February 03, 2005
Front Page


New loan keeps clinic to April 1; EMS defended

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center will remain open as a primary care clinic until March 31 when contracts with physicians expire.

A $150,000 loan extended against 2005 tax dollars, secured from Citizens Bank last week , is the buoy.

What to do next is the repair still weighing down the Upper San Juan Health Service District.

Board member Jerry Valade said a total of $200,000 has now been extended to the district from the bank with the promise it could be recouped once tax checks reach district coffers. The agreement is to pay off half the loan in March and the other half, plus interest of about $2,000, in May. After basic needs are met, any remaining loan money would be used to decrease overdue bills sitting at about $200,000.

From there, Valade worked with a committee appointed at the end of January to come up with a short-term model that might carry the limping district ahead.

To stay in the black, he said, the medical center requires an estimated $11,000 more each month in income. By placing the building in caretaker status - paying only the bills necessary to prevent degradation of the existing structure and offering no services - the district would come out with about $200,000 in 2005. Added emergency medical services expenses could gobble up $112,000 of that, still leaving the district about $85,000 ahead.

Valade cautioned the board the model did not take into account current unpaid debt, the $40,000 the district promised to make a "best effort" to return to the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation, expenses incurred employing a temporary EMS operations manager, pending employee settlements or employee buyouts necessary when the clinic closes.

He also presented an outline of three motions designed to prevent closure of the medical center, starting with shifting tax money away from EMS to open as an emergency/urgent care facility starting April 1. As a consequence, EMS services would have to be reduced until either private or mill levy funds could be generated to offset costs.

Even with the best possible model running the best possible way, he said, the district needs more money at the end of every day. "I just don't think we have enough money to do what we want to do here," he said.

Board members and audience members alike took exception to the idea of reducing EMS. Brian Sinnot, EMS committee chair, said the model for EMS services approved in July meets the district's basic needs and little else. To reduce those services would be "patient detrimental," he said.

"To do that and then go to the taxpayers after you've created a crisis situation is just wrong," he said.

Board member Bob Scott also balked at the idea of increasing the mill levy.

"In my mind we need a crystal-clear vision of where this thing is going and how we fix it before we do that," he said, advocating closing the clinic, continuing to support EMS, which is functioning fairly well, and working through financial and managerial issues until a model to meet the health care needs of the community and the financial restraints of the district could be designed.

Dr. Dick Blide, another board member, said the discussion was "putting the cart before the horse. We don't have enough money because we don't have enough patients." Improving patient numbers, both he and board member Dr. Jim Pruitt agreed, means bringing all the local physicians to the table to design a cooperative community health care system that serves the entire population.

J.R. Ford said more services is the key, not more patients.

"I don't see it as a volume issue at all," he said from the audience. "If we go on the way we have been, collecting the bills, the last thing we want is more bills." Later in the meeting he suggested at least leasing out space in the medical center while the board considers restructuring options.

Dr. Guy Paquet, the district's medical director, one of two physicians whose contracts expire March 31, said the area has more primary care doctors than needed. Based on population, with 2,500 patients required per primary care physician, he said, Pagosa Springs could support six physicians. Paquet counted eight including the two at the Mary Fisher Medical Center, plus a variety of alternative medicine practitioners.

"As long as people keep fighting amongst themselves, you'll never get anywhere," he said.

Business manager Allen Hughes cautioned the board that closing the medical center even for a short time would require significant start-up costs, including three or four months of operating capital while rebuilding a patient base and restocking medical supplies.

"You're talking clients, we're talking community," Pruitt said, reminding Hughes that six members of the board ran on a platform that focused on ending competition between public and private health care clinics. The board spent several months in 2004 in negotiations with local physicians to contract for services with no success because of the financial woes.

From the audience, Sinnot and Larry Escude of EMS, and Dave Bohl, financial committee chair, said it was time for the board to redesign the platform, set some attainable goals and begin working to reach those goals.

"It seems to me the key to this situation is that none of the medical groups are working together," Escude said. "If they were working together and had a common goal, you guys would probably have one of the best health care systems in the area."

Bohl said time to make such decisions is running short. "You can't stay open past March 31 as you are now." A community of board members, citizens and physicians plan to meet tomorrow to discuss possible interim cooperative plans for the medical center. Board chairman Pam Hopkins said a decision regarding the short-term status of the medical center would most likely have to be made at a special meeting scheduled Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at Fire Station 1.

In the long term, the district board continues to look toward the feasibility of using the Mary Fisher Medical Center as a Critical Access Hospital - a federal designation that would allow them to recoup 101 percent of all Medicare charges.

Sheldon Weisgrau, with Rural Health Consultants of Lawrence, Kan., is aiming to complete the grant-funded study some time around the end of April. Of the 2,200 small rural hospitals nationwide, he said, about 1,000 qualify as critical access hospitals.

As far as timing goes, application and federal red tape take several months; the bigger issue will be, as always, funding for any required improvements, operations and staff.

Weisgrau said, as with any rural health care facility, the ultimate keys to success will be "strong management, support of the local physicians and support of the community."



'Conservative' county budget finalized

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

With the recent addition of a narrative from Bob Burchett, Archuleta County finance director, the 2005 county budget is now in final form.

In summary, Burchett's narrative suggests this year's document has been prepared with a modest degree of cautious optimism.

Says Burchett, "Archuleta County, as well as the state of Colorado, has experienced a recent mild boost in economic growth during the latter part of 2004, and this gradual trend is anticipated to continue during 2005."

For example, "a slight surge" in sales tax revenue late last year is expected to maintain strength, and the county anticipates sales tax revenues this year will increase by nearly 8 percent over last year's estimated total of $1,274,000.

At the same time, "In a fiscal state environment characterized by program reductions, layoffs and the like, it is easy for us to emphasize that our circumstances are not as good as they could be nor as good as we would like them to be."

As a result, "Indeed, the reflection of this budget can be clearly characterized as 'defensive' or conservative,'" says Burchett.

The following are a few of the budget highlights discussed in Burchett's narrative.

General Fund

General Fund Revenues for fiscal year 2005 are estimated at $7,474,181, an increase of $865,109, or roughly 13 percent, over estimated revenues for 2004.

Property taxes are the primary source of revenues for the General Fund, and the corresponding, effective mill levy rate for 2005 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 this year, with $3,106,761 earmarked for the General Fund.

Sales tax revenues are another key component of the General Fund, and the fund's revenues for this year are estimated at $1,375,000, equating to 50 percent of total sales tax collected annually by the county.

The remaining 50 percent of county sales tax revenues are allocated to the Road Capital Improvement Fund.

General Fund expenditures for 2005 are budgeted at $7,800,007, which exceeds anticipated revenues by $325,826.

However, "This shortfall will be covered by existing unreserved fund balance accumulated in prior years," says Burchett.

Road and Bridge Fund

This year's Road and Bridge Fund revenues are estimated at $2,322,595, which reflects an increase of nearly 25 percent over projected 2004 revenues and a decrease of 1.6 percent of the 2004 budgeted amount.

According to Burchett, "The majority of this increase ... results from the anticipated increase of the Highway User Tax Fees for 2005," which is estimated at $1,346,000.

That figure represents an increase of 27 percent over last year's estimate of $1,059,000.

Road and Bridge Fund expenditures for 2005 are $1,060,130, a reduction of $90,406, or 7.9 percent, of 2004 budgeted expenditures of $1,150,536.

"The majority of these expenditures, $810,000 or 76.4 percent," says Burchett, "are related to the operation and maintenance of county-owned machinery, equipment and vehicles."

Capital projects

This year's Capital Improvement Fund has one project budgeted - the extension of an existing sewer line "approximately 4,400 lineal feet" to the Extension building at the county fairgrounds.

The project was initiated last year, and the budgeted amount for completion of the project amounts to $196,000.

Enterprise funds

The county has two business-type entities, or "enterprise funds," - the Solid Waste Fund and the Airport Fund.

The basic definition of an enterprise fund, according to Burchett, "is an entity controlled the local government that derives its revenues from collections of external user fees."

However, "It is not necessary for the (entity) to receive all of its revenue from external user fees."

The Solid Waste Fund total expense budget for 2005 is $650,179, representing an increase of roughly $227,000 over last year's budget, "but only represents an increase of $27,308 from the fiscal year 2003 expenses."

Most of this year's Solid Waste Fund expenses, $358,470, are personnel costs, including items such as payroll taxes, insurance and workers compensation.

Operating expenses for the Solid Waste Fund this year are budgeted at $156,213, with roughly 40 percent of that total aimed at covering the costs of operating and maintaining landfill and recycling center equipment.

This year's Solid Waste Fund also includes budgeted amounts for capital equipment acquisitions; $77,596 is allocated for purchase and installation of scales, while $56,000 is tagged for purchase of "a mobile office to serve as the gatehouse for the landfill."

Though currently listed as expenses, says Burchett, "These costs will be reflected as assets when the financial statement is presented for fiscal year 2005, as is the common practice of a business operation."

With regard to the Airport Fund, total budgeted expenses for this year are $6,523,967, with $5.9 million of that amount budgeted for completion of airport improvements.

Through its grants program, the Federal Aviation Administration funds nearly 90 percent of the total costs associated with such improvements, while the state provides nearly 5 percent in additional funding.

The remaining funding is provided by the county and includes collection of airport user fees.

On a related note, last year the Airport Fund also received additional financing in the form of a $2.5 million loan from Colorado State Infrastructure Bank at a 4-percent interest rate, to be repaid over a 10-year period.

The first payment on this loan, $208,227 of principal plus $100,000 in interest, occurs this year.

Other inclusions listed in this year's Airport Fund include $60,000 for third party snow-removal contracts, $50,000 for maintenance equipment and $2,500 for replacement computer systems.

For further information on this year's county budget, visit the county's Web site at: http://www.archuletacounty.org/Finance/finance.htm.



Engineering firm picked for river restoration plan

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Restoration of the San Juan River - for fishing and boating - from Town Park to the Apache Street bridge is expected to begin with design work and maintenance over the next several months.

Recreation Engineering and Planning (REP), of Boulder was chosen by a committee of town staff, property owners, river recreationalists and river enthusiasts from among five proposals to take on the estimated $40,000 design phase.

Town manager Mark Garcia said one of the first tasks will be redesigning some of the existing river structures to prevent the "beaching" of innertubes during low-water flows and reduce safety hazards.

The company will also work with the town on a proposed pedestrian bridge near the town park gazebo.

Garcia said money for a pedestrian trail on North 8th Street from Florida Street to Cemetery Road had to be reallocated after engineering review determined the grade was too steep for the trail. An additional pedestrian bridge in town park was one suggestion outlined in a proposed downtown master plan, would connect the Town Park Riverwalk with the Reservoir Hill trails system and could provide a spectacular viewing point for watching river sports.

The entire restoration project is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $400,000. Goals include: making the river channel's appearance more natural, adding put-in and take-out points for boaters, improving structure for fishing habitat from the pedestrian bridge to Apache Street and diverting enough water from Loch's Ditch to enhance the wetlands between 6th Street and Hot Springs Boulevard.

The first phase of restoration, from JJ's Upstream Restaurant to the pedestrian bridge, a distance of about a mile and a half was completed in 1994. The focus was to improve quality of river habitat and increase recreational experience for handicapped persons. According to studies, the fish population and number of river users have increased.

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

Designers for the second phase, REP, have over 20 years of experience in whitewater park design, fish habitat improvement and river restoration. The company employs experts in site planning, park and trails planning, whitewater park planning and fish habitat and migration.

Julie Jessen, town special projects director, said a three-phase approach will be used throughout the design process. Public meetings will integrate a broader vision for development and restoration.



County's 'big box' moratorium is extended

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Archuleta County commissioners agreed Tuesday to extend a moratorium on superstore development through Aug. 1.

An original resolution banning "big-box" stores, approved by the county last August, had been set to expire today.

According to the resolution approved this week, an extension is necessary to allow time for further analysis of the potential impacts posed by big-box developments, as well as how to offset those impacts, if necessary.

Specifically, the resolution directs the county department of community development "to continue its study and evaluation and to recommend new land use regulations to address superstore development."

The resolution also calls for cooperation "with the staff of the town of Pagosa Springs to assist in the county's implementation, as necessary, of the proposed regulations."

The town passed a similar measure Jan. 4, extending a prior ban on retail stores over 18,000 square feet and grocery stores over 55,000 square feet through May 27.

With respect to the definition of superstores, they are described within the resolution as "any building, or combination of buildings, intended to be used principally for the purpose of retail sales and marketing ... which exceed 18,000 square feet in size."

The definition also applies to buildings featuring supplementary segments for retail food sales.

However, "Buildings used principally for the sale of retail food are excepted from the term 'superstore.'"

In a related move Tuesday, the board also directed county planning staff to advertise a request for qualifications aimed at identifying professional consultants who may be hired to assist with the ongoing creation of new county land use codes, including those related to superstore development.

According to Claudia Smith, a member of the Big Box Task Force established last summer, economic research centering on superstore developments is expected to be complete by the end of March.

A draft of the "Big Box" Task Force's summary of current findings is available for review at www.townofpagosasprings.com.

In other business this week:

- set a work session for discussion of "critical roads" maintenance for 9 a.m. tomorrow in the courthouse meeting room;

- moved to reappoint Alicia O'Brien, Sabra Miller and Lisa Scott to the county fair board while appointing Danna Laverty, Jan Karn, Annette McInnis and Sally High to three-year terms on the board;

- moved to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Sixth Judicial District Attorney regarding operations and procurement support for the district attorney's office;

- approved the 2005 Homeland Security Grant application;

- denied a request to appeal a previous board decision denying refund of sidewalk escrow funds to Ridgeview Entertainment LLC;

- approved the 2005 distribution of HUTF monies to metro districts;

- pending legal review, approved a request from University of Colorado at Denver graduate student's request to place wind sensors on the Navajo Bridge for research purposes.



 Inside The Sun


Harlem Ambassadors, Pagosa Ringers meet Feb. 13 in PSHS gym

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Springs High School gym is the place to be at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13.

This is going to be an evening of fun for the whole family as the Harlem Ambassadors come to town to challenge our local team - the Pagosa Ringers - on the basketball court.

In the tradition of African-American show basketball, the Harlem Ambassadors perform some dazzling ball handling and hilarious comedy routines as they involve the audience, especially the kids, in their antics. Once again the event is brought to you by the Pagosa Springs Community Center and all proceeds will be used to expand community programs.

Our platinum event team sponsors are Buckskin Towing and Troy Ross Construction. They were first in line and are also responsible for selecting, training and uniforming our local team.

Other event sponsors are lining up. The Springs Inn and Best Western contributed lodging for the Ambassadors. Following came Ace Hardware/Circle T Lumber, the Banks of Colorado and of the San Juans, Citizens Bank, the Corner Store, Edward Jones Investments, First Inn, Ponderosa Do It Best, Rio Grande Savings and Loan, Tequilas and Aspen Village. Pledges have been received from Wells Fargo Bank, Raymond Rent-A-Nerd and Jim Smith Realty.

The $100 sponsorship includes special seating at the event, promotion, and the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped to bring a very popular family event to Pagosa Springs that foster positive attitudes towards our youth. The community center invites other interested individuals and businesses to call 264-4152.

In addition to the fun, spectators will be happy to know that as the Harlem Ambassadors play their magic around the country and internationally to help raise funds for non-profits, they also seek to foster racial harmony and promote the values of staying in school and staying off drugs.

Some important role modeling also goes on as young girls and women watch a woman coach the team and come up against male players. This is a win-win situation. Don't miss it.

Tickets are now available at most banks, Moonlight Books, the Ski and Bow Rack , and the community center.

Buy early and save. Advance ticket prices: students and seniors $6, adults $8. At the door prices will be $8 and $10. Kids under 5 are free and family discounts are available only at the community center.



Science Fair Best of Show winners steeped in physics

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

In a competition highly tilted to the female side, two boys were the Best of Show winners in Thursday's Pagosa Springs Junior High and Intermediate School Science Fair.

In its wake, 37 competitors from the Pagosa show will take their projects to La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango for regional competition Feb. 17.

Best of Show winner from the sixth grade was Ryann Charles with a project analyzing the power exerted on a baseball by wooden, metal and "corked" bats and the distance a ball would travel if struck with similar force by each of the bats.

Best of show at the junior high level was Nick Jackson's physics exhibit exploring the short- and long-term effects of friction.

Other intermediate school winners were:

Math and Computers - Sienna Stretton, first, who will go to regionals; and Trey Gholson, second.

Environmental - Crystal Purcell, first and Kelsea Anderson, second, both advancing.

Earth and Space - Kim Rapp, first and advancing.

Microbiology - Kaitlin Mastin, first, advancing; Brittany mechanic second and Kayleen Smith third.

Following Charles in physics were Tyler Johnson, second, and Luke Baxstrom, third, both advancing.

Botany - Andrea Fautheree, first, Amanda Barnes, second and Rachel Snow, third, all advancing.

Chemistry - Viri Marinelarena, first, Breezy Bryant, second and Cody Madsen, third, all advancing.

Team entries - Shelby Schofield and Samantha Hunts, first and Trace Maltsberger and Shaun Jackson second, not advancing.

Other junior high winners, all advancing, were:

Earth and Space Science - Tim Levonius first and Rachel Jensen, second.

Environmental Science - Waylon Lucero first and Julia Adams second.

Microbiology - Sarah Smith first and Anna Ball, second.

Chemistry - Katarina Medici, first.

Team entries - Victoria Espinosa and Ashley Taylor first; Ashley Brooks and Jessica Blum, second; Taylor Cunningham and Jordin Frey, third; and Kara Hollenbeck and Amanda Oertel, honorable mention.

Richard Wholf, representing the judges at the presentation ceremony, told the young scientists he taught science and math for over 30 years and has been a regular judge in local science fairs.

"You never know what you're going to see. You made this visit an eventful one with many outstanding entries.

"I hope you had some fun and that science keeps your interest. You can make lots of money, earn scholarships and win trips to fabulous locations through fairs such as these."

Each first-place winner, including all members of first place team entries, will receive $20 checks from Pagosa Spring Rotary. All participants received certificates of performance, winners will receive gold medallions, and the Best of Show winners also received statues signifying their efforts.



Nine firms reply to town's invitation for plan consultant

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Nine proposals from comprehensive planning consultants were received by the town's Jan. 31 deadline. Six came from Colorado, three from out-of-state, including one from New York.

Special projects director Julie Jessen said a final selection should be made around the first week in March. Creating the comprehensive plan is expected to take about a year.

The plan will address housing, economic development, health and safety, natural environment, public infrastructure, transportation, parks, recreation, trails and open space, community facilities, history of the community, and growth and development.

Cost for the consultant will be in the range of $100,000-$150,000. Jessen said a committee of town staff, two town council members and two planning commission members will be formed to make the final selection.

The Town of Pagosa Springs received just over $60,000 in an Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance matching grant to help fund the process.

According to the town's home rule charter, adopted in the fall of 2003, the town is required to update its comprehensive plan every five years. The last plan, created in 1979, was never officially adopted.



Parents invited to data session tonight on pre-teens series

Parents of middle schoolers are invited to attend a special informational presentation tonight (Feb. 3) about a new series of classes to be offered in Pagosa Springs entitled "Growing Up Smart."

These classes, for students aged 10 to 12, will run 3:30-5 p.m. Mondays Feb. 14-May 16.

They will deal with techniques for creating positive communication between students and their parents about sexuality, peer pressure, options, self esteem, and the personal choices which are required in this challenging period.

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is sponsoring the series by Joelle Riddle from the Durango office of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

The introductory session for interested parents will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. A light dinner will be served (at no charge). Call Sky Gabel at 731-2202 for information and to sign up for the meeting.



Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, in the county commissioners' meeting room in the county courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

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

- Pagosa Meadows I and II - Sketch Plan review Re-plat of Lot 113 Pagosa Meadows II and Lot 16 Pagosa Meadows I.

This is a request for the planning commission to review the Sketch Plan for the re-plat of these two lots for the purpose of transferring 1/10 acre from Lot 16 to incorporate and become a part of Lot 113 to have the existing drive on Lot 113 that is currently encroaching onto Lot 16.

These properties are at 1441 and 1553 Carino Place, Pagosa Meadows I and II located in Sections 29 and 32, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.;

- review of the January 26 planning commission minutes;

- other business that may come before the commission;

- adjournment.



