December 30, 2004

Front Page


Bailout: Health district receives gift from foundation


By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The check is written.

With two days to go before a $50,000 line of credit was due to be repaid, the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation board granted the Upper San Juan Health Service District the bailout it needed to clear the debt.

"The foundation board has agreed to advance $40,000 to the district," foundation chairman Bud Brashar said Wednesday following an hour-long meeting with representatives of the district. The vote marks a departure from the foundation's primary role of funding capital improvements and equipment purchases.

"We think the thing is in crisis right now," he said. "If we can eliminate the crisis and allow them to move ahead with their long-range planning, why we're willing to do that."

The district required the original line of credit, issued by Citizens Bank, to cover basic operational costs like payroll because of recently uncovered billing errors. The district changed outsource billing companies for the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center and Emergency Medical Services in September resulting in a 45-day shutdown of the revenue stream.

Neal Townsend, a member of the district board of directors, said while contracts were changed, billing efforts by the former company all but stopped. In three months, the district has received just one check from the company, for less than $1,500. As of today, an agreement was finally reached wherein all bills will be transferred to the new company. That, Townsend said, should expedite the flow of receivables although it will be March before the revenue stream is expected to be moving smoothly again because of the nature of the health care business.

The $40,000 was a gift to the district, not a loan. Under state law, all loans secured with tax dollars must be repaid by the end of each calendar year in which the loan was made.

In the coming year, Townsend said, the district will make its "best effort" to refund the foundation so that the money can eventually be used for equipment or capital improvements, but the district has made no promises.

"I agree as a board member of the district that the foundation's true place is equipment and capital improvements," Townsend said, "but in an emergency, I think this is also their place."


Mill levy up, fund types down in 2005 Archuleta County budget


By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Finalization of the Archuleta County budget for 2005 is nearly complete.

According to Bob Burchett, county finance director, save for a summary narrative and a few supplemental schedules, the ink on next year's document is all but dry.

How will the 2005 budget compare with those of past years?

Expect a few new wrinkles, says Burchett.

"Budgetwise, it will be very similar," said Burchett. "But there will be differences in presentation, the financial statement will be very different."

Some of those differences, said Burchett, can be attributed to the stipulations set forth in Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Statement No. 34, commonly referred to as simply "GASB 34."

In summary, GASB 34 is a new financial reporting model aimed at improving a government's fiscal accountability while providing more information for financial decisions.

Under GASB 34, governments issue annual basic financial statements as they have in the past, but are also required to issue a variety of supplementary information, which replaces the "general purpose" financial statements formerly deemed sufficient.

Some financial analysts argue GASB 34 adds another obscure layer to documents which, often, are already difficult to understand.

On the flip side, GASB 34 can result in a final budget comprised of fewer "unnecessary" fund categories and, consequently, a document that should be easier to navigate and comprehend.

To that effect, "We used to have bunches of what were called 'special revenue funds,'" said Burchett.

"Now we have 'major' and 'non-major' funds," he added. "Overall, I'd say we have around 20 funds, and we're still trying to pare those down."

In addition to GASB 34, another acronym that factors heavily in the 2005 budget is TABOR, the "Taxpayers' Bill of Rights."

Officially, the TABOR Amendment is Article 10, Section 20 of the state Constitution, and was enacted in 1992 by a thin majority of state voters after failing to pass in 1988 and 1990.

In short, TABOR's stated purpose is to "restrain most of the growth of government" by limiting growth in government tax revenues.

Due to the resulting decrease in available revenue sources, government officials have had to tighten belts accordingly, a notion again reflected in the 2005 county budget.

For example, the county's estimated revenues for 2005 amount to roughly $19 million, down from last year's projection of about $28.4 million.

Likewise, estimated expenditures for 2005 are down as well, totalling just under $22.59 million. Last year's mark was nearly $30.3 million.

But compliance with TABOR can sometimes generate relief for county taxpayers, albeit temporary.

Such is the case for 2005 - to comply with TABOR's 5.5-percent property tax revenue increase limit, the county will provide a temporary 1.489 mill property tax credit that will generate $297,739 of temporary tax relief to county property owners.

However, the news is not as favorable with respect to overall county property taxes for 2005; Burchett indicated the effective levy rate is set at 19.751, up from last year's levy of 18.760.

Based on an assessed county value of $199,958,860, the 19.751 levy rate will generate $3,949,387 in property tax revenues.

As for the remainder of major elements in the 2005 budget, including Burchett's narrative, look for further highlights in The SUN after the first of the year.

In the meantime, the budget can be downloaded for review in .pdf format at the county Web site,


More downtown river work afloat


By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Ice may be creeping its way along the banks of the San Juan through Pagosa Springs, but plans for the river are far from frozen.

Julie Jessen, town special projects director, said the town has received five different proposals for a river restoration project from Town Park to the Apache Street bridge.

The goal of the estimated $400,000 project is to rework some of the current rock structures from Town Park to the pedestrian bridge, making it more natural in appearance, to add put-in and take-out points for boaters, to improve structure for fishing habitat from the pedestrian bridge to Apache Street and to divert enough water from Louck's Ditch to enhance the wetlands between 6th Street and Hot Springs Boulevard.

Design work is the first step - at a cost of between $40,000 and $60,000.

Jessen said a request for proposals issued by the town enticed five bids from companies in Pagosa Springs, Durango, Boulder, Evergreen and Longmont. January 14 a committee of town staff and representatives of river users and special interests will have the opportunity to interview the design groups. A final selection will be made later in January.

In 2004, the town spent about $110,000 collecting about 2,000 rocks for use in the project. Another $35,000 is budgeted in 2005 for restoration.

Jessen said depending on grants and the design schedule, it's possible work on the project could start in the new year.

"That's an aggressive schedule," she said. "We'd like to see that happen, but depending on permits and such, it may be 2006." The town will be seeking grants to help with the costs.

Whatever happens, Jessen said, the selected design company will be tasked with redesigning two rock structures near downtown by February or March for improved boating opportunities. The town would like to complete at least that much by spring runoff.

Restoration of the San Juan from JJ's Upstream Restaurant to the pedestrian bridge, a distance of about a mile and a half was completed in 1994. The focus at the time was to improve the quality of river habitat and increase the recreational experience for handicapped persons. According to studies done since then, the fish population and number of river users have increased.

A third phase of the project would include the stretch of river from Apache Street to the town boundary.


Debs school nominated to National Register


It's been over half a century since public school classes were held in the one- room school building at Debs in Hinsdale County's south end. Despite the 50-year recess, the decorative concrete block school, its interior, and immediate surroundings appears in a bucolic time warp in which rambunctious students and bell-ringing teacher have only momentarily exited the scene.

Timeless qualities of the Debs school were underscored on Friday, Nov. 12, when Colorado State Historic Preservation Review Board formally recommended the school's inclusion on the federal government's National Register of Historic Places, as well as listing the building on the Colorado Register of Historic Places.

At their Nov. 12 meeting in Denver, review board members also approved an extensive rewrite of documentation supporting the Lake City Historic District which was prepared by Cathleen Norman of Lakewood, Colo.-based Preservation Publishing. Norman contracted for the work with the town of Lake City utilizing $58,200 from the State Historic Fund and $18,500 supplied by the town.

Documentation of the Lake City Historic District dates back to initial research which was completed for the district designation in 1978. Only 24 buildings were separately documented in the 1978 research, compared to a total of 428 structures - both old and new - which were researched for the 2004 rewrite overseen by Norman.

New research on the Lake City Historic District includes buildings which were constructed after the demise of mining and the start of the continuing tourist-based economy.

Referring to the evolution of the Lake City Historic District, Norman told review board members, "While mining shaped the 19th Century, it was tourism which shaped 20th Century development."

Norman was also the contractor on the national register nomination of the Debs school under a contract with Hinsdale County. In addition to the Lake City Historic District and Debs school, the latter expected to be formally listed on the National Historic Register in early 2005, Hinsdale County's other federal and state recognized historic sites include the Rose Lime Kiln, Capitol City charcoal kilns, Empire Chief Mill, New Golconda Boarding house, and sites of Argentum and Tellurium on the upper Lake Fork, all of which are listed on the federal National Register of Historic Places.

The old log post office at Capitol City, known as the Frank Silance Cabin, is listed on the Colorado Register of Historic Places.

In explaining the impetus behind the nomination of the Debs school house to the national register, Norman said the structure is apparently the only surviving singe-room school building in Hinsdale County.

She credited the Debs community for maintaining the school and thanked Hinsdale County commissioners for "pursuing its nomination to the historic register."

Comments from the state review board included those of board member Tom Noel who quipped that the school "is the only monument to (Socialist U.S. presidential candidate) Eugene Victor Debs that I'm aware of."

Ann Pritzlaff, a review board member and conference coordinator for Colorado Preservation, Inc., referred to Debs' geographic setting as "extraordinary."

According to Norman, the Debs school is historically notable on a variety of levels, including the social history it represents in a remote rural location. On an education level, the school represents the "pride and dedication to education" exhibited by the Debs community.

Architecturally, the Debs school is rare in Colorado as an example of decorative cement block construction which flourished between 1900 when Harmon Palmer invented a cast iron block manufacturing machine, and the early 1940s when the decorative form of cast blocks lost popularity.

Only a handful of single-room schools of similar building type have been identified in Colorado, other examples being the Valmont School in Boulder and Maxwell Creek School near Buena Vista.

The Debs school dates to 1926 when it was built by Pagosa Springs contractor Walt Coors utilizing sand and gravel taken from nearby Big Pagosa Creek. The building is located on a two-acre parcel originally donated for school use by Jack Keane Sr.

It is the second school-related structure on the site, replacing an earlier gabled frame structure which was moved to the location and used as a school between 1912 and 1927.

Located in the remote south end of Hinsdale County, the Debs school was part of Hinsdale County School District 7. Construction and maintenance of the school largely fell to residents of the community who periodically held dances and box socials to raise funds on the school's behalf. Cast iron and wood folding school desks still displayed in the school date to a 1912 Debs community fund-raiser, while a fund-raising dance was held in 1940 to purchase science equipment.

The late Archie Toner was an alumnus of Debs school and wrote a succinct history on the role of education in the Upper Piedra. According to Toner, the wood frame school building preceding the present school was the result of a large outpouring of volunteer labor and financial contributors, including a large number of bachelors who contributed to the effort.

Schooling on the Upper Piedra was traditionally held during the summer months taking into account severe winter weather and agricultural needs of families in the region.

The school started out as a three-month summer school with 11 pupils in 1909 and gradually expanded to a four-, then six-, and finally, eight-month school year. As originally constructed, a majority of the windows in the Debs school were small and located high up on the building walls. In the 1930s, during the nine-year teaching tenure of Lillie May Taylor Carlin, windows on the south wall were reconfigured to a larger, more spacious size.

"It took the donation of labor, time, materials and a bit of money," Mrs. Carlin later wrote, "but we got the job done. Oh, how grateful the pupils and I were for the added light, sunshine, and view!"

Mrs. Carlin also recalled that domestic water was historically a scarce commodity at the school. Despite the ongoing presence of a rusty hand pump in the school yard, teacher and students regularly resorted to the nearby irrigation ditches to quench their thirst. When the ditches were turned off at haying time, each of the students carried their own jar of drinking water.

Classes at the Debs school continued until 1951 when the school was closed after consolidation with neighboring Archuleta County. By the time of the school's closing, its enrollment had decreased to just six students, George Kleckner's sons Dennis, Roger and Scott, and Carl Kleckner's children Kathy, Debbie and Bobby.

Consolidation of the Debs school and busing of local students to Pagosa Springs followed state and national trends which witnessed a drastic decrease in the number of rural schools. According to national statistics, there were 1,800 rural schools in Colorado in 1931 and by 1955 that figure had decreased to 259 schools located in outlying areas.

Archuleta Joint 50 deeded the old school to Upper Piedra Improvement Assoc. in 1964 and it continued to be used for community events such as meetings, election voting, and various social activities.

Use of the building gradually lessened, however, in part because of lack of restroom facilities, lack of electricity and insufficient heating.

The Debs school was transferred to Hinsdale County ownership several years ago. According to Hinsdale Administrator Ray Blaum, the county envisions continued use of the old school for community activities and meetings in the process preserving an important aspect of rapidly disappearing rural life.

The first step in long-term preservation of the building, according to Blaum, is an assessment of its condition, including the status of the roof. Also to be considered are the possible addition of bathroom facilities, an electrical update, and installation of a more reliable heating system. Future improvements of the old school have the potential to be funded in part through the State Historical Fund.

Reprinted with permission of Lake City Silver World


Debs school teachers

A three-month summer school was taught in 1909 and 1910 by Mrs. C.L. Barnes, wife of prominent Durango physician Dr. Leroy S. Barnes. Mrs. Barnes lived in the Weminuche Valley and rode horseback 30 miles to promptly ring the bell starting classes at 9 a.m. Classes continued until 4 p.m.

Teachers in subsequent years included Maude Bayles, a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School under whose tenure school increased to four months, and Lucy McGirr, who was teacher in 1912 when the school was moved to its present location and increased to six months' duration.

Instruction at the Debs school continued to be held summers, the local school year gradually increasing to eight months with students "wading snow" in the spring and fall.

Bessie Murray taught a short time and was succeeded by a Mr. Hatch, not-so-kindly recalled in later years by Archie Toner. "He more or less took the kinks out of us," Toner later wrote. "He insisted on us getting our lessons every day."

Other, later teachers on the Upper Piedra were Selma Cagle, LaVerne Corcoran, Frances Wilcox, Josephine Martin, Lois Groat, Zora Waggoner, Mrs. Alexander (1928) and Alice Webb.

Lillie May (Toner) Taylor, mother of present Hinsdale County planning board member John Taylor, taught for nine years and was succeeded by the Upper Piedra's last teacher, Mrs. Rosa Willis, who taught until consolidation in 1951 when classes were transferred to Pagosa Springs.

Teacher salaries at the Debs school ranged from $30 per month during the early years to a high of $150 per month which was paid in the final years it was in operation.

During the tenure of Lillie May Taylor, teachers at the Debs school were reimbursed to the tune of $15 cash and $75 in county warrants on a monthly basis. Hinsdale County was severely indebted at the time, and it was often five years or more before the warrants were reimbursed.


Upper Piedra students attending Debs school


Burdette Clayton, age 19

Lawrence Clayton, age 13

Roy Clayton, age 10

Kenneth Clayton, age 7

Rollin Seaman, age 13

Archie Toner, age 9

Theodore Webb, age 7

Louise Barnes, age 14

Dorothy Barnes, age 12

Hazel Clayton, age 17

Allene Johnson, age 18

Alma Johnson, age 12

Mary Keane, age 19

Pearl Keane, age 17

Ivy Keane, age 15

Clara Keane, age 14

Flora Oliver, age 16

Kathryn Reed, age 10

Frances Reed, age 8

Alice Rucker, age 10

Ethel Rucker, age 8

Dorothy Seaman, age 11

Clara Seaman, age 9

Alicia Seaman, age 7

Mable Thayer, age 11

Blanch Thayer, age 9

Beryl Thayer, age 7

Lillie Toner, age 6



Richard Hardman, first grade

Jack Keane, sixth grade

George Kleckner, sixth grade

Carl Kleckner, fifth grade

Delbert Thayer, first grade

Margaret Corrigan, first grade

Pearl Dalton, twelfth grade

Gertrude Reed, sixth grade

Beatrice Reed, second grade

Edna Thayer, sixth grade

Lillie May Toner

teacher, Addie L. Webb

Total students age 6-21,

five boys, six girls.



John Harry Keane, age 8

Edwin Charles Davis, age 15

John Judson Taylor, age 16

Pearl Roberta Grimes, age 15

Glenna Jean Hardman, age 20

Georgia Louise Keane, age 13

Nellie Faye McManus, age 9

Gladys Leona Thayer, age 20


 Inside The Sun

 Police investigate alleged sexual assault


By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A Pagosa Springs woman reported being sexually assaulted after leaving a local bar Dec. 21.

According to Pagosa Springs Police reports, the woman was apparently attacked between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. Little more is being released at this time because of the sensitive nature of the incident.

Detective Scott Maxwell said police are waiting for laboratory results, reviewing surveillance tapes and questioning witnesses, including some people from outside the area.


