Proponents and opponents speak out on referenda
As Nov. 1 draws near, citizens are educating themselves and politicians are rallying around the various issues voters will ultimately see on the ballot.
One issue that has transcended state boundaries and put Colorado in the national spotlight is the question of whether to make changes to the state's Tax Payers' Bill of Rights (TABOR). Those changes, if ultimately approved by voters, would come in the form of referenda C and D.
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.
€allows the state to spend an additional 100 million each year if Referendum D passes. TABOR-based refunds would be reduced each year by the amount of the additional spending. The 100 million may be used to repay debt permitted by Referendum D.
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.
Supporters of the referenda come from both political parties. And although he has been criticized by some Republican colleagues for his stance on the issue, Gov. Bill Owens, who was instrumental in the passage of TABOR, advocates passage of the measures.
In recent visits to Pagosa Springs, State Sen. and State Majority Leader Ken Gordon and State Rep. Mark Larson said some of the biggest hits to Coloradans will come in the form of cuts to higher education.
If C and D should not pass, Gordon said, "We would be the first state to de-fund higher education."
Gordon said this translated into no in-state tuition rates for Colorado students and that Colorado state 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."
Beyond educational impacts, Larson said if referenda C and D fail, Archuleta County would face deeper cuts in crucial social services such as Medicaid, and that regional road and bridge infrastructure projects could go underfunded or be eliminated altogether.
The financial burden would then be placed on counties or municipalities to fund programs and projects as best they can.
Gordon said passage of the referenda would eliminate the "ratchet affect" which proponents of the referenda say, along with a recent recession, have hamstrung Colorado's economy.
Proponents of the referenda operate on the premise that the state's budget is in dire condition, and that even a "band-aid" solution, as Larson calls it, is better than letting the state coffers slip into further decline.
That budgetary premise is exactly what has opponents riled up.
Douglas Bruce, currently an El Paso County commissioner and the author of TABOR said the talk of budget crisis, shortfalls and deficits is "a big lie."
He charged proponents of the referenda with playing games with numbers. And he added that the state economy is strong and that state spending has increased 130 percent during the last 13 years.
Among his chief concerns is that because TABOR is a constitutional amendment, a constitutional amendment should be required to modify or change it.
Regarding Referendum D, Bruce said proponents had not disclosed the fine print. In fact, Bruce argues, there is no fine print because the language of the borrowing contract has been omitted from the voters' Blue Book.
"They want you to sign into a contract for $3.25 billion but won't let you see the contract. That's outrageous," Bruce said.
Part of the reason there is a lack of full disclosure, Bruce said, is that readers would discover there are loopholes that allow the state to not pay the borrowed money back.
"D stands not for debt, but for default and deadbeat," Bruce said.
Bruce fears the passage of Referenda C and D would lead to a government with unlimited spending power. He said leaving TABOR unchanged is key to avoiding cycles of boom and bust and would keep the state economy on a stable moderate path.
The last argument from the Bruce camp is that referenda C and D are essentially a tax increase. Estimates indicate that passage of the referenda would cause the average taxpayer to give up between $500 and $1,100 in TABOR-based refunds during the course of the referendum's five-year period. Opponents argue that passage would also result in permanent reductions in potential TABOR refunds each year thereafter.
Colorado State Treasurer Mark Hillman said state budget problems are a serious reality, not a matter of creative math or perspective.
"There are no easy cuts left in the state budget," Hillman said.
Despite these concerns, he questions referenda C and D and said perhaps a more comprehensive approach would help solve the problems.
He said he can see merits in the proposed referenda but expressed concern about Referendum D being linked to and contingent upon Referendum C.
"I wish D was a separate issue. It makes sense to get road and bridges infrastructure taken care of," Hillman said.
He said a more comprehensive budgetary fix would take a hard look at both TABOR and the economic impacts of Amendment 23.
"A long-term budget fix addresses spending limits (TABOR) and spending mandates (Amendment 23)" Hillman said.
"There is a day of reckoning coming. We can do things to postpone it, but postponement only works until you reach a solution," said Hillman.
Are referenda C and D the most appropriate solutions? That will ultimately be up to the voters to decide on Nov. 1.
Lodger's tax increase on upcoming town ballot
By John Middendorf
Town residents will vote on Ordinance No. 647, commonly known as the "Lodger's Tax," in the Nov. 1 mail ballot election. The ordinance, if passed, will impose an additional 3-percent tax on the purchase price of lodging within town boundaries.
If approved, the new town tax will bring the total tax on lodging to 11.8 percent, which is still "a lot lower" than other towns that have an economic tourism base, according to Chris Gerlach, president of the Pagosa Springs Lodging Association.
The taxes imposed on lodging currently are the county-wide 6.9 percent sales tax (4 percent of which is split between the town and county, with 2.9 percent going to the state), plus an existing 1.9 percent county lodging tax. The current county lodging tax amounts to about $165,000 for the current year and goes into a county tourism fund that is fully transferred to the Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism.
If the ordinance passes, nearly all of Pagosa's hotels and motels will collect the additional lodger's tax, as there are only a few Pagosa hotels and B&Bs that operate outside town boundaries. The tax is expected to collect an additional $294,000 from lodgers each year and will be used exclusively for tourism-related marketing and capital improvements and special events.
Subsequent to a successful vote, an 11-person Tourism Committee will be appointed by the town council, and will make recommendations on the distribution of the funds. The committee will consist of a broad representation of members of the Chamber of Commerce, the Community Vision Council, the Builder's Association and the Realtor's Association, as well as merchants and restaurateurs.
Gerlach called the tax a "win-win" situation with "no local costs," as all the revenues will be borne by visitors to Pagosa staying for one month or less. He said the money will enhance awareness of Pagosa regionally and nationwide, and will improve the local economic base in a number of ways.
Fred Schmidt, owner of the San Juan Motel and member of the Pagosa Springs Lodging Association, explained: " The marketing money will help promote Pagosa to give our businesses a year-around economy. Each dollar spent (in lodging) will result in a cumulative 'double-whammy' benefit of more sales tax revenues and more money for marketing, attracting more people to come here." Schmidt also believes that each dollar spent locally goes around four or five times to local businesses before leaving the county. "In essence," said Schmidt, the lodger's tax represents an "investment by tourists to improve our community," while "creating a more stable economy for jobs."
Schmidt feels that, despite the tax's clear benefits to the community, there will be people who will see the word "tax" on the ballot and vote against it blindly. As a supporter of the tax, he also fears the votes of whom he terms the "no-growthers," who ask "why do we need to market Pagosa anymore?," to which Schmidt responds by noting that many current businesses that benefit the community were moved here by owners who originally came to Pagosa on a tourist visit.
Mark Garcia, town manager, said the lodger's tax could be a precursor to the establishment of a marketing district which would manage its own finances and operate independently of town and county governments. In such a case, there would be a vote to establish the district and the lodger's tax would be repealed.
Compromise reached in airport hanger dispute
By John Middendorf
Although not yet completely settled, recent litigation involving airport hangars appears to be moving in a positive direction.
As reported last week, there has been considerable disagreement between airport hangar owners and the county involving an agreement signed in June of last year. That agreement stipulated that the county transfer a bill of sale for new hangars in exchange for existing hangars. Because of disagreements in a new required lease, six hangar owners filed an injunction to prevent the county's planned possession of the old hangars, and the county responded by authorizing eminent domain proceedings against seven of the hangar owners and a lawsuit for damages.
Since then, the sides met, and the hangar owners have agreed to allow the county to take immediate possession of the hangars. Demolition of the hangars began Wednesday to make way for a planned access road and eventual FAA certification of the longer runway currently under construction.
Interim County Administrator Bob Jasper noted that "all (legal) rights of both parties are preserved" while the final negotiations take place, but noted that the parties have conceptually reached agreement and have found "some creative ways to resolve the bigger issues."
One of the issues revolves around aircraft maintenance within the hangars. Jasper said language is being reviewed that requires the hangar owners to comply with all applicable fire codes, building codes and FAA requirements. That language could replace a list of specific prohibitions in the lease that the pilots found objectionable.
Ralph Goulds, member of the San Juan Flyers and spokesman for the hangar owners who filed the injunction, agreed that things are moving forward: "Both sides have compromised," he said. He added an "agreement has been hammered out in principle" with the county.
Jasper said the final lease details are in the hands of the lawyers, and said he expects to have the whole matter "wrapped up by the end of the week."
Prompted by the litigation that suddenly flourished around airport issues, the Airport Advisory Commission passed a resolution last Thursday disavowing "any responsibility for airport mismanagement in any form by any Archuleta County Commissioner, County Administrator or Airport Manager."
Members of the AAC believe they have been "systematically excluded from any practical or legitimate participation in airport affairs," such as development of the hangar ground lease in current dispute. Therefore they believe they should not be held legally liable or accountable for the consequences. Their resolution also notes that their exclusion from such matters is in violation of Archuleta County Resolution 2005-10, the resolution that prescribed the advisory role of the AAC.
Sen. Salazar makes tour stop in Pagosa Springs
By James Robinson
As part of his Colorado-wide, 64-county, "Energy Independence" tour, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar addressed about 70 area residents in the Pagosa Springs Community Center gymnasium Tuesday morning.
The thrust of Salazar's presentation was on how elements within the recently passed national energy bill could lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil and ultimately lead to energy independence.
Salazar named four key elements within the new legislation, specifically, conservation methods and incentives, renewable energy production and development, the expansion and application of new technologies and tactics for responsible development. He called these elements the "four cornerstones" of achieving energy independence and that they formed the basis of a long term energy policy.
Salazar is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and during his presentation also highlighted his contributions to the bill.
Also during the presentation, Salazar outlined ways Colorado was poised to play a key role in long term energy strategies and said, "Colorado has the potential to become the renewable energy capital of the world." He pointed out that Colorado was home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and numerous companies and entrepreneurs working to develop alternative energy and clean energy sources such as solar and wind power and biofuels such as ethanol.
Although the crowd was engaged throughout Salazar's presentation, they became much more animated during the question an answer period when attendees asked about national issues such as high gas prices and the war in Iraq. Ultimately though, it was a local issue that took center stage, when the conversation shifted to the contentious issue of the proposed Village at Wolf Creek.
Salazar said he understood the project was economically important to Mineral County, and acknowledged there were, as of yet, unresolved public safety and environmental issues and "a lot of litigation" surrounding the proposed development.
After gauging the audience's interest and concern, Salazar called the issue a "hot potato" and an informal poll taken by the senator revealed the tenor of the crowd.
Salazar asked those who supported the development to raise their hands. No one did, although one audience member said Salazar did not pose the question fairly, and went on to say that he supported an individual's private property rights.
Salazar then asked for those opposed to show their hands, and arms flew up in all directions, with some attendees brandishing both enthusiastically.
"I'm listening to all your hands and voices," Salazar said.
"I'll listen hard to the views of the people in Archuleta County and I'll let those in government know they are required to go through the process," Salazar added.
While serving as attorney general, Salazar was known for his 64-county tours, one Salazar staffer said. But this is his first as a U.S. Senator.
After visiting Pagosa Springs, Salazar was en route to Durango and La Plata County, and by Friday, he will have 60 counties under his belt.
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.
Health district forms committees for CAH process
By John Middendorf
The Upper San Juan Health Services District board of directors held a special meeting Monday night and met with Larry Arthur, of Healthcare Capital Resources, Inc., the consulting company the district has hired to serve as the overall project coordinator for the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) project.
The contract with Healthcare Capital Resources (HCR) was signed last Wednesday, and Arthur met with local providers Monday.
An analogy often stated at health district board meetings is that a CAH needs the support of a three-legged stool, with the community, the local health providers and good management as each of the stool's legs. Pam Hopkins, health district board chair, reported the meetings with HCR and the providers went well. On Tuesday, HCR met with officials at Mercy Medical Center, who are currently managing Pagosa's health district.
At the meeting, Hopkins presented a brief summary of her attendance at a recent three-day CAH conference in Kansas City, sponsored by the National Rural Health Association. She said the conference clarified to her why CAHs were "very popular with Congress," as they are effective in establishing health care facilities to meet the needs of people in rural areas while at the same time only using a small fraction of the Federal Medicare budget. A map presented shows 1,142 CAHs across the nation, with 25 in Colorado.
Hopkins also clarified that CAHs offer the same quality of care as a bigger hospital, only with a lesser "scope." The lesser scope refers to a CAH's potential to offer 24/7 emergency and non-emergency care with full diagnostics in a rural setting, while more complex health care needs can be serviced by a larger hospital, which, in Pagosa's case, will be the Mercy Regional Medical Center.
The district set up three ad hoc committees at the meeting to work on tasks for the CAH.
The first committee, set up to identify a construction manager and architect team, is comprised of Neal Townsend, J.R. Ford and one other local architect or civil engineer to be determined.
A second committee, charged with finding a health care CPA who can produce a feasibility study needed for the eventual financing, consists of Bob Scott, Rick O'Block and Dick Babillis.
The third committee, beset with the task to find potential donors to the future CAH, includes Michelle Viser (the newest board member), Ford, Maria Kolpin and Lisa Scott.
Also announced at the meeting was the resignation of director Jerry Valade, who is moving to Albuquerque. The board will consider the second applicant for the position left vacant by Dick Blide (Kolpin), but needs to first ensure proper procedure is followed prior to filling Valade's position.
Local firefighters have busy weekend
By Chuck McGuire
According to Chief Warren Grams, the Pagosa Fire Protection District responded to seven emergency calls in three days last weekend. Two involved motor vehicle accidents and three were structure fires.
It began at 6:33 a.m Friday, Oct. 7, when department personnel were dispatched to a single-car rollover at mile marker 14, U.S. 84. Four units with six responders answered the call. No injuries were reported.
The department again responded to a motor vehicle accident at 10:45 p.m. Friday, when two vehicles collided at the intersection of Piedra Road and U.S. 160. Three units and four personnel reported to the scene. No injuries were reported.
Three units with 16 firefighters were called to the scene of a structure fire early Saturday morning when stain-soaked rags stuffed in a can apparently spontaneously combusted. Crews extinguished the blaze quickly, with the damage to the house at 43 Radiant Court, estimated at less than $1,000.
After a lull in activity that lasted through Sunday afternoon, fire crews were again summoned to action, this time involving material burning in a Dumpster located on North 5th Street. Three units with 10 firefighters confined the fire to the dumpster and later determined the likely cause was children playing with matches. There were no reports of damage or injuries.
At 5:38 that same evening, four units with 12 firefighters were called to battle a blaze on the roof of Tequila's restaurant at 439 San Juan Street. No cause or injuries were reported, and the chief estimated the damage at around $2,500.
A chimney fire at 15 Carefree Place brought three fire units and 14 personnel in response Sunday at 7:35 p.m. No cause, damage estimates or injuries were reported.
New housing projects, water quality an issue
By John Middendorf
The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has issued an alert concerning water quality and is urging consumers to consider alternative drinking water sources until the fall of 2006.
The district board of directors engaged in a long and complicated discussion of water quality issues Tuesday and provided an explanation of the recent notice sent with water bills. Natural organic matter in the water, reacting with the required chlorine additions has resulted in the formation of excessive trihalomethanes (TTHM's) at a level 15 percent above the EPA drinking water standard of .08 milligrams per liter, based on samples averaged over the last year. Reports indicate drinking TTHM's in excess of the maximum contaminant level over many years can cause liver, kidney or central nervous system problems, and may increase the risk of cancer.
To fix the problem, the district requires dramatic alterations to its water treatment facilities and changes to current treatment techniques. The district anticipates a return to EPA standards by the fall of 2006 and in the meantime recommends considering an alternative drinking water supply (e.g. bottled) and consulting doctors for specific health concerns.
According to Art Holloman of PAWSD, the problem is specific to the Hatcher area (District 1), which derives its water from lakes which contain more organic matter. District 2, roughly everything east of Put Hill and Snowball Drive, takes its water directly from the river, and is therefore not as susceptible to the problem. For more information, call Gene Tautges at the district at 731-2691.
If you want to be one of the first to know what some developers are planning, the Pagosa Water and Sanitation District meetings are the place to be.
Developer Todd Shelton presented an affordable housing proposal to the board. Based on an original request from Mark Garcia, town manager, seeking partnerships with developers to create affordable housing in Pagosa, Shelton is requesting government subsidies in order to build a high-density development of duplex townhomes in the area presently occupied by the Rockridge Mobile Park, just behind Ace Hardware. Rockridge LLC, the company that Shelton and his father manage, owns the 11-plus acres of land the mobile park sits on, and currently rents out spaces to 30 mobile home owners.
The plan, still in its infancy, is to remove the mobile homes and build a "homogeneous community" with "social texture" for at least 100 families, and it requires a coordination of subsidies from the town, the county and PAWSD, as well as various utilities, such as La Plata Electric, Kinder Morgan (gas), and CenturyTel. Also involved in the plan is the USDA, which offers loans to low income buyers based on the median income of an area.
Shelton is of the understanding that the current USDA maximum price to be considered "affordable housing" in Pagosa Springs is $152,000. In order to build new homes at that price, he estimated that around $30,000 will need to be subsidized. Part of the subsidy will come from Rockridge LLC, and the remainder from the governmental agencies mentioned above. In an effort to avoid the typical deed restrictions often put on affordable housing, so that buyers "can retain the pride of ownership," Shelton is proposing putting a time-limited second lien on the properties. The second lien would require the owners to pay back the subsidies if they sold the property within, say, five years. All subsidies would be carefully itemized during the course of the building of the development.
Shelton requested PAWSD to consider subsidizing the impact fees associated with the proposed development. At first, the PAWSD board was skeptical, and director Bob Huff asked, as the developers might realize several million dollars profit on the project, whether Shelton would consider a larger Rockridge LLC subsidy. Shelton noted that Rockridge LLC could continue with a full buildout of the mobile park area to 70 units which would be equally if not more profitable (but with larger management responsibilities), and suggested that he preferred to help the community with the plan as stated, emphasizing the need for affordable housing.
The board agreed to seek a legal opinion of the subsidy to verify their legal authority to waive fees based on affordable housing.
Shelton is expecting to break ground on a model home this fall with completion expected by spring. The town has already expressed approval of the partnership concept and is considering a waiver of around $5,000 of fees per unit subject to further terms of the agreement, according to Garcia.
In other matters, the board had a full agenda of various issues. After an extended executive session which involved discussions of the continuing negotiations with the five remaining property owners surrounding Stevens reservoir, the board passed a resolution directing staff to work with legal council and engineers on the land acquisition.
Stevens reservoir is now completely drained except for a "puddle" in the center, according to Art Holloman of PAWSD, and its planned enlargement next spring is expected to allow the board to consider lifting its moratorium on additional water inclusions in the district.
The Dutton Ditch project is still one week ahead of schedule, with 22,500 feet completed, but there is concern it will not be finished before winter. At the very least, completion of the remaining 700 feet of 30-inch pipe connecting the water course to the "Smith turnout" is expected, allowing functional transfer of water (partly in open ditch) from Fourmile Creek to Stevens and Hatcher reservoirs.
Denying a request from Western Weather Consultants to help fund cloud seeding for the area, several of the board members expressed doubt whether such techniques work.
Residents, Forest Service continue work on Mill Creek Road issue
By Chuck McGuire
The Mill Creek Road saga continues, and some progress is evident.
At another public meeting Oct. 5, Mill Creek Road landowners and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) officials focused on some of the finer details intended to resolve winter road maintenance issues and reduce increasing damage in the short term. Long-term solutions will take more time.
Concerns over road conditions relate to a specific three-mile stretch from the San Juan National Forest boundary to the High West, Mill Creek Ranch, Cimarrona Ranch, and Rito Blanco subdivisions. Increased use and above-average winter precipitation caused significant damage last year, rendering the road all but impassable to forest users and year-round residents for a time.
At last Wednesday's meeting, Forest representatives announced plans to proceed with their part of a short-term solution, including the installation of a seasonal gate closure, the construction of a turnaround/parking area near the gate and development of a winter access trail to the Nipple Mountain area. Estimated costs total $27,000.
The gate closure will restrict access over the three-mile stretch to landowners and entities having business beyond the gate. While allowing winter recreation access to Nipple Mountain, the trail will bypass the three-mile stretch, thus reducing wintertime use and potential damage.
The USFS will begin construction on the parking area and trail immediately, but must wait for a 30-day public comment period to expire before installing the gate closure. Because the gate will close public access to the three-mile stretch of road which is under USFS jurisdiction, the public has a right to comment on, and appeal, any final USFS decision to install the gate. Regulations prohibit extending the comment period, which expires Nov. 5.
Assuming no appeals are filed and the gate is installed sometime in November, it will be closed to the public around the first of the year. Forest officials will keep it open until then, to accommodate licensed hunters and those with valid area permits wishing to harvest a Christmas tree.
While Forest officials proceed with their work, landowners continue grappling with the creation of a single entity responsible for removing snow from the road once the gate is closed. According to Forest Service standards, the entity must be a legal organization in Colorado, it must be bonded and carry liability insurance, and it must obtain a special use permit from the USFS. Of course, it also must have the necessary equipment to enable proper snow removal, again according to Forest standards.
While designating an existing snowplowing entity, or creating a new one, is not terribly difficult or expensive, paying it to do the work may be. Minimum plowing cost estimates have been placed at $3,000 for the season, and so far, only 22 different landowners have either agreed, or can legally be assessed, to share expenses. Couple that with the costs of the permit, bonding, insurance and, if necessary, the formation of a new legal entity, and minimal cost estimates have some residents questioning feasibility.
At meeting's end, Forest officials encouraged the landowners in attendance to approach others in their respective subdivisions, and see if additional funding isn't possible. Meanwhile, the landowners will continue work to designate a snowplowing entity and find money to pay for it.
The next public meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Wed., Oct. 19, at the Merlin Building, 174 Lewis St.
Board of education considers post-election action
By Chuck McGuire
At the Archuleta School District 50 Joint Board of Education meeting Tuesday, discussion focused on proposed Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) resolutions and the upcoming November election of local board members.
A number of proposed CASB resolutions, if ultimately adopted, will affect, among other things, future board member compensation, teacher tenure, special education funding, the overall cost of building or expanding schools, and the level of local board control over local education policy.