Shrove Tuesday supper at St. Patrick's

St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 225 South Pagosa Boulevard, is hosting a Shrove Tuesday pancake and sausage supper Tuesday, Feb. 8, from 5-7:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited. Donations will be accepted.



County audit finally submitted to state

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Discovery of several accounts that had not been reconciled.

A complete overhaul of the county finance department, including personnel and computer systems.

And Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Statement No. 34, or "GASB 34" - a new financial model for local governments requiring numerous changes in reporting procedure.

According to Todd Beckstead, an accountant with the Grand Junction-based accounting firm of Chadwick, Steinkirchner, Davis & Co. PC, all of the above factored into the delayed completion of the 2003 Archuleta County audit.

Despite the difficulties, "Eventually, we got there; that's the bottom line," said Beckstead while presenting a brief recap of the 2003 audit during Tuesday's board of commissioners' meeting.

As a result, it is now unlikely the county will face serious ramifications related to the delinquent submittal of the audit to the state auditor's office.

However, the possibility for numerous complications was very real a month ago.

State statute requires submission of county audits or applications for a 60-day extension by July 31.

The county applied for and received an extension in late June, effectively bumping the audit due date to Sept. 30, but failed to meet that deadline.

Further delay prompted an inquiry to the county from Dianne Ray, director of local government audits with the state auditor's office.

In a certified letter dated Dec. 20, 2004, Ray cited previous letters notifying the county "of its delinquent status," stating her office had "not received a satisfactory response."

Consequently, "... I am authorizing you to hold all funds generated pursuant to the taxing authority of such local government in your possession," said Ray.

"Do not release these funds until you are notified in writing to do so by this office," she added.

However, as Ray indicated in an early-January telephone interview with The SUN, the state was willing to grant a little leniency.

"As soon as they get it here, we'll release the funds and they're made whole, again," Ray concluded.

And with any luck, the state has already received the audit - after Beckstead's presentation Tuesday, the board moved to accept the document and directed staff to forward it to the appropriate state agencies.

Expressing her desire to expedite the process, "Overnight it," concluded Mamie Lynch, board chair.

In conclusion, Beckstead stated there were neither major discrepancies in the 2003 audit, nor any disagreements with management concerning audit findings.

Beckstead also indicated most of the problems encountered while preparing the 2003 audit can be minimized or avoided in the future.

Responding to a question from Lynch regarding the status of the 2004 audit, "If the records are in a satisfactory condition, then we will meet the deadline," said Beckstead.







Division of Wildlife sets hearings on wolf control plans

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will conduct a series of open house meetings around the state through mid-February to gather citizen input on the initial recommendations of the Colorado Wolf Management Working Group.

The working group was convened early last year and given the primary task of recommending state guidelines for the management of gray wolves that migrate into Colorado. Members include livestock producers, wildlife advocates, sportsmen, local government officials and wildlife biologists. State and federal agency personnel are providing technical support to the group.

"The working group did an amazing job in reaching agreement on some of the basic issues of wolf management in Colorado," said Gary Skiba, multi-species coordinator for the department's wildlife conservation section.

Now that the working group has agreed on recommendations, a schedule to put policies in place will ensue over the next several months. First, the Colorado Wildlife Commission will review the group's recommendations.

In March, DOW Director Bruce McCloskey will provide a draft of the state wildlife agency's recommendations on wolf management to the commission. The working group will review public comment and DOW recommendations in March or April. Finally, the commission will vote on final wolf migratory management policies in May.

One gray wolf has been found in Colorado over the past year and more could migrate from states where the carnivores have been reintroduced.

The DOW, wildlife commissioners, and state natural resource managers want to have a management plan in place in case more wolves enter the state. Wolves are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, and Colorado will not have management authority until the wild canines are removed from federal protection.

Skiba said the state's first wolf management policy document would address migrating wolves only, and that the working group or a similar group might be convened in the future should Colorado need to consider more far-reaching wolf-management policies.

"We've taken some huge steps, and laid a strong foundation for management if wolves ever become established in Colorado," Skiba said.

The DOW's open house meetings on the wolf working group's initial recommendations will take place 7-9 p.m., Jan. 31-Feb. 17. Exact dates and locations of meetings in this area are as follows:

- Feb. 7 - Durango, Doubletree Hotel Durango, 501 Camino del Rio

- Feb. 8 - Alamosa, Adams State College, Student Union Building, corner of First Street and Stadium Drive

To read more about gray wolf management and to review the working group's initial recommendations, visit wildlife.state.co.us/species_cons/GrayWolf/.



Stollsteimer Creek Watershed study has been launched

By Cynthia Purcell

Special to The SUN

The San Juan Conservation District is sponsoring an important watershed study in the Stollsteimer Creek Watershed area.

This watershed encompasses approximately an 82,000-acre area from the lower portions of the Pagosa Peak area down to the confluence of Stollsteimer Creek and the Piedra River and includes portions of the town of Pagosa Springs, all of the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions, portions of the National Forest, Southern Ute Tribal lands, large portions of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District and most of Aspen Springs.

Everyone realizes the importance of water in our community, but to date nobody has really focused on a watershed study that looks at the whole picture. Our watershed study has an ultimate goal of creating a Master Watershed Plan document that would include a detailed study of the watershed, and recommendations and design plans to improve and protect the watershed.

This is a multi-entity effort including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association , Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, the Town of Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County, the U.S. Forest Service, the Colorado State Forest Service and the Southern Ute Tribe.

The need for this plan has never been more critical than it is now. The population growth within the watershed has been extraordinary in the last 10 years and is predicted to continue. With this growth many of the traditional uses of water in the watershed are being threatened.

This is a long-term plan, with the intention of protecting the watershed well into the future. It is to ensure that we have clean water resources even after our community becomes much more urbanized over the next 20 years.

We need citizen input in this study. If you live within this watershed area and haven't received a questionnaire in the mail, contact the San Juan Conservation District at 731-3615. We can mail, fax or e-mail the short survey to you. Please return it by Feb. 18 by mail or fax your reply to 731-1570.

This planning effort needs to be driven by you, the local landowner, so that your concerns are identified and can be addressed. With your support, this study will help positively impact decisions made in the watershed for years to come. Once the surveys are tabulated we will be holding several landowner meetings to discuss the future plan.

We look forward to hearing from you. Call the San Juan Conservation District with any questions or concerns at 731-3615.


State of denial

Dear Editor:

Ms. Nina J. Adams' letter to the editor Jan. 27 illustrates why the Democratic Party is a party of losers. She whines and complains about the Bush Administration.

Apparently she still cannot accept the fact the Democratic Party and its liberalism was rejected by the American people. It is unfortunate Ms. Adams still is living in a state of denial that the Democrats lost the election.

There are good reasons the Democrats are having trouble winning elections. They have no definitive plan to offer the American people. John Kerry's daily vacillating was frightening to most Americans. They promote the same old failed programs. They always want more of our money. They support the immoral anomalous gay marriage platform. They encourage the immoral taking of the life of the unborn child. They favor activist judges that do not understand the constitution. They defend taking God out of the pledge of allegiance. They don't take terrorism seriously. They are weak in support of the military and they can not be trusted with our national security.

All good reasons as to why the American people chose George Bush to lead our nation for four more years.

The Howard Deans, the Barbara Boxers, the Michael Moores, the Ted Kennedys and the hate Bush crowd energized the American people to vote Republican. The people believed in President Bush's leadership. Liberalism was defeated.

The election is over. Let's stop the carping and move forward.

Ray Baker


CR 500 in danger

Dear Editor:

For five days now we have had 12 inches of mud and water running over County Road 500.

Do we have a road crew? If so, where are they?

We need a real county road supervisor; leave the public works director to run the computers.

County Road 500 is now the worst it has been in the last 30 to 40 years. Won't someone please help?

County commissioners are too busy to check roads in horrible condition.

Chris Chavez


USFS plan control

Dear Editor:

The U.S. Forest Service (USFSR) and BLM are revising land management plans initiated in 1984. Community Study Group meetings will help determine issues such as recreation, vehicle use, transportation, mineral leasing, fuels management and more.

Attending the first of these public meetings, on Thursday, Jan. 27, in the Pagosa Springs Junior High School library, was somewhat disappointing.

The USFSR seems to have adopted a new method for managing public comment, to prevent it from "getting out of hand." (We saw this at the last DEIS meeting on the proposed Village at Wolf Creek).

By implementing a format where small groups meet at tables with facilitators (in this case who are not Forest Service or BLM employees - but hired facilitators who know how to "manage" people), the meeting takes on a docile form. Attendees are not able to build energy and become better informed by sharing their ideas and concerns as an entire group.

Questions addressed seem to orchestrate getting the answers they seek:

1. What activities would you consider appropriate to restore Ponderosa Pine and mixed conifer tree types back to more open and mature stand composition and where?

2. Are the current needs of the recreation visitor being met and what changes are needed to prepare for recreation uses into the future?

Oh yes, we are following the letter of the law, inviting public comment, and it "appears" to be well done, but for some strange reason I found it difficult to be a "good little doobie" and place my one sticker (out of 30 or more possibilities) on the map of the Williams Reservoir "Landscape" to denote its single most important use.

Ah yes, the best laid plans of mice and men - I'm sure someone thought this was a great idea - our tax dollars at work. A turnout of 50 people or so demonstrated that the public does care and is taking an interest ... but I'm sorry ... at the most subtle level it felt like a meeting quietly arranged to meet the ends of a bureaucracy, rather than to truly assess the interests and needs of a community.

I hear that this administration is moving toward privatization of land management. As the human footprint attempts to gobble up more of our public lands, I hope that more voices will come forth and speak to help preserve and protect what we hold dear. The Community Study Group will continue to meet on the last Thursday of each month through June, to offer input to changes in our region's land management program. Hopefully these meetings will evolve into a format that invites broader and deeper comment from those who live here and care about our National Forests and Wilderness "Landscapes."

Cary Ellis


Addict's plea

Dear Editor:

A dealer's suggestion bargains for control, the words used to influence the actions of others.

Addicted people suggest there is a remedy for control. Not even the law can protect your children, or perhaps yourselves, from some suggestions.

Some playgrounds are man-made, out of quicksand, intentionally made, by those who are accustomed to being stuck in the mud; not generally participating by choice, but by disease.

I'm suggesting that we all act as one parent, who has taken a parenting with love and logic class (please think of the principles within that program), and treat this county like a child with greater potential than just a scenic route.

Don't use words like "If they would...," or "They are always ...". We must say "When we will ..." and "We always will ..."

I hope this community develops a plan for a rehabilitation site for all our kids' sakes. I am an addict myself, and I never stop hearing what dealers and concerned citizens say: "One hit and you'll never quit."

It is that very suggestion that is the poison that keeps people coming back for more.

That is what dealers want addicts to believe. The words are powerful but I am sure as a community we can overpower that expression with love and compassion. Words that will encourage those who are in trouble to get help.

It is written that words can kill or they can give life. It is up to me to help myself but I will say what I feel is right to help you too. I worry about the kids in this county who fear for themselves and their parents. That they might be feeling hopeless at what is implied by people who are afraid of meth or addicts. Recovering addicts like me should have hope for redemption and forgiveness. That is why Jesus Christ gave his life.

I hope we can let them know that nothing is impossible with God and that there are people who overcome drug addictions, including crystal meth. That is something I must believe so that I am not overcome with sorrow and end up defeating the purpose of loving and forgiving myself.

It takes work and dedication to be a part of Narcotics Anonymous and other forms of therapy. Certain ideas could hurt what people in these organizations fight so hard to accomplish to help other people like them. The chemical changes that occur in the body are fierce.

I would not imply that all souls who try drugs or develop addictions are lost forever. Those who do choose to walk that path will suffer hardships. That is not a subject to be argued.

Let's talk about finding a place out here where our citizens can get help. We know this is a big problem, so let's research some solutions together. As a community we can find more resources for people to utilize to reduce the number of people who are infected with addiction.

Shonna Gomez


Enough already

Dear Editor:

Enough already! Haven't we had enough of the Biblical references, dire predictions, and politically vitriolic (look that up in your Funk and Wagnall!) administration bashing?

Does anyone really care if Henry Buslepp calls himself a liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, or if Nina J. Adams thinks that people who supposedly don't even pay taxes will get the biggest tax cut?

Please, the election was last November. Bush won. Deal with it.

Dahrl Henley


Christian nation

Dear Editor:

The question of whether or not the United States is a Christian nation has been debated for many years and the letter posted in last week's section prompted me to respond.

In the late 1800s the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to rule on the question and spent 10 years reviewing all of the available evidence. Finally, in 1892, they issued the "Trinity Decision" in which they unanimously stated that the United States is a Christian nation.

This is not my opinion nor any attempt on my part to rewrite history.

Robert Horstman


Vests for troops

Dear Editor:

I am new to Pagosa Springs and a recently retired police officer.

I retained my bulletproof vest when I retired and would very much like to get it to a serviceman or woman serving in Iraq from this area, or nearby.

I would also like to invite other retired officers to do the same. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


R.L. Isaacs, Det. Sgt. Ret.

e-mail ronin@centurytel.net


Back off

Dear Editor:

Last time I checked we still live in America. Capitalism drives our economy. Don't hate David and Carol Brown because they have money.

Liberals are always trying to cut down the tall poppies. David and Carol have been very generous to our community charities. They have employed tons of people at BootJack over the years not to mention all of the lumber, concrete, gravel and construction materials they buy locally. I myself was a carpenter at Dave's ranch and he pays higher than any other local builder.

His projects are of the highest quality and if he did develop in town it would help this town tremendously. I too want to develop in town and I'm concerned that people don't want development and fight every project on the table.

Construction and tourism drive Pagosa's economy. Growth should be controlled. The fact is 95 percent of our country is open space and wilderness with only 5 percent developed. Private property is just that, private. So stop the hating and the bashing and "Love thy neighbor."

America was built and forged by people like David and Carol. If you work hard anything is possible. The Browns give back to the community and protect areas up on the pass. America is a great country but the Brown bashers should look at the fact that Pagosa will change, is going to change and the Browns would do a great job in town and we are lucky to have them.

Sean McMullen

Santa Fe, N.M


Hand over reins

Dear Editor:

Your front page lead story in last week's SUN prompted a little gray matter recall falling back to the very early days of a 33-year U.S. Navy global adventure.

An admiral once told me after I made some enormous blunder, "Son, what should happen when you make a mistake is this: You take your knocks, your learn your lessons, and then you move on; that's the healthiest way possible to deal with a problem." Ya know, that surly old sea-dog was right on target.

Time to saddle up yer best-liked nag and trot off into the "Best of Colorado" and check some cattle brands, Sheriff Tom Richards. Your mistake has cost the local taxpayer enough in more ways than one. It is the hour to do the right thing - abdicate - expeditiously. Make your legal appeal on your time. Do not drag it out on the citizens' clock any longer and make it messy. Retirement is fun; make the most of it.

Now is the moment to hand over the reins to some younger blood to assume the stress of law enforcement in this rapidly growing community. I am supremely confident that there is working professional excellence out there somewhere - just waiting. They will do well. Which should be your fervent and paramount prayer. I assume you do give a hoot about the well-being of county folk?

Jim Sawicki


Jury jeopardy

Dear Editor:

Judge Jim Denvir of Archuleta County Court needs to get his court in order.

On Monday, Jan. 24, over 40 citizens were summoned to appear in court for possible jury selection for a "scheduled trial." These citizens were notified 30 days prior to trial date. They, as responsible citizens, appeared at or before 8:30 a.m., only to wait and stare at blank courthouse walls over an hour while judge and attorneys met to decide to go, or not to go, to trial.

Decision - no trial.

What goes here? Attorneys not prepared? Pagosa citizens were. What is going on is a total lack of concern, disregard and indifference for the citizens who appeared as summoned.

The impact on 40-plus citizens is significant, i.e., substitute teachers, baby-sitters, cancelled appointments, etc. If this court conduct continues citizens may develop apathy toward jury service and its importance.

Citizens were expected to be ready to go at 8:30 a.m. - so should everyone else, involved, no exceptions.

Another court insult to the same citizens is a memo handed out saying if you were not selected today, show up next week, 1/31/05 for a different trial. Reschedule your agenda again for another "maybe" trial?

There is a total disregard for citizens willing to serve - apologies and platitudes for inconvenience do not wash.

The indifference and disregard for citizens' time is appalling, and for those summoned, time is as valuable as the court's.

Shoring up holes in the court system begins with you, Judge Denvir.

Thelma and Robert Smith



Dear Editor:

It has taken seven years, but the injustice suffered by Larry Bass has been finally corrected; yet, no amount of money can adequately compensate him for the damage done to his professional career and the harm done to his personal life.

The finding of the jury in the federal civil rights case brought by Larry tracks exactly with the conclusions reached at the time by Gerald Sawatzky as general counsel to the PLPOA Board of Directors and myself as PLPOA general manager.

I am immensely proud of the support courageously shown by the PLPOA board of directors during the difficult political climate of late 1997 to July 1998. The fairness, professionalism and judgment of directors Don Costa, Lee Vorhies, Mojie Adler, Joe Apker, Vince DeBennedette and Bob Fiedler (since deceased) have also been vindicated by this verdict.

In particular, I wish to note that the legal counsel received by the board and me from Gerald Sawatzky was superlative, and I commend him for his role is righting the injustice done Larry.

Roy D. Vega


Do you care?

Dear Editor:

Are the rich getting richer and the poor, poorer? Do you care?

Is there any difference between the rich man and the poor man besides the money? A few years ago I was looking into a nonprofit organization to help feed people in third world nations and I was looking at what the presidents of these organizations were making. Some were making over $400,000 a year and yet it took anywhere from $8 to $20 a month to feed a person. How can a nonprofit pay that much for there top guy and still do a great job? I don't think there heart is in it. I could see maybe $100,000 a year but not $400,000. It should no longer be a nonprofit if the top people are making over $100,000 a year.

Is that sounding socialistic, or do we as human beings just lack self-control? Maybe it is both. I don't like that word "socialistic," but what else can we do?

Do we need some limits here? Why does it happen? Is it from greed, neglect, or ignorance? Maybe it is from all three. Maybe it is because the poor don't want to work? Do they just want a free handout? Maybe they are tired of trying to get ahead and just not finding a way to do it.

Is this OK, or is it a bad thing? Does it cause harm to all Americans or just to the poor? If the poor were to be able to earn more with less effort would they just blow it or would they invest and save it? Would they start their own businesses? What can be done about it? Does anything need to be done about it? Do you care? If you are poor you probably do and if you are rich you probably do not.


Danny White

Colorado Springs


Expunged quotes

Dear Editor:

In defense of Mr. Sawicki and to enlighten his maligners, including the editor's sarcastic and unprofessional note (1-20), anent the church/state issue of our founding fathers, I offer the following quotes which have been expunged from textbooks by the liberal secular humanists who run our school system.

Contrary to Mr. Pierce's mistaken assertions (1/27) that our founders did not believe in divine intervention and resoundingly believe in separation of church and state, I invite him and SUN readers to consider the evidence.

Fifty-two of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians. The other three believed in the Bible as divine truth, the God of Scripture, and His personal intervention. After creating the Declaration, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and distribute 20,000 Bibles.

Patrick Henry: "An appeal to arms and the God of Hosts is all that is left to us." In 1776 he wrote: "This great nation was founded by Christians on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his well-worn Bible: "I am a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. Our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator and to the pure doctrine of Jesus."

George Washington (farewell speech of 9/19/1796): "It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." From his personal prayer book: "Bless, O Lord, the whole of the race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of thy Son, Jesus Christ."

John Adams (to military leaders): "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

James Madison (primary author of the Constitution): "We have staked the whole future of our new nation not on the power of government but upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the principles of the Ten Commandments."

U.S. Congress in a 1782 resolution: "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools."

John Jay (first Court Justice): "When we select our national leaders, to preserve our nation, we must select Christians."

John Quincy Adams (8/4/1821): "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."

William Holms McGuffey (dubbed by President Lincoln as the "Schoolmaster of the Nation") whose Reader was used for over 100 years with over 125 million copies sold: "The Christian religion is the religion of our country. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions."

For complete 30-page documentation, see www.w+v-zone.com/Mary Forsakenroots.html.

