November 3, 2005
Front Page

County adopts road standards

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

After nearly a year in the making, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners has formally adopted a revised set of road and bridge design standards and construction specifications.

The adoption came Tuesday during the board's regular meeting with little discussion and unanimous approval.

"It's been a long time coming, and I'm ready," Commissioner Mamie Lynch said.

Commissioners Robin Schiro and Ronnie Zaday echoed Lynch's statements and all three commissioners commended the efforts of the road and bridge department, and particularly those of County Engineer Sue Walan.

"You've done a great job, thank you," Schiro said to Walan during Walan's presentation.

Walan said the revised standards are drastically different than the county's old, "one size fits all" standards.

For example, the new document defines and discusses different classes of roadways, from arterials to primitive roads, and there are sections devoted to standards and specifications for recreational pathways and driveways. In addition, the document describes the procedure for petitioning for a road's acceptance into the county system for maintenance.

She said the creation of the new standards began in November 2004 and represent the culmination of input from local engineers, developers, home owners associations, metro districts, the county planning department, county attorneys, the road and bridge department and the board of county commissioners.

She said the new standards were built with the Summit County standards as a model, and that the updated specifications should provide a solid foundation for the building of high-quality, long-lasting and more maintainable roads in Archuleta County.

Walan added that the new specifications are a working document that can be updated and revised over time and that the new standards would ultimately be incorporated into the county's forthcoming land use code.

Adoption of the revised standards was temporarily thwarted at the Oct. 6, Board of County Commissioner's meeting following citizen outcry that they had not been duly noticed and involved in the process.

Adoption was tabled at that time and a work session was scheduled with the public, local engineers, developers, a representative from Summit County, county staff and the county commissioners.

During the Oct. 12 work session, the public and local engineers discussed their concerns. Following the work session, the document underwent further scrutiny and final assessment by a review team made up of county staff, local engineers and an Archuleta County Planning Commission member.

One of the key issues brought forth in the comments and discussions was a section in the new standards pertaining to Highway User's Tax Funds and road maintenance based on a road's classification. That section was ultimately omitted from the final draft of the document.


County, state say yes to C, state goes no on D

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer


Local voters approved ballot issues and selected school board members Tuesday, while those statewide split on referenda C and D.

In statewide balloting involving the two most hotly debated items on this year's ballot, voters approved Referendum C by 52 percent to 48 percent (578,900 to 533,731), while narrowly defeating Referendum D, 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent. Votes on D totaled 561,572 opposed, to 547,932 in favor.

Local voters approved Referendum C 1,779 to 1,567. Voters here approved Referendum D 1,671 to 1,664.

Referendum C will allow state government to keep and spend all revenues collected from state taxes for the next five years, without having to refund surpluses to taxpayers. Surplus revenues will be kept under a new cap for health care, public schools, state colleges and universities, and transportation projects.

Referendum D would have allowed the state to issue bonds up to $2.07 billion for roads, bridges, other transportation projects, fire and police pension funds and crucial repairs and maintenance to public school buildings.

By a margin of 60.5 percent to 30.5 percent, town voters approved Ballot Issue 2A, providing for a new 3-percent tax on lodging in Pagosa Springs. Those in favor totaled 224, while 146 were opposed. The new tax will generate revenue for marketing, capital improvements and special functions related to tourism.

In the only contested race on this year's county ballot, Linda Lattin defeated Ray "Butch" Mackey for the District 5 director seat on the Archuleta County School District 50-JT Board of Directors. Lattin tallied 58 percent (1,454) of the vote to Mackey's 42 percent (1,061). Lattin will serve a four-year term.

Up for a second term, Matt Aragon ran unopposed for the school board District 1 director seat, garnering 2,254 votes. He'll serve another four years before reaching term limitation.


Developers ask court to reconsider Village at Wolf Creek decision

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Attorneys for the proposed Village at Wolf Creek have filed a motion asking 12th District Court Judge O. John Kuenhold to reconsider his Oct. 13 decision on access to the proposed village via Forest Road 391.

Kuenhold ruled on Oct. 13 after hearing arguments in a consolidated lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs Wolf Creek Ski Corporation, Colorado Wild Inc. and San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council.

In the lawsuits were numerous claims against the Mineral County Board of County Commissioners and the developers, Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture. In the end, the judge ruled against the plaintiffs on all but the last issue regarding access on Forest Road 391. And that one issue has proved pivotal in furthering the progress of the project.

According to a press release, village attorney Josh Marks, of Berg, Hill, Greenleaf and Ruscitti, and Bob Honts, president and CEO of The Village at Wolf Creek Development Corporation, believe Kuenhold overstepped his judicial authority by mandating the project developer, Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, obtain a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) permit for access to U.S. 160, prior to Mineral County's reconsideration of the project's plat application.

That type of mandate, the press relates states, is ultimately up to Mineral County elected officials and not a judge.

"The requirement for the Village to obtain a CDOT permit before the County can rehear the development approval is being challenged in the attached Motion for Reconsideration because the Village contends that authority to decide how and when a CDOT access permit will be required is within the authority to the elected officials of Mineral County. The Motion argues that a court may determine if the County is wrong, but it should not pre-determine how the deficiency must be corrected," the press release states.

The motion for reconsideration was filed Oct. 28 and Marks expects a response within 60 days.

The Village at Wolf Creek, as currently proposed would consist of 2,200 residential units, more than 500,000 square feet of commercial space and would accommodate up to 10,000 residents.


 Inside The Sun

Town to host forum on planning process

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Phase two of the town's downtown master plan process is well underway, and the town is urging citizens to take part.

On Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the community center's north conference room, the town will host a public forum on the downtown planning process. Citizens who attend will be brought up to date on the project's progress and will have an opportunity to weigh in on the planning issues and strategies that will ultimately guide future growth, development and land use patterns in downtown Pagosa Springs.

The forum will include three interactive exercises and small group discussions designed to get pointed feedback on issues unique and pertinent to the different downtown neighborhoods. In addition, further discussions will range to broader topics such as: the design, use and integration of parks, trails and open space, with a particular emphasis on Town Park and Centennial Park; the incorporation of gateway features throughout downtown; pedestrian and traffic flow patterns; parking issues and identification of long term solutions that could be integrated with future land use patterns; a photo exercise on design guidelines and building aesthetics; and future locations, uses and connectivity of government buildings, including schools, to the rest of downtown.

Phase two of the downtown plan is markedly different from the downtown plan put forth last year by Hart Howerton.

Town Planner Tamra Allen described the Hart Howerton plan, as largely "conceptual," whereas phase two builds from some of the concepts posed in phase one, but is moving forward with the goal of implementation.

"We're taking the conceptual plan and taking it through the public process," Allen said.

Nore Winter of Winter and Company is spearheading phase two efforts. Winter is working in conjunction with town staff and a steering committee, some of whose members also sit on the Citizen's Advisory Committee for the town's comprehensive plan. The goal being that the individuals provide overlapping input and act as liaisons between the two projects.

Ultimately, the downtown master plan will be incorporated into the town's forthcoming comprehensive plan. Both projects are targeted for completion in March of 2006.

Information on both the downtown master plan and the comprehensive plan can be found on the town's Web site at: www.


Hangar leases remain an issue at airport

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

With the major aspects of the airport project completed, some loose ends are still creating problems.

Historical easements in the vicinity of The Knolls are causing some issues with the final FAA certification, according to Bob Jasper, interim county administrator. "The FAA can be a real tickler about the Obstacle Free Zone," the federally specified area surrounding the runway cleared in case of an aircraft crash, said Jasper. "They can't allow a 'hole in the fence'" where people and wildlife could enter and possibly interfere with aircraft operations. Jasper is currently negotiating the conditions of the existing easements with the private owners of land within the security perimeter fence in order to comply with FAA regulations.

Another big glitch causing consternation with all parties involved is the inability of the county and seven hangar owners to finalize a lease agreement. A new ground lease, finally approved by the county last month, has been a source of contention ever since it was determined that eight privately-owned hangars would have to be demolished in order to comply with FAA Obstacle Free Zone requirements.

In June 2004, the county agreed to provide eight hangar owners with "like" hangars in exchange for the ones scheduled for demolition. The 2004 agreement clearly specified that signing a new version of the lease would be required, and specified two "significant" changes that were anticipated. When the new lease was finally approved last month by the county, there were a number of changes from the previous ground lease, and contention arose from what was considered "significant."

For a while, the process seemed to be progressing in a positive direction. After an initial bout of litigation on both sides, the two groups met with their respective lawyers Oct. 7 and 10 to negotiate, resulting in a "conceptual agreement" that satisfied both sides.

Normally in such negotiations, a single document is exchanged with alterations "red-lined so you can see the changes," said Jasper, referring to notations clearly marking each change. However, in this case, what followed did not proceed smoothly.

Both the county and the hangar owners complain about a technical issue arising from incompatible computer software formats. The county lawyers reportedly use Microsoft Word, while the hangar owners' lawyer uses Corel Wordperfect. Apparently, both lawyers professed the inability to read the digital version of the lease as provided by the other; thus, both lawyers provided the other with separate printed lease versions which could not be digitally red-lined (Note: both programs are capable of exporting documents into a "rich text format," which both programs can read. There are also programs available online that convert from one format to the other).

During the Oct. 10 meeting, the conceptual agreement was made based on a version of the lease compiled by the hangar owners. Expecting a modified version of that lease in return, instead on Oct. 18 the hangar owners received a red-lined county version of the lease, which was "totally in variance with the verbal agreements," said Ralph Goulds, spokesperson. Goulds is a member of San Juan Flyers, which owns one of the hangars in question.

One of the new changes in the Oct. 18 document was a requirement for $5 million annual aggregate liability insurance (the previous lease required liability insurance, but did not specify the amount). "I haven't been able to find a carrier who will provide that much insurance," said Goulds.

In response, on Oct. 29 the hangar owners tendered a completely rewritten lease based on a lease version that was in use in June, 2004 modified with the two "significant" changes agreed in 2004. The lease was accompanied by a letter from the hangar owners' lawyer stating there will be "no further discussion of the lease terms." According to Rolly Jackson, president of the San Juan Flyers, they "gave up on the (negotiation) process" because after two meetings, they "did not see the rewards of negotiation come back as we talked about. Plus we saw additions."

Jasper said he feels that negotiation is an ongoing process and that he is "discombobbled" at the hangar owners' response. He said that if the hangar owners didn't like the Oct. 18 version that the county provided, "Why didn't they tell us? A simple phone call could have fixed that." Despite the conflict, Jasper is clear that the county "remains willing to work with the hangar owners, and request that they respond to the mutual draft of the agreement."

Meanwhile, the litigation continues. The county has not dropped its condemnation suit and, on Oct. 31, the hangar owners (San Juan Flyers, Inc. Shirley Bishop, Fred Shelton, Jr., Douglas B. Humble, Robert Fletcher and Thomas Broadbent) filed with the District Court an amended complaint of their lawsuit originally filed Sept. 29.


Stevens field reopens for business

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer


Stevens Field officially reopened for business Monday.

Already the private jets are gracing the airport grounds, with a turboprop Conquest, a twin-jet Westwind, and a Learjet 40 flying in Tuesday, according to Rob Russ, airport manager. Planes such as the Learjet 40, which seat four passengers, can cost up to $6.75 million dollars and have a range of 2,100 miles.

In stark contrast to the more exotic private planes that are expected to make use of the new 8,100-foot C-II runway, the first plane to take off Monday was a humble Cessna, piloted by Larry Bartlett. He was accompanied by Russ and Chris Scarpa, the airport maintenance manager.

The runway approach pad indicator, a series of aimed lights to assist with an airplane's proper glide path for landing, is operational, as well as the southern runway end identifier lights and three lighted windsocks.

The FAA largely funded the airport runway expansion project with costs to the county estimated at $403,000. The new runway is capable of servicing planes with operational weights of 70,000 pounds and a wingspan of up to 79 feet.

Projects still awaiting completion are the FBO building, a new security perimeter fence which will enclose the entire airport, the AWOS weather information transmitter, and an access road to connect the south end of the runway to the airport maintenance building, where snow removal equipment will be stored.

The new fuel farm, part of the county funded $2.8 million FBO/fuel farm/hangar project, is partially operational, with Jet-A fuel being distributed. Avgas is still being supplied through trucks.

"It feels like a big weight off my shoulders," said Russ, who is hoping to be able to offer public tours of the airport by the end of the year.


Operation Helping Hand begins 2005 work


Operation Helping Hand is underway for the 2005 holiday season.

Organizers are working on collecting donations to provide Thanksgiving food baskets for our less fortunate friends and neighbors throughout Archuleta County.

Donations of nonperishable food items such as dressing, canned vegetables, canned hams, gelatin mix or any other nonperishable ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner may be dropped off at The Pagosa Springs SUN, 466 Pagosa St., Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Donations may also be made at both City Market locations.

Monetary donations to be used to purchase turkeys and other food items can be made to Operation Helping Hand and deposited to account No. 6240417424 at Wells Fargo Bank or account No. 20014379 at Bank of the San Juans. Donations may also be mailed to Operation Helping Hand, P.O. Box 1083, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Operation Helping Hand assists our less fortunate neighbors throughout the county during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Some families and individuals that seek help from this program are victims of domestic violence, children of single parents, physically challenged, mentally challenged or senior citizens living on a limited income.

Families seeking assistance from Operation Helping Hand for Thanksgiving or Christmas may pick up an application from the Department of Social Services, located in Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard.

Forms should be completed and returned to the Department of Social Services by 3 p.m Nov. 10 for those requesting assistance at Thanksgiving. Persons requesting assistance for Christmas must return their applications by 3 p.m. Dec. 5.

Civic organizations and church groups have united to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure as many holiday season needs and wishes as possible can be accommodated.

Questions about Operation Helping Hand may be directed to the message line, 731-3735. A volunteer will return your call, if necessary.


Work on Wolf Creek Pass continues through November

Construction crews are working along U.S.160 from the Big Meadows Reservoir access (mm 174.7) extending east for approximately one-half mile towards the Lake Fork Trailhead.

Winter break

Weather permitting, construction crews will work until Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005. After that, no construction will occur until spring 2006. During winter, two-way traffic will be maintained through the work zone.

November schedule: Motorists should expect day and nighttime delays of at least 45 minutes as traffic queues are cleared in each direction Monday through Saturday. These same delays will also be in effect on Friday and Saturday nights (as the pass is not fully closed to traffic on these nights.)

The pass will be closed overnight Monday through Thursday, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each evening. During these closures, motorists may use Highway 285, Highway 17 and Highway 84 as an alternate route.

Big Meadows

Recreational users will only be able to access Big Meadows beginning at 7 a.m. each weekday. Users not staying in the campground overnight should leave the area before 7 p.m. to avoid the closure.

 Commercial vehicles

There is a 10-foot width and 80-foot length restriction in effect for the pass 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week until Nov. 23, 2005.

Information Line: 719-849-1778

Web site: .


Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the Board of County Commissioners' Meeting Room, in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

Call to order/roll-call.

Walter/Cyr Minor Impact Sketch Plan.

This is a request to obtain approval of a Sketch Plan to legally subdivide two lots previously consolidated.

The project is located in Lake Forest Estates Subdivision at 23 Fawn Court, Lot 483X, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M.

Land Use Code project work session.

Archuleta County has began the process of creating a new land use code intended to update the county's current Land Use Regulations to accomplish the goals of the Archuleta County Community Plan. This is the second of five planning commission work sessions.

Review of the planning commission minutes of Sept. 14, 2005.

Other business that may come before the commission.



County sets meetings on land use codes

James Robinson

Staff Writer

With a contract secured with the land use consulting firm, HNTB Corporation, Archuleta County has embarked on a project to create a county land use code.

The project will seek to accomplish to goals put forth in the 2001 Archuleta County Community Plan and will serve as an update and replacement to the county's current land use regulations.

Between Nov. 8 and Nov. 10, the county will host the first in a series of public meetings designed to inform attendees about the scope of the project, project goals and will outline the issues an updated land use code will ultimately grapple with.

The Pagosa Springs meeting will be held Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Archuleta County Extension Building at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

On Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. an Arboles area meeting will be held at the Navajo Lake State Park Visitor Center.

A Chromo area meeting is scheduled for either Nov. 9 or Nov. 10. The time and location has not yet been determined.

For more information contact the Archuleta County Department of Building and Planning at 264-5851.


Progress continues on health district move to build CAH

 By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District continues to progress with plans to build a Critical Access Hospital in Pagosa Springs.

A full day of meetings are scheduled Nov. 10 at the Mary Fisher Clinic with potential architects and contractors of the project. Three construction management firms - JE Dunn Construction, Layton Construction, and GE Johnson - and one integrated real estate design/build company, The Neenan Company, will make presentations to the district board.

Rick O'Block, of Mercy Management, and Larry Arthur, of Healthcare Capital Resources, Inc. have evidently both advised the district to consider the construction management firms (which hire an architect) over the design/build firm (which has an in-house architect) because of the perceived transparency resulting from the separation of the architect and builder

J.R. Ford rose from the audience at the district board meeting Nov. 1 and disagreed with the preference, saying "I don't see how one's any different than the other." Ford said he thought the design/build firm was a "better scenario than grouping them as a team," and pointed out that a lender would primarily look at a builder's experience in the local mountain area. Board chair Pam Hopkins said the board had hired the consultants to advise the district, so they should listen to them. The directors agreed to wait until the companies made their presentations Nov 10 before making any decisions.

In addition to meeting with the construction companies, the board will meet with accounting firms Nov. 10. The accounting firm chosen to work with the district will be a critical component of the project, since it is the accounting firm's task to create the "CAH Feasibility Study" necessary for financing and grants.

A special board meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 will follow the full day of meetings to give district officials a chance to discuss the day's findings.

The district plans to call a special election in May to "ask the community if they feel a hospital is appropriate," said Hopkins. A vote is required to allow the district to borrow the funds necessary for the CAH, though the district emphasizes there will be no liability or an expected increase in taxes burdening the electorate.

The district is also seeking grants for the CAH. O'Block has met with Ken Charles of the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), who has given him the thumbs-up regarding the eligibility of the district to receive a Energy and Minerals Impact Grant for the CAH. Funds would be awarded in July, 2006.

Brett Murphy, EMS manager, has requested a $4 million federal Earmark Grant from U.S. Rep. John Salazar and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar. Federal Earmark Grants must be approved by the U.S. Congress; Murphy encourages citizens to write letters to the Salazar brothers supporting funding for a CAH in Archuleta County.

Four ad-hoc committees of the district are working on aspects related to the CAH - the Construction Manager/Architect-Engineer Team Committee, the Feasibility Study Committee, the Fund-raising Team Committee, and the Mercy Contract Committee (Ford is a member of three of them). In addition, the district has a Grants and Funding Committee for which they are seeking a chairman.

O'Block reported that the long-term management agreement proposal with Mercy Management has been completed and is ready for review by the ad hoc committee. Negotiations are scheduled after the construction manager and the accounting firm are selected.

In other business at Tuesday's board meeting:

Michelle Visel was sworn in as the newest member of the board. The district will be advertising for the remaining opening in the coming weeks.

Murphy reported a decrease in volume of EMS calls, with a corresponding drop from 16 percent to 10.8 percent utilization rate. He asked the board to table a third ambulance request.

Director Jim Pruitt reported on his visit with the board of county commissioners, during which he requested shared responsibility for the costs of a potential third ambulance. He said the BOCC agreed to consider joint ventures for cost savings, such as a vehicular insurance pool, vehicle maintenance contracts, and bulk fuel purchases.

The final closure of the Mary Fisher Clinic has been completed. All staff has been released and final payments made.



Information sought, rewards offered in recent lynx deaths

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

In response to two lynx radio collars found last week, nine conservation groups have offered a $4,400 reward for information that leads to the conviction of a person or persons responsible for the crime of killing a lynx.

Both leather collars were cleanly cut from the lynx's necks, and it is believed that poachers illegally killed the animals. The Canada lynx is listed as "threatened" in the contiguous U.S. under the 1973 Endangered Species Act.

One of the collars found last week on Missionary Ridge near Durango belonged to a mother of three kittens, who are 4 or 5 months old and unlikely to survive. Lynx kittens are generally unable to hunt for their own prey until they are 1 year old and are "near impossible to find" after they have been separated from their mother, said Joe Lewandowski, Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesperson.

The second lynx collar belonged to one of the first native lynx born in Colorado since the CDOW reintroduction program began in 1999. The lynx is presumed dead after its cut leather collar was deposited in the Silverton post office. Whether the action was a statement against the Endangered Species Act or the CDOW reintroduction program is "hard to say," according to Lewandowski, who emphasized that, if someone accidentally shoots a lynx and comes forward and explains, they will not get "whacked" with criminal charges.

A CDOW investigation is underway. Killing a lynx is a federal offense with fines ranging from $2,000 to $100,000 and one year in jail. In addition to the reward offered by the conservation groups, operation Game Thief also offers a $1,000 reward, bringing the total to $5,400 for information leading to the conviction of anyone involved in an illegal killing of a lynx.

The CDOW estimates the Colorado population of lynx at around 200 animals, with 110 presently tracked with radio collars. Humans present one of the biggest threats to the lynx. Including the recent killings, there have been 72 lynx mortalities since the reintroduction program began, with 29 known lynx mortalities from human causes. Of the 72 known mortalities, at least 22 are from unknown causes, with 17 from natural causes. An additional 28 radio-collared lynx are also "missing," meaning that their radio collars have not been found and their signals have not been recorded for some time.

Lewandowski said that the lynx population is growing stronger and that the animals have adapted well, though the continuing threat from poaching "is a concern."


Another USFS equine veteran finds sanctuary

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Through the generosity of 12 Pagosans and a local wildlife sanctuary, another United States Forest Service horse has found a retirement home.

Lightning, a 20-year-old Missouri Foxtrotter, worked as a range management horse, carrying Forest Service staff far and wide across the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest. But, after years of service and covering countless miles of country, severe arthritis set in, bringing Lightning's working days to an end. In light of the animal's condition, the Forest Service decided to retire Lightning and he was recently purchased from the agency by Pat Jackson, owner of the Saint Francis Sanctuary in Arboles.

Jackson said funding for Lightning's purchase came through donations by a group of individuals rallied by Yolanda Parker.

