February 9, 2006
Front Page

Lodger's tax on town ballot in April

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Town Council took a critical first step in seeking a long-term solution to the lodgers' tax snafu, by approving an ordinance that would allow the lodgers' tax question to return to the ballot during the April 2006 election.

The decision came Tuesday, following presentations by Town Manager Mark Garcia and Tony Gilbert of the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, and was the product of more than a month of discussions between town council members, town staff, the town's legal counsel, representatives from the Chamber and members of the lodgers' association.

While other options, such as town lodgers levying an additional and voluntary 1.9-percent surcharge on top of the voter approved 3-percent tax were entertained, consensus between representatives of the Chamber and town staff has been that a voter-approved rectification of the mix-up would be the most effective and secure way of solving the problem.

The original intent of the lodgers' tax approved by voters in November was to provide a funding source that would be used for tourism related marketing and capital improvements. The funds and the projects would be overseen by a tourism advisory committee whose members would be appointed by the town council.

According to the original legislation, a 3-percent tax would be added to a lodging bill and those funds would flow from the lodger, through the town and ultimately to the committee. Under the legislation, the town's 3-percent lodging tax would be in addition to the county-wide 1.9 percent lodging tax and a 6.9 percent sales tax which are added to the bill.

The 1.9 percent county lodging tax has historically been passed through the county to the Chamber of Commerce for its marketing efforts. When voters approved the legislation, the intent was to maintain the 1.9 percent county tax as a funding source for the Chamber, while providing a new revenue stream for the tourism marketing committee based on the 3-percent additional tax.

Following voter approval and while putting the pieces in place to enact the legislation, Town Clerk Deanna Jaramillo discovered that a county lodging tax cannot be collected in a municipality that collects it's own lodgers' tax. In this case, the town's recently enacted lodgers' tax supersedes the county lodging tax within the town boundaries.

Therefore, with the county's 1.9 percent tax effectively removed from the equation, and in order to maintain current funding levels to the chamber, the 3 percent that should have gone entirely to the tourism advisory committee was inadvertently cut, with the first 1.9 going to the Chamber as a substitute for the county lodging tax, and with just 1.1 percent, as opposed to the full 3 percent, left over for the tourism advisory committee.

To keep current levels of 1.9-percent funding coming to the chamber, and to reinstate the entire 3-percent tax for tourism marketing and capital improvements, the council's decisions will allow voters the opportunity to decide on an additional 1.9-percent lodgers' tax.

The 1.9-percent tax added to the 1.1 percent that is currently being collected for use by the tourism marketing committee, will bring funding for their endeavors back to a full 3 percent, which was the original intent of the tax.

"This was a curve ball for everyone," Gilbert said.

Because it is uncertain whether voters will approve the ballot question in April that will rectify the mix-up, Gilbert asked the council to guarantee Chamber funding at 1.9 percent throughout 2006.

Town Manager Mark Garcia suggested that funding guarantees be extended until April when either a "yes" vote would solve the situation, or a "no" vote would call for the council to provide a long term solution to the problem.

Gilbert said that without council funding assurances for the entire year, it would be difficult for the Chamber to plan and undertake projects.

"We need to know with some assurance what the revenues will be for 2006," Gilbert said.

Gilbert's request was put to the council, which approved maintaining current Chamber funding levels throughout the calendar year.

In a separate move, the council approved a resolution appointing Mark Weiler, Mayelle Lentjees, Frank Schiro, Bob Hart, Kim Brown, Tony Gilbert, Michelle Mesker, Fred Schmidt, Angela Atkinson and Jeff Greer to the tourism advisory committee.


Health dist. prepares for hospital question

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District board articulated an unequivocal response on Tuesday to an absent detractor of the health district's current strategy and progress.

The board's efforts to establish a hospital in Pagosa Springs, which in recent years has become achievable by new policy and funding initiatives by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that promote health care in rural areas, are apparent to those who attend the gatherings of the current board, consisting of Jim Pruitt, Kitzel Farrah, Bob Scott, Michelle Visel, Bob Goodman, Neal Townsend and Pam Hopkins. Board meetings are nominally held monthly, but have averaged more than twice that frequency, with 26 public board meetings held last year.

"All this stuff (on the Internet) is garbage, like reading the National Enquirer," said Hopkins, who expressed her frustration with the "lack of knowledge" and opinions that are presented as news. "What happened in the past is the past," said Hopkins, "and a few people want to hold on to it.

"We are going to provide a hospital for this district," Hopkins said determinedly.

Jim Knoll, from the audience, focused on the positive: "When this (current) board began, it set out to accomplish five things: One, develop better relations with Mercy Medical Center; two, bring local M.D.s into the system, and we have two here right now. Three, create financial stability, which has been incredible. Four, bring openness at the board meetings - everyone can, and does, speak at meetings. And five, use committees for outside input." Every goal has been accomplished "and more," said Knolls, who added that they are now progressing towards a sixth goal, to build a hospital. "What else do we need to say?" said Knoll.

The board's concern for accurate public information revolves around a critical ballot issue scheduled for May 2. On that date, voters will either grant or deny the district the ability to incur debt by issuing bonds needed to build a hospital in Pagosa Springs.

Although a feasibility study, which analyzes the demographics and determines whether a local hospital is economically viable, is still in progress, "everything is looking really good up to this point," said Hopkins. The feasibility study is scheduled to be "unveiled" Feb. 23, on which date the district will hold a public meeting to announce the findings presented by the independent accounting firm, BKD LLP, one of the 10 largest CPA and advisory firms in the U.S.

The final ballot language for the May 2 election, with specifics on the bond amount and interest rate, will then need to be certified by March 3. The board approved a motion to delay ballot questions on other issues, such as TABOR exemptions, in order to "keep it simple," said Scott. Although the language may include "confusing legalese," according to Hopkins, Goodman summed up the essence of the ballot: "Do you want a hospital or don't you?"

Audience member Cindy Gustafson asked the board: "How much will it cost us, the individual taxpayer and citizen?"

"Nothing," responded Goodman, "unless you use the hospital, then you will be charged accordingly."

J.R. Ford, from the audience, then explained further: "The hospital will pay for itself with its revenues," and a discussion of the financial aspects followed. The bank providing the funds for the hospital will issue the bonds based on the estimated cash flows calculated in the feasibility studies, and in so doing will assume the risk of the bonds.

The Mary Fisher Foundation is planning to disseminate more detailed information on the mechanics of the process in the months prior to the upcoming ballot vote, according to Ford.

In other matters discussed at Tuesday's board meeting:

- Rick O'Block, of Mercy Medical Center, announced that a "good candidate for a district manager on a short term basis" has been identified, and may begin employment as early as next week.

- Four USJHSD board positions, currently held by Visel, Farrah, Scott, and Townsend, will also be part of the upcoming election.

- Joy Sinnott, who has become temporary EMS operation manager since the resignation of Brett Murphy last month, presented the January EMS report, and a summary of 2005 EMS operations. For 2005, EMS received 1,069 calls, with 921 patients evaluated and 583 transported.

EMS is considering providing two ambulances 24 hours per day (currently there is one ambulance available 24 hours per day, and one ambulance available 12 hours per day). Sinnott believes the change will improve morale with a nominal cost difference (in part due to fewer overtime hours), because it is "easier to staff up for twenty-fours rather than twelves."

EMS is also planning to implement a graduated pay scale, rather than the current system which pays entry level EMT, EMT-I and paramedics the same wage as the equivalent licensed long-term employees. A paramedic working for the USJHSD makes around $38,000 per year, noted as similar to entry-level paramedic wages in Durango.

- A new contract with Southwest Emergency Physicians P.C., a group of physicians in Durango providing Medical Control coverage 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, is expected to be finalized for a six month period at $120 per day (the prior contract charged $150 per day). EMS relies on medical control for "one out of every five calls," according to Sinnott.

- Visel, who has a "background in insurance" received an ovation for several days of research into a new worker's compensation policy for district employees, which was noted to be the responsibility of the future district manager.

- Goodman presented the district financials for January, which ended with $97,237 cash-on-hand after expenses.

- Ford and Scott were appointed to a newly established Bond and Finance Committee.


Residents still

'hitting the (water) bottle' at Lost Valley

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Residents of the Lost Valley of the San Juans subdivision (LVSJ) are still solely dependant on bottled water for all household uses, and probably will be for some time.

Meanwhile, a letter from Joseph Talbott, of the Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (Division), was sent to Darral Hineman of Colorado Land Sales, Inc. (CLSI) on Feb. 1, outlining the next steps CLSI must take in bringing the defective LVSJ central water system into compliance with state standards. CLSI owns the water and wastewater systems, and other infrastructure servicing LVSJ, and Hineman is acting spokesman for CLSI.

Though Hineman has failed to respond to repeated e-mails and phone messages from The SUN, according to state documents, he has apparently hired a Pagosa Springs engineer to address concerns related to both the water and wastewater systems at LVSJ. Unfortunately, by press time, calls to the engineer had also gone unanswered.

In Talbott's letter, he responds directly to a question Hineman had evidently posed to him in a phone conversation, saying, "You had asked about interim steps that could be taken to get the Lost Valley of the San Juans moving toward full compliance. The installation of a chlorination system would be an acceptable first step." He goes on to say, "Further improvements will be based on the results of the required microscopic particulate analysis. Any interim disinfection system should be designed to allow for addition of filtration processes."

Talbott then lists six short-term requirements and two long-term requirements, which must be met for the water system to be compliant. The short-term items involve approval of a construction application, an inventory of system equipment, an engineering report summarizing the existing water system and proposed treatment process, and raw water chemical analyses for each water source. The long-term items state the need for a required system operator and the addition of a filtration system, should the water sources include surface water.

Even assuming progress is made on these and other related concerns, LVSJ residents will still be "hitting the bottle" until sometime in the spring, at least. To date, no new information regarding required upgrades for the wastewater system has surfaced.

In the meantime, LVSJ residents have voted overwhelmingly to form a property owners association, and have elected interim officers to hold positions of authority until a new election can take place, following the return of part-time residents sometime after snowmelt.

Once the association becomes a legal entity, it will take responsibility for enforcing CCRs (conditions, covenants and restrictions), and hopes to eventually acquire ownership of the entire LVSJ infrastructure, including the water and wastewater systems, roads and significant water rights. Though Hineman claims the original CCRs require the association to take over the infrastructure, he excludes the water rights, and acknowledges that CLSI currently has it all listed for sale with a Pagosa Springs real estate agent.


 Inside The Sun

Moomaw announces run for commission

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Another dimension to the District 3 Archuleta County commissioner's race has unfolded, with Bob Moomaw, chair of the Archuleta County Republican Central Committee, announcing his candidacy for the seat.

The seat is currently held by Democrat Mamie Lynch, who has indicated she will not run again.

Moomaw said the constant turmoil in the current county government is unfair to constituents and that strong leadership is required to remedy the current state of affairs and that strong leadership would form the backbone of his tenure as a county commissioner.

"It's time for a new direction in county government, and I want to make the people part of it. Having been a past city councilman in Gulf Breeze, Fla., I have experience and success in dealing with different groups of opposing views and facilitating them to work together," Moomaw said in a press release.

Moomaw said he served two, two-year terms, between 1976 and 1980 as a town council member in Gulf Breeze, Fla.

"Leadership, plain and simple. It's hard to get success without leadership," Moomaw said.

Moomaw added that many of the planning and growth pressures facing Archuleta County, such as rapid development and poor roads, are the same as those he grappled with as a town council member in Florida and that those experiences will prove invaluable as a county commissioner.

"This is a crucial time for our county and I know my leadership experience and organizational skills will be beneficial in the future direction of our county," Moomaw said.

If elected, Moomaw said he would push for concerted, short- and long-term planning efforts for county programs to ensure that resources are expended in the most effective manner.

He added that roads and growth issues are two of the most pressing issues facing the county.

"I disagree with the current policy of the commissioners concerning the lack of maintenance on roads. I feel that maintaining roads is a function of government and the county needs to find the funds to do the maintenance for both growth and safety reasons," Moomaw said.

Funding for road maintenance remains an issue, yet Moomaw said he would aggressively seek funding sources, beyond property taxes, that he believes the county hasn't fully tapped. He said oil and gas taxes, taxes from utilities, impact fees and various grants might be sources for alternative or expanded funding.

On growth, Moomaw said, "I feel that there is no way that growth can be stopped, but I do feel that it can be guided so that the character that makes Archuleta County unique can be preserved. It is critical that the master plan and zoning be completed before more uncontrolled growth occurs."

Moomaw is a West Point graduate and said his experiences there formed the foundation of his belief in the value of military service, civilian service and community involvement.

He said the cadet's motto of, "Duty, Honor, Country," is something that has stayed with him throughout the years and it is a motto he still firmly believes in.

Following West Point, Moomaw said he led 130 troops in Vietnam and 350 troops as an executive officer for the Communications Directorate at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Following military service, and six more years of schooling, Moomaw said he owned and operated a surgical periodontal and dental implant practice for 20 years. He also owned and managed First Management Systems, a medical and dental management company.

Locally, Moomaw said he has served on the Archuleta County Zoning Survey Committee and worked as chairman of a road committee charged with a $300,000 road project for the development in which he resides. He said he is a current member of Rotary Club and is president of Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County.

Moomaw has a wife, Janis, and three sons - Robert, Alex and Matt.


"Hope for Haiti' in Pagosa, from Pagosa

By Linda Muirhead

Special to The SUN

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood/ And sorry I could not travel both/ And be one traveler, long I stood/ And looked down one as far as I could/ To where it bent in the undergrowthŠ" (Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken")

Many travelers on the road of life have come to just such a crossroads as Frost describes above.

Nearly every pilgrim, upon finding his or her way, cannot follow it without having to timidly step over the feet of those who cannot take another step. Their purses are empty, as are their stomachs. Their downcast eyes speak the words for help they are unable to utter. Few travelers are able with a clear conscience to look the other way when a fellow traveler reaches out a hand in need. Their hearts beat rapidly as they make the choice between the bliss of ignorance and the noble offer to help.

Those that reach out their hands to the needy are those with a heart for the helpless. A heart for the broken. A heart for the hopeless.

A missions team, based at Pagosa Bible Church (PBC), has been given the opportunity to travel to Haiti in the latter half of March to bring hope to the children of Ouanaminthe, Haiti. The 13 members of the team will offer services, from music lessons and carpentry skills to dental hygiene clinics, to serve the children of Institution Univers.

Institution Univers nurtures 1,200 children of Ouanaminthe, offering a solid Christian education, support in academic and life skills and one square meal each day. In essence, Institution Univers offers hope to an entire generation of children that have no other resource in which to find it.

The PBC missions team will be showing "Hope for Haiti," an award-winning documentary detailing the triumphs of Institution Univers, as well as the desperate situations of some of its students. "Hope for Haiti" provides a glimpse into a life of poverty that most citizens of the United States have never experienced.

"Some of the scenes are unforgettable—they are stamped upon my memory. It's amazing what the children have lived through, with sparkling smiles on their faces," said Kate Collins, member of PBC. "I'm so thankful that this community has the chance to reach out to these precious children, to give them what they've only found in their dreams."

"Hope for Haiti" will be shown on a large-screen format at PBC, 7-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. PBC is located at 81 Greenbrier Drive, just off Park Avenue and North Pagosa Boulevard.

Admission is free, although a love offering will be taken to support the missions team with its building materials and traveling expenses.

The 13-member team spans three generations. The missions participants include: Brynn Earley, Rick Fox, Derek Fox, Sharon Sue Harvey, Lee Ligon, Linda Muirhead, Paul Muirhead, John Neill, Jerry Owen, Cindi Owen, John Pringle, Josh Pringle and Caleb Pringle.

Members of the PBC missions team have taken their first steps on the road less traveled, and are seeking the assistance of others ready to support them on that path.

For more information regarding "Hope for Haiti," or for information about the trip in general, contact Brynn Earley at 731-6727.


Meeting makes progress on Master Plan

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Another in a series of public meetings addressing the downtown Master Plan took place at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Feb. 2.

With a room full of devoted participants on hand, planning consultants with Winter & Company first reviewed proposals discussed at a similar meeting last November, then sought further citizen input, this time focusing on conceptual guidelines and preliminary design objectives.

Among the items reviewed, which were identified as important considerations by those attending the November meeting: increased parking, improved signage, alternate downtown traffic routes, added pedestrian crossings on Pagosa Street (U.S. 160), occasional Lewis Street closures to facilitate art and music festivals, and a reconfiguration of the parking and river overlook were listed as vital concerns to be included in the final plan. Enhanced access and use of the river corridor, parks expansion and improvements, added bike and pedestrian trails, RV parking, and improved traffic control were also emphasized.

As Thursday's meeting turned to a discussion of potential design guidelines, attendees were first given a brief slide program illustrating various concepts in street lighting, sidewalk construction and landscaping, historic preservation, and structural architecture utilized in other successful Colorado mountain towns like Aspen, Telluride and Frisco. Participants then separated into small work groups, analyzed the ideas brought forth in the presentation, and ultimately came back in favor of many of the general design features shown.

The preservation of historic downtown buildings, particularly the retention of those 50 years old or more, was considered by many the most important concern. Relevant to that end, the protection of key building features, the repair or reconstruction of deteriorated elements and missing details, the removal of contemporary coverings, and building additions subordinate to the original structure were all deemed desirable.

As focus shifted again to Lewis Street, design characteristics most favorably received by meeting goers included increased landscaping, a continued mix of traditional commercial and institutional buildings, and maintaining buildings which draw upon residential forms, all using traditional materials.

Planners also proposed conceptual guidelines for the "East Village" (Pagosa Street between First and Third streets), and the east and west ends of town, including adequate pedestrian walks, connections between buildings, improved landscaping to screen parking areas, and the creation of a buffer zone along the highway. Most at the meeting approved.

The development of a geothermal garden and greenhouse near McCabe Creek and San Juan Street, with added foot trails on either side of the creek, also met with favorable reaction, as did the proposed construction of a roundabout (traffic circle) at the intersection of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84.

By the end of Thursday's meeting, most in attendance seemed pleased with the ideas and architectural concepts presented by planners, and now look forward to the first draft of the final plan and design guidelines. Planners hope to have it ready by mid-April, with final approval by sometime in May.


Get ready for ACS Daffodil Days

Join the American Cancer Society's brightest event of the year - Daffodil Days.

This year, more than one million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer, and more than half a million will die of it. One out of every two men and one out of every three women will have some type of cancer at some point during their lives. By partnering with the American Cancer Society, you can make a real difference in the lives of people facing cancer, maybe even in the life of someone you know.

The American Cancer Society Daffodil Days began in 1970, and is one of the most popular and well-known fund-raising events. All daffodils welcome the arrival of spring; they are also a symbol of hope that cancer can be eliminated as a major health problem within our lifetime.

By donating to the ACS, you help provide research to find a cure. People have the power to reduce their cancer risk through education to prevent cancer and early detection. By partnering with the ACS, you help ensure that policy makers enact policies that save lives. When cancer is personal, the ACS offers many programs for the patient and their families, including visitation programs, educational classes, and camps for children with cancer.

Celebrate Daffodil Days Week March 6-10. Join the party by taking orders from friends or co-workers, delivering daffodils or purchasing daffodils. Daffodils are $10 for a bunch of 10, $75 for 10 bunches, $175 for 25 bunches and $325 for 50 bunches. The more you buy, the less they are!

Orders and payment must be received by Wednesday, Feb. 22. Daffodils will be available for pickup March 8-10 at the Flower Cottage and The Plaid Pony. Deliveries will be made in town only.

To volunteer or to order, call Dori Blauert, 731-9458, or e-mail acspagosa@earthlink.net.


Center for Spiritual Living holds Feb. 12 service

By Nancy Ehlenbeck

Special to The SUN

February is the time of year in which we more consciously celebrate love, with Valentine's Day being at the very heart of the month.

The Four Corners Center for Spiritual Living is pleased to share its message of love at a Feb. 12 service, which will be held at 11 a.m. at 97 North St. in Bayfield.