Eugene Witkowski


Community News

Red Shoe Piano Trio performs in Pagosa Feb. 8

By Musetta Wollenweber

Special to The PREVIEW

The Red Shoes Piano Trio is in concert 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Restoration Fellowship hall, 264 Village Drive, with proceeds to benefit the Silver Foxes Den as well as the Fort Lewis Scholarship Fund.

The Red Shoe Piano Trio was formed in the fall of 2003 at Fort Lewis College in Durango. The trio has performed throughout the region to delighted audiences, and was described as "red hot" by the Durango Herald.

The trio is dedicated to performing the great standards of the repertoire, while avidly championing contemporary compositions. The members of the trio - Mikylah Myers McTeer, violin; Katherine Jetter Tischhauser, cello; and Lisa Campi, piano - are currently faculty members at Fort Lewis College where they maintain active teaching and performing careers.

McTeer is concertmaster of the San Juan Symphony and assistant professor of violin and viola at Fort Lewis College. She was previously a violinist with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. She received her doctoral and master's degrees from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music, where she studied with renowned violinist Fredell Lack.

During her time in Houston, Dr. McTeer regularly performed with the Houston Symphony and the Houston Grand Opera and was assistant concertmaster of the Woodlands Symphony and principal second violinist of Houston's Orchestra X.

The Moores Piano Trio was the silver prize winner at the 2000 Carmel Chamber Music Competition and a finalist in the 2000 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. McTeer has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.

She spends her summers performing at music festivals throughout the United States and Europe, including the Spoleto Italy Festival, the AIMS in Graz, Austria Festival, the Oregon Coast Festival, the Ernest Bloch Festival in Newport, Oregon, and is a nine-year member of the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon.

She received her bachelor's degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she studied violin with Roland and Almita Vamos. She was also a four-year-member and co-captain of the Oberlin College varsity women's soccer team.

Katherine Jetter Tischhauser earned the master's of music and in 2002 the doctor of music degree in cello performance from Florida State University after receiving both the bachelor of music degree in cello performance and the bachelor of arts degree in applied mathematics from East Carolina University.

Tischhauser did her primary musical training with Selma Gokcen, Andrew Luchansky and Lubomir Georgiev. She has also performed in master classes of Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Channing Robbins, and Stephen Doane.

Tischhauser's chamber and solo experiences include performances with the International Cello Festival Master Classes in Kronberg, Germany, the Killington Chamber Music Festival, the Alfred Chamber Music Institute, the Florida State New Music Festival, the Red Shoe Piano Trio, the Alexander Murray Recital Series, and the Tischhauser-Shelly Ensemble. She was the cellist for the award winning Camellia String Quartet for two years. In the position of principal cellist she has played in the Florida State Symphony Orchestra, the Showcase Chamber Ensemble, and the San Juan Symphony. Other orchestras Dr. Tischhauser has been a member of include the Tallahassee Symphony, the New Carolina Sinfonia, the Tar River Orchestra, the National Opera Company Orchestra, the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, and the Santa Fe Symphony.

She is currently associate professor of cello and music theory at Fort Lewis College. In addition to her duties at the college she actively teaches in the Four Corners area through private lessons at Katzin Music and the Conservatory Music in the Mountains. Recently she recorded an album, "Down on the Beaten Road," and is performing with the acoustic rock band, Formula 151. She is the secretary of the Colorado ASTA with NSOA chapter and is an active clinician regionally and nationally. She has done extensive research on contemporary techniques in string literature and cello pedagogy.

Lisa Campi is the assistant professor of piano at Fort Lewis College where she performs, accompanies, teaches private and class piano, theory and history. She was previously an assistant professor of piano at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Wash.

Campi has performed and adjudicated throughout North America, and has given lecture recitals for such organizations as the National Music Teachers Association. She has played recitals for the Chautauqua Institute in New York, the Scotia Festival of Music in Nova Scotia, for CBC radio, for the National Public Radio on WBFO: for the "Opus, Classics Live" series at the University of Buffalo, and for the "Piano Bench" series on KPBX, Spokane Public Radio. A native of Silver Spring, Maryland, Campi received her bachelor's of music from Indiana University, her master's from the University of Maryland, and her doctorate from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Rebecca Penneys.

Campi was the pianist for the Taliesin Piano trio which participated in the National Endowment for the Arts/Chamber Music America rural residency in Blytheville, Ark., and which founded the concert series, "Composers, in their Own Words."

Campi has founded, directed and adjudicated for the Four Corners Piano Competition at Fort Lewis College. She also currently serves as the keyboardist for the San Juan Symphony Orchestra, and regularly performs as the pianist for the Red Shoe Piano Trio of Fort Lewis College. She is a vigorous advocate for the music of our time, has performed a wide range of solo and chamber works by leading contemporary composers, and has been associated with several modern music ensembles, including "Ossia" in Rochester, N.Y., and "Zephyr" in Spokane, Wash.

Tickets are available at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, Plaid Pony and the Chamber of Commerce. Adults are $12, children 12 and under $10, seniors with membership cards $10.



Music in the Mountains tickets are the perfect Valentine gift

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

If you're looking for something special for your Valentine, Music in the Mountains suggests giving a gift certificate for one of this summer's classical music festival events. You have a choice of four concerts, each of which will bring world-class musicians to Pagosa Springs.

The first event will be an elegant benefit with a reception and concert hosted by David and Carol Brown at BootJack Ranch in their fabulous glass-roofed Aquatic Center 5-9 p.m. Saturday, June 25. Guests will enjoy sumptuous hors d'oeuvres on the outdoor patio, followed by an intimate piano recital.

Attendance is limited to 125 guests. Cost is $175 per person. Funds raised will help support classical concerts as well as children's scholarships and musical events in Pagosa Springs.

The evening's special performer will be Kirill Gliadkovsky, born in Moscow and the winner of numerous prestigious prizes. Since his public debut at the age of six, he has performed piano and organ recitals and been a soloist with orchestras in cities all over the world. As well, he has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs. He is an orchestra and choral conductor, and also composes for piano and organ.

The benefit concert will open with a performance by one of our gifted local scholarship students.

Three additional classical concerts will take place in July and August, also at BootJack Ranch:

1. On Friday, July 22 Pagosa welcomes internationally famous violinist Vadim Gluzman, whose performance will include Bruch's "Octet" at 7 p.m. Gluzman has been lauded by critics and audiences as one of the most inspiring, dynamic artists performing today. Cost of this concert is $40.

2. Saturday, July 30, pianist Aviram Reichert will perform Beethoven's Piano concertos No. 3 and No. 5 at 6 p.m. with the full festival orchestra. Reichart, who has won numerous awards and performed with major orchestras in Israel and Europe, wowed Pagosa audiences when he played here the last two summers. This is the first time we will have the full festival orchestra playing in Pagosa, in a larger tent seating 350. Cost of this concert is $50. (Note the earlier starting time and Saturday date.)

3. On Friday, Aug. 5, Antonio Pompa-Baldi brings his piano mastery back to Pagosa. Having performed with orchestras around the world and in the PBS "Concerto" series, he too was a great hit with local audiences the last two summers. His performance at 7 p.m. will include Shumann's "Piano Quartet." Cost of this concert is $40.

To make tickets to one of these events a gift for your Valentine, visit the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Pagosa Springs or call them at 264-2360 Pay by check or credit card (MasterCard or Visa) before Feb. 11 and arrangements will be made to get you an attractive gift certificate by Feb. 14.

Chairman of the committee organizing these local festival events is Jan Clinkenbeard.

"We're incredibly lucky to have first-class musicians who have performed to rave reviews around the world come to Pagosa to play for us," Clinkenbeard said. "Thanks to the Browns, we will enjoy this music in a spectacular mountain setting at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass.

"This summer we're especially pleased to host the full festival orchestra. This will be a special treat for everyone. Even with more than 50 musicians, we promise to keep the same informal, intimate feeling that has made our concerts so special in the past."

Clinkenbeard pointed out there has been a modest increase in the price of the tickets this year. Even with the boost, she said ticket prices pay for only a small portion of the cost of the concerts.

"That is why our benefit fund-raiser and the contributions we receive from individual donors, businesses and other larger organizations are so crucial to our Pagosa festival," she said. As well, all of the planning and organizational work is done by Clinkenbeard's local volunteer steering committee composed of Melinda Baum, Mary Jo Coulehan, Lauri Heraty, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft and Lisa Scott.

With 2005 being the fourth year concerts have been held in Pagosa, community support is broadening and the performance of the full orchestra should involve new people in the local classical music scene.



'Being Liberal in an Illiberal world' is

topic for Unitarians

This Sunday the topic for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service will be "Being Liberal in an Illiberal World."

This special program is a video presentation of a sermon delivered last summer in Durango by the Reverend William Sinkford, president of the national Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).

The Rev. Sinkford received a Presidential Scholarship Award and graduated cum laude from Harvard University.

In his early years he was a marketing manager for major pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies and later started his own construction company, remodeling homes in transitional areas of Brooklyn.

Following many active years in his Cincinnati UU church, he was encouraged by friends to become a minister. He graduated from Starr King Seminary in Berkeley, Calif., and became a prominent Unitarian Universalist clergyman. In 2001 he was elected as UUA president and is currently nominated for a second four-year term.

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



Relay for Life organizational meeting Feb. 9

The 7th annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life in Archuleta County is set to take place June 24-25 this year. Organizers are looking for a few good men, women and children to help us get the ball rolling.

The first organizational meeting for the 2005 Relay will take place at the Visitor Center 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9.

The Relay needs people to help with team recruitment, food services, event logistics and much more. If you think you would like to help, organizers can find the perfect job for you. Interested parties should call Morna Trowbridge at 731-4718 to let her know you plan to attend or for more information.

"Having lost a brother-in-law and sister-in-law to cancer in a two year span was devastating," said Doug Trowbridge. "Assisting with the American Cancer Society Relay For Life helped me feel like I was doing something to combat this insidious disease."

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is an international event to raise funds for cancer research.

If you would like to help in the battle against cancer, please plan to attend the organizational meeting Feb. 9. If you are unable to attend but would like to help, please call Morna and let her know what you can do to help make this year's event bigger and better. Your help can make a difference in untold numbers of lives.



Building your home? Check out new class at ed center

By Renee Haywood

Special to The SUN

The Archuleta County Education Center is offering a full lineup of fun and exciting activities for all ages.

If you are new in town or have lived here for a while and are maybe interested in building a new home, there is a class being offered for you.

This is a class for property owners interested in overseeing their own homebuilding project here in southwestern Colorado. Some of the topics covered include rights and responsibilities of the owner-builder, site and design considerations for our area, architecture/drawing your own plans, custom vs. standard home design, the permitting process, inspections, budgeting, materials selection, hidden costs, choosing and working with contractors, negotiating contracts, insurance requirements, project sequencing and scheduling.

Instructor Barr Bentley is a native Colorado craftsman who has been building for over 20 years and teaching construction skills to adults and children in the course of his work during the last eight years.

After-school activities at the elementary school for students in grades K-4 include art, Spanish for Kids, Kids in the Kitchen, Creations, Puppeteers, Brain Gym and Fun Friday. These classes are held daily 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 5-9 at the junior high school on a regular basis.

A drama class will begin Friday, March 4, and continue every Friday through April. There will be a checker tournament starting Feb. 18 with a prize for the winner.

If you are one of those people who have searched a manual in vain for answers to software questions, or wasted time on trial-and-error learning we have classes for you. Current classes include Microsoft Excel, Word, Publisher, PowerPoint, QuickBooks, Windows XP and many more.

The Education Center is also offering classes for anyone needing to complete their GED. These classes help the student prepare to take the five tests required to obtain a GED certificate. Wally Lankford. GED coordinator, is available Monday-Thursday 1:30- 3:30 p.m. and Monday and Wednesday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Registration can be completed Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Education Center, 4th and Lewis streets.

First aid and CPR certification classes are being offered Saturday, Feb. 12, 8 a.m. -5 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday, March 2 and 3, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Classes cover breathing and cardiac emergencies, as well as basic injuries.

If you would like to register for classes or need more information contact the Archuleta Education Center at 264-2835.



17th PSAC photo contest opens Saturday

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council 17th annual Photography Contest kicks off 5-7 p.m. Saturday at Moonlight Books in downtown Pagosa.

The public is invited to share in the festivities, view the photos, hear comments from Durango judge Howard Rachlin, and vote in the People's Choice award contest. The show will be displayed through Feb. 26.

Rachlin will also present the judge's seminar 9-11 a.m. Saturday in the Pagosa Springs Community Center's south conference room. Cost is $5 for contest entrants, $10 for all others. Prepaying at Moonlight Books is appreciated or you can pay at the door.

His seminar will address composition, digital camera resolution settings, things to look for when purchasing a digital camera, portable hard drives for field use, neutral density filters and special effects.



Cupid Classified deadline is Feb. 7

By Annette Foor

Special to The PREVIEW

There's still time to fill out and turn in your Cupid Classified.

Make someone in your life feel extra special by sending them a Cupid Classified. It's easy and only takes a few moments to write a unique message to the people and/or pets in your life.

Just think how many people you could touch with a special Cupid Classified.

For as little as $6 you can have your own classified ad(s) telling everyone in your life how great they are. Cupid Classifieds are not just for husbands, wives or significant others - they're a great way to share with your children, friends, neighbors, pets and so many more.

Just pick up a Cupid Classified form at The Pagosa Springs SUN, the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs Animal Shelter, The Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce or Humane Society Thrift Store, or cut out the coupon from this week's issue of The SUN.

Fill it out and turn it into The Pagosa Springs SUN office located in downtown Pagosa Springs by noon Monday, Feb. 7 and your ad(s) will appear in the Feb. 10 issue of The PREVIEW.

Make your check payable to Humane Society of Pagosa Springs.

The Pagosa Springs SUN donates the space in the PREVIEW section and all the proceeds go to the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs which then helps the homeless animals of Archuleta County.

So, don't forget to tell a loved one how special they are and also help a good cause at the same time.

For more information contact Annette Foor at 264-5549. Or log on to the Humane Society Web site at www.humanesociety.biz.



Dance club entertains Feb. 10

Members of the In Step Dance club will entertain at a Valentine Dance Party at Montezuma's on Feb. 10.

Among couples participating are Bob and Betty Santee east coast/west coast "swinging," Les Linton and Deb Aspen performing Argentine tango, Bodil Holstein and Charles Jackson dancing American tango, Dick and Gerry Potticary country stepping their progressive swing, and Charles Jackson and Deb Aspen cutting the rug with their renditions of waltz and cha cha.

There will be lots of general dancing as well. Everyone is welcome (even if you don't have a sweetheart), and there is no cover charge. Call Deb Aspen 731-3338 for more details.



Pagosa actress, performer, teacher, wife off to NY stage

By Erin K. Quirk

PREVIEW Columnist

At a young age, we humans accept labels for ourselves that help the world identify us with ease. Whether they fit well or not, we all wear "skins" like doctor, runner, poet, overachiever, alcoholic, child, lover and healer.

Pagosa Springs actress, performer, teacher, wife and mother Felicia Meyer left for New York Saturday to, through the medium of experimental theatre, radically examine the skins she wears and to ask a New York City audience the question:

"Who taught me to want what I want?"

Meyer along with a troupe of other professionals, students and alumni from Fort Lewis College are part of a production entitled "Skins" that will run for 10 days at the renowned Off-Broadway experimental theatre club La MaMa. The intent of the production is to challenge the audience to strip away skins others have sewn for them and find their authentic selves.

The goal may sound lofty but the show, which is based on poetry, music and movement, feels organic and necessary.

The performance is directed and choreographed by Kathryn Moller, professor of theatre and women's studies at Fort Lewis College, and is based on the poetry and sculpture of artist Elizabeth Ingraham.

The genesis of Ingraham's work, Meyer said, came from a period in her life where, as an attorney, she began to question if the skins she wore were accurately representing her. Meyer said Ingraham began to pare down her life to expose only the essentials. A series of earthy and challenging poems and sculptures was the result.

Working with Ingraham, Moller adapted the poetry into a 75-minute theatre presentation that moves and speaks with multi-cultural players and even in different languages. Ingraham's poems probe deeply into the origin of the ancients and the infinity of the cosmos. Her work feels like an elegy for vanished potential, feminine wisdom and the tenuous connection between human and earth. The opening line of one poem simply reads, "Gravity is the memory of light."

Meyer and the rest of her cast mates will rehearse for four to five weeks in New York before enjoying a 10-day run at LaMaMa.

Meyer is the niece of television actress Angela Lansbury and a former TV actress herself. She also holds a master's degree in film directing and has worked in documentary filmmaking, with such groups as the Discovery Channel, A&E and the History Channel.

Her current work with "Skins" in particular and experimental theatre in general allows her the freedom to move her body, stretch her mind and express her instincts as a performer. In her words, it allows her to "work from the shoulders down."

Meyer studied acting and experimental theatre at New York University and lived in Los Angeles for many years. There she held small parts in "Knotts Landing," "30-Something" and "Murder She Wrote." And, though she is thankful for the experiences she had as a TV actress, she felt stifled.

"I wasn't feeling completely fulfilled, like I wasn't using all of myself."

Meyer, in fact, tells a funny story about watching actress Donna Mills prepare for a close up on "Knotts Landing." She watched as the actress pulled individual hairs into perfect position around her face and didn't move her head and neck until the scene was through.

"I remember looking around the table," she said. "It looked like everyone had a stiff neck."

The work she is doing now with "Skins," she said throwing her arms wide and nearly coming out of her chair, also gives her the opportunity to collaborate with other performers - something she missed deeply working in television.

Collaboration is a major part of "Skins." During the nine-hour daily rehearsals, Moller would ask the performers, most of whom are dancers and actors, to consider water and express it with movement. Then Moller would take the most arresting interpretations from the nine-member ensemble and build them into the performance. Meyer said the result of all those creative minds focusing on an element like water was a forum for wild creativity and energy.

Meyer knew when she and her husband Brad moved from Los Angeles to Pagosa Springs that her life as an actress would change dramatically. One might assume that the performing arts stage is invisible in a town like Pagosa. Not true, Meyer says. In fact, Meyer has found a lot of talent and dedication by working with young people in acting seminars and her annual summer camps. She is also impressed by the number of people in Pagosa willing to support the performing arts.

"That's the beauty of this community," she said. "In the big city you just don't get that kind of support and you get so jaded. Here, people who don't even have kids are going just to support kids."

Along with her teaching, Meyer is also collaborating with other local artists and performers to build a performing arts center in Pagosa Springs. Friends of the Performing Arts or FOPA is meeting regularly to discuss plans for such a venture.

Meyer, who is also mother to a 5-year-old son, William, calls the opportunity to perform in the current production "a gift." It has helped her examine her wife, mother, actress and teacher skins and to strike a balance between them. Tears form when she speaks of being away from her family for six weeks, but the excitement performing for them when they visit is clear.

"It will be a journey to go to New York," she said. "It's a metaphor for my life. I am out of my comfort zone and leaving my family. I really consider it a gift to dive into those questions Š who taught me to want what I want."

For more information about the entire "Skins" production, visit www.skinstheatre.com.



Our Savior Lutheran hosts 16 Korean Academy students

By Rev. Richard Bolland

Special to The PREVIEW

Our Savior Lutheran School played host to 16 children from Namwon Shi, South Korea during the week of Jan. 10-14.

The students from the "Let's Go English Academy," studied American culture and used the week to immerse themselves in the English language.

Daniel Fiedler, director of the Academy, accompanied the students from South Korea, touring sites in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California to round out the visitors' experience.

Mrs. Shirley Fiedler, (Daniel's mother and a faculty member at Our Savior Lutheran School), organized afternoon classes with the Korean students together with the fifth- and sixth-graders of the Lutheran School.

According to Mrs. Fiedler, "It was a great opportunity for young people of different cultures to connect on a person-to-person level, and to get to know more about each others people and nation."

It is hoped that more visits can be made between the two schools.





Local Chatter

Friend's grandma had a quote for every occasion

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Snow days are good times to clean out stuff, be it in closets, files or anything else. What won't go in my file cabinet goes in plastic boxes. It was a few of these boxes I got into last snow day, and it was in these boxes I came across all the notes about Grandma Simpson. Grandma Simpson was my friend Helen's grandmother whom she was always quoting. For example, Grandma Simpson said this:

"Pretty in the cradle

Homely at the table

Homely in the cradle

Pretty at the table."