Parker, a ranch owner and horse-lover herself, worked to help Manitou, another aged Forest Service horse, find a retirement home and she and Jackson became acquainted during that search. Ultimately, Manitou found a home elsewhere, but when Parker heard about Lightning, she said she immediately thought of Jackson and Jackson's sanctuary.

Unfortunately, because Lightning was a government horse, he couldn't be adopted by Jackson outright and had to be sold according to government regulations and procedures.

Jackson said she told Parker she didn't have the resources to start purchasing horses in need of retirement, but Parker offered to seek donations that might make Lightning's retirement at the sanctuary possible.

Ultimately, Jackson agreed to take Lightning if donations could be found and Parker got on the phone and began rallying friends and fellow horse lovers for help.

After about a dozen calls asking individuals to contribute to Lightning's cause, Parker said she received overwhelming support and all told, collected $330 for the horse's retirement.

Parker said she was ecstatic people had contributed so willingly, but said she was worried the group hadn't raised enough money to secure the horse's purchase on the open market.

In the end, Parker said the group resigned themselves to the fact that they had done what they could, gave the money to Jackson and hoped for the best.

Ultimately, Parker's fears were unfounded. No other buyers came forward, and Jackson, with the one and only offer closed the deal. Seventy-five dollars later, Jackson had a horse and Lightning had a retirement.

Brian Bachtel, a range staff officer on the Pagosa Ranger District, said he was amazed and truly pleased with how the concern and effort of a few had created for a hard working horse's retirement.

"A horse that has done us good service over the years, we like to see it go to a good home," Bachtel said.

And better yet, there is still money left after Lightning's purchase should another government horse need a retirement home, Jackson said.

Although rehabilitating birds for release back into their natural habitat is the current, primary focus of the facility, Jackson said there is plenty of acreage, 160 altogether, for Lightning and other government horses that may need a retirement home in the future.

The Saint Francis Sanctuary is a non-profit agency and all contributions are tax deductible. In addition, Jackson said, contributors can specify how they want the sanctuary to utilize their donation and contributions can be made specifically to the government horse retirement fund.

To learn more about the sanctuary and the government horse retirement fund, contact Jackson by phone at (970) 946-7452 or by e-mail at


Mixed success reported in first rifle seasons

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Big game hunting continues in Colorado's high country, and early reports indicate mixed hunter success but strong retail sales in the area.

Archers, black powder enthusiasts, moose and bear hunters first took to the woods between late August and early October, while rifle hunters have since completed two of four scheduled hunts. The third begins this Saturday, Nov. 5. and runs through Nov. 11, with the fourth and final season of the year opening Wednesday, Nov. 16, and closing at dusk Sunday, Nov. 20.

For now, hunter numbers for this season appear comparable to those of last year, according to Joe Lewandowski of the Colorado Division of Wildlife in Durango. "There was some concern over the high gas prices, hurricane affects and the continued warm weather locally," he said, "but numbers have held steady so far."

Bernie Schuchart of the Buck Stops Here, a local game processing shop, agrees. "It's been a pretty good year around here - similar to last, which was a record. But it sounds like it hasn't been that great over the pass."

It's too soon for local sporting goods retailers to know how license sales have compared to recent years, but all agree business is brisk with dramatic increases in hunting-related retail sales this season. Of course, reduced competition by the recent closing of the Sports Emporium, a former fishing and hunting outlet in Pagosa Springs, no doubt has contributed to higher sales overall, but shopkeepers are pleased with the level of activity to date.

Mike Haynes, of Ponderosa Do It Best Home Center, said "It's been a good season with a healthy rise in sales so far, and if the weather turns bad, things like outdoor cookware, tarps, gloves and warm clothing will pick up even more."

Thaddeus Cano, of the Ski and Bow Rack, concurs. "So far, we've had an outstanding year in hunting and archery. It's probably partly because of the Sports Emporium closing, but our growth has been strong in the past couple of years."

When asked what kind of feedback they were getting from customers having completed their hunts, shopkeepers reported mixed success. Most seemed to think the earlier bear harvest had dropped off some from previous years, but Elizabeth Reid of the DOW suggested the harvest was about normal, or "up a tad."

According to Haynes and Schuchart, archers did well during the elk hunt, but found deer a little more elusive this year than last.

First-season rifle hunters, meanwhile, found the unseasonably warm weather and minimal high-country snowpack detrimental in locating elk anywhere but at the highest elevations. Nevertheless, harvest rates appear above average.

Early indications suggest the second rifle season, a combined deer and elk hunt, was very productive for elk hunters, and average, or above, for deer.

"A few nice bulls have been taken so far this year," Schuchart said. "And while some of the bucks have been good size, the racks we've seen seem smaller."

Dick Ray, owner of the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and a member of the Colorado Wildlife Commission, is also a local hunting outfitter, and professes to having seen bigger bucks and bulls in the field lately.

"Respective to age, the deer and elk have grown good antlers this year," he said. "We've seen more mature bucks this year than in the last five years, and there are more older age-class bulls than in recent years, too."

Ray considers this an important factor in maintaining healthy herds, particularly with the more gregarious elk.

"During the rut, the older bulls disperse the younger ones, keeping them on the move and away from siblings," he said. "That lessens the chances of inbreeding."

If Ray's assessment is accurate, prospects for hunters in the third and fourth rifle seasons look good. Both hunts are combined deer and elk, though licenses for the final season are again limited to drawing only.

The DOW's Lewandowski recommends hunters be prepared for anything in the final two seasons. "We're at a time of year when the weather can change in a matter of hours," he said. "The sun might be shining at noon, and we can get several inches of snow by nightfall. Hunters should have the right clothing and camping gear, and pay attention to local weather reports."

Lewandowski recalls years when heavy snow came late in the hunting season and some hunters were forced to evacuate on foot, leaving trucks or camping gear deep in the forest until the spring snowmelt. A few have actually lost their lives.


High Country Reflections

A dismal day between autumn and winter

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

"The end of October, the sleepy brown woods seem to nod down their heads to the winter. Yellows and grays paint the sad skies today, and I wonder when you're coming home." - Dan Fogelberg.

On a dank overcast morning at the end of October, I sat gazing through my windows to the south and toward the west. Dawn had finally come, though it remained largely obscured by the heavy banks of battleship gray drifting just overhead. The only bright spot, a medley of pallid golds in the distant southeast, quickly faded as yet more leaden cumulous and another early-morning shower pushed in from the west.

In its newfound dormancy, the surrounding forest landscape looked cold and lifeless. Overnight rains had left everything dripping wet in temperatures barely above freezing, and all seemed deathly quiet fitting for the season.

Except for the unending greens of the junipers, fir and ponderosa pine, the only real colors lingering from an earlier autumn display included the deep auburn oaks, still standing defiant in their refusal to shed leaves, even as the aspens, cottonwoods and all other deciduous trees now stood bare.

In the forest understory, the pastel yellows and lime greens of golden currant leaves stood out in sharp contrast, as they too clung precariously to their mother stems. Beneath them, the perpetual greenish-purple foliage of the low-lying holly-grape shrubs, which stirred images of the approaching holidays, were visibly scattered over the forest floor. Among the grasses and forbs, only the bluebunch wheatgrass held on to a shade of emerald green, while the mountain brome, various fescues, Canada thistle and others had dried to a golden brown, some still standing erect, while others bowed in submission to the growing chill.

The entire countryside hung in limbo, as if patiently waiting out the interlude between seasons. Fall, as we fondly think of it, had clearly come and gone, yet winter, while having already settled in at the highest elevations, had thus far not arrived in the lower mountain valleys. For the most part, daytime temperatures remained relatively mild - well above freezing - while those of the night and early morning dipped much closer and sometimes below. But the hard killing frosts, deep snows and bone-chilling north winds of the harshest of times were still several weeks away.

As I sat languidly vetting my outward surroundings, the clouds let loose again, and again the rain drummed steadily on the metal roof above. Its monotone tempo rose and fell with the fluctuating intensity of the storm, and that, with the warmth emanating from the little space heater near my feet, brought instant gratitude for the comfort of my cozy office.

Then, a slight movement across the way caught my attention, and through the ephemeral downpour, I noticed a lone robin fluttering about at the very top of a nearby ponderosa pine. The languid creature promptly settled in to a tenuous perch atop a tiny frail limb completely stripped of its needles by who knows what? There, fully exposed to the elements, my feathery friend contentedly rode out the worst of the squall, no doubt totally indifferent to any discomfort I might have ascribed it through my own naive human perception.

For the moment, I found the bird's outright apathy toward inclement weather nothing short of amazing. But in time, as the shower slowly abated and several more minutes had elapsed, it suddenly occurred to me that seeing a robin at all had become a rarity of late. Even as I recalled the season's first spotting one early March morning, and those warm summer evenings when several were in the yard at any given time, I now marveled at how, once again, the vast majority of them have slipped away for the winter without my notice.

Of course, that realization gave rise to others, and I found myself wondering just when all the goldfinches and western bluebirds had left, and at what point did the marmots, chipmunks and golden-mantled ground squirrels decide it was time to hibernate. Certainly, dwindling food resources play a considerable role, and with many species, physical stature simply prevents them from negotiating deep snow, or tolerating shorter days and long bitter-cold nights. But regardless of the reasons for leaving or going underground, the actual progression seems gradual enough that I am never aware until after the fact.


Meanwhile, about noon on that bleak October day, the rain finally stopped for a time and the clouds opened up occasionally, allowing brief periods of sunshine. Temperatures remained unseasonably cool, but with things drying out a bit, I hoped to take advantage, and wandered out for a breath of fresh air.

Amid swirling breezes and thermometer readings hovering only around 40, I buttoned my jacket and casually strolled through a nearby thicket of tall Gambel oak. There, I found an old pine stump and decided to sit for a spell. At that point, the warmth of the sun fell upon me and my surroundings, and the air was rich with the fragrance of moisture and floral decomposition.

The only sound I heard, save that of countless dried oak leaves softly shuddering in the wind, was the low croonk of an unseen raven somewhere in the distance. Gone were the cheerful melodies of the summer songbirds, and the once-constant drone of a billion buzzing insects. The familiar rattle of in-flight grasshoppers and the high-pitched "chirp" of the crickets and katydids, so prevalent throughout the warmer months, had now fallen silent. It was as if the final curtain was drawn and the actors had all left the stage.

As expected, dark clouds eventually rolled in again, and another cloudburst sent me dashing for cover. Once back in the security of my office, with hot coffee in hand, I watched through my windows as the cold rains of late October again drenched the land.

It's too cold for autumn, I thought, yet too warm for winter. But one thing is certain; that'll change any day now.

"I woke up one morning, the wind through my window reminded me winter was just 'round the bend, somehow I just did not see it was coming, it took me by surprise again." - Dan Fogelberg.


Recall the recall

Dear Editor:

I would like to inform all those who have signed or plan to sign the recall petition for Commissioner Robin Schiro that they have or will have signed a document that contains false and misleading statements. If you contact Commissioner Schiro, 264-8304, I believe she would be more than willing to identify where, in the recall petition, there are inaccuracies, false statements and false interpretations.

I hope all that have signed this recall petition will remove their names after they realize it contains erroneous justifications. Removing your name is as easy as letting the county clerk and recorder (264-8350) know of your desires in writing before the recall petition is delivered to the courthouse. The last day of delivery is close of business Monday, Nov. 21, 2005, but could be sooner. So, your desires must be made known to the county clerk and recorder as soon as possible.

I also hope that those who are contemplating signing the petition rethink the issues before them and not sign a document that contains false and misleading statements.

Individual voters in Archuleta County will seldom agree with all actions of our county commissioners. A recall based on suspect facts is not what I would expect the voters of Archuleta county to condone.

John Bozek

TTHM threat

Dear Editor:

John Middendorf's research on the impact of TTHM levels in our PAWSD water supply was incomplete. This issue is far more serious than PAWSD would like the community to believe. A quick comparison of TTHM levels in water supplies from municipalities around Colorado found that our levels are grossly out of line.

In Evergreen the average TTHM level is 30 ppb with a highest maximum of 45 ppb. In Louisville the average TTHM level is 33.24 ppb.

The Consolidated Mutual water supply for Lakewood had an average TTHM level of 36.9 and a max of 51.3 ppb. In Denver, the average is 33 ppb with a max level of 69. In Fort Collins the highest annual average TTHM level was 32.2 with a max of 43 ppb and in Colorado Springs the highest max level was 51.8 ppb.

The Northern Colorado water supply district requires a disinfection profile if TTHM levels exceed 80 percent of the EPA limit or 64 ppb.

PAWSD needs to not only upgrade the system, but implement plans for future systems that can eliminate these toxins from our water.

According to the table The SUN included with Middendorf's article, the TTHM levels in District 1 PAWSD water were above 60 ppb during the first quarter, above 90 ppb during the second quarter and nearly 130 ppb during the third quarter. This is outrageous and highly dangerous.

TTHMs are known to cause cancer and central nervous system disorders as well as liver and kidney problems. They increase the risk of spontaneous miscarriage (California, Weller, et al 1998). According to a University of North Carolina study, TTHM levels in the blood actually increase after showering (May 2, 2002) and Virginia Polytechnic has proven that using antibacterial dish soap with the chemical triclosan can interact with the chlorine in tap water and create chloroform a gas that should not be inhaled.

TTHMs enter the body through inhalation, so suggesting alternative drinking water is not the only solution to prevent toxicity from our water supply. We should be warning visitors and residents to filter water and not bathe unless the water is filtered. Not all carbon based home filtering systems remove TTHMs from the water.

Far too many people I know who have lived in Pagosa Springs for eight, 10, 12 years are fighting cancer and other serious illnesses.

The National Resources Defense Council recommends TTHM levels be targeted at zero. It is high time this community get serious about our infrastructure and fix these problems. PAWSD should not treat this situation in such a cavalier manner.

Leanne Goebel

Caring persons

Dear Editor:

About the "Keep Pagosa, Pagosa" bumper stickers. When people ask me what that means, I say "You haven't been here long enough." You haven't been to Loaves and Fishes, a Whistle Pig concert (hope someone comes forward so we can continue these concerts in a "home atmosphere"), or a fund-raising activity for someone who can't pay family medical bills. These bumper stickers are not directed toward the changes taking place or the development that can't be stopped in our town. They are directed toward the caring personalities of the people who live here - because they want to.

Cindy Gustafson

Don't park

Dear Editor,

I just read the letter by Ruby Thompson who never mentioned if she had a handicapped license for her car. If not, then her son should of pulled up close to the door and let his mom and grandma out, then went to find another place to park.

I would have gone up to the son and asked him if he had a license for that spot and if he had no proof then suggested he get closer to the door and find another spot. I'm not sorry I would call the police if he did not move. Everyone must understand it is against the law to park in those spots if you do not have a handicapped license .

Madeleine Heath

More fluoride

Dear Editor:

In response to last week's fluoride letter, I know bad teeth can affect your health in many ways, but you completely missed my point about losing a tooth. I will say it in another way. Let's say fluoride worked. What good would it do to die a horrible death from cancer, thyroid problems, arthritis, neurological problems or worse, from fluoride poisoning but have bright, shiny teeth?

If, indeed, ingested fluoride prevented cavities, then pit and fissure cavities wouldn't be so prevalent. Bad hygiene and sugary and starchy foods cause cavities, not the lack of fluoride. All of the Indian reservations in the U.S. are fluoridated and the people there have been documented to have some of the worst dental problems.

The author of last week's article is missing part of the equation when he brings up ingesting fluoride in small amounts. It is cumulative. It's been proven time and time again that 50% of what is taken into your body is retained in your bones. That is what slowly kills.

Pertaining to other horses getting sick. Most people in Pagosa used to send their horses away for the winter. Our horses were kept here and had only fluoridated water. There are two other horses that have died in Pagosa besides my six that have been scientifically diagnosed with chronic fluoride poisoning - one on Pagosa water for 11 years, the other for 10 years. Most people are not willing to go through what it takes to find out why their animal died. They just buy another one and move on and accept that it died of whatever symptoms it had instead of looking toward what caused those symptoms. Also, there was not a vet in town that knew how to test for fluoride poisoning. There is a vet in Bayfield that is having almost identical problems as ours with a client's herd of Merino sheep and goats. Sending body parts for years to lab after lab trying to find out what was sickening and killing the sheep with no enlightening results. He, too, is now pursuing fluoride poisoning as the culprit.

The Shupe study you mentioned is a perfect example of the fluoride deception. It was paid for by the industries producing and promoting their toxic by product. Fluoride. It was on research they paid for and with "tolerance levels" they proposed. They are the only beneficiaries of its (mis)information. My horses are the first to be positively diagnosed with "chronic fluoride poisoning" from fluoridated water. The knowledge of how to diagnose and what the symptoms are just aren't taught or widely known, not because it doesn't exist. The world was once thought flat, too, until it suddenly became round. You simply must not ignore the facts because of your preconceived notions.

Science aside, the core of this issue is personal choice. Common law doctrine of informed consent says that "Administration of even good medicine without consent is a crime/battery." Therefore, fluoridation without the consent of all is a crime.

Cathy Justus

Supports recall

Dear Editor:

As a decade-long resident and rancher here in Archuleta County, I'm usually too busy working to have time to involve myself in politics. So why am I actively supporting the recall of Commissioner Robin Schiro, both as a committee member and a petition circulator? Because, while I may not actively participate in county politics, that doesn't mean I don't pay attention. And I have yet to see in Robin Schiro's performance as a county commissioner even the smallest indication that she actually cares about Archuleta County or its citizens.

One of the reasons Robin Schiro lasted less than four months as Archuleta County engineer in 2003 was her repeated excessive spending of county road and bridge funds on questionable expenses like travel, attending conferences across the country, hotels, meals, etc., all without approval from her superiors at the county. Maybe those wasted road and bridge funds wouldn't have improved or maintained a great length of county roads if properly spent for that purpose. But, in any case, Schiro's repeated claims that she's looking out for the county's taxpayers ring hollow when viewed in light of her past wasteful spending at taxpayer expense.

Robin Schiro's outside activities and nationwide travels while serving as Archuleta County Commissioner repeatedly betray her real personal ambitions to revolve around advancing in the National Republican Party, not dedicating herself to the betterment of our, in her view, insignificant county - of which she was a legal resident for a grand total of one year and three days before being elected commissioner. Sure, the price of a recall election is estimated to be anywhere from $20,000-$30,000, but when weighed against the costs incurred by all of us as a result of Schiro's being in office just 10 months (not to mention the wasted funds during her short time as Archuleta County engineer), a growing number of us are convinced we can't afford not to recall her.

Steve Keno

Lion info

Dear Editor:

In response to the "Pagosa Country is lion country" article in the Pagosa SUN Thursday, Oct. 20.

This article is quite interesting until it gets to the point where they use completely false and misleading information and present it as factual along with some facts in an attempt to make all the information seem accurate.

Since 1968 it has been against the law in Colorado to kill lion kittens and females with kittens.

In 1990 the Wildlife Commission closed the lion season from March through mid November for the explicit purpose of protecting females with kittens. At that time all Colorado information stated that most lion kittens were born in March and April. Now someone has used 1961 Utah/Nevada information to justify personal agendas. How nice to have different statistics to fit whatever situation you run into.

Every year the Colorado Division of Wildlife evaluates the mountain lion quotas for every DAU in the state and adjusts it, if needed.

FYI: In all the units from Pagosa to Durango, where the January 2005 season quota (limited number of lions allowed) was reached by hunters, with no females killed while two females were killed in these units on the highway by cars. (Source: Colorado Division of Wildlife.)

This article was presented as an informational column instead of an editorial. The information is only as good as its source, which this particular column information came from the anti-hunting group Sinapu from Boulder.

The Division of Wildlife, wildlife commissioners, and the general public should receive a written apology from Chuck McGuire and the editor which allowed the story to be printed without checking the credibility or disclosing its source and not verifying the facts.

The Colorado Division of wildlife has done a remarkable job managing all wildlife in the state, including the mountain lion, and will continue, hopefully, from now on without biased reporters with personal agendas.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will provide factual information whenever requested.

Thank you,

Brian Lyons

Get rid of them

Dear Editor:

In regards to the numerous candidates for sheriff this year, I have no opinion on the two unknowns. However, I feel that the entire department needs to go. We need to completely clean house and start over. The time for storm trooper tactics has to go. The department's only concern seems to be how many arrests they can make. Vehicles should only be taken home by on-call officers and the other units left at the station. Same for the city police. I am tired of seeing them at the grocery store, taking their kids to school and running other errands while driving the official law enforcement vehicles. In regards to DUI arrests, I do not agree with the current tactics.

When I was a law enforcement officer in a small Colorado town and stopped a local, I would give them a ride home, tell them next time we'd have to do it by the book. (Repeat offenders excluded of course.) Why is it that the officers here can only feel good about themselves when they put someone behind bars? What about the lives they ruin by not going the extra mile? I have no respect for them at all, their respect has to be earned and the truth of it is, they don't seem to want it or care. Intimidation is the norm by the officers here, not courtesy or help if you need it, whatever happened to Protect and Serve? I'm not voting for anyone who currently works in the sheriffs department. Its time for a change. I say let's get rid of the entire county government officials, the entire city officials including the judge. They have been in control way to long. At what cost, progress? Yeah right, wake up and look around. I wasn't born or raised here, but when I came here 16 years ago, it wasn't to change the town, but to enjoy what it had to offer. Now it's turning into another Durango, Vail and Telluride. Is this what the people who founded this town want? How many of us will still be able to afford to live here in the next few years? You could stop all this by voting out the present administration and taking back control. Golden Colorado government put a stop to growth by buying up property and our town can do the same instead of letting developers take it over and turn it into what they want it to be. What is it going to take for you all to do the right thing?

Regarding The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association. What a joke. Those of you that have property in Pagosa Lakes only think that you own it. What you are doing, myself included, is renting. If you don't comply with their rules they can and will put a lien on your lot or house, charge you for the lawyer and court fees. If you refuse to comply they can and will take your house or lot.

What do we get for the dues we have to pay the association? Nothing. No golf course, no rec center, no road maintenance. We're paying the rent and salaries of those upholding these rules and nothing more. Why pay it???

I'd like to do away with the Pagosa Lakes Property Association as I helped do with the Pagosa Lakes Public Safety a few years ago. It can be done and I welcome the help of anyone who agrees the PLPOA has outlived its usefulness and is now a black hole for our dues. All it takes is 51 percent of property owner votes to make it so.