Ray Hollingsworth will be guest speaker. The title of his talk is "How Does Your Mind Work?" His message will be woven into a service of music and the celebration of love.

Ray and his wife Ro are both Religious Science practitioners living in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Ray is in his final semester of ministerial school in Encinitas, Calif., which is 326 miles from his home. He will graduate in June.

Ray, originally from Michigan, has been serving the Lake Havasu spiritual community since he became a practitioner in 1999. He does counseling, gives talks to AA and other service groups, and is the spiritual leader of The Lake Havasu Center of Religious Science.

Both Ray and Ro will be available for what they call "One Minute Miracles," which are brief prayer treatments, after the service.

The youth service is also at 11 a.m., and a potluck social will follow.

For further information call 884-4889.


Commissioners approve 'fair schedule' of airport fees

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

During Tuesday's regular meeting, and in a marked change in tenor, a revised airport fee schedule was unveiled and ultimately approved by the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners.

The approval of the revised schedule came following a joint work session with the board, county staff and local pilots, and passed without incident or comment from the virtually vacant board room.

Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch called the revised schedule a "cooperative effort amongst all parties," and thanked county finance director Bob Burchett for "finding common ground we can all agree on."

This was in significant contrast to the Jan. 16 board meeting where impassioned pleas and eloquent statements from local pilots and business owners urged the board to reconsider approving fees that would make Stevens Field, according to Bob Howard, "the most expensive airport in Colorado."

Other opponents of the first draft of the fee schedule said the high fees would jeopardized the survival of their businesses.

During the work session, Burchett said fees that had proved intensely contentious, namely a $250 airport business registration fee and a 15-percent surcharge on rental space within the Flight Base Operations building were removed from the revised schedule.

Burchett said, without other business licensing or registration programs in the county or town, it was decided that it would be unfair to require airport business owners to pay a registration fee. He added that the office space rental surcharge was "something the county was not going to pursue at this time."

Other changes to the fee schedule include: reductions in car parking fees, fuel flow fees, and nightly aircraft tie-down fees and the elimination of the rental car surcharge and landing fees for aircraft less than 12,500 pounds.

Burchett said the rental car surcharge could return but that the mechanics of such a fee needed to be worked out with Avjet.

Increases in the schedule occurred in monthly parking fees for all aircraft.

Burchett said all parties in attendance at the workshop ultimately made compromises and the result was a product the county and local aviation interests could live with.

"We came up with a very fair schedule of fees and it won't be cost prohibitive to fly here," Burchett said.


Outdoor club scholarships up for grabs

San Juan Outdoor Club 2006 scholarship applications are now available to eligible high school seniors. Applications can be picked up at the office of Pagosa Springs High School counselor Mark Thompson. Completed applications are due on March 16.

The San Juan Outdoor Club was established to provide outdoor recreational and service opportunities for its members, including hiking, cross country and downhill skiing, bicycling, camping, four-wheel drive explorations, and similar activities. In addition, the club provides education and training to enhance these activities.

The scholarship program began in 2000 as an extension of the club's mission to protect and maintain the environment, as well as educate and involve community members in outdoor recreational opportunities. Scholarships are financed through SJOC fund-raising activities, including the Ski and Sports Swap, ATV registrations during the hunting season, as well as through members' contributions. Winning applicants will be awarded $1,000 scholarships. Three scholarships were awarded in 2005. The winners were Jesse Morris, Kelli Ford and Chris Nobles.

Scholarship applicants must be registered and attend an accredited college or university within the next year. Each applicant must meet scholarship requirements, write an essay around the theme of contributing to the community and the environment, provide letters of recommendation, and be interviewed by the SJOC scholarship committee. Committee members (all former educators) this year are Sara Scott, Sally Hanson and Gary Hopkins (chair).

Completed student applications are turned in to Thompson. They will include grade transcripts, SAT and/or ACT test scores, essays, and a resume of school and community activities, work experience (optional) and letters of support from teachers, employers or other community members. The scholarship committee will review the applications and select finalists who will be interviewed in April. Interview questions will revolve around the candidate's selection of college and major, career choice, and plans for future community, recreational and environmental involvement. After the interview, ranking charts are completed by committee members and the scholarship winner(s) are selected. The award certificate(s) will be presented at the high school graduation ceremony. The winner(s) will be introduced to the SJOC at the club's June meeting.


Humane Society of Pagosa Springs elects directors

Elections for Humane Society of Pagosa Springs board members were held at the annual meeting, Jan. 17.

One new member and three continuing members were elected to the board.

Returning members are Rex Shurtleff, Ceil Reese and Gary McNaughton. The new member is Carolyn Ullrich.

These elections once again bring the board to full strength at 11 members.

Following the annual meeting, officers were elected in executive session. For 2006, the officers are: Linda Lawrie, president; Rex Shurtleff, vice-president; Jan Karn, secretary; and Ceil Reese, treasurer.

Other board members are: Dan Aupperle, Lynn Constan, Donnie Gooch, Richard Miller and Charlotte Overley. More information about the board of directors is available on the Humane Society Web site: www.humanesociety.biz.



Mounted Rangers raffle winners named

Winners of the Colorado Mounted Rangers Troop F annual raffle held Dec. 8 were: First, James Brown, $1,000 Cabela's gift certificate; second, Gene Crabtree, Henry gun; and third, Kristan Mausby, carved moose by Spirit Rest.


Ladies in Wading welcomes new members

Ladies in Wading celebrates its third year of existence in 2006 with a growing membership and even more fishing expeditions on the schedule.

Members meet monthly in the "non-fishing" months at the Chamber of Commerce conference room for fly tying sessions and socializing (scheduled for March 7, April 4 and May 2 at 6 p.m.) and the third Saturday of the summer months are reserved for local fishing outings.

Members range in experience from beginner to expert, and everything in between.

President Jody Cromwell, who is definitely towards the expert side of the spectrum, said, "We are all about having fun, providing a low key and relaxed atmosphere in which ladies can feel very comfortable both learning about and experiencing the pleasure of fly fishing."

In September , a regional out-of-town fishing trip is in the works, with details still being discussed.

For information about the organization, contact Jody Cromwell at 749-4470 or Jackie McGuire at 731-2042.


LASSO to hold annual benefit

LASSO, Large Animal Support Southwest Organization, will hold its annual Hearts for Horses Benefit, Saturday, Feb. 11.

The evening event begins at 6:30 p.m., at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. Dinner and music will be followed by a fun-filled Chinese auction, slave auction and live auction.

LASSO is the primary 501-C3 horse rescue in southern Colorado. The Hearts for Horses Benefit is the primary fund-raising event of the year. Funds generated by the event provide food and veterinary care, primarily for horses, in foster care. Food and veterinary care for a large animal is also available when an owner is in temporary financial hardship.

Through the LASSO Web site, the organization is able to act as a networking service connecting horses in need of adoption with suitable owners. It also serves as an up-to-the-minute information site regarding large animal issues.

Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area is a wonderful place to live; however, the conditions can be harsh for all animals. LASSO's goal is to reach more large animal owners with information in the proper care and treatment of large animals. Printed material and foster care information is available through local members of LASSO and on the Web site, lassohorserescue.org.

For more information regarding the Hearts for Horses Benefit or about how LASSO might help a large animal in need, contact DiAnn Hitchcox, (970) 264-0095, Lynn Rogers, (970) 264-2264, or Larry Simms, (970) 731-3664.


High Country Reflections

Wolves will return, and one may already be here

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

There's renewed talk of bringing wolves back to Colorado, a notion I personally applaud, yet I think it's possible at least one has already arrived.

On May 21, after a full day of driving, I was finally at the cabin and out of the Jeep. Though the sun had long slipped below the western horizon, diffuse daylight held on among the trees of the mixed pristine forest. With spring then in full swing, the still mountain air bore the aroma of rich earth and fresh vegetation. The aspens, at last clad in full jade-green foliage, stood tall over the cabin, and under a cloudless cobalt sky, the evening chill was settling in.

The cabin and its surrounding 40 acres sit atop the Uncompahgre Plateau and belong to three life-long friends. As part of a modest subdivision of similar sites, its isolated location and primitive access are only attainable by car half the year. Views from the deck stretch south across a broad open meadow, culminating with the soaring snowy peaks of the San Juan and San Miguel ranges a few miles distant. Sprawling aspen and conifer forests, punctuated by scattered open sage flats, roll nearly as far to the west, north and east.

Few cottages have ever been raised in the area, and to see other humans, except during hunting seasons, is rare. Wildlife, including deer, elk, bear, mountain lion and coyote, abounds.

With nightfall only minutes away, I thought to stroll toward the rear of the property, even before preparing dinner and setting up for the night. My marathon tour through some of Colorado's most spectacular alpine scenery, though glorious, had been long and somewhat arduous, and I felt a need to unwind. For nearly 30 years, upon arriving at this same private haven, quiet walks through the wooded and remote rolling acreage have always lessened anxiety, and in short order, renewed an essential bond with the natural world.

I grabbed a jacket and walked the meandering pathway in the direction of an old fence line to the north. Along the quarter-mile reach, I happened upon an abandoned campsite established at a time when the cabin was still but a dream. There, I paused for a spell, fondly recalling friendly faces, laughter and days since passed, when suddenly, a prolonged and lonely howl echoed through the woods from a nearby ridge atop the western horizon.

"That was no coyote," I whispered aloud.

Standing motionless for several anxious moments, I waited and listened, but only an eerie silence enveloped the land.

"Come on, just once more," I thought to myself.

But eventually, with fatigue taking over and darkness falling fast, I reluctantly turned for the warmth of the cabin. Walking slowly and deliberately, with senses still heightened by the glum and unfamiliar yowl, I played the sound over in my mind, hoping to hear it again before going inside. Yet, in the handful of minutes before reaching the deck and the cabin entrance beyond, merely the muffled sounds of my own cautious footsteps broke the otherwise deafening calm.

The cabin is small and rustic, but is well insulated and has a propane stove, oven and refrigerator. Solar energy provides enough electric to power a few lights and a CD player, and an efficient woodstove heats the lower level, and especially the loft, almost too well. Without real plumbing, the kitchen sink drains to a small leach field out back, and just a few feet beyond, the two-hole privy is as modern as the place gets.

Following a modest meal, I switched from lights to an oil lamp, cracked a couple of windows and relaxed in complete silence. Still hoping to hear the mysterious wail again, I sat staring out a front window into the blackness of night. While the surrounding landscape was invisible, countless stars of every magnitude glistened and glimmered in the moonless ebony sky overhead. All remained quiet.

I watched and listened for the better part of an hour, all the while wondering what could have bellowed that sound. I knew it wasn't a coyote, I'd heard their shorter higher-pitched cries hundreds of times before. Given the area's seclusion and scarcity of people, a domestic or feral dog seemed unlikely, and in truth, the howl sounded like that of a gray wolf. I've heard their lonely wails many times too, though the two most responsible were penned up in a neighbor's back yard for a couple of years.

Realizing wolves had been extirpated from Colorado and much of the country by the mid-1940s, I thought of those recently reintroduced to Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona, and wondered if any might have made their way to the wilds of our western slope. That too, seemed a stretch, considering the vast expanses of open ground they'd have to cross, but it still appeared possible. After all, something howled out there in the gathering gloom, and while I couldn't verify what is was, I could confidently suggest what it wasn't.

Interestingly, not three weeks later, a female wolf originally released in Yellowstone National Park was found dead on I-70 near Idaho Springs. Officials soon determined she died in traffic, trying to cross the highway. Of course, that hardly confirms the return of wolves to Colorado, but it does seem to validate the idea that a wolf's cry could have echoed through the woods near the cabin that May evening.

Regardless of whether or not lone stragglers could safely make their way to Colorado's high country, many experts believe it unlikely that wolves could reestablish themselves here on their own. Most also realize the critical role wolves play in maintaining balance in a healthy ecosystem, and the National Park Service is now considering their reintroduction to Rocky Mountain National Park.

The park was created in 1915, and soon became a refuge for elk transplanted there two years earlier. In 1968, public pressure put a stop to park control of elk numbers, and the population subsequently exploded. Consequently, it wasn't long before park vegetation was seriously altered, causing damage to the environment and scarcity among beavers, various songbirds and other indigenous species.

While scientists now believe the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone and Banff (Canada) was instrumental in the recovery of natural vegetation and some wildlife in those areas, they also suggest adding wolves to RMNP may help purge chronic wasting disease from elk and deer herds.

Park Service wildlife veterinarian Margaret Wild recently said, "Computer models show that wolves can reduce and perhaps eliminate the disease in elk and deer by preying on weakened and infected animals. It really makes a lot of sense, if you think about it."

Of course, the state of Colorado hasn't exactly embraced the idea. Just last year, a panel of hunters, ranchers, environmentalists and wildlife officials developed a wolf management plan allowing their recovery here, only through natural migration from neighboring states.

Meanwhile, the Park Service is considering options, including simply shooting enough elk to reduce the herd, or possibly planting just four wolves, including two sterile males, in hope that they will remain in the park and effectively reduce elk numbers, while being unable to reproduce themselves.

"Do four wolves constitute reintroduction?" asked Rob Edward, Carnivore Restoration Program Director for Sinapu (a Boulder-based predator advocacy group). ""Heck no - especially not four non-breeding wolves relegated to wander no further than the boundary of RMNP. Just as the elk that wander RMNP are free to leave the park at their leisure and breed at their pleasure, so too should such freedoms be accorded to a future population of wolves transplanted to the park."

Admittedly, it's difficult to understand how four non-breeding wolves could solve any ecological concerns associated with RMNP, but it may be even more difficult to imagine them ever developing the social bonds necessary to create a viable family structure we call a pack. For wolves to behave like wolves, to hunt successfully and fulfill their role in the balance of nature, they must play and have purpose, which only comes through the rearing of young.

Aside from RMNP, there are certainly other areas of our state where similar environmental matters are gaining professional and public attention. And, in light of growing scientific evidence supporting the value of wolves in our natural surroundings, it wouldn't surprise me to see them running free in our mountain forests again one day.

For that matter, at least one may already be out there, and I think I've heard him howl.



Print cartoons

Dear Editor:

I'm writing to say that, as a member of the media in a free society, you have a responsibility to publish the controversial cartoons on Islamofascism.

I can understand the indignation of having your religion, and your religious leaders, portrayed in unflattering, even blasphemous, ways by secularists in the mainstream media. It happens to Christians all the time in America and Europe.

But indignation is never an excuse for violence. And threats of violence need to be "resisted" in free nations. And the best form of resistance to Islamofascist threats here? Publish the cartoons.

As freedom-loving people, we need to resist the Islamofascists on all fronts. In solidarity with the people of free Europe and in support of the concept of freedom of the press, you need to publish the Danish cartoons.

Thank you.

Yours for freedom,

Robert W. Baumgardner Sr.


Morale problem

Dear Editor:

In regard to the morale at the sheriff's department, I cannot speak for every member of the department, but I can speak for myself and gladly admit that my morale is extremely high. I first took an oath to protect, serve and defend the constitutions and peoples of the United States, and the states of Colorado, Indiana and North Carolina 30 plus years ago, and have been doing so since then. I have worked as a deputy sheriff, deputy marshal, marshal, police officer and am retired from the U.S. Army Special Forces.

I have worked many a night, keeping the community safe while others slept. I have been shot at, shot, stabbed and assaulted. I have missed holidays with my family, missed anniversaries and birthdays with my spouse, and numerous birthdays with my children, and through it all, my morale has always been high because I enjoy public service and willingly accept the sacrifices required to work in the profession that I chose.

Why shouldn't my morale be high? I work in one of the prettiest counties in the state of Colorado and give thanks every day for having an opportunity to work in such a beautiful area of the state. I work in an area that has a school district that is reputed to be one of the best in the state with some of the finest, caring, dedicated teachers educating my children and helping them to achieve their fullest potential. I work in an area that is abundant with wildlife that can be seen roaming free on any given day or night. I work in an area where the people, the citizens, do not hesitate to waive and express greetings to me, or even approach and extend a handshake even after seeing that I am a peace officer. Why shouldn't my morale be high?

Anyone that has been working in the labor force for longer than a day, especially in law enforcement, and who has even held supervisory positions, realizes that there are going to be people in the work place with bad morale. It's a fact of life. Low morale could result from low pay or lack of benefits, personal family issues, inability or unwillingness to do the job, or being disciplined or held accountable for minor or major infractions of policies, and sometimes these issues may cause people to move on.

Anyone with intelligence or who has held a supervisory position realizes that a person's morale can only be changed if the person wants it to change. It can be influenced, but not changed, unless the person truly wants it to change. Having held supervisory positions myself, I learned a long time ago that a supervisor or boss cannot please all of his or her employees all of the time. There are going to be people in the work place that don't demonstrate an honest, hard working ethic, who take shortcuts or allow friendships to influence how he or she does their job, and when things do not turn out the way they want them to, they will do whatever it takes to undermine the organization, and, yes, create dysfunction within the work place.

As I stated, my morale is extremely high and I try to instill good morale in others that I work with. I am thankful to be working for the people of Archuleta County, Sheriff Tom Richards, Undersheriff Grandchamp, and Captain Reilly. Over the past 30-some-odd years, I have worked for many supervisors and have even been a supervisor myself. I have always been straight forward and candid in my contacts with people, and expect the same from my supervisors. Sheriff Richards, Undersheriff Grandchamp and Captain Reilly have always been honest, candid and straight forward with me, and I can honestly say that I enjoy working for them. My morale is extremely high.

Rick Ervin


Dripping sarcasm

Dear Editor:

In response to the comments concerning my letter to the editor (Jan. 19), I must apologize. Those who responded did not seem to notice the dripping sarcasm even though I thought the absurdity of my proposal was clear. I completely agree with Mrs. Ellis: Man was given the task of being stewards of the animals. By accepting that "the lion (or wildlife in general) does not live in our yard - we live in his," we elevate animals above man, thus destroying the stewardship which God intended.


Robert Kern, Jr.

Hillsdale, Mich.


A cancer

Dear Editor:

In the 55-plus years I have lived in Archuleta County I have written one letter to the editor, until today.

Today, in Archuleta County government, there is a cancer at work that is so pervasive it threatens to destroy the basic framework of our government.

In slightly more than one year, key staff is departing our employment in alarming numbers. In less than a year, we have lost our assistant administrator, administrative assistant, airport manager, planning and development manager, public works administrator and solid waste supervisor. The institutional history and memory of our county is gone, and this cancer bears direct responsibility for the staff upheaval. And, the latest devastation is the pending departure of our excellent administrative assistant. She has been with us less than six months, but has proved valuable to the organization.

I am sure most of you will agree that it is staff that makes any organization great. During my tenure as commissioner for Archuleta County, we have had many great and dedicated staff members. The history that exists within the experience and memory of staff is invaluable. At this time, due to the continued progress of the cancer in our midst, only one key staff member has more than one year on the job.

In my many years working with school boards, hospital boards, library boards, chamber boards, and many other nonprofit boards, I have never witnessed a situation as dire as the one in our county government. I believe that the majority of you are unaware of the activities that occur behind the scene.

My fellow citizens and voters, it is time for you to become informed. You, the voters, hold the most powerful tool in our government. You can become informed and determine if this cancer is to be terminal and bring down the great county of Archuleta, or if you are willing to become a part of the treatment program.

Thank you all for your past support and interest in our county. Anyone wanting more information on this cancer can call me at 264-5542 or 946-6832.

Mamie R. Lynch


Expert ski patrol

Dear Editor:

We would like to add to John Bozek's comments in his letter to the editor of Jan. 26. We can never adequately thank John Reed and Adam Steele of the Wolf Creek Ski Patrol for their expert and kind assistance in the rescue of our son, Chris McCullough, following a snowboard accident Jan. 7. Chris has snowboarded regularly in the area with his father and siblings for years and had recently moved to Pagosa.

On that Saturday, Chris attempted a jump that he has done many times; however, this day he slammed into the opposite bank of a creek bed and broke his back. He said that he knew at impact that his injury was serious as he could not move his legs to arrest his slide down the bank. Although he regained sensation to his legs quickly, Chris had the training and presence of mind to instruct his friends not to move him and to get help.

