September 15, 2005

Front Page

Schools ink $1.6 million MATS pact;

work starts

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It took over a year and a half to get the final words and names on paper, but Archuleta School District 50 Joint has a new contract today for the Maintenance and Transportation Building.

The board of education and Colorado Jaynes inked the pact during the Tuesday night school board meeting at a total cost of $1,610,081.

Steve Walston, the district's building maintenance superintendent, noted the original estimate on the project was $1.58 million.

"We had a long delay," he said, "while the district negotiated other possible sites for the structure than on the high school campus.

"Colorado Jaynes," he said, "was very cooperative in all the discussions and negotiations to work toward a good price for the project. Each time we made progress they were agreeable, very conscientious."

Already, work on the site on the bus circle drive at the high school is underway.

The contract approved Tuesday calls for substantial completion by April 6, 2006.

The entire project was born of multiple needs.

1) The current bus barn adjacent to the elementary school is old, outdated and the daily morning and evening flow of buses, along with people in private cars, creates massive traffic jams.

2) That traffic situation has raised serious safety concerns for the Town of Pagosa Springs and Colorado Department of Transportation. This will move all the bus traffic from the area except that originating or ending at the elementary school.

3) All maintenance operations can now be performed in one location with sufficient storage on site to keep the buses out of temptation.

4 ) All deliveries will be made to the new structure and warehoused, then distributed from it. The previous shipping department was a small shop room off the district administrative building that required delivery vehicles to drive into school ground areas. And it added additional traffic with district vehicles moving it to the building designated for use.

In other action Tuesday, the board approved revised graduation policies; early graduation plans; a resolution backing Referendums C and D in the fall election; and a resolution supporting the nomination of board member Sandy Caves to run for the board of Colorado Association of School Boards.


County hierarchy stunned by two

new resignations

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following a summer of triple resignations, the county faces two more blows to its embattled personnel pool.

On Monday, Archuleta County Public Works Director Dick McKee filed his resignation in a letter to the board of county commissioners. According to the document, his last day will be Sept. 30.

The second blow came on Tuesday, when Archuleta County Senior Planner Ross Easterling filed his resignation. His last day was Wednesday.

Both men cited very different reasons for leaving.

Easterling said he was following a dream of taking his career to an international level by pursuing an opportunity with the Peace Corps in Honduras. He said it was one of the toughest decisions he has made, but feels compelled to take the opportunity.

"My resignation has nothing to do with the administration of Archuleta County. They have been very good to me," Easterling said. Easterling became part of the planning department in May and said he had fully intended to stay until this opportunity arose.

But McKee's resignation statements may shed light on deeper personnel issues brewing within the county.

McKee's letter states, "...I am submitting this resignation under duress. In my opinion the Board has failed to provide a non-hostile work environment for staff. One of you has belittled staff in public meetings and in private meetings throughout the community."

McKee's statements may be the most recent articulation of similar sentiments expressed during other county staff resignations earlier in the summer.

In late June, Julie Rodriquez of the county's building and planning department, and Kathi Creech, the administrative assistant to the board commissioners, resigned. In recent conversations, both women said Commissioner Robin Schiro was a factor in their resignations.

In response to the language of McKee's resignation letter, Commissioner Mamie Lynch said, "It appears to me that Commissioner Schiro has achieved her goal as I perceive it. She has now succeeded in emptying the county's personnel resources and I am greatly sorry that one person has had such a negative impact on the progress of Archuleta County. This is my personal perception."

Commissioner Ronnie Zaday said she was saddened by McKee's resignation.

"I felt we were just starting to get on track. It's going to be a big loss," Zaday said.

Zaday added that some in the community had attributed current road and road maintenance issues directly to McKee.

Zaday said, "He (McKee) has been personally attacked at home by citizens who feel it is totally his fault. It's not his fault, and although that may have been portrayed by one commissioner, it's not the consensus of the board."

Following a road work session held Sept. 8, McKee said he had encountered people at his house who had come to confront him about road issues and road maintenance concerns.

Lynch said McKee's resignation and the past summer's staffing crises were putting a severe strain on the county coffers.

"We don't have the financial resources to continue at this pace," Lynch said.

"Roads are such a top priority to the county, to have these setbacks from loss of staff is very disheartening," Zaday said.

Schiro said she disagreed with McKee's statements and said she is not belittling to staff.

"I ask questions, maybe more than others because I have experience in the road and bridge area," Schiro said.

Schiro added, "If he feels that it is me, if I was asking questions; I was acting in the best interest of the county."

Schiro said that McKee should have spoken to her or his supervisor before it came to him filing his resignation.

But with McKee's resignation, the steps taken to solve the county's road woes may seem on shaky ground. The county had recently embarked on a series of public work shops designed to educate and inform the public on problems and strategies for dealing with the county's roads and road maintenance issues. Part of the process included the redrafting of a set of road and bridge design standards, and creating a county road map from a combination of staff research and improved geographic information systems (GIS) map making capabilities.

With McKee's resignation, Lynch said there would undoubtedly be delays in completing these critical projects, but that the county would continue on the progress made thus far.

Interim County Administrator Bob Jasper echoed Lynch's resolve. He said the current progress was the culmination of a concerted, long-term interdepartmental effort and that the county would persevere.

In regard to McKee's resignation Jasper said, "I'm saddened. I wish him well in his endeavors. He was a pleasure to work with and is a competent public servant."


Batch plant likely cause in airport closure delay

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

A 30-day airport closure period has been delayed a week, with the latest closure dates set for Sept. 19-Oct. 19.

Although no official reason for the delay has been announced, Rob Russ, airport manager, believes the delay was caused by additional time required to deliver the batch plant - a huge array of machinery used for producing asphalt. The batch plant is located next to the airport adjacent to Piedra Road and is currently operational. The first layers of asphalt were placed Wednesday.

Bob Jasper, interim county administrator, has met with officials at Kirkland Construction, RLLP, and has been assured they are doing their best to "get it going." He confirmed that delays had to do with highway restrictions on the wide loads required to deliver the equipment, as well as possibly some concern for shortages of specific fuels required for the plant. Jim and Baxter Kirkland of Kirkland Construction were unavailable for comment.

Jasper told the Airport Advisory Commission (AAC) that, if he had the chance to do the Kirkland contract over, he would "set higher performance bonds and penalties," regarding construction delays (the contract was signed prior to Jasper's role as Pagosa's interim county administrator).

There is concern among those affiliated with the airport.

Bob Howard, chair of the AAC, said "every day that the completion of this project is delayed puts us one day closer to possible bad weather and temperatures too low to lay asphalt."

Nancy Torrey, Avjet base manager, said "Avjet is disappointed in the delays because of the impact it is having on our business, but we are certain that the county will live up to our expectations and see that the project is completed as soon as possible."

Once the batch plant is up and running, Russ said it will be able to produce 4,000 tons of asphalt per day. Since asphalt weighs approximately 148 pounds per cubic foot (source: Asphalt Institute), the final 2-inch layer of the 8,100 by 100-foot runway should require 135,000 cubic feet, with a weight of about 10,000 (short) tons. Both Russ and Jasper note that once it is up and running, the batch plant will produce huge amounts of steam, and emphasize that it is not smoke or toxic emissions.

At the Sept. 8 AAC meeting, Jasper discussed the contentious new hangar lease at length with members of the advisory commission, with many pilots also present. Many questioned the development process of the lease, asking why the Archuleta ground lease is so much more strict than La Plata ground lease, since both were created by the same legal firm, according to Ralph Goulds, maintenance officer for the San Juan Flyers. San Juan Flyers owns one of the eight hangars scheduled for demolition and had signed an agreement earlier this spring to accept a hangar at the new midfield location as a replacement.

Goulds feels the new lease is "totally one sided" and "leaves the hangar owners out to dry." He said the lease was written as if the county owned the hangars (and not just the land), and that there should have been at least some discussion and negotiation between the county and the lease holders prior to the lease's approval.

"The agreement (to vacate the hangars) was reached in good faith," he said, and added, "this lease is not in good faith."

One pilot at the meeting felt chagrined that he was put "over a barrel" with no choice but to "sign the lease or be obstructive to the airport project," since the demolition of the existing hangars is essential to the completion of the runway project. Another pilot complained about several other issues, saying he has been "ignored, trivialized, and minimized," by the airport management in the past.

As the bitterness continued to prevail at the meeting, Howard sagely advised, "get over it," recalling the fact that the board of county commissioners has already approved the lease. Commission member Mark Weiler further clarified to the outspoken guests that it was not the role of the AAC to be the conduit for complaints in these matters, and implored those dissatisfied instead to challenge the lease legally.

Howard reminded those present that the county had agreed the lease was a "work in progress" and, since the lease holders, as part of the FAA grant assurances, were "required to be equitable," he felt their needs would be further considered.

Jasper listened to the concerns of the AAC and the pilots. He said he was told by the airport manager that the lease had been circulated prior to BoCC approval (the lease was distributed Friday, then approved on Tuesday after a Monday holiday), and apologized on behalf of the county that the lease was not distributed in a more appropriate manner. Jasper said he had spoken to the airport manager and said he "expects more timeliness on how we do things" in the future.

Emphasizing the need to work together, Jasper highlighted the benefits the current changes would bring, "If things work out, this will be a dang nice airport." Reiterating the airport's extensive county funding, he said, "I think this will be a sweet deal (for the lease holders) ten years from now."

In the end, Jasper promised to look at the lease compared to the La Plata lease and to consider specific changes, such as "the mechanical piece" referring to the scope of work that would be allowed within the hangars. Charming the crowd, at one point Jasper said to Howard, "for someone so young you are quite sage," to which Howard amicably replied, "you're wrong on two counts."

In other matters discussed at the AAC meeting:

- The AAC approved the document "Airport Goals-2006 and Beyond," which they will present to the BoCC for approval.

- Tom Broadbent, of the events committee, updated the AAC on the progress on the "media blitz" planned once construction is finished.

The next AAC meeting is scheduled for Oct. 6 at 3 p.m.


Temporary solutions proposed for Mill Creek

Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

At the second in a series of public meetings designed to resolve Mill Creek Road issues, U.S. Forest Service representatives addressed concerned citizens and county officials gathered Tuesday at the Extension Building in Pagosa Springs.

However, by meeting's end, the only matters settled were where and when to meet again.

The three-mile stretch 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 jurisdiction.

Tuesday's meeting began with forest officials proposing a short-term solution meant to allow residents and winter recreationalists safe travel over the road this winter.

District Ranger Jo Bridges briefly described circumstances leading up to current concerns, including increased recreational use, growing residential development, and deteriorating road conditions resulting from levels of use beyond original design standards.

San Juan National Forest Road Manager Bill Ivy continued by first encouraging those effected to work together in seeking long-term solutions providing for the greater good, then explained the official USFS mission regarding all forest roads and related maintenance.

"The forest service is not in a position to support residential development within forest boundaries," he said. "We will gate roads to limit use in certain situations, but the USFS shouldn't offer de facto gated communities."

Ivy then proposed a temporary solution to road woes, including placing a gate three-tenths of a mile beyond the forest boundary, constructing a parking lot for recreational users, and building a bypass snow trail from the lot to Nipple Mountain Road, thus eliminating recreational travel over a two-mile section of road most susceptible to damage. He estimated the work would take a week to complete.

Ivy suggested the gate could remain locked after hunting season, and year-round residents would be given the combination. He also said a snowplowing permit would be granted to a "single entity," but residents would have to bear the cost and responsibility of removing snow from the two miles of road inside the gate.

According to Ivy, any long-term solution would involve upgrading the entire road surface to an all-weather standard, including widening to 24 feet, creating three-to-one drainage ditches, placing culverts every 1,000 feet, and surfacing with 10 inches of gravel. The estimated commercial cost would be $300,000, an amount neither the USFS nor Archuleta County currently have to spend. Ivy said the USFS would want to "transfer" jurisdiction of the road to the county, once upgraded.

Throughout the gathering, attending residents and county officials seemed receptive to USFS suggestions and offered additional input. The air seemed cordial and cooperative and, in the end, all agreed to meet again, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m.

Also open to the public, that meeting will be held at the USFS building at the corner of Lewis and Second streets.


 Inside The Sun

Schiro attends national Republican women's convention

Archuleta County Commissioner Robin Schiro joined nearly 2,000 other Republican women leaders from across the nation in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 8-11.

The event was the National Federation of Republican Women's (NFRW) 33rd biennial convention, one of the largest national meetings of Republicans this year and the official kickoff of the 2006 political season.

Schiro was elected as a Colorado Delegate At-Large in February 2005 at a state meeting of the Colorado Federation of Republican Women (CFRW), a first for an Archuleta County Republican.

While in Nashville, Schiro attended Campaign Management School in hopes of helping prepare women from the Archuleta County Republican Women's group (ACRW) for the upcoming state Senate, House and gubernatorial races in 2006.

In addition, Schiro attended workshops on keeping track of your money and learning parliamentary procedure since she is a nominee for CFRW Treasurer 2006-2007. Elections for this and other offices will be held at the CFRW state meeting next month in Colorado Springs.

During the four-day event, attendees participated in leadership training seminars, campaign management schools and a variety of political and policy workshops taught by well-known and respected experts. In addition, they heard from members of Congress, Tennessee elected officials, military leaders and political experts.


ProgressNow Tour comes to Pagosa Springs

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

"Get Connected, Get Current, Get Active," is the motto of the progressive network action group, ProgressNow, a not-for-profit organization created to mobilize Colorado's progressives at a grassroots level.

They held a gathering on the outside patio at Farrago's Market Friday, as part of a 2,772-mile statewide tour to gather support for their new Web-based forum, designed to link grassroots organizations together.

Jen Caltrider, director of projects for the organization, defines a progressive as "somebody willing to work for the common good, as opposed to people on the right, who tend to be 'every man for themselves.'"

Amidst the aspens and the traffic noise from U.S. 160, Mike Miles, former Colorado democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and advocate for the group, spoke to a crowd of about 35 people, many of whom expressed deep dissatisfaction for the current administration and its policies.

Miles said when it came to issues like health care and good education, one "can't be too progressive," and urged the crowd to "stand by their principles." Many of the crowd had worked for Democratic campaigns in the past, and he said that, instead of tolerating elected politicians' agendas after elections, it was especially important to "keep up the noise."

"The bottom line," Miles said, "is if we don't talk, they're not going to listen. There are costs in being active, the constant drizzle wears us down, but we have to keep faith, we can't wait for the sun to break through the clouds, we have to let our light shine through."

That is where their ProgressNow Web site comes in. With the belief that the conservative right's success began by a mobilizing of the media 30 years ago, Maria Handley, outreach director, said the ProgressNow Web site ( enables organizations and individuals to "make sure we have a voice, as opposed to everyone having their own little island." Miles added, "We are disorganized as a party and as individual groups," and said that "there is a danger of diffusion of efforts." With the ProgressNow Web site, he said, "here's our chance to get it right in 2006."

The site allows individuals and groups to form "blogs," (short for web logs) - running dialogs in which readers can post comments on specific issues, as well as create group e-mail lists. The site also has current news and a list of local events.

By helping to build a progressive infrastructure through the Internet, Handley believes the group can gain an "even playing field with the right." According to their release, ProgressNow believes the most effective way to facilitate change is to focus on the hundreds of local elections and issues every year, as opposed to focusing only on the national election every four years. The group considers Colorado's recent Democratic victories in the Senate and House in 2004 as an example of Colorado's success of promoting issues at a grassroots level.

Some of the older people in the audience expressed concern with the Internet focus. "A lot of that Internet stuff I'm not familiar with," said Marilyn Moorhead, 76, who is very active in political issues, adding that "a lot of my generation still aren't on the Internet." Caltrider responded by saying the Web site's purpose was "to get a conversation to communities. Maybe a person may not have access (to the Internet), but their neighbor will."

Handley cites a study of influence within a community. According to the study, one out of 10 people in the general population are "influencers," defined as someone outgoing and participating in community affairs. She said the study delineates Internet users, finding "out of those who use the Internet, one out of seven are influencers."


Loaves and Fishes resumes free meals Oct. 6, now year-round

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Loaves and Fishes, a highly successful public service begun as a short-term experiment last year, will reopen Thursday, Oct. 6.

And there are some major changes in order.

Most notably, meals will now be served year-round, Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at no cost to visitors to the Parish Hall.

Some dates already committed to other organizations will see the dinners served at Community United Methodist Church directly across the street.

The meals are all prepared and served by volunteers, guest greeters escort diners to their tables, and servers bring the repast to the diner.

When it began last year, many said the program would never last. At the beginning, they served about 60 each Thursday. But as word got around, the numbers climbed until at season's end more than 200 were dining free every week.

Asked why the success when there was so much doubt, a Loaves and Fishes member said two things: Volunteers, volunteers and more volunteers and, then, the outstanding participation of City Market in helping supply the foodstuffs.

Planners are asking all volunteers to be on hand at 9 a.m. the first day to get instructions.


Exotic sports cars coming here Tuesday

The Peak to Peak Sports Car Rallye with participants from Colorado, Arizona, California, Canada, England and Germany will make a stop in Pagosa Springs 4 p.m. Tuesday.

A group of 36 classic and exotic sports cars will be displayed at Pagosa Lodge, including models from Maserati, Porsche, Corvette, Viper, Lotus and more.

Harry Mathews, rally founder and participant, said, "We're fortunate to have such scenic routes to tour here in Colorado. A highlight for the rally participants will be our layover here in Pagosa Springs."


Cole holds LPEA post; local rate hike looming

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA) held its annual members meeting in Pagosa Springs High School Saturday with principle items of business the election of district directors, a presentation of LPEA finances and discussion of future projects which may result in power rate increases to LPEA members.

Incumbent director Harry Cole, and new candidate Jeff Berman, won seats on the LPEA board in districts 1 and 3, respectively. Incumbents Davin Montoya of District 2, and Ed Zink of District 4, retained their seats, running unopposed.

Cole defeated challenger Rich Goebel, 823 votes to 503 votes, winning his seventh term to represent the Pagosa area This was Goebel's first LPEA board campaign.

In District 3 (Durango), Berman (1,039 votes) defeated challengers David Rice (497 votes) and Vijay Bastawade (147 votes). All were candidates for the seat vacated by retiring director Troy Bledsoe. Berman uusuccessfully ran for the board in 2003, losing to incumbent director John Gardella by a narrow margin. This LPEA board campaign was the first for both Rice and Bastawade.

In other annual meeting news, the general manager of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, J.M. Shafer, announced Tri-State will raise its wholesale power rates by 4 percent beginning Jan. 1. Tri-State supplies power to LPEA and 43 other distribution co-ops in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nebraska.

The rate hike comes a year after Tri-State raised rates 13.8 percent, an increase LPEA absorbed fully without passing it on to members. Tri-State suggests strong member growth and a need to build new power plants are primary reasons for the latest increase.

According to Shafer, Tri-State's own generation isn't sufficient to adequately supply power to all 44 co-op members during peak demand. He said Tri-State exceeded previous demand highs by 15 percent this summer, and had to purchase additional energy on the open market at a much higher rate.

"We're in the business of keeping the lights on for our member systems and their consumers," Shafer said. "Across our system we're experiencing an annual load growth of about four percent, which translates to 100 megawatts of added power needed every year. We estimate the need for an additional 1,600 megawatts of power by 2020," he added.

Thus the need for constructing new baseload generating facilities and related transmission infrastructure.

"Our long-range plan calls for approximately 1,800 megawatts of new generating capacity to be built at two seperate sites over the next 15 years," Shafer said.

Tri-State will lead a two-unit expansion effort at an existing single-unit, coal-based power plant in Holcomb, Kan., owned by Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, a wholesale power supplier located in Hays, Kan. At the same time, Tri-State will pursue the development of a coal-based generating project in southeastern Colorado - an effort that the association first began exploring a couple of years ago.

According to Shafer, "The decisions made by our board of directors today will benefit the region's consumers for years to come, in the form of long-term, reliable, affordable electric power."

Meanwhile, LPEA Chief Executive Officer Greg Munro, reported co-op refunds of more than $2 million to its membership in 2004, and said it appears on budget for 2005. He explained that LPEA's strong financial position allowed it to absorb the earlier rate increase by Tri-State, but doing so has depleted much of its reserves, and a heavy January snowstorm and construction-related service interruptions have increased operating expenses.

Further, Hurricane Katrina's effects on southern sister co-ops may lead to equipment and materials shortages, ultimately delaying some projects.

While diminished reserves and higher costs may result in some LPEA project delays, they, along with Tri-State's latest rate increase will likely bring about higher energy costs to area consumers. The board and staff will soon determine just how much of the 2006 Tri-State increase will be passed through to LPEA members.


PAWSD new development provisions, construction update

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Amidst plentiful cookies, juice and, of course, water, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Board of Directors met for its bimonthly meeting Tuesday. A "gentle wafting of wastewater" from the treatment plant also pervaded the atmosphere during the meeting.

The board is adding more clarification to a resolution that was initially created in June of last year called, "Provision of Water Supply for Serving New Developments or Expanded Water Use Caused by New Developments Within Existing Boundaries."

The issue is pertinent because of a current request for a water main line extension and water rights dedication from Carl Valdejuli, a local resident who is working with a group of Florida developers to build Blue Sky Village, planned for an area south of town off U.S. 84.

Valdejuli describes the project as a "new urbanism" mixed-use community with clusters of residential and commercial areas and a central water feature surrounded by bike paths and recreational areas. Valdejuli also spoke of the desire to stub out a raw water irrigation supply to every residential lot. The board approved the permit for main line extension, the first step in the process, contingent on additional requirements from the owner on record.

