May 5, 2005
Front Page

Mary Fisher Clinic to become urgent

care center July 11

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Mark July 11 on your calender of key dates in the history of Upper San Juan Health Service District.

If a number of elements fall together as the board of directors anticipate, that is the day Mary Fisher Medical Center will reopen in a new role - an urgent care facility.

That is regarded as the initial step toward becoming an Critical Access Hospital serving short-term patients with emergency needs.

An advisory committee composed of directors Dick Blide and Jerry Valade, with community representatives J.R. Ford and David Bohl, has been meeting with representatives of Durango's Mercy Medical Center with discussions focusing on a possible joint agreement concerning Mercy involvement in the Pagosa Springs facility.

Valade said one more meeting will be held and it is possible an agreement can be presented for board approval thereafter.

In the meantime, the board has been advised by Sheldon Weisgrau that his study of feasibility for the district will be ready by mid-month.

With that in mind, board chair Pam Hopkins tentatively scheduled a special meeting of the board May 19, time and location to be announced.

But that isn't the only development potentially affecting Mary Fisher's future.

Directors also have been contacted by Dr. Ken Patterson who has experience in emergency room operations in Texas and has moved to Pagosa Springs.

Valade said Patterson has expressed interest in the urgent care operation, would help set up the operations parameters and is willing to serve, if wanted, as the medical director.

Patterson, said Valade, would put in two days a week of actual physician care.

The urgent care operation would be open 24 hours a day, five days a week - Monday through Friday.

Talks with Mercy have indicated that newly expanding facility might be interested in moving some diagnostic and lab imaging equipment here.

There has been no specific discussion with reference to financial investment or subsequent costs to the district for the cooperative agreement sought.

The discussions will continue Tuesday, with the committee reporting status prior to the planned special meeting.

"At that time," Valade said, "we expect to be in a position to make a recommendation on the best way to go forward."

He noted local physicians Bob Brown and Dan Hepburn have indicated they would serve one day a week in staffing the urgent care operation.

And he suggested waiting to finalize or continue any discussions with Dr. Patterson until after the meeting with Mercy officials.

It is possible, he said, that Mercy will want to utilize Mary Fisher as a backup to its own emergency care operations.

"By the end of the year," he said, "the people of Pagosa Springs will be much better served by this new facility than they ever have been before."

Directors were told Bohl has a running model for urgent care center operation and data is being entered as accumulated to forecast either success or possible problems.

"It is conceivable" Valade said, "that we could be ready earlier, but we're shooting for the July 11 date. There several items yet to be negotiated, but the committee feels we're on the right track and is confident we will be ready."

While some cautioned the board needs to make sure it is on sound financial ground with reference to operational feasibility, Valade said all is being considered as the plan is developed.

Dr. Mark Wienpahl, from the audience, said "it sounds like a good start, but I'm seeing new patients every day. We must do all we can to maintain financial reality as you go into this.

"There seem to be a lot of unknowns as you push ahead," he said. "As a district, we don't want to suddenly find ourselves underfunded. This is a whole new process and we need to know where we're going before we enter into any new contracts - with anyone."

He noted the urgent care idea is a logical one, but the doctors won't go if they don't have back-up staff on duty. "The big question," he said, "is how we get it all locked into a cohesive service operation?

"It is a big financial obligation you are considering," he said, adding, "sixty days may be too soon to have everything necessary in place."

Wienpahl said he had met with Dr. Patterson, "and he may be our man. But it is all new to him, too."

Valade was again adamant that "every T will be crossed and every I dotted. We believe we will need 15 to 16 patients per day to break even initially and we can project that as a logical average load. We have studied all the angles we can think of. We are actually trying to be very deliberate, not in a rush to ruin."

Ford noted, "We are just a committee. We have researched, we have put the numbers together and we are near a recommendation. The final decision will be yours. We hope to have given you all the tools, all the information you need to make that final decision."

Hopkins told the crowd, "We are being very guarded in our approach to every facet of the new program. But I believe we have more options than ever before. It will become a reality. We will open July 11!"


Local, state officials keeping wary eye on flood scenarios

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

With snow water equivalent in the Upper San Juan Basin currently at 164 percent of normal, state, town and county officials are preparing for possibility of floods.

"At risk" areas within town limits have been identified for the upcoming runoff which is expected to peak in mid-June.

Representatives of all three governmental entities and those of the local emergency services departments discussed the possibilities Tuesday in town hall.

Included in the session were some specific site visits and discussion of specific mitigation plans for those sites should they be necessary.

Russell Crowley, county emergency services officer, said plans already are underway for sandbag filling and distribution when needed.

He was told the town will provide services of at least two part-time workers to assist in the sandbar preparation.

Scott Pierce, flood plain administrator for the town, pointed out precipitation in the drainage area had - by Monday morning - already exceeded the average annual for the year.

Though river flow levels have dropped in recent days, periodic surges have appeared.

Kevin Houk, representing Colorado Water Conservation Board, was in town to examine site specific dangers and to recommend action.

All concerned believe the flood potential can be anywhere from mild to critical, depending on the amount of additional precipitation and the degree of meltdown through May.

Houk said long-range state forecasts indicate cool and wet weather will continue almost to Memorial Day.

But, looking at various sites and the topography in town, he said he doesn't see "a hundred year event here." That does not preclude flash floods or low areas near rivers suffering high water flow.

Pierce said the tour gave Houk the impression the potential damage areas in town would be the section behind the River Center, parts of Hermosa Street, low lands near Apache Street (where unsecured mobile homes are like boats ready to float) and the McCabe Creek drainage.

Reference the latter, officials found peak flow in McCabe can reach a potential 2,700 cubic feet per second and the double culvert under San Juan Street east of 6th Street, is capable of handling only 800 cfs. That could cause it to back up into residential areas on the northwest side of town.

And the Hidden Valley retention pond, though it is holding a large pool, has had no specific effect on flow data, posing an even greater concern for flood buildup.

"If we get a low level melt first, say up to 8,200 feet," Crowley said, "the problem may not be as bad as it could be. But if we get a rapid warmup up high before the lower snowpack is gone, that lower pack can create a damming effect, holding back the high country runoff until it breaches through with sheer pressure. That's when the danger accelerates and reaction time is critical."

Anyone living in low areas adjacent to any one of the county's waterways should be alert to the dangers, officials said.

Necessity for evacuation should be considered as part of each homeowner's individual safety plan, with each family aware of the danger and planning a quick withdrawal route to higher ground.

Key private papers and family documents should be kept near the "fast response" exit and taken as the first item out of the structure for both identification and insurance claim procedures.

Pierce asked that all residents check their coverage to be sure they have adequate flood insurance.

"It is important for people to know," he said, "that unless they have adequate flood insurance, they will not be compensated for any damage beyond home or business insurance policy limits. (See separate story on flood insurance).

If forced to evacuate because of impending flood, make sure other members of the family, employers and friends know where you are taking refuge and how you can be reached.

Weather forecasts, SNOTEL data and cumulative figures on the region's four major San Juan tributaries show, as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the following:

- Precipitation in the past week totaled .51 of an inch in town with the highest rainfall recorded at .20 Tuesday.

- At the Upper San Juan SNOTEL site, as of noon Tuesday, 102.9 inches of snow with a water equivalent of 51.6 inches was measured.

Riverwalk II, Aspen Village get OK; impact fees tabled

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Two major developments in Pagosa Springs - the Riverwalk Townhomes II and Phase III of Aspen Village - received their final approval from the town council Tuesday night. The Cartwright and Gayhart zoning and annexation requests received the go-ahead as well.

However, one emergency ordinance regarding impact fees for new development was tabled for further review.

The ordinance will set up a new fee structure for new commercial and residential development in town. The fees will be used to fund improvements to public roads, services and facilities as the town grows.

Several developers, like David Brown, Chris Smith of the Riverwalk Townhomes and Jeff Hester who is building for the Brick Oven Brewing Company, raised objections.

Brown said he is absolutely in favor of impact fees levied on developers but feels the numbers attached to the ordinance might be premature.

He estimates the proposed fees could ultimately raise costs for tenants by 25 percent. He is unsure if the market will currently bear that increase and may discourage new business in Pagosa.

He suggested the council wait until the town's economic feasibility report is complete to decide what development fees should be levied.

"You have pressure happening and I believe new development should pay," Brown said. "Are these the right numbers?"

Smith raised similar concerns, agreeing with Brown that development fees must be levied to protect the public infrastructure in town; but when do the fees start?

Smith said he is working with a client on a commercial building and is sure the immediate introduction of a new fee would ruin his client's plans. Hester said he is in the midst of his own project and objected to the impact it would have on an established budget.

The fees proposed for the construction of a new single family home, for instance, would be $772. An office under 10,000 square feet would be $1,576 per 1,000 square feet. A low turnover restaurant would be $4,593 per 1,000 square feet. An industrial unit or warehouse would be $653 per 1,000 square feet.

The council shared the public's concerns and agreed to continue the discussion at a 6 p.m. meeting May 16 in the community room.

At that time, the town will host a public meeting to present the findings of the economic feasibility study and the findings of the Big Box Task Force.

The town council chose to add the impact fee discussion to the agenda for that evening to give residents and developers more time to consider the proposal. There will also be a workshop for the economic feasibility study held May 10. The public is welcome to attend but no public hearing will be held.


 Inside The Sun

'Village' area tour sparks new charges

By Carol Fuccillo

Special to The SUN

After receiving temporary on-snow access from U. S. Forest Service ranger Tom Malecek, federal and state agency representatives, among others, visited the proposed site for the Village at Wolf Creek April 30.

Opinions differ on the outcome of the visit.

According to Bob Honts, the chief executive officer and managing venturer of the proposed village, "We feel that they (officials) have the backing of Pagosa Springs and are going full speed ahead. We are on track to have new road approvals by summer."

Honts also inferred he is now on good terms with owners of the Wolf Creek Ski area.

But Davey Pitcher, president of the Wolf Creek Ski Corporation, disagrees. "We are not on friendly terms with Honts," said Pitcher. "The man is trying to steal the ski area, and he is calling my father a liar. My father has put $40 million in payroll into this part of the country, while these guys have gone bankrupt down in Texas.

"Mr. Honts is a revisionist," said Pitcher. "He thinks that if he says something enough times it becomes true."

Pitcher said the field trip "was very strange and seemed disorganized." He said it appeared "Tom Malecek didn't seem to know the location of proposed actions and when people asked for details of the project, Mr. Honts got in his car and left."

Pitcher indicated he was extremely disappointed in the Forest Service for allowing a "flawed, possibly illegal land trade to run its course."

He said the Forest Service is not enforcing a scenic easement they have over the property.

"They are allowing political pressures to be applied to these specialists that normally would be doing a thorough job of analyzing a project of this size and magnitude, and they are trying to keep their skeletons in the closet," Pitcher said.

He added he thinks the timing of the trip was odd, given it was undertaken when the ground conditions could not be properly assessed.

"The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers couldn't see anything but big snowbanks," he said. "That is an indication of the rush job they are doing on this Environmental Impact Statement."

According to Pitcher, the specialists had not had a chance to look at the ground last summer.

"And now they are supposedly fulfilling the Forest Service obligation to contact these other agencies, and yet there still seems to be an extreme rush to complete this EIS without the proper analysis."

Pitcher said Honts is portraying the road issue as Wolf Creek Ski Area denying him access.

"The land (for the access) was on the highway, and their company chose to move it away from the highway," said Pitcher. "The Forest Service allowed the land to be moved into our permit. It was done unilaterally without our consent or even any input by us."

Pitcher said he feels Honts' group is trying to manipulate the system, and applying political pressure in Washington.

"It is very, very disillusioning watching the federal government cave in to a high-powered billionaire, " he said.

Jeff Berman, executive director of Colorado Wild and a member of Friends of Wolf Creek, told The SUN the Forest Service is not communicating with his group although it had an agreement with them to provide information about applications for permits.

Berman said he had to get a copy of the temporary permit from another member of the press.

"We are becoming increasingly frustrated that the Forest Service seems to be doing the bidding of Mr. McCombs and ignoring the people ... catering to the developer's demands," said Berman

Conversely, Malecek said the visit went well.

"We just had the meeting to inform the various agencies about the technicalities of the project, uniqueness of the landscape, and to let them know that when the Forest Service is done with this process, we will be in partnership to a degree to any of the agencies that have an interest and control over village development."

A final EIS and record of decision, which will also include a biological opinion from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will be issued to the public by late this summer, according to Malecek.


Local parent group planning private independent school

By Edward Norman

Special to The SUN

A local group of parents and educators have formed the Pagosa Waldorf Initiative to establish a private independent school based on the educational principles of Austrian educator, scientist and social innovator Rudolph Steiner.

The group is offering a free parenting study group led by professional Waldorf educators from around the region 10 a.m.-noon Saturday in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard, with free childcare and snacks.

This hands-on class will help parents understand the natural development of a child's body, mind, and soul; the importance of nurturing imagination and protecting the senses of the young child and how parenting can be more collaboration and less fight.

"The study group will become the soil that the early childhood program will grow out of," says Marianne Calvanese one of the initiative trustees. "Community is the foundation of a successful Waldorf school. Much of our focus is on bringing people together in deep and meaningful ways to collaborate in building this school."

Primary to understanding Steiner's approach to child development is accepting the view that humans are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. A qualitative equality is then inherent in each child's creative and intellectual process of unfoldment which requires being met with a respectful nurturing simplicity on the part of the institution educating them.

For this reason, early childhood is the time to protect the vulnerable senses, stimulate creative imagination and natural imitation impulses and provide an all embracing warmth, wonder and safety in the world. This is accomplished by employing teachers who create the suitable environ by holding the knowledge of each child's limitless possibilities within their heart and mind.

Arts, crafts, singing, movement, baking, gardening and lots of play are the vehicles for the blossoming pre-schoolers in the Waldorf approach.

The Pagosa Waldorf Initiative's board of trustees is composed of Calvanese, Janelle Karas, Ashley D'Ambrosi, Nila and Nathaniel Newby, Meg Dunn and Edward Norman.

The initiative plans to open an early childhood program in September for children 3 1/2-6 years old. For information call Calvanese at 731-3070.


Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, in the county commissioners' meeting room, in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

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

- Re-plat of Meadows 1, Lot 16, and Meadows 2, Lot 113 - Final Plat.

This request is for re-platting a portion of Meadows Units I and II for the purpose of transferring approximately 1/10 acre from Lot 16 to Lot 113, to allow for the existing drive on Lot 113 to not be encroaching onto Lot 16.

These properties are at 1441 Carino Place (Lot 113 of Meadows Unit II), and 1553 Carino Place (Lot 16 of Pagosa Meadows Unit I), in Sections 29 and 32, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, Colo.

- Park Avenue Warehouse in Village Service Commercial Subdivision - Conditional Use Permit.

This is a request to construct a warehouse/retail building, approximately 10,175 square feet in size, and suitable for up to six tenants. The building will consist of six identical spaces, each having one roll-up door, one front and one rear man-door and one bathroom.

The project is planned at 204 Hopi Drive, at the corner of Park Avenue and Hopi Drive in the Re-plat of the Village Service Commercial Subdivision, (Lot 49).

- The Timbers at Whispering Pines - Conditional Use Permit.

This is a request for the planning commission to review a multi-family townhouse/condominium development.

The property is generally south of Park Avenue and between Talisman Drive and Davis Cup Drive. The property is legally described as Lots 6C, 6D and 6E in the Central Core Subdivision, Sections 17 and 20, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, Colo.

- Other business that may come before the planning commission.

- Adjournment.


Physician John Piccaro will leave Pagosa June 10

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Dr. John Piccaro, one of the primary care physicians at Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center, will leave the clinic June 10.

Piccaro and his family will move to Durango where they have purchased eight acres outside the city. Piccaro plans to continue practicing medicine but the exact picture is yet unclear.

However, the root cellar he's going to build for his wine collection and a thorough exploration of Molas Pass with his kids are already on the list.

"It's been such a difficult decision but we want to explore other things and check out something new," Piccaro said.

Piccaro has worked side by side with Dr. Jim Pruitt for four years and said the clinic has been the best and most collegial he has ever encountered. However, the outspoken and sometimes hyperactive doctor that Pagosans have come to know over four years said it's time for a change for himself and his family.

"This clinic has been the most complete and savagely fun clinic I've ever worked in," Piccaro said, adding that it is one of the only private clinics left from Cortez to Alamosa that will see anyone regardless of their insurance status. "The hardest thing is that we have the best clinic that is open to anyone. Every day is an incredible day at that office."

Piccaro, who has three children including one born just four months ago, is excited to spend time with them exploring a new area. An avid hockey player he is looking forward to being five minutes from the hockey rink. Piccaro, who has lived in Fort Collins, Crested Butte and Switzerland says he's just one of those people that enjoys a change of scene.

"We like to travel, we like to see the world," he said.

In fact, an offer with his old friends at the Swiss Mountain Rescue came up, and while he was tempted he knew it would take too much time away from his family.

Piccaro realizes people gain an emotional attachment to their doctors and he said that was a huge hurdle in his decision to leave. While the clinic is actively seeking his replacement Piccaro said "the absolute smartness of Jim Pruitt" and the other doctors in the clinic leaves it in good stead. In fact, Piccaro said it is uncommon to find doctors who can handle emergencies and every day primary care with equal facility. This happens every day at the clinic he jokingly calls M.A.S.H.

"We worked and we worked and we took care of the most pressing first and took care of everyone else we could and we did the best we could," adding that for his part "I hope I brought some happiness, good medicine and honest emotion to my patients."

Piccaro made clear his decision to leave Pagosa was not prompted by the current issues plaguing the health district. In fact, Piccaro called the board "seven hard-working, earnest people trying to solve a national problem at a local level.

"To rely solely on seven people is asking too much of them," Piccaro said adding that the county, the town, Realtors, developers and others in the business of attracting and accommodating new residents need to help seek solutions. "These are seven good-intentioned people and they need support and positive encouragement."

Piccaro said the hardest part for him is leaving behind what he calls "the best staff in the world" and the all the patients he's grown close to.

"I want to thank the people of Pagosa for letting me work here for four years."


County names development director, airport manager

By John Middendorf

Special to The SUN

There was a packed house at Tuesday's Archuleta County Commissioners' meeting. The meeting featured a tight agenda and onlookers overflowed the room, into the hallway.

The first orders of business went quickly and with much applause: the recognition of Bruce Quintana as Pagosa's "Roads Scholar" for his outstanding work with the Colorado Department of Safety, and the announcement of two new county employees: Blair Leist, from Livermore, Colo. (new director of county development) and Rob Russ, from Daytona Beach, Fla. (new airport manager).

Each new employee has extensive experience in his field. Leist has a master's degree in urban and regional planning and over 15 years experience with planning, including work with the Hopi and Navajo tribes. Russ is a pilot and mechanic with 20 years of experience with the Air Force and Air Force Reserve. He has offered the public weekly tours of the airport facility, and spoke of a need to consider the airport a source of pride for the community.

The Airport Advisory Committee was officially disbanded at the Tuesday meeting and, 20 seconds later, the Airport Advisory Commission was born, with the same appointments.

Bob Howard, chair of the new commission, presented a quarterly report to the county commissioners. He covered progress made since the airport committee's first meeting Feb. 16 and recommended visiting the newly-updated airport Web page at for the latest information on the status of airport projects.

An Airport Minimum Standards report is in progress. Howard spoke of the airport as being "one of the most important assets in the county" and was confident that, in the long term, the airport will be a self-sufficient economic entity.

One promising note was his belief the county's share of fund matching for upcoming projects will be cut in half, due to the FAA grants increasing to 95 percent of project cost (up from 90 percent), with the state of Colorado paying half of the remaining 5 percent, leaving only a 2.5 percent obligation for the county.

Howard also requested specific guidelines on how the commission is to interact with the county commissioners.

Mamie Lynch, chair of the county board, clearly delineated the chain of command, specifying the Airport Commission's responsibility is to advise the airport manager, while the airport manager is to report to the county commissioners. She also requested the draft minutes be sent to the county (instead of the approved minutes at a later date) after each Airport Commission meeting. A joint work session is planned.

Then it was on to questions concerning road maintenance.

Finance Director Bob Burchett presented a leasing plan for two additional road graders and other equipment, and a short debate ensued on whether it is better to buy new equipment or maintain older equipment. It was clear the finance director's proposal would add three pieces of heavy machinery to the county fleet rather than one - as in the current budget proposal - with the addition not costing the county anything until 2006. Lynch moved and it was approved that the county continue investigating the lease plan.

