County communications take giant leap
By John Middendorf
Colorado is definitely ahead of the curve when it comes to its local and state communication network.
Beginning in 1991, Colorado began planning its statewide 800 MHz (megahertz) communications system, considered the future replacement for the VHF (very high frequency) system in current widespread use by ambulance, fire, law enforcement, state patrol, and search and rescue agencies. The analog VHF frequencies (around the 150MHz range) are considered quite "crowded" with no room to expand. One of the reasons to move to the new 800 MHz frequency range is to operate in "uncrowded," FCC regulated bandwidths.
The 800 MHz frequency uses a digital trunked system ("trunked" refers to the switching ability of the system, allowing many users to use the same communication paths), and is also known as the DTRS, short for Digital Trunked Radio System. Based on 1995 tests by the National Institute of Standards, Colorado's Division of Telecommunications agreed that the DTRS was the best solution to a statewide communications system, and superior to analog transmissions. The digital 800Mhz system also allows data transfers, something not possible with the analog VHF communications systems.
By June of 2000, completion of Phase I and II Colorado's Wireless Interoperability Network Initiative, involving the construction of 74 DTRS towers in the Denver metro area, enabled the response agencies in that area to communicate with other response agencies using DTRS. In 2001, by contrast, one of the big problems during the World Trade Center terrorist attack was the inability for New York's public safety departments to communicate with one another, as they used a variety of different VHF frequency ranges with limited ability to "patch" into one another.
Archuleta County is part of Phase VI (of seven phases) of the state's interoperability plan, and earlier this year Governor Owens and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) made $13 million in grant funds available to improve local and state communications in rural areas. Using a portion of the funds, Archuleta has recently completed one 800MHz tower on Oak Brush Hill, just south of town, and is planning a second tower on Sandoval Mesa or Piedra Peak in the southwest portion of the county. Concurrently, Mineral County is planning a tower on Wolf Creek Pass. A third tower in Archuleta County is currently being investigated near Chromo; funding for that tower will depend on the coverage that the Wolf Creek tower provides.
The transition to DTRS is not without concern. "There's still some questions in my mind" regarding the system, says Russell Crowley, the county's director of Emergency Management, who learned during his four-year stint in the U.S. Navy as a radar and electronics technician that "the first thing to go down in a major disaster is the communications." Many still consider the VHF system superior in the mountain ranges, as the lower frequencies "bounce" better around obstructions.
Although DTRS is considered "line-of-sight," Crowley was encouraged by a recent 800MHz conversation between a test location in the Upper Blanco and a communication center at the Fred Harman Art Museum. "I didn't really believe it could do that," said Crowley, who believed the transmissions must have successfully "bounced," as he was Behind Square Top Mountain during the communication. The DTRS system is considered "clean," with no environmental noise, allowing digital amplifiers to pick up weak signals and transmit them at full strength.
Fred Harman is the county's communications officer for the sheriff's department, and has 70 years of experience with communications electronics (he built his first radio when he was 8 years old in 1936). During his 30 years of employment with television networks he supervised the first videotaping of a television broadcast, a segment of Captain Kangaroo in 1958.
Harman says although the 800MHz frequency has better building penetrating characteristics, it "doesn't go around corners very easily." Harman also has some concern for the size of the handsets, which are currently heavier and bulkier than the VHF handsets, especially in rescue and fire situations where the response team has to move fast and light. "There's a lot of unknowns" with the DTRS, said Harman, adding that the system's digital programming has a steep learning curve.
Another issue is that none of the surrounding Southwest states have pursued the DTRS. In fact, according to Crowley, New Mexico is in the process of revamping its VHF system. Crowley says that Arizona and Utah are also "behind the curve" with the DTRS.
The main barrier is the cost. With the Sandoval Tower costing $490,000 (plus an additional $12,000 for the backup power system), providing a statewide system which may require hundreds of towers is a daunting prospect. But most agree that once the system is complete, it will be a significant improvement to the existing disjointed VHF system.
In the Tri-State Careflight helicopter crash which killed three EMS workers in July, Montezuma county sheriff Gerald Wallace said that the DTRS allowed them to communicate at the remote site where VHF "wouldn't even get out." He said with the DTRS system they "were able to speak crystal clear ... it really saved our butt."
By James Robinson
The wheels of the county road work sessions continue to turn, with session three held Sept. 22 and the fourth scheduled for today at 2:30 p.m. in the board of county commissioners' meeting room.
In last week's session, interim County Administrator Bob Jasper challenged attendees with a question: Should one be allowed to build a home on a lot in Pagosa Lakes where there is no road or a substandard road?
Barely before Jasper finished the question, Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA) board member Fred Ebeling responded with an emphatic and resounding, "Yes."
Jasper countered with, "Why?" And Ebeling went into a detailed history of roads and development in the Pagosa Lakes area.
Jasper's used the discussion to illustrate a point.
Jasper said in year's past, the county put stipulations on developers, but never went back to see if the work was done correctly and as required.
Jasper described it as a "checkered history of enforcement" and said the problem with many of today's road discussions is that they often focus on the history of the county's road problems, mistakes made or lack of enforcement in the past, rather than dealing with how to solve the road problems of today.
"What this community has done lately is argue over history," Jasper said, and he urged attendees to begin thinking about solutions.
Jasper said, at one point, county residents and county government would have to decide who pays, and he posed a second question.
Using the Pagosa Lakes area as an example, he asked:
Is it fair for the entire county to pay for what was arguably not done right in the first place? Who should bear the financial burden of installing a road or bringing a road up to standard: the county, the individual, or all the taxpayers?
"Equity is the biggest issue," Jasper said.
In a later conversation, Public Works Director Dick McKee expanded on Jasper's comments.
"Instead of looking at the past, we need to ask how are we going to fix it, but I don't think we are there yet," McKee said.
In order to bring the county closer to understanding county road issues and to work toward creating solutions, session four, as part of the ongoing series, will explore county policies and procedures, with an emphasis on the road and bridge department. The session will also discuss the economic benefits of a well managed road maintenance fleet.
On Oct. 4, as part of the overall push to create a county road map and maintenance plan, the road and bridge department will present the new road and bridge design standards to the board of county commissioners for approval.
McKee said the revised standards were gleaned from standards drafted for Summit County and represented more than a year's worth of effort, consultation and input from other engineers, the county's planning commission and numerous individuals.
He said the new standards differed from the old, "one size fits all" approach and fortified some of the old standards while incorporating new criteria for asphalt roads, gravel roads and recreational trails.
McKee said the new standards were designed as both a stand alone document and to work in conjunction with the forthcoming county land use plan. Both documents are key to long-range planning efforts.
On Oct. 6, the county will host the final work session in the series, which McKee called the "big one." That work session will cover finances and what it will take to fund the county road system.
The Oct. 6 meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the board of county commissioners' meeting room.
Only one contest in
school board election
By Chuck McGuire
The slate is set for Archuleta School District 50 Joint board elections this November. Three of five directors are subject to this year's ballot, while the other two will not face voters again until 2007.
Incumbent board member Matt Aragon is running unopposed in District 1, Linda Lattin and Butch Mackey are both vying for the District 5 seat currently held by Jon Forrest, and no candidates have stepped forward with hope of claiming the District 4 seat currently occupied by Clifford Lucero. Both Forrest and Lucero are term-limited and not eligible for re-election.
Board President Mike Haynes and Secretary/Treasurer Sandy Caves, of districts 2 and 3 respectively, are halfway through their four-year terms, and will face re-election in 2007. To avoid the possibility of seating an all-new board at the same time, district elections are staggered every two years.
While only one board member will be chosen in this year's election (District 5), another will ultimately be appointed to fill the upcoming vacancy in District 4 created by Lucero's departure.
Once either Lattin or Mackey takes the District 5 seat, the members from districts 1, 2, 3 and 5 will have 60 days to appoint a fifth board member for District 4. The process involves analyses of letters submitted by interested parties from within the district in question, conducting in-depth interviews and finally voting to select an appointee. Once the appointee is selected, he or she will serve until the next scheduled election (two years later), and if re-elected, will have to run again in the next election to get back on the designed schedule.
Of course, to select an appointee for District 4, board members will first need letters of interest from registered voters residing within that district. Letters are typically generated in response to public notices issued by school district officials.
According to District 50 Jt. Executive Secretary Robyn Bennett, past elections have been held without a candidate selected for a particular board position, and existing board members have appointed someone to fill the vacancy.
"We've had elections like that before," she said. "But we've never failed to generate interest for an appointed position, once people figured out what district they were in. The boundaries have changed some, and it's a little confusing at times."
Director district boundaries are precisely defined, yet somewhat difficult to interpret, but the county clerk's office can confirm which director district a person is in based on his or her residence address.
As mentioned, the board seat for director in District 4 will be filled by appointment this year, and letters of interest are a necessary first step. The school board asks that anyone living in the southern or southwestern part of Pagosa Springs interested in filling this vital role, contact the county clerk's office (264-8350) and confirm their residence within that district. Then, the board members would like to hear from them directly. They can be reached at 264-2228.
Lynx and humans waiting for a biological opinion
By John Middendorf
U.S. Rep. John T. Salazar meets this week in Washington D.C. with Peter Clark, Forest Supervisor for the Rio Grande National Forest on issues regarding the Wolf Creek Development. Clark will be responsible for the record of decision on the development's Environmental Impact Statement.
Earlier this month, Salazar wrote to Rick Cables, regional forester for the Rocky Mountain region, re-requesting a briefing on the proposed development that he had previously asked for in May, but had not yet received.
In the letter, Salazar asked Cables to address the concerns of his constituents regarding the size of the development and the impact it will have on the region. Salazar outlined three major safety impacts that are of concern, namely: highway safety, as traffic over U.S. 160 could increase by several thousand vehicles per day; recreational safety, as the proposed roads and buildings cross over or sit atop ski slopes and Wolf Creek Ski Company's private property; and personal safety, as the proposal currently includes plans to construct a for-profit power plant fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Salazar wrote that it was his understanding that any proposed development is subject to a 1998 Amended Scenic Easement, which prohibits industrial uses such as a power plant and the storage of hazardous products like LNG, and requires the Forest Service to assess whether the current development plans are compatible with the Wolf Creek Ski area and ski operations.
Salazar further urged the Forest Service to evaluate all the impacts the proposed Village at Wolf Creek will have prior to the release of the final EIS.
Haq Nayyera, spokesperson for Rep. Salazar, said they expect the Forest Service to be forthcoming and to answer the questions raised by the congressman. She said they expect a full briefing on the transportation, water and energy issues, and the economic impact of the project. She also was of the understanding that the final EIS was expected sometime in October.
When asked for the timeline of the Forest Service EIS regarding Wolf Creek, Mike Blakeman, Rio Grande National Forest acting public affairs officer said, "We'd like to have one, too." Current estimates for the release of the final EIS from Robert Dalrymple, Rio Grande National Forest planner, will be "at the earliest, late this fall." Dalrymple said they are waiting for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biological opinion, which is expected to analyze the impacts on the habitat of the endangered Lynx species, among other wildlife aspects.
Blakeman feels there is a lot of "misperceptions," regarding the EIS, saying that the EIS is being prepared specifically in response to the developer's request that the Forest Service provide access to the site through Forest Service land. He said the Forest Service is required to provide access by law according to the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). ANILCA states that the Secretary of Agriculture "shall provide such access to nonfederally owned land within the boundaries of the National Forest System as the Secretary deems adequate to secure to the owner the reasonable use and enjoyment thereof: Provided, That such owner comply with rules and regulations applicable to ingress and egress to or from the National Forest System."
Dalrymple said that the EIS will determine access "where and under what conditions," which is why they require information from agencies such as the USFWS. He said that the EIS record of decision will specify standard of road resource protection measures and will be "the first step in a long series," adding that the EIS "captures a lot of the issues" pertinent to the other agency's decisions on the development.
After the EIS and its record of decision is finalized, the Village at Wolf Creek development will require permits from CDOT regarding the intersection with U.S. 160, an Army Corps of Engineers permit for the wetlands mitigation, a permit from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment for the sewage and water supply, as well as other permits from Mineral County.
Although there will be no permit from the USFWS, the development will have to comply with the conservation measures outlined in that agency's biological opinion. The USFWS has agreed to provide a draft biological opinion to the Forest Service by October 10, according to Susan Linner, USFWS Colorado field office supervisor. The draft document will be distributed to the Forest Service and to the developer for their comment prior to the final document. Dalrymple expects the Forest Service will need the final biological opinion from the USFWS prior to the Forest Service EIS record of decision.
As there will be no public comment period or appeal on the USFWS biological opinion, Linner said that the USFWS will not release the draft document for public review, but Dalrymple said that since it is not "privileged information," the Rio Grande National Forest Service will probably release it to the public. He also said that because of the endangered species aspect of biological opinion and the EIS, it is "new ground" for his office.
Local youngster injured in truck/bicycle accident
By John Middendorf
According to an unofficial report from the Colorado State Patrol, a 14-year-old male from Pagosa Springs was hit by a truck Monday afternoon and critically injured while bicycling at the intersection of Talisman Drive and Village Drive. Cpl. Randy Talbot was the reporting officer but was unavailable for comment at press time.
According to a witness statement, the 14-year-old was riding north on a "trick bike" and "going fast" through the intersection, running the stop sign at Talisman and Village Drive. He was struck by a 1999 Dodge pickup truck that was approaching the intersection westbound on Village Drive.
The driver of the truck, born in 1989 (also a juvenile, therefore the name is unavailable for publication) was reportedly driving an estimated 37 mph in the 25 mph zone. Because the rider of the bike ran the stop sign, the bicyclist is listed in the preliminary report as being at fault. The driver of the truck reportedly stopped 78 feet past the site of the collision.
The bike was "kind of mangled," according to Trooper Will Sanders of the CSP, and the 14-year-old's injuries were listed as a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5. The number 4 refers to severe injuries that require immobilization and transportation (the number 5 refers to a fatal accident).
The 14-year-old was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Durango, then transferred to a hospital in Denver. No further report on the youngster's condition was available.
PAWS to begin smoke tests on sewer system
The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District will soon be conducting smoke testing on the sanitary sewer system in its service area. The purpose of the smoke testing is to identify sources of excessive surface water and groundwater entering the sewer system. Excessive water in the system has been a great concern for our collection and treatment facilities.
The test results will assist the district in identifying problem locations and determine what, how, and when sanitary sewer system repairs and improvements are needed.
The smoke testing will be performed by district employees. The employees will not request entry into your home, but will be in the neighborhood to inspect all connected lines and areas around properties for smoke egress points. Construction signs will be placed in the streets indicating smoke testing in progress. A door hanger flier informing of the testing schedule in the area will be posted at each home a few days prior to testing as a reminder of the upcoming event.
The testing consists of forcing a special, non-toxic smoke into the district's sewer lines in your neighborhood.
The smoke is manufactured for this purpose, leaves no residuals or stains, has no effect on plants or animals, and creates no fire hazard.
Direct contact with the smoke may cause minor respiratory irritation in some people. If people in your home have asthma, emphysema, or other respiratory conditions and are planning to stay in your home during the testing, please notify the district at 731-2691 immediately so that we can discuss your case in further detail with you.
To avoid smoke from unnecessarily entering your structure, we strongly advise residents to run water into all drains for a few seconds, especially those used infrequently, upon receipt of the advance notice door hanger from the District.
During the testing, smoke will typically appear from rooftop sewer vents. The smoke may also appear from cracks in the pavement above the sewer, from landscaping above private connecting sewers, and around homes with foundation drains or sump pumps connected to the sewer, which is a violation of district rules and regulations.
Smoke should not enter your structure unless:
- Vents connected to your home's sewer pipe are inadequate, defective, or improperly installed; or
- Traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers, and other drains are dry, defective, improperly installed or missing; or
- Pipes, connections and seals of the wastewater drain system in and under your home are damaged, defective, have plugs missing, or are improperly installed.
If you do see or smell smoke in your structure, immediately report it to the district crews or call 731-2691, or 731-9491 after hours to reach our paging service. This may mean that gases from the sewer are entering your structure. Location, identification, and correction of the source of smoke entering your house are strongly recommended.
Local fire and police officials have been informed of the testing. For other concerns and questions about smoke testing, contact the district at 731-2691.
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.
Registration deadline for
Nov. 1 election nearing
By John Middendorf
Vote early and vote often. There are only a few more days to register to vote for the upcoming Nov. 1 general election, which includes ballots on important statewide issues referenda C and D.
To vote in this mail ballot-only election, you must be an active, registered voter. To register to vote, visit the Archuleta County Clerk's office in the courthouse by 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3. You must have a Colorado's driver's license to register.
If you didn't vote in last year's election, you may be considered an inactive voter. To ensure you are an active voter, call the county clerk's office at 264-8350. If you are registered and don't get your materials by Oct. 20 (ballots will be sent out by Oct. 17) you will still be able to vote by visiting the county clerk and changing your status to active.
There will be four different "styles" of ballot, and the one a voter gets depends on where they live in the county. Every registered voter in the county can vote on the consequential referenda C and D, which are statewide authorizations of spending and borrowing relating to the requirements of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
If you live inside the Pagosa Springs town boundary, there will be a vote on the adoption of a Lodgers' Tax, a 3-percent tax increase for the purchase price of lodging.
The remaining ballot issues involve the school districts. Bayfield School District (10-R) residents will vote on three school district directors, while Ignacio School District (No. 11JT) residents will vote on three candidates for directors (with no races on the ballot). Ignacio district voters will also vote on a maximum $1.1 million tax increase for 2005-6 and "annually each fiscal year thereafter" for district purposes determined by the board of education.
The two tax increases (town Lodgers' Tax and Ignacio School District) require TABOR notices, which are being sent out today to residents in the regions concerned.
Finally, Archuleta County School District (50 Joint) residents will vote on two school district directors, one for District 1 (Matt Aragon, uncontested), and one for District 5 (a vote between Linda Lattin and Ray "Butch" Mackey). Future issues of The SUN will cover the issues in more detail.
Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half. Gore Vidal
Didn't vote in 2004? Didn't return card? You need to reactivate
If you did not vote in the 2004 General Election, did not return the continuation card and wish to vote this year, you will need to reactivate your voter registration before the ballots are mailed.
That is one of the reminders being issued by the Archuleta County Clerk's office as the Nov. 1 ballot draws closer.
Any change in voter registrations needs a signature from the voter so you will have to make the trip to the clerk's office or pick up a form, fill it out, and return it to the office.
If you have changed your mailing address, the clerk's office needs to know that also. If you have moved here from another Colorado county and you were registered to vote, you will need to reregister. Your registration does not automatically transfer.
If you registered after the November 2004 election, the clerk's office should have your current mailing address and you should receive a ballot for this Mail Ballot Election.
The last day for registering to vote or making a change to your registration record is Oct. 3.
For additional information call the clerk's office at 264-8350.
Ducks Unlimited banquet Saturday night
By Nolan Fulton
Special to The SUN
The first explorers to set foot in North America beheld a continent covered with rich wetlands teeming with waterfowl and countless other species of wildlife. Not long after the report of those first explorers, however, millions of acres of wetlands were being drained to feed and house an ever-increasing human population.
Now, more than half of North America's original wetlands are gone and another 170,000 wetland acres are lost every year. Water fowl and other wetland-dependant wildlife species are running out of places to live, and we are losing countless benefits that wetlands provide human kind.
As the world's largest non-profit wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization, Ducks Unlimited is working hard to preserve our valuable natural resources for future generations. You can help too, attend your local Pagosa Springs Ducks Unlimited banquet, this Saturday night, Oct. 1.
For tickets or information, call Nolan Fulton at 264-2660, Tracy Bunning at 264-2128, Dan Aupperle at 264-2235, Scott Kay at 264-4539, Lin Stewart at 731-0377 or Dan Howe at 731-1276 . Tickets will also be available at the door. The cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and auction to follow.
