April 7, 2005

Front Page

County approves feasibility study for justice center

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

A contract approved this week by the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners will put conceptual plans for a new county justice center to paper.

During a Tuesday session, the board carried a motion giving Kansas-based Archetype Design Group Inc. the green light for a preliminary design study aimed at determining if the establishment of such a facility is feasible.

Funding for the study was earmarked in the 2005 budget and, according to the contract, cost "shall not exceed $15,000."

While the study will help determine feasibility, it is not expected to specify where the facility might be constructed.

In recent months, a county-owned parcel in Cloman Industrial Park has been eyed as a potential construction site.

According to Bob Grandchamp, county undersheriff, the Cloman site is still being considered.

"That site hasn't been eliminated, but we're also evaluating seven, possibly eight alternative sites," said Grandchamp.

The need for expansion of county jail facilities due to overcrowding dates to 2003, when officials determined the budgeted amount for the deportation of excess prisoners was facing a sizable shortfall.

For example, the 2003 jail budget included a line-item in the amount of $1,000 to accommodate deportation bills.

However, because the county jail was full, by March 2003 the county had already received bills totaling in excess of $3,200 from the town of Ignacio for boarding services provided for five inmates who would otherwise have been incarcerated here.

Though the amount was never realized, an estimate of what the county could expect to pay for outside boarding services that year reflected the need for as much as $82,000 to cover deportation/boarding expenses.

The costly, jail-crowding trend stretched into 2004, and continues to worsen this year.

"So finding a good site for the justice center is a highest priority," said Grandchamp, adding he expects to provide an extended list of plausible sites to the commissioners in the near future.

"It's still up in the air right now, but we really need to move on it," he concluded.

In other business this week, the board:

- approved an Assistance to Firefighters Grant application for the purpose of securing funds for the purchase of firefighting equipment;

- approved the final plat for Marmaduke minor impact subdivision;

- approved renewal of a hotel/restaurant liquor license for 19th Hole LLC;

- approved renewal of a retail liquor license for Chimney Rock Store;

- accepted a bid from Journeyman Roofers in the amount of $23,800 for repairs to the courthouse roof.


Health district sees signs of fiscal recovery

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Seeds of success appear being sown by administrative action as Upper San Juan Health District works its way out of a financial dilemma and aims to reopen Mary Fisher Clinic as a critical access hospital.

Data provided Tuesday night indicated the board of directors and staff have moved closer to a break-even point financially,

For example:

- Accounts receivable have been cut from $725,000 to current (April 4) total of $458,000. It should be noted the business manager has intentions of writing off an additional $100,000 to $150,000 of this as uncollectible debt.

- Pam Hopkins, board chair, got director support for administrative decisions she made in recent days that keep services alive. First, she directed that Sean Wilde be retained full-time as an X-ray technician, serving the needs of the community outside the facility operated by Pagosa Family Medicine. She indicated a conservative estimate of 40 X-rays at a median cost of $79 each, plus salary, will result in a loss of $1,000 to $1,500 per month. But, she said, it is a necessary community service, one which will be needed after reopening, and cutting Wilde from staff would make it hard to find a replacement.

The board also supported her decision to sign a contract (April 1) with Southwest Emergency Services Physicians for EMS medical on-line control. That means all calls will go to Mercy Hospital Emergency Room first, but Pagosa Family Medicine patients can request transport to the local facility. When patients are determined by SWEP to need intervention in Pagosa before transport, Pagosa Family Medicine doctors will be contacted during business and on-call hours to see critical patients. On Friday and Saturday nights all patients will be transported to Mercy. And Dr. David Hughes, Mercy ER physician has established protocols as the local EMS physician advisor.

- The line of credit extended earlier this year has been paid off, payment on the loan secured has been made and money has been set aside for half of the next payment due in June.

- Accounts payable, because of an inflow of cash, have been cut from $88,000 to $65,000, with the majority now less than 30 days overdue. All debt 30 days or older is expected to be erased before July 1.

- Directors were given a preliminary report from Sheldon Weisgrau, consultant for the critical access hospital plan, indicating he will probably recommend following through and will submit a financial plan within two weeks. It is expected he will recommend one of two options: a 2-5 bed facility; or a 5-10 bed operation. Such operation would allow holding patients for critical care for 72 hours or less.

- The board was told a veteran physician who is moving to the community has indicated an interest in becoming the critical care unit medical director. Directors welcomed the news, but suggested an ongoing search for other medical personnel and continued physician negotiations as soon as depth of operation parameters are ironed out.

- Directors agreed with the necessity of hiring an EMS operations manager as soon as possible. Allen Hughes, business manager, said he had interviewed two potential candidates, one who promised to call back, but did not; and one who is eminently qualified, familiar with the area and has worked a similar position in Silverton. The board felt additional candidates should be sought and directed the position be advertised in regional health service outlets. Calling it a critical position, Hughes said it needs to be filled as soon as possible.

- At the repeated urging of Hopkins, the board agreed to schedule a work session on finances "just to be sure we are dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's as we work toward reopening a fiscally sound operation." Due to conflicting individual schedules, time and date for the session are yet to be decided.

Discussions leading to these decisions were not without friendly controversy. And, as in the past, directors indicated a belief they need more detailed financial data to make intelligent decisions.

For example, Director Bob Goodman said it would be helpful to see accounts receivables all listed together on monthly reports.

"I'm sure all the data we need are there, somewhere, but putting them together would make it easier for us to understand what the reports mean," he told Hughes.

The question of write-offs, too, worried some on both the board and in the audience.

When Hughes said the administration is considering writing off all outstanding debts of $100 or less, Goodman and fellow director Neal Townsend balked, as did J.R. Ford from the audience.

"Why not at least make one attempt to collect?" Goodman asked. "We've seen there are many people who owe us and don't even know it. Billing has been suspect. If we can show a bill they should have received, most probably will pay up."

Townsend agreed, saying, "Our responsibility is to the taxpayers and those who have paid bills. We need to make sure every attempt is made to collect."

Ford agreed as well, saying, "Some of those might be the easiest to collect. People who never got a bill but acknowledge getting treatment are more likely to want the books closed."

Director Dick Blide suggested any unpaid bills should be turned over for collection. "If we collect half, we've paid for the agency doing the work," he said.

Hughes said it could be done, but will be a long process. "We have, in many cases, nothing in house to show when or if many patients were ever billed. We have records of treatment, but no copies of bills issued or payments received on many of these cases."

Still, he said, since the announcement Mary Fisher would temporarily close, "we've been receiving a lot of account payments above and beyond what the advisors told us were verified as due."

"If we can get the data together," Goodman said, "let's deal with these cases on an individual basis. Let's notify them of amounts due and that collection action may be forthcoming."

With all the conflicting data, director Jerry Valade said, "I feel like I've gotten out of maximum security into a regular penitentiary, but I'm still in jail."

Noting he sees progress, Valade said the surge of information not available before has him sometimes wondering, "How did this district ever survive this long?"

Director Bob Scott told Hughes, "You need to present plans for priorities between now and July. We all have independent ideas of what is needed and wanted. You need to tell us from a business standpoint what we need to do, what is feasible, what is desired and what is impossible.

Townsend agreed. "None of us is in your position of recognizing need and executing working plans. Whether it's two goals or 126 goals, we need you to present a whole plan to this board. Not opinion or grandiose verbiage, but a plan to be debated, implemented and executed."

Along those lines, director Jim Pruitt said, "We're talking about maintaining community service, but some things are not being addressed. Number one is EMS staff and its viability until we get reorganized. Secondly, are we happy with EMS availability? And third, is there adequate part-time staff for EMS when, for example, we have two units already in service?

"EMS is a priority we can't ignore," he said. "If we need to spend money for community service, it should go there. We need to establish priorities and this should be at the top of the list,"

Hughes told the board EMS is starting an EMT class in two weeks with nine students expected. Originally planned as a move to convert emergency vehicle operators to basic EMTs, the class was to have only three students. But when announced publicly, six others came in to sign up. Cost will run $400 per student.

Hopkins closed the session with a tribute to Joanne Irons of the Citizens Advisory Committee who organized and coordinated the going away dinner for physicians Guy Paquet and Dan Hepburn. "It was a wonderful send-off and much deserved," Hopkins said.


Downtown building projects draw Town Council approval

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

Several town projects that have been making their way through the public review process cleared the Pagosa Springs Town Council Tuesday night.

Colorado Housing was given the thumbs up to proceed with its project that will ultimately consist of 16 homes built on 7th Street.

Applicant Susan Ward also prevailed with her two downtown projects, which have been a flashpoint for some neighbors.

Ward's Hermosa Court project, which has drawn considerable attention since it came before the town planning commission in December, is much smaller than originally proposed. The project has dropped from six units in one large structure to four units in two smaller structures. The building now has a 20-percent smaller footprint.

Ward said those changes were made in an attempt to be "sensitive" to the concerns of the neighborhood. However, she believes the project doesn't set a new precedent for multifamily structures in the predominately single-family neighborhood, noting her own survey of it revealed many "granny units" behind existing homes.

A few neighbors of the proposed Hermosa Court project showed up to again ask the council to consider if the size of the project is compatible with the neighborhood. Two Hermosa Street residents said they don't believe that single family homes are more consistent than duplexes. Mayor Aragon reminded speakers that change to an existing neighborhood "is inevitable."

The conditional use permit for Ward's second project, Towne Terrace, which will occupy the lot next to Victoria's Parlour on Pagosa Street, was also approved. As with Hermosa Court, Ward said she believes her design team has reacted well to the concerns of the neighbors.

The project is 2,500 square feet smaller than originally designed and will be home to retail, commercial and residential space. A restaurant was eliminated from the original plan and the parking spaces in the current plan now exceed the town's requirement by two stalls.

The council also approved the final plan for Colorado Housing Inc.'s "Pagosa Overlook" on South 7th Street. Colorado Housing is a nonprofit agency designed to help first-time homebuyers work together to build their own affordable homes.

The first phase of Pagosa Overlook will include 10 cottage-style homes of three different designs and is expected to begin this summer. The two- and three-bedroom homes will be 720 square feet and one and a half stories. The second phase will add six more units to the community and does not yet have a start date.

Pagosa Overlook is designed to encourage community among homeowners by including a porch on each house that faces the interior of the community. A passive solar design and active solar panels will contribute to the energy efficiency of the homes.


 Inside The Sun

Kindergarten registration for fall term begins April 20

Next school year there will be both half-day and full-day kindergarten classes at Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

If your child will be in kindergarten during the 2005-2006 school year, registration will begin April 20 and continue through the end of this school year, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily.

Because the district is only funded for half-day kindergarten by the state, the full-day sessions will be funded on a tuition basis. The tuition price is $150 per month.

There are 40 slots open and if there is higher demand, the slots will be filled by lottery drawing.

Those planning to register their child should bring a copy of the child's birth certificate, immunization records and his/her Social Security number. You will not be able to register a child without this information.

You may request full-day or half-day (morning or afternoon) at this time. If a lottery drawing is required to fill slots it will take place May 9. The last date one can request full-day kindergarten will be May 6.

The morning and afternoon slots will be filled as students are registered. There will be waiting lists for any spots filled should there be any cancellations.

Tuition for full-day class will be $150, with a $100 deposit required at registration.

If your child's name is drawn, the September payment will be $200 (plus the deposit) and each payment thereafter $150. There will be no charge in May because of the initial $300 payment.

There is no tuition for the half-day classes. Morning classes will be 8:10-11:05 a.m. Monday through Thursday. In alternate weeks, the child will also attend 8:05 a.m.-1:10 p.m. on Fridays.

Afternoon classes will take place 12:05 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day every other Friday.

The half-day schedule can be a low-stress way to ease a child into the school routine. A student may be away from home for the first time, and a half-day experience could be best for your child.

As a parent, you may not be ready to send your child to school for a full day; you may prefer to spend extra time with him or her for one final year.

A student may still need a nap or a later wake-up time at this age; as you know, each child is unique.

A full-day schedule, on the other hand, allows for additional activities to enrich the variety and depth of our young children's educational experience. There is more time to give individualized attention to students. A full-day schedule helps parents manage their day between family and work; and students have additional time to process the concepts being taught.

The first day of kindergarten next school year will be Monday, Aug. 22.

Kindergarten students must be 5 years old by Sept. 15 according to school district policy.

If you have questions, call the elementary school at 264-2229.


Music education seen as a key to better testing

By Melinda Baum

Special to The SUN

Currently, public schools throughout the state are in the midst of Colorado Student Assessment (CSAP) testing.

Colorado law mandates that every student must be assessed. The results of these tests are a way of monitoring Colorado schools for funding and accreditation.

There is a particular concern in the area of mathematics. Many believe music education should be looked at more closely as a benefit toward improvement in testing.

Here are a few facts:

- Students with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: 53 points higher on the verbal and 39 points higher on the math for music performance; 61 points higher on the verbal and 42 points higher on the math for music appreciation than students with no art participation. - 1999 College Bound Seniors National Report Profile of SAT Program Test Takers, The College Entrance Examination Board, Princeton, N.J.

- A study of 237 second-grade children used piano keyboard training and newly designed math software to demonstrate improvement in math skills. The group scored 27 percent higher on proportional math and fraction tests than children that used only the math software. - Graziano, Peterson, Shaw "Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-tempered training," Neurological research, Vol. 21, March 1999.

- The American Music Conference reported: "Music-makers are 52 percent more likely to go on to college and other higher education than non-music makers."

- The U.S. Department of Labor issued a report in 1991 urging schools to teach for the future workplace. The skills they recommend are working in teams, communication, self-esteem, creative thinking, imagination and invention. These skills are exactly those learned in school music and arts programs.

- According to "Getting Ready for College Early: A Handbook for Parents of Students in Middle and Junior High School Years," written by the U.S. Department of Education in 1997, "One year of visual and performing arts is recommended for college-bound high school students."

- The College Board, in its book "Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do," identifies the arts as one of the six basic academic areas students should study in order to succeed in college.

- One study included in "Champions of Change - The Impact of the Arts on Learning," by Edward B. Fiske, former education editor of The New York Times, tracked more than 25,000 students for more than 10 years. It was discovered that music students were far more likely to achieve the highest levels of proficiency in math tests than non-music students. Interestingly enough, the study also indicated arts study affected students' racial attitudes. "Students at grade 10 were asked if it was OK to make a racist remark," the authors wrote, and "about 40 percent of 'no-drama' students felt making such a remark would be OK, where only about 12 percent of high theater students thought the same."

- Nationally, on May 13, 2004, a resolution recognizing the benefits and importance of school-based music education was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The resolution was read on the floor of the House. It has been received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

"This resolution expresses the view of Congress that studying music helps kids achieve in school and supports the industry's efforts to make sure that all children have access to music study as part of a quality education," said Mary Luchrsen, director of public affairs and government relations for NAMM. "It also stresses that the developmental attributes taught by music education including discipline, analytical thinking, problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills are vital for success in the 21st Century workplace."


Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning commission will hold its regular meeting 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, in the county commissioners' meeting room in the county courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

- Preliminary plan review for the re-plat of Lot 558X, Twincreek Village Subdivision. This is a request for planning commission review of a preliminary plan for replat of said lot to create lots 556, 557, 558, 559 and 560 as originally platted. The property is in Twincreek Village along Sumac Court with physical addresses from 32 to 80 Sumac. Legal description for the property is Section 7, T35N, R2W.

- Preliminary/final plat review for Elk Park Meadows Phase I, re-plat of Lot 17. This is a request for the planning commission to review preliminary/final replat of lot 17 to eliminate designated envelops for building and individual sewage location. The property is in Section 26, T35N, R2 1/2 W, N.M.P.M. The nearest cross streets are Ginger Circle and Finch Drive. Lot 17 has a physical address of 417 Finch Court.

- Review of the revisions for Section 25 of the Land Use Regulations - Outdoor Lighting Regulations.

- Other business that may come before the commission.

- Adjournment.

Is the Colorado Sex Offender Registry reliable?

By Carmen Hubbs

Special to The SUN

The recent tragedy of Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old Florida girl kidnapped, raped and murdered by convicted sex offender John E. Couey, has launched a nationwide response to reviewing sex offender registries and their completeness.

While sex offender registries are important safety tools, they are only one tool to help protect children against sexual assault. Most importantly, it needs to be understood that most sexual assaults are not reported - only an estimated 16 percent - therefore the likelihood of perpetrators being caught and placed on the list is extremely low.

Cynthia Stone, media coordinator of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said, "It's important for parents to understand that the (Colorado) registry doesn't include all sexual offenders. And, a huge danger to children is the 'undetected' offender, frequently a person that the family knows. Such offenders haven't been caught, convicted and registered."

Studies show that in upwards of 90 percent of sexual assaults against children, the offenders knew their victims.

Currently, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) Web site lists only those offenders who fall under three categories: sexually violent predators; those convicted of multiple sexual offenses; and those who failed to register their current addresses.

There are almost 1,000 sex offenders listed on CBI's Web site but there are more than 8,200 registered sex offenders in Colorado.

Another avenue to investigate sex offenders in your area is to request a list from local law enforcement agencies. These inquiries are only provided on a 'need-to-know' basis. For example, if you want to know if a sex offender is living in your neighborhood, or applying for a job that involves children.

A current House bill (HB05-1035), sponsored by Rep. Dale Hall and Sen. Suzanne Williams, is awaiting House approval. This bill is attempting to eliminate the jurisdictional and 'need-to-know' restrictions that limit CBI and local law enforcement agencies' ability to release sex offender information to a requesting person.

While the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program (ACVAP) supports this bill, we oppose an amendment being considered which prohibits local law enforcement from listing those registered offenders convicted of misdemeanors on their Web sites or in local listings.

ACVAP advocates fear that, since many cases of felony sexual assaults are pleaded down to misdemeanors, many felony offenders would remain off the list, creating increased risks to our community.

The reality is that overreliance on the registry to protect our children is not a risk anyone should take. Parents need to be aware of common tactics sex offenders use to groom their victims, while teaching their children basic protective skills.

ACVAP provides sexual assault prevention programs to children as young as 4, while offering education seminars to parents, teachers and youth leaders to help further their understanding of sexual assault, it's risks and warning signs.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Be an active participant in the vital work to end sexual assault. Here are some ways you can be involved:

- Contact Rep. Mark Larson at (303) 866-2914 and encourage him to approve HB05-1035 without the amendments.

- Host an educational seminar with your youth group, parent group or classroom to learn tools to help keep children and yourself aware of the dangers and tools to decrease risk of becoming a victim.

The ACVAP Youth Violence Prevention Education Program can provide these seminars free. Call to arrange your seminar today at 264-9075.

To learn more about the sex offender registry, visit the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's Web site at www.cbi.state.co.us.

Citizen group continues probe of meth in county

By Randy Johnson

Special to The SUN

What is methamphetamine. how addictive is it and how do we prevent it in our community?

A group of concerned citizens met April 4 for a second time to develop an action plan to educate children, parents and the general public on the growing meth problem in Archuleta County.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger, "Eighty percent of the people in the local jail system have used meth."

In an initial meeting March 9 Lynn Westberg, director of the San Juan Basin Health Department, reported on the preventative steps La Plata County was taking to deal with the problem. A coalition there developed a brochure that targeted middle and high school age children and produced a video for others. Westberg provided the brochure and video to the local group.

Suzie Kleckner, nurse manager for the San Juan Basin Health Department office in Pagosa Springs, attended a La Plata coalition meeting and saw the video.

Kleckner said, "It contained individual stories of meth addicts, how bad the addiction was and the hell they put their parents through. The video could be used as-is in Archuleta County."

The brochure will need reprinting with local modifications.

Volger recommended an impact panel similar to the one developed by Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) for people convicted of DUI. Part of the panel is a one-hour presentation of statistics and results as we all as comments by someone who has suffered significant loss due to DUI. Volger said that "along with the preventative measures, we need to address those already impacted by meth and a panel could help."

Other examples discussed included testimonials from those already convicted of meth use, a "scared straight" program and offering monetary rewards for information in meth cases.

More education is needed since "most parents don't know what it is, what it looks like or what a meth lab contains" said Joanne Irons from Partners in Education.

