May 19, 2005
Front Page

New report sees bright future; no 'big boxes'

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs' economic future looks bright.

At least that was the message from the consulting firm, Economic and Planning Systems, in a presentation to Pagosa Springs residents and community leaders Monday night.

Town Manager Mark Garcia said the EPS report will play a vital role as community leaders work to shape the town's economic future. He said town staff and planners will use the data as a tool to help them grapple with issues such as retail development. He said the report will also help the town assess and ultimately finalize decisions on big box retail development.

The Economic and Planning Systems (EPS) report was commissioned by the Community Vision Council in January to undertake an economic study of the town.

EPS' analysis sought to determine current economic conditions while examining future population growth, economic and employment trends, development issues, the implications of big box retail on the town and offered suggestions for sculpting Pagosa Springs' economy into 2020.

Speaking in a crowded conference room at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, EPS representatives Dan Guimond and Andy Knudtsen outlined numerous aspects of Pagosa Springs' present and future economy which, they said, look sound, even if the town did nothing regarding big box retail, or downtown revitalization.

Despite these findings, Guimond and Knudsten did not advocate this course of action.

Although this course of action, called the "baseline option" in their study, was viable, their assessment and recommendations encouraged the town to adopt a multi- faceted, multi-pronged growth and development strategy.

Guimond said the primary economic drivers in Pagosa Springs will be real estate, construction trades, tourism and retail, and these would carry the town well into 2010 to 2020.

As an alternative to the baseline option, the firm advocated that the town capitalize on its current economic, cultural, social and natural assets through historic downtown maintenance, expansion and revitalization, in-town river corridor improvements, capitalization on the areas' proximity to National Forests and wilderness areas, developing tourism and the hot springs. They said community development is key.

Guimond said that whatever strategy is adopted, it is essential to keep Pagosa Springs as a nice place to live.

They said one method of maintaining the town's character would be to enact a permanent ordinance limiting the square footage of a retail store at 55,000 square feet.

They suggested that stores between 25,000 and 55,000 square feet require an economic impact report.

The common argument for big box retail is to curb "leakage," that is, money that is lost to the community because local shoppers spend elsewhere to obtain goods they cannot get here.

Guimond and Knudtsen said a big box retailer would capture the greatest tax revenue and would help curb leakage, but it would come at too high a price.

They said a big box retailer would severely damage the local retail environment and would negatively alter the socioeconomic fabric of the community.

In order to mitigate outflow, or leakage, they advocated a mix of midsize retailers, an increase in the lodging tax to 2 percent, a half-cent sales tax increase and levying impact fees for residential and commercial development.

Garcia said those impact fees are not in place yet, but the town has a framework and some conservative numbers at least to begin with.

Overall, Pagosa residents responded positively to the presentation, and many agreed Big Box retail is not a wise move for the community.

Ron Gustafson of Archuleta County said, "Twenty-five to 55,000 square feet was much too much."

He added the cap should be 25,000 square feet without flexibility and those retail establishments already present should be grandfathered in.

Angela Atkinson of the Big Box Task Force said the larger square footage cap would allow room for another grocery store in the area.

Local residents Bob Scott, Cappy White and Bill Thornell all expressed skepticism at EPS' mid-box plan.

Scott said, "This sounds like a build it and they will come plan to me,"

Thornell urged the town to not get carried away and said, "We've got to keep our economic pants on."

All three agreed that retail development is not necessarily the silver bullet to solve the problem of outflow or leakage, or to strengthen the local economy.

Chris Mitchell expanded on these ideas and said Pagosa Springs is at a critical juncture in its history. He encouraged the development of a truly local vision and of a retail and economic plan that is distinctly "Pagosa," - a plan created by Pagosans and for Pagosans.

He suggested locals investing in themselves, and establishing co-ops as a key to self determination. He said quality of life is what made Pagosa Springs great and maintaining that should be the underlying factor in any course of action.

Some in the crowd urged the town and county to forge a stronger, more cohesive relationship in developing an economic plan.

Others wanted to know what is the next step and to how to implement some of the ideas.

Garcia said developing impact fees is an important step. He said a draft proposal is in place and, although the numbers are conservative, it is a step in the right direction. He also called on the public to provide more input on impact fee development.

Town Planner Tamara Allen outlined what the public can expect next. She said the town council could direct staff to develop and impose impact fees and said another option might be to develop emergency interim impact fees until a full analysis could be completed. Or, she said, they could delay passage of impact fees until all data was analyzed - a process which could take three or four months.

Allen added that EPS' finding would be handed over to town's comprehensive planning team.

The town council will hold a special meeting Tuesday, May 24, to finalize plans to extend the town's current big box moratorium until Aug. 3 to coincide with the county's current moratorium.

Pagosa Springs' big box moratorium will expire May 27.

Allen said the public can stay abreast of developments by checking and Planning Systems is a Denver-based economic consulting firm with experience in other Colorado mountain communities such as Basalt, Carbondale, Longmont, Telluride, Snowmass and Aspen.

More about EPS can be found at

The complete economic development plan can be downloaded from the town's web site

Some facts

Big Box Task Force survey findings indicate 59-percent of respondents said "No" to Big Box development.

Records indicate 35-percent appreciation rate for land values in the greater Pagosa area.

Between 2010 and 2020 there will a 40-percent increase in second home ownership.

Greatest growth will occur in unincorporated areas of the county.

Real estate will be the driver of the Pagosa Springs economy.


Countywide road plan to be aired June 2, 15

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Lakes residents, like counterparts across the county, are looking for some way - any way - to get adequate road maintenance.

Bill Ralston, chairman of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association road committee outlined some of the possible alternatives May 12 and dozens of property owners in the audience demanded some kind of action.

When Ralston attempted to explain there are ways to get individual action and assistance, homeowner Jeff Knaak yelled, "Yah, stop paying taxes!"

"I'm not here to argue with you nor to engage in loud semantics," Ralston calmly replied. "I'm here to tell you what can be done ... and not done under existing statutes."

First, he informed residents, there will be two upcoming special meetings with the county commissioners and representatives of the county road and bridge department. Both will be in the PLPOA Clubhouse.

He said two maps are expected to be ready for examination at that time.

One will show the existing uses of HUTF (Highway User Tax Funds) for road maintenance across the county by both the county and other parties (local service districts such as Aspen Springs and Loma Linda metro districts).

The second will show how HUTF funds are expended on the 112 miles of roadways in the 26 Pagosa Lakes subdivisions where HUTF is currently assigned to 74 miles of roadway with 38 miles designed as non-maintained.

The latter map, Ralston said, will also show what Road and Bridge will recommend to county commissioners in terms of countywide maintenance.

"Don't be surprised if some of the HUTF for the 78 miles maintained here disappears in the process," he said.

An audience member asked, "Who gets to see these maps?"

Ralston said everyone will. "We hope to have them here on display by 5 p.m. so residents will have a chance to examine them before the 7 p.m. meetings. Be here, ask questions," he urged.

He told the audience a PLPOA team and county representatives recently completed a grueling search of county records regarding roads from 1985 to the present, "with some specific searches back into the '70s searching for roads accepted by the county."

In many cases, he said, "we found no rhyme nor reason for actions taken in the past. Some roadways were accepted by name only; some we know are being maintained have never been accepted, at least on any extant record."

He noted a 1974 minutes record of county commissioners agreeing to "accept any Pagosa Lakes road for maintenance if it meets county specifications." But there was no outline found detailing what those specifications were.

He said state law requires specific data to be submitted by the county to secure HUTF funding for the 300-plus miles of currently designated roadway in the county. But the state, he said, is now asking for even more data and that has spurred new action.

The county has hired a team from Utah State University to do a complete study of HUTF roadways in the county. The Town of Pagosa Springs has said it will take similar action with the team, and Ralston recommended PLPOA also contract with them for data specific to association subdivision roadways.

He said the cost to PLPOA has been set at $7,400, which would include "a status evaluation of all roads we know are not going to be done. Once we have that, if we go to the county with specific detail, they can't dispute reports from the same firm they hired."

He said the association study would most likely be done last and probably would be finished in mid-August on the preliminary timeline.

The study will look specifically at roadway conditions, potholes, cracked and deteriorating blacktop, insufficient base, etc.

He told the crowd it seems likely the county will soon have to seek an increase in the mill levy for road purposes. No specific figures are yet ready for presentation, but it could be a "hard sell."

Right here, he said, "you have a 74-38 breakdown of maintained and unmaintained roads. That likely reflects a 74-38 vote against an increased rate. We have to acknowledge that everybody uses most of the main roadways and everyone should pay for them. It will be a hard sell, however."

From the audience came the comment, "Every year the county spends big bucks on mag chloride which does little if any good. If they'd spend that money on road paving the savings would pay for the work many times over."

"You can't do everything needed in the county at one time," Ralston said. "Our problem is that the gravel roads here are on the 20- 25-year downward slope ... the last time most of them got even a little new gravel was after the Fairfield settlement."

Another in the audience commented "What happened to the Fairfield money ... a travesty. The county hired a contractor and the work was not done properly and the county did nothing to reclaim the project. It's a story we've been told over and over. It's time for stories to end ... for action to take place."

Road improvement hopefuls noted Robin Schiro, one of three county commissioners was in the audience with them "helping us understand why this situation exists, if that is possible."

Still another demanded the association, or county, or someone with authority, ban the constant flow of heavy trucks (specifically cement trucks) across deteriorating local roadways.

"That would stop at least 50 percent of the destruction," said another.

And still another said "the county's road and bridge department trucks are the worst villains with trucks roving everywhere except on the roadway itself."

Finally, residents were told there is a specific way one, two or three neighbors can get permission and help to upgrade short sections of road, with forms outlining the process available in PLPOA administrative offices.


Heat wave, snowmelt bring an early 'banksfull' warning

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer


That is perhaps the best single word for the upcoming week weatherwise, with high temperatures averaging in the middle 80s prompting the following warning from National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

" ... many rivers and creeks will approach or exceed bankfull conditions this weekend in the San Juan drainage ... as a ridge of high pressure builds over Western Colorado and Eastern Utah. This will result in the warmest temperatures of the year across the region for the end of week and upcoming weekend."

The hydrologic warning continues:

"The mountain snowpack will likely respond to these temperatures by melting in large quantities. Many rivers and streams will experience sharp rises beginning Friday ... with some increases to near bankfull or even flooding conditions over the weekend or by the beginning of next week.

"People who live in flood prone areas should closely monitor water conditions ... for the next several days."

The increased meltdown and runoff already is evident in the main Archuleta County rivers.

The Blanco was running at 373 cubic feet per second early Wednesday, up from 352 cfs a week earlier. The nearby Navajo, below Oso Dam, was running at 101 cfs, up from 89 a week earlier.

Biggest flow leaps were on the Piedra and San Juan.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Piedra was at 2,700 cfs at the gauge north of Navajo Lake, up from 2,180 last week. Flow depth was at 4.11 feet.

The San Juan, at the new measuring station in downtown Pagosa Springs, was at 2,070 at 8 a.m. Wednesday, up from 1,710 last week. Flow depth was at 6.15 feet with 8.96 regarded as flood depth.

Russell Crowley, Archuleta County emergency services director, said he looks for a critical point in Pagosa Springs at 4,000 cfs. "In 1995 when we sandbagged," he said, "flow reached 5,000 cfs through the park area. If we hit 4,000 this time we'll be looking at sandbagging again."

Both he and town officials are watching the fluctuations in daily flow. Crews are being readied should sandbagging be needed and volunteers will be sought to assist, if needed.

Fueling all this high water are the high country meltdown forecasts referred to in the NWS warning.

The Upper San Juan Snotel station - at 10,130 feet - showed a snow depth Wednesday morning of 83.2 inches, down from 95 inches May 12.

Snow water equivalent in the snow still on the ground stood at 46.2 inches, down from 50.5 a week ago. Highest temperature at the site in the past week was 52 degrees; the average 42.4. At time of measurement Wednesday, the temperature was 30.9.

But all the signs are in place for an even faster meltdown.

Temperatures for the week beginning today will reach average highs of 84 and average overnight lows of 37 according to National Weather Service forecasts.

Expected highs today, Friday, Sunday and Monday are 86, with 84 predicted Saturday and 81 Tuesday. Overnight lows in the same period will range from 39 tonight through 41 Friday and Saturday nights to 39 Sunday and 36 Monday.

There is no prediction of precipitation at any time during the period which might be one break for the area. Rain would speed the meltdown and add to runoff, forecasters say.

All this water is flowing into Navajo Lake where the water level-surface elevation was at 6,068.18 Wednesday morning, a rise of 1.1 feet in the past week.

Inflow was measured at the same time at 3,923 cubic feet per second; outflow with gates being opened wider, stood at 4,033 cfs.

Full pool for the lake is 6,083 and is expected to be reached by mid-June.

In Pagosa Springs in the past week, the official high temperature was 70.8 Monday, although many neighborhoods reported unofficial readings in the mid-70s. The coldest overnight reading was 24.4 May 12. Highest wind speed recorded in the past week was 22 mph at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Wind direction has been from the south in eight of the last ten days.

Rainfall during the week totaled .09 inch on Sunday.


 Inside The Sun

Misconception: Assessor cannot levy taxes

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The county assessor cannot and does not levy property taxes.

That is the bottom line from Archuleta County Assessor Keren L. Prior.

Prior said that following the distribution of property valuation notices, her office is often bombarded with calls from frustrated, confused and sometimes angry taxpayers.

She said there is a common misconception that her office sets the rates that determine how much property tax an owner pays.

"They think I'm collecting money for this office. Nothing could be farther from the truth," Prior said.

Prior said her job is to assess land and property values in Archuleta County - not to levy taxes.

But even this duty is sometimes contentious, Prior said. Although she doesn't actually levy taxes, what she reports as value ultimately determines the taxes one pays.

She said sometimes people feel singled out, but she said, "This is mass appraisal, not personal appraisal."

She said values on residential property are determined by analyzing sales sorted by neighborhood, subdivision or by time-adjusted sales prices per square foot of adjusted area.

The current cycle's numbers are based on qualified sales that occurred from Jan. 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004.

"These are qualified sales, 'arms length transactions,' not brother-in-law deals or special concessions," Prior said.

Once the sales data is compiled, Prior said they throw out the high sales number and the low sales number to arrive at a median market value.

Once that market value, or actual value, is established, that number is computed by a percentage rate (assessment rate) determined by the state - currently 7.96 percent for residential property and 29 percent for all other property.

That figure is then multiplied by the mill levy to determine the tax bill.

The pitfall of the median approach is that some property valuations fall above the median and some fall below.

Prior said she rarely hears from those whose property is undervalued.

For residential property, state law requires only the sales comparison, or "market approach," be used by the assessor when determining value.

For vacant land or commercial property, the assessor looks at market, income and cost approaches to value.

Prior said her office uses an outside company to assess commercial property. She said the company looks hard at income versus expenses and rent versus expenses in determining value.

"They do a very good overall analysis. They used to be our state auditors and are very familiar with Colorado," Prior said.

While the process of assessing property values might seem esoteric or mysterious, Prior said this is not the case at all and that her office is bound by five large volumes of state statutes and is subject to audit.

She said she must produce valuation data that is accurate because sloppy reporting would lead to huge manpower drains and reappraisal costs - costs the taxpayer would ultimately have to weather.

No matter how thorough, technical or legal the process is, Prior said many still have a tough time accepting property taxes.

She stressed again that the assessor does not determine a residential property's value, the market determines a property's value.

"I did not create the market, I'm just reporting it," Prior said.

As land and real estate prices increase in Archuleta County, there will be a direct correlation with a person's property valuation and, ultimately, their property tax. Yet Prior said there is a process for those who feel their property valuation statement does not reflect the true value of their land or real estate.

She said it starts in the assessor's office and there are clear guidelines for what constitutes a legitimate objection. She said her staff can provide literature and can walk taxpayers through the objection or appeal process.

Residential objections and complaints can be heard from May 1, 2005, until June 3, 2005. Objections to property valuation statements must be postmarked by no later than June 3, 2005.

Prior said it is in the best interest of the taxpayers to educate themselves about property valuation assessment and property taxes.

She said assessment methods and property tax regulations vary from state to state.

"This is the biggest investment of a person's life, why would they not inform themselves of the process," Prior said.

For more information, visit the assessor's office at the Archuleta County Courthouse, call 264 8310, or visit their Web site at

Two Pagosa school principals drawing educational raves

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Two Pagosa Springs school principals have been cited as experts in Response to Intervention concepts and as a result have been asked by several school districts to address their staffs on the topic.

Singled out for the praise were Bill Esterbrook, currently the high school principal, and Kahle Charles, elementary school principal.

Details of the growing reputation of the two educators were released last week by Superintendent Duane Noggle.

Both educators were keynote speakers at the Colorado Special Education Directors' conference in Denver last month.

They were recognized for adapting the concept developed by Dr. Mark Shinn at University of Chicago.

Esterbrook said, "We are committed to developing an approach to address the issue of what do we do when a student does not learn?"

His presentation at the conference focused on strategies Pagosa Springs High School has implemented to meet the learning needs of all students.

In breakout sessions at the conference, the two Pagosans addressed the issue of Professional Learning Communities which are based on concepts of Richard DuFour and engaged in dialogue with other districts about three critical questions :

1) What is it we want all students to learn?

2) How will we know when each student has acquired the essential knowledge and skills?

3) What happens in our school when a student does not learn?

Charles told conference participants, "For the elementary school we were very proactive in trying to answer these questions. We started in 2002 with the grade level meetings as a collaborative problem solving approach that focuses on identifying measurable student goals.

"Through this process we designed curriculum, programs, lessons and interventions to achieve those goals. We did this even before we knew about the PLC model. As a result, we made significant gains in student achievement as measured by CSAP scores. But we didn't stop there; the collaborative teams were just the start.

"With those teams in place, a clear sense of mission and vision was established which focused on high quality curriculum and instructional practices that are data driven and designed to promote continuous improvement ... we are implementing systematic, specific intervention strategies to support learning at all levels."

In addition, the elementary school has been nominated for an award from the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities for their work on Response to Intervention.

Noggle said it is important to note that Esterbrook is a leading innovator in high school reform, adding that at the conference one participant remarked, "Reform at the high school level is often difficult, if not next to impossible."

He said Esterbrook has not only made the paradigm shift as required in any reform process, "but has been able to gain 'buy-in' from the teaching staff to the concept of RTI and answering the three questions presented earlier."

"Pagosa Springs," he said, "is very fortunate to have such outstanding school leaders and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with them over the last four years. Because of their commitment to research-based instructional practices, we are closer than we have ever been to addressing the needs of all learners in Archuleta County School District 50 Joint."


102 candidates for graduation at PSHS Sunday

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

One hundred two Pagosa Springs High School students are candidates for graduation 2 p.m. Sunday in the high school gymnasium.

When the graduates walk down the aisle to receive their diplomas, they will also be sharing in 96 scholarships sponsored by 61 institutions and agencies, totaling a whopping $249,173. Twenty-nine of those stipends are renewable, based on grade-point average maintenance.

The Senior Class of 2005 chose a quote by Tim McGraw as their motto: "We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere."

Class colors are silver and black and the class flower is the white rose with silver tips,

The class song is "Breakaway," by Kelly Clarkson.

A group of five, all with 4.0 grade point averages for four full years in Pagosa Springs High School classes have been selected co-valedictorians. These top scholars include Randi Andersen, Levi Gill, Jesse Morris, Brianna Scott and Victoria Stanton.

Joining them as Scholars with Great Distinction, and as co-salutatorians, are Shiloh Baker and Chris Nobles.

Selected by the class as their graduation speaker is Dan Janowsky, a teacher and coach at the school. His address will be followed by the class history, presented by Brett Garman, Jessica Harms, Janna Henry and Christine Morrison.

The high school mixed choir will present Stephen Schwartz' arrangement of "For Good" and after a slide-show presentation the valedictorians will present their honorary addresses to classmates, friends and families.

Mark Thompson will announce the scholarship awards and Principal Bill Esterbrook will present the class. Mike Haynes, president of the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint will receive the class and along with other board members present diplomas.

Senior class sponsors have been Charla Ellis, Nancy Esterbrook, Dan Janowsky, Kyle Canty, Rick Schur and Lisa Hartley.

Officers of the graduating class are Carmen Cook president; Kelcie Mastin, vice president; Ausha Neuleib, secretary; and Manuel Madrid, treasurer.

Assisting in the ceremonies as junior escorts will be Caitlin Forrest, Emilie Schur, Joe Quick and Chris Baum. The junior honor guard will consist of Sara Baum, Kari Beth Faber, Paul Przybylski and Casey Schutz.

Following are the 102 candidates for graduation, a list which includes those completing class work at Archuleta County High School:

Maria Paula Alves, Randi Ellene Andersen, Sarah Louise Anderson, John Ross Archuleta, Paul Raphael Armijo, Shiloh Melissa Baker, Kelly Lauren Bartholomew, Jesse Dawson Bauer.

Also, Kyrie Ann Beye, Jacob Michael Blum, Delta Dawn Buck, Keylee Janái Burnett, Taryn Nikkole Burnett, Jerry Morgan Butler, Whitnee Carmen Cook, Ellen Elizabeth Emanuel.

Also, Brett Harold Ford, Kelli Michelle Ford, Caleb Russell Forrest, Robert Julian Garcia, Brett Christen Garman, Levi Jesse Gill, Macaela Julie Gomez.

Also, Michael Francis Patrick Hardiman, Jessica Marie Harms, Janna Makaela Henry, Daren Lee Hockett, Danae Lea Holloman, Colton James Hutcherson.

Also, Shawn Alan Ivie, Caitlyn Rae Jewell, Cassidy Sky Johnson, Timothy Leo Johnson, Timothy William Kamolz, Richard George Lafferty, Nathaniel Adam Lee.

Also, Alvin Ronald Lessel, Esther Christine Lloyd, Benjamin Michael Loper, Melissa Jo Maberry, Mallorie Rae Mackey, Manuel Anthony Madrid, Juan Octavio Martinez.

