April 14, 2005
Front Page

Grass fires hint danger here in rapid warmup

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

In a way, it doesn't make sense.

All the moisture experienced this winter and early spring in Pagosa Country ... and fires.

But it makes sense to firefighters from the Pagosa Fire Protection District. They responded to three wildland fires during the past week - two in Aspen Springs and one in Meadows.

Despite the moisture in the ground and the rapidly melting snows, each of the Aspen Springs fires ranged over approximately one acre. The Meadows blaze was considerably smaller.

The district was called April 7 to a wildland fire in Aspen Springs at the intersection of Bobwhite and Bluejay Lane. "A resident was burning cardboard without a burn permit," said district chief Warren Grams, "and the flames got into dry grass."

Crew members arrived shortly after 6 p.m. and, said the chief, "found trees were starting to burn. The flames had come right up to the house and were around the propane tank." The crew suppressed the fire before any further damage occurred and finished at the site at 8:30. Nineteen firefighters responded in five units. The property owner was cited for unlawful open burning.

A controlled burn got out of hand earlier in the day at a site on Harvard, in Meadows. "This was not of a significant size," said Grams. "The homeowner had done some burning and thought he had put the fire out. It kicked up again later when the wind blew and it was reported by neighbors."

The next day, 12 firefighters with six units sped to Aspen Springs Unit 6 to fight another wildland fire. It took approximately one hour to dampen that one-acre blaze. "The exact cause of the fire has not been determined," Grams said " but it appears that it was not a natural start - probably a human start. Fortunately the fire stayed in dry pine needles and dry leaves and we were able to deal with it quickly."

While all three fires were relatively minor, Grams said they point to the fact that grasses and some ground cover are still dry enough to burn, and they serve to remind residents living within fire district boundaries that they need a permit to do any kind of open burning.

"People definitely need to be careful when the wind comes up," said the chief. "And they need to take extra care to make sure any fire is completely out. Also, they must have a burn permit within district boundaries or they can be cited for a violation. Burn permits can be obtained for $5 at Station 1 on North Pagosa Boulevard."

Bid for added staff cites music as teaching tool

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"The Sound of Music" was missing, but the sound of dozens of Pagosans supporting expansion of the school district's music program more than made up for the lack of rhythm.

With Melinda Baum leading a presentation to the board of education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint Tuesday, the meeting room and an anteroom overflowed with those singing the praises of current staff and sounding a high note for program expansion.

And she got some perhaps unexpected harmony, but no promises, from members of the administration and the board.

Baum's statement was similar to her letter to the editor and short article in last week's SUN.

She noted the district has employed only three music teachers annually for the last 30 years while the student body has grown over 300 percent.

She followed the history of the program and the current teachers, outlining their class load, travel time from school to school, and ongoing problems in bringing music education in all phases to all those who want it.

Citing unflagging efforts of Lisa Hartley, Dave Krueger, and for the last four years Shawna Carosello, she called for addition of at least one more music teacher as a program enhancement, citing the effects realized last year after addition of Select Choir and Jazz Band.

But starting those programs, she said, came at a cost. Hartley had to give up the sixth-grade band and Carosello had to have seventh- and eighth-grade choirs combined into one.

That put 50 students in a classroom and Principal Chris Hinger expressed concern. He wants to see the junior high choir split again but current staffing won't permit it.

Baum said she's been told there are three options, without staff expansion:

(1) Delaying beginning band until sixth grade;

(2) Eliminating Jazz Band and Select Choir at the high school; and

(3) Have seventh-grade choir only half a year and eighth-grade choir only the other half year.

"Just like any subject," Baum said, "the basic building blocks of music need to be taught, nurtured and developed over time. Continuity and consistency are necessary for these programs to work. All of these options would reduce our 'minimal' music program as it stands today."

She said music lends itself to personal pride and as a result, better performance academically.

"I have witnessed students who struggle in the classroom, yet who have the ability to succeed, proudly show progress reports to Lisa Hartley, who consistently praises them for their education efforts."

She told the board she believes the music program teachers all are overworked.

Hoping for some action for the next school year, she closed her statement asking "How can we, the community, help make it happen?

Superintendent Duane Noggle told Baum and her supporters, "My problem is that I totally agree with everything she says."

Four years ago, Noggle said, "I was here to interview for this job and while here got to see the junior high school production of 'Annie Get Your Gun.' Last week I saw many of those same performers on stage in 'Beauty and the Beast.' My comment is 'Wow!'"

He told Baum and the audience, "Music is the heart and soul of any school. In my experience I've seen music motivate kids to come to school. Music enhances student achievement and enriches the lives of our students. And I am the first to acknowledge we have a field of three experts working with these students."

However, he said, the problem might be better likened to Economics 101: "Human needs are infinite; resources are finite."

He noted that four years ago a complete review of curriculum was launched (a new science curriculum, for example, was approved later in the meeting) and that music department needs are on the schedule for review next year and for program change implementation, if deemed possible, the following year.

"The music teachers all will be members of the review committee and will decide where the program is going and how it should get there," he said.

"I'm in agreement with the need," he said, "but I'm asking for time to go through the cycle. Like yourselves, I don't want to lose these valuable teachers because of overload. I agree 50 students in one class are too many. And if quality instruction is abridged by lack of attention, it becomes a wasted hour."

The whole question is also confused with mandates for Adequate Yearly Progress. "I'm afraid to add new staff and then have the state come in and tell us we've not made AYP in the classroom and therefore have to cut staff in non-classroom 'extras,'" Noggle said.

For example, he said, "We've been told by the state that we must bring up our mathematics scores. We have a new curriculum in place attempting to achieve that mandate.

"We all know that music helps the classroom laggard learn cadence and flow of language. It helps a young mind examine the meaning of notes and beat. It melds thought and performance," Noggle said.

That said, he added, "We cannot guarantee additional staffing now. We will look at the staffing patterns and all options."

Director Mike Haynes, board president, asked if there are grants available for music program expansion.

Hinger said he'd been approached by and has had discussions with several members of the community who have individually indicated they'd like to support the program needs.

"I see this as a possibly viable option," Hinger said, "and it could be the bridge we need in the two-year cycle until more music department staffing is planned.

"We need to pool our thoughts and resources and research it carefully," he said, then volunteered, "I'd be more than willing to take on the project."

And so, the music department backers earned verbal support, but no promises.

A number of letters in support of Baum's quest were also delivered to the board, most from students.

One, signed Jordyn Scott, which perhaps best exemplifies what music can mean said, in part:

"This year I did my first high school play, 'Beauty and the Beast,' and enjoyed every minute of it. The only thing I had trouble with was my fear of people hearing me sing.

"The whole entire time that I was practicing the songs I would be frantically asking the people around me if I was hitting my notes correctly. I know that if I had been involved in a music class before I probably would not have had such worries ... by opening night I was much more confident because of the help of the people involved in the program.

"They were able to help someone who never sang in public go on stage and sing in front of a multitude of strangers.

"I believe wholeheartedly that the music program in this district needs more support ... it is good now, but could be great."


Trio of escapees back in county jail

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It took less time to catch them than it did to get them back.

At the end of the day, April 6, three inmates who made their break from the Archuleta County Jail March 17 were again housed in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Their next destination is likely to be less hospitable than a rural county jail.

Cody J. Dutton, 19, Stephen Victor Crouse, 23, and Jonathon David Jackson, 19, escaped the Archuleta County Jail through the roof of a cell, made their way down an airshaft to a garage and exited the building.

The trio then allegedly stole several vehicles before fleeing the area.

Dutton made his way to the Denver area where he was taken into custody in Commerce City. He was returned to Archuleta County March 20. Crouse and Jackson made it to the U.S.-Canada border before they were arrested by the undersheriff of Daniels County.

When they were caught, Crouse and Jackson were discovered with items reportedly taken in two Wyoming burglaries. (A Wyoming district attorney is currently considering charges against Crouse and Jackson). The two were then taken to nearby Roosevelt County where they were housed in that county's jail.

Severe weather prevented transport of the two escapees back to Archuleta County until April 6.

According to Archuleta County Undersheriff Bob Grandchamp, two jail guards were flown at the first opportunity from Durango to Montana and they flew back with the prisoners the same day.

A bevy of charges awaited the returned inmates.

Each of the three is charged with felony escape, three counts of auto theft and three counts of burglary.

"There is a chance," said Grandchamp, "each is effectively looking at a 10- to 16-year sentence in a Department of Corrections facility."

All three defendants are currently represented by public defenders. Dutton has a preliminary hearing set for April 21. No court dates had been set for Crouse and Jackson as of press time.

 Inside The Sun

Sex Offender Registry - not the only tool to protect children

By Carmen Hubbs

Special to The SUN

Sexual assault organizations around the country strongly urge parents not to depend solely on sex offender registries to protect their children against sexual assault. An estimated 84 percent of sexual assaults are never reported, increasing the likelihood that many sex offenders roam amongst children undetected.

In 2003, the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to compile information for parents on how to talk to their children about protecting themselves against sexual assault.

The following are some of their suggestions:

- Identify private parts of the body to your children and tell them it is not acceptable for another person to touch their private parts inappropriately.

- Encourage your children to tell if someone touches them inappropriately or makes them feel uncomfortable, scared or threatened in any way. Tell your children to keep on telling until someone does something about it. Emphasize the importance of telling an adult. Reasons to tell are to get help for the child and to protect other children so that the abuser doesn't hurt anyone else.

- Tell your children not to keep secrets about touching or secrets that make them feel bad, no matter what the other person says.

- Tell your children not to go with anyone or to get into a vehicle with someone they don't know, even if the stranger seems nice, has something the child wants or if the stranger says she/he needs help. Let your children know that strangers shouldn't be asking children for help.

- Teach children easy-to-remember phrases, such as, "No, Go, Tell" or "If you don't know, don't go."

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Believe, Talk, Act! Believe when a child or adult tells you they've been abused. Talk to them and others to provide and seek support. Act - get involved in local efforts to end sexual violence by calling your state senators and representatives to support legislation that protects victims; educate yourself and your children to protect against sexual abuse; and get involved with the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program, helping with our Youth Violence Prevention Education Project, fund-raising or helping victims directly to lessen their trauma.

If you suspect any sexual abuse, seek assistance and support from the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program, law enforcement or someone you trust.

ACVAP provides free and confidential services to victims experiencing the trauma of sexual abuse. Call 264-9075 for more information.

Local Realtors donate $4,000 for housing aid

The Colorado Association of Realtors® Housing Opportunity Foundation (CARHOF) is donating $177,000 to 29 housing organizations in Colorado.

These grants will support homeless programs, crisis shelters, construction of affordable housing, down payment assistance programs and more.

"Once again, Colorado Realtors® have stepped up to the plate to provide housing opportunity for Colorado residents," said Voyd Butch Elich, foundation president. "Quite often we hear about the up side of the real estate market, but not all buyers have the resources to pursue home ownership. Often buyers are a few dollars from the American dream of owning a home, and we help create funds that make it happen.:

The Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors® donated $4,000 to Colorado Housing, Inc. and Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County. This money will help with construction of affordable housing in Archuleta County.

Brent Christians, local foundation chair, said "We, as Realtors®, are once again excited and proud to be able to give back to our community through this great program. These grants will make the dream of homeownership in Pagosa Springs a reality for worthy families who may have struggled with attaining this goal in the past."

The funding comes from fund-raising methods conducted by Realtor® volunteers including collecting interest on earnest money deposits, holding fund-raisers, and a seller down payment assistance program called Colorado Cares.

Only housing organizations are eligible for funding and they must be based in Colorado with a 501(c)3 status or be a public agency. Individuals should contact their local housing agencies for information about available assistance programs or your local Realtor® about the Colorado Cares program.

For more information about the foundation visit www.carhof.org.

Get out the rake, mow the lawn; great weather ahead

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Okay. You've procrastinated long enough.

We've heard all the excuses: Too cold, too windy, too wet.

But Mother Nature plans a big step into spring during the next week and you might as well join her.

You might even want to think about where the vegetables will go in the garden. But oldtimers say its still too early to plant most varieties. Look to Memorial Day weekend for good planting weather, they say.

The regional government weather bureau center in Grand Junction predicts an almost ideal seasonal week starting today.

You can rake the yard, clean out the shed, go to a ball game, and all without fear of freezing or being blown away.

And there isn't even a hint of precipitation down the line.

Today, forecasters say, will be mostly sunny with the first 70-plus degree reading of the year. It could reach 72 with winds from the south/southeast at 10-15 miles per hour.

The rest of the upcoming week is carbon copy except for the high temperatures which are expected in the mid to upper 60s through Tuesday.

Lows during the same period are expected in the low 30s, averaging out at the freezing mark - 32.

In the past week, high temperatures here have ranged from a peak of 64.8 April 7 to 41.3 Sunday, with no measurable precipitation. Lows in the same period ranged from 18.9 Monday to 28.8 April 8. With the exception of April 8 and 9, dominant windflow in the period has been north to south.

The signs of winter are still with us as the heat rises.

At Wolf Creek Ski Area, the season snowfall total reached 484 inches. As of Wednesday noon, the ski area summit depth was at 180, with 158 at the midpoint.

And streamflow in the San Juan River, which surged to just over 2,000 cubic feet per second April 8 at the Carracas measuring station, has settled back down but is still above average.

By April 8, the flow was at 800 cfs, but by noon Wednesday, it had climbed back to 1,270 cfs. Measurements in downtown Pagosa Springs are no longer available pending replacement of a gauge removed during river restoration work by the town.

Schools forced to forego part of one grant

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

School officials in Pagosa Springs made an unusual decision Tuesday - rejecting part of a special grant.

Actually, they rejected half of the first year of a $40,000 High School Social Responsibility grant because it required funds be spent in the balance of this year and Superintendent Duane Noggle felt the necessary uses could not require that much this year.

Involved was a discussion of a proposed supplemental budget as the result of an unexpected grant from Archuleta County Social Services.

Noggle said the grant accepted - $20,000 this year and $40,000 next year - will fund operation of The Bridge program, a day-treatment program in the intermediate and junior high schools.

He said he was contacted last fall by Erlinda Gonzales, social services director, who thought a new grant source might provide funding for the program dealing with students at risk of incarceration. She felt chances of getting the money were slim but said she would apply if the school district would support her in writing the grant.

Noggle agreed.

And the rest is now history. The two-year grant at $40,000 per year was approved and social services wanted to transfer it. But Noggle said the district could not justify accepting the full amount with such a short time left in this term.

Accepting the funds required adopting a supplemental budget to show money received and specified use. Next year's allotment will be applied to programs from fifth-grade through high school.

And Gonzales drew raves from the board for her diligent efforts to support local programs.

"She's always finding ways to get money which benefits our kids," said Noggle.

"She's on top of every possible line of support," added director Mike Haynes, board president.

The Bridge program practices skill building and seeks indicators of trouble socializing. In a comparison of student performance before and after involvement, attendance went from double-digit absences to few not excused; and all but one of the students surveyed recorded a higher GPA after participation.

In other action Tuesday the board:

- approved a seventh-grade outing of students and staff on an overnight trip to Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico May 11-13 with all camping overnight at a group site on the rim of the canyon;

- heard Noggle report school budget negotiations in the state legislature are through both houses and in a conference committee. It appears, he said, "that a basic increase of 23.4 percent plus 1 percent for inflation, will mean about $48,515 in additional revenge for the district next year, $30,000 short of meeting step increases which will be covered from reserves; and

- approved on second reading adoption of or amendment to several board policies, including self-evaluation, superintendent evaluation, goal setting and support staff salary incentives.


School-Within-A-School sets April 21 orientation

The Pagosa Springs School-Within-A-School will hold an orientation meeting 6 p.m. April 21 in the elementary school multi-purpose room.

Free child care will be provided in the adjacent cafeteria. Information will be provided about the program and parents will have an opportunity to enroll their children for the 2005-2006 school year.

Because class size is limited, anyone who is considering SWS is strongly encouraged to attend; enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis.

The SWS program exists within Pagosa's public school system at the elementary school and intermediate school. The program offers students and parents the opportunity to be more involved with curriculum while at the same time achieving state-mandated standards in all areas.

Because children are allowed to work at a more individual pace, there is room for a wide range of ability levels. The goal of SWS is to create a community of lifelong learners.

There is no cost to participate in the program, but parents must volunteer a minimum of six hours each month either in or outside the classroom. There are many ways to fulfill hours: plan and carry out a special classroom project; chaperone a field trip; teach a skill like a language, music or computers; or choose a regular time to be in the classroom to help with reading, writing and math.

Parents of SWS students say that, far from being a hardship, the hours spent being involved in their child's classroom promotes a stronger bond with their child and is one of the things they enjoy most about the program.

Teachers estimate there will be room for 10-12 first-graders and five each second- through sixth- graders next year. Once optimum class size is achieved, students will be placed on a waiting list for the program.

Interested parents are also encouraged to call the prospective teacher for their child's grade as soon as possible to set up a time to visit the classroom.

"We prefer to have parents come in before the end of the year while the classroom is functioning normally, as opposed the last couple weeks of school, when there are typically a lot of field trips and special activities packed into the schedule," said first-/second-grade teacher Debbie Reynolds.

To schedule an appointment to observe a SWS class, leave a voice message for one of the following teachers: Debbie Reynolds, first and second, 264-2229, Ext. 382; Morgan Anderson, third and fourth, 264-2229, Ext. 390; Heather Hunts, fifth and sixth, 264-2256, Ext. 450.


Citizens, planners consider future of downtown area

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Once again the citizens of Pagosa Springs and the town planning department have met with a mind to collaborate on the future of the downtown area.

Prompted by the Conceptual Downtown Master Plan, town planners hosted a public hearing April 7 to invite comment on what works, what doesn't and where we should go in the future.

About 40 people showed up for the second workshop of its type. However, this meeting focused strictly on the downtown core. Town staff came armed with worksheets and asked participants to list the outstanding features, challenges and opportunities that exist.

The small retail feel and the "walkable" nature of downtown were features deemed outstanding by many residents. Some even complimented the "eclectic" architecture of the area. Residents asked town planners to encourage the mixed-use nature of the downtown core to enhance the vibrancy of the area. The proximity to the river was mentioned and the low building height was noted as a positive feature as well.

Parking and traffic remain major burrs under the blanket of town planning. Some residents believe the downtown area is not pedestrian friendly, due to high vehicle speeds, icy or poorly maintained sidewalks and the lack of crosswalks on U.S. 160, especially between 1st and 3rd Streets.

To help the parking situation, residents suggested improved signage leading motorists to the lot next to Seeds of Learning and other off-street lots, and asked that better use of the many alleys in town be encouraged.

Other challenges mentioned were the difficulty bicyclists have safely traveling through town. A Frisbee golf course and an improved skate park were also mentioned as possible additions to the public sites in the downtown core.

Continuing to educate the population on the economic benefit of historic preservation and the process of the Conceptual Downtown Master Plan were also brought up as important aspects of town planning.

The meeting was not designed to implement solutions necessarily, but to air the concerns of residents and to brainstorm ideas for addressing them. Another such public work session will be held in May, but a date has not yet been set.

Our Savior Lutheran will join in St. Jude's Trike-A-Thon event

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., has announced that Our Savior Lutheran Preschool in Pagosa Springs will join hands with the hospital to conduct the "Bring A Bike Day" Trike-A-Thon.

This unique one-week event is scheduled to begin April 20 and will promote bicycle safety while raising money for childhood cancer research.

Lack of training is the most frequent contributing cause of bicycle accidents.

The Trike-A-Thon teaches riding safety tips using coloring sheets, stories and riding activities. Parents support the program by collecting tax-deductible donations to sponsor their child.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, and based in Memphis, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world.

No family ever pays for treatment not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fund-raising organization. For more information, please visit www.stjude.org.

If you are interested in receiving more information, contact Annette McInnis at 731-3512.

Humane Society gives back to community

By Frank Schiro

Special to The SUN

Slick was a lucky Labrador retriever. In fact, according to the story told by Humane Society of Pagosa Springs shelter manager Sheila Farmer, he enjoyed some "great and joyous lucky dog days."

Slick was truly one of the lucky ones, and unfortunately for Pagosa Spring's furry residents, it is a story that is often repeated by local Humane Society and Animal Control personnel.

Farmer participated as a storyteller at last Thursday's "An Evening of Storytelling" at Pagosa Springs Elementary School. She was one of 11 storytellers at the event. Stories covered virtually every topic imaginable. Farmer chose to share one she wrote herself, relating the tales of a wayward Labrador retriever named Slick. A story similar to ones she experiences every day as the animal shelter manager.

According to the story, Slick took advantage of an open gate to go exploring with some neighborhood friends. After some hair-raising and stinky adventures (a skunk was one of Slick's unfortunate encounters), Slick had the good fortune of being found by a kind and caring animal control officer. After a brief stay at the animal shelter, Slick was returned to his loving family of humans.