Additional discussions concerning how best to tackle the county's road problems - such as the use of chip seal - were quickly quieted, since those matters pertain to the maintenance budget, an item not on Tuesday's agenda.

More discussions on the roads came up later in the meeting, dealing with a failed contract with the previous supplier for magnesium chloride applied by the county to dirt roads. A new contract with GCMO, Inc. at 37.2 cents per gallon of magnesium chloride, was approved - costing the county $55,000 more per year when compared to the previous contract.

In response to an item submitted during a break that was not on the agenda, regarding the county administrator position, Lynch ended the meeting with a strong admonition to those who she suspects may be playing politics, saying she is "tired of the innuendo and rumor" relating to new posts within the county. Lynch indicated she is fed up with the "backfighting," and endorsed Kathy Holthus (interim county administrator) for the permanent county administrator's job.

After some discussion, the commissioners nixed a planned executive session originally set to consider "personnel matters" and instead went into an executive session to discuss "strategies of negotiations and instructing negotiators on the construction of fixed base operations" at the airport.

No action was taken on the matter following the session.

In other business before the commissioners:

- Pagosa Springs Enterprises, LLC requested a special event permit for the July 1-4 events at the rodeo grounds. It was approved;

- Tamara Allen, Pagosa Springs town planner, requested and was granted permission to proceed with a joint feasibility study in conjunction with Economic and Planning Systems (EPS), including an affordable housing study. The document should be ready in three to six months;

- La Plata, San Juan and Archuleta combined health department indicated it is considering contracts for health renovations;

- GIS director Josh Lowe requested and was approved as the county administrator's signatory involving costs related to a ground and aerial survey;

- Permission was granted to circulate smoke free Colorado endorsement forms.

The commissioners also learned two new 800Mhz radio towers with road access are planned at a county cost of $375,000 (in conjunction with grants) - one at Piedra Peak and one at Chromo Mountain, to increase emergency radio coverage in accordance with Homeland Security coverage studies.


Thousands in Medicaid claims never billed

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The ongoing purge of uncollectible accounts receivable is continuing to turn up new signs of previous staff errors at Upper San Juan Health Service District.

The board of directors was told Tuesday that "thousands of dollars in Medicaid claims were never billed."

Allen Hughes, currently district business manager, said there is no way to recoup most of those billings.

"You have 60 days to do so and many of these accounts date back as far as 2001," he said.

Still, he said, diligent searching of records has put over $60,000 in accounts receivable back into the system for rebilling.

Asked the current cash status of the district, Hughes told the board $163,000 is in the bank, with $61,000 of that earmarked as part of the next $100,000 loan payment.

"In the interim," he said, "we will receive two more substantial tax payments and we intend to pay off as many outstanding bills as possible. The largest, locally, is $14,000."

Director Jim Pruitt said with reference to Medicaid and Medicare accounts, "if they were never billed we can't collect. If they are among those to be rebilled, we can adjust the outstanding amount by 65 percent, the most they will pay."

Pam Hopkins, board chair, noted the district has received a $250 donation for the Chromo QRV service from residents who "like what we provide."

In other action, the board:

- directed director Bob Goodman to negotiate with Peggy Cotton on continued accounting service. Cotton had submitted a letter of resignation, but after earlier talks agreed to stay on until July 1. Goodman said Cotton had indicated "she didn't know what we want and was frustrated."

- heard from Hughes that ambulance cancelation rates continue to climb - from 28 to 41 percent in most recent count. Patients, he said, do not realize they have to go to Durango and want to stay here. Still under discussion is reinstatement of a minimum service fee for those treated on-scene by paramedics in ambulance teams. There was formerly a $100 minimum fee.

- learned there is a shortage of EMTs at various levels, and that areawide advertising is being done to fill the breach. A class is now underway with 13 students and the board hopes to have at least half join the local operation.

- directed continued consolidation of computer billing and receiving services so there will be just one checking account for all payouts and one central source for deposit of all revenue. Four separate accounts are currently in use.

- was reminded the meeting was the one-year anniversary (minus a day) of their election in 2004.

- gave Bill Hudson 10 minutes for questions to the board. He said several staff members and others had contacted him alleging the district need not have closed Mary Fisher because it had at least $300,000 on hand. Asked to comment, the board said copies of all financial statements were available to him. Hudson asked for any member of the board to give him a half-hour interview "that would answer the questions the public has." All declined. Hudson said his informants don't want names used for fear of retribution but said they and others feel the district is not going in the right direction.

- heard Don Lundergan from the audience cheer Hudson on and bemoan the fact "there's no investigative reporter for our so-called newspaper. You're right on," he told Hudson. "Questions should be asked and a good and careful review of what has happened the last few years needs to be done."


Local charities urged to apply for new Wells Fargo grants

Local charities urged to apply for new Wells Fargo grants

Grant applications are now being accepted for the 12th annual Wells Fargo Community Assistance funds.

Thomas W. Honig, regional president and chief executive officer of Wells Fargo in Colorado, said applications, available at all Wells Fargo sites throughout the state, are due by June 30.

Through the fund, Wells Fargo will contribute $220,000 to an estimated 200 qualified community-based nonprofit organizations. The average grant ranges from $500 to $1,500. Eligible organizations must be certified 501c (3) and have an annual budget of $350,000 or less.

"We're extremely pleased to continue this 12-year tradition of helping organizations that work so hard and do so much to make Colorado a better place to live and work," Honig said. "The Wells Fargo Community Assistance Fund is a component of our overall philanthropic efforts. In 2004, we gave more than $4 million to community groups in our state."

For additional information or to receive an application by mail, interested organizations should contact their local Wells Fargo.


Habitat for Humanity names new officers

Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County welcomes its new 2005 officers:

Bob Moomaw, president; Terry Jackson, vice president; Jan Beasley, secretary; Harold Morrison, treasurer; director of finance, Olin Hazen; recruiting, John Hostetter; volunteer coordinator, Colleen Meyers; assistant volunteer coordinator, Barbara Ford; construction project manager, David Smith; family selection, Fran Smith; family nurturing, Jean Smith; fund-raising chairman, Chris Hostetter.


Business manager's resignation stuns health board directors

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A surprise resignation which stunned the board and audience, and an anticipated termination of an employee's service highlighted personnel actions Tuesday for the Upper San Juan Health Services District.

After completing all his reports, district business manager Allen Hughes said, "I have one more," and presented his sealed resignation to board chair Pam Hopkins.

Earlier, termination of employment of Kathy Conway as Emergency Medical Services director of operations came without comment on a unanimous vote of the board.

Conway has been on extended leave for several months.

Hughes told the board he and his wife had spent the weekend discussing his resignation and had agonized over the action.

He said he was giving the board 30 days notice and that his last day would be May 31.

"I think this action is in everyone's best interests and ask the board to accept our decision," Hughes said.

Hopkins accepted the sealed statement without reading it with the understanding "we can sit down together to discuss your reasoning and see if we can't straighten out whatever spurred the decision."

Earlier, EMS operations had been labeled "the crown jewel of our operation as we get ready to come back on line with service to the community." And Carrie Trumbull had been singled out for her assistance in filling the EMS void when additional staffing was needed.

It was Trumbull who seemed most stunned by Hughes' announcement.

"I'm almost speechless with surprise," she said. "He may not be a saint, but we in EMS recognize him as someone we can count on, someone who is for us."

Talking to the board as a whole, with several other EMS personnel in the audience, Trumbull said Hughes has been the only person ever to seek opinions of EMS personnel.

"We all feel there's some kind of political barrier," she told the board. "We seem to go two steps forward and then get pushed three steps back."

Not once, she said, "has a member of this board come to EMS and asked for our opinions, advice, complaints or plaudits. You make decisions all the time affecting us, you praised us tonight, but you rarely talk to us."

She noted the department full-time staff is being asked to sign up for additional shifts because the unit is shorthanded. "Mr. Hughes has tried to help us iron out the situation. If you had come to us for comment, we might have helped avoid this action.

"Dr. Pruitt (board member Jim) wrote glowing words about us in the paper," she said. "We're proud to wear our EMS jackets and proud to serve. But no one here ever talks to us about pending decisions. "Allen's leaving," she said, "is devastating to all of us."

Board director Neil Townsend told the audience at least three members of the EMS team had come to him with concerns, some even before he was elected.

"That's only three of 15" replied Trumbull. "Their thoughts might not be those of the unit as a whole."

Townsend said he has spent hours on the telephone with the three because he felt it important to know all points of view. "They have specific complaints and it appears the systems in place to handle them were not used."

Director Bob Scott said, "I get the feeling EMS feels, for some reason, that we're after them. Nothing could be farther from the truth. My feeling is that EMS must and will survive."

Trumbull said tensions keep rising in the department because "no one knows what is happening ... we're not in the loop."

Director Bob Goodman expressed shock over the comments he'd just heard.

"It was my belief," he said, "that EMS was the one thing we'd been doing right all along. "I believe the other members of the board will agree that you are our main standard bearer in this transitional period and we greatly appreciate all you do."

That portion of the personnel discussion ended with Meredith Trumbull, speaking as a citizen and an employee, saying, "I've never seen a man I'd rather work for than Allen (Hughes), never seen anyone else here who has made us feel like he's for us and all the people of the district."

Hughes agreed to meet with Hopkins to explain his action and to listen to her comments.

No specific time for that meeting was set because Hopkins was to be out of town for several days starting Wednesday.

Decision making regarding staffing was not quite done.

The board pointed out it had not been getting the outside X-ray business it had expected when the Mary Fisher clinic was closed - only eight in April as opposed to the 40 expected.

Directors wondered if there was a way to keep the technician busy until anticipated reopening, fearing losing him would leave a hard- to-fill void when the revised operations resumes.

"After all," said director Jerry Valade, "the area isn't exactly teeming with X-ray technicians looking for work."

Hughes said the technician already is performing a full inventory of Mary Fisher properties, "something that apparently never has been done ... at least we can find no record of it."

He anticipated the study would require the rest of this month to complete, saying "it's vital to know what we have, where we got it, how old it is, and its condition."

He noted one thing discovered so far is that quality control appeared to have been lacking even though mandated inspections of supplies are to be conducted monthly.

"At least half of the medications on hand," he said, "are beyond expiration dates. That should never happen."

At the end of personnel discussion, one more resignation was accepted "with regret."

Tom Steen, in a letter to the board, tendered his resignation as chairman of the grants committee, saying "I have the uncomfortable feeling that we may have embraced a faulty vision with respect to a grants committee as an advisory group to the board ...

"During the brief period I have been involved in considering grant issues related to the district," he wrote, "I have decided that many of the problems and challenges facing the district are not unique to us. They are common to many remote, rural communities across the country. Funding agencies ... have recognized these challenges ... and attempted to respond in a way that makes rural health care feasible ... some of the financial resources for program support can be quite substantial."

He recommended that in the time of program restructuring, the board budget funds for a "grant writer who can work directly with whoever is charged with CEO duties for the district."

He concluded, in part, "I, personally, feel too far removed from the daily operation ... to be comfortable evaluating potential grants or designing grant projects to be implemented by district staff."

Afterward, Hughes told the board at least two Heartland Security grant opportunities have been missed in recent weeks "because we had no time to get the applications done."


Beauty is everywhere, not just in the mountains

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Having thoroughly enjoyed a recent trip to the upper Midwest, I am again reminded that beauty is everywhere. As Sigurd Olson once said, "Beauty is composed of many things and never stands alone, is so fragile it can be destroyed by a sound or a foreign thought. It may be infinitesimally small or encompass the universe itself."

Wherever we go the world over, beauty stands glaringly before us in the broad and widely variable landscape upon which we live. It is obvious in deep western canyons and the dark forests of the north. It is clear in the rolling shallows of freshwater lakes and cascading streams, and in the fathomless depths of our tumbling seas. We recognize it day and night in infinite shades of light and shadow, and we feel it in shifting weather patterns and the fresh air we breathe. We hear it in breezes wafting through the trees, and in the night songs of the coyote and whip-poor-will.

As one happily waltzing through life, now somewhere between middle-aged and bona fide senior status, I've lived a little more than half my years in the Rocky Mountain west. The other half, the first half, I spent growing up in the Mississippi River delta of western Illinois. Throughout, I have always immersed myself in the out-of-doors, and have gathered a lifetime of feelings and impressions that now guide my deepest thoughts and innermost ambitions. In the process, I have discovered that, as someone once said, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Back in the mid-'70s, upon first arriving in Colorado, I had planned to visit my brother, Jim, for just 10 days. But as we hiked to the base of Booth Falls one afternoon, and to the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross on another, and while riding the rapids of the mighty Colorado on a sunny summer morning, and casually strolling a densely-forested trail later that evening, I was so moved by such intense natural splendor that I knew instantly, I had to stay.

Not surprisingly, as a flatlander in my first seasons of mountain living and near constant exploration, I became so absorbed in the high-country environment that I soon dismissed the backdrop of the plains states as rather featureless and uninteresting. I quickly forgot the awesome breadth and true grandeur of the rolling short-grass prairie. My fascination with the veiled mysteries of the deep hardwood forests had slipped into my subconscious, and for a time, I failed to appreciate the orderliness and immaculate appearance of virtually every farm and small rural community so characteristic of midwestern life.

So, our latest passage out of the mountains and into the plains became nothing less than a reawakening, a restoration of sorts, of the fondness and admiration I had truly always held for the American heartland.

Of course, attending a relative's wedding in Minnesota was the primary reason for going, and in the end, it was a great family reunion and quite the gala affair. But to get there, Jackie and I decided flying was too expensive and inconvenient, so rather than dealing with crowded airports and their related parking and security issues, we loaded the Jeep and drove secondary highways 20 hours each way. And, thanks to minimal traffic and a complete lack of car problems or other mishaps, our leisurely travels proved relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable.

In the beginning, as always, it took a few hours and a couple hundred miles for me to feel like we were actually going somewhere, but about the time we left the front range in the rear-view-mirror and started seeing small herds of antelope, instead of the mule deer and wapiti common to the lower mountain meadows of winter, I felt a sudden sense of calm. I noticed that, in spite of a recent spring blizzard that blanketed Denver and the eastern grasslands with two feet of snow, most of it had quickly melted away, and the exposed prairie was again that virgin lime-green of April.

The further we drove, the greener was the landscape, and eventually even the largest creekside willows and cottonwoods were leafing out. As we headed north through Nebraska and east across South Dakota, more and more woodlots came into view, and dozens of Ring-necked Pheasants foraged among the roadsides and adjacent cultivated fields. More often than not, the mostly-gray skies were dotted with migrating waterfowl, and every legitimate wetland seemed to harbor at least one Red-winged Blackbird.

The wedding and related family gatherings notwithstanding, the real highlight of the trip was our time at Eden Lake in central Minnesota. My in-laws, Erv and Marie, own a small cottage on its north shore, and Jackie and I spent three nights there, sleeping in their motorhome under the giant oak trees.

Each morning we'd awaken to a loud chorus of songbirds, occasionally interrupted by the animated honking of passing Canada Geese, or the shrill cries of circling gulls. At the cottage breakfast table, surrounded by broad lakeside windows, we joyfully watched innumerable ducks, teal, cormorants, and loons, as they bobbed over the constant waves in a never-ending search for food. Whenever we stood on the small wooden boat dock, or walked the lush green yard near shoreline, herons, pelicans, hawks, and even a nesting eagle were regular airborne companions, while a few resident fox squirrels tirelessly searched for the remnants of their winter cache nearby.

In one of Sigurd Olson's books, he quotes Julian Huxley as saying, "the important ends of man's life include: the creation and enjoyment of beauty, both natural and manmade, that increases comprehension and provides a more assured sense of significance; the preservation of all sources of pure wonder, such as fine scenery, wild animals in freedom, unspoiled nature; the attainment of inner peace and harmony; the feeling of active participation in embracing enduring projects, including the project of evolution."

Certainly, there is beauty everywhere if we care to recognize and embrace it. It may be difficult to define clearly at times, but we know when we have encountered it, for we are instantly moved to serenity and joy.

Such was my latest journey to the Midwest and the Minnesota lake country.

Upper Piedra thinning plan comment sought

The Pagosa Ranger District is inviting public comment on a plan to hand or mechanically thin various types of understory and ground cover in the Upper Piedra.

Included areas would be Sally Overlook, Ice Cave Ridge, Chub Draw and the O'Neal Hill area.

Sara Brinton, Pagosa District biologist, said the cover includes understory ponderosa pine, white fir and Douglas-fir within normal ponderosa and mixed conifer cover.

She said there is a need to restore ponderosa and warm-dry mixed conifer forests to a cover and fuels structure more closely resembling that found under historic conditions.

Proposed treatments, she said, would achieve both forest restoration and fuels reduction goals with 693 acres proposed for treatment.

In both warm-dry conifer and ponderosa pine stands, no pre-settlement trees of any species would be cut except those that pose a safety hazard under OSHA standards.

In warm-dry mixed conifer stands, white fir, Douglas-fir and occasional small ponderosa pine would be cut and removed or mowed and shredded on site.

In the ponderosa pine stands, ponderosa up to 12 inches in diameter at breast height would be thinned, with the treatment designed to enhance natural clumpiness where possible.

There will be no new road construction associated with the project.

Anyone who would like to comment on the project should send statements to District Ranger, Attn. Sara Brinton, PO Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; or fax to 970-264-1538 by May 27.

Comments received, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record and will be made available for public inspection.

For further information contact Brinton at 264-1532.

Youth Hunter Education challenge

Young people in southwestern Colorado interested in hunting are invited to participate in the annual "Youth Hunter Education Challenge," May 14-15.

To take part in the event, participants must have earned a Hunter Safety Card through the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW).

The deadline to register is May 10.

The event is part of a nationwide program promoting hunting knowledge and firearms safety to youth 19 years old and younger.

The competition includes two categories - shooting and hunting responsibility.

The shooting events include handling and target shooting with a .22 caliber rifle, a sporting-clay shotgun, a muzzle-loading rifle, and on a 3D archery course.

The hunting events include a written exam for hunter safety, hunter safety in the field, a shoot/don't shoot course, orienteering and wildlife identification.

"This is a great opportunity for young people to test their skills and knowledge," said Cary Carron, district wildlife manager with the DOW in Bayfield.

Participants will be placed in two age groups - 14 and under and 15 to 19.

The competition features teams of five kids and one adult. Anyone interested in participating should get together with friends to form a team. Teams will also be formed the day of the event.

Participants can bring their own equipment. The DOW also will have equipment - including guns available. All ammunition is supplied by the DOW.

The event runs 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. May 14, and 9 a.m.-end May 15. The location is the Evelyn Payne Ranch east of Bayfield.

Everyone must bring their own lunch. Registration fee is $12. To register, call Carron at (970) 884-9628.

The event is sponsored by the DOW and the National Rifle Association. Winners will go on to the regional competition in Pagosa Springs in June. The national finals are in Raton, N. M., in July.


Stanford alumni group will visit Ute Tribal Park

Stanford 4 Corners Alumni Group spring outing to Ute Mountain Tribal Park is set Saturday, May 14.

Stanford alumni and friends are invited to the spring outing combining archeology and geology on one trip to the Ute Mountain Tribal Park.

A park archeologist will lead the tour along with Durango geologist Mary Gillam. The tour will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 4:30 p.m. Participants are to bring a picnic lunch and plenty to drink.

Reservations are necessary. RSVP to Bev Warburton 731-0343. Directions and other information will be given with your reservation.


Soc-Sec reality

Dear Editor:

Last week the editor questioned whether the recent Bush Administration focus on Social Security is a "weapon of mass distraction." Serious restructuring of Social Security is absolutely essential - the sooner the better. Read the book, "The Coming Generational Storm" and/or dig into the Social Security and Treasury Web sites and reach your own conclusions.

Social Security is only part of the problem facing us over the next 20-plus years. Three major programs, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, have created future expectations way beyond our ability to pay for them. The Baby Boomer generation (me, too) starts retiring within just a few years. Our editor noted, "the trust fund will be drawn down going into deficit mode in 10-12 years." At the same time, Medicare costs will escalate rapidly.

Ninety-eight percent of Social Security assets are "invested in securities issued by the Treasury Department." What impact will the drawdown of the trust fund have on federal operations? The Federal Financing Bank handles intragovernmental loans. It has statutory authority to purchase any obligations issued, sold, or guaranteed by a federal agency (from Press Release at Does the claim that the trust fund is just "a bunch of IOUs from other agencies" ring a bell?

Other agencies borrow against Social Security trust funds to operate various programs. What happens to these programs when (1) those loans stop when the trust fund is drawn down; (2) funds have to be diverted from general revenues to cover the "shortfall" in Social Security; and, (3) Medicare costs of the Baby Boomers require an increasingly larger share of the federal budget?