District Attorney Craig Westberg indicated testimony from those convicted "is very powerful, especially to educate people on how long it takes to recover."

There currently is no established cure for the addiction. According to Dr. Alan I. Leshner, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "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."

To focus on prevention and education, the local coalition will use Davilyn Valdez, probation and UPS coordinator for the Sixth Judicial District, as facilitator.

Valdez indicated a follow-up meeting will be held the first week in May. She said early objectives are to get the video to schools, reprint the brochure, obtain literature being developed by the police department and determine the community involvement.

Others attending the April 4 meeting were municipal judge Bill Anderson, municipal court administrator Candace Dzielak, junior high school principal Chris Hinger, school district counselors Lisa Hudson and Mark Thompson, high school assistant principal David Hamilton, local attorney Robin Auld, district attorney's office investigator Pete Gonzalez, Liz Anderson and Kris Embree.

Wolf Creek Ski Area extends season operations

Officially, closing day at Wolf Creek Ski Area was April 3.

But since snowfall exceeded average levels this winter - summit depth is still over 14 feet - Wolf Creek will offer late-season skiers two more chances to hit the slopes this month.

The ski area will reopen Saturday, April 16 and Saturday, April 30, with hours of operation being 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Lift tickets will be $22 for adults and $13 for children and seniors. The Alberta, Treasure and Bonanza lifts will be open, and trails will be groomed. There will be no ski school, but the rental shop will be open.

The outside grill of Wolf Creek Lodge will be open for chips, burgers, hot dogs and soft drinks, and all season passes and employee passes will be honored.

According to Davey Pitcher, president of Wolf Creek Ski Corporation, the extended days of operation will serve as a kind of market research tool.

"We haven't been open in late April for probably six to eight years," said Pitcher, adding that when the ski area remained open beyond early April in the past, skier numbers dwindled.

"It got to be pretty depressing," recalls Pitcher.

"But with all the snow we have this year, we thought we'd give it a shot and see how it plays out," he concluded.

Snowpack above average

Not only have snow totals come in above average for Wolf Creek Ski Area this winter, but for the first time in eight long years, Colorado's statewide snowpack statistics indicate an above-average accumulation.

The latest snow surveys, conducted by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, showed the statewide snowpack at 107 percent of average April 1, and 67 percent above those same readings from last year.

Although, when individual river basins are compared to the long term average, only a small portion of the state is actually near average.

The majority of the state is either significantly above or below average, depending on your latitude from north to south, according to Allen Green, state conservationist with the NRCS.

"This winter's storm track has favored southern Colorado and snowpack percentages across those basins are all well above average, meanwhile, most storms have missed our northern basins, leaving below average accumulations in those basins," said Green.

Although the statewide snowpack percentages have been tracking at above average levels since February of this year, this month's readings are the most significant for the state's water users.

By April 1 most of the state's mountains reach their maximum accumulation of winter snowpack. Knowing this total winter accumulation allows NRCS hydrologists to forecast the spring and summer runoff with the greatest degree of certainty for the year.

With as much as 80 percent of the state's surface water originating from snow melt, these forecasts are closely watched by water users across the state.

This year's forecasts for summer runoff bring welcome relief to the string of years with below average runoff across the southern portion of the state. Summer streamflows along the San Juan, Animas, and Rio Grande rivers are expected to exceed 130 percent of average, while the runoff across most of the Gunnison, Dolores, San Miguel and Arkansas basins are also expected to be above average.

Further north, runoff forecasts drop to below average volumes. Runoff in the Colorado, Yampa, White and North and South Platte basins are expected range from 70 to 100 percent of average.

While there remains a possibility that conditions can still improve in these drier basins, the chances for improvement diminish each day as summer approaches.

"We typically see nearly the entire state's snowpack peak out within the next two weeks, yet April and May are typically very wet months across northeastern Colorado," said Green.

However, the state's reservoir storage continues to track below average across most of the state. Most water users can't rely on surplus storage to supplement late summer shortages.


Kiwanis - putting the service in community service

By Frank Schiro

Special to The SUN

So, you want to get involved in the community. You want to make a difference, but you're not sure how or where. How about Kiwanis International?

The motto of Kiwanis International tells you about the heart of the Organization. "Serving the Children of the World" is more than just a nice sounding collection of words; it is the driving force behind Kiwanis members' time, efforts and financial contributions. Young children truly are "Priority One."

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915, making this the 90th year the organization has reached out to children and other worthy causes around the world. Now nearly 300,000 men and women in over 90 countries extend a helping hand to both local and global communities. Yearly, people in this service-oriented organization invest more than 6 million hours and 100 million dollars around the world.

In addition to the worldwide focus, there are numerous efforts to help kids at the local level. Kiwanis International plays a special role in developing future generations of leaders. K-Kids clubs reach out to the elementary school level. Builders Clubs are focused on middle school-aged students. Key Clubs involve high schools students. Circle K clubs channel college-age students. These Kiwanis organizations work at all of these levels to teach community service and leadership skills to young people, so that they too can give back to those in need around them.

The local Kiwanis Club chapter consists of professional businessmen, businesswomen and other community and service-minded individuals who have the strong desire to serve their community. The club is active throughout the year, helping the children of Archuleta County and other people needing assistance. The local Kiwanis Club also supports an active Key Club at Pagosa Springs High School.

In future weeks, we will take a deeper look at what makes Kiwanis International an exciting and effective service organization. We'll look at specific activities and projects that local members in both Kiwanis and Key Club are involved in and what the future holds for the Pagosa Springs Chapter of Kiwanis International.

For more information or a peek into Kiwanis, the local club meets ever Thursday at noon at the Hogsbreath restaurant. Meetings offer an atmosphere of fun, learning and fellowship where members and visitors are always welcome.

Box of tiny kittens dumped at thrift store; now in care

By Annette Foor

Special to The SUN

Just when you think you've seen everything, someone does something to really throw you for a loop.

Last Thursday evening right around closing time at the Humane Society Thrift Store, a small cardboard box was found outside the store. The box would have gone completely unnoticed if someone had not heard faint noises coming from it.

When the box was opened, it was discovered there were four five-day-old kittens in it. Had the box been left any later, these poor, defenseless and innocent kittens would not have survived the night without proper bottle feeding and warm shelter.

The kittens are now in foster care where they will remain for the next three to five weeks. They will be bottle-fed every couple of hours until they are old enough to be adopted.

We ask that when someone cannot care for their animals, they let us know here at The Humane Society. Don't dump the animals outside the thrift store, the animal shelter or anywhere else. The Humane Society Animal Shelter will take the animals at no fee, although we do ask for a donation. If you are not able to make a donation the animals will not be turned away.

The shelter will also provide you with a voucher to have the mother spayed in order to prevent this from happening again. Please let us know you have animals you need to give up, for whatever reason. Dumping them is not the answer.

If you need help, call the animal shelter at 731-4771.


'Beauty and Beast' opens tonight in PSHS auditorium

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

"Beauty and the Beast" opens tonight, presented by students of Pagosa Springs High School, in association with Disney and MTI.

Performances, beginning at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium, will also be presented Friday and Saturday evenings.

This production features a cast and crew of more than 50 members, plus a 12-piece orchestra. It will also contain several new musical selections that were not in the animated Disney version. The sets and costumes, made especially for this large scale project, reflect many hours of intense, but rewarding, community involvement.

Ticket prices are $6 for adults, and $4 for students and children. There is open seating and tickets may be purchased at the door or at the Plaid Pony 731-5262.


Week of the Young Child focuses on opportunities

By Lynne Bridges

Special to The PREVIEW

"Children's Opportunities - Our Responsibilities" is the theme for this year's Week of the Young Child, an annual celebration in April sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation's largest organization of early childhood professionals with over 106,000 members.

The purpose of the week is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families, and to support the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

The Week of the Young Child is also a time to plan how we, as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation, will better meet the needs of all young children and their families.

The following is a list of events planned:

- Monday, April 11, is Doll Day in Pagosa. Every year, the Colorado Children's Campaign works hard to ensure that the voice of children is heard by community and government leaders throughout Colorado. Hundreds of adults and children will each decorate a doll. The dolls will then be displayed in business and storefront windows. The cutout dolls serve as an invaluable reminder of the importance of investing in children's lives. If you have any questions or would like to request a doll for your business, contact Mardel Gallegos at Pagosa Early Childhood Head Start, 264-2484.

- Tuesday, April 12 - "Night of the Young Child" is a wonderful opportunity for the community to support and honor our youth and their many talents 6-8 p.m. in Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. This year's event will host Pagosa Springs Gymnastics, San Juan Fisherman Praise Band, Belle Zellner, a hula hoop specialist, Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale, and many more surprises. Come and join us as we support and honor our local youth. If there are youngsters out there who would like to perform this year or in next year's Night of the Young Child, call 264-5513.

Wednesday, April 13 - An immunization clinic sponsored by the La Plata Electric Round Up Foundation will be offered at San Juan Basin Health Department all day. This event is free to all children from birth to 18 who need their immunizations updated. Thank you La Plata Electric and San Juan Basin Health.

- Thursday, April 14 - Car seat safety checks, Car Quest parking lot downtown, 2:30-5:30 p.m.. Call Anette McInnis for details at 731-3512. Bring your child's car seat in and have it checked free. This is a great time to see if your child is in the appropriate car seat for their size and age.

- Friday, April 15 - Pagosa Kids Support Our Troops Day. The ACT Council is collecting small plush toys. These small toys will be sent to the troops overseas to keep in their boots or pockets so when they come across a child they can give the toy to them. Every childcare center, preschool and family daycare home will be collecting these toys Friday. Call Melissa Snarr at 731-3512 if you have questions.

- Saturday, April 16 - The fifth annual Kid's Fair 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Pagosa Springs Elementary School. This event is planned just for children and families. It is free and there are many activities for children to participate in. A local youth group will be selling hot dogs and having a bake sale. The ACT Council will be sponsoring a cupcake walk. Come eat and have fun.

The Week of the Young Child is brought to you by ACT (Archuleta Children's Team) Council, a coalition of licensed childcare providers in Archuleta County. These providers are dedicated to improving and insuring high quality childcare is provided to the children here. ACT Council members spend many hours taking college classes and attending workshops and trainings to insure high quality care continues in the county. Take a moment and thank your licensed childcare providers for their dedication and commitment.

Funding for Week of the Young Child is provided by contributions from local individuals, organizations and businesses. Contributions include donations, grants, volunteers and assistance in coordinating events.

For more information on any of the events, call Anette McInnis at 731-3512 or Lynne Bridges at 264- 5513.

'Once Upon a Wolf' promises delight for the whole family

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

An hilarious exercise in anthropomorphism, "Once Upon a Wolf," will be presented April 21, 22, and 23 in the Parish Hall of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs.

It's an evening of madcap fantasy, produced by the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters, which will be a delight for the whole family.

Animals assuming human characteristics and personalities have long been a staple of storytelling, myth, plays, literature and even movies. But in these "fractured fairy tales," the "humanized" animals want to depart from their classic stereotypical roles - with unpredictable and laughable results.

Director's apprentice Randi Andersen and Rachel Jensen, assistant to the director, have aided director Michael DeWinter in putting all the elements together. The outstanding cast includes Sally Yates, Candy Flaming, Becca Stephens, Rita Jensen, Roger Jensen, Honor Nash-Putnam and Don Ford.

Following the performance, there will be a short presentation of vaudeville type acts, known in days gone by as an "olio."

Show times are 7:30 p.m., and non-reserved 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.


Cowboy poetry showdown set at the Colorado State Fair

Rhyming ranchers and passionate poets are all welcome at the 2005 Colorado State Fair Cowboy Poetry Showdown in Pueblo.

New this year is a youth division for contestants 18 and younger. The entry deadline for both the adult and youth categories is May 1.

"Cowboy poetry is a tradition that began when cowboys first gathered around a campfire at night and shared stories, so we wanted to bring that tradition to the state fair," said Chris Wiseman, fair general manager.

Entry forms and rules can be obtained on the Web site at www.coloradostatefair.com/html/events/cowboypoetry.asp. Each contestant must submit an entry form and short video, which best illustrates their skills as a poet.

"All aspiring or seasoned cowboy and cowgirl poets are encouraged to enter," said Alma Aragon, contest coordinator.

The finalists will be notified by June 15. A buckle and cash prize will be awarded to the top three finishers and the People's Choice winner in both categories. Although the winners in the youth division will be selected prior to the fair, they will also have a chance to entertain the crowds during the contest.

During the fair, the Cowboy Poetry Showdown will be held Aug. 31 at the Pepsi Stage.

Colorado Council on Arts to help Pagosa Springs create a cultural plan

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The SUN

The Colorado Council on the Arts has selected Pagosa Springs for a Peer Assistance Advisor. We will be working with Nancy Kramer from Steamboat Springs to create a cultural plan for Pagosa Springs.

Kramer will be in Pagosa Springs Friday and Saturday. She will meet Friday with town leaders and members of the Community Vision Council, representatives of the Four Corners Folk Festival and Music in the Mountains, Michael and Denise Coffee and others.

There will be two roundtable discussions with Kramer Saturday on ideas for creating a cultural plan for Pagosa. The morning session is scheduled 10 a.m.-noon in the community center art rooms. The afternoon session will be in the same location, 2-4 p.m. The Saturday roundtable sessions are open to all interested parties. Kramer is interested in hearing from everyone about your issues and concerns for the art and cultural plan for Pagosa Springs.

Kramer has been the executive director of The Steamboat Springs Arts Council since 1993. That council is a community arts agency serving as the pivotal cultural organization in Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley in northwest Colorado. The SSAC is the steward of the community cultural plan: The Master Plan of Culture and Livability. SSAC provides technical assistance, cooperative marketing services and leadership in advocacy for over 25 affiliate art and cultural organizations. Kramer is a zealous advocate of collaborative programming and cooperative efforts that build capacity of the arts in her community and meet the goals of the cultural plan.

Kramer also serves as a member of the City of Steamboat Springs City Council where she shares her nonprofit expertise to foster partnerships with the public sector. This past summer, she participated in the Graduate School of Business Stanford University and National Arts Strategies Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders-Arts.

Steamboat Springs has dealt with many of the issues that now face Pagosa Springs concerning growth and planning, and particularly the cultural needs of a community. Kramer is very interested in helping us create a cultural plan for Pagosa Springs.

The Colorado Council on the Arts will pay for her travel expense. John Eagan and Cate Smock have donated lodging through the Pagosa Lodging Association .

For more information contact Leanne Goebel at 731-1841.

A special April Fool joke worked

By Deb Aspen

Special to the PREVIEW

In Step Dance Club's April Fool's Dance at Montezuma Vineyard was a delightful event, complete with "swing-into-springtime" colors splashing through an array of balloons, Easter egg candies and table arrangements.

The group dined and danced its way through the evening to a variety of CD music. Entertainment included videos of dance exhibitions from the Valentine's Dance and the latest competitions by In Steppers.

Live performances featured Kris Ambrosich charming her way through a beautiful fox-trot with Charles Jackson. Later, the long-awaited special performance by guest dancer Antonio Fostino and Kris Ambrosich did indeed end up in a surprise ending ... after their elegant, and very romantic bolero, the emcee announced Antonio would like to say a couple of words: "April Fool's" he said, as he took off his wig and suddenly became Deb Aspen, mustache and all! It was a fun time for everyone.

This is the upcoming schedule: Today and Wednesday, April 13, will be a continuation of the West Coast Swing. Then East Coast Swing lessons will run for six weeks beginning April 21 and continuing April 28, May 5, 11, 19 and 26. We plan an East Coast Swing workshop May 28 taught by Bob and Cindy Long from Albuquerque, followed by a dinner and sock-hop dance that evening.

More details on that later, with confirmation on a band and caterer.

Classes will be held 7-9 p.m. at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave., with practice sessions 3-5 p.m. Sundays April 17 and 24, May 1, 15 and 22. Dues: $40 per couple or $25 individual. Dancers without partners are welcome.

For more information, call Deb Aspen at 731-3338


Dick Ray appointed to state wildlife commission

By Randy Johnson

Special to The SUN

Gov. Bill Owens has announced two appointees to the Colorado Wildlife Commission - Dick Ray of Pagosa Springs and Robert W. Bray of Redvale.

"The Colorado Wildlife Commission is a pivotal body established to preserve the splendor of Colorado's wildlife and to protect its various natural resources. The commission will undoubtedly benefit from the first-hand experience these appointees will bring," Owens said.

Ray and his wife, Vimmie, have owned and operated the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park since 1986. Ray has also been a Colorado guide and outfitter since 1970 and has served on such committees as the Predatory Advisory Committee and the License Fee Increase Advisory Committee for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

He has also represented the Colorado Outfitters Association on the Colorado Wildlife Commission for 11 years.

Ray currently serves as vice president of the Colorado Mule Deer Association. He recently completed a wildlife course at Colorado State University.

The wildlife commission sets Division of Wildlife regulations and policies for hunting, fishing, watchable wildlife, and non-game, threatened and endangered species. It is also responsible for making decisions about buying or leasing property for habitat and public access and for approving the Division's annual budget proposals and long-range plans.

The wildlife commission is an 11-member board, all appointed by the governor. There are nine voting members and two non-voting members on the commission. The non-voting, or "ex-officio" members are the executive director for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the state Agriculture Commissioner.

Commission members are volunteers who represent five different districts in Colorado. They are appointed from each of the following groups: livestock producers, agricultural or produce growers, sportsmen or outfitters, wildlife organizations and boards of county commissioners.

The remaining three commissioners are appointed from the public at large. Appointees are first ratified by the Senate Agricultural Committee, chaired by Sen. Jim Isgar, then confirmed by the state Senate.

Bray will serve as a Republican appointee and represent the livestock production industry. Ray will serve as a Democratic appointee and represent sportsman and outfitters. Commission terms are four years.

Ray was ratified by the Senate Agricultural Committee March 30 and is the first member from the Pagosa area since the late Earl Mullins in the 1960s.

"It's a great honor to be selected to this committee," Ray said. "I received a lot of support from others around the state."

Ray's objectives are to represent wildlife in Colorado and increase wildlife numbers, but also to try to increase sportsmen's opportunities in the state.

He stated, "With all the land and oil development activities we need to keep the integrity of wildlife migration routes intact." Ray cited local deer and elk migrations to New Mexico and wildlife "trying" to exist in populated areas as examples.

The commission meets six times a year to consider changes in Division of Wildlife regulations and policies. The next workshop and meeting will be today and tomorrow in Yuma, and is open to the public.

Ray indicated he will schedule a local meeting within the next two to three months to "discuss any wildlife concerns, not just those of sportsmen and outfitters." that meeting will be announced in The SUN.


Two local scholarships available at Camp Rocky

By Cynthia Purcell

Special to The SUN

Youth 14 through 19 who are looking for a unique outdoor learning opportunity should attend Camp Rocky.

Camp Rocky, sponsored by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, will be held July 3-9 in the mountains above Colorado Springs near Divide. Cost is $250, all inclusive.

The San Juan Conservation District is offering two, all-expenses-paid scholarships on a first-come, first-served basis.

"At Camp Rocky, we treat the students as if they were resource professionals," said Bob Sturtevant, Colorado State University Extension forestry specialist. "We give them lots of responsibility to make decisions about how the property should be managed to conserve natural resources."

Camp Rocky staff members are resource professionals from around the state, who help participants learn about their environment while working in teams and making new friends. Campers can choose one of the following resource fields for their area of focus: forest management, rangeland science, soil and water conservation or fish and wildlife management.

"The students are encouraged to become more knowledgeable and productive citizens as well as explore possible careers in natural resources," said Sturtevant. "They spend a week making new friends, learning about natural resources, and being outdoors doing hands-on activities. They gain new insight about the natural world."

Students have the opportunity to, among other things, identify native plants; learn how ranchers determine how many grazing animals can use a pasture; how wildfire crews are organized and how they fight fires; how wildlife managers track animals and determine how many fish are in a stream; how to determine if a stream or lake is healthy; how foresters measure trees; how to prevent soil erosion; and how watersheds work.

Participants also take part in sports, games, hiking, a campfire, the Camp Rocky Challenge, and a dance. At the close of camp, students receive a certificate of completion.

