January 19, 2006
Front Page

Two Pagosans stabbed in altercation Saturday,

investigation continues

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Two Pagosa Springs area residents were stabbed during an altercation outside a local bar early Saturday morning.

Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger said officers were dispatched to 475 Lewis St. about 1 a.m. Saturday following reports of an altercation and a stabbing outside the establishment.

Volger said when officers arrived they discovered 35-year-old Tina Medina and 25-year-old Chris Stahr, both with knife wounds. Volger said Medina and Stahr were transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango.

Pagosa Springs Assistant Chief Jim Saunders said Medina was treated and ultimately released. But Stahr, who suffered multiple stab wounds, remained at Mercy Wednesday and is listed in fair condition.

Volger said the incident is under investigation and, due to ambiguous reports and the possible involvement of a juvenile, no suspect has been named and no formal charges have been filed.

Pagosa Springs Police Department Detective Scott Maxwell said anyone with information on the crime is encouraged to contact the Pagosa Springs Police Department at 264-4151, Ext. 240 or 241.


Road map, maintenance, plowing plans approved

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners marked not just another milestone, but a major mile marker on the road to resolving many of the county's most pressing road issues, with the board's approval of a county road map indicating the primary and secondary road system and a plan to maintain that system.

The decision to adopt the map and the plan came Tuesday following a summer of heated public debate, an autumn of road work sessions and the adoption of revised road and bridge design standards. It also followed an early winter budget approval that would fund procurement of updated equipment and road and bridge equipment operators and, most recently, another public work session and a final public hearing last week.

Interim County Administrator Bob Jasper said the staff-recommended plan was something that had been agonized over, and had been two years in the making.

He said roads remained an emotionally charged issue but that threats, staff turnover and citizen and county staff angst had not solved the problem.

"We don't take this lightly, we anguish over these decisions," Jasper said.

Jasper said he stood by the plan and that it would work to rectify a history of past mistakes, haphazard maintenance and management practices, and would pave the way for a plan that is fiscally feasible, equitable, and would ultimately provide better roads and services to county residents.

"We're wiping the slate clean and starting the way most cities and counties do," Jasper said.

Jasper said the plan was built on the premise of what staff believed the county could afford to maintain well, with rebuilding many roads that have fallen into disrepair as part of the package.

"We have many many years of reconstructing roads that have gone to heck or weren't built right in the first place. Many of our roads, even some of our arterials are falling apart," Jasper said.

To remedy the situation, Jasper said part of board approval meant establishing a five-year road capital improvement plan.

"This should be a key component of the budget process every year," Jasper said.

He said roads could be added into the system when use, circumstances or finances warranted it, but that those living on roads in the secondary system should make plans to form special taxing districts to provide for their own road maintenance.

Jasper said the county would waive fees and provide assistance in establishing the districts if they are formed prior to Jan. 31, 2007.

Jasper said the county could provide maintenance on secondary roads in emergency situations when authorized by the public works director.

A new snow removal policy and the order to halt maintenance on roads in the secondary system will take effect June 15, 2006.

The snow removal policy lists the airport and school bus routes as priority one, arterials and collectors as priority two, local access roads as the third priority and cul-de-sacs and low volume roads as fourth.

Although the plan received a cool reception from the public, public comment was markedly brief while dissent between the commissioners remained.

"The new map is a major improvement," Fred Ebeling said, "but it needs to be improved. Mr. Jasper is like Chicken Little, he keeps telling us the sky is falling; well, it ain't."

Commissioner Mamie Lynch and Commissioner Ronnie Zaday both expressed support for the map and plan.

"If you don't start somewhere, you don't get anywhere. Today I'm going to vote to approve the plan," Lynch said.

Zaday said she was ready to approve adoption as well. She said consultants from the Utah LTAP study had inventoried and evaluated the roads, staff had spent two years on the project, numerous hearings and work sessions had been held and that it was time to start and that the map could always be modified and improved in the future.

Lynch and Zaday ultimately voted to approve the map and plan and Commissioner Robin Schiro voted against it.

Schiro said that she had done a primary/secondary road map in another county and that the proposal and map before the board didn't meet her expectations.

She said many of the roads excluded from the primary system were in her district and she listed numerous roads she believed should have been added to the system that weren't.

Archuleta County Asset Technician Sheila Berger responded to Schiro's query and said, "All those you've listed are either private, maintained by other districts or are not built yet."

The issue of county maintenance on United States Forest Service roads remains unanswered by the board's approval, and for residents on Mill Creek Road and Fosset Gulch, their plight remains.

The snow removal policy, maintenance plan and road map can be obtained and viewed at the Archuleta County Road and Bridge Department on U.S. 84, one mile south of the intersection of U.S. 84 and 160.


Vote postpones decision on airport fees

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

After an extended discussion on airport fees at Tuesday's county commissioner's meeting, commissioners Mamie Lynch and Robin Shiro voted against a motion made by Ronnie Zaday to approve the county's increased fee structure as presented by Bob Jasper, interim county administrator.

Jasper made the recommendations because he felt "that it gets us a lot closer to meeting the goal of paying the operating costs" of the airport.

Currently, the county subsidizes a considerable part of the airport's operating costs (estimated to be $300,000 in 2006), as well as an annual $308,000 debt service payment for the money the county borrowed to build a new Flight Base Operations (FBO) building, eight hangars and a fueling station last year. Zaday added that the airport requires additional county funds related to matching grants "and other expenses."

"The concept of an enterprise fund is to run it like a business and pay for itself," said Jasper (the county manages the airport as an enterprise fund). Jasper also discussed the issue of TABOR, which limits the county subsidy to enterprise funds to 10 percent of expenses, but added that he didn't think it applied to the airport, because he believed that "voters exempted us from that part of TABOR." (Note: the county as a whole is not "de-Bruced" from the requirements of TABOR).

The increased fees included a substantial increase on nightly aircraft parking fees, a $5 per day automobile parking fee, a $5 rental car surcharge, and $50 to $100 landing fees for planes over 12,500 pound gross weight. Businesses operating at the airport would also face a $250 registration fee and a 15-percent surcharge on rental space within the FBO.

Brad Handi, a flight instructor and owner of one of the few small businesses that operate at Stevens Field, said the registration and aircraft parking fees would fetter his business's expansion. "If anyone thinks that aviation is profitable, think otherwise," said Handi. Ironically, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade recently registered Stevens Field as an Aviation Development Zone (ADZ), which benefits businesses with over 10 full-time employees.

Bob Howard, former airport commissioner, speaking as a citizen and a pilot, argued against the fees. He said the new fees would make Stevens Field "the most expensive airport in Colorado." Howard said that the impact on the new fees, rather than increasing the county's revenues, would decrease them, because "utilization (of Stevens Field) by visitors will drop so precipitously." He estimated that the fees would result in a $3.5 million reduction in local business sales, dramatically decreasing sales tax revenue to the county and town treasuries. When he finished his comments, a loud ovation erupted from the audience.

Although Lynch noted that if one "talks to anyone on the street, they're not happy with what we're putting into the airport," she agreed that the county needed more information before establishing new airport fees. The county then adopted all other county fees as proposed, with the airport fees excluded. A work session with the Airport Advisory Commission is planned.


School district meets state requirements

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Two recent reports from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) suggest that Archuleta School District 50 Joint continues to meet state requirements in school performance and accreditation compliance.

Meanwhile, the 50 Joint Board of Education is working to finalize a resolution for consideration at the 2006 Legislative Conference, designed to influence legislation improving local control and accountability.

The School Accountability Reports (SAR) for the 2004-2005 year, copies of which have just been sent to students' parents, reflect the overall academic performance of each of the schools in the district, and whether students are making progress in certain subjects. According to the federal No Child Left Behind Act, states are required "to track whether schools are making 'Adequate Yearly Progress' (AYP) toward the goal of ensuring that all students know and are able to do grade-level work in reading and mathematics." Tracking is accomplished through annual testing of students using the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP).

Based on CSAP results for the 2004-2005 year, every public school in the state is rated Excellent, High, Average, Low or Unsatisfactory in scholastic achievement, and only English-speaking students without learning disabilities, who have enrolled prior to Oct. 1, are included in the rating calculation. School ratings are determined by the percentage of students performing in each of the Advanced, Proficient, Partially-proficient and Unsatisfactory levels. The percentages are weighted and combined across grade levels and academic areas, rewarding those achieving advanced and proficient levels over those achieving lesser rankings. Ratings are assigned after calculating the weighted total for each academic area and grade level for each school, and comparing them with other schools in the state.

Student academic growth is determined by comparing a pupil's CSAP scale score in an academic area with that in the same area the year before. If the score is at least 1.96 standard errors higher than the equivalent CSAP scale score for the prior grade level, academic growth is apparent. Again, detailed methods of comparison eventually lead to a determination of Significant Improvement, Improvement, Stable, Decline, or Significant Decline.

According to SAR reports for the 2004-2005 year, the overall academic performance of Pagosa Springs schools was: Pagosa Springs Elementary School, Average; Pagosa Springs Intermediate School, Average; Pagosa Springs Junior High School, High; and Pagosa Springs High School, Average.

Academic growth of students for the same year was: Elementary School, Significant Decline (skewed by method of measurement); Intermediate School, Stable; Junior High School, Significant Improvement; and the High School, Stable. In each of the schools, AYP was achieved in reading and math, and all of the academic targets on CSAP were met.

In late December, southwest regional manager for the CDE, Jhon Penn (correct spelling), submitted his annual Accreditation Assessment Report to District 50 Joint superintendent Duane Noggle. In it, he reviewed 11 different "accreditation indicators," including things like the Educational Improvement Plan, CSAP goals, closing the apparent learning gap (between ethnic groups) and AYP, and compliance with various reporting, school safety, and literacy requirements. In conclusion, his report indicated that, "the Archuleta County School District 50 Joint is meeting the intent of the requirements, as set forth in Colorado State Board of Education Rules, and will continue to be accredited."

Based on Penn's findings, the district is performing well in most areas but, of course, there's always room for improvement. While acknowledging significant progress all around, the two primary areas where further gains are advocated include identifying and advancing specific measurable goals related to student achievement, and building on recent progress in closing the learning gap.

Every year, board representatives attend the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) Legislative Conference and present a resolution calling for legislative action on various issues. At its regular meeting earlier this month, after reviewing CSAB standing resolutions and its own from last year, the board moved to again prepare a resolution for this year's conference, focusing on the three or four issues considered most important.

In recognizing that the Colorado Constitution calls for local board control of the education of children within local school districts, the board supports local accountability and state accreditation with reasonable expectations of districts. Collectively, the board realizes there must be a joint effort between districts, the state, and the federal government to carry out educational mandates for under-served children, yet it believes the current multiple avenues of accountability have created excessive paperwork, and force smaller districts to reallocate limited resources to meet demands of the state and federal mandates. Therefore, the items in last year's resolution, which the board is again considering, include:

- Return local control of the instructional program to local districts.

- Place trust in locally elected boards by reducing excessive regulations and micro-management of local districts.

- Provide funding for full-day kindergarten.

- Conduct scientifically based research regarding the benefits of class size reduction.

- Provide funding for additional staff development days to insure scientifically based research can be implemented.

- Increase the level of support for vocational programs.

- Demand full funding for IDEA as promised in the 1974 federal legislation.

- Commit to the intent of the voters and fully fund Amendment 23.

The board is also encouraging the Colorado State Legislature to pass legislation to eliminate indiscriminant ACT testing; to move the CSAP testing window from mid-March to mid-April; and to develop a single accountability system that incorporates the SAR, the Accreditation process, the December Accountability Report, and AYP.

Both, the 50 Joint Board and the administration believe resolutions encouraging legislative change are useful and effective. After all, the legislature has revised the accountability system and SAR somewhat, and they believe there's a good chance it will consider full-day kindergarten this legislative session.

Time will tell.


 Inside The Sun

Bob Jasper - from county to classroom

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With interim County Administrator Bob Jasper's tenure coming to a close, the county is working to complete the interview process for five candidates seeking Jasper's position.

Jasper arrived in Archuleta County late last July, following the resignation of then interim County Administrator Kathy Holthus, with the agreement his would be a short-term, interim role while county staff sought a permanent replacement for the post.

With Jasper's short-term tenure expiring today, County Human Resources Administrator Katherine Ross said interviews with the five candidates will continue, and selection of the finalist is slated for mid February.

Ross said, once a candidate is selected, it could still take another month for that person to arrive and begin working in Archuleta County.

In the meantime, Ross said, Jasper will be maintaining contact with the county via phone and e-mail and that he would participate via conference call in the board of county commissioners' meetings.

Jasper said he will work in that capacity until March 17.

In the meantime, between juggling phone calls, answering and sending e-mails and helping the county in the changing of the guard, Jasper said he will be embarking on an entirely new project of his own.

Beginning Monday, Jan 23, it will be "Professor Jasper" to many students attending courses in American government and public administration at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

Jasper said Mesa State had asked him to teach last semester, but that he had already committed to Archuleta County. With his term here complete, Jasper said the offer was extended again and it was one that was difficult to refuse.

"I have 29 years in county government and I've always wanted to do something different when I was done," Jasper said.

Jasper said a variety of academic, professional and personal experiences - including stints at the federal level in Washington D.C., state experience as a lobbyist in the California legislature and nearly three decades in county government - had equipped him with a unique perspective and practical tools he could bring to students in the classroom.

"In terms of American government, I have experience at all three levels," Jasper said.

And, he said teaching has always been a dream he has wanted to pursue.

To sweeten the pot, Jasper said he gets to return to Grand Junction and Mesa County, a place where he has deep roots and calls home.

"I've had many opportunities to permanently leave Grand Junction, but it's my home. I have friends and family there," Jasper said.

And Jasper said, friends and family aside, he was looking forward to a change of pace.

"Teaching shouldn't be quite as stressful as being a county administrator," Jasper said.

In other staffing matters, Ross said interviews with three finalists for the county attorney's position are ongoing and that selection of the finalist is scheduled for the end of January.


Forest Service seeks public comment on fuel reduction project

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest (USFS) is requesting public comment on a proposal to reduce hazardous fuels and restore ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests in the Sally Overlook, Ice Cave Ridge, Chub Draw and O'Neal Hill areas (collectively known as the Upper Piedra Project Area) northwest of Pagosa Springs.

The project location is in Township 37 North, Range 3 West, including portions of sections 3, 4, 9, 10, 16, 21, 23 and 24; and Township 36 North, Range 3 West, in portions of sections 1, 3 and 4. The proposed treatment area includes approximately 693 acres, and only existing roads would be utilized.

The district is concerned about forest health and hazardous fuels, involving dense warm-dry mixed conifer stands with increased levels of white fir and Douglas fir in the understory. Such conditions create ladder fuels and greatly increase the risk of stand-replacement wildfire.

Area ponderosa stands are also overly dense with significant ladder fuels, which pose an added risk of wildfire. The potential for substantial bark beetle attacks is also a concern.

According to the USFS, the current potential for wildfire threatens some homes, seasonal cabins, campgrounds, a small business, power lines and Piedra Road. Officials are proposing various treatments, including hand or mechanical thinning and shredding of understory white and Douglas fir, some ponderosa pine and Gambel Oak. Once the mechanical treatments are completed the proposed area would then be burned.

The USFS intends to "move stand structure toward that seen prior to disruption of the historic fire regime and decrease fuel continuity in order to change wildland and prescribed fire behavior, and reduce the risk to adjacent private lands and reduce the risk of loss of key ecosystem components." According to the USFS, "the proposal falls within FSH 1909.15, 31.2 Category (6), which is excluded from documentation in an EA or EIS, and there are no extraordinary circumstances that would preclude the use of the category."

To comment on this issue, members of the public must do so orally, electronically, or in writing (via mail, facsimile or hand-delivered) within the next 30 days (by Feb. 18). The purpose of this comment period is to allow the public an opportunity to provide early and meaningful participation on a proposed action prior to a decision by the "Responsible Official," and regulations prohibit any extension of the comment period.

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

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

Written comments may be mailed to District Ranger, P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs, Colo. 81147; hand-delivered (between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) to the District office at 180 Pagosa St., Pagosa Springs; or faxed to Rick Jewell, 970-264-1538. Oral comments must be made in person at the District office during normal business hours, at any official agency function designed to elicit public comments, or by calling 970-264-1509.

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


Medicare Part D, the continuing sagaŠ

By Musetta Wollenweber

Director, Silver Foxes Den

Special to The SUN

As I drove home the other night my eyes began to fill with tears, not out of sadness, but out of pure frustration. Medicare Part D is a nightmare, at least for the time being.

It has been several months since a small handful of volunteers and I attended a training session in a packed room in Durango. Little did we know what we were in for.

Everyone on Medicare, regardless of age, is eligible for Part D; yes, everyone. Not everyone will choose to participate in this program, since some folks are already covered by their medical insurance, including those with VA benefits. OK, that made sense.

Some people may qualify for "extra help" in covering the cost of the Part D premium through Social Security because of their low income status. Well, we were getting a little confused, but we were figuring it out.

Then there are those who are receiving their prescriptions through Medicaid. Drug coverage through Medicaid will no longer be available as of Jan. 1, 2006. Those who were receiving this benefit were to be automatically enrolled in a plan. Hmm, that sounds pretty easy, we thought.

We all came away from the training feeling as though we had a fairly good handle on what was on the horizon. But, there was no doubt in our minds at that time that those who qualified for extra help with their drug insurance premium through Social Security would be confused. We certainly got that one right, and now we find that we were not prepared for what lay ahead.

I'll try and dissect the many facets of this program one piece at a time in an effort to help you understand. I will not cover all the scenarios; I'll focus on the most common.

Everyone who does not have drug insurance that is at least as good as Medicare Part D through an employer, retiree plan, VA or other credible insurance must enroll in a Medicare Part D plan by May 15, 2006. Naturally, some will respond with "I'm healthy and I'm not taking any medications." The best way I can attempt to explain this is to compare it to car insurance - it's there if you need it, and you are required to carry it if you own a car. The problem is that if you do not enroll in a plan by May 15, 2006, you will be penalized, taking a hit right in your pocket book!

So, let's say you decided not to enroll by May 15. The next time you will be allowed to enroll will be November, 2006 and you will now be penalized one percent of the national average premium, which is currently around $30 per month. You'll pay this one percent times the seven months you waited, so there is now 7 percent being tacked on, and it's added on to the monthly premium you just chose, and you'll pay that premium at that higher rate for the rest of your life. Not fair, you say? Write your legislators, but do get enrolled before May 15, 2006.

Extra help

In some cases you may be entitled to "extra help" with your drug insurance premium and the cost of your medications. If you have limited income and resources and you were not receiving Medicaid, you may qualify. A single person with an income of less than $1,197 a month and assets of no more than $11,500, or a married couple with incomes less than $1,604 a month combined and no more than $23,000 in assets, should look into applying for "extra help" through Social Security.

Your house and the land it is on, your car and personal possessions do not count towards your assets. If you own other land or have stocks and bonds, these will be included as an asset. The "extra help" means you will have little or no premiums or deductibles and your prescriptions will cost no more than $5 each. If you have received a letter stating that you qualify for extra help you must enroll in a plan by May 15, 2006. You are not automatically enrolled. Contact Social Security at (800) 772-1213, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays to determine if you are eligible for "extra help."


If you were receiving your prescription drugs through Medicaid you more than likely received numerous letters that were confusing. First, you probably received one letter that said you were losing your coverage and if you didn't choose a plan you'd be automatically enrolled in one. Then you might have received another letter that said you were enrolled. Just to add to the confusion the insured sometimes received one letter before the other, and so on. Some folks have been automatically enrolled in a plan and some have not.

Again, Medicaid no longer pays for prescription medications. Those who have been automatically enrolled may have been enrolled in a plan that is not best suited to their needs. In other words, when you are automatically enrolled they do not know which medications you are taking and the program you have been assigned to may not cover your medications. This has proven to be the case more times than not. There was to be a simple solution for these cases and it was merely re-enrolling in another plan, (these are the only recipients who are allowed to change their plan on a month-to-month basis to meet their needs).

Simple enough, I thought. It was easy on this end; I have changed many enrollments for folks through the Medicare.gov site and sent them on their way with a printout from the Web site that included a confirmation number for the new drug plan. I was excited to have eased the confusion for so many and to have enrolled them in a better plan. Once again, little did I know what we were in store for.