The 50 Joint board reviewed some of the many CASB proposals, discussed those which raised questions or concerns, and eventually advised Sandy Caves, board member from District 4, of their overall consensus. Caves will represent the local board at the 2005 CASB Delegate Assembly Saturday in Breckenridge, where the propositions will be considered by delegates from across the state.
More on the resolutions will follow, as their fates approach conclusion.
Following the quarterly financial report by business manager Nancy Schutz (all is well) and the superintendent's report by Duane Noggle, discussion turned to the upcoming election.
This year, just one local board member will be chosen by ballot in a race between Linda Lattin and Butch Mackey for the District 5 seat. Matt Aragon is running unopposed in District 1. Mike Haynes and Sandy Caves, of districts 2 and 3 respectively, are not up for election this year, and no candidate petitioned for the District 4 seat being vacated by term-limited Clifford Lucero. The discussion centered on how a new board member in District 4 will be appointed following the election.
It was agreed that once letters of interest are received from potential appointees, interviews will be scheduled and a new member will be chosen by the four seated members on Nov. 16, after election results are certified by the county clerk.
St. Patrick's winter clothing giveaway Saturday
The leaves have turned to gold, and the nights are really getting cold Š must be winter again!
Time to get into the closets and try on your winter woollies.
St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, in cooperation with the Pagosa Outreach Connection and other service organizations, will be giving clothes away 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.
The program is currently accepting clean, usable, gently worn clothing, linens, bedding items, children's clothes, shoes and accessories for the giveaway. Please provide clothes on hangers if possible. Children's clothes are always needed.
Anyone wishing to donate clothing and unable to deliver it to the church is welcome to call 731-5801 for pick-up. St. Patrick's Episcopal Church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., just south of the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic.
Everyone is welcome to come and get free clothing.
Volunteers are needed to unpack and arrange clothing through Friday prior to the giveaway. Choose a time and sign the volunteer sheet in the narthex.
Dog owner responsibility class, an ounce of prevention
By Susan Halabrin
Special to The SUN
The secret is out.
Archuleta County, once one of the most rural outliers in Colorado, has captured the attention of people from across the country. Each day, more people seek to make their homes under the brilliant blue skies held aloft by the San Juan Mountains. Growth in Pagosa Country is evident everywhere and growing pains for the community are the natural outcome.
One such issue is the problem that arises when an upsurge in human population inevitably leads to an increase in the dog population. When this occurs, disputes in the community over dog problems tend to multiply, as they have here in past years.
In a pro-active attempt to address dog-related complaints in the town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County, court volunteers from Archuleta County Court Judge Jim Denvir's newly-formed court volunteer program have joined forces with the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs and Dr. Thomas Yost, an area veterinarian, to create a new program - Dog Owner Responsibility Class.
Originally designed to educate individuals contacted by law enforcement regarding dog violations, the Dog Owner Responsibility Class has been modified to appeal to the general public as well. The class provides a two-hour overview of how dog owners can become more responsible by helping their dogs avoid the behaviors that bring them and their owners into conflict with the community.
Topics to be presented are "howl" to recognize a dog's bark, understanding how the physical and psychological needs of the dog can impact the animal's behavior, a discussion of town, county and state laws related to dogs, and a series of tips to help owners cope with problem behaviors in their dogs. Unlike other dog training courses that provide comprehensive training for dogs and their owners, the Dog Owner Responsibility Class explains what it is to be a responsible dog owner in our growing community and provides workable suggestions for pet owners to prevent dog problems from becoming front page news.
The first Dog Owner Responsibility Class is scheduled Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Archuleta County Court courtroom at 449 San Juan St. Admission is free, although a $5 donation will be appreciated. All proceeds from the class will benefit the Humane Society's education program.
Everyone is invited to attend. This small price of prevention will, hopefully, be worth a pound of cure for the people and the dogs of Pagosa.
Local victim's assistance program begins assessment, audit process
By Kate Collins
Special to The SUN
Ninety-eight, 63, 18.
Not a combination to open a lockbox, but the number of women, children and men who were victims of domestic violence in Archuleta County in 2004. Fortunately for these victims, there is a support system in place, and it is about to begin the process of self-evaluation to improve services for victims and their families.
"Archuleta County has been selected to undergo a formal assessment of domestic violence victim safety and offender accountability in our community," stated Carmen Hubbs, executive director of Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program (ACVAP), in an official invitation to the assessment introductory session.
"It is an honor to be picked," said Karen Hatfield, assistant director of ACVAP. Archuleta County is one of four cities and/or counties in Colorado to undergo the audit process. The assessment will study the support system as a whole - from the moment it is enacted in response to a domestic violence call to 9-1-1, through court hearings and probation of the offender.
At breakfast Tuesday, Oct. 11, Pat Tessmer of Moffat County Advocate Support Services, and K.C. Hume, of the Moffat County Sheriff's office, offered a summary of the assessment that Moffat County recently concluded. Tessmer explained that the word "audit" can drive fear into many hearts, but an audit is a positive event that reviews each branch of victim support services and how they can better work together to meet the needs of victims.
"I've been working in Advocate Support Services for fifteen years, and I didn't fully understand our system. After [your] audit, you will," said Tessmer.
The key to an audit's success is allowing for the review of each branch of the support network.
"Having all the players included makes a much easier sell. We're not looking at what each agency is doing 'right' or 'wrong.' We want to look at a system as a whole and how we can improve it," said Hume.
"Victim's suggestions supported our findings," said Tessmer. After a series of data evaluation, interviews, focus groups, and brainstorming, the final steps were to refine and formalize the information gathered. Moffat County then implemented its audit recommendations.
"We can make changes that look good on paper, but if they don't improve anything, why make the change? How are you measuring your benefits?" asked Don Volger, chief of the Pagosa Springs Police Department. Tessmer and Hume responded that their system is still in process, and evaluation procedures are continuing to be designed.
"We can undoubtedly see improvement across the board," attested Hume and Tessmer. "Before, there were unwritten policies about how we do things - we're now engaged in critical thinking," said Tessmer.
The main goal of the assessment of Archuleta County's system is to review the support system as a whole, and "create change to make a more user-friendly system, without outcomes we don't desire," said Hatfield. When victim participants and a cross-section of others involved share their experiences and procedures, "we can see the system with brand new eyes," explained Hatfield. "It offers broadband representation."
"We've already done two victim focus groups," said Hubbs. "We (ACVAP) want to be evaluated as well. Are we doing what we're setting out to do?"
Initial federal legislation, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), was put into place to protect victims of domestic violence twenty years ago, although shelters opened and discussion concerning the problem began thirty years ago. The VAWA was updated and renewed this year. The current assessment of ACVAP will examine the role of said program and corresponding departments of the county to determine where there is room for improvement in meeting the needs of victims in the 21st century.
The audit will be facilitated by Praxis International, "a nonprofit research and training organization that works toward the elimination of violence in the lives of women and children," according to their Web site (praxisinternational.org). Among the many questions the audit will ask: "Are communities now safer for domestic violence victims and their children?; Are offenders held accountable for violence and coercion?; Have our good intentions and reforms helped or hurt?"
From the information gathered and discussed, "an audit question will be formulated and all those agencies contributing to the final outcome of a case will be studied to see areas where safety is not an outcome," states a summary of the assessment written by Praxis International.
The audit is funded by a federal grant provided in the updates of VAWA. The findings will be published within 18 months, in a report available to all focus group participants and the community at large.
Big game rifle season opens in Pagosa Country
By Chuck McGuire
It's hunting season, and the first of four high-country deer and elk rifle hunts opens Saturday, Oct. 15.
While archers, black powder enthusiasts, moose and bear hunters first stalked Colorado's high-country between late August and early October, deer and elk rifle hunters are now setting up camp for opening day, day after tomorrow.
The first season, Oct. 15-19, is a "separate limited elk hunt," and all licenses are by drawing only. Over-the-counter bull licenses are no longer valid during this time.
The second season, Oct. 22-30, is a combined deer/elk hunt and, as the longest of the year, runs for nine consecutive days. Over-the-counter licenses are valid, but hunters must have separate tags for deer and elk.
The third season, Nov. 5-11, lasts seven days and is also a combined deer and elk hunt. License restrictions are similar to those of the second season, but unused second-season licenses are not valid during the third season.
The fourth and final high-country rifle season is another combined deer and elk hunt, but valid licenses are again by drawing only. Over-the-counter tags are not valid, and the season opens Nov. 16, closing at dusk, Nov. 20.
For complete hunting season information and a good guide to carry in the field, hunters should obtain a "Big Game Brochure" available from any hunting and fishing license vendor, or the Colorado Division of Wildlife at: DOW, Southwest Region Service Center, 151 E. 16th St., Durango, CO 81301. On-line, information is available at http://wildlife.state.co.us.
Non-hunters wishing to utilize public lands during these seasons are advised to wear bright orange hats and clothing, and apply orange flagging to horses or pets.
Fish infected with whirling disease stocked in local rivers
A southwest Colorado man who stocked waters in New Mexico, Utah and Colorado with trout raised in his private fish-production facility that was infected with whirling disease has pleaded guilty to several federal charges and will pay nearly $30,000 in fines and restitution fees.
Dwight Babcock, 59, owner of Cannibal Canyon Ranches in Marvel, Colo., pleaded guilty in federal court in Durango on Sept. 30 to seven criminal counts of knowingly selling, transporting, and stocking wildlife illegally in New Mexico and Utah. As part of the plea agreement, Babcock also acknowledged that he stocked fish from his hatchery into rivers in Colorado at least 125 times between 1997 and 2003.
The investigation showed that he stocked fish in at least 72 locations in rivers and streams in La Plata, Archuleta, Montezuma and Dolores counties. He is known to have stocked fish along private sections of the Piedra, San Juan, West Dolores, Animas and Rio Blanco rivers. Babcock was paid by landowners to stock the fish.
Babcock entered the plea following a two-year joint investigation by more than a dozen wildlife and law enforcement officials from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Utah, New Mexico, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the United States Attorney's Office in Colorado.
According to court documents, Babcock's fish-production facility first tested positive for whirling disease in 1997. It tested positive again in 1998, 1999 and 2002.
Whirling disease, which is devastating to trout, is caused by a microscopic parasite that infects the soft cartilage of young fish. The disease kills most young fish that it infects. In fish that survive, whirling disease causes severe deformities that cause fish to swim in aimless circles. Whirling disease has no affect on human health.
Mike Japhet, an aquatic biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife in Durango, said Babcock's stocking could have serious negative effects on Wild Trout waters and important Cutthroat Trout Conservation Waters in southwest Colorado.
"Once whirling-disease positive fish are released, there's not much we can do. The only place we can logically control the disease is at the hatchery," Japhet said.
Whirling disease was introduced accidentally into Colorado during the 1980s when a private hatchery stocked rivers with infected fish. The infestation caused a collapse of Rainbow trout populations in several self-sustaining high-country waters. Native Cutthroat trout also are susceptible to the disease.
The disease eventually spread to hatcheries operated by the DOW. The agency was forced to spend approximately $11 million to modernize trout hatcheries that raise fish for mountain waters. Those hatcheries now are free of whirling disease. In addition, the DOW has spent about $500,000 per year since 1995 to study the disease.
"The disease devastated many high-quality trout fisheries," said Eric Hughes, statewide aquatic manager for the DOW. "We continue to be concerned about the release of whirling-disease positive fish."
Private hatcheries that stock trout must be certified as whirling-disease free.
The DOW certified Babcock's hatchery as being free of whirling disease in early 2005. He will not be allowed to stock any waters in New Mexico or import any fish to that state. He will be allowed to stock waters in Colorado. He also can sell fish to restaurants and food retailers.
Babcock's fines included: $4,800 to the federal government; $15,000 to the state of New Mexico; and $10,000 to the Colorado State University Research Foundation to be used for whirling disease research. He is also on probation for three-years with the U.S. Justice Department.
Japhet urged landowners who are considering stocking private waters to be cautious. All private hatcheries are inspected once each year by state officials. Land owners who are considering buying fish from private firms should request to see the state-issued certificate that proves the hatchery is certified as negative for whirling disease.
"Responsible trout growers won't mind showing a document that proves that their hatcheries are free of whirling disease," Japhet said.
Anyone who is concerned that fish infected with whirling disease are being stocked in high-country trout waters should contact Operation Game Thief at (877) 265-6648, or the closest DOW office.
OTC bull elk licenses available 2nd and 3rd seasons only
The final hour is approaching for elk hunters in Colorado to make plans to hunt during the 2005 season.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) reminds hunters there will be no over-the-counter bull elk tags on sale this year for the first or fourth rifle seasons. Any elk hunters who want to purchase an over-the-counter bull elk tag will have to do so for the second or third seasons.
The first rifle elk season is Oct. 15-19. The second season runs Oct. 22-30. The third season is Nov. 5-11. The fourth rifle season runs Nov. 16-20.
"We have a lot of people who purchased their hunting licenses several months ago, but there are always a few who wait until the last minute," said Brian Dreher of the DOW. "In previous years, people could hunt with over-the-counter tags in the fourth season, but this year marks a change that eliminated fourth season over-the-counter bull elk tags."
Over-the-counter bull elk licenses are very popular with hunters. They are the most flexible because they are valid in multiple areas of the state. There are still some leftover "limited elk" licenses for the fourth season, but they are very specific as to which units they are valid.
The cost of an elk hunting license is $30.25 for Colorado residents. Nonresident fees are $485.25 for a bull elk license or $250.25 for a cow elk license.
Colorado has the biggest elk population of any state or Canadian province in North America.
Swan song: The saga of the cygnets
By Leanne Goebel
Special to The SUN
Aye, aye, aye! Lucy and Ricky have a brood of cygnets.
Yes, cygnets. Baby swans.
The problem is, no one knows what to do with them. Or what might become of them.
Lucy and Ricky are trumpeter swans owned by the Pagosa Lodge. Well, at least one of the swans is owned by the lodge; the other - his breeding is unknown.
According to Mike Reid of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has paperwork on only one of the swans - Lucy. When contacted, representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Denver said they could not comment on the situation because there is an ongoing investigation.
According the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is prohibited to "pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to purchase, purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, cause to be shipped, deliver for transportation, transport, cause to be transported, carry, or cause to be carried by any means whatever, receive for shipment, transportation or carriage, or export, at any time, or in any manner, any migratory bird." Any violation of this act constitutes a misdemeanor offense and conviction can result in up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $15,000.
Chris Gerlach, an employee of The Pagosa Lodge, spoke with Jack Nightingale, lodge owner. Nightingale did not return phone calls to this writer.
"Jack asked me to convey his appreciation to the town for their interest in the swans," Gerlach said. "He very much appreciates that everyone in the town enjoys them. Lucy, the female, who is the older of the swans, the original one, does have papers; she is fully registered and so that shouldn't be a concern for anything."
The concern is not with Lucy. The concern is with Ricky.
According to Mona Calderon, manager of the lodge, Lucy and Ricky belong to The Lodge. She said the lodge had purchased a pair of swans to help control the population of Canadian geese. (Unfortunately, this method doesn't work and swans and geese often live together.) More than two years ago, the male swan was killed by a coyote, a fox or a dog.
"If the adult swans are not both legally owned, then they [the Lodge] can't do anything with the cygnets," Mike Reid said. "We don't have any reason to believe that [the swans] are not privately held. If they are privately owned they must be pinioned or clipped so they can't fly."
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, there are 23,647 trumpeter swans living in the wild in the United States. But Lucy and Ricky, as captive swans, are not included in those numbers.
Once fairly common throughout the Northern U.S. and Canada, trumpeter swans were considered extinct by the late 1800s. However, a non-migratory population survived in the remote mountain valleys of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. And a small migratory population survived in parts of Alaska and western Canada.
Today there are three populations of trumpeter swans defined by where they breed and winter. The Rocky Mountain population is made up of a Canadian Flock and the Tri-state Subpopulation from Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. The Pacific Coast Population is found in Alaska, British Columbia and Washington. The Interior Population includes all trumpeters east of the Rocky Mountains. This population is part of a restoration project and they are widely distributed across the Great Lakes region into Ohio and Pennsylvania and up into New England. Traditionally, Colorado was part of a wintering range that extended as far south as Texas. Today, some birds migrate to northeastern New Mexico.
However, Pagosa Springs is not in the path of a swan flyway.
"We have had one swan that did land here," Reid said. "It's not unheard of."
Could that swan be Ricky?
Trumpeter swans stand 4 feet tall, have a 7-foot wide wingspan and weigh 21-30 pounds. The male is called a "cob" and the female is called a "pen." Trumpeter swans mate for life. They first nest between the ages of 4-7. If a pair spends at least two summers at the same nesting location, they will form an almost unbreakable attachment to the site.
Cygnets are born in late May or early June and grow quickly. They typically fly in late September and remain with their parents throughout the first winter.
However, when it comes time to build a nest in mid-April, the parents will drive the cygnets away. And the cob may severely injure the cygnets in order to mate again. Cygnets remain in sibling groups for another year or so until they seek their own mates.
Survival is most difficult during the cygnets' first two years of life - especially if the parents are captive and the cygnets are expected to survive in the wild without guidance. Raccoons, red foxes and coyotes are swan predators.
"We really can't say what's going to happen to them," Reid said of the cygnets. He believes they might learn to fly by watching the ducks and the geese.
Terry Machinany, the biologist responsible for the Yellowstone National Park trumpeter swan program agrees that the cygnets will most likely learn to fly soon on their own and may leave the area next year if they are not pinioned. The mortality rate is high for first- and second-year swans in the wild. Machinany estimates that one in 15 make it to adulthood.
Machinany recommended that if the cygnets are not clipped, they should be banded (a process that requires a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the authority of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act). And representatives of the Trumpeter Swan Society believe the captive cygnets should not be allowed to fly free without the proper permits from state and federal wildlife agencies.
"It would be nice if the paperwork was cleaner," Reid said. "Mom and Dad have survived for years. If the cygnets stick around they should be okay. I hate to see them clipped."
But the DOW doesn't want them joining the wild population if they are not pure trumpeter swans. "Hybridization can happen with private, domestic ownership. Right now, we can't say that these are pure and we'd rather not have them join the wild population if they aren't pure," Reid said.
If the owners want to donate the cygnets to a trumpeter swan restoration program, that might be possible, but the Trumpeter Swan Society needs to know the genetics of the parents. According to Ruth Shea, executive director, it is important for some restoration efforts to know the origin of the swans. Some restoration programs don't want to mix breeds and some don't care. In Iowa, a restoration program is based on captive pairs. The cygnets of captive adults are released into the wild to recreate the population. The four Pagosa cygnets could be sent to Iowa where they might have a greater chance for survival with other wild swans.
The future of the cygnets depends on the owners clearing up the paperwork and the permits.
"A lot of people don't realize that Trumpeters can live to be 30 years old in captivity and can produce young for more than 20 years," Madeleine Linck, administrative assistant for the Trumpeter Swan Society wrote in an e-mail. "One hopes that the lodge manager who purchased the swans researched their necessary care before getting them. From the inquiries we receive here that does not always seem to be the case."
Local hunter education classes set
Hunter education classes will be held at the Colorado Mounted Ranger Building, 302 San Juan St. (just east of Seeds of Learning Daycare Center), Oct. 20-21 and Nov. 3-4.
Times are 6-10 p.m for the Thursday sessions and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays. Students must attend Thursday and Friday. Students wanting to attend just the Friday session will not be admitted.
These courses will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license. These will be the last classes taught in Pagosa Springs in 2005.
All programs, services and activities of the Colorado Division of Wildlife are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Justin Krall, Doug Purcell or Mike Reid at 264-2131, or Don Volger at 264-4151, Ext. 239. To assure that the Division of Wildlife can meet your needs, please notify Justin, Doug, Mike or Don at least seven days before the class.
This course is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Police Department in conjunction with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Travels with Chivas: lessons in patience
By James Robinson
Steinbeck traveled with a poodle named Charlie. Me, I'm stuck with a cocker spaniel named Chivas.
I don't know which breed is worse, but I think I trump Steinbeck - Chivas is 10 years-old, deaf as a stump, has an enlarged heart and has never really been out in the mountains. He also has a persistent cough, doesn't really swim and is barely tall enough to see over foot-high grass. My gut tells me Charlie was much better off.
Just for the record, I didn't choose Chivas, he chose me. His previous owners dumped him at a vet in Albuquerque, abandoning him there with a note saying the dog had heart worms, didn't get along with their other dogs and had to be put down. The vet delayed the injection, I stopped by later in the day and offered the dog a temporary home and a chance to get back on his feet. Chivas never left.
Now we live in Pagosa Country and I'm teaching him how to fly fish. He is teaching me patience.
It's not easy to teach a dog to fish, but it can be done and my Australian Shepherd is a prime example.
Almost since day one, he understood the importance of rigging up the rod, the cast, the subsurface mysteries of nymph fishing, the drift of a dry fly and the take. After careful schooling, he knows that landing a fish requires finesse, not a belly flop off a rock onto the line and the struggling trout below.
He is a dry fly fisherman to the core, and will sit in the water next to me, keenly watching the drift. Or, if it's too deep, he swims circles around my legs with one eye on the river and one eye on the fly. He has been called by old timers on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River "a real true trout dog."
Chivas has none of these traits. Worst of all, he is poor student and most of the time has difficulty finding the river. Despite the challenges, we're making progress. He is learning.
We spent August roaming the high country, fishing tiny creeks. During that time he's graduated from being tethered to my backpack or a tree, to being allowed to roam freely in the streamside wilderness.
Being deaf, he relies heavily on his eyes and generally needs to see me to locate me.
Because of his height, when we fish through fields of high grass or in dense groves of willow he gets lost easily. He can't see over or through the foliage, but I've watched him learn to use his nose, working in concentric circles until he locates our trail. Most of the time he succeeds. Sometimes I have to go get him.
After four weeks of trail work and fishing small streams, I craved a proper cast and a wide river. I figured he was ready for the big time too, and I lined up my six-weight and we headed to the rain-swollen waters of the San Juan River.