Youth must have completed eighth grade by June 2005 to be eligible.

Various agencies, organizations and businesses including local conservation districts, Colorado's section of the Society for Range Management, Arkansas Valley Seed Solutions and others provide financial support.

For information on registration or scholarship opportunities, contact the San Juan Conservation District at 731-3615. Registrations must be in by June 20.


Firewise forum April 26; experts show safeguards

It's Fire Prevention and Education Month.

Local experts agree that even with the welcome precipitation over the past year, the forecast for the upcoming wildfire season is quite unpredictable.

The best crash course for citizens to understand what they need to do to be prepared for wildfires takes place Tuesday, April 26.

Mark your calendars for the community wildfire protection forum at the Archuleta County Cooperative Extension Building at the fairgrounds on U.S. 84. The doors open at 6 p.m. so citizens can visit with local and regional fire experts and pick up information handouts to learn how to safeguard their families, homes, and the community, at large.

A forum, including a PowerPoint presentation and advice from a panel of these experts will begin about 6:30 p.m.

Following the forum, an optional 30-minute video, entitled "First Line of Defense: Homeowners Stand Up to Wildfire," will be shown in the adjoining room. This educational film outlines the steps you can take to make your home more defensible against wildfire before it strikes. Other Colorado homeowners who either lost or saved homes to wildfires during the 2002 fires are interviewed in the tape, providing valuable lessons learned.

Citizens will also have further opportunity to explore the table offerings and get their personal questions answered on a one-on-one basis.

The Southwest Colorado Firewise Council recently launched a new neighborhood "Ambassador" program to empower residents to bring fire protection education into their subdivisions where grass-roots efforts are needed. Volunteers from every subdivision, called "Ambassadors" can function as a point of contact for firefighting entities should a fire occur and to help provide valuable resource information to residents.

To serve as your neighborhood's Firewise Ambassador, or inquire about the program, contact: Laurie Robison, fire prevention technician, San Juan Public Lands, (970) 385-1225, or e-mail her at lrobison@fs.fed.us.

The Firewise Council Ambassadors of Aspen Springs created this community event. For forum information, contact Karen Aspin, 731-3138; Henry Silver, 731-9209; or Claudia Smith, 731-3665.


New lynx release slated Saturday near Creede

The Colorado Division of Wildlife plans to release six Canada lynx - three females and three males - Saturday in the San Juan Mountains near Creede. The release will mark the fifth year that the DOW has released the cats.

Since the program started in 1999, 166 lynx have been released. An additional 38 lynx will be released this year, and possibly up to 15 will be released next year depending on if there is a demonstrated need.

The re-introduction program was established to bring the lynx back to its traditional range. The last verified native lynx sighting in Colorado was in 1973 near Vail.

The DOW is authorized by the wildlife commission to reintroduce lynx for an additional three years if needed. It is anticipated that the overall monitoring and research program will continue until a self-sustaining population is established or until it is determined infeasible.

The San Juan Mountains provide adequate habitat for the lynx. The area is remote, sparsely populated and holds the type of landscapes preferred by the lynx - mature forest, abundant wetlands and steep slopes with large areas of downed logs ideal for establishing dens. The San Juans also provide an abundance of small mammals - especially snowshoe hare which is the preferred food of Canada lynx.

The animals introduced are provided to the DOW by provincial wildlife agencies in Canada.

Current status

While the DOW is tracking dozens of animals that are wearing radio telemetry collars, some of the collars are no longer transmitting. But from backtracking and aerial observation, researchers know some of those with non-functioning collars are alive. The researchers also know from observations of tracks that not all reproduction is being documented.

Counts of lynx are determined through radio tracking, aerial and on-the-ground observation, and by live trapping. During the late spring the DOW locates dens and checks for new litters of kittens.

Researchers believe that up to 105 lynx are alive. The DOW is currently tracking 80 lynx via radio collars. Signals from 24 radio collars have not been detected since Feb. 1, 2004 - collar batteries have died or the lynx have moved outside of the research area. The DOW will expand its tracking flights this year in an attempt to locate more lynx.

The program also is reaching a milestone in 2005. This is the first year that the kittens born in Colorado will be old enough to breed. If they breed successfully, it will be a significant step in this program.

Kittens are born in June. But because of the difficulty of tracking these animals, information about new litters will not be fully known until next winter.

Biologists have documented that at least 55 kittens have been born in Colorado. The exact number surviving is not known.

2004 activity

Researchers documented 14 lynx litters in 2004 with a total of 39 kittens. Only three of the 14 litters were complete failures. Currently, 18 of the kittens are known to be alive. The status of four others is unknown; their mother has moved far into the Weminuche Wilderness Area and trackers cannot find her.

Three of the 14 females found with kittens in 2004 were released in 2003. Two females that had kittens in 2003, and who reared at least part of their litters through March 2004, gave birth to kittens again in 2004. Two of the litters documented by direct observation or by snow-tracking are from females whose collars no longer transmit. This confirms that the DOW is not able to document all reproduction that is occurring.

While most of the lynx are concentrated in southwest Colorado, the animals continue to show their ability to extend their range. The DOW has received reports of lynx in New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah.

Survival estimates

Of the 166 released, 61 lynx have died. From the 1999 release, 26 died; 24 died from the 2000 release; four from the 2003 release; and seven from the 2004 release.

Survival rates increased dramatically after the DOW changed release procedures. Lynx are allowed to acclimate in pens for a couple of months, they are fed and their health is closely monitored. Release occurs after April 1 when the lynx are in peak condition and when food sources - mainly small, young mammals - are abundant and easily captured.

Survival rates are in the normal range for Canada Lynx. According to studies of lynx in Canada, survival of kittens can range from zero to 70 percent depending on food availability.

DOW, GoCo cooperate

The Colorado Division of Wildlife and Great Outdoors Colorado have worked cooperatively on the lynx reintroduction program since 1997. GoCo has contributed more than $2.8 million toward the effort. The money has been used to fund a variety of activities, including: habitat assessments, acquiring animals for transplants, veterinary inspection, radiotelemetry monitoring, management and conservation strategies planning, etc.

The DOW has spent nearly $1.8 million for the program. Total expenditures are $4.61 million.

Also, as part of its wildlife program, GoCo recently contribute $1.2 million to acquire and establish the Frisco Creek State Wildlife Area which is being used as the lynx reintroduction facility and as a wildlife rehabilitation center.

High Country Reflections

Reflections of a great bull moose

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

It was a chilly spring morning at the North Park KOA, but nighttime temperatures had not dipped as low as predicted, so I was outside re-hooking the water line when I first heard it. From somewhere over my left shoulder, it echoed eerily through the trees, sounding much like the deep-throated groan you might hear as a heavyweight boxer suddenly lands a solid blow to the midsection of his opponent.

I turned slightly to my left and saw only forest, but as the resounding bellow came again, I turned a bit further and there it was in the shadows, not 20 yards away. An imposing black figure, probably six feet at the shoulders and with huge sprawling antlers, a fully-mature bull moose stood, staring at me.

I'd never seen a wild moose before, and at such close range, was immediately taken by the bull's incredible mass. At more than a thousand pounds, his enormous body seemed too large for his long spindly legs, and his broad muzzle, with a pronounced overhanging snout, appeared disproportionate to the size of his head. His wide palmate antlers stretched a good five feet, and as he stood motionless, watching my every move, I wondered about his temperament and where the nearest shelter might be, in case he should charge.

But the passive stag never charged that morning, and instead, casually wandered back into the woods. I watched in awe for several minutes, as the slanting rays of an early morning sun filtered through the lodgepole pines and danced on the tips of his impressive rack. Jackie too, saw him from a rear window of the RV, and as his magnificent form gradually faded back into obscurity, our combined jubilation left us almost speechless.

That was nearly a decade ago, and we've only managed a few trips to North Park since. But on each occasion, while camped near Rand, Gould, or other remote communities in the shadows of the Medicine Bow Mountains, we've found wild moose and viewed them up close. Each time seemed a momentous affair, particularly when relatively few animals live in such vast wilderness. But then, moose have few natural enemies in the wild, and don't seem especially fearful of humans like other big game species, so once you find them, getting close is not terribly difficult.

At this point, words of caution moose are large wild animals, the largest in Colorado, and their behavior can be unpredictable. A cow with calves will fiercely defend her young, and when threatened, can become one of the most dangerous creatures in North America. During the autumn rut (September and October), bulls may attack anyone or anything invading their "turf." A few have actually taken over pastures or haystacks, where domestic livestock have been injured or killed through territorial misconduct. That said, moose are reasonably docile most of the time, and with a little common sense, observing them in their natural habitat is both safe and rewarding.

Of course, observing moose in their natural surroundings was not always possible in Colorado. As recently as 1950, virtually none were found south of Wyoming, and biologists believe any stragglers wandering into Colorado's northern reaches were taken by poachers before plausible populations were ever established.

But eventually, as regional wildlife laws and enforcement improved, a self-sustaining population developed in the Uinta Mountains of Utah, and in March, 1978, the DOW transplanted 12 of them to the headwaters of the Illinois River near Rocky Mountain National Park. The following year, another dozen were brought in from Wyoming, and in 1987, 12 more were released along the Laramie River near the Rawah Wilderness. In the early 1990s, about a hundred were transferred from Wyoming, Utah, and North Park to the headwaters of the Rio Grande near Creede, and in the past few months, a small number of those have been relocated to remote regions of the Grand Mesa.

Today, Colorado's moose population is doing well, and their range is apparently expanding. As browsers with long legs and warm winter coats, they are most often solitary individuals, and many will cover broad territories, where some have been discovered more than 100 air miles from their original release site. Just this year, according to the DOW, a cow in the Weminuche Wilderness freely moved back and forth through the heavy snows of winter, crossing the Continental Divide at least five times.

Adaptability, good habitat, and no real impacts from disease or predation have allowed prolific reproduction of the state's moose since their induction. Unlike elk, bull moose do not gather harems, and will defend a single cow until mating, then move on in search of other receptive females. A mature bull may mate successfully only a few times a year. Nevertheless, birth rates have exceeded expectations, with twins fairly common, and triplets occasionally documented. Today, an estimated 1,200 to 1,750 moose inhabit Colorado statewide.

Jackie and I haven't lived in southern Colorado long enough to discover the region's best moose viewing locations yet, but I'd have to imagine they're somewhere in the vicinity of Creede. In the first 10 years since the introduction of nearly a hundred to that area, numbers more than quadrupled.

With that in mind, suitable habitat is obviously abundant, and surely includes ample riparian zones where thick willow marshes provide up to 80 percent of their normal diet. Of course, moose are very versatile and will range from the lower sagebrush flats to the high mountains above treeline, as long as sufficient brush, or browse, is available to feed on. After all, the term "moose" comes from the Algonquin Indian word meaning "eater of twigs."

As one who has spent a lifetime outdoors, I treasure virtually ever wildlife encounter, whether it involves the simple and familiar song of a Black-capped Chickadee, or the rare sighting of a foraging bear. Each offers its rewards, but to me, none is any more valuable than the impression left by the reflection of early morning sunlight on the polished antlers of a great bull moose.


Music shorted

Dear Editor:

In reference to today's article concerning how music education improves test scores, you are probably wondering how important music is in our local public schools.

According to Dave Krueger, "since 1976, the school district has had three full-time music teachers: one band, one choral and one elementary." In the elementary school alone, student numbers have nearly tripled and yet there remain only three teachers. Krueger remains at the elementary school full-time. Shawna Carosello teaches intermediate school general music classes as well as fifth-grade beginning band, sixth-grade band, and eighth-grade choir and voluntarily gives her time to fifth- and sixth-grade singers - those dedicated students willing to give up their lunch/recess, to sing.

Lisa Hartley currently teaches three blocks at the high school (out of a four-block day, making her a full-time high school teacher) and then has to travel to the junior high to teach seventh- and eighth-grade band.

As quarter-time accompanist for the high school and an active volunteer, I have been involved with the music in our schools. For seven years, I have watched these teachers give their whole hearts to teaching. With absolutely no time to spare, they do the best job they can possibly do.

But even with the growth in the school district during the past 30 years, there is not a plan to add staff to the music department.

According to Chris Hinger, junior high principal, due to large numbers of students in the seventh- and eighth-grade choir - over 50 - he is separating the grades into two choirs for next year.

You may be saying, "good idea" however, because of lack of staff, seventh-grade choir would only be for half a year and eighth-grade choir for the other half year.

If this solution is not acceptable, an even worse solution is for Lisa Hartley to come back to the junior high to teach sixth-grade band. In order to do this, jazz band and select choir would no longer be electives for high school students.

At this time, these are our only "advanced music performance" options in the district. After 30 years, isn't it about time a part-time music position is added?

During the last few years, many concerned parents have approached me concerning this matter. I look forward to seeing them show their support at the next school board meeting, April 12.

This is our "public" school and we, the concerned public, want to make a difference.

Melinda Baum

Hooray, Mark

Dear Editor:

We would like to say a big "hooray" to Mark Garcia and other town employees for making Pagosa an even better place to live by getting the river restoration project started downtown. Mark and others took a lot of heat for moving through the red tape involved in this project and getting the work started this spring, but we saw a lot of cheerful hard work and creativity between the town and the river restoration expert, Gary Lacy.

We also note that a lot of town folk volunteered their time as well to make this restoration happen, so locals seem to know of the advantages to a beautiful riverfront. (The Fourth of July Park to Park is so popular, in part, because it's next to the river).

There are already a lot of people taking advantage of easier access to the river, and kayakers have been enjoying the new structure as well. Doug and I would also like to thank Davey Pitcher for donating equipment and men to work on the river. None of this could have been done without his help and that of the very talented equipment operators, Steve, Mark and Rick.

Their work has enhanced our ability to more fully appreciate and use one of Pagosa's natural assets right in town!


Laura Bedard and Doug Large


Dear Editor:

This is just a little note to all who ski at Wolf Creek. I am sure you know that the Ski Patrol is a group of dedicated skiers. The patrol staff (especially Scott Kay) exhibited a tremendous amount of professionalism and caring to my family and the family of our guests last week.

We had guests over from Cleveland to ski. Unfortunately, the wife of one of our guests (Rosemary) had contracted MS and could not ski anymore.

For years we won't admit to, we skied together as friends. Now one of us couldn't ski anymore, but we could be together at a lunch break if Rosemary could get to the main lodge.

The Wolf Creek management and Ski Patrol made it happen. Patrollers pulled Rosemary up the hill on a sled. She was waiting for us in the sunshine as we came off the slopes.

Even though Rosemary couldn't ski anymore, she and all of us enjoyed being together for lunch and talking about the runs, falls and the snow of the morning.

This time brought back memories of other times, other hills and allowed us to make plans for the new times in an environment we all love - fresh crisp air, sun, snow, and hills to ski, all together with friends.

Thank you all who wear the white cross.

John and Sue Bozek

Stop Hammers

Dear Editor:

I think most readers are old enough to remember the name Molotov. That name, translated from the Russian, means "The Hammer."

Molotov was Stalin's hammer and they pounded that nation and its people into the shape of the terrorist dictatorship which became a grave threat to the free world. Stalin's and Molotov's time has passed, but we ought not to forget.

Very busy today in Washington there is a Congressman who is called "The Hammer."

What is happening today in our Congress is frightening to all who love freedom. The Patriot Act and the administration's new proposed additions to it, the emasculation of the House Ethics committee, the appointments of high officials who have used deceit to gain our approval of their goals and deeds and who would excuse torture to extract information (could this letter be extended to confessions?) from prisoners, and now finally the so-called "nuclear" tactic in the Senate to prevent filibuster of the Senate's previously rejected nominees and break the will of the legislative - the people's - branch; all of these are the unprincipled doings of Hammers, pounding away at our democracy and freedom.

I pray that our congressmen and senators will recognize these things for what they are and stand fast against these people and their designs against all Americans.

It would be one of the greatest tragedies of human history if these Hammers were able to succeed because they did not.

And worse still, if the people do not press them to make the stand or back them up when they do.

Henry Buslepp

Thanks to PAWS

Dear Editor:

I want to thank the board of Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District for listening and stopping the artificial fluoridation in Pagosa Springs. Its nice to know that freedom of choice is still valued by some in America.

I know that the citizens, both two- and four-legged and the environment will now take a turn for better health as my personal animals have in the past months since giving them only water from the San Juan River.

If anyone would like to talk to me about the 15 years of intense research, both pro and con, on the subject of fluoride and fluoridation that I have done and the ill effects my horses have shown after drinking the fluoridated water since its inception in Pagosa Springs, give me a call at 264-4462.

There are a lot of rumors that have gone around town about my story and I would love to clear them up. My story is far longer than I could write in the 500-word limit of this venue.

Water is our most sacred resource and we should only work to improve its quality.

Thank you,

Cathy Justus

One wonders why

Dear Editor:

County residents need to query the county commissioners about their stance concerning The Village at Wolf Creek. The commissioners appear to be avoiding this controversial issue, postponing or canceling public debate.

Most recently, the work session on this subject scheduled April 18 was canceled. They seem to prefer the safer topics of road maintenance and planning. One wonders why.

The proposed development at the base of the Wolf Creek Ski Area, although in Mineral County, would have disastrous effects on Archuleta County. We can visualize the number of construction workers who would bring their families to build the project and the number of unskilled workers who would work at the development when complete.

Where would they live? Not in Mineral County. Predictably, most would move to Pagosa Springs creating heavy demands on the schools, social services and law enforcement while contributing little in tax revenue.

This is only one of many concerns which the proposal creates, but it is one which the commissioners should confront.

The Town of Pagosa Springs already has adopted a resolution opposing the Village. The longer the commissioners delay taking a position opposing the Village at Wolf Creek, the more difficult it will be for them to protect their county from this serious threat.

Jim Lincoln

Blue Star Mothers

Dear Editor:

That the public should know: there were Blue Star Mothers in World War I, 1917-1919.

My grandmother, Mrs. Luther R. Johnson, had a double banner with two blue stars, each on a field of white surrounded by red borders. It was of one piece of material.

She had two sons serving in the Army of the United States of America when many soldiers were deployed to Europe.

The youngest son, Philip Ray Johnson, was stationed in France for a time. He was with a supply company and drove a team of mules to carry supplies in a wagon.

Her older son, Charles B. Johnson, was called into service later as the age limit was raised. The war ended before he went overseas.

One of the Gold Star Mothers was Mrs. Bill Mullins, mother of Lester Mullins, whose name heads the local American Legion post.

Yours truly,

Genevieve Phelps

River restoration

Dear Editor:

I'd like to thank the Town of Pagosa for what it is doing for the San Juan River, transforming it into a downtown focal point, as it deserves.

Not many towns have a free flowing, wild and clean mountain stream. Pagosa has one flowing right through it, and thankfully we're beginning to realize its potential.

The initial stage of river restoration about a decade ago (Phase 1), was a start in the right direction, funded by CDOW program, "Fishing is Fun," it unfortunately relied on outdated river features -- weirs. These Ws were not only an aesthetic affront and disrespectful to a beautiful, living river, but also did nothing to improve the fishing, despite reports from cattle prod wielding fisheries biologists.

After extensive consulting with a Boulder hydrology firm, the town determined that re-naturalizing the river would appeal to a wider range of interest and support natural habitat. As this phase of the project started a few weeks ago, I felt this was going to be a different, more effective plan. As work began, volunteers appeared in unprecedented numbers, (according to the project's hydrologist), kayakers, town employees, shop owners, ski patrollers, fishermen, high school kids and passersby all carried rocks and smoothed concrete. It was more of a community project than Phase 1, when questions and suggestions were often ignored by the hydrologist and others involved.

Because of this down-to-earth atmosphere, I felt comfortable approaching Town Manager Mark Garcia, and inquiring about the future of a certain fishing hole downtown, in which brown and rainbow trout will hit a dry fly almost every evening of summer. Mark, who was busy, listened, asked for details, and promised it would be considered.

As things started to take shape with the first of three kayak play spots and re-naturalization of the riverbed, the Army Corps of Engineers showed up to put a halt to the work; work that has stabilized the bike path while allowing easier access to the river's edge, made a kayak play hole that will draw an increasing number of boaters, changed the Disneyland appearance of the Ws, and by giving the riverbed a more broken up, irregular pattern and deeper holes, is bound to make both wild and stock trout feel more at home.

