October 6, 2005
Front Page

County, owners

clash on hangar lease details

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

A legal dispute between county airport management and a group of pilots is escalating at an alarming rate.

Yesterday, in an unprecedented move by the county, the county commissioners passed a resolution authorizing acquisition of seven of the hangars at the airport by eminent domain proceedings, a process that involves seizing private property without permission.

Last month, the county sent eviction notices to eight hangar owners at Stevens Field airport. The privately owned hangars were scheduled for demolition because they are reportedly within the "object free zone" of the future runway safety area, the FAA specified region (related to the declared runway length) designed to minimize damage in the event of an airplane "undershoot, overshoot, or excursion."

Last Thursday, one day prior to the eviction deadline, six of the eight hangar owners filed an injunction against the county which resulted in a 10-day temporary restraining order preventing the destruction of the hangars. The hangar owners' spokesman, Ralph Goulds, issued a press release explaining the basis of the injunction, calling the county's action a "property grab."

"That's bullpuckie," responded Interim County Administrator Bob Jasper to Gould's claims, calling the group of pilots in question an "old boys club" who have a "sweet deal."

The county and the hangar owners see each other as unreasonable and unwilling to negotiate, and both sides believe the other has violated a three-page agreement signed by Ken Fox, the previous airport manager, and William Steele, the county administrator at the time.

The agreement, dated June 24, 2004, was provided to each of the eight hangar owners in question, and states that the owners of hangars just north of Nick's Hangar would agree to vacate their property so their hangars could be demolished as part of the Steven's Field airport improvement project. In return, the county agreed to construct replacement hangars, which the county has done at significant expense (the eight new hangars are part of a $2.8 million county-funded project, which also included the new FBO building and fueling station), and to provide the hangar owners with a bill of sale transferring ownership of the new hangars.

The dispute revolves around the hangar land lease specifically outlined in the 2004 agreement. The agreement states that, in order for the hangar owners to receive the bill of sale for the new hangars, they will be required to sign a new lease. The agreement states there will be "general changes made to the lease," and specifically outlines what the significant changes will be, namely, that the county will have the first right of refusal, and there will be an increase in annual lease rate not to exceed 38 cents per square foot the first year.

The pilots agreed to those changes, signing the 2004 agreement to vacate their property "in good faith," as Goulds puts it. However, when the county approved the final version of the lease Sept. 6, 24 days prior to the eviction deadline, there were a number of changes the pilots considered much more "significant" than the two changes mentioned in the three page signed agreement.

The new lease includes issues that are "unacceptable," according to Goulds. The current lease prohibits subletting the hangar, something the existing leases allowed and which several of the eight hangar owners currently do. Jasper asked whether it is right for the county to allow the hangar owners to potentially make money on property the county has created at its expense, asking rhetorically, "They have such favorable leases, why would we allow them to assign it to someone else?"

Another issue is the question of maintenance within the hangars. Goulds, who has an airframe and powerplant maintenance license, and is authorized by the FAA to perform aircraft inspections, says the new lease prohibits the required annual inspections within the hangars. The new lease states, "Tenant shall have no right to conduct any hazardous activities on the Leased Premises, including but not necessary limited to welding, soldering, doping, painting or fuel system maintenance."

The existing hangar lease prohibited welding without permission from the fire marshal, but did not specifically prohibit the other activities. Goulds said the prohibition of fuel system maintenance effectively prohibits aircraft required annual inspections within the hangars, even if the plane is properly de-fueled outside of the hangar, and he questioned why the new lease is so stringent compared with other airports' ground leases, specifically Durango's. "They don't have any of these strictures," he said.

Rob Russ, airport manager, said he believed "that pilots could do their annual inspections (within the hangar) as long as it didn't require opening up the fuel cell (tank)," but when asked specifically whether the pilots could inspect a fuel filter, he said that would be considered fuel system maintenance, and that pilots would have to perform that work outside of the hangars. When asked if that was a considered a hardship, considering Pagosa's snowy winters, Russ cited his own experience in the military when he was required to work in cold conditions and said he thinks the pilots shouldn't have a problem with that.

It is difficult to ascertain how the lease was developed. When the pilots last saw a copy of the proposed lease in March, it was distributed by Ken Fox, the former airport manager (who is still acting as an advisory role to the county). The pilots didn't like that version of the lease either, but Goulds said it went from "bad to worse" since Russ's tenure as airport manager.

Initially in response to the question of the development of the lease, Russ said he "was not involved," but then immediately corrected himself, saying that he "was involved a little bit towards the end." He said he "may have had" conversations with the county's attorneys who created the lease, and then described his research that he brought to "everyone's attention" regarding National Fire Protection Agency documents 407, 409, and 410, which describe aircraft hangar construction specifications and fire protection requirements of aircraft hangars, which according to Russ, prohibit the types of maintenance the pilots are accustomed to performing within their hangars.

Even though the new lease specifically requires hangar owners to carry property and liability insurance and has nearly a full-page clause on indemnification of the landlord, Jasper asks rhetorically, "If we knowingly allowed them (the pilots) to do hazardous activities, do you think we would have no liability?" referring to the "deep pocket" concept where lawsuits are directed towards the sources of money, regardless of legal agreements.

Since the county is only leasing the land to the hangar owners, and not the hangars themselves, Goulds thinks these issues reflect a county ownership attitude of both the land and the hangar, and fears the stringent rules have been created so "if we get caught in a violation, they can confiscate the hangar."

Goulds believes the new lease makes the pilots vulnerable to the whims of the airport manager. According to the new provisions in the lease, it would only take only a single "default" (any violation of any of the conditions of the lease agreement, even if corrected within a specified 30-day period) in the two years prior to the expiration of the lease, or six defaults (again, even if corrected) over the 20-year period of the lease for the county to have legal rights to terminate the lease and "take complete possession" of the building.

In some instances, default could be triggered by requirements that are "aesthetic in nature," with the landlord reserving "the right in its sole discretion to determine what constitutes a state of 'good repair'."

County attorney Jeffrey Robbins says that such matters "are interpreted by a rule of reasonableness," but with both sides believing the other is unreasonable, combined with the current confrontational relationship between the hangar owners and the airport manager who would be in a position to determine default, the problems could escalate.

The current litigation has put a crimp in the progress of the airport improvement project. Without demolition of the hangars, a planned access road can't be installed, the airport cannot reopen after the runway is complete as planned, and the construction company may allege cost and damages because of the failure on the county's part to permit demolition as specified in the contract. The county attorney estimates the delay may cost at least $2,000 per day.

On Tuesday, the county attorney said he would draft a letter asking the hangar owners to allow the county to immediately possess the hangars and to deal with the other issues at some time in the future. If not, the county will file a counter injunction in court with claims for damages. If the court action fails, they will proceed with the eminent domain condemnation, which will allow them to take possession of the hangars by Nov. 4 at the earliest.

In the discussion that followed the attorney's presentation of the eminent domain resolution, Commissioner Robin Schiro verified the legal reversibility of the eminent domain process in case things could be settled in the meantime. She said the county should have worked with the hangar owners previously. Although a discussion with the hangar owners was on the agenda for the Oct. 5 meeting, it was after the eviction deadline, and Schiro regretted not having listened to her constituents who had publicly warned this issue was becoming a problem.

Litigation chronology

- Sept. 29, a injunction was filed by six hangar owners: Tom Broadbent, Fred Shelton, San Juan Flyers, Shirley Bishop, Robert Fletcher and Doug Humble.

- Sept. 30, in response to the hangar owner's injunction, Judge Jim Denvir issued a 10-day temporary restraining order to prevent destruction of the eight hangars north of Nick's Hangar. A hearing related to the hangar owners' injunction is scheduled for Oct. 11.

- Oct. 4, the county approved eminent domain proceedings against the six hangar owners who filed the injunction, as well as William Smith.

Note: Smith is unclear why he was added to the eminent domain resolution, and has told The SUN he vacated his hangar five days prior to the eviction deadline and that the county "can knock it (his hangar) down today if they want to."

In response to questions from the county commissioners, County Attorney Jeffrey Robbins said at Tuesday's meeting he was told by airport manager Rob Russ to add Smith to the list. Davey Pitcher, the eighth hangar owner of the hangars in question, is not involved in any of the litigation.

 Sen. Ken Salazar to host Pagosa meeting

U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar has issued an invitation to attend a community meeting to discuss "Energy Independence - Securing America's Future." The Senator will share his views on the impact on Colorado communities by the passage of the Energy bill and outline future steps he believes must be taken to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Greater energy independence will make America more secure and also provides significant opportunities for Colorado's economy, creating jobs, revitalizing rural communities and protecting the environment.

Sen. Salazar will meet members of the community Tuesday, Oct. 11, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. in the community center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. at a no-host breakfast.

 With trust an issue, county sets road workshop

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

As the county moved toward adopting a set of revised road and bridge standards at Tuesday's board of county commissioner's meeting, it was ultimately an issue of constituent trust that thwarted those efforts and brought adoption of the new standards to a temporary halt.

One audience member said, "We truly have little trust in the powers that be."

And another continued, "The public wants to be reassured that these decisions are good decisions."

At issue was the argument that the public had not been duly noticed and involved in the crafting of, and providing input for, the revised standards.

Interim County Administrator Bob Jasper acknowledged the speakers' concerns and said, "The whole issue of roads trust is a major issue."

But Jasper said he supported passage of the standards and added that timing was important and adoption was a key step in the county's efforts at developing long term road management strategies.

"It won't go back and solve old problems, but it will get us started in the right direction for new development," Jasper said.

Jasper added that the county attorneys had reviewed the document, and that staff believed it was well crafted and would play a critical role in the county's long term planning efforts.

In her presentation to the board, County Engineer Sue Walan said the revised standards would work as a stand-alone document or they could ultimately be modified and meshed with the county's forthcoming Land Use Code.

She said the document had been reviewed by the county attorneys, two engineering firms, the county planning department, three contractors involved in road construction, three consultants that represent developers, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and, following modifications based on reviewer input, the revised standards were posted on the county's web site Sept. 8.

"I feel they're ready to go," Walan said.

But despite Walan's and Jasper's support, Commissioner Robin Schiro said no formal work session with the commissioners had been held concerning the revised standards and she called some of the technical aspects of the specifications into question.

She added that a 14-day public notification period should have been given for all interested parties to have adequate time to review the document and to bring their concerns to Tuesday's meeting.

County attorney Jeffrey Robbins said, in this particular case, a 14-day notification period was not absolutely mandatory. And Jasper said he had consulted at length with the county attorneys to confirm the county was operating within the parameters of state statute.

Ultimately, Commissioner Mamie Lynch spoke for the board and said, "The last thing the board wants to do is to exclude the public."

The decision to table passage of the revised standards was approved and the commissioners agreed to host a public work session on the revised standards.

The work session is scheduled for Wed. Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m at the Town of Pagosa Springs Community Center in the Pagosa Peaks room.


Town answers corps on river project

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

In a move to keep Phase II of the San Juan River Restoration Project on schedule, the Town of Pagosa Springs has formally responded to an Aug. 26 letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers charging the town's previous and proposed river restoration work lacks key scientific data, including an analysis of potential flood plain, biological and other hydrological impacts.

The letter was presented during Tuesday's Pagosa Springs Town Council meeting.

During the meeting, and in his project update to the town council, Town Manager Mark Garcia said the town had submitted much of the information the Army Corps had requested including a lengthy packet from the town's project consultant, Gary Lacy, of Recreation Engineering and Planning.

Included in Lacy's packet, Garcia said, was documentation concerning a recent river project undertaken by Lacy's firm in Pueblo, Colo. which utilized significant portions of grout and concrete below the water line.

That project, Garcia said, was also permitted by the Corps and received far less scrutiny than the proposed Pagosa Springs project.

The use of grout and concrete to build and stabilize the in-stream structures have been key points of contention and concern by the Corps and critics of the project.

"We addressed their concerns in what was an appropriate fashion for us," Garcia said.

In addition, said Garcia, the town requested the documentation the Corps used to make its assessment that an in-stream structure the town installed last March had resulted in an increased flood stage and had resulted in noncompliance with FEMA flood plain regulations.

Garcia said the town also requested the data the Corps used to formulate its assertion that grout and hard bank stabilization would reduce the quality of the aquatic habitat.

Garcia said he believes the Corps' statements rely too heavily on opinion and inconclusive data rather than a sound scientific exploration of the issues.

The town's letter states, "In addition, the town is concerned about inaccurate, personal and irrelevant comments as having bearing on our application. Certain comments from the Division of Water Resources, CDOW USGS are not supported by any factual data, and in some cases are opinions. Similarly, comments from Wildland Hydrology and Queen of the River regarding grout are not substantiated by factual data and are again opinions."

Garcia said, "There is a level of scrutiny that is unjust."

Garcia said Tuesday the Corps had not yet responded to the town's letter, but said he hoped the two parties could sit down soon to work out the issues and thus keep the project on schedule.

The project as proposed would include bank stabilization and the installation of in-stream structures between the Hot Springs Boulevard bridge and the Apache Street bridge.

To date, the town hopes to obtain a permit by late this month or November, and to begin construction by December.


 Inside The Sun

County will not maintain

private roads, Oct. 6 meeting set

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Attendees left unsure whether the message was provocative or evocative, but whatever the case, it was succinct and clear.

"We will no longer maintain private roads. It is illegal for us to do so and we will stop," said interim Archuleta County Administrator Bob Jasper.

Jasper's comments came during the fourth meeting in a series of ongoing county road work sessions, held Sept. 29 in the board of county commissioners' meeting room.

The meeting was originally slated for the presentation and discussion of two issues: the need for the county's road and bridge department to develop policies and procedures, and to provide an assessment of the current road and bridge fleet and the fleet's future needs with specific emphasis on the fleet's snow removal capabilities.

Although Dick McKee, the county director of public works, addressed the need for a formal snow removal policy, a well managed fleet, the acquisition of upgraded and more versatile road maintenance and snow removal equipment and the possibility of hiring two road and bridge equipment operators to work primarily at the airport for snow removal operations, those discussions were largely overshadowed following Jasper's comments concerning the maintenance of private roads and the inklings of an emerging road maintenance plan.

Although Jasper was firm in his statement, he said private road owners could, in the future, petition the county for acceptance of their road into the county road system.

Sheila Berger, an asset technician for the county's road and bridge department, said the affected private roads consisted of about eight to 10 miles of roadway.

McKee said those affected would be contacted by mail, and a list of the roads would soon be made available to the public.

As for other roads in the county regarding winter snow removal, Jasper said, "In terms of snow removal, we're going to do the very best we can. Nothing will change this winter."

In addition to his statements concerning private roads and county-wide snow removal, Jasper reiterated the county's position regarding maintenance of U.S. Forest Service roads.

"We cannot, without a permit, maintain Forest Service roads," Jasper said.

Jasper said it was illegal for the county to perform maintenance on Forest Service roads or private roads, and he used the discussion of maintenance on those roads to segue into a greater discussion of equity and finances.

"We don't have the money or resources to fix this problem overnight or in two to three years," Jasper said.

McKee added that tackling the county's various road issues was a long-term project and said, "Long term management plans are essential. We can't get by any longer on a day to day approach. We have to look at 10 to 15 years down the road."

As a potential part of the plan, Jasper posed the idea of neighborhoods forming special taxing districts, or county public improvement districts in order to undertake that particular area's road maintenance and snow removal projects.

He said about 30 to 40 percent of the county already provided their own road maintenance and he pointed to Aspen Springs as an example. He also used Aspen Springs as an example to explore the question of equity.

"If you live in Aspen Springs, do you want to pay even more for someone's road in Pagosa Lakes?" Jasper said.

Although no formal policies are set during the work sessions, the questions Jasper posed are those that county government and county residents will ultimately have to answer when they examine the fiscal realities of providing long-term road maintenance solutions. They are also questions that will be explored further in the fifth work session scheduled for Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. in the board of county commissioners' meeting room.

The thrust of the Oct. 6 session will be to look at road and bridge finances, revenue sources, the county mill levy, future funding, revenue and future financial needs.


State Senate Majority

leader speaks about C and D

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

During a statewide effort to rally support for referenda C and D, state Senate Majority Leader and Colorado State Sen. Ken Gordon spoke at the Archuleta County Democratic Party's recent chili supper.

The event was held Sept. 30 and Gordon addressed about 50 local Democrats at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street.

Gordon said referenda C and D had transcended state politics and gained national attention. He added that the issue had become as important as a governor's race and urged voters to go to the polls in November.

Gordon said one of the most significant impacts should C and D not pass is that, "We would be the first state to de-fund higher education."

Gordon said this translated into no in-state tuition rates and that Colorado colleges would be forced to impose tuition and fees similar to those levied by private colleges and universities.

He said the state's higher education budget had already been cut 31 percent during the last three years, and failure of C and D would spell, "disaster for Colorado."

He said, "The damage done to higher education in Colorado would be unconscionable."

Included in the package, and beyond higher education, Gordon said C and D would provide critical funding for K-12 education, roads and transportation projects, Medicaid, health care and prisons.

He said what makes higher education more vulnerable than the other funding areas, is that the other areas are protected to a degree and buffered by federal funds. Higher education, Gordon said, is not.

Gordon said, if C and D don't pass, it would essentially squander 100 years of previous taxpayer investment as roads and bridges, state buildings, health care and education go unfunded and infrastructure falls into disrepair and programs face further budget cuts or elimination.

As other examples, he said failure of C and D would severely compromise the Medicaid safety net, the judicial system and funding for alcohol, drug and mental health treatment and early intervention programs for children with developmental disabilities.

"It bothers my heart that children would be put on waiting lists for services that other states provide," Gordon said.

Gordon touted the C and D package as "not extravagant" and as "doing the basics to keep the community running."

Opponents of the referendum do not see the issue in the same light and, despite bipartisan support, including that of the state's Republican governor, Bill Owens, they see the call for the package as a shirking of the state's fiscal responsibility to its taxpayers.

They say the referendum C is essentially a tax increase. Calculation methods vary, but estimates indicate Referendum C's passage would cause the average taxpayer to give up between $500 and $1,100 in refunds during the course of the referendum's five-year period and would reduce potential TABOR refunds each year thereafter.

Opponents also argue that referenda C and D lack specifics on how, or on which programs the monies will ultimately be spent.

Lastly, they say the state should focus on ways to save money, rather than seeking referenda that would authorize spending more. In order to save, opponents advocate consolidating government functions, privatizing some services and eliminating inefficiencies in the state bureaucracy.

Strong opposition has been rallied by out-of-state interests including the Washington D.C.-based group, FreedomWorks, which advocates "fighting for lower taxes, less government and more freedom."

The opposition's early push and the presence of out-of-state opponents, Gordon said, are evidence the issue has transcended both state and party lines.

"This is a tipping point not only for Colorado, but for the country," Gordon said.

Referenda C and D: The Basics

Referendum C would:

- allow the state to retain all revenue above existing limits for five years - from July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2010. Estimates indicate the increased spending would equal about $3.7 billion and the funds would be used for health care, public education, transportation projects and local police and fire pensions;

- eliminate the current "ratchet effect" by allowing the state to retain a capped amount of additional funds beyond 2010 and each year thereafter. Ref. C would essentially rebase the limit to the year with the highest revenues from 2005-2010 and allows future increases equal to growth plus inflation;

- eliminate TABOR refunds for the next five years and reduces the refunds thereafter.

Referendum D would:

- permit the state to borrow up to $2.072 billion, with a maximum repayment of $3.225 billion including principal and interest;

- require the money to be used for K-12 education and higher education buildings, transportation projects and police and fire pensions;

- only take effect if Referendum C passes.;

- increase the revenue that Referendum C allows the state to keep by up to $100 million each year into the future starting in 2011.


Town receives award for sculpture project

By Myles Gabel

Special to The SUN

The Colorado Parks and Recreation Association took time to reflect and recognize individuals, organizations, elected officials, and special park and recreation projects which have positively impacted their communities. The recognition to individual parks and recreation programs are called the Columbine Awards and were presented at the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association's Annual Conference in Grand Junction, this past week, Sept. 27-30.

The 2005 Columbine Award for Maintenance was presented to the Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department.

This award recognizes creativity or innovation in the development of unique equipment, materials, natural resources or chemicals to solve a problem, or the implementation of a system to better maintain or beautify a park, building, pool or piece of equipment.

The Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department had a dilemma: Two cottonwood trees within our River Walk were becoming very old and frail. Due to public safety, these two trees were scheduled to be cut down as they were unstable and very close to the pedestrian walkways. At the same time, at the top of Reservoir Hill, an area used for biking and hiking which is also the site of one of the town's largest events, a yearly folk festival, one of the oldest and tallest, old-growth ponderosa pines in the area was struck by lightning.