Her advice for caring for things was to "wear it out, make it do or do without." Now Helen wryly added that Grandma totally ignored this message if she wanted to do something.

My favorite quote was that when she was asked where she got her hats, she answered, "We don't get our hats, we have our hats." The custom was that women changed the trim on their hats until they found a new one they liked.

A table grace Helen and her husband Mac said was one that had come down in her family and one that Helen and Mac continued to say even after their family was gone:

"Father in heaven softly we pray, we want to say thank you for every day."

Helen would go with Grandma Simpson to a resort hotel in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. One time grandma paid the cook at the hotel for his pie crust recipe. She paid $50 for it. Many years later Helen's daughter sent the recipe to the Dear Abby column. The columnist had written about her favorite pecan pie; She printed the submitted recipe:

2 cups flour

2/3 cups lard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Approx. 1/2 cup cold water

Cut fine as cornmeal and stir in liquid. Combine the egg yolk and lemon juice. Brush crust with an egg white for protection from juice and a glaze for top.

I never knew either of my grandmothers and I love to hear about those of others. A note here: I never made this pie crust. Twice I bought lard, but that was as far as it got. It's a lot easier to buy a prepared pie crust. But really, I was a sissy.

Fun on the run

Isn't it great to be a guy Š

- Your last name stays put.

- You don't give a hoot if someone notices your new haircut.

- Wrinkles add character.

- Wedding dress $2,000; tux rental $100.

- New shoes don't cut, blister or mangle your feet.

- Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with, "So, notice anything different?"

- Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.

- A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.

- You can leave the motel bed unmade.

- You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.

- Your underwear is $10 for a three-pack.

- Everything on your face stays its original color.

- Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.

- You can quietly watch a game with your buddy for hours without ever thinking: "He must be mad at me."

- You can drop by to see a friend without having to bring a little gift.

- If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you might become lifelong friends.

- You are not expected to know the names of more than five colors.

- You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

- The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.

- You don't have to shave below your neck.

- Your belly usually hides your big hips.

- You can "do" your nails with a pocketknife.




Shepherd's Staff


Truth: salvation is by faith, through grace

By Richard Bolland

Our Savior Lutheran Church

It is often said, in today's pluralistic culture, that all religions are basically the same and that we can learn from all of them. Sometimes the claim is also made that unless we understand all religions we cannot understand our own as fully as we might.

I would suggest that while it is helpful to understand the tenets of all faiths, that different faiths also have different and conflicting beliefs.

Fundamentally, it cannot be true to say that if conflicting beliefs exist both can be true. In order to come to that conclusion, it is necessary first to say that nothing is absolutely true! My well-worn Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, defines truth this way:

"1. The quality or state of being true; specif., a) orig., loyalty; trustworthiness b) sincerity; genuineness; honesty c) the quality of being in accordance with experience, facts, or reality; conformity with facts d) reality; actual existence e) agreement with a standard, rule, etc.; correctness; accuracy 2. that which is true; statement, etc. that accords with fact or reality 3. an established or verified fact, principle, etcŠ"

In other words, in order for something to actually, really be true, it must be true for all people of all times whether or not anyone believes it. To assume conflicting claims can both be true is to deny truth itself.

It is this understanding of truth that sets Christianity apart as a unique religion in the world. Its claims are quite exclusive, not inclusive:

- Either Jesus Christ is the virgin born, divine/human Son of God or He is not.

- Either the suffering and death of our Lord is adequate payment for humanity's sins, or it is not.

- Either Jesus is the sole remedy appointed for the redemption of the world, or He is not.

- Either the Holy Scriptures are the true revelation of God to men, or they are not.

To say that all religions teach the same things is foolish and untrue. Hinduism - along with its descendent, Buddhism - clearly teaches that life is nothing but suffering and that "salvation" is finally to become sufficiently enlightened to escape this repetitive suffering and cease to exist. This is accomplished by doing good works and having the right attitudes and so acquire "good Karma," and to avoid doing bad things and bad thoughts thus avoiding "bad Karma."

Islam teaches that God is so holy and removed from man that he cannot be personally known and can only be appeased through the keeping of the five pillars of Islam which is a list of good works that must be accomplished by each and every Muslim if he is to avoid hell.

Judaism teaches that it is through the keeping of God's law that redemption and forgiveness can be found. As with other religions, there exist factions from "Ultra Orthodox" to "Reform Judaism," but all are based on good works as the end of the faith.

Christianity, by contrast, abandons all hope of acquiring "good Karma," doing enough good works, or thinking enough good thoughts. Christianity teaches that all men are conceived and born sinful and can never - no matter how hard one tries - do enough good things or think enough good thoughts to ever merit God's forgiveness for our sin. Rather, God's love and compassion are seen in that He sent His one and only Son into the world to assume human flesh, to keep the Law perfectly, and to suffer and die for the sins of all people.

Therefore, Jesus the Christ of God, is our substitute for our failure to keep the Law, for our complete inability to obtain the forgiveness of sins, and is the One who overcame the curse of sin - which is death - by rising to life from Good Friday's tomb.

Therefore, salvation and heaven are not gained by good works, but by faith (complete trust), in what our Lord Jesus Christ has done on our behalf. We completely depend on the good works (righteousness) of Christ. We completely depend on the sacrificial suffering and death of our Lord as full and complete payment for all our sins. Therefore, we rejoice because there is no longer any outstanding debt of sin which remains against us. We are forgiven completely!

This does not mean Christians do not do good works, but our motivation for doing them is entirely different from all other religions in the world. We do good works precisely because we are thankful to God for the redemption He has given us through faith in Christ Jesus. We are not attempting to curry favor with God by doing good things, rather Christ moves us and enables us to live a life pleasing in His sight so that His glory might be seen in our lives.

This is salvation by faith, through grace as revealed in the Bible or the Holy Scripture. It is a faith that has its hope solely in the love and actions of God, and not in vain attempts by sinful humanity to "Get right with God."

Now, either Christianity is right in this faith or it is not. If it is right, then no amount of good works or good thoughts will ever be acceptable in the sight of God since He has already sacrificed His Son to accomplish the salvation of mankind. Indeed, any such humanly based act is an incredible insult to God attempting to render payment for that which has already been perfectly accomplished by Jesus Christ.

If one's hope is in human accomplishments and works, then those with such a hope will never know if they have done enough, become enlightened enough, or thought enough good things and will always be left in doubt and fear as a result. But in the Christian faith, it is not our perfection but Christ's on which we depend. It is not our Law-keeping, but Christ's on which we depend. It is not our efforts, but God's perfect efforts to redeem His people which is our sure and certain hope.

So there is a very big difference between faiths, and not all of them can be true since they offer diametrically opposed solutions for man's problem with sin and evil.

In the Bible there are no less than 224 references to truth. In the Gospel of John alone, 52 times the subject of the truth is brought up with almost all of them being Jesus saying: "I tell you the truth Š"

Perhaps it is necessary to understand that when Christ speaks, He can only speak the truth, as when He says:

"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'" (John 8:31-32)




Senior News

An active week ahead for local seniors

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

The Red Shoe Piano Trio was formed in the fall of 2003 at Fort Lewis College in Durango. The trio has performed throughout the region to delighted audiences.

The trio is dedicated to performing the great standards of the repertoire, while avidly championing contemporary compositions. The members of the trio, Mikylah Myers McTeer, violin; Katherine Jetter Tischhauser, cello; and Lisa Campi, piano, are currently faculty members at Fort Lewis College where they maintain active teaching and performing careers.

Treat yourself to a "red hot" evening of music Tuesday, Feb. 8 at Restoration Fellowship, 264 Village Dr. The performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, Plaid Pony and the Chamber of Commerce. Adults $12, children 12 and under $10, and seniors with membership cards $10. Proceeds will benefit the "Den" as well as the Ft. Lewis Scholarship Fund.

Seniors Inc.

Memberships to Seniors, Inc are still being sold at the senior center 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. If you are at least 55, come in and take advantage of the great discounts offered around town. Find out about the scholarship programs to assist with medical needs as well.

Membership is only $3 a year and renewable every January.

We are pleased to have our basic computer class back again, Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Thanks to Becky Herman for volunteering to teach our seniors.

We had a modest turnout for our January birthdays celebration. Seniors Inc. has graciously volunteered to cover some of our meals, so that whenever seniors come in on the last Friday of the month to celebrate their birthday for that month, they only have to pay $1 for their meal. If you are celebrating your birthday next month, be sure to come in the last Friday of the month to celebrate.

We had a great turnout for Doug Purcell's talk about mountain lions Jan. 19. It was interesting that Doug confessed he has not seen a mountain lion in the wild, but many of our seniors had. Doug had some good information and fabulous photos, so we hope to have him back again in the spring. Thanks, Doug.

Dee Butler was here Jan. 26 to present "Hair and Skin Care." She had a full house for her presentation and it was quite interesting to see Joann Sager in a red wig.

Bodil will be here Friday to talk about spiritual death and dying issues. She has had a lot of experience with this subject in her naturopathic practice and with her own near-death experience. Come hear her talk at 1 p.m.

Check out the fourth annual AARP-Redfeather Snowshoe Festival at Devils' Thumb Ranch (two miles west of Fraser off U.S. 40). It's open to all ages and abilities. There are two heats - 10 and 11:30 a.m. Test your skill on snowshoes or just watch; it sounds like a good time.

We still have Silver Foxes Den sweatshirts for sale at the senior center. Only $20 gets you a cool fashion statement that we all wear on Fridays. Be a part of the Den.

Do you have some free time to donate to our homebound seniors? We need someone to fill our Tuesday out-of-town route to deliver a meal to our seniors who can't get out. Spend an hour or so a week to brighten up a senior's life. Come in to the center today and pick up your application.

Do you want to play with little ones at the community center on Wednesday? "Pagosa Brats" are playing in the gym Wednesdays 10 a.m.-noon and could use some grandparents to hang out with them. Just sit and just enjoy their antics if you like, or interact - but feel free to come in and say hi on Wednesday mornings.

Helpful program

The AARP sponsored Tax-Aide program is returning again this year. This service is offered via IRS/AARP trained and certified volunteers who reside in Pagosa. Most of the counselors are returning this year.

The program is free and confidential and is provided for low and moderate income people. There is no age restriction; but preference is given to seniors who request it.

The service includes tax form preparation or review for federal, Colorado and, sometimes, New Mexico returns. E-filing is available. If someone has prepared their returns but has a question they may come in for assistance.

The Application for the Colorado Property Tax, Rent, Heat Rebate Program will also be prepared when appropriate. Colorado residents for all of 2004 (brief absences OK), who are over 65 or a qualifying widow(er) over 58, with income less than $11,000 single or $14,700 married, and who pay property taxes or rent and heat are usually eligible. If the 2003 application has not been filed we can assist with this year, too. A disabled person for all of 2004 may be eligible, regardless of age. If you are unaware of this program but think you might qualify please come in to ask us about it.

People who only plan the Colorado Property Tax /Rent-Heat Rebate application should come in early, as there are four payments rather than one this year. Also, people who do not have statements from brokerage companies (1099B) but who have all their other statements should come in early as well.

The program is for individual income tax returns. No corporate returns will be completed. Individuals with income from wages, or 1099's, Social Security, pensions, interest, dividends and some stock sales are eligible. If there is rental property or farm income (past a 1099-G ) a paid professional taxpayer should be consulted. No Schedule C with inventory or depreciation.

Appointments may be scheduled via the sign-in sheet in the cafeteria or on a space-available basis during the Thursday sessions, beginning at 9 a.m. today in the arts council room. Sessions are held each Thursday through April 14.


Friday, Feb 4 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; veteran's benefits, noon; spiritual death and dying issues with Bodil Holstein, 1 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 7 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.; Famous People I Have Met, with John Graves, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 8 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; 10:30 basic computer class, 10:30; massage and healing touch, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Red Shoe Trio at Restoration Fellowship, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 9 - Canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 10 - Durango trip.

Friday, Feb. 11 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; reflexology, 1 p.m.; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.


Friday, Feb. 4 - Beef Stroganoff, green beans, rice, beet salad, mixed fruit and whole wheat bread.

Monday, Feb. 7 - Tuna noodle casserole, mixed vegetables, zucchini, whole wheat roll and peaches.

Tuesday, Feb. 8 - Ham with white beans, broccoli, parsleyed carrots, orange juice and cornbread.

Wednesday, Feb. 9 - BBQ pork chops, whipped potatoes, green beans/mushrooms and onions, fruit mix/banana.s

Friday., Feb. 11 - Scalloped potatoes/ham and cheese, seasoned spinach, citrus cup and whole wheat roll.




Chamber News

Only two weeks left before Winterfest

By Mary Jo Coulehan

Sun Columnist

It is now February and we are already ticking off the months for 2005.

I made it through my first annual Chamber Board retreat. And you thought we just gave parties and planned fun events. The fun events are only a part of our job here at the Chamber; we do have the business portion of our job.

We thank Mary and Bob Hart and Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat for again hosting our retreat and for their wonderful hospitality. We were treated to lunch by Victoria's Parlor with sumptuous wraps, that wonderful asparagus soup and a tasty salad. Our strained minds were very grateful.

I would like to thank the board of directors, old and new, for not kicking me out of the meeting and for having patience with my first attempt at a major informational session with them. I think the reason they did not kick me out was because my right hand, Morna Trowbridge, was so complete in her informational packets that we provide to the board. Morna spent weeks getting ready for this meeting, along with performing all her other duties. I could not have been so well prepared without her assistance.

In the March newsletter, I will provide a year in review and plans for the upcoming year. We have lots of ideas, but we need the participation of our members to make these plans successful. Look for this data in March and read your newsletters.

Executive board

Your executive directors for 2005 are Toby Karlquist, president; Jessie Formwalt, vice president; and new kid on the block Jody Cromwell, secretary-treasurer. I am happy to have such a strong group of individuals serving as the executive committee.

Rounding out the board of directors are Angie Gayhart, Scott Asay, Tony Gilbert, Patti Renner, Don McKeehan and Judy James. What a great group of people to be associated with - people who have a great knack for having fun and who have great business heads on those shoulders. If you see them around town, congratulate them or commiserate with them.

Membership advantages

As a chamber member, you have the ability to reach 750 other members with an advertisement of your business in our quarterly newsletter. If you are new or are just interested in reminding people out there about your business, bring 750 single page (can be front and back) sheets to the Chamber where, for $40, we will stuff the inserts into the newsletter. It is a great, inexpensive way to let people know about you and the services you provide to our community. Deadline for the newsletter inserts is Friday, Feb. 18. This benefit is getting more popular with businesses, so don't miss your chance.

Another Chamber benefit is our reader board in front of the Visitor Center. There are only 10 slots available to display an ad for your business.

This board is where we promote events and hang community flyers, and it is a great after-hours location for our visitors to receive information. If you are interested in "renting" an advertising slot for a year for $50, contact Doug Trowbridge or myself for more information. The size of the space is 8 1/2-by-11 inches. Let our visitors know about your business even if we are not here to sing your praises.

And one more great advertising space is LaPlata County Airport near Durango. We have only four slots available for brochures. The cost of displaying your brochures at our reader board in the airport is $50 per month. If you are a seasonal business, you can certainly display your brochures at your peak time of the year. Help those coming to Pagosa who are waiting for their luggage plan their time here.

Help please

We have two pleas for help from chamber members.

The first is from Seeds of Learning childcare center. They are in the process of raising funds to start building a new facility. The town has arranged for some land and now the building fund must start. The organization has applied for a grant from the Daniels Foundation for $50,000. The trick to receiving the grant is that they must first raise $50,000 locally.

The matching funds will expire in March, so it is crunch time. Seeds has raised over $25,000 and they are in the push to raise the final funds. If you are looking for a tax credit to cover you for 2004 or 2005, or even if you don't need a tax credit, consider giving to this organization. You may research the FYI Income 35 Colorado Child Care Tax Credit or give Lynne Bridges a call at 264-5513.

By building this new facility, along with more than doubling the enrollment, the organization can qualify for national accreditation by the National Association of Educating Young Children, a huge asset for Archuleta County. Please help this group help our children.

The second request is from the American Red Cross SW Colorado Chapter. I just attended an all-day session for American Red Cross disaster training. It was hugely informative and we are trying to start a small offshoot chapter here in Archuleta County.

With wildfires, house fires and storms always a threat, we need to create our own disaster team here in Pagosa. Currently, should there be an emergency, someone is dispatched from La Plata County. There are the beginnings of a good core group of team advisors, but we need more disaster team members.

Therefore, if anyone is interested in participating in or finding out more information about the American Red Cross Disaster Team, contact either Edie Corwin at 264-0496 or me here at the Chamber. There is not a lot of time involved, but the service you provide is invaluable.


Only two weeks and Winterfest will be upon us with lots of fun activities.

Of course the highlight of the weekend will be the Balloon Rally taking place Saturday and Sunday mornings, Feb. 12 and 13, at approximately 8 a.m. The balloons will launch from a site near the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. Balloon sponsorships are still available. There is a range of sponsorships, all helping to support the Reach for the Peaks organization run by Liz Marchand. With this being the 20th year for the rally, we really would like to see a spectacular event.

Right now, Liz is projecting close to 50 balloons. This number is important because there will also be a balloon glow Saturday evening starting around 5:30-6 p.m. weather permitting. With this many balloons, the glow should be one of the best we have had. Give Liz Marchand a call at 731-3391 for more information.

Also on Saturday, Feb. 12, is the snow sculpting contest here at the Visitor Center starting 10 a.m. with judging at 3 p.m. You can pick up an entry form here or we can fax you one. The entry fee will be $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event. There will be a guarantee of $100 cash prize each for the Best Individual and Best Group entries. However, we will take the entry pot and split that up as well, so the more entries, the bigger the cash awards.

This is a great event for a school, youth group, church or civic organization as well as for the talented individual. We have had some spectacular entries in the past and this is a great location for people to see your creations. Give us a call or come by to get an entry form. Only one small detail needs to be noted for this event: No power tools for you sculptors.

On Sunday, after the balloon rally, everyone needs to head on over to High Country Lodge on U.S. 160 East for the Almost Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race. As our hosts again this year, Dick and Kathy Fitz have garnered some prizes to give out in addition to our usual cash prize of $50 to the fastest and most creative sleds. We will also award a $100 gift certificate to Montezuma's Restaurant and a $50 savings bond from Citizen's Bank.

Entry fee for this event is $15 in advance and $25 the day of the race. Race time is noon and you need to have your sled checked out prior to that time.

Remember, your sled needs to be homemade and have brakes - no store-bought sleds or tubes. There will be lots of hot dogs, hamburgers, and drinks available to the sledders and viewing gallery alike at no charge. What a great family event. We have had shower stalls and ironing boards for sleds in the past! So put on your creative wool cap and give Doug a call to get your entry form.

And finally, when you recover from the sled race, go out for more laughter and watch some high-flying slam dunks and dazzling ball-handling with the fabulous Harlem Ambassadors basketball team as they play a local team. Tickets are only $6 for seniors and students and $8 for adults in advance. Children under 5 get in free. Ticket prices go up $2 if you get them at the door the evening of the event. This is a must see hilarious family comedy starting at 5 p.m. at the high school gym

Winterfest weekend happens right before Valentine's Day. So make it a special weekend for you, your family, or that special person in your life by getting out, having some fun, and enjoying some of the events we have here in Pagosa. If you haven't been to a balloon glow or sled race before, or seen the Harlem Ambassadors, shame on you! Get out, laugh a little and enjoy some of the times that make Pagosa a great place to live.

OK, enough lecturing, here are some more great times and information for you to plan your life by.

Wolf Creek will host Local Appreciation Day Sunday, Feb. 6, with lift tickets $22 and no ID required. While there, you can also enter the Super Bowl Race, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. You will even have time to ski and then make it home to watch the game.

Tuesday, Feb. 8, will feature the Red Shoes Piano Trio returning to entertain Pagosans with a selection of classical music. This concert benefits the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center and the Fort Lewis Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for seniors with a Silver Foxes Den membership card and children 12 and under. The concert will be held at the Restoration Fellowship Hall at 264 Village Dr., behind the Village Center City Market. Tickets may be obtained at the Chamber, the Senior Center or at the Plaid Pony.

This hobby has really gone gangbusters: Scrapbooking.