Also, kids will still enjoy summertime low water fun, swimming and tubing. They will be less likely, at least in this section, to be lulled by the false safety of those weirs, venturing into the middle of the river during higher flows such as after a rainstorm. Only luck, our fire department and kayakers have so far averted a tragic fatality.

Since this project is now up in the air due to conflicting views of hydrologists and government agencies the planning office needs to hear support from our community as does the Army Corps of Engineers in Durango.

We need to tell them to stop monkeywrenching these efforts to embrace and treat our river as a great natural resource, as she should be.

Jim Porch

Wrong decision

Dear Editor:

Foes win: Halt Fluoridation:

Another wrong decision foisted on the nearly silent majority of the people in this community by a vociferous minority.

R.L. Preston

Verbatim error

Dear Editor:

I wish to respond to Jo Lancing's letter (ADA won't talk). Her letter states that no ADA member will discuss fluoridation or attend a meeting on the topic.

I recall that three local dentists were in attendance at the March 8 public meeting, including Dr. Rutherford who was sitting on the panel. (It was his hat up there; it had to be him!) Dr. Rutherford attended, despite his office being awash in water. I believe I have been to every public meeting since becoming aware of this issue locally.

Because of their obvious untruth, I was relieved to find that Jo's words we-re, excluding the intro and conclusion - not her own. They are found verbatim at www.nofloride.com.

Her letter states, "According to Section 20 of the American Dental Association Code of Ethics, dentists' non-participation in fluoridation promotion is overt neglect of professional responsibility."

Those assertions are complete fiction. The ADA Code of Ethics makes no reference to fluoride whatsoever in any of its total of five sections. Anyone who wonders is welcome to read my copy of the ADA Code. This is but one example of fluoridation opponents' use of Internet misinformation to bolster their case.

Fluoridation opponents are at least consistent. They sacrifice the truth, both in their criticism of the ADA and in their presentation of misleading scientific information.

Harold Thompson, D.M.D.

Not locums

Dear Editor

Drs. Guy Paquet and Dan Hepburn were not locum doctors. Both were salaried employees of the health district with no additional pay for after-hour care. Both rented apartments and bought groceries in Pagosa. Dr. Paquet even volunteered time to meet with folks at the senior center to answer questions regarding medical disorders and was much appreciated.

Dr. Paquet retired as medical director for a large firm in California. Like many, he signed-on with a locum group which provided him the opportunity to fill temporary situations as he so desired. It is true that he came here as a locum; but after seeing our beautiful facilities and learning of the goals set forth by the health district board, he was delighted when offered a four-day week as medical director to build the clinic into a top-rate rural health care service. He signed a conservative salary contract to remain with us until the rebuilding was completed, after which he would recruit his replacement before returning to retirement. Dr. Hepburn soon joined him as a salaried employee of the district. The job was well on its way to completion when the new board was elected last year.

Dr. Paquet worked four days a week and Dr. Hepburn worked the other three. That they returned to their family homes on their free days did not compromise their delivery of medical care. While both developed personal friendships in Pagosa, it is the respect and compassion shown to all patients without consideration of social position that truly set them apart.

The current board chose to extend their contracts in November and I am certain that, had the clinic remained open, these committed physicians would have agreed to continue.

Patty Tillerson

Owes apology

Dear Editor:

I believe Ms. Preuit owes Dr. Jim Pruitt a public apology. Her attack on Dr. Pruitt was hateful in nature; and without facts, she impugned his reputation, motives, integrity and ethics.

As Kenneth Hodges correctly stated in his letter to the editor of March 31, Dr. Pruitt had absolutely nothing to do with the years of mismanagement of the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, nor its eventual failure.

Prior to the board election, I had a discussion with Dr. Pruitt as to why he would run for the board with all the time his involvement would require, and also the no win situation he was placing himself in. Based on this conversation, and the fact that I know him to be a man of integrity and honesty, I know that the only motive he had in running for this board, was to offer his years of experience in an effort to save Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center. The implication by Ms. Preuit, that Dr. Pruitt had an agenda to ruin the Mary Fisher Medical Center, thus lining his own pockets is ridiculous and malicious.

Obviously, Ms. Preuit knows nothing about this dedicated doctor she has attacked. Those in this community who know Dr. Pruitt, know that he has served this community for over twenty years with only one thought in mind to serve the people of this community with the best medical services possible.

Those of us who know Jim, know that money is not the motivating factor in his practice; its his patients he has no agenda except to provide quality patient care. Dr. Pruitt has cared for my wife and me for almost 10 years. During that time, he brought me through several pretty tense situations with his medical expertise and compassion.

My wife and I, along with scores of others in this community, feel very blessed to have Dr. Pruitt serving us. This goes as well for Dr. Piccaro, Dan Keuning, and the other doctors and staff.

By the way Ms. Preuit, I believe you also owe the other board members an apology for the derogatory remarks you made against them. These gentlemen (and one woman), as with Dr. Pruitt, were elected by the voters, and have given generously of their time in an effort to save the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center.

Gary Waples

Wise decision?

Dear Editor:

Last night (March 29) the PAWS board voted unanimously to stop fluoridating Pagosa's water. Was that a wise decision? Only time will tell, but we can anticipate some of the consequences.

Is anyone likely to benefit from that action? Probably not, because it has never been established that drinking water which contains 1 ppm of fluoride has any deleterious effect, other than causing mild dental fluorosis (mottling that may not even be noticeable to the unaided eye) in perhaps 25 percent of children.

To be sure, there have been studies showing that fluoridation causes various diseases, or other conditions (such as lowered IQ among children in a Chinese village), but the preponderance of scientific evidence supports the conclusion that fluoridation at 1 ppm has no undesirable consequences.

Is anyone likely to be harmed by the board's action? Probably yes, because it is undeniable that drinking 1 ppm fluoridated water reduces the incidence of dental caries. A reduction of 50 to 60 percent was observed when fluoridation was initiated fifty years ago, before children were exposed to fluoride from other sources, such as toothpaste and processed foods and beverages that contain fluoride.

As far as I know, the only inexpensive effective means for preventing caries involve fluoride. In countries that do not fluoridate drinking water and do not have a high incidence of caries in children, fluoridated salt (similar to iodized salt), fluoride tablets and fluoride mouthwashes are used to provide fluoride.

Cessation of fluoridation in Pagosa Springs probably will not have obvious immediate consequences, because many children (but not all) will continue to receive sufficient fluoride from naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water, fluoridated toothpaste, and processed food and beverage prepared elsewhere with fluoridated water.

Discontinuation of fluoridation means, however, that Pagosa's children will now be dependent on uncertain extraneous sources for the fluoride they need to prevent caries. If clean water advocates have their way and fluoridation is banished from the land, those sources of fluoride will disappear, and we will move backward toward conditions that existed fifty years ago, when the prevalence of caries was twice what is it today in communities with fluoridated water.

Change comes slowly in social systems. The association between fluoride in drinking water and a reduced incidence of caries in children was first noted by a Colorado Springs dentist in 1901. It wasn't until 1945-46 that large scale fluoridation trials were initiated in four pairs of American and Canadian cities. Those trials lasted 15 years, and it was only in 1960 that widespread fluoridation of drinking water began. Toothpaste containing fluoride was introduced in 1965. Now, nearly fifty years later, communities are turning away from fluoridation.

I repeat, will that prove to be wise? We won't know next year, or the year after that, but we may know 25 years from now. In the meantime, how many kids will develop caries that could have been prevented? Almost certainly, more than a few will.

Gene Wissler

Bush's plan

Dear Editor:

In his letter (SUN 3/24) Gregory Armour listed nine Bush lies without evidence. Most have been debunked in many documented letters.

Social Security is a new issue, so I invite Mr. Armour and SUN readers to consider the facts:

1. By 2008, two workers will contribute per retiree (3.3 today);

2. By 2010, 77 million Baby Boomers will begin to retire;

3. By 2018 the system will begin running a deficit, becoming insolvent with more drawing than contributing.

Clinton and Reid warned strongly that Social Security needed fixing, but did nothing. Bush gives the same warning and is doing something.

Suddenly, Democrats claim the system is not broken and Reid threatens to shut down Congress, opposing Bush while offering no plan.

Bush's plan: (a) Those over 50 - no increased contributions or decreased benefits for life; (b) Those under 50 - voluntary option to keep

Social Security as is or contribute up to 4 percent to a private savings plan to be drawn at retirement or left to heirs; (c) Future generations will voluntarily be able to own their own savings, double what Social Security pays, and become free of government control, the real rub for Democrats. (d) People with low income or who die young will benefit least from Social Security and most from private accounts.

Bush's plan will result in dramatic increases in savings and investments and an economic boom.

Mrs. Thatcher implemented such a plan in the U.K., saving the country from "ratchet socialism" (Sir Keith Joseph). Key state industries were privatized with non-overvalued share prices. Anyone could buy shares and millions made much nicer profits for retirement. The government reaped windfalls and private companies flourished. Similar success was experienced in Galveston, Texas and parts of South America where voluntary participation jumped from 25 percent to 95 percent because it was so successful.

In the U.S., if nothing is done, in 12 years the unfunded liability will cost $19 trillion. If Bush's plan is implemented, according to the 2004 report of the Social Security Trustees and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the system can continue to meet 100 percent of its obligations until 2041, then 73 percent if Congress pays back what it borrowed from the Trust Fund with interest. By 2080, a surplus will be generated five times as much as needed to cover costs. Both individual accounts and other reforms must be effected or the system's shortfall will begin in 2012 predicts the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Members of Congress already have a version of Bush's plan, but do not want others to share it. For example, Tom Daschle leads the pack with a projected $5 million payment from the Civil Service Retirement System after 26 years in Congress. The first year he will receive $121,233.

Sixty-five percent of Americans favor Bush's plan, 26 percent oppose it, and the rest do not know what to think.

Eugene Witkowski

Faith restored

Dear Editor:

We wish to thank the members of the board of PAWS for their enlightened decision to unanimously vote for the removal of fluoride from our water supply at their last meeting.

It takes tremendous wisdom and courage in these times to take a stand such as this, to acknowledge the value of personal choice in the matter of health and to recognize that it is not the local water utility's place one way or another to impose the mass medication of the populace with fluoride.

We honor and applaud Bob Huff, Steve Hartvigsen, Karen Wessels, Windsor Chacey and Don Brinks for recognizing this and taking a stand for personal choice.

Regardless of which side one takes in this issue, it quite simply boils down to personal choice. Those who support fluoride as a health benefit can get their fluoridation through other sources, as is their choice. Those who believe that fluoride is a health hazard will no longer be subjected to fluoridation against their will. Again, by choice.

We also wish to thank Cathy and Wayne Justus for their tireless, costly and at times painful 15-year quest to remove fluoride from our water, and to Crista Munro, Terri and Bob Beecher, Andrea Lyle and Ross Barrable, the members of the Clean Water Advocates for their time and energy in bringing this issue to the public and for standing up for what they believed in.

Without this courageous group, this would not have happened. The community at large owes a debt of gratitude to the Clean Water Advocates and to the PAWS board for their collective efforts to ensure the health of the people of this area.

It restores our faith in the democratic process and personal freedoms, and proves that social activism works, at least on the local, grassroots, community level.


Pat Rydz, Dean Sanna, Jeff Maehr, Jo Lancing, Ed Lohman, Ralph Holsworth, Diana Luppi, Marsha Sorce, Butch and Wanda Bowman, Dean Greenamyer, Tim and Victoria White, Nicholas Afaami, Walt and Kim Moore

Kate's Calendar

Kate's Calendar

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Today through Saturday

Production of Walt Disney's "Beauty and The Beast" 7 p.m. at Pagosa Springs High School. Non-reserved seats at the door. Ticket costs are $6 for adults and $4 for students and children.

Through April 14

"Read a Great Tale" at Pagosa Springs Elementary School. The annual spring book fair runs through Thursday, April 14, during school hours in Room 19. Everyone is invited to attend as there are books and merchandise available for all ages.


The monthly meeting of the San Juan Outdoor Club will be held in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street at 6:30 p.m. The program will feature Jim Hill, noted local fly fisherman, who will share his successful techniques in an introduction to fly fishing with slides and a demonstration. Sign-ups for activities this month include hiking, biking and fly-fishing outings, a road trip to Hopi Mesa and "soaring" among the trees in June. For information call Sue Passant at 731-3836. Visitors welcome.

April 9

The Sarah Decker Platt Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will meet 10 a.m. in the Durango Senior Center. The program will be about pioneer Otto Mears.

April 9

The Pagosa Piecemakers Quilt Guild meets for a guild bee 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church. Come join in with your own project or help with the group quilt.

April 12

Archuleta County Republican Women hold monthly luncheon 11:30 a.m. at Hog's Breath Restaurant. Janna Schaefer, who works for the National Guard, will give a presentation on supporting our troops in Iraq. Visitors and new members welcome. For more information call Barbara Rawlings at 731-9916.

April 13

The Pagosa Photography Club will meet at 5:30 in the arts room at the community center. Bob Morriss will present comparisons of the quality of enlargements using several different techniques (including both chemical and digital) for producing large scale images. Monthly photo competitions are held at each club meeting. The two categories for April are the theme category "S" and the open category (where any subject is allowed). Members may enter a total of three prints, with no more than two in either category. For information, contact club president Jim Struck at 731-6468 or jim@perfassoc.com.

April 13

The Pagosa Women's Club will meet at JJ's Upstream Restaurant. Doors open 11:45 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon followed by the program "China Experience" with Barbara Elges. Cost is $10 and reservations are required. Call Evelyn at 731-3588 by noon April 11 for reservations.

April 14

The Mountainview Homemakers and the Pagosa Garden Club are coordinating an 11:30 a.m. meeting at Community United Methodist Church. Call Frances Wholf, 731-2012, or Shirley Van Dyken Stone at 731-0465 for more information.

April 14

The Archuleta County Airport Advisory Commission will meet 3 p.m. in the Avjet Corp. conference room at the airport. The public is welcome.

April 14

The Newcomer Club's monthly meeting 6 p.m. at JJ's Upstream. The club is open to all newcomers. Come as often as you wish, you'll be most welcome. Reservations not necessary. Cost is $7 per person. Call Lyn DeLange at 731-2398 for more information.

April 21, 22 and 23

"Once Upon A Wolf," the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters' madcap family fantasy will be performed at the Parish Hall of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Non-reserved tickets can be purchased at the Plaid Pony or at the door. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $6 for students and children.

April 26

Come learn about wildfire protection at the Extension building, located at the fairgrounds on U.S. 84. A panel of experts and plenty of handouts will give you the firewise facts to safeguard your home and family. Doors open 6 p.m. to meet experts and gather literature. The forum begins at 6:30, followed by a 30-minute video, "First Line of Defense: Homeowners Take a Stand Against Wildfire" and continued opportunities to get your personal questions addressed by the experts.

Community News

DAR has long history in Southwest Colorado

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

When people move to Pagosa Springs some women ask if there is a DAR chapter in town.

The answer is no, but there is a very active chapter in Durango, The Sarah Platt Decker Chapter, that visiting members can attend.

The Sarah Platt Decker Chapter (organized July 11, 1917) has for years met the second Tuesday of the month; but because there are working women who can't attend during the week, the meeting day is being changed to Saturday. The first time for this change is 10 a.m. this Saturday in the Durango Senior Center. The program will be about Colorado pioneer Otto Mears.

The DAR (acronym for Daughters of the American Revolution) was founded in 1890 by four women who wanted to honor those men and women whose sacrifice made our country free and independent and to perpetuate the freedom for which our ancestors fought. Since then the DAR has become an organization for historical, educational and patriotic purposes.

The first, and only, resolution of the first NSDAR Continental Congress in 1892 was to honor and respect the flag of the United States.

The DAR has a history of being where it is needed. During the Spanish American War - in 1896 - members were asked by the U.S. government to provide nurses. This duty was the foundation for the U.S. Army Corps of Nurses. When members realized the need for keeping immigrants at Ellis Island and Angel Island occupied while they waited admittance to this country - sometimes for a long time - they hired occupational therapists and provided supplies such as clothing for the women and working tools for the men. This activity led to what is the occupational work carried on in government hospitals today.

The DAR maintains two schools in the Appalachian region and supports American Indian schools in South Dakota and Oklahoma. They are diligent in their support of veterans' hospitals - this being a special program for all chapters - and the DAR sponsors Americanism essays in schools.

The DAR is nonpolitical although it cooperates with other organizations.

The national headquarters of the Society is in Washington, D.C., close to the U.S. Capitol. There are community headquarters buildings that fill a city block - Memorial Continental Hall, Constitution Hall and the administration building. The buildings have been loaned to the U.S. government for special programs. Concerts are held there and one of the largest genealogical collections in the country is housed there.

The DAR is the largest woman's organization in the world.

Anyone interested in membership in the DAR can call the regent of the Sarah Platt Decker Chapter at 257-4849.

An historical aside is that when the DAR was organized in 1890 a lady's age was her private affair, so her birth date was missing from those early application blanks. But in April 1938, that was changed and now there is a space for that information.

Much has been written about the DAR, but when historians of the future log in to pass credits for keeping this nation afloat, they must not overlook the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Fun on the run ...

Quotable quotes:

- I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." (Winston Churchill).

- "A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." (George Bernard Shaw).

- Governments's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:

"If it moves, tax it.

"If it keeps moving, regulate it

"And if it stops moving, subsidize it." (Ronald Reagan).

Education News

Education Center makes a difference; you can, too

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

A community that supports the education of both its children and adults is a strong one.

In Pagosa Springs, we have a long tradition of caring deeply and taking action to support education in many ways. At the Archuleta County Education, we:

- offer special programs that keep high-risk kids in school;

- help high-risk kids earn their high school diplomas or GEDs and see many of them continue their education at the college level;

- extend the horizons of elementary, intermediate and junior high children with after-school enrichment and tutoring programs;

- help adults get the promotions and pay raises they need and deserve to support their families by coaching them through the course work they need to secure a high school diploma or GED or specific skills like computer training; and

- offer all people in the community classes such as Spanish and first aid that enrich their lives or enhance their skills.

Help support these important educational opportunities by joining your neighbors at the fourth annual Ed Center fund-raising luncheon "Making A Difference 2005" being held April 6 and featuring professional speaker Sue Hansen. As our keynote speaker, Sue will be speaking about living a life of passion. She will encourage each of us to get in touch with what matters most in our lives.

The luncheon will be held in First Baptist Church on U.S. 160. The program will include not only the keynote address by Hansen but also talks from local students describing their experiences in educational programs sponsored by The Education Center. Lunch is being catered by JJ's Upstream. Tickets are $45 each and can be purchased at The Education Center located at 4th and Lewis streets.

The Ed Center is sponsoring a second event April 6. Following the luncheon a workshop led by Hansen will be conducted from 1:30-3:30. This workshop is an opportunity for nonprofit executive directors and boards who need to raise funds.

The title of the workshop is "Face the Fear and Make the Ask How to Ask for and Get the Money." The cost of the workshop is $25 or $20 if you also purchase a luncheon ticket. For more information and to order tickets, call the Education Center at 264-2835.


Community Center News

Master plan hearing on tap

tonight in community center

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

The town of Pagosa Springs is conducting another meeting about the Downtown Master Plan 6-9 p.m. today in the north conference room. The public is invited.

April 15 is last day to file your taxes. AARP Tax Aid Program volunteers can still help you. These volunteers have served 79 individuals and 51 of these individuals' tax returns were submitted electronically and have been approved. Come in now and sign up for this free service; April 14 is their last day.

The center is sponsoring a spring rummage sale 3-6 p.m. April 22, and 7:30 a.m.-noon April 23. Twelve tables are already reserved. It looks like this will be a successful, fun day - so what are you waiting for? 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.

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

Play Group

Pagosa Brat Play Group meets each Wednesday 10 a.m.-noon in a multipurpose room filled with hula hoops, mardi gras beads, toddler bikes, push toys. Ten to 20 kids play with their parents, grandparents and caregivers.