Also, Meagan Jo Martinez, Nacona Cierra Martinez, Timmy Travis Martinez, Kelcie Lynn Mastin, Timothy Garret McAlister, Jason Brandon McFatridge.

Also, Danine Lari Mendoza, Krista Leann Milburn, Audrey Mae Miller, Randall John Molnar, Jesse Adam Morris, Christine Elena Morrison, Ausha Diane Neuleib.

Also, Christopher Loren Nobles, Darillo Archangel Ortega, Doroteo Adrian Ortega, Raul Ricardo Palmer, Carson Daniel Park, Adam James Parnell, Tyr Preston Persson.

Also, Ashley Ann Pfeifle, Jeremiah Anthony Postolese, Darin Christopher Prokop, Tadd Zaine Quiller, Scott Thomas Rafferty, Jason Michael Ramey.

Also, Lorenzo Ramirez, Otis Paul Rand, Ryan Andrew Ranson, Charles Lawrence Regester, Eric Vance James Rivas, Marcus Allen Rivas, Patrick Michael Salas.

Also, Katy Marie Theresa Sause, Stephanie Jane Schofield, Rachel Michelle Schur, Brianna Aileen Scott, Jordyn Marie Scott, Christopher James Shaw.

Also, Spencer Gavin Simpson, Lauren Sun Yung Schlessinger, Caryl Ann Smith, Jacob Eugene Smith, Victoria Ann Stanton, Courtney Lim Steen, Danny James Stuckman.

Also, Alejandro David Tapia, Miranda Nicole Taylor, Darcie Leigh Thompson, Mark William Truax, Charles James Turner, Justin Phillip Valdez.

Also, Max Lee Vasquez, Emily Eloise Vega, Melissa Ann Voelker, Lori Michelle Walkup, Landry Renee Ward, Rachel Elizabeth Watkins and Kyle James Wiggers.

Because of the huge audience expected, school officials suggest families and friends arrive early so parking patterns can develop utilizing the entire school area. They note many guests had to park on nearby streets last year.


High school FBLA chapter wins 18 awards at state

The Pagosa Springs High School Future Business Leaders of America chapter captured 18 awards, the highest total ever, at the annual state conference in Vail last month.

In "state only" events, Sara Baum received third place in job search, Kim Judd was fourth in FBLA knowledge, Landry Ward ninth in business math and Victoria Stanton 10th in business math.

In competitive events, Rosie Lee was third in business procedures, Tad Beavers fourth in international business, Ryan Ranson sixth in accounting II, Trey Quiller sixth in business math, Veronica Zeiler sixth in public speaking II, Jessica Lynch ninth in public speaking I, Heather Andersen 10th in business calculations and Kelli Ford 10th in public speaking II.

In addition, the team of Brett Garman and Mark Truax was sixth in emerging business issues and the team of Daniel Aupperle, Matt Nobles and Elija Olachea was seventh in the same category.

The Pagosa Springs chapter received a Peak III achievement award, completed and accepted by Kim Judd.

All students participated in competitive and/or "state only" events, attended motivational workshops, performed voting delegate duties and attended general assemblies.

Keynote speaker was Jonathan Sprinkles, who was nominated as 2004 College Speaker of the Year. He used his passion and humor to relate to the audience with his topic, "Never, Never, Never Give Up!"

Students attending, in addition to the award winners, were Kyrie Beye, Josiah Burggraaf, Brittany Corcoran, Brooke Cumbie, Ben DeVoti, Patrick Ford, Alaina Garman, Hayley Goodman, Jamilyn Harms, Anna Hershey, Jennifer Hilsabeck, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Shanti Johnson, Liza Kelley, MacKenzie Kitson, Elise McDonald, Aaron Miller, Tesh Parker, Emilie Schur, Michael Spitler, Chelsea Taylor, Clarie Versaw, Katie Vowles, Adrienne Young and Julianna Whipple.

Accompanying them were advisers Dorothy Christine and Lisa Hudson.

Airport board debates financial benefit statement

By John Middendorf

Special to The SUN

"I need something tangible to report on the value of the airport to the community!"

That was the request by Commissioner Henry Silver to the other members at a May 12 airport board meeting, and it led to a discussion of "perceived" benefits of Steven's Field.

Many commissioners agreed the present public image of the airport as a "utility for hobbyists" needs to change.

Bob Howard, board chairman, pointed to a 2002 document published by the Colorado Division of Aeronautics, "The Economic Impact of Airports in Colorado," which lists Steven's Field as contributing 357 jobs and a total of $23,170,000 annual economic benefit to the community.

Ed Morlan, Region 9 Economic Development executive director, questioned the basis of the published figure and it was pointed out the CDA document includes secondary impacts of a community airport, such as the out-of-town pilots' visitation expenses in town.

The board then focused on direct beneficial economic impacts, particularly the tangible ones, such as tie-down fees, the 5 cent per-gallon airport fuel surcharge and the pilot's hangar lease income.

Under the prodding of Silver, the commission looked deeper. One pilot attending the meeting pointed out the improved airport will soon have the ability to land Lifelink King Air turboprop airplanes, which will provide superior emergency medical transportation with a far greater range to regional hospitals.

Currently, the county has emergency helicopter service from Durango, Farmington and Taos, with a more limited range and speed. The expected job creation from airplane support service businesses was also discussed, and after some debate and discussion commissioners planned to include more detail in the airport's long-term business plan as it proceeds.

Rob Russ, the airport manger, outlined the progress on airport improvements. Hart Construction was awarded the contract for Schedule I and phase I of Schedule II improvements. The main project is the repaving of Runway 1/19 to bring it up to category C-II standards.

The new runway will be 8,100 feet long (currently there is only 4,000 feet of usable runway), and will be able to land planes with an upper weight limit of 70,000 pounds (dual wheel gear). Currently there is a weight limit of 16,500 pound aircraft.

Construction has begun on the new midfield hangars to replace the ones scheduled for demolition near Nick's Hangar, as well as the new Fixed Base Operator building. A new environmentally designed "Fuel Farm" is also being built. To some of the pilots' dismay, an all-weather guidance system is being slipped back a year in order to focus on current construction projects.

Commissioners attending were Bob Howard, Elmer Schettler, Tom Broadbent, Mark Weiler, Silver, Gerard Pearson and Nancy Torrey. Also present were Russ, Morlan and Kathy Holthus.

In other business:

- Morlan gave a presentation on the Region 9 benefits, such as tax breaks and loans to businesses creating jobs and offered to help with an economic impact study specific to Steven's Field.

- Board members learned a new 40-foot radio tower was donated from a source in Durango, with local pilots volunteering installation work.

- Broadbent presented a progress report on the airport's "Good Neighbor" policy.

- An airport minimum standards document was presented and approved.

Development, water and erosion are key watershed concerns

By Carol Fuccillo

Special to The SUN

Development, decreased water quality and increased erosion along the Stollsteimer Creek Watershed topped the list of environmental concerns expressed Monday by Archuleta County residents at a public forum held by watershed project personnel.

The primary goal of this project involving private landowners, the National Resource Conservation Service, Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation district, the U.S. Forest Service and Southern Ute Tribe, is to develop a master plan that includes a detailed study of the watershed and to design plans to improve and protect the watershed for years to come.

The watershed encompasses more than 82,000 acres, including the Pagosa Peak area, Stollsteimer Creek, Piedra River, Pagosa Lakes subdivisions, portions of the national forest, Southern Ute lands, large portions of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District and most of Aspen Springs. Nearly 30,000 acres are owned by the U.S. Forest Service and more than 28,000 acres are privately owned.

The San Juan Conservation District is sponsoring the study of the watershed with more than 15 sites along the watershed being tested for flow data, sediment, petroleum and salinity.

A recent assessment revealed that, at the topmost point of the watershed, sediment buildup was 40 milligrams per liter of water, while toward the bottom of the watershed it was 500 milligrams per liter.

Studies also identified construction and parking lot runoff as major sources of contaminants to the waters. One of the goals of the project is to develop land use regulations and drainage policies to try to control the pollutant sources.

Hydrologic modeling of the watershed, as well as rainfall, snow, and road surface analysis is currently being conducted. The committee hopes to have results available by June.

A tour of key areas of the watershed will be conducted 1:30 p.m. June 10, starting at PLPOA offices, 230 Port Ave. The public is welcome to attend.

Driver dies in runaway truck crash on pass

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A lone tennis shoe, ketchup packets, a paperback novel and fiberglass hunks of the decimated cab littered a snowbank at the scene of a fatal truck crash on Wolf Creek Pass.

The crash occurred about 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and left the driver, 21-year-old Justin Briseno of Midland, Texas, dead at the scene.

According to a Colorado State Patrol report and Colorado State Patrol Corporal Randy Talbot, the truck was westbound on U.S. 160, just east of mile marker 163, when the driver lost control upon entering a long, downhill curve.

Talbot said the truck entered the curve too fast and, according to the state patrol report, skidded for about 350 feet before dumping onto its left side.

According to the report, the truck then slid 135 feet across the eastbound lanes and slammed into a snowbank.

Upon impact, the truck rolled and ejected the driver about 75 feet.

The truck landed on its wheels facing west about 100 feet from the highway.

Debris from the truck's cab and cargo area was strewn across the embankment and into the gully as far as 200 feet from the initial impact.

Talbot said he estimated the truck was traveling at about 60 to 70 miles per hour when it entered the curve.

He said the state patrol does not use a formula for determining a large truck's speed in an accident like this, but instead relies on the investigating officer's experience.

"There had to have been speed involved, when things are thrown around that far," he said.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene and was taken to a mortuary in Monte Vista. His next of kin was notified.

The state patrol report indicates the driver was not wearing his seatbelt and that alcohol was not a factor in the accident.


Commissioners deal with road,

big box issues at Tuesday meeting

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Roads, emergency funds and the big box moratorium were key topics in the county commissioners' meeting, Tuesday, May 17.

In one measure, commissioners re-worked Archuleta County Land Use Regulation-Section 6.4.4 (d). with respect to future dedication and acceptance of subdivision roads.

The reworked regulation is based on the fact that "no county road maintenance is accepted in private subdivisions" and requires that "plat notes on the Preliminary Plat and the Final Plat shall state the following: No county maintenance of streets or roads. The county's acceptance of this plat constitutes acceptances, on the public's behalf, of the offer of dedication of rights-of-way over the subdivision roads, but does not constitute acceptance of road maintenance obligations. Owner(s) of property in the subdivision and/or the homeowners' association shall retain all road maintenance for all roads in the subdivision."

Commissioners agreed this is a step in moving road maintenance responsibility to owners and homeowners' associations in new subdivisions.

The commissioners also suspended mag-chloride operations on roads not in the county maintenance system and on local metro district roads for a period of one year.

Dick McKee, director of the county's road and bridge department, asked the county to sign a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to provide improvements to Piedra Road. McKee said it is an annual agreement with the Forest Service and will include road repairs to the Bennett Hill portion of the road. The commissioners approved this request.

Blair Leist, director of County Development, asked the commissioners to hear Terry Smith's argument for the expansion of his Circle T/Ace Hardware business.

According to Julie Rodriguez, of the planning department, Smith wants to relocate the hardware portion of his business currently located in town on Put Hill, to the 36,000 square-foot Ridgeview Mall. His efforts have been thwarted by the county's big box moratorium which limits new retail square footage to 18,000 square feet.

After hearing Leist's comments, commissioners agreed to a public hearing, although the hearing might not deal solely with Smith's situation. County Attorney Sheryl Rogers emphasized agreement setting a hearing would not be an agreement simply to hear Smith's case. Authorizing the hearing, she said, would open the county's current big box moratorium to discussion. The commissioners agreed to the measure.

The commissioners then decided to form a citizen task force to develop a visual quality ordinance for the county. The county will advertise for task force volunteers.

Lastly, commissioners agreed to approve emergency funds beyond line item amounts in the event of a natural disaster or emergency. The measure would allow emergency funds to be released without a full consensus, no cap set on the funds.


Homeowners ask for more bite in dog control action

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They've gone to the dogs out in Pagosa Lakes - literally.

That, at least, is the bark heard by directors of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association May 12.

Despite the monthly reports presented based on statistics from the sheriff's office animal control unit, residents believe roving dogs are a growing problem and it is only a matter of time until another vicious attack results in another lawsuit.

Property owner Jennifer Matcham was the first speaker on the topic, having asked in advance to be placed on the agenda.

She told the board and an audience of about 40, of several confrontations she's had with dogs unleashed and running loose.

Noting she's had 40 years experience with dogs and knows what she can and can't do when confronted, Matcham called for public postings of signs warning leash laws are on the books and enforced.

She said it is her opinion, verified by others in the audience, that many people, especially newcomers, "don't even know there is an animal control ordinance in effect."

When told the information is part of the packet delivered to every homeowner member, she said it is evident the buyers are not reading everything they are presented.

"Loose dogs are a hazard to people walking and jogging or even just enjoying their own yards," Matcham said.

She had a list of several personal encounters, including one with a pair of bull mastiffs that tailed and circled her but finally backed off when she appeared uninterested.

She noted the problem is not just for people but for the dogs themselves, citing two cases of dogs being hit and killed on Capitan Circle.

"That didn't have to happen ... irresponsible dog owners and drivers were responsible," she said.

Others noted much of the loose dog action comes after dusk. Dogs have been penned or inside all day. Homeowners home from work let them out and do not watch or control where they go.

"It is a homeowner problem, a policing problem, an enforcement problem, a PLPOA problem and a county problem," said another audience member.

Asked by director Gerald Smith if she'd taken her sign-posting idea to the county which has ultimate jurisdiction over the problem, Matcham said she had not, that she felt it something the association could help with, in independent action to help keep someone from being badly mauled.

Director Fred Ebeling suggested instead of signage, having the problem and laws on the books included in every issue of the association newsletter.

Smith agreed "there is a dangerous dog situation here and we have to do something about it ... we've had an episode in which the accent on control came after the fact ... perhaps signs would make a difference to people accountable."

Mojie Adler agreed the problem continues on. "I've been here 15 years, and we've had it all that time. The last time I called animal control, they couldn't find the house and said Meadows Drive wasn't on their map."

Jeff Knaak, of 33 Escobar, told of seeing a man with two dogs on his property and asking them to leave. "I got sworn at and the next day my house was egged," he said.

"I won't put up with that," he said. Asked if he reported the incident to the sheriff's office, he said "No, we need to handle this ourselves because they won't."

Still another member of the audience reported numerous instances at construction sites where contractors bring dogs on site and let the roam surrounding neighborhoods all day long.

Another audience member said it is not an issue "of accepting dogs as neighbors, it has become one of fearing to go out into your own yard because there are uncontrolled dogs running loose all hours of the day and night."

For the record, the monthly animal control statistics for April included 16 reports taken, 13 dogs impounded, four dogs returned to owners, six verbal warnings issued, two written warnings given, 30 miscellaneous citizen contacts made reference animals, two summons issued and 53 calls from dispatch to the animal control officers for service.

First volunteers in court program draw assignments

The new local Court Volunteer Program has placed its first volunteers with five judicial offices - the Alcohol Evaluator, the Useful Public Service Coordinator, the Probation Office, the Public Defender's Office and the Archuleta County Court.

The first volunteers are Dick Babillis, Julie Blanchard, Henry Buslepp, Gene Crabtree, Kathy DeClark, George Esterly, Stacey Fitzwater, Michael Greene, Susan Halabrin, Richard Harris, Susan Junta, Bob Moomaw, Merilyn Moorhead, Susan Neder, Barbara Parada, Ann Sadler, Jerry Sadler, Nancy Savage and Peg Schwartzkoff.

Additionally, some of the volunteers will work in administering the program. Others have offered to establish special programs such as an education class on responsible dog ownership, which will be incorporated into sentences or alternatives to fines in animal control cases.

The program was initiated with two goals: to supplement services to the public at a time of government budget cutbacks and to involve the community in the justice system. The volunteers have received initial training in the basics of the criminal justice system and will receive additional specific on-the-job training. Additional volunteers will be recruited and trained this summer.

"These initial volunteers are remarkably capable and dedicated to the concept that the justice system requires a community effort to be fully responsive to the needs of our area" said Judge Jim Denvir. "We hope to continue and to expand the program as time goes along and believe we are off to a great start."


County planners cancel May 25 meeting

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will not meet as regularly scheduled May 25.

The planning commission is scheduled to meet next at 7 p.m. June 8.


Elk foundation will mark its 21st year with June 4 banquet

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.

The local San Juan Chapter of the foundation would like to share some facts to explain where contributions are working for the benefit of all wildlife, in addition to a healthy elk population throughout the region.

The foundation is a nonprofit habitat conservation organization whose mission is to "ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat." It puts nearly 90 percent of the funds raised toward the mission statement. While it is true that all funds raised go directly to the national office, these funds are returned to Colorado and Archuleta County through a grant process.

Over the past three years more funds have been returned than raised by the local chapter.

Altogether, the foundation has conserved 95,160 acres in Colorado. In Archuleta County, it holds two conservation easements east of Chromo along the Navajo River. These are a 7,192-acre easement on the Diamond S Ranch and a 1,500-acre easement on the North Chromo Mountain ranch.

These permanent easements will keep that portion of the river from being developed. Controlled burn grants have been funded with the U.S. Forest Service to improve elk habitat and feeding area.

Grants have been provided to the Crazy Horse Educational Expedition to assist youth at risk in the Pagosa Springs area to gain hands-on experience in wildlife, habitat and environmental issues. Additional funding has been provided for participation in the Pagosa Youth for Wildlife Day, held in conjunction with the National Rifle Association, Trout Unlimited, the Division of Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service.

Another grant has been awarded in the upper Piedra area for the erection of game gates in strategic areas based on winter observations to create less stressful and safer travel for wildlife during migration and winter grazing.

The chapter is offering a $2,000 scholarship for students graduating from Pagosa Springs High School, to be awarded annually. Funds for this scholarship will be raised through the sale of raffle tickets and 100 percent of the net raised will be used for local scholarships.

The public is invited to the chapter banquet Saturday, June 4, in the Extension building at the county fairgrounds. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a catered dinner at 6:30. Live and silent auctions, raffles and other fun events will continue into evening.

To purchase tickets to the banquet or to make a tax-deductible donation of an item to be sold the evening of the banquet, call Bennie at 731-9303.

Chimney Rock interpreters set anniversary rates

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association invites everyone to celebrate its first anniversary at the Chimney Rock Archeological Area, Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23.

During Local Appreciation Days, tours for all Archuleta County residents and Southern Ute members are half-price. These special discounts are given to show appreciation for any and all support: adults $4 and children 5-11 $1. Children under five are free.

The ancestral Puebloans, who lived at Chimney Rock 1,000 years ago, built a magnificent Great Kiva and Great House. See these structures, as well as the remains of their pit houses and artifacts from this era. A Chacoan outlier, Chimney Rock has fascinated many over the years. Where might they have gone? How did they survive?

Take a tour and learn about this ancient culture. Four tours are given daily, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., 1 and 2 p.m.

Wear comfortable clothing, sturdy hiking shoes and a hat. It is suggested you bring water and sunscreen. Each walking tour lasts approximately two hours, with an additional half-hour drive up to and back from the site.

Chimney Rock Archeological Area is 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160 and three miles south on Colo. 151. Turn right at the gate and follow the road one-half mile to the Visitors' Cabin where the tours begin. No reservations are needed for the tours. The site is open from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

For additional information, call the site at 883-5359 or the office at 264-2287. The Web site is

Lifetime birder will lead West Fork walk

Jeff Schaupp, lifetime birder and longtime resident of Pagosa Springs will lead an evening bird walk Thursday, May 26.

Jeff is volunteering to lead this walk and share his extensive knowledge of birding with others. Those who join the walk will learn about locating and identifying many local and migratory birds.

Meet Jeff at 6 p.m. at the entrance to Wolf Creek Campground, about 13 miles west of Pagosa Springs on West Fork Road (Forest Road 648).

Wear appropriate shoes and bring a jacket, repellant, binoculars and bird identification books.

This bird watching walk and other free events that pertain to the natural and cultural history of the area are listed on the Interpretive Alliance calendar on the Web at Scroll down to "Pagosa Springs Interpretive Alliance."

For more information, contact Phyllis Wheaton at the Pagosa Ranger District, 264-2268.


High Country Reflections

Seeking solace in the grand silence of nature

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

In this busy world of continuous commerce and incessant sprawl, our most valued gift from Mother Nature may well be her grand and irrefutable silence.

Certainly, exposure to nature opens keen awareness of all our senses, and each is precious in its own right. We gaze upon the beauty of an untouched alpine landscape and marvel at its overwhelming splendor. We feel the slight chill of a gentle mountain breeze as it softly brushes our cheek, and as the fragrance of wild summer blossoms rise to our nostrils, we are at once filled with joy. Nevertheless, while few things are more delicious than a handful of wild raspberries, or the sweet fruit of a prickly pear cactus, it seems that silence, or at least a lack of artificial clamor, is most essential to our serenity.

As part of the natural world, the grand silence, of course, is not totally silent. Innate physical sounds like that of a sudden gust rolling through a stand of quaking aspen, or the distant roar of heaving rapids, are legitimate elements of it. Rumbles of thunder in a gathering storm, or the spring mating song of a Spotted Towhee, are certainly audible, but they are natural in origin and hearing them is always delightful. The primitive world has known these tranquil sounds, and the all-encompassing quiet beyond, since long before the arrival of modern civilization. They are ingrained in our psyche, and have been since our beginning.

But today, man's evolving social union spawns constant commotion, and finding places of peace and inherent order is increasingly difficult. Our cities and towns are hives of human activity where a persistent drone of industry is softened only by the relentless roar of automobile, truck, and motorcycle traffic. Scenic waterways and recreation areas are abuzz with jet skis, powerboats, ATVs, and snowmobiles, and even deep in our most pristine wilderness areas commercial jets are continuously roaring high overhead. Noise seems inescapable, and for some it's taking a toll.