The trouble began Jan. 3, 2006. Former Medicaid recipients and those receiving "extra help" presented their new drug insurance card at the pharmacy, the pharmacy processed the information and they were charged full fare. Even with a confirmation number, there were still some cases in which there is no record of the enrollment.

In one case, a woman drove from Arboles to Pagosa Springs to fill her husband's prescription. She expected to pay $4 and was charged $189. What happened? Somehow the information notifying the pharmacy of the discounted status had not arrived.

This isn't just a problem locally, it is nationwide. Our folks who needed financial assistance weren't receiving it and they were unable to purchase their medications. Medication isn't something you just stop taking; this could become life threatening for some, hence my tears. A few states put emergency measures in place to provide medication for those who the system was not working for; at the time, Colorado was not one of them.

After receiving a few complaints in the same day, I tried to offer some assistance. I put on my detective hat and picked up the phone to call the insurance companies that the insured was supposedly covered by. I hit a brick wall; all of the companies were so inundated with calls that you could not get through, (I got as far as a recording that said to call back another time, the recording mentioned times that may not be so busy, the not-so-busy times were busy too). That same day I received a phone call from our state Division of Insurance office asking me if I had any complaints they could pass on to the Denver Medicare office, "Perfect timing," I said. They provided me with some further information which I have found to be quite helpful.

My most recent frustration came when I spoke with a woman who had been a Medicaid recipient who was automatically enrolled. She previously sat down with me for a one-on-one appointment and we determined through the Medicare.gov Web site that the plan she was assigned to was not best for her. With a click and a few questions, she was enrolled in a better plan. A few days ago, she went to fill her prescription and was told there was no record of her being enrolled. Being the strong woman she is, she attempted to contact Medicare herself by calling (800) Medicare. The Medicare office informed her that there was no record of her having enrolled at all, ever - no autoenrollment, no re-enrollment, nothing.

Today I had a conversation with a representative from the Denver Medicare office. She acknowledged the system glitches and assured me their goal is that no beneficiary goes without medication. Well, at least that is good news and as we were finishing our conversation she was calling one of the participants I had been helping and contacting the pharmacy as well. I'm curious as to the outcome.

Our pharmacies are doing their absolute best to help everyone. Unfortunately they haven't been provided with the information they need . I received a very informative e-mail the other day, with information our pharmacies had not received. Why the powers that be have not provided the information to them on how to enroll someone who is a confirmed former Medicaid recipient is quite perplexing. The good news is at least I received the information and I have passed it on to them.

One comment made recently by a member of one of our pharmacies summed up some of our feelings: "We'll get a bus load of us and march on Washington. We're fed up."

Yes, we are fed up. The burden has been put on those of us challenged to provide a service, and we're determined to get everyone the help they need.

The state Division of Insurance, in conjunction with Access to Benefits Coalition (ABC), produced a wonderful newsletter loaded with great information including the Colorado medication list (the top 200 drugs formulary) and a list of Colorado drug insurance companies. This information was hot off the presses at the beginning of January and unfortunately is already outdated. The insurance companies can change their plans and medications any time they decide to.

For some, the new program is just what they've been waiting for, saving them a small fortune. For others, it's not working, with only a small bit of relief in sight. It is different for everyone. We provide one-on-one counseling during appointments at The Den Senior Center. Some appointments are complete in 15 minutes; others may take up to an hour. The process is simple: By accessing www.medicare.gov we are able to input the necessary Medicare information along with the participants prescription medication information. After a few minutes, we arrive at a screen that provides the least expensive program first. Some programs are available for as little as $8.62 a month; some plans have a $250 deductible, some do not, it depends on the medications you are taking. After a decision has been made by the participant, enrollment is just a click and a few questions away.

If you are having difficulty with your new plan, it is best you contact your drug plan directly; their number will be on your insurance card. If you are unable to get through, try calling (800) MEDICARE, they should have more answers than we do locally.

Medicare participants who have not enrolled in a program can call Medicare directly at (800) MEDICARE, Access Benefits Coalition Colorado at (800) 503-5190 or the Den for a one-on-one counseling appointment at 264-2167. Call first - walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

The bottom line is that Archuleta County cares about its people. The pharmacies, the volunteers at the Silver Foxes Den and I will see that each and every Medicare recipient receives the information and assistance they need. As for the tears, they have dried ... at least for now.


High school announces first-semester honor roll

The Pagosa Springs High School first-semester honor roll for the 12th grade - all A's: Heather Andersen, Daniel Aupperle, Christopher Baum, Emily Buikema, Juan Calderon, Jake Cammack, Heather Dahm, Kari Faber, Caitlin Forrest, Sandra Griego, Jim Guyton, Kody Hanavan, Jennifer Hilsabeck, Charles Hoch, Joshua Hoffman, Ursala Hudson, Elizabeth Kelley, Jamie Kern, Kelsey King, Derrick Monks, Meghan Montoya, Matthew Nobles, Sydney Poole, Orion Sandoval, Emilie Schur, Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz, Emmalynn Smith, Michael Snarr, Ashley Snyder, Charmaine Talbot, Katherina Vowles, Veronica Zeiler.

Also on the honor roll: Derek Davis, Brittany Feyen, Lynda Johnson Hall, Paul Muirhead, Kailey Smith, Briggitte Thompson, Brandi Torres, Jesse Weddle, Alis Dubner, Katie Erickson, Allen Abeyta, Ashley Brooks, Mia Caprioli, Kelly Freudenberger, Larissa Harwood, Casey Isaacson, Megan Jehnzen, Shelby King, Erika Lucero, Logan McLellan, Elijah Olachea, Paul Przybylski, Brandon Reid, Naquita Rivas, Annie Thompson, Adrian Begay.

The honor roll for the 11th grade, all A's: Jacob Beavers, Kimberly Canty, Hannah Clark, Iris Frye, Kimberly Fulmer, Malinda Fultz, Alaina Garman, Jamilyn Harms, Casey Hart, Jennifer Haynes, Anna Hershey, Lauren Hicks, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Kristin Hopper, Shanti Johnson, Kimberly Judd, Vekoslav Koshkin, Jessica Lynch, Elise McDonald, Jesse Miller, Jordyn Morelock, Laurel Reinhardt, Jenni Webb-Shearston.

Also on the honor roll: Sabra Brown, Adam Carroll, Kathryn Cumbie, Javier Iturriiaga, Jessica Johnson, Ohla Kostash, Sierra Lee, Jennifer Lobato, Benjamin James Martinez, Emily Martinez, Courtney Mercer, Grace Smith, Danielle Spencer, Tamara Stanton, Jessie Stewart, Trevor Trujillo, Dustin Bauer, David Dunmyre, Travis Furman, Joseph Gill, Hayley Goodman, Derek Harper, Carol Hart, Lacy Hart, Amanda Kovacic, Kyra Matzdorf, Danielle Megli, Alisa Murray, Ellen Niehaus, Tesh Parker, Fara Rediske, Kelly Sause, David Smith, Alex Vick, Julianna Whipple, Nicholas Bird, Westin Carey, Chelsea Cooper, Kelly Crow, Kristen DuCharme, Joshua Holloman, Mariah Howell, Kyle Lutsic, Lyndsey Mackey, Ashley Maddux, Corbin Mellette, and Josh Pringle.

The honor roll for the 10th grade, all A's: Chance Adams, Cody Bahn, Natalia Clark, Bruce Hoch, Alexie Johnson, Allison Laverty, Stephan Leslie, Shantilly Mills, Travis Moore, Trey Quiller, Forrest Rackham, Sarah Schultz, Rebecca Stephens.

Also on the honor roll; Madeline Bergon, Dan Cammack, Shannon DeBoer, Stephanie Earley, Mathew Fackler, Bradley Iverson, Joshua Laydon, Sarah Lilly, Hilary Matzdorf, Michael Moore, Keith Pitcher, Hannah Price, Isaiah Warren, Katrina Weiher, Stephanie Zenz, Caleb Burggraaf, Hannah Burnett, Cameron Creel, Stephanie Erickson, Patrick Ford, Eric Hurd, Kailee Kenyon, Catalina Esquivel, Kelly Gilbert, Brian Hostetter, Whitney Jackson, Laci Jones, Jessica Low, Tabitha Perry, Camille Rand.

The honor roll for the ninth grade, all A's: Anna Ball, Joseph DuCharme, Zane Gholson, Ashley Iverson, Stephanie Lowe, Julia Nell, Jackson Walsh, Laura Gonzalez, Alex Baum, Kyle Brookens, Jacob Faber, Aniceta Gallegos, Courtney Guilliams, Jaclyn Harms, Rachel Jensen, Jessica Martinez, Andrew Portnell, Gregory Rapp, Raesha Ray, Thomas Schmidt, Amanda Sutton, Brisa Burch, Dylan Caves, Allison Hart, Zel Johnston, Jennifer Low, Jennifer Mueller, Sackett Ross, Brittney Siler, Kade Skoglund, Shelby Stretton, Blake Bahn, Eric Freudenberger, Kelsey Hanavan, Jacob Haynes, John Jewell, Judith Martinez, Kaitlyn Potter, LaTarah Rivera, Bailey Wessels-Halverson.


Free Pap tests may detect early cases of cervical cancer

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment reminds readers that regular Pap tests can save lives.

Free cervical screenings in southwest Colorado are offered through the Colorado Women's Cancer Control Initiative (CWCCI) to women between 40 and 64 years of age without health insurance who meet qualifying income guidelines.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable types of cancer, yet more than 4,000 women die each year from the disease. Forty-five years ago, cervical cancer was the most common cause of cancer death for American women. Since then, the number of cervical cancer deaths in the United States declined by 74 percent due to increased use of the Pap test, a screening procedure that permits diagnosis of pre-invasive and early invasive cancer. If detected in its earliest, noninvasive stages, cervical cancer is nearly 100-percent treatable.

Cervical cancer death rates are higher for Native American and Latina women in Colorado, and the incidence rate is almost two times higher than Anglo women. In addition, Native Americans and Latinas with cervical cancer are usually diagnosed later than Anglo women.

All women are at risk for developing cervical cancer but if you smoke, your risk doubles. The best protection is early detection.

To find out if you qualify for a free Pap test, call San Juan Basin Health at 264-2409, Ext. 25, or Pagosa Women's Health at 264-2218.


PLPOA to sponsor blood drive Feb. 20

By Walt Lukasik

Special to The SUN

During the winter months, the supply of blood products dwindles due to the busy schedules of blood donors and their lack of time to volunteer. However, demand for these products remains high.

Therefore, Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, in conjunction with United Blood Services, will hold a blood drive Monday, Feb. 20, in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. The drive will be held from 1 to 5 p.m.

You can make a blood donation appointment by logging on to www.bloodhero.com and using sponsor code, "adppa," to access the sign-up schedule. You may also call the association offices at 731-5635, Ext. 24, and we can schedule an appointment for you.

If you cannot donate blood, but would like to help out, donations of snacks are welcome. Please contact our office if you wish to do so.


Commissioners agree to buy land, debate use

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following public input and outcry, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners authorized staff to purchase a piece of downtown property to be used as a future home for a new county courthouse.

The property is on Hot Springs Boulevard across from the Pagosa Springs Town Hall and is legally described as lots 1 through 13 of block 65 in the Town of Pagosa Springs, and as lots 1 through 3 of block 66, also in the Town of Pagosa Springs.

The property is owned by Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon and totals about 2.7 acres. The purchase price is $600,000.

The county currently owns an adjacent parcel of about 4.7 acres, and the acquisition would provide a 7-acre campus for the county facility.

Interim County Administrator Bob Jasper said the decision to pursue the purchase of more property adjacent to the currently owned county property was the product of joint meetings with the county, local judges and town, and the expression of a joint vision that the area should serve as a civic center for the community.

Jasper said Aragon recused himself from the discussion.

"Town felt pretty strongly they wanted to stay the course and have us across the street," Jasper said.

And Archuleta County Commissioner Ronnie Zaday said, "This is not something new that has just crept up. We've been looking since May 2005."

Commissioner Mamie Lynch described the plan of adjacent town and county government buildings as a mutually beneficial relationship and as part of the long-term vision of the county.

"I've long advocated keeping the courthouse downtown. To me this is an ideal situation to be adjacent to city hall," Lynch said.

She added that the situation would prove beneficial for downtown businesses. However, despite the board's approval to pursue the purchase - Lynch and Zaday voted in favor of the purchase, and Commissioner Robin Schiro voted against it - three key caveats govern the deal being sealed and the site ultimately being used for a future courthouse.

First, Robert Taylor owns a 22,000 square-foot parcel which breaks the contiguity of the two county properties. According to Jasper, Taylor is willing to trade his parcel for 25,000 square feet on the north end of the county property. The trade would allow Taylor to keep property along Hot Springs Boulevard while providing the county with the contiguity required to undertake the courthouse campus project.

The second caveat lies in ethics and a contractual agreement made during the purchase of the first 4.7 acre parcel.

According to Jasper and county attorney Sheryl Rogers, although not clearly deed restricted, certain language in the contract between the county and the seller of the current county property (Stanley Levine) prohibits a jail or sheriff's department from being built on the site.

The question remains: Would it be a breach of trust to build law enforcement and jail facilities on the adjacent property?

"We would like to work with Mr. Levine," Jasper said.

J.R. Ford urged the board to consider the ethical ramifications of building the jail and sheriff's department on the adjacent site. "You're not being fair to the original seller," Ford said.

The third caveat lies in the realm of public sentiment.

Although public comments were mixed on the site being used solely for a new Archuleta County Courthouse and administrative center, commenters remained largely unified in their opposition to a jail and sheriff's department being built on the site or in the downtown area.

The present location of the Archuleta County Courthouse houses jail facilities in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Mojie Adler and Steve Wadley said the site would prove problematic for both law enforcement and civilian traffic and said the site was a poor choice for courthouse, jail and sheriff's facilities.

Adler said traffic congestion was her primary concern, and Wadley said law enforcement traffic could be compromised by access to the property being dependent on two bridges across the San Juan River.

Gene Crabtree, although opposed to the site being used to construct a jail and sheriff's department, advocated county administration offices being situated on the property. Crabtree said the jail should be constructed outside the downtown area, and said 40 acres near the airport would be appropriate location for such facilities.

Jasper said he understood the Bureau of Land Management had donated the land to the county with the understanding it would be used for parks and trails, yet he said more research was required to determine if there were restrictions on the property.

Zaday said initial studies of the 40-acre site indicated infrastructure costs would make it too expensive to build such facilities on the property.

Jasper said the county had explored other options, including parcels outside of the downtown area and the idea of separate jail and sheriff's facilities but said, "There's a lot of efficiency and safety to be gained by keeping your sheriff's department and jail adjacent to the courthouse."

Lynch said Tuesday's board approval allows the county to pursue the purchase of the property along Hot Springs Boulevard but does not authorize construction of a courthouse or any other county facility.

"Again, this does not say there will be a jail downtown, it says we will buy the property," Lynch said.

Zaday agreed, "Buying the property sets us up to continue to look forward and it sets us up for the feasibility study. Purchasing the property doesn't put the building there."


District lauds school board members

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

If it's January, it's School Board Recognition Month. Hence, Archuleta School District 50 Joint and other districts statewide are pausing to acknowledge the community contributions made by their local volunteer board members.

"Volunteer school board members serve countless hours working to improve public education," said 50 Joint superintendent Duane Noggle. "School board members have a tremendous responsibility preparing today's students and tomorrow's leaders for productive roles in society."

According to local administration statistics, the 50 Joint board bears responsibility for an annual budget of $23.6 million, 1,635 students (ages five to 18), 228 employees and three campuses. Whether its five members are elected or appointed, they represent districts covering all of Archuleta County, and serve without compensation. Current board members include: President Mike Haynes, Vice-President Sandy Caves, Secretary/Treasure Matt Aragon, Linda Lattin and Ken Fox.

Mike Haynes was elected to the board in April, 2003 and has served as board president for the past year. With three children currently attending school in the district, he has a history of involvement in local education through volunteer work, including service on several school accountability committees. He also coaches AAU youth basketball, town youth league basketball, and baseball. As a civic-minded business owner in Pagosa Springs, he has served on the town planning commission, and devotes time to his political party and several other civic groups.

Vice-president Caves was elected to the board in November 2003 and now serves as the CASB Legislative Representative. She has three children currently attending school in the district, and one who graduated from Pagosa Springs High School. Prior to her board election, she volunteered time on school accountability committees, participated in the seventh-grade reading program (for six years), and was active in 4-H and Kiwanis.

A native of Pagosa Springs, Matt Aragon was appointed to the board in November 2004 and reelected (unopposed) in November 2005. With three children currently attending Pagosa Springs schools, he also coaches in the town youth league sports program. As a local business owner, he has experience in banking and served on the town Recreation Advisory Council. His lifelong knowledge of the area is another great asset.

Linda Lattin came to the board by election in November 2005, and serves as the District Review Committee Board Member Representative. She has a son currently enrolled at Pagosa Springs High School and a daughter who recently graduated from there. She also has a long record of service on the Pagosa Springs Town Board.

Ken Fox was appointed to the board in November 2005, when Cliff Lucero reached term limitation and no other district candidates stepped forward for the formal election. His daughter is a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, and he now has grandchildren attending area schools and relatives who teach in the district. A retired Air Force pilot, Fox served on the airport board of directors and is a former Archuleta County Commissioner. He now serves as BOCS board representative.

At the Jan. 10 regular District 50 Joint meeting, school superintendent Duane Noggle read a proclamation signed by administration members, recognizing the contributions by board members, and thanking them for their service. "We proudly join educators and community members in saluting these education advocates as they provide leadership for student achievement, academic programs, district funding, and school facilities. Those individuals deserve recognition and thanks for their commitment and dedication to the continuing success of our students and schools," he said.


Accountants, architects discuss Critical Access Hospital plan

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

"There are two types of towns—those with hospitals, and those without."

—Don Prochaska, health care facility architect.

The Upper San Juan Health Service District held a special luncheon meeting last Wednesday, introducing to the public two key firms involved with the planned Critical Access Hospital (CAH) in Pagosa Springs.

Phil Brummel, of BKD, the accounting firm studying the CAH's feasibility and Don Prochaska, of Prochaska and Associates, the architecture firm designing the CAH, were present at the meeting.

Brummel led off the meeting with a brief overview of the feasibility study, which will analyze the "numbers from a financial perspective." The study will forecast the local demand for services, and most importantly, estimate the number of Medicare patients that are expected to use the hospital.

The "Medicare percentage" is the critical component of the feasibility study, due to incentives provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to encourage the development of rural-centric health networks. Once a hospital is designated a CAH, it becomes eligible for the Rural Hospital Flexibility ("Flex") Program, administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), offering cost-based Medicare reimbursement.

Unlike the typical service-based Medicare reimbursement most hospitals receive, the cost-based program reimburses a percentage of the hospital's total expenses, including overhead costs and construction loan debt service. As an example, a CAH with a 50-percent Medicare base (based on total number of patient-days) will be reimbursed $500 for every $1,000 in expenses by the Flex program, regardless of actual Medicare charges. "That obviously has a significant influence" in the financials, said Brummel, who expects to be able to provide the forecasted Medicare patient volume in February.

Out of the approximately 5,000 hospitals in the U.S, about 1,200 have been designated as a CAH, with 25 in Colorado, since the U.S. Congress established the program in 1998. More information on the CAH program can be found on the Colorado Rural Health Center's Web site, at http://www.coruralhealth.org/cah.

Prior to the meeting, Prochaska inspected the Mary Fisher Clinic with engineer Paul Ryan, the firm's technical energy analyst, and Steven Riley, vice president of Prochaska and Associates. At the meeting, Prochaska announced that he believed that a "majority (of the existing Mary Fisher Clinic) will be reusable."

The current Mary Fisher Clinic has around 8,000 square feet of floor space. The new CAH is expected to cover around 30,000 to 35,000 square feet. By comparison, the new Mercy Regional Medical Center being built in Durango will have 350,000 and 375,000 square feet of floor space (including offices), according to Rick O'Block, Mercy's director of patient financial services and current business manager for the USJHSD.

