February 2, 2006
Front Page

Work on reservoir could be delayed

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Officials at Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) have expressed doubt on whether or not the enlargement of Stevens Reservoir will begin this year, as planned.

Last fall, PAWSD drained Stevens reservoir to begin the drying out process, so that construction could take place this spring.

The plan is to increase the capacity of the reservoir from 635 acre-feet to 1,844 acre-feet. Once completed, the usable water storage of the entire district, including Hatcher, Lake Pagosa and Lake Forest, will increase from approximately 3,000 acre-feet to 4,200 acre-feet of water (average per person water consumption is about 1/4 acre foot per year).

Water storage is considered crucial by PAWSD, both for future growth of the region, and to guarantee a safe water supply if there was a toxic spill in the San Juan River, which would make the district completely dependent on the storage reservoirs. The enlargement of Stevens Reservoir has been planned for 20 years, according to district manager Carrie Campbell.

"It will be 50/50 on whether it will happen this year," said Campbell.

Three ongoing issues are involved with the enlargement plan: the finalization of the engineering plans for the dam, the Section 404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and ongoing land negotiations with six private landowners surrounding the reservoir.

The engineering plans by Davis Engineering are nearly complete, but the Division of Water Resources "can take up to nine months" to approve the plans, according to Campbell.

PAWSD has received the Section 404 permit from the Army Corps, required by the Clean Water Act "for any discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States." Still, there are "a number of conditions" related to the permit, such as the wetlands mitigation plan still in review, said Campbell.

The district board of directors has met regularly in executive session for the past year discussing land negotiations with six landowners with properties surrounding the reservoir. PAWSD requires the land surrounding the reservoir not only because it will be flooded or lies within the 100-year flood plain, but also because title or easement to the land is a condition of permits such as the wetlands mitigation plan. Surrounding wetlands assist in water quality, acting as a natural filter of water draining into the reservoir.

Although contracts with three landowners are "pretty finalized," negotiations with three landowners - Tom Smith, Dave Rosgen and the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs - continue, according to Campbell.

In 1997, after "trying to work with" Roger Dolese on acquisition of approximately 50 acres of land - "the most significant part needed" for the reservoir expansion," said Campbell - PAWSD gained part fee-title and part easement to the land in an eminent domain proceeding. Tom Smith has since purchased the Dolese property with the easements.

Approximately 16 acres is still needed by PAWSD. "One of the issues involved is the opinion of the value of the land," said Campbell. PAWSD completed appraisals of the land in 2005, and said it's now just a matter "of coming to an agreement" with the landowners. Eminent domain proceedings, where land is condemned and taken by the government in order to provide a greater public good, is "an option, but a last option," said Campbell.

With the longer delays, construction costs go up, said Campbell. In lieu of the enlargement construction, PAWSD is currently considering refilling Stevens Reservoir once Hatcher is full, because "we may need the additional storage" this summer, said Campbell.

"If I had a crystal ball and knew what the winter of 2006-2007 would bring, we could possibly go a year with what we have now," said Campbell, "but two consecutive years without a decent snowpack could really hurt us."

Other matters discussed at the last PAWSD board meeting:

- The Hatcher Treatment plant improvement is in progress, with the surveying and a "good portion of the initial design" done, according to Gene Tautges, district assistant manager. The new treatment plant is expected to be in compliance with "current and future water quality issues", including revised cryptosporidium requirements expected in 2007.

- In the context of a discussion of low water pressure at Cameo Court, Bob Huff, board member, stated that the lack of a comprehensive water distribution improvement plan to rectify "problem areas" could be construed as "willful negligence." Holiday Acres, Terry Robinson, certain areas on U.S. 160 and U.S. 84, and other portions of the "old Archuleta water system" are noted as areas where eventual improvements will be necessary.

€Randall Davis petitioned for a reimbursement of $2,226.22 for costs related to "needlessly digging a hole to find a water main that subsequently turned out not to be where PAWS said it was," an issue related to the lack of documentation of the county water system installed prior to PAWSD's creation. PAWSD agreed to reimburse half of the cost incurred.

- Two and half-cubic feet per second of water is currently running through the completed Dutton Ditch. "If we hadn't completed the pipeline, we wouldn't have anything going into Hatcher," said Campbell.

- The district plans to update the county's sewer model with a new sewer master plan.

- PAWSD will hold a regular election for two positions on the district board, in conjunction with the fire and health district elections, to be held at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse at 230 Port Ave., May 2.




Weekend blaze destroys home

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

A Saturday blaze, ignited by ashes from a wood stove, destroyed a home located south of Pagosa Springs.

The Pagosa Fire Protection District responded to the residential structure fire at 505 Eight Mile Loop when neighbors of the residence reported the fire at approximately 1:54 p.m. Within 10 minutes, a team of firefighters arrived on scene to find a house that was "fully involved, with fire coming out of the roof," according to a report from Chief Warren Grams.

"We were defensive right from the start," said Grams, who worked with his team for five hours to put out flames, which rose to "over 30 feet in the air." The estimated 3,000 square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bath home, was "completely destroyed" by the fire, said Grams.

The homeowners, Richard and Bernadine Sautel, had resided in the home for only three weeks, and were not present when the fire started. The fire began after ashes from a wood stove were placed in a metal wheelbarrow and set on a wooden deck adjacent to an exterior wall of the house, said Grams. The ashes rekindled and caught the side of the house on fire. The fire passed into the interior of the home through a kitchen window and continued into the attic space.

A crew of 21 firefighters, using two engines, doused the house with water from a nearby hydrant, but the attic fire was particularly difficult due to problematic access, said Grams. "We couldn't put anybody on the roof" due to the possibility of roof collapse, said Grams, so firefighters pulled sections of the ceiling down with their plaster-pulling, hooked "dike pole." Once attic access was gained from below (after firefighters ended up "wearing" the falling fiberglass insulation, said Grams), water was hosed upwards. Because of the added weight of the water in the attic space, ceiling collapse became a major concern. No one was injured in the course of the firefighting, said Grams.

Firefighters were able to get some of the owners' possessions out of the house, but "a majority of the possessions were lost," said Grams. The residents arrived later in the afternoon and alerted the firefighters to a cat that had been locked inside the house. The cat was never found.

By 6:48 the fire had been extinguished, and fire crews continued to check the house periodically that evening. By midnight, the flames rekindled, and firefighters returned to extinguish the residence once again.

Grams said ashes from a wood stove should only be stored in metal containers on bare ground, and that people should not be afraid to "get their hands dirty" to feel for heat in the ashes prior to removing them from the wood stove.

A fund has been established to aid the Sautels. Anyone wanting to donate can do so, to the Loma Linda Homeowners' Fire Fund, at Bank of Colorado.




County will decide on airport fees

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The county commissioners held a work session Tuesday to discuss the implementation of revised airport fees. The commissioners are expected to approve a new airport fee structure at next week's BOCC meeting.

Elmer Schettler, chair of the airport advisory commission, started off the meeting by projecting a series of spreadsheets on the wall summarizing various fee scenarios. He said the county's originally proposed "highly uncompetitive" fee schedule would diminish airport traffic 20 to 30 percent, result in 3,000 to 4,500 fewer visitors to Pagosa Springs, and decrease public spending in Archuleta County by $2-3 million dollars.

Schettler then outlined the annual expenditures to the county for eight "typical" airport individuals, ranging from a single-engine airplane owner to the corporate jet traveler. In every case, under the county proposed fees, the amount spent by a user of the Archuleta airport would be two or three times the amount spent by a similar user of the Durango/La Plata airport.

Schettler recommended a series of fees that included a 7 cents per gallon "fuel flowage fee" (county proposal was 9.5 cents); a $1 per day automobile parking fee (the county proposed $5 per day); daily and monthly aircraft "tie-down" fees or overnight aircraft parking (similar to the county's proposals); and no landing fees or fees on businesses operating at the airport ("If it's the county's intent to discourage businesses from coming here, business fees are the way to do it," said Schettler). He also recommended a 7-percent countywide rental car fee, rather than county proposed $5 surcharge for car rentals at the airport.

One of the line items included by Schettler while comparing airport fees was the amount of property tax paid by a pilot with a hangar at the airport. For example, the fictional "Charlie" in Schettler's presentation, who owns a 421 twin-engine Cessna and a hangar, would only pay $662 of hangar property tax in Durango, while in Archuleta County, a similarly assessed property is taxed in excess of $2,000.

Commissioner Mamie Lynch pointed out that property tax could not be considered airport revenue, and thus should not be included in the comparison of airport fees. County finance director Bob Burchett explained that only about 40 percent of collected property tax goes in the general fund (which finances the airport) and that the rest is distributed to the school, library and other districts in the county. Burchett also explained that La Plata county is de-Bruced from TABOR requirements (Archuleta County is not), and has a fixed levy of 8.5 mills (Archuleta County's levy is 18.223 mills). A majority of La Plata's county income comes from oil and gas revenues, rather than property tax, said Burchett.

Schettler also urged the county to resolve the issues with Avjet, the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at the airport, and to "negotiate, don't litigate." The county proposed to add a 15-percent surcharge for businesses operating within the FBO building, which is leased by Avjet.

Burchett then presented the county view of the airport. He detailed three categories of county expense at the airport over the past three years. One, operating expenses have exceeded airport revenue by over $100,000 per year. Two, the county has matched $515,000 for capital improvements related to the FAA airport improvement project funding. Three, the $3 million the county has spent on the FBO, eight new hangars, and the new fueling station requires an annual $310,000 debt service payment for the next 10 years.

"Our ultimate fiscal responsibility is to the residents of the county," said Burchett, who directly contrasted the county's airport subsidy with funding for Archuleta County roads. "The general fund has to give up money (to the airport) that could go into road and bridge," said Burchett.

"The key is to apply history to see where we want to go," continued Burchett. "One airport that mirrors ours is Casa Grande in Arizona," Casa Grande's airport has an airport authority board, and six businesses that operate out of the airport, according to Ray Estrada, who works for one of the three FBOs at Casa Grande.

Burchett said that a "common denominator" in profitable small airports in the U.S. involves developing a plan where the county acquires and upgrades adjacent airport land, then builds and leases commercial property. With a future mix of 60/40 municipal/privately-owned hangars, Stevens Field could expect to break even in seven to 10 years, said Burchett.

Currently, there are two businesses operating at Steven's Field in addition to Avjet: Pioneer Aviation, a flight school run by Brad Handy, and Wings Over Pagosa, run by Tom Broadbent, which offers scenic flights in an open cockpit Stearman PT-17 airplane. Both business owners have expressed doubt concerning continuation of their businesses at Steven's Field due to current and proposed measures by county airport management. "There's a lot of things that make it difficult to operate at Steven's Field," said Handy, who added that the current "exclusion" from airport plans and information by airport management makes business planning problematic.

In particular, the new hangar lease approved by the county has caused many to think twice about leasing the land for a hangar (airport businesses typically operate out of hangars). Broadbent said that without a hangar near the FBO, he doesn't think he will continue Wings Over Pagosa. Broadbent is currently in litigation involving the hangar land lease; his former hangar was destroyed by the county as part of the airport improvement project and, in 2004, he was promised one of the new hangars near the FBO. The litigation is costing the county an average of $10,000 per month in legal fees.

"If the county would consider a reasonable lease - similar to Durango's - the litigation would disappear," said Broadbent. In addition to legal fees, the county is forfeiting hangar lease income and property taxes from six of the eight recently built hangars that remain vacant because of the litigation. When asked if there was a timeline or process in place to review the hangar land lease, Lynch said because of the litigation, the commissioners were not at the liberty to discuss it. The next court date for the hangar lease litigation is scheduled sometime in June.

Although Burchett brought up the broader issues regarding future airport revenue, much of the remainder of the work session was consumed by a debate of automobile parking fees (estimated parking fees will generate a maximum of $4,172 in annual revenues). Commissioner Ronnie Zaday also made the point that, as airport growth progresses, the phone calls to the commissioners will come in regarding airport noise, complaining, "We didn't come to live here to be under LAX traffic."





 Inside The Sun

Free workshop on meth abuse to be held tomorrow

Dr. Nicolas Taylor, from Taylor Behavioral Health, will hold an all-day workshop Friday, Feb. 3, on the topic of Biophysical Effects and Treatment of Methamphetamine Addiction.

All citizens of Archuleta County are invited to attend the session, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the IHM Parish Hall on Lewis Street.

The program is free to all Friday, with lunch included. Seating is limited and R.S.V.P. is a must.

Monday, Feb. 6, there will be a continuation of the session for those who work directly with addicts. That workshop is by invitation only.

Methamphetamine abuse is a growing problem in the southwest Colorado region. This workshop is designed to provide training and understanding about neurobiological and the psychosocial impacts of meth abuse. Community-based interventions and effective treatment models will receive specific focus.

Taylor is one of the top instructors and large group trainers in the state of Colorado on the topic of substance abuse. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and a Level III Certified Additions Counselor, as well as the director and primary clinician for Taylor Behavioral Health in Montrose. Taylor has provided informative and engaging community presentations to a wide array of audiences. He has lectured and presented extensively throughout the state and surrounding areas on the topics of methamphetamine addiction, designer drugs, psychopharmacology, addictions counseling and treatment. He is also an instructor at Mesa State College, having completed a clinical internship at Quinco Behavioral Health in Columbus, Indiana, in 1997, and earning a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University in 1998.

There is no charge for this workshop and lunch is included. Please RSVP to Department of Human Services, 264-22182.

The workshop is sponsored by Department of Human Services and the Pagosa Meth Project.



Petitions available Feb. 10 for town council, mayoral election

An April 4 election in Pagosa Springs will fill three seats on the Town Council.

A representative will be picked from each of three newly-created districts. The mayor's position is also coming open and a candidate will be elected at-large.

District boundaries are:

District 1: From Durango Road, between South 10th Street and South 6th Street south to the town boundary; and from U.S. 160 between South 6th Street and Hot Springs Boulevard south to the town boundary.

District 2: From Hot Springs Boulevard/Light Plant Road east to the town boundary; and from U.S. 160 between the easternmost town boundary to North 6th Street.

District 3: From North and South 6th streets and between Durango Road and the northernmost town boundary to the westernmost town boundary.

Anyone interested in running for one of the open seats can pick up a petition at Town Hall, 551 Hot Springs Blvd. on or after Feb. 10, 2006.

Completed petitions must be turned in no later than 5 p.m. March 3, 2006, to the Town Clerk at Town Hall.



Town, county public hearing considers impact fees

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

A second town/county public hearing examining proposed impact fees was held Jan. 26 at the Pagosa Springs Town Hall.

Andy Knudtsen, of the land use economics firm Economic and Planning Systems (EPS) of Denver, delivered a presentation to those in attendance.

"It all surrounds growth," said Knudtsen of the perceived for impact fees. "We've never run across a community with land appreciation rates as high as those of Archuleta County," (which have experienced double-digit growth over the past several years).

Impact fees are a "one-time charge assessed against new development that attempts to recover the costs incurred by a local government in providing the public facilities required to serve new development," according to the EPS report.

The fees recommended by EPS are $4,994 for each new residential unit and $1,485 per 1,000 square feet for new commercial units. The calculations of impact fees proposed by the EPS to provide for the needs of the Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County took into account growth forecasts, facility needs, capital costs and apportionment of costs and maximum fee calculation.

According to EPS findings, the benefits of charging impact fees include the provision of consistent standards and predictability in the developmental review process, allowing communities to provide facilities and infrastructure needed to keep pace with growth, and improvement of overall quality of life for a community.

"The key issue is concurrency," stated Knudtsen - providing facilities when they're needed and wanted within a community.

Whether or not impact fees are established, and what those fees will initially be, will be decided by the town council and county commissioners. Fees could be subject to change, depending on the changing needs of the community and rates of inflation. EPS recommends an annual revisiting of collection amounts.

"If we want to go higher, we need direct relationships. Specific projects with specific costs," said Mark Garcia, Pagosa Springs town manager.

Fees will be payable to each benefiting entity or to one entity with administrative capabilities. "A one-stop shop," said Knudtsen.

The fees could be paid when a building permit is issued. "It makes sense to us," he said, "to collect impact fees at the time of building permit issuance. Applying [impact fees] at the time of permit is very well within the law. I don't know of a community that does it differently."

If the building permit collection model is adopted, each new residence or commercial facility built within town and county limits will be charged impact fees, whether constructed by a developer or a private citizen. Remodeling projects will not be subject to impact fees.

"I'm concerned about the impact this will have on lower income families," said Mamie Lynch, county commissioner. "What kind of fee will these people see?"

According to Knudtsen, the state "Senate made provision to exempt certain people according to local standards set for low income."

Town councilman Tony Simmons, had similar concerns regarding reverberations within the local business community: "Are we setting up a fee structure in which local businesses will be unable to expand?" he asked. "Will we be bringing in more out-of-state businesses and companies?"

Knudtsen responded that local government has options within the limits of state law concerning how to exempt or defer fees for certain business activities. For example, affordable housing units within a mixed development are exempt from impact fees altogether.

The question of proposed impact fees will be decided on in March or April. "The timeline is yet to be set," said Tamara Allan, Pagosa Springs town planner. Town council members and county commissioners present at the hearing agreed that, after the required public hearings, impact fees could be in place by April.

"We can start collection following passage of adopting ordinances which we hope to have before the council as soon as possible, and hopefully no later than April. We also have interim impact fees in place which will be rescinded and superceded by the new fees," said Garcia in response to questions regarding the proposed time frame.

"At the end of the day, it's up to the community to set its own standards," said Knudtsen. "I think the town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County are ahead of the game."

Infrastructure and entities that could from impact fees include roads, public facilities such as a county administration building and a recreation center, park land and trails. "The town and county will cover the administrative impacts," added Garcia via e-mail.

Service districts that stand to gain in Archuleta County are the Pagosa Fire Protection District, the San Juan Water Conservation District (SJWCD) and Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation funded the water study conducted by EPS jointly with SJWCD, but, according to the EPS report, ultimately "costs of capital improvements required for water storage [will] share these funds with the water district through an appropriate intergovernmental agreement in exchange for the provision of water and sewer service."

Each district has the option to opt out of receiving funds acquired from the collection of impact fees.



Free cosmetology session for those undergoing cancer treatment

Local residents undergoing cancer treatment have an opportunity to "Look Good ... Feel Better," at a Feb. 16 session being offered free of charge by local cosmetology professionals and the American Cancer Society.

"Look Good ... Feel Better" will take place 3:30-5:30 p.m. at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 225. S. Pagosa Blvd. Cosmetology professionals will help those in attendance with makeup application, skin care, nail care, hair care and hair loss; scarves, turbans and hats; wig selection, styling and care.

The session includes a free cosmetic kit, free beauty consultation and a free snack. If you want to attend, you must R.S.V.P. by Feb. 6 to the American Cancer Society at 247-0278.

For additional information, call Dee Butler, program director, at 731-9362.



Report addresses question of grads' readiness

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

On the average, between 65 and 75 percent of Pagosa Springs High School graduates enroll in post-secondary education every year.

That's the good news.

The bad news is, according to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, of those college-bound students enrolling in state colleges and universities each fall, half require remedial courses in math, writing, reading or some combination of the three. And, the National Center for Education Statistics says students placed in remediation, most specifically in reading, are less likely to finish college. The NCES also cites low math scores as the most common requirement for remedial instruction.

While these findings are troubling, they are not unique to Pagosa Springs. Of all Colorado schools with at least 30 graduates moving on to state institutions of higher learning, 30 percent of those students require remediation (up from 28 percent just a year earlier), and only 30 to 57 percent (depending on types and amount of remediation) ultimately finish. By comparison, 69 percent of students not needing remedial courses eventually earn a college degree or certificate.

To the CCHE, these facts suggest that graduation requirements at many state high schools are incompatible with contemporary post-secondary admission requirements.

"Completing a rigorous high school curriculum in core academic subjects such as English, mathematics, natural science, and the social sciences is a necessary precondition to success in college."

And, according to the ACT Office of Policy Research, "courses such as biology, chemistry, physics and upper-level mathematics beyond algebra II have a startling effect on student performance and college readiness. The problem is, too few students actually complete adequate coursework in core subjects."

While graduation requirements apparently vary among state high schools, students graduating from Pagosa Springs High must have successfully completed the following credits: three mathematics; two science; four social studies; five language arts; two physical education; one computer science; and eight electives.

As electives, PSHS students may choose a foreign language (French and Spanish), business courses, vocational auto, technical drawing, symphonic band, chorus, art, drama, and many upper-division elective courses in the core subject areas such as: psychology, chemistry, physics, calculus, programming and other college preparatory offerings.

To address the growing college preparation crisis and send clear signals to students, parents, teachers and counselors on how to adequately prepare for college success, the CCHE adopted new higher education admission requirements in 2003. According to the policy, "effective fall 2008, all students seeking admission to a four-year institution must complete four years of English, three years of mathematics (at algebra I level and higher), three years of science (two years in lab-based courses), and three years of social sciences in order to qualify."

By 2010 and all years thereafter, the mathematics requirement will increase to four years at algebra I level or higher, and two years of foreign language (in the same language) will also be required.