The difference between Americans from the revolution and Americans today is that they united to be free and we take it for granted.

Let the leaders change, politics change and hope be renewed.

Randall Mettscher

Supports project

Dear Editor:

I'm writing this letter in support of the San Juan River project. It appears that all of the measures being taken by the town to restore/rebuild the downtown section of the river will benefit the community and the environment. The safety of the tourists and that of the environment is just as important as the project itself. As long as the design and materials used to create the enhancements will not jeopardize the safety of those that it will impact. I'm all for doing things to improve the appeal of the community. The impact of this project on tourism will bring a welcomed financial influx to the community.

The only concerns that I have about the project are based on rumors of the town approaching the river improvements the wrong way. What I mean by this is that I was told that the town started the construction before the plans were approved and permitted by the Army Corps of Engineers. I'm not sure about the validity of these allegations but if they are accurate, the town really should follow regulations and wait for proper approval before completing the project. Overall, with the benefits that the project will bring to the table, I feel it will be in the best interest of all parties that it will impact.

Erin Meyerholtz


Dear Editor:

I am curious about the political agenda of the "Recall Robin" effort. In the ad in the Pagosa SUN, the headline is "Are you sick and tired of paying for a County Government so dysfunctional it can't even keep its career employees?" But then the ad focuses on Robin Schiro, only one of the county commissioners.

The recall effort is being supported by vicious personal attacks in newspaper ads, radio spots and letters to the editor. I find the accusations, distortions and untruths being proclaimed to be very troubling. There is room for differences in opinions without the attacks and unsuitable language.

A workshop on conducting difficult conversations and managing conflict, led by Jim Morris of Bristlecone Learning, was held in August and all the commissioners and local town officials were invited. Commissioner Schiro was the only commissioner to attend. This forum addressed the issues of differences and talked about how to disagree without being disagreeable. It seems that many of those on the attack are not interested in the facts or in any form of communication.

I have to assume that the goal of the attackers is to force Commissioner Schiro to resign as I don't think they want to pay for the recall election, either through taxes, if paid for by the county, or from privately raised funds.

The issues raised by the recall effort indicate that low morale among county employees is responsible for the numerous resignations. Is that really true or is Commissioner Schiro being used as a scapegoat to direct attention away from possible underlying problems?

We wonder why nations can't get along. Yet in one small beautiful town, we have fights that in my opinion are not justified, no matter how upset some county employees (who chose to leave) may be.

Marilyn Moorhead

Partisan move?

Dear Editor:

What an interesting juxtaposition your editorial last week posed against one of the political ads that appeared in the same issue.

In your editorial, you admonished those in our community who are so partisan as to criticize a Republican County Commissioner (probably Ronnie Zaday) for voting "with a Democrat," rather than simply disagreeing with Commissioner Zaday's vote based on the substance of the issue in question.

Now, let's look at page A14 in the same issue. There's an ad, paid for by the Archuleta County Republican Central Committee, urging voters to oppose the recall petition drive against Republican Commissioner Robin Schiro.

One of the worst kept secrets in this community over the past few months has been the Republican Central Committee's repeated urgings to Commissioner Schiro to please resign. If she would do so, the Republican Central Committee would be able to appoint (as opposed to voters electing) another partisan Republican in her place.

Cynical partisan move on the part of the Republican Committee to defend an indefensible Republican Commissioner, rather than risk losing the position to someone perhaps more suitable but not a card-carrying Republican?

For anyone who's ever asked me why I choose not to affiliate with a major political party, this latest reversal by the Republican Central Committee, and their motive for their decision, should answer that question.

Nan Rowe

Not factual

Dear Editor:

I believe it is important for the citizens of Archuleta County to have accurate facts in order to make informed decisions. Therefore, I thought it was imperative that I submit this letter.

On or about Oct. 30, Commissioner Zaday stated that unless the commissioners scheduled a conflict resolution process that involved all three commissioners, the county attorneys would cease doing business with the county. She states that her and Commissioner Lynch attempted to institute such a process "but Commissioner Schiro did not feel it was necessary" and declined to participate. Also around that same time Commissioner Lynch stated, "not all of the commissioners were willing to participate." Those statements are simply not factual. The fact is according to the consultant, Confluence Consulting, who was hired and paid for by the county, this was a "mediation process" as was noted on his bill, not "conflict resolution." This consultant is not a licensed counselor, as a select few in the public would like you to believe.

On the day of this meeting I arrived on time believing that this was a very important and necessary meeting. My counterparts were noticeably late. Having campaigned consistently on the transparency of local government, as with all meetings when there are three commissioners present in the room, except during executive sessions, I asked that this meeting be open to the public. I also asked that it be held at a convenient place and time for the public to attend, not during the day so that those who work could attend, and that this meeting be recorded as all of our Board of County Commissioners meetings and work sessions are, so that if residents of Archuleta County could not attend this meeting they can always listen to or acquire a recording of the meeting. It was decided by the majority of the Board, consisting of commissioners Lynch and Zaday, that this meeting would be held in the commissioners 'meeting room, during the day, and noticed, but not be allowed to be recorded. I have nothing to hide. Why should that meeting not have been recorded? I objected on the grounds that meetings involving all three commissioners need to be recorded for the public's benefit. It is my firm belief that the public has a right to know and I will continue to take that stand. Also in the interest of saving the county any more cost than they had already incurred by having this consultant come from Durango for the day, and not have the sessions with all three commissioners recorded for the public's benefit, I agreed to participate individually with the consultant in individual sessions since they did not need to be recorded. I did so, as did the other two commissioners.

The record is really open to the public. As always, if any citizen has any questions or input regarding how I have voted, or as to what position I truly have on an issue I welcome them to contact me at 264-8304.

Thank you,

Robin Schiro

River project

Dear Editor:

Six years ago, I came to visit some friends in Pagosa and fell in love with the town and its community and decided to move here. During my time here, I have seen little improvements that have promoted this town to its full potential and many times have seen businesses start up just to see them close or sell a year later.

Pagosa is a town that relies heavily on its tourism to keep many businesses alive, as well as it brings money into the town for many needed improvements. It is no secret that the community prefers to stay small and unique, as we have managed to keep many large developments from coming to fruit. The San Juan River Enhancement Project is a wonderful way to help promote Pagosa without the major developments, as well as a win-win situation for everyone.

By supporting the San Juan River Project we are able, as a community, to not only add aesthetic value to the downtown area but also provide and enhance the recreational options to the community and its visitors. The project would provide deeper water levels for fishermen, whitewater users, tubing and other water type activities. This project would also benefit local school projects or learning opportunities and provide another form of "after school" or summer activities for our kids. By implementing a project of this size, it would allow the community to support its local contractors and material supply stores, as well.

If this project can be done in a way where it is safe for the environment, promotes extracurricular activities, adds aesthetic beauty to the town, and encourages more tourism (which in turn brings more income to the community), then supporting this project would only support our own livelihoods.

Julie Schmidt

Community News

Elementary school to host Scholastic Book Fair

Pagosa Springs Elementary School will host a Scholastic Book Fair Nov. 7 -17 during school hours in Room 4.

Families, teachers and the community are invited to attend the fair, which will feature a special medieval theme: Enter the Kingdom of Reading - Where Books Rule!

The book fair will offer specially priced books and educational products, including newly released titles, award-winning titles, children's classics, interactive software, adult books and current bestsellers from more than 150 publishers. There are products for all age ranges and many excellent gift ideas.

Proceeds from book fairs are used to purchase books for the school library and classrooms, software for reading achievement programs, and help fund many other improvements and purchase necessary supplies for the school.

Those attending the event can also help the school build individual classroom libraries by purchasing books for teachers through the Classroom Wish List Program which is highlighted at the book fair.

On Thursday, Nov. 10, from 5:30 - 8 p.m. the Partners In Education Committee will host a special Renaissance Family Night event with crafts, games, dinner, pictures, shopping at the Book Fair, and a special story time. Costumes are encouraged but not required. This event is being chaired by Jennifer Pitcher and many other volunteers.


Quilter, author Bono at Piecemakers guild meeting

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Nationally recognized quilter, author and Pagosa Springs resident Pam Bono, will share her quilting expertise with the Pagosa Springs Piecemakers Quilt Guild Nov. 12.

The seminar begins in the morning with a trunk show of Bono's work and a discussion of her signature, "quick piecing" technique.

Later the same day, Bono will teach attendees the techniques discussed and described in the morning session. And for this portion of the event, Bono will provide a placemat kit and hands-on instruction.

With numerous book titles under her belt and more than 25 years as a quilt designer, including designs that have graced the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, Bono's reputation and work in the quilting world have risen to national and international stature.

Nevertheless, she said she has deep roots in southwestern Colorado, now calls Pagosa Country home, and is pleased to share her experience with a "home town guild."

For information on attending the event, contact Fran Jenkins of the Pagosa Springs Piecemakers at (970) 264-9312. The cost for the event is $30. Registration must be prepaid, is non-refundable and class size is limited.


Youngsters beware: The Professor is ready to play

On Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m. The Professor (John Graves) will present the first in a series of informal evenings of music, fun and refreshments (if so moved, feel free to bring some munchies to share) at the sponsoring Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.

He will play your requests (if they're from the '20s, '30s, or '40s) give some musical quizzes, play for or with talented singers or instrumentalists who might happen by, and maybe even create some choral highlights with an old fashioned sing-along. If there's room, you could even sock hop in the back room.

A suggested donation of $5 will go toward expenses and helping the Professor and his wife, Ann, to maintain their wild and extravagant life style.

The Professor has played for or with Judy Garland, John Wayne, Groucho Marx, George Burns, Jimmy Durante, Rudy Vallee, Rosemary Clooney, June Christy, Helen O'Connell, Arthur Duncan, Danny Thomas, Redd Foxx, and even candidate Jerry Brown.

However, there is a warning!

Before listening to The Professor at the piano, be advised that his music is intended for mature adults only. Young people may be perplexed and disturbed by this music. They will not understand the absence of amplified guitars, drum machines, and synthesizers; screaming vocalists, wild gyrations and pyrotechnics; obscene lyrics and gestures; endless repetition and deafening volume levels.

Instead, they will hear unique improvised interpretations of the great love songs and show tunes of the '20s, '30s, and '40s - by Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Kern, Rodgers and Hart, etc.; playful jazz, from Ellington to Dixieland, blues to boogie; bossa novas, sambas and other Latin rhythms; ragtime and stride, and barrelhouse, too.

But remember - if you're too young for Social Security - come at your own risk.

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.


Annual community sing-along planned

By Carroll Carruth

Special to The PREVIEW

The Community is cordially invited to a Christmas Sing-along 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs.

Come celebrate the "reason for the season" by singing along to seven glorious choruses from Handel's "Messiah," accompanied by orchestra and piano.

Also, following these choruses, you will be invited to request your favorite carols to sing. The entire audience will be invited to "sing along," and those who have sung the "Messiah" before are asked to bring their own score, if they have one. A few vocal scores will be available on loan to the others.

Experienced instrumentalists interested in playing in the ensemble should contact Melinda Baum at 264-5404.

Singers interested in a recording and/or possible rehearsal can contact Carroll Carruth at 731-5016 after Nov, 29.


Moab Folk Festival features Hot Strings, starts tomorrow

Plans for the 2005 edition of the Moab Folk Music Festival, now in in its third year, have been announced by the festival's founder, Moab's Melissa Schmaedick.

This year's lineup includes some of the top folk musicians in the nation, performing at four Moab venues throughout the weekend of Nov. 4, 5 and 6. Among the headliners are the Pagosa Hot Strings.

Among those appearing are Sloan Wainright (the sister of Loudon Wainright and aunt of Rufus and Martha); violinist Eileen Ivers, who has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra and dance troupe Riverdance; and Seattle's high-energy Laura Love.

The weekend features individual performances by Jimmy LaFave, Eliza Gilkyson and Slaid Cleaves, as well as a group tribute to Woody Guthrie, "Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway," with Guthrie's granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie and her husband Johnny Irion joining in, and many more.

Schmaedick said of the event, "This is our third year, and it will be our best yet. It's a real honor to have so many top-notch performers here in Moab. Our team has had a great time assembling a music festival that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. We're proud that we've created such a family-friendly and environmentally sound event."

Schmaedick noted that the folk festival is alcohol-, drug- and pet-free, to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all audience members. In addition, to minimize the event's impact on the environment, Synergy Company has donated wind-generated electricity to serve all power needs - and official festival T-shirts will be manufactured from 100-percent recycled cotton and other environmentally friendly products. She noted, "Moab offers a beautiful setting for our event, and these pro-environment values are in keeping with the local culture and the priorities of the people who live here. It's exciting to have sponsors and vendors with such a deep desire to help us maintain this commitment to our surroundings."

These natural and historic surroundings are part of the draw for the festival's attendees. Performance stages are all within walking distance of each other, and close to shopping and dining in downtown Moab. In addition, concert goers can enjoy hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities in town, or at the nearby national parks. "This combination of great music and a fantastic natural setting provides visitors with endless activities for the entire weekend," Schmaedick said.

 About the festival

The Moab Folk Festival began in 2002 and brings top musicians to the historic Utah town, a favorite of tourists who enjoy the outdoor recreation offered throughout the region. The 2005 event features performances by 15 artists in three days, with ticket prices ranging from $30 for a single-venue pass, to $95 for a festival pass. Vendors will provide food and non-alcoholic beverages, along with festival memorabilia. For a complete list of performers, or to purchase tickets or become a vendor, visit, or call (435) 260-2488.

 About the performers

For more information about the performers, visit their Web sites:

Sloane Wainright: www.sloan

Eileen Ivers:

Laura Love:

Jimmy LaFave: www.jimmy

Eliza Gilkyson: www.eliza

Slaid Cleaves:

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion:

Terri Hendrix: www.terri

Pagosa Hot Strings: www.pagosa

Mark Wise:

Rani Arbo:

Sweet Sunny South: www.sweet

Sand Sheff: www.countyroad

John Dupuy: www.countyroad

Joel Rafael:

Bob Childers: www.bobchilders. com.


Two Bartlett paintings in El Paso exhibit

Local artist and art instructor Virginia Bartlett has had two paintings accepted into the prestigious Sun Bowl Art Exhibit in El Paso, Texas.

Fine Artists from all over the world submitted slides of work to the show's juror in hopes of being chosen to participate in the exhibit at the International Museum of Art. Juror for the exhibit was artist/sculptor Ricardo Hernandez.

One of the paintings juried into the exhibit is "Golden Summer" - the same painting chosen to represent the month of June in the current Pagosa Springs Arts Council calendar. The calendars are available at the Arts Council gallery in Town park, the Chamber of Commerce, Lantern Dancer and Moonlight Books.

The El Paso exhibit opened Nov. 2 and will continue to Jan. 4.


Cub Scouts embark on yearly fund-raiser

By Lisa Scott

Special to The PREVIEW

Cub Scouts from Pack 807 have started their annual Pack fund-raiser, selling a variety of popcorn products.

Each Scout is responsible, along with his family, for raising money for the Pack. This annual fund-raiser provides the budget for the Pack's activities during the year. It pays for the supplies, badges, awards, necessary equipment, scholarships for needy scouting families and at least 50 percent of the fees for any Scout to attend summer camp.

Over $25,000 worth of popcorn was sold by the Pack last year, which resulted in over $5,000 being retained for the local Pack.

The popcorn products are available from any Cub Scout until Nov. 16. The Scouts have the products in-hand, so it is a cash-and-carry fund-raiser. Products range in price from $8 to $50 and include microwaveable packets of popcorn and kettle corn, six different types of popcorn covered in chocolate or cheese or mixed with nuts, presented in reusable decorative tins of several sizes.

The Pack currently has 52 boys in first through fifth grades enrolled. The boys are assigned to Dens and currently there are eight adult leaders coordinating eight dens. There are many other adult leaders involved in the coordination and organization of Pack activities.

The currentmission is to provide a means of raising money for the Cub Scout Pack with which the Pack can establish and expand its programs and give boys the best Scouting experience possible. Community assistance and support through purchasing popcorn is greatly appreciated.


Donate now to Operation Winter Coat

By Kathi DeClark

Special to The PREVIEW

It is that wonderful, cool time of year time to look in your closet for warm hats, coats, boots, gloves, sweaters and warm blankets that you are no longer using.

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs is hosting Operation Winter Coat Friday, Nov. 18 at the Extension Building. Last year, the club handed out almost 200 items to over 65 families.

You can drop off your donated clothing at Jem Jewelers, the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, the high school, elementary school, junior high or the Lutheran School. Items must be received at these locations no later than Wednesday, Nov. 15.

We encourage everyone needing some warm clothing to come to the Extension Building Nov. 18 and get items you may need.

For more information, call Kathi DeClark 731-9920 or Coleen Myers 731-6378.

Har Shalom schedule for November, December

Following is the schedule at Congregation Har Shalom for November and December.

Friday, Nov. 11 - musical Shabbat, with Jan Courte

Saturday, Nov. 12 - "Renewal Style," and Judith Vanderryn's Bat Mitzvah, led by Jan Courte at Har Shalom. Kiddush and potluck luncheon to follow. RSVP by Oct. 14 at 247-3292 or at

Sunday, Nov. 13 - Study session and Torah study, led by Jan Courte, 10 a.m.-noon.

Friday, Nov. 18 - Potluck dinner and family Shabbat with Consecration, led by Jesse Hutt, 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 9 - Family Shabbat, 6-6:30 p.m., followed by potluck.

Friday, Dec. 9 - Adult Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 10 - Judaism 180

Saturday, Dec. 10 - Havdallah, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 11 - Annual meeting, 10 a.m.-noon.


UU service, discussion deals with moral values

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will present a service and discussion around the topic "Moral Values for a Pluralistic Society," Sunday, Nov. 6,

Guest speaker will be Rev. Liz McMaster, a recently retired Unitarian Universalist minister now living in Albuquerque.

She points out that Unitarian Universalists say that they "live" their religion 24/7/365. But she questions, "As the United States becomes culturally more and more diverse, can we continue to extol the worth and dignity of all and can we make a difference in this country in perilous times?"

Rev. McMaster has served Unitarian Universalist churches in North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. Since her retirement she is engaged in civic, social and cultural activities.

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


Novelists to attend Pagosa book signing

The authors of a newly-released novel with thematic ties to Pagosa Country will be at Moonlight Books Nov. 15 for a book signing.

W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear will be at the bookstore to sign copies of their novel "People of the Moon," beginning at 7 p.m.

Driven by the question of what happened to the native people of the American Southwest in 1150 A.D. and its relation to contemporary society, the authors produced this latest installment in their First North American series, dealing with the people of what is now northwest New Mexico and southwestern Colorado - the builders of the site at Chimney Rock.

Kathleen O'Neal Gear is a former state historian and archaeologist for Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska, for the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has twice received the U.S. government's Special Advancement Award for outstanding management of the nation's cultural heritage.

W. Michael Gear holds a master's degree in archaeology and has worked as an archaeologist since 1978. He is currently principal investigator for Wind River Archaeological Consultants.


A lifetime of song at Pagosa Song Fest

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

"Singing has always been such an integral part of my life," says Jeannie Dold. Dold performs at Pagosa Song Fest, 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

Joining Dold at the Song Fest, will be musicians John Graves, Larry Elginer, Sue Anderson, Kathy Isberg, Jordyn Morelock, Johanna Patterson, Susie Long, Judy Patton, Paul and Carla Roberts, Sharman Alto, David Snyder and Harvey Schwartz.

Dold is a deeply spiritual person, and her music reflects it. "Music is in my soul," she said. "It's who I am. I love singing songs that speak to your spirit. I don't sing anything that hasn't touched my soul in some way. I go into a whole different realm when I sing. I go into the song, and it becomes a part of who I am. I put everything I have into it.

"I've been singing all my life," said Dold. "My mom has this picture of me standing by the piano with a baby bottle in one hand and a microphone in the other." Her public performances started at age 3 when she and her sisters formed a gospel singing group called The Pennington Sisters. Her father was a traveling minister and the group was featured in churches throughout the country. "We went to wherever a church would have us," she said. Dold studied piano and singing at a summer music school throughout her childhood.

In her early 20s, Dold began working as professional model for chain stores. She also created a niche market for herself, singing the national anthem. Her moving a cappella rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner was a regular feature at Kansas City Royals and Chiefs games, as well as for Wranglers, Wichita Thunder, Wichita Wings and Wichita State baseball and basketball games. Channel 12 Television in Wichita created a segment on Dold. She also sang for the Shrine Circus for several years. But her favorite situation for singing the national anthem was at Air Heritage shows. "I'd have the Color Guard behind me, and there was not a dry eye in the place," she said.

Dold has five children and two grandchildren. After her husband's death, she recorded an album of her favorite songs. "It has songs that spoke to me. They were part of my healing process," she said. "Singing has helped me through so many things in my life. It's what helps me get through. It's what helps me be strong."

She moved to Pagosa Springs two years ago. "The thing I love about Pagosa is that the people are so friendly," she said. "I just really felt like I was going to bloom here. I started singing with the Community Choir right off the bat. I love theater, and I participated in the Music Booster's production, 'The Hills Are Alive.' I got to sing this awesome song called 'The Gentleman is a Dope' (laughs). I like that song. I also sang at the Red Ryder Rodeo."

Dold has done performances in Pagosa with musicians Sue Anderson, John Graves and Harvey Schwartz. She has also sung at several local churches.

What better way to usher in the spirit of Thanksgiving than upon the wings of song? Please join us for Pagosa Song Fest at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard, turn north on Vista and left on Port.

Tickets for the Song Fest are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children under 18. Pagosa Song Fest is produced by Elation Center for the Arts.

Call 731-3117 for more information.

Education News

GED test date coming soon, register now

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

Anyone interested in taking the GED tests should mark their calendar. The next available date for taking GED tests in Pagosa Springs is Nov. 12. However, registration and pre-testing is required and must be complete by Nov. 8.

Registration and pre-testing is available at the Archuleta County Education Center every Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon. Kathy Calderone, GED coordinator, is available for tutoring Tuesdays and Wednesdays 2-8 p.m. and Thursdays by appointment.

The GED Tests measure the major academic skills and concepts associated with four years of regular high school instruction. They provide an opportunity for persons who have not graduated from high school to earn a high school equivalency diploma.

