September 8, 2005
Front Page

Town, Army Corps on crash course

over river work

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Town staff and the Pagosa Springs Town Council responded aggressively to a scathing letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding Phase II of the town's proposed River Restoration Project.

The discussion and initial ideas for responding to the letter occurred during Tuesday's regular town council meeting and elicited a strong reaction from Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon.

"I wouldn't take this too lightly. Some of our violations are very serious. This isn't the first time this has happened and I think we should push back," Aragon said. "We ought to assert ourselves accordingly."

Town Manager Mark Garcia said, "I concur with you Mayor Aragon, I feel we're kind of getting bullied on this," Garcia said.

Aragon said he advocated seeking legal counsel and Garcia said he would pursue that course.

Phase II of the town's river project encompasses a stretch of river between the Hot Springs Boulevard bridge and the Apache Street bridge.

The project, as currently proposed would consist of replacing the previously installed "W" shaped in-stream structures with "U" shaped structures. The "U" structures will provide recreational opportunities for whitewater enthusiasts and are said to increase and improve fish habitat. According to the town's plan, the "U" shaped structures will be an improvement over the "W" structures. Beyond the installation of the structures, the project would include river bank stabilization and revegetation.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers document, there are numerous items in the town's application at issue.

First, the document states the town has not provided sufficient scientific or logical data on the function and placement of the proposed "U" structures. Nor had alternative placements designs, and rationale for and against those been presented.

The corps document also expresses concern regarding a U-shaped structure that the town installed downstream from the Hot Springs Boulevard bridge in March 2005. The corps document calls it an unauthorized structure and says the structure had raised the flood stage level in the river by 1,000 cubic feet per second and has caused an increase in sediment levels behind the structure and could have negative impacts on water quality. In addition, the corps says the town failed to provide data on preconstruction and post construction river conditions related to the March 2005 installation.

The document states, "...the office has determined that the construction completed in the spring of 2005 has greater than minimal adverse impacts to the aquatic environment and does not meet the requirements of Section 404 (b)(1) guidelines. You are therefore required to remove the structures, which include the bank stabilization work, modified deflectors and the "U" structures, and restore the site to its preconstruction contours ... or modify the project so that it meets our program requirements." Other key issues cited in the corps' document is that the town plan lacks sufficient hydraulic information such as 100-year flow, average width of the floodplain and active channel, average stream velocity and expected changes to these conditions once the plan is completed.

The corps charges the town with failure to address a key component of its own proposal, that being the improvement of aquatic characteristics throughout the project area. The corps says the town plan like biological data, species inventories and an analysis of the riparian corridor that could be affected by the project.

"This office is concerned that the use of grout and hard bank stabilization will reduce the quality of aquatic habitat rather than enhance it," the document states.

Part of the town plan includes anchoring the in-stream structures with grout and this has proved contentious.

Some biologists argue that grout eliminates interstitial habitat for insect species upon which trout and other fish species rely for food.

The corps document gives the town until Sept. 26 to provide either a restoration plan to be approved by the corps or modified construction plans.

"The modified structure should provide ecological benefits for the river and restore the flood stage to its preconstruction elevation. This office will not approve your modified plans without proper scientific documentation relating to the project design and location and its expected impacts to the aquatic environment," the document states."

Garcia said the corps received numerous comments on the town's plan and he said, "The comments from agencies were nothing beyond what we expected."

And he added that aside from the flood stage issue related to the March 2005 work, "we can address the issues."

Garcia challenged the corps position that the town was in violation due to previous work.

"I don't believe we are in violation in the first place," Garcia said. And he said river bank stabilization concerns were outside of the corps jurisdiction.

Aragon said the town had hired consultants, done studies and had gone to great lengths to provide a sound plan. He expressed determination to get the project completed.

Runway project will close airport a month starting Monday

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Stevens Field will be closed to all fixed wing traffic beginning Sept. 12 for approximately 30 days due to work on the runway project.

A bitumen batch plant should be delivered to the site this week and operational by next week, according to Rob Russ, airport manager.

With regard to the specifics of the "change orders" Russ previously stated to be responsible for the completion date delay, he referred questions to the former airport manager, who had signed the change orders.

Then, after an initial suggestion that it had to do with additional pavement work done in the midfield apron area, Russ refined his statement to say that it had to do with "additional grading for runway safety zones," which is still awaiting FAA writing and approval.

The plan for the 30-day closure is to finish the preparation work on the south end of the runway, fix the "heave" in the north part of the runway, then pave the entire 8,100 -foot length (100-foot width) as the final step.

Although airport commissioners have "no role in the construction process or change orders" (and in fact have not been privy to construction schedules and plans), Airport Advisory Commission (AAC) chair Bob Howard dispels the notion the airport could be closed for the winter. Barring an abnormally sudden change in the weather during the most critical few days of the project (when the final full-length asphalt layer is being laid), he said, the FAA would likely opt to keep a portion of the runway open by organizing a change in the construction sequence. He said the FAA has policy oversight over the project.

The airport events committee, a panel comprised of members of the aviation and business communities, including Howard, met Thursday. With the uncertainty of the completion schedule, they have decided to organize a "media blitz" to garner excitement for Stevens Field once the completion date is more certain, and to plan on-site celebrations for 2006. As noted by the events committee, "There are two ways to get to Pagosa: highway or runway."

Approval of the new non-commercial hangar ground lease took center stage at Tuesday's county commissioners' meeting. Russ presented the new lease as a "definitely more county-friendly lease," created with the approval of the county attorney and with "input from the advisory commission." The new lease gives the county the first right of refusal in the event of a sale of a hangar, and is quite a few pages longer than the existing lease agreements.

Because the finalized document was distributed to the AAC last Friday, Howard said Russ's claim that the lease had input from the AAC was "disingenuous." In fact, AAC members Howard, Gerald Pearson and Elmer Schettler all said they had seen only a preliminary rough draft of the document (distributed by the previous airport manager) in early March of this year.

Since then, they said, they had not seen or had any input on the final versions of the document. Schettler further confirmed their claim by outlining specific comments he had submitted in March that he believes were not passed to the county attorney for consideration or review.

Since the AAC did not have time to respond to the lease in an official capacity, the three AAC members spoke to the county commissioners as pilots and private citizens.

Howard suggested three changes to the document, regarding renewability of the lease, the ability to store non-aircraft related equipment in the hangars, and the ability for the lessee to sublet the hangars. Pearson made an additional request involving acceptable uses within the hangar itself, with concern that the lease as written would prohibit aircraft maintenance within the hangar.

In the following discussion, Russ stood near the podium while others spoke to the commissioners. At one point he interrupted Pearson's address to the commissioners, whereupon Pearson turned abruptly and said, "Excuse me, do I have the floor, or does he have the floor?"

At times, Russ countered the pilots requests by saying their concerns were addressed in the Airport Minimal Standards document, even though the document is only in a draft stage and has not been approved by the county commissioners. In the end, only one of Howard's requests was amended to the lease, relating to the permitting of the storage of "other personal property of the tenant related to tenant's aeronautical activities."

Schettler said concerns over the lease went beyond the current differences of opinion between the AAC and the airport manager. He said he understands the desire to have a lease that protects the county's interest, but believes the lease needs to be thought out carefully and asserted the AAC has the responsibility to point out its weaknesses. Schettler is concerned that, if the lease is too "one-sided," it may be deemed unenforceable if challenged in court, creating a lose-lose situation for everyone.


Health district agrees to seek Critical Access

hospital designation

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

"Do it right, do it up front."

These were the words Tuesday of Brad Cochenndt, Mercy Medical Center's chief operating officer, spoken at an Upper San Juan Health Service Board meeting in reference to the emerging plan to build a Pagosa hospital.

The four-hour meeting that went late into the evening had dramatic variations in tempo. Like an arrhythmic heartbeat, the board interspersed prolonged deliberations on tedious short-term minutiae with elucidations of landmark concepts that have the potential to profoundly affect the community. In the end, the Upper San Juan Health Services District board made several major decisions and most left the meeting thinking plans are moving in a positive direction.

The key moment was the board's official recommendation to go forward with a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) combined with a Rural Health Care Clinic (RHCC) in coordination with local providers. Years in the making, this decision is based on the feasibility of opening a local healthcare center made possible by federal government compensation programs for facilities that meet the legal description of a CAH and RHCC.

"Why we haven't gotten this going before, I don't know," said J.R. Ford, one of the key people promoting the potential benefits of a CAH to the board. Ford credits the initial idea of focusing on the CAH pathway to Dick Blide, who recently resigned from the board because of a move to Spokane, Wash.

The main benefit of the CAH is the Medicare reimbursement program that will pay for a significant portion of the initial start-up costs. According to a document produced by the Medicare Learning Network, the CAH program was created by Congress in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, and is designed to support hospitals in rural areas, more than 35 miles from the nearest hospital. "It's perfect for our community," said Ford.

Instead of the fee-based reimbursement that Medicare pays to local clinics, a CAH receives cost-based reimbursements from Medicare. In fact, Medicare pays 101 percent of costs. And, according to Ford, depreciation and interest on the initial construction can be added into calculation of Medicare costs.

Healthcare centers all over the country are being converted to CAHs because of the incentives of the federal program. With the reimbursements, it is financially easier for a community to borrow the required amount of money to build a facility that qualifies as a CAH than it is to borrow less money to establish a clinic without the benefits of the federal CAH program.

As a rough example: A community borrows 10 million dollars to build a CAH. With a depreciation term of 17.5 years, the depreciation "cost" amounts to about $571,000 per year. With a 6.5-percent interest rate (30-year loan), interest expenses amount to $647,000 the first year (total debt service is $758,000 per year).

With a 40-percent Medicare patient base, 40 percent of depreciation and interest can be added to the cost that is reimbursed by Medicare. At 101-percent reimbursement rate, this amounts to roughly $492,000 that Medicare will reimburse the first year. Since depreciation (defined as the amount of value decrease of an asset) is not a true cost to the community, Medicare in this example is paying 65 percent of the first year's debt service. The hospital would need to cover the remaining 35 percent, or $266,000 in this example. (Note that these numbers have no reference to any actual plan by the USJHSD board, and are only offered as an example).

Operational expenses would need to be covered by patient revenues. Again, Medicare pays for 101 percent of Medicare patient costs (including EMS Medicare costs). The remainder would be covered by normal patient billing, and would require a certain level of use to remain afloat. Factoring in the mill levy will be part of the financial analysis of the viability of a Pagosa hospital.

One of the key pieces of data missing in this puzzle is the actual percentage of future Medicare patients the hospital would service. A previous USJHSD estimate pegs the Medicare percentage in Pagosa Country at 43 percent, but this number is considered suspect by several members of the board. According to Jim Knoll, the hospital must have at least 30-percent Medicare based patients for the CAH to be feasible. At Tuesday's meeting, the board approved a motion to investigate obtaining a more accurate Medicare patient percentage base.

The next step is to hire the consultants necessary to manage the project of bringing a CAH to Pagosa. Healthcare Capital Resources, Inc. (HCR, Inc.) has already submitted a preliminary draft of a contract, offering to organize a complete team of appropriate professionals in order to create a successful pro-forma, a specific plan for Pagosa that can be presented to capital financing companies.

At $175 per hour (plus out-of-pocket expenses), the services of HCR, Inc. do not come cheap, but do come highly recommended by Mercy Medical Center and others familiar with their work. Because the EMS portion of the USJHSD has been profitable in recent months, the board should have an estimated cash surplus of $40,000 at the end of the year, so board members expect to be able to pay for the fees, although they are hoping to negotiate a deferment with the consultants, if chosen.

HCR, Inc. were the consultants hired by the Del Norte CAH administrators in planning and establishing their CAH. The fact that Del Norte, a town smaller than Pagosa, has a functioning CAH is an encouraging sign to the USJHSD board.

A decision that looms on the horizon is how to integrate the existing Mary Fisher Clinic into the CAH plans. A CAH is typically 25,000 to 35,000 square feet. The Mary Fisher Clinic is about 8,000 square feet and only a portion is usable for hospital purposes. Cochenndt warns against compromising "adjacencies" (the physical layout that enhances efficiencies between the various hospital departments), when starting with an existing building rather than designing a CAH from scratch. If you compromise adjacencies, he said, "you will pay for years for inefficiencies of multiple (extra) employees."

Cochenndt feels that the community needs to be aware of the "amount of the required components that go into a CAH," and that there has to be the "willingness of the community to step up to a big project right away." He said the objective is to look for a permanent solution with a 20- to 30-year outlook, and that it is better to establish the medical facilities up front rather than incrementally.

Paralleling the resolve to establish a CAH in Pagosa is the impending decision on how to continue the relationship with Mercy Medical Center. Hired last spring in a six-month management contract, Mercy's term expires soon, but the board is in agreement that they have done an excellent job in helping the USJHSD get back on track. The long-term vision involves the "seamless connection with a tertiary hospital," said Knoll, so the expertise and resources of Mercy appear to be a match. The board has set up the renamed "Long Term Planning with Mercy Committee" comprised of Ford, Jerry Valade and Knoll to nail down the long-term plan with Mercy.

Having made the recommendations approved by the board Tuesday, the ad hoc CAH Pathways Committee was dissolved and the same members were assigned a new ad hoc 24/7 and Urgent Care Clinic Committee to investigate the interim goals of providing emergency clinical care in the Pagosa area prior to the establishment of the CAH. If all goes well, USJHSD board members believe groundbreaking for the CAH can take place next spring, with the facility operational by 2007.


 Inside The Sun

Recognition Day Sunday at IHM for emergency teams

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Pagosa Springs will present Recognition Day for law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel, both retired and active, in an 8:30 a.m. mass Sunday.

The parish invites all law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel, retired or active, living or visiting in Pagosa Springs, and their families, to attend this solemn mass in their honor.

Active duty personnel are asked to attend in full uniform. Retirees will be given name tags. All are asked to be at the parish hall by 8 a.m.

For more information, call the parish office at 264-5072 or 731-0409.


Four arrested, one sought in assault case

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Two Hispanic men were assaulted Aug. 20 around 7 p.m. on the Martinez Ranch, located off Trujillo Road. The victims had been given permission to be on the property and a key to the locked gate by the owners of the ranch and were fishing at the time, according to Det. Sgt. George Daniels of the Archuleta Sheriff's Department.

After the assault, one of the victims made his way to the Best Western Motel in downtown Pagosa Springs, where employees called 911 and the victim was transported to Mercy Medical Center. The other made his way home to his family who transported him to Mercy by private vehicle. The victims have asked not to be identified, said Daniels.

Four men have been identified as suspects: David Martinez, 21, Jason McFatridge, 18, Michael Mestas, 21, and Dominique Swanson, 21 - all of Pagosa Springs. The suspects had been drinking at the time of the assault, said Daniels. All but Swanson have been arrested. There is an outstanding warrant for Swanson's arrest.

All the suspects are charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, while two of the suspects, Martinez and Swanson, are also charged with false imprisonment and first-degree criminal trespass, both felony charges. Mestas has been released on a $2,500 bond while Martinez and McFatridge are being held in custody in lieu of $5,000 and $2,500 bail, respectively.

The more serious felony charges come from the suspects "entering a vehicle to commit a crime" while assaulting one of the victims, who was in a jeep trying to get away, according to Daniels.

Although "no serious bodily injury was incurred," according to Det. T.J. Fitzwater, meaning no broken bones, the victims had "bruises and contusions" that warranted hospitalization, and were treated and released by Mercy Medical Center the same day.

After the assault, Deputies Brian Saltzman and Rick Ervin responded to the scene, and based on the initial description of the suspects and their vehicles, made an attempt to locate them but were unable to do so. On Aug. 21 Deputy Saltzman conducted a follow-up investigation and obtained information from the victims, said Fitzwater. At that point, the case was pending upon further identification of the suspects.

The case remained with Deputy Saltzman until Aug. 29. Fitzwater said this was a case with no "aggravating circumstances," (defined by statute as protracted loss or impairment involving permanent disability). Since the investigators believed the "suspects had ties to the community and no reason to believe they would flee based on the nature of the offense," the investigation was prioritized the way it was, according to Fitzwater.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined there were the additional felony charges, and additional priority was given to the case and it was transferred to Daniels.

Once the case was given to Daniels, a photo array of the suspects was compiled to positively identify them and, on Aug. 31, he arranged an after-hour interview with the victims based on their work schedule. Once the suspects were positively identified, arrest warrants were issued immediately.

In response to the initial delay of the investigation, Fitzwater said any "claim that investigations based on nationality is completely absurd." He said "If I gave every fist fight to George (Detective Daniels)..." followed by a shrug of the shoulders. "We have to prioritize cases."

Texas hunter dies of natural causes

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Gene Malone, 71, from Decatur, Texas, died Aug. 29 while hunting near Blue Mountain Trail in the Upper Blanco area southeast of Pagosa Springs.

Malone was discovered next to his vehicle and trailer between 10 and 11 p.m. by two local residents, Jesse Taylor and Ronald Schweickert, who were also hunting in the area and were friends of the deceased.

An investigation was launched and it was determined that no foul play was involved. Archuleta County Coroner Carl Macht determined the cause of death was cardiac dysthrhymia. Malone's family members have been notified.


Pagosan sought on warrant

There is an outstanding warrant for the arrest of John James Duffy, 51, for attempted murder of his girlfriend, Rhonda McGinnis, both residents of Pagosa.

The alleged incident took place on the afternoon of Sept. 5 in the National Forest behind the Piedra Store west of Pagosa Springs, according to Det. Sgt. George Daniels of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department. An argument ensued, at which point Duffy allegedly assaulted McGinnis.

County sets Thursday road workshops

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

In a press release, Archuleta County recently announced a series of road and road issue workshops the public can attend.

The meetings will be held each Thursday between now and Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. in the board of county commissioners meeting room.

Thursday's session will cover: road and bridge design standards, prior deficiencies in standards, quality control issues and overview of design standards.

Local entities deal with rising fuel costs

SUN staff report

There are at least two major players in Pagosa Country when it comes to purchasing and using gasoline and diesel fuel with costs up and uncertainty about prices in the future.

Archuleta School District 50 Joint, which operates a large fleet of buses and vehicles, can afford rising gas prices - for now.

Prices at the pump have climbed steadily throughout the summer months, but in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, dramatic increases have local school officials reviewing long-term options.

"We're fine for now," said Superintendent Duane Noggle, when asked how higher diesel costs are affecting the district's fuel budget. "We allowed for higher prices in this year's budget, and we have reserves to help see us through for a couple of months."

Noggle said the district is hoping prices will moderate or even drop soon, but should the current upward trend continue, he and other officials are examining a variety of fuel conservation methods. Among them, cutting field trips and curbing professional travel are being seriously considered.

"As a last resort, we'll look at shortening or consolidating (bus) routes," Noggle added.

In the event shorter routes become necessary, students will face walking greater distances to and from bus stops, or relying on parents or guardians to make up the difference through use of private vehicles.

Consolidating routes would reduce the number of buses on the road at any given time, but it will almost certainly negatively impact driver employment as well.

When asked about increases in the cost of natural gas or other fuels used in heating schools, Noggle didn't seem overly concerned.

