March 3, 2005
Front Page
'Baby step' starts clinic's new life, revised concept

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District board of directors took a "baby step" this week.

As a result, Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center will not close its doors after March 31, when contracts with center physicians expire.

After nearly two hours of discussion Tuesday night, the board approved a short-term financial model aimed at keeping the center in operation until a long-term solution can be reached.

The plan, frequently referred to as a "baby step" throughout the session, was developed by the district's ad hoc financial committee and presented by Dave Bohl, committee chair.

In summary, the plan calls for the center to be open Monday through Friday from 2 p.m.-10 p.m. beginning April 1, with staff consisting of one physician and one nurse, and on-call service available after hours.

In cases when a physician is not available, the plan suggests filling in with a midlevel and nurse.

The plan also stipulates the center "will receive walk-in or ambulance delivered patients only and will not schedule any normal appointments. The physician offices within the community can handle normal scheduled appointments."

Furthermore, the plan states, "First offer of employment should be made to our local physicians. On those evenings that they do not desire to participate, additional staffing opportunities would be offered to Southwest Emergency Physicians (SWEP)."

All figures and financial data in the plan, said Bohl, are based off of the district's 2005 operating budget, including physician costs based at $90 per hour and midlevel costs based at $70 per hour.

Key factors in the model are patient fees, which "are based on an average patient fee of $167 with a 60-percent net reimbursement rate at Mary Fisher, which computes to $100.20."

To add a worst-case element to the scenario, a second analysis was done using minimum patient fees of $68 for all patient fees.

Based on those assumptions, said Bohl, the average daily patient load at Mary Fisher beginning April 1 will have to fall between 10 and 16 in order for the plan to work.

The plan prompted mixed reviews from board members, drawing skepticism from Dick Blide and Jim Pruitt.

Blide said he feels the plan is "a gamble," and wondered aloud whether attracting a sufficient patient load during late-evening hours is possible.

Blide, who later voted in favor of a similar model which proposed center hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m., also questioned the rationale for eliminating the opportunity for regular patients to make appointments with the center.

"I don't think we can turn those patients away," said Blide, before expressing additional concern over what type of future coverage the center will offer on weekends.

Bohl noted such concerns, indicating further details can be worked out as the plan unfolds.

"But right now, if you want to do everything for everybody, you might as well shut the clinic because you don't have the financials to do it," said Bohl.

However, "I think this plan could be viewed as the first step toward an urgent-care facility," Bohl concluded.

Further discussion included presentation of an alternate model from Pruitt, a plan suggesting a center schedule of four hours per day, five days per week.

Pruitt also suggested the board focus more on a system that can handle patients with urgent or acute health problems and less on a system that centers mainly on finances.

More should be done to address patient priorities rather than conveniences, "the problem of not only acute care services, but where we need to send these people," concluded Pruitt.

Others in attendance, however, supported the finance committee's model, which apparently will not have any impact on district Emergency Services operations.

"I think seeing 12-16 patients per day is doable," said board member Bob Goodman, suggesting the center schedule be adjusted in the future if needed.

"I propose that when and if this goes out, we really advertise it," said Pam Hopkins, board chair, indicating she believes the model will work if the community is made sufficiently aware of the new schedule.

Finance committee member J.R. Ford said he envisions the plan serving as a building block that will benefit not only patients, but community physicians as well.

"What we're trying to do is create a plan that complements local providers also," said Ford. "And we understand that learning how to use it to their advantage will take time," he added.

In the end, the model was approved with supporting votes from Hopkins, Goodman, Bob Scott and Neal Townsend.

Though he did not vote in support of the plan, "In essence, what we're going to concentrate on is making this 24-5 clinic financially successful," concluded Blide.

"And as fast as we can," added Hopkins.

Subsequent board action included forming an ad hoc "RFQ committee" for purposes of developing a request for physicians' qualifications to be advertised in accordance with the plan.

Scott, Blide and Allen Hughes, district business manager, will serve on the committee.

The board also expects to discuss further aspects of the plan, including advertising and considerations related to attracting potential renters to Mary Fisher and the hiring of a medical director, during a special meeting scheduled 7 p.m. March 15 in the upstairs meeting room of Fire Station 1, 191 N. Pagosa Blvd.

In other business this week, the board:

- was presented a financial summary by Hughes indicating roughly $872,000 in accounts receivable and approximately $132,000 in accounts payable;

- announced Hughes will serve as interim EMS operations manager beginning tomorrow due to the departure of Joy Sinnott;

- was presented a summary of EMS subcommittee concerns by Brian Sinnott followed by a related report from Terrence M. Burke suggesting there is a high need, locally, for greater cooperation among district, town and county emergency services/management officials;

- appointed an ad hoc committee to investigate the potential for "joint venture renters at Mary Fisher Medical Center"; Ford, Goodman, Hopkins and Hughes will serve.


Temporary changes ahead as library expansion nears

By Phyllis Wheaton

Special to The SUN

These are exciting times at Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library. The anticipated spring groundbreaking is upon us.

Thanks to all the efforts and support in the community, you will soon see construction activity at the corner of 8th and San Juan streets. The library will be remodeled and enlarged by approximately 3,000 square feet. Additions will be built onto the northeast and southwest corners.

For the safety of library patrons, library contents and services will vacate the building during construction. The opening of the remodeled and expanded library will occur sooner if it is not necessary to build around an active library and its contents.

Although much of the collection will go into storage, co-directors Shirley Iverson and Peggy Bergon are seeking a location that will allow limited library services to continue during the project. The ability to provide services and the constraints on those services will be determined by the facility.

This week, boxes are being filled and labeled in preparation. Although the library will not be open for normal services during the packing and moving period, the following services will continue until further notice:

- Patrons may pick up Interlibrary Loan materials and books on hold;

- Patrons may return books and other materials in the drop box;

- Federal and Colorado state tax forms are available;

- Copy and FAX machines are available through Friday of this week.

Public computers are not available.

Please do not drop off magazines and catalogs until we are able to reopen the facility.

Donations of books are greatly appreciated and may be placed in the drop box. Please place a note with donor's name inside donated book.

Please do not put holds on books at this time.

We cannot provide service at this time for patrons who borrow materials from other libraries and return them through Sisson Library and the courier service.

Keep an eye on Library News in The PREVIEW for updates on library services and construction.

Call the library at 264-2209 for more information and to volunteer to help with packing and moving.


Piñon Causeway open; Montezuma Road still iffy

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Finish repairs on one road, close another to do the same.

That's been the scenario for the Archuleta County Road and Bridge Department during the past week as the effects of wet winter weather continue to exact a heavy toll on county thoroughfares.

On the bright side, Piñon Causeway was reopened to two-way traffic last week, but hazardous conditions prompted new closures for portions of county roads south of town.

During a special meeting Feb. 24, the county board of commissioners moved to "limit, restrict and/or prohibit" traffic access from the intersection of County Road 500 (Trujillo Road) and County Road 542 (Montezuma Road) for two miles and from the intersection of County Road 359 (Coyote Park Road) and County Road 542 for 1.6 miles.

Those parameters have since been adjusted slightly according to Dick McKee, county public works director.

Regarding the closure from the intersection of County Road 500 and County Road 542, "We've opened a little more road there by moving the barricades out to between mile marker 4 and 4.5," said McKee.

As for the remainder of the targeted portion of County Road 542, "We're currently working to get it dried out and to stabilize the really bad areas," said McKee.

However, "Even when we get it reopened, there's a chance we might have to close it again in the future if we see the type of weather and road conditions we saw prior to this closure," McKee added.

While current repairs will serve as a temporary fix, said McKee, the road and bridge department's ultimate goal is to complete a thorough overhaul of County Road 542 sometime this year.

"We have it in our budget to reconstruct Montezuma all the way to Cool Springs Ranch," said McKee.

"Initially, I thought we might be doing that now, but we're going to have to wait until at least late spring," McKee concluded.

The closures will remain in effect until further notice but, barring more wet weather, are expected to be lifted within the next 14 days, possibly as early as next week.


 Inside The Sun
Steve Wadley announces candidacy for sheriff

By Joann Irons

Special to The SUN

Steve Wadley, a five-year resident of Pagosa Springs, has announced his intention to seek the office of Archuleta County Sheriff.

In a speech to his supporters last week, Wadley stressed that working with all segments of the community, protecting families, and helping to manage growth issues would be his top priorities, if elected.

Wadley said, "As Archuleta County continues to grow, so will the challenges facing law enforcement. It is very important that our sheriff's department is headed by a leader who understands the law enforcement demands brought on by a high-growth community. I intend to make sure that our deputies have all the resources they need to protect the people of Archuleta County."

Wadley continued, "As I talk to people in the county, one common theme I hear is a concern about increased drug problems in our community. Our neighbors want a visible sheriff's department that we all can be proud of and that is a deterrent to drug manufacturing, distribution and use. As a career public servant, I've always believed that one person can make a difference. I've been a successful law enforcement officer and administrator. I would like the honor of serving Archuleta County as your sheriff."

Wadley began his career with the Albuquerque Police Department in 1977 as a reserve police officer. He entered the Police Academy and graduated in 1980. After a distinguished career spanning two decades, Wadley retired with the rank of captain.

In 1996, citing his impressive credentials, then New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson tapped Wadley to serve as chairman of the Department of Public Safety Advisory Commission (DPSAC). The DPSAC's role is to advise the state police on policy matters relating to the operation of the agency's one thousand employees.

Born in Denver, Wadley is a third-generation Coloradan. He is married to Ellen, a former district attorney's investigator and deputy medical investigator.

Currently, Ellen Wadley serves Carl Macht as a deputy coroner in Archuleta County. Steve's son Cory, following in his father's footsteps, is an Albuquerque police officer.


GOP women plan event supporting troops

By Shannon Richardson

Special to The SUN

Are you aware the men and women of our Armed Forces, who serve to protect the freedom we all enjoy, are many times doing so without ever hearing words of thanks or encouragement from home?

What would it feel like to be a 19-year-old soldier, away from home for possibly the first time, and in harm's way in some distant part of the world? And what would it feel like to be that soldier and never receive any mail?

Believe it or not, there are many of our military personnel who anxiously await mail call daily, only to be disappointed.

Members of the Southwest Republican Women (SWRW) want to change that, so they are launching a multifaceted project to encourage the entire community to support the troops.

During the recent Snowdown parade in Durango, several people walked alongside the Republican Women's float, which was titled "Freedom Isn't Free," and passed out 1,200 yellow ribbons. Attached to the ribbons were slips of paper listing three Web sites that Internet savvy people could visit in order to find out how to help the troops in a variety of ways; such as how to send a letter or package to a soldier who receives no mail, or how to make a donation to help a disabled soldier get on with his or her life.

The yellow ribbons represented the opening salvo in what the women hope will be a long and successful campaign.

A large event is being planned for early April. It will be fun for the entire community, and at the same time, provide everyone with a convenient and quick way to support the troops, either by sending letters or packages, or by contributing to organizations which assist those wounded. Watch for more information about this event as it becomes available.

"We do not want this to be a partisan event," said Shannon Richardson, one of the organizers. "If you are a person who appreciates the sacrifices the troops make on behalf of all of us, and if you are looking for a way to say thanks, we would love to have your help in making this event a success. Call me at 884-4663, or Susan Hamilton at 259-7688, and we will find a way for you to get involved."

There are too many young soldiers waiting at every mail call for the letter or package that never comes. If the Southwest Republican Women have anything to do with it, he or she won't be waiting much longer.


Planning Commission

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

The agenda includes:

- Call to order/roll call, 7 p.m.

- Marmaduke Minor Impact Subdivision - final plat review.

This is a request for the planning commission to review the final plat, for the Marmaduke Minor Impact Subdivision, to legally subdivide a single parcel of 5.07 acres from a 74.47-acre tract of land, for the purpose of future sale as a residential lot.

This property is at 20010 County Road 500 (Trujillo Road), located in Section 1, Township 32 North, Range 3 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, Colo.

- Review of the Jan. 26 and Feb. 9 planning commission minutes;

- Other business that may come before the commission;

- Adjournment.


Courthouse proposals made public, further evaluation planned

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Proposals regarding the future of the Archuleta County courthouse were made public during Tuesday's county commissioners' meeting.

In early January, the county advertised a request for proposals concerning the potential sale and relocation of the county courthouse, as well as plans for the establishment of additional county facilities, including a new jail, administrative offices and criminal justice center.

Of the four proposals received by the county before the Feb. 15 deadline, only one addresses the possible sale of the courthouse, suggesting a purchase price of $1.5 million.

That proposal, submitted by Pagosa Holdings, LLC, also envisions the courthouse being leased back to the county in "as is" condition according to absolute, net annual rent calculation on 8 percent of purchase price.

The proposal also offers a purchase price of $1.5 million for five acres of county-owned property on Hot Springs Boulevard that has been eyed as a possible site for future county facilities, suggesting a 55-year lease back to the county for absolute, net annual rent calculation on 8 percent of purchase price.

A second proposal, submitted by Neenan Company of Fort Collins, aims to "verify existing facility plans, develop master plan for current and future needs," assist with a finance plan and market the project to develop partners and pre-bond services, but lists no dollar amount.

A third proposal, from Archetype Design Group Inc. of Shawnee Mission, Kan., discusses designing, building and financing a new jail, justice center and county administrative offices to the tune of roughly $18.8 million.

The fourth proposal, submitted by Durango-based Okland Construction Company Inc., suggests a development plan, design and construction management plan and financing for a price tag of nearly $28.6 million.

Commenting on the proposals, Mamie Lynch, board chair, stated she believes they are "the first step in a long and complicated process" that will require a good deal of input from a variety of sources before a final decision is reached.

Accordingly, the board moved to accept the proposals for discussion and agreed to consider a work session for further review, with time and location to be announced.

Other business conducted by the board this week included:

- ratifying a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant application in the amount of $168,000;

- directing staff to begin advertising for a four-member, seasonal county fire crew to assist with wildland firefighting/mitigation;

- directing staff to draft a letter to state legislators stating support for a Forest Legacy grant aimed at preserving and protecting critical wildlife habitat within Banded Peaks Ranch;

- approving a contract between the county department of human services and Archuleta School District 50 Joint in the amount of $20,000 to provide a social responsibility training program at Pagosa Springs High School;

- approving a sheriff's department request to seek $2,000 in federal funds for the local "Click It or Ticket" campaign;

- approving the final plat for Crowley Ranch Reserve, Phases I and III amendment to the plat for a portion of Crowley Drive, as well as a release of the improvements agreement and final plat for Crowley Ranch Phase IV;

- approving the final plat for the minor lot line boundary adjustment for lots 1M and 2M, Fairgrounds Minor Impact Subdivision;

- cancelling a meeting with Ken Charles, regional DOLA representative, that had been scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday at Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat.


County administrator resigns, agrees to settlement

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Archuleta County and Bill Steele have severed ties.

During a special meeting Feb. 24, county commissioners approved a settlement agreement with the now former county administrator, who had been on medical leave since mid-January.

While lacking detailed specifics, the agreement states Steele and the county "have mutually agreed that it would be in the best interest of both parties if Steele separated from his employment with the county."

The agreement also indicates Steele has submitted his resignation to the county, effective as of Feb. 28.

The settlement includes provisions granting Steele a total of $50,266.64 in severance pay, which equates to eight months salary.

In addition, Steele will receive $8,120 in accrued sick leave and $1,161.32 in insurance-related compensation.

The agreement also includes "waiver and release" language mutually agreed upon by the county and Steele, as well as a "no admission" clause which states "nothing stated herein shall be construed as an admission of liability by either party."

At the direction of legal counsel, the board is not commenting on what led to the settlement.

Steele had served as county administrator since December 2001.


SUN reaps bevy of state press awards

It was a banner year for SUN staff members as they reaped all-time high number of Colorado Press awards at last week's 127th annual convention of the Colorado Press Association held in the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.

This year's entries were judged by the Nebraska Press Association and were presented Feb. 26.

The SUN came away with four first-place honors in the Class 3 Weeklies division (circulation 4,000 or greater): Best News Photograph, Terri House; Best News Page Design, Terri House and Richard Walter; Best Advertising Layout and Design, Terri House and Shari Pierce; and Best Small Space Ad, Shari Pierce.

Second place honors went to Best Classified Page(s) or Section(s), Terri House and Missy Phelan, and Best Informational Graphic, Tom Carosello, Terri House and Karl Isberg.

Third Place awards were given for Best Serious Column Writing, Karl Isberg, and Best Black and White Ad, Terri House.


Town sets meeting to discuss downtown master plan process

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

Now that the dust has settled following the introduction of the Conceptual Downtown Master Plan, the town of Pagosa Springs is ready to fire up discussions again and resume the public process.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the town of Pagosa Springs will host the first of many public meetings on the plan supplied to it in January, by the Community Vision Council.

The purpose of this meeting, said Town Planner Tamra Allen, is, first, to walk the community through the public process. In other words, to explain how a plan goes from a conceptual plan to a master plan to implementation.

"We're trying to take a step back to make sure the public knows how it can be involved through constructive channels," Allen said.

Then the meetings will focus on the series of issues the plan presents to a town facing a major growth spurt. It addresses the downtown core stretching from the high school to Lewis Street and from the junction of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 to the elementary school.

At issue in the plan are traffic concerns, commercial development, improvement of parks and rivers, beautifying entry and exit points, safety and parking.

A great deal of work has gone into the creation of the Conceptual Master Plan and Allen said her intention is to keep the process moving toward implementation. With considerable public input and revision she hopesthe plan can be the basis for planning for years to come.

Drawings of the downtown master plan can be viewed online at www.communityvision council. org.

The Tuesday meeting will be in the community center multipurpose room.


Conceptual and Comprehensive: Know the difference

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

It's fairly easy these days to get confused about which planning project is which in Pagosa Springs. For the layman, telling the difference between the Conceptual and the Comprehensive sometimes gets tricky.

Here's a primer:

The Conceptual Downtown Master Plan is the plan that was presented to the town by the Community Vision Council in January. It is a working document that makes a number of suggestions for the physical core of downtown Pagosa Springs. Among other things, it makes development and zoning suggestions, it addresses traffic flow, beautification, open space, pedestrian safety and enhancement of our existing natural features, all in a specific area downtown.