Here in Pagosa Springs, I recently read of someone's concern over the sudden appearance of ultra-light flying machines as they patently shattered a Sunday morning silence, their small internal-combustion engines noisily whirring aloft on one of the first nice days of spring. The author was plainly disgusted with the abrupt violation of daybreak quietude that had, until that moment, enveloped his still-awakening neighborhood. He expressed anger over, what to him, seemed a clear "invasion of privacy" by the manned, low-flying aircraft passing just over the rooftops. The premise of his comments suggested an immediate ban of such equipment over the community on Sunday mornings.

Another writer quickly responded, agreeing with the first, but went a step further in suggesting a total ban from town every day. Resentment and frustration were obvious, as the complainant scoffed at the apparent notion of someone's "selfish desire for yet another outdoor toy" being forced upon all of us.

It is a growing dilemma with no real solution on the horizon. On the one hand, our ever-expanding, live-fast society encourages such chaos through the advocation, marketing, and sale of all sorts of recreational gadgets and machinery, all designed to take us anywhere we choose to go. There is an emphasis on speed and the freedom in conquering the environment, with little regard for the potential ecological and social impacts that appear both predictable and inevitable. As individuals in a growing sea of humanity, we are all compelled to seek forms of escape, and anything that can quickly take us further from civilization and deeper into the outback is readily viewed as good, if not fun.

On the other hand, there are consequences. Just as second-hand smoke and nighttime light pollution directly and adversely affect others, noise pollution is a serious matter, and plainly contributes to elevated levels of collective frustration and cultural anxiety. Those most incensed are now attempting the prohibition of a variety of activities seen as infringements on other people's rights, while those who feel society is already over-regulated are countering with ever more imposing exploits as expressions of their own civil liberties. Clearly, battle lines are being drawn.

Of course, the underlying problem is unmistakable. Our finite planet hasn't grown an appreciable inch over countless millenniums, yet its human populace has increased roughly 62 percent in the past 40 years alone. There are simply more and more people vying for limited space, and with the present population trend exponential, tensions are sure to escalate accordingly. Thus, whether we like it or not, we as a world community will have to face tough political decisions in the immediate future, and to do so effectively, we're going to have to find common ground.

Answers to these daunting concerns must come sooner or later, but each of us has the ability to effect positive change now. All it takes is the willingness to consider potential impacts on others, before acting out on our own. For instance, if we visit our national forests or wilderness areas, we can choose to leave only footprints and take only photographs. If we enjoy driving motorized vehicles off-road, we can utilize appropriate areas and stick to designated trails. Rules exist for the common good, including our own, but when rules are vague, or none are posted, ordinary etiquette will go a long way in preventing unpleasant confrontations.

Whenever I feel tense and out of rhythm, I seek solace in the quiet of the forest. There, grosbeaks and robins are singing, and honey bees are buzzing from blossom to blossom. The wind whispers softly through the pine boughs above, and I can listen for the call of a raven, or the shrill cry of a Red-tailed Hawk. I can watch clouds as they slowly drift by, and feel the heat of the sun as it warms my face. In the forest, things are as they always have been, and for now at least, the grand silence still remains.




We're aggressors

Dear Editor:

While many regard Memorial Day lightly, like just the last day of a long weekend, it has always held great significance for me as a day of remembrance.

As a fifth-grader in the early days of World War II, I marched in the VFW drum and bugle corps to the cemetery for a memorial service, prayers and wreath-laying, and then placed small flags on the graves of the veterans.

This was a day to commemorate those whom Lincoln described as having given the last full measure of devotion.

Everything seemed so clear then, and after World War II as well. In those days the aggressors were called the Central Powers and the Axis, the Germans and the Japs and our men responded to the call because our nation had been attacked. Our lives, our freedom, our land were all at stake. Words like "honor" and "glory" inscribed on memorials for them hold very deep meaning for me.

And it bothers me that I don't have this same feeling when newspapers publish the names, pictures and biographies of our people lost in this new war. This war is different. It seems ludicrous to me to say these men and women sacrificed for America. America had not been attacked. America had not been threatened.

The facts are known - Saddam was telling the truth and there were no weapons of mass destruction. The rejection of our presence in Iraq by the people we now claim we came to save even denies us the right to say we were serving the "greater good" by thwarting aggressors, as in Korea and Vietnam. America is the aggressor. And the arguments that we went in to get rid of a "bad guy" or to establish democracy are shamefully weak.

Should flags be placed on their graves? Of course, they should. Lincoln described their service as devotion. He didn't separate the blue from the gray or say the cause has to be right or wrong. He commended them for their devotion.

Now, upon us who did not have to go when our leaders issued the order to march, lies the guilt. There was never a good reason for us to allow their deaths to occur. Over their graves this Memorial Day we need to beg their foregiveness.

Henry Buslepp


Not abusive

Dear Editor:

There is much speculation and rumor surrounding the events of April 25. I want this community to know the truth.

That evening while my husband, Gary Draper, was preparing me a beautiful lasagna dinner, I began to dose myself with rum after a rough day at the office. I don't hold liquor well and quickly became unruly. Gary made some remark like, "It's your turn to wash the dishes." I took a stack of dishes and broke them.

Knowing I was out of control, I left for a couple of hours to sober up.

When I got home around ten, the house was dark. I was still not myself and took more dishes and crashed them to the floor which startled Gary from a deep, alcohol-induced sleep. I heard him get up off the couch and go into the bedroom. Neither of us had said a word and it was dark. The next thing I knew I had been shot and saw Gary's horrified face and heard him say, "Jamie, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it, I love you!" I screamed, "Call 911! Tie off my arm, I'm bleeding to death!" Gary called for help and applied a tourniquet to my shoulder and I lost consciousness. I believe that Gary thought I was an intruder and according to evidence, the gun discharged accidentally.

Gary has never laid a hand on me in anger in nine years of marriage. He is not physically abusive. In the past, when I have been injured or gravely ill, it has been Gary that stayed by my side and nursed me back to health and cared for my every need.

Gary is a wonderful man. If you treat him with respect, he will give you the shirt off his back. Every year, he grows a huge garden and gives 75 percent of it away to those more in need than himself. He is always ready to lend a helping hand.

Gary has served his country, raised four wonderful children and has seven grandchildren.

I will conclude by thanking all of you who have prayed for us. God truly carried me in his arms that night and my hope of recovery is excellent.

I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Doug Nelson for guiding the rescue to my home which they couldn't find (saving precious time), to the EMTs who helped save my life, Dr. Stern who saved my right arm from amputation, and the staff at Mercy.

I lift up my heart in gratitude to God for another day of life and love.

Jamie Forest


Keep to issues

Dear Editor:

I wish that those who reply to letters actually addressed the issues on hand. I was confused at the irrelevant replies to my letter published last week.

I addressed issues such as President Clinton and Saddam Hussein, and got two responses informing me of how "narrow minded" I am because my beliefs are opposite theirs. I did not "paint every one who disagrees with me as hating this country." I merely challenged one person who accused all conservatives of falsely being "Godly and patriotic."

You may see it as narrow minded that I actually stick with my beliefs, and don't flip-flop on every major issue like the Democrat's best candidate for president, John Kerry; but if you are not firm in your beliefs, you have no political foundation, thus Mr. Kerry's election defeat. Instead of replying about the political subjects in my previous letter, both replies were criticizing Christianity, a topic which I never even mentioned.

I never defined Godliness in either of my letters; in fact it was someone opposing my letter who brought it up. Yet I am accused of thinking that all liberals are my enemies, being "Un-American," having a one-dimensional mind, and condemning everyone who doesn't share my view of religion (A topic which I didn't even mention!)- all because I am a conservative? And I'm closed-minded?

It is each of our God-given rights to be able to speak and debate our minds, but please, if you wish to reply, address the issues on hand, don't put down a completely different issue, especially if it's one you obviously know nothing about.

Zach Mayne


Tree registry

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Springs needs to save its old trees!

How could anyone cut down the old growth willows, cottonwoods and spruce alive and well with huge diameters?

This action suggests one with no respect for life or environment.

There is a process known as National Tree Registry, i.e., a tree of a certain diameter can be recorded and saved from future development, roads, structures, etc.

Maybe the trees that used to live on U.S. 160 and south of 2nd Street would not have met national registry requirements, but I think they would have.

The solution: Pagosa Springs develops a registry now to save some of the town's flavor/character, before it is covered over in pavement and concrete.

Pam Morrow


Pay until Day 2

Dear Editor:

President Bush has finally unveiled his proposal for Social Security reform. As expected, it includes private accounts, which will do nothing to improve the fiscal health of the system (by the President's own admission) and will cost the taxpayers trillions to set up.

It also changes the benefits formula, giving lower SS benefits to the wealthy, who couldn't care less, and, sadly, to many in the middle class, who do care!

What it doesn't include is the one simple thing that would keep the system solvent through the century, a modest increase in the taxable wage cap, currently $90,000. Of course, this would raise the taxes on the President's wealthy friends and they do care about taxes. Why aren't Americans getting very mad over this?

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen had an interesting column on the subject recently. He noted that someone making minimum wage must pay SS taxes on 100 percent of their income, as does anyone who makes less than $90,000.

On the other hand, he noted that Les Moonves, the cochairman of media giant Viacom and the president of CBS makes about $77,000 a day (yes, a day). This means that Mr. Moonves satisfies his total obligation to SS by about 10:30 a.m. on the second workday of the year. At the same time, Mr. Cohen notes, the marginal income tax rate on high salaries has dropped from 94 percent to 35 percent over a few decades. Not a bad deal!

Now, I have nothing against Les Moonves. If the Viacom board and shareholders think he is worth $77,000 a day, more power to him. In fact, I wouldn't mind making that kind of salary myself. However, would it be so terrible to ask him to continue paying SS taxes until, say, dinner time on Day 2? I'll bet he doesn't care much if his SS benefits drop by $300 a month!

Get mad, America!

John Porco


A new trend

Dear Editor:

I realize the odds of an Ephemera living for a century are better than the odds of this letter being printed. No controversy here; no petty harangue or uninformed name calling.

Perhaps, however, we could start a new trend? How about just one letter a week with an uplifting tone, a ray of hope, a kind word?

With all of its growing pains and disagreements, this town is absolutely filled with kind, loving , caring people willing to help one another and pray for each other. When our brand new dental office was devastated by 15,000 gallons of water (from a single loose 3/8 fitting no less ) we learned how many friends we truly had. So many people gave sacrificially of their time, working often late into the night, that we restored the office in only a month when it was estimated to take three. I won't try to list all of your names, for inevitably I would miss one and hurt feelings, but you know who you are.

We also deeply appreciate the concern and patience of our patients (pun intended), who understandingly bore the inconvenience of being rescheduled after the disaster clean up. It would have been so easy to go to another dentist rather than wait for us to reopen. Thank you for your loyalty, we are truly blessed to have you as members of our practice family! We will continue to do all in our power to justify your trust.

OK, maybe just a line of controversy to improve this letter's chance of being printed. Don't forget the proposed land swap of our little Oakbrush Hill piece of National Forest heaven. Keep the USFS accountable to act in our best interest. Don't let our recreational heritage be "developed" away from under our feet!

Glenn Rutherford


What folly!

Dear Editor:

Your editorial in the May 12 SUN was right on target - to a degree. Until all residents of Archuleta County have the opportunity to vote for a mayor and town council members for Pagosa Springs, the chaos and vast split between town and county government will continue.

Presently, I guess the only way there will be more voices involved in the selection of a mayor and council members is for the big developments with many residents to petition for their areas to be pulled into the Town of Pagosa Springs. Of course, there is no guarantee the town council would agree to OK any such petition. But they will, without hesitation, pull in any business along U.S. 160 for obvious reasons - clever.

Wonder what would happen if the entire PLPOA area became part of Pagosa Springs? Think we'd see a lot of new faces in town government? No doubt the entire picture would change and I think it would be nothing but positive for numerous reasons.

No longer would just a few voters be able to control what transpires in town. What happens in town affects everyone in the county; its time to end control by a few of the majority. Just because I live a mile outside town limits I have absolutely no voice in what happens in town government. What folly!

Its time to end any seated mayor term of 25 years plus. We are overdue in this community for new blood and a different approach; our rapid growth demands it.

Should this lunacy continue? I think town residents, simply because they live in town, should not be allowed to have a vote/voice in who becomes county commissioner or county sheriff. Why not? Sounds fair to me.

Could it possibly be that the SUN's editor has to tippie-toe on eggshells when it comes to the negative stroking of high dollar developer/Realtors etc.?

There are bills to pay and paychecks to honor and they are not paid by selling copies of The SUN at current price; those big developer/real estate ads are what pay the bills.

Perhaps that's what Gary Waples was indicating in his letter to The SUN of May 12, which was the basis of his statement calling for the editor's immediate resignation.

So, if the editor is gonna offer some "Food for Thought," let's prepare same so its at least visibly digestible. Actually, it's no different than glaring at some mound of pre-sliced deli meat in the supermarket that has probably been sitting in the tray for days. I'm not gonna swallow it! I much prefer that freshly sliced animal flesh. Besides, I'm easy pickings for deep red - not green.

Jim Sawicki

Editor's note: We will repeat, for those who do not read carefully: Those who spend their time disparaging others who wish to profit from development of private property are wasting their time and energy. The object of attention must be government - the tools and regulations government has on hand to deal with growth and development, and the effectiveness, or lack of same, in the use of those tools and the enforcement of those regulations. To mistake this point of view for blanket support of any and all developers and development is to sacrifice accuracy to bombast.


Big box reality

Dear Editor:

I compliment the task force for their work on Big Box issues, and agree with their zone concept. However, it is doomed to failure because there is a large section of the county that we cannot control.

When our market is big enough, it will not take the Southern Ute Tribe or a developer to figure out they can build large retail buildings at Lake Capote on Southern Ute land only 17 miles from our downtown. And we can't do a thing.

Five or six years ago they were already considering a casino, and they just finished renovating the Lake Capote dam. The Southern Utes will build no housing, and the net result is that we will get all the negative impacts the task force identified and none of the income to pay for them.

Rather than receive millions each year in sales taxes and property taxes together with hundreds of thousands in building permit, impact and subdivision fees, the Southern Utes will gladly accept all the income, and we will pay millions a year in increased property taxes for additional police, fire and schools.

Add a zone for Big Boxes way west of town with steep impact fees, and architectural and landscaping controls, and still keep our small community atmosphere in our key areas.

Fred Schmidt


Community News

Humane Society ready to embark on creating a new animal care unit

By Frank Schiro

Special to The PREVIEW

"Reflecting on the past, building toward the future."

This could be the motto for the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs through this special year.

After 20 years of serving Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County, the Society looks forward to new challenges and a time of growth.

In those 20 years, the Humane Society has cared for all types of furry friends in a facility located on Stevens Lake Road. The success stories alone, stories of unconditional love, given to those that give their human companions unconditional love, could fill this entire article.

Animals have been spared. Families have found new companions. The community has been provided affordable spay and neutering options. And, through HSPS's effective Pet Overpopulation Program there has been a decline of 8 percent in incoming animals just since 2001.

The HSPS has reached out to more than just the four-legged animals in need in this community. It has provided a number of services to pet owners and other residents. Since opening in 1994, the Humane Society Thrift Store has provided affordable clothing, furniture and household goods to people throughout Archuleta County and beyond.

The Humane Society has worked actively with local churches, the Red Cross and Archuleta County Victims Advocacy to provide clothing and goods to those in need.

The HSPS has educated children and adults alike about compassionate, caring treatment of animals and people. Newcomers have been enlightened regarding regional health and disease concerns for pets, available spay and neuter programs, and local animal abuse laws (such as the requirement to have dogs restrained in the back of open pickups).

However, staring at that imminent future, there is a realization upcoming growth in both people and pet populations will create a whole new set of demands.

These demands currently drive HSPS to pursue a campaign toward building a new animal shelter, so they may continue their legacy of fine service. The current animal shelter can barely handle 750 animals a year. According to census projections used by the shelter, the demand could climb to over 1,000 animals per year by 2008.

Unfortunately, there are a number of constraints that would prevent the current shelter from being able to handle this number of animals.

First, the land the current shelter occupies is less than one acre — and that will be shrinking drastically in the near future. The local water supplier will be increasing the water storage capacity of Stevens Lake. This will reduce the available land on the current site, making expansion virtually impossible.

Secondly, the current area has become predominantly a highly attractive residential area. Homeowners are applying pressure to remove nonresidential activities, such as the shelter.

Finally, the overcrowding that currently exists at the shelter causes excessive noise and increased stress on the housed animals. This stress can lead to poorer health and heightened disease susceptibility for the animals staying at the shelter. All of these factors combine to make it harder and harder to provide a good presentation that will encourage adoptions.

The good news is there are already solutions in place to deal with these challenges.

In 2000, two private donors made it possible to purchase 11.25 acres for a new shelter adjacent to the Cloman Industrial Park. The site is already serviced with water, sewer, and natural gas and is easily accessible via Cloman Boulevard.

Architectural plans have been completed by Animal Arts/Gates Hafen Cochrane. The planned shelter will meet the projected animal needs for approximately the next ten years. Besides more space, the new facility will significantly help keep the animals healthier, make animal care easier, offer improved impound and isolation wings and provide critical rehabilitation space for sick or injured animals. Plus, the new facility will supply space for education and training, and be more inviting to potential adopters.

The only need left to be filled is to procure the funds necessary to complete the construction of the new facility. Plans for this challenge are also well underway.

HSPS has formed a committee of concerned and dedicated volunteers to go after the balance of necessary funds. Additionally, a capital campaigns specialist with Rice University has volunteered to work with the local committee. She will provide valuable coaching and oversight to the committee throughout the capital campaign process.

Of course, the Humane Society will continue to use its current, creative fund-raising techniques towards this end. Thrift Store proceeds, sales from the Web site at and funds provided through numerous grants will continue to offset the shelter's current expenses. But, building a new facility will require more.

HSPS plans to pursue a "quiet" campaign initially. This stage will contact potential donors individually. Once a preset level has been reached from these donations, the campaign will be move on to its public phase.

This is the community's opportunity to give back to an organization that has already given so much to them. Many in this community have found new "best friends" at the Humane Society shelter. Others have had their favorite pets returned healthy and intact after straying from the comforts of home.

Citizens have clothed their children or furnished their homes, courtesy of the Humane Society Thrift store. It is now up to the community to help ensure these services continue far into the future.

For information on how you can help in this exciting endeavor, contact the Humane Society Administration at 264-5549.

Moseley to lead wildflower walks; first set May 24

By Phyllis Wheaton

Special to The PREVIEW

According to Dick Moseley, the glacier lilies that follow the snowmelt are abundant in the Turkey Springs area. Join him May 24 for a wildflower walk in that area.

For several years Dick has volunteered to lead a series of wildflower walks within the San Juan National Forest and he has gained quite a following.

Each walk is within a different habitat as spring climbs up the mountain.

Dates and locations for future walks are:

- June 7, Piedra River Trail;

- June 21, Teal Boat Ramp and Williams Creek Trail;

- July 5, Teal Boat Ramp and Cimarrona Trail;

- July 19, Teal Boat Ramp and Poison Park Trailhead;

- Aug. 2, Wolf Creek Road;

- Aug. 9, Wolf Creek Pass and Continental Divide Trail.

All walks start at 9 a.m. and last two to three hours. Bring water, hat, sunscreen, repellant, a jacket and wear appropriate shoes.

Dick provides a plant list for each area.

The program is sponsored by the San Juan Mountains Association and San Juan National Forest.

Moseley worked in natural resources for 32 years, including 21 years as the head of the nature preserve and heritage programs for the state of Ohio. Since his retirement, he volunteers in many different roles for the San Juan National Forest, San Juan Mountains Association and Chimney Rock Interpretive Association.

This series of wildflower walks and other free events that pertain to the natural and cultural history of the area are listed on the Interpretive Alliance calendar on the Web at Scroll down to "Pagosa Springs Interpretive Alliance."

For more information, contact Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.


Sneak Peek tomorrow for Pumas on parade

By Sabine Baeckmann-Elge

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pumas are coming, and you can have an exclusive sneak peek of these wonderful beasts.

A Sneak Peek event is planned 6-8 p.m. Friday in Durango Arts Center, where a selection of pumas in progress, (semi-finished sculptures), will be unveiled.

In addition, you can meet some of the artists, enjoy music by Lawrence Nass and hear a mountain lion presentation by conservation biologist Dr. Brian Miller, a leader in the field. And of course, enjoy delicious hors d'oeuvres from the Cyprus Café. There is a $10 donation at the door and seating is limited, so RSVP to (970) 385-1256.

Don't miss this exclusive preliminary unveiling of certified puma sculptures by this writer, Paula Bain, Tracey Belt, Charles Bruce, Bonnie Bryant, Carolyn Burke, Claudia DeLong, Eileen Fjerstad, Caryl Goode, Deborah Gorton, Debra Greenblatt and the DeNier Youth Services clients, Miki Harder, Leland Holiday, Page Holland, Barbara Tobin Klema, Karen Kristin, Amorina Lee-Martinez, Marie McCallum, Jessica McMahon, Mike McPherson, Mary Mellot, Mary Lou Murray, Rhonda D. Polsfut, Judy Schofield, Kathleen Steventon, Sara Swift, Amy Vaclav-Felker, Shan and Regina Wells, and Jeff Wise

Pumas on Parade is a public art and environmental education project sponsored by the San Juan Mountains Association. The project is using 29 artfully decorated mountain lion sculptures to showcase the talents of local artists as well as bring attention to the critical need for stewardship of public lands and the Centennial of the San Juan National Forest. It will also shed light on many facts about mountains lions and the difficult issues existing within the urban/wildlife interface.

Other public art projects such as this one have been successful around the country and in many large cities around the world - the cows of New York City and Chicago, and the pigs used in Seattle. Use of the form of the mountain lion sculpture, On the Alert, was granted to SJMA by wildlife sculptor Rosetta, from Loveland.

Two mounted plaques will accompany each puma. One will display educational facts about mountain lions’ natural history, Forest Service management of habitat, and about San Juan Mountains Association. The other will include the artist's name, the specific art media used, and the name of the business sponsor. Each lion will display different facts. Thus, traveling from community to community to view them all, will be like reading progressive chapters of a book.