I had already fished hard for two days and was more interested in standing in mid-stream, casting a fast fly rod with the hot sun on my arms than seriously fishing.
I decided to fish streamers. I hadn't fished them since spring, they would require less attention than dry flies and that way, I could keep an eye on the dog.
The San Juan, and all rivers for that matter, are magical living things. They move and shift in constant flux, and the stretch of water near my home is no exception. In this case, recent high flows had scoured out a new channel bordered by a deep hole - a perfect area for working streamers. But first we had to cross the river.
The far bank was terra incognita for the dog, but it was close enough to home that I figured he couldn't get too lost and the river was wide enough that he wouldn't try to swim back home.
I secured my rod to my vest, scooped him up like a four-legged water melon and trudged into the thigh deep current and crossed the river.
Once on the far side, I put him down and he disappeared among streamside boulders and high grass. I'd put a bell on his collar so I could hear where he is, and let off a cast, listening for the faint jingle of the bell.
I stood at the top of the hole, tossing the heavy fly into the current, letting it travel down stream then stripping it back across the current and up through the seam that divided the main current from the eddy line on the edge of the pool.
I worked the streamer for a while, listening for the dog and watching as mergansers cruised upriver in the fading light.
I fished lackadaisically, and as dusk approached, I discovered trout rising with regularity downstream. I changed my attitude and my tactics and tied on a double dry fly rig - a size 16 elk hair caddis followed by a length of 5x tippet leading to a size 22 Griffith's gnat. I doped both flies and snuck downstream.
Once in position, I pulled off some line and let the flies sail. The sensation of casting a fast, six-weight rod with nothing but dry flies was something I hadn't experienced for months.
This was a far cry from the tiny flip casts I had done over the weekend and the thrill of casting was enough. Another couple of casts and the effort paid off. An extraordinary brown trout took the midge cluster and we battled in mid stream. After a time, I eased the trout to the shallows, removed the hook and slipped the fish back into the current.
After releasing the fish I felt satisfied and thought maybe it was time to call it a night, but clear rise forms, plenty of light and a dog that wasn't yet lost told me to keep at it just a little while longer.
Twilight came and then darkness shrouded the river like a cloak. I knew it was time to quit, but trout were still rising and a few more casts wouldn't hurt.
I shot one off, and after a short drift, the caddis vanished in a flurry of churning foam. I set the hook and the reel whizzed as the trout surged upstream. It was then I realized I hadn't heard the bell for some time. I fought the fish as it tried to burrow into the cracks between rocks. I checked its tactic, and it shot back out from the bank, racing downstream. I followed, fighting the fish and listening for the dog. I couldn't hear the bell and began to worry.
A mountain lion had recently left its paw print in the wet sand along the river and coyotes roam the area. I knew the cocker wouldn't make it through the night on his own, but I had on a solid fish, and was compelled to follow the trout downstream.
The fish shot down a short rapid and I placed the butt of the rod against my chest, attempting to ease the fish out of the current and into an eddy where I stood a chance of landing him. I felt the tippet stretch under the strain. I listened. No dog. I kicked myself for not keeping a better eye on him, and knew he was probably lost in the cottonwoods, going around in circles trying to sniff his way back home. The trouble was that a river stood between him and familiar territory.
My patience gave, and I marched toward the fish, holding the rod high and the line tight, intent on horsing the trout in.
I walked down the line, reeling slowly, being careful not to go too fast, but knowing I had to finish the job and locate the missing pooch. The trout had calmed and resorted to brief thrashes in the pool and I made it within arm's length of the fish. I grabbed the leader, and slipped my hand down the line, groping for the fly to remove the hook. I came within a few inches of the trout when the powerful fish arched its body and heaved against the line. I heard a distinct crack and watched as limp tippet fluttered in the air beyond my reach.
I let go of the line and let it drift in the air. Impatience had won, and in my haste I had not only lost the dog but a monster trout.
There was no use calling; he couldn't hear. I waited. In less than a minute I heard the tell-tale jingling of his bell. He was working the river bank, nose to the ground looking for me. I walked over and tapped him to let him know where I was.
He looked comfortable and confident and stared at me like I'd interrupted something very important. He seemed even more irritated when I scooped him up for the return trip across the river.
Once back across, I placed him on a gravel bar on the home side of the stream and he disappeared again in the underbrush. As I walked toward home in the darkness, I listned to the bell, thinking that my deaf dog had passed the test. And if he could learn to fish, I could learn to trust and to be more patient.
While we fuss and fret about the higher costs of gas, gasoline and electricity, I believe there is something else which will cause greater damage to our society; the cost of higher education for Americans is skyrocketing and may soon go out of orbit. What could send it into space for most Colorado families would be the defeat of Amendment C in the election three weeks from now.
The state of Colorado is broke and unless there is a five-year moratorium on TABOR, only very wealthy families will be able to send their children to Colorado universities. Even for them, it may be tough. The Legislature is hamstrung both by TABOR limiting the actual amounts the state can spend - with only an insignificant amount allowed for inflation and population growth - and another constitutional amendment requiring them to increase the amount allocated each year for K-12 education. When the money jar is allowed to be only so full and every year you have to take more out for one area, the other area (in this case, state colleges and universities) will have to get along with less from the jar. That's simple arithmetic.
There are several things state colleges could do to ward off financial calamity. First, they could increase tuition and fees even more than they have in the past. Then they could increase the percentage of out-of-state students who pay higher tuition, but this reduces the chances for our own children to attend. They could eliminate courses of study which don't completely pay their way, but that would reduce their ability to receive cash grants from corporations and foundations. Freezing salaries and slashing benefit packages would greatly help the financial picture, but it would demoralize the faculty, which is supposed to inspire, and encourage defection of key professors and administrators to greener pastures.
The Legislature could privatize the whole university system. This would allow a private contractor to completely revamp the educational process by substituting home study and computers for classrooms, libraries, professors and instructors, and have students click Help on the toolbar to find answers to their questions. On the surface this could be financially appealing. The big problem that I see here is that education would then be controlled by for-profit organizations competing on the basis of price, and the value of the diploma would be determined by the profitability of the program, whether or not the quality of the education met the needs of industry, commerce, society, nation. And then where would our children find themselves in a competitive world which is rapidly becoming economically dominated by increasingly highly educated nations like China, India and the EU?
Statistics show that Colorado is at the bottom of our 50 states in terms of the amount we spend for education. That's because we are only at the bottom of the statistics. I believe that if the voters turn down Referendum C we will quickly learn the meaning and the ramifications of the word bottomless.
I believe the county will never make headway dealing with road issues until the department has the right supervision. There is no excuse for the roads in Pagosa Lakes to be in the condition they are unless the county is intentionally ignoring them in order to push that community into handling their roads themselves.
We are not using our equipment wisely. I am on our roads every day and observe inefficiencies. I have seen seven county motor graders convoy to a job, grade two miles of road, then move on. Seven motor graders should have been deployed to work seven roads throughout the county, not just one short stretch. I have seen a vibratory roller compacting a stretch of road that had several days before been treated with mag-chloride and was already hard as concrete. That roller was fracturing that road. Why?
A heavy equipment sales representative told me that county equipment turned in on trades was the worst maintained equipment he has ever seen. Who's in charge? The buck stops with the county commissioners.
I would meet with R&B employees monthly at the county shop to discuss maintenance and personnel problems. Our crews then performed many capital construction projects in-house, such as road paving and chip sealing, and constructing bridges and buildings. Why not now?
Gravel never used to be a problem. When I approached the county engineer and the public works director about graveling bad areas of CR 500 (Trujillo Road), I offered to donate 3/4 inch gravel from my pit on the San Juan River which had been used numerous times in the past by the county and contractors and passed inspections and testing for suitability. The county had crushed gravel from my pit seven different times since the '50s and four private companies as well, and material from the San Juan, including from Colorado Parks and Recreation for which we did not have to pay royalty, has consistently been found suitable. The county engineer and the public works director took a truck, backhoe and operators all the way down to my pit to test the material. Incredibly, they determined that the material was not suitable because it was too clean. Instead, they used gravel and dirt from a pit that is not a river source. Roads using gravel and sand from my pit 25 years ago have held up. I predict that the nine miles that were graveled just two months ago on CR 500 will deteriorate during a wet spring. Never have I heard of adding dirt to gravel to produce a suitable road surface if a river source is available.
Finally, for the taxpayers to incur the costs for a recall election when we don't know if there is anyone knowledgeable and competent in the area of roads willing to replace the incumbent is a waste of money.
Chris L. Chavez
This year's Archuleta County Fair was full of fun and entertainment. All who ventured on to the grounds were entertained, fed and educated. These are the goals of a good fair. As a fair board member, I was delighted to see all the happy faces around the grounds.
One thing I wish to see next year is the participation of more of our wonderful and talented county people in the Exhibit Hall. I know there are crafters, painters, wood workers, photographers, seamstresses, quilters, bakers, food preservers, grain-flower-vegetable growers out there who saw the exhibits this year and wished they had entered their creations. I would hope that the children as well as adults of our county would create and save items of the 2006 fair. Remember - you and your neighbors make our Archuleta County Fair a success.
PC poster child
The following was written by another American citizen and published in a Florida newspaper. He did quite a job; didn't he? I have often had the same thoughts and now I wish to have them published.
"Immigrants, not Americans, must adapt.
"I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending other.
"However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of America being a muticultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans, we have our own culture, our own society, our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trial, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.
"We speak English, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!
" If Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. This is our country, our land, and our lifestyle. Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express this opinion and we will allow you every opportunity to do so!
" But once you are done complaining whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other great freedom, the right to leave.
"It is time for Americans to speak up."
Now not all Americans will agree with this and that is your right. However this same concept can be applied to the people who have come here in the last seven years. You left a lifestyle that you did not want anymore and now that you are here you are changing Pagosa Springs to what you left! It is too bad that the local government did not take steps to keep this from happening. And even if you did leave now, the damage is done.
I know there will be letters to the editor countermanding this and that is your right. And it's my right not to care cause my give a damn has gotten up and gone. And I'm proud to say that I'm the poster child for political correctness.
Can't ignore history
I have been coming to Pagosa Springs for over 20 years. I have observed many things. Your article on county roads (9/29) concerned me a little. The Johnny-come-lately interim county administrator wants to ignore the past and look only at current road problems. Perhaps because he was not a part of the past? You can't ignore history. Roads were built and platted. Fairfield took them over from Eaton. Then Fairfield went into bankruptcy and the county took over the roads when given a bunch of money by Fairfield. Now the county wants to forget what they took the money for?
Jasper asked, "Is it fair for the entire county to pay for what was arguably not done right in the first place?" Since he had admitted previously that the county "never went back to see if the work was done correctly," I would say "Yes." The county screwed up; why should the residents of Pagosa Lakes pay for the county's mistakes? Maybe that is the part of history he wants to ignore.
Which costs more - miles and miles of country roads with few residents or a few miles of roads with many residents? I suspect that most road money is spent outside Pagosa Lakes for a few taxpayers and less is spent where most of the people live. What sense does this make? Jasper wondered why Pagosa Lakes people shouldn't pay for their roads. They do - in their taxes. Are the people of Pagosa Lakes getting what they pay for? I doubt it.
Buchanan Dam, Texas
Contra C and D
When TABOR was passed in 1992, the state budget was $6-plus billion. Next year it is $15-plus billion. During that time the budget has increased every year. So where did they cut the budget? They didn't. The cuts were made to budgetary requests in order to remain within the TABOR limits.
Before referenda C and D, there was a move to create a "rainy day" fund to help out the state when the next recession hits. The smell of fresh money started the feeding frenzy and the state decided to go for broke. We are now looking at a $3.7 billion tax increase and a $2.2 billion bond debt.
They say that the $3.7 billion is not a tax increase it is simply giving up your TABOR refund for the next five years. However, after five years that money becomes part of the budget which must be financed by taxes. Ref. C was originally proposed to satisfy shortfalls in the budget due to the recession. I now see where there is mention to "shoring up" the public employee retirement fund (PERA) Sen. Isgar sponsored Ref. D which is a $2.2 billion bond debt with a payback of $3 billion-plus (I guess that is OK at my age, my kids and grandkids will be paying it back.) This was proposed to fix roads and infrastructure. Guess what, there is now a $175 million payout included for PERA. It will be used to underwrite portfolio losses to their stock and bond funds. If you really want to see how screwed up the pension system is for public employees, I encourage you to check out the various Web sites. By some accounts, the system is facing a $13 B shortfall. Again, state and local governments are promising more than they can deliver. As for the road projects, most goes to the front range but La Plata County is slated to receive the largest allocation of funds for any western slope county. Doesn't Big Jim live in La Plata County ? Oh, Archuleta County will get zippo, zero, nada. Big Jim also backed the 50-percent increase for resident fishing and hunting licenses as well as a new state park pass. Our Rep. Mark Larson, who supports both C and D, has resorted to name calling for anyone who supports TABOR and refers to us as ""clueless, mindless, offer no solution," etc. Hey Mark, when you ran for office you assured us you had the necessary qualifications to run the state in a fiscally responsible manner. Now you are asking for solutions ? I think we got the wrong guy in there.
This state has blown a perfect opportunity to abandon evolutionary spending and apply intelligent design. No religious intent meant. All this hype is being directed at the voters, with little consideration given to the taxpayers. State spending is self regulated and will not abide by the rules of economics. Taxpayers are simply a means to finance partisan politics, special interests, and lobbyists. I encourage everyone to become an informed voter before the November election.
Hey Mark, I do have some advice. Rule one for holes: When you are in one, stop digging.
I really don't want to spend time composing this letter, but I think it is important that someone respond to the many misleading statements made by an opponent of fluoridation in recent Letters to the Editor. Otherwise, the opponent wins the argument, not by the strength of her arguments, but by the shear volume of her charges.
Consider her statement that the report prepared by the Fort Collins Fluoride Technical Study Group (FTSG) is a joke, because it was easy to pick apart what they wrote. By pick apart she seems to mean selecting those phrases and sentences that support her views, and ignoring others that are contrary to her views. For example, she cited the third sentence of the following Finding to support her assertion that the FTSG used weasel words to cover their collective behind.
"The potential for other health effects was reviewed by the FTSG. There was not adequate evidence to consider any of these other adverse effects (to be) a concern with respect to fluoridation of Fort Collins water supply. The absence of our finding any conclusive evidence that drinking water fluoride exposures causes other potential health effects does not prove that fluoride can not cause other potential health effects."
The first two sentences contain important information. The third sentence is analogous to my saying, "The fact that I have not had a serious accident in 60 years of driving does not prove that I will not have a serious accident."
I think the approach taken by the FTSG, stated in the following paragraph from the Executive Summary of their report, is to be commended, not condemned.
"The FTSG endeavored to create a balanced product for use by decision-makers that took into account the most current and best available analysis of the weight of the scientific evidence on the risks and benefits of community water fluoridation. The group also acknowledged that there are gaps in the knowledge and uncertainties are inherent in the ability to fully understand what may be subtle, yet important health effects that are yet to be detected via a weighted evidence approach. Thus, the report includes stated uncertainties and areas where additional research is needed to understand the true benefits and risks."
Biomedical research is challenging for several reasons. Individuals respond differently to conditions that affect their health, and those conditions are often defined by factors not fully understood. An excellent discussion of the difficulties of doing biomedical research can be found in the article, "How do varying studies reach opposing medical conclusions?" on pp. 36-37 of The Preview of Oct. 6, 2005. Anyone whose mind is made up about a biomedical issue can always find data to support her position, but ignoring evidence that does not support a preconceived notion only increases the probability of making unwise choices. The citizens of Fort Collins considered all of the evidence presented in the FTSG report, and voted to continue fluoridating their water.
Outdoor Club to hold
annual Ski and Sports Swap
The San Juan Outdoor Club will hold its annual Ski and Sports Swap Oct. 22 at the Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Items for sale are provided by individuals as well as businesses from Pagosa Springs and Durango. "We get great participation and assistance from these businesses," noted Jim Cole. "We couldn't provide such a wide selection without them."
People with sports items for sale should bring them to the Exhibit Hall Friday, Oct. 21, between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. or Saturday morning between 7:30 and the 9 a.m. start of the Swap. The club manages the sale and takes a commission for its services. The club uses its proceeds to fund scholarships for area graduating seniors to help with college.
One of the sidelights of the Swap is the sale of baked goods provided by Outdoor Club members.
The Swap is the largest service activity of the San Juan Outdoor Club with 40-50 members participating. "The Swap makes outdoor equipment and clothing available for people to engage in outdoor activities at a low cost," said Nancy Cole, one of the Swap's organizers, "as well as providing a place for people to sell their used equipment."
For additional information, call Nancy or Jim Cole at 946-3887.
SHY RABBIT issues call for entries
SHY RABBIT is accepting submissions for its "Artists' Invitational and Open Juried Exhibition," which will run Nov. 19 through Dec. 17. The opening reception will be held Saturday, Nov. 19, from 5-9 p.m.
This exhibition will bring established Invitational artists together with emerging regional artists in the Showroom and the Space @ SHY RABBIT, and seeks to become an annual event.
Among the artists invited to show are still life photographer Emilio Mercado, mixed-media artist Susan Andersen and painter Sarah Comerford. Both spaces will be open regular weekend hours following the opening. SHY RABBIT will solicit volunteers from among the accepted artists for open gallery hours. This show is open to all artists. All media except video and film are accepted. No size limits.
Artists may submit slides or photographs of their work. Photographs must be at least 5x7 inches. 3-D work may have one additional detail slide or photo.
Entry forms can be picked up at SHY RABBIT Studio, 333 Bastille Drive, B-1. All entries must be received by Monday, Oct. 24. All letters of acceptance will be e-mailed Monday, Oct. 31. All accepted works must be hand delivered to The Space @ SHY RABBIT Monday, Nov. 14, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., unless other arrangements have been made prior to the event.
For more information, or to request an entry form via fax or e-mail, call 731-2766 or e-mail email@example.com.
SHY RABBIT will also host "Prints," works by Ron Fundingsland, Oct.15-Nov.12. Opening reception is Saturday, Oct. 15, from 5-9 p.m.
Born in Burlington, Colo., in 1947 and currently residing in Bayfield, Fundingsland has exhibited work in Taiwan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Brazil. He has participated in numerous national print exhibitions in the U.S. where he received a number of prestigious awards. His work is included in several major art museums including the Denver Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.
An Artists' Round Table will follow on Sunday, Oct.16, from 1-4 p.m. All are welcome.
The SHY RABBIT Studio is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1. To contact, call 731-2766, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oktoberfest Saturday at community center
By Joe Nanus
Special to The PREVIEW
Oktoberfest - it's going to be a big, festive party!
German music by Pauken Schlagel will again be a highlight of the event. The band consists of public school music teachers plus musicians from the community. Melinda Baum is the director.
Sponsored by the non-profit Archuleta Seniors, Inc., the fourth annual Oktoberfest will be held Saturday, Oct. 15, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. in the Great Room at the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard. Tickets are $13 for adults ($15 at the door) and $10 for members of Archuleta Seniors, Inc. Children, 5 to 12, get in for just $8. Tickets are on sale at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and at the Senior Center. They can also be purchased at the door.
Oktoberfest is a major fund-raiser for programs at the senior center that enhance the health, well-being, social, cultural and intellectual activities for seniors. Any contributions or donations are tax deductible.
An added feature at this year's Oktoberfest will be a silent auction of a handmade quilt. The quilt will be on view in the foyer of the Great Room of the senior center. Bidding will be opened at the beginning of the evening and will close at 8:30 p.m. Minimum bid will be $50 with minimum bid increments of $5. Proceeds from this auction will also go to the programs at the senior center.
The Oktoberfest menu includes bratwurst, sauerkraut, German potato salad and dessert. Iced tea and coffee will also be provided. The ticket price includes a glass stein. Soft drinks and bottled water will be available for $1 each. Beer will be available for $3. Children, 5 to 12, will be served hot dogs, buns, potato chips, a drink and dessert.
You will experience total enjoyment as you join in the fun and laughter. There will be group dancing as you join the other revelers on the dance floor for the chicken line dance. There will be lively group singing as well.
Plan to participate in Oktoberfest 2005 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Saturday.
Chimney Rock's last full moon program for 2005 season
By Karen Aspin
Special to The PREVIEW
Although Chimney Rock Archaeological Area closed its gates on the 2005 visitor tour season Sept. 30, one last full moon program is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 17, providing a special opportunity for those who still want to visit our magnificent site this year.
The magical sound of the Native American flute accompanied by the full moon in the ancient surroundings of Chimney Rock is an experience no one should miss. Visitors to Chimney Rock can enjoy this experience as popular Native American flute player Charles Martinez provides music at the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association's educational full moon program.
Martinez, a native Pagosan of Jicarilla Apache and Navajo heritage, is a master of the traditional style of Indian flute playing and has been a local crowd pleaser for many years.
While awaiting the moon's arrival near the Great House Pueblo site, visitors will learn about the Ancestral Puebloans, the archaeological relationship of Chimney Rock to Chaco Canyon, and archaeoastronomy theories from Ed Funk. Funk is a retired teacher and journalist who has been a tour guide at Chimney Rock for three years. For the last 15 years, he has explored many of the Ancient Puebloan sites through the Southwest.
Program tickets are $15; reservations are required. The gate will be open from 5-5:30 p.m. for those attending the full moon program. Moonrise is at approximately 6:35 p.m.
For those interested in a short, guided tour of the lower archaeological sites prior to the full moon program, inquire about the "Early Tour" on the Great Kiva Trail Loop. Participants on the tour may also be admitted up the hill to the full moon program site early. Others at the full moon program may not access the lower trail. The cost for this special tour is $4, with $1 from each ticket sold going directly to the stabilization of the site. The gate briefly opens earlier for tour participants; the tour starts at 4 p.m.
Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. Due to the hike involved to the mesa top and the two- to three-hour length of the program, it's strongly suggested that children under 12 not attend.
Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by bringing a flashlight, good walking shoes and insect repellent. A volunteer light brigade helps illuminate the trail following the program, yet participants will find the flashlight is truly a necessity, so include one in your plans to help you navigate the trail. Evening temperatures can be quite cold, so dress appropriately and consider bringing a blanket or cushion to sit on during the program. In the event of bad weather, the program will be canceled and possibly rescheduled for the following evening.
