February 17, 2005
Front Page


County receives four courthouse sale, replace bids

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Early last month, Archuleta County issued a request for proposals regarding the potential sale and relocation of the county courthouse.

Also solicited in the request were plans for the establishment of additional county facilities, including a new jail, administrative offices and criminal justice center.

After six weeks of advertising, has the county been flooded with an inflow of proposals? Not exactly.

According to Kathy Holthus, assistant county administrator, when the deadline for submissions expired Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., the county had received plenty of inquiries, but just four proposals.

Nevertheless, the process will move forward.

During Tuesday's county commissioners' meeting, Holthus told the board Town Manager Mark Garcia has offered to assist with review of the proposals, suggesting a small committee be formed to ready the proposals for public presentation.

As a result, Holthus, Garcia, Board Chair Mamie Lynch and Bob Burchett, county finance director, will meet in private session Feb. 23 to prepare and evaluate the proposals, which will then be made public at the March 1 commissioners' meeting.

However, Lynch indicated Tuesday the board does not expect to formally accept any of the proposals during the session, but will offer insight on each.

While details of both proposals will apparently be revealed, "There will not be a decision that day," concluded Lynch.

In other business this week, the board:

- recognized longtime librarian Lenore Bright for continued excellence during her 25-year affiliation with the Ruby Sisson Library, officially proclaiming Feb. 27 as "Lenore Bright Day";

- accepted a letter of engagement for performance of the 2004 county audit from Chadwick, Steinkirchner, Davis & Co., P.C.;

- moved to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the state department of agriculture regarding the 2005 predator control program;

- moved to add Buildings by Design to the list of potential bidders for the upcoming schedule of improvements to Stevens Field;

- approved the final plat for Whispering Pines Phase VII;

- approved a resolution naming an unnamed, 3,300-foot extension of Cloman Boulevard at the east end of Cloman Industrial Park "Cloman Boulevard" and a resolution naming an unnamed, 370-foot easement off Cloman Boulevard "Aviation Court";

- approved renewal of Pagosa Springs Valley Golf Club LLC's hotel and restaurant liquor license with optional premises;

- for tax-related purposes, approved the sale of three Aspen Springs lots formerly listed in the county's name to Aspen Springs Metro District for a sum of $1,000.



Weather a factor in dual traffic fatalities

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Two Pagosa Springs residents died Feb. 12 in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 160, just east of the Archuleta County line and approximately 12 miles east of Pagosa Springs.

Karen H. Burris, 50, the driver, and Michelle J. Brueckner, 20, were eastbound in a 2003 Jeep Wrangler when the vehicle collided with a semitrailer driven by Clarence Moore, 55, of Elko, Nev.

According to a Colorado State Patrol report, the crash occurred at 7:25 a.m. as the two women were heading for work at the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Road conditions at the time of the crash were wet and slushy. Burris' Jeep, traveling at an estimated 45 miles per hour, went out of control and spun counterclockwise into the westbound lane.

The Jeep was struck on the passenger side by the semitrailer, was pushed backward and came to rest facing south. The semitrailer slid into the eastbound lane, facing west, blocking both lanes of the highway. The highway remained closed for approximately four hours.

Burris and Brueckner were wearing seat belts and airbags deployed in the vehicle.

Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and Pagosa Fire Protection District responded with eight firefighters and three vehicles.




SAR folding rumors are unfounded

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Despite rumors to the contrary, Upper San Juan Search and Rescue is apparently alive and well.

According to Archuleta County Sheriff Tom Richards, recent concerns regarding the preparedness of USJSAR crews stemming from local hearsay are unfounded.

For example, an e-mail forwarded to The SUN this week asserts, "Just an FYI. The entire Upper San Juan Search and Rescue Board" announced its resignation last Friday.

The e-mail also states "the ability of the sheriff's office to field a trained search and rescue team is questionable."

However, "It wasn't the search and rescue board, but there were some resignations from an entirely separate, nonprofit group that was formed to collect donations for search and rescue," said Richards, indicating the list of resignations includes Pat Curtis, Karn Macht and Ron Hunkin.

"And that group has no bearing on the operations of the search and rescue office," Richards added.

But since that entity is known as "Upper San Juan Search and Rescue Inc.," said Richards, "It's easy to see where the confusion may have originated, but of course we still have a fully capable search and rescue office."

Likewise, "There has been some restructuring going on within that nonprofit group, but that has not affected search and rescue," said Greg Oertel, USJSAR director of emergency operations.

"So we still have a 70-member team, and if a call were to come in today, the county would be covered," Oertel concluded.



Lake Hatcher proposed as a 'trophy' water

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The chairman of the Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee serving Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association would like to see Lake Hatcher turned into a trophy fishing water.

Actually, he told the board of directors Jan. 10, he was relaying a desire growing among area residents for a catch-and-release only area for trophy (5-10 pound) size trout and bass.

Saying, "Property owner involvement and input is critical to any advancement of the plan," Michael Piper told the board supporters would like to launch a survey of residents and hold public meetings to determine reaction to the proposal.

He said proponents feel the public would flock to the area for trophy catches if it were well maintained and controlled.

"We'd have to educate anglers on the importance of catch-and-release," he said, "but there is a feeling it could be a revenue producing concept for the association."

The proposal, if adopted, would keep the other three association lakes as "catch-and-keep" waters.

He said, "Hatcher was chosen because it is the best fishery in the system. It's not set in stone, but to us it seems the best choice if a decision is made to proceed."

Reference the other lakes, he said, "Village Lake is best for bass and both Lake Forest and Pagosa Lake are too small, presenting access and fish-life maintenance problems."

Piper said the proponents want to find out what the association membership feels about the idea.

Asked by director Gerry Smith how the proposal would affect the ongoing fish stocking plan the association operates, Piper said, "In our minds there would be no net change. It would be a self-supporting system."

Asked if it would increase expenses for patrolling and policing, Piper said that may become a necessity even if it doesn't happen.

"The committee already is examining the need for an additional enforcement and conservation officer and may submit a report recommending that action later this year."

Director David Bohl, board president, told Piper, "Wherever your survey goes and whatever it asks, I want to be certain every single Hatcher Lake property owner is contacted and offered an opportunity to respond. Some may want status quo; others may be delighted and still others may be confused.

"They should play the key role, and have the key opinions," he continued.

By June, Piper said, "we hope to be able to present a questionnaire to you for approval and hope to get comment prior to the annual meeting in July."

"I see it as a purpose worth pursuing," Bohl said, but added, "I want to give every a member a voice in the final decision."

Walt Lukasik, general manager, said the committee should continue to study the proposal and develop more questions to be answered by the public before submitting it for an upcoming membership newsletter.

The discussion concluded with Smith commenting, "the easiest thing is to have property owners say they want it; the hardest is to make us the referee. So work out the details first."


 Inside The Sun


School district votes to seek bids for audit

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

An annual audit of taxing district financial status is a state requirement and for most it is a routine handled expeditiously.

The board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint, acting Feb. 8 on a recommendation from Business Manager Nancy Schutz, decided to seek bids for the next audit.

This is no reflection on the most recent audits of the district, officials said, but is a move designed to prevent any criticism.

Schutz recommended a letter be sent to a dozen firms experienced in school audits, including the local business which has done the last several financial reviews.

The letter will ask the firms to make proposals to the district for the annual financial audit services, and to submit a bid proposal by Feb. 23 for consideration.

Each letter recipient will be asked to provide a record of its background in such services, explaining standards, experience, degree of expertise, licensing status, means of performance and a fee proposal based on a district-supplied set of expectations.

Firms receiving the letter are in Pagosa Springs, Monte Vista, Durango, Cortez, Pueblo, Trinidad and Englewood.

All have done prior similar studies for schools in the region.

In other action, the board:

- Approved a resolution to the Colorado General Assembly, to be delivered by members of the administration in a Feb. 23 meeting with area legislators, asking reduction of excessive regulation and micromanagement of local school districts; opposition to state and/or federal mandates not fully funded; and asking the Legislature to provide an adequate amount and reliable source of funding to equitably meet educational needs of the students served by the public education system in the state; and to pass legislation eliminating ACT testing in Colorado.

- approved the hiring of Belinda La Pierre, Sarena Reed and Charleen Stipe as substitute teachers, and Travis Taylor as a substitute custodian;

- heard senior student Mark Truax make a plea for a letter of opposition from the school board to the proposed Village at Wolf Creek. He had been scheduled last month but was unable to appear. And while the deadline for EIS statements to the Forest Service expired Jan. 5, he said shows of opposition like that drafted by the Town of Pagosa Springs (a failure to endorse) and one being considered by Archuleta County, can still help the opposition to the proposal. He cited 4,000 incoming workers and their families creating a strain on school facilities as the cause for a school district letter. Directors, however, asked Superintendent Duane Noggle to investigate more before they take a position;

- accepted for first reading a proposed new science curriculum for the district, noting copies are available for examination in administrative offices;

- accepted for first reading proposed amendment to the support staff recruiting/hiring policy, to include reference to domestic violence as one of the prior elements standing in the way of employment;

- agreed to schedule a work session prior to the April 1 meeting to develop goals and targets for a planned policy on board self-evaluation; and

- after nearly three hours in open session, retired to executive session to deal with the annual evaluation of the superintendent.


Postal officials want to move N. Pagosa cluster box location

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Postal delivery has been a bone of contention for Pagosa Lakes homeowners for several months.

A new wrinkle to the conundrum was introduced Feb. 10 when a request was relayed from Pagosa Springs postmaster Jim Fait.

In the past, residents have been told variously they could have no more cluster boxes and that they could have home delivery at a roadside box on an existing rural route.

Now, the post office, Fait said, would like to move a group of existing cluster boxes from North Pagosa Boulevard and Sweetwater Drive to a site a block north on Capitan Circle.

To accomplish the move, the postal service is asking the association to assist by providing the cement work necessary for pads to support six 16-box clusters.

Cost of the project to the association was estimated at $600 to $700.

"What effect would our participation in the project have on our ongoing requests for more mail boxes?" asked director Fred Uehling.

That, said Walt Lukasik, general manager, is one of the things the board should consider asking at its March 10 meeting.

"Mr. Fait has agreed to attend that session," Lukasik said, "and explain the order of postal patronage and clear up any misunderstandings and direction for property owners."

With the March question and answer appearance in mind, the board voted 4-0 to proceed with the cement assist.

David Bohl, board president, said he would go along as a "onetime necessity but I don't want to set a precedent that encumbers us in the future. I will welcome his explanation as to what our constituents can expect."

In other action, the board:

- agreed to a request by the board of county commissioners for a joint workshop to examine mutual concerns. With only four directors (a bare majority) present, the board decided to wait until all seven directors and three commissioners can agree on a specific date, time and location for the session;

- reported a mathematical error was discovered in the recently completed audit of association financial and had been corrected by the auditor who will submit a corrected report;

- discussed at some length effects locally if a bill recently introduced in the state Legislature should pass. The measure, by Sen. Bob Hagedorn, would vastly revise state law regarding operation of homeowner associations, though about 90 percent of what it proposes is already accomplished by PLPOA according to David Bohl, board president;

- heard a complaint by Joseph Marion, a resident of the Vista, about commercial vehicles being housed in the subdivision, particularly a number of tow trucks, in apparent violation of association rules. He was told in one instance, a specific variance was approved after an appeal to the Environmental Control Commission which granted it. The board agreed to seek a joint session with ECC to iron out specifics of such decisions and when or if they should go against regulations;

- authorized Bohl to sign all paperwork necessary for disposition of property in Greenbriar behind the fire station. The association-owned tract has been on the market for three years and now sale is ready to close.


Village Lake property owners at an impasse on buoy line

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

To buoy or not to buoy may no longer be the pertinent question.

In fact, with property owners on Village Lake adjacent to Pagosa Springs Golf Course unable to reach a 100 percent agreement on alternatives, the new question might be "Is your liability insurance paid up."

That's the upshot of the Feb. 10 Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association debate of the subject with some property owners and a fisherman who objected strenuously to being denied access to what was called "the best bass waters in the area."

John Hain, a resident on Peninsula Place, told the board of directors the nine families directly involved in the buoy line dilemma have been unable to reach accord.

"One family," he said, "adamantly refuses to join in any alternative discussion other than "no buoy line."

The issue arose last year when the association chose to indemnify itself from suits for personal injury from errant golf balls sailing into the lake by restoring a long deteriorating buoy line.

The original line had sealed off the nine properties and possibly two more which could be developed from boat access.

Attorneys had wrestled with the indemnity question and had advised returning the line to its original placement, or moving the line to a spot where it would cut off fewer properties but seal off access to some property owners.

Hain told the board he had objected to the original buoy line when it was installed because it was unsightly. "These nine families," he said, "got to look right down the line like it was and 'airport landing strip.'"

"When we objected," he said, "we realized there was a need but felt something better could be found. We and the attorneys tried to work out a compromise. But it appears none can be found. With one family firmly in opposition to any line, we see no way accord can be found."

Even as the line was being installed, he said, "We watched golf balls sailing over their heads into what you say is the buoy provided 'safe zone.'"

"I guarantee you, there is no safe zone from errant golf drives anywhere in that area," he added.

He said the property owners had attempted to present alternative ways of keeping people out of the hazard area "like widespread hazard and no trespass signs indicating access was at the boater or fisherman's own risk."

But that obviously is not a workable attack, he intimated. "We've seen kayakers walk across the golf green and launch their craft right into what you call the hazard area. Signs and verbal warnings of trespass did not deter them."

Thus, he said, "the buoy line is not feasible. It will not do what you want it to do. You say the buoy line creates both safe and unsafe zones. But it does not. It won't accomplish what you believe it will."

He offered a three-point alternative:

1. Remove the buoy line completely.

2. Move the existing buoy line to the narrow channel adjacent to the golf course and post it "Hazardous: Enter at your own risk."

3. Post special warning signs around the entire area.

Director Gerry Smith suggested the board determine the minimum size and color the attorneys would allow for such warning signs "that could make us suit resistant.

"I agree it is a dilemma," he said, "We need legal advice to be proactive to avoiding being liable by definition."

However, a Monument Drive resident who said he'd been fishing the lake since 1983, pointed out "the best bass fishing in the area is behind your buoy line. The bass are near the golf course and I and others want to be able to keep fishing there."

When Director David Bohl, board president, noted there is a legal liability to the fisherman who crosses the marked buoy line, the angler argued everyone who pays association dues should have access.

"If the buoy line is not there," suggested Smith, "what protects the association and the property owners from a litigious society?"

Noting an ongoing survey of property lines and lake shore rights is underway and "serious differences have been found in some areas," Bohl said the association will again ask its attorneys to recommend the path to follow.

"We don't want to be sued again for hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said. "The association membership as a whole would rebel against such non-preparation for possible litigation if a fisherman or boater were injured by a flying golf ball, posted property or not."


April 15 is deadline for declaring business personal property

An April 15 deadline looms for county taxpayers - not the Internal Revenue Service version, but the business personal property valuation report.

State law requires all persons owning property in the state as of Jan. 1 - with total actual value greater than $2,500 per county - to report personal property to the county assessor by April 15.

This includes household furnishings used to produce income and equipment not licensed by the county clerk.

Anyone failing to file a declaration schedule on or before that date as prescribed by law, will be penalized $50 or 15 percent of the tax due, whichever is less.

Filing extensions may be obtained by contacting the county assessor prior to the deadline date. Failure to make a full and accurate disclosure by that date will result in an additional penalty of 25 percent of the assessed value of the discovered omitted property.

If anyone has questions, call the assessor's office at 264-8310.


Figures show affordable housing still distant

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

In 2001, according to a Operation Healthy Communities study, a median priced home in Archuleta County sold for about $187,000.

The per capita personal income was $19,021. A livable wage was set at around $9.55 an hour. That, the study concluded, left about 47 percent of the population unable to qualify for a loan on that median priced house.

The numbers haven't changed. Retail and service sector jobs, traditionally low-paying, remain the biggest slice of the economic pie. Meanwhile, housing prices continue to rise. Of the eight residential building permits issued by the Town of Pagosa Springs in 2003, the average value was $218,000.

With those kinds of numbers swimming around, members of the town council and Archuleta County Board of Commissioners took seats recently for a discussion on affordable housing with Bill Whaley of the Department of Local Affairs division of housing.

All around the Western Slope, Whaley said, communities are facing similar problems as economies shift from natural resource extraction of lumber or minerals to tourism. Tourism brings people in, and some want to stay, purchasing second or vacation homes. The demand for housing butts up against a limited supply of land and water resources and prices go up and up until even those making median income are priced right out of house.

According to the federal government, Whaley said, in general banks approve house loans with payments in a range of 28 to 30 percent of gross income. Any higher than that and people are generally burdened. Therefore, programs are available to help out those with bring in 80 percent of the general median income and below.

In Archuleta County, he said, based on past median income figures, a family of four earning $41,350 or less annually might qualify for help. What they could afford might be around $100,000 home.

"The bad news is we don't have a program up and running here," he said. "The good news is we can build it from the ground up."

He suggested a three-step process over the next six months to a year to start addressing the affordable housing issue:

- a needs assessment;

- creating an implementation strategy;

- taking action on the strategy.

The needs assessment, a baseline study of the area and its affordable housing issues, would help define the problem specific to Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County, Whaley said. The assessment would take around three months and cost in the neighborhood of $30,000. Half could be covered through funds available at the division of housing. The rest would have to be raised within the community.

Whaley said federal money funneled through the state amounted to between $11and18 million annually. Projects are evaluated and funded monthly on a first-come, first-served basis.

The discussion moved through standards for housing, development of deed restrictions, private development incentives and funding an affordable housing organization.

The town owns one piece of property for possible affordable housing, purchased in 2004, and is negotiating for a second parcel just outside its boundaries. No decisions have been made concerning when or how to develop either parcel. "We simply felt with rising property values we needed to acquire some land with affordable housing in mind," Town Manager Mark Garcia said.

"The town is committed to this assessment," he said. Although it will require another study, it is possible some money could be saved by pulling together statistics from other recent economic studies.

Mamie Lynch, chair of the county board of commissioners, said they have not discussed participating in a needs assessment but will in the near future.

Lynch is a member of the board of Housing Solutions for Southwest Colorado, a regional housing development organization serving five counties. In the past, she said, most of their efforts in Archuleta County centered on rehabilitation versus new construction. Recently, however, they have begun negotiations to develop a property in the Pagosa Lakes area.

Innovative Overlook housing project planned for summer

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"If you've got a furnace like the sun why pass it up?"