The longer we put off restructuring Social Security (and Medicare), the bigger problem we pass on to our children and grandchildren. Should the Social Security "trust fund," (1) lend just to the rest of government; (2) go into investments similar to state pension funds; (3) go into investments chosen by individual contributors; or (4) some combination of these?

Social Security was not intended to replace other retirement plans. Unfortunately, few corporations continue to sponsor full retirement plans and few people save adequately for retirement. We have to cut back Social Security and warn future retirees to start saving and plan to work into their seventies.

This vital public policy discussion must not degenerate into "partisan politics." We must demand that our political leaders stop posturing and get real. The "fix" will almost certainly require a combination of measures. Whenever you hear a proposal, demand details on the long-term impact. These issues are too important to shrug off any legitimate attempt to discuss them.

Dennis L. Eamick

 Lauds pick-up

Dear Editor:

In my quest for Saturday morning doughnuts for the kids, I appreciatively noticed a group of dedicated citizens who collectively and unselfishly worked on cleaning up our town and to whom I would like to say, "Thank you."

If it were not for our local Rotary Club our town would surely look much worse considering the number of orange bags of clutter filled by this crew and staged along Put Hill. Thanks again to all of you who gave of your Saturday morning in order to make Pagosa Springs a better looking place.

Mark Garcia

 Fears for future

Dear Editor:

I'm writing to you on the subject of the proposed Village at Wolf Creek and the growth of Pagosa Springs.

I am concerned about the future of our small town. Pagosa Springs is a pretty place with friendly people.

There are many reasons why I disagree with the Village at Wolf Creek.

First, it will create more traffic on already crowded roads and highways. It will also increase the cost of living. They say there will be more jobs, but where will all the people live if it's too expensive?

I had a chance to speak with our mayor, Ross Aragon, who said it will only get more expensive to live here.

Also, the wildlife will be affected because their habitat will be destroyed. We keep pushing them out of their homes. It is not fair that people say the deer, elk, bears and mountain lions are a problem when we build on their homes.

More people will need more water for their households and we already had some water restrictions in the past few years. What will happen if we don't get as much snow and rainfall in the future?

Red McCombs does not care about Wolf Creek or Pagosa Springs. He has said he plans to go on with his project even though most people disagree. He is a greedy person. He is already a billionaire.

The Bible states that money is the root of all evil. I like Wolf Creek and the ski area the way it is. The area is special and not like all the other resorts. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful and caring place.

We should appreciate and be thankful for what we have while it lasts. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Alexandra Herrera

SS needs overhaul

Dear Editor:

Out of a sense of fairness, I attempted to find something in the April 28 editorial I could agree with.

I found two: 1) The president is doing a poor job of presenting the reasons for Social Security (SS) reform; and 2) People need to educate themselves about SS and options. Beyond that, we markedly disagree.

Of the many reasons SS needs an overhaul, the most important is the issue of freedom. Citizens in a supposedly free country should not be forced to participate in a government mandated Ponzi scheme. All the president is apparently proposing is that workers be allowed to opt out with some portion of their SS tax. Why would someone (particularly a young worker) want to opt for a personal savings account?

1) SS is an incredibly bad investment. If you die too soon, you lose everything you have paid in. If you live long, the real rate return rarely exceeds 3 percent. "Who trusts the market?" I do, every time. Twenty-five years experience with IRAs and the history of the stock market indicate 8-10 percent long term is realistic.

2) The Supreme Court has ruled twice that workers have no legal right to the taxes paid into SS. Benefit levels are determined by Congress (politicians control how well you live in retirement - scary).

3) The SS Trust Fund is a myth! It consists of U.S. Treasury bonds. The money the Treasury received for the bonds was considered general revenue and quickly spent to obscure the real amount of the federal deficit. The bonds can only be redeemed (when the SS needs actual dollars to pay benefits - 2015?) by raising more general revenue, i.e., higher taxes. The money is gone!

4) Since workers have no right to their SS "contributions," they cannot pass them on to their spouses or children when they die. This is a particular hardship for minorities and low wage workers who die earlier, and inhibits wealth transfer to the next generation.

5) With private retirement accounts, the billions of dollars invested by individuals would lower interest rates (the cost of capital)) and lead to a substantial expansion of the economy. This would mitigate transition costs.

6) Chile has allowed private retirement accounts since the early 1980s. Ninety percent of workers have opted for the private accounts and the average real rate of return is greater than 10 percent per year. A few other countries have similar experience - it works. Private accounts are good for the country and the workers.

With freedom comes responsibility. Let's give the people the freedom to choose to be responsible.

Don MacNamee

 Surprised, amused

Dear Editor:

I am writing in reply to Todd Murchison's letter in last week's SUN.

I was rather surprised at the random personal attack on me, yet also slightly amused. I understand that you regard being Godly and patriotic as a terrible thing, but please understand that there are some people out there who are actually appreciative of living in this great country, and who don't complain about everything to do with it.

The points you made shed a whole new light on my belief system. President Clinton cheating on his wife was extremely moralistic. And the fact that he then straight -up, lied about it to the whole country on national TV makes him a great role model for our nation's youth. I also agree with your Internet censoring comment. Those evil conservatives trying to put a stop to child pornography and adult content on the Internet is obscene.

The president's driving record is crucial. The fact he got a couple of speeding tickets before he even entered the National Guard is of vital national importance. And how dare the right condemn promiscuity and drug use within schools? You were completely right: students should have the right to do whatever they want with no consequence. And women should be able to have rights over their own body. If they want to insert a sharp needle into a little child with a beating heart and deprive it of life, that's just fine. Why should we value life anyway?

You also made a good point about Hussein. Why don't we just leave Saddam alone? Just because he put hundreds of thousands of his own people in mass graves and broke numerous European Union security resolutions does not make him a bad guy. The conservative right just misunderstand him. He's a real good guy at heart.

Besides, your logic obviously makes a lot more sense than mine. That must explain all the elections the left have won recently.


Zach Mayne

 March to Socialism

Dear Editor:

In the late '50s Social Security was actuarially sound and had a surplus which would insure it's commitments. That was too much for the politicians. The fund was moved to the general revenue fund and put on a pay as you go system. The surpluses were used to finance government programs, most of which were give away programs. The government then issued IOUs to the SS fund. It is now in hock to the tune of $1.5 trillion. They took our money and spent it as they saw fit, ran up $1.5 trillion in debt and pay $80-plus billion in interest annually on that debt. As the government has no income except from the taxpayers, we are now forced to pay interest on our money that was spent by Uncle Sam. In addition, we must now replace the $1.5 trillion was spent by the government. They make Enron look like child's play.

You mentioned a fix could mean a slight increase in payroll taxes, lift the limit on maximum taxable wages, cut benefits, increase the retirement age, etc. This is all aimed at the retiree/worker. Old age and Survivors Income (OASI) accounts for a bit more than 50 percent of the outlay from the fund. Disability Income and God only knows what else, eats up the rest but no mention is made of having those folks share the burden. If payroll taxes were increased and/or the wage limit lifted, this would increase the surplus and give the government more money to blow in and increase the debt to SS resulting in us having to pay back more of our money that was stolen by the government.

Until SS income is in a "lock box" and removed from the general revenue fund, it is a piggy bank for the use by people who could care less what happens to the future of SS. Any decision on how to "fix" the system will come from the government not the voters. The government needs the SS system to fund it's march to socialism and is not held accountable for it's actions. Good luck to future retirees, you are going to need it.

Don Papierniak

 Haughty start

Dear Editor:

As l read the article (SUN, April 28) of the new brew pub coming to Pagosa, l took great exception to the owner's comment of "we really need good restaurants downtown."

Pagosa is so blessed with many good restaurants, and the need of more seems like double icing on a thin cake.

Perhaps the owner has overlooked a few things in his quest for "a good restaurant downtown." Does he realize that in order for any restaurant to survive they must have a great cook/chef with wonderful friendly and caring wait-staff, plus an owner who is married to the restaurant 24/7/365? Along with that, the restaurant must be spotlessly clean, inviting in decor and open during the hours that are most in demand.

Keeping help in any establishment that serves the public is a monumental task. A restaurant is only as good as it's employees.

A person starting any new business should not have a haughty attitude to begin the venture.

Mary Lou Sprowle

Community News

Auditions for 'Oklahoma!' May 6 and 7

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

Several of the show stopping highlights of last summer's "The Hills Are Alive..." were from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" This year, the Music Boosters will be presenting the complete musical in five performances on July 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9.

Pagosa is fortunate to have such a wide and varied talent pool to audition for the wide and varied range of parts, both solo and ensemble, available for singers, dancers and musicians.

Auditions will be held 2-6 p.m. Friday, May 6, and 10 a.m.- 4 pm. May 7 in the Pagosa Springs High School band room.

Director Dale Morris and the Boosters will be looking for singers, dancers, and actors of all ages, as well as volunteers to work in the backstage areas of sets and construction, lights and sound, costumes, and hair and makeup.

Musicians interested in playing with the orchestra should contact Lisa Hartley, musical director and conductor, at 731-2130.

Those auditioning are asked to prepare one chorus of a song from "Oklahoma!" or another show song. An accompanist will be provided, so please bring sheet music (not a CD or tape). Everyone will also be asked to do a brief script reading and a group dance.

For more information, call Morris at 946-5609.

This is a rare opportunity for Pagosa's talented and aspiring artists to match up with one of the greatest musicals of all time. Don't miss out.


Community Choir's springs concert slated May 6 and May 8

By Ray Diffee

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Community Choir will present it's third annual Spring Concert titled "And the Night Shall Be Filled With Music," 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, and 4 p.m. Sunday, May 8 (Mother's Day), in the high school auditorium.

The choir, directed by Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer, is made up of 60 local volunteers who love to sing and the group is accompanied by Sue Anderson and Shirley McGee.

The program will include "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair," "Wade in the Water" with soloists Sue Diffee and Kathy Keyes, "The Impossible Dream" with soloist Larry Baisdon and "I Got the Sun in the Mornin'" with soloists Suzy Bruce, Judy Patton and Pam Spitler. The concert will last approximately 90 minutes.

The concert will open with the Children's Chorale singing "The Concert Etiquette Rap," "Colorado," "A Cowboy Needs a Hat," plus three other numbers. Directed by Anderson, assisted by Judy Patton and accompanied by Rada Neal, the Children's Chorale was organized two years ago.

Baked goods and candy will be available for purchase after each concert.

The choir will begin rehearsals in early September for the Christmas Concert in December. Anyone interested in joining the choir at that time, call Pam Spitler at 264-1952 for further information.

As always, the choir is pleased to provide free admission for this program as our gift to you. We gratefully accept any donations, which are tax deductible.


'Shake, Rattle and Roll the Dice' at Rotary Casino Royale

Tickets are still available for this year's Rotary Casino Royale to be held Saturday at Montezuma Vineyards and Restaurant.

This year's theme will be "Shake, Rattle and Roll the Dice." It's a night out on the town packed full of fun: 1950s music, hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, drawings, silent auction and funny money gambling.

Every ticket holder to Rotary Casino Royale is eligible for the grand prize drawing for a diamond solitaire necklace valued at over $3,400 donated by Jem Jewelers.

There is also a treasure trove of at least 40 prizes, to be given away in individual drawings or bid on in the silent auction.

A sampling of silent auction items include a coffee/mug basket from WolfTracks Bookstore, CDs from Howlin' Wolf Music, ATV Pack from Pagosa Power Sports, Georgia O'Keefe Print from Curtis and Carmen Miller, car washes from Conoco Car Wash, breakfast or lunch from The Unfortunate Sausage, wine basket from Romar Properties, microbrewery beer and glasses from Mountain Spirits, auto products from AMZOIL, round of golf for four from Rio Grande Golf and Fishing Club of South Fork, nail and spa package from Touch of the Tropics, sandals and sunglasses from A Shoe or Two Plus, weekend for two from Hart Bed and Breakfast Cabins, goodies from Kraftin' Post, turquoise necklace and jeweled can purse from Happy Trails, a roundup ticket for Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad from Chama Rotary Club, golf tote bag from Wells Fargo, display phone from CenturyTel, bathroom Jacuzzi tub from ProLine Plumbing, ceramic angel from Century 21 Realty, lamp from Saul Furnishings, $1,000 toward granite countertops from DeClark Granite and Fabrication, fly reel from Marion Francis and Hermez perfume from Jem Jewelers. There are also numerous gift certificates from businesses including Sunetha Property Management, Animan Mobile Pet, Upscale Resale, Saul Furnishings, JJ's Upstream Restaurant, Goodman's Department Store, Pagosa Samurai Academy, Ponderosa Do It Best and Supreme Upholstery.

Tickets are $50 per person, and you'll round up $50,000 in funny money to play blackjack, roulette, craps and poker, including Texas Hold 'em.

Use your funny money to purchase prize tickets for the end-of-evening drawings and silent auction.

One hundred percent of the net proceeds from this event are returned to the community.

Tickets are available from your favorite Rotary member, at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, Jem Jewelers, The Pagosa Springs SUN and Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate.

This event is made possible by the following title sponsors: Montezuma Vineyards and Restaurant, The Pagosa Springs SUN and Jem Jewelers.

Gold Sponsors include Ski and Bow Rack, Gryphon Consulting, Bank of Colorado, Citizens Bank, Clarion Mortgage, Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, KWUF AM and FM Radio, Old West Press, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Pro Line Plumbing and Wells Fargo Bank.

Silver Sponsors include Big O Tire, Curtis and Carmen Miller, Edward Jones/Bob Scott, Happy Trails Ladies Boutique, La Plata Electric Association, Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center, United Building Centers of Pagosa Springs, Upper Mesa Ranch and Wolf Creek Ski Company.

Bronze Sponsors include Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures, United Mini Storage, Comfort One Insulation, Sunetha Property Management, Ace Hardware, Aaron's Fitness and Strength Training, Bank of the San Juans, Appraisal Services, CenturyTel, The Club, Colorado Dream Homes, Davis Engineering Services, Elk Meadows River Resort, First Southwest Bank, Log Park Trading Company, Pagosa Springs Golf Club, Rio Grande Golf and Fishing Club, Trinity Books, TLC The Lighting Center and Timothy Miller Custom Homes.

Get your tickets today for the "Shake, Rattle and Roll the Dice Casino" Saturday night. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

Ancient Cultures performance highlights youngsters' efforts

Sixth-grade students at Pagosa Springs Intermediate School are working hard perfecting their narration skills, dance choreography, rhythm ensembles and acting to bring this year's Ancient Cultures program to Pagosa Springs Friday, May 13, 7 p.m., in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

Five international stories, adapted for the stage by social studies teacher Leeann Skogland, are the focus of a whirlwind three-week preparation. With Elation Center for the Arts instructors Paul and Carla Roberts guiding the process, each class is blossoming into a cohesive group, daily improving the intense teamwork and creativity skills necessary to succeed in this year's exciting production.

Behind the scenes, another layer of preparation continues. Mrs. Skogland - who directs the theatrical elements - prepares scripts, maps out staging, designs the props and sets and keeps things running smoothly with her amazing organizational skills. Paul Roberts, who teaches and performs music for the program, oversees the promotional effort.

Carla Roberts, who directs the music and dance, is busy preparing the 120 costumes for Ancient Cultures. These costumes are a true labor of love. Carla is especially delighted with the progress of the Mongolian costumes.

Traditional brilliant reds, greens, yellows and blues are used in the flowing shapes of the Mongolian tunics and robes, called "der." Loose pantaloons, boots and outrageously creative headgear top off the well-dressed yak and goat herder. Women would often dress up in their finery just to saddle up their ponies and ride to visit a neighbor, who would always serve tea with yak butter.

Creating so many costumes necessitates a constant supply of raw materials and Elation Center welcomes any donations of items that can be utilized for this program. Old ugg boots, fleece ski hats and headbands, costume jewelry, colorful scarves and fabrics, and other items are still needed and would be greatly appreciated. If you can make a donation and would like to see these items put to good use, call 731-3117.

So, saddle up the ponies and come to an evening of enchanting storytelling, acting, dancing and music for the whole family Friday, May 13. Tickets are $3.


Found art and the nomad: Donna Emsbach

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

For local artist Donna Emsbach life and art are about purposeful wandering. She and her husband, Larry Luster, came to Pagosa Springs from Salida about a year ago. They love Pagosa but Luster, a self-titled real-estate junkie, said if they discover another place they like they just might move again.

Emsbach's work seems to follow the same pattern. In describing their life and work Luster said, "you just do something and then you do something else."

Emsbach and Luster have owned two different art galleries for 13 years. During that time the couple teamed up to make fine ceramics and pottery, and worked the process from start to finish. Later that work, for Emsbach, evolved into smaller porcelain jewelry pieces that she would design and sell at shows.

"It's easier to sell jewelry than pots," she said.

Emsbach also began pushing the limits of her pottery with Raku masks. Raku is a type of clay and the masks that hang on the wall of her home look like they came from lava. The glaze on them is iridescent in places and they're festooned with peacock and other feathers. She said the process of firing the clay gives the masks the unique color and sheen and the artist is never really sure what will come out of the kiln. That, she said, can be delightful or a huge disappointment.

But eventually, Emsbach said, she burned out on working with clay and the process involved with the porcelain jewelry was too time-consuming. So she began chasing after her two other artistic passions: watercolor and found art sculpture. For his part, Luster began working in manipulated digital photography.

The couple owns property in Monticello, N.M., not far from Truth or Consequences. The vast deserts and wilderness in the area are rife with the rusty, unlovable junk that Emsbach resurrects into crosses. Her backyard shed is full of twisted bed frames, shovel heads and sparkplugs from cars that haven't driven in decades. She and Luster are big fans of the outdoors and love wandering through deserts and old abandoned ranches to find treasures no one else wants.

"It's like looking for seashells," Emsbach said with a smile.

At this time, she only builds crosses. She explains that crosses are such a rich part of New Mexico's heritage that it seems natural to her. One of those works entitled "Inner Fire" uses an old chain link fireplace screen for the body, what looks like copper tubing, a lavender tinted piece of sheet metal and a few glass baubles. The effect is surprisingly ornate.

A few things repeat in nearly all of her pieces. She is attracted to lavender and many of the metal pieces she finds will have been turned that color by air and fire. She always incorporates some sort of "body" in the center of the cross, which always includes a spiral of some sort. In one of her pieces she even used fish bones found near the Elephant Butte Reservoir.

When asked why she's so inspired by crosses she said simply: "I'm more spiritual than religious; these to me just express the spirit of life."

Emsbach said she builds crosses because she uses found art, which at times can be scattered and confusing to the viewer. She said she wanted to build a recognizable art from which a story can come.

"There's something about finding all those old pieces and putting them into a cohesive unit that looks good and people would want to buy," she said.

But on some days Emsbach just wants to paint. Whether in pastels or watercolor, again she incorporates a lot of lavender. One painting, which features autumn leaves, has a depth unusual to watercolor. It almost looks like a three-dimensional collage. She paints pumpkins and chickens and said she is most inspired by the New Mexico landscape. A field of lavender bushes in Monticello was another of her favorites.

Emsbach said she loves Pagosa and was drawn here by The Springs, but the couple still splits their time between Colorado and New Mexico. For now, the couple plans to stay in their Pagosa home, surrounded by clay masks, watercolors and watery digital images of old churches - unless something else pops up.

For more information or to contact them about their work call (719) 221-0471.


Fiber festival fills a regional need

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

2005 will be the fifth year of the Pagosa Fiber Festival and the festival board is quite proud of that. What began as an event conceived of and sponsored by one family - the Belt family of Echo Mountain Alpaca - has now moved into the nonprofit world with a board of directors.

The festival is now permanently settled into the Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 and 29. This year for the first time the festival will sponsor a Navajo Rug Auction 5-9 p.m. Sunday.

Anyone involved in the nonprofit world will understand how this festival depends on the effort and devotion of a few hard working people, the support and generosity of our community and an occasional grants. It is appropriate, then, that our community come to understand how the festival is good for Pagosa.

Enterprise Zone Marketing funds have come to us through Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, and it is their report that helps demonstrate the value of the festival.

The Region 9 Report-2003 tells us that "Economic diversification is a high priority for the Region." The diversity is needed "to improve the number, quality and variety of jobs that are available to local residents."

The fiber festival meets that need by supporting the efforts of a growing cottage industry involved in fiber-related businesses. Whether raising animals for breeding, sale and fiber production (alpacas, llamas, goats, sheep and rabbits) or working their fibers (spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, designing patterns) to make products for sale, these people are helping to diversify economic activity in the area.