GED tests measure competency in five subject areas: language arts-writing, social studies, science, language arts-reading and mathematics.

Who is eligible?

The GED tests may be administered to:

Adults 17 years of age or older.

Persons who are not enrolled in an accredited high school.

Those who have not already graduated from an accredited high school nor received a GED high school equivalency diploma.

Anyone needing more information about our GED program or any of our classes should call 264-2835 or stop by to see us at the Archuleta County Education Center at 4th and Lewis streets.


All A's at the intermediate school

The followng students earned a 4.0 grade-point average in classes at Pagosa Springs Intermediate School during the first, nine-week grade cycle.

Sixth grade

Sydney Aragon, Katya Armbrecht, Sarah Bir, Jerica Caler, Seth Hansen, Mary Haynes, Alexandra Herrera, Samantha Hunts, Zerek Jones, Natasha Medici, Austin Miller and Kristi Plum.

Fifth grade

Satara Arthaud, Sable Baxstrom, Megan Davey, Bailey Fowler, Kitman Gill, Amber Hanley, Kylie Johnson, Kain Lucero, Nikolas Monteferrante, Jasmine Nesbit, Gabrielle Pajak, Jason Reece, Emma Reynders, Blake Roman, Jonah Sanchez, Samuel Sarnowski, Kendra Schlom, Tyler Talbot, Rowan Taylor, Brandan Thomas, Isaiah Thompson and Coleman Zellner.


Veterans, active duty personnel invited to annual breakfast

The eighth-grade students at Pagosa Springs Junior High School will again host their Veteran's Day breakfast to honor those who served, and continue to serve, the country in our armed forces.

The breakfast will take place 7:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

The students invite all former military personnel and their spouses to attend and extend a special invitation to current military personnel who are in the area at the time of the event.


Community Center News

Halloween party a great success

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

Our Community Halloween Party was a great success. Thank you, Pagosa Springs - we did it again!

Thanks go to the many businesses, organizations and around 60 volunteers who donated money, goodies and their valuable time to make the evening another fun and safe event for our children. These volunteers worked hard for two hours, nonstop. They served 560 kids and 469 adults.

Of course, I would like to thank my staff - Michelle Jamison and Becky Herman - and my colleagues at the Town of Pagosa Springs - Dennis Ford, Jim Miller, Brad Denison and Deanna Jaramillo - for their help outside their normal work responsibilities.

Yoga class

Today, Richard Harris, our volunteer instructor, is back with a beginning yoga class Richard will start this program again at 11 a.m. in the multipurpose room. It's free.

This is a noncompetitive activity, with a goal of self improvement. All are welcome. Please bring a towel or yoga mat and dress comfortably. Call 264-4152 for more information.

Italian cooking class

The menu today will be chicken saltimbocca (rolled chicken stuffed with spinach, prosciutto and Parmesan cheese). The side dishes will be creamy polenta and a green salad.

Last week's jumbo shrimp Fra Diavolo was out of this world. So far, this is my favorite dish. It wasn't really spicy - it just had a very mild bite. The shrimp was served with Italian rice. Rice! Of course, I was delighted to learn about, and taste another kind of rice. For those who don't know, I am originally from the Philippines and rice is our staple food. To complete the meal, we had fresh green salad with olive oil, fresh lemon and fresh Parmesan cheese.

Grazie, Edith, and thanks to your husband, Dave, who willingly helps you with delivery of materials and tools, as well as cleaning up. The two of you are a wonderful couple.

4-H Clover Buds

Ooh I love having these little ones here at the center. They are fun to watch while working on their projects with their adult leader, Lisa Scott. They are full of energy and they reminds me of my nieces and nephews who are far away in the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates. Welcome back, Clover Buds.

Christmas bazaar

Saturday is the Women's Civic Club Christmas Bazaar, a fund-raiser for our local library. Attend and take advantage of shopping early for your holiday gifts. The vendors - local and from nearby towns - have many unique, interesting and beautiful items to choose from. The price is right, too. Come out, enjoy the day and spend money to support our library.

Cajun Music and Dancing

Our next event is Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. The first event last month was a success and the people who attended would like to make this a regular activity. All right, so, mark your calendar. John Gwin would like you to bring your favorite Cajun dance music and he'll mix it up. Bring a snack, as well. The attendees last month were so happy and supportive they suggested I should collect $3 per person to help defray the center's cost and to give something to the musician. For more information contact me at the center, 264-4152, or John, 731-9666.

Aus-Ger Club

The next gathering will be a breakfast meeting 9 a.m. Nov. 11 at the community center. Bodil will bring Mohn Wechlen, which is a kind of Poppy Seed roll and an Austrian specialty. For more information call Bodil, 903-8800, or mail

Hertzliche Gruesse.

Last week's lunch at The Berliner Restaurant in Oxford about 10 miles from Durango airport was fabulous. We all kinds of German music while we had our warm lunch. The Berliner owner had prepared a special menu of five courses, plus a special dessert - an Apfel-Strudel mit Sahne. All 17 members who attended were happy with their meals, drinks, dessert and music. It was a very successful event.

Everyone sang along with the musicians. Between the main course and dessert they talked about the next gathering. On Nov. 25, the club will go to the Chalet Swiss Restaurant in South Fork and have raclette, cheese and chocolate fondues and an alternative choice for the non-sweet, non-rich tastes in the group.

Other options discussed were to watch a German movie and take a trip to Germany as a group. The club members will talk more about these options at their breakfast meeting. In addition, a member will share their life experiences with the group at the meeting, with the purpose of learning from each other.


Just a reminder that the Scrapbooking Club will meet 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 12. Our guest demonstrator will be Allison Wylie. Allison will demonstrate a project called "Boxes and Borders." It's a very simple way to help you complete your pages faster or just help you get started.

If you would like to work on this project during the scheduled meeting time, give Allison a call at 264-2824 before the class so she can have materials available when you arrive and to let you know everything that you will need to bring. If not, feel free to work on whatever project you want. There are a quite a few people with some great ideas, so if you need some help don't be afraid to ask. Melissa Bailey usually brings several different cutting tools, a variety of ink pads and markers. Please remember to bring your own paper and adhesive. If there is something specific that you need and can't find, give Melissa a call at 731-1574. She might have it or will be able to direct you to a source.

Computer lab

The last three weeks have seen some changes to the community center's computer network. We now have a new printer which serves as the lab's black and white printing option. It will accommodate a variety of paper sizes from envelopes to ledger paper, which is 11 by 17. Although the printer is capable of printing in color, its main purpose is to provide a more stable printing experience for those Lab users who want the less expensive black and white printouts. Black and white printouts, by the way, are 15 cents, while color ranges from 25 cents to $1, depending on the amount of colored ink used on the page.

The other piece to this improvement in service is a newly donated computer. You may remember that about six weeks ago we obtained 8 donated computers from an engineering firm in Phoenix. One of these is now in use at the center's reception desk and, in addition, it serves as the print server for the black and white printer - a wonderful improvement over the old, borrowed laptop, which was used for almost a year as the black and white print server.

Two of the other donated computers have been revamped and installed in the lab. I welcome comments from any of you who can come in and use these "new" PCs. There are always improvements to be made to any computer configuration. And so I would like to know if there are pieces of software or hardware for which you see a need. Even on our simple peer to peer network, there are possibilities which may have been overlooked.

In configuring the donated PCs, we first did what is called a clean install. This amounts to wiping out all the data on the machine's hard drive. Then an operating system is installed — in this case we used XP Pro, in an effort to simplify our network administration tasks. A driver is installed for each hardware piece of the computer. The part of the process which is most time consuming is then installing all the necessary software: two browsers and associated plugins; an office suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, and publications; a screen magnification program; a screen print program; a digital image suite; and finally a security program to be sure that everything on the hard drive stays the way it was initially installed. The object of this kind of configuration is to allow a user to do whatever he/she wishes on the computer, but to return the hard drive to its original condition after the user leaves.

The Beginning Computing class this week learned about word processing documents: cutting or copying and pasting, adding color and images to a document, formatting text with an assortment of fonts, types of text alignment, etc. Next week - how to save files so that you can find them again.

Call Becky, your computer IT, at 264-4152 for information on how to get help with your computer problems.

Adult dance session

Our next dance session at the center, with Will Spears as our DJ, is 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. This program is the result of the recent Adult Fall Fling Dance , after which many people expressed the need to have regular dance sessions here at the Center. Siri Schuchardt, our volunteer and Community Center Advisory Council member is forming a committee to take charge of this program. This group will be responsible for setting up, taking down and decorating for every dance session. Siri and I decided we would hire and rotate the different DJ's we have in town. They are all good.

New Year's Eve Dance

It may sound too early to talk about this, but with so many activities going on every day in our beautiful town, I want to be the first to announce this event. It will take place Saturday, Dec. 31, 9:05 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Next week I will have a brief bio of the members of the group that will entertain at the party. Mark your calendar now and avoid conflict.

New hours

To further serve our community we have extended our hours of operation. We are 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 the new hours.


Senior News

The Den begins annual fund drive

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist


November is the annual fund drive for the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center.

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has been growing rapidly this past year. Our meals and transportation services, our membership, and our activities have increased tremendously. As of September 2005, we have served 9,002 meals, delivered 2,484 meals to those in need, and have provided 4,437 rides. And this does not take into account all of the activities that are now available at The Den like the enjoyable Mystery Trips.

As you can see, we are a great support to you and our community. Please help us to continue our excellent service while continually improving to meet the needs in our ever-growing community by donating tax deductible monies to the Silver Foxes Den.

If you would like to send a donation, please mail it to Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, P.O. Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Any amount is greatly appreciated. We thank you for your contribution, your support and your patronage here at The Den.

Kitchen Appreciation Day

Let's show our gratitude to the kitchen staff who make our daily luncheons at The Den possible. On Friday, Nov. 4, during lunchtime, it is Kitchen Appreciation Day (shhh, it is a secret to the kitchen staff). All you have to do to help us say thank you is to join us for lunch and we will take care of all the appreciation details.

Blood drive

The Den will host a blood drive Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Call The Den at 264-2167 to make an appointment to donate blood. Remember, only a little pin prick to you could save someone's life. Be brave, make time, and give something precious. Help save a life!

Holiday makeovers

The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and the holidays are right around the corner. Holidays are a time for family, friends, and celebration and we want to look and feel our best for these special occasions.

How about pampering yourself with a holiday makeover to brighten your spirits, learn new tricks and have lots of fun at the same time. Want to highlight your cheekbones, conceal your under eye circles, or choose the right lipstick? Lisl Keuning will be at The Den Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 10 p.m. offering holiday makeovers to all those who want to spice up their holiday season. So come on down to The Den and be prepared to leave looking and feeling lovely.

Cajun music

The Community Center is hosting Cajun entertainment with music by Louisiana musician John Gwinn, in the Senior Center dining hall 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. Cost is $3 per person and please bring a snack to share at the party. Get those dancing shoes on and come to Cajun night for great music that you don't want to miss. (Thanks to Mercy Korsgren for organizing this event.)

Big thanks

Thank you to Jackie Schick, Mary Lou Maehr, Ruth Bankhead and Della Truesdell for helping me out in a pinch. They folded, stuffed and stapled over 160 newsletters that needed to be mailed pronto and I could not have accomplished the mailing on time without their assistance. So thank you to all of you for your continuous help and your strong folding fingers.

Calling all pool players

Are you skilled at playing pool? Or do you enjoy shooting eight-ball or nine-ball? The Teen Center coordinator, Jen Stockbridge, has requested volunteers from The Den to join the teens for Friday afternoon pool games at the community center. Please sign up at The Den if you are interested in hanging with the teens and teaching them a few things about the game of pool. Or maybe they will even teach you. Either way, join in for the afternoons of fun.

Volunteers needed

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate your time for our senior citizens. Make an immediate impact on someone's life and volunteer as a driver for medical shuttles to Durango to help those with medical appointments who are unable to drive themselves. A county vehicle and the fuel are provided for the shuttle. Must have good people skills and be a safe driver. All applications are currently being accepted in The Den office. (A background check will be completed on all candidates.) For more information contact Musetta at 264-2167. Please make a difference and volunteer!

National Alzheimer's Month

November is National Alzheimer's disease month, a time to raise awareness of an illness that could become the epidemic of the 21st century as the boomers reach the age of highest risk. Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves a progressive deterioration of intellect, memory, personality, and self-care, leading to severe dementia from degeneration of nerve cells. When a person's daily functioning is adversely affected by cognitive and reasoning, the person is said to have "dementia". Dementia itself is not representative of normal aging, nor does it refer to a single disease. Rather, dementia is a broad term that refers to a group of diseases. Some are reversible (secondary) and others are irreversible (primary). Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of primary dementia, accounting for 55.6 percent of all dementia. Although the signs of AD vary considerably, the most common and the primary symptom is gradual memory loss. Other symptoms include a loss in the ability to perform routine tasks, disorientation in time and space, personality changes, difficulty in learning, and loss of language and communication skills. AD also affects patients' food intake, preferences and appetite. While there are many theories and speculations on the causes of AD, at present there is no known cause. The following are tips for families caring for loved ones with AD:

  • Above all, take care of yourself so you are able to care for the loved one with AD.
  • Surround yourself with a good support system.
  • Accept the fact that the patient's lost skills are gone for good.
  • Remember that even small levels of excitement can upset a patient with AD.
  • Focus on what the patient can do, not what they can't do.
  • Provide as much consistency and routine as possible, especially at bedtime.
  • Try to understand, accept and manage your own emotions to reduce irritating the patient.

To learn more on AD, go to or call 1-800-438-4380.

Home equity scams

If you're thinking about using your home as collateral for a loan, be careful. Unless you can make the loan payments out of current income, you could lose your home as well as the equity. The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips to consider:

  • The lure of extra money or the chance to reduce monthly credit payments can be very costly in the long run. High interest rates and other credit costs could put you at serious financial risk.
  • Credit insurance may not be a good deal from a lender. If you want the added security of credit insurance, shop around.
  • Don't sign a loan agreement if the terms are not the same as when you applied.
  • Ask for an explanation of any dollar amount, term, or condition that you don't understand. Federal law is very clear about what credit and loan term information must be provided in writing when you apply for a loan and before you sign any agreement.

In addition, shop around for the best loan terms and interest rates. Contact lending institutions, such as banks and credit unions, and consult a legal or financial advisor, or someone knowledgeable who you can trust before you make any loan decisions.

For additional information call AARP ElderWatch or the Colorado Attorney General at 1-800-222-4444 or visit

Computer lab news

(by Becky Herman)

The last three weeks have seen some changes to the community center's computer network. We now have a new printer which serves as the lab's black and white printing option. It will accommodate a variety of paper sizes from envelopes to ledger paper, which is 11 by 17. Although the printer is capable of printing in color, its main purpose is to provide a more stable printing experience for those Lab users who want the less expensive black and white printouts. Black and white printouts, by the way, are 15 cents, while color ranges from 25 cents to a dollar, depending on the amount of colored ink used on the page.

The other piece to this improvement in service is a newly donated computer. You may remember that about six weeks ago we obtained 8 donated computers from an engineering firm in Phoenix. One of these is now in use at the center's reception desk, and, in addition, it serves as the print server for the black and white printer - a wonderful improvement over the old, borrowed laptop, which was used for almost a year as the black and white print server.

Two of the other donated computers have been revamped and installed in the Lab. I welcome comments from any of you who can come in and use these "new" PCs. There are always improvements to be made to any computer configuration. And so I would like to know if there are pieces of software or hardware for which you see a need. Even on our simple peer to peer network, there are possibilities which may have been overlooked.

In configuring the donated PCs, we first did what is called a clean install. This amounts to wiping out all the data on the machine's hard drive. Then an operating system is installed - in this case we used XP Pro, in an effort to simplify our network administration tasks. A driver is installed for each hardware piece of the computer. The part of the process which is most time consuming is then installing all the necessary software: two browsers and associated plug-ins; an office suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, and publications; a screen magnification program; a screen print program; a digital image suite; and finally a security program to be sure that everything on the hard drive stays the way it was initially installed. The object of this kind of configuration is to allow a user to do whatever he/she wishes on the computer, but to return the hard drive to its original condition after the user leaves.

The Beginning Computing class this week learned about word processing documents: cutting or copying and pasting, adding color and images to a document, formatting text with an assortment of fonts, types of text alignment, etc. Next week - how to save files so that you can find them again. Call Becky at 264-4152 for information on how to get help with your computer problems.

Activities at a Glance

Friday, Nov. 4 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; Gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Kitchen Appreciation Day, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 7 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 - Basic Computer class, 10 a.m.; Gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; blood drive, 12:30 - 4 p.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 9 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; holiday makeover, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 10 - Cajun music and dancing with John Gwinn, sponsored by the community center, 7 - 9 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 11 - Closed for Veteran's Day.


Suggested donation $2.50 for ages 60-plus, all others $4.50. Salad bar every day - 11:30 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 4 - Chicken with mushroom sauce, brown rice, cauliflower and broccoli, apple and pear salad.

Monday, Nov. 7 - Bratwurst with sauerkraut on a hoagie bun, pickled beets and peaches.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 - Beef stew, corn, herbed green beans, diced pears and crackers.

Wednesday, Nov. 9 - Tuna macaroni salad, cucumber salad, orange Jell-O with banana, and cheddar cheese biscuit.

Friday, Nov. 11 - Closed for Veteran's Day.


Veteran's Corner

Plan to attend Veteran's Day events

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Springs eighth-grade class will be hosting its annual breakfast for veterans next Friday, Nov. 11, from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the community center.

All veterans are invited to attend this breakfast while the eighth-grade class pays tribute to all of our local veterans.

There is no charge for the breakfast. This has become an annual event, provided by the eighth-graders as part of their history studies. These youngsters will honor veterans, interview them and serve them breakfast.

All veterans are encouraged to attend the breakfast and support the good work and effort by these students. I plan to attend and wear my newly-restored Navy blues "Cracker Jack" uniform. I challenge as many veterans as possible to show up in their uniforms too.

Active duty military

Current active duty military personnel who might be home on leave, or families of active duty personnel, are especially invited to all the Veteran's Day activities. We want to salute you!

American history

Scott White, eighth-grade American History teacher is spearheading the breakfast as he has for the past couple of years. He is very interested in having veterans from different wars and eras, including peacetime, give short presentations and participate in discussions in his classroom, leading up to Veterans Day. Any veteran who would like to participate in this project should contact Scott at the junior high school, 264-5988 Ext. 477.

American Legion

Plans are also underway for a Veterans Day program to be held at the Legion building Friday, Nov. 11. A flag-raising ceremony will be held at exactly 11 a.m., accompanied by a uniformed honor guard salute. The colors will be lowered at 5:30 p.m. and a potluck supper at the Legion Hall will follow at 6.

The Legion Auxiliary Unit will assist in food preparation. All who attend are asked to bring a main, side or dessert dish to share with all. I can attest personally that these Auxiliary ladies really know how to put on a great potluck dinner. I plan to be there and I hope you do too.

Public invited

All veterans and family and friends are invited to all of these Legion activities, regardless of membership. This is about a public salute to all veterans, not about Legion membership. Of course, I'm sure with some arm-twisting, the American Legion will gladly accept membership enrollment to qualified veterans. These folks do a great community service organizing holiday veteran salutes, parades and maintenance of veteran graves at our local cemetery, and work very closely with me to obtain grant money to assist our veterans with VA health care transportation.

Never a charge

There is no charge for any Veteran's Day events. Please come and salute and support our veterans and active duty personnel who may be in attendance while our nation is at war maintaining our security. All current and former military personnel are asked to wear their uniforms to all events.

Eleventh hour

If the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month sounds familiar, it is the time and date the WW I Armistice was signed ending that terrible conflict in the early 20th century. Veteran's Day was originally called Armistice Day, but was changed by act of Congress to Veteran's Day, to honor all veterans of all wars.


Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the Share-A-Ride program. Help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction to the same VA facility. Give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

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

More information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits, 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 afautheree@ 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.


Library News

Civic Club supports library, bazaar Saturday

By Barb Draper

PREVIEW Columnist

Just what do you really know about the history of our library?

If you have come here since 1989, you surely know that the Ruby M. Sisson Library sits on the corner of U.S. 160 and 8th Street.

If you have passed through town at any time since mid March, you know the library is growing. And in case you haven't heard, that growing structure is going to reopen to the public with a gala ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. Christine will provide more details about the ceremony and the new building in her column next week.

Meanwhile, some interesting information about our library's past.

It started as a private library in 1896, when a local attorney donated some books to a young ladies' literary club. Around this same time, a wealthy Methodist gentleman in New York passed away, and he evidently had some ties to, or interest in, Pagosa Springs because his estate donated 48 (yes, all of 48!) volumes to be used as a library here. On Feb. 22, 1907, the collections merged and a library run by church lady volunteers opened in the basement of the Methodist Church.

In 1910, the Woman's Civic Club of Pagosa Springs was formed, and members took over the actual operations of this collection which by then numbered 202 volumes.

The group helped pay for the (then) new Town Hall at the corner of U.S. 160 and Lewis Street where the Bell Tower now stands. The library moved from the church to one room of this structure in 1960. Then, in 1966, Archuleta County took over the library with minimal financial support, and it became possible to hire a full-time librarian.

It remained a goal for the Civic Club to provide a permanent, larger home for the library, and they continued working toward this goal with various fund-raising activities. In 1983, the Friends of the Library was formed in order to involve others in fund-raising for a permanent facility. In 1985, the San Juan Library District was formed to give the library a stable 1.5 mill levy funding base. (This rate of 1.5 has not changed and remains in effect today.) The Civic Club and the Friends jointly raised over $700,000, and the Ruby M. Sisson Library opened its doors, debt free, on Feb. 7, 1989.

The area population has grown, and the Civic Club and Friends remain active. The objectives of the Civic Club continue to be financial support of our public library and support to other civic projects, when possible. The two groups have been instrumental in raising a significant portion of the funds for the recent expansion.

Civic Club seeks members

The Civic Club is open to women of all ages. Meetings are held the third Thursday of the month, with the exception of January. Most meetings are at 1:30 p.m. at the Methodist Church on Lewis Street. Some meetings and social events will take place in other locations (announced prior to the event), but always on the third Thursday. The next meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 17, at 1:30 p.m. at the Methodist Church.