Colorado Housing Executive Director Jeff Jewel said energy efficiency and sustainability were two reasons behind design of a new era of affordable housing planned for construction in Pagosa Springs this summer.

The ten homes planned for the Pagosa Overlook on 7th Street are designed to foster a feeling of community and to cut costs on utilities.

"The goal was to put people in an existing neighborhood," Jewel said. "To put people near their jobs, near schools."

Using an energy efficiency grant, homes for the Overlook have been designed to use both passive and active solar heat. They will have engineered overhangs, a slab foundation for heat storage, solar windows and specialized insulation to hold in heat.

Werner Heiber, housing program specialist, said the homes have been placed on the lots to take direct advantage of the southern sun. Floor plans are open to facilitate the transfer of heat and floors will be decorative concrete, another cost savings because structural materials will be used as finish materials.

The two and three bedroom, two-story homes are a cottage design, meant to fit in with the existing neighborhood. Although each comes with personal space, a large common area is also included. Deed restrictions are in place to keep resale prices from skyrocketing.

Plans for the Pagosa Overlook, went before the Pagosa Springs Planning Commission Feb. 15 for preliminary review. The commission has the authority to recommend the plans for approval or denial to the Pagosa Springs Town Council.

Werner said the goal is to go back before the planning commission in March for final approval. Construction is slated to begin June 1. It will be one of two builds for Colorado Housing Inc. this summer in Archuleta County. The other will consist of eight homes in the Pagosa Lakes area.

Jewel said they are still looking for people to fill all of the open slots for houses. Two slots remain on the Pagosa Lakes build and three at the Overlook. To qualify, a person must meet income requirements. For more information, call Colorado Housing Inc., 264-6950.




Pagosa area study group for USFS, BLM planning sets Feb. 24 meeting


The next meeting of the Pagosa Area Community Study Group to discuss issues in a long-term planning effort currently underway for National Forest and BLM lands in southwestern Colorado will be 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24, in the Pagosa Springs Junior High School library.

Community study groups are assisting the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in identifying issues to be studied in a joint long-term planning effort, which began last month.

In southwestern Colorado, the two federal agencies work together to jointly manage San Juan Public Lands, some 2.5 million acres of National Forest and BLM lands.

The joint planning process will produce plans to guide management of these public lands for the next 10 to 15 years.

Meetings will also be held in Durango and Cortez, facilitated by the Fort Lewis College Office of Community Services with USFS and BLM staff on hand to offer information about specific landscapes and management issues.

The study groups will meet on a monthly basis this winter and spring to help the agencies identify potential changes in existing management direction.

For more information go to: http://ocs.fortlewis.edu/forestplan or call 247-7468.


Spooked deer can be as dangerous as any predator in the wild

By Todd Malmsbury

Special to The SUN

Wild animals with fangs and claws aren't the only critters people need to respect when they live, work or recreate in wildlife habitat.

In the last month, two Coloradans have been hospitalized after being gored by mule deer bucks. In each case, the panicked bucks had been confronted by pet dogs, triggering a "fight or flight" response that turned the typically docile herbivores into adrenaline-stoked adversaries.

And in late November and December, when deer are in the rut - or the mating season - testosterone makes bucks especially unpredictable.

"Dogs will trigger a maximum fight or flight response because they fit the deer's profile of common predators such as coyotes or wolves," said Dave Freddy, a veteran deer and elk researcher with the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW).

"Once deer reach that state, with their hackles raised and their glands swollen, there's a risk they're going to try to stomp and kill whatever they perceive as a threat," Freddy added.

Early last month, a 73-year-old Colorado Springs man suffered serious puncture wounds to his knee when he attempted to pull a buck with a single antler branch away from his pet dog. He was treated at a nearby emergency room for the wounds. Fortunately, no bones or arteries were punctured.

In late November, a Montrose-area woman suffered even more serious injuries when she attempted to separate her dogs from a buck. The deer turned on the woman, driving its dagger-like antler points into the woman's back and arm. She was rushed to an area hospital where she remained for several days.

"Bucks can weigh more than 200 pounds. They have a lot of power, and when they have antlers on top of their head they've got weapons," said Bill DeVergie, the DOW's area wildlife manager in Montrose. "This woman was very fortunate she was not even more seriously injured.

"And dogs have a big impact," DeVergie emphasized. "When they see dogs, deer instinctively think - coyotes and wolves’ and they'll do anything they can to protect themselves."

Illegal feeding can also be a factor, said Janet George, the DOW's senior terrestrial biologist in northeastern Colorado.

"People who feed deer end up attracting them to their homes," she said. "In the fall during the rut, the bucks usually become oblivious to everything except other deer, but may be aggressive if approached by people."

Freddy and other biologists who have trapped and tagged deer during research studies have learned first hand about their strength, antlers and hooves.

"People don't realize their strength and their hooves are lethal weapons," Freddy said. "You can't outrun them and you can't out-quick them. Treat these animals with respect, especially this time of year when bucks are driven by hormones."

The two recent injuries aren't the first in the state. Other incidents include:

- A University of Denver professor engaged in what he called "the fight of my life" near Hotchkiss in December of 1994. A four-point buck charged the 185-pound hiker and delivered 10 puncture wounds as they wrestled. After the man climbed into a tree, nearby residents came to his rescue and killed the buck as it waited at the base of the tree.

- In July of 2002, a Salida woman was injured when her cocker spaniel began chasing fawns. The doe immediately began to stomp on the dog prompting the woman to hit the doe with a stick. The doe responded by head-butting the woman, knocking her to the ground and lashing at the woman with its front hooves.

- An 81-year-old Grand Junction woman escaped injury when her elderly poodle was stomped by a deer in the woman's backyard. The dog had to be euthanized.

Colorado has not recorded a fatality, but deer have killed people in other states, as can be evidenced in the following tragedies:

- A 14-year-old Utah boy was kicked to death by a deer in December of 1991 as he tried to free it from a fence.

- In September of 2000, a Kansas woman was gored to death by a buck deer she had hand raised. Possessing live wildlife is a violation of Colorado state law.

The DOW wildlife managers emphasized basic precautions people need to take to avoid confrontations with deer, including:

- Preventing dogs from running at large.

- Ensuring dogs don't chase deer or other wildlife. Owners can be held liable if their pets injure wildlife. If necessary, wildlife officers have the legal authority to destroy dogs chasing wildlife.

- Obeying the Colorado Wildlife Commission regulation prohibiting the feeding of deer and other big game.

- Do not approach deer. Anyone who encounters deer that seem nervous should slowly back away.

- In areas where deer are common, particularly during the breeding season, pet owners should consider hiking without dogs.


High Country Reflections

Flyfishing can become a way of life

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

It's February now, and lately, my thoughts have increasingly turned to flyfishing.

Of course, winter is only about half over, and more cold and snow are sure to come, but subtle climatic changes of late suggest the slightest weakening in winter's grip on the surrounding landscape. For example, sunny days are notably brighter than those of just last month, and daylight lingers a bit longer every evening. The lower south- and west-facing slopes, if at all, are only thinly veiled in snow, and the thick layers of ice, which have virtually sealed area rivers and streams for months, are now slowly receding. The signs, though tenuous they may be, are unmistakable, and in a few short weeks, a variety of waters will be fishable.

Indeed, some rivers almost unfailingly accommodate flyfishers, even through all but the worst of winter's fury. Tailwater rivers, or those flowing from dams, like the San Juan below Navajo Lake in New Mexico, the Gunnison Gorge near Hotchkiss, and the Frying Pan near Basalt, are renowned year-round trout fisheries, and I have managed to pull several nice fish from their icy waters over the years. Their regulated flows are predictably consistent, water temperatures fluctuate but a few degrees season to season, and conditions overall, afford exceptional habitat allowing for the production, survival, and reproduction of large healthy trout.

But as idyllic as the tailwaters seem, they are too popular with today's wide-ranging angling public. As the human populations of mountain-state cities continually swell, even the more distant impoundments draw large crowds nearly every month of the year. With viable space typically at a premium, fierce competition quickly develops, tempers ultimately flare, and disturbing conflicts inevitably arise. At once, one's "angling" experience can be reduced to something more akin to combat than a satisfying day outdoors.

As with any lifelong ambition, flyfishing becomes a way of life for those who pursue it seriously. Its almost overwhelming complexity commonly effects a course of evolution through which most aficionados pass, before settling on a particular interest or specific style that best suits them personally.

As for me, I first took up flyfishing shortly after moving to Colorado, and immediately devoted every possible moment to perfecting technique. I lived on the Eagle River then, and while working nights, fished from dawn 'til dusk nearly every day. At first, I just wanted to catch a trout on a fly. Then, I hoped to catch every one in the river, and for awhile, I would only take fish on flies I tied. At some point, I worked to refine my tailwater skills, in order that I might land the largest river fish available. But in time, I realized that size and number were really unimportant, and that bringing wild trout up to dry flies was all that mattered. Today, however, while I still prefer fooling fish with classic dry-fly patterns, I am willing to employ a wet fly or nymph from time to time, provided I do so, while incorporating them with the use of a traditional bamboo fly rod and raised-pillar reel.

I don't mean to sound pretentious in view of those preferring other methods or equipment, nor am I suggesting I've figured anything out that others probably haven't. But as I look back over 25 years of innumerable and glorious, if not incredibly diverse, flyfishing experiences, I find the ongoing progression of angling as it relates to my own way of life at least mildly amusing.

And, without a doubt, it's not over yet.

For instance, in recent years I've begun wondering if catching a fish is really that important at all. It seems that on virtually every occasion I am more content with basking in the entire experience, and less apt to simply immerse myself in the course of fishing, as in days past. The chosen venue for a particular foray, usually with inherent solitude and magnificent scenery, lavish vegetation, and abundant wildlife, is most pivotal, while the fishing has become more an excuse to go, rather than the only reason for going. I can say this with some confidence, because on outings that might span eight full hours, I may actually fish only two or three, and the number or size of fish caught invariably holds little relevance to the level of fulfillment achieved.

Of course, I can't deny the feeling of instant gratification that still comes from landing a nice fish now and again, but over time, I have managed to solve most of the mysteries involving procedure. For me, the real challenge remains in actually fooling a fish and invoking a strike, particularly when little or no natural insect activity is apparent, and few outward signs suggest the presence of feeding trout.

Once accomplished though, and a fish is on, any elation quickly turns to concern for its well-being, and an immediate and gentle release becomes paramount. Conventional wisdom suggests that if a fish is freed in good physical condition, there has been no harm, and therefore, no foul. But some are now questioning the morality of catching a fish at all, if it's only to be let go "unharmed." With this in mind, I now grapple with another concept that, once again, may revolutionize my fishing.

In light of modern "political correctness" and mounting pressure from various special interest groups, like anti-hunters and animal rights advocates, some seasoned anglers have turned to fishing with hookless flies. Granted, the idea is somewhat appealing, and would allow the perpetuation of "challenging" fish, without subjecting them to potential injury, physical or otherwise. In fact, I've fished with barbless flies for decades, and this may just be the next step in the progression.

Fortunately for me, there is ample time for the consideration of such potentially life-altering choices, because, as I've said, the availability of a variety of fishable waters is still a few weeks away. Besides, my best buddy, longtime fishing companion, and renowned fly-tyer, Bruce Keep, is apparently still working to create a series of hookless dry flies that will actually float upright. Come to think of it, I haven't heard from him on the issue, since my original phone request months ago.



Collateral clutter

Dear Editor:

I just reviewed Mr. Bob Honts' Web site at www.friendsofthe villageatwolfcreek.org. On this site Mr. Honts lists one of the "Attributes of the Village at Wolf Creek" as the "Isolation from the collateral development clutter within a twenty mile radius of the ski area and village due to surrounding expanse of U.S. Forest Service land ..."

Apparently Mr. Honts' vision for the future of Pagosa Springs is that it will become "collateral development clutter."

L. B. Echterhoff


Feel right?

Dear Editor:

What feels right to you?

If you had 58 cents in income for every $1 of debt (just like the United States, according to economist Paul Krugman) would you feel comfortable letting your spouse continue to manage the family finances?

Would you cut federal funding for Medicare's medical assistance to older people in Pagosa Springs, food stamps for the poor, Medicaid assistance for the handicapped in Pagosa Springs and needed support for the children of low income parents, or would you use that money to develop new, smaller nuclear weapons, add billions to expand our military capability, and add more funding to promote abstinence from sexual activity before marriage?

If you could fix the immediate problem of mistakes in budgeting for Medicare costs with the $1.1 trillion dollars in permanent tax cuts that benefit higher income families the most, would you be giving priority to legislation to fix a Social Security deficit in 2042?

If the democratically elected government of Iraq turns out to be an Islamic theocracy that suppresses freedom of speech and the press, determines that women are second-class citizens, how they should dress and denies their right to vote, will that be good because a democratically elected government was in charge, or bad because of the policies it adopted?

Who would you agree with? Former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan: "Intervention is the cause of terror." Or Natan Sharansky, the author President Bush says best expresses his views on democracy: "There will be no peace until there is democracy." (Quotes from their debate on Sunday morning's Meet the Press television program.)

Michael J. Greene


Fluoride sites

Dear Editor:

Those who are interested in the fluoridation issue and have on-line access might like to check out these links before the March 8 meeting: http://home1.gte.net/res0k62m/fluoride.htm and http://www.fluoridealert.org/50-reasons.htm.

Thank you for printing them, in the interest of an informed public.

Yours truly,

Wendy Wallace


Community News

Music Boosters set auditions for 'Once Upon a Wolf'

By John Graves

Special to The Preview

Following their successful presentation of last holiday's Madrigal Dinner, the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters are venturing into the realm of whimsy and parody with their next production, "Once Upon a Wolf."

This zany satire of familiar fairy tales will be presented on the evenings of April 21, 22 and 23 in the Parish Hall of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

Auditions for this production will be held March 4, 6-9 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School band room.

The cast of seven, from high school age on up, includes both male and female parts.

Those auditioning will be asked to do cold readings from portions of the script. This is not a musical, but following the performance of the play there will be a short presentation of vaudeville type acts, so if those auditioning have a prepared act or song, it will also be considered.

For additional information, call Michael DeWinter at 731-5262.


Switch from silver to gold created a career for Phillips

By Erin K. Quirk

PREVIEW Columnist

There are probably few things more vexing to a man than buying an engagement ring for the woman he loves.

As if the emotional commitment weren't enough, a man also has to walk into a jewelry store filled with sharky salesmen selling him something he, typically, knows nothing about -


Lucky for men in Pagosa Springs, Summer Phillips is on your side.

Phillips, a professional goldsmith and artist, does not have a showroom full of rings and jewels for her customers to pick out. Instead she sits down across the table from each one and talks with them, sketching ideas and educating them. Collaborating with her customers, she builds their ideas into rings, pendants and necklaces and allays their fears along the way.

Phillips calls her approach "low tech," no Internet, no fancy retail shop with high-pressure salesmen; it's just her, the client, photo albums of her work and a few magazines.

"I need to be right in there with someone face to face. It's a personal thing," said Phillips, whose slogan for the business used to be, "One of a kind. One at a time."

Phillips, who first took a silversmithing class in high school, has spent 28 years perfecting her craft as a goldsmith. She is highly regarded by local jewelry and carving artists Michael Christie and Susan Allen, with whom she has collaborated on a few pieces.

Phillips is a Virgo and attributes her eye for detail to that. As a craftsman, she will not only perfect the outside of a ring, but she'll finish the inside as well. Phillips is also proud of her ability to translate someone else's vision into gold. The result is a totally unique piece created for each client.

"I never duplicate pieces," she said.

After graduating high school, Phillips did not head to university. Instead she took off for California and Canada in her Volkswagen bus and sold jewelry out of the back. At the time, she said, the sale of a $25 ring would thrill her. Soon after, she returned home to Dallas, Texas where a friend, who saw her silver work, convinced her to start working in gold.

"I never went back to silver again," she said.

Over the next several years Phillips honed her skills working for jewelry repair departments and then began taking customers of her own in Dallas. She laughs now at the difference in her pieces, not only because of the styles of Dallas and Pagosa, but because of her evolution as an artist.

For instance, Phillips does many elk ivory pieces for Pagosa locals but her photo album shows 13 carat pear shaped diamond ring she created many years ago for a Dallas jeweler who now, incidentally, parks his yellow Lamborghini in front of his Highland Park jewelry store. She designs new rings and pendants for many of her customers out of jewelry they have inherited by just incorporating the stones into a new more appropriate style.

"I'm flexible," she said.

Even from the beginning Phillips had an intuitive sense about goldwork and design.

"You can't go to school for this," Phillips said, adding that one can learn the basics there but it's the experience that counts. "You've got to figure out a way to do what you're doing you know, physics apply, you can't have a stone flying up in the air."

Phillips also has a big heart for her customers because although every piece comes from the mind of her customer, she said it leaves her shop with a piece of her.

"I go to a lot of weddings," she said when talking about the custom wedding sets she has created for people in town. In fact, Phillips said she was just on the phone in tears with a customer who called crying to tell her how much her new jewelry means to her.

"I get involved with people," she said, adding that recently retired and well-beloved local librarian Lenore Bright has a few pieces of hers.

That could be why Phillips loves to go to work at her little studio on Put Hill. She calls her work her "creative outlet." She said she used to play piano and loves to dance ballet, but watching a ring evolve from a sketch, to wax, to a polished piece makes her really happy.

"I can't wait to get up in the morning."


Photo show leads to photo club's monthly contests

By Bruce Andersen

Special to The PREVIEW

Photography can be a very personal thing or a very public thing.

People who take photos, which is most of us, do so to have the memory of the place or event, both for themselves and to share with others. And, they may photograph for the art of it.

It's the sharing that brings out the masses at events like the current showing of the annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council photo contest.

I had arrived at the opening reception a week or two ago a few minutes after it started. I tried to sneak in the back door, but it was locked, not to keep people out, but to keep back-door types from bashing into the throngs of people inside crowded around the food tables. It took 10 or 15 minutes to make it to the front of the store, all the while gawking at the colorful photos, many draped with colored winners ribbons.

My first thought was "what a wonderful community experience." A record 283 photos were entered, and a similar record of over 150 people stopped by to appreciate the show.

The goal of the photo contest is to encourage broad local participation and provide viewers with a fresh, new show each year. And, we were not disappointed. A wonderful collection of photos now dresses the walls of Moonlight Books; the show will remain on display through Feb. 26. (Exhibitors are reminded to pick up their photos after the show that day or Feb. 28.