Farmer was excited to participate in the storytelling evening. Normally, the Humane Society is on the receiving end of public generosity. This time the tables were turned and the Humane Society was able to give something back to the community at this special occasion. With interactive help from some young volunteers and puppets Farmer artfully spun the story of the curious, but lucky Labrador.

Farmer has certainly seen her share of real-life Slicks. She started working for the animal shelter Dec. 26, 2001, as a front desk attendant. Later, she was promoted to assistant manager.

"Initially, I was promoted to assistant manger which gave me an opportunity to learn more about the other areas of the day to day operations," said Farmer.

Apparently, it worked out just fine. In 2004 Farmer became the manager of the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs shelter. During her time as a shelter employee she has seen many lost and unwanted animals receive care at the facility before they are returned to their families or placed in new, loving home. These animals, like Slick, enjoyed "great and joyous lucky dog (or cat) days".

Through Farmer's storytelling, hopefully more animals will continue to be as lucky as Slick and his real-life counterparts. The children and parents who heard the story can help in that effort.

After all, just like Slick, it may be as simple as making sure that the gate is closed and secured.


Ed Center class: Starting and running small business

By Renee Haywood

Special to The SUN

Would you like to be your own boss? Would you like to own a small business but don't know how to get started? Or, maybe you have a great idea for a business but don't know what to do with it.

The Archuleta County Education Center has the answer. The center is offering a class entitled "How to Start, Grow and Successfully Manage Your Own Small Business." This program is specifically created for people who are interested in owning their own businesses - but want to make sure they get the right start.

These classes will provide the chance to examine the many steps required to start, grow and successfully manage your own small business.

Rich Lindblad is the principal owner, manager and presenter of the "How to Start" seminars. He is a seasoned lecturer who holds an undergraduate degree in management science and a master's degree in business. Rich has spent over 15 years teaching students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, across the full spectrum of business studies.

Rich formed The Lindblad Group, LLC consulting firm in order to allow his knowledge of this subject to be shared. These classes are intended to provide a head start in the quest to become a successful small business owner.

Rich's goal is to create a foundation of understanding that will help a person decide if starting a new business - or acquiring an existing business - is right for them.

Classes begin Thursday, April 21, and continue each Thursday through May 5, 6-9 p.m. Cost is $50 plus a $5 annual registration fee.

If you are interested or would like more information contact the Education Center at 264-2835.


Southwest Land Alliance names executive director

By Nancy Cole

Special to The SUN

Michael Whiting joined the Southwest Land Alliance April 4 as its first full-time executive director.

He succeeds Linda Newberry who served in a part-time capacity and resigned recently to move to Bayfield. Newberry remains a member of the board of directors.

Whiting grew up in Coos Bay, Ore., attended the University of Utah and has been a Denver resident 14 years. He worked for the Colorado Environmental Coalition as development director for four years before joining the SLA.

"With this hire, the SLA is preparing to meet the increasing conservation requirements of our area," said Nancy Cole, SLA chairperson. "As the area grows and develops, we have a great opportunity to create a productive balance that can sustain the community into the future, by focusing on preserving the natural beauty and rural character that is driving this growth," Cole added.

"We are delighted to have found a person of Michael's experience and commitment. Pagosa Springs and the mountains were a big draw to Michael and his wife, Mely, an attorney. They will be great additions to our community." said Cole.

"This job and Pagosa are a perfect fit for us. Having spent my formative years outside the cities where I have, by necessity, worked and attended school, I have always wanted to return to a smaller town. Here there is still an opportunity to make some difference in how things turn out down the line, and to pursue and preserve the opportunities for the outdoor activities and landscapes we love," Whiting noted. "My wife and I are very excited about living in this wonderful place and working with land owners and other folks in the community."

The Southwest Land Alliance is an independent nonprofit conservation organization, established in Pagosa in 1981. Its primary work involves receiving conservation easements from landowners concerned to have the land protected in its natural state into the future. The SLA monitors the easements it holds and takes action when necessary to insure that the conservation wishes of the easements are protected in perpetuity.

The SLA office is at The Club on Lewis Street with mailing address P. O. Box 3417, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


DOW to stock 65 million fish this year

State hatcheries will stock more than 65 million fish this year, including 3.6 million "catchable" trout, 14.4 million sub-catchables and 46.8 million warm-water fingerlings.

Reflecting improved snowpacks and stream flows in many parts of the state, the stocking schedule calls for 400,000 more catchables and 1.5 million more sub-catchable trout than were planted last year. But the stocking of warm-water species is being reduced by 7.8 million because some plains reservoirs have yet to recover from prior low-water years.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture says Colorado waters are in their best shape since the spring of 2002. Snowpacks are above average in the San Juan, Rio Grande, Animas, Dolores, San Miguel, Gunnison and Arkansas River basins and at or near average in the Colorado River basin. The only areas with below average snowpacks are up north, in the Yampa-White River basin and North and South Platte River basins.

Water storage has also improved statewide compared to last year. But some reservoirs shrank so badly during the drought it will take them several years to make up their deficits.

Catchable trout are stocked mainly in lakes and reservoirs to provide a "put-and-take" fishery in waters with little or no natural reproduction. This includes urban ponds that can support trout in the spring and fall but not in the heat of summer.

Sub-catchables are stocked mainly in streams to restore native populations of cutthroat trout or buttress naturally reproducing populations of rainbow and brown trout that cannot hold their own against fishing pressure or whirling disease without help from hatcheries.

Warm-water species also need hatchery help to maintain viable populations for sport fishing. Popular hybrids such as wipers, a cross between white and striped bass, and saugeyes, walleyes crossed with saugers, cannot reproduce and must be stocked. Other warm-water species such as walleyes, bass, crappie and catfish can reproduce naturally but must be supplemented by hatchery fish to compensate for fluctuating reservoir levels, water temperatures and water quality.

Whether it's trout or bass, said Robin Knox, the DOW sportfishing coordinator, "all stocking decisions are made by biologists based on management requirements and water conditions." And warm-water fish, which are stocked as fingerlings or fry, have to be planted in much greater numbers than trout because they only have a 1-10 percent chance of surviving enough years to reach catchable size.

One exception last summer was the stocking of 4,000 channel catfish between 12 and 14 inches in size along the Front Range. This was designed to give anglers better odds of catching larger fish, since catfish grow fast in warm water. Knox said more large cats will be stocked again this summer to provide fishing opportunity.

Another vital component of the warm-water stocking program is the annual collection of walleye spawn by DOW biologists and volunteers at Cherry Creek, Chatfield and Pueblo Reservoirs. The eggs are collected not only to meet Colorado's stocking needs but also to provide a surplus for trades with other states. This year's goal is 75 to 80 million eggs which are used to produce both walleyes and saugeyes, created by fertilizing walleye eggs with sauger milt imported from Illinois and Kansas.

DOW biologists also report good progress in restoring three subspecies of cutthroat trout native to Colorado, once almost wiped out by competition and hybridization with non-native trout introduced to the state a century ago, drought and habitat destruction caused by human activities such as gold mining, logging and agriculture.

Cutthroat populations had dwindled dramatically before recovery efforts began in the 1970s. But the state now has 29 conservation populations of greenback cutthroats east of the Continental Divide, 76 conservation populations of Rio Grande cutts in the Rio Grande River basin and 171 conservation populations of Colorado River cutts. The development of broodstocks within the state's hatchery system is vital to the success of this program.

"We have made extraordinary progress," said DOW Senior Fish Biologist Sherman Hebein.

Fish and Wildlife boosting permit fees

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it is increasing permit application fees for the majority of permits the agency issues to help address the shortfall between program costs and fee collection.

The average fee will be increased to $50.

The new fee schedule, published in the April 11 Federal Register, becomes effective May 11.

The increase applies to all service permits except for application fees for permits for possession of eagle parts and feathers for Native American religious and cultural use and applications submitted by federal, tribal, state and local governments.

"Permits let people legally conduct wildlife-related activities that would not otherwise be allowed," said Matt Hogan, acting service director.

"Because the Service's ability to effectively provide these special services to our customers depends in part on user fees, the agency is raising the charge to help meet today's cost of doing business."

The Service's proposed fee increase was published in the August 26, 2003 Federal Register. At that time the agency proposed an increase in fees ranging from $50 to $300, based on a variety of factors, including:

- the level of complexity required to process the particular type of permit;

- whether the permittee would benefit commercially from the permit;

- whether the permitted activity serves the public interest.

Since 1982 when the $25 permit application fee was established, the Service's costs have risen in line with cost of living increases nationwide while the real dollar value of the $25 fee has decreased.

To access the final rule and fee schedule, visit http://permits.fws. gov/federalregister/federal register.shtml.

Free shade trees for joining Arbor Day Foundation

Ten free shade trees will be given to each person who joins The National Arbor Day Foundation this month as part of the nonprofit foundation's Trees for America program.

The free trees are red oak, sugar maple, weeping willow, green ash, thornless honeylocust, pin oak, river birch, tuliptree, silver maple and red maple.

"These trees were selected to provide shade and beauty, and a variety of forms, leaf shapes, and beautiful fall colors," said John Rosenow, foundation president.

Trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting this month or in May, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or will be replaced free of charge.

To become a member of the foundation and receive the trees, send a $10 contribution to Ten Free Shade Trees, National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Drive, Nebraska City, NE 68410 by April 30; or order on line at arborday.org.

High Country Reflections

No Column this week


Stop bashing

Dear Editor:

In his letter, "Remove doubt," March 31, Henry Silver has joined the several Dr. Jim Pruitt bashers.

Having ignored, or not believed, USJHSD Chairman Pam Hopkins in her letter, "Fisher closing," March 24, Silver accuses Dr. Pruitt of "negotiating with himself."

Hopkins stated that the motion to close Mary Fisher Medical Center April 1, 2005, "was made in regular session following an executive session held with all of the Pagosa Springs Family Medicine practitioners and the board. During the entire process, Dr. Pruitt, recognizing the potential for a conflict of interest, represented Family Medicine and recused himself from all board proceedings."

Silver contends that: "It seems clear that Dr. Pruitt, in his dual role, should provide a complete and frank description of his involvement in all discussions with the board pertaining to his private interests, including specifically what he personally stands to gain or lose as a result of any decision taken by this board at any time.

"Whether he recused himself from any particular proceedings is irrelevant.

"Dr. Pruitt and the members of this board need to provide full disclosure, correct any impropriety and clear the air."

That is ridiculous. The only impropriety in this issue is Silver's libelous statements based on his groundless inferences.

Dr. Pruitt is one of the most respected men in our community. He represented himself and his firm. The other members of the board represented the USJHD.

It is common practice for contract negotiations to be conducted in executive session. The negotiations being questioned failed to lead to a contract.

USJHD Secretary Richard W. Blide adds some history to this issue in his March 31 letter, "Sad for all": "Going back to May 2004, when six of the seven board members were elected, we started negotiations with Pagosa Family Medicine to see if they would become involved with us in setting up a new clinic. These discussions continued into the fall of the year. These talks were always friendly and the alienation of the local physicians by the previous board and management was completely dissipated.

"Unfortunately, these negotiations failed for only one reason: Family Medicine felt it was too risky a financial proposition for them to interact with Mary Fisher. We, the board, understood their decision and respected it."

Dr. Pruitt is a member of the USJHD board of directors because we elected him and five others to replace the board that had self-destructed. Dr. Pruitt got almost as many votes as the total of all six of the losing candidates (2,729-2,775). The average number of votes received by the winners is 2,553 and 463 for the losers, more than five to one. The lowest number of votes for a winner (2,404) compared to the highest for a loser (640) is nearly four to one. The winners got a total of 15,318 votes compared to 2,775 for the losers, 84.7 percent to 15.3 percent. Clearly the voting public favored Dr. Pruitt and the other five candidates it elected.

Earle Beasley


Fringe decisions

Dear Editor:

What's wrong with Evangelicals in politics Š nothing? However, lets look at a right-wing fringe evangelical making "faith based" decisions on geopolitical and economic issues recalling Ross Perot's marital measure for prospective employees, "If you lied to God how can I trust you!"

What does the president believe/do before and after taking his oath of office:

Personal - Well this so worn it's not worth repeating but it's truly sadly true, thankfully not worse, due to the intervention of Rev. Graham.

Oil - Now that Enron isn't doing our energy/environmental planning, we've directed Halliburton to rebuild Iraq on noncompete, non-budgeted funds. We also have recognized that all Mideast countries currently sell oil to both U.S. and China with two exceptions, Iraq to the U.S. and Iran to China.

Social Security - "Now that every penny of the Social Security trust fund has been embezzled and spent, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is calling for a 'real' Social Security lockbox," Every dime of the "baby boomer" surplus revenue was supposed to be invested in Treasury bonds.

"My budget protects all $2.6 trillion of the Social Security surplus for Social Security, and for Social Security alone." G. W. Bush, inauguration speech 2/27/2001.

A funding problem, yes, but not a crisis, requiring trillions of additional debt that doesn't solve the SS funding problem.

Global economics - National borrowing is the difference between what the U.S. spends and saves. Savings are a combination of private savings and government surpluses. Economists call this the current account balance. For the U.S. economy, the figure is now a startlingly large deficit of around 5 percent of U.S. gross national product and China's about to pass Japan as the holder of the vast majority of U.S. debt ... now that's a crisis!

Check out Tom Friedman's latest book "Flat Earth..." He supported the Iraq action but decries Bush's "back-to-the-past" destructive positioning of America against global competition.

See the linkage of U.S. borrowing, Bush's Social Security "crisis" requiring private savings accounts and lack of attention to global competition - while citizens are focused on "value" issues. Reminds me of Clinton's "wag-the-dog" tactics.

Fundamentally, to balance the U.S. budget, we've got to raise taxes and/or cheapen the dollar. To do the latter would drive China/EU into economic tailspins ... notice how the president is suddenly making nice with the China/Europe ... we've about run out of nations to buy our debt.

WMDs - Iraq had none, Pakistan our main war ally in Asia sold them around the world, N. Korea has several with delivery systems and Iran is developing them ... do we attack Iraq, threaten Iran, not even slap Pakistan's hand, act as if N. Korea was nonexistent and leave our borders/ports largely open?

What's wrong with an Evangelical in politics Š where strategic reason, rational logic, fiscal discipline, consistency, determining real threats and related goals are important? Nothing, providing he/she tells the truth, is not a fringe group and/or isn't at best just plain dumb.

Dave Blake

One at the show

Dear Editor:

Another great home show has come and gone but I am disturbed.

This year, the Builders Association offered a complimentary booth, retail value $350, to the Archuleta County Commissioners. Very generous on behalf of the Builders Association and certainly nothing wrong with that offer, but was it wrong for one commissioner to make a unilateral decision to accept that gift and then personally man the booth with the help of her husband, not a county employee?

Had the offer been discussed at an open meeting, the propriety of accepting a gift explored, and an affirmative vote taken, it would have negated any question of the issue.

Something just doesn't seem right here.

Pat Curtis

Hope for future

Dear Editor:

In Pagosa's changing times, I am happy to be a part of a community which seeks change. The great part of seeking a change here is that we found a water board willing to listen.

How great of PAWS to consider, and then initiate, a change such as stopping fluoridation. It gives me hope that opposition to "big box" has a chance. How many local merchants would our community be willing to see "out of business" over a Wal-Mart?

Spring break took us a along a southwest New Mexico route, where a pattern of several towns was a Wal-Mart Super Store on the perimeter of town and then a struggling downtown.

Would that happen in Pagosa? Would local merchants have to close and seek employment somewhere else? Oh my, I hope not at Wal-Mart!

As a town, we may forgo a large tax revenue, but would we take a stand and decide it is worth not having the dollars but keeping our individuality?

Do we all want to dress alike and have the same patio furniture? We could live like many other towns, and cheaper groceries are an enticement.

Shall we conform?

These are just the silly thoughts that run through my mind as "big box" and "super store" send panic through my veins!

Veronica Doctor

Use Papal energy

Dear Editor:

Over the past week we have memorialized the death and celebrated the life of Pope John Paul II.

He was a great and spiritual man who believed in the love of God and in the basic goodness of all people. The Pope spent 26 years preaching and witnessing to a gospel of global community, charity and economic justice. When the Pope spoke about life he spoke about our mutual need to care for one another and for our oneness with those next door and in other parts of the world.

Pope John Paul II traveled extensively, visited every country that would allow him to come, he reached out to youth, he met with and honored the leaders of other religions and he challenged world leaders and ordinary persons to work for community, charity and economic justice.

The best way that we can honor this great and holy man, who saw his mission as one to all the people of the world is to incorporate into our own lives some of his energy for community, charity and justice. This may mean reaching out to youth, working for the environment, questioning the consumerism and sexism that seems to permeate most of the world's cultures. The scripture is pretty clear about taking care of the widows, orphans and the poor. If we are pro life we need to be for all life via access to health care, education, affordable housing, viable social security, global food policy, social and economic justice, working for peace and understanding. Together we can make a difference.

More about Pope Paul and the Church's teaching on global community is available at the U.S. Web site at www.nccbuscc.org.

Raymond P. Finney

I believe ... or ...

Dear Editor:

After reading the floods of liberal letters over the past few weeks, I have decided that maybe I was wrong and the theory of the Democratic Party is right.

I believe that life is an important ideal that America was founded on, but think killing unborn children is necessary - I mean the world is overpopulated as it is and it is the only way to stop children having children.

I agree that playing loud music to try and get a terrorist to give us information is brutal and should be stopped.

I believe that liberating the Iraqi people was wrong, because, hey, we have enough problems over here and charity should begin at home!

I believe that it is absurd that religious freedom should be allowed - we are smart enough to know what is right and wrong on our own.

I believe that doctor assisted suicide is fine - I mean handicapped people don't want to live like that anyway and we should be able to "put them out of their misery" if we decide to.

I believe that same-sex marriage should be allowed, because people have a right to marry whoever they want. Promoting abstinence is wrong, it is a basic human right to have sex whenever and with whoever we choose - regardless of age. Hey, there are always antibiotics right?

I believe that we should boycott Bush's plan for Social Security. Why should we have to carry the next generation - they should save for their old age and if they don't, well, too bad. We only learn through our mistakes; they should too.

I believe that we should fight tooth and nail to protect the environment. Terrorists are less of a threat to our land than global warming after all, and animal rights should be the same as human rights.

I believe that No Child Left Behind is pointless. Parents are responsible for the kids they have, not us tax payers.

I believe that putting a mass murderer to death is cruel, we should reeducate them and let them out once they are repentant. We all make mistakes right, and who are we to judge?

Yup - the liberals have many good points.

Zach Mayne

Clinic a big loss

Dear Editor:

To me we took one giant step backward with the loss of the Mary Fisher Clinic.

When we moved to Pagosa Springs there was Pagosa Family Medicine and the Mary Fisher Clinic. You had a choice of where you wanted to go or you could go to both.

The Mary Fisher Clinic is a really nice professional facility, it was kept clean, the waiting room was quiet, the up front staff and medical staff very professional. It is my understanding that the bonds floated on the clinic are 501(C)3 - meaning non taxable or taxed at a lesser rate. Since it is no longer in operation will the citizens of Pagosa continue to pay for the bonds and will they be at a higher rate since the facility is no longer public?

This community continues to grow and many moving here are seniors, so it appears they will have to seek medical care in other communities due to the closure of the clinic as our current medical doctors can only handle so many patients.

So I for one was really disappointed at the loss of the clinic in such a time of growth.

Lili Pearson

Deserve praise

Dear Editor:

The directors, cast and support crew of the high school's production of "Beauty and the Beast" deserve the highest praise of the Pagosa community. Director Dale Morris' choreography was particularly outstanding and the matching of acting and singing talent with cast selection could not have been better. With such dancing and singing talent and direction, will we see "West Side Story" next year?

Danae Holloman's natural and pure voice, with great control of pitch and vibrato, should serve her in good stead as she pursues a theater arts career. While all deserve acclaim, Christine Morrison, James Abbott, Tim McAlister and Veronica Zeiler were audience favorites.

Michael DeWinter's costume and set designs were superb. Lisa Hartley, Melinda Baum and the orchestra were outstanding and deserve plaudits for their tireless preparation and excellent performance.

Barbara Witkowski

Roe v. Wade litmus

Dear Editor:

Many U.S. senators are threatening to filibuster upcoming judicial appointees or oppose them unless nominees promise to endorse Roe v. Wade. They insist on a pro-abortion litmus test. This violates the will of the vast majority of Americans who believe that an unlimited right to abortion is wrong (Sogby International, April 15-17, 2004.

The moral issue is quite clear since all life, especially innocent or helpless, deserves respect and protection constitutionally guaranteed by God's endowment as an inalienable right. The legal issue is also clear that Roe v. Wade is bad law. Legal scholars criticize the decision for inventing a "right" to abortion not found in the constitution.