Prochaska is currently contracted to perform an initial design analysis for the CAH (the firm's full involvement will begin only after a successful CAH bond issue ballot vote in May). Because the CAH is being planned on the "fast track," according to Larry Arthur of Healthcare Capital Resources, Prochaska will work incrementally with the chosen builder, GE Johnson, to provide construction drawings "as needed." Preliminary conceptual drawings, however, are expected to be completed prior to the May ballot election.

The following day, Prochaska and his team met for a day-long series of one-on-one meetings with members of the community, including Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch, Town Manager Mark Garcia, San Juan Basin Health District Manager Susie Kleckner, local health providers, members of the press, and an individual representing Pagosa's veterans.

Prochaska, whose firm's "core" business is designing institutional health care facilities, said his team is currently in the process of collecting information to develop the hospital's "program statement," which he compared to a recipe for a cook. Once the preliminary fact finding is completed, his firm will begin looking at the layout requirements, which he noted is the most critical aspect of a functional hospital's design. Although he intends to localize the architecture to be "very compatible with the community in terms of "style, pace, and quality of life," he noted that a hospital is an "engineering-driven kind of building," whose "internal layout is far more important than curb appeal."

Prochaska encourages "everybody and anybody" to visit the nearby Rio Grande Hospital in Del Norte (the nearest CAH to Pagosa Springs) to see an example of a functional CAH design.


Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

- Call to order / roll-call.

- Pagosa Pointe Conditional Use Permit.

This is a request to obtain approval of a Conditional Use Permit. Pagosa Pointe is a proposed multi-family affordable housing development located on 7.41 acres centrally located off of Piedra Road (County Road 600) approximately 1.3 miles north of U.S. 160. The development will ultimately contain nine housing complexes. In the first phase of the project there will be five buildings with 16 rental units in each complex for a total of 80 apartments A clubhouse will house the on-site management and maintenance team that will provide services to the resident community in the first phase. The second phase of the development will consist of four buildings with 16 units for a total of 64 apartments to complete build out. Of the 144 apartment units, there will be 72 two-bedroom apartments and the other 72 will be one-bedroom apartments.

The project is located off of County Rd. 600, approximately 1.3 miles north of U.S. 160. This project is located at 1230 County Road 600 across from the Cloman Boulevard more commonly knows as the SW 1/4 Section 9, Township 35N, Range 2 West.

- Review of the planning commission Minutes of Jan. 11, 2006.

- Other business that may come before the planning commission.

- Adjournment.



2005 firewood permits no longer valid

The San Juan Public Lands Center reminds southwestern Colorado residents that firewood permits are on sale each year between May and December, and firewood must be gathered from National Forest during that time frame.

Those who gather firewood from public lands without a current permit are subject to fines. Firewood permits are only good for the year in which they are purchased, so permits purchased prior to Dec. 31, 2005, are not valid for use now, and permits for 2006 will not be on sale until May.

Permits are sold from late spring through early winter because these times of year are the safest and most opportune times to collect firewood. As winter progresses, most forest service roads are gated and locked due to snow and often remain closed through early spring because of wet conditions.

For more information, contact the San Juan Public Lands Center at 247-4874.


Wild horse adoption in New Mexico Saturday

Twenty wild horses gathered from the Jicarilla Ranger District of the Carson National Forest northeast of Gobernador, N.M. will be available for adoption Saturday, Jan. 21, starting at 10:30 a.m. at Browning Ranch, 333 Browning Parkway, Farmington, N.M.

The horses vary in age, size and color, and are all in good health and excellent candidates for adoption. The horses will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for $125. Viewing date for the horses will be Friday, Jan. 20, from 1 - 6 p.m., or by appointment.

"These are nice looking horses with surprisingly good conformation, and we're looking forward to placing them in homes where they can be appreciated and well cared for," said Stan Dykes, wild horse coordinator.

The Carson's goal is to reduce the estimated population of 220 wild horses to a range between 50 to 105. Due to long-term drought conditions, range health has declined on the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory. To help remedy the range health situation, the District has limited all livestock grazing activity within the Wild Horse Territory. After the current gather, the Forest Service will discontinue gathering operations for foaling activity, and will be returning one black and white paint stallion to the wild herd.

If you're interested in adopting a wild horse you should review "Adopting a Wild Horse from the Carson National Forest" on the Web site listed below or request information from the Jicarilla Ranger District on adoption requirements. You must provide shelter from inclement weather and temperature extremes for your adopted wild horse. If you cannot meet the requirements, do not attempt to adopt a wild horse. A Forest Officer will check on the condition of adopted horses and the facilities that house them during the first probationary year.

Come prepared to haul the horse home the same day of the adoption.

A covered stock-type trailer will be required. Horses will not be loaded on two-horse trailers or trailers deemed to be inadequate. If you have questions about the adequacy of your trailer, do not hesitate to contact the Jicarilla Ranger District Office.

Information on Carson National Forest Wild Horse Adoption and pictures of the wild horses up for adoption can be viewed at www.fs.fed.us/r3/carson/natural_resources/index.shtml.

You can contact the Jicarilla Ranger District at (505) 632-2956 or e-mail Stan Dykes at ssdykes@fs.fed.us. An adoption application must be completed and submitted to the Jicarilla Ranger District in Bloomfield or at the Jan. 21 adoption at Browning Ranch.




Dear Editor:

Isn't it wonderful? An historic home ordinance and moratorium is established after three historic homes have been demolished - and the trees. Thank goodness Randall Davis made his move and saved a fourth.

Are the mayor's task force and the members of the big box committee working hard together to establish big box size restrictions which could have been adopted in August rather than waiting until the last minute in June?

Cindy Gustafson

Editor's note: There has been a town historic preservation ordinance (No. 533) in place since August 2000.


In its yard

Dear Editor:

The caption of the picture of Bear, the dog which was attacked by the mountain lion (Jan. 12) made a very good point. The caption's parting words were, "Bear reminds us to take care with pets and that the lion does not live in our yard - we live in his." Keeping this in mind, the owners of Bear should have let the lion have him. The lion, obviously hungry, was only exercising his natural property rights by procuring food from his own yard. Those who believe that we live "in their yard" and yet pluck their pets from the shopping baskets of predators do not support their own views with their actions.


Robert Kern, Jr.

Editor's note: The owners of the dog did not write the caption to the photograph, thus it is not accurate to assume they agree with its message.



Dear Editor:

We just had the unfortunate task of helping the sheriff of our county lay to rest his classy wife of nearly 50 years. In testimony of the kind of person she was, it was definitely exemplified in the standing-room-only turnout at the church in which her service was held.

There was an extraordinarily large number of people who went to the family cemetery over in Bayfield. The sheriff's department exemplified true professionalism in the manner in which they handled the family and friends at the church and all along the way to the final resting place in Bayfield. Hats came off at intersections, salutes were tendered to the sheriff and the family car and it was most impressive to see the uniforms pressed to a "T," and it came with all the white gloves. Undersheriff Grandchamp was seen all around before, during and after the services, tending to the family and overlooking the department in the sheriff's absence; not once did you see him telling an officer of his what to do, as their professionalism took over and was handled like seasoned veterans. The deputies who patrol our roads, their corporals, sergeants and captains and even the jail department was represented at this most impressive funeral.

Our fire department and their counterparts in the EMT service all stood and were well recognizable. Our county can be pleased and well-blessed to have people like these individuals helping us in our times of need. These men and ladies are at our fingertips in a moment's notice and, again, always there to lend a helping hand with their professionalism.

The Colorado Mounted Rangers took over early at the church and at the intersections leading to and from the services and again back to the highway leading to the cemetery. Their impeccable uniforms could be seen all around and the Rangers helped anyone who had a question mark look on their face. Great bunch of folks and thanks to all of you.

The Colorado State Patrol (with which our sheriff spent 31 years before retiring) was well represented by former and present members from all parts of the state. In fact, it was the patrol that furnished the motorcycle escort to Bayfield, and they had it all under control and were most impressive looking gentlemen. This was an assembly of high-ranking officers from headquarters district in the Denver area and other parts of the state. This just shows us what kind of a sheriff we have here in Pagosa and Archuleta County. We've all been so lucky.

God bless you, Wyoma, and who knows, we might even make another RV trip together someday, somewhere, somehow, in another part of the world. We love you.

Bob and Shirley Sprague

Community News

Students perform 'Alibis' at PSHS this week

By Becca Stephens

Special to The PREVIEW

The student-directed play, "Alibis," by Peter Kennedy, performed by the students of Sean Downing's drama class at Pagosa Springs High School, is sure to thrill and surprise you with it's clean comedy and wild twists.

Admission is $1 for students and $2 for the general public. Proceeds from the play will go to support future high school drama club and drama class productions.

Performances will be held in the high school auditorium at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 and 21. They run about one hour and 30 minutes with a 10-minute intermission.

Please join us for an evening of mystery and intrigue.


Film society meets tomorrow

Tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 20, the Pagosa Springs Film Society will screen and discuss "What the Bleep Do We Know?" at 7 p.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.

The protagonist, Amanda, played by Marlee Matlin, finds herself in a fantastic Alice in Wonderland experience when her daily, uninspired life literally begins to unravel, revealing the uncertain world of the cellular, molecular and even quantum worlds which lie beneath. It is part documentary, part story, and part elaborate, even inspiring, visual effects and animations.

The UU Fellowship Hall is Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. A suggested $3 donation will benefit The Friends of the Library.


Financial aid night planned at high school

The counseling department of Pagosa Springs High School invites all seniors, juniors and their parents to a financial aid presentation 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, in the high school auditorium. The department also invites any students who are home-schooled or who attend private schools.

Presenters will be Judy Ransom, from CollegeInvest, and Elaine Redwine, from Fort Lewis College.

Ransom has many years experience working with financial aid departments of Colorado universities and colleges.

Redwine is the financial aid director at Fort Lewis.

They will discuss the College Opportunity Fund, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, grants, loans and other means to pay for college or technical school. This meeting is a must for any senior who plans to attend any type of schooling beyond high school.


Prayer service for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

By Kathy Koy

Special to The PREVIEW

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday will be Jan. 22.

This Sunday is a remembrance of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision on Jan. 22, 1973. Since that time, over 40 million lives have been aborted.

The Pregnancy Support Center will hold a prayer service 6-7 p.m. Jan. 22, at the site of the future facility at the corner of 8th and Apache streets, directly east of LPEA. The Center will be lighting luminaries to participate in the national "A Light in the Darkness" campaign, which raises support for America's Pregnancy Resource Centers.

Luminaries are available for $1 each. If you would like to purchase a luminary or would like more information on the prayer service or Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, contact Kathy Koy at the Pregnancy Support Center at 264-5963.


Next SHY RABBIT workshop Jan. 21 with Jules Masterjohn

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

SHY RABBIT invites you to attend Artist's Statements: Writing about One's Creative Work, with Jules Masterjohn, 1-4 p.m. Jan. 21. Cost is $35.

The Artist's Statements Workshop is the first in a series from Masterjohn's professional development workshops: From the Inside Out.

As the programs and exhibits director for the Durango Arts Center from 1999-2004, Masterjohn was responsible for directing and managing all aspects of the educational programs for artists and the gallery education/docent programs presented within the gallery. She was also in charge of conceiving, organizing and installing 10 exhibits annually, as well as working with volunteers and interns for program support.

Masterjohn also worked as the education and outreach coordinator for the Maude Kerns Art Center in Eugene, Ore., from 1998-1999. She holds a B.A. in fine arts, cum laude, from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., along with a M.F.A. in ceramics, from California State University, Long Beach.

Bring a finished piece of work from which to craft an artist's statement. This workshop will explore the uses for an artist's statement, as well as its format and flavor. Examples of artist's statements will be given as resource materials.

Through the use of slides and discussion, an introduction to the visual vocabulary (line, shape, color, etc.,) design principles (balance, rhythm, etc.) and basic styles or "isms" of art (realism, abstraction, nonobjective, etc.) will be presented. This introduction offers workshop participants a common vocabulary through which to understand and, thus, to communicate about their work.

Each participant will receive personalized attention while writing his or her statement. At the workshop's end, participants will have all the tools necessary to fully craft their artist's statement.

Class size is limited to 20 and will fill quickly, so sign up early. Registration fees are nonrefundable. Call 731-2766 or e-mail shyrabbit01@aol.com for more information or to register. The workshops will take place at The Space @ SHY RABBIT, 333 Bastille Drive, Unit B-4.

Future professional development workshops include Keeping it Together: Organizational Skills for Artists. Workshop date to be announced.

Stressing the importance of having professional documentation at one's fingertips, this workshop will present various options for archiving and presenting their professional work through the creation of an artist's portfolio. This record is an excellent way to chronicle one's creative life as well as a necessary tool for presenting oneself to a prospective client or gallery.

The workshop will deal with an introduction to resume writing, archiving media coverage, slide organization and slide tracking systems.


Teen Center plans grand opening

The Teen Center is celebrating its grand opening with a formal dance, "A Garden of Lights."

The event will be held 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. Food and beverages will be provided. A professional DJ will spin.

The Teen Center is seeking cash and product donations from local businesses so this special event can be offered free of charge. The Teen Center needs volunteers to chaperone the grand opening. Volunteers are also needed during the week to supervise the Teen Center during its hours of operation.

For more information on the Teen Center, to donate or to volunteer, call Jen Stockbridge, center coordinator, at 264-4152 Ext. 31, or e-mail pagosateencenter@centurytel.net.


Stanford alumni, family to make rail trip

Four Corners Stanford University alumni, family, friends and guests are invited to take a train ride on the Historic Durango & Silverton Railroad's winter steam train to Cascade Canyon 9:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18.

Enjoy great company in a heated coach car puffing up the spectacular canyon full of wonderful snowy scenes and vistas.

Tickets are $45 per adult, $22 per child ages 5-11 (under 5 free). Prepaid reservations only must be received by Bev Warburton by Feb. 1. Make checks payable to Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad. Send to Bev Warburton, 93 Oakbrush Dr., Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

R.S.V.P. to Bev Warburton, 731-0343.


EcoNest lecture and

booksigning at community center

Join Paula and Robert Laporte for a lecture and booksigning 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Pagosa Community Center, 551 Hot Springs Blvd.

A bird builds its nest using the materials at hand to create a perfect shelter for its bio-region. It doesn't fly to the next state for twigs nor does it build a home that is bigger than it needs. Instinctively it creates an environment that is nurturing, nontoxic, creating no waste and neither borrowing nor stealing resources from future generations.

These exemplary owner/builders know how to build and repair their own shelters. When they have no more use for their nests, the building materials decompose, becoming fertile ground for nature's regenerative miracle.

This is natural building and the authors' inspiration for their newly-published book, "EcoNests: Creating Sustainable Sanctuaries of Clay, Straw, and Timber."

EcoNests are simple, elegant, and healthful handcrafted dwellings that welcome owner participation in their construction. They utilize natural building techniques including timber framing, clay/straw walls, earth plastering, and natural, non-toxic finishes. An EcoNest is built to last for centuries, serving many generations, and is designed to work in harmony with its natural surroundings. Mindful siting, reverence for what is present in the nature of the site, roof water collection, alternatives for gray water and human waste, composting and power from the sun are also important components of EcoNest design.

The book profiles 10 different homes located around the country, including floor plans with interior and exterior photos for each. EcoNest explores the benefits of building a healthful home and offers useful tips for the homebuilder. The average person spends 90-95 percent of their time indoors, therefore, the home should be a sanctuary that nurtures body, mind and spirit.

Paula Baker-Laporte A.I.A. Is a graduate of the University of Toronto School of Architecture (1978) and the Institute of Baubiology and Ecology (1995). Her architectural firm has been designing fine custom homes in Santa Fe since 1986 specializing in non-toxic and sustainable design. She is the primary author of "Prescriptions for a Healthy House," and contributing author to several other books. She lectures, writes extensively and travels throughout the country consulting about healthy and ecologically sound building.

Robert Laporte, founder of the EcoNest Building Company (www.econest.com) and the Natural House Building Center, is a leading expert in earth, straw and timber frame structures. He has been designing and building natural homes for the past 20 years in Canada and the United States, most recently bringing the EcoNest concept to Scandinavia. He has researched natural building extensively in Europe and has been a major influence in the introduction of light strawclay building to North America.


Library program for school-age kids starts tomorrow

By Barb Draper

Special to The PREVIEW

Sisson Library staff is excited about offering another brand new program for all school-aged kids in the community.

The Friday Afternoon Library Club kicks off this Friday after school at Ruby Sisson Library. From 1:30 (or as soon as kids can get to the library) until 3 p.m. there will be stories, book discussions, games, light refreshments, and book-related crafts and activities.

There will be three age groups, so everyone can enjoy activities that are age and interest level appropriate.

Volunteers and staff will divide kids into the following groups: kindergarten through grade two; grades three through five; and grades six through eight. These are rough guidelines, and as there are some great second- and fifth-grade readers out there, some of these kids may choose to attend activities with the older group and this is fine.

The program will take place on the third Friday of the month, and will continue through the end of the school year. Dates for the program are Jan. 20, Feb. 17, March 17, April 21 and May 19.

At the first session, everyone who attends will be given a fun tour of the library in the form of a scavenger hunt. Everyone will have a chance to apply for a library card. There will be a literature activity, and all who attend will have a chance to provide their own ideas about subjects, book discussions, etc. for upcoming programs. There will be time at the end of the activities for everyone to check out books.

Parents do not have to be in attendance during the programs, but are welcome if they wish to be at the library. Parents, please make arrangements to pick your children up as close to 3 p.m. as possible.

Volunteers are always welcome. If any of you have a special interest you would like to share with kids, call me at the library at 264-2209. I am especially looking for individuals who would enjoy interacting with the sixth- through eighth-grade group and someone who would be interested in starting a chess group.

So, kids, mark your calendars for each of the next five sessions, bring your friends and your ideas about what you'd like to do, and be ready for a fun Friday afternoon.


Winds of the West concert a tribute to music teachers

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse provided an elegant setting last Saturday for the Winds of the West classical music concert produced by Elation Center for the Arts.

The concert was a tribute to those who encourage others to find music and rhythm in their lives. Nearly all the musicians who performed at Winds are music teachers.

The performers included John Graves (piano and master of ceremonies), Dave Krueger (soprano and alto flutes), Chris Baum (violin), Harvey Schwartz (piano), Larry Elginer (trumpet), Joy Redmon (flute), Valley Lowrance (bassoon), Tim Bristow (clarinet), Lisa Hartley (flute), Melinda Baum (piano), Natalie Tyson (harp), Carla Roberts (tenor recorder) and Paul Roberts (guitar).

The evening began with an acknowledgment of Kate Terry who has encouraged local cultural arts for the past 15 years in her weekly column, "Local Chatter," in The SUN. Also, along the lines of encouraging the cultural arts scene, praise was given to the Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance for its hard work and determination towards the goal of creating a regional community cultural arts center in Pagosa Springs.

There were many highlights during the evening, one of which was a performance by violinist Chris Baum who performed the Bruch "Concerto in G Minor," accompanied by Melinda Baum on piano, which received a standing ovation.

Classical music aficionados came all the way from Durango and there were numerous expressions of praise for the event from the 160 people who attended.

An 8 by 10-foot stage, decked out with gorgeous blue carpet, was custom-built by Dan Burgess. The Music Boosters generously loaned professional lighting, operated by production expert, Ed Lowrance. Carla Roberts designed an artistically lighted set piece and the stage backdrop.

Concertgoers brought an abundant supply of desserts, and the audience enjoyed socializing during the intermission.

The musicians are hoping to incorporate the use of a real piano, instead of an electronic keyboard, for future concerts. Any suggestions as to how a quality instrument might be obtained would be appreciated.

For further information about ECA's community concerts, call 731-3117.


'Magnificent obsession' Christian women's winter retreat

The ninth annual Christian Women's Winter Retreat will be held Feb. 3, 4 and 5 at Sonlight Christian Camp near Pagosa Springs.

The theme this year is "Magnificent Obsession." Revelation 2:4 says it best: "You have forsaken your first love." We are called to return to our first love. The pursuit of a love affair with the Lord must become a Christian's single "magnificent obsession" for every aspect of life. This retreat will help your Christian life become a Holy obsession. Don't miss this amazing "love" story weekend.

The featured speaker will be Kathy Flammang, of Transformations Ministries. Kathy is one who knows the power of the Word to radically change the inner character as well as the outward form. This knowledge came through experiencing revolutionary change in her life. As she began to know the truth, the truth set her free. She has a heart full of compassion and an urgency to light the fire of God within women's hearts through his Word.

Kathy is the founder of Transformations Ministries, the purpose of which is to create a hunger for God while providing healing and hope. More information about her ministry is available at: www.transformationsministries.com. Her works include 10 written Bible studies, one book, teaching tapes, DVDs and, most recently, the groundbreaking study entitled "Hold Fast," which reveals biblical customs and truths that Jesus practiced, believed and taught.

The cost of this retreat is $95, which includes two nights lodging and five meals. Call Teresa Mael at 264-4786 or Laura Manley at 731-4052 for further information or to register.


Art, music, drama at Restoration Fellowship

By Ed Keiffer

Special to The PREVIEW

A new ministry is beginning at Restoration Fellowship at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20. It is called "KAIO Š a school of Art, Dance, Drama and Music."

If you or your children have an interest in learning an instrument, creative arts or worship leadership to share the Gospel, it is now possible and affordable. Tuition is free. Students will be charged for instructional materials.

Beginning 2-4 p.m. tomorrow, and noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, Christian Arts of interest will be taught in the Children's Equipping Center at Restoration Fellowship Church.

Worship Leadership, piano and guitar lessons are presently scheduled.

A free snack will be provided on Fridays.

It's not too late: If you or your child are interested in becoming a student, secure a copy of the rules and regulations and application form.

For applications contact Ed Keifer, ministry assistant, at 731-0314, or Virginia Humphreys, director of the Children's Equipping Center, at 731-2937.

Fill out and return the application form(s) to Restoration Fellowship Church, 264 Village Drive, or come by the church Friday or Saturday during KAIO hours to register.

Late registrations will be accepted.

KAIO schedule

Fridays: 2-4:30 p.m. Saturdays: noon-3 p.m.

First session - Jan. 20 to Feb. 25.

Second session - March 31 to May 13.

Third session - Oct. 6 to Nov. 11.


Intentions in Action

workshop scheduled in Pagosa

By Karen Aspin

Special to The PREVIEW

Having just completed a tour of 26 cities across the country, local resident Tony Burroughs will present an Intentions in Action Workshop based on his latest book, "The Code: Nine Intentions for a Better World."

This self-empowering seminar will be held at the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Clubhouse at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, and will last approximately three hours with a potluck and social hour to follow.

Tony Burroughs is a self-empowerment advocate and community maker whose work has bridged the gap between the mainstream and the miraculous. He is the co-founder of The Intenders of the Highest Good, a worldwide intentional community dedicated to achieving the highest potential of the individual and of the community. Tony was an avocado farmer in Hawaii until 10 years ago when he and three friends developed The Intention Process, a simple but practical empowerment technique that combines the "Laws of Manifestation" with an "Intenders Circle," so that people are able to express their intentions and gratitude and bring their hearts' desires into reality.

Tony is a fun, lighthearted speaker who tells story after story in his workshops about "The Intention Process" and how it has changed peoples lives for the better. He was the keynote speaker at the recent Durango Whole Expo and last year's Denver Celebration Fair. Tony is the author of several books including "The Intenders Handbook," "The Highest Light Teachings," "The Intenders of the Highest Good" and a video, "The Intention Process: A Guide for Conscious Manifestation and Community-Making." His books are available at WolfTracks and Moonlight Books in Pagosa Springs and Jungle Chic in Durango.

For more information about this workshop or the Intenders Circle in Pagosa Springs, contact Vicki at 731-5878 or vicki@intenders.com or visit the Web site at www.intenders.com.

Grace E-Free hosts Sonlife women's seminar

Grace Evangelical Free Church will host Sonlife's Growing Healthy Women in Ministry Seminar Jan. 28 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

This seven-hour seminar is designed for women's ministry leaders to learn the principles of movement and multiplication from the life and priorities of Christ. It uses ancient timeless Biblical principle truths to challenge leaders to develop a ministry that will win the lost, build the believer and equip the worker.

This seminar is designed for women in all levels of leadership and from any denomination. Registration is $49 per person and includes a 90-page manual and lunch.

Visit Grace online at www.graceinpagosa.org for more information and registration instructions, or call the church office at 731-6200.


"Two Bethlehems' at UU service

On Sunday, Jan. 22, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a service entitled "Two Bethlehems: A Journey of the Heart," presented by Dale and Betty Schwicker.

Bethlehem evokes images dear to Christians - the little pastoral town where Jesus was born - where shepherds and wise men came to witness and pay homage to the newborn king. Yet there are other images. As missionaries in the West Bank, the Schwickers experienced two Bethlehems - one of hope, joy and happiness and one of oppression, suffering and injustice.

They were privileged to work with an extraordinary group of people dedicated to serving Palestinian people with disabilities. When the ongoing unrest in the Middle East escalated, the YMCA was hit by gunfire and the rehabilitation clients were sent home. An emergency program was implemented to respond to the growing counseling and rehab needs in the Bethlehem area, especially the children traumatized by the violence.

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 Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.


Local Chatter

'Winds of the West' a joy to hear

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Last Saturday evening at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, Elation Center for the Arts produced another of its concerts - this time one that featured classical music.

The concert, called "Winds of the West," was a joy to hear. That so much local talent could be "showcased" in one concert is remarkable. But, it is so, that most all the performers are, or have been, music teachers or professional musicians, or both.

The audience was appreciatively receptive of all performances: the flute quartet with Joy Redmon, Dave Krueger, Lisa Hartley and Melinda Baum; Natalie Tyson on harp; Larry Elginer on trumpet; the woodwind trio with Valley Lowrance on bassoon, Tim Bristow on clarinet and Joy Redmon on flute; Paul and Carla Roberts on guitar and tenor recorder, Harvey Schwartz on piano; and Melinda Baum who accompanied Elginer and her son, Chris Baum, who played the violin.

The highlight of the program was the standing ovation given Chris Baum. His rendition of Bruch's "Concerto in G Minor" was outstanding.

Chris is a senior in high school. He is concertmeister of the newly organized Durango Youth Symphony and also performs with the San Juan Symphony and the All State Orchestra for Colorado.

We will hear more about Chris Baum.

John Graves was master of ceremonies and he entertained us with his piano rendition of giving a piano lesson. Although he does this often, it never gets old.

To close, "Winds of the West" was a wonderful program.

Around Town

The Ruby Sisson Library was host this past Saturday to an orientation for volunteers, both old and new. Over 50 people were in attendance.

A question often asked is how does one become a Friend of the Library? The Friends is open to all. A family membership is $10, an individual or student membership is $5, and a life membership is $100.

The library's annual meeting and book sale in August is sponsored by the Friends. It is one of the biggest social gatherings in Pagosa Springs, an event where people not only get to view the available books for sale, but can eat from the long buffet of food provided by Friends and staff and others. The way it works: one enters, gets in the long line of people, pays dues and then eats. Then comes the meeting, then the chance to browse and select books. The general public has its chance at the sale the next day.

The book sale has always been on a Friday in August. Set up is on Thursday. The Pagosa Fire Protection District has done the job of transporting the stored books to the Extension Building, and the Friends (and their visitors) set up the books. It is a fun time (as well as educational).

Because the library was under new construction this past summer, the book sale was canceled. It was certainly missed. One can join the Friends by paying dues at the front desk in the library.

Fun on the Run

Murphy's laws for parents Š

- The tennis shoes you must replace today will go on sale next week.

- Leakproof thermoses - will.

- The chances of a piece of bread falling with the grape jelly side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

- The garbage truck will be two doors past your house when the argument over whose day it is to take out the trash ends.

- The shirt your child must wear today will be the only one that needs to be washed or mended.

- Gym clothes left at school in lockers mildew at a faster rate than other clothing.

- The item your child lost, and must have for school within the next 10 seconds, will be found in the last place you look.

- Sick children recover miraculously when the pediatrician enters the treatment room.

- Refrigerated items, used daily, will gravitate toward the back of the refrigerator.


Community Center News

Clubs, classes in high gear at community center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Do you have an interest in Germany or Austria or the German language? Do you enjoy knockwurst and sauerkraut? Perhaps you have traveled in Germany and Austria.

Plan to attend the next gathering of the Aus-Ger Club, Feb. 2 at the Buffalo Inn on North Pagosa Boulevard. An Austrian lunch will be served at noon. Afterward, those attending will share ideas and conversation. Call Roger Behr, club president, at 731-0409 or the community center at 264-4152 for more information.

Beginning yoga class

The positive comments and the enthusiasm of those who have attended one of Richard Harris' weekly beginning yoga classes are wonderful to hear. Mothers are bringing daughters, friends are bringing friends. Richard applauds the willingness of the class to slough off old preconceptions and try something new and different.

The class will proceed uninterrupted the first two weeks of February, despite Richard's absence. Diana Baird has agreed to teach. The group meets every Thursday at 11 a.m. Bring a towel or yoga mat and dress in comfortable clothes. Call 264-4152 for more information.

Thai cooking class

The community center is preparing to offer another in its series of cooking classes. This one will feature Thai cuisine. Call 264-4152 and leave your name and phone number if you are interested in learning more about this exotic and delicious cuisine.


This note comes from Melissa Bailey:

"It was another successful meeting of the Pagosa Springs Community Scrapbook Club. The club met Saturday in the community center's arts and crafts room. A variety of projects were tackled, from scrapbook pages to get well cards. The club is a great way to unwind, make new friends and be creative all in a fairly short period of time.

"There are a few changes in the club's meeting schedule for 2006. We will only be meeting one Saturday a month, but have extended our meeting time by one hour.

"We will meet Saturday, Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the arts and crafts room. Our goal is to work on Valentine projects. If you would like to attend, or have any questions, please feel free to call the center at 264-4152 or the club's host for February, Allison Wylie, at 264-2824. Please come and join in on the fun."

Valentine's dance

Get out your dancing boots and polish them up. Dust off your western hat and wash your bandana. The Valentine's Dance at the community center will be a rip-roaring good country time!

Music will be provided by one of this area's best bands, Tim Sullivan & Narrow Gauge. Tim is a enormously popular singer-songwriter from Durango who has performed at Fort Lewis College and the Wild Horse Saloon in Durango and at the Archuleta County Fair here in Pagosa Springs. So, make a note on your calendar for Friday, Feb. 10, 7-11 p.m.

Tickets are printed and will be available soon at the CC and WolfTracks. Cost is $20 per person in advance, $25 at the door. The price includes snacks, desserts and soft drinks. A cash bar with beer and wine at nominal prices will be available. Siri Schuchardt is putting together the list of volunteers who will provide food, decorations and help with setting up tables and chairs for the dance. Watch this column for more details about the food, decorations and ticket sales.

Computer Lab news

The Beginning Computing class had an auspicious start.

Every seat is filled in the Tuesday and Wednesday classes for seniors. If you had hoped to join this group of beginners, please be patient while waiting for the new classes to start in March. Do, however, sign up early. About one third of the available seats are already spoken for. Call me at 264-4152 to reserve your space.

Those of you who have used the computers in the lab know the Firefox browser has been loaded onto all of them. Firefox is an alternative to the much more commonly used Microsoft product, Internet Explorer. A browser is a piece of software that can locate and display web pages. Both IE and Firefox are graphical browsers, meaning than they can display graphics as well as text. Most browsers can also display sound and video, although they may require additional pieces of software, called plugins, in order to do that. Several differences between IE and Firefox cause me to prefer Firefox and to encourage you to try it. The free download, by the way, can be found at mozilla.com/firefox. Tabbed browsing in Firefox lets you load multiple Web pages in separate tabs of a single browser window, so you can jump between them quickly and easily. Perhaps you're reading a news story and want to follow an interesting link without losing your place in the original story. With tabbed browsing, you can do this without filling your desktop with new, unorganized browser windows. In addition, Firefox is somewhat more secure than IE, mainly because fewer people use it, so it is less attractive to hackers.

A home page is the Web site which automatically loads when you open your browser. With Firefox, you have the capability of having multiple home pages. Simply open as many Web sites in as many tabs as you wish to load at startup, then go to Tools > Options > General, and click on the "Use Current Pages" button under the Home Page section.

Whether it's news from CNN, or posts on your favorite blog, the Web is updated continually. Firefox's Live Bookmarks feature automatically keeps track of these updates for you, so you always know when new content has been added to your favorite sites. With Live Bookmarks, the content comes to you. Instead of constantly checking Web pages for changes and additions, a Live Bookmark delivers updates to you as soon as they are available. Firefox may not be your cup of tea, but it's certainly worth a look.

Thank you to Lynn and Nick Constan and to Harvey and Marge Houseman for their donations of computer systems. Thanks also to Tom Willis for the mice and keyboards.

Questions about computer use? Call me at 264-4152.

Winter hours

During the winter months, the center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday hours will be 10 to 4.

Programs/activities needed

Do you have a special talent, hobby, or interest you would like to share - singing, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, foreign language conversation group, coffee mornings, sports, etc.? We're looking for volunteers interested in forming any of these groups. Call Mercy with your ideas at 264-4152, Ext. 22.

Need a place to have a party or meeting? We have very affordable rooms for small, mid-size and large groups. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audiovisual equipment are available, too. The center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.


Senior News

A simple 'neck check' for thyroid problems

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

January Is Thyroid Awareness Month

Thyroid disease is more common than diabetes or heart disease. Thyroid disease is a fact of life for 27 million Americans - and more than half of these people remain undiagnosed.

Aging is just one risk factor that can contribute to hypothyroidism, a disease in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Women are five times more likely than men to suffer from hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly shaped gland located at the base of your neck, just below your Adam's apple. Your thyroid gland helps control the function of many of your body's organs, including your heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and skin.

There are five easy steps to take the thyroid "neck check" that could save your life. All you need is a glass of water and a hand-held mirror.

1) Hold the mirror in your hand, focusing on the area of your neck just below the Adam's apple and immediately above the collarbone. Your thyroid gland is located in this area of your neck.

2) While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back.

3) Take a drink of water and swallow.

4) As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow. Repeat this process many times.

5) If you do see any bulges or protrusions in this area, see your physician.

Ensuring that your thyroid gland is healthy is important to your body's overall well being.

Free monthly movie

Our movie at The Den 1 p.m. tomorrow, Jan. 20, is "Two Weeks Notice," rated PG-13. Millionaire real estate developer George Wade (Hugh Grant) doesn't make a move without Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) his multi-tasking chief counsel. Now, after a year of calling the shots - on everything from George's clothes to his divorce settlements - Lucy is giving her two weeks' notice. Finally free of George and his 24-hour requests, Lucy is ready to change course Š or is she? Join us for free popcorn in the lounge for this heartfelt romantic comedy.

Cross country skiing

Enjoy the Pagosa Springs winter, get some exercise and have a blast all at the same time.

Pagosa's scenery, with the snow covered mountains hovering above, is a great backdrop for a ski trek. But, first thing's first - you must learn to cross country ski.

Join The Den at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Alpine Haus, located in the Pagosa Springs Golf Course clubhouse. Learn the basics of the sport of cross country skiing or upgrade your skills. Sign up with the Den office by Friday, Jan. 20, to participate in this outdoor adventure.

This is a great class for beginners, even if you have never had skis attached to your feet before. Professional cross country ski instructors will teach you the basics as you explore the level ski trails around the golf course. It is an excellent place to begin your new hobby because the terrain is flat, close to civilization, and all of your equipment is included. The price of this instructional cross country ski lesson is $15, including all of the necessary equipment. So put on those hat and gloves and experience the beauty of our Colorado winters.

Library tour

The library in Pagosa Springs was created way back in 1896. It was started by the Woman's Civic Club, which gathered and organized collections of books donated from a New York Methodist gentleman and a local attorney, Frank Spitzer.

The library has been located in a variety of places, such as a log cabin by the river and in Town Hall. The Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library is located at the corner of U.S. 160 and South 8th Street and the newly remodeled 7,000 square-foot library houses 30,000 books. The Den is going on a one-hour tour of this remarkable new facility at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. Join us to learn about the resources available at our own local library such as the extensive reading material for all interests, the genealogy collection, audio tapes, movies and large print books. And, get a crash course on how to use the catalog system. Sign up with The Den office to participate in this insightful event. For more information on the new library, check out their Web site at www.pagosalibrary.org.

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or over and your birthday is in January, come down to The Den Friday, Jan. 27 for a delicious lunch and to celebrate your birthday. Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will only cost $1 for a great lunch and birthday cake.

Yoga and Qi Gong

The older we get, the more important it becomes to stretch on a regular basis. Yoga and Qi Gong are two of the best ways to stretch, relax and build strength. Yoga has been changed to Tuesdays at 10 a.m. with Qi Gong remaining on Fridays at 10 a.m. Mark your calendars and join these classes free of charge at The Den and experience a healthier mind and body.

Price changes

The Den raised the suggested donation prices for both transportation and lunches, effective January 2006. Transportation on our new handicap accessible bus in our service area will have a suggested donation of $2. Lunches for the congregate meals (including the salad bar) at The Den and the home delivered meals, will both have a suggested donation of $3.

It has been a long time since we have raised the suggested donation, and we hope with the increase in prices in fuel and food over the last few years, that you will understand the necessity of our suggested donation increases. Thank you for your support and your understanding.

Seniors Inc. membership

Seniors Inc. memberships for folks aged 55 and over are being sold at The Den. The 2006 memberships can be purchased for $5 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. No memberships will be sold Thursdays.

Your Seniors Inc. membership entitles you to a variety of great discounts from participating merchants in our area. For qualifying members, it provides scholarships to assist with the costs for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental expenses, prescriptions and medical equipment. Your Seniors Inc. membership will also cover $20 of the transportation fee for medical shuttles to Durango. The Den's Monthly Mystery trips to fascinating destinations are sponsored by Seniors Inc., so these cool trips in the warmer months are open to all members.

As you can see, the benefits of a Seniors Inc. membership are endless, so stop on in at The Den during the scheduled hours to renew or purchase your annual membership. Please remember that you do not need to be a Seniors Inc. member to join us at The Den. Everyone is welcome to be a part of our extended family.

Medicare Drug appointments

Have questions regarding the new Medicare Drug Insurance plans? The Den can help.

Medicare Drug Insurance appointments can be scheduled at The Den with the director, Musetta Wollenweber. Walk-ins without appointments will not be accepted. Call The Den at 264-2167 for an appointment to answer your questions and help you choose a plan that best fits your needs.

Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed at The Den to help enroll folks in the new Medicare Drug Insurance program and offer Medicare counseling. Training will be provided and computer skills are necessary. Call Musetta at 264-2167 if you are able to donate a few hours a week.

Durango medical shuttles

Senior Services will now be handling the medical shuttles to Durango. The transportation fee for the medical shuttles is $40. If you are a member of Seniors Inc., the transportation cost is $20 because Seniors Inc. will pay half of your medical shuttle fees. Our medical shuttles provide door-to-door service for your doctor appointments in Durango Monday through Friday. Emergency shuttle services are not available. Please try to schedule your medical shuttle at least one week in advance. This would be greatly appreciated since it is a volunteer program. Medical shuttles scheduled less than 48 hours in advance will not be accommodated.

Activities at a glance

Today - Victoria's Parlor luncheon, 11:30 a.m.; lunch in Arboles at noon, (reservations required by Jan. 17); $1 birthday lunch celebrations.

Friday, Jan. 20 - Spirit Day, wear your Silver Foxes Den shirts; Qi gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 1 p.m.; free movie, "Two Weeks Notice" rated PG-13 with popcorn in the lounge, 1 p.m.; final day to sign up for cross country skiing and library tour.

Monday, Jan. 23 - Susan Stoffer available for coaching and counseling, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 24 - Yoga in motion, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.; cross country skiing, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 25 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; tour of Sisson Library, 1 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 27 - Spirit Day, wear your Silver Foxes Den shirts; Qi gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; $1 birthday lunch celebrations, noon; Bridge 4 fun, 1 p.m.


Suggested donation $3 for ages 60-plus, all others $5.

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

Thursday, Jan. 19 - Lunch in Arboles; $1 birthday lunch celebrations with reservations required. Pasta with meatballs, tossed salad, garlic roll and birthday cake.

Friday, Jan. 20 - Spaghetti with meatballs, garlic bread, mixed fruit and orange juice.

Monday, Jan. 23 - BBQ beef on bun, scalloped potatoes, broccoli and carrots, and applesauce.

Tuesday, Jan. 24 - Chicken and noodles, green beans, apricot and pineapple.

Wednesday, Jan. 25 - Chili con carne, yellow squash, corn bread, pineapple and mandarin oranges.

Friday, Jan. 27 - Pasta primavera, whole wheat roll, orange wedges and birthday cake; $1 birthday lunch celebrations.


Veteran's Corner

VA takes position on Medicare drug program

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

I have been asked by a number of our Medicare eligible veterans about the Medicare Prescription Part D program. The following is the official position of the VA.

"Starting January 1, 2006 the new Medicare prescription drug coverage is available to everyone with Medicare."

VA program good

"Enrollment in the VA health care system provides a prescription drug benefit that has been determined to be as good as the benefit provided under a Medicare prescription drug plan. As a result VA enrollment provides 'creditable coverage' for Medicare Part D purposes."

No Medicare penalty later

Please read carefully: "Because your existing VA health care and prescription drug benefits are at least as good as Medicare coverage, you can choose to join a Medicare prescription drug plan later WITHOUT PENALTY (emphasis mine)."

There has been some confusion for many worried about a Medicare Part D penalty if you do not sign up with in the initial enrollment period. There is no penalty if you are enrolled in VA health care and obtaining your prescription drugs under the VA pharmacy program.

Other coverage

It should be noted also that if you are covered by other health care providers with a prescription program, such as a plan through an employer, you could choose not to enroll at this time and enroll later without penalty.

Do not have to choose

The VA goes on to say: "You do not have to choose between VA prescription drug benefits and a Medicare prescription drug plan; you may have either or both. However, if you do decide to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan and disenroll from the VA, be aware that you may not be able to re-enroll later if VA is not enrolling all priority groups."

Can enroll later

"If VA takes some action that causes you to lose your VA benefits (e.g., VA makes an enrollment decision that would further restrict access to certain Priority Groups), you can enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan, without penalty, within 62 days of the end of your VA coverage. Enrollment in the Medicare Part D program must be applied for within the 62 day time limit to avoid the penalty."


"If you are a veteran who is or who becomes a patient or inmate in an institution of another government agency (for example, a state veterans home, a state mental institution, a jail, or a corrections facility), you may not have creditable coverage from the VA while in that institution. Veterans who are unsure whether this may apply to them should contact the institution where they reside, the VA Health Benefits Service Center at (877) 222-8387, or their local VA medical facility."

Low income needs

"For people with limited income and resources, extra help paying for Medicare prescription drug plan is available. Information about this extra help is available from the Social Security Administration (SSA). For more information about this extra help, visit SSA online at www.socialsecurity.gov or call them at (800) 772-1213."

Keep a copy of this information. If you enroll in one of the new plans approved by Medicare which offer prescription drug coverage after May 15, 2006, you may need to give a copy of this notice when you join to show that you are not required to pay a higher premium amount.


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

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.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7 (behind City Market). The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Library News

Planning for the future

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

About two months ago, an article in the Denver Post editorial section discussed the results of the "State of the Rockies Report" from the researchers at Colorado College. The chart in the article rated counties on two categories: "capacity" (library availability, education levels and other factors) and "civic engagement" (volunteers).

Archuleta County got a D in the capacity ranking. We got an A- in civic engagement.

Although it serves approximately the same number of patrons, the public library in Cortez is 2 1/2 times larger than the remodeled library in Pagosa. Additionally, there are two other public libraries in Montezuma County, including the one in Dolores, designated "Library of the Year" for the state of Colorado. The small town of Ignacio just approved a $ 2 million bond issue and a mill levy increase to build and support a better library. Durango just voted "yes" to a $14 million bond issue for a new library.

Established with a 1.5 mill levy, the Upper San Juan Library District is substantially below the state mill levy average of 2.35, and significantly below the high of 6. There was no bond issue for our renovated library, which was funded by the state of Colorado, foundations, and diligent long-term scraping from the operating budget, as well as donations from generous local individuals, the Friends and the Woman's Civic Club.

In contrast to its "minimalist" funding history, the Pagosa area is now one of the fastest growing regions in the state. The income average here has grown by 30 percent in the last four years, and the rate of home building exceeds that in the Durango area.

Now is the time to start planning for the future and to decide if this county always wants to be rated as "poor" in regard to its library and education infrastructure. We need to look at long-term planning for the library's physical growth and supporting financial structure. It is time to gaze 10 years down the road and plan for what the library should be and can be.

As things stand, the library needs to be thinking through issues of servicing the outer perimeters of the library district, possibly with a bookmobile or other means. The planners need to be mulling over the matter of a branch or storefront, or perhaps eventually, a main building, in the area west of downtown. The library needs to plan for technology, including changes in our systems for cataloging, interlibrary loans, circulation and security. Enhancing the interlibrary loan system would also help meet demand for wider access to books, without requiring more permanent shelf space allocation and concomitant overhead costs.

Equally, the library needs to be planning for collection development. We are evaluating the collection by comparing its contents with recommended core collections for small public libraries. And, in my short tenure here, I have been met with constant comments about the need for new books and books on CD. This public is hungry for the library to have new books and audiotapes or CDs.

The addition of multiple computers to satisfy public demand has significantly increased the staff workload. Patrons frequently require help to maximize their use of this technology. And, all print jobs are handled manually. As I have watched teens use the computers in the weeks since the library has reopened, I have become acutely aware of our need to help them distinguish the quality of their sources on the web. Instead of "mining" only the web for material, they should also know how to find, examine and use high-quality, print sources.

When John Dewey, one of the fathers of public education in America, advocated the idea of availability of public libraries for all Americans, he was proposing that they were to be a serious component and extension of the education system. Now, more than ever, with the funding shortages for schools, and cuts in funding for pre-school programs, libraries have serious work to do. Barb Draper's wonderful children's and child/parent reading programs are part of this work that the library does to enhance educational opportunities in Archuleta County.

The Upper San Juan Library District, which means our Sisson Memorial Library, needs a real materials budget to complement expenditures made on necessary services - snow removal, utilities, landscaping, maintenance and cleaning. And, of course, it takes staff to run a library - a good, very dedicated staff, earning decent wages and being provided competitive benefits. One can do a lot with volunteers; their time is given graciously and willingly, especially in Pagosa Springs. But, many volunteers are seasonal here. And they require seasonal scheduling. This, in turn, requires even more staff management time, and training time, than is needed for year round volunteers.

The community and the county will decide what kind of library and education facilities they want for themselves for the future. Will Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County be ranked as a D 10 years from now? This is a decision each of you will be part of making. In future articles I will describe how "saving your pennies for Sisson" can help your community library.


Arts Line

New columnist on board, photo contest just ahead

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

Editor's note: Wen Saunders takes over from Kayla Douglass this week as Arts Line columnist for 2006.

Saunders resides (and has offices) in Pagosa Springs and Lafayette, Colo. She is president of the Wendy Saunders Companies, Inc. which specializes in event photojournalism (with an emphasis on black and white photography) and photographic seminars and workshops throughout the country for aspiring photographers (child-adult) and professional photographers.

You may have seen Wen's rodeo photo show at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in July or have seen her images in American Cowboy Magazine. Saunders worked part-time at the Fort Lewis College Theatre producing marketing and photographing college shows (2003-05). "As a successful photographer/artist for over twenty-five years, I feel it is important to contribute and support the local art community," stated Saunders.

Arts Line is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For inclusion in Arts Line, send information to PSAC e-mail (psac@centurytel.net). In the subject area of your e-mail, please write "Arts Line-Wen Saunders." Your attachment should be in a Microsoft Word file document format. Images should be limited to two and sent as a separate (individual attachments) e-mail. For large image files, you can also mail a CD to Wen Saunders, P.O. Box 4486, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157. Deadline is at least two weeks prior to an event. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

PSAC photo contest

There's something for everyone in the annual PSAC photo contest: cute kittens, a fun family photo or the grand landscape

An opening reception at Moonlight Books will be held 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, with photography on display Feb. 4-25.

The mission: To act as an outreach program, encouraging broad, local participation and to provide viewers with a fresh, new show each year.

A generous list of categories ensures that you, too, have a photo to submit to this annual contest. Categories are: domestic animals, architecture, autumn scenic, general landscape, patterns/textures, sports, flora, people, up close, winter scenic, black and white, wild animals, sunrise/sunset, special techniques (any type of manipulation), and open (any picture that doesn't fit other categories).

Dozens of local shutterbugs get involved each year, and any photo has a chance for a ribbon. It doesn't seem to matter if it's a simple matted print or a high-end framing job on a big enlargement. Judges tend to look at the overall impact of the photo. Each exhibitor may submit a total of three photos, but no more than two in any single category.

The annual photo contest is considered one of the highlights of Pagosa's art scene. The opening reception has turned into quite a social event; put the date on your calendar now. A complete list of contest rules and applications may be picked up at Moonlight Book, or downloaded from the pagosa-arts.com Web site.

Attend the opening reception and vote for the People's Choice Award.

Watercolor workshops

Beginners II, with Denny and Ginnie, is scheduled Jan. 25-27 and Intermediate I is scheduled Feb. 8-10.

Beginner's II is for those who have a basic knowledge of watercolor and would like to increase their artistic ability. New painting projects and techniques are designed to further increase the watercolorist's talent. For additional information on the content of the workshop you can call Ginnie at 731-2489 or Denny at 731-6113. Class size is limited so sign up early at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council building in Town Park or call them at 264-5020. Don't forget the PSAC gallery is on winter hours, with limited personnel only there on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. So leave a phone message if no one answers and we'll get back with you as soon as possible. Materials list will be available when you register.

Two Slade workshops

Children know the secret to living and enjoying life. It's like the first snow of winter when excited children joyfully play. They forget cold fingers and toes, insisting on climbing the highest hill in their backyard, only to slide down screaming in terror, throwing snowballs at their little brother, knowing hot chocolate is waiting inside.

You too are invited to discover the small child within you. Climb high hills, throw away caution, forget and leave behind the baggage you have carried with you. Betty Slade will hold your brush in hand, wipe away the perspiration from your brow as you scream, "I can't do it."

Yes, you can! You can learn to paint. With instructions in technique, drawing, design and color you can express yourself through painting with oils. You will be surprised at what you can do.

"Let the little child in you come out and play," said Betty. "Forget what your fourth grade teacher said about you. I promise you - no fatalities, no snowball throwing. Only a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, a warm room with great lighting, encouragement and lots of warm friendship along with a great experience in learning how to think and paint like an artist."

Betty Slade has painted over 40 years, and has learned from the best. If you have said, "I'd like to learn to paint someday," probably that same passion that lives in true artists is in you.

This beginning oil painting workshop will arrive just as cabin fever sets in. Mark 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 1, 2 and 3 on your calendar. Details and supply list will be available at the PSAC. Cost of the three-day workshop is $120 for PSAC members and $145 for nonmembers. Call 264-5020 to make your reservation now.

Seeds of potential have been hidden in your heart as you continue to strive through practice and acquisition of knowledge to become an artist.

The 2006 intermediate watercolor workshop with Betty Slade will help you take your creative desires to a new level of growth. The "Everything that Grows" workshop will water and nurture those tender young plants that are blooming in you. New seeds will also be planted with the promise of a great harvest.

Betty show you techniques and skills that will draw out the garden of your soul. You will learn how to reflect your thoughts and moods when you touch your paintbrush to paper. The most important discovery will be your own growth as you learn how to push colors, direct the viewer's eye by creating a path of light to the focal point. You will begin to paint art, not subjects.

"Everything that grows," from flowers and trees to people, will be part of this workshop experience. You will learn how to keep a sketchbook, describe details, express emotions, thereby turning your thoughts into great paintings.

Winter brings the promise of spring, as snow melts and waters the ground, bearing new growth in the earth. "For lo, the winter has past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing is come and the voice of the turtle doves are heard in the land Š Arise, and come away."

The song that you carry in your heart will be heard as you paint the music of your soul. Come away and grow in your gift as an artist.

Details and supply list will be at the PSAC. The workshop is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 1-3. Cost of the three-day workshop is $120 for PSAC members and $145 for nonmembers. Call 264-5020 to make your reservation now.

Pierre Mion workshop

An internationally-known artist and illustrator, Pierre Mion worked with Norman Rockwell for 12 years and will teach a winter watercolor workshop beginning Wednesday, Feb. 15.

There will be an outdoor photo class 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Students will meet, carpool to Pierre's favorite winter scene photo locations throughout the day, and break for a group lunch at a nearby restaurant. Photos will be developed and the students will meet for indoor painting classes at the community center, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Feb. 21-23.

The price of the workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265.00 for nonmembers. The extra $25 will give you a one-year PSAC membership.

The first day, participants will meet at the ALCO parking lot at 9 a.m. and go out to shoot photos of snow scenes around the area. We break for lunch at a local restaurant at noon, then continue photographing in the afternoon. The rest of the classes will be held in the arts and crafts room at the community center where we will paint from your and/or Pierre's photos. Bring your lunch.

An optional fifth session - Friday, Feb. 24 - will be available for $60 per person, minimum four students.

All levels of students are welcome, and they will receive a lot of individual attention and assistance. We have a lot of fun in these workshops; ask anyone who has taken one. Sign up early because the primary workshop is limited to 10 students. Call PSAC at 264-5020. For further information on supplies, etc. call Pierre at 731-9781.

Drawing with Davis

There will not be a January drawing class, but Randall Davis will teach this popular Saturday drawing class again in February. So, mark your calendar for the third Saturday of the month, Feb. 28.

PSAC exhibits program

Applications are available to artists wanting to participate in the Pagosa Springs Arts Council's 2006 Exhibits Program.

From April through October, we present different exhibits for public viewing at the PSAC gallery in Town Park. Past exhibits have varied - from the high school art students, to jewelry, bronze, woodworking, photography, watercolor, oil painting, fabric art and a juried art exhibit.

Our exhibits committee will review portfolios by artists working in any medium. Selected artists will be scheduled for exhibits in the Town Park gallery in 2006. If you are interested or have further questions, contact PSAC at 264-5020 or download the exhibit forms from our Web site at Pagosa-arts.com. Hurry ... the calendar is rapidly filling up for the 2006 season.

Valentine's dance and art show

Put on your dancing boots for a fun evening, 7-11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

You'll enjoy this area's finest country music band, Tim Sullivan & Narrow Gauge. Tickets include dessert bar and soft drinks. Cash beer and wine bar will be available with proceeds to benefit the community center dance program. Tickets are $20 per person and are available at the community center and WolfTracks (by Feb. 9) or by calling 264-4152, or Siri at 731-9670. Tickets at the door are $25 per person.

Shop for that special Valentine's art gift at a Western Photo Art Show 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Feb. 10-11, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. The photo art show features local (and national) photojournalist, PSAC columnist and member Wen Saunders. Stop by before the Valentine's Dance. Admission to the show is free. Art includes framed photographs, matted photographs, photo specialty greeting cards, photographic images on T-shirts, cooking aprons, tote bags, and Got Rodeo? hats. Saunders is donating 15 percent of the sales to the community center dance program. Support the arts. Support dance!

Get to know the artist

We want Pagosa to "Get to know the artist." If you are a PSAC member and would like to be featured in our upcoming, weekly "Get to know the artist," send your bio, photo, and up to six samples of your work for review. Format requirements: (Bio: Microsoft word file. Images: jpeg format, 300 dpi / up to 4x5 inches, or pdf file). For consideration, your information should be presented in CD format and mailed to Wen Saunders, PSAC, P.O. Box 4486, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157.

For more information, call Wen Saunders, 264-4486. Of course, if you are not a PSAC member, perhaps you should be. Visit our Web site, pagosa-arts.com, or call 264-5020 for membership information.

Gallery hours

The PSAC Gallery in Town Park is on winter hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Voice mail and e-mail are checked regularly, so please leave a message if no one is available in the office.

PSAC calendar

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

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

Jan. 25-27 - Beginner's II watercolor, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., community center.

Feb. 1-3 - Beginner oil painting with Betty Slade, community center.

Feb. 4 - Opening reception, photography contest, 5-7 p.m., Moonlight Books.

Feb. 4-25 - Photography contest exhibit, Moonlight Books.

Feb. 8-10 - Intermediate watercolor with Denny and Ginnie, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., community center.

Feb. 15, 21, 22 and 23 - Winter watercolor workshop with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Feb. 15 - Watercolor club. 10 a.m., community center.

Feb. 18 - Drawing with Randall Davis.

March 1-3, - Intermediate watercolor with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., community center.


Extension Viewpoints

Ranchers can register livestock at new Web site

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Jan. 19 - League of Women Voter's meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 20 - Clover buds at community center, 1:30-3 p.m.

Jan. 20 - 4-H Fridays-GIS, Foods, Sewing, 1:30-3 p.m.

Jan. 23 - Entomology Group 2 meeting, 4 p.m.

Jan. 25 - Entomology Group 1 meeting, 4 p.m.

Weed Management Symposium

The 14th Annual Four Corners Weed Management Symposium will be held Thursday, March 2, at the Farmington Civic Center in Farmington, N.M.

Topics include: Industry Label Update, Roundup Ready Alfalfa, Russian Olive and Salt Cedar Control Measures, Weed Control Principals ID and Integrated Pest Management, Weed Control in Turf and Ornamentals, Knaps and Thistles, Re-Vegetation and Natural Herbicides: Truth or Fiction.

Cost for the symposium is $20 if you register before Feb. 23 or $25 after. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Contact the Extension Office at 264-5931 to register.

Registering livestock

A new Web site will be unveiled in February for ranchers to register premises and livestock in Colorado.

Officials at the Colorado Department of Agriculture are developing a streamlined process to increase participation through online registration. "Since we first began our animal identification project two years ago, we've been diligently working to improve it each year," said Wayne Cunningham, state veterinarian at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "The new process will include a more efficient and user-friendly Web site."

Premises registration is the first step in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), which will allow animal tracing to be completed within 48 hours of a disease being detected. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to make registration mandatory on Jan. 1, 2008.

"In Colorado, about 1,100 locations are registered," said Cunningham. "There are many benefits as well as added value for producers once the system is fully operational, so we would like them to be proactive and participate before the mandatory deadline."

As the new site is being developed, the previous Web site used to register premises, www.livestocktrust.com, is no longer available to handle registrations.

Livestock owners who would like to register their premises before the new Web site is launched in February will need to complete a form, which will later be entered online. The form requires information such as the designated U.S. Postal Service (USPS) address.

If a producer has multiple sites, contact CDA to learn about the specific premises guidelines, since each ranch and production system is unique. Forms can be obtained by contacting CDA Division of Animal Industry at (303) 239-4161. For more information, visit the Web at www.usda.gov/nais.

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


Pagosa Lakes News

New postal cluster boxes ready for use

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

A PLPOA maintenance crew has recently completed installation of 17 cluster box units at the following locations: South Pagosa Boulevard and Capricho Circle (two units with 32 slots), Bonanza Avenue and Vista Boulevard (one unit with 16 slots), Highland Avenue and Lake Street (two units with 32 slots), County Road 600 and North Pagosa Boulevard at Saturn (six units with 96 slots), Eaton Estates and North Pagosa Boulevard (two units with 32 slots), 543 Park Ave. (one unit with 16 slots), Edinburg Circle (one unit with 16 slots), Meadows Drive and Paciente Place (one unit with 16 slots), Pinon Causeway and Valley View Drive (one unit with 16 slots). This makes for a total of 272 slots now available to property owners.

Please call the post office at 264-5440 to sign up for use of a slot. Keys to these boxes have already been delivered to the post office on Hot Springs Boulevard.

As soon as the post office provides the PLPOA with a list of locations, eight more cluster units are on line to be installed this summer.

PLPOA annual dues assessments were mailed out two weeks ago to all property owners. Payment is due upon receipt and will become past due May 1, 2006. A $20 late fee will be applied to accounts that have not been paid in full by this date.

Info updates

Looking for PLPOA information? Just log on to www.plpoa.com. The information is current, easily accessible and literally at your fingertips. Also available online is the Environmental Control Committee building package. Once you're on the Web site, click on Forms and Applications in the left-hand menu bar, then click on Building Package. You need to have the free Adobe Reader installed on your computer to be able to view the document. You can download the program at www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html.

You can print the entire document or select particular pages to print (select "print" from the File tab at the top of the window through your printer dialog box; when the dialog box opens up, insert which pages to print in the appropriate box).

PLPOA will be sponsoring a blood drive through United Blood Services Monday, Feb. 20. The blood drive will be held at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse from 1-5 p.m. Please call Gloria Petsch at 731-5635, Ext. 24, to schedule an appointment.

Perch tournament

I need to remind everybody about our Pagosa Lakes Winter Perch Tournament coming up Saturday, Jan. 21, on Lake Pagosa. The tournament is sponsored by Terry's Ace Hardware and there will be lots of fun and some great cash prizes for the winners in the most perch caught and largest perch caught categories.

Remember that kids 15 and under fish for free and will compete for awesome fishing tackle prizes including new rods and reels, tackle boxes and other fishing related items donated by Terry's Ace Hardware. Tickets are available for pre-purchase at Terry's Ace Hardware, Ponderosa Do-It-Best, the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center and the Pagosa Lakes administration office in Vista. Tickets are $10 pre-purchase or $12 at the lake on tournament day. The tournament starts at 9:30 a.m. and will run until 2:30 p.m. The ice is great and it looks like the weather will be perfect for a fun day on the lake.


 Business News


Chamber News

Pagosa brewer wins national competition

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

We are very proud of all our businesses in the area; we want them to be successful and profitable.

One small hobby-turned-business has given national recognition to our very own Tony Simmons, with The Pagosa Springs Brewing Co. Tony has been researching the process of opening a micro-brewery here in Pagosa for some time and now it looks like his plans are nearing reality.

It is widely known that Tony has won numerous awards for his wines and beers, but not a lot of people are aware of the huge recognition that has come of late with his Poor Richard's Ale.

Tony submitted his entry to honor Ben Franklin's 300th birthday to a tasting competition at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last September. He won the top tasting slot over scores of other entries, based on his use of ingredients prevalent at the time of Ben Franklin's life, as well as because of his attention to historic detail and research.

Tony traveled to Philadelphia this week to be included in celebrations surrounding Ben Franklin's 300th. There are more than 100 commercial microbreweries in Colorado and 34 other states ready to produce Simmons' malty, nutty, molasses-spiced brew, including Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis. Tony's Poor Richard's Ale will be included in a tasting tour to honor Ben Franklin's love of the libation.

We are so proud of Tony Simmons and his national recognition. Just think ... we'll be able to enjoy his expertise at a local level if his brewery gets up and running. Continued success and brewing inspirations in the years to come!

Annual meeting and Western Party

Hopefully, Tony will be back by Jan. 21 so he can fill us in on all of his fun activities in Philadelphia at our Chamber of Commerce Western Party and annual meeting.

Tickets are available for $30 at the Chamber until tomorrow, Jan. 20. This price guarantees some great food by Wildflower Catering, fun and games, a concert by the Bar D Wranglers and a dance. There will also be a cash beer and wine bar (we couldn't get Tony's beer - sorry). Festivities begin at 6 p.m.

You will also have the opportunity to vote for three of six candidates vying for open slots for the Chamber of Commerce directors.

In response to popular demand, we changed the theme for the annual meeting and have added some fun activities to give everyone a night out, and an opportunity to meet some new people or catch up on the activities and businesses of some old friends. The Bar D Wranglers are certainly an added benefit, and those who want to continue the party can stay and dance to the sounds of Bobby Hart Productions.

I look forward to seeing many businesses and friends at this new and improved event. So, shine up those boots or pull out that party dress and come on down to the community center Saturday for a fun time in old Pagosa Town.

Education and fun

Individuals in school often don't think these two words - education and fun - go hand in hand, but some organizations here in Pagosa do.

Take, for example, the Ruby Sisson Library and its Friday Afternoon Library Club and Family Story Time.

The Friday Afternoon Library Club will gather the third Friday of every month from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the kid and teen areas of the library. Come alone and meet new friends or bring a friend. Either way, just come and enjoy yourself.

The same is true for the Family Story Time to be held the second Saturday of every month, starting at 11 a.m. The Pagosa Pretenders will lead this interactive family event. The first Friday afternoon gathering will be tomorrow, Jan. 20.

These events are a great way to involve grandma and grandpa or child care services if parents need to continue their work efforts and can't get away.

Employers - this is a big one for you. Note that the Archuleta County Education Center offers beginning English as a Second Language classes for adult learners. The classes are free of charge and although they are normally held from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it may also be possible to set up on-site English classes at your place of business for three or more students. You could offer this as an employment benefit. Contact Anna Milburn-Lauer at 264-2835 for more information. This could be an incentive to individuals seeking to improve their language skills and thereby improve their job qualifications. If you know anyone who might benefit from this program, direct them to the Education Center.

Snow and upcoming festivities

We've had a little bit of long overdue snow and this transition has put everyone in the mood for some winter sporting fun.

First on the agenda will be the annual United Way Ski Day Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Wolf Creek Ski Area. Wolf Creek has again graciously offered discount lift tickets for $34. A yearly participant, Ski and Bow Rack, is generously offering free ski and snowboard rentals, including demos.

By participating in this event, you have fun and the money spent on your ticket stays in this county helping numerous United Way-funded organizations. If you have to choose a day to ski, let it be Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Believe it or not, February is just around the corner and Winterfest will be held the first weekend of the month this year. The lack of snow has deterred some of the planned events, but not all; we made provisions to host some events in areas we knew would have snow.

An event resurrected this year is the winter triathlon, to be held Sunday, Feb. 5. You still have time to get in shape to participate. The triathlon will consist of a leg each of cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and downhill skiing or snowboarding. You can enter the event as an individual for $30 or as a three-member team for $60. Call Kimberley here at the Chamber at 264-2360 to register. Prizes, T-shirts, skiing and gifts are all included in your entry fee. We would like to thank Wolf Creek Ski Area for providing the track for the events and Jann Pitcher Real Estate, Alpen Haus Ski Center, Juan's Mountain Sports, Ski and Bow Rack and Switchback Mountain Gear for sponsoring this renewed and improved, fun and challenging winter race. Our intention is to host this every year and make it a staple of our Winterfest activities. Spectators are welcome to come out and cheer on their favorite participants.

Also on the agenda for Winterfest is the Pagosa Lakes Winter Perch Tournament, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. The ice fishing will take place on Hatcher Lake and tickets to participate are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the tournament. Children under 15 fish free. There will be hundreds of dollars in cash prizes as well as fishing-related prizes. You can purchase your tickets here at the Chamber, Ponderosa Do It Best, the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center or the Pagosa Lakes administration office.

If fishing isn't your bag, try your hand at the Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race Saturday, Feb. 4. Our wonderful hosts, Best Value High Country Lodge, will once again put out a terrific spread of free food and drink, and their hill will serve as the race course. All entries must be homemade and have a braking system. You can preregister for this event at the Visitor Center. Sledders can win cash and merchandise prizes for the fastest sled and the most bizarre sled. Registration will begin at noon and the races start at 1 p.m. If you're not a sledder, then you should come out to watch this hilarious event. Even spectators have a chance to win "door prizes."

We will have hot air balloons in the sky Saturday and Sunday mornings, Feb. 4 and 5, near the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. People interested in crewing should plan to arrive between 6:30 and 7 a.m. There will be volunteers ready to assign you to a balloon crew. Keep your calendars open for the evening of Saturday, Feb. 4; weather permitting, we will have a balloon glow, near Mountain Heights Baptist Church and the recreation center.

It will be a full weekend of festivities, activities and fun. Who knows, we may be able to get some of these zany balloonists to design a sled for the sled race. Whichever event you choose to participate in or enjoy as a spectator, there will be fun for everyone at this year's Winterfest.

Member information

Not all of us can get the super recognition that Tony Simmons has recently received. However, Chamber businesses sure are important to us here in Pagosa Springs. And although he has received national attention, Tony still knows what it is to belong to and support the local business community. With that thought in mind, we welcome some new businesses to our area and welcome back renewing members who help make this community function!

Braxton Ponder and Ponder Natural Health is a new business offering caring, effective health treatments based on traditional Chinese medicine techniques. These techniques include acupuncture (with and without needles), customized Chinese herbal prescriptions, professional grade nutritional supplements and Oriental bodywork. Ponder Natural Health is located at 475 Lewis St., Ste. 207, in the Adobe Building. You can call 264-1172 for further information or to schedule a consultation or appointment.

Also in the health field is Christine Robinette, a licensed massage therapist. With over 18 years of experience, Christine brings her talents to Pagosa and the massage therapy world offering deep tissue, acupressure, Shiatsu, Swedish and energy balancing massage. Her office is her home; however, she is set up to do chair massage at your place of business as well. How's that for an employee incentive day? For more information, call 731-9661. We thank Jann Pitcher for referring Christine to the Chamber and encouraging her participation in our business community

We have lots of talented health professionals in our area as well as the availability of our wonderful hot springs. I am looking for some leaders in this industry to help with some potential business-building ideas. If you are interested, give me a call at the Chamber, 264-2360.

First on the renewal list this week is one of the topics of this article, Tony Simmons and The Brew Haus.

Now that we have some snow, you may not be thinking landscaping but more like snowscaping. Colorado Dreamscapes can do both for you. Josh Abrell is the owner.

Helping to keep Pagosa clean, we welcome back Mark and Kathy Young and At Your Disposal.

While many of us are just thinking about snow, Diamond Hitch Stables thinks about horses, and renews a membership this week.

We welcome back Basin Printing & Imaging in Durango.

Last but not least on the renewal list is a business that also has a large Pagosa contingency following, KSUT public radio in Ignacio.

The Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the staff hope we will see you Jan. 21 at the community center. Get involved or reacquainted with others here in our community. Enjoy an evening of good food, good fun and good friendship at the annual meeting and Western Party. Be first to see who gets the Citizen and Volunteer of the Year and which businesses received the Pagosa Pride awards. Enjoy the always-entertaining Bar D Wranglers and the end the evening dancing. We look forward to hosting this evening and seeing lots of our business friends.



Cards of Thanks


Wood Family

The family of Mrs. Velma Wood would gratefully like to thank all of the wonderful people for all the delicious food, beautiful flowers, donations, cards, phone calls, help and especially the prayers we received at the time of our loss. The concern and support was a reflection of Velma's full and loving life. She will be missed so very much by all that knew her and loved her.

A special thank you to Mr. Phil Janowsky for the wonderful music. It was such a lovely gift for you to be there.

Cleda, Kenneth, Cindy, Rick, Jack, Barb, Dave, Cheryl, Karl, Judy, Daniel, Mike, Kevin, Lorie, David, Nick, Jay and Cutter



Held on Saturday, Jan .7, the third annual Computer Fix-It-Free Day was a great success: a dozen local technicians helped to repair computers for individuals who might otherwise be unable to afford to get their computers up and running.

First and foremost, thanks to Lois Lee for scheduling and coordinating the event.

Thanks also to the Humane Society for donating computer parts, donuts, hot coffee and soft drinks, and Robbie Schwartz in particular, who volunteered her time for the event.

Theo VanderWiede of Domino's Pizza very generously donated three large pizzas to feed all of our hungry technicians.

The Pagosa Springs Community Center donated the conference room in which the event was held. Thanks to Mercy Korsgren, Becky Herman and their team for their help.

And a special thank you to the technicians who selflessly gave their time and talents to fix the computers of those in need: Alan Bunch, Natalie Carpenter, Larry Dick, Becky Herman, Myron Lindberg, Nathan Loper, Sam Matthews, John Middendorf, Kurt Raymond, Frank Simbeck and Peter Welch.

We'll be back next year, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 6 2007.




Randi Andersen, a 2005 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, has been named to the dean's list with a 4.0 GPA after her first semester at Western State College in Gunnison. Randi is working toward a double major in theatre and music, with an emphasis in voice.

During her first semester at Western, Randi performed roles in "Harvey" (a Gunnison Arts Center production) and "Amadeus," played saxophone in Western's Symphonic Band and Varsity Band, and sang in the Concert Choir and the elite Chamber Singers. Randi is supported locally in her college pursuits by scholarships from the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Trust, the Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Springs Music Boosters and Basin Electric. Her parents are Bruce and Terri Andersen.



A total of 4,297 students were named to the Fall 2005 honor rolls at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, including 1,480 students who received all A grades and were named to the President's Honor Roll. Among them was Jacob Matzdorf, a 2004 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.



Jenna Finney, a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, is listed on the 2005 fall dean's list at the University of Portland, in Portland, Ore.

Students need at least a 3.5 grade point average to make the dean's list.

Finney is a sophomore, majoring in Spanish.



Christopher John Pash proposed marriage to Pagosa Springs High School graduate Ashleigh Elizabeth Fleenor while on holiday in Mexico in November 2005.

Christopher is employed as a sound engineer in Fresno, Calif., while Ashleigh attends college in Fresno and is employed as a construction production manager. The couple plan to marry in Fresno in 2007.



W. David Kern, a sophomore at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale Mich., has been named to the Dean's List for the first semster of the current academic year. Kern is majoring in economics.

Kern is a 2004 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, the son of Robert and Lestlie Kern of Pagosa Springs.


Sports Page

Lady Pirates lose to Aztec in 'The Jungle'

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

What a difference the home court makes.

At the Wolf Creek Classic basketball tournament hosted by Pagosa Springs High School in December, the varsity Lady Pirates "personhandled" the New Mexico 4A Lady Tigers in the championship game by 10 points on the home floor.

It was a different story when the Pirates traveled to Aztec to face the Tigers in a rematch in "The Jungle" Saturday night. Aztec's Patricia Malouff, a sophomore track star, used her speed on steals and fast breaks to score 28 points in a 55-40 victory for the Lady Tigers. In the first game, Malouff got in foul trouble early and had to sit much of the first three quarters, but she made up for it this time around.

The loss still leaves the Pirates' record in good standing at 6-3 heading into Intermountain League (IML) play tomorrow night at Bayfield. The Tigers improved to 8-7.

Even though it was Malouff's night, statistics indicated the Lady Pirates outshot the Lady Tigers 38-33 from the field. And the most glaring statistic of all showed the Tigers attempting 28 free throws to the Pirates six, which caused Coach Bob Lynch fits. "The Jungle" is quickly becoming equal to "The Gym" in Kirtland.

The Pirates opened with their 1-3-1 zone defense but Aztec's 6-2 junior, Royal Doty, was able to capitalize on her inside game. She and Malouff helped build a 28-20 halftime lead for the Tigers. The Pirates went back to a man-to-man defense, contained Doty, and cut the lead to four to open the third period. Aztec would come back to close it out on a 15-7 fourth quarter.

The Tigers used a 2-3 zone defense exclusively and the cold-shooting Pirates were only two of 11 from behind the three-point line.

Coach Lynch indicated "this was another tough place to play in. It's difficult to win on the road with the number of free throws they (Aztec) had, versus ours. We won the inside battle, but not the fast break or transition battle."

The coach added "in the three losses so far we have had trouble getting our inside game to work and making free throws. Even though we went to the line just six times we still only shot 50 percent. We'll need to work on both in practice, especially with the two big IML games on the road this weekend at Bayfield and Centauri."

Senior Emily Buikema led the Pirates' scoring with nine points on four of five from the field. Senior Liza Kelley and junior Jessica Lynch followed with seven each. Junior Kristen DuCharme had her season best with seven points, while seniors Caitlin Forrest and Kari Beth Faber both recorded four. Camille Rand, a sophomore, rounded out the scoring with two points.

Forrest had a team high six rebounds followed by DuCharme and Buikema with four each. Lynch recorded five assists.

Malouff had an outstanding game for the Lady Tigers putting up over half their total score. Doty also played well on a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.

"The Jungle" played into the home-team advantage in the first quarter as the Lady Tigers took an early 15-8 lead on Malouff's breakaways and cold shooting by the Lady Pirates.

The Pirates would stay even with the Tigers in the second stanza and go into the locker room down by eight on a 13-12 quarter.

Pagosa opened the third on four quick points to come within four at 28-24, but Aztec came back on their barrage from the charity stripe to go up 40-33 at the horn.

The Lady Pirates continued to shoot cold from the outside and could only muster seven points in the final quarter. The Lady Tigers would outscore Pagosa 15-7 to end the game.

IML action begins tomorrow night in Bayfield against the Lady Wolverines who currently hold the league's second best record at 7-1, with a most recent win over Bloomfield, N.M. The Wolverines are much improved this year and will present a challenge to the Pirates on their home floor. Pagosa will need a big game to open league play with a win. Tipoff is scheduled earlier than usual, at 5 p.m.

If the opening league game in Bayfield isn't enough, just wait until Saturday night when the Lady Pirates travel to La Jara to face the Centauri Lady Falcons. Centauri is currently on top of the league and ranked No. 2 in the state polls with an unblemished record of 10-0 and an opening league win over Monte Vista (1-8, 0-1). The Pirates will need the "A game" for this big match-up. The winner will certainly have the early momentum for a league title. Start time is set for 5:30 p.m. on another doubleheader with the boys.


Pagosa Springs - 8, 12, 13, 7-40

Aztec - 15, 13, 12, 15-55

Scoring: Lynch, 2-5,1-5,0-1,7; Mackey, 0-1,0-1,0-0,0; Kelley, 2-7,1-2,0-0,7; Harris, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Canty, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Faber, 2-4,0-1,0-0,4; Buikema, 4-5,0-0,1-2,9; Gayhart, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Rand, 1-1,0-1,0-0,2; DuCharme, 3-5,0-0,1-2,7; Forrest, 2-7,0-0,0-1,4. Rebounds: Lynch 2, Kelley 3, Canty 1, Faber 2, Buikema 4, Gayhart 1, DuCharme 4, Forrest 6.


Lady Pirates squeak by Kirtland 44-43

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

In a game that turned out to be just as advertised, the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates found a way to hold off a late three-point barrage by the New Mexico 4A Kirtland Lady Broncos Friday night to win a squeaker at home by a score of 44-43.

The win gives the Pirates a 6-2 mark and avenges one of only two losses this year - to the Broncos in Kirtland in December. In that game, the Broncos seemed to score at will from three-point range, while in this one it took them until the fourth quarter to find it. The loss drops the young Lady Broncos to 3-13.

The game appeared to get out of hand in the second quarter when the Lady Pirates used a 14-0 run that started with just over one minute gone in the period, and ended with the score reading 23-9 at intermission on some good offense and a defense that caused Kirtland to turn the ball over.

The key plays started when junior Jessica Lynch found the bottom of the net on a trey from way outside to put the Pirates up by three. Two plays later, senior Liza Kelley was fouled on another three-point attempt and promptly sank free throws to put Pagosa up by seven. They were also able to go to senior Caitlin Forrest in the post where she was able to use her height inside to record eight points in the first half. Forrest also made a Michael Jordan move, but was fouled on the attempt.

The Lady Broncos were down by 12 at the start of the fourth then found their outside shooting range to make a comeback. Kirtland would come within two points with their own 14-0 run, but the Pirates found a way to make key free throws to preserve the win.

Coach Bob Lynch was excited about avenging the earlier loss to the Broncos. He said, "we played well in the first half and had them down, but they came back in the fourth to make a real game of it. I didn't think they (Kirtland) would shoot the ball that well in our gym, but they did in the fourth quarter."

The coach went on to say, "our defense struggled in the fourth quarter. We gave them too many easy looks and they took advantage. We should have had a hand in their face to disrupt the shots from outside. But overall I'm pleased with the results and it is another check in the win column."

Kelley led all scoring with 12 points while Forrest recorded 11. Lynch was next with 10 points. Senior Emily Buikema was held to just four points as was junior Kristen DuCharme. Junior Lyndsey Mackey and senior Kari Beth Faber rounded out the scoring with two and one respectively.

Faber and Buikema led the Pirates with six rebounds each, followed by Forrest with five and DuCharme with four. Lynch and Faber each had four assists.

The Lady Broncos' balanced attack came from senior reserve Sara Brown and sophomore Dyon Hall-Jones who led the scoring with 10 points each, followed by senior Malori Johnson with nine. Sophomore April Christie and freshman Lateesha Nez each contributed eight.

The first quarter started with a putback and free throw by Forrest to put the Pirates in the lead for good. A deuce by DuCharme and one from the charity stripe by Lynch ended the period at 6-5.

The second stanza was one of the best quarters so far for the Lady Pirates who outscored the Lady Broncos 17-4 and seemingly put the game out of reach. The treys by Lynch and Kelley and the inside play by Forrest appeared to overpower the Broncos. Good defensive play and some full-court pressure caused multiple turnovers by Kirtland. A putback by Forrest put the score at 23-9 with the teams going into the locker room.

The third quarter opened with Buikema on two putbacks and a free throw to put Pagosa up by 15 with 4:24 showing on the clock. A bucket by Kelley and another trey from Lynch appeared to put the icing on the cake, but the Broncos' Brown came back with eight quick points on the strength of two treys to get them back in the game at 35-23.

The Lady Broncos used the 14-0 run in the final stanza to make it an interesting game. Threes were dropping at will from Nez and Christie while Hall-Jones took it to the hole for six points to bring her team within three on a 20-9 quarter. Five clutch free throws by Kelley and one by Forrest ended the game.

The Pirates played their final pre-league tuneup Saturday night in Aztec N.M. against the 4A Lady Tigers.


Kirtland - 5, 4, 14, 20-43

Pagosa Springs - 6, 17, 12, 9-44

Scoring: Lynch, 1-2,2-3,2-6,10; Mackey, 1-2,0-0,0-0,2; Kelley, 2-7,0-2,8-9,12; Canty, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Faber, 0-4,0-0,1-2,1; Buikema, 1-7,0-0,2-2,4; Gayhart, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; DuCharme, 2-3,0-0,0-0,4; Forrest, 3-7,0-0,5-12,11. Rebounds: Lynch 3, Kelley 4, Faber 6, Buikema 6, DuCharme 4, Forrest 5.


Pirates drop heartbreaker in double overtime

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

What will it take? What wiiiiilll it take?

For the second consecutive night, the Pagosa Springs High School varsity basketball Pirates played their buns off and left everything on the floor.

For the second consecutive night, Pagosa dropped another heartbreaker. This one went to double overtime before the New Mexico 4A Farmington Scorpions would finally win it by two, 54-52.

The loss puts the Pirates even at 5-5 heading into Intermountain League (IML) play starting tomorrow night. The win also puts the Scorpions even, at 8-8.

In the rematch of another good basketball game in Farmington in December, this one lived up to its billing, and more. Both teams were evenly matched and it seemed to come down to which would get a little bit of luck on its side in the end. It just happened to be the Scorpions, again, but this one took an extra eight minutes to decide.

Hopefully, with this experience, the Pirates will get some on their side when it counts in league play.

The first unlucky play came at the end of regulation. Coach Jim Shaffer called a timeout with 12.3 seconds left, the score tied at 45, and the Pirates in possession of the basketball. They played for the last shot. Junior Kerry Joe Hilsabeck drove to the hoop and junior Jordan Shaffer missed a putback. If one had gone in, there would have been no overtime.

But, there was.

Both teams played it close in the first overtime until the Scorpions grabbed the lead by three with just over two minutes remaining. Senior Casey Schutz calmly sank a long trey from the baseline to send the game into the second four-minute OT.

Farmington went up by two on a three pointer by junior David Steen. Casey Schutz hit both ends of a one-on-one but senior Brandon Monroe came back with two underneath to end the scoring. The Pirates had one last shot at the buzzer, but it fell unluckily short.

Coach Shaffer was at a loss for words. "We could just as easily have won both of these games. I did feel better about our play tonight because we held on to the basketball. Our kids played hard and left everything on the floor, especially going into two overtimes."

He went on to say, "the experience gained in these last three games will really help us now that we start league play against a good Bayfield team. We'll just need to get back to practice and work on getting better."

Casey Schutz led the Pirates in scoring for the third straight time with 12 points followed by season highs from Hilsabeck and junior Derek Harper with 11 and nine each. Senior Craig Schutz recorded seven points while Shaffer had five and Ormonde four. Senior Paul Przybylski and junior Casey Hart rounded out the scoring with three and one respectively.

Craig Schutz had eight rebounds while Hilsabeck carded five assists.

For the Scorpions, Monroe had a game-high 16 points, senior Mike Dunn 14, senior Chad Vaughn and Steen seven each, followed by senior Randy Betz with four.

The Scorpions came out on fire dropping five long treys in the first quarter, two each by Dunn and Monroe, to build an early ten point lead with just over two minutes gone off the clock. Coach Shaffer sent in Harper and Ormonde to help swing some momentum back the Pirates way. Harper dropped in four, Ormonde two on a putback and the Pirates were back in the game, down by just six at the horn.

The second quarter opened on another long three from Dunn. Farmington would continue the good outside shooting and increase the lead back to 10 with 3:21 showing. They did, however, run into foul trouble and put the Pirates in double bonus at the two minute mark.

Free throws by the Schutz brothers and Shaffer plus a trey from Harper brought the Pirates within five. A strong putback from Shaffer with no time showing put the score at 30-27 for the Scorpions at intermission.

The third period slowed down but Hilsabeck netted two treys in a row on a Pirate eight-point run to put them in the lead for the first time with 5:30 on the clock. The Scorpions answered on buckets by Dunn, Betz and Vaughn to end the quarter with Pagosa up by one.

Casey Schutz opened the fourth on a three pointer. Hilsabeck drove the crowded lane to bank in two to put the good guys up by six with 5:38 remaining. Back came the Scorpions on another three from Dunn. Craig and Casey Schutz sank four from the charity stripe, but Monroe and Steen would tie the game at 45. The Pirates had the last shot but lady luck came to play.

The Pirates open IML play tomorrow night in a crucial opening match with Bayfield. The Wolverines currently have the league's best record and are undefeated at 11-0 with their most recent win over Bloomfield, N.M. This should be a great matchup and early indication of how league play will shape up. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. immediately after the Lady Pirates face the Lady Wolverines. The Bayfield gym gets noisy so both teams will need a lot of local support.

On Saturday night, league play continues when the Pirates travel to Centauri (7-5, 1-0) to take on the Falcons who defeated Monte Vista (1-8, 0-1) in their league opener Saturday night, 62-32. This will be another big test for the Pirates who open with two IML games on the road. Scheduled start time is 7 p.m. in another doubleheader.


Farmington - 19, 11, 6, 9, 5, 4-54

Pagosa Springs - 13, 14, 10, 8, 5, 2-52

Scoring: Shaffer, 1-8,0-1,3-5,5; Hilsabeck, 2-4,2-2,1-2,11; Przybylski, 0-2,0-0,3-4,3; Harper, 3-6,1-3,0-0,9; Casey Schutz, 1-5,2-4,4-4,12; Richie, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Ormonde, 2-5,0-0,0-0,4; Hart, 0-2,0-0,1-2,1; Craig Schutz, 2-7,0-2,3-4,7. Rebounds: Shaffer 4, Hilsabeck 5, Przybylski 1, Harper 1, Casey Schutz 2, Ormonde 3, Hart 1, Craig Schutz 8.


Pirates lose to Kirtland in overtime

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers!

In a great basketball game, in front of a capacity crowd at the Pagosa Springs High School gym, the varsity Pirates turned the ball over five times during the crucial overtime period to drop another close one to the New Mexico 4A Kirtland Broncos by a score of 50-46.

The loss put the Pirates' record at 5-4 with one home game remaining before Intermountain League (IML) play begins Jan. 20 at Bayfield. The win puts the Broncos even at 8-8.

In the four losses so far, the final outcome has never been more than a five-point margin to some really good basketball teams. The Pirates are also a good basketball team and will get better as the season progresses if they can make free throws and take care of the basketball.

This was a game that had the same Mo as many the Pirates have played so far - when it was close throughout and the team making the fewest mistakes won it. The Broncos made fewer mistakes in overtime and took home the "w." The Pirates could have won it from the free throw line, but were just 16 of 26.

It started with Pagosa taking an early 10-4 lead on the strength of senior Casey Schutz, junior Kerry Joe Hilsabeck and five points from senior Paul Przybylski. The Broncos' Kevin Bagaye, also a senior, would come back with five points of his own and four by senior Chris Pyne gave Kirtland the lead. The game was tied at intermission.

The key plays came at the end of regulation to get the Pirates to overtime. The Broncos regained the lead when Pyne stole an in-bounds pass for a breakaway to put Kirtland up by two with five seconds remaining. Hilsabeck had a breakaway of his own but the ball didn't go down. Junior Jordan Shaffer was there for the putback with no time remaining to send it to overtime.

With just over a minute remaining in OT, the Broncos took the lead on a deuce by Bagaye. A Pirate turnover with 31 seconds left, and the resulting intentional foul, ended the game with Kirtland winning by four. Hilsabeck put up the Pirates' four overtime points.

Coach Jim Shaffer said after the game, "this was another tough loss for us. If we could take care of the basketball and hit free throws, we win the game. We also gave them too many second chances on offense."

The coach added, "this is another good learning experience that will help us get better. We will have tougher competition in league this year and hopefully we can use this type of game to prepare." The Pirates have one more home game before IML play begins.

Casey Schutz led the Pirates with 12 points. Senior Craig Schutz was held to his lowest output so far with eight, followed by Shaffer and Przybylski with seven each. Hilsabeck had six while juniors Casey Hart, Derek Harper and Caleb Ormonde rounded out the scoring with two each.

Craig Schutz almost had a double-double when he pulled down a season high 13 rebounds. Shaffer followed with seven and Hilsabeck five. Hilsabeck led the Pirates with four assists.

Begaye led the Broncos and all scorers with 14 points followed by Pyne with eight. Junior Marcus Benally banked in seven from his post position and junior Jamar Hall added another five from inside.

The first quarter started slowly as neither team could find the range. The Pirates would take a 7-2 lead on buckets by Hilsabeck, Casey Schutz and a trey by Przybylski. Begaye and Pyne brought the Broncos back with nine points of their own to give Kirtland a 13-10 lead after one.

Shaffer and Ormonde opened the scoring in the second period to bring the Pirates within two after the Broncos buried a long three. Begaye would answer and Kirtland would go up by seven at the 4:33 mark. The Broncos were getting too many second chances on offense and the Pirates could not hit from the line. Finally, six unanswered points by the Pirates' Harper, Hart and Casey Schutz put Pagosa within one at the three-minute mark. Shaffer ended the quarter on a deuce to go into the locker room tied at 23.

The third period started on a breakaway by Przybylski. Craig Schutz had his first points on a putback with less than six minutes remaining. The Broncos came back with five unanswered points from Benally to put Kirtland up by one at the buzzer.

Craig Schutz finally got going in the fourth to put up six points in the quarter on tough inside play and two from the line. Casey Schutz would pop a trey and the lead would change hands again. The Broncos took the lead with 30 seconds to go on another inside bucket from Benally. Hilsabeck's breakaway and the putback by Shaffer ended regulation at 42.

And the rest, they say, is history.

The next great game would come the following night in the homestand finale against the New Mexico 4A Farmington Scorpions. This was a rematch of a game played earlier in December on the Scorpions' home floor that was won by Farmington. That game was almost a carbon copy of the Kirtland game but didn't go to overtime. The Scorpions are currently 7-8 and have not yet played Kirtland.


Kirtland - 13, 10, 8, 11, 8-50

Pagosa Springs - 10, 13, 7, 12, 4-46

Scoring: Shaffer, 3-12,0-3,1-5,7; Hilsabeck, 1-2,0-0,4-5,6; Przybylski, 2-3,1-2,0-1,7; Harper, 0-1,0-0,2-2,2; Casey Schutz, 3-7,1-4,3-5,12; Ormonde, 1-1,0-0,0-1,2; Hart, 0-2,0-0,2-2,2; Craig Schutz, 2-8,0-1,4-5,8. Rebounds: Shaffer 7, Hilsabeck 5, Przybylski 3, Harper 1, Casey Schutz 3, Ormonde 1, Hart 3, Craig Schutz 13.


Pagosa wrestlers rebound, take third place at Alamosa

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

If the Pirate wrestling team could pick a time to rebound from a marginal performance, there would be no better choice than at a tough Alamosa Invitational, following an IML loss to Monte Vista.

Bounce back they did, as the Pirates took third place, behind winner Alamosa and second place Broomfield - a perennial 4A contender.

The Pirate finish came compliments of one championship, three third-place performances, three fourths and a fifth place.

Senior Bubba Martinez won his second tournament of the year at 215. Martinez began his trek pinning a wrestler from Thunder Ridge in the first period. An opponent from 4A Delta was next, in the semifinal, and Martinez pinned him to advance to the title match. That fight was against David Gurule, of Alamosa. Martinez took the crown with a 6-4 decision, beating Gurule in a second, consecutive tournament battle (Martinez won the Rocky Mountain Tournament final against Gurule a week before).

"Bubba is wrestling well," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "He's got a lot of confidence right now."

Orion Sandoval followed up a strong performance Thursday against Monte Vista with yet another, taking third at 125 pounds. The senior pinned a Rock Canyon wrestler to begin his tournament. In the quarters, Sandoval took a 17-2 major decision against a Delta opponent. Sandoval's only loss came to Alamosa's Tommy Valdez. Dropping to the consolation bracket, the Pirate fashioned a tech fall, 15-0, over a Douglas County wrestler. Third place came via an 11-0 major decision over a Broomfield opponent.

"Orion scored a lot of points for us," said Janowsky. "He appears to be out of his slump, and he got forty-three points for his team."

Freshman Joe DuCharme had his best outing of the season at 130 with a third-place finish. An Alamosa wrestler was first to go, in a 9-4 decision. DuCharme's only loss of the day came against a Montrose opponent, putting the Pirate into consolation where he pinned Durango's Jeremy Foster in the third period. DuCharme received a forfeit in the bout for third place.

Ky Smith took third at 140, pinning a wrestler from Thunder Ridge in his first match and a Durango opponent in the second match. A loss to Josh Hensley, of Alamosa, put Smith into the consolation bracket where two pins gave him third. The first came at 40 seconds of a match against a Pueblo East opponent; the second, against Delta, at 1:54.

Three Pirates earned points on the way to fourth-place finishes at the tournament.

Mike Smith lost his first match of the day, then put together three consecutive pins - over Aztec, Rock Canyon (in a rematch with a wrestler who beat him in the first match of the day) and Alamosa. A loss to a Montrose opponent left the Pirate freshman in fourth place.

Matt Nobles was fourth at 160. On his way to a 3-2 tourney record, Nobles nailed a 14-2 decision over Thunder Ridge, got a victory by disqualification (for stalling in the face of an aggressive attack by the Pirate) over Aztec, and a 13-3 decision over an opponent from Durango.

Joe Romine was fourth at 275. Romine was 2-2, with a 13-11 decision over Alamosa and a second-period pin over yet another opponent from Alamosa.

Steven Smith was fifth at 103. The freshman beat a Thunder Ridge wrestler, secured a 17-1 tech fall over an opponent from Pueblo East and scored an 11-2 major decision over an opponent from Fountain-Fort Carson to capture fifth place.

"We wrestled better (than against Monte Vista)," said Janowsky. "The best we've wrestled this season. I see gradual improvement - sometimes two steps forward and one step back - but our progress is in the right direction. We rebounded well from Thursday, wrestled aggressively from the beginning and gave ourselves something to build on. If we continue to build on what we're doing, we'll be all right."

Pagosa travels to Bayfield Jan. 26 for an IML dual meet.


Pirates drop IML dual to Monte Vista

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Given that the Monte Vista wrestling team doesn't suffer a late-season meltdown, it will win the Intermountain League title, propelled by a 57-23 dual meet win Thursday over its rival, Pagosa Springs.

If there is an up side to the Pagosa loss, it is a clear lesson regarding what must be done in order for the team to take a step up and defeat Monte - at the Centauri tournament, the regional tourney and at state - as well as other Class 3A teams of equal caliber.

Monte jumped out to a 12-0 lead Thursday in the PSHS gym, beginning the dual with pins at 112 and 119 pounds.

Zach Trujillo built a big first-period lead at 112 then got the fall at the start of the second period against Pagosa's Travis Moore.

Blake Bahn got his first start of the season for the Pirates at 119. He trailed Adam Garcia 2-0 at the end of the first period. Garcia then scored on a reversal to begin the second period and got the fall shortly after.

Orion Sandoval put points on Pagosa's side of the scoreboard with a win at 125. But not before the senior got into serious trouble, put on his back by Kyle Cooper. Cooper scored with the takedown and got three back points. Sandoval was in serious jeopardy but fought off the pin and, with five seconds left in the opening period, scored a single point on an escape. The Pirate senior proceeded to quickly, and effectively turn the tables on Cooper, escaping to start the second period then taking Cooper down and scoring eight back points to lead at the end of the period, 12-5. The wrestlers started in the neutral position and Sandoval scored two with the takedown. A two-point near fall was followed by three more back points. With one minute remaining in the match, Sandoval completed the process, putting Cooper's shoulders to the mat.

At 130, freshman Joe DuCharme acquitted himself well against a state-tourney veteran, Kyle Francis. Experience, maturity and strength kept Francis in control throughout two periods and produced an 11-0 lead. DuCharme, however, continued the battle into the third period before Francis put the Pirate's shoulders down.

Another Pirate freshman, Mike Smith, took the mat at 135 and fell behind an experienced Omar Gonzales 13-4 at the end of two periods. But, much to the delight of Pirate fans and the chagrin of Gonzales, Smith was not ready to concede. With Gonzales starting down in the final period, Smith nailed a three-point near fall. Gonzales escaped, but Smith took him down. Gonzales escaped again and, again, Smith took him down. Smith got two back points and was poised to win the match when time ran out. Gonzales was lucky to get the 15-13 decision.

Ky Smith put five points on the scoreboard for the Pirates at 140. The senior veteran fought Nate Venable and manhandled him in the first period, taking a 9-1 lead. Smith started down in the second, reversed Venable and got two back points to lead 13-1. From a neutral start in the third period, Smith got the takedown then stopped the clock with three back points and an 18-1 technical fall.

Monte extended its lead with falls at 145 and 152. Paul Hostetter lost to Zack Scholl in the second period. Justin Moore lost to German Gutierrez in the second period.

Matt Nobles temporarily halted Monte's drive with a win at 160. The Pirate senior made short work of Ethan Hasty. Nobles took Hasty down then intentionally released him, only to take him down again. Not willing to waste time with the takedown/escape scoring game, Nobles ended the match, getting maximum team points with a fall at one minute, 49 seconds.

Monte went back on the winning track quickly, and decisively. Clayton Weaver pinned Pagosa's Eric Hurd in the first period at 171 and Chris Salazar put Reynaldo Palmer's shoulders down in the second period at 189.

The Pirates got six points when Monte forfeited to Bubba Martinez, at 215, then saw the opponent score six when Keaton Roosen - one of this season's best bets to take the Class 3A title at 275 - pinned Pagosa's Joe Romine in the first period.

The dual ended with a match at 103. Pagosa Freshman Steven Smith got a 2-0 lead on Monte's Pablo Mascarenas but was pinned in the second period.

"I thought the meet started hopefully," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "The first match in which we had a chance was Orion's and he got the win. Joe (DuCharme) gave a good account of himself against Francis and Mike (Smith) gave a good account of himself against Omar. Ky came out and tech-falled his man, then things came apart for us. Momentum is a weird thing, and it certainly played a part in our match with Monte Vista. But, we'll see them again."

The Pirates have a weekend off and return to the mat for a Jan. 26 IML dual at Bayfield.


Ski Day at Wolf Creek to benefit United Way

By Stacia Kemp

Special to The SUN

United Way Ski and Save Day will take place at Wolf Creek Ski Area Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Full-day lift tickets will be sold for $34 that day, with $11 of each ticket sold going to United Way.

To encourage more participation, Ski and Bow Rack is providing free ski and snowboard rentals, including demos.

Proceeds from the event will help Archuleta County's United Way campaign, which raises money to help 15 organizations that serve the local community.

This year's United Way campaign is still short of its goal. Please support this event and the local programs that United Way helps.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

A quiet Sunday morning in a snowy Town Park

By Jim Miller

SUN Columnist

Sunday morning, the big cottonwoods in Town Park were dusted with snow, making their sculptural branches even more dramatic than usual.