Wandering through that venue and the social event that surrounded it's unveiling, it occurred to me the great sense of community, self expression and sharing that expresses itself around the photography. People come out to see the photos, meet new people, talk a little photo shop (not to be confused with Photoshop, the computer program) and share a bit of themselves.

Patterns in the sand, a child's face, family pets or scenic vistas. The list of photographic subjects is literally endless. It's too bad this event only happens once a year.

Actually, there's a new option for this sharing, the Pagosa Photo Club. And, starting this month, photo contests - with ribbons - are now standard fare at monthly gatherings.

The photo club was formed years ago by Jeff Laydon. After a few years, interest waned and it just kinda went away. A few of us - "newer folk" got together a year ago to give it another try.

With a new approach and ideas brought from several photo clubs back home, we're gathering a bit of steam with a steadily increasing number of people getting involved. At Wednesday's monthly meeting, 17 people were in attendance and several entered the first of the new monthly contests.

Entries are in print form, any size and there are no formal requirements to enter. Many entries were just the printed sheet of photo paper. And, it didn't matter. The entire group, both members and guests, gets to rate each entry. (Only paid members can enter, though.) Scores are tallied and ribbons awarded.

Bette and John Mathis took top honors in the Winter category, with Al Olson earning third. The Open category, with only two entries, was dominated by Olson. I guess that means we'll all shift to next month's Open category.

Next month's categories are Open, which we'll have every month, and Cabin Fever. Members can enter up to a total of three photos. Prospective members can join at the 5:30 p.m. meeting, March 9 in the community center arts rooms. Those entering the contest should arrive early. The featured speaker is Pierre Mion who will discuss his use of photography as a tool for creating his fine art. Annual dues are $20.

So, if you're interested in sharing some time with people with similar interests, meeting people to go photographing with, and just being around photo talk, check it out. Photo clubs are commonplace around the country and prove to be great gathering places for people with the urge to share their vision.

A look at college savings program pros and cons

By Judy McKenna

Special to The PREVIEW

Question: My daughter is 12, and I want to start a college savings program for her. What are my choices?

Answer: Because there are so many choices for college savings plans, this is pretty complicated. I'll describe some of your choices with a few of the pros and cons, plus I'll give you some sources of information for your own comparison.

The 529 Savings Plans are offered by each state. Although the details of each state's plan are different, there are common advantages.

Money saved in a 529 plan can be used for any college in the United States and the savings are tax-free (both federal and state in Colorado) when used for qualified expenses including tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board.

If your daughter decides not to go to college, you can get your money back, but you will owe tax on the earnings and will be assessed a 10 percent penalty.

Potential disadvantages include higher expenses than if you had invested the money yourself, and the earnings may count as income in financial aid formulas if a grandparent is the donor.

The 529 Prepaid Tuition Programs allow donors to purchase tuition credits for a beneficiary who is expected to attend a public university.

The independent prepaid tuition program covers private institutions such as Colorado College. More on the program can be found at www.independent529plan.com.

Pluses of prepaid tuition plans include tax-exempt benefits if used for qualified expenses and state tax breaks. On the other hand, this plan may reduce the amount of financial aid awarded.

The Uniform Transfer to Minors Act is an account set up on behalf of a minor. Income is taxed to the child each year, and the child takes control of the money at age of majority (18 or 21).

Because the child owns the account, more of this money will be counted toward the family contribution when determining financial aid eligibility.

Money can be withdrawn from individual retirement accounts for qualified higher-education expenses without penalty. If the money has been invested in a Roth IRA for five years, no tax will be due. Withdrawals from IRAs will be counted as income in financial aid formulas.

The Coverdale Education Savings Account allows you to contribute up to $2,000 per person each year and deduct the contribution from your taxes. Accounts can be established with most brokers and mutual fund companies.

These contributions may be used for primary and secondary education expenses. You can make contributions to a 529 plan and a Coverdale Plan, but there is a potential gift-tax consequence if you contribute more than $11,000 per person.

If your 2004 modified adjusted gross income is less than $53,000 for a single filer or $107,000 for married filing jointly, there are addition tax breaks you can take.

The HOPE Scholarship allows you to deduct 100 percent of the first $1,000 of qualified education expenses and 50 percent of an additional $500 from federal taxes. You can use this credit for two years.

Or you can use the Lifetime Learning Credit, which is 20 percent of up to $10,000 of qualified education expenses. There is no limit to the number of years you can claim the credit. You can't apply the same expenses for both the HOPE Scholarship and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

A third tax credit is available to families with modified adjusted gross incomes of $65,000 or less (single) or $130,000 (married filing jointly). Up to $4,000 may be deducted with a partial credit for higher adjusted gross income. This tax credit can't be used in the same tax year if the HOPE or Lifetime Learning Credit is used.

Visit the nonprofit Colorado CollegeInvest Web site online at www.collegeinvest.org to view comparisons of some of these options.

More information can be found atwww.savingforcollege.com, www.collegesavings.org and in the 2005 edition of Joseph Hurley's book, "The Best Way to Save for College."


Film society will take second look at 'Storm Boy'

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

At their 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday, Feb. 22, the Pagosa Springs Film Society will repeat its screening and discussion of the 1977 Australian movie "Storm Boy."

Since the Pagosa Springs Community Vision Council's economic meeting was held the same evening as the film society's January screening, it was decided to give those who missed this fine film a second chance.

David Gulpilil, who co-stars with Greg Rowe in this poignant story of a boy, his Aboriginal friend, and a pet pelican, came to instant worldwide recognition in Nicholas' Roeg's 1971 classic feature, "Walkabout."

Gulpilil, who spent six months as John Graves' intern and personal assistant in the South Australian Film Corporation, went on to international renown, not only as an actor, dancer and musician, but as an organizer of acclaimed troupes of traditional Aboriginal artists and performers.

The meeting will be held in Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza.

Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.

A suggested $3 donation will benefit The Friends of the Library.


Daffodil Days support fight against cancer

By Suzan Gray

Special to The PREVIEW

March 14 will mark the beginning of the American Cancer Society's annual Daffodil Days celebration.

One of the first flowers of spring, the daffodil is a symbol of hope. To the Society, the flower represents the hope of a world free from cancer.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in the United States, having surpassed heart disease only a few weeks ago. Nearly half of all men and a little over a third of all women in our country will develop cancer.

Approximately 570,280 Americans are expected to die of cancer this year, more than 1,500 per day.

For almost a century, the American Cancer Society has continued to make significant progress toward a victory over cancer. The Society has helped lead the way in cancer research. To date, 38 Nobel prize-winning research scientists have been funded by American Cancer Society grants. The investment in research has paid rich dividends: the five-year survival rate has almost tripled since 1946 and diagnosis and mortality rates have declined each year since 1990.

Your donation supports such research, education and services for local cancer patients, survivors and their families.

Order your bouquets today by calling me at 264-6255, Lili Pearson at 731-5159 or the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360.

Chase away winter doldrums and become part of the "flower power movement" by displaying this symbol of hope.


Intersection of science, spirituality

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a service Sunday, Feb. 20, exploring "The Intersection of Science and Spirituality."

The speaker will be Sed Keller, a teacher of science, math and technology at Excel Charter School in Durango.

Keller states that although people frequently claim science and spirituality are polar opposites, he will explore and invite discussion on such key questions as: What are common roots of religion and science? How can science enhance and amplify one's own spiritual quest? What is Einstein's "Cosmic Religious Feeling?"

The service and children's program will begin 10:30 a.m. in Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. A potluck lunch will follow the program.

Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. As always, all are welcome.


United Way hits 109 percent of goal for agencies serving you

By Kathi DeClark

Special to The PREVIEW

Thank you Archuleta County for supporting United Way this year.

Our mission is helping to build healthy communities by raising money to fund viable service programs and educating people to care for one another. It is because of those of you in our community making payroll deductions, individual donations, or participating in our fund-raisers, that we made 109 percent of our goal.

When the community investment team met to review applications from area agencies, they had to make the decision how much money each agency would receive and what our total goal would be. It appears they were conservative this year. The additional money will be allocated to the existing programs.

United Way of Archuleta County supports 15 different nonprofit agencies in Pagosa Springs. The money raised here, stays here. The following agencies benefit from United Way funds:

- Archuleta County Education Center, where training and career/academic counseling for adults and adolescents is offered.

- Big Brothers and Big Sisters, offering positive adult mentors for boys and girls.

- Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, providing guidance for our young people.

- Community Connections, designed to keep families that have a family member with a disability in their homes.

- Archuleta County Victim Assistance, providing 24-hour services for victims of violent crimes.

- San Juan Basin Agency on Aging, providing senior nutrition programs, as well help with home chores and transportation.

- Seeds of Learning, our childcare center that provides resources and education for the very young and their families.

- Housing Solutions, providing weatherization for low income homes to save energy costs.

- Southwest Youth Corps providing youth employment and training.

- The VOA Safehouse, available for the women of Archuleta County at no cost to them.

- American Red Cross providing disaster relief in times of fires or other natural disasters.

- POC - Pagosa Outreach Connection, providing one time emergency assistance.

- Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center offering crisis mental health services for the working poor.

- Habitat for Humanity building affordable housing for families in need.

You can see how many lives that we can touch with your donations.

We extend special thanks to Dennis Schutz from Big Bones Outfitters for providing the hunting raffle; Matt Poma for the trail ride; Alan Schutz and the Pagosa Springs Golf Club for providing our golf tournament with Boot Jack Ranch, Dave and Carol Brown, as the title sponsor tournament; and Roseanne and Davey Pitcher for our Ski and Save with United Way Day.

Without the support of these folks each year we would be unable to meet our community's needs.

Thank you Pagosa.


Local Chatter

One woman's crusade saved Mount Vernon; your donation can help

Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Mount Vernon, the home of President George and Martha Washington, sits majestically on the banks of the Potomac River about 20 miles from Washington, D.C. It is not a National Shrine, but is operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.

After the deaths of George and Martha Washington, George's great-great nephew, John Augustine Washington, appealed to both the federal government and the Commonwealth of Virginia to buy the Mount Vernon estate but both refused. And, to this day, neither gives a cent to Mount Vernon.

That it was saved from complete neglect - and even being made into a hotel was the thought at one time - is due to the lifetime efforts of Miss Ann Pamela Cunningham of South Carolina and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.

The story is this:

It starts in 1853 when Miss Cunningham was told by her mother of the dismal conditions of George Washington's home.

She was outraged. She could not believe that Washington's beloved Mount Vernon was in danger of being neglected and forgotten.

And so she set out to raise the $200,000 to buy the estate. She organized the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and they called upon the women in the country and in seven years had raised the money to buy Mount Vernon. They bought it in 1860 and have owned and operated it since.

The association is funded entirely by admission fees, sales revenues and donations from patriotic foundations, businesses and individuals. Contributions are tax-deductible.

A few years ago, a Washington descendant discovered an out-of-print book written by Mary Higgins Clark, the writer often referred to as the "Queen of Suspense" in literary circles.

It was her first book, published in 1969. It was the love story of George and Martha Washington and entitled "Aspire to the Heavens," a biographical love story based on the relationship of the first president and his lady. The book's title was the family motto of George's mother's family.

Two years ago, James C. Rees, executive director of George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, contacted Clark to ask her permission to reprint her book under the title "Mount Vernon Love Story." Not only did Clark say yes, but she spent a day at Mount Vernon autographing her book.

She is saddened that "too many students, even college students, know almost nothing about the character, the courage and the sacrifices made by George Washington in order to secure our freedom."

More than 300,000 school children visit Mount Vernon every year, and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association sends George Washington Biography Lesson teaching kits to tens of thousands of schools across the country and George Washington portraits to thousands more.

And the association is working hard to restore celebration of Washington's Birthday (Feb. 22) instead of President's Day.

The Ladies are working hard to reeducate the public about George Washington, and are asking for tax-free donations.

If you make a contribution of $49 or more to Mount Vernon, Rees will send you a copy of "Mount Vernon Love Story," personally autographed by Clark on a bookplate.

The address is Mount Vernon Ladies Association, PO Box 376, Mount Vernon, VA 22121-0376.

Thank you for making a contribution.

Fun on the run ...

A tomcat and a tabby cat were courting on a back fence at night.

The tom leaned over to the tabby with pent up passion and purred ... "I'll die for you!"

The tabby gazed at him and asked, "How many times?"


Senior News

Mardi Gras events and John Graves please the seniors

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

Our Red Shoe Trio concert was successful again this year. We had over 100 folks in attendance and everyone raved about the "red hot" performance. We thank the Red Shoe Trio for their talent and time.

Remember that we have volunteers ready to sell you Seniors Inc. memberships at the center 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Only $3 gets great discounts for people 55 and older.

Despite the weather, we had a pretty good Mardi Gras celebration. Everyone got masks, beads and wore some bright colors. We also had some Cajun music and some people (including Della Truesdell) tried their hand at dancing. Stella Carter made a yummy King's Cake in which she hid three "babies."

Mae Bougaen, Anna Denny and Wayne Greenhaw found the babies and won prizes. We also gave costume prizes to Mildred Shaver, Linda Knaak, Dorothy O'Harra, Della Truesdell and Bruce Muirhead. Thank you all for coming in and dressing up.

John Graves had some great anecdotes to share Feb. 7. I snuck in for a couple of minutes and wanted to stay longer to hear all the stories, but work called. I'm hoping John will agree to come back because he could keep us entertained for a long time.

Speaking of which, John sat down at the piano before his talk and tickled the ivories for a bit and before we knew it, Jac Constant was warbling up a storm. We didn't realize what a talent Jac has, and we all agreed he can come and sing anytime!

Free movie

We will have our free movie, "The Terminal" Feb. 18. It stars Tom Hanks in a comedy about an immigrant whose passport is messed up and prevents him from entering the U.S. or going back home, so he is stuck in the airport terminal for months. Will he ever be able to leave? This movie is showing in the lounge at 1 p.m. Popcorn is only 25 cents.

We will also have Patty Tillerson here to check blood pressures Feb. 18 in the lounge.

Please note that our office will be closed Feb. 21 due to the President's Day holiday.

We'll be back again Feb. 22, although we won't have basic computer class that day.

We are sorry to say Penny Greenwell will not be massaging our seniors on Tuesdays. We have been spoiled by our massage volunteers coming in and really appreciate all the work Penny has done for us. Is there a massage therapist out there who would be willing to volunteer a couple of hours a week to come in and work on our seniors? If so, please call 264-2167.

Seniors Inc. has graciously volunteered to cover birthday 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 this month, be sure to come in Feb. 25 to celebrate!

Laura's leaving

On the same day we will be wishing our lovely and talented Laura Bedard a farewell, she has chosen to leave the den and take on a new adventure. Bring along your favorite Laura stories, pictures, skits, whatever and we'll wish her a fond farewell.


Friday, Feb, 18 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m; blood pressure checks, 11 a.m.; Free Movie Day featuring "The Terminal," 1 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 21 - Center closed for President's Day.

Tuesday, Feb. 22 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m; no basic computer and no basic massage.

Wednesday, Feb. 23 - canasta, 1 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 25 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; celebrate February birthdays, noon; farewell to Laura, come wish her well.


Friday, Feb. 18 - Catfish fillet, mixed vegetables, parsleyed noodles, Waldorf salad, and sherbet.

Monday, Feb. 21 - Center closed.

Tuesday, Feb. 22 - Chicken ala King, whipped potatoes, tossed salad, apricots and biscuit.

Wednesday, Feb. 23 - Beef stew with vegetables, corn cobbette, coleslaw, pears and cornbread.

Friday, Feb. 25 - Enchilada beef pie, yellow squash, lettuce, tomato and mixed fruit.


Veteran's Corner

Is the U.S. paying twice for veteran health care?

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

It continues to amaze me as I see the federal government wrestle with budget issues, knowing how it will affect our veterans. Is spending more money necessarily the answer, rather than spending wisely?

I often write about the problems in obtaining VA health care for many of our veterans. Some veterans, with no service-connected disabilities, are in very serious need of health care.

It is a proven fact that preventative medicine is the best for long-range health well-being, and much more cost effective. Yet there are those veterans who fall into a crack between just a little too much income and no health care with the result they are not as likely to take care and maintain their health.

Maintain health

Like your house, as far as your health is concerned, a little repair and repaint every so often will reduce the need for much more costly repair in the future. I suspect there are some veterans who may neglect their health until it is too late to repair, because they can't afford private health care and can't get into the VA health care system.

The federal government has a Department of Veterans Affairs for the purpose of providing benefits to veterans, as promised. The VA's budget is the second largest in the federal government system next to the Department of Defense.

Efficient spending?

Is this huge budget spent in the most efficient manner to serve the most veterans?

Many of our married veterans cannot obtain VA health care because they make over about $32,500 combined adjusted gross income.

Or, if they are enrolled in VA health care, they must often travel long distances to obtain even the simplest medical procedures. I know local veterans who have been required to travel 565 miles roundrip to Albuquerque VAMC for a routine blood analysis for or some other simple outpatient examination or procedure.

Just for prescriptions

In some cases the procedure may have been required to meet the needs of a VA doctor's drug prescription. Yet the veteran is on Medicare and doesn't really need the VA physician's assistance, but can't afford the prescription drugs through private health care.

70 percent in need

A great many of our local veterans are over 65 on fixed income and Medicare. Of all the hundreds of VAHC applications I have filled out for veterans, I estimate seven out of 10 fall in this category. I asked the head of the VA VISN19 director in Denver some time back what percentage of his VAHC enrollment fell into this category and his response was about 70 percent, confirming my own estimates.

Money paid twice?

For VA health care the VA requires veterans to seek that health care through VAHC facilities regardless of what other health care options are already available to them, including Medicare that is already paid and budgeted for by federal dollars. In my simple way of thinking we have federal dollars being paid twice for the same service to the same person.

VA medical services openly say they do not want to be just a prescription drug service. They want to provide full primary health care services. Yet, I have also been told they no longer aggressively seek to increase veteran patient applications because of budget constraints.

Prescription needs

Given the choice, I can't imagine why any veteran over 65 on Medicare would rather travel hundreds of miles to VA clinics than to his own local physician through Medicare.

The simple fact is this is the only way he can obtain low-cost prescription drugs as a qualified veteran. Medicare knows this person as a qualified Medicare patient and budgets for his needs. VA knows the same person as a veteran and then budgets for the same health care needs. Two federal budgets essentially paying twice for the same benefit for the same person.

Work together

Wouldn't it make much more sense for the VA and Medicare to work together, qualify the veteran, qualify the veteran's Medicare physician, share medical information, and allow that physician to submit that person's drug prescriptions to the VA mail-order pharmacy program? It would eliminate much of the duplication of services between the two federal health care programs, significantly reduce the VA budget and provide better service to the patient.

