March 17, 2005
Front Page

Fisher clinic closing April 1; new format eyed in July

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

A change of mind, and a change in plan.

Those are the two main elements of a motion approved Tuesday night by directors of the Upper San Juan Health Service District, an action that will temporarily close Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center April 1, one day after contracts with center physicians expire.

The board's decision, reached after roughly five hours of executive session discussion with local physicians, comes two weeks after a majority of directors approved a now-defunct, short-term financial model expected to keep the center operating until feasible long-term plans could be devised.

That plan was developed and presented by the district's ad hoc financial committee and, in summary, called 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.

This week's decision amounts to an about-face of sorts; specifically, the board's latest motion calls for the center to close April 1 "with the intent of reopening July 1, 2005."

Also included in the motion is the concept of "recruitment of a consultant to manage the process to reopen."

According to Pam Hopkins, board chair, the district now intends to "create a comprehensive medical campus that will be the foundation for future expansion of medical services as the community grows."

Hopkins indicated board member Jerry Valade has been designated as the "visionary manager" to oversee such development.

Valade, serving in an unpaid capacity, will be charged with gathering data and input to be used in the plan from a number of relevant sources, including local and regional health care providers, as well as current district associates.

As for what prompted the decision to temporarily close the center, "We thought we had a plan that would enable us to go forward, but as it turns out, we don't have all the support we need," said Hopkins.

For example, the district has been unable to secure enough staff to make the previously-adopted plan work, said Hopkins.

On the flip side, however, Hopkins said she believes substantial progress was made this week concerning what she described as "a kind of disfunction" that has existed between the district and local physicians in recent years.

In addition, Hopkins stated EMS services will not be impacted by the recent turn of events.

But given the April 1 deadline to implement a plan, "Things were getting too complicated, and though we didn't want to close the clinic, we decided at this point, we really had no choice," said Hopkins.

Regarding what will occur at Mary Fisher in the two weeks leading up to closure, Hopkins indicated Allen Hughes, district business manager, was scheduled to discuss such topics during a meeting with staff Wednesday afternoon.

Results of that meeting were unavailable as of press time.


Town errs with river job; waits penalties

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Earth movers in the San Juan River are a sight that snaps most people to attention. Some people worry about the habitat, some worry about whom the work is for, and others just wonder what's going on.

Last week the Town of Pagosa Springs ran into a little trouble with its river project.

Ten years ago, the San Juan River underwent some major restoration as part of a three-phase project inside town limits that ultimately will extend from U.S. 84 through town to Apache Street and the sports complex area. After all the permitting required, Phase Two is expected to occur in the late summer and fall.

According to Town Manager Mark Garcia, the Town of Pagosa Springs has a maintenance permit to get into the river to work on bank stabilization and other river structures.

Last week, the town began working on one of the W-weirs that, Garcia said, had caused some problems last summer. In one incident, some children became stranded on the weir and the fire department had been called to pluck them off. Town staff felt the weir presented some safety concerns that needed to be addressed.

The plan was to replace the weir with what is called a U-Dam structure, which required the use of concrete or "grout" as it is called in the industry. The town believed the work fell in the parameters of its maintenance permit.

The Army Corps of Engineers disagreed and last Wednesday night told them to stop work.

They didn't.

"We didn't have the choice to stop," Garcia said, explaining the growing spring runoff left a small window of opportunity to do the work. The engineer hired to do the work also said stopping wasn't an option.

The town completed the rest of the structure and is now awaiting a penalty from the Army Corps of Engineers. Garcia said the penalty could include a fine or mitigation measures, but he doesn't know yet.

To complicate the issue there is also a U.S. Geological Survey monitoring station below Tequila's Mexican Restaurant. Some additional river work required its removal. Working on a short timeframe, town staff did not manage to speak with the USGS prior to removing it, which caused further headaches.

Garcia admits the town could have done a better job, notifying all the proper agencies prior to doing the work.

"Ideally we would have had more of our I's dotted and our T's crossed, but we didn't," he said.

Part of the hurry was that Wolf Creek Ski Area donated track-hoes, loaders and operators to do the river work, which Garcia said was about a $100,000 donation. So the town also had to work within Wolf Creek's time frame.

One of the questions being debated among different users in town is: What is the best use for the San Juan River? The area in question is an urban river corridor and Garcia said the downtown master plan has concluded that as a town "we are not connecting with our river." The giant rocks that are being built into the banks are one part of creating better access and stabilization through the corridor.

But typically, when rivers are restored there are engineers focused strictly on the fishery and some who focus only on the recreational and boating aspects. Garcia said the engineer hired for Phase Two of the river project is a blend of both. He feels that's important because the area of the San Juan River in question runs right through the center of town. The users are diverse and the town's goal is to accommodate their needs - some wildlife and some recreation.

"When we are done, we will have whitewater features," Garcia said about the river project, adding that river rodeos are a major draw for towns like Salida and Durango. However, Garcia said, the new U-Dam built last week is also designed for fish, due to its mass and the eddies it creates.

Ultimately, Garcia said, the San Juan River, especially through the urban core, is facing many of the same issues downtown Pagosa Springs confronts as it grows and changes.


Wolf Creek crash leaves two dead, four in hospital

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

An early morning one-vehicle crash near the summit of Wolf Creek Pass March 12 killed two unidentified occupants and sent five others to hospitals in Colorado and New Mexico.

The six victims were among 22 people in a 1991 Chevrolet extended cab pickup with a camper shell. The truck left the road approximately one-half mile east of the summit of the pass shortly before 6:30 a.m., said Colorado State Patrol Sgt. George Dingfelder, of the CSP's Alamosa office.

According to Dingfelder, the truck was traveling eastbound on U.S. 160 at an estimated 75 mph, in a 45 mph zone.

"There were fourteen individuals riding in the back of the truck," said Dingfelder, "and another eight riding up front."

As of March 16, three crash victims were at Swedish Hospital in Denver, two at Denver's St. Anthony's Central and one at San Juan Regional medical Center in Farmington, N.M.

The other passengers, said Dingfelder, are being held in the Las Animas County Jail in Trinidad on an immigration hold.

"As far as we can tell," said the sergeant, "everyone who was in the truck is a Mexican national and undocumented, most of them from the states of Sonora or Chihuahua."

Dingfelder said efforts continue in cooperation with the Mexican Consulate and the Department of Homeland Security (Immigration) to identify the victims and the other passengers.

The CSP is not likely to press charges in the case. Dingfelder indicated the results of a CSP investigation will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

Numerous individuals and agencies responded to the incident, including employees of Wolf Creek Ski Area. First on the scene among local agencies were firefighters from the Pagosa Fire Protection District. Chief Warren Grams said fourteen firefighters went to the scene with a tanker, a rescue truck and a command vehicle and firefighter Megan Macht assumed the role as incident commander for the unit. Local EMS personnel responded to the scene as did ambulance units from South Fork, Creede, Del Norte, Monte Vista and Alamosa.

"The Pagosa firefighters were some of the first at the scene," said Dingfelder, "and they did an absolutely outstanding job securing the scene and aiding the injured."

 Inside The Sun
Joint operation nets woman on cocaine charges

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Action March 8 by local law enforcement officers resulted in the arrest of Kimerly Larose, 46, of Pagosa Springs, on a charge of possession of cocaine for sale.

Detectives with the Pagosa Springs Police Department and the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office investigated Larose for several months. Prior to her arrest, search warrants were carried out at two local residences.

The sheriff's Special Enforcement Detail was called out to assist in serving the warrants.

Officers recovered evidence from both residences including cocaine, scales, records, drug paraphernalia and materials used for cutting and packaging cocaine. Eleven law enforcement officers and three evidence technicians were involved in the investigation and search warrants.

According to Detective Scott Maxwell of the Pagosa Springs police department, the two local law enforcement agencies have worked to put together numerous drug distribution cases during the past year, almost all of which have been a joint effort by the two departments.

Maxwell said several cases are presently under investigation and more arrests are anticipated.

Most crime-related drug tests here positive for meth

By Randy Johnson

Special to The SUN

The methamphetamine problem is in Archuleta County.

So said District Attorney Craig Westberg at a March 9 meeting he organized to get the community involved and educated on meth issues. Westberg said the number of crime related activities and court cases that involve the drug, either directly or indirectly, is growing .

Speed, meth, chalk, ice, crystal, glass - the street names for methamphetamine -- is an addictive stimulant closely related to amphetamine, but has longer lasting and more toxic effects on the central nervous system. It has a high potential for abuse and addiction. It increases wakefulness and physical activity and decreases appetite. Chronic, long-term use can lead to psychotic behavior, hallucinations and stroke.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in a 2002 survey about 12 million Americans, age 12 or older, had tried methamphetamine at least once in their lifetimes with the majority of "past-year users" between the ages of 18 and 34.

"Most crime related drug tests in Pagosa Springs" according to Municipal Court administrator Candace Dzelak "test positive for meth."

And there is no cure.

Dr. Alan I. Leshner, director of the NIDA, wrote that, "To date, there are no safe and tested medications for treating methamphetamine addiction, although there are several behavioral treatments (such as individual and group counseling) that are showing positive results".

Westberg organized the meeting because of the growing problem here. Remembering the adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," Westberg feels preventive action should start now and come from the community. That is why he invited La Plata county residents Lynn Westbrook (director of the San Juan Basin Health Department) and Peter Tregillus of SUCAP to address the meeting.

La Plata County is experiencing the same problems with meth so the community decided to take action. How? They formed a grass-roots coalition that will address prevention by educating middle and high school age children. They have developed a brochure targeted for middle school-age children and a 12-minute video for others. The brochure has some good information and a testimonial from a former (young) addict. The video will be completed in the near future.

Westbrook said, "both (brochure and video) are available to Archuleta County as well as any other information from the coalition that might help." She said the La Plata county group started with little or no money and is using mostly local volunteer time and energy to start the education process.

Tregillus indicated there are funds available through grants but most are directed to efforts that combine multiple addictive types like alcohol, tobacco, pot, etc.

Westberg indicated his office has some funds that can be used.

The Archuleta County school system has programs in place for drug education. Lisa Hudson and Mark Thompson, counselors in the local school system, said they can integrate meth education into their respective programs and are willing to do it this year.

But there must be community involvement. As the La Plata County brochure states;

"It's in your community,

It's in your neighborhood,

It's probably in your school;


It might even be in your home!"

A community coalition is being formed in Archuleta County with the objectives of education and prevention. A second meeting will be held in April with a community information meeting to follow. Look for more details in future editions of The SUN.

Also in attendence at the March 9 meeting were Municipal Judge Bill Anderson, Susie Kleckner, Chris Hinger, Davilyn Valdez and Don Ford.

For more information on the growing methamphetamine problem visit The SUN's Web site at, click on Archives, and refer to a four part series published in the Dec. 9, 16., 23. and 30.. You can also visit the NIDA site at and click on methamphetamine.


Commissioners set meetings to address 'Village' concerns

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Last March, plans for The Village at Wolf Creek were unveiled and quickly rose to the top of many Pagosans list of pet peeves.

A year later, the debate surrounding the controversial endeavor has shown no signs of waning interest, as evidenced by this week's meeting of the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners.

A standing-room-only crowd packed into the courthouse meeting room Tuesday to both comment and hear requests to the board for a formal stance of opposition to the village from project opponents.

Appearing to reiterate a plea he has made either personally or in writing on several occasions was Jeff Berman, executive director for Colorado Wild.

Berman asked the board to consider an official resolution opposing the village, a measure that has been taken by the Town of Pagosa Springs.

Likewise, Pagosan Rich Goebel, founder of an ad hoc activist group known as Locals Opposed to Village Development, asked the commissioners to consider a work session to address the ever-rising number of socioeconomic and environmental issues regarding the village.

In the end, the board scheduled a work session to address such concerns April 18 at 7 p.m. in Pagosa Springs Community Center, and indicated Mineral County officials and village developers will be invited to attend.

In addition, the board tentatively scheduled a preliminary "village meeting" with Mineral County officials April 8, and is expected to issue a formal position on the village following the April 18 work session.

Mineral County commissioners approved development plans for the first phase of the village last October, an action that has since drawn a number of legal challenges from village skeptics.

At full build-out, the village would occupy roughly 290 acres of private land in Mineral County's Alberta Park area, adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area.

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

On a related note, a settlement conference between the Pitcher family, owners of Wolf Creek Ski Area, and village developers that had been scheduled in federal court Tuesday in Durango has been postponed and rescheduled for March 25.

The settlement conference is an attempt to resolve a lengthy legal squabble centering on, among other issues, a heated dispute over whether or not the scope of current plans for the village exceeds what had apparently been agreed to by both parties when the project was in its infancy.

New meeting time set

The commissioners adopted a new time for regular meetings this week; the board will now meet the first and third Tuesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. in the courthouse meeting room.

In other business this week, the board:

- confirmed Robert Russ, a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves and Thunderbird pilot, has been hired to succeed Ken Fox as county airport manager. Russ is expected to assume the post within the next four to six weeks.


Armed by legal, insurance dictum, PLPOA gives buoy foes deadline

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The line is in the water.

Well, not yet, but it will be at "ice-off" and the property owners adjacent to the golf course along Village Lake have apparently missed their chance to have a say in its location.

At issue is a buoy line intended to create a safe (as possible) zone for boaters and others at risk of being hit by a drive from the course.

The property owners and directors of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association have been at loggerheads over the issue for over a year.

Several alternatives have been studied, recommended and rejected.

The buoy line was moved last year to a new alignment and the property owners fought it as a "sight blight" and insufficient to protect them or visitors.

Several alternatives were offered but the property owners could never reach 100-percent agreement, as mandated.

As a result, in a final move for closure, the association staff asked the legal counsel and insurance carrier for opinions on what and how they could solve the issue.

Those answers were discussed March 10 with the indication there are two possible solutions:

1. If property owners accept the present offer and sign a waiver, the buoy line could be moved to the narrowest portion of the lake, along with additional widespread and very visible signage indicating the risk of entering the area, and with indemnification of the association by the golf course operation.

2. If that does not happen, leave the buoy line at the point where it was installed last year and, in addition to the added signage, institute a boating ban in the area and use signage and focused publicity to make sure the public is aware of the move.

In effect, said director David Bohl, "our legal and insurance advisors have told us to get 100 percent agreement on a plan of action or leave the buoy line where it is now."

"The whole thing has been flagged and is now even more contentious," said director Gerald Smith.

Walt Lukasik, generals manager, introduced a letter delivered shortly before the meeting which indicated neither of the alternatives demanded by legal and insurance counsel are acceptable.

Lukasik suggested one last-ditch effort to solve the brouhaha.

"Let's send detailed comments from both legal counsel and the insurance carrier to every property owner in the area and give them 30 days to reply," he said.

Bohl said that is logical action, "but we still must have 100 percent agreement."

An audience member called the whole idea "overkill."

"Whose scientific survey determined where the line would go? Who is to say at what point a golf ball will go farther than at another point?" she asked. "You've ignored the property owners' rights. I can see a point in the future when we might as a group have to testify against our own homeowners' association if someone is seriously injured by a shot from the green."

Smith argued, "The only total solution would be to rope off the whole lake and bar its use. We don't want to do that. We asked our advisors for recommendations and this is what they have said. It is not some neighborhood social judgment. We are in no position to ignore the advice of our legal and insurance advisors."

"It becomes more a question of suability than liability," said Lukasik.

"We think there should be other options," answered the homeowner.

"There is still a 30-day window," answered Smith. "If there's no agreement, it closes."


'Town Terrace,' sans restaurant, gets green light; Sonic proposed

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

An application for a Sonic Drive-In restaurant planned for a site adjacent to Ponderosa Do It Best, and the "Town Terrace" project planned for Pagosa Street, came before the Pagosa Springs Planning Commission Tuesday night.

Discussion of the Pagosa Street development, planned for the two lots adjacent to Victoria's Parlor, had been continued from the Feb. 15 meeting. The applicant was asked to address neighborhood concerns about the size of the structure and inadequate parking. The building is a Victorian-style design intended to complement the Victoria's Parlor building and will house offices, retail and residential uses.

In response to those neighborhood and town concerns, the project has been reduced in size from 11,000 to 8,577 square feet. A restaurant was planned for the mixed-use building but has been eliminated to further ease the parking burden. Before its redesign, the building was short 13 parking spaces, per town requirements. It now has a surplus of two parking spaces per those same requirements.

Rice Reavis, planning commission chair, praised the project planners for their diligence in responding to community concerns about the project and no one stepped forward during the public hearing to comment. The conditional use permit was approved.

The Sonic Drive-In is only seeking approval from the commission of its interim design criteria. Town staff still had many questions regarding pedestrian elements, landscaping and signage, and recommended the applicant return with more information. The commission followed staff's recommendation and continued the item.

The restaurant is proposed for a vacant lot between Ponderosa Do-It-Best and the new Giant gas station under construction at the corner of Piedra Road and U.S. 160. The applicants who were present at the meeting, Darryl Coster of Pagosa Springs and J.D. Merritt of Las Cruces, N.M., hope to get the permits in place in order to complete the project by September. The project is currently in the first step of the review process.

A third project, a preliminary plan submittal for phase two of the River Walk Townhomes which will follow the river along 5th Street, was also continued. The project is a 39-unit development of townhomes or condos. Staff supplied several pages of concerns to the planning commission including recommendations from the Division of Wildlife and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Staff recommended the commission continue the discussion after the issues have been resolved. Project representative Sean Thompson, believed "90 percent of those issues" had been resolved in discussions with town staff. Commissioner Ross Aragon stopped a number of lengthy technical explanations of those issues and suggested the applicant supply them in writing to the commission for review. The commission approved a continuance.