The town decided to explore many options on how best to preserve these natural resources and to continue to beautify the area. The Town of Pagosa Springs was lucky enough to find someone in the area with an expertise that would enable us to meet our goals. The town hired Chad Haspels to create sculptures that would enhance the beauty of the area using indigenous species native to southern Colorado. "Every tree has its own history, as a part of the land it came from, of the life it lived, and often how it may have died," said Haspels.

The cottonwood trees now stand proudly on our River Walk with sculptures of an eagle on a perch, and the second cottonwood sculpture with an eagle having just taken a fish out of the river. At Reservoir Hill the project took on a different dimension. On what is left of the standing tree a mother mountain lion is sculptured protecting its two kittens. But what is special about the Reservoir Hill project was the use of the fallen trunk. A full bench has been cut for all to use and enjoy and was secured into the standing stump as one continuous object. On the back of the chair portion of the bench is a landscape of the mountains surrounding Pagosa Springs with the back of the bench displaying animals which make Reservoir Hill their home: a fox, an owl, two bear cubs and two raccoons. The Town of Pagosa Springs is proud of its use of the area's natural resources to enhance the wellness of our public and beauty of our community.


Planning commission meeting cancelled

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will not meet as regularly scheduled Oct. 12.

The date for the next Archuleta County Planning Commission meeting will be announced soon.


Katrina animals find haven in Four Corners region

By Barbara Rosner

Special to The SUN

The pets have landed!

As Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on New Orleans, Sheila Christophe fled to Houston.

Her husband and their dog, a 10-year-old French bulldog named Nipsey, stayed in their home, hoping it would be spared. Within days the house was flooded and rescuers picked up the husband but could not take Nipsey.

Sheila, her husband, their daughter and granddaughter were reunited and living in a rented house in Houston. They are thankful to be alive but were still frantically searching for their dog. After talking to one of the national humane organizations working in the disaster area, Sheila learned that her dog may have been sent to the Four Corners.

Sheila was given the number of the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs. She called and described the dog and was asked to wait while records were being checked.

"Oh, please, oh please, you just have to have him," she said. "Nipsey likes to sit on my lap and have me play with him. I miss him so much!"

Minutes later she was crying tears of joy as she learned that Nipsey is secure and well, living with a foster family in Durango. All that's left to figure out is how to get Nipsey to Houston, but a happy ending is assured.

Nipsey was just one of 100 pets that were flown to the La Plata County Airport last Friday. After weeks of planning and a massive coordination effort in the Four Corners area, an Ameristar jet loaded with displaced pets landed to the cheers of waiting volunteers. Many of the pets were transferred from overflowing shelters or were rescued from the streets in devastated areas of Louisiana.

"We really didn't know what to expect," said Robbie Schwartz, executive director of the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs. "All we were told was that we'd be receiving around 80 dogs. Instead, 68 dogs and 32 cats actually arrived."

The main objective of Operation Care-for-a-Pet was to find foster homes for the pets for four to six weeks so that pet owners would have time to reclaim their pets. Permanent homes will have to be found for those pets that cannot be reunited with their former owners.

Schwartz and Karen Zempel (with Dogster's Spay and Neuter Program) spearheaded the efforts to line up foster families and to enlist veterinarians and other volunteers to process the pets when they arrived. A private hangar donated by Doug Lashley of Durango housed the operation.

From the moment the plane landed, volunteers worked quickly to transport the crated pets to the hangar, offering soothing words and lots of treats. Amidst the roar of planes landing and taking off, the dogs were documented, microchipped, examined by veterinarians, tested for heartworm and inoculated, given a collar and ID tag and finally photographed for display on a national Web site: www.petfinder.com. There were Chihuahuas and Rottweilers, puppies and older dogs, and everything in between. As the dogs completed processing, their crates were moved to the fostering area.

Foster families from Pagosa Springs, Durango, Telluride, Farmington and Cortez lined up to choose from the available dogs. After weeks of uncertainty and disruption, almost every dog was in a welcoming home on Friday night.

Although the felines were completely unexpected, they were greeted enthusiastically. Responding quickly, Schwartz decided to transfer the 32 cats and kittens to the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs.

Anyone interested in adopting a Katrina cat or kitten should contact the Humane Society at 264-5549, after a four-week waiting period. Although there has been a tremendous outpouring of support for this rescue operation, there will be ongoing costs to get all of these pets back to health. Cash donations are still needed. To make a donation, or to see photos of the animals that have arrived, log onto www. humanesociety.biz.


Forest Service seeks comment on Mill Creek Road seasonal closure

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest (USFS) is requesting comments on a proposal to install a seasonal road closure gate approximately three-tenths-of-a-mile inside the National Forest boundary on Mill Creek Road. The project location is about four miles from the intersection of Mill Creek Road and U.S. 84.

If installed, the gate will be closed as wet weather conditions persist, normally around the end of November, and reopened in the spring when the road bed is again dry. Only Mill Creek residents and entities having business beyond the gate will be allowed access during the closure, and residents will be responsible for snow removal through a special use permit issued by the USFS.

In addition to the gate, the USFS intends to construct a winter recreation parking area and winter trail, providing snowmobilers and cross-country skiers continued access to the Nipple Mountain area.

Last year, heavy use rendered a portion of Mill Creek Road impassable and prevented residents from reaching their homes. Meanwhile, mud and sediment flowed from the road into Mill Creek, adversely impacting water quality. If completed, the proposed improvements would reduce road damage, protect Mill Creek water quality and maintain public winter recreation access to Forest lands in the Nipple Mountain area.

To comment on this issue, members of the public must do so orally, electronically, or in writing (via mail, facsimile or hand-delivered) within the next 30 days (by Nov. 5). The purpose of this comment period is to allow the public an opportunity to provide early and meaningful participation on a proposed action prior to a decision by the "Responsible Official," and regulations prohibit any extension of the comment period.

Individuals or organizations providing substantive comments will be eligible to appeal the decision under 36 C.F.R. Part 215 regulations. However, the following must be included: name and address; title of proposed action; specific substantive comments on the proposed action, including supporting reasons that the Responsible Official should consider in reaching a decision; and signature or other verification of identity upon request (identity of the individual or organization who authored the comments).

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those commenting, will become part of the public record on this proposed action, and will be available for public review. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, but those submitting them will not have standing to appeal the decision under 36 C.F.R. Part 215.

Written comments may be mailed to District Ranger, P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; hand-delivered (between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) to the District office at 180 Pagosa St., Pagosa Springs; or faxed to Rick Jewell, 264-1538. Oral comments must be made in person at the District office during normal business hours, at any official agency function designed to elicit public comments, or by calling 264-1509.

Electronic comments must be submitted as an e-mail message in plain text (.txt), rich text (.rft), or Word (.doc). To have appeal eligibility, a verification of identity is required, and a scanned signature is suitable. E-mail comments to: comments-rocky-mountain-san-juan-pagosa@fs.fed.us. An automated acknowledgment should confirm receipt.


District takes step to create Critical Access Hospital

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

In a relatively brief meeting Tuesday night, the Upper San Juan Health Services District board approved the initial step towards creating a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) in Pagosa.

The district will soon sign a contract with Healthcare Capital Resources, Inc,, known informally as "Larry and Chuck," (after HCR's key personnel Larry Arthur and Chuck Wells). HCR has presented a proposal outlining four work steps that they will perform to build a CAH in Pagosa. The four steps are: initial planning, facility design/financing, closing/begin construction, and final construction.

Initial planning will begin immediately after the contract is signed, and Monday and Tuesday HCR will meet with local providers and the Mercy Management team.

Pam Hopkins, board president, who was absent from the meeting due to her participation in a CAH conference in Kansas City, has worked tirelessly on the contract and requested several changes to HCR's initial proposal, most of which were approved by HCR.

One of the changes requested had to do with HCR's fee of 1 percent of the financing, regardless of its source, which could be as much as $120,000, based on a $12 million loan to build the hospital. HCR will bill the district $175 per hour, with a maximum of $30,000 plus out-of-pocket expenses (which will be credited to the 1-percent financing charge), and Hopkins thought that, if the district found alternative financing, it should not be indebted to HCR.

However, since one of HCR's strengths is to find and negotiate financing for a CAH, there was concern by HCR that they would do the legwork on the financing as part of their normal contractual obligations, then have someone else "parachute" in and receive the fees. The board agreed that this was reasonable, and approved the contract with the 1-percent fee included.

The district has budgeted $50,000 for the initial steps of building the CAH; after that, financing is expected to cover the subsequent costs. Hopkins said that any financing will require voter approval to secure the loan, but emphasizes that it is not expected to involve a tax increase.

With the USJHSD 2006 budget completed and the future financials projected to be in the black for the upcoming 12 months, including the initial CAH costs, the board considered adding a third ambulance to the EMS services. Rick O'Block, head of the Mercy Management Team that has helped turn the district around financially as well as organizationally, warned against the expenditure at this time, suggesting the district focus on the CAH plans and perform "some critical analysis and community needs assessments based on benchmark indicators" prior to making the decision to add a third staffed ambulance.

Brett Murphy, EMS Manager concurred. Based on a 26-week average, Murphy found that we had a 16.8 utilization rate on our current two ambulance service, which is within the 7 to 17 percent average for rural communities from an "EMS White Paper." The utilization rate refers to how much time the ambulances are on the road and can be as high as 72 percent nationally in the bigger cities. Brian Sinnott, a member of the EMS Advisory Committee, said that anything over 40 percent means that lives are at stake due to over-utilization, meaning there are not enough ambulances to cover the life-threatening situations that may occur.

Sinnott, on the other hand, recommended the third ambulance, citing a different basis of measurement based on demand. Based on the same local data from the demand viewpoint, Sinnott outlined that 19.2 percent of the time, both of Pagosa's existing ambulances are on call, with 29 hours per month "exposed," meaning that if a third call came in, EMS would not be able to respond.

Sinnott also emphasized that, with the Mary Fisher Clinic still closed, the ambulances are required to travel the longer distances to Durango and at the same time cover the whole county, meaning that a single call to Wolf Creek Pass, for example, may require five hours of ambulance time, increasing the exposure.

The board listened to all the arguments presented. Director Bob Goodman called it a "moral dilemma," as the third ambulance was expected to cost $10,000 per month with no additional income in return and, with the district projected to have only a $25,000 surplus for the next year, the financial aspects did not look feasible.

Director Jim Pruitt suggested that, since during the initial formation of the USJHSD in 1985 its purpose was to create a health care facility and not act as an ambulance service - and that it only later took on the EMS duty - he felt funding a third ambulance should be a shared responsibility with the county. He agreed to ask the county to consider helping with the costs.

In the end, it was decided to postpone the decision to expand the ambulance services, pending further investigation as to the need and fiduciary responsibility.

The board went into executive session at 9:30 to interview candidates for the board position left vacant by Dick Blide, and chose Ann Michelle Visel, who has worked as a healthcare consultant in the past.


PFPD open house and chili cookoff

The Pagosa Fire Protection District is holding its first annual open house and chili cookoff Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

The event will be held at Fire Station 3 on U.S 84 about 3 miles south of town.

The cookoff and open house is an all-ages event and will feature free chili, demonstrations such as ladder rescue and auto extrication, fire safety clowns and will give attendees a chance to learn about fire safety and the work of local firefighters.


Growing Up Smart program continues to Feb. 1

By Sky Gabel

Special to The SUN

Growing Up Smart (GUS), a program of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, announces classes for fifth- and sixth-grade students, every Wednesday afternoon through Feb. 1.

The program enables young people to make healthy life choices to support their passage into positive adulthood. The program assists youth in developing healthy interpersonal relationships which is fundamental to preventing high-risk behaviors. Communication with caregivers, abstinence, and puberty facts are emphasized. Professional sexuality health educator, Zeke Volkert will lead the interactive, fun, free, age-appropriate classes at the community center South Conference Room. Register now by calling Zeke at 375-9558, or call Sky Gabel at 731-2202.

Human development is a lifelong process and just as it is important to enhance a child's physical, emotional, and cognitive growth, so it is important to lay foundations for a child's sexual growth. A parent of last spring's GUS classes said, "The program covered a lot of my daughter's questions about things I didn't really know how to talk about. She really liked it and it helped us talk stuff more openly." At the class for parents/guardians, several parents commented that the class opened the lines of communication with their kids so that important feelings and facts about sex could be shared.

If you wonder what sexuality health has to do with 10 - and 11-year-old kids, consider that the best way for parents to protect our children from harm is to have open, ongoing communication with them. Solid sexuality education delays sexual activity: studies show that informed teenagers are less likely to have sex while uninformed teens are at greater risk of early sexual activity, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, sexual exploitation, and abuse (American Social Health Association). The strongest approach is to teach values at home and offer sexuality education with a trained expert and peers so children can practice decision-making, talk in small groups about good friendships, identify supportive adults, and actively learn about the changes in themselves and their friends.

Between the ages of nine and 12 years, children gain more independence than ever before, they desire privacy and separation from the family as part of their push for independence but they still need parents' guidance. Children between ages nine and 12 will usually want to be seen as "normal" while also needing to be unique. They will experience mood swings, partially as a result of changing hormones in their bodies. They may be self-conscious of bodily changes and girls especially may feel insecure as their bodies develop. This highly-acclaimed class is coming to Pagosa Springs to help you and your preteen understand themselves a little better, express their individuality in a positive way, and enjoy this time of life with supportive friends and caregivers. Register now at 375-9558. The class is free, snacks are provided, with no class on most school holidays.


Take advantage of Parents Night Out

Free childcare begins Friday, Oct. 7, as Parents Night Out encourages parents to go out, and bring the kids to Restoration Fellowship for child care at no cost.

Parents Night Out takes place the first and third Friday of every month, October through April, from 6-9 p.m.

For more information, call 731-2937.



Climbing Pagosa Peak

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

With many of our friends having spoken of the beauty of climbing Pagosa Peak, last weekend my fiancee, Jeni, and I decided to give it a go.

We had attempted it earlier this summer, but failed to find the trailhead for lack of detailed directions. Being relative newcomers to town, we quickly found out that local names and official Forest Service numbering of roads are quite distinct. Our first set of directions had been clear and correct: Take Piedra, right on McManus, right again on Plumtaw, then left on Black Mountain. We correctly guessed that Plumtaw was the signed FS road 634, but failed to recognize FS 661 as Black Mountain Road.

After a visit to Ann Bubb, who outfitted us with the appropriate maps and detailed directions, we drove Saturday up the rough high clearance road through the gorgeous yellow aspen groves. As we approached the peak, we got our first close-up view of the west face of Pagosa Peak, an imposing volcanic cliff flanked by steep ridges of loose blocky talus. With faith the trail would take us up a more moderate route, we found the cairn with the stick behind it immediately past the last switchback, just as Ann described, marking the start of the trail.

The trail initially weaves up through the forest along a southwest ridge of the mountain, above a beautiful creek, affording glimpses of the short cascading waterfalls. With the tranquil sound of rushing water accompanying us, we got our breathing and legs into the initial rhythm for the hours to follow.

After about a mile, the view opens up for a moment and the route up the southern ridge becomes apparent. There we had our first snowball fight of the year. Well, it wasn't really a "fight," I tossed some snow at Jeni and she failed to retaliate (until later when she surreptitiously shovelled a handful of snow down the back of my shirt).

Back into the woods with more steep trail, after a short ways we descended into a gulley to cross a small creek with some of the best mountain water I've ever tasted (note: drink mountain streams at your own risk - giardia, the tiny protozoa that can line your stomach and intestines creating days of sickness, is reportedly in every North American stream).

Then it was back to the uphill grind through the woods. Just before we broke out of treeline, we came upon a herd of elk that sprinted away when they noticed us approaching. The grouse were plentiful, and often flew across our paths frenetically flapping to gain security high up in a pine tree.

The final part of the trail weaves up along the southern ridge above tree line, and climbs the rocky pile of welded tuff blocks, the remnants from explosive volcanic eruptions that built up the San Juan Mountains 30 million years ago. We felt the altitude during the final climb to the false summit, and then continued on to the true summit just a short jaunt away.

The views from the 12,640 foot summit were spectacular and breathtaking, with views of the Weminuche Wilderness to the north, the Continental Divide peaks to the east, and town to the south, with gorgeous views of the spectacular fall color changes all around below.

The total mileage from the trailhead is around three miles with approximately 2,000 feet of altitude gain, which took us a leisurely six hours car-to-car. Unfortunately, the Forest Service just closed Black Mountain road this week, requiring an extra 3.8 miles and 1,500 feet of elevation gain on 661, but it looks suitable for mountain bikes. It is also possible to approach Pagosa Peak from the south on the Anderson Trail, which reportedly involves a steep summit climb up skree slopes.

If the extra milage doesn't scare you, and with the coming weekend as the last "hunter-free" backcountry hiking weekend of the fall, it could still be a nice time to climb our town's namesake peak if the weather is clear. As with any extended hike, bring warm clothes, a headlamp, plenty of water and food, and rain gear.


Take care: A fed bear is a dead bear

By Joe Lewandowski

Division of Wildlife

Special to The SUN

A homeowner in Lake City shot and killed a bear on Sept. 27 - but it was a shooting that Colorado Division of Wildlife officers say could have been avoided through community action.

"The bear that was killed, and her two cubs, had been given easy access to food in town and had become habituated to human contact," said Lucas Martin, district wildlife manager for Lake City. Martin had been told that some people in Lake City were intentionally feeding the bears and other wildlife. He even received reports that people had been seen petting the cubs.

"Feeding bears is illegal and it is dangerous for humans and the animals," Martin said.

Many homeowners in Lake City do not properly take care of their garbage, so bears can easily get into trash cans to forage for food.

"Bears are smart animals. Once they get food out of one trash can, they'll go to every trash can in town," Martin said.

The man who shot the bear had not been feeding the animals and he stores his garbage in a bear-proof container. He was not cited for the incident.

About 3:30 a.m., Sept. 27, the man's two dogs started to bark and act irritated. Before letting them out, he looked outside to check if a bear was at his trash can. When he didn't see a bear he let the dogs out.

Within a few seconds the man heard one of the dogs barking and saw a bear at the trash can. He called the dog and it ran towards the house with the bear giving chase. After the dog ran into the house, the bear stopped just a few feet off the porch. The man grabbed his rifle and yelled at the bear to try to scare her off. When the bear made a movement that appeared threatening, the man shot her.

The bear ran off and died quickly, about 40 feet from the cabin. As the man walked toward the dead bear, he heard the crying of the two cubs that had climbed about 50 feet into a Ponderosa pine tree. He called the DOW about an hour later and Martin went to the scene.

With the assistance of a local company that provided a "bucket truck," Martin was raised near the cubs. He tranquilized the animals and placed them in a bear trap. Later that morning he drove them to the DOW's Frisco Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near Del Norte, where they'll be raised and trained to live in the wild.

While there is no guarantee that the cubs will survive once placed in the wild, the DOW has had good success with previous rehabilitation and release efforts, but there is a serious complication - the cubs have already learned to associate people with food.

J. Wenum, area wildlife manager, said that the incident could have been avoided. A similar incident occurred in 2004, and Wenum fears this will be a yearly occurrence, unless the Lake City community takes action.

"We have a serious problem in Lake City with some people not taking care of their garbage properly and with some people feeding wildlife," Wenum said. "People think feeding small animals does not create problems, but that inevitably attracts large animals, and that leads to problems like this."

The DOW offers this reminder: A fed bear is a dead bear.

Please, follow these guidelines if you live in bear country:

€Never feed wildlife to attract them for viewing. It is illegal to feed wildlife. Food left out for small animals will attract large animals such as bear, deer and elk.

€Keep garbage in airtight containers inside a garage or storage area. Clean trash cans with ammonia to reduce odors that attract bears.

€Food scraps that produce odors should be placed in the freezer until garbage collection day. This would include meat scraps and fruit and vegetable scraps.

€Place garbage for pickup outside just before collection. Do not put out trash cans the night before pickup.

€Use a bear-proof dumpster. If you don't have one, ask a trash-removal company for options.

€Take down birdfeeders when bears are active. Once a bear finds a birdfeeder in a yard, it will likely look around the neighborhood for other easy foods within reach. It's recommended that bird feeders be brought in at night.

€Do not start a compost pile in bear country. The odor attracts bears.

€Do not leave pet food or dirty dishes outdoors at night. Store pet food indoors.

€After cooking on a grill, leave the burners on for a few minutes to burn the remaining scraps and liquids completely. The smell of barbecue sauce and grease can attract bears.


Navajo State Park wins Starburst Award

The Colorado Lottery announced its 2005 Starburst Award winners at a luncheon at the Two Rivers Convention Center. The honor recognizes state and local agencies for excellence in the use of Colorado Lottery proceeds for parks, recreation, open space and wildlife projects. The dollars that helped fund those projects come from the sale of Lotto, Powerball, Cash 5 and Scratch tickets.