For those interested in the Major Lunar Standstill (MLS), the moon will not rise between Chimney Rock and Companion Rock during this full moon program event. Please review the MLS section of our Web site for our 2005 schedule and details on the MLS programs.
Chimney Rock Archeological Area is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, three miles south of U.S. 160 on Colo. 151. Call the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association for reservations from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays at 264-2287. More information can be found at www.chimneyrockco.org.
Hopi Connection to hold meeting
Hopi Connection is a local philanthropic organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and preserving the cultural traditions of the Hopi people.
The organization will hold a public meeting in the Teen Room of the Pagosa Springs Community Center Monday, Oct. 17, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wilma Sawatzky and Rebecca Cortez will discuss the organization's programs and share some of their personal experiences and insights. The meeting will also be a chance for others who have worked with the Hopi to share their experiences.
One of the cultural issues the Hopis face is the need to preserve their language. Hopi Connection is helping promote a special recording project to further this goal.
Come to the Monday meeting and hear about this project and the organization's other programs.
For further information, call Sawatzky at 731-4846, or Cortez at 264-1433.
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.
Music and relaxation at Elation Center
Elation Center for the Arts is offering an experiential class that focuses on the use of music for relaxation.
Even in a rural mountain paradise such as Pagosa Springs, people are searching for ways to relax. One of the age-old tricks to reducing stress and bringing about a state of relaxation is through the use of music.
Local musician Paul Roberts has had a widely varied career as a music therapist, performer and music educator. As part of this class, Roberts will demonstrate the soothing effects of music by using his unusual collection of acoustic stringed, wind and percussion instruments.
Participants will also experiment with making their own sounds, as the class explores some of the many ways to reduce stress and attain a peaceful sense of well being through music.
For further details about the class, call 731-3117.
Jelly Beans and Squiggly Things for kids
The Jelly Beans and Squiggly Things after-school fun club meets every Wednesday after school. 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.
Tim Reiter: Fine woodworker
By Paul Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW
Artisans and craftspeople who can survive in this neck of the woods seem to have one thing in common: they do something really well.
Woodworker Tim Reiter is one such artisan. Through his cabinetry, furniture and artwork Reiter's name is synonymous with fine woodworking.
"I like the creative process," said Reiter, "from the conception of something, to how it changes as you're working on it." His wooden bowls and fine furniture are on display in the current exhibit at the PSAC gallery.
Reiter fell in love with woodworking in high school when he got a job washing dishes for a tea party, 100-year-old house in Pasadena. The house had been built for the Gamble family (of Proctor and Gamble). It has since been deeded to the University of Southern California as a public showcase of incredible craftsmanship. "I saw some of the woodwork there," said Reiter, "that was so far beyond anything I'd been exposed to. Every square inch of the place was detailed. It really made a big impression on me."
Later, Reiter had an opportunity to build a boat with a New Zealand boat builder. "That's when I first got into serious woodwork," he said. "It resonated with me." It was also the beginning of some serious sailing for Reiter. Boat building and sailing still measure high on Reiter's enthusiasm meter. In his spare time he is working on a state-of-the-art racing sailboat.
In his custom furniture design, Reiter enjoys tailoring a piece for the particular needs of the person who will use it. "I like the Shaker style and the Arts and Crafts style of furniture making," he said. "Clean-lined and well balanced, the Shaker influence is like jazz in that it's completely American. The simplicity in this style is extremely elegant. There's a real beauty to it."
Reiter has developed a special lathe turning technique for making very thin-walled art pieces. He calls these wooden bowls and vases, "fun shapes that feel good in the hand." They also have a translucent quality, as light shines through them.
Another piece Reiter has on display at PSAC gallery is a table made out of an African wood that is nearly black in color, called "wenge wood." The legs are of Australian lace wood. The table has lots of curves; there are almost no straight surfaces on it.
Two local artists with whom Reiter enjoys collaborating are Mike Selinsky, metal artist, and Donna Merchant-Crooks, painter and woodcarver. One of the works in the PSAC exhibit is a table Reiter did with Merchant-Crooks, whose carving of a herd of horses in the tabletop is quite remarkable.
Cutting and shaping wood has everything to do with tools. Big power tools play a role in his work, but as Reiter said, "The most pleasurable thing is to actually work with the wood with traditional hand tools, such as hand planes and chisels. Things happen a lot more intimately with hand tools than power tools, and it's a lot less noisy."
Wood is the craftsman's canvas. "No two boards are alike," said Reiter. "You look at color, you look at grain. You may be thinking about, say, drawer faces. I try to have enough wood at hand so I can select for color and also to use the different grain pattern in the wood to enhance the appearance of the cabinet. If you're using solid woods, each board is subtly different. You can make a disharmonious face, with the grains fighting each other, or you can rearrange the boards and get the grains to be in harmony. When I go to the lumber supply guy, I know what I'm looking for the project. I have a good idea of the types of grain, the color and the cut of the wood I need. It's sort of like a chef following a recipe. Serious woodworkers try to read what's inside a piece of wood."
Tim Reiter can be reached in Pagosa at 946-3117.
Tuscan Afternoon' features food, fashions and more
By Joan Slavinski
Special to The PREVIEW
"A Tuscan Afternoon" will be presented in Pagosa Springs Nov. 12 at the Parish Hall.
Our wonderful local models will display the finest fall and winter fashions from our favorite shops. The stores represented include Astara Boutique, Happy Trails, Goodman's, Miss Jean's, Satori Boutique, Lantern Dancer, Puttin' on the Rydz and Upscale Retail. This year, we will feature stunning jewelry as well as clothing.
Doors open at 11:30 a.m. A delicious Italian luncheon will be served at noon and the program begins shortly thereafter. A special treat will be a selection of Italian melodies sung by Barbara Witkowski. Barbara is a professional musician who has soloed with the Dallas Symphony.
As always, many wonderful prizes have been donated by local merchants and you will have several opportunities to win one to take home.
This popular event always sells out early, so go to the Chamber Visitors Center as soon as possible to purchase your tickets at $20.
If you wish to seat your group at a table for 10, please buy all tickets first, then call Judy Cramer at 264-1156 to reserve the table. This type of ticket is limited, so make your purchase now.
For further information, call Joan Slavinski at 731-2255 or Yvonne Ralston at 731-9324.
Harvest Fest set for youth on Halloween
Several area churches will again sponsor the annual Harvest Fest 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31 in the gymnasium at Powerhouse Youth Center.
The Harvest Fest offers candy, balloons, games, prizes, food and refreshments for youngsters preschool through sixth grade.
Everything will be free except the hotdog dinner at $1.50 per plate.
Costumes are optional but encouraged. However, it is asked that the costumes not portray evil.
A fun time is planned for all. For more information, call Donna at First Baptist Church, 731-9042.
Powerhouse is behind the Humane Society Thrift Store and adjacent to Town Park.
Ed Center to offer Philosophy for Children class
By Renee Haywood
Special to The PREVIEW
Become a little philosopher and creative thinker - enroll in our philosophy for children class.
We would like to introduce a new class - one created in 1969 by Matthew Lipman, a professor of philosophy at Columbia University for 15 years. Since the publication of Lipman's book, philosophy for children has entered many classrooms.
Besides having the chance to ask about and discuss issues they profoundly care about, students who participate in philosophical communities of inquiry develop intellectual and social habits like these:
- multidimensional thinking;
- turning to social inquiry to make group decisions;
- a deeper sense of responsibility for one's own concept and value of judgments;
- a greater readiness to wonder about the world.
In "Teaching for Better Thinking," Lipman said "Philosophy for Children is at once child-centered and teacher sensitive. It encourages students to delve into and build upon ideas, concepts and problems that they themselves choose as both interesting and important. Yet, it is the teacher who, at least in the first instance, must encourage her students to talk and to listen, to weave into and form their disparate thoughts and ideas, and to exemplify modes of thoughtful and reasonable behavior."
Our new instructor, Cecile Gabellini-Diffey, would like to introduce this class in our after-school program. She is French and has a master's degree in sciences of education. Her thesis subject was philosophy for children and she has also studied at Montclair State University to learn more about the program. She now would like to share what she has learned.
I am sure that every parent has heard some incredible and amazing thoughts from their children. Cecile's passion is to help all children express themselves using their critical and creative thoughts. Students will sit in a circle, establish rules together, and then pick a subject to talk about, such as "friendship."
Cecile's goal is to help students express themselves in front of a group, to be more confident, patient, responsible, respectful, tolerant and proud of their individuality. Her objective is that all children would be able to give reasons when they express themselves, listen to their friends' opinions, give examples, ask questions, and develop their courage to express their thoughts in a community of research. According to Lipman,"Philosophy for Children can be expected to flourish in a heterogeneous classroom where students speak out of a variety of life styles and experiences, where different beliefs as to what is important are explicit, and where a plurality of thinking styles, rather than being depreciated, is considered inherently worthwhile."
Classes will begin Monday, Oct. 31 for students in grades K-1 and Wednesday, Nov. 2 for students in grades 2-4. All classes run from 3:15 to 5 p.m. Students meet in Room 3 at the elementary school.
If you would like more information about the program go to www.montclair.edu/iapc or call Cecile at 731-9854. She will be happy to answer any questions you might have. If you would like to register for the classes, contact the Archuleta County Education Center at 264-2835 or stop by the office located at 4th and Lewis streets.
UU Sunday program features John Graves
"Terror, Theocracy, and their Theologies" is the title of a program and discussion which John Graves will present for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Sunday, Oct.16.
He points out that scriptures of Christianity, Islam and Judaism all have sections in which God's words direct followers to commit unspeakable acts of violence and cruelty in his name. The talk and discussion will explore why this is so, why it might eventually lead to a theocratic state, how it could affect us in the United States, and what concerned citizens and people of faith can do about it.
A local resident, Graves is professor emeritus of mass communication from Central Missouri State University, a professional musician, and a retired film and television executive and producer. He is currently on the board of directors of the Archuleta County Education Center.
The service and Children's Program begin at 10:30 a.m. There will be no Third Sunday Potluck Luncheon this Sunday, as the annual Stewardship Dinner will be held Thursday evening, Oct. 20.
The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall is 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.
Drink more water, enjoy better health
By Kate Terry
Why should we drink water?
A few years ago I heard a well-known physician say on TV that if women would drink five or six glasses of water (or more) a day, they could eliminate 60 percent of their problems.
Now, I don't know about this, but I do know that, a few years ago, I ended up in the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center because I was dehydrated.
So, when this information about the importance of drinking water crossed my desk, I knew I had to pass it on.
1. Seventy-five percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
2. In 37 percent of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
3. Even mild dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3 percent.
4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100 percent of the dieters considered in a University of Washington study.
5. Lack of water is the No. 1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
6. Preliminary research indicates that eight to 10 glasses of water could significantly cure back and joint pain for up to 80 percent of sufferers.
7. A mere 2-percent drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory.
8. Trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page can be caused by a lack of water.
9. Drinking five glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45 percent, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79 percent and one is less likely to develop bladder cancer.
The piece includes information about certain cola soft drinks, but rather than listing all the points, I'll summarize them.
The active ingredient in the cola is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis.
The cola can be used to clean corrosion from battery terminals. It helps loosen grease in clothing. It can clean road haze from windshields and toilets. The list goes on.
Now, would you rather drink water or cola?
While this column has to do with helping you stay healthy, this posture hint can be included: Stand and touch your toes together and spread your heels. Straighten your body. You are now in proper alignment.
Walking tall is another rule preached, but aligning your body while walking is important. This tucks in your rear.
Fun on the Run
Points to ponder:
- Notice! Take lettuce from the top of the sack, or heads will roll.
- Well, if Jerry Springer isn't educational TV, why does it make me feel so much smarter?
- A TV can insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.
- I tried to get in touch with my inner child, but he isn't allowed to talk to strangers.
- I have to take my paycheck to the bank. It's too little to go by itself.
- I must be following my diet too closely. I keep gaining on it.
- Whenever I'm in a mood to watch the world go by, I just keep to the posted speed limit.
Oktoberfest celebration set for Saturday
By Mercy Korsgren
Saturday, Oct. 15, is the fourth annual Oktoberfest party sponsored by the Archuleta Seniors, Inc.
The multipurpose 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, 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. 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.
Fall Fling Dance
the dance will be held 7-10 p.m. Oct. 21. Cost is $5 per person, includes soft drinks and snacks. BYOB and bring your favorite finger food to share. Come, dance and enjoy a wide range of music with DJ Bobby Hart.
Siri Schuchardt, our volunteer for this activity, said she was at a 50th birthday party recently where Bobby was DJ-ing and she said he is good and dynamic. Bobby gets you off the chair and on to the dance floor.
Come support this evening of music and dancing and show me that this should be a regular activity here at the Center.
Community flu clinic
Our second annual community flu clinic, brought to us by San Juan Basin Health, is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18.
According to Susie Kleckner, priority groups are those most likely to get serious complications from the flu. Those groups include the elderly, 65 years or over; residents of long-term care facilities; persons between 2 and 64 years old with underlying chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart or lung disease, and others; babies and toddlers between 6 and 23 months; pregnant women; health care personnel who provide direct patient care; and household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months old. Medicare and Rocky Mountain HMO insurance will be accepted. Please bring your card. For others the cost is $25, cash or check only. For more information, call San Juan Basin Health, 264-2409.
The Aus-Ger Club gathering is Friday, Oct. 28, 10:30 a.m.-noon. This group is growing 15 people showed up last week, four more than the first meeting. They met the second time for light breakfast in the teen quiet room with raspberry cupcake, cheese scones and hot beverages, all the while conversing in German. The club is mainly for social activities and some community involvement.
For the Oct. 28 meeting the group plans to drive to Oxford for lunch at the Berliner-German Restaurant to enjoy a real German meal. In November, they plan to go to South Fork for lunch at the Chalet Swiss Restaurant. Also, in the future the club is thinking of hiring a German cook to prepare a wonderful and authentic meal for the group at the center.
On the community involvement side, the club will attend Oktoberfest and the Community Halloween Party. If interested, call the center at 264-4152 or call Bodil, 903-8800.
Italian cooking class
The class met yesterday, Wednesday, due to Edith's schedule changes. The last two classes will be held Thursday, Oct. 20 and 27.
Yesterday's class was about pasta making. The group prepared fresh fettuccini made with a combination of semolina and unbleached flours and a pasta machine. After preparing the pasta, they cooked and served it with Bolognese sauce made with ground elk instead of beef. Edith made the sauce at home due to time constraints. The pasta was to be served with a simple mixed green salad with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon dressing. Yummy? Next week, I'll let you know how the elk tasted.
Also, the stuffed artichokes the class cooked last week were delicious. From the segment of the class that I saw it looked like too much work for me. So, I doubt if the women will actually prepare and serve this at home. Remember, too, they cooked the artichokes in pressure cookers and a few of the students were not comfortable using this device.
The participants are definitely enjoying the class and the fruits of their labors. Edith allows them to work and experience some hands-on training. Thanks to Edith Blake who loves to cook and is willing and happy to share her time and talents with our community.
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 put on the list of alternates. There are only two more classes left.
News from Becky.
"Yes, I admit it - I love computers. I'll also admit that there are times when I hate them. Recently when I hooked up a new printer to the center's network and everything just fell apart for the better part of a day, I hated all the equipment and even more, my own lack of network expertise. After a few hours, I got it all working again and of course, went back to my more normal benevolent mode of thinking about all things technological.
"Recently some adamant computer haters I know pretty well scolded me for adding to, as they put it, the general misconception that computers are the be-all and end-all to every problem the world faces. This got me to thinking about why I do truly love what I'm doing here at the center. First off, I love a puzzle. That's truly what all this is, just a big, complicated puzzle. When all the i's are dotted and all the t's crossed, the whole mess just falls into place and the machines do what I want them to. That, as Martha would say, is a good thing!
"But even more important than the feeling of satisfaction I get from figuring out the puzzle is finding methods to help people do what they want and, more importantly, need to do.
"One of our Senior Class participants has a son serving in the military in Iraq. She is eager to communicate with him on a regular basis via e-mail. So our focus this week was the basics of e-mail - how to choose a provider, how necessary is it to link your ISP and your e-mail, and what are the security pitfalls associated with using e-mail. Next week we'll touch on more sophisticated e-mail subjects such as sending and receiving attachments, creating and maintaining a contacts list, and creating and organizing folders.
"Another frequent computer lab user has a daughter who is deaf and lives far away. Again, e-mail is the easy and inexpensive means of communicating within this family. I too have a daughter-in-law who is almost totally deaf and find that e-mailing is much more satisfactory than half-heard phone conversations and cumbersome TTY machines.
"One of our frequent lab users is setting up the school year for her son at the Colorado Virtual Academy. This organization is 'a public charter school that blends innovative new instructional technology with a traditional curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school students all across Colorado.' The students and teachers communicate via e-mail every day with conferences happening frequently. I imagine that this kind of distance learning/home school program will be used more and more in the coming years. By the way, if this is a subject that interests you, check out the academy's Web site at covcs.org.
"Another user is sending photographs back to his sister in Virginia who will incorporate them into a book they are authoring together about the mountains of Colorado.
"The list goes on and on. If using computers to communicate and learn makes life easier for people in our community, I'm all for it - and that's why I love computers."
We need your help. We invite anyone - individuals, schools, non-profit groups, businesses and other groups - to participate in the second annual Halloween Party, 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31.
The center will provide the space; you take care of your booth including decorating, prizes and the manpower to run it. Those who participated last year and are interested again this year will be considered first. Remaining booths will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. BootJack Ranch will sponsor the inflatable bounce house and the Kiwanis Club will provide free hot dogs, chips and drink. It is free. Call now to reserve your spot, 264-4152.
Cajun music, dancing
As John Gwin said to me: "Cajun fais do do." Yes, Thursday, Nov. 10, 7-9 p.m., is our next event. The first one, last month, was such a success the people who attended wanted to make this a regular activity.
All right, mark your calendar. John also would like you to bring your favorite Cajun dance music and he'll mix it up. The attendees last month were so happy and supportive they suggested I should collect $3 from each participant to help defray the center's cost and to give something to the musician.
Center's new hours
To further serve our community we are extending our hours of operation. We will be open Monday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. We encourage everyone, especially those interested in basketball, volleyball and computer use, to take advantage of these new hours.
Do you have a special talent or hobby you would like to share - singing, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, foreign language conversation, sports, etc.? We're looking for volunteers interested in forming interest groups. Call me at 264-4152.
Activities this week
Today - Greeting card workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon; high school cross country pasta night, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 14 - Greeting card workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors' walking program 11:15-11:35 a.m.; adult open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.; seniors' bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.; teens' mage knight game, 4-7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 15 - Drawing class with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Oktoberfest, 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 16 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church service, 2-4 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 17 - 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.; Hopi connection meeting, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Prayer meeting, 7-11 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 18 - Community flu shots, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors' computer class, 10 a.m.-noon; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; computer Q & A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 19 - Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; watercolor club workshop, 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.; adult volleyball, 6:30-9 p.m.; Church of Christ bible study, 7-8 p.m.; Grace EV music practice, 7-9 p.m.
Thursday, Oct 20 - Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon; town master plan meeting, 5:30-7 p.m.; Anglican fellowship, 6-8 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 on-site. 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.
AARP ElderWatch rep at The Den Tuesday
By Jeni Wiskofske
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 Saturday, Oct. 15, at the community center, 4:30-9 p.m.
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 Silver Foxes Den Senior Center 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 at Oktoberfest!
History of Oktoberfest
It all began with the Royal Wedding on Oct. 12, 1810.
Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event. The fields were named "Theresienwiese" ("Theresa's fields") in honor of the Crown Princess, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the "Wies'n."
Horse races in the presence of the royal family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for the whole of Bavaria. The decision to repeat the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.
The first carousel and two swings were set up in 1818. In 1896, the beer stands were replaced by the first beer tents. And since the original Oktoberfest is still held on the Theresienwiese, the locals still refer to the event simply as the "Wies'n." So "welcome to the Wies'n" means nothing other than "welcome to the Oktoberfest"!
Calling all volunteers!
Volunteers are needed to work at Oktoberfest Saturday, Oct. 15, on two different shifts - 4 - 6:30 p.m. and 6:30-9 - helping with 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.
Don't be a victim
Amy Nofziger, associate director of AARP ElderWatch, will join us at The Den Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 1 p.m. to discuss some of the current scams and frauds that impact seniors in Colorado. She will also discuss the AARP ElderWatch project including the ongoing need to recruit regional volunteers and the services available to you through the statewide toll-free Colorado Consumer Line, (800) 222-4444. Please plan to participate in this educational meeting, where you can learn tips on how to protect yourself, ask questions, and share any fraud concerns or experiences. Education is the key to prevention.
The Pagosa Springs Community Center will host annual flu shots provided by San Juan Basin Health Department Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. This second annual Community Flu Clinic for priority groups is for the following groups who are most likely to get serious complications from the flu: elderly, 65 years or over; residents of long-term care facilities; persons between 2 and 64 years old with underlying chronic medical conditions; babies and toddlers between 6 and 23 months; pregnant women; health care personnel who provide direct patient care; and household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months.
Medicare and Rocky Mountain HMO are accepted and will cover the cost of the flu shot, but you must bring your card with you. For all others, the cost for the flu shots is $25 per person, either cash or check.
For more information, call San Juan Basin Health Department at 264-2409.
Sky Ute Casino
Step into the action and play to have fun during our monthly trip to Sky Ute Casino Tuesday, Oct. 18. Free transportation leaves The Den at 1 p.m. returning approximately 5:45 p.m., A $5 coupon for a meal and a $2 coupon to play the slots makes it a hard bargain to pass up.
Yoga and Qi Gong
It is never too late to start stretching.
In fact, the older we get, the more important it becomes to stretch on a regular basis.
Yoga and Qi Gong are two of the best ways to stretch, relax and build strength. We have not been having many participants joining in these great exercise classes to make it worthwhile for our volunteer instructors. If you are interested in participating, come on in so we can continue offering these healthy exercise sessions.