So to get you started, the Mountain View Homemakers are offering Scrapbooking 101 on Thursday, Feb. 10 starting at noon at Joann Guckert's house. For more information on the class and what you may need to bring, like some potluck food, contact Joann at 264-4820 or Robin Reedy at 731-4873.

So are you tired yet? Once again, do not say that there is nothing to do in Pagosa! At least don't say that to me because I can always find you something to do.

New members

Oh I love this part of my job! I get to see what great businesses we have here in our community. So joining us this week is a whole slew of great people.

First off we have Crystal Coughlin with SAFER Living, LLC. SAFER Living (Senior Assistance For Everyday Respite) provides homecare services to senior citizens within the comfort and security of their own homes. Services offered are anything from homemaking chores (cleaning, running errands, meal preparation) to outdoor work, to handyman services, to personal care, to in-home assessments where they help coordinate care with health professionals. Help is available 24/7. Give them a call at 731-0821 for more information on this great service to our area.

Also joining us is Charley Sage and Trophy Classics Taxidermy. With over 12 years experience as a taxidermist, Charley produces high quality, detailed and lifelike mounts of elk, deer, bear, mountain lion, fish, birds and exotics. He also has a local showroom where you can view his work. With hunting and fishing being such a large industry in this area, you need to give Trophy Classics a call, especially if you outfitters need to accommodate your clients during hunting season so they can show off their conquests. Charley can be reached at 946-0700.

Also on board this week as a new member is Comfort One Insulation with Sabra Miller at the helm. Comfort One Insulation provides cellulose insulation. It is excellent fire protection and sound insulation. With all the building going on, you should check out this new provider of quality insulation at 731-0153. Keep it local with quality service from Sabra Miller.

OK, another first this week is 17 renewals. We welcome the following as they renew their memberships with us: Best Value/High Country Lodge, Coin Crafters and Engravers, Short Civil Engineering and Land Surveying, High Meadows Mortgage, Robin Auld, Best Western Oak Ridge Lodge and Squirrel's Pub and Pantry, Domo's Portable Toilets, JGS (associate member), Harms Photo/Graphic Associates, Harms PhotoGraphic and SelecPro School of Photography, Rick Unger, Kroger Corporation, Kerry Dermody, Foxfire Construction and, last but certainly not least, John and Char Neill who rejoin as associate members.

Enough said. Just remember to mark your calendars with all the upcoming events and look around town for the schedule of events for Winterfest. I also hope that you will be able to give a little or a lot to the Seeds of Learning campaign.

Every dollar counts for this first step to a bigger and better facility for children.

We could still use some more snow for Winterfest, so get out there and do that snow dance thing. See you around town!



Veteran's Corner


Non-service connected VA pension plans explained

Andy Fautheree

SUN Comumnist

Non-Service Connected Disability Pension is a VA benefit program that provides financial support to wartime veterans having limited income.

The amount payable under this program depends on the type and amount of income the veteran and family members receive from other sources.

Countable income

Monthly payments are made to bring a veteran's total annual income (including other retirement and Social Security income) to an established support level. (Unreimbursed medical expenses may reduce countable income.)

Let me say right off no one is going to get rich on this VA pension benefit. For 2005 the pension amount for a single veteran is $10,162. For a married veteran the pension is $13,309. For each child, add $1,734.

Aid and attendance

For a veteran requiring aid and attendance the amount is $16,955. Married veteran A and A pension is $20,099. Veteran housebound is $12,419 and married, $15,566. Amount for each child is the same as above, $1,734.

Remember, these are the maximum amount of allowable gross incomes as outlined above.

Wartime service

A veteran applying for a pension must be a wartime veteran. That is, he must have served in the military during a wartime period as defined by the VA. Generally speaking this of course includes the current conflicts as well as the first Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, World War II and so on.

Generally the veteran must have 90 days or more of service, of which at least one day must have occurred during a period of war, and the veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

Permanent disability

Additionally, the veteran must have a disability that VA evaluates as permanent and total. I won't go into exact detail on all of these parameters, but obviously if you're a robust, healthy, working age veteran temporarily out of a job, you probably won't qualify for this benefit.


Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the "Share-A-Ride 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 at 400 S. 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 Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, fax 264-8376, e-mail afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.



Library News

Interim director duties being shared

By Barb Draper

PREVIEW Columnist

Since Lenore's retirement there have been a number of library staffing questions. There is an interim plan in place that is working well. Shirley Iverson and Peggy Bergon are sharing interim director duties while the rest of the staff continues with other daily/ongoing responsibilities.

The library board of directors will be addressing the issue of a new director. There are many points to consider when hiring a person to adequately step in and fill Lenore's shoes, and this is a decision that is not to be made in haste.

February displays

Have you read any good romance books lately? Read a biography about a great lover, singer or romantici? Looking for ideas for handmade Valentines and treats? Do you know the history of Valentine's Day? Books on all these topics and more can be found in one of our display cases, and all of these materials are available for checkout.

February is also Black History Month. Biographies, civil rights background books and other information about Black America are located in the other display case. Most of these can be checked out as well. I say most, because there are a couple of private collection cookbooks there that are not ours to catalog for circulation. You may, however, copy a recipe or two from these books. There are some really interesting recipes in these books. Also, enjoy the dolls that are on display as a part of this presentation.

Remember reception

Keep in mind that we are celebrating with Lenore and Gil Sunday, Feb. 27, from 2-4 p.m. in the Commons Area of the high school. Watch for the display ad about this in weeks to come.

Tsunami relief

Thank you for supporting this relief program with us last week. We are proud to present a check to the American Red Cross in the amount of $175 as a result of the fines money and other donations collected from you.

Book donations

We were glad to receive donations during the past week that will enhance our collection from John Mathis, Ann Pongrantz, Alice Kelley, Judy Lynch, John and Sandy Applegate, Jennifer Hedrick, Judy Horky, Ethel Rasnic, Jerry Archuleta and family, and Paul Matlock. We also appreciate the donation of a number of wonderful materials that will go into our collection, from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.


Arts Line

Photo contest reception begins 5 p.m. Saturday

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

Come enjoy the photo contest reception at Moonlight Books, 5-7 p.m. Saturday.

It's quite the social event and promises to be a fun evening for all.

You'll see all the entries as well as the chosen winners. Guests are encouraged to vote for the People's Choice Award, which will be tallied and announced half way through the evening. Also meet photo judge Howard Rachlin from Durango who is also hosting a seminar 9 a.m.-noon at the community center. Cost is $5 for contest entrants and $10 for those not entered.

For information, contact Moonlight Books, 264-5666.

Calendar entries

PSAC is sponsoring a 2006 calendar.

The goal is to produce an annual project that will promote and encourage the work of local artists, showcase the artistic talent in Pagosa Springs, raise money for the operations of the Arts Council and fill the need for a calendar focusing on Pagosa Springs.

Eligibility: Multimedia, graphic art (watermedia, oil, pastels and drawings) and photographic art.

The entries must represent Pagosa Country (landscape, monuments, etc.).

Limit two entries per artist

Selected entries up to the limit of our exhibit space will be on exhibit in May. PSAC will retain 30-percent commission on entries for sale.

Entry directions:

Submit slides, photo or jpeg, e-mail (psac@centurytel.net).

Entry forms will be mailed to membership Feb. 10.

Entry forms will be available at the gallery in Town Park, Feb. 15, as well as posted on our Web site, www.pagosa-arts.com.

Entry deadline is March 15.

Entry fee: Free to PSAC members; $25 for non-PSAC members which covers up to two entries and includes a one year membership.


- Feb. 15-March 15 entry period;

- March 16-18 - judging for 13 calendar winners (12 months plus cover);

- May 5 - Reception for artists, at gallery.


- Submit slides, photos or jpegs;

- Entry form completed and attached;

- Entry fee for non-PSAC members;

- Artist statement enclosed (to be used for viewer, publicity and calendar).

Questions? Call 264-5020 or e-mail PSAC (psac@centurytel.net)

Photo club meeting

The Pagosa Photo Club will meet 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the community center with Jim Baumgardt of Durango discussing "Photography after Dark."

Subjects discussed will include star trail photography, painting with light, equipment, etc. The listener will hopefully leave with a greater understanding of night photography.

The talk is aimed at photographers at all skill levels and is appropriate for both film and digital equipment.

Baumgardt has been a nature and landscape photographer for over 30 years. His fine art photography can be viewed at the Image Counts Gallery and Frame Shop where it illustrates his continuing love affair with nature, nurtured by the variety of moods and emotions that are expressed in her handiwork

Digital photo seminars

Bruce Andersen will lead a two-part seminar in digital photography called Digital Basics.

This often-requested class will be taught 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 15 and 22 in the community center.

"This is a very basic workshop," says Andersen. "It is designed for the person who wants to learn how to use their new digital camera and the photo options on a computer as well as those who want to improve their digital photo skills. New camera owners and recent converts from film cameras will benefit equally from the classes."

On Feb. 15, the focus will be on the camera, learning how to run the thing and how to make good choices with the various settings. Andersen will also cover composition and lighting issues as well.

Then, on Feb. 22, he'll turn the class' attention to the computer and what to do with the image files once they're in the camera. Topics will include downloading, working the image file to liven up the photo, and preparing the photos for screen viewing and printing.

Cost is $25 for each class or $40 for both sessions. Contact Bruce at baphoto@centurytel.net or call 731-4645 for more information or to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

Slade workshops

The first of Betty's workshops is set for March 9-11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. It is an intermediate watercolor workshop with the theme "Seasons in Poetry." Cost is $120 for PSAC members, $125 nonmembers. Minimum six students; maximum 15.

Join the class and be surprised how colors or a simple line will define a subject. In order to paint loosely and control the paints and water on paper, an artist must know the rules, then he or she is free to break them.

Students will complete two paintings a day. First day - a winter landscape and winter still life; second day - fall landscape and harvest still life; third day - spring/summer flowers and summer still life.

Betty Slade has four workshops scheduled this spring. Slade is an artist in the true sense. She began working in oils in 1965, then pursued watercolors, acrylic and pastels.

Beginning with art classes at New Mexico State University, Betty continued with private instruction with some of the finest artists in the Southwest. After 40 years in the art arena, Betty has attained success in many areas of the arts. She has written and published several books, note cards and prints. She has 10 years experience in owning and managing art galleries. Currently she manages her own publishing company, The Hi Slade Publishing Company.

A 30-minute television daily program, "The Colors of His Heart," was designed to teach the word of God through Betty's art. It shows her love for the Bible and the arts. Her southwest "Women of the Wind" series in originals and prints is well known, is seen on the Princess Cruise Line and hangs in many private collections.

Betty and her husband Al run the Blanco Dove Center for artists and writers. Anyone interested in seeing Betty's work or staying at the Blanco Dove may contact her at bslade2@pagosa.net. Betty desires to share her knowledge and stir the artist heart in others. Whoever enters her personal world will have their creative awareness heightened and will be gently encouraged to exercise the gift that lies deep within their soul.

Contact PSAC at 264-5020 to sign up for her workshops. Dates, times and fees are listed below in the calendar section.

Peer assistance network

The Colorado Council on the Arts has relaunched the Peer Assistance Network (PAN) and Maryo Ewell is helping to administer the program.

A PAN consultation enables organizations to obtain low-cost assistance on a host of issues from planning and board development to considering a facility. They have a network of advisors around the state, seasoned arts managers representing a great breadth of expertise. Maryo will work with groups to identify the advisor best suited to come to their community and work with their board or staff.

They have funds for eight more sessions before June 30. If your organization is interested, please act soon.

For details go to www.coloarts.org, go to Resources, click on Peer Assistance Network. Groups interested in collaborating together for Pagosa funding may contact Leanne Goebel at lgoebel@centurytel.net.

FLC workshops

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

Below are two of the offerings:

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

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

PSAC Calendar

All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the arts and craft space at the community center, unless otherwise noted.

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

Feb. 16 - Watercolor club, community center, 10 a.m.

Feb. 19 - Drawing with Randall Davis, community center, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35 per student.

March 9-11 - Intermediate watercolor workshop with Betty Slade, "Seasons in Poetry," community center arts and craft space, 9 a.m.-3 p.m; $120 per student.

March 17-18 - Beginning oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting," with Betty Slade, community center arts and craft space, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., $80 per student

April 14-15 - Oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts Two," with Betty Slade, critiquing work from March class and new paintings, $80 per student.

May 12-13 - Oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts & More," with Betty Slade, continuing work in progress, learning more painting techniques and beginning new paintings, $80 per student.

June 23 - 2005 PSAC annual meeting.

July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.

PSAC supports all art activities in Pagosa. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC e-mail (psac@centurytel.net). We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.


Extension Viewpoints


Several special events warrant your attention

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Feb. 3 - Vet Science Project at San Juan Veterinary Clinic, 5:30 p.m.; Shady Pines Club meeting, 7 p.m.

Feb. 4 - Food Preservation Project at Jean Brooks' residence, 3:30 p.m.; Entomology Project, 3:30 p.m.; Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting, 2:15 p.m.; goat project, 3 p.m.

Feb. 6 - Oil Painting Project at Evi Minor's studio, 2-5 p.m.

Feb. 7 - Cultural Foods Project at Methodist church, 3 p.m.; Food Units 1 & 2 at Methodist church, 4 p.m.; Livestock meeting - mandatory, 6 p.m.

Feb. 8 - Outdoor Cooking and Living at Methodist church, 3 p.m.; Rocky Mountain Riders Club meeting, 6 p.m.; Jr. Stockman Club meeting in Chromo, 6:30 p.m.

Check out all posted project and club meeting dates at www.coopext.colostate.edu/archuleta/calendar.htm

Landscape, garden show

Rock gardens, new and unusual trees, shrubs and fruit varieties, garden "retreats," daylilies, waterwise gardens and much more. Nationally known authors and speakers as well as the best garden show in western Colorado - Feb. 11-13 at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. For more information log on to: www.westernslopegardening.org or drop by the Extension Office for a brochure.

Beef cattle symposium

The 23rd Annual Beef Cattle Symposium will take place Feb. 17 in Hesperus. This year the focus will primary be on reproduction and restocking. Registration cost is $10 before Feb. 11 or $15 afterward. This cost includes six informative presentations, lunch and refreshments. Stop by and pick up your registration form today at the Extension Office.

Uncovering fat

As the prevalence of obesity in America approaches epidemic proportions, researchers are scrambling to learn more about how the body stores fat, how fat tissues affect body systems and the role body fat plays in determining one's risk of chronic diseases. What researchers have learned is that fat is much more than an extra layer of insulation. It actually works as an endocrine organ that secretes dozens of proteins that affect the inner workings of the body.

One such protein is leptin. Discovered in 1994, leptin is released by fat cells. One of its functions is to send signals to the brain to boost or curb appetite. As a person gains weight, their fat cells release more leptin, which in theory should cause a decrease in appetite and an increase in the number of calories burned. However, researchers have found that obese people often are not sensitive to leptin; thus, it has little effect on their appetite and calorie usage. What's more, leptin may work against people trying to lose weight because, as a person loses weight, the body tends to release less leptin, potentially contributing to a boost in appetite and reduction in the number of calories burned at a given activity level.

Another key protein secreted by fat cells is adiponectin. Adiponectin helps insulin move sugar from the bloodstream into the body's cells where it can be used either for fuel or stored. People who are overweight, and especially those who are insulin resistant, have low levels of adiponectin, which may raise the risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Larger fat cells also cause the release of a variety of inflammatory proteins that result in low-level inflammation throughout the body. While the inflammation does not cause symptoms such as fever or pain, it can reduce the ability of insulin to move glucose out of the blood, thus leading to the development of plaque in the arteries and increased risk for heart attack or stroke.

In addition to their biochemical influences, the location of fat cells seems to be important. People who gain weight around the middle (so-called apples) have been shown to be at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes than those who gain their weight in their hips and thighs (so-called pear shapes). Men are more likely to be apple-shaped, and women pear-shaped, at least in their younger years. Older women become more apple shaped as their weight shifts following menopause. Fat stored under the skin (subcutaneous fat) seems to have less influence on the development of chronic diseases than fat stored deep in the abdomen or near the heart and liver.

While scientists have learned much about fat over the last decade, there is still more research to be done. Discovering that fat cells are capable of sending signals to the body and learning how the body stores fat are just the tip of the iceberg. Researchers now are working to determine how diet, exercise and other changes within the body affect the storage and regulation of fat tissue. In so doing, researchers hope to uncover more effective ways to treat obesity.


Pagosa Lakes News

Get NEAT and help a worthy fund for kids

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Weight loss is big industry here in our country. Before you can even get the details of the latest diet internalized, there's another new one on the market. Is weight loss a conundrum?

Hardly the case. To lose weight, one takes in less calories than they burn and in most cases this strategy works.

The latest acronym in the fat-study industry is NEAT which translates into non-exercise thermogenesis. The term refers to the calories people burn during everyday activities such as walking, fidgeting or even just standing.

A recent study at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., found that obese people with sedentary life-styles appear to have a genetic inclination to sit around a lot.

So couch potatoes aren't necessarily intentionally lazy. Blame it on low NEAT.

With determination, perseverance and a realistic goal, weight loss is a doable undertaking. Unlike running a marathon, NEAT is within the reach of everyone because the kind of activity that is espoused does not require special or large spaces, unusual training regimens or gear.

Would you like to lose a few pounds and at the same time lend a helping hand to Seeds of Learning Family Center - Archuleta County's only non-profit child care center? Here's how.

Commit yourself to a goal to lose those unwanted pounds in six weeks. Challenge your friends and family to test your will power by pledging a per pound amount. The commitment will start Feb. 15 (yes, you can have your lavish Valentine's Day dinner) and will end March 29. Initial weigh-in will be Feb. 15 followed by a weekly weigh-in, all at the recreation center. The final weigh-in will be March 29. A 32-use punch pass will be awarded to the person who has lost the most pounds. A 20-use punch pass and a 12-use punch pass will go to the second- and third-place person, respectively.

Every dollar raised in "Slim for Seeds" will be donated to Seeds of Learning Family Center to help them build a much-needed new facility. I urge you not to miss this chance to help yourself and a worthy community project.

This event is sponsored by the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. Please call or come by to pick up your event packet. Your contribution to Seeds of Learning is deductible on your federal tax return to the full extent of the law.

As inspiring as some of the weight loss programs are and as knowledgeable about the issue as you can be, all that won't make you healthier. The best we hope to do with "Slim for Seeds" is to give you a kick in the pants.

The racquetball courts in the recreation center will be closed for refinishing Saturday, Feb. 5, through Thursday, Feb. 10. Pending smooth execution of the job and cooperation from the sealant in curing, the courts will be ready for use Feb. 11. Racquetball, wally-ball and basketball players - please be patient and use this down time to do something else.

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will be sponsoring a second Winter Perch Tournament Saturday, Feb. 12, on Lake Pagosa. If you were one of the 115 anglers who participated in the first tournament last month, you already know how much fun you had. If you missed it, try to come out for this second tournament.

Tournament tickets are $5 pre-purchase and $7 on tournament day. Kids 16 and under are free and will compete separately for very nice ice fishing related prizes. There was $600 in prize money for the adult categories in the first tournament. Fishing may actually be a profitable hobby.

Tickets are available at Ponderosa Do-It-Best, Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center and the PLPOA administrative office.

This event will be combined with other activities going on in conjunction with Winter Fest. The tournament will run 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. You can call the PLPOA administrative offices at 731-5635 for more details.


W.S. 'Smitty' Eoff

Longtime local ranch owner W.S. "Smitty" Eoff died at the family ranch near Pagosa Springs Tuesday, Jan. 25. He was 84 and had been battling lung cancer for six months.

He was born to Frank and Effie Eoff in Snyder, Texas, on May 6, 1920, and moved to a family homestead in 1934 in Pietown, N.M.

He married Zoe Caudill in 1941 in Albuquerque before enlisting in the navy. During World War II, he served in the Sea Bees in the Pacific Theatre as a welder. He was honorably discharged in 1945 at the end of the war.

He moved to Gallup, N.M. in 1945 and lived there 49 years. While in Gallup, he participated in a number of ventures, including starting a propane business, serving as LP Gas Commissioner for the state of New Mexico, bank director, manager of a Navajo trading company and ranching. He also served as a New Mexico state Senator for 12 years representing McKinley County.

Mr. Eoff left Gallup in 1994 and moved to Aztec, N.M. While in Aztec he lost his youngest son, Dale, in 1998 and his wife, Zoe, in 1999.

