sample of the many items you will find posted at the above mentioned locations. To fill a request, remove a stocking from one of the boards, then purchase and wrap your gift, attaching the stocking to your package so the gift will be delivered to the correct individual or family.

Deliver your gift to Coldwell Banker The Pagosa Group or Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate on Put Hill, Kid and Kaboodle on Pagosa Street, Mary Fisher Medical Clinic on South Pagosa Boulevard, Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association administrative office or to the Pagosa Lakes recreation center by Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Please help us fill our neighbors' empty stockings:

Boy age 8 needs pants size 7 regular

Boy age 18 months wants learning toys

Teen boy wants a remote control car

Girl age 18 months wants Leapfrog Junior

Girl age 8 wants a microscope set or science set

Girl age 3 needs socks size 3T

Girl age 11 needs pants size 16

Boy age 9 needs jacket size 10

Teen girl needs gloves

Baby age 3 mos. needs a blanket

Girl age 2 needs shoes size 7

Newborn needs crib

Boy age 8 needs pants size 7 regular

Boy age 2 needs shoes size 6 junior

Girl age 2 needs winter clothes size 3

Girl age 3 needs pants size 3T

Newborn needs socks

Boy age 5 needs shoes size 13 junior

Girl age 10 mos. needs socks size 2T

Girl age 3 needs shoes size 8

Boy age 2 needs pants size 7 junior

Newborn needs swing

Boy age 8 needs shoes size 3

Girl age 3 needs sweaters size 3T

Boy age 4 needs shirts size 5T

Girl age 3 needs boots size 8

Girl age 11 needs twin comforter set

Boy age 4 needs pants size 5 regular

Boy age 8 needs socks size 3

Boy age 9 needs socks

Girl age 11 needs snowboots size 8 women's

Boy age 4 wants a fish tank setup

Girl age 11 wants Bratz doll stuff

Boy age 9 wants a telescope

Boy age 5 wants a race car set

Boy age 8 needs shirts size medium

Boy age 4 needs shoes size 11.5

Girl age 8 needs twin comforter set

Teen boy needs large sweatshirt

Girl age 5 needs sweater size 5

Boy age 7 needs socks size 2

Boy age 8 needs snowboots size 4.5 boy's

Girl age 15 mos. needs snowboots size 4.5 toddlers

Girl age 11 needs coat with furry hood size women's medium

Girl age 8 needs coat size 12

Boy age 5 needs

snowpants size 6

Family needs space heater for kid's rooms

Girl age 15 mos. needs diapers size 3

Girl age 11 needs pants size 4/5 women's

Boy age 8 wants a Beenie hat

Family needs toddler bed (has a mattress already)

Teen girl needs girl's long sleeve shirts size M

Boy age 5 wants a Spiderman movie

Boy age 8 wants real binoculars

Girl age 15 mos. wants Dora PJ's and house shoes size 18 mos.

Boy age 8 needs waterproof gloves

Boy age 11 needs jeans size 34-37

Girl age 11 needs alarm clock

Boy age 11 wants a race car track

Boy age 5 wants a toy tractor

Girl age 2.5 wants books

Girl age 15 mos. needs diaper wipes

Boy age 7 needs jeans size 8 slims

Girl age 2.5 needs slippers size large

Girl age 5 needs boots size 5

Girl age 8 wants a Barbie

Boy age 18 months wants big cars or trucks

Boy age 8 wants a Lego set

Boy age 4 wants Rescue Hero set

Boy age 6 needs twin bed sheets

Teen girl needs jeans size 0-3

Boy age 5 needs pants size 8

Boy age 7 needs coat size 8

Boy age 6 needs socks size 1

Boy age 11 needs long sleeve shirts size men's medium

Boy age 5 needs socks size 12.5

Girl age 2.5 needs hat with gloves

Boy age 6 needs coat size 8

Girl age 2.5 needs jacket size 4T

Girl age 1 wants any toy

Teen boy needs socks

Girl age 5 needs pants size 5

Girl age 2.5 needs snowboots size 9T

Girl age 15 mos. wants Dora's backpack

Boy age 7 wants a race car track

Boy age 6 wants a basketball

Boy age 11 wants a sled

Girl age 2.5 wants a doll

Girl age 2 wants a doll

Girl age 3 wants learning toys

Girl age 18 mos. wants a toy to

Girl age 5 wants a baby princess

Girl age 2.5 needs undershirts size 4T

Girl age 5 needs coat size 5

 

Photo club will see framing demo

The Photography Club will meet 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

The speaker is Linda Lerno, owner of Affordable Framing of Pagosa Springs. Lerno will demonstrate the fine art of matting and picture framing. She will also show the most current materials available for laminating archival prints. The club welcomes new members and persons of all photographic skill levels.

Any questions please contact Jim Struck, 731-6468.

Cull those snapshots for annual photo contest

By Bruce Andersen

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa's annual photo contest, sponsored by Pagosa Springs Arts Council, is rapidly approaching. With a submission deadline of 5 p.m. Feb. 2, it's not too early to preparing your prints.

The long list of categories - domestic animals, architecture, autumn scenic, general landscape, patterns/textures, sports, flora, people, up close, winter scenic, black and white, wild animals, sunrise/sunset, special techniques (any type of manipulation) and open (any picture that doesn't fit other categories)- guarantees lots of opportunities to get involved.

Each exhibitor may submit a total of three photos, but no more than two in any single category. Photos must be matted or framed and ready to hang with wire hangers.

Contest rules and information are available at Moonlight Books in downtown Pagosa.

The annual photo contest is a highlight of Pagosa's art scene. And, the opening reception scheduled 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, has turned into quite a social event. Plus, everyone gets to vote on the People's Choice award.

Put the date on your calendar now. The photo contest is designed to act as an outreach program, encourage broad local participation and to provide viewers with a fresh new show each year.

Husky tells story of loss: weight and cravings

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

At her heaviest, Pagosan Rachael Taylor weighed 260 pounds. On a 5-foot 3-inch frame, she wore a size 24-pant and double extra-large shirts. She suffered from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoked a pack of cigarettes a day.

Today, after about three years of prayer, exercise and simply eating less, she weighs 140 pounds and no longer smokes.

Her story is not necessarily uncommon, but it is one she's willing to share with others.

"I was tired of being a victim, tired of being fat, tired of letting life just happen to me," she wrote in the preface of her online book, "Husky: The Lighter Side of Being a Big, Fat Loser."

"After nearly 10 years of misery and disappointment, I wanted something different. I didn't want to be big anymore. I didn't want to feel this way on the inside anymore. I wanted a new life."

She got it, but not without some failures, some prayers and some laughs. About a year and a half ago, Taylor started writing it all down. Being sexually assaulted as a young woman. A disintegrating marriage. The excuses leading to increased eating. The failed diets. And, finally, overcoming it all.

"It's not easy, but it's a lot easier to maintain than it is to lose," she said, "but I wouldn't say any part is easy. It's a constant day-to-day working with yourself."

Since then, her journal has become a book. "Like a diary, it's been very cathartic," she said. "It's always been easier for me to write than to speak in a conversation."

She placed it online in order to help others possibly facing a similar crisis in their lives. "As long as someone else is uplifted, then it's well worth my time," shes said.

"Husky" is available for download online, as an audio book and on computer compact disc. Prices vary. For more information, go to huskythebook.com.

"I put it online so it was available immediately for anyone wanting to use it, now that the finished product is available, I'm looking for the right person to publish it."

Unitarians will hear talk

on 'embodying spirituality'

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a Dec. 5 service titled "Embodying Spirituality," led by Pagosa resident Sharon Porter.

Porter has numerous certifications and decades of experience in natural health and trauma specialties, including body work, body-centered psychotherapy and Energy medicine.

She states, "Asking ourselves some questions and then noticing what happens in the body, especially in terms of sensation, can help us move beyond the intellect and emotions. An embodied spirituality is rich in felt senses such as joy and connection."

Sharon will explain the principles behind this spiritual perspective, and assist the group in an "experiential deepening of the spirit."

The 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 of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. As always, all are welcome.

Local Chatter

 

Common dreams lead to Pagosa soup kitchen

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

When a woman has a dream and she meets a woman who has had the same dream, and they in turn find others with that dream, things get done - and that is what the proposed soup kitchen is all about.

"Loaves and Fishes" is the name of this soup kitchen that will open Thursday, Jan. 6, at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. And the kitchen will be open every Thursday in January, February and March - the coldest of the winter months.

The hours will be 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Loaves and Fishes will be absolutely free. There won't be a bowl to accept any monies. If one wishes to make a monetary donation, one can do so by sending it to the Wells Fargo Bank in Pagosa Springs in care of Loaves and Fishes.

And Loaves and Fishes is not connected with any church or other organization. These organizations are making food contributions though.

Anyone wishing to volunteer food or services can contact the Wells Fargo Bank in care of Loaves and Fishes.

This is a wonderful project. Soup kitchens are located in many towns as well as cities. Cortez has a soup kitchen sponsored by the Cortez Community Methodist Church that is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It's called "Grace Soup Kitchen."

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, a soup kitchen is open at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Cortez.

Now, Pagosa Springs will be blessed with a soup kitchen and all will be welcomed.

Holiday recipe

Miss Jennie Benedict was Louisville, Kentucky's leading caterer for many years. Included below is one of her famous recipes:

Jennie Benedict's - Lemon Wafers

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick butter

2 eggs

1 cup and 2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon lemon flavoring

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add well-beaten eggs and beat until all are well mixed and the mass is fluffy. Add sifted flour and beat until smooth. Add flavoring. Drop batter by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for seven minutes. Serve with eggnog.

Fun on the run

The Sunday school teacher was carefully explaining the story of Elijah the Prophet and the false prophets of Baal.

She explained how Elijah built the altar, put wood upon it, cut the steer in pieces and laid it upon the alter.

And then Elijah commanded the people of God to fill four barrels of water and pour it over the altar. He had them do this four times.

"Now," said the teacher, "can anyone in the class tell me why the Lord would have Elijah pour water over the steer on the altar?"

A little girl in the back of the room raised her hand with great enthusiasm. "To make the gravy," came her reply.

 

Senior News

A week of blessings and partings marked

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

The week of Thanksgiving was full of food and festivities for our seniors. Francisco's Thanksgiving meal was well attended on the 23rd and, as usual, the food was spectacular and plentiful. Everyone came back sated and satisfied.

Our Thanksgiving meal was a great success, especially having yummy snacks before the meal, courtesy of the Chamber. Laura, Musetta and her daughter, Melissa, helped to serve the crowd, but don't get used to that idea.

We would like to thank the Chamber of Commerce for bringing the seniors the leftovers from Sally's going-away party. We wish Sally good luck and thanks again to Doug for the great food.

It's time for Andy Fautheree to come back to the center and be available for questions about veterans' benefits. He will be here at noon Monday to eat lunch and answer questions.

We are pleased to announce that we will have massage back again at the center.

Penny has volunteered to work on folks 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, starting Dec. 7.

In 1991 she had a life-changing accident which broke her back in 20 places. In the process of recovery she was exposed to energy work, massage and bodywork. Fascinated by how conscious touch could relieve excruciating pain, she began to study different modalities.

Now she is certified in massage, reflexology, cranio/sacral, polarity and Taoist therapies and is a Reiki and Seikim Master. She specializes in pain and stress relief leading to body awareness, assisting her clients in consciously choosing exceptional health and longevity.

Penny has lived in Pagosa Springs since 1995. "I'm excited about being able to share the blessings of touch and magic of pain and stress relief with the Silver Foxes Den."

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 Perks.

Seniors love free food and transportation, get a Perk pack today.

Our Medicare counselors will be available 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6 to help you sign up for the Medicare drug cards. Don't miss out on the opportunity to receive a discount on the drug card for those that qualify.

Our counselors are here to help you determine if you qualify and also guide you through the process of choosing the Medicare drug card that is right for you. If transportation is difficult, remember the senior bus may be an option for you providing door to door service in certain areas with a suggested donation of just one dollar. Twenty-four hours advance notice is appreciated.

The Seeds of Learning kids will be here on the Dec. 7 at 11:30 a.m. to sing for us and afterward, cruise around the dining room and give out hugs. They are a treat, so come join us for lunch Tuesday and hear the kids.

We are trying to get in shape for the holidays, and what easier way than "Sweating to the Oldies" by Richard Simmons. We will have the video tape available Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. You might want to talk to your doctor before starting an aerobic class, then bring comfortable clothes and be ready to boogie.

Our usual trip to Durango will be changed to Farmington this month, on Dec. 9. Sign up in the Lounge and note the suggested donation is $15.