As we all know, employment economies in Archuleta County are currently based primarily on tourism, construction and retail trade. At the same time, according to the Region 9 Report, "The preservation of a rural lifestyle and landscape has been identified as priorities in all discussions of economic development in the region."

Once again the fiber festival supports that priority by providing the small livestock farmers a venue to promote their product, thus, making a rural lifestyle economically feasible.

The Pagosa Fiber Festival is exactly right for the community at this critical juncture in its history. We are in a frenzy of development activity right now. Large ranches are being bought up with plans to turn open grazing land and forested mountains into home sites. Empty lots are being bought up with plans for spec houses in the works. Community planning committees are meeting almost weekly in an attempt to insure that Pagosa Springs does not lose its quaint and rural aspect - that quality many of us came here for - that quality that continue to bring tourists to our area.

These are the challenges we face; the Pagosa Fiber Festival is one answer. The community will benefit as the festival grows and the festival needs community support to grow. Our goal is to attract crowds the size of the Taos Wool Festival, estimated at 3,000-5,000 in 2004. The Taos event is now totally self-supporting with vendors bringing in $50,000-$60,000 in sales. A percentage of that goes directly to the town and county coffers as sales tax revenues. Here the town and county's gain is directly related to the size and success of the festival.

As organizers of the festival, we want to put Pagosa Springs on the map as a center of wool and fiber production, processing and handcrafts. The interest in spinning, weaving, knitting, etc. is already here and is growing by leaps and bounds. The farmers have been here for a very long time and last summer fiber processing began with the establishment of the Mountain High Fiber Ladies Mini-mill. All the elements are present. We are looking for people of vision who realize the potential and would work with us to realize that potential.

Here is a flavor of what goes on during the two-day festival:

- half-day and full-day training workshops in beginning and advanced spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, dyeing, locker hooking and color theory;

- lectures on the care and maintenance of small livestock;

- livestock farmers exhibiting and selling alpacas, llamas, sheep, goats, Scottish Highlander cattle, yak and Fuzzy French Lops;

- shearing of sheep and goats throughout the day;

- fiber artists selling a variety of outstanding handmade textiles and articles of clothing;

- spinners demonstrating how to card, sort and spin fiber;

- knitters, crocheters, weavers, and felters demonstrating how to utilize the finished yarn;

- a fashion show at the end of each day illustrating the theme "From Fleece to Fashion";

- families with young children viewing and touching the animals, a unique and educational experience to be found nowhere else.

New this year

- Churro fleece competition sponsored by the Navajo Churro Sheep Association;

- Navajo rug auction on Sunday evening with rugs coming directly from the Navajo artisans.

Contact Barbara Witkowski at 264-4543 for information about workshops or e-mail to ; for general or vendor information contact me at 264-5232 or e-mail or log on to the Web site www.


Har Shalom lists May activities

Congregation Har Shalom in Durango has released its May schedule.

Thursday, May 5, 3:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.: Ruach Tovah Class (grades 1-5) at Har Shalom. Call Judith Vanderryn at 247-3292 for further information (last class for semester).

Friday, May 6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. - Yom Hashoah Memorial Service "Six Hours for Six Million" at Har Shalom. Short service and Yartzheit candle lighting followed by reading names of Holocaust victims for the next six hours. Kaddish will be recited on the hour.

Friday, May 6, 5:30 p.m. - Potluck dinner with Family Shabbat to follow. Led by Ruach Tovah with graduating students to be honored.

Saturday, May 7 - Senator Wayne Allard. Details to be announced.

Saturday, May 7, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.: Mystical Judaism with Rabbi Winkler at Har Shalom. Call Harold Shure at 970-385-6793 for details.

Tuesday, May 10, 7 p.m. - Yom Hazikoran, a memorial service at Har Shalom honoring Israeli soldiers and other victims of attacks and wars in Israel.

Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m.-9:55 a.m. - Torah study with Rabbi Baskin at Har Shalom.

Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. - Saturday morning worship and Torah Service.

Saturday, May 14, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. - Rabbi available for counseling. Call Mark Barendt for appointment at 375-2868.

Saturday, May 14, 4 p.m. - Israeli cooking lesson. Learn favorite recipes.

Saturday, May 14, 5 p.m. - Yom Haatzma'ut BBQ. Bring your own dinner to grill and a side dish or dessert to share.

Saturday, May 14, 6:30 p.m. - Traditional Israeli celebration.

Sunday, May 15, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. - Shalom Yeladim (ages 2-6) with Rabbi Baskin at Har Shalom. Call Marla Stills at 247-2992 for further information.

Sunday, May 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. - Judaism 180 at Har Shalom.

Friday, May 20, 7 p.m. - Torah study at Har Shalom. Call Harold Shure at 385-6793 for details.

Sunday, May 22, noon - Jewish Youth Group (ages 12 and up) and B'nai Mitzvah students meet at Santa Rita Park. For details contact Carolyn Cohen at 375-0613 or e-mail youth@ harshalomdurango. org.

Sunday, May 22, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. - Shalom Yeladim (ages 2-6) at Har Shalom. Call Marla Stills at 247-2992 for further information.

Friday, May 28, 7 p.m. - Shabbat service led by members of the congregation at Har Shalom, followed by dessert oneg.

Shalom Yeladim for children ages 2-6 years old will have their last class Sunday, May 15. Rabbi Baskin will join Shalom Yeladim to sing, dance and teach. Please note that this class will meet early, at 9:30 a.m., and end at 11 a.m. For more information, call Marla at 247-2992.

The congregation will hold a traditional Israeli celebration of the birth of the State of Israel Saturday, May 14, at 4 p.m., with barbecue and other fun activities.

- 4 p.m. - Israeli cooking lesson. Learn some of out favorite recipes.

- 5 p.m. - Time to test out your cooking at dinner/barbecue. Bring your own dinner to grill and a side dish or dessert to share.

- 6:30ish - Traditional Israeli celebration.


BVM meditation service set by Unitarians

Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a special Biosome Vibrational Meditation service 10:30 a.m. Sunday, led by Constance d'Angelis.

Biosome Vibrational Meditation (BVM) is a three-pronged process of meditation designed to integrate both right and left brain while quieting the physiology and serving to open the mind/body to transcendent states.

d'Angelis created this form of contemplation, which includes guided visualization, silence, then a deepening of somatic experience through Biosome Vibrational Music. The music is structured around the "F" note, played by Constance on her crystal bowl, with harmonies that enhance the intensity and coordination of the sound.

This Reiki master, nationally certified massage therapist, lawyer and lecturer began meditating in 1986 and has studied many different types of meditation, including transcendental meditation, Vippassana, Kriya Yoga, and Sound and Light (Sat Sandesh).

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

Chocolate auction nets $4,890 for humane society

By Robbie Schwartz

Special to The PREVIEW

Going once, going twice ... sold!

No it wasn't the annual Auction for the Animals time of year, but the monthly Pagosa Springs Chamber SunDowner.

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs held its annual Chocolate Auction in conjunction with the Chamber SunDowner. Over 120 people enjoyed this delicious and fun yearly event. Every year the society creates a theme for the evening, this year it was Beach Party a go-go.

Gourmet baskets, Rocky Mountain pie, and Mexican Hot Chocolate cake were just a few of the 33 decadent chocolate desserts donated from local caterers, restaurants and bakers. A total of $4,890 was raised which will go directly toward the humane society shelter. Thank you to all the contributors, participants who helped and don't forget to mark your calendar for the Auction for the Animals, Aug. 26.


Local Chatter

Kids evaluate their mothers

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

This Fun on the Run, "Why God made Moms," has been contributed by Donna Geiger who got it from her niece, Johanna Thulberry, who in turn got it from her niece, Candi Keene.

Isn't the Internet wonderful?

Why God made Moms

Answers given by elementary school age children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the Scotch tape is.

2. Mostly to clean the house.

3. To help us out of there when we were getting born,

How did God make Moms?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.

2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.

3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world, and one dab of mean.

2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

1. We're related.

2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.

2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.

2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?

3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.

2. She got too old to do anything else with him.

3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goofball.

2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.

3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?

1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.

2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.

4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.

2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.

2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.

3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on her back.

Education News

Local adult ed program serves many needs

By Livia Cloman Lynch

SUN Columnist

The world of adult basic education is ever changing. In addition to improving basic reading and math skills, adult students are going back to school to earn their GEDs, learn English, improve their job-related skills, read to their children and accomplish many other goals.

Nationally, there are now more than 4 million adults enrolled in three popular types of basic skills programs: ESL, ABE, ASE/GED. All of these programs are offered locally at the Archuleta County Education Center.

English-as-a second language (ESL) programs serve some 50 percent of the students. Nationally, this is the largest segment of the adult basic education population and is growing very quickly.

Adult basic education (ABE) programs focus on honing skills up through the eighth-grade level, and account for just over 30 percent of the students.

Adult secondary education (ASE) programs serve the remaining 20 percent of students, many of whom are studying to receive a high school diploma or GED.

New legislation has shifted the emphasis of many adult education programs from basic education skills to work-related training. Most of the adult students enrolled in programs want to:

- make education gains, as measured by the National Reporting system;

- receive their high school diploma or GED;

- enter post-secondary training;

- get or retain a job.

Many students may also wish to enroll in a short-term job training program or reduce their need for welfare. Others are becoming U.S. citizens, learning how to vote, or would like to volunteer or contribute to a community program. Additionally, many adult learners would like to take a more active role in their children's education.

Next GED test

Saturday, May 21, is the next scheduled GED test date in Pagosa. Preregistration is required by May 17.

Next first aid/CPR class

Saturday, May 14, is the next first aid and CPR class and will be held 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information about any of our classes, call the Archuleta County Education Center at 264-2835. Our office is open Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Fridays 9 to noon.


Community Center News

Spring arts and crafts show set at community center

By Mercy E. Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

We now have 22 vendors, all local artists and crafters, signed to participate in the Memorial Day weekend Arts and Crafts show. Mark your calendar and make sure you come to this event 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 28.

There will be great array of arts and crafts available: paintings, jewelry, copper window charms, garden ornaments, stoneware tiles, painted wood pieces, scarves, purses, hats, candles, cabin crafts, leatherworks, stained glass crochet dolls and many others.

Shop early for your holiday gifts.

There are still spaces for more artists and crafters; the more we have the better, and more fun. Call now and reserve your space to display and sell your handcrafted items. Space assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Cost is $35 and $50 for an 8x8 or 10x10 space respectively, including tables. Proceeds from this event will benefit center programs offered to the community.

Call 264-4152, Ext. 21 to reserve your spot.

Previous highlights

Congratulations to Janna Henry who won the laptop computer at the annual Post Prom Party Sunday. Congratulations, too, to those who won other fantastic, cool prizes like the mountain bike, portable stereo system, etc. The party was again a great success, having 165 teens signed in. They had a great time; some came in their pajamas and a few came in their prom attire.

Many thanks to the committee members who worked very hard to put this event together - Lynn Johnson, Terri Matzdorf, Brenda Magner, Angie Dahm and Joanne Irons. Of course, a million thanks to all our donors and volunteers who worked from 1-5 a.m. Without them, this party wouldn't have been possible.

The Habitat for Humanity Luncheon fund-raiser Friday was also a huge success. Congratulations to Chris Hostetter for a job well done. She must have a strong connection to mother nature - a gray morning turned into a bright, sunny midday and many people came to the luncheon. This fund-raiser will help build a Habitat home for another family from the community. The Habit-Tappers entertained the audience with a song to the tune of "If I Had A Hammer" which was very funny.

Performers were Mary McKeehan, Jody Cromwell, Sharon Crump, and John Graves on the piano. Mercy heard that Susan Neder organized and directed the group. Of course, everyone enjoyed lunch catered by Joanne Irons.

I was invited to the methamphetamine forum last Monday with about 20 other participants representing the schools, law enforcement, the legal system, parents, human services and Susie Kleckner from San Juan Basin Health Department who is heading this project. The group agreed that educating the public is the first step to undertake in order to prevent and/or stop the use of this harmful and addictive drug.

Photocopier needed

Our photocopier is on its last legs. We are looking for a community-minded person or group willing to donate a new or used one that can handle the center's photocopying needs. We only need a small unit and a new one will cost around $500. Your donation is tax-deductible.

Upcoming events

Building Blocks 4 Health food tasting party is tomorrow and everyone is invited. It's free. Cindy Hasselbach, a certified health advisor, will be the guest speaker and will serve guests samples of high protein, low carb and low calorie soups, bars, shakes, crackers, etc. Cindy will also introduce a medically supervised weight management program, an individualized plan with the support of a certified health advisor and balanced meal replacement foods program. The BB4H speaker will also provide information on weight loss and management, hot flashes, high blood pressure and cholesterol programs for children. Come one and all, it's free.

Patriotic Sing-A-Long

The annual Patriotic Sing-A-Long Night will be 7-9 p.m. Thursday, June 30. This event is a prelude to the 4th of July celebration. The center is inviting music lovers, both individuals and groups, to participate in this symbolic and popular evening. Last year's event was a great success.

Let us make this another success with lots of fun and good memories. We especially invite families of those on active duty in the military. Share with us your stories and photos. I'm also looking for a volunteer emcee since Andy Fautheree who did a great job last year will be out of town. Watch for more information next week.

Activities this week

Today - High school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; intermediate watercolor class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

Friday, May 6 - Beginner watercolor class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Twins Club play time, 9:30-11:30 a.m.; men's open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, May 7 - Tee-ball games, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Waldorf Parenting study group, 10 a.m.-noon.

Sunday, May 8 - 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, May 9 - Seniors' bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.; Planned Parenthood, 3:30-5 p.m.; Loma Linda POA board meeting, 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, May 10 - High school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Big Box Task Force hearing, public invited, 5-7 p.m.; Creeper Jeepers Gang meeting, 7-8 p.m.

Wednesday, May 11 - Pagosa Brat play group, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; photo club meeting, 5:30-7 p.m. Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, May 12 - High school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; oil painting workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

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

The center is a 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 very affordable rooms for small, midsize and large groups. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, portable stage, dance floor and audio visual equipment are available. 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, and then all unclaimed items will be donated to the local thrift stores. Call 264-4152.

Senior News

Prom is for seniors, senior citizens, that is

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

What a wonderful time the "senior" prom was!

Our new King and Queen of the prom are Bob Sandie and Jackie Schick - congratulations to both!

There are not enough words to thank John Graves and his band. Our thanks go to John Graves on the keyboard; Walt Lukasik, drums; Bruce Anderson, saxophone; and Larry Elginer, trumpet. Without this great band we couldn't have waltzed, polkaed, rumbaed or two stepped. One woman who recently moved here from Arizona with her husband shared with us that it was her first prom ever; we hope it was a memorable one! A special thank you goes to the junior class at the high school who were kind enough to leave the decorations up for us to enjoy. Thank you to Archuleta Seniors, Inc (the local council on aging) who sponsored the event and Mary Lou Maehr of Archuleta Seniors, Inc; what a wonderful event you put together! There are numerous volunteers to thank and you are all very much appreciated. We look forward to another great time next year.

Older American's Month

It is time to celebrate long-term living and recognize older Americans who are living longer, healthier lives that are more productive. Older people are not only adding years to their lives, but they are also improving the quality of their lives. Colorado recognizes the importance of utilizing the talents, creativity, and experience of our older citizens, and encourages maximum opportunity for their involvement in all aspects of community life. Remember, keep your mind active, keep your body moving, and keep visiting us at "The Den" senior center where you are surrounded by family and friends who love, care and appreciate you.

Bus volunteers needed

The folks riding the bus could use a wee bit of assistance on their shopping days. We are currently looking for a volunteer to help our folks Tuesdays and another volunteer Fridays approximately 12:45-3:30 p.m. Volunteers may be asked to carry grocery bags, push a cart, read labels, etc. Please call The Den at 264-2167 for further information.

Let's go fly a kite

Send a kite soaring Friday, and keep your fingers crossed for great weather and moderate winds. Bruce Muirhead donated a great biplane kite last year and it hasn't been out for a test run yet. Bring along your own kite or borrow one of ours. And if flying a kite isn't your thing then grab your lawn chair and enjoy the outdoors with us or watch us soar from inside the dining room. Meet us here at 1 p.m.

Mother's Day

We will celebrate Mother's Day here at the Senior Center Friday. We will have a special gift for all the women who attend lunch on this special day in honor of all the love, support, strength and warmness they add to the world. Please come in for lunch and help us say "thank you" for all they do.

Durango trip

Do you want to go to Durango? Let us take you there. On Thursday, May 12, John will holler ALL ABOARD, and off you go to Durango. The suggested donation is $10 for the transportation. Give us a call and we'll get you signed up.


We have a small garden area that needs your help. We need a number of green thumbs to maintain the garden, plant, etc. At this point in time we are in the planning stages and need to know what you would like to plant! If you can help us out in anyway give us a call.

Gym Walk-A-Thon

We are pleased to announce the weekly gym walk-a-thon. Spring is here and let's get in shape. We have been mentioning the importance of exercise and keeping your body moving throughout our newsletter. And we all know that the more we keep our bodies moving, the longer our physical capabilities will continue. Don't let those muscles get lazy. And remember to drink plenty of water.

"What? Exercise isn't fun," you say. Well, it sure can be, especially if you are doing it with a group of friends. That's why we are starting a weekly walk-a-thon at the Senior Center. Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, starting 11:15 a.m. we will walk in the community center gym for 15 minutes.

"What? Fifteen minutes isn't that long," you say. Well, walking three times a week for 15 minutes might just be the jump start your body needs and as you have heard many times before, it is definitely better than nothing. So, rather than sitting at those cafeteria tables waiting for lunch , let's go walking. And the best part is, that when your are done doing your walking, the salad bar and lunch will be served.

Polo shirts

Our new summer shirts are in. Show your pride and order one of these sporty shirts today. We have two shirts to choose from: an indigo blue polo with our logo for $17, and a white polo with a pocket and logo for $19.

Home chore

Through our funding sources we are able to offer Home Chore Services to those folks 60 years of age and older. If you need assistance with minor home repairs, yard work, heavy household cleaning or minor home modifications, give us a call and see if you qualify. The suggested donation for this great service is $5 per hour.

New assistive devices

The OIB program of the Southwest Center for Independence has received a donation of several new assistive tools for people with low vision. They're available for short term loans. For more information call 259-1672.

Fun for hearing impaired

Captioned Media Program is a free loan video service for the deaf or hard of hearing. Register to check out 4,000 open-captioned videos, CD's and DVD's for free at or by calling (800) 237-6819 (TTY) or (800) 237-6213 (voice). The program does not charge, rental, postage or registration fees.


Are you interested in receiving the newsletter via e-mail? Let us know your e-mail address and we'll get you on the list, otherwise you can check it out at

Activities at a glance

All activities are free .

Friday, April 6 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services noon; kite flying 1 p.m.

Monday, May 9 - Medicare and Drug Card counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun 1 p.m., all levels welcome.

Tuesday, May 10 - Yoga in Motion, 9:30 a.m.; basic computer instruction, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.

Wednesday, May 11- Canasta, 1 p.m.; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; End of Life Decision Follow-up, consultations and questions by appointment only, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Thursday, May 12 - Trip to Durango.

Friday, May 13 - Qi Gong 10 a.m.; blood pressure check up 11 a.m.-noon; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; Local Council on Aging (Archuleta Seniors, Inc.) board meeting 1 p.m.


Suggested donation: $2.50 for ages 60-plus, all others $4.50.

Salad bar everyday, 11:30 a.m.

Friday, May 6 - BBQ chicken on bun, potato salad, and tropical fruit.

Monday, May 9 - Pasta with meatballs, citrus cup and garlic roll.

Tuesday, May 10 - Salmon patty, brown rice, vegetable blend, bran muffin and pineapple.

Wednesday, May 11- Chicken a la king, whipped potatoes, apricots and biscuit.


Arts Line

Opening reception tonight for calendar artists

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council has undertaken a project to produce an annual 14 page, full color calendar about Pagosa Springs, featuring the works of local artists.

At present, there is no calendar that focuses on Pagosa Country exclusively. The Arts Council wants to promote Pagosa Springs 365 days a year through this beautiful scenic calendar and encourage the work of local artists and photographers.

The 13 images (12 months and cover artwork) have been selected. The winners will be announced and displayed at a reception 5-7 p.m today in the gallery in Town Park. Barbara Rosner chairs the calendar selection committee and was assisted by Doris Green, Jeff Laydon and Jean Shah. The judging panel was Mary Jo Coulehan, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and Carly DeLong owner of Studio Abuzz in Durango.

The calendars will be available for purchase through the Arts Council in June, at a price of $9.95 plus tax.

