ACE wins 'Big Box' concession
By James Robinson
Terry Smith had his day, and now he has his building.
Following a public hearing Monday on the possibility of amending the county's moratorium on big box development, Archuleta County Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of amending the moratorium to allow projects such as Smith's to continue.
Smith, the owner of Circle T/ACE Hardware, had recently purchased a vacant, 36,000 square foot building on the west side of town (previously housing a bowling alley) as part of an expansion project of his existing business.
Until Monday, Smith's project had been blocked by the county's current moratorium capping all retail development at projects of 18,000 square feet or less.
The decision to hold Monday's hearing came following a presentation May 17 by Blair Leist, director of county development, who asked commissioners to hear Smith's case.
Although Smith enjoyed widespread support from the public and from officials at the county and the town, the language of the moratorium and its blanket square footage cap kept Smith from pursuing his project.
In planning terms, Smith's project is called adaptive reuse, and Angela Atkinson of the town's Big Box Task Force said, "This is exactly what the Big Box Task Force wants; this is productive, this is good planning."
But the crux of the issue was not a matter of planning, it was a matter of language in that the original moratorium did not differentiate between retail projects requiring new construction or projects that would utilize existing buildings.
In order for projects such as Smith's to be undertaken, the county needed to craft legislation with specific language, allowing the use of existing buildings that exceeded the moratorium's square footage cap, but without creating loopholes that a large format retailer might use to circumvent the moratorium's restrictions.
To that end, county commissioners met with members of the town's Big Box Task Force, Pagosa Springs town staff and town council members in late May to brainstorm ways a county amendment might undermine or support the original moratorium's intentions.
During that work session, Town Planner Tamra Allen played a hard game of devil's advocate, offering numerous scenarios of how a poorly written amendment might provide the edge a large format retailer could use to twist the legislation to its advantage.
"This has to be worded very carefully," Atkinson said. "We can never underestimate the creativity of developers."
Following that work session and after Monday's hearing, the county adopted legislation that amends the moratorium to allow for "superstore development which proposes to use existing buildings without expansion of such buildings."
Mamie Lynch, commission chair, said she believes the amendment covered many of the loopholes and added, "I feel confident the commissioners have addressed all the pertinent issues."
She said the amendment was an important first step as the county works toward crafting and ultimately adopting a long-term, comprehensive big box and retail development plan that would take affect following the expiration of the current moratorium Aug. 3.
The hearing closed like the end of hard-fought football game, where the home team had beat the odds and had come out on top, complete with audience members slapping Smith and his general manager Bo Warren, on the back saying, "Right on Terry," and "Good Luck."
Warren said he was pleased with the outcome and added, "They (the county) were trying to write bullet-proof legislation and they can't. You've got to make it, and then adapt as the situation changes."
Although the amendment allows Smith to pursue his project, the endeavor is subject to the full, Conditional Use Permit process. Smith said he has a meeting with the county planning department July 1, to initiate the process and final approval could take between 50 and 90 days.
Smith said he is shooting for a late October, early November opening date, and although this is later than he had originally planned, said he is extremely pleased with Monday's outcome.
In other action:
- The county granted final approval for a Conditional Use Permit for the construction of the Timbers at Whispering Pines - a 49-unit townhouse/condominium project located south of Park Avenue, between Talisman Drive and Davis Cup Drive.
- Final approval was also granted for a Conditional Use Permit for a six-unit commercial warehouse building at 204 Hopi Drive.
Critical Access Hospital 'match'
for Fisher site
By John Middendorf
Rural Health Consultants have presented a Critical Care Hospital analysis to the Upper San Juan Health Services District Board.
Board member Jerry Valade, a decision maker on countless projects during his 13 years of managing operations for Hughes Aircraft, described a June 8 meeting as "excellent, one of the best analyses I have ever seen!"
Could Archuleta soon be joining Colorado's other 65 counties in having its own hospital?
"Archuleta is currently one of the few counties in Colorado which does not have a hospital," says Valade, adding, "within 12 to 18 months, we're going to have one."
The results of the $40,000 Rural Health Consultant's analysis, funded largely by a federal grant, "shows we're a match" for a Critical Access Hospital (CAH), Valade said
The plan to convert the Mary Fisher Medical Center into a CAH must have been one of those "ah ha!" moments for the district board members, who inherited an ailing health system with a large amount of debt when they were elected to office last year.
"The last elected board's strategy was just to hire more administrators, and it failed because they always tried to solve problems solely within the board," said Valade. "We're taking a different approach."
That new approach is twofold: first, create a partnership with the nearest Trauma Level III medical facility, the Mercy Medical Center in Durango; and second, optimize federal reimbursements for the medical costs of the district.
Hiring Rick O'Block, from Mercy Medical Center, as the new district business manager, has been central to the new plan.
"This is a mutually beneficial partnership," said Pam Hopkins, health district board chair, who believes the experience and resources of the Mercy Medical Center are essential to the future of Pagosa's health services. "We (the board) don't want to go back to management, and we don't have the money to hire consultants." Access to consultants and analysts is part of the six-month contract with Mercy Management, which, led by O'Block, is focusing on developing feasible budgets and reopening the Mary Fisher Clinic as an interim urgent care center as soon as possible.
Catholic Health Initiatives, the parent nonprofit company of Mercy Medical Center, is in the process now of building a new hospital on the southeast side of Durango (closer to Pagosa). Expected to be finished in June 2006, the Mercy Regional Medical Center will have more facilities, including a broader range of surgeons, an interventional cardiologist and a kidney dialysis service, to serve the growing population of southwest Colorado.
The Mercy Regional Medical Center is designed to act as a central support hub for the region's health care facilities, such as Pagosa's planned Critical Access Hospital; thus the goal is to create a long-term partnership between Mercy Regional and the local health district.
Pagosa is considered "rural" in health terms, as it is at least 35 miles from the nearest "Necessary Provider" hospital, giving it special status and an opportunity to create an acute care facility with distinct financial advantages, such as Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.
Currently, for example, the district pays an estimated $200,000 in annual ambulance fees; however, if Pagosa had a Critical Access Hospital, 101 percent of such expenses would be reimbursed by federal programs.
"Playing the government game of collections is really critical to our survival," said Hopkins.
But in order to officially become an "Approved Destination" hospital and become eligible for such reimbursements, certain requirements must be met, involving infrastructure and staff. A hospital is defined "as a facility with true 24/7 emergency care," says Valade, "and in our case would require a staff of 41 to 50 full-time employees."
A Critical Access Hospital would cost around $3 million to build, requiring approximately 10,000 square feet of additions to the existing clinic. "A lot of the initial funding will be possible with grants and private donations" said Hopkins. "We don't think we will have to go back to the taxpayers to modernize our facility."
In terms of operational budgets, the financial analysis of the Rural Health Consultants report outlines two scenarios - "low" and "high" utilization - to examine the financial viability of a CAH. In both scenarios, the CAH is financially feasible, based on the mill levy subsidy which would help offset the initial year's losses. In the high utilization scenario, the CAH would actually turn a profit in year three, eliminating the dependence on the district's mill levy funds.
Attracting doctors will be one of the difficulties in the new plan. According to the Rural Health Consultants analysis, over the next few years, Pagosa's population will be large enough to support an obstetrician-gynecologist and a general surgeon. However, specialists prefer to locate in larger markets that can support additional practitioners.
In order for Pagosa Springs to support a local hospital, its success is dependent on local residents using the facility for appropriate services. Potential obstacles include the difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff in a rural area, the lack of support from local physicians, and access to capital.
With good planning, continued partnerships, and cooperation from local residents and providers, district officials say, Pagosa may soon achieve the critical mass required to attain the goal of providing 21st century health care to local residents.
School support building needs Army Corps nod; July 1 start seen possible
By Richard Walter
After months of near misses, frayed nerves and the possibility of increased costs, the new Maintenance and Transportation facility for Archuleta School District 50 Joint is but a meeting away from a green light.
That was the word Tuesday from Steve Walston, district maintenance supervisor, as the board of education weighed preparing for a groundbreaking ceremony.
Walston told the board Tuesday the soils review has been completed and "we are in civil perspective."
He said "no structural or foundation changes will be needed" for the original design, though it has been moved further south and east on the tract running along the bus route circle at the high school, beyond the vocational education building.
He told the board "alluvial water was hit at two feet, but there is no environmental problem and drainage can be accomplished with minor setbacks to the south."
The project, long envisioned as a means of reducing daily traffic hangups at the elementary school and removing the bus barn from an adjoining site, awaits only the joint meeting of the district's environmental and engineering team and the Army Corps of Engineers on final agreement data.
Walston said he can envision an actual start of construction by July 1, more than a year after the original plans were broached and a bevy of other possible alternatives were weighed and eventually turned aside.
Walston said the district will notify the general contractor, who will ask its subcontractors to provide current data, if changed from initial bids, on steelwork, foundation supports, building materials, electrical lines, etc.
The structure, when completed, will be financed by $900,000 set aside from the capital reserve fund and an additional $715,000 from the expendable trust portion of the Whit Newton Fund.
Nancy Schutz, district business manager, pointed out that the Newton Fund expenditure will deplete the expendable portion of the fund left to the school district by the late businessman who lived just off U.S. 160 several miles east of town.
The debate, then, came down to whether there should be a groundbreaking and if so, when.
The board finally settled on a June 20 event, time to be announced, but probably early morning.
The action followed the report two weeks ago that negotiations for the La Plata Electric facility at 8th and Apache Streets had fallen through.
School officials believed acquisition of that property would have provided a more usable site for the MaT facility. An earlier proposal to have the Town of Pagosa Springs a party to the construction and thus have use of maintenance facilities, also fell through. A further delay came with the announcement of the Vision Council's recommended uses for school properties, which would have moved the intermediate and junior high schools out of the downtowns area and have them joined by the elementary school on the high school campus.
That action would have negated use of the property currently planned for the MaT building.
Now, it seems, all those bridges have been burned. The agreements needed are near, groundbreaking is due, and the facility is ready to become a reality.
School board approves budget over $26 million
By Richard Walter
A 2005-2006 operating budget of just in excess of $26 million was approved Tuesday by the board of education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint.
That action was accompanied by approval of an appropriation ordinance totaling $23.575 million, the $2.51 million difference between the two being reflected in non-appropriated reserves.
Included in the latter category are:
- $250,000 remaining in the Whit Newton Fund, the interest from which funds the Archuleta Scholarship in Escrow program; and
- the $50,000 Mooney donation, interest on which funds the summer school program.
The budget breakdown, by fund, indicates anticipated spending of:
- $18.735 million in the General Fund with a preschool fund of $85,000 included;
- $1.550 million in the capital reserve special revenue fund;
- $950,000 in the government designated-purpose grants fund;
- $750,000 from the private purpose Newton Expendable rust fund (see separate story on MaT complex);
- $1.750 million from the bond redemption fund;
- $452,500 in enterprise (food service) funds;
- $1.29 million in internal service funds (insurance);
- $225,000 in trust/agency funds (pupil activity); and
- $317,500 in the Mooney Trust Fund that is non-expendable.
School financial officials pointed out the non-appropriated reserves totaling $2.210 million include accrued salaries for July and August and a recommended three-month operating surplus.
Nancy Schutz, district business manager, presented a comparison chart showing current fiscal year, prior actual audited fiscal year and ensuing fiscal year funding comparisons.
For example, the $18.735 million budgeted for the general fund in the next school year represents an increase of $385,000 over that budgeted for the current school year ending July 1. The budgeted figure for the 2003-2004 school year was $17,904.5 million whereas the actual audited expenditure from the fund in 2003-04 was $19,475,800.
Similarly, the newly approved budget shows $6,637,790 in actual costs for instruction in the coming year, including $2,054,552 at the elementary school, up about $7,000 from the present year; $959,108 in the intermediate school, down about $2,000; $940,861 in the junior high, up about $5,000; and $1,751,218 in the high school, down from $1,753,943.
Added to that total instruction cost is $558,920 in general K-12 instruction including BOCS, alternative high school and tuition, down from $587,537 last year; and athletic-activities costs of $373,132, down about $2,000 this year.
The approved budget also includes $516,360 in general administration expenses (up $63,000); $232,603 for business services (up about $7,000); maintenance costs of $1.579 million (up about $30,000); transportation costs of $839,815 (up about $5,000); and technology costs of $459,083 (down about $32,000).
In a related move, the board approved a supplemental budget for the insurance fund for the current year.
Officials noted both revenues and expenditures in the fund exceeded budgeted amounts because of unanticipated large claims in the employee health insurance.
The reinsurance carrier has reimbursed the district $300,000 and the action Tuesday returned that amount to the fund as supplemental budget.
Grants become the Alley to school programs
By Richard Walter
Budgeting for a growing public school district can be a monumental financial headache.
Terry Alley got his share of that headache during his many years as superintendent in Pagosa Springs.
Now, as the grant writer for the district, he is providing some of the remedy and drew a large thank you in absentia Tuesday from school board members obviously wondrous at what he has been able to achieve.
Superintendent Duane Noggle, who replaced Alley in the top administrative spot, set the stage by noting "grant funding plays a vital role in funding educational programs in our district. Oftentimes, it is difficult for a board member to keep track of what is or is not funded through grants."
For the 2005-06 school year, he said, "We are anticipating $1-$1.2 million in grant funding," and went into a list of the actions by Alley that have speeded a number of programs:
- Applying for a Power Results Technology Grant for the intermediate and junior high schools for $30,000 as an aid to assisting students in determining where they are in specific programs, where they need to be and how to get there;
- Applying for an EPA grant to replace buses over 20 years old (the district has three fitting the category). Cost to replace two would be approximately $165,000;
- Reapplying for a state capital construction grant for junior high and intermediate school roof replacement to cover one-third of cost (junior high work is underway);
- Expelled and at-risk student services grant. The district will have one student next year in need of such services and has been placed on the list of potential participants;
- Applying for SAR (School Accountability Report) exemption for the alternative school which meets all required criteria. Teachers in all four regular schools met "highly qualified" under definition of No Child Left Behind. However, the district did not meet the definition because of the alternative school. Colorado Department of Education agrees the alternative school should not be included in the calculation. Title I funding is tied to "highly qualified" status for the district and all necessary paperwork for appeal has been filed'
- Colorado preschool program. The state restored four slots cut two years ago in addition to approving seven additional grants. Additional slots will go to Head Start as will three of those restored. The other will go to Seeds of Learning;
- All goals and requirements were met for a renewal of Read to Achieve grant money totaling about $23,000 for an after school summer reading program;
- All data has been submitted and the state has approved a $375,000 grant over three years for Colorado Reading First programs in the elementary school;
- The district has submitted application for $70,101 in E-rate funding and will file additional paperwork after July 1;
- Consolidated grant, the bulk of grant funding, accounts for approximately half of the total grant amount mentioned earlier. Application deadline is June 30. Sought in NCLB funding will be $417,427 for Title I; $9,264 under Title II A; $2,62 under Title III; $11,656 in title IV (Safe and Drug free schools); $6,682 under Title V for innovative programs; and $7,721 under Title IID for technology improvements.
Forest Service, property owners consider Mill Creek Road problems
By James Robinson
Everyone agrees Mill Creek Road is a mess. The Forest Service won't deny it, the road's condition is so bad the county doesn't want it, and residents are angry they can't drive on it to get to their homes.
In the first of a series of talks, the Forest Service met with Mill Creek area residents Tuesday to seek solutions to what Pagosa Ranger District Ranger Jo Bridges said were "unacceptable conditions" for the road and the Forest Service.
Bill Ivy, road manager for the San Juan National Forest, said increases in traffic beyond what the road was designed to tolerate, coupled with unusually wet conditions had contributed to the road's demise. He said the core issue is that the road is being used as an all-weather, residential access road, when it was never designed as such, and that all-weather use had degraded the road to the point its essential foundation has been utterly ruined.
"The road is shot, we're starting from scratch," Ivy said.
Tony Scarpa, who uses Mill Creek Road to access his property across from Mill Creek Ranch acknowledged traffic had increased over recent years, but said the road had remained passable throughout recent winters due to the county's plowing program. He said the road deteriorated significantly after the county quit plowing it last year.
Other attendees at the meeting echoed Scarpa's statements and said past plowing efforts had kept the road at an acceptable and passable standard.
The section of road in question is a three-mile stretch that begins at the San Juan National Forest boundary, about four miles in from the intersection of Mill Creek Road and U.S. 84, and continues through the forest to private inholdings in the High West Unit 11, Mill Creek Ranch, Rito Blanco Ranch and Cimarrona subdivisions all lying inside the national forest boundary.
Ivy said the section of road in question is under Forest Service jurisdiction and is not a county road.
Glenn Raby of the Forest Service said during the last 50 years the county had no authority and no permit to plow or maintain the road, and that county maintenance of a Forest Service road is technically illegal.
"It was being done because it was a nice thing to do," Raby said.
Ivy said the Forest Service is responsible for public safety and maintenance of the roadway, and federal regulations require the Forest Service only to allow access to private inholdings. They are not required to provide access, Ivy said.
He emphasized this statement and encouraged residents to realize there is a big difference between the two.
Ivy said Mill Creek Road was designed, in Forest Service terminology, as a "Maintenance Level Three Road." He said a level three road could be driven in a passenger car by a prudent driver in dry conditions.
Raby said during dry conditions, the road is passable and meets the level three criteria.
Both men acknowledged use patterns had changed and further pressures brought to bear on the degraded road would only make the situation worse.
They said the current problem stems from planning issues, residential development issues and decades of informal, maintenance (namely snowplowing) agreements between the Forest Service and Archuleta County.
They said the point of the meeting was not to lay blame but to seek solutions to a complex and costly problem.
Raby cautioned the solutions might not be pretty.
"This is a terrible problem that has terrible solutions," Raby said.
Forest Service staff urged attendees to offer creative suggestions for solving the problem.
Ivy said the Forest Service was not there to provide a solution, but to seek input from Mill Creek area residents on how they could help themselves.
"I ain't riding into town on a white motorgrader to save anybody," Ivy said.
After the meeting, Scarpa was not overly optimistic. "It sounds like the onus is on the property owners to bear the expense," Scarpa said. "The county is not taking responsibility nor is the Forest Service."
The idea of forming metro districts or a property owner's association to pay for road maintenance was offered, but Scarpa said creating a metro district is an expensive burden for area residents to bear.
The Forest Service would like the county to take over the road and some residents agree that might be the most cost-effective option from a taxpayer's perspective.
Al Bouchier, a property owner in High West Unit 11, was one who expressed such sentiments. He said forming a property owner's association sounds like a bureaucratic and logistical nightmare. He said an owner's association would be costly and money would be wasted on duplication of services and equipment. He advocated that an agreement with the county, which already has the equipment and the manpower to maintain roads, might be the better option.
He said he is not opposed to a small tax increase to fund county maintenance of the road if that increase would provide year-round access.
Bouchier said after the meeting, "It made me a lot more confident to see the county here."
All three Archuleta County Commissioners attended the meeting.
Tuesday's event was offered by the Forest Service as a way to familiarize residents with the issues and history of the road and its maintenance.
Forest Service staff said it was also step one in a series of upcoming problem solving meetings. The next meeting is scheduled June 28 at 7 p.m. in the Extension building at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.
In the meantime, Bridges asked for volunteers to form a sort of task force and she asked Mill Creek area residents to send solution suggestions to her at email@example.com. She said to tag the e-mail with the subject "Mill Creek Road."
Citizens render aid in June 8 near-drowning incident
By James Robinson
An Arizona man is still on life support at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, following a near-drowning incident June 8 at Lake Forest west of Pagosa Springs.
The man, 61-year-old David Voigt of Glendale Ariz., was fishing in a boat with his friend, Timothy Patton, when the incident occurred.
Lieutenant T.J. Fitzwater of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday Voigt is doing "really well." But Mercy Medical Center Staff could not be reached by press time to provide a more specific statement on Voigt's status.
According to an Archuleta County Sheriff's Department report, Patton said Voigt had Parkinson's Disease and that they "put a chair in the boat for Voigt's mobility."
When Patton caught a fish, the report states, Patton asked Voigt to help him land it, and as Voigt leaned over with the net, he fell in. Patton said he was not able to rescue his friend and swam to shore for help.
According to the eyewitness report of Dick and Deidra Fortier, they were driving northbound on Lake Forest Circle around noon when the incident occurred.
According to their statements, other passersby waved them down, yelling for a cell phone, and that's when they saw Patton swimming to shore, calling for someone to help his friend.
They reported they saw a grey-haired man, Voigt, bobbing in the water next to the boat, about 100 yards from the shore and that's when Dick Fortier swam to Voigt's aid. By the time Fortier arrived, Voigt had gone underwater.
The statement says Fortier saw a shadow below the surface and he lunged for it hoping it was Voigt. It was. Fortier grabbed Voigt, and using the boat for support, swam towards shore.
The sheriff's report states Rebecca Smith arrived on the scene as Fortier made his way toward the shore with the boat and victim and that she jumped in and helped pull the boat and the two men the last 50 yards to safety.
The Fortier's said that Voigt had been under water for about two to three minutes, and that it took about five to seven minutes to get Voigt to shore.
Once on shore, Deidra Fortier began CPR with the assistance of an unknown law enforcement officer, and within a few minutes, Voigt began gasping for air and a radial pulse was detected.
According to the Fortier's testimony, EMS arrived shortly thereafter and Voigt was flown to Mercy Medical Center.