Cory Worden and Natalie Carpenter formed the play group in January. The free play group is open to all preschool age children including locals and visitors. The play group is a fun program in which kids develop social skills, and it gives parents, grandparents and caregivers an opportunity to share ideas and information, as well as a chance to socialize.

4-H Clover Buds were back last week. I enjoy seeing these kids and their excitement learning about dolphins and seals. They made replicas of these sea creatures, using clear plastic tubes for the trunk and foam for the body. These creations mimicked the sound these animals produce. With more than a dozen kids blowing on the tubes and making the sound of a screaming dolphin/seal, the center sounded like a visit to Sea World! This program reminds me of my nieces and nephews in the Philippines.

Thank you

Paul and Barbara Draper donated a computer system for the center. Thanks, to you both.

We now have eight computers available for the public and we could use two more. We need computers. Anyone who wishes to donate one, please call Becky.

Activities this week

Today - AARP Tax Aid, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.; watercolor painting class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Building Blocks for Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Kid's tee-ball games, 4:30-6 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.; town meeting on Downtown Master Plan, 6-9 p.m., public invited; School-Within-a-School Daycare Program, 6-9 p.m.; Planned Parenthood program, 7-9 p.m.

Friday - Oil painting class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; men's open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; 4-H Clover Buds, 1-3 p.m.; School-Within-a-School Daycare Program, 6-9 p.m.; Internet business ownership training, 7-9 p.m.

Saturday, April 9 -Kids' tee-ball games, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Internet business ownership training, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Arts Council roundtable discussion, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Pagosa Fiber Festival meeting, 6-8 p.m.

Sunday, April 10 - Church of Christ Sunday Service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 9 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church service, 2-4 p.m.

Monday, April 11 - Colorado Crime Bureau crime scene investigation course, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; high school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Seniors' Bridge club, 12:30- 4 p.m.; Planned Parenthood, 3:30-5 p.m.; Growing Up Smart, 3:30-5 p.m.; Loma Linda HOA board meeting, 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, April 12 - Colorado Crime Bureau Crime Scene Investigation course, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; high school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; seniors' computer class with Becky, 10 a.m.-noon; computer tutoring with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; kids' tee-ball games, 4:30-8:30 p.m.; Creeper Jeepers Gang meeting, 7-8 p.m.

Wednesday, April 13 - Watercolor club painting class, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Pagosa Brat play group, 10 a.m-noon; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; photo club meeting, 5:30-7 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible Study, 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, April 14 - AARP Tax Aid, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; oil painting class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Building Blocks for Health, 4:30-8:30 p.m.; kids' tee-ball games, 4:30-8:30 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

The gym is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-noon 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 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 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.

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. Call 264-4152.

Senior News

Some ideas on things you should shred

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

I have been asked to list some ideas on what papers and documents you should shred for your safety and there is quite a list here. Remember we have a shredder here at the Den for your protection. Don't let someone steal your identity!

Examples of items that criminals can use if not properly disposed of include:

- Address labels from junk mail and magazines, bank statements, canceled and voided checks, receipts with checking account numbers, credit reports and histories;

- Documents containing names, addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses;

- Documents containing passwords or PIN numbers;

- Employee pay stubs, employment records, expired passports and visas, legal documents, papers with a Social Security number;

- Any item with a signature (leases, contracts, letters), medical and dental records and pre-approved credit card applications;

- Report cards, tax forms, travel itineraries, utility bills (telephone gas electric, water, cable TV, internet);

- ATM receipts, birth certificate copies, credit and charge card bills, carbon copies, summaries and receipts;

- Documents containing maiden name (used by credit card companies for security reasons), documents relating to investments;

- Driver's licenses or items with a driver's license number;

- Unlaminated identification cards (college IDs, state IDs, employee ID badges, military IDs);

- Investments, stocks and property transactions;

- Luggage tags, used airline tickets, resumes and transcripts.

On an added note, I had an interesting phone call the other day. A woman in the community was contacted by an organization she was unfamiliar with, which demanded information she was uncomfortable giving. The company referenced a claim number that was unfamiliar to her.

I contacted the company directly inquiring as to what type of business it was. They refused to tell me and wanted the phone number of the person they called. I then contacted the AARP ElderWatch Program in Denver where I was informed this company was a collection agency.

What I learned was interesting. This woman had a common name and collection agencies will call anyone with the same name demanding information in an effort to determine if you are the same person with the bad debt!

Good for this woman not disclosing her information. Anytime you are uncomfortable with a phone call, remember not to answer any questions, get their name and number and do your research. We are more than willing to help you here at the Den as well.

AARP tax aid

April 15 is just around the corner. It's not too late to get your taxes prepared. The AARP Tax Aide volunteers are here on Thursdays to prepare taxes for low to moderate income individuals and families. The appointment sheet is in our dining room, stop in and get signed up, don't miss out.

Health fair

It was great to see so many of you at the Health Fair. We met several new folks too, and hope you'll join us at the Den soon. We still have literature left over from the Health Fair regarding Medicare issues, Medicare drug card information, driving concerns for the older population and much more, stop in and pick up some great info.

Healthy snacking

From AARP Health and Wellness Newsletter

Choosing healthy foods is just as important at snack time as it is at mealtime. Healthy snacks can add fiber and nutrients to your diet without unwanted calories. They can give you an energy boost during the day and prevent you from overeating at meals.

So forget the bag of chips and reach for an apple, pear, or handful of raisins. You'll get extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals, all for about 50 calories. If plain fruit isn't filling enough, try topping your apple or pear with a tablespoon of peanut butter or ounce of sliced cheese, which will add protein and about 100 calories to your snack (still fewer than that bag of chips that is low in nutrients and high in calories and salt).

To avoid gaining weight from snacking, keep your food portions small and try to space your meals and snacks three to four hours apart, advises Betty Nowlin, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association in Chicago.

Also, keep your snack under 250 calories. Food labels can help you determine the number of calories in packaged foods by portion size. Organizations such as Weight Watchers publish pocket-size calorie counters that list the calorie content of hundreds of foods.

In addition to foods completely lacking in nutrients, avoid fatty foods and salty foods that can dehydrate you, recommends Randi Konikoff, a registered dietitian at Tufts University in Boston. Another snacking no-no, she says, is food that will make you "tired and draggy" after an initial energy boost, like a bag of M&Ms.

For healthy and filling snacks, try these instead:

- fresh fruit or a handful of dried fruit;

- raw vegetables - carrots, celery, red and green pepper - cut and portioned in small plastic bags (try filling celery with peanut butter or low-fat cottage cheese, or dipping your vegetables in low-fat dressing);

- an English muffin with apple butter and a cup of herbal tea;

- a slice of angel food cake with non-fat whipped topping;

- non-fat, whole-grain crackers (could top with cheese or peanut butter);

- non-fat cottage cheese or yogurt;

- bread sticks or bite-size bagels;

- a handful of nuts;

- a glass of orange juice or vegetable juice'

- a smoothie (blend nonfat milk and/or yogurt with fruit).

With proper portions and healthy food choices, snacking can enhance, rather than hurt your diet. Take Nowlin's advice: "Think of a snack as a 'mini meal' that will help you have a healthy diet, rather than as an opportunity to consume treats."

Spaghetti chorus

Wow, what was in the spaghetti today? The kitchen staff (Dave and Dolores) have been singing oldies all afternoon, it's wonderful to work in such a great environment, a little painful on the ears though. Come in and tease those two and see if you can top their songs.

Therapist needed

We are still looking for a volunteer massage therapist. Do you know someone who might be interested in coming in once or twice a month for an hour or so each visit? Maybe that someone is you? For further information, please call me at 264-2167.


Friday, April 8 -- Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; senior board meeting has been canceled.

Monday, April 11 - Medicare and Drug Card counseling, 11a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun (all levels welcome) 1 p.m.

Tuesday, April 12 - Yoga in Motion, 9:30 a.m.; basic computer instruction, 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, April 13 - White Cane Support Group for Low Vision folks, 11 a.m.; Spring Hat Contest - get creative and make a spring hat, prizes too, noon-1 p.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, April 14 - Durango Day; Enjoy the day in Durango, shop, eat, stroll. Transportation suggested donation $10.

Friday, April 15 - Qi Gong ,10 a.m.; free Movie and Popcorn Day: "Fried Green Tomatoes," 1 p.m.


Suggested donation for folks 60-plus $2.50; under 60 pay $4.50

Salad bar everyday.

Friday, April 8 - Chicken tenders, rice pilaf, vegetable blend, biscuit-cookie, spiced applesauce.

Monday, April 11 - Ground beef/macaroni, glazed carrots, breadstick and pears.

Tuesday, April 12 - Tuna melt, tomato soup, broccoli salad, tropical fruit.

Wednesday, April 13 - Stomboli, Italian vegetables, fruited Jell-O.

Friday, April 15 - Baked Potato with BBQ Beef, three-bean salad, whole wheat roll and apricots.


Veteran's Corner

Health fair a success for local veterans

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

Judging from the large crowds the 9Health Fair Saturday was a big success. Seems like it gets bigger and bigger each year.

I was at my usual location in the main Commons Area and I was busy helping veterans from the time the door opened until they booted us out at almost 1 p.m. In fact I didn't get a chance to meet with several veterans because I was so busy helping others and there was a line waiting to see me.

Homelake rep

Thanks to Vickie Olson, admissions director for Homelake Veteran's Home in Monte Vista. Vickie was on hand with me at the fair for the second year in a row to advise local veterans about the wonderful facilities they have at Homelake to provide nursing care for veterans and eligible family members. If you missed seeing Vickie and would like more information on the Homelake Veterans Home you can reach her toll free at (888) 838-2687.

Vickie was able to assist me in gathering information from those waiting to see me, which really speeded up the interview process. We were able to enroll a number of veterans in VA Health Care, send off for military records and fill out the Means Test financial report for others that is now required by the VAHC system to maintain current patient status. I had my trusty laptop computer and printer on hand to fill out all the proper VA forms.

New veterans

I was also able to meet with quite a few new veterans I had not met before. Some even came with their military discharge papers and information after reading in this column that I would be attending the 9Health Fair and what was needed to apply for VA health care or other benefits.

All in all, another very successful 9Health Fair to meet and assist veterans who sometimes don't have the ability to come by my office during the week. Rest assured I will be there again next year.

Blue Star program

At the table next to me were Linda Mathews and her daughter representing the Colorado National Guard Family Support Program.

They had information on hand for support of those serving in the military and military families, and the Blue Star Mother's program. In fact, I met with Linda Tuesday night at the American Legion meeting as she presented their information for their programs to that organization. If you were unable to see Linda at the health fair and are interested in information about the program you can call 247-4167 in Durango.

See you all at the 9Health Fair next year!


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 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

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, the fax number is 264-8376, and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. 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

Limited space has some staff working at home

By Phyllis Wheaton

SUN Columnist

When you visit the mini-library, you may not see all the familiar faces you are accustomed to seeing. Due to limited space, most of the staff spends part of their work week at home, cataloguing new materials and doing many of the tasks necessary to maintain the collection.

As new-to-the-library materials are ready, they will be available in the mini-library. You can help us provide greater variety and selection by coming in and checking out books!

The more books that are checked out, the more room we have on the shelves.

If you go to Durango in your travels, you might consider getting a library card from the Durango Library. You will need to show an ID and your Sisson Library card. You can check books out there, then return them at the Sisson mini-library. We will send them back via the courier service.

To avoid late fees, return them a few days early.

Summer reading

Thanks to the Town of Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department, the summer reading program for young readers will take place June 7 through July 8 on the Town Park soccer field. Barb Draper is busily planning, gathering materials and books for an exciting series about Dragons, Dreams and Daring Deeds. There will be early registration for the program at the mini-library during May.


Arts Line

Photo club presents special program

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Photography Club will meet 5:30 p.m. April 13 in the arts room at the community center.

The program will feature Bob Morriss who will present comparisons of the quality of enlargements using several different techniques (including both chemical and digital) for producing large-scale images. Morriss is well known as a photographer in the area. Formerly of Pagosa Springs, he now resides in La Plata County.

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

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

Davis class changed

Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 30. Randall Davis teaches a drawing class one Saturday a month. It's usually the third Saturday of the month, but for April Randall needed to reschedule it for last Saturday of the month. Drawing with Randall Davis begins at 9 a.m. and usually finishes up around 3 p.m. at the community center. The subject this month will be perspective and composition of physical structures in relation to their surrounding landscape. This class is a precursor to going outdoors beginning in May.

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 and 6 in a bold lead and in a hard lead, 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 to go get one.

It's best to make a reservation through PSAC, 264-5020. Space allowing, walk-ins are always welcome

Congrats Kathleen

One of Kathleen Steventon's large oil paintings has been accepted into the Albuquerque National Juried Encantada 2005 Art Show.

The show runs May 6-21 at the Fine Arts Building, Expo New Mexico (state fairgrounds). If anyone is interested in going to the show and needs more information, there is a contact: Jackie Bregman, jackiebregman@comcast.net.

Kathleen is also one of the 25 artists selected by the San Juan Mountains "Pumas on Parade" project. She will reproduce her chosen design on a life-size puma statue and the finished puma sculptures will be showcased in a parade, then displayed in prominent locations around the region. Pagosa Springs is on the list. The project is designed to raise awareness for the regions wildlife.

Peer Assistance Network

Nancy Kramer, peer assistance advisor from Steamboat Springs will be working with our community. She will be in town April 8 and 9.

The art room at the community center will be the location for two roundtable discussions. The morning roundtable is 10 a.m. to noon. The afternoon roundtable is 2-4 p.m. Please come to one or both of the sessions to discuss what is happening with Pagosa Springs and how we can build on our vibrant and energetic arts community.

If you, your group or organization would like to meet one-on-one with Nancy - Leanne Goebel is scheduling those meetings on Friday. Please call Leanne at 731-1841 if you have questions or need more information.

The Peer Assistance Network is a division of the Colorado Council on Arts. Their advisors consult organizations on the how to of obtaining low-cost assistance on a host of issues, from planning and board development to considering a facility.

Seasons in poetry

Betty Slade will continue teaching classes for intermediate watercolorists with the theme "Seasons in Poetry Continues!"

Classes will meet 9 a.m.-3 p.m. the first Thursday of each month, beginning today. We meet in the community center.

The project for the April class will be "Poppies in Summer." Please bring one 22x30 sheet of No. 300 paper, your paints and sketchbook. If you don't have 300 paper, 140 will do. There will be a 30-minute lunch break; bring your own.

Depending on the weather, plein air classes will begin in June with participants carpooling from the community center to different locations around the Pagosa area. There are many beautiful places to paint. The location will be decided on during the previous meeting. Learn how to paint on location in watercolors. There are many wonderful surprises for this class. Come and join us, 9 a.m. today at 9 a.m. The cost is $35.

There will be three days in April for the "Nuts and Bolts in Oil Class." Beginners through intermediate will meet April 8 for a one-day class. This class is set up purposely back-to-back with the watercolor class. "Poppies in Summer" will also be the subject for the oil class.

The watercolor class today and the oil painting class Friday are designed to go hand in hand with each other. Each month, we will concentrate on a common subject in watercolors, then the next day the work done on location will be painted in oils.

In June, when the plein air classes begin, artists will paint with watercolors on location. The following day the oil class will meet in the community center to do studio work. The cost of this class will be $35 each day.

The workshops are two days each 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at 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.

- April 14-15, "Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting Two." In addition to critiquing the previous class homework assignment, students will begin a new painting.

Each student will be working on a subject of their own choice and will continue at their own pace.

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

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

Each workshop may be taken independent of the other so, if you can't attend both, sign up for what will work for you.

Betty Slade is an artist in the true sense. She began working in oils in 1965, then pursued watercolors, acrylic and pastels. Beginning with art classes at New Mexico State University, Betty continued with private instruction with some of the finest artists in the Southwest. After 40 years in the art arena, Betty has attained success in many areas of the arts.

Contact PSAC at 264-5020 to sign up for her workshops.

Creede camp

The Creede Repertory Theatre will host its first overnight Performing Arts Resident Camp Aug. 7-13 this summer. PARC will replace the two-week theatre intensive that has been held each summer since 2002. The camp is open to all students in grades seven through twelve who have an interest in the performing arts.

In 2002, the CRT initiated a two-week theatre intensive for students in grades seven through 12. Last year the response to the camp was more overwhelming than ever; however, many students were not able to attend because they lived too far away to make the drive to Creede every day for two weeks. Therefore, CRT has decided to create the first annual Performing Arts Resident Camp. Once again the camp is open to all students in grades seven through 12. The main focus of PARC is to strengthen the students' overall theatre skills through intensive training in stage work, vocal performance, scene study and movement. Students do not need any prior theatre experience; however, they should be interested in the performing arts.

The second goal of PARC is to give students an opportunity to develop interests in other areas of art and creativity. Students will be able to choose elective classes in painting, jewelry making, photography, and music. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the nature that surrounds Creede with activities such as horseback riding and river rafting.

All PARC classes will take place at the Creede Repertory Theatre and will be taught by CRT theatre professionals. Elective classes will take place at their respective locations in downtown Creede. Students will be supervised 24 hours a day by camp counselors, CRT staff members, or elective teachers. Student housing will be located at the Boy Scout cabin on Miner's Creek Road, just outside of Creede.

Cost for the Camp is $500 per student including: all theatre & elective classes, housing for six nights, all meals, adventure activities, admission to three main stage CRT shows, and transportation to and from the cabin. A limited number of scholarships will be available to students with financial needs. For information on PARC or a registration packet, please contact Julie Merrill at (719) 658-2540.

PSAC Calendar

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

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

April 8 - Beginner and above oil painting with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $40 PSAC members, $45 nonmembers, $35 current students.

April 13 - Photography club, 5:30 p.m. community center.

April 14-15 - Oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts Two" with Betty Slade, critiquing work from the March class and new paintings; $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers.

April 20 - Watercolor club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

April 30 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $35.

May 12-13 - Oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts and More" with Betty Slade, continuing work in progress, learning more painting techniques and beginning new paintings; $80 per student 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 psac@centurytel.net. We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Arts line. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

Sponsored events

Our sponsored events include gallery exhibits in Town Park, May-October; art workshops and classes in the arts and craft space at the community center; PSAC annual membership meeting; annual Pagosa Country calendar; annual juried art exhibit; annual photo contest; annual Home and Garden Tour; annual Gallery Tour; periodic artist studio tours; watercolor club; photo club; summer youth art camp; Arts and Craft Tent, Four Corners Music Festival.

Divisions include: Pretenders, our family theatre group and San Juan Dance Festival

We value our membership and appreciate your support. If you are reading this column and would like to be a member, call 264-5020 or e-mail psac@centurytel.net.

Food for Thought

Peeeeeeno party at my place

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

A conversation with a coworker the other day clicked me into wine mode.

Vada was telling a story about sitting in an office in Phoenix after a day's work, putting her feet up on the desk, gazing out the window and enjoying a glass of wine.

Sounds like a fine idea. Made me think I need a small wine rack in my office at The SUN. Perhaps a teeny fridge as well - somewhere to store some cheeses, some olives, other goodies.

I asked her what wine she preferred and, without hesitation, she mentioned pinot noir.

Good choice.

And, apparently, following the release of the movie "Sideways" last year, pinot noir has become the first choice of many wine drinkers. I saw the movie during a recent trip to Califonia; the film is a treat, and there is dialogue in the script in which the pinot noir grape is described as "thin-skinned" and "temperamental," in need of "constant care and attention."

How true. To continue with the too obvious anthropomorphism: If pinot noir were a person, he or she would be a partner in a shaky relationship, a monster pain in the rear, a problem at every turn, but capable, when everything falls into place, of displaying characteristics that produce a delicious delirium, making the significant other temporarily forget all the trouble.

In other words, it's an interesting and tempting grape. Pinot noir supplies the foundation for the great wines of Burgundy, grown there on a remarkably small hunk of hilly land. The grape has also become a mainstay of the Oregon wine industry, with tremendous results, and is grown in ever greater volume in California.

According to the horticulture and history geeks, pinot noir is the descendent of one of the world's oldest varieties of grape grown for wine. The Romans knew of the grape and over the centuries it's spread to most of the notable wine-producing regions on the globe.

