September 1, 2005

Front Page

County approves $16,800 search

for administrator

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners has approved funding to hire an independent executive search team that will work to recruit candidates for the position of permanent county administrator.

The decision came during Tuesday's meeting, when the commissioners voted two-to-one to accept an executive search proposal from the Greeley, Colo. based Mercer Group Inc. Commissioner Robin Schiro cast the dissenting vote.

According to documentation provided by the firm, nine of 13 recent searches undertaken by the group have occurred in Colorado towns and counties.

Commissioners Mamie Lynch and Ronnie Zaday and Bob Jasper, interim county administrator, said after reviewing the proposal they are confident in the Mercer Group's experience and are pleased with the firms ability to begin the search immediately.

All three said time is of the essence because Jasper's current tenure as interim county administrator is scheduled to expire in December. Under the proposal, the firm will begin immediately with December as the targeted completion date.

According to documentation provided by the firm, the search process will include: interviewing the board of commissioners to determine a profile of the candidate they desire, regional and national recruitment efforts, resume review, candidate screening, background investigations and will assist the county in the interview and negotiation processes. There is also a guarantee built into the proposal.

Hiring an executive search firm is not without its costs, and the price tag for the proposal was listed at $13,300 plus a maximum of $3,500 in expenses.

And this was Commissioner Robin Schiro's chief concern and reason for dissent. "$16,800 is a substantial amount of money for this county to spend on this sort of position," Schiro said.

Schiro advocated first hiring a county human resources director then using that position to spearhead an in-house search effort to locate a permanent county administrator.

Jasper said the human resources position had not been filled yet. Commissioner Lynch said the county is conducting interviews for the position and the position should be filled by November.

But Lynch, Zaday and Jasper concurred that, with Jasper's departure scheduled for December, timing is critical and waiting for the arrival of a human resources director is not advantageous to the county.

"Time is of the utmost importance," Lynch said.

"It is now Aug. 30," Zaday said, "and there is no time to waste."

Zaday said, considering the timing, it is inefficient to run nationwide newspaper ads. She advocated leaving the task to the experts.

"The Mercer Group has extensive experience hiring city managers and county managers," Zaday said.

Jasper said he stuck by his recommendation that the commissioners approve the proposal. He said getting the right candidate is of paramount importance for the county.

"Be very careful on who you select," Jasper said. "This is one of the most important appointments you can make."

In other business:

The commissioners approved petitions for the annexation of county roads by the Town of Pagosa Springs. The roads included in the annexation are: Cemetery Road, Eaton Drive, Talisman Drive, Village Drive and Pinon Causeway. For complete legal descriptions and parameters of the individually annexed roads contact the town.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Bob Moomaw asked the commissioners to address the various rumors circulating on the airport runway situation, airfield closures and runway repairs.

Rob Russ, the county's airport manager said the airfield is currently scheduled for closure Sept. 12 until Oct. 12. He said updates can be found on the Internet and that a meeting with construction contractors Wednesday would help clarify things.


'We have tools to build a 20-year road plan:' McKee

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A recent work session brought county officials, staff and residents together to begin breaking down the issue of county roads and their maintenance to its essential elements.

"We're backing up and taking the issue one step at a time," said Bob Jasper, interim county administrator.

To this end, the Aug. 25 meeting focused on identifying and describing the roads that currently exist in the county and those constituting the current county road system.

Jasper said this is an important first step as the county works toward the creation of an official county road map and ultimately in dealing with maintenance issues.

"It is important for a county to know what is in its road system," Jasper said.

And he was clear from the outset, the meeting was about identifying roads in the system and not about maintenance.

"We're breaking the issue down, no decisions will be made today," Jasper said.

After his opening remarks, the session was turned over to Public Works Director Dick McKee who walked those in attendance through the basics of easements, rights of ways and the public, private and county roads that currently exist within Archuleta County.

McKee said the gathering of information and the map that information ultimately produced was the product of months of staff research.

McKee said Sheila Berger, an asset technician for the county's road and bridge department, worked extensively on the project.

Berger said she had dug through stacks of legal documents, some dating back to the 1930s and 1940s, in order to complete the map. And she said the research is ongoing.

"The deeper we dig the more bizarre it gets," Jasper said. But Jasper added that looking for someone to blame isn't productive and county staff and the board of commissioners are intent, instead, on seeking solutions.

While providing solutions was not the primary goal of the work session, Jasper did offer some guidelines for the near future. First, he suggested tightening up planning approvals and the issuance of building permits on projects where road quality is questionable and until updated road standards and design criteria are in place.

Jasper said, "We need to get real clear about our standards. We don't want to keep making mistakes."

McKee said that is where his department will play a vital role. He said in addition to the mapping project, road and bridge is working to complete county road design standards that should help guide future development and would keep substandard roads from being added to an already burdened system.

"This is the number-one priority right now for our engineering department," McKee said.

In a conversation after the worksession, McKee explained engineering staff have been working for almost a year on developing design standards and have made significant progress toward completion. He said the document had gone through extensive review internally and by local engineering firms, the county attorneys and the public and the result is a comprehensive, nearly 150-page document. The document provides breakdowns of road classifications and specific design guidelines for each class.

McKee contrasted the revised design standards against the county's current guidelines. He said the current document mandating county road standards numbers about 40 pages and takes a "one size fits all" approach to design criteria and standards.

McKee said the updated standards and improved mapping would both play vital roles in the county's road planning future.

"We have all the tools in place to build a 20-year road plan," McKee said.

McKee said a set of criteria would also be developed for accepting public and private roads into to county system.

Until that criteria is developed, Jasper and McKee said private roads should not be maintained by the county.

McKee said when the county maintains a private road it is technically trespassing.

And Jasper added, "It is illegal to maintain private roads or private rights of way. It is a gift of public funds."

Jasper told the group of about 20 residents that last Thursday's session would be the first in many similar upcoming sessions. Although the process might seem tedious, he said, it is important for residents, not just the board of county commissioners, to stay informed and involved in the process.

"This is a major issue and it deserves some time. It is important that the community understands and stays involved in those decisions," Jasper said.

The date for the next county road work session has not yet been determined.


Business licensing plan gets first reading Tuesday

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A proposed ordinance that would institute business licensing in the Town of Pagosa Springs moves to its next phase Tuesday when the document will undergo a first reading by town staff and the Pagosa Springs Town Council.

The Sept. 6 reading comes following the presentation of a draft of the ordinance to the town council in early August, followed by a public hearing Aug. 16.

During the hearing, town residents and business owners listened to statements from town staff and representatives from the Pagosa Fire Protection District advocating institution of a business licensing program.

Town Manager Mark Garcia and Town Clerk Deanna Jaramillo said licensing would be useful for various reasons: from enforcement of sales tax collection, to a business' adherence to building, design and signage regulations, to issues of public safety.

As described by Jaramillo, licensing would require and ensure that an applicant receive all the necessary permits and inspections before a business license is issued. A licensing program would create a checklist of sorts and this, Jaramillo said, would streamline the pre-opening processes. She said it would also help to eliminate having to go back and correct a problem, such as a non-compliant sign, that might have been caught in the first place. Jaramillo said a chief example of this scenario is public safety or fire hazard issues created when an existing business is sold or transferred and a change of use occurs.

Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams addressed this problem and described how changes in activity may ultimately create a fire hazard or public safety threat.

Grams said he advocates business licensing because the process would create a trigger for a fire inspection before the new activities were underway. During the inspection, he said, problems could be identified and corrections could be made before the new business begins operations, rather than after the fact, which he said can sometime be problematic and result in the closure of the business.

"It's a matter of public safety," Grams said.

After Grams' statements and during the public comment session, Bart Mitchell said he supports business licensing because the data collected could prove to be a useful economic tool. But Mitchell also urged the council to exercise "due diligence on the fee schedule."

In an earlier discussion, Jaramillo said the licensing fee would be nominal and would be based upon the number of employees a business had. The ordinance, as presented during the hearing, did not contain a fee schedule, although it did break businesses into four classes based on the number of employees.

At press time, Jaramillo said a fee schedule had not yet been determined.

Todd Shelton echoed Mitchell's comments and said business licensing could be a useful tool to help understand the economics of the town but he urged caution in the drafting of the document.

Shelton said he is concerned that expressed in the language of the ordinance, as presented at the hearing, existing businesses could be forced into compliance with all state and federal regulations and codes, namely the Americans with Disabilities Act, before they could obtain a license.

"Many businesses don't meet current codes. How will that be addressed?" Shelton said.

Shelton asked the council to consider reworking the language of the ordinance to allow for existing businesses to be "grandfathered" in.

"Try to make it with the least amount of impact to existing businesses as you can," Shelton said.

Jaramillo said the town's building codes already address these issues, and the ordinance, as written, will not present a new and greater obstacle to current business owners.

Although Mitchell and Shelton expressed a degree of support for the ordinance one speaker was more skeptical.

"What is it that you're trying to track, let's get it on the table, but don't make it overly burdensome on the business," he said.

The first reading of the ordinance will occur 5 p.m. Tuesday, at the town council meeting room at Town Hall.


 Inside The Sun

Road Rage in Archuleta County

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

You wouldn't expect road rage to be too common in Archuleta county, but a couple of weeks ago, that's what happened on U.S. 160 near Pagosa Springs.

The suspect, Douglas Robinson, 51, was driving about 40-45 mph east of Yellow Jacket Pass around 6 p.m., when he allegedly began threatening cars that were passing him by waving a large double pronged hunting knife with a black handle out the window.

Robinson has a Montana address and has a warrant for failing to register for sex offenses in California, according to Det. George Daniels of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department.

At least two motorists called 911 to report the incidents. Based on a description of the vehicle, the suspect was stopped and questioned around 6:20 p.m. near Pagosa Lodge, but deputies were unable to contact the victims at that time, and after a fruitless search for illegal weapons, Robinson was released, said Daniels.

Shortly thereafter, the sheriff's department was able to contact the victims, and it was determined there was enough evidence to release details about the suspect for a possible arrest. Law enforcement agencies in nearby jurisdictions were contacted.

A Colorado State Patrol trooper stopped Robinson in Monte Vista and the Archuleta office was contacted around 9 p.m., said Daniels. Det. T.J. Fitzwater then drove to Monte Vista and made the arrest. Daniels reports the suspect was cooperative with Fitzwater.

According to Daniels, the suspect claimed initially that the knife was a small folding knife, but "after a couple days in jail," confessed to possessing the larger knife and claimed he threw it out the passenger side window of his vehicle somewhere near Chimney Rock.

Members of the search and rescue team have made two attempts to recover the knife by sweeping the area alongside the highway, but have been unsuccessful in finding the weapon.

It seems that, despite the warrant, the state of California wants nothing more to do with Robinson. Daniels said California will not extradite and is "apparently not interested in filing charges."

Robinson is currently in jail and is charged with possession of a weapon by a previous offender. Robinson has a previous felony conviction, said Daniels.


South's hurricane - spawned problems spur call for our help

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

No matter how bad your lot, someone always has a tougher problem to solve.

Weather has been great here and is expected to remain so.

Not so on America's Gulf Coast where hundreds of thousands are still waking up in water, wading out of demolished dwellings, and two major efforts are under way to seal gaps in levees in New Orleans.

Now why someone would build a city up to 17-feet below sea level has always been a mystery to me. But the Mississippi basin system has lasted much longer that most would have expected.

The people of Louisiana, Mississippi are part of the same family of blood banks as is southwestern Colorado ... and they have issued a plea for more blood, particularly O+ and O-.

You can turn the sunny days of your September into a brightener for the ravaged south. Call now to be a donor.

Call the Durango office at 385-4601 to make an appointment or go online at

If you're really interested in the forecast for the upcoming week, including Labor Day, it is very easy to remember:

The forecast for every day in the coming week reads almost exactly the same; 20 percent chance of isolated thundershowers with highs ranging from 76-83 and lows consistent in the middle 40s.

Labor Day will be just the same according to National Weather Service forecasters in Grand Junction.

While the South was being inundated last week local observers saw Pagosa Country nearly dry as a bone. Four hundredths of an inch of rain fell in the week, bringing the final monthly rainfall total to 2.62 inches. The week's rainfall, if you missed it, came on Friday and Saturday.

The high temperature recorded locally last week was 81.4 at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday; the low 39.9 both Monday and Wednesday between 6:30 and 7 a.m.

Highest wind recorded in the period was 25 mph at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

A far cry, no matter how you view it, from what was transpiring on the Gulf Coast.

Cole, Goebel vie for LPEA District 1 seat

The 2005 Annual Meeting of the members of La Plata Electric Association, Inc. will be held 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. at Pagosa Springs High School.

Registration will begin 9 a.m. with the business meeting at 10:30 a.m. A complimentary lunch will immediately follow the meeting.

The principle items of business will be the election of one director from each district and the presentation of LPEA finances and business goals.

The following candidates were nominated by petition for three year terms:

District No. 1:

Harry M. Cole

Richard W. Goebel

District No. 2:

Election cancelled due to only one nominee for the position. Davin Montoya, incumbent, is declared the winner.

District No. 3:

Vijay Bastawade

Jeffrey A. Berman

David L. Rice

District No. 4:

Election cancelled due to only one nominee for the position. Ed Zink, incumbent, is declared the winner.

Annual reports were included in the May 2005 issue of "Colorado Country Life," LPEA's monthly magazine. Copies will also be available at the annual meeting. Presentations by the LPEA chief executive officer and board president will update LPEA's financial condition through July 31, 2005.

District 1

Harry M. Cole

Harry M. Cole of 3025 County Road 988, Arboles, is the incumbent candidate from District 1. Cole was born in Dulce, N. M. and attended school in Pagosa Springs.

Cole operated his own grocery store in Pagosa Springs for 12 years, he was a Citizens State Bank vice president for eight years, and he worked as a bus driver for the Pagosa Springs School district. He is past master of the Pagosa Springs Masonic Lodge, an IOOF member and past president of the Pagosa Springs Lions Club.

Cole has served on the LPEA board 20 years and is a member of the System's Operation and Planning Committee and the Western Energy Services of Durango, Inc. Board of Directors.

"I hope to serve one final term," he said, "to ensure that the projects the board has put in place continue to benefit LPEA members."

Richard W. Goebel

Richard W. Goebel, of 107 Redwood Drive, Pagosa Springs, is a new candidate for District 1.

Richard was born in Denver, and holds bachelor's degrees in theology and human resource management. He is a retired railroad engineer.

He served on the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of Colorado and was a participant in the 2005 Sustainable Resources Symposium at Adams State College. He is a Pagosa Springs parks and recreation youth baseball coach and vice-chair of the Archuleta County Democratic Central Committee.

Goebel received the Archuleta School District Outstanding Volunteer recognition in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He also was recognized for Outstanding Contribution to the 2001 Pikes Peak Challenge.

"My desire," said Goebel, "is to keep pace with growth, provide renewable energy alternatives and keep costs down to meet our future rural energy needs."

Nov. 1 balloting will be by mail; seven issues seen

Archuleta County's Nov. 1, 2005 election will be a coordinated mail ballot election.

This means that special districts' questions may be included with any questions/issues from the state, county and the three school districts.

So far, voters are looking at seven ballot styles. It makes more sense to mail the ballots out rather than to have the responsibility fall on the polling precinct judges.

For mail ballot elections, the law allows for ballots to be mailed to "active voters" only. That means you must have voted in the 2004 general election or registered after that date to receive a ballot in the mail.

After the 2004 general election, continuation post cards were mailed out to all voters who did not vote in that election. If you did not return the second half of that card, as requested, you were not continued as active and may not be receiving a ballot in the mail.

Currently, the county clerk's office files indicate 6,487 active votes and 2,298 voters who did not vote in the 2002 and the 2004 general elections.

If you do not know what mailing address that office has for you, or if you don't know whether or not you are registered, please call the office.

It will make it easier if you know you did not vote in the 2004 general election, you know you did not return the card, and you wish to vote Nov. 1, 2005, to make sure your current mailing address is on record and that your status is "active."

If you are not registered, you will need to do so.

The last day to register to vote or to make any changes will be Oct. 3, 2005.

If you act now, it will help ensure that you receive your ballot by mail. If you have questions, please call 264-8350 and he county clerk's will be glad to give you further instructions.


Special mass for 9/11 fire, police

All area police and firefighters EMTs and paramedics are invited to bring family and friends to a special mass for 9/11 officers.

The "Blue Mass" will be 8:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Personnel are invited to join others in uniform in remembering the police and firefighters and other public servants who so bravely gave their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

Local residents need not worry about Eminent Domain abuse

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

In a controversial decision in June, the United States Supreme Court broadened the ability for all levels of government to exercise their powers of eminent domain.

By a close 5-4 vote, the Court ruled that a local city government in New London, Conn., had the right to condemn Susette Kelo's and other individuals' waterfront homes in order to transfer the property to a corporation with plans to build an upscale commercial and residential area.

The Fifth Amendment of the constitution reads, "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." The Kelo v. New London case significantly expanded the government's power of eminent domain by broadening what constitutes "public use."

In the Kelo case, the "public use" which justified the condemnation of the private homes included the higher tax revenue that the developer's project would bring. Traditionally public use has been interpreted as making way for a public works project, such as a highway, a public school or a utility.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, one of the dissenting voters, pointed out that, with the Kelo decision, "Nothing is to prevent the state replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."

In Colorado, most eminent domain cases have been in the cities, where eminent domain has been exercised in large-scale urban renewal projects. House Bill 1203 was initiated in response to a Lakewood attempt to exercise eminent domain by condemning thriving businesses in order to transfer the property to a Wal-Mart. The bill limits eminent domain powers of local government entities in cases where the government intends to sell the land to a private entity, according to Mark Larson, state representative. But local governments continue to explore the legal boundaries of eminent domain, even in cases where public use seems clear.

In Telluride, the home-rule town government was temporarily thwarted last year in its attempt to condemn 570 acres of undeveloped private land outside of the town boundary to prevent potential development. The so-called "Telluride Amendment" (Section 6 of House Bill 1203) prevents local Colorado towns from condemning land outside their boundaries, regardless of the intended purpose, but Section 6 is being challenged on legal grounds. Telluride continues court actions to acquire the open space through their eminent domain authority.

In Silverton, Willy Tookey, San Juan County administrator, reports the county is threatening to condemn 1,600 acres of patented mining claims owned by Jim Jackson. Jackson, who had previously attempted to launch a ski resort business in Silverton, has filed lawsuits contesting that avalanche control in the Silverton Mountain Ski Area constitutes trespassing. Tookey believes it is in the best interest of the county to condemn the claims because of their impact on the county roads (CR 110 and CR 52) below Jackson's property, which are made safer by the avalanche control. Jackson has refused a county offer of $250,000 for his land, but Tookey said the county will attempt to negotiate further prior to beginning eminent domain proceedings. The move is expected to benefit Silverton Mountain Ski Area, but Tookey said that, if condemned, the land would remain as open space owned by the county.

In Archuleta County, eminent domain was exercised in 1997 in a case that was clearly a public use project. Fifty acres of a large ranched owned by Roger Dolese was condemned to make way for the enlargement of Stevens Reservoir, according to Carrie Campbell, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District manager.

Currently the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board is in negotiations with four landowners, including the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, for further land needed for the enlargement. Campbell expects the negotiations to result in amicable agreements with just compensation given. She said condemnation "is not a pleasant thing," and does not see having to resort to condemnation for any of the current cases.

Pagosa Springs residents need not worry about eminent domain abuse. Mark Garcia, town manager, believes the issues in Connecticut with the Kelo case would never happen in Colorado. He said as far as he is aware of, the Town of Pagosa Springs has never exercised eminent domain and said, "I don't see in the foreseeable future using condemnation for any of our projects."

Archuleta County Commissioner Maime Lynch said, "To my knowledge, eminent domain has not been used in the county (by the county government)," and noted that in cases of public good, the county "has always been able to get easements."

She said condemning property is "not in my philosophy," but said that "if it should become necessary to obtain property for public use, such as a school or government building, I would consider it - but it would take a lot of consideration."

In response to the Kelo case, where private property was condemned and transferred to a private development, Lynch said specifically, "I would never support that."

Woman dies in fall from pass overlook

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Wolf Creek Pass overlook east of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160 is a prominent Pagosa Country landmark. Its spires soar high above the San Juan River valley and it is often a scene of great beauty and tranquility.