"The high school is the only one heated with natural gas" he said, "And the cost of both electric and gas ran around $10,000 a month last year."

Of course, no one can predict how high gas prices will climb in the next several months, or what conservation measures may become necessary in reducing overall consumption.

But according to Noggle, Archuleta School District 50 Joint is in good shape - for now.

At the county, Public Works Director Dick McKee said the county's fuel supply situation looks stable so far.

Initial reports last week indicated the county might experience significant shortages in diesel supply, but during an update Friday with suppliers, emergency management officials, the county airport, public works and law enforcement agencies indicated otherwise.

"It really wasn't as dire a picture as was portrayed earlier," McKee said.

He said perceived shortages had caused tensions and panic buying which, coupled with Labor Day weekend travel, had caused initial supply concerns.

McKee said he had contacted suppliers in Farmington, Albuquerque and Denver and said supply looks good so far. In the event of a shortage, he said, emergency services and law enforcement agencies should have access to an emergency fuel reserve.

While McKee said supply concerns have diminished, costs concerns have not. As fuel prices increase, McKee said it could wreak havoc on the county fuel budget.

"It's going to blow our line item budget for fuel for sure," McKee said.

McKee said there are emergency funds in the fund balance to help the county deal with potential increases in fuel prices. And McKee added that he is prepared to adapt projects and project scheduling within the road and bridge department should fuel prices or supply issues significantly change. McKee said the road and bridge department is one of the largest consumers of fuel within the county system.

"Time may take its toll, but we'll continue to monitor the situation," McKee said.

At the airport, Rob Russ, airport manager, said he does not think the increase in fuel prices will affect the ongoing construction schedule.

Public meeting on Mill Creek Road maintenance

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The second in a series of public meetings designed to resolve Mill Creek Road issues will be held at the County Extension Building in Pagosa Springs, Tuesday, Sept 13, at 7 p.m.

The U.S. Forest Service will present short-term solutions meant to allow residents and winter recreationists safe travel over the road this winter. Long-term solutions will also be discussed.

The three-mile section of road in question begins at the San Juan National Forest boundary approximately four miles from the intersection of Mill Creek Road and U.S. 84, and continues into the High West Unit 11, Mill Creek Ranch, Rito Blanco Ranch and Cimarrona subdivisions. The entire stretch lies within national forest boundary.

While the road has been maintained (mainly snowplowed) for many years under informal agreements between Archuleta County and the Forest Service, its condition deteriorated last winter, due to the warm wet weather and increased traffic that is partly attributable to subdivision development.

Meeting discussion will focus on how to upgrade the road to an all-weather standard, accommodating year-round access.

All Mill Creek Road residents are encouraged to attend, or send comments to Jo Bridges, District Ranger, P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or via e-mail at Put "Mill Creek Road" on the subject line of any message.

For more information call the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.


Healthcare crisis talk set Sept. 17

Dr. Rocky White, primary care physician in Alamosa, will address the current healthcare crisis in southwest Colorado as the keynote speaker of Health Care for All - Approaches to Achieving It, 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, in the Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave., Durango.

The three-hour free public forum, organized by the League of Women Voters of La Plata County, will also include Richard Risk, Karen Zink and Bobby Lieb of Durango, and Barbara Irelan of Larimer County, discussing recent surveys of health care deficiencies in southwest Colorado, the perspective of local business, the single-payer system and other plans for universal health care, emerging paradigms in health care delivery, and an overview of related efforts across the U.S.

The session is co-sponsored by the LWV of Archuleta County. Refreshments will be provided. Babysitting is available through the recreation center.


Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the board of county commissioners' meeting room, in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

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

- Variance for Colorado Timber Ridge Ranch Phase V.

This is a request for a variance of the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations to allow for an increase in grade to 11.35 percent on the north end of Shooting Star.

The proposed increase in grade will be generally located in the SE 1/4 of Section 21 and SW 1/4 of Section 22, T35N, R2W. It is located at the northern end of Shooting Star in Phase V of the Timber Ridge Ranch Subdivision, the nearest cross street being Cool Pines Drive.

- Conditional Use Permit Review of Petrox Compressor Site

This is a request to review a compressor site, compressor building, compressors, storage tanks, slug catcher, and dehydration unit. The facility will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The purpose of the facility is to treat and compress gas so that it will flow into the existing Xcel transmission line. This item was tabled at the last meeting in order to obtain more information.

This project is located on approximately one acre and is about one mile from the Chimney Rock Archeological Area and in the N1/2SE1/4 of Section 25, T34N, R5W, S.U.L.

- Conditional Use Permit Review of T2 Marketing Inc. DBA Terry's Ace Hardware.

This is a request to review a retail operation at 525 Navajo Trails Drive. Terry's Ace Hardware has over a 20-year history of retailing in Archuleta County. All operations of the business will be contained within the property lines.

This project is located on approximately 4.5 acres and is located in Section 20, T 35N, R 2W in the Ridgeview Subdivision, Parcel one at 525 Navajo Trails Drive.

- Review of the planning commission Minutes of Aug. 10, 2005.

- Other business that may come before the planning commission.

- Adjournment.


Colgan announces run for state House spot

Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Durango resident Joe Colgan announced his candidacy for the Colorado House of Representatives, 59th District, Tuesday in Pagosa Springs.

Colgan will seek the House seat currently held by Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, in the November 2006 election cycle. Larson is term-limited and will run for the District 6 Senate seat currently occupied by Jim Isgar, D-Hesperus.

Colgan is no stranger to public and community service. He currently serves on several boards, including the Animas La Plata Water Conservancy District, the La Plata Economic Development Action Partnership, the LaPlata Regional Housing Authority, and the Durango Adult Education Center. He is a past board member of the Colorado Municipal League and the Colorado Society of CPAs, and has served as president of the Durango Rotary Club, and chair of the Faculty Assembly at Fort Lewis College.

Colgan believes, "In our form of government, government is us. Through government, we the people provide key public services. It's our money and we must make wise choices on how to spend it responsibly for the greatest public good. We must spend tax dollars in ways that boost our economy, as well as promote the welfare of Colorado citizens."

Colgan also believes government should listen when people speak.

"That means," he said, "if people in southwest Colorado don't want development on Wolf Creek Pass, then there should be no development on Wolf Creek Pass, no matter how much money someone from Texas has."

As a candidate who believes in the Democratic Party's commitment to the needs of the common man and woman, Colgan, if elected, said he will work for responsible state spending for a strong economy; quality education, preschool through college; affordable health care; and sustainable environment and resource use.

"Responsible state spending to me means adding value to taxpayers' lives," he said. "If an expenditure doesn't do that, we probably don't need to spend the money. That generally boils down to improving the economy."

He suggests that improving the economy must be tempered by maintaining a sustainable environment, which, as he put it, "means fulfilling our needs while leaving it in as good or better condition than we found it."

He also advocates wise use of our resources, particularly the depletable ones. "Of course the biggest challenge we face in resource use relates to energy," he said.

Having worked in the accounting profession for 45 years, Colgan taught it for 32 years, and is a former professor of accounting at Fort Lewis College. With his educational background, he believes education is the cornerstone on which all society bases its hopes for the future.

"Our society has consistently invested in education not only for the benefits received by the individual, but for the value added to society of having an educated population," he said. "We must support it and improve it. The cuts we have seen in education in Colorado the last few years, particularly in higher education, simply must stop."

Colgan said education funding must be shored up for needy rural school districts. He believes Amendment 23 has helped, but passage of referenda C and D will provide additional relief.

Affordable health care remains a hot topic, but Colgan thinks ongoing dialog has only resulted in higher insurance premiums and reduced access to most consumers.

"We have to solve the problem," he said. "The longer we put off solving the problem, the more expensive and difficult it will be. We may have to address it in small chunks, and state government's role may be limited. But for starters, we must adequately fund medicaid and the uninsured children programs."

Colgan believes lifestyle contributes to higher health care costs, a higher cost of living, and wasteful spending overall. He suggests we look at things like diet, substance abuse, and exercise, and he thinks our society is overconsuming - gas -guzzling SUVs and ever larger, more extravagant homes being prime examples.


Special blood draw Saturday

at LPEA office

With the huge demand for blood in the Gulf Coast disaster area, United Blood Services has scheduled a special draw locally.

The community blood center for southwest Colorado added a 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. draw Saturday at La Plata Electric, 800 S. 8th St.

All donors must have current identification and a desire to make a difference.

You may register for drives at


Allison, Arboles, Tiffany school

reunion Sunday

It's that time again - time for the Allison, Arboles, Tiffany school reunion.

The event will begin noon Sept. 11, in Mt. Allison Grange Hall, 2658 CR 329, downtown Allison.

It opens with potluck lunch (paper goods and drinks will be provided). Visit old friends and tell stories until ...

You can catch up on what's happening and reminisce the good ole days with friends and family.

For more information, call Shirley at (970) 883-2483.


College Fair in PSHS Commons Monday

The counseling department at Pagosa Springs High School invites any interested student and/or parent to attend the Colorado Council College Fair in the Pagosa Springs High School Commons, 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12.

Approximately 35 Colorado and out-of-state colleges will participate. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about courses of study, admission requirements, sports offerings, dormitory selection, scholarship and financial aid availability, and more.

This is a come-and-go event. You are welcome to stay the entire time, or just a few minutes. Come and be educated. The staff welcome all ages, as well as private-school students or home-schooled students.



Ducks Unlimited annual banquet

will be Oct. 1

The Pagosa Springs Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual banquet and auction Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Pagosa Lodge.

The evening will begin with cocktails at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:15, and an auction at 8 p.m.

Ducks Unlimited is a grassroots, volunteer-based organization that conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl.

Each year, over 100,000 acres of wetland habitat is lost in the United States. Since it's inception, Ducks Unlimited has enhanced and restored over 10 million habitat acres, encompassing over 18,600 wetland projects in the U.S. These projects provide habitat for over 900 wildlife species, including ducks, geese, and endangered species like the whooping crane and bald eagle.

For ticket information, contact Nolan Fulton at 264-2660, Tracy Bunning at 264-2128, Doug Bryce at 264-2696, Monica Mayben at 731-1190, or Scott Kay at 264-4539.


Catch and Release

A fine day for old friends, fishing

By James Robinson

SUN Columnist

I grew up among fishermen. My father and grandfather were both avid anglers and I quickly learned while growing up that "going fishing" had numerous connotations.

A fishing trip could mean going to the stream to skip stones or to build dams. It could mean sitting on the beach around a driftwood fire, making slingshots out of old boot laces and bits of leather and launching rocks into the surf. Panning for gold was always a possibility, or we could have been simply sneaking out of the house to escape from chores and other duties. It might have meant casting, but not catching, or it could have meant actually playing and landing fish. Whatever the case, the bottom line was that it didn't really matter what we did as long as we were outdoors, spending time together.

I went fishing this weekend.

I had all the necessary accoutrements of a fishing trip - rod, reel and fishing vest. These are required. You must go through the motions. And even if you have them but don't use them, technically you've gone fishing. On this trip, I even brought along a canoe.

Armed with a sinking line and a double bead-head black wooly bugger, an old friend and I pushed the boat off the beach and slipped the bow into the water.

A gentle breeze pushed us up the lake, and we paddled lazily, effortlessly, letting nature propel us up the lake.

As we drifted, I pulled off about 40 feet of line and tossed it out behind the canoe. The heavy fly and line sunk quickly and then trailed behind the boat. I rested the rod between my knees and put one foot on the butt, lest I hook a fish, and stared off into space.

Our paddle blades dipped gently into the water and our passage was virtually silent. Ducks trailed the canoe. A large brown trout finned in the shallows near a submerged tree stump. Down lake, another leapt into the air and plunged back into the depths, chasing some invisible insect or prey. Caddis flies skittered. Tiny grey mayflies hovered. Bright blue damsel flies cruised just above the water's surface. I didn't change flies. I was fishing, and I let my wooly bugger drag somewhere down below. The wind passed through the hillsides above the lake and aspen leaves rattled like fine porcelain. Most of the trees stood fully green, but a few were just turning light gold and burnt orange.

Thick cumulus clouds, like thick white tufts of cotton candy, drifted slowly across the sky. At times, they covered the sun and, for a moment, the lake was shrouded in shade. The clouds moved on. A dark cloud passed and a few raindrops fell, but the sun returned and with it, the electric blue and cotton candy skies.

Our canoe moved like the clouds, drifting languidly, destinationless across the water. We were fishing.

The hours passed, and in the afternoon, the sunlight burned low in hues of auburn and amber. Shadows grew long in the tree line along the shore and I thought about the change in seasons and the changes that had occurred among two friends.

Time passes. Relationships change. And no one can foresee the future. But at that point in time, while drifting beneath a limitless sky on an alpine lake, time, for a moment, stood still. We were old friends fishing and that's really all that mattered.

High Country Reflections

Roaming the fringe of civilization brings mixed emotions

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Work had been a grind in recent months but changes on the horizon showed definite promise. Of course, it was too soon to know how quickly things would improve, or to what degree, but even with some reprieve a real possibility, the need for escape steadily swelled within me. Others ostensibly saw it too, and as those closest to me began throwing terms around like "edgy" and "irritable," Jackie suddenly suggested I go fishing for a couple of days. "You know Š to kind of get away from it all."

Good advice.

But even with 3.2 million acres of designated wilderness in Colorado, getting away from it all isn't as easy as it once was. Of course, the state's burgeoning population is mostly to blame, but as earning a living demands more of our time, and as we gradually (if not gracefully) age, we struggle with schedule, strength and stamina to manage extended visits into wilderness areas where human activity is at a minimum and travel is restricted to foot or horseback. Consequently, our too-brief outings are increasingly confined to the fringe of civilization where forest and wildlife often abound, yet man's presence, though somewhat reduced, is still painfully apparent.

So, to affect the greatest probability of evading most of mankind while immersing myself in fairly pristine natural surroundings, I chose to fish a couple of more remote reaches which are notoriously less crowded than others, particularly when frequented on week days, rather than weekends. No doubt, their reasonably difficult access has helped minimize use to some extent.

The first day, Thursday, involved a strenuous hike down (and eventually back up) a steep narrow pathway recently made even more precarious by heavy rains and their associated runoff to the river below. Winding through thick old-growth pine and spruce forest, I cautiously ambled over loose rocks, exposed roots and deeply-eroded furrows, all the while, managing a descent of several hundred vertical feet in just under a mile. Within 20 minutes, I stood panting and perspiring on the east bank of a crystalline stream.

Under partly-cloudy skies, the temperature on this late-August morning had already climbed into the low 80s, and I found myself hoping the faint rumbling of distant thunder would eventually bring afternoon showers and more comfortable conditions. But in the several hours of casting dry flies to countless pockets and pools, the sun seldom dipped behind a cloud for long, and the rain never came at all.

Then again, except for a small skinny brown and one plump rainbow, neither did the fish.

I tried nymphing a couple of promising pools, and even stripped a classic wet fly through a few others. But the water felt almost warm to my touch, and I figured evening would arrive before conditions and the fishing finally improved.

Fortunately, I never measure the worth of an excursion by the number of trout taken. It's usually enough to simply be there, occasionally casting or walking about, absorbing the scenery and feeling the mental rejuvenation that invariably comes with quiet time casually spent in close proximity to a secluded high-country stream.

That said, while most fishing ventures are thoroughly enjoyable, some are clearly better than others, and those consistently reflecting the greatest negative light are those which reveal the carelessness and inconsideration of mindless individuals who, for whatever reason, can't seem to muster the means or intelligence to carry out what they've carried in.

For instance, on Thursday, while eventually making my way back in the direction of the trail uphill, I passed through a primitive, though heavily-used campsite very near the river's edge. There, among the ashes and clutter of a large rock fire circle, lay empty beer cans, a wine bottle and chards of broken glass. In the sparse brush forming the camp perimeter, several strands of used toilet paper lay unburied for all to see. I found myself wishing the careless revelers had forgotten their TP, and instead resorted to using leaves of the green lanky shrubs nearby, which to the more astute, are readily identifiable as Western Poison Ivy.

The next day showed marked improvement, though once again, the inescapable signs of man marred the occasion.

This time, my destination was another remote stretch of stream hidden deep in the forest and accessible only by four-wheel-drive travel over miles of a rough-and-tumble Jeep road. As I drove in over the mid-morning hour, a young coyote paralleled my course for a time, and the sun shone brightly through scattered thin clouds, offering little threat of inclement weather. Such conditions were encouraging, since heavy showers during a previous visit quickly transformed the dusty trail into a slippery, nearly impassable, strip of mud soup.

The surrounding countryside is a rolling mix of thick forest and lush green hay meadows, giving rise to the peaks of the Continental Divide and South San Juan Wilderness to the east. The further one travels, the steeper and more primitive the road, and eventually low-range, second gear is necessary in safely negotiating the awkward twists and turns leading down to the creek. Elk sign is everywhere, though scattered domestic livestock still work to graze off a vast meadow just over a ridge to the west.

Dropping down the last steep pitch toward the valley floor, I stopped briefly to examine fresh tracks left in a mud bog alongside the road. An elk, a deer and a coyote had each passed through recently, but the freshest, most prominent prints were of an average-sized mother black bear and her very young cub. Traveling through "bear country," I wasn't surprised, although I'd never seen such tiny bear tracks before.

Reaching the river bottom, my heart sunk as I drove up to a sprawling hunting camp complete with two large tents, a covered camp kitchen, and a shower tent. I hadn't realized it, but bow season was opening the next day, and a Texas family was setting up for a weeklong stay. As it turned out, they were very nice people, and I thoroughly enjoyed our half-hour conversation, before leaving them and heading a bit further upstream.

I parked at the road's end and geared up for several hours of fishing. Others had camped in the area and again, two fire circles contained all kinds of trash, including beer cans and bottles, juice boxes, plastic food containers and broken glass. The streamside shrubbery obviously served as camp latrine, and all sorts of unspeakable debris lay scattered over a wide area. Near a creek crossing, an assortment of paper cups and empty soda cans had been placed on various branches, each riddled with countless bullet holes fired from a small caliber weapon.

Apparently, idiots seldom wander far from camp, because just a short distance upriver, all signs of human activity disappeared. I spent the better part of the afternoon casually fishing my way upstream through towering spruce forest, high rock cliffs, giant streamside boulders and a magnificent array of wildflowers. With the place seemingly all to myself, fishing was excellent as a number of 8- to 12-inch rainbows and browns readily rose to my every offering. At one point, a brief heavy thunderstorm sent me crawling for cover, but in truth served more as entertainment than irritation, and by the time I left, the road out was as dry as it was during the drive in.

Following another brief conversation with my new Texas friends, I slowly drove through the forest and meadows toward home, stopping all too often to pick up cans and other litter left behind by inane back-country travelers. I felt pretty disgusted for awhile, but then a pair of Blue Grouse appeared in front of me, and my attitude quickly improved. However, as I rounded another bend and a young bear darted out in the road, his thick blonde coat ruffling wildly as he galloped up the adjacent hillside, sheer elation set in, and at once I felt right with the world.

It seems mixed emotions complement every trip to the woods these days. Our beautiful mountain environment, and the wonderfully diverse wildlife within, invoke such joy and jubilation, but then, with man's adverse influence always so glaringly apparent, I struggle to understand how humans can consider themselves the most intelligent creatures on earth. If you ask me, they're grossly overrated.