You are welcome to come and visit and learn more about this organization. For more information, call the president, Dru Sewell (731-3446), or call the library, 264-2208, and ask for me.

Civic Club Bazaar

The clubs fund-raising efforts will be in full swing Saturday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the community center, at the annual bazaar.

The bazaar is now in its 30th year. Proceeds from vendor booth rentals, the bake sale, the Civic Club Cafe and the raffles continue to benefit the Ruby M. Sisson Library. Plan to arrive early so you have time to enjoy all the events of the day. Merchandise will be presented by local craft vendors and folks from Creede, Chama, Bayfield, Durango and Cortez.

As one community member stated in a letter to The SUN a few weeks ago, "the holiday season usually sees a pilgrimage (from Pagosa) to our nearest big city so shoppers can, in one fell swoop, complete their obligatory buying binge." With higher fuel costs this year, and the time needed to travel between here and wherever, not to mention possible poor weather conditions, why not take advantage of a built-in local, one-stop shopping extravaganza that offers fantastic merchandise, baked goods, a delicious lunch, two separate raffles with beautiful prizes, and a chance to see all your friends as well?

By attending this event, you will not only give yourself the gift of convenience, but you give your support to our local library as well. Hope to see all of you at the bazaar this Saturday and the ribbon cutting a week later.

Arts Line

Annual PSAC Gallery Tour planned

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

PSAC's third annual Gala Gallery Tour will be held Friday, Dec. 2. from 5 to 8 p.m. Participating galleries are Wild Spirit, Pagosa Photography, Moonlight Books, Taminah Frame Center, Handcrafted Interiors, Lantern Dancer, Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and Gallery, The Crucible, Soledad's Studio and Gallery, and Back Door Collectibles.

Galleries will be decorated for the holidays and ready to provide a festive atmosphere with refreshments, door prizes, live or recorded music, and featured artists available to meet and greet. Tickets are $8 for PSAC members and $10 for nonmembers and will be available at WolfTracks, Moonlight Books, the Chamber of Commerce and the PSAC gallery. This is a great way to kick off the holiday season, gather some unique ideas for your holiday gift-giving, and support the local art community. It will be a very festive evening for all. The Pagosa Springs Arts Council board would like to extend a special thanks to Doug Ericksen, who recently volunteered his time and effort to repaint the back deck of the Arts Council building.


In a small community like Pagosa Springs, a non-profit, volunteer organization like the Arts Council often depends on the generosity and support of the community. Pagosans help in many ways. Some make generous donations of artwork, or of a financial nature, or volunteer their time at a PSAC sponsored event or at the gallery. And others, like Doug donate, what they do best, helping keep our little gallery in Town Park in good working order. So thanks Doug, we appreciate your support.

Gallery hours

The PSAC Gallery in Town Park will be going on winter hours this week. Exact hours will be posted soon. Voice mail and e-mail are checked regularly, so please leave a message if no one is available in the office.

Young performers lab

Felicia Lansbury Meyer is offering a young performers lab for enthusiastic performers of all skill levels.

The workshop offers students ages 14 and up the unique opportunity to create an original performance piece. Students will write on a chosen subject, i.e. a humorous look at offer a unique perspective on express a political view about - then hone their material into a monologue within an ensemble atmosphere.

The three-week workshop will culminate in an informal presentation for family and friends. The workshop runs Nov. 7-30 , Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. (No classes Nov. 23 and 25) at the Standing Mountain Yoga Studio, 450 Lewis St., second floor. Cost is $120. A few partial and full scholarships are available, courtesy of the Rotary Club.

Meyer has performed on stage in New York, Los Angeles and Europe, and has appeared in numerous television roles. She received her M.F.A. in directing from the American Film Institute, where she directed the award winning short film "Desert Snow." She recently performed at La Mama in New York City as part of the "Skins" Ensemble. Class size is limited. For more information, call Felicia at 946-7359.

Attention watercolorists

The PSAC Watercolor Club was formed in the winter of 2003.

Since that time, Pagosa watercolorists have met at 10 a.m. the third Wednesday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center. The rooms are available to us for the day and we each contribute $5 for the use of the space.

The schedule for the day varies each time the watercolorists get together to draw and paint. We sometimes have a demonstration of technique from a professional watercolorist or framer. Sometimes, a few people bring still lifes or photos, or projects they want to complete. Come join us, bring your lunch and your watercolor supplies for a fun day. The next meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 16.

Drawing class

Due to Randall Davis' busy schedule, he will not be able to teach a drawing class in November, but he plans to do one in early December. Stay tuned for the exact date.

PSAC Workshops

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council sponsors and manages workshop in the arts and crafts space at the community center. From the outset, the Arts Council has been a partner in and supporter of the community center.

We started the workshops in 2002 and they have grown substantially since that time. We service the arts in the community and the community has responded favorably to this program. It gives those who want to teach a chance to do so and at the same time gives our residents a venue for learning something they have always been interested in - whether it is watercolor, acrylic, oil, drawing, drama, photography, etc. The space also provides a home for the photo and watercolor clubs and serves as a meeting location for various other groups.

If you are interested in teaching a workshop or class, secure a workshop application form at the gallery in Town Park (264-5020) or download the form from our Web site, Pagosa-Arts.Com. If you are a resident and have ideas and suggestions for a class or workshop we haven't offered, please let us hear from you. The Arts Council's mailing address is: P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, Co., 81147 or e-mail at

Gift idea

This is the first year for a calendar produced by local artists with subject matter reflecting Pagosa Country.

Our 14-page full color calendar features images for the 12 months, as well as a cover image. Works featured are from local artists Bruce Andersen, J. D. Kurz, Jan Brookshier, Sabine Baeckman-Elge, Jeanine Malaney, Jeff Laydon, Ginnie Bartlett, Claire Goldrick, Barbara Rosner and Tom Lockhart.

The 2006 calendars are available through the Arts Council at a price of $9.95 plus tax for nonmembers and $8.95 plus tax for members. They make great Christmas gifts.

Join the PSAC

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is an organization that helps ensure a flourishing and diverse community by enriching lives through the arts.

The privileges of membership include: Involvement in membership activities,; involvement in the community; socializing and participating in the camaraderie of the arts; discounts on PSAC events and workshops; recognition in Artsline and listings in PSAC Artist Guide and PSAC Business Guide.

Workshops and exhibits are sponsored by PSAC to benefit the art community.

Membership rates are rates are: Youth, $10; Individual Senior, $20; Regular, $25; Family Senior, $25; Regular, $35; Business, $75; Patron, $250; Benefactor, $500; Director, $1,000 ; Guarantor, $2,500 and up.

PSAC sponsored events include:

  • Gallery exhibits in Town Park, May - October.
  • Art workshops and classes, arts and craft space, in the community center.
  • PSAC annual membership meeting.
  • Annual Pagosa Country Calendar.
  • Annual juried art exhibit.
  • Annual photo contest.
  • Annual home and garden tour.
  • Annual gallery tour.
  • Periodic artist studio tour.
  • Watercolor club.
  • Photo club.
  • Summer youth art camp.
  • Arts and craft tent, Four Corners Folk Festival.

PSAC divisions include: Pretenders, our Family Theatre Group and San Juan Dance Festival.

We value our membership and appreciate your support. If you would like to be a member, call 264-5020 or e-mail (


CowParade is the world's largest premier public art event.

Beginning in Chicago in 1999 CowParade has traveled the world in the past six years and has the distinctive tradition of taking art out of the museums and onto the streets for people of all ages to enjoy.

The Cows are coming home to Colorado's Cow Town to turn the streets of Denver into a forum for public art, creativity and innovation.

Would you like to be one of the artists selected to use a cow for a canvas? CowParade Denver is accepting proposals from artists who wish to participate in this public art event. Artists whose designs are selected for exhibition will be provided with a life-sized, blank fiberglass cow form and will be paid a $1,000 honorarium upon completion of their painted cow. As one of the event's nonprofit partners, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival will be managing the artist application process. Online applications are available, with a Dec. 30 deadline, at


All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the arts and craft Space at the Community Center, unless otherwise noted.

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

Nov.16 - Watercolor club.

Dec. 2 - Gallery Tour, 5-8 p.m.

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

Food for Thought

Pretense: Armor for the weak, refuge for the fool

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

(Author's note: In an act of unmitigated pretense, and due to a major computer problem at home base - I hit the wrong key and deleted this week's column - I am reprinting this piece from 2003. Fear not, however, I changed a number of words in deference to those of you who memorized the column the first time around.)

Pretense, loosely defined, is a false show, the act of pretending or alleging falsely, a bit of puffed-up make believe, an intellectual and cultural bluff.

As the bean bag chair is to a trailer park, so pretense is to the middle class. Pretense is the curtain drawn across a view with a shallow horizon line, marred by a tangle of power lines, the false resumé wrapped around an embarrassing relative, safe haven for the unskilled, moneyed but deficient soul.

Most often, pretense takes the form of ostentation, of exaggeration. The blowhard saturates the atmosphere with pretense; the social climber utilizes pretense as a rung in the ladder to loftier position. Pretense is armor to those who perceive themselves occupying a necessarily singular, favored position, superior to others, unassailable by virtue of privilege.

Many behaviors qualify as pretense.

In this post-modernist, irony-riddled time of ours, humility, when practiced and obvious, is pretentious. Thus, the rich kid who plays the spoons, the egoist who rejects compliments with a practiced flourish.

I know all about this; I'm pretentious as all get-out.

I even went to a school (until they wised up and gave me the boot prior to graduation) that instructed young men in the art of pretense, that glorified pretense and sharpened it like a chef sharpens a blade on a stone.

The world of food is rife with bravado and false display. It is a perfect screen on which to observe the play of pretense.

Read your basic restaurant review; pay attention to the language. Where else to you find someone using terms like "redolent," "heady," "chock-a-block?"

Check out the restaurants that pretend to exclusivity and high style. Look at the number of chefs who work overtime to produce creations that yell at the customer: "Hey, there's no way you can do this at home, you poor wretch. You can't even spell 'Escoffier.'" Dishes come out of the kitchens looking like Russian constructivist sculpture, or like Niki de Saint Phalle was working as sous chef.

Look at the proliferation of fancy-schmantzy ingredients in recipes, on menus, in high-end stores: radicchio, broccoli rabe? Honestly, how many of us knew about radicchio 20 years ago? How many Americans were using balsamic vinegar in 1975?

Get to the subject of wine and the proliferation of pretense is remarkable. Of course, pretense has been a part of the wine world for a long, long time. But, with the advent of the wine geek, the field has become repulsively fertile.

Nose? Legs? Overtones? Finish? Oaky? Jammy?

For crying out loud! Drink the damned stuff and shut up. If you like it, it's fine; if you don't, it's not.

I decided recently to work on myself, to combat my natural tendency to pretense. I would become a better, more fully actualized me. Someone you might want to invite over for dinner.

I started drinking cognac out of a juice glass.

I stopped using poorly pronounced French words, ceased talking about boites, charcuterie, garde manger and aperitifs.

I refused to ridicule people with one of those bumper stickers on the Buick: "My Child is an Honor Student at Gunther Toody Junior High School."

I resolved never to say anything negative about home schooling, mixed-breed dogs, Canadian cuisine or theme restaurants. No more snide remarks about folks who haven't read Nabokov or Kundera, who can't carry on a superficial conversation on the topic of the significance of Karl Popper and the work of Michael Polanyi.

I tried very hard for two weeks to make these adjustments. To become a better, more fully actualized me. Not once did I utter the name "Heidegger."

Saturday, I failed.

The pressure built to an intolerable level. The top blew. Pretense flowed out of me like molten magma out of a mighty crater.

In the kitchen, I had worked two weeks at crafting a moderate menu, cooking lowbrow, homey dishes, (green bean casserole, anyone?) drinking nice, but forgettable wine. But, right below the surface, pretense was simmering - an irresistible force pushing its way to the surface.

Saturday, it erupted, a pyroclastic flow of pretense spilling out, tainting the creation of one of America's lowliest, simplest, homiest dishes: bread pudding.

I couldn't help myself.

I purchased two super-thick pork chops at the market and intended to merely sear and oven roast them. I also bought a zucchini, a red Bell pepper, some canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, a pack of frozen corn, with the intent of sautéing a vegetable medley to go with the pork.

Back at home, I realized I needed another side dish. Something starchy, for the waistline.

I began a search of pantry and icebox.

I discovered a three-day-old loaf of rustic bread, a couple shallots, some eggs and milk. In the cupboard I found a tin of chopped Hatch green chile, In the refrigerator I discovered some grated cheddar and Asiago cheeses. There, look, beneath the pack of mold-riddled sliced ham - a hunk of Manchego cheese and the remnants of a pack of pancetta!

And in the freezer? Oh mercy, half a package of large, raw shrimps.

I cracked.

I gutted the loaf of bread, tearing the innards into hunks. I put the cubes of dry bread into a bowl. I beat five eggs and some half-and-half, added salt and pepper. I poured the mix over the bread and distributed it evenly, letting the bread soak up the goo.

I thawed the shrimps in cold, salted water (so like home, eh?) and shelled them, then cut them into crustaceo-chunks.

I diced the pancetta and the shallot and sautéed them together with a bit of thyme. After a bit, I added two cloves of garlic, minced. When the combo was cooked, I set it aside to cool.

To the bread, I added handfuls of cheddar, Asiago and manchego. In went a bit of salt and pepper, the contents of the can of chiles, the shrimp bits, half the pack of frozen corn, the cooled pancetta, onion and garlic.

I turned the amalgam into a buttered, casserole and put the casserole into a baking pan. I filled the pan with hot water to the halfway mark on the side of the casserole.

This is a bain Marie!

The pretense was growling, gnawing its way to daylight - a rabid beast, bent on mayhem.

Into a 350 oven went the bain Marie.

What had I done?

About an hour later, I cut the zucchini for the vegetable sauté.

The pretense was up to my waist, so I roll-cut the squash. I sautéed onion, garlic, squash, the leftover corn, diced pepper, some crushed tomatoes, oregano and basil in olive oil. I found some leftover broccoli in the fridge and tossed it in.

By this point in the process, the bread pudding was done. Out of the oven it came to be promptly tented with foil.

I didn't have time to brine the chops. Pretense called for it but the clock would not cooperate. I seasoned the chops with salt pepper and rosemary and seared them on both sides. Into a 400 oven they went. After eight minutes, I took the pan from the oven and, pretense-fueled, splashed the chops with a dram or two of Marsala and a dribble of chicken stock (organic). Two minutes more in the oven and out the meat came. I threw a lump of butter in the pan, stirred it into the pan juices then turned the chops to give both sides a basting. I removed them to plates, still a touch pink in the center, and drizzled them with the thick residue from the pan.

I was caught in a mighty tide of pretense, swimming in familiar surf.

I broke out a bottle of syrah.

It didn't fit with the meal, so I formed a defense built on a deconstructionist foundation. Why not go all the way?

Chopin on the stereo, dimmed lights.

If I'd owned a smoking jacket and ascot, I would have worn them.

As Kathy cut into her chop, I fell over the edge, fully back into familiar territory. I was at ease, free of the pretense of appearing to be without pretense.

I held my glass of syrah high in a toast, making a big show of checking the color, the slick of alcohol on the sides of the glass.

"I can't quite say why, my dear, but this meal puts me in mind of 'Pale Fire.' Something Kinbote would enjoy, don't you agree?"

Ahhh the comforts of home base.


Extension Viewpoints

Follow guidelines for storing seed

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Nov. 3 - Shady Pine Club meeting, 7 p.m.

Nov. 4 - Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting, 2 p.m.

Nov. 4 - 4-H Achievement Night, 6 p.m.

Nov. 7 - Beef Project meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 8 - Rocky Mountain Rider Club meeting, 6 p.m.

Nov. 8 - Junior Stockman Club meeting, 6:30 p.m., (Chromo)

Nov. 9 - Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 11 - Office closed for Veteran's Day. Colorado Kids 4-H Club will still have their meeting at 2 p.m.

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

Storing seed

In Colorado, all vegetable and flower seeds will store on a shelf at room temperature for at least one year without significant loss of germination. If there is enough seed for several years, then take further steps to ensure viability.

A 10-year storage life can be achieved by drying seed to less than 8 percent moisture. To do so, dry seed at 100 degrees F for six hours. Obtain this temperature by spreading the seed out in direct sunlight. However, because sunlight is harsh and easily can exceed this temperature, drying in the shade is better. Never use a microwave oven. You may use a conventional oven if you keep the door open and the seed is not heated to more than 100 degrees. Package the seed in moisture-proof containers and store it in a refrigerator or deep freezer. A moisture-proof container is one that stores seed safely while submerged in water. Use sealed cans or jars, rather than plastic bags.

Factors affecting seed storage

Conditions essential to good seed storage are just the opposite of those required for good germination. Good germination occurs when water and oxygen are present at a favorable temperature. Good seed storage results when seeds are kept dry (below 8 percent moisture) and the temperature is kept low (below 40 degrees). When seed moisture and storage temperature are low, the presence of oxygen has not been shown to be a factor in seed longevity. Germination is unaffected by storage in atmospheres of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, partial vacuum or air. Relative humidity (RH) influences the moisture content of seed if it is not stored in moisture-proof containers. For example, at 15 percent RH, seed will dry down to 6 percent moisture and will store safely in this condition for several years. However, at 90 percent RH, seed will dry down to only 19 percent moisture and germination will be poor after one year.

Hard seed

The drier the seeds, the longer they will store. There is a chance of producing what is known as "hard seed" if moisture is reduced below 8 percent. Hard seed resists germination under favorable conditions because it does not absorb enough water. When planted, the seed gradually absorbs water, germinates and produces seedlings over an extended period. A seed lot containing 50 percent hard seed is little better than a lot containing 50 percent dead seed, because neither produces a stand of seedlings when they should. Beans and peas are particularly subject to this condition and therefore should not be dried as completely as other seed. If they have been over-dried, they germinate better if exposed to a humid atmosphere for two weeks before planting. To be in compliance with the Colorado Seed Law, packets of vegetable seed sold in Colorado must germinate at a certain germination percentage.

Stop by the Archuleta County Extension Office at the fairgrounds and pick up further information on seed germination percentage. As yet, there are no standards for flower seeds under Colorado laws and, therefore, the only assurance of quality is the reputation of the seed company.


Pagosa Lakes News

Hattie Arama says goodbye, offers some advice

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist


Over the last 18 years, the recreation center has been a job-skill training ground for many of Pagosa's teens.

For some it's their first job. For others, it's something different from waiting tables, flipping burgers or construction work. No matter their level of ambition, these teens choose to join a close-knit group that share in the same highlights and lowlights.

Boredom on the job? Unheard of. Like a mother watching her child leave home, it is a big emotional loss to turn these teens loose to follow their dreams. Every fall we go through this and it just doesn't get any easier. This week Hattie Arama writes a farewell column.

Hattie writes:

"Alas, the time has come for my farewell to all my recreation center friends. Yes, it is true. I am leaving Pagosa Springs this month to go to college in New York City. Oh, no, don't cry! I know I will be greatly missed, but let us remember the sweet memories we have shared together instead.

"Working at the recreation center has been a great experience. I've gotten to meet so many people and have made some wonderful acquaintances and friends. However, I bet you are wondering what really goes on behind the scenes at our cute, small-town gym. For those of you thinking of taking my place here, I have some tips, stories, and even a few warnings about working here. No, working here is not just selling memberships and fishing licenses. There is so much more to this job. Things that you would have never had known unless I am so generous as to share my knowledge and experience with you.

"Let us start with the interview. Most of you by now will know Ming Steen, the manager of the recreation center. She is a wonderful woman with high standards. Something about her commands respect. She will start by calling you and letting you know about the interview time. For me it was about 2 o'clock, non-negotiable. When you arrive, she will walk out smiling and greeting you in her charming yet amusing Malaysian accent as she leads you into her office and closes the door behind you. You take a seat and start to feel the sweat prickle at the surface of you skin under your arms, and your forehead becomes a little damper than usual. You suddenly feel extremely hot and start to try and glance inconspicuously around the room looking for the quickest exit. But when Ming pulls out your application of employment and starts the interview off, you instantly feel at ease by her friendly attitude and genuine interest in your life. In fact, I can safely tell you that you will probably sit in that office for well over an hour just having a social chat with her. She will tell you about the job duties and expectations. Mainly cleaning' - but not your average once-a-week-if-you're-lucky light dusting and I-have-about-two-minutes vacuuming. Oh no, no, no. This is so much more.

"Cleaning is the biggest part of this position. You have to know how to use a bucket of bleach water and a toothbrush with the greatest of ease, clean giant windows with the flick of your wrist, and scrub scuff marks off walls like it was your calling in life. And don't think you can do a halfway job, either; Ming will undoubtedly use her infamous hawkeye vision to expose you. So, be prepared. I would start practicing now.

"The other larger part of working here is the pool. Testing, temperature reading, hot-tub draining, chemical adding and back-washing are just some of the things you need to learn well to succeed. Also, know that you will be getting on to children often for hanging on the ropes. The usual, 'Sweetie, can you get off of the ropes for me, please?' will progress to 'Hey, you! Get off the ropes!' Yep, the pool does not run itself contrary to popular belief.

"These things I have described to you may be physically challenging, but the next aspect is so mentally irritating it could drive you insane if you're not careful. People. Yes, the general public has the knack of making you want to hit yourself in the face just to be put out if your misery. There are two kinds of people at the rec center: locals and tourists. Most locals are generally a better crowd as you get to know them and see them regularly (well, if they force themselves to come regularly). The hard thing about locals, usually the graying, morning locals, is that they have their own routine. If you do something to cause a deviation from that routine, you will hear no end about it. Some expect free towels, some come back into the staff only area to get keys or equipment, and some just expect you to already know what they want and need as soon as they arrive. I rarely worked mornings, but when I did I would almost dread coming in and having to face these people. Most of them are retired and have been coming to the rec center since before it opened (or so they tell me). So if they want to boss a young whippersnapper around, then who's to stop them?

"The other category, tourists, never ceases to amaze me. I'll spare you the lengthy details of dealing with them, but just encourage you to look at the bright side, knowing that there are actually a few nice timeshare owners out there.