But it became a scene of tragedy Monday night when 32-year-old Jennifer LeFevre of Highlands Ranch, Colo., fell 450 feet from those spires to her death.

At about 6:30 p.m. Monday, members of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, Emergency Medical Services, the Pagosa Fire Protection District, Upper San Juan Search and Rescue and Mounted Rescue were dispatched to the site, following a 911 call stating a woman had either fallen or jumped from the overlook.

Pete Bonaise, who was visiting the area from Canada, said he saw LeFevre climb over the chain link fence that separates the parking area from the knife blade ridges, crumbling rock and sheer precipices of the overlook.

As LeFevre reached the top of the fence to go over, Bonaise said, she became snagged on the chain link and fell to the ground on the overlook side of the fence. He said he heard rocks clatter and watched as the woman got up and tried to brush dirt from the back of her shirt. He said she then walked out one of the narrow ridges and disappeared. He said he did not see if she had jumped or fallen, but added that she appeared intoxicated.

Dolly Martin, of Pagosa Springs, was visiting the overlook area with friends from Wisconsin when the incident occurred.

Martin said she and her two friends were walking on the short spur trail leading away from the parking area when they saw LeFevre on the wrong side of the fence. Martin said they called to the woman to come back over the fence because she was going to get hurt.

Martin said LeFevre ignored their suggestion, walked out the ridge and disappeared. Martin said the woman appeared intoxicated.

After examining the site and the possible trajectory of the fall, and considering the safety of the rescuers, Greg Oertel, director of Emergency Operations for the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, said they decided to begin the search for LeFevre from the bottom, near Wolf Creek Campground.

Oertel said search crews were able to access the area via the old highway that runs near the base of the overlook. After cutting some fallen trees for access, he said, crews were ultimately able to begin their search about 300 yards from where they ultimately located LeFevre's body.

Oertel said the body was located about 9:45 p.m. on a 70- to 80-percent grade. He said extraction on the slope was too risky to undertake at night and that approval was required from the Mineral County Coroner.

Oertel said LeFevre was pronounced dead at the scene and that she had taken a sheer fall of about 250 feet, then tumbled for another 200 feet. Oertel said alcohol was a factor in the incident.

Following the approval of the Mineral County Coroner Charles Downing, Oertel said the body was taken out.

Downing said LeFevre had family in South Fork, Colo. and that the family had been notified. Downing has ruled LeFevre's death as an accident, not suicide. He added that alcohol was involved in the incident and that an autopsy will be performed Wednesday in Colorado Springs.

"After carefully looking at all the evidence and talking to the witnesses, I believe the woman slipped and fell," Downing said.

Downing said he believed the woman had been under some stress and was perhaps worried.

"I'm not sure what part that played in the scenario," Downing said.


Second Mill Creek public meeting set

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The U.S. Forest Service has announced the second in a series of public meetings designed to tackle Mill Creek road issues.

The meeting will be 7 p.m., Sept. 13, in the Extension Building at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

It is an extension of a previous meeting held June 13.

During the June meeting the Forest Service and Mill Creek Road residents discussed maintenance issues and access problems. During the session Forest Service representatives heard citizen testimony and began collecting ideas for possible solutions.

While the first meeting was a more general, brainstorming-style session, the Sept. 13 meeting will take a more pointed approach.

First, the Forest Service will present a short-term proposal for helping residents deal with the road this winter.

Secondly, the Forest Service wants to continue the discussion of achieving the long-term goal of upgrading the road to an all-weather standard.

The section of road in question is a three-mile stretch that begins at the San Juan National Forest boundary, about four miles from the intersection of Mill Creek road and U.S. 84, and continues through the forest to private inholdings in the High West Unit 11, Mill Creek Ranch, Rito Blanco Ranch and Cimarrona subdivisions, all of which lie inside the national forest boundary.

According to the Forest Service, the road had been maintained, mainly snowplowed, for many years via informal agreements between Archuleta County and the Forest Service.

The Forest Service said the increased, all-weather usage had degraded the road and it had never been designed for such use.

As the county and the Forest Service feel budgetary constraints, the Forest Service urged the citizens affected to work with the agency and each other to seek creative solutions to the problem.

In a press release, District Ranger Jo Bridges urged all Mill Creek Road residents to attend. She said those who are unable to attend could send comments to the Forest Service via e-mail. For security reasons, Bridges asked that all email submissions be tagged with "Mill Creek Road," as the subject.


A holiday break for Wolf Creek

travelers; then all-night closures

Wolf Creek Pass will be free of construction delays during the Labor Day holiday beginning 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, with construction resuming 7 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.

That, however, doesn't mean you should plan to roar through.

During the holiday break, motorists can expect just one lane of traffic in each direction through the work zone east of the tunnel

The 10-foot width restriction for commercial vehicles will remain in effect.

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6, construction crews will resume roadway widening and blasting operations and motorists can expect the following travel delays and closures to last through mid-November:

- Day and nighttime travel delays of at least 30 minutes as traffic queues are cleared in each direction;

- Overnight closures 7 p.m.-7 a.m. Monday through Thursday only. During these closures motorists are advised to use an alternate route south from Pagosa on U.S. 84 to Hwy. 17 in Chama, N.M., then northerly over Colo. 285 including Cumbres-La Manga Pass, to rejoin U.S. 160 in Alamosa. Westbound traffic would reverse that route.

- Beginning Sept. 6, recreational users will be able to access the Big Meadows area at the western terminus project at 7 a.m. weekdays. Those not staying in the campground overnight should make plans to be out of the area before 7 p.m.

This construction phase includes a one-half mile stretch of U.S. 160 east of the new tunnel, from Big Meadows access east. Crews will be widening lanes, shoulders and upgrading guardrail to meet current federal safety standards. The project, which began June 8, is scheduled completion in summer 2006.

Home school support group hosts mom's tea

Pagosa Area Christian Home Educators (PACE) will host a back-to-school mom's tea 2-4 p.m. today, Sept. 1.

Peg Forrest will be guest speaker.

PACE is a home school support association. Member families work together to provide support for parents, education and social experiences for the children, and fellowship among families.

To RSVP or for more information about the organization, contact Michelle Smith at 264-5998.


Learn to deal with mountain lions when you are on their turf

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

With some recent sightings of mountain lions on Reservoir Hill where this weekend's Folk Festival will be held, understanding these large, powerful and beautiful predators is essential for all those hiking and travelling on trails in mountain lion country.

Also known as cougars, panthers and pumas, mountain lions are generally calm, quiet and elusive. There is an estimated population of between 3,000 and 7,000 mountain lions in Colorado. Adult mountain lions can be up to 8 feet in length and weigh an average 150 pounds.

People rarely get more than a brief glimpse of a mountain lion in the wild. But occasionally a brazen mountain lion will linger in areas frequented by humans, sometimes preying on pets and posing a hazard to humans, though there have been fewer than a dozen fatalities in North America in more than 100 years, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

DOW recommends some simple precautions if a mountain lion is encountered. First, make a lot of noise if hiking in an area during the mountain lion's most active times, dusk to dawn. When hiking, a sturdy walking stick is a good idea - it can be used to ward off a lion. Most mountain lions will avoid confrontation, so give them a chance to escape. Move slowly, make yourself appear large by raising your arms or holding a jacket wide open, and most importantly, do not run. Running may stimulate a lion's instinct to chase and pounce. Walk backward slowly if necessary, always facing the mountain lion as you do so.

A mountain lion generally kills its prey by biting the neck just below the skull, breaking the prey's neck. If attacked, fight back and try to stay standing up. Use rocks, sticks, bare hands to fight off the lion. Fighting back may convince the lion that you pose a danger, and it will leave.

Joe Lewandowski, local spokesperson for the DOW, says people should inform the division as soon as possible if they have a close encounter with a mountain lion. If one is spotted in a neighborhood or is seen walking around on someone's deck, DOW officers will go there as soon as they're informed. The sooner DOW knows, the sooner it can be determined if there is a problem with a particular lion. Call (970) 375-6708, and visit us/ Education/LivingWithWildlife/LionCountry.asp for more information.

Local fishery stunned for count

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Similar to reading of a Dr. Seuss classic, Colorado Division of Wildlife personnel can be heard counting the number and kinds of fish along the San Juan this week during an electroshock fish count in the river.

The difference is that the DOW's data goes more like this:

- Rainbow - 372, 655

- Rainbow - 222, 135

- Bluehead - 310, 335

- Bluehead - 360, 505

The numbers after each type of fish refer to the size in millimeters and the weight in grams. "Mike's big on the metric system," said DOW regional agent Mike Reid in reference to DOW aquatic biologist Mike Japhet's data collection methodology.

Some of the biggest trout measured on Tuesday's initial count were 510mm (that's 20 inches long for those more familiar with English units), and 1,375 grams (around three pounds).

"Everything we've seen so far is encouraging," said Reid, in reference to the quantity of fish in the river.

Reid was impressed with "some of the big ones that have made it this far" into the season. He said they were "catching a lot of stockers," referring to fish stocked by both the DOW and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as a lot of native bluehead and whitehead suckers. They also collected brown trout, flannelmouths and cutthroats.

To count the fish, the DOW uses the nonlethal "Montana method," which involves stunning the fish by throwing out an electrically-charged probe powered by a generator about 15 to 20 feet from the boat. The 300-500 volt probe will stun fish in a 8-10 foot diameter around the probe to a depth of 5-6 feet, said Japhet.

The fish are collected with a net and transferred into a holding tub, then periodically transferred to a second boat, oared by Japhet and Reid, who measure each fish, collect the data, and release the fish in the same area where they were collected.

The fish are stunned for a few minutes during the data collection process. In addition, the tail of each fish is punched with an office type paper hole puncher, to identify their capture. Some of the smaller fish showed a lot of spunk and did not seem fully stunned, while the larger ones appeared momentarily lifeless and required help in keeping them vertical, essential for proper "breathing" through the gills.

The study area begins at the Pagosa River Campground and continues downriver to just below the Apache Bridge. Later this week the researchers will repeat the process in the same stretch of river and, by comparing the data of the marked fish that they recapture and the unmarked fish, they will be able to make a statistical estimate of the fish population in the river.

Reid attributes the large quantity of fish this late in the season, in part, to the voluntary catch-and-release methods that many fishermen use. He said that around 10 years ago in a process that required "many public meetings," the DOW had to work out regulations for fishing in the San Juan and said that the two fish limit was a compromise that has worked out well for the San Juan fishery today.

The last DOW fish studies in the upper San Juan occurred in 1999 on the upper stretches of the river. Prior to that, a study was completed around 1995 on the stretch of the river running through town, according to Joe Lewandowski, regional spokesman for the DOW. Last year, water flow was too low to count the fish, said Japhet, and he added that this year's count is looking "so much better than the drought years," as expected.

Results from this week's study should be available in four to six weeks, said Lewandowski.

DOW annually stocks the San Juan from June 1 to Aug. 1 with 20,000 "fingerlings," fish about 3-inches long, split between brown and rainbow trout, along with 3,125 "catchable" 10-inch rainbow trout, according to Japhet.

Japhet said that the study is part of the DOW's evaluation of the "W" construction work in the river that was done in 1992. He said he was "definitely aware" of the town's plans to build new "U" structures in the river and said the DOW wanted to record the baseline fish population "before any work has been done."


Three Pagosa teams fare well at agility trials

By Karen Thomas

Special to The SUN

Over the Aug. 21-22 weekend, three handler/dog teams from Pagosa Springs - Cheryl Nelson and Kendal, a West Highland Terrier, Karen Thomas and Dana, a Border Collie mix, and Julie Paige and Taxi, an "All American" - attended an agility trial hosted by the Front Range Agility Team in Golden.

Agility is a sport wherein a dog, off lead, negotiates an obstacle course in specific order by following signals from his handler. The timed course consists of an assortment of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, A-frames, and an elevated dog walk, which must be completed in order.

If a handler/dog team finishes under the standard course time as set by the judge, without faults, the dog earns points toward various agility certifications. Success in agility requires proper training, control, patience and, most of all, teamwork between handler and dog. The Pagosa handler/dog teams demonstrated each of these skills with grace and determination.

Although temperatures soared into the high 80s for the two-day event, all three handler/dog teams made an excellent showing with several qualifying scores, first place awards and agility certifications earned.

Kendal and Taxi both earned their Novice Agility Titles, the first dogs in Archuleta County to do so. All three teams are members of the Pagosa Springs Chapter of the Durango Agility Dogs Training Club.

Some readers may remember Taxi, who was adopted from the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs in August 2001. At the time of her adoption at 7 years of age, Taxi was sickly, grossly overweight and a very unhappy dog.

The Paiges took Taxi into their home and hearts and she has repaid their love with a can-do attitude and her willingness to try anything. Julie enrolled Taxi in agility to keep her agile mind busy and entertained. Both fell in love with the sport of agility. Taxi is now 11 years old and doing very well physically and emotionally. She loves agility and especially loves the great training treats she earns for completing a course.


You can help Ducks Unlimited

save habitat; attend banquet

By Noah Fulton

Special to The SUN

Wildlife experts agree that abundant, quality habitat is by far the most important factor in producing healthy populations of wildlife.

And recent research has shown that expansive tracts of grassland across nesting areas are a key to producing more ducks in the fall flight.

Ducks Unlimited is committed to putting millions of acres on the ground for ducks and other waterfowl on nesting areas. Since 1937, we've conserved more than 10 million acres of wetlands and other habitats, and every year more than 80 percent of the money we raise goes directly to habitat conservation programs.

For Colorado local information on habitat saved, check out and click on Colorado. Help fill the skies, attend the Pagosa Springs Ducks Unlimited Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 1. For details call Nolan Fulton at 264-2660; Dan Aupperle at 264 2235; or Scott Kay at 264-4539; or Tracy Bunning at 264-2128.



Catch and Release

Sweating it out with the hoppers

By James Robinson

SUN Columnist

There are days you probably shouldn't go fishing.

I woke up Sunday, shaking like I had the DTs. I was worn out, dizzy, and not even a pot of coffee, toast and a three egg goat cheese mushroom omelette would put a dent in how I felt. But I had heard rumors of hoppers. And with fall rapidly approaching, and my fishing days numbered, no amount of flu-like symptoms would keep me away from the mountains and another crack at fishing for wild brown trout with big dry flies.

As I said, there are days you probably shouldn't go fishing, and thirty minutes into my drive to the trail head I realized I had forgotten my boots and waders. But I had a rod and reel and that was really all that was necessary. I would fish wet, that wasn't a problem, so I continued on my way.

At the trailhead, I grabbed my pack and slipped through groves of aspen then down a path headed into a canyon. The path led deep into the belly of massive sandstone cliffs carved and sculpted by the passage of the river.

I was still shaking like a jackhammer, but the cool morning air felt good in my lungs and I teetered down the trail. The river ran below me and undulated beneath the cliffs in deep, blue black bends and plunge pools. I was tempted to stop and cast, but hopper madness propelled me, and I followed the trail and the river deeper into the canyon and to the meadows beyond.

By mid morning, I had entered a broad valley lush with high grass, the stream banks dotted with the gnarled forms of aging cottonwoods.

In the valley, summer was hanging on strong and the leaves of the massive old trees had not a touch of color.

Cool morning had evolved into hot midday, and the temperature rose. And with the heat, each step into the valley brought an explosion of hoppers erupting from the grass. They flew into the air and bounced off my legs, ricochetting haphazardly in all directions. Their staccato rhythm kept time as I trudged down the trail.

I kept walking, driven by fever and shaking, sweat drenching my shirt and cap. I was intent on a smaller lesser, visited tributary of the larger stream farther up the valley. Two hours later I arrived, but in no condition to fish.

Nevertheless, I figured I had walked that far, so I might as well try. I tied on a hopper and halfheartedly cast upstream.

The glory of hopper fishing is that the sloppier the presentation the better. And I was perfectly suited to that sort of casting. I pulled off some line, let it rip and slammed it down on the water with a splat like a beaver tail. But sloppy presentation wasn't enough to satisfy me. No, I went whole hog, and I cast and fished with the most beautiful drag, my hopper making lovely little V-shaped wakes as it traveled downstream. Wind knots, drag, lining fish, splashing in the river; I pulled out all the stops - it was bad fishing at its finest. After 30 minutes I conceded defeat. My heart wasn't in it. I was beat.

I packed up and clambered back over the streamside boulders, climbed out of a deep ravine, through heavy stands of Ponderosa pine and back out to the valley. Once there I found shade beneath a grand old cottonwood and plopped down to drink. I shook. I sweated some more.

A hawk flew overhead, screeched and landed in the burnt limbs of a lightning struck tree. I could hear its massive wings cut the sky as it took off in search of a thermal to carry it high above the river.

I watched as a storm moved down from the high country and into the valley. The sky overhead turned velvety lavender black, lightning struck the hillsides and a fine misty rain fell lazily from the sky. I drank. I sweat. I did not move.

The storm passed and I hallucinated. A black bear moved in the tree line. It was a rock. And I sweat some more.

I curled up in a ball, head on my backpack and sweat, grasshoppers popping and shooting through the air like champagne corks. I didn't care. I closed my eyes and slept. I slept in that deep dark surreal place of daytime sleep with dreams of hoppers, wild brown trout and a tight fly line. When I woke, it was evening. I felt better, but hoppers were gone and I walked out. There are some days you probably shouldn't go fishing.



Change will happen

Dear Editor:

Cindy Gustafson asked the question in last week's SUN, "Why must we in this community change to accommodate new people coming in, rather than having them adapt and become a part of this 'specal place' which will no longer be a 'special place' if all their wishes come true?"

As I pondered her question, my thoughts wandered back 150 or so years ago. I visualized Native Americans standing on bluffs and hillsides all over the West, including what is now Pagosa Springs, watching approaching wagon trains and settlers who would change their homes and lives forever, and hearing them ask the very same question.

Cindy, ask the Utes, the Jicarilla, the Sioux, the Cheyenne and the hundreds of other Native Americans whose homes, lands and heritages we stole what the answer to the question is and they will tell you there is no answer, just the inevitability that change will happen. At least you can be thankful that after the changes come, and they will, you will still have your home and the land it sits on.

"Change is in the Wind," and that's just the way it is, "Heading West."

Roy Boutwell

Wichita Falls, Texas


Need big box vote

Dear Editor:

Do most residents really want big box stores prohibited?

There should be a vote taken within the Town of Pagosa Springs and, likewise, a vote taken in the rest of the county before either the town board of the county commissioners adopt any regulations prohibiting big box stores.

Let's make sure that our officials are sure of what their constitutents. want and that any approval criteria is applied equally and fairly to all applicants.

A concerned resident

Fred A. Ebeling



Dear Editor:

Jim, I wonder what history book you read? Gen. Patton and our troops could have won World War II if Truman and good old Ike had not sold them out to a former Axis nation.

Good old Ike did not need Truman's help to turn tail and run in Korea. Nixon sure showed backbone as we franticly ran for the helicopters leaving evacuees, POWs and MIAs behind. George Herbert bravely tucked his tail and fled less than twenty miles from Baghdad in 1991.

None of these names sound Liberal to me!

The Cold War, well, we can't count on a Ronald Reagan to come around often. I am a lifelong Republican who never voted for a Democrat in my life, but I voted against Slick Willy and Purple Heart John and not for the Bush Boys. "Read My Lips" don't count Hillary out in '08 cause if you and Brother Jeb are counting on me to vote against her you better count again. Hillary's taste for worms can be proven by the marriage records in Hope, Ark., but me, I don't like 'em. I've been Bush-whacked by a couple of 'em.

Our war on Terrorism is on the border running from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, Calif., not in Iraq. The war you and I and other Republicans fought for control of our government is going to be lost soon if we don't wise up and call for the impeachment of the worm in the White House.

Jerry Evans


Why exempt county?

Dear Editor:

We are property owners in Lake Hatcher Park subdivision and are very distressed about the proposal of the county commissioners to withdraw the maintenance of most of the streets in this subdivision and other subdivisions in the county.