Meth and cocaine users risk physical and mental damage, possible death

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Selling death.

That's the role of the methamphetamine dealer, according to District Attorney Craig Westberg.

"You don't experiment with methamphetamine," he said. "It has almost immediate addictive effects."

For eight years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Westberg worked in Farmington N.M. where, he said, he had a chance to see the effects of methamphetamine first hand. The abuse. Mood alteration. The burglaries and thefts committed to feed addiction.

"I had the opportunity to try a lot of murder cases," he said. One in particular he remembered vividly. It involved a 18-year-old wrestler who, one night while partying with friends, decided to try methamphetamine. While high on the drug, he wondered, "how it would be to kill somebody." He did, and now the foreseeable future is a life spent in prison.

"The jury did not accept the methamphetamine defense," Westberg said.

Amphetamine was first synthesized by a German chemist in 1887, but apparently forgotten for 40 years. In the 1930s, it was used to treat congestion, narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Methamphetamine was first market under the trade name Methedrine in 1940, and both drugs were given to soldiers in World War II to help improve performance. Illicit production began in 1963 when the attorney general of California requested injectable ampules be removed from the market.

As a drug, methamphetamine is highly addictive and fairly easily to manufacture. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, it can be injected, snorted, smoked or ingested orally. Effects of use include increased activity, decreased appetite and a sense of well-being that can last from 20 minutes to 12 hours. Psychotic behavior and long-term brain damage are also possible.

According to the policy control center, "Chronic methamphetamine use can cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion and insomnia. Users can also exhibit psychotic behavior including auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions and paranoia, possibly resulting in homicidal or suicidal thoughts." Damage to the brain is similar to that caused by Alzheimer's disease, stroke and epilepsy.

Approximately 12.3 million Americans ages 12 and older reported trying meth at least once in their lifetimes in a 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

In 1992, 14,554 hospital admissions for treatment of methamphetamine were reported. Ten years later, that had jumped to 104,481, representing 5.5 percent of all admissions. Of those admitted for methamphetamine or amphetamine use, over 55 percent were male and nearly 75 percent were white.

It is a problem on the rise and one that local law enforcement officials are trying to address. Stopping the dealers and distributors will continue to be a priority for his office, Westberg said.

But it's not the only problem facing Pagosa Springs. It may not even be the biggest.

Pagosa Springs Police Detective Scott Maxwell said although meth use is on the rise, the illegal drug at the top for this area probably remains cocaine.

Cocaine, a strong central nervous system stimulant, is the most potent known stimulant of natural origin, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. It was first used in the 1880s as a local anesthetic for eye, nose and throat surgeries. As an illegal drug, it can be smoked, snorted or injected. Physical effects of use include: constricted blood vessels, increased temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, as well as feelings of restlessness, irritability and anxiety.

In the 2003 survey of drug use and health, 34.9 million Americans ages 12 and older reported trying cocaine at least once in their lifetimes. It continues to be the most frequently mentioned illicit substance in emergency departments visits relating to drug use. In fact, cocaine mentions during emergency room visits have increased 47 percent since 1995, when 135,711 mentions were reported.

According to the national drug control policy office, "Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest."


Community center holiday event a success


By Pauline Benetti

Special to The SUN

The second annual Christmas caroling and cake walk at the community center was a rousing success.

The evening began at 5:30 p.m. with traditional carol singing led by Jeannie Dold and company.

Once everyone was appropriately in the spirit, Judy Cramer called for the cake walk lineup, during which 31 donated cakes were given away.

To balance all that sugar, the Kiwanis Club provided their "killer" chili with Fritos and cheese and hot dogs. The crowd quickly dispatched the food and drink.

Kids visited with Santa and made their wishes known. Also, and importantly, local photographers Lili Pearson and Pat Francis photographed every meeting between a child and Santa. Those photos are now at the community center and parents are invited to come down and claim their keepsake. A small donation is suggested.

The center is still trying to get together the necessary funds to buy a new 32-inch TV.

Center staff thanks all of the anonymous cake bakers and the volunteers who made this event possible, especially Phyllis and Harry Carlson, Ron and Cindy Gustafson, Chuck Livingston, Susie Long, Sandy Behr, Bill Norton, Jean Johnson and her sidekick, Samantha, Cabinets Plus, Rueben Mesa, KWUF and The SUN.


United Blood Services in town today

Blood donations are needed now to ensure hospitals have the necessary inventories for the upcoming holiday weekend.

United Blood Services, is scheduled to be in Pagosa Springs taking donations noon-4 p.m. today at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

All potential donors should be aware current identification is required.

Those who wish may sign up at or call 385-4601.

United Blood Services is the Community Blood Center for the Four Corners Region and staff urges area residents to give the gift of life to someone for the holidays.

United Blood Services' next visit to Pagosa Springs will be Jan. 27, 2-6 p.m. at Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 1044 Park Ave.


More officers scheduled for holiday weekend

Although it's the time to ring in the new year with lots of good cheer, people should keep safety tips near.

- Offer to be the designated driver for your family and friends.

- Take the keys from someone who shouldn't be driving.

- Let a friend stay overnight, if they've had too much to drink.

- If you've had too much to drink, make the responsible decision: Do not get behind the wheel.

Archuleta County law enforcement officers will step up DUI patrols over the New Year's weekend. Enforcement will begin Dec. 31 and end Jan. 3.

Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and the Pagosa Springs Police Department join 48 other agencies across the state with increased patrols during the holidays. Local agencies received $28,000 in state grant funds to put extra officers on the streets.

In addition, the CSP will receive $303,675 in federal highway safety funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for DUI enforcement. The Colorado Department of Transportation administers the DUI enforcement grants.

Statewide, December has been designated as Colorado Law Enforcement Appreciation month.



USFS releases framework for forest management plan


The U.S. Department of Agriculture forest service released its final rule Dec. 22 that provides the framework for individual forest management plans governing the 155 national forests and 20 grasslands.

For the first time, an Environmental Management System (EMS) will be used during the planning process to improve performance and accountability.

The rule establishes a dynamic process to account for changing forest conditions, emphasizes science and public involvement, and ultimately will help local forest managers provide future generations with healthier forests, cleaner air and water, and more abundant wildlife while sustaining a variety of forest uses.

"The new rule will improve the way we work with the public by making forest planning more open, understandable and timely," said forest service Associate Chief Sally Collins. "It will enable forest service experts to respond more rapidly to changing conditions, such as wildfires, and emerging threats, such as invasive species."

The agency will adopt an EMS for each forest and grassland - a management tool used widely by the public and private sector both nationally and internationally that includes internationally-accepted standards. EMS connects planning with implementation so that plans can be dynamic, and outcomes of project-level decisions can be assessed for continuous improvement.

A key feature of the EMS is the requirement for independent audits of the forest service's work. This new review and oversight of agency performance will help the forest service more fully account for its management of more than 192 million acres of public land.

The new rule will make forest planning more timely and cost effective. Currently, the forest planning process generally takes 5-7 years to revise a 15-year management plan. For example, the management plan for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado took seven years and $5.5 million to revise. Under the new rule, forest plan revisions will take approximately 2-3 years, with a comprehensive evaluation of the plan to be completed every five years to ensure it is meeting goals and objectives.

Desired land conditions will be outlined in each management plan and local managers will be held accountable for their efforts to achieve them. This will make planning more relevant to on-the-ground practices and outcomes.

"This rule applies the most current thinking in natural resources management," said Collins. "It takes a 21st Century approach to delivering the full range of values that Americans want for their quality of life: clean air and water, habitat for wildlife and sustainable uses that will be available for future generations to enjoy."

The new rule directs forest managers to take into account the best available science to protect air, water, wildlife, and other important natural resources at a landscape-level. Plant and wildlife protections will be provided first by conserving ecosystems as a whole, with more targeted protections for listed species and other species of concern. Management decisions will consider ecological, social, and economic sustainability, consistent with broadly accepted international standards.

Under the new rule, local experts will be able to more effectively comply with environmental laws, like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act. Because information gathered and analyzed at the local level will be current and constantly updated, the forest service will have a better basis for evaluating the environmental effects of projects. Land management plans under the new rule will be strategic in nature.

Generally, these plans will not include specific project management decisions. If a plan does include decisions with on-the-ground effects, it will require an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement as appropriate, consistent with NEPA. This provision is in a separate proposal identifying how plan development, amendment and revision will comply with NEPA requirements.

The final rule moves many detailed procedural requirements to the forest service's directive system, which is the agency's "how to" internal manual.

For example, broad species protection goals remain in the new rule, but the analytical procedures on how to achieve those goals will be spelled out in the directive system. The proposed directives will be released soon for public review and comment.

The new rule neither promotes nor discourages any particular forest use, such as recreation, grazing, timber harvest, or mineral development.

Decisions regarding such uses will be made on a forest-by-forest basis and will be informed by local conditions, science and public input. Guidelines on activities, such as timber harvesting, will be placed in the directives.

The National Forest Management Act of 1976 requires the forest service to develop, periodically revise and amend all forest and grassland plans. The first generation of forest plans was developed under a regulation adopted in 1982. There are currently 49 revisions underway using the 22-year-old regulation. Those forests and grasslands may now choose to change to the new rule or wait to use the new rule for their next revision or amendment. An additional 42 are awaiting revision and must use the new rule.

The new rule and the proposal identifying how plan development, amendment and revision will comply with NEPA are expected to be forwarded to the Federal Register today for publication. Both documents are available at www.

The public will have 60 days to comment on the NEPA proposal. Written comments may be sent to: Forest Service Content Analysis Team, P.O. Box 22777, Salt Lake City, Utah 84122. Comments also will be accepted by electronic mail to or by facsimile to (801) 517-1015.


High Country Reflections

The wily coyote symbolizes all that is wild

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

I had just entered the highway en route to my office one crisp sunny morning, when a movement to the right immediately caught my eye.

Quick glimpses ahead and in the rearview mirrors showed no surrounding traffic so, as I pulled the gearshift back into fourth, I cautiously glanced toward the right side of the road and the snow-covered meadow beyond. There, prancing along the far bank of the Rito Blanco, was a magnificent full-grown coyote apparently in search of an easy meal.

At once, I came upon a wide gravel pull-out. Without immediate traffic concerns, I shifted back down and carefully steered the Jeep well off the pavement. Once parked, I applied the brake and turned off the motor.

The coyote, meanwhile, had abruptly stopped in its tracks and appeared fixated on something unseen, but practically at its feet. As I watched for a moment, apparently unnoticed, the wily predator paused briefly, then suddenly sprang into the air and pounced upon an unsuspecting prey. In an instant, a plump Meadow Vole was extracted from its nest and tossed onto the snow-crusted surface, where its frantic escape efforts quickly proved futile.

With the struggle over in little more than a minute, the coyote was off prancing again. A beautiful animal with grizzled-gray fur on its back, its chest and belly were almost white, and its legs a rusty-yellow. A distinct black streak ran the length of each foreleg, and its long bushy tail was black at the tip. The large pointed ears and long narrow snout reflected acute senses of hearing and smell, and as it methodically searched the meadow for another vole, a rabbit, or perhaps a small bird, I thought what an efficient hunter this "little wolf" is.

In truth, coyotes are highly adaptable to a variety of habitats, and will eat about anything they can catch, including rabbits, rodents, birds, snakes, lizards, frogs, and insects. They're one of the few creatures intelligent enough to kill a porcupine without being embedded with quills, and they'll even take larger prey at times, like deer or antelope, although the cooperation of two or more coyotes is usually necessary to bring them down. When live animals aren't available, they'll eat carrion or fruit, like berries, apples, or even melons, and they'll readily eat the fruit of prickly pear cactus.

Certainly, I'd be remiss in failing to mention that coyotes also kill domestic livestock and poultry now and then, but prudent ranchers and farmers have devised many ways of minimizing such losses, and from an ecological standpoint, the benefits realized by coyote predation on the rodents, birds, and insects causing a multitude of other agricultural concerns are considerable, to say the least.

Nevertheless, since the late 1800s, U.S. Government officials have waged a relentless war against coyotes, and actually paid bounties on nearly two million of them between 1915 and 1947, including 294,000 in 1946 alone. Since then, countless coyotes have been trapped, shot from airplanes, injected with lethal chemicals, run down with snowmobiles, and buried alive in their dens. Even today, the Colorado Mule Deer Association offers what amounts to a paltry $10-per-animal bounty on dead coyotes as part of their "Small Game Cost Sharing Harvest Program."

In spite of man's unyielding attempts to eradicate coyotes, the amendable canines have actually expanded their range, and are probably more abundant today than they were at the dawn of the 20th century. Pairs are moderately monogamous, and breed in February or March, with litters arriving about 60 days later. Interestingly, the relative coyote population of a given area, coupled with the availability of food, seems to determine the average litter size, often leading one to wonder just how effective unwitting population control efforts really are.

Of course, other human activities inadvertently take a toll on coyote populations, and as I blissfully observed my astute four-legged friend the other morning, I wondered if it was part of a family I'd seen repeatedly this past summer. Their den was less than a mile away, and unfortunately, not far off the highway. Some mornings, on my almost daily trips to town, I'd see an adult and up to three pups resting, or romping around, near the burrow opening. On other occasions, two mature adults were visible, and the pups were nowhere in sight. Then, one late-summer morning, as I spotted an adult and all three pups outside the lair, another adult had been tragically struck on the pavement nearby. From then on, I never saw more than a single adult in the company of its young.

Despite the interminable ill will toward coyotes in many segments of our ever-expanding human society, they have been, and remain, highly revered in others. In many native cultures, coyotes are considered tricksters, helpful spirits, creators, and troublemakers. Early European settlers referred to them as prairie wolves, medicine dogs, and phantom wolves, and in at least one Indian legend, the coyote is known as "Fine Young Chief Howling in the Dawn Beyond the East." In fact, because they are so vocal in the night, the coyote's Aztec name is coyotl, "the barking dog."

Some 30 years ago, upon my own arrival in Colorado, my first enthralling experience with coyotes occurred while sleeping in my tent in the wilds of the Uncompahgre Plateau. I remember awakening in the dark of night to a long drawn-out howl that began on a quivering note, slowly ran the scale, and ended with a series of sharp barks. As I sat up and listened, the ghostly yowling continued for a moment, then suddenly ceased, leaving only an eerie silence in the surrounding forest. I have seen, and naturally heard, many coyotes since, and I have come to regard them as enduring symbols of all that is wild.

Few large predators have managed to adjust to the growing human populations of North America, but the cunning and fleet-footed coyote is an exception. As one western Indian legend suggests, "a feather fell from the sky Š the eagle saw it, the deer heard it, the bear smelled it, but the coyote did all three." Another says, "the coyote and the black bear will walk the earth long after the wolf and the grizzly are gone," and here in Colorado, that prophecy seems to have already come to pass.



Dear Editor:

Dave Blake has apparently decided to interpret my meanings in my last two letters in an overly simplistic way. My response to his and others' assumptions is best summed up with a few quotes from heroes whom I respect for their far greater wisdom.

As to "conservatism," my example is Theodore Roosevelt who said "Fear God and Take your own part." Roosevelt, as an avid hunter and naturalist, created the National Park system. He also transformed the U.S. Navy and made us a world superpower. Contradictions to today's way of thinking, but conservative and Christian never the less.

As to "libertarianism" Last week's quote from John Adams says it best, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people; it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

As to "republicanism," Thomas Jefferson might be a better example of one who, though he sided with the French "Republicans," was outraged by the extreme abuses during their revolution. Jefferson, like myself and others would see the current state of "republicanism" in America more like "Federalism" of his day. If that makes me a "radical," so be it, but a "leftist," I think not. Jefferson said in 1816, "If, then, the control of the people over the organs of their government be the measure of its republicanism, and I confess I know no other measure, it must be agreed that our governments have much less of republicanism than ought to have been expected; in other words, that the people have less regular control over their agents, than their rights and their interests require."

As to "liberalism," obviously terminology changes with the times. The Tories in 1776 America, were the conservatives of their day. Today, the Judeo/Christian beliefs of our "liberal radical founders" are considered by many on the left as fascism.

My "call to arms," as Mr. Blake put it, was to "true believers," who will win or lose the cultural war on their knees and in the arena of public discourse, long before , as I said, "it spills over into the streets." It is not my goal to build a bridge of wood, but rather towers and walls of steel and mortar, truth and tradition, laid upon the foundation of the blood of those who went before us.