The Town of Pagosa Springs is initiating the public process that will revise, enhance and rework the Conceptual Master Plan to reflect the needs and desires of the community. That process begins anew March 8 at 6 p.m. at the Community Center Multipurpose Room.

The Comprehensive Master Plan is different. It is much broader than the downtown conceptual plan in that it addresses issues like housing, public safety, natural environment, transportation, economic development and infrastructure. It is considered more of a policy document and is required by the Town of Pagosa Springs' home rule charter. Typically, such a comprehensive plan would be the foundation for a specific planning document like the Conceptual Downtown Master Plan. But in Pagosa's case they happened to coincide.

The town of Pagosa Springs received a $60,000 grant to initiate the Comprehensive Master Plan process. A consulting firm will be hired to facilitate the process and will collaborate with town staff. A citizens' advisory council will also form to be "the eyes and ears" of the consultant and provide the firm with critical insider knowledge about the area.

The Town of Pagosa Springs is still seeking additional applicants to complete that advisory board and the deadline for application has been extended to March 14.

For more information or to apply for the Citizens Advisory Committee call Tamra Allen or Mark Garcia at 264-4151.


Town seeking ideas from residents concerning Pagosa Street parking

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

Downtown parking, or the lack of it, is the topic of an upcoming neighborhood meeting being hosted by the Town of Pagosa Springs Planning Department.

The meeting, scheduled 6 p.m. March 7 in the Community Center South Conference Room, will focus exclusively on parking and traffic concerns for First through Third streets downtown.

Residents and business owners from the Touch of the Tropics to the Ampride struggle with the lack of parking for their visiting friends or customers.

Town Planner Tamra Allen said the purpose for the meeting is to hear what creative ideas the neighborhood might have to solve the problem.

Allen said one major issue is that there is not sufficient parking to accommodate the current businesses on the east end of Pagosa Street and there's little open land to develop new parking to accommodate new business.

Monica White, owner of Handcrafted Interiors which sits right in the middle of the area in question, said the parking is totally insufficient. She wonders about the possibility of making U.S. 160 through the area two lanes to accommodate diagonal parking, or if underground parking is feasible.

Allen said creative suggestions are the purpose of the meeting. She said town staff wishes to explain the existing challenges and discuss feasible solutions with residents and business owners.


Hermosa housing plan withdrawn for review by developer

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

The Hermosa Court project, which has caused some recent stir among its potential Hermosa Street neighbors, was withdrawn from the Tuesday night Town Council agenda.

The project was withdrawn for further review by the applicant.

Neighbors are concerned about the density of two residential duplexes proposed for construction on two adjacent lots on Hermosa Street in downtown Pagosa Springs. The applicant brought the project before the town planning commission in December but the permit was denied based on neighborhood concerns.

The applicant returned in February with a project that met the commission's recommendations. It passed and was scheduled for public hearing Tuesday by the Town Council. The applicant withdrew the item from the agenda to spend more time reviewing design options.


'Gunk' and 'crud' here, but little flu

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The bad news is that the flu bug has finally caught up with Archuleta County.

The good news is that it is nowhere as bad as it was last year.

And, what may seem like flu to many could be just one of many other ailments with similar symptoms which are making the rounds.

Pagosa Family Medicine, for example, reports a recent increase in confirmed flu cases, but no hospitalizations. An office spokesman said they are seeing 5-10 patients per week who are confirmed flu cases.

"But," he added, "there's a huge surge in other ailments like upper respiratory congestion and ear aches in younger children. Just a lot of 'crud.'"

Because it is late in the flu season, said Susie Kleckner at San Juan Basin Health in Pagosa Springs, "the probability of a major outbreak is probably small. We've seen no major increase here in the clinic."

Statewide, since the beginning of flu season Oct. 3, 2004, there had been 680 hospitalizations for confirmed flu cases through Feb. 26.

Of those, only 11 cases, seven in La Plata County and four in Rio Grande County were from the nine counties considered part of the southwest quadrant of Colorado.

Because it was a late-blooming flu season, Kleckner said, "we may be seeing the peak coming later in the year ... or it may be a totally different strain."

At Riverside Health Practices, a spokeswoman said there has been no real indication of a flu outbreak "but there's a lot of 'gunk' going around." Some cases are being treated as flu but were not confirmed cases, she said.

All those talked to agreed: The sniffles, congestion, sore eyes and ears all are signs of spring colds, too.

And, they also agree, there does not appear to be an impending flu epidemic locally.


Benefit dance for Cody Snow set

March 8

A benefit dance will be held Friday, March 8 to raise funds to help defray medical costs incurred by the family of a local youngster, Cody Snow, 11.

Cody, the son of Jene and Shonna Snow has lost hearing in his right ear and is in imminent danger of losing hearing in his left ear. Cody has had one surgery to date and faces as many as three or four more surgical procedures as part of an attempt to restore his hearing.

The dance will be 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. at Dorothy's Restaurant in the Pagosa Plaza. The band will be CC Swing, providing country western music for the event.

There is a $5 cover charge with proceeds to assist the family.




Flyfishers set annual casting clinic


Ladies In Wading Pagosa Springs Flyfishers is excited to announce their second annual flyfishing casting clinic.

It is scheduled 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 12, at the community center, for a fee of $10 per person.

If you have your own equipment please bring it. If not, the group will have extra rods, reels, etc., for your use.

In addition to the casting clinic, the organization is sponsoring a casting contest with the grand prize being a half-day guided flyfishing trip.

So, loosen up that casting arm and stop on down on March 12.

If you have questions or need additional information, contact Jackie McGuire at 264-2251 or Jody Cromwell at 731-4166.


Banner year for wildlife-related accidents on local highways

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Believe it or not, it's elk hunting season again in Pagosa Country. Only instead of rifles and bows, we are killing our elk with Hondas and Fords.

Anyone who has recently driven the U.S. 160 corridor to Durango can't help but notice elk and deer carcasses along the highway. The wildlife presence along the roads right now is not only deadly for them but can be for us too.

"Until you almost hit one ... it's hard for it to hit home," said Nancy Shanks, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, in 2004 there were 287 reported wildlife/vehicle crashes on the entire length of U.S. 160 from Wolf Creek Pass to Cortez. More than half of those occurred in the 67-mile stretch from the Durango city limits to the Archuleta/Mineral County line.

CDOT estimates that 35 percent of reported accidents between Durango and Pagosa Springs involve wildlife. Sixty percent of those accidents occur after dark.

Typically, elk migrate north and south across U.S. 160 in the spring and fall and that is the time most accidents occur. But it's February now and it's not just our imagination that there seem to be more herds grazing, darting and milling along the highway at dawn and dusk.

In winters past, the U.S. 160 corridor has received more snow than it has this year. Deep snow usually encourages the elk to migrate further south in search of food, cover and security. This migration usually leads them down Cat Creek, U.S. 84 and into the Lower Piedra.

But this winter has been warm and rainy and the best food, cover and security, according to Scott Wait, biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, is smack dab along U.S. 160.

"Who's ever heard of getting rain in December and January in our area," Wait said. "They're not forced to go south this year."

Despite the additional threat, it seems that many motorists still ignore the bright yellow signs with the silhouette of a trophy bull on them that read "next seven miles."

Particularly bad is the area around Keyah Grande, the oak brush area before the Piedra River, up Yellow Jacket Pass and from Bayfield to Durango. These stretches are covered with warning signs but Wait said that people get distracted or in a hurry to get home and forget about the 500-pound creatures ready to make their glory dash right in front of them.

Wait said that elk are typically more vehicle savvy than deer. Where a deer will freeze in headlights, then bolt right in front of an oncoming vehicle, an elk will tend to just mill around in the way or meander in front of a car.

But Colorado State Patrol Captain Gini England that's no reason to assume the elk are less dangerous.

"When you do see them, anticipate that they are going to move, don't fly by them at 50 mph."

Wait agrees.

"The main factor is speed," he said. "Your best defense is to slow down, it gives you more reaction time to brake and see them."

Wait added that few elk and vehicle collisions result in less than $1,000 damage to the vehicle and in hitting an elk, he said, "The potential is very high for injury to a person or death even."

England is even surprised by the wildlife along the highways.

"I came down here three months ago and I couldn't believe how many deer were in the area. That is our leading cause of accidents in the area now."

England said that 30 percent of all accidents in her division's seven-county region are caused by wildlife on the roadways. Things could be worse though: England said in the northern part of the state around Craig 70 percent of crashes are caused by wildlife.

Even yet those numbers are likely conservative because although it is a state law that motorists report a wildlife accident, many people don't do it.

England said some people don't know it's the law, don't want a police report filed or simply think there is no point. But England said the reports help state agencies make plans to deal with the problem.

Of course this issue seems like old hat to longtime residents, but the migration is different this year and we can all do with a reminder. The question is, what can drivers do to avoid a costly or potential fatal collision in a particularly elky season?

Flashing lights at oncoming motorists is one method of warning other drivers about wildlife but it comes with mixed reviews. England said that can be distracting or even blind oncoming drivers, though she's all for it in the daytime.

Wait said some people are fans of the ultrasonic deer whistles that mount on the vehicle grill. While their effectiveness is difficult to prove scientifically, he said some people swear by them.

CDOT is also doing its best to mitigate the problem by attempting to change animal and human behavior.

"CDOT is really wrestling with this, with their concern for motorist safety," Wait said.

Shanks said CDOT builds wildlife underpasses on new highway projects. Deer fencing leads to the underpasses and the animals actually do use them. But that isn't feasible on existing highways and straight fencing projects can interfere with migration patterns.

CDOT is now testing variable message boards and new highway reflectors around Craig. The glare from these new reflectors, Shanks said, is designed to scare away wildlife but won't be seen by motorists. CDOT will test the efficacy of these systems over the next few seasons.


Turkey Super Fund dinner, auction April 2

You can help support wild turkey conservation and have a great time by attending the Wild Turkey Super Fund auction and dinner.

Hosted by San Juan Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, it is scheduled 6 p.m. April 2 in the Extension building at the county fairgrounds.

A social hour will precede the meal.

All ticket holders are eligible to win prizes exclusive to National Wild Turkey Federation events. Place the highest bid and you could go home with sporting art, hunting guns, knives, calls, outdoor equipment and more.

Tickets are $50 for a single, $65 couple and $15 Jakes. Membership in NWTF helps support wildlife management on public, private and corporate lands and preserve hunting as a traditional American sport.


Fish and Wildlife Service seeking proposals for grants protecting endangered species

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now seeking proposals from states and U.S. territories interested in acquiring land or conducting conservation planning for endangered species.

Through the fiscal year 2005 appropriation from Congress, more than $70.5 million is available to fund planning activities and land acquisition for federally protected species.

"President Bush has made cooperative conservation the cornerstone of our efforts to protect and restore our nation's wildlife and its habitat," said Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton. "These grants will empower states and territories to protect vital habitat and work with local communities, private landowners and others to conserve threatened and endangered species."

The grants, to be awarded in fiscal year 2005 from the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, are authorized under the Endangered Species Act. This fund provides grants to states and territories to support their participation in a wide array of voluntary conservation projects for listed species, as well as for species that are either proposed or candidates for listing.

By law, the state or territory must have a current cooperative agreement with the Service and contribute 25 percent of the estimated program costs of approved projects, or 10 percent when two or more states or territories undertake a joint project. The grants are expected to be awarded this summer.

"Conservation grants are among the Service's most important federal-state partnership building tools," said agency director Steve Williams.

"They support state efforts to build and strengthen important cost-effective conservation partnerships with local groups and private landowners to benefit wildlife."

The Service is seeking proposals for the following three Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund categories:

- Recovery Land Acquisition Grants - These grants provide funds to states and territories for acquisition of habitat for endangered and threatened species in support of approved recovery plans. Acquisition of habitat to secure long term protection is often an essential element of a comprehensive recovery effort for a listed species.

- Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants - These grants provide funds to states and territories to support the development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), through the support of baseline surveys and inventories, document preparation, outreach, and similar planning activities.

- HCP Land Acquisition Grants - These grants provide funds to states and territories to acquire land associated with approved HCPs. Grants do not fund the mitigation required of an HCP permittee; instead, they support acquisitions by the state or local governments that complement actions associated with the HCP.

Two examples from the fiscal year 2004 program include:

In Island County, Wash., a $187,300 Recovery Land Acquisition grant supports the acquisition of property to benefit the Golden paintbrush, a narrowly distributed plant species that is federally listed as threatened. Vital for species recovery, this property is not only one of 11 remaining sites but also one of the three largest sites on which this plant is found. Acquisition of this property is an important step toward recovery of this species.

A $272,500 Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance grant in Tennessee and Kentucky supports the states and their partners in planning for a comprehensive Habitat Conservation Plan for the Northern Cumberlands Area, which is renowned for its biodiversity. The permit will allow the states of Tennessee and Kentucky, working with partners, to implement conservation measures to minimize and mitigate impacts to rare and imperiled species (including freshwater mussels, endangered plants, and two bird species) while allowing authorized activities such as timber harvest and coal mining to occur.

For more information about these grants contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Consultation, Habitat Conservation Planning, Recovery and State Grants, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203, 703-358-2106.

Information also can be accessed on the Internet at

The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund is identified in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance as number 15.615.


Web site access set for forest comment

By Cary Ellis

Special to The SUN

Those who can't make it to the community study groups for revision of San Juan National Forest and BLM regulations may now log on to a Web site and post their comments concerning the different landscapes being addressed each month.

Public input is essential to the outcome of this process, so if you have comment, log on to

If you want to contribute general feedback on the process, contact Shannon Manfredi, Fort Lewis College Office of Community Services at 247-7468 (manfredi_s@ or Dave Baker, San Juan Public Lands planning team leader at 385-1240 (djbaker@

Lenore's farewell

Dear Editor:

Jorge Luis Borges once commented, "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of a library." And Andrew Carnegie believed, "There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library. This republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration."

These two quotations affirm what I have always believed.

I've been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many very special people. It has been a "paradise" - it will continue to be so.

Your library is in the hands of a wonderful, skilled and capable staff, many caring volunteers and a strong board of trustees all dedicated to bringing Pagosa the very best library information services available. How fortunate we are!

I have been overwhelmed by the many accolades, honors, gifts and good wishes I've received in the past few weeks. It has been an honor to serve this community, and I am very proud of all we have accomplished. But never forget - it has been a team effort.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have helped me through the years - my heartfelt thanks for your kindnesses and warm thoughts on my retirement.

Lenore Bright

 Plucked clean

Dear Editor:

The Wall Street billionaires are spending millions on TV ads touting the virtues of privatizing Social Security. We seniors are about to be plucked cleaner than a Sunday chicken.

Bob Dungan



Dear Editor:

A lot of the most vulnerable people who live here are at risk.

The budget now before Congress calls for cuts in funding for Archuleta County's health care for children, foster care, nutrition programs, food stamps, social services dealing with child and spouse abuse programs. Medicaid will take another hit, along with housing and heating for the poor and prescription drugs for veterans. (The pipelines for mental health care for veterans in this VA district are already jammed.)

Then there's TABOR. "TABOR means cuts for kids," according to the Colorado Children's Campaign. Jane Looney, a spokesperson for the San Juan Basin Health Department adds: "TABOR also means funding has been severely slashed to public libraries, youth violence prevention, higher education, preschool programs, mental health services all crucial to the health of our community."

In the last report I have, a data collection agency identified a population of 1,590 disabled persons in Archuleta County, and reported that 44 percent of families here had less than qualifying income for the purchase of a median price home.

Republican Rep. Mark Larson says that by the year 2010, according to the legislative counsel, 100 percent of the state budget will be constitutionally required to go to K-12 education. Nothing for anything else.

An Associated Press release this week says District Judge John Couglin has ordered the state to reduce its backlog of 30,000 people waiting to find out if they can receive benefits by 40 percent, and open a phone bank to assist in getting help for people with emergencies in five days.

Looney asks, "What kind of Colorado do we want to live in? What changes do we want and need to see happen?"

I'm getting a message that sounds a lot like: "Watch out below!"

Michael J. Greene

 Evangelical reply

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to last weeks letter entitled "Risk or God?" I honestly don't know where liberals got the idea that evangelicals will become the downfall of our nation, but need I remind you that evangelical Christian beliefs are exactly what this nation was founded on?

The following are just a few quotes from a wide selection of the Christian founding fathers:

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." - George Washington, (April 30, 1789).

"We recognize no Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!" - John Adams (April 18, 1775).

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We've staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."- James Madison (1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia).

Every week when I pick up the newspaper I read the usual left wing rhetoric trying to discredit the president. Even the editor seems to enjoy taking a cheap shot at the right when the opportunity presents itself. It makes no sense to me.

Though it has not been proven, the left still try to blame Bush for liberating Iraq and not finding any weapons of mass destruction. According to them, it was completely Bush's fault we invaded Iraq under "false pretenses." Well, let me help refresh your memory by quoting some of your heroes:

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is the bottom line." - President Clinton, (Feb. 4, 1998).

"We urge you to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." - Letter to President Clinton, signed by Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and other Democratic senators (Oct. 9, 1998).

"We know that he (Saddam) has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." - Al Gore, (Sept. 23, 2002).

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction," Sen. Ted Kennedy (Sept. 27, 2002).

"Saddam has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, Oct. 10, 2002).

"We need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real." (Sen. John F. Kerry, Jan. 23, 2003).

There are facts. Our nation was founded as a solid Christian nation, and our mission is to bring peace. You can't put a price on freedom. If we rally behind the president in his attempt to bring democracy and freedom to others, we could accomplish so much more!

Zach Mayne

 Pave more Piedra

Dear Editor:

Thank you for publishing the letter from Chadd Carnley in the Feb. 24 SUN. He is absolutely right.

The only addition I might make is for the authorities in Road and Bridge to study the costs of maintaining Piedra Road over the past five years and see if it might not be more economical in the long term to pave five miles of Piedra Road with asphalt.

This road receives a lot of traffic and some of it is logging trucks and horse trailers.

Bill Smith

 Fluoride facts

Dear Editor:

For readers interested in the history, safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation please consider the following Web site of the American Dental Association:

A good start is to click on "fluoridation facts."

Harold R. Thompson, D.M.D.