Prescribed burns planned by Pagosa Ranger District
Conditions permitting, fire managers from the Pagosa Ranger District are planning to conduct prescribed burns in three areas near Pagosa Springs this fall. The intent is to begin burning the week of Oct. 2 and continue for several days. Conditions will determine the timing of the prescribed burns.
Prescribed burns totaling about 400 acres will occur in fuels treatment demonstration units in the Turkey Springs area. These units have been treated with hand cutting and slashing and/or mechanical mowing and shredding of small white fir and Douglas fir. Units are adjacent to Newt Jack Road and Monument Park Road East. Both units are roughly 10.5 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs. Smoke will be visible from Piedra Road, U.S. 160, and in several subdivisions north of the highway.
The second area proposed for burning this fall is in Benson Creek, about 12 miles southeast of Pagosa Springs, south of Blanco Basin Road and east of U.S. 84. Fire managers plan to burn a total of 400 acres. Part of the area was previously burned under prescription in the late 1990s.
The Turkey Springs and Benson Creek areas are important to elk and mule deer for winter forage. Low intensity prescribed fires remove decadent shrubby vegetation. Fires are followed by regeneration of grasses and forbs and new growth on mountain mahogany, service berry, and Gambel oak - the preferred forage for elk, deer, black bear and Merriam's turkey.
Smoke will be monitored by the Forest Service and the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division. For the safety of visitors to the forest, there may be temporary travel restrictions on adjacent forest roads while firefighters are actively burning. Signs will be posted in and adjacent to burn units regarding temporary site-specific camping restrictions.
While these prescribed burns continue to reduce hazard fuels in these areas near private property, there are additional benefits. Part of the funding for the prescribed burns comes through the Habitat Partnership Program sponsored by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
The program uses funding generated with local hunting license sales for a variety of wildlife partnership projects on private and public lands.
For more information about the Habitat Partnership Program, contact Drayton Harrison, District Wildlife manager at the Colorado Division of Wildlife office in Durango 247-0855.
For more information about the prescribed burns, contact the Pagosa Ranger District Office at 264-2268.
Living with mountain lions - respect and caution advised
By Chuck McGuire
The children seem oblivious to danger, while mother is increasingly anxious. The family dog, on the other hand, is openly agitated and refuses to go out after dark. As temporary residents, the Everetts live in the Meadows subdivision of Pagosa Springs - an area also known as mountain lion country.
For that matter, much of the entire western U.S., including Pagosa Springs and all of the Four Corners region, is home to a population of mountain lions and has been for thousands of years. While this is nothing new, a growing number of area sightings apparently is.
Ray McComber also lives in Meadows, and has reportedly seen a mountain lion, a lynx, and other unidentified wild cats on several occasions.
"I've seen lynx out here for years," McComber said. "But this is the first year for mountain lions."
His first sighting came sometime last spring, when a large tawny cat was suddenly sitting in the neighbors' driveway.
"I knew they had kids, so I called to tell them for their safety," he said.
McComber has seen other cats too, though he isn't sure what kind. He describes them as similar in size to a lynx, with one being gray, the other much darker.
"The dark one doesn't seem too afraid of humans," he said. "I've seen him just sit and watch me as I checked my mailbox."
Mark and Holly Everett are currently renting in Meadows, and have four young children. While they're mindful of mountain lions inhabiting the area, they aren't overly concerned ... just yet.
"Our neighbor called and told us about the lion in our driveway, but we haven't seen it ourselves," Mrs. Everett said. "We know they're here though, and about two weeks ago a visiting family member heard a strange growl outside. It was very scary."
The Everett children range in age from five to nine, and according to Mrs. Everett, play outside only during daylight hours.
"We keep an eye on the kids when they're outside," she said. "They aren't too worried about it, but our dog is scared and won't go outside except in broad daylight. He knows something's out there."
Mike Reid of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) has spoken with Mrs. Everett, assuring her that, while real, danger is probably minimal.
"We have far more problems with loose dogs," he said. " I just told them to keep an eye on the kids when they're out, and tell them not to approach strange animals. I also suggested they open up the brush around the house to discourage predators."
According to Reid, every time an area is developed and new houses are built, a wildlife migratory route or regular travel corridor is potentially cut off. Animals follow established trails, and when humans increasingly encroach on their habitat they have to adjust. Thus, wildlife encounters become more frequent in areas where few have occurred before.
In truth, mountain lions can appear anywhere in Pagosa Country, but tend to occupy more remote regions with minimal human activity, good cover and abundant mule deer. They are shy and elusive, and anyone fortunate enough to see one in the wild will rarely get more than a glimpse before it vanishes in thick brush. Except when breeding, lions are solitary creatures, and are most active between dusk and dawn.
Wendy Keefover-Ring of Sinapu, an environmental group dedicated to restoring and protecting carnivores in the southern Rockies, conducted a slide show Tuesday night at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, entitled "Mountain Lions in the West: Natural History, Conservation, & Co-Existence." The program was designed to inform Pagosa residents of the history, current status and projected future of mountain lions in the west and in our area. During the presentation, Keefover-Ring also explained how to minimize the likelihood of a surprise encounter with a lion, and what to do when confronted by one.
To reduce the risk of problem encounters with mountain lions, Keefover-Ring recommends folks travel in groups and make noise when moving about between dusk and dawn. Carrying deterrents, such as a walking stick, air horn or pepper spray, will discourage attacks, and pets should be kept on a leash at all times. Homeowners should remove thick brush from around the house, keep pet food indoors, and confine pets and children to fenced areas in plain view.
In the unlikely event of a mountain lion approach, Keefover-Ring suggests we pick up small children and place older ones behind us. We should try and appear as large as possible by opening our jacket or sweater, and we should talk loudly in a firm voice, or even shout at the animal. Stay calm, keep a watchful eye on the lion and slowly back away.
If a lion acts aggressively, throw rocks, branches or anything you can get your hands on without crouching down to pick it up, and fight back if attacked.
Mountain lions are magnificent animals, and as efficient predators, play an essential role in the balance of nature. With a little common sense and genuine respect for them and their habitat, we can live without fear in lion country.
While the Everetts haven't resorted to locking themselves inside their Meadows home just yet, they remain vigilant in light of recent mountain lion sightings in the neighborhood. The family dog, on the other hand, seems content with catching up on primetime television lately.
San Juan Federation to hold fly fishing seminar
By James Robinson
Fly fishing the San Juan River below Navajo Dam can be a humbling and puzzling experience. Not all anglers are accustomed to casting a size 22 fly tied on 6x or 7x tippet to super selective trout sipping microscopic insects. Add cold water, strong currents and wading on super slick rocks and the San Juan can be a challenging, if not mystifying experience.
But the San Juan Fly Fishing Federation is offering help.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, the federation is hosting a free, day-long fly fishing seminar custom tailored to helping anglers of all skill levels learn the intricacies of fishing the San Juan River below Navajo Dam.
Fly fishing guides, federation members and representatives from the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game will be on hand to teach attendees the fundamentals of the river. Work sessions covering: aquatic life of the river, appropriate gear for fishing the San Juan, casting and knots, dry fly techniques, nymphing techniques, streamers fishing and float tubing will be offered. Catch and release angling techniques will be discussed during the seminar and many of the work sessions will take a how-to, hands-on approach.
The program will be held from 9:30 am to 3:30 p.m at Cottonwood Campground on the San Juan River. Free parking will be provided at the campground for attendees during the seminar. Those wishing to stay after the seminar will be required to purchase a day use park pass.
Attendees are asked to bring a chair, notepad, lunch, water and clothing appropriate for the weather.
To reserve a spot for the seminar, or for more information about the event, contact either Ray Hood at (505) 334-6934 or Gary Jantz at (505) 334-8902.
The event is sponsored by the San Juan Fly Fishing Federation whose goal is to teach and promote the sport of angling.
Safety musts prevent hunting accidents
Although game animals and hunting gear needs vary across the country, there is one aspect of hunting that is universal - the topic of safety. The combination of powerful weapons and the thrill of the hunt can lead to injury or death if safety precautions aren't taken or mistakes are made. Before you grab your gun or bow, take a refresher course in hunting safety, and follow these tips:
- First and foremost, always treat your disarmed bow or gun as if it were loaded. Never assume that the weapon is completely safe.
- Never point your weapon in anyone's direction, even if it is unloaded. And don't rest a weapon on your toe or foot, or up against a fence or tree.
- Know your safe zone-of-fire and stick to it. Your safe zone-of-fire is the area or direction in which you can safely fire a shot. (It is called the "down range" at a shooting facility.) Be sure you know where your companions are at all times. Never swing your gun or bow out of your safe zone-of-fire.
- Keep the safety engaged at all times, until the time when you are ready to shoot.
- Clearly identify your target before shooting. Every year, people are shot because they are mistaken for deer or other animals. Until your target is fully visible and in good light, do not even raise the scope of your rifle to see it, but use binoculars, instead, to clarify the target. Know what is in front of and behind your target. Never take a shot at any animals on top of ridges or hillsides since you don't know what is behind it. It is a good idea to scout out your proposed hunting area to make sure there aren't homes or roads close by.
- Know the range of your weapon: how far it will shoot; what loads you have in the chamber; and how accurate you are with a bow or gun. (It's a good idea to visit a gun range prior to hunting season and fire your weapon to gauge accuracy.)
- Keep your emotions in check. No trophy buck or elk is worth risking making a mistake.
- Hunt only during the state-allowed hours, usually from dawn until dusk. Never hunt at night or in weather where visibility is compromised.
- Make sure you are hunting on state-approved land. Avoid areas that are "Posted" as private property.
- Always unload your weapon after use. In addition, don't climb over a fence, duck blind (a camouflage, bushlike object that prevent ducks from spotting you in the water) or into or out of a tree stand with a loaded weapon.
- Practice ear and eye safety. Many hunters damage their ears by repeatedly firing a weapon without proper ear protection. If you must listen for game approaching, put a soft earplug in the ear closest to the weapon to acquire some protection. Wear protective eye goggles as well.
- Keep your weapon clean and well maintained. The smallest amount of debris lodged in your weapon (even a small amount of snow in a rifle barrel) can cause a misfire and potential injury. Always dismantle and check the weapon carefully after each use, and any time it is dropped.
- Wear conspicuous-colored clothing, like bright fluorescent orange, so you'll stand out in thick foliage and not be mistaken for an animal. If you live in a rural area, during hunting seasons (which vary by state and weapon), have family members protect themselves by dressing in bright colors as well.
- Never drink alcohol or use drugs before or during a hunting trip.
Places of wonder, well worth saving
By James Robinson
It was Sunday morning, early Sunday morning, and despite the fog and stupor in my head, I loaded fly gear, dog and backpack into the truck and headed east out of town. I drove for a while, then turned onto a Forest Service road, and a few creek crossings later came to its end.
A solid breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, toast and strong coffee had fueled my resolve to drag my carcass out of the house; but it was the crystalline clarity of the sunlight, the azure sky and the promise of a beautiful day of cutthroat fishing that propelled me up the road to the trail head.
The trail began in the bottom of a wide valley ringed by aspens. Some burned golden on the hillsides in pockets of vibrant color erupting amidst a sea of green. The season had not fully arrived, with the recent warm temperatures, many were still unchanged.
The trail ran nearly parallel to the creek, snaking along, dodging in and out of stands of spruce and willow. It skirted the edges of marshlands, prolific with cat tails and small beaver ponds, and was marked with stale signs of deer and elk who had been driven up high by hunters. Wild turkeys ambled through the low foliage on the hillsides.
I followed the path as it left the river and entered a thick grove of Engelmann spruce.
The forest swallowed me, and I walked on a floor of black humus carpeted with a delicate, velvety covering of clover. I stepped carefully, not wanting to disturb the clover nor the silence.
I emerged from the trees and back into the full sunlight of the valley. I walked on, soaking up the heat, and finally reconnected with the creek.
After bashing my way through a dense grove of willows to streamside, I arrived on a gravel bar and gazed down, discouraged, at the sight of a mere trickle of a stream.
The water was spread thin, running flat and barely more than a few inches deep across what looked like glacial till.
The promise of a stellar day of fall fishing looked grim, but I lined up and tried anyway. I walked up stream, attempting casts only to the few, deep holes and my efforts were rewarded with many, truly fine Rio Grande cutthroat.
Ultimately, despite my first impression, the fishing was stellar, but I spent the day distracted, thinking about a trip I had taken exactly one year earlier in New Mexico's Valle Vidal.
The Valle Vidal trip was a last minute, last chance grab at a weekend of fishing before winter came and my father returned to his home up north. The weather forecasters told us not to go and the lashing rain and near freezing temperatures once there, confirmed their advice. But we didn't care, it was fishing, winter was coming and curiosity and the pursuit of trout often prevail.
When we turned off the pavement and began on the winding, gravel road to the campground, we entered an area heavy with cottonwoods. As we drove beneath the leafy canopy, a red tailed hawk dropped down from the trees, hovered just above the windshield, then flew slowly up the road like an avian guide into the wilderness.
I'd never been to the Valle Vidal, I'd heard it was a special place, and the encounter with the hawk seemed to confirm the valley was someplace different. The surreal visit by the hawk set the tone for the weekend.
We continued up the road, and just a few miles from our destination, a jagged rock ripped a gash in the side wall of one of the rear tires. We changed the flat but were forced to drive on a mini spare in a van heavily loaded with dogs, fishing and camping gear.
We continued at a slow crawl up the mountain and our snail's pace revealed a valley truly alive. Elk and deer crept gingerly through the trees and aspens burned like roman candles on the hillsides.
We arrived at our campsite, pitched the tents, then walked in the twilight to Shuree Ponds where we casted lackadaisically in the fading light to rising trout. We walked back to camp in the darkness beneath a star-filled sky. Morning came and with it a camp full of deer and the distinct low calling of elk in the valleys below.
We fished hard for the next two days, churning the waters of Costilla Creek into a froth with the constant cast and retrieval of our fly lines.
Between us, we caught one cuttbow, and it is one of the most memorable fishing trips of my life. And not for the quantity of fish caught, but for the sheer, staggering beauty of the place.
Perhaps it was the nature of Costilla Creek, which is a meandering jewel of stream, complete with oxbows, cut backs and deep turquoise waters that could bring even the most stoic fly fisher to their knees. Perhaps it was sneaking down into an aspen-ringed clearing at dawn and laying in the frost covered grass as herds of deer wandered in from the shadows of the tree line to graze. Perhaps it was the calling of the elk during morning coffee, the starry sky, the profound quiet or the fall colors. Perhaps it was the rain, and watching the storms moving down from the peaks. Perhaps it was the presence of another hawk perched on a lightning struck tree, that took flight as we passed and guided us back down the road on our departure from the valley.
In retrospect, it was a combination of all these things and even while catching magnificent cutthroat in Pagosa Country, I couldn't remove the memory of that trip from my mind. Why?
Because as I stood there casting in some tiny, no-name feeder creek of the San Juan River, I knew those fish, the trees, the wildlife and the high mountain peaks all lay in the Weminuche Wilderness and were protected. The Valle Vidal, which shares many of these traits is not. And like the roadless area of the HD Mountains in Archuleta County, the energy industry seeks the coal bed methane lying deep below the ground.
Perhaps comparing the roadless area of the HDs and the Valle Vidal isn't a fair comparison. They are, in fact, very different ecosystems with different qualities. But what they share is something invaluable, something profound and something once destroyed, irreplaceable. That one thing is an intrinsic wildness.
After spending the last few weeks exploring the impact of energy development on Archuleta County, I am haunted by a persistent question.
As the nation, communities and individuals grapple with the issues of energy development, one must ask, aren't there some areas, due to their inherent worth as places of wonder, of solitude, of rejuvenation and of wilderness, that are worth protecting and saving?
High Country Reflections
No colum this week
Architecture shapes the focus, nature, genteel side and importance of local culture. Lets compare Savannah to Pagosa Springs.
The focus of the people of Savannah as a community is inward within their rich architectural, historical and cosmopolitan city. While Pagosans have the free form architecture of surrounding nature, much more of an individual enjoyment. Given that people will always fuss, my guess is that the varied architecture of buildings, squares and national/family/individual histories offers more choice to people to enrich conversations and pastimes than the politics of others or the environment.
However, Savannah and Pagosa Springs have more in common than meets the eye. First and foremost, each has a moveable feast of citizens of varied sizes, shapes and political flavor who love their city/county and their need to preserve or change her culture and, of course, their spot within. However, without the depth of Savannah's rich architecture and internal culture, the battle of Pagosans is more focused on the "good" old proven past vs. "evil" change. Looking at or listening to the same fear brings out our meaner side. The risk of discussion is change. The fervor of both our newer and older citizens desires seems fueled by the perceived dying/decaying/anonymity of cities of their respective past and/or fears of encroachment. Our forefathers in 1776 would have loved that line in the movie "Red October" ... "a little revolution now and then is a good thing."
Progress in civilization (you could say humanization) requires change. Change breaks rules, by experimentation (you could say evolution). In the process of evolution there will be inexplicably successful deadends. My guess it's the fear of these deadends, fueled by finite physical lives and tested past norms that causes the hatred and fear of change.
Political titles aside, some of us have become idealists without ideas, thus have lost access to the freedom of exchange of intellectual thought. Those who fall into this trap have only one response: "You're for me ('good') or against me ('evil')."
Thus the default position to demonize, belittle, damage or just plain smear those expressing a different opinion. The woman whose car was vandalized due to a political bumper sticker is absolutely correct when stating that she has every right and expectation in America to express her choice. Given Pagosans' generosity, hopefully she'll receive and display many similar bigger replacements.
A test of forgiveness:
On Monday, Sept. 26, at approximately 6:45 p.m., our beloved cat, Roxy, was killed by two large black dogs allowed to run wild in our neighborhood in Lakewood Village. This nightmare was witnessed by our neighbor and her two children. Dogs can be loving pets, but with their love comes responsibility. They can do harm to people and other pets. If you have small dogs or cats, protect them at all costs, so you won't have to dig deep in your heart for forgiveness. Some people who don't care can have a devastating effect on people who do.
We love and miss you, Roxy girl.
Tegan and Shelly Brown
Get the truth
The attitude displayed by Jim Sawicki in his letters of the last few months points to the real problem evident among many sheep-like supporters of oil magnates that control our country. People like Jim do not engage in any real thought about the vitally important issues for which he attacks others. He does not even know which wars we have won! And he did not address one of the important facts listed in Wendy Wallace's excellent letter (Aug. 5). His communications consist of childish, hateful verbal sniping.
It is not sufficient to simply listen to media sources you have a tendency to agree with, and then just parrot them. The consolidation of the media, supported and executed by the government, has instituted unprecedented control of the media in the U.S. They have even forced National Public Radio to install a Republican pundit as head of their board. To get to the truth, one must seek out as many sources as possible. There are many important stories being kept out of the news here in the states. And I say to people like Jim that if you do not listen to the many sides of an issue and consider them deeply, you cannot claim to have a true perspective, and you render your own rantings irrelevant.
In the movie Fahrenheit 911, there is actual news footage of a meeting of government officials with war contractors - Bechtel, Brown, Root and the like. It was almost as if the government felt it had to sell the idea of the war to these contractors. In his introduction, the official said, "Listen, there is a lot of money to be made here, folks!" That one statement reveals the true intent of those who started this war. Another scene in the same movie is news footage of Bush speaking at a fund-raiser for the very wealthy. He began his speech saying, "Well, here we are, the Haves and the Have Mores. Some call you the elite, but I call you my base." And then they all laughed up a storm - they couldn't stop laughing.
I believe the awful Karma brought on our country by sinful acts of aggression in the past have brought us to where we are now. For too long we have stood by while profiteering corporations run our foreign policy. They have always used fake religiosity and divisive jingoistic nationalism to lure our loved ones into terrible wars fought for profit and the self-aggrandizement of a few powerful men. Just one example would be enough to outrage most people. Study the history of the Bechtel Corporation and Enron in Iraq and India. This story came through Alternative News out of Boulder, Colo. (on NPR Sundays). I encourage everyone to download and listen to this incredible story, which has been strictly kept out of American news, and speak out. Get up! Stand up! Stand up for all our rights and for what is right, good and just! Hideous and evil acts are being perpetrated against the powerless around the world in the name of the USA.
We all realize that Karl Isberg likes to write about a lot things other than food, but the dog diarrhea is a little over the top for a food column. Mr. Isberg should stick to food and leave the dog poop to the Letters section where it belongs.
Editor's note: The editor has admonished Isberg numerous times, attempting to bring him under control. The admonitions have gone unheeded. We will try again. Thank you for your contribution to the "Letters section."
C and D
In my opinion, the November vote on Referendums C and D is the most critical and important vote in my 35 years as a resident of the state. As a sincere advocate of the political process, I now join with Gov. Bill Owens and the massive coalition of Independents, Democrats and Republicans who now are working via C and D to repair the widespread damage being caused by the "ratchet down" impact of TABOR. The TABOR amendment passed in 1992 allow for a maximum of 6-percent increase in state spending no matter if the budget was drastically cut in a bad economic downturn and then comes back strongly. A vote for C and D will not raise our taxes.
In southwest Colorado, more than 50 organizations and hundreds of residents of every political stripe and persuasion have formally signed resolutions urging a "yes" vote for C and D. Please understand, a "yes" vote would not raise taxes, it would merely suspend for five years any refund we might otherwise receive under provisions of TABOR. Opponents of C and D are willing to permit more cuts in health-care for the millions of underinsured and uninsured in our state.
They appear to be happy to see the very existence of colleges and other institutions of higher education threatened and priced out of reach of ordinary families. They could care less for the deterioration of our road and highway systems. Opponents have no viable answers for what to do if C and D fails and we face the predicted $400 million in budget cuts next year. Many essential services would again be on the chopping block. Even programs like 4-H will be reduced or eliminated as the state has to cut back on needed spending.
Please join me and others who sincerely care about our state's economic health, its health and human services, and its education and highway systems, by voting "yes" on C and D - and by encouraging your friends and acquaintances to do so.
Raymond P. Finney
Class of 1993
Here's the situation
I'll be blunt
I'm on a simple mission
It's called the "Classmate Hunt"
I'm looking for Jennifer, Elizabeth, and Rebecca Girardin, too
Jolyne, Lonnie, Eddie, and Ray St. Laurent ... where are you?
Juanita's in Denver
Roger just moved back
Wes, Aaron, and Angel are in Pagosa
I'm on the right track
Mark's in New Mexico
With a beautiful wife and a baby or two
I'm in the Carolinas
And searching for each of you
There are so many names
67 in all
It's time to get together
Let's do it this fall
The date is November, the fifth to be exact
The place is to be determined
I hope you'll call me back
Here's my number, you have no excuse
Let's all get together, catch up, and cut loose.
620 10th Ave. N.
Surfside Beach, SC 29575
Tracie (Sexton) Sneed
The irrational criticism of my suggestion that parents might want to have children over the age of 6 use a fluoride mouthrinse to prevent cavities brings to mind the following quotations.
Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
And from Plato's Phaedo, the following observation by Socrates, "The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions."
An excellent source of information for parents is the 72 page document entitled Fluoridation Facts which can be found on the American Dental Association Web site (www.ada.org/public/topics/fluoride/index.asp). That site also contains the statement, "For over five decades, the American Dental Association has continuously endorsed the fluoridation of community water supplies and the use of fluoride-containing products as safe and effective measures for preventing tooth decay."
'Contemporary Classics,' set for Saturday night
By John Graves
Special to The PREVIEW
On the evening of Oct. 1, The David Taylor Dance Theatre, in association with the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters, will present a program of "Contemporary Classics" in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.
As Colorado's only professional contemporary ballet company, the DTDT has developed a reputation of presenting outstanding original and innovative works. This retrospective of some of the best works from the company's extensive repertoire is in celebration of their 26th anniversary season.
The return of this critically acclaimed company to Pagosa Springs will again feature a wide and exciting variety of choreography, dancers, music, and costuming.
The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this outstanding presentation are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $6 for students. They may be purchased at the Plaid Pony in Pagosa Lakes. For more information, call Michael DeWinter at 731-5262.
MotherWise Bible study starts Oct. 5
All mothers are invited to be part of Denise Glenn's 10-week Bible study, MotherWise. This study will be held every Wednesday from 4-5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, beginning Oct. 5.
Proverbs 14:1 "Every wise woman buildeth her house; but a fool plucketh it down."
Do you want to be a mother who builds her home and family up or who destroys them? MotherWise will give you the answers to help you become a woman of wisdom who "builds" her home.
Being a mother can be terrifying at times as we watch family after family fall victim to divorce, rebellious children and heartbreak. Where can you turn for answers, with all the conflicting advice out there? Turn to God's word and the Bible at first Baptist Church for MotherWise.
This is a nondenominational study and free child care will be provided. For more information, contact Rachel Lacey at 731-9899 or Alia Bailey at 731-0180.
Volunteers needed for Pagosa's Oktoberfest
By Joe Nanus
Special to The PREVIEW
Oktoberfest ... it'll be a party!
The fourth annual Oktoberfest, sponsored by Archuleta Seniors, Inc. is set for Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Community Center. There will be fun, food, sing-a-longs and dancing. This party is for the whole family.
The event is a primary fund-raiser for the non-profit Archuleta Seniors, Inc., which helps needy seniors pay medical, optometry and dental bills as well as providing some assistance with prescription drug costs.
Tickets are $13 for adults when purchased in advance, or $15 at the door. Children, ages 5 to 12 get in for $8. Members of Archuleta Seniors, Inc. are admitted to the party for $10.
More than 500 people are expected to come and enjoy the fun, the food, the fellowship and the music and dancing.
There is still time for people to get their names on the list as volunteers to help with setup and serving food and drinks at the party. It is impossible to host such a party without volunteers; organizers need all the help they can get in order to make the event a success.
Those interested in volunteering to help should call Dru Sewell at 731-3446. Anyone with questions about Oktoberfest should call the senior center at 264-2167.
Auditions for Christmas show tonight and tomorrow
By John Graves
Special to The PREVIEW
Tonight's the night, but it's not too late!
If you are an adult, teenager or child and think you might like to perform in a wonderful holiday musical, you still have time to audition for the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters' production of "A Christmas Carol."
Auditions will be held in the high school band room tonight and tomorrow from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The dates for the performances are Dec. 1, 2 and 3, with an added matinee on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Be prepared to read from a script and sing one chorus of a song from "A Christmas Carol," or from some other musical. Bring your own sheet music, as an accompanist will be provided. If you can dance a little - all the better.
Michael DeWinter is the director and Dale Morris is director of choreography and staging in this version of Michael DeMaio's adaptation of Dickens' classic story. The musical directors are Lisa Hartley and Melinda Baum.
In addition to performers, Music Boosters will also be looking for musicians, technicians (sound and lights), crew, set builders and painters, costumers and makeup artists.
So, whether it's performing, or being part of the exciting backstage activities, come and find out which areas are of interest to you.
For more information, call DeWinter at 731-5262.
"Prints," works by Ron
Fundingsland at SHY RABBIT
The Showroom @ SHY RABBIT will host "Prints," works by Ron Fundingsland, Oct. 15-Nov. 12.
The show opens with a reception for the artist Saturday, Oct. 15, from 5-9 p.m. The Showroom will be open Saturdays, 1-4 p.m., starting Oct. 22 and continuing through Nov. 12.
"I am affected by a number of social, political and personal issues that are frequently seen in my work. More often than not, I think of it as commentary," said Fundingsland.
Born in Burlington, Colo., in 1947 and currently residing in Bayfield, Fundingsland has exhibited work in Taiwan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Brazil. He has participated in numerous national print exhibitions in the U.S. where he received a number of prestigious awards. His work is included in several major art museums including the Denver Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.
An artists' round table will follow on Sunday, Oct. 16, from 1-4 p.m. As a highly accomplished and well respected fine printmaker for over two decades, Ron will speak about his years of experience in the art world. A question and answer period will follow. The round table will also be opened up to group discussion, a tour of The Space @ SHY RABBIT, and a brief overview of the concepts the SHY RABBIT creative development team is currently working on. All are welcome.
The Showroom @ SHY RABBIT is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1. For more information, call 731-2766 or 731-2659.
Have some fun with Country Western Swing
By Deb Aspen
Special to The PREVIEW
When "swing" was the thing in the 1930s, young people from coast to coast were dancing in the urban ballrooms to the music of the Big Bands.
One of the many fascinated listeners out west was Bob Wills. When jazz hit, Bob was struck. Eventually, he formed his own western big band and helped create a genre of music known as Western Swing. Bob Wills, born east of Kosse, Texas, is known as the "King of Western Swing." He perfected this style in the late 1930s with his band The Texas Playboys.
With the help of Bob Wills, this very popular style of country music developed in Texas and Oklahoma throughout the 1930s, and saw enormous popularity in the '40s. The style is a blend of big band, blues, dixieland and jazz. Musically, it contributed the drums and Hawaiian steel guitar to country music. It was Saturday night dance type of music, which combined the style of jazz and big band swing with the culture of the Southwest.
Some say that beginning in the country dance halls of Texas and Oklahoma, an infectious combination of country, cowboy, polka, and folk music was blended with swing to create a variation played by so-called "hot string bands," which later came to be known as Western Swing or Country Swing.
There are several theories of how the country western swing dance was created. Some say that today's modern country swing dance derives directly from the music Wills played, and the way people danced to it. Others say that around 1938, Benny Goodman's new jazz style made it easy to do the Lindy Hop, which gave birth to the Jitterbug: a fast moving combination of fancy footwork and elaborate spins, twirls and turns. This highly influenced today's Country Western Swing.
Finally, some historians claim that the birth of Western Swing can be traced more or less to an oil lamp and a sack of flour. In 1930, a duo of fiddle and guitar players teamed up with a vocalist and rhythm guitarist to form The Aladdin Laddies, making regular appearances on WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas. Many groups in those days took their names from the sponsor of a radio show, which in this case was the Aladdin Lamp Company. When laddin Lamp pulled out as their sponsor, the show continued under the sponsorship of the Burros Mill and Elevator Company. The best known product of the mill was Light Crust Flour, so the boys were renamed The Light Crust Doughboys.
Whatever the real history is, it doesn't matter how it started. It's just so much fun to dance the Country Western Swing.
The dance club October schedule is as follows: Classes are Oct. 6, 12, 20 and 27, from 7-9 p.m. Practice sessions will be Oct. 9, 16 and 23 from 3-5 p.m. All sessions meet at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. Dancers without partners are welcome. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that have smooth or split leather soles, (something that does not leave black marks or mud).
Saturday, Oct. 29 is our Halloween hayride, potluck and dance party at Larry and Bonnie Sprague's nursery near Allison. For more information, call Deb Aspen at 731-3338.
Local Hopi Connection group to hold open meeting
By Paul Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW
Hopi Connection is a nonprofit organization based in Pagosa Springs. Its members engage in philanthropic, educational and cultural projects to enhance the quality of life and preserve the cultural traditions of the Hopi people.
The organization is announcing a meeting to talk about its current projects and long-term goals. The meeting is open to the public. It will be held in the Teen Room of the Pagosa Springs Community Center, Monday, Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m. All who are interested are invited to attend.
Hopi Connection brings farming equipment, school supplies and Christmas presents to Hopi communities in Arizona. It works with Hopi educators in an effort to preserve the Hopi language and culture. It also creates opportunities for Hopi children's music and dance groups to perform.
The organization arranged for a group of young Hopi singers, drummers and dancers to participate in the Pagosa Springs Fourth of July parade two years ago. The group won the second place prize for music. Another children's group delighted audiences by performing at the recent Four Corners Folk Festival.
"I've always been interested in Native Americans and their culture," says Pagosa resident Wilma Sawatzky. Wilma, a former charter airline pilot who ran her own company for 20 years, is director of Hopi Connection. Ten years ago she found out the Hopi were coming to Chimney Rock to perform their sacred dances. She immediately got involved with the group that was facilitating the event and her involvement with the Hopi has been continuous ever since.
Two years ago Sawatzky formed Hopi Connection as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so donors who contributed funds and gifts to help the Hopi could receive a tax deduction.
"My whole life has been changed by the Hopi - by their sense of family, their sense of community, their spirituality, their dances and their tradition," said Sawatzky. "This involvement has totally enriched my life. I love everything about it. The Hopi are such wonderful people to be around. They have a great sense of humor. They've really become like my extended family. Now I have many, many friends that I'm very close to."
Sawatzky is gratified by the many expressions of appreciation from her Hopi friends. "It's always an honor and a treat to be invited to their social dances," she said. "I have been included in some that not everybody gets to go to. That's a special thing for me."
Besides the organization's emphasis on preserving culture through its work with children, the organization also focuses on the elderly. Hopi Health Weekend is a program in which volunteer holistic health practitioners from Pagosa go to a Hopi village and use their skills to help seniors. Massage therapist Rebecca Cortez coordinates this program.
"For me, supporting the Hopi is like a connection to the roots of being an American," said Cortez, secretary/ treasurer of Hopi Connection and one of its main movers. "The Hopi have lived in the Four Corners area for over 1,000 years, and they have the oldest consistently occupied community in North America."
Come hear Sawatzky, Cortez and others talk about the meaningful work of this organization Oct. 17. The meeting will also be a chance for others who have worked with the Hopi to share their experiences and to network with each other.
For further information, call Sawatzky at 731-4846, or Cortez at 264-1433.
4-H Week features open house
By Pamela Bomkamp
Special to The PREVIEW
Next week is National 4-H Week and Archuleta County is celebrating with a 4-H Open House Oct. 7 at 4 p.m. in the Extension Building.
Local 4-H youth will connect with the community by displaying projects for the coming year, showing everyone what the six various 4-H clubs have to offer. There will also be a Cloverbud craft area and dog agility demonstrations.
All are invited to learn more about 4-H and what projects will be available this year.
Most of the project leaders will be on hand to show you their project details. We will also have senior 4-H members on hand to talk with you about 4-H. Leaders and staff will also be available to discuss the 4-H program and enroll anyone from 8 years of age to 18.
We also have a Cloverbud program for children 5 to 7 years old. Cloverbud Leaders Lisa Scott and Sabra Miller will provide crafts to keep the young ones busy while answering parents questions.
If you have a dog, then you wont want to miss the dog agility course that is part of the Dog Project. We will have some of last year's dogs running the course to show everyone how much fun can be had in the project and in 4-H. Dog Project leader Jan Nanus explains that the project is "team exercises that consist of the 4-H member and their dog working together." She goes on to say that the "agility course presents challenges for both as they learn different maneuvers and work together."
In Archuleta County, more than 180 members and 45 volunteers are involved in 4 H.
You can join the 4-H community today. To learn how to become a 4-H member or volunteer leader in Archuleta County, contact Pamela Bomkamp, 4-H coordinator, at Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Archuleta County, at 264-5931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4-H is a community of more than seven million young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Learn more about the 4-H adventure at www.4husa.org.
UU program deals with challenges and rewards
Program leader Phyl Daleske will present a program based on an essay by The Reverend David O. Rankin, Minister of the Fountain Street Unitarian Universalist Church of Grand Rapids, Mich., Sunday, Oct. 2. The essay is titled "Our Beliefs: the Challenges and Rewards of a Non-Creedal Religion."
Rev. Rankin discusses the similarities and differences of Unitarian Universalism from other worldwide religions. He reflects on his journey from a non-traditional religion to UUism, which he finds suits his needs of temperament, offers joy and hope in everyday living, and provides an impetus for ethical commitment leading toward building a community of love and trust.
The service and children's program begin at 10:30 a.m. The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall is 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. All are welcome.
It's National Newspaper Week
By Kate Terry
The newspaper industry has its yearly celebration just as other organizations do, and this next week, Oct. 2 through 8, is it.
The theme for National Newspaper Week is "Your Newspaper: Your Community Town Hall."
This is a good theme, for newspapers have always offered a forum for thought. A "town hall" in print if you please. They have helped to make history as well as record it. It was colonial journalists (Ben Franklin and Tom Paine, for instance) who helped inspire the American Revolution. The many newspapers at the time kept their presses running.
And about the First Amendment. When the U.S. Constitution was written in 1776, the First Amendment included, "Congress shall make no law Š abridging the freedom of speech of the press." At the time this was written, nine of the original 13 states already constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press.
Historians and other famous people have endorsed its message. Then late President Herbert Hoover said, "Absolute freedom of the press to discuss public questions is a foundation stone of America's liberty."
The power of the press is evident.
Today there is a term - "fourth estate" - used to refer to the mass media as a powerful watchdog in liberal democracy reveling abuses of state authority and defending the democratic rights of citizens.
The term is accredited to the 19th century historian Carlyle who attributed it to Edmund Burke who said that Parliament had three estates (political classes) and then pointed to the reporter's gallery and called them the "fourth estate," the most important of them all. His political classes were priesthood, aristocracy and commons. In the United States, the term came to mean the fourth "power" which checks and counterbalances the three state "powers" of executive, legislative and judiciary.
To continue writing about newspapers, an old saying among reporters is one that defines good reporting: "If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out."
And about the employees of a newspaper. All papers have an owner and a publisher. Large papers have lots of editors. Small papers have fewer. The owner of a paper oftentimes lives someplace other than where the paper is published.
As for the Pagosa Springs SUN, Terri and Todd House are the owners; Terri is the publisher and Karl Isberg is the editor.
As I'm tossing around these newspaper terms, I have to include this very popular quote by the late A.J. Liebling who was a staff writer for the "New Yorker." He wrote, "Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one."
Fun on the Run
Thought for the day: "Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both."
- -John Andrew Holmes
Positive youth development in after-hours program
By Livia Lynch
Over 10 percent of our county population participates in programs operated by the Archuleta County Education Center. This past school year, 1,104 individuals received services from our organization.
One of our important program areas is positive youth development. We operate "After-hours" academic and enrichment youth programs for children in grades K-8. This past school year, 294 youth between the ages of 5 and 18 participated in our after-hours program. We provided 12,029 contact hours of one-on-one peer tutoring and 92 enrichment classes in the arts, languages, and science. Fifty-eight teenagers last year were hired to tutor children in the elementary, intermediate, and junior high schools.
After-hours youth programs benefit the entire community. Quality after-hours youth development programs like ours help cut crime and transform the hours after school from prime time for juvenile crime into hours of academic enrichment, wholesome fun and community service.
A study by Professor Mark A. Cohen of Vanderbilt University estimates that for each high-risk youth prevented from adopting a life of crime, the country would save $1.7 million.
Our after-school programs keep kids safe, help working families and improve students' academic achievement by providing critical opportunities for youth to learn and grow. Students in our after-school programs often have better academic performance, behavior, school attendance and greater expectations for the future.
Anyone wishing more information about our youth programs or to learn about volunteer opportunities please give us a call at 264-2835 or stop by the Education Center at 4th and Lewis streets.
The annual meeting of the Friends of the Archuleta County Education Center will be held Wednesday Oct. 5, at 4 p.m. at the Education Center. All friends are invited to attend.
Municipal judges meeting at community center
By Mercy Korsgren
Today through Saturday is the 36th annual Colorado Municipal Judges Association fall conference here at the community center.
Registration is this morning followed by the board of directors meeting at 1-3 p.m. From 3-5 p.m. they'll hold the "nuts and bolts" part of the conference. There will be a hospitality activity and dinner for attendees and guests at The Springs Resort at the end of the day.
Important topics these judges will talk about during the next two days are: Exploring Diversity Issues, Professional Responsibility, The Link Between Animal Abuse and Family Violence, and Supreme Court Updates and Recent Decisions. To all our Colorado municipal judges, welcome to Pagosa Springs.
Fantastic fall color
Bill and I went on a mystery foliage tour last weekend with the San Juan Outdoor Club, led by Ron and Cindy Gustafson.
The first part of the tour was the drive to Ridgway State Park (where we stayed overnight) via Dolores, Rico and Telluride. At first I screamed and asked, "What's in Dolores?"
Well, after Stoner, the fall colors became obvious. The other leg and the climax of this mystery tour was the seven-hour leisure drive through Uncompahgre National Forest including Silver Jack Reservoir, and lunch at Beaver Lake. We ended up at Lake City for a mid-afternoon ice cream stop.
The last part of this colorful tour was the drive on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway (Lake City-Creede-South Fork). The weekend was indeed another beautiful, gorgeous fall color day. Throughout the tour there were endless oohs, aahs and wows - thanks to Ron and Cindy.
AUS-GER Club is the name of our new Austrian/German group.
Yes, the first meeting last week was a success. The club will now meet every first Thursday of each month with buffet breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Teen Room. The members will have time to socialize and speak German and English, so the ones who have forgotten the German language can follow up on it.
The group also elected their officers: Bodil Holstein as president, Elsbeth Schnell, vice president and Cindy Gustafson, secretary. Each officer will serve a three-month term so everyone can have the opportunity to try it out and share the responsibilities.
The club discussed gather at certain occasions, like Oktoberfest, Christmas and other holidays. Subjects to be discussed at the next meeting, Oct. 6, will be whether to dine out once a month over an Austrian/German meal and drinks or get together at a member's home for an Austrian/German potluck. There will also be a discussion about obtaining some German language videos and showing them once a month either at the community center or at a private home and about how to spread the news about the club.
AUS-GER CLUB members include Louise and Kurt Diedring, Hildegaard Kuhne, Eva Maria Dawson, Nancy and David Majors, Anita and Friedrich Wegener, and Richard and Frances Wholf.
Anyone interested in joining this club can call the community center, 264-4152, or Bodil at 903-8800, 9 a.m.-noon.
Italian cooking class
The menu for today is chicken cooked two different ways: one with marsala wine and mushrooms, the second with lemon and capers. Orzo with fresh Romano cheese and fresh parsley will be served as a side dish. Orzo is tiny pasta that looks much like rice when raw.
Last week's braciole (stuffed beef rolls), meatballs stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese and Italian sausages, all cooked in homemade tomato sauce and served with rigatoni, were delicious. The braciole was so tender that it almost melted on your tongue. This is real Italian food!
I must say this cooking class is one of the best programs we've ever offered here at the center. Thanks go to Edith Blake who loves to cook and is willing and happy to share her time and talent with our community. Grazie, Edith.
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.
Mage Knight game
A group of teens headed by Chris Jackson, under the supervision of his mom, Ellen Jackson, meets in the Teen Quiet Room every Friday at 4 p.m. to play this game. I'm inviting all teens to try this new game. Watch for more information next week.
Fall Fling Dance, Oct. 21 at 7-10 p.m. The cost is $5 per person, includes soft drinks and some snacks. BYOB and bring your favorite finger food to share. Come, dance and enjoy a wide range of music with DJ Bobby Hart. Several individuals have talked to me about having a dance on a regular basis, so come out and show me that this is really an activity you all wish to do at the center.
Second annual Halloween Party, 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31. BootJack Ranch will again sponsor the inflatable bounce house and the Kiwanis Club will provide free hot dogs, chips and drink. It is free! We invite anyone - individuals, schools, non-profit groups, businesses and other groups to participate in this fun and most popular event of the year. The center will provide the space, you take care of your booth including decorating, prizes and manpower to run it. Those who participated last year and interested again this year will be considered first. Remaining booths will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Call now to reserve your spot, 264-4152.
Center's new hours
To further serve our community, we are extending our hours of operation - Monday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. We encourage everyone, especially those interested in basketball, volleyball and computer use to take advantage of these new hours.
Do you have a special talent or hobby that you would like to share - singing, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, foreign language conversation group, coffee mornings, sports, etc.? We're looking for volunteers interested in forming any of these groups. Call me at 264-4152.
Today - Municipal judges' conference, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon; high school cross country pasta night, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 30 - Municipal judges' conference, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; seniors' walking program 11:15-11:35 a.m.; adult open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; seniors' bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.; teens' Mage Knight game, 4-7 p.m.
Sat. , Oct. 1 - Municipal judges' conference, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 2 - 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, Oct. 3 - 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, Oct. 4 - Watercolor class 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; seniors' computer class, 10 a.m -noon; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; computer Q & A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; adult volleyball, 6:30-9 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 5 - Watercolor class 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; seniors' fishing casting lessons, 1-3 p.m.; Durango Planned Parenthood workshop, 3:30-5:30 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.
Need a place to have a party or meeting? We have very affordable rooms for small, mid-size and large groups. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audio visual equipment are available, too. The center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.
Passing the torch, welcome our new writer
By Musetta Wollenweber
I've had a wonderful time writing the Senior News for the past six months and now it's time to pass the torch to my program coordinator, Jeni Wiskofske. This will be my last column, although I'll still have tidbits to add to the column from time to time.
Country Western Day
Howdy partners! Dig out those cowboy boots, purdy skirts and hats and come join us for Country Western Day Friday, Sept. 30, for lunch. We'll have a prize for the best dressed country western silver fox, yee haw!
Hey September babies, we'd like to help you celebrate your birthday Friday. For those of you celebrating this month ,and who are age 60-plus, Seniors Inc. has graciously discounted the price of your meal this day to just a buck.
Your local council on aging, better known as Archuleta Seniors, Inc., will be holding their annual election Monday, Oct. 10, from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. All paid members are encouraged to vote and if you are not a member, come on in and join, membership is just $3. Please note that memberships will not be available on election day.
On Monday, Oct. 3, your board invites you to stop in and meet the candidates at 11:30 a.m. The following members are running for office:
- President Jim Pearson
-Vice-President Mary Lou Maehr
-Secretary Joe Nanus
-Treasurer Kathy Betts
-Board Members (vote for three) - Laurie Church, Judy Collins, Jim Estell, Helen Hoff, Patty Tillerson, Linda Veik.
-Arboles representation Bob Tearnan
Fall color hiking
Experience nature's wonders Tuesday, Oct. 4, as we enjoy a 5-mile roundtrip hike in the fall colors on the Cumbres Pass Continental Divide Trail.
The hike is pleasant and pretty, beginning at 10,000 feet and reaching a height just above 10,300 feet with ups and downs along the way. We will stop about 2.5 miles out at the Wolf Creek crossing, a lovely bubbling stream with two very nice waterfalls and a great place for lunch. Sign up with The Den office by Monday, Oct. 3, to participate in this outdoor adventure.
Nancy Cole, a hiking leader for the Gray Wolves Ski Club and the San Juan Outdoor Club, will be our trip leader. Meet at The Den at 8:20 a.m. and we will leave promptly at 8:30, with carpooling being our mode of transportation. Wear comfortable hiking boots and bring a lunch, two liters of water, a rain jacket and wear layers for comfort in case of temperature changes. Enjoy a day in the outdoors and discover the beauty and the majestic scenery of the San Juan Mountains in the fall.
Referenda C and D
Rep. Mark Larson will be here to visit and share information on referenda C and D Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 11:30 a.m. Bring your questions and he'll give you answers.
Have you ever wanted to learn the graceful technique of fly-fishing? Well, here is your chance.
Ski & Bow Rack will be offering fly-fishing casting lessons Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 1-3 p.m. in the gym at the community center. Then it is time to practice your technique in the great outdoors with a fly fishing trip the following week on Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 1-3 p.m. on our very own San Juan River. The cost is $20 with all the equipment and instruction included. (The required fishing license is $5.25 and can be purchased at Ski & Bow Rack.) Sign-up by Oct. 7 at The Den office for the fishing trip. Fall is a great time to relax and enjoy the rivers with a fly rod!
David Scherer, local author of the novel "The Legend of Standing Bear," will be at The Den Friday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m. to describe his experience with the Grand Canyon which inspired his book. Learn how the plot of this story began and evolved from the author's point of view.
Scherer is planning on sharing some of the life lessons he learned while hiking more than 5,000 feet out of the Grand Canyon, along with his journey while exploring the depths of the great chasm. Join us for this inspirational presentation and discover the overwhelming impact that this natural wonder can arouse.
Archuleta Seniors, Inc. is preparing for the fourth annual fund-raiser, Oktoberfest. Mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct. 15 ,from 4:30-9:30 p.m. and stay tuned for more information.
October means Oktoberfest with all the fun and celebration, so let's make our final Mystery Trip of the year a very special occasion. We'll head out on our mystery trip Thursday, Oct. 27, and meet at The Den at 10:15 a.m. Maximum participants is 18 folks. Transportation is provided and you must be an Archuleta Seniors, Inc. member to participate (annual membership is $3) We'll leave at 10:30 a.m. and arrive at our final destination by 11:30 a.m. Lunch is provided and there are no physical limitations for this trip, you'll return by 3 p.m. The cost of this trip is $5. Be sure to sign up in the office by Friday, Oct. 14.
This was the second week of our Beginning Computer Series for Seniors. The topic was folders, files, and file organization. Some of us have reorganized files many times over the years; others still use the same basic format with which we started. Windows offers some suggestions in that it comes with a main folder called "My Documents" and then subfolders.
That folder is divided into documents for each user of the computer and also a category for all users. That, in turn, is further subdivided into DVDs, pictures, video clips, application files, etc. for each of the users.
This type of system has never worked for me; so I've come up with a system tailored to my needs, which puts topics together rather than formats. For example, all my family documents, e-mails, and pictures are in a family directory with separate subdirectories for text and images. There is no suggestion here that you follow a similar method of organization. However, I would suggest that a little time be spent in thinking about what types of things you will want to save and how you can best find that picture of your high school reunion when you go looking for it.
Another possible criterion for where to store something is by date or time. Some weeks ago I discussed with one of the class members how to file some financial records he was keeping. Files labeled using a date format, such as yyyymmdd, where the four-digit year comes first, then 2 digits for the month and 2 for the day will organize themselves very nicely, making it easy to find just what you are looking for.
A necessary part of looking at, and learning about files is to make file extensions visible. The Windows default is to hide this important information. An extension will tell you a lot about what a file is and what it does. For example, in the file called mtevans.jpg the part after the dot (jpg) tells you that this is an image file.
The class has learned some common file extensions and how to make all extensions display. A handout on this very simple procedure is available at the community center reception desk. There is also good information about extensions and a much more complete listing of them on the webopedia.com site under the Quick Reference link on the left side of the screen.
Senior of the Week
Congratulations to Carol Frakes, 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!
Friday, Sept. 30 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.; Country Western Day (dress appropriately) and celebrate September birthdays.
Monday, Oct. 3- Medicare Counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; meet the Seniors Inc. candidates, 11:30 a.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m. Last day to sign up for Cumbres Pass hike.
Tuesday, Oct. 4-Cumbres Pass fall colors hike, 8:30 a.m.; basic computer, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15; blood pressure checkups, 11:30-noon; Seeds of Learning kiddos entertain, 11:45ish; Canasta, 1 p.m.; Last day to sign up for fly fishing lessons.
Wednesday, Oct. 5-Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; fly fishing casting lessons; last day to sign up for the fall colors drive to Cumbres Pass.
Thursday, Oct. 6-fall colors drive to Cumbres Pass; Arboles meal day.
Friday, Oct. 7-Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; Veteran's Services information, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.; "The Legend of Standing Bear," A Grand Canyon presentation, 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. 30-Chicken fried steak, garlic potatoes and gravy, cauliflower and broccoli, drop biscuit, apples and birthday cake!
Monday, Oct. 3-Sloppy Joes on a bun, scalloped potatoes, peas, carrots and apples.
Tuesday, Oct. 4-Turkey pot pie, wheat bread, and orange juice.
Wednesday, Oct. 5- Black bean tortilla casserole, brown rice, whipped yams and fruit mix.
Thursday, Oct. 6-Arboles meal day, please call 24 hours in advance for reservations.
Entitlements for veterans with disabilities
I would like to follow through on last week's column outlining basic entitlements for veterans with no disabilities. Most of this information came from a fellow Veteran Service Officer - Mary Newman in Douglas County, Ore. (happens to be my home town). As is the case with many fellow VSO's, we try to network information that will help us all, to help our local veterans with their VA claims and benefits.
This second part is entitlements for veterans with disability rated by the VA. The disability does not have to be service-connected. The benefit typically increases as the VA disability rating increases.
All of the previous benefits listed last week apply here, plus the following (some are state benefits and vary from state to state):
- Pension eligibility for veterans with wartime service. Veteran did not have to be in combat nor overseas (there are income limitations). Additional funds for nursing home care, adult foster care, assisted living and in-home care (aid and attendance).
- If receiving VA Pension, all medical care at VA (except dental).
- If receiving Pension, burial allowance of $300, plot allowance of $300.
- If receiving Pension, prescriptions from VA, free. VAHC enrollment required.
If the disability is VA rated service-connected, the following benefits may apply:
- Medical care by VA for SC disabilities.
- Golden Access Passport with free entry into National Parks that charge fees.
- Civil Service Preference, 5 or 10 points.
- Burial allowance of $300, $2,000 if death caused by SC disability.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for widow if death caused by SC disability.
- Nursing home benefits paid in full if needed due to SC disability.
- RH (disabled) insurance. Must apply within two years of VA rating, however, if VA never offered, apply now. Waiver of premiums possible when rating reaches 100 percent.
- Colorado will provide first set of Purple Heart, P.O.W. and Medal of Honor license plates at no charge.
With a 10-percent SC disability rating, add:
- Possible eligibility for vocational rehabilitation.
With 30-percent SC disability rating, add:
- Dependency allowance added to VA compensation.
- Aid and attendance allowance for spouse.
- Clothing allowance (if using a prosthetic device or if disability tends to wear out clothing).
- Adaptive equipment for auto (loss of use of hand or foot or eye).
- Auto grant (loss of use of hand or foot or eye).
- Civil service preference (noncompetitive) may apply.
With 40-percent SC disability rating, add:
- Individual unemployability, (one SC condition must be rated at least 40 percent with a combine total of 70 percent, or one condition rated at 60 percent or higher).
With 50-percent SC disability rating, add:
- Medical care from the VA for all conditions and disabilities.
- No VAHC financial Means Test required.
- Colorado Disabled Veteran's license plates-free.
- Colorado will provide free hunting and fishing license.
With 100-percent SC disability rating, add:
- Military ID card, commissary and exchange privileges. Must be rated permanently and totally disabled (P&T). Includes use of armed services hotels around the world, including Tokyo, Hawaii, Orlando).
- Waiver of premiums on NSLI, VGLI, RH Disabled Insurance.
- Education allowance for spouse and children. Veteran must be rated P&T.
- Champ VA medical insurance for dependents (P&T rating).
- Hearing aids, glasses and dental care.
- Possible DIC for widow.
There are other possible entitlements or benefits, including special state-sponsored programs that are not listed above. This information should only be considered a general guideline, and specific benefits or entitlements may depend on specific cases. Some benefits are determined by the VA on a year-to-year budget basis.
The VA's toll-free phone number is (800) 827-1000. Hint: If you enter zero followed by another zero after you have made connection you may be connected to a live person and not have to go through sub menus (worth a try).
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 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.
For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and e-mail is email@example.com. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
Make new memories with high tea
By Christine Eleanor Anderson
"The tea, made specially magnificent in honour of the betrothal ... a high tea of the last richness and excellence, exquisitely gracious to the palate ... (on)the table, which glittered with silver, glass and china ... were all of the delicacies which differentiate high tea from tea ... hot crumpets, hot toast, sardines with tomatoes, raisin bread, currant bread, seed-cake, home-made marmalade, and home-made hams."
"Anna of the Five Towns" (1902), by Arnold Bennett
I adore teas, in every sense. I have the most wonderful memories of them.
And now, I am about to add another to my memory pages: a high tea in honor of the Friends of the Library, the Woman's Civic Club and the Volunteers. If you don't already belong to one of these support groups, it is the time to join and be invited to see the new library space, before it transforms to the library you are all longing to use.
The high tea will take place Sunday, Oct. 16, from 3 to 5 p.m. John Graves has honored all of us by offering his music; there will be an art exhibit, a reception by the board of trustees, and all of the gustatory delights of a good high tea. Join, come, enjoy!
With a tiny children's white, rose-embossed tea set, my sisters and I entertained one another as pretentiously as any Jane Austin characters. On his return from a European summer college program, my former husband, Tom, gifted me with a wonderful miniature Herend tea set. The tiny green rose on top of the perfect, round, gleaming white porcelain teapot still fills me with delight. I especially love the little tea bell to call "the help" (the fact that I am the help doesn't dampen my love of it) When an order arrives from Todd and Holland, my favorite tea merchants, I luxuriate in the shiny black packages filled with new adventures. I love my cup of green tea at night, the moon shining through the window at Vallecito, reflecting silver on the reservoir, Brahms in the air, calming me before sleep.
But especially, I love my memories of teas. Tea for two, tea for three, oh how happy they all made me ...
Growing up with The Mad Hatter and the March Hare and Alice and the Dormouse and A Mad Tea Party: "Up in the world you fly, Like a tea-tray in the sky," who could resist wanting tea parties? Not me! I was primed, with stars in my eyes, waiting for adulthood tea parties.
And come they did: I remember my first law library convention trip to the Empress in Victoria and high tea in the cavernous, dark-wooded lobby, with friends and I feeling oh-so-sophisticated. Tea there, as I remember it, was a clanking sort of noisy affair, with large silver pots and the busyness of many guests in the lobby. We sat back in huge armchairs around low center tables, drank our tea and gaped like the tourists we were.
When Tom and I went to ski in the Andes, we stayed at the famous resort in Portillo. There was only one big hotel, hours out of Santiago, nothing else at all. We were intrigued to discover "onces" ( tea at 11 before one's pre-lunch nap) and really relieved to discover the high tea at the end of the ski day (before ones pre-dinner nap). How would we have made it to the Chilean dinner at 9 p.m. without tea, our salvation?
That year we also goggled at the oh-so-outrageously sophisticated scene of a much tonier tea crowd, taking après ski tea in the lobby of the Palace in San Moritz. And we indulged happily in tea and kuchen mit schlag after ski days in St. Anton.
One of my sisters and I spent some lovely time in Paris in the 1970s, sans agenda. We went where our feet carried us. One lovely spring day, we walked by a sun-dappled, white mosque complex, young, green leaves of the trees around it brushing sweetly in the afternoon breeze. There was a sign for tea inside, and inside we went to a different tea, poured from brass pots, into tiny cups, dates offered graciously.
After my divorce I went on to Cole Porter's Tea for Two: the dark, sensuous lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel with piano keys resonating in the background, champagne tea in the luscious, luxurious lobby of the Penninsula, and, a scene out of a French movie when my fiancé and I showed up, by invitation, at a French chateau (where we were supposed to be guests for the week of a young free-style skier my sister and I had put up on the floor of her one-room school house in an Australian ski resort) only to find that our host had been drafted into the French army. There we were, trying to explain to Andre's elegant mother how we had shown up at her door. The room was small, beautifully decorated; the tea cups clinked in the nervous silence as I tried to stretch my college French to strange circumstances. I'll tell you the outcome: it was one of the most wonderful weeks of my life.
Later, in Japan, I traveled alone, to the north, with only a backpack and satchel, to little minshikus, country inns, where there were no other Caucasians. I looked forward to my rooms which always had a fresh pot of hot tea and a sweet as a welcome. Only in Nagano did I stay in a hotel, a very old one, dating from the Edo period. I will never forget the maid who brought dinner to my room on my last night and wanted to see the souvenirs I had purchased in her town. We knelt on the floor like little girls. After she gigglingly inspected my prizes, she taught me to pour green tea into the rice left in my bowl: another more homey Japanese tea ceremony.
And now, I am on to more memories of tea with all of you.
Arts workshops, exhibits aplenty in Pagosa Country
By Kayla Douglass
Pagosa Springs is home to many woodworkers who design and construct a wide range of products including furniture, turned bowls, carvings etc.
Pagosa Springs Arts Couincil will again sponsor an exhibit where Pagosa's finest woodworkers can show their newest wares, emphasizing a balance between art and craftsmanship.
The exhibit will include bowls, wood turnings, book ends, clocks, sofa tables, a corner cabinet and period furniture dresser.
In addition to the woodworking on view, Betty Slade will have works from her oil painting students on display as well. Betty began teaching oil painting through PSAC this past spring in a three-day workshop. She has continued teaching classes throughout this year. A number of her students will be displaying their oil paintings for the first time at this exhibit.
The Fine Woodworking and Betty Slade Student Oil Painting Exhibit starts Sept. 29 with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. and continues through Oct. 31. Please join us for the opening reception, or stop by during the exhibit to view local art on display.
Fall photo workshops
Bruce Andersen will again lead the popular "Chase the Train" and Conejos River trip Sept. 29 and Oct. 1. Now an annual event, the group will meet in a classroom setting at 7 p.m. 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 Oct. 1 and caravan to Chama where members will 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 the historic train 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to register or obtain more information. Space is limited for both outings to ensure quality instruction.
PSAC is pleased to announce a watercolor workshop with well-known artist Pierre Mion whose illustrative works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the NASA Fine Arts and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collections. Some notable clients are: The National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Magazine, Look, Life, Popular Science, Reader's Digest, Air and Space Magazine.
The workshop will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 4-6 in the community center. Bring your own lunch. Cost for the workshop 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 of step-by-step ways to achieve a finished painting. This class is for all ability levels and will involve one-on-one instruction. The theme is fall subjects and Mion will provide photos to work from. Class size is limited, so make your reservation now by calling PSAC at 264-5020. After reservations are in, Pierre will contact each student regarding a supply list.
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 watermedia, gouache or acrylic paints. The class will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the arts and crafts room at the community center. Cost is $70 for members and $80 for nonmembers. Call PSAC at 264-5020 to sign up, or for questions contact Betty Slade at email@example.com.
This is the first year for a calendar produced by local artists with subject matter reflecting Pagosa Country.
Our 14-page full color calendar features images for the 12 months, as well as a cover image. Works featured are from local artists Bruce Andersen, J. D. Kurz, Jan Brookshier, Sabine Baeckman-Elge, Jeanine Malaney, Jeff Laydon, Ginnie Bartlett, Claire Goldrick, Barbara Rosner and Tom Lockhart.
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 members. They make great Christmas gifts.
The Pine River Library (Bayfield ) welcomes artists of all ages to display their art work. Painting, drawing, photography, fabric art, wall quilt, weaving, tapestry, jewelry, beadwork, sculpture, pottery, ceramics, woodwork, glass art, stained glass, metal art, and silversmith are welcome.
If you wish to display your work, call Chrissy Moiseve at 884-2222. She will be happy to fax you a display request form. Art is displayed for two months, so work to be displayed November and December must be received no later than Oct. 31. Art displayed may be available for sale, and while the library staff is not involved in the sale of artwork, they will refer queries about the purchase of artwork to the artist.
Drawing with Davis
Mark your calendar for Saturday, Oc. 15.
Drawing with Randall Davis will begin at 9 a.m. and will probably finish up around 3 p.m. at the Community Center, on the third Saturday of the month. The subject this month will be of a riparian nature, with a focus on water, rocks and trees. He plans to do one least session outside if the weather permits.
If you have not attended previous classes, don't be concerned; you won't be lost. With Randall's individual instruction, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance. All you need to bring is a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils; preferably a mid-range No. 2 or 3, and 6, in a bold lead and in a hard lead, ruler, eraser and an attitude to enjoy the day. Bring your own sack lunch, as well as appropriate items needed for the outdoors, such as hat, sunscreen, water and chair. Cost for the day is $35.
It's best to make a reservation through PSAC, 264-5020. Sspace allowing, walk-ins are always welcome.
Artist studio tour
The Arts Council is sponsoring an artist's studio tour this fall.
We are currently putting together a list of participating artists who will open their studios for your viewing. This will be a self-guided tour from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. Cost is $8 for PSAC members and $10 for nonmembers. You will pick up the studio tour map when you purchase your ticket. Stop by the PSAC gallery for tickets, or call 264-5020 for further information.
All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the arts and craft space at the community center, unless otherwise noted.
All exhibits are shown at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, unless otherwise noted.
Through Sept. 28 - Watercolor club exhibit.
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 a.m.-3 p.m., community center.
Oct. 23- Artist studio tour.
Dec. 1 - Holiday gallery tour, 5-8 p.m.
November - 2005 gallery tour.
Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
We know everything - let's form a club
By Karl Isberg
"Hello, my name is Karl, and I'm a dilettante."
I've sensed there are a lot of us dilettantes out there, and I want to do something to bring us together.
I like to stay in synchrony with the latest trends, so I'm starting a local chapter of Dilettantes 'R Us.
I don't think I'll have trouble finding other dilettantes to join the organization: we have a ton of them around here, in private and public life. They're everywhere in this great nation, in rural communities, in cities. No matter where I travel, I find fellow dilettantes. They come in all sizes, colors and, if you ask, they'll tell you they are very popular.
To be considered for membership in Dilettantes 'R Us, you have to possess an absolute minimum amount of skill and knowledge about a given subject, then be willing to act as if you are an expert. The more compelled you are to share your inflated expertise and the wider you spread the virus of your delusion, the more valued you'll be as a member of the organization. You might even be elected to an office in the organization. In fact, everyone in the group is an officer of some sort.
I, for example, am a dilettante when it comes to cooking. I've never attended a school to learn skills (with the exception of a short session at the Culinary Institute of America in which I learned to cook a savory tomato tart) ; I've never worked as a professional to hone my skills. All I've done is eat a lot, read books and magazines, and piddle around in the kitchen for 30 years.
But, with this background, I have the audacity to act like Escoffier or Brillat-Savarin. I am a food writer, after all.
I'm a dilettante. But not the best, mind you - not even close.
The top-dog dilettante is someone who has read only one book or heard only one exposition of a theory, who then acts as if he or she has enough expertise to give advice or to establish policy. A honor-winning dilettante is totally oblivious to the fact that the greatest damage is done in service of an idea that sounds good to the novice ear. Dilettantes are slavish ideologues; its part of their charm. This is true whether they take up bluegrass music and the banjo, or decide to take a stab at Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" (which, of course, they never finish). It's true of those who suddenly know all there is to know about government and politics, about road building and taxation.
Me, I'm branching out and trying to improve, expanding my territory beyond the kitchen, trying to get better at this dilettante business.
My niece Kelsey and my nephew Carter gave me a humdinger of a present a while back: a "medical school quality" collection of human anatomy charts.
The book is the perfect size for bathroom reading and, given the hours I spend in the bathroom, I've had plenty of time to scan the charts, study every system of the body, analyze the body's structures and organs, and contemplate the spectrum of illness and injury.
At 9:30 a.m., Sept. 24, 2005, I became an expert. I knew enough to join the ever-growing ranks of experts in alternative healing.
I can't wait to get to the weight room and show the fellows how much I know. These guys have been lifting heavy objects and putting them back down for decades but, as a dilettante, I need to set them straight, to reeducate them about the body, to get them to change their ways. After all, I read a book that I understand! Sort of. And, remember, "sort of" is all you need to establish excellence in the world of the dilettante.
There's no need to prove the efficacy of what I tout; I'm a dilettante! There's certainly no need to discuss the matter with persons better informed than I; their studied comments would only cloud the issue. I'm ready to get on with it and change peoples' lives.
I'll wait till the guys are doing deadlifts and I'll hit them with my stuff.
Any fool has heard of the rectus femoris but how many are aware of its proximity to the pectineus? Can't wait to see the expressions on their faces when I spring this one on them.
Working that adductor magnus, are you? Don't you think you should pay some attention to the gracilus while you're at it?
Boy, I am going to be popular. Obnoxious self-proclaimed experts are always popular.
If they're doing lateral raises, I'll launch into a discussion of acromioclavicular separation or expound on the benefits of acriomoplasty in cases of severe trauma and impingement.
The guys at the gym will love me. Everybody loves a dilettante! There are plenty of experts in gyms, and I will be their king! I'll be king of all the goofs who strut around and give advice. All the yahoos who spout stuff my yellow Labrador retriever could spout, if only he could talk will close their yaps and pay me homage.
I think I'll reorganize weight room protocol. Why be an expert if you can't initiate major change?
Advice? You want advice?
I'll pay special attention to the young people who come into the room. If you're going to screw up anybody with your goofy ideas, make it kids! They've got lifetimes ahead of them during which to suffer the consequences of your actions as an expert.
I'll stand near the rack and wait for a young person to attempt some squats. I can enlighten the strapping tyke with a lecture about worrisome pressures on the nucleus pulposis in the L1 to L5 region. I'll toss in a couple of bon mots regarding danger of C2 to C7 damage when hyperflexion occurs under significant weight. This, of course, will open the door for my discourse on whiplash a must for any young person. I'll end this portion of my lecture with a stern and lengthy warning about drinking and driving - auto accidents being a prime cause of whiplash.
With my new and extraordinary knowledge of the lymphatic system, I'll be able to tell the kids all about the lymph vessels and nodes of the stomach, pancreas, spleen and biliary tract. If they're smart, they'll take notes and discuss what they've learned with family members during the dinner hour. Perhaps I'll add a few asides about the role of various glands in French cuisine.
I'll preview my endocrine system lecture on the guys in the weight room, but I'll probably keep my unique perspective on the reproductive system under wraps. I know a couple of the fellows feel edgy about things reproductive, and I'm nothing if not considerate in the way I dispense my wisdom. I will, however, tell them all about the branches of the abdominal aorta and portal vein.
Do you have any nodules? Ask me about nodules. Anything about nodules. Go ahead, I know everything about them.
I'll linger around the weight room, ready to impose my superior knowledge on everyone who enters. I'll keep an eye peeled for those in particular need, given my optic chiasm is free and clear, and my inferior rectus muscle is functioning properly.
Though the role carries an enormous responsibility, I love being an expert. As a dilettante, I'm proud of the fact I've read my one book and can claim I know everything about a subject. I even understand some of it!
With mindboggling change following in the wake of my authority I need to make sure I have the stamina to dispense wise guidance to my community, the staying power needed to keep them on track. Being a dilettante means you're in it for the long haul; the ultimate goal for a dilettante is to run for elective office where all that knowhow can have consequences that reverberate for generations. If the election fails, letters to the editor are a fine substitute.
There's a practical side to being an accomplished dilettante, in particular when you're fascinated by food.
When I was in the fifth grade, I received a ferocious blow to the pterion during a softball game, smack dab at the junction of the coronal and squamous sutures. As a result, I need to take extra care to properly feed the brain, ensuring my longitudinal cerebral fissure remains in serviceable form and my ascending frontal artery is elastic and fully open.
My expertise will allow me to cook some brain food. Or, rather, I'll mix some brain food.
I call my concoction "The Dilettante Smoothie."
I'll start with a base of orange juice into which I'll break a hormone-free egg, large. After I whip these ingredients together, I'll pulverize a bundle of wheat grass in a blender with a dram of filtered water. To this I'll add copious amounts of CoQ10, N-Acetyl Carnitine, L-Glutamine, L-Taurine and L-Taurosine. (When dealing with amino acids, its always best to err on the side of excess - and always go heavy on acids with a single capital letter in the name.) As soon as the blend is frothy, I'll top it off with a half cup or so of Ginkgo Biloba and teaspoon or two of Arginine.
A tray of Dilettante Smoothies is in order for the first meeting of the Pagosa chapter of Dilettantes 'R Us. We'll gather at the fairgrounds building, if the local 4-H club isn't using the place to build rockets and complete their lamb project logbooks.
We'll ingest our brain food, processing it first with saliva then with stomach enzymes and hydrochloric acid. Our chyme will move to the jejunum and ileum where nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. From that point, undigested materials will enter our colons where water and electrolytes will be absorbed before the remaining waste is stored prior to being sent back to the clear light of day. While that is happening, we can read another book.
The rest of the meeting will involve exercise of our respective vestibular folds, cuneiform tubercles, cornuculate tubercles and interarytenoid notches as we tell each other how we are going to grace our fellow man with our neato ideas and talents. Perhaps some of the bluegrass musicians will regale us with their Bill Munro imitations. Maybe some of the artists will bring their work so we can fawn over them and tell them what geniuses they are. If we're lucky, someone will bring a recording of their child singing the national antherm at a high school basketball game and, though the kid sounds like she's choking on a live bird, we'll tell the parent the youngster is the next Maria Callas.
Try to make the meeting if you're one of the growing number of authorities in the community, if you understood an idea recently or you've read one book and feel a need to change society. Drink one of my special smoothies, foist your authority on the world. The more experts, the better.
Get with it people, there's a future to screw up.
Care for trees, shrubs and lawns in winter
By Bill Nobles
Dry air, low precipitation, little soil moisture and fluctuating temperatures are characteristics of fall and winter in many areas of Colorado.
There is often little or no snow cover to provide soil moisture, particularly from October through February. Trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns can be damaged if they do not receive supplemental water.
The result of long, dry periods during fall and winter is injury or death to parts of plant root systems. Affected plants may appear perfectly normal and resume growth in the spring using stored food energy. Plants may be weakened and all or parts may die in late spring or early summer when temperatures rise. Weakened plants also may be subject to insect and disease problems.
Woody plants with shallow root systems require supplemental watering during extended dry fall and winter periods. These include European white and paper birches; Norway, silver, red and Rocky Mountain and hybrid maples; lindens, alder, hornbeams, dogwood and mountain ash. Evergreen plants that benefit include spruce, fir, arborvitae, yew, Oregon grape-holly and Manhattan euonymus. Woody plants benefit from mulch to conserve soil moisture. Herbaceous perennials in exposed sites are more subject to winter freezing and thawing. This opens cracks in soil that expose roots to cold and drying. Winter watering combined with mulching can prevent damage.
Lawns also are prone to winter damage. Newly established lawns, whether seed or sod, are especially susceptible to damage. Susceptibility increases for lawns with south or west exposures.
Water only when air temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Apply water at midday so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night. A solid layer (persisting for more than a month) of ice on lawns can cause suffocation or result in matting of the grass. Plants receiving reflected heat from buildings, walls and fences are more subject to damage. The low angle of winter sun makes this more likely in south or west exposures. Windy sites result in faster drying of sod and plants and require additional water. Monitor weather conditions and water during extended dry periods one to two times per month without snow cover.
New vs. established
Newly planted trees are most susceptible to winter drought injury. Woody trees generally take one year to establish for each inch of trunk diameter. For example, a two inch diameter (caliper) tree takes a minimum of two years to establish under normal conditions.
Trees obtain water best when it is allowed to soak into the soil slowly to a depth of 12 inches. Methods of watering trees include: sprinklers, deep-root fork or needle, soaker hose or soft spray wand. Apply water to many locations under the dripline and beyond if possible. If you use a deep-root fork or needle, insert no deeper than 8 inches into the soil. As a general survival rule, apply 10 gallons of water for each diameter inch of the tree. For example, a two-inch diameter tree, needs 20 gallons per watering. Use a ruler to measure your tree's diameter.
Newly planted shrubs require more water than established shrubs that have been planted for at least one year. The following recommendations assume shrubs are mulched to retain moisture. In dry winters, all shrubs benefit from winter watering from October through March. Apply five gallons two times per month for a newly planted shrub. Small established shrubs (less than 3 feet tall) should receive 5 gallons monthly. Large established shrubs (more than 6 feet) require 18 gallons on a monthly basis. Decrease amounts to account for precipitation. Water within the dripline of the shrub and around the base.
Herbaceous perennial establishment periods vary. Bare root plants require longer to establish that container plants. Plants transplanted late in the summer or fall will not establish as quickly as plants planted in the spring. Winter watering is advisable with late planted perennials, bare root plants, and perennials located in windy or southwest exposures.
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 be held in the Pine Room at the La Plata County Fairgrounds from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Program size is limited so to assure your spot register prior to Oct. 18. Cost for the program is $25. For additional information you can pick up a form at the Extension Office or contact Wendy Rice at 247-4355.
We are looking to hold a Master Gardner Program January-March 2006 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 (noncommercial) 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 with no community service commitment. If you are interested in attending this program, contact our office at 264-5931.
Check out our Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and information.
Doing what you want to do ... anyway
By Ming Steen
This past summer's swim lessons were filled to capacity and many families weren't able to get their children registered. We had promised more lessons in the fall, after the instructors have had a chance to get their own children back in school and also when the facility is less crowded.
Fall swim lessons at the recreation center will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Lessons will be offered Tuesday and Thursday, with each session lasting two weeks. Classes are a half-hour long so the young tykes do not tire, and students will be placed in ability-appropriate groupings by the instructor.
A total of three sessions, Oct. 18-27, Nov. 1-10, Nov. 29-Dec. 8, will be available before the Christmas holiday. The first class will be taught at 10:30 a.m., followed by the second class at 11 a.m., and the third class from 11:30 to noon. Parents are encouraged to leave the student with the instructor - in other words, don't hang around and be a distraction. If you have any questions, you may call instructor Carol Anderson at 731-5687. Otherwise, registration forms will be available at the recreation center.
The little wannabee swimmers definitely top my list of highlights working at the recreation center. What's not to be happy about when you are around excited, enthusiastic, spontaneous and bright-eyed youngsters? I would like to have the child within stay with me for the rest of my life so I can avoid being jaded and crabby as I grow older. I delight in being a child when it's appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise older woman when it's appropriate to be a wise older woman.
But as a matter of principle, I behave as the folkways of society would have a middle-aged woman behave. As a pragmatist, I also try to blend in.
My favorite is how Calvin presents it to Hobbes in the comic strip, "Calvin and Hobbes." Calvin says, "Some people are pragmatists, taking things as they come and making the best of the choices available. Some people are idealists, standing for principle and refusing to compromise. And some people just act on any whim that enters their heads." Then Hobbes says, "I wonder which you are." To which Calvin replies, "I pragmatically turn my whims into principles." There you go. It all comes down to doing what you want to do anyway.
The recreation center pools will be closed from Monday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 9 for draining, acid-washing and repairs. All other parts of the facility will remain open.
If there are any PLPOA members with knowledge of the Dreamweaver program who are able and willing to volunteer to help maintain the association Web site, it would be greatly appreciated. We need all the help we can get. Call Gloria at 731-5635.
Lloyd "Buzz" Barnett, 83, passed away Sept. 27, 2005, in Phoenix, Ariz. He was born Feb. 9, 1922, in Montgomery, Ala. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean C. Barnett, and daughter Mary Eileen Barnett.
As the son of an Army Air Corp officer and pilot, Buzz lived all over the U.S. and Asia. He graduated from West Point in 1944, transitioning with the Army Air Corp to the U.S. Air Force. Buzz and his first wife, Jean McCarty, married in 1948 and had six children. During his career as an Air Force officer and pilot, he served as an English instructor and fencing coach at the Air Force Academy, and as a pilot instructor and operations officer at bases in the U.S., Europe and Africa. He retired as a Lt. Colonel after 20 years of military service. Buzz obtained his Ph.D. at Denver University and taught English and creative writing at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. He retired from his second career after 11 years and joined Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) as a technical writer and operations manager. Following his retirement from his third career, Buzz married Adrienne Zorn in 1986. They made their home in Pagosa Springs for the last 18 years.
Buzz was a true officer and gentleman, and a man of great intelligence and wit, who will be deeply missed by his wife, Adrienne, his sons Larry, David and Steven Barnett, his daughters Barbara Pett and Elizabeth Barnett, his stepchildren Walt Zorn, Elizabeth Young and Terri Caviness, his 10 grandchildren, and his great-grandson. A memorial service will be held at the Air Force Academy Chapel.
Martha Ellen Thomas, 75, died Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2005, in Casper, Wyo. She was born Jan. 15, 1930, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Clarence and Lola (Simmons) Boston.
Martha grew up in Lance Creek, Wyo. After high school, she returned to Kansas to attend beauty school. While working at the dime store, she met Gerald G. Thomas.
After Mr. Thomas returned from the Korean War, they were married on Jan. 30, 1953, in Emporia, Kan. They lived in Liberal, Kan. for many years. They retired to Pagosa Springs. Mr. Thomas died July 4, 1989. Martha moved to Casper in 2003. She loved fishing, playing bridge, gardening and sewing.
Martha is survived by one son, Chuck Thomas, and one daughter, Dee Williams, both of Liberal, Kan., sister Anna Mae Boston and brother Doran Boston, both of Casper, Wyo., brother James Boston of St. George, Utah, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
She was preceded by her parents and brother David Boston. Graveside funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, 2005, at Hill Top Cemetery in Pagosa Springs. Rev. Don Ford of the Community United Methodist Church of Pagosa Springs officiating. Visitation was held 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the La Quey Funeral Home at 421 Lewis Street.
The family has requested memorials be made to the American Cancer Society, 141 South Center, Casper, WY 82601.
Governor's conference provides valuable ideas, information
By Mary Jo Coulehan
It's your last reminder to mark your calendars for the 2006 SunDowner signup. Monday morning, Oct. 3, at 8 a.m. the doors of the Visitor Center will fly open and all the interested SunDowner participants will calmly come into the offices, sign up and hopefully get the SunDowner of their choice for the 2006 season. When planning your SunDowner remember these few points:
- SunDowners are held the fourth Wednesday of every month except for November and December when they are held the third Wednesday due to the holidays.
- SunDowners are available every month except January (due to the Chamber annual meeting) and September (due to the Colorfest activities).
- You must be a Chamber member in good standing.
- Keep in mind the Chamber provides the beverages and the business needs to provide the eats for approximately 100 people.
- More than one business can co-host a SunDowner, however, all the businesses need to be Chamber members.
We look forward to seeing all the SunDowner planners Oct. 3. If we run out of months, we always record several businesses in case someone drops out of the SunDowner pool. Dress warm, bring something hot to drink, and come stocked with goodies to bribe your fellow attendees.
From Sept. 19-21, I attended the second Governor's Conference on Tourism in Denver. It was very well attended by other Chambers, Visitor Centers, tourism businesses, and legislators.
With very little tourism funding, the state has had to work hard to draw visitors to Colorado. With the whole state being a virtual outdoor playground, many communities, our own included, rely very heavily on tourism. I attended seminars on how to keep our community sustainable (businesses and tourism that are in sync with the environment), how the film industry impacts communities, and numerous sessions on advertising and marketing.
Let me tell you, folks, the technology and computer age as we know it will be obsolete in five years! It's already moving forward exponentially.
Another focal point is the concept of "Heritage Tourism" and how your community can attract tourists interested in the heritage of the area. I feel we are very rich in heritage resources, i.e. ethnic culture, historical sights and our equestrian heritage. As a participant in the Southwest Colorado Travel Region, I will be working with groups here in Pagosa and with regional partners to see how we can improve the exposure to our heritage attributes. Our Southwest Region will also soon be competing for a very large grant to market our heritage assets. Only two grants will be given out in the state and the existing regions will be competing for some very necessary dollars. Our region will be looking to plan itineraries throughout the Southwest, and I will be working hard to make sure that Pagosa Springs is well represented. We are so rich in nature, culture and community.
Tourism can be a double-edged sword. People are afraid that the tourists will come to Pagosa, fall in love with it as we did as visitors, and then decide to move here (as many of us did). We need to deal with and handle our fears wisely - move forward with marketing tourism so our community can continue to grow economically. We still are a tourism-based community. While we look for ways to grow into a more economically sound community with sustainable jobs, we must also work smartly to provide a more economically sound tourism-based economy.
Boy, do I know this is not what everyone wants to read! It's that double-edged sword again, where there are those who want to close the doors behind us while allowing those of us who live here to have the economic ability to continue to live here! Lots to think about. Know that your Chamber board of directors and I work hard to market Pagosa Springs to the outside world smartly and to support the businesses that make up this community with whom we live and work with every day. Count on receiving tourism updates from me frequently. If you have any questions, my door is always open.
You can help
Many of us are starting to slow down a little bit before the ski season descends upon us, and yet there are still those that are in the throes of hunting season. If you have some time now to catch your breath, let me suggest a few outlets for you to engage your creative side.
Hurricane Relief Project: It was mentioned several weeks ago that there are many people interested in working on a project that involves more than just collecting funds for the victims of the Gulf Coast area. We are still interested in working on a community project. I have had people contact me, I am preparing a list and I will have a meeting in the next couple of weeks. If you are interested in volunteering for a committee to help design a project or if you have some ideas, please see me, call me, or e-mail me. Here are some "holes" in the group: Someone affiliated with the school system, a representative of the churches, a retail representative, a health care representative, and a lodging representative. I look forward to hearing from people as, hopefully, the hurricane season comes to a close and people can start trying to put their lives back together.
Bike Tour of Colorado: Starting June 23, Pagosa Springs will be the starting and ending host town for the 2006 Bike Tour of Colorado. This is the first time that a town so far away from the Denver area has been chosen to be the location for the event. We are very honored the group has chosen Pagosa Springs. In true hospitality fashion, as with past bike tours, we plan to wow the pedals off the cyclists! Our offices have already started planning events, but we do need some people involved to help execute the plans. If you are interested in working on this event, let me know.
Winterfest: Having finished one ballooning event, we get right to work on another. This next event is Winterfest and it will be held at the beginning of February. Here are some of the volunteer positions needed for this event: people interested in working on a winter triathlon, a "snodeo" (snowmobile events), broom ball tournament, balloon rally and any other event that might be created. We would really like to make the most of the winter season that encompasses our lives for at least a third of the year.
You don't have to volunteer all the time. Your assistance is just as invaluable for a onetime event. If you think you can help in the planning stages or the execution stage of an event, give us a call at the Chamber. We appreciate you considering the donation of your time and talent.
OK, you Bronco fans, now is your chance to try and win a great package to see a Bronco game. The game will be held Oct. 30 in Denver and the Broncos will play host to the Philadelphia Eagles. The package includes two tickets (not the nosebleed section) and a two-night stay at the Doubletree Hotel in Aurora. You can even choose your stay to be Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday. Raffle tickets are only $10 each and they may be purchased at the Chamber until Oct. 14. United Way volunteers will sell tickets at the westside City Market Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The drawing will be held at noon at the Visitor Center Friday, Oct. 14. This is a great way to go tailgating with some other local fans while supporting our local United Way Chapter. On your way to the post office, stop by the Chamber and pick up a few chances. The tickets would be a great birthday or anniversary gift for that Bronco fan.
Music Boosters' call
Speaking of volunteers, if you are interested in volunteering for any aspect of the Music Boosters productions, go to the high school auditorium Thursday, Oct. 6, at 6:30 p.m. for a quick meeting. Help in the following areas is needed: musicians, performance, production, stage management and backstage crew, seamstresses, fund-raising, and much more. If you have any questions prior to Oct. 6, call Dale Morris at 731-3370.
We have four diverse new members this week and some well established business renewals we would like to highlight.
We are all trying to stay fit and healthy, and Denise Nelson with Looking Marvelous is no exception. Denise lives in Bayfield but visits Pagosa often with her health products. Looking Marvelous supplies the customer with Himalayan Goji berry juice, which is touted to be the most nutritionally dense food. It provides supplemental health and wellness benefits. For more information on this product or business, give Denise a call at 884-7006.
Tis the season for stocking up on the nutritional products for our horses and cattle as well. Mitchell Ranch provides all natural alfalfa/grass hay. There are no fertilizers or pesticides or herbicides used on the property giving your animals high quality, natural nutrition. For more information, contact Tim Collins at 264-6297 or 264-3315. You and your animals deserve the best nutrition available.
Earlier in the article, I mentioned technology and the rapid growth of the computer age. If you need assistance weeding through the computer web or help with Internet services, give Myron Lindberg and Myrlin.net a call at 731-2470. Myron can help you with problems from computer repairs to finding out what the best Internet services might be for your business to helping you work on a Web site. I know I rely on the experts to help us with our computer needs.
Rounding out our list of new members is Marsha Wilson-Voden and Countrywide Home Mortgages. Marsha moves here full time to devote her knowledge of the mortgage industry to Pagosa. With a full range of options, and with the market still attractive, give Countrywide Home Mortgages a call at (303) 882-3147 to see if they can help you secure a home loan for your future.
Mark Moore with Citizens Bank joins the Chamber as an associate member. Mark is knowledgeable in the mortgage area, offering commercial, business and construction lending services. He can also help you with loans for vacant lots and vacant land. He is located at the westside Citizens Bank at 27 Talisman Dr. You can also book an appointment by calling 731-7235.
Our renewals include Bryan Crutchley and Alpine Closets & More; Curt Christensen, CPA; Kent and Diane Davis with Cabinets Plus; P.R.E.C.O. Plumbing and Heating with Kathy Saley; Music in the Mountains; and a talented husband and wife team with two different businesses - Chris Pierce with Arborilogical West and Summer Phillips with Summer Phillips/Goldsmith.
I would finally like to thank everyone (check out the ad in this week's paper) for a great 2005 Colorfest weekend. We were so grateful for the perfect weather and to be able to play all weekend long. We are committed to providing our community with festivals and events that are fresh and fun. Without all the help in so many areas, this event would not have been possible. Thank you. People also mentioned they didn't want to carry around glasses or shirts at the wine tasting, so just a reminder that we do have shirts and glasses in stock available for sale. We are also taking orders for those very popular aprons. Come by the Chamber or give us a call with your order.
Terry's Ace Hardware
Terry Smith owns and operates Terry's ACE Hardware, Pagosa's Home Place, opening Friday, Sept. 30 at 525 Navajo Trail Drive.
The new business offers a complete selection of items for Pagosans eager to furnish new homes or refurbish and redecorate their existing homes.
There is a full range of appliances at Terry's ACE Hardware, with great selection and financing available - and immediate delivery on most selections. The store offers mattresses and bedroom furnishings, and a wide variety of home furnishings and furniture. There is an electrical department, a plumbing department with bathroom and kitchen fixtures, a lighting center, a decor center and a paint center. You can find sporting goods and shop in the new garden center. And much more.
Look for an announcement soon about a Grand Opening in October.
Terry's ACE Hardware, Pagosa's Home Place, will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 8-6 and Sundays 9-5. Call 731-4022.
Seeds of Learning would like to thank the Alternative High School of Pagosa Springs for coming and painting the toddler rooms and entryway. As part of the EYPCS Program, Doug Bowen and his kids did a magnificent job giving Seeds a much-needed face lift. Thanks too, to the Paint Connection for all the interior paint and to Ace Hardware for all the trim paint. Thanks to all of you for your hard work and wonderful donations of paint.
I would like to thank everyone who helped clean the Trujillo Cemetery. God bless you for your hard work.
Christina Denise Yerton and Guthrie Luke Taylor were united in marriage on Aug. 13, 2005, at the Pagosa Springs home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Yerton. The groom is the son of Ms. Jennifer Taylor of Portland, Ore., and the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Taylor of Hammond, La.
Officiating at the ceremony was the bride's brother, Pastor Joshua Yerton, of Overland Park, Kan.
The bride is a 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School and a 2004 graduate of the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, N.M., where both are currently employed by Borders Bookstores, Inc.
'Buccaneers' rebound with 38-14 win over Taos
By Randy Johnson
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Springs High School fight song claims "We are the Buccaneers." Maybe the gridiron Pirates should officially take the name "Buccaneers" after they came out with swords drawn Sept. 23 against the New Mexico Class 4A Taos Tigers.
It's too bad for Tigers the schedule had them coming to town after the Pagosa loss to Montrose a week earlier. The Pirates (3-1) showed no ill effects as they took their frustrations out on the Tigers with a convincing 38-14 win before another near capacity crowd at Golden Peaks Stadium.
Tigers Coach Benny Mitchell even tried something new, abandoning the normal passing attack and going with a wing formation running game.
It didn't help.
Pirate Coach Sean O'Donnell had his charges prepared this week in all phases of the game; offense, defense and special teams put points on the board while showing marked improvement.
It started with rushing offense.
On the Pirates' first play from scrimmage, senior running back Josh Hoffman found a seam in the Tiger defense and raced 51 yards for the TD. Hoffman had another outstanding game, rushing 11 times for 99 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Corbin Mellette had five carries for 68 yards.
Quarterback Adam Trujillo, a junior, was four of 13 passing for 77 yards and a TD with one interception. On the receiving end, senior H-back Daniel Aupperle, who showed no ill effects from an injury in the Montrose game, caught two balls for 34 yards and one touchdown. Senior receiver Paul Przybylski had one catch for 35 yards.
Pagosa's special teams work was "special." Przybylski had one kick return for 60 yards and a touchdown plus four punt returns for 46. Junior Casey Hart had one punt of 50 yards and another that just missed going out of bounds on the Tiger 1 yard line. The Pirates converted all point-after attempts as Aupperle kicked four and ran for a fifth.
The Tigers used their running attack to gain 241 yards on 64 carries and two touchdowns. Most of the work came from two Tiger running backs - seniors Aaron Alaniz and Eugene Visarraga. Alaniz had 110 yards on 28 carries and one TD. Visarraga had 89 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. Both scores came in the fourth quarter with most of the Pirates' starters out of the game. Even after getting behind early, Taos continued with the running game and were only two of four passing for 27 yards.
The only bad news on defense came when senior linebacker Bubba Martinez went out in the third quarter with a concussion and did not return. Junior lineman Zane Kraetsch did not suit up because of the same injury last week. Both will play tomorrow.
This was the first week the Pagosa defense scored a two-point safety, doing it in the third quarter. The defense also recorded eight tackles for losses and three fumble recoveries - by junior Derek Harper, junior John Hoffman and sophomore Eric Hurd. Harper lead all tacklers with eight followed by Martinez with six and junior Roy Vega with four.
The Pirates won the toss and elected to defer until the second half.
Taos had two first quarter possessions that ended in punts but used almost five minutes of clock time.
The Pirates scored on their first play from scrimmage with Josh Hoffman's run from the Tiger 49 yard line. Aupperle's kick put the home team up 7-0 at the 10:38 mark.
With two minutes left in the quarter, Pagosa took over at the Tiger 45 yard line. Five plays later Trujillo completed an 8-yard pass to Aupperle to end the quarter.
The Pirates continued the drive on the Taos 23 yard line. Four plays, and an 18 yard completion from Trujillo to Aupperle, put Pagosa in the end zone again. This was a nine play drive that took almost four minutes off the clock. Aupperle's kick put the home team up 14-0.
The ensuing kickoff gave the Tigers possession on their 20 yard line. A fumbled snap, recovered by Harper, quickly gave the ball back to the Pirates on the Tiger 18. For a second time, Hoffman found the end zone, increasing the Pirate lead to 21-0.
At the five-minute mark, Taos used a nine play drive to reach their 41 yard line but the Pirate defense stiffened and held on fourth and two.
Pagosa took over with just over one minute remaining. The Pirates used six plays to score the TD. This was one of Trujillo's best efforts, as he hit Aupperle for 16 yards then Przybylski for 35 to reach the Tiger 12 yard line. From there Hoffman ran it in for his third TD of the night. Aupperle's kick gave the Pirates a comfortable 28-0 lead at the intermission.
Pagosa received the opening kickoff of the second half and returned it to their 45 yard line with Hoffman's 25-yard run. Mellette had a 25-yard run but a fumbled snap gave the ball back to the Tigers on their 39 yard line.
Six plays later, the Pirates' John Hoffman recovered another Taos fumble on the Tiger 23 yard line.
Trujillo's first pass of the second half was intercepted by the Tigers' Carlos Martinez inside the Taos 1 yard line. In the end, this was better than a punt, as Aupperle tackled Visarraga in the end zone for the safety and a 30-0 lead.
As a result of the safety, the Tigers were given a free kick from their 20 yard line. Przybylski took the kickoff on the Pirates 40, broke it to the outside and outraced the defenders to the end zone for a 60-yard TD. Aupperle's run put the score at 38-0 with 7:30 left in the quarter.
On the next possession, the Tigers went three and out from their 23 yard line. Przybylski took the punt and racked up another 27-yard return before being brought down on the Tigers' 36.
Junior quarterback Jordan Shaffer took over for Trujillo with a little more than five minutes left in the quarter. Shaffer's first series went three and out when the drive started with a block in the back penalty. Hart's punt pinned the Tiger's inside their 10 yard line.
At this point O'Donnell started substituting on defense to give the younger Pirates some game experience.
The Tiger offense finally put together a sustained drive. Starting at their 8 yard line Taos used a nine-play drive for a first down on the Pirates' 34 yard line to end the quarter. Visarraga had a run of 6 yards and a 20-yard pass completion to senior receiver Hassan Gund. Alaniz had three carries for 12 yards and Carlos Martinez two for 14.
The Tigers' offense continued its drive from Pagosa's 34 yard line. Seven plays later, Taos finally hit paydirt when Visarraga slipped outside and outran the defense for 13 yards and the touch. This was an impressive drive, totaling 16 plays and over seven minutes of clock time. Visarraga ran for the two-point conversion making the score 38-8 with 8:30 remaining.
The Pirates fumbled the kickoff return giving Taos good field position at the Pagosa 41 yard line. Six plays later Alaniz scored from the 1 yard line after Visarraga runs of 7, 20, 3 and 10 yards. The extra point try failed leaving the final score 38-14.
O'Donnell made substitutions on offense during the rest of the game. Play went back and forth with each team recording a fumble recovery. The Pirate offense took over with 18 seconds showing and ran out the clock for the victory.
After the game O'Donnell had plenty of praise for his team. "This was a good effort, a job well done and the team played with a lot of energy and enthusiasm," he said. "We were not prepared for their wing offense, but our defense rose to the challenge and our offensive line play was very good." He told the team to be proud and excited about the win.
Because of the early lead, O'Donnell and staff were able to get a lot of young players into the contest for much-needed game experience. Practice is necessary, but playing time is a big key in building a good team.
O'Donnell also stated, "The games so far have been practice for us and we are back to 0-0. We now have to focus on league play starting with the next game."
The Pirates open IML league play tomorrow night against the Bayfield Wolverines in Bayfield. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Wolverines have lost a couple of key players to injury but, as in the past, anything can happen when the "Buccaneers" travel to Wolverine country.
In other IML action last week:
Class A Dove Creek (4-0) def. Bayfield (0-4) 33-26.
Class A Del Norte (3-1) def. Centauri (3-1) 20-17.
Ignacio (3-1) def. Shiprock, N.M., 40-18.
Monte Vista (3-1) def. Basalt (2-2) 49-0.
Pagosa Springs (3-1) vs. Taos, N.M.
Score by quarters
Pagosa Springs 7, 21,10, 0 - 38
Taos 0, 0, 0,1 4 -14
PS - Josh Hoffman 51-yard run (Aupperle kick)
PS - Aupperle 18-yard pass from Trujillo (Aupperle kick)
PS - Josh Hoffman 3-yard run (Aupperle kick)
PS - Josh Hoffman 12-yard run (Aupperle kick)
PS - Safety, Visarraga tackled in the end zone
PS - Przybylski 60-yard kick return (Aupperle run)
Taos - Visarraga 13-yard run (Vissaraga run)
Taos - Alaniz 1-yard run (kick failed)
Pirates beat Bayfield, now 2-1 in IML
By Karl Isberg
It's back in their hands, and they can write the script.
Following Saturday's 3-0 win over the Bayfield Wolverines, (25-11, 25-13, 28-25), the Pirate volleyball team has a 2-1 Intermountain League record and, with three games left with league opponents, all on the road, Pagosa can again take the title and win an automatic trip to regional competition.
The victory over Bayfield was more than a check mark in the win column; it was a statistical plus, but it was also a significant morale builder for a team that had, the week before, lost its starting outside hitter, Liza Kelley, one of the keys to the Pirate offense.
Coach Andy Rice made moves with the lineup, telling his seniors there was a job to be done. The job got done. Rice moved Caitlin Forrest from her accustomed spot in the middle to the outside and put an increased burden on senior right-side hitter Emily Buikema. Both responded, as did their teammates. At match's end, Buikema had a team-leading 12 kills; Forrest had six. Buikema also had the finest blocking performance of her Pirate career, nailing five solos against the Wolverines.
Despite the loss of Kelley, junior setter Kim Canty continued to move the ball around, varying the attack from sides to middle, going from the high set to quick sets, engineering a medley of quick attacks from the middle, running slides, keeping the defense honest with high sets to the outside. Canty finished the match with 21 assists.
The Pirate serve game improved and was a factor in the win over Bayfield. Canty served two aces but, more importantly, was at the serve for a score 14 of 18 attempts. Forrest was 13 of 19 at the serve line.
Also improved (lessened) - at least in the first two games of the match - was the Pirates' tendency to give away points with unforced errors.
Pagosa went in front 8-2 in the first game, getting an ace from Forrest and kills by Buikema and senior outside hitter Kari Beth Faber. The lead went to 14-7 as Danielle Spencer swept the ball over the block for a point and Canty did the same off a jump set.
With her team in the lead 15-8, Canty served an ace off the tape and Buikema stuffed two Bayfield attacks. Courtesy of a bevy of Wolverine errors, the home team was in front 21-8. Bayfield put a tip through the Pirate block and scored with a kill but gave up a point with a service mistake. Buikema killed and a Wolverine was called into the net. The Pirates returned the favor with a net violation and took the victory following a Wolverine hitting error.
Buikema led the Pirates to a 5-1 lead in the second game with a stuff and a putback. Jennifer Haynes added a point during the run with another putback of an errant Wolverine pass.
The Pirate advantage went to 9-2 with kills by Faber and two 1's in the middle by Spencer. Then, a problem, as Bayfield tied the game 9-9 with a seven-point run, four of the points coming off Pirate errors. The Wolverines made their own mistakes, however, giving up two points. From there, it was the Emily Buikema show as the 5-11 senior produced four points on kills and block, the prettiest coming on a short quick-set by Canty. With her team ahead 20-12, Buikema crushed the set. Another kill followed to give her team a 23-12 lead and, on the next play, Buikema stuffed a Bayfield hitter for a score. The teams traded points on mistakes and the second game was over.
The final game of the match was the character builder, the fuel for a boost in morale. It was a game the Pirates could easily have lost Š but refused to lose.
The game was tight throughout, the teams taking turns edging ahead. Pagosa gave up too many points with mistakes and, with Buikema doing the lion's share of the work on offense with her left-handed attacks from the right side - combined with kills by Spencer and Forrest and an ace by Faber, Pagosa tied the game 16-16. Then, the visitors seemed to gain control, with seven of eight points, five off Pirate mistakes. Bayfield led 22-17.
Canty and Buikema blocked for a point and Bayfield scored with a kill. Then it was the home team's turn to profit from a run - five points, one on a solo block by Forrest. Bayfield got a point on a Pirate attack that went out and the Wolverines were ready for the win 24-22. A receive error cost Bayfield a point, then a Pagosa ball dropped to the floor on the Wolverines' side of the net. New game, 24-24.
Bayfield went ahead 25-24 on an unblocked cross-court kill, but gave up a point with a passing error.
New game, 25-25.
A Wolverine tip hit the floor in front of Pirate defenders and, again, Bayfield was one point from the victory.
Buikema had other ideas. She killed from outside to tie the game 26-26. A Pagosa shot went down to give the Pirates a 27-26 advantage and Buikema scored with her 12th kill of the night, taking a short back-set from Canty and ending game and match.
"To come back from 23-18 was great," said Rice. "I was very happy with that because you never know what might happen if you go four or five games in a match. The team played well. Emily (Buikema) and Caitlin (Forrest) really took our pregame talk to heart, taking over and leading the way."
Rice called the IML victory "an all-around, solid effort. Alaina Garman saw her first varsity action this year (as a middle blocker) and did a good job. Mariah Howell and Jennifer Haynes did their jobs when they went in. We went into the game without Liza Kelley, but we could still go to the middle, still go right and left. It felt good to win this one."
Winning the game put the 2-1 Pirates in a tie for the IML lead at mid-schedule, with Centauri absorbing a 3-2 loss Saturday at Ignacio. The Pirates can take the league by winning their three remaining league matches.
Before that, however, is the annual trip to the Fowler tournament Saturday.
This year, Fowler's tourney promises to be one of the toughest in memory and the competition should be fierce.
La Junta is probably the weak link in the chain at the tournament and Pagosa faces the 3A Tigers in the Pirates' first match, at 11 a.m.
Then, the going gets tough, and interesting.
A traditional rival, 3A Lamar, is next up, at 1 p.m. The Savages are currently ranked as high as fourth in the state in the classification and are coming off a string of victories over Pagosa at the Fowler tourney.
At 4 p.m. the Pirates play the McClave Cardinals - the No. 2 ranked 2A team in Colorado, and the second-place finisher in the state tournament the last two seasons. McClave features a 6-3 middle and other height at the net and figures to contend for the state title this year.
The Fowler Grizzlies are last on the schedule, at 6 p.m. One of Colorado's perennial 2A powers, the Grizzlies are currently undefeated and ranked No. 2 in Colorado 2A.
"We're excited," said Rice of the trip to the eastern plains. "We're going to meet some highly-ranked competition again. We don't yet know about Liza's status, but this is a deep program. We have the pieces to fit the puzzle and we have high expectations that we'll go in there and do the best we can. This kind of competition is great preparation for districts, regionals and state - going into a hostile environment and playing under pressure against programs with talent, tradition and history."
The chance to continue play against top teams continues in the home gym Tuesday as Pagosa faces 5A Durango. The Demons will come with a chip on their shoulders since one of the losses Durango's 2004 state tourney team suffered was a home-court loss to Pagosa. Tuesday's varsity action starts at 7 p.m.
"That's a big match," said Rice. "Plus, I know a lot of their players. I coached as many as half of them in a club program and their coach, Robin Oliger, and I are pretty good friends. She's really improved her lot over there. Now they're coming over here and, all across the board, we should see some very good volleyball. They went to state last year and this year, they're well coached, with a quick offense. It should be a very good battle."
Kills: Buikema 12, Forrest 6,, Faber and Spencer 5 each
Assists: Canty 21
Ace serves: Canty 2
Solo blocks: Buikema 5, Forrest, Haynes, Spencer 1 each
Digs: Frye 12
Pirate teams finish in second place at home meet
By John Middendorf
"Breathe!" shouts coach Scott Anderson to one of his athletes while following his cross county team around the golf course during Saturday's Pagosa Invitational 5 kilometer race.
Anderson says it's his style to "see what's going on," by trailing the team on the course, in this case in a golf cart, and to encourage the runners to keep their head in the game by triggering the runner's best performance with different "focus words." The athlete mentioned above, for example, was once a competitive swimmer, and his specific mantra "breathe," reportedly helps him to click into the optimal breathing rhythm, instead of the swimmer's tendency of periodically holding his breath.
In the well-attended event, there was huge support from parents (and grandparents, including Mayor Ross Aragon) on a labor intensive course which required many attended street crossings. There was a festive atmosphere and a spirit of camaraderie among the teams, with many younger siblings doing cartwheels and rolling around the trimmed golf course grass at the starting area.
Both Pagosa JV teams (boys and girls) won their races, and both varsity teams came in second overall behind the Bayfield teams. Emilie Schur won the varsity girls' race handily with a time of 21:14, 17 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher from Alamosa. Laurel Reinhardt came in sixth, with Jacyln Harms in 14th followed by Heather Dahm in 15th place, giving the team an overall score of 36, only three points behind Bayfield (the team scores are an addition of the place numbers of the top four runners).
Three of the varsity boys ran their personal best times on the golf course, which is considered a "fast course, but with enough elevation to make it deceptively more difficult," according to Anderson. Travis Furman led the Pirates, coming in 12th overall with a personal best time of 18:49, with Orion Sandoval in 15th place 25 seconds behind.
Despite overcoming a cold, AJ Abeyta gave it his best, coming in third for the Pirates (18th overall), and found himself in agony after the race regaining his breath, requiring a rib adjustment from coach Anderson. "It's inspiring to see how much it means to them," said Anderson in reference to AJ's all-out performance.
Aaron Miller also had his personal best time of 19:32, coming in fourth for the Pirates and 20th overall. Chase Moore, farther back, ran his personal best as well with a time of 20:59.
Overall, Anderson says he was happy with how the course went. He says the scoring would have been different if Abeyta was in better health, but feels confident that by the end of the year the boys will be close to Bayfield, considered one of the top five teams to beat in the state championships.
With the girls winning against Bayfield in the previous week's race, and coming in second behind Bayfield this week, it looks like it will be a "cat fight" between the Pirates and Wolverines for the rest of the year, said Anderson. The Bayfield Wolverines will be participating in most of the Pirates' races for the rest of the year leading up to the state championship in Colorado Springs.
Next week's race is in Mancos.
Pirate soccer team returns to league action tomorrow
By Karl Isberg
Call it a lesson.
In one respect, a soccer lesson.
In another regard, a lesson in the incremental nature of improvement.
The Pirate soccer team entertained Basalt Saturday at Golden Peaks Stadium and got the soccer lesson in a 6-0 loss to the Longhorns, one of the state's highest ranked Class 3A teams.
The lesson regarding improvement comes when this year's game against the Longhorns is compared to last year's, in Basalt - a 10-0 whitewashing of a Pirate team with a roster heavier in veterans than the current version.
"The first time, last year in Basalt," said Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason, "they invoked the mercy rule and stopped the game. We held them to 3-0 in the first half Saturday. They brought the same team here that they had last year; they didn't lose anyone (and, in fact, gained an outstanding athlete in David Rosales, who scored five goals against the home team)."
While Kurt-Mason had some concerns about the forward and midfield play on offense, (the Pirates had only four shots on goal during the game) he singled out junior Caleb Ormonde and gave him the "Lunchbox Award" for his hard work against the Longhorns.
"Caleb was the guy we had working against Felipe Sanchez, their top player last year. Ormonde did his job, and then some: Sanchez had only two shots during the game, and no goals. According to Kurt-Mason, the Pirate defense played fairly well in the loss, given the constant onslaught by the Longhorns.
"Felix Gutierrez (the Pirate goalkeeper) played a great game," said the coach. "In this game, Felix started to own the box, started to come out more. He had 12 saves and that's a load in one game."
With both lessons in hand, the Pirates go back to league action this week, taking a 2-2 league record into key games against Bayfield, at home, Friday and in Crested Butte Saturday.
The game against the Wolverines begins at Golden Peaks Stadium at 4 p.m. Action starts in Crested Butte at 11 a.m.
Women 'beat the pros' on special league day
By Lynne Allison
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured an "Alternate Shot - Beat the Pros" format for its special league day, Sept. 20.
Eight twosomes and one threesome from the league matched its best players against Pagosa Springs Golf Club's general manager, Alan Schutz, and assistant pro, Zack Ruddle for all the marbles. Each player in the two or threesomes drove the ball, and then each group took the best drive, and played an alternate shot format from there, until each hole was completed. All the golfers played the Meadows Pinon courses with a par 72 rating. At the end of the round, the women tallied their scores, and were entitled to deduct 60 percent of their combined handicaps for their aggregate net scores. Schutz and Ruddle had to rely on their gross score. At the end of the round, Schutz and Ruddle were able to beat five of the nine league groups this day with a score of 76.
This is a particularly difficult and frustrating format, even under optimal circumstances. Every player relies on her partner to put her in a good playing position - preferably in the fairway; sandtraps, water hazards and out-of-bounds really complicate the situation and raise the final scores. However, three of the ladies' twosomes and one threesome carried the day with their stellar rounds. They were: Audrey Johnson, Jan Kilgore and Sheila Rogers shot a 68; Barbara Sanborn and Maxine Pechin shot a 71, as did Jane Day and Carole Howard; and Robyn Alspach and Loretta Campuzano shot a 74.
Immediately following play, the women reconvened at the home of Carol Barrows to enjoy a delicious luncheon, end of the year awards presentation and general meeting.
The 2005 season league awards were presented to: Cherry O'Donnell, who tallied the most birdies on league days with 8; Loretta Campuzano and Jane Day, who tied for the most chip-ins on league days, each had 3; and Lynne Allison who received the most improved player - she started the season with an 18.7 handicap index, and finished the season with a 14.4 handicap index. O'Donnell also received a hole-in-one pin for her ace on Ponderosa No. 2, June 24, and Campuzano earned a "break 90" pin for breaking 90 for the first time during league play.
The association presented and elected its slate of officers for the 2006/2007 seasons. They are President Cherry O'Donnell; Vice President Julie Pressley; Treasurer Jane Day; and Secretary Claudia Johnson. Barbara Sanborn will continue to captain the travelling golf team, Carrie Weisz and Sheila Rogers will handle the league's weekly events, and Lynne Allison will handle all the publicity for the league.
Women's golf team remains in first place in league
The Pagosa Women's Golf Association sent eight of its low handicap players to Pinon Hills Golf Club Sept. 22 for its ultimate match play event of the 2005 season.
The team garnered 36 points against Dalton Ranch Golf Club, and remains in first place with a total of 277 1/2 points. The Pagosa team will play Pinon Hills' team, which is currently in second place in the eight-team league with 262 1/2 points at San Juan Country Club October 6.
Team captain Barbara Sanborn is very excited with the team's performance and first place position stating, "Even though the course conditions at Pinon Hills were very challenging, the women did an outstanding job winning matches and maintaining our position." She added, "The team is very dedicated and determined to place first in the league this year."
Participating for Pagosa were Barbara Sanborn, Jan Kilgore, Lynne Allison, Cherry O'Donnell, Jane Day, Josie Hummel, Loretta Campuzano and Doe Stringer.
Club hosts Fall Frolic Couples tournament
The Pagosa Springs Golf Club hosted its annual Fall Frolic Couples Tournament Sept. 17 and 18.
This is a very challenging tournament in that all the contestants play 27 holes of golf each day in the following format: a scramble on the Meadows course; best all on the Pinon course; and alternate shot on the Ponderosa course. Par for these three courses is 107.
In the Championship Flight, Loretta and Fred Campuzano placed second net with a total of 203. Marilyn and Lee Smart captured first place gross in the First Flight with a 224 total. In the Second Flight, Sally and Tom Bish garnered first place gross with a 240 total, and Audrey Johnson and Norm Utz won first net with a 198 total.
In the special events category on Sunday, Marilyn Smart won the longest putt contest on No. 3 Ponderosa, and Lynne Allison won the longest drive contest for the women on No. 1 Meadows.
Be wary of kids' sports burnout
By Myles Gabel
I have talked about this statistic many times before in many articles but I believe I am justified to state this again, because it is sad but true.
Many parents who I see chauffeur their athletic children from one sport to another might not even know this problem exists. We must however, confront this issue because the number doesn't lie: According to the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, 70 percent of kids will quit playing sports by age 13. That's almost three out of four. We must ask why this is happening.
In some cases, it is just because Johnny or Susie wants to discover other interests. They want to try out for the school play, devote more time to music or they may want to find a job, make money and spend time with friends who don't share their athletic interests.
What's troubling though, according to the study, is that so many quit because they have become victims of burnout. They say, "It isn't fun anymore." It can happen when a youngster is devoted to one sport year-round or jumps from sport to sport with many seasons overlapping. With the pressures on young athletes greater than ever, burnout is a huge concern.
Of course, for those of you who have driven your children to as many tournaments around the country as I have or spent hard earned money on equipment, it is a hard realization. The almost daily commitment to youth sports has been part of our lives since our children were 5 years old. Now, just seven years later, our child no longer wants to compete as before and even finds practices tedious. Sports have become a burden for them. The endless devotion makes them tire of sports, and we as parents often don't recognize it.
Sadly, some parents don't change their tune even when they know the child wants to slow down. Too many turn up the heat instead of trying to understand what's happening. "C'mon, you have to work harder at your game if you want to get better," they say. That is precisely the wrong approach.
Instead, talk with your child if they show signs of fatigue, disinterest or other signs of burnout. It's always healthy for kids to get their concerns and anxieties off their chests. Ask them what parts of sports they enjoy and if they get as much out of competing as when they started playing. If they don't, that's okay. Maybe it's time to take a break. Let them decide what to do, and support the decision they make.
If they do want to keep playing, help them avoid burning out again. Tell them it's OK to scale back their athletics and develop other interests, and encourage them to do so. There's never a better time to make sure they realize youth sports are about only one thing: having fun.
Youth basketball is right around the corner. The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will send out registration forms for all ages through the schools starting in October. Youth basketball for the 5/6 and 7/8 age groups will begin in late October and continue through early December. Play in the 9/10 and 11/12 groups will begin in early January. We need coaches and sponsors for the league, so give some thought to helping out.
We have had great turnouts at our open volleyball nights. Anyone who is still interested in playing coed adult indoor volleyball should come to the community center gymnasium Wednesdays at 7 p.m. We will continue open play for all skill levels and will discuss the formation of a volleyball league.
If you have a background in basketball as a player or coach, we need you! The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department is hiring referees for the 2005/2006 youth basketball season. High School students and adults are welcome and training is provided. Pay is $10-$25 depending on experience, certification and the level of the games you officiate. Contact the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department at 264-4151, Ext. 232, if interested!. Sign up now.
Information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department may be found by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the Parks and Recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated every Monday morning.
For more information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact: Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor at 264-4151, Ext. 232.
No Column this week
Be aware, be prepared
A column printed in this week's PREVIEW deals with the subject of the damage done when the most extreme forces of nature are en-countered. Few among us were unaware of Hurricane Katrina as it brought extraordinary damage and despair to residents in Gulf Coast states . We watched television reports highlighting chaos on an enormous scale, destruction of unimaginable scope. People and properties vanished; families were torn apart, cities demolished, lifetimes undone in a matter of days. Hours.
Then, another hurricane hit the Gulf Coast and, while the horror was not as extreme, it was profound for those who experienced it.
Here in Pagosa Country, as elsewhere in what is an extraordinarily generous nation, people began to render assistance to victims, to offer some comfort to evacuees. Church organizations and the American Red Cross went into action, as did United Way. Needed items were collected and shipped, money contributed. Youngsters at Pagosa Springs Elementary School brought donations of toys and household items to the building and put dollar bills in a large bottle in the school library to benefit a family of evacuees who made their way here after Katrina hit Louisiana.
In the midst of this, is an opportunity to use what happened on the Gulf Coast as a lesson, to remind ourselves of two facts: nature has many ways of prompting disaster and disaster can happen here. Are we ready?
Most residents of Pagosa Country, no matter how recently they arrived, are aware of two potential natural disasters that can occur here: flood and wildfire. There are some who purchased homes and properties in areas susceptible to flood and the best preparation is to watch the rivers and streams and heed warnings of officials when the alert comes to evacuate.
Many more of us are threatened by wildfire now that "civilization" encroaches more and more on what was once uninhabited forest. Many homes are constructed in the midst of trees, many on properties that contain abundant ladder fuels. We need only remember the Missionary Ridge Fire in La Plata County to understand the effects of a major fire. Precautions are simple: provide defensible space around structures, build more fire-resistant structures, get out when warned. Know exit routes from the area and, if given sufficient time, have valuable, transportable items ready to go when an evacuation is ordered or obviously necessary.
But, the season that can most easily provide for disaster is looming ahead - winter. The majority of county residents have not experienced the legendary Pagosa winter. But, should a worst-case winter storm arrive, many Pagosa Country residents will be in deep trouble, learning, unavoidably, what snow and ice can do. Roads and power lines could be out of commission when snow is topped with slushy rain or heavier, wetter snow, when the fall is measured in feet. When power lines go down - not for a few minutes or hours, but for days - many people could be in real jeopardy since a surprising number of homes in the area are now without backup heat sources. Two days without power and heat, and what happens to water pipes if they are not drained? How long will it be before a structure is habitable again?
What happens when there is no food in the house? When the highways are closed and the store shelves (if one can get there) are bare?
Those in danger of tropical weather have their list, and we mountain dwellers have ours. Food - enough for a week or so. Water, an alternative light source. An alternative heat source - wood stove, generator (with due precautions exercised), propane or kerosene-fueled heaters rated for indoor use. Winter clothing, blankets.
Our prayers go out to the victims of the recent hurricanes. Our hopes are that we and our neighbors are prepared for the chance nature might turn on us here in what too many regard as a benign "paradise." We hope it never happens Š just as the citizens of New Orleans hoped it would never happen.
Fall color's a short drive away
By Richard Walter
Sometimes the best fall colors are right in your own backyard.
Don't believe me? Just take a drive downtown and notice the hues emanating from the cottonwoods in Town Park and the trees on Reservoir Hill.
But if you want to get out into the country and see the colors, this may be your best weekend to do so.
Where should you go? There are a number of routine suggestions, easy-to-drive roads with vibrant colors everywhere.
And, there are some of the less traveled ones, roads that are not paved and some not too well maintained.
However, if you really want to get out and see the fiery reds, the aspen yellows and oak browns, here are some of my favorite locations.
Four Mile Road/Plumtaw crossover. Take Four Mile from Pagosa Springs northerly toward Williams Lake. Go all the way to the lake and the turnaround at the north end. Casually drift back down the road, watching for the right turn onto Plumtaw. Turn there and follow that road until you find yourself back on Piedra Road. Driving conditions fair to good on gravel.
Fossett Gulch Road. Take the turnoff just at the base of Yellowjacket Pass and follow the forest service and county road through heavy growth and a prime turkey sighting area. Keep your speed down and in addition to the colors and turkey you're likely to see many other forms of wildlife. The trip will bring you out on Colo. 151. From there you can return to Pagosa Springs or go on south and pick up County 500 (Trujillo Road) for a trip back to town along the lower San Juan and a chance to see many different forms of lower altitude color.
Upper Blanco Road. Go south on U.S. 84 about eight miles until reaching Blanco Road. Turn left and follow it up into and through the valley. Colors will be bright on the eastern slopes of mountains on the east side of the valley. Good road and leisurely pace will allow you to see great color spots.
East Fork Road. Go east on U.S. 160 to the East Fork Road turnoff just beyond the West Fork bridge. Follow the road to the left (not on private property to the right) and a long steady climb will eventually lead into the East Fork Valley. Again, beware of private property duly marked. Road is gravel and has a few washboardy spots.
If you want to make it a longer tour, when you come back out of East Fork turn right on 160 and go on toward Wolf Creek Pass until you see the sign directing you to West Fork Campground on the left.
Turn there and follow the road through Bruce Spruce Ranch and across West Fork. The road will veer left and then curl back to the north. At a V in the road, turn south and go about a mile to see heavy brush and trees girding for fall. As you turn to go back, you'll get great views - across the valley - of Treasure Falls and the surrounding mountains with varying shades of color.
Want a shorter drive? Try Eight Mile Mesa. Go south from Pagosa on 84, turn right on Eightmile road. Follow it, slowly, up the winding, rutted-at-times road with spectacular views of the lower Blanco and, at the top, a look at the town against a mountain color palette.
90 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 1, 1915
Axel Nelson's big German gun arrived last week. The first victim to fall was a monstrous she bear, shot over on Devil Creek Sunday.
Melon wagons from lower Stollsteimer are passing daily. Rocky Ford will have to take a back seat.
Three deaths from meningitis, or what is thought to be meningitis, last week at the mill near the Fowler Bridge.
Dr. Cora Parmelee leaves next week for Denver to go through the formality of securing her osteopathy practitioners license as required under the new law passed at the last session. Dr. Parmelee's many years practice entitles her to a license without being compelled to swallow the grill dished up by a politico-medico board.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of September 26, 1930
The steam shovel of the Shields Construction Company, which has been engaged in the work of changing the channel of Stollsteimer Creek at the "Notch" in connection with the road project there, was this week moved to Pagosa Springs and yesterday began the work of cleaning and enlarging the New Light & Power ditch, which feeds the light plant below town. J.T. Chambers suggests that while on location, the shovel should be utilized in widening the road and eliminating the bad curves on the highway south of town to beyond the light plant corner.
The Upper Piedra school closed yesterday after a very successful six months' term, which was taught by Mrs. Marjorie Alexander.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of September 29, 1955
This issue of the SUN is the first of its 47th year. The SUN is the oldest business in town still operating under the same name and selling the same types of merchandise and service. In the 46 years it has been serving the community a lot of changes have been brought about and the SUN has recorded these. The town has grown, it has progressed as has the county surrounding it. The railroad has gone, modern highways have arrived, new automobiles, new school built and electricity is commonplace in the county. The SUN has chronicled all these improvements, the births and deaths, the marriages and the wars. The SUN equipment has kept abreast of the community growth and today is one of the best equipped small plants in Colorado.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 2, 1980
Fall colors are very bright and spreading rapidly. While they may not quite be at their peak this weekend, there are many areas in the county where the colors are very vivid and the views are spectacular.
Several firms are in the process of moving into the new Pagosa Plaza. Circle Supers has already moved, Citizens Bank will be moving this weekend, Raymond's Hair Care has moved and the House of Bottles is moving.
This is the counting period for local schools and the count of attendance for the next three weeks determines how much state aid the district will get. A student's absence may cost the district money from the state during that period.
Coal bed methane:
The fuel for Archuleta County's economic future?
As the county prepares for the potential of unprecedented energy development, much of the debate has centered on the environmental implications of coal bed methane extraction and the negative impacts extraction and related development could ultimately have on the county's natural resources and the human and wildlifepopulations.
Archuleta County residents, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners and the Archuleta County Planning Commission have expressed serious concern over numerous environmental and health, safety and welfare issues surrounding coal bed methane extraction and the ancillary facilities required for the resource's development.
For example, the planning commission recently voted to deny a conditional use permit for a natural gas compressor station planned for a site adjacent to Colo. 151 about six miles south of U.S. 160. Noise and visual impacts were two of the commission's chief concerns and the potential for untold noise impacts provided much of the basis for the vote to deny the application.
In addition, the board of county commissioners has expressed concern over drilling along the Fruitland Outcrop and has heard testimony that outcrop drilling could lead to increased methane seepages, damage to nearby water wells and springs, and that drilling could ultimately draw down the water table leading to a greater possibility of spontaneously combusting coal fires.
Lastly, residents have expressed concern over the potential impacts drilling, extraction or a spill could have on Stollsteimer Creek and the Piedra River watersheds.
While discussion of environmental factors often fuels the debate for and against energy development, there is still another factor in the equation that often gets overshadowed - economics.
It is arguable that many county residents would say that emergency medical services, fire protection, health services, good schools and roads are among the things they value. In addition, good paying jobs, and the ability to raise a family while living in a rural community might be considered a benefit, as is a viable local economy.
Energy development in the county can and does contribute to the county economy in a variety of ways.
First is the obvious contribution of providing employment opportunities.
Mike Clark, president of Meeker, Colo. based Petrox Resources Inc., one of the key players in future coal bed methane development in Archuleta County and the Northern San Juan Basin, divided energy related employment opportunities into two categories: direct and indirect employment.
If the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management approve the industry proposal for the drilling of about 300 new coal bed methane wells in the HD Mountains Roadless Area, Petrox will undertake a 60- to 80-well, $30 million drilling and extraction program in the Archuleta County section of the project area.
Clark said direct employment would constitute the hiring of five full time employees to oversee operations in the county, with minimum salaries starting at $20 to $22 dollars per hour with full benefits packages.
Indirect employment, Clark said, constitutes all the individuals and companies Petrox will ultimately contract with to undertake and complete the project.
Clark said he purposefully seeks out individuals and business near the project areas because he knows how important the jobs are to the local economy.
"I go out of my way to hire local people because that's how I grew up," Clark said.
Clark said he was well aware that his contribution to the local job market would ultimately be relatively small compared to the number of those employed in the services sector, but he said jobs in energy development were drastically different.
"Oil fields are an excellent, long term, well paying job," Clark said. Clark said jobs in energy development allow locals to stay in the rural areas they grew up in and to raise families without having to move away to bigger cities. And between direct and indirect employment opportunities, Clark said Petrox's portion of HD development would benefit Archuleta County.
The second tier of economic benefit would be derived from property taxes. Like homes and personal property, the county assessor is required to assess the value of oil and gas wells, production and related facilities. Ultimately, the county budget is fueled, in part, by the assessment of oil and gas facilities.
According to Keren Prior, the Archuleta County Assessor, 2.3 percent of the county's 2005 budget was derived from revenues from the oil and gas industry.
In 2005, the Archuleta School District 50 Joint, operated on a $5,455,074 budget with $125,467 of those dollars derived from the oil and gas industry.
The Pagosa Fire Protection District received $24,185 of its $1,051,528 budget from oil and gas, and the Upper San Juan Health Services District received nearly $20,000 of its $860,944 budget from oil and gas.
Prior said it was difficult to project what the increases would be to the county budget should a full development scenario in the HDs play out, but she said any development scenario would ultimately benefit the county.
"Oil and gas is extremely important. The only industry we have is tourism and that fluctuates depending on what happens in the world," Prior said. "We need stability, we need a constant."
Prior added that oil and gas revenues benefitted everyone in the county and, best of all, didn't require the county to ante up matching funds.
"It's the one thing that's falling in our laps," Prior said.
County Finance Director Bob Burchett agreed with Prior to a point and said that when an economy is driven primarily by tourism and sales tax revenue, this can lead to a precarious fiscal situation.
"Nine eleven and the Missionary Ridge Fire decimated sales tax revenues. This had a profound affect on the county economy," Burchett said.
Burchett added that while tax revenues derived from the oil and gas industry can provide a stabilizing effect to the county economy; oil and gas provides other benefits as well - namely Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund Grants and Severance Tax distributions.
Burchett explained the grant funds are available from the state to counties and municipalities affected by energy and mineral development and operations. Burchett said the funds can be applied for and then utilized for projects that are directly linked to and affected by energy and mineral development and the industry's ongoing operations. He said, at its simplest, the severance tax was paid to counties and localities based on the number of energy an mineral employees resided in that particular area.
For contrast, Mesa County announced on Sept. 7 that it had received a severance tax distribution from the state totaling nearly $1.5 million. Burchett reported that Archuleta County had also recently received a severance tax distribution for one oil and gas employee totalling $4,800.
In his approach to oil and gas and the county economy Burchett expressed caution. He advocated building an economy and revenue stream beyond reliance on tourism and sales tax, but said oil and gas was not an economic panacea.
"Look at La Plata County. When the wells dry up, what are they going to do? You're looking at some pretty significant mill levy impacts," Burchett said.
Burchett added that oil and gas could provide temporary or short-term boosts to the economy, but that long-term economic planning factoring in costs for reclamation and other environmental concerns was key to reaping long term economic benefits from oil and gas.
And Clark said those benefits are there for Archuleta County's taking. He said good paying, long term jobs, contributions to the tax base, royalty payments and grant funding add up to the potential for many improvements including expanded social services, better roads and bridges, recreation centers and educational facilities.
"It's a great opportunity, but it depends on what Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County want," Clark said.
In light of the economic benefits and the continued demand for energy there is no debate in Clark's mind; "Yes there is some impact, but it keeps jobs local, it keeps energy local, it's good for jobs, it's good for America. Many don't want these projects, but what's the alternative?"
More early views of Pagosa Country
By John M. Motter
What was Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area like before civilization arrived?
Army engineer Lt. McCauley visited the site in 1877-1878 while Fort Lewis was being constructed and before the town was a year old. For several weeks we've been reporting what McCauley saw, in his own words. We continue with McCauley's report from a section titled "Botany."
"The waters of the river abound in several varieties of the speckled trout, which may be taken at Pagosa of the largest size in the fall. In July and August they are very abundant in the narrow cañon of the river some 12 miles above.
"Specimens of several varieties of existing fish, popularly called 'whitefish' and 'suckers' taken from 12 to 20 inches in length were preserved and sent for identification to Professor Baird, secretary Smithsonian Institute, and president of the National Fishery Commission. He informed me last spring that some of the former species resembled the 'Gila Trout,' belonging to the family Cyprinider but would give his decision during the fall. No answer has as yet been received."
From a section of MCauley's report titled "Geology" we read:
"The formation of the vicinity is that of the great area to the south and west - sedimentary rock of Cretaceous Age. The youngest of this series, called the Upper Cretaceous, locally forms the Continental Divide, and gives a series of table lands south of the West Fork of the Chama, where the eruptive rock, terminating in what is called the Chama Peak, (its altitude 12,250), leaves a depression of nearly 4,000 feet - a very low pass, used in the Navajo 'cutoff' from the east to Pagosa. Blocks of yellow sandstone, fine grained and beautiful, belonging to the Upper Series, line the wagon road from Tierra Amarilla through the cañon or pass over the Continental Divide."
Motter's comment: The Chama Cutoff mentioned by McCauley is remembered by oldtimers as the old route from Chama to Pagosa Springs. It followed the West Fork of the Chama River out of Chama and reached the Navajo River in today's Archuleta County at the Prices Bridge, a few miles upstream from the today's Chama store.
"At the crossing of the Rio Blanco a noteworthy feature is remarked in the obtrusion from the river bank on the left (south side) of a great dike of hornblendic trap. It is mentioned on account of 'high vertical walls,' which may be the same formation, having been reported by one of the Wheeler survey as observed below the Navajo River to the south, and also because I observed in July, 1877, what was probably a portion of the same dike on the upper portion of Ojo Frio Creek, east of the Springs, finding its direction to be east of north 18 degrees east, and south 18 degrees west (magnetic)."
Motter's comments: The dikes mentioned by McCauley still exist, in addition to others particularly evident on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in New Mexico south of Archuleta County. One dike near the portion of the Old Spanish Trail running between Horse Lake and Caracas, but near the Caracas Cañon end, contained an opening known as "Hole In the Rock" which served as a landmark to travelers on that trail during the early 1800s. When Navajo Dam was being constructed after WW II, rock was gathered from that area. Regrettably, parts of the dike containing the "window" fell, victim of a dynamite blast.
Watch for Zodiacal Light this weekend
By James Robinson
Today, Sept. 29, the moon will have risen at 3:18 a.m. Moonset is at 5:29 p.m. The moon will be waning crescent today with 12 percent of the moon's visible disk illuminated. On Oct. 3, sky watcher's will enjoy dark skies with a new moon over Pagosa Country.
This weekend's dark skies can help sky watchers enjoy a celestial sight known as Zodiacal Light.
Although somewhat difficult to see, the new moon, dark skies and the fact that this celestial sight is most visible in early autumn are factors that may help.
For those of us at mid-northern latitudes, Zodiacal Light can be best observed during the early autumn in the eastern sky a few hours before dawn. Although the fall is arguably the best time to observe the phenomena, it can be viewed again from February to late March in the western sky after sunset. During either season, the effect is generally the same. Omar Khayyam, the 12th century Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer, called the effect a false dawn. And many sky watchers throughout the centuries have referred to the sight as a false twilight, for when it occurs, light appears to emerge from the horizon in a cone or triangular shape.
At times, the light can stretch along the horizon for nearly 20 to 30 degrees (the width across three hands held at arm's length with the night sky as a backdrop) travelling to a point high over head. Others observers have said the light radiates from the horizon like the lights glowing from a distant city. At its best, Zodiacal Light can rival the brightness of our own Milky Way galaxy, but dark skies and zero atmospheric haze are required for prime viewing conditions.
The name, Zodiacal Light, refers to fact that the light is usually projected against the constellations of the Zodiac. These constellations lie in line with the ecliptic, or the path the sun make through the sky during the year.
Optimum viewing conditions occur when the elliptical path appears nearly vertical to the horizon, as was the case with last week's autumnal equinox.
Early astronomers were confounded by the eerily glowing light, and it was once believed the phenomena was caused by sunlight reflecting off of our own atmosphere. In the 1690s, the astronomer, Gian Domenico Cassini, began unraveling the mysteries of Zodiacal Light and contemporary astronomers now know the glow is caused not by our own atmosphere, but by sunlight reflecting off of innumerable dust particles floating in the path of the ecliptic. The dust and debris forms a kind of cloud with individual bits ranging in size from microscopic to small asteroids left over from the creation of our own solar system. Observations indicate the cloud is most dense near the sun and extends along the ecliptic beyond the orbit of Mars.
Witnessing the Zodiacal Light can be challenging, although the lack of moonlight during the weekend may be an added advantage for Pagosa sky watchers. Nevertheless, a little luck will be needed to see some of the phenomena's related features, such as the Zodiacal Band and the Gegenschein, or counterglow.
The Zodiacal Band is a faint glow of light that stretches along the entire elliptical path and appears to be about five to 10 degrees in width. (About the width across the back of your hand, with your hand held at arm's length with the night sky as a backdrop.)
The Gegenschein should appear brighter than the Zodiacal Band and can be found at a point along the ecliptic exactly the opposite of where the sun is in the sky. For example, if the sun is just below the eastern horizon, the Gegenschein, for savvy sky watchers, might be visible just above the western horizon.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
River up, temperatures down in Pagosa Country
By John Middendorf
The storm that brought Tuesday night's cold drizzle in town, depositing nearly a half-inch of rain, must have really pounded up in the mountains. The river rose from 60 cfs early Wednesday morning (the typical average this time of year) to a raging 900 cfs by noon, inspiring the boaters to lay siege on the town's Davey Wave by midday.
Prior to Tuesday's storm the weather had been mild, with a total of a quarter-inch of rain for the latter part of last week, then clearing up and leading to another glorious Pagosa Sunday. Highs of the preceding week topped out at 76.3 on Monday, with lows bottoming out to just below freezing at 31.5 the same day. It was the second freeze of the fall.
Today and tomorrow there is a better than even chance of afternoon thunderstorms, with south winds of around 10 mph, and gusts up to 20 mph. The weekend's forecast is partly cloudy, with highs in the mid 60s and lows in the high 30s. Next week who can say? Only fools predict the weather, and this fool thinks (hopes) we'll have a bit more fall ambience before the colder weather really sets in.
With the fall colors likely to peak around here this week or next, it is time to "get on up" into the upper reaches of Pagosa Country for a closer view. Currently the color changes are occurring in isolated areas, contrasting the bright fall colors spectacularly. Particularly nice views are available on Mill Creek road, around 15 miles up from U.S 160 on the forest service road. Driving and hiking guides are available at the Chamber of Commerce. Don't miss it!
Note: Ace weather reporter Richard Walter is zipping around the state on a road trip with his son, Kevin (most likely doing weather research along the Rocky Mountains).
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