The next Qi Gong classes will be held Oct. 14 and 21 at 10 a.m. and the next Yoga in Motion class will be held Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. Mark your calendars and join Yoga and Qi Gong to stretch, relieve stress and experience a healthier mind and body.
Free monthly movie
Our movie at The Den on Friday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. is "The Princess Bride," rated PG.
In this enchantingly cracked fairy tale, the beautiful Princess Buttercup and the dashing Wesley must overcome staggering odds to find happiness. Giants, swordsmen, six-fingered counts, murderous princes, Sicilians, pirates, rodents of unusual size and even death cannot stop true love from triumphing. Don't let the name of this flick fool you - it is full of adventure, suspense, laughter and love which is all the ingredients for an incredible film. Please join us for free popcorn in the lounge while enjoying this comedy adventure flick.
Healthy Lung Month
In our lungs, in the course of a single day, an astonishing 8,000 to 9,000 liters of breathed-in air meet 8,000 to 10,000 liters of blood pumped in by the heart through the pulmonary artery.
The lungs relieve the blood of its burden of waste and return a refreshed, oxygen-rich stream of blood to the heart through the pulmonary vein. The lungs are internal organs. Yet they are, uniquely, constantly exposed to our external environment - a direct interface with the world outside. With each breath, a host of alien substances enter our bodies - pollens, dust, viruses, bacteria; the constituents of the air in our homes and offices and factories, ranging from animal dander and tobacco smoke to radon and airborne lead; the toxic chemicals spewed into our atmosphere by smokestacks and tailpipes.
Lung disease is the No. 3 killer in America, responsible for one in seven deaths. Today, more than 35 million Americans are living with chronic lung disease such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the U.S. It causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast, and prostate). Smoking is the most prominent cause of lung disease. It is estimated that 87 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. How can you prevent lung disease? If you are a smoker, STOP SMOKING. If you are a nonsmoker, know your rights to a smoke-free environment at work and in public places. Make your home smoke-free. Test your home for radon. If you are exposed to dusts and fumes at a public place, ask questions about how you are being protected. Take charge of your life style and take care of yourself physically and mentally to promote a healthy aging process.
Computer lab news
By Becky Herman.
Yes, I admit it - I love computers. I'll also admit that there are times when I hate them. Recently when I hooked up a new printer to the center's network and everything just fell apart for the better part of a day, I hated all the equipment and even more, my own lack of network expertise. After a few hours, I got it all working again and of course, went back to my more normal benevolent mode of thinking about all things technological.
Recently, some adamant computer haters I know pretty well scolded me for adding to, as they put it, the general misconception that computers are the be-all and end-all to every problem the world faces. This got me to thinking about why I do truly love what I'm doing here at the center. First off, I love a puzzle. That's truly what all this is - just a big, complicated puzzle. When all the i's are dotted and all the t's crossed, the whole mess just falls into place and the machines do what I want them to. That, as Martha would say, is a good thing.
But even more important than the feeling of satisfaction I get from figuring out the puzzle is finding methods to help people do what they want and, more importantly, need to do.
One of our senior class participants has a son serving in the military in Iraq. She is eager to communicate with him on a regular basis via e-mail. So our focus this week was the basics of e-mail - how to choose a provider, how necessary is it to link your ISP and your e-mail, and what are the security pitfalls associated with using e-mail. Next week we'll touch on more sophisticated e-mail subjects such as sending and receiving attachments, creating and maintaining a contacts list, and creating and organizing folders.
Another frequent computer lab user has a daughter who is deaf and lives far away. Again, e-mail is the easy and inexpensive means of communicating within this family. I too have a daughter-in-law who is almost totally deaf and find that e-mailing is much more satisfactory than half-heard phone conversations and cumbersome TTY machines.
One of our frequent lab users is setting up the school year for her son at the Colorado Virtual Academy. This organization is "a public charter school that blends innovative new instructional technology with a traditional curriculum for elementary-, middle-, and high-school students all across Colorado." The students and teachers communicate via e-mail every day with conferences happening frequently. I imagine that this kind of distance learning/home school program will be used more and more in the coming years. By the way, if this is a subject that interests you, check out the academy's Web site at covcs.org.
Another user is sending photographs back to his sister in Virginia who will incorporate them into a book they are authoring together about the mountains of Colorado.
The list goes on and on. If using computers to communicate and learn makes life easier for people in our community, I'm all for it - and that's why I love computers.
Friday, Oct. 14 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Veteran's Services information, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.; last day to sign up for the final Mystery trip of the year.
Saturday, Oct. 15 - Oktoberfest, 4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 17 - Medicare Counseling, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 18 - Basic Computer class, 10 a.m.; flu shots at the community center, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 - noon; Canasta, 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.; AARP Elderwatch presentation, "Don't Be a Victim of Financial Exploitation," 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 19 - Yoga in Motion is cancelled; White Cane Society support group has changed their meeting date to Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 20 - Lunch in Arboles with $1 birthday celebrations, noon; musical entertainment with John Graves in Arboles.
Friday, Oct. 21 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.; Seniors Inc. board Meeting, 1 p.m.; Free movie, "The Princess Bride" (rated PG), 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. 14 - Swedish meatballs, potatoes and gravy, spinach, mixed fruit.
Monday, Oct. 17 - Swiss and broccoli pasta, five-way veggies, peaches and plums, sweet potato roll.
Tuesday, Oct. 18 - Ham and beans, broccoli cuts, parslied carrots, orange juice, corn bread.
Wednesday, Oct. 19 - Beef Stroganoff, orange spiced carrots, beet salad, tropical fruit.
Friday, Oct. 21 - Baked fish, whipped potatoes, veggie blend, pineapple and mandarin orange compote.
Salazar pushes for veteran legislation
By Andy Fautheree
I recently wrote in this column about a fact-finding forum sponsored by Sen. Ken Salazar on rural veteran's VA health care issues. The forum meeting was held in mid August in Grand Junction.
It appears Sen. Salazar has taken our rural veterans health care problems to the U.S. Senate floor, and as a result added amendments to the Military Construction Appropriations Act (H.R. 2528), which was passed by the Senate recently.
Rural veterans left behind
"Rural veterans in Colorado and across the Nation have been left behind by the V.A. while taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill for huge budget overruns. "This kind of mismanagement stops here," said Salazar. This statement was in response to the recent emergency appropriations to add to funding Dept. of Veterans Affairs budget.
Under Sen. Salazar's Rural Clinic Access amendment (SA 1868), the V.A. will be required to develop an action plan to provide improved health care access at outpatient clinics for veterans in rural communities.
CARES doesn't care?
Over a year ago, the Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services (CARES) Commission found that the V.A.'s system for siting new health clinics was unfair to veterans living in rural areas. While the V.A. revised its Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) planning criteria to address these concerns, the criteria for clinic prioritization codified in Veterans Health Administration Handbook 1006.1 still is tilted towards urban and suburban veterans over veterans in already underserved rural areas.
Rural vets overlooked
"It is beyond me why the V.A. continues to overlook veterans in rural communities. Our rural cities and towns have sacrificed too much for our nation and asked nothing in return. Now the V.A. will make veterans in these communities a priority, too," said Sen. Salazar.
Senate bill passed
Having been passed by the full Senate, the FY06 Military Construction/ Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill (HR 2528) will now proceed to conference committee to iron out differences between House and Senate versions. The compromise conference report will then be voted upon a second time by both the House and Senate. If the House and Senate both approve the conference report, it will go on to the president's desk for signature or veto.
Let us all hope this bill by Sen. Salazar will be approved and signed into law, and will provide the VA health care answers we need for our rural veterans.
Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the Share-A-Ride program. Help a fellow veteran that may be going in the same direction to the same VA facility. Give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.
Durango VA Clinic
The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.
For information on these and other veterans' benefits call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and E-mail is email@example.com. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
We're listening to Pagosa, and making plans
By Christine Eleanor Anderson
Well Pagosa, you've turned in your "Listening to Pagosa" forms and told me and the staff and the board what you want from the library. And, your wants and suggestions are all good, and what we want too.
First, I must say that I'm delighted by how many of you said that what you liked best about the "old" library was the friendly staff.
I'm sure you can guess what it's like to come into a new library and wonder how you will get along with the staff. To my delight, I think the staff is pretty wonderful. They are all working so very, very hard to get the new library ready for you. Their brains are hopping with ideas for everyone from the littlest library user on up. I almost feel like I'm in Santa's workshop and the elves are scurrying around measuring and selecting and making up presents for everyone.
Children first: for them you've asked for more art projects, stories by guest readers, a child level card catalog, and some fun painted walls, chairs, and tables.
Barb Draper's been busy painting furniture for the kid's room. We have a wonderful new crafts area with a sink and tiled floor for art projects. And Barb and I spent an afternoon last week going over a whole list of children's events to choose from. We also have volunteers who want to work with children and do readings and other fun things. If you aren't on the list yet, and want to work with Barb in the kid's room, call her and sign up to be a volunteer. Wonderful happenings will start soon in the spacious new kid's room. If you have ideas, please whisper in Barb's ear. She's listening and so am I.
Next, for the adults: books. What a surprise, it's a library and you want books!
You asked for more new books, more up-to-date books and the top ten best sellers, as well as more audio books. And, you asked for book discussion groups, adult reading groups, book study groups, and book reviews by local writers. Then too, you want a quiet place to read what you've chosen.
We will definitely be offering more books, both audio and hard copy. Staff members are going through lists of my personal favorites to see if we have them and if not, to get them on order. I've been approached by some generous, thoughtful members of the community interested in donating money to add to the collection. If any of you are interested donating for specific areas of the collection, please do come see me.
We are also thinking about the book study and adult reading group requests. The Kitsap Regional Library in Washington state has a marvelous book club Web page and we are reviewing it and others for ideas. Our wonderful new volunteer, Ellen Wadley, is working with staff member Jackie Welch on a new look and new functions for the library Web site. Once we've revised the site, you'll want to check it weekly to look for library events and news.
As for audio books, I listened to so many books-on-tape when I lived in California that it's an area of special interest to me. Last week I went through a couple of lists. We are ordering a whole slew of new CDs encompassing all sorts of subject matter and some new fiction. Sooner or later I'll be sitting down and going over the lists from Santa Monica Public Library, my home collection for so many years, and trying to decide what I think you might enjoy.
The back area of the library, the area by the big windows, is going to be the quiet reading area you've asked for. The Chatterbox Café will be up front near the book drop.
You also told us that you want your library to give you a visual treat when you walk in: displays of local art work, more exhibits. Once we get the stacks placed, we will think through the areas where we can display art, and then get to work on rotations. And, we will also be working on more book and book-related displays. After all, how will you know about all of our new goodies if we don't showcase them?
Finally, you asked for storytelling, talks on local history, programs on the local area, a lecture series, and for the library to run a "speaker's bureau" where local talent can register. These are great suggestions and we are working on a plan for programming to try to include all of them. I love storytelling and have thought about joining the National Storytelling Association. They have a fascinating annual meeting in the Great Smoky Mountains in the fallŠwith a huge menu of storytelling events. Maybe we can have our own storytelling agenda.
We are going to have a lot of fun together. I'm excited. Keep the ideas coming, and when the programs start, be sure you let us know what you like and don't like. It takes a village to run a library.
Remember the Woman's Civic Club Christmas Bazaar is coming on Saturday, Nov. 5. The booths are pretty well sold out and we know you want to put this holiday shopping extravaganza on your calendar.
Keeping it simple in the kitchen
By Karl Isberg
Lifting heavy objects and putting them down again.
Sense any similarities?
Allow me to explain.
The first similarity is that each activity - lifting weights and cooking - is a remarkably simple thing to do.
These are dog-level things.
If my yellow Labrador, Arnie, could talk, he could quickly explain strength training and he could provide information about the basic techniques of cooking. With his noble but frightfully limited dog mind, Arnie could dispense enough information that, with a smidge of practice and proper assimilation, would allow anyone to become a respected practitioner in both gym and home kitchen.
Weight lifting is basically a matter of picking up heavy things and putting them back down.
That's all, folks; there ain't nothing more.
Cooking is a matter of frying (sauteing, stir-frying, deep frying), baking, roasting and grilling, and cooking with liquids (poaching, steaming, braising, boiling).
That's just about it, folks; anything else, you don't need to know.
If you understand the fact that heat can be higher or lower, if you have a serviceable set of implements and you don't slash an artery while cutting ingredients into pieces, you're home free. Utilize a methodical base, add a dash of improvisation, and you're taste-treat royalty around the old homestead and among your friends an acquaintances.
As with all simpleminded pursuits, some geek will feel compelled to render the situation falsely complex, ambiguous, imposing. Every simple pursuit ultimately includes this aspect: Simplicity attracts morons and many of them have an overwhelming need to appear more knowledgeable than they really are. This kind of person is severely restricted and works constantly to disguise an array of limitations by pretending to know a whole lot about nothing.
In the gym, this type of bozo usually appears with a companion we will call "Spaghetti Boy." Our hero brings Spaghetti Boy to the gym in order, so it seems, to help Spaghetti Boy bulk up, gain muscle mass - to be a ripped and cut stud on whose brawny arms can hang a variety of toothsome mating opportunities. A brawny babe magnet, eh?
In reality, Spaghetti Boy is at the gym so the bozo friend can pretend to know esoteric things, then dispense that arcane knowledge - about techniques, nutritional nuggets, special loud attention-getting breathing styles, etc.
Bozo likes to be important, to mentor Spaghetti Boy and, simultaneously, to be enough of an exhibitionist to enlighten everyone else in the room. Especially the gals.
He is sure he is impressive.
He is also an idiot.
Ask Arnie; this is dog-level stuff.
You pick up a heavy thing - you put it down again. If it's too easy, you make the thing heavier.
Dr. Einstein, it's time for your Nobel address. Keep it short, will you?
Same thing with cooking.
Ever read one of the myriad magazines dealing with food and its preparation?
You need a Ph.D. in Romance Languages to understand the lists of ingredients.
Recipes run for column after column, involving preparation spread over four days time, and an institutional kitchen's worth of utensils. The Manhattan project had nothing on these kitchen marathons.
Ask Arnie how tough it should be.
Not at all, if you have solid technique, know about heat, and are willing to experiment. Use fresh, quality ingredients and cook them simply. This is dog-level stuff. No need to make it difficult.
Recipes, further, should be a mere template. After the basic plan is drawn, the template should be discarded, the plan serving as a platform for adventure - a launch pad for an invigorating gustatory voyage of exploration. It should provide the opportunity for serendipity - whatever that means.
As you experiment, with a bit of traditional advice guiding how you combine certain tastes (licorice, for example does not go particularly well with scallops or oysters) you can flex your muscle. Just like, after a few months of lifting heavy objects and putting them down, you add new movements, vary your program in the gym. Certain spices best complement certain meats, vegetables. Certain ways of lifting heavy objects and putting them down again makes a particular muscle stronger, makes it feel better, grow.
No mystery, no need for a bozo to make it appear difficult, like String theory or Neo-Platonic metaphysics.
I used a foundation of technique and a bit of invention on some pork loin last night.
I bought a massive piece of pig at the store, cut it into five sections, put four in the freezer and cooked the fifth.
The hunk of loin was substantial, one side covered with a nice layer of fat. I cut it into two very thick pieces, about three inches thick, and cut a pocket in each piece (without slashing an artery in my forearm). I salted and peppered the meat liberally, inside and out.
I prepared a mirepoix of equal amounts of finely diced white onion, carrot and celery (which I cut without slashing myself) softening them, salted and peppered, over low heat in olive oil (see, there's sauteing). I added a batch of diced pancetta and I tossed in some finely diced red pepper and a bit of sage and cooked the mix for a while.
When the savory veggie mix was to my liking, I added some chopped fresh parsley and four cloves of garlic, finely chopped, then took the pan from the heat to let the mixture cool.
Into the pockets in the hunks of loin went the vegetables and the seams of the pockets were sutured with toothpicks. With the contraction of proteins attendant to the application of heat, the seals would be complete.
In the same ovenproof pan I used for the mirepoix, I heated olive oil and, over high heat, I browned each side of the pieces of meat (see, frying). When the meat was browned, I added a bit of chicken broth and some lemon juice, a teaspoon of chicken demiglace and a teensy bit of Marsala, covered the pan and popped it into a 350-degree oven (see, braising).
Some time before, I had peeled a couple of sweet potatoes and sliced rounds about a quarter inch thick (without slashing myself). I put the rounds on an oiled baking sheet, applied kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and put the potatoes in the oven (see, roasting). They were half done when meat met heat.
I set a crown of broccoli on a rack above gently boiling water and covered the pan (see, steaming). When it was al dente, I drained the cooking water, took the broccoli from the rack and separated it into spears, melted butter in the pan, added a bit of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and ground black pepper and popped the broccoli and a touch of minced garlic back in the covered pan, turning off the heat and shaking the pan to distribute the fat.
When the meat was done medium well (it is a myth you need to cook pork until it's as dry as shoe leather - worms will not take up residence in your brain if you eat pork, cooked medium well) I took the hunks o' loin from the pan, tented them with foil and reduced the liquid over high heat until it was nearly a glaze. I threw in a bit more chopped parsley and nailed the remaining liquid with a half stick of cubed butter, took the pan from the heat to keep the sauce from breaking, adjusted the seasonings and added the meat to the pan, turning the pieces to cover them with the sauce.
Getting the cork out of a bottle of cheap but fruity-good pinot noir was the most difficult task I faced. It was from Oregon, land of cranky corks.
When I'm at the gym tomorrow, I'll tell my testosterone fueled pals about dinner while we work rear delts, about the relationship of cooking and strength training, about how darned well my little experiment with pork loin worked out.
Then we'll bark a bit, scratch ourselves, and get back to lifting heavy objects and putting them down.
Controlling insect infestations
By Bill Nobles
Hundreds of insect species potentially can inhabit the wood of native and ornamental trees.
However, the majority of cases involve these groups: wood borers, bark beetles, carpenter ants, powderpost and anobiid beetles. With few exceptions insects found in Colorado firewood will not survive indoors and are capable of infesting only well-dried logs with intact bark. The primary problems with firewood insects involve a few species of bark beetles that can develop in firewood and later infest healthy trees. The most important of these insects is the mountain pine beetle, which kills large numbers of trees, primarily ponderosa pine, in natural forest areas. Elm bark beetles and Ips beetles also may threaten healthy trees after emerging from firewood. Simple precautions can prevent injury by these insects.
Wood borers are the most frequently observed insects infesting firewood and house logs. Most common are roundheaded borers, also known as longhorned borers or sawyers. Adults are medium to large beetles (1/4 to 2 inches), often with long antennae that may exceed the body length. Common roundheaded borers are gray-brown with black speckling (sawyers) or deep blue-black (black-horned pine borer). Adult flatheaded borers, also called metallic wood borers, generally are smaller than roundheaded borers. Flatheaded borers commonly are gray, bronze or blue-green with a metallic sheen and have inconspicuous antennae.
Borer larvae are slender, white, segmented grubs with brownish heads and rather prominent jaws. These larvae produce chewing noises and piles of wood-colored sawdust that frequently cause alarm. Wood borers are primarily a nuisance. The noise and sawdust they produce is suggestive of termites and, thus, disconcerting. Because of their long life cycle, borers may be present in wood for a year or longer. They do not emerge and attack healthy trees. Furniture, wall framing or other seasoned woods are not suitable for wood borer attack. Despite producing what look like great quantities of dust, borers rarely tunnel extensively enough to cause structural failure. Adult borers found in the home may pinch the skin if handled but are not dangerous.
Bark Beetles commonly infest dead or dying trees and then appear in firewood from such trees. Several well-known tree killers and disease vectors are the mountain pine beetle, elm bark beetle and Ips beetles. Adult bark beetles are small (1/16 to 1/2 inch), dark and bluntly cylindrical. Infestation on conifers usually is marked by a glob of pitch (pitch-tube) at the point of attack. Eggs are laid in central pathways (egg galleries) constructed under the bark. The larvae feed on wood as they chew at right angles from the central gallery. Most bark beetles have a one-year life cycle, but a few can complete generations in two-month intervals. Bark beetles cannot reproduce in household wood products.
Powderpost and anobiid beetle infestations of structural wood and furniture are not common in Colorado but can be serious. Native species do occur naturally in dead tree limbs and dry, seasoned wood. However, problems with these insects in Colorado appear to be associated with the introduction of infested wood products from Eastern states. Fresh piles of fine sawdust and small round holes (1/32 to 1/8 inch diameter) are possible signs of infestation.
Carpenter Ants do not use intact, sound logs. These ants nest in rotting, water-damaged wood, and such logs are rarely used for firewood. Native populations of carpenter ants may develop within old rotting wood that has been stored improperly for long periods.
There is a widespread but unfounded concern about transporting termites in firewood or other wood products. Colorado termites nest underground. Under natural conditions, they rarely infest firewood and timber products. Occasional termites found in this wood are not the reproductive stages. Furthermore, the low humidity in houses causes any incidental termites in firewood to quickly dry out and die. Colorado termites do not produce sawdust.
An exotic wood borer, the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) from China, is a potential imported threat to Colorado's deciduous trees. The problem with ALB is twofold: Where it shows up, it seriously damages shade trees, requiring their removal. It is confused with at least two common, relatively harmless borer species native to Colorado. Mistaking our native borers in the genus Monochamus for ALB has led to unnecessary concern. The ALB is similar in shape to the typical longhorned beetle. However, it is black, very shiny, and has prominent white spots scattered on its wing covers, making it resemble a starry sky. ALB is a threat only to deciduous trees, such as maples and poplars. Our native "look alikes" develop in pines and other conifers, typical Colorado firewood species. The ALB develops and is imported in crates and other heavy wooden packing material from Asia.
Problems with firewood insects emerging in the home are best handled by storing firewood outdoors until needed. Outdoor storage will greatly slow insect development during the winter and limit the opportunity of insects to emerge inside a home. The occasional insects that do manage to emerge indoors can be controlled by vacuuming. To avoid wood infested by these insects, choose trees that have been dried for at least one year or that have noticeably loose bark. Check local ordinances as it is illegal to store certain types of firewood like elm, for example.