His friends obtained the help of John Reed and Adam Steele of Wolf Creek Ski Patrol. The extraction of Chris on a backboard up the steep bank was, we are told, painstaking due to the grade and the bad snow conditions. Steele and Reed along with Chris' friends built snow ledges or steps one at a time upon which to rest Chris on the backboard to finally and safely move him to the top of the ravine. Wisely, they did not attempt to walk up the bank with him on the board which would have risked a slip and potential further injury to Chris.

Everyone involved in Chris' rescue, including Chris, did everything right. Here is why: Chris suffered a severe, unstable lumbar vertebral body burst fracture with significant secondary spinal cord compression. He subsequently underwent cord decompression and spinal fusion after being flown to Albuquerque. Oddly, his symptoms were misleading and involved a sensation of intense pelvic pressure more than back pain.

Regardless, John Reed and Adam Steele responded conservatively, cautiously in a "worst-case-scenario" mode which we are certain contributed to the fact that Chris is now neurologically intact, standing and walking - and, yes, undoubtedly snowboarding next year.

Our thanks as well to the Durango Emergency Department staff who triaged him expertly and quickly.

With gratitude,

The family of Chris McCullough

Tom McCullough M.D. Pagosa

Kathryn Miller M.D. Albuquerque


Re: Morale

Dear Editor:

Man, Ken Waters, you really are "new." I am here to tell you you couldn't be more wrong.

What you are experiencing is the warm and fuzzy small town feeling. It wears off, believe me. Talk to somebody who has been here for 15 or 20 years about what's been going on in the Sheriffs Department. Reading your letter made me want to throw up.

I think the altitude is making you delirious. You have a lot to learn and you said it yourself, "You are completely ignorant" about the "displaced rumors" as you called them. And who are you to come here and call what you have been hearing rumors?

The last thing the officers are is committed to us, they have their own agenda and are all on a power trip. They entrap, intimidate, speed, use vehicles for personal use and make everything else up as they go and the good ole boys club backs them up. There is very little "protect and serve" going on in Archuleta County. True to small town politics, there is more going on than you have been here long enough to figure out. Let's talk in about five years and compare notes or, if you really want the scoop from a long time resident's point of view, call and get my number from the newspaper and let's have a chat. I'd love the opportunity to enlighten you.

Lisa Mettscher


New courthouse

Dear Editor:

I must add my voice to the comments coming in regarding building the new courthouse and jail near the hot springs and the downtown business district. It is amazing to think a new, bigger jail and court house will soon be the focal point of those of us soaking in the hot pools. This special place, which is so perfect for families having a picnic, couples out for a stroll, rafters running the river, and shoppers doing their thing will soon be the hangout for those coming to visit or bail out their criminal friends.

In almost every other city I've ever been in, the area around a jail looks bad, and the people around it are not those you want near families, kids, and young women. Building a new, bigger jail and courthouse in this area is going to bring that look and feel to one of the nicest places in town.

We fell in love with Pagosa Springs several years ago, starting with the hot springs, the river, and the downtown shops and restaurants. We come back as often as we can to visit this very special place.

Surely, there are better places in the area to build a jail than the hot springs/River Walk area. Surely, there is other land in the Pagosa area that can be purchased or donated for a jail and courthouse.

Please tell me this is a bad dream. Please tell me the residents of Pagosa Springs are going to wake up, and stop this.

Gerry Roberts

Westminster, Calif.


Community News

Tim Sullivan headlines Valentine's Dance at center

By Siri Schuchardt

Special to The PREVIEW

Put on your dancing boots and head to the community center's Valentine's Dance Friday with music by Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge, one of the area's premier country western bands.

Tim Sullivan has appeared on stage with such well-known artists as Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, Glen Campbell and Tammy Wynette. He won the 1999 Songwriter of the Year award in Massachusetts for his song "Dance In The Rain," is featured on the soundtrack of a new motion picture, "Follow Me Outside," and has performed from Los Angeles to Manhattan. The community center is proud to bring Sullivan and his band, Narrow Gauge, back to Pagosa Springs.

The dance will start at 7 p.m. and end at 11. Cost is $20 per ticket and $25 at the door. A dessert bar, hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks will be provided, and a beer and wine cash bar will be available.

Several door prizes will be given away during the evening and professional photographer Wen Saunders will be on hand to take pictures of you and your sweetheart. Saunders will generously donate 50 percent of the sweetheart photo proceeds to the community center dance program in addition to donating a limited edition framed photograph as one of the door prizes.

The community center monthly dance program has grown from nearly 50 people at the inaugural Fall Fling dance in October to a highly successful New Year's Eve dance with over 250 people who danced the night away to the music of John Graves and Company. The next community center dance will be Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, with music provided by DJ Bobby Hart of Hart Productions.

If you are interested in helping with the dances, call Mercy at 264-4152 or Siri at 731-9670. There are several areas in which you can volunteer your time, meet some wonderful people, and play a part in keeping the community center dance program a successful monthly event.



Primarily Found Objects' opens at SHY RABBIT

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

SHY RABBIT proudly announces the opening of its highly anticipated exhibition, "Primarily Found Objects," an open group show, with an artists' reception 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18.

This exhibition runs through March 25, with weekend hours of 1-4 p.m. beginning Saturday, March 4. You are invited to meet the artists and view their work in Pagosa's newest contemporary venue, SHY RABBIT.

The innovative exhibition features the work of 40 uniquely talented local and regional artists. Participants were encouraged to explore their creativity by assembling found objects into unique and interesting artworks. The only criteria in this open, non-juried show was that participants use a minimum of 60-percent found objects in their creations, and that they incorporate at least one of the three primary colors as well. They were also free to stretch the boundaries of the commonly-used definition of "found objects."

Awards will be given to two participants creating the most compelling and unusual works.

The SHY RABBIT Artists' Round Table will follow on Sunday, Feb. 19, from 1-4 p.m. A panel of respected Four Corners artists will be in attendance to speak about their own work and philosophies concerning "found art," and to share their thoughts about the show. All are welcome.

SHY RABBIT is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 and B-4.

For additional information, call 731-2766, or e-mail shyrabbit01@aol.com.



Melodrama: music, heroes, heroines and villains

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The art of the melodrama, developed sometime in the 1800s as an entertainment form, used music ("melo") to underscore, enhance and heighten its characters.

This type of performance venue portrays clear characters, includes heros, heroines and villains and represents an obvious challenge between good versus evil.

The style of play is exaggerated and showy, which provided pure entertainment to audiences a couple of hundred years ago. Music Boosters president Michael DeWinter has always wanted to bring a melodrama to the Pagosa stage, and in a few weeks, his efforts will be realized. Working together with director Scott Farnham, DeWinter is designing sets and costumes in addition to portraying the evil villain, "Craven Sinclair."

John Graves complements the splendid cast of 11 with his melodic and sometimes sinister character music, in addition to accompanying several soloists in the production.

Show dates at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium are March 9, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. with an additional matinee 2 p.m. March 11.

Contact Farnham for more information at 264-1280.



Cast hard at work on 'Seussical'

By Dale Morris

Special to the PREVIEW

"Seussical," a musical by Stephen Flaherty, premiered on Broadway in the fall of 2000.

Since its release, "Seussical" has been one of the most produced shows in the country, being performed in regional, community and high school productions. Pagosa Springs High School's upcoming production promises to be an evening full of fun, music, entertainment and imagination.

Directors Lisa Hartley, Melinda Baum, Kathy Isberg and Dale Morris have been using all of their "thinks" possible to help their performers come together to create a journey from the Jungle of Nool to Whoville across deserts and mountains, and ultimately to a place of safety.

It is a show for audiences of all ages and includes high school actors Kelly Crow, Brianna Roehrs, Brisa Burch, Hilary Matzdorf, Brittney Siler, Jessica Low, Trina Zielinski, Natalia Clark, Rachel Jensen, Lily Hester, Samantha Tatum, Ashley Angell, Becca Stevens, Shanti Johnson, Chelsea Taylor, Kim Rivas, Anna Ball, Julia Nell, Ohla Kostash, Sabra Brown, Hannah Clark, Cela White and Kailee Kenyon.

"Seussical" will be performed in early April.




Photo contest results announced

The judge has made his decisions and the votes have been tallied. Following are the results from this year's Pagosa Springs Arts Council Photography Contest.

The show is on display through Feb. 25 at Moonlight Books.

Best of Show winner was Nancy Artis for her photo, "Jenny Lake Sunrise."

Domestic Animals

First: Susie Jones, for "Debonair Dachshunds." Second: Stacey Barker, for "Lilly of the Field." Third: Bob Filice, for "Angorras, Chama Valley."


First: Barbara Conkey, for "Inn at Loretto - Santa Fe." Second: Bill Woggon, for "La Puerta" (the door). Third: Coe Scott, for "Dead Horse Mill."

Autumn Scenic

First: Carol Riley, untitled. Second: Barbara Rosner, for "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain." Third: Ashli Stretton, untitled.

General Landscape

First: Jerrold Granok, for "Beaver Creek, New Hampshire." Second: Ronnie Kolpin, for "Kodiak Island." Third: Gerry Riggs, for "Ice Cave Ridge, Piedra River."

Patterns & Textures

First: Jerry Gallion, for "Weathered." Second: Ray Diffee, for "Through Crazed Window." Third: Helen M. Richardson, for "Cemetery at Casares Spain." Honorable Mention: Joe Bigley, for "The Crack."


First: Randi Pierce, for (aquatics). Second: Shari Pierce, for (soccer). Third: Randi Pierce, for (pitcher).


First: Bob Filice, for "Black-eyed Susans." Second: Mike Pierce, untitled. Third: Jennifer Alley, for "Serenity." Honorable Mention: Zhena, for "Marriage."


First: Mike Pierce, untitled. Second: Janet Daigle, for "Cowboy Up." Third: H. Pat Artis, for "Sweeping Cobwebs."


First: Jennifer Haspels, for "A Moment in Time." Second: Ray Diffee, for "Rain Jewel." Third: Susie Long, for "Chevy 3600."

Winter Scenic

First: Maria Kolpin, untitled. Second: Liz Kuhn, for "The Sentinel." Third: Linda Louise LoCastro, for "Serenity." Honorable Mention: Mark Small, for (snow-covered trestle).

Black & White

First: Art Franz, for "Woman #1." Second: Mark Small, for "Drought." Third: Jerry Gallion, for "In Thought." Honorable Mention: Barbara Rosner, for "Puppy Love." Honorable Mention: Kim Hamilton, for "A River Runs Through It."


First: Lauri Patane, for "Almighty Heavens." Second: Judy L. Clay, for "Sights From the Big Island, Hawaii." Third: Becky Van Blaricon, for "Reflecting." Honorable Mention: Cheryl Guthrie, for "Siblings."

Wild Fauna

First: Egan Deering, for "Snow & Fire." Second: Henry Ford, untitled. Third: H. Pat Artis, for "On the Prowl." Honorable Mention: Mark D. Roper, for "Smooth Green Snake."

Sunrise / Sunset

First: Nancy Artis, for "Jenny Lake Sunrise." Second: Jerrold Granok, for "West From Pike's Peak." Third: Suzy Bruce, for "Orlando Sunset."

Special Techniques

First: Barbara Rosner, for "Buffalo Dancer at Chimney Rock." Second: Egan Deering, for "Marcach." Third: Jan Brookshier, for "Aspen Magic." Honorable Mention: Jeff Hester, for "Red Mountain & Uncompahgre."



Community choir has a new look

By Sue Diffee

Special to The PREVIEW

Interested in singing?

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

On that night only, please be there 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 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. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7 p.m. Sunday, the performance will be at 4 p.m.

Directors Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer have selected the music, including patriotic, Broadway, folk, gospel and jazz selections. Melinda Baum is the accompanist.

New singers are always welcome - the only requirements are a love for singing and a commitment for rehearsals once a week. Members are very serious about learning our music, but have fun doing so. It is not just about singing, but about learning how to sing properly and how to have a good sound as well.

For more information, call Pam Spitler at 264-1952




Tickets on sale for Pagosa's first Indiefest

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

The air is abuzz with speculation about Pagosa Springs' newest musical event - the FolkWest Independent Music Festival, or "Indiefest," for short.

The inaugural festival will take place June 10-11 on Reservoir Hill. The layout of the festival will be much the same as FolkWest's senior event, the Four Corners Folk Festival, with on-site camping, free kids' activities, food and merchandise vendors and a large tent covering the stage and some of the seating area.

Indiefest will showcase five musical acts per day. The lineup so far includes blues/gospel singer extraordinaire Ruthie Foster, Austin-based Terri Hendrix, folk-rocker Eliza Gilkyson, and the eclectic sounds of Brave Combo, the Clumsy Lovers and Blame Sally.

This year's show is a terrific bargain, with early-bird tickets priced at $40 for a two-day pass or $25 per day. On-site camping costs just $25 per vehicle for the entire weekend. Children 12 and under are admitted free with an accompanying adult.

Early bird tickets are currently on sale through Feb. 17 at Moonlight Books downtown. For additional information, or to purchase tickets with a credit card, call 731-5582 or visit www.folkwest.com.

FolkWest is a Colorado 501(c)(3) non-profit incorporated in 1998 to promote accessibility to live musical performances in southwest Colorado.




Unitarian service explores chanting, meditation

On the second Sunday of every month, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship holds a service dedicated to meditation.

This Sunday, Feb. 12, April Merrilee will lead the group in a special service exploring chanting and meditation.

She will present a number of Sanskrit chants which stem from the Hindu and Yoga traditions of India. April points out that "... the use of chanting is a powerful way to connect with a group and to raise consciousness. The sound creates a vibration that is at the same time deeply universal, yet very personal. The experience of chanting creates a calming, yet energizing, relaxed, yet focused space for meditation."

Many of the songs consist of quite simple words and melodies which can be done in the "kirtan" style of call and response, so the group will be able to join in the singing. However, singing is optional. All are welcome to come and just enjoy listening. The words and translations will be provided in an easy-to-follow written format.

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



Meagan's Place, a special area in

Sisson library for Pagosa's early teens

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

When 12-year-old Meagan died tragically in Ohio almost two years ago, her grandfather, long-time Pagosa resident Bob Bigelow, wanted to do something unique to honor a young girl who had such a light, loving personality that everyone liked her on first meeting.

"She was one of those special people who always found something helpful to do in any situation," Bigelow recalled. "She also loved reading, and always had a book on the go."

Once the idea of a living memorial came to him, it was so obvious to Bigelow that he knew Meagan would approve.

Today, to the immediate right of the front door in the newly expanded Ruby Sisson Library, is a space called Meagan's Place. It is devoted entirely to books and games of interest to early teens in the sixth through ninth grades.

Best of all, materials in Meagan's Place have been chosen by a sixth-grade committee composed of Kyle Anderson Andresen, 11, son of Christian and Donna Anderson Andresen; Danny Shahan, 12, son of Raymond Shahan; and Hailey Dean, 11, daughter of Harley and Shi Dean.

The student committee got helpful input and ideas from reading experts including part-time Pagosa resident Cherie Clodfelter, a professor at the University of Dallas; Sisson Library director Christine Anderson; and Barb Draper, who is head of the youth program at the library.

The students on the advisory committee also polled their friends and fellow students asking them what books they have read that would be most significant to include in the collection, and what books they personally liked best.

In addition to this invaluable input on what books to buy, Bigelow said all books winning the annual Newbery Medal "best books for children" award from the American Librarian Association since its inception in 1921 would be purchased for the collection.

Meagan's Place is gaining almost immediate popularity among the Pagosa youth for whom it was created. It is not uncommon on an after-school afternoon to see the area being enjoyed by readers, kids playing games or chatting quietly in the corner - or all three. A major advantage to Meagan's Place is that all books appropriate for this age group are easily accessible in one area of the library.

The furniture in Meagan's Place undoubtedly adds to the allure as well. The area is furnished with comfortable chairs and a couch, plus tables more reminiscent of a living room than a study area. The homey atmosphere is intentional. To make visitors feel welcome and at home, most of the furniture came from Bigelow's house here in Pagosa.

"The best thing about Meagan's Place is the input from our student committee," Bigelow said. "Their contributions were so valuable that we plan to expand to involve another committee from seventh and eighths grades organized by Sally High, the geography teacher who also has a master's degree in reading."

Meagan's Place is not a one-time event for the Pagosa library. '"I am determined to keep funding the purchase of books for Meagan's Place as long as I have the expert advice and involvement of our community's youth," Bigelow said.




Still time to buy Valentine's Dance tickets

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Tomorrow, Feb. 10, is the fourth in the community center's series of adult dances.

Tickets are still available today and tomorrow at the center and at WolfTracks bookstore at the advance sale price, $20 per person until 4 p.m. Friday. Tickets will also be sold at the door for $25 per person.

Siri and Pam have been working on the decorations. The CC staff has been getting snacks and desserts ready. The dance club is polishing their dance demonstrations. The cadre of volunteers is poised to help.

We hope all of you are eagerly awaiting this entertaining evening of community fun and country music provided by singer/songwriter Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge. As a special treat for this Valentine event, local photojournalist Wendy Saunders will be on hand to take pictures of you and your sweetie. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the community center.

Weight Watchers

We welcome Weight Watchers to the family of groups and businesses that hold regular meetings at the community center.

The first meeting will be held at 6:45 p.m. Feb. 15. All are welcome. Right now there is no enrollment fee; the weekly meeting cost is $11. After weighing-in, there will be a half-hour meeting during which the meeting leader will talk about weight loss struggles as well as a topic of the evening. One of the key components of any WW meeting is the group support available there.

For information about the easy-to-use WW program, visit weightwatchers.com where you can find meeting places, get motivated, find recipes and more.

Leading Edge class

The non-profit Archuleta Economic Development Association (AEDA) and its executive director, Bart Mitchell, are currently providing a NxLevel Entrepreneurial Training Course for local small business owners.

Attendees come to the center for a 12-week series of one-evening-a-week classes where they learn to create a business plan. After April 13, at the end of the classes, students participate in a business plan competition. First, second and third prizes of $350, $150 and $100 will be donated by five local banks: Bank of Colorado, Well Fargo Bank, Citizens' Bank, First Southwest Bank and Bank of the San Juans.

This training is under the sponsorship of the Fort Lewis Small Business Development Center (SBDC) whose mission is "to be the premier provider of small business assistance, training, information, and leadership in activities which foster the successful growth and development of small businesses in southwest Colorado."

See the SBDC's Web site, soba.fortlewis.edu/sbdc, for more information; and call (264-4722) or e-mail (info@archuletaeconomicdevelopment.org) the AEDA for the dates of the next training course in the fall.

Aus-Ger Club

The Aus-Ger Club turned out in force for the meeting at the Buffalo Inn. Twenty-five members gathered for a lunch of salad, Austrian goulash, mashed potatoes and green beans. Birthdays were celebrated with a birthday cake and a serenade. In addition to the cake, there were two wonderful Austrian desserts - an almond-filled pastry and a cream kuchen.

At the business meeting which followed, it was decided to set a regular meeting date on the third Thursday of each month. Time will depend on whether the Club meets for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The meeting place will alternate between the community center and other locations. The next get-together will be held at the center 10 a.m. Feb. 23, for a potluck brunch. Call Roger Behr at 731-0409 for information.

Cooking classes

We are still 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 that 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 a dish or two that you have learned to cook and enjoy. Let us know if you are interested; we are actively seeking help with this important project.

Computer Lab news

I've been thinking about strudel.

Company's coming for strudel, and I haven't made one in a long time. So I consulted an old recipe, one I've used before and thought that maybe there had been some new developments in strudel making. So, of course, I checked some of my favorite Internet sites. And that got me to thinking that you might also enjoy some on-line recipe exploration.

A fun place to start is the companies who sell food to us. Who knew that General Mills owns Pillsbury? I didn't. Anyway, there are lots of recipes on this site, but even more, there are newsletters which will come to your e-mail and coupons to print and take to the supermarket. As a matter of fact, if you have a few minutes to spend before a trip to the market, a short search for coupons may mean that you can save a few dollars.