As to "faith," I state as the Apostle Paul said, "Let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus." (Galatians 6:17).

William Bennett

 Outdoor column

Dear Editor:

When I read Chuck McGuire's articles, I feel as though I am experiencing the same adventures he and Jackie are having in the outdoors. This might be because of his use of the beautiful descriptive words in the English language. Thank you for including his articles. He is the best addition to your staff since Tess Baker came on board. By the way, what happened to beautiful luminarias in front of the Catholic church on Christmas Eve? I have enjoyed their beauty for several years and they were missed.

Cindy Gustafson

 Placating liberals

Dear Editor:

Please accept without obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, nonaddictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all Š and a financially successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2005, but with due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures or sects, and having regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting you are bound by these terms that:

This greeting is subject to further clarification or withdrawal;

This greeting is freely transferable provided that no alteration shall be made to the original greeting and that the proprietary rights of the wishor are acknowledged;

This greeting implies no promise by the wishor to actually implement any of the wishes;

This greeting may not be enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or the restrictions herein may not be binding upon certain wishees in certain jurisdictions and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wishor;

This greeting is warranted to perform as may reasonably be expected within the usual application of good tidings, for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first;

The wishor warrants this greeting only for the limited replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wishor;

Any references in this greeting to "the Lord," "Father Christmas," "Our Saviour," "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer" or any other festive figures, whether actual or fictitious, dead or alive, shall not imply any endorsement by or from them in respect of this greeting, and all proprietary rights in any referenced third party names and images are hereby acknowledged

Phew Š that should give the ACLU less money!

Clair Helene

 Cancel Christmas

Dear Editor:

What is America coming to when a 10-year-old child from Maplewood New Jersey cannot sing "Silent Night" in fear of being suspended from school?

What has happened when Macy's department store has removed all items bearing a phrase or having anything to do with Jesus, and the employees are told not to mention Christ at all during the "holiday season."

Where is our nation going when the Denver Parade of Lights is not allowing any kind of nativity or anything remotely Christian in their parades, but the Gay and Lesbian society and Chinese Two Spirit Society can have the biggest floats in the parade.

What is wrong with us when lawyers are suing left and right because the Christian symbolism in Christmas is being forced upon delicate little liberal minds. Where are we going?

Even at the local high school that I attend I hear complaints because we have a Christmas tree. The Constitution was a set of rules laid out for the well being of this great country. It was not created so that leftists could twist every word to fit their agendas. They did it with gay marriage, with separation of church and state, and are now somehow trying to justify a "nonreligious Christmas in a public place" as Christmas is nowhere mentioned in the original governmental document. Does the first amendment not state "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

If you hate Christmas that much, and really want to butcher its true meaning, then be real about it. People claim that Christmas shouldn't celebrate Christ yet have an angel at the top of their tree, take the day off, and pass out presents. Hypocrites! Cancel Christmas if you hate it that much. Explain to your children that the birth of a man who changed the world for the greater good is evil, and that you should instead protest the Christmas cheer. If it means that much to you go ahead. But if you do participate in Christmas, you are as much a hypocrite as the other 99 percent of liberal America haters.

God bless the USA

Zach Mayne

Editor's note: it has been reported that the organizers of Denver's Parade of Lights have changed their policies for next year's parade.

We also note there are pious and moral individuals who hold to beliefs other than yours who do not celebrate Christmas yet, at the same time, are not compelled to "butcher its true meaning" and see no reason to represent Jesus as evil.


Dear Editor:

I have been coming to Pagosa Springs since 1996, when my son moved to Aspen Springs. I am still visiting during the summer every year, even though my son passed away in 2003.

I love this town/city and the surrounding area. I would hate to see this spoiled by the commercialism of The Village at Wolf Creek. I'm not a citizen of Pagosa, but I do own property here. My family visits here also and we all would like Pagosa Springs to stay as warm and friendly as it is now.


Delores F. Poleski

 An economy?

Dear Editor:

Don't call a ski area and a bunch of made-in-China tourist shops an economy.

Does the U.S. produce more milk now than it did a year ago?

Don Reid

 Family thoughts

Dear Editor:

I am currently residing in Archuleta County Jail, and pursuing my GED. I have a lot of spare time throughout the day. I have written a few poems to pass my time and express my mind. I believe this one might touch a few readers' hearts. I know it did mine.

Family Love

I miss my family all the time

I have a lot of feelings locked up inside

If I could see them I would say

I've thought about you guys everyday


I lie awake in bed at night

Thinking of all the good times that were so right

There's been so many I have lost sight

I'm not in doubt that there's more to come

That's why they call this family love.

Terry Richmond

 Right of the pen

Dear Editor:

Nay, does the right winger say to building some rickety bridge to a downtrodden, demoralized Jacobean, Mr. Dave Blake. But our president would most likely pamphleteer Š when ignorance goes to $40 a barrel, he'd love to have drilling rights on yer head.

Now Š surely ya don't think he would jest?

Jim Sawicki

 Kate's Calendar

Kate's Calendar

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Jan. 6 to March 31

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

Jan. 5

The P.S. I Love Red Hats, official chapter of the Red Hat Society, will bring together chapter members, guests, visitors and newcomers "over 50" for a 1 p.m. lunch at Victoria's Parlor. For reservations, contact Kathryn Heilhecker, 731-6421.

Jan. 6

The monthly meeting of the San Juan Outdoor Club starts 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. This month's program will feature a slide show of a Grand Canyon rafting trip by Pierre Mion, noted National Geographic artist and local club member. Signups for activities this month include several snowshoeing and cross country skiing outings and a hiking trip to the Grand Canyon. For information, call Sue Passant, 731-3836. Visitors welcome.

Jan. 8

The Pagosa Piecemakers will meet at 10 a.m. at the Episcopal Church, 225 South Pagosa Boulevard. After the general meeting, there will be a workshop to teach fabric dying. It will be taught by Terry Alley and will be limited to 10 people. For further information, call 264-9312.

Jan. 8

Pagosa Area Singles will meet for breakfast, 9 a.m., at Victoria's Parlor Restaurant. All singles age 35-plus welcome. Call 731-2445 for reservations.

Jan. 12

Photo Club meets from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. The speaker will be Al Olson. Olson will present a program on what judges look for in photography competitions based on his experience over four years in four different clubs. The lecture will include: composition, eliminating distraction, cropping, technical standards and overall presentation. As always, the photo club welcomes new members and persons of all photographic skill levels. Please contact the club's president, Jim Struck, 731-6468, with questions.

Jan. 12

The Pagosa Women's Club meets at JJ's Upstream Restaurant. Doors open at 11:45 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon. John Hostetter will speak about Habitat for Humanity. Come learn about this very helpful group in our community. Cost is $10 and any woman in the area is invited to attend. Reservations are required. Contact Judy Cramer, 264-1156, by noon Monday, Jan. 10.

Jan. 13

Monthly meeting of the Wolf Creek Trailblazers snowmobile club, 6:30 p.m in the Fellowship Hall of Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street. A family ride and an overnight trip to Durango will be discussed. New members are welcome. For more information, call Charlie Rogers, 264-4471.

Jan. 13

The Newcomer Club will meet at The Office Lounge on North Pagosa Boulevard at 6 p.m. All newcomers are invited. Cost is $7 per person and reservations are not necessary. The club is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service. For more information, call Lyn Delange, 731-2398.


Community News

Susan Allen: The spirit of the artist

By Erin K. Quirk

PREVIEW Columnist

Some early winter morning, stroll behind the River Center and you might spot a small, bespectacled woman with a magnifying glass, perched at the edge of a freezing pond.

That woman is Susan Allen who, in addition to being a longtime Pagosa Springs resident, is considered the finest and most widely-collected internal gem carver in the world. What she's doing with that magnifying glass not only inspires her gem carving but informs her entire life as an artist.

For Allen the most electrifying parts of the universe are those least noticed, such as the exposed filigree of veins in a decomposing leaf, the eyeballs on a crab or hoar frost crystals that have grown overnight on a branch. What is minute in nature is of utmost importance to her.

Using primarily dental tools and thoughtfully-studied pieces of clear quartz, Allen carves underwater creatures, temples, palaces or frogs into the stone, creating tiny and exquisite, three-dimensional scenes.

In a piece she titled "Mermaid Underwater," one could linger studying the individual tendrils of the mermaid's hair or the angel fish darting over the span of coral, above which she drifts.

"It is a totally original idea in a very competitive world" said Michael Christie, who is Allen's husband, her frequent collaborator and a world-class artist himself.

Allen's critical acclaim as an internal gem carver stems from 17 years in a medium which she taught herself. Her work has not only been featured in magazines in and out of the gem industry and earned her numerous awards, but is also on display at institutions like the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Albuquerque Natural History museum and the Boston Museum of Science.

In addition, Allen and Christie were two of four Americans named in a book on 100 years of jewelry artists, published by the international auction house, Christie's of London.

However, Allen will tell you she hasn't carved a piece in eight months. That's likely because she is too busy now with new passions - quilting, dimensional embroidery, macrophotography and fractal design.

While those seem like wildly different mediums, for Allen they are simply different ways of expressing love for what she finds under her magnifying glass.

"There's just no end to what I might do," said Allen whose early career was in oil and acrylic paint. I've been an artist my whole life. I've never done anything else."

Her most recent work is a dimensional embroidery piece of different vegetables and fruits. Allen said that food is her new favorite theme. Allen said she saw this technique of embroidery and immediately signed up for a class at Edelweiss Needlework Chalet in downtown Pagosa.

"I just flipped out over the stuff," she said.

Another of her works-in-progress is a harvest-themed quilt which she said was inspired by her childhood visits to her grandmother's house in the Ozarks. The highlight of the trip was climbing down into the root cellar and seeing the treasures hidden there.

The quilt looks just like jars of garlic, olives, squash, grapes and artichokes sitting on the shelves of a root cellar, with a few seed packets tucked in between and leaves blown in from outside.

As one would expect from an artist of Allen's intensity, the beauty in the quilt comes from intricate embroidery on the lids of the jars and the tiny detail in each image. Allen designed the quilt in a "sampler" style where different image blocks are used rather than the repeating the same ones. She said it has taken her five or six years to collect the "food fabric" she needed to make all the jars look like they would on her Grandma's shelves.

"The thing I like about it is that each one is its own little adventure." Allen said of the blocks in the quilt. "Each part is a learning process in itself."

Another favorite piece is her melon quilt, which is honeydew-colored and covered with melons. She said she plans to put it on the wall in her kitchen around April when she is so sick of brown she can't stand it. She'll also move all her plants in there as well and by the time she's done the whole room is green, a month and a half before Pagosa is.

"Don't we all need that?" Allen said. "We need the green so badly."

Allen lights up when she talks about her quilting and is unconcerned about her move away from the work that has made her famous in the gem world. She believes all of the work she does comes from the same fascination with nature and its intricacies, so whether it is gem carving or quilting, it is all part of the same process.

"I love being able to enjoy my creativity, it comes from being able to play," Allen said. "I just do this because I want to. It keeps me fresh and enthusiastic."

Allen, along with Christie, makes a conscious effort to protect her life as an artist. She says they live simply, so they can devote their energy to creating whatever they want.

"I have never been one of those artists who just do something so it sells," Allen said. "My needs are simple, so I don't need much money and so many things I enjoy don't cost anything."

Allen's gem carvings, some of which take years to complete, are primarily sold into collections so they may be displayed in the future. She has representatives that handle all the marketing and sales so she can be left to concentrate on some new creation.

This winter, Allen says, she hasn't been able to get the light in her sewing room right, so in the early evenings she leaves the embroidery and goes to her computer. One of her current favorite projects is the new fractal program she downloaded.

Given Allen's passion for light, color and patterns, her fascination with fractals need not be explained. However, fractals themselves which are a complicated mathematical representation of chaos theory and infinity might. Practically speaking, fractals are pictures with richly colored, infinitely repeating designs. To isolate and magnify one small portion of a fractal would be to look at the small replica of the whole.

Magnification, of course, is the magic for Allen. For her fractal work, she will take some of the images she shot with her macro lens at the edge of the River Center skating rink, manipulate them and meld them with a fractal image she likes. She may also take some of her carvings and work them into a fractal image.

This work she says is just for fun and helps keep her creativity and enthusiasm for her art flowing.

"This is the stuff that keeps it all rolling."


Free yourself of fear of color at Piecemakers' class

The Pagosa Piecemakers will conduct a workshop after a meeting to be held Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. at the Episcopal Church, 225 South Pagosa Boulevard.

Title of the program is "Throwing out the color wheel and other equally hazardous activities."

Have you ever experienced that frustrating feeling of not "understanding" color? Love it but don't know it?

Take heart, there is a cure. Simply take this class and experience the joy of playing with color. There is nothing better for the fear of color syndrome, the dreaded FOCS.

This class comes with a guarantee of complete satisfaction and relief from this malady that seems to have plagued the quilting community.

Get your confidence back: Don't ask what you can do for your colors, ask what your colors can do for you! This positively riotous class will involve mixing and playing with 20 color combinations. Don't miss the drama as you explore the titillating aspects of color. Take control by taking this totally harmonious class and experience complete and lasting relief.

Call Fran Jenkins at 264-9312 for class information.


Dance club members will waltz in January

In an effort to offer dance to interested dancers (or soon-to-be dancers), Deb Aspen has arranged with the PLPOA to use the clubhouse to practice and for review on most Sunday afternoons from 3-5 p.m. This will be in addition to the usually scheduled club classes during the month.

Some months have an extra dance night in which special parties are slated. These parties are all open to the public and everyone 21 years or older is welcome.

Aspen is making plans for a Hot-Hot-Hot Latin Party in April, a Country Hoe-Down in July, a Luau the first part of September, the Monster Mash Bash at Halloween and, of course, the elegant Moonlight Ball on New Year's Eve. Also in the "hopper" are dance workshops and exciting exhibitions throughout the year.

The club is designed for beginning to intermediate level students who want to learn and practice American-style ballroom, swing, Latin and country dancing. Each month the club features a different dance.

In January, members will learn a smooth dance, the very elegant waltz. The term "waltz" comes from the German word "walzen" which means to revolve: a fitting name for this beautiful dance noted for its graceful, whirling turns around the dance floor. Throughout history, the waltz has undergone many changes. Over time, two different types of waltz have evolved, the slow waltz and the faster, Viennese waltz. The slow waltz has 30-32 measures per minute, whereas the Viennese has 54-58 measures per minute. Both types of waltz are danced to the count of 1-2-3, although each type of waltz has its own unique footwork.

There is no specific dress requirement for the classes, but wear comfortable smooth leather or suede-bottomed shoes. No rubber soles, please.

Classes will be held Jan. 6, 12, 20 and 27 from 7-9 p.m. Practice sessions will take place Jan. 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 3-5 p.m.

All classes meet at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

For more information, call Aspen at 731-3338.


Pretenders set audition dates for upcoming show

By Carol Anderson

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater invites family, children and adults of all ages to audition for an "Evening with the Stars."

The production is a play on the Oscars, with movie clips of popular scenes from various movies to be acted out by local talent. Dancing and singing will provide entertainment during the movie clips and award presentations.

Come show off your talent and desire to become a rising star by auditioning Wednesday Jan. 5, or Thursday, Jan. 6. Auditions will be held in the junior high school choir room from 6-8 p.m. each day.

At the auditions, be prepared to present a favorite scene from a movie, dance and sing as a famous personality or role-play with others. All talents are welcome.

So, come one, come all and begin the new year with an experience to remember.

We look forward to seeing you at the auditions. For more information, call Carol Anderson at 731-5687.


UU Fellowship to celebrate new year in song

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will celebrate the new year this Sunday, Jan. 2, with a sing-a-long service, led by John Graves.

Graves will take requests for favorite hymns or songs, which may be picked from the hymnal, or just from memory. He'll also feature some novelty songs, which demonstrate UU humor.

Those wishing to perform a vocal or instrumental solo are invited to do so. Call Graves at 731-9863 so he can be ready to provide accompaniment.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall in Pagosa Lakes. The address is: 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.