Lieutenant Fitzwater said it was unclear whether Voigt was wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.
Smith resignation opens third seat on PLPOA board
By Richard Walter
A resignation accepted June 9 creates an additional vacancy on the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Board of Directors.
Director Gerald Smith submitted his resignation, tentatively effective June 13. He said his family is moving to Texas.
Already on the ballot for the July 30 annual meeting is the election of two directors from a field of five candidates.
The Smith seat, however, will not be on the annual meeting ballot. Under board rules, a vacancy occurring within 90 days of an election and having two or more years remaining can be filled by board appointment.
The person named would then serve the upcoming year of the unexpired term, then stand for reelection to the unexpired fourth year at the annual meeting in 2006.
Directors are expected to make the appointment at the July 14 meeting.
Already on the ballot being printed are the seats currently held by Fred Ebeling and Bill Nobles. Ebeling has declared for reelection, but Nobles chose not to run again.
Ebeling, senior member of the board, is a resident with his wife, June, of Lake Pagosa Park and has lived in the community 35 years, was a county planning administrator, first project manager for the development in Pagosa Lakes, a retired savings and loan and mortgage lending and appraisal official, and dedicated to making the association "property owner friendly and helpful to the utmost extent possible."
Vying with him for the two open seats will be:
- Gary Gray, a retired high school teacher and coach who lived 35 years in Illinois before moving to the Pagosa Springs area. A former Peace Corps volunteer and a director of marketing, Gray says he will resist the temptation to feel that a "problem identified is a problem solved." He feels there is a danger that in the name of "quality of life" and "enhancing property values" we can contribute to the opposite;
- Lorie Unger, a resident since 2000, who is chairman of Relay for Life American Cancer Society Walk, a member of the "Big Box"task force and the Community Vision Committee, a Realtor working for a new local development and a volunteer with Loaves and Fishes. Unger thinks she can make a difference in the community by serving on the board;
- George Esterly, chairman of the Lake Forest Settlement Committee and other subdivision panels - a retired investment advisor, school counselor, college instructor and licensed school psychologist. A nine-year resident who has worked on many subdivision and county improvement programs, Esterly says "it is time to work on a regular basis on association affairs via a board position"; and
- Ken Lavery, a resident of Pagosa over nine years ago who left for a contract out of country but has returned after a 34-year career as a professional pilot because of a love for the "nice mountain community." He said he "believes in logic and live and let live" and wants to see the area increase in value. "I do not want to bring the city to Pagosa," he said.
GoCo denies grant for Lake Forest Trail
By Richard Walter
A Great Outdoors Colorado (GoCo) grant for a walking trail through Lake Forest Estates on to North Pagosa Boulevard at Village Lake has been denied.
Walt Lukasik, general manager for Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, told the board of directors last week he was informed the application fell "about two short of the cutoff."
At board meetings in 2003 and 2004, the decision of the property owners in Lake Forest Estates was to apply for the grant using Fairfield bankruptcy court-awarded funds as a basis of matching funds to attempt to complete the trail.
Lukasik said GoCo officials indicated there is a possibility, albeit slight, they may receive additional funding from different sources and that, if it is received, those projects near the cutoff point could be reconsidered.
He told the board the granting agency said PLPOA could use any funds expended within six months of the next grant cycle application date (Nov. 1) and consider it as matching funds for a 2006 project.
In other words, he said, "If we built the Lake Forest Trail this year, for example, for $153,000, we could use that expense as a matching expenditure in applying for another grant next year."
If that grant were received, he said, "we would extend the trail from that intersection on North Pagosa Boulevard, south to the dam at Village Lake, connecting it to the end of the existing pathway which ends at Lakeside Drive."
By Nov. 1, he said, "we would apply to GoCo for matching funds to build the complete trail down to the Village Lake dam. We believe the possibility of receiving matching funds is minimal, but we would have nothing to lose by going through the application process."
'Alternative' will be offered to county road proposition
By Richard Walter
Jerry Baier is a man of few words.
When he asked members of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors for comment June 9 on the road plan announced a week earlier by the county, he added:
"It will have a major impact on the residents of Pagosa Lakes. Seventy percent of the roads now getting maintenance will lose it.
"There will be an incredible hue and cry here. It will be a major decibel level compared to the 'whispers' you've heard before from some of us."
Baier, a resident living on Colanca Place in Twin Creek, was answered first by Fred Ebeling who said the purpose of the county commissioners in holding the hearing (and another last night) was "to find out what the public thinks."
And, he said, "action is being taken to provide the commissioners with an alternative plan.
"We (later identified as several road savvy local residents) will propose that the county determine the total available to Road and Bridge now and first appropriate no more than nine percent for administrative costs. The rest would be distributed equally on a used-most basis to all the roads in the county. In that way every road would get a fair share of the total pie. If that's not enough, the solution will be to seek an increased mill levy for road purposes and to distribute it, too, on a prorated basis."
Baier said the plan sounded wise, but the people need to understand it and that more taxes may be necessary.
'Worst case' presented
Director David Bohl, board president, but "speaking personally, not as an official," said, "I have heard there were three reports prepared and that the 'worst case scenario' is the one presented.
"If that is true, and my sources are normally good, they are holding the other two as fall-back positions. I'm told two commissioners will offer one of the alternatives and the people will think they've won compromise.
"Personally," he said, "all three probably stink equally."
He also became the first to publicly report (though rumor has been rampant) that there appears to be a "recall move afoot if the board as constituted continues to follow this course of action."
Director Gerald Smith said the county's road and bridge department "needs to show efficacy and effectiveness with the funds available, not the apparent wasteful administration seen currently."
Marge Panzer, a resident living on Sumac, professed to remain bewildered "by how the county managed to so mismanage the construction of North Pagosa Boulevard."
"That wasted money," she said, "could have done lots of repairs."
Panzer said she'd investigated the county recommendation for areas to form their own special service districts.
Waving a sheaf of papers, she said, "the right-of-way permitting alone is horrendous. Why not form a city and call ourselves Pagosa West? Then we'd have our own services and a municipal government responsible to us."
"It would be easier to be annexed by the town and have it provide maintenance of streets with higher specifications," answered Ebeling.
Private survey update
Walt Lukasik, association general manager, told the board the contracted study of all association roads by a Utah State University team has begun but will have a one week break before the team returns.
Results should be available around Aug. 1, he said. The same collegiate team has been retained by the county for a similar study of the balance of the county.
"We've set aside $7,340 for them to examine every roadway here," Lukasik said. "They'll measure surface area, stability, pavement depth (if any), gravel base, shoulders, everything associated with a roadway, and give us an individual report on each one, including estimated cost to bring up to standard.
"Whatever the county does," after this survey (an excess of 300 miles of county road are being studied), "we'll know what we have and what it will take to update it, even if we don't know who will do it or when," he concluded.
Mail matters mask muted mutterings
By Richard Walter
Even the U.S. Mail will get through faster than getting an answer about where to deliver it.
That was the upshot June 9 of a report to the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors by Walt Lukasik, general manager.
At issue is a long-standing need for additional mail boxes for residents of the 26 association member subdivisions.
Discussions with postal officials have produced promises, new plans, revised plans, no plans, missed appointments and continued frustration.
Lukasik told the board he and Larry Lynch, association properties manager, had an appointment with the postmaster in Pagosa Springs at 1 p.m. June 8.
"He was in another meeting," they were told. After 45 minutes and with other appointments pressing, they left, Lukasik said, with a message to the postmaster to call with any new details.
As of the June 9 meeting, no call had been received.
Lukasik said the language in the proposed agreement provided by the postal service was "in part vague, misleading, or totally not understandable. We need more information."
He said the price for a 16-box cluster with two package bays and parking area is $1,000 per unit. "We have determined it would take 411 such units ($411,000 cost) to serve all the area now developed (and replace boxes now damaged or outdated)."
Cost of installation would be borne by the association, he said, with a resulting $1 to $2 per year fee to property owners for maintenance of site.
"Those are the figures we anticipate," he said, "but we're getting little if anything in the way of cold, hard, postal service facts."
In other business, the board:
- Appointed Ernest Harger and Ken Lavery to the Environmental Control Commission;
- Learned from treasurer Fred Uehling that $886,000, or 87 percent of the $1,008,000 dues assessed for the coming year, has been received - a figure running 5.6 percent ahead of the same time last year;
- Approved on a 4-1 vote (director Fred Ebeling opposed) ratification of a ballot issue for the annual meeting that would change language in articles of incorporation to allow the association board more leeway in dealing with current issues;
- Approved Lukasik's draft letter to Fairfield Resort Communities accepting greenbelt properties with a change in wording as it applies to motorized traffic thereon to reflect "internal combustion powered traffic." The greenbelts would be deeded to the association. At present, about 1,500 acres of greenbelt are controlled by Fairfield, and an estimated 30 acres by the association. The vote was 4-1 with Ebeling dissenting. He argued the sites should be accepted without Fairfield restrictions with the understanding "we'd enact our own and be responsible for enforcing them. We could not enforce a prior right held by Fairfield if they were deeded to us." One exclusion from the agreement would be the equestrian operation on the west side of Piedra Road (but not the trail area on the other of the road); and
- Were told there are 14 covenant compliance issues pending with association counsel after a court order for repair was issued on one property May 13.
Larson focuses on fiscal fitness for state, not his announced Senate race
By Richard Walter
He may be a candidate for the District 6 Senate seat, but right now Mark Larson is more interested in completing his job as state representative from the 59th District.
And to do that, he is working diligentlyon making people aware of the necessity for passing Referendums C and D this fall.
"My whole focus right now," he said Tuesday, "is to get them passed so the state can begin to get out of its financial morass."
"The health and welfare of the state are the issues right now, not whether Mark Larson will make a good senator," he said.
He said he's been getting many e-mails and calls for clarification on his candidacy plans and said he will make a formal announcement sometime in the next month.
Until then, and even afterward, he'll be pushing for the referenda approval in November.
The two special ballot issues are deemed key to fiscal recovery for the state.
Referendum C will ask voters to lift spending limits for five years to help the state rebound from recession; Referendum D would let legislators use some of that money to borrow cash for construction projects.
All of the financial duress is attributed to previously approved voter referenda, particularly TABOR (the Taxpayer Bill of Rights) which imposed stringent limits on state spending that were based on expected business boom that went bust for several years.
Larson, a Cortez Republican, said getting and keeping the state on a sound fiscal basis is the most important issue facing any legislator this year.
Papers indicating the race for his friend, Sen. Jim Isgar's seat, were filed Nov. 9.
Larson said he and Isgar, D-Hesperus, whose term expires next year, have always had a close working relationship "and I see no reason why that won't continue."
Larson is term-limited out of office in the House but Isgar could serve another term should he choose to seek reelection.
Isgar was appointed to the Senate to fill the seat vacated by Jim Dyer and was elected to a full term in 2002, defeating State Rep. Kay Alexander, R-Montrose.
Larson's next Pagosa Springs appearance will be June 21 at a League of Women Voters session in the community center where the topic will be - the dual referenda, of course.
He said there will be no campaigning for office in that appearance.
Later, he said, "we'll have to have some of those unavoidable fund-raisers and then I'll talk about candidacy."
Hopefully, he said, that will all follow voter approval of fiscal salvation at the polls this fall.
Disaster services enriched by new Red Cross unit
By James Robinson
After a year of hard work, the Archuleta County Red Cross Advisory Board has realized its goal of forming a disaster action team. The capstone of that achievement was the unveiling, last Friday, of their new disaster services trailer.
Edie Corwin, advisory board chair, said the trailer is equipped with 100 cots, blankets and pillows that can be used to set up a shelter in the event of a disaster or emergency evacuation situation such as a flood or wildfire.
Although Friday marked the official unveiling, Corwin said the disaster action team was ready to provide shelter to evacuees during flood relief efforts on the lower Blanco River in late May.
Corwin said the coalescence of manpower, equipment and organization happened at the perfect time and the Red Cross was ready and equipped to assist during the county's time of need.
Although shelter wasn't ultimately needed during the Blanco River flood relief efforts, the Red Cross did provide a solid backbone of support to local search and rescue and emergency services personnel as they saw their staffs spread thin during a very busy week.
With flood waters raging on the lower Rio Blanco and 33 homes being threatened, a missing man in the same area, two lost hikers on Fourmile Trail, stranded rafters on the San Juan just east of town, helicopter flights and aerial operations, the Red Cross set up shop in the county's command post at Stevens Field airport. Their presence provided backup and hot meals to search and rescue personnel, emergency personnel and sand bagging crews.
In his presentation to county commissioners detailing that week's events, Greg Oertel, the director of emergency operations for the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, said the Red Cross' efforts were integral to the overall success of the week's operations.
Corwin said the Red Cross does not operate independently, but works closely with local law enforcement, fire and emergency services personnel.
"We are all partners, they give us a lot of guidance and support," Corwin said. She said local emergency services and law enforcement management such as Archuleta County Emergency Services Director Russell Crowley, Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams, Archuleta County Undersheriff Bob Grandchamp, and Oertel, had offered tremendous guidance during the creation of the disaster action team.
"They really have been mentors in this effort," Corwin said.
Crowley said this is the first time the county has had disaster relief capabilities.
In the event of an emergency or disaster situation, he said, "We can make 100 people just a little more comfortable."
Funding for the disaster services trailer was procured through a homeland security grant.
Summer school slated June 27 through
Summer School classes in Pagosa Springs Elementary School will begin Monday, June 27, and will run Monday through Thursday of each week until July 28 (no school July 4).
Two sessions will be offered: one for math 8:30-10 a.m. and one for reading/writing 10:15-11:45 a.m.
Parents should have received a letter in May if their child was referred and should receive a reminder letter soon. If in doubt, call 264-4750.
If your child was recommended for both sessions, they will get a recess/snack break 10-10:15 a.m. but will need to provide their own snack.
Parents/guardians are asked to be prompt when picking up their children because there will be someone on duty outside only from 10-10:15 a.m. and 11:45-noon each day.
Class needs lists are posted on the front doors of the school to assist you. Paper and pencils are the only school supplies necessary and, if that's a problem, the school can provide materials.
Class sizes are usually quite small, so it is wise to take advantage of this free school district service.
If you have any questions, call Lori Lucero at 264-4750.
Sexual offender registration rules
detailed for public
By Don Volger
Chief of Police, Pagosa Springs
Special to The SUN
The issues concerning sex offender registration have received considerable, warranted national and local attention in the past few months.
The simple fact is the majority of convicted sex offenders do not spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Following conviction and sentencing, most are subsequently released to communities across the country, Pagosa Springs included.
Town officials have taken the initiative to explain the local situation for community residents.
Individuals convicted for sex offenses may receive one of two classifications - "sex offender" or "sexually violent predator."
Currently, 16 registered sex offenders reside in Archuleta County. There are no known sexually violent predators.
Essentially, any person, adult or juvenile, convicted or adjudicated in the state of Colorado for unlawful sexual behavior or of another offense, the underlying factual basis of which involves unlawful sexual behavior, is considered a sexual offender, subject to registration requirements.
A sexually violent predator is someone 18 or older who has committed and been convicted of multiple felony sex offenses and who is "likely to subsequently commit one of more of the offenses."
Courts review sex offense cases and determine which sex offenders should be designated as sexually violent predators. Even though there are hundreds of registered sex offenders in Colorado, there are only a handful of sexually violent predators.
Special notification requirements apply to sexually violent predators and if one moves to Archuleta County, the public will be notified.
The Archuleta County Sheriff's Department maintains the list of sex offenders and checks frequently to make sure the required residency information is accurate. Sex offenders must register annually or quarterly, depending on the terms of their sentence. They must also register any time they move. If sex offenders fail to meet registration requirements, they are subject to arrest.
Archuleta County Sheriff's Detective George Daniels maintains the sex offender list for the county, including the Town of Pagosa Springs. The list contains identification information, residency information and photographs.
Residents can access the information by making a simple request at the sheriff's department. If you are a resident and have proper identification or other proof of residence, the information will be provided.
You can also get sex offender information through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Web site at www.cbi.state.co.us/ by going to the "Colorado Sex Offender Site" link.
If you have additional questions or concerns about the sex offender identification program, contact Daniels at 264-2131.
Garden club's annual plant sale Saturday
The Mountain High Gardeners Club will hold its second annual plant sale 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday in the Extension Building at the county fairgrounds.
Club members will be selling annuals, perennials and other plants, plus fresh baked goods.
Proceeds will be used for community beautification projects.
The Mountain High Gardeners Club meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Extension office. The monthly programs are informative and fun.
In July the club will go on a field trip to nurseries in Dolores; in August the tentative program will be on roses and, in September, Bill Nobles from the Extension office will be guest speaker.
Whether you are new to Pagosa or a life long resident the Gardeners Club can help with your gardens and welcomes new members. Join them in helping Pagosa bloom throughout the year.
Two school reunions set for July 3
By Alva Cox
Special to The SUN
The class of 1955 will sponsor a picnic at the Blanco River Picnic Area to honor everyone who attended Pagosa schools with the classes of 1954, '55 and '56.
The picnic will start about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, July 3, and last until 5 p.m. Anyone who has ever been associated with Pagosa is welcome. Bring your own drinks and a little food. There will be food for about 50 people but there's no telling how many will show up.
Directions: At the Y east of Pagosa turn south on U.S. 84. Just after mile marker 17, the highway will cross the Blanco River and there is a sign on the left side of the road that says, "National Forest Access Blanco River Road." Turn there and travel 2.3 miles on a good gravel road to the picnic area, which is on the left side of the road.
Other hopefully helpful (but possibly confusing) worthless information: Mile markers are on the left side of the road. Mile marker 27 is just south of the rodeo grounds. After passing mile marker 19, there will be a sign that says, "Blanco River." This is not the Blanco River (Rio Blanco), it is the Little Blanco (Rito Blanco). Keep going past mile marker 17. If you have questions, call Alva Cox at 731-9501.
If you enjoy reminiscing about the "great old days," set aside Sunday, July 3, for a school reunion. Have you ever attended, worked at, had a child attend, or been associated with Pagosa Springs High School? All classes up to and including the class of 2005 are invited to this school reunion. Organizers are planning a get-together Sunday, July 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Junior High School. Refreshments will be served and there will be a minimal charge to cover the expenses.
If you would like to help plan this event, or have questions, call Alice Seavy at 264-5906.
Welcome summer solstice in Chimney
Rock sunrise event
Begin the summer with a celebration watching the sun rise over the San Juan Mountains on top of the Great House Plateau at the Chimney Rock Archeological Area.
See the rays of the sun cover the area with color and beauty. Stand in the same spot as the Ancestral Puebloans did one thousand years ago as they watched the sun begin their first day of the new season.
Learn how archeoastronomers thought these ancient inhabitants lived. How might they have used the sun for planting their crops? Where did they get water? What did they grow? Discuss how the Ancestral Puebloans might have survived and why they celebrated the Solstice.
Reservations are required for this sunrise event.
Please call the Visitors' Cabin, (970) 883-5359. Gates open at 5 a.m. (yes, a.m.), and close at 5:05 a.m. with the sun rising at 5:48 a.m. No one will be admitted after 5:05 a.m. Tickets are $15.
Due to the strenuous hike and the two- to three-hour length of the program, it's suggested children under 12 not attend.
Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by bringing a flashlight, warm clothing and a hat, good walking shoes, and inset repellant. In the event of bad weather, the program will be canceled.
Chimney Rock Archeological Area is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs off Colorado 151 south of U.S. 160. For more information, call the Visitors' Cabin at (970) 883-5359, the office at (970) 264-2287, or check the Web site at www.chimneyrockco.org.
The stonefly hatch seen as trout tempter
By James Robinson
The stonefly hatch is imminent.
That's the word from local guide and fly shop owner Mark Miller, and reports from area anglers support his assertion.
Miller said anglers have begun to see adult stonefly activity in the San Juan River and other watersheds farther south, and the hatch will slowly work its way upstream, through Pagosa Springs and into the higher elevations.
This angler noticed one lone, adult stonefly, cruising the skies near his home on the San Juan River Friday, but recent trips into the Piedra and upper San Juan watersheds yielded no trout taken on dries.
Fishing deep with a variety of dark brown and black stonefly nymph patterns in sizes 10 through 14 produced positive results. Bead head, rubber legged, and simpler patterns such as a Brooks Stone did equally well.
Under recent river conditions, size seemed less critical than color, and dark brown patterns took the larger trout.
Miller said area lakes, such as Echo Lake, are still fishing well and evening anglers there might do well with a size 18 through 22 Parachute Adams fished during the evening midge hatch.
Williams Creek below the dam continues to provide action for anglers interested in nymphing for large rainbows.
Wildlife issues topic for talks here June 21
Residents in southwest Colorado who want to learn more about the Colorado Wildlife Commission (CWC) are invited to a special meeting June 21 in Pagosa Springs.
The meeting is set 7-9 p.m., at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.
The commission sets regulations and policies for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW).
The meeting will be hosted by District 2 Colorado Wildlife Commissioner Dick Ray who will talk about the work and goals of the commission and the DOW.
Commission members are unpaid volunteers who represent five different districts in Colorado. They are appointed from each of the following groups: livestock producers, agricultural or produce growers, sportsmen or outfitters, wildlife organizations and boards of county commissioners. The remaining three commissioners are appointed from the public at large.
Ray lives in Pagosa Springs and is an avid hunter and fisherman. He was recently appointed to the Wildlife Commission as a sportsmen's representative.