To limit firewood insect infestations, stack wood so air readily flows through the pile. Well-dried wood will not invite bark beetle attack. The drying process can kill many developing bark beetle larvae already present in the wood. When collected firewood is known to harbor mountain pine beetle or other undesirable species, the best option is to burn the wood before adult beetles begin to emerge in mid-July. Elm bark beetles emerge in mid-May.
If log piles are small and located in a sunny area, firewood insects can be killed by covering the pile with a clear plastic tarp. The high temperatures produced will kill many insects inside the wood. Control of insects in logs at the top of the pile may exceed 50 percent, but insects in lower logs generally are not affected. A more difficult but highly effective means of killing most firewood insects is to remove the bark. Debarking also prevents reinfestation and speeds drying.
Chemical controls may be needed in some situations to protect house logs. Insecticidal fumigants are not available for general use on firewood. Consequently, treatments involve sprays that kill the insects as they enter or emerge from wood. These sprays do not kill insects already in the wood but can prevent them from moving to healthy plants or reinfesting the wood.
The Radon and the Professional program to be held Monday, Oct. 24, is designed to assist real estate professionals in handling radon issues to satisfy both buyers and sellers. Attendees will receive four hours of continuing education credits approved by the Colorado Division of Real Estate.
The program will be held in the Pine Room at the La Plata County Fairgrounds from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Program size is limited so to assure your spot, registration is due prior to Oct. 18. Cost for the program is $25. For additional information you can pick up a form at the Extension Office or contact Wendy Rice at 247-4355.
Master Gardener Program
The 2006 Master Gardener Program in Pagosa Springs will be held on Tuesdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 31-April 4. We must have at least 20 confirmed participants for this program.
Basic CMG training consists of 60-plus hours of classroom instruction with topics ranging from managing irrigation to landscaping with native plants. Content is focused for the home gardener (non-commercial) audience, however, 30 percent of the students are employed in the green industry and use the classes for career training. Stop by the Extension Office to get pricing information and an application.
Check out our Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and information.
ECC building package now on Web site
By Ming Steen
PLPOA's Environmental Control Committee building package is now on our web site.
Property owners can log on to www.plpoa.com, click on Forms and Applications in the left-hand menu bar, then click on Building Package. You'll need to have the free Adobe Reader installed on your computer to be able to view the document. You can download the program at www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html.
You can print the entire document or select particular pages to print (select "print" from the File tab at the top of the window through your printer dialog box; when the dialog box opens up, insert which pages to print in the appropriate box).
However, if you prefer to deal with a person rather than a computer, the PLPOA staff is always happy to assist. The PLPOA office is located at 230 Port Ave.
The Pagosa Lakes swim team will begin fall training Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 4-5:15 p.m. The team will practice twice each week - Tuesdays and Thursdays - with practices canceled whenever there is a school holiday.
School-age children wishing to join the swim team are asked to call coach Jennifer at 731-0717.
Just for fun, and on the lighter side of life, try rearranging the letters in the following words and look at what you end up with. The words are: dormitory, Presbyterian, astronomer, desperation and slot machines. The answers will be printed at the end of this column.
The PLPOA board of directors meets tonight, 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
There will be reports from the Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee, the Road Committee and the ECC.
Under Old Business, the board will drafts of proposed resolutions. The topic of mail boxes will be considered under Recurring Business.
- dormitory - dirty room
- Presbyterian - best in prayer
- astronomer - moon starer
- desperation - a rope ends it
- slot machines - cash lost in me
Fabian Jose Quezada
The family of Fabian Jose Quezada would like to announce the birth of the newest family member, who was born at Mercy Medical Center in Durango on June 16, 2005. He weighed six pounds, four ounces and was 17 inches long. Proud parents are Gilbert and Annette Quezada.
Vanessa Rey Martinez
Toby Martinez and Tasha Pollard are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Vanessa Rey Martinez. She was born at Mercy Medical Center in Durango on Aug. 3, 2005. She was six pounds, 1.7 ounces and 17 1/2 inches.
Proud grandparents are Diane Pollard of Pagosa Springs and Todd Pollard of Sulfer Springs, Texas, and Gilbert and Annette Quezada of Pagosa Springs. Proud great grandparents are Richard and Virginia Humphreys of Pagosa Springs.
We lost our dear friend, Rachel Howe to cancer on Monday, Oct. 3, 2005. Like the beautiful and delicate summer flowers that she loved, she shared her bright colors with those of us who knew and loved her for all too brief a time as they faded with the autumn frost.
Rachel always embraced the adventures in life and has taken the road less traveled, beginning with the time she spent in Alaska as a homesteader in the wilderness hundreds of miles from the nearest road. She built a log cabin by hand and lived off the land for a time. Later, she met the love of her life, Howie, near Seattle where she was "swept off her feet" (you'll have to visit to find out the real story from Howie). She spent a lot of her time here in Pagosa mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, swimming and volunteering with the Special Olympics, the Humane Society and helping special needs children. Rachel was honored with the award for Southwest Colorado's "Coach of the Year" for Special Olympics in 2001.
Rachel is survived by four brothers - Joe, Steve, P.J. and David - her father, Pete, and two sisters, Terry and Chris, as well as many close friends.
Please bring your special memories and stories of Rachel and join us for a celebration of her love and enjoyment of life. Help her family and friends remember those special times that we shared with her.
Dress casually and stop by between 1 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, for an open house at her home at 388 Lakewood Drive (corner of Lakewood and Mosswood) in Pagosa Springs, and share your memories.
Planning ahead, for a busy 2006
By Mary Jo Coulehan
Just prior to writing this article, I was feeling a little skittish, thinking about arranging all the upcoming events for 2006: Contacting the people I need to speak to make sure that all appropriate town rules are met and the proper officials notified; arranging deadline dates for advertising, locating advertisers who would best draw people into our community, and wondering whether gas prices are going to affect the way people travel. I was thinking about getting the community involved and getting the word out, and asking how am I going to pay for all of this?
Then I realized that putting all these pieces of the puzzle together is what is so great about this job. Hopefully, by the end of this article, all my bits and pieces of information will be tied together for you. Let's start at the beginning.
We've talked a little about Winterfest. Along with the great balloon rally and the fun sled race, we will be adding a winter triathlon and some snowmobile activities to the weekend. We are also working on another wine festival because we had so much fun at Colorfest. And why not have a dance to kick off the weekend?
Then let's go ahead and jump to what is going to be a "bang-up" Fourth of July week - or two. Just when you thought we already had a great holiday weekend last summer, we're going to take it up a notch for you. As previously mentioned in another article, Pagosa Springs has been chosen by the Bike Tour of Colorado to be the kickoff and ending point for the 2006 tour starting June 24. This is the first time this organization has chosen to start in a town so far from the Front Range. We are honored Pagosa has been chosen and we will work hard with the schools and the town to maintain the great reputation we have acquired as a superb host community - all the while ensuring that the tour respects our town and the effort we have put into this event. Lots of activities are being planned for that day including a party in the park and live music. Another organization has also approached me about tying a little festival into that weekend, primarily on Sunday. So, we'll just keep the festivity ball rolling.
We will have a little break while the cyclists are gone, then they return July 1. On July 1, the Bike Tour is planning a celebration barbecue for the riders, and the community will also be invited, I am told. Our annual Park to Park Arts and Crafts Show also begins July 1, and it will go on for four days.
Then, for July 2, I was just informed we have been selected as a pit stop town for the oldest and longest running vintage motor sports competition, The Great Race. Tentatively leaving from Philadelphia, and ending in San Raphael, Calif., this antique car race draws participants and onlookers from all over America. The racers will be coming into town, stopping to rest their cars after having traveled over Wolf Creek Pass (which is celebrating its 90th anniversary), then traveling on to Durango. We will host the pit stop area and there will be lots of opportunities for individuals, families and businesses to get involved. Being the competitor I pretend not to be, I wonder if we might have a chance at winning the award for the "Great American City?" I think so.
OK, now we finally get into the usual Fourth of July activities. Of course there will still be the parade, all the rodeo activities, fireworks, more live music, and don't forget this is also the year for the Quilt Show. This time frame will be very active for the community.
We have so many opportunities to shine and show people what a great community we are. It will be a busy period for lodgers, retail, restaurants, and the area as a whole.
My next challenge comes when I consider where to market our area. Typically, we have some major and regional publications in which we advertise. Given these added activities, we need to expand our market. Typically, the Chamber/Visitor Center can budget only so much money towards advertising, due to other costs involved in promoting tourism. This is where the new lodger's tax increase comes in. On Nov. 8 and in weeks prior to that date, people will have the opportunity to vote for an increase in the lodger's tax collected within the town. In a snapshot: This tax specifies that visitors will pay an additional 3 percent to the current 1.9 percent tax already collected. The existing 1.9-percent tax helps fund most of the advertising and promotion the Chamber engages in on behalf of the community. The additional 3 percent will allow a tourism board to utilize the monies collected for promotional and tourism-related endeavors. Examples might be increased advertising or exposure for the town, or funding for a special event; enhancing or initiating a festival or event that would bring visitors into the community; creating signage or improvements of a historical site that would augment a tourist's visit.
The beauty of this tax is there is no increased cost to the taxpayers of Pagosa Springs. This minimal tax increase to the tourists to Pagosa Springs will continue to allow our community to physically improve its amenities and enhance its exposure in relation to tourism related activities.
Whew! We have now come full circle as I try to express how these events and visitors to the area will positively impact our revenues immediately and in the future. While the lodger's tax increase was not initiated by the Chamber, we support the lodging industry and the town for creating this alternative way to promote our community, and we will continue to be excellent stewards of our portion of the community's tax revenues. I hope everyone will vote for the lodger's tax. You can't complain if you haven't taken the time to exercise your right to make a change. I am trying to let the community know about these events far enough in advance so people can plan their organization's events and analyze how the events might affect your business' buying and budgets.
Pagosans love a party. Those of us who have lived here for at least 10 years still remember closing down Pagosa Street to celebrate with Ride the Rockies and what a blast that was. While we can't close down the street, we can still have a blast entertaining ourselves and our visitors. As always, your questions or input are always welcome here at the Chamber. Stop by or give us a call.
Oct. 15 activities
Let's not get too caught up in the future; we still have great events right around the corner.
Saturday we're going to have a fun-filled day, presented by the Pagosa Fire Protection District and Archuleta Seniors, Inc.
Starting at 9 a.m. the fire district will provide fun, food, and demonstrations for you to enjoy. There will be demos of firefighting skills, vehicle extrication, rescue skills and fire prevention information as well. You can also see the new live burn training tower with a smoke machine and top off your visit by tasting different types of "firehouse chili." All this happens just 5.5 miles south on U.S. 84 at Fire Station 3.
Then move into town to the community center where the Archuleta Seniors will play host to the community's Oktoberfest, starting at 4:30 p.m. More fun, band music, dancing, great ethnic food, and a beer garden await the fun seeker. Festivities will continue until about 8:30 p.m. This lively annual event brings out the October in all of us.
If you just can't stay indoors and are in the mood to take in the final colors of fall and experience some wildlife, travel over to the Monte Vista area where you'll find the first annual Kid's Crane Festival. Starting at 2 p.m. there will be wagon rides, nest hunts, games about migrations, and a puppet show. At 5 p.m. there will be a barbecue followed by crane viewing. There is limited space available, so you may want to call (719) 589-4021 to make reservations.
A Tuscan Afternoon
Word is out, and your ticket center in Pagosa, the Chamber of Commerce, now has tickets for the Immaculate Heart of Mary's annual fall fashion show, to be held Saturday, November 12. This show always sells out, so you may want to run, not walk, over to the Visitor Center to obtain your tickets. Many of the, "ladies' groups" do like to sit together, so it is recommended that you buy your 10 tickets, then call Judy Cramer at 264-1156 to reserve your table. Tickets are $20 each and the luncheon this year is packed with great food, prizes, all the latest in fashions and jewelry, and John Graves at the piano. A special treat will be singer Barbara Witkowski; now a local talent, she has soloed with the Dallas Symphony and will grace the luncheon with some Italian melodies. What a voice this woman has! If you have questions about the fashion show, call Joan Slavinski at 731-2255 or Yvonne Ralston at 731-9324.
Love those members
One really new, three sorta new, and lots of renewals to mention this week.
Our first genuine new member is Julie Herman with Bowenwork of Pagosa. Julie practices the Bowen technique which is a gentle, noninvasive series of muscle and connective tissue movements designed to treat a wide range of problems and injuries. This technique also aids in addressing circulation and internal organs, and in the assimilation of nutrients and elimination of toxins. Come by the Chamber and pick up one of her brochures which has an introductory offer! Julie can be contacted at 731-9983 for an appointment. We welcome her talent to our community and thank Kim Braselman for referring her to the Chamber. Just a reminder, if you refer someone to the Chamber as a new member, you will receive one free admission to the SunDowner of your choice as a thank you from all of us.
These next businesses really have been in business, but are under new ownership.
We welcome Aspen Tree Veterinary Clinic now with Dr. Joe Schmidt, DVM. In the same caring vein that Kevin Toman offered his patients and their owners, I have heard nothing but the nicest compliments of Dr. Schmidt's caring nature towards his clients. Dr. Schmidt offers comprehensive small animal medical, surgical, and dental care. Still located in the City Market Center at 135 Country Center Dr., Suite D, Dr. Schmidt can be reached for an appointment by calling 731-5001. When there, you can also catch up with Doug Trowbridge as he meets and greets your pets.
With the holidays quickly approaching, chances are you will be paying a visit to Pagosa Candy Company, now under the ownership of Robin Carpenter-Hubbard. The shop features beautiful candy bouquets, balloons, gift baskets and, of course, all the candy you can imagine to satisfy even the greatest sweet tooth. Located right next to Liberty Theater, "down under", where you can browse the shelves and racks of confectionery delights. If you are out of town and want to order something to be delivered in town, you can call (800) 270-3102 (264-3033 locally). Keep another one of our renewals this week in business and visit the Pagosa Candy Company.
Somewhere along the transition line of old and new people here at the Chamber, SEARS fell through the cracks, and so Yvonne Giesen is not really a new member, but a renewal.
This next business has saved my proverbial bacon several times since I obtained this position! Welcome back Don and Mary McKeehan, owners of Old West Press.
After you visit Pagosa Candy Company, just travel a very short distance and visit Dr. Gerlinde Ehni, DDS, our next renewal.
Staying busy with all home repair work, we welcome back Wally Rediske and Coyote Appliance Repair.
Still acting like she is on the Chamber board of directors with all her volunteering, we always welcome Bonnie Masters and Pagosa Springs Real Estate Online.
Once you purchase that dream home, give Puja Parsons at Growing spaces a call to set up a "growing space" for your home.
Check out the cover of The PREVIEW next week and see our next renewal member - Wings Over Pagosa, with owner Tom Broadbent.
Two out of town businesses renew this week. First is the Sky Ute Casino, in Ignacio. Second, we welcome back the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, celebrating its 125th anniversary next year.
Let's round out the membership portion of the column this week with associate member, Barbara Palmer. Barbara graced the cover of the PREVIEW last year as one of the Chamber's 20-year Diplomat veterans. If you could just hear Barbara talk to the visitors, you would learn so much. She is so engaging, and the visitors just love all the information and anecdotes that she doles out. We thank her for all her years of service to the Visitor Center and her support of the Chamber.
It is people like Barbara that we will honor at our Diplomat luncheon Monday, Oct. 17, at Isabel's Restaurant.
I would also like to thank those businesses that have been so generous so far in offering coupons and gifts to our volunteers.
Hopefully, this column continues to be informative to the reader whether a business owner, current resident, visitor or future resident. There's always a lot of activity here in Pagosa. We want to keep you current and ready for all the activities.
His 'N' Hers
Cloyd Richardson, left, and Linda Richardson own and operate His 'N' Hers, now at a new location at 173 Goldmine Dr., on Put Hill behind Circle T Lumber. Pictured with the Richardsons is His 'N' Hers employee Robert Black.
His 'N' Hers continues to offer customers truck accessories (grille guards, nerf bars, mud flaps, etc.) and RV parts, and now provides products that protect a vehicle's paint with Clear Bra from 3M. And don't compromise the vehicle's interior - His 'N' Hers has 3M window tinting for maximum protection.
His 'N' Hers is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Call 264-2800.
It has bought me great joy not only to serve so many genuinely wonderful women, but also to know many of you on a personal level, as well. I have learned an abundance of valuable life "lessons" from you - you have each enriched my life personally and professionally in so many positive ways. I have the deepest respect and admiration for the dignity and commitment with which you live your often, very busy lives.
I am truly honored that you placed your trust and confidence in me to provide the highest quality, compassionate, comprehensive care for your most precious gift - your health.
Although I am no longer associated with Southwest Women's Health Associates, it is my hope that our paths will cross again. Until then, continued excellent health to each of you and your families.
With my deepest appreciation, Kate Erret
We would like to give a heartfelt thanks to Dorothy's Restaurant, CC Swing, and to all those who attended Coltin's benefit dance. Also a big thanks to Diane Bower (mom) for all of her help. Thank you for all the prayers. It is nice to know that we live in a community where people care
The outpouring of support for the Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue has been amazing. Sixty-eight dogs, 17 cats and 15 kittens were flown to the La Plata Airport Friday, Sept. 30. They have all been placed in loving foster homes and with caring vets. Thank you so much to all: the vets, the foster families, the volunteers, all who offered to foster a dog, all who helped with the incredible effort at the airport, all who tirelessly attended the animals, and all who donated collars, leashes, and money to cover vet care. The animals and their owners are exceedingly grateful. Thank you.
Humane Society of Pagosa Springs
I would like to thank the following: Pat Everett for flower vases; City Market and Alberta Nickerson for fresh flowers; Linda Gibson for writing paper, envelopes and greeting cards; Mitzi Hopper for candy and snacks; volunteers Cliff and Carolyn Jensen, Melissa Bir and Lupe Sanchez.
Mary Ann Martinez
Pine Ridge Extended Care
Brandon Smith and Theresa Hostetter announce their engagement and upcoming marriage in Nawoo, Ill., Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005.
Theresa is the daughter of John and Chris Hostetter, currently of Pagosa Springs. She is a recent student at University of Colorado of Colorado Springs, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Brandon is the son of Robert and Betty Smith and the grandson of Ike and Sharon Oldham, also of Pagosa Springs. He recently returned from a mission in Pennsylvania for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The couple plans to return to school in Wyoming.
Please join them for an open house reception in their honor 6:30-8:30 Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 1879 Majestic.
David Hamilton, principal of Pagosa Springs High School, announced Monday that Heather Andersen has been named a Commended Student in the 2006 National Merit® Scholarship program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to this scholastically talented senior.
About 34,000 commended students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2006 competition for Merit Scholarship® awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than one million students who entered the 2006 competition by taking the 2004 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship
Army Pvt. Raul R. Palmer has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.
During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.
He is the son of Roy and Rachea Palmer of Pagosa Springs.
The private is a 2005 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.
Buccaneers outduel Pirates 29-24, lead league race
By Randy Johnson
In a game that could go along way toward determining the 2005 Intermountain League football champion, the Pagosa Springs Pirates (a.k.a. Buccaneers) dug deep in the second half last Friday and came away with a big win over the Pirates from Monte Vista by a score of 29-24 before another big crowd at Golden Peaks Stadium.
Monte Vista (4-2, 1-1 in IML) knew coming into the game they would have to beat the Buccaneers (5-1, 2-0 in IML) to keep their hopes alive for a league championship. In the beginning it looked like the green and yellow Pirates might have enough but Pagosa fought hard for the victory over a good Monte Vista team.
Dating back to 2001, Pagosa has won every meeting with Monte. The largest margin of victory was in 2003 when the Buccaneers won by eight. This game was no different, as another classic match-up kept the score close and, in the end, another 'W' went into the record for the black and gold.
When two evenly-matched teams hook up, it is usually mistakes that win or lose a game. Monte made the key errors. The visiting Pirates could not convert on any point-after attempts which proved to be the margin of victory for Pagosa.
So far this season it appears the Buccaneers are a big play team. In the Taos game it was defense and special teams that made the big plays. Against Monte Vista it was offense.
Junior quarterback Jordan Shaffer had a breakout game for the Buccaneers. Shaffer had nine carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns, one from 52 yards out and the other from 72. He also completed four of nine passing attempts for 95 yards and a TD. Senior receiver Daniel Aupperle caught two balls, one for a 72-yard score. Senior receiver Paul Przybylski had one ball for 16 yards.
The offensive rushing statistics were impressive as Coach Sean O'Donnell went with an extensive ground game in this one. As a team, Pagosa ran the ball 27 times for 248 yards. Along with Shaffer's totals senior running back Josh Hoffman carried eleven times for 65 yards and a touchdown. Junior running back Corbin Mellette added 40 yards on 6 carries.
Senior Craig Schutz had a good defensive game from his linebacker spot by stacking up eight unassisted tackles. Junior defensive back Derek Harper, playing with a heavy shoulder brace, had six solos while senior linebacker Bubba Martinez, junior lineman Jake Cammack and junior defensive back Kerry Joe Hilsabeck each recorded four.
The defense intercepted Monte quarterback Sigi Rodriquez three times, two by Przybylski and a critical one by junior defensive back John Hoffman late in the game.
In the first half it appeared to be another "ugly" game as Monte had their way with Pagosa. The Buccaneers could not mount a sustained drive until late in the second quarter and went into intermission trailing by a score of 12-8.
O'Donnell worked his halftime magic again as the Buccaneers came out with new found enthusiasm and outscored Monte 21-12 in the second half to get the win.
Monte received the opening kickoff and could not sustain a drive and punted on fourth down.
It appeared that the hometown fans might be in for a long evening as the Buccaneers turned the ball over on the second play from scrimmage when junior quarterback Adam Trujillo threw a pick. Trujillo was replaced by Shaffer.
Monte Vista took advantage of the turnover when running back Omar Gonzales scored from four yards out. The point-after attempt failed and the Pirates led 6-0 with almost seven minutes remaining in the quarter.
Both teams struggled and went three and out on their next possessions.
The quarter ended with Monte up by six.