Blue Sky Village will apparently have 1.8 cfs of Class C water rights but has not yet done a comprehensive water use plan to determine the needs of the development. The status of the existing water rights also needs to be evaluated, such as if they senior or junior, or agricultural or municipal. If water rights need to be converted, the Colorado Water Court may reduce the amount of water rights, according to Carrie Campbell, PAWSD manager.

Once the developer's water use plan is completed and submitted, there will be a review on how to proceed.

Campbell said the Blue Sky Village development is a test case using the new section of the rules and regulations. The provision, for example, may require a dedication of water rights equal to 120 percent of the water needs expected. Other variables include the transfer of water rights to the district and/or "cash in lieu of" water rights, at the discretion of the district.

The bottom line, said Campbell, "is that growth pays for itself," meaning the developers are not only responsible not only for the infrastructure within the development itself, but also on other demands of the water system outside of the development boundaries, such as delivery pipes, water treatment plants and holding tanks. The "cash in lieu of" could be used to offset the cost of required water system improvements.

Although the new Trujillo Heights project in town has not yet requested permits from PAWSD, according to Campbell, it will also be subject to the terms of the provision.

Regarding construction projects, the Dutton Ditch pipeline is halfway complete and roughly three weeks ahead of schedule. Construction on the diversion structure should begin this week. The board commended the crews for doing a "great job."

The draining of Stevens Reservoir continues at around four or five cubic feet per second, and should be finished by November. Negotiations continue with landowners.

In other matters, the board discussed the continuing replacement of substandard main lines. Art Holloway said the replacements in Holiday Acres are coming along, "getting pretty close to getting everybody tied in," though there is still some work to be done on the "high side" of the subdivision.

There is some concern with substandard pipelines in areas limiting flow rates of some fire hydrants. Springs. Although the board said the district is not in the business of providing "fire flow," they hope to enlarge specific pipelines so that low flow hydrants (currently marked with a white "X"), will become operational.

Steve Hartvigsen brought up the issue of reseeding areas after an earth-removal project, such as the recent work done on Hills Circle. Although not required, the board agreed that reseeding reduces soil erosion and displaces, and that reseeding "should become standard operational procedure." Applying protective mulch such as crimped straw was discussed, with September being noted as a good time to seed.

Windsor Chacey ended the meeting by presenting a tongue-in-cheek article comparing water volumes to the equivalent number of "six-packs," to help explain the enlargement of Stevens Reservoir. The reservoir is increasing in capacity from 635 acre-feet to 1,682 acre-feet, an increase of about 615 million six packs. For a county population of about 13,000, that's nearly 50,000 additional six-packs per person. Good thing football season is starting up.

The board decided to go to monthly meetings (currently bi-monthly), to be held the second Tuesday of each month. The next meeting is scheduled Oct. 11.


Friends of Wolf Creek plan "Village" slide show

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Friends of Wolf Creek will host a slide show and presentation Sept. 20 regarding the proposed Village at Wolf Creek.

Jeff Berman, of Colorado Wild, will be a key speaker at the event. In his presentation, he will bring attendees up to date on events leading up to proposed development, current issues, and Friends of Wolf Creek progress in an attempt to halt the project.

The current plan involves constructing more than 2,000 residential units and more than 200,000 square feet of retail and commercial space about 30 miles east of Pagosa Springs near the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The presentation will be held 6 p.m. in the Vista Clubhouse at 230 Port Avenue in Pagosa Springs.

For more information contact Marilyn Hutchins at 731-9414.

Benefit dance for Coltin Chavez

A benefit dance will be held Friday, Sept. 30, to raise funds to help offset medical costs incurred by the family of a local youngster, Coltin Chavez, 4.

Coltin, the son of Ronnie and Jennifer Chavez, has been diagnosed with epileptic encephalopathy and experienced allergic reactions to seizure medications. Coltin has spent some time at Children's Hospital in Denver and will return periodically for visits to his doctors.

The dance will be 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. at Dorothy's Restaurant in the Pagosa Plaza. The band will be CC Swing, providing country western music for the event.

There is a $5 cover charge, with proceeds to assist the family.


Reminder: General Election will be mail ballot election

Archuleta County officials are again reminding voters the Nov. 1 General Election will be a mail ballot election.

Only "active voters" will receive ballots in the mail. If you did not vote in the November 2004 General Election, you will need to reactivate your record or you will not receive a ballot. You will need to stop at the county clerk's office to do this.

If you have registered anytime after the last election you should be fine. Your ballot will be sent to whatever mailing address and voting status you showed on your registration.

You may call the clerk's office (264-8350) to verify your mailing address and voting status and receive further instructions.

You need to act now to avoid the rush at the last minute and to make sure your ballot will be mailed to the right address.

If you have not registered, you may do so up to Oct. 3.


Local quilters asked to help with Katrina relief

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Through no fault of their own, more than 200,000 survivors of Hurricane Katrina are sleeping on cold concrete floors in shelters throughout Houston. With nothing softening their slumber, or protecting them from the chill of otherwise welcome air-conditioning (outside temperatures have hovered in the 90s and 100s for weeks), their needs are immediate and you can help.

Sponsored by Equilter (, the International Quilt Festival — Houston & Chicago (IQFHC), and the American Red Cross, Quilters Comfort America (QCA) is collecting all kinds of quilts for prompt distribution to the Katrina survivors in Houston.

The need for quilts (twin-size or larger) is critical, and quilters are asked to consider donating finished pieces not planned for other uses.

According to Karey Patterson Bresenhan, director of IQFHC, "Many of us have unfinished projects filling our closets and cupboards." She suggests getting one out and working with friends, finishing several on an assembly-line basis if possible.

"Do whatever it takes to get these finished quickly. The need for these quilts is right now."

Patterson Bresenhan believes quilters may have sample quilts that have become shopworn or faded, but are still clean enough and usable in such an emergency.

"Send them," she says. "Every piece will go to a survival family driven from their homes by the hurricane."

She suggests adding a label on the back with a kind thought, perhaps including your name and date, but don't expect a confirmation or "thank you" of any kind.

Those without quilts to offer can still help. QCA will accept used, though servicable, sheets, blankets, comforters and pillow cases (no pillows). Of course, everything should be laundered and fresh.

QCA is working with the Red Cross in distributing donations to survivors, most of whom escaped the hurricane's fury with only the clothes on their back and little, if anything, to return to.

If you would like to donate quilts or bedding (twin-size or larger only), gather items together, launder them, safety-pin a note to each one stating its size, and deliver all to Linda Bennett, 211 Pines Drive, Pagosa Springs (731-9141). The Plaid Pony is also accepting donations at its new location, 27-B Talisman Drive, Suite 3, Pagosa Springs (731-5262).

Donations must be made on or before Tuesday, Sept. 20, and will be driven to Equilter in Boulder. From there, Equilter will mail them, at their expense, to IQFHC and the Red Cross for distribution.


County road workshop today

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

In the second meeting in a series of road work sessions, the county staff presented a draft of proposed county road design standards.

Public Works Director Dick McKee said the document was crafted using Summit County road and bridge standards as a model.

McKee said Summit County standards were an appropriate modeling tool because Summit County and Archuleta County were similar in many ways. He said they were both agriculturally based counties with nearby ski areas that shifted to recreation destinations and places for people to build second homes and trophy homes. The result was a community with a mix of urban and rural characteristics.

He said the newly drafted design standards take this rural-urban mix into consideration and are drastically different from the "one size fits all" approach of the current road and bridge specifications.

He added that the new standards contain an expanded road classification scheme and specific design criteria for the new classes.

The next meeting in the series will elaborate on the specifics of the classification scheme and the particulars of the design criteria.

The draft also provides methods of fortifying existing standards while creating new standards where necessary.

The draft is available for public viewing on line and comments will be taken through next week. McKee called the proposed standards a "work in progress" and said they would ultimately go to the board of county commissioners for approval.

Today, the county will host the third road work shop at 2:30 p.m. at the board of county commissioners meeting room. The session will go into depth on the proposed classification scheme and will discuss definitions, design criteria and functions of the various classifications.

Future meetings in the series will be held Thursdays between now and Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. in the county commissioners' meeting room.


New EMS manager outlines some goals

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

"If we ever have the opportunity to move (to southwest Colorado), we're going to," Brett Murphy said to his wife, Twila, some time back.

Murphy achieved his dream when, following a nationwide job search, he was hired as the new EMS manager for the Upper San Juan Health Service District.

Murphy has moved here from Owosso, Mich. with his wife and three children: Ian, 10, Sierra, 9, and Savanna, 6. Murphy has been in emergency medical services since 1988, when he gained his EMT certification. In 1990, he became a paramedic, the highest level of pre-hospital licensure.

Previously, Murphy was the executive director of a municipal ambulance service and has two degrees: one in EMS management and one in business and finance.

Although he misses his farm in Michigan, he has taken to Pagosa. "Everyone here is so nice, and we've been so well received by the community," he said. He recently purchased a home on Village Lake, where the "view is magnificent," and says the kids enjoy fishing in the lake, 15 feet off their back porch, where they catch perch and trout.

He said he has two immediate goals for the EMS department. The first is to further expand the vision of Joy Sinnott (former temporary EMS manager). He said she has cleaned up the department and deserves an award for what she has brought to the community. The second goal is to be more proactive in community events, such as local festivals. "Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for community health care and health care education," he said.

Murphy envisions community interactions such as seasonal preventive educational events, perhaps a bike rodeo in the spring for kids, where helmets and bike safety are promoted, and a water event in the early summer, combined with CPR, swimming and boating safety education.

He's looking forward to setting up such events and meeting more members of the community. "I'm kind of a social butterfly and like to get out with the people, get the feel of the pulse of the people, and see what the community needs are with health care," he said.

In addition to the introduction of Brett Murphy at the last USJHSD meeting, other orders of business covered include:

- The district will advertise soon for a new board member to replace Dick Blide.

- Jerry Valade was elected as the acting district secretary.

- The Crossroads Facility, a psychiatric care center, is expecting to break ground on Oct. 14 for a new facility adjacent to the new Mercy Regional Medical Center complex in Durango.

- The board temporarily closed the MFC X-ray department for financial reasons.

- The board turned down a request from EMS to add a third ambulance at a cost of nearly $11,000 per month. The board will revisit the plan next month when they have a better idea of accounts receivable and general financial obligations through the remainder of the year.

- EMS responded to 99 calls in August with 36 patients transported.

- The new EMS billing position has been filled.

- Discounts and collection protocols presented by Mercy Management were approved, with some caveats.



Firewood permits now on sale at Pagosa Ranger office

National Forest and Bureau of Land Management firewood permits are now on sale for the 2005 season at the Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office.

The permit, which costs $10, is divided into two half-cord tags so the full cord does not have to be gathered at one time. Each household may purchase up to 10 permits per year for personal-use firewood.

Gathering firewood for resale requires a commercial permit. Permits may be used until Dec. 31. Permits come with an informational brochure and map.

As a reminder, the Pagosa Ranger District has a regulation prohibiting the cutting of large, standing, dead ponderosa pine trees greater than 15 inches in diameter for use as firewood.

Violators may face a maximum fine of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail. Monitoring has shown a substantial lack of large ponderosa pine snags in some areas of the District. Large ponderosa pine snags provide unique and critical wildlife habitat for many species of songbirds, birds of prey, and mammals.

Fuel types available as firewood on the Pagosa District:

- Standing dead snags of all other tree species;

- Standing dead ponderosa pines less than 15 inches in diameter;

- Dead wood on the ground;

- Live Gambel oak tress less than six inches in diameter;

- Green trees that have been felled in fuels-reduction projects.

Updates on National Forest and BLM road conditions and closures may be obtained at local agency offices or on the Web site at

For more information, contact the Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office, 264-2268.


Change to fall colors is beginning earlier

By Liz Parker

U.S. Forest Service

Special to The SUN

The annual change to autumn colors is starting in southwest Colorado, showing hints of change even in the lower elevations.

Small amounts of color have been reported throughout areas such as Vallecito, and at higher elevations at Wolf Creek Pass, Telluride, Rico (Lizard Head Pass), and in the town of Silverton. Lake City is reporting about 10-percent change on trees on the peaks and in town.

Recommended viewing:

Trees are definitely starting to show some hints of change in various areas in the San Juan National Forest and BLM lands. Even without the colors, the backcountry offers lots of incredible views and some lingering wildflowers to enjoy.

Remember that this time of year is unpredictable for weather. Last year in early September, we got some early snow in the mountains, which is a good reminder that we need to respect the mountains and prepare for all backcountry conditions. Weather reports are showing that early snow may be a possibility here this year too, especially in the higher country.

Estimated peak viewing period:

Some areas may show change as little as 1 1/2 weeks to three weeks. Each year can vary.

View Suggestions:

Bring extra clothing and rain gear, temperatures are varying from 30s to 80s. Temperatures can vary in extreme fashion depending on time of day and elevation.

Trees currently turning: Aspen, oak brush, cottonwoods.

Please contact the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-1527 or check out the Web site www. for more information.



Catch and Release

A hatch, a trout, a return to water

By James Robinson

SUN Columnist

Mine is a history marked by water, of seeking water, of avoiding water, and ultimately of finding it once again.

Water flows through me and around me. It has been part of me since the beginning and it will, I suspect, be part of me until the end.

Water is a part of my family history. My grandfather left Great Falls, Mont. for the state of Washington to build the Grand Coulee Dam. His too was a passage marked by water. Once there, he met my grandmother and my mother was conceived near a place of great water. She met my father, I was conceived and I too was born near water in the Pacific Northwest.

But I was different.

I was born under the sign of the fishes and maybe that is where it all began.

Throughout my childhood, water, namely rivers, played a profound role in my life. And now, as an adult, the names of those watery places, the rivers Hoh, Queets, Quinalt, Skykomish, Skookumchuck and Deschutes roll from my tongue like the language of an ancient mythology. Although the rivers aren't mythology: they are. And these are the places I learned to fish.

If I told you I have been a fly fisherman all my life, I would be a liar. Although I've never been a bait caster, my father and I fished these rivers of the Pacific Northwest with spin rods and lures punctuated with viciously barbed treble hooks. We cast for trout and sea-run cutthroat but never did we fish with flies.

By the age of 15, I became disillusioned with angling as I knew it. I was bored by the mundane ritual of spin casting, of standing in one place, casting and retrieving, hoping for a strike or snag. At age 16, I quit fishing and walked away from those streams.

By age 18, I was old enough to leave home and I sought the driest places I could find. I wanted shelter from water, from water running in streams and rivers, from water in lakes and from water pouring down from the sky.

I found Arizona, and then New Mexico. I traveled beyond the Southwest to the Middle East and North Africa. I wanted heat. I wanted sun. I wanted liquid annihilation and in these arid places I found canyons and deserts, places, ironically enough, whose very essence was marked by the passage of water.

From water I could not hide.

During ten years in New Mexico, my backcountry excursions shifted gradually from the desert places of the south to the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the north. After nearly a decade in arid country I had become thirsty. I was seeking water and I didn't even know it.

I spent months backpacking in the high country of the state's northern mountains. And often while walking, I would step across streams no wider than an ironing board. It never occurred to me to attempt fishing these streams. I was thirsty, but not thirsty enough. These were not the rivers of my childhood, they were mere trickles in comparison and besides, fishing for me was dead.

I walked on.

In July 2000, after 15 years of not fishing, my father arrived on his first visit to my so-called waterless world in central New Mexico. An outing was planned, and we went north, again to water.

My father traveled with a truck full of camping gear and fishing rods. He had not given up the pursuit of casting for trout in high mountain waters, but I had, and I made it clear from the beginning it was not a fishing trip. I had much loftier goals in mind - mountains.

We left in the morning, far too late for a midsummer's mountain climb, and arrived at the base of Wheeler Peak in a torrential downpour, accented by sharp cracks of thunder and explosive flashes of lightning high above on the mountain.

Climbing to the peak was out, so we made base camp in the Rio Hondo canyon and sat the storm out. I fidgeted. I cursed the rain and waited, and by noon the storm had not ended. I walked around in the storm and became drenched and frustrated. I stared at the Hondo. I had no intentions of fishing and cursed the water, all water, water from the sky, water on the ground, water in streams and I waited.

My father fished.

The storm finally cleared in the late afternoon. It was far too late to attempt the summit. So I stood around trying to kill time. And then my dad appeared with a fishing rod in his hand. "Why don't you try this," he said. "It was your grandfather's," and he handed me a long, golden fiberglass fly rod.

I told him I had quit fishing, that it was a waste of time and that I didn't know how to use a fly rod in the first place. He pushed, and with nothing else to do, I conceded. I took the rod and a box of flies and trudged off up stream.

After a short time, I arrived at a deep pool formed by fallen timbers. The logs had been scarred on one end with the tell-tale conical shape that could only mean one thing - beavers.

The pool was bordered on the far bank by a sheer cliff, and between me, the logjam and the rock face lay an emerald green pool, prime trout water, at least six feet deep. I skirted the edge of the pool along a gravel bank and witnessed something I had never stopped to observe as a spin caster.

Just above the pool, the air was thick with gray fluttering insects. They darted from the surface of the water to the sky and back again, careening haphazardly like a band of drunken moths. Every so often, one of them didn't survive the journey, and became stuck on the surface where they floated to their doom. As the insects thrashed about on the surface, hungry brown trout charged from the depths and devoured them.

This was what every fly fisherman waited for, only I didn't know it yet. But, intent on the game and with nothing else to do, I pulled a fly out of the box that looked something like what was airborne and tied it on. The fly resembled a giant grey cotton ball, a passable imitation I thought, and I launched the most pathetic, ill shapen cast imaginable to the top of the pool.

The fly managed a passable drift down the tongue of the rapids at the head of the pool and traveled into the deep water just in front of the log jam. To my amazement, a brown trout inched up from the bottom, positioned itself in the center of the run, and then shot up to take the fly.

It was all clear as day and when the trout struck my heart hit my throat. The line drew taut and the glass rod surged with the fight of the fish.

Although I had quit fishing years ago, I remembered what to do, and after a short battle I eased the brown to shore and marveled at what had just transpired. I, like the trout, had been hooked and water, in the most subtle but profound way, became part of me again.





Dear Editor:

A call to sanity, when-oh-when will the voters recognize they've been had by ole "Lying Loathsome George (LLG)."

Being very stupid is his best defense and Afghanistan maybe his best decision after 9/11. Chris Rock said it best Š the more time he spends on vacation the less harm he can do. Certainly Katrina proved that his political appointees lack any semblance of skills whether FEMA or Homeland Security.

Not to fear, "LLG" is looking into it, maybe as far as he did on Rove's outing a covert CIA agent. At least other Republicans showed a level of sense, when they "deferred" passing a bill to kill the Estate Tax during the Katrina cleanup mess.

Recently I was moved by the patriotism of Sawicki in a letter to the editor, till he ignored the War-on-Terror is being fought against a people who never struck the U.S. Saddam is in jail, "LLG's" volitional war(s) be over, time to recognize supporting the troops is bringing them home. The Arab world has seen our form of democracy for about 200-plus years and Iraq hasn't increased their appetite. Voting turnout was more of a function of the power shift. The best that can be said of "LLG's" war is he's getting even for Saddam taking a whack at Pres. GHW Bush and should have just said that.

The twin towers were horrible, but true, also meant by Osama as a recruitment for terrorism. So is "LLG's" mess in Iraq. Ole disconnected "LLG" commented that the war in Iraq will draw them out and we can kill them all Š then waved his fist and called it a crusade ... only to be told by Rove, that was a bit much, so next we heard Muslims are just peace loving people? By the way, where is Osama. and is his family still major partners with Bush senior in the Carlyle Group?

"LLG" isn't just your run-of-the-mill ordinary oblivious destroyer. He also deserves impeachment for humiliating Americans every bit as much as Clinton. Republicans, get over your problems with Democrats, separate the wheat from the chaff, it's time to act as Americans.

Dave Blake


Leadership lack

Dear Editor:

It seems to me there is an endemic and pervasive lack of leadership in county government. In addition to several other instances, the commissioners are showing this lack by allowing the County Road and Bridge Department to declare which roads it will and will not maintain.

What will the commissioners allow next?

Will the commissioners allow the sheriff's department to decide which crimes it will and will not address because they decide there is too much crime?

Will the commissioners allow the county fire department to decide which fires it will and will not extinguish because they decide there are too many fires?

The commissioners need to step up to the leadership responsibilities vested in them when they were voted into office.

The commissioners need to require the County Road and Bridge Department simply to do their job - to bring all our roads up to state standards and provide ongoing maintenance and snow removal.

If the commissioners fail to step up to their leadership responsibilities the voters need to decide which commissioners will and will not remain in office.

Tim Bristow


Zaday defensive

Dear Editor:

A group of concerned residents requested a meeting with Ronnie Zaday to discuss the road maintenance situation that seems to be plaguing all of us.

It was agreed that we would meet at the community center Wednesday, Sept. 7. We met, but Ronnie came into the meeting on the defensive with voice shaking.

Mind you, no one had spoken about anything to this point. She told us she did not like small groups like this; that it always ends up being a "he said, she said" type of thing and that she thought we would best be served by attending an open public work session. She also said in the very end of her speech that she would answer a couple of questions.

There seemed to be no point in staying, so the group collectively got up and left. In hind sight, someone should have spoken up and said that "you agreed to the meeting and you owed it to us to answer any questions, to the best of your ability."

We were not a threatening group.