Ed center offers slate of new year classes

By Renee Haywood

Special to The PREVIEW

It's a new year and the Archuleta County Education Center is offering a full lineup of fun and exciting activities.

After-school activities at the elementary school for students in grades K-four include art, Spanish for Kids, Kids in the Kitchen, Creations and Fun Friday.

These classes are held every afternoon from 3:15-5 p.m., except Fun Friday afternoons which are 1:15-5 p.m. There are also after-school activities for students in grades five to nine held at the junior high school on a regular basis. Instructor Becky Johnson will host an activity Friday, Jan. 28, called "Cooking Around the World."

If you are interested in expanding your knowledge or becoming more skilled in software applications on the computer, the ed center will offer a number of computer classes designed to increase your productivity. These classes include Microsoft Excel, Work, Publisher, PowerPoint, QuickBooks, Windows XP and many more. If you are one of those people who have searched a manual in vain for answers to software questions or have wasted time on trial-and-error learning, these classes are for you.

Take a look at your first aid and CPR card. Is it time for you to renew? Or, maybe your job requires you to become certified. Classes will be offered Jan. 5 and 6, from 5:50-9:30 p.m. Classes cover the basics from breathing and cardiac emergencies to treating basic injuries.

The education center is also offering GED classes to anyone needing to complete a GED or needing to get started in the process. These classes help the student prepare to take the five tests required to obtain a GED certificate. GED coordinator Wally Lankford is available Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30-8:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Registration for classes can be completed Monday through Friday 8 a.m-5 p.m. at the education center, located at 4th and Lewis streets.

These are just some of the exciting classes being offered at the education center at the beginning of 2005. There is also a beadwork class being offered for adults and junior high school students on Jan. 11 and 13. This class will teach you how to make earrings, bracelets, key chains, and other jewelry using the "peyote stitch."

If you would like to register for any of the classes or need more information, contact the Archuleta County Education Center at 264-2835. We look forward to seeing you in the new year.


Pastor and Linda Bolland to be feted for 10 years of service

By Julie Martinez

Special to The PREVIEW

This January marks the 10th anniversary since Pastor Richard Bolland and wife, Linda, were called to serve Our Savior Lutheran Church and School.

Rev. Bolland has served continuously as Pastor and Linda served as a teacher and principal of the school until her retirement in 2003.

Pastor Bolland has been a frequent contributor to the Shepherd's Staff column in The Pagosa Springs SUN, and teaches a well-attended Friday morning men's Bible study, open to all men in the community.

Linda has been a driving force in the growth and quality of education at Our Savior Lutheran School, as evidenced by achievement test scores consistently in the highest percentiles. Both Pastor and Linda sing beautifully, and many in our community have been blessed in past years, hearing their voices in the Community Choir.

The congregation will honor the Bollands for their dedication and faithful service 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 2, with a special celebration featuring cake and ice cream and other good things.

The celebration will be held in the church fellowship hall, at 56 Meadows Drive.

All members of our community are invited to attend, especially current and former students and parents. Join us as we honor the Bollands for their contributions to our church, school, and community, and wish them God's blessings for many more years with us.


Shepherd's Staff

Original Sin the source of human suffering

By Rev. Richard A. Bolland

Our Savior Lutheran Church

Christmas had hardly passed when the world began to receive the news about the terrible loss of life from the Dec. 26 tsunami generated by a 9.0 earthquake at the eastern end of the Indian Ocean.

The images that have come to us over television have been stunning. One reporter on the Fox News channel mentioned several times that many of the bodies had their hands raised as if to stop the wave or as if to ask God "Why?" Isn't God a God of love? Why does God permit such disasters to happen when it is obviously possible for Him to stop them? Doesn't God care about human suffering?

There is little doubt that in the face of such horror, that God will wrongly be blamed for the tragedy, as He has been for many other tragedies before this. This is because the world fails to understand the true nature and scope of what actually happened when man fell into sin in the Garden of Eden. Indeed, let us remember that the world and all who are in it are under the death-curse of Original Sin.

As God spoke the curse of sin to Adam, He said, "Cursed is the ground because of you Š " The creation itself has fallen under the sway of sin. This was echoed again in the New Testament when St. Paul wrote, "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." (Romans 8:19-22).

Many times we do not like to hear about the full ramifications of sin. We don't like to hear that we are sinners. We don't like to hear about the gravity of sin in the eyes of God. We don't like to hear that we are "Špoor, miserable sinnersŠ" but then along comes a shattering disaster like the loss of 42,000 souls (the projection at the time of this writing), and we are stunned beyond belief.

The culprit is sin! God had not created the world to know of natural disasters. God did not create the world to be a place of tsunami's, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods and fires. In Genesis 1:31, we find the gracious intent of God in His creating, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."

Of course God is present, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20). God is indeed love itself. "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." Of course God is with His people when tragedy strikes, "God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." (Psalm 46:1-3).

God permits the effects of sin to run their course on this weary globe so that we will understand our need for His grace given us through His Son Jesus the Christ of God. He uses the results of sin and evil to demonstrate our helplessness without Him and the salvation He brings. God's first concern is the salvation of individual souls through faith in Christ Jesus and in Him alone.

"This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men." (I Timothy 2:3-6).

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12).

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one come to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6).

Never do the Scriptures promise us an easy life. Never do the Scriptures tell us that we will not suffer hardship, death or disaster. Instead, God turns the tables on all such manifestations of sin in that He does promise us that He will use them for His good purposes. St. Paul writes in Romans 8:28-39 these words of comfort and assurance:

"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those who God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

In this world, sin holds sway and the evidence of that deadly influence is all too apparent to anyone willing to see the truth of the matter. The incredible disaster we have witnessed in the Indian Ocean this past week is but one more horrific evidence of that fact.

Jesus said "Šor those eighteen who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them - do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:4-5).

Was God's judgment falling on these people? Was He punishing them? No. However, we may be utterly certain that God will be at work in the way His people respond to this disaster and in the way that people may be searching for meaning in the midst of such a massive tragedy. What we do know is that God desires to draw all people closer to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. May we who bear His name be the hands of Christ to bring healing and help. May we be the lips of Christ to speak of hope and life to a sin-fallen world, and may we demonstrate the compassion and caring of Christ so that who receive it will know of the One we represent.

Local Chatter


The new year: famous poems and failed resolutions

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

The Scottish poet Robert Burns used dialect to add freshness to English poetry and is probably most famous for his poem "Auld Lang Syne," and this we will be singing come New Year's Eve, or thereabouts.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?"

And another verse includes,

"We'll take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne."

Burns also wrote "New Year's Day 1791." The first stanza goes:

"This day Time winds th'exhausted chain.

"To run the twelve months length again."

And so it is the time to think about the new year.

We sing the popular "Twelve Days of Christmas" as a fun Christmas song, not a carol, but the words had religious significance when written during the Reformation ... but that's another story.

So back to the new year. I hope that you do better than I with your resolutions. The seven "very important" ones I pasted on the refrigerator are still good for the coming year because I didn't complete a resolution - not even one! My problem is that the resolutions require a lot of time and effort.

But I do figure this year is more productive for me. The only things I learned last year were that birds won't eat stale Cheerios and that I have 15 great nieces and nephews, not 14.

Anyway, Happy New Year!

Fun on the run

Golf meditations Š

- If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.

- When you look up, causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.

- The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.

- A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent's luck.

- The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree.

- There are two kinds of bounces: unfair bounces and bounces that are just the way you meant to play them.

- You can hit a two-acre fairway 10 percent of the time and a two-inch branch 90 percent of the time.

- Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.

- Hazards attract; fairways repel.

- A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.

- If there is a ball in the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker. If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint.

- Don't buy a putter until you've had a chance to throw it.


Senior News

Native American flute performance on senior schedule

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

We had a wonderful meal and great attendance Dec. 22.

The Pagosa Peak 4-H kids came to serve our seniors for the third year in a row and Dorothy O'Harra played holiday music for us.

We were serenaded Dec. 21 by the "Sounds of Assurance." Judy Patton, Suzy Bruce and Susie Long definitely put us in the holiday spirit with their beautiful harmonies. We thank them and their men for all the effort they put into entertaining us.

Bill Pongratz pulled in a big crowd for his talk about Chimney Rock Dec. 22. Chimney Rock is especially interesting this year with it's 18-year moon cycle being prominent now. Thanks to Bill for sharing his knowledge with us and to Judy Estell for bringing along Chimney Rock cookbooks that were given away as prizes.

The Den will be closed Dec. 31. See you again next year, on Jan. 3.

Flute performance

Wednesday, Jan. 12, Jessica Walsh will play Native American flute for us.

Jessica has performed on transverse (modern) flute for 20 years. Her duo with guitarist Allan Alexander went to the top of the charts at and held the No. 1 spot in seven categories simultaneously.

To date, she has authored nine music books published by ADG Productions of California. Eight are available for transverse flute, each with an accompanying CD. The ninth book, "Music for Native American Flute, Vol. One," also with accompanying CD, will be available in February 2005.

Since her recent move from New York back to Pagosa Springs, Jessica's interest in the Native American flute has grown.

"These flutes have beautiful, unique voices that go straight to the soul," she says. "They are like living things. They also feel and smell wonderful and are a delight to look at."

About the Native flute book Jessica says, "It was a real joy to create. I chose the tunes which asked to be played again and again. Some are new; some are as old as the rock art images of Kokopelli himself. A few of the forty pieces I collected and arranged for the Native flute book are: a dance from the Greek islands, a rant from the Scottish highlands, a melody from the mountains of Peru and an ancient song captured almost 800 years ago by the quill of a Castilian king."

Fascinated by the thought that the flute is at least 70,000 years old (as evidenced by the finding in recent years of a flute made from a cave bear's thigh bone), Jessica now enjoys playing and teaching others to play all kinds of flutes, including ocarinas.

Around the den

We still have some Silver Foxes Den sweatshirts, only $20, if you want to be a "cool cat" at the Den!

Penny is back with massage on Tuesdays. Be sure to come in between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and enjoy the healing touch.

On Jan. 5, we will have Bodil Holstein here to talk about reflexology and naturopathy. Bodil has had extensive training in reflexology and naturopathy and even works on animals. This should be an interesting talk at 1 p.m. in the lounge.

Andy Fautheree will be here at lunchtime Jan. 7 for anyone needing information about veterans' benefits. Patty Tillerson will also be here that day to check blood pressures at about 11 a.m.


Friday, Dec. 31 - center closed.

Monday, Jan. 3 - 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Medicare Counseling; 1 p.m. Bridge for Fun.

Tuesday, Jan. 4 - 10 a.m. Yoga in Motion; 10:30 basic computer; 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. massage and healing touch; 11:30 a.m. Seeds of Learning kids sing.

Wednesday, Jan. 5 - 1 p.m. reflexology and naturopathy presentation; 1 p.m. canasta.

Friday, Jan. 7 - 10 a.m. Qi Gong; 11 a.m. blood pressure checks; noon veterans' benefits information.


Monday, Jan. 3 - Salisbury steak, whipped potatoes/gravy, broccoli blend, peaches, whole wheat bread.

Tuesday, Jan. 4 - Chicken and rice, spinach, glazed carrots, whole wheat bread, citrus cup.

Wednesday, Jan. 5 - Spaghetti with sauce and Italian sausage, zucchini, tossed salad, breadstick, tropical fruit salad.

Friday, Jan. 7 - Roast pork, mashed potatoes/gravy, mixed vegetables;, whole wheat roll, strawberry Jell-O.


Chamber News

Another great year in a wonderful community

By Mary Jo Coulehan

PREVIEW Columnist

How can it be the end of the year already?

Well it is, and at this time, in my limited exposure, I would like to thank just a few individuals and businesses that help the Chamber so much throughout the year.

I know that I will leave some people out. Please don't be offended if you're one of them. Just write it off to age or the fact that I have many blonde moments.

First off, thanks to the town and county offices and personnel including the police and sheriff departments. You let us have our parades, hang our banners, keep our streets neat and safe, parks beautiful (even during the arts and crafts fair), roads drivable in the winter, quick response security help when we need it, and oh so much more.

To the building centers of Ace Hardware and Ponderosa Do-it-Best, you keep us in decorations, flatbeds for parades, and are ready at all times with supplies for all our events and to keep our Visitor Center in working order for our customers.

To the Pagosa SUN - you let us write on and on about all that is going on in the community, correct our grammar and punctuation, design our ads from a disjointed pile of information, and always have time for one of us when we have questions. To KWUF radio, thanks for putting up with us every Wednesday. It is always enjoyable working with you and your staff on "Good Morning Pagosa" and the coverage that you give our events. To both entities, you give us so much support and are so community involved. If people only knew how much you contribute.

And where would we be without all our diplomats and volunteers throughout the year? You make our visitors feel welcome to our community, keep them informed, and are Pagosa's ambassadors. You help out at functions like the annual meeting, Winterfest, Colorfest and Christmas in Pagosa.

In that same vein, where would we be without the businesses in our community? You donate to us, support us with your memberships, support our events and promotions, give us treats, give us friendship and are just way too kind. It is a rarity that we hear "no" from a lodging facility, a restaurant, a service industry, a gift store, an organization.

And speaking of organizations, to our nonprofit organizations, where would we in Pagosa be without you? Our children and seniors get help, individuals in crisis get comfort, our animals get care and homes, our needy get food and clothing, assistance for housing is made available, our wilderness and trails get maintained and spruced up, trash along our highways is picked up, our culture improved from music to art and all in between, and the hours that you put in cannot be counted as there is no end to the dedication.

To the board of directors here at the Chamber of Commerce - those too-much-fun, too-much-hard work, and too-many-hours people - we thank you for helping lead a community-based organization. We are a community. We may grow, but we have the basics that make us a great community.

We here at the Chamber are proud to be a part of such a great group of individuals and businesses that make up Pagosa Springs.

Annual awards

Part of what makes up a great community is the people.

So Š you have until Monday, Jan. 3, to fill out and submit your form for Volunteer and Citizen of the Year.

We will announce the winners at the annual membership/Mardi Gras Party Saturday, Jan. 22, at Montezuma's Restaurant. Just call us and we can fax you a form to fill out and you can fax it back to us. No need to interrupt your busy schedule, let us send you the paperwork.

Also remember, it does not need to be an individual; you can nominate a husband/wife team or a group. For example, past recipients have been Beta Sigma Sorority as Citizen of the Year and Dick Babillis and Bonnie Masters as Volunteer of the Year.

I know there are so many people we could nominate, but let's try and recognize a few people this year.

Also, stop by the Chamber to vote on three of the six candidates for the Chamber Board of Directors. The candidates are Mike Branch, CPA and past board member; Robin Auld, attorney; Jody Cromwell, businesswoman; Judy James, businesswoman; Don McKeehan, business owner and past board member; and Joe Steele, business owner, Chamber Diplomat.

We are lucky to have such a great slate of candidates and several who are willing to give of their time again for another three years. You are allowed one vote per business, so please make it count and come on over and vote.


Let me welcome some more members to our organization.

Joining us this week is the seasonal business of Wolf Creek Anglers Snowmobile Tours. Mike McCormick and his group offer guided snowmobile tours and they base out of South Fork. If you have family or friends staying over the pass, give them a call at (877) 373-1414.

Continuing in the snowmobile trend is the Wolf Creek Trailblazers Snowmobile Club. With Charlie Rogers as president, this local snowmobile club meets the second Thursday of each month at the Methodist Church on Lewis Street at 6:30 p.m. For more information you can give Charlie a call at 264-4471. I bet they have some fun outings planned!

Another associate member has come on board this week and that is J.B. Smith. We thank him for supporting our efforts and projects.

And for more information on Pagosa, we have Recruited by JoAnn Laird, Don Long joins us with a community Web site with lots of information. With articles on events, maps of the area, a link back to the Chamber for events and much more, planetpagosa is about "the people, the wilderness, the lifestyle" that make up Pagosa. Don can be reached at 731-2749 for more information.

Renewing membership with us this year is Ramon's Mexican Restaurant at 56 Talisman Drive; Stan Maddux with Foam Insulation Specialists; and Kuhlman Hardwood Floors.

So, thanks again to everyone for another great year here in Pagosa Country. There is a lot of activity in our little town. We have a great deal to think about and work on this next year. I know that we will be work on these projects as a community, because we all care so much.