He has owned and operated the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park since 1986. The park is a licensed educational facility and home to elk, mule deer, black bear, a grizzly bear, mountain lion, bobcat, porcupine, coyote and wolves. Ray has also been a Colorado guide and outfitter since 1970. Ray currently serves as vice president of the Colorado Mule Deer Association. He also served on the DOW's Total Licensing Project, the Predator Advisory Committee and the License Fee Increase Advisory Committee.
Also attending the meeting will be Tom Spezze, manager for the DOW's Southwest Region. Ray and Spezze will discuss local and statewide issues and answer questions.
Fuels reduction work in Martinez Canyon
Hydromowing for fuels reduction will begin soon on the San Juan National Forest in the Martinez Canyon area.
This 20-acre project area is adjacent to private property on the east rim of Martinez Canyon west of Lake Forest subdivision.
The contractor will use a Hydro-ax machine to shred small trees and understory oakbrush. The machine looks like a large front-end loader with an eight-foot rotary blade deck-mounted on the front.
The public is advised to use caution when in an area where this equipment is working. Mowers propel debris up to 300 feet in all directions.
Work will begin on or about June 20 and will continue for approximately one week. Work hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For public safety, the trails in the area where work is occurring will be closed during the active work period.
This is one of several fuels reduction projects within the Pagosa Ranger District this summer. Other locations being treated with hydromowing include 271 acres in the Turkey Springs area, 412 acres in the Hatcher area (east of Piedra Road at the end of the pavement), and 985 acres east of Pagosa Springs near Mill Creek and Echo Canyon Roads.
These thinning projects help to restore the forest to a density that is similar to its pre-1880 condition by creating openings between the larger ponderosa pine and removing vegetation that serves as ladder fuels to carry a fire into the canopy.
For more information, contact Laura Corral or Scott Wagner at Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.
Pagosa shooters win half the medals at home event
By Lisa Kraetsch
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa PathFinders were hosts last weekend to the Colorado State Youth Hunter Education Challenge.
The event was held on the Laverty property Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Challenge included muzzleloader, archery, .22 rifle, shotgun, orienteering and wildlife identification, a Hunter Safety Trail conducted by Division of Wildlife officers and a written test. Among the 38 participants, Pagosa had 15 representatives.
The weekend included a Saturday afternoon barbecue, a Cherokee Run, a cowboy action demonstration, and the opportunity to work with a gold medal Olympic shotgun shooter, Lance Bade.
There were 48 awards made and Pagosa PathFinders took half of them. In the Senior Division, PathFinders took two first place awards, four seconds and four thirds. In the Junior Division local competitors won five first-place awards, five seconds and three thirds.
Pagosa shooters also took Overall Senior - Zane Kraetsch - and Overall Junior - Mason Laverty. The PathFinders would like to thank all of the volunteers who made this event possible.
'Fight the Bite' to battle West Nile Virus here
By Lori Maldonado
Special to The SUN
It's time again for Coloradans to take personal precautions against West Nile virus.
"The key to averting West Nile virus is reducing the likelihood of exposure to the mosquitoes that carry the disease; to put it succinctly, fight the bite with a preemptive strike," said Douglas H. Benevento, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Benevento explained, "Although most of Colorado's West Nile virus sufferers experienced no symptoms or fully recovered from their flu-like symptoms last year, we know from experience how severely West Nile virus can attack. We want to prevent as many cases of West Nile virus as we can. To do that, we need to take the disease seriously and to take the proper precautions - such as the appropriate use of mosquito repellents and the removal of mosquito breeding grounds."
Repellents recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include those containing from 10-30 percent DEET as well as newly recommended products containing Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus, which also have been shown to offer long-lasting protection against mosquito bites.
Information about these repellents includes:
- Repellents containing DEET have been available since 1956 and are used by an estimated 50 million to 100 million people annually. When used as directed, these repellents have been proven to be safe and effective in preventing mosquito bites.
- The higher the percentage of DEET in a repellent, the longer the protection lasts. Concentrations above 30 percent don't provide better protection.
- Two additional repellents have been registered by the EPA and endorsed by CDC for use: Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Picaridin repellents with 7 percent active ingredient provide longer-lasting protection, like DEET, and repellents, with 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus as the active ingredient, provide protection equal to a low concentration DEET product.
- If choosing a repellent containing DEET, Coloradans should select a product containing the right amount of DEET to match the time spent outdoors. Repellents containing 25 percent DEET protect for an average of five hours while repellents containing 20 percent DEET protect for almost four hours; repellents containing 6.65 percent DEET protect for almost two hours; and repellents containing 4.75 percent DEET protect for approximately one-and-a-half hours.
- Use products containing 10 percent to 30 percent DEET or less for children.
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus is not currently recommended for children under 3 years of age, not because it is considered to be dangerous, but because it has not been sufficiently tested on children of that age. Picaridin can be used for children of all ages. Parents and other persons should read container labels thoroughly before applying any mosquito repellents to young children.
- Parents should apply repellent to young children to ensure complete coverage and proper application. Avoid getting the repellent on children's hands or in their eyes or mouths. (Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors can reduce the need for repellent.)
- Clothing can be sprayed with insecticides containing DEET or Permethrin. This will last up to four washings or two weeks on clothing. It is important to follow product directions.
- Use enough repellent to cover exposed skin or clothing. Don't apply repellent to skin that is under clothing. Heavy application is not necessary to achieve protection.
- Do not apply repellent to cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
- After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
- Do not spray aerosol or pump products in enclosed areas.
Do not apply aerosol or pump products directly to the face. Spray hands and then rub them carefully over the face, avoiding the eyes and mouth.
Other prevention tips include:
- Limit time spent outdoors at dawn or after dusk when mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are most active.
- If you or members of your family are outdoors, protect yourself by using insect repellent on a regular basis.
- Your back yard or patio is not a "safe zone." Even a brief trip out to the barbecue or garden allows time for an infected mosquito to bite.
- Keep doors and windows closed and/or properly screened to keep mosquitoes out.
- Placing screening on porches also is effective.
- Repair or replace torn or damaged screens.
State and county entomologists have begun trapping and tracking the emergence of Culex tarsalis and other Culex species of mosquitoes, which are the main culprits in transmitting West Nile virus to humans.
Mosquitoes become infected with West Nile virus after they bite infected birds that carry it. Mosquitoes then can spread the virus to other birds, humans and horses.
John Pape, a Department of Public Health and Environment epidemiologist who specializes in animal-related diseases and who heads the department's West Nile virus prevention efforts, said Culex tarsalis mosquitoes are beginning to make an appearance in Colorado again this year. Although none have tested positive for the virus yet, they are expected to soon, he said.
Pape explained, "The disease's 'peak season' will again occur later in the summer when the peak population of these mosquitoes is reached and sufficient numbers of mosquitoes have become infected," which he expects to occur in late-July and through mid-August. "A typically wet spring, followed by a hot summer, can increase the population of infected mosquitoes," he said.
"Weather is one of the biggest factors," Pape said, adding that the incidence of West Nile virus will vary throughout regions of the state. "The warmer temperatures allow the mosquitoes to complete their life cycle faster. We cannot predict yet how severe the West Nile virus season is going to be this year. Our surveillance will start to show that as the season progresses."
A total of 291 human cases of West Nile virus, including four deaths, were reported in Colorado in 2004. This represented a sharp downturn from the first full season of West Nile virus in Colorado in 2003, when there were 2,947 confirmed cases of the disease and 63 deaths.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and local public health agencies maintain a Web site about West Nile virus which can be found at www.FightTheBiteColorado.com.
Information also can be obtained by calling the toll-free Colorado Help Line, (877)462-2911, which is staffed by trained professionals from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and operates on a reduced schedule on weekends and holidays.
Interpretive Alliance events for remainder of June
The Interpretive Alliance has numerous programs planned for June.
This calendar is prepared in advance, so please call to confirm dates, times and locations.
For outdoor programs, be prepared for any kind of weather. Bring water, hat, sunscreen, rain gear, and appropriate shoes. For outdoor evening programs, bring a chair, blanket and flashlight.
Through June 29
- Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. an exhibit at the gallery in Town Park features local artists and their works: Jeanine Malaney, painting with fabric; Adrienne Haskamp, jewelry crafted from precious metals; and Randall Davis, oil paintings and bronze sculpture.
San Juan Historical Museum: exhibit opening/open house, 5-7 p.m. Enjoy a special exhibit of the private collection of arborglyph photographs by Peggy Bergon. Arborglyphs are aspen tree carvings created by Hispanic sheepherders during the late 1800s to the early 1950s. The photographs were collected from 1977 to present in the San Juan Mountains surrounding Pagosa Springs. The exhibit will continue through July 30.
- Beaver biology with Skip Fischer, San Juan National Forest wildlife biologist, 8 a.m. Learn about beavers and where they live. Location: to be announced (call 264-2268 for more information); Kid's Krafts: Making Rainsticks, 3:30 p.m. Visitor Center Pavilion, Navajo State Park, park entrance fee.
- Manning Family Dancers, 6 p.m. Visitor Center Pavilion, Navajo State Park, park entrance fee.
- Photography Walk with Barbara Conkey and Jim Struck in local area, 6 p.m., ending with the moonrise. Group size limited to 12. Call 264-2268 for reservations and details. Location: to be announced. Sponsors: San Juan National Forest and the Pagosa Photo Club.
- Wildflower walk with Dick Moseley, 9 a.m. Enjoy a two to three hour wildflower walk with Dick near Williams Reservoir. Dress for the outdoors with comfortable walking shoes. Bring water. Location: Meet at Teal Boat Ramp at Williams Reservoir north of Pagosa Springs. Sponsors: San Juan Mountains Association and San Juan National Forest. Call 264-2268 for more information.
- San Felipe Pueblo Social Dances, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The dances are free and there is a park entrance fee at Chaco Canyon. For information call Chaco Culture National Historical Park at (505) 786-7014. Sponsors: Friends of Native Cultures and National Park Service.
- Take a walk back in time with Gary Fairchild, district archaeologist, and Phyllis Wheaton, interpreter, 9 a.m. A moderate walk, about 3 12 miles round trip, will take you near a 1930s CCC camp location and to the homestead-era Provancher (Murray) Ranch. Dress for the outdoors with comfortable walking shoes. Bring water. Meet at the entrance to the Blanco River Picnic Area. Go south from Pagosa Springs about 11 miles on U.S. 84 to Blanco River Road (No. 656), turn east and follow the gravel road about 2.5 miles to its end. Sponsor: San Juan National Forest. Call 264-2268 for more information.
- Awakening Stories of Ancient Bison Hunting, 4-6 p.m. You are invited to the opening reception of this exhibit to "honor the bones of those who gave their flesh to keep us alive" (from Buffalo Altar Prayer Song). Location: Southern Ute Indian Cultural Center and Museum, Ignacio.
- Kid's Corner: Predator/Prey game, 5:30 p.m., Visitor Center Pavilion, Navajo State Park, park entrance fee.
- Lions and bears, 8 p.m. Enjoy an evening learning about some of the large wildlife in the area with Justin Krall, Colorado Division of Wildlife Officer. Amphitheatre, Navajo State Park, park entrance fee.
The great beaver and trout conspiracy
By Chuck McGuire
I was reading an essay in David Petersen's "The Nearby Faraway" the other day, when a select passage suddenly reminded me of a rather bizarre confrontation I had, while fishing the Eagle River some years ago. Obviously, David (among innumerable others, perhaps) has experienced similar encounters while fishing in the company of beaver.
As part of a chapter on wild things, Petersen writes of beaver and their symbiotic relationship with the aspens. He describes their preference for, and near total dependence on, the aspens as first choice among food and dam-building materials. But then, as his discussion turns to common beaver behavior, he mentions their territorial instincts and how they can adversely affect an otherwise harmless and well-meaning angler nearby. It was the phrase, "the sound of one tail slapping equals the sound of no fish caught" that caused me to reflect on that day on the Eagle, way back when.
As I recall, it was a warm sunny afternoon in early July, and a prolonged spring snowmelt had finally reached its end. The Eagle (and, for that matter, all of the area rivers and streams) had dropped significantly and was again running crystal-clear. A recent heat spell though, along with bright sun and rising water temperatures, had slowed daytime angling success for the better part of a week, but the impending evening, with lower light and cooler thermometer readings, held some promise of a prolific late-day hatch.
I was a full-time guide back then, and fortunate enough to have unlimited access to a long stretch of exceptional private water. With five miles to choose from, there were deep pools, shallow riffles, cascading pockets, and gentle glides enough to potentially offset a variety of opposing weather factors, and I would often fish for hours on end, just to see which water types were most productive under specific conditions.
For instance, if it was cold and blustery out, and the trout seemed listless and lethargic, I'd fish deep pools with an assortment of nymphs or larva patterns and often take them from the bottom. If it was hot and sunny, few insects were emerging, and even fewer fish were moving in the glides, I'd cast bushy dry flies to the riffles or pockets with at least some success. Of course, my favorite has always been, and still is, casting delicate mayfly patterns to rising trout in the quietude and amiable surroundings of a brush-choked gentle glide just after dusk. Ah, that mystical witching hour.
On this particular July day, I arrived at the river a good three hours before dark. As mentioned, it was hot and sunny, and I knew the fishing would be slow in the glides early on, but there was a certain one I wanted to fish at precisely that magical moment just after the sun had set and a waxing moon was on the rise. Dubbed the Boulder Pool, it's a waist-deep run about 20 yards wide and probably 50 yards long. At the time, three large boulders sat mostly submerged near its center, with the largest protruding a few inches above the water's surface. As I had many times before, I planned to climb atop the big rock where I could stand and cast in virtually any direction.
While various caddis hatches had adorned the entire five-mile stretch for weeks, and trout fed on them fairly consistently throughout, I'd seen a few Red Quills (genus Rithrogena) rising from the Boulder Pool over the previous few visits, and felt sure that whenever the hatch came off in earnest, the trout would feed accordingly. For, in the Eagle River at least, Red Quills typically hatch in the late afternoon or evening hours, and even if several other bugs are emerging simultaneously, fish seem to prefer the juicy Red Quill duns to any other offering. Perhaps it's something as simple as taste, but I hoped to take advantage of it in a matter of hours.
I entered the river in a series of pockets downstream of the Boulder Pool and slowly worked my way up casting an Amber Caddis to every conceivable lair. An imitation of mature caddis perfected by my friend and fly-tyer, Bruce Keep, a size-14 Amber Caddis has always been a reliable search pattern at times of sparse hatches and imperceptible trout activity. As expected, I managed a couple of small browns for my effort, but the bigger fish, especially the rainbows, were apparently lying low.
As the sun eventually dropped below the western horizon, I stood at the brink of the Boulder Pool. The azure sky above was completely cloudless and my timing appeared perfect. With the sun's final glow at my back, a bright moon just days short of full hung, ostensibly suspended above the upstream end of the run. I glanced over the glass-flat water in the fading light of day, and at once noticed a subtle rise in the form of a ring just beyond the boulders.
Within minutes I'd cautiously waded to the base of the big rocks and carefully climbed one, then another. Soon, I stood confidently at the highest available point, and immediately scanned the pool for the night's first quarry. In the meantime, trout were rising everywhere, and by their outward appearance, some were of good size, and all were clearly taking the Red Quills.
That's when a distinct "V" materialized several yards upstream and looked to be heading in my direction. Creating a wake like a miniature motorboat, the strange object quickly became discernible as a large beaver rapidly making its way down through the middle of the pool and the frenzied fish within. As if on assignment, the toothy rodent paddled directly to the rocks serving as my platform, loudly slapped its tail on the otherwise placid surface, then circled me for several minutes.
I stood in absolute amazement as my determined challenger vehemently slapped the water a number of times. Meanwhile, the ardent disruption had evidently outraged the pool's other inhabitants, and as I looked across the water again, not a single fish rose. As quickly as the evening rise began, it had presumably just ended.
At that point, there was nothing to do but leave. The beaver plainly wanted me gone, so with daylight fast fading to night, I slipped off the rock and warily waded to shore. From there, I glanced back at the pool as if to say goodnight, then scrambled up the steep and gravelly south bank. Once on top, I stopped to catch my breath, and again glimpsed the pool. Suddenly, in the silvery reflection of the moon's soft light there was a rise, then another, and another.
I looked on for a moment, with a feeling as though I'd just been had, and that's when I saw the "V" again, this time steadily moving far upstream.
Now we've been presented with a road "plan" abandoning maintenance and even snow plowing on roads where 90 percent of taxpayers in this county reside, it is time for those responsible to be held accountable.
Taxpayers of Archuleta County elected the county commissioners with a mandate to fix a deplorable and unfair system, not to make a bad situation worse.
If you've attended commission meetings, it is evident that only Commissioner Schiro takes the mandate seriously. Despite her effort to introduce workable solutions, she has consistently been outvoted two-to-one.
With that 2-1 block the will of the majority of the voters in the county has been ignored. It is now our duty to inform these commissioners to heed that will.
The first priority of the commission is to relieve the county of Public Works Director Dick McKee and replace him with someone who understands the needs of this county and has the management skills to achieve objectives. In his two years in that position the condition of our roads and county services declined to an alarming level. The excuse is always money, but before he arrived, more roads were taken care of in a better fashion, even though there is more tax revenue now than three years ago. It would be an improvement to get back to pre-McKee standards, at least, when even so-called non-maintained roads received some care after higher priority roads were completed.
When we purchased property here ten years ago, we were impressed at the level of maintenance of all roads, even minimally used ones. McKee maintains usage of these roads has tripled, but so have the tax dollars. Why are we now doing less with more money?
This supposed plan needs to be scrapped and replaced with a plan that maintains roads on the basis of usage, providing service to areas where most of the population resides and tax revenues are generated. It should not be based solely on previous schedules or favor mostly rural areas with very little traffic or population. There should be three road classifications and at least three levels of service.
Primary roads should be the most highly traveled, leading to primary county businesses, highly developed residential areas and important recreational sites - not the more remote, lightly traveled rural roads. Primary roads should receive the highest level of maintenance and priority snow removal.
Secondary roads should include major roads in subdivisions and densely populated areas, some important rural roads now designated primary, and secondary recreational areas. These should receive a more moderate level of maintenance, and secondary snow removal.
Tertiary -- all other county roads, rural, serving isolated populations (some of these are now considered primary), residential roads serving few people, and minimally used recreational roads. Even these should receive some work on an as-needed basis.
Once everyone in the county is equitably served and every penny available is wisely used on roads, if the level of service is not up to the residents' requirements, then there are two options: Pass an increase in the mill levy so more funds are available; or form local improvement districts for those areas which desire a greater level of road service.
Editor's note: While traffic on some roads may have tripled in the past two years, tax revenues have not.
The County "Mothers," I guess that's the politically correct term since County "Fathers" doesn't currently fit, never fail to amaze me. So it is true - no more snow plowing non-county accepted roads is officially on the way.
Can you say "lawsuit?" Just wait until someone has a life-threatening medical emergency on a road like Twin Creek Circle and an ambulance can't get down the road because of three feet of snow.
A disclaimer by the county that "We're no longer responsible" will have about the same clout as a sign at a motel pool that says, "Swim at your own risk - Not responsible for accidents!" Neither disclaimer is worth the ink or paint it takes to print it.
If a person pays taxes for roads, they are entitled to some service for their money. If a person swims at a motel pool, which is a part of the motel fee, they are entitled to do so safely, and courts of law have upheld that time and time again.
During the seven years I lived full-time in Archuleta County, I enjoyed "Taxation Without Benefits" as far as roads go. The pie should be divided equally among all taxpayers and not just among a select few taxpayers on a select few roads.
A couple of years ago, I contacted the Colorado Attorney General's Office inquiring about a class action suit to force the board of county commissioners to maintain all of the residential roads on an equal basis, given the available budget, instead of "picking and choosing." I was informed the county could basically choose to spend the tax dollars any way they wanted. So, when the legal approach fails, you fall back on the ethical appeal: Do what's right! Anyone want to bet that might happen with the current group of County Mothers?
Since I don't pay Archuleta County taxes any more, a part of which was "donated" toward roads, some might say I don't have the right to gripe. Well, as far as I'm concerned, seven years of paying taxes is investment enough to still have a say, especially since I plan to drive on those roads six months out of each year until I die.
Come to think about it, driving on some of those roads might just kill me. If that does happen, I'll die in God's Country on one of the Devil's Roads to Hell.
I just hope there's a U-turn somewhere along the way.
Roy K. Boutwell
3 stitches to go
My name is Eddie Campbell.
Last Friday night as I was filling some orders at a very busy time, I sliced more than the meat and cut my hand - about three stitches worth.
We called our local medical facility and got a recorder. We then called 9-1-1 and were given a number to call which had an answering service that informed us no doctor was on call and that we should go to the Durango emergency room.
Needing to help at a busy time, I proceeded to patch the cut as efficiently as possible and, putting on a sanitary glove, I went back to work, mostly one-handed.
Later, one of our customers had a pager number for a local nurse practitioner, Susan Kuhns, who graciously agreed to meet me at their office and sew up my hand. I had been attended by her in the past, but was not her patient. She met me, sewed up my hand, said I could pay her Monday. She returned to her home life and I to another hour's work.
A special thanks to a gracious lady, Susan Kuhns, who was humane enough to attend a fellow human in need.
I pray our town/county will soon be squared away so that emergencies can be handled here, not only for locals but all who come into our community.