Our holiday party will be Dec. 10. We will have special snacks before lunch for everyone and will decorate the tree and sing holiday songs. We have a small gift for everyone who attends and if you wish to bring a gift for our gift exchange, mark on the present if it's for a man or woman or unisex and please don't spend over $10.

Patty Tillerson will also be here that day to check your blood pressure.

Following the holiday party is the senior board meeting, find out what's going on with Seniors, Inc. The board meeting is at 1 p.m.

Events

Friday, Dec. 3 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; veterans' benefits with Andy F., noon.

Monday, Dec. 6 - Medicare Counseling and drug card enrollment, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 7 - basic computer, 10:30 a.m.; Seeds of Learning kids sing 11:30; massage and healing touch with Penny, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m..

Wednesday, Dec. 8 - aerobic video class with Richard Simmons, 10:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 9 - trip to Farmington - Suggested donation of $15.

Friday, Dec. 10 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure check - Patty T., 11 a.m.; holiday party, noon; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.

Menu

Friday, Dec. 3 - Green chile stew with vegetables, tossed salad, tapioca with pineapple, cornbread.

Monday, Dec. 6 - Beef/boiled cabbage, bliss potatoes, carrots, fruited Jell-O, biscuits.

Tuesday, Dec. 7 - Pasta seafood salad, green beans, garden salad, strawberry sundae.

Wednesday, Dec. 8 - Chile con carne, spinach, cornbread, spiced applesauce.

Friday, Dec. 10 - Ham salad sandwich, cream of broccoli soup, lettuce/tomato salad, citrus cup.

 

Chamber News

Thanks to Sally - for being Sally

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Greetings to all!

As Sally wrote her last official column last week, I now begin my tenure with my weekly newspaper communiqué. I could not start this article without giving thanks to my predecessor.

Thank you for all the great files that you left for me to refer to. Thank you for running such a well oiled machine for all those years growing our membership, building friendships both personally and professionally, sponsoring so many fun and fabulous events for our community, working so hard to promote "Pagosa Country," entertaining us with all your wacky outfits, and generally performing all the various and sundry duties that made you so good at your job and for our community. We will miss you as one of the leaders of Pagosa.

I will never be able to fill your shoes (they were too small anyway), but I think I have just as many pairs to try and continue all your projects, start a few more, and attend those infamous events. On behalf of Pagosa Springs, thank you for you!

Santa, Parade of Lights

What a time to start this job!

With the Holiday Season we're a little busy here in Pagosa and at the Chamber.

We start off the holiday season with Christmas in Pagosa on Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Visitor's Center. What a delightful event for the family. Starting at 3 p.m. Santa will arrive with Mrs. Claus to hear all the wishes from the young sector of our community. While at the Chamber, attendees can munch on delicious cookies provided by our cookie elf and board president, Sally Hovatter and warm up with some hot apple cider. Have a great photo taken by Jeff Laydon with Pagosa Photography and capture this magical time. We will be entertained at about 5 p.m. by the Mountain Harmony Ladies Choir and then the Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale.

All this entertainment leads up to the highlight of the evening when we light up the Visitor Center at dusk. This is a great way to start off the season with an event that involves the whole family.

The following Friday, Dec. 10, we will present the sixth annual Parade of Lights beginning at 6 p.m. and running on San Juan and Pagosa Streets from 5th to 2nd streets.

Starting out with about six floats at the parade's inception, this charming event has grown in size and in the number of lights that are used to decorate the floats. Ever colorful, spirited, and weather resistant all attendees on the floats and watching the parade have a grand ol' time.

Entry forms are available at the Visitor Center and in the chamber newsletter. There is no entry fee and $100 prizes will be awarded to the Best and Brightest in the categories of Business, Organization and Family. Last year we even had an entry from Chama.

Give Doug a call at 264-2360 with any questions, and start thinking of new ways to use those Christmas lights.

Photo exhibit

Join Scott Allen and the gang at Mountain Snapshots 5-8 p.m. Saturday, for a photo exhibit featuring the Jicarilla Apaches of Dulce, N.M. Scott was asked by the Jicarilla tribe to photograph the September opening of The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Expect to see some great photography and enjoy some music, food, libations and giveaways that evening.

For more information, give Scott a call at 731-4511.

Christmas concert

On Friday at 7 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. Sunday the Pagosa Springs Choral Society will present a holiday concert entitled "Christmas is the Best Time of the Year" in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

Admission is free. What a great event to take the family. There will be music there for all ages with the Children's Chorale opening up the concert and the Jazz Group and Men's Group also performing. A Winter Wonderland Candlelight Carol with Natalie Tyson on harp and the Ladies Group will entertain us with a great selection of songs. For those who need some more gift giving ideas, Christmas chocolates will be available for purchase after the concerts.

For more information on this event, call Sue Kehret at 731-3858.

Madrigal Dinner

"Madrigal - A short lyric or poem and a musical setting for this poem."

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters are presenting a medieval or renaissance banquet as their theme for this season's presentation. The dinner will be held Dec. 3, 4, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. at the community center. Tickets may be purchased for $24 at The Plaid Pony or, if still available, at the door.

Be prepared for court jesters, entertainers, madrigal singers and plenty of food. What a fun group event.

You can contact Michael DeWinter at 731-5262 for further information on the dinner.

Christmas sing-a-long

On Sunday, Dec. 12, a community sing-a-long will be held at 3 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street.

This free event allows young, old and in between to belt out some favorite Christmas carols or listen to some choruses from Handel's "Messiah." Piano, organ and strings will complement the voices. Come join your Pagosa neighbors for a good old fashioned sing-a-long and a cookie fellowship following the performance.

Win guided hunt

Big Bones Unlimited Outfitters have donated a one-on-one guided hunt on private land to United Way of Southwest Colorado, a $7,000 value.

You can win this hunt by purchasing a raffle ticket for $20. Tickets are being sold at the Chamber of Commerce, downtown Citizens Bank, Old West Press or charge by phone at 946-2057.

You must purchase your own license and then you can hunt for elk, deer, turkey or mountain lion with bow, muzzleloader or rifle. The hunt also includes lodging and three meals per day. There will only be 1,500 tickets sold and they must be purchased by Dec. 31.

The drawing will be held at noon, Dec. 31, at the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center. What a great idea for a stocking stuffer.

You can contact the Archuleta County United Way coordinator, Kathi DeClark, at 946-2057 for more specifics on this hunt.

Membership

Our new members this week total three.

The first is Adobe Abodes from member Linda Sapp. Adobe Abodes is a southwestern style executive home with great views for short term, vacation or monthly rental. The services this home provides can be custom tailored to meet your rental needs. You can call Lois Erickson at (978) 423-6425 to book a reservation or for information.

Sierra Pagosa Builders is also a new member. They provide affordable, turnkey, off-site built standard and custom homes and commercial buildings. Their in-house real estate and construction companies will smooth the way for your building needs. You can contact Dorothy Bell at 731-6633 for more assistance.

Last is Pagosa.com. This online, subscription-free publication offers "Fresh News - Fresh Views." Promoting special features and news, this online service will also host information on area attractions, calendar of events and a community directory. View them at pagosa.com or contact Bill Hudson at 264-6976.

Renewals total four. Schultz & Associates publishing SW Colorado's premier lifestyle magazines out of Durango. We have the smokin' deal renewal of Mark Mesker and the Paint Connection Plus. With tax season coming up, one of our financial services is Nathan Thomas and Talent Financial Services/H&R Block. And lastly down south we have Ron Barsanti and beautiful Crowley Ranch Reserve.

That concludes my very first Chamber column for The SUN.

I look forward to writing many more articles, getting around and visiting the various businesses, and please know that my door is always open to you and I am open to suggestions on any number of subjects. See ya around town.

 

Veteran's Corner

Sign up for VA 'Share a Ride' health care trips

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

I hope all of you remember to call or stop by my office (264-8375, the office in the county courthouse) to advise me of your VA health care appointment dates, time and location so we can schedule "Share A Ride" (SAR) with a fellow veteran.

If you're traveling to a VA health care appointment, or need a ride to an appointment, why not share your ride and expenses with a fellow veteran? It makes sense these days, especially with high fuel costs.

WW II facts, Part 2

(Continued from last week)

15. When the U.S. Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore was three complete Coca Cola bottling plants.

16. Among the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until the U.S. Army captured them.

17. German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet. (VSO note: my research does not substantiate this, and says the U-120 was scuttled by its crew).

18. The German Graf Spee never sank. The scuttling attempt failed and the ship was bought as scrap by the British. On board was Germany's newest radar system.

19. One of Japan's methods of destroying tanks was to bury a very large artillery shell with only the nose exposed. When a tank came near enough a soldier would whack the shell with a hammer. "Lack of weapons is no excuse for defeat." - Lt. Gen. Mutaguchi

Lack of enemy

20. Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 U.S. and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska, Alaska. Twenty one troops were killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there had been Japanese on the island.

21. The MISS ME was an unarmed Piper Cub. While spotting for U.S. artillery her pilot saw a similar German plane doing the same thing. He dived on the German plane and he and his copilot fired their pistols damaging the German plane enough that it had to make a forced landing. Whereupon the GIs landed and took the Germans prisoner. Wonder where they put them since the MISS ME only had two seats.

22. Most members of the Waffen SS were not German.

23. The only nation that Germany declared war on was the USA.

24. During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong, British officers objected to Canadian infantrymen taking up positions in the officer's mess. No enlisted men allowed.

A bottle of beer

25. Nuclear physicist Niels Bohr was rescued in the nick of time from German-occupied Denmark. While Danish resistance fighters provided covering fire he ran out the back door of his home stopping momentarily to grab a beer bottle full of precious "heavy water." He finally reached England still clutching the bottle - which, it turned out, contained beer, as he had grabbed the wrong bottle.

Durango VA Clinic

Please call me with your VAHC appointments so we can "Share-A-Ride" with fellow veterans from our area. The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301. Phone number is 247-2214.

Further information

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

Library News

Civic Club raffle winners rake in the prizes

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

These supporters took home a prize from our Civic Club raffle: Leslie Montroy, Tom Richards, Kate Terry, Carolle Hunt, Genelle Macht, Claudia Rosenbaum, Jo Bridges, Roger Behr, Cindy Gustafson, Cassie Kane, Sally Hameister, Jackie Schick, Bev Sondag, Jim Wilson, Betty Schwicker, Velma Smith, Bruce Kehret, Joann Guckert, Ione Adams, Phyl Collier, Joe Steel, Arlina Faircloth, Jean Dzielak, Joyce Farrow, Wendy Mirr, Martin Bertsch, Janet Richardson, Amy Solenthaler, Jennifer Hedrick, Hope Six, Norma Harman, Amanda Breman, Marilyn Falvey, Ron Gustafson, Becky Ball, Kirsten Ramey, Bonnie Nyre and Laura Corral.

New book

Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has written a children's book "The United Nations, Come Along With Me."

This charming book, with its colorful photographs and simple, humorous and poignant text is a good introduction to the United Nations and its work around the world - especially its work with children.

Mrs. Annan also gives the book a personal component with anecdotes about her own life and travels that will interest children.

Consumer tips

The library's Internet service provider has issued a list of safety tips we'd be glad to share. Ask for a free copy at the desk.

The most important thing is to protect your privacy. Know what information they are collecting about you, how it will be used and if they share it with or sell it to others.

The Federal Trade Commission maintains a Web site to help. Try that site at www.consumer.gov.

They suggest using a credit card for Internet transactions because under federal law your liability usually is limited to $50. When using the credit card online, look for an unbroken key or padlock icon in the bottom corner of the Web page, or for a policy that indicates use of strong security technology such as SSL.

To file a complaint about a fraudulent business practice or to get free information on how to spot, stop and avoid one, call the Federal Trade Commission, toll-free at (877) FTC-HELP (382-4357) or go to the Web site. ftc.gov and click on "consumer protection."

Another tip is to pay bills with checks written with a "gel" type pen so that your signature can't be lifted and counterfeited.

Fun with words

A librarian sent a list of words to help us understand that our English language isn't easy.

"The bandage was wound around the wound. The farm was used to produce produce. The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse. A bass was painted on the bass drum. The insurance was invalid for the invalid. They were too close to the door to close it. The wind was too strong to wind in the sail. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear. You also have to, too, two, 11, and 2."

Holiday gifts

The latest issue of PC Magazine has 72 great ideas for everyone on your list. Technology under the tree. The experts rate all of the gadgets to help decipher digital terms.

Word's out that the last rites have been sounded for the video movie format. For 25 years VHS dominated the world home entertainment market. (Many of us still can't program one.) In Britain, police admit that house burglars don't even bother to take VHS players. The DVD has taken over.