Then there are the TV cooks. Take a look at Mario Batali (more coupons and free stuff there), Rachel Ray (you either love her or hate her - no in-between), and of course Nigella, Emeril and the ubiquitous Martha. All have Web sites devoted to them and large recipe lists. You can, of course, kill many birds with one stone by simply visiting foodnetwork.com.

Magazine sites are also useful. Just do a Google search on the title and undoubtedly you'll find a recipe link. If you buy a cooking magazine at a newsstand or at the market, look carefully at the small print, usually not far inside the front cover. There is usually a keyword which will get you access to the magazine's Web site. I just checked an old issue of Sunset and on the title page is printed 'garland,' the access code for December 2005. The code will differ, depending on whether you subscribe or buy an issue at a time.

Third, we have the large comprehensive databases of recipes. There is allrecipes.com; it's easily searchable and often gets you just where you want to go. Recipesource.com has a nice collection of ethnic recipes. Recently I found a soup recipe from Poland which I had been seeking for a long time. My favorite site, though, is epicurious.com. It has a wealth of recipe choices in addition to archives of Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazine. There I found just what I was looking for: a pear, onion, and jack cheese strudel.

Now, just a few tips. Most recipe sites want you to log in. They won't as a rule charge you anything; they just want to know who you are. This information also will allow them (and you) to keep track of recipes you have tried or want to try.

Printing can be challenging. Before you print, look for a "print view" button, or something similar. Than will let you print just the recipe, not all that extra stuff and annoying ads. On some sites you can choose your print format, everything from a full 8 1/2 x 11 sheet to a 3 x 5 card.

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

Thank you

To the Pagosa Baking Company for the goodies which were enjoyed by all.

To Cool Water Plumbing for the $100 donation towards the purchase of headphones for the PCs in the computer lab. This donation will ensure that lab users will be able to hear sounds as well as see images and is especially nice for those who are taking classes on the Internet and those who like to listen to CDs or the radio while surfing the Web. Headphones will be checked out at the reception desk and will have to be returned at the end of an Internet session.

Winter hours

During the winter months, the center is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday hours are 10-4.


Today - 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.; beginning yoga with Richard Harris, 11 a.m.-noon; Teen Center open (poker), 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5-8 p.m.; potluck dinner for Chimney Rock volunteers, 6-9 p.m.

Feb. 10 - Watercolor workshop with Ginnie Bartlett and Denny Rose, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Cloverbuds, 1:30-3 p.m.; Teen Center open (pool, darts, and reading club), 2-8 p.m.; Mage Knight, 3-6 p.m.; Wolfcreek backcountry, 5:30-9 p.m.; Valentine's Day Dance, 7-11 p.m.

Feb. 11 - Wolfcreek backcountry, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; youth basketball, 9 a.m.-noon; scrapbooking club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen Center open (dodge ball), 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Feb. 12 - 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.; volleyball, 4-7 p.m.

Feb 13 - 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.; drumming practice, 5:15-6:15 p.m.; Loma Linda HOA board meeting, 7- 9 p.m.

Feb. 14 - Beginning computing, 10 a.m.-noon; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Board of Realtors lunch, noon-1 p.m.; Computer Q & A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open (movie), 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5-8 p.m.; Bible study, 5:45-7:45 p.m.

Feb. 15 - Philanthropy Days, 9-10 a.m.; 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; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen Center open (Uno Attack!), 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

Feb. 16 - AARP free tax help, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; beginning yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Teen Center open (poker), 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5-8 p.m.; Leading Edge/Small Business Development, 6-9 p.m.

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





4-H traveler to visit Pagosa Country

Archuleta County will host Kenny Kroschel Feb. 12-17.

Kenny is a 10-year member of 4-H who was privileged to visit Northern Ireland and England. Kenny lived in these countries through the IFYE (International Four-H Youth Exchange), an educational program for developing peace and understanding throughout the world. It increases international awareness, assists in improving leadership and communication skills and helps young people to learn about youth programs abroad. This program is sponsored by the Colorado 4-H Youth Fund, Inc., cooperating with Cooperative Extension, Colorado State University, the IFYE Association of Colorado, Inc., and the IFYE Association of the USA.

Kenny is a 26 years old and has a B.A. from Montana State University in Diesel Technology. He is a 4-H member from Larimer County. When Kenny is not traveling, he enjoys dogs, drag racing and hunting.

During his visit in Archuleta County, Kenny will visit all of the public schools and a few of the private schools, sharing his experiences in Northern Ireland and England. He will also talk with Kiwanis and Rotary members, as well as appear at the senior center Feb. 17.

4-H is hosting an open house for Kenny to share his experiences with the public 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Extension office.

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



County fair board seeks volunteer members

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

Volunteerism is something one might think of, without the idea coming to fruition - to a point where one actually volunteers.

Our lives seem to get increasingly hectic with the current modern necessities of cell phones, text messages, and the other new digital experiences that our society affords us. As a result, we can easily forget what is most important - helping others and our community.

From a young age, I witnessed my parents' involvement in the community. My mother was a very active volunteer in community affairs. She was a stay-at-home mom by choice, with three young boys to raise. She did not have the luxury of a cell phone or a microwave, and she hung our wash on a clothesline, outside. When a person in our neighborhood passed, she managed to make the family dinner and dessert. It was a gesture, but one that meant something to others - that a person cared enough to extend themselves in a time of need. I never heard my mother or father say, "I am too busy."

My folks are in their mid 70s now, and volunteer time to three separate organizations. I asked my parents why they volunteer and their response was very simple. "Times change and so does the luster of a town. Believing in a cause is important. To see something change for the better is gratifying. To sit back and complain does nothing."

When I moved to Pagosa three years ago, I knew very few people. My son's preschool teacher suggested I serve on the Archuleta County Fair Board of Directors.

Soon, I was on the board. I knew nothing about fairs or 4-H, but quickly learned by sharing the knowledge of my fellow board members. I have been on the board for three years, and I am still learning.

Board members are from different backgrounds, each with his or her own expertise drawn from their life experiences. Fresh ideas are brought to the table by new volunteers. We have different ideas; sometimes we even agree to disagree on a certain topic, but we work together for the common good of the fair.

Meetings of the fair board are held once a month, in the early evening, and last approximately two hours. The current board is composed of 12 members, all unpaid volunteers. Our latest fair board president, Alicia O'Brien, is highly organized and diligently keeps us on agenda.

We are actively pursuing new members to join our team.

It is an experience I think you will enjoy pursuing. Anyone over the age of 18 can join; in fact, we encourage a diverse group in terms of age and backgrounds. If fair board volunteerism is of interest to you, call 264-2388. We would love to have as many people help us with our goals as possible.

If you do not volunteer with our organization, please consider another worthwhile cause.

For more information on the county fair, contact: www.archuletacountyfair.com.



Education News

Hospitality skills program at ed center

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

A free industry-designed hospitality skills training program is currently being offered at the Archuleta County Education Center.

The Skills, Tasks, and Results Training Program (START), developed by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (EI), gives students the real-world knowledge and skills needed for a long-term career in the lodging industry.

START provides training for hospitality positions in the rooms, and food and beverage divisions of a lodging operation including front desk, reservations, housekeeping, bell services, restaurant service, banquet setup and service, and more. Guest service, professionalism and career exploration are other important components of this program.

Students in the START program get on track to begin a career in lodging or continue their education. Best of all, EI will waive the fee for one future line-level certification for all students who successfully complete the entire START program - giving students a real jump-start on their careers. START Training Modules are scheduled on-demand for classes of six or more participants, through June 2006.

Module 1: Hospitality Guest Service, Professionalism, Safety and Security.

- approximately 30 hours of class work.

Module 2: Rooms Division Front Desk, Reservations, PBX, Bell Services, Guestroom Attendant, Maintenance Workers, Laundry Attendant

- Part 1: approximately 40 hours.

- Part 2 approximately 44 hours.

Module 3: Food and Beverage Restaurant Server and Bus Person, Banquet Server and Set Up

- approximately 45 hours.

Anyone interested in these free courses should contact Ashlee Allen of the Southwest Colorado Workforce Training Initiative at 385-4354 to schedule START Training Modules for your clients or staff or to join classes already in session.

Donation needed

A donation of a Suburban or similar type vehicle is needed immediately by the Education Center for student/staff transportation. Our insurance carrier will no longer allow private vehicle use for school functions.

Donations are tax-deductible (501c-3) and qualify for a 25-percent Colorado enterprise zone credit. Contact us for further information at 264-2835.





Local Chatter

Prayers and Squares at St. Patrick's

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Every Thursday, a group of eight or 10 women gather at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church to make a special kind of quilt for a program called Prayers and Squares.

This is a quilt ministry brought from California to Pagosa Springs last May by Joan Scott. Since it was started, the women have made over 80 quilts.

The idea behind these quilts is simple: After the quilt is made, a heavy thread is used to take stitches through the quilt layers and the ends are left free to be tied with a square knot. As each knot is tied, a silent prayer is offered for someone in special need. This tying-of-the-knots is usually done during church time. The quilts are hung over the altar and then carried to the Parish Hall after the service where people tie the knots.

There is never a charge for the quilts. Neither the person receiving the quilt nor the one requesting it is obligated.

Prayers and squares was started in 1992 by a group of women who formed a quilt club at Hope United Methodist Church in San Diego, Calif. By change when one of the members' 2-year-old son was in a coma after a heart operation, members made a quilt in primary colors. Because time didn't allow quilting it the usual way, they held it together with threads and silent prayers were said. And so Prayers and Squares began. Prayers and Squares programs have started up all over the country.

Thousands of quilts have been made and distributed. They have been made for sick babies, for cancer and AIDS patients, for adults and children facing surgery or different personal situations - for many reasons but each is for someone in need of prayer.

All are invited to join the St. Patrick's group. You do not need to know how to sew. You can help wash, iron, fold, pin, sew, add threads, or just pray and enjoy the fellowship.

Quilts have been made for those living away as well as those living locally. Anyone can make a request. Flyers are in the narthex at St. Patrick's or call the church at 731-5801.

For more information about Prayers and Squares, go to www.prayerquilt.org.

Fun on the Run

One day, an ape escaped from the Bronx Zoo. They searched for him everywhere in every borough. They announced his disappearance on the radio and television, as well as in the newspapers, but no one reported seeing the ape.

At last, the ape was discovered in the New York Public Library. Officials of the zoo and the animal handlers were summoned to the library. They found the ape sitting at a desk in the reading room with two books spread out in front of him. The ape was reading with great concentration. One book was the Bible; the other was a book written by Darwin.

The zoo keepers asked the ape what he was doing.

The ape replied, "I'm trying to figure out whether I am my brother's keeper or my keeper's brother."


Senior News

Celebrate holiday at The Den

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Celebrate the day of love and friendship Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Come to The Den for a Valentine's Day party at lunch. Wear your pink and red colors to win some great prizes for the most decorated Valentine costume. The more creative, the better!

Share your warm fuzzy feelings with your friends here at The Den by participating in a Valentine card exchange. Bring enough cards for about 55 of your valentines. Cupcakes and flowers will also be a part of our celebration of the camaraderie and the fun we have here. So don't miss out; enjoy the momentous day of love with your companions here at The Den.

History of Valentine

Let me introduce myself: My name is Valentine.

I lived in Rome during the third century. At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. He was not very popular with the people. Claudius wanted to have a big army, but the men did not want to fight in his wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families.

This made Claudius furious. So Claudius had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. The people thought his new law was cruel and I thought it was preposterous!

Did I mention that I was a priest? One of my favorite activities was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies - secretly, of course. One night, we heard footsteps. The couple I was marrying escaped in time. However, I was caught and thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.

Many people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love. One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. We would sit and talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits up. On the day I was to die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, "Love from your Valentine." I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day I died, Feb. 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember.

And most importantly, they think about love and friendship.

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, snow-shoeing 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.

Thursday, Feb. 23, The Den is going snowmobiling. Join us to discover some of the most 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 being provided by the bus. Please sign up at The Den office by Friday, Feb. 10, to participate in this outdoor adventure tour.

White Cane Society

The monthly meeting for folks with low vision and their supporters will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15. Gail from the SW Center for Independence leads this informative and helpful support group. For more information, call her at 259-1672.

Restaurant of the month

Our restaurant of the month is Farrago's. The Den will go to this excellent local restaurant for lunch at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16. Cost is $10 per person. Sign up at The Den office by Monday, Feb. 13 to enjoy this outing.

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 sixty years of age and older. 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., through April 13th in the Art Council room of the Community Center.

4-H presentation

Kenny Kroschel was privileged to live in Northern Ireland and England through the International Four-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) program.

This is an educational program for developing peace and understanding throughout the world. It increases international awareness, assists in improving leadership and communication skills. Kenny will be at The Den at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, sharing his experiences abroad. He is 26 years old and has a B.A. from Montana State University in diesel technology.

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 can also visit the Web site, http://archuletacounty.org/Seniors/senior_center.htm, then click on the link that says "benefits check up."

Nominations for Purpose Prize

As the first of 77 million baby boomers turn 60 in 2006, Civic Ventures, a nonprofit organization working to help America achieve the greatest return on experience, announces The Purpose Prize - five $100,000 investments in Americans over 60 whose creativity, talent and experience is transforming the way our nation addresses critical social problems.

Sixty semifinalists will also receive national recognition for their work.

To nominate someone or apply yourself, visit www.leadwithexperience.org. Application deadline is Feb. 28, 2006. The first awards will be made in June 2006.

Seniors Inc.

Seniors Inc. memberships for folks age 55 and over can be purchased for $5 at The Den on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 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.

Durango medical shuttle

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

The transportation fee for the med shuttles is $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 advanced will not be accommodated.

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate your time for our senior citizens. Make an immediate impact on someone's life and volunteer as a driver for medical shuttles to Durango to help those with medical appointments who are unable to drive themselves.

A county vehicle and the fuel are provided for the shuttle. 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 at 264-2167. Make a difference and volunteer.

Save a life, give blood

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center will host a blood drive 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21. Call The Den at 264-2167 to make an appointment to donate blood.

Remember, what is only a little pin prick to you could save someone's life. Be brave, make time, and give something precious.

Looking for yarn

The lovely house slippers that The Den had available during the holidays were made by the talented Liz Schnell.

She is happy to make more of these comfortable feet coverings, however, she needs more yarn. Any scraps of yarn, balls of yarn, or strings of yarn that you have would be greatly appreciated. All yarn donations can be made at The Den.

Activities at a glance

Today - 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.

Monday, Feb. 13 - 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.; final day to sign up for Farrago's lunch.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 - Pink and Red day; yoga in motion, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Valentine's Day party with card exchange, cake and flowers, noon; music with Mountain Harmony, 12:30 p.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 15 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; White Cane Society support group, 11 a.m.; cross country skiing at the Alpin Haus, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 16 - AARP tax assistance by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; lunch at Farrago's, 11 a.m.; lunch served in Arboles with Valentine's party and $1 birthday celebrations (reservations required), noon.

Friday, Feb. 17 - Spirit Day, wear your Silver Foxes Den shirts. Qi gong, 10 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 1 p.m.; 4-H International presentation on England and Ireland with Kenny Kroschel.


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

Salad bar, every day - 1:30 a.m.

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

Monday, Feb. 13 - Scalloped potatoes with ham, chopped spinach, succotash, applesauce and roll.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 - Oven fried chicken, spinach and mandarin orange salad, potato salad, peaches, cornbread and Valentine's cake.

Wednesday, Feb. 15 - Meatloaf and gravy, cheesy potatoes, seasoned green beans, pineapple tidbits and wheat bread.

Thursday, Feb. 16 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Spanish meatballs, mexicorn, tossed salad, whole wheat roll and birthday cake.

Friday, Feb. 17 - American lasagna, herbed green beans, seasoned cabbage, bread stick and ice cream.


Veteran's Corner

More on death benefits for veterans

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

Last week we discussed basic death benefits for veterans who die from causes not military service-connected.

The VA will help with actual burial expense reimbursement if the veteran, at the time of death, was service-connected disabled, was in the care of the VA health-care facility, or died from service-connected disabilities. The amount of burial benefits varies relative to the these circumstances.

VA cemeteries  

Remember, there is no charge for a veteran to be buried in a national or VA cemetery, transportation not included, unless under the above circumstances.

If the veteran dies from service-connected disabilities the survivor may apply for reimbursement of private burial expense up to $2,000 if the death occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. If before that date, the amount is up to $1,500. Reimbursement is based on actual paid burial expenses.

If not SC death

If a veteran's death is not service-connected, there are two types of payments the VA may make.

The VA will pay a burial and funeral allowance of $300 if the veteran was receiving VA Pension or Compensation, had a compensation or pension claim pending with the VA, died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense for treatment or care, died in a VA facility, or died while a patient in an approved state nursing home.

Two years to file

A claim for reimbursement of the burial and funeral allowance for a non-service connected death must be filed within two years of the date of burial or cremation.

The VA may also pay a plot allowance for burial in a private cemetery under most of the same circumstances of death, of $300 after Sept. 11, 2001. Again, the benefit must be applied for within two years of date of death.

 Simple application

Usually a simple form 21-530, a copy of the veteran's DD214 proof of service, a copy of the death certificate, and copies of all paid bills are all that is required to file for this VA death benefit.

This is a brief overview of death benefits and veterans and their families are certainly encouraged to check with this office for a full explanation of these or any VA benefits. I have all of the information on hand and stand ready to assist in this time of need.


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

 Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

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


Library News

Donations: Not as simple as it sounds

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

Gifts are the lifeblood of the library. They also have a cost for the library. They are a generosity the library cannot live without. They are a generosity that library must acknowledge, process, store or dispose of. There are no "free" gifts. Frequently gifts are a delicate public relations matter as well.

The library board and the staff are currently working on a revised gift policy section for the policy manual.

If one goes to the Web and Googles "Library Gift Policies," one will find an enormous block of information. But, there is only one basic policy. When a giver gifts a library with anything, they must acknowledge, in writing, that the library has the right to keep or dispose of the gift as it sees fit. Exceptions to this policy are made only for significant collections, such as our Hershey collection of Southwest and environmental materials. In this situation, a decision has been made that the collection is of permanent value to the library and its users. Each book should be a classic that we expect to want to keep on the shelf permanently, only replaced or discarded if the wear on the book necessitates withdrawal.

In this column, I will focus on gifts of books. In another column I will deal with gifts of tangibles such as art, artifacts, furniture and machines, and intangible gifts.

The library receives different kinds of "book" gifts. The simplest is a gift of dollars to buy books that the library needs. At this time, we have two generous and concerned donors working with Barb Draper on enriching various parts of the children's and pre-teen collections right now.

Then there are "walk-in" gifts. We frequently find whole boxes of books at the doorstep in the morning without the name of the giver. We have people walk to the desk with a bestseller they have just finished and give us their name as a donor. And, we have those who won't give us their name, just a book. We have people walk in with their own personally authored work, and they want it to be in the collection.

Each of these gift books must be sorted and a decision must be made as to what to do with it. Should it be cataloged (the general figure for cataloging cost was about $30 per book last time I checked) and go onto the shelves? Will the book be worth keeping? Each book has an overhead cost when it takes up shelf space. And, it takes shelf space that another book cannot then take, since shelf space is limited in this library.

Later, if the book is not a classic, it will have to be weeded, taken off the shelf, and out of the records, with concomitant processing costs. If the book was appropriately added to the collection, by then it will have been enjoyed by many people and added to the richness of their lives. If it was not appropriately added to the collection, it will simply have drained the library budget for the cost of processing and overhead. We keep circulation records by type of book (e.g. non-fiction) and Dewey Decimal number so we can review this information to understand our patron needs and desires and make sure that shelf space (and overhead cost) is being spent intelligently.

How does a library manage the books the library cannot use? The Friends, who have traditionally managed the used book sale in this town, are currently considering, along with the board, whether we can have a Friend-operated bookstore/café in the library, as so many public libraries are doing. This is an avenue for selling used books and converting your book donations to cash to supplement the library budget.