Justice White: "Exercise of raw judicial power" (1973). John Ley: "Bad Constitutional law" and "bad decision" ('82 Yale Law Journal 920-49). Edward Lazarus: "borders on the indefensible ... one of the most intellectually suspect Constitutional decisions of the modern era" (FindLaw's Writ, Oct. 3, 2002). Benjamin Wittes: "Roe v. Wade has legitimacy problems stemming from its weakness as a legal option ... the right to abortion remains a highly debatable proposition both jurisprudentially and morally" (Atlantic Monthly, January-February, 2005, pp. 48 et seq.).

Since 1973, 40 million unborn and partially born children have been killed, and untold numbers of women have suffered severe harmful aftermaths of abortion including death and insanity. The practice of medicine has been degraded by those in the profession who participate in destroying life. Society as a whole has become coarsened by the toleration and acceptance of the widespread taking of human life.

In view of all this, it is imperative that we urge our senators not to sue support for Roe v. Wade or Doe v. Bolton as a litmus test for judicial nominees. Please write: The Honorable Wayne Allard, 7340 E. Caley Ave., Ste. 215, Englewood, CO 80111; and The Honorable Ken Salazar, 2300 15th St., Ste. 450, Denver CO 90202.

Teresa Watkins

Kate's Calendar

Kate's Calendar

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist


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.


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


The Newcomer Club's monthly meeting is 6 p.m. at JJ's Upstream. The club is open to all newcomers; attend meetings as often as you please. Reservations not necessary. Cost is $7 per person. Call Lyn DeLange at 731-2398 for mor information.

April 16

PALS (Pagosa Area Singles) will meet for breakfast at Victoria's Parlor at 9:30 a.m. All singles 40-plus are welcome. Please make reservations with Bonnie at 731-0676.

April 18

No school.

April 21

The Pagosa Springs Woman's Club will tour Bayfield Gardens. Lunch at the DoubleTree Restaurant in Durango will follow. Meet in the Radio Shack parking lot at 10 a.m. to carpool.

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.

April 30

Biannual clothing giveaway at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church on South Pagosa Boulevard next door to Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic. Hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Community News

New seniors' bus serves residents for just one dollar

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Looking for a way to get to the grocery store but aren't comfortable driving yourself?

Need to get out for a while and just enjoy the outdoors and converse with others your age?

For just a dollar you can do those things and more.

The new seniors' bus operated by the Senior Center from headquarters in the community center, is available to serve all area residents over 60.

Musetta Wollenweber, center director, said the bus is bigger (seats 18 instead of 15) but the main attractions are that it is wheelchair accessible (the old one wasn't) and it has stowage space for parcels, groceries, etc. which the old one did not.

And, there is a new driver, John Sjoblom, who is fast becoming the hit of the season for the regular riders,

The bus makes runs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, leaving the center at 9:45 a.m. and running a regular route which brings seniors to the center for lunch.

After lunch, riders can go to the post office, grocery store, doctor or dental appointments, or on whatever errands may be necessary.

"We regularly have people who need to stop at the pharmacy, at a hardware or a clothing store in addition to getting groceries," said Sjoblom.

"We serve those who no longer are able or want to drive, for whatever reason," he said.

"Now that we have it, we want to make sure people know about it and that more use it," Wollenweber added.

"We have several people who want to be picked up first," Sjoblom said, "so they can visit with each other and just enjoy a ride outside. For many its a chance to get out. Many live alone and are looking for a chance to talk to other people. Some have no errands to run, but just want to get out for the ride."

"This has been one of my favorite jobs," said the new driver. "It's the brightest light shining for me ... getting to see these people and getting them to open up with all their stories."

He told of one woman who steadfastly refused any of his offers of help with her parcels, or with getting on and off the bus.

"My grandfather would roll over in his grave if I didn't offer," he said. "He taught me to respect the elderly. They've been places, seen things and experienced life's hard knocks that we may never have to face."

Areas served by the bus include:

- Within town limits of Pagosa Springs, which encompasses the downtown area as well as the U.S. 160 corridor through town, west to the Pagosa Lakes area, ending at the town limit sign near Hog's Breath Restaurant;

- from the west town limit sign to a one-mile radius of the sign;

- Piedra Road, North and South Pagosa Boulevard up to two miles from U.S. 160; and

- U.S. 84 as far south as Continental Estates, deviating from the highway for up to one half mile.

"We're all here to serve the elderly of Archuleta County," said Wollenweber. "This is just another way for us to make life easier and more rewarding for them. And in so doing, we make it more rewarding for us, too."

If you'd like to have a bus pickup at or near your home, just call the center office at 264-2167 or stop in the office at the community center the next time you are at the senior center for lunch.

Catholic community sets renewal mission

In the wake of major events in Rome, the Catholic community here will renew its life of prayer and reflection with a three-day Parish Mission.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish will welcome a Franciscan retreat master April 25 for an evening mission focusing on "the incarnate gift of God's love through his Son, Jesus Christ."

The Rev. Paul Junict, OFM, will preach on "The Healing Presence of Jesus" 7 p.m. Monday, April 25, in the IHM church on Lewis Street.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, the mission topic is "Sharing Eucharist in the Upper Room." Wednesday, at 7 p.m., Father Junict's subject is "Called to Share the Good News."

A member of the Franciscan Province headquartered in Albuquerque, Father Junict serves as associate pastor at St. Peter's Church in Roswell and chaplain to the Poor Clare Community there.

Some creatures want reversed roles in 'Once Upon A Wolf'

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

In nature, some of the creatures are the eater, while others are the eatee. So it is with children's fairy tales.

However, in the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters' production of "Once Upon a Wolf," some of these creatures want to reverse roles and personalities, with unexpected plot twists and turns.

These "fractured fairy tales" make for a wonderfully madcap evening for the whole family.

Director Michael DeWinter is ably assisted by director's apprentice Randi Andersen and assistant to the director Rachel Jensen. The outstanding cast of people, animals and combinations thereof includes Don Ford, Candy Flaming, Rita Jensen, Roger Jensen, Honor Nash-Putnam, Becca Stephens and Sally Yates.

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

Three performances of "Once Upon a Wolf" will be presented Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 21, 22 and 23, 7:30 p.m. each night at the Parish Hall of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs.

Non-reserved seat tickets may be purchased at the Plaid Pony or at the door. Ticket prices range from $12 for adults to $10 for seniors over 60, and $6 for students and children.

For additional information, call DeWinter at 731-5262.

Folk fest early bird prices end tomorrow

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

The tenth annual Four Corners Folk Festival will be held Sept. 2-4 on Reservoir Hill and features a talented array of nationally and internationally known musicians. Friday, April 15, will be the last day to purchase tickets for the event at early bird prices.

The Del McCoury Band, widely regarded as the best bluegrass band in the nation, will make its debut appearance at the festival, closing the show Sunday evening. Returning favorites this year include Eddie From Ohio, Drew Emmitt, Darrell Scott, The Bills, Ruthie Foster, the Marc Atkinson Trio and the Pagosa Hot Strings. Darol Anger returns with a new configuration, The Republic of Strings; and Mollie O'Brien will make her second festival appearance, this time with her own soulful band backing up her powerful vocals.

A couple of talented newcomers on the national acoustic music scene promise to add excitement to the lineup. Crooked Still, an innovative quartet, includes several graduates from the Berklee School of Music. Old School Freight Train has been together just a short time but has already been booked at several major music festivals across the country. Broke Mountain Bluegrass is a regional band that won the 2003 Best Band competition at the prestigious Rockygrass Festival in Lyons, Colo. Watch for a couple more acts to be announced at a later date.

In addition to the eclectic offering of terrific music on two stages, the festival also features a children's program with magic, music and arts and crafts; music workshops for all abilities; on-site camping and food and merchandise vendors.

Children 12 and under are admitted free to the event. Tickets are available locally at Moonlight Books with cash or check, or with a credit card by calling 731-5582. Additional information and online ticketing is also available at the festival website, www.folkwest.com .

After April 15 advance pricing will take effect.


Grandparenting - from a distance

By Kenneth R. Tremblay, Jr.

CSU Cooperative Extension Housing Specialist

Special to The PREVIEW

Being separated from a grandchild by a significant geographical distance can make being an involved grandparent difficult.

As a result of moves by both grandparents and parents, and later by the grandchildren themselves, long distances increasingly separate grandparents and their grandchildren. Two problems that emerge are the scarcity of one-on-one time and the inability to be part of the grandchild's daily life.

No matter how far a grandparent and grandchild live from one another, three things can help to develop and maintain a strong relationship:

- First, the time the grandparent spends alone with a grandchild becomes very special and is often remembered for a long period of time.

- Second, most parents want and will encourage a close bond between their own parents and child.

- Third, technological advances make it easier than ever to stay in contact with grandchildren.

According to the Foundation for Grandparents (www.grandparent ing.org) and the AARP (www.aarp .org/life/grandparents), several strategies can help to develop and maintain good relationships with grandchildren from a distance:

- Set up a family meeting with children and grandchildren in person or by telephone to identify the potential problems of being geographically apart. Develop a tentative schedule for phone calls and e-mails to ensure regular contact.

- Devise a plan to be together in person as much as is feasible.

- Dedicate some financial resources to support the plan. For example, parents might pay for the grandparents airfare to visit the grandchild. The grandparent might save money to have a grandchild come for a week or two during summer vacation.

- Allow for as much personal grandparent-grandchild time as possible.

Keeping regular contact and selecting age-appropriate communication techniques is perhaps the key to a strong grandparent-grandchild relationship. Some ideas are:

- Call regularly (ideally at a scheduled time) as it is important for both grandparent and grandchild to hear a live voice. Provide a calling card for grandchildren to call.

- Share pictures through the mail or use e-mail to send digital pictures. Give a grandchild an inexpensive digital camera for their birthday. If you are not technologically comfortable, take a community class. Using technology will most likely impress a grandchild.

- Send a picture with a frame that holds a taped message (these frames have recently become available).

- Exchange videotapes or CD-ROMs of each other, especially of the grandchild doing fun activities such as sports or school plays. Tell a story or share some family history using a videotape. Send a packaged set of videotapes or CD-ROMs to the grandchild to encourage their use.

- Audiotape or write your stories to share.

- Write and send cards, letters, and notes either through normal mail or e-mail. Even with e-mail, it is still nice to use old technology and periodically send a special card with a note.

- Keep up with a grandchild's changing interests. This shows support and understanding.

- Send small, inexpensive gifts of favorite things, like home-made cookies.

- Try to be present for important events such as a significant family holiday or graduation. Discuss with the parents the best times to schedule such a visit. Tape these events and give a copy to the grandchild.

It is possible to have a close attachment with a grandchild who lives far away, although it does take some effort, creativity and active involvement from the parents. Both grandparents and grandchildren will benefit from the effort.

Additional Web sites with useful suggestions are www.grandloving. com, www.grandparentworld .com, www.grandtimes.com/ and the Grandparents Resource Center at http://grc4usa.org.


Pagosan featured in Fort Lewis organic gardening program

In honor of Earth Day 2005, professional organic gardener Suzanne Matthiessen will present a workshop on organic gardening basics 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 23, in the Education Business Hall Room 55 at Fort Lewis College.

The class, "Organic Gardening in Southwest Colorado: Principles and Practices," will discuss the philosophies behind sustainable, organic home gardening, why it is important for the environment and human health, as well as offer useful information on specifics for our region, including:

- how to treat soil as a living organism;

- water-wise, high altitude plant selection;

- drip irrigation systems;

- alternatives to lawns;

- optimal use of space;

- implementing Integrated Pest Management practices;

- incorporating compost, non-toxic fertilizers, mulches and gardening allies;

- suppliers and sources — and much more.

Matthiessen, of Pagosa Springs, began gardening organically 30 years ago on a small farm in Tennessee, and has grown flowers, herbs and vegetables with earth-friendly, sustainable methods in several states and in a variety of conditions and terrain. She obtained her Master Gardener certificate from the University of Illinois Extension program in 2000 and provides organic garden design, installation and care services for both residential and commercial clients. Suzanne also hosts her own "green lifestyle" Web site at earthwiseliving.com.

Cost for the workshop is $55.

Registration is available over the phone, in person or by mail. Call the Fort Lewis Extended Studies office at 247-7385 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays for more information.


Greg Coffey's not your typical watercolorist

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

At this time of year, most Pagosans yearn for any sign of green. Staring at the still bare Aspen trees and mentally willing them to bud is not an unusual pastime.

Watercolorist Greg Coffey seems to understand this. One look at his painting entitled "Red Curtains in Spring" can prompt a huge sigh of relief.

The painting's baby green buds on the aspen trees and the chartreuse shoots of grass peeking from the ground, remind us that there are other colors on God's palette besides beige and white. Red curtains in a nearby cabin provide enough contrast to make the green that much better.

Coffey, a self-taught watercolor artist, who grew up in Durango and moved to Pagosa three years ago, does not paint like a typical watercolorist. Often watercolor paintings have a dreamy, soft, watery effect and while some elements of Coffey's paintings feature that style, most of his work is what he calls "tight."

"Sometimes people think they are oil or acrylic because they are tight and not soft and smooth," Coffey said.

For example, his most recent work is a painting of an engorged, springtime Treasure Falls. The trees and rocks are not at all ethereal, every crevice in the rock and every pine needle in the dense forest below pops off the page. However, in Coffey's mind the work is not yet complete, as he wants more power in the water as it hurtles off the falls. His plan is to walk away from it for a few weeks and let his mind work on the waterfall on its own. The painting has already taken him 28 hours.

"I want to capture that intensity," said Coffey who grew up sketching with pen and ink, a medium in which he still dabbles.

Like many local artists, Coffey works out of his garage. Tidy mustard jars hold watercolor pencils and brushes of all shape and size. Unlike some painters, Coffey does not paint in plein air - or outside. He photographs his site with his own camera and will often project the image onto the canvas. Other times, a painting will come straight out of his head. He said, either way, the work is completely his own.

What's interesting about Coffey's watercolor work is this: he rarely uses white in his work. That's hard to believe looking at his paintings of wolves howling in the mountains on a winter night, but Coffey said that is why watercolor is such a challenging medium.

"It's a transparent medium." Coffey said. "It's the opposite of oil and acrylic."

Fine watercolor paper is luminous. Coffey said the life in watercolor comes from light permeating the paint and reflecting on the paper beneath. Therefore, a successful watercolor artist has to be subtle and plan ahead building what is basically negative space into the piece. Otherwise, Coffey said, the painting will just look muddy.

Scraping away the paint with a penknife is another favorite technique of Coffey's. He said when painting water, the penknife will ruffle the paper underneath and splash "sunlight" all over water.

Coffey's work is comforting in the same way seeing your grandmother on Sunday morning at church is. He paints nature at its most exceptional, but his images are familiar and warm as only paintings of one's beloved home can be.

One painting called "Deer's Ears" features the old barns that sit at the Twin Bridges in Bayfield. On a late summer day, with the cottonwoods already turning, a lone doe rests in the shade of the barn. It's easy to get caught up in the fine, old barn or the gold and shadows of the giant trees, but the star of the painting really is the little deer napping in the shade.

Another painting features the old water tower at Pagosa Junction. In it you'd swear the gray clouds that billow in the distance is actually smoke from the Old San Juan Express haunting the edge of the painting, waiting for just one more run.

Coffey paints about every other day and plans to travel to a number of fine art shows this summer. An exhibition of his work can be seen right now at the Bayfield Public Library.

To see Coffey's work on-line visit www.GregCoffeyArts.com

St. Patrick's seeks donations, volunteers for clothing giveaway

It's spring again: Time to clean out the closet and try on those summer clothes.

St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, in cooperation with the Pagosa Outreach Committee and other service organizations, will be giving clothes away Saturday, April 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

St. Patrick's is currently accepting all clean, usable, gently-worn clothing, linens, bedding items, children's clothes, shoes and accessories. Please provide clothes on hangers if possible. Children's clothes are always needed.

Anyone wishing to donate clothing but unable to deliver it to the church can call 731-5801 to arrange for pick-up. St. Patrick's Episcopal Church is located at 225 South Pagosa Blvd., just south of Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic.

Everyone is welcome to come and get free clothing April 30.

Volunteers are needed to unpack and arrange clothing Wednesday through Friday prior to the give-away. Please choose a time and sign the volunteer sheet in the narthex at the church.


Babysitting workshops start Friday at Ed Center

The Archuleta County Education Center is offering a Babysitter's Workshop Friday afternoons, beginning tomorrow, April 15, at 1:30 p.m. The workshops will cover essential training for anyone entrusted with the care of babies and children and will include home safety, first aid and CPR. Tuition and materials for this three-week course are $18. Call 264-2835 for information and registration.


Solar power session set at Ed Center

Are you interested in a natural way to power your home or ranch?

The Archuleta County Education Center will host a one-day workshop on solar electricity 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at the center.

David Conrad, of Millenium Renewables, will teach the basics of solar electricity and how to design a solar powered system. The class is free, however, there is a $5 annual registration fee required.

If you are interested in taking classes offered at the Education Center call 264-2835 or stop by the office at 4th & Lewis streets.


Chalice Lighters Program topic for Unitarians

Ilene Haykus will lead a discussion Sunday on the benefits of the Chalice Lighter's Program to the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

This is a program wherein members of UU churches and fellowships within the Mountain Desert District volunteer to contribute to the growth processes of other fellowships in the district.

In 2005, as a recipient of this Mountain Desert District grant, The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship hopes to use the funds to reduce the mortgage on its Hall as well as assist in achieving other long-range goals. The discussion will explore the most effective ways of utilizing this grant.

A potluck lunch will follow the 10:30 a.m. program and all are welcome.

The Fellowship's new permanent home is Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.


Local Chatter

Beauty and the Beast' launches a review of Pagosa's theater scene

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Lines of Pagosans were cut off twice last weekend at Pagosa Springs High School performances of "Beauty and the Beast."

I was there Saturday night and was about up to the ticket sales desk when the cutoff came. Michael DeWinter, one of those scurrying around and setting up chairs in the aisles, found us seats.

The overflowing audience - one far beyond the performers' families and friends (partly due to the show's wide popularity) cheered.

This musical extravaganza had 127 costumes, voices like angels, dancing divine, production outstanding, and a massive focus of heart, mind, hands and community love.

This week's column is a glorious review of the show and a kickoff for a series on the Pagosa Springs music and theater scene. It's absolutely uncanny!

It's all organized into groups such as the Pretenders Family Theatre, the Pagosa Springs Choral Society, the Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale, Whistle Pig House Concert and the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters. And then there are the Reading Society and Ensemble (ARSE), the Five C's Productions, Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus, Paula and Carla Roberts, the high school music and drama units and many more small groups.

For the first in the series, I look forward to profiling the Music Boosters "leadership in directing, choreography, vocal training, scenery, costumes and technical art."

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters began in 1991 with a board of directors composed of Jo Ann Laird, Bob Enfield (now deceased), Nancy Meade, Lisa Hartley and Jean Hageman. This legacy was established under the multi-talented Joan Hageman.

This legacy is now being forwarded to blazing heights. The cadre of leaders for the past few years of brilliant shows might be narrowed down to Dale Morris, Lisa Hartley, Melinda Baum, Kathy Isberg, Scott Farnham and Michael DeWinter. I'm subject to be reminded of others.

Commenting on stage after the audience settled down from its standing ovations for "Beauty and the Beast," Dale Morris, our choreographer, said how one day her talented son, Jesse (Gaston in the last show), suggested she come to school to help with some steps for the show. That was the way she became an intricate part of the past performances. I wanted to hear more, so next week Dale Morris will be Local Chatter's guest.

Around town

On April 21, 22 and 23, the Music Boosters will present Step deFerie's "Once Upon a Wolf" at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. Prices are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $6 for children 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the Plaid Pony or at the door.

Fun on the run ...

Visiting the men's room during intermission at the theatre, the man had to smile at what was written on the stall ...

"My wife follows me everywhere."

Written just below was, "I do not."

Education News

Thanks to sponsors, benefactors

for Make a Difference Luncheon

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

Live your life with passion! You can make a difference in the lives of children and adults in Pagosa Springs.

This was the theme of the recent Archuleta County Education Center's Making A Difference 2005 Luncheon held April 6 in the First Baptist Church.

We would particularly like to thank all of our table captains for their willingness to sponsor a table and ensure the success of our annual event: Marion Francis, J.R. Ford, John Graves, Jeff Laydon, Lora Laydon, Bob Lynch, Mamie Lynch, Curtis Miller, Pagosa Springs Rotary, Jann Pitcher, Glenn Raby, Malcolm Rodger, Lisa Scott, Cynthia Sharp, Terry Smith and Sherry Waner.