And don't forget to visit our local bookstores for the latest handheld treasures that can entertain and inspire at much better prices. The latest Lemony Snicket will do nicely.

Donations

Thanks for materials from Jim Latham, Bill Nolen, Kay Redfield, Susan Trujillo, Davie Payne, Kate Lister, Dave Durkee, Dave Payne, Carolyn Conway, Kerry Dermody, Gerlinde Ehni, Barbara Ward, Barbara Ferrich, Carol Fulenwider and Wayne Logan.

Donors to our building fund include Joan and Herman Hageman in memory of Nancy Hayles; Helen and Bill Miller in memory of Lauren Cameron White; Rod and Barbara Preston in memory of Wilma Morrison; Nancy and James Cole, R.W. and Mrs. Baumgardner, Eloise Peters, Evelyn Kirton, William and Gloria Quimby; Citizens Bank of Pagosa Springs, James and Carol White, Old West Press, Bruce and Wendy Adams, Robert and Shirley Alley, Roy and Elizabeth Gill, Donald and Emma English, Margaret Hart, Ralph and Maureen Covell, Barney and Shari Pierce, Jacky and Michael Reece; Glenn and Lynda Van Patter in honor of Rebecca Ward; Gautam and Jean Shah, John Petty, Duane and Ina Noggle, Jean and Howard Strahlendorf.

 

Arts Line

Gallery Walk door prize winners listed

By Leanne Goebel

PREVIEW Columnist

The enjoyment of the second annual Gala Gallery Walk lingers on for several people who were lucky enough to win door prizes donated by the participating galleries.

Windsor Chacey took home a framed photo of the mountain lion cubs from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and Gallery. Leslie Kron won a giclee entitled "An Aspen Trail" by artist Avonna Lee Landwehr, donated by Taminah Gallery and Frame Center. Sharon Garrison won a wooden box with a stone inlay top donated by Handcrafted Interiors, and Moonlight Books and Gallery had four lucky winners; Leo Milner, Lance Foster, Nita Niece, and Eli Fox.

Information was not yet available on the winners from Astara's Boutique, Lantern Dancer Gallery, and Pagosa Photography, but we hope to have it for next week's column.

Thank you to everyone who participated and especially to Marti Capling, Doris Green and all the volunteers who helped coordinate this event. It was truly an enjoyable evening for everyone.

Public supports arts

November 2 was a good day for local initiatives supporting the arts. According to Americans for the Arts Action Fund, 13 arts initiatives were on ballots in eight states, and all but two passed convincingly. The 11 initiatives passed were in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Utah, and Virginia. The two that failed were in Missouri and Montana.

"The public is very supportive of the arts," said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, "and these results reflect that fact. The challenge for arts advocates is to make that support even clearer to elected officials and other funders of the arts throughout the nation. That's a challenge that Americans for the Arts' newly created Arts Action Fund is now pursuing."

In Colorado, the Denver Metro Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Initiative passed with 65 percent of the vote on average in all seven counties. The SCFD initiative reauthorizes the 0.01 percent retail sales tax, a program that has distributed more than $400 million to arts and science groups since 1988. SCFD generates more than $30 million each year to support over 300 local cultural organizations.

In Grand Junction, ballot issue 5T passed with 89 percent of the vote. The initiative extends the TIF (tax increment financing) that was to expire in 2006. The diversion of those funds could mean up to $18 million in bonding ability for the Downtown Development Authority and expanded what the funds could be used for, including improvements to streets, parks, plazas, structures, and the potential relocation of the Western Colorado Center for the Arts.

Medal of Arts

President George W. Bush recently announced the recipients of the 2004 National Medal of Arts. The president and Mrs. Laura Bush presented eight medals in an Oval Office ceremony at the White House. The National Medal of Arts is the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence.

"These eight individuals have significantly enriched the cultural life of our nation through their creativity, teaching, and beneficent work," said Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. "Whether through the imaginative realm of science fiction, the poignant strains of opera, compelling verse, inspiring choreography, or other artistic forms, these artists and this foundation have given us new ways of understanding and delighting in the world."

The 2004 National Medal of Arts Recipients are: the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York; Ray Bradbury, Los Angeles; Carlisle Floyd, Houston; Frederick Hart, (deceased); Anthony Hecht (deceased); John Ruthven, Ohio; Vincent Scully, New Haven; Twyla Tharp, New York.

Established by Congress in 1984, The Medal of Arts is awarded to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the creation, growth, and support of the arts in the United States. Each year, the NEA seeks nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. The National Council on the Arts, an advisory body of the NEA, whose members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the president, who selects the recipients.

Artist directory

PSAC is putting together a directory of local artists and craftspeople. The publishing date is the end of December. A letter was sent out to all artists on the PSAC mailing list, stating that the information was needed by the end of October. Please disregard that letter. PSAC is accepting information until Dec. 27. There is no charge for this listing, so get your information to Victoria right away. E-mail her at PSAC@centurytel.net.

Contemporary artist

Are you a contemporary artist? Do you want to get together with other contemporary artists for exhibitions, performances, happenings and educational events? Then contact Jules Masterjohn at 382-0756 and join DECAF (Durango Exhibitions and Contemporary Arts Forum).

Ongoing workshops

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

FLC workshops

Fort Lewis College office of Extended Studies is offering a bevy of classes this winter. Contact the Extended Studies office for more information at 247-7385 or e-mail extstudy@fortlewis.edu. Below is a short list of cultural offerings:

- "Introduction of Improvisational Acting," Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9;

- "Marketing on the Cheap: How Small Businesses Cut Costs by Writing Their Own Promotions," Dec. 4, Jan. 22, and Feb. 12;

- "Grant Writing," Jan. 22;

- "Expressive Writing," Jan. 25-March 15;

- "Fiction Writing," Jan 25-March 15;

- "Writing Personal Essays," Feb. 7-March 14.

Artist opportunities

"Spirit in Hand" Holiday Exhibit and Sale at the Durango Arts Center, Dec. 14-24, is an opportunity for fine craftspeople and local artists to share their inspired and creative work 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.

Calendar

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

Dec. 3, 4 - Magical Madrigal Dinner at community center.

Dec. 3 and 5 - Community Choir concert.

Dec. 9 - John Fielder presentation at Durango Photo Club, Animas Room at La Plata County Fairgrounds.

Dec. 10, 11- Magical Madrigal Dinner at community center.

Dec. 10, 11- The Nutcracker, performed by the David Taylor Dance Theatre at Community Concert Hall in Durango.

July 24 - Home and Garden Tour.

 

Food for Thought

Tad's tremendous transformation

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

I'm ready to experience a breakthrough.

At my age, a breakthrough is usually a hernia or an aneurysm but, in this case, the experience will be much more significant.

I will be totally transformed.

As a person.

As a soul.

I will soon be, as they say, "fully realized."

It's great. Like joining the Masons, only better.

I always knew I could be so much more. Granted, there were times I thought that meant I was destined to be an over-the-road truck driver, traveling the nation's highways in the company of a rat terrier named Randy; or that I'd find work handing out rental shoes at a bowling alley.

I wasn't thinking big enough. Now, my horizon has expanded. And I am ready to expand right along with it.

A couple weeks ago I was in Denver and I casually flipped open a glossy throwaway tabloid. There it was - CC's ad, "Awakening your Presence."

CC offered me the opportunity to open my "infinite divine spaciousness," and indulge in a bit of "wakening down in mutuality." Knowing what I know now, none of this was an accident - being in Denver, finding the publication, flipping it open to that particular page. There are no accidents when you are ready to be fully realized.

The bottom line: CC urged me to fulfill my "deepest heart-longing, to know the truth of who you are and to live as an integrated expression of your authenticity."

Just what I was looking for!

I can't tell you how I've suffered over the years as my expression of authenticity remained unintegrated. It hurt, you know?

It hurt doubly because I knew my divine spacious presence was too limited. From infancy, I thought of myself as a bulb planted just before winter, remaining dormant in the cold dirt during the dark months of the year, to be awakened by spring's warmth to send a tender shoot into the sun-filled air, determined to flower into a beautiful, unique bloom.

I just didn't have enough sun.

CC will be the center of my newly energized solar system. In fact, there are pages of ads in this tabloid providing suns galore, each star a purveyor of positive change, ready to do miraculous work. Naturally, enlightenment and healing are not free; nothing worthwhile comes without a stiff price. No one gives you a Lexus; why should you expect to get a radical transformation without having to pony up? I figure my transformation is going to require serious bucks and, since Kathy scissored my credit card, I'll have to secure a spot on the graveyard shift at a convenience store in order to put together the poke to purchase perfection. I can do it.

I read on and assemble my "team."

Judy is an "intuitive," who does "angel reading" and consults the Tarot. An intuitive with a direct line to the angels is absolutely necessary to provide guidance in a realm that recognizes no reason, has no place for analytic skills. She is also a certified hypnotherapist. I believe this; gazing into her eyes (OK, the photo of her eyes) I am mesmerized. Judy claims the ability to communicate with the deceased in order to channel their wisdom to the living as part of a healing process. It works. I hear my grandmother, Minnie: "Karl don't pay any attention to Democrats. Never trust a Democrat, especially that rascal McGovern. He's a horrible little man."

It's eerie, but I feel better. Wiser.

As I move to the next ad, I see there is other work to be done. Sherman has a master's degree in an unspecified field and he conducts past lives regressions. Such regressions, says Sherman, can "clarify relationship interactions" and give "insight into karmic business to complete." I can relate to this: I underwent an unguided past-life regression in Room 120 at the Albert Hotel in Manhattan in 1967 and discovered I was once a bacterium in a botched lab experiment - Berlin, circa 1916. Talk about karmic work to be done.

Thank goodness there's a "life coach" to help me. Patria is such a coach. While Patria does not brag about her advanced degrees, I am not discouraged. After all, how many coaches actually graduate with more than a degree in PE? Most of them play on a team in high school, spend a bit of time on a college team, then turn pro when the money is right. Patria does not say what team she played on, but she claims she can provide me with a "foundation of support and accountability while making major changes." Everyone needs a smug, know-it-all-for-hire in his or her life and my encounter with Patria (in print) has strengthened my foundation. Made me accountable. I feel more confident knowing she is in the wings, ready to draw up plays on the blackboard of life.

A strong foundation and an abundance of confidence will come in handy when I consult my Akashic record. According to Anne, who has a master's degree in an unspecified discipline, my Akashic record contains my every thought, word, deed, feeling and action, as well as a list of "potentials and possibilities" available to me. I intend to go to the library and/or the Department of Motor Vehicles and ask if they have my Akashic record on microfiche. I need to know if it is possible to erase entries; I can't see any value in retaining my thoughts and actions, 1972-76.

Jodi promises "full-spectrum healing" and I am interested. After all, partial spectrum healing is just that, isn't it? Partial? Jodi tells me one can "see the path to wholeness using high sense perception." Apparently a bit of high sense perception can deal with cancer, anxiety, injuries of all kinds, the pain of abuse and difficulties with career and relationships. I make a note to "heighten" my sense perceptions. I have a hunch a couple high-grade martinis and a mess of tapas can accelerate the process. I'll check my theory with Jodi.

A bit of shamanic soul retrieval won't hurt, will it? Linda is a "licensed psychologist" I'm comforted by the reality of a license: You need a license to drive' - surely you need one - to retrieve a soul. Linda's ad makes it clear that part of my soul is lost and must be returned to me. I'll begin the search in my newly designed living room, brought to a state of feng shui harmony by Eiko (who also possesses the "secrets of Shinto vocalization"). Maybe I'll wait until I've undergone several colon hydrotherapy sessions with "Dr. Barry" and changed my screen saver to reflect my sparkling clean intestinal tract and my blissful state of mind. I've decided to replace my Alfred E. Neuman screensaver with the image of a brooding Gurdjieff. It's a steal, at $4.95.

Once I've used ancient shamanic techniques to retrieve my soul, and I've meditated on my screensaver for a week or two, I'll be ready for the Big Move.

Step 1: according to "Doctor MK," from Russia, I'll need optimal cellular nutrition provided by special microalgae technology. This, and a serious increase in the amount of fiber in my diet, should prepare me to complete the transition to the new Karl. Optimal cellular nutrition is critical; after all, Beth recommends this process and who can doubt her? Her ad pictures her kissing a dolphin.

I intend to purchase a machine to help me achieve my goals. It will cure any problem at the cellular level by "raising cell voltage and vibrational frequency in the body." I am intimately familiar with vibrational frequency (see above, Albert Hotel, Room 120, then ask me about the go-go dancer from Boston) but this machine seems a much easier, high tech way to accomplish the necessary cellular boost. According to an ad, the machine is based on the work of Nobel winner Dr. Otto Warbur, who recognized the profound difficulties that occur when cell voltage dips below — 50 millivolts. Since my voltage often goes as low as -1.0 millivolts (in particular when I've been in Las Vegas, playing blackjack for six days) I understand the need to purchase and use this machine.