When we bought our property about seven years ago, we asked the question at the time of sale about road maintenance. We were told it was the county's responsibility. There is nothing in the deed that states otherwise. If the county is not responsible for roads in subdivisions that the county has approved and accepted, this should be stated in all real estate transactions. We have strict laws regarding disclosures, why should the county be exempt? It should be part of the acceptance of the plats for the subdivisions to require all roads meet county specifications and then become part of the county system upon completion of the subdivision.

Apparently county officials in the past have not done their duty in record keeping as far as roads are concerned. Why should we property owners now be penalized because of their mistakes? In courts of law great emphasis is placed on precedent. The county has established a precedent by maintaining these roads until now. If we citizens must abide by these concepts, why should not the county officials have to abide?

If all the smaller roads in subdivisions are removed from maintenance, then we are denied all other county services such as police and fire protection. We cannot maintain food, heat, medical attention in our homes because of the denial of this one item.

If we are denied these services the county provides, why pay the county any tax? We do not have any school age children, but if the roads are impassable then these children are denied public education.

The county commissioners and planning commission need to take a long, hard look at any new subdivisions they accept. If they do not meet the specifications they should be denied the privilege of a permit to build. If they do meet the specifications then they should receive all county services.


Neiland and Sherry Fain

Llano, Texas


Warning bells

Dear Editor:

Warning bells are going off all over the place. How alarmed I feel over plow-down Phase One! How am I gonna deal "with" it when Phase Two kicks in and Mr. Vision plows down from Tequila's corner to Poma's corner? (Provided our own people sell him the courthouse, of course). Hello! High-priced accommodations; good by river R & R for locals.

I like seeing our local people out enjoying the river, fishing, rafting, wading - enjoyment for the community! Our kids and grandkids, fishing poles in hand, trout on a line; colorful little waders and squealers enjoying the water.

Guess what? When money powers purchase of the river frontage, only they and theirs will reap the beauty and enjoyment of the river.

Don't believe it? Drive east on U.S. 160 approximately 10-12 miles, left side, river access gated and locked.

Move on to Phase Three. The mission of Mr. Vision - real scare tactics ... one man with visions dictating to 12,000 of us; Us, working 24-7 to generate the rents and lifestyles of these up and coming "whats." It's one party dictating what goes and what comes. It's the other party, a party to something not chosen.

Where are our protectors? The people voted in, the people hired to secure and promote a realistic, healthy, happy community in democratic manner to suit its constituents?

"Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason" was once quoted and claimed. I see many reasons to heed the warning bells.

Experts say that when dealing with others on important issues, silence conveys endorsement of actions. By our good-natured silence we are endorsing these changes.

What we stand to gain is a town turned topsy-turvy by imaginative visions. A visionary who prevails upon us with donations, gestures that gain him support as a philanthropist and blinds us to the gains he is making; making off with our town for his purposes! As part of this community, that is not my community vision.

Can I deal with it? I shall face the facts. We cannot undo the done.

What's done is done. Money talks and locals walk - and you can't fight city hall.

Yes, I can deal with it. Let me see it. Gotta see it to believe it, but ... I don't have to like it; and frankly my dear, I don't like it.

Carmen Ferguson


Violates morality

Dear Editor:

Pat Robertson's comment that the clandestine forces of the U.S. government should assassinate Hugo Chavez is chilling. His comment violates basic morality and advocates an action illegal under United States law.

Hugo Chavez is the duly elected socialist president of Venezuela, a sovereign nation and member of the Organization of American States, OAS. The United States is a member of the OAS and is a major trading partner with Venezuela. Five percent of rich Venezuelans control 80 percent of Venezuelan wealth. Poverty, land reform, education and health care are issues President Chavez is trying to address.

As U.S. citizens we should look back in our history to see that assassinating foreign leaders is counter productive as well as illegal, uncivilized and in conflict with almost any global moral value.

In 1954 the United States CIA helped to overthrow President Arbenz of Guatemala, a duly elected socialist president. Arbenz was assassinated soon thereafter with our tacit approval. Guatemala then suffered many years of brutal dictatorship which to this day is only slowly being overcome.

In 1964 we supported the coup and assassination of then president Diem in South Vietnam. The Vietnamese generals we supported went on to lose the Vietnam War.

In 1973 we supported the coup and assassination of President Salvador Allende, the duly elected president of Chile. This lead to a 25 year dictatorship under General Agusto Pinochet.

Hugo Chavez is not a threat to the United States but the United States is a real threat to Hugo Chavez and Venezuela's socialist government that is trying to balance the needs of the poor with the economic power of the rich. We cannot afford to demonize President Chavez or Venezuela.

As in Chile, Guatemala, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan it is all about control of resources.

Raymond P. Finney


A great draw

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank you for such a great vacation place. The most exciting thing we did was when we were there we went to a Little Britches Rodeo and watched it.

I tell you it was a great event to have in your town. I have been to a number of rodeos in the past but this was a very exceptional one. These little kids were the most talented kids I have ever seen.

The rodeo was well organized and very well run. They had a number of events from bronc riding to roping, barrels, poles and also bull riding.

They also had mutton bustin' and my little son got to do that. I don't know how many kids were there competing but all I know is they had a bunch. I have never been around a bunch of kids who were as polite as these were. The people who were running it were very helpful when I had questions about how to get my son entered. Thanks to all of you at the rodeo. This was an exceptional event to have in your town and we are looking forward to coming back to Pagosa and watching it again next year. We will schedule our vacation to see it again.

The Joe Jones Family

Chadron, Neb.


Aquaculture spat

Dear Editor:

A report of a recent "fish kill" in the trophy hatchery at Riverbend Trout Farm, and the possible implications of the Pagosa Quality Fishing Project, underscores the fragile nature of aquaculture an the difficulties associated with maintaining quality fish, even by experts in the best of conditions.

While the stocking of trophy fish in the San Juan River through town may provide a short term economic boost for a few, a program of bait restrictions and catch and release regulations, in conjunction with stocking, could elevate this water to a "world class" fishery thus benefitting a far greater segment of the community.

I, for one, find the carnage committed by power bait and worm dunkers, aided, abetted and glorified by ubiquitous photographs of slain fish in this publication, vile and repugnant.

Mark Miller

Editor's Note: The SUN has not been notified of the alleged "fish kill."

Community News

Justus creates special work for folk festival

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

"Virginia Reel" by Wayne Justus, seen on this week's PREVIEW cover, was created especially for the Four Corners Folk Festival and embodies the fact that America relies upon its music to get through the hard times, according to Wayne.

"Virginia Reel" is a departure from Justus' traditional Western cowboy art, but it serves to capture Wayne's love of traditional fiddle music. Justus wanted to create a special image to celebrate the event's tenth year.

A longtime Pagosa resident, Wayne Justus has won numerous awards throughout the country since making his art a full-time occupation in 1972. Along with a number of gold medals from the American Indian and Cowboy Artists, he claimed their Artist's Artist, Western Heritage and Festival Choice awards. He was also awarded a silver medal at a National Western Artist Show in Lubbock, Texas. Wayne has participated in the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show, the Settlers West Galleries American Miniatures Exhibition, the Masters of the American West Exhibition at the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage, and he was the featured artist in the San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen's Association 12th annual Cattlemen's Western Art Show.

Wayne's work has been featured on several covers of the New Mexico Stockman magazine, as well as in Colorado Stockman, Horse and Rider, and Western Horseman (with a cover in 1990). His paintings have been published in Southwest Art magazine, as well as in one of their calendars, and he was also profiled in the January/February 2003 issue of Art of the West.

As a child, while other kids were throwing rocks and cans and climbing trees, Justus had pencil in hand sketching scenes from the world that surrounded him. Part of that childhood was spent living on WLH Farms Thoroughbred Ranch, which kindled his love of horses. His talent was recognized by the artist Sebastian Capella early on. This internationally known artist was fresh from Spain and still a novice with the English language when, through an interpreter, Capella taught Justus charcoal drawing to explore the values of light and shadow.

Through books, artist Ron Schofield introduced Wayne to such famous artists as Charlie Russell and Frederick Remington. With Wayne's love of horses and this introduction to the cowboy, it was natural that he focus his talent in this direction. After entering high school, Justus studied under the western artist, Auston Deuel. Through Deuel, the young man met many other artists, which further taught him and kindled his yearning to be a professional artist. While still in high school, the budding artist took a job at Fairbrook Farms, a thoroughbred ranch, breaking and training their horses for the race track. He took the job to be around horses, studying their differences and constantly absorbing more about their variations in musculature and movement.

Shortly after high school, Justus married Cathy King. They met in seventh grade and were married in 1972. In 1978, the Justuses moved to property they bought in Pagosa Springs where they built a rock and log horse barn and lived in it with their horses and dogs for more than seven years before building their home. Most of their days are spent in relative tranquility with their stock dogs and show quality quarter horses.

Wayne's studio is made of hand-hewn aspen logs chinked in between and dovetailed at the ends, with hardwood floors and a parlor stove in the middle. Justus spends up to 12 hours a day painting there. "Most people imagine an artist sits around waiting until the mood strikes him - then he paints. But if you're painting for a living, you're always in the mood." Justus says, "It's a discipline." To gather authentic subject matter for his paintings, Wayne periodically travels to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to work as a cowpuncher on several big spreads.

"I feel that if you're going to paint boats, you ought to be a sailor, or at least know a lot about sailing," Justus said. "Same goes with cowboy artists. People don't realize that the American cowboy still exists pretty much like he did a hundred years ago. There are several big outfits that run wagons, remuda their horses, and cowboys don't see town for months at a time."

Justus is concerned that with the seemingly inevitable passing on of the cowboy way of life, it won't be long before most of the big ranches are subdivided and sold. But working cowboys are a proud group, tenaciously defending their fading way of life. And they've got a friend in Wayne Justus, who dedicates his art to creating a historically accurate, as well as aesthetically pleasing record of the unusual and American breed of working cowboy.

High quality prints of the poster, signed by the artist, will be available for purchase at this year's Four Corners Folk Festival, Sept. 2-4 on Reservoir Hill. Additional information about the festival is available by calling (970) 731-5582 or online at


Folk festival schedule of events

Four Corners Folk Fest

Main Stage Schedule

Friday, Sept. 2

2 p.m. - Sweet Sunny South

3:15 p.m. - Hot Strings

4:30 p.m. - KJ Denhert

5:45 p.m. - Crooked Still

7:30 p.m. - The Bills

9 p.m. - Music on the Summit Stage

Saturday, Sept. 3

10:30 a.m. - Crooked Still

11:45 a.m. - Old School Freight Train

2 p.m. - Darol Anger's Republic of Strings

3:30 p.m. - Drew Emmitt Band

5 p.m. - Ruthie Foster

6:30 p.m. - Tony Furtado Band

8 p.m. - Darrell Scott Band

10 p.m. - Music on the Summit Stage

Sunday, Sept. 4

10:45 a.m. - Hopi Eagle Claw Pow Wow Group

11:30 a.m. - Broke Mountain Bluegrass

12:45 p.m. - Old School Freight Train

2 p.m. - Marc Atkinson Trio

3:15 p.m. - The Bills

4 p.m. - Mollie O'Brien Band

5:30 p.m. - Eddie From Ohio

7 p.m. - Del McCoury

Nechville Late Night Stage Schedule

Friday, Sept. 2

9:30 p.m. - Broke Mountain Bluegrass

10:30 p.m. - Hot Strings

Saturday, Sept. 3

10 p.m. - Sweet Sunny South

11 p.m. - Old School Freight Train

Workshop Schedule

Friday, Sept. 2

10: a.m. - Banjo with Tom Nechville of Nechville Musical Products (Vending Area)

11 a.m. - Mandolin with Josiah Payne and the Hot Strings (Tent 1)

Noon - Putting the Blues back in Bluegrass with Crooked Still (Tent 1)

Noon - Sound Workshop with Glenn Webb of Jacobs Audio (meet at the sound board at the main stage)

1 p.m. - Fiddle with Carson Park, accompanied by Jared Payne of the Hot Strings (Tent 1)

1 p.m. - Banjo with Chad Love of Crooked Still (Tent 2)

2 p.m. - Flatpick Guitar with John Stickley of Broke Mountain Bluegrass (Tent 1)

2 p.m. - Fiddles Across the Universe with Adrian Dolan and Richard Moody of The Bills (Tent 2)

3 p.m. - Mandolin with Robin Davis of Broke Mountain Bluegrass (Tent 1)

4 p.m. - Dobro with Anders Beck of Broke Mountain Bluegrass (Tent 1)

5 p.m. - Bass with Travis Book of Broke Mountain Bluegrass (Tent 1)

Saturday, Sept. 3

10 a.m. - Guitar with Jared Payne of the Hot Strings (Tent 1)

11 a.m. - Old Time Music Workshop with Sweet Sunny South (Tent 1)

1 p.m. - Vocal Workshop with Ruthie Foster and Mollie O'Brien (Tent 1)

1 p.m. - Hot Strings Performance Workshop at the Kids' Tent

3 p.m. - Banjo Workshop with Tony Furtado (Tent 1)

3 p.m. - Swing workshop with the Marc Atkinson Trio (Tent 2)

4 p.m. - Jazzgrass with Old School Freight Train (Tent 1)

4 p.m. - Guitar Workshop with Scott Nygaard of the Republic of Strings (Tent 2)

5 p.m. - Fiddle with Darol Anger and cello with Rushad Eggleston of Crooked Still (Tent 1)

5 p.m. - Banjo with Greg Liszt of Crooked Still (Tent 2)

Sunday, Sept. 4

11 a.m. - Creative Arrangements Workshop with The Bills (Tent 1)

Noon - Vocal Workshop with Eddie From Ohio (Tent 1)

1 p.m. - Guitar Workshop with Rich Moore of the Mollie O'Brien Band & Ross Martin of the Drew Emmitt Band and the Mollie O'Brien Band (Tent 1)

2 p.m. - Songwriting Workshop with Eddie From Ohio (Tent 1)

3 p.m. - Mandolin Workshop with Drew Emmitt (Tent 1)

Kids Schedule

Kids 12 and under are admitted free with accompanying adult. The children's program is free, thanks in part to financial support from Wells Fargo Bank.

Saturday, Sept. 3

10 a.m. - Waldorf School Puppet Theater

11a.m. - Creative Dance with Stephanie Jones

Noon - Music From Around the World with Paul and Carla Roberts

1 p.m. - Hot Strings Performance Workshop

2 p.m. - Juggling Show with Michael Taylor

3 p.m. - Mysto the Magi Magic Show

4 p.m. - Hopi Eagle Claw Pow-Wow Group

5 p.m. - Wildflower Band Performance and Kids' Jam (bring your instruments!)

Sunday, Sept. 4

10 a.m. - Waldorf School Puppet Theater

Noon - Music From Around the World with Paul and Carla Roberts

1 p. m. - Wildflower Band Performance and Kids' Jam (bring your instruments!)

2 p.m. - Juggling Show with Michael Taylor

3 p.m. - Mysto the Magi Magic Show

4 p.m. - Hopi Eagle Claw Pow-Wow Group

Durango Nature Studies Activities - 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Browse local mammal specimens and try to guess the animal by its skull or pelt. Check out the nature arts and crafts and make wonderful creations to take home, including "tree cookie" medallions.

Enjoy warm cookies baked by the sun in a solar cooker (weather permitting. Create your own plaster cast of the track of a native animal (at the top of every hour). Discovering the world of a baby bat and following the adventures of an unselfish jumping mouse are just some of the stories you might hear at story time (at the bottom of every hour).

These activities are made possible through the generous financial support of the San Juan National Forest and the volunteers and staff of Durango Nature Studies.

Ongoing arts and crafts

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Volunteers from the Pagosa Springs Arts Council will be supervising various creative projects throughout the weekend for kids of all ages.

Make your own drum to play along at the kids performance tent, create unique jewelry, color your free Four Corners Kids T-shirt - there's always something fun to do in the kids tent.

The arts and crafts activities are made possible by the volunteers of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

Kiwanis Pancake

Breakfast set during Folk Fest mornings

The fifth annual Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast will be 7:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Four Corners Folk Festival on Reservoir Hill.

Funds raised through the program benefit the children and young adults of Pagosa Springs.


Pagosa artist wins Farm Bureau contest

Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance recently announced the winners of the "Country Way of Life" photo contest after receiving more than 1,600 photo entries celebrating Coloradoans' connection to the land, love for livestock and wild animals, strong work ethic and family values.

Eleven finalists and one grand prize winner appear in the 2006 calendar and received $500 and $1,000 cash prizes respectively. The grand prize winner is also showcased on the calendar cover.

"We had an overwhelming response from Coloradoans sharing remarkable photos from around the state," said Rick Bender, marketing manager of Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance. "This contest is very close to one's heart and mind and the photos certainly captured our heritage."

This year's grand prize went to Barbara Rosner, of Pagosa Springs. Barbara's photo, "Beware of Cows!" captures a serene farm landscape with cattle grazing. Barbara has been a Colorado resident for 14 years.

Finalists included: Francie Wyrsch, Fleming; Stratton Kraft, Ft. Morgan; Sabrina Brown, Salida; Lee Ann Staples, Lyons; Carol Cartwright, Salida; Julie Shultz, Durango; Cindy Williams, Salida; Steve Huntley, Paonia; Rebecca Woolmington, Salida; Kristy Gladding, Steamboat Springs; and Ellen Robinson, Meeker .

Distribution of Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance's "Country Way of Life" 2006 Calendar will benefit Archuleta County 4H in Pagosa Springs.

Calendars are available by calling (888) 99-PROTECT, or online at


Free nature photography outing set

By Phyllis Wheaton

Special to The PREVIEW

Join Bruce Andersen, local professional photographer, for a free nature photography outing on the San Juan National Forest.

Known as the "outdoor guy" among local photographers, Bruce likes to bring people and nature a little closer together. His works have been published in several venues. He is also an accomplished writer, speaker and instructor.

Bruce will teach participants how to get better pictures as he leads a leisurely (slightly uphill) walk to Ice Cave Ridge. The area provides a variety of opportunities for photography including spectacular views of the Continental Divide and into the Williams Creek and Piedra River watersheds.

Due to a conflict, the date for this event has changed from Sept. 8 to Wednesday, Sept. 7. The walk will begin at Piedra River Trailhead at 9 a.m. and will last about three hours. Take Piedra Road north for 16.2 miles; cross the Piedra River, and then continue about 0.2 miles to the signed trailhead on the left. Come prepared to photograph and for a walk in the woods. Wear walking shoes or boots, bring your digital or film camera, and carry drinking water and a light jacket.

This Interpretive Alliance program is sponsored by the San Juan National Forest. For more information, call 264-2268.


Bid on wide variety of items at Shamrock Fest

By Christelle Troell

Special to the Preview

Want to really feel good? Then you may want to put in a bid for the Almost Heaven Sauna that will be featured in the Shamrock Festival's silent auction Sept. 10.

The two-person Silo Sauna is made of red cedar and features an all-glass rounded door. The sauna is being donated by local dealers Jim and Becky Dorian.

Perhaps you would like an antique porcelain Christmas doll, an accent mirror or table, Ansel Adams framed photo, wood carvings or you could spend a glorious week in a home on Bald Head Island if the bid is right.

The auction will include many services such as three hours of fly fishing and a set of flies from Ken Jones and a flight over Pagosa Springs with Bill Smith.

There will also be gift certificates auctioned from Downside Moose, Curves, Isabel's, and Fitness and Strength Training at Aaron's.

The bidding will take place during the all-day festival which begins a 8 a.m. at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. At 5 p.m. BYOB and catch the final bidding which ends at 5:45 p.m. when prizes will be awarded to the highest bidders.

A king-sized quilt made by St. Patrick's stitchers will be given away also. The green and white quilt is a log cabin design with exquisite feather quilting done by Faye Gooden of Durango.

If you are looking for some surefire bargains, the Men's Fellowship will hold a giant yard sale with treasures of every kind. You might find a rocker, some area rugs, a swamp cooler, children's toys, bicycles, a TV, or Christmas decorations among the dozens of home and yard goods.

It seems Episcopalians never get out of the kitchen. The bake sale will offer a variety of delicious offerings including cakes, pies, breads, cookies, jams, jellies and more. It wouldn't be a Shamrock Festival without those ever popular frozen casseroles, soups and cobblers St. Pat's good cooks are preparing. Come early; they don't last long.