When the artists are finished with their artworks the pumas will debut at a kick-off party July 4 in Durango, will be featured in the 4th of July Independence Day parade, and will be on public display throughout the Four Corners through the summer months of 2005.

School groups will have the opportunity to view the pumas when they are gathered in one place during the first two weeks of November. While there, the students will get a first-hand view of the sculptures and will be given a presentation on mountains lions by a wildlife biologist. A gala event will be held Nov. 12 to auction off the sculptures.

This project is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the USDA Forest Service, with invaluable local assistance from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, J.R. Coors, and Azteca Landscape in transporting and delivery of the sculptures.

The San Juan Mountains Association is currently seeking business sponsors for each of the animals. There are three levels of sponsorship packages. Call Felicity Broennan, project director, at 385-1256, or visit the San Juan Mountains Association at


Music in the Mountains concerts

feature wide variety of classical performers

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

One of the special advantages of the three Music in the Mountains concerts, for which tickets still are available, is the wide variety of instruments played and world-class performers involved, from solo violinists and pianists to string groups and performers on the French horn and oboe.

The first event will be an elegant benefit with a reception and concert hosted by David and Carol Brown at BootJack Ranch in their fabulous, glass-roofed Aquatic Center 5-9 p.m. Saturday, June 25. Guests will enjoy sumptuous hors d'oeuvres on the outdoor patio, followed by an intimate piano recital featuring Kirill Gliadkovsky, born in Moscow and the winner of numerous prestigious prizes.

After the performance, he will mingle with guests during dessert and coffee.

Since his public debut at age six, Gliadkovsky has performed piano and organ recitals and been a piano soloist with orchestras in cities all over the world. A critic at The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Šthe intensity and a nicely honed musicality left the audience stunnedŠ"

Gliadkovsky has also appeared on numerous radio and TV programs. He is an orchestra and choral conductor, and also composes for piano and organ.

For more information on the benefit, call co-chairs Teresa Huft at 946-2988 or Maribeth Hill at 731-3234. Attendance is limited to 125 guests. Cost is $175 per person, of which $105 is tax-deductible. Funds raised will help support classical concerts as well as children's musical events and music scholarships in Pagosa Springs.

More classical concerts

Tickets are available for two additional classical concerts under the tent at BootJack Ranch:

1. At 7 p.m. Friday, July 22 Pagosa welcomes internationally famous violinist Vadim Gluzman, who will perform solo and also play Bruch's Octet with a string group of seven other musicians. Gluzman has been lauded by critics and audiences as one of the most inspiring, dynamic artists performing today. Also on the program is a trio of oboe, horn and piano playing pieces by Reinecke. Cost of this concert is $40.

2. At 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, Antonio Pompa-Baldi brings his piano mastery back to Pagosa. Having performed with orchestras around the world and in the PBS "Concerto" series, he was a great hit with local audiences the last two summers. His solo performance will include pieces by Mozart, Chopin and Moszkowski. Then he will be joined by a trio playing violin, viola and cello for Shumann's "Piano Quartet in E major." Cost of this concert also is $40.

Tickets for both these concerts are available at the Chamber of Commerce, at or at

This is the fourth consecutive summer that Music in the Mountains is offering classical music events here in Pagosa. Chairman of the committee organizing the local festival is Jan Clinkenbeard.

"We're incredibly lucky to have first-class musicians who have performed to rave reviews around the world come to Pagosa to play for us," Clinkenbeard said. "Thanks to the Browns, we will enjoy this music in a spectacular mountain setting at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass."

Clinkenbeard pointed out ticket prices pay for only a small portion of the cost of the concerts. "That is why our benefit fund-raiser and the contributions we receive from individual donors, businesses and other larger organizations are so crucial to our Pagosa festival," she said.

As well, all of the planning and organizational work is done by Clinkenbeard's local volunteer steering committee composed of Melinda Baum, Mary Jo Coulehan, Lauri Heraty, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft and Lisa Scott.

Since its debut in Durango in 1987, Music in the Mountains has grown to become one of the best summer music festivals in the country. To be put on the mailing list for the concerts and future Pagosa Music in the Mountain events, call 385-6820 in Durango and specify that you want to be on the Pagosa Springs mailing list.

Auditions May 23 for "Peter and the Wolf" Town Park concert

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Auditions will take place 6-8 p.m. May 23 in the high school band room for boys and girls age 8-11 who would like to play one of the eight to 10 characters in "Peter and the Wolf" in July.

There will be six rehearsals during a three-week period, July 11-July 28.

The performance of "Peter" will be the highlight when Music in the Mountains hosts a free outdoor community concert called "Family Festivo" for families and "kids of all ages" in Town Park 11 a.m. Thursday, July 28.

Felicia Meyer and Melinda Baum are in charge of the open audition for the parts in "Peter," a musical work created by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to teach his children about the symphony. They ask any children interested to choose an animal to imitate for about one minute. Be prepared to crawl, eat, stretch, hunt, pounce, run etc. like that animal.

Music for the event will be performed by the Music in the Mountains festival orchestra. Each character in "Peter and the Wolf" is represented by an instrument or instrumental family: Peter by the string instruments of the orchestra, the grandfather by bassoons, the bird by flutes, the duck by oboes, the cat by clarinets, the wolf by French horns, and the hunters by percussion instruments.

The story of "Peter and the Wolf" has Peter as a little boy (a girl or boy may play this part) who lives in Russia on the edges of a meadow with his grandfather. Beyond the meadow is a deep, dark forest. Peter's grandfather has warned him not to go into the meadow alone because it is dangerous. But Peter's curiosity gets the better of him and he ventures out into the meadow.

In the meadow, Peter meets the bird and the duck. The bird flies around the pond where the duck swims, and they argue who is better - the one who can fly or the one who can swim. Then a cat slinks into the meadow, preying upon the bird. Peter calls out to the bird, warning it, and it flies into a tall tree for safety.

Grandfather comes out of the house and is very angry when he sees Peter in the meadow. He warns Peter about the wolf. Peter tells his grandfather that he is not afraid of wolves! Grandfather takes Peter home and a big gray wolf comes out of the forest. The cat springs up into the tree! The duck jumps out of the pond and the wolf chases the duck! The wolf catches the duck and swallows it in a single gulp!

The wolf begins to circle the tree where the cat and bird sit. Peter arrives and he has an idea: He brings a rope and climbs along a branch into the tree. He tells the bird to distract the wolf. The bird cleverly taunts the wolf, who snaps furiously at the bird. Peter makes a lasso out of the rope and lets it down very carefully, catching the wolf by the tail. Then he pulls up the rope with all his might. The wolf jumps wildly to try to get loose. Meanwhile, hunters come out of the woods, shooting their guns as they approach.

What happens next? Well, we don't want to ruin the suspense, so we will keep the end of the story a secret until the performance, July 28.

For more information, contact Felicia Meyer at 264-6028 or Melinda Baum at 264-5404.

Relay for Life chair auction items displayed

The fourth annual Chair Event is now in progress.

What is the Chair Event?

It is a silent auction held in connection with the June 24-25 Relay for Life, which includes chairs and small tables artistically embellished by local artists which are sold to raise money for the American Cancer Society. "

The items are now on display in local banks and are ready for your bids. Take some time to visit the banks and see the chairs on display.

Artists involved in the project are: Linda Bennett, Pat Black, The Cloverbuds 4-H, The Colorado Kids, Randall Davis, Suzan Joy, Jan Karn, Heidi Keshet, Syl Lobato, Joanne Long, Brenda McCooey, Jodie Million, Donna Milner, Pierre Mion, Judy Schofield, Danny Smith, Donna Wagle and Paula Bain.

The bidding finale will take place June 24 under a tent in Town Park while the "Relay for Life" walk is going on. The hours of the silent auction will be 6-8:30 p.m.

If you haven't yet formed a team for this fund-raising walkathon, contact Morna Trowbridge at 264-2360.

Navajo-Churro annual meeting at Fiber Festival

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Fiber Festival will host the Navajo-Churro Association annual meeting and fleece and sheep competition this year.

That means a good number of rare and rather unusual looking sheep will be available for viewing Saturday during the two day Fiber Festival, May 28-29. They are different: they have a long silky protective top coat; rams not infrequently sport four horns and they come in all colors and patterns.

The Navajo-Churro Sheep Association (N-CSA) was formed in 1986 to preserve a breed that was threatened with extinction at that time. The Churro sheep is America's first sheep, a new, yet very old breed that holds great promise for the future in both fiber and meat production.

Navajo-Churro sheep are descended from the Churra, an ancient Iberian breed. The Churra, (later corrupted to "Churro" by American frontiersmen) was prized by the Spanish for its remarkable hardiness, adaptability and fecundity. The Churra was the very first breed of domesticated sheep in the New World. Its importation to New Spain dates back to the 16th century, where it was used to feed and clothe the armies of the conquistadors and Spanish settlers.

By the 17th century, the Churro had become the mainstay of Spanish ranches and villas along the upper Rio Grande Valley. Native Americans acquired flocks of Churro for food and fiber through raids and trading. Within a century, herding and weaving had become a major economic asset for the Navajo.

It was from Churro wool that the early Rio Grande, Pueblo and Navajo textiles were woven - a fleece admired by collectors for its luster, silky hand, variety of color and durability.

As early as 1789, the Spanish controlled the export of ewes from the province of New Mexico to maintain breeding stock. But in the 1850s thousands of Churro were trailed west to supply the California Gold Rush. Most of the remaining Churro of Hispanic ranches were crossed with fine wool rams to supply the demand for garment wool caused by increased population and the Civil War.

Concurrently in 1863, the U.S. Army slaughtered the Navajo flocks to bring the tribes under control. Efforts to "improve" and reduce numbers continued into the 1900s by U.S agencies. True genetic survivors were to be found only in isolated villages in Northern New Mexico and in remote canyons of the Navajo Reservation.

In the 1970s several individuals began acquiring Churro phenotypes with the purpose of preserving the breed and revitalizing Navajo and Hispanic flocks. Criteria for the breed had been established from data collected for three decades (1936-1966) by the Southwestern Range and Sheep Breeding Laboratory at Fort Wingate, N.M. Since 1986, when the N-CSA was formed, many flocks have developed with over 150 members from coast to coast including Canada and Mexico.

Even though the Navajo-Churro breed still exists, it is considered a rare breed. The gene pool is presently large enough to maintain the breed type with the diversity of available unrelated lines. Fortunately for breeders, a well established network of registered stock is available, scattered throughout the US and Canada.

Individual N-CSA members, Los Ganados del Valle and the Navajo Sheep Project have shared breeding stock and information with other producers to insure continuity of the breed.

Navajo-Churro sheep, with their long staple of protective top coat and soft undercoat are well suited to extremes of climate. Some rams have four fully developed horns, a trait shared by few other breeds of the world. The Navajo-Churro is highly resistant to disease, and although it responds to individual attention, it needs no pampering to survive and prosper. The ewes lamb easily and are fiercely protective mothers. Twins and triplets are not uncommon. The wool is still prized by hand spinners for the open locks in an unsurpassed range of color. The very finest of Navajo rugs are made of Churro yarn and considerable effort is now underway to encourage the Navajo weavers to return to this traditions source of yarn.

The flavor of the meat is incomparably superior, with a surprisingly low fat content. In 2002, Slow Food U.S.A. selected Navajo Churro sheep for Ark U.S.A., Slow Food's program to protect food threatened with extinction.

For more information on Navajo-Churro sheep you may visit . (Source: the N-CSA brochure)

Two prime reasons for visiting the festival this year are the Churro sheep and the Navajo rugs - but that's not the end of the story. Come also to see beautiful fashions for sale, presentations, demonstrations by fiber artists of all kinds, fashion shows, fiber animals of all kinds, workshops, lectures, shearing, food, etc. All this and it's free!

Contact Barbara Witkowski at 264-4543 for information or e-mail ; for general or vendor data contact me at (970)264-5232 or e-mail or log on to the Web site .Interest in the Festival is always welcome.

May activities at Congregation Har Shalom

The following activities are on the May calendar at Congregation Har Shalom in Durango.

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 our 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.


Film Society to review 'Waking Ned Devine'

On Tuesday, May 31, the Pagosa Springs Film Society will screen and discuss "Waking Ned Devine," a whimsical comedy set in an Irish village with a population of 52. The film will be shown in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.

When it is discovered that the winner of a lottery fortune is deceased, the whole town conspires in a plot to get the money anyway.

Janet Maslin of the New York Times points out the title suggests the hearty Irish wake that the film finally becomes, and differs from most lottery stories in that it turns out to be about generosity, not about divisive greed.

Starting time is 7 p.m. and there is a suggested $3 donation which benefits the Friends of the Library. The Fellowship Hall is Unit 15 in Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.

"Waking Ned Devine" is rated PG, as it includes a brief scene of rearview geriatric nudity.


Grace Evangelical church 'planting'

director Sunday

Pastor Bruce Redmond, who has started several new churches in his ministry career, will speak at Grace Evangelical Free Church Sunday.

Pastor Redmond currently serves as the Director of Church Planting for the Rocky Mountain District of the Evangelical Free Church. In this capacity, he oversees dozens of new church "plants" in South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado, including Grace Evangelical Free Church here in Pagosa Springs.

"Bruce is a unique individual gifted by God to establish new churches that are faithful to the Great Commission. He is the closest thing you will find to the Apostle Paul in the 21st century," said Jeff Daley, pastor of Grace.

Redmond will address the impact a new church can have in a local community. As always, all are welcome to join the congregation at the community center at 10 a.m.


Ancient Cultures performance draws 450

The high school auditorium was buzzing last Friday evening with over 450 people present. About 120 of those were sixth-grade performers from Pagosa Springs Intermediate School. The production that night highlighted the three-week Ancient Cultures project in Leeann Skoglund's social studies class.

Principal Mark DeVoti greeted the crowd and introduced the performance.

A student narrator began: "Throughout history, people have invested the wealth of their imaginations in their stories, music and dance. This evening we take a fabulous journey Š a journey through legends from far off lands Š legends from ancient times Š stories from ancient cultures."

Each of five classes performed a 15-minute skit representing a different culture: Greece, Mongolia, Africa, Europe and India. The skits included dances and music, acting, narration, wild masks, hand puppets and headdresses. Sumptuous, colorful costumes created a visual feast, from flowing robes of ancient Greek dancers, to embroidered tunics and hats of Mongolian herders.

The students choreographed the dance numbers, based on traditional styles.

Arts specialists Carla and Paul Roberts from Elation Center for the Arts helped coordinate the program.

Judging by the enthusiasm of the audience, this year's production was a huge success.


'Revelation' is topic for Unitarians

The Reverend Stephen Furrer, from Albuquerque, will be the guest speaker Sunday at Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service. His sermon is entitled "Revelation."

Rev. Furrer has served UU congregations from Hawaii to Maine. He was one of four children who grew up in the Shaker Heights, Ohio, Unitarian Church. He was cofounder of "UUs for a Just Economic Community," and since August he has been the settled Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe. This is his fourth visit to the Pagosah Fellowship.

This service and the children's program will begin 10:30 a.m. 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.


Make your donations to Western Heritage Events Center auction

One man's junk is another man's treasure.

The Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo Committee is looking for your junk - everything from horses to hogs, tractors to Cadillacs, cows to goats, fine art to fine China, antiques to nearly new. If you are willing to donate it to a good cause, they will even pick it up for you.

Contact one of the following for location of delivery or pick-up: Mike Ray, 264-2812; Randy Talbot, 731-5203; Wes Lewis, 759-8499; DuWayne Shahan, 264-9512; or Craig Kamps, 883- 3019.

The committee will hold a farm auction 10 a.m. Saturday, May 28, at the Red Ryder Rodeo Arena to benefit the Western Heritage Event Center's indoor arena planned at the rodeo grounds.

A partial list of items to be auctioned follows:

Items for your auto include a Toyota rear bumper, two '76 Ford front bumpers, '84 Ford front bumper, camper shell (small truck), utility shell (small truck), lumber rack (small truck), assorted tires and rims, camper shell, cab over camper, tool box, Merrit aluminum headache rack, 10-hole BUD steel rims and tires, aluminum fuel tanks, ladder rack (full size truck) and a 2003 Ranch Hand front bumper

If you are looking for horse tack you will find a great selection including a brand new 15 1/2" Rancher saddle by Cactus Saddlery smoothed out with barbed wire tooling, ranch saddle, 15 used saddle blankets, new Navajo saddle blanket, new horse blanket-net, new insulated cantle saddle bags, kid's saddle and lariat.

To round out the livestock on your ranch you can choose from two feeder pigs, a Welsh pony, stud fee, a two-year-old horse, pig feeder, lambs, fainting goats, set of stocks, self-catching cattle squeeze chute, Powder River roping chute with alley, three sets of horse shoeing by John Kimsey, three hoof trims by John Kimsey and more.

You will even find items for your home including a recliner, sectional sofa, fan light, two western hanging lights and more.

Other household items include a marble sink, television, convection oven, Kenmore microwave, Magic Chef refrigerator, new throw pillows, two dinnerware sets, canisters, storage boxes and serving bowls.

Antique lovers will love the selection including a piano, table and chairs, square table, horse drawn farm equipment, bits and bridles, pack saddle, dresser and scale.

Items for the office include a fax machine, printer, computer monitor and keyboard and cell phones

There are numerous miscellaneous items that have been donated including a 40-gallon electric hot water heater, pot belly wood stove, Warm Morning coal stove, Coleman fuel lantern, tooled leather cell phone holder, two compressed air tanks, old cement mixer, bicycles, TV antenna, old books, standing fan, gas weed eater, 15x20 new culvert, brand new fireplace tool set ($180 value), hand tools, nearly new composter, snow blower - PTO driven , backhoe, bumper pull 16' flatbed trailer, snowmobile, cattle head gate, 1975 HAL tandem axle 16' stock trailer and a 1970 Chevy C60 Dump truck-single axle (needs work).

Gift certificates that have been donated include $50 from Silver Dollar Liquor, car washes at Conoco West, $400 deer mount from Mountain Air Taxidermy, and a wash and vac from Auto Detail Shop.


Fight cancer with a team in Pagosa's Relay for Life

By Lori Unger

Special to the PREVIEW

The "Relay For Life" walk is a little more than a month away. It seems hard to believe another year has passed, but it really has.

You ask "What is Relay For Life?"

Relay For Life is an exciting community gathering in which everyone in Pagosa Springs can participate in the fight against cancer. Each team camps out at Town Park and members take turns walking (approximately one hour per member) from 7 p.m. June 24 to 9 a.m. June 25.

During this period there is so much happening - games, activities, awards, food and a lot of spirit. When the sun goes down, hundreds of luminaria light the way under the stars in remembrance of those lost to cancer, those fighting cancer and those who have fought cancer and won.

The luminaria lighting the night symbolize the hope with which we all continue to fight.

I'll bet there is not a person in Pagosa Springs who has not been affected by cancer in some way. Maybe your mother or father or even a brother or sister. What about aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews or a friend? It is so widespread it is hard not to have it affect you personally.

The relay is your connection to the support the American Cancer Society provides.

Through Relay, you will become more knowledgeable about cancer prevention and early detection. You will also learn more about the services available in Pagosa Springs for cancer patients and their families.

Last year 24 teams brought in $32,000 in donations - 62 percent of the total money donated from all sources.

Teams participating so far this year are: San Juan Outdoor Club, Pagosa Springs SUN, Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs, Ladies in Wading, Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, Community United Methodist Church, PLPOA, Archuleta County, Peak Physical Therapy, Knights of Columbus, Key Club, Kiwanis Club, Weight Watchers and Standing Mountain Yoga.

I want to put the challenge out to all of Pagosa Springs. Form a team by the end of May. To create the team you need to call me at 731-6740 for information and the Team Package.

Challenge a team that is already established and see who can raise the most money. This is important and it affects us all. Get involved today!


Historical museum open for season

Take a walk back in time at the San Juan Historical Society Museum where volunteers have worked for more than 30 years to preserve the area's history.

Hundreds of visitors enjoy exhibits depicting early-day life in Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. Among the treasures to be found are the old town fire department's water hose cart, a safe from an early lumber mill, quilts, desks from an early one-room school, a horsehide coat and a one-horse sleigh. Special exhibits include an early dentist's office, a general store, a front parlor, a country school room and a farming and ranching display.

The museum, located a short walk from downtown on the corner of U.S. 160 and 1st Street, is partially housed in the old waterworks building constructed by the WPA in 1938. In the 1970s, the society added a metal building to the front of the water works to provide additional display area.

Be sure to visit the newly expanded gift shop. Members have carefully selected items which may be of particular interest to visitors of Pagosa Country, including "Remembrances," a series of books, in its tenth year of publication, celebrating the people, places and history of Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area. The newest in the series, available for the first time this summer, is titled "A Woman's Work," featuring a look at some of he contributions by women to the settlement and growth of the area. The book series is compiled and published by the San Juan Historical Society, the nonprofit organization which also manages the museum itself. All proceeds from the sale of the books, and the nominal admission fee are used toward museum operating expenses.

The summer includes an arborglyph exhibit featuring photographs by Peggy Bergon of aspen tree carvings created by Hispanic sheepherders from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The photographs were collected from 1977 to present in the San Juan Mountains surrounding Pagosa Springs. Prints and cards will be available. The planned exhibit opening is 5-7 p.m. June 17, with the exhibit continuing through July 30.

Staff members are available to answer any question visitors may have. Memberships are available.

The museum opened for the season May 17 and will remain open until Labor Day, Tuesdays through Saturdays.


Local Chatter

Lisa Hartley: a musical human dynamo

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Lisa Hartley came to Pagosa Springs from Southern Illinois 18 years ago to teach band, chorus and general music in both the high school and junior high.

During those years, she has certainly made her mark.

She's a dynamo of a band and choral director. She hammers out and develops the musical talent of young Pagosans. As one of her fans says: "She belts out any vocal parts and brings forth untold musical talent - instrumental and vocal."

And, he adds, "She is a pillar of musical education in Archuleta County."

Lisa has directed the choruses, the bands and, in recent years, formed a choir. This year, a jazz band and her groups won awards.