Ronnie, what were you thinking? You were rude and inconsiderate of us. If you had no intention of speaking to us and giving us a chance to ask questions, then why did you accept the invitation? You wasted our time and yours and believe me, our time is just as valuable as yours is.

When you were campaigning, one of your neighbors invited several neighbors to his home to meet with you, to introduce you and your ideas about the future of Archuleta County. That was a "small group," and you did not mind answering questions then. My husband and I specifically asked you at the time what you planned to do about our road situation, i.e., the fact that they are not property maintained.

"If we pay taxes to the county, then our roads should be properly maintained," you said.

We voted for you and as far as I can tell, you are not keeping your promise to us, the taxpayers.

A very concerned citizen,

Suzy Bruce


Too old to re-up

Dear Editor:

Thank you so much for printing Jim Sawicki's educational sermons.

I don't know what this town would do without a self-appointed spiritual/political guide shaping our collective conception of the world.

One thing for sure: Jim is a super patriot! Too bad he's too old to re-up in the navy; I for one would sleep better at night knowing that Commodore Sawicki was thousands of miles away from Pagosa ... protecting us from evil.

DC Duncan


Veterans' thanks

Dear Editor:

Fellow veterans, officials and citizens, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thank you to everyone, on behalf of all of our veterans and those members of our community that are currently serving in the military, for your strong showing of support on the deployment of local National Guard Reservists called up to active duty Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Pagosa Springs citizens and school children turned out in force to recognize and show support for our military persons who are about to go "in harm's way" to defend our nation's freedom and security.

A special thank you to Archuleta County Sheriff's Department personnel and Pagosa Springs Police Dept. for providing escort to the troop transport vehicle. Through a special effort by these agencies, it is believed law enforcement vehicles and personnel were able to provide coordinated escort throughout the entire length of the trip from Durango to Colorado Springs as the troop transport vehicle passed through each county and community.

Local citizens and children waved flags and hands and released balloons at the troops passed through our community. Their appreciation was very evident on their smiling faces and wave of hands in return.

Thank you all for your support.

Andy Fautheree

Archuleta County Veterans Service Officer


Scenic surprise

Dear Editor:

My deepest thanks to Dick McKee and the road and bridge crew for arranging the gravel cap of Scenic Avenue. What a great surprise.

Over the past few days, we've watched dozens of truck loads of gravel be placed on Scenic Avenue (and a few other roads in the area) that desperately needed it. The contractor has done a terrific job grading, crowning and rolling the road so that it is in great shape.

As a quick and emphatic testimony to the improvements made, last night we had a very heavy rain and would normally awake to find puddles of mud up to a foot deep in front of our home and other parts of Scenic Avenue. This morning there's no mud, and the gravel road dried quickly.

Having been one to make private and public constructive criticism of the road and bridge department and the county commissioners, I want to take the time to say thanks when a job is well done.

We deeply appreciate the new gravel cap, and equally appreciate not being "deeply" in mud. Since Scenic Avenue is also a school bus route, my concerns for our children's safety have also diminished with this significant effort. Thanks again.

Joe Hannigan


Save examples

Dear Editor:

I have been encouraged to write more letters.

I have never said or felt that change won't happen, of course it will. But it doesn't have to be negative nor does it have to be destructive.

We could hold on to what we have - as examples the work done in the recent past on the home occupied by Bill Anderson, attorney, and Randall Davis' jewel adjacent to the bridge.

Mr. Vision, it is a shame you didn't put utilities and a village in on your property out east and leave this precious little village alone.

Cindy Gustafson


Public apology

Dear Editor:

I would like to apologize to The Pagosa SUN and to the general public. I wrote the letter to the editor printed in last week's paper titled "Why 11 days?"

Even though I felt strongly about the letter, I asked a friend and coworker, David Leigh, if he would be willing to put his name on it, and sign it. He said he would do so.

I feel the need to explain why I concealed my identity. Two members of my family work for the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department. I did not want my family members retaliated against, put in an awkward work environment, or fired because of my opinion. If you are reading this and think, "That would never happen," you might be right.

However, I am sure you can understand my concern that my family members might be retaliated against when I publicly voice my frustration with the current administration running the sheriff's department.

What I did was wrong; I put a friend in an uncomfortable position. I should have just risked everything and put my name on the letter from the beginning. I apologize, and I will never do it again. If anyone is considering having someone else sign your letter, please don't do it. Either sign it yourself or don't submit it at all. I hope everyone understands why I could not put my name on the letter. I look forward to the day we can trust the leaders of our sheriff's department again.

Chuck Kelley


Need Crossroads

Dear Editor:

For the past several years efforts have been made on many levels attempting to stop the unnecessary and seemingly inhumane practice of shackling mental health consumers in the back of a Jeep and transporting them over two mountain passes for more than five hours to a treatment facility in Pueblo, especially when that person is in extreme distress.

Our geographic isolation combined with budget restraints over recent years has driven us to the reality that we are going to have to fix this problem by ourselves.

To that end, Crossroads was developed. Crossroads is the new regional emergent care psychiatric residential and detox unit being built on the new Mercy Medical Center campus. This innovative and state of the art treatment facility will help consumers stay close to family and community while dealing with a mental health crisis.

Every town, city, county, law enforcement and human service entity has endorsed this regional community partnership, helping to move us all toward a healthy mental health future.

Crossroads is about families. It's about healing. And it's about communities. For more information about Crossroads, please contact Beth at 259-2162. Our capital campaign is nearing our goal but we still need your help.


Rep. Mark Larson


Petrox opponent

Dear Editor:

I am writing on behalf of the Piedra Park Metropolitan Improvement District board of directors to express our concern about the application by Petrox Resources, Inc. for a "major oil and gas facility permit for a captioned compressor site" just off of Colo. 151.

Our district provides treated water to the Piedra Park subdivision from two wells located next to the Piedra River just above Navajo Lake in Arboles. Our primary concern with the proposed compressor facility is the toxic chemicals - primarily triethylene glycol - that will be used at this facility. This compressor facility would be located next to Stollsteimer Creek that flows into the Piedra River.

If a chemical spill were to occur at this site, the Piedra River and our water supply could be contaminated. We are the only municipal water supply in this area and contamination of this water supply would be devastating for our community and the area. In addition, a chemical spill at this facility could contaminate Navajo Lake.

We understand that you - our commissioners - are being asked to approve a special use permit for this facility. This permit will be the only permit Petrox will have to obtain for this facility. There will be no EPA review of this proposed facility and no Colorado Oil and Gas Commission review of this proposed facility. This makes your review of Petrox's proposal and your decision on this facility even more important. We urge you to deny Petrox's request for a compressor facility at this location. This proposed location is not appropriate for this facility and even a "small" possibility of contamination of this waterway is not acceptable.

In addition, no matter where Petrox may eventually build this facility, we have additional concerns that need to be addressed. Our understanding is that Petrox is a small company with limited capital. No matter where this facility is located, it is essential that Petrox provide bonding (or something similar) that will guarantee that should there be future problems with this facility there will be funds to take care of these problems. No matter where this facility is located, the conditions that you put on this permit will affect our county for years to come.

If you have any questions about our concerns, feel free to call me at 883-2283.

Tammy McDowell


Who's jail chief?

Dear Editor:

So why does it take seven days to lock up four people for felony assault?

Possibility: Maybe our sheriff didn't even know about this situation. Which is a distinct outside chance. Why? Because we have no sheriff.

So, who's in charge? Do ya think it's head jailer? No. Can't be the head jailer; he's too busy making sure no one else escapes from the jail again.

I've got it! What we have here is a county sheriff's department that more resembles the Keystone Cops with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in leadership positions.

This community needs a sheriff who knows how to set his priorities and can move from an 11-day priority to an 11-microsecond priority. Of course, you have to be available and be informed to accomplish that task and not cater to some lame brain excuse that my detective would be overworked.

Maybe the undersheriff is the guy in charge. Now, I know that he can move about very quickly. Because he has his very own personal, shiny new, $35,000 SUV that I helped purchase and which he drives from his garage at home to the underground garage beneath the jail five days a week and we pay for the gas and maintenance. Such a deal!

Let's not jump to conclusions folks: It is entirely conceivable that nobody wanted to wake up our local judge and upset him at such a late hour to get an immediate bench warrant on the individuals.

Tough. Our local judge is paid well over $100,000 a year with full benefit package. Get him up!

Solution: time to elect new blood as our sheriff who knows how to use his position as the most powerful man in our county and will not be reluctant to use it.

We need a "micro" sheriff.

Jim Sawicki

Editor's note: In reality, in this context, the coroner is the "most powerful man" in the county, since he has the power to arrest the sheriff.

Your claim about a $100,000 salary for our "local judge" is erroneous. If you are referring to the Archuleta County Court Judge, he works part-time as county court judge and one-quarter time as a district court magistrate, at a total salary less than three-quarters what you claim. If you are referring to the municipal court judge, his is a part-time position.

A check with the county court judge reveals he is awakened frequently at a late hour with warrant requests from local law enforcement agencies.


Fluoride response

Dear Editor:

The letter in last week's SUN about fluoridation prompted me to respond. I would like to make two points.

The first, and most important, is that parents of young children should consider having them use one of the inexpensive fluoride mouth rinses available in grocery and drug stores. Those products have been shown to be effective in reducing the prevalence of caries in children. Moreover, they pose no health risk as long as they are not swallowed by very young children. Don't take my word for it; as the TV ads say, "Ask your dentist."

The second point is that the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District decision to stop adding fluoride to our water hardly represents a revolutionary movement. Fort Collins, when faced with the same decision, established a Fluoride Technical Study Group (FTSG) to assess the risks and benefits of community water fluoridation. After thoroughly studying all aspects of the subject, that group issued a thoughtful report in April, 2003 recommending that Fort Collins continue fluoridating its water. When the appropriate authorities adopted the FTSG recommendation, that action was challenged by "clean water advocates" who forced a referendum on the issue. In March, 2005, the well informed citizens of Fort Collins voted to continue giving their children the protection from caries that drinking fluoridated water provides.

Gene Wissler


Community News

Colorfest needs balloon chase crews

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Colorfest Balloon Rally.

With 57 hot air balloons registered, it is sure to be a spectacular event. Pilots from all over the Southwest will be participating and would love to have Pagosa locals get some hands-on experience with ballooning.

If you are physically fit, have a valid driver's license and would like to be part of a chase crew you are encouraged to do so. Chase crews help the pilots set the balloons up for inflation and launch, keep visual contact throughout the flight and assist in deflation and packing up once the balloon has reached its final destination. Balloons become a part of the wind, and are guided by the direction in which it blows, so the landing spot can be just about anywhere.

To participate, be at the Chamber of Commerce Saturday no later than 7 a.m. to be placed with a pilot.

If you have any questions, please e-mail them to


Be ready for Colorfest, learn your balloon jargon

Aeronaut - One who operates or travels in a balloon.

Aerostat - The balloon itself.

Altimeter - An instrument to register changes in atmospheric pressure resulting from a change in altitude. It is calibrated to indicate height above mean sea level.

Apex - The uppermost point or crown of the balloon envelope where gore ends and load tapes meet.

Balloonmeister - The person responsible for the various balloon activities at a balloon meet. Also a Balloonmeisterin.

Basket - The cockpit of the balloon, designed to hold passengers, fuel tanks and operational control systems. A basket made of woven wood.

Blast-Valve - A high-pressure fuel valve used to put heat into the envelope.

BTU - British Thermal Unit. The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Burners on balloons are rated by BTU output.

Buoyancy - The tendency of a balloon to float in the air.

Burner - The fuel-burning device consisting of superheating coils, propane jets and pilot light.

Chase Crew - The crew members who follow the balloon in a vehicle to retrieve it after landing.

Crown Line - A handling line some 100 feet long attached to the apex or crown of the balloon. Used to steady the balloon during inflation and deflation.

Deflation Port - The rip panel or section of the envelope that separates from it to allow hot air to escape quickly.

Envelope - The fabric portion of the balloon that holds the hot air.

Equator - Where the circumference of the balloon is the greatest.

Equilibrium - The state of balance when the balloon's lift equals its weight and it becomes buoyant.

Gore - The lengthy pieces of balloon fabric which taper at each end to form sections of the envelope.

Handling Line - A 50-foot rope attached near the equator. Used to maintain stability of the balloon during inflation or deflation.

Inflation - The process by which air is forced into the envelope and then heated.

Maneuvering Vent - A closeable flap operated by a control line which permits hot air to be vented from the envelope.

Metering Valve - A high-pressure fuel valve used to regulate the flow of propane.

Mouth - The opening at the base of a hot-air balloon.

Panel - The fabric section part of a gore on the envelope.

Pilot Light - A separate small burner with a constant flame. Purpose is to ignite the burner.

Propane - The liquefied fuel used to heat the air in the envelope. It is under high pressure and is burned as a gas.

Pyrometer - A temperature gauge to measure the heat at the top of the envelope.

Rip Line - The line (usually colored red) that runs from the rip panel into the basket. It is the means of initiating the deflation procedure.

Rip Panel - The large circular or triangular section of the balloon which is opened by pulling the rip line.

Skirt - An optional extension of the envelope usually made of flameproof Nomex. Its purpose is to help channel hot air into the mouth of the balloon.


Sun Tower hosts discussion of native equinox celebration

By Karen Aspin

Special to The PREVIEW

Watch the sun rise over the San Juans this first day of autumn, and discuss how the Ancient Chimney Rock Puebloans may have survived and why they celebrated the Equinox.

This unique event begins at Sun Tower at Chimney Rock, a place not visited on regular tours, and concludes at Stone Basin, giving two viewing locations.

Tickets are $15 and reservations are required. Due to the hiking and length of the program, it's suggested that children under 12 not attend.

Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by wearing appropriate clothing and good walking shoes. You may wish to bring a blanket or cushion to sit on during the program.

The gate will be open from 6:15-6:20 a.m., after which there will be no admittance. Sunrise is at 6:56 a.m., and the program runs about 2 hours in length.

Chimney Rock Archeological Area is 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, and three miles south of U.S. 160 on Colo. 151. For more information or to make a reservation, call the Visitors' Cabin at 883-5359 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information is on the Web site at

This event is sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa District.


A passion for the banjo

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

"For me, the banjo is a magical instrument that brings sparkle to my life," says Charles Ogsbury, famous banjo maker from Boulder.

Ogsbury displayed several of his beautiful instruments at the recent Four Corners Folk Festival.

He has dedicated his life to building banjos. He grew up listening to bluegrass in northern Kentucky. Later he moved to Boulder where he started playing the banjo.

"It was this experience, of making your own music, that I really fell in love with," he said. "Instead of being a spectator, you could make your own music by yourself, or with a friend or two. It was a wonderful discovery for me."

Seeing a need for a good quality, reasonably priced banjo, Ogsbury came up with an original design in 1959 and launched the Ode Banjo Company. Now, forty-six years later, he's still building banjos through his current company, called Ome Banjos.

Ogsbury's passion to build world-class banjos has taken him through some interesting experiences, like the time "a 110 mph Chinook wind roared down the mountain, tore off the roof of our new shop, and blew in the cinder block walls. I couldn't believe the damage. As I stood there that morning looking at the devastation, the wind was still blowing so hard you had to crawl to keep from being blown over. The phone rang and I said, 'Hello, we're not open today, could you call back next week?' With the help of friends the shop was back up again in a few months."

Besides hearing all the great music at the folk fest, a great bonus is meeting interesting people like Charles Ogsbury. Listening to Ogsbury express his passion for the banjo, it's obvious that his passion for the instrument means a great deal more to him than just a business venture.

"To me, the banjo is a very grassroots instrument. It's somehow close to nature, close to the mountains, and what I consider the good life," he said.


Boosters announce auditions for new 'A Christmas Carol'

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters is again excited to bring you Michael Demaio's "A Christmas Carol" for its holiday production.

We look forward to establishing a Pagosa Springs tradition of holiday shows that operate on a three- year performance schedule. It's time to bring Scrooge, Bob Crachit, Tiny Tim, and London of the 1800s back to life.

Auditions for this magnificent show will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Sept. 29-30 in the band room at the high school.

Music Boosters anticipates a cast of approximately 35 performers, and are looking especially for adult men and women. We also need young adults and teens of all ages, with additional opportunities for children.

Performance dates are Dec. 1-3 in the evenings, with an additional matinee Dec. 3.

Please come prepared to sing one verse of an audition song from either "Christmas Carol" or another musical. An accompanist will be provided. Dancing and script reading will also be part of auditions.

For more information, call Michael DeWinter at 731- 5262.


Shabbat services at Har Shalom

Fri., Sept. 23

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

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


Full moon by Native American flute is a winning combination

By Karen Aspin

Special to The PREVIEW

The magical sound of the Native American flute, accompanied by the full moon in the ancient surroundings of Chimney Rock is a winning combination.

Visitors to Chimney Rock Archaeological Area in southwest Colorado, can enjoy this experience Saturday as the popular Native American flute player, Charles Martinez, accompanies the educational program scheduled Saturday.

Martinez, a native Pagosan of Jicarilla Apache and Navajo heritage, is a master of the traditional style of Indian flute playing and a local crowd pleaser of many years.

While awaiting the moon's 7:15 p.m. arrival near the Great House Pueblo site, visitors will learn about the Ancestral Puebloans, the archaeological relationship of Chimney Rock to Chaco Canyon, and archaeoastronomy theories.

Tickets are $15; reservations are required. The gate will be open 5:45-6:15 p.m. for those attending the full moon program. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. Due to the hike involved to the mesa top and the two to three hour length of the program, it's suggested that children under 12 not attend.

As an added feature to the Full Moon Program, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association offers an optional guided "early tour" of the lower archaeological sites at Chimney Rock for an additional fee of $4. The gate opens 4:45 p.m. for those signed up for the early tour prior to the Full Moon Program.

Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by bringing a flashlight, warm clothing, good walking shoes, insect repellent and a blanket or cushion to sit on during the program. In the event of bad weather, the program will be canceled and possibly rescheduled for the following evening.

Chimney Rock Archeological Area is 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, three miles south of U.S. 160 on Colo. 151. For reservations and more information, call the Visitors' Cabin 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily at 883-5359 , or check the web site at

Note: For those interested in the Major Lunar Standstill (MLS), the moon will not rise between Chimney Rock and Companion Rock during this Full Moon Program event. Please review the MLS section of our Web site for our 2005 schedule and details on the MLS programs.

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., sponsors the Full Moon Program in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District.


County 4-H adds to state fair list

By Pamela Bomkamp

Special to The PREVIEW

Here are some more top Archuleta County 4-H members who captured honors at the recent Colorado State Fair:

Entomology: Unit 1 Juniors — Maiah Muhlig, fifth place; Unit 2 Juniors - Crystal Purcell, fifth place; Unit 6 Juniors - Emmi Greer, Reserve Champion; Unit 7 Juniors - Dylan Caves, Reserve Champion.

Financial Champions Intermediate - Anna Ball, Reserve Champion.

Baking Junior - Anna Ball, Reserve Champion.

Quilting Juniors - Maiah Muhlig, eighth place.

Home Environment: Unit 3, Juniors - Anna Ball, Grand Champion. Photography: Unit 1 Seniors - Del Greer, sixth place.

Shooting Sports Archery Juniors - Keturah Class-Erickson, ninth place.

Sportfishing: Unit 1 Juniors - Katie Laverty, ninth place.

Vet Science: Second Year - Taylor Cunningham, sixth place; 3rd Year - Danelle Condon, fifth place.

Creative Cooks: Junior, Shaylah Lucero, Junior Champion and Reserve Champion Overall Junior Division; Intermediate, Anna Ball, Blue.

Cake Decorating Contest: Unit 2 Juniors - Jennifer Smith, Red.

Rabbit: Bethany Wanket Best of Breed-Fuzzy Lop, second place New Zealand and first place Showmanship; Breanna Voorhis first place Met Pen and sixth place Showmanship. Lamb Re'ahna Ray second place Light Weight Class and sold at auction; Raesha Ray 10th place Medium Light Weight Class.

Swine Raesha Ray fifth place Spotted Poland Class.

Heifer Danelle Condon Senior Champion Scottish Highland Showmanship.

Steer Crissy Ferguson 11th place Light Weight Class.


Clogging class opens Sept. 21

Elation Center for the Arts is offering a new beginning clogging class Wednesday evenings, starting Sept. 21. Class starts at 5:30 p.m. and is held in the Community United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lewis Street. Tuition is $5 per class.

A great way to get in shape, clogging is fun and easy to learn. You can clog in street shoes and comfortable clothes. The clogging you see today is an evolution of the Appalachian mountain folk dances of the 1800s, a blending of Irish, German, English, Dutch and African American influences. Clogging has the influence of several other dance styles including Irish, square dance, jazz and some tap.

Instructor Carla Roberts will teach the beginning steps necessary to learn many of the exciting line dances in this beginner's class. No partner is necessary.

Paul Roberts will provide accompaniment on the banjo, playing the lively traditional American dance tunes perfect for clogging.

If you would like to experience clogging in a relaxed, low-pressure setting this class is for you.

Elation Center for the Arts is a local nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and performance of traditional folk music and dance from around the world. To find out about our other music and dance classes, concerts and the ECA volunteer program call 731-3117.


What is a Unitarian Universalist?

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will deal Sept. 18 with the often-asked question, "What religion are you?"

This service will explore what to say after you've said "I'm a Unitarian Universalist."

Inspired by the Rev. Liz McMaster at the Four Corners UU Retreat in Vallecito last July, program leader Pauline Benetti has adapted Rev. McMaster's program to fit the needs of the local UU Fellowship.