A big "thank you" is extended to all 33 of our 2005 Luncheon Sponsors who helped support our event; we couldn't have done it without you - Jack and Katy Threet, David and Carol Brown, Jack Rosenbaum, Citizens Bank of Pagosa Springs, Edward Jones, KWUF, Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors, The Pagosa Springs SUN, Wells Fargo Bank, Appraisal Services, Bank of Colorado, Bank of the San Juans, DeClark Granite and Fabrication, Elk Meadows River Resort, First Southwest Bank, Frankie's Place, Hart Construction Corp., Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat, Home Again, Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, Jim Smith Realty, Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service, Rio Grande Savings and Loan Association, San Juan Veterinary Hospital , Wolf Creek Rod Works, Great Divide Title, Harmony Works Juice Bar, Jafra Cosmetics, Lantern Dancer Gifts, Log Park Trading Company, McDonalds, Sky Ute Casino and The Tile Store,

The Archuleta County Education Center would also like to say "thank you" to everyone who purchased tickets and attended our luncheon. When you support the Education Center you support a family of important educational programs in our community.

Please contact the Archuleta County Education Center at 264-2935 for additional information on any of our programs. Or stop by our office at 4th and Lewis streets.


Community Center News

Today is last day for AARP Tax Aid

By Mercy E. Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

Today is the last day to get help from the AARP Tax Aid program and tomorrow, April 15, is last day to file your taxes. The volunteers can still help you submit a hard copy of your tax forms. There will be no electronic filling today.

Many thanks to Teresa Huft, Bob Henley, Jim Carson, Jo Carole and Tim Bristow for all their help, dedication and hard work. These volunteers have helped 91 individuals; 51 of these individuals' tax returns were submitted electronically and have been approved. Kudos to all of you.

You have one week to get ready for the rummage sale or plan to come to support and enjoy this event. The center is sponsoring a Spring Rummage Sale 3-6 p.m. April 22 and 7:30 a.m.-noon April 23 and will be selling doughnuts, sopapillas, Navajo tacos, and beverages both hot and cold. Fourteen 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 selling stuff you don't need or want while providing others with useful items. Call 264-4152, Ext. 21 to reserve your spot.

The second annual Post Prom Party is coming May 1 - 1-5 a.m. Yes, 1-5 a.m. The community center, under the Teen Center program, is sponsoring this event. The purpose is to keep our youth safe while having lots of fun.

A committee of parents headed by Lynn Johnson has been working hard since January preparing and raising funds for this important event. Other committee members are: Mercy Korsgren, Joanne Irons, Terri Matzdorf, Angie Dahm, Brenda Wagner and Heidi Emmanuel.

The Post Prom Party is open to all 2005 prom attendees, as well as all PSHS juniors or seniors who may not want to attend the prom but want to attend the Post Prom Party. Last year's party was a great success and the committee decided to make this an annual tradition.

The party will start immediately after the prom and will be held in the multipurpose room. An attendee will be signed in and if he/she signs out and leaves, he/she will not be allowed to return and will lose the opportunity to win fabulous, cool prizes like a portable DVD player, an MP3 player, rafting and kayaking trips, etc. A laptop computer will be given away at 5 a.m. as the grand prize. There will be giant inflatables, casino-type games, a "Pagosa Idol" singing contest, a hypnotist and many more events. Of course, there will be food and beverages throughout the night. Parents and other volunteers will be available during the event. It is hard for the "not too young" like myself to stay awake during the party but it is so much fun and it is for a very good cause. We are trying to save lives with this program.

This event is a big undertaking and we would like to invite businesses and individuals to participate and support this project with a tax-deductible contribution. All funds collected will be used solely for this event. Thanks to all those who already sent in their donations. For more information, call Lynn, 731-5386; Mercy, 264-4152 or any of the committee members mentioned above.

New program

Building Blocks 4 Health, a new program sponsored by the center, is basically a health support group for all who want to stay fit and healthy. The group meets 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Thursday, and starts with a confidential weigh-in of each member followed by a 30-minute exercise program. As weather permits, a walk around the block is being planned. The exercise program is followed by a group discussion headed by one of the members. Periodically, the group will have special guest speakers.

Building Blocks 4 Health provides the support, encouragement and educational opportunities you need to make healthy, permanent life-style changes. This is also a time for you to share the successful health changes that have helped you achieve a healthy body and healthy weight loss. From this come fellowship, sharing and ideas on how to do better. Members will extend the reassuring hand of friendship at each meeting and throughout the week. Regular attendance will keep your spirits high, whether you're having a hard time or enjoying progress.

There is a $5 membership fee per month which will be used to help defray cost of materials needed for the program. We are now raising money to purchase a medical weighing scale. Also, there will be a charge of 25 cents per pound gained each week and 10 cents per week per member will be collected for later distribution to the most successful health achiever for the month. Consider joining today and experience a successful Building Blocks 4 Health. Call me at 264-4152 or Kathee Ferris, 264-6209

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

Previous highlights

The "Growing Up Smart" class talked about how to identify healthy and wealthy relationships. The class was divided into small groups where youth participants listed the qualities of good and bad relationships then presented these to the larger group. This program is fun and answers questions about growing up and understanding yourself, your body and those around you.

The 4-H Clover Buds class was fun to watch. Everyone was busy working on their sea garden pieces made from small driftwood pieces, shells, artificial plants and a dried-green weed-like organisms. A group of kids in one corner painted a chair for the forthcoming Relay for Life chair auction fund-raiser. This week's project was a contrast to last week's - they were all quiet and serious with their work while last week they were noisy producing their handmade dolphins and seals. I wonder if Lisa intentionally plans it this way to give the center and herself a little break.

Activities this week:

Today - AARP Tax Aid, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; oil painting class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; tee-ball games, 4:30-8:30 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.; School- Within-a-School daycare program, 6-9 p.m.

Friday - Oil painting class, 9 a.m-3 p.m.; men's open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; Planned Parenthood, 1:45-4:45 p.m.;

Saturday, April 16 - Chimney Rock open house, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sunday, April 17 - 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 18 - Seniors' bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.

Tuesday, April 19 - High school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Chimney Rock volunteer training, 9:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; seniors' computer class with Becky, 10 a.m.-noon; computer tutoring with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; tee-ball games, 4:30-8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 20 - 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. Church of Christ Bible Study, 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, April 21 - High school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Chimney Rock volunteer training, 9:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Soup for the Soul - Hospice meeting, noon-1 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5 p.m.; tee-ball games, 4:30-8:30 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

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

The center is a non-profit 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 group.

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

Older Americans are prime telemarketing fraud targets

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

As always, the kidlets from Seeds of Learning were adorable when they visited us April 5. They entertained us with a few fun songs and shared hugs with us before they left. If you haven't had your fill of little ones lately then be sure to join us the first Tuesday of every month just before noon.

The same day we viewed a DVD we received through the postal service regarding marketing fraud and were reminded of the following information: When you receive a call from a telemarketer, remember that you have the right to remain silent and he/she is hoping you don't! Telemarketing fraud costs Americans millions of dollars every year. When it comes to phony investment "opportunities," older Americans are prime targets. Protect yourself by taking the time to make a decision, don't rush into accepting these "high profit, low risk" offers. Get all information in writing before you consider investing. Put your number on the Colorado No Call list at (888) 249-9097 and the National No Call Registry at (877) 987-3728 or give us a call at the Den, 264-2167, and we'll be happy to add your number to the lists.

Yoga and Qi Gong

Our yoga and Qi Gong classes continue to grow. Check out this great and simple way to stay fit and limber. Yoga class is every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and Qi Gong every Friday at 10 a.m.

Free movie day

It's free movie and popcorn day at the Den Friday, April 15. We'll be showing "Fried Green Tomatoes" at 1 p.m. in the lounge. This film centers around the lives of four women: Ninny recounts to Evelyn the lives of Idgie and Ruth who ran the Whistle Stop Café. Over the passing weeks Evelyn, through listening to Ninny's stories, has the courage to face up to what is wrong with her life.

Senior board meeting

Our senior board meeting has been moved to 1 p.m. April 15 in the Den dining room. Come hear what your local council is doing for you. Do you have suggestions? Be here at the meeting!


Memories, memories, memories! How about wrapping them all up and giving this wonderful gift idea to family members and friends?

A photo album just shows the photos, but a scrapbook tells the story. A scrapbook can contain photos, mementos, notes about an event and by the page's look and feel, it can depict a mood!

Come on in for a fun workshop and learn how to create your own special scrapbook 1 p.m. Monday, April 18 in the lounge.

Sky Ute Casino trip

The Sky Ute Casino van will be here 1 p.m. Tuesday to pick up all you folks looking for fun at the casino. Transportation is always free and they have goodies for you when you arrive. Join us for lunch (enjoy our new salad bar) then all aboard for the casino. Seating is limited, so call for reservations.

'Bears' listening

We are pleased to have Mike Reid from the Division of Wildlife here Friday, April 22, to talk to us about bears. They are out and moving now, so we need to know how to keep them out of our garbage. Come hear everything you wanted to know about bears in the lounge. OK, the bears aren't in the lounge, but the presentation is at 1 p.m.

Nutrition Tip: Instead of grabbing a snack, try a glass of water. Sometimes we misread our own body signs and mistake hunger for thirst. Drinking water helps to maintain your energy level and reduce fatigue. It may even decrease your appetite. Bored of water? Add a few slices of lemon or lime to your pitcher, or add cucumber slices for a refreshing change. Drink up.

End of life decisions

Melanie Kelley, local attorney, will give a presentation on advanced medical directives 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 in the Senior Center. She will cover items such as living wills, medical powers of attorney and other documents a person might want to have as part of their estate planning. In planning your living will, you will have the opportunity to make decisions about your personal, emotional and spiritual needs as well as your medical wishes. You may choose the person you want to make health care decisions for you if you are not able to make them for yourself.

Melanie has practiced law in Colorado for over 15 years and is donating her time for those who might have questions or need assistance in this area. Please plan to attend.

Senior Prom

You've been looking forward to this and here it is Š

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. is once again sponsoring Senior Prom, no not the high school prom, the "Senior" Prom. If you are in the mood to grab your purdy clothes then do so, or join us in your duds. Either way, be ready for an afternoon filled with great music courtesy of John Graves and his band and get out those dancing shoes too. The prom will be 3-6 p.m. Sunday, May 1 at the high school. Advanced tickets are required and may be purchased at the Den for $5. Included in the ticket price is either a boutonniere or corsage, snacks and a photo. What a fun way to spend May Day and we'll crown the King and Queen to make it even more special.

Massage 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 info please call Musetta at 264-2167.

Activities at a glance

Friday, April 22 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; free movie and popcorn, "Fried Green Tomatoes," 1 p.m.

Monday, April 18 - Medicare and Drug Card counseling, 11 a.m.-1p.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m. all levels welcome; scrapbooking 1 p.m.

Tuesday, April 19 - Yoga in Motion, 9:30 a.m.; basic computer instruction, 10:30 a.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, April 20 - Blood pressure checkup, 11 a.m.-noon; canasta, all levels welcome, 1 p.m.

Thursday, April 21 - Arboles meal day, call for menu and reservations.

Friday, April 22 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; Division of Wildlife presentation on bear,s 1 p.m.


Salad bar everyday.

Friday, April 15 - Baked potato with BBQ beef, green beans, whole wheat roll and apricots.

Monday, April 18 - Pasta seafood salad with veggies, muffin and orange wedges.

Tuesday, April 19 - Spanish meatballs, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, whole wheat roll and peaches.

Wednesday, April 20 - Baked chicken, parsley potatoes with cream gravy, asparagus, whole wheat roll and mixed fruit.

Friday, April 22 - Beef stew with veggies, cornbread and peach crisp.

Veteran's Corner

Stay up to date for health care

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

Lately I have noticed quite a few veterans calling me or stopping to discuss urgent VA Health Care for a medical problem or some very expensive prescription drugs they need.

Most have been veterans I have known or seen in my office for several years. Some even call from far-away places, suddenly needing urgent assistance for VA health care.

No updates

When I check their files I frequently find I enrolled them in VA health care several years ago, haven't seen them since and haven't done any updates on them. When I ask them about the last time they had an appointment with the VA, they often reply either several years ago, or maybe even never. Their file shows they obviously haven't done a Means Test for the VA either. The common response is "What is that?"

Didn't need it?

The reason: they didn't need it till now. Now all of a sudden a doctor has prescribed some very expensive drug, or the veteran has developed a serious illness or medical condition. And they don't have any medical insurance or prescription drug benefit. So now they need the VA to come to the rescue.

Why am I telling you this? Because in every interview and enrollment I do for a veteran I always clearly tell him or her to make his or her first appointment with the VA doctor and then go back a minimum of once a year to remain in active VAHC patient status. And, for the last couple of years, I've always told them they must provide a financial Means Test for the VA each year.

The reality is it is easy to let time slip by when we are feeling good, with no medical problems or needs, and just simply think the VA health care system will be there when we need it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Use it or lose it

"Use it or lose it" might very well be the case with the VAHC system one day. VAHC isn't necessarily there only when we decide we need it.

Veterans who do not remain in active patient status or do not provide a financial Means Test each year could be denied VAHC services and dropped from the system. This doesn't mean it's a sure thing you will be dropped, but it could happen. The VAHC system often has veterans on a waiting list for health care appointments and they only have so many patient slots available. Those who enroll and then do not remain active could lose their patient status over time and be replaced by someone who does need it.

Private HC not assured

Sometimes a veteran will have excellent health care from some private company retirement plan and think they do not need the VA right now. However, you would have to be living on Mars not to read almost every day about some company severely curtailing its medical plans or discontinuing them altogether, what with the rapidly rising health care costs today. Companies go out of business.

The other day a veteran stopped by with exactly this scenario. He hadn't been in to see me since I enrolled him in VAHC several years ago. He had private health insurance through the company he retired from. Sure enough, the company was sold to another company and the new owners simply canceled all retirement health insurance. Bingo, now he suddenly no longer has health insurance or an inexpensive drug program. Now he needs VA health care.

Didn't need?

He, in fact, had never even had his first VAHC appointment. Whether it was his fault or the VA's fault doesn't matter. The fact of the matter is that he never had that first appointment that locked him into the VAHC system. He didn't need it; he had no medical problems at the time and simply never used the benefit.

Luckily, so far, I have not found a case where I couldn't get a veteran back into VAHC even if his patient status or Means Test was expired. But I have been told by the VA that veterans could be dropped from the "grandfathered" system if they stay out too long or don't provide the Means Test every year.

VAHC could change

But it could happen as the VAHC system tightens up on enrolled veterans who do not have any service-connected disabilities.

My advice is stay enrolled as an active patient in the VAHC system even if you don't think you need it right now. Keep your financial Means Test up to date every year on your enrollment anniversary. You never know when the choice of whether you need VAHC or not may be left up to you.

Stay enrolled

And the best part is the price: It doesn't cost you a thing. And, if you stop in and see me, I'll even fill out the paper work for you. Now where else can you get a bargain like that?


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 located at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, Colorado 81301 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375 and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment.

Library News

Mini library proving refuge from storms

By Phyllis Wheaton

SUN Columnist

It is spring in the Rockies. It snows, it rains, it freezes and then is sunny and warm - all in a day's time.

The mini-library has provided refuge from spring storms for a few patrons. The reading area has chairs, tables, current magazines, and The Pagosa Springs SUN, Durango Herald and Wall Street Journal.

Book donations

There is a long-standing tradition in the community of donating books, audio books and other such materials to the library. The variety we receive is amazing. Donations are first screened to determine if they are of value to the library collection. Oftentimes they duplicate existing materials and are in better condition. The sales of these materials support whatever the current need may be: purchasing new books, equipment or furnishings, or contributing to the building fund.

We continue to be happy to accept donations. We just received a donation of the new James Patterson title, "Honeymoon." It will be on the shelf soon.

Occasionally a rare and/or old book will be donated. If we determine they are not a useful addition to the collection, we try to find a good home for them.

Jane Day volunteered to post some of these books on E-Bay. As a result, our fund for furnishing the expanded library is gaining. Thanks, Jane.

If you are interested in seeing or purchasing such special books, you are welcome to stop by the mini-library to see them. Just ask at the desk.

Rotating writers

Since Lenore Bright retired as director, members of the library staff are sharing the opportunity to write this column. We hope the rotation gives our readers a chance to get to know each of us. I have enjoyed my turn. This is my last week at the library for the year. I am a permanent seasonal employee for the San Juan National Forest and return to work there on Monday.

I really enjoy my winters at the library. I hope to see you in the woods this summer.


Thank you to Irene Burke, Mari Khoury, Maureen Munro, Diane Toman and Jackie Welch for their recent book donations.

Arts Line

A salute to volunteers; gallery opens April 21

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

The week of April 18 is designated as the Week of the Volunteer.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is mainly a volunteer organization. Volunteers, docents, help us at the gallery in Town Park beginning April 21 and work through October. Volunteers are indispensable in summer events such as the Home and Garden Tour.

On behalf of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council board of directors, a very special thanks goes to our Pagosa Springs Arts Council volunteers. We appreciate you and your support of our operations.

If you are interested in volunteering for our upcoming season, either at the gallery or one of our events, contact the gallery, 264-5020, or e-mail us at psac@centurtytel.net.

Gallery opens April 21

The PSAC exhibit season will open April 21 with our annual Pagosa Springs High School exhibit.

This provides a venue for our youth to show their creative talents and is always well received by the community.

Charla Ellis, high school art teacher, will coordinate the exhibit - April 21-30 - with an opening reception 5-7 p.m. April 21. Mark your calendars for this event. The public is invited to the reception to support our young people and the arts in Pagosa. During the exhibit the gallery will be open 1-5 p.m.

Showroom opening

The Shy Rabbit Showroom and Ceramic Studio has completed its new showroom and will host an opening reception 5-9 p.m. Saturday. It will feature contemporary ceramics and monoprints by artist D. Michael Coffee, recent award recipient of the Best Ceramics Show - Solo - in Westword's Best of Denver 2005, for his solo exhibit entitled "Place of Mind, Works by D. Michael Coffee." The opening reception will be a condensed version of Place of Mind. The Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Dr., B-1.

Artists' roundtable

The Shy Rabbit will host its monthly salon and roundtable, 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

This event is aimed at helping artists working in all mediums to connect and collaborate with other artists, writers, arts leaders, and people of vision in a friendly and highly creative format.

Keynoting this month will be Susan Andersen, exhibits director of the Durango Arts Center. The salon portion of this event will feature ceramics and monoprints by Coffee. All are welcome.

For additional information, contact D. Michael or Denise Coffee at 731-2766.

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 the last Saturday.

Class at the community center begins at 9 a.m. and usually finishes up around 3 p.m. The subject this month will be perspective and the 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 No. 3 and No. 6 in a bold lead and in a hard lead - a ruler, eraser and an attitude to enjoy the day.

Bring your own sack lunch, since you'll be having so much fun you won't want to take the time away from drawing to go get one.

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

Time to join

PSAC is a membership organization that helps ensure a flourishing and diverse community by enriching lives through the arts.

The privileges of membership include involvement in membership activities, involvement in the community, discount on PSAC events and workshops, recognition in Arts Line and listing in PSAC Artist Guide and PSAC Business Guide.

Workshops and exhibits are sponsored by PSAC to benefit the art community.

Effective April 1, our membership rates changed slightly. The new rates are: Youth, $10; individual senior $20; regular, $25; family-senior, $25; regular-$35. business, $75; patron $250; benefactor, $500; director, $1,000; and guarantor, $2,500 and up.

PSAC sponsored events include: gallery exhibits in Town Park, May-October; art workshops and classes in 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 tour; watercolor club; photo club; summer youth art camp; arts and crafts tent at Four Corners Music Festival.

Divisions include: Pagosa 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.

Nuts and Bolts continues

Today and Friday: the second in a series of three oil painting workshops Betty Slade is teaching this spring.

In addition to critiquing the previous class homework assignment, students will begin a new painting. Each student will be working on subjects of their own choice and will continue at their own pace.

If you missed the first session, it's not too late to start. Betty works with each student at whatever level they are at.

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

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

Cost is $80 for PSAC members and $90 for nonmembers. A supply list will be provided upon registration by calling PSAC at 264-5020.

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

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

Kudos to Kathleen

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

The show runs from May 6-21 at the Fine Arts Building, Expo New Mexico (state fairgrounds) in Albuquerque. If anyone is interested in going to the show and needs more information, contact Jackie Bregman at 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 design on a life-size puma statue and the finished puma sculptures will be showcased in a parade and then displayed in prominent locations around the region. Pagosa Springs is on the list. The project is designed to raise awareness for the region's wildlife.

Resident Camp

The Creede Repertory Theatre will host its first Performing Arts Resident Camp (PARC) Aug. 7-13.

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 12 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. 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 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 at the Boy Scout cabin on Miner's Creek Road, just outside of Creede.

Cost for the camp is $500 per student and includes all theatre and 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 for a registration packet, contact Julie Merrill at (719) 658-2540.

PSAC calendar

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

Today-Friday - Oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts Two," with Betty Slade, critiquing work from March class and new paintings. Cost: $80 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 5 - Intermediate watercolor painting with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35 for members, $40 nonmembers

May 6 - Beginner and above oil painting with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $40 PSAC members, $45 nonmembers, $35 current students

May 11- Photography club - 5:30 p.m.