Breakfast and lunch will be available. At 6 p.m. a barbecue chicken dinner catered by Joanne Irons will get underway, with plenty of entertainment. Tickets, which are $8 for adults and $4 for children (3-10 ) are available at the church office along with tickets for the quilt giveaway ($1 each or six for $5).

Be sure to visit the Book Nook where you will find hardbacks of your choice for $3 and a variety of paperbacks for $1.

A new feature this year is the Country Cupboard which will be filled with country and craft items. While you are browsing, coffee/tea and sweets will be available.

There will be plenty for the youngsters to do this year at the Just For Kids area where Sally High has wonderful things planned. There will be games and prizes, a bounce castle, face painting, crafts, train rides and this year the kids can have their picture taken with a western pony or a "unicorn."

The fun continues with a corn shucking contest, scarecrow contest and needle-in-a-haystack game. There will be activities, food and fun for the entire family, so mark your calendar. Some of the proceeds from the Shamrock Festival will be used for St. Patrick's many community outreach programs.

Music in the Mountains sponsors fifth-grade "Instrument Fair"

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Tomorrow, Sept. 2, Pagosa's fifth- grade students will have a unique opportunity to learn about and play almost any band instrument they could dream of.

It will happen at an "Instrument Fair" sponsored by Music in the Mountains that will involve students and more than a dozen Pagosa musicians and their instruments.

The event will open at a general fifth-grade assembly in the junior high school gym at 10:30 a.m. where community musicians will perform two or three pieces. Then students who are interested in taking band and learning more about each individual instrument will break out to various rooms to meet with the musicians. The total program should take about an hour and a half.

"This Instrument Fair will give our youngsters the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with musicians who are eager to share their knowledge and love of music," said Melinda Baum, a member of the Pagosa Springs Music in the Mountains steering committee and the organizer of this school event. "It also allows young people who want to play in the band to try out different instruments to see which one they like the best."

Local musicians participating in the session include Kathy Baisdon and Tim Bristow on the clarinet, Larry Baisdon on the French horn and trumpet, Karl Mesikapp on the euphonium and tuba, Karen Mesikapp on the trumpet and trombone, Lowell Bynum on the tenor saxophone and trombone, Valley Lowrance on the bassoon, Bob Nordmann on the alto saxophone, Al Olson on the tenor saxophone, Melinda Baum on the flute, D'Ann Artis on the French horn, Rick Artis on the trumpet and Larry Elginer on the trumpet.

"This is a dream come true for kids interested in the band," Baum said. "And we want parents to know they are welcome to attend as well."

The Instrument Fair is one of several school programs sponsored by Music in the Mountains for Pagosa Springs youth. Others include sending our children to a Taste of Music concert in Durango, providing scholarships for Conservatory Music in the Mountains programs at Fort Lewis College, and bringing professional musicians into the schools to conduct workshops.

These programs are made possible by a generous contribution from the Rotary Club as well as funds raised at the annual Music in the Mountains benefit event every summer.

"Research has shown that early introduction to music helps young people perform better in their core classes and also encourages them to become concert-goers and performers," Baum said. "Best of all, the children have fun while they are learning about music and experiencing great performances."


IHM will offer 'Come and See' sacraments class

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 11, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Parish will offer adults, teen-agers and children a chance to "Come and See."

This is an inquiry class for anyone who wants to prepare to receive the sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

According to Deacon Tom Bomkamp, "Come and See" sessions offer a community-based faith journey where the entire community nurtures all who seek to know the "Way of Christ."

The journey is time spent discerning through prayer and dialogue whether the "walk of faith" each seeker takes leads them to join the Catholic Church.

The inquiry class first meets 10 a.m. in the IHM Parish Hall, next to the church at 451 Lewis St. All attending are encouraged to bring a friend.

For information and registration, contact the church office at 264-5702.

UU water ceremony Sunday

The Pagosah Unitarian Fellowship will hold its third annual "Water Ceremony" service Sunday.

Members and friends are invited to bring a small amount of water from a recent travel experience or adventure and will be asked to share memories or insights derived from that occasion.

The service and child care will begin 10:30 a.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar 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.

All are welcome.


Christian Women's Retreat Oct. 7-9 at Sonlight Camp

The 26th annual Christian Women's Retreat will be held Oct. 7-9 at Sonlight Christian Camp.

Diane Beinschroth, a dynamic, internationally-known Christian speaker, will highlight the weekend, focusing on: "A Circle of Friends - Stepping into Abundance."

This is a place where you can get two night's lodging, five delicious home-cooked meals and lots of love, fun and encouragement for only $95. A $50 deposit will hold a spot for the retreat.

Registration forms are available in local churches, at Agape Gifts, or by calling Nancy Rea at 264-2774 or Lindy Moore at 731-5353.

Community Choir Christmas Concert rehearsals to start

Weekly rehearsals for the Pagosa Springs Community Choir Annual Christmas Concert begin Tuesday, Sept. 6, at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

The first rehearsal will begin at 6:30 p.m. to assure everyone has a chance to register and get music, for which there will be a suggested donation of $20 to help defray the cost. Regular rehearsals will be 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays.

The performances will be 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10, with a matinee performance 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 in the community center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. The performances are free to the public and are the choir's gift to the community.

Co-directors Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer are excited about the music to be performed at the concert and have chosen a varied selection of seasonal and Christmas music. Several favorites will be sung, including "Silent Night/All is Calm." The choir will be accompanied by Shirley McGee.

Anyone interested in singing with this group should attend the first rehearsal or contact Sue Kehret at 731-3858 for more information.

Local Chatter

Keep the trash out of thrift offerings

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Would you put your child to sleep on a waterlogged, stained mattress?

Would you strap your baby into an unsafe, broken car seat? Or a broken carriage?

Would you sit on a sofa that was torn and smelt of cat urine?

Would you buy a refrigerator that doesn't cool anymore?

How about putting books on your bookshelf that are full of mildew and mold?

How about watching a TV that doesn't work?

You might wear clothes that are torn and stained (good work clothes, you bet!) but would you buy clothes like that?

These are all things that have recently been left at the Methodist Thrift Shop's back door. The back of the shop faces the alley and for some it is most tempting to drop off worn out, broken and trashy things rather than take them to the dump. And, of course, it's cheaper.

Let the Thrift Shop pay the fees for the dump, they could be thinking. Or maybe they are in a hurry or just lazy. Whatever the reason, doing so is shameful.

Unfortunately, some people fail to realize that the majority of the help at the thrift store is voluntary. At the Methodist store, volunteers provide the pickups for morning trash. The store pays the fees and maybe the gas and it all comes out of the money used to help the community.

By the way, other things that ended in the trash were a large bag of great men's shirts with all the buttons taken off; bags of unwashed clothes, including underwear; broken dishes and pots; and even a bag of liners and blankets full of afterbirth.

We can feel depressed just thinking about this or we can get mad about it. But maybe, just maybe, a reader will think twice about dumping trash things at the thrift shop.

Although this column has been about the Methodist Thrift Shop, the same respect should be given the Humane Society Thrift Store.

Both are manned with the help of capable and willing volunteers and both stores give to the community.

Fun on the run ...

- Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

- The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

- A closed mouth gathers no foot.

- Duct tape is like The Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

- There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

- Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

- Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

- Never miss a good chance to shut up.


Shepherd's Staff


By Rev. Phil Janowsky

When one studies the origin and development of the New Testament, some fascinating insights come to light.

For instance, we find the New Testament was not completed until c.393. The last letter to be included was James in 393. (F.F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture, 232 ff.).

Nor were the Gospels the first pieces of New Testament literature to be written. Mark was written in the 60s, Luke and Matthew in the 70s, and John in the 90s A.D.

This means quite simply that the primitive church did not have consistent access to the Gospels for some time. The earliest mention of a collection of Gospels that was being read in public services is by Justin the Martyr. About c.153 he mentions the fourfold collection of writings to be read for biographical and historical information in the public services. Of significance is the fact that he does not call them Gospels, but "reminises of the Apostles," (Aland, A History of Christianity, Vol. I, p. 110).

The Christian writings that were the earliest to be read and studied as authoritative for the new faith were the writings of St. Paul. In fact, it was Paul who put the Greek euangelion, or gospel, into play first in our New Testaments. This took place in his most significant writings, which occurred in the 50s A.D. In addition, Paul's writings were the first to be referred to as Scripture by the Church Fathers (Walker, A History of the Christian Church, p.59). This was done by the Bishop Polycarp. When we remember that Polycarp was a disciple of St. John, we can appreciate the reverence which Paul and his writings evoked from the very beginning.

Church historian Eusebius (300s A.D.) tells us that Paul's writings were referred to by the entire Church as simply "The Apostle." No other follower of Jesus or writer of accepted documents ever held such a place of honor in the ante-Nicene Church.

New Testament scholars such as C.H. Dodd, J.N.D. Kelley and many others tell us that Paul's writings, far from being some departure from what had gone before, as some assert, simply followed an outline of proclamation, or kerygma, that had been put in place by St. Peter on the Day of Pentecost. Thus the first author of the canonical New Testament documents was none other than St. Paul.

Another disciple of St. John, St. Ignatius, expresses the veneration in which Paul was held by the earliest Church with these words. "Ye are initiated into the mysteries of the Gospel with Paul, the holy, the martyred, inasmuch as he was ''a chosen vessel'. " Oxford scholar C.H. Dodd has written that when we learn from Paul, "we shall have learned what Christianity is, from the man who though he knew not Christ after the flesh, divined better than any what Christ stood and stands for" (The Meaning of Paul For Today, p.53).



Community Center News

Folk Fest visitors can shower here

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

It's Labor Day weekend in Pagosa and the Four Corners Music Festival is on.

Calling all festival campers. For your convenience, the center is providing shower service for $3 each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8-10 a.m.

The computer lab will also be available 8 a.m.-noon Saturday in addition to its regular weekday hours. The center will be closed Monday in observance of Labor Day.

Livia Cloman Lynch, executive director of the Archuleta County Education Center, completes our membership of the Community Center Advisory and Fund-raising Committee. The committee members and the groups/discipline they represent include the following:

- Jerry Arrington - Fairfield area/activities.

- Jan Brookshier - Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition Board.

- Mary Jo Coulehan - Chamber of Commerce.

- Kayla Douglass - Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

- Heather Hunt - youth.

- Gary Kimble - faith-based groups.

- Joe Nanus - Archuleta Seniors, Inc.

- Wendy Saunders - business/marketing.

The group is meeting next week for the first time. I am very excited having a dynamic group formed to help decide what programs and special events to have for the community and what fund-raising efforts to conduct for the community center. They will also be involved in some policy making. For more information call me, 264-4152 Ext. 22.

Computer lab

We are pleased to announce the Michael Baker Corporation office in Phoenix has donated seven used PCs to the community center. Becky's husband, John Porco, works for Baker and he arranged for the donation and traveled to Phoenix to bring the equipment to Pagosa Springs. Special thanks to Albert Romano, West Area manager, who approved the donation, and Justin Coffini, IT manager, who selected the computers and prepared them for transport.

All of these newly donated computers currently use the Windows 2000 operating system. However, all can be upgraded so that Windows XP can be loaded on them. This upgrading will happen gradually as money is available to buy more memory for four of the machines, and as time for software installation and configuring permits.

The current plan is to replace an ancient (9-year-old) laptop being used in the office as a print server. Other updated PCs will go in the computer lab and the Teen Center. Our hope is that six of the older Windows 98 machines can be eliminated and that this equipment remodel will provide even better service to our computer lab users.

Do you have a need for some computer training? We may be able to put people with similar needs together for a class. Please contact Becky at 264-4152 for information on future class offerings; the new series of classes will begin Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Upcoming events

Cooking class is a go. I thought this activity would be cancelled due to lack of interest. I was wrong - the class is full. Most Pagosans, as usual, wait until the last minute to make a decision, maybe because of the many things to do in our small, beautiful mountain town.

Thursday, Sept. 8, is the first class and Edith Blake will demonstrate and cook a chicken dish. The class is free but members will be asked to share the cost of the ingredients, with $10 as the maximum. Call 264-4152, Ext. 21, if you wish to be on the waiting list for other classes.

Several ladies expressed interest in having dance lessons. We are looking for volunteers to teach this class - both ballroom and Irish/Scottish dancing. Call 264-4152 if you wish to teach or learn these dances.

Hunter's, Harvest Ball

The advisory board will meet in early September and I will present a proposal for this fund-raising event to be held sometime in October during the hunting season. Watch for further information.

Another event I have in mind is the Festival of Trees to be held during the holiday season in December. The idea started with Paula Bain, one of our local puma artists I knew from Quad Cities in Illinois and Iowa. I went on-line and, voila! I now has a manual on "how to" about this fund-raising event. The success of this event will depend on the participation of the whole community - individuals, businesses and the non-profit groups. We'll see what the new advisory board has to say about these two events.

Free activities

Do you have a special talent or hobby you would like to share - singing, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, foreign language conversation group, coffee mornings, sports, etc.? We're looking for volunteers interested in forming any of these interest groups. Someone even asked me about the possibility of starting an Irish/Scottish dancing group for fun. Call 264-4152.

Activities this week

Today - Watercolor class, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 2 - Seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Seniors bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 3 - Shower service for Music Festival campers, 8-10 a.m.; Waldorf Parenting Class will not meet today, next meeting to be announced.

Sunday, Sept. 4. - Shower service for Music Festival campers, 8-10 a.m.; Church of Christ Sunday service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church service, 2-4 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 5 - Closed for Labor Day holiday.

Tuesday, Sept. 6 - Seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; no senior's computer class and question and answer period this week. These activities will resume Sept. 13; Grace Evangelical Church meeting, 6-9 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 7 - Legal depositions, Kelley Law Firm, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.; Grace EV music practice, 7-9 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 8 - Legal depositions, Kelley Law Firm, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon; high school cross country team pasta night, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

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

The center is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition and managed by the Town of Pagosa Springs. It provides spaces for the Archuleta County Seniors Program, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Teen Center and other groups and organizations in the community. Rooms are available for rent to anyone or any group on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a nominal charge to rent a room and monies collected pay for the utility bills and other operating costs.

Have your party or meeting here. We have very affordable rooms for small, midsize and large groups. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audio visual equipment are available too. The center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.

Lost and Found. A car key was found in the North Conference Room last week. Please check at the front desk if you're missing something that might have been left at the center. We hold lost and found items for a month, then all unclaimed items are donated to the local thrift stores or discarded. Call 264-4152.

Senior News

Summer's last ice cream social Friday

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

This Friday we'll enjoy our last-ever, popular ice cream social and sing-along of the summer. At 1 p.m. we'll have some of those favorite song sheets ready to go along with a great dish of ice cream. If you haven't already, bring along your favorite topping to share with others, strawberry sauce, banana and peanuts would be fine with me.

Labor Day

The Den will be closed Monday, Sept. 5, for the holiday. We'll be out enjoying Pagosa Country; hope you do too!

Seeds of Learning

Be sure to stop in and enjoy the kiddos from the Seeds of Learning Tuesday, Sept. 6, around 11:45 a.m.. We always enjoy visiting with the kids and love the entertainment they provide for us.

A hair affair

Having a bad hair day? Well, join the club. We all have bad hair days once in a while: it may be thinning, ravaged by chemotherapy, or just not cooperating.

Sometimes we need something fancy, or maybe just a change from the usual. Wouldn't it be nice to have great hair anytime? At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6 , April Owens will be at The Den to explain how to select the perfect wig or hairpiece for your specific needs. Learn how to determine the quality of a hairpiece, the merits of synthetic and human hair pieces, how to match your current hair color, (or go blazingly different), find the perfect size and style, and how to care for a wig once you have purchased it. Come by and see how easy it is to have perfect hair any time!

Day in Durango

Travel to Durango in our 18-passenger bus. We're heading out to the big city Thursday, Sept. 8; pick ups will begin at 8 a.m. Reservations are required, with a minimum of eight passengers for this day trip. The suggested donation for folks 60-plus is just $5 for the ride, entertainment is included because John (our driver) is a character.

Humane Society

Do you love animals? Do you want to lend a helping hand with homeless pets? Join The Den 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, to volunteer an hour of your time at the Pagosa Humane Society. If you are a dog person, help walk an adoptable dog so it may get some exercise and attention. If you are a cat person, you can help with cat socialization by petting them and helping them get ready for a new home. Volunteering can be fun so let's give back to our community and give some animals in need a little love

Barbecue, wagon ride

Take a ride on a horsedrawn wagon pulled by a team of big Clydesdales to a rustic setting where you will enjoy the best barbecue around, with all the fixin's.

Meet at scenic Astraddle-A-Saddle at 5:05 p.m. with the wagon ride beginning at 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, and enjoy real outdoor home cookin' with chicken, brisket, corn, beans, rolls plus much more all for $20. It's all you can eat, too! After dinner join us in singing and relaxing around the campfire. Sign-up at The Den by Friday, Sept. 9, to participate in the fun. Carpooling will be the mode of transportation. Winter is just around the corner so get out and enjoy the fall weather before it's too late.

Arthritis class

It's hard to believe that six weeks flew by so fast. The Arthritis Self Help Course we offered, through a grant awarded to us by the Senior Energy Summit, was a wonderful success. Thanks to Linda Mozer and Julie Crilley for volunteering their time and endless energy, and also to the Arthritis Foundation for funding their training. We were able to make life a bit easier for several excellent students. We hope we will have the opportunity to teach this great course again next year. Thank you to everyone who participated and help make this happen.

Activities at a Glance

Friday, Sept. 2 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15; veteran's services, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.; ice cream social and sing-along 1 p.m.

Monday - Sept. 5 - Closed for the holiday.

Tuesday, Sept. 6, No computer class; gym walk, 11:15; Seeds of Learning kiddos visit and perform 11:45; Canasta, 1 p.m.; A Hair Affair 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 7 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.

Thursday, Sept. 8 - A day in Durango, pick ups begin at 8 a.m.

Friday, Sept. 9 - My son's 24th birthday! Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; local Council on Aging board meeting 1 p.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.

Menus - (subject to change)

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

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

Friday, Sept. 2 - Chicken Stew with veggies, cauliflower, biscuit and fruit mix.

Monday, Sept. 5 - Closed for the holiday.

Tuesday, Sept. 6 - Roast turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, zucchini, wheat bread and strawberries and ice cream.

Wednesday, Sept. 7 - Braised beef, noodles, glazed carrots, roll and peaches.

Friday, Sept. 9 - Stuffed bell peppers, oven potatoes, Italian vegetables, apricots and a cookie.


Veteran's Corner

Area National Guard unit deploying to Iraq

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

National Guard Unit Det. 2, 947th Engineer Company from Durango will be deploying to Iraq Wednesday, Sept. 7. The bus carrying our local area soldiers will be passing through Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160 11:30 a.m. to noon.

There are 11 soldiers from Durango, Cortez and Shiprock deploying for 1 1/2 to 2 years of active duty.

Blue Star Moms

Blue Star Moms of Durango are urging local citizens to turn out and show support for these troops as they pass through Pagosa Springs. Whether you support the war in Iraq or not, we want to show our support for our young men and women as they serve our nation "in harm's way."

It is suggested you bring a flag and wave as they drive through downtown Pagosa Springs. Veterans in uniforms will be welcomed. Earlier flag-waving troop support efforts took place on the south side of U.S. 160 on the sidewalk between the street and the parking area.

Police escort

Local law enforcement officials will escort the troops as they pass through our area. They will leave Durango Armory at 10 a.m. and travel though downtown Durango and then head to Pagosa Springs.

More information

For additional information or updates to the travel schedule you can call Blue Star Moms at the Durango Armory - Linda Mathews (247-4167, Ext. 3) or Janna Schaefer (247-4167, Ext. 2). Some of you may know these ladies from their trips to Pagosa Springs this past year promoting local chapters of Blue Star Moms.

Travel assistance

With regard to the Veteran's of Foreign Wars 2005 VA health care transportation grant for $5,000, we are still waiting for a check from the Colorado Veterans Trust Fund and expect it very shortly.


As previously reported, this money will be used to assist all veterans with the VA health care appointment travel and overnight accommodation expenses. This will be on a reimbursement basis and we plan to make it retroactive to Aug. 1, 2005.

All you need to qualify for this travel assistance is a verifiable completed appointment with any VA health care facility (Durango, Farmington, Albuquerque VAMC, Grand Junction or Chama, N.M.) and receipt for overnight lodging for that appointment.

Volunteer drivers, too

Those veterans who receive travel expense or overnight accommodation money from the Albuquerque VAMC, or any other source, would not be eligible for this money. There is also some money available for those who assist our veterans as volunteer drivers.

Any travel method

You may use your own vehicle, public transportation, a friend, or one of the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office vehicles.

I urge all veterans who must travel to one of these VA health care facilities to stop by my office with the above information for this assistance to help defray the high cost of fuel and over night accommodations.


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

Durango VA clinic

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

Further information

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

Library News

Cookin' and Bookin': Our cookbook sale is Saturday

By Christine Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

Cookin' is what I started doing at the grand age of 6. My mother put me up on the high metal stool, in front of the electric range, to stir box-mix puddings. Butterscotch was my favorite flavor and I learned pretty fast not to let those black rings burn onto the bottom of the pan.

Culinary sophistication in downstate Illinois in the '50s can be measured by an incident at Sunday dinner at Gram's.

Uncle Eddie looked down at his plate and said, "Gram, mushrooms!"

Gram paused, frowned, looked at him with a bit of impatience in her voice, "Why, I've been to California."

Every so often when I'm searching for a recipe, I open one of my cookbooks and a red birthday card falls out. I see a caption, "Sweets for my Granddaughter", and a figure of a little girl in a chef's hat and apron. The recipes inside include fudge, divinity and brownies, then on the last page, in old-fashioned script, "Love, Gram." Tenderly, I put my first and dearest cookbook back to safety where it will fall out again someday and remind me of love and cooking.

I married my high school sweetheart and we moved to Chicago. I discovered a lifelong joy: used bookstores, with shelves and shelves of wonderful, bargain-priced cookbooks. My first "rare" purchase was "The Epicurian" by Ranhofer. It has a wonderful blue and gold art deco binding, and even more wonderful descriptions of menus served at the great Delmonico's in the late 1800s. The lavish and gargantuan meals devoured by 200 pound singer-actress Lillian Russell and her famed companion, the renowned diner, Diamond Jim Brady, put our meager dining efforts to shame. The menus also cast great black shadows on the joykiller, puritan whining about today's obesity. Wow, could those people eat. Oh, for the time when gourmands ruled the dining rooms. What wimps and pikers we are.

My cookbook collection grew. I stood in line after Julia Child's show at the Ambassador Hotel and got my copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" autographed by the doyenne herself. I was buying saffron stamens and Valrhona chocolate (and fresh mushrooms, not canned, at last!). One of my husband's medical school teachers took a fancy to him and wined and dined us at the good restaurants in Chicago. The rule for wine is that you start with the less expensive and work toward the best. We had dessert first so to speak.

After some very hard years of work and education Tom and I left for a year abroad. We skied the second ski week of our lives at Portillo in Chile. We traveled and ate our way up and down the west coast of South America. Jesus is eating cuye (guinea pig) at the last supper on the mural in the Cathedral in Cuzco. Who knew!

Other people collected art in Europe, I collected meals and memories and menus and books. I have the menu from Tour d'Argent in Paris in a shadow box in my kitchen along with the menus from two different dinners at Bocuse in Lyon. I have his cookbook in French. I have tiny menus from little unknown bistros. They evoke memories of lovely afternoons, dining with friends and family.

My cookbook collection kept growing. I was getting used and rare book lists from Jan Longone of The Wine and Food Library in Michigan. Stories about her cookbook exhibits at the University of Michigan made front page of the Living section of the New York Times. And she talked to me about cookbooks when I called her. I bought from Janet Jarvis in Pasadena, but only when I thought I had enough money not to be afraid of stopping in front of her store.

I perused the shelves of great collections at public institutions. The Marriott family donated the hotel chain cookbook collection to the University of Utah and I could go and look at it. Covetously, I fingered the typed pages of a regional Mexican collection at the Los Angeles Public Library. Jimmy Carter found lust in his heart. I found longings unworthy of a librarian in mine.

I'm one of 600,000 cookbook collectors in America. My nephew Kyle is starting school at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park this fall. He'll be a cookbook collector too. His graduation present from me was a copy of Thomas Keller's "French Laundry Cookbook." Kyle's thank you note said, "I read it every night before I go to bed. I can't believe how much is in that one book!"

I can never believe how much is in one book either. If a cookbook has two recipes I use for the rest of my life, I count it a smashing success. Later, in another column, I'll give you some recipes from a cookbook I'm writing. You knew that, didn't you, that anyone with menus on her walls would be scribbling her own recipes?

For now, come to the library cookbook sale on Saturday at the Visitor's center. I'll get to meet you and we'll talk recipes and cookbooks and food!


Arts Line

Watercolor club exhibit opens

one-month run tonight

By Kayla Douglass

SUN Columnist

The members of the watercolor club will exhibit watercolor paintings during the month of September at the art gallery in Town Park.

The exhibit begins with a reception tonight, 5 to 7 p.m. Please come and join us to view and encourage local painters. The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 28.

The watercolor club of Pagosa Springs meets the third Wednesday of the month and all watercolorists are encouraged to attend.

Watercolor workshop

Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett will teaching their Intermediate Watercolor I workshop Sept. 12-14. This workshop builds on Beginners I and II, and uses everything students learned in those classes. In Intermediate I students will continue to learn from these two instructors as they create independently. Included will be working from photographs, value sketching, understanding space and proportion and adding people to your paintings.

Mornings will include lessons and exercises, with handouts covering the lessons. Afternoons will be spent painting, using that morning's lessons. Class is 9 a.m. -3:30 p.m. daily at the community center. Bring your own lunch and art supplies. Call PSAC at 264-5020 to sign up now. Cost is $123.50 for PSAC members, $130 for others.

Calendar here now

This is the first year of an ongoing calendar produced by local artists reflecting Pagosa Country. This 14-page full color calendar features images for the twelve months as well as a cover image. Works featured are from local artists Bruce Anderson, J. D. Kurz, Jan Brookshier, Sabine Baeckman-Elge, Jeanine Malaney, Jeff Laydon, Ginnie Bartlett, Claire Goldrick, Barbara Rosner, and Tom Lockhart. Artwork exhibited included photography, oil, fabric art, watercolor and mixed media.

The 2006 calendars are available to purchase through the Arts Council now, at a price of $9.95 plus tax for nonmembers and $8.95 plus tax for PSAC members. This is the first season of an annual Pagosa Country Scenic calendar, stop by and pick up yours now — don't forget they make great Christmas gifts.

New Club year

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will resume its winter meeting schedule 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the art room of the community center. The club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at this same time and location, September through May.

All photographers who are interested in improving the quality of their photography are invited to attend. The club provides programs, workshops, field trips, and internal competitions to assist photographers in honing their skills. It is an opportunity for serious photographers to network with others and learn more about different photographic disciplines and techniques for producing award-winning images.

The tentative program schedule will be a presentation by Paul Boyer of Durango on "Photographing Newfoundland" for the September meeting; "Digital Basics for the Serious Photographer" by Bruce Andersen in October; "Family Photos/Scrapbook" in November; and a Christmas Party with show and tell in December.

In conjunction with every meeting, the club holds an internal photo competition for club members. There are two monthly competition categories: an open category in which any subject is allowed and a theme category in which the subject must conform to the subject of the theme. The theme subjects are: September - Summer; October - Balloons; November - Fall Color; December - Multiple Exposure. Members may enter up to two prints in each category.

The club also sponsors photography exhibits open to the public for those members who are interested in producing images conforming to fine art standards.

There is no charge to attend an introductory meeting. All serious photographers are invited to join for an annual fee of $20 per year. For more information, contact club president Jim Struck at 731-6468 or

Mion workshop

PSAC is pleased to announce a watercolor workshop with well-known Pagosa artist Pierre Mion.

Mion'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, Air and Space Magazine.

During his career, Mion has worked with Jacques Cousteau, Gilbert Grosvenor, Carl Sagan, Wernher 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 post cards for the U.S. Postal Service and has participated in numerous research assignments, many for the National Geographic Society. He has been acknowledged by The Society of Illustrators; 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.-4 p.m. Oct. 4-6 at the community center. Bring your own lunch. Cost for the workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for others. Pierre wants his students to find out the joy and excitement of watercolors. He intends to give them his techniques of step-by-step ways to achieve a finished painting. This class is for all ability levels and will be one on one instruction. The theme is fall subjects and he will provide photos to work from. Class size is limited to make your reservation now by calling PSAC at 264-5020. After making your reservation Pierre will communicate with each student regarding a supply list.

Davis to return

Due to Randall Davis' schedule there were no drawing classes scheduled in August nor will there be for September. He will resume his one-Saturday-a-month class again in October. Stay tuned for time and date.

Woodworking exhibit

Pagosa Springs is home to many woodworkers who design and construct a wide range of products including furniture, turned bowls, carvings etc.

PSAC will again sponsor an exhibit in which Pagosa's finest woodworkers can show their newest wares. The Fine Woodworking Exhibit starts Sept. 29 and continues through Oct. 31. PSAC is requesting applications from area woodworkers. Selection will emphasize a balance between art and craftsmanship. For more information, contact the gallery at 264-5020 (e-mail at or contact David Smith at 264-6647 (e-mail at

PSAC calendar

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

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

Sept. 1-28 - Watercolor club exhibit.

Sept. 12-14 - Intermediate Watercolor Workshop with Denny and Ginnie, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 - Photo club meeting 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 29 - Oct. 31 - Fine Woodworking and Betty Slade Student Oil Painters exhibit.

Oct. 4 -6 - Watercolor workshop with Pierre Mion.

October - Artist studio tour.

November - 2005 gallery tour

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For inclusion in Arts line, send information to PSAC e-mail ( 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

I'm married again ... to someone

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I remember some things about the day very clearly.

It was, after all, a special day.

For example, I remember breakfast.

I also recall ending the day floating in a leaky replica of a Venetian canal boat, listening to a theater school dropout sing an Italian love song.

Everything else is kind of hazy.

Despite my lack of overall clarity, I'm being forced to relate this tale of a reawakening of passion and a touching reaffirmation of a deep bond. My friends demand it. After all, they bought special shirts and dresses.

As do many stories that involve a serious lapse of memory, this one takes place in Las Vegas.

I am in town for bit of fun, as is my wife, Kathy (who tries to have as much fun as someone raised in the Church of The Nazarene can have in The Beastmaster's Playground), and our friends Jack, Patti, Toby, Renae and Ron — none of whom is a stranger to temptation.

We're booked into The Venetian, and there is romance in the air, major plans afoot.

As I say, I remember breakfast clearly.

Who wouldn't? Kathy and Ron and I eat at Thomas Keller's Bouchon.

This is a priority during the visit. Keller is touted by many as America's greatest chef. His French Laundry and Bouchon in Yountville, California, are renowned among foodies. The staff laughs at you if you phone the French Laundry and ask for a table that night. A few weeks out, maybe. Sometimes longer, depending on the night of the week.

The fellow knows his stuff and food freaks jostle each other in the rush to bask in Keller's oh-so-bright light.

The joint at the Venetian is lovely, and presentation, folks, counts. The interior is done up with graceful nods to the classic French bistro. The staff is superb; front and back wait staff, at breakfast. Crumb dusters everywhere you look.

The food?

Oh yes. I remember it clearly.

I order a croque madame. Darned good choice, if I don't say so myself. This is a special take on the classic: A thick slice of toasted brioche bears a layer of thinly-sliced smoky ham - on top of that, poached eggs and a velvety mornay sauce with just a hint of cheesy bite. The croque arrives with a heaping pile of frites on the side, the spud sticks double deep fried, puffy, salty, fatty wonderful.

Kathy orders Bouchon's version of baked eggs. The cream, butter and eggs are baked inside a shell of golden, super-thin potato slices.

Ron wolfs down an order of smoked salmon, marvelous little mini-baguettes at the ready to help propel the treat mouthward.

The meal is superb. And the price not a whole lot higher than what some of our local hash houses charge for underdone and greasy hashbrowns, overcooked eggs and a couple pieces of dry toast.

Consider me happy. We take at least an hour to enjoy the meal and the surroundings.

Then trouble.

And the source of my mnemonic meltdown.

I can easily summarize the problem: Just because the lounge at the hotel offers a terrific deal on Tanqueray and tonic does not mean you need to order one at 10 a.m.

And it definitely doesn't require you to continue drinking them throughout the remainder of the morning and into the early afternoon. Kathy nudges me at several points in the process and gently urges restraint. I, of course, interpret each attempt at intervention as just one more sad remnant of her unnecessarily stern upbringing.

I'm wrong. She's right. This is not a wise idea.

Not on your wedding day.

Yep. You see, aside from the nod to debauchery (which, at my age, is but a feeble echo of a once mighty roar) the main reason we are in Vegas is to reaffirm our wedding vows.

Not just Kathy and me. The whole darned bunch of us.

As a group.

As a team.

Team Pagosa: Kathy and I, Jack and Patty, Toby and Renae. We're here to re-tie the knot in a group ceremony reminiscent of one of those mass weddings the Reverend Moon likes to throw at Madison Square Garden.

Our event will be a bit smaller.

And, instead of Rev. Moon, we schedule the ceremony to be performed by Elvis.

Toby and Renae set the thing up, romantic rascals that they are. And, as nearly psychotic Jimmy Buffet fans, the lovable parrotheads have steered the blind among us to the purchase of identical outfits for the ceremony. Hawaiian theme.

We look like we booked into The Venetian for a hula convention.

I kind of remember putting on my Hawaiian shirt.

I vaguely remember Kathy laughing at me.

Next, I am stumbling through the casino at The Venetian, Kathy next to me, hissing at me periodically. "I told you not to drink. I told you, didn't I? You just about knocked that old man with the walker and the portable oxygen tank down the stairs. Alcohol is the ruination of all who indulge carelessly. Mark my words, chubby: if you can't walk a bit better than this, I'm going on ahead and you can fend for yourself."

She's raging at me mercilessly, but my luck holds. The bridal party meets - IN THE LOUNGE!

Wahhooo - time for one last tank and tonic. Heavy on the tank, if you will.

Ron is with us as our Best Man (actually our Adequate Man). Jack and Patty's daughter, Olivia, is our Bridesmaid. The two are decked in a different pattern Hawaiian fabric. They look like traffic signals. Traffic signals sipping hefty tank and tonics.

Somewhere out there in the memory mist is the limo arriving to take us to the "chapel." It is driven by a large, black woman named Sonia.

Ron immediately falls in love with Sonia and proposes. It's touching.

We drive from the hotel through a neighborhood spotted with by-the-hour motels and strip clubs and, finally, we are there: our temple of love.

Let me give you my impressions - impressions are all I have.

Car alarms going off in every direction.

White, patched stucco.

Indoor/outdoor carpet. Several colors.

Ronnie begs Sonia to walk down the aisle with him. It's touching.

A smell very much like that of a funeral parlor: dusty, a whiff of formaldehyde in the air. I wonder if this is a dual-use facility.

A small, raised stage at the front of a dimly-lit, narrow room.

Folding chairs.

Small, thin, swarthy guy with dyed black pompadour and long sideburns wearing gold lamé jacket and black slacks with a mat of cat hair on them. He is holding a plastic microphone.

Music. Canned Elvis soundtracks, without The King's voice.

Short guy in gold lamé jacket singing. With gusto and slightly off key.

To Olivia. The guy is smitten.

"Wise men say "

Short, swarthy young El looking earnestly into Kathy's eyes, asking her if she agrees to reaffirm our marriage. Something about loving me tender and not stepping on my blue suede shoes.

Kathy hesitates, but finally relents and mumbles something that sounds like "I guess so."

Short, young El gazing intently into my eyes, his face inches from mine, asking same question. I am sure he ate fettucini alfredo for lunch. He drinks vodka during his lunch break.

There is every chance I married Toby, since I look down as I make my vow and he is holding my hand.

The process is repeated with Jack and Patty. Jack is staring out a window at the side of the chapel. He is watching a birdie. He, too, has been partaking of Tanqueray and tonic.

Patty, the paragon of enthusiasm, interrupts the young Elvis and says "I do" several extra times. She is ready to kiss and hug everyone in the building. She, too, has put down a few tank and tonics.

Ron is waving wildly at Sonia, who mans the sound booth at the back of the room. The frightening thing is, she is waving back. Wildly.

Olivia is trying to stay away from the young El.

Toby is gassed and is willing to say anything, do anything just to be near an Elvis impersonator. Renae is suffering a major-league upper respiratory infection exacerbated by the mold in the indoor/outdoor carpet in the chapel and she croaks out an alarming "I do," as young El launches into yet another song. We join him in a lusty version of "Viva Las Vegas."

We do the Twist.

We pry young Elvis off Olivia and head back to the hotel, looking for all the world like a Honolulu bowling team. A bowling team composed of drunks, and one snarling Nazarene.

I vaguely remember Sonia promising to meet Ronnie at eight. After she went home and shaved.

The next thing I recall is our wedding dinner at a mighty fine Mexican restaurant in the hotel. The event begins as I spill a full glass of pinot noir on my light tan pants. I remember this because any time I sense a massive amount of moisture in my lap, my sense are sharpened and I begin to worry.

What's a marriage without margaritas? Pitchers and pitchers of margaritas. Along with some great chow, including - I am told - molé enchiladas for me, some pork cooked in banana leaf for others, a whopping portion of carne asada for Ronnie who nervously awaits the arrival of his limo queen.

By dinner's end, I am plum tuckered out. The massive dose of love and the nightlife are getting to me.

As are the margaritas.

I pause in the casino long enough to dump a significant amount of money into the hotel's remodel fund and I figure it's time to hit the hay.

Kathy has been playing a nickel slot and fretting about the loss of 30 cents, so I end her suffering by suggesting we call it a day.

"Aren't you forgetting something, sport?"

"Well, I'm not sure if I can put down another one of those gin and tonics. But, if you insist "

"Wrong. Do you remember what you promised when we were in the limo, riding back to the hotel?"

"Promises? I barely remember how to tie my shoes at this point in the game. Uhhh did it have anything to do with a pony?"

"The ride on the canal boat, chunky. You promised me a ride on the canal boat."

Dear heavens.

She puts her sweet head on my shoulder as we slosh around in the fake canal, listening to a woman affect a fake Italian accent and sing a snippet of Puccini while she poles us through the dark at the front of the hotel.

Kathy is happy. Me, I am temporarily confused by the pattern in the carpet but, after some keen reckoning, I find the elevators and we make it up to our suite, and get ready to turn in.

I look at the clock.

Eight thirty.

In Las Vegas.

That's what a wedding will do to you. I collapse, disgraced.

The only way to repair a wounded situation: Back to Bouchon.

We all traipse to the restaurant for breakfast. This time, I enjoy a perfect omelet, with gruyere and wild mushrooms.

The bride remains a bit sullen following breakfast. I need more salve on the wound.

How to seal the deal? Take Kathy back to Bouchon (I'm nothing, if not obsessive). This time, for dinner.

I deem it our "wedding dinner," so I can justify spending more money on wine. Since I deposited a full glass of pinot in my lap the night before, I go back to that grape. You fall off a horse, you get back on and ride.

What a splendid treat.

We start with a paté de campagne, made in-house, semi-chunky, wrapped in fat, served with small baguettes, baked together in a pattern, warm and ready to tear into hunks.

Kathy has an heirloom tomato salad, a thick slice of a green heirloom placed atop a platform of small, whole fruits, red and orange. A small nest of greens and the tomatoes are slicked with a mint vinaigrette. Then, it's classic bistro fare for the bride: steak frites, with a Bordeaux.

Me, I order a piece of pan roasted salmon and it arrives cooked perfectly, medium rare, aslosh in a remarkable loose bernaise with wild mushrooms. I continue to quaff the pinot noir.


Certainly. This is a celebration.

Profiteroles with a house-made ice cream and Verona chocolate sauce.

I intend to duplicate the bernaise the next time I get my hands on some decent salmon. That could be a while, but I can dream

I also need to coordinatee the event with an opportunity to wander into the woods to pick some chanterelles. There should be a brief window soon and I will continue to call my friends Bunk and Marsha and plead with them to take me to fungusville when they go on one of their forays. If I attempt to find the delectable mushroom without their expert help, I am likely to ingest something that has family and friends delivering me to the emergency room in a coma, the scene accompanied by people in surgical smocks yelling things like "Code Blue."

I'll make a loose bernaise (read lots and lots of butter) and saute the mushrooms before adding them to the sauce. If I fail to find the fish, I'll thicken the sauce slightly and use it with some grilled, prime beef.

One other thing I know I'm going to do soon.

I'm calling Toby and hitting him with the idea of returning to Vegas next year.

We need to do this team wedding thing every summer. From what I remember, I think I had a pretty good time. Tanqueray, tonic, Puccini, baguettes, bernaise.

Goofy shirts.

Love springs eternal.

Extension Viewpoints

Weed management plans for small rural acreages

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Monday, Sept. 5, Office closed - Labor Day.

Check out our Web page at for calendar events and info.

Prevention keeps weeds from occurring or increasing in an area. Preventive techniques include planting high quality, weed-free crops or grass seed. Legislative items, such as clean-seed acts and weed-management laws, also can help stop weed problems before they occur or may deter weed spread.

An important preventive measure related to control is to keep weeds from going to seed. This is important for annuals and biennials, because that is the only way they reproduce. Perennials reproduce from seed, as well as vegetatively from their root systems.

Annual weeds live for one growing season, biennials for two and perennials more than two. However, preventing seed set is extremely important in keeping perennials from starting new infestations some distance from existing ones.

Eradication -- Eradication is the removal of weeds from an area so they will not recur unless reintroduced. If eradication creates an open area, one weed problem may be cured simply to create another one. If eradication is necessary, revegetate the ground to prevent another weed infestation. Eradication is desirable for small patches, 10 to 100 feet in diameter, but not always for larger ones.

Control - Control, the most common management strategy, reduces a weed population to a level where you can make a living off of, or enjoy using, the land. Adequate control also may prevent future infestations. There are four control methods: cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical.

Cultural control methods promote growth of desirable plants. Fertilization, irrigation and planting at optimum densities let crops compete with weeds and not with each other. While nitrogen fertilization increases yields in grass hay meadows, it also fosters weed establishment and growth. Fertilize cautiously, especially with nitrogen, and only when necessary as determined by soil testing.

Mechanical control methods physically disrupt weed growth. This is the oldest control method and is used most often worldwide. Tillage, hoeing, hand-pulling, mowing and burning are examples. To mulch or smother weeds is often considered mechanical, even though it simply excludes light rather than physically disrupting weed growth.

Biological control methods use an organism to disrupt weed growth. Often the organism is an insect or disease and a natural enemy of the weed. This is called classical biological control. Classical is not the only form of biological control. Livestock can be effective weed-management tools if used correctly. However, improper livestock management (overgrazing) can be extremely damaging to the environment and exacerbate weed problems.

Chemical control methods use herbicides to disrupt weed growth. The first rule of any pesticide use is to read the label before using the product and follow all directions and precautions.

Avoid using soil-active herbicides, such as Tordon, Vanquish/Clarity or Telar, near windbreak plantings and other desirable woody vegetation. Plant injury or death can occur. Do not allow any herbicide to drift onto woody or other desirable vegetation for the same reason.

Weed management systems - A weed management system uses two or more control methods. The key is to encourage desirable plant growth with optimum fertilization when necessary, and/or irrigation. Plant competition is an often overlooked tool and should be used first, but not exclusively. When enlargement of the desirable plant community is necessary, make sure you seed at optimum rates to ensure establishment and subsequent competition with weeds. Generally, perennial, sod-forming grasses compete best with weeds. Till, hoe, hand-pull, mow or mulch if desired. Herbicides are powerful tools that should be used judiciously, not exclusively. Unfortunately, too often herbicides are used to make up for poor cultural or mechanical management decisions. Herbicides may be a component of the weed-management system. Biological controls can also be part of a system. Several natural enemies currently are available from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Livestock grazing can be effective, depending on the weed species, if the livestock are properly managed for weed control.

Hay Directory

The newest edition of the Colorado Hay Directory is now available to the public at no cost. The Colorado Hay Directory connects growers to ranchers needing hay for their livestock. The 19th edition of the directory is the biggest to date, listing 102 producers and brokers of hay. Categorized by region, the directory lists the type of hay, size of bales, tonnage, whether its certified weed free, and if a lab analysis is available. The hay directory is now available online at For a free copy, call the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 239-4115.

Cattlemen's Day

Cattlemen's Day will take place Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Small Farms and Ranch Conference located at the San Juan Basin Research Center in Hesperus.

The program will begin at 10 a.m. with Dr. Tim Holt concerning PAP testing for Brisket Disease. The program will break for lunch with Baxtrum's Chuck Wagon. A $10 fee will be charged for the Chuck Wagon meal. Then Dr. Libby Fraser from Pfizer Animal Health will discuss new technology in the treatment of Bovine Respiratory Disease. The program will finish with Dr. Lynn Locatelli presenting Bud Williams' philosophy about low stress cattle handling.

This program is brought to area cattlemen by Basin Co-op, IFA, La Plata County Cattlemen's Association, Archuleta County Cattlemen's Association, Pfizer Animal Health, Agritek Feeds and Small Farm and Ranch Conference. For more information call (970) 385-4574.

Seed mixes available

The San Juan Conservation District is offering local landowners the opportunity to purchase a variety of seed mixes for different conservation uses such as erosion control, weed suppression, and grazing land improvement. These mixes have been specially developed to provide a ground cover that requires very little watering. Available mixes include: native grass mixture, dryland pasture mix and native wildflower mix. Orders will be taken until Sept. 16. The seed will be available Oct. 5. Please contact the San Juan Conservation District at 731-3615, or stop by their office at 505A Piedra Road, next to Piedra Automotive.

Photo contest

Capture the essence of Colorado agriculture on film and enter the 2005 "Colorado it's AgriCulture" photography contest. Entries must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture with an official entry form by Dec. 31. Judging will be based on theme, creativity and technical quality. Prizes will be awarded in four categories: livestock, people, crops and scenes from a farmers' market. The photographer whose picture best depicts the 'spirit' of Colorado agriculture will receive a Kodak Easy Share CX7430 digital camera. All winning photographs will be displayed at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo. The contest is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the AgInsights Committee, Kodak Co Division and Northeastern Junior College. Visit www.colorado or pick up an official entry form at the Archuleta County Cooperative Extension office.

Pagosa Lakes News

Suggested ways to deal (with tourists)

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

We get a lot of visitors from all over the country at the recreation center this time of year.

I overheard an interesting conversation between a lady from Texas and a society lady from the Northeast the other day. The Texas lady was typically friendly and gregarious and asked, "Where y'all from?"

The society lady seemed a bit put off, and retorted, "I'm from a place where they don't end sentences with a preposition."

The southern lady smiled, nodded her head and sweetly said, "Beg your pardon. Where y'all from, *****?"

Fortunately, the young ladies who work at the recreation center are (I hope) more P.C. than that. I've asked Melissa Maberry, one of our teenage staff members, to tell us how she's learned to deal with tourists.

Here is what she wrote.

"You can't live with them and you can't live without them - at least not economically. Who, or what, are - 'them?'

"One word: tourists.

"However, when encountering tourists every day at work, it's necessary to understand the best way to deal with them. Sometimes, a few simple answers to some simple questions are all you need.

"Therefore, I developed the 'Top Ten Frequent Questions Asked by Tourists' and worked out the answers I find suitable, and generally acceptable. This simple guide might help you learn how to deal with tourists.

"Question 1: 'There is nothing to do in Pagosa. What can we do?'

"If you'd asked me when planning your vacation, I would've told you in advance that there's nothing to do in Pagosa. But, here you are. Try to enjoy it as much as you can.

"Question 2: 'Why is there nothing to do in Pagosa?'

"There's nothing to do in Pagosa because the locals enjoy the outdoors. Plus, why have something convenient when you can have an excuse to go to a bigger town and do something there?

"Question 3: 'How's Pagosa's night life?'

"What's that?

"Question 4: 'Why do all the places close too early in Pagosa?'

"If you get on U.S. 160 going west, you'll arrive at Durango. They have a Wal-Mart that's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Have fun.

"Question 5: 'Why is the weather too cold here?' (When it's 85 degrees).

"Check their forehead and make sure they're not running a temperature.

"Question 6: ' Is there a Wal-Mart in town?'

"No, we don't have a Wal-Mart. If you get on U.S. 160 going west, you'll arrive at Durango. They have a Wal-Mart that's open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Have fun.

"Question 7: 'How do I get to Hatcher Lake?'

"Leave your house, or condo, at about 5:15 p.m. then get on Piedra Road (also known as County Road 600) and travel for about six miles. When you pass the hill with the llama on top, drive one more mile and look directly to your left - that's Hatcher Lake. (True story)

"Question 8: 'I purchased a family fishing permit and we didn't catch any fish. Can I have a refund?'

"Please tell me you're kidding.

"Question 9: 'Where are the Hot Springs?'

"Just go to town and follow your nose.

"Question 10: 'Will I smell like sulfur after swimming in the Hot Springs?'

Well, you have two options: you can either take six showers one after another and smell bad for three days, or you can just take your normal showers and smell bad for three days. Don't worry, though, the locals are used to the smell - it's the rest of the world you have to worry about.

"Ironically, the answers to these questions make fun of the quirks of Pagosa Springs. But what's the use of living in a small town if you can't make fun of it every once in a while? And what's the use of being a tourist town if you can't look forward to that one question that will eventually come:

"'How soon can I move here?'"


 Business News

Chamber News

Colorfest is the next big star on calendar

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

At long last, and with great anticipation, Colorfest tickets for all the events are now available for sale at the Chamber of Commerce.

This year's events may throw a few people off their regular schedule, but read on and mark down the changes, new times, and venues on your calendar.

Colorfest weekend is always the third weekend in September, and this year it will occur Sept. 16-18.

There will be some kind of activity each day that weekend. At last count, I "heard" that Reach for the Peaks was up to 60 balloons for their rally! This is a landmark year for this organization as they celebrate a "20th Year of Hot Air." We thank them for continuing to grow this event and for giving Pagosa more reason to celebrate this time of year.

Show your support and sponsor a balloon, house a balloonist or a crew, or volunteer to crew for a balloon. For more information, call Reach for the Peaks and speak to Liz Marchand at 946-2859.

A little different this year: To start off the weekend on Friday, Reach for the Peaks will have their own private function for balloonists, sponsors and crew. While they celebrate a very significant anniversary for their organization and have some special tributes to longtime balloonists, the rest of the community will be rockin' in Town Park.

The Community Picnic, typically held Saturday, will be moved to Friday, Sept. 16. The picnic will take place in Town Park under a big tent instead of at the Extension Building. Christine's Cuisine will satisfy everyone's food palette by serving tender brisket, potato salad, beans, rolls, dessert and more. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. There will also be beer and wine available for purchase. The party starts at 5 p.m. and food will be served until 8.

During the dinner time and until about 9 p.m., we will have several musical groups at the park to entertain us and hopefully get some people up dancing!. Starting off the evening will be the up and coming Laverty sister trio, "Wildflower." Benellen, 16, Allison, 15, and Johannah, 8, will delight the audience with mandolin, guitar, banjo and other instruments as well as with their vocals. Remember when the boys of the Pagosa Hot Strings were barely big enough to hold the instruments? Now look at them. We now have the female version, with some very talented young ladies in our community.

Later on in the evening we will tap our feet and be entertained by the lively and talented Randall Davis, Clay Campbell and "Bluegrass Cadillac" with several of their friends from Durango. There will be plenty of seating for all; you can arrive up to 8 p.m. to eat, and then you can stay and enjoy the music, camaraderie, and Town Park until 9 p.m., all under the protection of a big tent. Tickets are available for this event at the Chamber.

Saturday morning around 8 a.m., wander back downtown where the first balloon mass ascension of the weekend will take place. The colorful balloons will launch near the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard. This is a wonderful photo opportunity and a great way to start your day. Watch the balloons splash and dash or catch a shot of the balloons with the mountains as a backdrop. After the mass ascension, visit one of our great restaurants or save up your appetite for more eating events in Town Park later that day.

Throughout the day in Town Park there will be several small events. There will be two cooking classes around the lunch hour as well as the chance for all women fishing enthusiasts to show off their skills at various contests hosted by the Ladies in Wading.

While more details will be revealed in the upcoming weeks about these events, here are the highlights.

The Ladies in Wading will host demonstrations and casting contests for ladies 13 and older right in Town Park on the San Juan River. Learn some new techniques, show off your skills and win some prizes. There will be prizes for the most accurate casting and the longest cast. If you're not a fisherwoman, then learn some new cooking skills and preview some of the wines that will be served at that evening's wine tasting event.

Two local chefs will be preparing food with some of the special wines to be served; you will be able to eat the food prepared and taste some of the complementary wines. You will receive recipe cards and will be able to prepare this meal later with ease and in the comfort of your own kitchen. Classes will be held in beautiful Town Park as well. The classes and chefs will be announced next week.

We then come to the big event of the weekend - the wine tasting Saturday, Sept. 17. This year's theme is "Passport to Wine," because there will be over 50 wines from around the world available for you to taste. There will be several benefits to this year's wine tasting. Although maybe not readily recognizable, many of the wines being served are already, or will be, available at several liquor stores in town.

We are looking to broaden the community's exposure to all these different wines from different countries while giving the tasting public a price range of wines from which to choose - all in the convenience of your own hometown, at your own wine festival!

The wines highlighted this year will come from Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Argentina, Chile and the western United States. Another great addition to the event this year will be food, not just cheese. While we will be serving cheese (primarily with the French wines, as well as with some desserts), we will be serving hors d'oeuvres representing the country from where the wine originates. We will pique your interest in the next couple of weeks with more information on the food to be served and the caterers or restaurants involved.

This year your ticket, or "passport," may be purchased in advance at the Chamber of Commerce for $30. Passports obtained the day of the event will be $35. Your passport will list all the wines being served by country and type and there will be space for you to make notes for future reference. With your passport purchase, you will also receive the traditional wine tasting glass with the annual theme. There will be the annual Colorfest shirt available for purchase as well.

Another big change is that the wine tasting event will also be held in Town Park under the tent where the community picnic was held Friday. The wine tasting will start at 6 p.m. this year, not 5 p.m. and it will go until about 8:30 p.m. After the wine tasting, weather permitting, you can either stay in Town Park or stroll across the street to the soccer field to watch the balloon glow. Balloonists will light up the area with their tethered balloons when dark settles in. If you've never seen a balloon glow, you just don't know what a magical site you are missing. We hope this new location will be conducive to the balloonists and viewers alike. Just a reminder: In order to obtain a wine passport, you must be 21 or older. The balloon glow is open to all ages, of course.

We can't forget Sunday, when another mass ascension will take place, this time near the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. Ascension time should, again, be about 8 a.m. After chasing balloons or watching the activities, wander over to JJ's Upstream for a leisurely Sunday champagne-tasting brunch. There you may get your passport stamped one more time and partake of three sparkling wines served with a delectable brunch menu. Reservations may be made and tickets purchased for this event at the Chamber. Tickets for this brunch are also $30.

What a weekend: balloons with stunning scenery, wines from around the world, a community gathering with good food and music, cooking classes, casting contests for the female fishing enthusiast or novice, and even time left for you to take a drive or hike and enjoy the start of one of the most scenic seasons in the area.

Should you have any questions about the events or the times, call the Chamber at 264-2360 for more information. We are really looking forward to all the fun, diversity and beauty of Pagosa's own Colorfest weekend.

Folk festival

While you may have to wait for the wine festival, you don't have to wait any longer for the great music provided at the Four Corners Folk Festival. Happening every year over the Labor Day weekend, the Folk Festival will have music from Friday, Sept. 2, to Sunday, Sept. 4 - again on Reservoir Hill.

This year, Folkwest and the festival will celebrate their 10th anniversary. Congratulations to this progressive group of people who have grown this event over the Labor Day weekend from 700 to more than 3,500 spectators.

How many really remember when our town was not as busy as it is now during this time frame? It is great that there will be local talent at the festival with Wildflower and the Hot Strings performing. Popular favorite Eddie From Ohio will return with their unique style of harmony, antics and range of music for all to hear on Sunday, Sept. 4. Return artists such as Tony Furtado, Darrel Scott, Darol Anger, The Bills, Ruthie Foster and Mollie O'Brien engage us and show us all their latest musical accomplishments. We will also get to enjoy newcomers like Sweet Sunny South, Drew Emmitt, Crooked Still, Broke Mountain Bluegrass and many more.

Tickets are still available for individual days or you can get a weekend pass. You can go online at, call 731-5582 or, if out of the area, call (877) 472-4672. This event just keeps getting bigger and better. Don't miss it this year, the 10th anniversary.

Sidewalk sale

Even if you have to work, even if you are going up to Reservoir Hill for the music festival, even if you are having company in for the weekend, there's always time to shop! Local merchants will be having specials and tables and racks galore for the end-of-season Sidewalk Sale.

This year, most merchants from the west side to the east side of town will be participating for five days (Thursday, Sept. 1, throiugh Monday, Sept. 5) so that everyone can shop locally and enjoy all the savings and great merchandise. If you are attending the folk festival, as an added bonus, check the festival program, look for the Chamber of Commerce page, then partake of a special that a participating business is offering.

There will be lots of added "specials" during the weekend. Show your support of our local vendors and shop early, shop often, and don't miss all the goodies offered over the Labor Day holiday.

Blue Star Moms

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, a regional team of soldiers being deployed to Iraq, will pass through Pagosa Springs. They will leave the Durango armory at about 10 a.m., travel through downtown Durango, then arrive in Pagosa Springs about 11:30 a.m.. The Blue Star Moms of Durango (and a Pagosa Springs Chamber member) are requesting that local citizens come out and show support by lining Pagosa Street, cheering our heroes on as they pass through town and wave those American flags. There are 11 soldiers from the Durango, Cortez and Shiprock areas who will be stationed in Iraq for 1 1/2 to 2 years. Let's send our regional men and women soldiers away to their jobs knowing that we appreciate their efforts and dedication.

Membership renewals

Two new members and 17 renewals grace the Chamber this week.

A much-needed addition to the Chamber and the community is Teresa's Lil Blessings Day Care. Longtime child caregiver Teresa Mael goes out on her own to open her daycare center in Pagosa Hills. Teresa has over seven years experience in this field and is now taking applications for daycare enrollment. Knowledgeable, caring and responsible, are traits you look for in a daycare provider. Give Teresa a call at 264-4786.

A new realtor out of the blocks this week is Michelle Haynes. Michelle is with Herman Riggs & Associates, another Chamber member. We welcome her, and encourage her and all other Chamber real estate members to give us information about themselves so we can display it at the Visitor Center. For a listing or appointment, give Michelle a call at 264-2201.

Let's start off the renewals this week with the business that is celebrating 20 years of hot air, Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures and Mike Marchand; then there's Jann Pitcher Real Estate and one of her associates Les Mundall. We have Trophies Tomorrow and a two-fer this week with The Plaid Pony and De Winter and Associates. The new owners of the Lantern Dancer Gallery rejoin this week as does Danna Laverty and The L Bar Z Ranch Cabins. Welcome back to Pagosa Riverside Campground; Healing Waters Spa and Salon near the Springs Resort; Pagosa Central Reservations; The Flying Burrito; Craig Taylor and Treecology; BootJack Ranch; The Bank of Colorado; Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation (PAWS); and another great associate Chamber member and Chamber Diplomat - Jackie Schick.

Give us a call here at the Chamber and watch for the information in The SUN about Colorfest activities. Get your tickets for the picnic and Passport to Wine festival and don't forget the new days for the events.

Biz Beat


Scott and Gennette Erickson own and operate Ears2U, located at 100 Country Center Drive, Suite J, next to the Movie Gallery and across from the City Market store.

Scott comes to Pagosa with 20 years experience in the hearing healthcare industry. His experience includes repair of all makes and models of hearing aids and he has been involved in the manufacture of hearing aids. He was trainer and manufacturer representative for Starkey Labs for nine years, responsible for fitting many of the hard-to-fit cases in the Pacific Northwest. Scott was also regional trainer and managing director for Sonus Hearing clinics in Oregon, Washington and Canada.

The clinic in Pagosa Springs is one of three hearing clinics owned by the Ericksons - one in Portland, Ore., and another in Alamosa. The goal is to provide the best possible care for customers and the highest quality of hearing instruments available for a variety of hearing losses and budgets.

Scott maintains, "The key to a successful fitting is to provide continuous follow-up care until satisfaction is achieved."

Ears2U is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 9-1. Call 731-4554 before visiting the Ears2U.


Cards of Thanks



Hay! This was not any ol' golf tournament! John Voden's mini golf, "Bogey's," helped LASSO (Large Animal Support Southwest Organization) raise funds to provide lots of "hay" for the community's large animals in need. Many thanks to all participants and those who provided the wonderful prizes for the tournament Aug. 28.

A special thank you to Kim Smith of the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad Journey, Parelli's Natural Horsemanship, Parelli Collections, Caribou Crane, Robbie Pepper and Jim Smith Realty, Citizens Bank, Colorado Land Title, Great Divide Title, Sunetha, UBC, Janet and Dave Richardson, Nancy and Bill Crouse, Dyan Griffin, Frank Elge, Jim Hitchcox and, again, John Voden. If we left you out of our thanks - thanks.

Any future donations are always welcome. Visit lassohorserescue. org. Thanks, Pagosa.


EMT Basic

The Upper San Juan Health Service District congratulates the 10 newest graduates of the EMT-Basic class. The class began in April with 10 students, with all 10 completing the program Aug. 28.

A special thanks is given to the families of the students for helping with practicing of blood pressure and assessment skills. Thanks for allowing your loved ones the time to attend classes.

Thanks also to the EMS staff who helped teach and encourage the class to complete the program.

I am proud of each and every one of you for the hard work, dedication and perseverance you showed. It was extremely enjoyable getting to know every one of you. Thank you.

Larry Escude



Wow! What an evening, Friday, Aug. 26, at the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs 11th annual Auction for the Animals. Over 400 supporters turned out for the fun event. Many wonderful items and guests filled the community center and brought the Auction to life.

Along with the Life Magazine cover World War II photo, signed by Carl Muscarello, better known as the "Kissing Sailor," and the Taste of Taos Getaway, just under $40,000 of merchandise was sold. The generous proceeds from the auction help to offset the cost of feeding, sheltering, and caring for dogs and cats at the Humane Society Animal Shelter.

Thank you to all who contributed to make this year's auction a success: the guests, the bidders, the individuals and businesses who donated goods and services, the financial supporters, those who helped with publicity and ticket sales, the hard-working staff of the Humane Society, and especially the incredible volunteers who give unselfishly of many hours of time and labor. The auction wouldn't have happened without you.

Thank you Pagosa Springs and supporters for making the wonderful Auction for the Animals such an amazing event.

Humane Society of Pagosa Springs


Sports Page

Pirate kickers open with two front range contests

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It's finally here.

After three weeks of head banging with themselves, the Pagosa Pirate soccer squad is ready to battle someone else, when it counts.

In what has become a traditional opening, the Pirates take their show on the road to Colorado Springs area schools for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday.

They open 4:15 p.m. Friday at Fountain Valley High School and close out the weekend 11 a.m. Saturday against Manitou Springs.

A day-long series of scrimmages Saturday in Pagosa was supposed to help iron out the late bugs, but some of that competition was stymied when Aztec pulled out at the last minute.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason substituted his junior varsity for Aztec the rest of the day, the first assignment being the Pirate varsity.

Other teams participating in the scrimmage day were Durango junior varsity, Bayfield, Alamosa and Durango C-team.

Like every meeting of this kind, Kurt-Mason said, "you see things you didn't know a certain player could do correctly; and you see some plays which you know they know should never happen."

Missing from the roster early on will be offensive threat Shan Webb, currently academically ineligible. He is expected back for the final six games of the season.

Veteran Senior wing Paul Muirhead, moved to center mid this year, and looked like he'd played the position all his life to the casual observers. "But he's really been working to learn the nuances," Kurt-Mason said, "the right cuts at the right moment, when to rotate back and when to attack."

Junior Caleb Ormonde was a terror as striker, moving the ball well off controlled feeds from wings.

Kurt-Mason worked a pair of sophomores in net Saturday, Felix Guitierrez and Ohio transfer student Mike Schmidt. Josh Stuckwish had been expected to fight for that spot, but suffered a shoulder injury which could necessitate surgery. Guitierrez probably will get the first start.

Others seeing extensive action with the varsity Saturday were Thomas Martinez, Kevin Blue, Keith Pitcher, Derek Monks, Max Smith and Tesh Parker.

Kurt-Mason has named 14 players to represent the varsity for the season openers.

"But don't for a minute think they'll be the only ones getting a chance," he said. "There are three more on junior varsity who I wouldn't hesitate a minute to bring up. I just want them to get more playing time and the junior varsity has a game Friday against Kirtland."

There were two minor injuries Saturday - Kevin Blue and Paul Muirhead each rolled an ankle - but they should be fine for the opener, said the coach.

Others making the varsity opener trip will be Kevin Smith, Tadd Beavers and surprising youngster Javier Hurriaga "who just fought himself into the mix," said Kurt-Mason.

Pagosa will host Cortez for a 4 p.m. game Tuesday and Crested Butte comes in for a similar start time Friday, Sept. 9. The Pirates go to Ridgway the following day for an 11 a.m. start; to Center for a 4 p.m., start Sept. 15 (officials are attempting to change this game time because of the 7 p.m. closure factor on Wolf Creek Pass). On Saturday of that week the Pirates take to the road to Telluride for an 11 a.m. start.

Then, it's back home for a noon start Sept. 24 against Basalt and a 6 p.m. contest Sept. 30 with Bayfield.

The Pirates play 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in Crested Butte, then come home again to host Durango 3 p.m. Oct. 4, Ridgway 11 a.m. Oct. 8, Center 4 p.m. Oct. 13, and Telluride 11 a.m. Oct. 15.

They close on the road with a 4 p.m. match Oct. 18 against Bayfield.

Pirate volleyball season opens tonight

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The wait is over for Pirate volleyball fans.

The 2005 season begins tonight, Sept. 1, in the Pagosa Springs High School gym as a new hometown team takes to the court for the first time under the tutelage of first-year head coach Andy Rice.

And what a way to start.

Tonight's season-opener is against the Cortez Panthers, one of the Pirates' top rivals and a program that has had success against Pagosa the last several years.

Cortez advanced to the Class 4A state tourney more times than not during this decade and, since 2001, has had the best of the 3A Pirates.

The action in the PSHS gym should be intense due to this history, and due to the fact both teams expect to be league, regional and state contenders this year.

The Panthers, like the Pirates, have a new coach this season. Trina Walker replaces Lindy Mortensen and inherits a team that, last year, went 23-3 on the season.

Cortez returns a number of starters from that state tourney team, including several All-Southwestern Conference selections. Callie Carver (back row specialist), Natalie Johnson (outside) and middle hitter Jane Thoeobald, all seniors, are back this year, as are two other senior veterans and several quality junior players with varsity time under their belts.

Under Mortensen, the Panthers had a fairly predictable style of play, dominated by a powerful attack from the left side, featuring all-state calibre hitters. Whether the team continues that tradition under Walker will become obvious tonight but, with Johnson, the potential is there.

What is for sure is the Pirates will change their style of play as they work under the careful eye of Rice.

First, the attack promises to be faster. While it might require several matches for the process to take root, changes in the style of serve receive, a quicker delivery of the ball to the setter, and an amped-up pace at the net will be obvious once the system clicks.

Second, with the chance a libero will be used in most if not all regular season matches, and with several strong passers on the varsity, the back-court game could be sturdy this year. Rice has several players on the bench who can and will be called on to deal with an attack mounted by the Panthers and other teams during the season.

The 2005 Panthers and Pirates will not be strangers when they take the court in the PSHS gym. The teams got a look at each other during a scrimmage Saturday in Pagosa Springs. And the Pirates also had the opportunity to scrimmage 5A Durango (which comes to town Oct. 4) as well as Intermountain League foe Bayfield.

"I thought the scrimmage was successful," said Rice. "Overall, our passing was strong; we ate up the serves pretty well. Our variety on offense from inside to outside, is strong and we can put the ball down from anywhere."

If there was a problem area that surfaced in Saturday's unscored action, it was one that a coach expects at this early stage. "Our energy and drive was strong until midafternoon," said Rice. "At about two in the afternoon, we started to get tired. Our conditioning needs to improve. We need more stamina and it will come."

As far as tonight's 7 p.m. match with Cortez goes, Rice expects some intense action. "Cortez has their usual array of veteran, smart players," he said.

The Pirates go back to the practice court following tonight's match, making adjustments and continuing to sharpen the game, with the next matches set Sept. 9 at Monte Vista and Sept. 10 at home against 5A Palmer, of Colorado Springs.

Pirates travel to Gunnison for gridiron opener

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It begins tomorrow.

In Gunnison.

The 2005 Pirate football season gets underway with a 3:30 p.m. game against the Cowboys.

For Gunnison, it is the second game of the season. The 2A team made the short trip to Delta last weekend and came back with a 15-14 win over their 3A rival.

Whether Gunnison's early start to the season (with no preseason scrimmage like the Pirates had against Durango last week) will hurt the Cowboys is anybody's guess.

What Pirate Sean O'Donnell does know is the contest could be a tough one.

Unlike last year.

Last season, the two teams met in Pagosa in what turned out to be a lightning-delayed, rain-plagued contest - a fumble-filled affair (for Gunnison) won in a big way, 43-20, by the Pirates.

The Cowboys went on to turn their 2004 season around, finishing in a three-way tie for the lead in the tough Western Slope League and taking the first-seed into postseason. The Pirates swept through their Intermountain League competition to take the IML title.

This time around, when Pirates and Cowboys clash, the story could be different. There's no predicting the weather but, said O'Donnell, Gunnison's coach, Bob Howard, "thinks they are a lot better this year. They have a lot of players back, including a bunch of juniors who played last season."

O'Donnell has veteran players back as well and, following two weeks of practice and the Durango scrimmage, he has a good idea concerning his probable skill position starters on offense for tomorrow's game.

Junior Adam Trujillo gets the nod at quarterback. Josh Hoffman will start at running back with Daniel Aupperle at H back. Paul Przybylski will line up at wide receiver with Jordan Shaffer and Craig Schutz.

The starters on the O line might not be determined until game time, based on O'Donnell's concerns following the Durango scrimmage.

"We definitely worked on blocking this week," he said.

The Pirates' second game of the season is also on the road, Sept. 9, at Cortez .

The team returns to Golden Peaks Stadium Sept. 16 for the first home game of the season, against Montrose.


Early Bayfield meet will show Pirates' cross country goals

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The high school cross country team is off to a running start in preparation for the first meet this Saturday in Bayfield.

The team had a big run Monday with the top runners doing eight miles, then an "easy run" of around four miles Tuesday, according to J.D. Kurz, assistant coach.

The team got new uniforms Tuesday. Jerseys and jackets were flying around the Commons Area during the distribution process, with Coach Scott Anderson in constant motion, keeping the chaos to a minimum.

Seven boys and seven girls are expected to run at the varsity level at Bayfield.

The varsity boys are Chase Moore, Travis Furman, Aaron Miller, Orion Sandoval, Chance Adams, Jackson Walsh and Isaiah Warren. A.J. Abeyta may be sitting this one out due to a possible stress fracture from overuse, said Kurz.

Kurz said the "guys have a lot of expectations. We have a lot of talent to work with and there is a lot of competition (among the boys) to make the varsity squad, which will make us better every week."

Girls running this Saturday at the varsity level are Emilie Schur, Laurel Reinhardt, Heather Dahm, Rachel Jenson, Del Greer, Rosie Lee and Chelsea Cooper. Strong freshmen include Jaclyn Harms and Rachel Jenson. "We'll expect to get stronger every race," said Kurz.

Anderson considers the initial races of the season "just hard workouts," and is planning the season so the team will be peaking for the regional and state championships.

Everyone on the team will run at Bayfield, and junior varsity runners who do well will be bumped into the varsity level for the next meet, said Kurz.

Bayfield runners are expected "to be extremely good," said Anderson. "If we come close to them at the beginning of the year, we'll be doing really well, and by the end of the year we expect to be challenging them."

The race will be "really exciting to watch," said Anderson. A big fan of the races is Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch, whose granddaughter, Jessica, was a top runner last year (but has opted for basketball this year). Lynch says the races are especially thrilling when there is a course "where you can go from point to point" to watch the race, and adds that she "will be watching them" this year, as hopes are high for a great season.

The meet at Bayfield this Saturday begins at 9 a.m.


Sparkling 62 nets first in men's golf

By Bill Curtiss

Special to The SUN

An ABCD Scramble format was the choice of the day when Pagosa Men's Golf League played Aug. 24.

First place was captured by the team of Rick Taylor, Warren Grams, John Bower and Brady Lee with a score of 62.

Second place went to the team of Carl Carman, Dow Timmon and Bill Curtiss, scoring 63.

In third place with a score of 64 was the team of Dennis Yerton, Gene Johnson, Fritz Schlather and Don English.

All interested players are invited to join the Men's League which plays 1 p.m. every Wednesday at the Pagosa Golf Club.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Dealing with your child's first major sports injury

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

What do you do when you are sitting in your office, suddenly the phone rings and you hear: "Mr. Jones, your daughter was injured during volleyball practice. Her knee may be badly hurt. She needs to be seen by a doctor."

You try to remain composed, but you can feel panic creeping through your body. With your breathing shallow and heart pounding, you drop everything and try to remember where you left your keys so you can start your car to get to the school.

In the past, your son or daughter has only had scrapes and bruises, like most kids their age. You recall being hesitant to let them play sports especially ones that require considerable physical contact. But you decided not to keep them from playing sports. This, however, is your child's first major injury.

Well, sometimes I write about things I hear about or read about. This time, I am going through this exact situation. My daughter, Erin, injured her knee at volleyball practice, one day after being named the starting setter on the varsity team.

As a professional, who has had 30 years experience dealing with sports-related injuries as a coach and administrator, I feel I might have been equipped to handle this situation. However, when it happens to your child it becomes more and more difficult to handle the situation clearly. For all of you who have not had the benefit of my experience, here are a couple of things to know about handling childhood sports injuries.

Preventing Injuries

Childhood sports injuries like my daughter's may be inevitable, but there are some things you can do to help prevent them.

Enroll your child in organized sports through schools, community clubs and recreation areas where there is always first aid available. Make sure your child uses the proper protective gear for a particular sport. This may lessen the chances of being injured. Warm-up exercises, such as stretching and light jogging, can help minimize the chance of muscle strain or other soft tissue injury during sports.

Treat with 'RICE'

If your child receives a soft tissue injury, commonly known as a sprain or a strain, or a bone injury, the best immediate treatment is easy to remember. "RICE" (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) the injury.

A sprain is an injury to a ligament - a stretching or a tearing. A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon. Get professional treatment if any injury is severe. A severe injury means having an obvious fracture or dislocation of a joint, prolonged swelling, or prolonged or severe pain.

Rest: Reduce or stop using the injured area for 48 hours.

Ice: Put an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times per day.

Compression: Compression of an injured ankle, knee, or wrist may help reduce the swelling. These include bandages such as elastic wraps, special boots, air casts and splints.

Elevation: Keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart. Use a pillow to help elevate an injured limb.


Playing rigorous sports in the heat requires close monitoring of both body and weather conditions. Heat injuries are always dangerous and can be fatal.

Make sure your child has plenty of fluids during practice and games. Drinking water is the best choice; other options include fruit juices and sport drinks. Kids need to drink eight ounces of fluid every 20 minutes, plus more after playing.

Injury and prevention

As a parent, you may not be able to protect your children from all sports injuries, but all parents should know you may be able to reduce their risk of injury by using preventive measures.

In the case of my daughter, everything was controlled and there was nothing anyone could do to prevent her injury. However, the following list may help you assist your child in preventing possible future injuries.

You can help by making sure they:

- are in proper physical condition to play the sport;

- know and abide by the rules of the sport;

- wear appropriate protective gear (for example, shin guards for soccer, a hard-shell helmet when facing a baseball or softball pitcher);

- know how to use athletic equipment;

- always warm up before playing;

- avoid playing when very tired or in pain;

- get a preseason physical examination.

Make sure there is adequate water or other liquids to maintain proper hydration.

Adapted from Play It Safe, a Guide to Safety for Young Athletes

Adult volleyball

Anyone interested in playing coed adult indoor volleyball should come to the community center gymnasium 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. We will have open play for all skill levels and will discuss the formation of a volleyball league.

Soccer referees

If you have a background in soccer as a player or coach, we need you. The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department is hiring referees for the 2005 season. High school students through adults are welcome; training is provided. Pay is $10-$25 depending on experience and certification level of the games you officiate. Contact the recreation department at 264-4151, Ext. 232 if interested, and sign up now.

Sports hotline

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

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.



Autumn and education

It happened within the last week or so - the arrival of signs of the approach of autumn in Pagosa Country. There was a certain slant to the light; the air was cooler, especially at night. Sure, only a few leaves had begun to turn color - but tourist numbers declined dramatically the last week of August and where there were lines at the door of a restaurant at breakfast a week before, there were now tables empty at the peak of the hour.

The county fair is over. The folk festival, the Labor Day holiday and the invasion of bikers headed for Ignacio is just around the corner and people are talking about Colorfest, a few weeks away.

It is our favorite time of the year and we eagerly await the blaze of color as cottonwoods, oak and aspen turn.

Another sign of the season: The start of the local school year. Suddenly, there were big, yellow buses on the roads and, predictably, lines of cars choked the highway as parents drove kids to school in the morning, Like migratory animals, herds of youngsters descended on the downtown area and, despite the claim that Sept. 21 or 22 is the official date, fall was really here.

As a result, fall is a time when our thoughts to turn to our education system here.

We are blessed in Pagosa Country to have highly dedicated, well trained educators working in our public and private school systems. Autumn, however, often means more to them than the arrival of students. It means the time is here to deal with a plethora of situations working against effective and enlightened education of our youngsters. The task of educating our young people grows more difficult with each passing year and we all, particularly parents of students, should reflect on what we can do to ease the situation and improve our children's prospects.

We can do little immediately about the crushing burdens put on public schools by legislators who pass empty-headed laws with fine sounding names that then obstruct the ability of a community to shape its educational systems. Behind the facade of these programs exists the desire to cater to the lowest common denominator - to curry votes and homogenize the student population. Programs bristle with mandates and little substance or funding.

The problem we can deal with is close to home, in too many homes. It is the "new" parent - the child's "best friend." The intrusion of this kind of parent into the system, coupled with grade inflation and the decline of standards and discipline, has undermined education more than any law.

With students back in the classrooms and on the playing fields, the arrival of fall is time to again remind ourselves that the most productive role of the parent is not to excuse or defend the child. It is not to project the ego and one's own needs through the child, to fight to have the child's performance bolster one's own imagined worth. It is not to live through the child, to rescue and threaten those who do not see the child through the parental lens.

It is, in all but the rare case, to provide support to school, teacher, administrator. A child should not run the family, a child does not run the school. A child should learn that he or she is not always perfect, is not always the best, must strive to accomplish goals and not have them given over automatically.

Autumn is here - a great time to sit back, enjoy the changing colors, but also to watch the big yellow buses roll by and ask ourselves if we are giving our kids a fair shake, if we are doing all we can to prepare them for the realities they must eventually face.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Maybe Moose warned us all

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

Moose was a good worker, skilled at backcountry terrain passage, eyes like a cat and a very distinct fear of animals larger than himself ... and Moose was no child of a man.

We were working a survey crew for Department of Interior running new boundary lines for the Jicarilla Reservation in northern New Mexico.

It was a very dissimilar group. Moose and Ray (the key transit operator) were both from Albuquerque; a teen-ager from Fruita and I were brushmen, high school and college students respectively. I was working for college money, he for a summer away from home.

Two chainmen worked in concert with Moose, following his lead, marking sites carefully. We had a senior Department of Interior supervisor to keep all the data carefully coordinated from Ray's notes.

And then one day, in a box canyon north of Monero, the cry came. About halfway down the cliff I was high in a windblown pine cutting a bough out of Ray's sight line. The chainmen were at the bottom.

Suddenly Moose appeared at the crest and like a southwestern Tarzan swung out on a rope, topped two or three trees, his toes tickling the cones.

Stunned, we stared. Then heard the "Aiee, Un Oso Grande." A giant bear was prowling the ridge and Moose found the quickest way down. The next time we saw him was when we got back to camp where the man and wife cook crew was trying to keep him from heading for Albuquerque on foot.

For some reason last week, among all the discussion of the worldwide oil shortage, the coming $3 or more per gallon at the pump, and the promise by most analysts of a major collapse of the oil market in 2007, I remembered Moose's cry.

"Un Oso Grande!"

Perhaps, I thought, that's what we have made of ourselves. A giant bear on the run, seeking the honey of oil before any other nation can corner the market. Some will say we need to develop our own supplies at home before foraging in the rest of the world.

But reading the available data on oil research produces mostly charts, bell curves, peak poles, and restricted possessions that all but insure the world has become its own worst enemy.

I still don't know why we did not sign the Kyoto protocols though I've read every possible argument advanced by Mr. Bush. I don't know why oil wells are not pumping in Texas while he's sending the nation's youth into war in a land where oil abounds.

I do know the simile to "Un Oso Grande" is not so unfounded. Across the world, both "civilized" and pilloried by disease - there is a common thread; everyone needs crude oil or some adequate alternative - if not to run motor vehicles, then to run basic industries, provide power for lights, lights for study, study for research, and perhaps a pending answer for the greed which has been generated in the search for usable crude.

Whether from the northern nations, the islands of the Pacific, the undeveloped supplies of South America, crude is common barter.

Perhaps we are, in fact, "Un Oso Grande."




90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 3, 1915

Palisade Lakes form a unique and ideal hunting and fishing paradise among which the huntsmen and fisherfolks may ramble 'mid the wildest wilderness far from the palatial home of man. A.S. Creswell, his brother Smiley and Ira Hubler, while prospecting for mineralized lodes, stumbled into a bunch of lakes in the dense woods close to towering cliffs that are yet destined to become great pleasure resorts. Smiley died some years ago and his share was purchased by Josiah Hinkson, who is now one of the partners. Their object is fish for the market and hunting headquarters for the leisure and pleasure seekers for rest and recreation with rod and gun. They are now building a modern hatchery and anticipate the erection of small rental cottages.


75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 5, 1930

Big dance with good music every Saturday night at Odd Fellow's Hall.

J. Jacobson and son this week laid a new concrete sidewalk in front of the Montroy and Jones properties on east Pagosa Street.

Miss Millie Sisson has been on the sick list this week and unable to resume her duties as assistant cashier at the Piggly Wiggly store.

Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Joy returned Tuesday from Denver, where they had been visiting relatives and friends. While there they purchased a fine new Nash sedan, 1931 model.

Father Isodore of Durango announces that in the Catholic Church of Pagosa Springs, mass will be said the third Sunday of September instead of the first Sunday.


50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 1, 1955

The school board held their last meeting on Thursday night of last week before school opens and took care of the last minute details. It was voted to wire the Pagosa Junction and Juanita schools for electricity and do some repair work on the Upper Piedra buildings. Other work will be done as needed on the various buildings. The board also decided to close the Blanco Basin school this year and the students from there will be brought to town by their parents. Mrs. Ruby Sisson, the teacher there, will teach mathematics in the high school this year. By unanimous vote the gas, oil, grease and wash business for the school busses was awarded to Vic Poma and the repair and maintenance on the busses was given to Morehart Chevrolet.


25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 4, 1980

School enrollment stood at 1,015 Tuesday of the week, the highest in the history of the local district. The increased number of students was mainly confined to the elementary and middle schools.

The local school board voted to sign a contract with a bonding company to act as its fiscal agent, and directed an architect to further refine plans for proposed additions to existing school facilities. Very preliminary estimates placed the cost of the proposal at about $3.5 million.

An injured hiker was rescued from a deep canyon near Banded Peak Sunday by a MAST helicopter. He was first treated by local EMT's and the rescue was a joint effort of the county sheriff and the local CAP squadron.



Seeds of Learning expanding

to deal with 'crisis'

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Archuleta County's childcare crisis will soon be at least partly alleviated when a new 5,400 square-foot Seeds of Learning childcare center is built in South Pagosa Park.

The current Seeds of Learning facility on San Juan Street has room for 20 children per day. The new facility will eventually have room for 60 children per day, a threefold increase.

Lynne Bridges, executive director of Seeds of Learning Family Center, called the current childcare situation a "crisis" because of the capacity for only 198 preschool children in licensed daycare centers in Archuleta County. National averages indicate 85 percent of all preschool children are in day care centers (source: National Association for the Education of Young Children).

With at least 601 preschool children (age 5 or younger) in Archuleta County (2000 census figures), that means we should have facilities for 510 children in the county, more than the current 198-child capacity, said Bridges.

Bridges noted, "We're maybe not as high (in demand) as the 85-percent national average, but we're right up there," and added that the number of preschool children has probably increased since the 2000 census with the current rate of growth in the county.

The Seeds of Learning waiting list is up to 45 youngsters, and Bridges said she gets frequent phone calls with childcare requests. She described a request from a professional couple who were planning to move to Pagosa for new jobs, but after finding out the county has no childcare availability, they declined the local job offers. Some families have had to wait up to 11 months for an opening, she said.

"Its important to raise awareness that this is a community problem," said Bridges in reference to the shortage, and she added, "If we value the future of the community, then we need to value the children of the community."

Bridges, a mother of three and grandmother of seven, has been involved in professional childcare for 26 years and has been the executive director of the Seeds of Learning for the past 2 1/2 years. She also offers help and expertise to anyone interested in starting a licensed home child care center in the county.

Seeds of Learning currently has two classrooms - one for toddlers (18 months to 3 years), and one for preschool (3-5). "We're not baby sitters," said Bridges, emphasizing the center's kindergarten readiness program, "We want all the children here to be socially, emotionally, kindergarten ready, as well as academically ready," and she noted the Seeds of Learning program operates at a higher standard than required by the Colorado Pre-School Program (CPP). Most of the teachers have a degree in early childhood education or elementary education.

As an example of the classroom activity, Bridges demonstrated the dinosaur program, where Dino the dinosaur puppet introduces the children to social interactions. Molly and Wally, brother and sister puppets, instruct the children by example on how to describe feelings, how to calm oneself, and tips on how to be a good friend.

The center's annual budget is $200,000, 81 percent of which is required for payroll for the five teachers and two staff members. "Childcare teachers don't make what they're worth," said Bridges. Tuition income amounts to $148,000, so each year Bridges applies for the difference in grants.

"TABOR is really killing us," she said in reference to Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, adding, "state and local grants are drying up." With cuts in many programs due to TABOR, she explained, many organizations are applying for grants from the same sources she does, and the competition for funding has increased. "Referendums C and D will put the money back into preschools," she said.

Sixty-percent of the children at Seeds are from low-income families, 25 percent are from professional families and 15 percent are from middle income families, said Bridges. Five of the slots are reserved specifically for at-risk children as part of a program with the Colorado Department of Education. At-risk is a legal term that indicates some factors that could cause long-term failure of the student in the educational process. Theseinclude developmental factors, including premature birth and poor prenatal care, as well as behavioral problems and challenges deriving from parenting issues.

Thanks to help from many sources, the new center should be ready by next summer or by fall at the latest, according to Bridges. The Town of Pagosa Springs has donated land as part of the redevelopment program at South Pagosa Park, located between 7th and 8th streets and north of Apache Street.

The new building will be "fun and whimsical" and will "fit into the neighborhood of South Pagosa," said Tracy Reynolds, of Reynolds and Associates Architecture and Engineering, who is doing the design. He also mentioned that he quoted Seeds "less than we normally would" for architectural and engineering fees. Bridges said the bid was a third the amount of the next lowest bid.

Funding has thus far been generous. A campaign spearheaded by local business owners, including Lauri Heraty from The Source and Jim Smith of Jim Smith Realty, raised $62,000 in a fund-raising campaign in just two months to match a $50,000 Daniels Fund grant completed earlier this year. Two weeks ago, the Restoration Fellowship Church gathered $4,000 for the project in one special offering. Bridges calls the church, "the most giving church I have ever seen."

The Seeds of Learning board is currently applying for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which Bridges believes will be granted, as the situation with childcare facilities is "the poster child of federal funding currently."

Bridges noted that the total cost of the new facility will be around $800,000, and plans to begin the final phase of the fund-raising campaign this fall. The center still needs to raise $200,000 to complete the project.

Seeds of Learning is a stand-alone, 501 c(3) nonprofit corporation and is not part of a chain. Donations are deductible per the Colorado Child Care Contribution Credit which allows an income tax credit of 50 percent of the total contribution, up to $100,000, with excess credits carried forward for up to five years.

Send donations to Seeds of Learning Family Center, POB 5831, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. For more information, call Bridges at 264-5513.


Seniors learn emergency CPR

and AED techniques

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

A group of 21 volunteers and patrons of the Pagosa Springs Senior Center enthusiastically embraced four hours of instruction on emergency medical techniques Monday.

Sponsored by Southwest Retac through a grant from Colorado Rural Health, Emergency Medical Services organized the free class for area seniors interested in learning Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).

CPR and defibrillation through the use of an AED are vital steps in the resuscitation of victims suffering sudden cardiac arrest.

Class instructor Kay Garlinghouse, of San Juan Basin Technical College in Cortez, was both surprised and delighted with the keen interest and eager involvement of class participants.

"I was amazed with the number of people who signed up," she said. "And everyone really got into it."

Evelyn Hopson, a long-time seasonal resident of Pagosa Springs, explained, "I just finished a class on arthritis self management and enjoyed it so much, that when I saw this one being offered, I told my husband we should sign up. I've always wanted to learn CPR."

R.L. "Hoppy" Hopson agreed the class was both interesting and fun.

"Oh, this was a good class," he said. "And I suppose it's never too late to learn new things."

Hoppy recently celebrated his 90th birthday and, like many class participants, has shared in a variety of senior center activities for years.

Before receiving CPR/AED certification, all class members received hands-on instruction, completed a written test, and demonstrated their newly-acquired skills on "George," the practice dummy.


AARP Driver Safety Program

set Sept. 13-14

Would you like to sharpen your driving skills and reduce your auto insurance premium?

You can do it by taking the AARP Driver Safety Program, a motor vehicle accident prevention program for those 50 and over.

The course consists of eight hours of classroom instruction conducted in two half-day sessions. There is a $10 fee.

Classes will be taught 1-5 p.m. both days in Community United Methodist Church. Contact Don Hurt, 264-2337, for more information and to make reservations.

Class size is limited to 24.


Horsemen's topic will be

equine first aid

The September meeting of the Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango.

The program will be Equine Vital Signs and Equine First Aid on the trail.

"It is inevitable that your horse will need first aid sometime soon while riding," said Hal Mullen, Horsemen president. "This program will help you get through the problem and back to the trailhead."

Prospective members are encouraged to attend and join. Current membership is at 201.

The Oct. 6 meeting will be at Presbyterian church in Bayfield.


You can help make a young cowboy's

dream come true

Want to help a young cowboy's dream come true?

Tyrese Tyndall, who has been in the rodeo world in Pagosa Springs since age 3, has a chance to become a top junior competitor.

He is a member of NMJRA, has competed in Chinle, Ariz., Towaoc, and Gallup, N.M., and is in line to go to nationals in Shawnee, Okla. after state finals in November in New Mexico.

A series of upcoming benefits will give the community a chance to participate in that goal.

A car wash and bake sale will be among the events, and arrangements have been made for those who might wish to contribute directly through an account (No. 2008704) at the Bank of the San Juans where proper paperwork will assure fund safety.


Pagosa's Past

A pioneer look at Pagosa Springs

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

In response to an escalating number of conflicts between Anglo and Ute occupants of the Four Corners area during the late 1870s, the Army decided to build a fort at Pagosa Springs.

A major reason for choosing Pagosa Springs as the fort site was a provision in the 1874 Brunot Treaty calling for creation of a Southern Ute Indian Reservation on the headwaters of the Navajo, Blanco, San Juan and Piedra Rivers. With such a reservation, Pagosa Springs would have been a logical location for a fort.

As it turned out, however, Congress did not approve what the Utes and a special negotiating commission appointed by the U.S. had approved. The ultimate location of the Southern Ute Reservation was defined as the land located between the New Mexico Territory/Colorado boundary and an east/west line 15 miles north of that boundary and running from the Colorado/Utah border approximately to Pagosa Springs.

Today's U.S. 160 running between Pagosa Springs and Durango is just north of that line.

Nevertheless, before they got things sorted out, the Army built Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs starting in 1878. What sort of place was Pagosa Springs at the time? What did the U.S. know about Pagosa Springs?

Hispanics from New Mexico had known about Pagosa Springs at least since 1865. They didn't live here, but they crossed the area while trading with Utes and perhaps while searching for gold.

The first Anglos in the area were probably fur trappers who plied the San Juan and its tributaries starting in the 1820s. The first formal Anglo expedition through Pagosa Springs was made in 1859 by an Army engineer named Macomb. A year after Macomb's visit, gold was discovered near today's Silverton by a man named Baker. Baker retired to Abiquiu, N.M., that first winter. The state of New Mexico granted Baker a charter for a toll road connecting Abiquiu with his new digs. The toll road included bridges across the major streams including a bridge across the San Juan about one mile south of the Pagosa Hot Springs.

For the next several years until the Army decided to build its fort at Pagosa Springs, an increasing number of prospectors, miners, and others followed Baker's route through Pagosa Springs on the way to Baker's Park, as the Silverton area was called in those days.

A second Army engineer, Lt. C.A.H. McCauley, visited Pagosa Springs as the fledgling fort was being built. His report contains much of interest concerning Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area.

McCauley writes:

"Beautifully located in the finest part of the valley of the San Juan River, below its rugged mountain course, and just above its entering an inaccessible cañon of Cretaceous sandstone, is the great natural curiosity known as Pagosa Springs.

The main continental divide is to the north and east, approximating the arc of a circle, with Pagosa as its center. From this location, therefore, and its open situation in the river valley, its position assumes strategic importance."

McCauley continues later, "Its altitude is about 7,100 feet, or about 800 feet lower than Fort Garland, to which it is far preferable as a site for a military post. The river here is a clear and beautiful trout stream, with a fall of probably 50 feet per mile. It lies on the shortest route of communication from the East to the lower San Juan country, or the Pacific watershed The wagon road from Tierra Amarilla, N.M., to the Animas region passes by the springs, and while a shorter route is obtainable, it is the one chiefly traveled since it alone abounds in wood, water, and grass. Las Nutritas, the principal village of Tierra Amarilla, is to the southeast about 57 miles, the Blanco, Navajo, and Chama rivers being crossed on the way; while on the west Animas City and the park is 56 1/2 miles distant, the Nutria (Stollsteimer Creek), Piedra, Piños, and Piedra being passed enroute. This wagon route is on the route mainly of the Old Spanish Trail, the great highway in olden times, leading from New Mexico to the Animas."

More next week on what McCauley saw in Pagosa Springs in 1878.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Mars not as close this year as some would believe

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The moon is waning crescent tonight with about 4 percent of its visible surface illuminated. Dark skies will continue throughout the weekend with a new moon over Pagosa Country on Sept. 3.

With the moon providing little interference, skywatchers can catch a brilliant planetary lineup this evening. The best time for the show is just around dusk when Venus and Jupiter will nestle close together low on the horizon.

Looking west-southwest as the sky grows dark, these two bright objects will be unmistakable as they sit about one degree apart (about the width of one fingertip) in the sky. The two planets will not appear very high on the west- southwestern horizon (about 10 degrees, or two handwidths), but will blaze with bright white and cream colored light. Venus and Jupiter are among the three brightest objects in our night sky - the moon being the brightest.

While looking at the pair of planets, shift your gaze about six degrees, or one hand-width, to the left and there lies the star Spica. Also known as alpha Virgins, this is the brightest star in the constellation Virgo.

For more viewing of fainter objects, skywatchers will need to wait until at least 9 p.m. when the sky grows fully dark. At this time, the easily identifiable constellation of Hercules can be found high, but not quite directly overhead, in the west-northwestern sky.

The story of Hercules is two- fold. According to the Greek mythology, the constellation depicts the hero Hercules kneeling with one foot on the head of the celestial dragon, Draco. Other traditions say the constellation depicts the ancient Sumerian hero Gilgamesh.

In either case, the constellation's outline is the same and can be located easiest by first finding the four principle, and most prominent stars that outline the pelvis area of the hero. This asterism is called the Keystone of Hercules, and is distinct and somewhat rectangular in shape.

The rest of the constellation is fairly faint, but a good star chart can help star gazers trace the appendages of the hero, and can help to locate numerous nearby constellations such as Draco, Lyra, Corona Borealis, Serpens and Bootes.

For the naked eye or binocular astronomer, M13, a globular cluster of about 300,000 stars is visible along the Keystone of the Hercules constellation, although Hercules may be best known not for its features, but for its usefulness as a landmark. The key to successful stargazing requires familiarity with the constellations and their relationship to other celestial objects. By adding Hercules to your list, you might have just one more celestial landmark to guide you on your journey through the night skies.

Lastly, while relaxing and doing a bit of stargazing from the hot springs this week, I overheard one enthusiastic soaker making fantastic statements on Mars' increasing proximity to Earth this late summer and fall.

The man explained to his captivated audience that during late August and early September, Mars will come closer to Earth than it ever has, or will, in human history. He went on to say Mars will appear to the naked eye, as large and as bright as a full moon.

Unfortunately, this is all false and this soaker's statements were almost a verbatim recitation of a widely circulated Internet rumor and e-mail chain letter.

The letter's claims are dubious, but part of the problem could stem from some confusion regarding the year involved in Mars' close encounter with Earth.

In August, 2003, Mars did come very close to Earth. In fact Aug. 27 of that year marked one of Mars' closest visits yet, but never did it appear or will it appear as a full moon to the naked eye. This year, Mars is slightly farther away than in 2003, yet it is still relatively close, considering Mars' elliptical orbit. Although slightly farther away than in 2003, the planet's proximity will still create some nice viewing options for sky watchers throughout the late summer and fall. (In August 2003, Mars was 35 million miles from Earth. In the fall of 2005, Mars will be 43 million miles from Earth. The moon lies at 240,000 miles from earth: Mars will continue to rise earlier in the evening as fall progresses, and by late October and early November it will make strong appearances in the early evening, shining as the third brightest object in the night sky after the moon and Venus.





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South's hurricane - spawned problems spur call for our help

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

No matter how bad your lot, someone always has a tougher problem to solve.

Weather has been great here and is expected to remain so.

Not so on America's Gulf Coast where hundreds of thousands are still waking up in water, wading out of demolished dwellings, and two major efforts are under way to seal gaps in levees in New Orleans.

Now why someone would build a city up to 17-feet below sea level has always been a mystery to me. But the Mississippi basin system has lasted much longer that most would have expected.

The people of Louisiana, Mississippi are part of the same family of blood banks as is southwestern Colorado ... and they have issued a plea for more blood, particularly O+ and O-.

You can turn the sunny days of your September into a brightener for the ravaged south. Call now to be a donor.

Call the Durango office at 385-4601 to make an appointment or go online at

If you're really interested in the forecast for the upcoming week, including Labor Day, it is very easy to remember:

The forecast for every day in the coming week reads almost exactly the same; 20 percent chance of isolated thundershowers with highs ranging from 76-83 and lows consistent in the middle 40s.

Labor Day will be just the same according to National Weather Service forecasters in Grand Junction.

While the South was being inundated last week local observers saw Pagosa Country nearly dry as a bone. Four hundredths of an inch of rain fell in the week, bringing the final monthly rainfall total to 2.62 inches. The week's rainfall, if you missed it, came on Friday and Saturday.

The high temperature recorded locally last week was 81.4 at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday; the low 39.9 both Monday and Wednesday between 6:30 and 7 a.m.

Highest wind recorded in the period was 25 mph at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

A far cry, no matter how you view it, from what was transpiring on the Gulf Coast.

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