Kittens and Jim
The other day I brought two kittens into the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs shelter. The kittens had been dropped off at a neighbor who, for health reasons, was unable to care for them.
(For some reason, Pagosa urbanites seem to think we Arboles rubes like to collect kittens, puppies and empty beer bottles. I can assure you this is not true.)
During my visit to the Humane Society, I met Mr. Jim Sawicki. He seems more intelligent than one would judge from his letters.
Obviously it is important to have the primary roads in good shape. But unless you can get to your home without ruining your vehicle (which in most cases is on a secondary road) what difference does it make?
Our road, which is designated "maintained" by the county, has not had any maintenance in the eight years we have lived here. The only maintenance we have had is snow removal trucks which have torn up the black top because they either had the wrong equipment or were told they had to remove all visible snow instead of leaving an inch or so. Our street just happens to be south facing which means if a little snow were left it would melt.
So, if the county is not going to maintain any roads other than primary roads, does that mean that we no longer need to pay county road taxes - or what other suggestions are in the magic box?
Why should the subdivisions pay to do their own streets when they are used by anyone in the world who comes here and drives them all, whether contract trucks, visitors, deliveries etc.?
Maybe we should all move into the town of Pagosa - their streets are maintained and last.
Is outsourcing an option?
I don't mean to be a pain in the side but let's be realistic - there have to be some better options.
We'd like to say thank you to Dick and Deidra Fortier for your quick, selfless, and heroic actions that saved a neighbor's life.
Dick, for swimming out to find and retrieve a drowning man, and Deidra for performing CPR in the middle of a crisis.
Who you both are makes a great difference in the lives of all those you help. You are a blessing ... and we are very proud of you both.
Lee and Kristin Vorhies
Open Teen Center
Several months ago the newly built Teen Center housed in the community center was temporarily closed or did they mean permanently?
Since this closure I haven't heard mention it would soon reopen. Is it OK that this new facility never reopen again?
I haven't heard anything about this, and it's kind of a shame that this is not being used year-round by the teens in our community.
What's up with this? Is there not enough money in the budget to keep it open? Are there too many problems created by teens who use the center? What is it?
Perhaps we need to focus on a fund-raiser to benefit the Teen Center.
Do we need a list called "Teens who are no longer allowed to use the center, this is only for those who have not abused the privilege of using the center?" One bad apple should not ruin it for the whole bunch.
When this facility was built, did we not budget for this center? Did we think it would be run by volunteers? I'm puzzled.
Well, the bottom line is: What can we do as parents or as concerned citizens, or as a community that cares about our teens, to get it reopened?
I know there are parents out there who would love to see their teens having a good time in this great center, but please remember the center was not built just for those who need to drop off their teens because they need a baby-sitter. This will never work.
I would love to be a part this facility that could offer so many really neat things for our teens. Wouldn't you?
I have a lot of great ideas to share, so please, Pagosa, let's reopen the center before summer's gone.
Some times the old saying "out of sight, out of mind" is not the best solution.
You can bank on these chairs
By Paula Bain
Special to The PREVIEW
If you have recently visited one or more of our local banks, you probably have seen some of the furniture items on which local artists have painted, wood burned, or tiled beautiful images.
Donated by private parties and local businesses, these items - either chairs or tables - are currently available in a silent auction.
It would be worth your time to check out these great art works now and place a bid. All proceeds benefit the upcoming Relay for Life fund-raiser.
Who knows, you might be able to obtain a one-of-a-kind art object that is just right for your home.
America Roots Music Festival opens Saturday
By Carla Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW
American Roots Music Festival begins this Saturday at the Vista Clubhouse.
Local folk hero Randall Davis will be one of the talented musicians featured during the festival's community potluck, 5-6:30 p.m., and during the 7 p.m. concert.
With over 40 years as a performing musician under his belt, a stunning melodic banjo style, and a warm, down-home stage presence, Randall Davis has graced Pagosa with an unusual talent rarely heard in these mountains.
Also on the bill are the bands WildFlower, High Mountain Cloggers and String Theory, playing bluegrass and old-time string band music. Other performers include multi-instrumentalists Paul and Carla Roberts, Fiddling Carl Seager, and dancers Alissa Snyder, Kimberly Judd and Amanda Birch. For a full schedule of events, including the free morning programs for children, see the end of this article.
Randall Davis started his lifelong musical journey in the seventh-grade, starting out like many young people at the time on guitar and banjo. The Kingston Trio was the rage then and by his ninth-grade year, in 1963, the folk music revival was going strong. That was the year of a new sound hitting the music scene and spilling over into the eager ears of an impressionable young player.
That was the year Davis showed up to the ninth-grade graduation party at school where someone had hired an upcoming music group with a new sound.
The group was the Dillards, the sound was bluegrass, and Davis was entranced. Banjo player Doug Dillard was now his new hero and Davis listened very carefully to the Dillards record "Backboard Bluegrass" to soak up the new playing style.
Utilizing Pete Seeger's instruction book "How to Play the Banjo," and carefully reconstructing the notes he heard on recordings, he methodically taught himself to play and soon had his own band.
That band of high school students was pretty good - good enough to open for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at the Ice House. They played Greenbrier Boys, Dillards, and Flat and Scruggs style.
Fresh out of dental school in 1974, Davis moved to Pagosa Springs to begin his dental practice and put together a new group called The Left Hand Band. This band planted the seed of bluegrass in the area and continued on with various members for 14 years.
Another beloved area band featuring Davis on the banjo was Cross Creek. They played at the Pueblo and Salida Bluegrass festivals, and at local bars and parties. His latest group, Bluegrass Cadillac, is known for its energetic and precise style, as well as great bluegrass harmony.
Hear him play some lovely solo banjo compositions during the 7 p.m. concert, and as a trio with festival organizers Paul and Carla Roberts.
The American Roots Music Festival includes a free toddlers' class at 9 a.m., a free children's workshop at 10 a.m., and a free children's concert at 11 a.m.
The afternoon program begins 3 p.m., with a clogging workshop by Carla Roberts, and a workshop on playing folk instruments at 4 p.m. The community potluck social is 5 - 6:30 p.m. and the evening concert begins 7 p.m.
Admission for the afternoon through evening events is $8 for adults and $10 for families with children.
The program is the first of three American Roots Music Festival dates set for this summer at Vista Clubhouse. On July 24 John Graves, Dan Appenzeller and Steve Rolig will perform at a program featuring early blues and jazz. On Aug. 28 the theme is international music and dance.
Vista Clubhouse is at 230 Port Avenue. Take 160 to Vista Blvd. Turn north on Vista and left on Port.
American Roots Music Festival is produced by Paul and Carla Roberts, of Elation Center for the Arts, to help support the center's educational programs for children in Pagosa Springs. Call 731-3117 for further information.
Xeriscaping guide published for region
By Chris Aaland
and Ken Francis
Special to The PREVIEW
A free xeriscape guide for landscaping in southwest Colorado has been prepared by the Fort Lewis College Office of Community Services, in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation and Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
Copies of the 12-page color guide can be picked up at libraries, county extension offices, municipal governments offices and most nurseries in Archuleta, Dolores, Montezuma and La Plata counties.
Founded upon seven fundamental horticultural principles, the San Juan Basin Xeriscape Guide can not only help property owners save water, but also to produce attractive landscapes using a variety of plants and materials that enhance the built environment.
These principles include developing a comprehensive landscape plan, conditioning soil with soil improvements, limiting lawn size, applying irrigation water efficiently, using appropriate plants grouped according to water needs, applying mulches to reduce evaporation, and maintenance according to good horticultural practices.
According to the guide, the Four Corners region has a diverse landscape that covers parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. With elevations ranging from 4,000 feet to over 14,000 feet, the landscape character can change from alpine to desert within a few miles.
The Four Corners climate is generally semi-arid. Precipitation averages may range from as little as eight inches per year in the lower elevations to 15 inches or more in the mountain ranges. Periods of limited rainfall and drought pose challenges for the expanding population of the region. The potential for catastrophic wildfires and insect epidemics compounds these problems.
Xeriscaping is a holistic approach to landscaping for the purpose of achieving water conservation and enhancing the relationship between humans and their built environment.
It is sometimes stereotyped as growing nothing more than cacti in a sea of gravel. In reality, good xeric design practices result in a rich tapestry of colors, textures and plan materials that are adaptable to any style of landscaping. Good xeric design includes practical landscape considerations that affect the home as well as the outdoor human-built environment.
Hard copies of the San Juan Basin Xeriscape Guide are available locally at the following businesses and offices:
Ace Garden and Home Center, Archuleta County Extension, Archuleta County government offices, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, Pagosa Nursery Company, Ruby Sisson Library, Rito Blanco Nursery and the Town of Pagosa Springs.
Arborglyph photo display opens June 17
By Shari Pierce
It began as a quiet hobby for Peggy Bergon.
As she was spending time in the forest she noticed intricate carvings on some aspen trees. Inquiring about them, she learned they were created by Hispanic sheep herders who spent summers in the forest tending their flocks.
Later, Bergon began photographing these carvings. After the Missionary Ridge fire of 2002, it became even more clear just how fragile these pieces of southwest Colorado history are. Her friend Jeffrey Schauppe began encouraging and helping her to document these carvings. Now ,most weekends will find Bergon and Schauppe out in search of arborglyphs, photographing, studying and cataloguing.
The photographs of these carvings will be the subject of a special exhibit at the San Juan Historical Society Museum this summer. The display will begin June 17 and will continue through July 30.
Bergon has spent over 25 years building her collection of photographs of intriguing carvings done by shepherds.
According to Bergon, these Hispanic shepherds drove their flocks through the wilderness surrounding Pagosa Springs as they headed toward their permitted summer grazing lands. She describes the permits as "fascinating" and very detailed, instructing shepherds on the routes they should take, the number of days to camp at each site and description of the area where the sheep were to graze. These drives took place as early as 1880.
Bergon notes that in the early 1900s there were at least three times as many sheep as cattle grazing on national forest lands under these permits, attesting to one aspect of our county's history as a sheep-raising community. The earliest carving Bergon has discovered thus far dates to 1902.
The arborglyph subjects include buildings, animals, religious icons, geometric designs, self-portraits, numbers, mathematical equations and more. Bergon has sifted through her collection of approximately 4,000 photographs and selected 25 for this special show.
The photographs on display will be available for purchase by the public. In addition, some of the photographs have been made into greeting cards that will also be offered for sale. Proceeds from the sale of the photographs and cards will be used to further photograph and catalogue this cultural resource that will, due to its fragile nature, disappear over time.
The opening of this special exhibit will be Friday, June 17, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the San Juan Historical Society Museum. Bergon will be on hand to answer questions about the arborglyphs and photos. There will be no charge for this evening; refreshments will be served.
Regular museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; adult admission is $3.
For Pagosa's Bruce Andersen
the camera's a paintbrush
By Erin K. Quirk
About ten years ago, local photographer Bruce Andersen began using his camera less as a photocopier and more as a paintbrush.
Years of trying to duplicate, recreate and document images on film often left Andersen disappointed. All at once, he realized his camera could create whatever he wanted in a scene, which, he said, freed him. He began to experiment and answer every photographic question with "it all depends."
"I realized it's really all up to me. I'm not necessarily trying to document what I see but interpret what I see," Andersen said. "Now, it's not 'gee did I get it right,' but 'gee what did I get?'"
Andersen's work is everything people love about photography in Pagosa Springs. The Upper Piedra clothed in her autumnal finest, At Last Ranch's red barns on a Colorado blue day and Williams Creek at dawn are just a few of the gems in his portfolio.
But Andersen, primarily a nature and landscape photographer, is now stretching into digital media and image manipulation. One shot he took of fall aspen trees looks like a photograph at a distance and a watercolor up close. He recently participated in the Fiction to Art event at the Shy Rabbit Showroom and Ceramic Studio with a "liquefied" image of a man holding a camera, with his mind lost in the distance. The piece was not only arresting but tricked the viewer into believing it was oil on canvas.
"I think it's really cool you thought that was a painting," Andersen said adding that a few people have asked to see more work like that from him.
Andersen, who has lived in Pagosa Springs for seven years with his wife and two daughters, is an environmentalist at heart. He does interpretive design work for public areas mostly for the Division of Wildlife. His natural resources and outdoor recreation background and love for the outdoors clearly inform his work. The purpose of his photography, he says, is to bring people and nature a little closer together.
"That's what my photography does," he said. "If people can appreciate pretty pictures and a pretty environment, I guess I hope they'll do things to protect it."
Edward Abbey, author and passionate advocate for the protection of the American West, is one of Andersen's influences. Andersen spent 13 years working for the Utah Division of Wildlife and has served locally as chair of the Southwest Land Alliance, which focuses on open space, wildlife habitat and family ranch protection. While Andersen is concerned about the pace of Pagosa's growth, he doesn't consider himself a radical.
"I haven't tied myself to any trees or laid myself in front of any bulldozers yet," he said with a wry smile. "I could do that at Wolf Creek if it comes to that."
Andersen's work can be seen in a number of places. He is regularly featured on the walls of Moonlight Books and in several real estate magazines. The magnificent Square Top Ranch in the Upper Blanco Basin is back on the real estate market and Andersen was hired to photograph it. He admits he is sometimes torn about his role in encouraging the attention that could fuel more growth in Pagosa.
"It's just so important in a community where people care so much about the beauty of the area. We need to preserve some of it because it is being chopped up so fast," he said adding that the Southwest Land Alliance and Pagosa Land Trust are working hard to secure conservation easements. "That's one of the places people can really make a difference."
Andersen has also been active in the artist network sprouting out of the Shy Rabbit Studio. He has been involved with the group since its first "artist salons" and was recently chosen as one of ten artists to show in the next event at the studio - June 18 - entitled Art to Music. He particularly enjoys the willingness of the artist community there to share ideas and help one another. He recently helped another artist learn how to photograph and present her work digitally.
"You could just see the glow. It's so fun to watch someone get it," said Andersen who also hosts photography workshops in Pagosa Springs. His last seminar focused on wildflower photography and hosted about 10 students.
To Andersen, the art is all about the moment. In one particular piece entitled "An Ancient Land," Andersen was shooting in the Utah desert just before sunset. When he saw a wisp of clouds approaching the sun in just the right way he scurried to a site with some twisted, bleached juniper boughs dead on the ground. Then he took his shot.
"There was ten seconds of wonderful light," he said adding that the other photographers he was with didn't even notice the sky changing just enough to light up the silver on the juniper berries and turn the rocks dusty pink. "I think it's just a magical image myself, but it's not about me, it's about the moment."
Andersen plans to host more photography seminars in upcoming months. For more information contact him at 970-731-4645 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Full Moon rising program June 21 at Chimney Rock
Watch the full moon rise Tuesday, June 21, at Chimney Rock Archeological Area and listen to the haunting melody of the Native American Flute.
Climb the trail up to the Great House Pueblo just before the sun sets on the San Juan Mountains and learn about the ancestral Puebloans who inhabited the area. As the moon rises, Charles Martinez' beautiful flute notes will drift away into the darkness of the night.
How did these ancient inhabitants live? Where did they get water? What did they grow? Learn how the Ancestral Puebloans might have survived and where they might have gone. Learn about the various archeological theories of what may have happened.
Reservations are required for this moonrise celebration. Call the Visitors' Cabin, (970) 883-5359.
Gates open 6 p.m. and close 6:30 p.m. with the moon rising 8:43 p.m. No one will be admitted after 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Due to the strenuous hike and the two- to three-hour length of the program, it is suggested children under 12 not attend.
Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by bringing a flashlight, warm clothing, good walking shoes, insect repellant and a blanket or cushion to sit on during the program. In the event of bad weather, the program will be canceled and possibly scheduled for the next evening.
Chimney Rock Archeological Area is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs south on Colo. 151 off U.S. 160 about three miles.
For more information, call the Visitors' Cabin or the office at 264-2287, or check the Web site at www.chimney rock co.org.
Cast of 32 and 20-piece orchestra prepare to take you to 'Oklahoma!'
By John Graves
Special to The PREVIEW
Even though Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" is generally considered to be the acme in the evolution of the American stage musical, it is not frequently presented, since the production values it demands constitute a rather daunting challenge for a nonprofessional theatrical organization.
However, the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters are meeting this challenge next month with a full scale production of the classic in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium.
Dates are July 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 and performances will feature a cast of 32 actors, singers and dancers, as well as a 20-piece orchestra.
Director/choreographer Dale Morris is assisted by stage manager Janna Voorhis in coordinating the complexities of what goes on backstage during the performances, as well as in the weeks of preparation.
A cadre of committed craftsmen (and women), contribute tirelessly to make the Pagosa Springs High School stage into the frontier territory which is soon to become the state of Oklahoma.
This dedicated group includes: lights, Scott Farnham; costumes, Candy Flaming; costume mistress, Donna Clark; sets, Lisa Hartley and Michael DeWinter; and additional crew Natalia Clark, Dale Schwicker, Mark Truax, Claire Versaw and Danielle Jaramillo.
Probably the largest number of musicians ever assembled for a Pagosa musical production will bring the orchestrated score of Rodgers and Hammerstein's masterpiece to life.
Here's how they line up by instrument: flute, Joy Redmon and Ashley Portnell; oboe, Sue Martin; bassoon, Valley Lowrance; clarinet, Kathy Baisdon, Tim Bristow and Al Olson; alto saxophone, Bob Nordman and Melinda Fultz; tenor saxophone, Bruce Andersen; trumpet, Larry Elginer, Karen Mesikapp and Hannah Clark; French horn, Larry Baisdon; trombone, Shawna Carosello and Lowell Bynam; baritone, Karl Mesikapp; percussion, Landon Bayger and James Kirkham; and Sue Anderson on piano.
This much instrumental diversity draws from various sources. Karl and Karen Mesikapp come all the way from Ignacio. Ashley Portnell, Hannah Clark, Malinda Fultz and Landon Bayger are students, currently in the high school band, while James Kirkham is a former student. The rest of the musicians named are all members of the Pagosa's newly formed community band.
The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. Reserved seat tickets may be purchased at the Plaid Pony in Pagosa Springs. They are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors over 60, and $6 for students and children. For tickets or more information, call Michael DeWinter at 731-5262.
Hot Strings will open bluegrass series
The Hot Strings kick off Fort Lewis College's free summer bluegrass series 6-8 p.m. June 23 in the Community Concert Hall.
Considered the "host" band of the Four Corners Folk Festival, the Hot Strings thrill audiences with their combination of bluegrass, jazz, Celtic, reggae and newgrass.
Formed in 1995, they've won the band competitions at the 1998 Telluride Bluegrass Festival and 1998 Rocky Grass Festival.
Their latest CD, "Uncharted," was produced by former New Grass Revival guitarist Pat Flynn.
This series continues each Thursday, through Aug. 4. Admission is free.
Chaco Park sets solstice observance
The National Park Service is partnering with Friends of Native Cultures to sponsor San Felipe Pueblo singers and dancers June 21 at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.
The traditional singers will welcome the summer solstice at Casa Rinconada at sunrise, followed by social dances in the plaza of Pueblo Bonito at 11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m.
Exit to the park is off U.S. 550 between Bloomfield and Cuba, N.M.
Come out and celebrate the beginning of summer and share in the rich traditions that began at Chaco a thousand years ago and are still alive and well in native peoples today.
Friends of Native Culture is a volunteer nonprofit organization based in Pagosa Springs.
For more information, call (505) 786-7014 or 731-4248.
Serengeti Trek is theme for
Methodist summer Bible school
"This year our church is crawling with excitement as we go on a 'Serengeti Trek'," said Pastor Don Ford, speaking of this year's vacation Bible School at Community United Methodist Church.
The program begins June 20.
Rita Brown, co-director, said "Our Serengeti Trek program will provide fun, memorable, Bible-learning activities for kids of all ages."
Each day, she said, kids will:
- sing catchy upbeat songs;
- play teamwork building games;
- nibble tasty Watering Hole snacks;
- take on a daily challenge to let God's love grow into their homes;
- experience electrifying Bible adventures;
- collect Bible Memory Buddies to remind them of God's Word; and,
- create Bible Point crafts they'll take home and play with all summer.
Co-director Natalie Tyson added, "Serengeti Trek is an exciting way for kids to learn more about God's love. We'll be studying stories about Bible characters who were wild about God. Each day concludes at the Mane Event - a celebration that gets the children (and the VBS staff) living what they've learned.
Throughout the week, children will Trek to Shiprock, a missions project to help the children of the Covenant Education Center, a Navajo Christian daycare center for preschoolers of working Navajos in Shiprock, N.M.
UU to consider the summer solstice
On Sunday, June 19, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a service illuminating the facts and implications of the summer solstice, presented by local author and astrologer, Julie Gillentine.
Ms. Gillentine will discuss the effects of the annual cycle the sun takes from the long nights of winter solstice to the longest day of the year, the summer solstice.
She asserts that the state of having two equinoxes of equal light and dark can teach us much about shifting periods of awareness and activity within ourselves. She further explains that the monthly lunar cycle is a microcosm of the annual solar cycle, and these changing patterns of illumination can teach us how to grow within during periods of darkness and move out creatively into the world during periods of greater light.
The service will begin 10:30 a.m. in Unit 15, Greenbrier Plaza. As is the case on the third Sunday of every month, a potluck luncheon will follow the service. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. As always, all are welcome.
PowerHouse dinner, auction on tap Saturday
By Roger Betts
Special to The PREVIEW
There's something for everyone at the PowerHouse barbecue dinner and auction Saturday.