The grape is considered one of the most demanding to deal with, kind of like your sickly cousin who needed all that extra attention when he was a kid. Next to a bodybuilder of a vine like Barbera, pinot noir is the proverbial 90-pound weakling The parent vine of pinot noir is a genetic feeb and permutations are common, with tremendous variation in berry size and quality. They say there might be as many as 1,000 clones worldwide.

If something can hurt a vine, it will most certainly hurt pinot noir. Bugs, untoward temperature, viruses - bring 'em on. The vine is the puny kid on the block, often growing without adequate protective foliage so birds pick on it when berries appear.

The darned grapes have to be picked at just the right moment and when it's time for fermentation, Katie bar the door: There can be a loss of color and aroma in the bottling process and, when successfully bottled, the wine doesn't often cellar as well as many other reds - like, say the sturdy war horse cabernet sauvignon. Pinot noir tends to reach its peak on the average earlier than most.

It's the enfant terrible of wines but, if things work out well, its tantrums lead to ultimate delight.

What the grape produces is the white wine of red wines. Since I don't enjoy many whites, this is a bonus for me. In fact, they say many average tasters (not the wine geeks who devote an unhealthy amount time and energy to their eerie oenological obsessions), have a hard time in a blind test distinguishing between room temperature pinot noir and unoaked chardonnay.

Bottom line: the grape can make a darned good wine. I think its difficult to top pinot noir when its done right.

I first ran across a variant back in the early '70s. I'd returned to Colorado from New York City having given up the music business, and was crawling back to school. Wine wasn't big stuff in those days; other stimulants had peoples' attention (or profound lack of same) and, when it came to drinking, barring the ethnic and religious communities in which wine was a staple (chianti, retsina, Mogen David and the like), few folks outside the group that patronized finer restaurants, and a very few connoisseurs, thought much about the grape.

My friend Kirk was an exception. He'd spent time in places like Quebec City and Montreal, and he'd picked up a ferocious wine jones. He introduced me to pinot noir or, as he called it, "peeeeeeno."

I had my first hit of the stuff while sitting with him on the flat roof of my house in Central City on a warm summer night. I wasn't big on drinking at the time, but Kirk insisted I try the peeeeeeno. Someone was playing the first Led Zeppelin album at full volume in a room below and I listened to a Jimmy Page guitar solo as I took a hit of peeeeeeno straight from the bottle.

Then, I took another. Why not - it was there. Call me the Edmund Hillary of wine, the peeeeeeno my Everest.

Not a particularly graceful intoduction to one of the venerable varietals and, truth be told, not a very good version of wine with which to begin a relationship. But, you gotta start somewhere.

Over the years, I've revisited peeeeeeno many times, enjoying some great ones , most recently a Chambertin Clos de Beze 1999, from Pierre Darnoy, at Drai's in Vegas.

I love the stuff. And I think pinot noir might be the best wine with and in food.

This assertion will offend the wine goofs who concentrate their mighty talents on detecting tastes and aromas no mere mortal can identify. These clowns are the ones who sniff and slurp and make all sort of silly noises, then spit perfectly good wine into a bucket. They spout off about taste tones like "leather," "barnyard" and "smoke" as they slosh, swirl and slobber.

"Barnyard?" You gotta be kidding! Who (except my boyhood friend Amos) has ever tasted "barnyard?" Given the right situation, I am all for taking these clowns into a dimly-lit parking lot and thrashing them within an inch of their shriveled lives.

The real adventure is not esoteric; it involves finding the right wine to go with a particular dish, with a certain food. And to determine the right wine to use when cooking.

Pinot noir runs high on the list in terms of adaptability.

First, it's moderately tannic but soft, smooth when at its best, a bit crisp as well.

What does that mean in terms of pairing it with foods? For one thing, it works beautifully with many traditional white wine foods. At the same time, it holds up to a certain degree of fattiness in meats.

How to go about the job of pairing pinot noir, or any other wine for that matter, with food?

Simple: consider a few characteristics of the wine first. Naturally, there's the question of how it tastes - most often the best bet is to find something similar in the taste of the wine and the food. No need to go overboard, e.g. "barnyard."

Second, how much tannin and alcohol is in the wine? How does it feel in the mouth?

Third, how powerful is the wine, how intense is it? The stronger the wine, the stronger the food - with the exception of strength defined as spiciness, heat. Few red wines go well with chiles and heavy spices - the tannins don't fare well. Better to head for a gewurztraminer or a riesling.

There are those who say merlot is the red meat wine. Many make the claim for cabernet.

But the same can be said for pinot noir. It's just dandy with grilled meats but also swell with a number of fish dishes. Not bad with lamb or chicken.

I like to pair the lighter versions of pinot noir with chicken and I've heard folks warble about the way it works with duck. Same with pheasant and rabbit, though I'm not crazy about eating Thumper, so I'll never know.

I guarantee peeeeeeno is swell with sausage, as well as with tomatoes. Herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme and tarragon fit neatly into its range as do onion and bell pepper. Mustard? Yep. Mushrooms? You bet.

Bring on the pinot noir when you whip up a pot au feu. When you wheel out the creamy, milder cheeses, pop the cork on a pinot noir.

I love it with salmon. Bet its great with a slab of rare ahi.

I can hear the wine freaks gurgling now, preparing to fly into a rage and write me nasty letters. So, to encourage them further, I'll let you in on a secret: I've paired pinot noir with some of the above noted no-no's - specifically, I've knocked down pinot noir with chile verde.

Yep. A couple of times. After enough pinot noir, everything made sense and the combo was darned fine.

Most of all, I like to cook with pinot noir. It's great in the classic red wine-based braises. I often choose it over the heavier, more tannic, broad-shouldered options. It's a reasonable, middle-of-the-road red when it comes to a role in a braising liquid. Coq au vin is great made with pinot noir. Stews or large hunks 'o flesh braised for hours in wine and stock benefit from pinot noir as much as they do from a cabernet. Different wines, different effects. Both peachy.

Sear a filet or tournedo in a hot pan and finish in the oven with shallot, mushrooms, garlic and rosemary. Remove the meat and veggies and deglaze the pan with pinot noir, plopping in a wad of demi glace, mixing, adding the meat and veggies and shining up the sauce with some cold butter. Whooweee.

How about sauteeing a rough-cut mire poix until semi-soft, then creating a braising liquid in the pan with pinot noir, some tomato paste and a teensy bit of water? Season with thyme and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Put a large salmon filet on the vegetables, cover with foil and braise in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes or until the fish begins to flake but is still kinda wet in the middle. (I like the fish to exit the pan a bit jiggly in the center; it continues to cook after it is taken off the heat and, thus, ends up just right when ready for the fork). Take the fish from the liquid, put it on a warm plate and cover with foil; strain the sauce and reduce it on the stovetop. Add heavy cream to the sauce adjust the seasonings and reduce a bit more.

Boy howdy, that's good stuff.

Made all the better with a glass or two of the wine. Or three.

But, back to that idea about the feet on the desk, the sip of wine at the end of the workday.

I can see it now. I put the wine rack and the teeny fridge in my office right next to my desk and start a new tradition.

Peeeeeeno Fridays.

I'll provide the peeeeeeno; you bring the snacks and the Led Zepellin album.

Extension Viewpoints

Act now to protect cattle from Johne's Disease

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Today - Quilting Project meeting 4 p.m.; Cake Decorating Project meeting, 5; Shady Pine Club meeting, 7.

April 8 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1:30-3 p.m.; Colorado Kids Club meeting, 2; Photography Project meeting at Pagosa Photography, 3.

April 11 - Cultural Foods Project meeting at Methodist Church, 3 p.m.; Food Project meeting - Unit 1 at Methodist Church, 3:45; Shooting Sports - Group B, Ski & Bow Rack, 4; Sports Fishing Project meeting, 4:30; Fair Royalty meeting, 6; Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30.

April 12 - Outdoor Cooking meeting at Methodist Church, 4 p.m.; Rocky Mountain Rider Club meeting, 6; Junior Stockman Club meeting in Chromo, 7.

April 13 - NRCS Seedling Program drop-off.

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

Johne's Disease

Assistance is available for cattle producers to control a costly illness in their herds, Johne's Disease (JD).

The Colorado Department of Agriculture received a grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help cow-calf and dairy producers with risk assessments, management plans and tests for the disease.

"Johne's Disease is extremely hard to control because of the long period before infected animals develop clinical signs or test positive for the disease," said Ron Ackerman, veterinarian at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "In fact, some herd owners may never recognize that their herds are infected."

The disease is expensive for producers, since it causes lower milk production and lighter calves at weaning. Infected cows will stop cycling and will not breed back. The disease causes premature culling of infected cattle and can result in the loss of valuable genetics from some herds as well as higher replacement costs. Some studies have found that the cost per cow is as high as $200 in purebred herds.

Grant funds will help with conducting a risk assessment of herd practices, usually by the local veterinarian, that permit the introduction and spread of the disease. Recommendations will be provided to best reduce or eliminate the identified risks.

Once a risk assessment and herd management plan is completed, the producer can begin testing for the disease.

"Many producers and veterinarians have a natural tendency to want to go to the testing component first," said Ackerman. "However, testing and culling positive animals without management changes will never eliminate this disease from a herd. Infected cattle will test negative for long periods while exposing young cattle to massive numbers of the bacteria before they are identified and removed from the herd."

Newborn calves are the most susceptible to Johne's Disease. The disease is most commonly transmitted when an animal eats contaminated feces, found on dirty teats, udders and soiled feed. Calves can also catch the disease when they nurse from infected cows, since the bacterium is shed in the colostrum and milk. Up to 40 percent of the calves from infected cows, which are also exhibiting clinical signs, are infected before they are born.

"The information we have on Johne's Disease is not as well researched for beef cattle as it is for dairy cattle," said Ackerman. "Even though there have been fewer studies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Health Monitoring System completed a beef study in 1997 that found 7.9 percent of the tested beef herds had a significant number of infected animals."

Johne's Disease, which has been is U.S. herds since 1908, has a long incubation period of two to five years, possibly even longer. Clinical signs include chronic diarrhea and weight loss even though the animals maintain a good appetite because the disease attacks the lining of the small intestine, interfering with the absorption of nutrients. Before the infection spreads throughout the animals' bodies, they appear bright, alert and have a normal temperature. Eventually cattle become severely emaciated and die.

In 2002, the Colorado Voluntary Bovine Johne's Disease Control Program was developed to educate livestock producers about the disease and give them the tools to prevent, control and eliminate the disease from their livestock operation.

The Johne's Advisory Committee, which created the program, includes practicing veterinarians, livestock producers, Colorado State University faculty, and government officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Contact Ron Ackerman at (303) 882-2753 for more information about the Johne's program or to enroll your herd.

Applicator training

RSVP if you want to attend the Private Pesticide Applicator Training on April 18 at 6:30 p.m. 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. You may RSVP the Extension Office by calling 264-2388 or e-mailing archuleta@ coop.ext.colostate.edu.

Seed Potatoes

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 2-3 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 in at the Extension Office each person will be contacted to pick up their order. If you are interested in ordering seed potatoes please call 264-2388, e-mail us at archuleta@ coop.ext.colostate.edu or stop by the Extension Office.

Pagosa Lakes News

Special Olympians, swim club

training for upcoming meets

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The Special Olympics swim program will start Thursday, April 14, to be held at the recreation center 6-8 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday through May 12. Special Olympians and their coaches will be preparing the swimmers for a local tri-team meet at the center May 14.

The swim meet will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until noon. Come watch.

The Pagosa Lakes Swim Club has been in training five afternoons each week since February. With six new swimmers and most of the club members from last year returning, the club is ready to garner some awards at their first competition of the season April 16 in Farmington.

The swim club is open to school age children who are swimmers, who enjoy swimming, and who like to compete. Although the club is sponsored by the recreation center and the coach's salary is in large part covered by the sponsor, other costs associated with registration/insurance, membership, competition fees, team suits etc., exist.

One generous-hearted anonymous donor has stepped forward to pick up those expenses for a deserving swimmer who would otherwise not be able to afford the program. I thank this person for her generosity and her desire to replicate her own positive childhood experiences as a competitive swimmer for someone else.

If there are those who would like to sponsor a needy child or know of a child who would like to swim but is unable to pursue that dream because of financial constraints, please contact coach Jennifer Feuton at 731-0717 or come by the recreation center during swim practice to check out the team. The kids swim 4:15-5:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2:15-3:45 p.m. Friday.

The PLPOA, although no longer directly responsible for animal control, receives numerous complaints involving dogs. Most of these calls are related to contractor's pets.

Reading the article on this matter in the Pagosa Lakes News, written by Lyn Webb, a PLPOA building inspector, I understand the concern is growing and needs to be addressed.

Typically, a contractor will arrive at a building site and allow his dog to roam free during the workday. Some dogs are content to just "chill" by the piles of lumber, but others being more curious take this opportunity to check out the surrounding area. This starts the neighbor's dog barking its disapproval and walkers and runners feeling threatened by an unfamiliar dog.

The county's animal control resolution states that the dog owner must be in "control" of their dog. Please be considerate and leash your wandering dog so the neighbors and those out to catch some fresh air and relaxation are not harassed.

If you have a complaint, call the sheriff's office at 264-2131. They will send out an animal control officer.

This was heard at the recreation center, the words of an elderly lady in the locker room: "The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs."


No births this week


Charlene Lancing

Charlene (Charlie) Lancing of Pagosa Springs died peacefully in her sleep Sunday, April 3, 2005.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sonnie and Dean Hoots of Rowlett, Texas; a son, Robert Chuberworth, in Florida; and grandchildren Nicholas and Parker Hoots.

A viewing is set for Friday, April 8, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Pagosa Funeral Options, 243 Pagosa Street.

A wake will be held in her honor 7 p.m. Friday, April 8, in Dorothy's Restaurant on San Juan Street.

Business News
Chamber News

Plenty happening, work to do now that spring is here

By Doug Trowbridge

SUN Columnist

Skiers are packing up their gear, hikers and rafters are champing at the bit to get going and the weather, in between the snow storms, is absolutely beautiful. Spring must finally be here.

Home Show 2005

Returning, along with spring, are all those do-it-yourself ideas you had to spruce up your domicile. To help make your ideas into realities, the Builder's Association of Pagosa Springs is holding tits Home Show 2005 Saturday and Sunday at the county fairgrounds. The show will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, so you'll have plenty of time to find the right people to help you with your projects. But be careful, you might head home with more ideas and projects than you started with.

Whether you're looking for someone to build your dream home from the ground up, build a deck in your backyard or just supply you with the products and knowhow to do it yourself, the Home Show will have it! You can talk to merchants at their booths or attend one of the many demonstrations that will go on throughout the show. And you can get all this for just $2 a person. If you've got some work to do around the house or just want to see what's new in home improvement, this is an event you won't want to miss. For more information or to see about having a booth at the Home Show 2005, call Michelle at 731-3939.

'Beauty and the Beast'

Every family will want to attend the Pagosa Springs High School musical production of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." This magical production opens for three shows - tonight, Friday and Saturday - in the high school auditorium. Each show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the high school or Plaid Pony (731-5262) and go for $6 for adults and $4 for students and children.

This production reflects many hours of community involvement for the set and costumes and features a cast and crew of over 50. This includes a 12-piece orchestra and several musical selections that were not included in the animated Disney version.

Ross tournament

As March Madness slowly fades, it's time for April Madness, Pagosa style, with the 10th annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament. You'll see lots of great basketball taking place in the junior high school gymnasium on April 14-16. Teams will be competing in three categories: Open Division, 6-foot and Under and the 35 Years and Older. You'll also be thrilled by the three-point shootout and slam-dunk contest. If you love basketball or just enjoy good competition of any type, you'll want to make plans to attend. For more information on the tournament, contact Troy Ross at 264-5265.

Music In the Mountains

Music in the Mountains is holding three concerts at BootJack Ranch this year and they should all be fantastic! Tickets for all three shows are on sale at the Chamber or you can buy them on-line from the comfort of your own home by visiting www.tix.com.

Dates for this year's concerts are July 22 and 30 and Aug. 5. On July 22 at 7 p.m. you can soar to the sounds of famed violinist, Vadim Gluzman. The concert July 30 begins at 6 p.m. and brings pianist Avi Reichert and the entire Festival Orchestra to Pagosa to perform several pieces, including Beethoven's Piano Concertos No. 3 and No. 5. Pianist, Antonio Pompa-Baldi will close out the Pagosa Season with a 7 p.m. performance Aug. 5 that will include Schumann's "Piano Quartet." Tickets for the July 22 and Aug. 5 concerts are $40 and the July 30 concert is $50. Just a reminder, Pagosa Springs has never failed to sell out Music in the Mountains concerts: If you are interested in attending one of the concerts, get your tickets now.

Music in the Mountains will also be holding the Pagosa Festivo concert in Town Park July 28. This family community concert will feature Prokofiev's symphony, "Peter and the Wolf." This free concert will take place at 11 a.m. and promises fun and excitement for children of all ages.

Joe Keck

Joe Keck, director of the Colorado Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, will be making his monthly stop in Pagosa Tuesday, April 26. Anyone who has spent time with Joe will tell you he is an amazing resource for small business owners and the best thing is that you can have an hour of his time at absolutely no cost. If you would like to take advantage of this great opportunity, call the Chamber at 264-2360. Space is limited, so call today for your appointment.


Summer is right around the corner and it's time to recruit and train our 2005 Diplomat corps.

Diplomats are the Chamber's volunteers who (wo)man our Visitor Center during the busy summer months. They are invaluable to the staff here because they can answer all those fun questions from our visitors and free us up to plan all those fun summer activities.

Not only do our Diplomats assist visitors in planning a fun stay in Pagosa, but they leave each day knowing they were thanked for telling people where to go! This year's training sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, May 3 ( 9-11 a.m.) Wednesday, May 4, (1-3 p.m.) and Friday, May 6 (9-11 a.m.).

We ask our regular Diplomats to fill one four-hour shift once a week but if your schedule is in turmoil or you have a fear of commitment you can still come out for the training and sign up to be an alternate. Our alternates are folks the regularly scheduled Diplomats can call if they need someone to cover their shift every now and then.

Being a Diplomat is a great way to share the fun that Pagosa has to offer with visitors and learn a few things about Pagosa you probably didn't know. If you would like more information on being a Chamber Diplomat or would like to sign up for one of the training sessions, call Morna at 264-2360.

Tax relief

No, it's not the kind of tax relief we are all looking for, but as the April 15 deadline approaches, there is some relief for those tension headaches that come with preparing your return. The Volunteer Tax Return Preparation Program offers free assistance for low to moderate income taxpayers of any age and to those with disabilities who may need assistance in preparing basic tax forms. They are operating out of the Arts Council room in the community center and you can find more information on what they have to offer on posters in the community center, at the library and the post office. To volunteer your services or to get more information, call Bob Henley at 731-9411.


We are pleased to introduce five new members this week and equally pleased to present our seven renewals.

Our first new member is Wolf Creek Interiors with Steve Vaile and Susan Day. They are located at 197 Navajo Trail Dr. and offer you a multitude of ways to communicate with them. With a telephone you can reach them at 731-2013, (888) 260-2256, (970) 903-0029 or fax them at 731-2032. You can check out their Web site at www.wolfcreekinteriors.com or e-mail them at sales@wolfcreekinteriors.com. Wolf Creek Interiors offers licensed professional interior design and decorating services. With a full line of home furnishings and accessories including Sealy, Bassett and Hekman, they can make your dreams come true no matter what your budget.

We also welcome The Cozy Log Loft and Mike DeVooght. The Cozy Log Loft is located at 209 Pagosa St. within walking distance of the hot springs and downtown's shopping and restaurants. With a fully stocked kitchen and sleeping up to six persons, the Cozy Log Loft offers lots of amenities at a great price. For more information on the Cozy Log Loft, call Mike at 264-4399, 731-2009 or 749-9442. You can e-mail him at cabin@devocapital.com.