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will meet 5:30 Wednesday, May 11, in the arts room at the community center. This month's program will be a demonstration of tripods, monopods, heads and other equipment used to stabilize the camera.

Jim Struck and Al Olson will display and demonstrate the features of these tools, discuss the pros and cons of each, and provide tips for their use in different photographic situations. They will also provide suggestions on features to consider when buying equipment. Struck is president of the photography club and Olson is program chairman.

Monthly photo competitions are held during each club meeting. The two competition categories are theme and open, where any subject is allowed. This month's theme is "Flowers." Members may enter as many as three prints, but no more than two in either category. Ribbons are awarded in each category to the top three prints as voted by the members.

The club meets the second Wednesday of each month September through May. This will be the last regularly scheduled club meeting until Sept. 14. The club will, however, present workshops during the summer months, to be announced at later date. They will be free to club members and available at a nominal fee to others. Current paid-up memberships will remain in effect through May 2006.

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

Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting continues May 12 and 13 with Betty Slade.

Students will continue the works in progress learn more in-depth painting techniques and begin the final painting. This is the last workshop scheduled in this series.

It will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the arts and crafts space in the community center.

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

Students will participate in their first gallery showing this fall to celebrate their first oil paintings.

If you did not attend Betty's previous oil class that is all right, she will work with each student at whatever level they are, from beginner to advanced.

Mark your calendar for the Saturday, May 14, drawing class with Randall Davis. It is usually on the third Saturday of the month, but due to his busy schedule, sometimes it changes. Class begins at 9 a.m. and usually finishes up around 3 p.m. at the community center. The subject last month was perspective and composition of physical structures in relation to their surrounding landscape. This will be utilized in the May class when, weather permitting, plans are to go to an nearby, old church to draw. Participants will meet at the community center and go from there.

Take the normal things you would for outside such as water, sunscreen, hat, a folding chair to sit on and something to support your sketchpad if needed. 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. In addition to the suggested outdoor items, bring 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, ruler, eraser. 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. Or space allowing, walk-ins are always welcome. Cost for the class is $35. All those interested are welcome, even if you have not attended previous classes. Randall's one-on-one instructional style is designed to help every student, from beginner to advanced. So come and enjoy the day, you'll be glad you did.

Group show, art salon

The Shy Rabbit Studio will host an opening reception for the group's "Fiction to Art" project 5-9 p.m. Saturday, May 14. A call to artists (in all mediums) went out last month asking them to interpret a short fictional piece written by local author (and group member) C.J. Hannah. The show filled up within four days, resulting in a total of 29 participating artists whose work will be shown.

Each artist was provided an 8-1/2 x 11 board on which to work. The pieces will be displayed as though they were illustrations from a book, and each artist will discuss their piece as an interpretation of the fiction text entitled, "The Mortality of Kodak Moments." The monthly Artists' Salon/Round Table will follow the group show 1-4 p.m., Sunday, May 15. This month's guest speaker will be Karyn Gabaldon, of the Karyn Gabaldon Fine Art Gallery in Durango. The Shy Rabbit Studio is at 333 Bastille Drive, just west of Hopi. For additional questions, call or e-mail Michael or Denise Coffee at 731-2766.

Attention watercolorists

Join PSAC Watercolor Club at its next meeting May 18.

The club was formed in the winter of 2003. Since that time, Pagosa watercolorists meet 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in the arts and crafts space at the community Center. The rooms are available for the day and we each contribute $5 for the use of the space. The venue for the day varies with watercolorists getting together to draw and paint. We sometimes have a demonstration of technique from a professional watercolorist or framer. Sometimes a few people bring still lives or photos or just projects they want to complete. Come join us, bring your lunch and your watercolor supplies for a fun day.

Council workshops

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council sponsors and manages workshop in the arts and crafts space at the community center. From the outset, the council has been a partner and supported of the center.

We started the workshops in 2002 and they have grown substantially since that time. We service the arts in the community and the community has responded favorably to this program. It gives those who want to teach a venue to do so and at the same time gives our residents a venue for learning something they have always been interested in whether it is watercolor, acrylic, oil, drawing, drama, photography, etc. The space also provides a home for the photo club, watercolor club and meeting location for various clubs.

If you are interested in teaching a workshop or class, secure a workshop application form at the gallery in Town Park (264-5020) or download the form from the Web site, Pagosa-Arts.Com. If you are a resident and have ideas and suggestions for a class or workshop we haven't offered, please let us hear from you. The Arts Council's mailing address is: P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, Co., 81147 or e-mail (

Performing arts

Creede Repertory Theatre will host its first overnight Performing Arts Resident Camp Aug. 7-13. The camp is open to all students in grades seven through 12 who have an interest in the performing arts.

The camp is open to all students in grades seven through 12. The main focus of PARC is to strengthen the students' overall training in stage work, vocal performance, scene study and movement. Students do not need any prior theatre experience; however, they should be interested in the performing arts.

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

All PARC classes will take place at the Creede Repertory Theatre and will be taught by CRT theatre professionals. Elective classes will take place at their respective locations in downtown Creede. Students will be supervised 24 hours a day by camp counselors, CRT staff members, or elective teachers.

Cost for the camp is $500 per student including: 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 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.

All exhibits are shown at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, unless otherwise noted.

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

Today - Opening reception for calendar exhibit 5-7 p.m. in gallery.

Through May 31- 2006 Pagosa Springs Calendar Exhibit at the gallery.

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

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 PSAC members, $90 others.

May 14 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $35.

May 18 - Watercolor club, 10 a.m.

June 2-29 - Adrienne Haskamp and Jeanine Malaney Exhibit, Town Park Gallery.

June 23 - PSAC annual meeting.

June 30 - July 1, Wendy Saunders Photography Exhibit.

July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.

Aug. 4-31 - 2005 Juried Art exhibit.

Aug. 29-Sept. 1 - Joye Moon Plein Air Watercolor Workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

September - Celebrities Cook for the Arts and Art Auction.

Sept. 1-28 - Watercolor Club Exhibit.

Sept. 29-Oct. 31- Fine Woodworking and Betty Slade Oil Students Exhibit.

October - Artist Studio Tour.

November - 2005 Gallery Tour.

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


Food for Thought

Aioli: Opera, island or sauce?

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist


I'm feeling my way down an 11th floor hallway in the Island Tower at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. I'm running on fumes; there's nothing left in the tank.

The word "aioli" is running amok in my mind. It's tumbling all over the place, making a lot of mental racket in an otherwise vacant space.

I'm so messed up it takes me a while to remember what the word means.

I'm pretty sure it's not Hawaiian for "hello" and "goodbye."

Let's see: The Beloit Bullet calls Cassandra Fortissimo's performance of "Asinus cum Commento" from Verdi's classic "Aioli" a "rousing tour de force."

Nope, that's not it.

As the captain of the victorious Marseilles football club hoists the Euro Cup above his head, the crowd, as one, breaks into a chant:

"Aioli, Aioli Aioli."

No, I don't think so.

Let me see: The airport at Paris? Aioli? No, it's Orly.

The Greek Isle of Aioli, where Zeus ravaged what's-her-name and she turned into a chipmunk?


What a minute food. Yeah, that's it. Aioli. Raw egg yolk, high-grade oil, tons of garlic.

I stagger on, further exhausted by the mnemonic effort.

I'm old; I can't pull this wagon any more.

I can't weather lack of sleep, general dissipation.

I arrived in Vegas two days before, wits sharp, full of energy, flying into the city with my pal Michael C., slugging down surprisingly stiff gin and tonics en route, hopping a cab to the Trop there to meet the other members of our party — three driving in, one flying from Telluride, another winging his way north from Guadalajara.

It is a yearly trek.

Let the games begin.

They do, and they continue that first day past midnight, to 4:30 a.m.

They begin anew at 7:30 a.m.

Yes, that's three hours of sleep.

They continue until 3 a.m. the next morning and begin again at 7:30 a.m.

Yes, that's less than five hours sleep, less than eight hours shut-eye in two nights.

Did I mention I'm too old to be doing this?

I'm clobbered. Thus, I find myself feeling my way down the hallway, hoping against hope I can find my room, that I can find the key, that I can make the key work.

At this point, all I've got is aioli banging against the sides of the brain can. Most everything else is lost in the mist produced by my excess.

One thing I know for sure is I played well the first day and early the next morning. I follow a plan: I assess the situation and perform effectively - good pickings at the blackjack tables early in the morning, before the goofs rise and shine. Catch the dealers one on one; the action moves fast; come to the table with enough markers to surf the inevitable math-driven wave, make the right decisions, luck into those choice doubles and splits, win the majority of hands and it's money time.

But now, three days in, I am floating on the debris of the trip. I find my way to the room Harrington and I share. He is crumpled in the fetal position beneath a pile of bedding making odd noises. I recline on my bed, watch a bit of Judge Judy and wonder about this aioli thing. Where did it come from? And where is all the money I won?

I do some deep breathing, engage several esoteric yogic techniques; fragments of three days float past and I seize them.

Finally, I recall the aioli link. The first night in town Michael C., Marion, Harrington and I decide to fuel up at Emeril's at MGM Grand. Michael C. is real anxious to tell someone, anyone, he ate at Emeril's place. He loves it when that hirsute little gnome throws some seasoning and screams "Bam!" on his TV show. Michael C. is a wahoo kind of guy; he resonates with Emeril.

I color up and pull away from a blackjack table at the Trop toting a major stack of chips, and I am ready for good eats.

We've got no reservation and we show up at the hostess stand at Emeril's at 7 p.m. - ordinarily not a successful scenario. Call it divine intervention if you will (or fat luck, given we are in Vegas) but there is a table open. We drink, we eat.

I order a bowl of the seafood gumbo. Though I am no big fan of gumbos, this one is just fine: a mahogany roux, fish stock, some tomato, andouille, firm white fish, shrimps, clams, a bit of lump crab meat if I'm not mistaken. Zipped up, probably with cayenne. A mound of white rice plopped in the stew, as per the cliché.

I order a crab cake appetizer, the two smallish cakes coated with panko, fried to deep gold color, bedded on spring greens, remoulade scattered about helter skelter. Tasty, but not exceptional.

I sip a couple glasses of the house pinot noir and it keeps me warm and happy.

Last up: the garlic lobster roll.

Now, this is tasty.

It's like a deconstructed lobster roll of the kind you find in Maine and thereabouts, where the mayo-bound lobster meat is stuffed into what amounts to a glorified hot dog bun, split down the top.

The bread at Emeril's is a smallish, torpedo-shaped bun, sliced down the middle and toasted. The buttery bread is yeasty, heavy, like a dense dinner roll. One side of the roll is slathered with aioli and a mess of serious lobster meat, tail and claw, dressed with aioli, is piled on the bun. On the second half of the bun there is a snake of thicker aioli, this one pepped up with cayenne, some pureed roasted red pepper and a bit of tarragon. More of this sauce is squiggled around the base of the bun. Greens dressed with a garlicky vinaigrette top off the plate.

This is good stuff. I figure it would be equally good with crab meat, certainly with shrimps.

It's the aioli that makes the dish, after all. Say what you want about the appeal of shellfish - and don't get me wrong, I love 'em - but I could eat the aioli with a spoon.

My aioli fixation remains after I leave Vegas (and not a moment too soon, I might add). When I get home, I whip up a small batch to serve with roasted salmon.

Aioli is just a fancy name for mayonnaise with garlic. And it's top-of-the-line fine eating for the fat lovers in the crowd.

There are two critical decisions to be made prior to whipping up aioli: one, how much garlic to flip into the mix and, two, how much of the taste of olive oil is desired.

The first decision is never difficult for me. When it comes to garlic, I go overboard. Pile it on - the more, the better. Just make sure everyone else eats it or you will be banished to another room after dinner. Enough garlic, the exile could last days.

I prefer less of the olive oil taste in mayonnaise or aioli. As a result, instead of working with extra-virgin oil and its headier flavor, I mix a teensy bit of the extra virgin with a light or even extra light olive oil for the fat in the recipe.

That said, here's aioli in a flash. It isn't brain surgery, but you can't play fast and loose with the recipe or the technique.

Peel and chop a couple cloves of garlic. Avoid sprouted cloves - they are bitter. Put the garlic in the food processor with some kosher salt and blast it on pulse mode. Add two egg yolks, room temp, (oh no, we're going to die!) and pulse the mix until it is blended. Turn the processor on steady and drizzle in the oil, in a very thin, slow stream - up to a cup, maybe more, of the oil. If everything is done properly (make sure there is no egg white in the mix) the blend will thicken and when it is the thickness you desire, taste and season with a bit more salt if necessary and some fresh ground black pepper.

This is the base. With a little lemon juice added with the yolk, it is peppy as can be.

But, oh my, the other things you can add to this foundation.

I decide to do a version of the red pepper aioli I ate with the lobster roll at Emeril's.

I halve a red bell pepper, seed it and roast it along with a peeled shallot. When the veggies are blackened and done, I rip off the charred skins, let the pepper and shallot cool, chop them and hurl them around in the processor with a tablespoon of canned roasted tomato pulp until the mess is thoroughly pulverized. I put the vegetables in a tea towel, twist it tight and squeeze as much moisture from the veggies as I can. I add a bit of the mix to the aioli, taste, add a bit more, adjust the seasoning, flip in a bit of tarragon and, instead of cayenne, incorporate a dusting of Espanola ground red.

I could eat it with a spoon.

Well I do eat it with a spoon. A lot of it, as a matter of fact.

Mmmmm. Aioli.

Now, the dark side of the experience.

I bomb the first batch of aioli.

It's easy to do if you are careless. And I am nothing if not careless when I start drinking wine in the middle of the afternoon.

It seems like the thing to do. I'm cooking - sperimentin'- and a glass or two, or three, or more of one of the world's great low-dollar red blends (I'm not going to tell you what it is) is just what the doctor ordered.

Unfortunately, the doctor can't cook.

Or count.

I forget I need two room-temperature egg yolks. I use one.

Oh, I drizzle the oil into the processor slowly, drip by drip as a matter of fact. But, working on glass No. 4 of the red, I add half a bottle of the oil before I hear a sloshing sound emanating from the processor bowl.

They say you can rescue this sauce if it breaks. No way in this case.

I pour out the yellow oil, clean the works and start anew.

Second time is a charm.

I make one more error: I pan roast wild salmon fillets and the aioli and the oily fish are not compatible - the red pepper and garlic don't meld well with the salmon. A nice white fish like halibut or sole - or shellfish - would match up well, but not the salmon.

Fortunately, I steam some young asparagus and the aioli is a fab fit with the vegetable.

I've come out of my exhausting trip to the Land of Bright Lights, Bells and Whistles with a renewed, albeit forced interest in aioli. It seems there are times the reduction of one's consciousness to a pinpoint - in this case, one word - can pay dividends.

So I guess I'm a winner. Now, if I can only remember what happened to that money!


Extension Viewpoints

Wildflower planting can change palette of yard

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

May 5 - Cake Decorating Project meeting, 5 p.m.; Shady Pines Club meeting, 7 p.m.

May 6 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1:30-3 p.m.; Entomology Project meeting, 2 p.m.; Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting, 2 :15 p.m.; San Juan Conservation District Ice Cream Social, 6 p.m.

May 9 - Cultural Foods Project at Methodist Church, 3 p.m.; Foods Unit 1 Project at Methodist Church, 4 p.m.; Shooting Sports-Group B, Ski & Bow Rack, 4 p.m.; Sportsfishing Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.; Beef Project meeting, 6:30 p.m.

May 10 - Outdoor Cooking Project at Methodist Church, 4 p.m.; Rocky Mountain Riders Club meeting, 6 p.m.; Jr. Stockman Club meeting (Chromo), 6:30 p.m.

May 11 - Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

May 12 - Cake Decorating Project meeting, 5 p.m.; Veterinary Science Project at San Juan Veterinary Clinic, 5:30 p.m.

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

Wildflowers are ideal for a more natural, less formal appearance. A planting of wildflowers provides a changing palette of color. You may choose to model wildflower plantings after surrounding native-plant communities or use wildflowers to provide bold splashes of color.

The term wildflower does not necessarily mean that such plants are native to our area. Rather, it refers to an overall look or feel of an informal planting. Many plants in wildflower seed mixes are not native to Colorado, although native mixes are available.

A wildflower planting provides change throughout the growing season as different plants in the mix come into bloom. Due to varying characteristics of plants in a wildflower mix, the appearance of the planting may differ from year to year as some species thrive and dominate less aggressive species. Because some wildflowers can be aggressive, you may lose the diversity of a wildflower planting over time. Their aggressiveness can be compounded by site conditions. Some species invade areas where they are not wanted.

The type of wildflower seed mix you choose depends on site conditions and the effect you want to create. Commercial seed mixes may be formulated using a variety of flowers with different heights, colors and bloom times. Usually, a mix of self-seeding annuals, biennials and perennials is most effective. Wildflower mixes also may contain some grass species, which can fill in spaces around flowers, add texture and color contrast, and provide support and protection to wildflowers.

Grasses also can reduce soil erosion and enhance wildlife habitat. On steep slopes, existing or seeded grasses can reduce soil erosion until wildflowers become established. Use jute mats or weed-free straw mulches on the soil surface to help establish wildflowers on steep slopes. Large areas can be hydroseeded.

Site prep, weed control

Choose a mix suitable for specific site conditions, such as dry, hot, south exposures; cooler, shaded, north and east exposures; or moist meadows. Varying site conditions require different plant species. Seed companies often formulate their mixes for different site conditions. Most wildflowers grow best on well-drained, well-aerated soils. Others are adapted to moist sites. On sites with poor or compacted soil or extensive weed populations, considerable soil preparation and weed control are necessary before planting.

If weeds predominate on the site or if the soil has been disturbed by rototilling or construction activity, it may take up to a year to control weeds before you can plant wildflowers. Eliminating weeds prior to planting wildflowers is easier and less expensive than identifying and controlling them in newly seeded sites. Water the ground to stimulate weed-seed germination and growth. Then spray or pull the resulting weeds. Repeat this process several times if possible.

One method of sowing wildflower seeds with minimal soil preparation is to lightly cultivate or break the soil with a rake prior to sowing. If the soil is compacted or heavy clay, you may need soil improvements. Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or sphagnum peat moss, into the top 6 inches. Three cubic yards of organic matter per 1,000 square feet, or about enough to cover soil 1 inch deep, generally is sufficient. Tilling the soil will increase weed seed germination, as new seeds are brought to the surface.

After incorporating organic matter, water the area to germinate any existing weed seeds. Spray these weed seedlings with glyphosate (Roundup), glufosinate (Finale) or another appropriate herbicide. As with any pesticide, read and follow label directions. Remove dead weed debris prior to planting wildflowers. The number of times you need to repeat this water/spray process depends on the degree of weed infestation and types of weeds prevalent.

On sites where other desirable vegetation exists, cultivate the soil lightly or break it with a rake, then sow wildflower seeds in the manner described below. A cool moist treatment can greatly enhance the germination of perennials. If sowing in spring or summer you may want to check with the seed company if they have pretreated the perennial seeds.


For spring or summer seedlings, water to germinate seeds if rains are insufficient. Seedlings emerging in late summer may not become well established and may be killed by fall frosts.

Depending on the mix or species selected, sow 4 to 8 ounces of seed per 1,000 square feet or follow recommendations on seed packet. Exceeding recommended seeding rates may result in poor stands, especially of perennials shaded out by too-dense annuals.

For an even distribution of wildflower seed, mix six parts dry sand with one part seed. For small areas, spread the mix by hand. On larger areas, use a cyclone-type fertilizer/seed spreader. For small areas, light raking followed by tamping the soil with your feet can help ensure good seed contact with soil. For large areas, it's faster to pull a section of chain-link fence behind a tractor. To ensure good germination use a lawn roller or in small areas tramp soil surface with your feet.


- After wildflowers are established, pull or spot spray weeds as soon as they can be identified and before they set seed.

- During extended dry spells, supplemental water helps wildflowers look their best.

- If initial soil preparation was done, little if any fertilizer is required.

- After plants brown from killing frost, mow wildflower areas to distribute seeds set by plants. Cut stalks to 4 to 6 inches and leave clippings on the ground.

- In the second and succeeding years, the appearance of the wildflower planting may differ due to bloom of biennial and perennial species. Additional seeding can be beneficial if your wildflower stand is not satisfactory or plant growth was spotty or poor.

- Some species of wildflowers are toxic to grazing livestock (e.g., lupines and larkspurs).

Observe which wildflowers escape from your landscape to rangeland, open space, wetlands or other natural areas. Remove escaped plants and replace them with less aggressive species.

For more information on names and species of wildflowers contact the extension office at 264-5931 or come by the fairgrounds on U.S. 84 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week.