The service will begin with a short reading on UU values and then involve members of the congregation in a discussion considering how they themselves would respond, or have responded, to this query.

This service would also be an excellent introduction to Unitarian Universalist principles and practices for anyone curious about this denomination.

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 Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.

A potluck luncheon will follow this service. All are welcome.


Ed Center sets course on starting own small business

By Renee Haywood

Special to The PREVIEW

Would you like to be your own boss?

Would you like to own a small business but don't know how to get started?

Or, maybe you have a great idea for a business but don't know what to do with it.

The Archuleta County Education Center has the answer. We are offering a class titled "How to Start, Grow and Successfully Manage Your Own Small Business."

This program is specifically created for people who are interested in owning their own business - but want to make sure they get the right start. These classes will give you the chance to examine the many steps required to start, grow and successfully manage your own small business.

Rich Lindblad is the principal owner, manager and presenter of the seminars. He is a seasoned lecturer who holds both an undergraduate degree in management science as well as a master's degree in business. Rich has spent over 15 years teaching students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, across the full spectrum of business studies.

Rich formed The Lindblad Group, LLC consulting firm in order to share his knowledge of this subject. These classes are intended to give you the head start in your quest to become a successful small business owner.

Rich's goal is to create a foundation of understanding that will help you decide if starting a new business - or acquiring an existing business - is right for you.

Classes begin Thursday, Sept. 29 and continue each Thursday through Oct. 13, 6-9 p.m. Cost of the class is $45 plus a $5 annual registration fee.

If you are interested, or would like more information, contact the Education Center at 264-2835.


Local Chatter

Pagosans have, seek links with Katrina victims

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Many Pagosa Springs residents have connections with the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. The list is long, but here are a few stories to tell.

Glen Raby, the geologist with the U.S. Forest Service, is from New Orleans. He was in Denver just before the storm hit land and contacted his relatives.

All had evacuated and all were accounted for except the husband of a niece, a policemen (who later turned up).

Glen's home place was eight feet under water in Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and survived. This time it is under six feet of water and Glen doesn't think it will make it.

Some of you will remember Mark Newlander, who worked in the kitchen for a while at Pagosa Lodge. Mark left Pagosa to join Emeril Lagasse's staff in New Orleans.

Lagasse has lost all three of his restaurants to flood waters and has now joined (as has Paul Prudhomme) the staff of Commander's Palace in the Garden District of New Orleans.

Mark, his wife, Karen, and their two children were evacuated to Houston to his sister's home. Their parents, Ruth and Bob, have just moved from here to Georgetown, Texas.

People want to help, and are doing so. This story is an inspirational example.

Chris Pierce and Summer Phillips had a nearly new 26-foot fifth-wheel trailer they weren't using and decided to donate it to hurricane relief ... to take it down to San Antonio to the Rev. Maurice Friedman, rector of the Church of the Holy Spirit, an Episcopal congregation. They knew him because he was so good to Summer's mother when she was dying. They filled up the fifth-wheel with donated bedding and supplies. People are so good.

The church had taken in 10 families and two members - one well-connected with H&R grocers and the other with H.T. Zachary Construction - are trying to find jobs for them.

The Father is a converted Jew who served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. He drives a motorcycle and doesn't wear his collar on the street. His is a good place to send a donation. His Web site is The mailing address is Church of the Holy Spirit, 6676 Utsa Blvd., San Antonio, Texas 78249.

There are other organizations to which you can send money: The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Roman Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the Methodist Church. Their telephone numbers are being regularly listed on TV.

Fun on the run

Bill and his wife, Martha, went to the state fair every year - and every year Bill would say, "Martha. I'd like to ride in that airplane."

Martha always replied, "I know Bill, but that airplane ride costs fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars."

One year Bill and Martha went to the fair and Bill said, "Martha, I'm 81 years old. If I don't ride that airplane I might never get another chance."

Martha replied, "Bill, that airplane ride costs fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars."

The pilot overheard them and said, "Folks, I'll make you a deal. I'll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire trip and not say one word, I won't charge you; but if you say one word it's fifty dollars." Bill and Martha agreed and up they went.

The pilot did all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word was heard. He did everything he could think of to get them to break their silence.

When they landed, the pilot turned to Bill and said, "By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn't."

Bill replied, "Well, I was gonna say something when Martha fell out, but fifty dollars is fifty dollars."


Education News

GED makes 'if' a small word again

By Livia Lynch

Special to The SUN

"If" is a very big word.

If you had a GED diploma, it could make a world of difference in your life; a promotion, a better job, more money, and a higher standard of living to name a few.

If you think getting your GED is hard, you're wrong.

If you need help, there are classes to help you prepare for the GED tests at your local adult learning center, the Archuleta County Education Center. Besides instructors that can assist you, there are even computer GED programs at the center available for your use.

"If" is a very big word.

GED is bigger.

The GED test provides adults over 16 years of age who are beyond the age of compulsory high school attendance under state law with an opportunity to earn a high school equivalency diploma. In order to pass the GED test, a student must pass a series of five tests in writing skills, social studies, science, interpreting literature and arts, and mathematics. Successfully passing these sections demonstrates that the student has acquired a level of learning that is comparable to that of high school graduates. The GED Testing Service has set a national standard for the minimum score an examinee can receive in order to pass the GED.

The Archuleta County Education Center's 2005-06 school year is under way. Kathy Calderone is the new GED coordinator and she is available each Tuesday and Wednesday 2-8 p.m. If you need GED instruction or know someone who does need assistance, please call our office for additional information and registration.

Call for additional information or stop by the Archuleta County Education Center, in downtown Pagosa Springs at Lewis and 4th streets, 264-2835.

Community Center News

Service hours changed at center

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

The center has adopted new hours of operation to better serve our community.

Starting this week the hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday; 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

We have had many requests to extend the hours and to open Saturdays, so we'll try to meet this need. Before the end of October we'll evaluate the situation and decide if there's a need to continue with these operating hours during winter months.

With the extended hours and additional day, the public will have more time to use the computers and take advantage of the availability of the gymnasium and the game room. Thanks go to Michelle Jamison, our new receptionist/administrative assistant, who is willing to work Saturdays.

Italian cooking

The Italian cooking class was a great success and lots of fun. As a result, this program will continue until Edith gets snowbound at her home in Chromo.

The group of 10 women enjoyed the cooking demonstration followed by a sit-down lunch around a big table. The chicken cutlets with oregano, basil, parsley, garlic and onion powder, grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper were delicious. I heard from the ladies that it was very easy recipe.

Along with the chicken, Edith prepared a green salad with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon dressing. Italian food without wine is a misnomer, so white wine was served. I will ask Edith next time what difference it makes if one uses plain olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil. What is extra virgin olive oil?

Today's class will be seafood - scallops and zucchini with linguini. On the side will be tomato salad with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. Yummy! Also, as requested, members of the class will participate in a hands-on part of the cooking - chopping, mixing, etc. Edith will select a more involved menu for future classes. The class is limited to 10 people and though it's full right now I encourage those interested to call 264-4152 and ask to be on the list for alternates.

Deployed to Katrina

Katrina update.

Alvin Lessel, a Pagosa Red Cross volunteer, has been deployed to help in the disaster area. Alvin is the second to be deployed from our town and the seventh from our area - Southwest Chapter. New volunteers are always welcome. Call Edie Corwin, 903-4083.

How to help

From the American Red Cross Press Room Facts At A Glance (Sept. 2).

- Due to the generosity of the American people, the American Red Cross stands ready to meet the monumental challenge of helping to rebuild lives.

- Funds received to date: The American Red Cross estimates that, as of Sept. 1, it had received $196.9 million in gifts and pledges for the hurricane relief effort.

- To donate: Call (800) HELP NOW or (800) 257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

- To volunteer: Individuals interested in volunteering for the American Red Cross should contact their local Red Cross chapter. In Pagosa, call Edie Corwin, 264-0496 or 903-4083.

- To learn more: The magnitude of this disaster is bringing together the experience, expertise and resources of many organizations and agencies to meet the unprecedented humanitarian needs of the hurricane survivors. To learn more about the coordination of efforts and additional resources, visit

Computer news

The focus of almost everyone's attention in the last two weeks has been Hurricane Katrina. Becky was in Alaska, glued to the television, watching coverage of the storm and its aftermath; and she was viewing Web sites constructed by people directly impacted by the storm and converted into ongoing reports from citizen journalists.

During the height of the storm, the details of what was happening in New Orleans were available on several personal blogs. One in particular gave accounts of the noise and loneliness, failing electric power, and the blogger's attempts to keep her Blackberry going by using a car battery to recharge it -- fascinating, but scary reading.

And after the storm Becky was surprised to see the various ways in which people used the Internet to mobilize and communicate. The Times-Picayune, the New Orleans newspaper, quickly began to publish electronic-only editions from Baton Rouge, La. Its Internet site,, is a good place to go for recovery news. The Red Cross established Internet kiosks at its evacuation centers. The Los Angeles Times reports the demand for information is overwhelming. Check out for an analysis of the help the Internet has provided in the crisis.

Becky also read that over 50 individual organizations have set up databases which list survivors, those who are missing and those who died. Of course, these lists are searchable for families and friends to reconnect.

Becky's computer classes, 10a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. for seniors and the general public, respectively, are back after her two weeks vacation. Good to have you back Becky, and thanks for all your hard work.

Upcoming events

The Hunters' Ball and Festival of Trees have been tabled for next year due to lack of time. The advisory board strongly believes we need to start at least six months ahead to have a successful fund-raising. So, both events are on our 2006 calendar and I will present the complete 2006 calendar of events at the next board meeting in October. On the positive side, we have two programs starting soon.

New programs

First: 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, hear and dance to Cajun music. It seems like more and more people are reading this column about the community center. We now have two volunteers on board with two interesting programs ready to roll.

Our first talented volunteer is John Gwin who loves to play and dance to Cajun music. John is retired and would like to give back to his community. I will have more about his personal profile next time. Here's what he shared about Cajun music.

"This past August was the 250th anniversary of the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia by the British. Many of the deportees eventually arrived in South Louisiana and became known as Cajuns, famous for their cuisine and joie de vivre (joy of life).

"Some of the Cajun music is hundreds of years old dating back to 1600s in France. Almost all Cajun music is sung in 'Cajun French' which some describe as a 'low' French. Today you can dial into Cajun French music radio stations on the Internet: KRVS-Lafayette are KBON-Eunice are two of my favorites.

"Until the late 1800s the violin was the lead instrument in Cajun music. The Germans, in the 1830s, developed accordions that had a single row of buttons with four rows of reeds, in three octaves. These types of diatonic accordions are called melodeons and are keyed like harmonicas. The melodeons began to arrive in Louisiana via German immigrants during the mid 1870s and were slow to become utilized by Acadians (Cajuns) because they were in keys in which fiddlers had difficulty returning or finding the notes. But when the C and D keyed melodeons came along and because they could be heard across the dance floor (with no electricity then, fiddlers could not always be heard across a noisy dance floor) by 1910 to 1920, a happy marriage with fiddlers occurred. After WW II, Cajuns could not obtain melodeons because all (except one) accordion factories were within the East German state behind the Communist wall.

"So Cajuns, because of a love of music and a sharp dance beat, which these melodeons can produce, began to make copies of the German models themselves. There are now scores of builders in South Louisiana who build the very best melodeons in the world.

"Because Cajun musicians have saved this type of accordion from extinction in the U.S . and have also sparked a renewed interest of an almost forgotten accordion type in Europe with Cajun Music, many people in Louisiana have named it the Cajun Accordion.

"Cajun dance steps fall into three broad groups: waltz, two-step and jitterbug. But when you go to a traditional Cajun dance hall such as LA Poussiere (The Dust) in Breaux Bridge, La., you will observe that there is actually no wrong way to dance to Cajun music. The important thing is to get on the dance floor and 'pass a good time.'

"I am interested in playing and dancing to Cajun music. If there is an accordion player out there, I need help! Lache pas la patate. 'Don't give up!'"

Call John Gwin, 731-9666. Those interested may also call the community center, 264-4152. Don't forget to mark your calendar 7-9 p.m. Sept. 28. Join us for an evening of fun and meet new friends

Our second volunteer is Bodil Holstein. Bodil would like to help start an Austrian/German Club to freshen up the group's Austrian/German language, to dance Walzer and others, and to get together once a month for social over an Austrian or German meal.

According to Bodil, she has been asked so many times about the existence of such a club. We have many clubs and residents from different ethnic backgrounds in Pagosa and none of this kind is known to me or Bodil. So mark your calendar for the organizational meeting here at the center. Those interested call 264-4152 or call Bodil at 903-8800.

Free programs

Do you have a special talent or hobby you would like to share - singing, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, foreign language conversation group, coffee mornings, sports? We're looking for volunteers interested in forming interest groups. Call me at 264-4152.


Today - Legal depositions, Kelley Law Firm and Case & Seibert Attorney at Law, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon.

Friday - Colorado Department of Education Council Meeting, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; San Juan Basin Health Contractors' class 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors walking program, 11:14-11:35 a.m.; seniors bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.

Saturday - Randall Davis art class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Stamp Camp workshop, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Aspenwood HOA meeting, 2-5 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 18 - 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. 19 - 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.

Tuesday, Sept. 20 - Watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; seniors' computer class, 10 a.m.-noon; Computer Q & A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 21 - Watercolor workshop, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesday Bridge Club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Austrian/German Club meeting, 10 a.m.-noon; employers' seminar by Colorado Workforce Center, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. adult volleyball, 6:30-9 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m. Grace EV music practice, 7-9 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 22 - Italian Cooking Class, 10 a.m.-noon; Chimney Rock potluck, 5-9 p.m.; Colorado Housing, Inc. meeting, noon-6 p.m..

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

Senior News

Day trips coming for seniors at The Den

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

Congratulations to Judy Meyer, our senior of the week. Just in case you have no idea what I'm referring to, Dawnie Silva (kitchen director) draws a number every Friday and the lucky winner eats free the following week. Be sure to join us Fridays and see if you'll be the next lucky senior of the week.


Great news! For those of you who were hemming and hawing about taking this wonderful train ride to enjoy the fall colors and didn't sign up, wellŠ

It's not too late for the trip on Sept. 22; the deadline to sign up has been extended until today. The cost is $62.10 for the train ride plus $5 for the transportation from The Den to the train station. We have a small change in our departure time: meet at The Den at 7:45 a.m. Your first stop will be the train depot in Durango where you will board their bus for a kicked-back trip up to the quaint town of Silverton. Once in Silverton you'll have time to wander and shop this little town and stop in one of the little restaurants and grab a bite to eat. Then, at 2 p.m., it's all aboard for the trip of a lifetime. Relax and enjoy the beautiful fall colors and scenery on the 3.5 hour historic train ride back to Durango. Dress warmly and bring along some extra layers of clothes. Don't delay, pick up that phone and make your reservation now at 264-2167

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's love, Will, save her. Of course, the mission isn't quite that simple. Please join us for this great comedy adventure movie and enjoy free popcorn Friday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. For those of you who really read our newsletter in detail, there is a typo - the movie is being shown on the 16th.

Computer news

This, from Becky Herman.

"The focus of almost everyone's attention in the last two weeks has been Hurricane Katrina. I was in Alaska, glued to the television watching coverage of the storm and its aftermath; and I was viewing Web sites, constructed by people directly impacted by the storm and converted into ongoing reports from citizen journalists.

"During the height of the storm, the details of what was happening in New Orleans were available on several personal blogs. One in particular gave accounts of the noise and loneliness, failing electric power, and the blogger's attempts to keep her Blackberry going by using a car battery to recharge it - fascinating, but scary reading.

"And after the storm I was surprised to see the various ways in which people used the Internet to mobilize and communicate. The Times-Picayune, the New Orleans newspaper, quickly began to publish electronic-only editions from Baton Rouge, LA. Its Internet site,, is a good place to go for recovery news. The Red Cross established Internet kiosks at its evacuation centers. The Los Angeles Times reports that the demand for information is overwhelming. Check out for an analysis of the help the Internet has provided in the crisis. I have read that over 50 individual organizations have set up databases which list survivors, those who are missing, and those who died; of course, these lists are searchable for families and friends to reconnect.

"Other links worth investigating are:

-, a very inclusive resource list for the San Francisco Bay area, has created a list of other US cities for which it distributes information. One of these is New Orleans. Temporary job and housing information, a list of missing people, as well as a Katrina discussion are all included there.

- is a blog written by Jeff Jarvis who will soon become the new media program director for the University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Jeff's thoughts are always interesting, especially when you don't agree with him.

-, where you can do some volunteer work by registering yourself as a data entry person. The site links you to information which is waiting to be entered; you do the actual data entry.

"The Internet Public Library states in its almanac section that there are 605.6 million computers connected to the Internet worldwide. We've always known that playing with computers is fun and interesting, sometimes even educational. But now Hurricane Katrina has highlighted some new and perhaps even more important uses for this technology as the "new news" source for millions and as a means for interactive personal communications in an emergency. It is this capability for two-way communication that is most exciting, since this is not possible through television and print media."

Chimney Rock tour

Chimney Rock's dramatic twin spires mark the home to the ancestral Puebloan people a thousand years ago. You can 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 of 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 2.5 hours (with the lower part of the tour being handicap accessible which last approximately one hour.) Immerse yourself in this ancient culture with a stunning backdrop as you explore the wonders of Chimney Rock.

Sky Ute Casino

OK you fun lovers, it's once again time for a fun-filled afternoon at the Sky Ute Casino. These great folks will be providing free transportation for you and some free goodies upon your arrival. Join us for lunch on the 20th then pile on for the ride to Ignacio. The bus leaves here at 1 p.m. Advance reservations are required as seating is limited.

White Cane Society

This informative group for folks with low vision will meet again here at The Den Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. For questions concerning this group, please contact Gail at the Southwest Center for Independence at 259-1672.

 AARP ElderWatch

When evaluating health-related products, be skeptical. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. According to the FTC, here are some signs of a fraudulent claim:

- Statements that suggest the product can treat or cure diseases. For example: "shrinks tumors" or "cures impotency."

- Promotions that use phrases like "scientific breakthrough," "miraculous cure," "secret ingredient" or "ancient remedy."

- Undocumented case histories or personal testimonials by consumers or doctors claiming amazing results.

- Limited availability and advance payment requirements. For example: "Hurry. This offer will not last. Send us a check now to reserve your supply."

- Promises of no-risk "money-back guarantees."

Table 9

Times change, people come and go. Our extended family has wished Bill and Glenda Clark a fond farewell. Bill and Glenda were avid members of our ornery Table 9 and participated in so many of our events, it was such a pleasure to have them here the past few years, they will certainly be missed. Rumor has it that the Dennys from Table 9 have also moved. Apparently we need a new group of ornery people for Table 9 since I found a "For Rent" sign on it Wednesday

Activities at a glance

Friday, Sept. 16 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.; free movie. Last day to sign up for Chimney Rock archeological tour.

Monday, Sept. 19 - Medicare Counseling; 11:15 gym walk; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 20 - Basic computer, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15; Canasta, 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 21 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; White Cane Society, 11 a.m.

Friday, Sept. 23 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.


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

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

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

Monday, Sept. 19 - White chili with chicken, cooked cabbage, pears and wheat bread.

Tuesday, Sept. 20 - Spaghetti with meatballs, Italian vegetables, garlic bread and plums.

Wednesday, Sept. 21 - Hungarian goulash, vegetable blend with peas, wheat bread and pineapple tidbits.


Veteran's Corner

Long-awaited health care grant received

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

We are open for business!

We have received our VA Health Care transportation assistance money and stand ready to help our Archuleta County veterans with fuel costs to Durango and Farmington, Albuquerque, Grand Junction, and overnight accommodations to Albuquerque VAMC and Grand Junction VAMC.

As many of you who follow this column know, the Pagosa Springs Veterans of Foreign Wars was successful in obtaining a $5,000 grant from the Colorado Veterans Trust Fund for 2005.

I will be administering the grant aid money from this office.

Funds received

The wheels of government move slowly sometimes, but we finally received the money and have established a special bank account for the purpose of reimbursing local veterans for fuel and accommodation expenses while traveling to their VA health care appointments.

You can use your own vehicle or the VSO grant vehicles that many of you are familiar with.

Assistance available

All I need to assist you with fuel money or overnight accommodations is that you have verifiable proof (receipt, appointment schedule etc.) that you traveled to a VAHC appointment and we will reimburse you a set amount of money, depending on the location. This is retroactive to Aug. 1 for those of you who have already had an appointment to a VAHC facility since that time. Stop by my office for reimbursement.

Of course if you are eligible for mileage reimbursement or overnight accommodations from Albuquerque or Grand Junction VAMC's from other sources you would not be eligible for our local assistance, since that would amount to double payment for the same trip.

Frequent trips

If you are making frequent repeated trips to Albuquerque we may have to limit how many times we can reimburse you for those trips, since that could affect how many other veterans we can help with this limited amount of funding.

Remember, you need proof of your VAHC appointment and a motel receipt for reimbursement. We have established a set amount of reimbursement, regardless of the actual costs or mileage for the appointment trip.

Saluting NG troops

I think everyone stood a little taller, and a little prouder last Wednesday as we saluted and cheered the National Guard activated troops as they passed through Pagosa Springs.

Many citizens and school children lined much of the length of town to wave flags and hands to the troop transport vehicle. We could see many smiling faces and hands waving back from the windows of the bus.