The Buccaneers continued to have difficulty with the Pirates' defense as they went three and out to start the second stanza.
Monte Vista regained the momentum and put together another long scoring drive. Rodriquez had a 38-yard pass completion then called his own number to dive it in from the 1 yard line. The point-after run attempt failed again giving the visitors a 12-point margin with over three and a half minutes remaining.
On the ensuing kickoff, Przybylski had a big return out to the Monte 45-yard line which finally gave the Buccaneers' fans something to cheer about. After a personal foul was called on Monte, Josh Hoffman took a handoff from Shaffer and scampered 31 yards for the score. On the point-after try, Aupperle picked up the ball when he knew he couldn't get the kick away and outran the defense for two points putting the score at 12-8 with just over three minutes left in the period.
On the next possession for Monte, Przybylski had a pick to end the visitors' drive. After that, neither team could convert on third down tries.
The half ended with Monte up by four.
Both teams struggled to open the quarter. Pagosa took the kickoff but could not mount a drive. Monte went three and out and the defensive battle continued.
Finally, with just over one minute left, the Buccaneers hit paydirt. Shaffer found Aupperle in the flat on a 72-yard catch and run for the TD. Aupperle's kick put the home team ahead for the first time, 15-12
The Buccaneers continued the offensive momentum to open the final period. With 11:33 remaining, Shaffer found a seam in the defense on an option play and outran the defense for 52 yards and the touch. Aupperle's kick increased the Pagosa lead to 22-12.
On the next possession, Monte got back on track to mount a drive that took almost two minutes of clock time and put them in the end zone. Rodriquez called his own number again from two yards out. The run attempt failed and the score went to 22-18 for Pagosa.
Not to be outdone, the Buccaneers returned the favor 20 seconds later. O'Donnell appeared to have found a weakness in the Monte defense as he called for another Shaffer option. It worked. This time Shaffer scampered 70 yards and a second long touchdown run. The score increased to 29-18 after Aupperle's kick.
Back came the Monte Vista Pirates as the fourth quarter turned into an offensive show. The Pirates put together another long drive and Gonzales scored from 10 yards out with 6:48 remaining on the clock. Monte's special teams continued to make mistakes as the point-after run attempt failed for a fourth time to end the scoring at 29-24 for the good guys.
Monte had a chance to come back in the final minutes of play. The Pirates were moving the ball and it appeared their big offensive linemen were wearing down the Pagosa defense. Luckily, John Hoffman stepped in front of a Rodriquez pass for an interception to end the game.
After the game, O'Donnell praised the offense after getting on track in the third quarter. He especially liked the play of Shaffer, who stepped up his game at quarterback and led the team to a victory. O'Donnell also pointed out that "Aupperle had another good game on offense and special teams and Craig Schutz played an outstanding game for us on defense." He also stated that "we will continue to work on our offense to play consistently for four quarters."
The victory puts Pagosa in the driver's seat for another IML championship with two more league games remaining - one at Ignacio and home against Centauri.
But, first, there remains another big obstacle.
The Class 3A Mean Moose from Alamosa come to town tomorrow night. The Mean Moose (4-2, 1-2 in Southern league) are always tough and were ranked in the top 10 in the 3A polls after four straight victories to start the season. However, they have lost two league games in a row with the last one a 61-30 blowout to Florence. That made them really "mean."
O'Donnell said "Alamosa will want to use this game to change their momentum going into the final three league games. We will have to play another outstanding game to win."
Buccaneer defensive coordinator Shawn Tucker indicated that "Alamosa's quarterback is probably the best one we will face this year." He went on to say that Alamosa's quarterback "is big and strong and can throw the football very well. It will be a big test for our defense."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Golden Peaks Stadium.
Pagosa will probably need another big play day to beat the Mean Moose. With luck it will come from offense, defense and special teams this time.
In other IML action last week:
Bayfield (1-5, 0-1) def. Class A Mancos (1-5, 0-1) 29-0.
Centauri (4-2, 1-1) def. Ignacio (4-2, 0-1) 20-6.
Pagosa Springs (5-1, 2-0) vs. Monte Vista (4-2, 1-1)
Score by quarters
Monte Vista 6, 6, 0, 12 - 24
Pagosa Springs 0, 8, 7, 14 - 29
6:57 MV - Gonzales four-yard run (run failed)
5:34 MV - Rodriquez one-yard run (run failed)
3:12 PS - Josh Hoffman 31-yard run (Aupperle run)
1:14 PS - Aupperle 72-yard completion from Shaffer (Aupperle kick)
3:27 PS - Shaffer 52-yard run (Aupperle kick)
5:12 MV - Rodriquez two-yard run (run failed)
5:21 PS - Shaffer 70-yard run (Aupperle kick)
8:12 MV - Gonzales 10-yard run (run failed)
Pirates skin Bobcats, go to 4-1 in IML
By Karl Isberg
The Ignacio Volleycats have a tradition prior to their home game against the Pirates: Parents and Family Night and a Senior Recognition ceremony.
The affair seems to last about six hours ... and it serves as an effective delay in the inevitable.
Thursday, the inevitable was a 3-1 loss to Pagosa.
With the win, the Pirates went to 4-1 in Intermountain League action.
Game one saw Pagosa take a 25-14 victory with outside hitters Caitlin Forrest, Emily Buikema and Kari Beth Faber hitting away at the Bobcat defense. Ignacio's points were largely unearned.
A kill of a quick set by middle hitter Jennifer Haynes ignited a five-point run for the Pirates and put the team ahead 23-13. Ignacio got a point on a Pirate attack that went out, the Bobcats gave away a point on a passing error and Forrest killed cross-court to end the game.
The second game went to Pagosa, 25-17.
Once again, the Pirates' worst enemy, as it has been most of this season, was the Pirates.
Spotting the Bobcats a 3-0 advantage with two passing errors, Pagosa got a point on a pretty behind-the-shoulders putback of an errant Bobcat pass by Forrest and a kill from the right side by Buikema to tie the score.
Ignacio managed leads at 8-5 and 9-8 before Danielle Spencer hit a 1 and Faber killed from the right side. Faber nailed a solo block and the Pirates were on the way to a 15-10 lead. They never looked back.
Ignacio gave away point after point with errors, Kim Canty and Haynes blocked for a point and Forrest shut the door from outside.
It was an old story in the third game: How do you give away a volleyball game?
Mistakes. Breakdowns in execution. Lack of focus.
Ignacio fashioned a 12-6 lead, scoring only two earned points. A Bobcat hitting error helped cut the home team's advantage to 12-10. Canty nailed a block, Faber killed, Spencer hit an ace.
Pagosa surged ahead on the shoulders of two Ignacio errors, a solo block by Haynes and a kill of a Bobcat overpass by the junior middle hitter. Then, it was neck-and neck to 21-21.
A Pirate passing mistake gave up a point and Ignacio killed through the block. Faber scored for Pagosa but a serve error gave away another point. Faber killed off the block before a Pirate mistake on the attack gave the Bobcats the victory.
The Pirates put it back together to get the convincing 25-11 win in the fourth and final game. Pagosa went ahead 10-4, getting a kill from Buikema, two kills from Forrest and an ace by Mariah Howell. The junior served 22 times during the match with only one error and was at the line for 12 points.
Faber killed to take the ball back at 11-5 and Pagosa went on a five-point run, with Canty and Haynes scoring on tips.
Pagosa was ahead 19-10 when Spencer scored and took serve with a putback. Canty swept the ball to the floor off a pass, Forrest killed cross-court, Spencer hit a 1. Pagosa 23, Ignacio 10.
A Pirate net violation gave the Bobcats their final point of the evening, which they promptly returned with a net violation of their own. A Bobcat pass strayed above the net, Canty put it to the floor. Game and match over.
"We seemed to have everything there but a little killer instinct," said Coach Andy Rice of the Pirate win. "You can't give them a game. But, we started strong, we finished strong. The road doesn't seem to matter to us. It was good to get the league victory. Our blocking was better and Jennifer (Haynes) did a fine job, with 11 assisted blocks. Iris Frye passed very well during the match."
Pagosa plays three more IML matches before the end of the regular season. Tonight, however, the Pirates travel to Kirtland, N.M. to meet the Broncos.
The team returns home Friday night to play Monte Vista then goes over Wolf Creek Pass for what might be the most important match of the season, meeting Centauri, and attempting to redeem a loss at home earlier in the IML schedule. The match could determine the league champion and is set to begin at 7 p.m.
Pirates split with 4A teams, back to IML play Friday and Saturday
By Karl Isberg
The Pirate volleyball team faced two Class 4A teams Saturday in a triangular meet at the PSHS gym.
Pagosa defeated Piedra Vista, N.M. 3-1 then lost to Montrose 3-1.
The Pirates took the first game of the Piedra Vista match with relative ease, building a 20-16 lead, then running off four consecutive points with senior Emily Buikema killing from outside and junior Jennifer Haynes forcing receive errors with difficult serves. Buikema had a strong match, and followed it with yet another against Montrose in two of the best performances in her Pirate career.
Senior Caitlin Forrest finished off Piedra Vista with a cross-court kill.
Pagosa was ahead 6-1 in the second game, getting a score from the back row from Kari Beth Faber, a kill from Buikema and a tip in the middle from Danielle Spencer. At that point, Piedra Vista points went on the board, most coming courtesy Pagosa errors.
The teams tied 12-12 in what would become a marathon, before the visitors took 15-14 and 17-16 leads.
The Pirate block was up and forced a hitting error. Forrest and Spencer stuffed a Piedra Vista hitter. The Pirates led 18-17.
Forrest killed to put the Pirates ahead 19-18, but Pagosa could not pull away. The teams tied at 23-23 and Buikema gave Pagosa the advantage with a kill from the left side.
A Pirate net violation and a hitting error then put the visitors in position to win 25-24.
Buikema tied the score 25-25 with a kill cross-court from the right side.
Piedra Vista went ahead with a kill that dropped untouched in the back court.
Spencer scored on a 1, then put her team ahead 28-27.
Three mistakes - a passing error, a serve-receive error and a ball hit out - gave the Panthers the game, 30-28.
Game three went to Pagosa 26-24.
The Panthers got the early lead but Pagosa tied the game at 9-9 and 10-10 with kills by Forrest, Buikema and Faber, and two aces by Haynes. Piedra Vista fought back to lead 18-13 before Buikema scored and took serve. Haynes scored with a putback and two Panther errors closed the gap to 18-17.
The New Mexico team then took advantage of Pirate mistakes to surge to a 21-17 lead.
Pagosa came back to tie then gave up a tip and an ace. Spencer got back a point with a successful 1.
Piedra Vista moved within one point of a win with a kill off the block then committed a hitting error. Faber tied the score 24-24 with a hit off the Panther block. Forrest hit an ace and a Panther passing error handed the win to Pagosa.
It was a matter of which team would make the last series of mistakes. It was the Panthers.
Pagosa then won the final game of the match 25-19.
The Pirates led 10-6 but soon found themselves trailing the Panthers, 15-13.
A Panther attack went out and, with Forrest at the serve, Pagosa ran off five unanswered points. Alaina Garman nailed an errant Panther pass in the middle. Kim Canty swept the ball down off a pass from her setter's position. Faber scored inside the block, Canty stuffed a Panther overpass and Faber killed from outside. From there, the Pirates rolled to the victory in game and match with little resistance.
"Piedra Vista was a good team," said Coach Andy Rice. "They came out with great energy. We kind of rested on our laurels after the big win at Ignacio - when we left the locker room at Ignacio, we were more focused. We talked about it after the Piedra Vista match. We can't use excuses - homecoming, a morning game, whatever. Great teams play, regardless. And, Emily Buikema played well, as did Caitlin Forrest. Jennifer Haynes served well. Our swing players helped. This is a team - deep - and nothing is set as we head to the postseason."
If there was momentum coming out of the Piedra Vista match, it did not carry far during play against Montrose. In fact, it carried only to the middle of the first game, when the Pirates led 11-2, getting kills from Haynes, Faber, Buikema and Forrest. Points came on blocks by Buikema and Haynes and an ace by Faber.
The Indians began to claw their way back into contention, with Deshka Walker leading the way. Pagosa had a 20-12 advantage and the Indians got a point on a serve error. Buikema crushed a ball, cratering a spectacular kill inside the 10-foot line, but Montrose scored on a block and a Pirate passing error.
Spencer scored with a soft shot on a slide, Forrest aced a serve and Spencer and Faber combined to block a Montrose hitter. The Pirates were poised for the victory, 24, 15.
Walker was having none of it. The Indian senior killed for a point. Montrose stuffed a hitter for a score then an Indian ace found the floor. A Pagosa passing mistake gave the Indians a point on a putback - a Pagosa setting error and a lift closed the gap to 24-21. Spencer ended the run, and the game, nailing a 1 for the 25-21 win.
Montrose took the second game of the match 25-18, largely as a result of a nine-point run that began with the teams tied 9-9. The Pirate passing and setting game disintegrated and, but for a four-point run that put the Pirates back five at 15-20, there was little that worked on Pagosa's side of the net.
The third game, won by the Indians 25-17, was more of the same. The Pirates led 9-8 when Montrose again put together nine unanswered points, five of them unearned.
Buikema scored inside the block and Garman scored from the middle, Montrose led 17-11. Then, a second run for the Indians - this time five points, to increase the lead to 22-11.
Pagosa mounted a four-point run with Spencer hitting a 1, Montrose committing a net violation, Mariah Howell putting an ace down at the back line and Forrest scoring inside the Indian block.
A Montrose tip made it 23-15. Spencer hit off a slide and Faber scored off the block, but Walker came up big for the Indians, scoring on two consecutive kills from the middle to end the game.
Pagosa got close only once in a 25-16 loss in the fourth game. Trailing 14-7, the Pirates got a point as Garman stuffed an Indian hitter. Buikema killed from the left side and stuffed an attack for a point. Montrose committed a bevy of errors and the Pirates trailed 15-14.
Then, a case of "bad hands" on Pirate blocking attempts. Without blockers' hands over the net, Montrose attacks went down.
The Indians scored four unanswered points to stretch the advantage to 19-14.
Buikema killed for a point, but Montrose answered with two scores. The Indians surrendered a final point with a hitting error then rode four Pirate errors to the win.
"We had a porous block," said Rice. "We knew what they were going to do; we just couldn't stop them. Walker is a quick jumper and dominated the net. We kind of let off the gas after a good first game. You know, the line in this game is so fine: momentum is a big deal. We lost it and couldn't get it back. Montrose was a beatable team."
All in all, though, it was a successful week for the Pirates with two wins. Overall, positive momentum should be a factor as the team heads to Kirtland N.M. tonight for the last nonleague match of the season.
Then it's on to two of three remaining IML contests.
The Pirates lead the IML with a 4-1 record and their destiny is in their hands. Win all three remaining matches and the Pirates capture yet another IML regular season championship.
The trek begins Friday with a match against Monte Vista in the PSHS gym. Varsity action is set to begin at 7 p.m.
Saturday, the Pirates travel to La Jara for what might be the most important match of the season, against Centauri. The Falcons shocked the Pirates earlier in the season, winning a match in the Pagosa gym. The Pirates, no doubt, want to return the favor in a 7 p.m. match in the Falcons' lair - always a rowdy and imposing venue.
"This is kind of the apex of the regular season," said Rice. "We are going to need better all-around play to finish the season right. We're searching for role players to step up, players who can contribute as we go to the postseason. We're not satisfied and we still have a way to go in order to be a contender. We will continue to work hard and play hard as the regular season comes to an end. This is an excellent program, with great talent and depth and we'll try to make the most of it."
Kills: Buikema 16, Forrest 10, Faber 9
Assists: Canty 38
Ace serves: Forrest, Haynes, Howell, Spencer 1 each
Solo blocks: Faber 4, Forrest 3
Digs: Frye 15, Faber 7
Kills: Buikema 14, Forrest 7
Assists: Canty 27
Ace serves Howell 2
Solo blocks Haynes 3, Buikema 2
Digs: Frye 13
Pirate soccer team 1-1 last week, ready to finish league schedule
By Karl Isberg
One win, one loss, and it's on to the end of the league schedule for the Pirate soccer team.
Last week's loss came on the home pitch, 4-1, to the Durango Demon junior varsity.
The Durango game was, in effect, two games - the first, played during the first half, in which the Pirates played fundamentally sound soccer, the second in which the roles were reversed and several of the Pirates lost their composure.
The Demons scored at the 38-minute mark of the first half, but Pagosa came back to tie the game on a goal by Caleb Ormonde, assisted by Kevin Blue. Pagosa seemed ready to power forward into a positive second half.
"We played a great first half," said Pirate coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason. "Things were basically even at the end of the half. We possessed the ball more than they did and they barely edged us on shots - they had three shots, we had two."
The first half of action entertained crowd and coach alike. "It was a really good half to watch," said Kurt-Mason, "clean but, then, something happened."
Refer back to the aforementioned loss of composure.
Where the Pirates had been gaining ground in the first half, they began a backward slide in the second. And Durango began to play a tighter, more aggressive game.
"They (Durango) weren't coming to the ball in the first half," said the coach. "We won most of the air balls. In the second half, Durango was more aggressive and they were winning the balls in the air."
The Demons scored at 28 minutes, then scored again shortly thereafter, working the ball down the wings then crossing to the middle of the field.
Pagosa, for its part, saw a red card and, with the player gone from action, had to play a man short. Durango scored again to finish off the day.
"We tended not to drop the ball back to the defenders in that second half," said Kurt-Mason. "We got frustrated and didn't know how to handle it."
That was the lesson when the team went back to practice.
"We worked on handling the frustration," said the coach. "We worked on ball possession under pressure."
Pirate keeper Felix Gutierrez had eight saves during the Durango game, five of them in the second half.
The lessons learned in practice, and the energy that comes when playing a crucial league match, was obvious in the Pirates' 4-0 win over Ridgway at Golden Peaks Stadium Saturday.
With Ridgway bringing a depleted roster to Pagosa (due to the loss of three players during the previous week) the Pirates played a passing game in an attempt to wear the 11-man Ridgway contingent down.
The first Pirate score in the shutout belonged to Ormonde, who drove a 30-yard direct kick from Keith Pitcher into the back of the net.
The next three goals came off the foot of Chavolo Ortiz, one scored in the first half, two in the second half.
To Ridgway's credit, the team put nine shots on the Pagosa goal, Gutierrez making nine saves.
Kurt-Mason singled out midfielder Paul Muirhead for his work in both matches, giving Muirhead the Lunchbox Award for his efforts.
"Paul was an unsung hero for us," said the coach. "He worked the ball up, found open seams in the midfield, got the ball to the forwards. He was our pillar this week."
The win over Ridgway put the Pirates at 4-3 in league play and shines the spotlight on the three games remaining in the regular season - all against league opponents and all important with the postseason looming.
Center comes to town today for a 4 p.m. game. Pagosa was victorious in the first meeting of the teams, in Center.
Telluride (3-1 winners earlier in the season) are in town for an 11 a.m. game at Golden Peaks Stadium Saturday. The Miners saw a Pagosa team short a few players - in particular missing Ortiz and Shon Webb, who returns to action today. "Telluride could be a bit surprised when they see us," said Kurt-Mason.
The season ends Tuesday, Oct. 18, as the Pirates meet league foe Bayfield at Fort Lewis College in Durango at 4 p.m.
"Each match will be a good one," said Kurt-Mason, "with Telluride a key match going into the postseason."
Pirate runners at Aspen, finish 'pain' portion of season
By John Middendorf
Competing against 20 teams, which included some of Colorado's "big gun" runners from larger high schools, the Pirate varsity boys and girls held their own and overall ran strong in last Saturday's meet in Aspen.
The weather was gorgeous for the 5 kilometer run, on a very challenging course at 9,000 feet. Coach Scott Anderson calls it the last "pain" course before the "golf course part of the season."
The girls came in fourth overall, and first among the 3A schools, with Emilie Schur again leading the pack. Jaclyn Harms and Del Greer had excellent races, with Laurel Reinhardt proving her strength as a solid top runner for the team.
The boys came in sixth overall and were the third 3A school. AJ Abeyta was back on top leading the Pirates, followed by Travis Furman, Chase Moore and Orion Sandoval. It was Moore's best race of the season, not timewise, but considering the tough course and the altitude, it was a spectacular run.
The team from Basalt led the 3A division at the meet, and are looking to be legitimate competition at the state championships, coming up at the end of the month.
At next week's race, the Eric Wolfe Invitational held in Monte Vista, the team will be competing for the 3A Intermountain League championships. The Pirates are expected to do well on the flatter course as they continue their training transition from distance to speed work in preparation for the following week's regional meet here in Pagosa.
Women's golf team takes first at Farmington, first in league
By Lynne Allison
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Women's Golf Association sent eight of its low handicap players to San Juan Country Club Oct. 6, to compete in its last match play of the season.
The team garnered 29 1/2 points on a very cold and cloudy morning in some very competitive matches against Pinon Hills Golf Club to capture first place in the eight-team league.
The final standings in the league were: Pagosa Springs Golf Club, 307 points; Pinon Hills Golf Club, 305 points; Aztec Hidden Valley Golf Club, 304 points; Dalton Ranch Golf Club, 288 1/2 points; Hillcrest Golf Club, 287 points; Kirtland Riverview Golf Club, 281 1/2 points; San Juan Country Club, 275 points; and Cortez Conquistador Golf Club, 254 points.
Team Captain Barbara Sanborn and the entire team are thrilled with their team's first-place finish. She stated, "It's been at least ten years since Pagosa fared as well in team play; they were seventh last year, so we plan to savor and celebrate this win to the fullest." She went on to say that "it is always difficult to field a full team at the end of the season, yet many of the women altered their plans, so they could compete in the last match play event."
Sanborn thanked all the players who participated in team play this season, and credited their dedication and determination throughout the season for the win.
Participating for Pagosa were Sanborn, Jan Kilgore, Lynne Allison, Cherry O'Donnell, Jane Day, Josie Hummel, Loretta Campuzano and Doe Stringer.
Other team players during the 2005 season include Jane Stewart, Marilyn Smart, Carrie Weisz, Audrey Johnson, Kathy Giordano, Nancy Chitwood and Sue Martin.