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

May 21 - Pagosa Springs High School art exhibit opening reception, 5-7 p.m., PSAC Gallery at Town Park.

June 23 - 2005 PSAC annual meeting.

July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.

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

Food for Thought

Elvis: A trip to the Big City

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

One of the best things about a journey to a major urban area is the opportunity to play the game of food on a much longer and wider field than we do here in Siberia with a View.

If one wants to experience culinary extremes, it is easy to do in the Big City. When Jethro goes to town, there's action aplenty waiting.

I'm in LA: I've played the game, I've seen the extremes and I survived.


I'm writing this in Room 1138 of the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel. The east wall of the room is glass, floor to ceiling. I look down on a steady stream of traffic passing on both sides of Highland, going to and from its sordid intersection with Hollywood Boulevard.

Sidewalks next to Hollywood Boulevard are packed with gawking tourists, half of them staring at the metal stars set in concrete beneath their feet, most of those stars emblazoned with unfamiliar names of people long dead. The others in the crowd struggle to avoid wannabe actors working by the hour, dressed as cartoon characters and handing out coupons; or they try to steer clear of street people screaming obscenities at the tops of their lungs, sounding the alarm about "those $##@#!** satellites" and those %$#@!*^ cell phones." Where's a well-made tinfoil hat when you need one?

I look out on Hollywood to the east, at the Hollywood Hills to the north. It is night and the window is flooded with color and flashing lights. The sounds of car horns and ear-shattering sound systems fill the air, booming from below. A full moon, blood red through a filter of smaze, rises over the mountains far to the east.

A bad moon, to be sure.

None of it fazes me, however.

Not with what I've been through.

Kathy and I are in town to visit Bridezilla - our youngest daughter, Ivy. She is planning a wedding in August. The process is getting intense: Ivy is refereeing tiffs about bridesmaids' dresses and menus; she is sporting a whooboy engagement ring and phoning her intended, Mark, several times a day. A somewhat expensive call, since Mark is in Istanbul, working on a movie. They speak to each other on those !$@#@%^*&!* cell phones, the signals transmitted by those @^%^^**@!# satellites.

Bridezilla's anxiety is compounded by the fact she is also contemplating post-wedding activities. There will be no honeymoon, she says; she and Mark are off to Warsaw shortly after the blessed event. Apparently there are science fiction horror movies waiting to be made in Poland.

At present, Bridezilla has at least 14 bridesmaids, one being her extraordinarily bossy sister, Aurora Borealis. The big gal has upset the apple cart, nixing Bridezilla's selection of bridesmaid's garb, refusing (wisely) to wear "anything with a high waist."

Bridezilla is in a tizzy. Kathy jumps in, like an infant carelessly leaping into the deep end of the pool without her Floaties on. Anxiety is contagious.

In no time at all, it's like being in a food processor, set on puree.

My one suggestion goes unheeded: Have bridesmaids' dresses custom made with a fabric resembling cowhide. Junk the bridal gown in favor of a garish Dale Evans-like outfit, complete with bejeweled cowboy hat four sizes too small, fringed elbow-length gloves and oversize snakeskin cowboy boots with spurs. Ivy rides down the center aisle on a Shetland pony, cracking a bullwhip, driving the herd of bridesmaids to a small corral at the front of the audience. She is accompanied by the ringbearer - her English bulldog, Cheese - who is dressed in a Zorro costume, complete with little cape.

I add another touch designed to celebrate Ivy's western heritage - branding the penned stock with lick 'em, stick 'em tattoos. I'm told to shut up and repair to a Barnes and Noble at The Grove while Bridezilla and Mom of Bridezilla search for expensive attire in stores staffed by disinterested saleswomen who look like their diets consist of one Saltine per week.

After four hours of nonstop squabbling, Bridezilla and Kathy decide to take a break. We return to the Renaissance and stroll through the large courtyard at the Highland Center. Here begins my exploration of the opposite poles of Planet Food.

At the end of the four-story open mall is a large stage. A crowd has gathered. A shill in a straw hat is yammering at high volume, prepping onlookers for an impending event. It is a promotion for a new television show and the cast has been assembled and put on display.

"They do promos for shows that are going in the tank after a week or two," snarls Bridezilla. "Pathetic losers."

I insist on stopping. I applaud when the cast is introduced.

Bridezilla snaps at me: "Don't encourage them."

The new show centers on the wacky hijinks of a crew of folks working at a corn dog stand. What an idea! The promotion, therefore, involves a contest - the World Corn Dog Eating Championship.

They've carted in eight "competitive eaters" and the winner takes home a gigantic, very expensive entertainment center, complete with lobotomy-quality speakers and a big-screen plasma TV.

As the contestants are introduced, plates stacked high with corn dogs are placed in front of the eaters. A gun goes off, the race is on.

It's disgraceful but, like someone driving past a horrible auto accident, I can't look away. I quickly calculate odds and attempt, with no success, to make book on the event with several other members of the audience.

My favorite (I have her at 5-1) is a woman introduced as "the Queen of Gurgitation, the greatest female competitive eater south of the border, the incredible Rosaria Lopez, winner of the 2005 Long Beach Chicken Challenge." Rosaria takes the early lead and puts a lickin' on her male opponents through dog seven, at which point gurgitation turns in oh-so-ugly fashion to regurgitation, and her majesty is disqualified and rushed offstage.

A Samoan gentleman with impressive girth takes the lead, but it turns out he is cheating - eating half a dog and discarding the other half beneath the dais. He's disqualified and exits the stage in disgrace.

Rafiq - said to be an attorney in his spare time - maintains an even pace through dog twelve, then turns an alarming shade of gray; his eyes roll back in his head and he appears to be slipping into a coma.

Major Mike (there is a Mini Mike in the lineup) is declared the winner after choking down 24 corn dogs by contest's end. The man has dipped his dogs in a cup of water to soften the breading and the front of his T-shirt is coated with a gruesome slick of greasy dog debris.

"That was horrifying," says Kathy.

"I'm hungry," says Karl.

"Got the perfect solution," says Bridezilla.

Ivy takes us to Palms Thai, in Thai Town - a frantic joint featuring Formica-topped tables, appalling Thai food (chicken feet appetizer anyone?) and ŠThe Thai Elvis.

You are entertained at Palms Thai by a short but suave fellow who regales diners with their Elvis favorites as they gnaw on the "Giant Shrimp" with hot garlic sauce (the "shrimp" injected with anabolic steroids and polymers) and suck down a mess of watery red curry chicken. The Thai Elvis wears huge dark glasses; he has the King's gyrations and gestures down pat. He sings in English, but it takes a while to figure that out. He sings remarkably well.

Thank goodness. The music buffers the shock when I bite into a piece of protein I can't identify. There is hair on it and it tastes like shoe polish. Brown shoe polish. With fish sauce.

We return to the Renaissance stomachs aflutter, ears abuzz. I sit in front of the window and watch a line of fire trucks try with little success to get through the tangle of traffic below, sirens wailing, air horns blasting. Someone's home is burning.

I've spent 90 minutes with the Thai Elvis and watched a group of people gag down obscene numbers of corn dogs in front of a cheering crowd. There are unspeakable things taking place in my colon.

No question about it: I need to turn this train around - ride it to the far pole of the food planet, balance the equation. Bridezilla redeems herself and makes a 7 p.m. reservation for the next evening at my favorite LA restaurant (maybe my favorite restaurant anywhere) - The Little Door.

I've written about the restaurant before; no doubt I will write about it again. It is a magnificent place, one that offers all that is best about a restaurant experience. On this occasion, it serves to transport me from the mundane to the sublime. It provides a graceful and transcendent interlude, soothes me, give me reason to live.

Everything at this restaurant is darned near ideal. Anyone who loves food should save their money and experience such a place as often as possible. The environment is warm, the appointments top grade but without a note of pretense. The service is expert, super attentive but never overbearing. The food? I have eaten at the restaurant four times: Never has the fare been less than perfect. The chef and staff seek out the freshest and best local produce every morning. The meats are the highest quality. The presentation is gorgeous, but never precious. The restaurant features a choice selection of wines and, according to many in the know, has one of the finest by-the-glass lists in the city.

Plus, printed at the bottom of the menu, where all can see, is a polite, but firm request that people not use their %@^@&#!^@ cell phones while inside establishment. Lowbrow morons who insist on sharing their trivial phone conversations with others are not welcome.

There is a God.

The Little Door is medicine of the most sublime and expensive kind - nothing self-consciously eccentric about it. There is no crazed prima donna in the kitchen sending out minced raw tuna belly sprinkled with instant coffee and blood orange juice, or working in a meth-fueled frenzy, fabricating a teensy cube of frozen gin spritzed with olive vapor and calling it a "deconstructed martini." There is nothing but food so good the diner loses track of time, drops the heavy burden of the daily grind, forgets there is anything outside the walls of the restaurant. That's as much as we can ask, isn't it?

We order mezze as a starter. A platter arrives loaded with little bits of Mediterranean and North African goodies. A basket of herbed flat breads and stuffed breads accompanies the mezze.

Kathy and I decide to follow Bridezilla's lead. Ivy has eaten at The Little Door more times than she can remember and unfailingly orders the same thing each visit: filet medium rare in port wine sauce, the potato du jour, lightly steamed seasonal vegetables.

Syrah sounds right.

The food is simple, yet incredible (and most incredible food is simple): a hefty piece of prime beef cooked exactly as ordered, bedded in a pool of luxurious sauce (reduced stock, demi-glace, port, butter, what else?) potato/leek gratin piping hot, creamy to the nth power, the leeks sweet as only leeks can be, four or five crisp sugar peas and two small fork tender carrots


Mark Wahlberg sits down at the next table. Kathy is outraged when he fails to remove his hat but, with another bite of beef, she forgets about it. She doesn't know who Marky Mark is anyway.

Ordinarily, dessert at The Little Door requires a shared portion of what I claim is the greatest crème bruleé in the universe. We cave in, however, needing to completely neutralize the previous day's poison. We order the bruleé and add a chocolate/pear cake with white chocolate sauce and a lemon/almond tart. Kathy and I order coffee, Bridezilla Turkish mint tea.

Heaven's to Betsy. Jethro is happy.

I work a version of the gratin when I get home - a variant of Jeffery Steingarten's masterpiece. It's easy and is a wonderful side to a nice piece of beef, or pork for that matter. Or poultry. Or fish. Works well all by its lonesome, too. Pretty special cold, right out of the refrigerator at one in the morning.

You need a gratin dish. You need to heat the oven to 425.

Take a couple leeks, cut off the root end and the green leaves. Cut the white part of the leek in half lengthwise and rinse between the layers, removing any dirt. Dry, then slice thinly. Cook the leek for approximately 30 minutes in salted water, or until soft at the simmer. Drain and dry. Season with salt and pepper. (You can substitute thinly sliced white onion. Sweat the onion in canola oil until soft. Place on paper towel to remove excess oil. Season.)

Peel a clove of garlic, bonk it with the flat of the knife to slightly crush it, toss it in a saucepan with a cup or so of whole milk, a pinch of kosher salt and a sprinkle of freshly ground nutmeg. Bring to a boil and take off the heat.

Peel a couple Russets, dry, then slice very thin. Pat the slices dry. Butter the gratin dish (use a heavy hand) lay down a row of potato slices and dress them with a bit of leek or onion. Repeat, overlapping the rows of potato just a bit, until you reach the end of the pan. Reheat the milk to the point it starts to boil, toss out the garlic and pour the milk on the vegetables. Cover the pan with foil and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes or so. Heat a cup and a half of cream to the boil then pour it over the potatoes. Dot the potato mix liberally with butter and put the uncovered pan back in the oven for a half hour or so, until everything gets golden toasty swell.

With this, you should be well on the way to a satisfying experience. No hair on the food.

If you want a Thai Elvis Š you'll need to go to LA.


Extension Viewpoints

Study documents impact of teen beverage choices

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

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

April 16 - Vet Science Project Meeting, trip to Humane Society.

April 18 - Shooting Sports — Group A, Ski and Bow Rack, 4 p.m.; Dog Obedience Project meeting, 4 p.m.; Sportfishing Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.; Fair Royalty meeting, 6 p.m.; pesticide applicator training meeting, 6:30 p.m.

April 19 - Executive 4-H Council meeting, 5 p.m.; Swine Project meeting, 6 p.m.; Lamb Project meeting, 7 p.m.

April 21 - Quilting Project meeting, 4 p.m.; Cake Decorating Project meeting, 5 p.m.; Veterinary Science Project meeting at San Juan Veterinary Clinic, 5:30 p.m.

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

Researchers are finding soft drinks and sugary fruit drinks are teens' top calorie source, while milk intake suffers a continual decline.

To combat the escalating rates of childhood obesity, parents should go beyond what's on their children's plate and look at what's filling their glass, suggests a new study that was presented recently at the Experimental Biology Scientific Conference in San Diego, Calif.

The study found that no other single food provides more calories to a teen-ager's diet than sodas and fruit drinks. In all, these sweet drinks provide about 13 percent of a teen-ager's total calories - more than cakes, cookies and other sugary foods. Sodas and fruit drinks are also the single leading source of added sugars in a teen's diet, providing more than half of all added sugars they consume.

Researchers from the University of Vermont, University of British Columbia, and ENVIRON Health Sciences Institute studied the diets of more than 3,000 children and teen-agers ages 2-18 using food consumption data from the government's recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that consumption of sodas and fruit drinks increases in a step-wise fashion as U.S. children get older, while milk intake declines in a similar way - suggesting that milk is being displaced by soft drinks and juice drinks.

By the time a child enters adolescence, he or she is drinking about twice as many sugary sodas and fruit drinks as milk.

"Our study found that milk is a primary source of nutrients in a child's diet, but milk consumption steadily declines as children grow older, which may prevent older children and teen-agers from consuming the nutrients they need for growth and development," said lead researcher Mary M. Murphy, MS, RD of ENVIRON, who presented the findings recently at the Experimental Biology scientific conference.

Milk primary nutrient

Despite the decline in milk intake as children reach their teen years, milk remains the number one source of several key nutrients - including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. Calcium and potassium are chronically low in a teen-ager's diet and both were highlighted as "problem nutrients" in the recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The new study also found that milk is among the top four food sources of protein, vitamin A and zinc for both children and teens. Flavored milk is an increasingly popular choice for teen-agers, yet the study found that there was little impact on the amount of added sugars it provided. Chocolate milk and other flavored milks contributed only 2 percent of the total added sugars in a teen's diet, compared to 50 percent or more that soft drinks and fruit drinks provided.

"Flavored milk may be a good strategy to prevent the switch from milk to soft drinks," said coauthor Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., RD, professor of nutrition and dean of agriculture and life sciences at the University of Vermont. "It's important that we intervene to reverse this troubling trend," said Johnson, who has conducted previous research showing that flavored milk helped children and teens meet calcium recommendations without increasing the amount of added sugars in their diets.

Impact on bones, mass

The shift from milk to sodas and fruit drinks can be damaging to a teen's bones, according to coauthor Susan Barr, Ph.D., RD, professor of nutrition at the University of British Columbia. Research suggests a shortage of the calcium provided by milk during the teenage years could lead to a failure to maximize bone mass, setting the stage for osteoporosis in the future.

Additional studies indicate that too little milk combined with too many soft drinks are contributing to the problem of childhood obesity. Researchers have found that teen-agers who drink more milk instead of sodas tend to weigh less and have less body fat. Alternatively, soft drink intake among teen-agers has been linked to poor quality diets and excess weight.

That's one reason why a growing number of schools are stocking vending machines with milk instead of soft drinks. Additionally, several states have introduced legislation to limit the availability of soft drinks in schools. Barr said it's going to take a concerted effort in schools, at home and in communities to reverse the current trend in beverage consumption among today's teen-agers.

Source: Murphy M, Douglass J, Latulippe M, Barr S, Johnson R, Frye C. Beverages as a source of energy and nutrients in diets of children and adolescents. Experimental Biology 2005, Abstract # 275.4.

Experimental Biology is one of the leading scientific conferences in the country - attracting more than 16,000 biological and biomedical scientists. The annual meeting brings together scientists from dozens of different disciplines, from laboratory to translational to clinical research, from throughout the United States and the world.

Pesticide applicator training

RSVP if you want to attend the Private Pesticide Applicator Training 6:30 p.m. April 18 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 archulet@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 forty 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 at the Extension Office each person will be contacted to pick up their order. If you are interested in ordering seed potatoes, call 264-2388, e-mail us at archulet@coop.ext.colostate.edu or stop by the Extension office.

Pagosa Lakes News

A 'Twinkie tax' might encourage eating correctly

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

From the Washington Post, here are two words with alternate meanings: Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained; abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of every having a flat stomach.

Not a day goes by, these days, when one doesn't hear about yet another study or proposal having to do with obesity. Recently, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been weighing the merits of a "Twinkie tax" that, its proponents claim, would discourage unhealthy eating habits on the part of homo sapiens.

And, in the private sector, concerned citizens are pushing People and Pets Exercising Together (P-PET), an initiative designed to encourage weight loss among humans and their canine companions.

Don't cough! I don't want to catch your fat! Now researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison are investigating the possibility that obesity can be "caught" much like the common cold, through a sneeze or a handshake.

So, while lawmakers propose and counter-propose how sizable a tax to slap on high-fat/low-nutrition foods to discourage their consumption, and scientists look for a fat vaccine, let's consider knockout Hilary Swank (in "Million Dollar Baby").

Hollywood is a town built on illusions - from extravagant sets to dazzling special effects. But when a film role requires a sculpted physique to suggest exceptional physical prowess, nothing can fake the results that are produced by genuine, good, old-fashioned exercise.

Oscar-winning Ms. Swank, 30, spent four and a half hours, five days a week, training with a trainer, fueled by a high-protein diet of nearly 4,000 calories a day. Over nine grueling weeks, she managed to put on 19 pounds of hard, lean muscle.

Another actress, Jenifer Garner, who plays an action hero in "Elektra," was equally dedicated. She rose at 5 a.m. six days a week, for an hour-long session of weights and cardio. She also monitored her diet carefully, consuming small portions of protein and high-quality carbohydrates every three hours.

There are a hundred reasons to stay in bed. But to be healthy, feel good, look good and think good, you just have to get up and work out. Yet another reason to get up out of bed, according to one study, is obesity may be responsible for inhibiting one's sex drive. Does this make the bed and Twinkies partners in crime?

There will be a Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association meeting 7 p.m. today in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Port Avenue. The meeting is open to all members and observers. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting.

The following agenda for the meeting was approved by PLPOA:

- Call to order;

- Approval of agenda;

- Approval of minutes from March 10 regular board meeting and notes from joint board and county commissioners work session;

- General manager's report;

- Public comments;

- Treasurer's report - written report to be distributed at meeting.

Committee reports

- Recreation Center Committee;

- Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee, no meeting since last board report;

- Ad hoc Lake Study Committee, no meeting since last board report;

- ECC agendas and minutes included in DCC report; board chairman Earl Eliason's report included.

Old business

- Village Lake buoy line;

- Senate bill 05-100.

Recurring business

- The survey for the "Property Owners Involvement and Input Initiative."

New business

- Facility agreement with American Red Cross. In the event of an areawide disaster and if all other facilities are full, this agreement would allow use of our clubhouse by the American Red Cross to care for disaster victims;

- Appointments to ECC;

- Affirmation of one DCC unprotested fine. Correspondence and notice of violation and hearing attached for review;

- Adjournment.


No births this week


Geraldine Cole

Geraldine "Gerry" Cole, 81, passed away Tuesday morning at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs. Mrs. Cole was born Jan. 5, 1924, in Akron, Ohio, to parents Vernon and Katherine McGough. She is survived by sons Kenneth Cole and his wife Estelle of Ellijoy, Ga., Bruce Cole of Blue Ridge, Ga., William B. Cole of Chattanooga, Tenn. and daughters Rebecca and husband Harold of Pagosa Springs, Carole Ware of Blue Ridge, Ga.; brother Paul McGough and wife Dorothy of Akron, Ohio; sisters Joanne Pierry and husband Richard, Barbara Round and husband William, all of Akron, Ohio.

A private family memorial service was held Wednesday, April 13, at Pagosa Springs Funeral Options. Cremation to follow.

Business News
Chamber News

After touring the state, you'll know why you picked Pagosa

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

I've realized that one of the great things about traveling is you get to come home, especially when your home is Pagosa Springs.

As most people know who read my article, I traveled last week to other parts of Colorado. Minimal problems with weather, thanks for asking, and I guess you don't know what you have until either it's gone or you're separated from it for a while. The state of Colorado is so beautiful, and we have just some of the best parts of it here in Archuleta County.

I got a chance to meet with other Chamber directors from all over the state in lovely little Kremmling. I also had meetings in Vail Valley and in Breckenridge. I can't tell you how proud I am of our community and what we offer our visitors and as a Chamber. We choose to live in different parts of the state for different reasons, and I know why I chose Pagosa.