General Manager Jim Bray, and The Strater Hotel, located at 699 Main Ave. in Durango, is our next new member. The Strater Hotel offers no-smoking rooms that are all appointed with authentic American Victorian era antiques and lodgers can enjoy their deluxe continental breakfast. To book your stay at the Strater Hotel, call 247-4431 or (800) 247-4431. You can fax to 259-2208 or check out their Web site at strater.com.

Donald B. Ricky with Daisy Valentine's is next on our new member list. Daisy Valentine's will open in early May at 250 Pagosa St. They joined up so we could help them start spreading the word of all the wonderful items that will grace their store. Daisy Valentine's will be a retail gallery of glass art, original paintings, gemstone mosaics, local original jewelry, mineral specimens, small antiques and collectibles. For the moment, you can get more information by calling 247-7009. Keep reading the Chamber News for an update on their grand opening.

Our final new member this week is J.D. Deilgat with New Mark Landscape. Since he's in the field, literally, most of the time, you can call him on his cell phone at 946-9953 or e-mail him at jerez@jerez.cts.com. New Mark landscape specializes in working with clients on all aspects of landscaping, from creating to installing your vision. They can help you with irrigation, drainage, water features, hardscape, stonework, plantings, lawns and trees.

Peter Dach leads off our renewals with Silver Dollar Liquor Store and Pagosa Bar. It's good to have Peter and his two businesses in the Chamber family.

If you drive through town and see loads of people in the area but they're not coming to your business, it might help to call our next renewal. Mark and Erica DeVoti operate Pony Express Brochure Delivery.

Anna O'Reilly rejoins us with Anna's Energy Massage.

Spencer for Hire Drafting Service, LLC. is our next renewal.

Mike and Lisa Kraetsch are back with the Liberty Theatre.

Our last renewal is Mike and Laurie Heraty at The Source for Pagosa Real Estate, LLC.

Spring is a time when everything starts to grow and we're thrilled to have these new members and renewals helping the Chamber reach new heights.

Biz Briefs

Conservation easement seminar April 26

La Plata Open Space Conservancy is sponsoring "Conservation Easements: Playing by the Rules" 8 a.m.-noon April 26 in Durango Community Recreation Center.

The seminar will focus on how to give conservation easements that will protect land forever and help families plan for the future.

It will include information on identifying and documenting conservation purposes, appraising conservation easements, proposed tax law changes, and new standards and requirements for structuring easement donations to appropriately use, but not abuse, federal and state tax incentives.

Attorney William Silberstein will be the presenter.

The seminar is free and the public invited. Call 259-3415 for reservations.


Study group aiding Forest Service, BLM on long-term plan

A Community Study Group is meeting again in Pagosa Springs 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 group will meet on a monthly basis this spring to help the agencies identify potential changes in existing management direction.

Members of the Pagosa San Juan Plan Revision Community Study Group meet next at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 28, in the Pagosa 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.

The two federal agencies work together in southwestern Colorado to jointly manage 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.


Biz Beat

No Column this week

Cards of ThanksWhile you waited

All those patients waiting, waiting and waiting at Pagosa Family Medicine March 30, please read on.

My husband, Jerry Wallace, was having a heart attack. We want to formally thank you and give a big hug to Dr. Jim Pruitt, Dr. Jim Piccaro, Dan Keuning FNP and the entire staff of nurses, aides, EMTs and office help.

They immediately went to work, like a scene from "ER," complete with the crying wife in the corner of the room. They administered the most important drug, Retavase, to bust the clot, among others.

Enter the wonderful Care Flight crew David, Vicky and Tony, patiently waiting for the snow storm to break. We also thank Pastor Bolland for his prayers prior to Jerry's helicopter ride and those angels, the Yertons and Huffs, who gave me comfort and a ride to Albuquerque.

We thank our church family for their prayers, flowers and cards. Jerry had angioplasty correcting a 95-percent blockage of the right coronary artery. He feels like a new man and very blessed that we had a talented and caring medical team.

Thanks again to all those waiting patiently and Praise Be to God!

Margaret Wallace

Casa de los Arcos

Thank you from all the residents of Casa de los Arcos for the much appreciated grant money. We really appreciate the Archuleta County High School El Pomar Youth in Community Service grant committee for including us.

Especially thanks to Doug Bowen, Shane Martinez, Justin Valdez, Anthony Villareal, Crystal Dennis, Joel Roper, Angela Lucero, Morgan Butler, and Jesse Foutz for all your had work on this.

Molly O'Brien Johnson,

Casa de los Arcos

EMS response

Our sincere thanks to the EMS crew of Larry Escude, Norm Niesen and Trevor Wallace for their prompt, professional and compassionate care when called to help with our son several times in the last two months.

We feel very fortunate to live where we have such dedicated, courteous and competent emergency officials who respond so quickly in times of emergency. We will always be grateful.

Ronnie and Jennifer Chavez

Care overwhelms

We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to Kevin Toman and his staff for their generosity in holding the vaccination clinic at Aspen Tree Animal Caring Center April 2.

Thank you to all the kind people of our community for bringing in their pets and donating extra for our cause.

We once again are overwhelmed at how caring everyone is here in Pagosa. We are so fortunate to live among such wonderful people. I guess that is why we have called Pagosa home for the past ten years.

We are keeping our positive attitudes and will keep fighting this cancer. My chemotherapy is ongoing and has not been too hard on me.

Thanks again, Kevin.

Rachel M. Howe


No column this week


No Column this week


David and Mary Lou Sprowle celebrate 50 years of marriage

Paul Simon wrote it in a song, "Still Crazy, after all these years."

David and Mary Lou Sprowle fit this description. After 50 years of marriage, they are still having fun trying to "shine, rather than reflect." They "met" while David was stationed in Korea in the United States Army. Mary Lou began corresponding with him after his sister placed his picture in the local newspaper, along with his address, asking for letters.

They were engaged after David's return, on New Year's Eve, 1954, at Club 28 near Greenfield, Ohio

David, son of the late George W. and Martha Sprowle of Port William, Ohio, and Mary Lou Thompson, daughter of the late Richard S. and Mildred Thompson of Wilmington, Ohio, were married on Good Friday, April 8, 1955, in the Wilmington Methodist parsonage by the Rev. Benjamin Smith. Myron and Evelyn Clevenger were on-scene witnesses.

In 1957 their family began; Steven Sprowle (Rhonda) of Wilmington, Ohio; Lisa (David) West of Sierra Vista, Ariz.; Scott (Kathy) Sprowle and Molly Sprowle of Wilmington, Ohio.

They are blessed with four grandchildren - Heather, Stephanie, Sydney and Michael Sprowle - and one great-granddaughter, Kelsey Sprowle.

The Sprowles lived in the Wilmington-Port William, Ohio, area until 1992 when they moved to Pagosa Springs.

The celebration has been taking place all year, with many travels and adventures abounding.

And they said it wouldn't last!


No Column this week

Sports Page

Pirates reap Laurels in 4-1 win over Bayfield

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Bayfield brought a team with a new coach, a new attitude and an unbeaten 3-0 record into Golden Peaks Stadium Monday against the winless Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates.

They left the stadium two hours later with their first loss, a 4-1 spanking by the Pirates that seemed to indicate new attitude is not a Wolverine trait alone.

Less than two minutes into the contest it was apparent the young women from Pagosa were bent on creating a new atmosphere.

Almost from the opening tip, the Pirates were swarming the ball at both ends of the field.

Midfielders were routinely intercepting Bayfield outlets and some in the crowd were wondering aloud, "Where have these girls been?"

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason liked what he saw, from the moment less than two minutes in when Brittany Corcoran broke free of a three-back containment and drilled a shot off the left post.

It wasn't a score but suddenly the team seemed to realize how the game should be played.

Jennifer Hilsabeck was the next to find a path through the Wolverine defense but her shot up the middle was stopped by Bayfield keeper Suzanne Vajdic-Sush, who was just beginning to get a taste of the Pirate offensive pressure to come.

Then, in quick succession, Iris Frye and Stephanie Erickson were wide with open shots, one to the right, the other left and Pagosa kept the ball in the attack zone consistently.

The scoreless streak ended at 6:04 when sophomore Laurel Reinhardt got her first goal of the season off a corner kick that was tipped back into the net by Vajdic-Sush.

Pagosa had a lead for the first time this season and seemed bent on keeping the flow going.

Again and again Wolverine attackers were turned away at midfield. Again and again Pirate chances materialized.

Still, some seemed to feel a degree of frustration. Both Frye and Erickson were stopped again on open drives. Hilsabeck's second bid for her first goal was thwarted. Frye hit the crossbar with a drive from 12 yards up the middle, then was stopped when she got her own rebound and fired again.

Bayfield got its first shot on goal at 27:37 when Suzanne Bemelen's drive from 20 yards was wide left. Less than two minutes later she had another opening but Laci Jones nailed her shot with a dive low to her left.Then, at 33:52, Jones stopped her third bid tipping the shot up and over the net.

The Pirates got a great opportunity on the ensuing possession. Awarded a corner kick, Caitlyn Jewell chose instead her now-familiar somersault throw-in and Brittany Corcoran was right on the receiving line. Her shot, however, was just outside the right post.

Lss than two minutes later, at 37:51, Corcoran got her goal, again off a corner kick. This time the kick was hers and it glanced off the hip of a defender in front of goal and into the net, giving Pagosa a 2-0 lead at the break.

The Pirates weren't about to let up the pressure and just 20 seconds into the period Reinhardt was wide left on a breakaway and Corcoran's rebound shot went just outside the right post.

Hilsabeck, working a give-and-go with Frye, got a perfect return cross and rifled a 15-yarder past Vajdic-Sush at 50:44, giving Pagosa a 3-0 lead and prompting Kurt-Mason to begin running in waves of replacements at two-minute intervals to get all players more action and keep them fresh for the attack.

Hilsabeck nearly had her second goal within two minutes of the first, hitting the left post on a nifty breakaway which left a pair of defenders prone after diving at her feints.

Frye was stopped on a drive from the left box but Reinhardt made the count 4-0 at 53:34 with a blistering drive right up the middle from 25 yards that sailed over the keeper's head.

Then Reinhardt and Hilsabeck went on a scalping spree, attacking in alternate possessions with drives from all angles. To her credit, Vajdic-Sush was equal to the test: Hilsabeck twice and Reinhardt thrice.

Finally, from the Bayfield perspective, the squad got an offensive move into the Pirate zone and Suzanne Bemelen was able to capitalize on a drop cross from Lauren Latimer.

She caught Jones leaning toward an expected shot from Latimer and drilled the ball past her before she could react to the new direction of attack.

That was the game, in a nutshell.

Of course, there were those two final-minute breakaways by Pirate Lexi Johnson, both thwarted by the Wolverine keeper, and a final shot by Erickson which went of the right post as time ran down.

With win No. 1 under their belts, and it in a league tilt, the Pirates are at home again today, in a change from the published schedule, hosting Ignacio at 4 p.m. in another league contest.

Durango comes to town for a 4 p.m. contest Friday. The Pirates go on the road for another league encounter, weather and field conditions permitting, at 11 a.m. Saturday in Ridgway.


Scoring: 6:04, P-Reinhardt; 37:51, P-Corcoran; 50:44, P-Hilsabeck, assist Frye; 53:34, P-Reinhardt; 74:09, B-Bemelen, assist Latimer. Shots on goal, P-24, B-7; Saves: B-Vajdic-Sush, 15; P-Jones, 5. Penalties: none.


Listless Ladies bow 4-0 to visiting Salida

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

For better than half a game, Pagosa's Lady Pirates seemed lost in their home soccer opener Friday against Salida from the Tri-Peaks League.

"We were listless, lifeless ... what else can you say," said Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason.

The Spartans, on the other hand, having been knocked out of state playoff action by Pagosa last year, came in with a chip on their collective shoulders.

Three first period goals had the Pirates in a hole they could not climb out of - goals where Pirate keeper Laci Jones faced the brunt of the attack, often with no defenders back to help her.

Several times Salida wings had breakaways against the Pirate defense.

At the half, Kurt-Mason changed up his defense, challenging the veterans on the squad to play like veterans.

"I think they saw what they hadn't been doing in the first half and were embarrassed by it," he said.

Whatever the reason, "they began to gel defensively about 10 minutes into the second half and, save a short goal off a rebound, were able to stop Salida for the whole period."

Still, he was unsatisfied with the consistency of his offense. "We got off 22 shots in the game," he said, "but most were individual efforts off bad positions. They had chances to score but didn't capitalize on the one more pass that would have cleared a path."

Still, he was upbeat about the way the squad rebounded after his halftime "lecture" about the "inadequacies of playing with your mind somewhere else.

"I asked them what they'd do if they had to play the first half over, both individually and as a team," he said.

"Step up the pressure was the most consistent answer."

And step it up they did. Salida got only four shots on goal in the second half, Jones stopping all of them, compared to only one stop in the first half.

The 4-0 loss dropped Pagosa's record to 0-3 for the season, setting the stage for a season Southwest Mountain League opener Monday against undefeated Bayfield.

Cortez downs Pirates 9-2 on two big innings

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa parlayed a hit batsman and two base hits into an early 2-0 lead Friday in Cortez, but were unable to protect it.

The Panthers came back with five runs of their own in the first and from then on Pagosa's would-be rallies were snuffed by an inability to get the key hit.

Things opened innocently enough with the first two Pirate batters, Josh Hoffman and Karl Hujus, grounding out to second.

But Casey Hart, batting as the designated hitter for the day, was plunked by a Ken Cason fastball.

Hart was on the move when Jakob Reding drilled a long double to right center and Pagosa had a 1-0 lead. When Pirate hurler Travis Marshall lined a single to right, scoring Reding, the Pirates appeared to have the upper hand.

But Matt Gallegos popped out to the third baseman and the Pirate scoring for the day was over.

In the Panther half of the frame, Marshall had trouble finding the plate.

Dac Walker led off with a single for the home team and Darren Waymar drew the first of three passes. After Rusty Twilley bounced to second, both runners advancing, Jeff Abeyta also walked. Jody Garner walked to force in a run and Pirate coach Charlie Gallegos pulled Marshall in favor of senior Levi Gill who surrendered a bases loaded double to Tony Snyder and a single to Pat McAndrew for the fifth Panther run in the frame.

Gill got Zac Fahrion on a ground ball to second and fanned Cason to get out of the inning, the Pirates trailing 5-2.

Cortez did its best to aid the Pirate effort in the second with two errors at first sandwiched around a strikeout by Avery Johnson. Cody Bahn and Adam Trujillo worked a double steal and Pagosa had two in scoring position with one out.

But Hoffman flied to short left and Hujus struck out to end the threat.

Cortez' second was a far cry from the first. Walker flied to left, Waymar to center and Gill got Twilley swinging.

Hart opened Pagosa's second with a single but was wiped out on a 6-4-3 double play ball by Reding. Gill reached on an infield single, a line shot off the pitcher's shoulder, but was out moments later when Gallegos grounded into a fielder's choice.

Abeyta opened the Cortez third drawing a walk but was out at second when Trujillo muffed a ground ball but recovered in time to cut down the runner. Snyder fanned and McAndrew popped to short and Pagosa was out of the inning.

Bahn led off the fourth beating out an infield single. Travis Richey, batting for Johnson, laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt and Pagosa had a runner in scoring position with one out.

The threat was short-lived, however, when Trujillo bounced back to the pitcher and Hoffman flied to left.

Cortez had an offensive burst left and with some Pirate misfielding aiding them, added the final four runs of the game in their half of the fourth.

It started with Fahrion doubling to center. Austin Baker was the first out, on a fly to center with Fahrion holding. Walker beat out an infield single and the Panthers had runners of first and third with one out when Waymar drew a walk to load the sacks. Twilley reached on an error at short and Abeyta walked. He was cut down on a fine play by Hujus at third, but Abeyta walked to reload the bags. Garman lined a perfect double play ball to short but Hoffman booted the ball and two runs scored. Tim Harper, batting for Snyder, worked the count full and fouled off six pitches before drawing another Panther pass. Gill finally retired the side on a fly to right by McAndrew.

Pagosa went quickly in the fifth, Hujus fanning on three pitches, slow, slower and slowest; Hart lining to third and Reding bouncing to third.

Fahrion opened Cortez' fifth with a single and advanced a base when it was misplayed in center. Baker lined to Gill for an out; Walker grounded to third and Hujus tagged Fahrion for the second out. Waymar hit into a fielder's choice to end the home team fifth.

Gill was hit by a pitch to open Pagosa's sixth and advanced when the third baseman misplayed Gallegos ground ball, giving the Pirates runners on first and second with no outs.

But Bahn bounced to first, Johnson rolled back to the pitcher and Trujillo fanned to end the threat.

Gill retired Cortez in short order in the sixth, getting Twilley on a bouncer to third, Abeyta on a pop to first and Garner on a ground ball to third.

Final inning, Pagosa down 9-2. Was there a rally at hand?

Hoffman reached on an error by the shortstop and Hujus on an error by the left fielder. Pagosa had two on and no outs with the meat of the order coming up.

But Hart and Reding fanned in succession with new pitcher Jeff Paulson on the mound and Pagosa was down to the final out. Gill hit into a fielder's choice, Hujus out at second, and the game was history.

The loss dropped Pagosa's season record to 3-3.

The Pirates were scheduled to open the IML season the following day with a doubleheader in Ignacio, but at the last minute, too late for last week's SUN, the contests were moved to 3 and 5 p.m. April 11 on the field adjacent to the Southern Ute recreation center.

Reason given for the change was disciplinary problems in Ignacio which left the team without sufficient personnel until suspensions are served.

In the meantime, Pagosa is scheduled to play Dolores in Cortez at 11 a.m. Saturday.


Pirates put on hitting hats for 15-4 road win

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Coach Charlie Gallegos is beginning to wonder how he can determine the mindset his players will have when they hit the field.

Some days they seem at a loss for inspiration and other days they come out with hitting gloves ready and fielding gems on their minds.

The latter was the baseball team which showed up in Durango Monday as the Pirates laced a mixed varsity-junior varsity Demon squad 15-4.

"It may not have been full varsity, but it was a good team, and we played them like we meant to be good, too," Gallegos said. "For a change we played really well both offensively and defensively."

Going with a planned four-man pitching rotation, Gallegos got fine performances from Randy Molnar, Karl Hujus, Josh Hoffman and Travis Marshall en route to the victory.

The Pirates didn't wait long to get things started their way.

A revised lineup with Travis Richey leading off produced a three-run first inning.

Richey celebrated his move to the top of the lineup with a lead-off single, moved to second as Josh Hoffman grounded to third, and strolled home ahead of Casey Hart's long double for the first run.

Hujus, batting in the cleanup spot, grounded back to the pitcher, but Jakob Reding, designated hitter for the game, picked him up with a long home run. Marshall, opening the game at first base, followed with a double, but Levi Gill fanned to end the uprising.

Molnar surrendered a single to Durango's first hitter, but he was out on a fielder's choice ground ball to second. The third hitter grounded to short and the fourth struck out.

Pagosa sent 10 men to the plate in the second inning, adding four more runs.

It began quietly with Matt Gallegos bouncing back to the pitcher.

Cody Bahn drew a walk and Richey followed with a single. Hoffman walked and Hart sacrificed both runners ahead. Hujus and Reding also walked, forcing in one run. Marshall was hit by a pitch and Gill singled, driving in a pair before Gallegos struck out to end the inning.

Molnar walked Durango's leadoff hitter in the second but then registered a strikeout, a routine fly to left and another strikeout to end the frame.

Bahn, leading off Pagosa's third, was hit by a pitch, then stole second. Richey drew a walk. The pair attempted a double steal, but Bahn was out at third. Hoffman singled, Richey scoring. Hart struck out, but Hujus drove in Hoffman with a single before Reding flied to left.

The Demons picked up a hit in the third, but no runs. A pop to first and a walk preceded the single but the lead runner got no farther than second when the next two hitters flied to center and to short.

Pagosa's fourth opened with a single by Marshall and Gill reaching on an error at short, moving Marshall to third. Gallegos hit a sacrifice fly to right for the run before Bahn was thrown out by the catcher and Richey bounced back to the pitcher.

Durango got a run in the fourth after an ground out and a strikeout. A single followed by a long double produced the run before a strikeout ended the frame.