 Community News

Special programs funded

by Daffodil Days outlined

By Suzan Gray

Special to The PREVIEW

When the mud is up to your knees and you've just witnessed all four seasons in the last hour, you know it is springtime in the Rockies and Daffodil Days are just around the corner.

The Archuleta County Unit of the American Cancer Society will kick off the annual Daffodil Days celebration March 11.

Fresh daffodils will be available in bouquets of 10 for a suggested donation of $9. The money raised during the event is used for research, education and local patient services.

The Society offers a range of practical and emotional services for patients, their families, their caregivers and their communities from the time of diagnosis throughout life.

Included are:

- Home away from home - This program provides free, temporary accommodations at area motels for patients undergoing treatment and their family members. It makes the treatment process a little easier by lifting the financial burden of an extended day.

- Look Good ... Feel Better - Through this free service, women in active cancer treatment learn techniques to restore their self-image and cope with appearance related side effects. Locally, Delores (Dee) Butler at Studio 160 provides tips on makeup, skin care, nail care and head coverings.

- Road to Recovery - This service assists cancer patients with transportation to and from treatment facilities. Volunteer drivers donate their time and resources to take patients to appointments and to return them to their homes.

- Reach to Recovery, Man to Man and I Can Cope - Each provides one-on-one support and information to help individuals cope with the disease. To receive additional information on these programs or to find out what is available in our area call the Durango American Cancer Society office at 247-0278.

Order your daffodils by calling Suzan Gray at 264-6255, Lili Pearson at 731-5159 or the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360.

Join the "flower power" movement in the fight against this dreadful disease and help make a difference.


Quilt Guild plans open meeting, lecture and tips

If you've always wanted to learn about quilting, the Pagosa Springs Quilt Guild will present "Quilting Techniques for Beginners" at its March 12 meeting in St. Patrick's Episcopal Church education center.

The meeting is open to all community members, youngsters, men and women of any age, to participate and learn about quilting.

The agenda begins at 10 a.m. with a general meeting, followed by a presentation by Cindy Hamilton, a national award winning quilter. At noon, plan to meet and lunch with the guild members. Bring a sack lunch. Beverages will be provided.

Starting at 1 p.m., guild members will set up stations and the attendees will break into small groups and move station to station to learn tips on how to cut, how to sew and piece the perfect quarter-inch seam, ironing and pressing, hand and machine quilting, embellishment and how to sandwich a quilt top.

There will be printed information for all attendees.

The guild will also establish a mentor program to encourage and assist novices. These teachers will be available for future individual consultations and assistance.

All participants will be encouraged to participate in a Novice Designer Challenge (anyone who has never entered a quilt competition) and prepare an entry for the Archuleta County Fair. Awards will be given by age category.

Spread the word and dare those who have wanted to learn to quilt to venture out into the creative world of "Fun, Friendship and Fabric."


Final auditions Friday for 'Once

Upon a Wolf'

Final reminder! Auditions for "Once Upon a Wolf," the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters April production, will be held 6-9 p.m. Friday in the Pagosa Springs High School band room.

This production of "fractured fairy tales" has a cast of seven, from high school age on up, and 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 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.

Performances will be April 21, 22 and 23 in the Parish Hall of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

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


Pagosa has link to Albuquerque Youth Orchestra concert

The Albuquerque Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Sayra Siverson, will give a concert 7 p.m. March 19 at Pagosa Springs High School. Admission to the concert is free.

The AYO will perform the "Egmont Overture" by Beethoven, "Marche Slave" by Tchaikovsky, selections from the "Carmen Suite No. 1" by Bizet and "Alasdroim" by Kirt N. Mosier.

The conductor of the Albuquerque Youth Orchestra is Sayra Siverson who has guest conducted at the International Opera Academy in Rome and at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, N.C. As a professional trumpet player she has toured as a soloist throughout Europe and Mexico.

Kristine Kleckner Purrington is the executive director of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program. She is the daughter of Dennis and Susie Kleckner and is a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

The Albuquerque Youth Orchestra is one of five orchestras in the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program. It is made up of 90 high school students who auditioned to secure their place in the orchestra, and who attend a three-hour rehearsal weekly. In addition, each musician maintains membership in his or her individual school orchestra or band.

For more information regarding the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program, visit the Web site at


An Artist's Haven - In Pagosa?

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

Is there such a thing as satirical pottery? What about ironic ceramics? Can the art of working with clay and glaze be more than just pots and vases?

If your name is Michael Coffee, the answer is yes. And for the art world in Pagosa Springs, Coffee and his wife Denise have a proposition.

Coffee is easy to spot most mornings at the Higher Grounds Coffee Shop. He has a long gray goatee and an easy, articulate manner. Coffee is a fairly recent transplant from Los Angeles and brings to Pagosa Springs everything that is vibrant, remarkable and brisk about the City of Angels.

Coffee, an architect by trade, is an artist in many genres, from ceramics, to kiln brick sculpting to painting to printmaking. His monoprints hang in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and on the walls of hotels like the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and the Seoul Ritz Carlton.

But ceramic art is his current love and to Coffee it is the most technically difficult and satisfying of all his genres. Visit his Shy Rabbit Showroom and Ceramic Studio on Bastille Drive and one is immediately confronted by provocative fine art, ceramic structures in a spare, open-space gallery.

What they are isn't easy to define. One series, entitled "Intuition Markers" introduces the viewer to Coffee's mind and spells out just what he stands for as an artist.

"What I am doing is creating pure intuition," Coffee said.

To describe the pieces in detail misses the point. They are tall, gold cylinders with azure tops with rings around them and could be interpreted in a thousand different ways. Coffee said they aren't designed to be something, nor did he sketch out an idea before creating them. He says they are like "a post-it note or a diary entry" which remind him of the exact moment he created them - what the weather was doing, how he was feeling, what smells were in the studio. To put it simply, Coffee takes his clay and glaze along as he heads down the rabbit hole of his own intuition.

"If artists would work there, in that place, everything they do would be original," Coffee said.

But what about satire and irony? To that, Coffee offers the "Rootless Jars."

In traditional ceramics, Coffee said, the artist is limited to creating a functional item, such as jar or vase. This leaves little room for artistic expression. The Rootless Jars actually are jars with lids, stacked on top of each other. On top of one of them is a cup full of holes. While it is ceramic and cup-shaped, it could not perform as a cup if it tried. To Coffee its total lack of function is absurd, as is the lack of artistic freedom inherent in most traditional ceramics.

While pushing the envelope on ceramics, there is another intriguing idea bubbling up at Shy Rabbit.

The Coffees have purchased property down Bastille Drive from their current studio and have drawn up plans for a 14,000 square-foot artist's center. The plans show a 4,000 square foot ceramic studio, learning center and gallery and the remaining 10,000 square feet to be used for artist studios. They envision an art center and campus with a sculpture garden out front.

The idea is based on the model developed by the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Santa Monica, Calif. from which Coffee graduated. He said when he started there it was a "self-directed community of students and professionals" and no one told them what to do. The successful students got the picture quickly and chased after the intensely personal education the school had to offer. Others never grasped the idea and moved on.

"We're looking for commitment," Coffee said about the project and who they want to help them. "We want people who get it."

Far from looking for new jobs, the pair is putting out feelers for all the other dedicated artists in Pagosa Springs to come out of the woodwork and seize the opportunity to take their work to a whole new level.

"We want to reach out and get the energy flow going," said Denise Coffee.

The Coffees said they have not found an art center anywhere in the world that fits this exact model, so they plan to build their own. However, they will only proceed with the help of the many other working artists they believe are tucked away in Pagosa Springs and throughout the Four Corners.

Both Michael and Denise have strong business backgrounds, having run their own companies and successfully navigated the world of architecture and design.

"We want to be facilitators, contributing our expertise in business and the art world," said Michael.

Denise added that they are advocating for artists by planning business/art workshops on topics like portfolio development, framing techniques and even critique sessions with other artists. She also hopes to host a speaker series and exhibits in the gallery that are driven by quality not by an event schedule.

Already there have been three artist salons to discuss the concept and gauge the enthusiasm for the project. The Coffees said that while they already have preliminary approval from the county and PLPOA, they will not proceed unless there is a band of passionate individuals driving the project with them. They will stay in their current studio until the need for more space bursts them out of it.

"We want to create a hub of creativity and energy," Denise said.

"Passion is the criteria," Michael added.

The next artist roundtable to discuss art in general and the artist center in particular, will be held March 20th from 1-4 p.m. at Shy Rabbit Showroom and Ceramic Studio, 333 Bastille Drive, Suite B-1. Any artist or supporter of the concept is welcome to come and contribute.

For more information contact the Coffees at 731-2766 or by e-mail at


'Deconstructing Democracy' is Unitarian topic

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a service Sunday, March 6, entitled "De-Constructing Democracy."

The speaker will be retired teacher and journalist Ed Funk, now a Pagosa resident.

His presentation will be based on a sermon by David Loehr, Ph.D., minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, Texas. It will explore how elitism, self-righteousness and a narrowly defined Americanism are reversing the gains of the last century, and threatening our future as a nation - with a conclusion that may surprise you.

There will also be a brief welcome ceremony for new members this Sunday. The service and children's program start at 10:30 a.m.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall is Unit 15 in Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.


Annual 9Health Fair set April 2

By Pauline Benetti

Special to the PREVIEW

The 26th Annual 9Health Fair will be going on throughout the month of April statewide.

Here in Pagosa Springs it will happen 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 2 at the high school. 9Health Fair provides health education and basic health screenings to individuals 18 years of age and over throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

Over the past 25 years, as a result of Fair participation, thousands of participants have been made aware of potential health problems and ways to improve their health through early detection, prevention, and educational programming.

Basic screenings at all locations include height, weight, body mass index, vision, blood pressure, and colorectal screening kits. Optional screenings at our site include hearing, oral screening, body in balance, and breast exams.

Optional blood screening includes a 31-component blood analysis including coronary risk ratio, thyroid, diabetes, full lipid panel, liver and kidney function. During the same blood analysis, men over the age of 40 years can opt to receive a prostate cancer screening.

The 9Health Fair is the largest and most successful health fair in the country and is endorsed by both the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Health and Hospital Association. Support from Colorado physicians and thousands of volunteers is crucial to this success.

Fair organizers in Pagosa are already working with over 200 volunteers who are needed to handle the more than 700 participants who are expected to make the 9Health Fair part of their health practice.

If you would like to take part in this most rewarding event, in either a medical or nonmedical capacity, or have any questions, please call Sharee Grazda, site coordinator, at 731-0666.


Students, performers meld talents for Pretenders production

By Brett Garman

Special to The PREVIEW

Each winter, the entertainment industry sets its sights on the presentation of industry awards, whether it be the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, Emmys, Tonys or, most important, the Academy Awards presentation of the Oscars.

Have you ever dreamed of seeing the stars, red carpet and glitziness of the most spectacular awards shows on the planet?

This year, Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater will present its own version of the movie awards for 2004, with the original play "An Evening With The Stars".

Now is your chance to experience the drama of one of Hollywood's biggest nights first hand ... Pagosa style.

Like most Pretenders productions, the play started with an idea and was developed by the directors and cast during brainstorming sessions and improvisational rehearsals.

The process led up to an outline of the show and some actual dialogue scripting. Even though the directors try to streamline the dialogue and action, after weeks of improvisation, it's sometimes hard for the cast to readjust to a set plan. So you never know exactly what will happen in the performance and the shows tend to be slightly different night to night.

"An Evening With The Stars" will follow the idea of an Academy Awards show and will include the cast acting out the various roles of hosting the show, including presenting and accepting awards. Of course, they will always be in the character of some of your favorite actors and actresses. In addition, there will be dance routines, a song or two, and even some original commercials. It's your chance to witness the excitement experienced by the stars every year.

Along with the show, the Pretenders have included a special addition: For the first time in a live production, actual film clips will be shown during the performance. The Pagosa Springs High School broadcast journalism class and the Pretenders have created short film clips from some of the favorite movies of 2004. The clips will be shown throughout the performance - as nominees for Best Movie of the Year - with one of them actually winning the prestigious award.

The collaboration between the broadcast journalism class and the Pretenders was an educational experience for both groups.

"We learned a lot about camera work and setting the scenes, especially since it was our first project. Working with the kids was always really funny," said Rachel Watkins, a PSHS senior.

The high school class, taught by Curtis Maberry, was responsible for selecting the movie they wanted to create a film clip for, writing the dialogue and scenes and working with the Pretender's actors to film the movie scenes. The process required acting and videotaping for several hours, and then spending over 10 hours editing in the classroom for each of the two-to-four-minute clips.

Although the creation of a film clip based on a movie was something new for the high school class, the curriculum includes technical aspects involved in pre-production and post production (shooting concepts audio, digital editing, etc.)

The class is a unique opportunity for high school students to study broadcasting, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. For the past four years, students have created several Pagosa High School Televisions (PHTV) news and special interest programs. Throughout the year, the staff and student body look forward to these programs. PHTV News Magazine requires camerapersons, anchors, reporters, editors and technicians, plus hours of gathering, interviewing, editing and writing to meet journalistic quality. In addition to the class curriculum, 20 members of the class have been able to attend the Student Television Network Convention in Los Angeles.

The combined efforts have proven to be a hard-working, fun-filled journey to all involved. Director Carol Anderson observed, "I hope everyone has enjoyed their part in this creative endeavor. I know I have certainly learned a lot!"

Anderson, Waynette Nell and Jane Schur direct "An Evening With The Stars,"with executive director/producer Susan Garman.

Performances will be 7 p.m. March 10, 11 and 12 in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for Pagosa Springs Arts Council members, and $3 for children 12 and under.

Advance tickets can be purchased at WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Co., the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, and Moonlight Books.

Tickets will also be available at the door the nights of performance.

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater is a division of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.


Our Savior slates Lutheran Schools Week activities

By Pat Moore

Special to The PREVIEW

Our Savior Lutheran School of Pagosa Springs will celebrate Lutheran Schools Week March 6-11.

Theme this year is "Lutheran Schools: A Great Place to Grow! Grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Jesus."

The week is celebrated each year by Lutheran schools across the nation and in foreign countries where schools are operated by The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

That includes, overall, 2,481 schools and a total enrollment of in excess of 287,000 in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Our Savior Lutheran currently has an enrollment of 105 nurturing faith in a Christ-centered environment. In addition to providing Biblical instruction and development of Christian values, Our Savior teachers offer a challenging curriculum with a small teacher-to-student ratio.

Lutheran Schools Week is a time for children, teachers and staff to share the excitement of learning and teaching in Lutheran schools.

The following activities have been planned for the local celebration:

- Kicking off the week, students will give glory to God by singing during the church worship service.

- Pre-K through sixth-graders will have Pajama Day Monday, March 7 with the PTL serving morning coffee cakes and juice to the children.

- Kids will wear hats, shirts or jerseys of their favorite sports teams March 8 during a day of sports competition with indoor Olympic-style events.

- Everyone will dress their best Wednesday, March 9, and the children will be bringing in canned food for dogs and cats. We will see how much we can collect for the Humane Society with the theme "We CAN make a difference" for those furry friends in the shelter until they are adopted.

- Hawaiian Day will be observed Thursday, March 10, with an open house scheduled 9 a.m.-noon. School families and prospective families are invited to visit classrooms during that time and learn more about curriculum and staff. A chili luncheon will be served 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

- Clown Day will be celebrated by the pre-schoolers Friday, March 11. Kindergarten through sixth grade will not be in session.

The mission of our Savior Lutheran School is to provide a caring, nurturing and Christian environment for its children, families, teachers and staff to grow, learn and develop.

Much of the program is based on Proverbs 22:6, "Train a child in the right way, and when old, they will not stray."


Fly fishing class begins March 8 at ed center

Whether fishing a small, high-country stream for little brookies, or a large river for giant steelhead trout, fly fishing has something to offer every angler.

Trout, bass, panfish, salmon, even carp - all can be fished successfully using hand-tied, artificial flies and a fly rod. All it takes is some basic knowledge, good equipment, and days spent enjoyably on the water honing your skills.

Some are lucky enough to learn the sport at the knee of a wise and patient mentor - a father or grandfather perhaps. Others have picked up the sport along the way by lessons or even by trial and error, usually more error than we care to admit.

Fly fishing is a wonderful experience for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. You never know what lies ahead, just around the next bend. Even on a stream that is a familiar friend, you never know what has changed since the last season, or even the last storm.

Fly fishing is a meditative sport; it is a way to find relaxation and solitude while studying the beauty of nature. When fishing, the cares of the day slip away. Nothing else seems to matter except your immediate surroundings and the task at hand. In the angling world nothing compares with the beauty and grace of fly fishing.

This is one sport where a lot of strength or bravura is unnecessary. Skill, timing of the cast, and a delicate presentation of the fly will always win out over muscle and brawn. Fly fishing is appropriate for any age or gender. Women tend to be naturals - their intuitive nature and attention to detail often lead to rapid mastery of the sport. Just watch out - fly fishing can become an obsession if you are not careful.

The Archuleta County Education Center will offer a fly fishing class beginning March 8, taught by Debra McNaughton. There will be four three-hour classes from 6-9 p.m on Tuesdays with one six-hour class on a Saturday.

Topics will include choosing and using the fly rod and reel, knots, gear, trout anatomy and behavior, fish habitat, insects, casting, fish lies and fisherman lies! The course will provide a good foundation for students so that they can comfortably begin fly fishing right away.

Class size is limited to eight students so that each receives a lot of personal instruction. Call 264-2835 to enroll. The cost is $45 and includes the use of rods and reels.

There is no need to be intimidated by the gear and all of the jargon. Fly fishing is not an elite sport, it only requires a desire to experience nature and the willingness to try something new.


Local Chatter

Loaves and Fishes faces decision on continuing service

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

"Loaves and Fishes" is the soup kitchen started in January by a few women who saw a need for one in Pagosa Springs.

They wanted to open for January, February and March, the cold months of the year, and wanted to provide a free meal for anyone who might need one - the needy, the depressed or the lonesome.

The meals are served Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. Volunteers do all the work for them and the project has been most rewarding.

One of the original ideas was to provide a place where people could gather for a meal and get to know each other - old-timers as well as strangers. The results have been everything the founding committee hoped for.