Have a safe and fun end of the year, and we'll see you in 2005, with bells on.


Veteran's Corner

More work to do for veterans in 2005

Andy Fautheree

SUN Comumnist

I would like to wish all of the Archuleta County veterans, their families and loved ones - and all others who share a pride in those who have served our country - a very happy and prosperous new year.

For those of you who had a good year in 2004, may 2005 be even better. For those of you who had disappointments in 2004, may 2005 be a better year for you.

A good year

I feel like every year is a good year since I took over this job as your Archuleta County Veterans Service Officer almost four years ago. It is a privilege and honor to serve my fellow veterans in this office.

I eagerly look forward to coming to work every morning and meeting so many of our veterans and family members each day, helping them with their benefits, claims and VA processes.

Old and new friends

Many I see in a day are old friends. Some are new. Some stop by just to say hello every so often.

Others come to this office needing help and assistance. Some are very much in need of help. This office always stands ready to assist our veterans at all levels with all their veteran needs.

I can assure you I don't know all the answers. Every day I learn new skills in this work, often from my clients. Together we find the answers. If I don't know the answer, I know where I can go to get the information.

Rewarding work

I have been fortunate to receive many accolades this past year as your Veterans Service Officer.

Early in 2004 I was named one of the Outstanding Veterans Service Officers of Colorado for 2004. In November, Rep. Scott McInnis read my name and VSO work into the Congressional Record before the House of Representatives.

I have just been overwhelmed with so much attention. But, I don't think I do anything special to deserve all this attention. I have many fellow veteran service officers and veteran organizations serving in many capacities that help our veterans all over Colorado and our nation. Many do much more and receive much less attention. Surely, I believe all are dedicated to their work and hold our veterans' best interests to heart.

Thank you

One thing I can assure you is there isn't any gratitude I consider higher than a smile, a handshake, or a simple thank you from someone that I tried to help or make their life better. It is so rewarding knowing that, through this office and my work, I can make a difference in someone's life. I take my work seriously, and will continue to do so as long as you entrust me with this responsibility.

As we close out another year together, I want to thank you for allowing me the privilege and honor to serve you.


Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the "Share-A-Ride (SAR) program.

Help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction, to the same VA facility. Give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, Colorado 81301. Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and e-mail is


Library News

Audubon Society warns of dangers to North American birds

By Lenore Bright

SUN Comumnist

In October, the National Audubon Society released the first national state of the birds report documenting the health and abundance of North America's birds.

The report paints a disturbing picture. Almost 30 percent of our bird species are in a significant decline.

The declines are unusual and not part of the natural cyclical rise and fall. Some of the factors leading to the declines include loss of native grasslands, improper management of fires, overgrazing, development of wetlands, bad forest management, invasive species, pollution and poor land-use decisions.

According to national Audubon president John Flicker, "Like the canary in the coal mine warning the miner of danger ahead, birds are an indicator of environmental and human health. Birds signal we are at risk next. People created these problems and people can solve them if we act now."

If you'd like to be part of the Colorado Christmas Bird Count, go to the Website

For more information, read Audubon Colorado. Ask for a copy at the desk.

New books

Three Colorado authors are represented this week.

"Up Here," by Mary Stigall, is the story of a person who left the city to live in a small town in the mountains. Sound familiar? Mary Stigall and her photographer husband discovered the joys and struggles of living in Lake City. It is fun to compare notes.

"I See By Your Outfit: becoming a cowboy a century too late," by Clay Bonnyman Evans, is a memoir of Western life. It is an unusual story of a young man who wanted to be a cowboy and tried. Tony Hillerman's review had this to say: "All those fellas, young and old, with the unsatisfied yen to be a cowboy will profit from Clay Evan's true confessions. It may not cure them, but it's witty, funny and artfully done."

Evans is a columnist and book editor for the Boulder Daily Camera. This is an adult book.

"Bizarre Colorado: a legacy of unusual events and people," by Kenneth Jessen, is a close look at some of the more peculiar aspects of our history in short story form. Jessen lives in Loveland. His material for this collection came from newspaper articles, books and interviews. The photos came from the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library.

Holiday closing

The library will be closed New Year's Eve for inventory.

This is the day our volunteers come in to help read and clean the books and shelves and do the necessary counting.

It is my chance to thank these loyal people for their help throughout the year. Mary Jo Coulehan caters a lovely lunch for us. As you all know, Mary Jo has taken on the important job of managing the Chamber of Commerce. She kindly agreed to do one more lunch for us. So this year will be very special as it will be the last chance to enjoy Mary Jo's skills as a caterer.

Thanks to all of the people who have shared their time and efforts to make your library the friendly, helpful place it is.


We are grateful to the following who have given to the building fund: Glenn Bergmann in honor of his children William Bergmann, Kathy Anderson, Amanda Bergmann, Ariel Bergmann and Liz Bergmann; Laura Corral, Ben and Judy Collins; Gary and Sharee Grazda in honor of their grandchildren; Genelle Macht, Paul Matlock, Ellen and Walt Lukasik, Joe and Lillian Steele of Ways and Means; Phyllis Wheaton, Suki, Rice Reavis, Fran and Jon Jenkins.


Arts Line

Columnist bids farewell, photographers prepare for annual show in February

By Leanne Goebel

SUN Columnist

Art is a gift.

There is nothing like watching actors on a stage transport you to some different place and time. Or listening to a complex musical composition performed by gifted musicians. Or, getting lost in the fluid, graceful movements of a dancer; admiring layers of paint on a canvas or an image captured on film. Or walking around a three-dimensional sculpture enthralled by its structure and form. Or reading a poem that touches somewhere deep inside.

We all are inspired by something. We all have that moment of intuitive thought that stimulates a desire to create - maybe you create cuisine, or maybe you are a healthcare worker using a magic feather to alleviate the sting of an immunization; maybe you work in government and try to balance the different facets of our communities. You are still creative. Creativity sparks genius. Creativity solves problems.

I interviewed local artist Michael Coffee recently for another publication. He made a profound statement: "The only true form of appreciation for anything is money. You can't accept that a person appreciates what you do unless they buy it. It's the ultimate compliment."

I've pondered his idea. A part of me thinks he is right. Often we ask artists and writers to give their work and talent away. Donate a painting for an auction. Volunteer to write a grant or even this column. Hundreds of magazines will publish a writer's work for a byline and a free copy. There comes a point when an artist's creativity must be of value. That we say to them, not only how much we appreciate what they do, but offer to pay them for their time.

A part of me thinks he is wrong. Everything isn't about money. Value has it's own intrinsic nature. Michael Coffee sells his complex ceramic sculptures for less because he understands that ceramic art does not command the same market value as prints. Recognition, appreciation, and respect are often of greater value than money.

Writing this column is something I do voluntarily. I've enjoyed it immensely and even though I haven't been paid, I've received value from the kind words and appreciation of the community. But there are only so many hours in a day. I'm a wife, a mother, the editor of quarterly magazine and a freelance writer. I get paid to write.

This column is space The SUN generously provides to the Arts Council. It has always been that way. For years, the job of writing this column was shared among six or seven people. The Arts Council wants to continue the tradition of keeping this column written by volunteers.

This is my last arts line for now. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in volunteering your time, exercising your pen to write this column, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

Art of Italian cooking

This one will fill up fast! Saturday, Jan. 15, join Diane Bouma and Fran Jenkins for "Strictly Pasta: The Art of Italian Cooking" at Bear Mountain Ranch, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Emphasis in this culinary class will be on pasta made by hand and machine, with appropriate sauces. Six dishes will be prepared. There will be a tasting of parmesan cheeses and appropriate wine provided by Plaza Liquors.

Cost is $45 for PSAC members and $50 for nonmembers. Space is limited to 20 people, so make your reservation early as this class will sell out quickly.

Reservations can be made by calling PSAC at 264-5020 or e-mail Or you may mail your reservation with payment to: PSAC, P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Diane is a personal chef and certified culinary professional at Bootjack Ranch and formally worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. Fran is a Certified Culinary Professional with the International Association of Culinary Professionals and has taught numerous cooking classes.

Annual photo contest

There's something for everyone in the annual PSAC photo contest: cute kittens, a fun family photo or the grand landscape.

With a submission deadline of 5 p.m. Feb. 2, it's not too early to begin preparing your prints.

A generous list of categories ensures that you, too, have a photo to submit to this annual contest. Categories are: domestic animals, architecture, autumn scenic, general landscape, patterns/textures, sports, flora, people, up close, winter scenic, black & white, wild animals, sunrise/sunset, special techniques (any type of manipulation), open (any picture that doesn't fit other categories).

Dozens of local shutterbugs get involved each year, and any photo has a chance for a ribbon. It doesn't seem to matter if it's a simple matted print or a high-end framing job on a big enlargement. Judges tend to look at the overall impact of the photo.

Each exhibitor may submit a total of three photos, but no more than two in any single category. 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 for Saturday, Feb. 5 from 5-7 p.m. has turned into quite a social event! Put the date on your calendar now.

Wayne Justus painting

"El Rancho de las Golandrinas," an original painting by nationally acclaimed Western artist Wayne Justus, is 24-inch by 36-inch in a barn wood frame.

The painting, donated by Justus, is available for sale at Taminah Gallery in Pagosa Springs. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to help pay medical bills for Dan Appenzeller, co-director of the Four Corners Folk Festival who has been battling throat cancer for over a year and is under aggressive treatment. Dan is doing well, but his medical bills are astronomical, even with insurance.

The painting will make a lovely gift or housewarming present for some lucky resident or visitor.

Contact Taminah Gallery at 264-4225 for price information or just stop in the gallery at 414 Pagosa St. next to the Liberty Theatre and see the painting in person. It is hanging above the counter.

Ongoing workshops

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

FLC Extended Studies

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 Below is a short list of cultural offerings:

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

"Grant Writing," Jan. 22.

"Expressive Writing," Jan 25-March 15.

"Fiction Writing," Jan 25-March 15.

"Writing Creative Nonfiction," Jan 27-March 17.

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

Opportunities for artists

Entry forms are available at the Durango Arts Center for the 2005 Four Corners Commission exhibit to be held Jan. 7-Feb. 5.

This juried exhibit invites local and regional artists to submit work that exemplifies the diversity of heritage and uniqueness of the Four Corners region.

Juror for this year's exhibit is Krista Elrick from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Elrick is an accomplished documentary photographer, who holds a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. in photography. Her impressive resume is on file at the DAC reception desk.

Elrick will select work to be presented in this exhibit as well as choose the award winners. For more information, see her Web site at

Artwork must be dropped off for jury consideration on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Prizes include a $500 Best of Show award plus a postcard reproduction of the winning artwork, a $100 Juror's Choice award, a $75 Merit award and a $75 People's Choice award, which will be chosen by gallery visitors. Additional awards and exhibit opportunities offered through the Durango Area Tourism Office (DATO).

Entry forms are available in the lobby of the Durango Arts Center or one can be requested by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Four Corners Commission, Durango Arts Center, 802 E. 2nd Ave., Durango, CO 81301.


Jan. 15 - The Art of Italian Cooking at Bear Mountain Ranch, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Jan. 15 - Drawing with Randall Davis at the community center, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Feb. 5 - PSAC Photo Contest opening at Moonlight Books, 5-7 p.m.

July 24 - Home and Garden Tour.


Food for Thought

It's not fair: Take the rascals to court

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

"Mr. Isberg, now that you've taken the oath, you can be seated. I remind you the purpose of this Grand Jury is to determine whether enough evidence exists to pass a case to the district attorney for prosecution. Do you understand that nothing said in this Grand Jury hearing can be made available to the press and public?

"I do, your honor. I'll try my best."

"Please tell the jurors your name and your occupation."

"My name is Karl Isberg, though folks in Las Vegas know me as Theodore Wembley III, Tad for short. I am a writer by trade, a whip-wielding word jockey, if you will."

"Counsel for the state can proceed with questioning."

"Thank you, your honor. Mr. Isberg, please tell us what kind of writing you do."

"I describe it as 'peppy.'"

"Could you be more specific?"

"Yes. Peppy, kicky, upbeat with a stout measure of wow and pizazz."

"Mr. Isberg. Do you write about food?"


"Food, Mr. Isberg. Do you write about food?"

"Uh, well Š sometimes the subject creeps into my work."

"Isn't it true, Mr. Isberg Š"

"Please, call me Tad."

"Isn't it true nearly everything you write includes something about food? Wouldn't it be correct to call you a 'food writer'? And, since you make money, are you not a 'professional' food writer?"

"Well, I certainly do like food; I like to cook and eat and I think about food all the time. It is pretty important, you know; I can't imagine any topic that wouldn't require some consideration of food and eating. But, I prefer to think I include food in my work as a necessary part of a wide-ranging meditation on the absurdity of our species. And, yes, occasionally I am paid."

"So, we've established you write about food. Do you know why we convened this Grand Jury?"

"No. But I gotta tell you 8 a.m. on a Monday morning is an uncivilized time to do anything important. I need coffee. Does anyone have some coffee? Tanzanian peaberry, if possible."

"Mr. Isberg, you know very well we are investigating the use of performance enhancing substances by food writers. You know, further, we are particularly interested in writers - pretentious, small town hacks, like yourself - who offer up recipes and accounts of food experiences to the ordinary reader. We believe if these substances are in use in the minor leagues, as it were, then it is a foregone conclusion they are used at the highest levels of the trade."

"You gotta be kidding! Performance enhancing substances? How on earth can you associate Viagra and Cialis with writing about food? I mean, yes, I get incredibly excited when I go to the grocery store or to a fine restaurant but Š well, wouldn't it be more than a little embarrassing if Š"

"Mr. Isberg Š"


"All right, Tad, one warning is all you'll get: We will not allow diversions in your testimony. You know we are referring to the use of exotic and difficult-to-obtain substances used to alter a writer's consciousness, to give him or her an unfair advantage over those writers who labor to produce church cookbooks, who compile recipes for a civic club collection. The playing field has been tilted to the extreme and it is impossible for most people to compete unless they, too, indulge these substances."

"By 'exotic substances' do you mean things like Velveeta? Hamburger Helper?"

"Very clever, Mr. Isberg, but we are not amused."


"Is it true, Tad, you and your companions recently downed two bottles of Chateau Pavie 2000 St. Emilion at a restaurant in Las Vegas?"

"How did you Š who told you about Š?"

"Your youngest daughter. She was there. She said the wine was embarrassingly young for the price, and she willingly gave us the information in return for immunity. She is now part of our witness protection program and is surfing in Costa Rica. Her new name is Bernice."

"Why, that little Š"

"And the Gaja 1998 Langhe Nebbiolo Costa Russi?"

"Ah, from The Piedmont. Talk about body, depth."

"So, you admit to using it? When others are forced to drink Reunite and wine coolers?"

"Well, not exactly. I've read about people who indulged and Š"

"Are you acquainted with Jamon Serrano?"

"I met him once or twice, at a health club in La Jolla. We played racquetball, doubles if I remember, with two of his cousins. Delightful youngsters, the cousins - Jaime and Theresa. Twins, each with a wicked backhand. But I never purchased anything from Jamon. As far as I know, he is an upright Mexican citizen, trading in mescal futures."

"Jamon Serrano is a remarkable Spanish ham."

"Oh, yeah. It's kind of a toss up with me: that or high-grade prosciutto. But I don't know anything about them. Can't even spell 'em."

"Does Foie gras moulard ring a bell?"

"I hear those words, I hear something ring&emdash; like an alarm bell on my checking account."

"You once ordered an entire lobe, didn't you? We have witnesses. And you ate a large portion of it, didn't you?"

"I Š ah, I Š"

"And while we're at it, how about caviar?"

"Hey, I'm squeaky clean on that one: When I learned the Southern Caspian stuff was harvested by Iranians, I swore I would never eat it. The thought of some flea-bitten reactionary mullah cashing in on my indulgence was more than I could bear. They forced me to eat it. Those agents of the caviar cabal are louts, thugs, brutal and erratic characters. We need to alert the Office of Homeland Security and tell them about these guys. The blini were quite good, though."

"Are you acquainted with truffles?"

"No, not at all. White or black? You know, there's a guy in Denver who can get the fresh black from The Perigord for less than a C note an ounce."

"Mr. Isberg Š"


"All right. Tad, please respond to each word I say with the first thought that comes to your mind."

"Oooh, I love free association and all that psychological mumbo jumbo. If I could take a Ritalin my performance would improve, but press on, let's see where we go."


"Fleur de Sel. Fluffy. And, of course, my Mom."


"Monster-grade extra-virgin olive oil. And Mom."

"White truffle oil."

"Etruria. Mommy."

"Gold seal."

"Balsamic. And, I simultaneously think of Mom."



"Don't fool with us, Mr. Isberg, or you'll be held in contempt. How about manchego?"

"Ahhh, salty sheepy. And, of course, my mother."

"Point de Bique?"

"Mmmm. Smooth and goaty. Great with roasted beets. Mom loved it."

"Tete de Moine?"

"Stinky. Gotta store it in the garage, but buttery, cowey. If you've got some, I have access to one of those special rotary tete shavers. Plus, for some reason, I think of Š"

"So, you've consumed these substances?"

"Oh, gosh no. But I have so-called friends who've told me about them. Despicable people, really. I need to delete their phone numbers from my cell phone directory. If I ate or drank any of this stuff, I didn't know I was doing it. I have ADD, you know; I can't concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. If I had known, I would have stopped immediately. It's so very wrong."

"Mr. Isberg."


"Do you know it's patently unfair to indulge your excesses when there are decent, honest people laboring far into the night to write down their versions of a recipe for tuna noodle casserole, hoping it will appear in the next Methodist newsletter?

"Well Š"

"Do you believe you and your ilk are playing by the rules, Mr. Isberg? Put yourself in the apron of someone decidedly less puffed up and arrogant than you. What about the youngsters, the kids in junior high who dream of growing up to be food writers? What do you think happens went they read something you or one of your kind writes? How can you live with yourself, knowing a youngster is wondering where he or she can come up with performance enhancing substances so he or she can compete? Where, may I ask, is little Johnney in Ames, Iowa Š"

"Tad. Little Tad in Ames, Iowa."

"Where is Little Tad in Ames, Iowa, going to find foie gras moulard? The whole lobe?"

"He could stuff his own bird full of grain as part of a 4-H project, cram the bird five times daily, fatten it up, destroy its liver, wring its neck and Š"

"And where will he find tete de moine, answer me that? Where?"

"In a garage somewhere, I suppose."


"I wouldn't recommend it, with the mullahs and all. But, the little rascal could milk something he pulled out of a local stream. It's slippery work, but not impossible. I wouldn't recommend catfish."

"Mr. Isberg Š"

"Tad. Big Tad."

"I think we've heard enough. Your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury: I believe it's obvious there is sufficient reason to provide the district attorney with the evidence we've uncovered in our proceedings. The fact that a simp like Mr. Isberg, a two-bit phrase biter from a town out in the middle of nowhere Š"

"I like to call it 'Siberia With a View'Š"

"Mr. Isberg, we are addressing the court Š"

"Big Tad."

"The fact a schlockmeister like Big Tad can gloat on a weekly basis about a special recipe or ingredient not available, sometimes not even known by the ordinary Joe - by someone laboring to get the amounts precise in an Apple Brown Betty recipe so it can be entered in a contest at the county fair - should be enough to allow us to accurately speculate concerning the kinds of abuses occurring at the highest levels of the food writing racket. It's hard to imagine what goes on in the business when writers actually know what they're writing about - when, unlike Big Tad, they never use words like 'smidge,' 'wad' or 'clump' in a recipe. Your honor, I recommend we adjourn and pass our findings on to the district attorney."

"So we shall, Mr. Prosecutor. Members of the jury, thank you for your patience and your efforts in what I know has been a trying proceeding. You are excused. Mr. Isberg Š"

"That's Big Tad, your honor. T.W. III, if you wish. May I ask a question?"

"You may."

"Whaddya havin' for lunch? And what about the members of the jury? What are you guys doin' for lunch?"

"Why do you ask?"

"Well, I thought, just to prove I'm a regular guy, not under the influence of these so-called 'performance enhancing substances,' I'll whip up something over at my place. A typical lunch, here in Siberia With a View. Something that shows you I'm a normal fella."

"And that would be?"

"Oh, I thought I'd pry open a can or two of tomato soup and cook some little elbow macaroni and dump them in, maybe splash in a touch of milk, serve the soup in coffee cups. Mmmmm. And maybe whip up a grilled cheese sandwich, with margarine-slathered white bread and processed cheese - the super-yellow stuff that gets all gooey as it's heated then sets up like an automotive finish when it cools. I could have everything ready in less than an hour, using my new George Forman grill."

"Well, that sounds quite nice, Mr. Isberg. Perhaps we've judged you wrongly. Is there anything we can bring?"

"You know, now that you mention it, yes: a beverage. Are you acquainted with Niebaum-Coppola's Rubicon? Kinda pricey, kinda not but, hey, we just got out of court! We need to splurge a bit and it's a snazzy and manageable domestic red - goes well with the tomato soup. Oh, and see if you can manage some black truffle. Can you imagine the magic when a teensy smidge is tucked into one of those grilled cheese sandwiches? If you need a source, I've got a phone number."

"See you at my place, noonish. Bon appetit."


Extension Viewpoints

Mind your diet and exercise during cold winter months

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Friday, Dec. 31 - Office closed

It is winter and it's cold outside.

Getting up early in the morning to exercise when it's dark never seems like a very good idea at this time of year. Staying in bed where it's warm seems much more appealing.

So how can you continue your exercise program in the winter and not lose all the progress you've made?

New Year's resolutions often revolve around starting exercise programs during this time of year as well. The challenge is to make the decision to do it and be consistent throughout the year, no matter what the weather is like.

Start with the right frame of mind.

Make up your mind to be more active each day. It has to be a priority. Set a time and don't let anything get in the way. It doesn't have to take long periods of time.

Studies show that several sessions of physical activity during the day give benefits similar to one longer session. If time is limited, sneak in a quick 10 minutes in the morning, take a 10-minute walk at lunch and another 10 minutes in the evening. The recommendation is at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily in order to obtain health benefits such as decreased risk of heart disease and better blood sugar control for diabetics.

For weight loss the recommendation is about one hour of exercise very day. Do things you already do more vigorously during the day for added benefits such as:

- Make extra trips up the stairs.

- Park farther away from your destination.

- Shovel the snow yourself rather than having someone else do it.

- Don't just sit while watching TV; use this time to lift weights, do stomach crunches or something that will build muscle or burn calories. Building muscle gives the added benefit of boosting metabolism, which burns more calories.

Exercising outdoors in the winter (try skiing, snowshoeing, running or walking) can be invigorating. Dress in layers of breathable clothing to provide insulation that can be adjusted as you get warmer. Don't forget to drink water. You may want to warm up indoors if you can. Do a little exercise to increase your body temperature, and then go outside.

Exercising at home

Consider purchasing some inexpensive exercise equipment such as weights, an exercise ball or jump rope or exercise programs on video or DVD.

It probably isn't a good idea to purchase expensive equipment unless you're sure you'll use them. Many people spend money on gimmicky equipment and then lose interest in it. It clutters the house and eventually ends up in a garage sale.

The important thing to do is to find something you enjoy doing that you will stay with.

Vary the types of exercise to help maintain your enthusiasm. For example, walk on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Then try Pilates, bicycling or another activity that you enjoy on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Set your goals so that they are achievable. If they're too high you might get discouraged and give up.

Maintain a good diet during the winter

Be aware of what and how much you are eating. It's very easy to eat too much of the high calorie foods that are available during the winter months. Overeating and inactivity are a recipe for weight gain. Include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meat choices as much as possible. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in fat and sugar. Watch portions - try filling half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with meat and a quarter with starch. Eat fruit for dessert. Make what you eat count towards the needed servings from the food guide pyramid.

Keeping active and fit all year round may not be easy but it is possible if you set your mind to it. The benefits are both physical and psychological. If your goal is be more fit by summer, exercise, healthy food choices and portion control will help you to achieve it.

Don't forget to visit our Web site at www.coopext. and happy holidays from your friends at Archuleta County Cooperative Extension.

Pagosa Lakes News

PLPOA sets perch fishing tournament at Hatcher Lake


By Larry Lynch

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will hold its annual Winter Perch Tournament at Hatcher Lake in January.

The tournament, set for Saturday, Jan. 15, will commence at 9:30 a.m. and run until 2:30 p.m. A small entry fee will be charged which will be used to generate cash prizes for the winners.

Tickets are $5 purchased early and $7 on tournament day. Tickets go on sale Thursday, Jan. 6, and will be available at Ponderosa Do-It-Best, the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center and the Pagosa Lakes administration office in Vista.

Kids 16 and under fish for free, no ticket or entry fee required. This is a family event and is always a fun way to spend a day with the kids or with your fishing buddies.

A Pagosa Lakes fishing permit is not required for this tournament and it is open to the general public. We will have prizes for winners in two different age categories for the kids.

Last year we had nearly 200 people turn out for the tournament at Hatcher Lake. Approximately 1,500 perch were caught, and over $750 in cash prizes were awarded to the winners.

We plan to hold a second tournament this year at Lake Pagosa Feb. 12. We will coordinate the Lake Pagosa tournament with the activities of the Pagosa Winterfest weekend in conjunction with the Pagosa Area Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets for the second tournament will go on sale around the first week of February.

This is the third year we have sponsored these tournaments, and we have been very pleased with the success and popularity of the events.

There were two reasons behind the creation of these tournaments.

First, we have a documented overpopulation of yellow perch in our lakes which makes for a competitive environment for other inhabitants such as trout and bass. These tournaments are a great way to harvest significant numbers of perch out of the lakes.

The second reason is to provide an enjoyable event for area residents looking to get in on some winter fun. Last year we drew participants from as far away as Albuquerque and Texas.

Word is getting out on the great perch fishing we have here. Many locals know that yellow perch are really one of the best eating fish we have and are hard to beat when prepared properly. Most people filet the perch, much like a catfish, and either fry or bake the fish in a batter. The perch can also be boiled in water or beer and eaten like a shrimp cocktail.

Ice conditions are currently good and getting better on all four of the Pagosa area lakes. If for some reason a warm spell hits us, and ice conditions deteriorate we will reschedule the event.

Make sure to dress warm and in layers, avoid cotton clothing, bring sunscreen, plenty of fluids and a hat. An ice auger is also recommended for drilling holes in the ice. Many ice anglers have special ice-fishing rods that are short, stubby versions of a spinning rod, but a regular spinning rod will work if you do not own an ice-fishing setup.

If you would like more information on this tournament call the association administration office at 731-5635.

Larry Lynch is manager of the PLPOA Department of Property and Environment.


Fred Moreland

Fred George Moreland died Friday, Dec. 10, 2004, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango, Colorado after a long struggle with diabetes. He was 73.

Born March 2, 1931, in Abington, Pennsylvania, Mr. Moreland was the only child of Fred and Alberta Moreland.

Fred was attracted to music at an early age and served in the U.S. Air Force Band, Lowry Air Base, Denver, Colorado, performing as a clarinet soloist. Later he became licensed as a chiropractor and went on to practice for over 25 years, serving Durango and the San Juan Basin for most of that time. An avid outdoorsman, he loved the natural beauty of the Colorado mountain West.

He is survived by his sons Paul of Bayfield, Colorado, and Leslie of Seattle, Washington; and by their mother, his former wife, now Rose Helms of Arboles, Colorado.

Mr. Moreland was preceded in death by his parents.

Cremation was performed by Hood Mortuary in Durango with a private memorial ceremony to occur at a later time.

Memorial contributions may be made to Leslie Moreland/Fred Moreland Memorial Fund, Bank of Colorado, Attn: Kelsey Dunlap, 1199 Main Avenue, P.O. Drawer N, Durango, CO 81302-2950.


Business News


Biz Beat

Torry Hessman owns and operates HTI Builders. Hessman has a bachelor's degree from the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at Kansas State University and has years of experience in the design, drafting and construction fields.

HTI Builders specializes in Structural Insulated Panel homes, which provide a high degree of energy efficiency, as well as straw bale homes. Post-and-beam and log homes from HTI offer the rustic cabin feeling.

In all cases, HTI Builders strives to construct energy-efficient homes at an affordable price, providing in-house drafting and blueprinting services to customers. HTI Builders is also ready to complete drafting and blueprinting services for local builders.

Call HTI Builders at 731-3373.



Preview Profile

Dreux Williams

Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department


Where were you born?



Where did you go to school?

"Custer County High in Westcliff, Colorado."


When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"Three years ago."


What did you do before you arrived here?

"I was in the Navy and worked construction."


What are your job responsibilities?

"Plowing when it snows, putting up the Christmas decorations and maintaining the parks."


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

"I like that I do something new everyday. Everything else seems OK - I don't really dislike anything."


What is your family background?

"I have a girlfriend who lives here."


What do you like best about the community?

"I like that it's small and near the mountains."


What are your other interests?

"Fishing, hiking, hunting and snowboarding."


Cards of Thanks


Rome family

The family of Gary Rome would like to express our thanks to all our friends and relatives for the kindness extended during this time of sorrow.

Our special thanks to the employees, officers and directors of Rio Grande Savings and Loan Association and La Plata Electric Association. Without all of you we wouldn't have been able to spend so much precious time with the man we truly loved.

We have received so many gestures of support and willingness to help from everyone in the community who knew Gary.

Also, thanks to everyone who visited us in Albuquerque this past two months. We especially want to express our gratitude to John and Shirley Snider, Gilbert and Frances Martinez, Ron and Linda Schweickert and Carol Harper for their love and support. Your kindness will always be a memory that will last forever.

Gary was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and he will be missed so very much.

Deanna Rome

Darin, Laura and Damian Rome



Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Ballard were married Nov. 20, 2004, at the Highland Park Methodist Church in Dallas and a reception followed at the historic Arlington Hall on Turtle Creek.  

Kyle is the son of Jerry and Cindi Owen of Pagosa Springs and Layne and Melissa Ballard of Waxahachie, Texas.  Casey is the daughter of Dr. Reed and Lynne Tolles of La Porte, Texas.  

Kyle is a graduate of Baylor University with a degree in finance. He recently received an M.B.A. from Texas A&M  and is currently employed by Frito Lay, Economic Development Division, in Plano, Texas.  Casey is also a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in international marketing and employed by Dallas Protocol, International Division.  The couple honeymooned in Jamaica. They reside in Carrollton, Texas.

Sports Page

Pirates face road tests when schedule resumes

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Prior to this year's Dec. 3 season opener, Pirate head coach Jim Shaffer mused his team would face a tougher schedule than in previous years.

And in addition to stiffer competition, said Shaffer, the Pirates would most likely suffer some early losses from which they would have to bounce back.

But to the delightful surprise of many, Shaffer has thus far only been half right - the opponents may have been tougher, but Pagosa's loss column remains unblemished.

Granted, the first four games of the 2005 portion of the schedule pose daunting tasks - road battles at Aztec, N.M., Montezuma Cortez and Kirtland, N.M., plus a home date with Alamosa.

Then again, Pagosa has averaged just under 72 points per game, demonstrated tremendous poise and balance en route to a 7-0 record, and has shown no signs those characteristics will come to pass with the end of the year.

After a three-week layoff, the Pirates will put their undefeated record on the line Jan. 7, when they travel to face an Aztec, N.M. squad seeking revenge for a 71-41 loss to Pagosa Dec. 11. Game time is set for 8:30 p.m.

For anyone needing a basketball fix until then, the following is a breakdown of what the Pirates have achieved, to date.

Pagosa 83, TCA 41

Pirate point guards Paul Przybylski and Kerry Joe Hilsabeck led an offensive onslaught in the Dec. 3 season opener against The Classical Academy Titans in the Buena Vista Invitational Tournament.

Przybylski and Hilsabeck combined for 21 assists, committed just four turnovers and enabled four Pirates to post double-figure scoring totals in the 83-41 win.

Pirate senior Caleb Forrest led all scorers, finishing with a game-high 26 points while shooting 10-16 from the field and 5-5 from the line.

Pirate juniors Casey and Craig Schutz, who tallied 18 and 13 points, respectively, were also instrumental in the win.

Pagosa 70, Buena Vista 48

Pirate juniors Craig and Casey Schutz exploded for a combined 40 points while leading Pagosa to the Buena Vista Tournament crown Dec. 4.