I'll hook myself up to this sleek beauty and, cells jacked up to max voltage, I'll go through a series of somatic dance movements. Nothing beats the restorative power of somatic dance.

Then, it's off to DNAville.

That's right, there it is, in an ad on Page 16: the coup de grace to be administered to the old me.

I'll need Martina's help.

There's Martina; her photo is in the ad. She is radiant. She looks real smart, you know? She smiles in a broad, wholesome I-went-to-a-state-college way. She wears spectacular earrings There are a whole lot of letters in a list following her name: Martina is a CNA an RM/T, an MH, IASM and MI and she is ready to open my life to "joy and divine love," removing "blockages on spiritual, mental, emotional and physical levels."

That's pretty much all the levels, as far as I know.

And she is going to do it via "4th dimensional/resonance clearing" and"- hold on to your seats - DNA reprogramming.

This is it. DNA reprogramming. The doorway opening on a new frontier. The last piece in the puzzle of the Karl-I-want-to-be.

Martina lists her phone number in the ad.

I call her.

"Martina, I read your ad and I gotta tell you I am pretty darned excited. You can call me Tad."

"I am so happy. And I am honored to help you, Tad."

I like her response: professional yet humble. Sincere, Al Schweitzer-like.

"Let's cut to the chase, Martina. I'm am up for some major-league DNA reprogramming. I am ready for significant adjustments to the old double helix. Judging from your photo in your ad on Page 16, you're the one. Did you attend a state college?"

"We have a program of five or 10 magnified healing and DNA reprogramming sessions available, Tad. We will need to see you in the office for a consultation. We need to understand your goals, your needs. Can you give me a credit card number?"

"I can explain my needs right now, Martina, and we'll work on the reprogramming starting tomorrow afternoon. How about tomorrow afternoon, Martina? Whaddya say? Huh?"

"Well, Tad, I I'll need a credit card number, and "

"Let's cut the crap, Martina. I want my DNA reprogrammed, pronto. I need a tail, bat radar and gills. Stat."

"Excuse me?"

No need to excuse you, Martina. This is Code Blue: I want my DNA altered so I have a working prehensile tail, an ability to find food in complete darkness and I need gills, ASAP. There's bad mojo in the air, Martina. Surely an intuitive gal like you senses this - the specter of global warming, rising ocean levels, strange doings with El Niño, Mad Cow disease, insect infestations, MWDs, Dick Cheney, the like. With bat radar, a tail and gills to supplement my newfound enlightenment and rejuvenated cellular foundation, I have a running chance to survive any nastiness that waits ahead. Know what I mean?"

Martina hangs up on me.

Maybe I should have given her the credit card number.

Absent a tail and gills, like Don Miguel (page 22), I'll have to face life as a "Toltec Warrior," drawing on the wisdom of a long-dead culture for the secrets of survival. No task will be great for me, says Don Miguel, including drywall patching and the ability to paint gaudy murals on dining room walls.

Oh, and I can't forget, I'll need to boost my dietary fiber as part of an enlightened dietary regimen.

I'm going to make soups - soups that cut to the essence of the ingredients. Enlightened soups. Thomas Keller-type soups.

A carrot soup, for example. I'll peel the carrots, (organic only) chop them and cook them fairly slowly in water to cover (filtered water, with no chlorine and additives, no nasty tang). When the carrot is soft, I'll pulverize the dickens out of the vegetable in a blender, adding just enough of the remaining liquid to keep things flowing. Then, I intend to strain the soup twice yielding CARROT. No herbs, no spices, perhaps only a teensy bit of high-grade sea salt, if I can find some.

I am going to make turnip soup. Organic turnip, peeled and cooked in organic chicken broth then processed the same way as the carrot. I will sip TURNIP from a demitasse cup.

If I'm in a particularly heightened state, (say, after a rousing session of somatic dance) I might add a ridiculously small amount of fresh, heavy cream to the essence of the vegetable.

It's all I'll need from now on.

Oh, yeah, and fiber.

Kathy has a jar of flaxseed in the refrigerator. She is convinced it cures everything. I'll take a couple flaxseeds, toast them and grind them to a powder in a mortar and pestle. I'll sprinkle a teensy bit of the powder on the surface of the soup. Not so much that I can see it. A homeopathic amount.

I think I'll produce the soups in volume and offer them for sale, as part of a "total Toltec 4th dimensional dietary cellular voltage rejuvenation." Look for my ad in the paper. I'll be the gap-toothed guy wearing the headdress, sitting in front of the Gurdjieff screensaver.

Have the angels get in touch with me and set up an appointment. Come to the office for some essence, and enlightenment.

And call me Tad.

 

Education News

Positive relationships prevent violence

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

The recent Youth and Violence study of over a thousand Colorado youth conducted by The Colorado Trust, reported, "Young people with supportive relationships with their parents, teachers and friends are much less likely to be either victims or aggressors of violence."

The study reiterates a common-sense message: positive relationships prevent violence. It is up to every adult to turn the message into common practice. The adult response to youth violence has been to act independently of youth to create systems for punishing offenders and assisting victims. But young people surveyed stressed the need for a proactive approach that includes their participation to ensure all youth feel supported, valued and respected in their homes and communities.

Every adult has a role in ensuring young people experience supportive relationships, meaningful opportunities and high expectations for success. By paying attention to young people, encouraging their interests and helping them learn to solve problems constructively - by building their assets - we can make significant inroads into the violence young people experience.

Asset building is a philosophy, not a program, and is the underlying foundation for all of the Archuleta County Education Center's after-school programs for kids of all ages.

The facts listed below are among those reported in the study:

Fact: 46 percent of young people have experienced physical violence in the past month.

Antidote: Good relationships with adults and peers are key to preventing violence.

Assets: Children with more assets experience less violence in their lives.

Fact: 17 percent of young people feel that nobody notices them at home or at school. They are more likely to be victims of violence.

Antidote: Paying attention to, monitoring and communicating well with young people does matter in the lives of youth, specifically in their experiences with violence.

Assets: Youth with more supportive adult relationships are buffered against at-risk behaviors.

Fact: 23 percent of young people appear to have low levels of self-esteem. There is a connection between self-esteem and violence.

Antidote: Youth with higher levels of self-esteem are less likely to have been victims or aggressors.

Assets: Youth report higher levels of self-esteem when participating in strength-based youth programs.

Asset Building classes being offered through the Education Center at the elementary school during December are:

Mondays, Spanish for Kids, 3:15-5:00 p.m. at the elementary school;

Tuesdays, Treasure Candles, 3:15-5:00 p.m. at the elementary school;

Wednesdays, Holiday Gifts, 3:15-5:00 p.m. at the elementary school;

Wednesdays, Kids in the Kitchen, 3:15-5:00 p.m. at the elementary school;

Thursdays, Creations - a fun way to learn about all different creatures in the world, 3:15-5:00 p.m. at the elementary school

Fridays, Fun Friday afternoon activities, 1:15-5:00 p.m. at the elementary school.

A wonderful opportunity for families to build assets is to come to an evening of fun and food on Dec. 9. This Parent and Child Together event will be held from 5:30-7:00 p.m. These events are held on a monthly basis at the Education Center and provide a chance for kids and their parents to participate in hands on games and activities together while having dinner provided. So look forward to a free Frito Pie dinner Dec. 9. Please preregister for this event so that there will be enough food and materials for all attendees.

Call the Archuleta County Education Center today to learn more about all of our after-hours classes. We offer adult classes as well as a variety of classes at the elementary, intermediate and junior high schools.

For information call 264-2835. Or stop by our office at 4th and Lewis streets to receive a complete schedule of events.

 

Extension Viewpoints

 

Thank the Aztecs for the poinsettia

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Thursday, Dec. 2 - Shady Pine meeting, 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 3 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1-3:30 p.m.; Colorado Mountaineers meeting, 2:15 p.m.; 4-H Holiday Celebration, 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 10 - Colorado Kids meeting, 2 p.m.; Beef Project meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Check out the new Archuleta County Cooperative Extension Office Web site at www.coopext.colostate.edu/archuleta/archuleta.htm.

Poinsettias

The Aztecs cultivated the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) in Mexico long before Europeans came to the Western Hemisphere. They used the bracts for a reddish-purple dye and the latex to counteract fever. The plant also played a part in midwinter celebrations and was widely planted in Gardens.

In 1925, Joel R. Poinsett, a botanist and the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, sent some plants to his home in South Carolina. He shared his finds with other plant enthusiasts. December 12 is National Poinsettia Day and recognizes Poinsett's contribution to the holiday season. Many people have been instrumental in establishing poinsettias as a house plant and holiday tradition.

The Ecke family of California (Eckespoint series), the Heggs of Norway (Hegg series), and Jim Mikkelsen of Ohio (Mikkelsen series) pioneered the early cultivars. Modern cultivars, bred to last longer in the home, originate from Germany and France, as well as the United States.

Originally sold as cut flowers, poinsettias were not used as potted plants until the early 1920s.

Poinsettias do well in the home and keep their color until mid-March. The showy red, pink, white, yellow, bicolored or speckled modified "leaves" are called bracts. With proper light and temperature, they accumulate the anthocyanin pigments that give them their color. The flowers (cyathia) of the poinsettia are in the center of the bracts. Male and female parts are present, along with a yellow-edged nectary with sweet, fragrant nectar.

Poinsettias come in many colors and forms. New selections appear every year. Choose a plant with dark green foliage. However, cultivars with lighter colored or mottled bracts typically have lighter green foliage.

Plants with pale green, yellow or fallen leaves generally have a root disease problem, have been overwatered, had an excessive dry period, or received limited fertilization. Bracts should be well developed with little pollen showing on the flowers. When outside temperatures approach 35 F, be sure the plant is well wrapped or sleeved before transporting. Low temperatures, even for short periods, can damage leaves and bracts. Remove sleeves promptly to prevent epinasty, a downward bending of the petioles.

Poinsettias thrive on indirect, natural daylight - at least six hours a day. Avoid direct sunlight, as this may fade the bract color. If direct sun cannot be avoided, diffuse the light with a shade or sheer curtain. To prolong color, keep plants out of cold drafts and away from excessive heat. Ideal temperatures are 67 to 70 degrees during the day and 60 to 62 degrees at night. Remove damaged or diseased leaves.

Poinsettias require moderately moist soil. Check plants daily and water thoroughly whenever the soil feels dry to the touch.

Plants in clay pots require more water, while those in plastic pots are easily overwatered. Apply water until it runs out the drainage hole.

Do not allow poinsettias to sit in standing water. If the container is wrapped with foil, remove it when watering or make a hole in it for drainage. Discard any collected water in the drainage receptacle.

A poinsettia does not require fertilization while it is in bloom. However, to maintain green foliage and promote new growth indoors after the holidays, apply a balanced all-purpose house plant fertilizer once a month. Always follow the directions on the fertilizer label.

Many pests can infest poinsettias. Wash off insects with mild soap and water, using a sponge or gentle spray. Mealybugs and whiteflies may require pesticide application or removal of infested plant parts. To remove mealybugs, apply ordinary rubbing alcohol with a cotton swab.

Cold, moist soil temperatures encourage root diseases. If lower leaves start turning yellow and fall off, a root rot condition may exist. Apply an all-purpose fungicide (usually available at garden centers) as a soil drench. The milky sap that exudes from a poinsettia when damaged is called latex and is not the result of any insect or disease infestation.

Poinsettia not poisonous

In a 1995 poll funded by the Society of American Florists, 66 percent of the respondents held the false impression that poinsettia plants are toxic if eaten.

Research at Ohio State University in 1971 showed that rats fed unusually high doses of poinsettia plant parts were not adversely affected.

The POISINDEX® Information Service, the primary resource used by most poison control centers, states that a 50-pound child would have to eat more than 500 poinsettia bracts to surpass experimental doses.

Based on the rodent tests, accepted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the commission denied a 1975 petition filed by a New York citizen demanding that poinsettia plants carry caution labels that indicate they are poisonous. Like other nonfood items, poinsettia plants are not edible and are not intended to be eaten. If eaten, parts of all plants may cause varying degrees of discomfort, but usually not death. Keep plants out of reach of small children.

Pagosa Lakes News

Take care: ice is dangerously thin on area lakes

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The four lakes in the Pagosa Lakes area froze over Monday night with the cold spell that came through earlier this week and ice conditions are dangerously thin.