Asking questions

Dear Editor:

To follow up on Ray Finney's letter in the Sun this week regarding Pat Robertson's Freudian Slip on his 700 Club program last August 22, I would like to add a few things about this "happening" which I find more bothering than Mr. Robertson's dastardly remarks.

There is a nagging question in my mind whether this man's statement and, later, his attempts to deny having made them and/or dilute what he had said may have revealed something very damaging in the leadership of the fundamentalist religious right.

There is no doubt that Robertson was speaking patriotically. But patriotism, like all 'isms, has a non-rational side and can easily supplant religion. In the extreme, as we have seen happen in some Islamic regions, the combination of fundamentalist religion and patriotism, has produced tragic, uncivilized results.

As our nation, which many believe to have been founded on Christian principles, supposedly struggles on the other side of the world to establish democracy where it has never been known, it seems Robertson should have used things like torture, civil rights, corruption, political or economic exploitation, or at least some reason other than just oil. But he didn't. His reason for "taking out" the honestly democratically elected president of Venezuela was the proposition that he would move that country to diversify its oil shipments, rather than remain so tightly dependant on US purchases.

This, of course, would have a tremendous effect on our economy, given the fact that our communities are now built totally around the automobile. Suddenly without gasoline (or gasoline at an affordable price) and, therefore, without access to goods and services, how would our consumption conditioned human behavior respond? Haven't we seen chaos happen this week in New Orleans?

Historically, every tyrannical regime (Rome, Egypt, Japan, etc.) has linked itself closely with a supportive religion. Could it be, having united politics with religion, that the religious right now depends so heavily on our prosperity to maintain its credibility as a moral force that one of its most powerful, influential leaders could be able to justify such a thought in his own mind? And where will this kind of leadership take us?

I'm only asking questions.

Henry Buslepp


Fluoride decision

Dear editor:

Recently the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Associated Press, The Chicago Sun Times, MSNBC and many others announced that Harvard professor Chester Douglas and Harvard University are being investigated for suppression of research documented in Elise Bassin's doctoral theses.

The research study showed a marked increased risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) for boys who drank fluoridated water. Some of this data was taken from her professor, Chester Douglas's 1992 study funded by a $1.3 million federal grant.

Douglas, is Harvard's chair of the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology. He said in a report to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that there was no relationship between fluoride and bone cancer.

In fact his own study stated, "Among males, exposure to fluoride at or above the target level was associated with an increased risk of developing osteosarcoma in their lifetime". Douglas is the editor of a newsletter called the "Colgate Oral Care Report," funded by Colgate-Palmolive, which is a major promoter of fluoride products. Experts call it a clear-cut conflict of interest.

Bassin's thesis is considered the most rigorous human study to date on a connection between fluoridation and osteosarcoma, a lethal form of cancer that affects males nearly twice as often as females and increased more than 40 percent since the early '70s.

A 1991 National Toxicology Program study found "equivocal evidence" of a link between fluoridated water and cancer, including osteosarcoma. The National Cancer Institute had the same results.

In a letter from a majority (eleven) of the EPA's employee unions, who are the scientists, to the administrator of the EPA, they requested the director of the Office of Water issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking setting the maximum contaminant level for fluoride at zero, in accordance with Agency policy for all likely or known human carcinogens.

It states, "Our request is based on the overall weight of the evidence supporting the classification of fluoride as a human carcinogen, including new information from Harvard on the link between fluoride in drinking water and osteocarcinoma in boys. The eyes of the nation are on the federal science establishment because of a host of scientific integrity issues. Former EPA assistant administrator Lynn Golman and Roni Neff have just published a paper in the American Journal of Public Health on the cost of the government's failure to act on sound scientific evidence. We at EPA can be ahead of the curve on this important issue, or behind it. We do not think the latter choice is in the best interest of the public, the Civil Service or the EPA, and we fervently and respectfully hope you will agree with us."

Remember asbestos, leaded gas, Phen Fen, HRT, and Vioxx? First they were good and then research revealed the opposite. How many other studies have not reached the general public because of money paid out to keep damning info quiet, insuring that industries producing harmful products can continue to send us to our graves carrying it in our bodies? After over 60,000 worldwide independent studies proving how harming and deadly fluoride is, how many of them have you seen?

Pagosa Springs is on the forefront of a coming revolution by stopping fluoridation. Don't we look smart?

Thank you.

Cathy Justus


Why 11 days?

Dear Editor:

On Aug. 20, two people were beaten severely. This occurred out of town, on Trujillo Road (CR 500).

I am an employee of the Best Western where one of the injured men drove for help. The hotel called 911 and the Pagosa Springs PD arrived moments later and an ambulance right after that.

The Pagosa officers quickly learned that another injured man was still unaccounted for. The officers radioed dispatch and the sheriff's department deputies went to locate the other individual as the sheriff's department took over the case.

The two people who were beaten severely knew the four guys who beat them up. They knew their names and faces. What concerns me is that the sheriff's department did not issue warrants for 11 days. These criminals were walking around town, even going into he courthouse, for 11 days. I understand the investigations take time, but shouldn't it have been done in 48-72 hours? Instead, it took about 264 hours just to issue warrants.

I am sure that arrest warrants would have been issued the next day if it had been county commissioners who were beaten. But I guess the sheriff's department doesn't make Mexicans a priority.

Oh yeah, did I forget to say that everyone involved was a Mexican?

I am very disappointed with our current administration at the sheriff's department. I look forward to the election for a new sheriff; we need one.

David Leigh

Editor's note: Please see an article concerning the incident in this issue of The SUN .


Dismal Failure

Dear Editor:

This letter is addressed to the current Archuleta Board of County Commissioners.

Since your tenure in office you have succeeded in eminently disappointing the people who got you elected. Your empty promises of a junk ordinance, implementation of a community plan, countywide zoning and road improvement, have remained just that, empty promises.

You have succeeded in fighting amongst yourselves and pandering to special interest groups. In short, you are a disgrace to the political process. And incidentally Mrs. Schiro, the Republican committee of the City of New Orleans could desperately use your expertise and knowledge in road and bridge maintenance. Please consider them as your next potential employer.

Marty Margulies


A mother cries

Dear Editor:

The grieving mother who recently camped on the road outside Bush's home in Texas has company in her grief.

Somewhere in Baghdad or Pakistan, maybe at this moment, a mother swathed in black robes squats on the floor of a hut, watching the elders of her tribe strap a bomb to her handsome teen-aged son.

They cinch up the belts and murmur to him of the car he will get to drive at high speed, his future as a hero of Islam, and of course, the seventeen virgins who await him in heaven. The mother sobs as other women try to comfort her. The boy is her favorite.

Now she can see the fear in his eyes, but because she is a woman in an Islamic country, she is powerless to stop the fanatical leaders of Jihad. Her son is to die. She knows it but cannot stop it.

It was the same kind of Islamic men who stole four American jetliners full of fathers, mothers, little children and flew them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Here in America we were "giving peace a chance" that day, we and all those people on the upper floors of the two towers, sipping coffee at their desks and chatting at the water coolers when their world exploded into flames.

The same kind of fanatical Muslim Jihadists who strap bombs to kids did not care about little children on airliners, or loving dads in business suits whispering goodbye on cell phones in the back row of jets.

So, Cindy Sheehan down there in Texas blames George Bush for her son's death as a soldier in Iraq. But her son was of legal age when he signed his name and enlisted. He made the choice. I doubt he was "bushwacked." And though he may have signed up for the benefits the military offers, and which she doubtless approved at the time, he also swore to defend his country.

"His country." America. The leader of the free world, and now, the foremost defender of Western civilization, democracy, freedom of speech and the liberty to worship as we choose; America, the exception to all other countries in the world with our glorious Constitution and Bill of Rights; America, the envy of the world.

The men who strap bombs to schoolboys in Iraq know nothing - nothing - of Democracy or civilization.

I admire Sheehan's son for putting his life on the line to help protect and save others; and for giving all of us a chance at life and freedom.

The anniversary of 9/11 is around the corner. Time to remember all those heroes, victims and our men and women in the armed forces still in harm's way. All of them have brought this nation phrases that bring a tear to most eyes."

"Let's Roll," and "In God we trust" is their cry, and both are as American as apple pie.

Jim Sawicki


LPEA meeting

Dear Editor:

LPEA's 65th annual meeting will be this Saturday in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium. So why should you care? Because Tri-State recently announced plans for construction of three new coal-fired power plants. This means rate increases.

Tri-State General Manager J.M. Shafer will attend the meeting to present Tri-State's plans for new power plant construction, rate increases and green power.

Greg Munro, LPEA CEO will explain what the Tri-State increases will mean to LPEA members. In addition, Munro will discuss:

- LPEA's 2004 financial wrapup and financial position through July 2005;

- Brief WESODI and FastTrack reports;

- LPEA 2005 goals update;

- Hurricane Katrina effects on LPEA - materials are very difficult to acquire. Some projects may be cancelled.

LPEA President Davin Montoya will discuss LPEA's position on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Meeting details:

Pagosa Springs High School, 603 S. 8th St. Drive into downtown Pagosa and turn south on 8th Street at the old City Market. Drive a few blocks until you reach the school.

Registration and voting begin at 9 a.m., meeting begins at 10:30. Meeting is followed by lunch for all.

I'm available to answer any questions you may have (or try to answer them, or send them to someone who really can answer them).

Hope to see you this Saturday,

David H. Waller

La Plata Electric Association

marketing/communications director


Nation in reverse

Dear Editor:

I'm writing this letter to thank everyone who still displays their W'04 stickers. Our Republican run government has handled Hurricane Katrina as well as it has handled the Iraqi War and Osama Bin Laden.

More people are slipping into poverty while tax breaks for the rich is the only Republican campaign promise that has been kept. I can only wonder if three dollars a gallon gasoline was part of the U.S. energy policy that Dick Cheney and Kenneth Leigh wrote and Bush kept classified.

W. has this country in reverse and the religious right won't be happy until he drives us into the Dark Ages. Those people with W'04 stickers let me know who to thank.

Jason Werby

Community News

Shamrock Festival offers something for everyone

By Christelle Troell

Special to the Preview

Looking for a day of fun, food and activities for the entire family?

Then the Shamrock Festival Sept. 10 is just the ticket. The folks at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church have added even more events this year for a day packed with plenty to do. Children's activities have been expanded and will keep your youngsters busy for most of the day, so bring them along.

Early birds can find breakfast 8-10:30 a.m. Ken Jones and his helpers will be cooking up pancakes and sausage along with Ken's famous breakfast tacos, coffee and juice.

Events for the entire family are scheduled 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. You might want to start with the giant yard sale sponsored by the Men's Fellowship. It will be crammed with slightly used tools, furniture, household items, electronics and lots of treasures such as a student's trumpet complete with accessories and a bagpipe.

The Family Fun section will be offering a great sale of used toys, games and sports equipment sure to delight the youngsters in your family.

Come prepared to take home enough books to see you through the long winter nights. Esther Orr's Book Nook is bursting at the seams with gently read books. You will find your favorite author, best sellers and many categories including reference books, cookbooks, children's books, etc.

Easily the bargain of the day, hardbacks are $3 and paperbacks $1.

A Country Cupboard has been added this year. Teri Sullivan invites you to look over the various departments, including a bake sale and arts and crafts section. While you are browsing, you may visit the little cafe where you will find tea, coffee and cold drinks as well as individual baked goods for sale.

The bake sale, coordinated by B. Ann Luffel, will include the usual array of home baked cakes, pies, cookies, jellies and more.

Linda Warren and her team of crafty ladies will again offer a variety of handmade items including Christmas decorations and Red Hat accessories which make great gifts or stocking stuffers.

Need a break from cooking? Linda's team of cooks are offering five different frozen casseroles including chicken green noodle and Italian layered casserole, chicken noodle soup and three kinds of frozen cobblers for those busy days.

The youngsters will be kept busy at the Just For Kids area 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. For a small fee, they can participate in supervised activities and be treated to a hot dog and lemonade. Activities include face painting, a bounce castle, tractor pull ride, crafts, games and prizes.

New this year is an opportunity to have your child's picture taken in costume astride a "unicorn" or western horse. At 11 a.m. there will be a corn shucking contest, and at 1 p.m. the children can participate in a scarecrow contest and needle in a haystack game.

Join us for a lunch of hot dogs with a variety of toppings, chili dogs and nachos between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

During the day, you will be able to take a chance on a handmade quilt and place a bid in the silent auction. Quilt stitchers from St. Patrick's are offering a green and white king-sized quilt in a Log Cabin pattern. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

Meg Boblit and Becky Dorian have assembled some awesome items for the silent auction. These include a two-person Silo Sauna of red cedar, stained glass, stoneware, hand-carved wooden items, framed paintings and photographs, jewelry and much, much more.

Services to be auctioned include three hours of fly fishing and a set of flies from Ken Jones; a flight over the city with Bill Smith and the use of a home for a week on Bald Head Island, N. C. There will also be a number of certificates from local restaurants and businesses in the auction.

The best is yet to come between 5-7:30 p.m. You are invited to BYOB at 5 p.m. with cheese and crackers, relax and catch the final bidding in the Silent Auction which closes at 5:45 p.m. Auction items will be awarded to the top bidders. This will be followed by the drawing for the handmade quilt. You do not have to be present to win.

At 6 p.m. a barbecue chicken dinner catered by Joanne Irons will be served. The complete dinner includes salad, baked potato, roasted corn-on-the-cob, and strawberry shortcake. Tickets are limited so don't miss out. They are $8 for adults, $4 for children (ages 3-10).

For tickets or information, contact the church office, 731-5801. The church is at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. next to the Mary Fisher Clinic. Some of the proceeds from the festival will be used to support St. Patrick's many community outreach programs.


Corvette show a Colorfest weekend event

The annual Colorado Springs Corvette Club People's Choice Charity Car Show will be noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at Bell Tower Park in Pagosa Springs

People's Choice voting ends at 3 p.m.

The event is free to the public who can see some great cars - old and new - vote for a favorite in each class

Buy tickets for door prizes. All proceeds go to Northern Churches Care.

The show is set for Colorfest weekend, after the balloon ascension and before the community picnic.


Yule concert rehearsals open; last sign-up Sept. 20

Weekly rehearsals have started for the Pagosa Springs Community Choir annual Christmas Concert.

Regular rehearsals at Community United Methodist Church will be 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays. There will be a suggested donation of $20 to help defray costs of music.

The performances will be 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10, with a 4:30 p.m. matinee performance Sunday, Dec. 11, in the community center. Performances will be free as the choir's gift to the community.

Co-directors Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer have chosen a varied selection of seasonal and Christmas music. Several favorites to be sung include "Sing Choirs of Angels," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "Winter Melody." The choir will be accompanied by Shirley McGee.

Anyone who loves to sing and is interested in making beautiful music should attend a rehearsal or contact Sue Diffee at 731-1305 for more information.

The final date for women to sign up will be Sept. 20 as dresses are being ordered and the order has to be placed early.


Hand drumming class scheduled

What musical discipline is an immediately engaging social activity, keeps your brain activated and helps develop coordination, one that doesn't require any great physical effort and can be learned quickly by young and old alike?

Answer: hand drumming.

Elation Center for the Arts brings Pagosans an opportunity to learn more about this musical style with a history going back to Biblical times. Local musician Carla Roberts will teach a drumming class starting the second week in September.

Now a very popular addition to the American music scene, hand drums are used by many groups to get in the rhythm groove. If you can tap your foot to a beat, you can play a hand drum, and you don't need to carry a tune or have a good voice. The rhythms are exciting to play, even for beginners. Advanced embellishments and variations will be taught by Roberts. If you don't have a drum, there will be drums provided at the class.

The fee for each one hour class is $5 and ongoing classes will continue through October. To register and get directions to the class call 731-3117.

Elation Center for the Arts also sponsors a clogging class in Pagosa Springs. A new beginning class starts Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 5:15 p.m. in the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.

Clogging is an early American dance form related to Irish dancing, tap dancing and square dancing. It can be done solo or in a group, to almost any type of music with a steady beat.

Classes are taught by Carla Roberts and accompanied by Paul Roberts. Elation Center for the Arts, a local nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the preservation of traditional music and dance.

For more information call 731-3117.


Explore raw food trend in ed center class

A quiet food movement has been sweeping the world for years. More and more doctors, healers and people who love to eat have been discovering the phenomenal health benefits of eating foods in their most natural state - raw.

Come explore the world of preparing delicious meals that boost immune deficiency, lower the risk of cancer and heart disease, help control weight and increase your capacity for a joyful existence.

Learn to prepare hearty, satisfying meals, breads, crackers, "cheeses," desserts and treats. Discover the pleasure of growing nutrient-rich sprouts at home all year long. And, study the wonders and benefits of incorporating local, wild plants into our diet.

The class will be 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 21-Oct. 12 at the Archuleta County Education Center. Ana Milburn-Lauer, a long-time raw foods chef at the Tuttle Lake Refuge Restaurant and Center for Sustainable Living in Durango, will be the instructor.

The center is also offering a beginning Spanish class for anyone interested in learning conversational Spanish or who may be planning a trip. Classes will be 6-8 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 19-Oct. 24 at the center.

Milburn-Lauer will also teach these classes.

If you would like to register or need more information regarding any of the classes offered at the education center, call 264-2835 or stop by the office at 4th and Lewis streets.

Come join us for feasts and learning filled with discovery.

Unitarians will offer 'Mindful Meditation' second Sunday monthly

Beginning Sept. 11, The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will be offering "Mindfulness Meditation," a regular meditation program, on the second Sunday of each month.

These services will be loosely structured, with some variety, but will generally provide a similar format for each monthly meeting. April Merrilee, MA, occupational therapist and Ccertified yoga instructor will be the leader and facilitator.

This effort to create a stronger sense of program connectedness is in response to friends and members who have expressed their desire for a more consistent approach to Meditation Sundays (the second Sunday of each month).

Merrilee explains the services will sustain the UU tradition of lighting the chalice and candles for joys and concerns. "We will also sing a bit and hear some soothing music."

She will then introduce the heart of the meditation practice by briefly discussing the attributes of mindfulness, such as the development of moment-to-moment awareness, or focusing on the breath, or bodily sensations, etc.

The meditation itself will be practiced in silence for approximately 20-25 minutes. Participants may sit in chairs or on the floor. Feel free to bring your own cushion, blanket or meditation shawls.

Children's programming resumes in September with a new season focusing on positive self-talk and centering. Sky Gabel, who leads the Childrens' Hour on the first and third Sundays says, "We'll continue to practice yoga, come up with our own mantras, and review the first UU principle: everyone is important!"

Child care with Anna Hershey will continue on the second, fourth and fifth Sundays. She reminds us, "Second Sundays are for meditation, so on this day, bring your children to the Ralph Eaton Recreation Center on Park Avenue, dressed for an hour outdoors."

The service and Children's Program begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah 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. Unless otherwise noted, a potluck lunch will follow the third Sunday service. All are welcome.