According to CCHE policy, all students entering state colleges for the first time must be assessed in basic mathematics, reading and writing skills to determine instructional needs. The state accepts three assessment tools for this purpose, including ACT, SAT and Accuplacer (math and elementary algebra, reading and comprehension, writing and sentence structure). If a student scores below certain marks in one or more of the three core areas, he or she will likely require remediation upon acceptance.

The CCHE remedial policy was adopted in 2000, and was not only designed to assess college preparation in first-time college undergraduates, but to provide students needing remedial instruction accurate information regarding course availability, costs and other options in meeting entry-level competency. The policy also determines how well informed public high schools are of their recent graduates' college readiness.

According to the most recent ACT data, had 2008 admission requirements been applied to the 2004 cohort of high school seniors (ages 17 to 19), only 53 percent would have been eligible for regular admission to four-year institutions. Further, only 53 percent scored above the CCHE math remediation cut score (19), and only 62 percent scored above the writing remediation score of 18.

The CCHE believes these disheartening statistics suggest an immediate need for better alignment of Colorado's K-12 and post-secondary education systems. They say, because the Colorado Constitution has allowed local school districts the freedom to adopt their own academic requirements, and at the same time, institutions of higher learning have historically provided prospective students only vague guidance to curriculums and college preparedness, an increasing number of first-year freshmen are finding themselves in remedial classes Š at college-level costs.

While local school board members and district administrators are openly concerned about the CCHE findings, they insist steps are being taken to improve college readiness for all students. But some are also fearful that, by increasing higher-level mathematics and foreign language graduation requirements, the high school dropout rate will also rise.

While that may or may not be true, Colorado and Massachusetts are currently the only two states without statewide graduation requirements, and in order to meet the new CCHE standards of 2008 and 2010, their time may be fast approaching.



County considers grant for Arboles road project

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Archuleta County is actively pursuing a grant to help fund improvements on two primary roads in the Arboles area, and a decision should come in March.

The grant, if fully funded, will pay 60 percent of the amount needed to widen and resurface more than four miles of county roads 975 and 982. The total cost of the improvements is estimated at $1,995,840, with the county covering $798,336 through cash, in-kind services and private contributions.

In late November 2005, the county applied for assistance through a program with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and at a Tuesday work session, DOLA regional manager Ken Charles addressed county officials, including the board of county commissioners, informing them of the next step in the process. He said DOLA officials will conduct a hearing at their Denver office March 2 and 3, and at least one county commissioner should attend and provide adequate support for the funding request. Shortly thereafter, the grant application will either be fully funded, partially funded or denied by the department's executive director.

In Tuesday's meeting, Charles described "adequate support" as specific reasons why the roads need improvement, and what external influences might be involved. According to county engineer Sue Walan, inadequate road design and deteriorating conditions are the obvious grounds for the proposed upgrades, and suggested increased traffic resulting from a variety of outside influences was largely to blame. According to Charles, such influences typically include community growth and development, revitalization or enhanced services, but impacts from energy and mineral extraction, growing recreational use and tribal gaming are also valid concerns.

CR 975 is divided into two sections, north and south, and is located approximately one mile west of Arboles. The southern graveled stretch runs 1.74 miles south from Colo. 151 to the New Mexico state line, and the northern chip seal reach runs north of Colo. 151, just over a mile. CR 982 is a combination chip seal and gravel lane and departs Colo. 151 in Arboles before making a 1.58-mile loop around the east side of town, thus providing access to Navajo State Park and the reservoir.

According to county officials, growing gas exploration and the ensuing development of numerous wells have resulted in heavy truck traffic on both roads, which, along with ever-increasing recreational use on CR 982, have contributed to significant surface degeneration. Meanwhile, current traffic volume illustrates the obsolescence in existing road design and highlights the need for wider hard-surface roads. If improved according to plan, both roads would be surfaced with asphalt.

At the March hearing in Denver, county representatives will likely cite growth and development, energy and mineral extraction and increased recreational use as at least some of the causes of serious degradation of the two roads. In Tuesday's meeting, possible impacts from tribal gaming in nearby Ignacio were also mentioned, though most felt that was a stretch.

As the Tuesday meeting concluded, Charles expressed guarded confidence that DOLA would fund at least some, if not all, of the county's request. He described Archuleta County's position as common among those receiving such grants, and explained that funds come from the state severance tax on energy and mineral production and from a portion of the state's share of royalties paid to the federal government for mining and drilling of minerals and mineral fuels on federally-owned land. Referred to as the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund, the program was created by the legislature in 1977.

Should the county receive full funding sometime in March, construction would hopefully begin by April, depending on weather.






Deer season added in Gunnison Basin

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) will add a rifle season for deer in the Gunnison Basin for the 2006 hunting season.

The season is set for Nov. 15-19 and will run concurrently with the fourth regular rifle elk season. The new season will be added in Game Management Units 54, 55, 551, 66 and 67. These units are nationally renowned for mule deer hunting. The DOW estimates that the population of deer in the Basin is about 25,000.

"The deer population in these units is large," said Scott Wait, senior terrestrial biologist for the DOW's southwest region. "We will be issuing a limited number of licenses. The new season hunt will have essentially no effect on the size of the deer population in the Gunnison Basin."

The total number of licenses available in all five GMUs will probably not exceed 100. The exact number of licenses to be issued will not be determined until May 2006. Biologists will evaluate 2005 harvest data, conduct aerial surveys and conduct biological analyses before setting license numbers for each unit.

The new season will make more licenses available in these high-demand units and provide a quality hunting opportunity for participants. These licenses will likely require a high number of preference points as demand to hunt in the fourth season is expected to be high. The new season, however, will likely reduce preference point requirements necessary for drawing second- and third-season buck licenses.

"The new season will give a limited number of people an increased opportunity to hunt in game management units where licenses are becoming highly sought after for deer," said J. Wenum, area wildlife manager for Gunnison. "We have been evaluating these units closely and there is a great deal of public interest. Our hope through this hunt is to help spread preference point and hunting pressure and provide more opportunity for deer hunters."

During the 2005 season there were 2,605 licenses available in these game management units, an increase of 472 licenses from the previous year. Success rates during the 2005 season appeared to be very good. "The numbers show that we are managing the deer herd very conservatively, and we are managing the herd to meet game management objectives," Wait said.




Catch and Release

Cast short ... for fish or for food

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

You're standing mid stream, scanning the water for likely lies. Forty feet in the distance you spot a deep, slow run bordered by a cliff on one side and a gentle riffle and the main current on the other. The foam line between the fast and slow water looks as fishy as it gets and, in your eagerness, you strip off 40 feet of line and begin false casting.

Gradually the rod loads and soon you have built the energy necessary to launch the cast. You aim for the top of the run and let the cast sail. The line lays down nicely, but no takers.

You rip the line off the water and begin again. Five or six casts later, you've had no strikes, and another cast sends shadows darting upstream from unseen lies just 10 feet away. With the false casting and the line slapping the water, you've spooked everything and rendered the 40 feet of stream between you and the pool unfishable. You were fixated on that sweet spot in the distance and forgot to cast to everything between you and it first.

Cast short. It's one of the first rules of fly fishing and it's a rule that applies to many things in life.

Recently, a friend came up from Albuquerque with the idea we would spend a belated Christmas together. Neither one of us is big on the holidays, and food is what we generally do, so dining out, and eating and drinking ourselves into oblivion seemed like a fine way to spend the weekend.

We decided to kick the celebration off with a one-hour drive to the metropolis. It was something we hadn't done together for a long time and we didn't bother making reservations. We decided to take our chances, to see what came our way.

We arrived and parked the car, and after a few hours of window shopping, it was time to get serious. A stroll along a side street and we found ourselves in front of a new restaurant with a swanky looking bar. The opportunity to smoke a cigar indoors was tempting, and an appetizer and aperitif sounded perfect.

We entered and discovered cigars were taboo, but drinks and appetizers weren't a problem. The fare was Italian, so it was Campari and calamari followed by an antipasto.

It's hard to ruin a Campari and soda so the drinks went down fine. We asked for the calamari crispy and they arrived as requested, with a sufficient mix of rings, tentacles and dips - a salsa and a remoulade - to make the dish chewy and interesting.

After a break, the antipasto arrived. It wasn't quite an antipasto and I say this with some degree of authority. When I was barely 15, I began slaving in the galley of an Italian restaurant in Seattle and ultimately, by the end of my six-year tenure, had made hundreds of the things. Although passable, two items were distinctly lacking - provolone cheese and peppercinis. I was disappointed, although the Gabbiano Chianti I ordered to have with the plate was spot on for the money.

After the antipasto, my friend scanned the main course selections and I perused the wine list. Nothing jumped out at her and when I discovered only a small fraction of the wines were actually Italian, we decided to steer our ship elsewhere. It seemed criminal that with all Italy has to offer in wine, all they could come up with were average California selections.

It was the beginning of the end. Fortified by a couple drinks we stepped back out onto the sidewalk and into the chill January evening . Although the food had been not particularly memorable, the evening had started off well enough and the company and conversation were fine.

It was probably all my fault. Perhaps I had set the bar too high when I decided I wanted fish, something simply prepared, and graced with one of the great mother sauces - a velvety Bernaise or sumptuous Hollandaise - and a white or red burgundy to wash it all down—simple food, but food that was exceptionally prepared and served.

We walked past a brewery, a sushi joint, an Asian restaurant, another Italian place and a steakhouse. No luck, just scampi and linguine and trout almondine - the usual suspects.

We hit the main street and stopped at a restaurant I'd wanted to try for some time. The menu was slightly tempting but mostly perplexing. It was one of those Asian-fusion, Pacific Rim meets Colorado affairs where baby bok choy and Thai chiles are paired with local lamb, and the descriptions are three lines long, so long in fact, you forget what the main item was.

My friend read the menu and reflected on the various menus we'd seen up until then, "It's like they all graduated from the same cooking school," she said.

She was right, all the menus had looked frighteningly similar and in fact, nearly every restaurant had some version of Mahi Mahi on special.

But at that point, I didn't care. It had been more than an hour since the appetizers, and the Campari/Chianti buzz had worn off. I was hungry, and when a couple emerged and said "best food in town" that sealed the deal.

We entered, and the maitre d' whisked us past the bar and past the line to the back of beyond - the outdoor seating where those without reservations end up.

He slowed just slightly at the service window, where the plates emerge from the kitchen, when he observed my friend peering in. Three or four dishes stood on the stainless steel counter waiting to picked up and he said, "Looks tempting doesn't it?"

"No, it doesn't," my friend responded. "I was just looking to see if your kitchen is clean."

He grimaced and I scanned the plates. They were huge, the china the diameter of a 14- or 16-inch pizza pan, and what was stacked on them was definitely fusion, but I wasn't sure of what. It was as though the cook had stuffed 10 ingredients of various colors into blender, hit the switch then plated it.

Following the preview at the kitchen and discovering the patio table, although the area was covered and heated, wasn't what I had in mind for quaffing burgundy, we left, our hunger growing.

We walked to our last stop, an old standby whose fare we've come to trust both in Colorado and Albuquerque, but we were after something different, a restaurant we hadn't tried before.

We looked at each other.

"A BLT, good crispy frites and a beer sounds fine about now," my friend said.

She's Belgian and fries are often considered a fundamental part of any good meal.

I agreed. I would take what I could get, and without a reservation, "what I could get", was looking grimmer by the minute,"

We made another turn around the block and arrived back at where we started. They had a table, what were we to do?

We ate. We ate two average caesars, two passable pasta dishes and shared a glass of wine. The meal couldn't bring us back from the doldrums. The fire was out. We'd been beaten. We ate simply for fuel and during the drive home I pondered the evening.

We'd visited the metropolis, done a few errands, visited a photography gallery and all told it wasn't half bad, although I was glad we hadn't made the trip just to eat. If we had, I would have been profoundly disappointed.

With one meal lost, we redoubled our efforts to finish the weekend in style - sharing food with friends is one of life's great pleasures - and we started the next day by looking close to home, by making the shortest cast possible. The task was easy, it took a few steps and there we were in front of my fridge.

The first step was to rectify the experience with the prior evening's caesar and we cracked a lush, chocolaty Barbera, and set to work on the dressing. We did it the way it was supposed to be done, with anchovies, raw egg and fresh garlic, and the fusion of the ingredients accented by aged parmesan and coarse cracked pepper could have peeled the paint off the walls. It's garlicky bite pricked the palette. It was stinky. It was intense. And it was utter bliss.

We finished the salad, sipped Barbera and snacked on goat cheese while the pizza baked. It was a thin crust creation bedecked with yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, salami, pepperoni, more roasted garlic, parmesan and asiago cheese. It hit the spot, and after, Grappa and conversation flowed late into the evening.

The next day, a cold morning called for a solid breakfast and we fried blueberry buckwheat cakes in butter, the edges turning crispy and golden brown, the centers punctuated by tiny, purple explosions of fruit. We drank mugs of strong pressed coffee, cooked extra slabs of thick bacon from the German butcher for us and the dogs, and looked out the windows, watching the frosty morning unfold.

Lunch meant burgers, and we seasoned the meat with kosher salt, black pepper, shallots, garlic and a dash of Madeira. We stuffed the burgers with bleu cheese and sauteed crimini mushrooms and ate the monsters on kaiser rolls with red onion, tomato, and baby greens. We lacked frites, but a simple Vaucluse set things straight, and all was right with the world.

In the end, we hardly left the house. Everything we needed was right under our noses, either in the fridge or right here in Pagosa Country.

Cast short, you'll never know what you'll find.




Smoking ban

Dear Editor:

Many proponents of an ordinance that seeks to ban smoking from bars, restaurants, and other privately-held businesses statewide seem to be confused. There is a significant difference between public buildings, which are owned by taxpayers, and private businesses, which are merely open to the public. Legislators and other advocates of the ban have intentionally misconstrued the definition of public in an attempt to justify regulation outside of their jurisdiction.

Public buildings, such as schools and City Hall, are owned by taxpayers. If a majority of the voting public does not approve of smoking, they are entitled to implement nonsmoking policies in public buildings.

Policy in a private business, however, is set by the business owner. Regardless of whether even 99 percent of voters approve of a nonsmoking ordinance, they have no authority to impose their will on a privately owned business.

Thankfully this does not mean the public is left without recourse.

Individuals have every right to avoid any business whose policies are in opposition to their feelings. In this case if consumers feel their health or enjoyment are jeopardized by a particular business's smoker-inclusive policy, they can simply choose to avoid that business and all risk is eliminated. The same applies to employees who want to avoid second-hand smoke.

If a majority of consumers favor nonsmoking practices, the market will eventually shift business owners' policies. If they see a sharp decline in revenue due to smoker-inclusive policies, owners will likely implement a nonsmoking policy. Many have already chosen voluntarily to ban smoking based upon consumer demand. Either way, the decision should be left entirely to the parties that have a financial stake in the consequences of that decision.

At most, businesses should be required to disclose at all entrances whether or not they allow smoking. This simple action would solve each group's problems. Given proper notice, those who choose to patronize, or apply for employment to a business may do so at their own risk.

Those who advocate exemptions for themselves or others based upon the type or size of the business are missing the point. Exemptions skew the playing field and subject the ban to the realm of lobbyists. Rather than scratch and claw for legislative favoritism, business owners of every facet and size should unite to preserve their Constitutional rights. As long as consumers remain free to choose where they shop, any attempt by legislators to manipulate the market is both illegitimate and superfluous.

If you are worried about your health, the health of your loved ones, or simply dislike the smell of cigarette smoke, be a proactive employee or consumer. Exercise your freedom to avoid situations that put you at risk. We must adhere to the principles on which this country was founded and allow individuals the freedom to make their own decisions and take their own risks; and allow private business owners the freedom to conduct business on their own terms.

Matthew Diehl


Animals' stewards

Dear Editor:

In reference to Robert Kerns' suggestion to encourage lions to find "meals" at human residences by going "ahead and giving it to him" Š it doesn't take a mental giant to figure out that the houses are here for awhile and if a lion, bear, or whatever finds a meal, he will return. Only next time he makes his territorial hunt circle, it could be a grandchild or expensive horse or, yes, another valued pet.

When these magnificent cats get "lazy" about hunting and not wary of human residences they, sadly enough, usually lose. Bear's owners did the cat a favor and were right to discourage the lion away from their home on that common sense perspective and also the fact God, the creator of both the lion and dog, says a righteous man regards the life of his animals; that we are to help our animals when they are "in trouble" (getting your ox out of the ditch was an example Jesus used). We are stewards of our animals.

Oh yeah, God thought ahead about this 'cause he also created "other things" for the lion to eat.


Peg Ellis


Democracy, Hamas

Dear Editor:

I am amazed that there is so much negativity and economic threats over the fact that Hamas won a substantial victory in the recent Palestinian elections. Hamas defeated the relatively corrupt and ineffective incumbent government of Fatah. We should be happy that the Palestinian people had a relatively non-violent election and that there will be a hopefully peaceful transfer of power to newly elected officials.

President Bush and other world leaders are saying that democracy is the path to a peaceful, economically viable and just world. The Palestinians did exactly what we are trying to have happen in Iraq. If, as President Carter recommends, we continue to provide economic aid to the Palestinian government, the Hamas leadership will be too busy providing water, sewer, electricity, roads, schools and other services to their people so that they will not have the energy or desire to send suicide bombers into Israel. We should not attempt to smash the pride of people who live in territory largely occupied and controlled by Israel. Conflict resolution skills are needed, not an attempt to force humiliating words via economic pressure.

Democracy can change the world for the better but we must let people choose and learn. Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and now Chile have all elected socialist/leftist governments in the last three years. When Guatemala in 1954 and Chile in 1973 elected socialist governments the U.S. CIA engineered right-wing military coups that lead to many years of social unrest and suffering for those people. What are we going to do now in Palestine? Have the Israel army invade what is left of the Palestinian territory? They are already there. Not all democracies are Judeo-Christian and capitalist. What would our American priorities be if we did not have the lobbying forces of the oil, drug, mining and other companies?

Let's support the social and economic efforts of Hamas and respect the will and hopes of the Palestinian people. Young Palestinians need something to live for, not another cause to die for. Maybe this will be a new start for peace and democracy in the Middle East.

Raymond P. Finney


VA benefits

Dear Editor:

There has been some inaccurate reporting of medical benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and I wanted to help set the record straight.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs performed 55 million medical appointments in its delivery of world-class health care to some 5.4 million veterans. VA health care was rated - by our own patients - to be better than health care in the private sector, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

A recent Associated Press report on veterans seeking VA health care referred to certain veterans who are not eligible to receive it. These are higher income individuals who suffered no injury or illness related to their military service. We want to be clear that absolutely nobody is being cut from VA health care rolls and no veteran will be dis-enrolled from VA health care unless they specifically request it.

Discussions of veterans benefits are important. Misinformation can be a disservice to veterans and their families, so it's critical to make sure the facts are accurately reported.


Lisette Mondello

Assistant Secretary, Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Salazar can-NOT

Dear Editor:

I wore rubber gloves and held my nose while voting for Mr. Coors for Senator. Now that Senator Salazar said he'd vote against Judge Alito for Supreme Court Justice I can proudly say I did the right thing. Senator Salazar can-NOT!


James Roeder




Dear Editor:

The media can create a crisis and can squelch one. The media can deliver narratives, they can frame events, they can shape the way Archuleta county readers see the political landscape.

Therefore: Was glad to see that The SUN's editorial of Jan. 26 finally reflects what many have been saying for years in this county. Maybe now we'll be able to find out who approves these continual airport grant applications. Was it previous county commissioners, administrators, airport advisory board members or airport managers? I'd bet they were all somehow involved in the incredible Stevens Field improvement/expansion mumbo-jumbo.

Does anybody remember the infamous private taxiway-paving rip-off that cost the local taxpayer hundreds of thousands of their hard-earned dollars? The previous county commissioners, Ecker, Downey, Crabtree (the Three Amigos), didn't even need a matching grant excuse to pull off that one, they just took our money.

The fat cats have had their way for too long; time for them to pave their own way. Terribly sorry that they have to park their high-dollar toys out in the snow and cold. If they don't like the current aircraft parking conditions and the higher fees for airport access, etc., put your wheels in the well and find another airport in another county that is owned by taxpayers and sucker them.

Suggestion: Maybe the airport manager could oversee the installation and control of a flashing red light on Piedra Road. That way, whenever one of those big twin turbos are taking off to the west, I'd just as soon stop at the flashing red signal than be wiped out by an aborted aircraft takeoff. It would be wiser to stand back as it slams through that impenetrable chain link barrier that I paid for and watch it careen across Piedra Road, through the golf course, and into someone's living room.

What the hell, I'd pay for the flashing red signal. The "good old boys" have flimflammed the taxpayer out of millions already; what's a few more bucks if it will save a life?

Local aviators should be thankful that two of our county commissioners did not approve that healthy increase in airport fees at a recent commissioner meeting. From my window seat, it appears they are going to give the airport a chance to become profitable; but that will never happen. Even if Stevens Field could pull it off in the next 10 years, the local residents will not be happy. A peaceful night's rest will not be possible in the Pagosa area when these 65,000 pound steel birds begin roaring into the middle of Pagosa's massive growth. To allow any aircraft over 30,000 pounds into the middle of a heavy populace is beyond asinine; that's what the Durango airport is all about.