The ice is only about a quarter- to a half-inch thick and will not support any weight at this time.

A dog fell through the ice Tuesday morning at the northeast end of Village Lake.

The fire department responded and was able to rescue the dog which had been in the water about half an hour and was beginning to fade. If it weren't for a visiting timeshare owner's phone call and a quick response by the fire department the dog probably would not have made it. He apparently was out on the ice chasing after waterfowl and fell through the ice about 75 feet from the shore.

Firemen responded with three rescue vehicles and utilized a new rescue boat just received this week. Two firefighters suited up in special ice rescue suits and with much effort were able to break ice as they went to retrieve the wayward Labrador with the new inflatable boat.

Our thanks to the fire department for their professional work with that rescue. If you own dogs please keep them contained on your property or under your direct control at all times especially if you live near a lake. Dogs are attracted to the water and the waterfowl present on these lakes. Also, and this is especially important with these ice conditions, please keep an eye out for anyone out on the ice right now.

If you see anyone on the frozen lakes, especially children, call the sheriff's office immediately, 264-2131, or call 911. The ice is not safe at this time.

"Dogs or Wives?"

What's not to make me a good wife? I definitely took umbrage at a "Dogs or Wives" circulation that some men think is pretty accurate. Accurate? Maybe. Maybe not. Funny?Most definitely.

It goes like this. Dogs or Wives. These are the reasons why lots of guys have two dogs, but not two wives:

"The later you are, the more excited dogs are to see you." My rebuttal: Dogs will be excited to see you. But are your possessions still in one piece?

I know a dog, my son's, as a matter of fact, which chews up my son's pants and socks if he's late coming home. Unless you have a lot of disposable income to keep replacing your wardrobe, it sure sounds pretty expensive.

Wives worry when husbands are late. Are they OK? Are they hurt? They worry because they care for their spouse's well being. Your dog is only excited because it needs to go out or it wants to play, right away. Of course, I guess wives could be excited that their husband is okay, after all. Or by the prospect of play time.

"If a dog is gorgeous, other dogs don't hate it." How do people know that's true? Besides, I admire a well-configured physique as much as I enjoy a well-crafted piece of art. I can appreciate the effort that goes into its making. Of course, I could also, perhaps, learn how to admire women's physiques, too.

"Dogs don't notice if you call them by another dog's name." I don't notice or remember, either. That's the beauty of poor hearing and poor memory.

"A dog's disposition stays the same all month long." Why are men so impatient? A patient man has the even-keeled days of menopause to look forward to.

"Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor." The two local thrift stores do well by my family. Besides, the Humane Society dogs indirectly benefit from the things that are left on the floor at my house, which are gathered up, stuffed in garbage bags and dropped at the thrift store's front door once a month when my disposition isn't the same as normal.

"A dog's parents never visit." I like visits from our parents. Wouldn't have my husband if his parents never existed. Love your spouse; love the man and woman who brought him life. Get real.

"Dogs do not hate their bodies." Well, some humans do, and that fuels a multi-billion dollar industry in our country. Keep the economy ticking. What's wrong with that? Even helps to support the recreation center and pays my salary.

"If a dog smells another dog on you, it won't get mad, it just thinks it's interesting." Poor sense of smell makes this point a non-issue. Besides, some guys smell so ahem ... strong, that I can't see how their wives could detect any other odors.

"Dogs don't let magazine articles guide their lives." Dogs don't read, dummy. Fads last about as long as J. Lo's marriages anyway, making life full of new and interesting changes. Stop whining.

"Dogs like to ride in the back of a pickup truck." In other countries, like Saudi Arabia, for example, women and female children ride in the back of pickup trucks. The goat gets the cab. It's all in the culture. If you want your woman in the back of the truck, move there.

"If a dog leaves, it won't take half your stuff." In a marriage, it's shared possession, and in the event of a break-up, half is fair. Didn't you learn to share in kindergarten?

As for myself, I know why husbands are created, with all their imperfections. They humanize wives. They are made to make us forget ourselves, occasionally, and then the beautiful balance of life goes on. Life is good. Just plain, pure, simple and good. Not fantasy good.

Births
 

Allison

Lucas Ian Allison was born Aug. 25, 2004, in Mercy Medical Center in Durango, weighing in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 21 inches long. The new son of Ian and Julie Allison was greeted by siblings Peyton, 4, and Mia, 2. Grandparents are Jim and Joyce Coombes of Bethany, Okla., and Ken and Joyce Allison of Kirkby Stephen, England.

 

Davidson

Garrett Eli Davidson, son of Richard and Jennifer Davidson of Nixa, Mo., was born Nov. 8, 2004, in St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Mo. The young man, who weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces, and measured 20 inches, was welcomed home by older brother Hunter Levi Davidson. Richard is the son of Gilbert and Evelyn Davidson, of Pagosa Springs.

 

Obituaries

John C. Archuleta

John Charles Archuleta went to be with the Lord on Monday, Nov. 29, 2005.

John, the beloved son of James and Charlotte Archuleta, passed away in his Pagosa Springs home.

Recitation of the Rosary will be at 6:30 p.m. today, Dec. 2, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Church of Pagosa Springs followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 3.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado in John's memory. The foundation address is 234 Columbine, Suite 333, Denver, CO 802006.

A full obituary will follow in next week's paper.

 

Wilbur L. Leeper

Wilbur Leroy Leeper of Pagosa Springs passed away at Mercy Medical Center Hospital in Durango on Nov. 24, 2004. He was 82.

Wilbur was born in Logan, Okla., Jan. 28, 1922, to Samuel Leeper and Lula Berdina Sigers Leeper. He married Marcia Norton in Orange, Calif., in 1971. They moved from Anaheim Hills, Calif., to Pagosa Springs in 1992.

Wilbur was a graduate of Aztec High School and attended one year at Texas Tech. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force and had worked as a wholesale antique dealer and as a dealer for Standard Oil Co. He was a member of the Lions Club. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Wilbur was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Benson, Calvin and Paul Leeper and sisters Ethel Shryock, Thelma Farmer, Katherine Strausbaugh, Doris Weber and Ethyl Brown.

Survivors are his wife, Marcia of Pagosa Springs; daughter Jacquelyn Panzik of Anaheim, Calif.; sons Terryl of Colorado Springs and Roger of Albion, Mich.; daughter Lisa Saunders of Pagosa Springs; grandchildren Alicia and Andrew Leeper of Colorado Springs; and one great-granddaughter, Natalie Carol Leeper, of Colorado Springs.

A memorial service was held Saturday, Nov. 27, 2004, at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Colorado Department of Wildlife.

People

Preview Profile

 

Steve Voorhis

School maintenance, Pagosa Springs Junior High School

 

Where were you born?

"Durango, Colorado."

 

Where did you go to school?

"Pagosa Springs."

 

When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"I have lived here all my life."

 

What did you do before you took this job?

"I worked in the propane business."

 

What are your job responsibilities?

"Keeping the school in a safe working condition."

 

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

"I enjoy working with the students. I don't like seeing someone destroy something on purpose."

 

What is your family background?

"I am married and have four kids, from fifth grade to college."

 

What do you like best about the community?

"I like the small town atmosphere."

 

What are your other interests?

"I have been in the fire department for 23 years. I also like to camp, fish and hunt."

 

Cards of Thanks

 

Rodeo rider

I want to thank my mom and dad, Nate and Danielle Cowan, and my sisters Trevona and Savanah for cheering me on when I won my buckles; my Granny Pat Sheppard who is my mentor; my aunt Tina Bryan, who is there through the difficult times, always in my corner.

My Uncle Steve Tyndall, my coach, my friend and my best bud helps me keep my gear together, ties me on and knows everything I'll ever need to know about rodeo.

Thanks to Goodmans, Jackisch Drug, The Rainbow - Bill and Brenda; Floyd and Virginia Bramwell; and my Aunt Donna Corkill in Wyoming for making my rodeo shirt. Thank you all.

Tyreese Tyndall

 

Fashion show

The women of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Fashion Show Committee would like to thank the following for helping to make our fashion show a success:

The Pagosa SUN for bringing our show to public attention; John Graves for his keyboard artistry; the entertainment by Stephanie Jones and her San Juan Festival Ballet group; local merchants for donating raffle items; the local stores for allowing us to display their many fashions; everyone who helped in so many ways; and all the guests who supported our effort.

Book Fair

We at the elementary school are so thankful for the efforts of the co-chair ladies, Ronnie Doctor and Lisa Scott, and the multitude of volunteers who made possible the Fall Scholastic Book Fair.

We are also grateful to the many supporters who model reading/listening as important and enjoyable skills and pasttimes. Now $9,000 worth of new reading materials are in the eager hands of our children. Thanks to all supporters of the joy of reading.

Cathne Holt,

School librarian

 

Rare disease

We would like to extend our thanks to Tess Noel Baker for the article she did on our son Colby, educating readers regarding his rare disease.

We feel fortunate to live in such a warm, caring and supportive community. This community has made all we've dealt with much easier. We would especially like to thank our church family, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, for all their emotional, financial and prayerful support.

We would also like to say a special thanks to Pagosa Springs Elementary School staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make school not only work for Colby but a positive experience for him.

God willing, Colby will head into remission. We are grateful for all our friends, known and unknown, who have prayed for and/or supported us during this difficult time.

Donna Anderson

and Chris Andresen

 

Popcorn sale

Thanks to everyone who supported the recent Cub Scout Troop 807's annual popcorn sale. Fifty five boys sold $25,154 worth of popcorn locally which means almost $7,000 stays right here in Pagosa to send scouts to camp and other various activities. Thanks also to the Forest Service for the use of the garage to store these mountains of boxes. This community is amazing. Thanks again.

Engagement

Sarnow-Jackl

Jamie Jackl and Pierre Sarnow of Lakewood, Colo., have announced their engagement and plans for a Dec. 18 wedding in Custer, S.D. Parents are Stuart and Marcella Sarnow of Pagosa Springs and Joe and Ginny Jackl of Custer. He is a 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School and received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Colorado School of Mines. He is employed by N.A. Technologies in Lakewood. Jackl is a 1999 graduate of Custer High School and a 2003 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado who is working as a math teacher at Creighton Middle School in Lakewood and working toward her master's degree at Colorado Christian University.

 

Locals

 

Mesker

Matthew Mesker, grandson of Ron Halvorson, of Pagosa Springs graduated from Great Lakes Naval Training Facility in Illinois on Nov. 5. Mesker, son of Mark and Michele Mesker, graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 2002.

He will continue his naval schooling in aviation ordnance and is then scheduled to enter Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, Calif.

Sports Page

Pirate wrestlers rebuilding, ready for intense schedule

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pirate wrestlers take to the mats Saturday at the Rocky Ford Duals, beginning a season in which the squad is expected to rebuild and work to equal or best the team that took eight wrestlers to the state 3A tournament last year.

The Pirates will be without four of those wrestlers this season but, with eight returning starters and six lettermen who saw varsity time last year, the task of rebuilding could prove very successful.

The first thing in the Pirates' favor is the fact the team is likely to have a full lineup by mid-season - something the team has not had since 1999.

"We anticipate a full lineup within the first couple weeks," said Coach Dan Janowsky. "If we stick together and avoid injuries, we'll have every spot filled, and that's pretty unusual for a 3A program. Having a full roster will help us in dual meets and in the smaller tournaments."

The core of veterans around which that full roster will operate begins with senior Daren Hockett. Janowsky hopes Hockett can get down to 125 pounds, where he will be formidable. The Pirate was the regional champ last year and took sixth at state. "He's right on the doorstep of great things," said the coach.

Also back is Raul Palmer, who will eventually return to a slot at 135. The senior was second at last year's regional tournament and earned a trip to the state competition.

Junior Ky Smith captured fourth at the regional tourney in 2004 and went to Denver in February at 130. Smith is expected to battle at 140 this season.

James Martinez, a junior, returns at 215, after nailing second place at regionals last year and gaining valuable experience in state action at the Pepsi Center.

Many of the slots on the roster are up for grabs, among them the spot at 103. Freshman Travis Moore (currently light at 95 pounds) and junior Shane Lloyd have their sights set on the position.

A battle for the spot at 112 is anticipated, with two freshmen - Josh Nelson and Quin Griffen - in the running.

Orion Sandoval fought at 103 last year and finished fourth at regionals (only to lose in a wrestle-back) and the junior has put on size and gained strength. Sandoval, who Janowsky cites for his steady improvement throughout the season last year, is ready to go at 119.

While Hockett is liable to start the season at 130, if, as expected, he goes down to 125, junior Paul Hostetter is the probable athlete for the weight.

At 145, the Pirates have two athletes who could easily fill the bill: senior Manuel Madrid who did yeoman duty for the team last year, and sophomore Dale August.