It is also easier in some ways than finding storage for books the library cannot or does not want to add to the collection, and handling them several times between receipt and disposal. However, some libraries have so many books donated in the course of a year that they have both a bookstore and a book sale. This is a win-win situation as long as the Friends and volunteers can manage these and they are not a drain on the already overcommitted library staff. Some libraries also sell used books on amazon.com or like venues.

Right now, as anyone who comes in the library knows, there are book carts at the front of the library. Many books that we cannot keep are going directly to those carts for sale. Others that we are saving for the possible bookstore or book sale are stacked up in boxes in the processing area until we figure out where to store them or sell them. Last year in the "mini-library," with book donations and library visitors down, those book carts brought in almost $1,700. The annual book sale, which takes a lot of work, but is also a fun Friends event, with a pot-luck feast following, usually brings in about $6,000.

In the past months since the library opened, these are some of the generous people who brought in gifts of books, videos or books on tape/CDs for the library: Janet Rohrer, Shellie Hogue, Neil McDonald, Susan Baker, Jacky Reece, Barbara Blackburn, Stan Church, David Trepas, Eve Taylor, Sue McGuire, Jerome D. Baier, Juanita Bilberry, Jean Shah, Shields Daltroff, Donna Michael, Cate Smock, William Wetzel, Bob Bigelow, Stan Stocki, Terri Fulco, Robert Wood, Lavender Booth and Eugenia Hinger.

Also, Margaret Wilson, Ken Rogers, Anna O'Reilly, Erin Smock, Cathy Graves, Joanne Kading, Ellen Jackson, Shiela McKenzie, Kathy Hamilton, Judy Lynch, Harry Young, Mary Kurt-Mason, Paul Matlock, Bill Hallett, Bev Warburton, Carole Howard, Richard Kading, Barbara Carlos, Elliott Brittan, Philomena Hogrefe, Bonnita Lynne, Mary McLellan, Stan and Lori Church, Sandy Applegate, Nicholas Afaami, Phyllis Wheaton, Diane Fackler, Marilyn Stroud, Fran Jenkins, Sue Kehret, Carrie Weisz, Michael Greene, Bethany Wanket, Katherine Frisbee, Carol Martin, Tina Palmer, Pat Jones, Pam Spaulding, August Warr, Glenn Raby, Tim Stephenson, Anna Royer, Donald Mowen, Jeanne Simpson, Jackie Donoghue, Marge McRae, Marilyn Falvey, Lori Mosely, Marilyn Copely and Susan Halabrin.

If I have misspelled any names, I can't read your handwriting; please forgive me. And, I thank those of you who have told me you have boxes of books to bring in, but are waiting for the library to be completely unpacked and in order to donate your stashes.

Don't forget, the Pagosa Pretenders will be doing a Shel Silverstein poetry reading in the library 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. KWUF is hosting the Librarian's Corner on Fridays from 8:05 to 8:15 a.m. where we will be talking about all aspects of the library and its programs. And be sure to check out the library Web site: www.pagosalibrary.org. Volunteer Ellen Wadley continues to update and add to it, and you can see the children's room schedule of events on it any time.


Arts Line

More than 200 photo entries on display

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

There's something for everyone in the annual PSAC photo contest with over 200 images displayed on the walls at Moonlight Books.

Hundreds of Pagosa folks attended the opening reception Saturday including this columnist. There was a unique array of conversation in the standing-room-only crowd throughout the evening - with topics from art to politics.

A generous list of categories are represented in the photo show: 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 (amateur to professional) entered the show and received numerous ribbons.

You still have the opportunity to vote on The People's Choice Award, which should be announced mid February. The show continues through Feb. 25 and is worth another visit, even if you attended the opening. PSAC thanks all who entered the show, allowing the show to be a continued success and congratulates all ribbon winners!

Valentine's dance

Put on your dancing boots for a fun evening of dancing 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 and 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. Special door prizes will be awarded and include dinner for two, limited edition framed Western art photo by yours truly, floral arrangement by Flower Cottage, T-shirts and more.

Tickets are $20 per person and are available at the community center and WolfTracks (by Feb. 9) or by calling the center at 264-4152 or Siri at 731-9670. Tickets at the door are $25 per person.

Western photo benefit

Arrive to the Valentine's Dance early and attend the Western Photo Art Show and Sale displayed in the community center lobby area.

This show can provide a unique Valentine's gift - the gift of art. The photo art show and sale runs 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Feb. 10-11 and features the work of local (and national) photojournalist, PSAC member, and Artsline columnist, Wen Saunders.

One theme or message that always has been visible in Western/cowboy art shows is the sense of mission, of preserving ideals that Americans associate with the West. That theme is particularly evident in this western photo art show and perhaps why several of this show's images have appeared in "American Cowboy Magazine." Most of the show photographs are custom-printed, black and white images.

Admission to the show is free. Art includes framed photographs, matted photographs, and photo specialty greeting cards. There will also be photographic images on recently licensed "GOT RODEO?" apparel including T-shirts, cooking aprons, tote bags and caps, and all are available for purchase during the show. Also included in the show are "mini art" framed images, consisting of a variety of subject matter and local scene photographs signed by the photographer. Fifteen-percent of the sales will go to the community center dance program.

Call for entries

PSAC announces a call for entries for the council's annual Pagosa Springs calendar.

Entries may be submitted at the PSAC Town Park Gallery through Thursday, March 9. Subject matter should be limited to Pagosa Springs and should represent a particular month. Twelve images (one for each month) and a cover image will be selected for the calendar.

Local artists working in all media are encouraged to participate. For judging purposes, low resolution files can be submitted. If chosen for publication, artists will provide an 8.5x11 at 300 dpi image for the calendar printing. Actual images (framed or otherwise) submitted for the PSAC annual Photo Contest at Moonlight Books can be dropped off at the PSAC gallery in Town Park after the photo exhibit Tuesday, Feb. 28, for calendar consideration. Call the gallery at 264.5020 for further information.

Pagosa Pretenders

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre, a division of PSAC, will present another "Pretending Books and Stories" program at the public library 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11.

This month's presentation features the comic poetic works of Shel Silverstein. He was the author of many "current classic" poetry books such as "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and "A Light in the Attic." The interactive activity includes readings and "pretending" some creations. The session will be appropriate for all ages but especially delightful for preschool and elementary aged children.

The Saturday, March 11, program will focus on works by Dr. Seuss.

The mission of the monthly program is to promote reading and creativity. If you would like to be a part of this program, call Susan Garman, 731-2485.

Pierre Mion workshop

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Through Feb. 25 - PSAC Photography Contest exhibit, Moonlight Books.

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

Feb. 10-11 - Western Photo Art Show and Sale (Wen Saunders photojournalist), 11 a.m.-7 p.m., community center.

Feb. 11 - PSAC Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre, interactive reading featuring works of Shel Silverstein, 11 a.m., Sisson Library.

February 15,21, 22, 23, 24 - Winter Watercolor Workshop with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

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

Feb. 18 - Drawing with Randall Davis, community center.

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

March 9 - Deadline for call for entries, PSAC calendar, PSAC Town Park Gallery.

March 11 - PSAC Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre, interactive reading featuring works of Dr. Seuss, 11 a.m., Sisson Library.

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

What's in a signature?

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I'm at the grocery store, as I am nearly every afternoon.

I've made at least two trips to each section I regularly frequent - produce, meats, dairy, the aisle with canned stocks and broths —and I've done the shopping for the evening's meal in accord with my rule: Buy what's fresh, what looks good, then find a way to cook it. I'm in the 10 items or less line, chatting with Karen, the cashier.

Karen is pretty darned excited because she gets off work in 20 minutes.

I'm pretty darned excited because I've found a piece of halibut that looks as if the fish swam within the last 24 hours or so. This is a rarity here in the alpine provinces, and when the package reveals no pool of gray, brackish water when tilted, I buy it.

Everything's going so well.

Karen checks my other purchases through, weighing, scanning, doing cashier things while we talk. She weighs a green pepper, a red pepper and a white onion. I'm going to sear the fish in olive oil and butter, then roast it on a bed of peppers and onion. Karen checks unsalted butter, parsley, green beans that, for a change, don't look like they were grown as part of a botched project at an experimental farm in Bosnia.

I buy a bottle of clam juice, a package of angel hair pasta, a wedge of Parmesan. With the Taylor pear, I go over the 10-item limit, much to the consternation of a dramatically short woman standing behind me in line. She growls and removes her heart-shaped sunglasses with the mauve lenses, puts the ear piece of the eyeglasses between her unnaturally red lips and rolls her eyes.

The expression says it all: I am a pariah, a scoundrel, a sleazeball.

"I miscounted," I say.

"Sure," she says,turning to a friend and winking.

I hastily prepare my check, whipping off my signature with customary elan. As I hand it to Karen, the gal behind me says,

"That's some signature, sport. You sure that's real?"

Karen holds the check out for inspection, for everyone to see. Four of us peer at the document and I realize the circus midget is right. My signature looks like something a 4-year-old scribbles at the bottom of a confused drawing of a kitty, destined for a place on the door of the refrigerator.

If it's true your signature and your handwriting reveals key things about your personality, I obviously belong in a halfway house, heavily medicated, shocked periodically with high voltage and kept under constant supervision.

The signature is indecipherable. More than that, it is tortured, absent any recognizable letters. It is a pure sign, a token of a demented type, unique each time it is used.

No one can copy this signature, not even me. I've tried. If I attempt to replicate my signature, each successive artifact veers further from the model. It must be delivered unconsciously, pure from my psychic core ... or it melts.

Everyone in line agrees: the signature clearly says: This guy is damaged goods.

When I hustle home to tell my wife, she agrees too.

"Of course it does," she says. "You've got the worst handwriting of anyone I've ever known. It clearly shows you're nuts. I've been telling you that for thirty years. I tell everyone I meet. I don't need to see your signature to know it, but your signature kind of seals the deal, don't you think? It's definitely the emblem of a madman. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to faux painting the bedroom. When I finish, the walls will look like a chamois: a delicate, imported, expensive chamois. Or parchment. Or the tanned hide of a fawn, milk-fed from birth by the gamekeeper at a remote Bavarian estate."

Did I ever have a legible signature?


Was any attempt made to alter the condition?

Yes. Many tried, and many failed.

I remember Miss Bellodi, at Lincoln Elementary School. She stood at the front of the room crammed into her tailored suit, wearing corrective shoes, an impossibly tight, sarcastic grin dividing the bottom half of her face. When it was time to work on penmanship, she used a device to draw four parallel and evenly-spaced lines on the blackboard.

Each student in the class had a turn at the board, while others worked on similarly lined sheets of paper. Each student came to the front of the room, brandished the piece of chalk, and worked on his or her penmanship so all could see.

Judy Brandsmaa wrote like a signer of the Constitution.

My friend Rickie Hudson's Js were perfect.

John Starkle's handwriting was wonderful, each letter staying within the confines of the proper lines, the cursive flow a thing of beauty. He possessed the intensity and concentration of a medieval monk charged with copying the work of St. Augustine.

My classmates found my trips to the board a source of endless amusement. The lines meant nothing when I picked up the chalk.

I blamed my problem on my poor eyesight.

Miss Bellodi told me I had the handwriting of a convict. A three-time felon.

As I do to this day.

I can't help it: It's genetic.

Every attempt to arm me with decent handwriting worked against a powerful force: my old man. A doctor.

I inherited my disorder. All doctors are required to have it, and my Dad passed it on to me. My handwriting is a crude combination of printed and cursive letters - a schizoid jumble of characters moving its way across a page in a serpentine, cluttered line.

As I ponder the miserable condition of my penmanship, I remember a box of papers I kept following my father's death, many of them bearing his signature. I go to the garage and dig through a couple of layers of debris and find a file folder in a box. In the folder are the papers.


One way I know a signature is my father's and not mine is by the fact his scrawl occurs above a line on which is typed Raymond L. Isberg, M.D.

I put my father's signature next to mine. I show them to my wife, hoping to inspire some compassion.

"Look at this cacography," says my wife. "It looks like something Jan Goodall coerced out of chimps. It's the marks of creatures with prehensile tails. Made with Crayons."

"Or, I quickly add, "of a superior being, so entranced by the highest of ideas, so involved with the loftiest of pursuits - indulging a dialectic of ever-finer sensibilities - he hasn't the time for mundane things like handwriting."

She looks at me ... hard. I tuck my prehensile tail in my pants and move on.

What happened to me, penmanship wise? A doctor, that's what. And no amount of practice will overcome it.

Fortunately, for me and millions of other handwriting-impaired Americans, we are saved from constant, stinging social criticism by the computer. Yet, I still have to jot down a thing or two at work then deal with someone rushing up to me clutching a note, a puzzled look on their face, asking "What does this mean? Is this a word?" Then follows the smug remark, the scathing aside directed at me as I sit with my co-workers in our ornate staff lounge. I still sign checks at the market.

It's obvious I need to change something.

Until I make the change, I seek solace, safe harbor from my embarrassment, in food. I sign nothing when I cook.

The halibut works out just fine and I have a touch of the clam juice left over.

I decide to take to the kitchen Sunday for a bit of science. There is comfort in experimentation.

I create a dandy dish, albeit one that sounds a bit weird.

I deconstruct lasagna, and shift the focus south of the border.

This is simple.

Get some of those big mother frozen raw shrimps; the expensive kind. Defrost the precious crustaceans in cold water and take off the shells, leaving the tails attached. Poach the shells in a bit of clam juice, reduce to four to five tablespoons of liquid, strain and put aside.

Pay heed to mise en place and have ready a couple minced shallots and four or five cloves of minced garlic. Have another clove of garlic mashed and ready to go.

Take a chipotle chile or two and mince, complete with seeds and fibrous innards. Put aside two tablespoons of adobo sauce from the can of chiles. When the shrimps are thoroughly thawed, dry them and mix with the minced chipotle and adobo sauce and coat the shrimp evenly. Let the shrimps marinate for fifteen minutes or so.

Into a pot of boiling, salted water, pop a bunch of lasagna noodles. Cook until al dente, drain and remove to a cutting board. Cut into squares.

Melt a serious amount of butter in a pan, add the mashed garlic and saute for a moment. Add the lasagna noodle squares and toss. Add half a carton of fresh, whole milk ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, and a touch of oregano. Keep warm.

In a nonstick frying pan, heat a touch of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots, shrimps and garlic and stir fry. Add a bit of extra adobo if necessary and, as the shrimps cook (take care not to overcook) squeeze the juice of half of lemon on the mix and add the clam juice. Cook for a minute or two more.

Serve the shrimp mix atop the noodles. Eat with a side of steamed fresh green beans with butter and black pepper, and half an avocado spritzed with fresh lime juice.

For some reason it puts me in mind of mille feuille. Perhaps the leaves of a layered concoction can be fried wonton skins, or the classic squares of baked puff pastry, with a chipotle shrimp and ricotta filling. Or a chipotle shrimp mousse, the tower topped with a chipotle cream sauce and a sprig or two of cilantro.

I'll go to the store this weekend and get the ingredients necessary to test my idea.

In the meantime, I intend to buck the genetic imperative and alter my signature so I never face humiliation in the checkout line again. I'm seeking the services of a master calligrapher to craft my signature. Once I select the appropriately baroque signature, I'm having a rubber stamp made and I will prestamp my checks.

When I reach the checker in the 10 item or less line, I'll pretend to sign the checks with a flourish then hold them out for all to see.

I hope that dinky twerp is in line behind me. I intend to have 11 items in my basket.


Extension Viewpoints

Several NRCS grants now available

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Feb. 9 - Clover Buds at community center, 1:30-3 p.m.; 4-H Fridays at Community United Methodist Church, 1:45-4 p.m.; Colorado Kids Club meeting, 2 p.m.; Goat Project meeting, 3:10 p.m.

Feb. 13 - Sports Fishing Project meeting, 3:30 p.m.; mandatory Livestock meeting, 6 p.m.

Feb. 14 - Master Gardener at Vista Clubhouse, 9 a.m.

Feb. 15 - Garden club meeting, 10 a.m.

Feb. 16 - 4-H IFYE program, 6:30 p.m.

NRCS grants

Allen Green, NRCS state conservationist, recently announced the availability of funding for competitively selected proposals from state and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes, and individuals for projects in four conservation emphasis areas. There are nearly 38 million dollars available nationally.

"These funding opportunities are examples of the continuing commitment to cooperative conservation between government and private partners," stated Green.

The specific funding initiatives are as follows:

- $20 million for Conservation Innovation Grants for development and adoption of innovative conservation technologies and approaches, in conjunction with agricultural production. Proposal deadline: March 20, 2006.

- $9.5 million for Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program partnership proposals that address wetland creation and enhancement efforts on prior-year enrolled contracts, those where cooperators will contribute significantly to the Wetlands Reserve Program delivery and technical assistance costs, and easement management projects. Proposal deadline: March 28, 2006.

- $4 million for the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) for proposals to control and manage invasive species affecting grazing lands. The GLCI, a partnership of individuals and organizations, maintains and improves the management, productivity, and health of the Nation's privately owned grazing land. Proposal deadline: April 3, 2006.

- $4 million for Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) proposals to help partners identify and solve regional, state and local natural resources concerns. CCPI offers a Conservation Priorities component that will fund watershed or airshed planning projects that address terrestrial and freshwater aquatic wildlife habitat, invasive species, livestock nutrient management, minor and specialty crop management, and agricultural air quality. CCPI also offers the new Rapid Watershed Assessments component that the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will use to provide cost-effective watershed assessments quickly to stakeholders and partners. Proposal deadline: March 7, 2006.

Contact your local NRCS office at 731-3615 if you are interested in these programs or grants.

4-H presentation

The public is invited to the Archuleta County Extension Building 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, to meet Kenny Kroschel, International 4-H Youth Exchange program participant.

Kenny, a 10-year member of 4-H, had the opportunity to live in Northern Ireland and England. The IFYE program is an educational program for developing peace and understanding throughout the world. It increases international awareness, assists in improving leadership and communication skills and help young people learn about youth programs abroad.

Five new flavors

Cookie dough is back for 2006 and Archuleta County 4-H will be taking orders until March 3. The flavors being sold this year include: Chunky Chocolate Chip, Made with M&M's, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin and Sugar for $10 and White Chocolate Macadamia, Fun-tastic, Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chunks, Triple Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, Heath English Toffee and Monster Cookie Dough for $12.

The dough comes in three-pound tubs that can be refrigerated or stored in the freezer and can be eaten raw. The cookie dough will be delivered March 15. For more information contact the Archuleta County Extension Office at 264-5931.

Bio-diesel conference

There will be a bio-diesel conference in Lewis, Colo., Feb. 23.

Bio-diesel production from locally-grown oil crops holds great promise for rural communities and America as a whole.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The cost will be $20 if registered before Feb. 16, and $25 after. Contact the Extension Office at 264-5931 to register or for program topics. With a bio-diesel production plant planned in Dove Creek, this is a huge opportunity for farmers in our area.

CEUs available

The Four Corners Weed Management Symposium will be held Thursday, March 2, at the Farmington Civic Center. CEUs will be available for commercial pesticide training credits.

Cost for the symposium is $20 if you register before Feb. 23, and $25 after. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Contact the Extension Office at 264-5931 to register or for program topics.

Beef Symposium

The 14th annual Beef Symposium will be held March 7 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango. Cost for the symposium is $15 if you register before Feb. 24, and $20 after. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Contact the Extension Office at 264-5931 to register or for program topics.

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


Pagosa Lakes News

Valentine's Day in Saudi Arabia? Think again

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Mahatma Ghandi once said, "Where there is love, there is life."

Gearing up for Valentine's Day? Get a life.

While we cogitate how many red roses or how many calories worth of chocolates to send to our dear love, let's take a glimpse at the Valentine's scene in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's morality police (Matawa) are on the scent of illicit red roses as part of a clampdown on would-be St. Valentine's loves in the strict Muslim kingdom. The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Saudi Arabia's religion vigilantes, have banned shops from selling any red flowers in the run-up to Feb. 14.