Yes, the price of aviation in Archuleta County is going to escalate - dramatically. Accountability is now the name of the game. I'll bet that the taxpayer will be watching their aerodromes balance sheet in the future and it will be a constant topic of conversation. It will really get heated when that big bird has problems and ends up in the middle of the new City Market parking lot.

Jim Sawicki


No morale problem

Dear Editor:

I have been asked on numerous occasions regarding the subject of morale at our sheriff's department. Since we still live in a republic governed by popular sovereignty, I feel compelled to speak to the highest power of the land, the people of Archuleta County.

I have recently transferred from a large, Denver metropolitan law enforcement agency to the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department. I have moved here because this county and its people represent the very best the state of Colorado has to offer. Being the "new guy" to the area, I feel that I have an excellent vantage to offer my humble opinion as it pertains to the subject of morale at your sheriff's department.

First and foremost, Sheriff Tom Richards is one of the greatest men I have ever had the privilege of working under. His dedication to the people of this county, and unparalleled kindness, is a model that I will constantly strive to emulate. The sheriff's subordinates, Undersheriff Robert Grandchamp, Captain Eugene Reilly, and the rest of the supervisory staff at the department, are delegated extensions of his commitment to this community; and from my point of view, a welcomed relief from the law enforcement bureaucracy to which I am accustomed.

Upon learning of Sheriff Tom Richard's desire not to run for re-election, I was unable to avoid the feeling of melancholy and poor timing for my newfound paradise. One comfort I found, came from the knowledge that his subordinates are fervently loyal to his cause, and are completely committed to his legacy of community service.

As for the question of poor morale within the sheriff's department, I am either completely ignorant to its existence, or I have been so calloused by my former employer with acts of hypocritical conduct that I feel the issue is so trivial as to be missed. Being a trained observer, I hope that it is not the former. Truth of the matter is I have never been more content in my law enforcement career than to wear the uniform of an Archuleta County Deputy Sheriff, represent and support the will of our sheriff, Tom Richards, and to serve the greatest community that I have ever been associated with.

I hope this letter will displace the rumors with insight as to the morale health of your sheriff's department, and give you comfort in knowing this agency is completely committed to your life, your liberty and your property.

Ken Waters


Community News

Balloon crew members needed for Winterfest rally

Rise with the sun Saturday , Feb. 4, and thrill to the sight of hot air balloons ascending over Pagosa Springs.

Balloonists will float on the breezes, taking in the breathtaking beauty of the San Juans.

If you're the hands-on type, you are encouraged to volunteer and crew for one of the balloons. Pilots are happy to show you the ropes.

If you are physically fit, have a valid driver's license and would like to be part of a chase crew, you are encouraged to do so. Chase crews help pilots set the balloons up for inflation and launch, keep visual contact throughout the flight, and assist in deflation and packing up once the balloon has reached its final destination.

Balloons become one with the wind, and are guided by the direction in which it blows, so the landing spot can be just about anywhere.

If you would like to try your hand at being a crew member, be at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church parking lot at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. There will be a call for crew at the pilot's briefing. You'll need a pair of gloves and your warm snow boots.

Don't be shy, come out and experience the adventure of ballooning. We always need crew members.

A reminder: Event organizers have prepared a little fun for Saturday after dark. As the sun dips below the horizon, the stars will have to share the night with a few other glowing bodies. If anything can compete with the beauty of Colorado skies, it's a balloon glow at dusk. Pilots will light up the soccer field across from Town Park with their balloons in a display that is sure to please.

Sunday, Feb. 5, gets started with another balloon ascension. Once again, the fields in the Pagosa Lakes area west of town will be awash in color as balloons are laid out and prepared to float skyward for their final display until fall's Colorfest rally arrives.

If you have questions, e-mail them to info@pagosarally.com.



Cast picked, rehearsals begin for 'Seussical'

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The cast has been selected, and rehearsals are under way for Pagosa Springs High School's spring musical "SEUSSICAL," by Stephen Flaherty - a fun, high energy show for audiences of all ages. Tales and characters from over 15 of Dr. Seuss' beloved books are woven together in unexpected ways and imaginative adventures.

"Seussical," performed on Broadway, contains 30, songs and dances, connected together through two acts of varied musical style, from stage lyrical to '60s Rock -n -Roll to Salsa. Directors Lisa Hartley, Melinda Baum and Kathy Isberg have already begun the daunting task of teaching the original music to our actors.

Included in our cast are Honor Nash-Putnam, Slava Koshkin, Matt De Winter, Veronica Zeiler, Katie Erickson, Sadie Haider, Kimberly Judd, Sara Baum, Clara Barber, Darran Garcia, Jaret Heber, Michael Spitler, Joe Quick, Ben DeVoti, Crissy Ferguson, Emilie Schur, Ashley Madduz, David Smith, Stephanie Zenz, Shan Webb and Kyle Peterzen.

"Seussical" will be performed at the high school auditorium on the evenings of April 4, 6, 7 and 8, with an additional matinee April 8.



Red Shoe Trio to perform annual concert

By Musetta Wollenweber

Special to The PREVIEW

Treat yourself to a "red hot" afternoon of music Wednesday, Feb. 8, as The Red Shoe Trio returns for their third annual performance at the Restoration Fellowship, 264 Village Dr.

The performance begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center located in the community center at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Adult tickets are $ 12, children 8 -12 are $10 and Seniors Inc. members pay $10. All proceeds will benefit The Den as well as the Ft. Lewis Scholarship Fund. Join us for an afternoon of celebrated music and help support The Den's continued growth and commitment to provide activities and services to our community.

The Red Shoe Piano Trio was formed in the fall of 2003 at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. The trio has performed throughout the region to delighted audiences. The trio is dedicated to performing the great standards of the repertoire, while avidly championing contemporary compositions.

The members of the trio, Mikylah Myers McTeer, violin; Katherine Jetter Tischhauser, cello; and Lisa Campi, piano, are currently faculty members at Fort Lewis College where they maintain active teaching and performing careers.

Mikylah Myers McTeer is concertmaster of the San Juan Symphony and assistant professor of violin and viola at Fort Lewis College. She is also the founder and artistic director of the Durango Youth Symphony. Mikylah was previously a violinist with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. She received her doctorate and master's degree from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music, where she studied with renowned violinist Fredell Lack. During her time in Houston, Mikylah regularly performed with the Houston Symphony and the Houston Grand Opera and was assistant concertmaster of the Woodlands Symphony and principal second violinist of Houston's Orchestra X.

An award-winning chamber musician, McTeer is the violinist of FLC's Red Shoe Piano Trio and formerly the violinist of the Moores Piano Trio in Houston, Texas. That ensemble was the silver prize winner at the 2000 Carmel Chamber Music Competition and a finalist in the 2000 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition. She has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

McTeer spends her summers performing at music festivals throughout the United States and Europe, including the Spoleto Italy Festival, the AIMS in Graz, Austria Festival, the Oregon Coast Festival, the Ernest Bloch Festival in Newport, Oregon, and is a nine-year member of the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon. She received her bachelor's degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she studied violin with Roland and Almita Vamos. She was also a four-year-member and co-captain of the Oberlin College varsity women's soccer team.

Katherine Jetter Tischhauser earned the master's degree in music and a doctorate in cello performance from Florida State University after receiving both the bachelor of music degree in cello performance and the bachelor of art's degree in applied mathematics from East Carolina University. Tischhauser did her primary musical training with Selma Gokcen, Andrew Luchansky, and Lubomir Georgiev. She has also performed in master classes of Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Channing Robbins and Stephen Doane.

Tischhauser's chamber and solo experiences include performances with the International Cello Festival Master Classes in Kronberg, Germany, the Killington Chamber Music Festival, the Alfred Chamber Music Institute, the Florida State New Music Festival, the Red Shoe Piano Trio, the Alexander Murray Recital Series, and the Tischhauser-Shelly Ensemble. She was the cellist for the award winning Camellia String Quartet for two years. In the position of principal cellist she has played in the Florida State Symphony Orchestra, the Showcase Chamber Ensemble, and the San Juan Symphony. Other orchestras Tischhauser has been a member of include the Tallahassee Symphony, the New Carolina Sinfonia, the Tar River Orchestra, the National Opera Company Orchestra, the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra and the Santa Fe Symphony.

She is currently associate professor of cello and music theory at Fort Lewis College. In addition to her duties at the college she actively teaches in the Four Corners area through private lessons at Katzin Music and the Conservatory Music in the Mountains. Recently she recorded an album, "Down on the Beaten Road," and is performing with the acoustic rock band, Formula 151. She is the secretary of the Colorado ASTA with NSOA chapter and is an active clinician regionally and nationally. She has done extensive research on contemporary techniques in string literature and cello pedagogy.

Lisa Campi is the assistant professor of piano at Fort Lewis College where she performs, accompanies, teaches private and class piano, theory and history. She was previously an assistant professor of piano at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Washington.

Campi has performed and adjudicated throughout North America, and has given lecture recitals for such organizations as the National Music Teachers Association. She has played recitals for the Chautauqua Institute in New York, the Scotia Festival of Music in Nova Scotia, for CBC radio, for the National Public Radio on WBFO: for the "Opus, Classics Live" series at the University of Buffalo, and for the "Piano Bench" series on KPBX, Spokane Public Radio.

A native of Silver Spring, Md., Campi received her bachelor's degree from Indiana University, her master's from the University of Maryland, and her doctorate from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Rebecca Penneys. Campi was the pianist for the Taliesin Piano trio which participated in the National Endowment for the Arts/Chamber Music America rural residency in Blytheville, Ark., and which founded the concert series, "Composers, in their Own Words."

Campi has founded, directed and adjudicated for the Four Corners Piano Competition at Fort Lewis College. She also currently serves as the keyboardist for the San Juan Symphony Orchestra, and regularly performs as the pianist for the Red Shoe Piano Trio. Campi is a vigorous advocate for the music of our time, has performed a wide range of solo and chamber works by leading contemporary composers, and has been associated with several modern music ensembles, including Ossia in Rochester, N.Y., and Zephyr in Spokane, Wash.



Pagosans part of Fort Lewis select bands

By Chris Aaland

Special to The PREVIEW

Top high school musicians from high schools across Colorado, New Mexico and Utah will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, in the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. Admission is free.

The Fort Lewis Music Department will host 154 high school musicians from 17 high schools in the Four Corners region. This year, students from Pagosa Springs, Aztec, Bloomfield, Cedaredge, Del Norte, Durango, Farmington, Fruita Monument, Grand Junction Central, Kirtland Central, Lewis-Palmer, Montezuma-Cortez, Montrose, Palisade, Rye, Salida and Whitehorse high schools will participate.

Pagosa Springs will be represented by Alex Baum, percussion; Landon Bayger, baritone saxophone; Ashley Brooks, euphonium; Westin Carey, trombone; Hanna Clark, trumpet; Zane Ghloson, trombone; Courtney Guilliams, flute; Melinda Fultz, alto saxophone; Kimberly Judd, alto saxophone; Ellen Neihaus, clarinet; and Ashley Portnell, flute.

The event begins with opening comments from Fort Lewis President Brad Bartel, followed by performances by the Fort Lewis College Symphonic Band, Select Symphonic Band and Select Wind Ensemble.

Conductor/composer Robert Sheldon will serve as guest conductor of the Select Wind Ensemble, while Fort Lewis professor of music Mark Walters will serve as conductor of the Select Symphonic Band.

Sheldon has taught instrumental music in the Florida and Illinois public schools and has served on the faculty at Florida State University, where he taught conducting and instrumental music education classes and directed the university bands. As concert band editor for the Alfred Publishing Company, he maintains an active composition and conducting schedule, and regularly accepts commissions for new works.

"Students from nearly 20 diverse music programs enjoy the excitement of preparing a challenging program with very limited rehearsal time," said Walters. "Seating in the Select Wind Ensemble is by taped audition only with the Select Symphonic Band placement by director recommendation and taped audition. I find that a higher percentage of students are choosing to audition, raising the quality of both ensembles."

Walters said 87 of the 154 participants - including all of those participating in the Select Wind Ensemble - passed taped auditions.

The students receive music in early February in preparation for rehearsals that begin at Fort Lewis College Friday, Feb. 10.

Walters has served a director of bands since 1996 at Fort Lewis College, where his duties include teaching applied woodwinds, music education and music appreciation. In addition, he performs regularly as part of the faculty chamber music series and as a clarinetist with the San Juan Symphony.




Music in the Mountains tickets

make great Valentine's Day gift

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

If you're looking for something special for your Valentine, Music in the Mountains suggests giving a gift certificate for one or more of five classical music festival events this summer. These concerts will bring world-class musicians to Pagosa Springs and provide the most varied and exciting performances ever in honor of the festival's fifth season in our town.

July 8: The first event will be something totally new for our festival - a gala benefit concert featuring soprano Lisa Vroman, best known for her starring role as Christine in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and with the cast that had a record-setting run in San Francisco. In addition to solo performances with major orchestras, Vroman has performed starring roles in "Oklahoma," "Les Miserables," "Aspects of Love" and many other musicals. She will sing her Broadway favorites in the concert tent in the spectacular mountain setting of BootJack Ranch on Saturday, July 8. This special benefit concert and reception will include sumptuous hors d'oeuvres and libations beginning at 6 p.m. Attendance is limited. Cost is $175 per person, $105 of which is tax-deductible as a donation.

Proceeds from this extraordinary evening will support children's musical events, music scholarships and school music programs in Pagosa Springs. For her Pagosa concert, Vroman promises a mixture of Broadway standards including Gershwin, Irving Berlin and other classic show tunes — plus some great stories to go along with the music.

Four classical concerts

Four classical concerts will take place in July and August, also at BootJack Ranch at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass.

1. July 19 - The season opens at 7 p.m. with the outstanding Adkins Family Quintet on strings and piano. All the Adkins musicians are famous in their own right as leaders in major orchestras, popular soloists and ensemble players extraordinaraire. So when five members of the family take to our stage together, the audience will see a remarkable powerhouse of musical talent. Tickets are $40.

2. July 21 - Dueling violinists Vadim Gluzman and Philippe Quint will provide an incomparable opportunity to see two of the world's finest violinists on stage together, accompanied by Gluzman's wife Angela Yoffe on piano, at 7 p.m. Tickets for this concert are $40.

3. July 29 - The full orchestra will perform with Bruce Hangen, principal guest conductor of the Boston Pops, and Van Cliburn medalist Aviram Reichert on piano. Tickets for this concert are $50. It starts at 6 p.m. (note different time).

4. Aug. 4 - The full orchestra returns at 7 p.m. under the baton of Boris Brott, an internationally recognized Canadian conductor. World-famous classical guitarist Sir Angel Romero will be the featured soloist. This is the first time Pagosa will host a second full orchestra concert in the same season, the addition coming as a result of the highly positive response to our first full orchestra event last summer. Tickets for this concert are $50.

Gift certificates

To make tickets to one of these concerts a gift for your Valentine, visit the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Pagosa Springs or call them at (800) 252-2204 or 264-2360.

Pay by cash, check or credit card (MasterCard or Visa) and arrangements will be made to get you an attractive gift certificate.

Chairman of the Pagosa committee organizing these local festival events is Jan Clinkenbeard. "Tickets to any of these concerts would make a great Valentine's Day gift for someone special in your life," she said. "They also make wonderful thank-you and birthday gifts."

Donors, volunteers crucial

Clinkenbeard pointed out that ticket prices cover less than one third of the cost of putting on these concerts. "Pagosa audiences greatly enjoy the many soloists we attract summer after summer, as well as our fabulous festival orchestra. That is why the contributions we receive from individual donors, businesses and other larger organizations are so important to our Pagosa festival," she said.

Corporate donors for the 2006 summer season include BootJack Ranch, Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship, Coleman Vision, Bank of the San Juans and Prudential Triple S Realty.

Various promotion opportunities are available to program advertisers and major donors. For more information, contact Clinkenbeard at 264-5918

As well, all of the planning and organizational work is done by Clinkenbeard and her local volunteer steering committee composed of Melinda Baum, Mary Jo Coulehan, Lauri Heraty, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft and Lisa Scott.

If you have questions about the gala Broadway benefit concert, please contact co-chair Teresa Huft by phone at 731-1978 or e-mail at teresa@lazy8.net.

To be put on the mailing list for information about future Pagosa Music in the Mountain events, call (970) 385-6820 in Durango and specify that you want to be on the Pagosa Springs mailing list.



Community choir sets rehearsal dates

By Sue Diffee

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs Community Choir rehearsals begin Tuesday, Feb. 14, at the Community United Methodist Church (434 Lewis Street).

On that night only, participants should arrive by 6:45 p.m. to register and receive music. There is a $20 registration fee due the first night.

Rehearsals will then continue every Tuesday night from 7-9 p.m. Previous members are asked to return any old music and/or folders they may have at home.

The choir is planning three spring concerts scheduled for Mother's Day weekend - May 12, 13 and 14 - in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

Directors Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer have been busy selecting music including patriotic, Broadway, folk, gospel and jazz selections. Melinda Baum has agreed to be the new accompanist.

New singers are always welcome - the only requirements are a love for singing and a commitment to participate in rehearsals once a week.

For more information, call Pam Spitler at 264-1952



Grant money provided for arts center study

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance is a diverse team of business leaders, local artists and educators working together to create a model community cultural arts center in Pagosa Springs.

The center, if built, would include a performance theater, an art gallery, arts education facilities and business meeting rooms. The Arts Alliance will establish an endowment fund to support the facility.

The Arts Alliance has so far successfully raised $50,000 to conduct a three-phase feasibility study to help develop a blueprint for the project's success. Funding for the feasibility study has come from local, county and state government agencies, with additional support from a corporate donor and Alliance board members. The feasibility study will be an analysis of all possible approaches to establishing a cultural center in Pagosa. It will also recommend the best approach the Arts Alliance can use to achieve its goal.

The desire of the Arts Alliance to establish a cultural arts center in Pagosa is in sync with recent recommendations by the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, the nation's leading authority on state innovation. The NGA Center helps governors and their policy advisors develop and implement effective solutions to governance and policy.

In its Aug. 30, 2005, brief, titled "Strengthening Rural Economies through the Arts," the NGA Center suggests that states turn to "arts-based economic development strategies." The Center urges states to identify the diverse assets that the arts have to offer and strengthen the creative sector, and utilize a variety of arts-focused policies to create jobs and improve the quality of life.

The Center asserts that incorporating the arts into existing rural economic development policy helps not only to diversify rural economies, but provides communities with a competitive advantage in the 21st century's global marketplace as well.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has awarded Region 9 Economic Development District Office $20,000 on behalf of the Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance to conduct the feasibility study.

The project is expected to take about six months to complete.



Wide variety of upcoming classes at ed center

Knowing how to respond to a first aid or CPR emergency is one of the most important skills a person can possess.

The actions people take in the first few minutes of an emergency can make the difference between life and death.

However, knowing what to do does not come naturally. Effective training is the only way to make the appropriate action feel like a natural response. The Standard First/Aid and CPR course offered at the Archuleta County Education Center covers basic actions and steps to take in an emergency situation. First aid certification is for three years and the CPR certification is for two years. Tuition and materials are $45 for first aid and CPR combined, $35 for first aid only, $30 for CPR only and $20 recertification for CPR.

Standard First and CPR is being offered 5:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 7 and 8.

If you are interested in expanding your knowledge or becoming more skilled on the computer, the education center will be offering a number of computer classes ranging from beginning to advanced levels. These classes include Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint and Windows XP.

A class for beginners has been scheduled 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Feb. 14, 15, 21 and 23. Tuition for the class is $48.

There is also a Beginning French class starting 6-8- p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, for those who may be planning to travel or just interested in learning a new language. Cecile Gabellini-Diffey will teach this six-week class. Cecile is French and has a master's degree in sciences of education. Tuition for the class is $65.

For parents who are looking for ways to spend more time with their children, our Parent and Child Together Night is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 17. There will be fun family activities and games with an emphasis on literacy. The action starts at 5:30 p.m. Students from our "Spanish for Kids" after-school class will be performing. Dinner will be provided. There is no cost for the event, however, families should preregister to ensure there are adequate supplies and dinner for everyone.

If you would like to register for any of the above classes, or need more information, contact The Archuleta Education Center at (970) 264-2835 or stop by the office located at 4th and Lewis streets.



Plenty of programs for youngsters at Sisson Library

By Barb Draper

Special to the PREVIEW

Programs and activities for kids of all ages got off to a great start at the library last month, and more programs are scheduled for February.

If anyone was unable to make it in January, you may still attend any of the programs. There is no preregistration needed. All activities are on a drop-in basis.

There is a lot going on in February.

For the school-age crowd, there will be three separate activities on Friday, Feb. 17 from 1:30-3 p.m. The approximate grade divisions are Kindergarten through grade two, grades three through five, and grades six through eight. Of course, anyone who is more comfortable moving up or down a level (depending on reading ability) is invited to do so. "Presidents" and "Mysteries" will be the themes for this month.

A new addition for kids grade four and up is a reading club. Come in anytime and see how this fun program works. There are six different titles that are available for small discussion groups.