Provide for all

And, the bottom line is maybe the VA could afford to go back to offering health care for all veterans, especially those who really need the full service, not just those who need prescription drugs.

One final thought: I don't know about other rural areas of America but our local private care medical services are struggling with patient and budget shortfalls.

Cooperation between VA health care, Medicare and private care physicians would certainly strengthen the local health care systems by increasing the number of veterans on their patient rolls.

We need to express our concerns to our representatives in government.


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, CO 81301. Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

For 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, and e-mail is afautheree@ archuletacounty. org.

The office is open from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., Monday-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

Copyable tax forms are now available

By Barb Draper

PREVIEW Columnist

Tax forms are here - don't wait too long!

If there is "good news" to be had about tax season, Sisson Library has it. The first of two notebooks of reproducible copies of federal tax forms, with the instructions, has arrived. We also have many copies of the more commonplace forms - 1040s, Colorado Income Tax, etc.

We do wish to remind you that while we are happy to be able to provide the forms for you, we are not tax advisors, and cannot answer your questions. There are several resources we can direct you to, however, including:

- The IRS Web site can be accessed through your personal computer at www.irs.gov.

- The IRS Tax Fax service is available by dialing (703)368-9694 from a fax machine. Follow the directions provided on the prompts for this service and your items will be faxed back to you.

- Obtain forms, instructions and publications by calling (800) 829-3676. Our information says you should receive your order within 10 days.

- For requests by mail the address for the western United States is Western Area Distribution Center, Rancho Cordova, CA 95743-0001.

Poetic tribute

We continue to see some incredible youth in our town.

One of our library regulars, Bryan Schoonover, pleasantly surprised us with the following poem he wrote last week for a school project. His thoughts capture the image we try to create here at Sisson Library, and we appreciate his thoughts.

The Loving Library

I look around and see books

Some explain how to cook.

I walk through the door

And who do I see

But a happy face

Named Jackie.

They have books by Stephen King

Then they have others that teach how to sing.

I see happy faces all around

The children's section

Have some about clowns.

Barb is friendly.

Lots of scents

Maybe tomorrow it will be peppermints.

Then there is Nancy

Somewhat fancy

But likes to help around.

Don't forget Davey

Whose hair is wavy.

Phyllis is calm

But she's the bomb.

A hoodlum gets in lots of trouble

But Peggy's there to burst his bubble.

Finally there's Shirley

Whose head's not curly

But fits into the bunch.

Our library has love everywhere

So now go out and visit a bear.

E-Bay aide

Looking for help with an E-Bay site.

From time to time someone donates a wonderful book to the library, which may not be appropriate for our limited space due to the specific nature of the book. We also receive an occasional book that we believe has historical value to the right collector.

We are hoping there is someone out there who is familiar with setting up an E-Bay site who would be willing to volunteer some time to help us market these materials. We just don't have the time during our workday with our daily responsibilities to tackle this project.

If you can help us out, please drop by and talk with one of us or call us at 264-2209.


Education News

New after-school activities planned for our youngsters

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

Calling all kids!

Come join the fun and try out our new after-school activities for the month of March. Mondays after school at the elementary will include a new class, Get Active, which will focus on physical activities to help your child become a good team player. Ongoing classes Spanish for Kids and Kids in the Kitchen will continue on Mondays as well.

Tuesday, March 1, the new class "Acting Out'' will begin. This class will allow kids to be creative as they learn to tell stories, act out plays while wearing some fun costumes.

Wednesdays, the kindergarten to fourth- grade set will learn to create puppets and then enjoy the fun of putting on a special puppet show. Another new class on Wednesdays is "If I Were A Teacher." This is a fun class for all those youngsters (and wanna-be teachers) who would love a chance to practice some fun lessons.

Thursdays after school at the elementary school, youngsters will have fun learning how to gather and report the news. The ongoing class Creatures will also continue through March. Fridays will continue to be Fun Fridays as Room 3 at the elementary school continues to be the after-school place for fun and games.

For the intermediate and junior high age group we have a fun new class starting March 4. Drama & Theatre will allow kids to experience drama and theatre learning how to act out plays or stories using music and dance. Students in this class will have an opportunity to perform during the Parent and Child Together Family Night at The Education Center, April 14.

Community ed classes

Upcoming computer classes include PowerPoint XP starting Feb. 28. Instructor Cynde Jackson will teach you to create and display slide shows, combine text with diagrams, photos, clip art and animated special effects.

Introduction to Computers will be offered April 4. This is the perfect class for those who need to learn how to operate their computers. Jackson will walk you through the basics and teach you how to type correspondence and even use the Internet.

Windows XP will start April 5. Jackson will teach home users how to work with and enjoy music, movies, messaging, and photos. Business users can learn to work both faster and smarter.

Microsoft Publisher will start April 25. If you need to produce a professional publication than this class is for you. You will learn how to utilize literally hundreds of sample layouts ranging from business cards to takeout menus.

Standard First Aid and CPR is being offered Wednesday and Thursday, March 2 and 3, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. and also Saturday, March 12, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. These classes cover the basics from breathing and cardiac emergencies to caring for sudden illness and injuries.

GED test March 19

The next GED test will be offered in Pagosa Springs March 19. Tutoring to prepare for the test is available Monday through Thursday at The Education Center. Preregistration and test fee payment must be completed by March 14.

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

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


Arts Line

Two donations received by PSAC

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council would like to extend a very special thank you to two donors this month. We received a donation of $1,000 from David Panter of Sherman Oaks, Calif. He is the brother of PSAC board member Adrienne Haskamp. He said he was happy to help support something as important as the arts in a small community like Pagosa. The Women's Club here also gifted us this month with a generous donation of $200.

The council is a nonprofit organization and as such is supported by fund-raising projects, membership fees and donations, along with the generosity of all those who donate their time and effort to make the arts council the success it is.

Hello and good-bye

Susan Garman is going off the PSAC board after five years of service. Susan has served both PSAC and the community. For 2 1/2 years she was the editor of Petroglyph and served on various committees during her tenure. Susan has been president of Pretenders, a division of PSAC, and directed several plays. She will still be active in the art community.

I've replaced Susan on the PSAC board of directors. I have lived in Pagosa for 10 years and am focusing on my watercolor skills. I have a passion for the arts and the impact it has on our quality of life in Pagosa Springs.

Calendar plan

Haven't you always wanted a specialized Pagosa Country Calendar?

You could be chosen to have your work in one as we call for all artists to enter material for a 2006 calender.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council will sponsor the calendar illustrating the beauty of Pagosa as seen by local artists. 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 council and fill the need for a calendar focusing on Pagosa Springs.

Entries will be accepted in the following categories: Graphic art (water media, oil, pastels and drawings) and photography.

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.

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

Entry forms were mailed to members Feb. 10.

Entry forms are now available at the gallery in Town Park, as well as posted on our Web site www.pagosa-arts.com.

Entry deadline is March 15.

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

The schedule is as follows:

Through March 15 - entry period;

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

May 5 - Reception for artists, gallery in Town Park.

Here's a checklist for those wanting to enter:

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).

Have questions? Call 264-5020 or e-mail PSAC at psac@centurytel.net.

Class rescheduled

Drawing with Randall has been changed from Feb. 19 to 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26 at the community center. This month's class will focus on drawing horses. All you need to bring is a drawing pad, the drawing pencils of your choice, preferably No. 3, 4 or 6 in hard and bold leads, eraser, ruler and a sack lunch. Class with Randall is always enjoyable and instructive.

Call PSAC at 264-5020 to make a reservation or space allowing, walk-ins are welcome.

Workshops with Slade

March 9, 10 and 11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. - intermediate watercolor workshop,"Seasons in Poetry," with Betty Slade. Cost: $120 PSAC members; $125 nonmembers. Minimum 6 students; maximum 15.

They say poetry is to be finished by the hearer. The artist should give freedom to the viewer to complete the subject in thought and emotion. Come join the class and be surprised how colors or a simple line will define the 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: the first day a winter landscape and still life; the second day a fall landscape and harvest still life; the third day a spring/summer flowers and summer still life.

Betty Slade has four workshops scheduled this spring. 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. In 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 her 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, and is seen on the Princess Cruise Line and hangs in many private collections.

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

Seeking local artists

The Pine River Library (Bayfield) welcomes artists of all ages to display their artwork there. Painting, drawing, photography, fabric art, wall quilt, weaving, tapestry, jewelry, beadwork, sculpture, pottery, ceramics, woodwork, glass art, stained glass, metal art and silversmith work are welcome.

If you wish to display your artwork, call Chrissy Moiseve at 884-2222. She will be happy to fax you an art display request form and will discuss any of their requirements or questions you may have.

Artwork is displayed for and replaced every two months. Thus, artwork to be displayed the months of March and April must be received no later than Feb. 28. Artwork displayed may be available for sale, and while the library staff is not involved in the sale of artwork, they will refer queries about the purchase of artwork to the artist. There is no fee charged to artists. This project encourages the artistic and cultural interest of the community by providing a showcase for local artists.

PSAC Calendar

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

Feb. 26 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35 per student.

March 9-l1 - Intermediate watercolor workshop with Betty Slade, "Seasons in Poetry," 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $120 per student.

March 17-18 - Beginning oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting," with Betty Slade, 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 and 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 Arts line, send information to PSAC e-mail psac@centurytel.net. We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for arts line. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.


Food for Thought

Even a spy can write a cookbook

I'm in bed, late at night, reading about food.

Actually, I'm rereading a book, for the fifth or sixth time. It's a cookbook.

There's some good advice available on the pages.

For example, the author writes: "Good cooking is honest, sincere and simple, and by this I do not mean to imply you will find in this, or indeed any other book, the secret of turning out first-class food in a few minutes with no trouble. Good food is always a trouble, and its preparation should be regarded as a labour of love Š"

I plow past the introduction and move on to read how to prepare a confit of pork. From there, I review an absurdly simple salad of lettuce hearts with melted butter. It sounds odd, but I resolve to try it. You line the bowl with the tender hearts of the lettuce then nail them with a smidge of salt and a "scrape" of sugar. At the last moment, the lettuce is drizzled with melted butter into which has been cooked a small piece of mashed garlic and some lemon juice.

This is a favorite kind of reading material. I regularly mix cookbooks, or books about food with something by Milan Kundera, William James or A.M. Homes and I suffer no ill effects at all.

You do this, don't you? Read cookbooks and books about food and eating just before you end your day? It doesn't get a whole lot better than this, does it?

And it is for entertainment more than anything else, isn't it?

Let's say you've spent considerable time in the kitchen, at the stove.

You've been cooking for years. You're no pro but, in your universe, you know what you're doing; you know your way around the pantry and stove. You enjoy reading about food but, be honest now, how often do you consult a cookbook with the idea of rigorously following a recipe you find therein?

Not often. Right?

I know it's not my habit; I use cookbooks to provide clues, to jog the memory - seldom to give me an inviolable guide, rarely to provide me a single route to a toothsome destination. That's not the way I go about the day-to-day business of cooking.

Me, I visit the market nearly every day. I go after work; I check out what is available and I decide on the spot what I am going to prepare. When I arrive at the store, I hustle first to the protein and head for the fish counter. If there is something there that interests me, and looks reasonably fresh, I buy it. But, face it, the idea of fresh fish appearing with any regularity here in Siberia with a View is a stretch so, most times, I abandon the fish case and check out chicken, beef, pork, turkey, sausages.

Once the protein of choice is in the basket, I'm off to the produce section and to select aisles for the rest of the items I need.

Generally, I heed the advice of the author of the aforementioned book. She recommends keeping things as fresh as possible, and sticking to a fairly simple approach once the ingredients are in the kitchen.

For the most part, I work within my comfort zone, utilizing ingredients and techniques with which I am familiar. And I keep certain things on hand at home to help me, that I use often - stocks, a bit of glace de viand, oil-cured olives, mustards, extra-virgin olive oil, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, beans, lemons, butter, cheeses, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, celery, carrots, unsweetened coconut milk for curries.

So, when I read about cooking, I am doing so as a diversion - frosting the cake, if you will.

I got to thinking the other night about the cookbooks and food writers I keep nearby. While I might not rely on recipes (since I don't bake, precision is an anathema to me), I read about food all the time, as I am sure many of you do. I crack a cookbook or magazine several times each week, and I indulge a food writer nearly every night.

I check the shelves and stacks within arm's reach of the bed and find the following cookbooks:

"The Professional Chef," 7th edition, produced by the Culinary Institute of America. The "Moby Dick" of contemporary cookbooks.

"How to Cook Everything," by Mark Bittman, the minimalist Fannie Farmer of our times.

"The Way to Cook," by Julia Child, as well as her collaboration with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1."

Craig Claiborne's "New York Times Cookbook."

"Cooking at Home," by Julian Child and Jacques Pepin.

"Marcella Cucina," by Marcella Hazan.

And these are just the ones within easy reach, on a shelf next to the bed.

There are also works by several of my favorite food writers on that shelf.

Two books by Jeffrey Steingarten: "It Must Have Been Something I Ate" and "The Man Who Ate Everything."

"Pot on the Fire," by John Thorne.

Two collections of James Beard essays: "Beard on Food" and "The Armchair Beard."

M.F.K. Fisher's "With Bold Knife and Fork," and "The Art of Eating," including "Serve it Forth," "Consider the Oyster," "How to Cook a Wolf," "The Gastronomical Me" and "An Alphabet for Gourmets."

I can also reach over from the bed and pick up some semi-scientific tomes: Harold McGee's "The Curious Cook" and Edward Behr's "The Artful Eater."

On occasion, I'll reabsorb snippets of Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" or Michael Ruhlman's "The Soul of a Chef."

When utterly desperate, I might read Ruth Reichl. "And, believe me, that's desperate.

But, there is one author I read again and again. A tattered paperback copy of one of her books is closest at hand for that late-night reading. She is the author quoted above and is, as I age, my favorite.

Elizabeth David.

The book: "French Country Cooking."

Fresh, and simple. No matter how many times it is read.

While a writer like Fisher is endlessly entertaining, a masterful stylist, it is David whom I find most interesting, most helpful.

I first read David's "French Country Cooking" in 1980. I picked up a used paperback at the bookstore at the college where I worked.

On first reading, I formed an image of the author: a somewhat reclusive spinster, repressed and narrow of scope, lifewise. A scholar, perhaps. Dry. I imagined tweeds, sparse hair in a proper bun, corrective shoes, a cloud of lavender scent. I saw, in my mind's eye, an old dame sitting at a secretary writing her books longhand with a high-grade fountain pen.

The book introduced me to the idea of cooking with what is available, what is freshest and best. The style of preparation was straightforward. I tried some of the recipes, prepared my first daube with David as a guide.

Later, I read David's "French Provincial Cooking" and "Mediterranean Food." "French Country Cooking" rests on the bottom shelf of the bed table. I can find it in the dark. I've handled it so many times, I've memorized its shape, size and texture.

Turns out, David was anything but a spinster. No tweeds, no bun, no corrective shoes.

She was the daughter of a member of the British parliament and she studied at The Sorbonne. While in France, she acquired a taste for that country's cuisine.

Yes, she was a scholar, but so much more. Possessed of striking beauty, and what seems a considerable wild streak, she was at one time or another an actress, a more than slightly scandalous lover. She was a reference librarian and a recipient of the Order of the British Empire.

She was also once arrested as a spy.

And she is nearly invisible in her work, thus the mistaken image of the spinster. When you read her work, you get few signs of the woman who lived with her paramour in France, Italy, Greece and Egypt. You get a frank description of foods - ingredients and ways to use them - lessons intended to reform English home cooking.

I continue to read David for little touches, subtle techniques that make the food I prepare better, Take, for example, her Pommes de Terre Sablees in her "Summer Cooking."

Spuds. Easy stuff. Like 'em fried, do yuh?

Well, David shows us a way to make them better.

Take some potato wedges and saute them over low heat in a large frying pan, in butter. Lots of butter. Turn the spuds from time to time and cook, depending on size of the wedges, for 30 to 45 minutes. (Low heat means low heat.)

When the wedges are golden brown and tender, into the pan goes more butter and fresh breadcrumbs. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue to cook until the breadcrumbs are crisp.


Them is some fine potatoes.

And what better way to serve them with than a version of David's Estouffade de Boeuf a la Provencale.

Take a couple pounds of stewing beef cut in fairly large pieces and marinate them.

David's marinade is easy to make. A "wineglass of olive oil" is heated in a saucepan and, once the oil is hot, a sliced carrot, a sliced onion and a half head or so of celery is popped in and cooked till slightly brown. At that point, in goes a quarter pint or so of red wine and a small glass of wine vinegar along with several stalks of parsley, four shallots, a couple cloves of garlic, thyme, bay leaf, a sprig of rosemary, peppercorns and salt. The mix is simmered for 30 minutes, cooled and poured over the meat.

David recommends marinating the meat 24 hours before it is taken from the marinade, patted dried and sautéed in bacon fat until browned. Into the casserole it goes and the strained marinade is poured over with a little more wine added to cover. She tells us to add "fresh herbs." By this, we assume she means thyme, perhaps some chervil or tarragon. Add several crushed garlic cloves, a quarter pound or so cubed bacon (we call it salt pork - it is not our ordinary smoked bacon) several carrots and a half to three-quarter pound stoned olives. Don't think for a moment David is referring to those genetically blasted, black monstrosities produced in California. She means real olives - a mix of black and green. No salt is added at this point. The top of the pan or casserole is covered with parchment and the lid is placed on tight. The mix is cooked in a 300 oven for several hours, Ten minutes or so before serving, the grease is skimmed off and three or four chopped tomatoes are added.

While I would go with the sautéed potatoes, David recommends serving the estouffade on cooked noodles put on a hot dish with a drizzle of olive oil, some grated cheese and a ladle of the sauce from the beef. She tells us this way "of serving pasta with a stew or with the pot-au-feu is one of the old Nicois dishes, called Macaronade."

Elizabeth probably knows best. The Macaronade it is - with a salad of greens dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, perhaps a dessert spoon of coarse mustard whisked in as well.

I'll keep reaching for Elizabeth, just before I turn off the light. (Sounds naughty, doesn't it?)

I'll continue to try to meet her standards. I'll reread her admonition: "A highly developed shopping sense is important, so is some knowledge of the construction of a menu with a view to the food in season, the manner of cooking, the texture and colour of the dishes to be served in relation to each other."

And, I'll keep in mind she was once arrested as a spy. Talk about your texture and colour.


Extension Viewpoints

Beware buying pesticides by telephone

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Feb. 17 - Pagosa Springs Clean Water Advocate meeting, 7 p.m. concerning fluoride in water.

Feb. 18 - Rabbit Project meeting, 2 p.m.; Poultry Project meeting, 3 p.m.

Feb. 21 - Office closed for President's Day; Cultural Foods Project meeting at Methodist church, 3 p.m.; fair royalty meeting, 6 p.m.

Feb. 22 - Outdoor Cooking Project meeting at Methodist Church, 4 p.m.; livestock meeting, 6:30

Feb. 24 - Veterinary Science Project meeting at San Juan Veterinary clinic, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 25 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1:30-3 p.m.; Entomology Project meeting, 2 p.m.

Check out all posted 4-H project and club meeting dates and community meetings at www.archuleta.colostate.edu/calendar.htm.

Local 4-H youth have started their annual cookie dough sale and their goal this year is 2,000 tubs. They will be selling six different types of cookie dough: Chunky Chocolate Chip, Made with M&M's, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, Sugar, and White Chocolate Macadamia.

The cookie dough comes in three pound tubs (about 96 half-ounce cookies each) that can be refrigerated or stored in the freezer. The cookie dough can even be eaten raw because it is made with pasteurized eggs instead of raw eggs. Supporters have until Feb. 28 to order as many tubs as they want. Tubs are $10 and $11 each. The cookie dough will be delivered on March 15 by 4-H youth. If anyone would like to order cookie dough but cannot find a 4-H member to order from, contact the Archuleta County Extension Office at 264-5931 to place an order.

Pesticides by phone

Colorado consumers need to be cautious and protect themselves against fraudulent pesticide telemarketers, according to officials at the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Although fraudulent phone solicitations for pesticides and herbicides can occur throughout the year, there is usually an increase in the spring and summer months.

"Herbicides are by far the most common products marketed, but consumers should be wary of solicitors offering any pesticide," said Laura Quakenbush, pesticide registration coordinator at CDA.

"The solicitors often claim their herbicide can kill weeds that it cannot or that weed control will last an unrealistically long time."

Pesticides include products ranging from insect and weed control to swimming pool treatments.

Quakenbush recommends that consumers buy pesticides from a reputable local dealer, since phone solicitors will frequently price their products higher. If offered a money-back guarantee over the phone, ask for it in writing. In addition, ask for a label before purchasing the product. When carefully examining the label, look for the name of the product, registration number, active ingredients, percentage of active ingredients and the total area one-gallon of the product would cover. Any claim made by a salesperson should be included in the directions for use on the label.

"It is very difficult to pursue any type of enforcement actions against these types of complaints without written documentation of what claims were made and what product was ordered," said Quakenbush. "Many of these solicitors are calling from another state, so without documentation, it's difficult for us to even investigate the matter."

All pesticides that are sold, marketed or advertised in Colorado must be registered with CDA. Individuals interested in checking the status of registered pesticides can also access the state's Web site at www.ag. state.co.us/DPI/Pesticides.

Youth to benefit

Colorado taxpayers can support youth programs and agriculture this year when they file their returns during the next few weeks. The Colorado State Fair Fund has one of 11 coveted spots on Colorado tax returns, after meeting the rigorous requirements of the Legislature.

"We're fortunate to be one of the few organizations in the check off program, which makes it easy for people to make donations on their tax forms," said Chris Wiseman, general manager of the Colorado State Fair. "It's a testament to how the legislators and state leaders believe in the benefit that the Fair has for young people and communities across the state."

In 2004, the Legislature approved a bill that allowed a check off to benefit the fair, entitled the Colorado State Fair Fund. When taxpayers complete their forms, they can make a donation, whether by giving a portion of their refund or increasing the amount owed.

During the 2004 fiscal year, a total of $1,482,969 was contributed to Check Off Colorado funds. In 1997, Colorado was the first state in the country to allow taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to a nonprofit organization through a check off program.

The 2005 Colorado State Fair, Aug. 26-Sept. 5, will mark the Fair's 133rd year as Colorado's premier celebration of agriculture. In addition to showcasing Colorado agriculture, the annual event features concert series, eight nights of professional rodeo, more than 1,500 categories of arts, crafts and food competitions, one of the country's largest traveling carnivals, a wide variety of food and merchandise booths and a Fiesta Weekend honoring Colorado's ties to Latin culture.


Pagosa Lakes News

A little weather didn't the scare perch-fishing crowd

By Larry Lynch

PLPOA Property and Environment Manager

Almost everyone who turned out for the Pagosa Lakes Winter Perch Tournament Saturday had a good time - with the exception of one or two who got cold and called it a day a little early.

There were 131 contestants registered for the event on a day when no one was sure what the weather was going to do. The forecast the day before called for possible flooding and heavy rain mixed with snow, but the dreaded system must have gone to the north or south of us; we only dealt with cloudy dark skies, occasional light mist and a perfect day for some Colorado ice fishing.

Those of us running the event feared we'd only have 10 or 20 diehards turn out that day, but we were pleasantly surprised when we showed up an hour before tournament time to see cars and folks lined up on both sides of the lake, along the dam and off Piedra Road, 10 or 15 ice shanties already erected on the lake and ice augers busy digging through 20 inches of ice preparing for some serious competition. A little bit of weather didn't scare this crowd.

The fishing started off a little slow, especially on the west side of the lake where anglers were only getting the occasional bite, but as the morning progressed things started to pick up. By lunch time more than a few folks had 50 or more perch in their bucket, and not just little ones. Many of the perch caught that day were pushing a pound, big and fat, perfect for a filet dinner. We also had a number of nice rainbow trout and bass caught that day, but those were all returned to the water as the rules stated, this was a perch tournament and we estimate that over 2,000 perch were harvested that day.

Most everyone out there would have told you that the perch are the best eating fish we have in this part of the state.

The placing adult winners were rewarded with some nice cash prizes and placing youngsters with some great fishing tackle. The overall adult winner in the most perch caught category was Paul Halkin, 98 perch and a $125 first place prize; second place went to Richard Baldwin, 88 perch and a $100 cash prize; third place went to Mark Brown, 83 perch and a $75 prize; and the fourth place winner was Ron Geers, 78 perch and a $25 prize. Winner in the biggest perch category was Jim Hyatt, a 14- ounce perch and a $125 cash prize; second and third place was tie between John Kellog and Gary Wilson, two 13-ounce perch and splitting $175 in prize money.

The junior winners in the 12- to 16-year-old category were Chris Moody, 90 perch and a new deluxe tackle box prize; second place went to Brad Gore, 40 perch and a fishing rod prize; third place was a tie between Jacob Anderson and Trey Quiller, 22 perch apiece and ice fishing rod holder prizes. In the 11- and under junior category the winner was Shayla Lucero, 28 perch caught and an ice fishing combo rod and reel prize; second and third place was a tie between JJ Amato and Brad Rosten, 13 perch apiece and both taking home 107-piece equipped junior tackle boxes. Several other youngsters received perch jigs and lures for coming close and toughing it out.

This was the last tournament we plan to have this year and we'd like to thank everyone who came out to both of our Winter Perch tournaments for making them successful and enjoyable events. We'd also like to thank the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue Department for turning up at both events to keep an eye on us and making sure everyone is safe, thanks to Ponderosa Do-It-Best and the Pagosa Area Chamber of Commerce for helping us sell tickets, and lastly, thanks to a couple of volunteers who chipped in to help, Jim Carson and Ken Bailey.

If you missed the tournaments this year don't worry, we plan to have at least two more next winter. This is the third year that the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has been sponsoring these tournaments and plans to make them regular annual events.



Beatrice Carpenter

Eli and Natalie Carpenter are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Beatrice Mary, in Durango on Feb. 8, 2005. At 7 pounds, 8 ounces and 21 inches long, Little Bea was welcomed home by big brother Dylan Kai and big sister Ivory Jane. Paternal grandparents are Jack and Dianne Cochran and David Carpenter, and great-grandma Jane "Nana" Johnson. Maternal grandparents are Jim and Carla Bass, and great-grandma Jan Schultz. Welcome to the family, Beatrice!



Michelle Janaé Brueckner

Michelle Janaé Brueckner was born Nov. 3, 1984, in Conroe, Texas.

God allowed us the joy of your presence until, in His wisdom, he took you to be with Him on Feb. 12, 2005, from Pagosa Springs, Colo.

There is much that we'll think and discuss about Michelle as time goes by. Thank you, Lord, for the privilege, the pleasure of being with someone who was genuine, not always in agreement, but always real.

Her musical ability which awed us was too big for the humble buildings where she sang and played, but was always just right for the worship of God, which is what her beautiful talent was habitually used for.

Thank you for your journals, Michelle. You were as real there as you were everywhere else. It has been said that you can tell what a person's poetry is by what they read over and over again. Well, it is clear that the Bible and the words of Elisabeth Elliot were Michelle's great poetry.

This influence was evident in her life. She loved the outdoors, hiking, climbing, skiing and photography. She relished God's creation and it was always a pleasure to share those times with her.

There are, of course, special thoughts that belong to her mother and father that will not wind up on paper. Her brothers and sister and friends are also blessed in this way. Those memories will remain a refuge for us when we think of Michelle.

Most importantly, she loved the Father and her Saviour, Jesus Christ, and lived her life in response to that love.

Michelle loved her family and friends and it showed. We love her and we will miss her and yet we yearn to be where she is now, in the arms of God.

Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

Lead me from the unreal to the real;

Lead me from the darkness into the light;

Lead me from death to immortality.

A member of Christian Mountain Fellowship, Michelle is survived by her parents, Darrell and Karie Brueckner of Pagosa Springs; brother and sister-in-law Doyle and Sara Brueckner and their children Elisha, Shiphrah and Maranatha of Woodland Park, Colo.; brothers Devon, Blake, Andrew, Craig, Shannon and Austin Brueckner and sister, Destiny Brueckner, all of Pagosa.

Please join the family at First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs at 6 p.m. today for a memorial service for Michelle. Burial will be 11 a.m. Friday in Bayfield Cemetery.


Karen Burris

Karen Burris of Pagosa Springs died Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005. She was born Oct. 16, 1954, in Northlake, Ill., the daughter of Adeline Okon Heath and Donald Heath.

She was married to Larry Burris on July 14, 1973, in Venice, Fla. She and her husband moved from Florida to Pagosa Springs in 2003.

She had worked as assistant supervisor of the Upper Lodge at Wolf Creek Ski Area and was also a cosmetologist. She enjoyed hiking, snowboarding, camping, cooking, wakeboarding, scuba diving, mountain biking and motorcycling.

Survivors include her husband, Larry of Pagosa Springs; a son, David Burris and his fiance Jade Coutts of Gainesville, Fla; a son, Robert of Gainesville; a brother, Donnie of Nokomis, Fla.; her mother, Adeline, of Nokomis and her father, Donald, of Winter Haven, Fla.

Funeral services will be held in Venice, Fla., with interment to follow at Jesse Knight Cemetery in Nokomis.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Pagosa Springs Humane Society in her name.


Kenneth Grush

Kenneth W. Grush, DVM, an 84- year-old rural Mooreland, Okla. resident and former Durango resident, died Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005, in the Woodward Regional Hospital in Woodward, Oklahoma.

At his request, cremation has taken place and no memorial service will be held.


Diane Mathias

Diane Mathias of Pagosa Springs died Monday, Feb. 14, 2005.

A memorial service is scheduled 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, at Mountain Heights Baptist Church.


Business News
Chamber News

Marketing a small business; local seminar set Tuesday

By Mary Jo Coulehan

Sun Columnist

Almost every year, sometimes twice a year, our Chamber and Joe Keck at the Fort Lewis College Small Business Development Center host a seminar for our community for a pittance of what you would be able to get anywhere else.

On Tuesday, Feb. 22 we are bringing in Dr. Bill Dodds, Ph.D. to host the meeting, "How to Effectively Market Your Small Business." The meeting was designed to allow you as a business person to obtain some information and then go back to work in case you weren't able to get someone to cover for you. The mini-conference begins at 7:30 a.m. and lasts until about 10 a.m. Cost is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for nonmembers; a worthwhile investment in your business.

Dr. Dodds will be covering how to identify and go after customers and basically what it takes to put together an effective marketing plan and how to implement it. He will touch on the hidden costs of marketing, tools of the marketing trade and will field your marketing questions.

The workshop will be in the community center. Space is limited so call in with your reservation at the Chamber at 264-2360. Dr. Dodds is Ft. Lewis College professor of marketing and regularly offers a course on Managing Customer Value. His marketing research has been widely published and his results instrumental in developing the concepts of customer value in the marketplace.

We are lucky to have him come and address this workshop. Joe Keck will also stay in Pagosa that afternoon and remain available for his usual consultations.

Again, you do need to reserve a space for a meeting with Joe, so give Doug a call. The availability to meet with Keck is offered to you free of charge from the Chamber and Fort Lewis College as a member benefit. If you are just getting started or have been in business awhile and want to sharpen your marketing skills, come to this workshop. Remember, it is always smart to invest in you, the person who runs the business, is its leader and who is expected to grow the business.


Well, we tried!

We had all the makings for a great time every day, but you just can't control Mother Nature. This part of my article is of course thank yous to so many people who gave of time, talent and goods to help with all the different events that were to go on this weekend.

Let's start with the Balloon Rally. Liz Marchand and her crew worked so hard to get everything ready for the pilots. These pilots just love Pagosa and all that the community does for them. Alas, the weather prohibited the crewing and rides and the Glow that we so love. About six balloons actually flew on Sunday. Not the greatest of weather, but there were those diehard balloonists and hopefully some sponsors got a little taste of this fascinating sport.

I would also like to thank all the lodging facilities that donated accommodations to house all the people. I know that you all get "hit up" all the time to help out and you do! Thank you so much for being such an integral part of this community. We were not able to have the snow sculpture contest on Saturday. Unfortunately, water does not hold its shape as well as snow, so there was nothing to see.

Just for future reference, I was at the Chamber for most of Saturday and can I tell you how many people I turned away who came by to see the sculptures. The visitors to this community were so interested. So next year when we have this contest, you groups out there get ready because there are a lot of people out there who love to watch the creations being made. People just talked about when they were in Breckenridge or Durango or somewhere else and they got to see the snow sculptures. Big interest! Of course weather could not deter those dedicated ice fishermen and women - fishing in the rain - really! A good crowd gathered on Lake Pagosa and the winners are listed in a separate article. Thanks to PLPOA for hosting this event. We'll see you again next year!

Now for Sunday and the down hill sled race. The owners of Best Value Inn High Country Lodge, Dick and Kathy Fitz outdid themselves this year.

Along with providing free hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, dessert and drinks to all, they garnered some great prizes we gave to the race participants as well as a lot of door prizes. I would like to publicly thank these donors: Ace Hardware, Montezuma's Restaurant, Citizens Bank, Silver Mine Country Company, Waggin' Tails animal grooming, Goodman's, Bear Creek Saloon & Grill, Frankie's Place, Plaza Liquors, Pagosa Candy Company, Piedra Automotive, Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat, Radio Shack, All About You Day Spa, Studio 160, Ski & Bow Rack, The Bouquet Magician, Chili Mountain Café, High Performance Speedy Lube and Ancestral Way Healing.

Super special thanks also goes to Ron Hunkin, our race starter who has no trouble blowing his own horn. And a big thanks goes to the creative sledders. Mike Bishop with his multifaceted snowboard/ski/wheelbarrow sled eked out the other racers and whizzed down the hill winning the contest with a best time of 8 seconds. Terry Smith was once again up to his creative eyeballs with an old metal sheet plate with a chair set in place.

As Doug said, "No amount of Pam could help this sled," but it did win most creative. Also thanks to Mike Ogden who seems to improve on his sled and always comes oh so close to winning and to Chris Borne who was also flying down the hill in his ski/chair sled concoction coming in second. Times were a little slower this year due to the slush factor, but everyone sure got some great laughs, great pictures, and great food.

We ended the weekend with the always entertaining Harlem Ambassadors in the high school gymnasium and benefiting the community center. What great sports our Pagosa Ringers were. And not bad ball players either. I don't know how you guys kept concentration and laughter in check the whole time? Thank you to all the sponsors for this event, especially Troy Ross Construction and Cody Ross with Buckskin Towing for helping to bring us this caliber of entertainment. Our own Doug Trowbridge won the autographed basketball and we will be installing a hoop in the Chamber parking lot where he can practice during the lunch hour!

All in all, of course we would have wanted more favorable weather, but you do with what you have. I'm already working on next year's events and am looking to add a Nordic Triathlon, some snowmobile events, that broom ball tournament, and a bigger and better snow sculpture and sled race. We may even have to have events go into Friday - what do you think? Thanks again to all who sponsored, participated, or just watched.

We like to have fun here in Pagosa, and want to provide a event where visitors and locals alike can enjoy some of the reasons we move to this community.

Business happenings

This is the last call for newsletter inserts that will come out in March. If you're having a sale, reminding people that you exist, or need to get some information out into the community, don't forget to advertise with a one page insert flyer in the Chamber newsletter. Inserts are due Friday and you need to bring 750 copies to the Chamber and the fee is just $40. It's an easy way and effective way to advertise to your community.

Don't forget the SunDowner coming up 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23. This month Jann Pitcher Real Estate is hosting the event. Now here is another good reason to attend this function. Jann Pitcher is the current Rotary President and Feb. 23, is Rotary International's 100th birthday. Is that not just a coinkidink! Look for the blue and gold balloons at Jann Pitcher's office where there will be lots of food, fun and surprises.

Tomorrow, 6-8 p.m., Laura Laydon at Pagosa Skin Therapy will host a reception showing off her new facility at 480 San Juan St. right next to husband Jeff's photography studio. Rumors abound that Jeff and Laura will be moving due to all the real estate transactions, but I was assured that they are there to stay. Not only that, but Jeff does have some stoves available for sale from the old stoves location. So stop by Pagosa Skin Therapy and see what a beautiful job Laura has done to her location and what a beautiful job she can do on you being a licensed master esthetician. She will have some great refreshments and fun door prizes as well. Don't miss this open house.

We have much need for the following organization in the area what with the summer fires and winter storms - The American Red Cross.

Sunday, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will host a great fund-raiser for this organization. The railroad is running a special train on in an effort to raise money for the Southwest Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross. Tickets are still $45 for adults, $22 for kids, and $89 for the Parlor Car and they are tax deductible. The train departs the station at 10 a.m. and returns at 3:05 p.m. after having viewed Cascade Canyon. Please call 247-2733 for reservations. All the proceeds will go directly to the organization.

Have fun while attempting to replenish just a fraction of the monies spent trying to fight our local disasters.

On the other side of us is Creede and their Whistle Pig Days from Friday through Sunday. Starting Friday night with a Tahiti costume contest, they continue on Saturday with games, races and other activities. Then if you didn't get to sculpt at our Winterfest, they will have a snow fort contest and the official opening of Creede's ice climbing park on Sunday. Think about making a trip over the pass and having some fun in Creede if you don't get to ride the train in Durango.

Here are a couple of reminders for you: Don't forget to order your daffodils to begin delivery March 14. These flowers remind us of renewed life and hope after a long dormant season and is the signature flower for the American Cancer Society. Bunches are $9 and can be ordered through the Chamber.

Also, you should have received a survey in the mail concerning the San Juan Conservation's Stollsteimer Creek Watershed study. This watershed encompasses about an 82,000-acre area and includes portions of the Town of Pagosa Springs, all of the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions, Southern Ute Tribal lands, most of Aspen Springs, and portions of Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District. This is a multi-entity effort and these organizations need your input for a plan. With our growth many of the traditional uses of water in the watershed are being threatened. Please mail or fax your survey back to the SJ Conservation District by tomorrow. With your support and input this study can help to positively impact decisions made in the watershed for years to come.

Now how cool is this: Kid and Kaboodle is now offering a membership cooperative. What is this you ask, well, as a member you will receive a 10-percent discount on all products, forever. With their new room space for about 20 people you will get a 10 percent discount on the rental for parties or meetings. During the month of a family member's birthday, the card holder will receive an additional 5 percent discount, and during those month's that Sandy's children have a birthday (May, June, November and December), you will receive an additional 5 percent discount.

You will also receive first notification of special events that may be space limited like Easter Basket making or Make-a-Plate parties. The cost to join the co-op is only $35 and it is a lifetime family membership. This is only a fraction of what this neat membership has to offer, so give Sandy Caves a call for more information on this and other exciting happenings she has planned for Kid and Kaboodle at 264-9330.

New members, renewals

Our only new member this week is Chris Musgrove with Dial Pagosa. This "new/old" inexpensive advertising system allows a business to display its ad and the customer to pick up a courtesy phone and direct call your establishment. Call boards are going to get homes around our community soon. Chris is also every adept at reviewing your phone system needs and giving technology guidance. Just be ready to keep up with how fast he can give you the information. For interest in advertising, hosting a Dial Pagosa, or for other technology needs, give him a call at 264-2401.

Renewals this week include David Conrad and innovative Millennium Renewables, House of Muskets, Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center, Pagosa Area Trails Council, Fairway Mortgage and B & D enterprises.

And that folks is all for me this week. Once again, thanks to all who participated or tried to participate in Winterfest. If you are interested in working on an event that we host or just have an idea, give me a call here at the Chamber and we'll talk. We'll also see you around town.


Biz Briefs

Eggleston cited as Economic

Development leader

Bob Eggleston of Pagosa Springs has been named the Economic Development Leader of the Year for 2004 by the Region 9 Economic Development District board of directors.

A banker and business leader, Eggleston received the award recognizing an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to and an unwavering support of economic development in their community.

As president of Archuleta Economic Development Association, Eggleston played a key role in the success of a number of economic development projects in Archuleta County in recent years, the board said.


Economic association annual

meeting Feb. 24

The Archuleta Economic Development Association annual meeting will be held 3 p.m. Thursday Feb. 24, in the Senior Citizens' Center.


Salazar sets Four Corners issues


U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar will hold regional issues workshops throughout Colorado to develop an agenda for action on projects and issues vital to Colorado's communities.

The Four Corner Regional meeting is set 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, in the Southwest Studies Center, second floor conference room, Fort Lewis College, Durango.

Salazar has invited local elected officials to brief him on the top priorities for the region they represent.

Information gathered at these workshops will be compiled and Salazar will use it to develop his legislative agenda in Washington, D.C.


Biz Beat

B. Janine Griffin

B. Janine Griffin owns and operates 4WellBeing. The business is at 156 N. 7th. St. the former site of The Second Story.

4WellBeing focuses on spiritual, physical, mental and emotional wellness and offers services, products, toys, books, discussion groups and more to support health in all areas of life.

Griffin is a licensed massage therapist who has studied and practiced for more than 15 years. She is also a Yamuna Body Rolling trainer, teaching people to use small balls to ease their tensions, elongate muscles and keep themselves injury free.

4WellBeing is open Thursday-Monday, 1-6 p.m. The phone is 264-6173.


Cards of Thanks


NBHA youth

The 1D youth saddle was sponsored by Boot Hill Feed and Tack of Pagosa Springs. Best Western Hotels also sponsored a saddle in the youth division.

The Pagosa SUN, Red Ryder Rodeo Committee, Harold Thompson DDS, Goodman's Department Store and Vita Pagosa LLC all made it possible for the youth to have saddles for top year-end awards.

Buckle sponsors in youth division were Parker Construction, Tim Daniel, Community Bank and West Fork Gallery.

Sponsors in the open were Log Park Trading Co. of Pagosa, Bank of the San Juans in Pagosa, New Country Auto of Durango, The Hideout, and Impact Printing, both of Pagosa Springs.

We cannot thank you enough.

NBHA Colorado No. 8


Community center

The community center depends upon the support of local businesses, families and individuals. Sunday night that support was evident as the Harlem Ambassadors challenged our local team the Pagosa Ringers in a game that was both a display of fine basketball and a family entertainment.

Please see our display ad in The PREVIEW for the businesses and organizations that made this game possible. Feel free to thank them in person. Our community would not have the riches it does, without their generosity.

A special thanks to our local team who worked hard to bring us a good time and submitted to the clowning with grace: Cody Ross, Troy Ross, David Snarr, Yul Wilson, Rok Wilson, Wes Lewis, Charles Rand, Ross Lewis and Jim Shaffer.


Eoff Family

The Eoff family would like to take this time to thank each and everyone for their kindness and sympathy at a time in our lives when it was deeply appreciated.

Randy Eoff





Pagosa Springs High School alumna Tara Franklin, who majors in accounting, was named to the winter dean's list at Fort Lewis College.

To be eligible for the dean's list, a student must attain a grade point average of 3.4 or higher in not less than 14 hours of graded credit, and must have completed all work for which they are registered by the end of the semester.



Pagosa Christian School alumnus Michael Arries received his bachelor's degree in accounting from Fort Lewis College at winter commencement ceremonies on Dec. 17, 2004. Arries graduated magna cum laude.

Sports Page

Three Pirate grapplers earn medals at state

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It's as difficult a task as there is in high school sport, to fight your way to one of the top six spots in your weight class and win a medal at the Class 3A state tournament in Denver.

This year, three Pirates accomplished the feat: Daren Hockett at 125 pounds, James Martinez at 215 and Marcus Rivas at 189.

Hockett, a senior fighting in his fourth state tournament at the Pepsi Center, began his trek to the medal stand with a match against Levi Tredway, of Gunnison. Hockett dominated the match playing the takedown/escape game with Tredway to build a 6-2 first-period lead. The wrestlers started the second period on their feet and Hockett again took control, extending his advantage to 10-3. Hockett reversed Tredway to start the final period then earned three back points to close out a 19-3 technical fall.

Next up for Hockett was Rodney Dias, of Erie. Hockett scored with two takedowns in the first period; Dias managed two escapes. The wrestlers started in the neutral position in the second period and Dias was assessed a penalty point for stalling. Hockett took Dias down and pinned him at 3:22.

That win put the Pirate in the championship semifinal against the reigning state champ, Luke Hanna, of Eaton. There was no score in the first period. Hockett escaped to start the second, but Hanna got a takedown to lead 2-1 to start the final period. Hanna escaped from the down position and completed a takedown. Hockett reversed Hanna but was called for an illegal hold. To many observers, it seemed the official's timing on at least two critical escapes was erratic and, to many, it seemed Hanna stalled through the second half of the period. Trailing 7-3, Hockett got a takedown but time ran out, giving Hanna the 7-5 win.

Hockett dropped to the consolation semifinal Saturday morning to battle Brent Havens, of Olathe. After a scoreless first period, the wrestlers started action in the neutral position. Hockett scored two points with a takedown then allowed Havens to escape. Hockett took Havens down and pinned him at 3:19 to earn a trip to the fight for third place.

In that battle, Hockett fought Adam Symonds of Platte Valley.

It was barely a contest, as the Pirate had his way with the Bronco. Hockett took Symonds down twice in the first period to lead 4-1. In the second period, Hockett started down, reversed Symonds, then let the opponent up to lead 6-2 going into the third and final period. The wrestlers began on their feet. Hockett took Symonds down, let him up, took him down again and let him up. Symonds managed one takedown in the match, near the end of the third period but Hockett had the decisive 10-5 decision.

Martinez was a force to be reckoned with throughout the tournament. He began action Thursday, making short work of Anthony Fresquez, of Frederick. Martinez took Fresquez down; Fresquez escaped. Martinez caught Fresquez in a headlock, took him down and put his shoulders to the mat at 1:52.

Fortune turned for Martinez in his match against Bill McQuary of Weld Central. Martinez had the best of it in the first period, scoring with a takedown to lead 2-0. McQuary turned the tables in the second period. Martinez started down, McQuary turned him and got the pin at 2:37.

That loss dropped Martinez to the consolation bracket for a match against Andy Gacita of Classical Academy. Martinez steamrolled his way back into contention, overwhelming Gacita in the first period with a takedown and two three-point near falls.

Martinez, with an 8-9 lead, started down in the second period and escaped. He took Gacita down, scored a three-point near fall then pinned his man with 12 seconds left in the period.

Next up for Martinez was a match against Mike Massucca, of Salida. Martinez handled Massucca easily, getting a first-period takedown and a three-point near fall to lead 5-0. Massucca's shoulders went down at 3:07 of the match.

When Martinez looked across the match at his opponent in the consolation semifinal he saw someone he recognized: Brandon Luter, of Bayfield. The two Intermountain League wrestlers fought a scoreless first period. Luter started down in the second period and Martinez rode him the entire period without a score.

Martinez was down at the start of the third period and escaped for a point. Luter got a point on a stall, but Martinez broke the tie with a takedown. The 3-1 lead was extended with a three-point near fall and that's how it ended. Martinez advanced to the fight for third with a 6-1 decision.

Third place went to the Pirate following a match against Lance Stuht, a senior from Trinidad.

Martinez lost to Stuht at last year's state tourney, but this year was a different story. Martinez took Stuht down in the first to lead 2-0. Stuht started down in the second and escaped for a point but Martinez responded with another takedown. He put Stuht on his back and scored a three-point near fall then pinned the Miner to win the match.

Following a first-round loss to Taylor Hefftner of Gunnison, Rivas began a long trek in the consolation bracket with a match against Ethan Mason, of Lamar. The Pirate dominated action, going out to a 4-1 first-period lead. A takedown in the second period extended the advantage to 6-1. The third period was all Rivas as the senior escaped, took Mason down, then let him up to set up another takedown. A penalty point and a three-point near fall gave Rivas a 15-2 major decision.

Rivas took the mat in the second round of consolation against a familiar foe - Seth Minton, of Bayfield. The Pirate gave up single points on a penalty and an escape, but escaped to start the second period and took Minton down to earn the 3-2 win and advance to the consolation semifinal.

Rivas got a critical victory over Sam Udell of St. Mary's, to advance to the consolation semifinal. Rivas led 2-0 at the end of the first period, getting a takedown with two seconds left on the clock. Starting down in the second, he escaped to score the only point of the period.

Udell escaped at the start of the final period then was awarded points as Rivas was called twice for stalling. The match went into overtime and Rivas won with a takedown.

Next up for Rivas in the consolation semifinal was another familiar face - Louden David of Centauri.

The wrestlers battled to a scoreless tie at the end of the first period, but David took a 6-0 lead in the second period before going on to win the match.

That put the Pirate senior in the match for fifth place against Austin Kinnison, of Highland.

Rivas rebounded with a flourish to end his career with a win. He was the aggressor in the first round, going ahead 4-1 with two takedowns to Kinnison's single escape.

The match was gritty through the second period, with Rivas starting down, Kinnison riding him most of the period and giving up the only score with a penalty point.

Trailing 5-1, Kinnison got back in the running with an escape at the start of the final period and a takedown. Instead of allowing Kinnison to gain any more ground, Rivas stopped his opponent's momentum with an escape and a takedown of his own. Kinnison escaped and Rivas took him down again as the bout came to a close to seal fifth place with a 10-6 decision.

Janowsky praised his medalists following the tournament.

"Daren Hockett is one of the best wrestlers this school has produced," he said of the senior. "He qualified for the state tournament four times and medaled three times with a sixth and two thirds. He's as good as you get. His match against Hanna was one of those matches where you think you're doing all the right things, but the score is going the other way. Daren was the aggressor throughout and Hanna was fairly defensive. I thought Daren fought a good match, but we ran out of time with the guy."

Martinez, said the coach, "turned the corner, confidence-wise. And a lot of the credit for that has to go to Coach (Roger) August. Once Bubba started to believe in himself, it was hard for any of the opponents to touch him. He dominated his way through the consolation round; he attacked with confidence."

Rivas, said Janowsky, "has always shown the physical skills, but other things fell into place for him at this tournament. He relaxed, enjoyed the moment, avoided mistakes, used a variety of techniques and wrestled his best. He stuck with us when things looked grim and now he's showed what happens when you hang in there."

The team's 13th place finish was not what many fans expected, but Janowsky put it in perspective, considering "we went into a slump in January after looking pretty good through December. We spent the whole month trying to break the slump.

"The guys who hung in there were tenacious," he said. "We emerged very respectable, if nothing else. These guys made the most of things They never abandoned faith in each other or their coaches. The fact we're disappointed with 13th place (in a field of 39 teams) at state shows just how much we expect of our program."


Pirate wrestlers face tough pairings at state

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The early rounds of the state 3A wrestling tournament proved a tough experience for Pirate wrestlers, with four of eight athletes falling out of competition before Saturday's run for the medals.

The first round of action Thursday proved difficult for the team, as only two Pirates advanced - Daren Hockett at 103 pounds and Bubba Martinez at 215.

Senior Raul Palmer lost his first 135-pound battle at the Pepsi Center to Rafael Munoz of Brush, 10-15. Ky Smith dropped a 14-6 decision to J.J. Pursley of Brush at 140. Manuel Martinez had a difficult time of it against Tress Gaddash at 145, losing in a 21-3 technical fall.

Senior Paul Armijo faced Aaron Quinlin, of Brush at 152 and the match was as close as they get. The wrestlers went scoreless in the first period and Armijo opened the scoring with a reversal in the second period. Quinlin escaped and nailed a takedown; Armijo escaped with 10 seconds left to tie the score 3-3. Quinlin started down in the third, escaped and went in front 4-3. Armijo took Quinlin down and the Beetdigger escaped to tie the score. The match went to Quinlin, 7-5, following a takedown with six seconds left.

Matt Nobles lost in the first round of action at 160. Nobles' opponent, Robbie Wilber, of Lamar, was the second-seed at the tournament and, true to form, advanced to the title bout. Nobles gave Wilber a tussle before losing in a fall at 3:29.

Marcus Rivas, likewise, faced one of the state's best at 189 in Taylor Hefftner of Gunnison. Hefftner earned a 21-8 major decision, dropping Rivas to the consolation bracket where he would surge to the medal round.

Palmer returned to the mat Friday and earned a tournament win against Wes Yarnell, of Erie. Palmer earned a 6-1 lead at the end of the first period taking Yarnell down and earning two back points. Yarnell escaped but the Pirate took him down again before the buzzer.

Palmer started down in the second period and escaped. He took Yarnell down again and earned a three-point near fall to end the period with a 12-2 lead.

The wrestlers started the final period in the neutral position. Palmer got the takedown, then the fall at 3:42.

Smith won his first consolation match, 6-2, over Marcus Grinnan of Burlington. The wrestlers fought to a scoreless tie in the first period. Smith fashioned his victory with two escapes and two takedowns.

Manuel Madrid had his best match of the tournament in the first round of consolation, beating Chris Mathison, of Hotchkiss, 16-3. The senior nailed two takedowns in the first period to lead 4-1. Two more takedowns, two back points and two three-point near falls completed his win.

Armijo got on the winning track against Kyle Kuester, of Salida. There was no score in the first period but Armijo escaped at the outset of the second then took Kuester down with 20 seconds remaining in the period. Kuester escaped to close the gap to 3-1. Kuester started down and reversed Armijo to tie the score but the Pirate returned the favor with a reversal of his own. Kuester escaped, Armijo took him down and pinned him at 4: 45.

Nobles saw his tournament come to an end with a match against Daniel Clark, of Platte Valley. Clark pinned Nobles in the opening period of the match.

Smith met Addison Mueller of La Junta in the second round of consolation and handled Mueller easily, earning a 7-3 decision.

Madrid's tourney came to an end with a loss to Brandon Kammerzall, of Eaton as the Red pinned him at 1:38.

Armijo also saw his tournament end in the second round of consolation. The senior was pinned by Skye Wells of Gunnison, at 2:16.

Saturday morning, Smith fought Vince Lontine, of Erie, in the third round of consolation.

The wrestlers went scoreless in the first period and Smith started down. He reversed Lontine but was reversed himself and the score was tied 2-2.

At 1:07 of the period, Smith suffered an ankle injury, halting action while he was tended by a trainer. The injury hampered Smith's movement and Lontine turned him to earn three back points and end the period with a 5-2 advantage.

Lontine reversed Smith at the start of the third, and got three back points before Smith escaped. Smith took Lontine down but allowed an escape and the match ended with Lontine earning the 11-5 victory and eliminating Smith from tournament competition.

"We got a lot of tough first-round pairings," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "I knew it was going to be difficult when I saw the brackets, but when it was over, we wrestled them as well as anyone did. Our first round put us in a big hole and I was proud of the way we battled back. I was nervous, wondering how our guys would handle the environment at the Pepsi Center - going from wrestling in front of a hundred people to wrestling in front of ten thousand people. You just can't prepare for it. The event got to us a bit; there was a bit of stage fright at times.

"Our situation was a matter of the luck of the draw and it was difficult to overcome. We wrestled hard. Overall, we got a lot out of the guys we had there. We took five seniors (Hockett, Madrid, Palmer, Armijo and Rivas) and, you know, those were the only five guys who came out for wrestling in their freshman class. Some of them didn't start wrestling until junior high or even eighth grade, but they were very combative against some of the very best. They were the only five from the start and they all made it through. They bucked the tide, and I'm very proud of them."



Forrest hangs 32 on Monte in 72-39 Pagosa win

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Caleb Forrest has been known to overheat a scoreboard on more than a few occasions.

But had the 6-8 Pagosa Springs senior participated in the fourth quarter of Pagosa's 72-39 win at Monte Vista Saturday, the hometown scoreboard may have succumbed to complete meltdown.

With steady assistance from his teammates, Forrest tallied 32 points in 24 minutes against the San Luis Valley Pirates - enough to eclipse Monte's team total of 26 through three quarters of play.

After controlling the opening tip, Forrest scored the first 14 points of the game, getting his first deuce on an inside assist from fellow senior Otis Rand.

Forrest's next dozen included a trey, a pair of charity tosses, a 15-footer, a deuce on the block and an old-fashioned three point play with two and a half minutes remaining in the quarter.

Paul Przybylski fed Craig Schutz for an easy deuce to make it 16-0, then Monte got its first two courtesy of Scott Meyers at 1:25.

Forrest added a free throw then another basket from short range to counter a drive from Monte's Clinton Medina, and Pagosa led 19-4 with one quarter gone.

Craig Schutz extended the lead a minute into the second frame with a three-point play off a dish from Jordan Shaffer, then Monte got two apiece from Kyle Jones and Medina to make it 22-11 at 6:35.

But Monte would get no closer, and the lead swelled to 29-11 on Forrest's second trey of the night and four at the line from Craig Schutz.

A free throw each from Forrest and Casey Schutz plus two apiece from Jones and Hatton made it 31-15, then Casey Schutz and Medina traded charity tosses to keep it a 16-point game at 1:16.

With contact now abundant at both ends of the court, Forrest sank a free throw to up his first-half mark to 22, then Rand booked four straight points in the final 40 seconds and Pagosa led 37-16 at intermission.

Craig Schutz, Forrest and Rand combined for Pagosa's first seven of the third, Brendon Anderson canned a pair of threes for Monte and Pagosa held a 46-22 edge at 4:41.

Forrest brought his total to 30 with a break-away jam off a lead pass from Przybylski, then Shaffer scored with a drive and Casey Schutz hit one of two at the line to give Pagosa a 29-point advantage.

Forrest got his final two of the evening at the line with two minutes left in the frame, then Monte's Curtis Barbosa hit a late baseline jumper and the teams headed to the final quarter with Pagosa up 53-26.

Craig Schutz and Kerry Joe Hilsabeck were responsible for Pagosa's first five of the fourth, Monte got two each from Jones and Medina, then Shaffer and Hilsabeck scored with strong drives to make it 62-32 with 4:23 to play.

Two apiece from Casey Schutz, Shaffer and Casey Hart stretched the lead to 36 before Jones scored four quick points to make it 68-36, then Pirate sophomore Travis Richey added a trey and free throw to put Pagosa up 72-36 with nine seconds remaining.

Anderson's heave at the buzzer was on target for three, but Pagosa improved to 16-1 overall and 6-0 in conference play with the 72-39 win.

Craig Schutz contributed 15 points to go along with Forrest's game high of 32; Shaffer totaled six, while Rand and Casey Schutz each added five.

Hilsabeck dished out six assists to lead Pagosa, followed by Przybylski with five and Shaffer and Rand with two apiece.

Regarding Forrest's effort in the win, "I think it says a lot about the kind of player he is and also a lot about the type of team we have," said Shaffer after the game.

"He's obviously a great scorer, and he gets a lot of help from the guys around him," Shaffer added.

"We have a bunch of unselfish guys who don't care who scores - as long as the Pirates score, that's all they care about - and tonight (Monte) was giving us the inside and we took it," said Shaffer.

As to how a physical weekend of basketball may benefit Pagosa in the long run, "I think a little pushing and shoving was good for us," said Shaffer.

"That's the kind of play you can expect if you get into the playoffs, so I didn't really mind the fact that things got a little physical this week," he concluded.

The Pirates' conclude their regular-season IML schedule this week with a 6 p.m. road game Friday at Bayfield, then a home finale Saturday at 7 p.m. against Ignacio.

Next Friday and Saturday, the IML tournament takes place in Pagosa Springs, with game times and match-ups to be announced.


Scoring: Forrest 11-19, 8-12, 32; Craig Schutz 4-10, 7-7, 15; Casey Schutz 0-5, 5-8, 5; Hilsabeck 1-2, 1-7, 3; Przybylski 0-0, 0-0, 0; Shaffer 3-5, 0-1, 6; Rand 1-6, 3-4, 5; Hart 1-2, 0-0 2; Richey 1-1, 1-4, 4; Abeyta 0-0, 0-0 0; Martinez 0-1, 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Richey 1. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 19. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 32. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 10.


 Pirates tested by Falcons in 52-36 win

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Centauri Falcons are renowned for playing their own special brand of basketball.

Some call it ugly, but it's often very effective.

For example, Centauri caused plenty of problems for Head Coach Jim Shaffer and the Pagosa Springs Pirates during Friday night's Intermountain League contest in La Jara.

Thanks to a physical style which included heavy ball pressure and slow-down tactics, the Falcons trailed the top-ranked Pirates by only three after two quarters of play.

But the Pirates have responded well to adversity all season, and were again able to make adjustments in the second half and earn a 52-36 conference win.

Soon after the tip, it seemed the duel would end up another addition to the recent string of Pagosa blowouts as senior Caleb Forrest put the visitors up 4-0 with a drop-step jam followed by two in the paint.

The Falcons came away empty on their next possession, then Pirate junior Casey Schutz converted an inside dish from Paul Przybylski and Pagosa led 6-0 with six minutes to play in the first frame.

After a Falcon time-out at 5:46, Centauri's Kyle Soward inked a deuce inside, then Pirate senior Otis Rand hit Craig Schutz for a deuce which Soward soon matched to make it 8-4 Pirates at 4:20.

Centauri's Rope Vernon answered a steal and flush from Forrest with a trey to cut the lead to three, but the first quarter ended with Pagosa up 15-7 thanks to a deuce and buzzer-beating trey from Pirate sophomore Jordan Shaffer.

Forrest and Soward took turns at the line to make it 18-9 early in the second, then Centauri's Estevan Armenta stole for two that pulled the Falcons within seven.

Two from Craig Schutz put Pagosa up nine at 4:40, but Centauri upped its pressure and the lead quickly shrank to 20-18 after Cody DePriest capped a seven-point Falcon run with a steal and deuce.

Craig Schutz added a charity toss and Forrest hit a jumper after winning a loose ball in the lane, then Armenta hit a pair of free throws with 10 seconds to play and the half closed with Centauri trailing by just three at 23-20.

The Falcons twice got within two in the third; an early free throw from Vernon made it 23-21, then an inside move by Tyler Armstrong cut the Pirate advantage to 25-23 after a deuce from Casey Schutz.

But the Pirates had apparently seen enough, and attacked inside to take a 31-23 lead at 3:53 with a combined six from Forrest and Craig Schutz.

Then Vernon added two for the Falcons, Rand hit Forrest for a deuce down low and Shaffer buried a pair at the charity stripe as Pagosa stretched the lead to 35-25 at the end of the third.

Hopes of a Falcon comeback faded fast in the fourth as Craig Schutz tipped in a miss to open an 11-0 Pirate run featuring points from Forrest, Shaffer and Kerry Joe Hilsabeck plus another four from Craig Schutz; Pagosa led 46-25 with 4:55 to play.

The Falcons got their first deuce of the period 10 seconds later, but Craig Schutz, Casey Schutz and Shaffer added another six points in the final minutes to offset nine from Centauri, and Pagosa improved to 15-1 (5-0 IML) with the 52-36 win.

Forrest led the Pirates' winning effort with 18 points, nine boards and two blocked shots.

Craig Schutz finished with 14 points and five boards, followed by Shaffer with 11 and three, and Casey Schutz with eight and five, respectively.

Przybylski and Forrest were tops in the assist category with three apiece, while Rand, Hilsabeck and Shaffer each finished with two.

As for why the Pirates stumbled a bit during the first half, "A lot of that can be credited to the way Centauri plays defense," said Shaffer after the game.

"They're always going to get out and trap, and we didn't do a good job of handling that and attacking their pressure," he added.

"I think they exposed the recipe for giving us trouble - control the tempo and pressure the perimeter," he added.

"We'll take the win, but this really makes us aware of some things that we need to improve on from here on out," concluded Shaffer.

The Pirates' regular-season IML schedule concludes this week with a 6 p.m. road test Friday at Bayfield, then a 7 p.m. home finale Saturday against Ignacio.

Next Friday and Saturday, the Pirates will host the IML tournament, with game times and match-ups to be announced.


Scoring: Forrest 7-13, 4-6, 18; Craig Schutz 5-11, 4-5, 14; Casey Schutz 2-9, 4-5, 8; Hilsabeck 0-2, 1-2, 1; Przybylski 0-1, 0-0, 0; Shaffer 3-6, 4-5, 11; Rand 0-0, 0-0, 0. Three-point goals: Shaffer 1. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 14. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 29. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 15.


Pirates rebound with 58-48 victory over Monte Vista

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The battle for top Lady Pirate squad went to Pagosa Saturday as they overcame a sluggish first half and a 23-point outburst by Monte Vista Pirate Tabitha Gutierrez for a 58-48 win.

It moved Pagosa's season record to 11-6 and the Intermountain League mark to 5-1 and held them in a league tie with Centauri.

Pagosa jumped out to a quick lead riding the inside moves of 6-2 center Caitlyn Jewell to a pair of opening period baskets and four trips to the stripe where she converted three.

Monte Vista's only points in the period came from Mary Beth Miles, a deuce, and Gutierrez, a two-pointer and a free throw.

Pagosa, meanwhile, was pushing out to a 13-5 margin after one with single two-pointers by senior Bri Scott and juniors Liza Kelley and Caitlin Forrest.

Sloppy play, a defensive slump and points by three players who would not score again in the game, took away the Pagosa momentum and by the halftime break they were clinging to a scant one-point margin at 24-23.

Monte Vista's attack featured treys by junior Judy Duran and senior Angelica Salvio, a field goal by Miles, two of the same and two free throws by Gutierrez, and a single charity toss by Stephanie Wright.

Pagosa nursed its lead with five more from Jewell, a driving lay-up by Lori Walkup, two free throws by Emily Buikema and a pull-up eight-footer by Forrest.

No one will know what Coach Bob Lynch had to say to his squad at the halftime break (perhaps some comment about nine-for-32 shooting in the first half or 10 turnovers), but they came out a different team in the second half.

Scott, silent since her opening deuce opened it with a three-pointer the old fashioned way, a driving lay-up on which she was fouled and a free throw conversion. Then, just to prove she could do it the other way, she fired in a 22-footer for three.

The defense which and been suspect earlier, held the San Luis Valley Pirates to a single field goal (by Gutierrez) and four free throws in the third period.

And Walkup went on a scoring spree, turning in a four-for-four from the field effort to end her production offensively for the night.

Jewell joined in with another field goal and free throw, and Kelley hit a charity toss for her first point since early in the game. The result was a 42-27 Pagosa lead after three.

That might have been enough in some games, but Gutierrez tried to carry her team back in the fourth quarter, drilling three treys and a free throw, en route to her game-high 23 points.

Miles had four charity tosses and a field goal in the period and Erin McAuliffe contributed a deuce and a free throw, cutting the margin at one point to 44-37. Monte Vista would get no closer.

In the meantime the Pagosa version of the Pirates started a progression of trips to the foul line, getting seven of their 14 points in the period from the stripe. Included were three by Jewell and two each by Scott and Kelley.

The latter duo also each scored a field goal in the period and Scott put the emphasis on the action with her second trey of the night.

Coach Lynch, short three at the guard spot because of illness and injury, moved junior forward Kari Beth Faber outside to give Kelley, Walkup and Scott brief breaks.

Faber did not score, but picked off three rebounds, added an assist, and threw a defensive blanket on Miles in the critical fourth quarter Monte Vista rally effort.

Lynch was ecstatic over the play of Jewell. "She's the tallest player on the floor in most games. She needs to take it upon herself to go to the rim, no delays, no fakes, just go to her strength."

That strength gave her a game high 20 points for Pagosa. That led three players in double figures, with Scott adding 15 and Walkup 10.

Pagosa had a 30-17 rebound margin including seven each for the seniors Scott and Walkup, Scott's best board performance of the season. Miles paced Monte Vista with four.

Pagosa's Pirates hit 16 of 24 from the foul line, Monte Vista converted 16 of 28.

Pagosa had the games only blocked shots, one each by Jewell and Buikema and had 12 assists (Kelley, 4) to six for their hosts.

This week Pagosa goes on the road to Bayfield for a 4:30 p.m. game against the Wolverines Friday (a switch in schedule) and then hosts Ignacio's Bobcats in the season finale at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The following week, Pagosa will host the Intermountain League tournament Friday and Saturday.

The league champion draws a bye in the tournament's first round. Three teams from the IML will advance to regional competition.


Scoring: P-Scott, 2-6, 3-6, 3-5, 15; Kelley, 0-1, 2-7, 3-4, 10; Walkup, 0-0, 5-13, 0-0, 10; Faber, -0, 0-1, 0-0, 0; Jewell, 0-0, 6-10, 8-12, 20; Buikema, 0-0, 0-2, 2-3, 2; Forrest, 0-0, 2-4, 0-0, 4. MV-McAuliffe, 0-0, 1-5, 5-6, 7; Miles, 0-0, 3-12, 6-9, 12; Gutierrez, 3-8, 4-14, 6-8, 23; Duran, 1-4, 0-0, 0-3, 3; Archuleta, 0-1, 0-1,0-0, 0; Derbin, 0-1, 0-0, 0-0, 0; Wright, 0-0, 0-2, 1-1, 1; Salvio, 1-1, 0-0, 0-0, 3. Total fouls: P-18; MV-23; fouled out, MV-McAuliffe, Schaefer.


Centauri takes share of league lead with 66-45 win over Pirates

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Revenge is ever so sweet but not when you are the victim.

That's a lesson driven home to Pagosa Friday as the Lady Pirates bowed without much contest to a Centauri Falcon squad they had defeated 45-42 on their home court earlier this season.

Everyone familiar with this Intermountain League rivalry was sure it would be a shoot-out and close game.

Centauri figured they had it won and set out to prove it, finally coasting to a 21-point victory margin with a 66-45 victory.

For Pirate fans and coach Bob Lynch, there was little about this contest to feel good about.

For example:

- Pagosa had 24 turnovers in the game and Centauri converted points off 22 of them;

- Centauri had 16 turnovers but the cold-shooting Pagosans converted points only once off those miscues;

- Centauri shot 50 percent, 23 of 46 from the floor and over 76 percent, 16 of 21, from the foul line;

- Pagosa shot only 17 of 54 from the floor (just over 31 percent) and 8 of 15 from the stripe (53 percent);

- Pagosa had 11 missed lay-ups and Centauri seemed to score at will inside and got four treys from Lacey Cooley.

Senior guard/forward Bri Scott, en route to a game high 17 points, put Pagosa on the boards first with a trey on the Pirates' first possession. But they did not score again (shooting two for 13 from the floor in the period) until just 1:56 remained and senior Lori Walkup hit a 12-foot jumper.

In the meantime Cooley had answered with her first of eight shots beyond the arc, junior Janette McCarroll had driven right up the middle uncontested for a deuce and Amanda Gylling dropped in a deuce and free throw.

Still, the score was just 8-7 (Scott contributing two free throws) in favor of Centauri at period's end, and Pagosa hopes were high.

Unfortunately, the Pirates forgot Lynch's instructions on how to beat the press in the second period and though they scored 14, they gave up 26 - including two more treys by Cooley - and trailed 34-21 at the half.

At one point in the period Pagosa trailed 30-10 but Scott kept firing away and recorded a pair of two-pointers. Junior point guard Liza Kelley added one from the field and a pair from the stripe. Caitlin Forrest hit a 12-foot jumper and Caitlyn Jewell added a deuce and pair of free throws.

That added up to a nine for 27 first half shooting effort by Pagosa and Centauri was capitalizing.

McCarroll hit a pair of charity tosses, Reza Espinoza was two for two from the field on gifts from Pagosa, Wynona Miller had two field goals and two free throws, Gylling a field goal and two free throws, and Sheena Sutherland a pair from the field.

The shell-shocked Pirates had dug themselves a hole of mammoth proportions and held the margin steady in the third period, unable to close the gap.

Their 11 points in the stanza came on a deuce and second trey from Scott, two field goals in the lane from Kelley and a 10-foot jumper from Walkup.

Centauri answered with 13 points on only four field goals, one another Lacey longball.

Afton Witten, Miller and Gylling each had a deuce and Gylling and McCarroll each had a pair of charity shots fall through as the hosts led 47-32 as the fourth period opened.

Jessica Lynch opened the fourth with a field goal for Pagosa but rolled an ankle in the defensive aftermath and would not see action again during the weekend.

Witten and Espinoza answered for Centauri and the lead was at 51-34. Pagosa cut it to 51-39 at the five minute mark on the strength of Scott's third from outside the arc and a deuce by Walkup. But that's as close as they would get.

Espinoza hit another deuce and four from the stripe, McCarroll picked up two field goals (her first scores from the floor since the first period), Witten and Cooley each had a deuce, Gylling a charity toss and Adrianna Cereceres hit her only shot for a pair.

Jewell, silent in the first and third periods, added a field goal and free throw for Pagosa and Kim Canty drilled a 16-footer at the final buzzer for Pagosa's last score.

Pagosa led in two defensive categories - 3-2 in blocked shots (two by Jewell and one by Walkup) and in rebounds 19-17 (Jewell and Forrest each with six).

In a retrospective of the contest, Coach Lynch said, "We just didn't come to play. We didn't execute, didn't do the things we had practiced, and basically didn't answer the challenge."

Particularly galling to him was the inability to solve the press although they had known it was coming. "We set up plays to counteract it and then did the exact opposite of what we practiced," he said.

In addition to the loss of Jessica Lynch, the Pirates played without Lyndsey Mackey (flu) and China Rose Rivas, now out for the season with a severe ankle injury.

The loss dropped Pagosa's record for the season to 10-6 and dropped them into a tie with Centauri atop the league standings.


Scoring: P-Lynch, 0-4, 1-1, 0-0, 2; Scott, 3-7, 3-9, 2-3, 17; Walkup, 0-0, 3-9, 0-0, 6; Kelley, 0-1, 3-11, 3-4, 9; Jewell, 0-0, 2-6, 3-7, 6; Forrest, 0-0, 1-3, 0-0, 2; Buikema, 0-0, 0-3, 0-0, 0; DuCharme, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0,. 0; Canty, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 2. C-McCarroll, 0-2, 3-7, 4-4, 10; Witten, 0-0, 2-3, 0-0, 4; Espinoza, 0-2, 3-5, 4-6, 12; Muniz, 0-0, 0-1, 0-1, 0; Miller, 0-0, 3-3, 2-2, 8; Gylling, 0-1, 3-7, 6-8, 12; Sutherland, 0-0, 2-3, 0-0, 4; Cooley, 4-8, 1-4, 0-0, 14; Cereceres, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 2. Total fouls: 18 each team.


Pagosa's barrel horse racers score

The National Barrel Horse Association presented its year-end awards in Ignacio Feb. 6 at the first race of the new season.

Pagosa Springs riders were well-represented in the presentations.

Marissa House accepted awards in three divisions; Katelyn McRee took a first division belt and other prizes; Jill House was awarded third place in 2nd Division; Melissa Denison won awards in 3rd Division and in two other divisions; Sharman Denison won a saddle in 3rd Division as well as awards in two other categories.

McRee received a saddle for her efforts in 1st Division and Marissa House won hers in 2nd Division. Melissa Denison placed in all but one division in youth competition.

Beth Lucero held on to points in both 1st and 4th divisions.

Re'ahna Ray won the year-end saddle for efforts in 4th Division and her sister, Raesha, won buckles in both 1st and 3rd Division.

The next race in the new season of barrel racing will be Feb. 27 in Ignacio. For more information contact Sharman Denison at 731-2573 or write nofences@pagosa.net.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Beware what you say: kids hear and kids hurt

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

After watching our youth basketball playoff this past week, I wondered what the games would be like if I placed a video camera in the gym and made a highlight (or in some cases lowlight) tape of our spectators watching the games.

Now, don't get me wrong, we do have well meaning parents who are only there to support and readily cheer on their children. Sometimes, though, it is incredible to me what is said to our children, referees, scorekeepers and administrators in the heat of a child's game - words, I believe spectators don't even know they are saying and when repeated back to them, words they might want to take back. But can you take them back?

In the following article entitled, "What Students Hear from You: It's Your Choice!," author Dorothy E. McIntyre provides a message for all of us to consider.

"At the October 2001 League of Women in Sports Leadership Conference, one of the workshop speakers was Judy Swenson, Rochester Community Youth Enrichment Coordinator. The workshop title was 'Keeping Youth Sports Safe and Fun.' Judy gave each member of the audience a tube of toothpaste and asked them to spread some toothpaste on their hand.

"'After they did so, she said, 'Now put it back into the tube.' There was a moment's silence and then some laughter as they responded, 'It won't go back in!'"

"'Exactly,' Judy said, 'just like the words you say to your athletes! Once the words are said, you can't take them back or put them back into your mouth.'

"Athletes have shared these comments made to them by their coaches and or parents:

- 'Are you trying to lose this game for us?' yelled a coach at a player during the huddle of a state tournament championship game.

- 'You're not worth the price of your uniform,' the athlete heard after a disappointing loss.

- 'You're not half the player your sister/brother was!'

- 'Hey, this is the way I coach. If you don't like it, you know where the door is!'

"Where does one cross that fine line between a negative statement designed to motivate and challenge an athlete, and statements that are humiliating, degrading, and shaming?

"Only your athletes can tell you. If you choose to ask them, be prepared to listen to their responses.

"Remember the story of the argument between the Wind and the Sun? Both thought they were the strongest. To settle their argument, they selected a traveler walking on a road below them.

"The Wind said, 'Watch, I am so strong that I can blow the coat right off that person.' The Wind blew and blew, and blew some more. The traveler simply wrapped her/his arms tighter to prevent the coat from flying away. Finally, the Wind gave up and said, 'It can't be done.'

"The Sun smiled and said, 'Perhaps there is another way.' And the Sun began to beam down on the traveler. Soon the traveler was loosening that tight hold on the coat as the air warmed and felt comfortable. As the Sun continued to radiate its warmth, the traveler relaxed, smiled, and began to look around, enjoying the scenery and the road ahead. And took off the coat!

"Every day in this small town, our young athletes walk in and out of our various programs. When they step into the gym or onto the field, how does it feel and what will they hear from you? Do they wrap their arms around themselves as protection from the negative environment and words they hear? Or will your children feel comfortable to learn from their mistakes in a warm, positive setting without fear of public embarrassment?

"With your positive and encouraging words, you can help each young child to learn and enjoy traveling down the road of their youth sports career! What they will hear from you: It's your choice!"

Dorothy E. McIntyre is the Associate Director of the Minnesota State High School League

Youth basketball

Our youth basketball league has ended and I would like to take the time to thank our wonderful sponsors. Without their help and the help of so many businesses in Pagosa Springs, we would not be able to keep the cost to our families so low.

9/10 Division

Lakers - Edward Jones

Cavs - Design-A-Sign

Jazz - Pagosa Glass

Spurs - The Source

Nuggets - Walkup Company

Sonics - Domo's Portables

76'ers - Citizens Bank

Pacers - Allen's Auto Body/Paint

11/12 Division

Nuggets - Lucero Tire

Cavs - Buckskin Towing

Lakers - Herman Riggs and Associates

Jazz - Strohecker Asphalt and Paving

Spurs - Brighton Custom Homes

Sonics - Woodchuck Woods

Adult basketball

Our 2005 Adult Basketball Leagues began this week. Schedules are ready and can be picked up at Town Hall.

Tee ball sign-ups

Tee ball sign-ups will begin the next week and continue through March 11. Tee ball Skills Camp will take place the week of March 14. Teams will be put together, practices will begin and games will start indoors March 29. Tee ball will be for 4- to 6-year-olds depending on birth date. Look for flyers through our schools or come by Town Hall to sign up your child.



If we act, we win

We residents of Pagosa Country live in a beautiful place, far from the crowds and freeways, near wilderness, blessed with a physical setting seldom matched. Our environment is one which many people dream of and travel great distances to enjoy. It is also an environment that, as part of the greater scheme, is subject to change occurring on a global level. Our "paradise" is a small part of a larger system, and there is evidence the system is in jeopardy. It is time to do something, as individuals, communities, nations, to ensure negative atmospheric changes do not continue. It is a moral duty - an obligation to our children, our grandchildren and those who follow.

Given the administration's refusal to participate in the Kyoto Accords, we must look elsewhere for progress. Thus we have proposed legislation going through the process in Washington D.C: the Climate Stewardship Act, originally co-sponsored in the Senate by John McCain and Joe Lieberman, This legislation should take its place front row center in our collective political consciousness and on the media stage alongside war in Iraq, terrorism, education, Social Security, health care and national debt. The act aims to deal with a condition that threatens everyone - the release of gases into the atmosphere and resulting, perhaps irreversible climatic change.

In the face of claims by those who prefer to ignore the chance the phenomenon of climate change is fact and want to "gather information" and wait to consider action, there is a growing body of scientific evidence pointing to human-driven climate change. The signs are there: potable water loss, melting ice caps, sea level changes. Even our insurance industry predicts large increases in climate-related damage and costs. We need to do everything possible to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (many of which can remain for a century or more) through development of technologies and habits that halt the trend.

With legislation in place, the U.S, government can again help create global partnerships to reduce greenhouse gases and create a low carbon future, especially in light of development occurring in China and India. We have the technology to lower carbon dioxide emissions; our government should support creation of clean coal power industries and assist with the improvement of wind and solar power technologies, all the while creating jobs in new industries. With new technologies we can reduce a burdensome and dangerous dependence on foreign oil and make carbon emissions prohibitively expensive at home. The progress being made by Lieberman and McCain is slow, but major utilities have stated they can meet the standards in the senators' legislation. We cannot hide behind uncertainties; we cannot run from the possibility of the problem because of profit, laziness or self-indulgence.

When resistance is voiced, we can apply a variation of Pascal's Wager - an argument concerning the existence of God.

The philosopher Blaise Pascal dealt with belief in God with Pascal's Wager, an argument that, to paraphrase, went like this: You have a chance to bet whether or not God exists. The smart person bets there is a God. Why? If there is, and you have acted in accord with your bet, your reward is eternal. If you bet there is no God, (and act accordingly), and God exists, you are in serious trouble. If you bet there is a God, and no god exists, what have you lost?

So it is with climate change and our response. If we act now and the reality of the greenhouse effect is real, we might save our environment. If we act but the hypothesis is not supported by evidence and there is no change, how will we have done any harm? As long as we act, we win.

And win we must.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

On the trail of moral challenge

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The distinct crunch of a boot into the crust of a new-fallen snow can give one the feeling of being the first - first to tred this powder, first to see the beauty of this specific part of nature's bounty.

But if you look more closely, you'll likely find something else was there first.

Those footprints in the snow are not just yours.

Birds leave telltale trails of tiny prints near a an empty feeder; the following marks of a cat on the prowl indicate an ongoing episode in the fight for survival.

Move away from the splendor of snow in your own yard, trail your way into the wild and again the tracks you make are not alone.

They are joined by those of elk and deer searching for the open area in which they will find sustenance. And you will again find the tracks of those animals which stalk them.

Many are carnivores whose very existence depends upon their inherent tracking and felling ability.

It is part of a worldwide rite of survival, not perhaps of the fittest, but more often of the more cunning - or more desperate.

Remember how you feel when your stomach is empty, your muscles ache for added strength and there is no sign of a potential meal for your table.

The less you eat, the weaker you get. No job, no income. No income, no food. No food and a new sense of restlessness, of reaching out for help, reaching for something that is not yours but is oh, so appealing - and available.

Like a coyote or mountain lion on the prowl, humankind becomes more and more aware of where the answer may lie and begins scheming and plotting how to acquire it for survival.

Like sampling the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, the hungry man, the hungry predator, the hungry cat, the hungry bird, all seek to sustain life even if their chosen method is wrong.

The desperate human looks for any straw. Find money, buy a hit; find more money and get a tweak of meth, a bottle, or a bag of pot. It won't solve the problem but on the surface it helps hide the pain.

Trails of lives lost to debilitating use of all kinds of chemical crutches are easy to follow. Most lead to a jail cell eventually, if not to an early grave.

Like the tracks in the snow, the plight of man and dependence is easily established as the portrait of the user begins to change, gradually at first, and then in a kind of both moral and physical decay that obviates to the casual viewer the rapid decline of a life.

Unfortunately, it has become too easy for the biped to follow the example of the four-footed predator. Too often someone else's property becomes a target because, when fenced, it will provide a few hours, at most, of freedom from a growing sense of failure.

Like the ancients who could track game from a single print in the sand or snow, man today has become expert at tracking, and taking, someone else's success while bemoaning the fates which deprived him of like status.

It is time we looked back at the tracks we leave and see where they (we) came from.




90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of Feb. 19, 1915

One of the town show places is the Sun office on issue day. The crowds gather to watch the press toss off papers at the rate of sixteen hundred an hour.

Dr. Greene, who was severely injured in a runaway last week, was on the street Wednesday for the first time since his accident. Doc says that he thinks he owes his life to the fact that he didn't take any of his own medicine.

In the old frontier days the man who stuck his nose in between a couple of gun fighters, while they were having a little shootin' all by themselves, usually got hurt, and there never was much sympathy for the fool either. The same principle applies to nations as well as individuals.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 21, 1930

A meeting of all the interested people of Archuleta County is called to be held at the District Court room on February 27 for the purpose of discussing and taking appropriate action in the matter of the proposed restricted service of trains in and out of Pagosa Springs. Everyone who can possibly do so should attend.

Thursday evening Rocky M. Farrow narrowly escaped death at the railroad crossing at the head of Wilson gulch near Durango, when he attempted to cross the tracks ahead of the passenger train. He was unable to do so and his brakes refused to hold, hence he steered the Buick down the railroad track. The engine struck the rear of the automobile, badly damaging it, but Mr. Farrow fortunately escaped with only a few bruises.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 18, 1955

How fluoridation's protection against tooth decay carries over into later life is recounted in this sixth in a series of authoritative articles published by The SUN in cooperation with the State Health Department. The series is designed to present the facts about fluoridation to the people of Pagosa Springs.

A fire last Thursday afternoon did considerable damage to the Edith School and resulted in a decision by the school board to transport the students to Pagosa for the remainder of the term rather than to rebuild and repair the damage this year. The building suffered extensive damage to the front classroom and the roof and is the poorest building in the district, even before the fire.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 21, 1980

The local geothermal advisory committee has announced that two more wells are to be drilled as part of a proposed geothermal project. The wells will be in the same area as the test wells previously drilled and are scheduled to be production type wells, if sufficient water is available from them.

Streets and roads throughout the county are taking a beating this winter. Heavy snows, along with rain, warmer than normal temperatures, plus heavy traffic make pot holes numerous and when the spring thaw starts there may be more damage. However, roads have been kept in good shape for winter conditions and snowplow crews have been busy the past several weeks keeping up with the snow.



AARP Alive at 55 driver safety class slated March 15-16

Would you like to sharpen your driving skills and reduce your auto insurance premium?

It can be done by successfully competing the AARP 55 Alive Driver Safety program, a motor vehicle accident prevention course for persons aged 50 and over.

Students in 55 Alive learn defensive driving techniques, how to compensate for normal age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time, how to deal with aggressive drivers, and more.

The class is an eight-hour course conducted in two half-day sessions. There is a $10 fee.

It will be taught 1-5 p.m. March 15 and 16 at Community United Methodist Church. Contact Don Hurt, AARP volunteer instructor, at 264-2337 for additional information. Class size is limited to 24.

Legislation has been enacted in 36 states, including Colorado, requiring all automobile insurance companies doing business in the state to offer a premium discount to graduates of state-approved driver improvement courses and 55 Alive is approved in every state.

The course must be completed at three-year intervals to maintain discount eligibility.


Planning commission will meet

March 8

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will not meet as regularly scheduled Feb. 25.

The commission will next meet March 9 at 7 p.m.


All classes reunion meeting scheduled

An organizational meeting will be held 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21, in the junior high school library to plan a summer "All Classes" reunion.

The event is scheduled July 3. All Pagosa Springs High School graduates are being urged to attend the organizational session.

For further information, call Alice Seavy at 264-5906.


Pagosa's Past


Three routes vied access to Pagosa

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

The epic flood during October of 1911 did more than simply wash out most of the bridges in the San Juan Mountains.

Rushing through the lower canyon of the San Juan River's East Fork, the rampaging torrents gobbled up the bed of what had been the state highway connecting Pagosa Springs with Alamosa and the remainder of the San Luis Valley. The now non-passable route had been known as the Elwood Pass route.

What should the state do, rebuild the canyon bottom or search for a new route? By 1911, a highway across the Southern San Juans suitable for motor cars and trucks seemed imperative.

Representing Archuleta County in the decision-making process was county commissioner Fred Catchpole. Others represented interests across the mountains, namely the communities of Alamosa, Monte Vista, Del Norte, and South Fork. Businesses in those communities were much interested in having the traffic sure to use the new highway pass through their town.

One proposal for restoring the Elwood route called for a road leaving Alamosa, passing through Antonito and up the Conejos River through the old mining town of Platoro, across Stunner Pass, then through Elwood Pass along the traditional route down the San Juan River and into Pagosa Springs.

Another proposal would have the road follow the old military route on the east side of the mountains by ascending a branch of the Alamosa River.

Either route would have bypassed the communities of Monte Vista, Del Norte and South Fork. Consequently, businessmen from those communities objected loudly.

A state highway advisory board actually approved the Elwood Pass route which followed the Alamosa River on the east side. Surveys were started by an Alamosa man who was killed while surveying the East Fork of the San Juan.

In March of 1913, the State Highway Advisory Board organized a construction committee consisting of Catchpole representing Archuleta County, Liege Morse representing Alamosa County, and R. Chisholm representing Rio Grande County. This committee was in charge of the work.

A final decision on the route to follow was still up in the air. Engineer J.E. Maloney described the process of choosing the final route.

Representatives of the construction company, engineers, and other interested parties made a trip over all of the proposed routes from Alamosa to Elwood Pass, down Timber Hill, skirting around Silver Creek to get distance enough to build a grade down on the East Fork of the San Juan River; also along the crest of the Divide from Elwood Pass to Bonita Pass to the base of Silver Pass, around Treasure Mountain to the top of Windy Gap, thence to the base of Windy Gap Hill to the road along the West Fork of the San Juan River; and from the top of the Divide east down the fork of the Rio Grande River to South Fork connecting there with the Alamosa-Creede road. No mention of Wolf Creek Pass.

Maloney was instructed to travel each of the routes and return to the State Highway Commissioner with a recommendation.

In accordance with his instructions, in July of 1914, Maloney traveled to Elmer Chapson's Ranch on the West Fork of the San Juan River. Chapson outfitted the party with horses and they headed into the mountains, burdened with the responsibility of deciding where to put the mountain pass which would provide the entire San Juan Basin with an eastern outlet.

Next week we'll learn how Wolf Creek Pass got into the picture.



Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture











































Forecast supports trend toward wet weekends

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

One word aptly describes the weekend weather outlook for Pagosa Country: redundant.

As they have for the past three weekends, southwest Colorado forecasts are suggesting rain and snow are possible through at least Sunday.

According to the latest reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, today's forecast includes a 20-percent chance for rain and snow showers, highs in the 40s and lows from 15-25.

Friday morning's snow chance of 30 percent is expected to rise to 50 percent by late afternoon; highs are predicted in the upper 30s while lows are expected to fall to around 20.

Continued overcast conditions and bouts of rain and snow are in the forecast for Saturday, as are highs in the 30s and lows in the upper teens to low 20s.

Sunday calls for partly-cloudy skies, a chance for lingering flurries, highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s.

The forecasts for Monday and Tuesday indicate increasing sunshine, a slim chance for isolated snow showers, highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s.

Wednesday's forecast predicts a blend of clouds and sun, highs near 50 and lows in the mid-20s.

The average high temperature last week in Pagosa Springs was 42 degrees. The average low was 2. Moisture totals for the week amounted to nine-tenths of an inch.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 149 inches, a midway depth of 137 inches and year-to-date total snowfall of 339 inches.

For updates on snow and road conditions at the ski area, visit the Web at www.wolfcreekski.com.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains is "considerable."

According to SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin, as of Wednesday afternoon, was approximately 155 percent of average.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from a low of about 85 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 195 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Feb. 17 is roughly 55 cubic feet per second.