In 2002 he married Lillian Horvat. In 2004 he moved to the family ranch in Pagosa Springs where he remained until his death.

His wife Lillian and his children cared for him until his death at home.

He is survived by his wife Lillian Horvat-Eoff and by his children: Randy Eoff and wife Shirley of Pagosa Springs; Larson Eoff and wife Nycole of Durango; Zorena Anderson and husband Roger of Durango; Zenise Miles and husband Lowell of Albuquerque. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and two sisters.

There will be a memorial celebration of his life at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, in the Elks Lodge of Farmington, N.M., 801 Municipal Drive.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 3801 North Main, Durango, CO 81301.


Cleo Quintana

Cleo Quintana of Pagosa Springs, born June 17, 1932, in Dyke Colo., to Frank Quintana and Anna O'Shay, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, in Mercy Medical Center in Durango.

The Rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church where funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7.

Burial will follow in Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.

A full obituary will be published next week.


Business News

Biz Briefs

NAIFA slates Tuesday session in Durango

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors - Southwest Colorado, will hold its monthly meeting Tuesday in Durango.

The meeting will begin at noon in the Doubletree Hotel.

Gary Hoch, representing the Durango Department of Planning, will be guest speaker.

Lunch will be served. Prospective members are invited. Please RSVP Linda Morton at 565-9395.


Starting your own business workshop set

The Fort Lewis College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host a "Starting Your Business Workshop" from 1-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the Durango Chamber Annex. Cost of the workshop is $10.

Starting a business is risky. Understanding the risks and reducing them through careful planning improves the chances for business success. You should be fully aware of the implication of owning your own business.

This workshop is offered several times throughout the year. More information is available online at http://soba.fortlewis.edu/sbdc - click on "Upcoming Events."

For more information or to reserve your spot, contact the Small Business Development Center at 247-7009, sbdc@fortlewis.edu or visit the SBDC in 140 Education, Business Hall at Fort Lewis College.


Biz Beat

Dawn and Cody Ross

Dawn and Cody Ross own and operate the Carquest Auto Parts store at 523 San Juan St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.

The store has recently moved to this new location and the inventory has been expanded with the move. The store carries a full line of auto, truck and heavy-duty parts, a full line of auto and small-engine tools, boat and trailer accessories and much more.

Carquest Auto Parts is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 264-4127. Watch for a Grand Opening, coming soon.


Cards of Thanks



A big thank you to:

1. The county man who plows the bus turnaround at Colo. 151 and old Gallegos Road;

2. Jim from CDOT for plowing 151 and also the 151-U.S. 160 bus stop; and

3. The person who plows the Oak Drive and Simmons bus turnaround as well as Blue Windmill bus stop.

James Layne



Thank you to all of you who have shared food, hats and prayers. Don't stop!

Apparently, I need up to eight weeks of radiation for the brain tumor that was removed Jan. 11, the second time in eight months.

Most of the time I am happy and glorious that I am alive and still know my own name. Sometimes, I get very depressed just thinking about the amount of work I am going to miss.

I was very excited to get into 2005 because this was going to be a healthy year. I found out about the tumor Dec. 27, 2004. My emotions now go from glorious to totally ticked off.

Anyway, once again, thank you for everything. I would love to get you all a personal thank you, but it ain't gonna happen.

Dawn Walker



Sports Page

Pirates bury Bayfield 62-32, go to Ignacio Friday

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Saturday night's Intermountain League contest pitting Pagosa Springs against visiting Bayfield was all about balance.

The Pirates had plenty, getting double-figure scoring efforts from Jordan Shaffer, Caleb Forrest, Craig Schutz and Casey Schutz.

The Wolverines had little, and despite getting a solid outing and 14 points from junior Troy McCoy, eventually fell to the home team by a final margin of 62-32.

However, the Wolverines played Pagosa evenly early on, slowing the pace and taking a 4-2 mid-quarter lead on a drive by C.J. Bell after early baskets by Pagosa's Casey Schutz and Bayfield's Kyle Guilliams.

Pirate junior Paul Przybylski hit Craig Schutz in stride on the break to tie, and the Wolverines saw their last lead of the game at 5-4 after Lee Ramsier hit one of two at the line.

Shaffer put Pagosa on top for good with a put-back, then Casey Schutz hit a pull-up jumper which McCoy matched with two in the paint and the Pirates led 8-7 with 25 seconds left in the period.

Craig Schutz buried a late trey to make it 11-7 after one quarter of play, then Forrest stepped outside for consecutive jumpers and Bayfield trailed 15-7 inside the seven-minute mark.

McCoy answered with two inside, but another Forrest jumper then a steal and deuce from Shaffer plus a pair of treys from Forrest had Pagosa in front 25-9 at 4:50.

C.J. Bell and Ramsier got two each in the final minutes, but a goal-tending call on the Wolverines resulted in a 27-13 Pirate lead at the half.

Craig Schutz converted an assist from Forrest to open the third, McCoy countered with two, then Pirate senior Otis Rand put back an offensive board and Przybylski nailed a trey to give Pagosa a 34-15 edge at 6:15.

Full-court pressure by the Pirates led to a layin from Casey Schutz, a reverberating throw-down from Forrest, then a three-point play from Casey Schutz and Pagosa led 41-15 at 4:44.

McCoy ended Bayfield's scoring lull with an inside move, Forrest answered with a three-point finish after an assist from Kerry Joe Hilsabeck and C.J. Bell got two on the break to make it 44-19 Pirates with 3:05 left in the stanza.

Craig Schutz and McCoy traded baskets, then the Pirates got the last four of the frame via break-aways from Shaffer and Hilsabeck; Pagosa was up 50-21 after three.

Przybylski found Craig Schutz on the break for the first deuce of the fourth, McCoy and Travis Phelps got two apiece for Bayfield, then Shaffer hit a baseline jumper to give Pagosa a 54-25 edge with an even five minutes to play.

C.J. Bell scored with a drive, then both teams opened up from behind the arc as Shaffer drilled a pair of treys to counter a three ball from Colton Bell and the Pirates held a 60-30 lead at 1:52.

After Bayfield's Brad Kujath tallied a final deuce for the visitors, Pirate sophomore Adam Trujillo put home an offensive board and the books closed with Pagosa on top 62-32.

Forrest topped Pagosa's scoring column for the evening with 17 points, followed by Shaffer with a dozen and Craig and Casey Schutz with twin totals of 11.

Przybylski inked eight assists to lead Pagosa while Hilsabeck added six dishes to the win, which pushed the Pirates' overall record to 13-1, 3-0 in the IML.

Head Coach Jim Shaffer was pleased with his team's performance during the win.

"Bayfield really tries to control the tempo and limit the amount of their opponents' possessions," said Shaffer after the game. "And I thought we adjusted well to handle that style of play tonight.

"It's sometimes tough for us to be patient because we like to get out and run, but the guys didn't force the issue and did a good job of taking what was available," he added.

With respect to his team's defensive effort, "There were a few times in the fourth when we gave up some easy baskets, but in general I thought we played hard on defense, which is what makes us go," said Shaffer.

As for this week's road game at Ignacio, "It'll be a tough one; they're quick, they're aggressive and they can shoot the ball really well," said Shaffer.

"We'll just have to play to our strengths and keep trying to improve on the things we already do well," he concluded.

Game time for Friday's Pagosa-Ignacio clash in the Ignacio High School gym is 7 p.m.


Scoring: Forrest 7-10, 1-1, 17; Craig Schutz 5-9, 0-0, 11; Casey Schutz 4-11, 3-3, 11; Hilsabeck 1-2, 0-0, 2; Przybylski 1-3, 0-0, 3; Shaffer 5-9, 0-0, 12; Rand 2-4, 0-0, 4; Ormonde 0-1, 0-0 0; Hart 0-1, 0-0 0; Trujillo 1-1, 0-0 2; Martinez 0-1, 0-0, 0; Bahn 0-0, 0-0, 0. Three-point goals: Craig Schutz 1, Przybylski 1, Shaffer 2, Forrest 2. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 18. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 22. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 7.


Monte no match for hometown Pirates in 77-30 blowou

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

It still qualifies as a basketball rivalry, but the showdown between Pagosa Springs and Monte Vista has been rather one-sided lately.

And the trend in Pagosa's domination of the Pirates from the San Luis Valley continued Friday night inside the PSHS gym.

Behind 49 combined points from junior Craig Schutz and senior Caleb Forrest, the hometown Pirates cruised to a 77-30 win, upping their season record to 12-1 and Intermountain League mark to 2-0.

The visitors controlled the tip, but failed to convert and soon found themselves down 8-0 after assists from Pagosa junior Paul Przybylski netted seven from Craig Schutz and a free throw from Forrest.

Sigi Rodriguez hit a charity toss to break the ice for Monte, Forrest got two with a turnaround jumper, then Monte's Kyle Jones completed a three-point play to make it 10-4 Pagosa with just over two minutes gone in the opening frame.

Forrest answered a jumper from Brendon Anderson with a follow-up jam, Chester Hatton cut the lead back to four with two inside, then senior Otis Rand hit Craig Schutz for a trey to make it 15-8 at 3:25.

Pagosa sophomores Kerry Joe Hilsabeck and Jordan Shaffer hooked up for two on the break, then Przybylski fed Forrest and Craig Schutz for two apiece and the home team led 21-8 at 1:27.

Cliff Shaw and Scott Myers added four to Monte's total in the final minute, but Casey Schutz sank a pair at the line and Craig Schutz added a three-point play to give Pagosa a 26-12 lead after one.

Craig Schutz scored with a drive early in the second, and Pagosa held Monte to only three points in the quarter while getting nine straight from Forrest down the stretch to lead 37-15 at the half.

Forrest and Craig Schutz continued their offensive onslaught early in the third, outscoring Monte 12-2 to give Pagosa a 49-17 advantage midway through the period.

Pagosa used a smothering defense to further the lead, getting six from board-crashing Rand, plus a deuce from Shaffer and four from Craig Schutz to go up 61-17 late in the quarter.

Mitch Schaefer sank a pair at the line for Monte with 17 seconds remaining, but Casey Schutz drained a deep three just before the horn sounded and Pagosa entered the final quarter on top 64-19.

Casey Schutz hit sophomore Caleb Ormonde on the break for Pagosa's first deuce of the fourth, then Przybylski and Hilsabeck took turns at the foul line to make it 69-19 with 6:04 to play.

Shaffer matched a trey from Monte's Curtis Barbosa with a three-point play, then Jones and Pagosa sophomore Casey Hart traded two apiece to make it 74-24 at 3:40.

Then Przybylski pushed a steal ahead to Shaffer for a deuce, Jones polished off a three-point play for Monte at the line and Pagosa sophomore Adam Trujillo added a late free throw to make it 77-27.

Shaw and Anderson combined for three additional Monte points in the remaining 90 seconds, but Pagosa got its second IML win at the horn by a final margin of 77-30.

Craig Schutz led all scorers with 27 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Not far behind was Forrest, who finished with 22 points and nine boards.

Przybylski dished out six assists and recorded three steals in the win, while Hilsabeck added four assists and five thefts.

In a postgame interview, Head Coach Jim Shaffer reflected on his Pagosa team's effort in the win.

"There's still a lot of season left, but I think if we can play with that type of intensity and determination from here on out, we'll be in good shape come tournament time," said Shaffer.

"I think the thing I was most pleased with was our defense," he added. "It sets the tone for everything we do, and tonight we got a lot of good looks and easy baskets in transition because we stepped it up at the defensive end."

Regarding the following night's matchup with Bayfield, "Coming into the season I would have said they were the league favorites," said Shaffer.

"They've been up and down so far, but they've got a lot of talent, so we just have to come to play and take care of business," he concluded.

Next up for Pagosa is a road game Friday at Ignacio. Game time is 7 p.m.


Scoring: Forrest 9-19, 3-5, 22; Craig Schutz 9-14, 8-9, 27; Casey Schutz 1-4, 2-2, 5; Hilsabeck 0-2, 2-2, 2; Przybylski 0-1, 1-2, 1; Shaffer 4-8, 1-2, 9; Rand 3-6, 0-1, 6; Ormonde 1-1, 0-0 2; Hart 1-2, 0-0 2; Trujillo 0-2, 1-2 1; Martinez 0-0, 0-0, 0; Richey 0-0, 0-0, 0; Abeyta 0-0, 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Craig Schutz 1, Casey Schutz 1, Forrest 1. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 18. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 35. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 13.



Pirate wrestlers end regular season; regional tournament next up

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

When you compete in a tough league, against a tough team, in a dual meet that will affect the league standings, the bonus points weigh heavy on the outcome.

It was the Centauri Falcons who scored the greater number of bonus points Jan. 27 as they defeated the Pirates 44-36 in a dual held in the PSHS gym.

Prior to the meet, Coach Dan Janowsky predicted the final result would depend on the bonus point factor - on the additional points scored with major decisions, technical falls and pins. Had the Falcons not scored maximum points with falls in several matches, the result might have been different.

Pagosa started the dual with a 6-0 lead as the Falcons forfeited at 171 pounds.

In the first match wrestled, at 189 pounds, Marcus Rivas lost a tough battle as a last-second takedown was disallowed when the referee called him for grabbing his opponent's headgear. Louden David was awarded the penalty point and got a 7-4 win.

Bubba Martinez increased the early Pirate lead to 12-3 as he dominated Matt Jaramillo of the Falcons at 215. Martinez got the initial takedown of the match then, with less than a minute elapsed in the first period, put the Falcon's shoulders down.

Joe Romine lost to Centauri's Martin Maez in a fall at 275.

At 103, Travis Moore faced yet another in the Polkowski dynasty at Centauri - Mitchell Polkowski. The Falcon pinned Moore in the second period and Centauri took a 15-12 lead in the team score.

Josh Nelson battled the Falcons' Mitchell Buhr at 112 and was pinned. Centauri was ahead 21-12.

The Falcon lead advanced to 27-12 as Centauri's Rory Keys pinned Orion Sandoval at 119.

Then, it was Pagosa's turn to earn some bonus points.

Daren Hockett squared off against Centauri's Aaron Quinlan at 125. Hockett got the first takedown and let Quinlan up for a point. The reason to let the Falcon up? To take him down again. Hockett had a 4-1 lead at the end of the first period.

Hockett started down in the second period, escaped for a point, took Quinlan down and scored a three-point near fall. The Pirate scored six points with the pin at the 3:22 mark.

The Pirates forfeited at 130 and the Falcons had a 33-18 lead.

Raul Palmer met a rough customer at 135 - Jacob Sheridan, arguably one of the state's best at the weight. Sheridan established that fact with an 11-0 lead after the first period and a 16-0 tech fall called halfway through the second period of the match. The win put the Falcons in front 38-18.

Centauri forfeited at 140.

Cody Shawcroft of Centauri got the win with a fall at 145 over Manuel Madrid.

With the opponents leading 44-24, Pagosa's Paul Armijo aimed for some redemption at 152.

The senior has been wrestling very well lately, and he continued to do so against Brian Atencio.

Armijo built a 6-3 first period lead, taking Atencio down then letting him up to set up another takedown.

Atencio started down in the second period and Armijo released him. The Pirate took Atencio down, released him and took him down again. Ahead 10-5, Armijo put an end to the game, pinning Atencio at 3:50.

Centauri forfeited at 160 and the win belonged to the visitors from the Valley.

Janowsky affirmed his pre-meet theory.

"It went almost like I thought it would," he said. "I think it went better than I would have guessed at 189 - that was the best Marcus has wrestled all year. When I look back on the meet I think, but for a couple matches, we exceeded our expectations."

At the Ignacio tournament Saturday, the Pirates wrapped up the regular season schedule with a third-place finish in the seven team event.

Bayfield won the tournament with 147 points. Piedra Vista took second with 136.5 points; the Pirates were right behind with 136.

Pagosa had two champions at Ignacio: Hockett at 125 and Armijo at 152.

Hockett wrestled a little more than two minutes in two tourney matches. The Pirate senior drew a first-round bye then pinned Chris Simon of Bayfield in the first period of the semifinal match. In the final, Hockett repeated his performance, getting the fall in the first period over a Dolores wrestler.

Armijo also made short work of two opponents on his way to the title.

Following a first-round bye, Armijo finished off a Piedra Vista wrestler in the second period. In the final, an opponent from Dove Creek was dispatched in the first period.

Two Pirates finished in second place at the tournament: Ky Smith at 140 and Madrid at 145.

Smith had a bye in the first round then got a third-period pin over a Dolores wrestler in the semi. Smith took second when he lost to a Piedra Vista athlete in the final.

Madrid also drew a bye to start the day, then forged a 9-6 decision over a Piedra Vista opponent. A loss to a Dove Creek wrestler put Madrid in second place.

Four Pirates ended the day in fourth place in their respective weight classes.

Sandoval took fourth at 119, losing his first match of the day to Matt Jones of Ignacio in a 4-2 decision. Following byes in the consolation round, Sandoval was ahead of a Dolores wrestler 9-0 when the Bear took an injury default. That put Sandoval against Jones for a second time. Sandoval got the win with a 7-2 decision.

Matt Nobles was third at 160. The junior lost his first match of the day then drew byes in the consolation round up to the third-place match. In that match, Nobles got the win in a decision over Jared Jones of Ignacio.

Marcus Rivas fought only two matches to capture third at 189. Rivas lost a 4-3 decision to a Piedra Vista wrestler then scored a 10-7 decision over an opponent from Dolores.

Joe Romine fought three battles on the way to third place at 275. Romine lost his first match to Greg Kinney of Bayfield then put together two consecutive pins - over competitors from Dove Creek and Mancos - to secure third place.

Nelson took fourth place at 112. Nelson pinned Brian Murphy of Mancos in the second period then lost to Ignacio's Nick Naranjo. A 10-2 win over a Dove Creek wrestler put Nelson in a losing battle for third against a Bayfield opponent.

The team score at Ignacio was affected by the loss of three starters from the lineup - Justin Moore (171), Palmer (135) and Martinez (215). Both Palmer and Martinez have won 20 or more matches this year.

"Our finish was encouraging, considering we didn't have those guys with us," said Janowsky.

The athletes are expected to be on the mat Friday as the regional tournament opens at Monte Vista. The five IML teams will be joined at regionals by Colorado Springs Christian, Manitou Springs, St. Mary's, Rock Canyon, Platte Canyon, Florence and Trinidad.

Odds are good the IML teams will be among the strongest at the tourney. Four athletes in each weight class advance to the state tournament at Denver the following week.

"Monte Vista won the league," said the coach, "and, teamwise, they are sitting pretty good coming into the regional tournament. But - Centauri, Bayfield, us - I think we're all in the hunt. The IML is strong, but all the teams there will have some good individuals."

As far as the Pirates' chances go, Janowsky is optimistic that a number of the local wrestlers can place in the top four and move on. The team's performance at the regional tournament last year has to figure in any assessment since the Pirates finished last in the IML last season, yet won the regional event.

"We've struggled of late," said the coach, "and we'll have to see who shows up Friday and Saturday. We have the potential to do very well."

Action at Monte Vista begins Friday at 2 p.m. Friday's schedule includes the first round, the championship quarterfinals and two rounds of consolation.

The tourney starts anew Saturday at 9 a.m. with championship semifinals followed by third round consolation.

Consolation semifinals are set for 1 p.m. followed by matches for third, fourth, fifth and sixth places. Wrestlebacks will follow the sixth-place matches.

The championship round is scheduled for 6 p.m.



Pirates convert cold first half into Jewell of a win over Bayfield

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Tell a coach his team is going to shoot 11 of 35 from the floor and just four of 15 from the foul line - in the first half - and you may have him out searching for headache remedies at the break.

That performance was offset by the torrid shooting of Pagosa senior guard Bri Scott with 13 of her 18 game points in the half.

Almost everyone else was having trouble even drawing iron Saturday against Bayfield.

From the rest of the Pirates, Coach Bob Lynch got single first-period markers from Lori Walkup and Caitlyn Jewell for an 11-5 lead after one.

Bayfield's points came on a field goal from Ashley Shaw, who would lead her team in the game with 11 points, and three from the line by Kelsey Dean.

The second period was a 17-10 effort for Pagosa but shots were still clanking off the metal or prompting cries of "Air Ball! Air Ball!" from the Wolverine faithful.