However, if you are out exploring other parts of our fair state, you may want to check out what's called the "Trough Road." This spectacular road takes you from the Vail area north to Kremmling. It could be a back way to Steamboat. Anyway, it is just awesome driving through the canyon with the Colorado River and the railroad winding down on the valley floor.

Best part of the trip: It's fun to explore, but always nice to come home. In coming home I'm back in full force reporting on numerous events and workshops for everyone to take notice of.

Diplomats wanted!

It is that time of year when we call in all current and wanna-be volunteers for the Visitor Center Diplomat program. Morna has already sent out diplomat reminders, but of course we want to include any new residents who might want to help out at the Chamber.

This job is tough: you have to talk about how beautiful Pagosa is and all the sights to see; you have to learn about all the businesses and you get to go around and see the real workings of many of them; you get to spread your knowledge of the area to our visitors; and you have to give up some of your free time to have some fun down here with us.

If you can handle those rigors, then you can handle the job. Oh yes, one more item: You have to handle a training session with me. Even "seasoned" diplomats need to attend a diplomat workshop. This is a good time to refresh our hospitality skills, learn about the openings and closings of all the businesses, meet new and renewed people, and discuss any questions, concerns, or suggestions that you might have.

Diplomat workshops will be held 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, May 3; 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, May 4; and 9-11 a.m. Friday, May 6. Since our board room is only so big, seating is limited. Call Morna now for a workshop time to refresh your diplomat skills.

At these sessions, we will also have a suggested summer schedule available for you to look over before you sign up. The official starting time will be Monday, May 16. If it is difficult for you to get away during the week, please remember we can always use help for a few hours on the weekends. This being my first summer in this position, I look forward to hearing from many of the returning diplomats and greeting the new ones.

A fun time will be had by all this summer if I have anything to say about it.

Soup for the Soul

I like those fund-raisers where all I have to do is eat.

Soup for the Soul is one of them. Starting April 21 and going through April 30, Hospice of Mercy is sponsoring Soup for the Soul where all you have to do is have a bowl of soup at a participating restaurant, which is just about all of them! The participating restaurant will then donate a portion of the soup sales to Hospice.

To kick off this event, Hospice of Mercy is offering a special lunch 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 21, at the senior center. Two guest chefs, one from Victoria's Parlor and one from JJ's Upstream will each serve one of their specialty soups. There is no admission price; however, feel free to give a donation to receive a bowl of soup. I have it on good authority that one of the soups may be New England clam chowder (probably just a rumor) accompanied by some great bread.

We never think that we would need the services of a hospice, but what if you or a family member did? For the past 25 years Hospice of Mercy has made it their mission to provide quality, compassionate care for terminally ill (six months or less) patients with one goal in mind - to allow individuals the opportunity to live out their lives with dignity and respect. They are the only faith- based, not-for-profit hospice in the Four Corners. The hospice staff takes special care to treat both the body and soul offering spiritual, emotional and physical attention.

Based in Durango, Hospice of Mercy started serving patients in Pagosa Springs in 1989. Please show your support and make a concerted effort to have a bowl of soup at a participating restaurant during the week of April 24-30 or attend the kick-off lunch April 21.

For more information on this fund-raiser or hospice, you can contact Don Strait at 731-3427.

Roses for Red Cross

Your beautiful American Cancer Society Daffodils are by now probably on their last leg, so it's time to replenish your flowers.

Just in time, the American Red Cross is hosting its fifth annual Red Cross Rose Sale Friday, April 29. You can purchase red, yellow or a mixed bouquet of roses for $25 per dozen or $14 per 1/2 dozen. Delivery and vases are extra at $5 for each service. You need to call in your orders by Friday (something extra to remember on tax day) to the Durango office at 259-5383. They accept MC/Visa over the phone or check or cash the day of delivery or pickup. Delivery date again is Friday, April 29 or you can pick up the roses here at the Chamber until 5:30 p.m.

We hope that summer will be kind to us this year and fires, floods, or a home emergency will not strike our community. If that catastrophe does occur though, we know the American Red Cross will be there to service the needs of the individual, family or community. Show your support and surprise and brighten a loved one's day by participating in the Roses for Red Cross campaign.

Music in the Mountains

You would think that tickets for Music in the Mountains are made of "hot cakes" they're flying out of the Chamber so fast. The biggest selling concert so far is the July 30 orchestra concert with over 80 percent already sold. The point of this comment is to prompt any of you who would still like to purchase tickets for this performance to do so sooner than later. For this concert or the other two July 22 and Aug. 5, you may call the Chamber and reserve your seats.

Ticket prices for these two performances are $40 and the full orchestra performance with Aviram Reichert is $50. All performances will be held at BootJack Ranch. Keep in mind that the free community concert performance of "Peter and the Wolf" will be held in Town Park 11 a.m. Thursday, July 28. No tickets are required for this concert. Almost 600 children of all ages enjoyed this concert last year and we expect an even bigger crowd this year. So, don't dally in reserving your tickets to any of the BootJack concerts. Give us a call at 264-2360 before it's too late!

Habitat for Humanity

"Changing our community one heart, one home at a time" is the theme for this year's Habitat for Humanity luncheon Friday, April 29. JoAnn Irons and "Wrap It Up" will provide a sumptuous lunch and chairwoman Chris Hostetter has planned an informative yet fun-filled luncheon.

Entertainment will be provided by those toe tapping "Habit-tappers." A new group, you ask? Come on out to the lunch and find out who they really are.

There are two ways you can attend the lunch. First you can call Chris and sponsor a table and have all your friends join you; or you can call Chris at 731-6900 for an invitation. There is no standard admission price, but a donation is suggested. So gather all your friends, come out, meet the new recipients of the 14th and 15th houses and find out how you might be able to "pound" out some frustrations. The luncheon will be held noon-1 p.m. at the community center. I'll certainly be there trying to find out who the "Habit-tappers" are!


"Fresh Ideas Start Here" returns on behalf of First Southwest Bank and the Chamber of Commerce again this year. Instead of three, one-hour classes, we will be hosting one, three-hour class. This workshop has quickly sold out in the past and since it was announced last week, we are more than half full. The three topics to be discussed by David Broyles, President and CEO of First Southwest are: David and Goliath - competing with the big box retail stores; 10 — learn how to avoid the ten common small business mistakes; and The Best Bank for your Buck - how to get your banker to bank on You.

Reservations are required due to limited seating and they may be made by calling Sherry Waner at 264-2251 or the Chamber at 264-2360. The class will be held 5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at Pagosa Lodge and tickets are $29 per person. Food and refreshments will be served since you will be working through the dinner hour. E-Commerce

Keyword searches, banners, hits, click-throughs, scrolling text, how do I compete on the Internet, targeting the right audience - these terms, questions and more topics will be covered at the E-Commerce seminar being held Tuesday, April 26, at Pagosa Lodge.

This seminar, being cosponsored by Region 9 Economic Development District, Ft. Lewis College Small Business Development Center and the Chamber of Commerce, will focus on the latest trends of Web site management. The workshop will be conducted by Ed Preston, owner and president of Clean Rivers and Canyons and Web guru since 1998.

With a degree in marketing and having been with AOL for three years, Ed found his niche in managing Web sites. He will talk about positioning, how to use Internet tools and resources, measuring results, and oh so much more all in 2 1/2 hours. This class also has limited seating, so reserve your space with Doug at the Chamber at 264-2360.

Admission is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for nonmembers. Continental breakfast will start at 7:30 a.m. Class will start promptly at 8 and end at 10:30 a.m., just in time for you to go back to work and look at your Web site. These classes also fill up fast, so give us a call to reserve your space.

Biz Briefs

Personal property tax declarations due Friday

Tax time again?

The Archuleta County Assessor's office has mailed reminder cards regarding personal property taxes, noting personal property declarations must be filed by tomorrow - April 15.

The law says all persons owning personal property used for the production of income must file the declarations. That means, for example, business owners, contractors, heavy truck operators, etc.

Failure to submit personal property declarations, the card notes - regardless of the $2,500 exemption - will result in a late filing fee and a "Best Information Available" valuation assessment.

Should you have questions or need a duplicate declaration, contact the assessor's office at 264-8310, or by fax at 264-8319.

Horn promoted to vice president

at Bank of Colorado

Bank of Colorado has announced the promotion of Mark Horn to vice president.

Horn originally joined Bank of Colorado as a management trainee in 2001, assigned to the Sterling branch where he worked in each department, exposed to all facets of retail and commercial banking and management.

He furthered his career with Bank of Colorado in the Akron branch as a loan officer before transferring to Pagosa Springs for two years as assistant vice president. He is responsible for all types of lending including consumer, construction, real estate, and commercial loans.

Horn holds a bachelor of science degree in economics and finance from University of Wyoming in Laramie. He is a member of the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club and serves on the board of directors of the Builders Association.

Biz Beat

No Biz Beat this week


Preview Profile

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Cards of Thanks

Miracle recovery

Thank you for all of your care, concern and prayers since my accident two years ago. Because of you and God, my recovery has been a miracle. Every day is a joy.

Julia Jones


Generous donors

Thank you from Casa de los Arcos for the following donations: Pagosa Baking Company for the many pastries and breads; Loaves and Fishes for the delicious lunches and leftovers; Curves for the much-appreciated food; and Allen Beach of Grapevine, Texas, for the generous donation of a washer and dryer for a Casa tenant's apartment.

Molly Johnson,

Casa de los Arcos


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



The storyteller committee at Pagosa Springs Elementary School would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all the individuals involved in making it a tremendous success.

Thank you to the 250 people who attended and to our wonderful storytellers: Felicia Meyer, Ian Vance, Soledad Estrada, Don Volger, Paula Alves, Sheila Farmer, Jeff Laydon, Catherine Frye, Margaret Burkesmith, Mark Brown and Ms. Reynolds' School -Within-a-School class. Thank you to Cathne Holt, Dale Sattel, Jennifer Harnick, Doris and Walter Green, Butch Madrid, Leticia Gallegos, Davey Belarde, Shauna Kop and Tamsin Rohrich. Thank you to The SUN and KWUF for support. Thank you to the past storyteller organizers for creating such a wonderful notebook to go by. Thank you to the teachers for supplying their rooms: Mrs. Halverson, Mrs. Boudreaux, Mr. Anderson, Mrs. Shipman, Mrs. Shaffer, Mrs. Buckley, Mrs. Lucero, Mrs. Hudson, Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Reinhart. Lastly, thanks to all the staff at the elementary school.

Stephanie M. Jones


No Weddings this week



No Engagements this week



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Sports Page

Pirate track teams dominate Ignacio meet

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirate track team took first place in both boys' and girl's divisions at the Los Pinos Invitational at Ignacio April 8 and now head to Bayfield Saturday for a test at a bigger meet.

Official times from the Ignacio event were not available by press time, but meet times might not matter as much as either persistence in the face of adverse conditions, or wins.

"It was very windy," said coach Connie O'Donnell. "Actually, we expected it to be worse than it was, but it was hard for the kids to run on the back stretch of the Ignacio track. With that wind, the times would have been affected and for sure some of the field events suffered. The wind was blowing directly into the face of the triple-jumpers and was at the back of the long jumpers. I'm really proud of our kids, though; they didn't complain, they just got it done. It was good training for them."

That training came with the bonus of 14 first-place finishes - eight for the boys and six on the girls' side.

Pirate boys took first place in four relays: the 400-meters (Dan Aupperle, Manuel Madrid, Jared Kinkead and Paul Armijo), the 800 (Otis Rand, Aupperle, Armijo and Kinkead), the 1600 (Gunnar Gill, Daren Hockett, Madrid and Rand) and the 3200 (Travis Furman, Rand, Gill and Hockett).

Kinkead took first in the 100-meter dash and the 200. Rand captured first in the 400 and 800. Casey Schutz finished at the front of the pack in the triple jump.

The girls' 400 relay team was first in the field, featuring Mia Caprioli, Kim Fulmer, Lyndsey Mackey and Janna Henry.

Fulmer took first place in the 200 and 400; Caprioli was first in the 100; Emilie Schur crossed the finish line in first in the 800 and 1600.

Second place boys' finishes went to Madrid in the 300 hurdles, AJ Abeyta in the 1600 and Brian Patane in the 110 hurdles.

The girls' 800 relay team of Nikki Kinkead, Liza Kelley, Caprioli and Henry was second; Kelley captured second place in the triple jump and long jump; the 800 medley relay team of Jessica Lynch, Katie Erhardt, Kinkead and Mackey took second place at the meet.

In third for the boys were Orion Sandoval (1600) and Aupperle (100).

Third-place finishers among the girls were the 1600 relay team of Kylie Corcoran, Camille Rand, Lynch and Fulmer; Rand, in triple jump, and Tamara Gayhart in high jump.

Now, the luxury of nearly unlimited entries in events ends as the Pirates head for the bigger meets of the regular season. The team travels to Bayfield Saturday for the Pine River Invitational and rather than the seven team-meet they've encountered the last two weeks, they will contend with athletes from 28 other schools.

O'Donnell continues to comment on the cohesiveness exhibited by this year's team. "They're being more of a team now," she said. "I am really enjoying this group of kids because they are not complainers - they're go-getters. I really think their determination and attitude are going to lead them to do great things this year.

"It's nice to start this way," said the coach, referring to two very successful meets at the top of the schedule, "and now we're excited to be running against bigger schools. It's time to do it."

The team roster will be depleted somewhat Saturday, with a few athletes participating in other school events. Nonetheless, O'Donnell expects some excellent action at Bayfield.

Saturday's meet begins with field events at 9 a.m. Track events start approximately 30 minutes later.

Pirates outhit Dolores, but 11 errors mean 9-5 defeat

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer


The things seen happening on the field had to be a wild nightmare. Such a combination of events couldn't possibly be taking place.

Those almost had to be the thoughts of Coach Charlie Gallegos as he watched his Pirate baseball team lose 9-5 to Class 2-A Dolores Saturday in Cortez.

Let's set the stage. An early junior varsity game had been played in full sunlight, but winds were increasing as it wound down.

As the varsity squads took the field for warmups, snow began pelting them. As suddenly it stopped, but winds picked up in intensity and dust devils swirled around the infield prior to the start.

Still, there were indications the storm might blow around the complex. It wasn't to happen. There was a 25-degree drop in temperature, a marked increase in sustained wind velocity, and a Pirate team on the field that could not find the handle on the ball, committing 11 errors.

Pagosa took an early lead in the contest after Pirate starting pitcher Adam Trujillo drew a walk to open the game, moved up on a ground ball to second by Josh Hoffman, and was driven in by Karl Hujus on the first of his three singles on the day. Hujus was out at second when Jakob Reding hit into a 4-6-3 double play and Pagosa was out of the inning.

Dolores' leadoff hitter drew a pass from Trujillo and he promptly hit the second batter. He got the number three hitter on a sac bunt throw-out by Reding then retired the cleanup hitter on a fly to right, one run scoring. The next batter walked and the seventh man in the order singled, driving in the second Dolores run before Trujillo fanned the next hitter to end the first trailing 2-1.

Casey Hart opened Pagosa's second with a line shot to third for an out. Travis Marshall, the designated hitter, singled to right and shortstop Levi Gill drew a walk. But Avery Johnson struck out and Jim Guyton bounced to second to end the Pirate threat.

Dolores added five runs in the second while batting around.

It opened with a single to center, a wild pitch by Trujillo, a walk to the second hitter, another wild pitch putting two runners on, then another walk to load the bases.

Coach Gallegos summoned Levi Gill to the mound in relief with the bags full of Bears. Gill got the first man he faced on a bouncer back to the hill, but then the error run began. Consecutive errors at shortstop preceded two walks, two singles and a passed ball that let the Bears take a 7-2 lead before the Pirates cut down two base runners to end the bleeding.

Pagosa's third was a fly to left by Marcus Rivas hitting in place of Trujillo, a pop to short by Hoffman, Hujus' second single, and a strike out by Reding.

Gill struck out the first Bear batter in the third, but the next three hitters all reached on errors in the Pirate infield. Luckily, Dolores scored only one run off all that when the next hitter singled, but the Pirates defense turned it into a double play by gunning down two runners in succession.

Pagosa's fourth was a strikeout, a ground ball to second and another strikeout.

Dolores added its final run in the bottom of the frame. The cleanup hitter bounced one off the third baseman's glove but was thrown out at first by the shortstop. The next batter had a ground rule double to center which bounced over the fence. Then came a walk, a pop-out to second and then another Pirate infield error allowing the run to score before a fielder's choice got Pagosa out of the inning.

Cody Bahn, batting for Avery Johnson, led off Pagosa's fifth with an infield single before Travis Richey, hitting for Guyton, reached beating out a sacrifice bunt to put Pirate runners of first and second. Rivas was hit by a pitch and Pagosa had the bases loaded. Hoffman popped to second for the first out, but Hujus had his third consecutive single to drive in two. Then Rivas caught the defense napping and came in without challenge when the Dolores battery had a summit meeting without calling time. Hujus was left on base when Reding popped to third and Hart to second.

Gill got the Bears in order in the third, despite two more Pagosa errors with the runner trying to take one extra base and being gunned down at third.

Pagosa's sixth had Marshall out on a fly to left, Gill on a fly to center, and Bahn popping to short.

With weather conditions ever worsening Pagosa committed their final two errors in the Dolores sixth, but the Bears did not score as two runners were thrown out stealing and one grounded to second.

Top of the seventh, snow and then dust swirling, the pitcher's hat blown on a bounce to the first baseman. Pagosa down 9-4 and in need of a big rally.

Richey got them started with a single to left. Rivas bounced to second, Richey advancing. Hoffman bounced back to the pitcher, Hoffman again advancing. Hujus reached on an error and Hoffman scored. But Reding hit into a fielder's choice and the game was over, a 9-5 loss for Pagosa.

For Coach Gallegos, the surreal had become a reality. And he faced the challenge of preparing his team for an Intermountain League doubleheader Monday, the league opener for both teams.

Dolores' nine runs came on only four hits, Pagosa's five runs on seven hits. While Pagosa committed 11 errors, Dolores had only three.

Pirates blast Ignacio 25-11, then hang on 10-9 for sweep

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Pirates scored 35 runs on 28 hits in a doubleheader sweep of Ignacio Monday at the Ute Recreation Center sports complex.

But don't for a minute let anyone tell you the victories were easy.

The Bobcats refused to die in either game and kept pecking away. At one point in the second game, in fact, they wrested the lead from Pagosa.

Still, Coach Charlie Gallegos was pleased, for the most part, with the way players rebounded from a disappointing loss to Dolores Saturday.

"We showed some comeback desire, but we need to develop a killer instinct," he said. "We have to learn to stop letting these teams come back against us just because we have a sizable lead."

For Pagosa, the first game was an exercise in accepting gifts from a foe, then protecting the leads you amass.

It opened with the Pirates nailing a four-run first inning featuring five singles, a perfect sacrifice bunt by Levi Gill, a walk, a key Ignacio error and some speed on the basepaths.

Travis Richey started it with a single, advanced on Gill's bunt, stole third and scored on a single by Karl Hujus. Travis Marshall walked, Josh Hoffman reached on an error in left, Hujus scoring. Casey Hart singled but Hoffman was out at the plate on a fine throw from left. Jake Reding singled to drive in a run and Matt Gallegos followed suit before Cody Bahn flied to center to end the half inning.

Ignacio, with Randy Molnar struggling to find a good release point on the mound for Pagosa, came back with three runs aided by two Pirate errors, a stolen base and a wild pitch.

Speedster Derek Rodriguez drew the opening walk, promptly stole second, went on to third when the throw to second was dropped and after Cundiff struck out, came in to score on when Abel Romero's fly to center was misplayed. Price singled but Adair grounded out and Molnar seemed ready to get out of the jam. But Herrera singled and Hall walked before he fanned Mitch Davis to escape with just three runs scoring.

Pagosa, for all practical purposes, put the game away in the second, sending 14 batters to the plate and scoring nine runs on eight hits.

Richey led off with his second single up the middle and moved to second on Gill's single to center before both advanced a base on a wild pitch by Ignacio's Redfeather. Hujus flied to right for the first out, but Marshall delivered a two-run single. Hoffman reached on an error at second and Hart produced an RBI with a single to left. Reding added two more RBIs with a double to deep right center. Ignacio moved Cundiff to the mound in relief and Gallegos walked. Bahn followed with a single to left and Richey plated a run with a sacrifice fly to center. Gill beat out an infield single and Hujus singled again. Marshall drew a walk, but Hoffman flied to center to end the top of the second with Pagosa leading 9-3.

It stayed that way through the bottom of the frame, Molnar getting Hansen on strikes, Rodriguez out in a 1-2-6-3 rundown after reaching on an error, and Cundiff striking out for the second consecutive time.

Pagosa hiked its lead with a two-run third. Hart led off with a strike out but Reding reached on an error. He was out at second when Gallegos hit into a fielder's choice. He stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Bahn drew a walk, and Richey singled to singer for one run. Gill followed suit, and Pagosa had two more runs before Hujus struck out.