Law escort

Archuleta County Sheriff's Department escorted the troops from La Plata County to the Mineral County line. Mineral County personnel picked up the escort through their county. I am given to understand that Rio Grande and Alamosa Counties also participated in providing escort. Escort may have been given all the way to their destination of Colorado Springs. Pagosa Springs Police assisted with escort through the town.

Show of support

Thanks to all of you who turned out for this patriotic display to send off our local troops that will be risking their lives "in harm's way" to protect and defend our country.


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 located at 400 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite G (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

More information

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

Library spaces are not always where you need them

By Christine Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

Martha Stewart I am not, but Marian the Librarian I am.

I had bright orange-red stacks and ceiling slats in the first library I renovated. This wasn't my idea, but the architect's. While I never would have thought of using the color, I have to tell you, I grew to love the cheery glow. Since then, every library I've been in has looked pretty subdued.

My cabin is dressed in a riot of color too. The old Russian Tea Room menu, with its brilliant oriental pattern in greens and reds, is my idea of a decorating scheme.

Don't panic; the colors for your renovated library were chosen long before I had any input.

I'm willing to yield to others in matters that I do not consider significant to the function of a library. I become considerably more difficult when I see library arrangements which will impede the best use of library space for the public good or hamper future flexibility.

An article I found on the Web titled "The Seven Deadly Sins of Public Library Architecture" from a speech by Schlipf and Moorman, included among the most grievous sins, interior design errors of bad lighting, inflexibility, complex maintenance, insufficient work and storage space, bad security and signature architecture. Bad location is an exterior sin.

The public will most likely notice bad security and bad lighting.

Happily, bad security was not a factor in your old library, nor will it be in the new building or parking lot. It is crucial for both the public and employees to feel secure. I rejected a job offer from one public library, based solely on the fact that the security of the buildings was not acceptable. If I envision being frightened as I close the library at night, how can I see less fear for my staff and public users?

Hopefully the lighting in the renovation will be as good as we think it will be. If not, sins in this area can be corrected by green matter: money.

Librarians will be driven nuts by complex maintenance, and insufficient work and storage space. We will not talk about this today, except to say that this library will need outside storage space on a permanent basis. One can't expect perfection from pre-existing space limits.

Directing your thoughts toward the issue of flexibility, however, is the goal of my writing today.

The old library had to sustain the public and staff through 15 years.

I ask, how many of you didn't make alterations to your home, or even move, in that period of time? Did you have space for computers in your home 15 years ago? Do you know what changes you will need in the next 15 years?

These are the issues we face when arranging the interior of a library. Therefore, we should never commit space to an arrangement that cannot be changed. Wiring should be adequate for uses we might not envision now. We didn't have copiers, faxes, scanners or computers in past years. Who knows what the future holds?

Areas should never be designated for one use that can't be changed to meet another use. Yes, I know that the teen area was there, but maybe we need more teen area and a small conversation/coffee area. Who knows? I hold with the French who say demography is destiny.

There is no ownership of space in a public library. Spaces must be reallocated, based on changing needs of the population. There is no ownership of collection location in a public library. Collections must be moved based on use, traffic flow and growth of subject areas.

A public library must belong to the public. Its use is for library arranged, or related activities. Its collections must be cataloged and accessible to the entire public.

Donors must be honored by permanent recognition, but being the public-spirited, generous people and organizations that they are, they will recognize that the statement of recognition might need to be moved, always honoring the spirit of their generosity, but in keeping with the use needs of a changing public library.

These are things that I, Marian the Librarian, believe about interior design.


Arts Line

Two New Mexico field trips will set the autumn scene

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

Bruce Andersen will lead two PSAC-sponsored photography workshops and field trips to celebrate the splendor of autumn in the Rockies.

The first is a late afternoon and evening auto tour, 4 p.m. to dark, Sept. 24. The specific location will be selected as fall color progresses; Plumtaw Road is the intended destination. Participants will meet at the community center, regroup into carpools and caravan through the mountains around Pagosa, stopping frequently for photo ops and on-site instruction. A picnic dinner is included. The cost is $45.

Bruce will again lead the popular "Chase the Train" and Conejos River trip Sept. 29 and Oct. 1. The group will meet for the annual event in a classroom setting 7 p.m, Thursday, Sept. 29 at the Shy Rabbit Studio, 333 Bastille Drive. A slide presentation will offer tips for fall color photos, plus lighting and composition ideas for the field trip.

The group will reconvene Saturday, Oct. 1, and caravan to Chama where they'll watch and photograph engineers readying the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad for the trip over Cumbres Pass. Once the train is underway, the group will set up ahead of the train in scenic locations to photograph it as it makes its way through the fall color landscape. Once over the pass, the group will shift focus to the Conejos River valley and photograph their way to the tiny hamlet of Platoro where they'll be treated to one of the best and biggest hamburgers around. Participants should plan all day for this outing. The cost is $125 and includes a coffee break in Chama and the late lunch in Platoro.

Shutterbugs of all experience levels, and with either film or digital cameras, are encouraged to attend. The workshops are supported by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Pagosa Photo Club and Shy Rabbit Studio. A 10-percent discount is offered to Arts Council, photo club and Arts Network members. Contact Bruce at 731-4645 or to register or obtain more information. Space is limited for both outings to ensure quality instruction.

Voter's choice

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

Indian Corn VI, a transparent watercolor, is the sixth and final painting in a series. Each painting in the series represents approximately 40 to 50 hours worth of work each, and is painted in a photo-realism style.

Black has been a fine artist and graphic designer for most of her adult life, designing graphics for the gaming industry and gift/card industry. She moved to Pagosa Springs in 2003 and is pursuing a full-time career in art as well as owner of a fun gift shop and gallery here in town. As winner, Patricia receives an award of $100. Total 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 exhibit

Members of the watercolor club will be exhibiting watercolor paintings through September at the art gallery in Town Park.

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.

Annual calendar

This is the first year for an ongoing calendar produced by local artists reflecting Pagosa Country.

The 14-page full color calendar features images for the 12 months as well as a cover image. Artwork exhibited includes photography, oil, fabric art, watercolor and mixed media. The 2006 calendars are available through the Arts Council at a price of $9.95 plus tax for nonmembers and $8.95 plus tax for PSAC members. This is the first season of what will be an annual Pagosa Country Scenic calendar. Stop by and pick up yours now and don't forget they make great Christmas gifts.

Mion workshop

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

Mion's illustrative works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the NASA Fine Arts and the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's collections. Some notable clients are: The National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Magazine, Look, Life, Popular Science, Reader's Digest, Air & Space Magazine. During his career, Mion has worked with Jacques Cousteau, Gilbert Grosvenor, Carl Sagan, Wernher Von Braun, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, Robert Ballard and Michael Collins, to name a few. During the Vietnam conflict, Mr. Mion worked simultaneously for the U.S. Marine Corps and National Geographic doing combat art and story illustrations. 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 be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 4-6 at the community center. Bring your own lunch.

Cost is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for nonmembers.

Pierre wants his students to find out the joy and excitement of watercolors. He intends to give them his techniques in step-by-step fashion in order to achieve a finished painting. This class is for all ability levels and there will be one-on-one instruction. The theme is fall subjects and he will provide photos to work from. Class size is limited, so make your reservation now by calling PSAC at 264-5020. After reservations are complete, Pierre will contact each student regarding a supply list.

Slade workshop

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

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

Davis returns

Due to Randall Davis' schedule there were no drawing classes scheduled for August or September. He will resume his one-Saturday-a-month class again in October. Stay tuned for time and date.

Woodworking exhibit

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

PSAC will again sponsor an exhibit in which Pagosa's finest woodworkers can show their newest wares. The Fine Woodworking Exhibit is set Sept. 29- Oct. 31.

We are requesting applications from area woodworkers. Selection will emphasize a balance between art and craftsmanship. For more information, contact us at 264-5020, or e-mail, contact David Smith at 264-6647, or e-mail

PSAC events

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. 24 - Photo workshop with Bruce Andersen 4 p.m., community center.

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

Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 - Chase the Train photo workshop with Bruce Andersen.

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

Oct. 13-14 - Betty Slade signature card and gift workshop, 9 am- 3 p.m., community center.

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 ( We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.


Food for Thought

The sauce saves the day

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

It was a dark and stormy night.

I thought I would never write these words.

But, here they are.

It was a dark and stormy night.

My wife is making me write this sentence.


It is a dark and stormy night. In terms of weather. In terms of the soul.

We are driving from Monte Vista to Pagosa Springs. It is eight in the evening. There is a truly ferocious event taking place above and around us; wind is blowing at tropical storm speeds, the rain is falling in sheets. Lightning flashes above us every three or four seconds. It's tempest time.

Kathy mentions the cliché line because I note I have very little to go on as far as a column is concerned. The well is dry and I'm in a foul mood. I'm thinking about giving up the writing biz for a night-shift job at a convenience store.

"Start your column with 'It was a dark and stormy night,'" she says.

"Something better is sure to come along. Anything is better than that. And, don't forget, having nothing to say has never stopped you before."

Sure enough, she's right.

What comes along is one word.


It bleeps into consciousness because I think of my youngest daughter, Ivy.

I think of my youngest daughter because we have been in Monte Vista to watch her coach the C-2 high school girls' volleyball team.

Ivy is back in Siberia with a View.

The runaway bride has returned home.

She's saucy.

Six weeks ago, Ivy was in Hollywood, preparing to get married, readying for a move to Warsaw, Poland, to make movies for some British film company.

Life was looking idyllic for our precious little peanut, then Š

She cut and ran.

The runaway bride.

She decided the whole thing - the film biz, the phonies, the nonsense, marriage, moving - was not what she wanted. She was a small-town girl, a snowboard princess at heart. Despite eight years in Lala Land, she was not happy with her lot.

She cut and ran. She said goodbye to everyone and everything and came back to Siberia with a View - our little burg nestled in the armpit of the southern San Juans, the place where she was raised.

She jettisoned Ms. Hollywood, she forsook all the fab folks she knew, she abandoned the glitz and the supercharged lifestyle and she came back - unfortunately several grand late, as far as mom and dad's wedding expenses were concerned, but Š she's still saucy.

Puts me mind of my favorite foods.


I use 'em on everything.

And, since my youngest daughter loves to eat, and to cook, I have a variety of sauces to throw at her now that she is eating at home now and then, and helping in the kitchen, now and then.

Almost all the sauces I like are based on meat stocks and the extensions of stock - glace de viand, sauce espagnole, brown sauce, demiglace. Or the similar poultry-based variations on the theme.

Let's face it - you need some stocks and bases in order to do good work, saucewise. You need stocks, you need reduced stocks, you need fortified stocks.

Making meat stocks is tedious, time consuming work. You aren't going to do it more than once or twice if you're not a professional and are in your right mind. But you should do it once or twice, just to know what the real thing tastes like. After that, you will want to shell out the cash to get the stocks and variants readymade. Believe me.

Making stocks and their heftier relatives involves all sorts of moves: roasting bones, preparing aromatics, simmering, reducing, skimming, straining, blah, blah, blah. It is an art, yes, but it is a mouth-breather's art when you realize you can buy the darned stuff. Or, at least, you can buy enough of the raw materials that the final saucy product is well within reach.

There are a number of pretty darned good stocks on sale at the market: beef, vegetable (who wants this?) and chicken. Some are organic and, as with a lot of other products, it's probably a good idea to monitor the ingredients, including sodium, in commercial stocks since, for sauces anyway, you are going to be reducing them, i.e. concentrating them and all that they contain. It's kinda like taking yellow cake uranium and ending up with weapons grade material.

There are a number of more than passable concentrates for sale - the glace de viands and demiglaces etc. I intend to ask our local supermarket to stock a few of these beauties, if not on the regular shelves, at least on the special order shelf that almost no one ever sees. If the local market won't comply, I will, as I have for a few years now, make a trip to a market in Denver or Santa Fe and stock up on small containers of pre-sauce bliss.

With one of these labor-savers on hand, I decide to make a saucy treat for dinner the other night. The night after a dark and stormy night.

I've written about a burger Ivy and I concocted that involves enclosing sun-dried tomato paste and bleu cheese inside two patties of seasoned beef.

This time, I work a twist on this recipe, one that combines two sauces - one sauce inside the meat, the other outside, the two sauces calculated to merge physically and in terms of flavor and texture - to become more than the sum of their parts.

I fire up the grill to medium hot.

For three of us, I buy a pound and a half of ground beef - no hormones, no antibiotics, etc. I shape the meat into six thin, wide patties then sprinkle the sides of each with kosher salt and coarse, cracked black pepper.

I pop the cork on a fairly cheap Cotes du Rhone. It's drinkable. It's cookable. I slice up ten or so Cremini mushrooms; I finely mince some white onion, a three-inch piece of celery stalk and three cloves of garlic. When I'm done with the garlic, I use a bit of the salt as an abrasive on my cutting board, and I mush the garlic with the flat side of my knife. I finely mince some parsley.

First sauce: I saute half the minced onion and the celery in olive oil over medium heat, softening them, getting them translucent. I throw in the mushrooms, turn the heat up a teensy bit and cook until the mushrooms start to caramelize and have given up their moisture. I add some thyme and I take care not to burn the onion. I add two-thirds of the garlic, a half cup or so of beef stock, a half cup or so of the wine and a teaspoon of tomato paste. No salt, but a bit of black pepper. I jack up the heat a bit more and reduce the liquid by two thirds. At that point, I plop in a heaping teaspoon of commercial roasted veal demiglace and stir. I turn down the heat a bit and allow the mixture to wend its way to bubbly, almost syrupy goodness. Just before serving I swirl in a knob of butter.

I am no priss, so I don't strain the sauce. I like the debris.

Sauce two: I remove a fine hunk o'bleu from the fridge and break off a serious wad. I put it in a bowl and crumble it up, adding a couple tablespoons of the minced onion and the rest of the mushed garlic. I throw in some parsley.

Now, this alone would suffice inside the meat. But, no Š I want sauce, not just melted bleu cheese.

Easy trick. I add about a tablespoon of mayonnaise and a bit of coarse mustard. I whip the mess together and I have proto sauce. It's still stiff, but when it meets the heat Š

I put a stack of the cheese mix in the center of each patty and top each with another patty. I seal the edges by pinching them together then I take the burgers in my hands and shape them further, plumping them slightly, ensuring there will be no breach in the flesh when it hits the grill.

Another bit of salt and pepper on each side and on to the grill they go. I cook them about five minutes per side so they are medium when they come off the fire.

On each plate goes a mound of super-eggy, al dente potato salad, made the day before and left to temper in the ice box. Next to that, some steamed green beans, drained and finished in the pan with melted butter, black pepper and a splash of lemon juice.

Burger on plate, atop a slick of the meaty good sauce. The same sauce is then poured, liberally, over the burger so a pool forms at the meat's base.

Open the burger with a fork and a pyroclastic flow of creamy sauce is released, flowing into its rich, dark companion on the plate.

Oh mercy.

A glass, or three, of the Cotes du Rhone, a spoon to eat the sauces. A bit of crusty bread to mop the plate.

It was a dark and stormy night.

Ehhh Š who cares.


Extension Viewpoints

Friday is deadline for seed mix orders

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

The San Juan Conservation District is offering landowners the opportunity to purchase seed mixes including: native grass mixture, dry land pasture mix, and native wildflower mix for different conservation uses. Orders will be taken through Friday. Please contact 731-3615 or stop by 505A CR 600 (Piedra Road).

Master Gardener?

We are looking to hold a Master Gardner Program January - March in Pagosa Springs. We must have at least 20 confirmed participants for this program. Basic CMG training consists of 60-plus hours of classroom instruction with topics ranging from managing irrigation to landscaping with native plants.

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 per student will be either about $125 and 50 hours of community service or $400. If you are interested in attending, contact the 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 10 a.m. and includes topics such as PAP testing for Brisket Disease, Bovine Respiratory Disease and low stress cattle handling. There will be a $10 fee for Baxtrum's Chuck Wagon Lunch. This program is sponsored 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 please call (970) 385-4574.

Calling real estate pros

The Radon and the Professional program to be held Monday, Oct. 24, is designed to assist real estate professionals in handling radon issues to satisfy both buyers and sellers. Attendees will receive four hours of continuing education credits approved by the Colorado Division of Real Estate.

The program will 1:30-5:30 p.m. in the Pine Room at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Program size is limited so, to assure your spot, registration is due prior to Oct. 18. The cost for the program is $25. For additional information you may pick up a form at the Extension office or contact Wendy Rice at 247-4355.

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


Pagosa Lakes News

Important committee meetings on horizon

By Larry Lynch

PLPOA Property and Environment Manager

The Stollsteimer Creek watershed steering committee will be meeting for the second time Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse in Vista.

The committee was formed a couple of months ago as part of the Stollsteimer Creek Watershed study project sponsored by the Upper San Juan Conservation District. The committee is made up of various federal, state, and county officials, representatives from the PLPOA and PAWSD, as well as private landowners.

Primary committee responsibilities include collecting information pertaining to the watershed, prioritizing improvement projects and developing protection policies for the watershed. These could include such things as working with the town and county in the development of land use regulations designed to protect key waterways and important riparian areas. Additionally, the committee will work with contractors and developers in implementing construction "best management practices" to control construction related sediments and contaminants from entering water courses.

Creation of land use regulations that would require commercial and multifamily developments to implement drainage plans designed to treat or slow storm water discharges is an important goal of the committee. Most communities similar to ours have these regulations already in place.

Restoring degraded sections of creeks and streams in the watershed is another goal of the committee. Working with private landowners and federal and state officials in determining the condition of the waterways and securing design work and funding for these projects is something the committee will focus on over the next several years as well. Lastly, protecting lakes and reservoirs in the watershed is an important charge of the committee.

Committee meetings are open to the public and you are encouraged to attend.

One item to be addressed at the Sept. 22 meeting will be a review of a hydrologic model of the watershed. This model, which was created by a local engineering firm, is a computer model of the watershed that simulates rainfall and snowmelt events taking into account soil types, topography and impervious surfaces (buildings and parking lots). It is going to give the committee a good idea of where to focus protection efforts and where future improvements, such as detention facilities, created wetlands and stream bank stabilization, could and should be located. This model was funded in part by a watershed protection grant that was received last year from the State of Colorado in the amount of $20,000. The committee will also consider a mission statement detailing its direction and scope in the future.

If you would like more information on the steering committee or would like to become involved, call the San Juan Conservation District office at 731-3615.

Pagosa Lakes fishing

The Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee will meet next week to come up with a final recommendation on the Hatcher Lake special lake use regulations proposal. Ideas that have been considered are special slot limits and some catch-and-release regulations designed to improve the recreational fishing in the lake and protect the larger fish in the lake. The meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 5 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Administration Office in Vista. The meeting is open to all property owners, If you have any thoughts or concerns on this matter you are encouraged to attend.

We plan to stock the lakes this fall; we will stock brown trout and rainbow trout in Hatcher Lake, cutbow trout in Lake Pagosa and some rainbow trout in Lake Forest. We will stock the first or second week of October, once the lakes cool down a bit.

August was kind of a tough month on the four lakes out here in the Pagosa Lakes area; warmer than normal water temperatures led to some algae problems in all four lakes, but things are improving now and this fall should offer some great opportunities for fishing. In fact, mid to late October and early November may be the best fishing of the year.


Collin Christopher Bridges

Jack and Kendra Bridges are proud to announce the birth of their son, Collin Christopher. He was born Aug. 23 in Durango, weighing 7 pounds, 4.6 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. Collin was welcomed home by big sister Chloe Belle, grandparents Matt and Lynne Bridges and Jerry and Debi Hilsabeck; as well many loving family members. We are so blessed to have Collin as part of our family.



Rider Michael Packard

Rider Michael Packard was born 5:20 p.m. Aug. 7, 2005, weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long. Proud parents are Sydney and Brian Packard of Arlington, Va. Maternal grandparents are Carolyn Clark of Salida, Colo., and Jerry and Kathy Jackson of Pagosa Springs. Paternal grandparents are Olivia and Walter Carr of York, Pa., and Pat and Donald Packard of Winchester, Va.


 Business News

Chamber News

Celebrating Colorfest and 20 Years of Hot Air

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

The temperature is dropping and the evenings and mornings are filled with the cool crisp air of the fall season. The colors of the leaves are changing in the higher elevations and hunting season is upon us.

All these indications ring in Colorfest.

This year Pagosa Springs congratulates Reach for the Peaks as they celebrate their 20th anniversary of bringing ballooning to our area with this year's balloon rally theme set as "20 Years of Hot Air!" Although you won't be able to sail the skies like they did in "Around the World in 80 Days," you will be able to obtain a "passport" and attend this year's wine festival celebration, Passport to Wine. The weekend of Sept. 16-18 will be filled with activities and fun. Here is how the schedule pans out.

Friday, Sept. 16

Weekend festivities kick off with a community picnic held in Town Park under the protection of a large tent should the weather choose not to cooperate with our plans for an outdoor event.

Starting at 5 p.m., food and music will abound in the park. Christine's Cuisine will satisfy everyone's tummy with delicious barbecue brisket, savory potato salad, desserts and lots of other items to enjoy. While you are eating, you will be entertained by the lovely and talented Laverty sisters, Wildflower, and the handsome, lively and talented guys of Bluegrass Cadillac. Food will be served until 8 p.m. and the music will last until 9. Non-alcoholic beverages are included in your ticket price and beer and wine will be available for purchase throughout the night. The beer will be provided by Ska Brewery in Durango and we thank them for their participation in our Colorfest activities. Tickets for the picnic can be purchased in advance at the Chamber at $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and younger. Even if you might be attending the Pirates' high school football game, come by early, eat, then mosey on over to the game.