"If you are still with me and can fathom this information, then well done! You are a great candidate! Before I finish, let me just tell you that the good stuff really does exceed the bad. It is a great job; I just wanted to weed out the weak-hearted from the strong. To all of you who will meet the new employee, know that it takes a good few weeks to learn the gist of the ins and outs of the rec center, so let up a little and help him or her along with the kindness you have shown me. I will miss you all and thank you again for being there and giving me all kinds of interesting advice. I'm sure someday I will find a use for it. No, seriously, keep up the workouts, jolly banter and friendly racquetball competitions. Ming knows my phone number; I can fly back in an instant if I hear anything different."


David Brantley

David W. Brantley, 85, of El Paso, Texas, passed away Friday, May 20, 2005, peacefully. A father, hero and friend who was fondly known as "Uncle Doc" by his family, was born Dec. 2, 1919, in Covington, Texas, to Thomas and Willie Morris Brantley. Drafted by the New York Giants as a wide receiver and a barefoot kicker, yet he chose to enlist in the U.S. Marines, where he served his country honorably during WW II. He landed in the invasion of Iwo Jima and was awarded many medals and ribbons. Uncle Doc also served as a special agent for 26 years in the FBI, where he was involved in cracking the famous Brink's robbery case in Boston. He was loved by many for his wisdom, humor, smile and good will. Until we meet again my friend.

He is survived by his wife, June Brantley, of the family home; two sons, Scott Brantley and wife Margaret and Mark Brantley; daughter Susan Brantley of Pagosa Springs; two grandchildren, Matthew and Courtney. His first wife, Verna Ruth Lowrey, preceded him in death. He lived on the Lower Blanco in the 1960s and 1970s.

Sharman Denison

Sharman Bell Carey Denison, a Pagosa Springs resident, passed away Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005, at a Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver.

Sharman was born in Oakland, Calif., on Nov. 3, 1952, an only child of Irene and Merle Carey. Her father was half Cherokee, and Sharman was very proud of her Cherokee heritage.

Sharman is survived by her two daughters, Cheyenne and Melissa Denison, also by her long-time spouse, Tim Daniel, an uncle, Babe, an aunt, Pat Carey, two cousins of Tulsa, Okla., Linda and Walt Slover, and Janet Wedin of Pagosa Springs. Also by ex-husband Brad Dennison and his mother, Joanna Allen, Cheyenne's and Melissa's grandmother, of Pagosa Springs.

She devoted her life to her children and loved ones. She cared for all of God's creatures.

Before moving to Pagosa Springs in 1991, Sharman lived in Cottage Springs, Calif, for 10-plus years. While residing there, she worked at the Mt. Reba Ski Area as a lift operator, ski patroller and race coach. Sharman ran numerous marathons in California and Nevada. She frequently won the "Village Cup" town ski race. Sharman also successfully completed the Ebbest Pass "Death Ride" - a bike race over an 11,000-foot pass from Bear Valley to Markleville. In the early '80s, she worked at Spicer Reservoir as an EMT nurse while it was being constructed. In the summers, she was employed by Dodge Ridge Co. as a campground assistant and later worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a timber marker. Upon moving to Pagosa Springs, Sharman worked at the Wolf Creek Ski Area as a high school ski team coach and a ski instructor, taught for the Adaptive Ski School at Purgatory for a few winters and later for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She retired from the BIA.

Sharman was an active member of the National Barrel Horse Association, where she had won many awards over the 10 years of her involvement. She was a director of the Colorado Eight and an avid cross country and downhill skier.

Sharman lived every day to the fullest and always prided herself in her honesty. Sharman was a true cowgirl and will be greatly missed by all those who knew her and loved her.

We have a keepsake we'd like to share:

That's What Makes a Cowgirl Cry

View of the snowcapped mountain peaks

In the warm days of the Colorado sun

Dusty clothes and aching bones

When a hard day's work is done.

Her daughter's hugs and kisses

Long lost wishes

Waiting for true love to come along

The warmth she sees in a lover's eyes

Lonesome, sad country songs

A newborn child

A horse that's wild

A lost puppy in the rain

Deep forest

Cold stream

Her future hopes and dreams

Hard spring winds that blow

Farewells to friends

The warm days that glow

And loving a man who will always know

Fireworks that light the sky

In the hot summer nights of July

Remembrance of loved ones passed away

The words she never heard him say

The fullest and the brightest moon

The springtime flowers all in bloom

Ending a love with a last goodbye

That's what makes a cowgirl cry.

Services will be held at noon, Nov. 5, at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds at the Red Ryder arena. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society. If anyone wishes to deliver a personal eulogy, all are welcome.


 Business News
Chamber News

Pagosa adopts storm-ravaged Mississippi town

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

We have narrowed the field and have chosen a Katrina town to adopt. The town is D'Iberville, Mississippi.

This town is reached after crossing a bridge over the Mississippi Sound from Biloxi.

Most of the work will be done for D'Iberville, however, there will be some joint efforts with Biloxi as that is where the Rotary Club and the hospital are located.

D'Iberville is a town of about 8,000 people. It has a city government similar to ours in that it has a town manager, a mayor and elected town council. It has a high school, middle school, elementary school and a private Catholic school. Their library and Humane Society are served by Harrison County, which serves several small communities. Neither are open yet.

Currently, most of the children are back in school but attending classes in trailers, and the middle and elementary classes have to split the day in order for each age sector to be schooled. The Catholic school was severely damaged and is still not operational.

The community is waiting for a tent city to be built and trailers to be delivered. Most segments of the community still cannot rebuild as they are waiting for new flood plain standards to be set by FEMA. There is still too much debris to be removed to start building, and the water system is still not functioning in most areas. Katrina came right up the gulf destroying the Gulf port areas as it unleashed its fury on these bordering towns, and then it went on into New Orleans.

I have received some information on the most current needs, and I am working with the schools, public and private, to assess their needs as well. The town manager is thrilled that we have taken an interest in helping their community. I will keep you informed as our team works on how best to serve our new sister community. We will be posting a list of the most needed items.

Again, with so much need in our own community and elsewhere, please keep this project in mind as the holidays approach. As a family, you may want to assist another less fortunate family in D'Iberville. If you wish to know more, give me a call at 264-2360.

Breast health awareness

Breast Cancer awareness month is not just October; it is every month, in fact every day, of the year. This is why Julie Herman is teaching you how to perform a breast procedure on yourself with the Bowen Technique.

Saturday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m., Julie will show women how this very special technique can improve a number of breast-related discomforts and how to address a number of conditions. Once you learn the technique, you can show it to other members of your family, both men and women. The class will last about 1 1/2 to 2 hours and the cost is $25. Call Julie at 731-9983 for more information on the class and to reserve a space. Remember, breast health awareness is not for just one month; make it your focus for a lifetime.

Civic Club Bazaar

Before you go to the Bowen Technique breast class, you can attend the Civic Club Bazaar, benefitting the Ruby Sisson Library.

Doors will fly open at 9 a.m. to accommodate the rush of early Christmas shoppers. If you can't make it there by 9 don't worry, the doors will stay open until 4 p.m. There will be booths offering the gamut of crafts and there will also be a food/snack area to keep your shopping strength up. While you are there, don't miss the opportunity to buy a raffle ticket for the beautiful fall quilt, donated by the Pagosa Piecemakers group. This yearly event always draws good crowds, as the merchandise satisfies the creative urge in all of us. Get a jump on the holidays and go down to the community center Saturday.

"A Tuscan Afternoon"

I told you the Immaculate Heart of Mary's fall fashion show would sell out, and it has! We no longer have tickets available for this event, to be held Saturday, Nov. 12. You may want to call Judy Cramer at 264-1156 to put your name on a waiting list, in case some tickets are returned.

Otherwise, those who have tickets will get to enjoy a great lunch, stunning fashions, and some delightful entertainment with John Graves and Barbara Witkowski. The doors open at 11:30 a.m. at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. Don't miss this wonderful Italian-themed show and all the accoutrements that come with the fashions.

Ribbon cutting

Also on Saturday, Nov. 12, there will be a ribbon-cutting in Pagosa.

Starting at 10 a.m. the Ruby Sisson Library will reopen its doors to the new and improved and expanded space. There will be lots of activities and volunteers on hand to show you around the place. I am honored I will be one of the guest readers for the children, and reading will occur throughout the day.

This expansion has been long awaited, and now is the time to celebrate the reopening of one of our beloved facilities. You can come to the ribbon cutting, then some of you can stay and have more fun while others make their way to the fashion show.

Welcome members

As I travel to the Denver area this week to learn more about how to better serve our Chamber constituents, I am grateful for the renewingmembers and the new members we continuously have coming on board. Here are this week's highlights.

Many businesses received a letter from me endorsing the work of this next member, Raymond Custom Maps run by Ed Raymond. Every community needs a good street and area map, and we are pleased that Ed is doing Pagosa's map again this year. These maps just fly out of the Chamber. Raymond Custom Maps are high quality, accurate and are functional street maps. If you didn't receive any information on these maps and would like to know more about advertising on the maps (as space is limited), call Ed at 731-6726.

When he's not doing maps, Ed Raymond owns two other businesses also coming on board this week. He has Resort Properties and Resort Properties of Pagosa Springs. Resort Properties specializes in timeshare resale. They buy and sell Fairfield points packages and fixed weeks. You can also trade your timeshare for a lot. They offer competitive prices and offer service even after the sale. With Resort Properties of Pagosa Springs, Ed offers a full service real estate office, specializing as a buyer's agent. The office is fully dedicated to the needs of buyers and they also offer significant discounts for buyer's closing costs. For more information on the timeshare side of the real estate business or if you're looking for a full service agent, call Ed at 731-6729.

A new member this week is Photographic Art by Art Franz. Art has a photographic studio and he specializes in wedding and portrait photography. He also is proficient in commercial work and has a full line of digital equipment and offers restoration services. We welcome him to our community. I've seen some of his work and it is great. Give him a call at 903-0691 to book that senior picture or check out his portfolio.

Coming back on board this week is this great lodging facility, Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat. Back, too, is Black Bear Custom Homes. Last Resort RV Park and Campground also renews its membership this week.

One non-profit organization renews this week: Grace Evangelical Free Church. The Grace Evangelical Church now meets in the Community Center.

Then from over the pass, we have a new neighbor member, Bruces' Snowshoe Lodge and B&B. Located in Creede, just as you get into town, Snowshoe Lodge is open year round. So when you want to go to the Chocolate Festival in Creede, you can stay over night and still support a Pagosa Springs Chamber member. We want to thank Don Howard with Continental Divide Services, also in Creede, for referring The Snowshoe Lodge to our chamber. I will get to see them next week at the Albuquerque Winterfest Ski Show. Thank you for your support, from over the pass.

As mentioned above, I will be away for almost a week learning new ways to enhance our Chamber and our memberships, and then I'll be off to the Albuquerque Ski Show to sing the praises of our great Wolf Creek Ski Area and all our snow. Yes, I guess it's time for snow. Hope you get some while I'm gone!


Biz Beat

I'll Do the Cookin' Personal Chef Service


J.H. Smith owns and operates I'll Do the Cookin' Personal Chef Service. providing "cookin' the way you like to eat."

No time to cook? Smith does the cookin' - a personal chef in the Pagosa Springs area who can solve your what's for dinner dilemma.

Smith is a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and is dedicated to excellence in the industry. After a comprehensive interview to determine your food preferences and dietary requirements, he does the grocery shopping and, on a predetermined day, comes to your home with his own traveling kitchen and prepares your selections.

Everything is neatly packaged and labeled in freezer-to-oven or microwave containers. Your kitchen is just as you left it, except for the aroma of a delicious, home-cooked meal.

"My service is great for busy professionals, families, couples, new moms," said Smith, "and for anyone who loves great food and cares about healthy meals that contain the finest ingredients. It's not a luxury you can't afford, particularly when you calculate the true costs, including health costs, of other dinner options."

To reach Smith, call 731-1948 or e-mail him at

Sports Page

Pirates, Holy Family Saturday in football playoff action

By Randy Johnson

Staff writer

The Colorado High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) has completed the 2005 2A state football bracket. The bracket consists of the top 16 teams in the state that will compete for the championship over the next four weeks.

The tournament, set by the CHSAA to play on Saturdays, will have four representatives each from the Patriot and Tri-Peaks leagues, three from the Metro league, two each from Intermountain and Western Slope leagues plus one wild-card team. The association picks the wild-card team from the Patriot, Tri-Peaks or Metro leagues based on a predefined point system. This year the wild-card is the No. 4 team from the Metro league, Holy Family.

The Holy Family Tigers (6-3, 5-3 in Metro) will be the Pirates' first playoff opponent, Saturday at Golden Peaks Stadium. The Tigers, based in Broomfield, travel to Pagosa with a good football team. Their three defeats came at the hands of the other three Metro playoff representatives; Faith Christian, Kent Denver and Platte Canyon.

This will be an outstanding football game to watch, plus the weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the upper 40s to low 50s. The Pirates will have to shed the "Cardiac" title and bring their A game. Pagosa must play four quarters of solid football to win this one. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

The second representative from the IML, Monte Vista, will play at Brush Saturday. The Beetdiggers (8-1, 5-0 in league) come into the playoffs as the No. 1 team from the Patriot league. Brush is ranked No. 4 in both state 2A polls. This will be a big test for the IML's other Pirates.

To see the complete 2A playoff bracket visit on the Internet. Mouse to sports/activities at the top of the page and click on the football pull down.


Pirates overpower Centauri, win IML championship

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

A new name for the 2005 version of the Pagosa Springs High School football team might be the "Cardiac Pirates." The Pirates have invariably let opponents hang around the first half before playing up to their ability in the final two quarters.

This could cause severe heartburn for coaches and fans alike.

It happened again last Friday night at Golden Peaks Stadium when the Pirates (8-1, 4-0 in Intermountain League) let the Centauri Falcons (5-4, 2-2 in IML) stay close in the first half before coming back strong in the final two quarters to win easily, 28-7.

The win gives the Pirates a second consecutive undisputed IML championship and a first-round 2A state playoff game at home Saturday. Pagosa jumped to No. 5 in both major 2A prep polls. The eight wins are the best in almost a decade of Pirate football.

Pagosa seemed to be in a funk with the no-huddle offense that Centauri showed to start the game, but mistakes would thwart any scoring drives. The Falcons could not gain any momentum with the strategy and it eventually caused their downfall.

Both teams were scoreless in the first quarter but the Falcons struck first on a 1-yard scoring run by quarterback Estevan Armenta early in the second stanza. The Pirates couldn't muster a drive until late when they tied the score on a 1-yard run by running back Corbin Mellette.

So the Cardiac Pirates went to intermission tied at 7-7.

The football gods and the Pagosa coaching staff, led by head coach Sean O'Donnell, worked their halftime miracles again. The Pirates came out strong in the final half to score twice in the third and once in the fourth to overpower the Falcons.

Centauri could not answer in the second half and their season ended. A win would have put them in the playoffs. A Falcons' win by 10 points would have left the Pirates out of postseason play with the way the tiebreaker point system works. Pagosa knew both scenarios and would not be denied at home.

The Pirate offense generated 249 rushing yards on 40 carries. Mellette outgained the entire Centauri run offense with 149 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns. This is the third consecutive week he has broken the 100-yard barrier. Running back Josh Hoffman, returning from injury, carried 10 times for 62 yards and a TD.

Quarterback Jordan Shaffer was six of 14 passing for 59 yards. Daniel Aupperle caught four balls for 42 yards, Mellette one for 12 and John Hoffman had a catch of 5 yards.

The Pirate defense held the Falcons' rushing attack to 144 yards on 36 carries. Running back Jon Kyle Chavez had the lion's share of the carries with 18 for 79 yards. Armenta had 39 yards on 10 carries and the lone Centauri score.

Armenta threw for 104 yards on 11 of 24 attempts with two interceptions. Receiver Ryan Shawcroft caught six balls for 63 yards.

First quarter

The game opened with Centauri receiving the kickoff. Using the no-huddle offense, the Falcons tried to catch Pagosa off guard. Their first series went five plays before punting as the Pirates' defense stymied the Centauri drive.

The Cardiac Pirates went three and out.

On the Falcons' second possession, the drive was stalled when Pagosa recovered an Armenta fumble on the Pirates' 34 yard line. The Pirates could not capitalize and went three and out again.

A third Centauri drive went three and out. On the punt, the Pirates' Paul Przybylski hauled it in on the 28 yard line and outran the defense for 72 yards and an apparent TD. The play was called back on an illegal block.

Pagosa used a six-play drive to end the quarter on the Falcons' 36 yard line. Mellette had a run of 22 yards and Shaffer hit John Hoffman for a 5-yard strike.

Second quarter

The Pirates' drive ended on a fourth-down punt from Casey Hart that sailed into the end zone.

Centauri took over on their 20 yard line. With 11:10 showing on the clock the Falcons put together a 12-play, 80-yard drive to score the first points of the game. Armenta had runs of 11, 5 and 13 yards plus a 17-yard completion to receiver Kyle Martin. Armenta scored the TD from 1 yard out. Dylan Valerio's point-after kick was good, putting the visitors up 7-0 with just over eight minutes remaining.

At the 4:43 mark the Pagosa offense finally showed up. A six-play drive was set up on Przybylski's return to the Centauri 29 yard line. Yet another penalty put the ball back to the Falcons' 39 yard line. Mellette carried five times on the drive that ended with his first TD from 1 yard out. Aupperle's kick knotted the score at 7-7.

With under a minute remaining, Pagosa stalled another Centauri drive when Pirate defensive back Casey Schutz intercepted Armenta on the 44 yard line. The half ended on a 15-yard completion from Shaffer to Aupperle.

Third quarter

A revitalized Pirate offense came out to start the second half. Starting from the 17 yard line Pagosa used eight plays and almost three minutes to score on the first possession. Mellette's number was called again and the junior running back responded with six carries for 36 yards, the final three for his second touchdown of the evening. Shaffer also rebounded with a run of 24 yards and a completion to Aupperle for 22. Aupperle's kick put the home team up for the first time, 14-7.

Centauri fumbled the kick return. The Pirates' Steve Jaramillo, a junior, recovered the loose pigskin on the Falcons' 16 yard line. Two plays and less than a minute later, Mellette scored again from 20 yards out after a loss of four on the first try. Aupperle's kick increased the lead to 21-7.

Aupperle's next kickoff was downed at the 8 yard line. The Falcons mustered another seven-play drive but were forced to punt on a fourth and 5 from their 44 yard line. Running back Jon Kyle Chavez had a run of 19 yards and Armenta found receiver Tanner McDaniel for 13.

The Pirate offense gained momentum. Pagosa used another 10-play drive from its 19 yard line to reach the Falcons' 25. Aupperle, Mellette and Josh Hoffman shared the carries. An ineligible receiver down field penalty stopped the drive and the Pirates turned the ball over on downs with 1:24 on the clock.

Centauri used three plays to end the quarter with a fourth and 1 from their 35 yard line.

Fourth quarter

The Falcons ran five plays to reach Pagosa's 45 yard line but turned the ball over on a good defensive stop by the Pirates at the 44.

The Pirates would mount yet another five-play drive to score. This time, Josh Hoffman took control with runs of 19, 8 and the final 19 yards to hit pay dirt. The kick after was good by Aupperle and the score went to 28-7 with 7:33 remaining.

The Falcons appeared to mount a comeback on Armenta completions to McDaniel and Martin for 20 and 5 yards respectively. It quickly ended when the Pirates' Przybylski picked Armenta and returned it 15 yards to the Pagosa 44 yard line. Pagosa's drive ended on a Hart punt to the Centauri 8 yard line.

With 3:34 remaining, and the ball on the 8, Centauri would go no-huddle again and use nine plays to reach the 44 yard line. Armenta connected twice to McDaniel for 16 yards and Chavez had four carries for 20. The Pirate defense stepped up again and the Falcons turned the ball over on downs with 1:21 showing.

The Pirates used their "victory" kneel-down play to run the clock out and end the game.

O'Donnell had nothing but praise for his team following the final whistle. "We focused on Centauri this week in practice and it paid off, but we still need to figure out how to play four quarters of football'," he said. "This team is special with the number of wins and the ability to come back and beat opponents."

Coach O'Donnell pointed out that "we are now in our second season and would really like to play through Thanksgiving. Everybody starts over from this point, at zero-zero. We must practice hard this week and focus on our first opponent."

O'Donnell also noted that "Jordan Shaffer and Corbin Mellette had excellent games once again," and praised Joe Romine and others who filled in for injured starters Jake Cammack and David Dunmyre.

In other IML action last week:

Bayfield (2-7, 1-3) def. Ignacio (4-5, 0-4) 30-15.

Monte Vista (7-2, 3-1) def. Classical Academy (0-8, 0-5) 62-6.


Score by quarters

Centauri: 0, 7, 0, 0 - 7

Pagosa Springs: 0, 7, 14, 7 - 28


Second quarter:

8:16 CT - Armenta, 1-yard run (Valerio kick)

2:03 PS - Mellette, 1-yard run (Aupperle kick)

Third quarter

9:20 PS - Mellette, 3-yard run (Aupperle kick)

8:29 PS - Mellette, 20-yard run (Aupperle kick)

Fourth quarter

7:33 PS - Josh Hoffman, 19-yard run (Aupperle kick)


Pirate girls sixth, boys 14th, Schur All-State

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The cross country season ended Saturday, with both Pirate teams competing in the grand finale at the state championships.

The girls' team took sixth place in a field of 32 teams, while the boys' team placed 14th out of 37 competing teams.

Prior to the race, Coach Scott Anderson presented a choice to athletes: either play it safe, and try to come in second or third, or go all out and "go for the whole enchilada." After a collaborative discussion, the team "rolled the dice," according to Anderson, and decided to go for the gold.

In an event that was packed with screaming spectators lining miles of the course, the Pirates sped out of the gate with their eyes on the prize.

For the most part, Pirate runners initially maintained a winning pace for the first half of the race. Emilie Schur kept up with the top three runners in the state for the first half of the race, but by the two-mile mark was spent and began to fade back. Continuing to give it her all, she collapsed at the finish line, finishing 10th overall with a time of 20 minutes, 20 seconds.

Placing in the top ten qualifies an athlete for All-State Honors, which Schur has achieved each year in her four-year high school cross country career - the first Pirate ever to do so. Schur is moving on to college next year, where she already has offers to run for school teams. Knowing her potential, Anderson said he hopes Schur continues with competitive cross country running.