The pesky Bobcats refused to quit, coming back with a five spot on five hits, two Pagosa errors and a relief appearance on the mound by Adam Trujillo.

First, Romero reached on an error by Gill. Price ripped a ground rule double that bounced over the fence. Adair fanned but Herrera picked up an infield single. Hall singled, but Davis struck out. Hansen singled and advanced on an error in left. Rodriguez followed with another ground rule double and five runs were in. Trujillo came on in relief and fanned Cundiff to get Pagosa out of the inning.

Apparently wanting to be sure they had enough runs, the Pirates erupted for eight more in the fourth, on only three hits, three Ignacio errors, three hit batsmen, and a booming triple by Hart.

Marshall, leading off the inning with Hansen now pitching for Ignacio, was the first to be hit. After Hoffman lined to left, Hart singled to center and Reding to right. Jim Guyton, hitting for Gallegos, was plunked, too. Bahn laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt and two consecutive Ignacio errors cleared the bases and moved him to third. Trujillo, batting in Richey's spot, walked and Gill flied to center. Hujus reached on an error and Marshall was hit by a pitch, again. Hoffman unloaded the bags with a triple and Hart was hit by a pitch. Reding ended the bloodletting by popping to short.

The Bobcats answered with three runs. Romero singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, and to third when Price reached on an error. A wild pitch sent Romero in to score and Adair walked. Herrera grounded out to third and Hall struck out. But Davis reached on an error in right field, two runs scoring, before Hansen struck out.

Pagosa got three more runs in the fifth. Guyton lined to second to start the inning but Bahn was hit by a pitch, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Trujillo got aboard on an infield error and Gill singled for a run. Hujus drove in the final two with a ground rule double to right center. Marshall grounded out but Hoffman was hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive. Hart, however grounded out and the end was in sight for Ignacio.

It came quickly as Rodriguez popped to second, Cundiff popped to short and Romero went down swinging. That imposed the mercy ruling to end the first game. Hart, Gill, Hujus and Reding each had three hits for the Pirates with Reding and Marshall each getting four RBIs and Gill three.

Game Two

What would turn into a pitcher's dual, a slugfest and end with a brilliant exhibition of rundown tactics ended in a 10-9 Pagosa victory.

Richey grounded out to open the game but Gill followed with a long triple to right center with Romero pitching for Ignacio. Hujus grounded to second to score Gill but Marshall struck out and Pagosa led 1-0.

Josh Hoffman, tabbed to pitch the contest for Pagosa, got Rodriguez on a fly to left, but Cundiff singled to center. He then fanned Romero and got Price on a comebacker to escape the first.

Hoffman opened the Pirate second bouncing out to third. Marcus Rivas, designated hitter for the game, reached on an error. But both Reding and Gallegos fanned to leave him stranded.

The Bobcats tied the contest in their half of the second the damage starting with a leadoff single by Adair. He moved up when Herrera singled but was out trying to stretch it to a double. Hall singled to drive in Adair but an interference call at second against Davis eliminated Bird's single and took Ignacio out of the inning in a 1-1 tie.

The Pirates answered with a pair after Bahn reached on an error by Rodriguez on his throw to first after dropping a third strike pitch. Richey followed with an infield single but Gill popped out. Hujus followed with a single to drive in two. Marshall flied to left and Hoffman walked, but Hujus was gunned down at third to end the inning.

Rodriguez, as if to atone for the throwing error, got a run back right away with an inside-the-park home run to the deepest part of right center. But Cundiff grounded to short, Romero struck out and Price bounced to short to end the third Pagosa leading 3-2,

The Pirates became docile in the fourth. Rivas grounded out to short. Reding walked but Gallegos struck out. Bahn singled to center, but Richey ended it with a fly out to right.

Ignacio tied the game in the bottom of the inning, after two were out as Adair fanned and Herrera popped to second. Hall singled to right and Davis delivered the run with a triple to left before Bird grounded out.

Gill led off Pagosa's fifth with a single to left. Hujus flied to center but Marshall kept the inning alive with a single and Hoffman reached on a error. Rivas reached on an error in right allowing two runs to score but was out at second when Reding hit into a fielder's choice, another run scoring. Gallegos grounded to second to end the inning, Pagosa leading 6-3.

The lead was short-lived. Rodriguez opened with a double for the Bobcats and stayed there as Cundiff popped to second and Romero flied to left. But Ignacio got four consecutive hits - a double by Price, singles by Adair and Herrera, and a double by Hall for three runs and a trip to the mound for Marshall in relief of Hoffman.

Davis singled to left, but Bird struck out and Ignacio had taken an 8-6 lead.

Bahn opened Pagosa's sixth with a groundout to short, but Richey walked and stole second. Gill then delivered his second triple of the game for one run. Hujus walked and advanced to second, Gill scoring, on a bad throw by Rodriguez. Marshall singled to drive in Hujus, but Hoffman struck out. Rivas became the ninth (but not last) Pirate batter of the day to be hit by a pitch. Reding singled driving in a pair before Guyton struck out.

Rodriguez was out leading off Ignacio's sixth with a fly to center. Cundiff was hit by a pitch and Romero reached on an infield error. After Price flied to right, Adair reached on a fielder's choice but Ignacio left the bases loaded when Adair popped to Gill at short.

Despite two more hit batters, Gill and Hujus in succession after Bahn struck out, Pagosa went mildly in the top of the seventh. Richey grounded back to the pitcher and Marshall fanned.

Bottom of the seventh, Pagosa now leading 10-8 and Bobcats hoping for a miracle.

Hall reached on an error in center field. Davis singled but was caught in a 4-6-3-5 rundown, Davis holding at third. Bird singled to drive in Davis and cut the lead to one run, but he, too, was caught in a rundown 1-3-4-3-6 and the game lay in the hands of Rodriguez. He kept the Ignacio hopes alive, reaching on an error at short but tried to stretch it and was thrown out Hart to Bahn to end the game.

Pagosa had 10 runs on nine hits in game 2, Ignacio nine runs on 15 hits. Pagosa committed three errors, Ignacio four.

Field not ready; Saturday baseball moved to Centauri

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The short Pagosa Springs High School baseball home season was reduced to a single date Tuesday.

Because the field is not yet playable, the scheduled home doubleheader against Centauri Saturday has been moved to the latter's field in La Jara.

The first game will be at 11 a.m.

David Hamilton, Pagosa athletic director, said dirt for the new infield was to be delivered this week but the field cannot be ready for Saturday.

The newly-sodded portion of the infield wintered nicely and is coming in well. Another portion of the field still needing work delayed by the wet winter and spring is the completion of the outfield warning track.

That means only one home date for the Pirates, an April 30 doubleheader against Monte Vista - and the field should be ready by then.

Pirates even soccer record with 3-2 defeat of Demons

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It is a team which likes to move the ball around and when it does, the scoring can come from almost any angle.

A mixed Durango varsity-junior varsity squad learned that Friday in Golden Peaks Stadium.

The Pagosa Springs girls varsity soccer team is making sounds like a league contender, and while there's a long way to go, Friday's performance was indicative of how far they've come from 0-3 start to the season.

Two things were evident early in this contest. One, Pagosa's defense had to carry the day for a while because the offense was struggling to organize. Two, when finally settled, the Pirate offense is precision oriented.

Durango's Jamie Cagle had the first shot on goal just over two minutes into the game, a drive that sailed over the top.

Kailey Smith turned in the first of seven block-takeaways she'd have in the game just 20 seconds later.

Jennifer Hilsabek put Pagosa on the boards first at 4:59, converting from 12 yards on a lead cross from Laurel Reinhardt.

Pagosa got the ball right back as the defense stopped the Demons at midfield, and Brittany Corcoran tried to take advantage but sailed her shot wide right.

Sophomore Erin Gabel, starting in goal for the first time for the Pirates had a stop on the ensuing Demon possession when Cagle beat one defender and another fell attempting to intercept her.

Durango got the rebound off Gabel's save and forced her to make another quick stop.

At 10:12, Corcoran had another chance, ripping a shot high to the keeper's right, but she got just enough height to tip it up and over the net and the score held at 1-0 Pagosa.

The Demons weren't about to haul down the tent and sneak away. McKenzie Close drilled one off the left corner post and then, at 14:08, went wide right with a breakaway shot.

Again, Cagle was over the top on an extended Durango possession, and Gabel came out of the box to make a fine stop on Amy Downing.

Corcoran was awarded a free kick at 22:05 but it was stopped by Demon keeper Kayla Jensen.

Durango's Caitlin Gardner was wide left from 30 yards out and then Pagosa's Laurel Reinhardt was stopped by Jensen on an indirect free kick from 30 yards.

Then came the offensive play of the game from Pagosa's point of view.

Caitlyn Jewell unleashed one of her trademark handstand throw-ins and it sailed right to left on the wind, bouncing once in front of Jensen who leaped to snare the hop but managed only to tip the ball as it went over her head into the net just seven seconds before the end of the half, giving Jewell her first marker of the season and Pagosa a 2-0 lead it would not surrender.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Reinhardt had a glorious opportunity on a quick opener up the middle but the shot caromed off the left post.

Jensen made her saves of the game on the next Pirate attack, stopping Reinhardt not once, but twice on the same play.

The first stop came on a dive left for a 12-footer. The block went high in front of the net for a Reinhardt header, but Jensen had scrambled back to her feet and leaped for the save.

Three consecutive stops by Gabel set the stage for another Pirate chance. Her long outlet pass off the third stop found Hilsabeck alone on the left wing and two steps later she drilled a turf-tugger that Jensen again stopped.

After Cagle was wide left with a Durango effort, Gabel stopped her point blank off the rebound. But Durango kept the ball in the attack zone and Gabel was a blur in the net, going from one side to the other to stop two efforts by Cagle.

Then Reinhardt was wide right from 30 yards on a quick set from Corcoran.

Pagosa got the icing for the offense at 50:52 with Hilsabeck scoring off a double assist from Corcoran and Reinhardt.

It opened with Corcoran stealing the Demon attack just outside the offensive zone. Reinhardt, racing the left wing, cut to the middle and took Corcoran's lead for two strides, then hit Hilsabeck veering into the box from the left wing. Jensen had no chance on this one and it was 3-0 Pagosa.

Kailey Smith took a kick to the face at 61:28 and had to be assisted from the field. But the Pirates quickly adjusted to her absence with Corcoran dropping into the sweeper position.

After Gabel stopped an easy Durango roller, the Demons were awarded a penalty kick and Rachel Sauer drove the ball off the crossbar.

Then Gabel again stopped Cagle and at 72:09 Pagosa appeared to go up 4-0 on another handstand throw-in from Jewell that looked to be tipped into the net by freshman Allison Laverty for the first goal of her brief career.

After huddling at midfield, however, the officials ruled the ball had not been touched and that the goal should be disallowed.

In following action, Reinhardt was over the top with a header off a corner kick, Cagle matched the over-the-top play at the other end, and then added to her day of frustration with two headers off the crossbar as Durango valiantly tried to get back into the contest.

But, on what would be the final play of the game, Gabel went high to snare a Demon shot and Pagosa had a 3-0 victory.

Afterward, Pirate coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason summed up the action. "After a sluggish start, these girls seemed to want to prove a point, and did.

" They played position ball well, hit the open wings, worked defense the way we practiced, all the things that mean success of the field.

"Most of all, I was pleased by our passing game, by the way they looked for open teammates and the way they moved the ball around."

The victory gave Pagosa a 3-3 record for the season.


Scoring: 4:59, P-Hilsabeck, assist Reinhardt; 39:53, P-Jewell; 50:52, P-Hilsabeck, assists Corcoran and Reinhardt. Shots on goal: P-22, D-16; Saves, P-Gabel, 13, D-Jensen, 13. No cards.

Four Pirates score in 6-1 thrashing of young Bobcats

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

In the beginning, the Pirates expected veterans to lead the offense; they did just that April 7.

But before it was over, four players had joined the scoring ranks and Pagosa had a 6-1 victory over Ignacio, hiking their season record to 2-3.

But it wasn't as easy as it may sound.

Bobcat coach Duane Odoms has a young, scrappy and deep lineup this year and before the season ends, they will surprise some people.

"It's just a matter of learning the game for most of them," he said, "and they're all eager."

The first half, however, was an exercise in patience for Pagosa, dealing with off-angle shots going wide or hitting posts and cross bars, and an early game case of lethargy.

It was the latter trait that worried Pirate coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason.

"You can't come out against an eager team and just go through the motions," he cautioned his team. "You have to want it more."

The Pirates had a chance at 4:02 to jump out ahead but Laurel Reinhardt's bid on a midfield breakaway hit the crossbar.

But she was to be a driving force in the first goal, coming just 44 seconds later.

Reinhardt stole a Bobcat outlet pass just inside the offensive zone, gave every indication of another breakaway, then spotted Brittany Corcoran zooming from the right wing. Her left-foot cross caught Corcoran in stride and the senior drilled it past Bobcat keeper Shirelle Gleason.

The next several minutes turned into the "frustrate Kailey period" - senior midfielder Kailey Smith, that is.

At 6:40 her blast up the middle was stopped by Gleason. At 10:10 she broke containment for a reverse from Corcoran but her shot was wide left. At 12:05, her shot off a steal at the 20-yard line sailed wide right,

Just 50 seconds later, Stephanie Erickson joined the Pirate crossbar parade, clanking one that glanced high and away.

Sophomore Erin Gabel, making her first appearance of the season, was wide left on only her second touch of the game for Pagosa. Normally playing Gabel as a goalkeeper, Kurt-Mason wanted to get her into an action mode before sending her to the net.

Shots by Reinhardt and Jennifer Hilsabeck were blocked on a double save by Gleason at 21:04 after they combined on a give-and-go in front of the net. Just 50 seconds later, Hilsabeck had another seam but was wide right with the shot.

Still, the Pirates kept the ball in the attack zone with Caitlyn Jewell picking off the outlet. Her drop to Hilsabeck at 15:04 produced the Pirate's second goal.

Youngsters playing key roles for Pagosa combined for the third Pirate goal just over three minutes later after a mid-field give and take between the two teams.

It started with sophomore Grace Smith outdueling a Bobcat defender for the ball on the left sideline. A two-step dribble and crossing pass to the middle put freshman Ashley Portnell in position to net the third Pirate goal.

As the half wound down, Corcoran hit the right post, Reinhardt was wide left on a free kick from 20, and her header off a corner throw-in by Jewell also hit the crossbar.

Gabel went into goal for Pagosa in the second half, first-half keeper Laci Jones having faced no shots. Three Ignacio attempts were blocked before getting to her.

For just under eight minutes, the teams vied for position, scoring chances not even a dream.

Then Ignacio broke its scoreless string on a pretty play with Shonda Abeyta dribbling the middle, faking right and drilling a crossing lead to Kelsey Lyons breaking from the left wing for the shot and goal.

It was to be the Bobcats' last hurrah offensively.

At 46:22, Reinhardt was downed by an Ignacio defender and awarded a free kick from 22 yards. With the Bobcats slow to set up defensively, she quickly spotted and kicked, drilling in Pirate goal number 4.

Next to meet the turnaway by Gleason was Pirate freshman Lexi Johnson who beat two defenders for a shot but was just outside the left post. Three minutes later she had a second chance but, again, was wide left off a centering pass from Brett Garman.

Gabel made her best stop of the game on the ensuing Ignacio possession. She roamed wide to her right to stop a roller at the corner of the box, but her outlet throw was weak and right to Bobcat attacker Shanequa Owens.

Gabel, racing back to the net got there just in time to tip Owens' shot up and over.

With Corcoran and Reinhardt switching positions in latter stages of the game, Kurt-Mason was looking for different combinations in attack mode.

He got it, and another player into the scoring column, when Reinhardt drove the middle, cut right, feinted left, then crossed a perfect lead to sophomore Alaina Garman 12 yards out. That produced goal No. 5 for Pagosa when Gleason was unable to get to her close-range drive.

But the Pirates weren't quite done.

With under two minutes left on the field clock (actual time kept by a referee) Corcoran was on the prowl again.

She picked off an over-the-top outlet just inside the defensive zone, veered to the right sideline and worked around two defenders.

Seeing no support in the middle, she turned on a burst of speed, beat the final upfield defender and cut to the net.

Gleason came out to cut down the angle and Corcoran drilled it over her head into the upper left corner of the net for Pagosa's final score in the 6-1 victory.

The Pirates had stopped two league foes (Bayfield was first) in a row, and were set to tackle Durango Friday and Ridgway Saturday.


Scoring: 4:46, P-Corcoran, assist Reinhardt; 15:04, P-Hilsabeck; 18:08, P-Ashley Portnell, assist Grace Smith; 42:02, I-Lyons, assist Abeyta; 46:22, P-Reinhardt, free kick; 62:14, P-A. Garman, assist Reinhardt; 78:20, P-Corcoran. Shots on goal, P-26, I-5; Penalties, none; Saves, P-Jones, 0; P-Gable, 4; I-Gleason, 12.

Pirates swarm over Ridgway for 3-0 soccer victory

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It's the kind of contagion Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason could get accustomed to.

Scoring ... from more than one or two girls on the Pirate soccer team, and a swarming defense refusing to allow foes into the zone.

Another name was added to the goal list in Ridgway Saturday when sophomore Iris Frye dented the scoring column after being down on herself for a run of near misses earlier in the season.

Also nailing the nets in the 3-0 win for the Pirates were Brett Garman with her first of the year after propelling her team into state playoffs last year with the shoot-out goal that stopped Salida - and Laurel Reinhardt.

Garman's younger sister, Alaina, was another of those who had not scored this season until drilling one Friday against Ignacio.

Reinhardt, on the other hand, is tied with Jennifer Hilsabeck for the team lead with four goals. Right behind them is Brittany Corcoran, with three.

Reinhardt and Hilsabeck each added an assist at Ridgway, along with regular sweeper Kailey Smith.

That Pagosa was the stronger team in Ridgway is indicated in the goal-keeping statistics. Pirate keeper Erin Gabel had six saves in her shutout effort, a tribute to the stout defense played in front of her. Ridgway keeper senior Eva Duce was peppered by 19 Pirate shots on goal and she stopped 16 of them.

Others on the scoring list for Pagosa so far are Kailee Smith, freshman Ashley Portnell and senior outside midfielder Caitlyn Jewell.

Freshman Allison Laverty also apparently scored against Durango but the goal was disallowed by game officials after a midfield conference.

At Ridgway, with the wind at their backs in the first half, the Pirates managed only a lone goal by Reinhardt.

But Kurt-Mason said the players rallied themselves at halftime and turned on the afterburners in the second half.

It was an awesome performance by the defense, he said. "They did not allow Ridgway to organize an attack.

"A lot of that success," he said, "was due to the overlapping play of Grace and Emmy Smith, who seemed to be everywhere."

The offense, keyed by Reinhardt and Jewell from midfield, opened up the attack lanes in the second half.

"Everyone we play is beginning to realize the threat Laurel poses to them," he said, "and they know they have to double her. In this game they tried it, but she attacked the middle and then fed the wings where someone was always open. When the defenders dropped off, she went to the net herself."

This is not, however, your one-person offense.

"We had control of the ball for probably 60 of the 80 minutes played," Kurt-Mason said. "Stephanie Erickson and Ashley Portnell fit well into the offensive patterns, feeding and dealing the ball off to attackers from midfield attack spots."

Garman's goal, he noted, "was a thing of beauty, a 35-yard direct following an interference call. Her body language told you she knew it was going in and she jumped for joy, having broken the scoreless string.

"I've cited a number of individuals for strong performances," he said, "but really, it was a team affair, probably more-so for the defense.

"They just refused to let Ridgway even near the goal," he added. "They were swarming the foes like hornets on baby's ice cream cone."

The Pirates get a chance today to show their degree of improvement with a 3 p.m. home game at Golden Peaks Stadium against Montezuma-Cortez, the team which dealt them a 10-0 loss in the opening game of the season when several current players were not yet active for Pagosa.

The next day, Pagosa will host the Center Vikings at 4 p.m. as they return to action in the Southwest Mountain League. The Pirates travel to Ignacio for a 4 p.m. game Tuesday.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

No Column this week

Pagosa Springs Parks

Park Fun program sign-up dates set

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

For the past 15 years or so, the Park Fun program has started on or around June 1, because that is the day we could get into a school-owned facility. We have budgeted for June and July of each year to have this activity in place for the parents and children of the county.

With the school calendar changing, and no change in our budget, we plan on May 31 as the first day of Park Fun this year.

Park Fun, for you newcomers, is a program started in the early 1980's by Juanalee Park. It has developed into a daycare-type program that allows working parents, or parents who want their child to have an outlet, a chance to keep from staying home all day.

We swim, fish, hike, have guest speakers, art projects, roller skate, fly kites and play games in a structured environment.