Host families needed for AYA students

Bright, motivated high school students from countries all around the world are dreaming of coming to the United States to study in a local high school.

For more than 20 years, Academic Year in America (AYA), has brought international students between the ages of 15 and 18 to this country. AYA is sponsored by the not-for-profit American Institute for Foreign Study which was founded in 1967 with assistance of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy.

The young people will arrive in August with full medical insurance, their own spending money, solid academic records and English skills.

What they need is a loving local family to help them realize their dream. For more information about hosting an AYA student call Mary Parnell at 247-8908.

DOW sets public meeting in Pagosa on rules changes

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will host a three-topic public meeting 6:30-9 p.m. March 23 in the Extension building at the fairgrounds.

Mike Reid, local DOW officer, said the topics due for public comment are:

- the proposed Moose DAU plan which defines the goals and objectives for the moose population of southwestern Colorado;

- changes in big game hunting for the five-year period 2005-2009, including season dates, hunt code changes, private-land-only hunting, changes in bear licenses, brochure errors and other items of local interest; and

- proposed fishing regulation changes for 2006.

With reference to the latter topic, Reid noted the DOW launched a five-year fishing regulation review process late last year at Anglers' Roundtables around the state.

At these meetings, including a regional session in Cortez, public comments were solicited on fishing regulations that will become effective Jan. 1 and extend through 2010.

For further information, contact Reid, Doug Purcell, Justin Krall or Scott Wait at 247-0855 (Durango DOW office).

San Juan revision study group will meet March 21

Community study groups are meeting again this month in Durango, Pagosa Springs, and Cortez to help the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in identifying issues to be studied in a joint long-term planning effort, which began in January.

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

Members of the Pagosa San Juan Plan Revision Community Study Group are reminded their next meeting is 7 p.m., Thursday, March 31, in the Pagosa Springs Junior High School library.

Meetings are facilitated by the Fort Lewis College Office of Community Services with USFS and BLM staff on hand to offer information about specific landscapes and management issues.

In southwestern Colorado, the two federal agencies work together to jointly manage San Juan Public Lands, some 2.5 million acres of National Forest and BLM lands. The joint planning process will produce plans to guide management of these public lands for the next 10 to 15 years.

For more information go to: or call 247-7468.

Recommended fishing law changes slated for DOW talks April 7

The Colorado Wildlife Commission recently opened fishing regulations to review and approved changes to regulations affecting falconry and big game.

Eric Hughes, DOW Fisheries chief, presented 41 issues papers to the Commission, opening fishing regulations for review, as is scheduled every five years.

Hughes told the commission his staff had worked for the past six months to identify these issues by holding public meetings, requesting suggestions for changes and contacting interested groups and individuals.

Many of the proposed changes are designed to make regulations easier to understand and enforce; to clarify language and boundaries; to make regulations consistent where there have been varying regulations on different parts of one body of water; and to change size and bag limits on some species in some areas to improve the quality of these fisheries.

The commission also directed staff to prepare some updated definitions in Chapter 1, including "float tubes" and "artificial bait and lures" to clarify the intent of regulations.

The proposed issues and changes in fishing regulations will be discussed in detail at the commission's April 7 workshop in Yuma.

The commission also approved corrections and administrative changes to the 2005 big game seasons with a focus on season dates, limited license areas and manner of take provisions for sheep, goat, deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and bear.

The commission approved a regulation authorizing the director of the DOW to establish - and area wildlife managers to issue - licenses for bear and mountain lion in addition to the otherwise applicable limited license numbers or quota where necessary to address specific game damage situations. The license was designed only to deal with situations where a specific geographic quota had been reached, but a lion or bear is causing damage and needs to be removed.

This allows licensed hunters to take a dangerous or depredating lion through the special authorization.

The changes to falconry regulations included additions to the regulations corresponding to the take of young peregrine falcons (eyas birds) from the nest or recently fledged peregrine falcons, for use in the sport of falconry. A maximum of four peregrine falcon capture licenses may be issued to licensed Colorado master falconers by random drawing process in 2005.

An eyas bird may be removed from a nest only when there will be one or more other eyas birds left in the nest; no permitted falconer may remove all young from any nest site. A DOW representative must be present during the attempted capture of any peregrine falcon eyas bird. Attempts to remove peregrines (either eyas birds or recently fledged young) are prohibited when the Division determines the removal may be unsafe or circumstances may threaten the survival of the young or the return of adults to the nest.

Proponents of the regulation noted that falconry, also known as hawking, is one of the oldest sports in continuous practice with historical references dating as much as 3,000 years ago, and falconry is unique in being the only sport in world history to have a wild animal as the central participant.


DOW will offer workshop on wildlife viewing

Learn how to find and observe animals in the wild at a free Wildlife Watch workshop in Durango March 22.

Sponsored by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the workshop is designed for people who are just starting to learn the basics of wildlife viewing, said Renee Herring, coordinator of Wildlife Watch for the DOW. The program is also well suited to naturalists, educators and other people who teach courses about wildlife.

The half-day session will be a hands-on, interactive program packed full of activities and exercises to prepare people to go out on their own. Participants will spend about two hours outdoors practicing their new skills.

"This is a great opportunity to sharpen your senses to the sights and sounds of nature," Herring said.

Instruction will include how to look for various species - from birds to elk, from beavers to coyotes. You'll learn how to examine different wildlife habitats and how to interpret the signs that animals leave along the way. An important part of the program will be how to view wildlife responsibly without disturbing them.

Tips on how to use binoculars, spotting scopes and field guides will be included. Binoculars will be provided for all participants. Those who have their own should bring them.

You'll also learn about other equipment that can aid the wildlife watcher.

People should dress comfortably, be prepared for the weather and bring lunch. Two books - the Colorado Wildlife Viewing Guide and the Watchable Wildlife Workbook - will be available at discount rates of $5 each.

Enrollment for this popular class is limited to 25 people, so early sign-up is encouraged.

The workshop will be held 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the DOW Visitor's Center, 151 E. 16th Street, Durango.

To register, call 247-0855, or visit, from the homepage click on "Viewing" in the menu on the left.


23rd annual water seminar set April 8

The Southwestern Water Conservation District will hold its 23rd annual water seminar Friday, April 8, at Doubletree Hotel in Durango.

Seminar registration fee is $30 per person in advance ($32 at the door), and includes a buffet lunch with morning and afternoon beverages and snacks.

Advance registration must be completed no later than March 25.

Seminar check-in begins 8 a.m. and the seminar at 9 a.m. with a variety of subjects and speakers on the agenda.


An expert view

Dear Editor:

My primary home is in Tulsa but I've owned a condo in Pagosa for 20 years, occupying it during the summer months and for short periods in the winter. I am 81, a retired professional engineer, chemist and environmentalist.

I have owned and operated my own water analysis laboratory, analyzing thousands of water samples from ranches, farms, industrial site, etc. I'm very familiar with the halogen concentrations (chloride, iodide and fluoride) in waters.

Are these three halogens toxic? Of course they are - in excessive concentrations. Drinking sea water (primarily sodium chloride - ordinary table salt) will kill a human in a few days. However, in small quantities, it is an essential chemical for human survival. In the form of chlorine, it is a deadly gas; however, trace amounts are almost universally used in developing nations to prevent waterborne diseases.

Forced medication? Perhaps, but we don't want to return to the health problems that existed in the 1800s.

In large quantities, iodine is a deadly poison, but trace amounts are added to most of the table salt we buy at the grocery store. It is essential in our diet.

We have known for more than 50 years that drinking water that naturally contained about 0.7 ppm of fluoride resulted in greatly reduced dental problems. About 10 million people currently are consuming water that naturally has at least 0.7 ppm fluoride. Another 150 million are using water that has at least that fluoride concentration added at water plants.

There is no law against publishing lies on the Internet. It is awash with all types of protests, thousands of unsubstantiated claims and enormous distortions of the truth, sometimes by individuals who appear to have some credibility. However, all of them together cannot begin to have the credibility of the following associations supporting fluoridation of public water supplies: American Medical Association, American Dental Association and World Health Organization.

I'm sure the couple claiming fluoridated water contributed to the death of their horse are completely honest and truly believe their claim, but that does not make it a fact.

The Tulsa water department started adding fluoride to our water in 1953. My two children were born in 1953 and 1955 and are fortunate to have had it all their lives. They have excellent teeth. I did not have fluoridated water the first 30 years of my life and I lost one tooth; however, I have lost no additional teeth during the 51-year period of drinking fluoridated water. My father had no fluoridated water and lost all his teeth before age 60.

The typical fluoride concentration in toothpastes today is 1,690 ppm. My dentist has me using a stronger paste each day with a concentration of 7,300 ppm. The amount added to drinking water is typically only 1 ppm or less.

Over half the population of our entire nation (162 million people) are getting the daily benefit of fluoride. Many in Pagosa cannot afford large dental bills. Don't take this inexpensive, valuable, proven benefit away from them.

Ray W. Amstutz

 A big mistake

Dear Editor:

After reading Tom Carosello's article, "Fluoridation: Pros and cons debated," March 10, I concluded that it is time for those of us who think it would be a big mistake for the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District to discontinue fluoridation of our water to make our position known to the board members.

The article stated that during the question and comments period "while a few indicated support for continued fluoridation, the majority of those who spoke expressed skepticism or outright disdain for the practice."

That isn't surprising since the majority of the attendees likely were already in favor of the proposal of the Pagosa Springs Clean Water Advocates to discontinue fluoridation. I believe the overwhelming majority of the community wasn't represented and vocal at the meeting, because we are reasonably well-informed on the subject and didn't take the proposal seriously. That was my reason for not being there. I trusted the board to use sound judgment in its final response to PSCWA.

Judging by Director Don Brink's answer to the question, "When will you make a decision on this?" I think the board members deserve to hear consumers, professionals, agencies, and governments who think there is no reason to discontinue the practice, adopted in 1988, of fluoridating our water.

Two of our dentists are already out front in support of continuing the use of fluoride. Dr. Thompson's letter, "Fluoride facts," March 3, gave a Web site of the American Dental Association that bears repeating: He suggests, "A good place to start is to click on 'fluoridation facts.'" In addition to that article, I chose four articles under the general heading, ADA Positions & Statements: "American Dental Association Supports Fluoridation," "ADA Statement on the Safety of Community Water Fluoridation," "American Dental Association Statement on Water Fluoridation Efficacy and Safety," and "ADA Statement on the Effectiveness of Community Water Fluoridation."

The content of the ADA articles supports everything Dr. Rutherford and the two representatives of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are reported to have presented at the meeting.

All we know about Cathy Justus and Crista Munro is that they are opposed to fluoridation and recently founded PSCWA. They presented no one to support their proposal. Did they look for a dentist? Dr. J. William Hirzy, shown in their video, loses credibility when he concludes by saying he "views the addition of fluoride to public water supplies as a method of 'managing' what would otherwise qualify as industrial waste." Who is supposed to have perpetrated this crime? How would they get the existing widespread support?

Gene Wissler's excellent letter, "Fluoride response," March 10, explains some of the chemistry involved and reports the negative results of his search for publication of some of the "More than 60,000 worldwide studies link(ing) fluoride intake to serious health problems such as arthritis, hip fracture, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, thyroid problems and cancer," as claimed in PSCWA's March 3 ad.

Earle Beasley

 Medical care shock

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to ensure that your community maintains a focus on improving it's healthcare system. As a yearly visitor to Pagosa Springs, I finally had the need for urgent care, and I was shocked at the state of the system.

I am an employee in the healthcare industry, and I understand the infrastructure and cost needed to sustain a capable system. I'm sure Pagosa Springs has hurdles to cross, but I hope the city moves quickly to address the first obstacles.

Without a major effort to get adequate diagnostic capability into the city my tourist dollars - and I'm sure others - will go elsewhere. Last Sunday, my son and I had a snowmobile accident that lacerated his spleen. We contacted Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center and quickly drove to the office. Dr. Picarro met us and provided outstanding care with the tools he had.

Unfortunately, he was only able to analyze my son with visual indicators. Blood lab work and/or internal scan capability did not exist. Additionally, he was working alone without the assistance of a nurse or an administrative assistant. He not only provided urgent care, he started the IV, contacted and arranged emergency transportation; and handled the insurance forms. This certainly detracts from his primary focus, the patient.

Without proper assistance or the ability to perform blood work and internal scans, diagnosis was slowed and fraught with risk. Based on my son's visual responses, Doctor Picarro made a very safe decision and asked us to transport our son, via ambulance, to the nearest emergency room.

This turned out to be a fantastic decision. My son was bleeding internally. By the time he reached Durango, he had lost 33 percent of his blood. At Mercy Medical Center, the ER, Intensive Care Unit, and Dr. Deaver provided outstanding care. Through all these efforts, my son has moved quickly down the path to recovery.

Pagosa Springs is leaving patients and their concerned doctors exposed to serious mistakes without the proper diagnostic capabilities and adequate resources. I hope this letter will provide emphasis to the importance of joining together and providing Pagosa Springs' doctors with 21st century technology and resources.

As a bare minimum, I hope a properly staffed blood lab and CT-Scanner is added to Pagosa Springs' healthcare system. I also hope that funding for medical clinics is improved so that nurses and administrative assistants are available for all facilities.

I look forward to hearing about the improvements in your system. I truly wish to continue enjoying the beauty of warm community of Pagosa Springs. In the meantime, my whole family thanks Dr. Picarro, the paramedics that rushed my son to Mercy Hospital, and the Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center. Thanks for doing everything in your power to protect an important member of our family.

Mark Cosimi

Cincinnati, Ohio

 Don't tweak TABOR

Dear Editor:

Mark Larson, our representative in the Colorado House of Representatives, hosted a town meeting Saturday, March 12. He gave an excellent presentation of the Romanoff proposal to fix the state's budget problems, HB05-1194.

The bill next goes to the state Senate where it is sure to see some changes. After that, if changed, it goes to a conference committee between the House and Senate. The final result, if it survives the process, will be a proposal for us voters/taxpayers to vote up or down as a ballot measure.

Since the proposal is sure to see changes in the Senate and in conference committee, there is not much point in debating the merits today.

One provision, however, deserves our immediate attention and input to Sen. Isgar. The key provision of the Romanoff proposal is to ask voters to approve the state keeping tax money over the next 10 years which TABOR would otherwise require be refunded to us taxpayers.

We, the voters/taxpayers, approved TABOR in 1992. It has only been in effect for slightly over 10 years, yet the Romanoff proposal urges that we approve a 10-year, yes, ten-year, "tweak" to how TABOR affects the taxing and spending process. Rep. Larson was honest and open with us - most business cycles do not last 10 years. The median is closer to 3.5 years.

My understanding of the goal of TABOR is to smooth out the process, to prevent state government from overspending during economic good times, so the bad times don't hurt so much. Everyone please feel free to agree or disagree with me about this and its effectiveness. (As if I needed to say that in these letters to the editor.)

Advocates of this measure will, correctly and honestly, point out that this is not a change to TABOR. The TABOR amendment itself authorizes the legislature to send ballot measures to the public to seek our approval for the state to keep the money rather than refund it.

Having said that, I see no way that a one-time approval of a 10-year exemption fits the intent and spirit of TABOR. When I voted for TABOR in 1992, I certainly believed that this approval provision of TABOR would require the legislature to seek voter approval each time, yes, each time, it wanted to keep taxpayer money rather than refund it.

Whatever your personal stance on the Romanoff proposal and the 10-year provision, we have a limited time to get our opinions to Sen. Isgar and have a say in what shows up as a ballot measure on down the road.

Dennis L. Eamick

Against fluoride

Dear Editor:

This letter is being directed to the fluoride question and controversy over having fluoride put into our water supply here in the Pagosa area.

I am against the continuation of adding medications to my drinking and cooking water, my bathing water and water for my yard and my animals' drinking water as well.

I, as one who pays PAWS monthly for my water supply, would like the choice whether to have this foreign waste substance in my water or not. I am against it and making my opinion and voice known.

I hope and definitely pray PAWS will consider all the complaints that are being voiced at this time against having our water medicated against our will.

Mrs. Rosemary La Vigne

'V' rock refund?

Dear Editor:

In the '90s, an enterprising contractor blasting on Wolf Creek Pass to widen it , got a government grant to put the rocks into the river to create V-shaped rock formations.

These formations were to provide low flow areas which would allow fish to breed more easily, thereby enhancing the fishing in the San Juan.

When the contractor ran out of money midway in the project, the public was given the opportunity to complete the work by having a rock placed in the river, with their name on it if they paid $50 for the honor. Many good-hearted Pagosans did.

In the current revamp of the river, will those Pagosans get their rock back or what? Seems like the present work is unwarrantedly disturbing what some people thought was their good deed for the community.

Will justice be served? The Vs need to be restored.


Ed Mergens

 Indian honor

Dear Editor:

University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill's liberal and perverse ramblings have created quite a roar in our nation/state. But why does he want everyone to think that Indians hate America?

The truth is Indians love America more than most people here. Today there are nearly 200,000 living American Indian veterans. That's nearly one out of eight Indians. Churchill's fake Indian voice, though loud, is way off key. Real Indians honor America and are quick to honor their warriors.

The percentage of Indians in the American military is proportionately higher than that of any other group and Indians have been fighting for America since the War of 1812. Indians have served in all the major American wars, often without acknowledgment because they weren't American citizens until 1924, when Congress declared them so. Indians serving in World War I, "the Great War," served as volunteers.