Honors were presented in five geographic regions and five different categories, based on the total cost of the project. The criteria for awards are creative and cost-efficient use of Lottery funds, the economic and social impact of the project and community participation. The judges for the 2005 awards were Great Outdoors Colorado Executive Director John Swartout, director of the Colorado Division of Local Government Barbara Kirkmeyer, State Parks Assistant Director Gary Thorson, and Jeff Rucks, manager of Education/State Division of Wildlife.

In the western region, Colorado State Parks received the award for projects costing more than $1 million, for the rehabilitation of facilities at Navajo State Park. When the contract with the previous concessionaire ended in January 2002, residents of southwestern Colorado were left without marina services at the park. Lottery dollars made it possible for Colorado State Parks to step in and improve the services to the public.

The amenities at the Two Rivers Marina now include open water mooring for 54 large boats; 1,000 feet of floating breakwater to protect the marina; dock and shoreline improvements, including a store, restrooms, boat garage, sewer lines, electrical boat hook-ups and fueling station.

In addition to providing nearly 77 percent of the funding, the Lottery dollars (through State Parks share and a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado) allowed State Parks to secure a grant of federal funds to complete the project.

Prize recipients were honored at the 2005 Colorado Park and Recreation Association Annual Conference in Grand Junction last week, where the winners were announced. They will also receive signage for their award-winning facilities, designating them as having won a Starburst Award.


High Country Reflections

Autumn is a colorful and intense time of preparation

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

The calendar has turned to October, and here in the Rocky Mountain west, the splendor of autumn is fully upon us. The climate is ideal, and with each passing weather front, a fresh layer of snow is left gleaming on the highest alpine summits. Meanwhile, the deciduous forests of the lower mountain valleys are ablaze with color, and much of the region's fauna is preparing for the inevitable onset of shorter days, long cold nights, and the heavy snows of winter.

While high-country summers are relatively brief, daytime temperatures under a searing sun can be uncomfortably warm, and frequent monsoon storms out of the Gulf of Mexico are often violent and unpredictable. But later in August, as the sun tracks more to the south and monsoonal flows are gradually cut off, temperatures moderate and dryer air comes predominantly from the west. Skies remain mostly clear, with cool bluebird mornings, pleasant sunny afternoons, and chilly starry nights.

Naturally, fall weather patterns also produce occasional storms, but they are typically the result of colliding warm and cold air masses, or a passing low-pressure system. Such disturbances can generate significant rain, shifting winds, and some lightening, but they are seldom as strong or potentially perilous as the thunderstorms of summer. Nevertheless, as significant precipitation falls over the highest terrain, it more frequently does so in the form of snow.

By mid-September, the sun has dropped further in the southern sky, and days are cooler still. Afternoon breezes dry out the forest vegetation, and nighttime readings regularly drop into the 30s. This lack of moisture and the occasional frost choke off the production of chlorophyll in most leafy plants, reducing the green pigment essential to the process of photosynthesis, and allowing the yellow, orange, and red pigments (which are always present) to show through in brilliant display.

The gradual progression first occurs in the smaller broadleaf trees and shrubs of the forest understory, particularly in low-lying riparian areas where the coldest air settles. Various shades of glowing scarlet, golden yellow, russet, and deep purple appear among the sumacs, serviceberry, chokecherry, and dogwoods. Soon thereafter, the oranges, reds, and russets of Rocky Mountain Maple, Ashleaf Maple (Boxelder), and Gambel's Oak show, but are eventually outdone by the magnificent yellows, orange, and gold, of the vast aspen forests and towering streamside cottonwoods.

Of course, elevation largely determines climate, and the highest reaches suffer long brutal winters and short growing seasons. On the alpine tundra above treeline, spring doesn't arrive until June or early July, and autumn is only about eight weeks away. The tallest plants grow to about six inches in an environment where winds can often exceed 150 miles per hour. A few scattered evergreen shrubs grow in dense ground-hugging domes, usually in low spots or on the leeward side of large boulders. Fall colors on the tundra are largely limited to lichen-covered boulder fields and talus slopes.

The Subalpine zone stretches from around 9,000 feet to treeline at 11,500 feet. Comprised of mainly coniferous forest, including Subalpine Fir and Engelmann Spruce, most of the visible trees are evergreens with leaves (needles) that remain green throughout the year. In terms of fall color, only variable shades of green stand out in sharp contrast with the broad expanses of yellow and orange aspen that dominate the lower Montane forest.

Above all else, the splendid transformation of the aspen forests define autumn in the Rocky Mountains. Because aspen trees grow as clones through a network of shallow roots, vast stands are genetically identical, and all turn the same shade of color at the same time. Depending on elevation, peak fall colors usually occur between mid-September and mid-October, and by late October the leaves have fallen and the aspens, with white bark and blackened scars resembling peering eyes, stand as bare traceries against the sky.

Even as the mountain flora braces for winter, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals are busy preparing in earnest.

Reptiles, including turtles, snakes, and lizards, are cold-blooded and their body temperature varies with that of their surroundings. Once colder weather arrives, all activity halts and they hibernate alone or in communal dens.

Amphibians are also cold-blooded and hibernate at the onset of cooler weather. Salamanders, toads, and frogs begin life in fresh water, but later, most live on dry land. Because their skin is thin and moist, they are more susceptible to dehydration than reptiles, and must live near water at least part of the year. By September, they burrow deep into leaf litter, soft earth, or the mud of bogs and remain inactive until spring.

Innumerable birds and waterfowl spend at least a portion of the summer months feeding, nesting, or rearing young in the high-country. Some are year-round residents, while others are only passing through on their way to northern nesting areas (spring), or southern wintering grounds (fall). With the ability of flight, several species migrate great distances, and from July to November, many songbirds, ducks, geese, and raptors either fly far to the south, or move to lower elevations to wait out the cold of winter.

While illustrious V-formations of countless ducks and geese exemplify the great fall migration over the central, mountain, and Pacific flyways, the less conspicuous movements of thousands of rutting deer and elk mark their passage from the high mountain pastures of summer, to lower-elevation forests and grasslands of their winter range. Meanwhile, solitary moose stick to higher-elevation riparian areas, while mountain goats and Bighorn Sheep move to south and west-facing slopes below treeline.

Autumn is a time of plenty for many creatures, and some utilize every waking moment preparing for winter. Picas, tree squirrels, beaver, and muskrats are among those who work tirelessly in the gathering and storing of provisions enough to see them through until spring. In the meantime, bears, marmots, skunks, and raccoons are fattening up for winter hibernation.

Once the heavy snows come, those remaining active will stay close to home and live off accumulated supplies, or rely on unique hunting or feeding abilities to find sufficient nourishment at a time when food is generally scarce. Others will simply den up and go to sleep, while still others will depart for areas of more favorable weather conditions. Either way, autumn is a colorful time, and an intense time of preparation.





Dear Editor:

To the very kind woman who stopped to help me round up the two dogs running loose along 160 near Pagosa Boulevard the morning of Oct. 3: Thank you. To those of you who couldn't be bothered to stop, let alone slow down for two innocent animals who were quite obviously someone's family pets, and more particularly to the passerby who yelled out an extremely rude comment: Shame on you. What if they had been your dogs? I'd assume you'd hope someone would have the decency to stop to help.

Deborah Alexus


Dear Editor:

Debra Charles ("Get the truth," Letters, Sept. 29) states that Jim Sawicki's communications consist of childish, hateful verbal sniping; and that his "rantings" are irrelevant.

Her contention that the government has instituted unprecedented control of the media in the U.S. is unfounded and wrong. I read The Pagosa Springs SUN, The Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News (Saturday), The Durango Herald, watch several television news broadcasts daily and listen to the KSUT radio station when I'm driving around. The SUN, Post and Herald regularly publish articles by contributors to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News (HCN). HCN doesn't hesitate to publish stories critical of governments and private entities with which it disagrees.

I find plenty of diversity in the print, television and radio news offerings. I don't agree with all of it. Only fools would.

Debra Charles did the same thing for which she attacks Sawicki. She states, "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." In my opinion "where we are now" is so good that we have 11 million illegal immigrants already here, and millions more willing to risk their lives to get here. We don't have millions of them going back to where they came from. I doubt that Charles is ready to leave; and I don't fault her for trying to change that which she thinks needs to be changed.

But I urge Charles and others who agree with her to figure out how all of the material necessities, conveniences and luxuries we enjoy became available. They will find that most of them are available because of those evil, profiteering corporations they so despise.

As for these corporations "urging our loved ones into terrible wars fought for profit and the self-aggrandizement of a few powerful men," none of these people have to be in the military services. They chose it for various reasons. Periodically The Denver Post publishes a section entitled "Portraits of Valor" with pictures and stories about the soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, coast guardsmen and civilians who have died in, or because of, Iraq. All have quotations from relatives, friends and people who knew them. Rarely, if ever, have I seen a statement that those who died abhorred what they were doing. Overwhelmingly the report is that they were doing it because they loved the military life or believed it was something they should do. Debra Charles should make it a point to read these portraits of valor. There are about 1,900 of them available at the Post.

Earle Beasley


Dear Editor:

As a former county commissioner (1978-1990), I am concerned about our county, its employees and equipment. In this letter I will focus on employee issues.

I was disturbed to read what the board of commissioners chairwoman had to say about another commissioner, accusing her of achieving her goal of emptying the county of personnel resources, in particular referring to the resignation of the road and bridge boss. The chairwoman should remember that, from 1990 when she was first elected, we had a mass exodus of county employees. We lost many valuable road and bridge employees, senior operators, a road boss, assistant road boss, plus many other employees from other departments.

When I was commissioner, our R&B supervisor was a boss who had control of crews and projects and stayed on top of road problems. The only guidance he had was from us commissioners; no county engineer, public works director or administrator. In 12 years I served on the board overseeing R&B operations, we had only 15 men leave the department, of these most were retiring after 15 to 27 years with the county. Now we are looking at 75 to 80 workers leaving the R&B department and many other employees from other county departments. The county has become a training center for operators and clerical personnel to learn a trade and get out. What's wrong?

I am a lifelong resident of Archuleta County. Never in my life have I seen such a mess. I am concerned about employees unable to handle their jobs, the county engineer for example. She is asking for qualified engineering services to pave a few thousand feet of Pinon Causeway. If for every project that is undertaken we have to hire outside engineering services, why do we have a county engineer if she can't perform this function? The county has spent huge amounts of money for outside engineering.

When I was a commissioner, we always promoted from within the ranks. I commend Commissioner Shiro for voting against expenditures for the proposed Keyah Grande gravel pit, and for voting against spending $16,800 for a headhunter firm to find candidates for county administrator. At least we have one commissioner watching out for the taxpayers, and a recall is certainly not warranted.

Chris L. Chavez

 Beyond belief

Dear Editor:

As a New Orleans native and Pagosa Springs resident, I would like to publicly thank the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs for acting to help the dogs and cats from the New Orleans area left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. The hard work and dedication of these Pagosa Springs citizens is beyond belief! Heartfelt thanks also go to all the volunteers, veterinarians and foster parents who stepped up to help in this time of need. Thank you Robbie Schwartz and staff for a great job. Pagosa Springs is lucky to have you all.

Priscilla Jones

 Fluoride again

Dear Editor:

Again, I find it hilarious that anyone would suggest putting a documented poison into anyone's mouth, swish it around, spit it out and not think any of it would get into the body through absorption.

Fluoride's reputation can only be maintained, promoted and supported by the perversion of science. You can paint a duck a million different colors but it is still a duck. Science without truth is not science and that is the only way that fluoridation has made it this far.

Last week's letter recommends the ADA Web site. I would suggest going to www.fluoridedebate.com/question30.html. This will give both sides of the issue with the same questions. The ADA is a trade union, a lobby whose main purpose is furthering the economic advancement of its members. In many cases, it doesn't represent the dentists themselves. This is especially true in the class action suit filed by some 40 dentists against the ADA in a D.C. Superior Court. The charges? Ethical breach of the public trust for recommending fluoridation while failing to inform its members and the public of the widespread available literature proving toxicity (Foulkes). The ADA was started in the 1830s to promote the use of mercury amalgams, which they have defended ever since, despite the growing evidence that mercury escapes from these fillings and can cause health effects. The ADA's standard tactic of dealing with any study which finds a problem with fluoride is to attack its methodology. How many of these papers would make it into peer reviewed journals if the methodology was bad? My main question is, the ADA states that fluoride is 100-percent safe if not swallowed. So why do they back fluoridation? By them backing it they are practicing internal medicine which they do not have a license to do. In fact, according to a California Board of Dental Examiners letter dated December 1999, "Effects of ingested fluoride is not within the purview of dentistry."

I would like to include a quote from Rebecca Hanrin, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water in the U.S., "The Agency views fluoridation as an ideal solution to a long-standing environmental problem. Recovering this product fluorosilicacid from fertilizer manufacturers, water and air pollution is minimize and the utilities have a low cost source of fluoride available to them." This statement shows the EPA's policy, "The solution to pollution is dilution." Being fluoride is cumulative in the body, my six horses have shown scientifically this statement is beyond ridiculous.

We had our sixth horse die last Saturday from chronic fluoride poisoning. She was sterile by six and was crippled by skeletal fluorosis by eight. We have one of her legs ready for the go ahead to send to Cornell University like we have others for dissection and testing. WE already know this mare had chronic fluoride poisoning from tests done on her last January. This leg shows you firsthand the devastation fluoride creates.

Cathy Justus


Dear Editor:

I just read James Robinson's "Coal bed methane" for a second time, and I almost feel Mr. Robinson wants me to believe that methane gas wells would-could be good for Archuleta County. Mr. Robinson quotes Mike Clark, president of Petrox Resources, Inc., a company that I believe would love to place a methane gas well on every ten acres in Archuleta County. He, Mike Clark, points out good paying jobs would come with the "industry." Mr. Robinson helps out by checking with Keren Prior, county assessor, that substantial revenues would flow into the county to help fund schools, fire districts, etc.

Why is it that most people who live in or near these methane gas fields in Colorado wish they didn't? Could it be the noise from the compressors? Or the traffic associated with the industry? Or possibly contaminated well water as reported by some residents of the Bayfield area?

Six years ago, my wife and I bought 80 acres between Allison and Tiffany (right close to Mamie Lynch's son). There was a methane gas well on the property which we naively thought would be no problem. But then almost every neighbor with 80 acres or more also had a methane gas well.

It was my dream to sell our Meadows III home in Pagosa and build on the La Plata County ranch property. It did not take long for us to discover that there is myriad problems, some proven and some unproven, associated with these gas wells. I even tried to give our daughter, Brenda Wanket, and her family 40 acres of that ranch land if they would move to the property with us. She refused! Can you guess why?

The industry traffic on CR 328 and CR 330 would give most people second thoughts. And then most methane gas wells are monitored daily. So someone comes onto your property almost every day. And then we had the eye opening experience of an industry representative telling us they would be moving onto our property to re-drill the methane gas well and we could take down our entry gate or "an errant truck driver would do it for us."

The industry and their subcontractors were there for several months almost destroying my sanity, our property, and leaving me with no respect at all for them. Anyone who phones me (including county commissioners), I will show a video showing the damage they did to my property.

Mr. Robinson needs to balance his article by talking to Dan Randolph of the San Juan Citizens Alliance. Dan has more experience than anyone I know with stories of ranchers and others who have had bad dealings with the industry.

I am warning the people of Archuleta County that the tax monies that would come from the methane gas industry would come at an unacceptable price. We would be subjected to an industry that has deep pockets, good lawyers, and some politicians that I believe are at the beck and call of this industry.

County commissioners, I know you cannot stop the "coming of the gasman," but you can and should try to control and regulate this industry. John Beatty, a rancher neighbor on CR 329, told me six years ago, "Don't believe everything they tell you." I would give you the very same advice. Lots of luck, because you will need it.

Paul Lerno

Editor's note: A second reading of the first two parts of the series will reveal that an interview with industry representatives and a consideration of this aspect of the subject are required for "balance."


Dear Editor:

During this last month of beginning classes, my staff and I have been very concerned with several students who have attempted suicide or have serious mental health conditions. Statistics at the Fort Lewis Counseling Center reflect the nationwide trend of increasing numbers of students with very serious mental health problems. Working with these students with life-threatening psychiatric symptoms is made much more difficult when we do not have a regional inpatient facility to treat those who are in psychiatric crisis.

Lacking such a facility, the Southwest Colorado Mental Heath Center (SWCMHC) has been struggling to fill this void with its crisis team and Stepping Stone, the latter providing temporary respite and care for those in our community who are suicidal. I appreciate all that these mental health workers have done for our students and many others in our community; however, what any of us can do is severely limited by not having a psychiatric facility to treat those among us who have life-threatening mental health conditions.

I am writing in support of Crossroads, the planned new psychiatric urgent care facility that will be built on the Grandview campus of Mercy Medical Center. The facility will house a triage unit for psychiatric evaluation and placement, as well as a unit for psychiatric urgent care and a new detox unit. As a psychologist in our community, I am very eager for this facility to be completed since I know it will provide much needed comprehensive care for our student clients with critical and often life-threatening mental health problems. I urge you to join me and many others in supporting Crossroads. Our community of Southwest Colorado desperately needs this facility.

For additional information or to make a contribution, please call Beth Utton at 259-2162, Ext 153.

Susan McGinness

Director, Counseling Center

Fort Lewis College

 C and D

Dear Editor:

The San Juan Conservation District Board of Supervisors urges voters to vote yes on referenda C and D. Passage of these amendments will allow a temporary time cut (not elimination) from TABOR, vital to the survival of many tried and true programs in rural Colorado.

Colorado State University's ability to provide quality education to its students at moderate tuition is at risk. If the mandated ratcheting-down of state revenue continues unabated, realize that the Cooperative Extension Service and its 4-H program in Archuleta County and statewide will likely be eliminated by 2008. CSU will virtually become a private university because of its required sky-high tuition costs, and many of its land-grant public services will be terminated. CSU's nationally recognized leadership role in many areas of science and engineering will be terminated.

Crumbling roads and bridges signal another hit on rural communities such as Pagosa Springs. The San Juan Conservation District's very active programs in soil and water conservation are at risk as are all such programs throughout Colorado because of the drastically reduced amounts of available state revenue. Consider the real costs of the losses of valuable public services when calculating the true economic value of your refund check if referenda C and D are not passed.

San Juan Conservation District Board of Supervisors

R.D. Hott, John Taylor, Charlie King, Cynthia Sharp, Heidi Keshet

Community News

Eat, sing, dance at Oktoberfest

By Joe Nanus

Special to The PREVIEW

Oktoberfest - Saturday, Oct. 15. It's Party Time!

The place is the Great Room at the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The time is 4:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults ($15 at the door.) and $10 for members of the senior center. Tickets for children 5 to 12 are $8. People who attend will have their hand stamped so they may leave and return at will. Tickets are on sale at the Chamber of Commerce and at the Senior Center. They may also be purchased at the door.

Sponsored by the non-profit Archuleta Seniors, Inc., this is a major fund-raiser for programs at the senior center that enhance health, social, cultural and intellectual activities for seniors. Any contributions or donations are tax deductible.

The menu includes bratwurst, sauerkraut, German potato salad, desert, iced tea and coffee. Ticket prices include a glass stein. Beer is $3. Cold drinks will be available for $1. Children 5 to 12 will be served hot dog on a bun, potato chips, a drink and desert. Because of the outstanding response from community volunteers, the food lines will move quickly for the convenience of all.

Providing entertainment will be the Paulken Schlagel, the band that has performed for each Oktoberfest since 2002. The band has been so well accepted that they are back by popular demand. There will be sing-alongs as well as line dancing, polkas and all other styles of dance.

Band members include Melinda Baum who, in addition to being the director, also plays the keyboard. The brass section includes Kathy Baisdon on the baritone and Karl Mesikapp playing the euphonium. Playing trumpet will be Larry Baisdon, Karen Mesikapp, Jade Addison, Rick Artis and Don Weller with Shawna Carosello on trombone, Joy Redmon playing piccolo and D'Ann Artis on French horn. Dave Krueger will play tuba. Alex Baum and Joann Laird will play percussion instruments. Reed players will include Al Olson and Tim Bristow on clarinet, Kim Judd, Bruce Andersen and Bob Nordman on saxophone and Valley Lowrance playing bassoon. String players will be Chris Baum on violin and James Pierson on bass guitar.

Oktoberfest has become the highlight of the fall season in town. "Because of its continuing success, this year's Oktoberfest promises to be bigger and better." said Susi Cochran, member of the board of directors of Archuleta Seniors, Inc. "We anticipate everyone will have a great time at the party."


Open house tonight for prospective Boosters members

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

Music Boosters is looking for volunteers.

Whether a veteran of Music Boosters productions over the past 15 years, or a newcomer to Pagosa, come to the stage at the high school tonight, 6:30-7:30 p.m. and meet our folks.

We are looking for help in the following areas: performance, musicians, production assistants, stage managers, backstage crew, technical sound and lighting, set designs and construction, costuming, design, sewing and management, logistics and storage, fund-raising, marketing and web design support, advertising and publicity poster and program design and distribution, and so much more.

Come share your skills and talents with us and experience the adventures of theatrical production and performance.

Our next show is "A Christmas Carol," by Michael DeMaio, Dec. 1, 2 and 3.

For more information, call Dale Morris, 731-3370.


Russian singer in concert Oct. 15 at CUMC

Olga Petrosyan, a gifted and talented 21-year-old musician from Volgograd, Russia, will sing and share her testimony of how God has worked in her and her family's lives when she performs at Pagosa Springs Community United Methodist Church Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m.

When she was a small girl, Olga and her family were forced to flee from the tiny village where they lived in order to keep from being killed by government forces.

An Indiana family has sponsored Olga during her college education here in the U.S. Olga is at Bethel College majoring in vocal performance.

She will be in Pagosa because another sponsor will be visiting a foreign exchange student now going to Pagosa Springs High School.

You won't want to miss this dynamic young lady, and by attending you will help make cultures connect in a positive way. For additional information, call Addi Greer, 264-4596.


Entries solicited for photo show

The annual Photography Contest committee challenges all photographers to submit their best shots to create a showing of photos of Pagosa Springs.

All photos must be taken within Pagosa Springs city limits - the camera and a focal point of the photo must be located within the city limits. The committee will post a map that defines the city limits or you can go to the Town of Pagosa Springs Web site and look under Documents for the Zoning Map. Please be prepared to note the location of the focal point on the town zoning map.

Photos must have been taken in the past 20 years - 1985 to 2005. Please date your submissions.

Entries will be limited to three per photographer. Please sign as the photographer on the front of each entry. This is a show, not a sale event, but the committee wants all photographers to be recognized.

The photographic image must be at least 5"x7" and no larger than 12"x18." Photos must be matted or mounted with a shade of white matt board and properly backed. The matt showing around the outside of the image must be no larger than 3 inches. Stick-on plastic hangers with at least a 3/4-inch opening are required and will be available at Moonlight Books. All photos must be securely mounted and ready to hang.

The committee will display as many entries as possible, but reserves the right to jury for content and for proper presentation (see above). For instance, if 20 photos of the Hot Springs taken from approximately the same angle are submitted, all may not be chosen to hang.

Entries should be delivered to Moonlight Books Oct. 31 or Nov. 1 and 2 until 5 p.m. each day. The show opens Saturday, Nov. 5.

An entry fee of $1 per entry will help defray the committee's portion of costs of the show.

All entries must be picked up Nov. 28, 29 or 30.


Pagosa's Simmons wins with Poor Richard's Ale

By Carolyn Smagalski

Bello Online

Special to The PREVIEW

If Ben Franklin raised a glass of Poor Richard's Ale, what kind of "salut" would he bestow upon those gathered to celebrate his 300th birthday?

"Poor Richard's Ale?" you ask.

Brewers Association members gathered in the Presidential Dining Room at Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver Sept. 28 for some serious business. In anticipation of the historic celebration of Franklin's tercentennial, five distinguished judges assumed command in an intellectual and sensory quest to select a Commemorative Beer to be deemed "crowned-glory" of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary.

Two prestigious panel judges had been past winners of the Brewers' Association Russell Scherer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing - John Harris, brewmaster of Full Sail River Place in Portland, Ore., and John Mallett, production manager of Kalamazoo Brewing Company, Kalamazoo, Mich. In addition to their earned credentials, both members are descendents of Franklin himself. Other illustrious members on the panel were Brewmaster Steve Bradt of Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence, Kan.; William Brand, author and columnist of "What's On Tap" in the Oakland Tribune, Oakland, Calif.; and Nicola Twilly, programs director of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary.

In historical accounts, Ben Franklin, notable statesman, brilliant inventor and charismatic businessman, captivated the hearts of generations. He was a man who enjoyed his friendships as much as he enjoyed his beer, as evidenced in his words, "He that drinks his Cyder alone, let him catch his horse alone." His writings, particularly Poor Richard's Almanac, were peppered with these lighthearted musings:

"There can't be good living where there is not good drinking."

"Drink does not drown care, but waters it, and makes it grow faster."

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

Selection of the honorary brew had to endure an intrinsic look into the historical styles of the time. What ingredients were available to Colonists? What grains were indigenous to the American colonies? How were beers crafted and preserved? Was Porter or Lager available to Franklin? What flavor profile was he likely to appreciate? What documentation did the brewers present to support their decisions?

Out of the pack emerged Tony Simmons of Pagosa Springs, with his rendition of Franklin's favorite brew, Poor Richard's Ale. "Ben Franklin's favorite type of beer could have been similar in gravity and strength to the modern version of an Old Ale," said Simmons. With his fledgling Brick Oven Brewing on the horizon, the honor of being chosen as creator of Franklin's representative brew elevates Simmons in the eyes of the brewing community and beer enthusiasts alike.

Poor Richard's Ale has a reddish-copper hue that is edged in walnut highlights, the depth of color being captivated by the spiced molasses base. Aromas are of moderate maltiness, drenched in a symphony of corn and nuts. The flavor profile is clean and bright, allowing the corn and molasses to effuse. Corn was indigenous to the people in the colonies, while molasses was the popular sweetener of the era. It is likely that Franklin's chosen brew was similar in character. Hops were difficult to obtain; however, the bitterness yielded by cooked molasses would have balanced out the malt/corn sweetness, bringing this ale close to authentic moderate strong levels with 6.6% ABV, rather than mimicking a strong Scotch Ale.

Brewers across America can share in the glory of Poor Richard's Ale. Ray Daniels, Brewers Association director of Craft Beer Marketing has given the go-ahead to disseminate Simmons' recipe throughout the nation in celebration of Franklin's love for craft brews and dedication to never-ending excellence.


Songs for everyone: The Eagle Claw Singers

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Eagle Claw Singers is a music and dance group from the Hopi village of Sõongopovi in Second Mesa, Ariz. Its members consist of 10 children (ages 9 to 15) and two adults. The group performs traditional Hopi dances and original songs.

Eagle Claw Singers' creator and director, Ila Lou Lomawima, composes most of the group's songs with her sister, Audrey Lomawima. I spoke with Ila Lou Lomawima after the group's performance at the Four Corners Folk Festival.

"The songs are all about prayers for good health, prosperity, and a long life into our golden age," said Lomawima. "We use the word 'soof-kya-wat,'" she said. "It means 'for everyone.' When we do our songs for prayer, we don't just pray for ourselves. It's a universal prayer sent out for everyone and everything that's got a life to it."

The songs also help Hopi children learn their native language. "Now that we're living in the modern world, a lot of our children can understand our language, but a lot of them don't speak it. So it's also teaching them our language," she explained.

Eagle Claw Singers perform another type of song called straight songs. Straight songs are improvised chants that use vocal sounds, not words. "We usually sit around the circle and one will start off some kind of flow, and then it passes around the circle," said Lomawima. "We make one sound, then a person makes another sound - then as it goes around and we put it all together, and it becomes a straight song. While the circle and the spectators are in a moment of silence, these chants are used to send their prayers for them."

She described the group's dances. "Each of the Hopi dances has a special meaning. In the Butterfly Dance, the girls wear headdresses which help the singers call upon the rain to come down and nourish our ground so our vegetation will grow to feed our children. The boys wear a plume in their hair to represent the clouds."

I asked her about the group's costumes. "Today the dress code is a lot different than I first saw when I walked into a pow-wow circle," she said. "No longer are we using just feathers and buckskin hides. Today we're using all sorts of materials, beads and glitter."

Audiences throughout the West have enjoyed performances by Eagle Claw Singers since the group started about a year and a half ago. "There is a lot of good energy when you have that positive spirit," says Lomawima. "And it all comes from the heart."

Asked about her goals for the group, she said, "The goal is for us to find ourselves - who we are and where we come from. Hopefully, the kids will grow strong from sharing their culture with others, and by learning about other people's culture. That way our heritage and culture can stay strong. And along the way, I'm learning just as much as I'm trying to teach."

Eagle Claw Singers' high level of enthusiasm is immediately apparent. With a dedicated and inspired leader such as Ila Lou Lomawima, it's no wonder.


Grace Evangelical welcomes Pastor Chris Lewis

By Jeff Daley

Special to The PREVIEW

Grace Evangelical Free Church is pleased to welcome Pastor Chris Lewis and family Sunday, Oct. 9.

Chris currently serves as the Senior Associate Pastor at James River Assembly, a dynamic 6,000 member church in Ozark, Mo. Prior to pursuing God's call to shepherd his people and preach the Word of God, Lewis worked as a real estate lawyer in Kansas City, Mo. As much as Lewis loved being a lawyer, God's call proved to be irresistible. In the fall of 1999 Lewis and family relocated to Dallas, Texas, where Chris enrolled in Dallas Theological Seminary. Lewis graduated with honors from Dallas Seminary in 2003 and was the winner of the H.A. Ironside Award for excellence in expository preaching.

Chris has an incredible gift of communicating God's Word. Whenever he preaches, he is always true to the text, clear in flow, interesting in presentation and relevant to the needs of contemporary life. This Sunday morning Pastor Lewis will definitely have something to say. Lewis' gift was recognized early during his seminary years. While in his second year of Dallas Seminary, Lewis provided pulpit supply for Dr. Mac Brunson, Sr. Pastor of the historic First Baptist Church in downtown Dallas, Texas.

Grace Evangelical Free Church currently meets in the community center gym at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Services begin at 10 a.m. and Sunday School and child care at 9 a.m. As always, all are welcome.

UU 'Mindful Meditation' set for Oct. 9

On Oct. 9, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a "Mindful Meditation", which is now a service on the second Sunday of every month. Yoga instructor April Merrilee is the leader.

She describes the group's meditation process: "We begin by focusing on the breath as a tool for turning our awareness inward, with the intention of remaining present for any thoughts, emotions or sensations which may arise."

A time of sharing has been added as a part of the service, directly following the silent meditation. April commented, "The discussion last month was wonderfully enlightening, and we all gained greater understanding of the process through the act of sharing our personal experiences."

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m in The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.

Jelly Beans and Squiggly Things for kids

Every Wednesday after school starting Oct. 5, the Jelly Beans and Squiggly Things after school fun club will meet. Come for fun and games and a snack. Bring a friend.

The club meets 3:10-4:30 p.m. in Room 38 at the elementary school.

This is a community outreach of Restoration Fellowship. For more information, Call 731-2937.


Local Chatter

Fire Prevention Week activities on slate

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

In honor of Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 10-15, the Pagosa Fire Protection District will hold an open house Saturday, Oct. 15, at Station No. 3. The station is located about three miles south of town on U.S. 84.

Chili will be served, the fire prevention clowns will be out and demonstrations of fire equipment will take place. Everything starts at 9 a.m. and will continue until all the chili is gone and the people have gone home.

The firefighters will go to local schools Tuesday, Oct. 11, to talk to the kids about fires and fire protection.

The Pagosa Fire Protection District is a part of the nationally-recognized Colorado Firefighter Academy that was started in the late 1980s by the late Pat Donnelly, director of San Juan Basin Vo-Tech located east of Cortez. Donnelly recognized that southwest Colorado had no place to teach firefighting and the fire academy soon became nationally recognized. The three counties that make up the fire academy are La Plata, Montezuma and Archuleta.

Colorado is one of two states that does not have a fire marshal. The Colorado Firefighter Academy is recognized as the best firefighting organization in the state.

This week, the district is hosting a class in structural firefighting under the auspices of the firefighter academy.

Notes about fires:

- Heating equipment is the largest contributor to home fires, so have chimneys checked yearly before using wood stoves.

- When the time changes from daylight savings to standard in the fall, change batteries in fire alarms.

Around Town

The Community United Methodist Church Thrift Shop has made an addition to the back of the building, giving the staff and volunteers more room to work. They need more volunteers to join them. They invite people to stop in for a free cup of coffee, and to see their new home decorating section. Gladys Marion is the new manager.

Loaves and Fishes, the soup kitchen program that operated last January through March, is starting up again at the Parish Hall during the hours of 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The program badly needs another freezer.


Community Center News

Parties on horizon at community center

Next week, Oct. 15, is the fourth annual Oktoberfest party sponsored by the Archuleta Seniors, Inc.

The multi-purpose room doors will be open to the public at 4:30 p.m. and the party will last till 9. This fund-raising event includes the famous German food, polka music and dancing, and the beer garden.

Tickets are available at the Silver Foxes Den, 264-2167, and at the Chamber of Commerce for $13 for adults in advance, ($15 at the door), $10 for senior members and $8 for children. Don't miss this fun and exciting event of the year. Come out, enjoy and support our seniors. All money raised goes to our local senior programs.


Scrapbooking is a new program at the center. Our new volunteer, Melissa Bailey, came to me in response to my weekly column. She enjoys scrapbooking and she would like to start a scrapbooking club. Melissa and her family are relatively new to the area and she would like to meet new people and be involved in the community. This program opens the opportunity to meet people, learn new layout designs and techniques, share one's talent and have fun. It also provides volunteer opportunity for members of the club. Thanks, Melissa for your help and interest in organizing this new program.

Melissa already agreed to help the center during the forthcoming Community Halloween Party where the club will have a booth. The group plans to meet the second and fourth Saturday of each month starting Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Several consultants in the scrapbook/crafting industry will conduct demonstrations to show new ways to make scrapbooking easy and fun.

Advisory board meeting

The next meeting of community center advisory board is Tuesday, Oct. 11, 3:30-5 p.m. The agenda for this meeting will include the following:

- Election of officers - chairperson, vice chairperson and secretary.

- Review and adoption of the bylaws.

- Formation of the Policies Committee to review and make changes to lease agreements and prepare policy for the free and discounted users.

- Programs for October-December, and for 2006.

- Financial report.

This meeting is open to the public.

Austrian/German Club

AUS-GER Club is the name of our new Austrian/German group. The club meets the first Thursday of each month for breakfast in the Teen Room, 9-11 a.m. Anyone interested in the culture and language is welcome to attend the meeting. You don't have to be Austrian or German to attend their social activities - just enjoy each other's company.

The AUS-GER CLUB members are Louise and Kurt Diedring, Cindy Gustafson, Bodil Holstein, Hildegaard Kuhne, Eva Maria Dawson, Nancy and David Majors, Elsbeth Schnell, Anita and Friedrich Wegener, and Richard and Frances Wholf. Those interested in joining this club, call the community center, 264-4152, or call Bodil at 903-8800.

Italian cooking class

Today's menu will be stuffed artichokes. Italian-style artichokes are stuffed with a combination of bread crumbs, fresh Italian parsley, fresh Romano or Parmigiano cheese, fresh chopped garlic, salt and pepper. As a side, Edith will probably try to get some nice tomatoes from the farm again (with fresh sliced mozzarella), as a green salad will be too much green alongside the artichokes.

In the pressure cooker, artichokes only take about 20 minutes to steam and turn out very tender and tasty. Edith thinks this should be fun for the class, as she's sure some cooks have always wondered how to clean, prepare and even eat these strange-looking vegetables, which seem to be quite plentiful here at the market in Pagosa Springs.

Last week we had 12 in the class which was a bit too many. It got too crowded in our small kitchen. I was reminded that ten members are good. The two kinds of chicken marsala were both delicious. I got to sit and eat with the group and I can't tell which one I like best, the one with marsala wine and mushrooms; or the second one - chicken piccata cooked with lemon and capers. Oooh, the lemony-salty flavor was sumptuous. Of course I enjoyed the Orzo pasta served with fresh Romano cheese and fresh parsley - it sure looks like rice!

These women are definitely enjoying the class and the fruit of their labor, kind of. Edith allows them to work and experience some hands on training. Thanks to people like Edith Blake who loves to cook and is willing and happy to share her time and talent to 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.

Computer lab

Thanks to Becky for this computer news. Check Openoffice - it is a free software program you might want to investigate. It offers office productivity tools which can substitute for Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, etc.; and, the price is right. Just recently a new version (2.0) was released; PC Magazine's review (pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1850984,00.asp) and a "very good" rating prompted Becky to download it and give it a try. It's true, you can save your files in many different formats, so that they are very compatible with Word, Excel, etc. Also included was a built-in PDF converter so that her files could be viewed by anyone with the Adobe Reader program. If you would like to try out this software, go to openoffice.org, download the program and install it. By the way, the download is large and can take some time to finish. Don't be discouraged; installation is much simpler than with previous versions. And best of all, the results are worth the trouble.

By now, all of you are aware of the Tuesday morning Beginning Computing Class for Seniors, in which we cover basic computing lingo and skills. Becky has also made herself available on Tuesday afternoons for whatever problems and questions are troubling our Computer Lab users. Sometimes requests for help are made during other times when she is working at the center; as much as she is able, she will try to accommodate those requests.

However, her working hours at the center have become more and more crowded. In order that she can best use her time - both for accomplishing the tasks which are most needed by Mercy and the center and for providing assistance to Computer Lab users, she is asking that those of you who need help with hardware and software problems call ahead so that she can schedule a time which will work for both. That way, she can give you her full attention when you are able to get together. The center's phone number is 264-4152.

Upcoming events

Fall Fling Dance, Oct. 21, 7-10 p.m. Cost is $5 per person, and 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 show me that this is really an activity you all wish to have 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. We invite anyone - individuals, schools, non-profit groups, businesses and other groups - to participate in this fun and popular event. 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 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 the new hours.

Activities this week

Oct. 6 - Aus/German Club gathering, 9 a.m.-noon; watercolor class 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon; fifth- and sixth-grade teacher's meeting 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Southwest/PS Area Association of Realtors workshop, 1-4 p.m.; high school cross country pasta night, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 - Seniors' walking program 11:15-11:35 a.m.; adult open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; Ozark National Life Insurance meeting, 1:30-9 p.m.; seniors' bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.; teens' mage knight game, 4-7 p.m.

Oct. 8 - Ozark National Life Insurance meeting, 7:30-11 a.m.

Oct. 9 - 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.

Oct. 10 - 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.; TOPS advisory board comprehensive planning meeting, 4:30-7:30 p.m.; Archuleta county victim assistance program meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Loma Linda HOA board meeting, 7-9 p.m.

Oct. 11 - Archuleta county school district meeting, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; Archuleta county victim assistance program meeting, 8-9:30 a.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.; community center advisory board meeting, 3:30-5 p.m.; adult volleyball, 6:30-9 p.m.; Creeper Jeepers club meeting, 7-8 p.m.

Oct. 12 - Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Durango planned parenthood workshop, 3:30-5:30 p.m.; photo club meeting, 5:30-7 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.


Senior News

Busy weeks ahead at senior center

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Country Western Day Sept. 30 was a big hit at The Den, with most folks showing up in their cowboy boots, hats and their finest western shirts. First prize for best west dress went to Dorothy O'Harra with Judy Meyer, George Golightly, Johnny Martinez and Tari Woods placing respectively.

It was a blast and a busy day with 91 people joining in for the fun.

Kitchen appreciation

A big thanks to Dawnie Silva and her kitchen crew for all of their great work and great service Sept. 30 when an unexpected surge of people came to The Den to enjoy the wonderful food and camaraderie. The kitchen served 91 people seamlessly and everyone went home with full bellies and happy faces.

Grand Canyon

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 over 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 this natural wonder, the Grand Canyon, can arouse.

Seniors Inc. elections

Your local council on aging, known as Archuleta Seniors, Inc., will hold its annual election Monday, Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All paid members are encouraged to vote and if you are not a member come in and join for only $3. (Please note that memberships will not be available on election day.)

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 3) - Laurie Church, Judy Collins, Jim Estell, Helen Hoff, Patty Tillerson and Linda Veik; and Arboles representation - Bob Tearnan.

Understanding cancer

What is cancer? What causes it? How do you detect and treat it?

Dr. Rick Shildt will join us at The Den Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. for questions and answers regarding cancer.

Cancer is a complex group of over 100 diseases. Cancer diseases share the common feature of uncontrolled spreading of malignant (harmful) cells in the human body. Under normal conditions, the cells in the human body divide and grow in an orderly, controlled manner. Cancer occurs when cells grow in an uncontrolled manner, forming a mass of tissue. This mass of tissue is called either a tumor or a lesion. A cancerous tumor is called a malignant tumor. Malignant tumors can spread to surrounding tissue. Cells from malignant tumors also can break away from the tumor, usually by way of the bloodstream. These cells can travel to other parts of the body, where new tumors may form. This is how cancer spreads. The term for this spreading is metastasis. A tumor which forms this way always consists of cells identical to those of the original tumor.

Join Dr. Shildt to learn more about this disease that affects so many lives.

Fly fishing trip

Have you ever wanted to unwind by the riverside enjoying the serenity of the water flowing by, while maybe even catching some fish? On Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 1-3 p.m., members of The Den are going to the great outdoors to practice their newly learned fly-fishing techniques with a fly-fishing trip provided by Ski & Bow Rack on our very own San Juan River. A fishing license is required. It costs $5.25 and can be purchased at Ski & Bow Rack.

The fishing trip includes all the equipment and instruction needed for a constructive and eventful day. Please sign up by Oct. 7 at The Den office to participate in this outdoor excursion. Fall is a great time to relax and enjoy the rivers with a fly rod in hand so join in for the lessons and the fun.

Annual Oktoberfest

Join the fun and celebration at the fourth annual Oktoberfest, presented by Archuleta Seniors, Inc.

Festivities will include polka music, dancing, the popular beer garden, great German food and lots of family fun. The Oktoberfest party will be held 4:30-9:00 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the community center.

Tickets include a full plate of delicious German food and an Oktoberfest beer mug, and are priced at $13 for adults in advance, $15 at the door and $10 for senior center members. Children's tickets, $8, include a hot dog, chips, drink and dessert. Tickets can be purchased at The Den and the Chamber of Commerce. For those needing lodging for the fest, special room rates are available. For more information contact The Den at 264-2167 or Beverly Arrendell at 731-0034. Come on down for the excitement and entertainment and join in the merriment of Oktoberfest.

Volunteers needed

Calling on all volunteers!

Volunteers are needed to work at the Oktoberfest Saturday, Oct. 15, for two different shifts (4 - 6:30 p.m. and 6:30-9 for various activities at the event. Volunteers are also needed to make cookies, cook lots of potatoes and pass out posters prior to Oktoberfest. Call Dru Sewell at 731-3446 for more information.

On being alone

Losing a loved one - whether through unexpected or anticipated circumstances - is always traumatic. This is especially true with the death of a spouse. It is one of life's most profound losses. The transition from wife to widow, husband to widower, is a very real, painful, and personal phenomenon. The trauma of trying to adjust to this new identity while being besieged with a multitude of urgent questions and decisions can be overwhelming. Here are several things to remember when faced with the death of your spouse. While they may seem simple, they are very important points to remember:

1. Give yourself permission to mourn.

Men and women both need to give themselves permission to mourn. Postponing a confrontation with your feelings by filling each day with frantic activity will only delay and compound the grief reaction. Denying your grief can be helpful in separating yourself from the pain. But, the agony is still there and it will stay there until you acknowledge it.

2. Be aware that you may experience a range of emotions.

Your reactions to death may cover a wide and confusing range of emotions (such as shock, numbness, anger, pain, and yearning). It may help to think of grief as clusters of reactions or fluid phases that overlap one another. Grief does not proceed in an orderly fashion any more than life itself does.

3. With effort, you can and you must overcome your grief.

One of the myths about mourning is that it has an ending point, that if you just wait long enough, it suddenly stops hurting. It doesn't. It requires work. More than time, bereavement takes effort to heal. Mourning is a natural and personal process that only you can pace. It cannot be rushed and it cannot happen without your participation.

4. When needed, find the strength to take action.

As a newly widowed person, there may be urgent financial and legal decisions you must make following the death of your spouse. You have just suffered an emotionally devastating event and the last thing you want to deal with is money matters. But money does matter, now and for your future, so try to do the best you can. Postpone, however, any decisions that can be put off until you feel better emotionally.

5. Work to tame your fears.

When the first impact of death wears off, you may feel you are losing control. This is a normal part of the grieving process. Unlike mental illness, the strong feelings suffered during grief gradually and permanently disappear. Because you may experience a feeling of temporary instability, it's important to remember that you have the ability to cope. This is a time when much of your adjustment to widowhood takes place.

6. In your own time, in your own way, you can say goodbye.

The present, with all its pain and sorrow, is the only reality you have. Memories are very important, but they cannot be used as a shield against the present. At some point in your grieving, you will be ready to try to say goodbye.

7. Stress can wreak havoc on your health.

The effect of grief on our health is just beginning to be measured. While guarding your health can be among the least of your concerns during the throes of grief, you must work toward maintaining your health as soon as you feel able. This means beginning some form of regular exercise, getting proper nutrition, and reporting physical complaints to your doctor.

8. If interested, consider employment, continuing education or volunteer opportunities that match your needs and interests.

Entering the job market after a long absence, or for the first time, can be one of the most challenging tasks that widowed persons encounter. If interested, look for ways to enhance, capitalize and build on the skills you've developed over the years. Don't be afraid to ask about employment opportunities whenever and wherever you can. Prepare well for your job search. If you do not need to return to work immediately, you may decide to go back to school or to contact Elderhostel, which offers educational opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. There are also volunteer opportunities that are meaningful and personally fulfilling in your community, which you may want to consider.

The Den can help you through your loss by providing you with further resources such as reading material, referrals and welcoming you into our extended family. For further information, please call 264-2167.

Computer Lab News (by Becky Herman)

Open office is a free software program you might want to investigate. It offers office productivity tools which can substitute for Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, etc.; and, the price is right. Just recently a new version (2.0) was released; PC Magazine's review (pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1850984,00.asp) and a "very good" rating prompted me to download it and give it a try. It's true; you can save your files in many different formats, so that they are very compatible with Word, Excel, etc. Also included was a built-in PDF converter so that my files could be viewed by anyone with the Adobe Reader program. If you would like to try out this software, go to openoffice.org, download the program and install it. By the way, the download is large and can take some time to finish. Don't be discouraged; installation is much simpler than with previous versions. And best of all, the results are worth the trouble.

By now, all of you are aware of the Tuesday morning Beginning Computing Class for Seniors, in which we cover basic computing lingo and skills. I have also made myself available on Tuesday afternoons for whatever problems and questions are troubling our Computer Lab users. Sometimes requests for help are made during other times when I am working at the center; as much as I am able, I try to accommodate those requests.

However, lately my working hours at the center have become more and more crowded. In order that I can best use my time - both for accomplishing the tasks which are most needed by Mercy and the center and for providing assistance to Computer Lab users, I am asking that those of you who need help with hardware and software problems call ahead so that we can schedule a time which will work for both of us. That way, I can give you my full attention when we are able to get together. The community center's phone number is 264-4152.

Senior of the Week

Congratulations to Gwen Woods, our senior of the week. Every Friday, Dawnie Silva, kitchen director, draws a number and the lucky winner eats for free the following week. Join us Fridays for lunch and see if you'll be the next lucky senior of the week.

Activities at a Glance

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 by David Scherer, 1 p.m.; and final day to sign up for fishing trip.

Monday, Oct. 10 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m. -1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Seniors Inc. Board Member Elections, 11 a.m. -1 p.m.; and Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 11 - Basic Computer class, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 - noon; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 12 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; fly-fishing trip, 1-3 p.m.; Understanding Cancer with Dr. Shildt, 1 p.m.


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

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

Friday, Oct. 7 - Chili con carne, yellow squash, broccoli cuts, corn bread and cantaloupe.

Monday, Oct. 10 - Chicken salad sandwich, sliced peaches and orange juice.

Tuesday, Oct. 11 - Spaghetti with sauce and meatballs, garlic bread and plums.

Wednesday, Oct. 12 - Salmon patty with cream sauce, brown rice, mixed veggies, tangerine, and raisin nut cup.


Library News

Shelter from the storm

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

Try imagining a place

Where it's always safe and warm

"Come in," she said, "I'll give you Shelter from the storm"

ŠBob Dylan, "Shelter from the Storm"

When Tom (my former husband) and I moved to Chicago for medical school and law school after our marriage in 1970, he announced that he wanted cats.

His brother Jim and his wife had cats. We would have cats. So, to the Humane Society in downtown Chicago we trucked. I can still see the scrawny, wild, little black cat with electric green eyes. The door opened, he pushed past the other kittens, splashed through the water bowl and jumped out of the cage into my husband's arms. The cat chose Tom, and we didn't argue. He was named Henry (Rique for short), after Tom's favorite teacher, Enrique Urrela, a wealthy, charming, gorgeous Guatemalan doctor who taught "p-dog", physical diagnosis, at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's.

There wasn't much time for anything outside of school and work during those draining years. But we had our own home amusement center: a comic cat (and his "sister" Lucy, a girlfriend's extra, we named after Tom's mom). I have a favorite picture of Tom sleeping with Henry curled up in his hair, a Davy Crocket catskin tail coming down over Tom's face.

Henry's happiest treat was a whole shrimp. When he got one, he catapulted it through air, down the apartment halls. Only when he got it properly seasoned, rubbed around inside one of Tom's shoes, would he eat it. I read more than a few cat books in those years, but I never found one to explain this cat version of "his master's shoe."

When Henry died at the age of 17, I mourned terribly. Every Saturday for a year I went to the animal shelter in Santa Monica and looked for my cat, one who would choose me the way Henry had chosen Tom. Finally, one bright morning, a scrawny, little, long-haired black cat jumped into my arms, splashing water and pushing aside her cage mates. I reclaimed Henry in the form of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Ellie has been with me through remarkable adventures. She's 20 now and looks like a miniature, moving, black Monet haystack. Her eyes have the lost, anxious look I remember in Gram's eyes when she was old. Once in a while I'll hear wild howls in the cabin, telling me she is indeed lost, reminding me that some day I will be lost too.

But I can see her when she was young and gorgeous, a flying black angel, coming home over Santa Monica garage rooftops when I called her in. The little kids next door loved to mimic my call and "Ellie, Ellie, Ellie" rang out in the evening sky like an echo amidst their laughter.

A few years back I lost Winston Churchill at the shameful age of 13, damaging my cat lifespan average substantially. I took my sorrow to the Humane Society in Durango, once again looking for another cat. This time I had to find a cat that would be nonchalant in the presence of my 135 pound Kuvass-Pyrenees. I've always chosen white, black or grey animals but the staff sob-storied me into a Siamese who, I was told, had been out on the streets too many times. Teddy Roosevelt went bug-eyed as he met his new house mates, wondering, I'm sure, if he was about to be a doggie treat.

All six of my animals evacuated with me in the awful summer of 2002. What a trip that was, the old Ford truck, crammed, down the Pine River Valley, with the mountains on fire and the moon glowing red. We ended up in Los Angeles where a friend with a big heart and a big house (and three cats and two dogs as well as a scramble of teenagers) took us in and gave us shelter from the storm.

This summer I found myself in Pagosa. To my surprise, there I was, once again, in a Humane Society building, this one giving a shelter to a "mini library."

I walked down the ramp of the Thrift Store entrance last week, past a bunch of rubber tubs that looked perfect for recycling. When I found a clerk she said, "No, those are for the Katrina animals." I was warmed to know the Society, which has given me so many precious creatures, was giving yet more shelter from the storm. And the support that the people of Pagosa give to the Humane Society is proof of their humaneness and decency. It makes me feel so good.

Rescuing, and being rescued, are empowering experiences engendering growth and strength and resilience for everyone involved. These actions are the proof of a successful and decent community and I celebrate them.

As we get ready to move back into the "real" library, I think gratefully and with pleasure of the Humane Society, all of the joy it has handed me in the past, and now, of its new and unexpected role in my memories.

We thank the board and the staff and the people who support the Humane Society in Pagosa Springs for giving the library a place to continue to serve the public during this period. And, we urge everyone to continue to support the Society generously as it goes about its decent and caring work, benefiting all of us and giving so much to we humans and our animal companions.

Tea delayed

Due to unexpected delays in construction, the high tea is postponed. We will announce dates for the high tea, the two-week closing of the mini-library while we move, and the ribbon cutting as soon as we have them. Thanks for all of your understanding and patience during this period.


Arts Line

Last exhibit of season opens at PSAC gallery

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

The arts council is sponsoring an artist's studio tour this fall.

Pagosa Springs is home to many talented artists working in all mediums. 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 in Town Park for tickets, or call 264-5020 for further information.

Now showing

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

PSAC is again sponsoring an exhibit in which Pagosa's finest woodworkers are showing their newest wares, emphasizing a balance between art and craftsmanship. The exhibit includes bowls, woodturnings, bookends, clocks, sofa tables, a corner cabinet and period furniture dresser.

In addition to the woodwork, Betty Slade has works from her oil painting students on display as well. Betty began teaching oil painting through PSAC last spring in a three-day workshop. She has continued teaching classes this year. Several of her students are displaying their oil paintings for the first time in this exhibit.

The Fine Woodworking and Betty Slade Student Oil Painting Exhibit continues through Oct. 31. Please join us for the opening reception, or stop by during the exhibit to view the wonderful artwork.

Card and gift workshop

Betty Slade is also teaching a two-day workshop Oct. 13-14, where you can learn to 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 for the workshop is $70 for PSAC members and $80 for nonmembers. Call PSAC at 264-5020 to sign up. For more information, contact Betty Slade at bslade2@pagosa.net.

Calendar available

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.

Pine River Library

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.

Drawing with Davis

Drawing with Randall Davis will begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 15 and will probably finish up around 3 p.m. at the community center. The subject this month will be of a riparian nature, with a focus on water, rocks and trees. He plans to do one 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. Space allowing, walk-ins are always welcome.

PSAC calendar

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

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

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

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

Oct. 15 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., community center.

Oct. 19 - Watercolor club, 10 a.m., community center.

Oct. 23 - Artist studio tour, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Dec. 1 - Gallery tour, 5-8 p.m.

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


Food for Thought

Fire up the wok and let's go nuts

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist


It's all about nuts, isn't it?

Me, I've got a cashew jones - had it since I wolfed down that first jumbo when I was five or six years old. My throat closed, my lungs malfunctioned and my eyes swelled shut, all within five minutes.

I didn't care. I had discovered a special niche in food Nirvana. My own, somewhat less than comfy spot in that dreamy realm. One that I have inhabited ever since, consequences be damned.

Now, I just accept that I'm allergic to the nuts and I am very happy with the situation. Why? Since I will not stop eating cashew nuts, my body has adjusted to that fact; my system produces brain chemicals to counteract my allergic reaction. I've become addicted to the brain chemistry (I call this the "Macaroni and Cheese Syndrome") and, as a result, I eat more cashews just to stimulate the reaction.

Works for me. It's my favorite kind of vicious cycle.

The addiction, and syndrome, does not apply to other kinds of nuts.

I could care less for peanuts or walnuts or those grotesque Brazil nuts the commercial firms load their nut mixes with in order to cheat the consumer. Have you ever noticed what happens to the holiday nut medley? The good stuff gets munched right off the bat (provided there are no peanuts in the mix - those common little boogers taint everything in the neighborhood, making all else unfit to eat). A month later, you've got a bunch of stale Brazil nuts in the bottom of the can. They go in the trash, don't they?

I kind of like pistachios.

I am a bit more fond of pecans than pistachios.

But Š when it gets down to nut-crunching time Š bring on the cashews.

Stick me on the couch in front of the TV with a can of cheap, roasted and salted cashews (or cashew pieces, for that matter) and you better not bother me till the container is empty. Try to filch one of these precious morsels and you'll lose an arm. It's like trying to pet a grizzly through the bars of his cage.

So, with this powerful attraction of mine in mind you can't imagine how thrilled I was when I read:

"Massukan 20g buah gajus yang telah dikisar bersama 200ml air, Kemudian kecilkan api dan biarkan masak selama 5 minit."

I know, I know - I couldn't believe it either! A whole 20 grams! I was beside myself with excitement.

There I was, casually scanning the recipe instructions on the back of a pack of Baba's Serbuk Kari Daging my friend Ming brought me upon her return from a visit to her mom in Malaysia, and I unearthed a cashew bonanza.

A meat curry recipe with ground cashew nut as a major ingredient.

I had to make it!

I hustled to the kitchen and got right to work.

I fried some kayu manis, bunga lawang, bunga cenghkih, buah pelaga, jintan manis and jintan putih - about 10 grams worth. If you want, you can fudge on the amount, preferably adding a few grams more. (No metric measures, you say? No metric scale? What a shame.)

Then I added 50 grams of bavang besar yang dihiris nipis, about 3 grams duan kari and one tomato, quartered.

I stirred.

Into the wok went about 500 grams of daging ayam (I opted for skinless/boneless, and I cut it into fairly hefty chunks) 50 grams bawang putih (no, wait, I amped the bawang putih up to 75 grams) and 50g of halia yang telah disikar bersama dan gaulkan selama. I blended and stirred, then popped in about 900ml air dan and 16 grams garam. I cooked the mix, covered, for 10 minutes, as instructed. When folks from Malaysia give you instructions, a word to the wise - follow them!)

Then, in went 250g of ubi kentang (medium dice) and about 75g of the Serbuk Kari Daging.

Another 15 minutes was spent on the heat, covered, until the ubi kentang was tender.

Here's where the Big Bang occurred.

In went the 20g of buah gajus yang telah dikisar bersama. Maybe 25g, who knows? I was in such a rapturous state, anything could have happened.

I hit the mix with another 200ml of air and cooked for another five to ten minutes.

Oh, the aroma! Oh, the anticipation!


Add basmati rice (with a handful of roasted cashews added) and some broccoli florets stir-fried with garlic and splashed with a teensy bit of lemon juice and sesame oil and, what a meal.

And made so by the addition of buah gajus yang telah dikisar bersama. No question about it: It was a brilliant ingredient. The stuff acted as a thickening agent and provided a flavor base for the entire structure. It was the tactile and taste foundation of one mighty fine curry.

Ground cashew nut.

Twenty grams. Or so.

This was not the first time curry and cashew have combined to provide a taste treat.

I've eaten curried cashew nuts for a snack, accompanying a beverage. Or three. Excellent stuff. All you have to do is take some jumbo roasted nuts and cook them over medium heat for a bit in a mix of butter, curry powder, salt. Mmm. Nibble a few while sucking down some gin. Imagine you're British, taking the summer on your houseboat in Kashmir. Imagine someone shooting at you as you nibble the cashews. Imagine having to flee the country, leaving your Spode behind.

Cashew nuts go with all sorts of cooked dishes - most notably the cliché Chinese chicken dishes.

But, hey, grind up some raw cashews, mix them with panko bread crumbs, some salt, pepper and herbs. Use the mix to bread fish or light flesh. I did it with a couple grouper fillets the other night and accompanied them with a cilantro, lemon mayonnaise - a bit of mayonnaise, some chopped cilantro, finely diced shallot, a touch of Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of heavy cream.

How about a cashew butter, to add to all manner of things? Pulverize cashews in the processor with a bit of canola oil, a hit of salt and a hit of sugar. You got butter. I'm thinking about some dressings, aren't you? Citrus, sweet, with some coarse chopped cashews added?

Toss the nuts into any saute of fish or chicken. Throw a few on a salad.

This is where I stray from the cashew course. Salads.

Pecans, anyone?

Last week, I made a roasted beet and goat cheese salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. And I sproodled some pecans about the plate. Excellent.

I took a large beet per diner, wrapped it in foil and roasted it at 375 for 90 minutes or so. I let the beets cool, unwrapped them and rubbed the skins off with a paper towel.

I sliced each beet into four or five fairly thick rounds. The rounds went in decorative array atop a bed of greens. On top of the beets went a thick round of herbed goat cheese. On top of the cheese went the frazzle of pecans and the whole mess was dressed with the vinaigrette.

Nutty fine.

But, it won't harmonize with the curry. No salad, please, unless it is a raita-like mix.

I suppose you could try to imitate the transcendental Malay mix with some regular, and very fresh Madras curry powder.


Heat some canola oil in a wok or large frying pan and gently fry a mess (note the departure from the metric) of freshly ground spices: Cinnamon, fennel, cardomom, star anise and clove.

In goes a white onion, cut into rings, some curry leaves (if you got 'em) and the tomato.

Next up, chicken, a mix of chopped garlic and ginger, a bit of salt and some water.

When that's cooked a while, some cubes of potato are added along with curry powder and the cooking continues until the potato is al dente. Then, in goes the ground cashew nuts and more water, or a water/coconut milk combo. Oh heck, why not pure coconut milk? Who needs arteries?

Cook to desired consistency, i.e. clotty good.


And remember: it's all about the nuts.

Extension Viewpoints

Prevent deer damage to gardens, trees, plants

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Although browsing deer are charming to watch, they can cause extensive damage by feeding on plants and rubbing antlers against trees. In urban areas, home landscapes may become the major source of food. Deer can pose a serious aesthetic and economic threat. Damage is most commonly noticed in spring on new, succulent growth. Because deer lack upper incisors, browsed twigs and stems show a rough, shredded surface. Damage caused by rabbits, on the other hand, has a neat, sharp 45-degree cut. Rodents leave narrow teeth marks when feeding on branches. Deer strip the bark and leave no teeth marks.

It is difficult to move deer out of areas where they are not wanted. Not all management strategies are practical for every homeowner. Frightening deer with gas exploders, strobe lights, pyrotechnics or tethered dogs typically provides only temporary relief. More practical management strategies include selecting plants unattractive to deer, treating plants with deer repellents, netting and tubing, and fencing. The placement of plants, in part, determines the extent of damage. Plant more susceptible species near the home, in a fenced area, or inside a protective ring of less-preferred species. A list can be obtained from the Archuleta County Extension office here in Pagosa Springs. A hungry deer will find almost any plant palatable, so no plant is "deer proof." Also, a plant species may be damaged rarely in one area but damaged severely in another.

Two types of deer repellents are contact repellents and area repellents. Contact repellents are applied directly to plants, causing them to taste bad. Area repellents are placed in a problem area and repel by their foul odor. Repellents are generally more effective on less preferred plants. Apply repellents on a dry day with temperatures above freezing. Treat young trees completely. Older trees may be treated only on their new growth. Treat to a height 6 feet above the maximum expected snow depth. Deer browse from the top down. Hang or apply repellents at the bud or new growth level of the plants you wish to protect.

A spray of 20-percent whole eggs and 80-percent water is one of the most effective repellents. To prevent the sprayer from clogging, remove the chalaza or white membrane attached to the yolk before mixing the eggs. The egg mixture is weather resistant but must be reapplied in about 30 days. A list of commercially available repellents and their ratings against deer and elk browsing in Colorado are also available at the Archuleta County Extension office here in Pagosa Springs. Home-remedy repellents are questionable at best. These include small, fine-mesh bags of human hair (about two handfuls) and bar soap hung from branches of trees. Replace both soap and hair bags monthly. Deer have been reported to eat the soap bars. Materials that work in one area or for one person may not work at all in an area more highly frequented by deer.

Tubes of Vexar netting around individual seedlings are an effective method to reduce deer damage to small trees. The material degrades in sunlight and breaks down in three to five years. These tubes can protect just the growing terminals or can completely enclose small trees. Attach tubes to a support stake to keep them upright. Another option is flexible, sunlight-degradable netting that expands to slip over seedlings. Both products are available from Colorado State Forest Service offices.

Paper or Reemay budcaps form a protective cylinder around the terminal leader and bud. They may help reduce browse damage. Budcaps are rectangular pieces of material folded lengthwise and stapled around the terminal leader. Tubes placed around the trunks of larger trees will help prevent trunk damage. Tubes may not, however, protect trunks from damage when bucks use the trees to scrape the velvet off their antlers. Fencing may be required.

Adequate fencing to exclude deer is the only sure way to control deer damage. The conventional deer-proof fence is 8 feet high and made of woven wire. Electric fences also can be used. Electric fences should be of triple-galvanized, high-tensile, 13.5-gauge wire carrying a current of 35 milliamps and 3,000 to 4,500 volts. Several configurations of electric fences are used: vertical five-, seven-, or nine-wire; slanted seven-wire; single strand; and others. When using a single strand electric fence it helps the deer to 'notice' that the wire is there if it is marked with cloth strips, reflective tape or something similar. Otherwise, the deer may not see it in time and go right through it.

Additional options include invisible mesh barriers, slanting deer fences, and single-wire, electric fences baited with peanut butter. The invisible mesh barriers are polypropylene fences of various mesh sizes, typically 8 feet high with a high tensile strength, that blend in with the surroundings. The baited fences attract deer to the fence instead of what's inside the fence. They administer a safe correction that trains the deer to stay away. They are effective for small Gardens, nurseries and orchards (up to three to four acres) that are subject to moderate deer pressure. Deer are attracted by the peanut butter and encouraged to make nose-to-fence contact. Deer, like many wild animals, seem to respect and respond better to electric fencing after they become familiar with the fenced area.

Radon training

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 at 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, registration is due prior to Oct. 18. The 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.

Master Gardener dates

The 2006 Master Gardner Program in Pagosa Springs will be held Tuesdays, Jan. 31- April 4. We must have at least 20 confirmed participants to provide 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. The 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 the office at 264-5931.

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

Pagosa Lakes News

Channel Cat: A mug only a mother could love

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

I love cooking and eating trout, especially ones that are fresh out of the river or lake. I also live by a lake that is stocked with trout. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven, doesn't it? Unfortunately, I don't like to fish or at least haven't cultivated the love for fishing.

I do know a thing or two about fishing and most of that information is picked up on the job - selling fishing permits at the recreation center. Fishermen, by and large, are eager teachers and always willing to share stories. I've learned to be a discerning listener.

Larry Lynch and Joe Rivas, both with the PLPOA department of property and environment, are patient teachers who have provided information for this article. My thanks to them.

An exciting change has occurred for the PLPOA fisheries. The introduction of 500 channel catfish averaging 15 inches in length in Village Lake this past spring will create a new and highly anticipated fishing opportunity for area anglers.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. With a mug only a mother could love, the channel catfish will not be securing a top spot in any beauty contest in the future. However, due to the catfish's size, voracious appetite and preference for live bait, the channel catfish will secure the crown for top predator in Village Lake.

In October 2003, Queen of the River Consultants conducted a lake survey on Village lake. The lake survey's design was to inventory existing fisheries, to display the status of fisheries population, and to provide management activities regarding the fishery. The digital analysis of data yielded average fish length and weight, length frequency and age class strength, and relative abundance for each species. The consultants reported Village Lake harbors a relatively large population of yellow perch and western white suckers.

The survey also indicated it was important to increase the predation of western white suckers and yellow perch in order to expand the recreational fishery of Village Lake. Without an existing predator large enough to control the population of western white suckers and yellow perch, the introduction of the channel catfish was the most desirable species to exploit.

There is a potential for trophy catfish in the near future since channel catfish can commonly grow in excess of 30 pounds. Currently, the management strategy for channel catfish is catch and release only. Starting Jan. 1, 2006, anglers will be allowed a bag limit of two channel catfish per day.

Channel catfish are easily distinguished from all other species in Village Lake. The most prominent features are the eight barbels or whiskers that protrude from the snout of the catfish, forked tail and sporadic black spots. Unlike trout, bass and sunfish, catfish are devoid of scales.

Channel catfish are native to eastern Colorado and are often stocked in warmer rivers and reservoirs throughout the state. The world record catfish, caught in the Carolinas, weighed in at 58 pounds. Colorado state record catfish was caught in 1994 by John McKeever at Hertha Reservoir in Larimer County. It weighed 33 pounds eight ounces and was 38.25 inches long.

Next spring, another 500 channel catfish, between the size of 14 to 16 inches will be introduced into Village Lake.

The fall fishing has been excellent. Last Thursday all four lakes - Hatcher, Village, Forest and Pagosa - were stocked. A total of 2,500 pounds of trout averaging 14 to 18 inches make for some lively fishing activity. Please be reminded that fishing on these four lakes is by permit only. Permits are available at the recreation center and the PLPOA administrative office.

At next Thursday's PLPOA Board of Directors monthly meeting, special-use regulation for Lake Hatcher will be discussed. The special-use issue refers to the proposal to turn Lake Hatcher into a catch and release only area. Be present to voice your opinion if you have strong ideas on that. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.




Rachel Howe

Our friend, Rachel M. Howe, passed Oct. 3, 2005, at 2:30 a.m. from her battle with cancer. There will be a service and a notice in next week's SUN.

 Charles Pelton

Charles Millard Pelton, "Chuck," of Pagosa Springs, passed on to eternal life quietly Thursday evening, Sept. 29, 2005, at home with his family after a battle with cancer, at the age of 76. Chuck was born in Enid, Oklahoma, on Feb. 2, 1929.

At the young age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and shipped out on the USS Boxer, an aircraft carrier which was on patrol around Saipan, Guam and Manila. He received two ribbons of honor, the victory ribbon and the Philippine Independence. Chuck married Betty, the love of his life, on Oct. 31, 1971, when he shot her off her broom stick (according to him), and worked as a machinist for most of his life. Chuck broadcast the commissioners' meetings for the radio station when Harvey T. ran the station. He worked at Ace Hardware here in Pagosa Springs after he retired. He was a volunteer firefighter and was an active member of the American Legion. Chuck worked hard all of his life to support his family and was an inspiration to all who knew him. In his spare time, he enjoyed carpentry and working on cars, but he really enjoyed camping, boating and fishing with his wife, children and grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Pelton of Pagosa Springs; children Mike Burdett of Pagosa Springs; Timothy and Catherine Cline of Pagosa Springs; Dan and Barbie Marin of Calif.; Tom and Gina Marin of Pagosa Springs; Joanne Berry of Ariz.; Tom and Margo Morris of Calif.; Billy Pelton of Calif.; Renee Williams of Calif.; and 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at the American Legion Post 108 at 287 Hermosa St. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. He will be honored on Veterans Day at a veterans dinner at the American Legion Post 108 at 287 Hermosa St., Pagosa Springs, 6 p.m. Nov. 11.


 Business News
Chamber News

Colorado's State commemorative quarter will be unveiled by mid-2006

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Everyone gets a mini-break this week from my usual long-winded dissertations on tourism and how I love our community. However, here are two tourism-related tidbits that I thought I would share with you.

Many people have been collecting the state commemorative quarters for the past few years, and Colorado will unveil its quarter by mid-2006. The Colorado Commemorative Quarter will display the Rocky Mountains surrounded by pine trees and this scene will be framed by the words "Colorful Colorado."

There were five designs presented to the governor by the Commemorative Quarter Advisory Commission and this mountain design was chosen as best suited to benefit the tourism industry statewide. Case in point: There were over 1.5 million ski trips to the state in 2003 and 2.6 million outdoor trips. In 2003 Colorado ranked fifth on a list of U.S. "dream destinations" for vacation, and the outdoor activity that our state offers is one of the reasons we ranked so high. Hopefully, the commemorative quarter will reinforce the perception of a great state where people can come to visit and play.

While you are in Colorado, you can also expect to get great treatment at many lodging facilities, but especially at RV parks. The Sam Good Club, the world's largest organization of RV owners, awarded the "Welcome Mat" award to Colorado as being the most RV-friendly state to visit. RV owners recognized Colorado parks for their ease and accessibility, breathtaking views and locations of the parks, and park accessibility to Colorado's outdoor adventures. Kudos to all you RV lodgers and other lodgers as well. I know that we really pride ourselves here in Pagosa in helping our visitors feel welcome and ensuring that they see the beauty of our community. Thank you!

Mesa Verde wine festival

As we enjoy our down time from all the man-made festivities and relish the beautiful main event that we call fall, we should take some time to partake of the change of colors all around our area.

You may want to take a short drive over to Cortez and end up enjoying one more wine festival. There will be wine dinners Friday, Oct. 7, at three restaurants. The main event is Saturday, Oct. 8. From noon to 5 p.m. at Cortez City Park you can enjoy wine, food, music and art. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. As you look for places to see the fall foliage, plug into www.fs.fed.us/r2/recreation/fallcolors/.


I swear we were just celebrating the Fourth of July! However, I look now and it is already October and therefore we get to celebrate at the community center where the Archuleta Seniors will host the fourth annual Oktoberfest Oct. 15, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the senior center and at the Chamber of Commerce. Ticket prices are $13 in advance and $15 at the door for adults, $10 for members of Archuleta Seniors, and $8 for children. Bring the whole family and have a barrel of fun.

Diplomat festivities

On Monday, Oct. 17, the Chamber of Commerce will honor our volunteers at a luncheon.

As I mentioned last week, these people work tirelessly to promote our community and the individuals and businesses that make up our community.

If you would like to offer a discount coupon from your business or give away a "little something" promoting your business, you can contact Maryla or me at 264-2360. We will be making up thank-you baskets in appreciation of all our volunteers' hard work.

We're hoping this year we'll be able to keep a couple of die-hard volunteers on to help us on the weekends as the anticipated busy ski season approaches. Thank you everyone for your generosity so far, and for what I know will be pouring in during these next couple of weeks.

Welcome members

One new, one mixed and 10 renewals this week.

The first member is a true new member: Prudential Triple S Realty, with Geoff Overington at the local helm. Based out of Durango, Triple S joins the established realty ranks here in Pagosa. Prudential Triple S offers the full range of realty services for all of southwest Colorado with their offices in Durango, Cortez, and now here in Pagosa. We welcome their knowledge of the southwest area and hope this expertise will complement the already very knowledgeable realty services we have in Pagosa. For information or listing services, call 264-1771.

This next member is really an old one, but with new owners. We welcome Shawn and Bridgette Lacey, the new owners of Plaza Liquor. With great selections of wines, beers and malt beverages, Plaza Liquor continues to offer "adult beverages" at great prices. They also stock cigars and items that are necessary to satisfy your party requirements. I personally want to thank them for their help with the Passport to Wine Colorfest festivities and their continued support of the monthly SunDowners. Stop by 511 San Juan St. across from Subway, or give them a call to check an item at 264-4770.

I would be remiss if I didn't start out the renewals this week with our very own Pagosa Springs SUN. Welcome back for year No. 2 to Rachel Coffey and Paws, Feathers, Fins & Friends Pet Sitting Service.

We welcome back All Seasons Lake Lodge and Ann Marie Castor, 160 West Adult RV Park, and Sally and Mark Leavitt and Downside Moose.

We also welcome back Rocky Mountain Health Plans, the Southwest Colorado Workforce Center under the direction of Martha Garcia, and Wayne Walls and Wilderness Journeys and Pagosa Rafting Outfitters.

We round out the renewals with two associate memberships: Chamber Diplomat, always there to help out and all-around great gal, Barbara Mason; and Lisa and Bob Scott. Of course everyone knows that Lisa received the volunteer of the year award last year and that award was well deserved. Not as well known, however, is that the other half of the equation, Bob Scott, does his fair share as well, volunteering in this community. We appreciate their support and welcome them back as associate members.

Go out and enjoy a few more weeks of great color and some nice fall weather. Start pulling out the sweaters and long-sleeve shirts and get the skis out for a tune-up!


Cards of Thanks


Pagosa Springs Music Boosters would like to thank all who came out and supported the David Taylor Dance Company's performance Saturday night. We especially appreciate the little girl in the front row whose "Oooh ..." expressed everyone's sentiment at the exquisite final pose in one of the dance pieces. We are always excited to be able to bring that caliber of professional dance to Pagosa. Thanks also to Pagosa Springs High School, The Springs, Econo Lodge, Judy Nicholson, Darran Garcia, Alex Silver, Patrick Ford, Hilary Matzdorf and Matt DeWinter.

Two members of the David Taylor Dance Workshop offered a dance workshop to Pagosa Springs High School students Saturday afternoon before the performance. Deborah Kenner and Jackie Nagashima graciously gave of their time and talents to eight students who stretched, stepped, jumped and twisted their way through warm-up stretches, across the floor exercises, small combination steps and routines. Lessons learned will be passed on and taught to other members of the Pagosa Springs Drama Club in the near future. Thanks to David Taylor for the opportunity.

 Partners in Education

Partners in Education at Pagosa Springs Elementary School would like to thank the following hairdressers for volunteering to cut hair at Clip and a Cookie: Jessica Espinosa, Dave Cordray, Kristi Hanosh, Brittany Myer, Cindy Carothers, Shelly Yeager, Daniele Hillyer and Barbara Laydon. Special thanks also goes to Carrie Toth for chairing the event, to Cathne Holt and Terry Alley, and to all of the parents and teachers who baked goods for the bake sale and volunteered. Clip and a Cookie was a tremendous fund-raiser for the elementary school. Thank you.

Stephanie Jones


Sports Page

Pirates win one, lose one, head for final four games in league

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Two league games: one win, one loss.

And one loss that probably should not have been.

The Pirate soccer team was in league action last week, taking on Bayfield at home Friday and traveling Saturday for a match against Crested Butte.

Bayfield fell to the Pirates 3-1. Pagosa lost to Crested Butte and, at least in the opinion of some Pirate fans, to the officials, 2-1.

Friday's victory over the Wolverines came despite relatively average play on the part of the Pirates.

Pagosa led 2-1 at halftime, with goals by Kevin Blue and Caleb Ormonde.

Chavolo Ortiz scored the lone second-half goal for Pagosa.

"We could have played a bit better," said Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason of his team. "We were a little sloppy. We could have spread it out a little more; we tried to force the ball forward when we didn't have to.

"But, I'm glad we won. This was a pretty physical match, and there were some definite bright spots: Kevin (Blue) was lifting the level of play - he was all over the place. And Felix (keeper Felix Gutierrez) played well. He didn't have a lot of real pressure, but he made seven saves in the game."

Saturday was a different story.

The Pirates went to Crested Butte hoping to avenge a 3-1 loss earlier in the season. They nearly did it. Ahead 2-1 at the half, Pagosa was in position to take a victory home. The Pirates got the advantage on a goal off a direct kick by Blue and a four-yard score to the upper corner of the net by Thomas Martinez.

Crested Butte tied the game, however, sending the contest into overtime.

Enter Crested Butte's addition player.

Four minutes into the five-minute overtime, Pagosa's Jacob Bandy was closing in on the Crested Butte goal for a shot when the referee blew the whistle, stopping the game. An interesting and hard-to-explain call.

The game proceeded to a second overtime. In that period, a ball bounced off a Pagosa defender then went between the legs of two Crested Butte players before it was scooped up by Gutierrez.

Again, a whistle.

The referee proceeded to penalize Pagosa for passing the ball to the goalkeeper and awarded an indirect kick to Crested Butte from six yards distance. The kick went in, Crested Butte won, 3-2.

Kurt-Mason reflected not on the calls at Crested Butte, but on the prospects for the Pirates as the regular schedule enters the end game.

"I think we're in good position to finish third in the league," said the coach. And, actually, that could be a good thing when post-season play starts. Finishing third might send us to play a member of the Colorado Springs league, instead of to Denver to play someone from the Metropolitan League."

That finish will be determined in four remaining league contests.

Ridgway comes to town Saturday for an 11 a.m. match. The Pirates defeated Ridgway 3-2 in the first meeting this season, Sept. 10 in Ridgway.

Center arrives at Golden Peaks Stadium for a 4 p.m. game Oct. 13. Pagosa won 3-2 Sept. 15 at Center.

Telluride comes to Pagosa Oct. 15 to play the Pirates at 11 a.m. Pagosa lost 3-1 at Telluride Sept. 17.

The final league match on the schedule is at Bayfield, Oct. 18, at 4 p.m.


Pirates lose to Durango, IML action next

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Control the net, win the match.

The volleyball maxim held true for the Durango Demons Tuesday as the 5A team swept the Pirates 3-0 in a match at the PSHS gym.

It wasn't as if the Pirates didn't have an opportunity for success against their rival. The first game of the match was Pagosa's for the taking - at several points in the action.

It didn't happen.

Durango seemed unfocused and Pagosa took full advantage, going out to an 11-6 lead with an ace by Kim Canty and an ace off the tape and a kill by Kari Beth Faber.

Pagosa put together a six-point run with a kill by Caitlin Forrest to the back corner, an ace by Danielle Spencer and a putback of a Demon overpass by Jennifer Haynes. Pagosa was in front 17-8 and the Demons were back on their heels.

The Pirate advantage remained as Forrest killed cross-court from the right side and Faber hammered a ball down from the left outside. The Pirates were at a point where the game should have been theirs, ahead 23-15.

Suddenly, the momentum changed: Durango began to get the offense on track and a problem that would cripple the Pirates from that point out became obvious - no blocking in the face of a revived Demon offense.

Durango put together a four-point run to close the gap to 23-19.

A Demon serve error gave Pagosa a second opportunity to shut the door. With the score 24-19, the Pirates needed only one point for the win.

A Pagosa net violation surrendered a point and the Demons took control of the net, getting two points on stuff blocks and hitting through the Pirate defense as part of a five-point run. The score was knotted at 24 and it was a new game.

A Demon hit went out and the Pirates again needed only one point to win. They didn't get it, as Durango tied with another kill through the block.

A Demon serve went out and the Pirates needed only one point to win.

They didn't get it.

The Demons put yet another kill through a porous block, got a tip down then capitalized on the Pirates' lack of force at the net to close out the action 28-26.

Volleyball, perhaps more than any other high school sport, is a matter of momentum. And momentum is largely a matter of a team's mental set. Once the wave begins to roll for a team, only fierce determination on the part of an opponent can halt it.

The Demons rode a wave through the second and third games of the match.

Durango continued to capitalize on a lack of an effective block and went out to a 12-5 lead in the second game.

Pagosa got kills from Forrest, Haynes and Spencer, and when Spencer crushed a Demon overpass, Pagosa trailed 9-16.

Durango continued to hit away at the Pirate back row and Pagosa made several key errors to give away points as the visitors won 25-14.

Up 17-5 in the third game, the Demons had little trouble cruising to the win. With no substantial blocking on the Pagosa side of the net, and a breakdown in Pirate passing, Durango took full control of the action and won the game 25-10 to end the match.

The Pirates travel to Ignacio tonight for a crucial Intermountain League contest. Pagosa is currently in the lead in the IML race with a 3-1 record and will seek to rebound against the Bobcats in a 7 p.m. contest.

Saturday, the Pirates return to the home court to take on Piedra Vista at 10 a.m. and Montrose at 1 p.m.


Kills: Faber and Forrest 5 each, Buikema 4, Spencer 3

Ace serves: Canty, Faber and Spencer 1 each

Assists: Canty 16

Solo blocks: Haynes and Spencer 1 each

Digs: Forrest and Frye 6 each


Pirates go 1-3 at Fowler tournament

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Take injuries, add a long road trip to the eastern plains, throw in three highly-ranked opponents, simmer over very low heat, and you have a recipe for a rough volleyball experience.

Call it the Pirates' trip to Fowler, 2005.

The mid-season jaunt to the Front Range for the annual Fowler tournament has been a tradition for the Pirate volleyball team for many years. And it has never been a particularly happy one. Success has been rare.

This year was no different, as the Pirates went 1-3, beating 3A La Junta and losing to 3A Lamar, 1A McClave and 2A Fowler.

To set the matter straight: The lineup at this tournament was the strongest ever. Lamar came into the fray ranked No. 3 in the classification. McClave, featuring a 6-4 middle and a 6-0 outside, was ranked No. 2, with two second-place state tourney finishes the last two years. Fowler, one of the state's perennial powers, was also ranked second in its classification, with a veteran team led by a probable all-state middle hitter.

Pagosa, on the other hand, made the trip missing senior outside hitter Liza Kelley - felled by a knee injury and slated for surgery today. With the loss of one of the team's top hitters and passers, the Pirates had to make adjustments, most notably sending senior Caitlin Forrest to the outside and bringing junior Jennifer Haynes into regular rotation in the middle.

The roster got its first test against La Junta, the Pirates winning 25-20, 25-23 against a team best described as mediocre. It was the only walk in the park for the Pirates. And the match was marked by a problem the Pirates have not solved thus far this season - a propensity to hand over too many unearned points with errors.

"We gave them all their points," said Coach Andy Rice. "We were tentative on our serve and our passing. But, we didn't get down and our attitude stayed good."

Next up was lamar. The Pirates and Savages have developed a healthy rivalry over the years - at Fowler and in regional and state competition. Lamar's high ranking this year might be an illusion, but the team is still fundamentally strong. And it is a team the Pirates could, and should beat.

Pagosa did just that in the first game of the match, making up ground mid-match, tying 16-16, then going in front 20-16 as Danielle Spencer put a sweep down off the pass and Kari Beth Faber aced a serve. Spencer scored on a slide and the Pirates were ahead 21-17. With a kill to the back line by Faber and a Savage serve error, the Pirates were poised to win 24-19. But a series of mistakes, including a botched serve and three passing errors, gave the Savages the momentum to tie at 24-24. Then, Lamar muffed a serve and Emily Buikema scored from the right side to give the Pirates the 26-24 win.

Pagosa got the first point of the second match then gave away four points on errors as the Savages went in front 5-1. Pagosa never caught up. The Pirates got close at 16-19, but surrendered three of four points in a Lamar run with mistakes. Two Lamar attacks out of bounds gave the Pirates a bit of life, but a passing error and a Savage kill produced a 25-18 victory.

The third game was tight. The Pirates tied at 5-5 as Faber hit inside the block and Haynes nailed two ace serves off the tape. The teams tied at 8-8 when Kim Canty and Spencer teamed to stuff a Savage attack and Spencer put a Lamar pass to the floor. Forrest scored inside the block then cross court and Pagosa was up 10-9. Lamar came back, but Canty tipped off the pass and tied the score 11-11. Then the Pirates made a move, going ahead 15-12 on the strength of a Canty ace, a kill by Buikema and a kill by Faber on a set from Forrest.

That's where the momentum ended. Lamar ran off six unanswered points, four of them due to Pirate passing errors. Pagosa could not catch up and lost 25-20

"We made too may costly mistakes," said Rice. "We gave up too many runs of points. Our blocking was weak overall and we gave it away. We had the chance to put a decent team away and we didn't. We can't be satisfied. But, in a tournament setting, you need to bounce back and forget about it. We are still in the process of learning to play our game and we're still not really there. We're letting tips drop and we are not communicating the way we need to. Making the changes we've had to make are not easy in a quick offense. And this is a team game: different things let down at different times. We need to get on the same page, with everything working at the same time."

Buikema and Faber each recorded seven kills; Forrest and Spencer had seven each. Canty put up 26 assists in the action, Haynes and Faber each hit two aces. Forest had two solo blocks, Spencer one, and Iris Frye came up with 13 digs during the match.

McClave was next up for the Pirates and the 1A team from the plains brought some surprising height and years of state tourney experience to the court.

The Cardinals are expected to vie for the state 1A title this season and they jumped to a 6-2 lead in the first game of the match. Three Cardinal hitting errors and an ace by Mariah Howell tied the game for Pagosa, 6-6.

McClave went ahead and stayed ahead, Pagosa closing to 16-17 with Faber hitting off the block and Canty stuffing a Cardinal attack for a point. Then, with weak blocking on the Pirate side of the net, the Cardinals fashioned a 21-16 lead.

Canty swept a ball to the floor off the pass but McClave responded with a successful 1, a stuff of a Pirate tip and a point on a Pagosa ball hit out.

Forrest attempted to rally the Pirates with a kill and an ace, and Haynes put an errant Cardinal pass to the floor, but a Pirate hitting error gave McClave the winning point, 25-20.

Down 8-3 at the start of the second game, the Pirates got a point on a Cardinal serve error and Haynes aced two serves off the tape. With the Cardinals up 12-8, Pagosa inched back, getting two points on McClave hitting errors and one point on an ace by Spencer. Forrest killed to keep the game close, with the Pirates trailing 12-13.

Then, the lack of effective blocking hurt Pagosa again. Three times the McClave attack went through the Pirate block. A Cardinal ace dropped untouched in the Pirates' back court. Forrest came back with a cross-court kill and Haynes stuffed the Cardinals' 6-4 middle for a score.

Pagosa stayed within striking distance, pulling to 19-20 with a back-row attack by Forrest, a putback by Spencer and a 1 by Spencer. Pagosa was behind 19-29. Then, the costly mistakes that steal momentum, in a game defined by momentum.

A Pirate serve went out. A Pirate serve receive failed. A Cardinal hit went out off the block. McClave led 23-19.

But, Pagosa was not through. McClave gave up two points with hitting errors, Faber hit an ace. Forrest crushed a kill and the score was tied 23-23.

The Cardinals prevailed, however, getting a point on a Pirate passing error and winning the game and match with a score through the Pirate block.

"McClave was pretty savvy, with a lot of state tournament experience," said rice. A couple players were physically imposing, but the rest were average height. Experience hurt us. We didn't play poorly against them but we need to learn the harder you hit it, the better. We need to get up there and wail away. Plus, if they are doing it, and we are a sound blocking team, it'll come back down on them. They tipped us a lot, but we are getting much better at getting the tips."

Forrest led the way on offense, with eight kills. Faber had four kills. Haynes hit two ace serves, Canty had 18 assists. Frye had 15 digs.

Rice came to Fowler with only eight varsity players (the swing players were competing in a junior varsity tournament at the same time in Fowler). After three matches, fatigue was setting in by the time the Pirates faced the host Grizzlies in the final match of the tournament.

Too tired. Too many mistakes.

The Grizzlies went out to an almost insurmountable 7-0 lead in the first game, every point handed over by the Pirates.

Haynes got a point on the board with a 1 and Buikema scored with a soft shot over the block. Then, another Grizzly run - this time five points. Pagosa got few earned points from then on: A tip by Haynes, a kill by Canty off the pass, a free ball that fell to the floor. Fowler, on the other hand, readily hit through and inside the Pirate blocks and took the 25-12 victory.

The Pirates were not going to go away without a fight, however. They tied the second game 2-2 with a kill by Buikema, then closed the gap to 8-9 getting a point on a stuff by Spencer. With the score 10-13, Pagosa slipped again, allowing the Grizzlies four unanswered points, two on errors, two on scores that came as a result of lax blocking. Fowler, however, gave up seven points, one a kill by Canty and the Pirates were behind 17-20 with a chance to close ground. That would not happen. Fowler scored five of six points in the game to take the match.

"Fowler had a good attitude," said Rice. "They were going to do anything they could to beat us. They were well coached, decent passers and very good servers. They had the home-court advantage with that low ceiling in their gym, and they used it well."

Kills were few and far between for the Pirates with Buikema, Canty, Faber and Forrest each getting two. Forrest served an ace and Canty had 10 assists. Forrest logged one solo block and Frye had 10 digs in the match.

The Pirates play a critical Intermountain League match tonight at Ignacio. Currently at 3-1, Pagosa needs IML wins the rest of the season to stay atop the league rankings. The Ignacio match is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Pagosa returns home for a doubleheader. The Pirates take on New Mexico 4A Piedra Vista at 10 a.m. then take the court at 1 p.m. for a match against 4A Montrose.


Pirates win ugly at Bayfield 31-0

By Randy Johnson

Special to The SUN

Coaches dread them.

Players can't wait until they're over.

Invariably there is always at least one "ugly'' football game in a season. Last Friday night's game in Bayfield was the ugly one for the Pirates. But, no matter what, it's always better to be on the winning side in the ugly one!

Luckily the Pirates (3-1, 1-0 in IML) were playing a struggling Wolverines (0-5, 0-1 in IML) squad. Defense and special teams won this one for Pagosa by scoring 21 first-half points and then outplaying the fired-up Wolverines offense to a 31-0 final.

Coach Dave Close's Wolverine defense played with emotion. They held the Pirates' rushing offense to net 45 yards on 24 carries. The passing game wasn't any better as the Wolverines held the Pirates to five completions on 16 attempts for 47 yards and two interceptions. However, late in the game, junior quarterback Adam Trujillo hit junior receiver Jordan Shaffer on a 26-yard touchdown pass to end on a good note.

It came down to which team could capitalize on the other's mistakes. Credit goes to Pirates' defensive coordinator Shawn Tucker and special teams coach Mike Kraetsch for making it happen. The defense intercepted Wolverines junior quarterback Shay Beck three times and recorded two fumble recoveries. Two of the interceptions went for scores.

Corbin Mellette, a junior playing in place of Bubba Martinez at linebacker, had nine solo tackles while senior Jake Cammack and junior Casey Hart had four each. Seniors Craig and Casey Schutz, junior Derek Harper and senior Daniel Aupperle all recorded three.

Special teams kicked a field goal, converted on four extra points and recovered a fumbled long snap in the end zone for a TD.

Bayfield's offense was held to 93 yards on 31 rushing attempts and five of 14 passing for 41 yards and the three interceptions.

Pirate coach Sean O'Donnell struggled to find the right offensive mix with only two first downs in the first half on runs by Trujillo. Senior running back Josh Hoffman was held to 21 yards on eleven carries while Mellette was five for four yards.

The Bayfield turf was somewhat sloppy from the previous day's storm and it showed with the slippery pigskin. The Pirates put the ball on the ground five times from fumbled snaps which gave O'Donnell fits. He tried switching signal callers and even put the quarterback under center to fix the jinx, but to no avail. Finally, in the fourth quarter, the Pirate offense settled down and put some points on the board.

There always seems to be a rash of injuries in the 'ugly' ones as well. Hart went out with a neck stinger and Harper went down with a partially separated shoulder. Both are considered probable for this week's game. Martinez did not suit up because of an injury suffered in the Taos game. His status is still uncertain.

First quarter

The Pirates' first score came on the second play from scrimmage after the Wolverines received the opening kickoff. Aupperle, playing at defensive back, had a pick-6 as he intercepted Beck and returned it 42 yards for the touchdown. Aupperle's kick made it 7-0 for the visitors with less than a minute gone in the quarter.

Kraetsch then made a nifty special teams decision by calling for an onside kick from Aupperle. It caught the Wolverines off guard and Casey Schutz recovered for the "Buccaneers" on the Bayfield 45 yard line. It didn't help the offense as they could not convert on third and 11.

The Wolverines took over on their 3-yard line after a great punt by Hart. Two plays later the Pirates' had the ball back on the Bayfield 6-yard line after Aupperle recovered Beck's fumble. Bayfield's defense held and forced a Pirate field goal attempt. Aupperle's kick was good from 21 yards and put the score at 10-0.

The Wolverines had another possession that went three and out.

At the 6:03 mark the Pirates did reach Bayfield's 11-yard line on a 22-yard run by Trujillo but the Wolverines' defense stepped up again and Aupperle's field goal attempt on fourth down was wide left.

The Wolverines took possession on the 20-yard line. Senior running back Clay Rampone had an 11-yard gain and a first down on their 35-yard line. On the next play Beck dropped back to pass and the ball was tipped. Dan "Double-D" Dunmyre, a 225-pound junior lineman, gathered in the tipped ball and rumbled 34 yards for another defensive TD. Aupperle's kick gave the Pirates a 17-0 cushion.

With 12 seconds left, Trujillo's run of 18 yards gave Pagosa its second first down.

Second quarter

The Pirates continued the drive on the Bayfield 25-yard line. The drive ended when Trujillo caught his own tipped pass for a loss.

The Pirates' defense went back to work and held the Wolverines on two quick possessions giving the ball back to Pagosa on the Bayfield 48-yard line at the 5:40 mark.

O'Donnell tried to influence the offensive momentum by putting junior quarterback Jordon Shaffer in place of Trujillo. On the third play, Shaffer was picked by the Wolverines' junior defensive back Jake Zink on their 26-yard line. Mistakes and penalties continued to plague the potent Pirate offense.

The Bayfield drive stalled. On fourth down, with freshman Austin Thorne in punt formation, the snap sailed over his head. Casey Schutz recorded his second fumble recovery, this one in the end zone, for the touch. Aupperle's kick put the score 24-0.

O'Donnell had much to "discuss" with his charges at intermission, given only two offensive first downs in the half.

Third quarter

Pagosa received the kickoff to open the second half. The Pirate offense showed signs of improvement. Mellette ran for eight yards and Trujillo hit Shaffer for a seven-yard gain. The drive then ended following another motion penalty.

The Wolverines took over on their 14-yard line after the Pirate punt. Their offense looked better as they used a nine play drive and almost five minutes of clock to reach the Pirates' 27-yard line. Senior running back Lee Ramster had a run of 33 yards and two pass completions from Beck for 23 yards, but the Pirate defense held and took over on downs.

Pagosa's next offensive series ended when Trujillo pounced on a fumbled snap on third down for an eight-yard loss.

The Pirates' defense stepped up again when Schaffer recovered a Beck fumble on the first play at the Wolverines' 30-yard line. However, the Pirates quickly turned the ball over when Wolverine junior defensive back Roy Westbrook intercepted a Trujillo pass at the Bayfield 18 with less than two minutes remaining in the period.

Another possession by each team ended the quarter with the Pirates up by 24.

Fourth quarter

The start of the fourth quarter wasn't any better as neither team could mount an offensive drive.

With 8:35 showing on the clock the Pirate offense finally showed up. With the ball on the Bayfield 35-yard line, Trujillo found senior receiver Paul Przybylski open for nine yards. On the next play he hit Shaffer, who broke several tackles on his way to a 26-yard touchdown. Aupperle's point after was good to increase the Pirates' lead to 31-0.

The next two drives by both teams ended with penalties or turnovers. The Pirates' Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, a junior, intercepted Beck and the Wolverine's Andre Vayre, also a junior, recovered a Pagosa fumble.

The game ended on a 10-yard completion from Beck to Ramster.

After the game, O'Donnell gave credit to the Wolverines and their coaches. "Even though we won the game, I felt we were out coached," he said, "and we continued to make mistakes on offense." He also indicated "our offensive line struggled to make blocks. We're glad this one is over and we were able to win, despite the mistakes."

O'Donnell gave credit to the defense for another scoreless game. He also praised Mellette for his efforts at Martinez's linebacker spot and for handling the punt duties after Hart went out.

The Pirates need to regroup quickly as the green and yellow Pirates from Monte Vista come to Golden Peaks Stadium tomorrow night.

This will be a big game and tough test for both teams as they come in with identical 4-1 records. O'Donnell pointed out that "Monte Vista has said that to meet their objective of winning the IML, they must beat Pagosa. We will have to play our best game to win." Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

This is also homecoming week at Pagosa Springs High School.

With luck, the Buccaneers have played the "ugly" one and will come out with swords drawn again.

In other IML action last week:

Ignacio (4-1, 0-0) def. Class A Dove Creek (4-1) 13-6.

Monte Vista (4-1, 1-0) def. Centauri (3-2, 0-1) 27-0.


Score by quarters

Pagosa Springs 17, 7, 0, 7 - 31

Bayfield 0, 0, 0, 0 - 0

First quarter

11:09 PS - Aupperle, 42-yard interception return (Aupperle kick)

7:46 PS - Aupperle, 21-yard field goal

1:40 PS - Dunmyre, 34-yard interception return (Aupperle kick)

Second quarter

2:27 PS - Casey Schutz, fumble recovery in the end zone (Aupperle kick)

Fourth quarter

7:47 PS - Shaffer, 26-yard completion from Trujillo (Aupperle kick)


Better to hunt than to be hunted

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

"I'd rather be the hunter than the hunted," said Coach Scott Anderson, referring to the cross country team's close second-place finishes at Mancos last week.

With the girls' team score trailing Bayfield by only four points, and top runner Heather Dahm sitting out due to a cold, the Pirates are looking to be right on target to pull into the lead when it matters the most at the regional meet later this month.

Among the girls, Emilie Schur won the race with her best time this season, nearly breaking the 20-minute benchmark with a time of 20:03. Laurel Reinhardt came in fourth overall with her season best of 20:48, while Jaclyn Harms and Chelsea Cooper came in eighth and 15th, with personal best times of 21:47 and 23:05 respectively.

In boys' action, Travis Furman led the Pirates for the second week in a row, coming in 10th overall with a time of 18:11, a personal record. AJ Abeyta, still recovering from a cold, came in right behind, with a time of 18:18. Orion Sandoval ran his year's best time of 19:11, coming in 17th, with Jackson Walsh right behind with a personal best time of 19:17.

Both JV teams won their races, with Chase Moore coming in first and running varsity again next week.

Anderson said it was "a great day to run, but muddy enough to remind the kids that they were running cross country." The Mancos course is one of the teams' favorite courses, set through the woods with beautiful color changes in the trees, a water crossing and no huge hills.

This week the team will continue to train in Pagosa's high country, with plans to run the old home course at the base of the Alberta Lift at the Wolf Creek Ski area. The altitude training will serve the runners well for next week's race in Aspen. As part of their training in August, a group of the runners "power-hiked" the 12,640 foot Pagosa Peak in about an hour from the car, with many of them noting the joy of the pain subsiding when they reached the top.

As the teams progress to the state championships, Anderson will be doing a lot of visualization exercises, where runners will lay down and go through specific course visualizations, vividly imagining running the course, gliding effortlessly at top speed. With Anderson and Assistant Coach J.D. Kurz's cross county physical and mental training regimen, the Pirates appear to be getting in top shape for the upcoming meets.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Give sport kids a sense of balance

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

I once overheard parents discussing whether their kids would be signing up for a fall baseball league. This was after a full baseball schedule that had lasted from February through mid-August. I thought about that and wondered how many of us growing up actually played only one sport year-round. My schedule was football in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring/summer.

Unfortunately, times have changed dramatically.

These days, for many athletes (and their parents), the seasons don't stop. Kids play only one sport on teams in fall, winter and spring, and then they go off to that sport's camp in the summer. Just about any sport has year-round options, so they all overlap and often overextend kids who try to find time to compete in every sport they enjoy.

This isn't likely to change. In fact, it's up to you to help your family negotiate the nonstop sports calendar. Your kids can't lose sight of more important priorities, and the whole family shouldn't feel consumed by running from game to game, practice to practice, sport to sport.

According to the Center for Sports Parenting, "During the critical developmental years when kids start playing sports more seriously, parents must try to teach their young athletes to maintain a sense of balance. While it's great that your kids enjoy athletics, it's essential that they, as NBA forward Grant Hill has said, 'pack two parachutes in life.' Hill's parents taught him the importance of varied interests. He excelled in school and learned to play piano. If basketball hadn't worked out for him, he would have had diverse experiences to draw from."

Help your children prioritize their time among athletics, schoolwork and other activities. The good news is that kids who play sports generally manage time better, but they need parental support to learn this balancing act. Sit with them to map out all of their games and practices on the family calendar. It gives them a feel for the busy days and months ahead and what they must do to accomplish everything.

Taking this time with the calendar in advance can be as helpful for you as it is for your athlete. You can grasp how demanding the sports schedule is going to be on the rest of the family. Getting one child to and from practices and games can be a daunting enough task when he's just playing one sport at a time. Add another child and well Š you get my point. Organizing ahead of time can save you many headaches.

Even if you do get organized, you'll still need a break eventually. So will your child, and you should encourage them to take one. Many young athletes (or worse, their parents) think they need to play their sport (or sports) throughout the year to keep up with other players, but that's not the case. They should never feel pressured to take on so much that sports become more of an obligation than a fun activity. They will need some vacation time or simply a chance to step away and enjoy all the other aspects of being a kid. It will prevent burnout, and it will also refresh them for the seasons ahead.

Reference: Center for Sports Parenting

Passing league football

Any adults interested in playing in a passing league football tournament coming up in late October/early November, should attend a meeting Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Town Hall starting at 6 p.m. This will be a six-person team, so get your group together as soon as possible and attend this important passing league football meeting.

Youth basketball

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. Our 7/8 group will begin in late October and continue through early December. The 9/10 and 11/12 groups will begin in early January. We need coaches and sponsors for this exciting league, so begin the thought process on helping this great league.

Adult volleyball

We have had great turnouts for 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.

Basketball referees

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 officiated. Contact the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department at 264-4151, Ext. 232, if interested.

Sports Hotline

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


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



Our weekly town meeting

There is a good amount of evidence newspapers, as well as other carriers of traditional printed material, are slowly becoming things of the past. And, by "traditional" we mean not only written material presented in hard-copy form - newspapers, books, magazines, etc. - but that distributed via other avenues, including electronic media. We mean the written word.

Reading seems to be dying out, literally. As the older members of this society pass on, there seem to be fewer readers about. When the statistics come to publishers and editors relating to readership among the 30 and under crowd, those numbers, in general, are discouraging.

But, this is not necessarily the case with many of the so-called "community newspapers," the small town weeklies and dailies that continue to adapt to their changing environments and readers, that continue to provide information to their readers they can't get elsewhere - in other words, that continue to perform a task unique to the small town American press.

The information can be anything: a report of a commissioners' meeting, an article about development, a piece on oil and gas exploration, the report of an accident, an injury, a death. The topic can be an election report or a comparison of positions regarding an upcoming initiative of importance to local voters.

The information inspires discussion - in the coffee shop, at home, after church, on the sidewalks.

And it begins with written material found in a community newspaper.

We are in the middle of National Newspaper Week, with its theme of "Your Newspaper: Your Community's Town Hall." It is an appropriate time to review the role of the community paper. We believe community newspapers perform a unique and valuable service - one that has been defined over a very long time and that continues to change as everything around us changes.

This town hall is created when a wide variety of information is provided for anyone to review, to digest and form an opinion about. News about government, schools churches, sports, weddings, obituaries, births, public notices - all is grist for the mill. Even the advertisements, there to peruse for a week, add to the mix.

Our community takes its shape, changes its shape, aided by what is found in news and editorial items in this newspaper. The news story is created to explain ideas and issues as fairly as possible. Editorial statements are conceived to be thought-provoking, often taking a stand regarding an issue of importance.

Then, there are the letters to the editor, in which members of the community add their ideas to the mix and, in this paper, those ideas range far and wide. Things missed in news coverage are often revealed in letters, as are common misconceptions and the give and take illuminates every corner of the territory. People engage each other, the debate flows.

This kind of activity occurs on the pages of the newspaper, and as a result of what is read in a substantial form often absent elsewhere. Public forums, hearings and meetings are adequate only when people attend and are heard. This does not happen all the time, and usually only when controversy is intense. A newsletter from a government body most often carries the entity's message, rarely critical, dealing primarily with one side of an issue.

A newspaper does what these other approaches most often do not. In a community like ours, where change is the norm, where our population is increasingly diverse in all respects, it is in our weekly town meeting of a newspaper that our world is illuminated. This National Newspaper Week, and every week, we will continue to keep the meeting lively and open to all, and keep the institution of the community weekly newspaper changing and viable with the help of our readers.

Karl Isberg


Pacing Pagosa

A stroll into new season's lure

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

Nothing like a long walk on a crisp near-fall morning, a sky clear of any form of cloud, and the blooms of fall bursting forth along the pathways.

That's one of the beauties of living in Pagosa Country Š flowers displaying for all the benefits of a few days of rain.

Turn south on 10th Street at the elementary school. Buses being washed at the bus barn, soccer fields glistening with the dew of a fall morning as they ready themselves for the rumble of hundreds of tiny feet with the parks and recreation department's annual leagues about to begin.

Follow the roadway around the hill and then stay on 10th. A man and two teens cutting and stacking wood for the winter; another man sealing the blacktop on his drive/parking area.

Note the historic cemetery has been cleaned up, the gate locked and the fence portion that had been broken down has been repaired. Everywhere preparations are underway, people, places and things repairing their countenance for the season in which we'll set the stage for winter.

Keep on going. Nests high in the pines near Hillcrest Avenue seem to be spewing small wings in all directions. The young, nurtured in spring and trained in summer, are now learning to survive on their own.

An older woman, wearing a sweater and a bandanna, is raking twigs from her yard. Two doors down three youngsters are getting in some final time on the trampoline before it has to be stored for winter.

La Plata Electric has roll upon roll of wire of varying types and sizes stored in its yard just below the radio station. Winter is known to wreak havoc on suspended lines when they become laden with heavy wet snow and ice. These wires will be on hand to fix the outages.

Turn back downhill at Apache and follow it to 8th Street. On the way you see a man spreading winter treatment on a small lawn and get a hearty wave.

Go north on 8th and see the improved skateboard units in South Pagosa Park, note the pine cones rapidly ripening on nearby trees and the enthusiastic call of a high-flying gaggle of geese as they head for the river area.

Do they know something we don't? You wonder. Are they heading south or just to warmer waters?

Fence posts being set as a yard is tucked in for the winter; new roofing being installed to keep the home warmer, too; excavation for a sewer line extension to a new home.

The sights and sounds of Pagosa are everywhere.

Turn down to 7th Street and pass a new home for an old business that has just added the striping to its parking lot, giving a sense of stability.

Take 7th north, across San Juan, and past a tiny brook with two little boys casting play fish lines into the water from plastic poles hoping, as do their fathers and older brothers, to hook the big one.

Round the corner onto north 6th and you see another new home nearing completion on the hill above. This stroll will be continued next week.



90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 8, 1915

C.F. Knowlton, proprietor of the San Juan Garage, has moved to a new location, across the street from the triangle park and the Arlington Hotel corner, where he is prepared to do all kinds of auto repairing. He has also established an auto service, and will attend promptly to calls.

The Hall Canon road between Pagosa Springs and the Junction was completed this week. Frank Henderson made a trip over it in his Ford yesterday. Next year the road is to be improved for the whole distance between the points mentioned. The present Board of Commissioners are certainly making good in the way of good roads. The most active and business like board in the history of Archuleta County.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 3, 1930

Until further notice the New Light & Power Co. will turn off the lights and power for a few hours each Sunday morning beginning at 12:30.

The Shields steam shovel is now busily engaged in cutting off the sharp corners and widening the highway between town and the light plant corner, following which it will resume work on the light company ditch.

The Women's Civic Club provided a delightful bridge party last Saturday afternoon at the spacious home of Mrs. W.E. Colton, the proceeds being used for the benefit of the public library.

J.A. Latta has finished putting up his hay crop, which was greatly reduced this year by a visitation of grasshoppers.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 5, 1955

October is library month for the Woman's Civic Club. This year, to raise funds to buy books and maintain the public library, the club is planning a carnival and bingo party to be held in the high school gym on Hallowe'en.

In years to come, Mrs. Harry Engler (Antoinette) will be able to tell her grandchildren, "I worked in a colossal movie called, "Around the World in 80 Days," for she actually did. Saturday Mrs. Engler took her daughters to watch the shooting of the movie above Arboles. They were watching when she was asked by the movie personnel if she would like to take part in the movie. She was almost too surprised to answer. Mrs. Engler still feels like it is all a dream and explains it was only a small part, but Allison has a movie actress just the same.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 9, 1980

It remains very dry, fire danger is mounting in hunting areas, and the weather is very pleasant for this time of year. Streams are very low and anyone in the woods is urged to use extreme caution with fire.

The Town Board spent a large portion of its meeting listening to an application for a cable TV franchise. The board expressed some reservations about the impact that such a proposal might have on the present system and took no immediate action on the proposal.

Hunters started going through here to other areas in fairly large numbers last Saturday. A large number have arrived here and it looks as if the elk are going to be in big demand by Saturday morning.



The Tentmaker's Craft

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

"For by trade they were tentmakers."

Thus wrote Luke in Acts 18:3 of Aquila and Priscilla, described by their fellow tentmaker Apostle as "my helpers in Christ Jesus."

Following the tradition of producing tents to help spread the word of Jesus, over 1,900 years later Charles Rogers began producing tents for travelling evangelists and named his company, "Aquila and Priscilla Tents."

Today his son, Pagosan Charlie Rogers, is the owner of A & P tents. He inherited the company from his father, who passed away in 2002. The company manufactures and rents tents for the Southwest market, including the tents sheltering Archuleta County's annual county fair.

A & P Tents had humble beginnings. As a young man, Charlie's father was employed by a travelling evangelist to help set up and repair the large canvas shelter for the evangelist's roaming revivals.

Soon, he realized that there was a burgeoning demand for revival tents, and set up shop in Speegleville, Texas, a small community outside of Waco, and became a primary producer for travelling evangelists.

Like their company's namesake, the husband and wife team of Aquila and Priscilla, Charles and his wife, Janelle, went into business producing tents together, involving the whole family. Their manufacturing shop was a tent in their backyard, and young Charlie remembers being part of the operation as a preschooler.

"When other kids were playing and going to ball games, I was helping dad at the sewing machines," remembers Charlie. Charlie's initial role was to help to pull the stiff canvas material through the machine as his father, mother and older sister sewed the tent's seams together.

After Charlie graduated from high school, he immediately began working full time for A&P Tents, installing tents all summer long and touring throughout Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana in his pickup truck. Charlie remembers meeting the pioneer of modern evangelism, Billy Graham, at one of the tent revivals in the early 1970s. But, alas, by then the evangelists were moving on to bigger stadiums and the tent revival was becoming a thing of the past.

In response, Charles the father expanded his business into other markets for temporary tents, including weddings, auctions, car dealership events, and parking lot sales for companies like Goodyear Tire and Gibson's Discount Department Stores.

By the time Charlie was working full time, his father has perfected his pole-tent design, a steadfast design that remains identical to the tents Charlie continues to produce today. Set-up of the large tents involves laying out the fabric panels at the site, lacing them together, anchoring the panels with webbing to outlying 3- to 5-foot stakes (made from car axles, "like giant nails", says Charlie) then erecting the main poles (up to 36 feet long) by pushing them into place from horizontal to vertical with a Caterpillar Bobcat. Once the main poles are erected, the attachment webbing is tightened and by manually wedging the side poles into place the overall structure is tensioned. Two people with a single Bobcat can erect a 8,000 square-foot tent in a day.

The tents are made from two distinct fabric panels: the two tapered end sections on either end of the tent, and modular 20 foot wide section panels. Using a combination of the ends and a series of the panels, tents of any length can be made.

In 1985, A & P Tents were contracted for the Archuleta County Fair, and five years later, while installing the fair's tents, Charlie met his wife-to-be, Emily Barker, who was showing two Brahma bulls at the fair. Charlie and Emily were soon married. In 1993, they moved to Pagosa permanently, and Charlie set up a satellite operation for his dad's business, expanding into many local markets, including the homebuilder's show, Colorfest and the wine and cheese festival, the Parelli Savvy Conference, the Northern Navajo Fair, local weddings and many other smaller events. On Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, Charlie finds himself, "running silly," with up to three or four tent installations a day. Still a sole proprietorship, A & P does no advertising and all its business is from word-of-mouth.

Since Charlie's father's time, only the A & P tent's materials have changed. The original tents were made from canvas and tied down with hemp rope, and there were a lot of structural failures in storms. With the availability of vinyl fabrics and nylon seat belt webbing, the A & P tents became more stormproof and reliable in stronger winds.

After Hurricane Katrina wreaked its havoc in Louisiana, Charlie's office in Waco got a call from the Louisiana National Guard's purchasing department on the Friday before Labor Day.

"How soon can you bring as many large tents as possible?"

With Charlie managing the tents at the Parelli event, he dispatched a team of installers from Waco. By Saturday morning they loaded their trucks with two large tents and drove the 16 hours to the National Guard's temporary site in Baton Rouge. By Sunday morning, a second truck left with their largest 100x300-foot tent.

By Tuesday evening, all three tents were set up and ready to go. The National Guard installed bunks for their troops that same evening, and complimented Charlie's team on its efficiency. Charlie credits the speed on installation on his dad's effective modular design. "The bulk of the setup is spreading out the fabric and lacing the poles. Once you start pushing the main poles, the tent's up," said Charlie.

When Hurricane Rita came ashore, Baton Rouge was hit by over 50 mph peak winds. Before the brunt of the storm came through, competitors' tents had blown away. During the peak of the gale force winds, two of Charlie's tents were finally knocked down, but one of the tents, the 80x140 tent, stood the storm.

In fact, the tent that withstood Rita's winds was the same tent used for displaying the livestock at our very own Archuleta County Fair. Confidence in the security of Archuleta's animals has been assured.


Pagosa's Past

McCauley describes Pagosa Country, 1879

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

What did Pagosa Springs look like circa 1877-1878 to the settlers constructing the first cabins and the soldiers beginning work on Fort Lewis?

Fortunately, we have an eyewitness account written by an Army engineer, Lt. C.A.H. McCauley. We continue with McCauley's account, a task we began some weeks ago.

"At Pagosa, owing to the descent made from the Continental Divide, the oldest rocks of the Cretaceous are reached, and below Agua Frio Creek (Mill Creek), in the canon of the San Juan, are exposed sandstones, with their sides nearly vertical, over 400 feet in thickness, adjudged the Lower or first series of the Cretaceous formation.

"West of the main spring the erosion by the river of the bordering 'slate hills' has exposed in steep escarpments the dark-blue, apparently black shales belonging to the Middle Cretaceous series, which of later origin, rests upon the Lower Series, and is the one prolific of fossils. They are abundant about the springs, numbers being collected there in August 1877; those most frequently found beingOstrea and various species of Inocerami - the latter plentiful.

"The black 'slate hills' offer, in the summer particularly, a violent contrast to the great white carbonate deposit or plain upon the opposite bank of the river, and constitute a prominent local feature of the landscape. Upon the north end of the steep hills, east of the springs, the river has also eroded and laid bare similar strata of the Cretaceous shales.

"The geological age of the springs is very great, being doubtless older than the river. It is believed by a distinguished geologist to be without doubt the seat of an ancient volcano, from whose crater now issues the main spring.

"In its earlier existence, the mass of rising water had only a surface outlet, pouring forth over the sides of the orifice. The hot waters containing large quantities of mineral matter in solution, and solubility being a function of and increasing with temperature, the deposition was necessarily greatest at the edge of the springs, decreasing with an increased flow. The incrustation of mineral, therefore, extended over the surface in thin sheets or laminae, hardening by atmospheric exposure, forming a great deposit, mound, or plain, mainly of calcium carbonate and sodium sulphate, of greatest thickness near the spring, giving a crater-rim, and decreasing, as will be seen, toward the river to the west.

"The river, in assuming its present channel, cut through the deposit, flowing west and south, and, skirting the plain, separated that on the west side of the main portion. Accretions from the main spring discontinuing, being isolated and subject to erosion, it is still about 20 feet thick on the west side, where it is being constantly undermined. While the calcareous rock is visible alone at this point, it doubtless is of very considerable extent to the north and west, being covered and hidden by pebbly drift of the river or detritus from the hills above."

Motter's note: The eminent geologist McCauley refers to is Dr. J.S. Newberry who, in 1859, accompanied another Army engineer, J.S. Macomb, on an expedition that included a survey of the Pagosa hot springs.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Crescent moon will line up with Venus, Antares

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The moon is waxing crescent tonight with 11 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Between Oct. 6 and Oct. 8, the crescent moon will line up nicely in the southwestern sky with the planet Venus and the star Antares.

The grouping begins tonight about an hour after sunset. Look for the moon low in the southwestern sky and bright Venus just above, and slightly to the left of the moon. Venus burns bold and white, is one of the brightest objects in the sky and is hard to miss.

As the week progresses, the crescent moon will shift gradually to the left of its Thursday night position, and as it does so, will move through the constellation Scorpius.

On Oct. 7, the upper tip of the crescent will appear to nearly touch the heart of the heart of the constellation marked by the star, Antares, the constellation's alpha star. Antares is a red supergiant, 400 times the diameter of the sun and burns distinctly red-orange in the sky.

Finally, on Saturday, Oct. 8, the moon will have shifted to the left again, leaving Antares to the lower right of the moon and Venus to the right again of Antares.

After observing the moon's grouping with Antares and Venus on Saturday, sky watchers can venture out again later in the evening to locate the constellation Draco, the dragon, and perhaps witness the Draconid meteor shower.

The Draconid meteor shower is not considered one of the major meteor showers, yet for sky watchers with dark skies, it is possible to catch a glimpse of one of the fiery Draconids blazing across the night sky.

You can begin searching for Draconids at around 9 p.m. Saturday and will first need to locate the shower's radiant, (the shower's source) which is located near the head of the dragon-shaped constellation.

Although knowing the location of the radiant is not necessary for successful meteor viewing, it is advantageous to know the general location of the radiant so you can be facing in the best direction during your observations. In the case of the Draconids, you'll want to keep a keen eye on the sky about 30 to 40 degrees southeast from Draco's head.

To locate Draco, start with the Big Dipper asterism in Ursa Major. The dipper can be found far to the north and somewhat low in the sky. Traveling south from the dipper's two pointer stars Dubhe and Merak, the next star encountered is Giausar, the last star in the tail of the dragon.

From Giausar, the constellation, hence its name, makes a serpentine path across the sky traveling west-southwest as it does so. The next major landmark along this serpentine path is Thuban, which is the third star in on the constellation from the tail.

Thuban, or alpha Draconis, is a blue-white star and was the pole star during the time of the construction of the Egyptian pyramids. That distinction is now given to Polaris, but astronomers have calculated Thuban will regain its former status in about 21,000 years.

The next major landmark is the dragon's head which makes a distinct quadrilateral shape marked by two key stars: Eltanin and Rastaban.

Eltanin, or gamma Draconis, is an orange giant, is the southernmost star in the dragon's head and is the brightest star in the constellation. Rastaban, or beta Draconis, is a yellow giant and is the northernmost star in the dragon's head.

Although Draco is one of the oldest and largest of the constellations, none of the stars are brighter than second magnitude and its meandering path can make tracing Draco difficult. Pagosa Country sky watchers may find the area's dark skies advantageous in locating Draco, but using a star chart might help.



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October here, anything goes weatherwise

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Clouds parted, the fog lifted last Friday, and the high peaks around Pagosa Springs looked like a winter wonderland - but only rain had fallen in town.

In fact, the area received a total of 1.76 inches of rain this past week, with 1.12 inches coming Tuesday alone. Last Wednesday, (Sept. 28) .24 inches fell, followed by .39 inches Thursday and just a hundredth of an inch Friday. Saturday, Sunday and Monday were dry.

Weeklong temperatures ranged from a low of 33.5 degrees early Friday to a high of 70.8 degrees Saturday afternoon. On the average, daytime highs ranged in the mid- to upper 60s, while recorded lows were primarily in the upper 30s and low 40s.

The forecast for the coming week reflects similar weather patterns, with one interesting exception - a chance of snow showers in town by Columbus Day.

Skies should remain clear to partly cloudy through tomorrow night, with a slight chance of thunderstorms Saturday. Chances of rain continue Saturday night, with thunderstorms again possible Sunday. Showers will continue Sunday night into Monday, when cooler air brings a chance of mixed rain and snow showers, continuing on into Tuesday.

Daytime highs are expected to hover in the upper 60s tomorrow and Saturday, but then drop to the upper 50s, to near 60 through Tuesday. Lows should range from the upper 20s tonight to the low 30s through Monday night.

Obviously, October has arrived and virtually anything goes with Pagosa weather - better stock up on firewood now.