The Pirate win over a top-10 opponent on its home floor ratified early-season polls placing Pagosa at or near the top of Class 3A ranks.

The Pirates proved they are a well-balanced unit throughout the contest, getting the win despite offensive catalyst Forrest playing just a few minutes in the first half.

Pagosa 75, Gunnison 37

The Pirates overcame a sluggish start in the opening round of the Wolf Creek Classic Dec. 11 against a feisty Gunnison team, eventually recording a 75-37 win.

After leading by just two points at the half, Pagosa put the pedal down at both ends of the floor and outpaced the Cowboys in the final 16 minutes.

Forrest shot 11-15 from the field and 4-4 from the line to lead all scorers with 27 points while adding eight boards and eight blocks to the books.

Craig Schutz tallied 15 points and nine boards in the win; Jordan Shaffer and Caleb Ormonde added 10 and seven points, respectively.

The win improved Pagosa's season record to 3-0 heading into a second-round contest against a strong Battle Mountain squad the following day.

Pagosa 73, Battle Mtn. 58

In a 73-58 win Dec. 12 over Class 4A Battle Mountain in the second round of the Wolf Creek Classic, the Pirates once again demonstrated a balanced offensive arsenal.

With Forrest sidelined with foul trouble for the final 11 minutes of the first half, Jordan Shaffer and Craig Schutz led a spirited scoring attack as the Pirates fought to a 36-30 halftime lead.

The final two quarters belonged to Pagosa, as the Huskies rarely were able to cut the lead to single digits after the opening minutes of the second half.

Casey Schutz took scoring honors for Pagosa with 19, while Shaffer added 16 and Forrest contributed 12.

The victory improved Pagosa's record to 4-0 and put the Pirates in position to secure the tournament crown with a victory over Aztec the same night.

Pagosa 71, Aztec 41

Forrest led the Pirates to a 30-point win over a mammoth but seemingly overmatched Tiger squad in the Wolf Creek Classic championship game Dec. 12.

A heavy factor in a 22-7 first quarter, Forrest stayed on target throughout the remainder of the contest and booked 29 points, 14 boards and three blocked shots.

Head coach Jim Shaffer's squad took the tournament crown and improved to 5-0 on the year with the victory, while Forrest was voted the Classic's most valuable player, joining Pirate juniors Craig and Casey Schutz on the all-tourney team.

Pagosa 75, Piedra Vista 55

The Pirate defense was somewhat lax at times, but Forrest dropped in 34 points and Craig Schutz added 20 as Pagosa recorded a 20-point win Dec. 18 over a well-schooled Panther team.

Przbylski contributed eight assists to the winning effort, followed by Hilsabeck with four and Shaffer and Craig Schutz with three apiece.

The win improved the Pirates' season record to 6-0 heading into the following night's showdown with Kirtland, N.M.

Pagosa 55, Kirtland 43

Kirtland effectively employed a slow-the-pace strategy and Pagosa went ice cold from the field in the final quarter, but the Pirates eventually prevailed for a 12-point win.

Craig Schutz led all scorers with 26 points, carrying Pagosa to its seventh straight victory heading into the holiday break.

The Pirates also got 10 points from Forrest, seven from Casey Schutz and six from Otis Rand.

The teams will face each other in a Jan. 14 re-match at Kirtland. Game time is 7 p.m.


Pirate wrestlers prepare for stretch run as season resumes Jan. 6

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

If there is one word that characterizes the 2004 portion of the Pirates' wrestling season, it is "improvement."

And improvement is just what coaches and fans wanted most from a Pirate squad lean on top-level experience and featuring a number of wrestlers relatively new to varsity competition.

This year's team has a core of veterans who have seen a season through to its conclusion at the Pepsi Center in Denver, at the state tournament - four athletes, to be exact.

Senior Daren Hockett is no stranger to the highest level of competition in Class 3A. Hockett took third in the state at 103 pounds in 2003 and sixth last year at 125.

Senior Raul Palmer made the trip to Denver last year, qualifying for the tourney at 135 and winning one match at state.

Junior Ky Smith likewise won a match at the state meet last year, at 130.

Bubba Martinez was a pleasant surprise last season as a sophomore, going 2-2 at state at 215.

One other Pirate, Orion Sandoval, was on the edge of making the trip to Denver at 103 when he took fourth place at the regional tournament. His season ended abruptly, however, when he was defeated in a wrestle-back.

As expected, the vets are leading the charge this year.

Hockett has been flawless thus far at 125, posting a 14-0 record, and doing something no other Pirate has ever done - taking the title at the Warrior Classic at Grand Junction.

Palmer has posted a stellar record in the first part of the season at 135. The senior is 12-2.

Sandoval moved up to 119 this year and has won six matches in the early going.

Smith is wrestling at 140 and has eight wins to his credit thus far.

Martinez has seen a number of forfeits at 215 but defeated six opponents prior to the Christmas break.

Also coming along well is junior Matt Nobles, fighting this year at 160. Nobles has six victories on the season.

Marcus Rivas brings senior savvy to the mat at 189 and, despite a nagging shoulder injury, has managed four victories.

Josh Nelson has three wins at 112 as does Reynaldo Palmer at 171.

Shane Lloyd has contributed two wins to the team total at 103; Dale August, getting a late start on competition also has two wins, at 145; Juan Martinez posted two victories at 171. Joe Romine has put together two wins at 275; Jakob Reding has one win at that weight. Senior Manuel Madrid has a win at 152.

Coach Dan Janowsky recognizes the improvement that has occurred so far and is using the laboratory of the early season to plot a course toward the state tournament.

"There's a fairly good gap between us and a lot of the other 3A teams," he said, "but we still have a way to go to crack the top 10 or the top five. I see signs now that it is possible, but we need more production from our juniors and seniors. We need them to medal at tournaments, we need them to score points."

Janowsky thinks his charges fared a bit better in the first part of the season than he expected and said, "we got a good look at our strengths and our weaknesses. We need to work now to maximize those strengths and minimize our weaknesses. Our best attribute is our positive attitude. These guys hustle - in the practice room and in matches - and that's the reason for my optimism. They aren't going to stop; they'll keep doing it and we'll use it to our advantage."

When the Pirates return to action in the new year, they will return with a vengeance, pulling a heavy load with three events during their first week back, in a season cut one week short from the norm due to scheduling problems for the state tournament at the Pepsi Center.

Action begins at Ignacio Jan. 6 as the Pirates and Bobcats square off in an Intermountain League dual. The IML regular-season championship is decided on the basis of a series of dual meets - one with each of the four league opponents. This will be the first chance Pagosa and Ignacio have to see each other this season.

The next night, the Pirates are home for their first matches in front of local fans. The Pirates host Espanola, Taos and Bloomfield at the Rocky Mountain Duals Jan. 7.

Everyone should be sufficiently sore to take to the mats the next morning as the Pirates host the annual Rocky Mountain Tournament at the high school gym - one of the better tournaments of the year in the southwest region.

"When we get back," said Janowsky, "it's a race to the end of the season."


Preseason performances indicates IML should be another Pirate-Falcon race

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Six down and five to go before they can get down to the nitty gritty of an always exciting Intermountain League season.

That's the status for the Pagosa Springs High School girls' basketball team which enters the new year with a 4-2 record and looking up to where they stood in polls at the beginning of the campaign.

Once ranked in the top five, then the top 10, two losses have dropped them down, for now.

Those setbacks came to Buena Vista in its home tournament. The Demons used that win to move up the ladder into the top three.

The last setback came to visiting Aztec in the finale of the Wolf Creek Classic in Pagosa Springs when the cold-shooting Pirates dug themselves an early hole, battled back twice, but were unable to pull it out down the stretch.

With victories over The Classical Academy at Buena Vista, Gunnison and Montezuma-Cortez in the Wolf Creek Classic, and over Piedra Vista in a runaway, the Pagosans have five more non-league contests against big schools before the conference campaign begins.

They will open the new year hosting Bloomfield Jan. 4 for a 7 p.m. contest; go on the road Jan. 7 for a return match against Aztec (7 p.m.) and Jan. 14 to Kirtland (5:30 p.m.); host Alamosa at 5:30 p.m. the following day, then close the preseason with a Jan. 20 trip to Farmington (7 p.m. start).

What does all this mean for the Pirates who are hoping to move up from their surprise fourth-place finish in the state tournament last year and who return nine players who started at one time or another in that campaign?

Coach Bob Lynch likes competing against the bigger schools before the league season because "it gives us more intense competition and makes us see what we need to work on."

He concedes the squad has not shot well all season, either from the floor or the foul line, but notes that 80 percent of the time the defense has been outstanding and so far no one has outrebounded the Pirates.

"We get scoring in spurts from different people," he said, "but we haven't been able to put together a consistent team effort offensively. Perhaps the Piedra Vista game was the best offensive performance, and much of it came from the bench."

Lynch will tell you he needs Lori Walkup to step up offensively as she has on defense, and for other starters to be consistent. "We can't have a 16-point game followed by a scoreless performance," he said.

That said, the Pirates appear to have the firepower to have six or eight players in the 8-14 point range game in and game out.

And, at least on paper in the preseason, they have greater depth and more experience than any squad in the league.

As a team, the Pirates are averaging 56 points per game to 43.8 for their opponents. Their highest single game output was 71; the lowest the 37 at Buena Vista. Four of six opponents have been held to 45 points or less.

Success for the Pirates means controlling the boards. They have recorded 190 rebounds in the first six games; their opponents have 112. Exactly 100 Pirate boards have been the offensive variety. Leading the pack are Caitlin Forrest with 45; Emily Buikema with 39; Caitlyn Jewell with 38 and Lori Walkup with 33.

The Pirates have completed 57 steals from opponents but, in their largesse and to Lynch's dismay, have committed 80 unforced turnovers. He'd like no more than 12 per game but has seen that few only once. The average has been 16.

What does the IML season look like?

If you could see the teams in a mirror of last year's action, you'd most likely see the same division within the standings.

Most observers feel it will be Pagosa Springs and Centauri dueling it out for league honors - the same two teams which seem to be in that position year after year.

Pagosa lost no one to graduation from the team that upset Centauri in the state tournament last year, but did lose standout Laurel Reinhardt when the now sophomore chose to concentrate on her favorite sport, soccer, and cross country.

Centauri, meanwhile, returns a roster filled with familiar names. There are two McCarrolls (Lisa and Janette), two Cooleys (Lacie and Marcie), Amanda Gylling, Resa Espinosa, Sheena Sutherland and Afton Whitton.

In the preseason, Centauri is undefeated closing out at 6-0 with a 42-25 victory over Class 4A Alamosa. The other victories have been over smaller schools, with the exception of Salida.

Pagosa, at 4-2, has victories over The Classical Academy, New Mexico 4A's Piedra Vista, Gunnison, and Class 4A Montezuma Cortez. Losses have been to Buena Vista, ranked two or three at 7-0, depending on the poll (Pagosa's 37 points were the most scored against the Demons so far this year), and New Mexico's 4A Aztec Tigers.

Monte Vista, at 3-4 in the preseason, has the bulk of last year's squad back , including team leader Mary Beth Miles, three-point whiz Tabitha Guitterez, Judy Duran, Tabitha Lister and Stephanie Wright.

They, too, with the exception of a 63-31 loss to Buena Vista, have been playing smaller schools.

Bayfield returns three key players in Ashley Shaw, Whitney Howard and Kelsey Demo and comes out of preseason action at 2-4 with losses to Salida, Gunnison, Dolores County and Montezuma-Cortez to go with wins over Florence and Mancos.

Ignacio has a 1-4 preseason mark, getting the win over Farmington's junior varsity after falling to Mancos, Montezuma-Cortez, Navajo Prep and Durango junior varsity.

The Bobcats are led by Maria Rivera, Miranda Russell, Kesbah Griffith and Angela Vigil.

It won't take long to determine the IML frontrunner. Pagosa and Centauri hook up in the league kickoff game in the Pirates' gym 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. They will open the league's second half on the Centauri court 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11.

The balance has Monte Vista here Jan. 28 and Pagosa there Feb. 12; Pagosa at Bayfield Jan. 29 and hosting the Wolverines Feb. 18; Pagosa at Ignacio Feb. 4 and hosting the 'Cats Feb. 19. Pagosa will host the IML tournament Feb. 25-26, with regionals March 4-5 at a site to be determined.

The state tournament, again at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, will be played March 10, 11 and 12.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Practice good sportsmanship, and explain it to children

Sportsmanship - what is it?

Most young children do not fully understand what is meant by sportsmanship.

Over the past couple of years when I taught physical education and asked my class to explain sportsmanship, I would hear answers such as: "Don't cheat," "Don't get mad or cry when you lose" or "Don't yell at your teammates when they make a mistake."

Children often have a hard time understanding the concepts of competition, winning and losing. This view makes sense when you think about what they see on TV every day. Children are attracted to all of the attention and rewards thrown toward winners while losers do not receive such focus. The message that kids are learning is that people are valued only if they are winners.

What we would like you to do as parents and coaches is this: Explain sportsmanship by discussing the respect for the game, the players, the rules and the officials.

Adults can understand that it is OK to lose and that what is important is have fun, do your best and strive to improve your own abilities.

Oh, by the way, while you are explaining sportsmanship to your children or to your team as their coach, make sure you display good sportsmanship. Make sure you are a good example (yelling at referees is not good) and don't get wrapped up in the competition or live vicariously through your children.

Make sure you don't have unrealistic expectations about your child, thinking she or he might be the next superstar.

To ensure that children gain the benefits of sports participation, parents and coaches must evaluate and monitor their own attitudes and behaviors so that good sportsmanship is learned.

Remember: Maintain a "Fun is No. 1" attitude. If everyone is having fun, it'll make learning all aspects of the game more enjoyable and rewarding!

Youth basketball

The draft for the 9-10 and 11-12 divisions of youth basketball was held Dec, 13. With 15 teams in these divisions we are looking forward to some great competition. Practices have begun and opening day will be Saturday, Jan. 8. Schedules will be available Jan. 3 at Town Hall.

For more information concerning youth basketball, call 264-4151 Ext. 232.

Open volleyball

As an attempt to continue to offer adult volleyball to the community, the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will offer open adult volleyball Monday nights starting Jan. 10, from 6-8 p.m.

This is a change from the fall when open volleyball was played on Wednesday nights.

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 sports league.

Open basketball

Our 2005 adult basketball leagues will start in February.

The managers' meeting for adult basketball will take place Monday, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m. in the Town Hall conference room.

We are planning open gym nights throughout January.

Start putting your teams together now for this exciting, adult league. Men's and women's recreational and competitive leagues are forming; new teams are welcome.

Hiring referees

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating youth and adult basketball starting in January.

High school students may apply. Compensation is $10-$25 per game depending on age group and experience. Call immediately if interested.

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

Pagosa Springs Parks

Dispose of Christmas trees at two locations

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County will be participating in the disposal of Christmas trees again this year.

You can take your tree to South Park on South 8th Street or to the transfer station on Trujillo Road.

Please remove all icicles and ornaments before disposing of your tree. The trees will be mulched and used in our parks.

This program is a great service to the public, with great benefits to our parks department.

Historically, Clifford Lucero has provided the space and the chipper for this service. The town would like to thank Clifford for all his assistance and the county for the great teamwork provided on projects such as this.

Ice skating

Town crews will be flooding the ponds and preparing them for ice skating to the best of their ability during the coming winter months.

Being outdoors with your children, exercising and breathing the clean Colorado air, is a great way to spend the day. Many tourists come hundreds of miles to enjoy Wolf Creek, hot baths, sledding and the outdoor skating.

Locals - you have no excuses. Get out and enjoy the winter fun, with opportunities right at your doorstep.


On to the new year

We find New Year's resolutions unproductive, exercises in futility pointed at correcting habits that, were they susceptible to change, would have been altered long ago. However, we find the notion one can look forward with hope that certain changes and activities occur interesting, in a bright-eyed sort of way.

What is it, then, we hope for in the new year? What do we want for our beloved country, state and community?

We hope that, in the next year, we have less reason to send young men and women off to war - that the situations requiring their presence improve, that there is less conflict in the world.