In 1917, Chief Red Fox Skiuhushu went to Secretary of War Newton D. Baker and pleaded, "From all over the West we now stand ready with 50,000 Indians between the ages of 17 and 55. We beg of you, to give us the right to fight ... our hearts could be for no better cause than to fight for the land we love, and for the freedom we share."

Of course, there is much ambiguity about Red Fox's identity, as with Churchill's, but Red Fox was an honest representative of true Indian sentiments. That's the critical difference. During the Great War, Indians were accepted in the military at nearly twice the rate of non-Indian inductees. Nearly two-thirds of the Indians had volunteered before the Selective Service Act of 1917.

The service of American Indians during WW II is renowned. There were Code Talkers from 16 different tribes. It is said in many circles that those heroes turned the tide of that war.

Indians are proud of their military service and five have received the Congressional Medal of Honor. I call this American patriotism. The grand entry of every Indian powwow opens with a flag song honoring the American flag. And it will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

In 1995, the Native American Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Denver. The American Indian Veterans Organization of Arizona is now creating a national monument in Phoenix to honor all Indian veterans.

The war in Iraq has seen more American Indian patriotism. Pfc. Lori Piestewa, a Hopi Indian from Arizona, was the first female American soldier killed in Iraq, in March, 2003. They named a mountain in Phoenix after her, "Piestewa Peak." Her brother Adam said, "We honor the warriors who have throughout history laid down their lives for their fellow man and preserved the God-given right to freedom."

Indians love America not for reward, but by natural affinity with the land. They do not serve for honor but because of honor.

Ward Churchill certainly has no honor.

Jim Sawicki

Not fluorine

Dear Editor:

I would like the opportunity to respond to Gene Wissler's letter on the subject of fluoride response (Pagosa SUN 3/10/2005).

The statements his letter refers to have nothing whatsoever to do with fluorine. Nowhere in those statements is fluorine mentioned.

Before you commence any more "research" Mr. Wissler, you should first educate yourself of a few elementary facts of chemistry.

Fluorine is an element, a highly corrosive pale yellow gas, atomic number 9, atomic weight 19. It occurs naturally in nature and is classified as a Halogen alongside bromine, chlorine, astatine and iodine.

Sodium fluoride is a toxic poisonous compound. It does not occur naturally in nature. It is a waste product of metallic smelting and fertilizer industries, mixed in a toxic soup with beryllium, lead and mercury. Should you require more assistance or information on this subject Mr. Wissler just ask and I will gladly supply you with details.

The current issue is very simple. The citizens of Pagosa Springs are, without their approval, being mass medicated by the addition of sodium fluoride to the town's water supply. The advocates for clean water (exactly what is it that is so wrong with wanting clean water?), claim nothing, they simply state the facts.

And thinking of assistance or information Mr. Wissler, all of those hours you must have wasted with the inefficient and limited resources of the University of Texas online Library. All you had to do was enter the Google Web site, key in "Fluoride" to be presented with over 2,000,000 worldwide articles and studies. For every one promoting the use of fluoride on teeth, you would have found hundreds more detailing the devastating effects of the toxin on human liver, kidneys, bones, digestive systems and brain tissue. You would have found thousands of studies and reports linking the ingestion of sodium fluoride with Alzheimer's disease, hip fractures, arthritis and the formation of numerous cancers. You would have learned that out of 193 countries in the world, only five have a deliberate policy of dumping toxic waste into the drinking water supply. One of which is America, a country with more industrial lobbyists then some other places have citizens.

So, yes, Mr. Wissler, we will be the judge. And we will take some statements with a grain of salt, we just won't be taking it in a glass of water.

Anthony Steventon

Special program

Dear Editor:

I was privileged to have visited the Loaves and Fishes Program last Thursday. What I saw in the Parish Hall was a very unique camaraderie of volunteers and other residents of Pagosa Springs.

This fellowship transcends all obstacles of class, race or money. Everyone was working together and enjoying each other's company.

I have never seen such a special program. It is so successful because the whole community seems to be taking part. The location and facilities could not be better to serve the citizens of Pagosa. I witnessed a bountiful meal being served in a most dignified manner to all comers. This shows a great respect for each individual be they adults or children; male or female; old or young.

It is a shame that the program will be closed at the end of this month. I am sure that the wonderful women who brought Loaves and Fishes into being will be hard at work in the meantime to see the permanent establishment of this activity. This is a gift of love and community. Everyone is to be commended.


Barbara Ward

Austin, Texas

Fluoride shills err

Dear Editor:

I was present at the PAWS fluoride meeting March 8 and it was clear to me that the overwhelming majority of concerned citizens present were there to voice their opinion or simply show support for the removal of this toxic waste from our water supply.

If the Gene Wisslers of the community cared about continued fluoridation poisoning, they didn't care enough to show up or they didn't speak up in this venue.

The presentation by Crista Munro and Cathy Justus of the Pagosa Springs Clean Water Advocates was informative, matter of fact, devoid of emotion and quite plainly, enough information for the PAWS board to vote to remove this poison from the water supply.

The shills present at this meeting for the continued fluoridation of our water, including two out-of-towners from the government of the state of Colorado, were outgunned and ill prepared to provide even a shred of logical, rational support for continued mass medication of the population of this community.

Dr. Rutherford's lame excuses for fluoridation, pardon the pun, "don't hold water." The wailing and gnashing of teeth about "the poor children who will suffer without fluoride if it is taken out of our water" is preposterous. As is the claim by the Department of Health official that "our taxes will go up" if fluoride is removed. Huh? What "preponderance of evidence" is there for that wild shot in the dark?

Such fear-based statements and flat out deception just simply don't fly with people who have half a brain and any semblance of consciousness.

Contrary to the misinformed minority in this town like Mr. Wissler, fluoride is a toxic waste, one that if emitted by the industries that produce it as a by-product, into the air or into streams, rivers and lakes, would violate EPA regulation. But it's OK to put in our water supply?

If Mr. Wissler would like to be medicated beyond what he already is, kindly make an appointment with Dr. Rutherford, where, with informed consent and a prescription, he can get his toxic waste supplement. Don't force it on the rest of us without our permission. What gives PAWS the legal authority to prescribe this toxin without a medical license anyway?

It boils down to this: We have the right as citizens to decide whether we want to be fluoridated, poisoned with toxic waste, and to discontinue the fraud that has been perpetuated by the water utilities and the government for years. We have the choice and we have the right. It is up to PAWS to recognize that and act responsibly and according to the wishes of the people who elected them to that post.

No more fluoride!

Tim White


Community News
Music Boosters set "Once Upon a Wolf" for late April

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

If ever there was the perfect show for the whole family, immediate or extended (or even for a lonely itinerant), it's the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters' production of "Once Upon a Wolf," playing April 21-23 in the Parish Hall of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

In this series of "fractured fairy tales," directed by Michael DeWinter, even a few unsuspecting members of the audience may find themselves on stage in the middle of some zany action sequence. The laughs keep constantly coming, not only from the clever satire of the script writer, Steph De Ferie, but from the hilarious visual delights of wild action and sight gags, along with colorful sets and costumes.

The merry madcap cast includes Sally Yates, Candy Flaming, Becca Stephens, Rita Jensen, Roger Jensen, Honor Nash-Putnam and The Rev. Don Ford.

Randi Andersen, who co-directed the high school's recent award-winning takeoff on "The Canterbury Tales," will serve as director's apprentice, while Rachel Jensen will be the assistant to the director.

Show times are 7:30 p.m., and the nonreserved seat tickets may be purchased at the Plaid Pony, or at the door. Ticket prices range from $12 for adults, $10 for seniors over 60, and $6 for students and children. For additional information, call DeWinter at 731-5262.

Night of the Young Child

slated April 12 at PSHS

The Night of the Young Child is scheduled Tuesday, April 12, in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium.

The Night of the Young Child is an opportunity for all the very talented youth of Pagosa Springs, 16 years old and younger, to show their stuff.

Rehearsal will be held 6-8 p.m. the night before in the auditorium.

Those interested in participating can contact Lynne Bridges at Seeds of Learning, 264-5513, to sign up or for more information.

Aspen and Jackson harvest Arthur Murray Showcase awards

By Belinda LaPierre

Special to The PREVIEW

Congratulations to In Step Dance Club's Charles Jackson and Deb Aspen on their Feb. 12 success at the Arthur Murray's Winter Showcase in Albuquerque.

They entered all categories available in the silver and above level: all together, nine closed freestyles and two open freestyles. And they danced their way through three solo routines, which earned them high marks from the presiding judge, Tom Kennedy.

What is the relationship between "closed" and "open" freestyles, and "solos"? First, the similarities: Any of the above can be danced by an amateur couple or by an amateur dancer with a professional.

The categories are broken down into several age groups and ability levels according to each particular dance studio's regulations. In Charles' and Deb's case they have to sign up in the younger of the two age groups, but in the highest ability level of the two as well; thus placing them in the 50's class, and in the "silver and above" level (or sometimes, depending on the competition, in the "gold" category).

Despite this double whammy, the duo placed first in all eight of the closed freestyles they entered together as an amateur couple -- which included waltz, fox-trot, American Tango, polka, samba, rhumba, bolero and West Coast Swing. Deb danced an East Coast Swing number with one of their instructors, Bob Long, and placed first. Charles, dancing with Cindy Long in the same dance, came in second in his category.

"Closed" simply means dancing within the framework of the school figures (or their variations) without the freedom to ad-lib or add intros or too much styling, as in their counterpart the "open" freestyles.

"Opens" are, as the name suggests, open to all age groups and dance levels. Any amateur couple or pro/am couple can enter and all couples dance at the same time, thus making the competition much harder and the winner's trophy more coveted. There is no second or third place in the open division. Deb and Charles made their way through the opens and won the American Tango Open Freestyle.

"Solo" in dance means you get to perform a choreographed routine, to your own choice of music, with your dance partner. Most competitions limit the time of each solo to 1 1/2-2 minutes. You have the whole floor to yourselves and the audience and judge's undivided attention.

Jackson and Aspen's first number was a fast-paced quickstep to the music "Dancin' Fool" from the 1920s era.

Next, they stepped into costumes from the '60s and took the floor once again, triple-stepping their way through an East Coast Swing to the song "Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)?"

"Chili Cha Cha" is the title of the hot, modern-day Latin tune that accompanied their final solo of the day. It earned high marks and praise from the judge and made quite an impression on students, teachers and the audience.

Charles and Deb demonstrated their "Chili Cha" at the dance club's Valentine's Day party Feb. 10. You missed a treat if you didn't catch it then; but, just maybe they could be persuaded to do it again in the near future.

Spring "swinging" will wrap up for In Step club members May 28 with an East Coast Swing workshop taught by national champions and award-winning dance instructors Bob and Cindy Long. A sock hop dance is also scheduled the same evening.

If you're undecided about learning dance, or just curious, join club members for an April Fool's Day Dance at Montezuma Vineyards Friday, April 1. Dance with the In Step Dance Club to a variety of CD music 7-9 p.m. There will be no cover charge until 9 when a live band starts playing. There will be dance exhibitions plus a surprise April Fool's.

For more information, call Aspen at 731-3338.

Building boats and bowls: Tim Reiter

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Last fall, the remodel of an old house on Pagosa Street forced the felling of an elderly elm tree. Local woodworker Tim Reiter saw it and stopped.

"Firewood" the builders said. "Bowls" Reiter thought.

Reiter took the old elm to his Cloman Park wood shop and worked its aged limbs into smooth round and oval bowls.

The bowls showcase the tree's fine grain and warm honey and beach sand colors. Rescued from the wood stoves of Pagosa Springs, that main street elm joins a menagerie of other trees in their reincarnate forms - bureaus and bowls and chests and chairs.

Reiter is not just a fine craftsman, but a master of sequence and mathematics as well. He'll joyfully describe the Greek theorems that explain why a six-foot man fits just as well in his handcrafted rocking chairs as does a five-foot five woman. It is an equation that repeats in the human body, in insects, in flowers and throughout the rest of the natural world.

A client in Pagosa brought Reiter a rocking chair purchased in Louisiana. Reiter said it was an excellent chair, but he wanted to make it a little more excellent. So he tweaked the design and reproduced it in a set of four. Indeed sitting in Reiter's reproduction of that Louisiana rocking chair makes you long for a Sloe Gin Fizz on a summer evening; watching kids and fireflies in the yard.

"Sometimes I'm just so happy because some chairs can't be improved on," Reiter said. "But they are few and far between."

A lingerie chest, which is a slim bureau with petite drawers, awaits Reiter's finishing touches. It's dovetail joints are so tight it would appear the chest was carved out of a single piece of wood. Reiter attributes that partly to the use of his Japanese carving tools. Before cutting his joints, he marks them with a tool that marks with a quarter the width of a pencil lead.

"Most serious carpenters do come to Japanese tools," he said, adding that the best of them are built by sword makers.

Reiter has lived in Pagosa Springs two years after spending about eight in Aspen. There, he was rarely short of business for his custom woodwork. One piece he jokingly calls an "edifice to alcohol" is a carved cherry back bar that stands 14 feet tall and 18 feet long. Carved harvest-time grapes hang down the cabinet doors. He built it for a customer in Snowmass.

Reiter came by his trade because, after graduating from the University of California Santa Cruz in molecular biology, he couldn't find a job. In love with sailing on Monterey Bay, he took to apprenticing with boat builders in the Santa Cruz harbor. He began "pounding nails" and discovered he was good with his hands and math.

"If you know how to build wooden boats you can build about anything," Reiter said. "But more people buy furniture than they do boats."

He said master woodworking is nothing more than sequences. The more complicated the piece, the more sequences there are. Less a perfectionist than a man who sees beauty in precision, Reiter's work is something to behold. He agrees that the age of mechanization in furniture building is amazing but nothing can match a craftsman's mind and hands.

"Power tools will only get you so far. The finest finishes are always done with hand tools," he said. "To get something with character requires you work with someone with character."

Reiter says he has an incredibly distracted mind. "I'm interested in so many things," he said. "I'm excited about it."

To wit, Reiter is also building a sailboat, here in Pagosa Springs.

The boat Reiter and his New Zealand partner are designing does not yet exist in the world. Small and very light due to its carbon fiber components, Reiter hopes the design will blow the doors off the sailing industry.

"There is a lot of sail," Reiter added. "In fact, you could say there is a ridiculous amount of sail and it's extremely fast."

Where a normal sailboat will weigh 4,000 pounds. This one will weigh 950 unloaded. It is only 8 feet long and 2 feet wide and already has been written up in technical journals in Italy, Germany, England and the United States.

Being 1,000 miles from the Pacific Ocean isn't really a problem, Reiter says. Due to its size the boat will live on a trailer and will be well suited to the many lakes around Colorado.

"Navajo is a beautiful lake, it's a great lake for it," Reiter said.

The first boat will be built piece by piece in Reiter's shop next to the chairs and bowls. He hopes his boat design will birth a homegrown sailboat manufacturing business.

"I would like to have a small industry in Pagosa," he said.

Reiter moved to Pagosa because he and his wife of 23 years wanted to own a home - a near impossibility for them in Aspen. He is also excited by the rising tide in the Pagosa Springs artist community.

"There is some real energy forming," he said. "There are some very good craftsmen, artists who have some real talent."

To contact Reiter about his work call 946-3117 or 731-9843.

Unitarians will eye Pagosa's future vision

The subject for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service Sunday will be "Envisioning the Future of Pagosa Springs."

The speaker will be Bill Hudson, founder and editor of the online newspaper Pagosa Daily Post, as well as a local producer, director and videographer.

Hudson will offer his observations and lead a discussion on the status and progress of the Community Vision Council's effort to plan the future of our town.

A potluck lunch will follow the program.

The service and children's program will 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.

 Grace Evangelical features

Dallas theologian on Palm Sunday

Grace Evangelical Free Church will welcome Dr. Timothy Ralston, chair of the Pastoral Ministries Department at Dallas Theological Seminary, 10 a.m. March 20.

Ralston will be sharing a message from God's Word entitled "The Return of the King" at Grace's Palm Sunday service in the community center.

Ralston currently teaches courses on preaching and leading the church in worship to students preparing for full time vocational ministry. He is a scholar with a pastor's heart, having served as pastor in Ontario, Canada, and as director of adult education in Dallas.

He is an active member in a number of professional societies, including the Society of Biblical Literature, Evangelical Theological Society, North American Academy of Liturgy, and the Evangelical Homiletics Society.

Grace Pastor Jeff Daley studied under Ralston during his time in Dallas. "Dr. Ralston is an outstanding scholar in the history of Christian worship. He has the ability to weave history, theology and practical application together in a way that is inspirational and easy to understand. I am thrilled to have him share his passion with believers in Pagosa," said Pastor Daley.

Storytellers at grade school book fair

Pagosa Springs Elementary School will hold its fifth annual evening of storytelling 6-8 p.m. April 7 in conjunction with the scholastic book fair.

Children will have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of local storytellers and hear four different stories.

Bring your children and family and catch a great tale.

Film Society will review 'Walkabout'

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

On the last Tuesday of this month, March 29, the Pagosa Springs Film Society will screen and discuss Nicolas Roeg's "Walkabout" co-starring David Gulpilil (who was also featured in last month's "Storm Boy"), along with Jenny Agutter.

In this 1971 classic, two young children are stranded in the Australian outback and are forced to cope on their own until they meet an Aborigine on "walkabout," a ritualistic banishment from his tribe.