September events set at Har Shalom

September activities at Congregation Har Shalom in Durango begin with Shabbaton Weekend Sept. 9, with Rabbi Baskin.

The following day will have a 10 a.m. worship and bat mitzvah of Lisa Wickman and dedication of Ner Tamid.

On Sunday, Sept. 11, the congregation will study Judaism 180 with Rabbi Baskin then, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the rabbi will meet with B'nai Mitzvah families.

Torah study is scheduled 7 p.m. Friday, Sept., 16.

Shabbat services followed by Kiddush with potluck dessert Oneg will be led by members of the congregation 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23.

For information about Congregation Har Shalom, call 375-0613.


Sharon Porter a presenter at Whole Expo

Sharon Porter, a Pagosa body-centered psychotherapist and body worker, will be a presenter at the Durango Whole Expo this weekend at La Plata County Fair Grounds.

Porter will speak 4 p.m. Saturday on "Effective Therapy for Healing Trauma."

Porter is the director of Health Wave Institute, a state-approved school teaching several modalities of wholistic therapies, including craniosacral therapy, polarity therapy and somatic trauma resolution.

The aspect she will address Saturday is how to talk a traumatized person through the safe discharge of energy their adrenaline produced for the emergency and that can later cause emotional, cognitive and physiological problems.

A Somatic Experiencing Practitioner®, Porter will demonstrate how she helps the client become curious about their bodily sensations in a way that opens their neural pathways for discharge.

The work is effective for birth and childhood traumas, abuse and relationship issues, accidents, injuries and other traumas.


PSHS broadcast teacher gets STN presidency

Curtis Maberry, broadcasting teacher at Pagosa Springs High School, has been elected president of the Student Television Network.

Maberry succeeds Steve Galyon of Henry County, Ky. Maberry's term will run through the 2006-2007 school year, with Galyon now serving as past president.

The Student Television Network has nearly 250 affiliate schools in 43 states, each with an active interest in furthering scholastic broadcasting and video production. It is the largest body of scholastic broadcasters in the world.

Professional organizations supporting STN include the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, the National Television Academy Foundation, the American Academy of Arts, the National Press Photographers Association, The Poynter Institute, Varsity Television and Channel One News.

The organization's activities include, but are not limited to, student scholarships, summer workshops for teachers and students, a variety of video contests, online discussion boards, regular newsletters, and an annual national convention for the STN membership. The next convention will be Feb. 2-4 in Los Angeles.


Hurricane Katrina refugees in Pagosa

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Among the hundreds of thousands left homeless by Hurricane Katrina are Fernando and Katie Trujillo. They have come to Pagosa Springs to take refuge with Fernando's brother, Carlos, while they wait for the uncertain news of their home, their family and their friends.

Fernando and Carlos Trujillo are fourth-generation Pagosans.

Only a few months ago, Katie and Fernando moved into a new home in Boutte, La., a small town five feet above sea level, with a few thousand residents, about 25 miles west of New Orleans. Surrounded by water - along the west bank of the Mississippi, north of the Gulf of Mexico and south of Lake Catowatchie - the town's status in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath is still mingled with rumor and uncertainty.

"I don't know if our house is still there or not," said Katie, on the verge of tears, as she explained the harrowing tale of their preceding days, during their escape from the storm.

On the Saturday morning before the storm, an emergency vehicle's loudspeaker announced a mandatory evacuation of the town. Fernando considered staying, but Katie, who had lived in Louisiana all her life and had survived the devastating hurricanes Audrey and Betsy in 1957 and 1965 respectively, knew the fierceness of the Category 4 storms, and was having no part in any attempt to brave the storm.

They packed up a few belongings, not much except for a few clothes and "coffee pot and a pound of coffee," for the road, and drove to Texas. The traffic was bumper-to-bumper getting out of town. They tried periodically to communicate with their families, but the lines were continually busy.

In Texas, they could see the storm was as fierce as predicted, and that they wouldn't be able to return for some time. "We're going to be here for a couple months, so we're going off to see my brother," Fernando recalls thinking.

They got lost several times along the way to Pagosa. "Everybody gave us wrong directions," said Katie, who is still in recovery from broken ribs from a previous accident. The constant fear for the lives of their loved ones made for a difficult trip. "It's been rough; it's been a rough ride," said Katie.

"I know we've got a hard story, but we know people who stayed there, and it's really tough for them," said Katie. "No food, no water, they're not getting the help they need."

Because of widespread looting and lack of electricity, residents are still warned not to return to many areas until law and order can be restored. It may be weeks before they can return.

"But what are we going to come back to?" Katie laments, "No jobs, no homes, no nothing."

Katie and Fernando can be reached at Carlos' home on Florida Street, or at 264-5731.


Post office expands Express Mail service

Pagosa Springs Postmaster Jim Fait has announced expansion of Express Mail Service nationwide for Pagosa customers.

He said the expansion allows next-day delivery to many more locations.

"We have added additional transportation to our local network and we can now provide the community with upgraded Express Mail service," he said.

"If customers can get their Express Mail letters and packages to us by 10:45 a.m., Monday through Friday," he said, "we can get your mail pieces delivered by between noon and 3 p.m. the next day, guaranteed.

"In the past, if a customer brought us an Express Mail piece, it would be for two-day delivery service only outside the Colorado Front Range area," he said. "But with the upgrades to our Express Mail delivery transportation network, we can now offer guaranteed service - for $13.65 — up to two pounds from Maine to California, with next-day service.

"There are still some zip codes that may not have guaranteed next-day delivery because of transportation limitations, so check with the post office to confirm."


Local Chatter

From Colorfest to native plants in one big weekend

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

The weekend of Sept. 17-19 will be a busy one and let's hope the weather holds.

The Colorfest balloon rally will be in full swing and so will be the 2005 annual meeting of the Colorado Native Plant Society with its theme, "The Flora of the Colorado Native Plant Society."

It might be too late to get in a reservation for the year's plant society events, but if you are interested in the subject or the organization, contact Charlie King at 731-4794 or Dick Moseley at 731-5918.

Around Colorado

Remember back in February New York City had its public art project, "The Gates," held in Central Park?

Twenty-three miles of walkways were decorated with freestanding frames draped in saffron colored fabric. This was artist Christo's project. Christo and his wife, Jeanne Claude, are known for their fabulous projects using fabric.

Announced at the time was that the next project would be the Arkansas River in Colorado. And now, details have been announced.

Giant canopies will be spread across the Arkansas River on a stretch between Salida and Parkdale siding west of Canon City. The project, to be called "Over the River," will go up sometime in 2007 or maybe 2008.

This will be worth seeing. Salida isn't very far away.

Fun on the run

A shepherd was herding the flocks in a remote pasture when, suddenly, a brand new Jeep Cherokee advanced out of a dust cloud toward him.

The driver, a young man in an expensive suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and a ridiculously expensive tie, leaned out of the window and asked the shepherd: "If I can tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?"

The shepherd looked at the yuppie, then at his peacefully grazing flock, and calmly answered, "Sure!" The yuppie parked the car, whipped out his notebook, connected it to a cell phone, surfed to a NASA page on the Internet where he called up a GPS satellite navigation system, scanned the area, opened up a database and some 60 Excel spreadsheets with complex formulas. Finally, he pointed out a 150-page report on his hi-tech miniaturized printer, turned to the shepherd and said, "You have here exactly 1,586 sheep."

"That is correct. As agreed, you can take one of the sheep," said the shepherd. He watched the young man make a selection and bundle it in his vehicle.

Then he said, "If you can tell me exactly what your business is, will you give me my sheep back?"

"Okay, why not?" answered the young man.

"You are a consultant," said the shepherd.

"That is correct, replied the yuppie. "How did you guess that?"

"Easy," replied the shepherd. "You turned up here although nobody called you. You want to be paid for the answer to a question I already new the solution to. And you didn't know anything about my business because you took my dog."


Education News

Education Center revises

programming for after school classes

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

A new year of programming is underway at the Archuleta County Education Center.

If your child needs academic assistance or would like to participate in fun and educational after-school classes, we have a complete new slate of offerings available.

To make participation easy for children and parents alike, all of our after-school classes are held in the school buildings.

K-4 classes are held in Room 3 at the elementary school, and classes for 5-8 graders are held in the junior high building.

Our elementary tutoring program started Sept. 7 under the continued leadership of coordinator Lucille Stretton.

As usual, we will have tutoring and enrichment courses offered Monday through Thursday after school.

On Fridays, we will once again be offering a Friday afternoon fun club that will be held each week from 1:30 until 5 p.m. This will provide a safe and fun option for those parents who need childcare on Friday afternoons.

In addition to tutoring, we have a full lineup of fun classes available for your child. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Tessie Garcia will be leading creative art projects at the elementary school. On Mondays and Wednesdays, we are offering the popular class Whiz Kids, where youngsters get to explore fun math and science activities.

The class Puppeteers is back this year by popular demand and will be offered on Wednesdays starting Sept. 7.

Philosophy for Children is a new class offered on Tuesdays for youth in grades 2-4 and on Mondays and Wednesdays for youth in grades K-1.

Throughout the year, we will be providing a variety of fun and educational classes in theater, dance, foreign language, jewelry making, and many other areas.

Our Homework Center for youth in grades 5-8 will start Sept. 19 and will again be held in the junior high library. Becky Johnson, our after-hours coordinator for this age group, will be available to help your child with their homework Monday through Thursday after school.

This year, we are implementing some changes to make enrolling your child easier.

During the first week of school, we will send home with your child our annual school aged enrollment form.

Once we have a completed enrollment form on file, you will be able to register your child for any of our after-school activities by either coming by our office at 4th and Lewis streets or by telephone when paying by credit card.

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


Community Center News

Italian cooking classes are underway

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

Today is our first Italian cooking class. Edith Blake, graciously volunteered to do this free program. Thanks, Edith.

She is going to demonstrate how to cook breaded chicken cutlet Italian style with lots of spices.

The class is full and all will enjoy tasting the chicken with fresh salad on the side. Anyone interested in joining future classes should call 264-4152 and ask to be included on the cooking class roster.

Building Blocks 4 Health, a health and fitness support group sponsored by the community center has purchased a new medical-grade weighing scale. The group meets Mondays, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Members pledge to plan ahead, think before eating foolishly, seek support from other members when discouraged and wanting to soothe frustrations with food or drink, and to achieve total fitness in Building Blocks 4 Health.

Disaster team

The Red Cross Disaster Action Team will meet here Monday, Sept. 12. The community center is one of the designated shelters in case mother nature causes us a disaster. Our local Red Cross volunteers have been trained to go out in the field to do their job.

As a matter of fact, our very own Art Schaefer has been deployed to help in the Katrina hurricane incident. Other volunteers may be asked to go also. New volunteers are always welcome. Call Edie Corwin, 903-4083.

Computer lab news

Computer lab classes will resume Tuesday, Sept. 13. The seniors' group, which has been meeting 10 a.m.-noon, will gather to discuss options for upcoming classes. If you have suggestions for class topics or any specific training needs, please call Becky at 264-4152 on or after Thursday, Sept. 8, when she will be back at the community center. We can then schedule a time when your particular needs can be addressed.

One topic which she would like to spend more time on - it has been covered briefly - is security. This important subject deserves more than a cursory glance. One option, of course, is to pay someone to come to your home and install the necessary software. If you choose this option, be sure that the installer explains what you will need to do in order to keep your security software definitions up-to-date, to actually run the scans, and to deal with malfunctioning software when you find it. Preferably these instructions will be written out, since it's sometimes hard to remember from one time to another exactly how the whole thing works.

Another course is to do all this yourself - and you can. It's not difficult, but does take some commitment on your part to learn the process. But once you do, it's an empowering feeling to be in charge rather than at the mercy of your computer.

Another topic which has come up frequently in class discussions is how to go about choosing a new computer. Some questions include: How big a hard drive do I need? Should I spend the extra money for a DVD (rather than a CD) drive? How many USB ports should I have? What should I buy if all I need is e-mail and some occasional Internet surfing? Please let Becky know if any of this is of interest to you, and we will put it on the schedule.

Upcoming events

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

By the time you read this I should have an answer whether we'll have one or not.

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, who remembered a similar event in the Quad Cities in Illinois and Iowa.

I went online and now have a how-to manual 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. I will also let all know what the board thinks about this event.

Free programs?

Do you have a special talent or hobby that 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 interest groups. Someone even asked me about the possibility of staring an Irish/Scottish dancing group for fun. Call 264-4152.


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.

Friday, Sept. 9 - Seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; seniors bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.

Sunday, Sept., 11 - 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. 12 - Watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; seniors bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Red Cross Disaster Action Team meeting, 6-8 p.m. Loma Linda board meeting, 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 13 - Watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Grace Evangelical Church meeting, 6-9 .m.; Creeper Jeepers, 7-8 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 14 - Watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; photo club meeting, 5:30-7 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m. Grace EV music practice, 7-9 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 15 - Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon

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, mid-size 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'll hold lost and found items for a month, then all unclaimed items will be donated to the local thrift stores or discarded. Call 264-4152.

Senior News

Enjoy fall weather with a classic barbecue

By Musetta Wollenweber

Special to The SUN

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 on 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 with 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.

Free movie

This month's movie at the Den is "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." Flamboyant pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp, in an Oscar-nominated performance), steals the show as a charming, carefree, 17th century pirate who roams the Caribbean. When a rival pirate pillages the village of Port Royal and kidnaps the governor's daughter, Elizabeth, Jack decides to help Elizabeth. Will he save her? Of course, the mission isn't quite that simple. Please join us for this great comedy adventure movie and enjoy free popcorn 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16. For those of you who really read our newsletter in detail, there is a typo and the movie is really being shown on the 16th.

Chimney Rock tour

Chimney Rock's dramatic twin spires mark the home to the ancestral Puebloan people 1,000 years ago. Experience the intriguing story of those who came before us as the architecture, pottery and other artifacts give us a glimpse into their daily lives.

Join the folks from The Den Wednesday, Sept. 21, for a special tour of Chimney Rock for $5 to learn its mysteries, myths and legends. Carpooling (with limited room in a minivan) will be the mode of transport. We will meet at Chimney Rock at 1:10 p.m. with our tour beginning at 1:30. Please sign up for this archeological excursion at The Den office by Friday, Sept. 16. The tour is approximately two and a half hours (with the lower part of the tour being handicap accessible which lasts approximately one hour.) Immerse yourself in this ancient culture with a stunning backdrop as you explore the wonders of Chimney Rock.


Our thanks to the Upper San Juan Hospital District-EMS Division for providing so many of our folks with CPR and AED training, what a wonderful contribution to the community.


AARP Elderwatch warns about unscrupulous charity solicitors in the wake of devastating Hurricane Katrina:

Denver - In the wake of devastating hurricane Katrina, AARP ElderWatch warns consumers of unscrupulous charities that will take advantage of people's compassion during this time of need. While AARP ElderWatch has not yet received reports of phony charities related to hurricane Katrina, history has a way of repeating itself.

After 9/11 and the Tsunami disasters, illegitimate charities were conning consumers throughout the United States and stealing donations from people who thought they were giving to legitimate charities.

"We want to warn people to be cautious of who they give to and how their donations will be utilized. The wisest strategy is to give to well-known organizations whose history proves that they will use your donation to directly assist the recovery and rebuilding efforts in the disaster areas," says Janice L. Friddle, Director of AARP ElderWatch. "We encourage people to be generous, just give wisely," says Friddle.

AARP ElderWatch wants potential donors to think about the following before making a donation:

- Don't be fooled by charity names that closely resemble other well-known organizations.

- Don't give in to emotional pleas or high pressure tactics that insist your gift is required immediately. A charity that needs your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow.

- Always write checks payable to the organization, never an individual.

Before you give, research the organization you are considering. The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance at or the Colorado Secretary of State are excellent resources. Consumers can also call AARP ElderWatch at (800) 222-4444 or log on to or for further information on wise giving.

Activities at a glance

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

Monday, Sept. 12 - Medicare counseling; 11:15 gym walk; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 13 - Basic computer, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 14 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; Forest Service presentation.

Thursday, Sept. 15 - Meal served in Arboles, 24-hour advance reservations please; Social Security presentation on Medicare Drug Card Insurance; celebrate September birthdays.

Friday, Sept. 16 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.; free movie: "Pirates of the Caribbean."


Subject to change

Suggested donation $2.50 for ages 60+, all others $4.50

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

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

Monday, Sept. 12 - Tuna salad, lettuce and tomato, pasta salad and peaches.

Tuesday, Sept. 13 - Meat loaf, whipped potatoes and onion gravy, zucchini, wheat bread, strawberries and ice cream.

Wednesday, Sept. 14 - Pizza with Italian sausage, vegetable blend and pears.

Thursday, Sept. 15 - Meal served in Arboles; call 24 hours in advance for reservations.

Friday, Sept. 16 - Baked ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry salad and dinner roll.


Veteran's Corner

Veteran spotting: Who is one?

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

I frequently encounter persons in my travels who do not realize they are veterans, even though they served in the military. I venture to say most of the men over 50 that I meet, and some of the ladies too, are veterans.

I can almost tell just by seeing them. Is there something a little more than normal about someone who has served in the military? Perhaps they stand a little taller. Perhaps it is the look of pride when they see the Veteran Service Office sign over my door?

Veteran spotting

Since my office is next to the Colorado Driver's License Office I observe most people who have recently moved here from another state or location. I keep my door open and I can usually spot a veteran waiting in line to renew or get a new driver's license.

Draft era

Maybe the younger crowd doesn't remember when it was mandatory for every physically and mentally fit male to serve in the military. I sure remember. I was part of that era. It was called the Draft. Some say it might be coming back to fill the diminished ranks of the "all volunteer" military these days while our country is at war.

Cold War veterans

So who is a veteran? Did they have to march off to war, serve in a foreign country during wartime? No, not at all. They simply must have served in the military during peacetime or wartime. Remember, our country was at peace for many years during what is now called the Cold War period. I was a part of that period. Luck of the draw, you might say.

Peacetime veterans

I served in the Navy in the late '50s, during peace time. I'm considered a veteran just as much as those before or after me that served during a time of war.

Eligibility depends

To be eligible for most VA benefits a person must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces during peace time or war time for as little as one day, (if it was prior to Sept. 7, 1980), and received a discharge other than dishonorable. After that date, a veteran must have served 24 months of continuous active duty service to be eligible for VA health care benefits. There are exceptions to the rule, such as if you were in the reserves and called up for active duty or by Presidential Order, and completed that active service.

The one exception to this rule is if you were in the Armed Forces Reserves and served six months for training purposes. Unfortunately, this does not count toward the active duty requirement.

Means Tests scrutinized

I noticed this past week the VA Health Care system is scrutinizing those Means Tests very closely for the declared income figures. They are comparing them to IRS income tax information. One of my veterans came in the other day with a notice from the VA that his 2003 Means Test figures did not agree with the IRS reported income.

Reporting important

Most veterans who are less than 50-percent service connected disabled must report their financial income, medical deductions and cash and property assets each year to maintain their eligibility for the VA health care benefit. The information should come from your previous calendar year income tax report, and is based on the gross income, not net or adjusted income.

Means Test required

You may have not received any notice from the VAHC system to provide a Means Test, but you still are required to provide the information. The VA could deny you health care services if you do not provide the information. Ironically, thus far the VA will not deny you health care services for any of the income information that you provide.

Let me help

For those I have assisted to enroll in VA Health Care I have all your information computerized and will be glad to assist you with this important report to the VA. You bring your income information and it only takes a few minutes for me to fill out the forms for you.

A little inconvenience for a big benefit!


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


Library News

Of Emily Post, thank yous, and Sunday morning music

By Christine Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

About my eighth day on the job as your new librarian, I was reeling from the shock of the calendar coming at me: fund-raising, the budget, moving into the new building, planning for the opening festivities and other duties too numerous to mention, all of which had to be done by the end of October.

Then the staff sat me down and told me the facts of life.

"You have to start writing your thank you notes. All of these people have to be thanked for books or donations," said one of my new taskmasters sternly. It was clear from her tone that even Emily Post was probably staring down at me, disgusted, from her perch in the hereafter.

I looked at the stack of slips with names on them, and then a stack of donor forms with copies of checks attached.

"What did Lenore write thank you notes on," I asked, expecting there would be some stationary for this purpose.

One of the staff went over to a shelf, pulled out a stack of cards and put them in front of me. I stared down and shuffled through them in disbelief. There was every kind of card imaginable, ranging from comic, to slightly lewd (only slightly, mind you), to somber.

I looked up at the faces staring at me. "Lenore knew every person she sent a card to, didn't she?" I said, with growing dismay and chagrin.

"Yes, she did", they said. Their eyes were intent on me, waiting to see if I could keep my head above the deep, dark waters I suddenly found myself treading.

"I'll be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail if I use these cards. I'll send the wrong card to the wrong person and instead of thanking them, I'll be insulting them."

I thought about it for a minute, "It's time to order some thank you stationary." If I couldn't be personal yet, at least I could be inoffensive.

So, my stationary is coming in, and I'm thinking about better systems of knowing who has donated what books and videos and CDs. I realized too late that these things had been noted in the library column in the paper, so I have quite a few thank yous to catch up on, as well as lots of tax acknowledgments with thank yous.

I hate to play favorites, but I have to tell you my favorite donation appealed to my vanity. I hope you will be charitable. I got a letter addressed to me at the library (that was special all by itself, someone really knew I was here!) that came from Sandra Gabel of Claremont, Calif., and Pagosa. She said, "I read your article in the Pagosa SUN and thought about your idea that if citizens could give $8 apiece, you would quickly reach your needed financial resources. Ten of my family live in Pagosa Springs and my youngest grandchildren, Marley and Solomon Gabel are frequent library users." She donated $80, $8 for each family member. Sandra, when you come to see and use your new library, I can't wait to meet you. Thank you for making my day!

A very lovely and generous check came in from Terry Hershey, specifically for cushy, wonderful furniture to be used by those who come to enjoy the Hershey collection of Southwestern literature. The staff and I are looking forward to selecting something luxurious for everyone to share. Thank you Terry!

Beyond this, Ken Charles and the DOL got the library a supplemental Energy Impact Grant check for $66,000 to give us a new parking lot! We are very, very fortunate to have Ken looking out for us and helping us through the maze as we go toward our goals.

Now, here I go. I have to catch up. My mother did teach me that one must write one's thank yous and that late is better than never.

Thank you all for the books and videos and CDs: Barry Ebersol, Linda Bundy, Margaret May, Windsor Chacey, Vera Mengelkamp, Dennis Frantz, Evelyn Kantas, Judy Giberson, Margaret Wilson, Dave Brown, Fred C. Bench, Bill and Glenda Clark, Donald Mowen, Lynda Van Patter, Pam Monteferrante, Jerry and Patty Hart, Michelle Albach, Maggie Inskeep, Darlene Cassio, Virginia Kyle, Ellen Jackson, Ron Tinsley, Elliott Bottom and Kate Terry.

On Sunday mornings, I usually get up early and take the dogs for a three-mile walk (they must do 10!) somewhere around Vallecito Reservoir. The beauty is overwhelming whether I get to see the osprey diving for fish, ducks strafing the dogs, or the sun change the colors of the sky.

By the time I get back to the cabin, I feel wonderful and put on some Sunday morning music. It could be Chants or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or opera arias. But if I feel just fabulous, joyful, like dancing, I put on ABBA and play "Thank you for the music!" And sometimes, I do dance with the dogs, sun streaming over the water, through the trees, through my cabin windows, into my heart.

So I say to all of you, thank you for the music, the song you're singing, thanks for all the books you're bringing, thanks for all the joy you're giving.


Arts Line

Watercolor club exhibit up through September

By Kayla Douglass

Special to The Preview

Members of the watercolor club are exhibiting watercolor paintings for the month of September at the art gallery in Town Park.

The exhibit began with an opening reception, last week. Please 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.

Peoples Choice winner

PSAC is happy to announce that Patricia Black's painting "Indian Corn VI" was chosen by those who cast ballots during the month of August at Wild Spirit Gallery for our Annual Juried Art Exhibit.

As winner, Patricia receives an award of $100. Prizes for this exhibit totaled $1,800. This is the second year PSAC has sponsored this exhibit and we hope to make it an annual event. So, artists, be thinking about what you'd like to enter in next summer's Juried Art Exhibit.

Watercolor workshop

Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett will teach 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 talented instructors as they create independently. Included will be work from photographs, value sketching, understanding space and proportion and adding people to your paintings. Mornings will be 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 members and $130 for others.

Get your calendar

This is the first year for a calendar reflecting Pagosa Country, produced by local artists. This 14-page full color calendar features images for the 12 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 includes photography, oil, fabric art, watercolor and mixed media.

The 2006 calendars are available through the Arts Council for $9.95 plus tax for nonmembers and $8.95 plus tax for members. This is the first season for our annual Pagosa Country Scenic calendar; stop by and pick up yours now - don't forget they make great Christmas gifts.

New photo 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 from 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 for October; "Family Photos/Scrapbook" for November; and a Christmas Party with show and tell for 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 where any subject is allowed and a theme category where the subject must conform to the subject of the theme. The theme subjects are for: 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 a modest 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, whose works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the NASA Fine Arts and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collections.

During his career, Pierre 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. During the Vietnam conflict, Mr. Mion worked simultaneously for the U.S. Marine Corps and National Geographic doing combat art and story illustrations. Mr. Mion was a member of the Apollo 16 recovery team aboard the USS Ticonderoga in the South Pacific and covered many rocket launches at Cape Kennedy.

In 1966 Norman Rockwell called on Mion to assist him with a series of space paintings for Look Magazine. For the next twelve years they collaborated on a number of assignments for both Look and IBM until Rockwell's death in 1978.

The workshop will take place Oct. 4-6 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the community center Bring your own lunch. Cost is $240 for members and $265 for others. This class is for all ability levels and will involve one-on-one instruction. The theme is fall subjects and Pierre will provide photos to work from. Class size is limited so make your reservation at 264-5020. After reservations are in, Pierre will contact each student regarding a supply list.

Slade workshop

Betty Slade, Pagosa artist, will teach a workshop Oct. 13-14 designed to teach you how to create cards and gifts for the holiday season.

Participants are encouraged to use watermedia, gouache or acrylic paints. The class will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the arts and crafts room of the community center. Cost for the workshop is $70 for members and $80 for others. Call 264-5020 to sign up or for questions contact Betty Slade at

Davis returning

Due to Randall's schedule there were no drawing classes for August or September but he will resume with class one Saturday 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 where Pagosa's finest woodworkers can show their newest wares. The Fine Woodworking Exhibit runs Sept. 29-Oct. 31. PSAC is now requesting applications from area woodworkers. Selection will emphasize a balance between art and craftsmanship. For more information, contact the PSAC gallery at 264-5020, e-mail, contact David Smith at 264-6647 or e-mail him 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.

Oct. 13-14 - Betty Slade signature card and gift workshop 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

October - Artist studio tour.

November - 2005 gallery tour.

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


Food for Thought

Bring on the tacos - no aluminum, please

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I want a taco.

Been eating them nearly all my life. There's very few times I won't eat one, when I won't choose to eat one long before I tie into other options.

But, its gotta be the right kind of taco.

Not the crummy, dry, flavorless, hard-shelled hunk of pre-waste you assemble from boxed ingredients at the store. With ground beef tinted orange by a vicious blend of industrial chemicals. You've probably indulged these mutations, admit it - the hard taco shells reminiscent of particle board, the packaged taco mix and overcooked beef carrying a bitter, aluminum-like aftertaste that persists for a day or two. No doubt, if you haven't experienced the pseudo-taco phenomenon, you've licked aluminum auto trim enough times that you can relate to the metallic taste.

No, when it comes to the humble taco, I want the real article.

It's a sandwich, for crying out loud! And what kind of geek doesn't like a sandwich?

And what kind of bozo craves a sandwich made with stale ingredients, slapped carelessly together, built with inferior components?

OK, so I have several demented acquaintances who fit this profile, but let's ignore them and a good 75 percent of the U.S. population and go for quality. What do you say we ignore the fast food abuses and the whitebread imitations in our choice of sandwiches and head the same direction with tacos as well?

Sometimes I crave a good taco. In fact, I more than want a good taco Š I need one.

It's a lifeline.

I ate my first tacos when I was a chubby, gap-toothed lad growing up in Denver. I ate them at my friend Mark Vigil's house. His mom made them. I can see her in my mind's eye: a sturdy gal, with a long braid of black hair falling down her back to her waist. She made her own tortillas, nearly every day. She had a heavy, iron griddle on which she cooked the rounds of masa. She had yet another heavy metal implement, a giant cast iron skillet, that served her on the stovetop when it came time to cook the fillings those tortillas would carry.

The tortillas were hot, and pliable. The fillings - meats, eggs, potatoes, ingredients picked depending on time of day and number of diners served - were simple and savory, studded with onion and garlic and chiles, seasoned with an herb or two.

A simple, noble sandwich.

Mark and I also used to frequent a nondescript restaurant down on South Broadway. We would take in a show at the Mayan Theatre then wander toward Englewood to a shabby little joint set up in what was once a gas station. There was a huge jar of pickled jalapenos on the counter next to several large glass jars of fruit-based drinks. And there were tacos.

Adovada, carne asada, carnitas, cheek meat, brains (for those more heroic than me). A hot, small tortilla with a heap o' meat, a sprinkle of diced white onion, some cilantro, a splash of a smoky, dark salsa. That's all.

That's enough.

We'd pound down several of those beauties then dare each other to chomp through a couple of the jalapenos. The peppers were so hot our systems would go into reverse, leaving us with a weird version of the hiccups as our digestive tracts attempted to expel the violent intruders.

It built character.

And a taste for incendiary, highly spiced foods.

I whip up tacos of some kind about twice a week, on average. The fillings are prepared from scratch. I have a pact with friends and family that, should I as much as consider the use of a dry, packaged taco seasoning mix, they are to bind me with duct tape, force me into a car, drive me out some deserted Forest Service Road, walk me deep into the forest and put a slug between my eyes. If I am going to prepare the dish, I am going to do it right. There is no way, as I enter the fourth quarter of life with no chance of returning to the locker room, that I will sully my existence with highly processed products like packaged taco seasoning or, for that matter, with idiotic hats, sandals or argyle knee socks.

I am not averse to using ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork as the base for a taco filling. They are quick, and easy. With turkey, chicken or pork, the meat is browned off quickly (be wary of drying out the poultry products) and seasoned with salt and pepper. A mess of crushed tomato with a bit of juice is added and cooked to enhance its sweetness then the mix is combined with sauteed onions. A fist full of minced garlic is tossed in, along with some oregano and ground cumin, some chopped cilantro. A serious portion of ground, hot red is mixed into the meat mixture and a cup or so of chicken broth and a spoon of chicken demi-glace is added. Then, the liquid is reduced over medium high heat to a syrup that coats the meat. Seasoning adjusted, the filling is ready to go. Same scenario with ground beef, substituting beef stock and a bit of veal demi-glace for the chicken-based ingredients. If you don't purchase or make your own demi-glace, don't fret. So what if the filling lacks a bit of depth; you'll be fine with the broth alone. Whichever way you wander, bingo, you produce a nice, plebeian filling with an investment of a half hour of your time, at the most. Take your pick of condiments to ride piggyback on these goodies.

But, it is the fillings that take hours to prepare that I really enjoy, especially the braised meats - pork loin, chuck roast, chicken breasts - cooked long and lovingly in a zippy broth (stock, onion, garlic, red and green chiles, spices), then shredded and moistened with the reduced and amplified cooking liquid. Oh, momma.

Then, there's fish.

I ran into one of my favorite people I don't really know at the market a couple weeks ago. She is frighteningly friendly (an odd behavior to someone with my background and temperament). I am intrigued by our occasional seven-second "Hi-how-are-you?" exchanges, if for no other reason than they balance the nasty frontal assaults I often encounter in public. She was standing at the front of the fish case, perusing the somewhat ominous goods displayed therein.

"Whatcha havin' tonight?" I asked. This was a bold step up in our relationship.

"Fish tacos," she replied, whacking me with an incandescent smile. She picked up a package of cod. The fish had not yet turned gray, so chances were 50/50 the product would not kill her and her family. "With a homemade pico de gallo," she added.

Our microconversation set me into a fish taco frenzy. I made fish tacos four times in six days, using different fish each go-round - cod, grouper, halibut, salmon - and experimented with various sauces and toppings. I eventually settled on grouper, chilled and cut into three-quarter inch cubes, lightly dusted with flour seasoned with salt, pepper and ground red then sauteed oh-so-briefly in olive oil. For a sauce, something pathetically minimal ended up as my top pick: mayonnaise, cream, finely minced shallot, a whisper of finely minced and mushed garlic, a teeny bit of coarse mustard and some chopped cilantro, mixed and left to meld in the fridge for several hours. Served with black beans, greens, guacamole (back during the three-week window when you could purchase a decent avocado for less than $100), bedded in a bit of finely shredded Napa cabbage, garnished with chopped tomato, shredded campesino Š these babies were delectable.

It's a good thing my fixation produced viable results. The experiment ended when I was ordered, in no uncertain terms, to lay off the fish tacos for a while. A long while.

But, now something incredible has reared up on the taco horizon, brought there by my youngest daughter Ivy, a creative dervish in the kitchen.

I can't help myself. I gotta try this.

Grilled shrimp tacos with bacon cream sauce.

Here's Ivy's recipe.

You need big shrimps, folks. Get the frozen semi-monsters and thaw them in cold, salted water. Shell them, dry them and marinate them for an hour or so in a blend of olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice and ground red. Arrange your plump crustacean pals on skewers in order to ready them for the grill. If you use wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for an hour or so before you use them.

Ivy says you need a mess of cream. A "mess" is a standard measurement in our kitchen. We know what it means, but you need to use about 2 cups of heavy cream. Reduce the cream by 50 percent over medium heat in a heavy pan with, perhaps, a whisper of ground red in it. Just a whisper, mind you.

Chop some bacon into half-inch pieces and fry it until crisp. Drain on paper towel and reserve the drippings in the pan.

Prepare a batch of thinly sliced Napa cabbage and chop some cilantro. Shred some cheese - cheddar, jack, any of the excellent Mexican melters. How about some sliced avocado and some chopped, seeded tomato?

When the cream is super thick and at its artery clogging best, add the bits of crisp bacon. Season.

Here's Ivy's side.

In the drippings, saute minced white onion, maybe a bit of finely minced garlic, some diced red pepper. Don't burn. Add the kernels of several ears of lightly grilled sweet corn and a can of rinsed black beans. Season. At the moment of truth, just before delivery to the table, adjust seasonings and swirl in a glob of unsalted butter.


Pop the shrimps on the grill for a couple minutes on each side, just until they turn opaque.

Have a batch of steamed corn tortillas ready. Just take a stack and wrap them in a damp towel. Microwave for a minute and a half and let them sit inside that hot towel for another minute. They're going to be more than passable - they're not homemade, but, believe me, you don't want to go through that process unless you're under house arrest, you've tired of watching Oprah and Dr. Phil and you have a lot of time on your hands.

Pile it on. Pick it up. Go berserk.

This is taco heaven.

I need a shrimp taco ala Ivy.

Now, how to make these beauties four or five times next week without trouble at home.


Extension Viewpoints

Master gardener program considered

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

The Archuleta County Cooperative Extension office is considering holding a Master Gardener Program in early 2006 in Pagosa Springs.

We must have at least 20 participants confirmed for this program. Basic CMG training consists of 60-plus hours of classroom instruction. The topics covered during this program include: Introduction to the CMG program, botany and plant ID, managing soils, fertilizers and soil amendments, managing irrigation and water wise gardening, identifying insects, introduction to plant pathology, tree care: selection and planting, pruning, diagnosing tree disorders, growing small fruits, growing tree fruits, growing vegetables, landscaping with native plants, managing weeds and Local CMG orientation.

Training is offered typically in January through March. Content is focused for the home gardener (non-commercial) audience. However, 30 percent of the students are employed in the green industry and use the classes for career training. Cost of the training is totally self-supporting from class fees and program grants. The cost per student will be either about $125 and 50 hours of community service or $400. Colorado Master Gardener (CMG) Volunteers assist CSU Cooperative Extension staff in delivering knowledge-based information about home gardening to foster successful gardening.

If you are interested in attending this program — please contact the Extension Office at 264-5931.

Cattlemen's Day

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

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

The San Juan Conservation District is offering local landowners the opportunity to purchase a variety of seed mixes including: native grass mixture, dry land pasture mix, and native wildflower mix for different conservation uses such as erosion control, weed suppression, and grazing land improvement. Orders will be taken until Sept. 16 and will be available for Oct. 5. Please contact 731-3615 or stop by 505A CR 600 (Piedra Road).

Hay directory

The Colorado Hay Directory connects growers to ranchers who need hay for their livestock. The hay directory is available online at For a free copy, call the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303)239-4115.

Capture the essence of Colorado agriculture on film and enter the 2005 "Colorado Š 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. Visit www.colorado or pick up an official entry form at the Archuleta County Cooperative Extension office.

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


Pagosa Lakes News

The accent doesn't make the person

Hattie Arama works at the recreation center, which gives her a good opportunity to observe the idiosyncrasies of Americans.

How often do you get a chance to see yourselves through the eyes of a British teen-ager? Hattie is my guest columnist this week, and she'll give you just such an opportunity.

Ming Steen

By Hattie Arama

The British are coming!

Okay, not really. They are actually already here.

Yep, little did you know, but there have been at least 13 British, myself included, who have moved quietly into your neighborhood in the past four years.

So what is it that makes Pagosa Springs, if not the United States itself, so appealing to us? After all, wasn't it just over 200 years ago that the British and Americans were at so much conflict with each other? Surely we should still have some hostility?

But no, I find so many of you "Yanks" (as we call you), so intrigued by my accent, and wanting me to say all kinds of strange things, like "fork" and "butter," and gush on about how wonderful my accent sounds. To be honest, I think all of you have the accent, not me!

When I first moved here in 2002, I started to defend my country in every way possible. By the time my senior year came around, I had decided to do one of my presentations in speech class on "Why the British are Better Than Americans." Now that I think back to that day, I am amazed that I didn't get beaten up at lunch.

Of course I was just kidding, but I really played on my Englishness and kept my head up high and stood proud for my country. I find it ironic how no British citizen is proud and defensive of their country until they go abroad.

So, back to my first question: why is this particular country so great? Why is it that, for the first time ever, there are more "Brits" moving to the States than the other way around?"

Many professors and other smarter people would come up with all kinds of reasons and excuses for this fact. But I, just a small blonde teen with not many qualifications or titles, can tell you the real answer. This is it: Americans are nice.

There it is. You care about customer service, about each other and about your country. Take my job at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. The other day, I looked over nosily from my seat behind the front desk to the cardio area, where three ladies were talking and laughing contentedly while using the elliptical and running machines. There they were, all in a row, chatting about the weather, their jobs, and all the other small town banter that you might discuss while trying not to think of your cramping muscles and sweaty foreheads.

Now you might think there is nothing strange about this scene I am describing to you, but I do.

One of the ladies, a mother of four, had struck up a conversation with two complete strangers, a young woman and her mother. In the UK, that would never happen. During my last visit to my home country, I noticed how reserved and, truthfully, miserable the British are. No one speaks to each other on the train, on the bus, even in the gym. In fact, they would probably either shoot you an icy look or just move on to another spot.

How nice it is to live in a country where the people at Wal-Mart actually smile at you and waitresses at the local restaurant actually care about the quality of their service.

How wonderful to see the American flag waving outside so many homes and buildings, while the British flag flies only above Buckingham Palace.

What an honor to be a part of such loyalty and pride of your homegrown troops abroad in Iraq. What a pleasure in seeing the locals striking up conversations with complete strangers just because you actually like other people.

Yes, you Yanks have convinced me. Maybe the Americans are better than the British. Well, maybe not better, but you sure know how to make a girl feel at home.




Kevin M. Jones

Kevin Michael Jones, son of Jim and Maribeth Hill of Pagosa Springs, passed away Monday, Sept. 5, at Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital in Denver.

Kevin was born in Alexandria, Va., on Aug. 11, 1955. He moved to Broomfield, Colo., from Enid, Okla., in 1970. In 1999 Kevin moved to Pagosa Springs where, at the time of his death, he managed the Chevron station on U.S. 160 at North Pagosa Boulevard.

He is survived by his mother, Maribeth; stepfather, Jim; a sister, Kimberly Scott, of Westminister, Colo.; a sister, Stephanie Hill, of Pagosa Springs; a brother, Brett Hill, of Conway, Ark., seven nieces and nephews and one great niece.

Kevin was preceded in death by his father, T.C. Jones.

A Celebration of Life service will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the Vista Clubhouse. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Spina Bifida Association (SBA), 4590 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 250, Washington, D.C. 20007-4226.


Margaret Fowler

Margaret H. Fowler, a former resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away on Sept. 4, 2005, in Peoria, Ariz., following a long illness. Margaret, was born Nov. 2, 1916, one of six children and the only daughter of Charles T. and Maggie Hazelwood.

Her parents homesteaded ranch land in Archuleta County south of Pagosa Springs at the turn of the 20th century. Margaret attended school in Pagosa Springs. She was married to Aubrey Fowler on Aug. 4, 1935.

Margaret and Aubrey operated Morehead Garage in Pagosa Springs. Margaret also ran a small art gallery where she displayed and sold both her own artworks along with the artistic works from the Indian nations in southwestern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Margaret and Aubrey retired in the middle 1970s and moved to Sun City West, Ariz., in 1983.

Margaret is survived by two sons, Aubrey Jr. of Goodyear, Ariz., and Stanley of Columbia, S.C., four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. A family grave site service is planned for Sept. 10 at Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.


Celia Maria Sanchez

Celia Sanchez - wife, mother, special aunt and friend - joined her heavenly father Sept. 5, 2005. She died of natural causes.

Celia was born April 21, 1930, in Lone Tree, Colo., to Benjamin and Frances Perez. She was the third of four daughters.

She married Reynal Sanchez and they had a daughter they named Judy. Celia was a great mother and loved her daughter and all the friends who came with raising a young girl growing up, like Berlinda Vorhees and Vergie.

Celia worked at various places through the years, including Pagosa Lodge and Sky View Motel. She also started her own recycling business. She was a longtime member of the Catholic Church and the Society of Carmelita.

Celia enjoyed visits by friends and family, going for rides, her kitty Peewee, and her plants. She truly loved the visits from Alex Martinez, cooking him breakfast, and enjoying the nickname he gave her, "Spunky."

Words can't express how special the times were that she spent with Lupe Sanchez, George Ann Agular, Carmen Martinez and caregiver Virginia Maes. Thank you all.

Celia was preceded in death by her father, Ben Perez, mother Frances Maestes Perez, husband Reynal Sanchez, daughter Judy Chordt and two sisters.

Survivors are her sister, Kathryn Martinez, brother and sister-in-law Reynaldo Sanchez and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A Rosary service will be held 7 p.m. Friday in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. The funeral will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the same location, burial to follow in Hilltop Cemetery. The Sisters of Guadalupe will serve food in the church hall following interment.

The family wishes to thank all the staff and nurses at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center, Hospice of Mercy and all family and friends for everything you all have done for Celia and us.


 Business News

Chamber News

Merchants great with sidewalk sales days

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

You Chamber merchants are great!

I want to thank all of you for participating in the Labor Day Weekend Sidewalk Sale. As I traveled around town starting Thursday, so many of you had specials up and ready to go. We even got calls at the Chamber Thursday from people who wanted to know "Is the sale really starting today?"

All the merchants I talked to were very receptive and willing to see if the extra days would help business. I appreciate everyone trying something new, making their displays more visible and just being involved.

While we're in a thanking mode, thanks again to Dan Appenzeller, Crista Munro and all the volunteers who participated in making this yet another great folk festival. Thank you for growing this event over the past 10 years. A little birdie whispered in my ear that there is an independent music festival in the works for next June.

With our great outdoor venues, let's hope this festival will take place. Thanks to the town, the businesses and the whole community for participating in this event as well. It is so nice to see everyone work together to make an event like this music festival happen.


Although we enjoyed festivities, family and friends this past Labor Day weekend, the hurricane disaster and the plight of the victims was on the minds of almost everyone. One cannot even fathom the depth of the losses of those involved.

There are many organizations currently trying to raise money: the American Red Cross, the Catholic Charities, food banks and individual organizations.

Many people here in Pagosa want to help, but don't know where to start. In speaking with a representative from the American Red Cross, money to help defray costs of handling the worst natural disaster in our country in its history is primary at this point.

When people are able to get back to the devastation, different assessments will be made. If you can give, please do so. Several people and groups have expressed an interest in doing a relief project from the town as a whole, but they too don't know where to start. If you are interested in working on such a project, please give me a call and we will coordinate efforts.

We will start a list of people and then schedule a meeting to try and brainstorm some ideas. Perhaps by then, when residents are able to return to their cities, the Red Cross will determine the critical needs and we can develop a plan. Many of us have friends or family from the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama areas and would like to do what we can to help.

Call 264-2360 and let's see if we can develop a plan to help those whose lives were ravaged by the hurricane.

Savvy Days

This weekend, Sept. 9-11, Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship will host its annual Savvy Days. With almost 1,500 participants, the town should be very busy. Remember restaurants and merchants, be prepared! People will start arriving Sept. 8. The attendees will be on their own for dinner the first two days, then there will be a private dinner for the conference participants Saturday, Sept. 10. Some people will leave Sunday, but many are staying. Hopefully, everyone will be ready to accommodate our visitors. Have a great conference, Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship, and we thank you for the business to our community.

Shamrock Festival

If you're not attending the Savvy Conference Sept. 10, then you may want to head out to St. Patrick's Episcopal Church for a full day of great activities. Not only can you eat your way throughout the day starting with breakfast and ending with a barbecue dinner, you can attend lots of other activities.

There will be a huge garage sale, book nook, craft sale, activities for the children, casseroles and cobblers bake sale, and a super silent auction. The festivities will begin at 8:30 a.m. and go until about 7:30 p.m. St. Patrick's Church is on South Pagosa Boulevard, so it is convenient, even if you leave and return throughout the day. Don't miss all the treasures, eats, and treats at this Shamrock Festival.

Colorfest is here

Starting Friday evening, Sept. 16, and ending Sunday, Sept. 18, Pagosa Springs will be filled with fall colors, hot air balloons, an activity tent in Town Park and lots of other Colorfest activities.

On Friday evening, Sept. 16, Colorfest kicks off at 5 p.m. when Town Park will be filled with good food, good fun and good music. The community picnic will bring the townfolk together to enjoy our special fall season and enjoy the musical accomplishments of several local bands.

We start off with the Laverty sister's trio, Wildflower. This all-female troupe is gaining more exposure and garnering some rave reviews for their musical talents. Banjo, guitar, mandolin and other instruments, as well as vocals, will fill the Town Park air. Then get ready for the toe tapping, lively music and antics of Bluegrass Cadillac. There'll be room to dance or just listen to some good music in a special venue. Come rain or shine, the picnic will happen as we will be under a large, protective tent. The plentiful, tasty food prepared by Christine's Cuisine will be served from 5 to 8 p.m. and the music will play from 5 to 9. Beer and wine will be available for purchase at this event with non-alcoholic beverages included in your dinner ticket price. Tickets for the picnic are available at the Visitor Center at $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12.

Saturday morning, starting at about 8 a.m., the skies around the downtown area will be filled with glorious color as we have a mass ascension of around 60 balloons. The balloons are scheduled to take off from the Hot Springs area near the community center. Bring your camera and at least several rolls of film or a few discs. The day continues with a fly fishing contest in Town Park for the ladies, sponsored by the Ladies in Wading. They will have lots of prizes for the longest distance and most accurate casting. Girls from age 13 and up can participate. The event is free of charge and gentlemen are welcome to come watch the talent of all the fisher ladies and perhaps pick up a few tips.

There is also a cooking demonstration set for 2 p.m. This event is still tentative at press time, and more information will follow.

You car enthusiasts shouldn't miss the People's Choice Charity Car Show at the Bell Tower Park, sponsored by the Colorado Springs Corvette Club. Some great cars, old and new, will be on display. From 12- 3 p.m. you can come out and vote for your favorite car. The winners will be announced at 4 p.m. You can buy tickets for door prizes and all proceeds will go to Northern Churches Care. I love these cars. We appreciate this group having their car show during our Colorfest weekend; it just adds to the fun!

Saturday evening peaks with the wine tasting festival: Passport to Wine. Travel to five continents and taste wines of seven countries without ever leaving the comfort of the tent in Town Park.

Remember, there are over 50 wines and you will not be able to, nor would you want to, taste all of the wines. However, there will be a very wide range of vintages to choose from. You will be issued a passport where all the wines will be listed and you will be able to make comments about the wines that you did taste.

Along with some superb wines, there will also be food highlighting the countries that the wines originate from. Taste mussels, clams, cheese, desserts, Italian cuisine and much more.

For those not interested in wine, Citizens Bank will once again sponsor the beer garden and Ska Brewery will have on hand a Pinstripe Red Ale.

In addition to the beer sponsorship, Bank of Colorado will sponsor the Australia/New Zealand wine and food, and Clarion Mortgage will be sponsoring Italy. We will have food vendors such as Farrago Market Café, Pagosa Baking and Wildflower Catering preparing and donating their efforts to this event. The wine festival starts at 6 p.m. and will carry on until 8:30.

Just when you thought the evening might be winding down at 8:30, look outside the tent across Hermosa Street and watch the balloonists light up the evening sky, as we celebrate the magical balloon glow right at dark.

Tickets for your Passport to Wine are $30 in advance and may be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce. "Passports" that need immediate verification are $35 at the door.

Saturday is a big day, but Sunday will also keep you hopping. If you didn't see the balloons launch the day before, come out to the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center and enjoy the mass ascension there. Reach for the Peaks and the balloon rally will be celebrating 20 Years of Hot Air this year, so show your support and thanks by coming out and enjoying this beautiful sight.

After the balloons have gone and come back, travel back into town and continue your wine tasting education from the night before where you can go to JJ's restaurant and enjoy a champagne tasting brunch. Starting at 11 a.m., feast on a three-course brunch and three different sparkling wines while overlooking the river. Tickets for this champagne brunch are also $30 and available at the Chamber. Wine experts will be on hand to conduct the tasting and you will receive a take-home brunch menu with the champagnes that the different courses were paired with, so you can replicate the brunch and wow your friends at a later time.

All in all, it will be a fun-filled weekend. We did leave some room in there to take a colorfest drive or hike and enjoy the reason for the season. Should you have any questions concerning any of the events, call us at the Chamber at 264-2360. Tickets are ready - come and get them.

Welcome back

Our new member this week is the non-profit organization, The Group. The Group is comprised of people who have joined together to create a community to support the passion of artists of all genres through salons, exhibitions, presentations, critiques, performances and workshops. We thank Ann Graves for recruiting this organization to the Chamber. If you are interested in joining The Group, please call John Porter at 731-2766.

Kicking off the renewal list this week is one of the reasons we were so busy in town last weekend, FolkWest and the Four Corners Folk Festival. Other renewals are: Ponderosa Home Center, Barnwood Crafts (we appreciate Susan volunteering for many years at the Chamber for many years), Civil Design Team with Scott Farnham, Sportsman's Supply Campground and Cabins, Joy's Natural Foods, Bear Creek Saloon & Grill, Subway East and Subway West.

I'm glad that again I can end the article with another associate membership, Joan and Malcolm Rodger. Joan and Malcolm opened their home up to the community this year as they were on the arts council's home and garden tour.

Come by the Chamber and get your Colorfest event tickets. There is a lot happening in the community so come on out and have some more fun.

Biz Beat

Oscar Fernandez

Oscar Fernandez is a professional Homeopath working in the fields of the healing arts and complementary health care.

Oscar uses superior, whole-food complexes (vitamins, minerals and herbs) and homeopathic remedies to enhance the quality of life. His practice focuses on treating the whole person, including the mental, the emotional and the physical aspects of the human being.

Oscar recently relocated to Pagosa Springs from California, where he had a successful complementary medicine practice for 15 years. He has 30 years experience in the medical industry, including work in such areas as surgery, intensive care, emergency room, convalescent hospitals and assisting coroners during autopsies. He is a graduate of The College of the Sequoias RN program in Visalia, Calif., of the UC Davis School of Family Medicine FNP/PA program, and the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy in Berkeley, Calif.

In order to provide clients with the most relevant information, Oscar continually furthers his education with ongoing courses in nutritional therapy and homeopathy. He has opened an office in Pagosa Springs and is accepting new clients. A comprehensive initial appointment is three hours.

For information, call the office and staff will answer any questions. Office hours at 617 Bastille Dr. are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, by appointment only. Call 731-3521.



Cards of Thanks


Good Samaritan

I want to thank the Good Samaritan who turned in to postal officials the cell phone I lost in the post office parking lot on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Jean Reynolds


Good and honest

To the person(s) who found my Money S debit card and turned it in to Wells Fargo Bank - you raised my belief that all (most) people are good and honest.

Our news - TV, radio, national papers - seem to only give us bad info.

Robert C. Bundren


Sports Page

Pirates take second in both Bayfield cross country events

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The Pirates cross country team is off to an impressive start, with second place in both boys' and girls' varsity events at Saturday's meet in Bayfield.

"Both the (Pagosa) girls and the guys will be the teams to beat in this region," said Coach Scott Anderson, referring to the team's early season high standard setting.

It was a new course in Bayfield this weekend, consisting of two laps through the woods to make up the five-kilometer course. Anderson liked the course, as it had "a significant hill in the middle of it which made it a hard early season race."

Anderson's strategy in the Bayfield event was to run a tempo race rather than a state effort, and to hold back somewhat until the end.

That's just what Emily Schur did when she won the varsity girls event, gaining 20 seconds of separation from Rachelle Billie of Shiprock in the latter stage of the race after a steady initial run, winning the race in 22:23. Laurel Reinhardt came in fifth with a time of 24:01, while Heather Dahm and Del Greer came in with 16th and 17th place finishes in 26:09 and 26:24 respectively.

Jaclyn Harms won the junior varsity race in 24:58 (with a time that would have placed her eighth in the varsity race), so she will be running varsity the rest of the year, said Anderson.

A.J. Abeyta was the top varsity boys runner, coming in at 20:12 in sixth place, behind Jeremy Newland of Aztec, who won the race with a time of 18:17. Abeyta's injury progress has come through and Anderson made him a last-minute addition to the boys' Bayfield varsity roster.

With five of the eight varsity boys having no previous cross-country race experience, the second-place overall finish was quite an accomplishment. Travis Furman, who came in 12th with a time of 20:56, "probably started too fast," according to Anderson. Aaron Miller made a solid effort, coming in at 17th with a time of 21:30, followed by Chase Moore, 20th with a time of 21:40, and Orion Sandoval, 24th in 21:52.

Anderson says Moore also may have started too strong, but gained some wisdom, and should be a strong performer by the end of the year.

One of the "secrets" to team scoring, according to Anderson, is to minimize the pack time of the top runners.

In the case of the Bayfield event, with about 50 runners in each category, the spread between the top five boys was sixth to 24th places. In a state event, with up to 150 runners in each event, a longer pack time will lead to greater differences in place finishes, negatively affecting the score.

With the boys scoring a pack time of around a minute and a half in the Bayfield event, Anderson hopes to get the pack time down to a minute with "A.J. leading the train." With a girls pack time of around four minutes, Anderson hopes to get that down once Harms starts running with varsity. It all comes with experience, wisdom, and pace, said Anderson: "Life's lessons."

A few changes have been made for the upcoming meets, with this Saturday's race in Leadville and the following in Durango, prior to the Pagosa Springs Invitational that is still scheduled for Sept. 24.


Pirates score big 29-0 win at Gunnison, Cortez next

By Randy Johnson

Special to The SUN

The 2005 version of the varsity football Pirates opened the season with a win at Gunnison last Friday afternoon.

Coach Sean O'Donnell's Pirate defense came to play as they held the Cowboys scoreless on the way to an impressive 29-0 win on the Cowboys' home field.

Senior Craig Schutz led the defense from his linebacker spot with eight tackles and seven assists. Senior defensive back Paul Przybylski followed with six tackles and three assists; senior linebacker Bubba Martinez had five tackles and 12 assists while senior defensive back Daniel Aupperle had 5 and 4.

New defensive coordinator Shawn Tucker, most recently a graduate assistant at the University of New Mexico, brought the vaunted UNM 3-3-5 defense to Pagosa this year. Tucker indicated the athletes are still learning the new system and should get better each week. However, he pointed out, a win and holding the opponent scoreless is a great start.

O'Donnell, who is also offensive coordinator, used his spread option offense to rack up 422 total yards against the Cowboys. With a fairly balanced run and pass attack (227 and 195 respectively) the Pirates scored in three of four quarters to win going away.

Josh Hoffman, a senior running back, led all rushers with 13 carries for 116 yards. His 8.9 average yards per carry was an outstanding effort at any level. Adam Trujillo, a junior making his first start at quarterback, had six rushes for 57 yards. Aupperle, one of several Pirates playing offense, defense and special teams, had one carry for 32 yards, a run for a two-point conversion and three successful point after attempts. Junior running back Corbin Mellette touched the ball three times for 35 yards in the fourth quarter. Two of those went for touchdowns of 8 and 20 yards.

The passing attack was lead by Trujillo's 6 of 11 attempts for 165 yards including two touchdowns and one interception. Junior Jordan Shaffer was two of four for 36 yards and one interception.

Przybylski was Trujillo's favorite target; he caught three balls for 115 yards and two touchdowns - one of 41 yards and the other from 49 yards out. Aupperle had three receptions for 37 yards and Shaffer had one catch for 19 yards.

O'Donnell pointed to the outstanding performance of Trujillo for managing the offense in his first-ever varsity start. He also cited the play of Hoffman, Przybylski, Craig Schutz, Martinez and Aupperle.

The coach also noted the need for continued improvement in all phases of the game before getting into the IML schedule, indicating the offensive line blocking was better since the Durango scrimmage of a week before.

The Pirates travel to Cortez tomorrow for a scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff against the 3A Panthers who are coming off a 20-7 loss last week at Farmington, NM. Last year, Cortez defeated the Pirates 35-19 at Golden Peaks Stadium. O'Donnell said the Panthers are always well coached and figures this should be another good game.

The home opener will be Sept. 16 against the 3A Montrose Indians. All remaining regular season games are set for a 7 p.m. start.

Scoring Summary

Pagosa Springs (1-0) vs. Gunnison (1-1)

First quarter, 00.52 - PS, Przybylski 41 yard pass from Trujillo (Aupperle run)

Third quarter, 3:47 - PS, Przybylski 49 yard pass from Trujillo (Aupperle kick)

Third quarter, 7:50 - PS , Mellette 8 yard run (Aupperle kick)

Fourth Quarter, 1:47 - PS, Mellette 20 yard run (Aupperle kick)


Pirates lose to Cortez, play three matches this week

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirate volleyball team dropped the first match of the season 3-1 to visiting Cortez Sept. 1, but the news is not bad.

Chalk it up to nerves, with the majority of players making their first varsity starts.

Chalk it up to losing a starting setter, Erin Gabel, to a torn ACL and less than a week of practice with new starting setter Kim Canty.

Take into consideration a starting veteran outside hitter, Kerri Beth Faber, dislocating a finger on her hitting hand during one of the first rallies of the match. (Faber had the finger put back in place and taped tightly to an adjoining finger in order to reenter the match.)

Think about a team still working to master a new offense, a faster style of attack and all its complexities.

Take it all into consideration, and the Pirates' performance showed many things for fans and players alike to appreciate and to look forward to as the season progresses.

Cortez brought a formidable team to town and, with a certifiable all-state hitter, Natalie Johnson, leading the charge, and two other All-Southwest Conference players from last season on the court, the Panthers (ranked as high as No. 3 in one Class 4A preseason poll) were a tough opponent.

Game 1 went to the Panthers 25-16, but not until the Pirates let the Panthers go at mid game. Cortez jumped out to an early 3-0 advantage, but the Pirates stayed close, finally knotting the score at 11-11, getting several points off the new, quick attack with Danielle Spencer connecting from the middle and Emily Buikema from the right side. The Panthers then managed two series of unanswered points, scoring a total seven points to the Pirates' one and the advantage was too much for Pagosa to overcome.

Action in the second game followed a similar pattern, the teams staying close during the first half of the action, with the Pirates forging a 10-7 lead behind earned points on kills by Caitlin Forrest, Liza Kelley and Faber. Kelley hit an ace during the run, as did Spencer.

Then, Cortez put together several strings of points the Pirates could not balance. The Panthers led 15-12, then 19-14 before they gave up two points with hitting and passing errors. Pagosa could not develop momentum at the point, however, and Cortez nailed four straight points, three of the four on Pirate technical errors. Forrest got back one point with a kill before the Panthers put the game away, 25-17.

The third game of the match showed the potential the Pirates are working to actualize this year.

Buikema started the game with a kill and Kelley scored on a back-row attack. Cortez surrendered points with serve and passing mistakes, then pulled to within one point, 3-4.

Forrest responded with a kill to the back line, Canty dumped the ball off the pass for a point, Forrest and Canty combined to stuff a Panther hitter and Forrest ended the four-point run with a kill. Following a Cortez point on a solo block, Forrest killed again and Cortez hit a ball out. Pagosa was in front 10-4, the teams traded several points, Kelley killed off the block, Cortez hit another ball out and the home team was in front 11-5.

While Pagosa gave up some points, the team did not allow blocks of unanswered points during the early and mid game and held the lead at 17-11 following a kill of a short set by Buikema and a block by Forrest and Buikema.

With a 21-16 advantage, the only scare of the game occurred as Cortez put four unanswered points on the scoreboard, three of them courtesy Pirate hitting errors, to pull within one point, 21-20.

Pagosa did not fold. Kelley soared to kill off the block from outside and Canty hit an ace. A Cortez hitting error made it Pagosa 24, Cortez 21. Buikema ended it and gave her team a 25-21 victory with a kill from the left side.

The Panthers had the best of it in the early going in game four, getting out to a 6-2 lead, largely due to sloppy play on the Pirates' side, with defenders failing to close blocks and passing and receive errors in the back court. With the Panthers ahead 12-5, Pagosa made a move.

A Cortez player made contact with the net and gave up a point. Lindsey Mackey hit two consecutive ace serves for the Pirates, Kelley crushed a poor Cortez pass for a score and the Panthers were called for a double hit. A Pirate block had the team within one point of the Panthers, 11-12.

Once again, first-match miscues hurt the Pirates. Three points went to Cortez with a serve hit out, a setting and hitting error, and a mistake on a pass.

With Cortez in front 17-13, Pagosa rallied. Spencer scored with a block in the middle, Cortez hit a ball out, Buikema got a point with a block and a Cortez hitting error knotted the score.

From that point, though, a combination of unblocked kills by Johnson and a raft of Pirate errors led to a 25-19 Cortez victory.

Despite the loss, Coach Andy Rice saw a lot to be pleased with and recognized what work has to be done before the team takes on its own character and plays consistently in a new system.

"Experience is underrated," he said, referring to the fact that many of his starters were in the position for the first time - as opposed to Cortez, which brought a number of veteran starters to the fray. "Plus," he said "what can you do about a starting outside hitter dislocating a finger at the start of the match ?"

Rice was pleased with the attitude shown by his players in a difficult match. "We showed a lot of heart," he said. "We showed a lot of character, and didn't collapse. Our middles did well and our passing improved as the match went on, though it wasn't as good as it needs to be. It's hard to count for intangibles: Cortez is a good team - pretty unflappable. It was a good team to play at the start of the season."

Next up for the Pirates is a trip tomorrow to Monte Vista for the first of two matches against the Intermountain league opponent - one that could be improved over last year. Monte Vista started its season last weekend at the Gunnison Tournament. Action at Monte begins with a C team match at 4 p.m. The junior varsity plays following the C team and varsity action is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m.

Saturday is another test against a big program and the start of a five-match homestand for Pagosa. Palmer, a 5A team from Colorado Springs, comes to town to continue a tradition that extends back to the late '90s. The Terrors, who won their first match of the year against Harrison, and the Pirates are scheduled to meet in varsity action at 2 p.m. in the PSHS gym.

Monday, Bloomfield High School comes to town from New Mexico for a match scheduled at 6:30 p.m.


Kills: Kelley 11, Buikema 9, Forrest 8.

Assists: Canty 30.

Solo blocks: Spencer 2. Buikema and Forrest 1 each.

Digs: Kelley 11, Canty 7.

Ace serves: Forrest 3. Canty, Haynes, Kelley and Mackey, 2 each.


Pirates lose 5-0 to Cortez; find Gutierrez is a keeper

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

He doesn't look like a goalkeeper.

Some have questioned his height for the job.

But the highly-ranked Class 4A Cortez Panthers, despite winning 5-0 in Pagosa's Golden Peaks Stadium Tuesday, can attest to one thing: Felix Gutierrez is a goalkeeper. He turned in 15 saves against the Mustangs while under a barrage of enemy shots.

The saves included dives to his left and right, leaps high and low and, most important for the Pirate offense, a controlled outlet kicking game.

That Pagosa lost cannot be ascribed to any perceived "shortages" on the part of Gutierrez.

Instead, for this game, it was mostly midfielder indecision that cost Pagosa scoring chances and presented extras to Cortez.

By the time the first goal was scored at 6:41, Gutierrez already had made three spectacular saves. Cortez senior forward Myles Cochrane missed a free kick from 30 yards on his left before the score on an ensuing penalty kick. The drive from just outside the box was low to Gutierrez' right and Cortez had the only score they'd need. No one seemed sure who the goal scorer was.

After two more Guiterrez saves, Pagosa got its first scoring opportunity, a shot by Kevin Blue which sailed wide left.

Caleb Ormonde's first shot of the game was blocked and Cortez came right back with its second marker.

It came on a play when Gutierrez made the initial stop on a blast by Lee Anteregg, but the attacker stayed right on the play and drove in the rebound.

After a steal by Pagosa's Derek Monks at left midfield, Pirate attackers retreated instead of attacking and opportunity was lost.

Then Gutierrez and Monks turned in the best tandem play of the game, Gutierrez stopping a blast by Andrew Wright and Monks flagging the rebound effort by Cortez' Ben Harclarode on the rebound.

Most of the balance of the first half was played on even terms, neither team able to break out of midfield.

But, with just nine seconds left in the half, Cortez' Mike Schmeidlap, following Blue's overshot and a quick outlet kick, beat Gutierrez low to the right and as quickly as that the score was 3-0 Cortez at the break.

Pagosa opened on the offensive in the second half, but Kevin Muirhead's drive sailed just outside the left post.

Monks' bid for goal was stopped in net and then Gutierrez turned in another save.

Ormonde hit the crossbar with a shot from 30 yards and then was stopped by Mustang keeper Brad Thomas on the Pirate's lone breakaway of the afternoon.

Cortez stretched the margin to 4-0 at 54:19 when a shot was deflected high to Gutierrez' left, just out of his reach.

Pagosa came firing back with a steal by freshman Alex Baum and a perfect drop step led to Muirhead who missed the right post. Then it was Blue driving one over the top from 30 yards before the final Cortez goal made it 5-0 at 56:50.

Still, Pagosa fought back. Thomas Martinez and Javier Hurriaga worked a double reverse pass play in the middle setting up a shot by Martinez - over the top from 30 yards.

Another stop by Blue and one by Baum deep in the box, set up two final saves by Gutierrez and the game's end.

Cortez lived up to its reputation and Pagosa began building one in goal.


Pirates take Manitou to overtime; lose 3-2

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The highly regarded Tri Peaks League offers two or three state playoff contenders every year in soccer.

And this year one of those is expected to be the Manitou Springs Mustangs, as scrappy a bunch as you'd want to meet.

But they came within an eyebrow of falling to the visiting Pagosa Springs Pirates in overtime Saturday.

The Pirates, smarting from a spanking at the hands of Fountain Valley the previous day, came out, coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said, looking like a totally different team.

"We took an early 1-0 lead on a 30-yarder by Caleb Ormonde breaking up the middle for a perfect cross from Mike Schmidt," he said. "And then we played some very good defense."

Hawking the ball on every Mustang possession, Pagosa kept the hometowners off their pace and protected the lead through the first half.

Early in the second half Manitou got a break on a referee's "no-call" and scored the tying goal.

"This was clearly a handball that was missed," said Kurt-Mason. "The player not only touched it but caught it and then placed it in an attack line. But you can't worry abut missed calls."

Then, 15 minutes later, the Pirates took the lead back, again scoring with the same tandem - Ormonde drilling the net with a crossing lead from Schmidt.

Manitou wasn't finished and tied the game on a breakaway.

Sophomore keeper Felix Gutierrez "made a string of unbelievable saves for us and the game neared a turning point."

It wasn't there yet at the end of regulation and the teams carried a 2-2 tie into the first overtime.

As time wore down, Kurt-Mason said, "we (coaches) both worked for position, for offensive advantage, and I thought we found it first."

We set up a play where we'd get a 40-yarder with the wind and felt Kevin Smith was the one to kick it for us."

He lined up, lifted the ball high to the left, and Pagosa's collective breath was caught. "It was exactly the kick we were looking for," said Kurt-Mason.

But a fraction of an inch took it just to the top of the crossbar where it bounced straight up and fell harmlessly away.

The Pirate chance was gone but Manitou had one more, and this time made it count for a 3-2 final score.

Again, the Pirates had played he entire game with just one substitute ... Kevin Blue was unable to go with an ankle strain and Javier Hurriaga was involved in a family enterprise.

Pagosa hosts Crested Butte 4 p.m. Friday in Golden Peaks Stadium, the first of the Southwest Mountain League games of the season.


Season opener a tour de force for big Pirate foes

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"I didn't know we had any camp schools in Colorado."

That was the comment of Pirate varsity soccer coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason discussing the team's season opener, a 9-0 loss Friday to Fountain Valley on the Front Range.

"We were able to stay with them for a half," he said, "but they just wore us down. We had only twelve players dressed (one substitute)."

Compare that to the foe and you can easily see the difference. Fountain Valley fields 16 seniors, 12 of them foreign nationals. Fifteen of the 21 players suited for Fountain Valley are from other lands - most of which focus on soccer as a national sport.

After seeing the size and depth of the foe, Kurt-Mason said, "we took another shock when Felix (Pirate keeper Gutierrez) was run down in net in the first 10 seconds and had to leave the game for about 20 minutes to recuperate".

Sophomore transfer student Mike Schmidt was forced into net in replacement of Gutierrez "and played very credibly against a team that clearly outclassed us."

Kurt-Mason said the Fountain Valley squad, in his view, is clearly the class of any team he's seen in 3A action in years.

"I won't call them state champs yet," he said, "but if they aren't, I can't picture who could be better."

Still, with all the uneven matchups, the coach was pleased with the way his team refused to quit. "Being down only 4-0 at the half is a credit to their competitive spirit."

While Pagosa had only two shots on goal in the game, both by junior striker Caleb Ormonde, Pagosa kept attacking and Fountain Valley kept scoring. "There was just to much firepower for us to contend with, even if we'd had a full squad." Kurt-Mason said.

Chapman format gave male golfers a new challenge

By Bill Curtiss

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Springs Men's Golf League played a two-man Chapman format Aug. 31, with each player hitting tee shots, playing each other's ball on the second shot, selecting the preferred ball after the second shot, then playing alternate shots.

First place gross was won by David Lynch and Ray Henslee with a score of 73. Truett Forrest and Bob Jones shot 74 for second place, and David Cammack and Bill Curtiss had 78 for third place.

Jim Fluharty and Gene Johnson won first place net with a score of 61. Russ Hatfield and Bob Mollet came in second with a 62, and Bob Chitwood and David Prokop captured third place with a score of 64.


Poker Hand gives ladies ante money

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a "Best Low Net Poker Hand" for its league day Aug. 30.

The ladies played the Meadows/Ponderosa courses with a par 71 rating. At the end of the round, they tallied their lowest net scores for five holes for the "best low net poker hand".

The following members all had five net threes to top the field: Carol Barrows, Loretta Campuzano, Audrey Johnson, Claudia Johnson, Barb Lange, Lynn Mollet, Cherry O'Donnell, Julie Pressley, Barbara Sanborn and Jay Wilson.

The women's golf team reeled in 38 points against Piñon Hills at Hillcrest Golf Club Sept. 1 to remain in first place in the eight-team league. Pagosa has a total of 241.5 points; Aztec Hidden Valley is second with 221.

Representing Pagosa were Barbara Sanborn, Lynne Allison, Jane Day, Cherry O'Donnell, Marilyn Smart, Carrie Wiesz, Josie Hummel and Loretta Campuzano.

The team's next league match is Sept. 15 at Piñon Hills against Dalton Ranch.

Marilyn and Lee Smart recently traveled to Farmington to compete in the annual Pinõn Hills Fiesta Couples Tournament which featured a low gross, low net format for the 100-player field, and was flighted by handicap into four flights.

The Smarts garnered first net in third flight (for players with 13-20 handicap), with a 60 for the two-day tournament.


Hatfield wins President's Cup trophy

By Bill Curtiss

Special to The SUN

Russ Hatfield defeated Bob Jones 4-3 to win the President's Cup tournament at Pagosa Springs Golf Club.

Hatfield won over Sean O'Donnell in his quarterfinal match and defeated Don Ford in the semifinal.

Jones defeated Hugh Bundy in his quarterfinal and Andy Rice in the semi to advance to the finals with Hatfield.

This popular tournament was a big success this year with 23 players entered.

Congratulations to Hatfield for his second tournament win of the year.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

The mental side of athletic injuries

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

A guide to psychologically rebounding from injury.

Part 1.

As I now cope with the injury suffered by, and the pending surgery facing, my athletic daughter, I thought I would look not only at the physical side of her injury but also how to best help her with the mental and psychological implications of what she will be going through.

As someone who has been through many injuries as a participant, coach and administrator I found the following information really helpful. Dr. Alan Goldberg is a nationally known expert in the field of applied sports psychology and the former sports psychology consultant for all of the teams at the University of Connecticut. He explains the mental side of injuries from the athlete's perspective in a way that we all can relate to whether an injured athlete, a parent, a coach or a trainer. I hope you find it as informative as I have.

You've been involved in your sport longer than you can remember. As you've grown, so have your strength, endurance and technique. You've busted your butt to become as good in your sport as possible and a force to be reckoned with in competitions.

Known for your work ethic, consistency and ability to come through in the clutch, you've been the one your team has always been able to depend on in crunch time. You live to practice and perform. You have a passion to compete. You flat out love your sport. It's who you are! It's how you define yourself. You have dreams to compete at school, maybe get a college scholarship Š who knows Š maybe even to go beyond to the next level!

Then the unthinkable happens! You feel a weird pop and you are lying on the ground. You are not sure what you are experiencing because you can't control your body. You have always had control of the movement of your body! What is going on? You try to ignore it and push through the pain. You keep telling yourself there's nothing really wrong, but the pain just won't quit. All they can tell you is to go see a doctor and find out what is wrong. You're forced to stop playing the sport you love and you absolutely hate it.

But how bad can it really be? Maybe you just need to take a little time off. However, when the throbbing at your injury site keeps you up several nights in a row and then out of practices you finally realize there might actually be a problem. Seeing a sports medicine specialist confirms your worst fears. Your injury is serious, you need surgery and he says that you have to be out of action for at least six to nine months!

The doctor says that unless you take care of this injury immediately and give it enough rest and rehab, you may risk doing some permanent damage. What does that mean you ask? He tells you that if you continue to play through the pain, you may be jeopardizing your athletic career! Is he crazy? Is he really telling me that I may never play again? How could that possibly be? Is this guy a quack or what? How could I even survive without my daily dose of this sport?

If you're a serious athlete and have ever had an experience with an injury, then you know the physical hurt you feel is only one very small part of the overall pain you have to go through in the rehab process. The psychological pain caused by your injury and the temporary or permanent loss of your sport can be far more devastating than the strained or torn ligaments, pulled muscles, ripped cartilage or broken bones. Unless this psychological pain is directly addressed and "treated", your overall recovery will be slow and incomplete.

Coaches and parents must be sensitive to the issues of the injured athlete in order to help them speed up the rehab process and significantly lessen the mental anguish the athlete must struggle with. Coaches and parents who are insensitive to these very critical issues, cause further trauma to the athlete and may compromise the healing process. To better understand what happens psychologically when an athlete is kept out of action because of an injury, it's important to briefly examine, right or wrong, three major functions that sport plays in the athlete's life.

1) The function of sport in our life is your sense of identity.

If you are a serious athlete and have been competing long enough, then you will soon come to see yourself in terms of your sport. You're a swimmer, volleyball player, baseball player, skater, tennis player, wrestler, gymnast, etc. It's who you are and what you do! With your long-term investment and commitment of time, energy and pain over the years, your sport has become an integral part of who you are. It's how you see yourself and how others see you. Your sport has become an extension of your sense of self. When you compete, this sense of identity further expands to include the role that you play on your team both tactically and socially/emotionally.

2) Sport is a major source of self-esteem.

For most serious athletes, your sport provides you with this same continual source of positive reinforcement and feedback. There is enjoyment and self satisfaction in mastering new skills, overcoming ever more challenging obstacles and progressively getting stronger and better. Furthermore, the outside recognition of your accomplishments by friends, family and your community stoke the fires of self-esteem so that they burn even brighter within you. Having a great game, race or match feels fantastic and provides concrete evidence that your hard work is paying off and that you are "special".

3) A constructive way to cope with stress.

There is no question that physical exercise helps you better handle stress of all kinds. Individuals who have no physical outlets in their life tend to internalize their stress. Since they have no way of getting it out of their bodies, the stress stays there and may emerge as stomach problems, headaches, or other physical symptoms. Sport offers athletes a safe and constructive way to channel their frustrations and aggression.

The psychological consequences of injury:

So what happens to all of these psychological goodies when you're suddenly sidelined by an injury? To put it simply, you become overwhelmed by a variety of internal and external losses. As the athlete struggles with the impact of these losses, all hell breaks loose! If the injury is significant enough to keep you out of commission for a good chunk of time, the first thing that you lose is your identity as an athlete and team member. You lose your place and role on the team. "Identity confusion" sets in. Translated into understandable English, this means that you start to question who you are if you're not constantly in the pool, out on the court, course or field practicing and competing in your sports. Without your sport, with its' frequent practices and competitions, you suddenly have a potentially significant vacuum in your sense of self that you have to try to fill. This individual identity confusion is compounded by the fact your injury has suddenly changed your identity and place on the team! You are no longer the leader, workhorse or clutch performer. Now your position is on the bench, or sidelines with the coach and your role on the team is suddenly unclear and questionable! What are you going to do?

On Sept. 15 we will continue to look at how best to cope with your first major athletic injury and focus on ways to help you survive, flourish and become a even a stronger athlete than you were before your injury.

Reference: Competitive Advantage - nationally known experts in the field of applied sports psychology

Adult volleyball

Anyone interested in playing coed adult indoor volleyball, please come to the community center gymnasium Wednesdays at 7 p.m. 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 welcome. Training given. Pay is $10 - $25 depending on experience and certification level of the games you officiate. Contact the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department at 264-4151 Ext. 232 if interested. 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.

Have questions?

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.



'We' are our problem

This week, our writers take a brief look at the impact of rising fuel costs and potential shortages of fuel on several local governmententities. The price is up - is everyone prepared? A glance at a gas station sign, and more than passing attention to news reports following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on Gulf Coast refineries and drilling operations, makes clear why concerns about the cost of fuel, beyond the personal realm, are justified.

A trip to the gas station, however, brings the point home in personal terms, with gas prices here exceeding the three dollar mark last week and reaching a rumored four dollars-plus per gallon in other parts of the nation.

Perhaps the prices will begin to descend soon - surely they will. But, whether they will go as low as before is debatable. Whether they will rise again is not subject to debate.

There are those who point beyond the effect of a major storm on our ability to produce gas, diesel, heating oil, to the fact, they say, that prices rose dramatically immediately following the hurricane before reserves were exhausted, before the big oil companies drained their tanks.

Perhaps. It would not be a surprise to find that big corporations use any excuse to boost profits.

But, does it matter?

Surely, but the problem is deeper than that.

What the rise in fuel prices brings to mind here is the incredible depth of our oil-based economy and how fragile our system is when one considers the many things that can affect availability of oil - war, natural disaster, politics — and, most assuredly, a guaranteed shortage of the resource.

What amplifies this certain-to-be dire situation is our unwillingness to adapt to what is sure to come down the pike.

"We" are a corporate culture that seems pleased to concentrate on immediate profits, an oil industry that has learned little from the problems experienced by other major sectors such as the auto and steel industries. It has not adapted significantly or quickly; it has not fostered innovation that could help avoid a crisis.

"We" are a government that has failed to press for major technological and environmental change, failed to effectively reward development of alternative sources of energy, that allows our transportation and agricultural systems to remain reliant on oil, that allows the lives of ordinary citizens to be held captive by the whims of corporations and foreign oil producers.

But "we," most pointedly, refers to the vast majority of us who breeze along each day, giving grumbling lip service to increased energy costs we experience at the pump, to food bills driven by increased transportation and production costs, to the rising costs of other goods pushed by the same forces, to burdens tied to the cost of heating oil and natural gas. "We" do not respond to what we experience with a change in our habits, with a change in the manner in which we live our lives. Too many of us still purchase gas guzzlers, too many of us still squander energy at home and work.

As we experience the effects of a hurricane on our energy production systems then pay the price as we conduct our everyday lives, we need to realize this condition is a door through which we need to step. "We" as a nation, as a government. And "we" as individual consumers. We are standing in the middle of the tracks and there is a mighty big train heading right at us. We have known it is coming for nearly 40 years, and we have done little to move out of its way. We can see its lights in the near distance. We can hear the horn blasting as it races toward us.

Will we move in time?

Karl Isberg









Pacing Pagosa

Push nature too far and she'll win

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

Man has become an authority on making Mother Nature work for him - except on rare occasion.

Whenever we push the capability of nature beyond its natural and even reinforced capability, we learn an important lesson: Every form of nature we amend has a breaking point.

Katrina was just the latest of these "natural" disasters which resulted from man's long pushed restructuring of the Gulf Coast and his attempts to change the laws of nature beyond normal.

While adapting the lay of the land to our personal needs, we've forgotten about any of those we utilize to achieve our control.

One of the interesting facts coming out of the Katrina probes was the indication parts of New Orleans had as many as 100,000 more residents than officials were aware of.

That lends itself to a look at another statistic - on the day of Katrina's first touchdown in one of the biggest fuel development and dispersal areas in the world, the U.S. poverty rate was at 12.7 percent, representing a fourth consecutive annual increase.

On that date America, the world's land of bounty, had 33 million residents living in poverty, an increase of 1.1 million from 2003.

Many were trying to break out of that financial grip. Health insurance holders, for example were up from 45 million to 45.8 million ... but at the same time the rate of those without such insurance grew by two million in the last year.

Where does the money go? Why are there so many homeless? Why so many whose homes weren't even known?

Big paydays!

You probably won't believe it but the annual household income in this nation stands right now at $44,389. And that's a figure unchanged from last year.

Who earns that money? Who spends it? For that matter, who actually receives it?

The cost of war in several foreign lands simultaneously made the oil processing plants of the Gulf Coast a big employment draw. But it did little for a nation which is facing another gas shortage like the late 1980s, higher prices, long lines to stations with no fuel to sell.

Were the workers asked to help avoid the problems? Were they given the opportunity had in World War II to help meet the need? Nope, the U.S. is great and it can overcome any old self-created deficit of something like oil.

In the early 1940s during World War II, hundreds in every community had victory gardens, feeding themselves while government fed the soldiers. The nation had to ration such things as meat, butter, sugar, fats, oils, coffee, canned foods, shoes - and gasoline.

My father was running a service station and bulk plant in Ignacio. Time and time again he'd make a delivery to a farmer dependent on fuel to get his crops in and come home with a bushel of peaches, home-raised honey or some other farm product as payment. It was a nation that cooperated.

Across the nation, aluminum foil became a prize possession. Save a giant roll and you could sell it for use in the flight industry.

That was before government overstretched the land, water, oil reserves and our patience.










90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 10, 1915

There are forty-two children of school age in the Cat Creek settlement near Kearns that are wholly without school facilities. The parents of these children pay taxes for school purposes and are far more entitled to school benefits insofar as the number of school age children are concerned than some of the wild cat districts lately established. Why this shameful condition? The Cat Creek people have a just grievance and it's up to the proper authorities to assist these worthy people in securing a school for at least six months of the year. If somebody don't get busy pretty quick a slice will be cut mostly from District One to form a new district which these people are really entitled to.


75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 12, 1930

Showing a half million dollars' worth of exhibits and a $20,000 program of races, fireworks, pageants and entertainment features, the Colorado State Fair will be in full swing at Pueblo all next week with the most extensive show in its history. Entries from 22 states and every county in Colorado will feature each phase of the west's industrial and agricultural supremacy. The farm products and livestock sections will be particularly strong, especially in the dairy cattle, sheep and swine divisions.

This section has a unusually good potato crop this season. The pinto bean yield promises to be average but is late.

Francis Mote drove down after his mother Friday night, bringing her back to school Sunday evening.


50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 8, 1955

Bob Shahan is recuperating from a sprained foot. A horse fell with him Friday morning, cracking a bone, so he is hobbling around on crutches.

Two down, and they hope, no more to go. Paris Engler is nursing a badly damaged finger injured the first of the week when he was excavating for a cellar. Mrs. Engler took him to Durango to a doctor where it took four stitches to put the finger back together. Arriving home they were met by son, David, with two fingers injured on another project. Another trip to the doctor netted two more stitches plus bandaged digits.

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Brown were down to Allison Monday looking for garden produce. This is the first year in ages that produce hasn't been plentiful in the area.


25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 11, 1980

Several days of rain hit the area this past week and the ground now appears to be fairly well soaked. It started to clear away last night and a good hard freeze may be expected at any time now. The first hard freeze always catches someone unprepared and now is a good time to get prepared.

The total assessed valuation of Archuleta County has climbed better than $2.5 million in the past year, according to Genevieve Phelps, county assessor. This year the assessed valuation is $32,927,820. This is the highest assessed valuation in the history of the county. The assessed valuation keeps increasing each year and the county tax base is in reasonably good shape for the size and location of the county.










Retired DOW officer returns to the ranch

By James Robinson

Staff Writer


It is a word that has defined Larry Garcia's professional life, and it is stewardship combined with tenacity, passion and vision which has fueled his most recent endeavor and helped him win the San Juan Conservation District's Conservationist of the Year award, presented at the 2005 Archuleta County Fair.

Garcia is a recently retired Colorado Division of Wildlife officer who is pursuing his dream of returning a badly neglected and overgrazed ranch to its original condition. But for Garcia, it's not just about mending fences, repairing buildings and running cattle. Garcia's path is governed by a greater philosophy which views a ranch as a complex whole, an ecosystem in essence, which is inextricably linked to the greater environment beyond the fence lines.

Garcia said his goal is to practice responsible range management with land stewardship as the cornerstone of the project.

"My job has always been to be a steward for wildlife," Garcia said.

It is this "whole farm" approach that put Garcia on the radar at the San Juan Conservation District and that ultimately helped him win the award.

Jerry Archuleta, of the conservation district said, "What stood out on Larry's project is that he is addressing all the resources on the property - farming, wildlife habitat and the stream."

Garcia's property is about 90 acres in size and is the site of a 1910 homestead. Stollsteimer Creek runs through the property and the ranch provides habitat for numerous fish species, bald eagles, elk and deer.

"When we purchased the property," Garcia said, "the ranch was in disrepair."

Archuleta said, before Garcia obtained the property, the land had been heavily overgrazed. Native grasses and vegetation had been severely damaged, the banks of Stollsteimer Creek were horribly eroded and the willow and cottonwood groves were faltering. But, after five years of sweat, investment and careful management, the property is recovering.

On a walk through a once heavily grazed area, the ground was lush with cacti, western wheat grass, Indian rice grass, penstemon, scarlet globemallow and groves of healthy pinon and juniper. A thick carpet of yellow and lavender wild flowers covered the soil and in between lay heavy traces of deer and elk.

Young cottonwoods and willows grew thick along the banks of the creek and a recent fish survey, following in stream improvements and the installation of riparian fencing, revealed mottled sculpin, fat head minnows, green sun fish, speckled dace, white suckers and, as the willow canopy has improved and shaded the creek, even rainbow trout have returned.

"Now you have a functioning ecosystem, instead of an ecosystem that was just limping along," Archuleta said.

But even with these successes, Garcia said the project is far from finished. To date, Garcia said he has undertaken baseline studies of Stollsteimer Creek and enlisted the help of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Partners for Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Garcia said grant funding from these agencies has played a critical role in the project's successes so far and that he hopes to make the ranch into a model project for sustainable ranching and agriculture.

His efforts and the data collected on his stretch of Stollsteimer Creek have provided valuable information for the Stollsteimer Creek Watershed Project.

Garcia said he plans to install cross fencing this fall and said this will allow grazing rotations, and soil and plant assessments before the ground is unduly damaged.

In the long term, Garcia said he has numerous visions for the property - natural beef, a small orchard and vineyard, and the restoration of the original homestead house built in 1910.

Restoration professionals have suggested matches or a bulldozer might be the most cost effective methods of restoration, but Garcia is intent on the project for he believes the homestead is historically and culturally significant. And of course, maintenance of wildlife habitat will play a vital role as well.

"Wildlife and ranching can coexist," he said. "You can have wildlife with ranching."

Garcia said he knows these projects will take time, but that this is his dream and he is in it for the long haul. He said he hopes to make the property into a model project for other ranches.

"My vision is a complete restoration and rebuilding of the ranch into something my family and the county can be proud of," Garcia said.








Pagosa's Past

A look at early trails into Pagosa Country

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Even as soldiers constructed the first buildings of Fort Lewis on what is now the main downtown business district of Pagosa Springs, Army engineer Lt. McCauley sent the following information to his superiors and to the U.S. Congress.

McCauley's visit took place during the winter of 1878-1879. After describing the Pagosa Springs as an Indian watering place, McCauley continued:

"Šthe springs must have always been to the aboriginal inhabitants a place of great resort, attracted by its wonderful healing properties, since Indian trails from all directions converge thereto, all deeply worn, doubtless in the various pilgrimages made by numerous bands and families.

"An old Indian trail, now desuetude, passes northeast up the San Juan River over the range and down the South Fork, reaching the Rio Grande by the shortest route, 40 miles distant, at a point 16 miles up the river (west) from Del Norte. To the northwest another trail passes to the Rio Piedra and up its west fork, or Weeminuche Creek, reaching the Rio Grande also, distance 52 miles via the Weeminuche Pass. A connecting trail from the Piedra ascends its middle fork and, passing just northeast over the range, descends the West Fork of the Rio Grande, reaching that river at Antelope Park. These were the routes used by the tribes in their migrations from the South to the Gunnison, Uncompaghre (properly Un-ca-pah-gre) Grand, and White Rivers, and outlying regions to the north.

"All the Ute Indians, particularly the Weeminuche and Muache bands, are not the least superstitious of their kind and have always regarded the Springs with feelings of adoration, conceiving them to be the creation of the Great Spirit for the cure of the sick of all tribes, howsoever afflicted. Different families, bands, and tribes would at this point assemble, and the pipe of peace is said here to have had an unusual supremacy.

"To the main spring, from the boiling appearance of its center, the Utes gave the name Pah-gosa (pah signifying water, and gosa boiling), which name, with corrupted orthography, it still retains.

"What has evoked in the untutored savage a feeling of awe has called forth from the whites wonder and adoration, and at no distant day it is destined to be a great resort and to play no mean part in the sanatory economy of Colorado."

Motter's comments: McCauley's comments contain the only description of Indian travel routes through Pagosa Country that I am aware of. The trails he describes are by no means the only Indian trails. It is interesting to note, however, that none of the trails he describes follow closely the routes of existing highways, especially the trails across Weeminuche Pass and up the Middle Fork of the Piedra River. Weeminuche Pass was surveyed by various railroad companies and was considered as a route in place of today's Cumbres or even Wolf Creek passes.

As to the Pahgosa spelling used by McCauley, this is the only report containing that usage. The title of his report, dated 1878-1879, is "Notes on Pagosa Springs, Colorado." Personally, I believe use of the name "Pahgosa" for the hot spring is historically inaccurate.

I have a Ute dictionary copyrighted in 1979 by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Ignacio. In that dictionary, Pagosa is defined as a noun spelled pa"o'sa meaning "sulfur," "sulfur-spring water"; original Ute name for the town of Pagosa Springs

Associated definitions include: pa"o'sa-"wanáy, intransitive verb, "smell like sulfur."

None of the definitions sound like "Land of Healing Waters," a nomenclature understandably popular with the Chamber of Commerce. I don't know the source of "Land of Healing Waters," except from a story concerning the hot springs written by June Lynch and contained in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country."

More next week from McCauley's visit to Pagosa Springs.












Pagosa Sky Watch

No column this week







Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture











































Just 14 days until fall, and weather looks it

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer


Has a nice sound. Should be something important, right?

For many, the application of the action to a specific dream can be of great importance.

Planning a major vacation? You want to know what the weather is going to be at your destination and that is the job of the prognosticator.

These valuable governmental employees put the fact to what the rest of us consider "a good guess."

And if you like more of the same, more of what we've been having, you might tip your hat to the forecasters (prognosticators) in the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

If you're comfortable with highs averaging in the middle-70s and lows snailing along in the middle-40s they've dialed your desire.

The first indication of conditions changing slightly comes this afternoon when winds are expected to calm to a sultry 5 mph out of the southwest.

For today and tomorrow there are 40-percent chances of rain, but that percentage drops each day. The same percentage holds for night excursions along with lows of 46 and 42 respectively.

Then the old broken record kicks in.

Saturday has a 30-percent chance of afternoon showers with a high of 77; a partly cloudy night with a low of 44.

Precipitation disappears from the forecast completely at that point, just partly cloudy, highs in the mid 70s Sunday and Monday, and lows remaining in the mid-40s.

So far this month, Pagosa Springs has recorded .17 inches rain in total, with precipitation on Sept. 2, 3, 4 and 7.

In that same period, the highest temperature recorded was 78.8 Sept. 5, the lowest 41.2 Sept. 1. Highest wind recorded so far has been 18 mph both Sept. 1 and 5.

If you'd care to look back just a little, we have the wrap-up data for the month of August locally.

Rainfall in the month was 2.62 inches; the high temperature was 84.7 Aug. 3. The low was 41.1 recorded Aug. 30.

Highest wind recorded in the month was 32 mph on Aug. 1.

See if all that data spits out the kind of prognostication you'd been hoping for.

And just remember, fall officially begins Sept. 22.

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