Bindweed mites

The Archuleta County Extension Office will receive 200 releases of bindweed mite at $15 per release for use in managing field bindweed. Each release will treat 25 acres, and are 75-percent effective in controlling field bindweed after two years. These will be delivered the end of May or June. Releases will be limited to 10 per person and must be prepaid. If you are interested in purchasing the bindweed mites, contact the office at 264-5931.


Pagosa Lakes News

Family vacations, personal planning revolve around kids

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Before we know it our children will be out of school. Summer vacation! A sizzling three-month stretch (with apologies to those who hail from really hot places) when parents will be looking for enjoyable activities for their young ones - activities that open up the opportunity to learn new things and acquire new skills.

Don't think your brat's summer holiday is still a long way off. If you are a young parent and haven't figured it out yet, your family vacations and other personal planning will likely need to revolve around your child's schedule for the next decade or more.

There will be a variety of programs to choose from: those offered by the Town of Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department, the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center, Summer Arts Camp through the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, private sports clubs and various church-sponsored Bible school offerings.

Swim lessons at the recreation center will begin late May and run throughout the summer in sessions lasting two weeks. Water-based programming during the summer has always been popular for all ages - even for toddlers. Over the years, there have been media announcements from "experts" recommending that children wait until age four to start swim lessons. I believe children can and should start a whole lot younger to develop - under close adult supervision - a comfort and liking for water.

Parents of toddlers can begin right away by taking their tots to play in the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center kiddie pool. The goal is to allow babies to explore the water environment much like the exploration they are doing on land. Water balance should be learned along with land balance, so that when a child is around three or so, learning to swim is relatively easy.

Carol Anderson and Natalie Carpenter also think it's good to allow toddlers to become comfortable around water. Last summer they formed the Little Dippers Swim Academy at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. The two ladies, along with intern instructors, will offer six sessions of classes beginning May 23 and ending in mid August. All levels of swim instruction will be covered - from complete beginners, to the advanced level where swimmers will learn diving and flip turns as well as the advanced strokes of breaststroke and butterfly. Classes will be a half hour and limited to four swimmers per instructor.

Parent feedback was very positive last summer, and the instructors were thrilled at the improvement of many of the swimmers. In one class, an 11- year-old boy who had never been in the water and was afraid to put his face under was preparing for a summer camp where there would be canoeing and swimming at a lake. By the end of the six classes in his session, the boy could swim a front crawl stroke with his face in the water and had learned how to roll over onto his back to rest if he became fatigued, as well as other water safety skills.

"Our goal with the swim academy is to provide quality swim lessons to kids in a very fun and positive way," said Carpenter. "It is a great pleasure to see a child come into a lesson afraid of getting his or her face wet, and then get to be the one to show that child how fun being in the water really is."

Water safety will also be part of the academy curriculum.

Anderson and Carpenter are previous coaches of the Pagosa Lakes swim team. Intern instructors have been high school swimmers from the swim team. The Little Dippers Swim Academy provided a great water experience for nearly 100 children this past summer. The summer swim lesson schedule is now available at the Recreation Center.

Last week a Group Study Exchange team sponsored by Rotary International to promote people-to-people diplomacy came through Pagosa Springs. This team of five Filipinos - a Rotarian leader and four young professionals - spent a day in our town. During their short visit, they were able to visit and learn about the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation operation, talk to our emergency medical service personnel, tour our town hall, community center and the PLPOA Recreation Center. They were hosted by local Rotary families and presented an informative and interesting program to the Rotary Club.

Mercy Korsgren, director of the community center, was invited to attend the meeting featuring her fellow countrymen. It was a special opportunity for Mercy who had this to say:

"What a great day! Every day is a great day in Pagosa Springs, but last Wednesday was my second greatest so far for this year. I was invited to the Rotary Club lunch meeting and there I met five young Filipino professionals who are touring Colorado and visiting different Rotary Clubs. I was so thrilled and excited to meet them, talk to them and learn who they are and what they do back home. At first, I thought they were senior high school exchange students. I was so proud to stand with them and sing the Philippine national anthem, which I haven't sung in twenty years, in our native tongue - Tagalog. I felt like I was 10 feet tall, and I'm sure I had a glow and big smile on my face just being with our visitors and also being around all these wonderful Rotarians. I was very happy I got to share our beautiful town and beautiful people with my countrymen. I also felt like they were my family. Filipinos are known to have close family ties and their visit was a great joy to me and I'm sure to them, too. Their visit surely made me home sick even though I was just in the Philippines last Christmas. I would like to thank the Rotary Club for this wonderful, thoughtful gesture. I am very grateful for their kindness and friendship."

Speaking of great days, I wish a great Mother's Day to all moms. When I was growing up I didn't realize how much my mother did for me and my nine other siblings. It must have been very hard for her - the challenges, the sacrifices - all to give us a better life. Now, looking back, I can see her life. To all the mothers in this world I say "Thank you for all you have done; for all you are."




Francis L. Lujan

Francis Louisa Stollsteimer Lujan passed away Tuesday, April 26, 2005, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Tony Phil Lujan, who passed away on October 31, 2004; her son and daughter, Antonio Filadilfo and Lenore Lucia Lujan, who passed away in a tragic fire in 1960; her brother, Henry (Hank) Stollsteimer, who passed away five years ago. Her brothers, Christino and Fred, and sister, Virgie, are also with her.

She has four surviving children: Emillio and daughter-in-law Crusie, Rudy and daughter-in-law Jannette, all of Denver; Elisha and son-in-law Lance and her son Marvin Lujan, all of Pagosa Springs.

She also has 11 grandchildren: Beth Lujan, Kaden Ray, Colt Lujan, Christino Lujan, Valerie Garcia, and Angie Lucas, all of Pagosa Springs; Jennifer Stollsteimer, Natalie Stollsteimer, Michael Stollsteimer, and Louis Lujan of Denver; and Robert Lujan of Bloomfield, N.M. She has three great-grandchildren: Blailand Espinosa of Pagosa Springs, Avon and Janessa Stollsteimer of Denver, and one on the way.

She has one brother and two sisters who are still with us today: Amanda Stollsteimer of Pagosa Springs, Stella Martinez of California, and Delfin Stollsteimer of Denver.

She spent all of her life in Pagosa Springs. She was exceptionally sweet woman who welcomed you into her house anytime. Francis loved working on her yard and baking. She loved to go shopping in Durango and going on picnics to Burns Canyon or Arboles. She liked to go out to eat at the Malt Shoppe and The Junction Restaurant.

She was a woman who loved many things and will be missed greatly.


Annette Bryan Byrn

Annette Bryan Byrn, born December 3, 1921, died Wednesday, May 4, 2005, at Pine Ridge. She was a long time resident of Pagosa Springs and had been very active in the Pagosa Women's Golf Association. She is survived by her husband, Louie, a daughter, Beverly, and one brother, Oscar. No services will be held, and she will be buried in Texas.


Business News

Chamber News

Special events to mark on your calendars

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Although we're in the throes of mud season, we all know weather has never stopped us locals from attending events. This time of year is no exception. So with no further ado, here are some events you can mark on your calendars for the next couple of weeks.

Ice cream social

The San Juan Conservation District will have an ice cream social 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. The evening starts out with ice cream and lots of toppings and then goes into an informational meeting where "100 Years of Range Stewardship" and "Nutbal - Nutritional Profiling of Livestock on Grazing Land" will be discussed. Anytime ice cream is served the event should be fun, and this should be no exception. As an added incentive, you might even garner some information. Should you need more details on the event, call 731-3615.

Spring concert

Voices will ring out Friday and Sunday in the high school auditorium with the Pagosa Springs Community Choir and Children's Chorale treating the public to their annual spring program.

The concert Friday will be at 7 p.m., Sunday's at 4 p.m. The Children's Chorale will entertain first, then the adults will sing a varied program. Once again, this concert is free to the public, making this event a great family outing. Make plans to attend one of these concerts and let your heart sing with all the joy this talented group of performers brings to us year after year.

Casino Royale

You better find that poodle skirt and shine up those penny loafers for Rotary's Casino Royale starting 6 p.m. Saturday at Montezuma's Restaurant where the local Rotary Club will provide a faux casino with blackjack, poker and craps tables along with raffles and a silent auction. Your $50 admission ticket allows you to enjoy all these games, "funny money" to start playing with, food, and the chance at a stunning door prize: a diamond solitaire necklace donated by Jem Jewelers.

The beauty of purchasing your admission ticket is that the majority of the proceeds go back into the community in the form of scholarships, community grant programs, and this year funding for a local law enforcement grant focusing on drug prevention.

This event always provides an evening of excitement, laughs and friendly faces. You may purchase your tickets here at the Chamber, the Pagosa Springs SUN, Jann Pitcher Real Estate, Jem Jewelers, at the door and from any Rotarian. Don't miss the fun. It is usually the talk of the town for at least the next week and you want to be in the know!

Hot Strings or Hot Springs

Very tricky: only one letter differentiating Hot Strings and Hot Springs. Good thing I need to say both in the same paragraph. Advance notice of The Springs Resort hosting Locals Appreciation Week May 17-24. The appreciation week starts off Tuesday, May 17, with The Hot Strings playing 5-8 p.m. at The Springs. Also that evening there will be giveaways, prizes and KWUF radio doing a live remote. Admission to The Springs will be $7 for locals (within 60 miles) all week long. Every time you visit The Springs that week, you will also be entered into a drawing for a year's free membership. Can't promise a quiet soak, but some great music and entertainment are sure to be had. The Hot Strings group will also be celebrating the release of their new CD, "Uncharted." If you can't come out that day, plan on taking advantage of the $7 locals rate at some time during that whole week. Stay tuned for more info to come about the fun for The Springs Resort Locals Appreciation Week.

Business updates

Celebrations and relocations seem to be the highlight of the business week. In addition to The Springs Resort event, Maria MacNamee of Happy Trails Ladies Boutique is also having an appreciation celebration. Happy Trails will host a 13th anniversary party Saturday. Maria is one to throw a party and this year is no exception. With every purchase, Happy Trails will be offering a free gift, and with purchases of $200 or more, a beautiful denim jacket will be given out (while supplies last). While shopping enjoy some tasty snacks and a margarita (Maria has to celebrate Cinco de Mayo). If you've been eyeing that skirt or jacket, now is the time to do some business and enjoy Happy Trails' hospitality.

There are more Cinco de Mayo celebrations going on. The Guadalupanas at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church will host a dance starting 8 p.m. Saturday. Dance the night away at the Parish Hall, Mexican-style, which means lots of smooth moves. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door. For more information, give the rectory office a call at 264-5702.

Also, Isabel Webster at Flying Burrito would never let an opportunity like this date pass her by! From 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. today The Flying Burrito will have free tacos and chips and salsa at their location on Apache Street across from La Plata Electric. If the tacos don't do it for you for lunch, then you could choose to purchase other items from their tasty menu. The Flying Burrito will then close through May 15 and plans to reopen May 16 at a new location just one block east of the present site. The new location will be at 574 S. 7th at Apache Street atop of the hill. They will open up with some fantastic new items and some returning mouthwatering favorites. So come on out and enjoy some of Isabel's salsas and make Cinco de Mayo a tasty celebration. You won't have to wait too long to enjoy your favorite burrito or taco at their new location.

Another relocation very important to all you who sew, quilt or use a dry cleaner is the moving of The Sewing Source. Leslie Montroy and her sewing and alteration establishment are moving up the hill to The Mountain View Plaza, Unit 109. Same great Bernina sewing machines, alterations and dry cleaning drop-off services will be offered, but the location and phone number have changed. The Sewing Source's new phone number is 731-6555. Good luck to both of these businesses and their moves. Moving is a pain, but the final outcome is usually worth the effort. We'll see you in your new establishments.

Event cancellation

I'm sad to report the non-motorized parade scheduled for Saturday, May 7 has been cancelled. I thought this was a great way to celebrate our heritage, but this is just not the year to have this event. I look forward to Maggie Dix-Caruso and her group hosting it next year. Good luck to the Historic Preservation Board in getting this event off the ground.


The Mountain View Homemakers will have their monthly meeting Thursday, May 12, with special guest Susan Kuhns of Riverside Health Practices. Great informational meeting this month ladies; you can go back to all your wonderful crafting next month. The meeting will be held at Jo Hannah's house, 275 Woodland starting at noon. For more information you may contact Jo at 731-3560.

New and renew

Now here is a new business in Pagosa: Ears 2 U Hearing Aid Center.

Scott Erickson will open this center June 1 and is offering hearing aid sales, repairs, batteries, and free hearing screenings. Offices will be in Pagosa Country Center, Ste. J and the phone number will be 731-4554. What a great service to this community. Welcome Gennette and Scott and thank you for providing this amenity to our community.

I'm not sure there is anyone who has not used this next service in Pagosa. Welcome back Granton Bartz and Cowboy Carpet Cleaning.

You can't miss the work of this next business renewing, Design A Sign.

Here's a bit of trivia for you. Next to family and friends recommending visitors to Pagosa, time share participants are the next largest faction of people frequenting our Visitors Center. So we say a big thank you to Fairfield Resorts for renewing with us this year.

We also give a big welcome back to The Branding Iron BBQ Restaurant and Bank of the San Juans.

That's it for this week. Just a last minute reminder that if you wanted to submit photos to the Chamber's photo selection process, the cutoff date is Friday, at close of business. Thank you to all who have participated so far and have overwhelmingly supported our efforts to create a media sheet representing the best of Pagosa.

Boy there are some great photographers out there! The selection process is not an easy task. I may have to run this event again later to try securing some more pictures. I can't wait to show the community the outcome. I will be using the final product at the trade show of North American Travel Journalists in Santa Fe May 17.

And thank you to all for putting up with our disorganization here at the Chamber last week while we spruced up the Visitor Center with new carpet. We have been up and down for a while with phones and computers, making life a little challenging. But the disarray has been worth final product. Come by and visit and see the improvements.


Biz Beat

JEM Jewelers

Marianne Caprioli is the owner of JEM Jewelers and serves as the resident bench jeweler.

Marianne has come to know and love Pagosa Springs and its residents well and she strives to meet the needs of all her clients, regardless of the size, simplicity or complexity of the service requested.

JEM Jewelers has officially opened its new location in the Citizen's Bank Plaza at Talisman Drive and U.S. 160.

In addition to Marianne's well-known selection of dazzling gemstones and diamond jewelry, she now offers fine fragrances for both ladies and gents. As always, Marianne provides jewelry repair and cleaning, watch batteries, fine Skagen watches, gift ideas, private appointments and free gift wrapping among the diverse services and products you'll find at JEM Jewelers.

Everyone is invited to stop by the new location. Business hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Thursday 1:30-5:30 and Saturday noon-4. Call 731-3399.


Cards of Thanks

Habitat for Humanity

We thank all of our luncheon sponsors for 2005:

Terry Jackson, Bill and Fran Smith, Wells Fargo Bank, Galles Fine Properties, LLC, Moore Wellness Center, Great Divide Title, Ponderosa Do It Best, Robert and Janis Moomaw, Pacific Auction Exchange, David and Mary Helen Cammack, Chimney Rock Chiropractic, The Pagosa Springs SUN, Hart Construction, The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs, Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat, Allen-FRD South Bank of Colorado, Ralph and Marcella Holsworth, 1st Southwest Bank, JTL Appraisals, 4 Seasons Land Co., Inc., Back Country BBQ, John and Chris Hostetter, United Building Center, Colorado Land Title, Pagosa Springs Kiwanis, Citizen's Bank, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, KWUF, Strohecker Asphalt and Paving, Colorado Dream Homes.

Thanks to all of you who donated time and energy to helping to make this work:

- Kim Moore, assistant fund-raising chairman;

- The Habit-Tappers - Mary McKeehan, Sharon Crump, Jody Cromwell, John Graves and Susan Neder;

- Aristotle Karas, Power Point presentation;

- The Mounted Rangers Troop for some tricky parking;

- Those wonderful hostesses who served more than just food

- JoAnn Irons of Wrap It Up Catering;

- Our speedy set up and clean up crews;

- Mike Foelker and Kim and Walt Moore for the centerpieces and decorations;

- George Muirhead and Pagosa Nursery for their donation;

- Meg Bliss the secret assistant;

- Bob and Mary Hart for their sound system;

- Pagosa Springs Community Center for the patience and help.

Another thank you to all those who contributed so much effort in making this luncheon a great success.




The engagement and upcoming wedding for Dana Hardin of Las Cruces, N.M., and Darren Davis of Las Cruces, is being announced by their parents. They are to wed 7 p.m. June 11, 2005, in Mesilla Park Community Church in Las Cruces. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Dan and Dana Hardin of Lovington, N.M. Her groom-to-be, a Pagosa Springs High School graduate, is the son of Lynn and Leslie Davis of Bloomfield, N.M. The couple have been friends for several years while attending college and in church. He proposed while on vacation in Hawaii late last year. Miss Hardin is a student in New Mexico State University's master's program in electrical engineering and is a member of the Baptist Student Union. Her groom graduated New Mexico State in 2004 with a degree in mechanical engineering and is now employed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration at White Sands Missile Range.



Donald and Stevana Erickson of Pagosa Springs, along with Merlin and the late Carolyn Johnson of Norwood, Colo., are looking forward to the marriage of their children. Christopher Scott Erickson and Lana Dyan Johnson of Denver will wed at Lake Pagosa on Aug. 20, 2005. The two met while attending Fort Lewis College in 1995. Christopher currently is a captain for Mesa Airlines and Lana works as a network analyst at Time Warner Telecommunications. The couple is looking forward to Christopher's brothers, Josh and Andrew Erickson, and Lana's sisters, Christine Duke and Shay Stegmaier, making the trip to Colorado with their families to share in the ceremony.




Lynne Bridges

Lynne Bridges graduated at Fort Lewis College May 1 from Pueblo Community College, with an early childhood education/associates general studies degree.

Her friends and family are truly proud of her accomplishments. Congratulations Lynnie, Grammy, Mom, friend.


Sports Page

Pirates close with 10-0 whitewash of Center; five goals for Hilsabeck

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It didn't shape up to be much of a contest, but in high school sports one can never be sure who will be up for a meaningless contest.

Pagosa, after having defeated Telluride for the league soccer crown Friday, had to play out the string Saturday against winless Center.

Junior Jennifer Hilsabeck decided to make it her personal coming out party.

The striker, who always seems to find a way to be in the right place at the right time, recorded five goals in the contest, the biggest day of her career and perhaps the biggest single-player effort in Lady Pirate soccer history.

SUN statistics show it also gave her the team scoring lead for the regular season - 15 goals with five assists - as the Pirates await the naming for their first playoff foe.

It wasn't just the Hilsabeck show, however; five other Pirates chipped in with single goals in a game called with the 10-point mercy ruling with 24 minutes left.

Also scoring for Pagosa were Iris Frye with a goal and two assists; freshman wing Allison Laverty with a goal (her first) and an assist; senior sweeper Kailey Smith with her second goal and second assist; sophomore striker Laurel Reinhardt with her 12th goal and two assists, giving her a tie with Frye with 10 assists each.

Most satisfying was the score by freshman striker Lexi Johnson who had been "oh, so close" so many times but was still without a goal though she had four assists going into the game.

A striking statistic about this contest is that the Pirates had 31 shots on goal - the host Vikings none.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said the game was "a good performance all around for us, good posting, great supportive action ... and Jennifer was on fire ... they couldn't find any way to contain her.

And, the coach added, "I want to pay great credit to Emmy Smith: She's been coming on all season, and now she works both offense and defense equally well. She's really come into her own. You won't see it in the statistics, but she's become as important to our success as the primary scorers."

Lest it be assumed the Pirates have been a one- or two-player team, unofficial SUN statistics show four players carrying the brunt of scoring with remarkably similar totals:

Hilsabeck 15 goals and five assists; Reinhardt 12 goals and 10 assists; Frye, 8 goals and 10 assists; senior Brittany Corcoran (who was injured in the Telluride contest) with 8 goals and 6 assists; freshman Stephanie Erickson with 3 goals and 2 assists; senior defensive midfielder Jewell with a goal and three assists; Kailey Smith, the defensive leader, with two goals and two assists; freshman Ashley Portnell with a goal and two assists; freshman Grace Smith with two assists; the Garman sisters, Alaina and Brett with a goal each (Alaina has been sidelined five games with a concussion); senior sweeper Emmy Smith with an assist; and freshman Laverty with a goal.

That makes 14 players on the roster of 16 who have scored at least one goal or registered one or more assists.


Intensity gives Pirates 3-0 shutout of Telluride and Southwest soccer crown

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

You can call them Southwest Mountain Conference champions.