The musicals she has created have put her before the general public. The latest - "Beauty and the Beast" - was incredible. Beautifully done and, in the eyes of some, as good as a professional performance.

The music department partners with the Music Boosters (as they did with "Beauty"). Lisa is on the Boosters board of directors.

The Music Boosters are now in rehearsal for performances of "Oklahoma" 7:30 p.m. July 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 in the high school auditorium.

Around town ...

The Sisson Library needs supplies for the Summer Reading Program. Oh yes, the program will go on in spite of the problem of small quarters in the undercroft of The Humane Society Thrift Store.

Barb Draper is in charge of the program. She needs small bottles of glue (Elmer's type), glue sticks, small boxes of Crayons, child size scissors (blunt and pointed), tissue paper (all colors), old costume jewelry and gem pieces that can be used to decorate royal crowns, etc.

Fun on the run ...

"It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it." - Sam Levenson, the great American humorist of the '50s and '60s.


Community Center News

Arts and crafts show set for May 28

By Mercy E. Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

Congratulations to all the seniors graduating Sunday, May 22, especially Kelli Ford and Jesse Morris. Kelli and Jesse both served as members of the Teen Center Advisory Board. Their ideas and recommendations were enlightening and we are grateful for their help and support.

I tried to get information on what their plans are after graduation but didn't have enough time. Since I'm attending the graduation ceremony, and Kelli's party, I'll gather more information about their plans in the near future. You just have to wait until next week. See you at the graduation ceremony and enjoy those parties. Congratulations again to both of you.

Pagosa Waldorf Initiative

This program is offering a free parenting study group, including childcare and snacks, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday in the community center. The study group will meet with Santa Fe early childhood teacher, Jill McCormick, presenting an interactive workshop demonstrating the importance of nature in the life of the developing child. The study group is open to all in the community. The Pagosa Waldorf Initiative is comprised of a group of dedicated parents and educators who are starting a Waldorf early childhood program for children ages 3-6 in September. For more information call Marianne or Edward at 731-3070.

Computer lab news

Did you know there are free programs out there which will scan your home computer for viruses and spyware?

Some PC magazines recommend running more than one virus program or more than one anti-spyware program - just to be on the safe side. Let me know if you need help setting these up. They're easy to download and install; and they are working well on the staff machines at the community center. Updating your definitions and keeping to a scanning schedule are the keys to successfully protecting your computer.

All of us are looking forward to the reopening of the Teen Center. Currently there are two older computers in that area. However, both are Windows 98 machines with inadequate memory and processor speeds. As you may realize, the demands on these PC's will be great - the kids like to (and are good at) working with images, music and animation - all that interactive stuff which won't work well (or at all) on the equipment that we currently have. We're asking for financial donations to purchase new computers or used computers in good condition which will allow us to provide a good computing experience for Pagosa's teens.

Previous highlights

I apologize for printing the wrong time schedule for a town sponsored meeting last week. Sorry about all the inconveniences and confusion resulting from the mistake.

Building Blocks 4 Health

The Food Tasting Party last week was quite a success. The attendees had so much fun tasting scrumptious food prepared by Cindy Hasselbach. Thank you, Cindy.

The food is loaded with vitamins and minerals, it's very satisfying and the weight loss is quick. This is a doctor-approved program, so a person can't go wrong. There were testimonials from Cindy, Pam and Kathee.

BB4H is a community center-sponsored program and it is for everyone. Come join this fun group, eat right and be healthy.

4-H Clover Buds

The class had its graduation exercises and received certificates of attendance from their energetic and vivacious teacher, Lisa Scott assisted by Saber Miller, mother of two kids in attendance. Some kids will move on to 4-H programs and some we'll see again next year - hopefully they will continue to use our facility. I had fun watching these young ones. They remind me of my 22 nieces and nephews, most of them living in the Philippines, with four in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in the Middle East. Great job, Lisa!

Upcoming events

Don't forget our Arts and Crafts Show May 28, 9 a.m. -4 p.m. Memorial Day weekend. The BB4H gang with the help of some of our volunteers will sell food, soda and water at this event. Doughnuts, nachos and chicken wraps are just a few items I know will be available. The center is providing free coffee for our vendors. So, don't worry about packing your lunch and snacks, we'll have them available for your convenience.

Our list is getting longer; we now have 31 vendors participating. There is a great array of arts and crafts such as paintings, jewelry, copper window charms, garden ornaments, stoneware tiles, painted wood pieces, scarves, purses, hats, candles, cabin crafts, leatherworks, stained glass, crochet dolls, skin care products, car fresheners, bath and body lotion, soaps, furniture, birdfeeders and many others. Make sure you come to this great event. This is an opportunity to shop for graduation and Father's Day gifts as well as for your holiday presents.

We are running out of space - only nine spots still available to fill our 7,000 square foot multipurpose room. Hurry, artists and crafters - call now to reserve your space. Assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Costs are $35 and $50 for an 8x8 or a 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.

Sing-A-Long update

The second annual Patriotic Sing-A-Long will be 7-9 p.m. Thursday, June 30.

Are you ready to party? Take the whole family and visiting guests to this delightful evening. Show your support and wear something with red, white and blue. This event is a prelude to the Fourth of July celebration. I am waiting for confirmation from two groups of singers, one from Bayfield and the second one from our community. Both are expected to entertain and lead the crowd to the sing-along part of this fun evening. Music sheets will be provided.

I also found a prospective emcee, whose name will be announced next week. Let us make this another successful event to celebrate our freedom and honor our veterans and all the men and women in active military duty. Watch for more information next week.

Activities this week

Today - Legal depositions, 2-4 p.m.; Pagosa Springs Area Board of Realtors, 1-5 p.m.; Tax Deferred Exchange class, 1-5 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

Friday, May 20 - Seniors Walking Program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; men's open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saturday, May 21 - Waldorf Parenting Study Group, 10 a.m.-noon.

Sunday, May 22 - 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 23 - Seniors Walking Program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Seniors Bridge Club, 12:30-4 p.m.; First-time Home Buyers class, 5-9 p.m.

Tuesday, May 24 - Seniors computer class, 10:30 a.m.-noon; Seniors Walking Program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Basic computing for everyone, 1-4 p.m.; PSAC board meeting, 5-7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 25 - Pagosa Brat Play Group, 10 a.m.-noon' Wednesday Bridge Club. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, May 26 - Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

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

The center is a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition (PSPFC) 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, a portable stage, a dance floor and audio visual equipment are available too. The center is at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.


Senior News

Archuleta Seniors Inc. offers many benefits

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnistt

While membership is not required at The Den, there is another great organization we work very closely with, Archuleta Seniors, Inc.

This organization serves as the local council on aging and makes recommendations to the senior services office. Archuleta Seniors Inc. has a membership fee of just $3 for the calendar year with over 20 great local discounts offered exclusively to their members. You must be 55 or older to join or be the spouse of someone 55 or older who is also a member. For those who qualify, there is also a scholarship available for eye glasses, dental and prescription assistance.

Throughout the year Archuleta Seniors, Inc. works in conjunction with the Den in an effort to provide services, outings and events to the 55-plus community. If you haven't already joined or renewed your membership give The Den a call at 264-2167 to find out the hours you can come in to join.

If you would prefer to mail your membership, please send us your name, address, date of birth and phone number to the Silver Foxes Den, PO Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, Co. 81147, please include a check for three dollars made payable to Archuleta Seniors, Inc. and a self addressed stamped envelope.

Garden needs help

We haven't had much of a response on this one, but we know you are out there Š

We have a small garden area needing your help. We need a number of green thumbs to maintain the garden, plant, etc. At this point 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.

Free movie day

This month our free movie is "Sea Biscuit." This movie is rated PG-13 and is a true story of the undersized depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the three-man team behind it, but also those of the nation as well. This excellent award winning film will be shown in the lounge with free popcorn. Join us 1 p.m. Friday.

Legal services

Arthur Jacobs, from Colorado Legal Services, is contracted with the Area Agency on Aging and provides legal services free of charge to seniors.

Arthur will give a presentation on the certain services offered to seniors 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 24 in The Den. Come on in and get informed on the assistance is available to you.

Pin Day

We have declared Friday, May 27 as Pin Day! Wear all of those special pins you have collected over the years and celebrate all of the memories they represent.

May birthdays

We will be celebrating May birthdays on the 27th. If you are celebrating a birthday in May join us for a great meal along with birthday cake. For those of you who are 60-plus, Archuleta Seniors, Inc. has discounted your meal to $1. What a deal!

Polo and T-shirts

Our new summer shirts are in. Show your pride and order one of these sporty shirts today. We have two polo shirts to choose from, an indigo blue polo with our logo for $17 and a white polo with a pocket and logo for $19. We now have T-shirts available in indigo blue with our logo for $15 and on sale are the imprinted T-shirts for just $8.

Home Chore

Through our funding sources we are able to offer Home Chore Services to those folks who are 60 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.

Activities at a glance

Friday, May 20 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; free movie, "Sea Biscuit,"

Monday, May 23 - Medicare and drug card counseling, 11 a.m.-1p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun 1 p.m. all levels welcome.

Tuesday, May 24 - Yoga in Motion, 9:30 a.m.; basic computer instruction, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; Legal Services for Seniors with Arthur Jacobs, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 25 - Canasta, 1 p.m.

Friday, May 26 - Qi Gong 10 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; Celebrate May birthdays, noon; pin day.


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

Salad bar every day, 11:30 a.m.

Friday, May 20 - Chicken with rice, vegetable blend, peaches and roll.

Monday, May 23 - Chicken stew with vegetables, corn bread and cake with blueberry topping.

Tuesday, May 24 - Tuna melt on an English muffin, broccoli soup and mixed fruit.

Wednesday, May 25 - Enchilada beef pie, Mexicorn and pears.

Friday, May 27 - Lasagna, Italian green beans, garlic roll and spiced applesauce.


Veteran's Corner

Father loses his final battle

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

I apologize to all my Archuleta County veterans that I was not available in the office for the preceding two weeks. I was scheduled for a few days vacation when I was suddenly called by my mother and informed my dad had been taken to Intensive Care Unit at the VA Hospital in our hometown Roseburg, Ore. I had to make a unexpected, rushed trip to Oregon for these reasons.

Last battle

As I recently wrote, my dad, Sgt. Floyd Andrus, was a World War II veteran of the Army Infantry Paratroopers. He survived the D-Day invasion, Battle of the Bulge and final assault on the German homeland. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to survive a brief bout with pneumonia and he died May 7. My mom and I were there holding his hand at the end. He would have been 90 years old July 3.

VAHC travel benefits

I had the opportunity between flights for a brief visit at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center to get my new VA ID card. I came across the following information I thought would be of interest to my readers regarding VAHC travel policies.

If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible for VA travel benefits associated with obtaining VA health care services. In most cases, travel benefits are subject to a deductible. Exceptions to the deductible requirement are:

1) travel for a compensation and pension examination; and

2) travel by an ambulance or a specially equipped van.


You may qualify for travel benefits if:

a) you have a service-connected rating of 30 percent or more;

b) you are traveling for treatment of a service-connected condition;

c) you receive a VA pension;

d) you are traveling for a scheduled compensation or pension examination;

e) your income does not exceed the maximum annual VA pension rate;

f) your medical condition requires an ambulance or a specially equipped van, you are unable to defray the cost, and the travel is pre-authorized (authorization is not required for emergencies if a delay would be hazardous to life or health).

Mileage rate

The mileage rate for general patient travel is 11 cents per mile. Scheduled appointments qualify for round-trip mileage; unscheduled visits are limited to return mileage only.

VA Directed Travel is paid at a rate of 17 cents per mile for authorized travel associated with VA's request for a reexamination of a veteran following an initial Compensation and Pension examination.


The deductible is $3 for each one-way trip and $6 for each round trip. This is subject to a monthly deductible cap of $18. Upon reaching $18 in deductibles, travel payments made for the balance of that particular month will be free of deductible charges.


Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the "Share-A-Ride program. Help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction to the same VA facility. Give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where, to coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits, call or stop by the Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. Office numbers are 264-8375, fax 264-8376, e-mail The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

Library News

'Dragons, dreams and daring deeds' summer reading theme

By Barb Draper

PREVIEW Columnist

Kids, what are you doing for summer vacation?

Parents, what activities have you planned for your children this summer?

The end of the school year is always a signal for a very special time at the library - the annual Summer Reading Program. Children of all ages are invited on fantastic adventures of "Dragons, Dreams, and Daring Deeds," from June 6 to July 12.

Story and activity hours will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and Friday. Participants need not attend all sessions - we know summer schedules get busy in Pagosa, and we just want the kids to take advantage of as many of the activities as they can work into their schedules.

Since we have limited indoor floor space, all the activities will be held outside, on the baseball diamond across from Town Park. This is a perfect location for learning about knights and castles, juggling, meeting dragons and unicorns, having a photo taken with a dragon, going on a dragon egg hunt, learning games of the royal realm, making crafts, hearing stories and more. The final event for this year will be a "Kids Renaissance Festival" complete with jugglers, fortune tellers, games, contests, food, prizes and surprises.

Did you know reading with very young children can instill a love and curiosity for books even before they are talking or able to recognize words in print?

Did you know that if your kids don't read over summer vacation they can lose a lot of the skills they worked so hard to learn during the past school year?

Did you know that children who become active pleasure readers can expand their world, their interests, and their knowledge without ever leaving Pagosa Springs?

The fairy tale characters, the knights, the dragons, the jesters and the other characters the children will meet in our stories will surely get them excited about reading.

Preregistration for the program is going on right now at the mini library. You can register early this year to avoid the rush on the first day of the program. Then, a book bag with a calendar of events, a reading log and guidelines for the program will be available for pickup at the first story day - Tuesday, June 7, at 10:30 a.m. (At the time I am writing this, 43 children have already signed up.)

We are looking for teen and adult volunteers who can help us. It will take at least six helpers to adequately carry out all the activities that have been planned for each session. Do you ... Enjoy reading or telling stories? Like to work with puppets? Help with simple craft projects? Lead and play games? Play a musical instrument? Like to do face painting? Have a renaissance related skill you'd like to share? Just like to have fun and be outside with some great kids? Please, give me a call at the library (264-2209) or at home (731-9979). You'll be amazed at how much fun the Pagosa Kids are to work with!

And, one final note - here is a chance to clean out some items you might have around your house that you no longer use that would be great for some of our projects - do you have old costume jewelry, beads, crayons markers or paints, scissors, felt, craft ribbon of all widths, dowels, buttons, pipe cleaners, fabric trim such as rick-rack and lace, tissue paper of all colors, stickers, stick-on stars, etc.?

If you'd like to find a welcoming home for any such items, there is a box just inside the door of the mini library where you can drop them off. When the Summer Reading budget doesn't have to be used for items such as these I can purchase more books to give the children as rewards for reading!

Thanks to all of you for being so generous to our library programs.


Arts Line

Calendar exhibit up through May

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

The 13 images (12 months and cover artwork) for the Pagosa Country annual scenic calendar were announced at the gallery opening reception May 5.

Artwork exhibited included photography, oil, fabric art, watercolor and mixed media. Chosen artists were Bruce Andersen, Cover and September; J.D. Kurz, January and October; Jan Brookshier, February; Sabine Baeckmann-Elge, March; Jeanine Malaney, April; Jeff Laydon, May; Ginnie Bartlett, June; Claire Goldrick, July and November; Barbara Rosner, August; and Tom Lockhart, December. The exhibit will show through the end of May, so if you couldn't attend the reception stop by the gallery 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The 2006 calendars will be available for purchase through the Arts Council beginning in June at $9.95 plus tax for nonmembers and $8.95 plus tax for members. This is the first season of an annual Pagosa Country Scenic calendar.

Auditions for local kids

The Peter and the Wolf Players will hold auditions for "Peter and the Wolf" 6-8 p.m. May 23, in the high school band room. Kids ages 8-11 are eligible and should choose an animal to imitate for about one minute - be prepared to crawl, eat, stretch, hunt, pounce, run, etc. like that animal.

The performance will be 11 a.m. July 28 with the Music in the Mountains Orchestra in Town Park. There will be six rehearsals during the July 11-July 28. Contact Felicia Meyer 264-6028 or Melinda Baum 264-5404.

Watercolor workshop

Watercolorists, reserve June 8-10 for the next workshop by Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett, continuing their successful series of watercolor workshops, Basics I and Basics II, and Intermediate I.

The Intermediate I workshop will build on knowledge gained in the two previous levels with emphasis on painting from your own photographs and putting people in your paintings in the correct proportion and scale.

There will be the usual informative handouts at the lectures followed by hands-on painting every day, incorporating the ideas presented in the lecture.

If you have been painting for some time but have not taken Basic I and Basic II and think you could benefit from this Intermediate class, call Denny (731-6113) or Ginnie (731-2489) to discuss your enrollment.

Classes will be 9 a.m-3:30 p.m. in the community center. Supply lists will be furnished when you register and will likely include what has been used in the previous workshops. Cost will be $130 for non- PSAC members and $123.50 for members.

Contact the Pagosa Springs Arts Council at 264-5020 to register or drop by during regular gallery hours.

Arts Council workshops

The council sponsors and manages workshops in the arts and crafts space at the community center. From the outset, the council has been a partner and supporter of the community 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 and watercolor clubs and serves as a meeting location for various other groups.

If you are interested in teaching a workshop or class, please secure a workshop application form at the gallery (264-5020) or download the form from 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 council's mailing address is: P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, Co., 81147 or e-mail (

PSAC calendar

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

May 5-31 - Calendar exhibit in the gallery.

June 2-29 - Adrienne Haskamp, Jeanine Malaney and Randall Davis exhibit in the gallery.

June 8-10 - Intermediate Watercolor Workshop, Ginnie and Denny, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; $123.50 PSAC members, $130 nonmembers.

June 18 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35 .

June 23 - PSAC annual meeting.

July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, courtesy of the Pagosa SUN. For inclusion in Arts line, send information to PSAC e-mail ( We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Arts line. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.


Extension Viewpoints

Make half your grains whole!

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

May 19 - Quilting Project meeting, 4 p.m.

May 20 - Rabbit Project meeting, 2 p.m.; Entomology Project meeting, 2 p.m.; Poultry Project meeting, 3:15 p.m.

May 23 - Shooting Sports — Group B at Ski & Bow Rack, 4 p.m.; Sportfishing Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.; Red Ryder Rodeo Queen Royalty meeting, 7 p.m.

May 24 - Outdoor Cooking Project meeting at Methodist Church, 4 p.m.; Swine Project meeting, 6 p.m.

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

Make half your grains whole!

That's the latest advice for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More specifically, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommends that we eat at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta each day. One ounce is about one slice of bread, a cup of breakfast cereal or 1/3 cup of cooked rice or pasta.

Why whole grains, and how do you know if your favorite bread or cereal counts?

Why whole grains? Whole grains are power-packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals - plant compounds that help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases and ailments. For starters, whole-grain foods are a great way to boost both your soluble and insoluble fiber intakes that often are lacking in American diets. Foods containing insoluble fiber may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancers, including colon and breast cancer.

Secondly, consuming a diet rich in whole grains has been associated with reducing one's risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Metabolic syndrome is a condition marked by a combination of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation, low HDL "good" cholesterol and high blood fats, all of which lead to increased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

In a recent study with more than 2,800 volunteers at Tufts University, those who ate at least three or more servings of whole-grain foods each day were least likely to have metabolic syndrome.

If this isn't reason enough, focusing on whole grains may help with weight management. Because whole-grain foods are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates and low in fat, they are more likely to fill you up, not out. This assumes, of course, that you go lightly on the added oils, butter, margarine, sugars and syrups.

How do you know it's a whole grain? This can be tricky. The food industry is working to bring more whole-grain products to supermarket shelves, but the majority of the breads and cereals sold today are still made with refined flours. All grains are considered whole before they are milled or refined. That is, they contain all the original components of the grain: the bran, the endosperm and the germ.

When grains are milled, the germ and bran often are removed, leaving the starchy endosperm. When you enjoy white rice or foods made with white flour, it's the endosperm you're eating. This is the largest part of the grain and contains mostly carbohydrates and protein, with only small amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber present. The bran is the outer layer of the grain. It's rich in fiber, phytochemicals, B-vitamins and trace minerals. The germ is the smallest part of the grain. It is packed with antioxidants, B-vitamins and vitamin E, in addition to some protein.

Examples of whole grain foods include most cooked cereals, like oatmeal, bulgar, quinoa and barley, brown rice, wild rice, whole-grain pasta, popcorn and some breads, rolls, pancake mixes and ready-to-eat cereals.

For packaged foods, the key is to check the ingredient list on the label. The first ingredient (and sometimes the second) should be labeled as "whole grain," such as whole-grain oats and whole-grain rice, or whole wheat such as whole-wheat flour. Also check out the grams of dietary fiber provided per serving. If the product provides at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving, it's considered a good source of fiber and can make that claim on the front of the package. If it makes a whole-grain health claim on the front of the package, it must contain at least 52 percent whole-grain ingredients by weight.

Do be aware of some tricks of the trade used to help make a product sound "healthy." The term "multi-grain" only means that the product contains more than one grain. "Stone-ground" is a technique for grinding grains. Molasses or food coloring are sometimes added to make white bread look brown. And the term "wheat" only means the product is made with wheat. Look for the word "whole" for the rest of the story.

Bindweed management

The Archuleta County Extension Office will be receiving 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

Annual PLPOA garage sale scheduled June 18

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnistß

How to turn your trash into cash ?

Garage sale!

PLPOA will hold an association-approved garage sale for members Saturday, June 18. The sale will start 9 a.m. and continue to 1 p.m., weather permitting, on the grounds outside the recreation center.

PLPOA will supply tables for our sale items but since the inventory is not limitless, you may wish to bring a couple of your own card tables for additional display surfaces.

If you're interested in joining this community garage sale, call Gloria in the PLPOA administrative office at 731-5635 to reserve a table and space. There is no charge as this is a service provided for PLPOA by its members.

Have you checked out the PLPOA Web site? Log on at to obtain general information about your homeowners' association and to download application forms for various permits and for special events, like the Pagosa Lakes Triathlon and perch fishing tournaments, etc.