Jaclyn Harms, the team's top freshman runner, running in her first state competition, came in next for the Pirates, in 32nd place overall with a time of 21:11.

Like Schur, junior Laurel Reinhardt gave it everything she had, and also collapsed at the finish line, requiring help from spectators to carry her out of the finish gate. A spectacular athlete, Reinhardt expressed disappointment with her state result, placing 55th with a time of 21:44, but Anderson said it was a "solid race."

Running a first-ever state meet, Chelsea Cooper, a junior, ran a personal record, coming in 85th with a time of 22:18, while sophomore Del Greer came in 109th with a time of 22:58.

Save for senior Schur, the top girls all plan to return to the team next year, with some rising stars among the junior varsity team coming up as well. The bar has been set "pretty darn high," said Anderson, who believes there is potential to set it "a notch or two higher" in the coming year.

Among the boys, for the last event of his high school career, senior AJ Abeyta ran his best race of the year, coming in 28th overall in the state with a time of 17:48. As team captain, Abeyta had done an excellent job leading from the front as well as being the fastest runner on the high school team.

Junior Travis Furman, running his first year of cross country, gave it his all at the state championship, coming in 43rd at 18:05, collapsing at the finish line after a fine effort.

Junior Logan Gholsen ran third for the Pirates, taking 88th in the state with a time of 18:47 and showing huge progress in his first year in the sport.

Senior Orion Sandoval, a consistent and solid performer, came in 125th with a time of 19:19 in his third state championship run. In his four-year tenure with the cross county team, Sandoval has consistently provided leadership and strength, said Anderson. Sophomore Chase Moore, in his first state race, came in second behind Sandoval, in 126th place.

Overall it was a good day for the Pirates. Anderson summed it up, "When you shoot for the moon and miss, hey, you're still among the stars."


Pirates second in district, play at regional tourney Saturday

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

With wins over Bayfield and Monte Vista in hand, the Pirates had an opportunity to capture the district tournament championship Saturday.

It was an opportunity lost as the Pirates dropped a 3-1 match to regular season Intermountain League champ Centauri - the Pirates' third loss this year to the Falcons.

Attribute an extremely slow start to whatever factor you will, the fact remains Pagosa took half the match to begin to play at a decent level.

Centauri, however, having suffered an upset loss to Monte Vista Friday and having been taken to five games by Bayfield earlier Saturday, was solid and steady. The Falcons, whether by design or not, played a conservative, dependable game, marked by effective back-court play and an ability to get the ball back over the net, leaving mistakes to the opponent. Gone were the abundance of short sets and shoot sets that undid the Pirates in the final regular season meeting between the teams.

In the first game of the match, the Pirates handed out points like Christmas gifts and trailed 12-15.

At that point, the Falcon attack came alive, getting two points inside the Pagosa block, a point on a ball out off the block and an ace serve. A Pirate hitting error increased Centauri's lead to 20-12. Senior middle hitter Caitlin Forrest scored when she put a Falcon overpass to the floor and Liza Kelley scored with an ace, but two Pirate hitting errors gave away points. Kari Beth Faber came back with a point off the Falcon block but a serve error and a ball hit out gave the Falcons an overwhelming 24-15 advantage. A Falcon serve went into the net but a return gift in the form of an attack out of bounds put the win on Centauri's side of the scoreboard.

Centauri took a 5-0 lead in the second game and the Falcons never trailed, going ahead 1-11 entering the end game. The Pirates made a run of three points with Faber scoring off the block, then hitting the ace. The third point came off a Falcon serve receive mistake but Centauri turned around with a three point run, killing around a nonexistent Pirate block, getting a point on a Pagosa attack out of bounds and crushing an errant Pirate pass. Pagosa scored only one more point in the match, when Emily Buikema nailed a short set in the middle.

It was Buikema who dominated the third game of the match. The senior lefty was virtually unstoppable from her customary right-side position, but also moved across the net to vary the attack. Buikema hit two kills to the line and one inside the block as the Pirates went out to an 11-2 lead. Kelley scored twice with a kill cross court and a point off the Falcon block. Forrest and Kim Canty teamed up for a point on a block, the Falcons committed a passing error and Kelley put a left-handed down for a point.

Pagosa maintained the advantage through the remainder of the game, getting points from Forrest on a slide, a 1 and a tip. Faber scored down the line twice and once cross court. Buikema hit line and Canty scored with a sweep of a jump set. Kelley hit an ace and Faber finished off the 25-16 win, swinging to the middle and hitting to the back line.

The fourth game of the match was dominated by Buikema. The problem: the Pirates made too many mistakes in the back row and could not get the pass and set to the 5-10 hitter. Centauri used the tip effectively in the fourth game, catching Pirate defenders flatfooted. Pagosa scored the first point of the game, but the Falcons quickly took the lead and pushed it to 13-10 when Pagosa made a move.

Buikema began a run that would put the Pirates ahead 14-13. Centauri made a serve-receive mistake and hit a ball out and Buikema nailed a short set with her right hand.

The lead didn't last. A Centauri free ball off the serve dropped untouched on Pagosa's side of the net and an errant Pirate pass was demolished by a Falcon attacker.

Buikema came right back, scoring off a short set and the Pirates gained a 16-15 advantage when Forrest and Canty stuffed a Falcon attack at the net. A serve out of bounds tied the game.

Kelley responded with a kill, the Falcons were called on a double hit and Canty hit successfully cross court.

Again, the Pirates could not hold the lead. A passing error was jumped on by the Falcons and the Centauri attack in the middle was successful when no Pirate block materialized. Two unforced errors on Pagosa's side of the net put the Falcons in the lead, 20-19.

Canty came back with a shot that rolled along the tape and dropped on the Falcon's side of the net, but the Falcons replied with a tip and got a 22nd point on a Pirate passing error.

The game was knotted at 22-22 when a Falcon hit went out and Buikema converted a high set to the right side. A Pirate attack out of bounds gave up a point, but the Falcons responded in kind and the game was tied 23-23.

Buikema stepped up and killed to put the Pirates one point from a victory.

Centauri tipped for the tie.

Buikema scored again. The Pirates were one point from the win, but a serve went into the net. The next Falcon serve fell off the tape for a point and a botched serve receive on the Pirate side of the net left Centauri the district champ and put the Pirates in a runner-up role heading into this weekend's regional tournament schedule.

The Pirates enter the regional tournament at Colorado Springs Christian High School as the state's No. 16 seed, and the lineup at the tourney will be formidable.

Colorado Springs Christian is the state's No. 1-ranked Class 3A team and the reigning state champion. The Pirates play the Lions in their first match, the second match of the tournament that begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. The Pirates and Lions tangled at the same site at a regional tournament in 1991 - a tourney won by Pagosa.

Pagosa turns around and plays the next match on the tourney schedule - against Holy Family, from the Metro League. This is a first-ever match between the two teams.

The final match of the day for the Pirates will feature a longtime foe - St. Mary's, from Colorado Springs. The two programs have fought it out in regional and state competition since the early '90s, last meeting at the 2004 state championships.


Pirates defeat Monte at districts

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

When the Pirate volleyball team returned to the Monte Vista High School gym Saturday morning for the second day of District 1 tournament play, they faced a Monte Vista team that, the night before, shocked regular season Intermountain League champion Centauri 3-2 - doing something no Monte team had done for more than a decade.

What team would Pagosa face? One whose energy had been tapped by a lengthy and emotional battle the night before, or one emboldened by a victory and ready to play at a new, high level?

And what would the Pirates do, following a similar, long fight against Bayfield the night before? One won in a last-minute scramble in a fifth game?

The answer was not long in coming as the Pirates took the match 3-0, 25-13. 25-16, 25-19.

Monte Vista scored the first point of each game - and never held the lead again. The Pirates marked Monte's one threat - junior outside hitter Claire Quintanilla - and most points scored by the home team came courtesy Pagosa errors.

Monte got close in the first game, at 8-9, but turned serve over to the Pirates with a service error. A hitting error followed, then a serve-receive mistake. Danielle Spencer tipped for a Pagosa point and two more Monte mistakes on the attack gave Pagosa a 15-8 lead. Monte had a three-point run to close the gap to 12-16, but senior Emily Buikema moved to the left side to score and Camille Rand hit an ace to stifle Monte's surge. A Monte hit went out: Pagosa ahead 19-12. Monte put a kill to the floor and the Pirates responded with a kill by Liza Kelley, a stuff block by Caitlin Forrest and Buikema and a kill by Forrest off a set by Buikema.

Monte got its last point with a score inside the Pirate block. Forrest responded by crushing a 1. Monte gave away the game with a lift and a hitting error.

Pagosa went ahead 3-1 in the second game behind a kill by Buikema and a block by Buikema and Kim Canty.

Monte managed ties at 7-7 8-8 and 9-9, but could not go ahead. A Monte serve error gave up a point and the ball. Forrest hit an ace on a long serve and, following two great gets in the Pirate back row, Kelley sent a free ball across the net that dropped at the feet of Monte defenders. Spencer hit a successful 1 off the block and the Pirates would not look back.

Following a single Monte Vista point, Spencer converted a short set for a score. With Canty at the serve, and hitting two aces, the Pirates, with a point on a block by Spencer and Kari Beth Faber and a kill by Faber, moved in front 20-10.

Monte mounted a reply, getting three courtesy points on unforced errors and points on an ace and a kill of a Pirate overpass.

Buikema stopped the home team in its tracks, scoring from the right side and Kelley scored on a ball touched by a Monte player as it went out.

Monte Vista got one more point - on a Pirate passing error, then gave away a point with a serve mistake. Buikema scored again from the right side and Forrest crushed an errant Monte pass to end the game.

Pagosa took an 8-4 lead early in the third game. Faber killed from the middle, Kelley from outside, Forrest and Buikema scored with a block. Forrest converted a slide to the right side, Kelley killed cross court, Mariah Howell hit an ace and Kelley stepped up again from outside.

On the way to a 13-6 lead, Faber scored down the line and Canty put a sweep down off the pass.

With her team ahead 13-8, Buikema scored twice - once on a short set in the middle and off the pass. Buikema and Forrest put their team in front 17-9 and another sweep by Canty had the Pirates ahead 19-10. The teams exchanged points with error and with Pagosa in front 21-15, Faber put a kill down the line. Monte committed a passing error and Pagosa was in front 23-15.

The home team wasn't finished, yet. Thanks to four unforced Pagosa errors, Monte managed to get 19 points on the board. The run ended with a passing error, and the game and match ended with Faber putting an off-speed shot down.


Pirates survive scare from Bayfield at district tourney

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirate volleyball team fought off a serious challenge in its opening match at the District 1 tournament Friday as they rallied to defeat Bayfield in a nail-biter - 25-23, 20-25, 24-26, 25-11,18-16.

Bayfield came to the tourney as the No. 3 team in the Intermountain League but the Wolverines were at their peak, playing a stronger, smarter and better balanced game than they had during the regular season.

Pagosa, on the other hand, continued to stay true to a pattern that has existed all season long. If the Pirates lose, they do as much damage to themselves as does the opponent - with unforced errors contributing significant numbers of points to the team on the other side of the net. Physically, the Pirates have matched or bested their opponents this year. But, in volleyball, consistency of execution and attitude count for as much - and sometimes for more - than sheer physical presence.

The Pirates needed all they could muster in the first game of the match, as Bayfield went out to 4-0 and 12-8 leads. Pagosa closed the gap to 10-12 before the Wolverines put together a four-point run then extended the advantage to 19-13. The Pirates needed to struggle, needed to turn the momentum.

The turnaround began when Caitlin Forrest connected on a slide, using Emily Buikema on the right side as a decoy on the set. Bayfield committed a passing error and Liza Kelley, in her first match back following knee surgery, killed from the left side. Bayfield scored with a tip - a strategy that would haunt the Pirates throughout the tourney, but gave up a point with four hits. Forrest and Kim Canty stuffed a Wolverine hitter for a point and Kelley hit an ace. Canty and Forrest stuffed again and Forrest hit an ace to tie the game 21-21.

The teams traded points. Danielle Spencer crushed a 1, putting the ball off a Wolverine's chest and she and Buikema scored with a block. Bayfield closed to 23-24 on a Pirate passing error before outside hitter Kari Beth Faber ended the game with a cross-court kill.

Game two had the Pirates ahead throughout the action until, with Pagosa up 20-17, Bayfield took advantage of sloppy play and surged to the win. The Wolverines took serve when a Pirate serve went out. A Pagosa passing error led to a Bayfield kill of the overpass. Three consecutive Pirate hitting errors surrendered points and a passing error put the Wolverines on the brink of the win 24-20. That win came when a Wolverine tip hit the floor.

The Wolverines jumped to a 9-1 lead in the third game, getting six of the points courtesy Pirate errors.

Pagosa made a run with Bayfield ahead 11-3: Buikema tipped for a score, Lindsey Mackey aced a serve and Kelley put a tip down. A Bayfield serve-receive mistake surrendered yet another point.

The teams traded points until Bayfield led 13-9. Faber killed down the line for a score; Bayfield blocked for a point. Then the Pirates were given four gifts as the Wolverines committed a series of mistakes. The teams tied 16-16 after Spencer connected on a slide and Bayfield muffed a serve receive.

The teams were neck and neck to game's end. Faber logged two kills and Buikema scored with a block. Bayfield hit a ball out and the score was tied 23-23. Buikema rose to the occasion again, as she would all tournament long. The senior right side hitter scored off the pass to give her team a 24-23 lead, but to no avail. Bayfield put two balls down off the block then stuffed a Pirate attack for the win.

In the crucial fourth game, it was the Pirates who put together a lengthy run in the early going. With the teams tied 3-3, Pagosa took serve with a cross-court kill by Buikema. Iris Frye went to the serve line and stayed there for seven points. Bayfield committed numerous unforced errors, Frye hit two aces and Pagosa had an 11-3 lead. From there, the Pirates controlled the tempo and style of play.

With her team ahead 15-9, Spencer nailed a 1 to send Canty to the service line. Bayfield erred on a serve receive and Buikema nailed two kills off back sets from Canty. A Bayfield hit went out and Faber scored cross court. Canty hit an ace and Spencer scored with a solo block. The Pirates had an insurmountable 23-9 advantage. The Wolverines scored with a kill and an ace but Buikema responded with a score from the left side. Bayfield hit a ball out and the match knotted 2-2.

The fifth and deciding game in a match has a 15-point ceiling, with a two-point advantage needed for a win.

Buikema scored first, putting a short set to the floor, but a Pirate attack went out and a pattern was set: each team moving slightly ahead, with the opponent coming back to even the score.

Buikema killed cross court to the corner then nailed another short set but the Wolverines capitalized on a nonexistent Pirate block for a point and the Pirates hit a ball out.

Kelley scored cross court and Bayfield responded in kind, their setter, Whitney Howard, moving the ball from one side of the net to the other, working to force Pirate blockers to traverse distances quickly to get to the point of attack.

Pagosa went in front 7-4 on two Wolverine mistakes and a tip by Kelley. Bayfield used a service error, a tip and a call on the Pirates on a double hit to tie.

A Bayfield hit went into the net, Forrest and Faber stuffed for a point and the Wolverines received a point on a rotation error. Faber put a point down cross court; Bayfield got a point on a Pirate attack that went out and on a kill cross court to the line. The game was tied 10-10.

Spencer gave her team a lead with a successful score from the middle but a Bayfield stuff evened the count. Bayfield committed a hitting error then a Wolverine hitter scored off the Pirate block.

Buikema killed on the angle and a Wolverine attack went into the net, but Pagosa could not hold the advantage. A passing error surrendered a point and a botched serve receive tied the game. The Wolverines went ahead with a block but gave up the lead with a hitting error. The teams were even at 15-15 and the two-point advantage was necessary.

Canty put a short set up in the middle and Forrest nailed it for a point. Bayfield responded with a hit inside the block.

Two points.

Forrest scored from the right side. Coach Andy Rice sent Mariah Howell to the serve line and the junior iced the victory with an ace.

The Pirates survived a scare from a tough Wolverine team and left the gym on the first day of competition with a 1-0 record.

"Bayfield was really improved," said Rice. "They had good footwork and there was a synergy there for them - they are a better team than they are as individuals, and Howard is a great leader. They really get up to play us. For our part, we fought hard and outlasted them. We didn't play our best, but we came back and we won."


Kills: Buikema 14, Faber 11, Kelley 10

Ace serves: Mackey 1

Assists: Canty 46

Solo blocks: Faber 2

Digs: Canty and Kelley 19 each, Forrest 15


Pirate soccer season ends with loss to Faith Christian

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Call it a lesson.

The Pirate 2005 soccer season ended Saturday in Arvada with a 10-0 loss to the Faith Christian Eagles as a talented Denver-area team took it to the visiting Pirates in a Class 3A playoff game.

The theme of the game? A very good team of year-round players pressuring their West Slope opponent throughout the match with speed and accomplished technique - and no weaknesses at any spot on the field.

The Eagles scored seven first-half goals against the Pirates. Pagosa made changes in the defensive strategy in the second half, limiting the home team to three goals.

"They were good," said Pirate Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason of Faith Christian. "They would probably be comfortable playing 5A; they had speed and showed us a speed of play we hadn't seen. They were fast and they moved the ball around well."

Pirate keeper Felix Gutierrez made five saves against the Eagles on 15 shots on goal. But, as Kurt-Mason noted, every one of the Faith Christian shots had "goal" written all over it. "There were no trash shots or trash goals," he said. "Their shots were difficult to stop. We held them for the first ten minutes of the game."

Pagosa, in turn, had three shots on the Eagle net during the game.

Among his players, Kurt-Mason singled out senior Paul Muirhead for his play. "Paul played at the top of his game," said the coach. "He played a full game, without mistakes."

Derrick Monks also came in for a measure of praise for his play.

"Derrick played sweeper for us," said Kurt-Mason. "They were flooding the area with five guys, so Derrick was trying to cover two of them."

Kurt-Mason moved striker Chavolo Ortiz to the defense in the second half and the move helped slow the Eagle onslaught. But it also debilitated the Pirate attack. "Chavolo had a good game on defense," said the coach, "but then we didn't have much of an offensive threat."

When all was said and done, the lesson was what was important - especially for the younger players on the team.

"The best thing to say," said Kurt-Mason, "is this team got there. Just to be there was an accomplishment - to beat James Irwin the week before and advance to this game. The experience showed these kids how much better they can get, and our younger guys learned what they can do with the ball. All I ask is they play their best."


Pagosa Sting clubs successful at Durango, Cortez

By Jack Searle

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Sting soccer club closed out its fall season at tournaments in Durango and Cortez.

The U-12 boys brought home the gold in Cortez, winning their last match by a 6-0 score. The team edged Telluride by one point for the championship. Pagosa knew ahead of the final match they needed a shutout and at least three goals to win the championship. The U-14 boys also had a good tournament and missed second place by one goal.

The Copa Del Sol tournament in Durango featured four-on-four competition with teams from the Four Corners area and New Mexico participating.

Pagosa sent six teams to Durango, with players varying in age from 9 to 13. The U-12A boys team took second out of 13 teams, with their only loss, 3-1, to a Farmington team in a tight championship match.

Other Pagosa teams played well at Durango, with the U-11 girls and U-14 boys each taking third-place honors.

Pagosa soccer is on the upswing with over 50 youngsters, ages 9-15, participating in traveling competitive soccer.

For information on Pagosa Sting club soccer, call Michelle Smith at 264-5998.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Parent's behavior sets the tone for child's experience

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

Here are some tips concerning parental behavior at children's sporting events, excerpted from the Center for Sports Parenting's "Top 10 Rules of Parental Behavior at their Kids' Games."

1. Parents should be seen, but not heard too often - it's fine and good to go and watch your child play. But as a parent, you should try to blend in with the woodwork. Don't draw attention to yourself - the games are all about your child, not about you. As such, parents (not children) should be seen ... but not heard.

2. If you have to say something, it should only be positive praise. Very simple. If you absolutely feel compelled to cheer, make sure your comments are only positive! And make your comments generic in tone. That is, "Way to go guys" or "Great job girls" is much more effective than highlighting just one kid. Root for the team - not just one individual kid.

3. Never criticize your kid ... and never, ever criticize somebody else's kid! This is an absolute sin. If you feel compelled to try and coach your kid from the sidelines, or make s ome disparaging remarks, then you have really crossed the line.

Coaching is the coach's job - not yours. And even though it may kill you to say nothing, well, that's too bad. Act like the grown-up adult that you are. And by the way, if you ever criticize somebody else's kid in a game - well, now you're totally out of line!

4. Please do not do a play-by-play of the game. This applies mostly to youth coaches who try and dictate every play of the game while it's happening ... "Okay, Sam, dribble the ball up ... now pass it over to Joe ... Joe, pass the ball to Mike ... Mike, take the shot." During the game, let the kids figure it out. Otherwise, they'll become too dependent on you for constant instruction. P.S. - when you played sports as a kid, did anyone dictate to you what to do?

5. If you can't control your mouth, then don't stand with the other parents ... stay way far away from the others, and stand off by yourself. Folks, you have to know your own personality. If you honestly feel that you might get too emotionally involved in your kid's game, then stand off by yourself during the action. You can come back and rejoin the sane parents during halftime, but there's nothing wrong with going away from the crowd and being alone with your thoughts.

6. Refs and officials are not there to be abused in any way.

Here's the deal. Without the refs, umps, or officials, the game quickly is transformed from a real game into just being a scrimmage ... okay, so understand that. Then, understand that the vast majority of sports parents do not know where to draw the line when it comes to questioning a ref's call. Of course, that never happens. If anything, the ref will just get annoyed at the parent. So, here's what you do to fix the problem: Don't say anything to the ref. And don't say anything about their calls. You, as a sideline parent, just be quiet.

7. It's okay to applaud a nice play by an opposing player ... we're trying to teach our kids to be good sports, and to respect their opponents. So if one of the opposing players makes a great play, applaud it. You should tell your child that it's okay for their opponents to be talented as well.

8. Understand that you are a role model for the kids - they will follow your behavior. Along those lines, always remember that your son or daughter is watching you on how they should behave. So if you're going nuts on the ref, or throwing a temper tantrum, or seem emotionally unsettled, don't be surprised if your kid starts acting the same way. And you know what? That's your fault, not the kid's.