Our hopes include one for less conflict here, at home. Last year saw escalation of acrimonious relations among Americans, fueled by talk radio reductionism, propped on perspectives that exclude complexity and ambiguity. We hope for realistic exchanges of opinion about issues, tendered without the enmity born of empty sloganeering, absent the dialogue of labels, free of the excuses of ideologies. We hope we do not continue to burden future generations with crushing debt.

We hope our newly-elected representatives to the U.S. Senate and House - Sen. Ken Salazar and Rep. John Salazar - forge careers marked by their southern Colorado upbringings.

For our state, we hope for relaxation of the grip TABOR has on our ability to provide infrastructure and services required by continuing growth. We trust our representatives in state government - Sen. Jim Isgar and Rep. Mark Larson - will continue to do an excellent job on our behalf.

For our town, we hope proposed changes proceed with care for all involved. We hope our elected leaders keep in mind the difference between private and public interests and strike a productive balance between the two, seeking the utilitarian ideal of the greatest good for the greatest number.

For our county we hope new leadership experiences harmonious interaction, with all concerned aware of the beauty of enthusiasm tempered by experience. We anxiously await signs our elected officials value hiring, then trusting, professional administrators and talented employees in place of micromanaging county affairs. There is much to be done to deal with an overwhelming problem with roads (including a possible mill levy issue on the ballot), and on an effective land-use and growth management scheme - a system decades overdue.

In each case - town and county - we hope elected representatives keep the ideal of representative government close to heart, take seriously the fact we elected them to stand in our stead, not to pass their responsibilities, in any degree, to others whom we did not and would not elect. We also look forward to increased cooperation between town and county, mirroring what we've seen recently between local law enforcement agencies.

We hope directors of the health service district solve organizational and financial problems that originated long before they took office. If a search for that solution takes the directors to the core of the organization, to its reason for existing, its structure, we trust they have the courage and skills to do the job.

For our schools, we wish an end to the crushing burden of state and federal mandates that have robbed us of local control of the education of our children. Public education is hamstrung as districts are assaulted by programs with saucy names that, in fact, lower the bar to the point where everyone and anyone can succeed, that cater to a lowest common denominator gussied up in fancy wrapping. We hope public education can survive, with a return to higher standards, the reintroduction of genuine demands, effective discipline, and, yes, failure - all the while asking parents to do their work at home, instilling a work ethic and respect in their children, rather than attacking the institution, its administrators and teachers.

Hope springs eternal. Happy New Year. Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

A muddy path may lie in future

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Come walk with me as we step into a new year. See the paths of the future unfold before us as we set a pace to keep Pagosa Springs, the town we love, free of mudslinging.

Yes, there will be change, and much of it already has started. Yes, there will be furor over development - condemnation of some projects and praise for others.

It is my sincere hope the new Pagosa is a lot like the old one - that we do not lose sight of the fact one of our strengths is and always has been concern for our fellow man.

Pagosa Country has served us well as we depleted its resources. It has provided us with the lumber we needed for construction, the support services we needed to survive, and the caring, giving community of mankind we need for personal conscience development.

There is no question that some extremely visible areas need to be cleaned up. There is no question that law and order problems on a scale never known here before are looming in the days and months ahead.

We must understand, as must those who would change our ways, that there is a finite amount of the source of sustenance - our water supply - for the use of all concerned.

Prior rights, downstream commitments, growth needs all must be configured into a workable plan that will keep us a community of caring consumers who deal with each other as daily friends and customers.

Everyone has talked about affordable housing for the community but no one has made inroads in defining "affordable," deciding where it will be if it is truly affordable, or who will own and maintain it.

The visionaries and world class developers seemingly have eyes only for the profit margin. Time and again it has been proven in Colorado mountain town developments that the people who must do the work can rarely afford to live any longer in the community to which their families have given allegiance for a century or more.

We have natural resources to support growth, of a controlled, managed type that blends into the efforts which have gone on in the past. We do not have unlimited financial resources and, even without growth, the town itself faces immense sanitation system construction and expansion just to deal with the pollution it is causing right now.

Developing subdivisions in rural areas of the county want water and have found little supply available to them.

Automotive and truck traffic, because it is the only means of serving the community with workers and salable materials, has daily bottlenecks just like most major cities. But moving the traffic flow route, like some suggest, simply moves the flow of potential shoppers away from the retail areas.

Old town Pagosa Springs would most likely just become "old" until fading from the scene to be replaced by a plethora of strip malls.

We need to walk into the new year with caution, not rush into a decision because it seems like a financial windfall on the surface.

We may need to don hip boots to wade through some of the hogwash verbalized. Care in transit is mandatory for survival.



90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Jan. 1, 1915

Should a new bridge be built across the San Juan River at Arboles? It looks the part of wisdom to locate it above the mouth of the Piedra River.

Mrs. Gaylord, treasurer-elect, enters upon her new term today. The other new county officers will begin their terms on the 12th.

Jim Carlin announces that he and Joe and Ben Martinez will soon begin the erection of a frame building 30x100 on San Juan Street opposite the bank. The upper floor will be used for hall and lodge purposes.

We still believe the old New Era was the best, cleanest and most helpful paper Archuleta County ever had and we propose to make the new New Era better than the old one ever was.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 3, 1930

The thermometer yesterday morning registered 6 degrees below zero, which is the coldest reported to this office this winter - somewhat milder than the 30 and 40 below registration of last winter.

Our "foreign" readers can believe it or not, but nevertheless the Carl Hayden and Steve McCormick families enjoyed a picnic dinner on the top of Wolf Creek Pass highway on Sunday, Dec. 29, 1929, and the same feat could be duplicated any day since without suffering from snow or cold.

If you want the finest and freshest home-made sauerkraut, phone your order to No. 242, A.M. Packer, who will deliver the best quality product obtainable at 60¢ per gallon.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Dec. 31, 1954

The past year has been one of progress for Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County with many new marks of progress and many new gains in economy. Cattle and sheep prices have held up much better this year than for some time and the residents of the county, town and country alike, are feeling the benefits of this.

Some of the most noticeable improvements the past year in town itself have been the new high school and the water works extension and improvement program.

The REA this past summer officially dedicated the new $30,000 hydro-electric plant just below town which is expected to result in quite a saving for members of the co-op. It is also expected to result in more efficient service in the local area.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Jan. 3, 1980

Weather during 1979 was a bit unusual. Total precipitation was just a bit above average, but the big end of it fell in the first five months of the year, with the summer months being dry. August was an exception, with 2.83 inches of moisture. Total snowfall for the year was 203 inches with 76 inches of that falling in January.

The beauty of this area in the winter time is equal to that of any season. Travelers through the area remark upon winter time beauty, and beauty it is. Some of the clear, starlit nights are so pretty that they can't be described. The whole area has a clean, white look, and it is a privilege to live in such beautiful surroundings.



Mentor program selected for "Match of the Year"

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Anna O'Reilly is a massage therapist. She did massage before it was popular. She's taught an art class at the senior center. She grew up with four younger sisters and has two grown children.

Over two years ago, when she first thought of volunteering as a big sister, she was a bit nervous.

Would she and this young person have enough in common?

What would they talk about?

What would they do?

And then, through Big Brothers Big Sisters she was matched with an eighth-grader named Teresa Silva. Since then, the two have talked, laughed, painted, flown in a plane, bowled, played miniature golf and even been through a car wash together - a first for Silva. Their success, and their friendship, was honored recently when they were named Pagosa's 2004 match of the year.

"I've seen them both blossom through their shared interests," Pagosa's match specialist Dearle Ann Ricker said. As one of Pagosa's longest Big Brothers Big Sisters matches, the two have been through a lot together. The enduring relationship is what really makes them stand out.

"Although they are compatible in many ways," Ricker said, "at times they would have their differences of opinion. Anna would model how to work things through in their relationship, and they ended up growing closer as friends while honoring their individuality."

The goal of Big Brothers Big Sisters, a national program, is to match youth with adult mentors.

"It's fun," Silva said of being a little sister. "It's nice to have someone to talk to that listens, that's not so judgemental like the people my age." Silva is now a sophomore at Pagosa Spring High School.

Big and little are creative and active. They enjoy plays, movies and long meals at Subway.

"We go out to eat a lot at Subway," O'Reilly said. "That's where we have our deep conversations." They've also tried swimming, attending a political fund-raiser, miniature golf and several area art exhibits. Most recently, the two attended the Magical Madrigal Dinner using two free tickets provided by Music Boosters.

Things like free passes to the movie and other special events sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters really helped, O'Reilly said.

"We always bought popcorn and such," she said. "It makes it a fun thing to do."

Ricker said after their first few months together O'Reilly called at a loss for what to do next. For six months, she had done something different with Silva every week.

"I told her you can do something more than once," Ricker said. Half joking, she also suggested a trip to the car wash, something simple and ordinary.

"We did," O'Reilly said. For the first year, the two continued to meet once a week, according to program guidelines, to build a strong relationship.

Now, they are a little looser with their schedules.

"We're both independent and we don't have to think way ahead of time what we're going to do," O'Reilly said.

Gary Mull, Silva's father and a single dad, said the relationship has given his daughter a different point of view to consider and an opportunity to try new things.

"I'm more of an outdoor person," he said. "She does a lot of outdoor things with me, but Anna does a lot of cultural events Teresa wouldn't have necessarily been exposed to otherwise."

Initially a school counselor suggested the program. Mull and Silva decided to give it a try.

At first, Silva, was nervous.

"It was something new I wasn't used to," she said.

Now both she and her dad give the program their full support.

"I can definitely see the dividends," Mull said. "In dealing with people, she (Silva) gets two different views," Mull said. "She can take those and say maybe take a little of dad's and a little bit of Anna's and figure a way to solve problems."

Silva and O'Reilly received their Match of the Year award at the Community Christmas Choir concert in December and plan to continue meeting and learning from each other long into the future.

O'Reilly praised Silva's creativity, her writing ability, her sense of color, her sense of humor and her frankness.

"I can say what I feel like," O'Reilly said. "I don't have to be careful about that. It's a friendship, not an obligation like sometimes family is."

Being around youth, said O'Reilly, especially painting around them, also helps her remain nonjudgemental when it comes to exploring creativity.

"She sort of inspires me sometimes and I sort of inspire her sometimes," O'Reilly said.

About 500 chapters of Big Brothers Big Sisters exist nationwide. According to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Web site, in 2002 the organization, which celebrates its centennial this year, served more than 200,000 youth age five to 18 in 5,000 communities across the country. The La Plata County chapter is the closest to Pagosa Springs and funds Ricker's position. In 2004, Ricker oversaw 22 total matches and is always in search of more volunteers. In fact, she plans to start a new recruiting effort in the new year.

According to Ricker's 2004 summary, seven new matches were made in Archuleta County. Nine of the local matches have been in place over a year.

To ensure strong matches, both adults and youth go though an application process. Case managers consider compatibility, background, personalities and general interest before making a decision.

For more information regarding Big Brothers Big Sisters, call 264-5077 or the office in Durango, 247-3720.


Computer on the blink? Fix-It-Free day set for Jan. 8

The mission of the Computer Fix-It-Free Day is to provide free technical assistance to members of our community who would otherwise not be able to obtain it.

Targeted are those who have a computer by means of hand-me-down or charity that is not functioning correctly. Local computer technicians are donating their time to this event.

Used parts will be provided at no charge for the purpose of repair by The Humane Society and the volunteering computer technicians. If new parts are needed, they will be provided at cost or at a discount.

The session will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 8 in the Pagosa Springs Community Center - by appointment only.

Only one computer per household will be repaired. Interested individuals can reserve a one-hour time slot by calling 731-6373.


Volunteers sought for county Airport

Advisory Committee

The board of county commissioners is seeking volunteers to serve on the newly constituted Airport Advisory Committee.

The committee will consist of five members: a Taxiway Bravo hanger owner, an airport tenant or user, an airport-related business owner, a representative of the fixed base operator and a member at-large.

Terms will be for three years. Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to send a letter indicating interest to Airport Manager, PO Box 1507, Pagosa Springs CO 81147. Or e-mail the letter of interest to For more information, call 731-3060.

 Pagosa's Past

Fort Lewis: From Army camp

in Pagosa to college in Durango

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

We've been sketching the metamorphosis of Fort Lewis College from Army camp in Pagosa Springs to college campus in Durango.

Fort Lewis College became a full-time, four-year college in 1933. At that time, the Fort Lewis campus was located at Hesperus.

In a series of columns over the past few weeks we've explained how Fort Lewis originated in 1878 as an Army camp located where the main business block of Pagosa Springs rests today.

The Fort was moved to Hesperus in 1880, decommissioned as a fort, but opened as an Indian school in 1891, converted to a sort of agricultural high school in 1911, began to offer some college courses during the early 1920s and finally, in 1933, converted to a four-year college, still located at Hesperus.

In today's column we will discover when and why the campus was moved to Durango.

Fort Lewis welcomed an enrollment of 115 students in 1934 - 66 men and 49 women. The new college, operated and financed by the state, struggled through the Great Depression.

Through World War II, male enrollment was very minimal because of the draft and the war effort. Not enough males were enrolled in 1945 to field a football team.

Following the war, enrollment leaped to new levels, due in large part to government-paid tuition for veterans, called GI benefits. The September 1946 enrollment, with the war over, totaled 235, the most ever at the Hesperus campus.

For most of its educational life, Fort Lewis had been governed under the Colorado Department of Agriculture, more specifically through Colorado State College of Agriculture at Fort Collins.

That changed in 1948 when Fort Lewis was granted independence from Fort Collins and allowed to have its own president. It remained under the governance of the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

During 1952, efforts to move Fort Lewis A&M to Durango were initiated. Enrollment that year was only 170 students. Administrators believed the school's remote location was hindering growth.

Consequently, in 1953, the State Board of Agriculture formally endorsed a proposal to create a branch campus in Durango. The campus was to be located on Reservoir Hill overlooking town on acreage offered by the city for $1 per acre.

In February 1954, the state Legislature approved the expenditure of $325,000 for building two dormitories capable of housing 130 students. In 1955, the legislature authorized spending over $1 million to begin construction of the new campus.

The move to Durango dramatically increased enrollment. From 241 in 1956, enrollment climbed to 720 in 1962.

Fort Lewis received full accreditation as a junior college in 1958. The school became a four-year school issuing baccalaureate degrees starting in 1962 when the name changed from Fort Lewis A&M to Fort Lewis College.

The old Fort Lewis campus became a Colorado Department of Agriculture experimental station in 1956.


Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture











































Storm to wane, additional snow may follow

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Will snowfall resulting from a winter storm's visit to Pagosa Country amount to several inches, or several feet?

The answer, according to the latest storm warnings issued for the Four Corners region by the National Weather Service, is "both."

The general outlook for lower elevations across southwest Colorado call for as much as 8-16 inches of white before the tail end of the storm weakens and spins to the northeast by late afternoon today.

At higher ground in the San Juan Mountains, however, snow totals "could see 16-30 inches of snow with this new storm," especially along southwest facing slopes.

In addition, "Southwest winds 20 to 35 miles per hour with isolated gusts to 60 mph will occur."

Closer to town, "You're probably looking at anywhere from two to eight inches, but the Pagosa area could see more depending on what track the storm takes," concluded Dave Nadler, a forecaster with the NWS office in Grand Junction.

And decent odds for snow will apparently not weaken with the passing of the storm; Friday's forecast includes a 30-percent chance for flurries, highs in the 25-35 range and lows in the teens.

Saturday calls for mostly-cloudy skies, a 40-percent chance for snow, highs near 30 and lows anywhere from 5 to 15.

The chance for snow drops to 20 percent for Sunday and Monday, with highs for each day predicted in the upper 20s and lows around 10.

The snow chance jumps back to 30 percent for Monday and Tuesday, with highs forecast in the 30s and lows expected to drop into the single digits.

The forecast for Wednesday includes a 60-percent chance for snow, highs in the 30s and lows in the teens.

The average high temperature last week in Pagosa Springs was 39 degrees. The average low was 7. Moisture totals amounted to five-hundredths of an inch.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit snow depth of 61 inches, a midway depth of 52 inches and year-to-date total of 113 inches.

For updates on snow and road conditions at the ski area, visit the Web at

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains is "moderate," with increasing risks probable due to ongoing snowfall.

According to SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin, as of Wednesday, was 96 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 50 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 120 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Dec. 30 is roughly 50 cubic feet per second.