Zero tolerance for adults' 'ugly' behavior
By Myles Gabel
As we watch football and baseball playoffs on TV, it is a great time to inform your children watching with you that the unsportsmanlike antics that take place on the playing field have no place in our youth sports programs. Unfortunately, many sports parents don't even raise an eyebrow. But they should. How can we parents, administrators and youth coaches talk to kids about being good sports - treating referees properly and accepting their decisions - when we're the first ones to go bonkers over a close call?
When parents act aggressively toward officials, the referees that are good enough to give of their time for little money are less likely to come back year after year. What's worse, all the kids on the field absorb a mixed message about sportsmanship and respect for officials. You don't have to be a child psychologist to figure out what kind of negative impact results from adults' moaning and groaning.
So what can you do to send the right message? Start by looking in the mirror. There's simply no way you can expect youngsters to develop a healthy respect for the refs and sports administrators if you can't keep yourself under control.
Whether you're a parent, a coach or youth league official, explain to the athletes in your program that, for better or worse, tough calls are simply part of every game. No, this isn't an easy lesson for youngsters. Many throw tantrums when a call doesn't go their way, making nasty comments toward refs or league officials that can lead to ejection from the game. A guiding principle in youth leagues should be to help kids refocus following setbacks, rather than challenging authority. All top athletes must learn to accept adversity and play on.
Parents, you can't assume a coach will teach good behavior to your kids. That's your task. While your child's still young, explain to him or her how to treat league officials, teammates and referees properly.
As youth sports administrators, we reinforce this message by instituting a zero tolerance policy. This gives our league officials the power to stop games and demand that offensive parents or coaches leave immediately, or risk forfeit. Yes, it sounds harsh, but we as youth sports administrators and officials need that authority if situations turn ugly.
Of course, all adults on the sidelines can set a positive example instead. Be sure to thank the umps or officials for a job well done - especially after a tough loss, when the gesture means even more. And remember: The kids will be watching.
Reference: "Sports Illustrated For Kids."
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Watching, waiting,with faith
Oh, the tumult, the controversy, the conflict. We watch the ongoing saga of our county commissioners with a mix of amuse-ment and chagrin, of delight in the entertainment and dismay regarding possible consequences. And yet, we have great faith. Unlike some, many of whom have met ill-advisedly with a commissioner in private sessions - sessions not guaranteed to provide complete or accurate information -we are not worried about a 2-1 vote on the commission. Neither, at this point, are we overly concerned about the fact it is the same two commissioners voting to move on most issues. Eventually, it will be desirable to see that vote split, if it must, in different ways, but for the time being some progress, any progress is acceptable. To expect a 3-0 vote on all issues is silly and to tear at our hair because of a split vote reflects a shallow view of politics and decision-making processes.
What gives us hope with this commission, and with future county government - one faced now, and certainly in the near future, with ponderous problems that cannot be solved overnight or to everyone's' satisfaction - is the performance of other local boards and governments with somewhat similar profiles and/or histories.
Take, for example, the Upper San Juan Health Services District which, a year or so ago, was the controversy du jour, a floundering target for the local yappers and know-it-alls - which Pagosa Country possesses in staggering per capita numbers. You know them, don't you? The folks who attend meetings and, barely under their breath, utter obscenities and slop their caustic derision on those who, unlike themselves, had the nerve and the integrity to run for office and take the responsibility for critical decisions. You know them, don't you? They sit on committees with no direct obligation to the voter and taxpayer, issuing edicts, making demands, pulling strings behind the scene attempting to exert control without accountability, visibility or blame.
The health district was in utter disarray.
There were personnel and morale problems, seemingly insurmountable financial difficulties with new crises developing daily, a future so bleak one had to question the sanity of anyone wanting to run for a seat on the board of directors. And yet, there were those who did run.
There were (and will continue to be) disagreements among those elected. Yet, under the leadership of the board president, Pam Hopkins, the directors have begun to conquer the difficulties, coming to compromises, setting out in a direction that, with continued competence, and a willingness to make hard choices, will bring a new level in health care to Pagosa, with a sturdy coalition of public and private entities cooperating in the change, without an increase in taxes.
Take, also, the example of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District. The district battled severe drought and worked to deal with anticipated future water needs, at the same time taking a practical and realistic approach to further inclusions - a stern but reasonable approach given the circumstances. Major capital improvements are underway to enhance the district's ability to serve its constituents.
Difficult situations can be dealt with, dilemmas overcome. Both districts serve as examples from which we can take some comfort. As the county moves to find and hire a new administrator, as new personnel fill gaps in other key areas, as many of those who bark and howl on the sidelines either take an active role in helping out or go back to their holes, as many residents of the county take responsibility for some of their problems rather than demanding governmental solutions, there is a possibility things will get better.
Until then Š ecce femina.
Memories lurk on Lewis Street
By Richard Walter
Time to return to a leisure stroll about Pagosa Springs. You'll remember I left you for the week on North 6th Street.
I don't know who or when, but the ditch along the west side of the street has been cleaned out. It was, at one time, one of the worst eyesores in town.
Now, save the occasional burger wrapper, all the major trash is gone. Continuing north, three youngsters are in the basketball area at the Archuleta County Housing, going 2 on 1 (he's the biggest).
The stone wall constructed around the facility last year is getting a brushing from a young girl who says "it gets really dusty."
Around the corner onto Fourmile Road (5th Street) and up the hill. Three girls and a woman are loading goodies for a picnic into their car, laughing and joking about the fun they expect to have.
At the top of the hill you make a left turn, go half a block and enter the one-way alley rising up and winding below the old Bennett home.
Around the curve lies the Archuleta Alternative School and there are students outside waiting for classes to start.
Turn left on Lewis Street and head northeast. Two youngsters are riding bicycles on the elementary-middle school campus, alone with their thoughts as they silently play follow-the-leader.
At the top of the hill, Lewis bends to an easterly track and the Victorian painted lady at 2nd Street stands as a reminder of the past. I once lived across the street from it in what was believed to be one of the early schools of the community, converted into an apartment building. It has burned and the lot still is vacant but the memories are rampant. I remember that our next door neighbor was Daisy Fitzhugh whose exploits as a child in Pagosa Springs while Fort Lewis was here have been chronicled in a number of publications.
I remember her giving me a New York Yankee's saucer with Babe Ruth's caricature upon it when she learned I loved baseball.
I recall her caring for a grandson (I believe) who lived with her and was a victim of polio.
I remember the old Catholic church next door and stare at it as I pass by. Now a private residence, it doesn't look much like a church now.
Still going, I see the Church of Christ sitting in a lot where once Pagosans like Abe Rodriquez, Larkin Villareal and I played baseball day and night. It was where I learned to throw a curve ball.
On east, past the Odd Fellows Lodge and the old Orrin Ford home on the corner of 2nd and Lewis, past the Forest Service parking lot and the old St. Patrick's church building; east to the original water works and turn south toward Pagosa Street. A lawyer's office on the west side reminds me of Margaret Fowler once saying I took the turn by her home at 50 mph. No one could have done that and kept the car upright.
Cross Pagosa Street at the bridge and veer off onto the River Walk extension. Down along the San Juan and stop at Cotton Hole.
Remember how children for generations learned to swim here. Back out onto Hermosa Street and then home. This tour has ended.
90 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 15, 1915
Three more school districts will soon be designated in Archuleta County: one in the neighborhood of the Doll Pargin ranch, one near the mouth of Stollsteimer Creek, and one in the neighborhood of the old Frank Smith, Harold Selby and Al Bayles ranches. For several years there have been a number of children in the above localities without any educational facilities whatever, and Supt. Vermillion can be depended upon to do all in his power to bring such conditions to a speedy end.
O.S. Galbreath, Jr. has a large force of men and teams building roads and bridges into his big timber purchase on Deer Creek, on the east side of the San Juan about eleven miles northeast of town. Preparations for the erection of a large milling plant are being rapidly pushed.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 10, 1930
Mrs. William Mullins, the only goldstar mother of Archuleta County to make the government pilgrimage to France, arrived home last Friday after an absence of six weeks. She states that the trip was beyond all expectations and that she has distinct admiration for those who handled the groups so expeditiously. Highlights of her trip were New York City, the sights of Paris, her visit to the cemetery were her son Lester is buried, the tour of the battlefields and visit to Rheims cathedral, her visit in the French village with the family with whom her son was billeted, and the ocean voyages.
At the high school auditorium next Friday will be presented a play under the Women's Civic Club, the proceeds to be used for the benefit of the public library.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 13, 1955
At a meeting on Monday the Town Board adopted their budget for 1956. One of the biggest matters discussed was the possibility of extending city water mains into the South Pagosa area. After considerable discussion on the matter, and after hearing from a delegation that was composed of the majority of the residents from that section of town, the Town Board voted to appropriate money in the 1956 budget for that purpose.
The Board also voted a slight increase in water rates to make the revenue from the water works pay for its operation and maintenance as well as for the bonds on the extension and improvements. Under this plan, those who use the water will pay for it and the taxpayers will not have a mill levy placed on their property for that purpose.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 16, 1980
It was an early snow storm this week, when about four inches of new snow fell in town. Close to a foot of new snow was reported to have fallen on Wolf Creek Pass by late Wednesday The snow brought hunters to town, caused the chain law to be activated, and made side roads and some town streets muddy.
Labeled "Justifiable Goatacide," one report from the sheriff's office differed somewhat from the usual reports of petty theft and minor accidents. According to the report a man in Arboles was justified in shooting a billy goat that saw his reflection in a window in a sliding door. Thereupon the goat proceeded to charge the image repeatedly until he smashed the door and the glass. The homeowner then shot the goat.
In the wake of Katrina
By Chuck McGuire
Lest we forget.
By now, most of us have seen the powerful images of total devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We've seen photographs of extensive damage and widespread flooding, heard countless stories of individual hardship and desperation, and we've seen the frustration, even anger, etched in the faces of local officials and others involved in the monumental relief effort.
But according to Peter Dybing of Pagosa Springs, we can't really grasp the magnitude of the crisis, nor can we fully comprehend the overwhelming personal loss suffered by thousands. On the other hand, Peter can. He's been there.
As a professional trained in response to local and national disasters, Peter wears many hats. His day job is service coordinator and vocational specialist at Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center, Inc. of Pagosa Springs. He is also a member of the Pagosa Fire Protection District and, as a wildland firefighter (11 years), medical unit leader, supply unit leader, receiving and distribution manager and public information officer, is considered a "national resource" through the inner-agency dispatch in Durango. At a moment's notice, he may be summoned to a local fire, or a large-scale emergency virtually anywhere in the nation or around the world.
By Sept. 9, the call had come, and Peter was quickly en route to Hammond, La. where, upon arrival, he checked in as supply unit leader with the Lone Star State Incident Management Team. The 67-member team was charged with operating a regional staging area which, at the time, housed 558 emergency responders. Workshifts varied, but typical days ran from 4:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
As one of 23 crews whose combined functions are, among other things, to organize logistics and support for providing temporary shelter, sanitary facilities, food and water distribution and cleanup assistance to victims of Katrina, the Lone Star State IMT is in charge of receiving and distribution for the entire affected area south and east of Baton Rouge, including New Orleans.
On the day following his arrival, Peter instructed a lead group to establish another camp in Harahan (just outside of New Orleans) where National Guard troops would be trained to deliver stores directly to Katrina victims. Fifteen assorted trucks delivered the first supplies to the new site, and guard training started almost immediately.
"We typically do this work ourselves," said Peter. "But the National Guard was already there when we arrived and we were instructed to train them to do it. They really did a great job."
With the guard handling supply dispersal, Peter and others traveled to various points of distribution (PODS) to review equipment status and provide sanitation support. In the process, they toured ravaged areas of New Orleans, where Peter first began to realize the full reach of desolation.
"I've been dispatched to nine different hurricanes over the years," he said, "and this is the most profound I've ever seen. The scope is so extensive. We'd drive 40 minutes in a single direction, with total destruction all around us. Every home, business, school and church was completely destroyed. It had such a profound effect on me."
As if utter ruin wasn't enough, Peter said roads, whole towns and infrastructure within a radius of 500 miles of storm-battered areas were entirely overwhelmed. With the flood of refugees heading north (many carrying little more than the clothes they were wearing), retailers were out of gas, food, clothing and toiletries, and full lodging facilities were turning people away.
Weather and environmental conditions were no better. In the first several days following the storm, thermometer readings reflected record heat, with humidity levels that could only be described as brutal. Meanwhile, with standing and stagnant water everywhere, mosquitoes and biting flies were unbearable.
"Everyone we saw had insect bites all over them," Peter said. "In fact, one day when a C-130 flew just overhead and sprayed this chemical all over us, everyone just cheered."
Seven days into his deployment Peter returned to Hammond to assist with the transition to a new management team, and assume leadership of main supply and ordering functions. He continued with the training of National Guard personnel and, as part of a fire management team, developed fire contingency plans for a three-parish area most hard hit by Katrina.
According to Peter, "Louisiana has very few fires and even fewer resources, and with thousands of acres of dead and down trees, there is a real possibility of a further fire-driven disaster."
Nearing the end of his two-week deployment, Peter was suddenly declared a "critical need," and his stay was extended another seven days. He continued working in a variety of crucial capacities, but he never grew accustomed to the devastation or its effects on people's lives.
"They have nothing left," he said. "Some of them had nothing to start with, and now they have even less. They have no home, no food, no clothing, no car. They can't even find family members or pets. And now, many have left for strange cities where they don't know anyone."
It was difficult for Peter to see New Orleans in such a state. His earlier memories were of a vibrant city of laughter, music and excitement - a community that celebrated its living "Creole history" - a society of poor people living happily in a unique culture that has now apparently vanished.
"It was the poor areas that flooded," Peter said, "and now those people are all gone. Even if New Orleans holds its renowned events again, they'll be celebrating a culture that's now gone."
Though asked to stay longer, Peter remained in the region for 23 days before returning home, and to his work at the mental health center. When asked which among his experiences had left the deepest impression, he quickly said, "The volunteers and those making donations.
"I'm trained in many facets of disaster response, and I get paid for the work I do," he said. "But the Red Cross volunteers and others who were there on their own time and at their own expense are the real heroes. They're working tirelessly to help those in need, while being separated from their own families, homes and jobs. And help might not be possible without the incredible donations pouring in."
If volunteers left the greatest positive impression on Peter, the pace at which FEMA responded to the disaster in the first place left the greatest unanswered question in his mind.
"Our teams are usually dispatched at least two days prior to a hurricane coming ashore," he said. For some reason, we weren't notified until two days after."
Peter stopped short of criticizing anyone or any agency in the massive effort to aid areas impacted by Katrina. Instead, he expressed concern over our ability to remember the many victims' plight.
"It's easy to forget after awhile," he said. "But these people are going to need assistance for a long time. This recovery is going to take years, and we need to be there for them."
Peter hopes to organize a local benefit for Katrina victims. He's talking to others in town, and envisions a community event that incorporates New Orleans style food, music and cultural attire in a day of activities and fun.
"If possible, I'd like it to be an annual affair," Peter said. "That way, we can hopefully remember how those people have suffered, and how we can all help to restore their lives."
USDA meeting set in Archuleta County Oct. 18
USDA Farm Service Agency's Emergency Conservation Program offers financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to repair damage made to irrigation structures and fences caused by flooding as a result of heavy runoff from the winter snows of 2004-2005.
Archuleta County meets the criteria for participation in this program. Funds for the program have been approved, but may be redirected to victims of the recent hurricanes. A meeting has been scheduled to discuss the program and begin the application process Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. If you are interested in the program, come to the meeting. Contact Ronnie Posey, county executive director, at the Farm Service Agency at (970) 247-9277 Ext. 2.
AARP ElderWatch holding free financial
AARP ElderWatch, a project of the Colorado Attorney General and the AARP Foundation, in conjunction with the Colorado Division of Securities, is holding a free financial workshop for older consumers.
Participants will learn about different financial products, the suitability of investments for older consumers, financial strategies that may help supplement shirking pensions/retirements, and key tips to avoid investment fraud and exploitation.
No personal investment advice will be provided.
The workshop will be held Oct. 17 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, Durango, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Lunch will be provided to all attendees at no charge.
Preregistration is required. To register, call Thomas at (800) 222-4444, Option 2. Seating is limited. Registration is first-come, first-served. Participants are encouraged to register early.
A hollow sound is heard
By John M. Motter
The threat of war with the Utes of southwestern Colorado occupied the minds of the military and civilian leaders of our country during 1877-1878 and 1879. One response to the threat was a fort to be built in the vicinity of Pagosa Springs.
Among the volumes of correspondence relative to the Ute issue, we submit the following letter authorizing an initial expenditure for the Pagosa Springs fort. The letter is from the War Department, Quartermaster General's Office, Washington D.C., October 23, 1879, to the General of the Army, William T. Sherman.
"General: I have the honor to invite your attention to that portion of the Sundry Civil Bill approved March 3, 1879, which reads viz. 'To enable the Secretary of War to establish a military post on the left bank of the San Juan River in the state of Colorado for the protection of the San Juan country $40,000.'
"The money is now available and I recommend that the Lieut. General be advised.
"The money may be useful in providing quarters in connection with the Ute campaign."
In connection with construction of the fort at Pagosa Springs, Lt. C.A.H. McCauley, an Army engineer, submitted to his superiors a detailed report describing the area. We've been quoting McCauley's report because it contains a detailed, eyewitness description of the area and Great Pagosa Hot Spring as they were before civilized intervention.
"About the main spring (Motter - the Great Pagosa Hot Spring) the mass of stalagmitic rock is honeycombed and cavernous, especially on the north toward the river bank. In this vicinity so many openings exist - now mere shells and again of considerable size, almost hidden by tufts of grass growing between - that some little caution must be executed in passing to and fro. Elsewhere, with one exception, the general surface is solid and will bear the weight of horse and rider, although a hollow sound is heard when passing over it. The exceptional area is of a swampy nature and several acres in extent, slightly east of south from the main spring, and filled with a rank growth of sedges, rushes, and other plants indigenous to wet ground."
In describing the hot springs McCauley wrote:
"The group of hot springs describes an area of about 21 acres Š the main hot spring is said to be the largest thermal spring and possessing the highest temperature of any in the United States.
"The crater is an irregular depression approximating pear shape, and is about 60 feet long by 45 feet wide - the depth of the waters being unknown - many and varied attempts to solve the mystery having been unsuccessful. It cannot well be positively ascertained, owing to the honeycombed rock and stalagmitic masses beneath the surface, obstructing the way. Columns of bubbles rise constantly everywhere over the surface, the water's appearance resembling on a huge scale a freshly decanted glass of extra dry Mumm.
"The great basin is subdivided, the partition Š being capped by a projecting cone of sulphur, from which spurts and puffs a tiny jet of water. Near the center a furious boiling appearance is presented, from which circumstance the Indians baptize it 'Pah-gosa.'"
Motter's note. The depth of the main spring remains unknown. A sounding device has dropped into the water to a depth of 1,500 feet without touching bottom. More next week on the Great Hot Spring including a description of how it was used by the Indians and first settlers.
Hunter's Moon and partial lunar eclipse Monday
By James Robinson
Tonight, the moon will be waxing gibbous, and according to data from the U.S. Naval Observatory, 82 percent of its visible disk will be illuminated.
By Monday, Oct. 17, skies over Pagosa Country will be regaled with a full moon and moon watchers can enjoy two celestial sights the Hunter's Moon, which is the first full moon after the Harvest Moon, and a partial lunar eclipse visible around 6 a.m. Monday morning.
Unfortunately, the partial eclipse won't be a real dazzler, however, for those of us living in the western United States, we are in the prime viewing area for whatever show does occur.
For sky watchers keen on witnessing the whole process unfold, they should begin their observations at about 5 a.m.
At that time, observers will note what appears to be charcoal grey shading creeping across the surface of the moon. The shading will appear to originate from the upper left quadrant of the lunar surface and will slowly work its way diagonally down, toward the center of the moon. The shading begins when the moon enters the penumbra, or the outer area of the earth's shadow.
As the event progresses, the moon will gradually enter the earth's core shadow area known as the umbra. Once it does, the shading will grow markedly darker, appearing almost black at the center of the shadow, with lighter gray tones radiating out. Once in the umbra, this marks the height of the partial eclipse and the moon's presence in the umbra should last about an hour.
Because this is a partial eclipse, the entire moon will not enter the umbra. In this case, the moon barely skirts the umbra's edge and astronomers estimate during mid-eclipse, only about 7 percent of the moon's diameter will actually enter the umbra region. With such a small portion of the moon entering the umbra, the eclipse may not appear to be particularly stunning, although the entire event will be visible with the naked eye.
In addition to the Hunter's Moon and the partial lunar eclipse, sky watchers can enjoy prime views of the constellation Cepheus on Oct. 15 at about 9 p.m. as it reaches meridian, the highest point possible for the constellation in the night sky.
The constellation represents the mythological King Cepheus of Ethiopia who was the father of Andromeda and husband to Queen Cassiopeia.
The constellation is marked by five key stars and makes an asymmetrical pentagon shape - almost like a broad arrow pointing northwest.
It lies between the pointed mid section of Draco (where Draco's torso takes a hard turn back to the north) and Cassiopeia. It is almost due south of Polaris.
The constellation Cepheus is home to the star delta Cephei, which is the prototypical star of the famous Cepheid variable class of stars.
Cepheid variables are yellow supergiant stars that expand and contract, essentially pulsating, over a specific and predictable periods of time. The cycles of pulsation range from periods of two days to 40 days and as the stars pulsate, they vary between absolute brightness and apparent brightness. Astronomers can then use this period between brightness fluctuations combined with comparisons of a star's absolute brightness and apparent brightness to help them calculate the star's distance.
Using the same formula and the Cepheid variables as a yardstick, astronomers can then determine the distances of other objects in space.
Lastly, Mars continues to move closer to earth and will reach peak proximity on Oct. 29.
The red-orange planet can be observed in the east around twilight. After twilight, the planet move higher in the sky, reaching peak height between 11 p.m. and midnight.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture