June 23, 2005
Front Page

River Rescue

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

When Brian Meyer jumped off his raft into the San Juan River to help his daughter and pregnant sister tumbling loose in the current there was nothing heroic about it. He did what he had to do.

"I'm not a hero, I did what any dad or brother would do," Meyer said.

Meyer's act helped his family avert tragedy after their Monday afternoon rafting trip in Pagosa Springs turned sour when one raft in the two-raft party collided with a concrete pylon under the Apache Street bridge and flipped.

Meyer's wife, Cindy Meyer, who was in the capsized raft, said she knew they were in trouble as the raft entered the turn about 50 yards upstream from the bridge. She said they approached the turn at the wrong angle and she watched as the current carried them straight into a log.

The impact spun the raft sideways, and before they could correct, the swift current put them on a collision course with the concrete pylon.

Greg Oertel, director of emergency operations at the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, said the raft broadsided the pylon, flipped and dumped its occupants into the river.

Cindy Meyer and her father, Ronald Meyer, hung onto the boat and swam with it downstream. Both made it to shore safely. The other occupants, 13-year-old Heidi Meyer, the daughter of Cindy and Brian Meyer, and Holly Hall, Brian Meyer's five-month pregnant sister, were dumped and left loose in the current.

Brian Meyer said he was following in the second raft, and watched the incident unfold. He said he could see the first raft's path was wrong and he had a feeling it was in trouble.

When the raft flipped and Meyer saw his sister and daughter helpless in the current, he said it was instinct that launched him from the safety of his raft into the 45-degree, Class III white water.

"I went straight for them and pushed them against the wall," he said. "Any dad would have done that."

Meyer succeeded in pushing the women into the pylon, where the trio found a hip-deep eddy and relative safety. With the main current ripping past and unsure where the rest of their family was, they waited, with enough room to stand shoulder to shoulder, for rescuers to arrive.

Oertel said Pagosa Springs Police Chief Donald Volger was the first on the scene.

He said soon thereafter, personnel from the Archuleta County Fire Department, Pagosa Springs Fire Protection District, Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, and the police department arrived to assist in the rescue operation.

After surveying the scene and considering many different plans, Oertel said they decided to lower a rescuer into the river with a cable from a winch on a boom truck. That rescuer would then harness each victim in turn, attach them to the cable and have them lifted out of the river.

Oertel said lowering a rescuer into a river on a cable is very risky for the rescuer, and that is why they did not use the first boom truck on the scene, offered by La Plata Electric. He said a safe and successful cable rescue is contingent upon skilled rescuers, but even more so on equipment the rescuers know is rated and appropriate for such an activity. He said he did not know the history of the La Plata boom truck, and instead opted for equipment he knew was safe and appropriate for the rescue.

Oertel said the Pagosa Springs Fire Protection District provided the equipment and the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue team provided manpower and technical expertise during the extraction.

After about an hour in the water, the three rafters were pulled to safety.

Oertel said the three were becoming hypothermic and had reported minor cuts and scrapes. Hall reported she had injured her knee during the incident.

Oertel said that after the rescued rafters were wrapped up in blankets and stood in the sun their conditions improved. He said an Emergency Medical Services check of the individuals showed none required hospitalization.

The Meyer family said they had come to Colorado from Borger, Texas, for vacation.

The group had rafted the previous week in Salida and had come to the Pagosa area this week for a try on the San Juan.

 

Police seek suspects in robbery, assault

By Sarah Smith

SUN Intern

Late Monday night, the First Inn at 260 E. U.S. 160 was the scene of violence and robbery.

The Pagosa Springs Police Department, with help from the Durango Police Department and the Southern Ute Police Department, have identified three of four suspects: April Baker, 24; Victor Archuleta, 20; and Donovan Silva, 24. All three suspects are from the Southern Ute Reservation in the Ignacio area.

Authorities received a call at 9 a.m. Tuesday from an employee of the motel who arrived that morning to find the cash register empty. Pagosa Springs Police Officer Tony Kop responded to the scene where the employee also reported the man who had worked the previous night's shift was nowhere to be found.

About 10 minutes after Kop's arrival a maid found the unidentified night clerk lying in one of the hotel rooms; he had been beaten badly and sustained numerous injuries, mainly to his face and head. Due to the severity of his injuries, an ambulance was called and the clerk was transported to Mercy Medical Center.

The clerk said he had seen two men, who the police believe to be Archuleta and another unidentified male, hanging around the hotel in a red Pontiac Grand Am the previous night. Around midnight, the men came into the hotel looking for friends staying at the hotel. The clerk located the friends' reservations and proceeded to lead the two men to their friends' room. There were two people, who police reported to be Baker and Silva, in the room when the clerk arrived. The clerk was then allegedly beaten and the four suspects reportedly left the hotel with the money from the cash register.

Police reported the room had been cleared of most evidence, but a few items, including a receipt from a local business, were found. Using that evidence, officers were able to identify the stores the suspects had visited and items they had purchased.

With cooperation from the local businesses, investigators were able to watch surveillance footage of the suspects. The police were assisted by members of the Southern Ute Police Department, who positively identified two of the suspects on the video. The third suspect was identified through investigation.

Warrants for robbery, second- degree assault, and conspiracy to commit robbery and assault have been signed for the three suspects. The fourth suspect remains unknown. Police have also linked the suspects to a vehicle: a red 2004 Pontiac Grand Am with dark tinted windows and a softball-sized hole in the right side of the rear bumper, with the license plate number 651 KKT.

Authorities ask anyone who has seen see any of the suspects or the vehicle to contact law enforcement immediately. They warn residents against attempting to apprehend the suspects. Archuleta and Silva are thought to be armed and extremely dangerous.

 

Group asks: Imagine Home Rule

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Imagine the possibilities if the citizens of Archuleta County had the power to restructure and reshape their county government to address the unique needs of Pagosa Country.

Imagine county voters having more of a say in the collection and distribution of county tax revenues. Imagine choosing whether county officials would be elected or hired. Imagine deciding how many county commissioners would best serve the needs of the community, and imagine having the power to decide what a commissioner's salary would be.

Imagine county residents, who know their county best, making key decisions about the structure of their government, instead of leaving it to policy makers in Denver. This is the premise of a Home Rule county government; and the ideas listed above are just a few of the issues voters can tackle if a citizen group can convince county residents that a Home Rule government might be the best option for Archuleta County.

The Home Rule option has been available to Colorado counties since the early 1970s and since that time more than 20 towns and municipalities and two counties have adopted Home Rule.

Home Rule was built on the premise that the state would allow county voters to restructure or alter the county government, within certain parameters, to best meet that county's particular needs.

Currently, state statute governs the organizational structure of all non-Home Rule counties, and Bob Moomaw, a member of the group, said these structural mandates are generic, blanket statutes designed to apply to every county in the state without consideration of an individual county's peculiarities or needs.

Moomaw and other group members John Egan and Darrel Cotton said they and other concerned citizens had joined together to educate county residents on Home Rule government and the benefits it might bring to Archuleta County. The aim of their education campaign is to generate a critical mass of support that would allow the Home Rule concept and election of a Home Rule Charter Commission to be part of the ballot in the upcoming November election.

The commission, if elected, would use public input to draft a county Home Rule charter which would determine the new structure of county government. That charter would then be put to a vote in a special election in May.

Cotton said the special election would be the most expensive aspect of adopting Home Rule. He said it would cost about $30,000 for the special election, but he, Moomaw and Egan all believe the benefits of Home Rule far outweigh the costs.

The three, unofficial spokesmen for the Home Rule education committee, said their group believes Home Rule might create a nimbler county government, with a clear chain of command whose key officials would be hired and retained on the basis of performance.

The men said one possibility is to create a county government based on a corporate model which is led by a board of county commissioners and a hired county manager or chief executive officer. The Home Rule charter would allow voters to decide how many commissioners (three, five, or seven) would best serve the needs of the county, and which positions in the county would be hired or elected.

The three were reluctant to talk about specific issues or legislation a Home Rule government might tackle because they said those decisions would be best left to the voters. If the voters choose Home Rule, particular issues would be worked out by electing a Charter Commission and by drafting a charter.

"We don't have a particular axe to grind," Cotton said. "We just want to get the idea of Home Rule to the public."

The three said that, at this point, they want people to understand that Home Rule is a viable, flexible option that allows voters the opportunity to make certain decisions on their own and allows citizens to fine tune the structure of their county government.

Cotton said Home Rule is appealing because it allows officials to draw on more people to generate ideas.

Under a Home Rule system citizens can decide if three, five or seven commissioners would best suit their needs.

Under the current structure the state determines the number of Archuleta County commissioners, currently three, and Cotton said under the three-commissioner structure, no two commissioners can get together without it being a public meeting. To do so would be a violation of the quorum rules and the state's open meeting laws. Unfortunately, notifying the public a meeting is taking place can be a time consuming process and can eliminate the creativity and efficiency generated during an informal impromptu problem solving session.

Moomaw and Cotton said Home Rule would not change taxation or TABOR, and other state programs would still apply.

The three also emphasized two key points: The Home Rule committee is nonpartisan, and the aim of the group is not to merge the town and county governments.

Other members of the group include: Ben Douglas, Ilene Haykus, Melanie Kelley, Marilyn Moorhead and George Schnarre.

Cotton said the first task was to obtain 435 signatures by petition to get Home Rule on the ballot for the November election. Once on the ballot, Cotton said voters would have an opportunity to vote "yes" or "no" on the Home Rule concept, and they would also have an opportunity to vote for the 11 members of the Home Rule charter writing commission.

Petitions can be found at local businesses or by contacting those group members listed.

Moomaw said those who would like to run for the Charter Commission should go to the Archuleta County Clerk for a petition. The potential candidate must gather 25 signatures for him or her to be put on the November ballot.

"Home Rule gives local citizens the ability to change the way county government works, instead of having the state dictate it," Egan said.

 

Commissioners hold second road meeting

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Speaking to a crowd packed into the Extension Building at the county fairgrounds last Wednesday, county commissioners and county staff embarked on the second meeting dealing with the county's contentious road map proposal program.

Archuleta County Commissioners and County Attorney Sheryl Rogers said in their opening statements that producing a road map was a county requirement per a 1953 state statute (CRS 43-2-109). But since that time, the county has not kept its map updated concurrent with the pace of growth and development in Archuleta County.

Without an updated map and clearly defined road system, county documents state, "The resultant maintenance system is one which seems arbitrary today and which is larger than current revenue can accommodate."

The map, staff said, would identify roads in the county system. Once identified as part of the county system, each road would be given a designation as "primary" or "secondary."

Those designations would provide a basis to determine which roads can receive Highway Users Tax Funds (HUTF) for upkeep and maintenance, County Commissioner and Chair Mamie Lynch said.

In a proposed road maintenance plan, presented to the public during the meeting by Archuleta County Public Works Director Dick McKee, primary roads would be claimed for HUTF funds and secondary roads would not be claimed for HUTF funds unless they were within special taxation districts, such as a metro district.

Commissioner Lynch said the map is not necessarily a maintenance blueprint, but would provide the start of one, and it could be modified and adapted as road use changes over time.

Lynch said, "This is the first step. It is no way a final product. The purpose is to adopt a county road map; it is not a maintenance plan."

Following Lynch, Commissioner Ronnie Zaday added, "The map is the first step to decide what primary roads are. These are the roads we use everyday, these are the roads that we will all take responsibility for." Zaday continued by saying the designation of primary roads would provide the basis of a maintenance plan.

While many citizens commended the county for tackling such a huge project, overall support was mixed and commissioners received civil but heavy criticism from some citizen speakers.

In many cases, those speakers demanded stronger leadership with clearly articulated intentions and objectives.

A number of speakers demanded greater financial accountability and said perhaps the county was not utilizing funds efficiently or effectively.

Some speakers were particularly frustrated the county could not provide "cost-per-mile" estimates for road projects.

One man challenged the logic of the road maintenance proposal. He demanded to know why an already paved road, such as Lake Forest Circle, would be put on the secondary road list. Secondary roads, according to McKee's presentation, will receive little to no county maintenance, including snow removal.

Although earlier in the evening county staff said secondary roads would not necessarily be eliminated from the maintenance program and that maintenance status for those roads "is to be determined."

Many speakers encouraged their fellow county residents to organize themselves, to realize they hold the keys to self determination in solving their road maintenance problems.

A third road map meeting will be held June 30 at 7 p.m. in the Extension Building at the fairgrounds.

 

 Inside The Sun

Archuleta County road plan primer

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The county is working to create a road map.

The map is required by state statute and will identify all roads in the county road system. Once a road is identified as a county road, it will be designated and marked on the map, as either a "primary" or "secondary" road. Designating roads as primary or secondary is also mandated by state statute.

To date, the county has held two public hearings in order to gather input on the map making and road designation processes. In both instances, the issue of road maintenance has played a large role in discussions.

Archuleta County Commissioner and Chair Mamie Lynch said she wanted people to understand that creating a county road map and county road maintenance, at this stage, are two separate issues and processes. Nevertheless, she acknowledged the two are inextricably connected and that an updated, official county road map would ultimately provide a foundation on which a maintenance blueprint could be constructed.

She said, unfortunately, road maintenance discussions during the first two map proposal sessions had muddied the waters and caused many county residents to become confused about the process which, Lynch asserted, at this stage, was about adopting a map.

During her opening comments at last Wednesday's meeting Commissioner Ronnie Zaday echoed Lynch when she said that designation of roads as "primary" or "secondary" would provide the basis of a maintenance plan.

Although the county commissioners might argue that discussion of a road maintenance plan is premature, it is a reality, and so far the Archuleta County Department of Road and Bridge has offered one proposal for solving the problem.

The following is a summary of the proposal, its parameters, key points and terminology.

The Basics:

The road map will show what roads are in the county system.

Roads defined as being in the county system will be labeled as "Primary Roads" or "Secondary Roads." Designating roads with this terminology is mandated by state statute.

The premise of the proposal is as follows: "The resulting recommendation is to reduce the county's road maintenance responsibilities to match projected revenues and expenses."

The Department of Road and Bridge Proposal defines the following terms:

Primary Roads: public roads designated as such by the board of county commissioners after receiving public input. They are roads of greatest general importance to the county and will be claimed for Highway User Tax Funds (HUTF). The county is obligated to maintain the roads to state standards, meaning full, year-round maintenance.

Primary roads will be scheduled for Road Capital Improvements (RCI) on a schedule determined by the 20-year road management plan. The county is statutorily responsible for all aspects of that road, signage etc.

Secondary Roads: are open to the public. The county will not claim Highway Users Tax Funds (HUTF) for these roads unless they lie within a special taxation district, such as a metro district. Each taxation district must enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the county stating it will maintain its district roads to the level set by the state.

Secondary roads will not participate in the 20-year road management plan and Road Capital Improvement Schedule.

As designated county roads, the county still regulates any activities occurring in the rights-of-way and retains "police power" over these roads.

The proposal states roads in the secondary system will either receive very little or no county maintenance, including snow removal.

Routine Maintenance: maintenance designed to preserve the current life cycle of a road, i.e. blading or pot hole patching, on an as-needed basis.

Road Capital Improvement: maintenance designed to extend the life cycle of a road, i.e. replacing four inches of gravel or overlaying in a scheduled environment based on the need of the road.

Roads accepted into the Primary System are those identified as Arterial, Collector, Agricultural Access or Recreational Access.

Arterial: Link cities, towns, and other traffic generators, such as neighborhoods.

Collector Roads: Provide a link from local roads to arterial roads, and allow for the movement of through traffic in neighborhoods.

Agricultural Access Roads: The primary intent of these roads is to serve three or more parcels, each 160 acres or larger.

Recreational Access Roads: The primary intent of these roads is to access a developed public lands road network or recreation area.

As per the county proposal, the following roads are part of the primary road system.

Arterials:

CR 500 (Trujillo Road).

CR 600 (Piedra Road- U.S. 160 to the Forest Service boundary).

Collectors:

Buttress Avenue (from South Pagosa Boulevard to Cascade Avenue).

Cascade Avenue.

CR 119 (Light Plant Road).

CR 335 (Lower Blanco Road).

CR 359 (Coyote Park Road).

CR 700 (Cat Creek Road-U.S. 160 to Orange Court).

Meadows Drive.

Mission Drive.

North Pagosa Boulevard.

Park Avenue (North Pagosa Boulevard to Carlee Place).

Pinon Causeway.

South Pagosa Boulevard.

Trails Boulevard (U.S. 160 to Ranger Park Drive).

Vista Boulevard .

Agricultural Access:

CR 391 (Edith Road).

CR 542 (Montezuma Road).

CR 552 (Juanita Creek).

CR 700 (Cat Creek Road - Orange Court to CR 500).

Recreational Access:

CR 113 (Fawn Gulch Road).

CR 146 (Turkey Springs Road).

CR 166 (First Fork Road).

CR 200 (Snowball Road).

CR 302 (Mill Creek Road).

CR 326 (Blanco Basin Road).

CR 382 (Upper Navajo Road-to Forest Service 371, Price Lakes Road) .

CR 400 (Four Mile Road).

CR 982 (entrance to Navajo State Park).

CR 988 (entrance to Navajo State Park south of U.S. 151).

Eight Mile Mesa Road.

Public roads which do not meet the criteria for Arterial, Collector, Agricultural Access or Recreational Access will comprise the Secondary Road System. Secondary roads would include metro district roads and all other roads open to the public which are not claimed by another jurisdiction, such as the Forest Service.

The proposal states no increase in the mill levy would be necessary to maintain roads in the Primary Road System at a good to excellent condition.

Commissioner Lynch said the road map phase of the project would take about six months.

Once the map is adopted and approved by the county it would take immediate effect. However, implementation of a road maintenance plan, based on a road's primary or secondary status, would be delayed until July 1, 2007.

Until that time, current county-maintained roads would receive routine maintenance and Road Capital Improvements as scheduled.

Under the proposal, current county non-maintained roads would receive routine maintenance sufficient to allow emergency vehicles access without damage to their equipment or personnel. This level of maintenance would be at the discretion of the county director of road and bridge, or by emergency services officials.

During the interim period, the proposal encourages communities, with the county's guidance, to form special taxation districts to provide their own level of road service and maintenance.

The proposal emphasizes that these districts would be individually responsible for their own administrative, maintenance and improvement overhead.

According to the plan, roads could achieve primary status if use patterns change.

 

Wolf Creek Pass road closures to start June 27

Wolf Creek Pass will be closed overnight throughout the summer for construction work on the east side of the pass near the tunnel. These closures will begin Monday, June 27 at 10 p.m.

Overnight closures will be in effect Monday through Thursday nights only, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each week until Labor Day.

There will be no overnight closures from July 1 through July 7.

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 7, the pass will be closed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Monday through Thursday nights. These closures will continue through Monday, Nov. 21. Overnight pass closures will resume in spring 2006.

Closures are necessary so crews can perform blasting and removal operations to widen the roadway.

"In the interest of public safety, it is better to conduct some of these construction activities without cars and trucks passing through the project area," said Chris Krumwiede, Kiewit project superintendent.