Pagosa's fifth opened with a ringing double by Hoffman who was immediately plated by a line drive single by Hart. Hujus bounced back to first for the first out, but Reding reached on an error at short and Marshall flied to center, Hart scoring.

Then Gill, Gallegos and Bahn drew consecutive walks giving Pagosa a 15-1 lead.

With Hujus on the mound for Pagosa, Durango mounted a comeback in the bottom of the fifth.

After the first batter bounced to short, the second singled. He became the second out when the following hitter grounded into a fielder's choice. But the cleanup hitter drew a walk and the next batter doubled in a run. Another walk and a pair of infield errors led to two more runs before Hoffman, in relief, got the final out with a bouncer right back to him.

That enacted the 10-run rule and Pagosa had a 15-4 victory to move their record to 4-3 on the season.

The Pirates are scheduled to play Dolores at 11 a.m. Saturday on the new recreational center field in Cortez.

They will then, finally, get to open Intermountain League play, weather permitting, with a doubleheader starting 3 p.m. Monday against Ignacio.

The games will be played at the Southern Ute recreational center field, not at the high school.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

'It's not just a game anymore'

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

In the blink of an eye, your 10-year-old son stole the ball from the defenseman, dribbled toward the middle of the field and sprinted 15 yards toward the defending goal. The goalie is celebrating a little prematurely with merely 10 seconds left in the league's championship game. Your son is just inside the 18-yard box, and all he has to do is tap the ball to the right corner of the goal, past the off-guard goalie, and the game will go into overtime.

You realize that this is the moment you've dreamed about: your son is going to be the hero. This is why you signed him up for recreation soccer. This is why you paid $78.95 for brand-new Adidas Copamundial soccer shoes. This is why you dropped $150 for a week at the "I Wanna Be Pele" soccer camp. This kid's going to play for a National Champion someday; maybe he'll even win a gold medal.

"It's not just a game anymore," Dr. Darrell J. Burnett told WellnessJunction.com. "Parents see it as a potential for a scholarship. They have to get back to approaching it as a game."

Then what happens? Your All-Star son shoots a dribbler right to the feet of the shocked goalie, who picks it up and boots it down the field to end the game. TWEET!! Game over. After the post-game handshake, your son walks over and looks as if his pet rabbit had just died. So what do you say to him? "Hey, what happened, buddy? You could have tied the game for the team."

Did you forget the fact he started for the first time all season? Or that he executed three perfect throw-ins after having foul-throws all season - something you see him working on every day after practice?

In every youth sport around the country, parents are vicariously climbing inside the bodies of their children, trying to relive the glory that evaded them at that age. Through their children, they are able to start the championship game they watched from the bench, or sink the winning basket that clanked off the back rim 20 years earlier. While parents should play a large role in the promotion of youth sports for their children, some parents go too far and end up taking the fun out of the game.

"It's just not a game anymore."

Parents need to see the events that unfold simply as a game, and not a final testament for future success, Burnett said. Children play sports for fun, not so they can get a scholarship 10 years down the road. Why do 5-year-old children draw pictures? They draw because it's fun and it's a way to impress their parents. It's not because they want to become the next Pablo Picasso. A child is praised for anything he or she draws, despite what it may look like or is supposed to look like. The same has to be applied to sports.

"We have to think in terms of process instead of product."

Burnett asked, when kids finish a game, what's the first thing they ask? Who had the snacks? Or, where are we going for pizza? Conversely, what's the first thing parents ask when the kid gets in the car? Who won? Or, how many goals did you score? Burnett noted that while the kids are playing video games at the pizza parlor after a loss, the parents are huddled around a table discussing which play cost the game, and which players performed the best. Process, instead of product, needs to be stressed more.

"Praise your kids just for participating in sports."

If you only praise children when they do well, then that becomes their identity, Burnett said. The child will feel the only way to get a positive response from his or her parent is to always do well. This sets an unattainable standard for children, and when they can't reach it, they feel they have failed their parents. Kids have to be praised just for trying a sport and for doing their best.

Dr. Burnett is a clinical and sport psychologist, parent, national lecturer, author, consultant and volunteer youth league coach who has been in private practice for more than 20 years working with troubled youth and their families, specializing in positive parenting. He is also a Sports Ethics Fellow at the Institute for International Sport.

Baseball sign-ups

Sign-ups for our 6-7 coach-pitch, 8-10 Mustang, 11-12 Bronco and 13-14 Pony Baseball leagues began March 21 and will continue until Thursday, April 14. Don't wait until the last minute to sign your child up for baseball. Registration material is available at Town Hall. Cost for the program is $25 with all participants keeping their Major League Baseball Replica uniform and hat. Make checks payable to: Town of Pagosa Springs. Don't be left out. Sign up early and beat the crowds.

Adult soccer

Adult soccer is back. Anyone interested in playing coed soccer, please meet at the soccer field adjacent to the football field at Pagosa Springs High School 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 3. Be suited out and ready to play. For more information, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.


We ask tee-ball parents to help us keep the community center clean by not bringing food and drinks to your child's tee-ball games. Snacks are to be handed out outside the facility after the games. In order for us to continue to use the community center we must keep it as clean as possible. Tee-ball games will be scheduled outdoors as weather and field conditions permit.

Adult softball

Adult softball is right around the corner. Start putting your teams together for the upcoming leagues. Men's and coed leagues will be offered this year. Additional information on manager's meetings to follow.

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 townofpagosasprings.com 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 any questions, concerns or additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, please contact me at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Pagosa Springs Parks

Tree-planting grant program readied

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The finishing touches for the 2005 tree-planting grant are being put together by Julie Jessen, the town's special projects coordinator.

The initial idea as I remember it started with an urban tree grant cosponsored by the state of Colorado. It was designed to allow private property owners within the town limits to plant a tree on the street side of the yard to enhance the town's landscape, and also replace trees that had either died or been cut down through the years.

The basic idea has been extended through the years and the town has budgeted $1,500 per year to fund the popular program. Each property owner who applied in the past was limited to $100 per land owner within town limits; the owner can plant one or more trees not to exceed the limit. Please remember the town is not responsible for paying sales tax on these purchases.

If all the money is not spent in the spring-summer planting season, the town will open up a fall grant to try to offer this program to the public again, with land owners who utilized the program qualifying again in the fall.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, or if your property qualifies, please feel free to call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231.

Southwest Youth Corps

Jim Miller and I met last week with Harry Bruell, executive director of the Southwest Youth Corps in Durango. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a need here and how to utilize the Corps when it comes time to sod or seed the new fields at the Sports Complex. We will use Corps members as laborers in this landscaping project. The pilot program is being done in Ignacio, Durango and Pagosa Springs.

The meeting was very productive. We have received a contract from the Corps that would give the town 400 man-hours for $6.25 per hour. The Corps will be responsible for transportation and a team leader to supervise workers and the jobs assigned.

The value to the town is the fact that we can get an organized work force to help us out at a great price, especially when temporary help is hard to find. The other value is the fact they plan to recruit as many locals as they can.

Any 14- or 15-year-old wishing to apply for this three-week program should call Paul Paradis, field supervisor for SWYC, at 259-9424, Ext. 1#.

Big game

This Saturday Pagosa's own Caleb Forrest will play in the Colorado High School All-Star game at the Pepsi Center. It is sponsored by the Denver Nuggets and the Gold Star Foundation and is named "The Show V."

High school all-stars from all classifications will play. Girls and Boys from 1A to 5A schools have been selected to play with the games scheduled around the Denver Nuggets vs. Seattle Supersonics.

The girls' game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. followed by the Nuggets vs. Sonics at 7 p.m., then the boys' all-stars at 9:30 p.m. Seating is reserved for the Nuggets and is general admission for the high school games. Upper level seats are $12 and lower levels are $25. Enjoy three games for the price of one by calling Jesse Levine at (303) 405-1138.


More open, much better

We believe the citizens of Pagosa Country have been represented well at the national and state levels for many years.

We think our elected representatives in Washington D.C. and Denver have championed open government and, for the most part, have been open with us concerning issues, ideas, motives. Lately, the situation was enhanced as the Salazar brothers - U.S. Senator Ken and U.S Representative John - moved to Washington D.C. to begin with the business of government.

What the two are doing is making themselves unusually available to the press and public; they regularly send missives to the press, conduct phone conferences and schedule meetings in the home state and district to gather information from their constituents. In this, they follow a pattern set by U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard and mirror the behavior of state Rep. Mark Larson and state Sen. Jim Isgar - both of whom have been extremely open and frank with constituents in Pagosa Country.

Back at work in Washington this week after a trip abroad, Salazar released a statement regarding the need for Colorado hearings on telecommunications issues. Also, leaping into the fray swirling around the Patriot Act, participating in a bi-partisan effort as co-sponsor of the proposed SAFE Act, Sen. Salazar has been forthcoming about his desire to retain "all of the expanded authorities created by the Patriot Act," while placing "important checks and balances on those authorities."

Our former state attorney general calls the reforms in the act "narrow and specific," and urges measures to "protect innocent Americans from unnecessary government surveillance and increase Congressional and judicial oversight of certain law enforcement activities." The act would eliminate "John Doe" roving and nonspecific wiretaps; place reasonable restraints on "sneak and peek" searches that allow authorities to conduct covert searches without notification; restore the standard of individual suspicion and create procedural protections to prevent abuse of Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act searches as well as rules that allow federal law enforcement to circumvent legal requirements for access to personal documents; require accountability of nationwide search warrants and various types of FISA wiretaps; limit qualifying offenses for domestic terrorism to those covered by the federal crime of terrorism rather than any federal or state crime as is now the case with Patriot Act wire taps.

SAFE is supported by groups as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Gun Owners of America and the American Conservative Union, yet Salazar's actions are likely to inflame some, as is his demand that the Department of Homeland Security include state and local perspectives in any reorganization of the federal agency and its policies.

Agree or not, what is refreshing is Salazar's willingness to be up front about his point of view and his intentions at every turn.

Would that all politicos be so open. For example, those officials who frequently seek to do business out of, or at least away from, the spotlight - boards that retreat as often as possible to executive session, citing law that allows for it as they dart behind closed doors. We believe the option should be exercised as seldom as possible, that all public business should be conducted publicly.

Too often as well, some elected officials prefer to remain mute as long as they can, to attempt to conceal their ideas (or lack of same) and their inability to think clearly and independently. They would be well served to consider the manner in which Sen. Salazar , Sen. Allard, Sen. Isgar, Rep. Salazar and Rep. Larson go about their business in public. The more public the process, the more information, the better. The more open our government, the more dialogue it creates, the better it works for us.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

A forecast of imminent doom

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

We have little time left on this orb. Or, if you prefer, the end of the world is at hand.

A pronunciation of acquired knowledge? A gleaning from some Biblical reference? A discovery of utmost importance?

In fact, the statements are based on a pair of nationally circulated reports last week that ought to tear right at the vitals of your soul.

The first, from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, proclaims in no uncertain terms that nearly half our nation's children - 35 million of them - are being imperiled and subjected to a dim future by parents who use illegal drugs, abuse alcohol and use tobacco in the home.

The second, based on a study released as a landmark report by the United Nations and the World Bank, reveals humans are damaging the planet at an unprecedented rate and raising risk of abrupt collapses that could worsen the spread of disease, deforestation and the "dead zones" in the seas.

Let's think about those statements for a minute. Round off the figures to a population of 12,000 in Archuleta County. Of those, we know more than 1,700 are children in public and private schools. Add in the ones not yet old enough to attend school and those still under 18 but in the workforce or attending college, and you can come up with a figure of about 2,500.

If you follow the "half are affected" premise, that means 1,250 county children are at risk. The Center study says, "Too many parents set examples that increase the risk their children will smoke, use illegal drugs and abuse alcohol. Children of substance abusing parents are more likely to become substance abusers themselves."

How widespread are the abuses?

The report finds 13 percent of those under 18 live in a household where a parent or other adult abuses drugs; 24 percent live in a household where a parent or other adult is a heavy or binge drinker; and 37 percent live in a household where some adult uses tobacco.

"Kids don't read their parents' lips, they watch their parents actions," said Joseph A. Califano Jr., center chairman.

With that in mind, let's look at the other story.

The study putting earth near the breaking point was conducted by 1,360 experts in 95 nations who concluded, "a rising human population has polluted or overexploited two thirds of the ecological systems on which life depends, ranging from clean air to fresh water, in the last 50 years."

Sound familiar? Huge growth spurts, drags on infrastructure, need for more water; all are recent indices of life in Pagosa Country. And there is no sign of slowdown.

"At the heart of this assessment is a stark warning," said the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. "Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet's ecosytems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted."

If we don't ruin them at home, we'll apparently ruin the planet we leave to them. For their sake we need to examine our lifestyles - now!


90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of Apr. 9, 1915

Pagosa Remains Dry. The town election last Tuesday passed off quietly. Notwithstanding bad weather, a heavy vote was cast. Out of a total registration of 448, 325 votes were polled. There were two tickets in the field, the Tax Payers and Good Government, the former winning out by a small majority excepting the mayor. On the wet and dry proposition the drys win by 15 votes.

A heavy rain and hail storm flooded the Cat Creek and Altura Mesa country Wednesday to such an extent that several bridges and culverts between Pagosa and the Junction are in a shaky condition. On Altura Mesa the water flowed over the railroad track in many places.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Apr. 11, 1930

J.E. Walker is rebuilding the Arboles store on the site of the one destroyed by fire in January. It is 30 by 60 feet, with 24 feet off the rear for living rooms. It is going to be almost fireproof, reinforced cement walls, heated with hot air, but the furnace is in a small building outside of the store. If the roof is a fireproof material, no on need worry about fire in that building.

Is it reported that Mr. Walker is going to take charge of the store himself. W.E. Clark, the merchant in Arboles at the time of the fire, has bought the Dyke store and Mr. and Mrs. Clark are moving there.

The light rains of the past week have proven to be a pleasing diversion from the ordinarily expected snow storms for this time of the year.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Apr. 8, 1955

It is a bit difficult to describe the weather this past week. Saturday saw a dust storm that was without parallel in the memories of old timers and a high wind that did considerable damage in the area. The wind continued on Sunday with temperatures a-way down.

The wind Saturday blew the east end of the gym at the school off, and damaged some roofs in town by blowing off shingles. The damage to the gymnasium is estimated at between one and two thousand dollars and the wet snow may cause other additional damage to the building. The wind stripped off practically all the sheet aluminum on the east end and some of the pieces were blown onto the roof of the new high school with sufficient force to damage that roof.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Apr. 10, 1980

Total snowfall for the month of March on Wolf Creek Pass was 165-1/2 inches, bringing the winter total to 726 inches at that station. This is close to the record set last year when a total of 846 inches of snow fell. Last year 51 inches fell in April and 55 in May. Should that happen this year, then another record will have been set.

A meeting will be held April 17 for those interested in the downtown revitalization task force formation. It was announced this week that the $27,000 grant to make an engineering and design study for the downtown project had been approved. This means that the town can now go ahead and get an exact design based on the concept that was made and designed last summer.


Young Pagosa painter gets New York

gallery show

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

Bryan El Castillo Dominguez, has been stranded on a forbidden island off the coast of Thailand; arrested in Egypt for trying to purchase a camel and has attempted to hike through the Himalayas to Tibet.

But there is one thing the Pagosa Springs High School graduate and painter has not done; he has not yet managed to exhibit his lush and provocative oil paintings in a New York City gallery.

That won't happen until June.

In a few days, the 24-year old artist will pack up his body of oil-on-canvas work and head for his latest adventure. In New York City, Dominguez will partner with Agora Gallery, a fine art gallery in SoHo, which will represent him for a year and has a month-long exhibit planned. This exhibit is only Dominguez's second gallery show. The first was in Telluride in December. His emergence onto the New York art scene, he said, has some people suggesting he has not yet paid his dues.

Dominguez seems unconcerned about that and says he is just pleased that his work has "hit."

"This was one of my dreams," Dominguez said. "To one day be good enough to go to New York and be in a gallery. I'm really optimistic about it."

Dominguez, in art and life, is in vigorous pursuit of the authentic. His travels through Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa walk a fine line between adventure and madness. To him, learning Thai boxing in Bangkok and actually getting in the ring; or setting out in a little fishing boat, that would ultimately sink, in search of a Thai paradise forbidden to foreigners, are methods of searching.

"I was searching for perfection in a moment," Dominguez said about his travels. "I never found it. I came to realize I already had everything I was looking for. Every facet of life has a romantic feel to it. This moment right here could be a painting."

His paintings are nearly life-sized and are to the eyes as truffles are to the lips. Rich in color and provocative in tone, his work is sultry yet classically informed. Dominguez signs his work "El Castillo," which means "the castle" and is his Spanish grandmother's maiden name. He has always been an artist but got serious about it at age 14. Although he has never attended art school and is categorized as a contemporary artist, Dominguez takes his cues from the masters like DaVinci and Caravaggio. Dominguez admires their Renaissance minds, which could, with equal facility, paint, sculpt, design buildings and discuss philosophy.

A passionate yet melancholy tone resonates throughout Dominguez's work. The dissonance that creates is at first confusing but ultimately won't let the eye go. In "Birth of the Raven," an exotic, unsmiling, dark-eyed, woman drifts through the night in a blood-red dress. As she moves, shiny black birds emerge one by one from her long, ebony hair.

Dominguez said the woman was a friend whose beauty he'd always admired. He said it is one of the few paintings he's done that is inspired more by a particular person than by an idea.

Another piece entitled "Skin and Tears" features a young man with downcast eyes smoking a cigarette outside a Thai boxing arena. Still in his gloves, with tattoos covering a wiry and life-hardened frame, the boxer is at once fierce and forlorn.

The model for the piece was Pagosa Springs local Chris Haas. The face is unmistakably his, though a few of Haas' actual tattoos are missing. Dominguez said Haas is an energetic and animated character. He was also the model for another of Dominguez's more challenging pieces of the crucified Jesus Christ.

"I wanted a realistic, emotional painting," Dominguez said about the piece simply entitled "The Christ." He said a week or two of looking at it for 15 hours a day was a challenge, but like "Skin and Tears" and "Birth of the Raven," it remains a portfolio piece.

Though Dominguez's wanderlust is quiet for now, he is actively designing a life that will accommodate trips to the edge and back. He believes living on the edge helps him keep a creative edge in his work. Therefore he deliberately seeks out places in the world that have yet to be tamed.

"I want to find things that people don't do anymore," he said. "The end of it all is knowing you did everything you could."

His gallery showing in Telluride was so successful, he said, that it funded the purchase of a small sailboat that he intends, when his time in New York is over, to sail through the Panama Canal and around South America. That little sojourn should conjure up a whole new body of work. Although, he has plans to test his hand at sculpture and other media he said he will always paint because it is where his heart is.

"There is no such thing as retirement," he said about his life as an artist.

"If it is something you love you'll do it for the rest of your life And if you can make it as an artist, there is no better job in the world."


Pagosa's Past

No Column this week


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April showers expected to dampen weekend

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Enjoy it while you can.

Partly-cloudy skies and what may prove to be the warmest temperatures of the year thus far are anticipated across Pagosa Country today and tomorrow.

However, according to the latest forecasts provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, good chances for valley rain and mountain snow will return for the weekend.

Today's forecast suggests daytime highs in the 60s, east winds at 10-15 mph and nighttime lows ranging from 25 to 35 degrees.

Friday calls for patchy clouds, highs again in the 60s, a slim chance for showers and lows in the 20s.

The forecasts for Saturday and Sunday predict mostly-cloudy skies, a 40-percent chance for scattered rain and snow showers, highs in the 50s and lows in the 20s.

A mix of sun and clouds, high temperatures climbing back into the 60s and lows in the 20s are forecast for Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday's outlook includes occasional clouds, highs in the mid-60s and lows in the mid-30s.

The average high temperature last week in Pagosa Springs was 44 degrees. The average low was 19. Moisture totals for the week amounted to zero.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains is "moderate" near and above timberline with pockets of "considerable" danger, and "low" with pockets of "moderate" below timberline.

According to SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin, as of Wednesday afternoon, was 156 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 April 7 is approximately 185 cubic feet per second.

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