Comments made have been: "This is the best thing that has happened in Pagosa Springs," "Terrific!," "It gives us a sense of community."

These remarks have been echoed by many in different words, maybe, but the same ideas.

There is no jar in which to drop money donations and some people do ask about this. Wells Fargo Bank has a Loaves and Fishes account and all one has to do if they wish to do so, is go to the drive-up window and say, "This is for Loaves and Fishes" and make the donation.

City Market provides the meat, the bread and the cakes, but money is needed for other costs.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church has so graciously donated the use of the Parish Hall. Enough can't be said for this building; it is has been the meeting place for the community, one of those places in the heart of the town as well as the hearts of the people.

The last Loves and Fishes meal will be March 31 unless something happens to extend this program.

Amongst the things to be considered by the founding committee is if Loaves and Fishes should be open all year and, if so, in a permanent place? In other words, is Loves and Fishes needed? If so, how should it be funded and where would it be.

The project is not for profit and it will need volunteers. In the meantime, for you people who asked how to volunteer, just ask anew on Thursday.

Fun on the run ...

The interviewer examined the job application, then turned to the prospective employee.

"I see you have put ASAP down for the date you are available to start, meaning as soon as possible, of course. However, I see you've put AMAP down for required salary. I don't believe I've ever seen that. What does it mean?"

The applicant replied, "As much as possible!"


Senior News

Seniors have three weeks

to train Laura's replacement

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

I must start this column with a big thank you to everyone for the great farewell party I received on Feb. 25.

The place was packed, everyone said good things about me and John Graves played a beautiful rendition of "Laura" on the piano for me. I felt all the love in the room and it was wonderful!

However, I'll be here for another three weeks in order to help train my replacement, so we can continue to share hugs and jokes for a while longer.

Suki's classes

Would you like your body to be more flexible and improve your balance and posture? Would you like to increase your breath capacity and endurance and feel more alive and alert? Come attend one of Suki's exercise classes. Yoga in Motion is offered 10-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Qi Gong 10-11 Fridays. Suki's yoga classes are done with gentle movements, rather than holding postures, as in traditional Yoga. She has found as she gets older, the movements enhance her balance and strengthen her body without causing stress from holding the position.

Her Qi Gong classes incorporate tuning into one's internal energy and letting it flow freely from one's inner core. This both energizes and increases one's ability to move more smoothly. See if the gentle yet stimulating exercises will make you feel better.

Driver safety class

Don Hurt is ready to teach a special drivers class for people 50 and older that has helped millions of drivers remain safe on today's roads. This eight-hour class will be 1-5 p.m. March 9 and 10 in the Methodist church. Cost is only $10.

When do you decide to quit driving? That's a tough call because you will be giving up some independence, but Don can give you guidelines on when you or a loved one should stop. His class, "Is it Time to Stop Driving?" will be here 1 p.m. March 7. If you do decide to give up driving, maybe you can ride our senior bus. Give us a call at the center for more details.

Remember it's that time of year again - tax return time! The volunteers of the AARP Tax Aide program are here in the Arts Council Room of the community center every Thursday to prepare taxes of those with low to moderate incomes. If you file for the PTC they ask that you have your tax return prepared sooner than later, there have been some changes. A sign-up sheet for appointments is available in the dining room of the senior center. Stop in soon and sign up for your tax appointment!

We are pleased to have Robert Dobbins here as an International 4H Youth Exchange participant. He visited Australia, including Tasmania and will bring us stories and pictures about his experiences. He'll be presenting in our lounge 1 p.m. Friday. Save yourself the time and expense of traveling yourself and come see Australia.

Andy Fautheree will also be here at noon Friday to be available for any questions you may have about veteran's benefits.

We will be going to Durango Thursday March 10 if we get enough people signed up. The suggested donation is $10 for transportation.

Our senior board meeting will be 1 p.m. March 11. Seniors are welcome to drop in and see what's going on.


Friday, March 4 Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; veteran's benefits, noon; Talk about Australia! with Robert Dobbins, 1 p.m.

Monday, March 7 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.; "Is it Time to Stop Driving?" with Don Hurt, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, March 8 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; basic computer class, 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, March 9 - canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 10 - Durango trip.

Friday, March 11 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.


Friday, March 4 - BBQ riblets, mashed potatoes, broccoli and spiced applesauce.

Monday, March 7 - Lasagna, garden salad, breadsticks and tropical fruit.

Tuesday, March 8 - Baked potato/BBQ beef, four-bean salad, whole wheat roll and ice cream with strawberries.

Wednesday, March 9 - Beef stew with vegetable, coleslaw and apples, cornbread and pears.

Friday, March 11 - Salmon patties, brown rice, mixed vegetables and citrus cup.


Veteran's Corner

VA maneuvering imperils benefits for rural veterans

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

I've been talking about the Department of Veteran's Affairs budget the last few weeks and its impact on our local veterans.

The majority of our veterans enrolled in VA health care do not have any service-connected disabilities. Many are over 65 and on Medicare and are basically enrolled to obtain the low priced VA prescription drugs.

Veterans with normal levels of moderate Social Security income for themselves and their spouse are placed in Priority 7 or 8 of the VA health care system. The spouse's income is counted toward the VAHC priority rating system even though the spouse is not usually eligible for the benefit. Certainly, this is a form of marriage penalty.

Affects thousands

New VA budget proposals could force thousands of veterans from the VAHC system by imposing user fees. This could include many elderly married veterans, even World War II veterans, with minimal Social Security fixed incomes near the poverty level.

Priority 7 and 8

Increasingly, for the past couple of years, the VA has focused on Priority 7 and 8 categories to shore up the bottom line of its budget. It appears they would like to severely curtail VA health care benefits to this group.

This could affect a lot of our veterans since I estimate as many as 7 out of 10 of our veterans fall into this category. The VA won't give out any specific information.

On one hand the VA announces huge (proposed) budget increases, but behind the scenes - in reality - they are looking for ways to tighten the belt on spending and actually reduce benefits for some veterans.

User fees

I have heard from several sources the past year or two that VA would like to implement "user fees" for VA medical care for category 7 and 8 veterans. Heard in Washington lately: The Republican members of both the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have agreed on the these new fees.

There are differences though. The Senate proposes a flat $250 fee for all Priority 7 and 8 veterans, but the House proposes that priority 7s would pay $230, the same amount that retired military members pay for their Tricare Prime coverage, and that Priority 8s would pay on a sliding scale from $230 to $500 depending on the veteran's overall income.

Higher co-pays

It is also reported that both committees rejected the administration proposal to more than double prescription co-pays for Priority 7s and 8s from $7 to $15. But it sounds like it is still on the table in the negotiation stage.

The administration estimates for the VA budget envisioned that imposing these fees would reduce costs by driving about 213,000 veterans out of the VA health care system and generate an extra $424 million in collections to help cover costs for those remaining in the system.

Veteran groups have been working hard these past few weeks to stop the proposed implementation of the user fee and an increase in co-pays for Priority 7 and 8 veterans.

Rural veterans penalized

Veterans living in rural locations hundreds of miles from VA health care facilities like ours would be impacted even more, since little or no help is presently given for travel and accommodation assistance.

It seems to me, in light of these fee increase proposals to eliminate so many veterans from the VAHC system, it is even more important for the VA to work with Social Security and Medicare to maximize their respective budgets for the good of their respective beneficiaries.

Write congressmen

I urge all veterans and those interested in veterans' affairs to please write their elected officials to oppose any additional or increased VAHC fees, and for these agencies to work together.


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


Arts Line

Pretenders prepare 'An Evening With the Stars'

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre will present an original play "An Evening With The Stars," a movie awards show parody.

Performances are 7 p.m. March 10, 11 and 12 (doors open at 6:45) in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for Pagosa Springs Arts Council members, and $3 for children 12 and under.

Tickets can be purchased prior to performance at WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Co., the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, and Moonlight Books. The night of performances, tickets will be available at the door.

This show is based on an idea by Susan Garman and was developed with the directors and the cast through brainstorming sessions and improvisation.

It will include not only a live cast but also video clips developed with the Pagosa Springs High School broadcast media class under the guidance of Curtis Maberry. These video clips will be shown throughout the performance and will be in competition for the "Movie of the Year" award.

The production is directed by Carol Anderson, Waynette Nell and Jane Schur with executive director/producer Susan Garman. Pretenders is a division of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, is nonprofit and run by volunteers wishing to bring families together with theater.

Photography club

The Pagosa Photography Club will meet 5:30 p.m. Wednesday March 9 in the arts room at the community center.

Well-known Pagosa artist Pierre Mion will present a program sharing his experiences as a member of the Apollo 16 recovery team aboard the USS Ticonderoga in the South Pacific while working under contract with NASA. Mion used his photography to record scenes and events used as subject matter for his art.

Mion worked numerous research assignments worldwide for the National Geographic Society and his art has appeared in over 60 issues of that magazine. He has also worked under contract to the Smithsonian Magazine, Look magazine and IBM, and he traveled to Vietnam where he did combat art and story illustrations for the U.S. Marine Corps and concurrent assignments for National Geographic.

His art has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, National Geographic Society, Hayden Planetarium, Chicago Museum of Science in Industry, NASA Museum, and in many other museums and galleries around the world.

The Pagosa Photography Club meets the second Wednesday of each month. Meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7. Monthly photo competitions are held during each club meeting. The two categories for March are "Cabin fever" and "Open" (where any subject is allowed). Members may enter as many as three prints, but no more than two in any one category.

Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend at no charge for the first meeting. Any and all are invited to join for a very modest annual fee. For more information, contact club president Jim Struck at 731-6468 or

Digital photo seminars

Back by popular demand is Bruce Andersen's digital photography basics seminar. The response to these recent workshops was overwhelming, so Bruce is offering another class, 7 p.m. March 8 and 15 in the community center art room.

He's making some adjustments to the class including limiting the class size to 18 so there's enough room to sit comfortably with ample opportunity for people to be involved in the discussions. He's also refining the information presented, to better meet the needs of beginning digital folks and adding more examples to his presentation.

New camera owners and recent converts from film cameras will benefit equally from the classes.

The first session will focus on the camera, learning how to use the controls and make informed choices with the settings. On the second evening, he'll turn the class' attention to the computer side of the digital world. Topics will include downloading the camera, working the image file to liven up the photo, and preparing the photos for e-mail attachment, screen viewing and printing.

Cost is $25 for each class or $40 for both sessions. Most people are opting for the package deal. Contact PSAC at 264-5020 or to register or contact Bruce directly at or call 731-4645 for more information or to reserve your spot. And remember, space is limited.

Note from Victoria

Dear members and artists,

We hope you have caught wind of all past, recent, and future events either through snail mail or e-mail, or even through the grapevine. We would like, though, to update our methods of contact as much as possible this year.

Some of our mailing and e-mailing addresses are invalid (mostly e-mail), and we would like to fix this ASAP in order to inform you of current and upcoming events. So, if you would, contact PSAC to update your information. Our phone number is 264-5020, and e-mail is

Thank you very much.

Victoria Stanton,

PSAC staff

PSAC calendar

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is sponsoring a 2006 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 Arts Council and fill the need for a calendar focusing on Pagosa Springs. Artwork will be presented in an 8 1/2 x11 inch format in the calendar.

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 (

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

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 call 264-5020 or e-mail PSAC,

Workshops with Betty

Local artist, Betty Slade has four workshops scheduled this spring. The first of these will be a three-day Intermediate watercolor workshop this month. The remaining three workshops will be in beginning oil painting. Contact PSAC at 264-5020 to sign up for her workshops:

- Intermediate watercolor workshop 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 9. Theme "Seasons in Poetry"; cost - $120 PSAC members; $125 nonmembers; minimum 6 students; maximum 15. 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. First day - winter landscape and winter still life; second day - fall landscape and harvest still life; third day - spring/summer flowers and summer still life.

Oil painter wannabes

There are three oil painting workshops for beginners taught by Betty this spring. The oil painting workshops will make use of the brush as well as the palette knife. The workshops will focus on the color wheel, composition, and painting a landscape and Pagosa Peak. For those taking all three workshops, Betty is available to the students as needed to finish the paintings started during the workshop. Plans are to have a two-week gallery showing this fall to showcase the works painted in the workshop

The workshops are two days each, 9a.m.-3 p.m. in the arts and crafts space in the community center.

Cost for a two-day workshop is $90 for non-PSAC members and $80 for PSAC members. A description of the classes follows and a supply list will be supplied upon registration. A 15-percent discount will be applied to anyone signing up for all three of the oil painting workshops.

- March 17-18 - The Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting, a beginning point in learning to oil paint. A homework assignment will be given and will be critiqued in the April class.

- April 14-15 - Nuts and Bolts Two. In addition to critiquing the homework assignment, students will begin a new painting.

- May 12-13 - Nuts and Bolts and more. This class will continue the work in progress as well as learn more in-depth painting techniques and begin the final painting.

The students will participate in their first gallery showing. A gallery exhibit will be scheduled this fall to celebrate the students' first oil paintings.

Each workshop may be taken independent of the whole, so if you can't attend all three, then sign up for what will for you. But don't forget the 15-percent discount for those preregistering for the entire series.

PSAC calendar

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

March 8-15 - Digital photo workshop with Bruce Anderson. 7 -9 p.m.; $25 per class or $40 for both.

March 9 - Pagosa Photography club monthly meeting 5:30 p.m. Guest speaker: Pierre Mion.

March 9-11- Intermediate watercolor workshop with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $120 per student for PSAC members, $125 for nonmembers

March 10-12 - The Pretender's Play "An Evening with the Stars," 7 p.m. high school auditorium; $7 adults, $6 PSAC members, $3 children

March 19 - Drawing with Randall Davis , 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35.

March 17-18 - Beginning oil painting with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers

April 14-5 - Oil painting with Betty Slade, critiquing work from March class and new paintings; $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers.

May 12-13 - Oil painting with Betty Slade, continuing work in progress and learning more painting techniques and beginning new paintings; $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers.

June 23 - 2005 PSAC annual meeting.

July 24 - PSAC Home & Garden Tour.

PSAC supports all art activities in Pagosa. For inclusion in Arts line, send information to PSAC e-mail ( 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

Betting heavy and eating for a better brain

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I'm confident.

In fact, I'm beyond confident.

I've got pocket aces and I'm trying to contain my enthusiasm, be cool, prevent my joy from radiating to the others at the table. I decide to slow play the hand at the outset, see if I can draw someone into my net. The big blind is $200, so I call. Oh, I am a sly one.

Four of my opponents fold right off the bat, but Rico, a crafty fellow to be sure, raises 200. Carmella calls. Everyone else mucks their hands, including that insidious rake, Rafiq.

The flop couldn't be better: 10, six, ACE!!!

Hoo boy, I'm tighter than a head on a snare drum. I decide to steal the pot; I raise $500. Rico performs as desired: He folds, shoving his cards to the center of the table. Carmella waits. Then, to my surprise, she calls.

Fourth street: a 10.

I figure I'm still on Cruisomatic with three big boys. I raise $500.

Carmella barely hesitates. She comes over the top with another $500.

I call.

The river? A six.

I remember Carmella has bluffed a decent percentage of the time during this game, but I don't figure her to go this deep with nothing. For sure she has two pair; they're sitting out there for everyone to see.

Nothing is suited for a flush, no prob there.

The only thing that could take me down is a totally unlikely four of a kind or the more likely full house.

I decide she doesn't have it. It's a gut feeling.

I raise $500.

She reraises $500.

I start to sweat, but I'm not blinking. I respond, and I've got a cool $2,900 on the table. I'm twitching internally, like a monkey with a severe digestive problem. Externally, I'm carved in stone.

I'm also $2,900 lighter once Carmella turns over her cards.

Full house.

Hoo boy, that stings.

Shoshana takes a seat at the table, She has the same name as Jerry Seinfeld's ex-girlfriend. I fall for her instantly. I have to remind myself: No distractions. Not even a gorgeous Jewish woman with her own line of hair products.

Wren also moves to the table, bringing with him a $15,000 stack. What kind of name for a guy is "Wren?" I figure we are going to whack Wren in no time at all.

But, to assume I'm safe would be a fatal error.

After all, I'm playing in the 2004 World Series of Poker. I've got $11,900 worth of chips in front of me and I'm in the company of a gaggle of avaricious thugs. There's the aforementioned Rico, Rafiq and Carmella. Rico is just to my left; between him and Carmella sits Germaine. There's Roman, the chip leader, and Reynaldo, currently the only player at the table with fewer chips than me. Round the table out with Sharyl, Keanu and - be still my beating heart - the inimitable Shoshana.

I wonder what kind of snacks would be appropriate and I remember the Earl of Sandwich came up with the idea of putting meat between two slices of bread to fit a situation just like this - food made for munching while playing cards. If I were of a mind, I would whip up something on foccacia, with prosciutto, some kind of cheese, some tomato, oil and basil.

But I'm not of the mind - not even for Shoshana.

Truth is, I can't stand the other players; they're remorseless calculating machines.


I'm playing Texas No-limit Hold 'Em on my computer.

And, if this session of the World Series of Poker goes like the last seven I've tried, I'm doomed. I'm having real trouble beating this program. In fact, I'm having real trouble surviving for a respectable period of time.

My key problem is my severely limited attention span. Texas No Limit Hold 'em is not the ideal game for someone with ADD. Second, my math talent is minimal; I have trouble making change, so how am I going to figure pot odds or the odds of a particular hand hitting relative to how many cards are out and which cards are showing? I'm an idiot and the software is brutalizing me. If I don't improve, I'm in big trouble when I hit the real thing, in Vegas.

Not the real World Series of Poker, mind you, but at least an actual poker game.

I've been watching Texas Hold 'Em on TV for months, as has my friend Ronnie. He has similar attention-span problems but we're determined to learn how to play in order to lose real money to real people.

Texas No Limit Hold 'em has become a big thing, with tournaments televised regularly on several channels. People are winning millions of dollars, acting like rock stars. There are goofs out there trying to convince us poker is a "sport." It's nothing of the sort, but with all that cash floating around, it is an activity worthy of note.

So, I plan to play thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of hands of poker on my computer before I take my annual spring trip to Sin City with a group of my dissolute friends. Ronnie is doing the same. Every night, we cozy up with our digital friends and we play.

When we get to Vegas, flush with virtual experience, we'll go downtown to some dive on Fremont Street, find a cheap buy-in, and compete against flesh-and-blood opponents. The other members of our party in Vegas, being considerably more sensible, will wave goodbye to us as we get into the taxi.

I admit I need a lot of help. Most of all, I need to boost my brain power between now and the trip to Vegas. I need to jack up my endurance and memory, open as many clogged neural pathways as possible.


You bet! Physical and mental. I've already boosted my workout at the gym and I am doing crossword puzzles like there's no tomorrow. I review my multiplication tables every night before I go to bed, concentrating on percentages. It took me years to deal with tipping percentages - 15 and 20 percent - so it's slow going with the math.

Diet? Got it covered! I'm going to hit the brain foods at every opportunity.

I Googled brain foods and visited a bunch of Web sites that provide lists of foods needed for max brain function.

To renovate the brain barn, they say you need foods loaded with B vitamins as well as a number of minerals required for lightning-fast cognition and super-sharp memory.

All the lists include a tedious pitch for whole grains, all manner of quasi-vegan crud. I ignore those items, but I discover you get B1 from pasta and pork. You get B5 from meat, poultry and fish. There's B6 to be had in chicken fish and pork. Flesh is vindicated; I'm a happy man. These foods are right up my alley.

You can pile on the B12 with eggs and dairy products. Folic acid oozes out of dried beans.

Salmon has a bunch of mind-boosting attributes, including a wad of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids. I love salmon, therefore, I must love long-chain omega 3 fatty acids. Bring 'em on!

Most of the sites recommend cutting out caffeine and alcohol. Obviously there are rogue scientists at work at elitist universities; they should be denied tenure and grants.

I made a list of brain enhancing foods (the ones I appreciate) and I took the liberty of adding chiles of all sorts and grapes to the list. Food without chiles is mere fuel. Grape skins contain all sorts of antioxidants and whatnot and, as we all know, you can't make red wine without grape skins. I added red wine to my list.

I decided to whip up a meal that contains an abundance of brain goodies: pork and fish, beans and dairy products. It should amp up my brain function tenfold. I'll do up a mess of carne adovada, using pork tenderloin, chunked and marinated overnight in my oregano and garlic riddled red chile mix, then slow-cooked for hours in the oven. Soak some pintos, cook them, mash them with plenty of lard (pork at its finest). Grill some marinated salmon (how about a chipotle marinade?) then cut it in chunks. Serve adovada and salmon soft tacos - one of each - with refries. I hear avocados are full of good fats; I'll find a few, make some guacamole. A bit of chopped cilantro for the tongue and the eye. Plenty mind-enhancing dairy products - grated cheeses and sour cream - on the side. Yow, the brain wheels will be turning so fast they'll come off the axle.

And, while I fine tune my diet, I need to continue to practice, practice, practice play as much computerized hold 'em on the computer as I can. To this end, I have two computers set up at my desk at home - my desktop (which I am using to write this column) and my laptop, into which the poker software is loaded. I have both computers on whenever I'm home and, as I write, I play hands on the laptop. I am multi-tasking. I intend to surreptitiously load the program into my computer at work.

It's difficult to keep up with each process in the two-computer mode, largely because of that cad, Rafiq. I'm trying to write and that no-good #**^#!!* is bluffing on nearly every hand. It's rough when you're stuck in late position and you're pondering the choice of adjectives in an editorial and struggling to determine whether you call with a suited ace and three. Jeez.

I lose most of the time, but I figure the distraction of writing stands in for the aging cocktail waitress asking if I want another glass of watered-down gin and tonic, or the persistent hack of the heavy smoker who'll be seated to my left. I use the distraction of my work as a training aid.

Hold on a sec - Carmella's coming over the top again. I've got two kings and there's a pair of fours in the flop.

I eat a piece of feta, take a sip of wine and reraise.

The turn and the river help neither of us. I raise. Carmella reraises. I call.

She has aces in the hole.

Oops. I can swear I hear Rafiq snicker.

I make note to buy a whole lot of salmon. And more grapes.


I'm all in.


Extension Viewpoints

Big difference between pruning and shearing

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

March 3 - IFYE delegate Program - free to community, 3 p.m.; Shady Pines Club meeting, 7 p.m.

March 4 - Entomology Project meeting, 2 p.m.; Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting, 2 p.m.; Goat Project meeting, 3 p.m.

March 5 - Beef Weigh-In, 9 a.m.-noon; Cub Scout meeting, 8 p.m.

March 7 - Cultural Foods Project at Methodist church, 3 p.m.; Shooting Sports - Group A at Ski & Bow Rack, 4 p.m.; Beef Project meeting, 6:30 p.m.

March 8 - Outdoor Cooking Project at Methodist church, 4 p.m.; Rocky Mountain Riders Club meeting, 6 p.m.; Jr. Stockman Club meeting at Chromo, 6:30 p.m.

March 9 - Fair Royalty meeting, 6 p.m.

March 10 - Vet Science Project meeting at SJV, 5:30 p.m.; Red Ryder meeting, 6 p.m.

March 11 - Colorado Kids Club meeting, 2 p.m.

Check out all posted 4-H project and club meeting dates and community meetings at

Pruning helps improve the health and safety of plants. While pruning has a dwarfing tendency, it stimulates growth points into action.

In late winter before bloom, take out the oldest and weakest canes at or near the ground to reduce height, thin and improve flower quality. Some shrubs may need some shoots cut back if outside influences, such as shade, cause the plant to become out of balance. For most summer-flowering shoots, cut back all shoots in early spring to near the soil line.

Pruning is an ancient practice that dates back thousands of years. Perhaps the most ancient reference to pruning pertains to grapes, on which severe pruning was and still is practiced to increase fruit production.

Most books describe pruning as an art. Few, even in recent times, approach pruning as a science. As a result, references place emphasis on the shape and form and less on how a plant responds. Concentrating on shape and form with little or no emphasis on the plant's response too often leads to butchering.

There is a big difference between pruning and shearing. Good pruning techniques always take the response of the plant into consideration by making cuts that improve the plant's health. Shearing results in formal, unnatural and usually unhealthy effects. It is indiscriminate and promotes weak growth. Shearing a hedge, while attaining a desirable visual effect in a formal setting, ultimately results in a weaker, shaded-out plant.

Reasons for pruning

If you remove growth continually to control size, the result is shearing, not pruning. The plant probably is too close to a building or walkway. In these situations, correct pruning can rarely be practiced. It is correctly classified as shearing, not pruning.

Sound reasons for pruning should start with improvement of plant health and safety. This includes removal of diseased, insect-ridden, dying, interfering and weak growth. Properly done, this can promote better flowering, higher fruit quality in fruit trees, healthy foliage and safety.

Pruning to shape a plant can be legitimate, but exercise care. It is too easy to end up with a sheared plant during the shaping process. One of the most violated horticultural practices pertains to deciduous shrubs. Perhaps you have read a statement similar to the following in one of the many pruning books or pamphlets: "Prune spring-flowering shrubs immediately after bloom." Or "head back spring-flowering shrubs after bloom." Or "the time to prune depends on bloom." These are neat little phrases and easy to remember. But they can result in poor pruning practices that result in shearing, not pruning, responses from the plant.

Basic pruning responses

To a plant, pruning is a stimulus. While pruning has a dwarfing tendency, it stimulates growth or "awakens" otherwise resting growth points, called latent and adventitious buds, into action. These buds produce weak sucker growth.

When the tip of a shoot is cut, inhibitors to the lateral buds, including latent buds, are removed. Development of latent growth thus can take place. Response, however, gradually lessens the farther you go back from the severed end. This response varies, depending upon the species of plant and certain environmental conditions. Fast-growing trees and shrubs usually respond more than slow-growing ones.

Why Prune? In a sense, pruning deciduous shrubs is opposite to the practice employed when pruning a tree. In a tree we drop-crotch, leaving a leader to "dominate" or produce inhibitors to prevent latent bud growth.

Topping does the opposite. In pruning a shrub, we normally want to encourage latent bud growth from the base only. If such pruning is done in late winter, annually, or at least as needed, heading-back of spring-flowering shrubs seldom is necessary.

This type of pruning (thinning and renewal) not only maintains a healthier, more attractive plant, but allows the gardener to do the major pruning work in the less busy season, namely the winter months.

Renewing overgrowth

Overgrown shrubs usually are leggy. That is, they lack foliage on the lower one-half to two-thirds because of shading from the top. Flowering also is poorer in quality. The older canes, as is the case in lilacs, usually are infested with oyster shell scale, borers or some other pest problem.

Height reduction, thinning and improvement of flower quality can all be done in late winter before bloom by taking out the oldest and weakest canes at or near the ground line. This also reduces height without removing the healthiest flowering canes. The sprouts from the base will flower the second season and replace those left the previous year.

Preserving stem color

Some gardeners remove a few canes each winter. This is a sound practice for most deciduous, spring-flowering shrubs, especially if the plant is noted for attractive stem color, as in the case of shrub dogwoods, such as the red osier. Canes of these shrubs, when older than three years, lose their brilliance and often become grayish or brownish.

Remove about one-third of the canes, choosing the oldest and weakest each winter. This way, a shoot never overgrows and always maintains a healthy look. Heading-back from the top, if needed, usually is confined to a few odd branches.


Some shrubs may need an occasional heading-back of isolated shoots because of outside influences, such as shade, that may cause the plant to become out of balance. There is no reason to wait until after bloom to apply corrective pruning measures. Simply drop-crotch as you would the top of a tree. Don't fall into the temptation of snipping here and there out of habit. Remove the offending branches - then quit!

Summer-flower shrubs

One rule of thumb that might apply with little reservation is the often quoted "if the shrub flowers on the current-season wood, prune prior to flowering" (in late winter or early spring). Orange-eye butterfly bush (Buddleia davidi) and Anthony Waterer spirea (Spiraea bumalda A.W.) fall into this category. In extreme northern climates, there is little choice because winter cold and drying usually cause dieback to near the soil line. Failure to remove these dead or weakened canes in spring results in an unsightly shrub later in the summer and will tend to crowd the shoots arising from the base. Crowded shoots and flowers will be weak.

Normally, for most summer-flowering shoots, a cut-back in early spring of all shoots to near the soil line is desirable.

Special cases

Some shrubs have only a single main trunk and are really small trees. This includes several of the Viburnum species, Euonymus and shrubby forms of Rhamnus. Obviously, do not cut these shrubs to the ground. Treat them in the same manner as a small tree. Occasional thinning of interfering, weak or excessive growth and stepping back by drop-crotch methods may be necessary. This should be done in late winter. When pruned later, damage to the new, succulent growth is inevitable.

Pruning evergreens

Most needled evergreens, such as pine, spruce, juniper and fir, need little or no pruning. Unfortunately, they often are sheared. Upright junipers are a classic case. Shearing is so common with juniper that it is difficult to find the natural shape. Sheared evergreens, like hedges, will always shade out on the inside and become more prone to snow damage.

Where a branch needs to be pruned away from an evergreen, follow the usual drop-crotching technique. Where more density is desired, as in pines, snap the "candles" in spring to promote lateral bud development. Remember, however, that this is a shearing practice, not a pruning practice.


Pagosa Lakes News

Young swimmers joining the club

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Since my article last week about the Pagosa Lakes Swim Club, there have been three new swimmers - all elementary school age boys - who have started training with the club.

My oh my, they are awesome little tykes who are cranking out the yardage alongside the older swimmers. They don't care that the older and more experienced swimmers are out-lapping them. And why should they? They are giving everything they have and at the end of the day, they have swum the exact distance or almost the exact distance.

If your child is interested in swimming with the club, please feel free to come by and observe a practice or two. The team trains 4:15-5:45 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 2:15-3:45 p.m. Fridays. Questions regarding this commitment may be directed to coach Jennifer at 731-0717.

Triathlete orientation

An orientation for first-time triathletes hoping to compete in the annual Pagosa Lakes Triathlon will be held 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the recreation center. Dr. Scott Anderson will conduct the session. Dates and times for follow-up group training will be discussed at this first meeting.

Dr. Anderson's role will be to teach, to guide and to advise first-timers on the do's and don'ts of triathlon training and competition techniques. Although the intent of the orientation session is to make triathlons more "user-friendly" for beginners, attendance will not be limited to newbies. You can come on out and join us even if you've competed before. The group training sessions that will follow in early spring will be beneficial. Besides, group training is way much fun.

The triathlon this year will be on Saturday, Aug. 6. You can compete as an individual doing all three legs of the triathlon or as one of three competitors on a team doing just one leg yourself. Either way, some group training for the event has been made possible. Please call the recreation center at 731-2051 to get your name on the list.

Extravaganza delayed

The annual PLPOA-sponsored Spring Extravaganza will be postponed to a later date. Confidence is not running high for snow-free, mud-free, balmy weather on March 27. Last year's celebration of spring had little ones bundled heavily in arctic gear. This year we'll wait for nicer weather and dry fields. Details will be announced in this column later.

Common origins

Interested in the origin of some of these common sayings?

In George Washington's day there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted. Arms and legs are "limbs," therefore painting them would cost the buyer more, hence the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."

Here's another. Ladies wore corsets which would lace up in the front. A tightly tied lace was worn by a proper and dignified lady as in "straight laced."

Needless to say, personal hygiene left much room for improvement back in the olden days. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexion. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face, she was told "mind your own bee's wax."

Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile." Also, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt and therefore the expression, "losing face."

At local taverns, pubs and bars, people drank from pint- and quart-sized containers. A barmaid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in "pints" and who was drinking in "quarts," hence the term "minding your P's and Q's."



Gracie Jean Griffith

Doug and Angela Griffith are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Gracie Jean Griffith. Gracie was born Jan. 24, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, Colo. at 6:24 a.m. She weighed 6 pounds. 6 ounces and was 18 inches long. She was welcomed home by her big brothers, Blaine, Justin and Paul, and by ecstatic big sister Haile. Gracie's maternal grandparents are Ms. Wilma Hawkins of Pagosa Springs, Lester Hawkins of Stratford, Okla. Great maternal grandparents are Mrs. Nancy Bailey and Johnny Hodge of Marietta, Okla. and Mrs. Inez Hawkins of Davis Okla. Paternal grandparents are Paul Griffith of Pagosa Springs and Mrs. Phyllis Price of Maude, Texas, and paternal great grandmother is Mara Jean Green of Maude. All of the family feels truly blessed to welcome Gracie into our lives and our family.



Leon Kelley

Charlie "Leon" Kelley passed away early March 2, 2005.

A memorial service will be held in First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 2005.

Everyone is invited to celebrate and remember the life of Leon Kelley.


Hubert Pressley

Services were held Saturday, Feb. 26, in Phoenix for Hubert A. Pressley, 67, who died Feb. 22 from pneumonia and other complications resulting from a three-month hospital stay.

Hugh and his wife, Julie, have been coming to their home in Pagosa Springs every summer for the last nine years. They are members of the Pagosa Springs Golf Club, where they played several times a week, and also of the Gray Wolf Ski Club. Golfers at the Gray Wolves' first 2005 tournament next May in Page, Ariz., will play a special "Hubie's rules" format of "low net, greenies and skins" in Hugh's honor.

A U.S. Navy veteran and past member of Rotary, Hugh was born June 27, 1937, in Waynesville, N.C., to Dennis and Veldia Pressley, and he remained an avid Carolina Tar Heel fan all his life. His first job in North Carolina as a pre-teen was delivering newspapers and he was a rural bus driver at the age of 16. At age 25 he went to work for Blue Cross & Blue Shield in Chapel Hill, N.C., in the bookkeeping department.

He moved to Arizona 34 years ago, concluding his 30-year career as the company's chief financial officer at their headquarters in Phoenix. He retired in 1992.

In addition to his wife Julie, Hugh is survived by his mother and three sons, David, Michael and Douglas; three grandchildren; his brother Delmer, sister Edith and a large group of friends, especially his golfing buddies in Pagosa Springs and Phoenix.

Pagosa Springs was well represented at the Saturday services at Dove of the Desert Methodist Church, where Judy Horky read the eulogy on behalf of the family and Jane Day and Carole Howard also made brief remarks. Among the pallbearers were Bob Chitwood, Ed Day and Bob Howard.

The following day there was another memorial gathering at the Arrowhead Country Club where the Pressleys are members. Dress for many of the men was blue golf shirts, in recognition of Hugh's favorite color and his love of the game.

Anecdotes at both events centered around Hugh's passion for golf, his various schemes to relieve his opponents of their money and his devotion to watching sports on large-screen televisions while maintaining control of the remote.

In honor of Hugh, contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society.


Cleo Quintana

Cleo Quintana, 72, of Pagosa Springs passed away at Mercy Medical Center in Durango on Feb 1.

Ms. Quintana was born June 17, 1932, in Dyke, Colo., to Frank and Anna Quintana. She spent most of her life in Pagosa Springs.

In her younger years, the former Four Corners Workshop employed Ms. Quintana where she made many friends. She was also an active participant in the Special Olympics Program and was an excellent athlete with many trophies and ribbons to prove this.

Ms. Quintana loved spending time with her family and friends, as much they loved spending time with her. She was always a gracious host and an excellent cook. She always made people feel welcome in her home. Ms. Quintana was an animal lover and took pride in caring for her beloved birds, Levi and Lilly.

Most recently, in August of 2004, Ms. Quintana accepted the honor of honorary godmother to her great-niece, Caitlin Phyllis Willet of Prairie City, Ore.

Ms. Quintana is survived by her brother, Frank Quintana, formerly of Pagosa Springs, numerous nieces and nephews and many dear friends, all who love her and will miss her dearly. Cleo will be welcomed in heaven by her mother and father, brothers, sisters and friends who passed before her.

Services were held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs Feb. 7 at 10 a.m.

"Heaven needed another angel as sometimes there are too few.

"They needed an angel pure as gold and that angel, Cleo, was you.

"The day that heaven sent for you brought so many tears,

"What would we do without your love that we cherished for so many years?

"Our comfort comes from knowing that you're in a better place and suffering no more,

"And when our time comes, we will look for you, to guide us through heaven's door."


Roberto Ortiz

Roberto "Bob" Ortiz, known to many as Horatio Orlando Cordova, died Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005. He was 56 years old.

He was born in Chama, N.M. July 4, 1948, to Manuel and Mary Irene Reed Cordova.

Extreme unction (blessing of the body) was administered by Father Carlos Alvarez at Pagosa Springs Funeral Options.

There will be a private family burial.


Business News

Chamber News

Spring break madness ready to hit in Pagosa

By Mary Jo Coulehan

Sun Columnist

We roll out of the doldrums (hah) of February and go into the frenetic pace of March. Not only is March basketball madness, but we have Spring Break madness here in Pagosa.

As crazy as this time of year is, our little tourist community loves these visitors in the last big push before summer.

Here is what we know for now: The big Spring Break week is March 13-19. The following week, which includes Easter, our own schools will be on vacation and there are spring breakers from Louisiana and New Mexico out March 20-28. I wish all businesses a great Spring Break season. We will be here at the Chamber, manned and ready to send the multitudes out into the community.

Until that time, there are some events and programs I would like to remind you about.

I'm giving you a heads-up to start looking for all your green attire and accessories for the St. Patrick's Day Parade Thursday, March 17. Parade floats will start lining up 3:17 p.m. and roll out onto San Juan Street and down Pagosa Street to 2nd Street around 4 p.m. In order to enter the parade, you will need to stop by the Chamber and pick up an entry form and leave us with your pot of gold totaling $3.17. Once again, we will give out cash prizes for the most green, the most bizarre and the best floats. This fun parade contains a lot of color and participants of the two- and four-legged kind. Come by the Chamber and pick up a registration form, look for the entry form in your Chamber newsletter coming out this week or call us and we will fax you one.

Once the parade is over, go on over to Lewis Street for the Immaculate Heart of Mary LifeTeen Youth Group's St. Patrick's Day Dinner. They will be serving up the traditional corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, dessert and drinks in the Parish Hall. Don't worry if the kids won't eat the cabbage, the LifeTeens will also be serving up hot dogs and fixins. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under and $5 for the hot dog crowd.

What a fun St. Pat's day this could be. You don't even have to cook this year! Tickets for this event can be purchased here at the Chamber, at A Shoe or Two Plus or at the Parish Hall the day of the event.

Speaking of the Parish Hall, if you haven't been to the Knights of Columbus Friday Fish Fry from 5 to 7 p.m., you are really missing out. Ron McCulloch is the coordinator extraordinaire, Darhl Henley and her kitchen crew really crank out that delicious fish, Firma Lucas shreds more cabbage for cole slaw than you can imagine, gotta love those spicy hush puppies, and although I love to give them a hard time, all the guys with the Knights of Columbus do such a great job frying the fish and french fries come sun, rain or snow to keep up with the multitudes of people.

My thank you this week is to all these great people who give up their time week after week during this Lenten season providing for us this tasty food and camaraderie. You can even take the meals "to go" and enjoy them in the privacy of your own home. We all go through withdrawal after Easter and our arteries are well clogged.

The Pagosa Pretenders are back. Headed up by Susan Garman these entertaining productions involve a great many of our young people here in Pagosa. This year's first production is called "An Evening with the Stars" and is an original play that includes a live cast as well as video clips developed with the PSHS broadcast media class. The performances will take place 7 p.m. March 10, 11, and 12 in the high school auditorium. Tickets are available at the Chamber, Moonlight Books and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Co. for $7 for adults, $6 for PSAC members and $3 for children 12 and under.

Starting Friday and running until March 13 is the fifth annual Durango Film Festival. This juried event will host independent feature films, documentaries, shorts, animation, regional and children's programs from filmmakers from all over the world. Tickets are $8 per screening and the schedule can be obtained from their Web site

Wolf Creek continues the Saturday Fun Races 11 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday in March. The races are open to skiers of all ages and abilities. Go on out and enjoy the remainder of this ski season.

A public forum on water fluoridation will be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, in the community center. It is cosponsored by PAWS and the League of Women Voters. The forum panel will have representatives on both sides of the issue and time will be allotted for the public to speak.

Here are some community reminders for you to take note of. The pre-orders I have been preaching about for the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days have now passed. You will only be able to get the daffodils from volunteers selling the flowers. The first time they will be available will be at Ponderosa Do It Best 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 12. Then, starting March 14, volunteers will be delivering the flowers to the pre-order businesses but you can also buy them at this time. Bunches are $9 and you can display this sign of hope and renewal and brighten your home or business. Contact Suzan Gray at 264-6255 to reserve some flowers.

And speaking of flowers, don't forget you can call the San Juan Conservation District and place your order for high quality seedling trees and shrubs to be planted especially for conservation planting. This type of planting includes windbreaks, hedgerows, living snow fences, dust and visual screens, wildlife habitat enhancement, soil stabilization, reforestations and Christmas tree plantations. You also need to have at least two acres of land and these seedlings cannot be used for landscaping or resale purposes. Give the San Juan Conservation District a call by March 25 at 731-3615 to order your seedlings.

After the drain of the holidays, March is food bank replenishment time. Curves International and our local Curves Center are sponsoring the 7th annual Curves Food Drive. Anyone joining Curves the week of March 7 can bring in a bag of groceries and the normal service fee will be waived. The public may bring in nonperishable food to Curves, located off Navajo Trail Drive, or the Chamber during business hours Monday through Friday. Last year the local Curves food drive collected over 1,400 pounds of food for our local food banks. The goal this year is over 1,800 pounds. Monetary donations to buy food will also be accepted. Call 731-0333 for more information on this helping hand opportunity.

And speaking of helping hands, the Mountain Homemakers will be making comfort pillows for the nursing home and Boy Scout vests at their monthly meeting Thursday, March 10. Quilter Helen Bartlett will co-host this program. If you are interested in attending or have materials such as decorative fabrics, plain washable lining fabric, batting or an available sewing machine, give Helen a call at 731-4483 to see how you can help and for the time you need to there.


Starting this week's list of new members is The Real Choice real estate agency. Conveniently located at 132 Pagosa St., this full service real estate office offers over 23 years of combined real estate experience. From vacant land to commercial buildings, give them a call at 264-3800 to see how they might be able to assist you.

Then we have the Archuleta County Republican Central Committee joining the Chamber ranks with Melanie Kelley as the chairman. You can call her for information on signing up or helping with events at 731-9956.

Primerica Financial Services, a division of Citigroup, the leading marketer of financial services since 1977 now has a presence in Pagosa Springs. Their financial services include term life insurance, legal protection, mortgages, education accounts, retirement planning and investments. They also offer a customized, confidential financial analysis at no charge. Please give Paula McFaddin or Doug Bowen a call at 883-3259 to schedule an appointment for your future.

Conmigos Marketing by Design also comes on board. Jerome Smith offers a full range of services. He can design and bring to fruition catalogs, brochures, product photography, Web sites and a full array of advertising suggestions and market planning. With local references to check him out, give him a call at 731-1649. Marketing your business is big these days. See if Jerome can help you with your advertising needs.

We have a new vacation rental property joining our list of available lodging facilities. Lynne Killey has a lakefront five-bedroom home available daily or weekly with access to fishing and canoeing an added benefit. Give her call at 731-3690 when that big group comes in and needs to stay in just one place.

And rounding out the newbees this week is associate member Barbara Webb. We thank her for supporting our efforts here at the Chamber. Maybe I can snag her into a couple hours of diplomat work this summer?

We also have eight renewals on our list this week.

Long time member Sonlight Christian Camp returns as does Margie Hollingsworth, M.Ed., LPC, a licensed professional counselor in Texas and Colorado working with women only.

George Johnson with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is back with us as is Design a Sign.

Mountain Landing Guest Quarters returns along with nonprofits Habitat for Humanity, Archuleta County Education Center and Archuleta School District 50 JT.

That's all for this week. I am in Colorado Springs this week getting smart. No small task that is! I'll let you know what great ideas I learned in next week's column. Until then, go rummage in your closets for all those green sweaters, pants and scarves.


Biz Briefs

Frankie's Place offers free St. Joseph's


Pagosa's Frankie's Place Italian Restaurant will conduct its traditional, free St. Joseph's Day Dinner 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 19.

The customary Italian feast will be served to all who wish to attend the four-hour celebration at 214 Pagosa St., just west of 2nd Street.

Last year, the managers of Frankie's served over 450 on St. Joseph's Day.


Curves food drive runs all month

Curves of Pagosa Springs will join Curves International Inc. in the annual food drive to benefit local food banks.

Last year the drive nationwide collected over 4,000 tons of food with the Pagosa Springs unit exceeding 1,400 pounds. This year the goal locally is to go over 1,800 pounds.

Anyone may drop off nonperishable food times at Curves of the Chamber of Commerce Monday through Friday during business hours throughout the month of March. Monetary donations for food purchases will also be accepted.

For more information call 731-0333.

Workshops offered for Nonprofit Week

Operation Healthy Communities will offer a series of special workshops in celebration of Colorado's Nonprofit Week.

Included will be:

- Monday, March 14 - "Nonprofit Insurance 101" offered by CANPO ASI, and the "Law and Your Nonprofit" conducted by Colorado Secretary of State's office;

- Wednesday, March 16 - "Fund-raising 101" presented by Beth Warren of KSUT public radio;

- Friday, March 18 - an all-day workshop, "How to Write Successful Grants from Southwest Colorado.

For registration information call Operation Healthy Communities at 382-0585.


Biz Beat

Steve Kuhlman

Steve Kuhlman owns and operates Kuhlman Hardwood Floors. Kuhlman Hardwood Floors installs new hardwood floors and refinishes existing floors. The service has access to domestic and exotic woods and is your source for antique pine flooring. Kuhlman Hardwood Floors provides customers cleaner, healthier and faster hardwood floor finishing and refinishing as the only business in the region to utilize the Atomic® Dust Containment System, using a powerful vacuum engine to collect the dust released in the sanding process and transport it outside the home.

Call Kuhlman seven days a week, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 731-1303.


Cards of Thanks
Singing Valentines

We, the Mountain Harmony Singing Valentines, say a big thank you to the people who gave us the opportunity and privilege of bringing songs of love and big smiles to special Valentines.

Your financial support helped the Red Cross in local endeavors and gave this women's barbershop ensemble great joy and desire to make this the first of an annual event.


Robbye Reedy, Pat French, Alice Jelinek, Paula McFadden, Nancy Smith and Natalie Tyson

Mental health center

Known to area residents as "The Pagosa Counseling Center," Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center Inc. hosted an open house Feb. 16 for community members and organizations with whom the center works.

The open house gave the center the opportunity of introducing staff and management as well as the programs that serve Archuleta County residents.

It was well-attended and included representatives from Pagosa Springs Police Department, Archuleta County Sheriff's Office, Department of Human Services, the Workforce Center, local therapists, SWCMHC board members and local school principals and counselors.

We wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to all those who joined us and we look forward to working with Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs to build an even healthier community.

For information about our services and ways we may be for help, please contact Bernadette at 264-2104.



Jenna Finney, the daughter of Ray and Teddy Finney of Pagosa Springs, is listed in the 2004 fall semester dean's list at University of Portland.

Finney is a freshman majoring in Spanish and needed a grade point average of 3.5 or better to make the list.



Alexia O. Huffman, a Dartmouth College student from Pagosa Springs, has been cited for outstanding academic achievement in history during the Fall 2004 term.

Alexia is daughter of James A. and Dagmar E. Huffman.

Members of the faculty submit citation reports only when a student's work is sufficiently distinguished to merit special recognition.



Anne Brown of Pagosa Springs, a student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, West Nebraska Division in Scottsbluff, has been named to the dean's list for the fall semester of 2004.


Sports Page

Diamond squad opens season Monday in Aztec

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Charlie Gallegos knows baseball, knows how to win.

It's a feeling he's trying to instill in a veteran team as the new head coach for the Pagosa Springs Pirates.

And he has precious little time for them to absorb his ideas, his philosophies and intent.

Their season opens Monday in Aztec, with the varsity first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.

Gallegos knows the early season will be a grind. The home field still has up to a foot of snow on it so the team is practicing in the parking lot.

No sliding, no diving. No fences to hold in outfielders chasing fly balls.

Still, he says confidently, "We're going to be a pretty good team. We have 13 returning varsity players, 10 of whom lettered last year. We have a couple of newcomers and some very good looking freshmen".

And, said Gallegos, "we'll have outstanding speed. Perhaps the best I've seen at this level in my coaching career."

To put that latter comment in perspective, Gallegos coached 20 years in the New Mexico high school ranks, taking two teams to state championships.

He looks for senior leadership from catcher Marcus Rivas and shortstop/pitcher Levi Gill, both of whom are also outstanding hitters.

With 46 students initially signed up for baseball, said the coach, practices the first week have involved about 35 ... "a few dropping out along the way when they realized they'd have to work."

And, with three key players - Casey Hart, Travis Richey and Adam Trujillo - still involved in basketball playoffs the lineup is due to see some drastic changes as the season goes on.

Gallegos said it is his belief a successful program must build from the bottom up and to do that you must have a competitive junior varsity program to provide experience.

"Our athletic director (David Hamilton) has seen that need, and has doubled the number of games for the JV to 24," the coach said. "We'll move some of them up and down as varsity swing players when needed, but generally I believe the varsity should feature junior and senior players ... unless, of course, you have a youngster who is really outstanding and deserves the shot."

The coach said he's been impressed with the administration's support for his program outline, "from the top office to the Booster Club."

His top assistant will be Dan Bahn, father of freshman prospect Cody Bahn.

After Monday's opener, the Pirates are scheduled to go to Salida to meet the Spartans March 12, and will play in the eight-team Bloomfield Invitational March 17-19, opening against Monument Valley, Utah. The balance of the schedule has not yet been released.

Gallegos also said he will have a pitching staff, initially, of about six strong young arms, with senior Randy Molnar the anchor, at least initially.

He noted depth at the outfield positions with the Hoffman brothers, Josh (all-conference last year) and John who came on strong at season's end and the powerful Karl Hujus.

Bahn said the coach has visited a number of collegiate programs since being named for the Pagosa job, and has selected the best training techniques from each for the local system.

"We'll do a lot of things that haven't been done here before," Gallegos said. "In many ways it will be the players getting to see a new system and see that it works before buying into it. Still, I believe we're going to be a competitive team in our league."

He said the players already are beginning to "know how I coach and what I expect ... they're responding well."

He looks for Bayfield to be the top-rated challenger for league honors and for Monte Vista "which was very young last year to set the scale for advancement high."

And he just might have to do it without a field to train on for some time yet. After the snow melts, and the new infield sodded last fall sets, the lining of the field with clay remains to be completed.

"I'm looking forward to the new challenge," Gallegos said. "This will not be a team with quit in its language. We will fight to win every game."


Soccer girls prepare for season opener in Cortez

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

With 33 varsity candidates so far and at least two more coming when basketball play is over, Lindsey Kurt-Mason has a pleasant problem on his hands.

More than one candidate for each position on his 2005 edition of the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates soccer team.

While it will be a rebuilding year, the coach admits, he has a strong corps of returning letter winners from last year who will set the tone for how the team performs.

But, he said, "I've been quite impressed with some of the new girls in camp. It's obvious they've played the game and know most of the basics."

While most of the practices have been in gymnasiums or on school parking lots, the coaching staff has managed a couple of practices on dry fields, taking the girls to New Mexico.

Among the returners from last year who are heavily counted on will be Laurel Reinhardt, an all-conference striker as a freshman last year; Caitlyn Jewell, now in basketball competition; Brett and Alaina Garman, Brittany Corcoran, Kelly Sause, Iris Frye, Mariah Howell, Kailee Smith and Jennifer Hilsabeck.

Sause and newcomer Erin Gable are candidates for the keeper position vacated by the graduation of Sierra Fleenor and both have experience in the nets.

Kurt-Mason said he's been working on increasing stamina and getting players in game shape.

Running an English speed/endurance test, he said, he had 11 girls who passed it immediately, indicating they could go the full 80 minutes with normal breaks.

Some others, he said, were close while still others were far behind and have work to do.

The coach said this will be a team of commitment. "Players must be dedicated to the team, at the cost of all other potential distractions during the season," he said, "because that's how you build team and teamwork."

The season opener will be an 11 a.m. contest March 12 against Montezuma-Cortez in Cortez.

Then, on Friday, March 18, Pagosa will open Southern Peaks League play by returning to Cortez to take on Telluride on a neutral field.

Then will follow 12 games in April, starting with a 4 p.m. home opener against Salida. Three days later, April 4, Bayfield is scheduled to play here.

The team will make an April 7 trip to Ignacio for a 4 p.m. game and be back home the next day for a 4 p.m. contest with Durango.

The Pirates go to Ridgway for an 11 a.m. game April 9 then return home for the next four contests.

Montezuma Cortez comes to town April 14 for a 3 p.m. tilt; Center arrives the next day for a 4 p.m. game; Ignacio comes in April 19 for a 4 p.m. game; and Ridgway is here April 23 for a 1 p.m. game.

The Pirates go to Bayfield April 26 for a 4 p.m. start, then come back home for tilts against Center April 28 and Telluride April 29, both 4 p.m. games. The league playoff is scheduled April 30 in Center.

Kurt-Mason sees strong league competition again this year, with Ridgway and Telluride both fielding veteran teams and Center always a pesky competitor.

Pagosa's girls advanced to state playoffs last year, losing in the Sweet 16 quarterfinal game.


Pirates dump Ignacio, host

Lamar in regional playoff opener

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

To casual observers, a 48-point blowout that earns you the conference tournament crown may be a perfect win.

But because Pagosa Head Coach Jim Shaffer knows the capabilities of his top-ranked Pirates better than anyone, he's the first to recognize when something is amiss.

That's why Shaffer's sentiments following Pagosa's 86-38 home win over Ignacio in the Intermountain League tournament title game Saturday night were a bit lukewarm.

"Don't get me wrong, we think this is a good win and we're happy to be IML champions," said Shaffer after the game.

"But it was a little frustrating because I thought we didn't have that 'extra bounce' in our step tonight," he added.

Then again, as Shaffer acknowledged, it can be difficult to get excited about facing an opponent you'd beaten by 53 points a week earlier.

The Bobcats, on the other hand, had nothing to lose and played accordingly early on, taking a 2-0 lead 35 seconds into action with a basket by Juan Guzman.

Pirate senior Caleb Forrest tied the game with a baseline jumper, Mitch Davis gave Ignacio a 4-2 edge with a deuce, then Forrest cut the lead to one at the line with 5:36 left in the first quarter.

An inside deuce from Casey Schutz put the Pirates in front for good at 4:35, and the lead grew to 11-4 as Forrest, Craig Schutz and Otis Rand collaborated for Pagosa's next six.

Then Craig Schutz trumped a pair of drives by Ignacio's Kyle Lucero with a trey and two in the paint, and Pagosa led 16-8 at 1:35.

Forrest added a pair of charity tosses, Abel Romero sank a free throw for the Bobcats, and the period ended 21-9 in favor of Pagosa after a deuce at the buzzer from Rand.

Pagosa scored the first seven points of the second, upping the lead to 28-9 at 5:24 behind four from Forrest and a three ball from Casey Schutz.

Pagosa's lead swelled to 35-15 in the next three minutes as Ignacio's Kasey Lucero and Pirate sophomore Kerry Joe Hilsabeck each knocked down treys, Forrest got two at the line, Davis inked a three-point play and Craig Schutz put home an interior feed from Paul Przybylski.

Anthony Ortiz, Guzman and Kasey Lucero each netted two for Ignacio in the final two minutes, and the half ended with Pagosa up 44-21 after Forrest and Craig Schutz combined for an additional Pirate nine.

Kasey Lucero temporarily cut the lead to 20 with a trey to open the third, but Pagosa countered with a deuce each from Forrest and Casey Schutz, then a three ball from Przybylski to take a 51-24 lead at 5:45.

Guzman and Kasey Lucero hit jumpers, Pagosa got two free throws from Rand and a drive from Craig Schutz, then Ignacio's Derek Rodriguez hit one of two at the stripe to make it 55-29 at 2:51.

The Bobcats were shut out from then on, and the Pirates took a 60-29 lead into the fourth after a mix of five from Rand, Forrest and Craig Schutz.

A drive by Przybylski, and two free throws from Forrest opened the fourth, then the Pirates went up 73-29 during a seven-point stretch comprised of a three-point play by Craig Schutz, two free throws by Forrest after a Bobcat technical and a jumper from Casey Schutz on the resulting possession.

Casey Schutz hit a pair of free throws and Romero hit a trey to make it 75-32 midway through the frame, then Pirate sophomores mopped up as Jordan Shaffer, Casey Hart and Caleb Ormonde outscored Ignacio 11-4 down the stretch to give Pagosa the 86-38 victory.

Forrest led all scorers with 27 points; Craig Schutz added 20 and Casey Schutz finished with 13.

Przybylski topped the assists column with five, followed by Hilsabeck, Shaffer and Casey Schutz with three apiece.

The win pushed the Pirates' season record to 19-1, a mark they will look to improve upon when they host Class 3A regional playoff action this weekend.

In summary, Shaffer indicated the Pirates will be ready.

"Our kids understand how well we're capable of playing and they also know we'll have to play our best ball of the season starting this week," said Shaffer.

"We know we have to be sharp for 32 minutes from here on if we want to move forward," he added.

"Obviously, a loss means you're done, so we'll have that bounce in our step again and be ready to get after it," he concluded.

The Pirates, who were awarded the No. 1 seed in the eight-team regional playoff bracket Sunday, will clash with No. 8 seed Lamar (10-13) of the Tri-Peaks East League tomorrow at 6:45 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School gym.

If the Pirates win, they will play the victor of the preceding, 3:30 p.m. game between No. 4 seed Florence (16-6) of the Tri-Peaks East League and No. 5 seed Bishop Machebeuf (15-8) of the Denver Metro League at 2:45 p.m. Saturday for the right to advance to state competition March 10-12 in Fort Collins.

Regional playoff ticket rates are $6 for adults, and $5 for students K-12 and senior citizens.

Colorado High School Activities Association passes and CHSCA courtesy cards will be the only passes accepted at the door; all others are invalid for postseason events.


Scoring: Forrest 6-17, 15-17, 27; Craig Schutz 8-11, 3-5, 20; Casey Schutz 5-10, 2-2, 13; Hilsabeck 1-2, 0-0, 3; Przybylski 2-4, 0-0, 5; Shaffer 2-4, 4-6, 8; Rand 1-2, 4-6, 6; Hart 1-5, 0-0 2; Richey 0-0, 0-0, 0; Martinez 0-1, 0-0 0; Ormonde 1-2, 0-2, 2; Trujillo 0-0, 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Hilsabeck 1, Przybylski 1, Craig Schutz 1, Casey Schutz 1. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 20. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 32. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 15.


Pirates get a Faber, down Centauri 51-46 for district title

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

You can call them district champions.

And you can get ready to watch them at home this weekend as the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates ground out a thrilling, comeback victory over Centauri Saturday for the district tournament title, earning a regional follow-up as their reward.

And this was an atypical game, one in which Centauri manufactured an early lead and clung to it before a fourth period Pagosa uprising snatched victory from defeat.

And it all came after Pagosa coach Bob Lynch sought a Faber - Kari Beth Faber, that is - and the junior responded with her finest defensive effort ever.

That came early in the second half when Lynch switched from a zone to man defense and put Faber out front to stop the Centauri barrage of three pointers. It was a chore she seemed to take as her responsibility. Combined with Liza Kelley's pressure performance at the foul line down the stretch, that was the game difference.

Afterward, Lynch said "the intensity she (Faber) brought to the floor was the catalyst. The others seemed to feed off her energy."

But getting to that point was a chore.

Pagosa, coming off a spanking of Monte Vista in the first round, was flat early, but would finish with four players in double figures for the first time this year.

The early culprit for the visiting Falcons was forward Sheena Sutherland who drilled three deuces in the opening frame after long-range bomber Lacey Cooley put Centauri up early with a nothing-but-net trey.

Resa Espinoza, the Falcon's fleet point guard added a deuce and free throw, Afton Witten and Lucia Muniz both scored their only field goals of the game, and Wynona Miller hit a charity toss to put Centauri on top 17-10 after one period.

Pagosa shots were banging off the iron or glass early, with senior center Caitlyn Jewell putting the home team on the scoreboard first with a putback off the rebound of her own shot. Bri Scott and Liza Kelley added field goals and Lori Walkup two at the line and a reverse layup on a right side drive.

Pagosa nibbled one point off the lead in the second period, thanks mainly to six points from Scott, including two from the stripe, and two more fields goals by Walkup.

Sutherland had another Centauri deuce, but it was to be her last point of the game. Miller added a pair of field goals, Amanda Gylling one, and Lisa McCarroll a free throw. Jewell's last score of the period made it 26-20 Centauri at the half.

And then the defensive change.

Riding inside drives by guards Jessica Lynch (four points) and Kelley (six points) the Pirates whittled two more points off the margin.

And Faber was everywhere a would-be three-point shooter might think about a shot. Espinoza and Cooley could not get free.

The Centauri scoring went to Gylling with two inside moves for field goals and a surprise trey from deep in the left corner (opposite Faber). Miller added a deuce and Janette McCarroll two free throws (her only two points of the contest).

Pagosa trailed 37-33 as the fourth period opened and fell deeper as Centauri moved out to a 40-33 on a trey by Lacey Cooley.

But Pagosa was not to be denied. Kelley converted four consecutive free throws, three coming when she was fouled by Espinoza while shooting a three.

Espinoza got two back with a field goal, but Scott answered with a trey for Pagosa and the score stood at 42-39. Jewell, who had struggled from the foul stripe early in the contest, cut the lead to 42-40 with a pair of charity tosses.

An exchange of free throws netted a tie at 44. Then Walkup coolly drilled a deuce off a steal and a fast break giving Pagosa a lead it would not relinquish. It stretched to 48-44 with Kelley hitting a deuce and to 51-46 when she added another free throw after a Cooley trey with 29.9 seconds left.

Centauri missed a final shot and Pagosa ran out the clock to capture the district title and the top seed for regional action this weekend in Pagosa.

It was Pagosa's second victory over the 10th-ranked Falcons this season, and the second at home. The victory pushed the Pirate record for the season to 15-6 as the drive for a state playoff appearance opens.

Pagosa shot 16 for 33 from the floor for a .484 percentage while Centauri was 19 for 36 (.528).

Thus, the difference came at the charity stripe where Pagosa was 17 of 31 (six by Kelley in the final period) and Centauri 7 of 11.

Regional matches

The victory in the district gives Pagosa Springs the regional tournament this weekend with the Pirates playing game two at 5 p.m. Friday against Salida (12-11) from the Tri Peaks League.

The two teams have had four common opponents this season. Salida lost twice to top ranked Buena Vista, 72-36 and 62-41. Pagosa fell to BV in the season opener 55-37.

Salida owns a 54-43 win over Bayfield while the Pirates beat the Wolverines twice 73-34 and 64-40.

Both teams defeated Gunnison, Salida by a score of 51-47 and Pagosa by 57-38.

Pagosa beat Classical Academy 66-31 and Salida defeated them twice, 58-21 and 47-39.

Salida comes into regional action with a three-game losing streak, falling to St. Mary's, Trinidad and Manitou Springs in district action.

The Pirates come in having won nine of their last ten, and holding a five-game winning streak.

The earlier 2 p.m. game will feature Colorado Springs Christian (17-5 from Tri Peaks) against Valley (13-10 from Patriot League), with the winners to meet at 1 p.m. Saturday for the Regional title.

The state's top-ranked 3A boys team from Pagosa will also host regional action, playing Lamar (10-13) at 6:45 p.m. Friday with Bishop Machebeuf (15-8) contesting Florence (16-6) in a 3:30 p.m. contest.

Colorado High School Activities Association rules for the tournament will have admission at $6 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students (K-12). Intermountain League and family passes will not be honored.

Only CHSAA and CHSCA passes will be accepted at the gates.

The two tournament winners will advance to the Great Eight at state playoff action next week at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.


Scoring: P-Lynch, 0-1, w-2, 0-1, 4; Scott, 1-1, 2-2, 2-3, 9; Kelley, 0-1, 5-9, 6-10, 16; Faber, 0-0, 0-2, 0-0, 0; Jewell, 0-0, 3-7, 5-13, 11. C-J. McCarroll, 0-2, 0-3, 2-2, 2; Espinoza, 0-0, 2-4, 1-3, 5; Miller, 0-0, 3-4, 0-0, 7; Sutherland, 0-0, 4-4, 0-0, 8; Witten, 0-0, 1-2, 0-0, 2; Muniz, 0-0, 1-2, 2-2, 4; Gylling, 1-3, 3-6, 0-0, 9; L. Cooley, 7-3, 0-2, 0-0, 9; L. McCarroll, 0-0, 0-0, 1-2, 1. Total fouls: P-18, C-25; Total turnovers, P-14, C-14.


Pagosa's total domination buries Monte Vista 76-32

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

For four minutes Friday, the Monte Vista Pirates were locked in a duel with the Pagosa Springs Pirates and, in fact, led most of that time.

But, when senior Lori Walkup's second field goal at 4:37 put Pagosa up 8-7 in the second game of the district basketball tournament here, the description of the balance could be nothing less than total domination.

Pagosa raced to a 21-12 first period lead, stretched it to 37-19 at the half, 56-25 after three stanzas and coasted to a 76-32 final margin.

The early Monte Vista run came from one of the two usual suspects, Tabitha Gutierrez who is one of the state's top scorers in Class 3A, with a deuce and a trey.

Walkup's first field goal and another by her senior running mate Bri Scott cut the margin to 7-4. Emily Buikema scored on an offensive rebound put-back and the stage was set for Walkup to give Pagosa the lead.

After that, the homestanding Pirates operated like a well-oiled machine, working off stingy defense which produced 15 steals in the game (five by Walkup) and a set offense looking for the open shots.

Senior center Caitlyn Jewell chipped in with two field goals and two from the stripe in the opening period, junior point guard Liza Kelley drilled a trey, as did her backcourt running mate Jessica Lynch, and junior forward Caitlin Forrest added a charity toss for the opening period margin.

Things would only get worse for Monte Vista, a 10-point loser to Pagosa just two weeks earlier on their home court.

Gutierrez hammered home another trey early in the second period and Amy Hart picked up a pair of field goals. But that was it for the green and white.

Walkup added another six points on two charity tosses, a driving layup from the left hand and a pull-up 10-footer. Scott joined in with her second field goal and Kari Beth Faber converted a field goal and free throw.

Then Jewell poured in her third field goal and Buikema added a deuce and charity toss. Monte could see the gold and black writing everywhere they looked.

It only got worse for the visitors in the third period. Had it not been for a pair of deuces by Gutierrez, and all-state candidate Mary Miles' first field goal of the game, it would have been total disaster.

Those six points were a feeble answer to the Pagosa 19-point outburst in the period, one keyed by Scott's deuce, trey and free throw.

But she was not alone. Lynch and Walkup each got three the old-fashioned way, scoring a field goal while being fouled and converting the charity toss.

Jewell added two at the stripe and another field goal and Forrest contributed a pair of field goals on strong board work inside.

The final period, with coach Bob Lynch putting in his reserves to work with an alternating starter each minute, produced more of the offensive onslaught for Pagosa.

Miles and Gutierrez each netted three points for Monte in the seven-point period and Duran added the final marker from the stripe.

Pagosa, meanwhile, was scoring in bunches.

Sophomore point guard Lyndsey Mackey got them started with a trey. Scott followed suit and added a driving layup. Walkup netted a pair on inside and baseline drives and added a charity toss.

Jewell, before sitting the last five minutes, added two more field goals and Forrest, who exited at the same time, had one on a jumper from 10 feet.

Still the Pagosans were not done. Sophomore forward Kim Canty, fouled shooting, converted one of two from the stripe and fellow sophomore Kristin DuCharme followed suit.

When the smoke had cleared, Pagosa was on top 76-32 and on a march to the district championship game with Centauri, a winner over Ignacio in the day's first game.

Coach Lynch, talking with the press after the game, was ecstatic over the Pagosa team play.

"We worked the offense the way it was drawn up, after the surprise early jitters," he said. "We went to the post when it was open and the guards looked regularly inside for the forwards breaking off screens."

He called Lori Walkup's performance "one of the best all-round games I've seen her play." (She led Pagosa with 18 points, had five rebounds, five steals and three assists).

And he had praise for the reserves. "They played like they knew they are part of a winning team, which is what we've been preaching. It is a team and every member counts."

As a team, the Pirates shot 27 of 51 for a percentage of .529, the best of the year from the floor. Monte Vista, meanwhile, was 12 for 41 (.291).

Pagosa outrebounded the valley Pirates 33-10.


Scoring: P-Lynch, 1-2, 1-6, 1-1, 6; Mackey, 1-01, 0-0, 0-0, 3; Scott, 2-5, 4-8, 1-2, 15; Kelley, 1-1, 0-1, 0-0, 3; Walkup, 0-0, 6-8, 5-5, 18; Canty, 0-0, 0-0, 1-2, 1; Faber, 0-0, 1-1, 1-01, 3; Jewell, 0-0, 6-10, 3-5, 15; Buikema, 0-0, 2-5, 1-1, 5; Forrest, 0-0, 3-4, 1-2, 7; DuCharme, 0-0, -0-, 1-2, 1. Monte Vista: McAuliffe, 0-0, 1-3, 0-0, 2; Miles, 0-0, 2-6, 2-4, 6; Schaefer, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0; Gutierrez, 3-7, 3-8, 0-0, 15; Lister, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0; Duran, 0-3, 1-4, 1-2, 3; Archuleta, 0-1, 0-4, 0-0, 0; Derbin, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0; Wright, 0-0, 0-0, 2-2, 2. total fouls: P-14, MV-18. Total turnovers, P-11, MV-21.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

A look at how tee ball is played

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

For those parents with children under the age of 6, or for those who haven't had children yet, at this time of the year it's likely you are hearing stories that arise from the tee ball fields.

Some of you may be wondering what tee ball is - considering it probably wasn't played when you were a child.

Here's how it works: There is a pole sticking out of a base located where home plate usually rests. The pole extends up to the waist of a typical kindergartner. At the top of the pole is a rubber tee that, if hit with the bat, will separate from the pole. The tee dislodges so, when the batter misses the ball and hits the tee, the bat won't knock over the pole and base.

On top of the tee sits the ball. In essence, the tee is like training wheels on a bike. Most tee ball players are experiencing America's game for the first time, so the tee takes some of the guesswork out of the process. Instead of trying to hit a ball thrown by a pitcher, all the child has to do is aim and hit a stationary ball. It's really quite simple.

When it's a player's turn at bat, the coach places the ball on the rubber tee and quickly dodges out of the way before the player accidentally hits him with the flailing bat. After the child cocks the bat back safely, he or she fires forward in the attempt to send the ball into play.

During a typical game, the tee usually flies farther than the ball. This is often accompanied by the player's parents jumping up and down hollering in excitement because their child finally hit something other than the pole.

Every kid plays in tee ball. Often the coach puts players at each infield position then throws the other six or eight kids into the outfield. This is helpful because if the ball (or more likely the tee) actually rolls into the outfield, it's likely that at least half the kids will be paying enough attention to retrieve the ball. As for the rest of the players in the outfield, they are usually pulling dandelions or chasing butterflies.

Most of the regular rules of baseball apply in tee ball. If a player is tagged running to a base, he or she is out. Unlike little league or professional ball, however, it's not uncommon for a player when tagged at first to throw his hat at the first baseman and cry. There are times when this doesn't happen at first base - for example, when a confused player skips first and runs to second or third base, or to see the snake some kid found behind the dugout.

There are no strikes in tee ball, but after the entire batting rotation makes it home in a single inning, three outs or not, the inning ends and the next team comes to bat. This is especially important because most innings end this way. If they didn't end mercifully before the team in the field got three outs, I could still be watching my son's first tee ball game from May 21, 1996.

And that ladies and gentlemen is tee ball. Class dismissed.

(Excerpt from "The National Parenting Center"- Parent's Corner by Ken Swarner. )

Tee ball sign-ups

Tee ball sign-ups began the week of Feb. 21 and will 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-, 5- and 6-year-olds depending on birth dates. Look for flyers at our schools or come by town hall to sign up your child.