Summer pool hours at the recreation center will be in effect starting Monday, May 23. Open swim will begin at noon Monday through Friday as the morning hours have been filled with water exercise classes, swim team training, swim lessons and lap swim.

Lap swim is also available in the afternoon and evening - with reservations. The next three months will be extremely busy at the recreation center and it will help if you use the facility with the mind set of enjoying the energy - and the noise.

The Pagosa Lakes Porpoises will hold a fund-raising Swim-a-Thon 4-6 p.m. Thursday, May 26 at the recreation center. All the swimmers will be pounding the pavement to collect pledges for either a flat event donation or a per-lap pledge. The number of laps will be capped at 108, the equivalent of three miles.

Be warned: If you pledge $5 per lap you will most likely be asked to write a check for $540 at the end of the event; these little people are not called "Porpoises" for nothing. Give them your support, a pat on the back and tons of encouragement.

School is out today. Summer vacation. Are you ready? Swim lessons at the recreation center will start Monday with a total of six, two-week sessions lasting through mid-August.

With graduation this Sunday, let me share the following summary of a speech by Bill Gates to the graduating class of Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia, Calif.

He advised the students about 11 things they may not have learned in school:

"Rule 1 - Life is not fair, so get used to it.

"Rule 2 - The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself

"Rule 3 - You will not make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

"Rule 4 - If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

"Rule 5 - Flipping hamburgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping: They called it opportunity.

"Rule 6 - If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes; learn from them.

"Rule 7 - Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So, before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

"Rule 8 - Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

"Rule 9 - Life isn't divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find your self. Do that on your own time.

"Rule 10 - Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shops and go to jobs.

"Rule 11 - Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

"Congratulations to each and every student graduating in the chaos of 2005. Set forth and be a dreamer, a doer, a striver and a seeker.

"God bless all of you."



Gabriel Michael Gallegos

Alyssa, Tianna and Rheanna Gallegos, left to right, were happy to welcome home little brother Gabriel Michael on Feb. 16. Proud parents are Chris and Jessica Gallegos of Pagosa Springs. Extraordinary grandparents are Chris and Darlene Gallegos and Scott and Valerie Quick of Pagosa Springs. Numerous aunts, uncles and cousins also celebrated the new addition to the family.




Eddie Dyer

Eddie Dyer, 54, husband of the former Cindy Smith of Pagosa Springs, died Saturday, May 14 in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Survivors in addition to his wife include a sister-in-law, Kim Rosman of Pagosa Springs.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 21, in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.


Earl Hise

Earl Hise, a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher 1968-1984 in Pagosa Springs, who was awarded a Purple Heart in World War II, died May 15 in Runningbird Draw Care Center in Olton, Texas.

Born Feb. 23, 1925 in Falfurrias, Texas, he was united in marriage June 21, 1952, in Klondike, Texas, with Iola Richards who survives.

Also surviving are two sons, Raymond and Glenn Hise of Aztec, N.M.; a daughter, Leeona Garlitz, of Olton; two brothers, Lynn Hise of Granbury, Texas, and Ross Hise of Austin, Texas; and a sister, Martha, of Falfurrias; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Vivian Grundy, in March, 2004, and by two brothers.

Funeral services were planned May 18 in First Baptist Church of Olton with the Rev. Tracey Holcomb officiating, with burial to follow in Olton Cemetery.

Mr. Hise had lived in Olton since 2005, having moved there from Burnett, Texas. He loved golf and was choir director for many churches he attended throughout his adult years.

The family asks that memorials be made to The Gideons.


Anna Alice Seavy

Anna Alice Seavy, our gracious loving mother, grandmother, aunt, and teacher, passed peacefully to her Heavenly Home, Monday, May 9, 2005.

She was born Sept. 24, 1913, in Pagosa Springs, to Mary and Stephen Foertsch, ranching pioneers of the area.

Ann leaves behind her daughter, Hazel Anderson; granddaughters, Tawnya Yarbro and husband, Nathan, and Stephanie Anderson all of Bloomfield; grandsons, Millard Jacobson, also of Bloomfield, Shawn Jacobson and wife, Sarah, of Durango, Dane Anderson and wife, Misty, of Aztec, and Trent Anderson of Dallas, Texas; 16 great-grandchildren, Riley, Emilee and Oren Bates, Daniel and David Jacobson, Tiawna Shenafield, Kyler Jacobson-McKee, Cameron Dotter, Caitlin and Lakyn Anderson, Kegan, Ileigh, Quinlin, Donagan and Rohan Anderson, and Megan Roundy; five nieces and one nephew, all of whom she loved dearly.

Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Millard Seavy; daughter, Peggy Jacobson; and granddaughter, Rachelle Nyfeler.

Ann graduated from the old Fort Lewis College at age 18. She taught school and ranched 26 years in the Pagosa Springs area, before moving to Portland, Ore., where she taught three years. Then Ann moved to New Mexico and taught in Bloomfield for 24 years.

During this time, Ann initiated the San Juan County Science Fair program.

Ann and her friend, Shirley De Witt, started the public lending library in Bloomfield in 1991. Ann was also a volunteer story reader to preschool children and friend of the public library of Bloomfield.

Ann officially retired from teaching in 1984 after 53 years of service. When any of Ann's former students speak of her, they always say, "She was my favorite teacher."

She was loved and admired by all who knew her. She was a pillar of strength and model of virtue to her beloved family and many friends. She left this world a far better place, and will be forever missed.

Please join her family and friends in a celebration of her life at the Bloomfield High School auditorium 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21.

Everyone is welcome to come share memories and anecdotes about Ann.

Correspondence may be mailed to 417 Jordan St., Bloomfield, NM 87413.

Contact phone numbers are (505) 632-2521 or (505) 634-1075.


Ernest L. Zellner

Ernest (Ernie) Lee Zellner, a resident of Bayfield, Colo., passed away at Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City on Sunday, May 8, 2005; he was surrounded by his loving family.

Ernie was born in Spearman, Texas, Aug. 17, 1947, to Herman D. and Mary (DeGraff) Zellner.

He moved to Bayfield in 1950 when his father became Bayfield Town Marshal. He attended school in Bayfield where he was very active in sports - some will remember him by his nickname, "Muzzy." He was especially proud that his team went to the basketball state championship in 1964 and that his parents were able to attend, because his mother passed away suddenly after returning from the games.

Ernie was married to Joyce Arthur in 1972 in Del City, Okla., and they made their home in Holdenville, Okla. He worked as parts manager for John Gibbs Motor Co., until forced to retire due to failing health.

Ernie was a very loving, gentle man who loved his family and friends very much. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and loved to be surrounded by his family, recalling family stories and enjoying each other. He will always be remembered with a smile when they get together.

Ernie is survived by his wife of 33 years, Joyce Zellner of the family home; seven children, Gwenda Williams, Katrina Pickett and husband Dennis, Gary Skeen and wife Shawna, Chad Skeen and wife Pam, LaDonna Pinion and husband Paul, Cory Zellner and wife Tara, all of Holdenville; 16 grandchildren; four sisters, Linda Daley of Durango, Debbie Clark of Alamosa, Connie Johnson of Pagosa Springs, and Margaret Cox in Texas; numerous nieces and nephews, many friends, and his faithful dog, Gismo.

A memorial service was held in Holdenville Saturday May 14, 2005, with Rev. Larry Chesser officiating. A celebration of Ernie's life will be held by his sisters later this summer in Bayfield.

Business News

Chamber News

Travel writers group will visit Sunday

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Do you know how beautiful Pagosa is? Of course you do, you live here!

There are those people out there who would also like to experience the beauty of Pagosa, and they find out how to do this through the articles of travel writers.

I attended the annual conference of North American Travel Journalists Tuesday in Santa Fe. I hosted two booths on behalf of Pagosa and the Southwest Colorado Travel Region. Paula Miser with The Springs Resort was also a great ambassador for our community as she manned the Pagosa booth with me.

There will be many activities occurring in 2006 in southwest Colorado. It will be the 100th anniversary of Mesa Verde, the 125th anniversary of the Durango/Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and, of course, the peak of the Lunar Standstill at Chimney Rock. Since tourism is currently our main source of income in this community, we are actively trying to promote interest in southwest Colorado and Pagosa in particular. If people are coming out to see Mesa Verde and Durango with all their events, why not drive just a little east and see a part of Colorado that is more beautiful, has better hot springs and offers a friendly community filled with activities.

In addition to this promotional trip to Santa Fe, we'll host a group of travel writers coming through Pagosa Sunday. This trip was set up by the state tourism office to promote tourism in Colorado.

This particular group is touring the southwest sector of the state and will include writers from the Los Angeles Times, Fodor's Travel Publications, Essence Magazine, Family & Senior Times (a AAA publication) and Seattle area publications.

Although their stay will be brief, I have no doubt we will bowl them over with our beautiful scenery and the fabulous places where they will be staying and eating.

I would like to thank the following businesses for assisting us in entertaining these writers: The Springs Resort, JJ's Upstream, Victoria's Parlor, Twin Hearts Express, The Choke Cherry Tree and KK Paddywhacks. We will continue to work with special groups so if any business is interested in working with us to supply rooms, food, or local thank-you gifts, give me a call. I will be happy to promote your business when possible. Just think of it as another way to advertise. And, many times, you can't buy this kind of exposure!

As with the group from the Dinosaur Area Visitor Center we just hosted, I know we will stand out in their minds as the prettiest place with the friendliest people in the state.

Thanks again to all who make these trips happen successfully for our community.

In true Pagosa hospitality style, we will be the refreshing point for the World Harmony Run participants passing through Pagosa about 10 a.m. Friday, May 27. This 11,000 mile run fostering friendship and understanding in the world started in New York City April 16 and will end in that city Aug. 14. A group of 8 - 10 runners will be hosted by the Town of Pagosa Springs and the Chamber of Commerce in Town Park where they'll be served light snacks and drinks to fuel them for their next leg to Durango.

World Harmony Run participants encourage adults and children to visit them in Town Park to hear stories of their travels. If you would like to bring your families to the park, and if you would even like to run a few miles with the runners, or if you would just like to line Pagosa Street to cheer them on as they pass through town, you are welcome to do.

We have so much to be proud of in this community. I encourage you to show your pride in any of the events the Chamber tries to promote on behalf of this great town.

I also need to thank the following businesses which opened their doors to the Chamber Diplomats last week during orientation workshops: The Lodge at Keyah Grande, Trophy Classic Taxidermy, The Choke Cherry Tree, Mountain Snapshots and Imaging Center, Wings over Pagosa at the Airport, the Branding Iron, The Springs Resort, San Juan Historical Society and Museum, Pagosa Ranger District, Slices of Nature, High Point Primitives and Sonlight Christian Camp.

While we would like to tour all the businesses and the Diplomats would like to see all the businesses, it is not possible. If you are new or have changed something about your business, please give us a call and if we can add you onto the tour for next year, we would be happy to do so. It's never too early to start planning.

Hanging baskets

Don't forget the Chamber is now taking orders for the beautiful hanging baskets we order and deliver every year to homes or businesses. These 12-inch baskets filled with flowers planted with southwestern Colorado weather conditions in mind come pre-fertilized, have room for the flowers to grow even more beautiful over the summer, and will have more fertilizer delivered with them so that you can watch your flower basket bloom over the season.

The baskets are $25 each and will be delivered to your door by a Chamber staff or board member. You can't beat that service! The only thing we don't do for you is water the plants. Only a certain number of baskets are ordered, so don't miss out on the opportunity to beautify your portion of Pagosa. If you have misplaced the form we sent out, just give us a call at the Chamber at 264-2360 and any one of us will take your flower order. I just can't wait until the beginning of June when I can see all these colorful flowers enhancing our community.

Memorial Day activities

I'm giving you a week's notice on upcoming activities so you can plan accordingly, and I'm sure many have visitors coming into town. It is the kickoff for summer and if a full calendar is any indication, the summer will be a busy one.

Let's start off with the concert "Kaleidoscope: A Spectrum of Sound for all Ages" in the high school auditorium Friday, May 27. This benefit to support the arts in our schools will have performing local talent like Rio Jazz, the Hot Biscuits, and Bluegrass Cadillac. The community jazz choir will also dazzle us with their music and there will be showstopper encore performances from various musical productions that have been performed throughout the years like "Fame," "Fiddler on the Roof," and this year's hit "Beauty and the Beast." What a great evening this looks to be. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and may be purchased at the Chamber, The Plaid Pony or at the door.

Show you care that arts remain in our schools and have a great evening showing support. Should you have any questions, call Melinda Baum at 264-5404.

On Saturday, May 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., you can attend the community center's Spring Arts and Crafts Show. There will be lots of craft items so you can shop for a friend. If you are an artisan and would like to display your wares, call the community center at 264-4152 for more information on the price and size of the booths.

We have Pagosa Springs Fiber Fest May 26-29, an event getting bigger and better every year. This year classes start May 26 and continue the next day. Classes include spinning, weaving, crocheting, knitting, embroidery and more. There will also be demonstrations throughout the fair on these topics as well as felting hats, Navajo weaving, dyeing, and loom making.

This event provides farmers raising fiber producing animals a venue to show their animals and their products. You will be able to see sheep, angora goats, alpacas and llamas. The main part of the event is Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29, at Archuleta County Fairgrounds. The fair peaks Sunday with a Navajo rug auction, 5-9 p.m. There will be over 200 rugs available for your bidding pleasure. This is a great coup for this area to have rugs of this caliber at the festival. Don't miss your chance to acquire a piece of art. There is a charge for the classes, but admission to the fair is free, so there is no reason not to take the whole family out for a great day or two of activities.

More Memorial activities

If you can't stay in town because Memorial Day weekend constitutes the beginning of summer and therefore travel, let me give you some suggestions of activities to do in this region.

Creede will host the annual Mountain Man days May 27-30 along with the Taste of Creede Fine Arts Festival May 28-29 with live street music, fine arts auction, and culinary treats.

Mesa Verde Country will have its Indian Arts and Western Culture Festival starting May 27 and continuing through June 5. There will be a juried Indian art market May 28-29, a Navajo rug auction May 28, the outdoor drama "Black Shawl" May 27-31 and the 116th Ute Mountain Ute Bear Dance June 4-5. For a complete schedule call (970) 565-8227.

If there isn't enough for you here in Pagosa Country, visit some of our neighbors and enjoy southwestern Colorado.


I'm happy to see we have some new members this week at the Chamber.

First on our list is Wild Spirit Gallery, which will be located at 408 San Juan St. The gallery will be run by Ken Patterson and Kent Gordon who are working to create southwest Colorado's premier fine art gallery where a collection of bronzes, paintings and other fine art will be exhibited. Stay tuned so that we can tell you when they open. Should you have any questions for the gallery, give them a call at 264-9453. And we also thank Karen Cox for recruiting Wild Spirit Gallery to our family of members.

You just thought that you wouldn't see Karen Cox any more, but happily, here she is again with her reborn custom framing shop: Taminah Custom Framing, now at 2343 Eagle Dr. They still offer expert custom picture framing services to individuals, interior designers, businesses and real estate offices. Give them a call at 731-4484 to have that special art piece shown off.

Now here is a very interesting new business housed here in Pagosa Springs: Wing and a PR-Air. This business offers reasonably priced membership through an international association dedicated to providing life saving emergency air lift services from home, while traveling or on or off the job. Often, your insurance does not provide for this kind of service. Check on your insurance coverage and then give Neil Gundelach a call at 264-5037 to find out more. One hopes you will never need this kind of emergency service, but if you travel frequently or are away from medical services, this may be a great membership plan for you.

Just in time for the Pagosa Springs Fiber Fest is Navajo Lake Alpacas at 1060 County Road 329 in Ignacio. Jim and Lois Burbach offer everything alpaca: sales, breeding, and boarding. They also have beautiful and luxurious hand-crafted hats, sweaters, scarves, vests and more and they offer personalized felting and knitting classes. You may also schedule a ranch tour to see the beautiful animals. See them at Fiber Fest or give them a call at (970) 883-3635. Keep in mind this is a great and different way to entertain visitors to our area.

Welcome back to James Watkins and Silver Creek Custom Homes, Bello Lago Villa and Cottage, Pagosa Springs Enterprises, Durango-based Mild to Wild, Curves for Women and The Springs Resort and Springs Resort Hotel.

I have one more business update for everyone. Now you can enjoy the good food that Victoria's Parlor offers during the day, at night! On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays Victoria's Parlor will be open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. They now also offer beer and wine to complement your lunch or dinner.

Speaking of graduation, I would like to congratulate the grads of 2005 and their parents - did you think the day would ever come? I know many of the students and it is always my pleasure to be associated with them in all their activities whether sports, arts or studies. Good luck to all Sunday, May 22, and in the future. Journey on!

Thank you to all that have passed on comments about activities that I am involved with or that you have read about. I always appreciate your perspective and feedback. Don't stop! Welcome also to the Chamber Diplomats. You are lifesavers.


Biz Briefs

PCC begins summer, fall registration

Registration is now underway at Pueblo Community College Southwest Center for the upcoming summer and fall semesters.

A wide range of day and evening courses are available. You may register for a single course or begin a program of study leading to an associate of arts, associate of science or degrees in early childhood, nursing or business. Applications for the fall part-time evening Police Academy are being accepted. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

To register for classes, or learn more about the offerings at PCC's Southwest Center call Cortez at (970) 565-7496 or Durango at 247-2929, or visit


Kinder Morgan installing mobile

meter reading

Kinder Morgan Inc., as part of a plan to reduce costs and increase efficiency, has begun installing Automatic Meter Reading in the Pagosa Springs area.

The installation process is expected to take about six weeks, with crews working 7 a.m.-dusk.

The project involves adding Encoder Receiver Transmitter units to 250,000 meters in the firm's three-state area.

Utilizing the new technology will enable Kinder Morgan field personnel to read meters faster, allowing them to devote more time and skills to serving customers.

"One of Kinder Morgan's key concerns has been employee safety," said Doug Whitefoot, vice president of retail operations. "Implementation of AMR will reduce our service technician's exposure to dog bites, falls and other accidents. The service will be more efficient, but more importantly, will allow us to better protect our employees."

The increased efficiency and improved customer service is not expected to impact customers' natural gas bills. In addition, most customer's service will not be interrupted to complete the equipment upgrade.


Biz Beat

Mountain Snapshots

Scott and Kathy Allen own and operate Mountain Snapshots and are among the four imaging specialists at the business.

Mountain Snapshots recently moved to a new home in the Corner Stones Building at 189 Talisman Drive. It is a contemporary imaging center specializing in premium printing - wallet to poster size - from a variety of media including digital, film and flat art. The staff does restorations, graphics and reproductions, and offers custom photography services at the in-house studio or on site (passports, family, children, weddings, special occasions).

Get an old-time portrait taken - there are more than 150 outfits from which to choose. In addition, retail offerings include a large array of frames and photo accessories, with custom matting and framing available.

Mountain Snapshots is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 9-4. Call 731-4511.


Cards of Thanks
Husbands vital

The Post Prom Committee would like to thank not only all the sponsors listed in our ad last week, but to send a big thank you to all the husbands who helped us set up, take down and do whatever we asked of them to make the party a success.

Thank you!

Lynn Johnson, Brenda Magner, Terri Matzdorf, Rhoda West, Angie Dahm, Joanne Irons and Mercy Korsgren

 Rafting event

Big Brother Big Sisters would like to extend a special thank you for grant funds donated by El Pomar Youth in Community Service. The funds defrayed the cost of a special monthly outing - rafting - for the Little Brothers Little Sisters. And thanks go to Wilderness Journeys for the discount rate.

Dearle Ann Ricker

 Monuments ready

A special thanks to Rick Girardin, Ronnie Willett, Dale Miller, Julian Archuleta, John Archuleta and John's friend for their muscle and special care in laying two stone monuments to World War I and World War II veterans at Hilltop Cemetery last Saturday.

A big thank you to Jim Huffman, Ron Gustafson group, Fred and Annette Uehling, Dolly Miller, Ike Archuleta, Bruce Muirhead and Bob Henley for picking up trash along the highway. What a special group we have. I'm proud to work with each and all of you.

Carmen Miller, Commander

American Legion Post 108





Patrick Randell Rascoe, of Jacksonville, Fla., son of Troy and Marie Rascoe of Pagosa Springs and April Ann Davis, of Jacksonville, daughter of Steve and T.J. Davis of Dalton, Ga., plan to wed in Jacksonville Sunday, May 29, 2005. Patrick is Southeast Division logistics manager for National Freight, Inc. He is a graduate of Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, La. April is a nutrition advisor for Morrison's Food Services. She graduated David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., and received her master's degree from East Tennessee University, Johnson City, Tenn. The couple will reside in Jacksonville.



Celebrating 25 years of marriage on May 14, 2005, are Steve and Nina Schwandt. Nina is the daughter of Sam and Margie Martinez, and Steve is the son of Harvey and Marilyn Schwandt. Both are graduates of Pagosa Springs High School and are currently living and working in Germany.



Audrey Miller wins scholarship

Performance Associates is pleased to announce Audrey Miller is the 2005 recipient of its Self-Reliance Scholarship.

The $5,000 scholarship is intended to recognize a student who has demonstrated self-reliance, a strong work ethic, and commitment to his or her family and personal goals during the student's tenure in high school or home schooling career.

Audrey's personal values demonstrate qualities of self-reliance on which this award is based. She believes honesty is the key to all relationships, that respect comes to those who respect others, and that the greatest pleasure comes from giving back to the community.

While in high school, Audrey has been active in both 4H and Key Club.

In addition to her school activities, Audrey has worked at Judy Graham Daycare, has volunteered at the Humane Society, and has worked as a dishwasher and a cook.

She has been accepted at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and will start her studies this fall in counseling and psychology.

The Performance Associates Self-Reliance Scholarship is an equal opportunity award and the recipient is selected without regard to race, color, or creed.

Any graduating public or home school senior who has at least a 3.0 GPA, has been accepted at a four-year college, and is a resident of Archuleta County may apply for the scholarship.


Autumn Daily

Autumn Christian Daily will graduate 10 a.m. Saturday from Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan., with a bachelor's degree in business administration, with a concentration in management.