"Walkabout" is also about the never-ending conflict between civilization and nature, and how the two constantly work to destroy one another.

The Film Society meets 7 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15 in Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.

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

 Loaves and Fishes ends first season with March 31 meal

On March 31, Loaves and Fishes Free Thursday Lunches will end for the season.

Founded by a group of local women and supported by a great many volunteers, the free lunch served at Parish Hall on Thursdays since the beginning of January will return in the fall.

Over 1,500 meals were served since the program began, with two weeks still left to serve.

Plans to come back in the fall with a coordinator, board of directors and possibly an increase of days and services for the community, is the goal of the core group of volunteers.

The lunches were made successful by the support of both City Markets, Joys Natural Foods, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Patrick's, The United Methodist Church, The Unitarian Fellowship, Wells Fargo Bank and all the time and private donations made by community volunteers.

Anyone wishing to volunteer, or make a donation is invited to call Joanne Irons 731-4289 or stop at Wells Fargo Bank to make a contribution.

Kids invited to enter Easter coloring contest

Grace Evangelical Free Church will host a communitywide Easter Sunday coloring contest.

All children ages 3 to 12 are welcome to participate.

Each participant will receive a prize, with special grand prizes going to the winning entries.

The contest is absolutely free and coloring pictures can be obtained by either clipping the advertisement and picture out of The SUN or by going to Grace online at and downloading a picture.

All entries will be collected at the beginning of the Easter Celebration service, 10 a.m. Sunday, March 27, at the community center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Prizes will be awarded at the end of service.

All are invited to attend.

 Post prom party plans proliferating

By Joanne Irons

Special to The SUN

Post Prom committee members have been hard at work getting ready for this year's Post Prom Party immediately following the April 30 prom at Pagosa Springs High School.

Lynn Johnson, Teri Matzdorf, Brenda Magner, Angie Dahm, Rhoda West, Mercy Korsgren and Joanne Irons have been meeting since the first of the year.

Parents of juniors and seniors have been encouraged to donate time or money to help support this event. Students will be invited to attend for a small ticket price at the community center immediately following the prom.

Giant inflatable games, a hypnotist, casino tables, a Pagosa Idol contest, temporary tattoo station and coffee bar with snacks throughout the night, create the safe and entertaining atmosphere for students until 5 a.m. The grand prize of a laptop computer is donated by The Pagosa Springs Area Board of Realtors for a senior.

Students are eligible for hourly prizes as long as they are present at the event. Once students sign out they are not allowed to return to the party. The winner must be there at 5 a.m. to win.

Anyone wishing to donate prizes or money can contact Mercy Korsgren at the community center 264-4152 or Lynn Johnson at 731-5386.

Pagosans earn awards in Little Britches Rodeo series

Seven Pagosa Springs youngsters have completed the Four Corners National Little Britches Rodeo series and earned a chuckwagon full of awards.

Pagosa was represented in three divisions - Senior Boys 14-18, Junior Boys 8-13, and Junior Girls, 813.

Ryan Montroy brought the Senior Boys All-Around saddle home to Pagosa after placing first in saddle bronc, second in tie-down roping and second in bull riding. Ryan and his team roping partner, Chase Regester, placed second overall in the average.

Chad and Dusty Shaw both brought home awards in Junior Boys Division - Chad fourth in breakaway roping average and younger brother Dusty second in the flag race.

In Junior Girls Division, Cheyann Dixon placed third in the trail course and Raesha Ray was third in goat tying, third in dally ribbon roping and fourth in the average in pole bending.

The series began in October and ended on the March 5-6 weekend with competitions in Farmington and Cortez.

All the Pagosa award winners have qualified for nationals to be held in Pueblo in July.

 Pagosan receives international award from Pi Beta Phi

Pi Beta Phi Fraternity has recognized Carole Munroe Howard of Pagosa Springs as one of the five winners of the 2004 Crest Awards, an international award that honors distinguished alumnae who exhibit excellence and outstanding leadership in their careers or volunteer service to their communities.

Other 2004 Crest Award recipients include: Gay Warren Gaddis, Austin, Texas; Judith Sisson Hawley, Portland, Texas; Susan Light Lawhon, Houston, Texas; and Marion McCoy Phillips, Birmingham, Alabama.

Howard is the retired vice president of public relations at The Reader's Digest Association in New York. She is a former reporter and a widely published author, who continues to write books and magazine articles.

A communications guru, Howard is a gifted public speaker and educates others through her passion for guest lecturing and leading workshops, primarily for university students and corporate audiences.

Pi Beta Phi Fraternity, founded at Monmouth College in Illinois in 1867, was the first national secret college society of women to be modeled after the Greek-letter fraternities of men. Today there are 134 active chapters on college campuses in the United States and Canada and approximately 350 alumnae groups located in the United States, Canada and Europe. The Fraternity continues to promote friendship, develop women of intellect and integrity, cultivate leadership potential and enrich the lives of members and their communities.

9Health Fair screenings

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The SUN

Nine Health Services, Inc. - a nonprofit endorsed by the Colorado Medical Society - has been supporting free and low-cost health screening and education for 26 years in communities across Colorado and Pagosa Springs has been one of those communities from the outset.

Our community shares the mission of this organization - to promote health awareness and to encourage individuals to assume responsibility for their own health.

Plan to visit the 9Health Fair 8 a.m.-noon April 2 at Pagosa Springs High School.

You will find almost two dozen different medical screenings and interactive education centers available at no cost to you.

San Juan Basin Health

At this education center you can find information, people and forms that could lead to a free mammogram or pap smear if you are qualified.

Organ donor awareness

Perhaps you think organ donation is a good idea but have questions. Visit this education center and get answers.

Body in balance screen

This station includes screening your posture, flexibility, strength and balance, and provides you with a general interpretation of the screening.

If you are unable to attend the fair in Pagosa, you can find other site locations and times by contacting 9Health Fair at (800) 332-3078 or at Channel 9 in Denver is another good way of seeing and hearing updates on the 9Health Fair

Diagnosis is not allowed at any of the screenings and interactive education centers. However, participants have the chance to talk to a health care professional who will review the results of screenings and address any concerns that might arise in strict confidence and for no cost whatsoever.

Available at a very low cost is the blood chemistry analysis ($30), prostate cancer screening for men ($25), and the colorectal test kit ($5).

Through the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club and Quest Laboratories a limited number of vouchers for free blood tests are available to those who qualify. For information about those vouchers contact San Juan Basin Health, County Social Services or the Senior Center.

For more information call site coordinator Sharee Grazda (731-0666) or medical coordinator Pam Hopkins (264-6300).


Community center board

drafts mission statement

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

Tuesday night, March 8, was a busy night at the community center. While a digital photography class met quietly in the arts and crafts room public meetings were held in other parts of the building.

Mark Garcia, town manager, facilitated study of the Conceptual Downtown Master Plan in the multipurpose room and the public provided lots of input. The most frequent message from the community according to Mark is "to preserve what we have."

In the south conference room, the League of Women Voters and PAWS hosted a panel on the issues associated with the fluoridation of water. The room was overflowing with strong-opinioned individuals and the panel offered a lot of information to think about.

The Friends of the Community Center, a newly formed organization acting as advisors to the executive board of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition met to develop the center's mission statement and goals, subject to approval by the coalition. There was never a mission statement and goal specific for the center and guidance became the coalition's statement which reads, "to plan, build and manage multiuse community facilities which will provide needed services for local individuals, groups and organizations. The goals were: to build a community center with community ownership; to make the center available to all community residents, groups and organizations; and to establish the community center as a focal point for numerous activities in the Pagosa Springs areas."

Well, the center is here and has been operating for two and half years and it was seen as imperative that the community center develop its own mission statement and goal.

The group formulated the following in terms of a mission:

1. To provide affordable spaces for all ages and ethnic groups to gather for social, civic, cultural, educational, business and religious activities.

2. To create and coordinate activities for the benefit of the whole community.

3. To conduct fund-raising events to help finance such activities.

For its goal, the group agreed to expand the center's services and increase activities to meet the growing needs of our changing community.

The FCC also suggested the center sponsor such events as a community Easter Egg hunt, chili cookoffs, a car show, a sweetheart dance in February, a cultural event of costumes, food and dances - all in addition to what is already planned. This includes a rummage sale, spring arts and crafts show, Patriotic Sing-A-Long Night, community center volunteer recognition and potluck, Seniors Oktoberfest and Kids Halloween Party.

Upcoming events

- April 22, 3-6 p.m. and April 23, 7:30 a.m.-noon, the center is sponsoring a pre-spring rummage sale. Clean out cupboards and closets and put things in order. Then rent one or more tables at $15 per table for both days and make a few dollars from stuff you don't need or want while providing others with useful items. Call 264-4152 ext. 21 to reserve your spot.

- May 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the Springs Art and Crafts Show. The community center invites all artists and artisans to display their handcrafted items for sale. Space assignments will be made on a first come first served basis. Cost is $35 and $50 for 8x8 and 10x10 spaces, including tables. Proceeds from both events will benefit center programs offered to the community. Call 264-4152 ext. 21 to reserve your spot.

What's new

Finally, we have hired a full-time receptionist, Dee Livingston.

Dee has many years of experience as a receptionist and as an executive secretary with IBM. She will be responsible for all your room rental needs, financial matters and phone inquiries. Welcome on board, Dee!

Every Tuesday, 1-4 p.m. the center offers free computer tutoring to anyone of any age. Our volunteer and computer guru, Becky Herman, will patiently help you do your computer work during this session. Becky also conducts the seniors computer class, same day, 10 a.m.-noon.

Lost and found. Please check at the front desk if you're missing something that might have been left at the center. We'll hold lost-and-found items for a month, then all unclaimed items will be donated to the local thrift stores.


Have you submitted your income tax return, or are you still procrastinating?

Time flies and before you know it April 15 will be around the corner. Need help? Sign-up for free tax aid here at the community center (senior center table) and qualified AARP volunteers will help you.

Activities this week:

Today - Oil painting workshop, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; AARP tax aid, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; kid's tee-ball clinic, 4-6 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

Friday - Oil painting workshop, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; high school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Theta Medical Intuition workshop, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; adult men's open basketball, 6 p.m.

Saturday March 19 - Theta Medical Intuition workshop, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Pagosa Fiber Festival meeting, 3-5 p.m.; Palma Quinceanera Party, 2-10 p.m.

Sunday, March 20 - Church of Christ Sunday Service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church Service, 10 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church Service, 2-4 p.m.; Theta Medical Intuition workshop, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Monday, March 21 - First day of spring; Seniors bridge group, 12:30- 4 p.m.

Wednesday, March 23 - Toddlers and kids play group, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge group, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible Study, 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, March 24 - AARP tax aid, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

The gym is open 8 a.m.-noon Monday to Friday for walking and open basketball except when reserved for special events. Call 264-4152 for information and to reserve a room. The center needs your input on other programs and activities you would like to see happening here. If you have ideas, tell us about them.

The center is a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition and is managed by the town of Pagosa Springs. It provides spaces for the Archuleta County Seniors program, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Teen Center and other groups and organizations in the community.

Rooms are available for rent to anyone or any group on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a nominal charge to rent a room and monies collected pay for the utility bills and other operating costs.

Have your party or meeting here. We have rooms for small, midsize and large groups.

A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, portable stage, dance floor and audio visual equipment are available, too.

The center is at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.


Motivational speaker keynotes Education Center luncheon

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

Acclaimed keynote speaker Sue Hansen has received rave reviews from such wide-ranging organizations as the city of Phoenix, the Bureau of Reclamation, Sandia Laboratories, Clemson University and The Vanguard Group.

Next month, her lucky audience will be those attending this year's Archuleta County Education Center "Making A Difference" luncheon in Pagosa Springs.

Hansen states that helping people become better people is her mission, her mantra and her passion, which is thoroughly consistent with the Education Center's commitment to "Making A Difference."

Her degree in psychology, postgraduate work in business and certification as a behavioral analyst give her impressive credentials for this challenging association with the Education Center.

As a motivational speaker, Hansen is known for her energy, humor and expertise. It has been said that "She will make you think, make you laugh and make you want to be a better person."

This gala annual event is the primary fund-raiser for the Education Center, one of Pagosa's most vital and productive organizations.

It will be held 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in the First Baptist Church. Tickets are available for a donation of $45 each. To order tickets, call the center at 264-2835.

For more information, call Livia Lynch at that same number.

Photographs of town of Pagosa

to be displayed

The annual photography contest committee challenges all local photographers to submit their "best shots" as part of a showing of photos of Pagosa Springs.

Many believe Pagosa Springs has been changing too quickly and there is so much that is worth remembering and celebrating. Buildings, trees, vistas and a traditional approach to community are changing every day.

An exhibition of photos documenting Pagosa Springs is being planned and organizers are alerting local photographers to begin preparing materials.

All photos must be taken within Pagosa Springs city limits - the camera and a focal point of the photo must be located within the city limits. Show organizers will post a map defining the city limits or prospective participants can go to the Town of Pagosa Springs Web site and look under Documents for the Zoning Map.

Photos must have been taken in the past 20 years -- 1985 to 2005. Entrants are asked to date submissions.

Entries will be limited to three per photographer.

The photographic image must be at least 5x7 and no larger than 12x18. Photos must be matted or mounted with a shade of white matt board and properly backed. The matt showing around the outside of the image must be no larger than 3 inches. Stick-on plastic hangers with at least a 3/4 inch opening are required and will be available at Moonlight Books. All photos must be securely mounted and ready to hang.

The committee will display as many entries as possible, but reserves the right to jury for content and for proper presentation (see above). For instance, if the committee receives 20 photos of the hot springs from approximately the same angle, they may choose not to hang all of them.

So, be creative. There are many potential images of our spectacular community you could choose to record.

The show will be held at Moonlight Books during early November, specific dates to be announced.

An entry fee of $1 per entry will help defray the committee's portion of costs of the show.

Call Moonlight Books, 264-5666 for additional information.


Local Chatter

St. Patrick's parade has a story

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Today is St. Patrick's Day and Pagosa Springs will have a parade starting 4 p.m. The event has a history.

It was 1991 and things were slow, so the Chamber of Commerce was trying to think of something to put extended life into the community and they came up with the parade idea.

Board member Pat Francis remembered that when she lived in Boulder they had a parade they called the "Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the World."

Bob Hand was the manager at the time. Joan Rohwer was president and Shirley Mateer and Pat Francis were on the board of directors. With that crew and others, things happened. It was publicized in The SUN and people turned out to watch. Pat dyed her hair red (and wore it that way for the next seven years) and Shirley pushed Pat's green wheelbarrow full of candy and tossed pieces to the crowd.

Indeed, it was a short parade - as someone said, it ended before it got started. But the idea stuck.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade is an American event started in Boston in 1937 by homesick Irish people. It was secular in nature and didn't have anything to do with religion - and still doesn't.

In 1996, English professor Michael Preston of the University of Colorado at Boulder wrote an article (Sunday, March 14) in which he said, "There's nobody more Irish than the Irish in America." And according to TV news and newspapers, everyone "becomes Irish" on St. Patrick's Day. America's custom has spread all over the world where there are Americans on that day.

The custom of green beer is strictly American and, anyway, beer is not an Irish drink, it's an English drink. The Irish drink whiskey. They are known for making whiskey.

And the custom of eating corned beef and cabbage is an American tradition, not necessarily a typical Irish meal. Preston says, "Corned beef and cabbage was the immigrant's idea of what well-being and prosperity was. It's what the English landowner ate."

Preston added, in his article, that "more than anything, St. Patrick's Day is about Irish American pride."

And there are a lot Irish around, right? Our history wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for the Irish.


Fun on the run

Three preachers discussed the best positions for prayer while a telephone repairman worked nearby.

"Kneeling is definitely best," claimed one.

"No," another contended. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to heaven."

"You're both wrong," the third insisted. "The most effective prayer position is lying prostrate, face down on the floor."

The repairman could contain himself no longer.

"Gentlemen," he interrupted, "the best praying I ever did was hanging upside down from a telephone pole."

Senior News

Come in and meet Laura's successor

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

My successor, Jeni Wiskofske, arrived on March 8. She was fresh from a trip to South America and has some neat stories to tell. She is learning fast and will fit right in. Be sure to come in and meet Jeni!

We lost our massage therapist at the center, as Penny has relocated to Aspen. Does anyone want to take her place for two hours a week? You need to bring your own table or chair, but you will receive a lot of love, as our seniors truly enjoy this free service. Call 264-2167 for more details.

Don Hurt gave us a great presentation about when one should quit driving, and it was well attended. If you are interested in knowing when to stop driving, call the office and we can get you the information.

We received rave reviews for the movie, "Cocoon" last month, so we will be showing the sequel, "Cocoon: The Return" at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the lounge. Come in and find out what happened to the seniors who left Earth to go to paradise with the aliens. Popcorn is free for our seniors, courtesy of Seniors, Inc.

If you have a birthday in March, come join us for lunch March 25. We will be serving birthday cake with our meal and Seniors Inc. has discounted your birthday meal to only $1. Let us know when you check in so you'll receive the discount.

We'll will be closing the center at 1 p.m. in observance of the holiday.


Friday, March 18 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; free movie day "Cocoon: The Return," 1 p.m.

Monday, March 21- Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, March 22 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; basic computer class, 10:30

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

Friday, March 25 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; celebrate March birthdays, noon.

Center will be closed after lunch for holiday.


Friday, March 18 - Roast beef and gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad, dinner roll, and cherry cobbler.