Scott stayed hot with a pair of treys. Kelley, on what would be her poorest shooting night of the season percentagewise, converted one field goal and three from the line. Walkup had a field goal and Jewell a pair.

Whitney Howard and Rheanna Moe each had a deuce for Bayfield, Shaw and Moe adding single free throws, freshman Alexis Pommier chipping in a pair from the stripe.

And so, at the half, Lynch called on his seniors to step it up.

Jewell, the 6-2 senior center for the Pirates, after six first half points, erupted for 15 in the second half and a game-high 21.

"Were we up just 28-15 at the half," he noted afterward. "We needed a spark and Caitlyn certainly provided it."

That spark might have been more correctly described as a conflagration. She drilled six of six from the floor in the period and added a free throw.

Thus, Bayfield's 13-point deficit was suddenly at 29 points after the Pirate third-period effort.

While Jewell led the assault, she wasn't alone. Scott kept a hot hand, drilling her third trey and a deuce, Jessica Lynch added an 8-foot jumper and Emily Buikema and Caitlin Forrest each had a deuce.

The Pirates then went on a 19-9 spree in the fourth period to wrap up a 73-34 victory.

Walkup was the key element in the early fourth period assault for Pagosa, hitting three in a row from the field. And she picked off two more rebounds in the period, giving her 10 for the game and the double-double she missed by one rebound the night before against Monte Vista.

Kari Beth Faber, rounding out an excellent role in support of the starting cast, had a deuce. She also had four rebounds and an assist in the game and was a part of the second half defensive crackdown. Jewell added one more field goal before taking the rest of the night off, as did Buikema.

Lynch converted a pair from the stripe where Kelley also notched three to go with a final field goal that kept her in double figures (10 for the fourth consecutive game.

It is important to note that Lynch started only three of his regular starters in the game, and substituted freely in all but the third period when the seniors put on their show. And, for the last 2:58 of the contest, only junior varsity players were on the court for Pagosa.

That fact is offered to counteract what many people saw but did not understand immediately after the game.

As players and coaches lined up for the traditional post-game handshake, a Wolverine fan came on the floor and verbally accosted Lynch for "running up the score."

He called Lynch "the worst piece of (vulgarity) I've ever seen" and vowed to protest the score to Colorado High School Activities Association officials.

Lynch, to his credit, merely turned and walked away with his team through the handshake line.

For the game, after the terrible shooting early, Pagosa was 29 of 65 from the floor for a .446 percentage; Bayfield was 12 of 32 for a .373 percentage. Pagosa converted 11 of 25 from the line, Bayfield 10 of 21. Pagosa outrebounded the Wolverines 49-10.

And, Pagosa had nine blocked shots, three by Jewell, two by Buikema and one each by Kelley, Scott, Walkup and Forrest.

The victory put Pagosa's record at 9-5 on the season, 3-0 in the Intermountain league, with one game on the docket this week.

The Pirates travel to Ignacio Friday for a contest against the Bobcats - 1-6 overall and 1-2 in the conference, the lone win being over Bayfield 60-49 in Bayfield.

But, some observers say, Ignacio may be better than the record indicates, with a young freshman pacing them on good nights and some veterans beginning to come into their own. In their own house, they always give Pagosa a tough encounter.


Scoring: P-Lynch, 0-3, 1-6, 2-2, 4; Scott, 3-4, 4-5, 1-2, 18; Kelley, 0-3, 2-13, 6-9, 10; Walkup, 0-0, 5-12, 2-5, 12; Canty, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0; Faber, 0-0, 1-3, 0-1, 2; Jewell, 0-0, 10-14, 1-6, 21; Buikema, 0-0, 2-3, 0-0, 6; Forrest, 0-0, 1-2, 0-2, 2; DuCharme, 0-0, 0-2, 0-0, 0. B-Howard, 0-2, 4-8, 1-1, 9; Shaw, 0-2, 5-5, 1-4, 11; Shank, 0-0, 0-2, 0-1, 0; Dean, 0-0, 1-2, 4-7, 6; Bulwan, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0; Parsons, 0-2, 0-1, 0-1, 0; Pommier, 0-0, 0-1, 2-5, 2. Total fouls: P-21, B-16.



Pagosans press Monte, put four in double figures for 74-35 win

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Trigger your ball cops with a pressure defense and you can shut down just about anyone.

Want proof?

Ask Monte Vista's Tabitha Gutierrez, a 5-8 senior guard and one of the leading scorers in the state (159 total) coming into the San Luis Valley Pirates' game Friday in Pagosa Springs.

The Pagosa Pirate press had her firing away from off-balance positions all night.

In fact, she converted only two of 13 inside the arc and took just two three-pointers, hitting one.

The result?

A Pagosa fast break coming off the effective press and a runaway 74-35 victory for the homestanding Pagosans.

Monte's other offensive threat, the highly touted Mary Beth Miles did get double figure scoring - 11 points - but had none in the middle two frames.

Pagosa, meanwhile, was rolling offensively, with a different leader every period and ended with four players in double figures for the first time this year. In fact, they were a rebound short of having the first double-double of the year. Lori Walkup, with 16 points and nine rebounds had the chance but was pulled with three minutes left to give junior varsity players court time.

Miles got the game's first points on a drive from the left side.

But Monte Vista would never see the lead again.

Pagosa's 6-2 senior Caitlyn Jewell made sure of that. Working both sides of the deep lane, she poured in six on three straight off high post screens by Emily Buikema.

Miles got a pair at the charity stripe, cutting the lead to 6-4 Pagosa.

Liza Kelley, who would be the game's high scorer with 17, drilled a trey, then Walkup hit consecutive short jumpers.

Meredith Schaefer got a deuce for Monte, but the writing was already on the hardwood.

Jessica Lynch dropped in a 6-foot jumper for Pagosa and then Caitlin Forrest put the cap on a 17-8 Pagosa first quarter with a spinning left-handed hook in the lane.

The second period was more of the same. But this time it was senior guard Bri Scott leading the way for Pagosa with 12 markers in the frame.

Gutierrez opened with a deuce for the visitors and Schaefer followed suit, converting off a poor Pirate pass in the front line, cutting the Pagosa lead to 17-12.

Scott then ripped three in a row on baseline drives, the last a reverse lay-up. Buikema joined the fray with an offensive rebound putback and Forrest hit from the right side. Kelley drilled a pair for four Pagosa points but Angelica Salvio answered with a trey and lay-up for Monte. Sophomore Claire Quintanilla also scored for the visitors.

But Scott was having nothing to do with a visitor comeback. In the last minute of the half she tickled twine twice from beyond the arc and Pagosa had a 38-20 lead at the break.

Any thoughts Monte might have had of a second half comeback died in a withering Pagosa press that limited the visitors to just four shots from the floor in the period and a total of three points, all by senior Erin McAuliffe.

Kelley, meanwhile, was driving inside and dishing off - or scoring herself - as she led an 18-point Pagosa spree with three deuces. She wasn't alone.

Walkup drilled a pair, as did Buikema and Scott; Lynch and Jewell each added one from the field.

Gutierrez finally broke the drought to open the fourth period with a three-pointer for Monte and later converted a free throw. With Pagosa reserves in the game, Miles got back into the scoring column with two field goals and a charity toss, and junior Amy Hart scored for Monte, her only points of the game.

But it was Walkup's turn to become floor leader for a period, bagging four deuces from different spots on the floor, the prettiest a pull-up 12-foot jumper over Miles, who is two inches taller.

Kelley drilled two more field goals for Pagosa and Jewell and Forrest each added single two-pointers in another 18-point Pagosa quarter en route to the final 74-35 score.

Pagosa was only two for nine from three-point land, but shot a withering 30 of 59 from inside the arc. Strangely, the home team went to the foul line only five times and converted just one (Kelley).

Monte, conversely was seven for eight from the line.

Walkup's scoring binge was based on eight-for-11 from the floor but zero-for-four from the line.

The Pagosa Pirate board work was outstanding, leading the visitors 34-12 paced by Walkup's nine and five for Forrest.

Back in action at the varsity level after rehab with the junior varsity from a severe ankle injury, China Rose Rivas was zero-for-two from the field but had a defensive rebound and an assist on Forrest's last basket.

Sophomores Kim Canty, Kristen DuCharme and Lindsay Mackey each picked up an offensive rebound in their time on the floor and Mackey missed her only shot attempt. The other reserve, Alaina Garman, scored two from the line.


Scoring, P-Lynch, 0-2, 2-6,0-0, 4; Mackey, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0; Scott, 2-5, 4-9, 0-0, 14; Kelley, 2-5, 6-12, 1-1, 17; Walkup, 0-0, 8-11, 0-4, 16; Canty, 0; Faber, 0-0, 0-3, 0-0, 0; Jewell, 0-0, 5-6, 0-0, 10; Buikema, 0-0, 3-5, 0-0, 6; Forrest 0-0, 3-5, 6; Rivas, 0-0, 0-2, 0-0, 0; Garman, 0-0, 0-0, 2-2, 2. MV-Duran, 0-1, 0-1, 0-0, 0; Gutierrez, 1-2, 1-13, 1-1, 6; Miles, 0-0, 4-5, 3-3, 11; Schaefer, 0-0, 1-4, 0-0, 4; Archuleta, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 2; Wright, 0-0, 0-0, 1-1, 1; Salvia, 1-1, 1-2, 0-0,5; Hart, 0-0, 1-1, -0-, 2; McAuliffe, 0-0, 1-6, 1-2, 3; Quintanilla, 0-0, 1-1, 2 Derbin, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0. Total fouls: P-10, MV-8. Turnovers: 14 each team.



Softball umpire training course slated Feb. 12

The Southwest Colorado ASA Girl's Softball Association will hold an ASA softball umpire training course Saturday, Feb. 12.

Anyone interested in getting more information or in signing up should call Maddie at 731-4912.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Addressing concerns of sports parents

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

Consider these thoughts on sports parenting myths by Rick Wolff, chairman of the Center for Sports Parenting.

"One of the constant concerns about trying to raise a youngster in sports these days is that there is so much misinformation and misleading advice that parents often don't know where to turn.

"As such, here are highlights of some of the more common sports parenting 'myths,' so that parents and coaches can get a better lay of the land when it comes to working with their kids. The sooner your child specializes in just one sport, the better chance they have of advancing to a higher level (e.g. college, professional ranks).

"Most of today's top professional athletes didn't even think to specialize in just one sport until they were in high school, around the age of 15. When they were younger, they played a variety of sports, depending on the season. Some coaches will pressure kids to play just one sport. As a parent, you should be wary of this! The very best time to teach your youngster how to improve their play is immediately after the game; ideally, in the car ride on the way home while their game actions are still fresh in their mind.

"In most cases, that's absolutely the worst time to critique your child! Wait until a quiet moment later in the evening, or the next day. Evaluating your child's game right after the match is finished will drive them away from the sport - and from you! A youngster who is a top athlete among his or her peers at age 8 is clearly destined to be a star when they're 18. While this happens sometimes, more times than not, it doesn't.

"There is very little predictive value when it comes to saying an 8 year-old will grow to be a superior athlete when they're 18. There are too many factors that might influence how that athlete will develop when it comes to sports. The younger you can get your child on a travel team, the better. In some teams, travel teams start as early as age 5 or 6.

"That's nonsense. Nobody has ever produced a scientific study that shows that having your child play on a travel team at a very early age is going to guarantee athletic success down the road. However, on the other side of the coin, there are lots of studies that show that burnout is a real problem and usually affects kids who have been playing one sport for a long, long time on a travel team.

"Creatine, as well as other nutritional supplements such as Andro and ephedra, that are sold in health stores have been proven to be safe for kids; otherwise, it would be illegal for the stores to sell these products. While creatine, Andro, and ephedra products are legal in most states, that does not mean that they are healthy for your youngster. Be forewarned!

"There are no long range medical or scientific studies that show that these supplements are safe to ingest! Sportsmanship is something that can only be taught by your child's coach.

"Not quite. In fact, being a good sport starts with you - his or her parent. First, starting when they're young, you should teach your child how to behave not only after a loss, but also after a win. Explain to them the right way to act. Secondly, during the heat of games, you have to set a positive example of how to behave because kids watch carefully to see how you react when things aren't going your way.

"Kids will be happy as long as they are part of a winning team. No, this is not true. All kids prefer to play - and play a lot - on a losing or not-so-good team, so long as they're playing in the games - rather than play only sparingly on a championship team. The vast majority of moms and dads tend to be honest and fairly objective about their child's ability in sports.

"While we like to think we are, the truth is - we really aren't. Most parents see their child as being better looking, smarter than the other kids, and certainly at least as athletically talented, if not more so, than the others. Relax, make sure your child is having fun. After all, it's all just part of being a sports parent."

Adult basketball

Our 2005 adult basketball leagues starts this month. The managers' meeting took place Jan. 24 but you may still enter teams. Get your teams together now for this exciting, adult league.

Men's recreational and competitive plus women's leagues are forming. New teams are welcome. Call 264-4151, Ext. 232 to place your team on the 2005 schedule.

Open basketball

Get yourself and your team ready for the upcoming adult basketball season. Adult open basketball will be held at Pagosa Springs Junior High School from 6-8 p.m. every Monday and Thursday until our adult basketball leagues begin in mid-February.


The department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating youth and adult basketball, youth baseball and/or adult softball. High school students may apply. Compensation is $10- $25 per game depending on age group and experience. Call immediately if interested.

Need information?

For any questions, concerns or additional information about any of the department's adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232.


Pagosa Springs Parks

Skating ponds are a problem, carvings set to begin

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

For the past few weeks it has been very difficult to maintain the skate pond.

The rain we got just after the first of the year only made things worse. We are weather watching, to figure out a time and day to resurface the pond. The optimum temperatures for resurfacing are from 4-10 below zero.

Jim Miller and crew will hopefully be on the pond after this front passes. The difficult part is the crews spend so much time and energy in snow removal, then the front brings in the colder temperatures for the resurfacing, and the crews are usually running on fumes.

Add to all of this the fact temperatures are usually lowest late in the evening; it makes for a long day or week for the crew.

Tree carvings

We have given the go-ahead to start the carvings on the old cottonwood trees in the Town Park. The park crew will cut the trees to the size Chad Haspels needs to start the work.

Pictures of the proposed sculptures can be seen at Town Hall in the parks and recreation offices.

How we pick teams

Every year it seems we need to educate parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles about how we pick teams in our youth sports programs.

Over the past three years we have developed a draft system that insures each team has a No. 1 draft pick, and we go down the line in order so every team has the same amount of No. 2s, No. 3s, and so on, down the line. If you end up with eight players per team, and the coaches use the mandatory substitution grid (to insure all players have equal playing time), all teams should be pretty fairly matched.

What throws the grid off are kids who do not show up, and one team has six players and the other team has more. This allows a No. 1 and 2 player more playing minutes, and since the substitution and equal playing time grid is a little off, it sometimes seems unfair.

We need to look at this very closely, because the people who suffer from this end up being at a disadvantage in the game itself.

I try to relax when my son's team is affected, to remember that recreation basketball is just that -- recreation - a town sponsored physical education class. All players, no matter what level skill level they have, can gain from the experience.

My biggest joys are to see a kid who might not have the best self-esteem gain acceptance in an arena where he or she normally would not make friends. The experiences and relationships will be lifelong. The youngster will remember the relationship he or she had with a coach, parent and fellow participant.

The other part of the learning curve is for the adults to understand that all kids are at different levels with different learning skills, and that maturity levels are very different. We, as coaches or administrators, have made special rules to ensure all players have equal playing time and that every once in awhile you get a prodigy child who dominates.

Enjoy the fact they have a given talent and that, with our substitution rules, play equal time. Understand it is not fair to hold them back from enjoying the game. Our program is attempting to make it fair for all young athletes.

Many of the more advanced players participate in other leagues or club sports. There, the coaches can pick and choose players, as well as the amount of time an individual child will play in any given game. Parents knowingly sign their child up to give young athletes who want to work on their skills, and play in a more competitive environment the chance to do so.

Not all recreation or competitive experiences are positive, but you have to try to always put the child's learning and enjoyment of participation first and foremost. Basketball, baseball or soccer will have volunteer coaches who know more than others, however these coaches have stepped up for your children. If they are not learning or winning as much as you would like, we need to visit about private camps, private clubs available for these kids. But, before all of this occurs, ask your child, "Do you want to play or try to play at a more competitive level?" If the answer is yes, you will require a bigger commitment.

Again, thank you for your involvement, especially the coaches and, among them, the rookies. It takes a lot of nerve to get up and coach in front of everyone, without benefit of experience and extensive basketball knowledge.

What we do know is that you care for your kid and other children enough to step up and coach, exposing yourself to criticism from other parents who were not willing to coach or get involved in a positive way.


Lots of light, please

Now the Colorado Legislature is back in session one issue domi-nates the scene - the budget problem faced by the state, the need to deal with revenue and spending constraints that have a stranglehold on state government's ability to deal with basic concerns.

Outside the glare given off by battles over modifications to TABOR some of our elected officials are back at a task they undertake every year - attempting, bit by little bit, to further erode our ability to obtain the information we need to operate as members of a free society and in a functional representative democracy. When they succeed, they're closer to removing us from effective roles in key political, social and economic processes, making us more reliant on prepackaged information, on sources whose motives are often less than supportive of the common good.

There is little in the public domain that should be kept secret, yet we are repeatedly faced with the actions of politicos who would enact laws and use existing laws to keep the public from knowing as much as possible, keeping themselves, their cohorts and their interests out of the public eye. A review of some of the bills introduced during the first weeks of the current session shows the work is again underway - in some cases relative to seemingly unimportant matters, at other times aiming for more.

One bill would make financial investment information related to police and fire pension funds confidential. Another would require public health analysis of proposed rules, with proprietary information in the regulatory analyses kept confidential. Yet another would make underage alcohol violations confidential.

Senate Bill 69 would remove the names from the required semi-annual public notice list of county employee salaries. Why? It is taxpayers' money that is spent. We need to know who does what, and for how much, if we are to judge who is overpaid or who earns too little for the services they provide.

Then, there is this year's version of the attempt to ease local governments' obligations to publish legal notices in publications of record, allowing them, rather, to publish the legal notices and bills on their Web sites. To argue that traditional forms of publication of legal notice are conventional and commonly accessible and that government Web sites are not available to significant numbers of voters should suffice. To note our own town government has largely failed in its promise to publish accounts on its Web site only adds to the argument against the idea.

Pass or fail, these bills, and more to come, are a sign there is no lack of energy among solons when it comes to finding ways, however small, of secreting information.

It goes on at all levels of government, and we must stay on the alert, demanding openness.

In smaller units of government there are recurrent attempts on the part of some elected officials and administrators to keep information from the clear light of day. It is not uncommon to find boards of tax-supported entities using any excuse, however slim, to go into executive session to do business and, upon reconvening in regular session, to speed past the general outline of content. We argue there are very few matters that should be handled in executive session - it is an option exercised too often.

It is not uncommon to find a quorum of members of a board gathering outside noticed public meetings, discussing issues and making decisions in a situation without notice or access.

Vigilance is necessary. Those of us who wish to make informed choices must demand our representatives reject law that encourages secrecy in the public sector and, in their day-to-day doings, that they kick open the door at every opportunity to let the light shine in.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Field of flakes and free thinkers

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

There are many characters in the journalism profession. Some have talents never challenged and others should logically have found a different line of work.

It has been my great fortune to work with some of the finest in the nation, to train aspiring newcomers to the field and see them advance into the top ranks of the fourth estate legion.

It has also been my misfortune to work with several who should have found another line of work; and encouraged some to do so.

One such was a well-educated young man who was from a long line of plumbing and hardware store operators. He wanted to be different.

But despite his education and desire, there was one trait that proved an immeasurable drawback. He was allergic to people, could not go out in a crowd, could not cover a public meeting without coming back in a rash.

One of the greatest reporters I ever knew was a product of the old line journalism schools. He got his start on a small daily in Indiana and one of his first assignments was as wire editor.

Now, in those days, Associated Press was the wire service, and there was no transmission to hard copy. A man in Chicago, or Philadelphia or Atlanta - whatever zone your newspaper was in - would read the news in a conference call to a group of individual newspaper representatives. There were no repeats, no questions. Get it the first time or not at all.