The Pagosa Springs Pirate girls' soccer team avenged its only loss of the season Friday with a 3-0 shutout of Telluride.

There were a number of possibilities before the game: (1) Pagosa, which lost to their guests 3-1 in the first league game of the season could win but still have to share the title; (2) Telluride could win and make Pagosa the second place team; or, (3) Pagosa could win by three or more goals and win the title outright.

They preferred option three for the contest in Golden Peaks Stadium.

The first half, however, was a test of their conviction.

The Pirates had the first scoring opportunity in the first minute, with Laurel Reinhardt's cross to Iris Frye right on target but Frye got under the ball and it sailed over the crossbar.

Then it was Telluride's turn to attack, but Pirate keeper Erin Gable, who did not play in the earlier game, was up to the challenge.

She made stops on four of five Miner attacks, four of the 16 she would record in the shutout. The fifth resulted in a shot wide right by Telluride's Katherine Hess.

Pagosa came right back with a three person weave, Frye crossing to Caitlyn Jewell on right wing and Jewell executing a drop lead to Jennifer Hilsabeck on target but Miner keeper Genna Kirsh stopped the shot. Then, Pirate freshman Allison Laverty stole an outlet pass just inside the zone and ripped an 18-yarder that Kirsch saved.

Reinhardt was stopped twice in a row by lead defenders but Telluride got a breakaway by Paloma Wodehouse who bore down on Gable for the shot.

It never got underway. Senior sweeper Kailey Smith came out of nowhere for the block/takeaway and led a Pirate surge back upfield.

Still, it was give and take, neither team able to get the opener despite some clever passing action on both sides.

Gable made a double save on the Miner's Riley McIntyre and a yellow card for Pagosa's Jewell gave the visitors a free kick. It never got to Gable, headed out by Laverty.

A Hilsabeck to Frye opportunity for Pagosa was blocked by a Miner midfielder. And a reverse effort by the same duo saw Hilsabeck's shot go wide left from 12 yards as the half ended - scoreless.

That lasted just a minute and 14 seconds and again it was the Frye-Hilsabeck tandem on the attack - and drawing first blood.

Hilsabeck got the score on a give-and-go return from Frye and Pagosa led 1-0 at 41:14.

Gable made a pair of saves as the Miners tried desperately to come back, stopping McIntyre and Tori Eidson, before Tara James was wide right.

Freshman Lexi Johnson made yet another bid for her first varsity goal but was wide right. The Pirates soon took a 2-0 lead.

Again, Frye was in the mix, this time faking a cross to Hilsabeck, cutting right and then hitting Reinhardt in stride for the shot and goal. Pagosa was up 2-0 at 48:11 - still plenty of time for a Miner miracle.

The Pirates weren't about to let that happen. They wanted the third goal and got it 3 minutes and 20 seconds later.

A handstand throw-in by Jewell sailed high to the middle of the goal mouth. Waiting there was Reinhardt who tipped it past Kirsch for the goal and a 3-0 Pirate lead.

The rest was anticlimactic, Pirate passing time and again leaving Miner defenders wondering where the ball was and Pagosa defenders consistently taking away most attack lanes for the Miners.

Gable stopped two Miner drives that resulted in soft rollers on goal. Reinhardt had a shot go over the net and a direct kick sail wide right.

Gable made a save on a free ball quick kick when the defense, for the only time in the game, seemed unprepared for the action. She then turned aside a blast by McIntyre from the right wing.

Perhaps the biggest save, however, came on the next Miner possession. Gable came out to the right corner of the box and cleared the ball but it was kept in and passed to the right wing where Brenna St. Onge was in full stride toward an open net as Gable scrambled to get back.

Seemingly out of nowhere came Jewell to tackle the ball away before a shot could be taken and the 3-0 lead held.

As the clock wound down, Gable made her 16th save and Frye's pass to Stephanie Erickson for a 12-footer gave Kirsch her last save.

The Pirates had needed to win by three and did so with the shutout.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason echoed the thoughts of most fans when he said, "this was the best passing effort we've had this season. Crosses and overlaps into the lanes kept a very good Miner team trying to outguess us."

He said the midfield play set the tone for the attackers throughout the day and the defensive pressure had Telluride shots often a half-stride off. "Intensity was our plan going in, and though it sometimes didn't show in the first half, we came out in the second determined to start quickly. The girls wanted it and showed the skills it takes to be a winner."

"We gave them a game plan, but they made it work. Every one of them contributed and pride was a big part of that effort," he said. "They just refused to let up."

Kurt-Mason had one first-time player for the game, Lauren Schlessinger, who worked 14 minutes in several stints at a wing position. She has prior experience in Taos, N.M.

The victory, with one game left (see separate story for Saturday contest) means the Pirates draw a first round bye while Telluride and Bayfield, the two and three teams in the league, attempt to gain regional action. Telluride will host the No. 5 team from the Southern League and Ridgway the No. 3 team from the Foothills League.

Sweet 16 seeding will follow completion of this week's qualifying rounds. That's when Pagosa will learn its seed, who it will host as a league champion, and the time and date for that contest.

First round Sweet 16 games must be completed by May 14. Quarterfinals are set May 18, semifinals May 20 and finals May 23.


Scoring: 41:14, P-Hilsabeck, assist Frye; 48:11, P- Reinhardt, assist Frye; 51:3, P-Hilsabeck, assist Jewell. Saves, P-Gabel, 16; T-Kirsch, 6. Penalties, P-Jewell, yellow.

Pirates host and win Terry Alley Invitational

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirate track team ended the regular season schedule in fine style, hosting the Terry Alley Invitational Saturday, with girls' and boys' squads taking top honors.

Pagosa's girls bested their competition, winning the meet with 181 points. Second place went to Del Norte with 79, third to Dolores with 78.

The Pirate boys scored 172 points to win the meet. Del Norte was second with 107, Bayfield third with 102.

Pirate girls came away with three first-place finishes in individual running events.

Mia Caprioli continued to lead the field in the 100-meter dash. Caprioli topped her opponents with a time of 13.63 seconds.

Kim Fulmer, likewise, is finding success in the sprints. Fulmer won the 400 meters with a time of 1:02.37.

Emilie Schur won the 1600-meter run, crossing the finish line at 5:30.70.

The Pirate girls' relay teams nailed four first-place awards.

The 4x100 relay team of Caprioli, Fulmer, Nikki Kinkead and Janna Henry won the event in 53:01.

In the 4x200, Kinkead, Fulmer, Liza Kelley and Jessica Lynch ran to the top of the standings with a time of 1:53.52.

The 4x800 relay team of Lynch, Jen Shearston, Schur and Bri Scott posted a time of 10:17.20 to best the field.

The 800 sprint medley team of Henry, Lyndsey Mackey, Fulmer and Jessie Low took first with a time of 1:57.19.

Girls' second-place individual times at the meet included Fulmer's 28.87 in the 200; Lynch's 64:29 in the 400; a 2:30.91 by Scott in the 800. In third was Henry (51.96 in the 300-meter hurdles and 19:37 in the 100 hurdles).

The 4x400 relay team of Lynch, Shearston, Camille Rand and Katie Ehardt captured second with a time of 4:27.72.

In field events, Kelley took top honors in two events: The junior leaped slightly over 15 feet to capture the title in long jump and went 31-1 to win the triple jump

Mackey took second in long jump with a distance of 14-8. Tamara Gayhart was third in high jump, clearing the bar at 4-10.

On the boy's part, the team managed three first-place finishes in individual running events, four in relays and three in field events.

Jared Kinkead topped the field in the 100, winning in 11:43. Teammate Daniel Aupperle finished third in 11:80.

Otis Rand was tops in the 400, clocking a time of 52:86.

In the 800, Travis Furman crossed the finish line first, in 2:08.12, with Daren Hockett third at 2:11.27.

In the 200, Pagosa's Gunnar Gill, running unattached, was second in 25:04.

Brian Patane (17:86) took second in the 110 hurdles; Manuel Madrid (43:48) was second in the 300 hurdles.

The boys' relay team of Kinkead, Paul Armijo, Paul Przybylski and Aupperle won the 4x100 in 44.46, then won the 4x200 relay with a time of 1:32.04.

First in the 4x400 relay went to Aupperle, Madrid, Kinkead and Armijo in 3:41.41

Hockett, Furman, AJ Abeyta and Rand ran to first in the 4x800 relay, in 8:37.85.

Caleb Ormonde leaped 6 feet even to win the boy's high jump

Aupperle was tops in the long jump, posting a distance of 19-11. Casey Schutz won the triple jump, going 39 feet. Second went to Ormonde (38-9), third to Przybylski (38-7).

David Dunmyre took third place in shot put with a throw of 38-1.

Craig Schutz was third in discus with a throw of 129-3.

"We got a big break in the weather for the meet," said Coach Connie O'Donnell. "Both our girls and boys won and we posted state meet qualifying times in some events in which we had already qualified. Our only new qualifier was Jared Kinkead in the 100. Jared is now qualified in four events (the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x200). He didn't run the finals of the 200 at our meet because he was limping after his last relay. His Achilles tendon has been bothering him this week and I didn't want him to run that last race; he is already qualified in the event and winning the 200 at a small meet is not worth the risk. I'm very proud of Jared because he's been so reliable this year; he's really there for his teammates. He's always been a talented runner and I'm glad to see him using his talent to the best of his ability this season."

O'Donnell also singled out senior Paul Armijo for his contributions to the team. "Paul may not be winning a lot of individual events this year," she said, "but he has been invaluable. If I had to name a team captain, it would be Paul. He is respected by the other athletes, leads our team in warm up and makes sure everyone is pushing hard in practice."

O'Donnell looked past the wrap-up of the regular season to the Intermountain League meet in Bayfield May 7.

"The kids have been waiting for this week," said the coach. It is traditionally the last week of hard practices, then we start tapering off for regionals and state. It is really the best part of the season. Our girls are looking forward to competing against Centauri for the first time this year. We really don't know what kind of athletes they have, but they are the only other IML team (beside Pagosa) to pre-qualify for state. They qualified in the four-by-eight hundred a few weeks ago."

Field events at Bayfield begin at 10 a.m., track events at 11.


State softball official, Olympics aide will

conduct clinics here

The Pagosa Springs ASA Girls Softball group will host training clinics Saturday featuring Lynn Sunahara, Colorado ASA umpire-in-chief, and Junior Olympics commissioner Lori Swope.

The all-day - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. - event will have Sunajara offering umpire training and a field clinic and Swope running Ace coach training and scorekeeper clinics.

All interested in the opportunity to work for ASA certification and work with Pagosa competitive leagues should call 903-8878.

League officials say there was an excellent turnout for 16U and 14U teams and 12U and 10U are still accepting registration. For more information or a registration packet, call the number above.


Pirate teams entering final playoff phase

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa's spring high school team games are near the final stand.

For the baseball team the first phase of that comes at noon Saturday when they meet the Monte Vista Pirates in the second game of the Intermountain League tournament at the Southern Ute recreation complex in Ignacio.

Bayfield, outright winner of the conference, will play Ignacio in the first game, the two winners meeting in the third game of the day a half hour after game two.

For soccer, the wait will be a little longer because Pagosa won the Southwest Mountain Conference outright and will host a state playoff game here.

The foe, and date and time for the game, will not be determined until a seeding meeting later today following regional seeding action.

Pagosa's baseball doubleheader loss to Monte Vista last Saturday put them in a position of having to beat the San Luis Valley Pirates in the tournament to get the chance to move higher.

David Hamilton, PSHS athletic director, said the very real possibility of rain looms Saturday.

If rains stop the baseball tournament, he said, the league is petitioning Colorado High School Activities Association for permission to play the games Sunday or Monday, weather allowing.

The same, he said, is true of the IML track meet scheduled the same day in Bayfield.


Pirates drop twin bill to Monte; they meet again in IML tourney

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Success is a fleeting satisfaction.

The Pagosa Springs Pirates, after having fought their way into a tie for the Intermountain League baseball lead, played themselves all the way down to a third-place finish Saturday.

Hosting a doubleheader with Monte Vista on a neutral field in Bayfield, the Pirates lost both games, 12-10 and 6-0.

That means they will have to play the San Luis Valley Pirates again this weekend in the IML tournament in Ignacio.

Senior righthander Levi Gill got the mound assignment for Pagosa in the first game and a 3-0 lead to protect after one.

Scott Myers led off the first with a fly to center for the first out but the designated hitter singled. Gill got his mound foe, Sigi Rodriguez on an infield fly and Jiron on another fly to center.

The Pagosa offense struck for three in the bottom half of the first, giving every indication they were up for the contest, a feeling that would soon disappear.

Travis Richey and Josh Hoffman opened with back-to-back singles and Hoffman stole second. Casey Hart got an RBI with a sacrifice fly to center but catcher Jakob Reding struck out. Karl Hujus and Marcus Rivas drew back-to-back walks for one run and John Hoffman singled for the third marker but was picked off first, Pagosa leading 3-0 after one.

Monte Vista got those three back after two were out in the second. Pacheco fanned to open the frame but Anderson singled to left. Gill got Phil Vigil on a fly to right, but Matt Gonzalez singled to right and Nate Gonzalez followed with a triple to right. Myers beat out an infield single but Cooper lined out to end the top of the inning in a 3-3 tie.

Pagosa went quickly in the second. Gallegos fanned, Gill bounced to the pitcher and Richey struck out but was safe when the catcher dropped the ball. He was then caught stealing.

Monte Vista appeared to break the game wide open in the third, scoring five runs on four hits and two Pagosa errors (both on the same play) as they sent nine men to the plate. Adam Trujillo came on in relief of Gill to put out the fire, with the score at 8-3.

Josh Hoffman and Reding had strikeouts before and after a Hart single to left in the bottom of the frame. Hujus singled to left and Rivas drew his second walk. John Hoffman had the second of his four consecutive singles to drive in one run. On the slide at third, Rivas rolled in pain, having hooked a spike in the bag. After several minutes he was up, but limping, and stayed in the game. Gallegos hit into what became a fielder's choice when Rivas was unable to run and was tagged out at third to end the Pagosa threat and his play for the day.

Pagosa had cut the lead to 8-5, but Monte had more bullets to fire.

With Cody Bahn replacing Rivas at third on defense, Rodriguez singled to left and advanced on a Pirate error. Jiron had an infield hit to advance his pitcher and Rodriguez scored on a sacrifice bunt by Pacheco. Anderson walked for the second out before Vigil reached on another Pagosa error. Gonzalez drove in one with a sacrifice fly to right. His brother reached on a fielder's choice.

Pagosa Coach Charlie Gallegos went to the right arm of Josh Hoffman for relief of Trujillo, and he walked Myers. Cooper, however, bounced back to the mound to end the uprising with Monte Vista leading 12-5.

Gill walked to open Pagosa's fourth but Richey bounced back to the pitcher who got Gill at second, Richey beating the throw to first. Hoffman, however, popped to the catcher for the third out.

Monte would not get another run as Hoffman mixed a tantalizing slow curve with fast balls and a slider to keep them off stride. In the last three innings they got two hits, both singles by Jiron as Hoffman fanned two and induced four infield grounders.

After going three up, three down in their fifth, Pagosa mounted a rally in the sixth.

Bahn, batting in place of the injured Rivas, struck out. But John Hoffman drilled his third single, stole second and was wild-pitched to third. Gallegos walked. Gill then ripped a double to the alley in right scoring two. Richey flied to right but Josh Hoffman beat out an infield single with Gill scoring. Hart fanned to end the rally but Pagosa had cut the lead to 12-8.

After the quiet Monte seventh, Pagosa mounted another desperate attempt that was destined to fall short.

Reding led off with a single to center and Hujus followed with a single to left. Travis Marshall, batting for Bahn, struck out. John Hoffman picked up his teammates with another single, this one to center. Gallegos struck out but Gill walked to keep the threat alive. Richey reached on an error but Josh Hoffman bounced to short for the final out in a 12-10 Pagosa loss.

While Pagosa was losing the opener, Bayfield was hammering Ignacio in their first game 12 miles to the south, to wrap up the outright IML title.

Monte Vista's 12 runs came on 11 hits. Pagosa's 10 runs on a like number of hits.

Still, Pagosa could finish second with a comeback in their own second game.

It was not to happen.

Game 2

With Pirate senior Randy Molnar on the mound, nine of the first ten Monte Vista batters went down in order after a leadoff infield single by Myers.

Four of those outs came on comebackers to the mound, two on pops to the mound, and two on strikeouts. Molnar threw only 26 pitches in the first three frames.

Pagosa, meanwhile, was equally as frustrated by Monte starter Bradshaw. Pagosa had four baserunners in that sequence, Josh Hoffman on a walk, Reding reaching on a walk, Marshall with the first of his two doubles, and Gill on an error. They were unable to push any runner beyond third where Marshall died after his leadoff double in the second.

Molnar got the first two batters in the Monte fourth on a strikeout and a fly to center, but then walked Jiron, only the visitor's second runner in the game, on a full count. Pacheco singled to right and Jiron came to third when the ball was misplayed. Anderson reached on the second of three consecutive Pagosa errors, two runs scoring. Matt Gonzalez doubled for two more and Monte had a 4-0 lead when Bradshaw went down swinging to end the inning.

Molnar threw more pitches in that inning - 30 - than in the first three frames.

Two infield groundouts, Marshall's second double and a strikeout constituted Pagosa's fourth.

Monte wasn't done.

Nate Gonzalez opened the fifth with a single to right and Rodriguez drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Jiron lined back to Molnar for one out, but Pacheco tripled to center to drive in two, The next two batters were out but the damage had been done and Monte led 6-0.

Josh Hoffman led off Pagosa's sixth with an infield single but was out at second when Hart grounded to short. Reding struck out but Hujus singled to left to keep Pagosa hopes alive with two runners on. Marshall, however, struck out.

The Pagosans could do no better with a last chance in the seventh, going three up, three down on three infield ground balls.

That was the end of a futile day which saw a first place tie disintegrate into a third place finish.

Monte Vista had six runs on five hits, Pagosa none on four hits.

Pagosa gymnasts bring home a load of Montrose medals

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Starting out right where they finished last year, Pagosa Gymnastics Club came home last weekend with two trophies, a gold medal, several specific event firsts and a bevy of upper bracket finishes in the Black Canyon Invitational in Montrose.

Included in the trophy trove were second- and third-place team trophies in competition with seven other Western Slope squads.

Three team members competed for the first time ever on the Level 4 team - Satara Vanderbeek, Becky Riedberger and Caitlin Cameron, and all performed well for their first competition.

Vanderbeek won second place all-around, Riedberger the bronze and Cameron finished ninth among 45 contestant gymnasts. That performance netted them the third-place team trophy.

Competing in the second session, at a new, more advanced Optional A level, were Re'ahna Ray, Toni Stoll, Casey Crow, Danielle Pajak and Gabrielle Pajak.

Stoll won the all-around in the 8-9 division and was the champion on beam with a score of 9.10.

Ray was first in 10-11 all-around, won beam with a 9.25 and floor exercise with 9.15.

Gabrielle Pajak was third in 10-11 all-around, placing third in all three events - vault, beam and floor.

In the 12-and-over age group, Danielle Pajak was second in all-around, winning floor exercise and placing second in placing second on beams and third on bars. Casey Crow got a silver on vault with an 8.8 and placed seventh in the all-around.

Raesha Ray and Shelby Stretton competed in Optional B Division (Optional C is the highest), and both were in late season form.

Stretton brought home the gold medal in all-around, was floor champion with a 9.25 and finished second on beam with 9.10.

Ray was second on bars with 9.1 and second on vault with 8.9 and also fourth in all-around.

All of the team members, qualified, in this first tourney of the season, for state competition at the end of June.

Team coach Jennifer Martin said there will be two more competitions before the state events.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Examining goals of youth sports

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

In professional sports (which is entertainment), there is only one goal - to have the most points at the end of a contest.

However, in youth sports (which is education), there is a second goal: to produce young people who will be winners in life. To help our children or our athletes get the most out of competitive sports, we need to redefine what it means to be a "winner." Here's what winners do. They:

- make maximum effort;

- continue to learn and improve;

- refuse to let mistakes (or fear of making mistakes) stop them.

If our children/athletes keep these things in mind, they will develop habits that will serve them well throughout their lives. There is an added benefit: Athletes who are coached this way tend to have reduced anxiety and increased self-confidence. And when athletes feel less anxiety, they are more likely to have fun playing their sport and to do better.

Here's how you can help as coaches and parents:

1) Let your child/athlete know you appreciate it when he or she tries hard even if unsuccessful.