9. If a coach or a ref tells you to calm down, please take that caution seriously.

If a ref or ump or official singles you out, and tells you to calm down, then consider yourself fully warned! You won't get - nor do you deserve - a second chance. And if you can't calm down, then yes, you should be banned from the game. What gives you the right to ruin it for all the kids?

10. Try to give your kid a smile ... when your kid looks over to the sideline and, for a brief moment, sees your face, please make sure you have a smile on it ... or at least, a look of quiet pride. Kids do look to parents for approval, and if you look like you're having a good time, then he or she will feel the same way. So, relax - leave your game face at home &emdash;and wear a relaxed face to your kid's game.

Reference: Center for Sports Parenting (CSP) Launched in March of 2001, the Center for Sports Parenting (CSP) is a Web-based initiative that offers immediate and practical guidance to parents, coaches, educators, administrators, officials, and all other individuals involved in youth sports, equipping them with the information needed to handle the psychological and physical challenges faced by young people participating in athletics.

Soccer photos

If you bought and paid for extra photographs of little Joey or Susie playing soccer, your pictures are available now. Please stop in at Pagosa Photography at 480 San Juan St. in downtown Pagosa Springs or call 264-3686 to speak with Jeff Laydon about delivery of your photos.

Elk's Club Hoop Shoot

The 2005 Elk's Club Hoop Shoot will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, at the community center. This free-throw shooting contest will award every participant with a Hoop Shoot T-shirt. Winner of our town competition will go on to regional and state competitions later in December and January. The 2005 Elk's Club Hoop Shoot is free to all participants and you can sign up on the day of the event.

Passing league football

Anyone interested in playing in a passing league football league should call the recreation office immediately. The league will feature six-person teams, so get your group together as soon as possible and call to reserve a spot for your team.

Adult volleyball

We have had great turnouts for our open volleyball nights. Anyone who is still interested in playing coed adult indoor volleyball should come to the community center gymnasium Wednesdays at 7 p.m. We will continue open play for all skill levels and will discuss the formation of a volleyball league.

Basketball referees

If you have a background in basketball as a player or coach, we need you. The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department is hiring referees for the 2005/2006 youth basketball season. High School students and adults are welcome and training is provided. Pay is $10-$25, depending on experience, certification and the level of games you officiate. Contact the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department at 264-4151 Ext. 232, if interested.

Sports Hotline

Information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department may be found by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to 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.



Time to participate

It is an exciting time to be in Pagosa Country. We have the privi-lege to live in a community in transition - in spades. It is a privi-lege because each of us has the opportunity, if we wish to act on it, to be a part of processes and decisions that will shape this community as it has not been shaped since its creation. That shape, once achieved, will change again, but will do so on a new foundation, proceeding on to yet another form. It is inevitable; it is simply a question of who will take part and who will not.

This place continues to grow at a fantastic rate — in terms of population, in terms of possibilities, in terms of the ideas and forces in play. The only thing that will stop this growth is a radical transformation of the wider economy, national and global. Until that happens, if it does, Pagosa Country will continue to be a desirable place to live, a wonderful place to which to move. The allure of the place is undeniable, to us and to others.

The point must be made again that, in the face of irresistible change, the only valid question is how to mitigate the impact. In a society of law, our only avenue to satisfactory mitigation is to ensure the community codifies agreed-upon values, then demands regulations and standards be maintained. One cannot succumb to the easy, slipshod dodge of anger with those who have the wherewithal to actualize ideas; one cannot be effective and be prey to tidal surges of emotion that flow from a false proprietary interest in a place one, in fact, does not own. One cannot fall victim to the notion that a set of rules must pertain to certain economic and social groups but not to others.

Pagosa Country is a fascinating place to be because there are processes underway in which anyone concerned about what the place can become has a chance to analyze ideas and options, to express a point of view. It is incumbent on those willing to do more than whine and hurl loud and empty assertions to jump into the fray.

That fray consists of attending meetings and hearings, utilizing opportunities to converse with elected officials who, in our representative system of government are, in effect, us. The time to join the fray is now. It is time to stop shouting and get to work. If the standards and regulations that govern change are not sufficient or reflective of the common good - be they regulations that affect proposed developments on Wolf Creek Pass or those that temper development and its impacts in county or town - then they must be strengthened or changed.

At the local level, pressure should be exerted on county government to hasten the development of land-use regulations - something that is finally proceeding forward. Land use code meetings are set for Nov. 8-10. In town, there is a Nov. 9 forum scheduled to consider downtown planning. There are other deep issues to consider as well, among them the value of private property rights and the extent to which government and private interests should be expected to tend the welfare of others, in particular in terms of low-income and affordable housing and employment opportunity.

The only way average citizens can play a part is to be there. And to act, not in a self-aggrandizing fashion, but with a commitment to the practical process of compromise - immersing themselves in what is an ongoing and often frustrating adjustment of collective values aimed to produce the greatest good for the greatest number while retaining the sanctity of individual rights.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

Kids look for fun to hide fears

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

As a child growing up in Ignacio, excursions into the arid surroundings of the community provided early adventure.

We could find pottery shards in almost every direction. Sometimes the full handle or a multicolored side of a jar would be unearthed.

Pinon trees grew on easily accessible tracts and collecting the fallen nuts for preparation as treats was always fun.

Surrounding these sites in early spring were brilliant red flowers we called Indian Paint Brush. May Day often meant a bouquet of these free blossoms for mothers of the area.

The one place we were warned not to go was to Rattlesnake Peak, one of the two square-topped high rises in the stone mosaic south of the town. The other was Ignacio Peak.

Rattlesnake Peak was said to be home to the most vicious rattlers around and some would tell you that the collective sound of thousands of rattlers could be heard in early evening as, finished sunning for the day, they slithered back into nighttime protection beneath the helter skelter slabs of stone.

One place we were not warned against, but which we soon discovered to be a dangerous place to play, was a drainage ditch running east from the mesa above the town and passing through the Lunsford property to a point where it became a waterfall down to the town level.

It was great fun to slide into the stream as it spilled over the edge and ride the current to the bottom.

The fun came to a screeching - literally - halt one day when those of us walking back up to the top began to itch, scratch and yell when we found leeches gluing themselves to our limbs and ostensibly sucking out our blood as their very sustenance.

Friends owned a small ranch on a hilltop east of town. It was a semi-monthly event for our family to join theirs for popcorn, bobbing for apples, and a picnic lunch under the trees in the orchard.

What was not so common was for me to ride a horse.

Their older daughter, Carolyn, decided one day that I had been mean to her and determined to show me my place.

She found the strongest willed horse on the property and had it saddled for me, inviting me to join her in a ride to the upper end of the farm.

Not wanting the young lady to know I'd never ridden, I found a way to get my body atop the saddle - and quickly learned the horse had no intention of being ridden.

I was tossed forward, over his (or her) head, and landed on my back. Carolyn laughed her head off and it was the end of my experience with equines as a means of transport.

Is there some deeper meaning to this tale?

I look at those times as among the happiest of my early years, times when, with a world at war, children could still find a way to make themselves happy, keep their sanity and hide their fear.

We had to entertain ourselves but do so in a way which was not dangerous to us or anyone else. We did not steal, smoke, drink, or destroy property or the sanctity of another's home.

Children today seem sometimes to be immune to providing "fun" for themselves.

"There's nothing to do in this town," they say. But when events are planned for them they don't want to participate.

Why? "Too many adults telling us what to do." My answer: Hogwash!


90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 5, 1915

The finest bunch of hogs ever sent to market from Archuleta County will be the two carloads shipped out by A.T. Sullenberger Saturday from his big ranch west of town.

Those who travel the highway between Pagosa Springs and Durango pronounce it the finest piece of graded dirt road in America, and now that the great circle highway over the loftiest mountain range in the west is completed to the summit from the south, every automobile in the San Juan Basin should not miss making this splendid scenic drive to the greatest hot springs on earth and on to the lofty snow line apex of Wolf Creek Pass.

Someone has said, "Be silent and pass for a philosopher."

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 7, 1930

And they said it with ballots! For the first time in years the voters of Archuleta County unmistakably elected, by substantial majorities, every candidate on the Democratic ticket. The majorities range from 86 to 564. They went even further than that and gave majorities to every Democratic candidate on the state and district tickets with two exceptions secretary of state and state representative.

Miss Millie Sisson has resumed her post of assistant cashier at the Piggly Wiggly store following several weeks' rest on account of ill health.

The jury for the November term of district court in Archuleta County was dismissed by Judge Searcy today, as there are no jury cases to be tried.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 3, 1955

The new Pomalift Ski Tow to be installed on Wolf Creek Pass ski area arrived in Monte Vista Monday night and was unloaded at the site Tuesday. The lift was made in Fontaine, France by J. Pomagalski and Company and weighed over 7 tons. It is assured that the tow will be in operation this winter season for skiing and the skiers of the valley can look forward to some real skiing with the new 2,500 foot tow, (so much easier to ride than holding on to a rope tow) and a marvelous terrain with a 700 foot drop.

The mails are full of new car announcements these days. The new cars all seem to have a tremendous increase in horsepower. It won't be long until you need at least 200 horsepower to have even a small car.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 6, 1980

Seventy-nine percent of the registered voters, or 1,963, turned out for the election Tuesday, according to County Clerk Mary Ann Callan. This is one of the largest percentage turnouts ever, and the largest general election turnout in numbers in the history of the county. The weather was very fine, campaigning as been intensive, and this all contributed to the large turnout.

The Town Board is slated to choose a new member for the board tonight at its November meeting. The board has asked that anyone interested appear at the meeting and be interviewed.

Much of the early snow at Wolf Creek Ski Area has melted or settled and it will take some good storms for the area to open.


A Red Ribbon Week

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The excitement was high at Monday's Red Ribbon Week Awards ceremony, where hundreds of Pagosa Springs Intermediate School students cheered for their classmates as awards were presented. The MC, school principal Mark DeVoti, certainly needed his microphone and loudspeaker to call up each prizewinner amidst the piercing, high-decibel screams that filled the gymnasium.

The awards handed out by student council officers Re'ahna Ray and Eliott Harwood included categories for poetry, poster creation, dress-up events, quizzes and overall participation in last week's Red Ribbon Week events.

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country, celebrated the week prior to Halloween. It also commemorates the sacrifice made by DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who died while fighting the battle against illegal drug imports into the U.S.

Camarena was working undercover in Mexico investigating a major drug cartel believed to include officers of the Mexican army, police and government. On Feb. 7, 1985, he was abducted by drug traffickers, who tortured and brutally murdered him.

His well known quote, "I'm only one person, but I want to make a difference" has inspired many to join the fight against illegal drugs, and following his death, wearing a red ribbon has become a symbol of Camarena's memory.

Teacher Lee Ann Skoglund worked with the student council to create the Red Ribbon Week education and fun events, which were held every day. The popular dress-up contest had anti-drug themes, with kids showing their support with wacky dress. Monday's theme was "Turn your back on drugs," with students wearing their pants and shirts backwards. On Tuesday, boots were in high profile with "Give drugs the Boot" as the theme, while Wednesday saw many team jerseys with a "Team Up Against Drugs" theme.

Thursday's "Don't Let Drugs Turn You Inside Out," was another wild day with everyone having the opportunity to show off the inside of their clothes, and on Friday crazy socks were abundant with "Sock It to Drugs" as the theme.

In addition to the contests, there was a daily announcement with information on addictive drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and was followed by a quiz based on the announcement. Lunchtime activities demonstrated the effects of drugs, such as running in place and breathing only through a straw to show the diminished lung effects from smoking. "There was enormous participation," among the 250 intermediate school students, said counselor Lisa Hudson, one of the organizers of the event, "It was a little bit unusual at times, but most of all, it was a really informative event learning about drugs and alcohol."

Prizes included Liberty Theatre movie tickets, Movie Gallery video rentals, Malt Shop certificates, water bottles and school supplies.


Poetry Contest

Fifth grade: First, Kiera Cuthair; second, Hayley Hudson; third, Walker Powe.

Sixth grade: First, Brooklyn DuCharme; second, Brooke Spears; third, Michelle Moore.

Poster Contest

Fifth grade: First team, Darrin Mael and Jared Bachtel; first, Nikki Monteferrante; second, Keith Archuleta; third, Vincent McPeak; honorable mention, Brandon Harbur and Justin Boyd.

Sixth grade: First team, Risko PeBenito and Moses Audetat; first, Brooke Hampton; second, Rebecca Zeller and Cheyann Walker; third, Sadie Anderson and Ashley McGowan.


Eighty-one students got all five daily quizzes correct, the winners were drawn at random from the 81.

Fifth grade: Kylie Johnson and Kody McNutt.

Sixth grade: Becca Courtney and Seth Hansen.

Dress-up contest

Fifth grade: Sienna Espinosa and Tommy Martinez.

Sixth grade: Caitlin Cameron and Tyler Lewett.

Red Ribbon Participation

A total of 54 students received top honors, the winners were chosen at random from the 54.

Fifth grade: Shannon Rogers and Evan Greer.

Sixth grade: Desiree Pastin and Eli Velasquez.

Overall Class Winners

Prize will be a future ice cream party.

Fifth-grade homeroom class: Mrs. Pam Miller.

Sixth-grade homeroom class: Mrs. Kathy Mymern.


Pagosa's Past

The buildings of old Fort Lewis

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

San Juan Country a potential battleground? Hard to imagine today, isn't it? How quickly we forget. From the landing of the first colonists shortly after 1600 until the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1891, a span of almost 300 years, somewhere a battle was taking place between the indigenous population and the settlers.

At the time of settlement of Pagosa Country and the San Juan area, all of the settlers had either fought with Indians or knew someone who had. Tales of atrocities abounded, atrocities committed by both sides. Many of the final, epic battles were taking place in the West. In the San Juan Country and western Colorado, angry and restless Utes posed yet another danger. Individual settlers, isolated on homesteads throughout the region, stood no chance against roaming parties of young Ute men, perhaps ready to die before surrendering their life ways.

Such was the condition of Pagosa Country during the settlement years that prompted the Army to build a fort in Pagosa Springs during the fall and winter of 1878. We have been printing a description of the fort and surrounding area prepared by an Army engineer based on a visit at the time. Today we continue with that description.

"During the past season a government road across the range from Alamosa, the terminus of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, to Pagosa was commenced by Lt. E.H. Ruffner, United States Engineers, chief engineer of the department, and the major part including all of the Eastern side of Alamosa Cañon, the summit, and the most difficult portion of the western slope, completed. This route is by far the most direct route from the east to the springs, making it less than 90 miles distant from Alamosa.

"The survey of the military reservation, a square of six miles, was made during the present month by Lieutenant Ruffner, chief engineer of the department.

"In the event of continued military occupation of Pagosa and the erection of permanent buildings therefore, the preferable location would be in the spacious valley on the left bank of the San Juan, already described, lying above and to the east of the springs."

And so, we have the report from McCauley of the beginning construction of Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs. Much of the report was speculative. Some of the buildings, such as the hospital, were never built.

A report submitted by the Inspector General of the Army contained details of an inspection of Fort Lewis Aug. 13, 1879 conducted by Major J.J. Coppinger. Coppinger wrote:

"Fort Lewis is at present a small half built cantonment consisting of 4 pretty fine log huts for officers quarters 2 rooms and a kitchen each, 10 fine log huts 22 x 14 feet affording crowded quarters for two companies 84 men, 4 log huts for storehouses, 1 for a guardhouse, 1 for a carpenter shop, 2 small huts for laundresses.

"There is a poor jacal for 36 mules and a small corral.

"The post is situated on the western half of the town site of Pagosa on a pretty level bench close to the western bank of the San Juan River, within two hundred yards of Pagosa Springs, surrounded by mountains and fine woods. Altitude 7,100 feet, 130 miles from Fort Garland W via Conejos and 88 miles from Alamosa via the Ruffner road to be open is September. A decidedly healthy situation."

By the time 1880 rolled around, the Army decided to move Fort Lewis west. Several sites were considered. What was wrong with the Fort being in Pagosa Springs? We'll talk about that in next week's column.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Look to the skies: High time for the Taurids

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Today the moon is waxing crescent, and according to data from the U.S. Naval Observatory, about 4 percent of its visible disk will be illuminated.

A thin crescent moon means Pagosa Country sky watchers will have ample dark skies to view some of the weekend's celestial sights, among them: Mars, the nearby constellation Taurus and the Taurid meteor shower, which will peak Saturday, Nov. 5.

As with last week, Mars will continue to hold a position of prominence in the eastern sky just after dark. Beginning about 9 p.m., the planet can be located near the constellation Taurus. As the evening progresses, Mars will climb gradually higher, eventually making its way to the western horizon by morning.

Although the peak of Mars' proximity to Earth occurred Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, the planet will remain a bold, bright, reddish orange and will be easily discernible each evening throughout much of November.

Observing Mars in the east, while it is near the constellation Taurus, can provide sky watchers with a reason to explore the constellation and its environs.

Taurus is an ancient constellation depicting the head, horns and part of the torso of a bull. According to Greek mythology, the constellation represents the animal disguise used by Zeus to carry off the Princess Europa to the island of Crete, where the princess ultimately bore him three children.

In our night sky, the constellation appears in a horizontally oriented, V-shaped pattern, and three stars act as the key points along this shape: alpha Tauri, or Aldebaran, an orange giant which marks the bull's eye at a point near the bottom of the V, Alnath, or beta Tauri, marks the tip of the upper horn, and zeta Tauri marks the tip of the lower horn.

Using these three stars as landmarks, Taurus can be explored in greater detail with binoculars, and a bit of aided viewing can reveal some of the most fascinating objects in the night sky.

Located near zeta Tauri is Messier object one (M1)&emdash;the famous Crab Nebula. The nebula was created by a massive supernova explosion in 1054 and archaeoastronomers believe there might be a link between that supernova explosion and the construction and orientation of architecture found at the Chimney Rock archeological site.

A second fascinating object, found near Aldebaran, is the Hyades. The Hyades is a large open cluster consisting of about 200 stars that can be best explored with binoculars. The Hyades and Aldebaran together create the bottom of Taurus' V-shape. Despite appearances however, Aldebaran is not part of the Hyades cluster. In fact, it is actually 60 light years closer to us than the Hyades cluster.

The third most noteworthy object in the vicinity of Taurus is Messier object 45 (M45)&emdash;or, the Pleiades.

The Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters, is the brightest and most famous star cluster in the sky.

In its entirety, the cluster consists of about 100 stars, seven of which, hence the cluster's name, can be seen with the naked eye. Sky watchers wishing to view the cluster in greater detail will find the Pleiades, like the Hyades, ideally suited for exploration with binoculars.

Finally, to round out the weekend's celestial sights, the Taurid meteor shower will peak Saturday, Nov. 5.

During peak times, sky watchers can expect to see about seven Taurids shooting across the sky per hour. But unlike other meteor showers, whose viewing times are often limited to a number of hours, the Taurids can be viewed over a period of days or even weeks.

The reason for the longer viewing period is because the fodder that creates the Taurid meteor shower is widely dispersed in space. This wide dispersion means it takes longer for Earth to move through the debris trail, hence the longer duration of the shower. Therefore, although Nov. 5 is listed as the "official" peak date, the shower can be observed well into the middle of November.

This extended viewing time has given astronomers more opportunities to study the shower, and observations indicate there are actually two branches of Taurids - the northern branch and southern branch. The two are differentiated by their observational periods. The northern branch is seen between Oct. 12 and Dec. 2, while the southern branch is seen between Sept. 17 and Nov. 27.

Although research indicates two branches, both branches share a similar radiant and a similarly slow impact speed. In fact, the Taurids are some of the slowest moving of all meteors. By comparison, a Taurid typically hurtles into the Earth's atmosphere at about 60,000 miles per hour. Whereas an Orionid, generally slams into the Earth's atmosphere at about 148,000 miles per hour.

Some observers say the Taurids' slower trajectory speed is linked to their propensity for showier displays marked by slower burn times and long pronounced tails. Although, even after years of study, these assertions remain inconclusive.

Another facet of Taurid observation and history that remains inconclusive is whether another meteor shower, known as the Beta Taurids, is related to the main Taurid shower. And secondly, was it, in fact, a Beta Taurid that was responsible for the infamous Tunguska incident.

On the morning of June 30, 1908, near the Tunguska River in eastern Siberia, witnesses described an object traveling horizontally across the sky. The object had a long smoky tail, like a meteorite, and suddenly exploded in mid-air about five miles above the Earth's surface. The blast leveled more than 1,200 square miles of forest, and trees were incinerated within nine miles of the blast area. Experts estimate the explosion had the force of about 15 million tons of TNT - or about 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb used on Hiroshima.

Astronomers are yet to reach a consensus on whether a Beta Taurid was responsible for the incident, but there is general agreement on the Taurids' source.

The Taurids are believed to have been formed about 20,000 to 30,000 years ago and are largely debris left behind the passage of Comet Encke. Astronomers postulate Encke is the remnant of a once giant comet that has since split and ultimately dissipated.

To observe Taurus and the Taurid meteor shower begin observations after 10 p.m. At that time, Orion will be in full view and it can be used to locate Taurus. Simply follow the three distinct stars on Orion's belt slightly south to the next, bright orange star. That orange star is Aldebaran, and is essentially the heart of the constellation Taurus.

For the best views of the meteor shower, shift your gaze 90 degrees in either direction from Taurus and you just may see a Taurid burning slowly across the sky.



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Be ready for frost on the windshield

by John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Frosty conditions are here, necessitating use of the ice scraper on the car windshields for you early risers. Frost forms when overnight temperature dips below the dew point and will cake on the surface of the glass.

Here's a tip for those who hate scraping and don't have a garage: Coat the car windows with a solution of three parts vinegar to one part water.

Last week we had but a tenth of an inch of rain in Pagosa Springs. Wolf Creek Ski Area fared better: On Oct. 29 and 30, six inches of new snow were reported, for a current snow depth of 12 inches at the summit of the ski area. Twenty-four inches of snow has fallen this year on the pass, not quite enough to open the ski area though, and the proposed Nov. 4 opening is no longer expected.

High temperatures last week ranged from a high of 64 degrees last Wednesday, with consistent cooling each day to a low of 22 degrees Halloween morning.

There could be rain today, Thursday, with the rest of the week partly cloudy both night and day, and windy, with a slight warming trend expected by Monday.