Monday, March 21 - Salisbury steak, boiled potatoes, spinach, whole wheat roll, and apricots.

Tuesday, March 22 - Mexican pizza, cauliflower/peppers, lettuce/tomato, and plums.

Wednesday, March 23 - Chicken salad sandwich, cream of broccoli soup, and fruit mix.

Friday, March 25 - Fish fillet, baked potatoes, carrot/raisin salad, muffin and sherbet.

Veteran's Corner

A look at service-connected death and burial benefits

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

Last week we discussed basic death benefits for veterans who die from causes not military service-connected.

The VA will help with actual burial expense reimbursement if the veteran, at the time of death, is service-connected disabled, was in the care of the VA health care facility, or died from service-connected disabilities. The amount of burial benefits varies with the above circumstances.

VA cemeteries

Remember, there is no charge for a veteran to be buried in a national or VA cemetery, transportation not included, unless under the above circumstances.

If the veteran dies from service-connected disabilities the survivor may apply for reimbursement of private burial expense up to $2,000 if the death occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. If before that date the amount is up to $1,500. Reimbursement is based on actual paid burial expenses.

If not SC death

If a veteran's death is not service-connected, there are two types of payments the VA may make.

The VA will pay a burial and funeral allowance of $300 if the veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation, had a compensation or pension claim pending with the VA, died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense for treatment or care, died in a VA facility, or died while a patient in an approved state nursing home.

Two years to file

A claim for reimbursement of the burial and funeral allowance for a non-service connected death must be filed within two years of the date of burial or cremation.

The VA may also pay a plot allowance of $300 for burial in a private cemetery under most of the same circumstances of death after Sept. 11, 2001. Again, the benefit must be applied for within two years of date of death.

Simple application

Usually a simple form 21-530, a copy of the veteran's DD214 proof of service, a copy of the death certificate, and copies of all paid bills are all that is required to file for this VA death benefit.

This is a brief overview of death benefits and veterans and their families are certainly encouraged to check with this office for a full explanation of these or any VA benefits. I have all of the information on hand and stand ready to assist in this time of need.


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.

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.


Library News

Mini library open as work begins on expansion

By Phyllis Wheaton

PREVIEW Columnist

Whew! Here I sit, in the mini library located in the lower level of the Humane Society Thrift Store, writing the column for this week's PREVIEW.

Peggy Bergon, interim co-director, and the library staff send their thanks to the many volunteers and others who helped us get here so quickly.

We have already had several visitors returning and checking out books this morning.

Be sure to take a look at the entrance from the alley. It has already been greatly improved, thanks to Dusty Pierce and the San Juan Builder's Association. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide access for the handicapped in this location. If you need assistance, please call us. We will do whatever we can to bring your selections to you.

We are open six days a week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday' 10 to 5 Friday; and 9 to 3 Saturday.

We do not have an exterior book drop at this location. If you are unable to return books during operating hours before the due date, please call to renew and then return them while we are open. We thank all our patrons for adapting to these temporary inconveniences.

The remainder of the collection, furnishings and supplies that one needs to operate a library has been moved into storage in two locations.

Thanks to United Mini Storage, owned by Lois and Jere Hill, and to David and Carol Brown and John Hundley of Boot Jack Management Company for providing great storage space at no charge during this transition.

And work has already begun on the library building!

We are looking forward to seeing you in your little library, so stop by or call us at 264-2208 for more information.


Arts Line

Watercolor workshop leads to new class for intermediates

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

We had a full room last week at the intermediate three-day watercolor workshop with Betty Slade.

Students completed four half-sheet paintings. Subjects included a mountain scene with snow, aspens and a brook, as well as a front porch setting. There were paintings with roses, geraniums, clay pots, teapots and cups, vases, clocks, fruit and wicker. There was a lot packed into the three days.

Betty's style is fast and creative, and the group critiquing helped all of us improve our paintings. Participants enjoyed the class so much we were able to talk Betty into an ongoing intermediate class the first Thursday of each month, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the community center. Cost will be $35 to PSAC members and $40 for non-members. The first class will be April 7.

Drawing with Davis

Don't forget to mark your calendar for drawing with Randall Davis beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at the community center. He usually finishes up around 3 p.m.

The subject this month will be a continuation of learning to draw horses. If you were unable to attend last month, that's OK - you won't be lost. All subjects, whether people, places, animals or things can be explored continually.

If you have never attended one of Randall's classes, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance. All you need to bring is a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils, preferably a mid-range No. 2 or 3 or 6 in a bold lead and in a hard lead, a ruler, eraser and an attitude to enjoy the day. Bring your own sack lunch, since you'll be having so much fun you won't want to take the time away from drawing. Last month's class was at capacity, so it's best to make a reservation through PSAC, 264-5020. Space allowing, walk-ins are always welcome.

Oil painter wanna-bes

Three oil painting workshops for beginners taught by Betty Slade are set this spring, making use of the brush as well as the palette knife.

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 next fall to showcase workshop efforts.

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

Cost for a workshop is $90 for non-PSAC members and $80 for 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 workshops.

- March 17-18, The Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting, a beginning point in learning. 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 and well as learn more in-depth painting techniques and begin the final painting.

Each workshop may be independent of the whole, so if you can't attend all three, sign up for what will work for you.

Betty desires to share her knowledge and stir the artist heart in others. Whoever enters her world will have their creative awareness heightened and will be gently encouraged to exercise the gift that lies deep within their soul. Contact PSAC at 264-5020 to sign up for the workshops.

Durango exhibits

Applications are now available to artists wanting to participate in the Durango Arts Center's 2006 Group Exhibits Program.

The deadline for submitting work is April 1. The Durango Arts Center's exhibits committee will review portfolios by artists in any medium. Selected artists will be scheduled for an exhibit in the Barbara Conrad Gallery in 2006.

Applications are available at, can be picked up at the Durango Arts Center, or can be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to 2006 Group Exhibits Program, Durango Arts Center, 802 East 2nd Avenue, Durango, CO, 81301.

For more information call 259-2606.

Earth day auction

Durango Nature Studies is busily planning for its fourth annual Earth Day Silent Auction Fund-raiser April 22, and is soliciting donations.

Several times, after the auction the last few years, someone has said, "Oh, I have a friend who does an art or craft. I should have asked them for a donation." So, now is your chance to get in the door early!

Leigh's mom is making lap quilts. I'm putting together a package of homemade organic jams and maybe some bird houses. Lisa is donating a Venture snowboard. You get the idea.

If you or a friend who cares about children and outdoor education either makes nice arts or crafts, or has a product or service they are willing to donate (food for the auction, massage, landscaping services, use of a cabin in the mountains etc.) the group would love to hear about it. If the item is small, it can always be combined with other items into a gift basket. Think creatively!

All donors will get recognition in promotional materials both before and during the event if the item is received by April 8. This is a nice way to support DNS and promote a business at the same time.

Call 382-9244 for information.

PSAC Calendar

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

- March 17-18 - Beginning oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting," with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers.

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

- April 7 - Intermediate watercolor painting with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35 for PSAC members, $40 for nonmembers.

- April 14-15 - Oil Painting, "Nuts and Bolts Two," 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, "Nuts and Bolts & More," 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 and 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.


Extension Viewpoints

Seed potato orders are being accepted

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

March 17 - Vet Science Project meeting, 5:30 p.m.

March 18 - Rabbit Project meeting, 2 p.m.; Poultry Project meeting, 3:15 p.m.

March 21 - Cultural Foods Project meeting, 3 p.m.; Dog Obedience Project meeting, 4 p.m.

March 22 - Outdoor Cooking Project meeting, 4 p.m.

March 23 - Livestock Feeder meeting in Durango, 6 p.m.

March 23 - U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife moose, fish and big game management talks, 6 p.m.

March 25 - Office closes at noon.

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

The Archuleta County Extension Office is now taking orders for seed potatoes.

There are two kinds available, the Sangre (red potato) and the Yukon Gold (white potato). Currently we are charging 40 cents per pound for both species. Those of you who are just starting out and are experimenting, it is our suggestion that you order two-three pounds of each species instead of ordering a whole lot of them.

This way you can experiment and see if you like them and then order more next year. When orders arrive at the Extension Office each person will be contacted to pick up their order. If you are interested in ordering seed potatoes call 264-2388, e-mail us at archuleta@coop. or stop by the Extension Office. Orders should be available the second week of May.

Pesticide applicator training

There will be a private pesticide applicator training session 6:30 p.m. April 13 at the Extension building. This training is for those who want to purchase a restricted use applicator's license or for re-licensing. A $10 registration fee will be charged for the class. Please RSVP to 264-2388 or e-mail at

The private pesticide applicator license is required of individuals who use or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides on land in agriculture production that is owned, leased, or rented by them or their employer. This includes farm and ranch land, forestlands, nurseries, Christmas trees, orchards and other properties on which agricultural crops or commodities are produced.

No license is needed if only general-use pesticides are used. Private pesticide applicators are required to maintain records of their applications of restricted-use pesticides. To become certified, an individual must obtain a score of 70 percent or higher on the examination. Once an individual qualifies by becoming certified, he/she is entitled to become licensed.


Pagosa Lakes News

New aerator system ahead for Hatcher Lake

By Larry Lynch

PLPOA Environment Manager

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, in conjunction with Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, is planning to install two new deep lake circulating aerator systems in Hatcher Lake this spring.

Their purpose will be to improve water quality, control aquatic weeds and algae, and improve fishing. These will be a floating type circulating system, situated on three black plastic floats supporting a small solar powered motor. The motor drives an underwater turbine-type circulator in a cylinder that extends down into the deeper, cooler portions of the lake.

These circulators can pump up to 10,000 gallons per minute. This flow renews the surface waters on the lake and mixes dissolved oxygen throughout the entire lake. The mixing action will also cause more ammonia to be released from the reservoir and more phosphorus to be precipitated out of water, combining with calcium to form a nonactive compound that settles out of the lake.

Phosphorus is the limiting element in most reservoirs and, in turn, controls how much biological growth occurs in a lake. This reduction in phosphorus will reduce or, in some cases, eliminate the blue-green algae blooms seen regularly in the lake. Over time, it will reduce the number of vascular weeds growing off the bottom of the lake.

An additional benefit is that these circulators improve the fishery by mixing the cooler water in the deeper parts of the lake with the warmer water on top, distributing dissolved oxygen and cooling the lake.

These systems will have several advantages over the electric powered units operating in the lake now.

They are completely silent for one, require no electrical hookup and consequent expensive energy bills (they are solar powered); they will more effectively control the algae problems in the lake reducing the expensive copper treatments needed to control the algae (cost of which the association splits with PAWS) and the maintenance will be much less on these units.

Lake circulators of this type are a relatively new technology. We were exposed to it just last year, and, after doing quite a bit of research, reviewing case studies from around the country and visiting a reservoir that uses the system here in Colorado, we are convinced these circulating units could potentially pay for themselves in three to five years and greatly improve the overall water quality in the lake from a recreational standpoint, a fishing standpoint, a potable water use standpoint and in terms of overall looks and aesthetics.

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District will split the cost of these units with the association and the district sees many benefits from these units as well: Reduced algae blooms will save it money in expensive treatment costs and these units have been proven to reduce taste and odor problems in potable water storage reservoirs such as Hatcher Lake.

The units will be slightly visible in the lake, but the advantages in improved water quality and reduced algae and aquatic weeds will more than offset this small visibility factor. The adjoining picture is a simulated picture that illustrates what the units will look like on the lake once installed, and as you can see they will not be that noticeable in a lake as large as Hatcher Lake.

We plan to install these units sometime in April. If you have any questions about these units call the association office at any time, 731-5635.



Natalya Arabella Huffman

Rishelle Sturgeon and Roger Huffman would like to announce the birth of their daughter Natalya Arabella Huffman March 4, 2005. Arabella weighed 7 pounds, 13.7 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Maternal grandparents are Richard Sturgeon of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Robin and Tom Dill of Pagosa Springs, Colo. Paternal grandparents are Janet and Richard Huffman of Lakewood, Colo.



Regina Candelaria

Lifetime Archuleta County resident Regina G. Candelaria passed away March 14, 2005, having celebrated her 100th birthday in January.

She was born in Pagosa Junction on Jan. 13, 1905, the daughter of Aniceto and Adela Gallegos Candelaria. She married Manuel "M.C." Candelaria on Jan. 28, 1924, in Rosa, N.M. Regina was a housewife and mother, a member of the Carmelitas, and enjoyed quilting.

She is preceded in death by her husband, M.C., and a son, Faustin.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Doreen and Manuel P. Candelaria of Bloomfield, N.M.; son Jose L. of Arboles; son and daughter-in-law Barbara and Michael "Bernie" Candelaria of Pagosa Springs; three daughters, Delfinia Lucero of Ogden, Utah, Claudine Quintana of Arboles and Angie Candelaria of Grand Junction. Also surviving are 14 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Recitation of the Rosary will be 7 p.m. today and Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Friday, March 18, both services at St Peter/St. Rose Catholic Church in Arboles. Father Carlos Alvarez will officiate and interment will follow in Rosa Cemetery.


Business News
Chamber News

Sure, an' it's a wee bit o' the

auld sod come Pagosa way

By Mary Jo Coulehan

Sun Columnist

Oh this little Irish lass gets to really celebrate this week! This is just a gentle reminder for everyone to come out and enjoy the St. Patrick's Day Parade at 4 p.m. today.

We will be lining up the floats at 3:17 p.m. on 6th Street and will then head down Pagosa Street to 2nd Street. There will be lots of green, real Irish heritage and Irish wannabes all having a grand time.

Come on out and cheer on your favorite group or friends entered in the parade. There will be prizes for the Best Float, the Most Green and the Most Bizarre. See if you can pick out the winners who will be announced next week. Don't make Police Chief Don Volger feel he closed off our main street for nothing! Come on out and enjoy this day when everyone gets to have a little bit of Irish in them. Who knows, you may even see a leprechaun.

After the parade, remember that the early bird catches the worm, and you can run around the corner to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street for a tasty traditional Irish dinner starting 4 p.m. You don't have to be that early though as the Immaculate Heart LifeTeens will be serving until 7 p.m. The dinner will consist of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, dessert and drinks. Hot dogs will also be served for those who can't handle the traditional Irish fare. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under, and $5 for the hot dog dinner. You can purchase your tickets in advance at the Chamber or A Shoe or Two Plus. Of course tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event.

And speaking of food, Friday, March 18, will feature the last Knight's of Columbus Fish Fry for this season. These dinners have been reporting large attendance and I can certainly attest to the great food. Due to the early Easter schedule, it seems as if the fish fry will end too soon this year. So come on out for one more time to enjoy good food, good fun, good friends and send the Knights and their ladies out with a warm thank you for another tasty year. I will go through withdrawal for this fried fish and the potatoes for the next couple of weeks. It's just not as good if you make it yourself. This group has the knack. Thank you all.

Plan ahead

Here are a couple more events to mark down on your calendar. With all that goes on in this community, we need to give you a heads-up so you can plan.

Let's start off with the Bowl For Kids' Sake sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters. The event this year will be held in Bayfield at The Den March 18 5-7 p.m. and March 19 and 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. If you are interested in bowling (and I know there are a lot of bowlers out there), have some fun and support a great organization that helps our kids here in Archuleta County and in La Plata County. You can call Sandy Parziale at 247-3720 to reserve a lane and get your pledge sheets.

We will be having the SunDowner for this month Wednesday, March 23, at The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park. How much fun is that going to be? Between the animals and their fabulous gallery you will be kept very busy. Just remember the party starts at 5 p.m., the entrance fee is $5 for hors d'oeuvres and drinks and fun, and you do not have to be a Chamber member to attend.

Remember to block off some time between 8 a.m. and noon Saturday, April 2, for the 9Health Fair. There will be free health screenings and health information and some testing available for a nominal fee. Some tests require fasting, so for more information call Sharee Grazda at 731-0666. It's your health; take care of it so that you can continue to lead an active life in this wonderful part of the world where we live.

Coming to a county fairgrounds area near you will be the Pagosa Springs Builder's Association Home Show 2005, Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10. There will be builders, specialty craftsmen, decorating and gardening booths and so much more. Tickets for this event are only $2. If you are even thinking about fixing up your home inside or out, go to this home show where our local best will be displaying their knowledge and wares.

You have only one more week to order your seedling trees and shrubs from the San Juan Conservation District or the county Extension office. These conservation plantings can be used for windbreaks, natural snow fences, hedgerows, dust and visual screens, wildlife habitat enhancement, soil stabilization, reforestation/afforestation projects and Christmas tree plantations. The participant needs two acres of land and agrees not to resell the seedlings purchased through this program as living plants. The trees will be available for pickup some time in mid April. For more information on this yearly project, call the San Juan Conservation District at 731-3615.


We are on the short list this week for new members and renewals, but what great businesses.

First, I need to make an apology to an existing business whose proprietor came by to see me last week. From their description of their business, we mentioned in the newsletter that new member High Altitude Property Services was the only full-service property management company. Not so! We have already existing member, Abracadabra, which is also a full-service property management company and they can also calibrate your pool table after the long move. My apologies, Ray, for the oversight.

Now then, we start off our new businesses this week with Farrago Market Café. Todd and Kelli Stevens are opening a fun and funky counter service café serving breakfast and lunch. They are terming their food "globally inspired" cuisine and will also have a specialty market and coffees. Carryout will also be available. Farrago Market Café is at 175 Pagosa St. where the Lunch Box used to be. They will be opening soon. Stayed tuned as we find out what the official date may be and then you can stop by and see what they have to tempt your palate with.

We also have Animan Mobile Pet Bathing and Grooming Service. No more do you have to go through the hassle of bathing Fido or worrying about a freezing water bath. Chris Crump can take care of all those problems for you. He has a self-contained vehicle for "at-your-door" bathing and grooming services. Give him a call at 731-9706 or, since he is mobile, you might want to try calling 799-0856 to book an appointment for your four-legged family member.

We have Dee Butler renewing this week, along with Loma Linda Homeowners Association.

And then we have a double hitter to round out the renewals. Mainstays in this community, Gordon and Pat Kahn, renew with Victoria's Reign gift store and Victoria's Parlor Café.

That's all for this week. I hope to see many of you at the St. Patty's Day Parade. We will be the crazy group in the green VW bug donated by Acres Green RV Park. Top of the day to everyone. Don't drink too much green beer!


Biz Briefs

Ed Center class helps you learn

Access techniques

Take control of information overload. Learn how to design, build, manipulate and maintain an efficient database.

Anyone can rattle off features and tell you which buttons to click. We will go beyond that - explaining when and why to use features, how to solve problems, and how to customize Access to fit your work, expand value, save time, simplify tasks and produce more valuable information.

In just four weeks, you'll master the Access techniques that would otherwise take years to understand and use properly. Get rid of those thick, obtuse manuals and pull up a chair you'll unleash incredible tools you didn't even know existed!

The Archuleta County Education Center is offering Microsoft Access classes beginning 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 29. Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 14. The cost of the class is $75 plus an additional $25 for the textbook.


Grant writing workshop Friday

Operation Healthy Communities, Music in the Mountains and the Community Resource Center are joining forces for "How to Write Successful Grants from Southwest Colorado."

The workshop, presented by Susan Lander with Music in the Mountains, will be 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday at La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango.

Cost is $50, including lunch.


Biz Beat

Diamon Dave's Guns and Ammo

David Pokorney owns and operates Diamond Dave's Guns and Ammo, located at 473 Pagosa St. in downtown Pagosa Springs, next to the county courthouse. Previously Diamond Dave's Jewelry and Pawn, the new store carries a full line of guns and ammo as well as paintball supplies and CO2. The store has jewelry, fishing equipment and tools and still does pawns and consignments. Also on the premises is Pagosa's own oxygen bar and robotic massage. Diamond Dave's is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11-4 Saturdays.


Cards of Thanks
Seeds thanks

Seeds of Learning would like to extend a great big thank you to Dennis Yerton from Yerton Plumbing for fixing our plumbing leaks for free. We couldn't do it without people like you from our community!

 Road crew salute

Our thanks to the county road and bridge crew which cleaned up County Road 500. We appreciate all of your hard work.

Kathy and Rod Betzer,

CR 500 residents


Sports Page

Pirates claim third at state with 53-34 win over Yuma

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

It was all about Pirate pride.

After being eliminated from state title contention Friday by Denver Christian, Pagosa Springs could have folded the tent and left Fort Collins empty-handed.

Instead, the Pirates bounced back to claim third-place honors with a 53-34 win Saturday morning over the Yuma Indians in Colorado State University's Moby Arena.

Yuma controlled the tip, but missed a chance for an early lead and soon trailed 3-0 after a trey from Pirate junior Casey Schutz with 30 seconds gone.

Pirate senior Caleb Forrest added two free throws, then went high above the rim to smash a baseline lob from Paul Przybylski and the Pirates led 7-0 with 5:30 to play in the first quarter.

A deuce on the break by Craig Schutz made it 9-0 before Yuma's Kelly Seward hit consecutive treys to cut the lead to three at 3:35, then Forrest, Craig Schutz and Casey Schutz combined for six straight and the Pirates were in front 15-6 with 55 seconds to play in the frame.

The Indians were able to add a deuce before the period ended, but trailed 17-8 with eight minutes in the books due to a late basket in the paint by Forrest.

Pagosa sophomore Caleb Ormonde hit a 16-footer to open the second stanza, then Yuma's Michael Lebsack got five straight to cut the lead to 19-13 at 6:20.

Scoring picked up in the next two minutes as Craig Schutz buried a trey, Lebsack hit a jumper, Pirate sophomore Jordan Shaffer added a charity toss and Kerry Joe Hilsabeck hit Craig Schutz for a 25-15 lead at 4:10.

Shaffer and Yuma's Josh Neill exchanged jumpers in the lane, the Indians got a deuce from Zehren Walker, then Pirate senior Otis Rand hit both ends of a one-and-one to give Pagosa a 29-19 edge at 2:35.

Pirate sophomore Casey Hart got two inside off a feed from Casey Schutz with 1:10 to play, neither side scored in the final minute and the half ended with Pagosa up 31-19.

Forrest found Rand inside for the first deuce of the third, Lebsack matched it, Shaffer scored with a cut through the lane, then Lebsack got two with a put-back to make it 35-23 at 4:03.

The gap widened as Craig Schutz hit two at the line, Forrest broke loose for a two-handed jam, Yuma got a free throw from Jeremy Blach and Craig Schutz hit another pair at the stripe for a 40-24 Pirate lead at 1:16.

Then Lebsack hit a jumper at the buzzer to answer a free throw from Forrest, and the Pirates led 41-26 after three.

Lebsack got two from outside to open the fourth, then Forrest scored with a drive and a steal by Przybylski netted two for Craig Schutz in transition and Yuma trailed 46-28 at 6:20.

Lebsack stayed hot with a jumper half a minute later, but the Pirates held a 50-30 edge with 3:25 to play after a deuce apiece from Rand and Shaffer.

Then Pirate sophomores got some quality floor time as Hart, Ormonde, Adam Trujillo, Travis Richey and James Martinez worked the lead in the final minutes.

A trey from Richey with 1:30 to play put Pagosa up by 23, Yuma got the last four of the contest and the Pirates took the Class 3A third-place trophy with the 53-34 win.

Craig Schutz led the winning effort with 15 points, while Forrest added 14 and Shaffer inked seven.

"I'm very proud of our guys and the way they responded after what happened yesterday," said Head Coach Jim Shaffer after the game.

"We were disappointed with the way we played last night and obviously we would have liked to have been playing tonight rather than this morning," he added.

"But I think it says a lot about this team's character and heart to be able to come back and take third," said Shaffer.

"Like every other team, we came up here with our sights set on a state championship," said Shaffer.

"But we still had a great year, did a lot of good things and have nothing to be ashamed of," Shaffer concluded.

The Pirates improved their overall season record to 23-2 with the victory, marking an end to the most-successful Pagosa boys' basketball campaign in 45 years.


Pirate title hopes sink with 61-49 loss to Denver Christian

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

This year's Fort Collins trip took a turn south Friday afternoon for the Pagosa Springs Pirates.

After making the Final Four for the first time since 1960 with a 61-35 win Thursday over Denver Lutheran, Head Coach Jim Shaffer's crew fell 61-49 to eventual state champion Denver Christian inside Colorado State University's Moby Arena.

To their credit, the Crusaders were able to play a championship-caliber brand of basketball at both ends of the court, hitting over half of their shots and keeping the Pirate offense off balance for most of the contest.

Meanwhile, little went according to plan for the top-seeded Pirates, who were able to tie the game at 32-32 early in the third quarter, but trailed throughout the remainder of the game.

Denver Christian took the tip, then signs of what would prove to be a hot night from the field for the Crusaders began when Tristan Matthies buried a trey for an early 3-0 lead.

Craig Schutz hit Casey Schutz for a jumper to cut the lead to one, but a second trey from Matthies plus a deuce from Jacob Vriesman put the Crusaders up 8-2 with just over five minutes remaining in the first period.

After a Pirate time-out, Paul Przybylski and Caleb Forrest hit Craig Schutz inside on consecutive trips to make it 8-6, then Christian's Brent Schuster drilled a trey to put the Crusaders up by five at 3:20.

Sophomore Jordan Shaffer pulled the Pirates within three with a jumper, Matthies followed suit, then Craig Schutz scored with a drive to make it 13-10 at 2:05.

A steal and pull-up by Shaffer cut the margin to one, Christian's Kirk Smith connected with a trey, then Forrest put home an offensive board and Pagosa trailed 16-14 with 30 seconds to play in the frame.

But Christian's Elliott Van Stelle hit a turnaround jumper to close the first quarter, and the Crusaders went up 19-14 early in the second with a free throw from Schuster.

Casey Schutz got the next Pirate six, but the Crusaders stayed on target and led 25-20 with 2:40 to play in the half.

Craig Schutz cut the lead to three with a jumper in the lane, but the Crusader lead stood at 29-22 with 1:33 remaining after a deuce apiece from Van Stelle and Cameron Matthies.

Then Forrest hit both ends of a one-and-one, Schuster canned another trey, and Craig Schutz hit two free throws to make it 32-26 late in the frame.

A Crusader turnover gave Pagosa possession with 7.6 seconds left in the half, and the Pirates closed on a high note as Casey Schutz sank three charity tosses after being fouled behind the arc with 1.3 seconds to play; Denver Christian led 32-29 at the break.

Turnovers prevented both teams from scoring in the first two minutes of the third, then a free throw from Forrest followed by a jumper by Casey Schutz knotted the score at 32 apiece with 5:38 to play in the stanza.

But a stifling zone defense continued to plague the Pirates - leading to a 12-0 run from the Crusaders, and Denver Christian held a 44-32 advantage at 2:55 after an interior deuce by Schuster.

Craig Schutz ended Pagosa's scoring lull with two along the baseline, but the Crusaders went in front 47-34 on a three-point play by Dillon Peters with 34 seconds left in the frame.

Then Craig Schutz added a pair at the line in the final seconds, and the fourth quarter began with the Crusaders leading 47-36.

After a deuce by Peters, Shaffer trimmed the lead to 10 with a trey, Van Stelle got two in the lane, then a three ball from Craig Schutz made it 51-42 Crusaders at 5:42.

But the Pirates would get no closer and, despite four points from Forrest plus a trey from Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, trailed 60-49 after the Crusaders repeatedly snared offensive rebounds off free-throw misses for return trips to the line in the final minutes.

Cameron Matthies hit a lone charity toss for the Crusaders with 47 seconds to play, the Pirates missed a final opportunity to do damage at the offensive end, and Denver Christian advanced to face Roaring Fork in Saturday's Class 3A title game with the 61-49 win.

Craig Schutz led all scorers with 19 points, while Forrest and Casey Schutz each added 11 to Pagosa's total.

Tristan Matthies and Cameron Matthies scored respective totals of 16 and 15 to lead Denver Christian.

Pagosa shot a cool 33 percent in the loss, while Denver Christian hit 51 percent from the field.

The loss dropped Pagosa's season record to 22-2, setting up a Saturday morning date with tournament dark horse Yuma for third-place honors.


Forrest spells 'Lights out' for Lutheran; Pirates go to Final Four

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Perhaps the monkey is finally losing its grip.

For the first time in nearly half a century, the Pagosa Springs Pirates returned to Final Four competition last week with a 61-35 win over Denver Lutheran.

Prior to the win over the Lights, Pagosa hadn't posted a Great Eight playoff victory since the 1960 Pirates claimed Pagosa's first and only team title at the state level.

But minutes into Thursday afternoon's affair in Colorado State University's Moby Arena, it was apparent Pirate senior Caleb Forrest, who had recently been named this year's Class 3A Mr. Basketball, was going to dominate the contest.

Forrest controlled the tip for Pagosa, and the Pirates took a 1-0 lead with a free throw by Craig Schutz 37 seconds into play.

The Lights responded with four straight, but tight defense from Pagosa began to bog down Lutheran's offense and Forrest scored with an offensive board, then took an assist from Paul Przybylski on the break and crushed a one-handed jam to give Pagosa a 5-4 edge with 5:05 to play in the first quarter.

Forrest's three-point play half a minute later put the Pirates up 8-4, then Lutheran's Sam Schuessler hit a jumper to cut the lead to two.

Schuessler and Craig Schutz traded deuces, Forrest hit two at the line, then Craig Schutz got four inside and Lutheran trailed 16-8 with 55 seconds left in the frame.

The Lights failed to convert on their next possession, and the quarter ended with Pagosa leading 18-8 after a put-back from Forrest at the horn.

The Lights cut the lead to 18-12 a minute into the second stanza, then Lutheran's Chase Gray answered a trey from Casey Schutz with a three-point play and Pagosa led 21-15 at 6:52.

Forrest and Gray each got two in the paint, then Pirate sophomore Jordan Shaffer started an 11-0 Pirate run with a free throw and Forrest buried jumper at 2:56 to give the Pirates a 26-17 advantage.

Senior Otis Rand added two free throws, Shaffer hit Casey Schutz for a fast-break deuce, then Forrest and Casey Schutz took turns at the line for the Pirates' final four of the quarter and Pagosa led 34-17 at the half.

Steals by Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Przybylski and Rand netted a combined six for Forrest and Craig Schutz early in the third, giving Pagosa a 40-17 lead with just over five minutes to play in the period.

The Pirates continued to disrupt Lutheran's offensive sets with heavy defensive pressure, and Forrest countered a jumper by Gray (Lutheran's only points of the quarter) with a three-point play, then scored off a lob from Craig Schutz to make it 45-19 at 3:30.

Shaffer sank one of two at the stripe, then Forrest got a deuce underneath and put the finishing touches on a 16-2 Pirate advantage in the frame with a two-handed jam off an assist from Casey Schutz; Pagosa led 50-19 after three.

The Lights rallied to cut the lead to 51-27 after a free throw to open the fourth by Craig Schutz, then Forrest scored off a dish from Shaffer to make it 53-27 at 4:40.

Sophomores Caleb Ormonde, Casey Hart and Travis Richey answered six from Lutheran with two apiece, then Lutheran's Daniel Vanderhyde booked his team's final two of the game and Pagosa led 59-35 with 40 seconds remaining.

Two at the line from Pirate sophomore James Martinez made the final margin 61-35 with 9 seconds to play, and Pagosa advanced to face Denver Christian in Friday afternoon's Final Four.

Forrest finished with 33 points, 15 boards and two blocked shots to lead Pagosa, an effort that garnered praise from Pirate Head Coach Jim Shaffer during a postgame interview.

"He was obviously the best player on the floor tonight and completely took charge of the game," said Shaffer.

"I just can't say enough about him and what he's meant to our program over the past four years," Shaffer added.

Regarding Friday's matchup with Denver Christian, "They can shoot the ball well and they're athletic, so it won't be easy,' said Shaffer.

"But I really believe if we can play Pirate basketball over the next two days, we're going to be tough to beat," he concluded.


Ladies get mercy in 10-0 loss to Cortez

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Open your season without having had even a scrimmage.

Put your fledgling team on the field against an experienced 4A club on their home field.

Have at least five probable starters missing for one reason or another.

The outcome, in girls high school soccer, is predictable.

That's the scenario coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason and his shorthanded Pagosa Springs Pirate squad faced Saturday in Cortez.

And the predictable was the actuality.

Pagosa lost 10-0 in a game ended by the mercy rule 27 seconds into the second half.

But it could have ended at any point before that because Pagosa was unable, with the exception of two brief periods, to mount any form of offense.

In fact, almost before the crowd was seated, the Pirates trailed.

Panther striker Maddie Stephens put her squad on the scoreboard at the 39-second mark, drilling a ground-hugger from the left wing past first-time Pagosa goal keeper Laci Jones.

Less than a minute later, Jones got her first varsity save, diving to trap a kick from Cortez wing Darshina Benally. But the Panther parade was on and rarely was Pagosa able to get the ball out of the defensive zone.

The Panthers scored again at 3:23 with Bonnie Fetterman netting the drive over Jones' left shoulder into the high corner of the net.

Then came a three-stop sequence for Jones, blocking a drive by Esther Harclode, grabbing a looper by Fetterman and tipping a Benally drive wide right.

Cortez made it 3-0 at 6:52 when Gina Francini drilled a 20-yarder past Jones.

Goal four came two minutes and two seconds later when Stephens got her second marker on a perfect crossing pass into the middle from Harclode.

Jones got two more saves in quick sequence, stopping Jamie Love-Nichols and Fetterman on consecutive possessions.

Then the shorthanded visitors lost a player, Hannah Price, who rolled an ankle on a sideline play and had to be carried from the field. She spent the rest of the contest with an ice bag on her foot.

At 17:40 the score went to 5-0 when Love-Nichols drilled one from the left wing after an errant outlet pass left her wide open with the ball.

Jones made perhaps her best play of the game on the ensuing Cortez possession, a breakaway by Love-Nichols. The one-on-one matchup went to a feint-and-shoot move by the attacker and a leap high to her left by Jones to tip the shot over the net.

That seemed to give Jones a new view of the game and she turned away the next three Panther attacks, stopping Harclode, Benally (who was injured on the play and carried off the field) and Fetterman on a point-blank blisterer she fumbled but recovered.

Cortez notched a sixth goal at 31:40 by Harclode on a lead pass from Stephens which left her all alone behind the defense.

Pagosa's first shot came seconds later when Brittany Corcoran's bid from the left wing sailed just wide left.

Harclode went post-to-post on the next possession as Pirate defenders failed to react to a middle feint and a wing thrust. Her unassisted drive made it 7-0 at 35:31.

Fetterman was stopped by Jones as was Stephens. But the onslaught continued when Stephens converted for the hat trick, unassisted at 39:01 for goal number eight. And then, 43 seconds later and just ahead of the halftime whistle, it was Love-Nichols' turn for a full-field, unimpeded drive that made it 9-0 at the break.

And then, 27 seconds into the second half, the barrage ended with Love-Nichols scoring unassisted for the 10th goal and the mercy ruling.

Kurt-Mason said it was easy to analyze the game. "We missed or didn't know assignments. We're a very young team, especially considering four veteran starters were not here and one potential is suspended for the first four games."

Still, he said, "I saw some good things that will give us a base to work from. Midfield defense improved as the game went on and positioning improved."

Inexperience, he said was a key factor. "Many of these young ladies have played rec league, but never in a pressure game situation like this offered."

He said there are three things they'll work on in practice:

"One, going deep enough to be goalside of every attacker; two, getting wide on offense ... not gathered in midfield unsure how to get out; three, have our keeper come out of goal more to cut down angles. She played well for a first game against a veteran team, but will learn as she goes."

The Pirates will have to learn fast. They open their league season tomorrow, back in Cortez, with a 4 p.m. game against Telluride on a neutral field.

With veterans back and a game under the belts for the youngsters, Kurt-Mason is hoping the squad will recognize offensive sets and work defenses more quickly.


Held to eight hits, Pagosa turns on speed to beat Salida 15-12

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

When your pitching staff gives up 16 hits, three of them home runs and your team gets only eight hits, what do you do?

For Pagosa Springs Pirate baseball coach Charlie Gallegos, the answer was simple: "Win!"

And win they did, downing the Salida Spartans 15-12 on the losers' home field Saturday.

But coach, you were outhit 16-8! How did you score than many runs?

"We took advantage of every mistake, just wound the kids up and let them run. Salida made five errors which aided our cause, but really, we just let them go. Stolen bases, taking the extra base, seeing edges and cutting them," he said. "Just good old-fashioned baseball with some new faces contributing, too."

"We don't ever give up," he said, "just keep putting the pressure on our opponents."

He had only eight varsity players available for the contest and filled in with junior varsity boys seeing their first varsity action.

Salida had beaten Platte Valley in their season opener and were looking to make Pagosa victim No. 2.

But, the coach said, "We took an early lead and kept the pressure on. They came back to tie once, but we took the lead back and held on at the end."

Salida's a great hitting team, the coach said, "especially the Smith brothers (Brian and Joe) who were a combined seven for nine, including a home run for each." And though it was a windblown affair, a couple of those balls would have been out on any day.

Pagosa's early lead came after John Hoffman reached on an error at short and then stole second. His older brother, Josh, singled on a full count with John holding at third. Josh took second unchallenged and brought Karl Hujus to the plate.

The muscular sophomore drilled a 2-1 pitch off the right centerfield fence plating both Hoffman brothers. After Jakob Reding struck out, Levi Gill was out on a fly to right and Matt Gallegos fanned to end the top of the first.

Salida opened with the leadoff batter going after the first pitch and ripping a drive to right hauled in by Gallegos on the dead run at the fence.

Senior Levi Gill, on the mound for Pagosa, induced the second hitter to bounce back to him for the easy out at first. But the Salida third baseman hit a shot knocked down by John Hoffman at short who suffered a hand injury on the play.

That forced him out of the game, bringing his brother in to play short and putting Porfirio Palma in center for Pagosa. Spartan pitcher N. Neppl doubled off the left field fence driving in a run and Brian Smith homered off the scoreboard giving the hosts a 3-2 lead before their catcher singled but was out attempting to steal on a perfect throw by Reding.

Pagosa tied the game in the top of the second when second baseman Cody Bahn reached on a dropped fly ball, stole second and came all the way around on a pair of passed balls.

Randy Molnar reached on an error and Chris Lloyd, another youngster making his first varsity appearance, hit a line drive snared on a dive by the second baseman who doubled Molnar before Palma fanned to end the inning.

Salida took the lead back in the bottom half of the second when the shortstop opened with a first-pitch homer off Gill and Coach Gallegos brought Molnar to the mound in relief. The first hitter he faced popped to third, the next struck out and the third walked but was thrown out stealing by Reding.

Pagosa took the lead with three in the third, again featuring speed on the basepaths.

Josh Hoffman opened by drawing a free pass, then stole second. Hujus singled to drive in the tying run. Reding reached, hit by a pitch, but Gill fanned. Matt Gallegos picked him up with a double off the right field fence driving in a pair for a 6-4 Pirate lead. Bahn grounded out to second but Molnar walked. Lloyd popped to first for the final out.

Salida's leadoff hitter lined deep to Gallegos in right center. But the next two batters had a double and a triple before a passed ball allowed the tying run to score. A ground ball to first and a strikeout ended the uprising.

Then came the Pirate rally for a lead they would not relinquish.

It started with Palma popping to second. Josh Hoffman singled and promptly stole second, scoring on a single by Hujus. Reding's towering drive to center bounced over the fence for a ground rule double driving in Hujus who had stolen second. Gill reached on an error and Gallegos was hit by a pitch. Two passed balls allowed both to score giving Pagosa a 10-6 lead. Bahn walked and Molnar struck out before Lloyd hit a liner off the pitcher who recovered and threw out Lloyd who was injured in a collision with the first baseman. That forced Pagosa to go again to the JV roster for Cole Kraetsch and also bring in Eric Hurd to replace Palma.

Salida came back with a three-spot of their own in the bottom of the frame, fueled by several Pirate miscues but Pagosa held the lead at 10-9.

They padded that with three more in the fifth inning which opened with Hurd grounding out to short. Josh Hoffman walked, stole second and scored on a blistering drive up the middle by Hujus. Reding popped to the pitcher but Gill, on a 2-2 pitch, ripped a 400-foot drive over the scoreboard. Gallegos walked, Bahn grounded out and Molnar stuck out with Pagosa now up 13-9.

The sixth was fast for both teams. Pagosa's Molnar, Kraetsch and Hurd all struck out. Matt Gallegos replaced Molnar on the mound and walked the first batter on four pitches before Josh Hoffman was called to the hill to blank the Spartans in the frame.

Leading 13-9, Josh Hoffman walked to open the seventh for Pagosa and Hujus walked, too. Reding doubled scoring Hoffman, Hujus stopping at third. Gill struck out and Gallegos grounded out with Hujus scoring before Bahn struck out to end the inning.

Now it was Salida's chance to come back. Coach Gallegos said he told the team to "relax and get one out at a time."

Hoffman walked the first batter. A misplayed ball in left moved the runner to third and the next batter walked, bringing up one of the Smith brothers, who promptly homered into the river cutting the Pagosa lead to 15-12 with just one out. Hoffman walked the next batter but got the other Smith with a wicked off-speed curve bounced right back to him for the throw to first. A pinch-hitter was the final hope for Salida but he fanned on another Hoffman curve and Pagosa had their first victory of the season.

Coach Gallegos called the game "a total team effort based on a never-quit attitude."

The Pirates take their show on the road again today for the Bloomfield Invitational tournament, scheduled to play the second game at noon against Monument Valley, Utah. Winner of that game plays at 3 p.m. Friday against the winner between Kirtland and Window Rock, with the losers of those two games facing off at 9 a.m. Friday. If the Pirates stay in the winners' bracket, they'll play at 6 p.m. Saturday. Lower bracket entries are Bloomfield vs. Navajo Prep at 3 p.m. Thursday and Denver Manual against Bayfield at 6 p.m. that day. Losers play at 3 p.m. Friday and winners at 6 p.m. With playoff action for every spot in each bracket, all teams are guaranteed at least three games with Saturday sessions at 9 a.m. (for seventh), noon (for fifth); 3 p.m. (for third) and 6 p.m. for the championship.

Coach Gallegos expects to have the missing varsity players back for the tournament and will add some from the basketball team which finished its season Saturday.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Checklists that lead to good sportsmanship

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

Here's a 10-item checklist for parents and coaches to teach and kids to follow as they try to develop a habit of good sportsmanship.

1. I abide by the rules of the game. Part of good sportsmanship is knowing the rules of the game and playing by them

2. I try to avoid arguments. A good sport knows that anger can get in the way of a good performance. A good sport knows how to walk away from an argument and to stay focused on the game at hand.

3. I share in the responsibilities of the team. Good sportsmanship implies that the player on a team is a team player. In other words, the player understands that his or her behavior reflects on the team in general.

4. I give everyone a chance to play according to the rules. Look out for and encourage the less talented players on the team, cooperating with coaching plans to let everybody play.

5. I always play fair. Honesty and integrity should be an integral part of sports. A player with good sportsmanship does not want a hollow victory which comes as a result of cheating!

6. I follow the directions of the coach. A player with good sportsmanship listens to and follows the directions of the coach, realizing that each player's decisions affect the rest of the team. If a player has disagreements with the coach they should talk about it away from the public eye.

7. I respect the other team's effort. Whether the other team plays better, or whether they play worse, the player with good sportsmanship does not use the occasion to put the other team down.

8. I offer encouragement to teammates. A sign of good sportsmanship is a player who praises teammates when they do well and who comforts and encourages them when they make mistakes.

9. I accept the judgment calls of the game officials. Part of the human condition is making mistakes. Arguing with an official over a judgment call simply wastes energy. The player with good sportsmanship may be upset, but that player also has learned to focus his/her energies back on the game and on doing the best he/she can do for the rest of the game.

10. I end the game smoothly. When the game is over, pouting, threatening have no place in the life of the players with good sportsmanship, who emphasize the joy of participating, regardless of outcome.

Sportsmanship checklist

1. I abide by the rules of the game.

2. I try to avoid arguments.

3. I share in the responsibilities of the team.

4. I give everyone a chance to play according to the rules.

5. I always play fair.

6. I follow the directions of the coach.

7. I respect the other team's effort.

8. I offer encouragement to my teammates.

9. I accept the judgment calls of the game officials.

10. I end the game smoothly.

Sportsmanship is the ability to:

- win without gloating;

- lose without complaining;

- treat your opponent with respect.

Sportsmanship tips

If you make a mistake, don't pout or make excuses. Learn from it, and be ready to continue to play.

If a teammate makes a mistake, offer encouragement, not criticism.

If you win, don't rub it in.

If you lose, don't make excuses.

Baseball sign-ups

Sign-ups for our 6- and 7-year-old coach pitch and 8-14 baseball leagues will begin March 21. Look for flyers through our schools or come by town hall to sign up your child. More information to follow.

Adult soccer

Adult soccer league is back. This is an adult coed recreational league starting to play in mid-April. All interested players should come to a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the community center. For more information, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Women's basketball

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

Sports hotline

Information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department may be found by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to and going to 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 additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact me at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Pagosa Springs Parks

Memorial signage rules needed in parks

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

People in Pagosa Springs have huge hearts when it comes time to commemorate loved ones, causes or times in history that were instrumental in shaping their lives.

We, as a department, have tried to be conscientious of all club and private party needs.

When I first started working for the town in 1973 as a Youth Corps supervisor, I supervised three to four high school-aged employees, who would physically sweep the streets, then shovel all the debris into a dump truck and haul it away. We also cared for Town Park mowing the grass, and mowing at town hall.

Fast-forward 32 years and we have added Bell Tower Park, South Pagosa Park, Triangle Park, Centennial Park, Riverside Park, and Reservoir Hill Park. We are about to have a recreational River Park and a new sports complex.

Many fund-raising activities, as well as donated trees, benches and playground equipment are very much needed and appreciated. The problem is that all the service groups or relatives would like to commemorate the donation with plaques or signage special to their cause or loved one.

The Park and Recreation Advisory Council suggested that we limit the number of plaques or put them at the park in one location with a uniform, maintenance free plaque style. Or, perhaps any plaque put in place will require a person or club to maintain the plaque for five years; if the plaque is not kept up to park standards it would be removed after that time. So, a long-term contract might be the ticket to keep these commemorative plaques looking fresh and nice in our parks.

Another idea that came up was the idea of time capsules buried with a commemorative cap. A capsule could include names and pictures of club members, with each capsule having a date for extraction and recognition for the cause and/or the people in the club at the time of the donation.

We have vandalized and deteriorating plaques at the town gazebo, the fountain on Pagosa Street, South Park and Riverside Park. We would like to have a plan in place that accommodates people who have Pagosa Springs in their heart when they make a donation, but in a way that we feel will not demand a lot of maintenance on our part and that would not clutter parks with unmaintained plaques.

If you have any questions or concerns you are welcome to attend our monthly meetings with the advisory council; just call and put yourself on our agenda. You can call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231. Our meetings are usually held the third Wednesday of the each month.

Pirate basketball

It was a pleasure to attend the 2005 state basketball championships in Fort Collins. I feel that in my 35 years of attending the tournament, Pagosa Springs had its best shot at bringing home the top trophy.

In last week's article I mentioned that, with a little luck and good timing, the Pirates could come home as champions.

By now you know they came home with the third place trophy, and Pagosa Springs was well represented with good play, great sportsmanship, and a team/student body everyone should be proud of.

Coach Shaffer and staff did a great job putting these young athletes in a position to win it all. But if you have never coached a group of 14- to 18 year-old athletes, you don't know how hard it is to get everyone to adjust to different styles, different officiating styles and pressures of tournament basketball.

I am more than proud of our 2004-2005 Pirates. They now have memories that will be the talk of every class reunion, every social gathering for the rest of their lives.

They can be assured they did everything possible to win it all, but it just was not meant to be. Thank you coaches, teachers and administrators for helping raise students in a way that makes us all proud.


The middle ground

There is little doubt about it: American culture is increasingly de-fined by a lack of civility, by the ascendancy of selfishness, rude behavior and hostilities producing bruised feelings, alienation and damaged relations. The behavior is not new to our history, but it seems more pronounced as time goes on. Aggressive and extreme expressions are the mode of the day in our entertainment and our public discourse. Extreme points of view and their expressions shadow our public and private lives.

We'll take a step here that goes against the obvious grain and champion moderation and the moderate point of view as the best course to follow in our ethical, spiritual and political life

Given the shrill hooting, chest pounding and back patting that passes for dialogue these days, this position will draw derisive responses from those who crouch at the ends of the intellectual and political spectrum. To wit, we recently heard a telling comment from one of these individuals, to the effect that "there are no moderates. You are either for something or you are not. The moderate is a person who doesn't care enough to take a position."

We disagree. Moderates care very much, about many things. And they are many in number.

While abuse and bombast dominate contemporary discourse and behavior, we believe there is a vast middle ground - the terrain occupied by those of moderate inclination.

We go so far as to suggest the overwhelming majority - in this community, this state, this nation and, yes, on this planet - are moderate by nature and practice. It is time this majority makes itself more visible, defines its position more forcefully and more often, speaks clearly and reasonably on all issues.

Reason, after all, is the moderate's foundation - not unbridled passion, dogma or bluster, not the loud and agitated rhetoric that serves to conceal inadequacies and fear. The moderate believes humans are rational by nature, that reason and verifiable evidence should guide personal and collective activities. He or she, however, also believes the extremes must not be silenced, that without them the poles of a dialogue cannot be set.

What irritates the extremist is the moderate thinker, striving to work through a problematic existence, does so by doggedly seeking the mean between extremes. The moderate, further, desires to do this in a way that benefits everyone. This line of thought winds its way back to Aristotle and passes through the great thinkers of the Enlightenment, some of whom crafted our nation's founding documents.

The moderate believes the human is a reasoning social being and understands it is only in cooperative, community effort that the highest aspects of what it means to be human can be realized by the greatest number. The moderate believes actions that isolate and alienate others lead to instability - in the individual, in a family, in a community - and recognizes instability is often counter to the common good. Stability is a primary goal for the moderate, in all aspects of life, best achieved by seeking the middle ground, by welcoming compromise. The moderate believes humans are also political beings, and the highest purpose of individual, family, community, state and nation is to empower and improve all involved. And, when necessary, the moderate position is to suspend individual desire and the urge for immediate gratification in favor of the greater good.

This is what we most obviously lack in our contemporary society. Too many now succumb to selfish pursuits, avoiding wider accountability. Too many drift to the edges of issues, ignoring the stable and productive middle ground.

It's time to champion moderation and the principals of compromise and cooperation. They are salve that heals many wounds and an oil for the engine of individual and collective progress.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

It's time to get up - and about

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Hey! Yes, you! Slouched on the couch with the draperies pulled and the remote in hand.

In case you haven't noticed, early spring has arrived and you know better than anyone that you need to be outside working off some of that hibernation avoirdupois.

It's too early to smell the roses, but the lawn could use some attention, the flower beds where you planted bulbs last fall need some spring fertilization.

Most of your yard could use a good raking and even the area where some snow stands on the north side could be cleared so the melt can be completed.

The high school basketball season is over. Get outside and see what the world looks like in the sunlight.

If you're not yet quite ready for that yard work, maybe you can be thinking about spring cleaning and the items which will need to be moved to the garbage pickup site for disposal.

You know, that old stuffed chair you promised to get rid of two years ago. And how about that gutted lawn mower shell sitting in the shed; the magazines you've read again and again; or even that broken card table. How about all those sections of hose with holes in them taking up storage space? And the suitcase with the broken latch that you can no longer use

Come on Lumpy. Rouse yourself. Start taking daily walks, breathing fresh air, dodging the Indy 500 racers on our streets.

Shake the lethargy. Put some energy into life and it will answer with new found projects to occupy your spare time - until baseball season hits the television.

Here's a good workout route for you to follow.

Start at the community center and go west on Apache Street. At 5th Street, turn left and follow it past Golden Peaks Stadium, around the circular bus drive and past the high school building and out onto 8th Street. Turn left there and trek uphill to 10th Street where you turn right and follow it past the old Pioneer Cemetery to the dead end. Then, loop around to the west and then north past the elementary school.

Cross U.S. 160 carefully at this point and go onto the access road leading east until you reach 8th Street. Turn north again and then right at the top of the hill at Florida Street and follow it downhill to N. 6th Street. Turn north there and again let the road lead you past the Archuleta County Housing and then to the intersection of North 5th Street and Cemetery and Four-Mile Roads. Turn right again to the top of the hill, then left on Loma Street for half a block. Now go right into the one-way street leading to 4th Street. Pedestrian traffic is allowed but beware traffic coming uphill. At Lewis Street, next to the Archuleta County Education Center, turn left again and follow Lewis until it deadends at 1st Street. Loop over to Pagosa Street and come a block back west. Take Second south a block to Hermosa and then follow it west to the Riverwalk access on Town Park. Take that to the pedestrian bridge downtown, cross the bridge and then access Hot Springs Boulevard for your return to the community center.

You know you'll feel better if you do it.


90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of Mar. 26, 1915

No, girls and boys, Pagosa's main street is not a race track, whereon equestrian exhibitions may be given at pleasure, but the authorities might, without straining their lines of duty, do a little strenuous, admonishing to the older grown-ups who occasionally imagine the streets are nothing more than try-out speedways.

The Commercial Hotel, remodeled and refurbished, will open for business abut May 1st under the able management of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. McComas.

Miss Golda Vermillion, who has been living in town all winter, has gone to the ranch and is riding in every morning to her work as teacher in the Pagosa school.

Lino Lucero made application for seven year proof on his homestead last Saturday.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 14, 1930

Mrs. Libradita Sandoval, secretary of the Juanita school board, was visiting the school this week and is much pleased with the progress the pupils are making.

Francis Mote was swinging the rope at the Latta Ranch Monday when Mr. Latta was vaccinating, branding and dehorning cattle. Edgar Loucks is also a full fledged cowboy.

Believe it or not, there's enough coal on the Piedra and vicinity to supply Pagosa with fuel for a hundred thousand years, provided the burg's present degree of stagnation holds out. Of course, coal, like youth and cheese, improves with age.

Tomorrow is the last day for the filing of petitions for tickets for the coming town election.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 18, 1955

Water is cheap, everybody drinks it, and eventually everybody will benefit by the fluoride added to it. These are some of the reasons why fluoride is added to water instead of to salt or milk or baby food.

The new Polio Planning and Advisory Committee met for the first time on March 4th at the San Juan Health Unit to plan for a mass immunization program of Basin first and second graders. Although final reports on the new Salk vaccine which was tested across the nation last year will not be available until April 1st, the National Foundation and the State Department of Health have given the go ahead signal to local health units to effect plans for mass immunization before the polio season begins in June.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 20, 1980

Robins and other songbirds are starting to arrive, there are some new calves in the area, deer are headed back to higher elevations, the mud is drying somewhat and snow is settling fast. Spring should be along very soon.

Rafters and joists are now being put in place at the Pagosa Plaza where construction is going ahead rapidly. The new shopping center is scheduled for completion no later than June and will house Circle Super, the Citizens Bank, and other businesses.

There are many questions that most of us are asked that we can't answer. Most of these questions come from the Internal Revenue Service and young children.


Walking down the most dangerous streets in the world

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Four weeks ago, at two o'clock in the morning, Pagosa Springs builder Steve Cangialosi boarded a Blackhawk helicopter in Central Baghdad headed for Marine Corps Camp Blue Diamond outside Ramadi, Iraq. Wearing a flak jacket and a helmet, he watched two U.S. soldiers wearing night-vision goggles perch at the helicopters' open doors, training their 50-caliber machine guns on the ground below.

A few days later, Cangialosi stood with U.S. Marine Corps troops in Fallujah at the Blackwater Bridge where, a year before, two American civilians were killed in a grenade attack, then hung by insurgents from that green bridge that spans the Euphrates River.

This is the story of how one man from a Colorado town decided, despite gunfire, suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices, to radically support the troops in Iraq. It is also about the son he has fighting there and the small town, weekly newspaper that got him access to the hottest war zone on the map.

"I considered it a privilege to be with the best warriors in the world, walking down the most dangerous streets in the world," Cangialosi said upon his return from Iraq last week.

Last December, a stout, 53-year-old Navy Veteran with a short, graying military haircut walked into the Pagosa Springs SUN with a proposal. He wanted to go to Iraq, to live like an American soldier does and photograph the experience. He also wanted to see his son, Nick, a Marine on his way to the area.

"At first I was amused by the idea," said Karl Isberg, SUN managing editor. "But soon it became clear that the guy was serious about wanting to go."

The Pagosa Springs SUN agreed to supply Cangialosi with official press credentials and Isberg began trying to open doors for him as a working photojournalist in Iraq.

Isberg joked that the only combat he'd ever sent a reporter into was the local hospital district meetings. Nonetheless, he began with the Department of Defense and spent six weeks climbing up and down the military chains of command attempting to get Cangialosi embedded in an Army or Marine Corps unit in Iraq.

"It was fascinating," Isberg said. "I was expecting them to say, 'What on earth are you talking about?' but they were all remarkably cooperative. I was stunned."

What Isberg discovered was that it all comes down to the men and women in charge on the ground in Iraq. People like Maj. Kristina Meyle, the Embed Coordinator in Baghdad, and like Capt. David Tippet and Lt. Nathan Braden of the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Blue Diamond. These warriors paved the way for Cangialosi and four weeks ago he boarded a plane for Kuwait.

Cangialosi did not tell his son Nick he was coming. Nor did he tell his wife, Kitti, he was going. She thought he was going to Costa Rica. Kitti found out a week after he'd gone, by seeing his picture on the front page of The SUN.

"She deserves a medal," Cangialosi said.

After a long trip from Kuwait to Baghdad to Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi, Cangialosi caught up with Nick's best friend from Pagosa Springs High School - Connor Backus.

Backus is a part of a select group of Marines who protect Gen. Nantonski, the man in charge of all Marine Corps operations from south of Baghdad to the borders of Syria and Iran. When Nick and Connor graduated three years ago, the two friends enlisted in the Marine Corps together. Both young men are on their second tours of duty in the Middle East, serving in different units.

At Camp Blue Diamond, Cangialosi spent five days with Backus and marched with his unit, photographing the day-to-day operations. Backus, at age 21, has 150 combat missions to his credit now. The unit often travels in a convoy with the general aboard.

The greatest threat for overland travel in Iraq is the improvised explosive devices hidden along road beds, designed to ambush convoys such as the general's. One day Cangialosi rode along and an IED exploded, hitting a Hummer three vehicles back from his. One Marine was wounded.

Both Steve and Kitti Cangialosi remember Backus well from his and Nick's high school days. Kitti said the two were a comedy team. After seeing Backus in Iraq, Steve Cangialosi sees the same personality in the young man but when his helmet goes on, Backus is all business.

"I see a maturity there," he said. "As far as a Marine, he's a real professional."

With Backus' unit, Cangialosi also traveled to Fallujah to the now infamous Blackwater Bridge. Heavy with symbolism, the bridge was chosen as the site for the swearing in of Sgt. Major Wayne Bell. Cangialosi said when American troops finally gained control of the bridge from Iraqi insurgents, the troops wrote on it with black Magic Markers, memorializing it for the two slain American civilians. Cangialosi photographed it.

The town of Fallujah is absolutely destroyed to hear Cangialosi tell it.

"I don't think there is a building without a bullet hole in it," he said, adding that the town is filthy with garbage and rubble. The people of Fallujah have not come back to it because there is nothing to come back to, he said. "If they're going to rebuild this place, God it's going to take a long time."

Before Cangialosi left, he said he was uncertain about the United States' involvement in Iraq, especially since his own son and Nick's buddy, Connor, were placed in the line of fire. The three weeks he spent in Iraq changed his mind.

"I'm convinced we're there for the right reasons," Cangialosi said, adding that the abject poverty in Iraq is inexcusable for a nation with such rich oil resources. He said Sadaam Hussein was a tyrant and the people of Iraq had "no hope of bettering themselves without something like this happening."

After traveling with the Marines, Cangialosi traveled with the Army Rangers of Camp Ramadi on their operations. On one mission, Cangialosi was proud to ride with Lt. Col. Southcott in his Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Another mission with the Rangers took him to a town on the Euphrates River which was home to suspected terrorist activity. The unit went door to door questioning people. Cangialosi said some lied about the weapons buried in their backyards and were arrested, and some offered the troops breakfast.

He said the latter gesture wasn't particularly unusual. Very often he would watch the troops give candy to the children or pose with them for photographs. He believes the troops are deeply committed to helping the people of Iraq and have instituted programs to help revive the local college and provide jobs for the people.

"You have to win their hearts and minds," Cangialosi said. "That's how you get information. That's how you fight this enemy."

Though Cangialosi liked to be near the front, to photograph the troops, he never forgot where he was.

"It's always a combat mission," he said and although Cangialosi is clearly in good shape, he said he had to work to keep up with the soldiers.

"You don't really have time to be afraid, but you stay behind the guy with the big rocket launcher," he said with a grin.

Finally, after two weeks in Iraq, Cangialosi, flew back to Kuwait in yet another Blackhawk helicopter, but this time Gen. Nantonski was along. The general knew Cangialosi was planning to see Nick in Kuwait and invited him to fly with him on his personal helicopter.

"I will forever be grateful for that," Cangialosi said. "It was an honor for me to fly with him."

Nick was in Kuwait for training and two days before Cangialosi arrived he was informed his father was coming. The general was expected in a meeting at the base in Kuwait with other Marine Corps officers and high-ranking sergeants. Nick was called to the meeting.

What was probably a poignant reunion moment for father and son was slightly overshadowed for a young Lance Corporal by the overwhelming presence of Marine Corps brass in the room.

"The general is probably one step below God for a Marine," Cangialosi said laughing about his son's utter astonishment at his father flying in Blackhawk helicopters with a Marine Corps general.

"He was very stiff being there with all the brass," Cangialosi said.

Kitti Cangialosi recalled a conversation with her son about Steve's exploits in Iraq where he said to her, "You mean to tell me that the Pagosa SUN has enough pull with the United States Marine Corps to fly a civilian around with a general? This has Dad written all over it," he told her.

During the meeting Cangialosi said Nick leaned over and said to him "How did you pull this off? You're going to have to tell me about it later."

Cangialosi spent the next few days on guard duty with Nick and hanging out on base with the other soldiers. Cangialosi said he was happy to provide a little levity by telling the soldiers about leaving for Iraq and not telling his wife. He said Nick also became famous in the platoon for being the only guy whose Dad came to visit, in Iraq.

"It brought a little bit of humor," he said. Kitti agreed, saying Nick told her later on the phone that "the troops were so discouraged" before Steve arrived but he "has breathed life into this place."

A few days later Nick was scheduled to ship out to a "hot zone" but Cangialosi couldn't say where. He was invited to go along, but father and son both decided against it.

"It was good to see my son," Cangialosi said. "But he has had his mission and I had mine."

He said Nick and many of the other Marines in his platoon, who had been training in Kuwait, were ready to "get into the fight." Cangialosi believes they have gotten their wish.

"He's in a hot zone now," Cangialosi said. "I feel good that he's with the best fighting unit in the world. They're top guys. But I'm concerned because I know where he's headed, because I've seen it - a little bit of it."

Cangialosi said his son has plans when he gets out of the Marine Corps, which could be next year. He wants to go to the University of Southern California and study real estate development.

"He's mature and focused and knows what he wants to do with his life," said Steve. "He's a fine young man now."

When asked what changes the war has brought to the two boys from Pagosa Springs, Cangialosi said: "Anytime you put yourself in a life and death situation, I'm sure you can appreciate living a lot more. Once you've lived through something like these guys are doing, anything else in life, you can get through."

Easter Sunrise Service returns

to Golden Peaks

The sixth annual Pagosa Springs Easter Sunrise Service is scheduled 7 a.m. Sunday, March 27, in Golden Peaks Stadium at Pagosa Springs High School.

The interdenominational service is open to all and will feature Biblical readings, instrumental music and hymns as the sun rises over Reservoir Hill to the east.

Leading the brief worship will by the Rev. Don Ford of Community United Methodist Church and Rev. Bob Pope, rector of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church.

A breakfast hosted by local Boy Scouts will follow the service in the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.

Attendance at the sunrise service had grown annually to 127 in 2003 - until last year - and hopes are that people of all Christian faiths will join in this year's observance to display a new level in community unity.

County deputies join in statewide

DUI crackdown

Archuleta County sheriff's deputies will have extra patrols active for "The Heat Is On" a state DUI campaign starting today.

The enforcement program focuses around St. Patrick's Day celebrations, but will continue through 6 a.m. Sunday.

Colorado State Patrol and 40 individual departments are combining efforts with increased patrols, saturation patrols and roving sobriety checkpoints planned.


Planners cancel March 23 meeting

Archuleta County Planning Commission has canceled the regularly scheduled meeting March 25.

The next scheduled meeting will be 7 p.m. April 13.

Pagosa's Past
A thumbnail sketch of family key to area history

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

What was a trip across Wolf Creek Pass like in 1916?

We've been reading about events leading to construction of the pass. What was the immediate end result in terms of convenience for motorists?

Fortunately, we have a first-person account given by someone who motored across the pass with the first group of people not connected with construction to make the trip. In addition to giving us a look at that first crossing, the description left by Myrtle Hersch gives us a look at the obstacles to be overcome by motorists living in Pagosa Country at the time.

Mrs. Hersch was the mother of Marguerite Hersch (Wylie), a small girl who also made the trip. Mrs. Wylie must be credited with providing me with this account plus some pictures of the pass at that time.

The Hersch name is well known by all Pagosa old-timers. For the benefit of those who have moved here recently, I include a thumbnail sketch of the Hersch family because they are important in Pagosa Country history.

Joseph Hersch's obituary described him as one of the oldest residents of Santa Fe when he passed away in August 1901 at the age of 86. He was born in Poland, moved to Prussia at age 13 and in 1837 came to the United States, residing in New York State until 1847. In that year, he moved to Santa Fe and established himself in business, becoming one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen in New Mexico.

As a point of reference, the Mexican/American War ended in 1846. One of the results of that war was that the United States took possession of New Mexico along with California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and the western half of Colorado including Pagosa Country. We might guess that Hersch moved to Santa Fe as a result of New Mexico becoming part of the U.S.

Hersch built and operated the first steam flour mill west of the Mississippi and also erected a distillery at Santa Fe. He also engaged in freighting trade goods to the Navajo nation using ox-pulled wagons. The children of Joseph Hersch were Beatrice, Bertha, Leo, Mrs. Hattie Hatcher, Helena and David. David was the husband of Myrtle, the source of our story.

In any case, David Hersch was born in Santa Fe Jan. 15, 1877, and came to Pagosa Springs in 1898. He married Myrtle Stodsgill Feb. 16, 1902, and passed away Aug. 3, 1964. The children of David and Myrtle were Joseph and Marguerite.

David first worked for Hatcher Mercantile, a firm he acquired in 1921 when he changed the name to Hersch Mercantile. The Hersch Mercantile building remains as one of the oldest buildings on Pagosa Street in the downtown business area. David later acquired Citizens Bank, owned an insurance company, invested heavily in the local sheep industry, and in other ways was one of the principle business and financial cogs of the community until his death in 1955. In the public realm, he served as a town board member and county commissioner, and held other offices.

Myrtle writes:

"In February of 1916, our Chalmers car was shipped from Pagosa Springs by Denver and Rio Grande narrow gauge railroad to Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the town was snowed in at that time of the year. (Motter's note: translation -- They couldn't drive the car to Santa Fe because of what the weather did to roads, so they shipped the car by train) There, our family, consisting of my husband David, out thirteen-year-old son Joseph, and small daughter Marguerite and I began a leisurely tour of 6,000 miles through warmer, and lower altitude, states. We planned our homecoming over the new pass, later in the summer, from the east side."


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Forecast predicts steady wind, chance for snow

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

"Go fly a kite."

That's the appropriate suggestion for residents of Pagosa Country, based on the short-term forecast for the Four Corners region.

For at least the next three days, breezy conditions are expected to dominate the local weather stage.

According to reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, today calls for southwest winds at 15-25 miles per hour, gusts to 40 mph, partly-cloudy skies, highs in the 40s and evening lows in the 20s.

Friday's forecast predicts winds at 10-15 mph, cloudy skies, highs in the 40s and lows from the upper teens in the mid-20s.

Light winds and highs in the 40s are expected Saturday and Sunday, along with variable skies, a 30-percent chance for afternoon showers and lows in the 25-35 range.

The forecast for Monday predicts mostly-sunny skies, a minimal chance for precipitation, highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be marked by increasing clouds, a slight chance for scattered rain or snow showers, highs in the 40s and lows around 20.

The average high temperature last week in Pagosa Springs was 49 degrees. The average low was 20. Moisture totals for the week, measured as snow, amounted to two-tenths of an inch.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit snow depth of 158 inches, a midway depth of 138 inches and year-to-date total snowfall of 399 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" to "considerable" near and above timberline, and generally "low" well below timberline.

According to SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin, as of Tuesday afternoon, was 157 percent of average.

San Juan River flow statistics for the past week were unavailable at press time due to recent restoration projects.

The river's historic median flow for the week of March 17 ranges between 80-90 cubic feet per second.