Saturday, Sept. 17

The day starts off in town with the hot air balloon mass ascension taking place near the community center. Over 60 balloons will fill the downtown sky with color. Come out and support the organizations and balloonists that have given us high-flying enjoyment for the past 20 years. Mass ascension starts about 8 a.m.

At noon, two different events will kick off. In Town Park, the Ladies in Wading will host fly fishing casting contests for girls 13 and older. The casting contests will be for the longest cast and the most accurate cast. Admission to the contest is free and there will be lots of prizes for the winners. The contest lasts until 2 p.m. Just a few blocks away, at the Bell Tower Park at San Juan and Lewis streets, the Corvette Club of Colorado Springs will once again have its car show with automobiles old and new, and viewers will be able to vote for their favorite vehicle until 3 p.m. Winners will be announced at 4 p.m. Buy tickets for some great prizes. We thank the Corvette Club of Colorado Springs for joining us again this year; the show is such a nice addition to our weekend Colorfest festivities.

Then, put on your favorite pair of walking shorts, gauchos, beret or safari hat and come back down to Town Park where you will be issued your passport for admission to this year's wine festival: Passport to Wine. Participants will be treated to wines from seven countries: Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Argentina, Chile, and western United States. Wines are provided by Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado, one of the largest "adult beverage" distributors in the state. We are also pleased to have the following sponsors helping us out with this year's festival: Bank of Colorado will sponsor Australia/New Zealand; Rio Grande Savings and Loan will sponsor Argentina, Jody Cromwell and Sharon Crump of Clarion Mortgage Capital will sponsor Italy; and K.K. Paddywhacks will sponsor some of the fun passport items you will need for your travels throughout the tent area. If wine is not to your taste, Citizens Bank will sponsor the beer stop and Ska Brewery will provide a tasty pinstripe red ale.

Another important feature of this year's Passport to Wine festival is that not only will you be tasting a few delicious cheeses, but there will be scrumptious hors d'oeuvres served as well. Isabel's Restaurant will delight us with tasty treats paired with the wines of Argentina/Chile; Farrago Market Café will provide tasty morsels to complement the wines of Australia/New Zealand; Amy Dunmyer and her new catering business, Wildflower, will host the foods to go with the wines of the western United States; Jody Cromwell and Sharon Crump will tickle your taste buds with bruchettas to go with the Italian wines; and Pagosa Baking will tempt us with cheeses and sweets to go with the wines from France.

While you will not be able (nor will you want) to taste all of the wines that will be at the festival, you should get a good sampling of the numerous vintages available. There will be chardonnays, chianti, pinot grigios, pinot noirs, shiraz, sauvignon blancs, blends, dessert wines and more. Since there are so many wines, come to the event and actually "taste" some varied wines and perhaps broaden your wine scope or find a new favorite. Many of the wines will be available at our local Chamber member liquor stores.

To obtain a passport, stop by the Chamber and purchase an advance ticket for $30. If you wait until the last minute and need to have your passport expedited upon admission to the wine tasting, the ticket price will be $35. The wine tasting begins at 6 p.m. and will be under the protection of the big tent that was used for the community picnic the night before. While at the wine tasting, you'll be able to listen to the great musical sounds of our own wonderful John Graves. He knows the countries that the wines represent, so he's prepared to play music from all these areas; he's still a little stumped about New Zealand though! Due to continued community support, we have outgrown the parking lot at the Chamber and the wine tasting will be roomier, yet still under the protection of a tent now in Town Park.

The wine tasting will last until 8:30 when, at dark, right across the street from Town Park in the soccer field, many balloonists will set their balloons up and glow. If you have not seen this magical event, come downtown and feel the excitement as the balloonists light up the area and show us silhouettes of their balloons. Hermosa Street around the park from Hot Springs Boulevard to the end of Town Park will be closed off to allow access for the balloon pilots; however, there will be lots of surrounding parking space from the American Legion parking lot to Main Street to the public lots off Hot Springs Boulevard. Please respect the parking for the guests at The Springs Resort and the Spa Motel.

Sunday, Sept. 18

Ballooning continues Sunday morning near the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. Starting at approximately 8 a.m., the skies will fill with color as locals and visitors enjoy the sight of the hot air balloons. Once again, we wish Reach for the Peaks a happy 20th anniversary as they have worked hard to bring our community 20 years of ballooning enjoyment. We also thank all the sponsors and lodging facilities for helping to make this event happen. Without the community support, we would not be able to continue to grow this annual event.

After the mass ascension, test your palate one more time at the champagne tasting brunch at JJ's Upstream Restaurant at 11 a.m. Enjoy a leisurely and delectable three-course brunch while overlooking the river while brunch items and dessert are paired with three sparkling wines. The cost is $30 and tickets for this event may be purchased at the Chamber. Although the sparkling wines will not be listed in your wine passport Saturday night, you will receive a wine list and brunch menu Sunday in case you would like to duplicate the efforts at a party in your own home.

Don't miss this ritual passage into fall. Think good weather thoughts and come down to the Chamber where we have all your tickets for the weekend's activities.

Don't forget

The Colorado Native Plant Society has its annual meeting the weekend of Sept. 16-18. This year's meeting will be hosted by the Southwest Chapter and it will be held at The Pagosa Lodge. There will be feature presentations by Ken Heil and Arnold Clifford, among others. Field trips will be offered Friday and Sunday and lectures, presentations and society business sessions will take place Saturday. For answers to questions, call Dick Moseley or Charlie King at 731-4794.

Chamber members

Our first new member this week is independent Mary Kay consultant Lisl Keuning. Lisl offers free facials and makeup and skin care classes. If you are already a Mary Kay cosmetic fan, remember that Lisl can order the products for you and show you all the new items that come out in the Mary Kay line. For a consultation, or to order products, give Lisl a call at 731-5402.

We have a "two-fer" new member this week: CM Equipment Rental and Contract Management Design & Build. CM Equipment Rental lets you do the job easier and right with equipment for sale or rent from the names you know and trust: Bobcat, Hilti, Hitachi and Ingersoll Rand. Winter or summer, they have the equipment for your project. Contract Management Design & Build constructs the building that suits your land and your needs. Giving the customer the best possible building is what gives Contract Management D&B pride in their workmanship. So, whether looking for a builder or looking for equipment to help you with your own building or repairs, call 264-rent (7368) or stop by their location just across from the county fairgrounds at 297 U.S. 84.

Speaking of "two-fers" we now roll into our many renewals this week with another: Jack and Patti Renner with The Office Lounge and Renner's Mini Storage are first on our renewal list. Just as a side note, Patti is also one of your directors on the Chamber board. With all that she manages, Patti always finds time to work for your community by volunteering her time at all the Chamber events we host.

I'm proud to welcome back the group that will be entertaining us at the Chamber annual dinner Jan. 21: Durango's Bar-D Wranglers and their chuckwagon suppers.

Other renewals include The Tile Store, now The Tile and Carpet Store; Pagosa Nursery Company; Pagosa Peak Financial Group; the Made in Colorado Shoppe; Greg Schick and Sunset Ranch Cabins; Navajo State Park; Southwest Custom Builders; Landstar/Wolf Creek Logistics; The Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors; United Country - Northern New Mexico Real Estate; Ole Miner's Steakhouse; Abracadabra; and the Riverbend Resort in South Fork.

We hope to see many people out and about this weekend at all the Colorfest activities. Show off your fly-fishing skills, admire some cars, ogle the balloons, enjoy your friends and catch up with some people you may not have seen for a while at the community picnic or the Passport to Wine festival. We are pleased with the enhancements, the increased space for the wine tasting and the participation of the community. Come on out and celebrate 20 Years of Hot Air!


Biz Beat

Puttin' on the Rydz

Wendy Wallace, left, Pat Rydz and Cj Herrington welcome customers to Puttin' on the Rydz. Wallace and Rydz are managers of the store, Herrington a member of the store staff. Puttin' on the Rydz specializes in high-quality, custom-designed, one-of-a-kind jewelry, with emphasis on necklace and bracelet sets.

"Puttin' on the Ritz" is a popular song written in 1929 by Irving Berlin. The title derives from the American slang expression meaning to dress fashionably, elegantly and classically. The expression, at that time, was inspired by the swanky Ritz Hotel.

The business took its name to recall that time for clients of Puttin' on the Rydz, which also happens to be a play on words on the name of jewelry designer Pat Rydz, of Designs by Rydz, whose creations are featured in the store.

The creations, the design of the shop, wall murals of the New York City skyline at sunset and the staff who work in the store combine to bring back that point in time. The store's 1930s street lamps help transport customers to a time gone by, and provide a sense of a great era and its great music.

Everyone is invited to come to Puttin' on the Rydz and enjoy a journey to another existence, with fine quality merchandise to match.

Work is continuing to complete the interior design of the store and, when it is finished, everyone will be invited to a public open house. Watch for ads in The SUN for date and time.

Puttin' on the Rydz is at 420 Pagosa St. Business hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 264-4001.



Cards of Thanks


Rainy rescue

Last Thursday night it was late and raining, and we were rescued about 20 miles from Pagosa by Randy Talbot of Colorado State Patrol. We had a flat tire.

Our hat's off to Randy. We are thankful for him and appreciate what he did for us.

Bill and Anna Coleman


Show of support

I would like to thank everyone for their participation in the American Flag Wave and Show of Support for the Durango National Guard Unit being deployed to Iraq on September 75.

Even with the change in time, I was very pleased with the number of people who showed up for this event. I would like to thank in particular the following people and or groups that helped spread the word about this event: Cindy and Ron Gustafson, Rotary Club, American Legion, Andy Fautheree, Pagosa Springs fire, police and sheriff's departments for their escort through town, Jim Dorian for his playing of the bagpipes, Prayers and Squares Quilting Group and all my friends who are helping to support and comfort me while my son is in Iraq.

I hope to have an active Blue Star Mom's organization up and going in Pagosa within the next couple of months. Thanks again and let's never forget to support the troops and the families they leave behind, no matter what we think about this war.

Belinda LaPierre


Sports Page

Pirate golfers snare first win of the year, set playoff lineup

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Where, you might logically wonder, have they been?

We know there is a Pagosa Springs High School golf team and that it has been playing since mid-August.

But because of their almost daily schedule, we have been unable to follow their efforts.

With the team in its final match of the regular season Tuesday, playing the Holly Dot course in Colorado City where state regionals will be played in two weeks, the squad was also celebrating its first win of the year.

The Pirates captured the Monte Vista Invitational Sept. 7 in a field of 12 teams with a 244, their best team score of the season.

Sophomore Joey Bergman, one of the more consistent Pirates all season, paced the squad with a 78 as the tournament's second-place medalist. Freshman Clark Reidberger fired a 79 and was third-place medalist.

Damian Rome checked in with an 87 and Cody Bahn an 89 to round out the scoring.

These four have been chosen to represent Pagosa at the regional tournament next week.

The earlier Pirate season wasn't nearly as promising. They opened at Alamosa Aug. 19 with Bergman shooting 82, Riedberger 84, Bahn 96 and Clayton King 103.

Tom Riedberger, who is assistant and junior varsity coach, did not have team finishes for most tournaments.

The Pirates did finish fourth in their own invitational Aug. 23, fielding three teams.

Top scorers for the tournament were Bergman with an 82; Ben DeVoti at 96; Bahn at 91 and Caleb Burggraaf with 97; Saber Hutcherson shot a 98 and Riedberger a 99.

On Aug. 24, the Pirates went to the Cortez tournament and entered two totally different teams in an effort to get experience for youngsters.

Top-five scorers for Pagosa were Michael Spitler with 95, Josh Mundy with 96, Clayton King at 101, and Damian Rose and Josh Pringle both at 102.

At Durango Hillcrest the following day, Bergman and Reidberger both fired 89s; Bahn and DeVoti each had 93 and Burggraaf came in at 98.

Next came a two-day tournament in Montrose with play Aug. 29 on the Cobble Creek course and Aug. 30 at Black Canyon.

Bergman paced the Pagosans both days with 78 and 93; Riedberger followed with 91 and 93; DeVoti with 98 and 94; Mundy with 92 and 98; and Pringle at 105 and 101.

Then it was another two-day affair based in Delta. The Pirates played Devil's Thumb in Delta the first day and Deer Creek in Cedaredge the next.

Rome fired 94 and 100 on the two courses; Burggraaf 98 on each layout; Spitler 103 and 90; Hutcherson 106 and 102; and Clayton King 117 and 110.

The Pirates went to Canon City Monday, finishing ninth of 19 in the field with Damian Rome the low scorer with an 81. Riedberger came in with an 84, Bahn an 84 and Riedberger finished with a 95.

Coach Mark Faber said it was a course none of them had ever seen before - very fuzzy and windy.

The future is now for this team. Regionals are Sept. 22 at the course they played Wednesday; and state finals for their class will be Oct. 1-2 at the Welshire Country Club at Colorado and Hampden boulevards in Denver.

Pagosa Pirates blank Cortez Panthers 21-0

By Randy Johnson

Special to The SUN

A huge thunderstorm raced through Cortez Friday evening (the same one that dumped on Pagosa) threatening the game and field conditions.

By game time, the weather was calm and it turned out to be a great night for football.

The 3A Panthers (0-2) wish the game had been called as the Pirates (2-0) recorded a second shutout in as many weeks on their way to a convincing 21-0 win.

Coach Sean O'Donnell's rushing defense held the Panthers to 89 yards on 25 carries and sacked Panther quarterback Darren Wayman eight times for minus 48 yards. Most of the plus yardage for Cortez came in the first quarter on Wayman carries of 16 and 29 yards as it appeared the Panthers could move the ball.

Pirate defensive coordinator Shawn Tucker, along with line coach Mike Kraetsch, made adjustments that allowed minus net yardage in the final three quarters. The Pirate passing defense held Wayman to five completions on 14 attempts, for 43 yards.

The Pirate offense started slow but gained momentum in the second quarter when O'Donnell used key plays to isolate H-back Daniel Aupperle and utilize his speed. Aupperle caught two balls for 77 yards including one for a 60-yard touchdown. He also had one carry for a 75-yard touchdown on a pitch from quarterback Adam Trujillo. Trujillo was seven of 14 passing for 122 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The Panther defense held Pirate rushers to 147 yards on 13 carries. This was a fair showing as 74 of those yards came on Aupperle's run. Running back Josh Hoffman had five carries for 26 yards and one touchdown plus one reception for 20 yards.

First quarter

The Panthers won the coin toss and elected to receive. Their first drive started on their own 35 yard line and they quickly picked up two first downs, one on a 16 yard run by Wayman. A sack by Pirate linebacker Bubba Martinez thwarted the drive and forced the Panthers to punt.

The Panthers' second possession started on the Pirate 43 yard line. Another run by Wayman put the ball inside the red zone on the Pirate 13. Again the Pirate defense stepped up and forced the Panthers to turn the ball over on downs.

The Panthers' next possession was a three and out as the Pirate defense took control.

There were two Pirate possessions in the quarter that quickly went three and out. On a third, Trujillo hit Jordan Shaffer for an 11 yard gain and a first down on the 35 yard line to end the quarter.

Second quarter

The first possessions for both teams ended in punts.

A key play came when Pirate defensive lineman David Dunmyre sacked Wayman for a 15 yard loss. The loss, combined with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty against the home team, gave the Pirates the football on their own 38 yard line.

Trujillo dropped the first snap but was able to recover and gain two yards to the 40 yard line. Then, at the 6:45 mark, Trujillo found Aupperle in the right flat and Aupperle raced 60 yards for the touchdown. Aupperle's kick made the score 7-0 for the Pirates at intermission.

Third quarter

The third quarter was a defensive battle for both teams. Cortez had two decent drives but both were stopped by good defensive play as Wayman kept getting sacked by Pirate defenders Casey Hart, Jake Cammack, Dunmyre, Aupperle, Zane Kraetsch and Shaffer.

A five play drive by the Pirates ended in a fumble recovery for the Panthers. On the drive Trujillo hit Schaffer on a big 20-plus yard gain but it was called back on a penalty.

Then, with 20 seconds left in the period, the Pirates hit paydirt again. Trujillo pitched left to an in-motion Aupperle who scampered 75 yards for the score. Aupperle's kick put the visitors up 14-0 at the end of the period.

Fourth quarter

The Pirates finally put together an offensive drive with 6:40 remaining in the final period. The drive started on the Panther 46 yard line after a poor punt. A Trujillo pass to Paul Przybylski was called back on a holding penalty. Trujillo then hit Hoffman for a 20 yard gain. A Trujillo run and a completion to Kerry Joe Kilsabeck for seven yards gave the Pirates a first and goal at the 7 yard line. Hoffman got the call and dragged Panther defenders into the endzone for the touch. Aupperle's kick made it 21-0 to end the scoring.

O'Donnell pointed out the need for work on offense.

"This was a good win'," he said, "but you would like to see more sustained drives that spread balls around and use more game clock. The two big scores by Daniel were great but I would like to see more consistency, and we will work on that this week in practice."

The Pirates also need work on the center/quarterback exchange and penalties. Both hurt momentum on several drives.

The Pirates open a two game home stand tomorrow beginning with the 4A Montrose Indians. The Indians (2-0) are coming off a 27-12 win over a tough 3A Florence team. Last year the Pirates defeated the Indians 20-10 in Montrose but O'Donnell said they are a much better team this year, as indicated by two big opening wins. Kickoff, in Golden Peaks Stadium, is set for 7 p.m. This should be a great game to watch and a big test for the undefeated Pirates.

In other IML action last week:

- Roaring Fork (2-0) def. Bayfield (0-2) 39-12.

- Centauri (2-0) def. Gunnison (1-2) 13-6.

- Class A Dolores (2-0) def. Ignacio (1-1) 12-8 and

- 3A Alamosa (2-0) def. Monte Vista (1-1) 21-7.


Second quarter: 6:45, PS - Aupperle 60 yard pass from Trujillo (Aupperle kick).

Third quarter: :20, PS - Aupperle 75 yard run (Aupperle kick).

Fourth quarter: 4:49, PS - Hoffman 7 yard run (Aupperle kick)


Pirates take Monte 3-0 for first IML win

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

When all is said and done, the only win-loss record worthy of note in a Pirate volleyball season is the record in the Intermountain League.

A gaudy season record is fine, but it is key to finish first in the regular season IML standings and secure the pass-through to regionals that comes with the title.

The Pirates got a good start in the race Friday, with a 3-0 win (25-17, 25-16 and 25-19) in Monte Vista, in the first IML match of the year.

Monte Vista coach Michelle Schaefer has fashioned a scrappy team this season, but Monte's lack of height and experience (only three seniors) puts the squad at a disadvantage against a more seasoned and taller team like Pagosa. Monte put up a fight in the home gym and, at times, with way too many errors, the Pirates had to scramble to secure the victories.

Ace serves by Liza Kelley led the way in the early going in game one. Middle hitter Danielle Spencer nailed a kill and Pagosa's other middle, Caitlin Forrest, crushed a short set and the Pirates had a comfortable 7-3 lead.

Junior Iris Frye went to the serve line and stayed there, with two aces, for eight consecutive Pagosa points. Both teams traded points with mistakes, Spencer hit the 1 from the middle, Monte hit the ball out and committed a serve error and Pagosa led 20-9.

That should have been it, but the Pirates had four consecutive errors to allow Monte to close the gap to 20-14.

The momentum turned when Frye stuffed a Monte hitter for a score. Forrest nailed two kills and a Monte setting error gave the Pirates a 23-14 lead. Monte got three other points courtesy Pirate errors. Monte hit the serve out, then hit an attempted kill out and the first match was over.

The teams tied at 3-3 in the second match before Kari Beth Faber, in action with an injured right hand, got the first of what would be five kills in the match, hitting the ball off the block. Faber duplicated the feat, Kelley killed for a point with her left hand, Monte made three hitting errors and the Pirates had a 9-6 lead.

The home team kept pace, however, as the Pirates surrendered charity points with errors. Forrest hit the 1 for a score then aced a serve, but Pagosa gave away points with a net violation and a passing error. Kelley killed inside the block, but a Monte tip fell to an empty spot on the floor. Pagosa was in front 12-10. Monte tied the score as, first, a Pagosa hit went out and a Pirate was then called for a lift.

The circus of errors continued as Monte gave up three straight points on hitting miscues. Pagosa followed suit with two. A Monte serve went out and a Monte hit was touched as it went out of bounds.

The game was tight, with the Pirates in front 16-15 but Emily Buikema started an eight point run with a tip. Again Frye went to the serve and this time stayed there for seven points. Forrest put an errant Monte pass to the floor, a Monte hit went out. Faber killed from outside and Monte committed three hitting errors. Frye ended the run with an ace and the Pirates were on the brink of the win, 24-15. Monte was given a point when a serve went out, but Faber closed the door with a cross-court kill.

Pagosa took a 10-4 lead in the third game getting earned points on a kill from Buikema, a kill off the short set by Forrest, a kill of a Monte overpass by Faber, a stuff by Forrest and Kim Canty, and an ace by Faber.

Then, the same story: Monte Vista scoring points - most due to Pagosa errors - to stay in contention.

A serve error and a passing error gave the home team points; Kelley killed for a score.

A Monte hit went unblocked and the home team got another point on a receive error. Spencer hit the 1.

One Monte attack was clean and resulted in a point, and the team then got two points on Pirate passing errors. Pagosa was up 14-11.

With a 15-13 lead, Buikema came up strong on the right side with a kill and Monte was called for a double hit.