Galles grant

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department would like to thank Galles Properties, Galles Chevrolet Friends of Youth Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Rick Galles for a grant of $450 to be used in supporting our youth tee ball, youth soccer and youth basketball programs.

Women's basketball

We are still accepting players in our adult women's basketball league. If you are interested in playing in this league, contact the department as soon as possible or come to the junior high school at 5:45 p.m. Mondays to sign up. You must be at least 16 or a sophomore in high school to be eligible for this league.

Sports hotline

Information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department may be found by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or online at via the parks and recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated every Monday morning.

Hiring officials

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

For any questions, concerns or additional information about any of the recreation department programs, call me at 264-4151, Ext. 232.



Volunteers matter

Some disappointing news arrived at The SUN office last week when Jeff Laydon stopped in to talk about the Spanish Fiesta. Or, rather, the lack of a Spanish Fiesta, an annual event that many residents of Pagosa Country have looked forward to and enjoyed.

The Fiesta, as well as other events - primarily dances - are the economic engine producing funds for the Spanish Fiesta scholarship program. The program awards $1,000 scholarships to local high school graduates, helping them with the cost of college or of technical or trade school.

Jeff brought the news that this year's Fiesta, normally held in the summer at Town Park, would not take place. Nor would a Cinco de Mayo dance, a Hunter's Ball or Fiesta club activities at the county fair in August.

The reason: Not enough volunteers to make things happen. With not enough people willing to take on the responsibilities attendant to Fiesta activities, the remaining members of group's board of directors decided to take a hiatus. There were plans underway to finalize 501C3 nonprofit status that would have allowed the club to obtain grants; that process has been put on hold. The lack of help from the community caused Laydon and several others - most notably Lucy Gonzales, who has worked diligently with Fiesta for many years - to stop "beating a dead horse."

It's a shame: The Fiesta embodies and celebrates a cultural tradition everyone in Pagosa Country should recognize and respect. The arrival of settlers of Hispanic heritage brought a group that had a profound and positive influence on the kind of place Pagosa became. The continued arrival of residents of Hispanic origin influences the nature of our community today. The Fiesta heralded this tradition and it will be missed. If fortune shines, as it did in the past when a similar hiatus occurred, people will recognize the loss, step forward and take the initiative in time to recharge the organization and bring the Fiesta and some of the other events back in 2006. Let's hope this happens; we need the Spanish Fiesta.

In the meantime, according to Laydon, there is $14,000 remaining in the organization's scholarship fund. He said those funds will continue to be distributed to deserving students with the assistance of the high school counselor.

Another program, this one quite new, is now at a point where participation appears to be a major factor determining its future: the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen.

The program began in January when several individuals decided the community needed such a program - a free meal, served at the noon hour Thursdays at the Parish hall, with anyone and everyone invited. The organizers decided to try the idea for three months. The funds for the program come from donations and City Market helps with meat and bread. Now, the founders must decide if they will continue and, as with the Fiesta, the future depends on volunteers. Anyone interested in helping can show up at the hall Thursdays and join in, until March 31, the end of the trial period.

These are but two of the programs in Pagosa Country that need more than money to operate. They need people, energy, time, participants who care more for the goal of the program than for their own aggrandizement or for petty squabbles, some perhaps generations old, that keep them from cooperating with others. The number and character of our cultural and charitable programs have long distinguished this place. We cannot lose them; we cannot continue to turn social and cultural programs over to government or allow them to die off. Churches, civic organizations, charitable groups and their volunteers must continue to do their work if we are to continue to maintain our identity as a community.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

There are always victims

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Some things seem totally unbelievable.

In a discussion on television I heard several prominent news and legal experts discussing the things which make them flinch in coverage and one of the things mentioned was "victimless crime."

On the surface, that seems to be a misnomer. Can crime have no victim? If there is no victim, why is it a crime?

Such, unfortunately, is the status of legalese in America today. There seems to be a "give it a meaningless title and we can avoid prosecuting for it" mentality.

Asked by their panel moderator to define "victimless crime," the three sage panelists were hard-pressed to answer.

There was no hard, firm conclusion, but allusion to loose legal definitions which make some daily incidents crimes although no one is injured.

They never came up with a viable example of that which they were discussing.

I suppose, and it is a reach, that tossing a beer bottle into the ditch alongside the road might constitute the answer. Littering is a crime, but there is no visible victim of the litter save the landscape itself. But shouldn't that be a legitimate complaint? If the litterer were discovered, shouldn't he or she be held liable for the blight they have contributed to?

One panelist cited graffiti as an uncontrollable defacing of public property, but, in fact, a victimless crime.

The victims, as I see it, are those who must look at the sightline scribbling and the taxpayers - you and I - who in the long run have to foot the bill for its removal. Admittedly, it isn't the problem here it might be in Denver or Albuquerque, but location does not reduce the crime against another's property.

Fishing out of season was another "victimless crime" mentioned. No one is hurt by it. No one is maimed and no property damaged. No one other than the fish and the spawning patterns and the laws which are on the books for specific reasons.

Crime, by definition, is a serious offense against public law. So how can there be "victimless crime"?

It seems something akin to the "virtual" programs television keeps foisting off as entertainment. But I've expounded on that before and will skip further comparison other than definition: "Being in essence or effect, though not formally recognized or admitted."

Does that make "victimless crime" "virtual crime"? Is it a matter of imagination? A means of forgiving without understanding? A verbalized way to escape reality?

If a law is a law, the crime it defines is a crime. No ifs, ands or buts. No virtual or victimless definitions apply.

It would seem to me there are much deeper philosophical matters for our experts to pontificate on, things like war and how to avoid more of it, worldwide hunger, the spread of virulent disease, the growing envy of massive wealth for the comparatively few, with perception of continuing financial struggles for the rest.

I might ask what happened to the American dream? The "crimes of power" seem to bar it.




90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of Mar. 5, 1915

Pagosa natives were all aroused from their customary late sleep last Sunday morning about 7:00 o'clock by the constant ringing of the fire bell, and upon investigation found the Commercial Hotel in flames. The fire started in the attic next to the roof and was caused by a defective flue, the office stove being the direct incentive. It was impossible to put it out by means of buckets of water and the alarm was given. Three streams of water were quickly applied and by valiant efforts the flames were subdued. The second and third stories of the hotel were gutted. It was miraculous that anything was saved. Much credit should be given the men in saving the Star Theatre and the other buildings adjoining.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 7, 1930

Juanita school children are enjoying the Dennison course in "School Crafts and Projects," and they are proving themselves the natural artists most Spanish-American children are when given the opportunity.

The work of "pouring" the concrete walls for J.M. Laughlin's new grocery store building was completed this week under the supervision of Contractor Axel Nelson.

Fifty-two ladies of this community attended the Civic Club bridge and sewing party, held Wednesday afternoon at the home of Mrs. David Hersch. In addition to the sewing and bridge playing, a delightful program was rendered and delicious refreshments served. The club realized about $15 for the benefit of the public library.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 4, 1955

The Pagosa Pirates broke a jinx of many years standing last Saturday night when they beat the Ignacio Utes in a thriller 58-57 for the tournament championship of the San Juan Basin's "B" and "C" leagues. This is the first time in ten years that a Pagosa team has won both the conference and tournament titles.

This past week saw a great deal of snow fall here in town and at the higher elevations. The snow was not as wet as it seemed, however, and the moisture content could have been much higher. During the month there was about eighteen inches of new snow but it only contained 1.05 inches of moisture. This is a below normal amount, but is much better than the dry weather we have been experiencing.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 6, 1980

Klondike Days, a winter fun event, is scheduled to be held this weekend at Pagosa. The schedule calls for ski races, snowmobile events, dances, movies, and ice sculpture contest.

Wolf Creek Pass received about 17 inches of new snow in the first of the week storm and four inches fell in town. Traffic was tied up on Wolf Creek Pass for more than an hour when a bus and truck collided.

W.H. Diestelkamp and Chris Chavez, incumbent county commissioners, both said this week that they would be candidates for reelection. Chavez is a democrat and Diestelkamp a Republican. The other member of the board is Harold Schutz and his present term has two more years to go.



Seeds Succeeds

'Second home' receives birthday gift

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

On Monday, Seeds of Learning, Pagosa Springs' only nonprofit early childhood education center, turned 7 years old.

For its birthday, the good people of Pagosa gave the little center on the San Juan River nearly $60,000 in birthday cash.

Fifteen months ago, Seeds of Learning was awarded a $50,000 grant by the Daniel's Fund in Denver, but to receive it, the center had to match it. By the Feb. 24 deadline, Seeds of Learning had received donations from the Pagosa community and from outside the area totaling nearly $60,000 - surpassing their goal.

"The money has come in lots of little donations in this community," said Seeds of Learning Executive Director Lynne Bridges. "By donating that money it tells me they believe in the value of what we do."

What "Seeds," as it is affectionately called, is doing for the children of Pagosa Springs is simple: The center on San Juan Street takes kids from 18 months to 5 years old and gets them ready for kindergarten and life thereafter.

What's unique about the program is the same thing that consistently earns it the highest possible rating from state agencies. The fact that Seeds of Learning accepts many children who live at or below the poverty line drives its education program to an exceptionally high level.

"It takes a higher quality program to meet the needs of at-risk kids," Bridges said explaining that Seeds of Learning has consequently raised the bar for all the children. No matter their economic status, the school reinforces strong emotional, educational and social foundations. Also, every member of the staff at Seeds is currently enrolled in one if not two early childhood education courses and, because all the classes at Seeds are team taught, rarely does a substitute enter the classroom. That means continuity and security for the children.

"Every child in this preschool is taught with an individualized plan," Bridges said. "So every child's needs are met automatically. That's what makes us so special."

The problem is, at age 7, Seeds of Learning has grown out of its facility. This, of course, presents many challenges for the staff on a day to day basis but the problem goes much deeper than that.

Seeds of Learning is seeking state accreditation and where staff, schedules and programming are concerned the school receives an A-plus. Where the facility is concerned, it flunks.

"We can't pass because we don't have a proper facility," Bridges said, adding that accreditation will expose Seeds of Learning to a brand new world of grant funding and even corporate sponsorship.

Most importantly, Bridges said, there is a 3-year-old girl who has been enmeshed in the Seeds family for a year. But this little girl won't be able to continue into the preschool next fall, because there is no room for her. Her parents will have to take her elsewhere. Bridges said Seeds has 26 children on the waiting list and 22 are waiting for the preschool.

The $110,000 that Seeds of Learning has now collected is designated for the construction of a new facility at 7th and Apache Streets. The total project cost is estimated at $600,000 and will triple the preschool's enrollment capabilities. The land has been purchased, the plans have been drawn and Bridges hopes that by summer 2006 her staff and kids can move in.

That $600,000 figure may even be high, Bridges says, because along with all the generous cash donations Seeds has received from the community, it has also received offers from a general contractor and a surveyor to donate their services. Other businesses, like Jim Smith Realty and The Source, have donated their marketing capabilities for the fund-raising push.

That is exactly the type of commitment Bridges is looking for in the fund-raising process. She said she'd much prefer many smaller donations than one or two large ones.

"It has to be a community effort," Bridges said adding that the center only derives 60 percent of its operating budget from tuition. The rest comes from the state, charitable grants and community support.

And just why is this little child care center worth supporting?

Two of Rudy Smith and Margaret Burkesmith's three children attended Seeds of Learning.

"It feels like a second home because it's just beautifully simple," Burkesmith said.

"It was one of the first places Connor felt really comfortable being dropped off. He would just be fine and that's when I knew it was a second home."

Bob and Colette Hemenger's 2-year-old daughter Ella is a current student at Seeds of Learning, but their oldest daughter was a student of Lynne Bridges when Lynne ran her own in-home day care.

"We certainly think a lot of Lynne Bridges," Bob Hemenger said, adding that Ella thrives at Seeds. "Ella seems to really enjoy herself and the staff is fantastic. I get the feeling they really understand early childhood education and they really understand the kids."

Bridges said the support for the fund-raising drive has been widespread. She said one man from Colorado Springs heard about the effort and stopped by to drop off a check. Another woman made a significant donation to Seeds in honor of her son, who was recently killed in Iraq. Her son had been a big believer in early childhood education.

Bridges who ran her in-home child care program for 21 years said the results of a 40-year study on early childhood education has been recently published. The study tracked the lives of people who had experienced a program like that at Seeds and those who had not. Now, as 40 years-olds, there was a marked difference between the two groups studied.

"It's amazing the difference," she said, adding that the study validates everything they do at Seeds. Bridges believes the fund-raising challenge is not only for people with young children involved in the program. She points out that these children will be paying an older generation's Social Security and that new hires won't move to Pagosa Springs unless there is quality childcare.

"I want to know that the community believes in us," she said. "I want them to understand the value to them."

The Seeds of Learning fund-raising drive will continue until the goal is met. All contributions are tax deductible and can be mailed to Seeds of Learning, P.O. Box 5831, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

For more information contact Bridges at 264-5513 or e-mail


Ed Center schedules parent and child night

Parent and Child Together Night at the Archuleta County Education Center is scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, March 10.

This month's theme is "Healthy Bodies and Strong Minds Equals Great Kids."

Parents and children will gather for an evening of fun activities focusing on building a strong body and mind through reading and exercise.

Dinner will be provided. There is no cost for the activity but families should preregister by calling the education center at 264-2835.


Homebuyer education class slated

Housing Solutions for Southwest Colorado will offer a homebuyer education class 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 8-9.

The class is designed to show how a person can buy a house with as little as $1,000 down and information will be given on a down payment assistance program offered by HSSC.

For more information on class location and to sign up for the free sessions, call 259-1086, Ext. 10.


Driver license office now open

Wednesday only

The Pagosa Springs driver license office on the lower level of the county courthouse has changed business days.

Formerly open only on Tuesday, the office, as of March 1, is now open only on Wednesday.

Office hours will remain 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with a noon-1 p.m. closure for lunch.


Insurance advisors to hear Joe Keck


The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) - Southwestern Colorado, will hold it's monthly meeting at the Doubletree Hotel in Durango at noon, Tuesday March 8.

Speaker will be Joe Keck, director of Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College. Lunch will be served and prospective members are invited to attend- please RSVP to Linda Morton at (970) 565-9395.

Pagosa's Past
Crowd of 1,000 attended Wolf Creek opening

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

The decision to build Wolf Creek Pass near its present location was made in 1914. Construction of the route required two more years.

Despite the challenge and expense of building a road suitable for automobile traffic across the South San Juan Mountains, the advantages of such a venture were enormous.

Consider the following article written in the Denver Times.

"With the building of eight miles of road from South Fork to the canyon of the south branch of the Rio Grande, the most important highway connection that has been projected across the mountains in recent years will be completed. The road will connect Denver with Pagosa Springs and Durango and the entire southwest portion of Colorado. It will provide an automobile route through a scenic part of the state that has been visited by a comparatively few people, and it will provide connection with roads now projected from Dolores to Norwood and from Durango to Silverton, thus giving the automobiler his choice of two methods of making a "circle" tour of the state.

"The new highway will afford a direct route to the Mesa Verde National Park, and this alone should prove a great magnet for automobile travel to this state. Also the new road over the divide will open the way for transcontinental tourists to travel to the Pacific Coast via Shiprock or Farmington to Gallup, N.M., after having taken in the scenic pleasures of the southwestern part of Colorado.

"The new road is forty-four miles long The cost of construction will be more than $76,000 including $16,000 that will be spent on the last link now underway The road is passable now (Oct. 22, 1915), although not for the average motorist. Fred Catchpole, stockman, banker, and country commissioner of Archuleta County, who had been pushing the construction work on the south (west) side of the divide, recently made the first rip in an automobile This work will be completed by fall, and the new road ready for use from Denver in the early spring it is felt the road will boost automobile travel to Colorado by 25 percent It will also stimulate travel from southwestern Colorado to Denver There are many prosperous residents of that section of the country who have not bought automobiles on account of the difficulty of getting out to the east and north."

Physical labor built the Wolf Creek Pass highway. The labor of men and animals. Dynamite, picks and shovels, and horse-drawn earth scrapers moved the rocks and dirt. The original highway was only 12 feet wide. Two cars could barely meet and pass each other. Cuts and fills were made, but where possible the roadbed remained in almost natural condition. Catchpole supervised the work on the west side of the Divide, where the crew numbered as many as 90 men.

The official opening took place Aug. 21, 1916. Ceremonies were planned for the summit of the 10,800-foot pass, but were moved to the head of the box canyon 12 miles to the east. About 1,000 people and 250 cars attended the ceremony. Free elk meat and coffee were served.

Local old-timers like to say that Pagosan Buck O'Neal had been contracted to supply the wild meat. O'Neal enjoyed considerable fame as a hunter and fisherman. They then chuckle and swear that O'Neal provided buzzard meat to the visiting Denver "political flatlanders."

Next week we'll begin a first-person account provided by a member of the first party to cross the pass in autos.



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Forecast indicates break from wet weather

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

For the first time in several weeks, wet weather does not dominate Pagosa Country's forecast.

According to reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, today's predictions are exceptions to an otherwise dry outlook for the coming week.

Today's forecast includes a 40-percent chance for widely-scattered rain or snow showers, highs in the 40s and lows in the teens.

Friday calls for party-cloudy skies, breezy conditions, highs in the 40s and lows around 15.

A slight increase in cloud cover is expected Saturday, along with highs in the 40s and lows ranging from 10-20 degrees.

Mostly-sunny conditions are forecast for Sunday through Tuesday, as are highs in the upper 40s and lows in the 20s.

The forecast for Wednesday predict mostly-sunny conditions, highs in the low to mid-50s and lows in the 20s.

The average high temperature last week in Pagosa Springs was 41 degrees. The average low was 14. Moisture totals between Feb. 24-March 2 amounted to three-hundredths of an inch.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit snow depth of 168 inches, a midway depth of 149 inches and year-to-date total snowfall of 387 inches.

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

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains is "moderate" with isolated pockets of "considerable" danger near and above timberline.

According to SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin, as of Tuesday afternoon, was 172 percent of average.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture describes regional drought conditions as "abnormally dry."

San Juan River flow through town ranged from a low of about 105 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 155 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of March 4 ranges between 55 and 65 cubic feet per second.