Power tools, a plane ride over Pagosa, art prints, bronze sculpture, a piano, a guitar, rafting trips, train rides, antique and like-new furniture, Creede theater tickets, Rockies tickets, mini-vacation packages, a partially restored classic and another pre-owned auto, and many more new and like-new items will be a part of the action.
In addition, a silent auction will include a variety of smaller items of interest to adults and children too. There should be something for everyone.
This year's auction will be held in the PowerHouse building, not in tents in Town Park. A barbecue dinner will be served 5 p.m. until the auction starts at 6:30.
Items for the main auction will be available for viewing during the dinner prior to the auction. The silent auction for smaller items will be held upstairs in the PowerHouse building during the dinner and the early part of the main auction.
Tickets for the barbecue are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12, and can be purchased at the door. There is no charge for the auction.
Just be prepared to have fun, laugh and bid for those items of interest to you.
The dinner and auction provide funds for operation, maintenance, utilities, insurance, and equipment for the PowerHouse building.
The proceeds enable the PowerHouse to offer a youth center open for the youth of Pagosa Springs to come and have a clean, adult-supervised facility to play games, have fun and meet with friends.
PowerHouse is an inter-denominational Christian ministry that offers a safe, neutral, and positive moral environment for students in grades six-12. Each meeting time includes recreational activities, games, skits, singing and a Bible-based challenge that encourages teens to stand up for Godly moral standards.
For more information contact the directors, Bill and Barbara Fair, at 731-5202.
A wooden box, a hush of fear,
a chant - and failure clear
By Kate Terry
I've been traveling. I went to Richmond, Va., to a DuVal Family Association reunion, met cousins old and new, took in President Jefferson's home Monticello (that everyone should visit) and heard some nightly talks.
Our common ancestor, Daniel DuVal, was a Hugenot who came to Virginia in 1701. The Hugenots were French Protestants who settled in several sections of the American colonies.
Our guest speaker on the subject told us the American pronunciation is Hue' geh not, but the French pronunciation is u' geh no. She said if we want to use the French way, then say it correctly and do not pronounce the h.
A few of us decided to bypass the scheduled tour of famous historic places and visit Lombardy Farm up in Hanover County. Our ancestors, Claiborne and William Du Val, had lived in this plantation house in about 1788 when they were bachelors. Cousin Joe Hays knew the present owners, Bo and Phyllis Perkins, and he called ahead. Joe told us they had a pet goat named Billy and, indeed, Billy met us at the gate. I had a good time feeding Billy crackers (provided by Bo, of course). Billy's horns were big; he was 13 years old.
The house was wonderful. It had been well-preserved. The Perkins had owned it about 27 years and it reflected their sense of pride in history. They were great hosts.
Cousin Deana was sitting next to a table holding a wooden box about 12x8x8 inches. It had funny little circles on the end and she asked what they were.
This is the story they told us.
Phyllis Perkins had acquired this box she thought was an apothecary chest because it had in it a small vial of yellow liquid. She kept her collection of medicine bottles in it.
Then, their daughter saw one just like it at a Civil War reenactment and learned it was a United States Naval Munitions chest.
Wow! What about that vial of yellow liquid in her mother's chest. Was it nitroglycerine?
They called the fire department but were not taken seriously; the firemen thought they were flirting. So daddy-husband Bo called and got some action.
Someone decided they'd better call Washington and things happened. Washington sent out a team of people. A chemist was in the group and so was a hazmat man. He's the one in the white balloon suit who handles hazardous materials.
A hole was dug in the marshy field and onlookers were asked to go behind the house. The authoritative group positioned themselves. One of them said, "fire in the hole," and each one, in turn, said "fire in the hole." When it got back to the first person, he said, "fire in the hole, one, two, three" and the hazmat man dropped the vials in the hole; and it went pssssssttttt!
For sure, whatever it was had lots its power.
To post script this story, when a nephew heard the story he said he used to play with that little vial of liquid ... he liked to shake it.
Back to the Du Vals. Duval County in Texas, as well as Duval Street in Austin are named for Capt. Burr H. DuVal who was killed at the Goliad Massacre on Palm Sunday, 1836. Burr's brother, John Crittenden DuVal, escaped. He went on to write short stories highly regarded by Texas writer J. Frank Dobie.
Fun on the run ...
Many many years ago when I was twenty-three,
I was married to a widow who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown up daughter who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her and soon they too were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life;
For my daughter was my mother 'cause she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matter, even though it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.
My little boy became a brother--in-law to Dad,
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle then that also made him brother
Of the widow's grown up daughter who, of course, was my stepmother.
Father's wife then had a son who kept them on the run;
And he became my grandchild for he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother and it makes me blue,
Because although she is my wife, she's my grandmother, too.
Now if my wife is my grandmother, then I'm her grand child;
And every time I think of it, it nearly drives me wild.
For now I have become the strangest case your ever saw;
As husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpaw.
Some mystery elements for Patriotic Sing-Along
By Mercy E. Korsgren
The second annual Patriotic Sing-along Night will take place 7-9 p.m. June 30.
Local veterans and active duty personnel will be honored and recognized during this event. They will be asked to introduce themselves and identify the branch of the military they represent.
In addition to music, there will be a surprise for the enjoyment of all.
This program also serves as a prelude to the city's Fourth of July celebrations. Free flags provided by the Chamber of Commerce will be given to all who attend.
The event is a community effort involving the American Legion, Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Choir, Sounds of Assurance, Chamber of Commerce, P.S. I Love Red Hats, our local Veterans Service Office, private individuals and volunteers, and the community center.
John Graves has agreed to participate during this event. We surely will have a great time while he plays the keyboard. Many thanks John, and to all involved.
Local veterans and members of the American Legion Post 108 will parade the colors. A visiting teenager will sing a-cappella and lead the audience in the Star Spangled Banner. The Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Choir will render a medley of patriotic songs. The Sounds of Assurance and another trio that doesn't yet have a name will entertain the crowd and both will ask everyone to sing along.
Bring the kids. We'll invite 12 children ages 7-12 to come on stage and participate in the question-and-answer part of the program. These kids will display their knowledge and voice ideas about the following questions: Why do we celebrate July 4? and What does July 4 mean to you? So, parents, please plan to attend, get the kids ready for this event and win a prize.
Following the program, the audience will have time to visit with friends and neighbors as they enjoy a dessert potluck. The community center will provide hot and cold beverages.
This program is for the whole family and visiting guests. Show your support and wear something red, white and blue. For added fun, three winners will be picked by a mystery judge - they will be the three attendees with the most colorful and patriotic attire for the evening.
The audience will be provided song sheets which will include lyrics to all songs of each branch of the military and other popular patriotic songs. We're looking forward to this fun evening of music, patriotism and camaraderie.
Yes, we do have a designated area outside the community center in memory of Patty. Susie Kleckner, Ross Aragon and daughter Jackie led the whole family two weeks ago in planting flowers in this garden.
According to Jackie, her mom loved to see flowers blooming all year round. The garden looks great and it adds beauty to the community center. Thanks for all your hard work.
Do you have a special talent or hobby you would like to share - singing, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, foreign language conversation group, coffee mornings, sports, etc.?
We're looking for volunteers interested in forming any of these interest groups. Someone even asked me about the possibility of starting an Irish/Scottish dancing group. Call 264-4152.
Computer lab news
Our next seniors' class will focus on the steps involved in degunking a PC. In other words, what to do to allow your computer to work in the most efficient way possible.
Becky has been gathering information from Internet sources, computer magazines and friends who know much more about this subject than she does. Plan to attend Tuesday morning for some hands-on training, or come by the community center for a list of degunking tips and tricks.
Phishing. One of our computer class participants mentioned last week that she had been the victim of a "phishing" attempt. Luckily she received some good advice and didn't disclose any private information.
If you get an e-mail that requests personal information such as Social Security or credit card numbers, do not divulge anything personal by replying. You can delete the message or keep it to pass along to the organization which supposedly sent the e-mail to you; they will probably appreciate knowing about the fraudulent message.
The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise is an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, Social Security, and bank account numbers, the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user's information.
For example, 2003 saw the proliferation of a phishing scam in which users received e-mails supposedly from eBay claiming the user's account was about to be suspended unless he clicked on the provided link and updated the credit card information the genuine eBay already had. Because it is relatively simple to make a Web site look like a legitimate organization's site, the scam counted on people being tricked into thinking they were actually being contacted by eBay and were subsequently going to eBay's site to update their account information. By spamming large groups of people, the "phisher" counted on the e-mail being read by a percentage of people who actually had listed credit card numbers with eBay legitimately.
Activities this week
Today - Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; MTEC Business Development meeting, 6-9 p.m.; Mannatech seminar, 6-9 p.m.
Friday, June 17 - Seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Pagosa Springs Education Center banquet, 4-9 p.m.
Saturday, June 18 - Waldorf Parenting Group, 10 a.m.-noon
Sunday, June 19 - 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, June 20 - Book club, 9-11 a.m.; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Seniors Bridge Club, 12:30-4 p.m.
Tuesday, June 21 - Seniors computer class, 10:30 a.m.-noon; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Computer Q&A w/Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Methamphetamine seminar, 1:30-4:30 p.m.; League of Women Voters meeting, 4 -6 p.m.
Wednesday, June 22 - Wednesday Bridge Club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.
Thursday, June 23 - Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Mannatech seminar, 7-9 p.m.
The gym is open 8 a.m.-noon daily, Monday to Friday, for walking and open basketball except when reserved for special events. Call 264-4152 for information and to reserve a room. The center needs your input on other programs and activities you would like to see happening here. If you have ideas, tell us about them.
The center is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition (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, mid-size and large group. 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.
Lost and Found. Please check at the front desk if you're missing something that might have been left at the Center. We'll hold lost and found items for a month, and then all unclaimed items will be donated to the local thrift stores. Call 264-4152.
Another mystery trip scheduled June 23
By Musetta Wollenweber
Our next mystery trip is scheduled 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Thanks to your local council on aging, Archuleta Seniors, Inc., this trip is a freebee other than the pot luck item you bring along, and also includes free transportation.
Transportation is limited to the first 18 who sign up; others are welcome to carpool and we'll even coordinate that for you. The most we can tell you about this little secret excursion is that you can expect to be riding for approximately 45 minutes each way and you'll have wonderful hosts and hostesses on the other end.
You'll also need to bring along sunscreen, a hat, comfy walking shoes and the right attitude for a great time. Walking around once you arrive at your destination is optional. Sign up in The Den office by tomorrow and let us know what kind of a yummy you'll be bringing along. Remember, it's a freebee and a great time.
Yoga, Qi Gong break
Please note the Yoga in Motion class is on a small break and will begin again 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 28. Qi Gong is also on break, and will begin again 10 a.m. Friday, June 24. See you then,
Celebrate Father's Day
We'll be celebrating Father's Day on Friday. There will be a special gift for all the men who attend lunch on this special day in honor of all the support, love and guidance that they have given.
Free movie day
The free movie at The Den this month is "Calendar Girls," to be shown 1 p.m. Friday in our lounge. We'll serve free popcorn too. Based on a true story, this funny and touching movie depicts the adventures of a group of British homemakers who decide to pose for a nude calendar to raise money for the local hospital after one of the women loses her husband to cancer. Rated PG-13.
All aboard for the free trip to Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Tuesday, June 21. Join us for lunch at noon and then hop on the shuttle when your chauffeur from the casino picks you up at The Den. You'll head for the casino at 1 p.m. and return to The Den at approximately 6 p.m. Transportation is always free and once you get there you'll not only have a great time, but they'll have free goodies for you too. Limited seating, so sign up right away.
The U.S. Forest Service is celebrating its centennial this year and Phyllis Wheaton will be here to tell us all about the history of the Forest Service and the forest as well. See you 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, in the lounge.
Picnic in the Park
The summer's first picnic in the park is fast approaching. Mark your calendar for a good time filled with a great meal, noon Friday, June 24. You'll enjoy oven fried chicken, potato salad, broccoli salad (a personal favorite of mine), a roll and fresh fruit. We'll have horseshoes and croquet available along with bubbles to entertain each other at each table. The suggested donation remains the same at $2.50 for those 60 -plus and $4.50 for the younger folks. Come early or stay late, just be sure to join us at Town Park June 24.
Another rafting trip
Thank you to Canyon R.E.O. for a great one-hour guided river trip that 10 adventurous Den folks participated in June 7. Clara, 85, was seen jumping up and down as she was leaving the raft; I think that means she had fun! The word is that seven of them, plus an additional five, have already signed up for the four-hour trip through Mesa Canyon with Wilderness Journeys July 2. This trip is $45 and will include lunch. Sign up by Tuesday, June 2, at The Den.
Activities at a Glance
Friday, June 17 - No Qi Gong today, see you June 24; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; celebrate Father's Day at noon; free movie and popcorn "Calendar Girls," 1 p.m.
Monday, June 20 - Medicare counseling 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; Bridge for Fun, all levels welcome, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, June 21- No Yoga in Motion today, see you June 28; basic computer instruction, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; canasta 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, June 22 - Forest Service presentation with Phyllis Wheaton, 1 p.m; pinochle, 1 p.m.
Thursday, June 23 - Mystery trip, 10:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m., sign up by Friday.
Friday, June 24 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; picnic in the park, Hawaiian Shirt Day and celebrate June birthdays.
Suggested donation $2.50 for ages 60-plus, all others $4.50.
Salad bar everyday, 11:30 a.m.
Friday, June 17 - Green Chili stew with veggies, corn bread, tapioca pudding and apple.
Monday, June 20 - Lasagna, plums.
Tuesday, June 21 - Braised beef noodles, veggies, wheat roll and spiced applesauce.
Wednesday, June 22 - Baked ham, whipped yams, roll and plums.
Friday, June 24 - Picnic in Town Park: Oven fried chicken, potato salad, broccoli salad roll and fresh fruit.
Over 100 at Archuleta County
Republican Party Patriotic Picnic
By Andy Fautheree
Many veterans, their families and friends were on hand Saturday for what was called the first annual Archuleta County Republican Party Patriotic Picnic in honor of those who have served our nation in the military. The affair was held at the Viking J Ranch in Arboles.
Although there didn't appear to be an official head count, I would estimate over 100 individuals attended. Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 members provided an official color guard. All the primary branches of military - Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps - were represented. It would be interesting to know if any former veterans from the Coast Guard were on hand.
A number of Archuleta County persons are currently serving in the U.S. armed forces, some deployed in the Middle East conflict. Unfortunately, I do not have a good list of those now serving in the military. Please let me know if you have a family member or know someone from our area currently serving in the military.
I have already assisted several recently discharged veterans with VA service-connected disability claims and at least one of them has received a ruling in their favor for compensation payments. I always urge newly interviewed veterans with possible service-connected disabilities to file their cases as soon as possible to maximize the amount of compensation. I urge recent discharges to see me as soon as possible to pursue any VA claims or benefits for which they may be eligible. Be sure and bring a copy of all military papers you may have in your possession.
As always, the best part of applying for VA claims or benefits is the price is it costs nothing. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office will be closed while I am on vacation June 27 through July 1. I will return July 5. You may check on the VAHC transportation vehicle schedule by calling Kathi Creech in the Archuleta County Commissioners' office 264-8300, Ext. 1135. Please save other VA-related questions and issues for my return.
Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the Share-A-Ride program. Help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction to the same VA facility. Give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.
Durango VA Clinic
The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.
For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, fax is 264-8376, e-mail email@example.com. 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.
Council's annual meeting slated June 23
By Kayla Douglass
Please come and join the fun at the Arts Council's annual meeting June 23.
The evening always includes good company, good food and an all-around good time. The fun begins 5 p.m. at J.J.'s Upstream Restaurant. This year's fare includes an hors d'oeuvres buffet with smoked salmon, wonton pecan brie, fruit and vegetable tray, crispy hand-rolled chicken spring rolls, spinach artichoke cheese dip, potato blocks and assorted house-made desserts. A cash bar is available and extended until 7 p.m. This year we are pleased to have the Blue Grass Cadillac band performing, with PSAC's own vice president, Randall Davis, on banjo.
Tickets are $15 each and should be purchased at the Arts Council by June 20. You do not have to be a member to attend, but there is limited seating, so make your reservation now. Hope to see you there.
Pierre Mion workshop
PSAC is pleased to announce a watercolor workshop with well-known artist Pierre Mion. Pierre's illustrative works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the NASA Fine Arts and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collections.
Some notable clients are: The National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Magazine, Look, Life, Popular Science, Reader's Digest and Air and Space Magazine. During his career, Pierre has worked with Jacques Cousteau, Gilbert Grosvenor, Carl Sagan, Werner Von Braun, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, Robert Ballard and Michael Collins, to name a few.
Mion has designed a number of postage stamps and postcards for the U.S. Postal Service and has participated in numerous research assignments, many for the National Geographic Society. This includes working with Jacques Cousteau in Monaco, covering the great Alaskan earthquake, work on the subject of South African and South American gold mines, and testing deep diving submersibles in the Bahamas for Smithsonian Magazine. During the Vietnam conflict, Mion worked simultaneously for the U.S. Marine Corps and National Geographic doing combat art and story illustrations. He was a member of the Apollo 16 recovery team aboard the USS Ticonderoga in the South Pacific and covered many rocket launches at Cape Kennedy.
In 1966 Norman Rockwell called on Mion to assist him with a series of space paintings for Look Magazine. For the next 12 years they collaborated on a number of assignments for both Look and IBM until Rockwell's death in 1978. During this period Mion ghosted one of Rockwell's paintings and worked directly on several others. Exhibitions include National Gallery of Art; Smithsonian Air and Space Museum; Smithsonian Museum of Natural History; National Geographic Society; Hayden Planetarium; Chicago Museum of Science and Industry; NASA Museum, Houston; Hudson River Museum; Marine Corps Combat Art Museum; The Society of Illustrators, New York; The Academy of the Arts, Easton, Maryland; Brevard Art Center and Museum, Melbourne, Florida; Art Directors Club, New York; Utrecht, the Netherlands; Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Tokyo, Japan; Madrid, Toledo, Seville and Barcelona, Spain.
Additionally, Mion has been acknowledged by The Society of Illustrators, the International Association of Astronomical Artists, Who's Who in American Art and Who's Who in The West.
The workshop will be 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. June 28-30 in the community center. Bring your own lunch.
Cost for the workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for others. Mion wants his students to discover the joy and excitement of watercolors. He intends to relate his techniques and step-by-step ways to achieve a finished painting. This class is for all ability levels and will involve one-on-one instruction. Class size is limited, so make your reservation now by calling 264-5020. After reservations are made, Pierre will talk to each student regarding a supply list.
Oil painting workshop
The Arts Council is proud to sponsor Tom Lockhart, well-known oil painter, in his first Pagosa Springs oil painting workshop, set for July.
A Colorado native, Lockhart was born and raised in Monte Vista. His love for nature and the outdoors is evident in his paintings. Striving to convey a feeling for light and atmosphere is always a challenge for any artist but for Lockhart it is even more challenging because he works in oils, pastels, and watercolors. He enjoys painting his local surroundings but also travels throughout the United States to capture additional images with brush and paint. He travels the southwest canyons of Arizona and Utah and the villages of northern New Mexico as well as the Rocky Mountains and the coast of Maine. He looks for every opportunity to search for new and inspiring subject matter, often painting on location.
Lockhart has been included in many national and regional juried exhibitions and has won numerous awards including Region III Winner for the National Arts For the Parks. He is a member of the prestigious Northwest Rendezvous (NWR), a group of 44 of the country's top artists. He is a Signature member of The Oil Painters of America and Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters. He has received the Director's Choice Award and an Award of Excellence at Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters in Estes Park. Lockhart has also been included in the Colorado Governor's Show in Loveland and the Greeley Western Stampede Show. He was chosen by Watercolor Magazine and the Forbes' to paint for a week at the Forbes Trinchera Ranch, and then to exhibit his watercolor paintings in their galleries in New York City and San Francisco. He was named Colorado Artist of the Year for Ducks Unlimited and his art has helped benefit the Colorado Wildlife Society. "Subliminal Drama", an article about Tom, was featured in Art of the West Magazine. He was also featured in Watercolor Magazine's, "Colorado Markings", and an article about the Forbes Trinchera painting trip.
Lockhart has his own gallery and studio, La Casa De Luz, in Monte Vista and galleries in the Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and Maine represent him. To view a sample of Tom's work go his Web site: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A basic of the workshop includes: Teaching the basic fundamentals of design, color, value, mass and perspective is only the beginning. Applying this acquired knowledge to painting the landscape both outdoors and in the studio will make painting easier and more fun. He will help each workshop participant with the specific needs by strengthening their strong points and help improve on their weaknesses. Attendees will enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding area. And Lockhart will demonstrate as much as possible. Some experience is required, although novices able to mix and understand painting and its application are welcome to attend. Students should be age 18 and over.
Cost for the workshop is $275 for members and $300 for others. Class is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m in the community center with both indoor and outdoor instruction. Call 264-5020 or e-mail us at email@example.com to sign up now.
Drawing with Davis
Don't forget to mark Saturday on your calendar for Drawing with Randall Davis, starting 9 a.m. and usually ending about 3 p.m. in the community center. In the summer months, weather permitting, we meet at the community center then go outside for our drawing lesson. The subject this month will be perspective and composition in relation to outdoor scenery such as trees, ponds and other elements of nature.
If you have never attended one of Randall's classes, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance. All you need to bring is a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils; preferably a mid-range No. 2 or No. 3 and No. 6 in a bold lead and in a hard lead, ruler, eraser and an attitude to enjoy the day. Bring your own sack lunch, and appropriate outdoor items, such as hat, sunscreen, water, and a folding chair. It's best to make a reservation through PSAC, 264-5020.
'Art to Music'
The Shy Rabbit Studio is proud to be hosting "Art to Music," featuring John Graves, 5-9 p.m. Saturday.
A call went out to a community of artists last month, which resulted in 44 superb pieces being submitted by 20 Pagosa Springs and regional artists. John Porter carefully "orchestrated" the wide diversity of work, selecting 10 pieces for presentation that he felt would most successfully challenge and inspire the legendary musical talents of Graves. "The Professor performs musical interpretations as he initially views visual art," said Porter. "This is a project as unique as the gentleman and his community."
Doors open 5 p.m., performance at 6 p.m., Q&A to follow. This is a must-attend event for all art and music lovers. The Studio is at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1. This is a free event and seating is limited. For more information, call Michael or Denise Coffee at 731-2766.
The Basics of Watercolor for Absolute Beginners is again being offered by Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett July 11, 12, and 13 in the community center 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Bring your lunch.
Cost is $123.50 for members and $130 for others. This is your opportunity to learn all of the things we wished we had been taught when we first started painting in watercolor. This workshop will cover brushes, their care and how to use them to make the marks you need to create your own painting; watercolor papers, what surface to use, what weight to buy; pigments, how to mix colors, properties of colors; and so much more about each item of our equipment. Each day will begin with lessons and handouts on a given subject and the afternoon will be spent on creating a painting utilizing the points from the morning's lesson using the overhead mirror and the follow-me format.
This workshop is for adults who have always wanted to try their hand at watercolor but were afraid to attend other workshops. It is a chance to learn to paint with others who are afraid they have no talent, or who have struggled to learn on their own with limited success.
Learn the basics, especially the things you need to know about materials and techniques to begin the process of creating your own works of art. There is lots of individual attention and assistance.
This is the first of three workshops to be offered this summer. Basics II is scheduled Aug. 10-12 and Intermediate I Sept. 12-14. For additional information on the content of the workshop you can call Ginnie at 731-2489 or Denny at 731-6113.
Class size is limited so sign up early at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council building in Town Park or call the council at 264-5020. Materials list will be available when you register.
The Shy Rabbit Studio invites artists, photographers, and all interested parties to join in a collaborative summer show. Space is limited to 45 and each entrant will be provided with one 15-exposure camera, and one week in which to photograph. Subject matter is not theme and/or geographically restricted, but must be tasteful and appropriate for gallery display.
The studio will manage film developing and will hang the strips of uncut photographs in preparation for an open reception 5-9 p.m. July 16. The Pagosa Springs Salon and Artists' Round Table will follow the opening 1-4 p.m. July 17 at which time the photo displays will be reviewed and discussed in a friendly and creative format. Guest speaker to be announced.
Cost to participate is $15 per person, which covers camera and developing costs. Payment must be received by June 21. Cameras must be picked up at the studio on Tuesday, June 28, from noon-1p.m. or 5-6 p.m., and dropped off at the studio Tuesday, July 5, at the same hours. The studio is at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1. For more information or to register, call Michael or Denise Coffee at: 970/731-2766.
If you were unable to attend last week's exhibit opening at the gallery at Town Park, you missed a fun time. You can still view the exhibits of three local artists through June 29. Exhibitors are Jeanine Malaney, Adrienne Haskamp and Randall Davis.
Jeanine Malaney has several fabric paintings on display and explains her theory:
"This technique allows me to paint a picture with fabric! I cut fabric pieces and compose a collage by gluing and rearranging pieces on a background fabric (my "canvas"). After adding shading and detail features with fabric paint, I secure the image with clear or smoke monofil thread. After squaring up, I add fabric borders for matting and layer with backing and batting. With a quilting process I can then increase texture and highlight features creating a three-dimensional effect. I produce my own continuous binding to match or compliment borders. Each unique piece is titled, signed, and framed. The spirit of the American West is bound up in the land wide open spaces, big skies, purple mountains majesty and plenty of sunshine! Horses running with the wind or wildlife symbolize our freedom to enjoy the vastness of the western landscape and our national forests and national parks. Indian and cowboy lore fan the fire of our infatuation with the West. These are the themes I explore in my work.
Randall Davis is showing one bronze sculpture, several oil paintings and one watercolor painting.
Adrienne Haskamp has jewelry, beaded work and ceramic pieces on display and 25 percent of her sales will be donated to Colorado Wild.
Kudos to locals
Jeanine Malaney has two paintings accepted into the Durango Arts Center 29th Annual Juried Exhibit which runs through July 7. One is a fabric collage painting titled "Grand Canyon Vista" and the other is a watercolor painting titled "Thistle on Saguaro."
Photographer Al Olson and Writer Jerry Hannah are also exhibiting. So, if you're in Durango, go by the Arts Center and view their art.
All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the arts and crafts space at the community center, unless otherwise noted.
All exhibits are in the PSAC gallery in Town Park, unless otherwise noted.
June 2-29 - Jeanine Malaney, Adrienne Haskamp, and Randall Davis exhibit.
June 18 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35 .
June 23 - PSAC annual meeting.
June 28-30 - Pierre Mion watercolor workshop 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
June 30-July 1 - Wendy Saunders photography exhibit.
July 11-13 - Beginner I, the Basics - watercolor workshop with Denny and Ginnie, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
July 20 - 23 - Tom Lockhart Oil Workshop 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.,
July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.
Aug. 4-31- Juried art exhibit.
Aug 29-Sept. 1 - Joye Moon Plein Air Watercolor Workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
September - Celebrities Cook for the Arts and Art Auction.
Sept. 1-28 - Juried art exhibit.
Sept. 29-Oct. 31, Fine woodworking and Betty Slade student oil painters exhibit.
October- Artist Studio Tour.
November - 2005 Gallery Tour.
December - Possible Festival of Trees in conjunction with the Community Center.
Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, courtesy of the Pagosa Sun. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). We want to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.
So much junk, so little time
By Karl Isberg
My wife, Kathy, and I are at an age and a time in life when we should downsize, cut expenses, shrink the space in which we live.
The kids are long gone and we've made it clear that, except in the event of a major global cataclysm, they aren't moving back.
It's time when folks like us, gettin' a bit gray, thinkin' about the end game, should start to tidy up, trim the loose ends, get conservative and put things in order. It's the only sensible thing to do.
As a result, Kathy and I have decided to buy a much bigger house and encumber ourselves with massive debt.
We've always had trouble staying on the sensible course.
There are quite a few reasons we've decided to make this move - none of them particularly sound. But, how much of human experience is based on sound reasoning? Certainly not much of ours.
Sure, there's talk about good investments, possible returns on resale as the market continues to improve, blah-dee-blah. It's total blather.
Bottom line - the only sure bets are that we'll be able to sit on the deck and enjoy more quiet than we can now, that there will be more rooms in which to hide from each other when the need arises and, most important, there will be more space in which to store our junk.
And, boy, we've got a truckload of junk. Actually, a semitrailer full of junk. Maybe two.
If you want to know how much crud you've accumulated, get ready to move. In our case, the revelation is stunning.
We've been in our current abode nearly 13 years and it wasn't until this week we realized how much utterly useless debris we've allowed to pile up in the homestead. We've had hunches, mind you, but the reality wagon never hit us at full speed.
You stay in a place for years and - if you're victims of perilously short attention spans, as we are - you begin to overlook the mounds and the stacks and the wads. You just see the top layers; you clean the dog hair off the top layer every once in a while, and everything looks swell. But, something ominous is happening beneath the surface. They say a tidal wave moves nearly undetected beneath the surface of the ocean, becoming apparent only as it hits land. So it is with our tidal wave of crud. With the prospective move, it is breaking on shore and, whooweee, we've got a monster on our hands; we are seeing more than the top layer.
Our closets, for example, are terrifying - crammed with stuff we don't recognize, bits and pieces of things long disassembled, scraps of this and that.
There are clothes in closets and drawers - allegedly my clothes - but I don't remember having that small of a waist.
There is junk we've saved that belonged to our daughters: athletic awards, stuffed toys, clothing, knickknacks, old birthday cards, projects they did in third grade. They don't want them. Why do we?
I began exploring the debris field this week, scouting routes to a successful cleanup. We have a strategy and I pretend, for a moment, to follow it.
"Here's what we do," says Kathy. "We target a particular room and we attack it. We have four boxes. The first is labeled 'Keep.' The second box is labeled 'Garage Sale.' We label the third box 'Thrift Store.' The fourth box is 'Throw Away.'"
You betcha. Sounds efficient.
I add my two cents worth.
"We need to be brutally honest about this. Unforgiving - no sentiment, no illusions." I love tough talk. I like to pretend I'm in control.
"Right, " she says.
Kathy then turns to a shelf next to us.
"Oooh, look. It's my bike helmet and bike shorts." She holds up a ratty looking white foam helmet and a pair of dusty Spandex shorts. Kathy has not ridden a bike in seven years.
"Now, something like this," she says, "will definitely go in the 'Keep' box. I paid forty dollars for this helmet."
It is obvious we are in for a rough time.
We've got a ton of unused clothing but sorting through it, given the less than subtle bodily changes we've undergone the last decade, proves fairly easy - despite Kathy's insistence we keep several gaudy Hawaiian shirts. The big question is "'Garage Sale' or 'Thrift Store?'"
Then, there's the books. We begin to run into real trouble here.
When I labored as a galley slave in the bilge of the USS Higher Education, I received book after book in the mail, sent by eager publishers as "examination copies" in the vain hope the books would be ordered as texts for classes. Guilty because I never ordered any, I felt obliged to keep most of them. And take them wherever I went.
I still have them, on shelves, in boxes.
Neatly arranged in a massive oak bookcase, these hardbound beauties would be quite impressive, so long as no one got close enough to scan the titles.
"The Impact of Kant's Prolegomena on the Tennessee Public School System, 1885-1930."
"Essays on Aesthetics by Members of the British Lace Society."
"Post Tractatus Ambiguity in Wittgenstein: Weakness or Enlightenment?"
Thank goodness I didn't read them.
I begin with the books on shelves in the back bedroom. I create three areas on the floor, mimicking our clothing system. The first area is for garage sale books; the second is for keepers, the third for throwaways.
There's no problem until I get to Kathy's collection of self-help books.
I can't believe it: There's hundreds of them. And, unlike me, she's read them all.
Odd, but I can't say I've noticed much change in her over the years, but I try to look on the positive side. I ask myself: What would her life be like if she hadn't read them?
I make the mistake of asking her the same question.
I remember our new house will have space where I can hide.
Suffice it to say, most of the self-help manuals end up in the "keeper" stack. Kathy considers them indispensable, even if they've been on the shelf in a closet for the last five or six years. It seems Wayne Dyer, Suze Orman and Deepak Chopra improve when left to ripen in a dark environment.
As do tomes on home improvement. Into the keeper stack goes everything from instructions on how to reproduce an 18th century East Indian living room to a manual detailing the construction of an aviary in the guest bedroom. Same with the books telling you how to make your own Christmas ornaments with flour and white glue. Can't do without them!
So, it seems we will cart a ton of books with us, and I haven't yet dared to search the book repository in the upstairs storage space.
The weeks ahead promise greater agonies.
I dread cleaning out the garage.
Over the years, I've collected tools and gadgets to help me with construction and repair projects I've planned but never managed to begin. The items are scattered throughout the garage, stuck into every nook and cranny along with old tires from a 1985 Toyota we sold 10 years ago, more books, and what seems to be six or seven hundred half-empty cans of latex house paint. There are odd-sized pieces of lumber and chunks of gypsum board leaning against walls along with old bedsteads that lack springs and mattresses. There is a bike or two hanging on hooks from the garage rafters. Numerous pieces of furniture sit here and there, some pieces stacked on others. And there's a rug or two, rolled up and stashed at the back of the garage atop a rampart of boxes, a cozy home for Hanta virus-bearing rodents. Can't wait to get to those!
The boxes have been in the garage since we arrived at the house 13 years ago. They contain junk we packed at our previous residence or brought with us when we moved to Siberia With a View nearly 20 years ago. I have no idea what is in the boxes, but at least they're ready to tote to the new dwelling.
Then, horror of horrors, we'll have to deal with the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
Have you ever had an 85-year-old relative or acquaintance? Did you visit them and chance to look in their kitchen or bathroom cabinets?
My bet is, if you did, you were confronted with chaos you had not imagined possible - potentially lethal consumer items, some decades old, formed into an impenetrable wall, like a collapsed mine shaft.
Yep, you guessed it that's our kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
How did we not notice?
How could I forget several jars of pesto from Dean and DeLuca? The dates on the jars read 1994 and, apparently, the jars were lost in a crowd of subsequent purchases. Like the jar of picholines, circa 1996, or the tins of Italian white sardines purchased back in '98. How could I collect three tubes of beef flavored dog toothpaste, much less lose them behind several cans of shaving gel?
I wonder if molé paste is still good after six years. Dry pasta keeps forever, doesn't it?
Against my better judgment, I open the so-called "utility drawer" in the kitchen.
Dear Lord. The ironic juxtaposition of "utility" with what confronts me is at once delicious and depressing.
The task ahead is daunting. We are inundated by the detritus thrown off a careless existence, litter produced by an unduly profligate lifestyle.
Bottom line: We are going to deal with a mountain of clutter for several weeks. There's no way a prospective purchaser can evaluate what this house is like until the junk is cleared away, until they can see things like walls and the interiors of closets and cabinets.
The place is going to be in an uproar, and we will still need food. I have a hunch there will be little space on countertops - perhaps only one or two burners available for use on the stove. As the Big Day nears, most of our pots, pans and utensils will be loaded up for transport.
What can I cook that is quick, that requires no space, satisfies my demand for decent eats, and gives me and Kathy the energy needed to work till the early morning hours, dealing with junk?
One- or two-pan meals or, eureka!, things cooked on the gas grill out on the deck. I will keep one sauce pan, one saute pan, one casserole, one colander, one spatula, one knife, one cutting board and one large wooden spoon for use in preparing meals. I will pack everything in the cupboards but two dinner plates, two salad plates, two bowls, two cups, two wine glasses, two water glasses, two forks, two spoons and two knives. Actually, why would we need plates and bowls? We can eat out of the pan, or straight off the grill!
Steaks, chops, chicken breasts - grilled, sans marinades - that's the ticket! I'll have the capacity to do some sauces with a healthy supply of demi-glace and glace de viand in the fridge, and the blessing of passable stocks from the grocery. Add to that some wines and the fact I'll keep the corkscrew out of the boxes till the final moments and I should be in good shape. I'll grill vegetables, slicked with olive oil, lightly seasoned. They'll do. Use the colander and tear up some salads, dressing them simply, adding some crumbled bleu or feta, some oil cured olives, some herbs. Maybe even use the oven and whip up a braise or two.
I guess I'm ready for what lies ahead, though, in a moment of weakness, I wonder: Wouldn't it be better if I just remove a few valued items from this house and set the joint on fire?
Gotta move. And we need to be realistic: The "Throwaway" pile is not going to grow appreciably and we will end up carting most of this crap to our new dwelling. I'll go on the prowl for more boxes, starting Monday. What the move will mean is double the number of unopened boxes in the garage of the new house.
With any luck, I'll die there.
And someone else will have to deal with the junk.
Oh, Gnats! Black or turkey, they're stingers to fight
By Bill Nobles
June 16 - Shooting Sports Project meeting, 10 a.m.
June 17 - Rabbit Project meeting, 2 p.m.; Poultry Project meeting, 3 p.m.
June 18 - Garden Club plant sale, 9 a.m.
June 20 - Dog Obedience Project meeting, 1:30 p.m.; Sportsfishing Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.; Beef Project meeting, 6:30 p.m.
June 21 - Executive Council meeting, 5 p.m.; Lamb Project meeting, 7 p.m.; Swine Project meeting, 7:30 p.m.
Although mosquitoes are the best known of the flies that bite people, several other species can be locally important as a nuisance and can cause public health problems.
While all biting flies are blood feeders none, aside from mosquitoes, are known to transmit human diseases in Colorado. However, some flies can transmit animal diseases. Most important, bites can be painful (e.g., deer flies) or produce swelling and intense itching as the result of injected saliva (e.g., black flies).
Black Flies, 'Buffalo Gnats,' 'Turkey Gnats'
The most common of the small biting flies, adult black flies, can produce serious annoyance problems and sometimes produce serious effects for people and animals. Black flies bite not only people, but also feed on birds and livestock. They have been known to contribute to the death of ostriches, which react severely to the swarming gnats.
Black fly outbreaks are associated with areas with sustained running water. For example, unusually heavy and sustained spring runoff, such as occurred during 1995 in much of eastern Colorado, can contribute to large population increases and subsequent biting problems.
Adult black flies (Simulium spp.) are small with a humpbacked appearance. Approximately 29 species of black flies occur in Colorado. Only a few cause serious injury to people or animals. Simulium vittatum, a species which favors birds and is sometimes known as a "turkey gnat," is found statewide, although concentrated in the eastern half of Colorado. The "true" turkey gnat, S. meridionale, is a foothills-prairie species in eastern Colorado and also attacks birds.
Species that historically have been most annoying to humans and livestock in Colorado are S. griseum and S. bivittatum. The "buffalo gnat" (S. arcticum) occurs in Colorado but is largely restricted to elevations above 7,000 feet, where it develops in clear, cool and often turbulent streams.
All black flies require cool, running water for development and favor sites with cobbled bottoms (pebbles, small rocks) that are largely clear of silt. The black fly larvae attach themselves to rocks or other submerged materials and feed on organic particles they filter from the passing waters. Trailing vegetation or rotted aquatic plants also are attractive to black flies, providing sites for the larvae to attach for feeding. Breeding may also occur in rivulets formed by the flooding of fields.
The black fly life cycle can be rapid, taking about three weeks from egg laying to maturation of the adult. Only the female bites, the blood meal being used to provide protein for egg maturation. Adults live about two weeks. Populations can grow very rapidly. Two to four generations may be produced annually. Individual females may lay several hundred eggs. Adult black flies are migratory, commonly flying many miles from larval breeding sites. As an extreme example, migrations of more than 90 miles are reported in Canada.
Black fly attacks on people, cattle, horses and pigs tend to be concentrated around the ears and head. In addition to the blood loss, effects of the insect saliva can cause a variety of problems, with swelling and intense skin irritation most common. Allergenic asthma, nausea and more systemic effects can also occur, a condition known as "black fly fever." Species that attack birds feed mostly around the eyes. The intense annoyance can cause animals to become greatly agitated and exhaust themselves in attempts to escape. Some Colorado species of black flies are known vectors of vesicular stomatitus, a disease that can infect horses, cattle and pigs.
Unlike mosquitoes, black flies are day feeders. Biting attacks tend to show some periodicity.
During sunny, warm days peak attacks occur in mid-morning and then have a more intense phase in evening, ending at dusk. However, biting greatly intensifies at the onset of storms and may persist all day when overcast conditions occur.
Black fly control is difficult due to the highly migratory adult stage and their extensive breeding habitat. In terms of personal protection, choice of clothing can be important. Black flies are highly attracted to dark colors, so wear light colored clothing. Light-colored hats that cover the ears are an important precaution.
The repellent DEET (diethyl toluamide) is somewhat effective in preventing black fly bites, although swarming gnats may still be annoying even when using repellent.
To reduce attacks on poultry and ostriches, keep the birds in a darkened barn during the day. Usually fans or some other means of cooling the birds is needed.
Larval control is practiced in some areas where chronic black fly problems occur and breeding areas are known. This involves metering of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis into the flowing water where larvae occur. Trade names include Bactimos and Vectobac, the same products used for larval control of mosquitoes.
However, as previously noted, the breeding sites can be many miles away from where the adult insects are causing problems.
Adult control is problematic, again due to the migratory behavior of the insects. It is likely that permethrin-based products are among the best. These are effective against most fly species and are labeled for use in mosquito control and for fly control of livestock.
Deer flies (Chrysops spp., Silvius spp.) are moderate-sized insects. Most common species are gray or light brown, sometimes with patterned bodies and wings, and have large colored eyes. Deer flies are day biters, produce a painful bite, and frequently draw blood in the process.
They lay eggs on grasses and other aquatic vegetation around the edge of small ponds and other permanent standing water. The larvae develop within the mud and plant matter around the edge of the pond, feeding on decaying organic matter and small invertebrates.
Deer flies have a one year life cycle. Adults are present for two to three weeks. They rest on shrubbery or tall grass when not mating and feeding.
Horseflies are closely related to deer flies. They are somewhat larger and generally have similar habits, although larvae are thought to be primarily predators of insects developing in mud around ponds.
Horse flies found in Colorado almost never bite people but can be occasional nuisance pests of livestock. However certain horseflies found at higher elevations (Hybomitra spp.) can be nasty biters.
Control - There are no chemical controls for deer fly larvae, which develop in mud around edges of ponds and small streams. However, breeding can be suppressed by removing vegetation around pond edges to inhibit egg laying. To control adults, direct insecticides at shrubbery and other resting sites.
Deer flies and horse flies may also be trapped. The "Manitoba trap" uses a dark, heat absorbing body to attract these insects, which then are directed into a cone where they are trapped. A typical design for such a trap includes a dark painted beach ball or similar object suspended under a cone. The addition of small amounts of carbon dioxide around the trap can further increase the attractiveness of the trap. DEET and other insect repellents are not very effective at deterring deer fly bites.
Snipe flies (Symphoromyia spp.) are close relatives of deer flies. They are found near forested areas of higher elevations of the state. Snipe flies can be vicious biters and feed during the day.
Very little is known of the habits of these insects. Larvae of some snipe flies develop in moist soils of grassy woodlands. Others have been found in rotten wood or decaying vegetation where they are thought to develop as predators of other insects.
Stable Fly, 'Biting House Fly'
The stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) is a blood-feeding pest known to attack almost any kind of warm-blooded animal. It is a major pest of confined livestock throughout the world, including Colorado. It looks like the common house fly except that its mouthparts are adapted for biting and sucking blood. The stable fly feeds by inserting its proboscis (beak) through the skin and then sucking blood from its host.
Females can live up to a month and may require several blood meals during this period in order to continue laying eggs. It is a daytime feeder, with peak biting occurring during the early morning and late afternoon. Stable flies prefer to attack people around the ankles. It does not appear to be an important vector of any human diseases.
The immature stable fly (maggot) can be found breeding in many kinds of moist, decaying organic matter, including animal bedding, lawn clippings, and compost. The variety of breeding sites, and the fact that the adults fly several miles to feed but spend little time on the host, make it difficult to manage stable flies. Little can be done except to use repellents and protective clothing.
Specific techniques have been developed for managing stable flies in confined livestock operations. These are especially important if the livestock operation is serving as a source of stable flies for nearby residential areas.
The horn fly (Haemotobia irritans) is about half the size of the stable fly, and is a more injurious pest of cattle. It spends most of the day on its host, biting and feeding on blood 20 to 30 times during a 24-hour period. These flies can occur in groups of several hundred or more on an individual host and cause severe irritation and economic loss. The horn fly is not considered to be a pest of people, although it will sometimes bite people who are close to infested animals. Larvae develop in dung of cattle.
Four judges needed
The Archuleta County 4-H Program is in need of four more Livestock Record Book Judges to accommodate the increase in 4-H livestock members. Anyone who if familiar with 4-H and livestock to volunteer as a record book judge at this years fair is welcomed to help judge this year.
The judging is twofold: an interview with the 4-H member and then judging of the 4-H record book. The interview process takes place at the Archuleta County Fair, Sunday, Aug. 7-9 a.m.-1 p.m. Each judge is assigned a species: beef, swine, sheep, goat, horse, or rabbit. We provide breakfast and lunch for all the judges on that Sunday. If you feel this is something you are interested in, please call Pamela at the Extension office, 264-5931.
Check out our Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and information.
Clear your closets for Saturday's rummage sale
By Ming Steen
Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will hold an association-approved garage sale for members 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the recreation center.
PLPOA will supply tables for your sale items but since the inventory of tables is not limitless, you may wish to bring a couple of your own card tables for additional display surfaces.
The Pagosa Lakes Porpoises will have a food booth to sell lunch to vendors and the public.
If you're interested in joining this community garage sale, call the PLPOA administration office at 731-5635 to reserve a table with Gloria. There is no charge involved as this is a service provided by PLPOA for its members in good standing.
Allow me to share what I've learned about the art of garage sales - from books with titles like "How to Turn Your Trash Into Cash", "Your Hidden Money", and "Backyard Money Machine".
Get down to business cleaning out your closets and anything that is useless to you or that you don't want - put it in the sale. Don't throw anything away. People will buy just about anything. You'd be surprised. You can also throw in a box of freebies.
Antiques go over big regardless of state of repair or condition. Give good descriptive details to fire a buyer's interest.
Capitalize on the season. For a June garage sale bicycles, fishing gear, swim wear and outdoor toys go over well.
Doll clothing and accessories are always in demand. Toys go over big at anytime with the kiddies and they, in turn, will finally persuade their parents to buy something. Children are very persuasive.
Have a large quantity of items to sell. Don't be afraid to drop things and generally "clean house." You'll find the money in your pocket is better than all the clutter in the house.
String up clothesline to display clothing - indicate price and size. Set up card tables to display small merchandise in an attractive fashion. Be sure they are clean, usable and priced temptingly. People are looking for bargains. Don't disappoint them. Remember that what you sell is something you don't want anyway. So whatever you get is gravy.
If you have any fragile items, be sure to display on a table and up out of reach of kiddies. Drinking glasses, dishes, cups will sell faster if you price them in sets of six for $1 instead of 15 cents each. Books, CDs and items that have titles will sell more readily if they are marked separately. If they want it collectively, they'll ask you. Then bundle it up and sell them. Sell everything.
Whatever you do, be ready.
The area set aside for the garage sale is the parking lot outside the recreation center. No vendors will be allowed in the area until 8 a.m. Employes will be present to direct vendor traffic and all customer parking will be across the street at Mountain Heights Baptist Church. This also includes recreation center users. Consider it a warm-up to your exercise routine in the facility.
At the end of the garage sale, you will have met a lot of nice, friendly people and hopefully, go home to a less-cluttered place. Vendors are responsible for total removal of all their items. In other words, do not leave unsold items behind.
Who would have thought (and certainly not I) that my trash is another's gold mine? I'll try to get over my awkwardness about publicly displaying some of the bad purchases I've made in my lifetime.
I've always avoided garage sales. Perhaps this weekend will be my coming out. See you there, as well.
Martinez Trail closures
The Martinez Canyon Trail accesses in Pagosa Lakes from North Pagosa Boulevard and San Jose Court are going to intermittently be closed over the next four to six weeks. The trail closures are due to the wildfire fuel reduction work taking place in the greenbelts and National Forest through which the trail runs.
The association has recently hired a contractor to begin work on 17 acres in Lake Forest Estates subdivision behind Dutton Drive, part of a Wildland Urban Interface fuel reduction project involving the Colorado State Forest Service.
Concurrently, the U.S. Forest Service is going to be conducting brush thinning operations in 20 acres of adjoining National Forest land. This area has been determined to be an area of wildfire potential near the rim of Martinez Canyon and Dutton Draw.
The trail closures will be on an as-needed basis when work near the trail is taking place. The trail will be flagged and roped off during these times. Sometimes it may be possible to skirt around the flagged off areas but not always. There will be heavy equipment in the area, involving tree falling, brush work and heavy chipping and shredding activity.
It is the goal of the contractors to have the trail opened each evening after work hours which will be no later than 5 p.m. Some days the trail will be closed for the majority of the day other days it will not be closed at all if the contractors are working other areas.
It is impossible to predict or schedule with any certainty when the trail will be closed, that will depend on the amount of work needed at the time. We ask that trail users please be patient during this time and possibly use other nearby trails during the daytime hours. The trail will be open on weekends for sure.
Work hours will be from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday though Friday. Please be safety conscious over the next few weeks if you are a Martinez Canyon trail user and keep pets on a leash at all times if you are in there during work hours. Call Larry Lynch at the Association office if you have any questions or concerns (731-5635).
Fishing Derby winners
The Pagosa Lakes Annual Kids Fishing Derby took place last Saturday at Hatcher Lake.
We had a little lighter turnout this year than in past years but those who did make it enjoyed a fun day and lots of good fishing.
Winners in the 6 and under category were Preston Lucero, first, Trevor Bryant, second, and Tiana Warren, third.
In the 7-8 category the first-place winner was Elias Appenzeller. Aisha Warren was second and Payton Shahan third.
In the 9-12 category the first place winner was Chris Hogreff, with Lillian Klapp second and Breanna Vorhies third.
Our first-place winner in the 13-16 category was Sam Bard. Josh Neuleib was second and Thomas Bernard third.
The winners all received prizes including new combination fishing poles, tackle boxes and reels. In fact, every child who attended won a prize and about 160 hot dogs were consumed by hungry anglers.
Tina Blanche Murray
Tina Blanche Murray, 96, died Thursday, June 9, 2005, at her home in Bayfield, Colo. Visitation was held at Hood Mortuary in Durango on Monday and a funeral service was held Tuesday, June 14, 2005, at in the Church of Christ in Bayfield with Mr. Gene Chapin officiating.
Burial followed the services at Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.
Mrs. Murray was born Sept. 18, 1908, in Pagosa Springs, the daughter of Harry and Alice Putnam. She grew up in Pagosa Springs on the family ranch and she married Raymond R. Murray on Oct. 20, 1925, in New Mexico. Mrs. Murray worked at the Pagosa Social Services office for many years.
Her hobbies included fly fishing, hunting and writing poems for any occasion. Her church activities and membership at the Bayfield Church of Christ was her passion and she also enjoyed creating crafts as gifts to friends, neighbors and family. "She is a deep and thoughtful person," remembers her grandson, Gregg Leighton.
She is survived by a daughter, Madelyn Daly, of Grand Junction; grandsons Larry, Gregg and Glenn Leighton and their spouses, of Cortez, Murray Ludwig and his wife of Bayfield; by son-in-law Frank Ludwig Jr. of Bayfield; a sister, Myrtle Crowley, of Leoti, Kan.; seven great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandson and four step-grandchildren, all of their spouses and their families.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond, her daughter, Opal Ludwig, and her grandson, Preston Ludwig.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bayfield Church of Christ, 2011 US Highway 160B, Bayfield, CO 81122.
Memorial celebration for Ecker
The family of Alden Ecker invite you to share in a memorial celebration of his life 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 24, in the Extension building at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds on U.S. 84
Alden loved Pagosa and the people of this community very much. Hope to see you all.
JoAnn and Alden's children
Restaurants asked to meet on folk fest cooperation
Would you like to make more money during the Four Corners Folk Festival this year?
Restaurant owners are being invited to attend a meeting and help the Chamber director Mary Jo Coulehan and festival codirector Crista Munro brainstorm ways to get more festival-goers into your businesses.
Possible topics for discussion include:
- Extended hours;
- On-site promotion of your business at the event;
- Creating a welcoming atmosphere in town.
The meeting will be 2-4 p.m. Monday, June 20, at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, 402 San Juan Street.
The meeting is open to all restaurant owners who are Chamber members in good standing.
Thanks to community volunteers
By Mary Jo Coulehan
The visitor numbers are starting to climb here at the Chamber.
Although it is only the beginning of the season, I already want to thank our great diplomats who enhance my job and the experience of our visitors to this area. We could not handle the amount of visitors who come through our doors without them.
These men and women are so supportive of our community and the businesses here. I will be thanking them throughout the season, as I hope you will too.
As a matter of fact, thanks to all of the volunteers who serve this community. It amazes me how dedicated everyone is, from the Chimney Rock volunteers to the Humane Society, to the library, the county fair, the Red Ryder Roundup, the historical society, the churches and on and on. Life would not be so easy without you. Thanks for all you do.
It's a parade
I'm happy to announce the incoming phone calls will decrease this week due to the fact everyone can now quit asking if we have the registration forms for the July 4 Parade.
We do. They are available and must be turned into either the Rotary Club at P.O. Box 685 or here at the Chamber no later than Thursday, June 29. Parade lineup will start 9 a.m. in the high school parking lot and the parade begins 10 a.m. When planning your entry remember: no throwing candy or articles from the float, no water guns and no air horns.
Participants are encouraged, as always, to display the American flag. This year's theme is "Celebrate Independence." I think everyone in this community is somehow involved in the parade either as a participant or a spectator. Come on out and enjoy this grandest of all community events at the Fourth of July Parade. We'll be talking more about the activities in the weeks to come, but here is another reminder: the fireworks display will take place at the sports complex at the high school.
At 2 p.m. Monday, Crista Munro (Four Corners Folk Festival) and I will co-host a meeting with local restaurant operators. We would like to see how we can increase sales for their businesses and also make this a welcoming experience for the festivalgoers. A similar meeting was held June 13 for retail businesses. Our community has watched this event grow in size and stature for the past 10 years. These meetings are a good time to voice questions, concerns and ideas for our business community. Join us at the Chamber for some idea swapping, snacks and beverages. Call me with any questions at 264-2360.
Music at The Springs
The second in a series of musical events will be held at The Springs Resort Friday. This time, live from Santa Fe, will be the Tres Amigos band, playing 5-8 p.m. This guitar trio will entertain the crowd with music from classical Spanish guitar to rock and roll. Then, at 5 p.m. Sunday (Father's Day), Tres Amigos will perform again, celebrating the grand opening of the new swimming pool at The Springs. What a great Father's Day gift. Soaking passes and admission to the entertainment is only $10 for locals. There will be lots of fun, prizes and surprises for all participating. If you didn't attend the Hot Strings concert at The Springs last month, you missed a great event. Listening to music at The Springs, with the river as a backdrop, allows the local person to realize how lucky we are to have such a venue in this wonderful community. Take advantage of being a local and your surroundings and come on out and enjoy two evenings of great music and fun.
Auction for wildlife park
Come by the Chamber and purchase tickets for the annual auction to be held Saturday, June 25, at the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
The evening will be filled with great hors d'oeuvres, beverages, a live and silent auction, a raffle and door prizes. Again, we are also lucky to have this park in our community. The individuals who work at the park are awesome in my book. They really make the tour worthwhile, with their love of the animals and their knowledge. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Don't miss this annual event and a chance to support the examples of the native animals in our area.
Calling all golfers
It's that time of year when the golfers blanket our wonderful 27- hole golf course and tournaments abound. On Saturday, June 25, the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club will host its annual Chuck Dorman Memorial Golf Tournament. This is a four-person scramble, shotgun start at 9 a.m. There will also be a putting contest. The total entry fee is $75 per person unless you have a club membership, and then the entry fee is only $35. This fee includes green fees, carts, lunch, coffee, donuts and soft drinks.
There will be prizes for the first, second and third-place winners as well as entry favors donated by Bank of Colorado. All golfers are welcome whether local or visitor. Entry forms may be picked up at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club. Wish for great weather, head on out to the course and have a swinging day.
We have three new members and nine renewals this week.
First on our list of new members is Infinite Possibilities, with Joan Blue. Joan's business uses new technology, the Wave Maker, to dismantle (debug) negative stress and trauma conditioning so clients quickly and permanently move into wholeness - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Infinite Possibilities is at 398 Hidden Dr. and Joan can be reached at 731-3276. Move forward with your life and give Joan a call.
Karlee Jacobs is pleasantly managing Dollar Rent a Car at Stevens Air Field. Dollar is featuring everything from fun, sporty Jeeps, economy cars and trucks to luxury SUVs. Dollar prides itself in trying to offer the largest selection of vehicles at the most competitive rates. Stop by the offices at the airfield or give them a call at 731-1761. Summer is pounding down on us and those of us in business know rental cars are always at a premium. Give Dollar a call and reserve your vehicle now for family or friends coming in for that reunion.
We have another handy informational publication for our community that has come on board at the Chamber. This magazine is called the Arts Perspective. It is a quarterly publication focusing on the arts communities of Southwest Colorado. Heather Leavitt, art director, highlights all aspects of the arts talking about food, furniture, jewelry, galleries, exhibits, musicians, artists and their work, and so much more all happening in the southwest Colorado area in places like Durango, Silverton or here in Pagosa. For information about the publication or advertising in the publication, call Heather at (970) 739-3200.
We now have a few members to welcome back. Included are Colorado Housing, Inc. and the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library, currently at its temporary location downstairs at the Humane Society Thrift Store. We also welcome back summer horse programs with Kristi Sweney and Kids with Horses Naturally; Land Properties and Brian Burgan; First Southwest Bank and First Southwest Bank - Mortgage Office; and The Hogs Breath Saloon and Restaurant.
That's all for this week.
Remember: There will be a SunDowner Wednesday, June 22. This SunDowner will be sponsored by the Rising Stars and how much fun will this event be since the location will be at Bogey's Golf? The price is the usual $5 and there will be lots of food, beverages and fun. I don't know if the attendance will surpass Rocky Mountain Home and Leisure, but we can sure give it a shot.
See you there.
Higher Grounds Coffee
Marge Alley is the owner and Nicki Alley is manager of Higher Grounds Coffee, at 189 Talisman Drive, Suite A.
Higher Grounds specializes in gourmet coffee drinks, fresh-baked cinnamon and caramel rolls, bread pudding and pastries.
Higher Grounds features an appealing, beautifully decorated atmosphere, including a comfy lounge with sofa and chairs and an outdoor patio with tables. There is a computer bar featuring a new Dell computer and free wireless access.
Colorado roasted coffee is used to make all gourmet coffee drinks. Most pastries are baked fresh in the on-site kitchen and they are made from scratch. The bread pudding is made from leftover cinnamon and caramel rolls.
Higher Grounds is open seven days a week: Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7-10; Sunday, 7-3.
American Legion Post 108 wants to sincerely thank Archuleta County Republicans and the Jaramillo family, the pilot of the fly-by, and all who hosted the Patriots' Picnic Saturday.
I saw our veterans stand a little taller that day.
A special thanks to our Veteran Service Officer, Andy Fautheree, and to our own honor guard who make our Legion proud.
Bryan Schoonover and Jessie Stewart are happy to announce the marriage of their parents, Shana Marie Vasquez and Tracy Glenn Stewart. This celebration of love took place Saturday, June 4, 2005, in Pagosa Springs.
Marianne and Robert Gutknecht
Marianne and Robert Gutknecht of Pagosa Springs have been married for 50 years on June 29. They have two daughters, Pamela Mitchell of Huntsville, Utah, and Cynthia Palacio of Gilbert, Ariz. They have one grandchild, Zachary Scherschlight, of Tempe, Ariz.
Robert Kern Jr.
Robert W. Kern Jr., a junior majoring in political economy at Hillside College, Hillsdale, Mich., has been named to the dean's list for the spring semester of 2005.
He is the son of Robert and Leslie Kern of Pagosa Springs and a 2002 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.
W. David Kern
W. David Kern, a freshman business major at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., has been named to the dean's list for the 2005 spring semester.
He, too, is the son of Robert and Leslie Kern of Pagosa Springs and is a 2004 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.
Youngsters urged to enter Red Ryder mutton busting contest
Calling all mutton busters.
The Red Ryder Roundup is less than a month away and local youngsters are urged to sign up for one of the rodeo's favorite events mutton busting.
Contestants in the mutton busting event must be 6 years old or younger and must complete and submit an entry form by Friday, June 24, in order to compete.
This year, there will be 12 riders per day on July 2, 3 and 4, and there will be prizes for all contestants. First-place winners will receive belt buckles, all others will receive a trophy.
There is no entry fee for the mutton busting event. Helmets, vests and ropes are provided at no charge to each rider.
Entrants will be selected in a draw to be held Monday, June 27, and will be notified by telephone of the day they will ride.
See the ads in this week's SUN and PREVIEW for an entry form.
Lady golfers fight wind for excellent scores; two win at tourney
By Lynne Allison
Special to The SUN
Playing a game of "True & False" for their weekly league day June 7, the Pagosa Women's Golf Association found gusty winds and very cool conditions on the Meadows and Pinon courses.
They were to tally their scores for all the holes beginning with "T" and "F" for the round, thus only scores for holes 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 12,13, 14 and 15 counted.
At the end of the round all players totaled their scores from those holes and deducted one half of their handicap for an aggregate score. Par for these nine holes is 38.
Audrey Johnson captured first place with a 36; Carol Barrows was second with a 37 and Lynne Allison and Marilyn Smart tied for third, each with a 38.
Twelve members of the association traveled to Farmington June 7-8 for the annual San Juan Country Club Invitational playing the 36-hole tournament at Piñon Hills Golf Club.
The invitational format was comprised of two-woman teams playing a best ball gross and net, and included 53 teams from the Four Corners area along with Moab, Utah and Albuquerque.
Carole Howard and Jody Lawrence led the Pagosa contingent by winning third place net in the fourth flight with a two-day score of 128. Par for each course is 72.
Lawrence also won the closest to the pin special event on the No. 4 hole at SJCC June 8. She accomplished the feat with her driver on the 150-yard par 3 hole.
Kudos to both golfers for a job well done.
Other association members representing Pagosa were Jane Stewart, Jan Kilgore, Barbara Sanborn, Cherry O'Donnell, Sue Martin, Carrie Weisz, Sally Bish, Nancy Chitwood, Marilyn Pruter and Doe Stringer.
'Guns & Hoses' golf tourney to benefit victims
Together, local area law enforcement officers and firefighters will be swinging their golf clubs once again to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The second annual Law Enforcement and Firefighter tournament, also known as the "Guns & Hoses" golf tournament will be held Saturday at Pagosa Springs Golf Club.
All proceeds will benefit the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program, a local non-profit organization serving victims of violence.
Players meet 9 a.m. for a shotgun start. You don't have to be a pro to play everyone is welcome. You can enter yourself or your team by calling 731-4755. Come out for a day of golf, good food and great fun.
Bow Club sets summer shoot dates
The Pagosa Bow Club has set the following dates for its summer 3D competition shoots: June 26, July 17 and Aug. 21.
There will be cash awards (50-percent payback) for adults, trophies for youths (13-17) and awards for all cubs (12 and under).
The events will be held at the club range one mile east of the U.S. 84 intersection on U.S. 160 (directly across from the Pagosa Riverside Campground).
In addition, every Tuesday evening throughout the summer, the club will host open 3D practice shoots 6 p.m.-dusk. The cost is $3 per adult/youth member and $5 for non members.
For further information, contact Donna Clemison 731-9622 or Ron Schweickert 264-5509.
Youth soccer signups begin July 5
By Myles Gabel
Youth soccer signups will begin July 5 and continue through July 29.
The youth soccer season will start earlier than in past years, beginning Aug. 15 and running through the end of September due to the cold October weather and less daylight.
Pick up applications at the Town Hall after July 5 or go online at townofpagosasprings.com to download an application. Age groups are 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12. We will attempt to form a new 13/14 group ( seventh and eighth-graders), if people are interested.
Call the recreation department with any questions, 264-4151 Ext. 232.
Young baseball players exhibited their skills Saturday when the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department hosted the Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge. The competition was free and open to boys and girls ages 6-13.
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.
Age group Skills winners
6/7 boys: Ty Kimsey, first; Keaton Laverty, second, Kyle Mundy, third.
6/7 girls: Ivy Amato, first.
8/9 division: J.J. Amato, first; Kennan Goebel, second.
10/11 division: D.J. Lien, first; Nikolas Monteferrante, second; Cody Kimsey, third.
12/13 division: Ty Vaivoda, first.
First-place winners from each age group will advance to a sectional competition to be held at a site to be determined.
Pagosa Springs 6-8 Coach-Pitch, 9-10 Mustang, 11-12 Bronco and 13-14 Pony Baseball leagues have begun and will continue through the end of June.
Adult softball has also started.
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 is back. Anyone interested in playing coed adult soccer, please go to 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.
Information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department may be found by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the Parks and Recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated every Monday morning.
We will win, we will lose
There is a chance, come November 2006, voters in Pagosa Coun-try might face an interesting but distressing political choice. At first glance, it seems typical of what we've encountered in American politics for too long: two candidates who differ on the party-burnished surface but who upon examination are not all that different, the critical identity being that both are mundane.
What local voters could face in 2006 is a race for the Colorado 6th Senate District seat between two candidates who are similar, but in important ways - and anything but mundane. We might have to decide whether we want our current state senator, Jim Isgar, to return for another term, or our current state representative, Mark Larson, to move to the Senate.
For some the decision will not be difficult, with Isgar a Democrat, Larson a Republican. Rigidly partisan voters barely blink before they complete their ballots; their political reaction is automatic, like a leg that twitches when the knee is tapped by a rubber hammer. They will be urged on by other partisan souls who, in their committees and their affiliated organizations, consider themselves movers and shakers, power brokers behind the scenes, all the while in truth lacking the integrity, the character and the courage to run for office themselves. Their political acumen is akin to a chimp trying to reverse engineer the space shuttle and they will feel no need to understand the complexity of this situation, if it occurs.
For those who think about this potential race, however, the similarity between the two gentlemen is rare. Why? Because both are extremely competent, never dogmatically partisan, devoted to their constituents - regardless of party affiliation - and deeply sensitive to the needs of the region. Each, in a word, is exceptional.
Read the columns they provide this newspaper. They bend over backward to explain issues; each attempts to explain his decisions regarding those issues.
And each accepts his charge with utmost gravity.
Isgar, the rancher, is particularly attuned to agricultural and water issues, working successfully this past session as chairman of the Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee and as the assistant majority leader. He carried bills dealing with interbasin water compacts and the creation of a roadless areas task force. He was at the center of the process to put referendums on the November ballot that, if approved, could release the economic chokehold put on the state by TABOR.
Larson, the former business owner, is among the most studious of legislators, and one of the least dogmatic. As a Republican, he fought relentlessly, and bravely, to deal with what he perceives as problems with TABOR and he is traveling the district educating voters prior to the general election. As the House of Representatives member on the Colorado Commission on Aging, he is actively involved in issues affecting seniors. His grasp of issues is profound.
Both men begin the decision-making process with an understanding of what they, as individuals, believe is right. Compromise is no stranger, but compromise inevitably takes into account the best interests of all their constituents,
Each is a sterling example of what is best about representative government - exemplary citizens elected to make decisions on our behalf and to do so with sound moral judgment and keen appreciation of the concerns of those they represent. We have been very lucky to have Isgar and Larson work often in league with one another, despite party differences. For those who think about political decisions, the prospect of the two facing off at the polls is both exciting and depressing.
If it happens, we will witness an intriguing battle. And we are certain to lose a great elected official.
A park, a memory vandalized
By Richard Walter
It never fails.
You think your community has turned a corner and then find out the turn has been blockheaded.
Once or twice a year the insanity of vandalism rears its ugly head here and for the most part - save for those who have to clean it up - it is sort of sloughed away like an unwanted extra skin.
We know it happens but we do nothing about it.
The latest spree(s) are much more than simple vandalism. They involve the wanton destruction of public property.
Who is this public? The taxpayers of Pagosa Springs, more commonly known as you and I.
Let me set the scene. Several years ago there was intense pressure on town officials to create a southside park. Other residents had Town Park, Centennial Park, River Center Park and the trails and parks maintained on Reservoir Hill.
Many people joined the fight for a new facility, one of the most vocal being Virginia Chavez, an employee of the U.S. Postal Service and a campaigner for her neighborhood.
South Pagosa Park became a reality, the most complete such facility in the community.
It has horseshoe pits, basketball courts, skateboard and bicycle ramps, an outdoor sand volleyball setting, an off-track bicycle course with an observation tower built by Aaron Hamilton as an Eagle Scout project. It has a canopied playground for the younger children with a variety of swings, catwalks, and other playground equipment. It has men's and women's restrooms, one of only two parks in town so equipped.
And, unfortunately, it appears to be one of the biggest targets for nonsensical vandalism.
Let's start with Virginia Chavez and the tributes to her efforts to get the park built before she was snatched away from us in an automobile accident.
Trees were planted in her honor, stones with appropriate memorial plaques placed nearby to help keep her memory and her park alive.
Time and again, however, those plaques have been chipped off, broken up, defaced or simply just removed.
A civic leader's memorial has been desecrated - the last time Saturday morning.
The bicycle track observation tower has been broken into and vandalized so many times officials have lost count.
One day recently, the restroom floors were painted. Within 24 hours someone had broken into the rooms, jammed the wash bowls and toilets full of paper and turned on all the water. The result: flooding in both restrooms requiring newly painted floors to be scraped clear of residues and flaking paint and then repainted.
The same park is a target for almost any kind of broken bottle.
The parks maintenance director told of spotting broken glass and clearing it from the small children's area. When he returned two hours later there was more glass in the sand and a child playing barefoot therein.
Guess who foots the bill if a child is seriously hurt in South Pagosa Park. The vandals?
Nope, we the taxpayers do.
90 years ago
Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of June 18, 1915
Archie, 12-year-old son of John Toner of the upper Piedra, killed a big bear last week. Them Toner kids are some sorts and they don't wear leather leggins either.
About 100 picnickers, mostly members of the Methodist Church Sunday School, went out to the Will Macht ranch Wednesday with bulging baskets and spent the day, the occasion being in commemoration of Children's Day instead of the usual program.
Old Timer, Old Sport Geo. Bardsley, Conejos County's most prominent citizen came in Monday for a few day's rest and a bath in the waters of the greatest hot spring on earth.
The finest and biggest celebration in the history of Pagosa will be held here July 1, 2 and 3.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 20, 1930
As the result of a raid conducted Saturday morning by Sheriff Frank Matthews, who was accompanied by Undersheriff E.B. Hatcher and Sol Thayer, Mrs. Frank Aguirre, who resides west of the depot, was placed under arrest on charges of possession of illicit liquor in considerable quantity and bootlegging. She pled guilty Saturday to the charges in Justice G.S. Hatcher's court and was fined $200 and given a suspended sentence of thirty days in the county jail.
The Women's Civic Club announces that a splendid musical will be presented to the public at the school auditorium on Thursday, June 26th. The best talent obtainable will be heard, and the proceeds are for the benefit of the public library.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 17, 1955
The chamber of commerce is constructing an information booth on the Triangle Park this week. After the booth is completed it will be manned each day in order that tourists and others may obtain information regarding accommodations, tourist attractions, fishing conditions and other matters of interest to the traveling public.
Lester W. Mullins Post 108 of The American Legion in Pagosa Springs in a regular meeting held last Thursday night went on record as favoring the proposed cemetery improvement district.
The summer session of the Legion Teen Canteen is creating quite a bit of interest among the young folks, and it seems assured of success in its summer program.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 19, 1980
A County Planning Commission meeting Monday was long and covered many subjects. One of the most noticeable features was the large number of condominium approvals requested. If all that have been approved are built as planned, there will be almost 1,000 condominium units in the county. It may be some time before that number is reached, but they are on the drawing board.
The country is getting a little dry, despite the snow banks that can be seen on the high mountain peaks. There has been no rain for almost a month, there have been some drying winds, and temperatures have been below normal. Ground moisture has suffered, although there is still plenty of water in the various streams.
Construction at Stevens Field
By John Middendorf
"If we all work together, we can make this work," declared Bob Howard as he opened a meeting of the airport commission last week.
Explaining a complex sequence of construction events taking place now at Steven's Field, Howard outlined the project to the many pilots attending the commission meeting, and whose access to the main runway will be affected by work at the airport this summer.
In preparation for the main runway improvements, an 8-foot strip of the main taxiway is being rotomilled. The asphalt is then being used to create a temporary parallel taxiway, which will be compacted, graded and covered with tack oil.
The temporary parallel taxiway will then serve as main runway access from the Bravo taxiway, enabling the extension of the main runway to take place later this summer. The runway will be enlarged from its current 4,000-feet to a proposed 8,100-foot length by 100-foot width. There is a projected 120-day time frame for completion of the runway project.
At the same time, ground work has begun for a new Flight Base Operations building and a new fuel farm is nearly finished.
How the improved airport will affect the county economically was also considered at the meeting.
In response to commissioner Henry Silver's previous request for financial figures for the airport, Howard presented a "pro-forma" accounting scheme in which all future revenues related to the airport were listed along with expected operational expenses.
By including revenues not paid directly to the airport, such as hangar tax fees paid to the county's general fund, Howard demonstrated a near break-even scenario for the airport in 2006. Howard's "rough accounting" did not, of course, include the capital improvement projects, which are expected to add several million dollars to county debt.
Several pilots objected to the latest assessment on their leased hangars, which has increased their taxes due several fold. Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch explained such matters are out of the hands of commissioners, the county assessor being an elected official who determines the tax rate percentage for areas such as the airport, which has a unique valuation classification.
The meeting was briefly interrupted when Commissioner Ronnie Zaday showed up at the door. Any time two commissioners are present at a public meeting, it constitutes a quorum and violates Colorado law if the meeting has not been previously posted. Lynch notified the airport board of the situation and offered to leave, but Zaday opted to depart to avoid any problem.
The airport business plan was briefly discussed by the group, but with so much in process, Silver thought "a long-term business plan won't yield much yet, unless we brainstorm on the entrepreneurial aspects" of the airport. Discussion then led to ways to encourage suppliers to open shop at the airport, with general maintenance operators, engine mechanics and upholstery shops on site to service pilots' needs.
But, until the Airport Minimum Standards document is completed, there are questions regarding what kind of operations will or won't be allowed at the airport, including skydiving and ultralight support. FAA grants require that services on the airport grounds must be airport related.
One pilot who recently requested hangar space questioned the process required to obtain an airport hangar, and it was clarified that the waiting list is "first-come, first served."
The meeting concluded with a long discussion concerning good neighbor policies, which recommend voluntary noise abatement procedures, flight paths and minimum altitudes to pilots who fly over Pagosa.
Among commission members and local pilots there are distinct differences of opinion regarding the proposals in the draft Good Neighbor Policy. Several pilots recommended changes in the language in the policy to defer solely to FAA recommendations when it comes to flight paths and minimum altitudes.
Mobile sobriety checkpoint set here Friday
Archuleta County Sheriff's deputies, Pagosa Springs Police and Colorado State Patrol officers will jointly conduct a mobile sobriety checkpoint Friday.
Purpose of the roadside sobriety checkpoint is to maximize the deterrent effect and increase the perception of "Risk of Apprehension" for motorists who would operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs or both.
The checkpoint will rove throughout Archuleta County.
Red Cross sets adult, infant CPR
and first aid class
A Red Cross adult and infant CPR and first aid class will be conducted 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the fire station, 191 N. Pagosa Blvd.
The cost is $48 including certifications. Registration is required in advance. Call Patty at 259-5383 before June 22.
9th ran Victorio to ground, but Nana kept battle alive
By John Motter
We have been reporting on the activities of Buffalo Soldiers stationed in Pagosa Springs during the winter of 1878, especially Company D of the 9th Cavalry. We have documented Company D's heroic involvement in the Meeker Massacre and subsequent transfer to the Department of New Mexico where they were deeply involved in the campaign against Victorio. Victorio was a Warm Springs Apache. It took the U.S. Army more than a year to run Victorio to ground.
Col. Hatch, commander of the 9th Cavalry, described the black troop's duty this way:
"The Indians select mountains for their fighting ground and positions almost impregnable, usually throwing up stone rifle pits where nature has not furnished them and skillfully devising loopholes.
"The Indians are thoroughly armed and as an evidence they are abundantly supplied with ammunition their fire in action is incessant and nearly all their horses and mules they abandon on the march are shot. It is estimated they have killed 600 to 1,000 since the outbreak It is impossible to describe the exceeding roughness of such mountains as the Black Range and the San Mateo. The well known Modoc Lava beds (in Northern California) are a lawn compared with them."
The early fighting against Victorio was conducted mostly by the 9th Cavalry without gaining an advantage. Consequently, Col. Grierson and the 10th Cavalry, also Buffalo Soldiers, were ordered into the fray. Complicating matters were the number of Mescalero Apaches who joined Victorio, encouraged, no doubt, by his success. The 10th was called in to neutralize the Mescalero.
After observing Hatch's experience Grierson decided to change tactics. Instead of wearing down his command in long and probably unprofitable pursuits, he proposed to guard the mountain passes and water holes. In this way he could block the movement of the Apaches through the passes, or failing that, he could deny them water.
Grierson's strategy worked and Victorio was severely chastised when he made a desperate attempt to water at Rattlesnake Springs. Unable to reach his objective, the Apache leader retreated into Mexico where Mexican troops killed Victorio and decimated his forces beyond the ability to continue fighting. The war was not over, however. Small groups of Apaches continued the warfare along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Nana, one of Victorio's lieutenants, had not been caught in the Mexican decimation. More than 70 years old, bitter, implacable, and able, Nana nursed a burning desire for revenge. With 15 warriors, Nana left his resting place high in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico and launched a campaign described by Gen. Pope as, "they rushed through the country from one mountain range to the next like hungry wolves, killing everybody they met and stealing all the horses they could get their hands on."
Nana stopped long enough to recruit about two-dozen war hungry Mescalero and with a force of 40 warriors he gave the buffalo soldiers a nightmarish four months of campaigning.
After the old leader struck a pack train of Company L, wounded one trooper, and made off with three mules, Lt. John Guilfoyle with 20 men of L and a body of Apache scouts set out in pursuit. The chase led through Dog Canyon, across the White Sands inferno, and into the San Andres Mountains. Guilfoyle closed ground, only to have his adversary slip away yet again. Woe to anyone caught by Nana anywhere in the wilderness. Only lives sated his thirst. A posse of 36 ranchers thought they could do better than the regular Army and struck Nana's trail. They followed into an ambush, lost one life, seven wounded, all of their horses, and Nana.
Later, a hysterical Mexican dashed into the camp of Lt. Valois (Valois had been with D Company in Pagosa Springs and at the Meeker Massacre battle) and I Company to report that Nana and his warriors had butchered his family on a nearby ranch. Pursuit of Nana continued, but his apprehension proved impossible. Finally, after six years of arduous service in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado - following 8 years on the Texas frontier - the 9th was transferred to Regimental headquarters in Fort Riley, Kan.
Exciting time for moon watchers
By James Robinson
Moon: Through the weekend, the moon will be moving from the first quarter phase to the waxing gibbous phase. This period can be an exciting time of observation, due to the high contrast between features along the moon's terminator - the line that separates day from night.
With binoculars or a telescope viewers can see two maria and one crater in their entirety.
The Mare Crisium, the Sea of Crises, is one of the first large maria that become visible when the moon waxes from new to full.
To find it, look for an isolated, nearly circular darker area on the far right just above the moon's equator.
The Mare Crisium is nearly circular, being 350 miles in diameter east to west and 270 miles north to south. It is somewhat unique in that it is isolated from the other maria. Inside, are two craters, Peirce and Picard.
The second mare, Mare Tranquillitatis is just to the left of the Mare Crisium, and is the next large darker area observers will see.
The Mare Tranquillitatis, the Sea of Tranquility, is probably best know as the landing site of the Apollo 11 moon mission.
The naming of some moon features as "maria," is attributed to Galileo. Although maria means "seas," both Galileo and today's astronomers know that no water exists on the moon's surface nor in its core. Nevertheless, the nomenclature continues through today.
Rather than oceans, today's astronomers say maria are places where, in the moon's early years, a comet, planetesimal or meteorite slammed into the moon's surface with such force, the surface cracked and magma flowed out, essentially smoothing the moon's surface.
Moving down toward the moon's southern pole, with its long spider-webbed ray pattern, is the Crater Tycho. The is a particularly fine example of an impact crater and although the collision lacked the force to create a maria, the results of the impact are stunning nontheless.
The crater is 53 miles across and 2.5 miles deep and its rays stretch nearly 1,600 miles long.
The Crater Tycho will become more brilliant as the full moon approaches. The full moon will appear June 21.
Planets: This week and through the end of the month is a great time to observe the convergence of three planets - Saturn, Venus and Mercury. Looking to the west-northwest, low in the horizon and just after sunset, observers should be able to see these three objects with the naked eye. The best viewing time is about 30 minutes after sunset.
First locate the moon, then move down to the right from there. In the middle of the grouping is Venus, the brightest of the three planets. Just a bit lower and to the right is Mercury. A little farther away, above and to the left of Venus, is Saturn. As the end of June approaches, the planets will creep closer and closer together, until they are just about one and a half degrees apart.
Constellations and Stars: The constellation Bootes still holds a prominent position in Pagosa's nighttime sky, and it can be a useful tool to help stargazer's locate other objects.
To locate Bootes and its brightest star Arcturus, follow the handle of the Big Dipper down to the next brightest object. Once you've located this bright, orange-colored star Arcturus, look down and to the left for the next bright white star.
This bluish white star, Spica, is the 16th brightest star in the sky and is the brightest star within the constellation Virgo.
Virgo is the second largest constellation in the Zodiac and is usually thought to represent the goddess of justice, with the scales of justice being represented by the nearby constellation Libra. Other traditions consider Virgo to be the corn goddess and in the sky she is seen as holding an ear of wheat represented by the star Spica.
Along with Spica, Virgo is the home to many interesting objects that are not visible with the naked eye. Astronomers call Virgo and the Virgo Cluster the "realm of galaxies," and as many as 3,000 galaxies, with names such as "The Smoking Gun" (M87) and the "Sombrero Galaxy" (M104) can be found there.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
The temperature's rising and there's no precipitation in sight
By Richard Walter
Get out the scuba gear and get ready to swim, or plan for a dry heat sauna.
Those may be the only ways to keep your cool for the next week, based on U.S Weather Service forecasts for the Pagosa Springs area.
The paltry .15 inch of rain received last week will, if forecasts are correct, seem like a veritable inundation. In fact, there is no measurable precipitation at all in the forecast.
Couple that with west-southwest winds, high temperatures in the 80s, peaking out at 86 Tuesday and overnight lows averaging in the 40s, and there's about to be a hot time in the old town.
Don't expect any help from the high country runoff, either. Although it has shown a slight surge this week, there is precious little left to melt.
The Wednesday morning reading at the Upper San Juan Snotel site showed just 14.8 inches of snow remaining, with a snowwater equivalent of 4.5 inches.
Warm temperatures the last week apparently spiked a mild resurgence of river flow.
The Blanco was running Wednesday at 453 cubic feet per second, up from 351 Tuesday. At the same time, the Navajo was running at 63.5 where controlled below Oso Dam and at 609 at Banded Peaks Ranch.
The bigger streams were up comparatively with the San Juan running at 1,880 cfs Wednesday morning after having dipped Tuesday near the 69-year average of 1,383. Flow depth was at 5.91 feet, up from 5.62 Monday.
The Piedra River also was up, flowing Wednesday at 1,470 cfs, up from 1,100 Monday and well above the 42-year average of 1,080. Flow depth was at 344 cfs and rising.
At Navajo Lake, where outflow has been controlled at maximum, it had been reduced to 4,537 cfs as inflow dropped to 3,183. Lake surface level stood Monday (last reading available) at 6,072.99 feet altitude; 6,083 is regarded as full pool.
The past week's figures locally show the .15 inches of rain coming Saturday and Sunday, a weekly high temperature of 75.8 Tuesday, a low of 30 degrees Saturday night, and a high wind gust of 26 mph at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
That wind will increase today and tomorrow, forecasters say, with gusts up to 40 mph. Today's high is forecast at 84, Friday's at 83.
Then it gets hotter, and drier, with the threat of wildfire always a possibility.
Saturday is forecast to reach 85 degrees under mostly clear skies, with a nighttime low of 40. Sunday will hit 83 with the same conditions and the same low.
We're looking at highs of 85 Monday and 86 Tuesday with overnight lows in the 40s each day.
The one thing we probably won't see in the next week is the early morning frost on the car windows that marked nearly every day in the past week.