Kids of all ages - the young and the young at heart - are encouraged to watch, listen and perhaps even join the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre the second Saturday of the month at 11 a.m. This month, they will be entertaining Feb. 11. While the younger kids can enjoy the presentations, there is always an element that is understood on a different level by older children and adults. The roup performs in the Great Room, in front of the big windows. Check out the comfortable seats, the great mountain view and the fantastic group of high school students entertaining you.

Preschoolers, ages 3-5, will be able to enjoy story and art times 11-11:30 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the month. Dates for this month are Feb. 8, 14, 22 and 28.

Moms, dads, caregivers and grandparents of babies from 6 months through age 2, re invited to bring their little ones on the first and third Tuesdays, 11-11:30 a.m. You can enjoy some interactive time with your little one and learn some good ideas for promoting language with the youngest "readers."

There are some wonderful volunteers who are excited about helping with all of these programs. They are putting a lot of time and effort into the plans for all of these events, and would appreciate a good audience. If you attended any of the programs in January you know how much fun the kids have. If you haven't been in yet, come find out what's going on.



Palestine-Israel, Part 2, at Unitarian service

On Sunday, Feb. 5, The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a service that is the second part of a presentation by Dale and Betty Schwicker based on their experiences as missionaries in Bethlehem.

Entitled "Palestine-Israel: Two Peoples-One Land," the program will explore the complications of living in a land that has been the subject of much strife for more than 50 years ... a land that is shared by people of the Jewish faith and the Palestinians, who are both Christian and Muslim.

The Schwickers will briefly discuss the history of the region, and its effect on the indigenous Palestinians and the Jewish people. Also included will be some information about Zionism and Christian Zionism as they relate to current struggles.

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.



Buy cookie dough, support local 4-H kids, programs

By Pamela Bomkamp

Special to The PREVIEW

One of Archuleta County 4-H's most successful fund-raisers is underway.

Local 4-H youth have started their annual cookie dough sale. Every 4-H member participates in selling $10 and $11 tubs of cookie dough to people in their community and beyond. The overall 4-H goal this year is 1,600 tubs, which would almost double last year's total. With the fantastic incentives we have in place we feel that our goal can be reached.

The youngsters will be selling an additional five new flavors this year for a total of 11 types of cookie dough: Triple Chocolate with White and Dark Chips, Snickerdoodle, Monster Cookie, Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chunks, Funtastic Dough for Kids (four dazzling colors of sugar cookie dough each in an individual container much like the playdough sets), Chunky Chocolate Chip, Made with M&Ms, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, Sugar, and White Chocolate Macadamia.

The cookie dough comes in three-pound tubs (about 96, half-ounce cookies each) that can be refrigerated or stored in the freezer. The cookie dough can be eaten raw because it is made with pasteurized eggs instead of raw eggs. Supporters have until Feb. 28 to order as many tubs as they want.

The cookie dough will be delivered on March 15 by 4-H youth. If someone would like to order cookie dough but does not know a 4-H member, they can contact the Archuleta County Extension Office at 264-5931 to place an order.

All funds raised will be dispersed to the eight different 4-H community clubs and the 4-H Council. They will use it to fund programs such as YouthFest, Leadership Development Conference, Colorado 4-H State Conference, an overnight trip to the state fair, community service projects, scholarships for 4-H member re-enrollment fees for next year, or other individual club projects.

4-H is family- and community-oriented. Parents play a critical role in volunteering with the program to support their children. A nationwide corps of more than 630,000 volunteer 4-H leaders share their time and talents to help 4-H'ers "learn by doing."

Work on projects takes place at home, in the yard or around the kitchen table, with guidance from a parent, an older brother or sister, or a neighbor. The 4-H member needs the support and encouragement of a family and growing together through 4-H strengthens the family. 4-H members devote time to community service in a wide variety of projects, ranging from helping the elderly and disabled, to restoring historic sites, to landscaping public buildings to helping preserve their environment.

Archuleta County 4-H has 180 youth enrolled in projects this year. Their ages range from 5 to 18.

4-H is a publicly-supported informal education program. County, state and federal funds are combined in a unique partnership to support this educational youth development program. The curriculum is provided through our land-grant university, Colorado State University. Private funds from individuals, businesses and organizations enhance the 4-H program by providing support for special events, awards, and recognition and support supplemental educational materials.

For more information, contact the Extension Office at 264-5931.



Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the Board of County Commissioners' Meeting Room, in the county courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

- Call to order / roll-call.

- Final Plat Review, Ridge Ventures, LLC.

Ridge Ventures, LLC is requesting Final Plat Approval that will allow them to legally subdivide a 58.70 acre parcel into three resulting lots of 19.51; 20.80; and 17.41 acres for the purpose of future resale. Tract "A" (.98 acres) to be dedicated to Archuleta County as a right-of-way makes up the remaining acreage, for the total of 58.70 acres contained within the project area.

This project is located in the NW 1/2 , SW 1/4, NW 1/4 of Section 15, T34N, R1W, N.M.P.M. The three proposed lots have been tentatively addressed as 357, 483, and 531 Whispering Wood Drive (Lots 1, 2, and 3 respectively)

- Minor Impact Subdivision Sketch Plan Review, Paloma Blanco Subdivision.

This is a request for the Planning Commission to review a Minor Impact Subdivision Sketch Plan for the Paloma Blanco Subdivision. This is a 6.31 acre lot located at 3000 U.S. 84. The applicant would like to split the acreage in half to form two, three-plus acre parcels. There are currently two duplexes on the south half of the six-acre parcel and the other parcel is for personal residential use.

This project is located in the SE1/4 NE1/4 of Section 31, Township 35N, Range 1W. This lot is addressed at 3000 U.S. 84, Pagosa Springs.

- Conditional Use Permit - Housing Solutions of the Southwest.

This is a request for the Planning Commission to review a Conditional Use Permit submitted by Housing Solutions for the Southwest. This organization is planning a cost attainable ownership housing development for income eligible families who earn up to 120 percent of the Archuleta County Area Median Income. This proposal is for a duplex town home project consisting of 14 units. This complex will be managed by a homeowners association which will cover all maintenance of the building exteriors, grounds and snow removal.

This project is located in Lakewood Village, 1873 Vista Blvd. This is in Section 19, Township 35, Range 2W.

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

- Other business that may come before the planning commission.

- Adjournment.





Local Chatter

2006 is Mozart's 250th birthday

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Happy birthday, Wolfgang!

This is the worldwide music headline for the coming year, making it the year music lovers have been waiting for - the year to celebrate the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, considered by many to be the world's greatest musician.

This praise is easy to accept when one adds up his musical contributions.

Wolfgang was born Jan. 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria. His father, Leopold Mozart, was a composer and a violist, and when his son began showing his precocious music talent at age 3, he began teaching him. By age 5, Wolfgang was composing little minuets and when he was barely 6, he and his sister Anna (called "Nanner"), made a joint debut in Munich. But, even before that, he had been giving concerts that fascinated his listeners.

Wolfgang was just beginning to take off. At age 7, he was in Paris where his first works were published and at eight, he was in London delighting royalty. At 18, he had already written three oratories, nine masses and 23 sonatas, and many starter works - just the beginning.

The family traveled all over Europe, the children giving concerts and Wolfgang constantly composing.

In 1782, he married Constance Weber, who bore him six children - four sons and two girls. Unfortunately, both were fond of the nicer things of life and, although his income compared with his contemporaries, they were always short of money. This strain helped to break his health and, on Dec. 5, 1791, at the age of 35, he died of malignant typhus. (Some reports say he died of a stroke.)

The day he died, a violent rainstorm came up and the funeral party left, leaving the body to be interned. It was only afterward that they found that the body had been buried in the part of the cemetery reserved for paupers.

He wrote every kind of music and lots of it, but of all his works, Wolfgang will probably best be remembered for his operas, a few of which are: "The Marriage of Figaro," "Don Giovanni" (considered one of the most brilliant operas ever written), "The Magic Flute," that explains the allegories of masonry (he was a mason), and the comic opera, "Cosi fan tutti."

Timothy Mangan, in the Orange County, Calif. Register, says it well: "There are more hummable melodies in Mozart operas per square inch than in any other composer."

Wolfgang is also remembered for his famous variations on the theme, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." This delightful piano piece is on CD and we can join in and sing.

"Twinkle, twinkle little star,

"How I wonder what you are!

"Up above the world so high,

"Like a diamond in the sky!

"Twinkle, twinkle little star,

"How I wonder what you are."

There will be more to come on Wolfgang Mozart. Keep tuned.

Fun on the Run

A boss wondered why one of his most valued employees had not phoned in sick one day.

Having an urgent problem with one of the main computers, he dialed the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper.


"Is your daddy home?" he asked.

"Yes," whispered the small voice.

"May I talk with him?"

The child whispered, "No."

Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your Mommy there?"


"May I talk with her?"

Again, the small voice whispered, "No."

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, "Is anybody else there?"

"Yes," whispered the child, "a policeman."

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss asked, "May I speak with the policeman?"

"No, he's busy," whispered the child.

"Busy doing what?"

"Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the fireman," came the whispered answer.

Growing more worried as he heard what sounded like a helicopter through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, "What is that noise?"

"A helicopter," answered the whispering voice.

"What is going on there?" demanded the boss now truly apprehensive.

Again, whispering, the child answered, "The search team just landed the helicopter."

Alarmed, concerned and little frustrated, the boss asked, "What are they searching for?"

Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle: "Me."


Community Center News

Center a popular place, make reservations early

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Today, the community center will house an annual training session for the Pagosa Springs Police Department.

According to Chief Don Volger, the training will consist of a law enforcement driving class put on by CIRSA, the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency.

NRA banquet

The annual National Rifle Association banquet will be held Saturday, Feb. 4, in the multi-purpose room.

Bix Six tells me that tickets are sold out and they expect about 340 people. A full dinner of prime rib or salmon will be served. In addition, there will be a 50-item live auction, a silent auction, raffles and door prizes.

All of this is a fund-raiser for the NRA. Half of the proceeds go to the NRA Foundation; the other half comes back to be given out as grants to local organizations. In the past, the Pagosa springs Police Department has received money to help with a program promoting firearm safety. Another local organization which has received grant money is the Pagosa Pathfinders. Their Youth Hunter Education Challenge program provides outdoor experiences for young people.

Beginning yoga

Special thanks to Diana Baird who has agreed to conduct the beginning Yoga class Feb. 2 and 9, while Richard Harris is out of town. The yoga 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.

Aus-Ger Club

Just a reminder: The Aus-Ger Club meets today at noon at the Buffalo Inn for an Austrian lunch.

Cooking classes

The Pagosa Springs community has responded very positively in the past to the cooking classes sponsored by the center.

A popular series featuring Italian cooking was provided last year by Edith Blake. Each session highlighted a particular dish or technique used in cooking Italian food.

Now we are looking forward to some Thai cooking tips from Pao Tallman.

Looking even further ahead, we are seeking others in Pagosa who would be willing to share their interest and expertise in the cuisines of other countries - Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Moroccan, Middle Eastern, to list just a few of the possibilities. Remember, you don't have to be Middle Eastern to cook in that style. Nor do you have to know everything there is to know about a cuisine. There may be just a dish or two you have learned to cook and enjoy. Let us know if you are interested; we are actively seeking help with this important project.

Valentine's dance

Deb Aspen tells us that there will be three dance demos at the Valentine's Day Dance - an Argentine tango, several couples doing a swing demonstration, and another couple doing the two-step. We are grateful for Deb's support and the support of her dance students at all of our dances.

Stop by the community center or WolfTracks bookstore for your tickets. Again, we urge those of you who have a group of eight to 10 people coming, to reserve a table for your group. The cost is $20 per person in advance or $25 at the door. The price includes nibbles, desserts, soft drinks and coffee. A cash bar with beer and wine at nominal prices will be available.

Computer Lab news

Internet privacy is one of the important topics that surfaced during last week's beginning computer classes.

Students brought up the recent news reports that Google has received a subpoena from the U.S. Justice Department to hand over information on millions of its users' search queries. The request is evidently an effort on the part of the government to enforce an online pornography law. In addition to the week's worth of search terms, the subpoena also asks for a random list of a million Web site addresses in Google's index.

So far Google, has refused to comply with the subpoena, saying that the request is overly broad, would jeopardize its trade secrets, and could destroy the privacy of Google's users. AOL, Yahoo, and MSN have evidently complied, at least in part, with similar subpoenas from the federal government.

While we don't know how this legal battle will settle out, it brings to the fore some questions which we all have to answer for ourselves. How private are our searches, how private is e-mail? It may be the best course to simply assume that our Internet activities, including e-mail, are not and won't ever be absolutely private. E-mails are kept, even if we delete them, on e-mail servers all over the world. If our government requests copies of those e-mail communications, I suspect they would be handed over. Some employers routinely track your Internet searches and e-mail messages. If you don't know your employer's practices, find out. Keep all this in mind when you are using the Internet or sending messages.

If privacy is a concern for you, make it your business to know how your browser's history works, how to cope with tracking cookies, and how to protect the young people in your family who surf the Web. There are tools out there to help you - filtering software which can weed out Web sites which you deem inappropriate and services that will store your cookies for you and delete them at the end of an Internet session. There are also encryption tools to make messages you send more private. Some of these services will act as an intermediary, receiving messages you send and then resending them on to the person in the "To" part of your message. There are things you can and should do if you have concerns about the privacy of your communications.

And, yes, it's true, if you want to be sure that data on your hard drive won't ever be read by anyone, take it out of your computer (the hard drive) and smash it repeatedly with a hammer. New hard drives aren't that expensive!

Under the heading of unnecessary but fun, I recently received a new gadget that plugs into a USB port on my computer. It's a mini hot plate to keep my coffee warm. I wouldn't have thought that enough power would come through a USB cable to manage that, but it works very well.

Thanks to Gary Schott and Lynne Wainwright for donating a monitor to the Computer Lab, and to R. McComber who donated an entire computer system, including a DVD player. Thanks to all of you whose donations allow us to upgrade and maintain our computer equipment at no cost to the Center.

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

Activities this week

Today - Police department training, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; AARP free tax help, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; oil painting workshop, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; beginning yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Teen Center open (Ground Hog Day fun with shadows, and poker), 4-8 p.m.; Echo Canyon Ranch HOA meeting, 5-7 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor Club, 6-8 p.m.; Leading Edge class, 6-9 p.m.

Feb. 3 - Oil painting workshop, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; seniors' bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.; C team basketball practice, 1:30-3 p.m.; Teen Center open (pool and darts), 2-8 p.m.; Mage Knight, 3-6 p.m.; youth basketball, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Feb. 4 - Pagosa Springs annual photo contest, 9 a.m.-noon; Teen Center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; National Rifle Association banquet, 5-11 p.m.

Feb. 5 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church service, 2-4 p.m.

Feb 6 - Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open (board games), 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5-8 p.m.; Red Cross meeting, 6-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 7 - Beginning computing, 10 a.m.-noon; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Computer Q & A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Planned Parenthood, 3:30-5:30 p.m.; Teen Center open (movie), 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5-8 p.m.

Feb. 8 - Watercolor workshop with Ginnie Bartlett and Denny Rose, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; seniors' beginning computing, 10 a.m.-noon; preschool play group, 10 a.m.-noon; San Juan Basin Radon Awareness, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen Center open (Uno Attack!), 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5-8 p.m.; photo club, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.; Creepers Jeepers, 7-8 p.m.

Feb. 9 - Watercolor workshop with Ginnie Bartlett and Denny Rose, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; AARP free tax help, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Feel good, Look good program with Dee Butler, 10 a.m.-noon; beginning yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Teen Center open (poker), 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5-8 p.m.; potluck dinner for Chimney Rock volunteers, 6-8 p.m.

Need a place to have a party or meeting? We have very affordable rooms for small, mid-size and large groups. A catering kitchen is 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

Red-hot music, snowmobile tour help dispel the winter blues

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Treat yourself to a "red hot" afternoon of music at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. at the Restoration Fellowship, 264 Village Dr. as the Red Shoe Trio makes its annual trip to Pagosa Springs.

The Red Shoe Trio was formed in the fall of 2003 at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. The trio has performed throughout the region to delighted audiences and is dedicated to performing the great standards of the repertoire, while avidly championing contemporary compositions.

Members of the trio - Mikylah Myers McTeer on violin, Katherine Jetter Tischhauser on cello and Lisa Campi on piano - are currently faculty members at Fort Lewis College where they maintain active teaching and performing careers.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $10 for Seniors Inc. members, $10 for children ages 8 to 12, and children under 8 years of age are free. Tickets are available at The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center located in the Community Center.

All proceeds will benefit The Den and the Fort Lewis Scholarship Fund. Join us for an afternoon of celebrated music and help support The Den's continued growth and commitment to provide activities and services to our community.

Tax time

The AARP sponsored Tax-Aide program is returning this year.

This program provides free tax counseling and preparation by IRS/AARP trained volunteers who reside in the Pagosa Springs area. The counseling is confidential and the emphasis is on serving the low and middle income taxpayer, with special attention to those 60 years of age and older. This service includes tax form preparation and review of federal and Colorado state returns. Electronic filing is also available at no cost to the taxpayer. If the taxpayer has prepared their own return, but has questions regarding it, they also may come in for assistance.

An application for the Colorado Property Tax/Rent/Heat Rebate (PTC) will also be prepared when appropriate. The PTC rebate is usually available to residents of Colorado for the year 2005 (brief absences OK). Residents must be over 65 or a qualifying widow(er) over 58 whose income is less than $11,000 single, or $14,700 married, and who has paid property taxes, rent or heating bills in 2005. Also, it is not too late to file an application for the year 2004. If you think that you may qualify for this program, come in for consultation (usually you will not be filing a federal or state return). You may also receive your state sales tax refund by filing the PTC application. Qualified applicants can receive a rebate up to $600 of their property tax and $192 of their heating expenses paid during the year. Applicants should bring copies of their tax receipt and heating bills when applying for the rebate.

The program is for individual tax returns. There are some tax forms which are not in the scope of the volunteer tax preparers. In this case you may be advised to seek the assistance of a paid professional tax preparer. Appointments for tax assistance may be scheduled via a sign-up sheet in the senior center dining room. Appointments will not be accepted by phone. This program will be offered every Thursday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Feb. 2 through April 13, in the arts council room at the community center.

Snowmobile tour

Experience Colorado's backcountry on a snowmobile adventure tour.

There are plenty of winter sports and activities to grab your attention during the winter season. From downhill to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing to ice fishing, but some of the best times can be found straddling a powerful snowmobile and adventuring across the backcountry of the San Juan Mountains. On Thursday, Feb. 23, The Den is going snowmobiling.

Join us to discover some rewarding scenery with a qualified guide who can take you to places where you'll see few other faces and much of the unspoiled winter landscape. Poma Outfitting will provide a one-hour snowmobile tour with a hot lunch included for only $40 per person. Meet at The Den at 10 a.m. and we will leave promptly at 10:15 with transportation provided on our bus. Please sign up at The Den office by Friday, Feb. 10, to participate in this outdoor adventure tour.

Free screenings

Are you age 55 or older?

Well, you or your mom or dad may be missing out on helpful public benefits such as financial assistance, health care programs, prescription drug assistance, housing assistance, property tax programs, home energy assistance, in-home services, legal services, nutrition programs, volunteer opportunities and much more.

Call Musetta, director of Senior Services, at 264-2167 to learn what help is available to you. It takes just a few minutes to discover the accessible assistance. You may also visit the Web site at http://archuletacounty.org/Seniors/senior_center.htm then click on the link that says "benefits check up."

Seniors Inc. memberships

Seniors Inc. memberships for folks ages 55 and over can be purchased for $5 at The Den 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. No memberships will be sold Thursdays. Join now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

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.

Make an immediate impact on someone's life and volunteer as a driver for medical shuttles to Durango to help those with medical appointments who are unable to drive themselves. A county vehicle and the fuel are provided for the shuttle. You must have good people skills and be a safe driver. Applications are currently being accepted in The Den office. (A background check will be completed on all candidates.) For more information contact Musetta. Please make a difference, and volunteer.

Price decrease

Senior Services has lowered the cost for medical shuttles to Durango.

Effective Feb. 1, the transportation fee for the med shuttles will be $30 for one person, $20 each for two people, $15 each for three people and $10 each for four or more people.

If you are a member of Seniors Inc., they will pay $20 of your medical shuttle fees. Our medical shuttles provide door-to-door service for your doctor appointments in Durango Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Medical shuttles are not available Thursdays. Emergency shuttle services are not available any time.

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.

National Heart Month

One in three American women dies of heart disease, making it the No. 1 killer.

Heart disease is "ageless." Whatever a woman's age, she needs to take action to protect her heart health.

Coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease. It develops over time and can start as early as the teenage years. During mid life, a woman's risk for heart disease starts to rise dramatically. In part, this is because a woman's body stops producing estrogen. Heart disease doesn't stop developing either, unless treated, it continues to worsen.

One in seven women over age 65 has heart disease, but it's never too late to take steps against it. By taking action, older women, and especially those who already have heart disease, can reduce their risk of developing heart-related problems.