The park was empty, so the dogs and I were apparently the only creatures to hear the burbling of the resident ouzel, whose virtuoso song welcomed the snow from his icy perch along the riverbank.

This scene, repeated through the years, remains a constant amid the whirling changes we humans continue to work on the landscape. A sense of stability granted by the long, slow period of natural progression is in contrast to the rapidity of development and construction all around the peaceful park.

But those iconic cottonwoods are themselves approaching the end of their lives, as the years full of drought, flooding and gravity take their toll on the brittle branches, and their gracious shade begins to contain potential danger as well as motes of sunshine.

Judicious pruning can extend their useful presence for perhaps another decade, but their inevitable demise is a sad and joyous reminder of the transience of experience.

Their quiet strength blesses us, for now.

Adult basketball

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department is now accepting team registrations for the 2006 adult men's and women's basketball leagues. Registration forms are available at the department office in Town Hall; deadline for registering teams in this year's leagues is Feb. 17. Team registration fees are $250, plus a $25 fee per player.

There will be a team managers' meeting in late February, and the leagues are tentatively scheduled to begin in early March.

Youth basketball

The 9- and 10-year-old youth basketball schedule for the coming week includes the following:

- Tonight at the Community Center - Nuggets vs. Sixers at 5:30 p.m. and Cavs vs. Kings at 6:30 p.m.

- Saturday at Pagosa Springs Junior High School (upper gym) - Jazz vs. Knicks at 9 a.m., Sixers vs. Cavs at 10 a.m., Kings vs. Nuggets at 11 a.m. and Pacers vs. Spurs at noon. Note: there are no games scheduled for the 9- and 10-year-old division Jan. 23-30; the season will resume as scheduled Jan. 31.

This week's 11- and 12-year-old youth schedule includes:

- Saturday at Pagosa Springs Junior High School (lower gym) - Cavs vs. Spurs at 10 a.m., Pacers vs. Lakers at 11 a.m. and Nuggets vs. Timberwolves at noon. Note: all 11- and 12-year-old teams playing Saturday will have individual and team photos taken, so please make arrangements for players to arrive at least 20 minutes prior to game times.

Also, the Jazz vs. Bulls game that had originally been scheduled for 9 a.m. was played earlier this week at the request of the coaches, so neither team will play Saturday, and team pictures of these teams will be scheduled for a later date.

- Jan. 23 at the Community Center - Bulls vs. Spurs at 5:30 p.m. and Timberwolves vs. Cavs at 6:30 p.m.

Sponsorships needed

As always, the recreation department extends utmost gratitude to the eight individuals and businesses who have stepped forward to sponsor our 9-10 and 11-12 youth basketball teams this year.

However, because we have a record 17 teams competing this year, there are still nine teams in need of sponsorships.

If you would like to sponsor a team, call the department office at 264-4151 Ext. 232.

Christmas tree recycling

To assist with the proper disposal of this year's crop of Christmas trees, the town is once again conducting a tree recycling program. The program will run through the end of this month. Please bring trees, stripped of all ornaments, to the posted area in South Pagosa Park on South 8th Street.

Sports hotline

General information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department can be obtained by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the parks and recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis.

For additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151 Ext. 232.



Seemingly harmless

Last week, we received a communication from a friend, Roy Boutwell, a former Pagosa resident who recently returned to his home state of Texas. Boutwell wrote to express his displeasure with an aside made in an editorial, one he believed was discriminatory in nature.

The editorial remark was not intended to offend. It was made in the context of noting our preference for Mark Larson as our next governor and we added Larson was no "Texas transplant." It was a backhanded slap at our current governor and there was no desire for it to be interpreted as a judgment of a group or a class of people.

And yet, it could be legitimately interpreted that way. As such, it serves as an example of the seemingly harmless bias that most of us exhibit at some time, to some extent.

Seemingly harmless.

Boutwell wrote: "Šthe main implication is that a native would make a better governor because of close ties and background understanding of his state Š If you would have simply said 'First, he's a Native Coloradan' that would have been perfectly fine'Š My question is, why did you feel obligated to go to the next step and throw in the 'Texas Connection? Isn't that discriminatory in nature? Maybe it was just a very poorly stated comment made without thought for the possible implications."

Yes, it was.

The dented logic of our remark is that no Texan (or recent arrival from anywhere else, for that matter), for that reason, could do as good a job in a key political position as a native. This is obviously wrong. One's ability, one's intelligence and intent, is not necessarily determined by their state of origin.

The mistake brings to light a greater problem, similarly based on a discriminatory point of view. This is one shared too often by those of us whose ancestors have been in this state for two, three, four generations or more, and by fairly recent arrivals to Colorado and Pagosa Country as well. It is a discriminatory bloom too often brought to the surface by the heat of growth and the pressures that growth levels on us.

Too many of us draw a distinction between ourselves and recent arrivals and those who desire to relocate here. We falsely see them as the primary source of the problems we face. And yet, the truth is - unless we are Native American by birth - at some point in time we, or our ancestors, came here and, in doing so, became part of the problem. We all, to some degree or another, contribute to the pressures, to the difficulties.

And most of us are capable of taking part in the processes that move to solutions - no matter where we came from, whether we are fourth-generation Coloradans or those who bought property and moved here last week. Once the new arrival takes the time to educate him or herself to the nature of our situation and its history (often a difficult task, given the abundance of rumor and half-accurate information circulated in a community) he or she is just as likely to be an effective community or political leader as anyone else.

The bottom line: It is cooperation and the utilization of combined skills and talents that will take us forward in the best possible way, that will allow us to see that the greatest good is obtained by the greatest number. And our "seemingly harmless" bias too often restrains us.

We all need to be aware of the prejudices that cloud our understanding, that prevent the exchange of energies, ideas and cooperation.

We, here, stand corrected concerning our lapse into biased thinking, and we apologize.

Karl Isberg




90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 21, 1916

South of Pagosa Springs, some fifteen miles, you "kick into" Trujillo. In order to reach this hamlet by wagon road, follow a two-wheeled trail leading south, on the west side of the San Juan River. This route was laid out in the heat of passion and became warped, but that doesn't hinder your getting there if you stick to it.

Trujillo is a foundation and may become a town. It has a school, a church and two stores. It also has some dogs and many goats. It has a bridge and patch of farm land, and the distinction of being at the mouth of the Blanco River. The two stores have a fictitious advantage - if it's not at the one you MAY find it at the other. The great war stamps make coal oil and corn salve come high and not be to kept regularly in Trujillo stock.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 23, 1931

Jim Lynch and Ed Lister came down Monday to load fourteen cars of ties at the Juanita station.

This seems to be magazine week, bundles coming in from both the East and West from interested friends and relatives.

D.D. Pargin left for his ranch on the Piedra this morning to deliver a number of purebred bulls to John and Henry Truby, of Blanco, N.M. Shortly before leaving Mr. Pargin stated that plans were made to start the mill at Trimble Springs the first of this week, but his furnace man was unable to get there. Everything is all ready for operation at the mill and as soon as the man who will have charge of the furnace arrives on the scene the mill will be started.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 19, 1956

The weather took a sudden change this week with some snow, although there has been no cold weather to date. Snow started falling early Monday morning and continued intermittently through the day and night and some fell again on Tuesday.

Just a reminder that license plates must be on all cars and trucks by February 15.

The little league basketball play has started with games each Saturday morning. Some pretty lively basketball is played by the smaller hoopsters and it is a pretty good morning of entertainment to stop in and watch them.

The snow the first of the week makes it seem a little more like winter here.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 22, 1981

There is still no new snow or rain in this area and the ground is getting bare over much of the county.

An election to determine whether or not a hospital district will be formed in this area has been set for February 24. At the present time there is no plan to build a hospital, only to enlarge, or build a new medical center.

Local officials are in strong disagreement with the official tally of the 1980 census. The Bureau of Census gives the county population as 3,631. A special census was taken in Archuleta County in 1977 and showed a population of 3,594. The Bureau of Census tally for 1989 indicates a growth of only 37 residents in the past three years. During that three-year period the school enrollment has increased 145 students.


One town to another ... Pagosans make delivery ... into the hearts of Mississippi residents

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"One reason people are drawn to Pagosa Springs is our sense of community," said Mary Jo Coulehan, president of the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

Coulehan was one of three Pagosa Springs representatives to travel to D'Iberville, Miss. to follow a tractor trailer load of supplies to the city devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August of last year. Joined by Kim Moore of the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club and Pagosa Springs resident Helen Richardson, Coulehan made the two-day drive Dec. 19-20.

"We have such a giving town. People here have been so receptive and supportive," said Coulehan. "People were still giving" after the donation period ended, and the trailer was filled to the brim. "We couldn't fit anymore - we took things in our own cars.

"Yellow Freight of Denver went out of their way to help us," said Coulehan of the company's offer to deliver the donations free of charge.

"ACE donated between 20 and 24 shipping containers and offered to be the receiving site; Design-A-Sign donated signs to advertise the collection. People were just super helpful. It was amazing how many people came through as a community. Every little bit helps, and that's what made it a great community effort," said Coulehan.

"There has never been anything of this magnitude [along the coast]," said Coulehan of the hurricane. "It wasn't just one town or two towns, it was a whole region that got destroyed." Coulehan spent two days touring the area, including the neighboring town of Biloxi.

"It looks like a war zone. I can't begin to tell you. And they have to live with it every day."

Biloxi has started cleaning up in and around the city, and though they've only just begun, they have 1.5 million cubic feet of debris - the equivalent of an entire football field, 50 stories high. The town expects there to be an additional 3 million cubic feet by the time the clean-up efforts have ended.

"Our initial impression [upon arriving in D'Iberville] was, 'It doesn't look so bad.' They said, 'You haven't seen the whole town.' We began to wonder if we'd picked the wrong town to adopt. Then we went further into the town and the light came on," explained Coulehan. "We saw trees snapped in half like toothpicks. [Residents] had a hard time finding were they had lived - there were no landmarks, signs, trees - it was just debris."

D'Iberville was chosen as Pagosa Springs' adoptive city after completing a thorough application, of sorts.

"I knew the smaller cities wouldn't get press or much in the way of financial help because of all the coverage of New Orleans. I wanted to work with a community, because one of the biggest concerns [of local residents] was that their donation would get lost in the sea of donations. That's where the adopt-a-city idea came from. I knew I wanted to do something long term," said Coulehan.

Coulehan teamed up with Mark Garcia, Pagosa Springs town manager, and together they researched which towns would benefit most from the help of our local community. It was impossible to reach some towns, as their phones were not connected at the time of selection.

Coulehan and Garcia spoke with various town representatives to discover what their expectations were after being adopted. They also sought towns similar in government, size and sister organizations, such as Rotary Club.

D'Iberville didn't make headlines, or even honorable mention among the media, including the local Gulf Coast media. Town representatives were very friendly during the interview process and said they were looking for any help offered, said Coulehan. "If they hadn't been adopted, they would not have been able to get a relief center going."

After Pagosa Springs adopted D'Iberville, Coulehan began communicating with Ivy Macintosh, a college professor and local coordinator of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Macintosh knew what the residents of D'Iberville needed most, and made those needs known to Coulehan.

"They had nothing," she said. D'Iberville residents needed everything from tools and cleaning supplies to bedding and silverware.

The delivery from Pagosa Springs arrived just before Christmas, "Our truck was instrumental in meeting Christmas wish list items," said Coulehan, who explained a few of the matches were items taken for granted under normal circumstances, such as television sets and microwaves.

D'Iberville is in the process of closing its goods distribution center, which resembled a warehouse-style bulk goods store. As Macintosh explained to Coulehan, "People have what they need now. The businesses are crying out for workers."

According to Coulehan, many businesses cannot open, or are open partial hours, because there is nowhere for people to live - customers and workers. "Even fast food restaurants are offering $125 bonuses just for people to come to work," Coulehan said.

As the situation in D'Iberville steadies and residents get back on their feet, they do not intend to let the little Mississippi town drift back off the radar.

"We're still looking to do some partnering with them," said Coulehan. "Volunteer general contractors are working on acquiring materials and rebuilding. Some money collected will go into that fund. [D'Iberville] will send an accounting of how the funds are used. Our local chapter of Habitat for Humanity wants to go; the local 4-H kids are fund raising and various faith-based groups are wanting to do more."

Coulehan described the many challenges facing D'Iberville residents in the rebuilding of their town. "I brought back a lot, and we went to take stuff," said Coulehan. "It was really interesting for me to go, personally and professionally."

Coulehan said as D'Iberville's leaders work to reconstruct their battered town, they are facing many of the same challenges as leaders in Pagosa Springs.

"We're facing a lot of the same things they are [in rebuilding] as we grow," said Coulehan.

Coulehan explained that Interstate 90 runs directly through D'Iberville, much like U.S. 160 divides Pagosa Springs. Coulehan studied the Mississippi town's "big box" plan, including the attempt to build "big box" stores with small storefront facades and parking hidden from street view.

"What they're going through is analogous to a death in the family. You're not always okay, but you have to move on even if you're not [okay], because people expect you to be. It's out of the media now, so people [nationally] have moved on.

"It was really nice to come home," stated Coulehan. "It was very rewarding for all of us [who went]. It makes you appreciate what you have."


Pagosa's Past

The Pagosa Country journey continues

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

We have been quoting from the description an 1880 trip from Animas City - now Durango - to Chama by way of Pagosa Springs.

We resume our account on the fourth day of the trip. Our travelers, in the company of a caravan of freight wagons, reached Chama last night.

At the time, the terminus of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad was just west of Chama. A great deal of the freight and a large number of settlers coming into the San Juan Basin were already using the train. From its Chama terminus, freight and humans moved westward by wagon, stage coach, or even on foot. The railroad reached newly created Durango the following year. We continue:

"Leaving Chama at 7 a.m. we have twenty miles to travel to the Bear Creek Station, which is the most interesting and difficult road on the route, being along the railroad grade and directly up the Chama river for a distance of thirteen miles to the summit of the Conejos range, which is the highest point reached on the line of the San Juan Extension. The road crosses the Continental Divide between the Chama and the San Juan rivers. Eight miles from the point where the railroad camp is located, is another toll gate; from this toll gate to the summit, a distance of five miles, the railroad has some very difficult and expensive work, in the way of grading to accomplish, the greater part of which is already completed and ready for the ties and iron. Bear Creek station is seven miles from the summit of the Conejos range on the east side. There is no accommodation there for travel and as the train runs so that it is necessary to remain there over-night it is not at all pleasant. A five-cent lodging house on Water street in New York, as described by the "Police Gazette," when compared with the sleeping room in the hotel at the end of the track at Bear creek, is paradise Š"

By January of 1881 two stages ran daily between the end of the rail line and Durango. An item in the Durango Record newspaper said, "J.L. Sanderson & Co. will run daily stages both ways, between Chama and Durango." Wall & Witter & Company advertised their intention to do the same.

Regular use and winter weather combined to put the ungraveled roads in "horrible condition." Sanderson's six-horse coaches were referred to as "lumber wagons." Drivers carried as much lumber with them as they could manage in anticipation of the mud holes they knew they'd have to cross. Commented one passenger, "Instead of making the distance from Chama to Durango in 20 hours, over 40 hours of continuous travel were required on our most recent trip."

Even after the rail line was completed, travel across the San Juans from Chama to the San Luis Valley was arduous. Some of the track construction was unbelievable, as described in the following popular poem describing the trip: "It doubles in, it doubles out, Leaving the traveler still in doubt, Whether the engine on the track, Is going on or coming back."

Then there was this joke. Lady to conductor: "Can't the train go any faster? I'm about to have a baby." Conductor to lady: "Ma'am, you shouldn't have gotten on the train in such a condition." Lady: "When I got on I wasn't in this condition."

From Bear Creek, the railhead moved west to the new town of Amargo, located about one mile east of Lumberton. The stage coaches and freight wagons shifted to Amargo to pick up their loads from the train. More next week on Amargo.





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Snow is falling ... somewhere

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Good morning and happy shoveling the new snow! The jet stream is finally cooperating, bringing in the Pacific moisture direct to southern Colorado, eschewing its typical northern meander. Six to 12 inches are expected by the time the storm passes by tomorrow (Friday). If not here, then elsewhere ...

Be prepared for hazardous driving conditions if you're heading out of town. The weather should be completely clearing by Sunday, with highs in the 30s and lows in the single digits, making for icy roads. Blustery conditions, with winds from the N/NE are expected for the remainder of the week. Next week will be another week of mostly sunny/partly cloudy weather, with not much precipitation in the forecast.

Last week we got a few inches of snow on Sunday night, with the ski area reporting seven new inches of snow, bringing the Wolf Creek summit snow base to 43 inches. Lows last week were in the single digits, with a temperature of 0.1 degrees F. reported on Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. Last Saturday the high reached 50 degrees, followed by mid-30 degrees highs the following days.

It's official: La Niña is here. What began as a moderate Pacific cooling trend in recent months is developing into a definite La Niña season.

What is La Niña? La Niña is the term given to the cooling phase of the natural varying cycle of sea water temperatures and currents in the Pacific Ocean (known as the "Southern Oscillation"). If you imagine yourself in space with infrared sunglasses, looking down at the Pacific Ocean, you would see the characteristic cold water tongue of La Niña emanating from the coast of South America and extending west along the equator. The tongue, representing temperatures cooler than normal, is expected to continue its westward journey in the next three to six months.

By contrast, El Niño refers to the warmer than normal waters along the equator. The term El Niño was originally dubbed by fishermen off the coast of South America, who noticed the periodic warmer Pacific water usually occurring around Christmas, hence the name (El Niño refers to the Christ child - "little boy" in Spanish). When the scientific community discovered the opposite phenomena in more recent years, the obvious "La Niña" came to describe the cooling trend of the cycle.

The periodic temperature oscillations irregularly occur every two to seven years. La Niña and El Niño events typically last 12 to 18 months, and have dramatic consequences for global weather patterns, due to changes in the strengths and directions of the trade winds in the Pacific. Serious study of the Southern Oscillation began after the globally devastating El Niño event in 1982-83, which caused massive flooding in California, devastating droughts and fires in tropical areas, billions of dollars in damage, and the deaths of over 2,000 people.

The event prompted the initiation of the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean project (TAO). Seventy temperature-sensing moored buoys were installed in the Pacific Ocean, aligned and to the north and south of the equatorial parallel. Each buoy is anchored to the ocean floor, often over three miles deep. Temperature data at the surface and at incremental depths is recorded and analyzed, then compiled to give a visual picture of the Southern Oscillation. Temperature gradient graphics of current and past phenomena can be viewed at www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/

Generally for the western U.S., La Niña events result in warmer and dryer conditions for the Southwest and the Gulf States, and wetter and cooler conditions along the California coast and in the Northwest (El Niño years have the opposite effect). The current La Niña is expected to result in a dryer than normal winter in Colorado, and warmer than average temperatures throughout the year.

Historically, 1997-8 was a strong El Niño winter, coinciding with Colorado's massive blizzard that deposited 22 inches of snow in the Denver area, shutting down many services and forcing many families to leave their homes. That event was followed by two La Niña winters, cumulating in the serious drought of 2000. Since then, we've had a couple moderate El Niño years (2003 and 2005). Let's hope for Colorado that the current La Niña cycle won't be as severe as the last one.

Photographing snowflakes

Last week we discussed the various types of snowflakes. It's possible to photograph a snowflake using a common point-and-shoot digital camera, modified to enable super-macro photography. The key is to attach a magnifier to the lens of the camera - a 12X slide viewing loupe can be used for this purpose. If your camera has a screw in filter thread on the lens, you can tape the loupe onto a clear filter, then mount the filter and loupe assembly onto your camera. There's probably other imaginative ways to attach a magnifier to your camera.

Begin by catching snowflakes on a cold piece of foam-core or cardboard. Keep your eyes peeled for interesting crystals, and brush the accumulating snow off regularly. When you spot a nice snowflake, carefully pick it up using a small brush or stick and place it on a cold piece of glass, so the snowflake can be backlit while you photograph it. Keeping the super-macro camera steady will be the biggest challenge.

Taking pictures in colder conditions is preferable - colder snowflakes are easier to handle and they last longer, giving you more time to compose. E-mail your images to john@pagosasun.com and we'll publish the best one in a future issue of the SUN.