He had never learned to type the asdf-jkl; routine we got in high school. He was the classic hunt-and-peck typist whose fingers flew across the keyboard, two on each hand beating out usually readable copy. He knew all the right people, knew all the background of every story, and never gave a biased report in his life.

Then there was the fledgling reporter who believed his copy sacrosanct and above need for revision. He became intensely angry when even a single word was changed in his reportage.

One day a copy editor found an obviously errant "fact" in his copy and changed it. The reporter literally went berserk, threatening bodily harm. I picked him up with a hand in each arm pit, carried him across the newsroom and sat him down in his own chair with directions for him to stay until told to move.

He later apologized for his actions. Years later he was still calling me from spots across the nation for advice on how to handle a sticky news event.

I once worked with a female reporter who was highly into the feminist independence movement. Having been raised to treat women with respect, I once opened the front door to our building for her and got it shoved back in my face with this comment: "I don't need any help. I can open a door by myself."

I also worked with a staff photographer who was very good - when you could find him, but who had a knack for leaving the staff car unlocked in undesirable locations and returning to find much of his photo gear stolen. Like every other profession, journalism has its share of flakes, free thinkers and some of the most highly intelligent and concerned people in the world




90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of Feb. 5, 1915

If you notice Urban Chambers acting queer, don't call the police. He's just supersaturated with an excess of parental exhilaration on account of the arrival of that big, fine, embryo cowpuncher at his home last Tuesday.

Lord, Lord of hosts, be with us yet lest we forget to shovel that snow off the sidewalk.

Twenty-nine degrees below zero this morning was a sample of Pagosa temperature this winter.

The big wheel at the Moore Light & Power plant is all repaired and ready for business. It will begin to turn just as soon as a serious wash-out in the ditch is repaired, which will be in a few days.

W.S. Mote is putting up ice.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 7, 1930

Coal is being delivered almost daily to the Junction this cold weather with a four-horse team and sled. The quality is fine.

J.F. Whittaker, U.S. Deputy Collector, is a Pagosa Springs visitor today to assist fortunate taxpayers in filing their income tax returns.

The town basketball team of Pagosa journeyed to Ignacio last evening to play the town team of that place, but on account of the pronounced partiality of the referee, an Ignacio resident, the game was uncompleted.

Otis Snooks of Piedra recently collected $70 bounty from the Denver Post for killing four mountain lions, two full grown and two cubs. Three were slain the same day.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 4, 1955

The possibilities that television may soon be available here are good with experimental work being done by J.F. Thiele and Junior Clark. These two men have been experimenting for several months with different methods of receiving TV and report that the system they are presently working on looks very satisfactory.

County Clerk John Dillinger has sold a total of 450 licenses as of Monday of this week. That is quite a few in 15 days. We can't say that the new 1955 plates are very attractive and the county number is darn hard to read. On top of that every time you meet a car you think it is a patrolman.

Wednesday of this week was Groundhog Day and he certainly had several opportunities to see his shadow.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 7, 1980

Snowfall for the month of January on Wolf Creek Pass was heavy with a total of 164 inches in January of this year. This brings the total snowfall for the winter, to date, to 348 inches, and there is sure to be more.

The new Community Bible Church at Pagosa was dedicated last Sunday with a large crowd in attendance. The building is located about a quarter mile west of the Pagosa Lodge and is a large, well designed structure.

Weather the past week has been exceptionally pleasant for this time of year. Days have generally been sunshiny and skies have been clear. Temperatures have been very moderate for this entire winter and the San Juan River in town is not iced over.



Sexual assault danger continues to be underreported

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"I thought if there was ever anything going on with my child, I'd know it.

"I was wrong."

That was part of the message about The Quiet Threat of childhood sexual assault Lisa Carmen wanted Kiwanis Club members and guests to hear Friday night at a public presentation at the community center.

On Jan. 7, 2005, Carmen's family discovered her 5-year-old daughter was being sexually abused by the teen-age son of their daycare provider. The families were good friends.

As the investigation continued, Carmen learned her daughter remembered assaults going back to at least age 3. She had been at the same daycare since age 1. The teen-ager, who Carmen calls Michael in her talks, has admitted to at least 70 different assaults involving both Carmen's daughter and another girl in his mother's care.

"The people who sexually assault our children are the people who can get close to them," the Littleton mother said. She had been invited to Pagosa Springs to give a free presentation about the threat.

"After this happened, my husband and I just kept saying 'Why didn't we know this?'" Carmen said.

Why didn't they know that somewhere in the neighborhood of 90-94 percent of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the abuser? Why didn't they know to explain things about good touch and bad touch to their child starting as an infant? Why didn't they know that abusers first build relationships with their victims, using that trust to purchase silence and protection?

Silence, Carmen said, is one of the major problems in issues of sexual assault. It hits close to home. It's ugly business. No one wants to believe it can happen to them. No one wants to believe they've been betrayed by a person in a position of trust. But it happens.

In Colorado alone, she said, the sex-offender registry contains 8,000 names. Nationwide, the number of sex offenders reaches 374,270.

Archuelta County Victims Assistance served 72 clients dealing with sexual assault in 2003. Twenty-four of those were children.

"Those are our program stats only," Liz Wantusiak stressed, adding the number of cases in the area may be higher because it is such an under-reported crime.

Local sex offender registries are available, Carmen said. In her home area of Littleton, the registry cost her $2 and contains 98 names. The youngest was 14. The oldest was 80. Five were women.

"This list includes everything from peeping toms to indecent exposure to sexual assault on a child," she said. "It is available."

In Archuleta County, it can be obtained at the sheriff's department. Anyone interested should see Detective George Daniels. Identification as a county resident is required.

Just having the list isn't enough, Carmen said. In fact, being armed with information only works if it's shared with others.

"Talking about child sexual abuse is our first defense against sex offenders," she said. Talking to parents and talking to kids. Carmen suggested parents should sit down with their children regularly to discuss safety, setting limits and communication.

She offered seven "Self-Safety Strategies" to teach children:

- My body is my own and no one else's and I have the right to keep my body private.

- I will trust my heart-feeling and if I feel uncomfortable, scared or confused, or if it just feels wrong, I will get away fast then I will tell an adult and keep telling until it stops.

- I will say, "No!" to anyone who wants to touch or look at any private part of my body or wants me to touch or look at any private part of their body, then I will tell an adult and keep telling until it stops.

- I will tell an adult about anyone who scares me or threatens me or tells me to keep a secret or make a promise not to tell.

- I will say "No!" to anyone who wants to play a body game with me, then I will keep telling until it stops.

- If I try to tell, and no one helps me, I will call 9-1-1 for help.

- I understand that when a bigger kid or adult is doing anything with me, I will not get in trouble because it is never the little kid's fault.

Carmen said the "until it stops," phrase should be stressed because many times adults fail to believe children's accusations because the offender is known and trusted.

Reporting such crime is also important, Carmen said. She praised the advocates, law enforcement officers and other professionals who worked with her family throughout their ordeal. In fact, she said, it was a relief to turn to professionals to determine what action to take against the perpetrator.

"These people were our friends," Carmen said. "We didn't want to do them wrong, we wanted to do right for our child."

Working to spread the word about child sexual assault has become Carmen's focus since her own family's tragedy. Her daughter remains in counseling and is doing well. Michael, who confessed to his crimes, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and intensive therapy. Social Services closed the daycare facility.

Carmen's goal is to take "The Quiet Threat" to the national level. Currently, donations are being accepted through the Jeffco Children's Alliance. Carmen can be contacted at (303) 933-9564 or lisacarmen@earthlink.net.


Be aware of Internet dangers

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

As a child, your parents probably told you to stay away from the seedy areas of bars and strange people.

They were exercising parental guidance before the advent of computer chat rooms and the growing threat of cyber predators.

Now police and teachers are the ones helping youngsters understand who and what predators are and how the child's use of a computer can lead to confrontations and danger.

It is no longer the strange looking man lurking in the alley children need to be aware of.

It is the tech-age predator who uses the Internet to identify and track down those children he sees as possible conquests.

Pagosa Springs Intermediate School teacher Heidi Keshet went to a special training session for the "iSafe" program last year, then converted her knowledge of the subject into a classroom session involving Pagosa Springs Police Officer Floyd Capistrant.

It was used Thursday and Friday with the two combining to help fifth- and sixth-graders know what a cyber predator is, what they want, and how to avoid them.

Capistrant told one group of youngsters to never utilize a computer name or password which can give a clue to their identity.

"Don't use any form of your real name as part of a sign-on," he said. "Don't even hint at your family name, your phone number, your friends, Social Security number, age, area of residence or school attended."

Any one of those factors, Capistrant said, can help the seasoned predator accustomed to chat room techniques, find out who you are.

Just as parents once warned children to not accept gifts or offers of help from total strangers, they, the police and the teachers, are now teaming up to help children understand who might be watching them on computer links.

Often, the officer said, predators are monitoring chat room conversations without getting involved, just noting phrases exchanged between friends for characteristics of the participants.

They watch for clues to things you like, places you have been, indictions of trips and how long they took and then they are able to pinpoint you as a target.

Keshet passed out fliers which compared parents' childhood life to that of parents today. Where once the parent warned the child to look both ways before crossing the street, or not to talk to strangers, with more and more children every year going on the Internet, there's a new set of precautions.

Just as they need to be taught about physical safety in the real world, we need to teach them to be safer in the online world.

"If someone indicates online that they want to meet you," Capistrant said, "ask yourself 'why'?, and 'what could you do for the person asking for the meeting?"

You should feel threatened, he said, "and you should let someone know if the advance is made ... your teacher, your parent or us, the police."

Both he and Keshet noted that among the many online threats to children, i.e., exposure to pornography, harassment, and cyber stalking, there is a more dangerous threat - cyber grooming.

It has nothing to do with prettying yourself up.

It is the process of gaining trust and building false relationships that predators use to entice young victims.

Those predators "groom" their victims by:

- meeting them in chat rooms and progressing to instant messaging, or e-mail, telephone and ultimately direct contact;

- befriending/isolating victims by building their trust;

- asking the victim to keep their "friendship" secret, sometimes threatening violence; and

- sending pornographic images to lower inhibitions, provide instruction and arouse potential victims.

The discussion leaders said parents should be aware of the possibility their child is being "groomed" if he or she:

- spends excessive time on the Internet, especially late at night;

- is secretive about cyber friends, or how they spend their time on the Internet; and

- withdraws from family and friends, seems depressed or unresponsive.

They note parents/guardians need to develop "rules of the road" for children's computer use, perhaps keeping the terminal in a public area and not in the child's room; spending time with children while they are on line and encouraging the children to inform them about disturbing online encounters.

Don't be embarrassed to report a possible problem.

Don't give clues, they repeatedly told the children, as to who you are. Simple numbers often are keys to predator success, numbers like 2012 on a school jacket, indicating that's the year you'll graduate and thus giving the predator instant knowledge of your current age. It's a common thing to exchange such data with a friend in describing the new jacket, but it gives the watching predator more information about you as an individual.

"The predator monitoring a chat room," Capistrant said, "sees the things you and your friends say to each other and can use them as means of assessing your situation and whether you are a good target. There is no safe wall to block information you don't realize you're dispensing."

"Your computer use becomes your link to danger," he said. "It is our job, and your teachers and your family's to protect you and you can help us by being careful of what you record on that screen. If you and your friend can see it, so can the predator."

"If someone interrupts or follows up one of your chat room visits with a request to meet you," he said, "call us or tell your parent and have them call us. We'll control the meeting."

Such meetings, he said, are the predator's signature - having successfully identified you.

"If you have told no one and you disappear, we will have no physical clues but, in time, might be able to trace the same chat room data he did to get a key to his identity."

That is not to say that all predators are male, but nationwide statistics show the biggest percentage are.

The children involved in the program had some common-sense questions.

"What if a predator ends up luring another predator? Who gets arrested? Who is wrong?"

Both, but both probably are already aware of the possible mistake and are watching at an assigned meeting site for who they think you are and for others who might be watching them. "They normally won't blow their cover," Capistrant said, "because they'll want to strike again."

Don't fall, he warned, "for promises of money, gifts, trips to exotic places or things 'you can give your mom to improve strained relations.'"

There have been no reported instances of predator contact here so far, Capistrant said in answer to another query, "but we believe it will come. We want you to be prepared for such encounters and to know what to do if it happens."

"What about talking boards with buddies on a skateboard site?" another student asked.

Keshet replied, "Again, you don't know who's watching. It's called lurking. The predator will seek clues like the kind of board, references to 'new wheels,' favorite colors or reference to a favorite place to use the board.

"What seems to be a restricted conversation between you and your skateboarding buddy," Keshet said, "is anything but private."

"Be suspicious, be aware, be ready to tell someone in charge if you feel threatened," Capistrant urged the preteens.

Keshet said the goal of the iSafe program is to educate every student with curriculum that is designed to:

- empower students to recognize techniques used by predators to deceive them;

- empower students to refuse requests for personal information;

- provide students with the tools they need to respond assertively; and

- encourage students to report suspicious or dangerous contact immediately.

And, Capistrant added, to stay alive and safe because you knew what to do.

Facts to consider

- one in four children/teens ages 10-17 have been exposed to unwanted sexual material on line according to a report from the nation's Youth, Crimes Against Children Research Center;

- one in five children/teens under the age of 17 have received unwanted sexual solicitations online;

- one in 33 children/teens have received an aggressive solicitation to meet someone somewhere;

- 96 percent of those who solicited youth online were under age 25, 48 percent under the age of 18;

- 49 percent of online solicitations are not disclosed (to supervisor, parent, police or anyone)

- 6 percent of children/teens ages 10-17 are threatened or harassed online and only about half report the incident;

- some 3,000 "problematic" Web sites that promote violence or racism were identified in a July 2002 report from Simon Wiesenthal Center as easily accessible by youth on the Internet.


Hearts for Horses benefit set Feb. 12

LASSO (large animal support southwest organization) will conduct its annual "Hearts for Horses" benefit 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at Montezuma's Restaurant.

There will be a silent auction, great food and good fun at a cost of $50 per person.

Make reservations by Feb. 4 by calling 264-0095 or 264-2264.


Critical point in future of Fiesta Club

At a critical point in looking to the future, the board of directors of Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club will meet 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Chamber of Commerce building.

All leadership volunteers have been urged to attend or to call 264-3686 with commitment ideas that would continue the 24-year fiesta tradition.

After years of marginal success, lack of community support and increases in production and liability expenses, it is becoming more difficult to make the annual event a valuable benefit to the community.

The club normally has three dances and the summer Fiesta as fund-raisers to support scholarships for Pagosa Springs High School graduates.


 Heart Check to be held Feb. 15 & 16

February is the American Heart Association's American Heart Month, and a great time to have an annual heart health screening.

Mercy's Healthy Heart Check will be held in the Durango hospital's main lobby Feb. 15 and 16 from 6:30-9:30 a.m.

The $25 cost includes complete lipid panel and fasting glucose test (HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose and blood pressure). Last year, more than 500 people participated.

Accurate testing requires fasting 12 hours prior to test (drinking water will not affect test accuracy). Participants must be at least 18 years old. Call 382-1521 for more information.


Pagosa's Past


Stagecoach travel linked Pagosa to early rail routes

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

We've been talking about events leading to the 1916 opening of Wolf Creek Pass. In the process, we've discussed routes used to enter Pagosa Country prior to opening Wolf Creek.

After all, transportation has always been important to the development of an area. Reasonable routes had to be available for people to enter and leave. Routes and means had to be available for bringing supplies into an area and for shipping out the products produced in the area.

As we mentioned in an earlier column, the discovery of gold and other minerals was probably the single most important factor leading to settlement of the San Juans. Producers of ores needed routes and means for getting their materials to market.

Gen. William Palmer provided the answer. Palmer put in place narrow gauge railroad tracks connecting Denver with the San Juan mining district. Palmer's narrow gauge reached what today is known as Durango in 1881.

At the time, there was no Durango. An older community, known as Animas City, straddled the Animas River north of today's Durango, roughly north of today's Mercy Hospital. When the folks living in Animas City asked Palmer to pay for land for railroad facilities, Palmer thought the asking price too high. He purchased land south of the existing city, subdivided and sold lots, and built his railroad facilities there. The community became known as Durango. Animas City eventually withered, its remains absorbed by Durango.

Palmer's railroad did not stop at Durango, but continued on to Silverton. Durango had no silver or other metal-bearing ores. It did have some coal deposits. Consequently, smelters constructed at Durango concentrated much of the ore production from the Silverton area. Durango became known to many as the Smelter City.

And so, Palmer's railroad carried passengers in and out of the San Juan region including Pagosa Country, carried supplies into the San Juan Basin, and carried the region's surplus goods across the mountains to markets.

The railroad was probably built primarily to haul out ores produced in the region. A second major industry soon followed -- logging. By the time Palmer's trains were chugging across Cumbres Pass and that section of New Mexico, a man named Biggs and others had already been cutting into the vast stand of Ponderosa pines that stretched across portions of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. That cutting accelerated with the coming of the railroad and it was the existence of the giant pines that led to completion of a railroad line to Pagosa Springs in 1900.

The railroad's coming changed the dynamics of transportation connecting the San Juan Basin with the outside world and also within the Basin.

A recapitulation of transportation lines into Pagosa Springs prior to the opening of Wolf Creek Pass might be in order at this point. Prior to 1880-1881, entrance and egress for Pagosa Country was accomplished by horse and wagons, ox teams, or by foot. The route into Pagosa Springs was either via Elwood Pass or from the south on a route approximating today's U.S. 84. Users of the Cumbres Pass route entered Pagosa Springs from the south on the same U.S. 84 approach. At this time, I don't believe any stagecoaches entered the San Juan Basin from the outside.

The Denver & Rio Grande crossed Cumbres Pass in 1880 and reached Durango in 1881. As soon as the railroad crossed Cumbres, two stagecoach lines connected the railroad terminus with the Durango area, passing through Pagosa Springs enroute. That stagecoach travel ceased as soon as the railroad reached Durango. Obviously it wasn't needed.

No railroad reached Pagosa Springs until 1900. Consequently, a stage connection between the railroad and Pagosa Springs was maintained. From 1881 until about 1895, that stagecoach route led from Amargo to Pagosa Springs by what became later known as Edith. After Biggs and others launched Lumberton ca. 1895 beginning the demise of Amargo, the stage route led from Lumberton through the same Edith crossing of the Navajo River to Pagosa Springs. During this same time, there was wagon traffic in and out of Pagosa Springs via Elwood Pass, Cumbres Pass, and the old wagon road to Durango, a route which approximated current U.S. 160.

I believe a major portion of people traffic and freight in and out of the Basin at this time was accomplished via the railroad, especially during winter when mud and snow pretty much stopped other forms of travel.

But, winds of change were blowing across the United States. Auto and truck traffic was supplanting the railroads. The need for a Wolf Creek Pass was pressing. More next week on the construction of Wolf Creek Pass.



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Drought upgraded, more snow possible by weekend

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Pagosa Country is moving up the charts.

Regional drought classifications issued this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicate Archuleta County now qualifies as "abnormally dry," an upgrade from the former label of "in moderate drought."

An abundance of early and midwinter snowfall plus additional snow totals ranging from 10-12 inches during the past week apparently were enough to trigger the change in classification.

And according to the latest forecasts provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, after an expected lull in wet weather today and tomorrow, further drought relief may arrive this weekend.

The forecasts for today and Friday call for mostly-sunny skies, daytime highs ranging from 35-45 degrees and nighttime lows anywhere from 5-15.

Saturday and Sunday are expected to bring a 30-percent chance for snow showers, highs in the upper 30s and lows ranging from the single digits to upper teens.

A return to partly-cloudy skies is predicted for Monday and Tuesday, along with highs in the mid-30s to mid-40s and lows in the teens.

Wednesday's forecast indicates a mix of sun and clouds, highs in the 40s and lows in the teens.

The average high temperature last week in Pagosa Springs was 38 degrees. The average low was 19. Moisture totals for the week amounted to just over one inch.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 148 inches, a midway depth of 136 inches and year-to-date total snowfall of 290 inches.

For updates on snow and road conditions at the ski area, visit the Web at www.wolfcreekski.com.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains ranges from "moderate" to "considerable."

According to SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin, as of Wednesday, was 179 percent of average.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from a low of about 90 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 155 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Jan. 27 is roughly 55 cubic feet per second.