Junior Justin Moore is ready to go at 152 but could be challenged by either Madrid or August.

Matt Nobles had a strong 2003-2004 season, placing fifth in the region at 171. Nobles returns this year at 160.

Senior Marcus Rivas took fifth at 189 in regional action last year and will start at 189 - with a chance of moving down to 171.

Joe Romine returns for his junior season at 275, with varsity experience from last year. He will be challenged by junior Jakob Reding.

"There'll be changes in our lineup as the year goes by," said Janowsky. "And there's some guys who will have to make strides to score points for us. Hopefully we'll have a guy with some skill and potential in every spot."

The team will need skill to compete in the Intermountain League and, with a full set of IML duals behind them, the battle should make the Pirates much tougher when it comes time to wrestle at the regional tournament.

The IML is arguably as tough as any 3A league in the state. Last season, the IML placed four teams in the top 15 at state, with Centauri taking second place.

"It's going to be rough," said the coach. "With only five teams, we have a very rugged conference. I'd say Centauri starts out the year with the best tournament team. Dual meets might not be their forte, but the tougher the tournament, the higher I think they'll place.

"Monte Vista returns a bunch of guys who earned state tournament points last year. They'll probably be a decent tournament and dual team.

"It could be Bayfield's year to make a move. Their coach has been there for a few years now (Herb Stinson) and they have some veteran wrestlers.

"It's Ignacio and us who have the most rebuilding to do. But both of us have good people to build around. Ignacio lost more guys to graduation, but they have some good people as replacements"

If last season was any indication, the dual meets between IML teams (which decide the league champ) should be more than entertaining . "Last year," said Janowsky, "all IML duals were decided by five points or less. This year it could be the same, or tougher. Every team in the IML has good coaching, very competent coaches. We'll make each other tougher."

The Rocky Ford Duals is a traditional season-opener for the Pirates and they will compete at the event with 12 other teams. The teams spend the morning in duals with two other squads then the winners of each of the four pools advance to battle for the top four spots. Every team is guaranteed four dual meets during the day.

Action at Rocky Ford begins at 9 a.m.

The team competes in the Buena Vista duals Dec. 11 then ends the pre-holiday schedule Dec. 17-18 at the vaunted Warrior Classic in Grand Junction.

When wrestlers return in the new year, the pressure will be on. This year, due to a contractual arrangement between the Colorado High School Activities Association and the Pepsi Center in Denver, the state tournament will be held a week earlier than usual, Feb. 11-13.

As a result, the rest of the regular season will be intense. Pagosa will battle at home against four teams Jan. 7 at the Rocky Mountain Duals, against Espanola, Taos and Bloomfield. The next day, the PSHS gym will be packed as teams from across the region compete at the Rocky Mountain Tournament.

The Pirates fight duals against Monte Vista and Florence, at Monte Vista Jan. 13 then participate in the Alamosa Invitational Jan. 15.

A trip to Durango for a dual Jan. 20 will be followed by a dual at home against Bayfield, Jan. 25.

Centauri comes to town for a dual Jan. 27 and the Pirates wrestle at the Ignacio Invitational Jan. 29.

That's it for the regular schedule.

Regional tourney action at Monte Vista is set for Feb. 4-5 with the top four in each weight class advancing to Denver for the state tournament the following weekend.

 

High Peaks Volleyball Club sets first meeting

A meeting for information concerning High Peaks Volleyball Club will be held 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12 in the community center.

View schedules, uniforms, pricing and ask any and all questions concerning this planned USA Volleyball sanctioned program.

Your child may join this club program during or after the current junior high or high school girls' basketball season but please be present at this meeting to gather all information needed for current or future enrollment.

Age group divisions will include 12 and under, 14 and under, 16 and under and 18 and under. Age groups are determined by the following:

- 18 and under - players who were born on or after September 1, 1986;

- 16 and under - players who were born on or after Sept. 1, 1988;

- 14 and under - players who were born on or after Sept. 1, 1990;

- 12 and under - players who were born on or after Sept. 1, 1992.

Call 731-1711 for questions or more details about this meeting.

 

Pirates poised with plenty of 'potential'

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

"Potential."

Nearly three weeks into practice, it is the term Pirate head coach Jim Shaffer is using above all others to describe what he sees in his varsity basketball team thus far.

"We're not going to have the amount of depth or experience that we've had in the past," said Shaffer during a Monday-morning summary of this year's season outlook.

"But we have the potential to do a lot of good things, and I think by the end of the season we could be as good or better than last year."

In the meantime, said Shaffer, "We're going to face some adversity because we're young and we have a tougher schedule than last season.

"But since we'll be tested early and have to work on getting better week to week, I think in the end it will be good for us."

With just one starter back from last year's squad that posted an overall record of 22-2, on paper the Pirates will likely be the least experienced team in the Intermountain League this season - the rosters of IML foes Monte Vista, Bayfield and Centauri all boast a greater number of varsity returnees.

Throw in what is sure to be another athletic Ignacio lineup, "And we're not necessarily the leader of the pack because the league will be much stronger," said Shaffer.

"And we're not going to be able to apply as much pressure defensively because, again, we're young, not as quick and not as physical as we have been," Shaffer added.

Offensively, however, the Pirates should again have the capability to put up big numbers.

"I expect us to be able to shoot better from outside this year, which gives us the potential to become more balanced," said Shaffer.

The overall result should be an up-and-down game pace that is quicker and, from a fan's perspective, more fun to watch.

"We're not going to blow people out every night by 20 or 25 points, but it could make things a little more exciting," said Shaffer.

As far as this year's roster, Shaffer foresees his early-season starting lineup being comprised of two seniors and three juniors.

Anchoring the Pirates down low will be senior stand-out Caleb Forrest, Pagosa's lone returning starter and the reigning IML player of the year.

With a 6-8 frame, wealth of experience and multitude of offensive and defensive abilities at his disposal, the four-year starter will once again be called upon to assume a leadership role for Pagosa.

"He's going to be doubled; we're going to see a lot of that this year," said Shaffer of Forrest.

"But if our guards can knock some shots down - and I think they will, it will open things up for him and vice-versa," Shaffer added. "Bottom line is we should be a lot harder to guard this year."

One of the premier players in the Class 3A ranks, Forrest is the caliber of low-post player whose presence alone should make the Pirates competitive this season.

Joining Forrest as starter in the paint will be Craig Schutz, a 6-4 junior who saw a good deal of varsity action during last year's campaign.

In addition to aggression at the defensive end and on the boards, Craig Schutz is an offensive sparkplug who offers the Pirates great shooting range and can stretch defenses due to his solid inside-outside capabilities.

Also expected to see heavy minutes underneath this season is 6-6 sophomore Caleb Ormonde, a budding varsity newcomer who, according to Shaffer, "will be kind of thrown to the wolves" early in the season in order to prep for the heart of the schedule.

Tabbed as the starting point guard this season is junior Paul Przybylski, a 5-10 speedster who became familiar with the Pirate offensive scheme while serving as a floor general at the junior-varsity level last season.

The Pirates' quickest player, Przybylski figures to cause headaches for opposing guards at both ends of the floor while adapting to his role as primary point man for Shaffer's crew.

Sharing point-guard duties with Przybylski will be 5-8 sophomore Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, a shifty ball handler with excellent court vision who may occasionally be assigned to the two-guard spot, as well.

Projected as starting guards on the wings this year for Pagosa will be 6-1 senior Otis Rand and 6-2 junior Casey Schutz.

Rand is a three-year varsity regular who is well-versed in the Pirate offense and should lend guidance to a relatively green Pirate backcourt while playing at the two-guard slot.

When he's not feeding his twin brother Craig in the post, Casey Schutz will most likely be using a deft touch to knock down shots from the three-guard spot, as Shaffer indicates the lefty is Pagosa's most-talented outside marksman.

Rounding out Pagosa's top eight will be 6-0 Jordan Shaffer, a versatile sophomore sharpshooter who not only adds another option to Pagosa's backcourt, but can also fill in on the block if needed.

Other varsity reserves who will undoubtedly be called upon to add depth to the lineup include 5-6 junior A.J. Abeyta, 6-0 junior Jim Guyton, 6-0 sophomore Adam Trujillo, 5-9 sophomore Matt Gallegos, 6-2 sophomore Casey Hart, 5-9 sophomore Travis Richie, 6-1 sophomore Michael Delyria and 6-2 sophomore James Martinez.

Overall, "I just like the fact I see so much potential this year," said Shaffer.

"We're going to have some tests and some losses that we have to try to come back from, but those are the things that tend to keep kids more focused through the season," he added.

"With the work ethic these kids have and the raw talent that's there, I think at the end of the year we'll be right in the thick of things," he concluded.

The Pirates' first test of the season comes against The Classical Academy tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at the Buena Vista Invitational Tournament in Buena Vista.

If the Pirates win tomorrow, they will play the winner of the Buena Vista-La Junta matchup for the tournament crown at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

A loss will mean a 4:30 p.m. game Saturday against the loser of the Buena Vista-La Junta clash.

 

Hoops season opens Friday in Buena Vista Invitational

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It's almost over.

The hours upon hours of drilling in your own gym against your teammates, the one-on-ones and the fraying nerves.

Season opens Friday for the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates when they play The Classical Academy of Colorado Springs of the Tri Peaks League at 4 p.m. in the opener of the Buena Vista Invitational, a tournament they won last year.

The scheduled season opener tonight at home against Piedra Vista has been moved to Monday, Dec. 13, and will be played the Mamie Lynch gymnasium at Pagosa Springs Junior High School with junior varsity tipping off at 5:30 and varsity at 7 p.m.

To tune up for this final week of practice, to see what changes need to be made, what weak spots there may be in the early season for last year's fourth-place team in the state, the Pirates hosted Durango and Sargent in scrimmage play Saturday at the junior high.

Coach Bob Lynch had all veterans on the floor early, working mixed fives in and out of the action while the junior varsity was in similar play in the upper gym.

He was "fairly satisfied" with the performance, with a couple of worrisome elements the squad was working on in practice this week.

First was a seeming reluctance to be the first to take a shot. In fact, his starters went four minutes without attempting a shot in the first 20-minute scrimmage.

The second was failure to recognize offensive sets and adjust defensively. On several occasions, he noted, "we were caught with one player back who recognized the offensive break and four others still looking for offensive moves of their own.

"I think we showed a new ability to run with anyone," the coach said, adding, "we'll utilize our team speed more this year."

Overall, he said, the scrimmage sessions "showed plenty of pluses."

Asked if anyone stood out individually in his assessment of the performance, he cited junior Kari Beth Faber who "just let it all go and became a one-woman defensive machine."

The 10-member varsity for the day included guards Liza Kelley, Jessica Lynch and China Rose Rivas; centers Caitlyn Jewell and Emily Buikema; and forward-guards Lori Walkup, Bri Scott, Melissa Maberry, Caitlin Forrest and Faber.

Swinging to the varsity for bench strength were Kim Canty, Jennifer Haynes and Lindsey Mackey. Two other probable swing players, Kristin DuCharme and Mariah Howell, were out of town and did not participate.

Lynch said he intended this week's practices to focus on defensive rotation and offensive recognition of opponents' defensive sets.

He also said the team will use numerous offensive sets of their own this year, several involving multiple options off the same basic pattern.

"We expect opponents to try to keep us from getting the ball inside," he said, and for that reason "we're developing patterns to keep the ball constantly on the move."

The season-opening foe comes from the Tri Peaks West division which also features Buena Vista, Salida, Manitou Springs, Lake County and Colorado Springs Christian.

The young Titans were 1-11 in their league and 2-15 overall last season, but hope to move up this year and would like nothing better than to knock off the state-ranked Pirates.

Also in the tournament at Buena Vista will be La Junta from the Tri Peaks East division and the host school.

La Junta was 4-6 in its conference last year, 11-13 overall. Buena Vista is the defending Tri-Peaks champion, having gone 12-0 last year, and finished the season 21-5 overall.

Pagosa Springs was 19-8 on the season, having finished second in the Intermountain League to Centauri but forging their way into state tournament action with a quarterfinal win over the Falcons. Pagosa lost only one player from that squad, sophomore Laurel Reinhardt who will focus of soccer.

Winners of opening day action will play for the tournament championship at 6 p.m. Saturday. Losers will meet at 3 p.m. Saturday for third place.

  Athletic scholarship search hinges on planning, devotion to classroom and the sport

By Myles Gabel

SUN columnist

If your child has what it takes to be a college athlete, don't wait until his/her senior year to start the process of obtaining an athletic scholarship.