Often, making lifestyle changes is all that's needed. In fact, women can lower their heart disease risk by as much as 82 percent just by leading a healthy lifestyle. Lowering cholesterol is especially important to keep heart disease from worsening.

There are many factors that increase the risk of heart disease. Those beyond your control are family history of heart disease and being over the age of 55. Those you can take action against are smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, overweight/obesity, physical inactivity and diabetes.

So, whatever your age, start taking steps to improve your heart health.

Activities at a glance

Today - Lunch in Arboles with reservations required; AARP tax assistance by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 3 - Spirit Day, wear your Silver Foxes Den shirts. Qi gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Bridge 4 fun, 1 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 6 - Susan Stoffer available for coaching and counseling, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 7 - Yoga in motion, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; Seeds of Learning kids visit, noon; canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 8 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; Red Shoes Trio Concert, 2 p.m. (tickets can be purchased at The Den).

Thursday, Feb. 9 - Durango Shopping day; AARP tax assistance by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 10 - 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.; Seniors Inc. board meeting.


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

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

Today - Lunch in Arboles with reservations required. White chili with chicken, spinach, cornbread and mixed fruit with blueberries.

Friday, Feb. 3 - Chicken and snow peas over rice, Oriental vegetables, tropical fruit and whole wheat bread.

Monday, Feb. 6 - Spicy bean and rice casserole, cut broccoli, yellow squash and whole wheat bread.

Tuesday, Feb. 7 - Crunchy baked fish, whipped potatoes, mixed veggies, pineapple and mandarin oranges and whole wheat bread.

Wednesday, Feb. 8 - Baked potato with cheesy broccoli, plums and drop biscuit.

Friday, Feb. 10 - Chicken cacciatore, oven browned potatoes, Italian vegetables, orange wedge, whole wheat bread and cookie.


Veteran's Corner

Ask for assistance with free VA burial benefits

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

The loss of a loved one is a very difficult time.

If the deceased is a veteran, there is often a lack of knowledge on what the VA will provide in benefits.

It is important for the family and loved ones to know that, for most VA-related death benefits, there is no time limit. Decisions do not need to be made hastily.

A DD214 to verify military service is all that is usually required for basic VA death benefits. Most often, this office has a file with this document on hand for local veterans.

VA benefits free

As with all VA-related benefits, there is never a charge for VA services.

Usually those who are attending to funeral arrangements will arrange for a burial flag and an honor guard. Sometimes they contact the Veteran Service Office for assistance in these matters.

Burial flags

I keep a small supply of burial flags on hand in my office.

Application for burial flags is actually handled through the U.S. Post Office system. Generally, I can respond immediately to the need for a flag. That is followed up later with an application to the Post Office for a replacement to my supply.

Generally speaking, all members of the armed forces and veterans discharged with other than dishonorable discharge are entitled to burial honors, consisting of a minimum of two members of the U.S. Armed Forces, at least one of whom represents the branch of service served by the deceased. Sometimes, the honor guard is provided by nearby military bases. At other times, local veterans' organizations may provide honor guards.

Memorial certificate

Additionally there is a memorial certificate honoring the deceased veteran's service to his country signed by the president of the United States. Multiple copies of this certificate are available for family members and survivors.

A headstone can be ordered for the veteran at any time if the deceased is going to be buried in a private cemetery. If the burial is in a VA or national cemetery, a headstone will be provided by that location.


There are several types of VA headstones available - marble, granite and bronze.

Inscriptions on VA headstones are uniform in nature, determined by the VA application form. Headstones can take from 30 to 90 days, or more, for delivery. Upright, marble headstones weigh several hundred pounds and arrangements for handling should be made in advance of delivery.

Little known is the fact that a surviving spouse can be named on the headstone with the veteran. The spouses' name and date of birth are listed at the time the headstone is ordered for the veteran. Spouse date of death is enscribed on the headstone at that time by private means, if in a private cemetery.

Basic benefits

These are the basic VA death benefits for deceased veterans who served in the military forces. There are other additional VA benefits for veterans who died in combat or from service-connected disabilities.

The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office stands ready to assist families and loved ones with any and all VA benefits when the need arises.


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

Durango VA clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 9247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

More information

For information on these and other veteran's 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 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

Pagosa Reads! A new

program for readers of all ages

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

"The idea is that the city that opens the same book closes it with greater harmony." - Mary McGrory, The Washington Post, March 17, 2002

In 1998, the Center for the Book in Washington State hosted novelist Russell Banks, with four days devoted to programs and discussions about his book, "The Sweet Hereafter." Since then, communities all over the United States have participated in statewide, citywide, countywide, and even country-wide reading programs all over the world.

Durango Public Library started its participation in this program with Durango Reads! in 2001. The book of choice was Wallace Stegner's classic, "Angle of Repose." This year Durango has chosen books from four different genres in order to appeal to a wider public and encourage more participation.

We are going to follow that example here in Pagosa with our first Pagosa Reads!

The central theme for this year's programs and presentations will be water, especially water in the Southwest. We are going to start with a great western classic, "Cadillac Desert: the American West and Its Disappearing Water," by Marc Reisner.

This intriguing book also has a corresponding video documentary of the same name to enhance the printed material. "Chinatown," the screenplay by Robert Towne, and the movie classic, is our second selection. "The People of the Moon," a work of fiction about the disappearance of the Anasazi cultures, by W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, will be our third adult choice. And, for the kids, we have selected, "Water: Almost Enough for Everyone," by Stephanie Ocko.

The books are being ordered in multiples (some secondhand) for borrowing, and if necessary, we will get more copies on interlibrary loan. Local bookstores are also stocking these titles for citizens who wish to start, or add to, their own Western water collection. We are planning discussion panels by community experts on Southwestern and local water issues. We may be able to host a radio play with groups reading all, or parts, of "Chinatown," along with showings of the "Cadillac Desert" documentary and the movie version of "Chinatown." There will also be lectures about water and Native American cultures in the Southwest. And, we will do something fun for the kids (like have them build a dam in the pile of dirt in the library grounds).

Our tentative time frame for this first Pagosa Reads! event is from about April 1 to mid-June. Hopefully some of our snowbirds will have drifted back into town and be able to participate in the activities.

"Cadillac Desert" is a history of man's use of water in the Southwest. Reisner brings the characters in this story to life in riveting detail. Twenty years ago I read this book, but I have never forgotten his incredible depiction of the collapse of the Teton Dam in Idaho.

The dam was fostered as a welfare project for demanding farmers, a pork project for their Congressmen, and a geologic problem for the Bureau of Reclamation, which had run out of good dam sites. The Bureau's director of dam design and construction, overseeing this disaster, was Donald J. Duck. How could you ever forget the story of a dam that swam away, built by Donald Duck?

Part of "Cadillac Desert" is about, and will be a prelude to, "Chinatown." Those who read "Cadillac Desert," and follow the death by water deprivation, of the lush agricultural land in the Owens Valley north of Los Angeles, will be fascinated to actually see the trees disappear and the land turn back to desert, in the documentary. Mulholland's armies facing off farmers with guns are visual proof of the words "water war" and a sight not to be forgotten. After reading Reisner's book, the events and characters in "Chinatown," the screenplay and the movie of the same name, will come to life with deeper significance.

Then we will travel back in time to the destruction of the Anasazi cultures through the mechanisms of overpopulation, drought and violence. Though "The People of the Moon by the Gears" is a fictionalized account of this terrible period, the writers, in the preface of the book, assure the reader that the documented archeological facts were even worse. I found this unnerving, since the book features a lot of gruesome bloodshed. But, I couldn't put it down either.

After the excitement of the adult programs and readings, we may all want to retreat to the simplicity of the kid's selection and read Stephanie Ocko's, "Water: Almost Enough for Everyone." Ocko starts with a story about the 1990 drought in Redding, Iowa, bringing the concept of the water supply into the range of the experiences of youngsters. She goes on to plumb the water circumstances in the rest of the world, then finishes with an epilogue that explains how children, and others, can conserve the earth's most vital natural resource.

Stay tuned for the schedule of events for this program, to be announced next month. Call if you have ideas for programs or want to participate.


Arts Line

Vote for People's Choice at photo show opening

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

There's something for everyone in the annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council photo contest.

Opening reception is 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at Moonlight Books, with photography on display Feb. 4-25.

This show features a generous list of categories including 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. Images range from a simple matted print to prints displayed in quality framing. 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.

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

Photography club

The Pagosa Photography Club will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the arts room at the community center.

The program this month is a slide show presentation by Barbara Conkey. Barbara will present a travelogue of her recent trip to Ireland with scenic images made in the central and southwestern regions of the Emerald Isle.

Monthly photo competitions are held during each club meeting. The two competition categories are the open category, where any subject is allowed, and the theme category. This month's theme is Winter. Members may enter one print in each category. Ribbons are awarded in each category to the top three prints as rated by the members.

The photography cub meets the second Wednesday of each month during the club season, from September through May. Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend at no charge for the first meeting. Any and all are encouraged to join for a modest annual fee.

For more information, contact club president Jim Struck at 731-6468 or jim@perfassoc.com

Denny and Ginnie

An Intermediate I watercolor workshop is scheduled Feb. 8-10 with instructors Denny and Ginnie. The class covers working from photographs, making value sketches, an introduction to perspective and proportion, and adding people to your paintings.

Ginnie Bartlett and Denny Rose, between them, have been painting more than a century.

Dozens of local adults have benefited from learning to watercolor under the direction of this artistic dynamic duo. They enjoy sharing the things they wish someone had taught them when they first started painting. Their enthusiasm and knowledge are cited as reasons that their adult students are loud in their praise and return to them as they continue to grow in watercolor.

Ginnie Bartlett has always been an artist, drawing and painting and from childhood and majoring in fine art at William and Mary University. Since then, she has studied with numerous outstanding workshop leaders/fine artists and painted with many more. She has been leading a group of artists here in Pagosa for 17 years, sharing instruction positions with Denny Rose teaching watercolor in the Pagosa area for the last seven years. She is a multi-talented painter whose oils, collages and watercolors win awards in major shows and sell in several galleries.

Denny Rose began painting in a high school art class, attended college on a fine art scholarship, and continued painting and selling her work during a 25 year career in marketing management with major organizations. She became a full-time watercolorist in 1993 and began sharing her talent in workshops for the arts council.

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 and allows personal attention for all. A materials list will be available when you register.

Class fees are $150 for PSAC members and $175 for nonmembers. Participants should register at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council building in Town Park (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m) or by calling 264-5020. Credit card payments are accepted to ensure your advance registration.

Betty Slade workshop

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

The "Everything That Grows" intermediate watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 1, 2 and 3, will help you take your creative desires to a new level of growth. This 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 Slade will show you techniques and skills to 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. Come away and grow in your gift as an artist.

Details and supply list available at the PSAC. Cost of the three-day workshop is $120 for PSAC members and $145 for no-members. 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

Randall Davis will offer his drawing classes the third Saturday of the month. The next class is scheduled Feb. 18 at the community center. For further information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

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

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.

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, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., community center.

Feb. 10 - Valentine's Dance (Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge), 7-11 p.m., community center.

Feb. 10-11 - Western photo arts show and sale, 11a.m.-7 p.m., community center.

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

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

Feb. 18 - Drawing with Randall Davis.

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

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

Food for Thought

I'll never cook again, unless ...

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I'll never cook again.

I've had it.

It's been a long, fascinating run - most of it wonderful. A satisfying adventure. A meditation of high order.

But, it's over.

I packed up the pots and pans and stored them in the garage; I'm ready to give away the special items in the fridge and pantry.

I don't care; I'm not going to need them.

I'm finished.

This man's shadow will not fall on a range top again. I will never preheat another oven. No longer will I skulk through the kitchen sections at stores, caressing heavy-duty, commercial sauciers. I am going to donate my extensive collection of books on food and cooking to the library. Someone, surely, will make good use of the recipes, the lessons on technique, the wisdom and insights of Escoffier and Brillat-Savarin.

I won't.

Don't need 'em anymore.

The joy is gone. My special connection to finding and preparing foods has been slashed, severed, spoiled.

By my wife.

For years now, I've put up with an increasing number of complaints and restraints from Kathy, been confronted with an ever-growing list of verboten ingredients and dishes. With each new issue of one of her "They are poisoning us with food and we are all going to die" magazines, with every new e-mail from a goofy-looking, fat M.D. concerning a recently discovered carcinogen, her sense of alarm has amplified, her reactive demands multiplying like rats behind a garage wall.

With delivery of her special publications each month, the pressure on me, the cook, has grown. Where I once stalked the aisles of a grocery store like a mighty hunter, guided only by whimsy and the availability of ingredients, I've found myself increasingly subdued by anxiety, ever on the alert to avoid the latest deadly vegetable, the toxic assault weapon disguised as meat or dairy product.

The list of prohibited ingredients grew long, including cheeses (unless they're produced by some silly freak who wears a polka-dot engineer cap and sleeps with goats) vinegars, wines, red meats, fungi, tofu (well, this was OK), butter, sugar, flour and on and on and on and Š

The joy was dying.

Then Š last Wednesday.

That's when the proverbial back broke under the weight of constant complaint.

I reached my breaking point and surrendered. Kathy delivered the coup de grace.

I'm in the kitchen, working on dinner. I've spent a good half hour at the market, selecting ingredients, asking one of my special grocery-store pals what she's making for dinner, composing my own recipe as I go. I'm having a swell time. I've bought two boneless chicken breasts, a carton of organic chicken stock, a can of crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes, a can of canellini beans, a head of garlic, a white onion, a tube of prepared polenta and a pack of those cool, little yellow and red sweet peppers.

They're so darned cute.

I've trimmed the chicken breasts, thinly sliced the onions, crushed and minced ten cloves of garlic, minced a wad of parsley, finely diced some celery, and sliced eight of the peppers. I intend to sweat the onion and celery in olive oil with a touch of kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper. I'm ready to add the garlic and parsley at the last moment and remove the mix from the pan. Then, I'll turn the heat up high and char the slices of pepper. I'll remove the peppers, sear the seasoned chicken breasts then remove them. I'm thinking I'll deglaze the pan with some stock, loosening all the goodies, then back in will go the veggies, the chicken, a bit more stock, some thyme and oregano, a half cup or so of the tomatoes, the rinsed beans and a teaspoon of my pal Ronnie's prized Espanola red. I'll braise the mix for 90 minutes or so, remove the chicken and hack it into hefty chunks. I'll adjust the seasonings in the sauce, add a couple tablespoons of chicken demi-glace to punch things up a bit, reduce the sauce, and throw the hunks of chicken back in the sauce to coat.

I plan to keep the chicken warm while I crisp up some rounds of polenta over high heat in a mix of butter and olive oil. I'll hit the chicken mix with a slosh of extra virgin olive oil to gloss it up and it'll go on the polenta and the whole mess will be liberally sprinkled with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. A nice salad, some crusty bread.

Wine, anyone?

The perfect little meal.

Or, so I think.

Foolish me.

The assault hits me like a ball peen hammer to the occipital ridge. I'm stunned, reeling. I gotta admit: I'm not prepared, my defenses are down.

Kathy, however, is at DEFCON 5.

"Dear heavens, what are you doing? I can't believe it."

She grabs the package of peppers. "Look," she shouts, jabbing at the label with her finger. "Look! Good lord, man, didn't you see this? Have you forgotten how to read?"

I read the label: "Sweet peppers." I read it aloud, so she'll know I'm with the program.

"Oh, you poor, silly thing. Look!" She continues to jab at the package.

"Look here. 'Product of Mexico.' Do you know what that means? Do you?" Her voice is shrill, her face is red. It's like she's discovered anthrax in our food. I look to the door, expecting a Mylex-clad gaggle of science geeks from the CDC to burst into the house and quarantine us.

"Well," I venture (timidly, I might add), "it says 'Product of Mexico'."

"Exactly. 'Product of Mexico.' You bought this. Are you out of your mind?"

Ordinarily, I would answer in the affirmative, but I'm a bit worried at this point in the conversation. It could be a trick question.

"Well, I'm not sure. I Š I Š don't think so."

"You bought produce grown in Mexico."

"Yes? I mean, did I? I guess Š wellŠ maybe Š but Š"

"Karl, where have you been? Do you know what century this is? Have you heard about that thing we call 'science?' What on earth is wrong with you? Produce from Mexico?"

"Well, I Š ah .. um Š"

"Why not just eat a pound of plutonium, Karl? Fresh and hot, right out of the reactor? These peppers are covered with pesticides. Mexican farmers know no limits down there, Karl; modern nutritional science means nothing to them, and NAFTA has confirmed their attitude with undue profits. They flood their produce with pesticides. There are multitudes of kids down there with vestigial tails - did you know that? Do you know about the staggering increase in the birth of two-headed babies in countries that overuse pesticides on their produce? And, worst of all (here, her countenance darkens, her eyes crinkle into ominous slits, the tone of her voice registers maximum concern) Š they drench these peppers with DDT."

"Uhhhh Š and?"

"What? Didn't you hear me? I said they drench these peppers with DDT. You eat these things, you get a massive dose of DDT. You cook with them and a certified lethal pesticide leaches out of the peppers and permeates everything else in the pan. You ingest the deadly brew and you are a goner, pal. A goner."

I hear my voice. It sounds like I'm in a tin can, far, far away. "I julienned them," I warbled, "and I was just about to char them over high heat. Can you imagine the burst of flavor when Š"

"Karl, are you listening? Do you ever listen? DDT, Karl. DDT! Nerve damage, cancer, heaven knows what other gruesome maladies might follow if you consume these things. Eat these peppers and you are swallowing more problems than you and your feeble immune system can handle."

"But, sweetie Š"

"But, sweetie, nothing. You go ahead and wolf down this poison, if you will, but leave it out of my food. Go ahead, eat the peppers. Eat as many as you like, wise guy; then pay the price. Don't be surprised if one day soon you morph into a huge, Kafkaesque beetle-like creature and, because of the enormous damage to your buggy nervous system, you're on your back in the living room in front of a flickering TV, helpless, drooling, twitching and flailing away with your eight spindly legs in the air. Mark my words, Beetle Boy Š you are in a world of hurt if you eat these peppers."


Suffice it to say, the exchange takes the wind right out of my culinary sails.

Polishes me off, in fact. Robs me of my will to cook.

But, I am not going down without a fight.

I flip the stove's burners to Off. I turn and make my announcement.

"You do it, then. I've had it. You shop; you cook. I'll never cook again."

"Oh, you're such an extremist: It's like living with a five year-old. Don't be ridiculous, Beetle Boy."

I turn on my heel, I pout, and I stalk off to the guest bathroom and lock the door. I have no idea why I'm in the bathroom - but it feels right. And it's warm.

That'll show, her, I think. She is going to be sorry.

The next afternoon, I go to the market and I buy deli turkey and a plastic container filled with slightly brown broccoli salad. I throw the eats on the kitchen counter come dinnertime. I make a sandwich with some stale bread and, wrapped in the virtue of my cause, I stalk off to the bathroom and lock the door.

"Not gonna work," she yells.

The next day: a can of Spaghetti-O's (cold) and an unripe banana.

I take fresh reading material to the bathroom. I am prepared to wait this one out.

Day three: Goldfish crackers and tepid water. For dessert: Cap'n Crunch (dry).

I notice the caulk around the shower enclosure needs replacement.

Day four, last night, I finally triumph, firing a salvo of unripe Gala apple slices, dry brown sugar and stale rice cakes at my beloved.

"All right," she says, chasing a rice cake with a swallow of water, "this has gone way too far. You need to cut it out, and cook."

"Not going to happen, my pet. I don't want to cook again. Ever. The magic is gone"

"Magic, schmagick. You know I can't cook. Now, get over it and get back to work in the kitchen."

"I don't want to."

"Listen, buster, I'll follow you into that bathroom if I have to; we need to talk this out. There are plenty of things I don't want to do, either. I can't cook - you know that - but, I'll tell you what: I'll trade you something I don't want to do for this thing you don't want to do. For example, I don't like washing your underwear and socks. I'll do it, though, if you cook."

"Nope, I don't mind doing the wash."

"How about I clean the guest bathroom?"

"Well, it's become my favorite room in the house and, since I've been spending more time in there, I've already tidied up. I'll keep cleaning the guest bathroom."

"What if I finish unpacking all those boxes we moved to the basement six months ago - the one's you swore you'd get to within a week?"

"I've got my eye on those boxes. No problemo."

"Oh, come on Š surely there's something I can do Š"

She stops. But, alas, it's too late. She knows she's made a terrible mistake.

Indeed, there's something she can do. Something she doesn't want to do.

Hoo boy.

So, maybe I'll rethink this cooking thing.

I'll need to unpack the books I was ready to send to the library. And I'll have to hustle out to the garage to get the pots and pans.

If I change my mind, you'll know it.

I'll be the one with the huge smile on his face, humming "Strangers in the Night" as he sidles down the aisles at the grocery store.

I'll be so happy that, if you want, you can call me Beetle Boy.



Extension Viewpoints

Weed, beef symposiums set for March

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Today - Shady Pine Club meeting, 7 p.m.

Feb. 3 - 4-H Fridays: GIS, foods, sewing, 1:45-4 p.m.

Feb. 3 - Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting, 2:15 p.m.

Feb. 3 - Goat Project meeting, 3:30 p.m.

Feb. 6 - Entomology-Group 2, 4 p.m.

Feb. 6 - 4-H Livestock Committee meeting, 6 p.m.

Feb. 7 - Rocky Mountain Riders Club meeting, 6 p.m.

Feb. 7 - Junior Stockman Club meeting-Chromo, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 8 - Entomology-Group 1, 4 p.m.

Feb. 8 - Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 9 - Vet Science at San Juan Veterinary Clinic, 5:30 p.m.

Weed management

This year the 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 afterwards. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Contact the Extension Office at 264-5931 to register.

4-H raising funds

4-H youth have now started their annual cookie dough sale.

Their goal this year - 1,600 tubs. There are now 13 different kinds of cookie dough available. Flavors include: Chunky Chocolate Chip, Made with M&Ms, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin and Sugar for $10 a tub; White Chocolate Macadamia, Fun-tastic, Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chunks, Triple Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, Heath English Toffee and Monster Cookie Dough for $12 per tub.

The cookie dough comes in three-pound tubs (enough for about 96 half-ounce cookies) that can be refrigerated or stored in the freezer. The cookie dough can be eaten raw because it is made with pasteurized eggs instead of raw eggs. Cookie dough will be delivered March 15.

If you would like to place an order for cookie dough but can't find a 4-Her, contact the Archuleta County Extension Office at 264-5931 and we will be happy to help you.

Annual beef symposium

This year the beef symposium will be held March 7 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango. Topics this year include: Future Outlook of the Livestock Industry, Sire Selection: The Numbers Game, Supplementing and Understanding Digestion in Cattle, Worming and Vaccination Programs, Beef Cattle Diseases and Premise ID and Animal ID Tools.

Cost for the symposium is $15 if you register before Feb. 24 or $20 after. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Register by contacting us at 264-5931.

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



Pagosa Lakes News

Apply now for Rotary Foundation scholarships

By Larry Lynch

SUN Columnist

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs is actively soliciting applicants for the various Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships being awarded this summer for study abroad in 2007-2008/2009.

Specifically, current college students - undergraduate or graduate - who live in the area or whose families live in or around Pagosa Springs are encouraged to apply for the Academic Year Ambassadorial Scholarships. To date, one applicant sponsored by the Telluride Rotary Club, Rebecca O'Brien, was awarded an Ambassadorial Scholarship and studied law for a year at the University of Aix-en-Provence in Avignon, France, several years ago. The local club hopes to encourage others to follow in Rebecca's footsteps.

The Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarships are ideal avenues for working professionals to spend several months abroad studying languages for use in everyday work - all expenses paid.

In addition, the Rotary Club of Pagosa springs is seeking applicants for the 2007-2009 Rotary World Peace Scholarship, available under the Rotary Foundation Program for world peace and understanding, which provides 70 scholarships worldwide, specifically for two-year master's degree programs in academic pursuits relating to peace initiatives. The Rotary Centers for International Studies involve seven universities, including Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; University of California-Berkeley; University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England; Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan.

The scholarships, which are designed to further international understanding and goodwill, provide for study abroad in more than 160 countries where Rotary clubs are located. Some 1,300 scholarships of various types are made available from clubs worldwide each year (resulting in over $20 million in scholarships awarded annually worldwide).

During their studies abroad, Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholars act as "ambassadors of goodwill." Through appearances before Rotary clubs and districts, schools, civic organizations and other forums, the scholars represent their homelands and districts and work to further international understanding.

Academic-Year Ambassadorial Scholarships are for one academic year abroad and provide funding for round-trip transportation, tuition and fees, room, board, some educational supplies, and language training (if necessary), up to a maximum of $25,000 or its equivalent (not including support provided by local hosts and clubs during the term of the scholarships). These scholarships are generally awarded to college students for postgraduate studies.

Also available are Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarships which provide funding for three months of intensive language study and cultural immersion in another country, including transportation, tuition and home-stay expenses, up to a maximum of $12,000 (again, not including support provided by local hosts and clubs). These scholarships have most recently been granted to teachers, counselors and other professionals for training (commonly language) used in their careers in local areas (e.g., ESL and other related matters).

For more information and application, contact Doug Tueller at (970) 728-5775. Doug is the chair of the Rotary District 5470 Scholarship Committee. You may also visit the Rotary Web site at www.rotary.org. The deadline this year for receipt of complete applications is April 27, 2006, for scholarships awarded for the calendar years 2007-2008/2009.

Perch tourney

This Saturday's second Pagosa Lakes Winter Perch Tournament will be held at Lake Hatcher, 9:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.

This tournament is part of the weekend's Winterfest celebration. Tickets ($10 or $12 at the lake) are available at Ponderosa Do-It-Best, Terry's ACE Hardware, Chamber of Commerce, the recreation center and PLPOA administration office.



Janae Marie Lee Sutherland

Travis and Jennifer Sutherland of Pagosa Springs are pleased to announce the birth of their baby girl, Janae Marie Lee Sutherland. She was born at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, Jan. 16, 2006, weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 19 inches long. Proud grandparents are Jimmy and Vanessa Sutherland of Pagosa Springs, and Sam and Mary Espinosa of Pagosa Springs, along with great-great-grandmother, Marion Rhoads of Placerville, Colo.




Samantha Ames

Samantha Denise Ames, age 17, of Roosevelt, passed away Jan, 24, 2006, at her home due to complications of pneumonia.

She was born June 6, 1988, in Roosevelt, to Kim Denise Marks and Sandy "Sam" Ames.

Samantha was a very loving person who tried to take care of everyone's problems. She was an angel here on earth and loved everybody. She loved taking care of her nieces and nephews and had lots of friends. She always took her boyfriend, Carson, with her - they were inseparable. She had a beautiful singing voice and enjoyed writing poetry, even having one of her poems published.

She is survived by her mother, Kim Marks, Roosevelt; father, Sam (Madeline) Ames, Pagosa Springs; grandparents, Rachel and Don Ames, Ioka; boyfriend, Carson Harris, Roosevelt; brothers and sisters, Brandy (Kerry) Farrer, Neola; Jackie Beasley (Dusty Wood), Roosevelt; Don Edward Ames, Roosevelt; brother-in-law, Garrick Murdock, Whiterocks; stepbrothers, Lorenzo and Angelica Cardenas, Jimmy Cardenas (Meredith Bell), Esteban Cardenas, all of Pagosa Springs; nieces and nephews, Kimzie Rose Murdock; Ravin Griffiss; McKell, Taylor, Dallon Farrer; Marcos, Alisandro, Carlos and Maya Cardenas; and many uncles, aunts, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Ed Marks, Karen Melgard; good friends, Adam Ames, Derk Eldredge, and special uncle, Steve Lind.

Funeral services were held Jan. 30, 2006, with the burial at the Roosevelt Memorial Park.


Myrtle Snow

Myrtle Elizabeth Snow, nee Anderson, passed away Jan. 25, 2006.

Born in April of 1932, Myrtle was a lifelong resident of Pagosa Springs. Daughter of Lloyd Anderson and Goldie Hotz, she was a fourth-generation resident.

Preceded in death by her older brother, James, she is survived by her younger brother, Franklin, and sister, Evelyn; her four children, Ken, Karl, August and Jerry; three grandchildren, Richard, Billie Jo and Jason; and two great-grandsons. She will be missed.

A memorial potluck will be held at her former residence, in the community room of the Casa De Los Arcos apartments at 503 S. 8th Street, on Friday, Feb. 3, from 11 a.m. to about 2 p.m.


Alex Shaw

Alexander von Skrobotof Cleves Shaw, 83, went to be with his Lord Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006, after a short illness.

Alex was born Oct. 29, 1922, in Harbin, Manchuria, to Katherine and Alexander Skrobotof. His father, an officer in the Czar's cause, died shortly after Alex's birth. In December 1944, Alex married Betty G. Shaw.

He graduated from the Citadel and Duke University, received a commission and served with pride as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

After his miliary career, Alex accepted a management position with Mobil Oil Corporation that took him and Betty to the Orient and Africa for many years. The Shaws retired to beautiful Pagosa Springs in 1986.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Alexander and Gwynn of San Antonio, Texas, and a granddaughter, Stefanie of Durango, Colorado.

Alex was a gentleman, husband, father, warrior, patriot, servant of our Lord, and loved animals. He was a connoisseur of fine libation, a traveling companion, humorist and a very good friend. Alex left his world better off than when he entered, especially for those folks whose lives he touched.

A private memorial service was held Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006, at the Shaw's residence, with the Rev. Marvin Moncrief (R.E.C.) officiating.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Trinity Anglican Church, P.O. Box 1825, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


 Business News
Chamber News

Winterfest: Something for everyone

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Get ready, get set, fly - in a balloon, on a sled, down a ski hill or across the frozen lake.

Whatever you choose to do, enjoy yourself at one of the Pagosa Springs Winterfest activities. There will be lots of fun Feb. 4 and 5.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings, weather permitting, (and it looks like it might), more than 35 hot air balloonists will take to the Pagosa skies. Mass ascension will take place near the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center.

If you are interested in crewing for a team, show up around 8 a.m. to see if we will be flying and to get assigned a balloonist. You know it will be cold, so dress appropriately.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., a Pagosa Lakes Winter Perch Tournament, sponsored by Ponderosa Do-It-Best, will be held at Hatcher Lake. Tickets are available in advance for $10 at the Chamber, Ponderosa Do-It-Best, Terry's Ace, and the PLPOA administration office and recreation center. Children under 15 fish free and children and adults will be vying for some great prizes, including cash. The tournament goes until about 2:30 p.m. For more information, contact Larry Lynch at 731-5635.

Also on Saturday, spectators will see some unique and hilarious contraptions fly down the hill at Best Value High Country Lodge east of town on U.S. 160, starting around 1 p.m. This always entertaining event is made all the better by the generous hosts at High County Lodge, Dick and Kathy Fitz, who provide free food and beverages to all participants and spectators. It is best and less expensive when you register in advance for this event.

Here are some important rules to remember when building your sled: it must be homemade, there must be a brake system, and entertainment is a must! The sleds will make three runs and the fastest average time wins. Of course, we will also be giving out prizes for the most bizarre sled. You will have plenty of time to race, eat and visit before attending the next Winterfest function. For more information, or if you would like a registration form faxed to you, call the Chamber at 264-2360.

Weather permitting, the downtown soccer park will come aglow with hot air balloon silhouettes Saturday evening. Starting around 5 p.m. participating balloonists will tether their balloons and, as day turns into evening, you will see a magical glow emanating from these colorful canvases.

Often, balloonists need help arranging the balloons, so this is a great family or visitor activity. Parking will be available on Pagosa Street, the public parking lot by Seeds of Learning, on 5th Street and surrounding side streets. Please be aware of businesses in the area and the need to keep their parking lots open for their patrons. Hermosa Street will be closed for pilot use. What a great location for the community to watch this special viewing. I remember Colorfest and people lining Pagosa Street above the park. Hopefully, we will get to take lots of photos next Saturday evening.

Have a good rest and get ready for Sunday. You may not have time to watch the morning mass ascension if you are going to participate in the Winter Triathlon.

This resurrected event will take place at the Wolf Creek Ski Area, starting at 9 a.m. The course will consist of a 6 K cross country trek, followed by a snowshoe hike up the Windjammer over to Turnpike, then a final ski or snowboard leg down the course at Gun Barrel to finish the race. Prizes will be given out to the top three participants in men, women and children's categories.

Sign-up begins at 8 a.m. in the lower parking lot at Wolf Creek Ski Area. Registration is $30 for individuals and $60 for a team. Cheer on the starting racers, warm up at the Lodge, then cheer the downhill racers as they finish the course. For more information, to register, or for rules and registration, call Kimberley at the Chamber at 264-2360.

There will be lots of other activities going on at Wolf Creek that same day, so you don't have to be a triathlon participant to enjoy all the festivities. Have some outdoor fun and then be home in time to watch the Super Bowl.

Thanks to our sponsors: Jann Pitcher Real Estate, Switchback Mountain Gear and Apparel, Juan's Mountain Sports, Ski and Bow Rack, and Alpen House Ski Center, for helping us bring this challenging event back into the fold of Winterfest activities.

It can snow up to Friday morning, so let's see if we can get some great coordinated weather patterns going for this fun weekend. We'll see you at a few of these events.

Cupid Classified

Give a gift of words your loved ones will cherish for a long time with a Humane Society Cupid Classified.

In the Feb. 9 issue of The PREVIEW, words of praise, thanks, love and admiration will be read by all of Pagosa. Classifieds are 30¢ per word, with a $6 minimum.

A Cupid Classified needs to be turned into The SUN office or mailed to P.O. Box 9, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 by noon, Monday, Feb. 6, for it to be published. Everyone likes to read these wild, wacky, tender and loving notices. Many classifieds are sent anonymously. I should know. Or should I say I still don't know?

Tim Sullivan

As a precursor to the typical Valentine's Day celebrations, take your partner over to the community center for the Valentine's Dance 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, with Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door for an evening of fun and music. Your ticket price includes a dessert bar and soft drinks. There will be a cash beer and wine bar available. There will also be a western photo art sale from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the community center with photos provided by Wen Saunders. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the dance program. Tickets for the Tim Sullivan dance can be purchased at the community center and WolfTracks.


If you can't make it out Friday night, there is still an opportunity for you to enjoy an evening of fun and entertainment Saturday at the LASSO Hearts for Horses event.

The event will be held at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse starting at 6:30 p.m. There will be dinner; live, slave and Chinese auctions; and entertainment. Tickets are $50 per person and a great evening is planned. LASSO is an organization devoted to the survival, safety and humane treatment of hoofed animals. For more information, call DiAnn Hitchcox at 264-0095.

So, you can start your Valentine's Day celebrations early this year with Cupid Classifieds, a dance at the community center and the LASSO event. There are lots of ways to show your Valentine that you care, in addition to flowers and candy.


We are rockin' and rollin' this week with memberships.

Two new members join the Chamber ranks this week.

Our first business is X-Ray Solutions with Nathan Loper. Nathan specializes in computer troubleshooting and repair for either your business or individual needs. He can provide networking capabilities and wireless Internet assistance. With hackers, spam and identity theft becoming even more prevalent, Nathan can also help you with computer security and protection. You can call (877) 295-0918 or stop by his office at 302 Talisman Dr., No. 23 for computer news and views. We would like to thank Ed Raymond and Resort Properties for referring Nathan to the Chamber. Resort Properties will get a free SunDowner admission to the SunDowner of his choice.

Finally, we get to officially welcome Bob and Carole Howard as associate Chamber members. Carole is very active in numerous community organizations such as Music in the Mountains and the Gray Wolves, while Bob shared his expertise with organizations such as the Airport Advisory Board. We appreciate their support not only of the Chamber of Commerce but also of the whole community. Welcome to these two new members.

First on the renewal list this week is the First Inn of Pagosa.

We welcome back my neighbors to the north on beautiful Four Mile Road, Sonlight Christian Camp.

Jumping over to the world of insurance we welcome back Schield-Leavitt Insurance Agency.

We also welcome back Sierra Pagosa Builders at 55 Meadows Drive.

Back in the fold is Jeff Bouwer, otherwise known as The Flying Dutchman.

We welcome back Robin Auld, attorney at law.

You can't have lived in Pagosa and not seen the work of our next renewal, photographer Bruce Andersen.

Welcome back to long-time resident and rancher John Taylor.

In the non-profit arena this week we welcome back the Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance previously known as FOPA: Friends of the Performing Arts, as well some surrounding area chamber supporters: The Chama Courier newspaper and the Creede Repertory Theater.

I get to end the memberships this week again with an associate membership, the renewal of Janis and Bob Moomaw.

We had a little breather in January, but now the year is in full swing and get ready for a busy one.

Let's see if I can peak your interest Š I'll have big news for everyone next week on some upcoming events. Stay tuned, and we'll see you at the Winterfest activities.



Cards of Thanks

Taekwondo club

The students of the Pagosa Springs Taekwondo Club would like to sincerely thank Mr. Rick Bass for his excellent, fun and rewarding teaching style. His patience and perseverance are most appreciated.



A heartfelt thank you to the kind lady who stopped and offered assistance on Friday, Jan. 20, on Colo. 151, after we hit a patch of black ice and blew a tire. We appreciate the call you made for us to our daughter in Farmington. We will return the kindness the next time we see someone in distress.

Many thanks,

Phil and Pat Evans



PV2 Raul. R. Palmer

Butch and Rachael Palmer congratulate their son, PV2 Raul R. Palmer, for his recent accomplishment as honor graduate from the U.S. Army Aviation Logistics School in Fort Eustis, Virginia, Jan. 26, 2006, as a CH-47 Helicopter Repairer. Raul will now be stationed in Fort Wainwright, Alaska. He is a 2005 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.


Chelsea Megan Sanchez

Chelsea Megan Sanchez, a 2001 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, has graduated from Colorado State University.

The ceremony was held Dec. 17, and she received a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing.

Chelsea plans to reside in Denver and will soon be employed by Ferguson.

She is the daughter of Lee Sanchez and the late Johnny Sanchez, both of Pagosa Springs.



Sports Page

Lady Pirates sweep Alamosa

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Lady Mean Moose tried to make a game of it in the third quarter in Alamosa last Saturday night in front of a large home town crowd. But Coach Bob Lynch and his Pagosa Springs High School varsity Lady Pirates would have nothing to do with it.

The Lady Pirates came home to Pagosa with a 39-29 win and swept Alamosa in this season's two-game series. The Pirates had beaten Alamosa in the Buena Vista Tournament last December.

The Lady Pirates' record improves to 9-4 on the season and the team is 2-1 in Intermountain League (IML) play. They have one more non-league game Feb. 7. The loss drops the Mean Moose to 5-8.

The game looked like it would be another blowout for the Lady Pirates when they held the Lady Mean Moose to just two points in the first quarter and seven in the second to go up by 13 at intermission. Caitlin Forrest and Kari Beth Faber, both seniors, led Pagosa with six first-half points each. Senior Liza Kelley added five.

Alamosa finally found the range from the outside in the third period on treys by sophomore Katy Bussey and junior Lara Marina and outscored Pagosa by 10-6 to make things interesting. The key play came when Kelley was fouled on a three-point attempt and made two of three from the line to swing momentum back to the Pirates. They then got back to business in the fourth and played mistake free to get the 10-point win.

Coach Lynch said afterward, "We had too many turnovers and fouls in the third quarter and almost let them back in the game. We were in a zone defense and they (Alamosa) started to find the range from outside. We knew Bussey had a good outside shot and our kids didn't pressure her enough." The Pirates committed three turnovers and four fouls in the period.

Lynch went on to say, "We got back to our pressure defense in the fourth period and played pretty good basketball. It got kind of ugly in the third (quarter) but I'm glad we got the win.

Kelley led all scoring with 11 points on nine of 11 from the free throw line. Forrest and Faber had fine inside games with eight points each on three of four and three of five from the paint. Junior Jessica Lynch finished with six, on one of two from three-point range. Senior Emily Buikema and sophomore Tamara Gayhart rounded out the Pirate scoring with four and two. Faber led the Pirates with four assists and Forrest pulled down seven rebounds.

Bussey and junior Crystal Loch were tied with top honors for the Lady Mean Moose on eight points each. Senior Stacy Bervig followed with seven.

Alamosa won the opening tip but neither team could find the rim until almost a minute gone when Kelley broke the ice for the Pirates' first two. Forrest hit a deuce inside and Faber scored three on a short jumper and foul shot to give Pagosa a 7-1 lead. The Lady Mean Moose went into full court pressure at the two-minute mark to end the scoring. Junior Lyndsey Mackey put up a long three at the buzzer that fell just short.

Forrest, Kelley and Faber continued their inside barrage on a 7-2 run to open the second period. Lynch netted a long trey from the wing to put the Lady Pirates up by 15 at the 4:30 mark. The Mean Moose went into the bonus at the free throw line but could not convert. Nothing seemed to fall for them as they missed the first of three one-on-one situations. With less than two minutes remaining Buikema blocked an inside shot and Forrest was fouled on a putback attempt, putting Pagosa up 22-9 going into intermission.

Alamosa had first possession in the third period. Switching ends of the court gave them new hope as Bussey netted an outside three. Marina came back with her own trey after the Lady Pirates turned the ball over to bring the Mean Moose within seven with less than three minutes on the clock. Kelley was fouled on the three attempt and Buikema scored an inside deuce to swing the game back to the Pirates and a nine-point lead.

The fourth opened on another Mean Moose trey by Bussey and two from the line by Bervig to bring them within six. Forrest and Buikema started to use their height advantage to put up short jumpers in the paint. Kelley and Lynch hit from the outside to end the scoring.

The Lady Pirates return to IML action this weekend. Tomorrow night they travel to Monte Vista to face the other Lady Pirates, who are struggling with a record of 1-12 and 0-3 in IML. Game time is set for 6 p.m. on the front end of a doubleheader with the Pirates.

Saturday night, the Bayfield Wolverines will come to Pagosa for another interesting match-up. The Lady Pirates opened IML play with a big win (63-41) in Bayfield two weeks ago and the Wolverines will be looking to return the favor. The Pirates need the win to maintain their hold on second place in league standings. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the Lady Pirates will host the Panthers from Piedra Vista High School in the last non-league game of the season. The Panthers are currently 7-9 in their New Mexico 4A district. This is a girls only affair, with the varsity game set for 7 p.m.

In other IML action last week;

- Ignacio (1-1 in IML) defeated Monte Vista (1-12, 0-3) 74-61.

- Centauri (14-0, 3-0) defeated Bayfield (8-3, 1-2) 80-36.

- Bayfield (9-3, 2-2) defeated Ignacio (1-2 in IML) 76-60.


Pagosa Springs - 7, 15, 6, 11-39

Alamosa - 2, 7, 10, 10-29

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


Pirates beat Bayfield in IML dual, defeat Pueblo school in final home meet

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirate wrestling team extended its Intermountain League record to 2-1 Thursday with a 46-22 win over the Bayfield Wolverines, at Bayfield.

Pirates won eight times in matches not decided by forfeit.

Josh Nelson took his match at 119 pounds against James Cummings, with a pin in the third period.

Freshman Mike Smith managed a third-period pin to win at 135 against Jake Rhodes.

Ky Smith continued his winning ways at 140 at Bayfield. The Pirate senior pinned Ty Conrad in the first period.

Senior Paul Hostetter took a 3-1 decision over Austin Thorne at 145.

Justin Moore dominated Jake Zink, at 152.

Matt Nobles, fighting a case of bronchitis, prevailed at 160. The senior scored a 14-0 major decision against Mark Eckstein.

Dale August returned to action for Pagosa at 171. August won with a first-period pin of Andre Vayre.

Joe Romine finished the Pirate scoring. The heavyweight pinned Justin Harrison in the second period of the match.

With dual meet wins over Bayfield and Ignacio, the Pirates were in a position to take second in the IML, given they win tomorrow at Centauri - finishing behind Monte Vista, this year's lock for the league title.

"This was our first match after a break," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky of the win at Bayfield. "We looked okay, but kind of lackluster. This was not a real interesting dual meet. It was important to win, though. We did what we had to do."

Janowsky and his wrestlers are now in a part of the season that can be a gray zone for many teams, with two weeks to go prior to regional competition, and three weeks left to the state tourney in Denver.

"We're like a lot of teams," said the coach, "in that we're at that part of the year where we have kids who are sick, some who are hurt (the Pirates' ace at 215, Bubba Martinez, missed the meet due to a concussion suffered in a fall Wednesday) and we don't have a full lineup. As a result, we looked kind of flat against Bayfield."

The next night didn't see matters improve much as the team met 2A Dolores Huerta Preparatory, a Pueblo school, Friday in the final action of the season in the PSHS gym. The Pirates dominated the opponents, but whether the team had taken a step toward late-season shape was unclear.

Dolores Huerta is new to the Colorado High School Activities Association sports roster this season.

New school, with a new wrestling program. All freshmen and sophomores.

It showed, as the Scorpions dropped the match to Pagosa Springs, 75-4.

The lopsided score must be reckoned in light of six forfeits by Dolores Huerta, surrendering 36 points. Of the matches wrestled, Pagosa grapplers won all but one.

The dual began at 140 pounds and the Pirates' Ky Smith made short work of his opponent, taking the sting out of the Scorpion with a fall in the first period.

Hostetter took the mat for Pagosa at 145 against Michael Ramirez. The senior was in control throughout the match, scoring with three first-period takedowns to build an early 6-2 lead. Hostetter started the second period down and scored two more points with a reversal. He added three back points to end the period ahead 11-2. In the third period, Hostetter nailed two with a takedown then put his opponent's shoulders to the mat 5 minutes, 32 seconds into the match to add six team points to Pagosa's side of scoreboard.

At 152, Pagosa's Justin Moore fought Lorenzo Chavez and was the aggressor from the outset - so much so he surrendered the first point of the match to the Scorpion when he was called for a slam. Undeterred, the Pirate senior nailed a takedown and scored a three-point near fall. Chavez escaped for a point, but Moore quickly took him down and added two back points to boost his score. Moore allowed Chavez to escape and took the Pueblo wrestler down again, this time to stay. Moore nailed the pin at 1:55.

Dolores Huerta then forfeited at all weights through 275.

There was action up to 130 from that point on, however, with a battle at 103 starting the parade.

In that bout, Pirate freshman Steven Smith battled Carlos Valverde. Smith scored first with a takedown and Valverde responded with an escape. Smith finished the first-period with a takedown at the buzzer, going in front 4-1. The wrestlers started the second period in neutral position and Smith took Valverde down, only to have the Pueblo wrestler escape again. The two repeated the pattern and the second period ended with Smith ahead 8-3. Smith got three back points in the final period, Valverde scored on a reversal, and the Pirate had the 11-5 decision.

Travis Moore had a rough fight at 112 against Huerta's one visibly talented wrestler, Domingo Abraham. Abraham quickly went out to an insurmountable lead in the first period then continued to score in the second period before amassing enough points to stop the match with a 16-0 technical fall.

Josh Nelson brought any momentum for Huerta to a screeching halt at 119 in his match against Alex Mares. Nelson took Mares down early, turned him and got the fall at 1:02.

Senior Orion Sandoval dominated Victor Guerrero at 125. The Pirate took Guerrero down at the outset of the match and kept him on his back throughout the first period, scoring four, three-point near falls and ending the period ahead 14-0. The wrestlers began second-period action in the neutral position and, with a takedown, Sandoval had the tech fall if Guerrero escaped. He didn't. Sandoval was determined to score six points with a pin, and he got it at 3:42.

At 130, Pirate freshman Joe DuCharme again demonstrated a skill beyond his years as he faced off against Larry Maes. DuCharme never faltered, scoring three first-period takedowns to build the early 6-2 advantage. Starting down in the second period, DuCharme reversed Maes and scored two back points. Maes escaped and DuCharme quickly took him down again. Maes was let up and DuCharme's final takedown of the period, at the buzzer, extended his lead to 16-4. Maes was down to start the third period and quickly surrendered two back points to DuCharme. The Puebloan managed to evade trouble momentarily but was on his back again and the victim of a 21-4 technical fall when DuCharme scored a final near fall.

"Their coach said afterward that they were getting cocky and needed something like this," said Janowsky of the rout. "Their kids are all freshmen and sophomores, and they are trying to get a program started."

A good trip for Dolores Huerta; perhaps too easy a night for Pagosa, heading to a tough Centauri Invitational Saturday and to the Feb. 10-11 regional tournament where wrestlers must be in top physical and mental condition in order to advance to the state tournament in Denver.


 Pirates fourth at Centauri tourney, back to La Jara tomorrow

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pirate wrestlers competed Saturday at the Centauri Invitational, with many athletes completing a series of seven matches over three days time, following a layoff of more than a week.

The team took fourth place at the Centauri event, in a field of seven teams, winning two of three dual meets in the pool-portion of the meet and losing twice in the championship round of the tourney.

Pagosa defeated Centauri and Gunnison in preliminary pool action and lost to Rocky Ford. The Pirates dropped matches to Monte Vista (the tournament champ) and to Olathe in the finals.

In the preliminary round, Pagosa dropped a dual to Rocky Ford, one of the best 2A teams in the state, by a score of 50-6. The only Pirate to win a match was Ky Smith, who scored six points with a pin of Daniel Ornelas at 140 pounds. The team remained without the services of its starting 215-pounder, Bubba Martinez, still out of action with a concussion suffered in a fall Wednesday.

In the second dual, the Pirates came out ahead in a battle with the host team, Centauri.

Freshman Joe DuCharme scored points with a pin at 130, five minutes, seven seconds into his match.

Another Pirate freshman, Mike Smith, won with a fall at 135 in the first period against Ryan Finnegan.

Senior Matt Nobles got a fall in the second period in his match at 160 against Alan Cash, recovering from a bout of illness that dogged him earlier in the week.

Joe Romine, battling at 275 won with a 9-6 decision but injured his ribs, forcing him out of action the remainder of the tournament.

The Gunnison Cowboys were next and they went down courtesy five Pirate pins and two Pagosa wins by decision.

Steven Smith won at 103 for the Pirates. The freshman scored with a third-period pin.

Mike Smith got a third-period pin against Colton Garcia at 135.

Ky Smith nailed the fall in the first period of his 140-pound match against Tyler Hanson.

Nobles scored with a fall at 160 in the second period against Scott Williamson.

Senior Dale August scored an 11-4 decision against his opponent at 171.

Reynaldo Palmer managed an 8-2 decision over John Kuykendall at 189.

The dual win over the cowboys put Pagosa in second place in the pool and advanced the team to the championship round.

The move to the top spot was halted by a 50-16 loss to Monte Vista.

Three Pirates won matches against their IML foes.

Ky Smith moved up to 145 and got a 23-7 tech fall over Zack Scholl.

Nobles scored a 20-3 tech fall over Ethan Hasty at 160.

Palmer finished off Chris Salazar at 189 with a first-period pin.

In the final dual of the day, the Pirates lost a close one to Olathe, one of the state's better Class 3A teams, 39-36.

Joe DuCharme put his opponent's shoulders to the mat in the second period of the bout at 130.

Mike Smith earned a 10-3 decision over Lyle Bamnest at 135.

Ky Smith went back to his accustomed 140 and scored six team points with a first-period pin of Neal Campos.

Nobles won a tight one at 160 - 5-3, in overtime over Chris Diaz.

Joe Housotter, a sophomore, put points on the scoreboard with a first-period pin at 275.

"We had five really tough duals, real grinders," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "And that's what we needed. We had to have them, coming off a layoff following our dual with Durango (on Jan. 17).

In Janowsky's opinion, the Centauri tourney provided him and his athletes, "a good glimpse of where we really are at this point in the season. Monte Vista, Olathe, Rocky Ford - they're all highly regarded teams. With La Junta, these are the only teams we've lost duals to this season. We've lost twice to Rocky Ford, twice to Monte and once each to La Junta and Olathe. There's nothing like top competition to expose your tendencies and it tells me we're better than average at this point."

The tournament provided plenty of opportunity for Pirate wrestlers to learn and make progress at this critical juncture of the season. "Our guys wrestled through a tough day," said the coach, "and they can appreciate the value of doing that. I still see steady improvement from some of our wrestlers. We looked kind of flat against Bayfield Thursday, and there wasn't much competition Friday against Dolores Huerta. Saturday, we began slow in the pool and raised our level some as the day went on. Many of our guys got in seven matches in the course of three days."

There is one more opportunity to take a step up prior to the regional tournament. The Pirates travel back to La Jara tomorrow for the final Intermountain League dual meet of the season. If the Pirates win, they take sole control of second place in the final IML standings.

"Then," said the coach, "we've got Saturday off for training and recovery time. We practice next week, then it's off to regionals."



Pirates put on a basketball clinic, fall short

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

Coach Jim Shaffer and the Pagosa Springs High School varsity Pirates put on a basketball clinic against the 4A Mean Moose Saturday night in Alamosa in front of a capacity crowd, but in the end fell short by a score of 46-44.

The loss put the Pirates at 8-6 overall, but still atop the Intermountain League leader board at 3-0 with just five league games remaining. The Mean Moose improved to 10-3 and are in second place in the 4A South Central league.

It all started in the third quarter.

Pagosa played virtually mistake-free basketball in the first half and stayed even with Alamosa to go into the locker room tied at 26. Senior Craig Schutz put up 14 first-half points to outscore the Mean Moose leader, junior Jason Espinoza, who carded 11.

The third period ended up being disastrous for the Pirates, who were ice cold from the field. The Mean Moose took advantage, going on a 10-0 run to go up by 12.

And the clinic began.

Four quick points by Craig Schutz and a putback by senior Casey Schutz put the Pirates within 10 points with less than two minutes remaining in the ball game. Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, a junior, was fouled on a driving lay up attempt and sank two from the line to get Pagosa within eight.

Coach Shaffer had fouls to give, then used timeouts and substitutions to manage the clock and the game.

The Pirates responded.

Casey Schutz put up a three from the left wing to bring them within five with 36 seconds remaining. The Mean Moose failed to convert at the line on their possession and the Pirates grabbed the rebound.

Shaffer called a timeout with 12 seconds left. On the in-bounds pass, Casey Schutz found the range from the left wing again, this one off the glass for three, and the lead was down to two with three seconds left. The Mean Moose were able to complete the in-bounds pass to end the game, but were outscored 14-4 in the final period.

Shaffer said after the game, "Our kids played a clean first half and were tied going into intermission with a good basketball team. We came out in the third quarter and could do nothing right. They (Alamosa) took advantage and went up by 12. Our top scorer (Craig Schutz) had to sit with three fouls and we had more turnovers than points." The Pirates could only manage to score four in the period.

The coach went on to say, "We battled back in the fourth quarter and did the things to help give our team a chance to win but we ran out of clock." The fourth quarter was one of the best coaching efforts to watch yet this season as Shaffer brought the Pirates back to within two points.

Shaffer added, "We need to get more consistent in our play and then maybe we will win some of these close games. Derek (Harper) and Caleb (Ormonde) had good games, but others struggled." None of the six losses so far have been by more than five points and three went to overtime.

Craig Schutz tied for game-high scoring honors and led the Pirates with 18 points on two of three from behind the arc and six of 11 from the field. He also pulled down the game high seven rebounds. Casey Schutz, scoring all his points in the final period, added eight on two of six from three-point range. Junior Caleb Ormonde, who scored the Pirates' only points in the third period, recorded seven, on three of four from the paint. Junior Derek Harper followed with five, on one of two three pointers. Senior Paul Przybylski and Hilsabeck rounded out the scoring with four and two points respectively.

Hilsabeck led the Pirates with eight assists and was second with six rebounds.

Espinoza led the Mean Moose from his guard position with 18 points. Junior Spencer McDaniel, playing opposite Craig Schutz at the post, sank 11 while juniors Clay Garcia, the Mean Moose quarterback in football, and Dustin Bolt had six and five.

The Mean Moose won the opening tip and quickly went up 13-6 on three treys, one each from Garcia and Espinosa. Przybylski put up two driving lay ups in a row for the Pirates to keep the score close. Craig Schutz added a long trey from the top of the key and Harper added another three from the right wing to bring the score within six. Another jumper by Harper and one in the paint from Ormonde with 14 seconds left ended the quarter with Alamosa up by two.

Craig Schutz opened the second on an inside deuce, but Espinosa answered with three for the Mean Moose. Schutz would drain another outside trey to reduce the lead to three at the 6:30 mark. Four more inside points by Schutz and one at the charity stripe from Ormonde, on a put back foul, tied the score at 26 going into intermission.

Then, the fun started.

The Buccaneers return to IML action tomorrow night in Monte Visa against the other Pirates, who have won just one game all season and are winless in league play. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. right after the (two) Lady Pirates square off. This, as is every remaining league game, is a must-win for the home team.

On Saturday night the Bayfield Wolverines travel to Pagosa for the second and final regular season matchup before the IML tournament at the end of February. The Pirates won the opening round in Bayfield, 54-38, and spoiled the Wolverines' undefeated season. Wolverine head coach Scott Rapson had indicated after the loss that, "You will see a different team when we play them (Pagosa) again." This will be one the Pirates need to win to maintain the IML lead.

In other IML action last week;

- Ignacio (7-6, 1-1) defeated Monte Vista (1-11, 0-3) 75-42.

- Bayfield (12-1, 2-1) defeated Centauri (8-7, 1-2) 61-47.

- Bayfield (13-1, 3-1) defeated Ignacio (7-7, 1-2) 68-61 in overtime.


Pagosa Springs - 16, 10, 4, 14-44

Alamosa - 18, 8, 16, 4-46

Scoring: Shaffer, 0-1,0-0,0-0,0; Hilsabeck, 0-3,0-1,2-2,2; Przybylski, 2-2,0-0,0-0,4; Harper, 1-5,1-2,0-0,5; Casey Schutz, 1-4,2-6,0-1,8; Ormonde, 3-4,0-0,1-2,7; Hart, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Craig Schutz, 6-11,2-3,0-0,18. Rebounds: Shaffer 2, Hilsabeck 6, Harper 2, Casey Schutz 2, Ormonde 4, Craig Schutz 7.


Taekwondo club fares well at championships

The Pagosa Springs Taekwondo Club competed in Denver at the regional championships Saturday, Jan. 21.

Club members competed in forms and sparring with several states' Taekwondo schools.

Pagosa Taekwondo, taught and mentored by Rick Bass, achieved excellent marks. Combined, there were four first-place trophies, two second-place trophies and four third-place trophies. For only nine competitors entered from Pagosa in a total of 610 competitors, Pagosa was well-represented in the winner's circle.

Three Pagosa families competed: the Class-Ericksons - Isaiah, Keturah, Lydiah and Cheryl; the Purcell family - Chase and Doug; and the Schlom family - Tanner, Kendra and Erik.

Coaches and counselors were Kerry Blackley, Debbie Bass, Debbie Tully and Jan Maley.

Presiding over the event was the leader of the American Taekwondo Association, Grand Master Soon Ho Lee, formerly from Korea.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Snow removal equipment: it's bigger than you are

By Jim Miller

SUN Columnist

The parks crew fills the winter hours with maintenance chores that busy summer days can't accommodate.

We sand and paint picnic tables, deep-clean bathrooms and service equipment. The skate pond takes some time, and we hang lights and ornaments for Christmas. But our first priority, when the opportunity descends, is snow removal.

The streets crew uses various plows and blades to clear about 12 miles of streets and another six miles of alleys, pushing most of the snow to the sides of the road.

But, on Lewis Street, the highway through town and a few other spots, there is no room on the sides for the accumulation. So it is pushed to the center and two frontloaders with snow baskets tram it to off-street locations where it can be piled out of the way to melt.

Usually we start early in the morning, before the traffic picks up. But some storms, like the one last Thursday, don't cooperate.

We only had about one-third of the highway cleared before the rush-hour traffic added its special challenge to the process.

The calm disregard with which some drivers view a huge loader, carrying a half ton of wet snow, with flashers ablaze, is amazing. They must think we can stop on a dime and give them nine cents change. It definitely keeps us awake.

To those of you who slow down and give us room - thank you very much. To you who think we are as maneuverable as a sports car on dry pavement - look out!

Recreation survey

The Town of Pagosa Springs is in the process of evaluating its parks and recreation needs as part of its strategic planning process.

A random survey addressing this issue was mailed out earlier this week. If you receive a survey, please take a few minutes to share your wishes regarding parks, trails and recreation needs in Pagosa Springs.

We need your valuable input; you and your family play a critical role as we plan for recreation facilities to serve our long-term needs.

Please return your questionnaire within 10 days of receipt in the enclosed, self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. All responses are important and will be kept confidential.

Basketball cancellations

All games in the 9- and 10-year-old youth basketball division originally scheduled for tonight at Pagosa Springs Junior High School have been canceled. Make-up dates are pending.

The 9- and 10-year-old schedule will resume Feb. 7 at the community center, as scheduled, and will include the following: Cavs vs. Knicks at 5 p.m., Pacers vs. Celtics at 6 p.m. and Jazz vs. Nuggets at 7 p.m.

The 11- and 12-year-old division schedule for Feb. 6 at the community center includes the following: Pacers vs. Timberwolves at 5:30 p.m. and Jazz vs. Nuggets at 6:30 p.m.

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 later this month, and the leagues are tentatively scheduled to begin in early March.

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.

If you have questions or concerns, or need additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151 Ext. 232.



Some midwinter fun

It's not unusual to hear talk this time of year about winter weather, or lack of same - especially if one equates winter weather to the legendary Pagosa Country snowfalls. True, there hasn't been a lot of snow this season, with few storms and none of those of the monstrous proportions recalled by misty-eyed old-timers longing for the days when there was enough snow on the ground to drive off all but the most intrepid residents.

Of course, the truth, if one reads our weekly reports lifted from issues 25, 50, 75 and 90 years ago, is the winter has never been constant. There have been other dry years, and years in which the storms rolled in one after another. If one moved here in the last few years, it would be easy to imagine a mild climate, with winters that pose nary a threat. Surely, that will change. If not this year, maybe next.

One thing is certain about winter in Pagosa country, heavy snow or no: Despite the number of days with sunshine and blue skies (even during years with serious snowfall) the season starts to drag come February. Those of Nordic descent begin to suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder, gnaw at the walls and small animals. Others, less susceptible to the disorder, still grow restive, in need of activity, some diversion.

Fortunately, like people the world over who live in wintry climes, we have our ways of relieving the gloom.

The days are starting to get noticeably longer, but that is not enough. It is time for the annual winter safety valve, Winterfest. This winter weekend event has been in existence for a long time, in one form or another, and has given residents of Pagosa Country - in particular those among us who do not indulge winter outdoor sports - an excuse to get out and celebrate a season that can otherwise be oppressive.

Though the schedule is printed in several other places in this issue, let's repeat it here.

This weekend, there'll be balloons in the skies (if all goes well, weatherwise), with the colorful lighter-than-air craft taking off two mornings - Saturday and Sunday - from a site adjacent to the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center on Park Avenue. Saturday evening, there will be a balloon glow in the field across from Town Park.

Saturday, the ice fishermen among us will take to the frozen surface of Hatcher Lake, to compete in the second perch fishing tournament of the season.

Also on Saturday, the oldest of the Winterfest activities takes place at the High Country Lodge, east of town on U.S, 160. There, on a hill behind the lodge, the Anything Goes Sled Race is set for 1 p.m. Over the years, all manner of contraptions, including toilets and bathtubs on skis, have made their way down a hill in pursuit of prizes for best times and for most bizarre conveyance. There is a long, demented tradition operating here. Join in with your own invention, or just show up to observe.

This year, a Winter Triathlon is added to the mix, an event that could conceivably grow into something big , something representative of the alpine, outdoor recreation tradition in Pagosa Country. Racers take to a three-stage course Sunday, as individuals or as members of teams, at 9 a.m. at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

For those less inclined to the drama of competition, there is ice skating on the ponds at River Center Park, or cross country skiing and snowshoeing at sites all around Pagosa Country. For the indoor sport enthusiasts, there is high school basketball at the gym Saturday.

Regardless of what one chooses to do, or see, there is plenty going on in this part of the world - hard winter or not - that can provide the break that's needed to grease the rail as we ride through what remains of winter.

Despite our tendencies to act otherwise, we are still small town folks, and this weekend we have opportunities to get out and indulge the essence of this comforting way of life.

Karl Isberg




90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 4, 1916

We are informed by Ed Colton that according to the government gauge over 10 feet of snow has fallen here this winter.

Conductor Edmisten and Brakeman Murray came in on foot last Sunday to get food for the passengers and crew on the train, which was held up by 5 feet of snow on the track beyond Sunetha.

Elmer Chapson reports the snow 5-1/2 feet deep at his lower ranch on West Fork and 8 feet at the upper, making it almost impossible to feed cattle. He moved them to the Cummings ranch lower down and will feed there as long as possible.

On account of the heavy snows the Lone Tree School was dismissed for this week.



75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 6, 1931

If there have ever been finer December and January months in this section, they were before our time or memory. No snow fell in January until the last night of the month, February 1st dawning with about two inches.

The board of county commissioners met Tuesday. The matter of appointing a county road overseer was discussed and it was finally decided by the board to dispense with the services of an overseer this year, each county commissioner being personally responsible for the county roads in his respective district.

The school siren, which has been out of commission for several months, has been repaired and is once more sounding the hours at 7 a.m., noon and 6 p.m.



50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 2, 1956

This week brought a good deal of moisture to the area with 11 feet and 2 inches of new snow being reported on Wolf Creek Pass up into Monday morning.

Here in town since last Thursday there has been near three feet of new snow. and this storm has brought a moisture content of 2.99 inches of moisture.

Local ski enthusiasts have been working on the rope tow just north of town and will have it running this weekend. The tow is located on Snowball Road just north of town on the John Masco property. It is powered by the engine in the old dump truck the town used to have and has a very fine beginner's slope and there are some slopes where skiing is good for the more advanced slat enthusiasts.



25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 5, 1981

The flu bug seems to have hit the community with a vengeance. School officials report that Monday of this week there were almost 25 percent of the students absent because of the illness.

An election on the question of whether or not a hospital district is to be formed in this area will be voted upon by electors at a February 24 election. There are no plans to build a hospital, but rather to build a larger medical center, or expand the present facility. Any bond issue for construction must also be voted upon by the electors.

The school board met with its financial agent Tuesday of this week to discuss the sale of bonds. It appears the bonds may have to be sold at a rate as high as 10.9 percent.



A truly white Christmas ...

with the penguins of Antarctica

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"Anyone from Pagosa who appreciates the clean air, the lack of pollution and the mountains would love to take a trip there," said Mary Sealy. "It is one of the most pristine parts of the world."

Sealy and her brother, Joe Sealy, both full-time residents of Pagosa Springs, spent the Christmas holiday in Antarctica.

The Sealys have been residents of Pagosa Springs since 2000, after moving from San Francisco. The pair learned of Pagosa Springs on another global traveling adventure: riding the Siberian Express train from one end of Siberia to another. It was there that they met Dick and Mary Bond, then part-time residents of Pagosa Springs. The Bonds invited them to visit Pagosa, and the Sealys were hooked by the beauty and charm of the area.

"You're probably wondering why we would choose to go to Antarctica," said Mary with a smile. "It is the only continent that Joe and I had not been on, and it is so fascinating for us - the wildlife and the uniqueness of the land."

The Sealys flew from the Durango airport on Dec. 9, and connected with three other flights before reaching Ushuaia, Argentina, a city of about 50,000 people on the southernmost tip of South America.

From there, they sailed aboard the M/V Andrea, a cruise ship that carried them the remaining 600 miles to the northern-reaching peninsula on the east side of Antarctica. "Ushuaia is the closest city to Antarctica," explained Joe.

The Andrea became the Sealy's home base for the following 10 days. The ship was refitted before its use in providing tours in the frigid waters surrounding Antarctica, according to Joe. "The water is only 32 degrees," he said.

"We had a rough ride," said Mary of their crossing of the Antarctic Convergence. The Antarctic Convergence is characterized by its choppy waters and high waves. Essentially, it is a "biological barrier where cold polar waters sink beneath the warmer waters of the more temperate zones," according to the tour itinerary, "Antarctica's White Wilderness," produced by Overseas Adventure Travel.

"Antarctica was discovered in the 1800s," said Joe. "Forty-five countries signed a pact in 1958 to keep Antarctica neutral" as well as protected. "No more than 100 people are allowed on shore at one place at any one time."

"It's a relatively new discovery for man," added Mary. "Antarctica is about one and a half times the size of the United States. And it's the coldest, windiest and driest place on earth."

"They claim that only 10,000 people visit Antarctica each year," stated Joe. "It's a very unique area as far as wildlife. There's not much there other than penguins, seals, birds and whales."

Penguins breed during the summer months, October through March in the Southern Hemisphere, in rookeries that are home to thousands of the birds. Each penguin returns to its rookery of birth to breed.

"There are millions of penguins!" said Mary. "It was fascinating how friendly the penguins were - they have no fear of man." The Sealys were able to see three varieties of the birds on the Antarctic peninsula: the Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie. The main nourishment for penguins is krill, a translucent crustacean that lives in the waters surrounding Antarctica.

"It looks like a baby shrimp - about one to one and half inches long, and their bodies are transparent," explained Joe. "You only find penguins in the Southern Hemisphere because of the krill." The Sealys also saw humpback and orca whales swimming within yards of their boat, as well as Weddell and crabeater seals.

"The daily stops were chosen to see different types of penguins and seals," stated Joe. The Sealys were able to experience many day excursions onto the rocky, icy shores of Antarctica.

"It was very difficult to walk on shore," said Mary. The land was comprised entirely of large round stones, sheets of ice or large, flat rocks. "Dr. Pruitt had to sign a form that said we could hike and climb into and out of the zodiac."

For each excursion, the Sealys were transported from the Andrea to the shores of Antarctica on zodiacs, 12-person rubber boats resembling whitewater rafts. "When we got off the zodiacs, we had to wade through about a foot of water," said Mary.

One such excursion brought the tour group to an Antarctic volcano that has filled with water. The group dug a hole to soak in, much like a natural hot tub, in the sand of the volcano. The water that filled it was so hot, "their skin was turning red—getting burned," said Joe. "They would jump out of the hot water and run into the freezing waters on the shoreline!"

The ice fields provided some of the most beautiful scenery of the trip. "The beautiful ice formations were like mountains floating by you," said Mary.

"[The part of the berg] that is under the water melts also - and they get top-heavy and tip over. Many times what you see used to be under the water," added Joe. "That's what makes the ice formations so unusual and beautiful." A few of the preplanned excursions were cancelled due to unstable conditions throughout the ice field surrounding the island.

The tour group was formatted as an adventure expedition rather than a pleasure cruise. "This is not a luxury thing," stated Mary. There were naturalists and geologists on board throughout the tour. They accompanied the group on each daily adventure and offered informative lectures on board the Andrea. "It was strictly casual dress and lectures. It is a trip designed for learning."

The expedition leader was responsible for the organization of the entire trip, including speakers and daily itinerary. One evening in the dining room of the Andrea, the expedition leader joined the Sealys for dinner.

"He asked us where we were from," said Mary. "We answered 'Pagosa Springs, Colorado.' Then he said, 'That's where I'm from!'" expedition leader Brad Rhees has "called Colorado home since 1963," as he stated in an e-mail to Mary . Pagosa Springs has been his home port for the past six years.

"In all his world travels, he has never met anyone from Pagosa Springs," added Mary. Rhees has led more than 120 expeditions to Antarctica, beginning in 1979, and many expeditions to various other exotic locations, such as the Amazon, since 1984, though "Pagosa is his home," said Mary.

In circumnavigating the globe by visiting each continent, the Sealys have come "full-circle," meeting another Pagosan and proving the old adage to be true: There's no place like home.



Pagosa's Past

Short lifespan for old Amargo

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

The lifespan of some early Pagosa Country settlements was shorter than that of the average person.

Amargo is a case in point. Amargo was located along today's U.S. 64 about a mile east of Lumberton. Amargo's life span was about 15 years, from 1881-1896. The former railhead's final death throes may have dragged out for a few years after 1896.

Amargo's life was short and violent, as we learn from memoirs dictated by Harry Jackson in 1839. The 22-year-old Jackson stopped in Amargo during the spring of 1881 while ultimately bound for Durango. Here is Jackson's story as it is printed in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country, Volume I."

"I knew a young blacksmith in Colorado Springs by the name of Fred Jones. As the Sunny San Juan was being extensively advertised and the D. & R. G. was building into that section, Fred and I decided to head for that country. We arrived at the end of the railroad at that time at a place called Amargo, which was then a wild and wooly town, being filled with gamblers, saloonmen and dance hall people who preyed upon the hardworking men. This was a novel experience for me.

"I came over Toltec Gorge on one of the first trains that left Alamosa for Amargo and had a narrow escape. The end coach jumped the track and as it bumped over the ties we all looked for a way to get out. Fortunately the train was running very slow and the car I was in turned over and fell on the right side against the bank; had it fallen to the left it would have gone down a thousand feet into the Gorge, and I would not be here telling this tale.

"The water at Amargo was terrible, so alkali you could not drink it; so when the train came in we would go to the engine and get a bucket of drinking water. We worked for a man named Joe Starret, who later lived in Dolores. Fred and I bought him out and made a little money in our shop.

"In the short time I was in Amargo thirteen people were killed in shooting scrapes; it got so when we heard a shot in the night we did not pay much attention. One day I sat at the back of our shop looking over my revolver, a six-shooter I had just bought. I had never fired it and I wanted to hear the sound of it, so I fired the gun in rapid succession six times. Immediately half the town was around the shop and wanted to know where the killing was. A deputy sheriff named Charles A Johnson (who later became a noted criminal lawyer in San Juan Country) took the gun away from me and threatened to arrest me and put me in jail in Chama for 'disturbing the peace' if such a thing was possible short of murder in Amargo!

"Some time before that I met Jim Catron, leader of a gang of desperadoes, and had put a sight on his six-shooter free of charge, although he offered to pay; this made him a good friend to me. After Johnson, took my gun to Chama, I told Catron about it, and Catron said, 'Just wait, I'll get that gun for you,' and sure enough in three days my gun came back to me. Just to show that Catron's friendship meant something, Joe Starret came to me and said that Jimmy Catron's gang had stolen a lot of cattle from his wife's father, a Mr. Phelps of Farmington, and that the cattle were right close by. At Starret's request I asked Catron for the release of the cattle, and he promptly told his boys 'Turn those cattle back.'"

More next week on old Amargo.




Pagosa Sky Watch

Eight of the brightest stars in Pagosa skies tonight

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The following sun and moon data for Thursday Feb. 2, 2006, is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.

Sunrise: 7:10 a.m.

Sunset: 5:34 p.m.

Moonrise: 9:43 a.m.

Moonset: 10:46 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing crescent with 24 percent of the visible disk illuminated. The moon will be at first quarter Feb. 4.

On any given night, star gazers are greeted by thousands of stars blazing overhead. A more thorough scan of the sky reveals each is somewhat unique—some shimmer in greens and blues, others blaze bold white and others seethe in hues of orange, yellow and red. But what sets one star apart from another is not just color, but brightness - brightness, or magnitude, is a star's signature.

The ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus understood that brightness was a significant factor in star identification, and his work in 129 B.C. was the first successful attempt to codify stars according to brightness, or magnitude.

At its simplest, the Hipparchus scale categorized the brightest naked eye stars as magnitude one, and the faintest naked eye stars as magnitude six.

Hipparchus's work survived for centuries but in 1856 the English astronomer Norman Pogson, updated the Hipparchus scale to take into account new technology and more advanced observational techniques that allowed for precise measurements of a star's brightness to a fraction of a magnitude.

The result was a scale that kept Hipparchus' essential concept intact, but could be expanded well beyond Hipparchus' one to six scale. The new system, based on logarithms, could provide a classification method for the brightest and faintest objects in the universe.

With Pogson's task complete, astronomers were quick to assess and categorize all objects in the night sky, particularly those objects that appeared brightest.

The following is a list of the ten brightest stars. Eight of the ten are visible from here in Pagosa Country and can be viewed tonight, in a marathon evening of sky watching.

1. Sirius: Sirius, a magnitude -1.44 brilliant white star is the brightest star in the sky. It is found in the constellation Canis Major and also goes by the names, alpha Canis Majoris and the"Dog Star." The name Sirius is derived from the Greek for "searing" or "scorching" and its brightness lives up to its name. In fact, Sirius is twice as bright as any other star in the sky.

In terms of absolute magnitude, Sirius is 23 times brighter and about twice the mass and diameter of our sun, but its distance from earth makes it appear fainter than the it truly is.

Sirius also has a companion star, Sirius B, which has the mass of our sun compacted into a star as small as our own planet. The density of Sirius B is such that one cubic inch of matter from the star would weigh 2.25 tons on earth.

To locate Sirius, follow the three belt stars of Orion down in a diagonal line to the southeast to the brightest star in the sky.

2. Canopus: Canopus is a magnitude -0.62 white supergiant found in the constellation Carina, the keel. Unfortunately, Carina is only visible at latitudes south of 37 degrees north, and is thus out of range for Pagosa Country sky watchers.

3. Alpha Centauri: Alpha Centauri or Rigel Kentaurus, the "foot of the centaur" shines at a magnitude of -0.28. The star is found in the constellation Centaurus and to the naked eye appears as just one star but is actually a three-star system. Unfortunately, Alpha Centauri, is only visible at latitudes south of 28 degrees north, and is also out of range of Pagosa Country sky watchers.

4. Arcturus: Arcturus, also known as the "bear keeper" is an orange giant shining at a magnitude of -0.05. The star is found in the constellation Bootes, the herdsman. Astronomers estimate the star has swelled to about 25 times the sun's diameter and will eventually blow off its outer layers leaving behind a white dwarf. Arcturus is typically a springtime star, yet can be seen tonight at about 1 a.m. The handle of the Big Dipper points to the east and in the direction of the star.

5. Vega: Vega, or alpha Lyrae, the "swooping eagle," is a magnitude 0.03 blue white star found in the constellation Lyra, the harp.

Vega is typically a spring or summer star and marks one point of the Summer Triangle asterism. However, it can be found tonight far to the northeast by about 3 a.m.

6. Capella: Capella, or alpha Aurigae, is a magnitude 0.08 yellow giant star found in the constellation Auriga, the charioteer.

To the naked eye it appears as a single star, but a telescopic will reveal it as a star system comprised of two yellow giant stars and two red dwarves.

Capella is highest in the winter months and can be found tonight in the northeast by about 8 p.m.

To locate Capella, use the two stars that form the pan of the Big Dipper and follow them in a line south to Capella and it's parent constellation.

7. Rigel: Rigel is a magnitude 0.2 blue-white supergiant. It is the brightest star in the constellation Orion, the hunter, and shines 40,000 times stronger than our sun.

The name Rigel means "foot" and its position roughly marks the foot of the hunter in the night sky.

8. Procyon: Procyon is a magnitude 0.40 yellow white star found in the constellation Canis Minor, the lesser dog.

The word Procyon comes from the Greek for, "before the dog," and the name refers to the fact that Procyon rises before Sirius, the Dog Star in Canis Major.

Procyon can be found by about 8 p.m. east of Orion, and the star forms one point on the Winter Triangle along with Sirius in Canis Major and Betelgeuse in Orion.

9. Achernar: Achernar is a magnitude 0.5 blue white star, found in the constellation Eridanus. The star's name is derived from the Arabic for "the river's end."

The constellation begins at Rigel in Orion, and winds, river-like southward. Eridanus is the sixth largest constellation in the sky, and unfortunately, the river's end and Achernar lie below the horizon and beyond the view of Pagosa Country sky watchers.

10. Betelgeuse: Betelgeuse is massive, magnitude 0.5 red supergiant marking the shoulder of the constellation Orion.

Although it is listed as the tenth brightest star, its position in the hierarchy is deceiving. Betelgeuse is actually about 650 times the diameter, and 15 times the mass of the sun. It burns with a brightness equal to about 55,000 suns, but its distance from earth makes it appear much fainter than it truly is.

The intensity of Betelgeuse has drawn the attention of astronomers for other reason as well. Observations indicate the massive star is near the end of its life cycle and is due to expire in a tremendous supernova explosion at any time.

Orion is one of the easiest constellations to locate. Tonight, by about 6 p.m. the constellation will appear in the east and the three tell-tale stars of the hunter's belt will stand almost vertically off the horizon.





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Weather, eagles, humidity - we've got it all

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

There's snow likely in the mountains tonight, and a 30-percent chance of snow in town.

The weekend will be mostly clear, with highs in the mid-40s Saturday and cooler temps on Sunday. Another storm is predicted to move into the region by the middle of next week.

Last week, Wolf Creek Ski Area got 17 inches of new snow from the storm that began Thursday, and another 6 inches of snow over the weekend. Ten inches of new snow was reported in town last week.

We had a low temperature of .5 degrees F. on Friday morning, and a high for the week of 46 degrees Tuesday. Winds topped out at 16 mph from the south on Sunday.


"Bald eagle alert," notes Musetta Wollenweber of the senior center, who works with a big screen view of the wetlands between the community center and the river. Bald eagles winter at the wetlands every year. "Totally awesome," adds Musetta.

Colorado hosts a winter eagle population much larger than its summer breeding population. Most of the estimated 1,200 wintering eagles hail from Canada, some from as far north as the Northwest Territories. With a wingspan that can be up to 8 feet, bald eagles catch thermals while migrating, and can soar at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.

Bald eagles tend to migrate in groups. A "stream" of migrating bald eagles can be 20 to 30 miles long, with birds spread out about a half-mile apart.

Wintering eagles tend to nest in large trees near open water - rivers and lakes - where they can find fish. The San Luis Valley is one of the major wintering areas for bald eagles in Colorado. The Piedra River canyon is also noted as a spectacular place to view bald eagles. On Saturday, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is hosting the annual "Eagle Day Festival" at the Lake Pueblo State Park near Pueblo. Most of the wintering eagles will head back north in late February or March.


Dry skin, scratchy throat, or breathing problems at home this winter?

Chances are the humidity in your home may be too low. Most forced air heating systems lower the relative humidity in living spaces. This happens not by a loss of moisture in the air, but primarily because the warming air can potentially hold more moisture.

To understand why, consider the difference between absolute humidity and relative humidity.

Absolute humidity refers to the total amount of water in the air, while relative humidity refers to the amount of water relative to the maximum amount of water the air can hold, and is usually expressed as a percentage. Thus, as air heats, the relative humidity decreases, even though the air is holding the same mass of moisture.

The ideal relative humidity for health and comfort is about 40-50 percent. In the winter months, relative humidity may have to be lower than 40 percent to avoid condensation on the windows.

Which brings us to the interesting topic of dew point. Just as air can hold more moisture when it is warmed, it holds potentially less when it cools. The dew point is the temperature of the air when it becomes fully saturated with its contained moisture. Thus, when the air is cooled to its dew point, moisture begins to leave the air (since it is then fully saturated) and forms dew.

Also known as frost point (depends on whether the temperature is above or below freezing), the dew point causes the morning fog on your lawn, condensation on your windows, drips from the hood above the stove, dampness in your basement, and frost on your car windshield.

The main difference between dew point and frost point is that when frost forms, the water in the air is changing directly from a vapor into a solid in a process known as sublimation. Frost generally forms primarily on your car windows overnight because glass radiates heat quickly, therefore cools quickly, and the surrounding cooling air dumps its excess water vapor directly on the glass.

Moist air is actually less dense than dry air, because water vapor is a relatively light gas when compared to diatomic oxygen and nitrogen. A typical cumulus cloud with its water vapor weighs a whopping 1.4 billion pounds. But, the cloud still floats because the weight of the same volume of dry air is even more, about 2.2 billion pounds. The USGS estimates that the earth has about 326 million cubic miles of water and, at any one time, only about 3,100 cubic miles of water (less than 1/1000 of 1 percent) is in the atmosphere. If all of the water in the atmosphere rained down at once, it would cover the surface of the earth only to a depth of about 1 inch.