2) Try to get your child/athlete to talk about his/her play rather than telling him/her what you think about it. Ask open-ended questions to get him/her to talk (e.g., "What was the best part of the game for you?")

3) Tell your child/athlete you are proud of him or her regardless of the outcome of the game.

4) Encourage your child/athlete regardless of what happens in the game.

5) Praise your child/athlete about five times for every time you criticize. If you do, she/he will be better able to hear your criticism without becoming defensive.

6) Honor the game! We want a trend in our leagues toward "Honoring the Game." Honoring the Game gets to the ROOTS of the matter, where ROOTS stands for respect for:

- Rules: We don't bend the rules to win. We respect the letter and spirit of the rules;

- Opponents: A worthy opponent is a gift that forces us to play to our highest potential;

- Officials: We treat officials with respect even when we disagree;

- Teammates: We never do anything that would embarrass our team and one's

- Self: We try to live up to our own standards regardless of what others do.

Excerpts from Positive Coaching Alliance's "Honoring the Game." PCA believes that winning is a goal in youth sports but that there is a second, more important goal of using sports to teach life lessons through positive coaching. Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) provides live, research-based training workshops and practical tools for coaches, parents and leaders who operate youth sports programs.


Adult Softball is right around the corner. Start putting your teams together for the upcoming adult softball leagues. Men's and coed leagues will be offered this year. Leagues begin in mid-June. Manager's meeting for all softball leagues will take place 6 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in Town Hall.

Youth baseball

Sign-ups have ended for all age groups. Teams have been put together and players will be receiving a call from their coach concerning their first practice date, as weather permits. Play will begin next week and continue through June.

Adult Soccer

Adult soccer is back! Due to the weather conditions May 3, we have rescheduled our first adult soccer meeting/scrimmages to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at the Pagosa Springs High School soccer field. Anyone interested in playing coed adult soccer, please join us on the fields to sign up for the program. For more information call 264-4151, Ext. 232.


Due to the changing weather it is important that you call the day of your game to determine whether tee-ball games will be played indoors or outdoors at Town Park. Call the recreation office or call our Sports Hotline at 264-6658.

Sports Hotline

Information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department may be found by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to and going to the Parks and Recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated every Monday morning.

Hiring officials

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

More information

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



The winds of change

With dry ground coming in the near future, we will see acceler-ated development of residential and commercial properties in Pagosa Country. Several areas slated for development, obvious by virtue of their proximity to major thoroughfares, will provide the rubberneckers among us ample opportunity to watch as older structures disappear to be replaced by new projects, and new structures rise where none existed before.

It is inevitable.

There are few as sentimental as we about the old Colorado, but there is no room for empty sentiment or romantic fancy given the reality of what population growth brings. When growth is as dramatic as it has been at several points in this community's history - as it is now - change is assured. With more population comes more commercial development to cater to those relocating to the area. With the added amenities and opportunities, the lure to relocate is enhanced. And the change occurs. For many, that change is unsettling - in all manner of ways.

We hear and read negative comments about growth and development. And many are ill-conceived.

One comment heard is that those who transform properties are merely greedy. That profit is at the core of our economic system should surprise no one, and for those of us who believe in free enterprise, it is no sin. To assume those who profit by change are unconcerned about the community is wrong; there are many who work for the common good, philanthropically, often anonymously. Their projects provide work, commercial developments become part of a growing economy - one that must grow to support the population.

Another general accusation is leveled at those who purchase property in order to change its use, including demolition of what existed before the purchase. An objection to this is counter to the notion of private property and the right of an owner, working within the rules set by government, to control his or her property. Why should this not be the case? If the rules are adhered to, is there a problem with the rules? If government does not function correctly, who is to blame? Us?

Another, more specific, idea we encounter is the notion that, if residents are displaced by a project, a developer should be held responsible for the relocation of the tenants. There are laws regarding proper notice for vacation. Should there be more regulation? Is this a matter of scale? Is someone who purchases a rental property and desires to convert it to a personal residence responsible to ensure the previous tenant finds suitable lodging? The logic is absurd. In reality, there are people who are unsettled and displaced by change, who cannot deal with the situation. What then is the obligation of government, churches and civic organizations to throw out the safety net when it is needed? To whom and to what extent?

Should towns and counties pass laws to prevent people from being forced to move from homes and businesses? Should government structure the tax codes to benefit one group over another? We think not.

Should developers be able to sell the property they've purchased - in particular dwellings of one kind or another, if they are no longer of use in the development plan? Why would they not?

These comments, questions, responses and more, mount when the vehicle of change goes into a higher gear. They will increase in number and volume this summer in Pagosa Country and we believe the focus must now be put on the manner in which local government deals with plans and their ramifications.

Beyond that, however, before we react, especially if we regard growth and development as troublesome, we need to remember: If we were not born here, we are part of the problem.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Mother's Day founder saw regret

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

Mothers make our life possible. They carry us in pre-infancy, bring us into the world, nurture us and stand by us through the trials of youth and celebrate our successes as adults.

They are the source of wisdom and doubt. They guide us from experience and let us fail at times to be sure we have the knowledge of what it means to succeed.

They are a helping hand and stern taskmaster. They lift us up from supposed failure and make us understand what it takes to turn that bad moment into a personal accomplishment.

For eons mothers have been the ones we fall back on in time of loss, look to for sustenance of spirit, and reflect on when left in the loneliness of their departure from our world.

Contrary to popular belief, Mother's Day was not conceived and fine-tuned in the boardroom of some greeting card company.

The earliest tributes to mothers date back to the annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to Rhea, the mother of many deities, and to the offerings ancient Romans made to their Great Mother of Gods, Cybele. Christians celebrated this festival on the fourth Sunday in Lent in honor of Mary, mother of Christ. In England this holiday was expanded to include all mothers and was called Mothering Sunday.

In the United States, Mother's Day started nearly 150 years ago, when Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, organized a day to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community, a cause she believed would be best advocated by mothers. She called it "Mother's Work Day."

Fifteen years later, Julia Ward Howe, a Boston poet, pacifist, suffragist, and author of the lyrics to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," organized a day encouraging mothers to rally for peace, since she believed they bore the loss of human life more harshly than anyone else.

When Anna Jarvis died, her daughter, also named Anna, began a campaign to memorialize the life work of her mother. Legend has it young Anna remembered a Sunday school lesson her mother gave in which she said, "I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother's day. There are many days for men, but none for mothers."

Anna began to lobby prominent businessmen and politicians to support her campaign for a special day to honor mothers. At one of the first services organized to celebrate Anna's mother in 1908, Anna handed out her mother's favorite flower, the white carnation. Five years later, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution calling for officials of the federal government to wear white carnations on Mother's Day. In 1914 Anna's hard work paid off when President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother's Day as a national holiday.

People observed Mother's Day by attending church, writing letters to their mothers, and eventually, by sending cards, presents, and flowers. Increasing gift-giving associated with the day enraged Jarvis who saw sentiment being sacrificed to greed and profit. She filed a lawsuit to stop a Mother's Day festival, and was once arrested for disturbing the peace at a convention selling carnations for war mothers. You can show your mother your love, care, and thanks Sunday. Your love is her best gift.



90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of May 7, 1915

A majority of the property owners in Block 21 are making preparations to lay cement pavements, and anticipating that the few who are balking on this much needed and commendable improvement, will finally come across without the compelling necessity of an ordinance. E.M. Parr of the Pagosa Pressed Stone Co. is negotiating the purchase of rock-crushing machinery to prepare material for the work.

Anticipating the heavy auto travel through Pagosa Springs via Elwood Pass this summer, Tony Hollebrands has installed an up-to-date Red Sentry gasoline dispenser in front of the Cash Drug Store - a very ornamental and useful fixture and convenient for those who desire to load up with gas.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 9, 1930

Sixteen cars of livestock, representing the largest train ever pulled into Pagosa Springs, came in last Friday night. The shipment consisted of one car of sheep for Claude McCoy, six cars of cattle for Denver Latham, and nine cars of cattle for S.B. Samuels. The arrival was made possible by the addition of one of the "mud-hens" formerly used in pulling freight over Cumbres Pass. The engine, however, was a little heavy for this branch and left the track the following morning when within about six miles of Pagosa Junction. The wreck caused a delay in the arrival of Pagosa's evening train Saturday.

Two young men of Pagosa rushed the season Sunday by fishing in the upper Piedra River in Hinsdale County, and were arrested by Ranger John C. Baird.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 6, 1955

J.F. Thiele, owner of the Pagosa Springs Telephone Company, announced this week that he had completed the purchase of the present Mountain States Telephone Company toll line from Platoro to Yellow Jacket. This line reaches clear across the county and will give several individuals and communities an opportunity for better phone service than has heretofore been available. The transaction will make it possible for those people in the Piedra area who did not have telephone service to now hook into the line. It also makes it possible for those between town and there to tie into the line. Lower Piedra communities as far as Arboles are discussing the possibility of building to the line, also.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 8, 1980

Spring weather may be here at the lower elevations but new snow was reported on Wolf Creek Pass early Wednesday. The snowfall was heavy for a brief time, and several inches fell. The San Juan River has been making its spring runoff without creating any particular problems and McCabe Creek is now back to near normal spring flow.

Town board action Tuesday included adopting an ordinance authorizing the position of town manager, establishing the duties for that office and defining the authority that the town manager will have. He will be chief executive officer of the town and will have the authority to hire and fire town employees - other than clerk, judge, and attorney - and will be responsible for the day to day operation of the town.



Occupational therapy, yoga combine for SMILEY learning

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

It's not easy being a kid these days. Seven-year-olds are stressed out and hold their breath. Hyperactive eight-year-olds on Ritalin still can't sit for five minutes. Nine-year-olds study into the night for tests they must take to comply with No Child Left Behind mandates.

Pagosa Springs occupational therapist April Merrilee feels for them and has done something about it.

Along with her degree in occupational therapy, Merrilee has been an avid yoga student for 17 years and holds four certifications in the field. In four months she will publish her first book based on a program she developed that combines the two fields.

"The way the brain learns is the opposite of sit still and listen," Merrilee said, explaining how much children benefit from playing, listening to music and moving. That was the impetus for her program called SMILEY — Sensory Motor Integration and Language Experiences through Yoga.

Merrilee pops in a video that demonstrates the program. In it, she and about five children sing along to a story she wrote about butterflies trapped in a jar. In an attempt to free the butterflies a series of animals show up to help. The animals are actually yoga poses that happen to be called things like "the spider" or "the frog." As the children sing along, they move into the shapes of the eight different animals.

All the animal poses are hung in pictures on the wall left to right, so the children can follow along even if they can't read well yet. The song repeats three times and may include Spanish, sign language or even different verb tenses. After the last round the children rest on the floor in a pose Merrilee calls "dreamer." After the children "awaken" Merrilee has another activity that requires drawing the poses, writing its name or a sentence or even just connecting the dots on a picture.

It seems simple but Merrilee said it does much more than help children stretch and breathe. Along with the physical benefits, the skills learned in her program directly supplement literacy, language development and handwriting. Remembering the words to a story and singing a song, while balancing like a stork is a tall order for a six-year-old. But Merrilee is currently working with two- and three-year-olds at Seeds of Learning.

"Movement is being cut out," Merrilee said citing the elimination of physical education programs in the schools. "There's not as much opportunity for activity outside the curriculum. The way kids learn is through play and we're taking that away."

Merrilee's book delves into the science of Sensory Integration, which is her particular field of study.

SI is a vast and complicated field but here's a short primer: All five senses work together in the body to form a composite of who and where we are and what is going on around us. The brain is responsible for integrating all that information. For most of us, this occurs automatically, but some people have a glitch in the system.

Children learn motor coordination, movement, body awareness, sight, sound and the pull of gravity by playing. But some otherwise bright children struggle with the use of a pencil or buttoning a shirt. This is an indication of a sensory integrative problem and may have far reaching effects. Autistic children for instance, often have severe sensory integration problems and will seek out one particular sensation and be totally disturbed by another.

It is believed that as many as 30 percent of school-aged children have a learning disability, but research shows most of those children are of normal intelligence. They are likely plagued with sensory integration problems.

"Yoga is an SI treatment," she said. "It's almost diagnostic for me. I've found some kids that need services." Merrilee added that her program also meets the New Mexico state general education benchmarks in physical education, math, language and arts performance.

The program aids children with ocular control, perception and touch. It teaches them to coordinate both sides of the body, process sounds. Motor planning and memory and visual and spatial perception are also impacted. Her program has been so well received that she was hired by the Albuquerque school district to teach her program to all 65 school therapists.

On an emotional level, Merrilee said her programs also teach children to relax and help build their confidence. The program is used often in special education classes and those familiar with yoga know that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. When a child can finally do a pose they've struggled with, Merilee said, their enthusiasm and belief in themselves grows. Some students even do their routines at home on their own or tell their parents the story they learned.

"Retelling a story is a basic literacy goal," Merrilee said.

"Luke" was eight when he and Merrilee met. His attention deficit hyperactive disorder was so severe that, though he was taking Ritalin, he could not stay seated in a classroom for any length of time. According to Merrilee he would just get up and wander around. After they worked together, Luke became interested in deep breathing. Although he was never able to focus on any other poses, Merrilee considers it a huge achievement that after their time together he was able to spend three minutes, completely quiet in the dreamer pose. She said he became less distracted and impulsive and began staying in his chair. By the end of the school year he began asking for their yoga time together.

Interestingly, some people are troubled by yoga. Perhaps that's because it developed from Eastern traditions in India. Merrilee attributes it to the erroneous belief that yoga is an alternative religion. In addition, she said some people believe that meditation is an opportunity for evil to enter the mind. But Merrilee disagrees saying that clearing the mind and relaxing the body is just as good an opportunity for God to enter and many people discover that.

"Yoga is not a religion," she said. "It doesn't interfere with any religion - it's compatible. And for the kids it's simply about breathing, relaxing and physical exercise. Plus it's fun."

Merrilee plans to offer her program in whatever educational setting she can. She hopes to offer it to Head Start because she has seen what a difference it can make for kids. However, she knows funding is scarce for extra educational programs, so she is working to secure grants to offer the program free of charge.

For more information or to contact Merrilee call 264-4016


Republicans plan Patriot's Day

picnic in Arboles

Many people have sacrificed their lives and given of themselves for our country and Archuleta County Republicans will sponsor a picnic to honor them.

Though sponsored by the political party, the picnic will be a nonpolitical event to honor all who served, regardless of party affiliation.

It will be held starting 1 p.m. June 11 at Viking J. Ranch in Arboles which is owned by the Jaramillo family.

All active duty service personnel, reservists and veterans are invited to attend as guests. Families of active duty personnel can attend free. Tickets for military attendees are available from the Veteran Service Office in the county courthouse in Pagosa Springs. Jana Schaefer of the Blue Star Moms organization also has free tickets to distribute.

There will be plenty of food and entertainment including a color guard presentation and biplane fly-overs. The Country Cloggers will dance in the afternoon and the band Wild Country will play for dancers.

Others may attend to show their support for these representatives of our country. Tickets will be $20 for adults, $5 for children and will be available at the door.


Habitat positions open

Habitat for Humanity in Archuleta County needs to fill the following positions:

Grant writer, treasurer, assistant treasurer, Colorado representative, construction administrative coordinator, material coordinator, publicity, site selection and church relations

If you are interested in these positions or would like to be on the volunteer list, leave a message at 264-6960.


Pagosa's Past

Blue-uniformed black soldiers proved worth in the West

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

The winter of 1878 was bitterly cold in Pagosa Country. We know because of records left by soldiers of the frontier army, the "Army of the West," stationed in Pagosa Springs at newly forming Fort Lewis.

Among the troops bivouacking in the sub-zero cold were members of Company D, the Ninth Cavalry. The Company D roster was full of new recruits, young black men from the deep south who'd signed up for a ration of beans and $13 a day cash.

Commanded by Capt. Dodge, the troops of Company D pitched tents in neat rows on the flat along the San Juan River where today's county courthouse reposes. The raw recruits were near enough to throw rocks in the river. Had they done so, the rocks would have bounced from the covering of ice created by minus 30 and 40 degree temperatures. Who were these black troops, called "Buffalo Soldiers" by the Native Americans still inhabiting the land?

By the time Fort Lewis was established in Pagosa Springs, the blue uniformed black men of the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments, 12 companies each, had long since proved their worth operating out of several forts along the Texas/Mexico boundary. They'd provided a military presence across endless miles of desert-like terrain fighting Comanche, Kiowa and Apache along with a good number of Mexican renegades and U.S. outlaws.

During the summer of 1867, Col. Hatch's 9th Cavalry Regiment was assigned to Forts Davis and Stockton with orders to protect the mail route between San Antonio and El Paso, search out and defeat marauding Indians infesting the region, and maintain law and order on the troubled Rio Grande.

Author William H. Lecke's description of "marauding Indians infesting the region" is somewhat curious since much of this area was home to bands of Mescalero Apache. Other Indians in the area tended to be seasonal - Comanche, Kiowa, maybe a few Arapaho and Cheyenne. Every year, large bands of the named tribes, especially Comanche and Kiowa, left their Red River homeland and invaded northern Mexico. They looted, stole horses and cattle, and in general wreaked havoc then returned home. Their route of choice going and coming was across Texas between San Antonio and El Paso became known as the Great Comanche War Trail, just the territory assigned to the Ninth Cavalry.

At the same time, vengeful Kickapoo and Lipan Indian refugees raiding north into the United States had an unequaled reputation for "calculated viciousness, vindictiveness, and destruction of life and property."

For eight long years, the 9th sweated, bled and died on one of the most rugged and remote frontiers of western America. Finding water was always a challenge, temperatures ranged from sweltering well above 100 degrees to freezing in sub-zero blizzards.

Kickapoos were the first to draw blood, in late October ambushing and killing two troopers of D Company as they escorted mail from Camp Hudson to Fort Stockton. On Dec. 5, 100 Mescalero attacked a stage eastbound from El Paso.

More next week on some of the Texas adventures of the 9th Cavalry including Company D, the company stationed in Pagosa Springs in 1878.





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Boatbuilders needed: Where's the hammer and saw?

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Anyone have the specs handy for an ark?

Noah would be busy already if he were looking at precipitation we've already had and that predicted for the upcoming week.

In fact, if the original is still on Mount Arafat as some insist, we might be well advised to seek the most direct route.

As of Monday, Pagosa Springs had already passed its normal annual precipitation total for the year in terms of water content.

And National Weather Service forecasters say there's increased probability there will be more - lots more - with intermittent rains anticipated through Memorial Day.

That said, waters have been receding in county rivers in the past week, with exception of the San Juan.

It was running at about 1,000 cubic feet per second until a spike to 1,501 cfs early Tuesday, but was back down to 1,200 by noon Wednesday.

At the same time, the Piedra was running at 1,590 cfs, down from a season high so far of 2,283.

Likewise, the Blanco was down from an April 24 high of 478 cfs to a Wednesday reading of 113.

And the Navajo below Oso Dam, was down from a May 4 high of 400 cfs to a Wednesday reading of 87.7.

Navajo Lake, into which all that water flows, was rising continually. The most recent available reading was a level of 6,604.94 with release increased from 999 cfs to 1,008 cfs. It is anticipated the lake will be back at full pool by mid-June after five consecutive years of declining levels.

Rain has fallen every day of the past week in Pagosa Springs with a total for the period of .56 inch precipitation. Included in the total was a 2-inch snowfall April 29.

Highest temperature recorded in the period was 52.5 Saturday; the lowest 32.2 Sunday night. Winds have been consistently northerly for the time span.

The Upper San Juan SNOTEL site showed 102.9 inches of snow Tuesday, with 51.8 inches snowwater equivalent.

But what's the forecast, you ask?

More, more, and more.

Today is expected to be partly cloudy with a high of 64 and a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms. More rain (40-percent chance) is on tap tonight, with a low of 38.

Friday has the temperature rising to 67 but the chance of thundershowers holding at 40 percent both day and night with a low of 34.

Saturday, you know, the weekend's first day, don't plan to mow the lawn. Forecasters say there will be a 40 percent chance of snow and/or rain with a daytime high of 62 and an overnight low of 29 with only partly cloudy skies at night.

Sunday, ah yes, Sunday and things look a little better with a forecast of partly cloudy skies, a high of 62 and an overnight low of 33.

Monday will be partly cloudy with a high near 70 and an overnight low of 33. This is the day to do all you can outside.


Tuesday's forecast goes back to the old mould: mostly cloudy, 50 percent chance of thunderstorms with a high of 68 and an overnight low of 34 with more precipitation possible.

Forecasters are loathe to look father ahead. They might find more water than we can handle. But, that's another story.