College coaches want to know where the talent is as early as possible (freshman year in high school) so they can build files on athletes and watch them in action. Encourage your child to follow the timeline below to improve his/her chances of getting a scholarship.

Have a back-up plan

Lots of kids dream of playing college sports on the way to careers as professional athletes. They don't realize, however, that the chances of receiving a scholarship and starting on a college team are relatively slim. The likelihood of turning pro is even smaller. The odds of a high school football player becoming a pro are 5,000 to 1, for example. The odds in basketball are 10,000 to 1. Very few achieve that dream.

Why this negativity? Because it's a reality - one you must help your child face. Your son or daughter may be talented, but it takes extraordinary talent to succeed at the collegiate level and beyond. And even the most gifted athlete can receive a career-ending injury at any time.

That's why your child needs a back-up plan - one that starts with a strong academic foundation. Encourage him/her to pursue an athletic scholarship but never at the expense of school work. Taking challenging courses and striving for good grades is not a cop-out or a fall-back position. It's just smart.

So cheer on your child as he/she tries to beat the odds, but make sure his/her options remain open!

Preparation timeline

If you believe you have serious talent in your sport of choice, take the actions outlined for each year of your high school career. Remember always ask questions of coaches and NCAA officials at every stage of the game.

Freshman year

Concentrate on following a solid high school curriculum.

Research NCAA academic requirements at www.ncaa.org.

Talk to your high school coach, club coach, or athletic director about your goals.

Establish a schedule that allows time for academics and athletics.

Identify colleges you would like to attend.

Go to college athletic Web sites to fill out "Prospective Student-Athlete Questionnaires" for college coaches to use in the future to identify you.

Stay active in your sport. Find opportunities to play outside of your high school season and during the summer.

While on vacation try to visit college campuses if at all possible.

Enroll in camps being held on college campuses of your choice.

Sophomore year

Continue striving for academic success.

Make sure that you are "on target" for all core high school requirements.

Send a short letter of introduction to coaches of colleges that interest you. Include your playing schedule and club team schedule if possible.

Register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse www.ncaaclearinghouse.net or call toll free customer service line at (877)262-1492 or 24-hour voice response (877)861-3003

Prepare an athletic resume that details your experience and achievements. Complete it during your sophomore year.

While on vacation try to visit a couple more college campuses.

Enroll in camps being held on additional college campuses of your choice.

Junior year

Continue to make your academic studies your top priority.

Review the NCAA requirements to ensure they have not changed.

Send a follow-up letter to coaches of colleges that interest you. Include your resume and another high school and club team playing schedules.

Request that your ACT and/or SAT scores be sent to the NCAA Eligibility Clearinghouse.

Keep investigating other colleges and send out additional resumes.

Prepare a videotape of yourself in action in case colleges request it.

Send updates to colleges of interest as your season closes. Include your new stats and any special recognition you may have earned.

Continue to make unofficial visits to schools that interest you, if possible.

Try to watch some local college games in your sport, especially if one of the schools that have expressed an interest in you is playing.

Update your academic information with the Clearinghouse in July after your junior year. If your top colleges have not panned out, send information to your second- and third-tier choices.

Senior year

Continue to do your best academically. Avoid "senioritis."

Review your core course requirements with your high school counselor.

Send your senior athletic schedule to colleges of interest as soon as it is available.

Keep college coaches posted on any changes or updates to your team schedule.

Take advantage of any paid visits to colleges, if offered.

Send your resume to any school that expresses interest in you.

Contact the NCAA to learn when your sport requires you to sign a Letter of Intent to attend a particular college or go to www.national-letter.org to gather general information.

Ask a lot of questions and weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of the schools that interest you before making your decision.

Congratulate yourself for doing your best whether or not you get a scholarship. If you didn't get one, remember that many colleges allow students to "walk on" and try out for teams. If your high school academic record enables you to attend college, you may receive that scholarship yet!

Myles Gabel, Pagosa Springs recreation supervisor, was an NCAA volleyball coach for 19 years.

 

Holiday Turkey Trot drew 30 runners and 17 walkers

By Steve Kitson

Special to The SUN

Thanksgiving morning brought out nearly 30 runners for the first Pagosa Lakes Swim Team sponsored Turkey Trot. In addition, 17 walkers joined the runners to complete a two-mile course.

Mother Nature cooperated by providing a crystal clear blue sky morning with a excellent running temperature of about 40 degrees at the start of the race. Both runners and walkers started and finished at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center with the running course covering five miles.

Among the runners, the youngest was 12 and the oldest 62. The top male finisher was Bruce Adams with a time of 36 minutes, 2 seconds, and the top female was Mia Hewitt with a time of 41:58.

In the 16 and under age group, Rachael Jensen was the first female with a time of 42:09. and Chance Adams was the first male with a time of 41:49.

The 17-40 group was lead by Issac Thomas with a time of 40:29 and Mia Hewitt was the top female in this group.

In the 41 and over class, the top female was Diana Walkup finishing in 44:05. The top male in this group was Bruce Adams.

To help the athletes and supports cope with the caloric depletion, there was a bake sale after the race that offered fabulous non-South Beach treats.

The Pagosa Lakes Swim Team would like to thank the athletes, sponsors and volunteers who helped make this a successful event.

 

Parks & Rec

It's a question of what you consider 'play'

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

I tried to teach my child with books;

He gave me only puzzled looks.

I tried to teach my child with words;

They passed him by often unheard.

Despairingly, I turned aside;

"How shall I teach this child," I cried.

Into my hand he put the key,

"Come," he said, "Play WITH me."

- Author unknown

Dr. Susan Finn is the chairperson of the American Council for Fitness (ACFN), an organization committed to promoting balanced nutrition and regular exercise for the entire family as a means for preventing obesity, particularly in children.

More and more parents, she said, are finding it difficult to get their children out from behind the computer or TV. So much of what kids consider "play" today requires little or no physical activity. And unfortunately, fewer than 25 percent of schools nationwide require physical education, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But you can easily help your children become more active.

First, play with your children. Learn their likes and dislikes. You can use this time to interact with your children and will find this is a great way for you to exercise.

Secondly, find a physical activity your children like. This may take a while, so don't get frustrated if your children have to try three or four different activities before they find one they really enjoy. To make it easier, pay attention to the computer games and television shows your children prefer and try to relate them to physical activities they can do on their own or with a group. For example, if your son enjoys a kung-fu video game, suggest a karate class.

Lastly, set limits. If you allow your children to spend hours watching TV or playing video games, they will. Instead, limit television and computer time to a certain amount of hours every week. Your children will find that playing outside is a wonderful way to use their extra free time, and they will learn to be more creative!

Elks 'Hoop Shoot'

The Elks Club Hoop Shoot will take place 9 a.m. Dec. 11 in the Pagosa Springs Junior High School gym. This is a free contest with no entry fees. No registration is required, just show up and shoot some hoops.

The Elks Hoop Shoot Basketball Free Throw Contest is a nationwide competition for boys and girls 8-13.

More than 3 million of America's youth participate in the yearly contest, competing and advancing through local, district, state, regional and national contests.

Hoop Shoot T-shirts will be given to all participants and Hoop Shoot backpacks will be awarded to winners in all age categories. Winners of the Pagosa Springs contest will advance to the district contest to be held at Escalante Middle School in Durango Saturday, Jan. 8.

The boys and girls groups compete separately in the following age categories:

- 8 and 9 years of age (age 7 is fine only if you will be 8 before April 1, 2005);

- 10 and 11 years of age;

- 12 and 13 years of age (You are too old to participate if you will turn 14 before April 1, 2005).

Open volleyball

In an attempt to continue to offer adult volleyball to the Pagosa Springs community, the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will offer open adult volleyball 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays.

When we accumulate enough participants for a league, one will be formed.

Please continue to contact friends and neighbors and sign up now for this exciting new sports league.

Hiring referees

The department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating soccer, basketball, volleyball and baseball. High school students may apply. Compensation is $10-$25 per game depending on age group and experience.

Girls' softball

If you are interested in becoming a part of the future of girls' softball in Pagosa Springs, contact Maddie Baserra at 264-6835. A group is interested in developing girls' softball in the Pagosa Springs area and are looking for others interested in this goal.

Additional Information?

For any questions, concerns or additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, please contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

 

Editorial

Rise to the occasion

This is the time of year when meaningful charitable contributions can be made by nearly everyone in our community. The resi-dents of Pagosa Country invariably rise to the occasion during the holiday season, providing a welcome and heartening display of concern for their neighbors.

The first wave of this generosity passed Nov. 19 in the form of the Operation Helping Hand Thanksgiving drive and the Rotary Club's Operation Winter Coat. The foods for a meal were distributed to local families and winter clothing was given to those in need. More than 130 Pagosa families were assisted by the program.

Now, the second phase of the Operation Helping Hand is in full swing, with key deadlines approaching.

Families seeking assistance must pick up applications at the Department of Social Services offices in Town Hall, complete them and return them by 3 p.m., Dec. 6.

For those willing and able to give, Project Empty Stocking needs more than 400 items, most of them things we take for granted - clothing, shoes and boots, socks, gloves and the like. There are paper stockings posted on boards at both City Market stores, at Wells Fargo Bank and at the Sears store. Stockings must be taken by Dec. 12 when the boards come down. Each stocking bears a request. The person donating the gift takes the stocking from the board, purchases the item, wraps it and attaches the stocking to the package. The gift is delivered to one of a number of collection points by Dec. 14. The collection centers are listed in a Helping Hand article on A20 in this issue of The SUN.

There are Secret Santa boards at the same locations as the Project Empty Stocking boards. They bear requests for toys from local youngsters, at different price levels. There is a special Christmas tree at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center hung with ornaments - one for each child registered with the program, each with a toy request. Pick an ornament, a request from a board - by Dec. 12 - purchase the toy, wrap it and return it to one of the collection centers by Dec. 14.

Local youngsters and parents in need who are registered with Helping Hand can select a toy or toys from a collection assembled as part of the toy outreach program. Used and new toys can be donated and are cleaned and fixed by volunteers. Toys in good condition should be delivered to one of the collection centers by Dec. 14.

The Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors collects donations then purchases new bikes for local youngsters as part of the Bucks for Bikes program. You have only until Dec. 8 to make a contribution. Details concerning where and to whom donations can be delivered are listed in the article on A20.

Families and individuals needing household items are helped by the local Kiwanis Club's Something Old, Something New program. Donations of used but usable household items should be taken to collection centers by Dec. 14.

Finally, there are the Helping Hand's holiday food boxes. It is the program's goal to provide the items for a Christmas dinner to those who would otherwise go without. You can donate nonperishable items until Dec. 14, putting them in a collection box at either City Market location. City Market gift certificates are also needed and can be delivered to The SUN office at 466 Pagosa St. or mailed to the Helping Hand address listed in this week's article. The certificates will help with the purchase of perishable food items. Monetary donations are also welcome and can be mailed or deposited directly in Wells Fargo or Bank of the San Juans accounts listed in the article.

The time is right. Give your neighbors a helping hand this season.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Pagosa's star must shine again

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

For years, the people of Pagosa Country have dropped change in containers at check out counters and cash registers to help fund the annual holiday display of a lighted star on Reservoir Hill.

It was an outpouring of love and faith which created a view envied by communities across the land. Those coming into town at night from the west were immediately struck by the shining star.

Later, the sponsoring sorority group added a lighted cross northeast of town and the pair, seen from most of the adjacent valleys, gave light to the love Pagosans share for their religious seasons.

Vandals have turned out the star's light.

There can be no shortage of anger in the community over this senseless degradation of public symbols. And perhaps vandalism is too mild a term for the damage.

Beta Sigma Phi, the sponsoring group, could be forgiven if members felt they can no longer support a project which is targeted by the violence shown in this case. They plan to ask some other organization to take it over after this year.

It was termed vandalism. But it goes far beyond destroying a physical existence. The act strikes at the very fiber of the Pagosa Springs community.

Long have we sounded the salutes to the people for their support of the downtrodden, the underprivileged, the destitute, those hit by sudden, asset diminishing misfortune. Invariably, the community rises to the occasion with gifts from the heart, often gifts they can ill afford themselves, but gifts for those in need.

One cannot fathom the depth of loathing it would take to commit an act such as that perpetrated on Pagosa's star.

At the beginning of a season when Christians the world over are celebrating the coming birthday of the Christ child and when the star becomes a symbol of guidance to the benefits of that birth, it cannot be taken as a final victory for the Devil's advocates.

It can be a challenge to the community to relight the star, keep its message burning, and track down and prosecute those who so callously attacked the star.

Vandalism is described as the malicious damaging or destruction of property or assets of another.