A Monte kill went down but the next hit went out. Canty crushed a Monte overpass and the Pirates led 19-14.

With her team ahead 20-16, Spencer nailed the 1 again. Kelley killed from the left side and, following a charity point given up by the Pirates on a net violation, Kelley killed again to give Pagosa the 23-17 advantage.

A Pagosa serve went awry and a Monte serve was mishandled. Buikema stopped the bleeding with a kill from the right side, a Monte hit went out and the game and match were over.

Pagosa had a 1-0 IML record.

"It was exciting being in a hostile environment, playing a traditional rival with a new coach," said Pirate Coach Andy Rice of his first IML contest. "There were a lot of unknowns.

"We may not have played our best," he said "but we knew how important it was to get the win on the road, and we got the job done.

"Liza (played well) and she is the glue on this team at this point. And Faber played well in the match, considering the injury to her hand."

The Pirates play the second IML match of the season tonight, in the PSHS gym, against Ignacio. The match against the Bobcats is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, IML rival Centauri comes to town for a 7 p.m. contest.


Kills: Forrest and Kelley 6 each, Faber 5.

Ace serves: Kelley 4, Frye 2.

Assists: Canty 20.

Digs: Canty and Kelley 5 each.

Solo blocks: Forrest and Spencer 2 each.


Pirates drop close match to 5A Palmer

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Palmer Terrors were just scary enough to manage a 3-0 win Saturday over the Pirate volleyball team in a match played in the Mamie Lynch Gymnasium.

Palmer, a 5A team from Colorado Springs, made its annual road trip to the southwest corner of the state to play the area's three premiere programs - Durango, Cortez and Pagosa Springs.

Saturday, each of the three games in Pagosa were close and each basically decided by two things - the fact the Pirates could not stop Terror outside hitter Ariane Brown, and too many critical mistakes on Pagosa's side of the net.

Each game was anyone's to win as the final points were decided and, in each case, Pirate errors handed the victory to the opponents.

In game 1, the Pirates had scrambled back to take a 26-25 advantage and needed only one point to win. A missed block, a net violation and a ball hit out gave the 28-26 victory to Palmer.

Game 2 saw the teams knotted throughout the contest, with the Pirates managing a 23-22 lead only to see the game end as the Terrors scored four points to Pagosa's one - three of the four points handed over on errors.

With a 22-21 advantage in the final game, the Pirates were unable to push through for the win. Palmer, instead, scored four consecutive points to secure the victory - three of the points coming on Pirate miscues.

All three games of the match kept spectators on the edges of their seats, with the teams evenly matched and producing some impressive offense.

The Pirates and Terrors tied 10 times in the first game of the match, trading the advantage through the midpoint of the action. Palmer went out front 20-14, however, when Brown hit several times off and over the Pirate block.

Then it was Liza Kelley's turn. The Pirate senior outside had her best match of the year and in the first game served for three points to close the gap to 20-17. Emily Buikema contributed points by killing off the pass and nailing a score from the right side. Kari Beth Faber killed from outside and Caitlin Forrest crushed a 1 in the middle. The Pirates trailed 23-22.

Palmer went ahead 24-22 and was poised for the victory but a lift surrendered a point. Kelley put an off-speed shot to the floor and Danielle Spencer stuffed a Terror hitter for a point. Pagosa had the 25-24 lead and one point would do the trick. Instead, a Pirate passing error put the ball just above the tape and a Terror scored inside the 10-foot line.

Kelley put a huge kill down the line to tie the score at 16, but Brown hit inside the block and the two Pirate mistakes ended the game.

In the second game, the teams tied 18 times. The lead went back and forth, each side managing kills, Pagosa getting scores from Kelley Kim Canty, Buikema (twice) and Forrest. With the score at 10-10, Spencer blocked a tip for a point, but a Pirate hitting error gave Palmer another tie. And so it went, until Palmer got some breathing room, using a Pirate serve error, a serve-receive error and a hitting error to lead, temporarily, 21-18.

Palmer was not without its problems. The Terrors botched a pass and committed several hitting errors.

Kelley scored to give the Pirates the lead, 23-22.

It would not last. Brown scored and a Pirate hit went out. Kelley stepped up again and tied the score 24-24. Then ... Pagosa called for four hits, a Pagosa hitting error. Game over.

The Pirates came out for the third game with some fire and went out to a 6-3 lead. On the way, Forrest scored with a kill, hit a 1, killed off a short set to the right side. Forrest hit an ace and Buikema killed from the right side.

Palmer scored on two kills and Spencer replied with a 1. Palmer continued to creep closer, but Faber put an off-speed shot cross-court.

Palmer came back to tie at 8-8; Pagosa used a kill by Kelley, a tip by Kelley and a soft 1 from Forrest to go in front 11-8. Palmer tied at 11. Kelley killed, Buikema had a great up, leading to a point by Forrest. Faber scored from outside, but the teams stayed neck and neck. Forrest stuffed a Terror hitter to give the Pirates a 20-17 advantage but Brown hit through the Pirate block and Pagosa gave up the 20-20 tie with setting and hitting errors.

Palmer returned the favor with a hitting error and Faber killed off the block. Pagosa 22, Palmer 21.

Then ...

A Pirate serve went out. Palmer got a point from Brown. A Pirate pass took the setter to the 10-foot line and the set went up, then came down to the floor untouched. A Pirate hit went out of bounds and game and match were over.

Coach Andy Rice realizes his players are still in the adjustment mode as the season begins and saw some positive things in the Palmer match.

"We had good energy," he said. "This was a big match and there's a little something extra you need to win close games in this kind of situation - a killer instinct. We don't have it yet, but I believe it's a skill you can learn. And we will learn it."

Tonight, the Pirates return to Intermountain League action in the home gym as Ignacio comes to town for the first of two regular season matches against Pagosa. The varsity match is set for 7 p.m.

Saturday, Pagosa and Centauri play the first of two Intermountain League matches, this one in the PSHS gym, at 7 p.m.


Kills: Forrest 10, Kelley 9, Buikema 7.


Assists: Canty 36.

Solo blocks: Kelley 3, Spencer 2.

Digs: Kelley, Canty 7 each.


Pirates skin Bobcats in Bloomfield

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirate volleyball team evened the season record at 2-2 Monday with a 3-0 win over Bloomfield N.M., in Bloomfield.

The Pirates beat the Bobcats 25-20, 25-20, 25-19. The Pirates dominated play in the contest, throwing some new wrinkles into their game in the process.

"We swept them," said Coach Andy Rice, "and I changed the lineup in every game. We're still searching."

Part of that search involved trying middle hitter Caitlin Forrest on the right side. Another part of the experiment involved use of the libero in the first game and a traditional lineup in the second.

One aspect of the game that needed no tweaking was the play of outside hitter Liza Kelley. The senior had 16 kills in what was a short match.

Another factor that showed improvement without adjustment of players was the hitting percentage of the Pirate middles - Forrest and Danielle Spencer. "Their percentage is going up," said Rice. "They're both hitting near three-hundred (.300). Iris Frye, (defensive specialist and outside hitter), also played very well for us against Bloomfield."

Bloomfield mounted only one serious threat in the match, going ahead 17-15 in the third game, with Forrest working the right side instead of the middle. The threat was short-lived as the Pirates scored the preponderance of points to take the 25-19 victory.

"We're still working to find the right combinations and rhythm," said the coach, "and we're getting better. I love going into enemy territory. They had the music cranked up and everyone was excited, and we beat them.

"We still need to learn that, if you let teams hang around, bad things will happen. We need to work on finishing teams off. On the plus side, we're starting to see where basic offenses are coming from. If we can get our hands over the net a little more, our blocking will continue to improve."

The team returns to the home gym tonight to play Ignacio in the second Intermountain League match of the season. Ignacio coach Melanie Taylor invariably brings a scrappy team to the court and the Pirates would like nothing better than to boost their IML record to 2-0. An entertaining battle is guaranteed. The varsity match is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Another IML match, this one against Centauri - which seems at this early juncture to be a main contender for the league title - is set for Saturday in the PSHS gym. That match, too, is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start. "Centauri is shaping up as an important match," said the coach.


Kills: Kelley 16, Forrest 7, Spencer 6.

Aces: Forrest and Kelley 2 each.

Assists: Canty 39.

Solo blocks: Forrest 4, Buikema 3.

Digs: Kelley 7, Canty, Forrest and Howell 4 each.


Pirates show some magic light, stop soccer skid 3-2 at Ridgway

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"Did you see that?" asked Lindsey Kurt-Mason.

The question came with a little over 10 minutes left in his Pagosa varsity soccer contest Saturday in Ridgway.

"I saw a collective light go on," he said. "Sort of like all the players got the same message at the same time - saying to themselves, 'Oh, that's how it's done.'"

It came as the 0-4 Pirates were fighting to stay alive in the Southwest Mountain League, a feat accomplished in overtime.

There was no specific incident to define Kurt-Mason's light other than a suddenly activated team which, for the first time this year, seemed to know not only what to do, but how to do it.

It was a consistent pressure game from the outset, with Pagosa's Mike Schmidt getting his first start in goal and being called on for a save in the first 40 seconds.

Then, for 10 minutes, it was back and forth midfield, old time head-to-head knock 'em down soccer, neither side giving an inch - or even a shot attempt.

Pagosa's Max Smith stopped that string with a breakaway sidekick that went wide left. Then it was Schmidt making his second stop.

Pagosa had a glorious scoring opportunity on a three-man break with Kevin Blue intercepting, leading to Caleb Ormonde and his lead on target to Thomas Martinez who just overshot the ball trying to draw it back to the right. Moments later he was wide left with a shot of a steal at the top of the box.

And then Pagosa looked up too late just once and Ridgway sophomore Danny Meza had picked off a lazy wing pass and was crashing in on Schmidt. Schmidt overcommitted, coming too far out of box, and the ball bounced into a wide-open net for a 1-0 Ridgway lead at 23:36.

Then it was back to the cut-and-grind game, neither team able to create a break.

Until, that is, 37:25 when Max Smith took care of that detail and tied the score at 1-1 off a cross up the middle from Paul Muirhead.

Ormonde, the leading scorer on the season, being hounded from all sides with a swarming Demon defense, cut that opposition down (or up,) to size with just 12 seconds left in the half.

It was, later, seen as a key to better things to come.

The Pagosa Kevins - Muirhead and Blue - each had a hand (or foot) in the play, Blue digging for a loose ball, crossing to Muirhead in the middle, and he finding Ormonde all alone in the left front box for the score.

For the second half, regular starting keeper Felix Gutierrez was back in nets and 40 seconds later made a tricky stop on a bouncer that had eluded both offensive and defensive players in front of the net.

Ormonde took a long lead from Javier Hurriaga on ensuing possession and was wide open from 20 yards right as his shot sailed over net.

Hurriaga was wide left and Pagosa made another mistake.

Too many men were inside the attack zone, leaving only one defender and Gutierrez back. Ridgway senior Dylan Lacy made short order of the ready-made shot and the game again was tied, at 2.

Perhaps the key to the Pagosa awakening came on a non-scoring play. Muirhead and Ormonde had worked a give-and-go out of the middle slot. Muirhead's cross-lane lead gave Ormonde a shot blocked. But freshman Zel Johnson, making his varsity debut, kept the ball in attack mode before Ormonde's shot was up and over the bar.

It was consistent teamwork that showed what can be accomplished when a player is in the right place.

As time frittered away, Ormonde was stopped three more times, and Keith Pitcher once, as Pagosa pressured the defense. As the clock ran down, Hurriaga was stopped on a quick popper off the right corner of the box; Muirhead was wide right and over the top twice.

Then the whistle blew and the scene was set for heroics.

Keep in mind here those involved at the end of the first half - Hurriaga and Ormonde.

It took that pair just 10 seconds to work magic not seen before this season. Hurriaga took the center start away from a Ridgway attacker and he and Ormonde were into the Demon zone.

This time there was some new magic. Hurriaga, trailing his big teammate, sent a skimmer right past Ormonde, a consistent right-foot shooter. One stride later, Ormonde broke to the middle with the ball, faked right as if to the right-foot kick, then dribbled it to his left foot and put a slow-rolling, chopping ball right past the Demon keeper.

The winless string was broken with the 3-2 Pagosa victory.

And the light had been turned on.

This week the Pirates face Center, in Center, at 3 p.m. Thursday. This game has been moved up from the scheduled 4 p.m. start to get players back over Wolf Creek Pass before the 7 p.m. closing.

The team will close out the week with an 11 a.m. game Saturday in Telluride. Note the school has a new field which is actually closer to Placerville, lying on the south side of the San Miguel River. It is approximately 10 miles south of where Colo. 145, coming down from Rico, crosses the river.


Pirate kickers play league leaders tight; lose 3-1 tilt

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Crested Butte tried to make Pagosa soccer coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason seem a prophet Friday at Golden Peaks Stadium.

Prior to the season, Kurt-Mason had picked the Vikings, because of experience and depth, as the team to beat in the Southwest Mountain League.

While it wasn't so evident on the field where, statistically, Pagosa outplayed the visitors in several categories, the game ended with Pagosa 3-1 losers while still searching for the first win of the season.

The first shot on goal came just 40 seconds in when Pagosa junior striker Caleb Ormonde beat a midfield double team, dropped a cross to senior Derek Monks and took the return pass to the net but shot wide right.

It was a scoreless event, mostly an exchange of midfield moves, each team working to see what in their repertoire might work - until 10:20.

An illegal Pirate tackle gave Crested Butte's junior striker Zach Vosberg a free kick from the front of the box and he beat Pirate goalie Felix Gutierrez low to his right for the game's first marker.

Pagosa's second shot on goal came off a breakaway by Thomas Martinez on a midfield steal and looping lead from Javier Hurriaga. Martinez shanked the shot wide right.

The period, from the 28th through 38th minutes, was some of the most spirited soccer of the season - opening with back-to-back stops on a 20-yarder and the rebound by Gutierrez and the best play to that point for Crested Butte, a defensive sparkler.

Coming off an outlet kick to Muirhead, Pagosa's Max Smith worked off a screen by Ormonde, took a cross to his inside foot and broke containment. Only he and CB's Lamb were focused now.

Smith broke left, faked right and stayed left. Lamb came out to his right, Smith went to his right and the shot was ripped with Lamb winning the battle.

And, as suddenly as that threat had been thwarted, the man who'd been feeding many of the passes for the Pirates became even more offensive minded.

Paul Muirhead, off a centering lead from Kevin Smith, launched a 30-yard looper. It was the shot required for the moment - if the wind held, because it was quartering right to left - but the ball was staying high. It sailed just over Lamb's reach and Pagosa had a 1-1 tie.

It held into the second half, but was broken at 45:27 when Damaris Alexie drilled a 30-footer from the left wing to open the lead again, now at 2-1.

Pagosa tried to come right back with right winger Kevin Blue stopped by Lamb and Ormonde's middle drive hauled down.

Muirhead once again had the Pirates on the prowl after a looping cross from Martinez. He deked one defender to the ground, beat another around the right wing, but found his breakaway bid stopped on a dual defensive tackle by Lamb's friends in front of the net.

Then came one blow for Pagosa. Guitierrez came down limping with a pulled groin after an outlet kick. Sophomore transfer Mike Schmidt came on to fill the void.

CB's Grant Spear got the first chance to test the new keeper and it succeeded, giving the Vikings a 3-1 lead at 74:20.

The Pirates did not roll up their gangplank and slink back to the ship.

First Kevin Smith and then Keith Pitcher were stopped on point-blank efforts as the Pirate defenders swarmed the CB zone.

At 76:62 Muirhead again had a chance to cut the margin, showing quick inside moves off a reverse step, but his bid for goal hit the crossbar and the Pirate afternoon was over, their season record at 0-4.

Kurt-Mason lamented the fact the CB goals were all unimpeded efforts. "When we played them tough, they couldn't get those shots away. When we went to sleep we got beat defensively. You can't make silly mistakes against a team like this."

Still, there were the unanswered maybes.

What if Muirhead's consistent breaks of the defensive set had found an open wing downfield where, said Kurt-Mason, they should have been?

What if Ormonde hadn't faced a continual double-team at the midline, and where were his teammates to help him out of those jams?

The Pirates were to find little respite. They were scheduled to leave 6 a.m. the following morning to make the trip to Ridgway for an 11 a.m. game.

A long trip to run the mistakes through their minds again, to ponder how they would have reacted given same conditions again - and still looking for that first season win.


Lady thinclads capture Lake County title

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The Pirate varsity girls' team won their first cross country meet of the season Saturday, when they "found out how good they had the potential to be," said Scott Anderson, team coach.

The same applies to the varsity boys' team, which also did exceptionally well, coming in second overall, five points behind the leaders at the Lake County Invitational in Leadville.

It was a large, very competitive meet, with 100 to 170 competitors in each race, on a "great course" on a "gorgeous day to run," said Anderson. Across the board, everyone improved their times from the week before. On a new course with a significant hill, running at 10,000 feet, the finish times represented a strong performance by all.

Among the varsity girls, Pagosa's top runner, Emilie Schur, came in fourth with a time of 22:45 followed by Laurel Reinhardt and Jaclyn Harms who came in sixth and ninth respectively. Harms' improvement of her time by almost a minute and a half from the previous week's race, was "huge" said Anderson. Heather Dahm, who is overcoming a foot injury, came in fourth with over a minute off her time from last week.

A.J. Abeyta led the varsity boy's team, coming in 10th overall with a time of 20:19. Second for the Pirates (17th overall) was Orion Sandoval, who had a "monster race," said Anderson, taking over a minute off his time from the race at Bayfield the week before. Travis Furman tied with Sandoval, followed by Aaron Miller coming in 22nd overall.

The race was "well worth the four hour drive," said Anderson, who left with his team 5 a.m. Saturday morning. Last time they made the long drive the meet was snowed in and cancelled, he said.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

The mental side of athletic injuries

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

"A guide to psychologically rebounding from injury," Part 2.

Now that you have been diagnosed and know what's ahead from a physical point of view, here are some suggestions to mentally handle this first major athletic injury and focus on ways to help yourself survive, flourish and become an even stronger athlete than you were before your injury.

Athletes must first deal with a couple of problems they have never dealt with before. Many athletes are used to being independent and relying upon their bodies to respond as trained and directed. With the injury, you have to face the cold hard fact that your body has somehow failed you. This can be a tough pill to swallow. Furthermore, injuries frequently make you dependent upon others, i.e. parents, doctors, trainers, physical therapists, etc. Most athletes have a strong independent streak and hate having to depend on anyone other than themselves.

Second, you lose a major source of your self-esteem. If you get your goodies from being faster than everyone else, setting the ball better, hitting the ball harder, throwing touchdowns or shutting an opposing player down, then you'll get precious few good feelings from standing on the sidelines helplessly watching the action. Suddenly, you're plagued with self-doubts and have to struggle with questions of your own self-worth. If you're not pushing others in practice, working hard on your game, and helping your team in competitions, then what real value do you have on the team? For many athletes this is probably the hardest part of their injury. It's a huge blow to your ego.

So what does all this loss mean to you as an athlete or to your coach? If you want to speed up the rehab process as much as possible, then you need to expect certain feelings and behaviors to emerge as a result of your injury. You need to understand that these feelings and behaviors are absolutely normal and a natural part of successfully coping.

Athlete strategies

Be sad - Allow yourself to mourn and feel whatever loss you are experiencing. Being "macho," "strong" or "brave" by burying or hiding your feelings in this situation is not only a waste of energy, but will interfere with you effectively coping and recovering. Feeling is an important part of the healing process.

Deal with what it is - Injured athletes have a tendency to focus on the "could'a beens," "should'a beens" and the "way it was." If only they hadn't gotten hurt. Yes, it sucks that you got injured and it has thrown a monkey wrench into all your plans and dreams. Unfortunately, this is your reality right now and you have to allow yourself to deal with where you are, right now.

Set new, more realistic goals for yourself - As you begin the recovery process, you may very well have to learn to measure your successes very differently than ever before, perhaps in millimeters now, instead of meters the way it was before your injury. It may mean that you also have to start all over again back at "square one" to build up arm or leg strength and endurance. Keep focused on your new goals and leave the old ones in the past for now, where they belong.

Maintain a positive attitude no matter what - as difficult as this will be, try to stay as positive as possible. Understand that "If it is to be, it is up to me." In other words, your attitude and outlook is absolutely everything. When positive, your attitude can speed up the healing process.

Take an active part in your healing - be conscientious about your physical therapy. Follow the doctor's advice closely. Don't cut corners. Work as hard with your rehab as you did in your training.

Continue to "practice" and "work out"- if your injury allows you to continue any part of your training, do so. If not, "practice" mentally. Use mental rehearsal on a daily basis (5 -10 minutes at a time) to see, hear and feel yourself performing in your sport, executing flawlessly with perfect timing. Take this time to also work on your weaknesses. If you have a leg injury, take the time to work on your upper body strength. Make sure you make as many of the regular practices as your physical therapy will allow, and be there to support your team.

Seek out the support of your teammates - participate in team functions. Fight the urge to isolate yourself. You may feel worthless and suddenly different, but chances are good that you're probably the only one on the team who shares that opinion. Don't pull away from your team. Make a serious effort to reach out rather than pull in.

If necessary, seek out a counselor - if you are really depressed for an extended period of time, have lost interest in things that use to excite you, have noticed that your sleep and eating patterns have changed, seek professional help. Don't fool around here. If you're having these kinds of symptoms this means that you have really lost perspective and you are in need of some qualified, outside support. Seeking out the help of a professional therapist or counselor is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it's a sign of strength.