During the closures, overnight traffic traveling to the west side of U.S. 160 should go south on Colo. 285 to Colo. 17, then south on 17 to 84 and west on U.S. 84 to Pagosa Springs. Eastbound through traffic should follow the same alternate route in reverse.

Throughout the summer, motorists should expect day and nighttime travel delays of at least 30 minutes or more as traffic queues are cleared in each direction Monday through Friday (except for the July 4 holiday).

This construction phase includes a one-half mile stretch of U.S. 160 east of the new tunnel, from the Big Meadows Reservoir access road (mile marker 174.7) east. Crews will be widening lanes, shoulders and upgrading guardrails to meet current federal safety standards. The project began June 6 and completion is scheduled for summer 2006.

Updated project information can be found at www.cdot.info/wolfcreekpass/ or by calling the project hotline at (719) 849-1778. Information is also available on the Colorado Department of Transportation's toll-free road condition hotline at (877) 315-ROAD.

 

First-ever River festival planned for Pagosa

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

"We'll have a LeMans Start!" exclaims the enthusiastic Doug Large, during a recent river festival planning meeting at JJ's Upstream Restaurant.

The celebration is set for Sunday in Pagosa Springs, with the first activities starting in Town and Centennial parks at 9 a.m.

"Everyone will line up their boats at the Cotton Hole, and with a 'Lee-maanz' start (this time with Doug gesturing wildly and each syllable accentuated for effect) on the signal, the dash for the bridge! Prizes for first, second, third. It will be most excellent."

Along with boat races, the River Festival will host a Rubber Duckie Race for those not inclined to get in the water. For a small donation, participants will be able to buy their race-ready bathtub rubber duck with a number then, also with a "Lee-maanz" start, the owner of the first duckie to make it down a section of the river will receive a prize for the owner. Kayakers will be on hand with butterfly nets to scoop up the errant rubber duckies during and after the race.

Jim Porch is planning to surf the Davey Wave again, and kayakers will test their surf skills for prizes in the standing waves near the U.S. 160 and Hot Springs Boulevard bridge.

"All boaters are expected to attend!" says Large, "and there will be tons of fun for the non-boaters, too!"

There will be a band playing in Town Park, a donation-suggested barbecue, and plenty of land and river events to celebrate the beauty and fun of having the San Juan River run through town.

The inspiration for the event began soon after a town planning meeting that took place in the summer of 2004 where improvements to the river section through town were discussed. Anthony Doctor, a building contractor who has lived in Pagosa since 1991, thought about the existing designs for the river and, with his knowledge of both boating and fishing, came to the conclusion that the section of the San Juan through town could serve as a whitewater park and still function as a fish habitat. He realized they were, in fact, "complimentary verses mutually exclusive."

Doctor then organized a petition drive and collected 160 signatures, asking the town to consider whitewater improvements along with planned river fishing improvements. Town Manager Mark Garcia and Special Projects Director Julie Jessen considered his petition and made the decision to open proposals for future river work on the river to bid.

A five-person selection committee was set up, including local land owners, businesspersons, fishermen and boaters, with Doctor representing the boaters. Recreational Engineering and Planning, of Boulder, was chosen to oversee future phases of the San Juan River project because their design was "the most expressive and encompassing," according to Doctor.

Doctor and his friends soon came up with the idea to organize a river event in order to "give back to the town of Pagosa by holding a festival to support the town and local merchants." Doctor, with two kids aged 9 and 5, explains, "I like to get wet and have a good time, and now with the recreational river improvements, I'll have the opportunity to share that with my kids down the road."

The town and local merchants have been extremely supportive of the event. Event volunteers such as Connie Cook, Jenifer Wiskofske and Doug Large have been soliciting and collecting donations of cash and merchandise, and expect there will be plenty of "booty" to distribute through event prizes, a silent auction and a raffle. The booty includes river gear such as sandals, ammo cans, dry bags and camp chairs, as well as gift certificates for food, books, hotel rooms, tanning sessions, hot tub soaks and massages.

The event has been advertised in the local boating communities of Durango, Dolores, and Telluride, so turnout is expected to be good. The discounted $10 river raft trips through town are expected to be a big hit.

"This will be a great introduction to boating for many", says Wiskofske, who recently hired local outfitters to do the same trip for the senior center, where she works. Recently, while putting in at the River Center to kayak the town run, she was approached by four Texan golfers who are spending the month visiting Pagosa. They had never boated but were interested. When they heard about the $10 raft rides Sunday, their eyes lit up, and they promised, "We'll be there."

River festival T-shirts will be available for $15 and have the 2005 "Celebración del Rio San Juan" logo on the front and a list of sponsors on the back. "Imagine ten years from now, at the tenth annual celebration, and you have one of the first year's T-shirts," says Large, "you will be the coolest!"

 

DUI checkpoints stop 445 vehicles, three arrests made

By Sarah Smith

SUN Intern

The Pagosa Springs Police Department and the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department experienced newfound success with the first-ever mobile DUI checkpoint conducted in Archuleta county Friday night.

In the past, the DUI checkpoints have been stationary for the duration of the night. This allowed drivers to learn of the checkpoint early on and take alternate routes to avoid being stopped. However, the mobile checkpoints used Friday did not allow drivers this luxury; they were uncertain of the location of the checkpoint, and therefore unable to avoid it. This mobile method "kept the drivers on their toes," said Sergeant Bob Brammer.

Brammer reported that Friday night's checkpoint was the most successful Archuleta County has seen. Four hundred forty-five cars were herded through the checkpoints between the hours 9 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m Saturday, and three DUI-related arrests were made. This surpassed the average of one arrest per night that previous checkpoints established.

The first checkpoint was at Pinon Causeway and Talisman Drive, and the majority of the stops were made there. During the stop, the cars were funneled into one lane. A few cars were moved into the checkpoint at a time, depending on the number of officers present. The contact with the officer was very brief; if there was no suspicion of drugs or alcohol, the stop lasted less than a minute.

The checkpoint then moved downtown between 2nd and 3rd Streets, near the Humane Society Thrift Store. The last checkpoint was at Majestic Drive off of U.S. 160. There were two arrests made there simultaneously early Saturday morning. This caused the team to become short-staffed and, fearing for officer safety, they were forced to surrender the investigation one hour earlier than anticipated.

Of the three arrests made, the drivers' blood alcohol content ranged from 1.17 to 1.44, far above Colorado's legal driving limit of .08.

With the success of this mobile checkpoint, the Pagosa Springs Police Department and Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, along with the Colorado State Patrol, are planning to conduct another DUI checkpoint later this summer, continuing the effort to keep unsafe drivers off the roads.

Ross Aragon named Grand Marshal for July 4 parade

Do you know Jose Rosendo Aragon?

No?

Well, you're wrong. Chances are good you know him as Ross Aragon, mayor of the town of Pagosa Springs. There are few residents of Pagosa Country who don't know Ross, and it doesn't take long for a new arrival to read or hear his name.

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is pleased to announce that Ross Aragon has accepted an invitation to serve as Grand Marshal in the upcoming annual Rotary Independence Day Parade, set for Monday, July 4, in downtown Pagosa Springs. The theme for this year's event is "Celebrate Independence."

Ross was born in Pagosa Country in a family whose roots in Archuleta County go back five generations. Born and raised on a ranch near Arboles and Allison, he graduated from Pagosa Springs High School.

Ross and his late wife, Patty, were married for 37 years, operated popular restaurants in town, and raised six children in Pagosa Springs. There are now seven grandchildren in his family.

He has managed Archuleta Housing Corporation since 1975, taking a precarious operation and turning it into a model project, providing low-cost housing in the community. Under his guidance, the corporation received low cost loans and grants to rehabilitate facilities in town and to build a new facility on 8th Street. But it is for his accomplishments as one of Pagosa Country's premiere political leaders that Ross is best known.

His political career began 30 years ago when he was elected to serve as trustee on the Pagosa Springs Town Board. Two years later, Aragon was elected mayor of Pagosa Springs and, for 28 years, he has fulfilled the duties and obligations of that unpaid position in a remarkably productive fashion - never missing a regularly scheduled board or council meeting in that time. Those who have witnessed the progress in town and in the relations between the town and other governmental agencies can attest to his effectiveness as a leader and as a steward of the community's interests.

During the past three decades, under the guidance of Aragon and a cast of able trustees, council members and staff, streets in Pagosa Springs were paved as the town grew through annexation, police protection was improved, parks were built, recreation programs and facilities developed - including a new park on South 8th Street, the Reservoir hill trail and park system, and the Riverwalk. A new community center was constructed, as was a new town hall. The town took over the local sanitation district and forged a relationship to provide domestic water with Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District that led to the town's inclusion in that district. Where there was once a small volunteer fire department, inclusion in the Pagosa Fire Protection District brought the residents of town a new level of fire protection. Most recently, the town converted to a home rule government and embarked on private-public cooperative efforts to develop plans and planning tools related to anticipated growth in the community.

In 2001, the Pagosa Area Chamber of Commerce named Aragon its Citizen of the Year. But after the honors, work and experience are cited, what Ross likes to do is read history - especially Renaissance history. Particularly appropriate, since he has presided over what amounts to a Renaissance in Pagosa Springs over the last three decades and no doubt will continue to play his role in the future.

Beyond that, the mayor likes to ride his horses in the beautiful San Juan Mountains, the place of his birth.

That's where he will be July 4 - as the Grand Marshal, on his horse, leading the 2005 Rotary Independence Day parade.

 

Uncollected back taxes a problem for the county

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

During a thigh-cramping, marathon session Tuesday, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners tackled numerous issues, one of the most contentious being the request to forgive delinquent taxes on an abandoned mobile home.

In a presentation to the commissioners by Chris Smith, Archuleta County Assessor Keren Prior and Archuleta County Deputy Treasurer Lois Baker, Smith asked the commissioners to forgive unpaid taxes on an abandoned mobile home left on his property.

Smith said he purchased a piece of property with a number of mobile homes on them. He said he has worked to have each one removed over time, but the last one, the home in question, had been abandoned and ultimately trashed.

Prior said the mobile home is essentially worthless, but that Smith is responsible to pay about $1,500 in delinquent taxes and interest in order to have clear title to the land.

Smith asked the commissioners to forgive the taxes because he, Prior and Baker said the taxes are uncollectible. He said if the taxes were forgiven he would dispose of the mobile home.

Commissioner Lynch said she understood Smith's predicament, but said it illuminated a deeper problem in the county.

"This is a great dilemma," Lynch said. "Is the treasurer not vigorous enough in collecting back taxes?"

Baker said she felt her department was thorough in its efforts to collect back taxes, but she acknowledged the system was failing the taxpayer.

Prior said delinquent tax situations such as this were "a real problem" for the county.

Ultimately, the motion passsed with commissioners Ronnie Zaday and Lynch voting in favor of forgiving the delinquent taxes, and Commissioner Robin Schiro dissenting. Schiro said those agencies and entities whose funding would be decreased due to the forgiven taxes should be notified prior to the action.

During the discussion session, Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams agreed and said agency notification prior to the motion was the appropriate course of action.

Lynch said the issue was of great county importance and called for a work session to seek solutions to the problem.

In other decisions commissioners authorized:

- the engineering department to submit a grant to the Colorado Department of Transportation for off-system funding to replace the bridge on the Cat Creek Road extension (CR 700);

- the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department of Emergency Operations to submit a grant application that would provide partial federal funding for two, possibly three, full-time permanent firefighter positions. The program is a five-year cost share program where federal funding provides 90 percent of the salary the first year and then decreases each year over the next four years. At the end of the period, the county would be responsible to pay the full $36,000 salary of the additional firefighters. While not fighting fires, Greg Oertel, the director of emergency operations at the sheriff's department said the additional firefighters could be used on other county projects;

- $50,000 dollars towards an Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Grant to complete the FBO (Fixed Base Operator) hangar at Stevens Field. With the $50,000 from the county, the grant would pay the other $198,000 needed to complete the project;

- the release of $80,000 to the Town of Pagosa Springs from the county's Conservation Trust Fund Account to purchase sod for the town's sports complex project. In addition, the county will contribute equipment and labor to help move donated topsoil to the project site from Aspen Village;

- the creation of an arbitration board to give taxpayers an alternative in solving property valuation disputes. Named to the board were: Jerry Venn, Herman Riggs and Larry Ashcraft;

- a $300 donation to the Archuleta County 4-H Livestock Program, for a livestock auction to be held at the 2005 Archuleta County Fair.;

- a "free ride day" on Mountain Express public transit, July 7, 2005;

- creation of a new Youth Violence Prevention Education Program and a Batterer Education Program with funds made available from Child Welfare and Colorado Works. The programs will become a key component of education and support programs within the county Department of Human Services.

 

Forest Service, property owners meet to discuss Mill Creek Road

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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, 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 that its essential foundation had 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 of 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 lying inside the national forest boundary.

Ivy said the section of road in question is under Forest Service jurisdiction and was 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 was 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 was 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 snow plowing) 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 was 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 sounded 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 was not opposed to a small tax increase to fund county maintenance of the road if that 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 what amounts to a task force and she asked Mill Creek area residents to send solution suggestions to her at jbridges@fs.fed.us. She said to tag the e-mail with the subject "Mill Creek Road."

 

Special use permit approved for Dutton Ditch

By Carol Fuccillo

Special to The SUN

A special use permit has been approved by the U. S. Forest Service to begin construction of the Dutton Ditch pipeline.

The permit covers 14.3 acres and/or 5.9 miles for the use of constructing, operating and maintaining the planned 29,000-foot by 18 to 36-inch diameter pipeline.

Construction of the pipeline should begin the first week of July with an anticipated completion of late next fall, weather permitting, according to Carrie Campbell, manager of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.

Per the special permit, PAWS will be responsible for long-term operation and maintenance of the pipeline, including treating noxious weeds that invade the pipeline right of way and other areas potentially disturbed as a result of the construction; for streamflow maintenance downstream of the diversion point; for sedimentation removal upstream of the diversion structure; and for pipeline operation and maintenance.

Other agenda items considered by the board June 14included:

- Approval of a first amendment to an agreement between Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, Fairfield Resorts, Inc. and PAWS for use of raw water for irrigation;

- Approval of raw water agreement between PAWS and Fairfield Resorts, Inc.;

- Approval of a $100 contribution to the Rotary Club Chuck Dorman Memorial Golf Tournament;

- Approval of a $100 contribution to Fourth of July fireworks celebration.

 

Training requirement requires schedule shift

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Funds provided by a Reading First Grant to schools in Archuleta County were a welcome addition, but caused a revision in staff schedules.

One of the grant requirements was that teachers involved engage in two professional development workshops in January and April.

To accommodate that requirement, and avoid having approximately 30 teachers out of the classroom at the same time, the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint juggled days at a June 14 meeting.

As a result, scheduled Sept. 23 and Feb. 3 professional development days were moved to Jan. 26 and 27 respectively, and the April 28 day to April 14.

The timing shift will save payout of $2,550 for substitute teachers, keeps the number of teacher work days at 175 and the number of student days at 167 for the upcoming school year.

In other personnel action June 14, the board:

- learned Monica Archuleta has chosen not to return as a teacher's aide because of family obligations;

- were told Roberta Strickland has submitted a letter of resignation as an ELL teacher;

- Approved first-grade teacher Joy Redmon and ELL teacher Marge Jones' job-sharing application for first grade.

- Approved hiring Brooks Linder as a kindergarten teacher; Jennifer Pierce as a second-grade teacher; Kristen Hentschel as part-time junior high math skills elective teacher and a high school assistant volleyball coach; Sean Downing as a high school language arts teacher; Makaila Russler as the junior high head volleyball coach; Pam Levonius as the junior high assistant volleyball coach; Mike Blum as a junior high assistant football coach; and Ty Faber as a substitute custodian.

 

 Outdoors

USFS, landowners, conservation group reach well agreement

Two area landowners and a local conservation group reached an agreement last week with the Forest Service to settle ongoing litigation about two coalbed methane wells in the HD Mountains east of Bayfield. The stipulated settlement agreement requires that the Forest Service withdraw its approval for surface occupancy of national forest lands for these two wells. Furthermore, the Forest Service agrees to perform an environmental analysis pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act before allowing any future surface use of the national forest.

"This is a complete victory for the environment and landowners," stated Mark Pearson, executive director for the San Juan Citizens Alliance, one of the plaintiff organizations. "The agreement requires the Forest Service to obey the law and apply common sense analysis before approving wells that pose a high likelihood for danger to health, safety and the environment."

The two wells, recently authorized by the San Juan National Forest and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, are located less than one mile from the Fruitland Formation outcrop in a location widely recognized for the potential to cause hazardous levels of methane contamination in nearby homes, methane seeps that kill vegetation, and damage to domestic water wells and springs. Concern about drilling wells on the outcrop spurred unanimous resolutions against such wells from numerous local governments in 2004.

"This is a victory for protecting water, homes, people and the environment," says Janine Fitzgerald, a landowner who lives at the base of the HD Mountains. "These two wells are located on the Fruitland Formation outcrop, and even the Forest Service admits that drilling here causes methane seeps that risk the health and safety of area residents as well as damage property."

The lawsuit, filed by San Juan Citizens Alliance and two local landowners, Bill Vance and Julie Vance, charged that the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving the two wells without completing an analysis of environmental consequences and alternatives. The coalbed methane wells are located in Fosset Gulch in Archuleta County, just east of the HD Mountains, which are at the center of a much larger controversial proposal for many additional gas wells. Petrox Resources, based in Meeker, received the go ahead to drill the wells on Forest Service lands on May 23. The two wells are part of the larger study of proposed new wells currently under analysis in the northern San Juan Basin Coalbed Methane Project Environmental Impact Statement.

"The agreement filed with the court addresses our concerns that the Forest Service approved these wells without performing any basic environmental analysis," said Brad Bartlett, attorney for San Juan Citizens Alliance and the Vances. "The agency must now go back and evaluate the impacts to nearby landowners, water, and other resources before authorizing coalbed methane extraction in these locations."

In addition to the threats to public safety, the wells could also cause the drying up of domestic and agricultural wells, effectively taking private water rights from current landowners. Forest Service studies discuss the likelihood that 20 wells could dry up, along with numerous water seeps and springs.

 

Wildlife Park will host auction for the animals

Dick and Vimmie Ray, owners and operators of The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, invite everyone to join in the festivities at an Auction to Benefit the Animals, Saturday, June 25.

The park was built in 1986 and is privately owned and operated by the Rays. Their purpose for the park is to educate individuals about native wildlife and to give the public an opportunity to get close to such wildlife in their natural habitats.

The auction fun begins 6 p.m. with wine, hors d'oeuvres, desserts, silent auction and raffles, followed at 7 p.m. by a live auction with Jake Montroy as auctioneer. Cowboy lyricist Phil Janowsky will entertain with popular old-time tunes.

Items to be auctioned include artwork by locally renown artists Claire Goldrick, Wayne Justus, Milt Lewis, Charles Denault, Rebekah Laue and others; gift certificates and gifts from numerous local businesses and restaurants; Indian-made jewelry and other handcrafted items; guided outdoor adventure trips; bed and breakfast and spa packages, hot springs soaks, door prizes and much more.

A moonlight tour of th animals wil take pal;ce following the auction. Bring flashlights if yoiu wis to attend

Summer hours at the park are 9 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week with a feeding tour daily at 4 p.m. On the day of the auction, the park will give a feeding tour at 3 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. in preparation for the evening events.

Tickets are on sale at the Wildlife Park, five miles south of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 84 or at the Chamber of Commerce.

Advance tickets are $12, at the door $15. For questions, reservations, advance tickets or auction donations, call 264-4515 or 264-5546.

 

DOW asking public to report moose sightings

By Joe Lewandowski

Special to The SUN

Wildlife watchers in the western half of the state can help the Colorado Division of Wildlife track moose by reporting any sightings to a local DOW office.

Moose were transplanted in northern Colorado in the 1970s and in southwest Colorado in 1992. Since then the population has increased steadily. But because moose are solitary animals and spread out over wide areas, it is difficult for wildlife managers to track their progress.

Wildlife managers are most interested in learning about populations in the southern and central mountains and in the Grand Mesa area.

Moose have recently been released on Grand Mesa and are fitted with radio collars, enabling DOW staff to track them remotely. But wildlife managers still want to know where people see the animals.

Moose are found most commonly in wetlands and thickly-forested areas.

If you spot a moose while you are out hiking, fishing or sightseeing, please make some notes if possible. Here is the information wildlife managers need: location, GPS coordinates if possible, type of terrain, number of animals, color, sex, if they are adults or juveniles, if any have radio collars on their necks, if any have ear tags. For those carrying binoculars, try to spot the number on the ear tag.

"The more data we can gather the better we'll be able to determine how moose are expanding their range throughout Colorado," said Brent Woodward, district wildlife manager in the Creede area.

In southern Colorado, the DOW wants to hear about sightings in these areas: San Luis Valley, South Fork, Del Norte, Creede, Saguache, Lake City, Gunnison, and anywhere in the San Juan Mountains.

To report a sighting, call one of these DOW offices: Grand Junction, (970) 255-6100; Monte Vista, (719) 587-6900; Gunnison, (970) 641-7060; Montrose, (970) 252-6000; Durango, (970) 247-0855.

For more news about Division of Wildlife go to http://wildlife. state.co.us/news/index.asp? DivisionID=3.

  

DOW asks for help in spotting river otters

Wildlife observers can help track the progress of the state's river otters by reporting sightings online at the Web site of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW).

Since being reintroduced to the state in the mid 1970s, the otters have steadily expanded their range. They are now found in most of the major river basins throughout the western portion of the state. Biologists, however, have no reliable way to estimate the river otter population because the animals are very elusive, trap shy, and cannot be fitted with external radio collars. Therefore any information regarding sightings by the public is helpful, explained Pamela Schnurr, a DOW species conservations specialist based in Grand Junction.

This summer, a formal research project is being conducted to gain a better understanding of how the river otters are doing throughout western Colorado. Researchers are setting special traps designed to snag fur. Through DNA testing scientists can develop better methods for estimating numbers of river otters in Colorado. The research will continue throughout the summer.

When the DOW receives reports of sightings it helps to direct the work of more detailed survey efforts, Schnurr explained.

Colorado's river otter population is making a comeback about a century after the native species was extripated from the state. Before they were reintroduced to the state in the 1970s, the last confirmed sighting was made by a trapper in the early 1900s in the lower canyon of the Yampa River below Craig. As part of efforts to return river otters to Colorado, wildlife biologists released about 115 of the mammals at five separate sites around the state between 1976 and 1991. Recovery sites include Cheeseman Reservoir on the South Platte River southwest of Denver, the Gunnison, Piedra, and Dolores rivers in southwest Colorado, and streams in Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition, Utah released 67 river otters into the Green River near the Utah-Colorado border, and otters from that release have made their way into Colorado in both the Green and Yampa rivers.

Schnurr said the otters appear to be expanding their range substantially from the original release sites, hunting year-round for crayfish, channel catfish, suckers and other prey along major rivers. Otters are listed as a state threatened species and cannot be trapped or killed.

The online reporting system enables citizens who believe they have spotted a river otter in the wild to fill out an online form that asks for specific information, including the location of the sighting, physical descriptions, and animal behavior. The online form also includes photos of river otters and animals commonly mistaken for them. Wildlife observers who submit forms at the DOW Web site will also be asked whether they snapped photos of the animals they spotted in the wild.

Adept swimmers and aquatic hunters, otters are long, slender members of the weasel family, ranging from 3 to 4 feet in length. Their powerful, cylindrical tails, which thicken at the base, comprise about one-third of the animals' body length. Otters' webbed toes and water-resistant fur enable them to spend a lot of time in water. While they are prized by wildlife observers for their playful water gliding, they can easily be mistaken for other similar species such as beavers, muskrats and mink.

To access the DOW River Otter Observation Form Web Page, go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us/species_cons/otter/otterForm.htm.

For more information about Colorado's river otters, visit: http://wildlife.state.co.us/education/mammalsguide/river_otter.asp or http://wildlife.state.co.us/species_cons/wildlifeindanger/otter.pdf.

Dinner is served, trout feast on stonefly hatch

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Pteronarcys californica. In Latin, this means "Big Mac for trout," and for flyfishermen it means one of the most exciting hatches of the year — the giant stonefly hatch.

The three-inch long, Pteronarcys californica, also known as "Salmonfly" due to the bright orange highlights on the insect's dark brown body, is the largest of the stonefly species. It is common in the San Juan and Piedra River watersheds, and the winged adults have been seen careening through Pagosa area skies like giant, overburdened Chinook helicopters looking for a place to crash land.

When the adults hit the water, the splash can be followed by a violent slashing rise of a nearby trout who slams the insect with maximum caloric consumption in mind.

For anglers, fishing dry flies during this hatch can be the stuff of epic tales of monster trout attacking large, sloppily presented patterns such as Salmon Flies, Sofa Pillows and Stimulators, with wild abandon. Although fishing this hatch with dry flies can be exciting, timing is crucial and often a matter of luck. The adults are often seen by mid to late morning and are then active throughout the day.

The key for anglers is to carry a wide variety of wet and dry patterns so they can adjust techniques and change tactics as the situation changes.

Sofa Pillows, Salmon Flies and Stimulators should all be large and in sizes No. 2 through No. 8.

Nymph patterns run the gamut from highly detailed, exact replicas to generic patterns like the Brook's Stone, Montana Stone and Bitch Creek patterns. Keep a variety of sizes ranging from No. 8 to No. 14, and the more general patterns might be the key to success. Exact imitations require the perfect float or drift, while the more general patterns are designed to appear virtually the same at all angles to a trout, whether wet or dry, tumbling in the current, or stationary.

Rather than choosing to fish wet or dry, a sound tactic is to attempt both using the dry-dropper technique. In this technique, a large dry fly doubles as a strike indicator and the nymph is attached to the shank of the dry fly's hook with a length of tippet. This gives the angler a chance to experiment, to see which pattern, wet or dry, works the best.

Whatever tactic is employed, the key to successful nymph fishing is to go deep.

Local fly shop owner Mark Miller said, "If you're not knocking the bottom, you're not deep enough."

He said it's important to understand that the stonefly nymphs crawl along the bottom of the river or on streamside rocks.

"They don't swim, they crawl, always on something solid," Miller said.

He recommended anglers use a 7 1/2 foot leader with 4x tippet, and to carry plenty of flies.

"Assume you're going to get snagged," he said.

Local patterns include: Beadhead Peacock Stone with brown rubber legs sizes No. 6 and No. 8 and a double bead-head Biot Stone sizes No. 6 and No. 8.

 

Letters
Tribal 'big box'?

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to questions raised regarding the possibility of big box development on adjacent tribal lands. As part of our research, the Big Box Task Force did consider the implications of big boxes locating on land owned by the Southern Ute Tribe west of town.

While such development on Ute property is highly unlikely for a variety of reasons, it is certainly a possibility. And while we can spend a lot of time debating the odds of whether a big box is even economically feasible in such a remote location (which is why you don't see a Wal-Mart in the middle of nowhere), the real question is: what do we want for our community?

We already know that by regulating big boxes, we forgo some sales tax revenue in the interest of retaining the health of our small businesses and community character. If a big box were to move to the Ute land or to Chama or to Bayfield, should it substantially alter our strategy of managing growth to maximize the unique assets of our town?

Of course not.

And by implementing long-term economic strategies based on research and the desires of the community, the Task Force concluded that Pagosa Springs can not only survive without big boxes, we will actually prosper by seeking alternatives to the traditional big box model for retail.

We obviously cannot control everything that goes on outside our borders. However, we do know that inviting a large format retailer into the boundaries of what we do control results in a number of direct negative impacts to our local economy, downtown, and community character.

We can "what if" all kinds of scenarios — but to abandon a sound long-term economic strategy that strengthens our own community for development that is improbable and out of our control is neither rational nor responsible to the expressed desires of our community.

Big Box Task Force Members: Kathy Keyes, Julie Rodriguez, Angela Atkinson, David Spitler, Claudia Smith, Jerry Venn, Cappy White, Angie Dahm, Ann Bubb, Lee Riley, Kirsten Skeehan

 Wrong road plan

Dear Editor:

We can't fathom how a competent professional could spend two years developing a "road plan" for our county with no traffic counts. The plan proposed could have been done in six months if you only worked lunch hours. I don't even believe he drove the roads designated "Primary Roads" let alone all the roads in the county as should have been done. A road can't be developed sitting in an office. I attended the June 2 meeting, but didn't think my gastric system could take a second meeting.

The road plan proposed is totally unsatisfactory. When asked questions about it the only answer we could get was "It is not cast in concrete."

Thank heavens for last week's letters to the editor; they did an excellent job of portraying our situation and the solutions. I agree with Mary Bond, a very intelligent lady, Roy Boutwell and Lili Pearson in everything they said. We need a recall election if two of the "county mothers" can't get along with the Road Warrior. Why do the mothers gang up on the only commissioner who knows what a road is and how to maintain one?

Mary Bond for commissioner.

My apologies to my friend Ward. You were and are correct.

Richard Broom

 Divide and conquer

Dear Editor:

Let's take a lesson from the state of Colorado.

The road and bridge crew should be divided up into five main sections. One group of people to do roads in PLPOA and feeder roads. One group in Arboles to do primary and feeder roads. One group in Chromo to do primary roads and feeder roads. One group to do pot holes on asphalt. One group to do culverts.

Give the men a chance to work one area, learn the problems. These guys are good and will take pride in their area if they know they are respected. Give out the foreman's name and cell phone number so they can keep in touch with the people. You will be surprised at the amount of roads that can be serviced.

The road superintendent can look to buy gravel for these groups. You won't have to run machinery back and forth to the yard. Less fuel and more productivity.

There are a few things more, but if you want to know, call me.

Food for thought.

Gene Crabtree

 Lack of planning

Dear Editor:

Twenty-five years after Fairfield area roads surfaced as a problem for our county it continues to confound and frustrate Archuleta citizens who reside in other areas of the county.

It's time for Fairfield area road users to face the facts. Archuleta County simply cannot afford to fix and maintain these roads. Throw tantrums, complain, threaten and guess what? You'll still have lousy roads.

Or you could choose to fix the problem with a special improvement/metro district. Special districts are a way of reclaiming (part) of your tax dollars, combining it with your neighbors' tax dollars to fix and maintain the roads in a defined neighborhood area. It's surely the most efficient and localized form of taxation.

Be informed and take the time to drive the roads at San Juan River Village, Alpha or Aspen Springs. All of these "metro" district roads are in better shape than most Fairfield subdivision roads.

Even if by some ballot box miracle Archuleta County citizens approved a "road tax" of some kind, do you really think the Archuleta County government and road department is the wisest spender of your tax dollars?

No.

Of Colorado's 2,500 local governments, four out of five are "metro" districts. Colorado was seventh nationwide in the creation of new metro districts with 82 last year. Why? Because they work and they create a long term mechanism to help development pay for itself.

The point of this letter is development. The 25-year-old "roads" problem is not a "roads" problem, but a development problem. It's the unintended consequences of poorly planned and supervised development.

While Archuleta County is distracted with this "roads" problem, they ignore the biggest problem of all: land-use planning.

Archuleta County's land-use planning is a cruel joke. My Mom always said, "If you fail to plan, plan to fail." The Town of Pagosa Springs is light years ahead of the county in land-use planning and anticipating the future. If Archuleta County continues to ignore land-use planning its citizens can expect things to be far worse further down the "road."

Sincerely,

Jeff Greer

PS. Other phrases and terms were considered but not used in this letter; they are: cry over spilled milk, water under the bridge, beating a dead horse, blood from a stone, plain as the nose on your face, wake up and smell the coffee, etc., etc.

 Mole hill issue

Dear Editor:

The July 15 road issue meeting held by our county commissioners was certainly a vibrant affair — sold out attendance, numerous concerned speakers, lots of ideas rendered. Which, I gather, is exactly why the commissioners held that public forum.

One of the most thought-provoking declarations made that evening was offered by a former county commissioner, Gene Crabtree.

Crabtree sentiment: "You commissioners are making a mountain out of a mole hill concerning the county road problems." Evidently our ousted commissioner was once again not tuned in very well to a majority of those attending this noteworthy meeting.

Well, Gene, I guess it's now very apparent why it stayed a molehill issue during your commissioner stint. You did nothing but propagate some street sign tags indicating said street/road is a county maintained thoroughfare. How creative. Maybe you should have utilized that gavel you purchased for BOCC (your) use with incessant frequency and generated something more lucrative — vice a road tag. You were getting paid by taxpayers extremely well to produce effective solutions, not road markers.

Seems to me that the current BOCC, composed of two newly-elected commissioners, is moving forward by going to the public for ideas and opinion via a series of public forums with no delay. Which is something that was never pursued by the former "Three Amigos."

Engaging community conversation on the road issues is not only necessary, it's healthy. I would wager the current BOCC will continue until they get enough background information to present a plan that is equitable to all concerned and can place something on a ballot for all of us to vote. At least I do not see them currently dumping any more of our funds into enlarging runways, paving private taxiways, building a new terminal, fuel farms, etc., for more noise and eventual disaster right smack in the heart of nonstop growth.

Yes, there were committees formed in the past that were asked to come up with a county road initiative. Thousands of hours were accrued by hard-working participants and you were furnished detailed written inputs. I guess all their efforts wound up in your desk drawer drawing ants right next to the empty candy wrappers and coke cans.

So, who has to now climb and conquer your perceived mole hill?

That's right — we do!

Jim Sawicki

 

Community News

'Oklahoma!': A feast for the ear and eye

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

When Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" opened a London run in 1998, the London Daily Mail commented "There's nothing corny about this wonderful, fresh show. It's not just a classic American musical but — and this is the real surprise - a truthful, touching and gripping drama about growing up and falling in love, about dreams and nightmares."

Our town of Pagosa Springs will have the opportunity to join the millions from around the world who have been entertained and enriched by this classic, vibrant musical when it is presented by the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters July 1, 2,7, 8 and 9 in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium.

Director Dale Morris and Musical Director Lisa Hartley will guide 35 singers, actors, and dancers, as well as an orchestra of 20 musicians, through their exuberant paces in what many consider the greatest musical of all time.

Although the reviews were lukewarm at the 1942 New Haven tryout (when it was known as "Away We Go,") when it opened in New York in 1943 as "Oklahoma!", the New York Herald Tribune said, "Songs, dances and story have been triumphantly blended... a striking piece of theatrical Americana!"

Fifty years later, the New York Times said of a current production, "Oklahoma! was a feast for the ear and eye - and still is." In 1998 it enthused "Still the Great American Musical!" And the Wall Street Journal added "If there ever was a show that deserved an exclamation point, this is it!"

Performances start 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.

 

50 animals sheared in single Allison day

By Jim Burbach

Special to The PREVIEW

The second annual Shearing Day was held Friday, June 10, hosted by Navajo Lake Alpacas at the Burbach ranch near Allison.

Alpaca owners and breeders from 11 area ranches kept busy throughout the day with various chores including taking their animals to and from the shearer, collecting the shorn fleece, giving injections, and trimming nails.

In all, 50 animals were sheared by a master shearer from New Zealand employed by Alley-Pac based in Nunn, Colo.

Alpacas, gentle members of the camel family, were imported to the U.S. from Chile, Bolivia, and Peru between 1984 and 1998. The American alpaca herd numbers just over 60,000 registered animals. They are raised for their soft, ultra-fine, lanolin-free fiber that comes in 22 natural colors. The shorn fiber is used by fiber artists throughout the world to create luxurious knitted, crocheted, woven, and felted garments and products.

Each alpaca produces about 5-15 pounds of raw fiber per year that sells for $2-$4 per ounce. Because of their long necks and the value of the animals and their fiber, alpacas require special handling and shearing technique. They are first laid on a mat, then immobilized by stretching. This permits an expert shearer to maximize the yield and to obtain a fleece of uniform length, important considerations for producers, hand-spinners, and commercial fiber processors.

To learn more about alpacas, or to schedule a fiber arts class or a ranch visit, call Jim and Lois Burbach at 883-3635.

 

Early blues and jazz at July 24 American Roots fest

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa jazz maestro and cultural icon, John Graves, will headline American Roots Music Festival, Sunday, July 24, at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

The theme of this Roots fest is early blues and jazz. Other performers include Steve Rolig, Paul and Carla Roberts, Kimberly Judd and many more talented musicians and dancers.

Graves will present a fascinating and entertaining depiction of how jazz evolved from folk music and the blues. His use of humor and vignettes, interwoven with sparkling piano solos and various ensembles of talented performers, guarantees this performance will be a knockout.

John Graves is a multi-talented individual with distinguished careers as television and movie producer, professional musician and college professor.

A community potluck social begins at 5 p.m. The concert begins at 6. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $12 for families. Children are admitted free of charge. See future articles for more details.

American Roots Music Festival is produced by Elation Center for the Arts, a local arts organization whose mission is the preservation of traditional music and dance. For further information about the festival and the center's classes and other activities, call 731-3117.

Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take 160 to Vista Blvd. Turn north on Vista and left on Port.

 

Film Society will review 'Local Hero'

"Local Hero," the 1983 film starring Burt Lancaster, will be screened and discussed at the Pagosa Springs Film Society's meeting on Tuesday, June 28.

In this PG rated movie, an American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don't go as expected.

Critic Roger Ebert, who gave the film a rating of four stars, says "Here is a small film to treasure, a loving, funny, understated portrait of a small Scottish town and its encounter with a giant oil company ... And what could have been a standard plot about conglomerates and ecology, etc., turns instead into a wicked study of human nature."

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbrier Plaza. 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.

A suggested donation of $3 will benefit The Friends of the Library.

 

Demo Derby moves to Friday night spot at fair

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

The sound of screeching tires and metal twisting is usually not what one associates with memories of a good time.

This is festive only in reference to the demolition derby. The demolition derby will make its sixth appearance at the Archuleta County Fair Friday, Aug. 5. at 5:30 p.m.

The time and day of the event has been changed this year from Sunday to Friday. This event was previously held in the heat of the day, but now has been moved to the early evening for a more comfortable experience. In addition, the change accommodates the folks who ordinarily would not have been able to come due to church activities.

Since the derby event is such a big draw at the fair, we on the board decided to kick it up a notch. To date there is $2,500 in prize money for this year's derby, and we've added new categories with cash or gift awards.

Prizes are as follows:

- First place in large and compact divisions: jacket, hat and trophy.

- Second place in large and compact divisions: hat and trophy.

- Third place in large compact divisions: trophy.

Additionally, all three-winner categories will receive prize money.

Some of the new prizes for those who enter the derby are a jacket for "last man standing" and a trophy for the most aggressive driver. Who knew that you could win an award for road rage?

There is also a $100 prize this year for the most attractively decorated car, known as the "beauty car."

Door prizes will be given away in a drawing during the intermission.

A giveaway car will be awarded to a spectator (over the age of 18) at the beginning of the derby. The winner may participate in the derby by driving the vehicle, or elect to have a member of the pit crew drive it for them.

The derby is also seeking women drivers for the event; to date, several women have expressed interest in participating. Moreover, ladies, if you enter or win the drawing you can smash up a car and win a prize. This will probably be the only time your spouse would tolerate such behavior.

Derby rules, regulations and entry forms are available at North Pagosa Shell and the Extension building. A downloadable version is also available on the fair Web site, www.archuletacoutyfair.com, Or, you can contact the Derby Committee chair Marti Gallo at 264-3890. Anyone interested in being a derby sponsor should also give Marti a call.

Advance purchase tickets are $8 for adults (16 and older), $7 for seniors (65-plus), $6 for children 5 to 15. Children under 4 years old are free. A Family of Four Package (two adults/two children) is $25. Advance purchase tickets include entry to the fair. Wrist bands for the derby can be purchased in advance at the Extension Building July 7, 8, 21, 22, 28 and 29, from 1-4 p.m.

Prices for admission on the day of the event are $ 6 adult, $5 senior, $4 children.

Price of admission does not include gate entry fee to the fair.

The derby will feature on-site food and beverage handlers this year. The Seeds of Learning School will be on hand to sell hot dogs, chips, sodas, candy bars and other confections. The Fair Beer Garden will sell a selection of cold beers and sodas. You can also purchase food and beverages to bring into the event served by any of the vendors at the fairgrounds

Mark your calendars for this special night and take advantage of the advance ticket sales.

 

Relay for Life, a 'FUNdraising' event this week

By Doug Trowbridge

Special to The PREVIEW

We all know that getting out and walking can make us healthier. But this weekend, getting out and walking can help cure cancer! That's right, this weekend marks the sixth annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life in Archuleta County.

The Relay For Life is a FUNdraising event to benefit the research and programs of the American Cancer Society (ACS). Notice the emphasis on fun! Relay is an opportunity to support the many cancer survivors in our community, raise funds to help find a cure for these diseases and have some fun with lots of other caring people. So come out to Town Park on Friday evening and take part in the opening ceremonies. Stick around and walk a lap or two with other participants or come back for the victory lap on Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

This year's Relay For Life gets under way at 6:00 p.m. with the Road to Recovery Drivers Parade. The Road to Recovery program is one of the local programs supported by the ACS. Our Road to Recovery drivers offer transportation to cancer patients who must travel to Durango for radiation or chemotherapy. The parade honors those drivers who offer their time and vehicles to assist cancer patients. The arrival of the Road to Recovery drivers at Town Park will begin the opening ceremonies. Don Ford, pastor of the Community United Methodist Church, will offer a blessing and talk about his battle with cancer. Bob Fisher will talk about his experience and how the ACS helped him through his ordeal.

After our speakers, the walk gets underway with a roll call of cancer survivors and the Survivor's Lap. Survivors take to the track for the opening lap to signify their strength in the face of their ongoing battle. As the survivors finish their lap, our teams take to the track for a marathon walk that won't finish until 9 a.m. the following morning. Relay takes place through the night to show that cancer never sleeps. Teams have been raising funds for the ACS for several months now, but the last donations won't be turned in until midnight, so feel free to offer some monetary encouragement to your favorite team if you haven't already.

Another great part of the Relay For Life in Archuleta County is our Chair Auction. You have probably seen photos of many of this year's chairs in The Sun over the last few weeks, but until you see them in living color, you can't appreciate how beautiful they really are! The Chair Auction will take bids until 8:30 p.m., so spend some time marveling at the local talent and maybe pick up a new one-of-a-kind piece of furniture.

Of course, just walking in endless circles is no fun, so we've got a live DJ from KWUF on scene to provide some musical distraction, games to test your skills and plenty of food to keep your energy levels high throughout the night. And just when you think you can't keep going, the Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs rolls in with the county's largest frying pan to rescue your morning with a piping hot breakfast! At 9 a.m. we call everyone out on the course for one last lap, The Victory Lap! We encourage everyone in town to come down and join us for the Victory Lap as we show our determination to find a cure for cancer.

Our teams are the heroes of Relay, but we owe a debt of gratitude to many local businesses for helping us to achieve our goals with each Year's Relay For Life. This year's Corporate Sponsors include BootJack Ranch, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, The Source for Pagosa Real Estate, KWUF Radio, CenturyTel, Bank of Colorado, LaPlata Electric Association, Citizens Bank, The Hanosch Agency, Circle T Lumber/Ace Hardware, Bank of the San Juans, Wells Fargo Bank, First Southwest Bank, Hermann Riggs and Associates, and Goodman's Department Store. Patronize these businesses and let them know how much you appreciate their support of the sixth annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life in Archuleta County.

 

Unitarians will hear lecture on 'soul contact'

"What is the purpose of the soul? How is that purpose common to everyone?"

These are the questions posed by guest speaker Sophia for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service Sunday, June 26.

Sophia recently moved to Pagosa Springs from Florida, where she established a holistic healing center called Inner Dimensional Pathways of Healing, followed by her founding of the University of the Soul.

She explains that this educational institution is geared to assisting people in making contact with their souls so the healing gifts of the soul can be developed and become practical in everyday life.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Unit 15, Greenbrier Plaza. 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.

For more information, call Phyl Daleske at 731-4589.

In addition to the Sunday service, Sophia will also conduct a special guided meditation Wednesday, June 29, for the purpose of enabling those attending "to make direct contact with their soul." It will be held at 7 p.m. in the same location as the Sunday service.

 

Local Chatter

Etiquette ... a lost art?

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

A question of etiquette has loomed its head and that's the practice of writing a "thank you" for a present received.

I know couples who have not received acknowledgments for wedding presents. In some cases, expensive gifts were ordered over the Internet with credit cards. The senders would like to think that the parents of the newlyweds did not know about the slight and they are reluctant to ask if the gifts were received.

Another time is graduation - from college as well as high school. I've never known a high school principal or a commencement speaker to mention the politeness of writing "thank yous" for gifts received; but that's an idea. What would be wrong with advocating politeness as a part of success in life?

Writing a "thank you" for a birthday gift is a specially good thing to teach kids. They are impressionable and even though they might kick, deep down they understand and appreciate being guided to do the right thing.

But parents need to insist that they pay this respect, for by doing this it reflects on their and their parents' consideration of others.

While I'm on the subject, I'd like to tell this story. Some years ago when Ginger Lloyd, daughter of Becky and Leonard Lloyd, graduated from Pagosa Springs High School, she received a four-year scholarship to Colorado School of Mines. Ginger wrote the board of directors a letter of thanks, but that wasn't all she did. She kept them up to date as to her grades and how she was doing. The board was impressed and granted her another year scholarship. The engineering course was five years. Ginger went on to become the first woman engineer at Hoover Dam.

Good manners involves consideration of others. Etiquette may be the formal way of doing things, but it all boils down to consideration of others.

Fun on the Run

How to Preserve a Husband

Be careful in your selection. Do not choose too young, and take only such as have been reared in a good moral atmosphere. When once decided upon and selected, let that part remain settled forever. Give your entire thought to preparation for domestic use. Some insist on keeping them in a pickle, while others are constantly getting in hot water. This only makes them sour, hard, and sometimes bitter. Even poor varieties may be made sweet, tender and good by garnishing them with patience, well sweetened with smiles and flavored with kisses to taste. Then wrap them in a mantle of charity, keep them warm with a steady fire of domestic devotion and serve with peaches and cream. When thus prepared, they will keep for years.

Taken from Meadowlane PTA Cookbook

 

Library News

By Barb Draper

PREVIEW Columnist

Many of our patrons have been (patiently, we hope) waiting for us to place our new book orders for this year.

We are ready to begin this process now. Several of you have talked with us about newer book titles - fiction, nonfiction, children's and adult - as well as books on tape that you are hanging on to in order to donate them to us when we have space available.

Now would be an excellent time for you to make these donations. If we know what you have, we will not order these titles. This will enable us to provide an even greater variety of new titles for you to choose from.

We are cataloging donations throughout our stay in the mini library, and both books and "talking books" are added to the shelves almost daily. We are truly amazed at how we have been able to find space as we have settled in to our area.

Summer travel

Summer travel is a tradition among many Americans. While gasoline prices may be threatening some of your long distance road trip plans, there are countless trips that can be taken right here in Colorado.

We have many books in the library that might offer some good ideas for your summer adventures. Come in and browse our "Hershey Collection." This is a special collection of materials dedicated specifically to the Four Corners and Colorado heritage. You can find many ideas for short trips by looking through these materials.

Interested in old mines and the possibility of finding lost treasures? We suggest "The Mines of Colorado" or "A Motif Index for Lost Mines and Treasures (Arizona)."

What about biking? We offer "Road Biking Colorado: The Statewide Guide," by Michael Seeberg. In this book the state is divided into nine regions, with 35 pages devoted exclusively to routes in southwestern Colorado. Both backroad and highway trips are described. And, who is to say these routes are limited to bicycles? Those of you who prefer traveling in more conventional vehicles with four wheels on the ground can find excellent travel suggestions as well.

"Camping Colorado," by Melissa Crow (2001), gives details about hundreds of campgrounds, with descriptions that cover such details as elevation, road conditions, activities, brief descriptions and a price range. There are usually contact phone numbers for more information as well. There are campgrounds listed here for hikers, bikers, fishermen, bird watchers, golfers, gamblers, swimmers, rafters, and for those of us who simply want to find a peaceful, beautiful place where we can just park and relax. This book does not list commercial campgrounds, but there are other materials available for researching these places.

Still need more ideas for Colorado and Four Corners vacations? Come in and see what other materials we have for you to check out.

Dragons, Castles, Knights ...

For the first two weeks of the program our SRP participants enjoyed stories, crafts and activities relating to all kinds of dragons.

Our two dragon mascots have been named. "Moe" was suggested by Josh Smith, and "Sendrano" was named by Ethan Sullivan. Thanks to all of the children who submitted some wonderfully creative names.

Last Friday was the big dragon egg hunt with children scouring the soccer field area for one hundred hidden candy-filled dragon eggs. Six of the eggs were specially marked for prizes from the treasure chest. Winning entries in the Design a Dragon contest are Zachary Curvey, Nolan Kay, Mele LeLievre, Joshua Pike, Caecilia Sarnowski, Hannah Sarnowski, Addie Thompson, Isaiah Thompson, Silas Thompson, Anne Townsend, Kudra Wagner and Christian Woody. Come to the library to see all these dragons on display.

Winners of the dragon and shield coloring contests for Week One were Angie Gallegos, Gabi Gallegos, Nolan Kay, Ethan Sullivan, Anne Townsend, Barak Townsend, Aisha Warren and Tiana Warren.

Ten Readers of the Week are chosen each week from the children who attend the weekly programs. Winners get to choose theme related hats to wear during the programs of the following week, and also receive a prize from the treasure chest. Week One winners were Mathew Audetat, Paden Bailey, Trenton Cordova, Brock Cordova, Zachary Curvey, Nolan Kay, Julia LeLievre, Liam Nell, Anne Townsend, and Aisha Warren. Week Two Readers of the Week were Camille Bilazzo, Frank Dixon, Michael Dixon, Iris Grad, Tyler Greenly, Eric Montoya, Joshua Pike, Kai Wagner, Aisha Warren and Tiana Warren. Congratulations to all the winners.

This week the participants are learning about castles and knights. Teams build castles on Tuesday, which are on display in the library. Tomorrow, children will be creating their own knight swords, and the older children will be learning all the moves for a special Knights Dance which they will then perform for everyone else in attendance. All are welcome to come and watch the festivities, and it is not too late to sign your children up for the program.

Next week we'll bring you news of the activities featuring jesters, unicorns and various versions of Cinderella.

 

Senior News

Summer's first picnic in the park is Friday

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

It's time for our first picnic of the summer in Town Park.

The kitchen staff will serve up one of their yummiest meals Friday - oven fried chicken, potato salad, broccoli salad (a personal favorite of mine), a roll and fresh fruit.

Not only is it time to celebrate summer, it's also June birthday celebration as well as Hawaiian shirt day.

If you have a birthday in June, Archuleta Seniors, Inc. has discounted the meal for celebrants 60-plus to just $1. What a deal! 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 Friday.

Colorado wildflowers

Dick Mosley will be here 1 p.m. Wednesday to educate us on the beautiful wildflowers in our area. Find out just how the heck these beauties got here.

Ice cream social and sing-along

The first ice cream social was such a great hit, we're having another. Forty-four of you stuck around after lunch at our last ice cream social. Let's's fill the room this time. Dorothy O'Harra, who regularly plays for us at lunch, will tickle the piano keys at 1 p.m. Friday, June 1. We have song sheets for you just in case you don't know the words to these oldies, but goodies. A bowl of ice cream is 50 cents; the kitchen will supply a few toppings while you bring along your favorite topping to enjoy and share with others.

Save lives, give blood

The small amount of time it takes to give blood could save a life. During the summer months blood is in high demand, so give to humankind at The Den 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6. Eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids before your appointment and your donation time should be a breeze. Please call 264-2167 for an appointment.

Medicare drug insurance

Now here's a big topic of interest and important to read up on.

Beginning very soon, lower-income folks will be receiving information from Social Security regarding "extra help" with drug costs. Along with this information will be an application. Don't throw this information away. If you find the information confusing, set it aside, ask a family member for assistance or come to The Den any Monday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and visit with one of our knowledgeable Medicare counselors. They will help you through it.

Eligible consumers who return the application will receive great drug benefits with no deductible, coverage gap, low or no premium and very low copayments.

Walking with style

Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health. It's good for your heart, blood pressure and weight management. Brisk walking even has the same health benefits as jogging.

Whether you're walking to get or stay fit, your form, pace, and breathing is especially important. Mastering a good walking technique takes some time but, with practice, it will become second nature and will help you increase and maintain your pace comfortably. Good form will help you walk faster and longer, increasing your fitness level more quickly. You'll tire less easily, use more of your core (stomach and back) muscles, and improve the overall efficiency of your workout.

Strike with heel first. Take shorter, rather than longer, steps. More frequent short steps will give you a better workout and be easier on your joints.

Swing your arms. Swinging your arms properly will give you a better aerobic workout, burn more calories and engage more muscles throughout your torso.

Stretch your spine. To maintain good posture, stretch your spine tall, reaching up to the sky with the top of your head.

Contract your stomach. This will also help you maintain your posture, as well as avoid straining your lower back.

Pace and breathing are important. Your pace - how fast you walk - will affect your breathing. The faster you walk, the harder you'll breathe. Walking at a brisk pace gives you the same aerobic benefits as jogging.

Join the walk-a-thon at The Den 11:15 a.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday to get some exercise, have some fun and improve your walking style.

Red, white and blue day

We will begin to celebrate our Independence Day holiday Friday, July 1, by wearing red, white and blue in preparation for the Fourth of July. Come decked out in your patriotic colors to show your spirit, or just to look a little goofy.

Yoga in Motion break

Please note the Yoga in Motion class is on a small break and will begin again 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. See you then.

Activities at a glance

Friday, June 24 - Qi Gong 10 a.m.; Picnic in the Town Park, Hawaiian shirt day and birthday celebrations at noon.

Monday, June 27 - 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 28 - Yoga in Motion 9:30 a.m.; basic computer instruction, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; canasta 1 p.m., all levels welcome

Wednesday, June 29 - Pinochle, 1 p.m., all levels welcome; Colorado wildflowers presentation with Dick Mosley, 1 p.m.

Friday, July 1 - Qi Gong 10 a.m; gym walk, 11:15; ice cream social and sing-along, 1 p.m. Red, White and Blue Day.

Menu

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

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

Friday, June 24 - Picnic in Town Park: oven fried chicken, potato salad, broccoli salad roll fresh fruit and birthday cake.

Monday, June 27 - BBQ beef, scalloped potatoes, roll and pears.

Tuesday, June 28 - Chile con carne, spinach and sherbet.

Wednesday, June 29 - Pasta seafood salad, green beans and almond peaches.

Friday, July 1- Salisbury steak, mashed potato and gravy, Brussels sprouts, roll and orange wedge.

 

Veteran's Corner

Consider switch to Durango clinic

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

Please be advised the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office will be closed for a week while I am on vacation, June 27-July 1.

It is with some emotions that I will be traveling out to be with my mother in Oregon at this time because it was originally planned to celebrate my dad's 90th birthday on this trip on July 3. As many of my reader's already know, he didn't make it. But he will be there in spirit with us as the family remembers him and especially for his service to his country in World War II.

I already had the tickets and reservations for the trip and it will be good to be with my mom at this time.

New veterans

We are still experiencing a high number of new veterans moving to Archuleta County. I would encourage any veteran or anyone who knows a veteran living here to please stop by my office so I can put them in my local veterans database and perhaps help and guide them for any VA benefits they might be entitled to.

Durango clinic

I have been working closely for some time with the Durango VA Outpatient Clinic and I can tell all you veterans here that they are giving excellent personal service. If you are still going to Farmington VA Clinic or other locations, I urge you to make the switch to the Durango clinic.

If you are registered in the Albuquerque VAMC records all that is required to make the change is to make that request to the Durango VA Clinic by calling them and making an appointment and to transfer your records to that facility. If you are going to Grand Junction you will need to fill out a new 1010EZ application form for this VAHC district (VISN 18). I can do that for you if you stop by my office.

Great service

I like the very close, personal attention our veterans are receiving at the Durango clinic. I can attest to their great service personally. I receive my VAHC in Durango. They frequently make calls to patients to follow up on appointments or medical issues; they greet and welcome you with a smile. They help you with any applications you need to fill out. I've had them call me repeatedly to assist with veterans in their travel needs.

Durango staff

Edie is the receptionist. Sharon is the nurse manager. Beverly is the mental health worker and even comes over to Pagosa Mondays to meet with local veterans who need assistance in this area. Dr. Salter is the physician, Nicole is the nurse and J. Fox is the physician's assistant.

We are very fortunate to have such a first-class clinic as close as Durango to help our veterans with their health care needs.

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

Share-A-Ride

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.

For more information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, 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.

 Arts Line

Mion offers watercolor workshop

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

Don't forget the Arts Council annual meeting tonight at 5 p.m. at J.J.'s Upstream Restaurant. Bluegrass Cadillac will be performing. Cost is $15 per person. The annual Pagosa Country Calendar is making its debut tonight and will be available for purchase. This is a 2006 Calendar featuring Pagosa Country artists and scenes. At under $10 they'll make great gifts.

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.

Sauders rodeo photos

We hope you'll join us for the opening of the rodeo photography show, Extreme Emotion of the Ride, Thursday, June 30, 5-7 p.m. at the PSAC gallery in Town Park.

The show features mostly black and white photographs taken during actual rodeo events, including the Denver National Western Stock Show, the Greeley Stampede and National Western Finals (Las Vegas). Through the photographs, you'll experience rodeo before, during and after the ride.

Wendy custom prints black and white images in her darkroom (almost a lost art in today's world) then hand selects framing which best represents the image. Each image is from a limited collection of 100 prints. American Cowboy Magazine featured several of the images in the April 2004 edition. For a sneak peak of the show, please visit www.wensaunders.com and click the RODEO button.

The exhibit will be on display until July 30, but the opening night reception will be a treat and an opportunity to meet the artist. Wendy looks forward to some great conversation, so come and join us June 30.

Watercolor basics

The Basics of Watercolor for 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 you wished you had been taught when you 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.

Gallery to open

The Wild Spirit Gallery announces will open Friday, July 1.. This 3,400 square-foot visual arts gallery will feature wall art and sculpture by local and nationally known artists. The location is right in the heart of downtown Pagosa, at 480 San Juan St. No. 1, across from the court house, in the former Holy Smokes building. Watch for more information in next week's column.

Photo club workshop

When we speak of multiple exposures, we mean making more than one exposure on a single frame of film.

Multiple exposures can be used to create many different in-camera effects. One such effect emulates the appearance of fine impressionistic paintings. We will discuss this technique as well as others at this special workshop. A "Guide to Multiple Exposure Photography" authored by the presenter will be provided to those who attend. Topics will include the estimation of correct exposure for making multiple exposure images.

The workshop will take place Saturday, July 9, from 10 to 11 am. Immediately following the workshop, there will be a two-hour field trip to a suitable nearby location to practice multiple exposure techniques.

Bring a camera that is capable of making multiple exposures. This would be a camera that allows specific multiple exposure settings (check your manual), or one that allows an override so that the film does not advance when cocking the shutter. A tripod would also be handy, but not necessary, for the field trip.

The workshop is free to Pagosa Springs Photography Club members. A $10 fee will be charged to nonmembers. If you wish to attend, please send an RSVP to Al Olson at a.c.olson@CenturyTel.net or call 731-9801.

Lockhart 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: easleart@fone.net.

The workshop includes the basic fundamentals of design, color, value, mass and perspective. 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. 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 psac@centurytel.net to sign up now.

Final week

If you were unable to attend last week's exhibit opening you missed a fun time, but you can still view the exhibit until June 29.. Work of three local artists will be featured for this month-long exhibit. 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.

Pine River Library

The Pine River Library in Bayfield welcomes artists of all ages to display their artwork there. Painting, drawing, photography, fabric art, wall quilt, weaving, tapestry, jewelry, beadwork, sculpture, pottery, ceramics, woodwork, glass art, stained glass, metal art and silversmithing are welcome. If you wish to display your artwork, call Chrissy Moiseve at 884-2222. She will be happy to fax you an art display request form. Artwork is displayed for and replaced every two months. Artwork displayed may be available for sale, and while the library staff is not involved in the sale of artwork, they will refer queries about the purchase of artwork to the artist. There is no fee charged to artists. This project encourages the artistic and cultural interest of the community by providing a showcase for local artists

Kudos to local artists

Pagosan Jeanine Malaney has two paintings accepted into the Durango Arts Center 29th annual Juried Exhibit which runs June 3 - 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.

PSAC CALENDAR:

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

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

June 2-29 - Jeanine Malaney, Adrienne Haskamp and Randall Davis exhibit, Town Park gallery.

June 23 - PSAC annual meeting.

June 28-30 - Pierre Mion watercolor workshop 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., community center.

June 30 - July 30 - Wendy Saunders photography exhibit.

July 7 - Oil painting with Betty Slade, $35, 9.a.m., Blanco Dove Retreat.

July 8 - Watercolor painting with Betty Slade, $35, 9 a.m., community center.

July 9 - Multiple exposure photography workshop, 9 a.m., community center.

July 11-13 - Beginner I, the Basics watercolor workshop with Denny and Ginnie, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., community center.

July 20 - 23 - Tom Lockhart oil workshop ,10 a.m. - 4 p.m., community center.

July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.

July 27 - Watercolor club, 10 a.m., community center.

Aug. 4 - 31 - Juried Art Exhibit.

Aug. 29 - Sept. 1 - Joye Moon plein aire watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., community center.

September - Celebrities Cook for the Arts and Art Auction.

Sept. 1-29 - Watercolor club exhibit.

Sept. 1 - 28 - Juried Art Exhibit.

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

 

Food for Thought

If it moves under its own power, eat it

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I'm loathe to admit it, but I actually like a couple of vegetarians.

One of them is what those in the know call "ovo-lacto," (don't worry, the first time I heard the term, I was frightened too!), the other is a "vegan." They are not citizens of small, warring countries in the Balkans; their titles mirror differing degrees of the vegetarian lifestyle.

For me to say I'm fond of these folks is to take a big step toward becoming the embracing, nuturing being I so desperately want to be.

Still, it's tough to reveal the truth — as hard, I suppose, as admitting to the wife and kids you have a twelve-gram-a-day coke habit as the repo man carts off your Camaro, or revealing your presurgical gender to the other members of your Sweet Adelines quartet just after you check into your shared hotel room at the convention.

Why?

Because vegetarians are goofy and I don't want respectable folk to know I like goofy people. I have a reputation to protect. Go ahead, vegetarians, write me nasty letters. I'm not afraid to say it: You're living a deprived life in defiance of your true nature.

With that out of the way, let me establish a standard: If it can't bleed, it's not real food.

I'm taking a stand, hurling the gauntlet at my veggie-addled pals. If something can't move around under its own power - walk, trot, fly, crawl, swing or swim - it isn't fit to be called food. Legumes, grains, chaff and whatnot can serve, at best, as a side dish, an additive, part of a snack served with a cooling beverage.

My nut-and-berry friends can't tolerate this idea and they try to convince me there are "high grade proteins to be obtained in the proper combinations of vegetables and grains," that there is no need to take the life of a "fellow animal" to provide nourishment. Further, they say, there is the matter of karma.

Blather!

No combo of lentils, brown rice and fermented soy can take the place of a perfectly cooked, thick chop. Plus, while I appreciate other animal life forms, they are not my equals. I refuse to admit dolphins are smarter than my yellow Lab, and all that racket they make is not language, it is high-frequency gibberish. Karma? Well, if I gotta come back in another life as a sea urchin, get dipped in soy sauce and be eaten at some cheap dive in the Ginza, then so be it.

Because, if it don't bleed it ain't an entrée.

James and I were talking about this subject the other day at the office. He, like me, is a card-carrying carnivore and we agreed on the idea there should be something in the Colorado Revised Statutes prohibiting vegetarian restaurants. James has an extensive background in the restaurant biz, at a French joint to boot. He knows food, he knows meat. He also knows many vegetarians are blue. Not blue, as in the emotional "blue." Blue, as in the color blue. With no flesh in their diet, the pour souls eventually turn a shade of pale blue - iron-deprived, one click away, tintwise, from corpselike.

Since we are ethical beings, we were led inexorably to the notion that eating other animals, while necessary and desirable, should not be taken lightly; that human carnivores should pay dues in order to properly understand their relationship to their food. For example, they should raise, name, nurture then slaughter something like a lamb or a goat. Maybe, given the acreage and the feed, a steer.

Why?

Most contemporary carnivores are so distanced from the reality of their protein; they have lost touch with the fact the stuff once walked, flew or swam, and bled. Maybe even mated and produced offspring - little, sentient hunks of mobile protein. Most modern meat eaters purchase their flesh in plastic-wrapped packages. That distance allows too much to be taken for granted, too much to be ignored and, as a result, insult is too often added to injury when the flesh enters the kitchen.

I respect my meat. I paid dues. I was introduced to high-grade protein reality in the Cub Scouts, as a member of Pack 10, meeting bimonthly in the basement of McKinley Elementary School, Denver, Colorado.

The Pack 10 schedule was loaded with presentations made by our fathers. These presentations filled the calendar since there was a slew of us in Pack 10. After all, the troop trains bringing the boys home from WW II arrived at Union Station one after the other and, bingo, nine months or so later, in 1945 and 1946, a passel o' babies was born. The males became Cub Scouts nine years later.

Each of our dads was asked to address the pack on the subject What do you do to make a living?

Most of the presentations were incredibly tedious: accountants, dentists, shoe and insurance salesmen, appliance store owner.

My dad was a doctor. We went to his clinic and his nurses conducted the session. We never saw Dad.

Bob's dad ran a bakery and we traveled there in the early morning hours, when the odor of baking bread was at its peak. Bob's old man let us switch the giant mixers on and off a couple times, then used us to load several large trucks with boxes of "product."

Mike's dad, Whistles, did something he never clearly defined. It involved liquor - warehouses full of the stuff. I learned about barolo during trips to nondescript structures located near the Platte River. Whistles also showed us cartons of untaxed cigarettes stored in the trunk of his Caddie.

Yimmie's (Jimmy to the Swedish-impaired) father was a plumbing contractor and part-time TV repairman. He also played lead trumpet in a Swedish dance band. He allowed us to compare several types of flux, handle a variety of used tubes and touch the trumpet.

Chas didn't have a dad, and we didn't ask him about it. His mom, however, put on a display each year highlighting her talents as a parakeet trainer. We had to go to Chas' home, since the birds, at least fifty of them, flew about the house in a frenzy, depositing droppings on every surface. Including Cub Scouts.

But, after all the salesmen, doctors, contractors, mobsters and rabbis had made their pitches, it was Roy's dad, Roy Senior, who stole the show.

Roy and his dad had a distinct look to them. Imagine a drawing of homo erectus, crouched on a stunted frond growing off the side of the evolutionary tree. That's Roy and Roy Senior

Odd in appearance? you ask. Well, yes. Roy and Roy Senior were compact fellows, each with a head of thick, black hair and a hairline that cut straight across the brow, a mere half inch or so above a similarly thick, black eyebrow. Pay close attention here: Eyebrow — not eyebrows. This was a monobrow, an unbroken band of black hair , uniformly thick, running from one temple to the other, providing ample shade for small, rheumy eyes set in deep sockets.

In appearance, and in his presentation, Roy Senior knocked the other dads out of the ring.

Roy Senior choreographed the killing floors at a giant slaughterhouse complex out in Globeville and Swansea.

Yep, Big Roy was the man with the magic bolt, the Doctor Mengele of meat. Dressed in an apron marked by carnage, wearing knee-high rubber boots, Roy Senior was the conductor of the Beef Death Orchestra, the last presence sensed, oh-so-briefly, by countless cows.

Some of the Cubs refused to go on the field trip to the slaughterhouse and, no doubt, they are now among those who purchase hunks of flesh at the market without due attention to reality. Some took scared and fled the scene to the parking lot to sit trembling on the back seat of a late-model Chrysler. Some got sick.

Me, I found it fascinating, a clear analogy: cattle walking in single file through an ever narrower chute into a dead end (pardon the pun) where boom! ... the lights go out. What once had cloven hoof and chewed the cud was on the way to Porterhouseville.

For the brave few, the tour was instructive. Monobrow Senior took us from the moment of existential truth through the coldly efficient processing phase, the carcasses reduced to primals in the blink of an eye, the various organs removed, taken off for esoteric preparation. We saw the ruthless work done by knives, saws, hooks, the whole arsenal.

It was compelling stuff for a little fat guy with a craving for beef. Who needs a cartoonish illustration of the steer to show where the chuck is located when you can see the real thing removed from the bone?

Now, why relate this to you?

Because, without contact with the baseline reality in the carnivore food chain, i.e. death, there is a good chance injustice will be done to the food several stops down the line. The demise of an animal should be attended at least once, so the sacrifice can be honored. If the consumer is aware of the concrete fact of one life ending to sustain another, the preparation of the flesh will be respectful, perhaps even thankful.

The slob who waddles into a grocery store, picks up a hefty chub of ground up cow, takes it home and nearly vaporizes it in pan, in oven or on grill, is insulting the animal's gift. For crying out loud, an entity was murdered and its remains rest in that chub!

Most of these klutzes stagger out of the store with their wad of protein and proceed to thoughtlessly transform it into something unspeakably awful like sloppy joes, or they add it to the contents of a box of chemical-riddled Ground Up Cow Helper. They do the same with chicken, overcooking hormone-saturated poultry parts, caking them with industrial coatings, drying them out, rendering them tasteless, mere fuel.

Raise, then kill the darned bird, and maybe you'd have a different attitude when preparing it for consumption.

Bottom line, it ain't real food if it can't bleed, but it shouldn't bleed if it is ticketed for a graceless destination.

That's why I'm going to pause this week before I cook a prime porterhouse and tell it how much I appreciate the fact it is with me in the kitchen. I will assure it that the preparation will be respectful, that it will become much more than mere fuel, that it will bring pleasure to those who consume it.

There'll be no grilling this beauty to a cinder, no slathering it with some god-awful sugary sauce that burns and gets nasty when exposed to heat. Nosiree. The porterhouse, thick as all get-out, will be cooked so as to highlight its inherent beauty - the essence of beef, flavor and texture brought to the foreground, the surface browned, the interior medium rare, each bite cloaked with the best of bernaise.

This baby is going to be aged several days in the fridge to remove moisture from the meat, rinsed and dried thoroughly, then coated with a film of olive oil, seasoned with salt and a serious amount of freshly cracked black pepper. On to the super hot grill it goes for six minutes or so on each side then it is nestled in a hot, heavy pan and it goes into a 400-degree oven until the meat feels just a bit this side of medium rare. (Use a thermometer if you must, but you can tell how well meat is cooked by touching it.)

Out the meat comes and it is wrapped in aluminum foil while the incidental goodies are assembled. The bernaise is boated, a decanted muscular red is poured and continues its dance with Mr. Oxygen. I'm thinking roasted asparagus will be swell alongside the porterhouse (and, like the meat, liberally doused with bernaise), the stalks trimmed and, if necessary, peeled, then coated with olive oil, seasoned and roasted on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until just tender and sweet.

When all is ready, I'll again thank my noble bovine buddy who gave me a precious gift, perhaps tip the hat for what the grapes sacrificed on their way to a fine wine. I might even offer up a toast to Roy Senior who, I am told, is now on the job in the eternal packing plant.

Eat flesh then, by all means. Especially you blue vegetarians and you nitwits who regard all animals equal to the human species. But do so with respect. Something had to die so you can live in accord with your engineering and enjoy your life all the more.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Dealing with the Wyoming ground squirrel

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

June 24 - Memorial celebration for Alden Ecker, 4-7 p.m.

June 27 - 4-H Chuckwagon Meeting, noon; Sportsfishing Project Meeting, 4:30 p.m.; Quality Assurance meeting for Livestock, 6 p.m.

July 1 - Colorado Mountaineers Club Meeting, 2 p.m; Goat Project meeting, 3 p.m.

Check out our Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and info.

The Wyoming ground squirrel (Spermophilus elegans) is one of six species of ground squirrels found in Colorado. Formerly called Richardson's ground squirrel, it averages 10-15 inches long and weighs 9-14 ounces as an adult. Its fur is generally a brownish smoke-gray, with a dappled pattern of cinnamon-buff. The underside of the tail is buff. Wyoming ground squirrels are found in Colorado, southern Wyoming, western Nebraska and Utah. The species occupies areas from 5,000 feet to above timberline in the north central and northwestern sections of Colorado. It prefers open sagebrush, grasslands and subalpine meadows.

Food habits and biology

Wyoming ground squirrels prefer green foliage, such as grasses, but also eat forbs and shrubs. When green vegetation becomes scarce, the squirrels eat dry grasses and seeds. They also eat insects, including grasshoppers, crickets and caterpillars, and scavenge eggs from ground-nesting birds. They construct and live in underground burrows. In brushy country, Wyoming ground squirrel burrows often are identified by a substantial pile of debris (sticks, rocks, sagebrush leaves) that covers the area downslope from the burrow entrance. Squirrels stay in their burrows at night and during the warmest part of summer days. The burrow is the center of a ground squirrel's activity.

The squirrels enter their burrows in late July or early August and hibernate underground until the following March or April. Males usually come above ground one to three weeks before the females. Breeding takes place one to four days after females emerge from hibernation. The young are born after a three- to four-week gestation period with two to 10 young per litter. Only one litter is produced each year. The young are weaned at five weeks and are above ground foraging by June. Density of populations can range from two ground squirrels per acre before young are born in the spring, to 20 or more animals per acre in early June when juveniles and adults are active. Predators include bullsnakes, coyotes, foxes, badgers, weasels and hawks.

Health risks

Ground squirrels are hosts for fleas and may act as carriers for bubonic plague. Plague is transmitted to humans via flea bites. Early symptoms of plague include swollen and tender lymph nodes, chills and fever. Early diagnosis and treatment is imperative. When walking through suspected plague areas, apply an insect repellent to socks and pant cuffs before tucking pants inside boots.

Economic damage

High concentrations of Wyoming ground squirrels can pose a serious pest problem. They compete with livestock for forage and can destroy food crops. The mounds of dirt that squirrels excavate to build burrows in hay fields can damage haying equipment and take fields out of production. Burrowing activity also can damage grasslands, golf courses and lawns.

Control methods

Several alternatives are available for Wyoming ground squirrel control. Landowners may use control methods themselves or hire a commercial firm.

- Shooting - Small, isolated colonies of Wyoming ground squirrels can be effectively controlled by shooting. Shooting lowers the population by removing individuals and disrupting their life cycle. However, if there are other colonies of ground squirrels nearby, individuals from those populations will migrate into the area where squirrels are being removed. For effective control of problem ground squirrels, a population must be kept under constant shooting pressure.

- Trapping - For small populations, wire-mesh cage traps can be set anywhere that squirrels frequent. Place traps on level ground within a few feet of burrows or other high-activity areas. Bait for several days with the door wired open to get squirrels accustomed to visiting the trap and unafraid of it. Wooden snap-type rat traps and modified pocket gopher traps also can be used.

Bait the traps with rolled oats, peanut butter, fruit such as apples, or grain, depending on what works best in your area and the time of year. If corn is used as bait, it should be cracked. Conibear #110 body traps are useful early in the season when the squirrels have plenty of green forage available and are not easily enticed to baited traps. Set the trap directly over the burrow opening to capture the squirrel as it emerges. The trap should fit directly over the entrance and not allow the squirrel to walk around the edge of the trap.

- Poison grain bait - Poison grain bait is the most practical method for controlling large numbers of Wyoming ground squirrels. Baiting is most effective at two points during the Wyoming ground squirrels' annual cycle: early spring, or late June to early July. In a year of average rainfall, begin poison grain control early in the spring, about one to two weeks after squirrels emerge from their burrows. Continue for one month or until vegetation turns green. Early control is enhanced by cold weather and minimal vegetative growth that makes bait more desirable to ground squirrels. As soon as green vegetation becomes available, bait is less accepted. To achieve successful control in early spring, apply bait when the entire ground squirrel population is active. If part of the population is still hibernating, baiting is not effective. Since females emerge one to two weeks after males, do not start baiting at the first sign of activity. Baiting also is not effective late in the gestation period or shortly after the young are born because females are rarely above ground then. Check the activity level of the population by trapping or shooting 10 or more animals and checking the ratio of males to females. A 1-to-1 ratio usually means that females are active and baiting is appropriate. Baiting in midsummer is common in Colorado. Bait after green vegetation is dry and dormant (sometime in June or July) but before squirrels disappear into their burrows to hibernate in late July to early August. Bait acceptance is high in June and July because Wyoming ground squirrels are eating to build fat reserves for winter. In a very dry spring, control can continue from April until July because of the scarcity of green vegetation. Two percent zinc phosphide is the only legal grain bait for control of Wyoming ground squirrels in Colorado. Bell Laboratories' ZP Rodent Bait AG, Liphatech's Ridall-Zinc and Hacco's Zinc Phosphide Oat Bait and Pellets are 2 percent zinc phosphide baits labeled for use in Colorado. Zinc phosphide baits are labeled for use on rangelands, non-crop areas such as lawns, ornamentals, golf courses, parks and nurseries, and non-crop rights-of-way. Liphatech's Ridall-Zinc is not registered for use on ornamentals and parks, whereas Bell's ZP Rodent Bait AG and Hacco's Zinc Phosphide Oat Bait and Pellets are not registered for use on non-crop rights-of-way. Prebaiting with untreated, steam-rolled oats, barley or cracked corn (depending on bait used) two to three days before baiting improves bait acceptance. On rangelands, apply prebait and bait by hand in a 6-inch bait spot near each active burrow. Place no more than 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of bait per spot. Do not place bait in the burrows because squirrels forage above ground and are wary of any food found in the burrow. Apply bait only after all or most of the prebait is eaten, and only in areas where prebait is consumed. In non-crop areas, apply prebait and bait by hand near each active burrow or runway. Place bait (no more than 1 teaspoon per burrow) on the grass and allow it to fall to the ground. Do not put treated bait in piles.

Two-percent zinc phosphide manufactured by Liphatech can be broadcast on non-crop rights-of-way. Prebait with rolled oats, barley, or cracked corn at a rate of 4 pounds per acre two to four days prior to baiting. Broadcast bait in 20-foot swaths (this varies depending on the bait being used) using hand or ground-driven equipment. Do not broadcast near homes or water, or on roads. Zinc phosphide is a slow-acting toxicant that can be absorbed in small amounts through human skin. Wear rubber gloves to avoid contact with the chemical. Take extra care to avoid breathing zinc phosphide dust. Zinc phosphide baits are classified as restricted-use pesticides. This classification means that landowners must obtain private certification from the Environmental Protection Agency before they can purchase or use these products. Obtain certification information from your Colorado State University Cooperative Extension county office. Because product labels vary among manufacturers and change with time, carefully follow current product labels. Bell Laboratories' ZP Rodent Bait AG is approved for use from July through December on rangelands but doesn't have a seasonal restriction on other areas. Liphatech's Ridall-Zinc is recommended for use from April through June on rangelands and when broadcast on non-crop rights-of-way. All other uses are permitted year round. Hacco's Zinc Phosphide Oat Bait and Pellets do not have a seasonal use restriction. Apply poison bait only once per year. Surviving squirrels from the first treatment sometimes become ill after eating bait. Consequently, these animals will become bait shy and further treatments are unsuccessful.

Use of poison baits according to label directions usually results in an 80 to 90 percent reduction in Wyoming ground squirrel numbers. Poor results after baiting usually are due to improperly placed bait, failure to prebait, presence of green vegetation, or inactivity of a portion of the ground squirrel population. Diphacinone (Ramik Green), strychnine, and 1080 grain baits are no longer legal for use on Wyoming ground squirrels in Colorado.

- Fumigants - Use fumigants when additional control is required. Aluminum phosphide and gas cartridges are registered for use in Colorado. Trade names for aluminum phosphide include Phostoxin, Gastoxin and Fumitoxin. Aluminum phosphide is classified as a restricted use pesticide and gas cartridges are classified for general use. Aluminum phosphide emits a poisonous gas (hydrogen phosphide), whereas gas cartridges produce a suffocating gas primarily composed of carbon monoxide. Fumigants are most effective when used in moist soils in early spring.

To use aluminum phosphide, insert one to four tablets (usually one) as far back into the burrow as possible. Then insert a wadded newspaper and plug the opening to the burrow with moist soil or a plug of sod placed grass-side down to form an airtight seal. The wadded newspaper prevents the fumigant from being covered and may delay ground squirrels from digging out before the tablets activate. Aluminum phosphide appears to provide the best control when soil temperatures are above 60 degrees F. To use the gas cartridge, punch at least five or six holes in one end with a nail or ice pick. Insert the sharp point part way and rotate it to loosen the contents so the cartridge will burn more rapidly. Insert and light the fuse. Once the fuse is burning well, gently slide the cartridge as far back into the burrow opening as possible. Immediately plug the opening with moist soil or a piece of sod placed grass-side down to form an airtight seal. Do not cover or smother the cartridge. As a rule, gas cartridges do not give satisfactory control if the soil is dry.

The hydrogen phosphide gas produced by aluminum phosphide tablets is toxic to all forms of animal life. Exposure through inhalation produces symptoms such as a pressing sensation in the chest, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and a rapid onset of stupor. Expose affected people to fresh air and provide immediate medical attention. For more information how you can become licensed as a Private Pesticide Applicator contact my office at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds or call 264-5931.

Record book judges needed

The Archuleta County 4-H Program needs two more Livestock record book judges. One will work in the horse division and the other will be placed to accommodate an increase in one of the other livestock divisions. Anyone familiar with 4-H and livestock who would like to volunteer as a record book judge is welcome to help at this year's county fair.

The judging is a two-part process: interviewing the 4-H member then judging the 4-H record book. The interview process takes place at the Archuleta County Fair, Sunday, Aug. 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We provide breakfast and lunch for judges.

If you are interested in judging this year, call Pamela at the Extension office, 264-5931.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Get ready for annual High-Tri Triathlon

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist`

Yep, it's that time of the year again, when the word "triathlon" creeps into everything I say. E-mails and phone calls start early in the spring; they come from everywhere, from folks interested in participating in a triathlon here in Pagosa Country.

Did you know the recreation center hosts an annual triathlon? Most of you do, but we have a steady stream of newcomers who may not know.

This is no ordinary triathlon, either. It is the Pagosa Lakes High-Tri and now in its 13th year.

It begins 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, right here at the recreation center. The triathlon starts out from the recreation center parking lot with a 7.2 mile run on residential roads and forest trails on the rim of Martinez Canyon. Then you transfer to a mountain bike for two loops of the same course, in reverse direction from the run - ending up at the recreation center where the final leg, a half-mile swim, takes place.

At this point, you may be asking, "Why would I want to do a triathlon?" Why not? The event will help you discipline yourself to train in order to increase your endurance, stamina and overall conditioning. Besides, when asked what you do for recreation, you can say, "I'm a triathlete." It sounds a lot better than "I'm a couch potato." Who says there's no hope for couch potatoes, even if you really are one?

This is a challenge in which many can participate. You can compete as a single and do all three legs by yourself - an enormous undertaking for a couch potato - or split it two or three ways by getting a team together.

For information and help getting started, contact the center at 731-2051. If you are interested in competing on a team but do not have one, the center can help you put a team together. You can pick up a course map and check out the route. The single-track portion on the rim of Martinez Canyon is currently rough from springtime horse traffic, but over the course of the summer will get pounded out smoother from use.

Race information and registration is available online. Visit the PLPOA Web site at www.plpoa.com.

PLPOA newsletters will be mailed out the end of this week. So, barring a national postal service strike, your copy will be in hand early next week. Read the newsletter thoroughly - the ballots to vote for directors to fill two vacancies, a proposed amendment to the articles of incorporation and a lake use survey for Lake Hatcher require your attention and response.

 

Obituaries

Floyd Lewis Bramwell

Floyd Lewis Bramwell, 91, died Monday, June 20, 2005, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs. He died of natural causes.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, June 25, 2005, at 2 p.m. at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Pagosa Springs. Pastor Aaron Hatfield of the Seventh-day Adventist Church will officiate.

Burial will occur following the service at Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa.

Floyd was born Sept. 27, 1913, to Jake and Hattie Bramwell. Dr. Mary Fisher delivered him at the Bramwell homestead, which was located seven miles down the San Juan River, south of Pagosa. He was one of 11 children: Edwin Jake, Buriel Esther (Dutton), Lois May (Kinser), Carl Redburn, Margaret Bell (Montroy), Floyd, Bessie B. (Stephens), Opal March (Turner), Ernest Jim, and Muriel Dolly (Chapman).

His father, Jake, came from Madison, Ind., via rail to Denver. Jake left home at the age of 9 to find his future alone. He began working as a teamster bringing in granite stone for the Colorado capital building. Later, he rode into Archuleta County on horseback where he worked as a logging teamster for several years. Here he met and married Hattie Fisk. Hattie came from southern Kansas and was working in one of the logging camp cafes. Jake and Hattie were some of the first homesteaders in the area.

Floyd attended grade school in Pagosa were he excelled in math and enjoyed playing basketball for the local team. He married the love of his life, whom he met in the third grade, Jenny Virginia Amyx, on May 27, 1940. They usually dated on horseback, holding hands as they rode along. Floyd wanted Virginia at his side as much as possible, from playing with family to working on the ranches, including breaking horses. They were inseparable.

Prior to their marriage, Floyd was rodeoing along with his ranch jobs and was considered one of the best bronco busting cowboys around. He won several local championships where he roped and rode all the rough stock. In 1933, he won a silver cup and a championship bridle. In 1935, he won the trophy for Best All Around Cowboy and again in 1939 earned the privilege of keeping the coveted gold plated trophy for all time. Just for fun, when riding a rodeo bronc, he would spur the horse on one side of the neck with both spurs and then swing to the other side with both spurs. He reported that food on the work ranches was slim sometimes so he would eat a dozen eggs for breakfast. He said it was not unusual for a rancher to give him a raw bronc to start a cattle drive and he would have it "broken" by the time they got the cattle from the ranch to the railroad for shipping.

Floyd and Virginia had four children: Constance "Connie" Loyce, Douglas Rex, Floyd Gary and Marvel Lynnette. This was a family that worked together and knew great love. Floyd would saddle all the horses for a family evening ride and every night Virginia tucked the kids in with Bible readings, prayers and read good old books written by Curwood and Zane Grey and sang their favorite songs.

Floyd was skilled in many areas including being a horseman, rancher and heavy equipment operator. He was foreman for the At Last Ranch in the '40s and the Red Ryder Ranch in the '50s. Floyd and Virginia were some of the first licensed Colorado outfitters and guides, beginning their business in the '50s. He was Pagosa Springs Chief of Police in the '40s, often making rounds on horseback - earning the nickname "Mounted Police." He and his family lived at the Colorado State Highway Camp on Wolf Creek Pass where he helped keep the roads safe, including plowing snow for several years in the late '50s. He later worked for the town as street commissioner from January 1961 to 1975, retiring at the age of 62. "Locals" still recall how he kept the whole town plowed out in the winters , like they have "never seen since." If a big storm blew in, he just worked day and night to keep everyone open. He took great pride in doing a good and honest job. Floyd never called in sick for work. Throughout the years, Floyd has shod most of the horses in Archuleta County and "broke" many horses for pay.

After "retirement" from the town and county, Floyd and Virginia continued ranching on the Shoestring Ranch (34 years) located on Mill Creek Road. They also continued running their own outfitting and guide business every summer and fall out of the Bruce Spruce Ranch (25 years) located at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass. At the ages of 73 and 75, they sold their business and relocated to a new home in the Arboles area. When their health failed, they took up residence at Pine Ridge Extended Care facility in 2000.

Virginia and Floyd helped finance the building of the current Seventh-day Adventist Church. Floyd's and Virginia's love, admiration and respect for each other, their love of the mountains, their horses, their children, family and friends along with their love of God were the bonds that kept their lives so bright and strong.

He is survived Virginia Bramwell (spouse) of Pagosa Springs; Douglas Rex (son) and Flora Bramwell of Bloomfield, N.M.; Floyd Gary (son) and Faye Bramwell of Pagosa Springs; Marvel Bramwell (daughter) of Reno, Nev.; grandchildren Pamela Sue and Richard Foxworthy of Colorado Springs, Dayton Kirkham III of Colorado Springs, Forest Lewis and Cortney Jean Bramwell of Pagosa Springs, Kelly Suzanne and Jason McMillian of Bloomfield, N.M., Dustin Mark Bramwell of Bloomfield, N.M.; great-grandchildren Nikki Wilson, Cody Kirkham, Ryan Kirkham, Justin Kirkham, KaCey Rhodes, Meygan McMillian, Marcus Bramwell, Issac Bramwell and Sierra Bramwell; and great-great-grandchildren Virginia and Floyd Wilson.

 

Nelle Williams

Nelle Leola Williams died March 26, 2005, in Orange, Calif., where she had been living the past few years. She was born Feb. 11, 1907. Nelle and her husband, Earle, moved to Pagosa in June of 1979, and she made Pagosa her home for almost 20 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, Earle, and a son, Earle, Jr. She is survived by a daughter, Lesta, and two sons, Ralph and Lou, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

While in Pagosa, Nelle was active at the senior center and in several sewing groups. She was a member of the Community Bible Church where she and Earle were the unofficial nail and wood gatherers each day after the workers finished working on the church while it was being built. They were given a big wooden carving thanking them for their untiring work.

She was an outstanding croquetier and quilter. A neighbor, George, reports that she hated thistles and while using a cane, she would be out digging them up. Her neighbors, George and Kermit, remember Nelle as loving kids, cats and cookies, and several friends have declared she made the best brownies and lemon bars of anyone in the county. To know Nelle was to love her. Her legacy was never to criticize anyone. She is missed by her many friends in Pagosa.

 

Vic White

Vic White, 63, passed away Friday, June 17, 2005, in Kingman, Ariz. He was born April 29, 1943, in Arkansas, to Frank and Elizabeth White.

He is survived by his daughters, Jolene and Elizabeth White, and one grandchild, all of California; two sisters, Rosie and Anita; seven stepchildren, two of Pagosa Springs, Dawnie Wood and Cody Nelson; and five step-grandchildren, of Pagosa Springs.

Vic served his country honorably. In 1959, he served in the U.S. Army Airborne 101st, 506 Artillery. 1962 through 1965, he served two tours in Vietnam and was honorably discharged in 1965 with the Expert Badge Sniper Vietnam ribbon.

He moved to Old Tucson in 1966 and worked as a stuntman in High Chaparral, Wagon Train and Gunsmoke.

In 1973, Vic moved to Pagosa Springs and worked for several outfitters as a packer and guide. He was one of the first volunteer ambulance drivers for Archuleta County. He was very active in the Colorado Mounted Rangers and search and rescue for many years.

Vic's hobbies were hunting, fishing and horseback riding. He will be missed by many friends and remembered for his sense of humor and loving, kind and generous nature.

The family of Vic White invites his friends to a memorial celebration pot luck, 1 p.m., today, at the Aspen Springs Saloon, formally Paul's Place.

 

Marlene Coffey

Marlene Coffey passed away at her home on June 10, 2005. She is survived by her husband, Greg Coffey, and her daughter and son-in-law, Katrina and Doug Schultz. A memorial service will be held Sunday, June 26, at 2 p.m. at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Pagosa Springs Humane Society or Mercy Hospice Care.

 

Memorial celebration for Ecker

The family of Alden Ecker invite you to share in a memorial celebration of his life 4-7 p.m. tomorrow 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

 

 Business News

Clear your calendar, the Fourth is on the way

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Can you feel the holiday excitement in the air?

It is certainly encouraging to see the lodging facilities more full and the restaurants busy. But just wait everyone, the three-day Fourth of July weekend is shortly upon us.

Let's go over some immediate events, then look at the highlights for the Fourth. We will have a full-page ad reviewing the events. You may want to tear this page out and save it to plan your weekend, especially if you have family and friends visiting.

Song and dance

Tomorrow, at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, the talent of two guitarists will have you mesmerized. Double Play: Classical Gypsies will perform a repertoire of classical French, Eastern European and even bluegrass music. Advance tickets are available at the Chamber for $12 for adults and $7 for students. Ticket prices at the door increase by $3 each. The concert will start at 7 p.m. The church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. Don't miss this talented duo from Santa Fe.

Then we move back into the local pool of talent with five performances of the Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical "Oklahoma!" I think the Music Boosters just keep taking on bigger and better projects and keep outdoing themselves. "Oklahoma!" will be performed July 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Tickets for all shows may be purchased at the Plaid Pony and at the door for $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $6 for students and children under 18. This American music classic will be chock full of song, dance and theatrics. Whether you fit this show into your holiday schedule or save it for the following weekend, don't forget to take family members and friends with you and show off some of our local talent.

Last chance to purchase your advance tickets to the Auction for the Wildlife Park Animals to be held Saturday, June 25. Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. at the Wildlife Park. The evening will be filled with live and silent auctions, raffles, door prizes, hors d'oeuvres, beverages and live cowboy musical entertainment. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Please support this great facility and help these wonderful animals and the people who know so much about them and take care of them.

Fourth festivities

With the Fourth falling on a Monday this year, there will be days of fun-filled activities for locals and visitors alike. Here is the first draft of the activity list:

- Thursday, June 30: Patriotic Sing-a-long at the Community Center, 7 - 9 p.m. A musical evening to get your patriotic juices going. It will include a children's participation portion, John Graves, the Mountain Harmony Ladies' Barbershop Chorus, "Pagosa's Heroes" - a power point presentation - and more.

For more information call Mercy at 264-4152. This will be an evening that will make you proud to be an American.

- Friday, July 1: The start of the Town Park carnival. Don't worry if you can't make it this night; it will be here until July 4.

The evening will bring the dancers in our community out to the Western Heritage benefit dance with Tim Sullivan and the Narrow Gauge playing at the Extension building and rocking the evening. Tickets are $25 per couple, $15 per individual and $5 per child with a parent. The music starts at 8 p.m. and goes until midnight. Come on out and scoot your boots to this great live entertainment.

- Saturday, July 2: Calling all shoppers. This is the start of the Park to Park Arts and Crafts Festival in Town and Centennial parks. The shopping extravaganza will start at 9 a.m. and you can shop till you drop, as long as you drop by 6 p.m. You can then start up the next day. Don't forget that craft booths will be located in both parks as will food and drink vendors.

Saturday evening will be filled with laughter and screams of excitement coming from the Red Ryder Arena as the Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo series begins at 6 p.m. There will also be children's mutton busting each day. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under.

- Sunday, July 3: Pagosa Springs High School reunion gathering. Starting at 6 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Middle School gym any graduates, friends, family, faculty or otherwise can attend and see who's who in the local graduate world. Catch up with alumni or find out where long-lost fellow graduates might be. You can even go to this gathering after the rodeo; the reunion will go on until midnight.

- Monday, July 4: Fourth of July parade. Lineup begins at 9 a.m. at the high school parking lot and the parade begins at 10 a.m. Forms may still be obtained from the Chamber of Commerce and they need to be mailed to the Rotary Club or turned back into us by Wednesday, June 29. The theme is "Celebrate Independence" and make sure we wave all those flags.

Fireworks festivities: This year the fireworks display will take place at the high school sports complex. You can come out and get a good spot with your picnic goodies or purchase food items at the complex, starting at 5 p.m.

From 6:30 to 7:30 there will be games and activities for the kids.

One of our favorite bands has held a spot on its busy schedule to play for the fireworks festivities. Enjoy the Hot Strings starting at 7:30 p.m. As these young men gain popularity around the country, we appreciate their loyalty to our community and their willingness to entertain the masses here in Pagosa. They will play until about 9 p.m. after which time the fireworks will commence. After the oohs and aahs cease, you can hang around the sports complex and enjoy the evening since there will be more music to listen and dance to.

The weekend will be busy and fun-filled. Join us for just a few or for most of the events that Pagosa has to offer. Should you need any questions clarified, give us a call here at the chamber and we will try to answer them correctly or point you in the right direction.

Members

We have only one new member this week, and I have been instructed to say very little. We welcome Philipp Merillat to our Chamber. Philipp is an oil painter with an interest in local southwest Colorado scenery. If you need more information on Philipp's art work, contact the Chamber.

We welcome back an artist in another medium, Lili Pearson, and Shutterbugs Photography. A few of Lili's pictures have graced the Chamber ads we have placed in magazines. Lili's photography includes landscape and nature photographs featuring Pagosa and nearby environs. She welcomes photographic assignments, does conservation matting and framing, and also has beautiful photographic notecards available. Come by the chamber to see some of Lili's work or give her a call at 731-5159.

Opening up the patio now for the summer and serving up the Sicilian-style Italian food is Frankie's Sicilian Ristorante and Bar. Frankie's has a full bar, both alcohol and espresso, daily specials, and entertainment on the weekends. The fresh Italian food is from some of Frankie's family recipes. For reservations or information, give them a call at 264-1800.

Although only a small local office is in effect, we appreciate the providers of our natural gas system, Kinder Morgan for renewing. If you have questions about natural gas service, call (970) 874-4432.

New to the area, but with 20 years experience, is Dr. Leo Milner, DC, whose office is located at Touch of the Tropics. Dr. Milner offers force and non-force chiropractic techniques and he is one of the few who still makes a house call. After he works on you, you can enjoy a massage while you are at Touch of the Tropics. Call 264-6471 for an appointment. Take care of those injuries or bad backs and see Dr. Leo for some work or preventative advice.

The law office of Mary Deganhart also renews this week. Mary has a general civil practice with an emphasis in real estate. With an office located across from the downtown City Market, Mary is thorough, knowledgeable and timely in her services. Give her a call at 264-2118 to arrange a consultation.

Rounding out the renewals this week is an out-of-town business, but one that is very well known to this area. We welcome back the Rio Grande Railway Preservation Corp, aka the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Open from late May to October, the train usually runs every day except Fridays. Traveling over gorges and through narrow areas, this steam engine mode of transport is a must for the train enthusiast. Book your reservation for those family members or friends visiting by calling (888) 286-2737.

Just a few more business notes. There will be a couple of open houses this weekend. Mountain Snapshots will celebrate its new location at the Corner Stone Building at 189 Talisman Dr. next to Higher Grounds Coffee Saturday, June 25, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The businesses at the new Citizen's Bank Plaza on the west side will also have an open house. Go by and see Jem Jewelers, Snips, the Plaid Pony (you can get your tickets to "Oklahoma!"), and the Get Away and sample some great frozen custard. And speaking of frozen stuff, if you are in the downtown area, you can now stop by Kid and Kaboodle and enjoy some Durango Creamery ice cream. This great addition comes right in time for the summer heat. Good luck to all these businesses in their new location or with new products.

Start planning your busy schedule now. I know it gets crazy here, but that's Pagosa over the Fourth of July holiday. And we love it here!

Biz Beat

Piedra Automotive

Susan and Bill Schwab own and operate Piedra Automotive, at 505 Piedra Road.

Piedra Automotive offers customers automotive and truck repair service, quick lube, brake and muffler repair. The Schwabs are announcing the opening of a new Custom Muffler distributorship. The service features a state-of-the-art pipe bending machine that provides for quick and easy fashioning of tailpipes to fit virtually any car on the road. The machine allows technicians to perform the intricate work needed for custom-dual jobs with the process taking only minutes - affording substantial savings that are then passed on to the customer. Piedra Automotive can offer lifetime warranties on mufflers and pipes, right down to the clamps, and provide custom items to local garages at prices lower than those at parts stores.

Piedra Automotive is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday with towing and road service available around the clock, seven days a week. Call 731-3335.

 

People
Cards of Thanks

Bergon

I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the San Juan Historical Society board for hosting the arborglyph exhibit. It takes many hands with many talents to have such a show.

Deep appreciation goes especially to Phyllis Wheaton, Catherine Frye, Wendy Adams, Maggie Inskeep, Shari Pierce, Karen Cox, the Pagosa Ranger District and Jeff Schaupp. Thank you.

Peggy Bergon

 Softball team

Thanks to all our community sponsors and all those who helped make the chance to play in the recent Gunnison tournament possible: Lone Pine Custom Millworks, Envelopment Architecture, Vaughn Johnson, DDS, Pagosa Dental, Whispering Pines, Pagosa Baking Company, Harold Thompson, DDS, The Tile Store, Paint Connection, Silver Creek Galleries, Wolf Creek Interiors, Jim and Nancy Struck, Pagosa Electrical Service and Ears 2 U.

Pagosa Diamondbacks

 Patton

On June 8, David Voigt, our dear friend from Phoenix, was visiting us in Pagosa Springs when he was the victim of a near drowning in Lake Forest.

We are delighted to report that after nine days on a ventilator, in a medicated coma, he is now off that ventilator and fully conscious. Words cannot express how thankful we are for the people who assisted saving Dave, even at the risk of losing their own lives. Our heartfelt gratitude to Dick and Deidra Fortier. There is no doubt in our minds they are angels trying to masquerade as mere humans.

There were others who stopped and provided assistance, and hundreds who lifted David up in prayer. We don't know all your names but do know that without you David might not be here today. A special thanks to Ken and Joanie Hearing for all they did for Dave's wife Peggy, someone they had never met before. The employees of the emergency medical team, the Pagosa Family Medical Center, the sheriff's department and the citizens of Pagosa Springs are top notch and reassure us that moving to Pagosa Springs was the right thing to do. God bless you all.

Tim and Judy Patton

 

Anniversary

Kern

Earl and Billie Jo Kern will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary June 29, 2005.

 

Locals

Kristin Whitney Bishop

Kristin Whitney Bishop Marshall graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, May 2005. Kristin earned a bachelor of arts degree in environmental studies, a bachelor of arts degree in EPO biology and a master of arts degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. Kristin, a 2000 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, is now residing in Mukilteo, Wash., with her husband Adam Marshall.

 

Sports Page

Racers zip through town in Race Across America

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

If you have seen bike racers zipping through town this week, chances are they are competitors in the annual Race Across America.

Twenty-six individual riders and about 30 teams are participating in this year's event, which involves riding 3,052 miles across the country, averaging about 350 miles a day.

Don't expect too many hotel visits: with sleep counting toward the overall time, the riders balance every moment of rest with their daily performance during their eight to 10 day sprint across the nation.

The RAAM is an all-out, start-to-finish race. Riders can choose when and where to rest, with the best riders sleeping only a couple hours each day. By the time they pass through Pagosa on their third day, they will have already traveled over 800 miles.

The race was created in 1982, when four people lined up their bikes in Santa Monica and raced to New York. Lon Haldeman won the original race in less than 10 days. Since then, the event has grown and is considered one of the most brutal ultra-endurance races in the world. According the Ultracycling.com Web site, only about half of the starters finish the race each year. The current record for an individual rider is eight days, nine hours, and 47 minutes.

The first person to ride across America on a bike was newspaperman George Nellis, who followed railroad routes across the country on a 45-pound high wheel bicycle with no gears and pedals attached directly to the front wheel. He made the crossing in just under 80 days.

The race passes through Pagosa Springs this year after several years on an alternate route. You might think the rider's high point of 10,857 feet, crossing the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek Pass, is one of the most difficult sections of the race, but apparently not so. The first day's climb to California's Tecate Summit involves the route's longest continual uphill section of 4000 feet, while the last day across the Appalachian Mountains has the steepest grades, with continual elevation gain and loss.

Plus, once racers get over Wolf Creek Pass, they are blessed with the route's longest continual descents, beginning with a 70-mile cruise down to Alamosa. Then, after passing through the break in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, there's a 322-mile downhill section taking riders deep into Kansas which, although flat, is feared for winds that can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on their direction.

Rules require that a support car follow close behind the riders at night, so each rider or team will have a support crew driving nearby. Whereas solo riders must manage their time carefully to optimize rest, teams ride continuously and fellow riders take shifts sleeping and traveling in the support cars. Teams include two-person and four-person categories, with male, female, mixed and recumbent bike divisions. Twenty of the entrants are cycling to raise funds for, and awareness of charities, including the Anderson Cancer Center, the Denver Children's Hospital, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Solo cyclists began their race in San Diego Sunday morning, June 19, while the teams started on the morning of June 21. Most of the top 26 solo riders, including the only woman solo rider, Anna Catharina Berge, who made over 340 miles her first day, will pass through Pagosa Tuesday afternoon and evening, while the top team riders will come through town starting Thursday morning and continue to do so throughout the day. Give them a cheer as they pass through town.

First prize for individual riders is close to $25,000, with a $10,000 bonus if a record is broken. All in all, the riders will have passed through 14 states and gained and lost over 110,000 feet of elevation. The race is expected to finish June 27 in Atlantic City, N.J.

 

Pagosa golf team in second place

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association celebrated its June 14 league day with a stirring patriotic flag tournament.

Each player received a small replica of the United States flag decorated with a number equal to par for the course, plus her handicap. For example, a player with a 27 handicap had the number 98 (71 plus 27) on her flag. When the players reached their alotted number of strokes, they planted their flags at those spots. The eventual winners were those players who shot closest to net par or under.

After a 45-minute frost delay, the ladies were very excited to begin the day's event on the Pinon and Ponderosa courses. At the end of play, the flags dotting the No. 17 and 18 fairways and greens provided a panoply of color. And some of the players were very excited about still having their flags at the end of the round.

Lynne McCrudden captured first place with a 68, Carol Barrows was second with a 69, tied for third were Jody Lawrence and Marilyn Smart each with a 70, and in a three-way tie for fifth were Marilyn Pruter, Sheila Rogers and Katy Threet, each with a 71.

The association sent eight of its lowest handicap players to Cortez Conquistador Golf Club June 16 for team play. The Pagosa team garnered 32 1/2 points against Hillcrest Golf Club.

Representing Pagosa were Jan Kilgore, Barbara Sanborn, Marilyn Smart, Cherry O'Donnell, Lynne Allison, Jane Day, Loretta Campuzano and Josie Hummel. Marilyn Smart won one of the closest to the pin special events on the No. 16 hole - a 110 yard par 3.

The team is currently in second place, and will host the next match play event July 21.

 

Sportsmans Club hosts sporting clay shoot

The Upper San Juan Sportsmans Club will host another in a series of sporting clay target shoots at noon Sunday, June 26. The location for the shoot is 1.2 miles south of the fairgrounds on U.S. 84. There will be a sign on the green gate at the site. All clay target shooters are invited regardless of skill level. For further information call J.P. at 731-2295 or Nolan at 264-2660.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

The many benefits of parks and recreation

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

What are the benefits of parks and recreation?

What is a benefit?

According to the American College Dictionary, a benefit is anything that is for the good of a person or a thing. A benefit can be a walk in the woods or along the river for a weary adult. It can be the sense of exhilaration for the child who hits the ball with a bat for the very first time or makes their first basket. It can be the positive feeling of exhaustion that volunteers that have helped with an event feel at the end of the day. Or it might be that intangible sense of connection people feel when gathered with others to enjoy a fireworks display.

We can relax and enjoy the beauty of a sunset in the park. We can watch a musical performance at Town Park or spend time outdoors with family or friends. We can experience new activities or play sports. There are almost a limitless number of benefits we receive because of parks, open spaces and recreation.

Open spaces, parks and recreation provide opportunities for living, learning and leading a full and productive life, as well as act as avenues for purpose, pleasure, health and well-being.

Parks and recreation help you be happier, relax, conquer boredom, feel great, lose weight and reduce stress while helping you meet new friends and enhance relationship skills. No man is an island: we live and interact within our family, work groups, neighborhoods, communities and the world. Recreation and parks play an integral role in providing opportunities for these types of interactions. Parks and recreation builds family unity, provides child care, promotes sensitivity to cultural diversity, increases community pride, reduces crime, provides safe places for our children to play and increases property value.

The parks and recreation department provides and preserves parks and open spaces, enhancing the desirability of Pagosa Springs as a place to live and work, as well as contributing to the safety and health of its inhabitants. Americans who recreate frequently are notably happier with their lives than other Americans. Parks and recreation helps provide clean and safe parks and water, protects the environment, encourages use of outdoor areas for activities and fosters a sense of community pride.

Parks and recreation are not mere expenditures, but an investment in the future well-being of individuals and groups in Pagosa Springs, as well as in the continued viability of our community. Parks and recreation help attract new businesses, increase tourism, boost the economy, lower health care costs, decrease insurance premiums, reduce unemployment, boost employee productivity and generate revenue.

Everyone benefits. Many people in the world have somehow benefited from park and recreation programs at some time in their lives either directly or indirectly. The time has come to make the connection between past experiences and today's successes, yesterday's activities and tomorrow's physical and mental wellness, and today's taxpayer support and safe communities for our children and grandchildren.

So, whether you are an avid participant or occasional observer, enjoy the benefits. It's everyone's right.

Resources: National Recreation and Park Association, California Parks and Recreation Society and Advisors Marketing Group.

Youth soccer

Youth soccer signups 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. We made the change due to the cold October weather and the shorter days.

Pick up youth soccer applications at Town Hall after July 5 or go online at www.townofpagosasprings.com to download an application. Age groups are 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12 and we will attempt to form a new 13/14 group if there is sufficient interest. Call the recreation department with any questions: 264-4151 Ext. 232.

Rockies Skills Challenge

The Rockies Baseball Skills challenge is a baseball competition that allows youngsters to showcase talents in base running, batting and throwing with scores based on speed, distance and accuracy. The following athletes will represent Pagosa Springs at the regional Rockies Skills Challenge to be held in Pueblo, Sunday, July 17.

6/7 Division (boys)

First place - Ty Kimsey.

6/7 Division (girls)

First place - Ivy Amato.

8/9 Division

First place - J.J. Amato.

10/11 Division

First place - D.J. Lien.

12/13 Division

First place - Ty Vaivoda.

Umpires needed

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 just 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

Anyone interested in playing coed adult soccer should go the soccer field adjacent to the Pagosa Springs High School football stadium every Tuesday at 6 p.m. If you need additional information call the recreation department and have your name placed on our team lists.

Sports hotline

Information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department may be found by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to www.townofpagosasprings.com and going to the Parks and Recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated every Monday morning.

For additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151 Ext. 232.

 

Pagosa Springs Parks

Pace picks up at new recreation site

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The Town of Pagosa Springs, along with Archuleta County, is busy moving dirt at a pace that would make a rabbit nervous.

With the county road and bridge crew on hold due to lack of gravel and having some extra time to help out with the construction at the 5th Street recreation site, the timing was right for us to hurry up and start hauling topsoil.

We are in need of approximately 9,000 cubic yards of topsoil and as much clean fill as we can get. We need it to prep our area and get it to final grade prior to letting out irrigation bids. Final construction bids will be let out in the next couple of weeks.

Topsoil is a valued commodity in these parts and a gracious donation of 2,000 cubic yards by Aspen Village Partnership is greatly appreciated. The joint efforts of the town, county, school district, Rotary and GoCo (managing trust for the Colorado Lottery), are moving along smoothly as you read this.

It is a dream come true for many locals to be able to increase our local park space, and the donation of the 16 acres of land by the Pagosa Sanitation District helps make it possible for generations to come to enjoy another riverside park, one that includes turf area to field a soccer field and a youth baseball/softball field.

Get on board for a tour of the future site. Anyone wishing to contribute to the construction portion of this massive project is urged to call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231.

Fourth of July activities

All the departments in town are busy preparing to do their parts as we host the annual Fourth of July celebration.

This year, we have a few changes and some tentative commitments, but the show will go on. Thanks to the combined efforts of the police, parks and recreation, sanitation, street and maintenance crews, the public will have a July 4 experience that is second to none.

Parade - 10 a.m. Get into town before 8:30 to secure parking and beat some of the traffic congestion.

Park-to-Park Art Fair - sponsored by the Pagosa Area Chamber of Commerce, the fair stretches from Town Park along the Riverwalk to Centennial Park.

Carnival - across Hermosa Street from Town Park. It opens immediately after the parade.

Community picnic - sponsored by Kiwanis Club, 5:30-8 p.m. on the softball fields next to the high school. Parking is off of 8th Street and 5th Street; parking donation of $5 per car.

Games - great family-style games are set for 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the fields at the high school. This activity is organized by the recreation department.

Music - the Hot Strings are in concert at the softball fields 7:30 p.m.-dark. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

Fireworks display is at the sports complex, dark-thirty to 10:15. Enjoy a picnic dinner, music, fireworks and more music.

Dance music to follow the fireworks display - details to be announced.

Traffic - as of right now the Pagosa Springs Police Department is working on a plan for parking and for traffic to and from the sports complex. There will be officers at 8th Street and U.S. 160, at 6th Street and U.S. 160 and at Hot Springs Boulevard and U.S. 160. This will give us three choices for exits from the sports complex. If we stay within the designated flow patterns, traffic will be distributed evenly. This ensures traffic control with radio communication between officers. Please be patient and go with the designated flow patterns; you will be ahead of the game if you do.

Art in the park

Town Park is home to new carvings done by the sculptor Chad Haspel. If you have not seen the carvings of the eagles in town park, take the time to do so. You will not be disappointed.

Chad is 80-percent finished with a wildlife carving on Reservoir Hill. What once was a 75-foot pine tree, struck by lightning and considered a liability, is turning into a 14-foot carving of a mountain lion and two kittens. Approximately 12 more feet of the tree will be made into a bench and there will be wildlife carvings on the remainder of the stump.

It is definitely worth the hike up the hill to see this great piece of art. If you are elderly or can not make the hike, you can book a special trip by car. Call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231.

 

Editorial

This fertile ground

It is a great time to live in Pagosa Country. Heard last week: "Things are changing; we can't keep up, we can't deal with the pace." "There are too many new people, too much money, too many things happening." "Things are chaotic - all these issues, no clear answers." "No one is be leading the way; there are so many people who act like they know everything, but nothing seems to get done." One expression of concern after another. Chaos, too many suggestions, no concrete action.

The source of the comments is a situation in transition, a condition marked by flux and ambiguity .

Let us make the assertion here that chaos and ambiguity, the clash of conflicting needs and ideas (as long as the clash remains civil) are anything but negative. This is fertile ground from which new and productive ideas and systems grow. We are, in fact, blessed at this point in time in Pagosa Country to have the doors kicked wide open when it comes to determining how we will manage our future - a future that will continue to involve significant change, that will require us to deal with intense pressures created by growth, an accelerating economy (for however long it lasts) and a menu of needs seemingly written anew each week.

Some local governments are dealing with the situation better than others. Our health services district board is taking steps toward a solution of what, at one time, seemed to be a hopeless situation.

The Town of Pagosa Springs is moving to create a master plan and develop tools and processes for dealing with the pressures of change and development. Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District is undertaking significant capital improvement projects. Work at the airport is going forward.

County government, on the other hand, is falling behind. There are massive problems overwhelming the system, many of which were decades in the making - roads and planning to cite two. Concern and controversy, and a lack of leadership, are prominent. All the while, county officials are bombarded by packs of know-it-alls and groups demanding unrealistic remedies.

But, chaos is providing opportunities for change. This week's SUN includes an article concerning a move to create Home Rule government for the county. Proponents assert a change in governmental structure, a change that creates a more efficient, effective system to deal with problems in the county, is key to solving our woes. They ask us to consider that difficulties such as roads and land-use regulation might be handled better with county government reorganized, the structure adjusted to the reality of the situation.

Are solutions to our current problems stymied by the limitations of a three-person county commission? Is it realistic to assume three elected officials can represent the various communities of interest in the county? Would five be a better number?

Is there an advantage to having a more corporate style of government, one in which county officials who are now elected - sheriff, treasurer, clerk, assessor - are hired by and accountable to the commission? Are there revenue advantages possible with Home Rule?

Would intergovernmental cooperation with the Home Rule municipality be easier and, somewhere down the line, could combined government or, at least, combined departments, be a possibility?

The first steps are being taken to promote the idea of Home Rule government for the county. Petitions are being circulated and, if successful, will lead to a vote on a charter commission in November. If that is successful, the commission could present a charter to voters next spring. If that succeeds, we could vote on a representative as soon as November 2006 and have that government in place in 2007.

Will this work for us? Do we have time?

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Case of mistaken gesticulation

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

There is something mysterious about people talking on the telephone.

They don't just talk, they make hand gestures, arm gestures, waves and twists as they talk.

I've seen people doing it who do not do so when they talk to you in person, people who probably do not realize they are doing it.

As I write this, there is a woman sitting in an SUV outside our office window talking on a cell phone - arms waving and fingers pointing. At least she's not on the road while doing it.

But, I've seen in recent days a driver with a cell phone in one hand, one hand on the steering wheel - barely, and a dog in his lap with its head out the window. Thank God that driver wasn't gesticulating to the person out of view on the other end of the telephone call.

I will admit that I sometimes use my hands when talking, in order to describe the size of an item or the direction something was taking.

I don't think, however, that I utilize hand movements when talking on the telephone - other than those necessary to take notes on the comments of the person I'm talking to.

Of course, there are the rare moments after an unusually absurd telephone conversation when the pen drops from hand and body motions indicate incredulity at the comments recently heard.

Waving and finger-pointing, however, don't make my trait list.

One wonders why such actions are taken. Do the people making them feel their verbal commentary is enhanced by the feeling of relief they get from physical accompaniment?

Do the listeners on the other end gesture back without being seen?

It might make a good research study for our federal government. You know it, of course, that august body which regularly appropriates funding for all forms of studies about deviant behavior, not only of humans, but of all life forms.

Well I remember the infamous appropriation for study of the mating habits of the African tsetse fly several years ago. It raised a furor among Americans more interested in research on causes of and cures for major disease such as cancer.

Still, I'm not sure there was arm waving and finger pointing over the telephone like there was in the public hearings on the funding request. (It was, by the way, approved. I don't, however, remember ever hearing any conclusions from the study conducted).

The point is that we all should understand our own needs in terms of physical relief of tension. Pulling off the road to talk on a cell phone is an excellent idea, particularly if you're given to gesticulation.

After all, a passing driver or a pedestrian at a walk light might interpret the moves as something more than enhancement of a verbal point to the cell phone caller's listener.

It just might result in a return of hand signs and, before you know it, a case of road rage has erupted on the streets of Pagosa Springs.

And then there's the officer called to find out what happened. Who's going to tell the representative of law enforcement the whole thing was a case of mistaken gesticulation?

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of June 25, 1915

Neither the mayor nor the town board has authority to grant grazing permits within the town limits, and if they have done so they might just as well repeal the loose stock ordinance and let 'er go as she looks. The inside town limits belong to one citizen as much as another insofar as privileges are concerned.

The Si Eldridge sawmill is being moved this week to a set on the Jack Keane place on the upper Piedra for the purpose of sawing local ownership timber.

How many of our farmers know that one pound of butter fat in their cream makes approximately one and a quarter pound of butter?

Work has been suspended on the Rosa steel bridge during the high waters of the San Juan.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 27, 1930

Buck O'Neal, Roy Brown and Earl Mullins made a trip to Red Lake in the Conejos range last week and returned with one of the finest assortments of fish ever brot to this city. They caught about twenty rainbows, the largest of which weighed 8-1/4 pounds and was hooked by Roy Brown. The second largest weighed 5-3/4 pounds and the next seven averaged about four pounds each. The heavyweights were on display at the Piggly Wiggly store and attracted a great deal of attention.

The Chromo well, located on the C.C. Fitzhugh ranch, will be spudded in next Sunday by the Webber, Slade, Hackathorn and Garnett Oil Co., and everybody is invited to be on hand when the event takes place.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 24, 1955

A monument to the memory of Colonel Albert H. Pfeiffer and his duel to the death with a giant Navajo Indian was officially dedicated last Saturday afternoon. The monument was built on land donated by the Hersch family and is located about six miles west of town on Highway 160. The state highway department built a circle drive and fenced the portion and it now makes a very nice roadside picnic grounds.

Archuleta County and the San Juan Basin lost one of their leading citizens and early day pioneers when David Hersch passed away Saturday, June 18, at a Del Norte hospital. In his years as a resident of this county, Mr. Hersch became one of its leading citizens and most influential men.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 26, 1980

The Pagosa Hot Spring property has been sold to a group of investors, but no announcement has been made as to plans for the property other than that it will be developed. Land involved is a large piece of property between the Light Plant Road and the San Juan River and south from the Pagosa Spring Inn. Purchasers of the property are listed as Howard E. Ironstone and William C. Brown. The property was owned for many years by the Lynn family until it was sold to Sam Arnold and Associates, and then later to Bob Curvey.

Local high school rodeo cowboys, David Gallegos and Sonny Arndt, have been chosen as two of Colorado's four high school rodeoers to compete in the national championships at Yakima, Washington.

Features

Cara-a-vanners give a hand up

By Sarah Smith

SUN Intern

Pounding nails and hauling lumber under the blazing sun isn't exactly what comes to mind with the words "summer vacation" or "retirement". After all, isn't that supposed to be when you get a break from working?

But volunteers from across the country are doing just that, and they couldn't be happier.

Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing decent, affordable housing for families around the globe, enlists volunteers internationally to help make these houses a reality. Thousands of volunteers are spending their retirements and vacations traveling around the country in RVs, building homes for families in need.

"They used to call themselves gypsies," laughs Dale Secord of Bismarck, N.D., "but now we go by RV care-a-vanners."

Several of these care-a-vanners have made a two-week stop here in Pagosa Springs to help with the construction of a home in the Lake Hatcher area.

Terry Jackson, vice president of the Archuleta County Chapter of HFH, reported the home is the 14th built here since 1994.

"We've given over 50 children good affordable homes here in Pagosa," Jackson says proudly, as he watched the care-a-vanners hammering on the roof early Thursday.

This group of care-a-vanners is lead by Sue and Kirby Prickett of Las Cruces, N.M., who act as an interface between the local affiliate and the care-a-vanners. The Pricketts are in their 10th year of volunteering for HFH, and they are full-timers, meaning they are on the road and building houses year-round.

"We knew after we retired we couldn't just stop living," Sue says. "We found out about Habitat for Humanity, and now we're serving other people, plus having fun and pounding nails."

Jean Holloway-Burkhart is also a full-timer, but she has no home base; she is on the road all year. Holloway-Burkhart jokes that, as the oldest volunteer at the site, she can't lift as much as she used to, but she still pulls her weight, helping cut and measure the siding for the house.

"I like to build, and I'm doing something to give back," she says. She cites generosity as the main attribute everyone volunteering at the site shares, something "you don't see as much of anymore. I think we need to return to that. It leads to neighborliness and a sense of helping each other out; what goes around comes around."

Neighborliness and camaraderie are undoubtedly present at the building site. Despite the summer heat, the volunteers smile and joke as they work. And as midday nears, laughter replaces the din of saws and hammers as everyone gathers in the shade to share a quick lunch.

"On Monday you may know only one person, but by the end of the two weeks, you're a community," says Secord. He and his wife Cari have been volunteering for Habitat since their retirement in 1999.

"I don't know about you, but I always worked behind a desk, and now look at this," Secord said, gesturing to the enviable view of Pagosa Peak framed by the bedroom windows. "With many jobs, it's hard to see results. Now after only ten days, the results are right here. It's great to see a family get a house."

But this house isn't finished yet. And while there is a lot of work to be done, Dale Piepenbrink says that's half the fun of volunteering.

"It's the whole aspect of building something from the ground up," says Piepenbrink, "that makes it good to get back into it, to get the mind active."

Piepenbrink, who the care-a-vanners jokingly call the "loco local," moved to Pagosa from Loveland after retiring last year. He says volunteering for HFH is a "goal that I'd set for myself. I knew when I was done with my career I would give back to the community."

Providing families with safe and comfortable houses is definitely a rewarding way to give back to the community while having fun, and the care-a-vanners encourage others to do the same.

"In my opinion, there are a lot of people just sitting around who would love doing this if they came out here," says Kirby Prickett. "It's great exercise and a great feeling." And although many of the care-a-vanners are retired, he says younger people can also reap the benefits of volunteer work. "If they've got a day off, they might come out here and find they'd rather be doing this."

As the youngest volunteer at the site, Kathleen Pladson, 18, of St. Cloud, Minn., agrees wholeheartedly. With three houses under her belt, she already has more experience than several of her coworkers. Kathleen and her parents, Barb and Paul Pladson, became involved with HFH when they decided to incorporate a build into a family vacation.

And while hard labor is a far stretch from what most would consider a summer vacation, the Pladsons' "vacation builds" are certainly enjoyable (not to mention far more fulfilling than the average beach getaway). And, of course, it's not solely about work for the volunteers; they're mixing in as much fun as possible into their visit to Pagosa.

"We went to The Springs last night, and we're planning on some hiking and some white-water rafting," says Kathleen.

But for now, it's back to work; the roof and the siding need to be finished before this group leaves and another group takes their place.

Unfortunately, the care-a-vanners don't actually travel together in a caravan - at the end of the week, they'll go their separate ways. Some will return home while others will move on to help build other houses. But the care-a-vanners are sure they'll see their new friends again.

"We'll run into each other at other builds," says Sue Prickett. And while they won't be around to see the house finished, the care-a-vanners will take with them the knowledge of what just a little bit of generosity can do for others.

"Every morning before we begin, we join hands to show our purpose," says Secord. "We're not giving a hand-out,"- he raises his hands above his head - "we're giving a hand-up. Someone gets a hand-up."

If you are interested in volunteering, call David Smith at 264-6647. To make a donation or for more information, call 264-6960 or visit the Habitat for Humanity Web site at www.habitat.org.

Healthy communities director joins Region 9

Economic district

Laura Lewis, current executive director of Operation Healthy Communities, will join Region 9 Economic Development District Monday.

She will assume the role of assistant economic development planner and director of transportation planning.

Lewis will work with community groups and local governments in the Four Corners area in developing strategic economic development plans.

She will also assist the Southwest Regional Transportation Planning Commission on a current planning and project prioritization.

 

Lasso Coalition will hear effect on Latinos of secondhand smoke

Lasso Tobacco Coalition, a tobacco prevention and education community group, will meet 11:30 a.m. Friday in the downstairs Larkspur Conference Room at San Juan Basin Health Department, 281 Sawyer Drive, Durango.

Representatives from the Latino Research and Policy Center will present their findings on the disproportionate exposure to secondhand smoke faced by Latino workers.

Rep. Mark Larson will be there to discuss his sponsorship of the Clean Indoor Air bill and its status for next year's legislative agenda.

The public is welcome. A light lunch is provided. For more information or to RSVP, contact 247-5702, Ext. 227.

 

Pagosa's Past

Order to build Fort Lewis ignored scarce materials

By John Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Fort Lewis was established in Pagosa Springs late in 1878. The log buildings of the fort stood on what is now the main business block of the downtown area.

As you might imagine, starting a fort from scratch in an undeveloped area presented complications. Running an army is not limited to concerns about shooting and being shot at.

By late 1878, Pagosa Springs and the surrounding countryside was no pristine wilderness. The coming town even had a post office, authorized and established in June of 1878. Nevertheless, the support needed by soldiers could not be found nearby. We get a picture of the complications by reading some of the military correspondence connected with Fort Lewis.

For example, the following order dated Oct. 18, 1878, from the commanding officer of Fort Garland, Colo., contains instructions for the "Commanding Officer, Cantonment Pagosa Springs, Colo." Imagine what you would have to do to carry out these orders.

"Sir: You will without delay select the most suitable ground and proceed to erect buildings for your cantonment, the necessary work to be done by the labor of the troops.

"Requisitions for lumber and shingles will be made agreeably with estimates enclosed, in open market, delivered upon the grounds - payment to be secured through Post Quartermaster at Fort, Garland, Colo.

"Plans and specifications for building are herewith enclosed - these may be modified should circumstances make it necessary, and other buildings will be erected after those estimated for are complete, as may be necessary. Stables and corral and shops are to be built of logs, and of dimensions to suit the requirements of the cantonment.

"It is necessary that this work be pushed ahead as rapidly as possible that the work may be completed before winter."

Sounds simple and matter of fact, doesn't it, especially when you read the next communication dated Oct. 19, 1878, from the same source.

"Sir: Under authority granted in the enclosed letter from Headquarters: District of New Mexico, you are authorized to purchase in open market deliverance at cantonment such amounts of corn and hay as you may find needed for use at your cantonment.

"These stores should be secured as soon as practicable.

"Great care should be taken that purchases are made at the lowest possible figures.

"It is supposed that you may need to make immediate purchase of one hundred thousand pounds of corn and from fifty to one hundred tons of hay. Payment will be secured through Post Quartermaster at Fort Garland."

Turning aside for a moment from the need of procuring supplies, we see the beginning of a problem which contributed to moving Fort Lewis further west just a couple of years after starting it at Pagosa Springs. These instructions dated Oct. 29, 1878, also emanate from the commanding officer at Fort Garland and are obviously a response to a letter sent from Fort Lewis to Fort Garland.

"Sir: Referring to your communication of the 21st instant stating action taken in the case of Mr. J.W. Warren to restrain him from building upon the one mile square at Pagosa Springs reserved for public uses by the President.

"I am directed by the commanding officer to inform you that your action is approved and he desires that you restrain one and all from further settlement within this limit until the matter has been authoritatively determined by higher authority.

"Your communication with enclosure had been forwarded requesting immediate action.

"Please furnish Mr. Warren with a copy of this communication."

Now, I wasn't there, but I read complications into these letters. First, the letters concerning purchase of supplies to be paid for at Fort Garland. The time is October, a serious mountain range separates Fort Lewis from Fort Garland, and snow can come any time. What are the chances of a farmer collecting his money any time soon? Crops are not being raised yet in Archuleta County. The nearest sources are Tierra Amarilla, 50 miles to the south, and Animas City, 60 miles west. There are no paved roads.

Concerning Mr. Warren, he wasn't the only settler digging in on the one square mile set aside by the president for a fort.

For more on how the frontier Army addressed these problems, see next week's column.

Pagosa Sky Watch

Look for convergence of Mercury, Venus and Saturn

By James Robinson

SUN Columnist

Moon: On June 23, the moon will have recently moved from full to its waxing gibbous phase. At this time about 96 percent of the moon's visible surface will be illuminated.

This makes skywatching near the moon difficult, but it may be a fine time to observe the many features on the moon and to consider its origins.

The current theory of lunar creation was proposed in 1975 by William K. Hartman and Donald R. Davis. Their theory suggests that when the earth was still young, (about 50 to 100 million years old), it was hit by a huge ball of rock and metal about the size of Mars. Astronomers call this type of object a "planetesimal." The collision sheared off a hunk of the earth's rocky surface and this hunk, along with parts of the planetesimal, flew off into space, ultimately coalesced, and became locked into orbit around the earth.

There are a few alternate theories regarding the moon's creation, yet after an examination of rock and data samples gathered during the Apollo landings and following analysis of data gathered by the Lunar Prospector probe in 1998 and 1999, Hartman and Davis' theory continues to dominates the field.

Planets:

If you have been watching the west/northwestern horizon just after sunset, you will have noticed three bright objects moving slowly together. These are the planets Mercury, Venus and Saturn.

Between today and June 29, these three planets will achieve their tightest grouping, about two degrees apart, or about the distance of two fingers held up with the night sky as a backdrop.

All three objects are easy to see with the naked eye, but Venus, the dazzling morning or evening star, outshines all other stars and planets in the night sky. It can be found in the middle of the grouping and can be used to help locate the two other planets in the cluster.

Mercury, named for the Roman messenger god, is often difficult to see due to its proximity with the sun. It can be somewhat difficult to locate, but is most easily visible in the evening during early July and November. This week's convergence offers prime viewing and easier location by using Venus as a marker.

Mercury will be the lowest of the clustered planets and can be seen to the right of Venus.

Saturn, the largest planet in the cluster, looks like a bright golden star. Later in July it will disappear behind the sun, but during the convergence, it can be found above and to the left of Venus.

Constellations and Stars:

Ursa Minor, the Little Bear, will be almost directly overhead tonight, at 10 p.m. Pagosa time. One of the most commonly known constellations, it contains a group of stars called the "Little Dipper."

The Little Dipper is what astronomers call an "asterism," a distinctive group of stars with a common name that can be found within a larger constellation. (The Big Dipper in Ursa Major is another example of an asterism.)

The most famous star of the group is Polaris, the North Star, a magnitude 2.0, yellow-white supergiant 431 light years away.

To find Polaris, first locate the Big Dipper. Follow the two stars on the end of the Big Dipper's cup (Merak on the bottom and Dubhe on the top) up, out of the cup, to the next bright star.

Navigators have used Polaris for centuries to determine north, and mariners could plot their latitude on the sea by calculating the angle of Polaris above the horizon.

 

Weather

 

 

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

6/15

80

45

-

-

-

6/16

79

40

-

-

-

6/17

77

37

-

-

-

6/18

78

37

-

-

-

6/19

79

38

-

-

-

6/20

86

40

-

-

-

6/21

85

50

R

.09

.09