The "another" in this case is not a single person or entity but, in fact all of us - an entire community. Vandalism has been a niggling, but minor woe in Pagosa, until now.

This incident with the star, and the preceding vandalism and destruction in national forests this past summer, may be a sign that we've turned a sad corner with the import of what is a common crime in more populated areas.

Or, it can be an impetus for us, as a community of caring, concerned Pagosans, to fight back by seeing the star is rebuilt, relighted, and back on display by Christmas, if not before.

Traditions are grown hard in this land. And when they are firmly established, they become cherished, loved parts of the fabric of our existence; symbols of our basic faith.

Beta Sigma Phi needs help to restore the star for now. Please send donations to Susie Kleckner, PO Box 234, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147.

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Dec. 4, 1914

For some reason that we do not undertake to explain the town of Pagosa Springs is not enjoying the material prosperity that it did a few years ago or the moral progress that we have striven for. Even the churches do not seem as prosperous in any sense as they were a decade ago. The single improvement in the town's general condition is found in the elimination of the saloon and that improvement will count for nothing unless there is a cleaning out of the bootleggers and the petty criminals usually associated with the booze-peddlers.

The road to be built across the range will not be a boulevard, and for that we must beg the pardon of those who will not be satisfied with anything less.

 

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Dec. 6, 1929

An old landmark of Pagosa Springs, the old-time court house, was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning, nothing remaining except the stone vault. The building was owned by the county and located on east San Juan Street near the Pagosa creamery. It was occupied by Mrs. Mike Chavez and children, who lost all furniture and clothing. A defective flue was responsible for the flames, which had gained considerable headway before discovered.

Beginning this week the SUN commences the publication of items of twenty years ago, taken from the Pagosa Springs SUN, which began publication on Dec. 3, 1909. They will be continued so long as this editor is in charge of the SUN and will be omitted only in case of missing files, of which there are a few.

 

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Dec. 3, 1954

The weather the past week, while not exactly tropic-like, has been mild and not very much winter has been evidenced to date. A little snow fell Sunday night and again Monday night, but only about an inch was received here in town. A foot of new snow was reported on Wolf Creek Pass in the two days and there are good prospects that more will follow. However, if it doesn't hurry it won't be a very white Christmas here.

One of the local men about town confides that the other day while helping his wife shop for groceries he made the mistake of asking for a fifth of milk.

Not many Christmas decorations up around town yet, but most business houses are featuring Christmas merchandise and decorating the interior of their stores.

 

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Dec. 6, 1979

The 16th annual Russ Hill Memorial Bazaar will be held this Friday evening at the Methodist Church. The bazaar features Christmas items of all kinds and these may be ordered now for shipment elsewhere, or they may be purchased at the bazaar for home. Some of the items on sale will be homemade Christmas candy, baked goods, wreaths, centerpieces and Yule Logs.

Santa Claus, courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce, will be on hand for a free Christmas movie for children of the community December 22 at the Mesa Theatre. There will be two shows, if needed, to accommodate the children of the community. Chamber of Commerce members will be on hand to assist Santa Claus in distributing sacks of candy to children attending the shows.

Features

Homework Hit

Center helps students conquer difficult subjects

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The last bell of the school day rings. Most Pagosa Springs fifth- to eighth-graders pour out the door into the snow and cold, but for a few, the library is the next stop.

These throw bookbags and textbooks near their favorite seat and head for the Pirate Pit in the junior high school, or to get a snack, to play a game or to giggle with friends. Fifteen minutes later, about 15 students are back in the library, or gathered in study groups just outside the door. Except for the soft voices of tutors, all is generally quiet.

This is the Homework Center for junior high and intermediate school students sponsored by the Archuleta County Education Center. Four days a week, the center opens to provide students with time and tutors to help them be more successful in school.

"My mom couldn't help me with math because of the new system we're learning," said Hope Krogh-Forman, a student who's been attending the homework center for about two months. "I also had to stay up really late to get it done. Now, my grades have improved a lot because math was the weakest part and now it's an 'A.'"

Karlie Willis and Breann Decker, sprawled on the floor with Krogh- Forman, agreed.

Willis said just coming to the center and getting things done right away has helped. "Before I just didn't want to start it, so I didn't."

Decker said her mother encouraged her to start coming to the homework center. Since, she's been glad for the help.

The three girls start with math. Together, or with the help of tutors, they work through any problems and then move on to other assignments. Willis said sometimes long projects require more work at home, but most things can be finished before the center closes at 5:30 p.m.

Actually, center coordinator Becky Johnson said, most students concentrate hard on finishing their work by about 4:30 p.m. so they can participate in planned enrichment activities. These include arts and crafts, cooking and writing pen pals from other countries.

"However," she said, "if they don't get done by 4:30 they will stay and finish and then come join us." It's the student's choice, she said, but most understand the benefits of completing the assignment.

Numbers in the Homework Center range between 20 and 25, but have been as high as 30. Many of the students are making up assignments; some need a place to be after school until parents get off work. Others simply want the work done. Monday's participation was slightly down because of the holiday break, Johnson said.

"It seems math is one of our big focuses," she added, "and reading seems to be a struggle for some of the younger kids, but they can do anything here, any homework."

Johnson keeps track of the students' progress through weekly reports from the teachers.

"I've seen lots of academic improvement," she said, "drastic improvement."

To help, both adult and high school tutors are available.

Jack Clay, one of the tutors, works as a substitute teacher most days. It took him just minutes to find a student seeking math help Monday.

"I just love it," Clay said of tutoring. "I've taught all my life - for 50 years. I love working with the kids so I keep going."

The other adult tutor, Ellen Murdock, also acts as greeter, signing kids in and handing out snacks. She is a certified teacher. Two of five high school students working as tutors, Alisha Sellers, a junior, and Hannah Clark, a sophomore, were on hand to help as well.

"I want to be a teacher," Sellers said. "I was in this when I was little and they helped me out, now I can help them." She sat down with Dalton Carrothers and Steven Weed. It was Weed's first day.

"I just don't get math," he said.

Clark, who was helping three girls, said math assistance gets a little sticky at times because of the curriculum for sixth-graders.

"I never learned it that way," she said, "but last year they let us have another math book - one of the teacher's books - and we'd read through that and figure out problems."

Clark, a sophomore, said since starting in the tutoring program last year, she has assisted younger students in "mostly English, a lot of division, some math and computer stuff."

She started coming to the tutoring program in junior high with a friend who struggled with homework. It stuck.

"I really like being with the kids," she said. "I've made a lot of friends here and they fight over me so it's a real self-esteem booster." The job also puts a little money in her pockets.

Johnson applauded Clark and the other tutors for giving something back.

"They're great role models and all excellent students," Johnson said. "For whatever reason, most of the tutors are not involved in sports. This gives them something positive to do with their time. They're really developing some great relationships with the kids."

Livia Cloman Lynch, executive director for the Archuleta County Education Center, said about 25 students are employed as tutors throughout the center's programs. They start at $6 an hour.

The fee for attending the junior high and intermediate school homework center is $10 a quarter. Scholarships are available. All participants are asked to register at the education center on 4th and Lewis streets. Lynch said registration allows the center, which operates mostly on grant funds, to keep an accurate account of the people served. The Homework Center is open Monday through Thursday from September to May.

 

Pagosa's Past

 

Shortage of forage for stock

hampered Camp Lewis troops

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

Fort Lewis is recognized by most folks today as either a college located on a mesa overlooking Durango, or a military post located in the state of Washington.

In fact, Fort Lewis started in October of 1878 as an Army camp in Pagosa Springs. Folks doing business on the main block of Pagosa Springs today are walking across the same ground trod by frontier Army troops including members of Company D, Ninth Calvary, the famous Buffalo soldiers who contributed much to Anglicizing the West.

Camp Lewis, later it became Fort Lewis, was garrisoned with troops from the 15th Infantry under a Lt. George A. Cornish. A little later that same fall, members of the Ninth Cavalry, temporarily commanded by Lt. John F. Guilfoyle rode into town. Capt. W.T. Hartz of the 15th Infantry was the camp commander.

Camp Lewis was named for Lt. Col. William H. Lewis of the 19th Infantry who had died Sept. 28, 1878, from wounds received while skirmishing with the Cheyenne Indians at Famished Woman's Fork, Kan.

Congress appropriated $40,000 to build the post plus $10,000 to complete a military road from Alamosa to Pagosa Springs and $5,000 to repair the military road from Alamosa to Pagosa Springs plus $5,000 to repair the military road between Ojo Caliente, N.M., and Pagosa Springs.

The military road from Alamosa to Pagosa Springs really connected Camp Lewis with Fort Garland located on the eastern rim of the San Luis Valley. The Alamosa Road crossed the San Juan Mountains via Elwood Pass, a route that proved unpassable when winter snows descended on the San Juan Mountains. The route through Ojo Caliente also connected Fort Garland with Camp Lewis, but allowed the supply wagons to drop south of the worst part of the mountain range before crossing the mountains into the Chama River Valley and traveling north to Pagosa Springs.

A shortage of forage for the animals stationed at Pagosa Springs developed almost immediately. By December, the horses and mules of Company D had to be sent to Animas City (now Durango) to obtain food. One wagon train loaded with supplies required 13 days to cover the 60 miles or so to Pagosa Springs because of the heavy snowfall.

Army records show that after daylight Dec. 25, 1879, Jan. 21, 1880, Feb. 6, 1880, and Feb. 8, 1880, the respective temperatures were -36, -39, -41 and -26. Snowfall was copious.

By May of 1879, Capt. Dodge of the 9th Cavalry was post commander. He reported the following available transportation: "35 mules of which 1 was unserviceable and condemned; 4 horses of which 1 was unserviceable and condemned; 4 Army wagons of which 1 was unserviceable and condemned; 1 ambulance, old but serviceable; 1 cart unserviceable and condemned; 4 good ambulance harnesses; 16 wheel harnesses of which 4 sets were unserviceable; 37 good lead harnesses; and 7 broken and incomplete pack saddles."

Soldiers stationed at Fort Lewis heard first call for reveille at 6:30 a.m. and taps at 9 p.m.

Gen. Phil Sheridan visited the Pagosa Springs fort while making an 1879 inspection tour of the West. Lt. Guilfoyle and the 9th Cavalry escorted Sheridan from a rest stop at the Shaw Hotel in Animas City to Pagosa Springs. It is said the general spent a night at Peterson's roadhouse on the Piedra River about one mile downstream from today's Chimney Rock Post Office.

After visiting Pagosa Springs, Sheridan moved on to Santa Fe, and then returned east. Once back in the east, he recommended that Fort Lewis be moved to a more central location. Before the move could be made, on Sept. 27, 1879, certain Utes rebelled at Meeker, Colorado.

More next week on old Fort Lewis, how it got from its birth as a fort in Pagosa Springs in 1878 to today's college campus in Durango.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

11/23

46

20

-

-

-

11/24

38

15

S

-

.01

11/25

43

15

-

-

-

11/26

37

12

S

.02

11/27

32

12

-

-

-

11/28

31

18

S

Tr

.50

11/29

25

9

S

-

.40

11/30

25

-2

-

-

-

Forecast predicts mainly clear, frigid conditions

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Bad for car batteries, good for hot chocolate.

That's the likely scenario for Pagosa Country weather in the coming week.

Absent from the forecast are high chances for snowfall and winter-stormlike conditions that prevailed over the holiday weekend, but the trend toward numbing low temperatures is expected to continue.

According to the latest reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, today's weather should be marked by mostly-sunny skies and calm winds.

Highs are not expected to escape the 30s, while evening lows should plunge to anywhere from zero to minus 10 degrees.

Similar conditions are predicted for Friday, with highs again expected to top out in the 30s. Lows are forecast in the 5-above to minus-5 range.

Saturday calls for occasional clouds and a slight warming trend, with highs ranging from the mid-30s to mid-40s. Lows should fall to around zero.

The forecast for Sunday includes spotty clouds, highs in the 30s and lows in the single digits.

Monday and Tuesday are expected to bring increasing clouds, a 20-percent chance for isolated snow showers, highs in the upper 20s and lows at or below zero.

The snow chance rises to 30 percent for Wednesday, with highs forecast in the 30s and lows predicted at around 10.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 32 degrees. The average low was 11. Moisture totals for the week amounted to .92 inches.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit snow depth of 66 inches, a midway depth of 55 inches and year-to-date total of 97 inches.

For updates on snow and road conditions at the ski area, visit the Web at www.wolfcreekski.com.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains is "considerable" with pockets of "high," but "low" to "moderate" in the Wolf Creek area.

According to the latest SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin is currently at 133 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 80 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 150 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Dec. 2 is roughly 65 cubic feet per second.