The 1999 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School is the daughter of Jon and Cheryl Christian and sister of 1995 graduate, Jessica Christian Craney.


Gretchen Bergon

Gretchen Winter Rose Bergon graduated from the College of Business at Colorado State University in Fort Collins Saturday, May 14.

Gretchen earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration and graduated with distinction, Magna Cum Laude.

She will stay in Fort Collins where she has a job in marketing at Visible Productions, Inc.

Gretchen graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 2001. She first attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs before transferring to Colorado State University after her first year.

Gretchen is the daughter of Mark Bergon and Peggy Bergon.


Kristin Whitney Seth Kurt-Mason

Two Pagosa Springs residents were among 4,464 students receiving degrees May 6 during spring commencement at University of Colorado in Boulder.

They were Kristin Whitney Bishop with a B.A. in biological science and Seth James Kurt-Mason, with a B.A. in environmental studies.


Sports Page

Pirate boys, girls regional champs; at state meet Friday

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School Pirates are 2005 regional track champions following convincing performances by both girls' and boys' squads at Saturday's meet at Bayfield.

Pirate girls dominated their opponents at the meet, finishing with 179 points. Centauri was second with 111 points; Buena Vista took third with 110.

Pirate boys totaled 166 points to beat second-place Buena Vista (129) and third-place Bayfield (102).

The regional titles were a significant accomplishment for the high school track program but just as impressive is the fact the team has qualified 26 athletes for the state meet in 61 events - the best ever for the Pirates.

With the momentum established at Bayfield, the team heads for Pueblo for the Class 3A championships, starting Friday.

"We have a shot at placing as a team at the state meet, both the girls and the boys," said Coach Connie O'Donnell. "It makes the end of the season more exciting than it has ever been for Pagosa track and field."

The top three placers in an event at regionals qualify for the state meet.

Senior Nikki Kinkead had the best performance in her Pirate track career Saturday. Kinkead took first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.52 seconds, then captured first in the 200 in 27.83.

Kim Fulmer posted a first-place win in the 400. The Pirate won the race with a time of 1:00.52.

Janna Henry beat the field in the 100-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 16.94.

Liza Kelley will compete at state in the long jump after winning the regional event with a leap of 15 feet, 11.25 inches.

Three girls' relay teams emerged as winners at Bayfield.

The 4x100 team of Kinkead, Mia Caprioli, Henry and Fulmer won with a time of 51.73.

In the 4x200, Caprioli, Kinkead, Kelley and Jessica Lynch took the title with a time of 1:50.21.

Henry, Caprioli, Lyndsey Mackey and Katie Ehardt won the 800 sprint medley in 1:58.72.

Second-place finishers going to state include Caprioli in the 100 (13.58), Emilie Schur in the 1600-meter run (5:34.26), the 4x400 relay of Fulmer, Ehardt, Kelley and Lynch (4:17.14) and the 4x800 relay team of Bri Scott, Jen Webb-Shearston, Schur and Lynch (9:55.50).

Nailing third in an event, and on the bus to Pueblo, are Lynch in the 400 (1:02.83), Chelsea Cooper in the 300 hurdles (19.90), Mackey in the long jump (15-4), Tamara Gayhart in high jump (4-10) and Kelley in the triple jump (32-1/4).

The boys' relay teams scored a clean sweep in their races at Bayfield to lead the way on their side of the roster.

In the 4x100, Daniel Aupperle, Paul Przybylski, Jared Kinkead and Paul Armijo beat their opponents to the line with a time of 43.72.

The same group won the 4x200, finishing at 1:31.46.

Winners in the 4x400, with a time of 3:38.64, were Gunnar Gill, Manny Madrid, Daren Hockett and Otis Rand.

Hockett, Rand, AJ Abeyta and Travis Furman won the 4x800 in 8:33.76.

Kinkead continued his hot streak in the 100, winning the race with a time of 11.44. Madrid emerged as the regional champ in the 300 hurdles. The senior finished in 43.03.

Caleb Ormonde topped his competition in the high jump, leaping 6 feet.

Aupperle was first in the long jump with a distance of 21-1.

In second place in events were Kinkead in the 200 (23.11), Rand in the 400 (52.46), Casey Schutz in triple jump (41,5 1/2).

Taking third and earning a spot on the state roster were Aupperle in the 100 (11.61), Przybylski in the 200 (23.41), Rand in the 800 (2:05.24) and Craig Schutz in the discus (144-4).

O'Donnell was pleased with her teams' performances and singled out some of her athletes.

"Nikki Kinkead really ran well for our girls," she said. "She ran her best races of the year in the one hundred and two hundred. This is the time of year when you want the best times and marks because this is when it counts. We have two qualifiers in both the girls' and boys' one hundred, in the boys two hundred and the girls' four hundred. It shows how strong our relays are when we start qualifying more than one athlete in a running event. But, even if you have strong relays, anything can happen because you still have to get the baton around the track."

O'Donnell noted the one event in which the Pirates had trouble, but recognized that something positive emerged from the experience.

"The hurdles were not that great for us last weekend. Janna ran a beautiful one hundred and Manuel ran an outstanding three hundred. But, the second hurdle was a problem for some of the kids we thought might qualify. Brian Patane, Lyndsey Mackey and Janna Henry all fell over the second hurdle in races, but every single one of them got up and finished the race. They showed a lot of character by finishing. Janna's race in the three hundred was heartbreaking. She qualified in the three hundred as a sophomore and junior so, when she fell in the race, everyone felt badly for her. She just didn't fall - she fell hard. She got off the ground and nearly qualified after the fall. Everyone was cheering her on. When she came across the finish line, both knees were bleeding and she had missed qualifying by one place. She held herself together well, but I know she was as heartbroken as I was. We'll be represented in the three hundred, since Chelsea Cooper ran to a third-place finish. I'm sure Janna will be cheering her on at state, because that's the kind of person Janna is."

Several school records were broken at the Bayfield meet.

Fulmer holds the new record in the 400 and the girls' 4x100 team of Caprioli, Henry, Fulmer and Kinkead set a new mark. The 4x400 relay of Fulmer, Kelley, Ehardt and Lynch holds a new record as does the boys' team of Aupperle, Kinkead, Przybylski and Armijo, in both the 4x100 and 4x200. That team also established a stadium record at Bayfield in the 4x100 cracking the previous mark set by Centauri in 2001 when the Falcons won the state championship

The state Class 3A meet will be held at the venerable Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo. Athletes begin competition in preliminary events Friday at 9:30 a.m. Field event finals begin Saturday morning at 9:30 and track events start at 10.


Manitou stops Pirates 3-0; advances to soccer Great 8

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"On this day, our opponent deserved to win. On another day, it might have been us."

That was the evaluation of Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason after his Pagosa Springs Pirate girls soccer team fell 3-0 to Manitou Springs Saturday in Golden Peaks Stadium.

"It was their day," he said. "They had great speed, saw the field well and were very well-coached."

In fact, he said, the Manitou coach gave up also coaching boys soccer so he could work with the girls year-round in club programs in addition to the prep action.

All that said, his team eliminated after reaching the Class 3A Sweet 16, Kurt-Mason had great praise for many of his charges.

"Erin Gable was incredible in goal," he said. "She made impossible saves. Only one of the three goals she surrendered in 17 Manitou shots was a goal in any league. The others were lobs from far outside that just got over her.

"We might have had a case of underclass jitters, some of the girls playing in a high-level playoff for the first time," but most filled their roles as expected.

One problem for Pagosa was an ongoing, nagging injury to Kailey Smith, the sweeper and key to setting defensive assignments. "She made interceptions, but because of the injury, was often unable to clear the ball.

"Still," added Kurt-Mason, "both Emmy and Grace Smith filled in admirably in helping Kailey control the zone."

Still, there was an evident lack of aggression for the Pirate offense, except for a 10-12 minute run at the start of the second half.

Trailing 2-0 at the time, the Pirates mounted three key drives that might have produced goals, except for "last step drive."

In that time, the Pirates had their best offensive chance, keyed by junior striker Jennifer Hilsabeck.

Working off a crossing lead from sophomore Iris Frye, Hilsabeck drove left, leaned right to draw off a defender, then went left and returned the shot across grain.

"It missed by about three inches," Kurt-Mason said. "Had it gone in we'd have had momentum on our side and I truly believe we'd have come back."

An early defensive error on a wing sweep gave Manitou the initial advantage "and for a while they had us on our heels," Kurt-Mason said. "We were having trouble establishing a ground game against a team that had been scored on only twice this year."

The loss ended the Pagosa season at 10-5 and advanced Manitou (14-1-2) to the final eight and a date with second-ranked Faith Christian (12-3-0).

"It was a great building year for us," Kurt-Mason said. "We'll lose four seniors including Brett Garman and Brittany Corcoran, Caitlyn Jewell and newcomer Lauren Schlesinger (who played only in the last two games).

"Brett's tenacity in midfield, Brittany's speed from the wing and knack for leading the ball past a defender and then beating her to it, has led to many goals for us.

"Jewell," he said, "gave me everything she had every time she was on the field and against Manitou, played probably the best game of her prep career.

"Teaming with Frye," he said, "the aggressiveness we needed was always there. I hope some of the younger girls learned from their competitiveness what it means to play high school soccer at a winning level."


Eaton dashes early Pirate lead with hit barrage, 16-2 win

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

For a half inning Saturday, the Pagosa Springs Pirates showed every indication of being able to play baseball on the level of second-ranked Eaton.

But the Reds were soon to prove a game is more than half an inning long.

The result was a 16-2 loss pinned on the Pirates, ending their season at the Sweet 16 level.

Normally an outfielder, Travis Richey became the designated hitter for Pagosa in this game, and eventually a pitcher.

He opened the game leading off and beat out an infield single on a 2-2 pitch.

Senior center fielder Josh Hoffman drew a walk on five pitches and the stage was set for Pirate fireworks.

Sophomore second baseman Casey Hart provided the explosion, drilling a 2-1 pitch off the right center field wall just below the 374-foot marker and Pagosa had a 2-0 lead and no outs.

Eaton's coach made a trip to the mound and whatever he said to Reds starter John Hungenberg had dramatic effect.

Hungenberg got Pirate clean-up hitter Jake Reding to strike out on three pitches, retired Pagosa third baseman Karl Hujus on a grounder to second, and got senior Levi Gill on a grounder to short. Gill was the only player in the Pirate lineup who had faced Eaton before, in the infamous blizzard substitute game two years ago in which Pagosa lost 12-11, blowing an eight-run lead in the seventh.

But, Pagosa had the lead and their ace, senior Randy Molnar, on the hill to protect it.

He was not able to do so, but three first inning Pirate errors contributed mightily to his problems.

Tracy Anderson should have been out on a fly ball to right, but it was dropped. Brendan Myatt bounced out to third, but the throw from first back to third was wild and Anderson slid in. Josh Noblitt delivered the run with a double to right. Carlson reached on an error at second and Hungenberg walked on four pitches as Molnar struggled to get the ball down where he's most effective.

Dyer bounced out to second, a run scoring, but Nation doubled to right before James Stout popped to short to end the first inning with Eaton up 4-2. Molnar had thrown 19 pitches.

That was the beginning of the end for Pagosa which went meekly in the second. Sophomore left fielder John Hoffman bounced out to third; Jim Guyton was out when the first baseman tracked down his ball on the foul line and threw to the second baseman covering at first; and Matt Gallegos struck out on four pitches.

He was the first of seven consecutive hitters to go down on strikes for Pagosa, all on a third strike swinging at curve ball into the dirt from the Eaton lefty. The string of K's was broken when John Hoffman popped to first for the third out in the fourth.

Molnar got the first Eaton hitter in the second, Walker Monfort, on a grounder to short but then gave up a double to Anderson, a walk to Myatt and another double, this one to Noblitt. By now Molnar had thrown 32 pitches and coach Charlie Gallegos took him out, going to sophomore lefty Adam Trujillo.

He got Carlson on a bouncer to second but gave up consecutive singles to Hungenberg and Dyer, and walked Nation. Stout reached on a fielder's choice, Monfort singled to right and Anderson drew a walk

At this point Trujillo, like Molnar had thrown 32 pitches and only five outs had been recorded.

Coach Charlie Gallegos called on Richey to put out the fire. He was called for a balk before ever throwing a pitch, then hit the batter with his second pitch.

But, he got Noblitt on a grounder to second, Pagosa now trailing 11-2.

After the three-up, three-down third for Pagosa, Eaton got a single run in their half.

Carlson led off with a single to left but Richey got Hungenberg on strikes but Dyer singled to center moving Carlson to third. Nation was out on a fly ball to right, Carlson scoring and Stout popped to second.

Pagosa's fourth continued the Hungenberg strikeout machine though Karl Hujus reached first when the catcher missed the ball on a swinging third strike.

Richey gave up four runs in the fourth but again, some of the action was benefitted by two more Pirate errors as 10 Reds paraded to the plate.

Monfort reached on an error to start the parade. Anderson walked and Myatt beat out an infield hit to load the bases. Another error allowed two runs to score and Carlson singled to left for another. Hungenberg singled to center and Dyer popped to second for the first out in the inning. Nation walked and Stout reached on a fielder's choice when Hungenberg was thrown out at the plate. Monfort who had singled to open the inning made the final out on a routine fly to right.

Pagosa had an opportunity to make the score more respectable in the fifth. Freshman infielder Cody Bahn, batting for Guyton, battled to a full count before striking out.

Sophomore infielder Avery Johnson, batting for Gallegos, beat out an infield single, taking the Pirates to the top of the lineup and Richey.

He went after the first pitch and grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game after five with the 10-run mercy ruling.

For a Pirate team that toiled in obscurity all season because their home field was unplayable, it was a huge letdown to get that far and then go flat.

Molnar was chagrined with his performance. "I just couldn't get the ball down," he said. "It was my last game and I let the team down."

Eaton's 16 runs came on 10 hits; Pagosa's two runs on three hits. Pagosa committed five errors leading to eight Eaton runs. The Reds had only one miscue, the passed ball by Carlson.

The Intermountain League's other playoff contender, Bayfield, won both its weekend games and is now in the Final Four.

The strangeness of high school baseball is that Pagosa was one of only two teams to defeat Bayfield, Salida being the other. And Pagosa defeated Salida.

Eaton came back after beating Pagosa to stop Holy Family 3-0.

Bayfield meets top-ranked Roosevelt and Eaton takes on Machebeuf in Friday semifinals, the winners to meet for the state title Saturday.


Ford, Yerton winners in first golf event

By Bill Curtis

Special to The SUN

A pair of names from past seasons topped the leader boards when Pagosa Springs Mens Golf League kicked off the 2005 season May 11.

With 22 players participating in challenging weather conditions, first-place gross went to Don Ford with a 75 and first-place net to Dennis Yerton firing a 67.

Temperatures were in the 40s and winds at 15-20 miles per hour but both the Piñon and Ponderosa courses at Pagosa Springs Golf Club were in excellent condition considering the abundance of moisture over the winter and recent rains.

Following Ford for second-place gross was Russ Hatfield at 77 and second-place net was John Bower at 68.

All members are looking forward to an outstanding season.


ASA Girls Softball 14U team hosts

Farmington Saturday

Southwest Colorado ASA girls softball games began this week with the Pagosa 16U team hosting Bloomfield Angels Wednesday

The 14U Pagosa Vipers will play a home doubleheader 2 p.m. Saturday against the Farmington Raptors on high school complex field 2.

The local teams are members of Southwest Colorado ASA Girls Softball Association and have been practicing hard to be ready for their first action representing the Pagosa community.

Sponsors are Pagosa Baking Company, Whispering Pines Development, Pagosa Dental, Envelopment Architecture, Vaughn Johnson Orthodontics. Ears 2 You, Harold Thompson, DDS and Wolf Creek Interiors. Others interested in being sponsors may call 903-8878.


Wet course halts women's golf opener but scores outstanding in two events

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

Pagosa Women's Golf Association celebrated the opening day of the season May 3 with a welcome coffee for members and guests.

Unfortunately, the course was too wet to play the league's annual Cinco de Mayo event.

The association officially resumed the season May 10 with a low-gross, low-net format. Cherry O'Donnell captured first-place gross with a 95; Barbara Sanborn was second with 97. In the net division, Maggie Hart was first with a 71 and Maxine Pechin second with 73.

The association sent eight low handicap players to Aztec Hidden Valley Golf Club May 5 and collected 48 points against Cortez Conquistador in team play competition.

Eight teams compete in the league, representing Cortez Conquistador, Dalton Ranch, Hillcrest, Aztec Hidden Valley, Pagosa Springs Golf Club, Piñon Hills, San Juan Country Club and Kirtland Riverview.

These teams play twice a month in May and September and once a month in June, July, August and October. Each team has eight members and plays four twosomes, all paired according to handicaps.

Each hole of the 18 is played in match-play format; one point is awarded per hole so the total number of points any twosome can win is 18 per round.

Representing Pagosa in the opener were Jane Stewart, Jan Kilgore, Barbara Sanborn, Cherry O'Donnell, Lynne Allison, Loretta Campuzano, Kathy Giordano and Sue Martin.

Sanborn, team captain, was very pleased with the opening round success and was hoping for continued success today at Kirtland Riverview.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Goal setting for athletes

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

This brief article on goals was written by Tom Kohl.

"Set a definite, realistic goal with a reasonable deadline for its achievement.

"When the first goal is achieved, set another goal - one higher, but within reach. Make these intermediate goals realistic steps toward your long range objectives. Be exact and specific. An unclear goal is useless. Write down your goal and put it somewhere you can see it every day.

"Imagine yourself achieving your goal. You will feel and perform according to the self-image you have of yourself. Act confident, aggressive, and successful. Your self image is one thing in your life in which you have complete control.

"List all the problems and barriers that lie between you and your goals. When you have done this, write down a step-by-step plan of attack for overcoming each problem or barrier. Don't be afraid to seek advise from the people that you respect.

"Work at increasing your ambition and desire to achieve your goals. Is it worth the effort and sacrifice it will take to reach these goals?

"Have faith in yourself, your training program, and your degree of commitment to the pursuit of your excellence.

"Expect to encounter some hardship and adversity while achieving your goals. Success does not come without problems. Attack the problem and solve it.

"Avoid negative attitudes! Identify and associate with achievers. Look on the bright side. Be disciplined.

"The key to success is a routine of relentless hard work. If success were easy, everyone would be great.

"Use your time wisely. Time is a valuable asset. Lost time can never be regained. Plan your personal schedule to make the best use of your time and skills.

"Learn from your defeats and mistakes. You can turn these lessons into achievement and success the next time.

"Develop your own enthusiasm. Your thoughts can be just as stimulating and effective as any form of action.

"Work hard toward your goals and the success will be sweet."

Adult softball

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 in this year. Leagues begin in mid-June. Get your team entry fee in right away.

Rockies Skills Challenge

Young baseball fans can exhibit their baseball skills when Pagosa Springs Recreation Department hosts a Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge competition at the Pagosa Springs Sports Complex 10 a.m. Saturday, June 11.

The competition is free and open to boys and girls ages 6 through 13. Boys and girls have separate divisions. Age classification is as of Dec. 31, 2005.

Rockies Baseball Skills challenge is a baseball competition that allows youngsters to showcase their talents in base running, batting and throwing with scores based on speed, distance and accuracy. Top scorers from each age group advance to a sectional competition.

Baseball begins, umpires needed!

Now that the weather has cooperated, our 6-8 Coach-Pitch, 9-10 Mustang, 11-12 Bronco and 13-14 year old Pony baseball leagues began play May 9 and will continue through the end of June.

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department seeks 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.

Adult soccer

Adult soccer is back. Anyone interested in playing coed adult soccer should go the soccer field adjacent to the Pagosa Springs High School football stadium every Tuesday at 6 p.m.

If you need additional information call the Town of Pagosa Springs Recreation Department and have your name placed on our team lists.

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.

More information

For additional information about any of the adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232


Pagosa Springs Parks

Many are violating town cleanup rules

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The town of Pagosa Springs is celebrating its 20th year of hosting the annual cleanup week and I would like to thank the following companies and crews for their help this year:

Stan Martinez and Clifford Lucero, (Archuleta County Solid Waste); Chris Gallegos, Frank Mestas, Brad Dennison (town of Pagosa Springs); Waste Management for donating four Dumpsters instead of the two required; G-I Sanitation for the prompt delivery of their Dumpster, and the administration of the Town of Pagosa Springs for putting together this effort.

As per their franchise agreements with the town, Waste Management, G-I Sanitation, and At-Your-Disposal have all contributed 30-yard Dumpsters for the town and Archuleta County Solid Waste Department to utilize inside town limits.

The program is designed for the discarding of household trash, and some yard debris, but it seems to have been abused. We asked that no appliances, no building materials, no tires, and no hazardous waste be thrown into the free Dumpsters; but a quick drive around to the various sites will show the inconsideration of a few individuals who abuse this free program.

My opinion is we should revisit this program and get back to the basic clean-up that we planned 20 years ago. I remember picking a clean-up day years ago, walking through town with Mayor Aragon and some local faithful, picking up trash and fixing the backstop in the town park.

The county has changed by combining their household hazardous waste and the free dump date on June 4. Archuleta County residents are welcome to dump free of charge at the landfill nine miles south on County Road 500. A solid waste employee must check all hazardous waste and appliances. If you plan on bringing an old refrigerator, you must take all the freon out of the compressor prior to dumping the appliance. Also, no commercial dumping is allowed.

Park news

Chad Haspels has started his third and fourth carvings - these on Reservoir Hill. A rendering can be seen at Town Hall. Come by and see it if you just can't wait to see the finished work in a couple of weeks.

Jim Miller and the parks crew would like to thank Jim Smith Realty for donating the lovely tree, which had to be removed due to a remodeling project; instead of cutting the tree down we are trying to preserve it. Keep your fingers crossed, transplants such as these are very touchy.

The annual tree program is alive and well. Anyone living within the town limits qualifies to plant a tree in their yard, with the town covering part of the cost. There are some limitations - the town will pay up to $100, and you must fill out an application to see if you qualify. The application also has cooperating vendors. Please feel free to call Jim Miller at 264-4151, Ext. 233. Leave a message and Jim will call you back.

Hot Springs Boulevard

The completion of the median in front of The Spa Motel is in the works. Last fall we ran into an irrigation roadblock; the conduit beneath the driveway was collapsed, preventing us from getting water to the median at The Spa.

Kip Strohecker, Ken Levine and Jim Miller are planning to fix the conduit, order sod, and complete the project as soon as possible. We are looking at a sod purchase in early June.


Comprehensive plan

We are at a turning point in Pagosa Country. We've reached a time of year when the pace of life hereabouts quickens; it is a change of season. True, the change is precipitated by warmer weather, longer days, the melting of snow. But it is characterized as well by a calendar of events that signals the arrival of our most hectic time of year.

School kids leave their classrooms

this week, here and elsewhere. The traditional engine of our economy, tourism, roars with the arrival of summer, with the highest numbers of visitors of the year coming to the San Juans. Recreation businesses kick into summer gear, an entire community prepares to participate in a heady number of special events between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Behind it all, there are other events taking place, other processes occurring that reach farther down the road than Labor Day. Or Christmas, for that matter. Maybe the decade These events deal with planning, with the creation of tools needed to shape the future of the town of Pagosa Springs and the community beyond. For all but those who prefer to merely flap their gums, the rest of 2005 will provide opportunities to participate to some degree in what could be an important process - the creation of a comprehensive plan - by and for the town of Pagosa Springs. This is a project long in the making. The comprehensive plan is being created by government, working with a citizen committee composed of town residents and residents from the county, with input from the people.

Representatives of a consulting firm hired by the town to draft a comprehensive plan want to produce a document and tools that allow the town to deal with what comes five, 10, 25 years into the future. They were in town this week to gather information, get a lay of the land. They will be back many times between now and the completion of a draft plan at the end of the year.

The plan will deal with the economy, using some of the findings from the recently completed economic baseline study. The plan will consider growth management. Other topics include design guidelines for improvement of and changes to the existing environment, guidelines produced with attention to the needs of various areas and neighborhoods. Transportation is on the docket, especially regarding U.S. 160 within town limits.

Annexation policy will be considered as will housing needs for the current and future population. The plan will look at activity centers, parks, open spaces and recreation. It will deal with alternative transportation modes such as trails and bike paths, and incorporate the subject of community facilities.

Employment centers will be considered as will neighborhoods and special use areas. The topic of redevelopment will be entertained. Land-use plans, zoning, and overall community image and design will be a big part of the plan.

What does this process offer?

It will provide those who wish to influence the manner in which the town grows with opportunities to be heard, to participate. Those who delight in moving air around the room in a cathartic spasm will, as usual, contribute nothing in the end. But those who want to make an impact can. This is a process in which citizens influence the manner in which government handles the pressures of a future certain to involve great change, affect a plan that will serve government as it contends with what, in other conditions, could be chaotic. It is time for all of us to focus on the role of government in shaping our future and on its ability to do so. We must never forget Š we are that government. When we fail to participate, we put our future in others' hands.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Spring renews sense of survival

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

It is amazing what a little warm weather will do, not only for your skin tone but for your sense of survival.

Sunday was a good example of Pagosa in springtime. Sun, clouds, rain, dust, more sun and highs unofficially in the mid-70s.

The kayakers were out, rafters plied the rivers, sunbathers utilized the rays, all over town people were working to beautify yards, trimming fence lines, planting flowers, weeding gardens and generally finding the outdoor world again.

Echo Lake was abuzz with action, boaters trolling deeper waters and dozens lined up along the southern shore and across the dam where fish seemed to be hitting almost every cast in the hour between 4 and 5 p.m.

But these weren't the only signs of the season to be seen. As might be expected after a damp spring the first really warm weekend brought out mosquitoes, too. Despite the sun, long sleeves and stinger repellent were needed to avoid the waves of little buggers near almost all bodies of water.

Yet another sign of the season was the steady flow of traffic through the area, mostly people leisurely scanning the side roads as they watched for wildlife moving with the snowmelt line.

A sure sign was the late evening call of a hoot owl on Reservoir Hill, a call heard throughout the downtown area just after dark but with a tinge of light still in the western sky.

Some residents found the muscles they'd used last year for the yard work were not yet in shape for another season of wielding an electronic weed cutter or pulling mightily on hands and knees at the stubborn, deep-rooted weeds that had immigrated since fall.

But they persevered, and the beauty of the town by Monday morning was much more evident than it had been when the weekend began.

As the evening sky took on a orange-red glow, couples with small children were taking family strolls, not just on the Riverwalk, but in all the neighborhoods. Neighbors were talking to each other, plans being made for a cookout or a block party. Or, in one case I overheard, for a group walk Monday night.

People were being what Pagosa stands for most - friendly, caring neighbors anxious after all these months of snow, rain, hail, dust clouds and insufferable weather, to reestablish contact, to look at a new beginning in spite of all the fears expressed about homeowners being driven out, businesses forced to close and friends out of work.

It was a chance to enjoy jointly the idea of rebirth, the plan of Mother Nature to keep her end of the survival bargain right on schedule.

A town in which people can communicate at the basic neighborhood level without fear of vandalism or intentional destruction of property is one that can survive anything coming its way.

When one's family has been in the community more than a century, it is nice to know we still have the pioneer can-do spirit when it comes to enjoying ourselves.

Let's have another century of that kind of spirit in the community - come what may.




90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of May 21, 1915

The telephone from Chromo to Lumberton will soon be completed and ready for use. George Young, Grant Shahan and Larry Nolan are putting it through.

The whole bunch, lock, stock and barrel of the previous school term faculty was re-employed for the next term of the Pagosa school.

E.M. Parr of the Pagosa Pressed Stone Company is installing their big stone crusher near the city jail. In a few days Mr. Parr will be turning out concrete material at the rate of tons an hour for the extensive cement paving work to begin next month. The big motor for running the machinery has already arrived.

Quite a colony of missionaries in this part of the country.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 23, 1930

What has the Archuleta County Boosters Club done? Assisted in maintaining the railroad at Pagosa Springs. Recommended and assisted in procuring gravel for the main street of Pagosa Springs, connecting the surfaced highway outside of the corporate limits. Also assisted in the "Sunetha to Pagosa Springs gravel project." The Club answers inquiries, sends out folders and pamphlets giving general information on Pagosa Springs. Erected a sign board at Gallup; filling stations and garages instructed to direct tourists to take Highway 606 until they strike 450. Built retaining ponds and assisted in getting fish to replenish the streams and lakes of Archuleta, Hinsdale and Mineral counties. Assisted in getting $750 for upper Piedra Road from County Commissioners of Lake City.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 20, 1955

A meeting of those who have subscribed to the Wolf Creek Ski Association was held in Monte Vista on Monday with George Yamaguchi, Joe Schick, Mike Giordano and Albert Petry attending from here. The association reported that it still lacked $2,500 to meet its goal of $15,000. It was anticipated, however, that this would be raised and the tow has been ordered. A definite location has been picked for the tow and ski area. This area is just south of the East Side Highway camp and very close to the road. There is a large area there that can be used for parking and some very excellent runs available. The moving of the location from the top will help the traffic problem considerably. The development of this area as a ski are will be a big boost towards year around tourist business.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 22, 1980

Graduation exercises at Pagosa Springs High School Sunday night saw 67 graduates receive diplomas and the high school gymnasium fill to overflow. The number of graduates this year is almost equal to the total number of students in the four high school grades when the high school building was built.

Club 20, with representative from all of Western Colorado's 20 counties, will meet here Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

A request for approval of a preliminary plat for Upton's Condominiums on Lake Pagosa had a large number of residents of that area present to protest the plat. The protest, for the most part centered around the fact that two stories were planned.



Show capitalizes on local artists' creativity

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

"My life is a series of Kodak moments. Mundane, shallow and easily stuffed away in forgotten drawers, or dumped without ceremony in landfills rich in ephemeral human history. My stay here is short, and infinitely pointless." - Excerpted from "The Mortality of Kodak Moments."

Several months ago a small band of artists began gathering at the Higher Grounds Coffee Shop every morning. A few of them believed with the vision of prophets that artists - vibrant and willing - exist in number in Pagosa Springs. With a little stimulation, they thought, a veritable circus of brilliance could emerge from them.

They were right.

On Saturday night, Shy Rabbit Showroom and Ceramic Studio on Bastille Drive hosted its first collective gallery show, entitled "Fiction to Art." It required 29 different artists to, on an 8 1/2 x 11 vertical canvas, interpret one single piece of fiction penned by local writer C. J. Hannah. The piece was entitled "The Mortality of Kodak Moments."

All the work submitted made a single small line around three walls of the boldly hued but spare Shy Rabbit. Some pieces were clever, some difficult, some displayed savage talent and technical achievement while some were whimsical and fun. At the salon, each artist was given one minute to describe his or her process and interpretation of Hannah's work. Then Hannah chose which piece most reflected his intent and which made him reconsider it.

"I was really stunned," Hannah said about his reaction to the show. "I'm amazed at all the interpretations, and how personal they all got. I'm pleased I set something off in them."

Artists Michael and Denise Coffee, who own Shy Rabbit, are two of the prime movers behind shows like these. Painter Shaun Martin, blacksmith Mike Selinsky and Hannah are a few of the other regulars who gather for the morning coffee and brainstorm sessions. The Fiction to Art show was a product of the group's creativity.

"I thought it was amazing," Martin said about the show. "It was completely unique to Pagosa. I've never seen anything like that here before, in the ten years I've been here. It was a thinking person's show."

The fact is these people make you want to be smarter. They make you believe your own medium exists and finding it would be a worthy pursuit. The show itself was unique in that there was no competition to enter and nobody won or lost. All artists, regardless of their level, were invited to participate. The Fiction to Art Show was just the first of such collective projects the group plans to host.

Michael Coffee said he couldn't have been more pleased with the show. He was especially gratified by the fact some of the artists had never shown their work before and were afraid to "let it hang." Others, he said, stretched way outside their traditional media.

"If I was expecting a 10, I think we got a 30," he said.

Sandy Applegate was chosen by Hannah as the artist whose work most closely matched his intention with his piece. Her work was a three-dimensional mask made of gauze, photographs and paint. She explained her work by saying we take photographs to be remembered, but it doesn't really work.

"Nobody can really know you," she said adding that, through their work, artists are trying to be known in some authentic way. "The Me Nobody Knows" was written at the bottom of the piece.

Coffee's own three-dimensional piece of a gold face searching the sky with torn dollar bills below was the work that made Hannah rethink his.

Selinsky, an accomplished blacksmith, interpreted Hannah's piece in his media, forged steel, brass and bronze. A face with vacant eyes peers out of a knothole in a tree watching the world like a fly on the wall.

Tanya Hester, a sculptor who recently moved to Pagosa Springs from Florida, sculpted an elderly man with a paunch and cardigan sweater staring into the distance clutching a tattered album under his arm.

All of the pieces will remain part of the group's permanent collection. There is a good chance the Fiction to Art Show, which is the first body of work owned by the group as a whole, will travel to other sites and be a public relations piece for the group. An educator visiting from Englewood, Colorado, asked to present the show to her students.

The next collective show, according to Michael Coffee, will be more performance oriented and feature local pianist John Graves.

In June, eight to 10 artists will be selected to hang their work for the Saturday night opening. At the Sunday salon, Graves will be brought into the gallery blindfolded and then be presented with each artist's work, to which he will respond with an improvised piece of music.

In July, 50 artists will be given disposable cameras with direction to shoot all the film. The entire length of film will be developed but left in a six foot, three-inch strip. The displays will be what Coffee calls a "camera essay." Because none of the work will be edited, the playing field will be level for everyone from amateurs to professionals.

These sorts of ideas come from a process the Coffees, Hannah and Martin all agree is not directed by any leader or detailed in minutes. Michael Coffee graduated from a school of architecture in California that was built on a unique model. He called it "a self-directed community of students and professionals" who were entirely responsible for their own education. When the Coffees came to Pagosa their intent was not to go to work supporting artists. Instead they wanted to use their experience in the art and business world to encourage all artists and to generate enthusiasm and support for them. However, each artist must first bring their passion and dedication to the table. The Coffee's larger vision is to build an artist's haven along Bastille Drive that would operate as a center for teaching, working and showing art.

In conjunction with the gallery shows, Shy Rabbit also hosts regular speakers who address some of the business aspects of being an artist. On Sunday at least 40 people came to hear a gallery owner from Durango speak. They have also set up an artists network on the Web, which Martin said is open to anyone who wants to be involved.

Coffee said different groups of people have begun to get involved and unsolicited donations are arriving for the group's benefit. Coffee said it is important to him that people "get it" - that all this is simply about stimulating the local artist's community. To that end, the food served at the gallery opening was kitschy but clever squeezy cheese and crackers. Coffee said the money they don't spend on fancy food is money to be used on something more important. Shy Rabbit is also sponsoring one student to attend the Creede Repertory Theatre Summer Camp. The paper plates guests used to serve themselves had a note stuck to it explaining the camp.

Denise Coffee said their goal is simply to serve as "artist advocates" and to "elevate the stature" of artists in Pagosa Springs. That progressive and cooperative spirit permeates the group's coffee shop "meetings" and Martin said he feels the Fiction to Art Show really captured it.

"It's going to be interesting to see how this progresses," Martin said.

To get involved visit


Holiday advertising deadlines announced

Because of the Memorial Day holiday, The SUN has moved display advertising deadlines to noon Friday, May 20. The classified advertising deadline will remain 10 a.m. Tuesday for the May 26 edition.

An early display advertising deadline of noon Friday, May 27, will apply for the June 2 issue.

AARP driver safety program class

slated June 8-9

Would you like to sharpen your driving skills and reduce your auto insurance premium?

You can do so by taking the AARP Driver Safety Program, a motor vehicle accident prevention course for persons 50 and over.

The class will be taught in Community United Methodist Church in 1-5 p.m. sessions June 8 and 9. Contact Don Hurt, AARP volunteer instructor, at 264-2337 for additional information and to make your reservation.

Students will learn defensive driving techniques, how to compensate for normal age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time, how to deal with aggressive drives and much more.

Class size will be limited to 24 students.


Solar electricity workshop slated

Are you interested in a natural way to power your home or ranch? The Education Center will host a one-day workshop on solar electricity. David Conrad of Millennium Renewables will teach the basics of solar electricity and how to design a solar powered system. The workshop will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, June 3, at the Education Center. The class is free, however, there is a $5 annual registration fee.

For more information or to register call the center at 264-2835 or stop by the office at 4th and Lewis Streets.


Pagosa's Past

Anglo, Ute battle seemed imminent; Company D got call

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Few soldiers did more to win the West than did the blue-clad Negro troops of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, the Buffalo Soldiers.

Company D of the 9th spent the winter of 1878 at Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs. Black troops accomplished other tasks connected with local history. A company of black troops provided protection for surveyors marking the line between Colorado and Utah Territory after Colorado became a state in 1876.

Black troops were involved in the movement of Jicarilla from the Amargo area south of Pagosa Springs to the Mescalero Apache Reservation and Bosque Redondo near Fort Stanton in New Mexico. Black troops, including Company D, fought against Geronimo, Cochise, Nana, and the Western Apaches in Arizona and Southwestern New Mexico.

Prior to coming to Pagosa Springs, the 9th Cavalry, commanded by Col. Hatch, spent eight years in southern New Mexico and in Texas between San Antonio and El Paso. Finally, in September of 1875, the 9th was transferred to New Mexico.

By 1874, the activities of bootleggers, arms traders, white horse thieves, and buffalo hunters, the thirst for revenge, and the demands of a warrior culture all coalesced in the spring to bring an upsurge of Indian raiding and, finally, outright war.

As their ponies grew stronger on the rich plains grass, Comanche and Kiowa raiders left reservations in Oklahoma and cut a wide swath across Texas. They served notice on the Buffalo Soldiers by firing into their stockade camps along the Red River. The Red River formed much of the boundary between Oklahoma Territory and Texas before disappearing into the Texas Panhandle.

Col. Merritt, stationed at Fort Concho with Companies A, D, E, F and K of the 9th Cavalry, reported every trooper able to ride a horse was in the field. A large party of warriors headed by Lone Wolf was being pursued by elements of the 4th Cavalry near Fort Concho. Lone Wolf obtained fresh horses by stealing 23 animals from Company D, encamped outside the post. Lone Wolf escaped to the reservation near Fort Sill, but was pursued by detachments of the Fourth Regiment, plus Lt. Hughes of the 9th, and had to abandon the body of his dead son, the object of his excursion.

On June 27, several hundred, some say a thousand, warriors from various tribes attempted to destroy a motley crew of buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls, a trading post north of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.

The prolonged regional conflict across north and west Texas is known to frontier historians as the Red River War. The conflict involved thousands of Indians and U.S. troops, including elements of the 9th and 10th cavalries. The major Indian tribes included Comanche, Kiowa, Arapaho, and Cheyenne.

The Red River Indian War finally ended by the end of 1875; fully one year after five U.S. Army commands launched a campaign that involved bitter winter fighting across northwestern Texas. Commands set out from Kansas, New Mexico, Fort Concho in Texas to the south, and Fort Griffin, located just north of Fort Worth in Texas. It was a no holds barred brawl.

In one sortie under a Col. Morrow, involving Company D, 9th Cavalry, 54 of 60 mules froze to death. Not a lot of combatants were killed, but constant pressure on the Indians including destruction of their encampments, food, and horse herds, forced them to return to Oklahoma reservations around Fort Sill and Anadarko.

When the Red River War was ended, the 9th Cavalry was sent to New Mexico, the 10th to west Texas. Both moved from the frying pan into the fire, or so it seemed. The Apache tribes scattered across New Mexico and Arizona were becoming restless. So were the Ute Indians of Colorado.

Company D was probably stationed at Fort Union when it was ordered into Colorado. By March of 1878, confrontation between Anglo and Ute appeared inevitable. Cabins were being burned and Agent Weaver called desperately for help.

Lieutenant Valois, with a detachment of 9th Cavalry, came to the Los Piños Agency to look around. Valois was at the agency when the Utes came in for rations.

According to William H. Leckie, author of "The Buffalo Soldiers," the Utes sullenly insisted on a four-week supply. After talking with Valois, Weaver met the demands. Twice more, Weaver met the same demand, but the next time the Utes asked for the same he refused, locked the warehouse and called for troops. Major Morrow, with D, G, I, K and M companies, marched to the La Plata River and encamped.

More next week on the adventures of Company D, 9th Cavalry, stationed in Pagosa Springs during the winter of 1878-79.



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Heat wave, snowmelt bring an early 'banksfull' warning

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer


That is perhaps the best single word for the upcoming week weatherwise, with high temperatures averaging in the middle 80s prompting the following warning from National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

" ... many rivers and creeks will approach or exceed bankfull conditions this weekend in the San Juan drainage ... as a ridge of high pressure builds over Western Colorado and Eastern Utah. This will result in the warmest temperatures of the year across the region for the end of week and upcoming weekend."

The hydrologic warning continues:

"The mountain snowpack will likely respond to these temperatures by melting in large quantities. Many rivers and streams will experience sharp rises beginning Friday ... with some increases to near bankfull or even flooding conditions over the weekend or by the beginning of next week.

"People who live in flood prone areas should closely monitor water conditions ... for the next several days."

The increased meltdown and runoff already is evident in the main Archuleta County rivers.

The Blanco was running at 373 cubic feet per second early Wednesday, up from 352 cfs a week earlier. The nearby Navajo, below Oso Dam, was running at 101 cfs, up from 89 a week earlier.

Biggest flow leaps were on the Piedra and San Juan.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Piedra was at 2,700 cfs at the gauge north of Navajo Lake, up from 2,180 last week. Flow depth was at 4.11 feet.

The San Juan, at the new measuring station in downtown Pagosa Springs, was at 2,070 at 8 a.m. Wednesday, up from 1,710 last week. Flow depth was at 6.15 feet with 8.96 regarded as flood depth.

Russell Crowley, Archuleta County emergency services director, said he looks for a critical point in Pagosa Springs at 4,000 cfs. "In 1995 when we sandbagged," he said, "flow reached 5,000 cfs through the park area. If we hit 4,000 this time we'll be looking at sandbagging again."

Both he and town officials are watching the fluctuations in daily flow. Crews are being readied should sandbagging be needed and volunteers will be sought to assist, if needed.

Fueling all this high water are the high country meltdown forecasts referred to in the NWS warning.

The Upper San Juan Snotel station - at 10,130 feet - showed a snow depth Wednesday morning of 83.2 inches, down from 95 inches May 12.

Snow water equivalent in the snow still on the ground stood at 46.2 inches, down from 50.5 a week ago. Highest temperature at the site in the past week was 52 degrees; the average 42.4. At time of measurement Wednesday, the temperature was 30.9.

But all the signs are in place for an even faster meltdown.

Temperatures for the week beginning today will reach average highs of 84 and average overnight lows of 37 according to National Weather Service forecasts.

Expected highs today, Friday, Sunday and Monday are 86, with 84 predicted Saturday and 81 Tuesday. Overnight lows in the same period will range from 39 tonight through 41 Friday and Saturday nights to 39 Sunday and 36 Monday.

There is no prediction of precipitation at any time during the period which might be one break for the area. Rain would speed the meltdown and add to runoff, forecasters say.

All this water is flowing into Navajo Lake where the water level-surface elevation was at 6,068.18 Wednesday morning, a rise of 1.1 feet in the past week.

Inflow was measured at the same time at 3,923 cubic feet per second; outflow with gates being opened wider, stood at 4,033 cfs.

Full pool for the lake is 6,083 and is expected to be reached by mid-June.

In Pagosa Springs in the past week, the official high temperature was 70.8 Monday, although many neighborhoods reported unofficial readings in the mid-70s. The coldest overnight reading was 24.4 May 12. Highest wind speed recorded in the past week was 22 mph at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Wind direction has been from the south in eight of the last ten days.

Rainfall during the week totaled .09 inch on Sunday.