Cost for the program has been set at $16 per day, or $80 a week. Children can be checked in at 8 a.m. and picked up at 5 p.m. weekdays. The children bring their own lunch, swimsuits, water bottles and sunscreen. Sign-up for the program will be May 25-28 in the town hall conference room. Enrollment requirements include a medical history and background information necessary to allow daily drop-off at the program location.

The program will meet weekdays at the junior high school and we would like to thank the school district for its cooperation in allowing use of the facilities.

Clean-up Week

We are in the organizational stages of our annual clean-up week, or in this case our clean-up month.

Clifford Lucero with Archuleta County Solid Waste, Chris Gallegos, Mark Garcia and myself from the town, are working on a calendar for Dumpster locations for the town's annual clean-up effort.

With school picnics, graduation and Memorial Day activities looming, we plan to have a schedule for clean-up worked out by next week. Historically, Dumpsters have been located at different times at the following locations: Town Park, 9th Street, Hilltop Cemetery and the alley between South 5th and South 6th streets. A full schedule will be posted.

Tentatively, the county plans a free day at the Archuleta County Landfill. Please do not get this confused with the transfer station.

More will be in next week's paper after all parties agree on a schedule and a calendar for the location of the free dumpsters.


Cheers for volunteers

We are in the spring doldrums in Pagosa Country, that time of the year when, traditionally, tourist traffic into the area slowed, when the activities calendar showed the fewest entries.


But traditions are there to be altered, if not broken. This spring is a fine example of how things have changed in this part of the world.

Not long ago, shortly after spring break period ended in late March, you could shoot a cannon ball down the sidewalk of the 400 block of Pagosa Street and not hit anyone. Parking lots at local lodging establishments were nearly empty, restaurants had a hard time filling chairs (some closed for brief time), tax returns were in the mail. The ski area had shut down the lifts; the golf course was not yet open. There was little else to do but go to work and come home at night, go to church and attend civic club meetings. Even the agendas of local government bodies seemed to shrink.

Not so any longer.

Take the past week, for example: If you made the claim there was nowhere to go, nothing to do, you were seriously out of touch.

There were tourists in town; folks enjoyed the hot springs and our restaurants.

Sports were in high gear at the high school, in parks and recreation programs.

There was a luncheon held by the Education Center that drew a large crowd.

On one weekend, the San Juan Gobblers held their annual banquet; the next weekend members of the local builder's association put on their annual home show at the fairgrounds.

At the high school auditorium, standing-room-only crowds enjoyed the production of "Beauty and the Beast," a show involving more than 50 participants.

The Week of the Young Child was underway, including storytellers one night at the elementary school.

These are only a few of the activities on the agenda.

We are reminded most of the activities share one thing in common: volunteers. They are more than an incidental presence; most local events involve a necessary contingent of volunteers. It is an appropriate time to highlight the value of volunteer help and to laud those volunteers who work so hard to make a majority of our opportunities come to pass. Not only do volunteers provide the fuel that propels charitable activities and civic organizations, without them we would have few athletic and arts programs for our youngsters; we would have little or no government.

Think of organizations that use volunteer help: the library, the historical museum, the schools, the Chamber of Commerce, the Booster Club, Humane Society, Rotary, Kiwanis, the Lion's Club, Scouting, our many local arts organizations - events as diverse as the Pagosa Lakes Triathlon and the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days and Relay for Life. Think about the work done by volunteers in the Operation Helping Hand program, for the county fair, the local 4-H.

And we need to count nearly all our local elected officials in the mix since they are unpaid, as are members of their duly constituted commissions and panels.

Put aside any hint of cynicism and ask, where would we be without them?

When we sit back and marvel at how many things take place in this community, even in the down time of the year, we need to contemplate how they take place and reckon with who makes them happen.

This has always been a very generous community. It is one quality we have not lost and one thing we must continue to encourage. Volunteers, in whatever capacity they serve, are Pagosa Country's greatest assets.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

Don't push your climb too soon

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

As one ages, the pace of an evening walk may slow perceptibly though the stride seems the same you've always used.

One result is that a five-mile trek over reasonably level ground may take as much as 10 minutes longer than it did a year ago.

That doesn't mean the walk should be avoided. Instead, it indicates a need for continual challenge to the body and its ability to self-resuscitate. Stretch out those muscles and keep it in shape.

There are some challenges best left for later in the year, especially if you're new to the walking game. Choose relatively easy routes as you begin, working in mild climbs as your stamina progresses.

Don't, whatever you do, select the Reservoir Hill access from the trailhead behind San Juan Motel as your first climb of note. It winds around a series of S-turns, letting you almost see yourself, as it climbs quickly to the top. The views are fantastic, but it does sap energy if you're not accustomed to it.

One other note about this particular route: If you do choose it, stay on the trail. It is there for a purpose, protection of the steep slope from destruction by runoff. The trail is designed to keep tender tundra safe from rocky slides.

Unfortunately, some bicyclists and some he-man walkers are making new paths that destroy effectiveness of the trail's tight protection line.

You can see it as you start up. Some muscle maven has decided he'll go straight up from the first lower level horizontal path. New rifts in the fragile topsoil pop into view, paths to let runoff peel away the thin layer of soil hosting wide varieties of plant growth.

"Yah, but who cares," he might challenge as he puffs his way to the top. "Look how strong I am, came straight up the side."

And, look what he missed.

Simple bird nests hosted in the crook of a lonesome pine; hand made stone markers at critical points on the trail; views growing from shallow valley to mountain range and finally, at the top, a giant picnic table, views of mountains and valleys in every direction, and a sense of finding a new world right here in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Even taking the road route up from behind the post office can be a challenge if you're not in shape. It may seem like a minor climb, but the top is considerably farther away than you think when standing at the bottom.

If the season is late enough that it is dry in the gullies coming down, there is one place the strong-willed climber can get a workout on that hill. Go directly up from the hillside trailhead, bypassing numbered trails. There are stones set at primary spots and roots carefully groomed to support weight as the veteran hiker goes straight up to a spot near the water tower.

This is not a climb for the uninitiated or tame of heart. It requires stamina, strength of lower leg muscles, and deep breathing capability.

Before you try either of those approaches, you might want to sample some of the lower hills around the downtown area just to get into climbing condition. And even some of those, like 2nd Street up to Mesa Heights, can challenge the out-of-shape pacer.


90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of Apr. 16, 1915

A fine of $1.00 and costs (total eight bones) was administered yesterday in Police Magistrate Caldwell's court to one of our citizens for riding a horse on our sidewalks.

If you wish to be the envy of your friends, wear a Nemo corset - a style for every figure - at the Schonefeld millinery store.

Remember that C. O. Weselquist repairs anything from a mouse trap to a flying machine.

Supt. Hamor of the Durango fish hatchery delivered several thousand trout in Four Mile Creek this week.

Mrs. Elias Peterson, who for the past two weeks has been quite ill in bed, is now able to be up and around and will soon be in good health once more.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Apr. 18, 1930

A new filling station will shortly occupy the corner at San Juan and Seventh streets, the property having been purchased from John H. Lattin by Marion Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett comes from Canon City and has commenced construction of his building.

Two huge tractors with snow plow equipment were put to work the first of the week on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass, and it is thought that the highway can be opened the 1st of May. As soon as possible a crew will begin work of clearing the snow and grading on the west side of the pass, the highway crew at present being engaged in preparing the Sunetha-Pagosa project for graveling.

There seems to be little local news floating around this week.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Apr. 15, 1955

A vote of thanks to the Archuleta County Commissioners for the crushed gravel that is being put on the mail route. It will certainly be a big help during wet weather.

This past Sunday, Legionnaires and other men of the community gathered and moved the Scout building from the lot next to the high school to the town park where it will be permanently located when some leveling work is done on the proposed permanent site. Our thanks to the county commissioners for their use of their maintainers and to Worthe Crouse for the use of his winch and to other men of the community who donated their help. Thanks also the Legionnaires who pitched in to get this important work done.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Apr. 17, 1980

Construction work has started again with the arrival of nice weather here. However, the high cost of borrowing and financing seems to have had a noticeable impact upon the amount of building scheduled for this year. There will be several new homes built throughout the county, though, and more growth appears to be ahead for the area.

Wolf Creek Ski Area closed Sunday after a very successful season. Skier days numbered 55,014 and there was an average daily attendance of 387 skiers. The area enjoyed excellent snow conditions and skiing the entire season. The largest crowds were during the Christmas holidays, with March being the top attendance month.


Education Center provides many roads to a better life

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Lauren Sun Yung Schlessinger was 15 when her father collapsed on the living room floor and died a few hours later in the hospital. That was five days before she began her sophomore year of high school.

Adrift, without the father she adored, Schlessinger began the typical downward spiral of a depressed, grieving teenage girl.

Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, skipping school, taking drugs and abusing alcohol replaced horseback riding, soccer and running track. Schlessinger was suspended from two schools and expelled from one. She was arrested for possession of marijuana and, as time passed, she ran away from home, began doing cocaine and was physically and emotionally abused by both men and women.

But before he died, Schlessinger's father, who was her best friend, nicknamed her "Justice." Today Schlessinger wears that name with pride and is seeking it in her own life and for that of other young people. She is a student at the Archuleta County Education Center's alternative school - the Archuleta County High School - and will graduate next month. She is also organizing a brand new youth festival called "Re-Union" in Taos, N.M., which is designed, in part, to raise money for tribal youth.

How Schlessinger grew from an angry drug-abusing teenager to a bright, articulate youth leader has much to do with the Archuleta County Education Center.

"I think she was sick and tired of being sick and tired," said Doug Bowen, director of the Archuleta County High School and one of Schlessinger's teachers. "She worked when other kids wouldn't. She did what she said she was going to do."

Schlessinger is just one of 1,118 people who were served by the Education Center in 2004. The non-profit center, whose mission is to keep kids and adults from falling through the educational cracks, kicked off its annual fund-raising drive last week.

"We want every child to graduate," said Livia Cloman Lynch, the Center's director.

Schlessinger was just one of the students who spoke at a fund-raising luncheon last week. Another soft-spoken young woman at Archuleta County High School told the audience about being grabbed from a bus stop in Colorado Springs when she was 14 years old and raped by a soldier. One month later her mother was sent to jail. She was homeless before coming to Pagosa Springs but enrolled in the alternative high school when she got here. While she still struggles, the young woman said, with the help of the alternative high school and the teachers there who "nag" her to press on, she hopes to graduate in two years and plans to pursue a master's degree in counseling.

Begun in 1989, the Center's original focus was adult literacy and GED programs. However, in 1995, in response to federal legislation, the Piton Foundation assessed all 63 counties in Colorado and ranked them based on child abuse, neglect and youth crime rates. At that time, Archuleta County was 63rd - the worst in the state - for child abuse and neglect, 54th in violent crime and 52nd in economic indicators.

"That was our call for action and why we started our after-school programs and enrichment programs," said Cloman Lynch. She said that another study shows it takes 2.21 wage-earning jobs to support a family in Archuleta County, which takes most parents out of the home. "Kids need a good structured safe place to be."

That study was done 10 years ago and Cloman Lynch has seen subsequent studies indicating Archuleta County has improved its rank in the state.

"Our numbers have improved a lot," she said.

It is not hard to imagine where the two young women who spoke at the luncheon might be today without the intervention of the Archuleta County Education Center.

Bowen said he could "break your heart for two hours" with stories from the kids he teaches. From day to day, his students are dealing with drug addiction, suicidal tendencies, anger, pregnancy and the judicial system. So one of the main struggles the team of four teachers faces is getting the kids to even come to school.

"Here we hope to take care of the personal social and cultural problems and somewhere after that we get some teaching done," Bowen said.

He said the low student-to-staff ratio is a critical part of the reason they will graduate another eight or nine students this year and see several more get their GEDs. Public schools do their best Bowen said, "but they don't have time to even identify the kids' problems, much less deal with them."

One of Cloman Lynch's main priorities now is securing funding to hire a part-time drug and alcohol counselor to address some of the addiction issues the kids face. Bowen added that, on top of all their problems, the kids are harshly judged. But Bowen said the average person just doesn't know what these kids have faced. He said some of them have seen things at 12 that he couldn't have handled at 20.

But the alternative high school is only one of the Archuleta County Education Center's many programs.

The Center has a half-million dollar annual operating budget and $60,000 of that comes from local fund-raising every year. The rest comes from contractual agreements with the school district and from grants.

It employs 133 people in Archuleta County. Seven of them are full-time teachers and administrators and the rest are part-time workers. Sixty-one percent of the Education Center's staff are students. The Center hires older students to tutor younger ones, which not only supplies job training, Cloman Lynch said, but a big brother big sister relationship to boot.

The Center also tutors approximately 40 kindergarten through eighth-grade kids four days per week and offers fun after-school programs Fridays. Cooking, art and drama classes are held every day of the week after school as well. In addition, the center offers community education, job training, babysitting workshops, CPR, family nights and even courses in flyfishing and Italian.

Last February, Cloman Lynch realized there was a whole other sector of the population that the Education Center was not addressing: Jail inmates.

Realizing that literacy or lack of it is a major contributor to incarceration, Cloman Lynch went to the Rotary Club and asked for volunteers to go into the jail once a week and work with inmates on literacy. Since the program began, volunteers like Kim Moore, who also spoke at the luncheon, have worked with 15 regular students and have seen two of them receive their GED's.

"It takes a special person to go into the jail," Cloman Lynch said, adding the Center has received letters from inmates thanking the volunteers for their help and explaining their commitment to making better choices.

Schlessinger is all about making better choices these days. At one time graduating from high school was a lofty goal. Today she is on track to graduate and is working part-time at Victoria's Parlor. Her new goal is to provide other young people with quality entertainment that focuses on "positive outlets of expression."

Prompted by the Archuleta County High School to do a community service project, she is part of the Tribal Youth Project, which is a group of young people planning a festival of human creativity and expression. Their first event, scheduled for July 16 at the Taos Pueblo Tribal Pow Wow Grounds, will be a full/day-night multimedia event. The event will host DJs, poetry slams, African, hip hop and belly dance performances, skateboarding and graffiti contests. After the sun goes down, the organizers plan an electronic dance party — something like a rave.

Far from naïve, Schlessinger is aware that drug use is often a major part of raves. She said she was involved in the rave scene for about three years but was also high or drunk. Now she wants the music, which was a major part of her own recovery from drugs and alcohol, to inspire other young people without the use of drugs.

"I love how music/dance makes me feel and I am dedicated to sharing my passion with everyone," she wrote in a statement about the event. "This event is about the music, uniting as human beings and surviving through life. Coming together in healthy ways."

To get involved and support the Archuleta County Education Center with volunteer time or financial support call the center at 264-2835. To get involved with the Re-Union project, e-mail Schlessinger at organicflies4@yahoo.com


Appaloosa Club sets clinic, open horse show

Have you ever wanted to try horse showing but didn't quite understand some of the concepts?

The Four Corners Appaloosa Horse Club is offering a show clinic in Pagosa Springs open to all breeds, experience levels and ages.

The clinic, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 7 at Red Ryder Rodeo Arena, will give residents a chance to join local experts and find out how to master trail, halter, showmanship, English and Western horsemanship.

Bring your horse or just come to watch. Lunch will be included in the small fee. Reservations are required. Contact Mary Ann Page for more information or to reserve a space at 731-3901.

And, mark your calendars for the club's All Breed Horse Show Sunday, June 26.

It, too, will be held in Red Ryder Arena starting at 9 a.m. All breeds and experience levels are welcome. Classes will be offered in Western, English, halter and games with high-points being awarded in several divisions.

For more information contact Stacie Castro at 264-5581.


AARP Driver Safety Program set April 20-21

The AARP Driver Safety Program, the nation's first and largest classroom refresher for motorists 50 and over will be offered in Pagosa Springs April 20-21.

Sessions will be noon-4 p.m. each day in Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street.

Participants will learn how to avoid driving hazards, pay a minimal fee, take no tests and qualify in many cases for insurance discounts.

Call Bob Newlander at 731-2479 for more details.

Pagosa's Past

First pass crossing filled with angst

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

The steepness, altitude, and panoramic vistas over sharply falling rock walls remain a breathtaking experience for travelers accustomed to flatter terrain. Imagine the emotions felt by those crossing Wolf Creek Pass in 1916, the year it opened.

We have been repeating the first person account of Myrtle Hersch, one who was among a caravan of the first cars to cross the pass the year it opened. The road was unpaved and scarcely wide enough for one car. In some places, Myrtle reported ducking to get under overhanging outcroppings of rocks. The adventure gets more thrilling before the caravan reaches the bottom at the western end of the journey.

More from Myrtle:

"At Box Canyon we had to wait until fifteen heavy dynamite blasts tore away a section of rock, then all of this debris had to be cleared away before we could attempt to cross over. At one place a steam drill stood against a rock wall, and we had to drive around it on the point of broken rocks. The Cadillac was too long to make the turn around the drill, so again Joseph (remember, Joseph was 13 years old; Colorado did not require drivers' licenses in 1916) had to see-saw inch-by-inch to make the turn. Just as we got around, the whole point slid off into the stream below.

"None of the other cars carried food, so when we found a slightly dry spot under a spruce tree, the Hatchers and we invited the group to eat with us, as we had an ample supply in our camp. Every man had shoveled, pushed, lifted, and worked his best for everyone who needed help. We had showers all day long. There seemed to be no bottom to the road with this rain on the new construction. When we began to climb, the road was so slick, or again so sticky, it took the five cars three hours to cover only a quarter of a mile. Added to all these delays, the Chalmers and Cadillac each had a flat tire. Now, night was coming on and we were still two and one-half miles from Mr. Logan's work camp. The lighter weight cars passed through the mud holes all right, and drove on towards camp, but the heavier cars just sank. Marguerite (a small daughter from whom I obtained the story some 20 years ago ... her married name was Wiley by the time I knew her) and I walked the distance through mud and rain to the road camp for help. Mr. Logan sent four big horses to assist, but they couldn't move the cars. When this didn't work, Eugene Hatcher backed their Velie from camp carrying heavy log chains. With the horses and chains, the cars were pulled out.

'The high altitude and the excitement of the day, besides the wet and cold, was more than I could take. The cook and his buddy moved their beds into the dining tent, and fixed a place for me to lie down and rest. My family didn't get to camp until 8:00 P.M. I was too tired to eat, and didn't get warm all night.

"When morning came, I still couldn't eat, but the sun came out and we were ready to make a fresh start. Mr. Logan sent his crew ahead early to fill in a one hundred foot bog with spruce boughs. We still had rough going to the top of the pass, which is over ten thousand feet high. We were told that our troubles were all over, as it was down grade, and work done the previous fall was well packed by highway equipment. We were all in good spirits, for we knew no one would meet us today. Each car took its own pace coming down, not too close because of the sharp curves - Joseph and I still following at ten miles an hour, and in low gear. We came to section of the road which was supported by a built up rock wall, and noticed that the tracks of the cars ahead were only four or five inches from the rocks, but it looked safe enough, when CRASH! that entire wall gave way and let the left side of our car down and hanging in mid air. Only a very small rock below our left front wheel kept us from going down. As we slipped out on the upper side, the car teetered as if it were on its way down."

Did the Hersch's lose their car down the mountainside? Find out next week when we conclude Myrtle Hersch's story.


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Get out the rake, mow the lawn; great weather ahead

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Okay. You've procrastinated long enough.

We've heard all the excuses: Too cold, too windy, too wet.

But Mother Nature plans a big step into spring during the next week and you might as well join her.

You might even want to think about where the vegetables will go in the garden. But oldtimers say its still too early to plant most varieties. Look to Memorial Day weekend for good planting weather, they say.

The regional government weather bureau center in Grand Junction predicts an almost ideal seasonal week starting today.

You can rake the yard, clean out the shed, go to a ball game, and all without fear of freezing or being blown away.

And there isn't even a hint of precipitation down the line.

Today, forecasters say, will be mostly sunny with the first 70-plus degree reading of the year. It could reach 72 with winds from the south/southeast at 10-15 miles per hour.

The rest of the upcoming week is carbon copy except for the high temperatures which are expected in the mid to upper 60s through Tuesday.

Lows during the same period are expected in the low 30s, averaging out at the freezing mark - 32.

In the past week, high temperatures here have ranged from a peak of 64.8 April 7 to 41.3 Sunday, with no measurable precipitation. Lows in the same period ranged from 18.9 Monday to 28.8 April 8. With the exception of April 8 and 9, dominant windflow in the period has been north to south.

The signs of winter are still with us as the heat rises.

At Wolf Creek Ski Area, the season snowfall total reached 484 inches. As of Wednesday noon, the ski area summit depth was at 180, with 158 at the midpoint.

And streamflow in the San Juan River, which surged to just over 2,000 cubic feet per second April 8 at the Carracas measuring station, has settled back down but is still above average.

By April 8, the flow was at 800 cfs, but by noon Wednesday, it had climbed back to 1,270 cfs. Measurements in downtown Pagosa Springs are no longer available pending replacement of a gauge removed during river restoration work by the town.

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