Be patient - if your injury is temporary, allow yourself enough time to heal properly. If you're over anxious to get back to the court, field, course or pool, and rush the healing process, then you may set yourself up for another, more serious injury, which may cost you even more time. If you don't wait to heal properly, you may end up developing a chronic injury that could keep you out for extra weeks and even months. Remember, sometimes the fastest way of coming back is the slowest. Go slower, arrive sooner!

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

Next Week, Part 3. Coaching/parenting strategies for helping the injured athlete cope.

Adult volleyball

We have had a great turnout for our first open volleyball night. Anyone still interested in playing coed adult indoor volleyball, should come to the community center gymnasium 7 p.m. Wednesdays. We will continue open play for all skill levels and will discuss the formation of a volleyball league.

Youth basketball

Youth basketball is right around the corner.

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will be sending out registration forms through the schools starting in October. Youth basketball will begin in late-October and continue through early December for 5/6 and 7/8 age groups; and early January for 9/10, 11/12 groups.

We need coaches and sponsors for this exciting league, so begin the thought process on helping this great league.

Soccer referees

If you have a background in soccer as a player or coach, we still 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 that 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.

Need information?

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.



The plan, not the man

In the wake of change comes, among other things, a significant level of discontent on the part of those who, for sentimental reasons at least, oppose the alteration of the physical landscape with which they are comfortable. The depth of the disturbance is increased when one realizes that the physical landscape can represent the psychological landscape - buildings, streets, trees, then being so much more than mere physical objects.

The discontent manifests itself in many ways: uneasiness, uncertainty, anger. And, as we find in many of the comments we read and hear, in resentment. For what the disappearance of objects sometimes signifies is a feeling of powerlessness, the rising, like a serpent from the depths, of a suppressed acknowledgment of personal shortcomings and failure.

These comments here in Pagosa Country have too often taken the form of attacks on persons who have the wherewithal to activate change. In particular, the comments have been critical and directed lately toward one individual who, perhaps ill advisedly, took a lead in promoting "visionary" processes related to some of the changes now going on in downtown Pagosa Springs - processes designed, at least in part, to get a grasp on the future of the town, physical and economic. The criticisms have ranged from questions concerning the legitimacy of the individual's significant charitable activity, to his right to fence and lock his personal property; to charges he should invest his capital developing untenable properties elsewhere, rather than those he purchased downtown.

If this man's charity is to be questioned, everyone's is to be questioned. If an individual's rights to personal property and privacy are questioned, everyone's similar rights should be questioned. If business judgement - obviously more acute than most - is to be criticized, let it be criticized by those of equal accomplishment.

The complaints are misguided, and ultimately unproductive; they miss the point.

They miss the point in terms of the reality of development - ongoing and probable - in Pagosa Springs. The person in question, the so-called "Mr. Vision," is but one of a number of players moving pieces on the board. And, at the moment, he is one of the lesser characters in the game. There are projects in progress that will significantly affect the town of Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area. Where are the attacks, where are the comments? There are other individuals and organizations set to make profound moves soon. Where are the complaints?

The problem, perhaps, is one of envy. And with envy - of wealth and the ability to actualize ideas - comes bitterness from those who are without. The situation here, now, has little to do with personalities. It has everything to do with plans. And with our ability, as a community, to acquire the means to impose community control on what occurs. Where were the complainers when a large residential project was brought before the town planning commission and council? Where were the complainers when the Master Plan committee was formed? Are they on it? Where are the complainers when the topic of a county land use plan arises?

The changes taking place in Pagosa Country, first, include each and every person who has moved here in the last 40 years. Each is part, to some degree, of the situation. Second, the changes to come will be caused by numerous individuals, various projects. It is incredibly shortsighted to level criticism at personalities rather than plans. And, if the concerns about change transcend envy, it is irresponsible to neglect the processes that will determine what happens here in the upcoming years. Those processes are political, those processes demand participation. Without it, the complaints ring hollow and small.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

Disaster near; what gets saved?

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

It is a question I've asked many times before. But with the Gulf Coast debacle it might be time to ask it again.

Suppose for a moment that your home is in the path of a known deadly storm. You have a little time to get some things out and get out yourself.

The question becomes, what would you save as disaster approaches?

You see terror-stricken faces and sobbing homeowners on television, many lamenting the fact they lost everything in the storm.

Everything? What were they doing with the time Mother Nature provided in her destructive march?

Why are so many people injured in these acts of God? Property damage is understandable, but life is so much more valuable and in most instances there is time to get away from the eye of the storm, at least.

Some have said for years that those who live in the hurricane belt, where storms are a recognized fact of life - and death - are just asking for eventual disaster. Those who live there might in turn argue it is a small price to pay to escape the rigors of northern winters.

Let's make it more personal. I'm the head of evacuation preparation and I've just informed you there is but an hour left to reach safety.

What would you take?

Money, bonds and deeds are likely. Family records so you'll have proof of who you are. What about valuables like coin and stamp collections? Probably not enough time or packing area in the car.

Pets, of course deserve as much chance of survival as you. But let's be realistic. You can't get three dogs, nine cats, the family and emergency supplies all in the car at once.

Your escape time is running out and you haven't reached a decision.

The new TV and VCR may have to stay behind. Likewise, the new furniture your wife so wanted for the dining room.

Favorite books? Most will have to stay behind but a Bible or holy book of your choice seems like a must for many.

Prescription medications are a must along with special orthopedic support appliances, eyeglasses, crutches and canes. Maps should be readily available, especially if your escape route (and that's something to plan in advance) will take you more than 40 miles from home.

You're down to just a few minutes for the final decision. You need to make quick appraisals of how anything you take will aid you in the recovery period.

Don't overload. Limit your escape cargo to what you know you can safely carry in the vehicle along with the members of your family.

Don't try to go too fast. Remember that your neighbors, too, are making the same decisions and you all may be planning the same escape route.

If you are a two-vehicle family, don't be lulled into the belief if all but one person go in one car, all the property to be saved can go in the other with the single occupant.

The moral: Wherever you live, have an advance escape route planned; prepare in advance a list of key names and addresses.

Get out!




90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 17, 1915

Work on the new wagon road from Dyke to the Junction is making fine progress.

Louis Brown has opened a plumbing shop in the rear of the Montroy building, and having had 20 years experience in the business, is prepared to install and repair everything in the way of water pipes, bathroom and heating plants in first-class workmanlike manner.

The work of installing the new auxiliary pumping plant is progressing rapidly, and it will be ready for use by the time freezing weather sets in.

If you want a first-class spring wagon, built from the ground up, see George Carther. He'll build them to your order, all hand-made from select material, at a price you can afford.


75 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Journal files of September 19, 1930

M.J. Wicklem is having the hot water from the Hatcher well piped into his garage at San Juan and Fifth streets. The water will go to the garage by gravity and is expected to provide heat for the building.

Deer are reported more plentiful in this section this fall than apparently for many years.

Archuleta County ranchmen who planted grain crops this year are reporting good yields or promise of good yields.

John Galbreath is recognized as one of the most successful lawyers in the San Juan Basin. He has been county attorney of Archuleta County for ten years. He has been town attorney for Pagosa Springs for fifteen years. He has been elected a school director five times.


50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 15, 1955

At their last meeting the Town Board voted to pass a resolution calling for a bond election for the purpose of buying a new fire truck. This election will submit to the qualified electors the question of whether or not $10,000 worth of bonds are to be issued for this purpose.

This month marks the appearance of a new magazine, "Red Ryder Ranch Magazine." This magazine starts with the October-December quarter as its issue date and is written by Fred Harman. A great deal of the magazine is devoted to comics but there are also several pages of other features. Included in the features in the first issue is a story of the duel for the Pagosa Hot Spring, pictures of the Red Ryder Ranch and several articles about the early day west.



25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 18, 1980

Rainfall on Wolf Creek Pass during August totaled almost seven and a half inches. This isn't a record there, but it is one of the heaviest months for rainfall in recent years. The rain storms were numerous during the month and in one two-day period 2.85 inches of rain fell.

Construction of the new shopping center at Pagosa is well underway this week and construction on the New Pagosa Plaza in town is nearing completion. Some of the occupants of the Plaza expect to start moving in within a few weeks.

The county was visited last week by two French bicyclists pedaling across the United States and by a runner, who will have traveled 2,500 miles by the end of his trip.



Oil and gas wells ... when, and how?

Development is coming.

Are we ready?

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Energy. It has become the center of national attention this summer as gas prices inched ever higher and drivers felt the sting of rising prices with each visit to the pump.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent damage to America's refining and delivery capacities, a Lundberg survey revealed that, by the end of August, prices per gallon had jumped 38 cents, and between Aug. 26 and Sept. 9 the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded peaked at $3.04.

By the end of the summer, barrel prices for light crude had set national records and current prices for October delivery hover around $64 per barrel.

Before the skyrocketing costs of fuel were exacerbated by the hurricane, lawmakers grappled with a contentious, and long-in-the-making energy bill. But, despite the bill's passage in early August, even the administration admitted the bill promised no immediate relief at the pump. And now, following the hurricane, relief in the near future appears even more unlikely.

Supporters of the bill call it long-term legislation for energy development. And many critics and advocates of the policy, from all points on the political spectrum agree that decreasing America's dependence on foreign oil is critical to the success of a national energy policy. To this end, the legislation focuses, in part, on encouraging domestic production of oil and natural gas through tax breaks and other incentives for companies willing to tap national oil and gas reserves - enter Pagosa Country.

Although southwest Colorado and Archuleta County are not strangers to oil and gas development, in light of the renewed emphasis on domestic production, the county faces unprecedented pressures from an industry ready and willing to sink its teeth into a landscape rich in natural gas.

The most recent manifestation of this intent is a proposal by Meeker Colo. based Petrox Resources Incorporated to install a natural gas compressor station near Colo. 151, about seven miles south of the intersection of Colo. 151 and U.S. 160. The compressor proposal is part of a greater pipeline and gas development project the details of which, Archuleta County Senior Planner Ross Easterling said, have not yet been fully revealed.

The greater implications of the compressor facility and natural gas development in general have pushed the county to scramble to stay ahead of the game. Natural gas development has become a topic at board of county commissioners' and planning commission meetings. At a recent oil and gas work session with county staff and the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners many questions were posed: Where does county jurisdiction lie? What are the county's regulatory abilities, if any; and what can the county do to be proactive in regards to natural gas development?

During the work session, Blair Leist, the director of county development, said the county had experienced an increase in applications for drilling permits. And Easterling said he had held three pre-application meetings for well permits and had received one actual submission for a permit. He said further meetings with Petrox regarding the Dungan Well were scheduled in September.

Although Leist said the current pace of natural gas development was relatively sedate, he cautioned against being lulled into a false sense of security.

"We're in a lull now, but this lull is going to become an onslaught," Leist said.

With this prediction, Leist has asked the board of county commissioners for additional manpower and funding to attempt to get ahead of the curve and to have the county prepared for when the onslaught does arrive.

Part of the strategy involves Easterling devoting 20 percent of his work schedule to oil and gas issues. Another facet of the plan includes the approval of between $4,200 and $8,400 for the hiring of an oil and gas consultant. Third, and farther down the road, is the county's goal of drafting a comprehensive land use code complete with mechanisms for dealing with oil and gas development.

But how long does the county have to prepare? Dan Randolph, the oil and gas coordinator for the San Juan Citizens Alliance, in addressing the county commissioners said, "There's a window of opportunity here for Archuleta County. You have one year to be very proactive."

Randolph added that the pressures Archuleta County currently faces and will face in the future are not necessarily a direct link to the new, national energy policy. Although he said that the policy would play a significant role as decisions are made by regulatory and land management agencies, permits are approved, development expands and the county seeks some degree of self determination in the process.

Government policies aside, the one factor that will ultimately drive oil and gas development in Archuleta County is something much simpler than long range legislation from Washington - nature.

Archuleta County sits on the edge of the San Juan Basin, a 6,700 square mile area comprised of mountains, deserts and mesas which is the second largest natural gas reserve in the United States.

According to La Plata County Energy Council documents, the basin may contain more than 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. With estimates of extraction at 20 to 80 percent of that total amount, the low end take could provide La Plata and Archuleta counties with natural gas for thousands of years.

Geographically, the basin stretches from northwestern New Mexico into southwestern Colorado - namely the area east of Bayfield into Archuleta County and west into La Plata County just south of Durango.

Much of the recent focus on oil and gas development in the region has been on the area within La Plata County. Comparatively speaking, Archuleta County's oil and gas development prospects might seem relatively minor.

For contrast, in 2001, there were 16 natural gas wells and four oil wells listed with the Archuleta County Assessor's office. Just a year later, in 2002, La Plata County had 2,461 producing wells, 95 percent of which were producing natural gas.

By 2005, preliminary numbers from the Archuleta County Assessor indicated an increase from 2001, with 46 natural gas wells and four oil wells listed and in contrast, those numbers seem relatively low.

But with current plans for exploration and natural gas development in the HD mountains, expansion of pipelines and the installation of new roads and compressor facilities, the natural gas landscape in the county could significantly change.

According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 13 drilling permits were approved in Archuleta County between 2004 and 2005 and six more permits are currently pending.

With the Environmental Impact Study statement out in December or January for drilling in the roadless areas of the HD mountains, those numbers could increase significantly.

But what are the HD mountains? Where are they and what is their environmental and economic significance to the county and the region? How would they change, if exploration and extraction continues as planned? Who are the players and what are the plans? What are the economic impacts and benefits to the county? What are the environmental ramifications beyond the HDs?

These are some of the questions this series of articles will explore as Archuleta County seeks to come to terms with impending oil and gas development. For many agree it is not a question of if, it is a question of when and how.


Pagosa's Past

Did fraud, perjury play role in Pagosa's start?

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

What was Pagosa Springs like in 1878, the year settlement began in the community?

We continue this week with an eyewitness account written by Lt. McCauley, an Army engineer looking over the beginning construction of Fort Lewis on what is now the main, downtown business block.

McCauley begins by describing how the Great Pagosa Hot Springs passes from public into private hands:

"Wrested from its hereditary possessors (McCauley means Southern Ute Indians Š Motter) by perjury, misrepresentation, or fraud, in the Brunot convention or treaty with the Utes in 1873 for the cession or purchase of what is known as the San Juan region, the location of the springs was subsequently claimed by various squatters, as agricultural land, omitting the springs on their plat prepared for file and record.

To doubly hold the place, it was entered by a confederate as a mill-site, and lest this, too, should be invalidated, the ground was taken up as a placer claim. To legally establish the latter, at a convenient point to the Springs, the ground was duly "salted," in the most convenient manner, by firing gold-dust from a shotgun into the earth, after which, in the presence of a witness, a pan of the earth was washed and "color" found by the merest accident. The last and strongest claim, and still in litigation, was the placing of Valentine scrip upon some forty acres of land including the most valuable springs.

"As an offset to the various claims, the President directed that the place be reserved as a town site; and in May, 1877, a square mile, including the springs, was duly reserved by Executive proclamation.

"The various squatters have encountered bitter opposition from the Indians; the latter threatening and burning their cabins. To the monopoly of the waters by anyone they will never be reconciled. During the past month, at the grand council held by the Ute commission with the Weeminuche, Capote, Muache andc (etc ... Motter) bands of Utes, they informed the chairman, General Edward Hatch, U.S.A., that they had learned of the claim on the Springs by Valentine scrip, and that their united wish was for the Tata Grande or Great Father in Washington to retain possession of the place, so that all persons, whether white or Indians, might visit it, and when sick come there and be healed, firmly believing its waters to be a panacea for all diseases or afflictions."

Motter Š McCauley's report gives us much food for thought. What really happened in the process of transferring the springs' title from public to private hands would be interesting and a considerable contribution of our understanding of the history of the area.

Since McCauley's report was written before the issue was settled, it should be pointed out that the Valentine Scrip, did indeed, win out, but not before a few years passed. Surely a paper trail exists documenting the various aspects of the legal confrontation on this subject naming the participants and explaining the reasoning used to arrive at the decision.

Other public sources make us aware that Welch Nossaman was among those seeking title. That's a long story to be addressed at another time. The title was finally awarded to a Major Henry Foote in 1883. Also involved were a James L. Byers, John Conover, and Dr. A.C. Van Duyn. I suspect a man named Joseph Clarke may also have been involved. Clarke was the first post master. McCauley's 1878 drawing shows Clark's cabin near the springs. Finally, Clark was a major purchaser of town lots when the government auction of lots took place in 1885. Clarke may have been connected with the Pagosa Springs Company.

In any case, a study of the events connected with the Hot Springs going and private and describing the players involved would add a great deal to the knowledge of Pagosa Springs history.

More next week from McCauley's eyewitness description of Pagosa Country based on an 1878 visit.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Harvest Moon coming, enjoy the glow

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Native Americans tracked the seasons with it, farmers harvested their fields by the light of it, Henry David Thoreau wrote about it and Neil Young sang about it - the legendary Harvest Moon.

For Pagosa Country sky watchers, the arrival of this much heralded moon will occur Sept. 17. with the moon rising at 7:16 p.m, burning full and bright throughout the evening, then setting at 6:13 a.m.

Normally, for the few days around the full moon, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each subsequent night. That changes during the Harvest Moon, when the moon seems to rise at roughly the same time on those few nights. This isn't truly the case, although the difference in moon rise times is noticeably less, perhaps 25 to 40 minutes rather than 50. The result? Just a little more moonglow for full moon revelers.

Although Neil Young sang about dancing under the Harvest Moon, the Harvest Moon is more closely linked to farming, the harvesting of crops and the arrival of autumn rather than revelry. The name, Harvest Moon, refers to the fact that farmers, before the days of tractor headlights, would use the light of this particular full moon, to work late into the evening harvesting their crops. In addition, many crops such as corn, wild rice and squash are generally ready to be harvested at the time of the Harvest Moon's arrival.

The Harvest Moon is regarded as the full moon occurring closest to the autumn equinox and generally occurs in September, although in some years it does occur in October.

While the arrival of the Harvest Moon is perhaps the most prominent and well known celestial event marking the approach of autumn; there is also a star whose appearance, although much more subtle, marks the same transition in seasons.

The star, Fomalhaut, or, alpha Piscis Austrini, also known as the autumn star, is part of the constellation Piscis Austrinus, the southern fish. Its appearance in our night sky, like the Harvest Moon, marks the arrival of fall.

The star and its parent constellation have played a role in astronomy since ancient times. The Assyrians viewed the constellation as a fish drinking or swimming in water poured by the water bearer Aquarius. Aquarius lies just to the north of the constellation's brightest star, Fomalhaut, and in fact, the name Fomalhaut means "fish's mouth."

Fomalhaut lies in a somewhat lonely part of the night sky, and this fact might be to the backyard astronomer's advantage when attempting to locate the star and its parent constellation. Beyond the star's relative isolation, sky watchers will have another factor working in their favor — the moon.

Tonight, the nearly full moon, will provide a useful and obvious landmark sky watchers can use to help them find the star.

Looking south east about two hours after sunset, first locate the moon which will be hanging relatively low in the sky. From the moon travel straight down about three degrees, the width of three fingers held at arm's length with the night sky as a backdrop, and just slightly to the left. The brightest star in this region of the sky is Fomalhaut.

Once at Fomalhaut, tracing the constellation might prove difficult for it vaguely resembles a fish. But savvy star gazers might be able to discern the five or so visible stars that give the constellation a rounded rectangular or oblong shape.

Piscus Austrinis and Fomalhaut have garnered the attention of contemporary astronomers because observations indicate a disk of cool dust surrounding Fomalhaut from which they believe a planetary system may be forming.

And speaking of planets, Mars will rise in the east tonight about 10 p.m. and views of the red planet are getting better and better. Look for what appears to be a brilliant burnt orange or reddish colored star. This is Mars and it is distinct and hard to miss.



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Great weather in line for Colorfest, beyond

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The colors of fall are upon us and increasing daily. The nighttime temperatures are well below freezing.

And while daytime highs are hovering in the 70s it is obvious Mother Nature has stepped up her timetable for the fall fun months.

There has been no official snowfall as yet in the lower country, but those who drive the state's passes every day are seeing at least irregular flurries.

The difference is most evident in the past week when the high was 76 degrees at 3 p.m. Sept. 8 and the low a chilly 32.5 at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

That low figure will be challenged all over the area, especially in the area along the county's rivers. Thermometers in town were showing 25-27 degrees Wednesday, for example.

A caller from the Upper Blanco area insisted the morning temperature out at the ranch stood at 20 degrees Wednesday when he went out to care for the animals.

Rainfall total for the month has been 1.46 inches with the bulk of that (1.06) cascading down last Friday and Saturday when the San Juan took on the look of a chocolate river.

Now, however, let me put all this cold weather talk behind and look at what appears to be an absolutely gorgeous week ahead, especially for the weekend Colorfest.

If you like the days to read like a repeated line from a good book, you'll love this one. Or, if you're thinking of a fall vacation, the picture looks ideal.

The call for every day in the upcoming week is "mostly sunny" with temperatures in the mid-70 range.

And the nighttime lows are, with one exception, forecast in the low 40s under skies that could only have been ordered by stargazers.

Winds will be mild through the entire period according to forecasters at the National Weather Bureau in Grand Junction.

Specifically, a 77-degree mark forecast for Sunday will be the highest of the period and a 38 tonight (the exception noted above) is expected to be the lowest.

So there you have it - clear sunny skies, mild temperatures and a great time to be out seeing the region.

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