Florists say the move is part of an annual campaign by the committee - whose members are known as "mutawween" - to prevent Saudis making a festival they believe flouts their austere doctrine of "wahhabi" Islam.

The mutawween pass by two or three times a day to check that there are no red flowers or red cards in the flower shops. The "Feast of Love," Arabic for Valentine's Day, is beyond the pale in a country where women must cover themselves from head to toe in public and be accompanied by a male guardian. So, if you see me at our local grocery store, in my running shorts and no husband in tow, I'm still asserting my freedom after a nine-year period of living in Saudi Arabia.

But where there is love, there is a way. Where a flower shop in Saudi Arabia may display a dazzling floral collection covering every color of the rainbow except one, hidden in the back are bouquets of crimson flowers to meet the demand. In short, unofficial business is booming.

Here in good old Pagosa where I doubt anyone sees red over Valentine roses, you just let your love show. Send her those 30 red roses - one for each year she has shared your life.

The board of directors of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will hold its monthly meeting 7 p.m. today.




Gaylon Hicks

Gaylon M. Hicks, 70, a retired right-of-way agent, died Jan. 16, 2006, in Azle, Texas. Services and burial were held Jan. 20, 2006, in Azle.

Mr. Hicks was born Nov. 17, 1935, in Abilene, Texas. He graduated from high school in Abilene in 1954, and served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 to 1959. He married Betty Jean Beall Nov. 15, 1958. He earned his degree in electrical engineering from UTA in 1971, and an associate's degree in business management from Weatherford College in 1973. He retired form TU Electric in 1992 after 31 years of service.

In his retirement, he considered himself to be a gentleman rancher and excelled in grandparenting. He loved vacationing in Colorado. He had been coming to the Pagosa area for over 40 years. He enjoyed fishing, horse pack trips, scenic drives and especially camping in the Pagosa area.

He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend who will continue his steady walk with his savior, Jesus Christ, through his belief and faith in God. "It is well with my soul."

Survivors are wife, Betty Beall Hicks, of Azle; son, Kevin Wayne Hicks, and his wife, Kristin, of Weatherford, Texas.; daughter, Kimberly Gay Laverty, and her husband, Steve, of Pagosa Springs; his mother, who celebrated her 100th birthday in December, Willie Greenway Hicks of Abilene, Tex.; five siblings; and his beloved grandchildren, Zachary and Reagan Hicks, Travis, Wesley, Will, Katie, Keaton, Carson and Amelia Laverty of Pagosa Springs.


 Business News
Chamber News

Two huge bike tours coming to Pagosa

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

After a four-year hiatus, the highly acclaimed bicycle tour, Ride the Rockies, sponsored by the Denver Post, will return to Pagosa Springs.

Riders will spend the night here Monday, June 19. This year, due to the route and limited accommodations, many will also stay here Tuesday, June 20.

This is a piece of terrific business news for our community, especially since we will also be playing host to another bicycle tour just a few days later. On June 24, the Bike Tour of Colorado arrives in town. We are their kickoff and termination point for the tour - a first for them, and for us. So, we will have cyclists galore in Pagosa for a few weeks, and we will be having lots of parties in the park at that time, too.

Here is the initial information you will need for planning.

Ride the Rockies riders will arrive 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. June 19. The cyclists will go to the high school to claim their baggage, check in and grab something to eat, then find their accommodations.

We will have a "Party in the Park" for the riders and the community starting at about 3 p.m. There will be opportunities for local non-profit organizations to have food booths. This event should last until about 9 p.m.

The next morning, there will be breakfast available at the school, but we would also like to know if any restaurants would like to open early - 5 a.m. early! - to feed the masses.

Riders will then depart for Chama. We have been asked by Ride the Rockies staff if we can accommodate riders again the night of June 20. At this time, we do not know how many rooms we will need, but organizers will communicate that information to us. We may also need restaurants open early the next morning, June 21.

Then, on Saturday, June 24, the Bike Tour of Colorado will arrive in Pagosa. Since we are the kickoff town, arrival day will be a little bit more casual and people will be moving around much more freely. No lunch will be served at the school. The tour will start registration at 1 p.m. and it will go until 6 p.m. We will start our "Party in the Park" around 3-4 p.m. and prepare to serve the attendees dinner-type items.

The Bike Tour of Colorado will depart Sunday, June 25, at about 7 a.m. We will be looking for some restaurants to open early.

The tour will return to Pagosa Saturday, July 1, after a long ride from Mancos. Cyclists will have a private party in South Pagosa Park that day. Some riders will leave the area, but many will stay until the next day.

Once the lodging facilities fill up, we may need private home accommodations, as we have in the past. If anyone is interested in hosting a cyclist or two for either event, call us at the Chamber and we can get you a housing form. We will coordinate placement of riders at your home. You will be responsible for picking up the riders and returning them to the school the next morning. No meals will be involved.

We are also looking for volunteers to help man the hospitality booth at the high school for both tours. This will involve handing out the special maps of our area, helping direct riders to transportation, helping with lodging directions, and giving out general information about and directions to different facilities (dining, shopping, ATMs, etc.). We may also need volunteers in Town Park during the festivities to help tourists.

We will send out the appropriate forms to non-profit agencies to solicit interest in operating food booths in Town Park for one or both events. We will also work with the restaurants in providing details to tour coordinators so they can print the information in their booklets.

We will have entertainment, food and fun in Town Park June 19 and 24. We encourage locals to come down to the park and enjoy some of the festivities.

There will be over 3,000 people in town with Ride the Rockies and close to 2,500 with The Bike Tour of Colorado. So, there will be lots of business to go around. These riders exert a lot of energy, so eating is high on their list!

With these tours arriving so close together, it will be easy to get them mixed up. However, we must try to keep them separate and give each due attention. These are two great pieces of business for our community. We will be busy, there is no doubt about that, and it will be the start of a very great season for us.

The bike tours follow another new addition to the calendar in Pagosa: the FolkWest Independent Music Festival or "Indie Fest" to be held on June 10-11. They also precede one of our typically busiest events of the year - the Fourth of July weekend.

We want to make sure everyone is properly informed so you can run your businesses efficiently in light of a heavy influx of visitors. Many of the participants in events like the bike tours like to return to the places that interest them. Having been a past recipient of the "best" town on the tour, I know Pagosa will wow our guests again this time around.

If you would like a cyclist adoption form or would like to be put on the volunteer host list, call us at the Chamber at 264-2360 for more information.


Lack of snow did affect some of our Winterfest activities last weekend, but I believe those who participated in events had a good time.

The weather held for us Saturday morning and about 30 balloons graced the skies.

We had to cancel the Downhill Sled Race, but there were those die-hard fishermen and women out at Lake Hatcher.

Saturday evening was a little confusing finding the glow, and Mother Nature ended up not wanting us to glow at all. We tried to host the event in Town Park, but the field was too wet. After scouring the area for an appropriate location, it was decided to move the event back to the west side of town. However, by the time the balloons were ready to set up, winds had picked up and the pilots were not able to inflate their balloons and only the baskets with their heaters were fired up. Our apologies and thanks to all the viewers who came downtown, then went out to the west side to try and see the glow. We really did try! Thanks to pilots who put kids in their baskets and fired up the burners to try and ease the disappointment.

Sunday held good and bad as well. Due to winds, balloonists were unable to fly, but we did have some people flying around the Wolf Creek Ski Area at the Winter Triathlon. Kudos go to the athleticism of Deborah Morton, female winner, Doug Call, male winner, and the team of Tom Steen, Ming Steen and Rick Cotton. The other participants were no slackers. We even had some young adults participate, with Evan and Del Greer making up a team with their father, Jeff.

Weather is always a factor with any of the outdoor events that we hold, so thanks to the community for the participation and patience as we try to have some fun in our great outdoors.

Valentine events

You can get a jump on Valentine's Day this year by taking your sweetheart out to any of the functions being held this weekend.

Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge will be rockin' the house at the community center Friday, Feb. 10. The music begins at 7 p.m. There will be a western photo art show at the center from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. by Wendy Saunders. Included in your ticket price of $20 in advance or $25 at the door is a free dessert bar and soft drinks. There will also be a cash beer and wine bar available. There were a lot of great dancers out at the annual meeting, so come on out again for another evening of fun. Tickets are available at the community center and WolfTracks Bookstore.

Then on Saturday, Feb. 11, head on out to the Vista Clubhouse where LASSO is hosting "Hearts for Horses". Starting at 6:30 p.m. LASSO will serve dinner, then have a live, slave and Chinese auction. Entertainment will also be provided. Tickets are $50 per person and they may be purchased by calling DiAnn Hitchcox at 264-0095, Nancy Crouse at 264-9355, or Lyn Rogers at 264-2264. If you're a horse lover, what better way to show your partner a good time and help this organization that helps the equestrian sector of our community.

The Mountain High Garden Club will have their first meeting of the year Wednesday, Feb. 15. Knowledgeable Chris Pierce, of Arborilogical West, Inc., will be the guest speaker, discussing the effects of a dry winter. The club meets the third Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Extension Building. The year will be filled with field trips, guest speakers, and community projects. For more information, contact Frances Wholf at 731-2012.


Two new members join us this week and both are financial businesses.

First is the Small Business Finance Corporation, also known as CEDCO. Run locally by Edie Newberg, the Small Business Finance Corp. lends money to small businesses for real estate and equipment with less money down and usually on better terms than the SBA 504 loan program. Edie works with organizations such as AEDA locally, the SBDC out of Ft. Lewis College, and Region 9. With experience in business financing, Edie is here to help you achieve your business dream. Give her a call at 264-0496 or check out the Web site at www.cedco.org.

Also in the lending business is veteran Laurie Phillips, with Integrated Mortgage Services, Inc. Laurie offers one-stop shopping for all of your financial real estate needs and mortgage needs. Don't wait to clear up your credit; let Laurie help you find the right mortgage now. Experienced, helpful and caring, call 731-5340 for Laurie to get working on the right loan for you or see her Web site, www.integratedmortgage.com.

We welcome back Kitzel Farrah, DVM and San Juan Veterinary Hospital.

Also renewing a membership is Alspach's Antiques.

Our next renewal is Touchstone Gift Shop.

We welcome back 4 Season Rental and Angela Bauer.

Moving to our non-profit organizations, we welcome back the Kiwanis Club.

Pagosa Lodge 122, Independent Order of Odd Fellows also renews a membership.

We now go out of the area to welcome back, Ska Brewing Co. from Durango.

Outlaw Tours in Durango renews this week.

Rounding out the renewals is ex-Chamber board member, now ex-Navajo Park director and still a current associate member, John Weiss. We congratulate John on all the effort he has put into improving the Navajo Lake area and marina. He now moves to a quieter phase of life - or not! John has been involved in this community and just because he has retired, we don't expect him to bow out of the limelight completely. Thank you John for your continued support of this organization.

And thank you to all who participated in Winterfest. Take your loved one out on the town for a pre-Valentine's Day celebration, and play hard now, because we're going to get real busy. We look forward to working with the community on all the upcoming events, especially the bike tours. Bring 'em on!



Cards of Thanks


A big thank you to Lisa Toy for all her help.

Margaret Martinez



On Jan. 28, we lost our home to fire. We cannot express our thank you's enough to all the people involved who have helped us through this trying time and have guided us through our grieving. The Pagosa Fire Protection District, the sheriff's department, the Red Cross, the Community United Methodist Church, all the homeowners of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association, the Bank of Colorado, State Farm Insurance, Tim Brown Construction, A Affordable Mini Storage, all the many friends of our close friends, and a very special thank you to Larry and Jennifer Hedrick.

We have been given food, shelter, clothing, financial assistance, prayers and emotional guidance from so many people whom we have never met. We have vacationed in this wonderful area for 20 years before retiring in December and moving here Jan. 2 to enjoy the wonders of this fine community. We are truly blessed to be a part of such a remarkable community. We will never be able to thank all of you beautiful people enough for helping us to get through a most shocking time of our life.

God bless each and every one of you.

Rick and Bernie Sautel


Snow family

We would like to thank all of our friends for joining us at the memorial for Myrtle Snow at Casa de Los Arcos.

We appreciate all your cards, flowers and food. And especially for all your thoughts and prayers. We certainly miss her and you have helped us get through this by your kind words and hugs.

Sincere thanks,

Jerry Snow and family



I would like to thank the following people for their help and consideration after my home burned in Pagosa.

Jim, Sue and Mike Angelo; Keith and Mia Frank and family; my aunt Della Suejcara (Villarreal) of Farmington; my cousins Molly Bellino, Josephina Villarreal, Laura Martinez and David Pacheco; also Tomas and Gloria Lopez (Trujillo); Roy and Kim Abila of Cedaridge, Colo.; Chris at the Super 8; Dylan, John and Mary Sanchez; as well as Gary Kanneman and Mr. and Mrs. James Anderson, for their excellent advice and direction; and finally Dusty Griego and Brandon French.

God bless you.

Luan Alfredo Villarreal



I would like to wholeheartedly thank my friends who organized my retirement party. Thank you to Carrie, Patty, Lyn, Susie and the great party planner, Joanne Irons, and anyone else who helped.

My mom, sister and I cannot describe how much we appreciated all of your hard work.

And thank you, Karl Isberg, for all of your "kind" words. I have not seen my mom laugh that hard in a very long time. Because of that, paybacks will be mild.

I plan to stay in Archuleta County because this is my home. With all that my friends in this community have given me over the past 16 years, I truly hope that I can return that kindness.

Thank you so much.

John Weiss


Sports Page

Buikema lights up Monte Vista

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

Last Friday night in Monte Vista it was the Emily Buikema light show.

The less than capacity crowd - with lots of black and gold in attendance - saw the senior center score 15 points in the second quarter to blow open an otherwise close game between the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates and the other Lady Pirates, from Monte Vista.

If that wasn't enough, Buikema matched the total in the second half to end with a career-high 30 points and 11 rebounds for her first double-double this year as the Buccaneers downed the Pirates 62-40 to strengthen their hold on second place in the Intermountain League (IML) with a 3-1 record and improve to 10-4 overall. Monte Vista continued to struggle at 1-13 and 0-4 in IML.

Coach Bob Lynch and staff finally found the answer in the second quarter after Monte took a surprising two-point lead at the end of the first period on seven points from senior Adrianna Cereceres and four from senior Stephanie Wright.

Go inside to the post.

The only answer Monte could find for Buikema was to foul, so she went 14 of 18 from the free throw line and scored at will in the paint on eight of 16 short jumpers and putbacks. Front-court mate Caitlin Forrest, also a senior, followed with eight points on four of nine inside to combine with Buikema for 38 of the total for the Buccaneers.

"I was proud of the way our team played tonight," said Lynch. "We saw ourselves down at the end of the first quarter but we kept our poise and battled back. Emily (Buikema) had a career game tonight for us. She had an outstanding second quarter. This was a good test for us going into another important league game against Bayfield tomorrow (Saturday) night. This one was certainly a must-win for us to stay close to Centauri."

Junior Samantha Harris, also playing a fine game inside, had seven points in the fourth quarter on a perfect three of three in the paint. Junior Lyndsey Mackey had one of her best outings with six of 10 free throws followed by junior Jessica Lynch with five, on one of two from three-point range. Seniors Liza Kelley, Kari Beth Faber and sophomore Camille Rand rounded out the scoring for the Buccaneers with two each. Kelley was slowed when she picked up her fourth foul early in the final period.

Kelley led Pagosa with five assists followed by Lynch with four. Faber had her season high in rebounding by pulling down nine, with Forrest next at seven.

For Monte, Cereceres led the Lady Pirates with 13 points followed by sophomore Emily Schaefer with six. Seniors Judy Duran and Amy Hart netted five each.

The first quarter opened big for Monte as Cereceres scored seven straight points to give them the lead with six minutes remaining. Lynch found the range for three and two inside buckets by Forrest tied the game at seven. Buikema had four quick points but was matched by Wright to put the green and yellow Pirates up by two after one.

Both teams played even to start the second period and were tied at 17 with less than six minutes remaining on inside buckets from Forrest, Buikema and Lynch for two more. Buikema started her scoring binge on an assist from Kelley to put Pagosa in the lead for good at the four-minute mark. Pagosa used full court pressure to frustrate the other Pirates. Buikema would put a stamp on the quarter on a put back with 26 seconds remaining to put the Buccaneers up by 11 to go into the locker room on a 21-8 quarter for the black and gold.

The third stanza opened on short jumpers from Faber and Forrest. Buikema added five straight to keep the lead at 12 with two minutes remaining. Kelley found the bottom of the net on a baseline jumper for her first points of the game with 1:18 showing. Lyndsey hit the first of a one-on-one to end the quarter.

Pagosa would continue the pressure and scoring in the fourth on an 18-8 quarter. Harris came in and quickly added four in the paint and six more from Buikema put her at 30. Buckets by Harris, Rand and a free throw from Lynch ended the scoring.

In other IML action Friday;

- Centauri (15-0, 4-0) defeated Ignacio (1-3 in IML) 73-40. Summary

Pagosa Springs - 11, 11, 12, 18-62

Monte Vista - 13, 8, 11, 8-40

Scoring: Lynch, 1-6,1-2,0-1,5; Mackey, 0-5,0-0,6-10,6; Kelley, 1-6,0-2,0-0,2; Harris, 3-3,0-0,1-1,7; Canty, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Faber, 1-6,0-0,0-0.2; Buikema, 8-16,0-0,14-18,30; Rand, 1-2,0-0,0-0,2; Martinez, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; DuCharme, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Forrest, 4-9,0-0,0-0,8. Rebounds: Lynch 3, Kelley 2, Harris 3, Canty 3, Faber 9, Buikema 11, Rand 1, DuCharme 4, Forrest 7.




Lady Pirates cage the Wolverines

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School basketball Lady Pirates completed a successful weekend of Intermountain League (IML) play with their second win in as many nights, both by big scores.

Last Friday night, it was the other Lady Pirates from Monte Vista who fell victim to Pagosa. Then on Saturday night they caged the Bayfield Lady Wolverines in the PSHS gym by another wide margin, 64-40. This extends their winning streak to four and in command of second place in IML with a 4-1 record. The Pirates improved to an impressive 11-4 record overall with one non-league and three league games remaining on the regular season schedule. Bayfield is alone in third place in IML at 2-3 but still have a fine overall record of 8-4.

It seems that if one of Coach Bob Lynch's charges struggles, others step up to take over. On Friday night, it was senior Emily Buikema. On Saturday night, it was seniors Liza Kelley, Caitlin Forrest and junior Jessica Lynch. Just think what might happen to an opponent if everyone had a big game!

All three of the Lady Pirates pumped in double figures as they opened a lead late in the first quarter and then ran away from the Wolverines. Pagosa was up by 13 at half time and then by 24 at the final buzzer. The Pirates were more physical than Bayfield with their inside game and the full court pressure frustrated the Lady Wolverines all evening.

Coach Lynch said afterward, "We played another good basketball game tonight. I thought our pressure defense was good and caused them (Bayfield) to turn the ball over which gave us some easy buckets in transition. We did start out a little slow and flat which is something we need to work on to make us better."

Lynch added, "I liked the way Jess (Lynch), Caitlin (Forrest) and Liza (Kelley) stepped up their game tonight. They were kind of frustrated in Monte Vista but came back focused tonight."

Kelley led the Pirates' scoring with a game high 14 points on five of 12 from two-point range and one of one from three. Lynch followed with 13 on three of six from the field and a perfect four of four from the line. Forrest carded 12 on five of 13 in the paint. Buikema and senior Kari Beth Faber each had seven points. Junior Kim Canty had her finest outing with five points. Juniors Samantha Harris and Lyndsey Mackey rounded out the scoring with four and two respectively.

Lynch led Pagosa with five assists. Forrest led the field with nine rebounds followed by Buikema with eight and Faber seven.

The Lady Wolverines were led by sophomore Alexis Pommier who netted eight points. Sophomore Jessica Laue followed with five and senior Estelle Harrmann with three. The rest of the Wolverines' scoring came on two points each from several players.

The first quarter opened with Bayfield scoring two by senior Ashley Shaw. The Pirates missed several putback chances and seemed flat until Faber found the bottom of the net on two short jumpers. The game was tied at the four-minute mark when Coach Lynch called for the full-court pressure. Lynch and Kelley both scored on fast-break steals to begin a 12-0 run for Pagosa. Kelley sank five more and a Lynch layup with 10 seconds left to put the score at 16-4.

The pressure continued in the second period. Lynch opened the quarter with two from the line when she was fouled on another attempt. Forrest scored five straight on two buckets in the paint and one from the charity stripe, then Laue broke away for an old fashioned three and Harrmann a long trey for the Wolverines to reduce the lead to ten. Kelley found the bottom of the net on her own trey then Forrest and Lynch scored to go into intermission with the Pirates in command, 31-18.

Faber scored to open the third quarter. Buikema hit a short jumper in the paint and Lynch a trey from the left wing to increase the lead to 15 at the four-minute mark. Forrest scored on a putback and Canty scored four as a result of Bayfield turnovers on an 8-2 run for the Pirates at the horn.

The fourth was an 18-13 quarter for Pagosa. The Lady Pirates used their inside game to physically overpower the Wolverines. Harris came in for four inside points. Forrest and Buikema continued their domination in the paint with four each. Lynch and Kelley netted two and Canty a free throw to end the scoring.

In other IML action Saturday;

- Centauri (16-0, 5-0) defeated Monte Vista (1-14, 0-5) 79-36.


Bayfield - 4, 14, 9, 13-40

Pagosa Springs - 16, 15, 15, 18-64

Scoring: Lynch, 3-6,1-2,4-4,13; Mackey, 1-2,0-0,0-0,2; Kelley, 5-12,1-1,1-4,14; Harris, 2-2,0-0,0-0,4; Canty, 2-4,0-0,1-2,5; Faber, 3-7,0-0,1-3,7; Buikema, 2-7,0-0,3-4,7; Rand, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Martinez, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; DuCharme, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Forrest, 5-13,0-0,2-4,12. Rebounds: Lynch 2, Kelley 4, Harris 2, Canty 3, Faber 7, Buikema 8, Rand 1, Forrest 9.



Lady Pirates down Panthers for fifth straight win

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School basketball Lady Pirates stepped out of Intermountain League (IML) play for one last time this season playing the second game of the year against the New Mexico 4A Piedra Vista Panthers Tuesday night in the PSHS gym.

Same song, second verse.

The Lady Pirates put down the Panthers in convincing fashion by a score of 65-44 for their fifth straight win. The Pirates' overall record improves to 12-4 and they are 4-1 in league play with three games remaining on the IML regular season schedule. The depleted Panthers fall to 7-13.

Led by three players in double figures and plenty of help off the bench, Pagosa lit up the scoreboard for 26 points in the first quarter, the highest output in one quarter so far this year, to build a 16-point lead. The Pirates started out slow again after the opening tipoff and waited until the six-minute mark to show their stuff.

The Panthers tried to make a game of it in the second period on an 8-0 run but the Pirates regained the momentum to go into the locker room up by 12. The teams played even in the third and then the Pirates put up an 18-point fourth quarter to win easily.

Coach Bob Lynch said, "I'm pleased with the way our kids played tonight. You don't know what might happen in a game like this after two big league wins last weekend. Our kids responded well."

The coach added, "We still started out slow again tonight, something we need to work on in practice. We would like to make things happen early and try to get some tries off the opening tip and we must get more physical and consistent in our inside play. But we have now won five in a row and I like where we are."

Piedra Vista head coach Lee Marett indicated, "We had lost some players earlier in the season but we played against an excellent basketball team tonight. It was a good experience for us and I'm proud of the way our kids played." The Pirates did have trouble containing junior Kyle Naegle who scored a game-high 20 points from her post position for the Panthers.

The Pirates had balanced scoring with a lot of contribution from the entire squad. They were led by junior Jessica Lynch who had another fine outing, with 12 points. She was followed by seniors Liza Kelley and Kari Beth Faber, who are both regaining their touch, with 11 points each. Junior Lyndsey Mackey, improving with every game, recorded nine points on the strength of two treys. Senior Emily Buikema, coming off her career best last Friday, carded eight. Senior Caitlin Forrest finally found the range in the third period and had four points. Juniors Kristen DuCharme, Kim Canty and Samantha Harris had three, two and two each. Sophomores Camille Rand and Tamara Gayhart rounded out the scoring with two and one respectively. Gayhart had missed last weekend play due to illness.

Following Naegele for the Lady Panthers were senior Nicole McCann and sophomore Kendra Woodson with six points each. Sophomore Janessa Harrison netted five points. Senior Kaibah Gorman and junior LaShaye Westbrook ended with four and three respectively.

Both teams started with turnovers off the opening tip. Faber and Kelley finally found the range for two each. Harrison and Woodson responded for the Panthers to tie the game at four. The key play came when Mackey netted a three from the left wing to start a 19-point run for the Pirates. Coach Lynch called for the full court pressure and Panther turnovers got some easy buckets for Lynch, Canty, DuCharme and Faber. The transition points continued with four points from Buikema off assists and Lynch drained a trey to end the first quarter with Pagosa on top at 26-10.

The Panthers responded in the second period on their 8-0 run on twos by Woodson, Naegele and Gorman to bring them within eight. At the 3:38 mark, Faber countered with six straight points to lead a 12-5 run for the Pirates. Kelley netted a deuce with seven seconds left to put the lead back at 12 going into intermission.

The third period looked like a carbon copy of the first when it took over two minutes for Pagosa score on a Faber jump shot. Lynch added two and then, just as in the first, Mackey drained a three from the left wing. Westbrook and Harrison popped threes and Naegele continued her scoring run for Piedra Vista with two at the buzzer.

Buikema opened the final stanza at the charity stripe then Kelley rang the bell for a trey at the 5:10 mark to start a 10 point run for the Pirates. Inside buckets by Forrest and Harris, a fast-break deuce from Lynch and Mackey's three from the line put the score at 62 for the black and gold. The Pirates had no answer for Naegele who carded five more in the paint. Rand scored on an offensive rebound off a missed free throw at the horn to end the scoring.

The Lady Pirates return to IML play tomorrow night in Ignacio for the second meeting with the Lady Bobcats. The Bobcats are currently 1-3 in league play after a loss to Centauri last weekend. One of their outstanding young players, freshman Rocio Garcia, went down with a knee injury in that game and her status is unknown. She was the Lady Bobcats' leading scorer in the first meeting in Pagosa. This is a must-win for the black and gold in the tough Ignacio gym. Tipoff has been rescheduled and is now at 6:30 p.m.


Pagosa Springs - 26, 9, 12, 18-65

Piedra Vista - 10, 13, 10, 11-44



Pirates improve to 4-0 in IML action

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School varsity basketball Pirates used pressure defense and good inside play on the offensive side to thump the other Pirates in Monte Vista last Friday night by a lopsided score of 78-44.

The win kept the Buccaneers undefeated in Intermountain League (IML) play and alone in first place. The loss dropped Monte to 1-12 overall and 0-4 in league.

Sparked by 12 first-quarter points by senior Craig Schutz and eight by junior Caleb Ormonde, the Pirates put the game out of reach early. The key play came when junior Derek Harper drained a long trey from the right wing with just over four minutes remaining and Pagosa used an 18-0 run to go up by 24 after the first eight minutes.

Monte could manage only four points in the period and were stymied with the full-court pressure that caused them to turn the ball over on numerous occasions. The Buccaneers went on to put up 50 first-half points and hold the green and yellow Pirates to just 18.

After the game, Coach Jim Shaffer said, "Our kids came ready to play. Based on Monte Vista's record we wondered if they (the Pirates) might be looking past this one to the Bayfield game on Saturday night. They weren't. Monte Vista is a tough place to play and we were focused. I was proud of how hard our team played."

The coach added, "We scored 50 points in the first half which is more than we have scored in some games. This is a big win for our team to keep us undefeated in league play."

Craig Schutz led all scoring with 21 points on nine of 12 from the field. He also pulled down six rebounds. Junior Jordan Shaffer came back strong with 11 points on five of eight from the field while Ormonde netted 10 on five of nine in the paint. Senior Casey Schutz also recorded 10 points on one of four three-pointers and three of four from the line. Junior Kerry Joe Hilsabeck sank eight on three of six from the field. Junior Casey Hart, playing his best varsity game so far, dropped in seven on five of six from the charity stripe. Juniors Travis Richey, Harper, Michael Delyria and Adam Trujillo rounded out the scoring with four, three, two and two respectively.

Hilsabeck led the Pirates with eight assists. He, Ormonde and Harper also had four rebounds each.

The Monte Pirates were led by freshman Andres Arredondo who came off the bench to card nine points. Senior Cliff Shaw and freshman James Romero picked up eight each while senior Chester Hatton scored six from the inside.

The Pirates controlled the tipoff and Craig Schutz quickly put the black and gold up 5-2. Putbacks by Ormonde and the trey by Harper sent them on the big opening-quarter run. Hilsabeck sank two from the line when he was fouled on a put back attempt with just over one second left to put the score at 28-4. The Monte Pirates continued to turn the ball over as a result of good pressure "D."

Shaffer scored inside and Hart muscled in four on putbacks to continue another 9-0 run to open the second period. Turnovers continued to plague Monte until junior Fabian Martinez finally got them on the board at the 4:21 mark. Casey Schutz answered with a trey from the left wing plus two from the line to put the score at 42-13 with less than two minutes remaining. Inside buckets by Shaffer and the Schutz brothers increased the lead to a bunch going into the locker room.

The Buccaneers came out for a strong 17-7 third quarter that started on fast-break layup by Casey Schutz and a putback by Hilsabeck who was rebounding with the big boys. Shaw had four inside points for the green and yellow but Craig Schutz and Ormonde answered with their own. Two fast-break buckets by Shaffer and Hilsabeck put the score at 67-25 after three.

Points by Hart, Delyria and a fast break by Richey ended the scoring in the fourth for Pagosa. Hatton put up his six on a 19-11 quarter for Monte.

In other IML action last week:

- Bayfield (14-1, 3-1) defeated Mancos 73-66 Jan. 31.

- Centauri (9-7, 2-2) defeated Ignacio (7-7, 1-3) 44-38 Friday.


Pagosa Springs - 28, 22, 17, 11-78

Monte Vista - 4, 14, 7, 19-44


Shaffer, 5-8,0-1,1-2,11; Hilsabeck, 3-6,0-0,2-2,8; Jaylen Mendoza, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Przybylski, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Trujillo, 1-2,0-0,0-0,2; Harper, 0-2,1-1,0-0,3; Casey Schutz, 2-4,1-4,3-4,10; Richey, 2-2,0-0,0-0,4; Ormonde, 5-9,0-0,0-0,10; Hart, 1-4,0-0,5-6,7; Craig Schutz, 9-12,0-2,3-5,21; Delyria, 1-1,0-0,0-0,2. Rebounds: Shaffer 3, Hilsabeck 4, Mendoza 1, Przybylski 2, Trujillo 2, Harper 4, Casey Schutz 2, Ormonde 4, Hart 3, Craig Schutz 6.



Pirates take care of business - part deux

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

Let's reminisce.

The Pagosa Springs High School basketball Pirates went to Bayfield a fortnight ago to face the undefeated and ranked Wolverines in the Intermountain League (IML) opener for both teams. Pagosa dominated inside offensively and played stout defense to open a big lead at halftime, survived a third-quarter scoring slump, then won easily by 16 points.

Fast forward to Saturday night in the PSHS gym.

The Wolverines came to Pagosa with a chip on their shoulders and an attitude. After all, the only check in the loss column was to the Pirates in Bayfield two weeks before, and they felt there was something to prove. A win would put them in a tie for first place in IML with the hosts. A loss would drop them two back. The attitude showed when one of the Wolverines accidentally knocked starter Kerry Joe Hilsabeck to the floor when Bayfield entered the court for warm-ups. Didn't say anything; should have.

The Pirates would make them pay where it counts.

Enter Craig Schutz and company to take care of business again. The Pirates showed experience and poise as they dominated the Wolverines before a capacity crowd, eerily by almost the same score as in the prior meeting, 57-39.

With the win, Pagosa improved to 10-6 overall and 5-0 in IML. The Pirates now control their own destiny in league play with three games remaining. Bayfield dropped to 14-2 and 3-2 in IML.

It started early.

Craig Schutz, a senior, put up the first nine points of the game to help the Pirates build an early lead. The schooling continued in the second period on a 16-8 quarter for the home team that saw the lead increase to 17 going into intermission. Good defense held the Wolverines' leading scorers, seniors C.J. Bell and Troy McCoy, to eight total points in the first 16 minutes.

Then, more eerie things happened.

As in the first meeting, the Pirates came out of the locker room and went on a long scoring drought. This time it went for over half the third period. Craig Schutz and senior Paul Przybylski had to sit with three fouls apiece, just like in Bayfield. Luckily, good defense held the damage to an eight-point run for the Wolverines that brought them within nine. Casey Schutz, also a senior, along with junior Caleb Ormonde, finally stopped the bleeding with less than three minutes to go with their own eight-point run, to put the lead back at 15. The scoring Pirates returned in the fourth to win going away, just like in Bayfield.

Coach Jim Shaffer said, "We stepped up big on defense against a good basketball team tonight. We held their offense to just 39 points and kept their top scorers in check."

Shaffer added, "We played great basketball in the first half and executed well. We went most of the third period (again) without scoring but our defense saved us. We just need to worry about our own objectives and work at getting better."

Craig Schutz led all scoring with 14 points on five of six from the field. Ormonde, who is coming into his own, followed with 12 on four of nine in the paint and four of five from the line. Casey Schutz put up nine on three of seven from the field while junior Jordan Shaffer followed with seven on one trey and two of four from the charity stripe. Junior Derek Harper had five points on one of two from three-point range. Junior Casey Hart carded four points, while juniors Michael Delyria, Hilsabeck and Przybylski rounded out the scoring with two each.

Hilsabeck and Przybylski led the Pirates with six and four assists respectively. Craig Schutz pulled down seven rebounds followed by Hilsabeck with five. Casey Schutz and Shaffer added four each.

McCoy and senior Lee Ramsier led the Wolverines with 10 points each. Bell followed with eight and senior Kyle Guilliams scored seven.

Craig Schutz controlled the opening tipoff against the taller McCoy but the Pirates could not score on their first possession. Schutz scored six inside and a trey from the top of the key to put Pagosa up 9-2 at the four-minute mark. Casey Schutz drove the lane on a nice back door play. Hilsabeck added two and Harper hit a three from the right wing to put the score at 16-4. Ramsier hit his own trey for the Wolverines to end the quarter.

Shaffer netted six quick points, with one long three, and Ormonde two for an 8-2 run to put the Pirates up 24-9 with less than four minutes remaining in the second period. Hart hit two on a putback then Harper, Ormonde and Craig Schutz scored to increase the lead to 17 at intermission.

Then the eerie third period started.

The Pirates continue IML play tomorrow night on the road against the Ignacio Bobcats who are 1-3 in league play after a loss to Centauri last Friday night. In that game, the Bobcats' leading scorer, Derek Rodriquez, did not play. This is another must-win situation if Pagosa is to remain in the league driver's seat. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. following the Lady Pirates matchup with the Lady Bobcats at 6:30. Please note the change in start times.

In other IML action Saturday;

- Centauri (10-7, 3-2) defeated Monte Vista (1-14, 0-5) 71-47.


Bayfield - 7, 8, 10, 14-39

Pagosa Springs - 16, 16, 8, 17-57

Scoring: Shaffer, 1-4,1-2,2-4,7; Hilsabeck, 1-3,0-0,0-1,2; Przybylski, 0-4,0-0,2-3,2; Adam Trujillo, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Harper, 1-1,1-2,0-1,5; Casey Schutz, 3-7,1-2,0-0,9; Richey, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Ormonde, 4-9,0-0,4-5,12; Hart, 1-1,0-0,2-2,4; Craig Schutz, 5-6,1-3,1-2,14; Delyria, 1-1,0-0,0-0,2. Rebounds: Shaffer 4, Hilsabeck 5, Trujillo 1, Harper 3, Casey Schutz 4, Ormonde 3, Hart 1, Craig Schutz 7 Delyria 1.



Pirate wrestlers win two duals, head for regionals

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The 2005-2006 regular season wrestling schedule has been completed and, though at times it seemed unusually rough for Pirate grapplers, the team has met with success.

Success in that the Pirates took second place in the IntermountainLleague, finished well in a number of tournaments and posted an impressive 18-6 dual meet record.

That dual meet record was bolstered by two wins to wrap up the regular season - against Centauri and Center, Friday at La Jara. The Pirates won their final IML dual of the year, 48-35, over the host Falcons then defeated the Center Vikings 46-36.

"The margin of victory in both duals was decided by forfeits," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "In the Centauri meet, they didn't match up with our better guys."

Centauri jumped out to a 12-0 lead with pins at 145 and 152 pounds, but Pagosa then went out to a 30-12 lead, the run bolstered by three Falcon forfeits - at 171, 189 and 215.

Senior Matt Nobles did his part at 160. The Pirate pinned Centauri's Alan Cash to add six points to the team score.

With Pagosa's Bubba Martinez still out at 215 due to a concussion, Janowsky moved regular 275-pounder Joe Romine to 215 where he drew a forfeit, and put sophomore Joe Hausotten at 275. Hausotten responded with six points, taking an 8-2 lead on the Falcons' Daniel Martinez before pinning him in the third period.

Centauri made a run with the strength of the Falcon lineup taking four matches with pins - earning max points at 103, 112, 119 and 125.

Centauri forfeited at 130.

Pirate freshman Mike Smith put Ryan Finnegan's shoulders down in the first period at 135; Centauri forfeited at 140 and the Pirates had clinched the second-place slot in the IML.

The 2A Center Vikings brought a fairly sturdy team to the mat for the regular season finale and the Vikings were first on the scoreboard with a pin at 152.

Nobles responded quickly. The Pirate pinned Adrian Diaz in the first period of their match at 160.

Dale August got his first battle of the day at 171 and responded in a positive manner, pinning Cole Meyers in the first period.

Reynaldo Palmer received a forfeit against Centauri but got a match against Center at 189. Palmer nailed a fall against Carlos Lopez in the second period of their match.

Pagosa lost at 215 but got six points back with a Center forfeit at 275. The Vikings then ran off 18 straight points with wins at 103, 112 and 119.

Senior Orion Sandoval stopped the Viking momentum. Sandoval quickly dispatched J.S. Espinosa, putting Espinosa's shoulders down in the first period of the match at 125.

Joe DuCharme duplicated the feat at 130. The freshman pinned Adam Welch in the first period.

The Pirates lost at 135, but Ky Smith fought at 140. The senior has had very few six-minute matches this year, but Travis Phillips gave the Pirate a fight. Smith prevailed, however, winning with a 9-1 decision.

A Center forfeit at 145 closed out the dual.

"I'm glad we had them on the schedule," said Janowsky of the Vikings. "We needed the matches, and a lot of them were just what we needed at this point."

Calling the 18-6 dual meet record "successful," Janowsky went on to note that illness and injury have played a part in the last third of the Pirates' regular season. "We still have half a dozen guys who aren't one-hundred percent," he said. "We hit a stretch the last part of the season where we haven't wrestled as well and I've got to attribute at least some of that to illness."

Now, the trick is to get well, and to get ready for action at the regional tournament Friday and Saturday.

"Based on our regular season," said the coach, "and based on records, we are in the thick of it at almost every weight (the top four finishers in each weight class advance to the state tournament). In some of the weights fourth is up for grabs; in some, we are dominant."

To advance, many of the Pirates will "have to turn around some matches we lost early in the year," said Janowsky. "If we can do it, we could have a good tournament. We have the draws we need. Now, if we get healthy Š"

Regional action is at Rock Canyon High School, in the southwest suburbs of Denver. Matches start Friday at 2 p.m. Quarterfinals will be wrestled Friday night. Semifinals will take place Saturday with the finals tentatively set for 3:30 p.m. By 6 p.m. the state tournament brackets should be full.



Pagosa Pee Wee Wrestling Club registration

If you have a child between 5 and 14 years of age who is interested in learning the fundamentals of wrestling, you are invited to a Pagosa Pee Wee Wrestling Club informational meeting 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in the junior high school cafeteria.

The meeting will cover general information regarding the program, and will give parents interested in enrolling their child an opportunity to register early.

Call Lanette at 731-3121 or Shonna at 264-6968 for more information.



Pagosa Springs Recreation

Fitful sleep when the snow falls

By Jim Miller

SUN Columnist

Doing snow removal has its disadvantages.

The town crew gets called out whenever a certain accumulation exists. If I've worked all day under deteriorating weather but it doesn't start snowing until I'm home in the evening, the uncertainty of the timing of that awakening keeps me from sleeping.

I'll rouse myself every hour or so to check how much has deposited, knowing full well that two inches on the fence post out my bedroom window west of town can be four inches, or nothing, in the downtown microclimate. Sleep aids are out, as is playing sick or playing possum.

But getting some sleep in anticipation of a long shift is essential, so the best strategy is to convince myself that the few flakes falling at 10 p.m. will have stopped by midnight, as I peacefully snooze. Sometimes it works.

Even when it doesn't work, and the fitful hours result in that rude awakening, the advantages outweigh the sleeplessness. With a cup of coffee and some warm duds, I'm off to enjoy the amazing beauty of Pagosa in a snowstorm in the early morning calm.

And there's the gratification of starting with something that needs to be done and finishing the task, despite occasional difficulties.

11-12 youth basketball

The end of the regular season for the 11- and 12-year-old division was yesterday. Teams in this division will now play three "warm-up" playoff games before the single-elimination tournament begins Feb. 18.

The first round of warm-up games will take place Saturday at Pagosa Springs Junior High School and will include the following schedule: Spurs vs. Timberwolves at 9 a.m., Cavs vs. Nuggets at 10 a.m., Pacers vs. Lakers at 11 a.m. and Jazz vs. Bulls at noon.

Schedules for the remainder of the season, including tournament pairings, will be handed out at these games and are also available at the recreation office in Town Hall.

9-10 youth basketball

The 9- and 10-year-old schedule continues tonight at the community center and includes the following: Spurs vs. Cavs at 5 p.m., Sixers vs. Knicks at 6 p.m. and Celtics vs. Jazz at 7 p.m. (this is a make-up game for the contest that was canceled Feb. 2).

The 9- and 10-year-old schedule for Saturday at the community center includes: Celtics vs. Spurs at 9 a.m., Nuggets vs. Pacers at 10 a.m., Cavs vs. Jazz at 11 a.m. and Knicks vs. Kings at noon.

Playoffs in the 9-10 division will begin Feb. 14; playoff schedules will be handed during Saturday's games and are also available at the recreation office in Town Hall.

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.

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



Make it a race

With this week's announcement by Republican Bob Moomaw, we have a race for a county commission seat in District 3 that will open when Mamie Lynch's term comes to an end this year. At least a race in the Republican Party.

While both Republican candidates - Moomaw and Walter Green— are to be lauded for their concern and willingness to run and, if elected, to serve, the situation illuminates two problems.

The first: Unless the local Democratic Party manages to put forth a candidate, or a strong independent move is made in a timely manner, the next commission seat will be filled absent the votes of a significant number of local residents - likely in a Republican Party primary election.

This is far too important a vote, and too important a position in a critical time in the county's development, to exempt a large block of voters.

There is no need here to lambast the Democrats. If they can't generate the energy, commitment and enthusiasm, so be it.

Should it come to a Republican primary vote between Green and Moomaw, and perhaps others, then it is incumbent on independent voters (there are 2,244 unaffiliated voters in Archuleta County) to temporarily register as Republicans in order to have a say in what will happen.

The second problem underlies the first: That we persist in doing political business at the county level via the stale process of caucuses, assemblies and primaries. One need only take a look at the history of the county commission over the past 10 years and it is immediately obvious there must be a better way.

Shadowing this is the specter of partisan thinking. It has become malignant at the national level and even some state officials who have attempted to tame the partisan beast in their own parties have been bucked off and bruised. At the local level, partisan thinking is absurd. Those who indulge it traffic in cliches that cannot benefit the population during one of the most important periods in local history - one dominated by extreme growth and the pressures and issues attendant to it. Knee-jerk political reactions will not provide answers in this situation.

But, until we have the sense to change it, we must deal with what we have - an antiquated system.

Therefore, time grows short for other Republicans to get on board for the upcoming race, as it does for Democrats to breathe life into a candidate or two. In order to be nominated by party petition for a primary election for commissioner, a candidate must have lived in the district for 12 months prior to the election and be registered with the party 12 months prior to the petition filing date - March 27. A Republican in District 3 must submit a petition with 189 valid signatures. A Democrat in District 3 must submit a petition with 36 signatures. An unaffiliated candidate's petition must have 79 valid signatures (with a later filing date). Details about candidacy and affiliation are available from the county clerk's office.

Fortunately, politics in the Town of Pagosa Springs is not in lockstep with the county; all candidates run unaffiliated. This year, council members will be elected to represent three new political districts and a mayor will be selected. Petitions will be available at Town Hall Feb. 10 and must be turned in to the town clerk by March 3.

Despite the often cumbersome process, it is time for those with ideas, with the desire to serve the public, to step up. Decisions will be made by elected officials in town and county in the near future that will determine the course of things for years to come.

There is little time to spare for those who think they can make a difference.

Karl Isberg



90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 11, 1916

The late storm piled the snow on the upper river steel bridge to the danger point, reaching 26 inches above the side rails. Ed Friend, Mort Bayles and Johnny Rippy shoveled it off Tuesday.

Frank Edmisten with a crew of five other men succeeded, after two days' work, in breaking feed and water trails to his stock on his East Fork ranch last week, Frank is sure some snow hog.

Frequent reference to ski parties in our exchanges causes us to state that we have one Hans Olson in our midst who has made a jump of 112 feet many times this winter off Reservoir Hill.

Our heavy snow has its compensations - kept Doll Pargin out of town for over two weeks.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 13, 1931

Though winter is at the threshold and cold snaps here sometimes force the thermometer to 40 degrees below zero, the school board has no fuel bill to worry about and the school janitor is happy, knowing that he will have no fires to build and no smoke or ashes to contend with. The high school and grade school building is heated by natural hot water, obtained by drilling a well 384 feet deep on the school property.

The Citizens Bank was the first to try out this system of heating on a large scale; the schoolhouse next. Now a number of other large buildings are being heated in the same way from wells drilled upon their locations, among them the Archuleta County Courthouse, completed last year.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 9, 1956

Hersch Mercantile Company is remodeling the grocery department of their store and will make several changes in the layout. When completed, the grocery department will be modern and up-to-date in every respect and will enable Hersch patrons to shop more quickly and at the same time from a larger variety of items.

The past is described for us by historians, the future by economists, it is just the present that has us confused.

Wolf Creek Ski Tow has announced that they will honor tickets for tow rides purchased last Sunday, February 5th on Saturday, February 11th. Since the tow was shut down most of the afternoon due to the cable jumping the wheels, all those who have tickets for last Sunday can present them for exchange.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 12, 1981

If Pagosa Springs is found to have buildings worthy of historic register designation, they may be eligible for federal funds to preserve, restore, and revitalize the town. That's what the Community Improvement Committee heard at its Tuesday meeting. Paul O'Rourke of the Colorado Historical Society told the committee that anywhere from a few buildings to the entire downtown block could be eligible for historic designation. O'Rourke will be conducting a survey of the town, exploring Pagosa Springs history to determine what buildings might qualify for designation. He stressed that the final decision on whether to pursue historic designation rests with the owners of affected property.



Four Corners to France

Pagosan makes music in Paris

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"We ate snails - and they were good!" said Zane Gholson, Pagosa Springs High School freshman, of his trip to Paris to usher in the New Year.

Gholson traveled with the Four Corners Ambassadors Marching Band, directed by Paul Montanari, to Paris and Chantilly, France, where the youth band marched in two parades. Gholson played the trombone on his overseas excursion, and has recently learned to play the French horn and bass guitar.

"My cousin, Jill, from Aztec, told me about the band in June," said Gholson.

Although the band was sponsored by various Aztec businesses, each student had to raise about $2,400 to travel with the group, so Gholson dedicated his summer to working for the funds. "I earned almost all of the money myself. My mom only helped with my passport and spending money."

Gholson, his cousin, Jillian Rivas, formerly of Pagosa Springs, and the rest of the group departed from the Albuquerque airport Dec. 26. After 14 hours of travel, they arrived at their hotel in Paris. "I could see the Eiffel Tower from my hotel window!" said Gholson. "It is just awesome."

The trip was organized by Youth Music of the World, a nonprofit group "that creates and operates performance travel programmes for some of the world's most prestigious festivals," according to their Web site, youthmusic.org. Youth Music of the World has been organizing musically inspired youth trips for over twenty years.

Gholson enjoyed four full days in Paris, and one day in Chantilly.

The band was transported by coach on three sight-seeing tours of the cities that included trips to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and Chantilly's lovely Chateau.

"The Chateau was my favorite building," said Gholson. "It was the most beautiful thing. My favorite activity was going to the Louvre. We saw the 'Mona Lisa,' 'Venus de Milo' and 'Winged Victory.' And they had tons of cool medieval stuff.

"My favorite part was when we had time to ourselves," said Gholson - time to explore the city. "We had some of the best food!"

Gholson remarked on the number of homeless people seen throughout Paris, as well as the graffiti that covered the roll-down doors of the shops along the streets. "Definite culture shock.

"I hated the subways," said Gholson of the Paris Metro. "People were crammed in there like sardines."

Musical exhibitions were the focal points of Gholson's trip, with three full-length performances, all dedicated to joyfully ushering in 2006. "Well into its second decade, this hugely popular New Year's Festival comprises a parade and outdoor concert in the charming and historic town of Chantilly, a Parade in Paris Š and a Grand Gala Concert in the beautiful 'Mairie de Montmartre'," stated Youth Music for the World's Web site.

"They rehearsed for months," said Vickie Perales, Gholson's mother. "We were going to Farmington weekly just before they left."

"We prepared just like we would [for a performance] here," added Gholson.

Perales had no qualms about allowing her son to experience the marvels of overseas travel with the youth band.

"He wanted to go on the trip, and he did it mostly himself - the practicing, the money," she said. "They had plenty of chaperones, and there were quite a few kids from Bayfield, Aztec and Durango."

Gholson marveled at the sights and sounds surrounding the band as they marched down the Paris streets. "We went right past the Eiffel Tower," he said. "And there were fireworks going off in time with our drumbeat."

The New Years parades have become a tradition for many French citizens.

"It would also be fair to say that they have come to enjoy and appreciate these events so much so, that in a recent poll of the citizens of Chantilly, the Parade was voted their favourite event Š In Paris too, there is enormous excitement each year during the build-up to the event, and huge audiences have come to be expected, wherever the Parade's location," stated The Paris Parade Festival on its Web site, parisparade.com.

The Four Corners Ambassadors band were one among 20 performers showcased in the parades. Other youth bands were present from Italy, England and the state of Washington.

"I made lots of friends over there," said Gholson. "I even e-mail a couple of kids in Britain now."

Gholson also acquired many friendships that will continue stateside, where he will continue to play in the Four Corners Ambassadors Marching Band and in the Fort Lewis Honor Band. He has also been a member of the Intermountain League band.

"I really love the Aztec band," said Gholson. "They're so out there [and active in their community]."

Music will play a key role in Gholson's future, and he is already planning on traveling with the Four Corners Ambassadors on their next overseas trip, to London.

"I have all these opportunities for traveling," he said.

Gholson said will continue to hone his skills with the Pagosa Springs High School band as he looks ahead to many musical adventures.


A dream horse comes home

By Patty Latham

Special to The SUN

Mark Crain and his daughter, Cherie, perched along the rail watching the beautiful horses at the National Western Stock Show year after year, hour after hour, learning the art of showing.

Cherie soaked in the sights of the horses' velvet coats and their long, smooth strides and the small eruptions of sand each hoof left as it landed on the deep arena floor. She studied the riders in their flashy matching outfits and silver studded saddles and their perfect postures on horseback. She listened to the quick barks of the announcer: "Walk your horses, reverse your horses, lope your horses."

Mark and Cherie wandered the barns talking to trainers, Cherie petting or brushing horses as trainers came to know her face and invited her to help. The warm breath of a gentle horse on her cheek was the gift of a kiss. She would dream.

At home, Cherie's room was filled with Breyer toy horses and she begged her dad to take her out to Don Kimsey's ranch where Don introduced her to an old Appy gelding, Bandit, that she could ride around the pen. Her friends from school were in 4-H - Chris, Christie and Terry Bramwell, and Kelly Eoff - and Cherie begged them to give her rides, to let her groom their horses.

Cherie's devotion to all things equine finally convinced Mark to buy Cherie's first horse. Kimsey's aged Appy gelding had seen the insides of a show ring as well as the high mountain trails. Mark put up a post and wire corral, borrowed Don Ford's pickup and a trailer from another friend, and brought the old horse home to the beaming smile of a very special girl.

Mark learned the maneuvers of buying, loading and hauling hay. Cherie and her sister learned to drive in the hay fields of Ken Seibel's farm while their dad tossed in the bales.

Betty Shahan led the 4-H Junior Stockman program in those days and Cherie listened to her wisdom. Mark borrowed pickups and trailers of all descriptions, calling on friends like Ford, to haul his daughter and her horse to 4-H shows as far away as Cortez, and even to the local county fair. He watched her place dead last with her crisp blouses from the thrift store and her beautiful, French braided hair. He told her to keep trying, to never quit showing until she had left the ring. Cherie watched and listened and tried and she learned.

Finally, at the Archuleta County Fair, Cherie won her first class and then, one after another, she came out with purple ribbons and left the show Grand Champion, a trophy in her arms. The old horse had done his best and Cherie was ready to move on.

Mark and Cherie made their annual drive to Denver to the Stock Show when Cherie was 10 years old, but this time, they were looking for a horse. They stood at the railing once again, Cherie's elbows hooked over the top bar, and they walked the sale barns, awed by the classy horses but discouraged by their price tags. Mark saw a flyer for a 4-H competition the following month and they made the familiar trip in frigid February weather.

With incredible luck, Mark and Cherie found the horse of Cherie's dreams at a 4-H Team Judging Competition. Miss A Skippy Sis, nicknamed Baby, was a stunning 4-year-old sorrel Quarter horse mare with a flaxen mane and lots of training and an owner with no more show time in her busy life.

Mark had bought a '77 vintage pickup and arranged a loan from Citizens Bank. On one more trip with a borrowed trailer, Mark and Cherie brought the mare home. The glow on Cherie's face was reward enough for Mark. He built a two-stall barn and a tack room for Cherie and her mare. A year's worth of hay was a precious thing - it was quickly time to build another barn.

Mark and Cherie were up at 3 am the morning of a show, bathing the beautiful mare and combing out her flaxen mane and tail. Ike and Eddie Oldham hauled Cherie and Baby to their first show in Cortez and Cherie went on to show her mare for eight years in halter, western pleasure, western riding, trail, English pleasure and equitation. They vied for top honors in the area, winning their share. The 4-H program expanded into English riding and the kids even soared over a jump or two that Mark had made.

Dr. Dave Baker played an important role in Cherie's horseshow years. Baby had repeated colics - belly aches - and Dr. Baker would treat the mare. Mark and Cherie walked the stress-prone horse for hours. Cherie ended up working in Dr. Baker's office.

The years went by and Cherie looked to the future. She traveled to the Rift Valley Academy in Africa when she was 17, staying with Bayard and Peggy Forrest. She returned to finish high school and then the entire family went to Russia. Baby joined the Parelli training team in its early years while the Crains were overseas.

But Cherie's return to Pagosa was short-lived and she moved on to a school in Texas. The decision was made to sell her very talented mare. Kent Gordon introduced the Crains to a compassionate horse owner in Telluride and Baby had a new home.

Eight more years went by. Cherie was now a wife, with children of her own. Her daughter, Josie, began to talk about horses and Cherie wanted her to have the same close contact with a horse she had enjoyed as a child.

She began looking for a perfect kids' horse and remembered the wonderful mare she had grown up with. Mark had traced Baby to a ranch in Durango. It took Cherie four more long years to find her mare, now 24 years old, by tracking AQHA transfers. The last owner, however, had not transferred the mare's registration papers and Cherie thought that she was lost. After many phone calls, Cherie learned that Baby was in southern New Mexico.

When Cherie went to buy Baby back, sight unseen, she found her dull and listless with her ribs and spine sharply visible, but she appeared to be sound. The mare had not been faring well on dry pasture, competing with other horses, and Cherie quickly brought her home to her dad's house.

When Cherie called, Dr. Jim Latham made a farm call to Mark's house. Baby weighed 955 pounds, severely underweight. The mare dropped quids - saliva soaked wads of partially chewed hay, and she left some of her hay spread in her corral. Baby's manure was intermittently soft, and she drank lots of water. Latham examined her mouth and he could see a missing upper cheek tooth, one broken, and a wave mouth with sharp points. Jim advised dental work and lab tests, and consulted on her feed. Cherie dewormed the mare.

Slowly Cherie introduced senior concentrate, a vitamin-mineral-fatty acid supplement, and frequent small feedings of good quality hay. But Baby only gained five pounds in the first three weeks. Cherie scheduled Baby's dental.

With an audience of Cherie and four fascinated kids with millions of questions, Latham carefully sedated the underweight mare and inserted the full mouth speculum. He could see two teeth missing, a premolar on the upper left and a molar on the lower right, and one severely worn. Opposing teeth had grown upwards into the gaps, creating a wave mouth and a resulting obstruction to grinding. Latham performed careful corrections with his power tools because this old mare's teeth were no longer growing. Any tooth structure removed at this age would never be replaced. Luckily, Baby had little periodontal disease.

Baby's blood tests were in the normal range.

One month later, Baby had gained 56 pounds, her coat shown burnished copper in the sun, and she no longer dropped her feed.

As Mark drove home one evening, Cherie's daughter, Josie, climbed the panel fence. Baby stepped close by and Josie climbed aboard, and stretched out on Baby's back as the mare cropped grass in the sun. Baby had come home, but she had one more trip to make. Cherie and her family moved to Ohio where Baby would have a warm box stall at night and acreage to roam in the daytime. She would spend the rest of her life with a family that had always loved her. Mark plans to visit in the spring, to build corrals and pasture fence.

"There's one more barn to build."

It seemed that an entire community had supported Cherie in her dream to have one great horse.

Twenty years later, the dream would live on.


Pagosa's Past

A violent history, just south of the border

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Amargo was more of a pass-through place than a permanent settlement.

For sure, the town lasted from about 1881 to 1896, but even then it was a pass-through place. Nobody much wanted to live there.

For one thing, the water was alkaline bad, a condition that exists until this day.

For another thing, Amargo was a dangerous place to be.

We've been quoting from the memoirs of Harry Jackson who said 13 people died violently in Amargo during his short stay there in 1881. We'll return to Jackson's memoirs in a moment. First, let's consider who was in or passing through Amargo during the early 1880s.

First of all, Amargo was on or near one of the early Indian, mountain man, Hispanic, pioneer routes connecting early New Mexico settlements with the Interior Basin, Rocky Mountains, and even California.

Amargo was along or near the route used by prospectors entering the San Juan Mountains during the early days of mining there.

Amargo was along or near the route used by Ute Indians to reach winter homes and government rations at various locations which changed with the years. Chief among those locations were Abiquiu, Los Ojos and, closer to home, Amargo.

For a short time after the railroad arrived, several bands of Jicarilla Apaches lived near Amargo and received rations there while they negotiated for a reservation.

And so, Amargo was frequented by Apache, Ute and Navajo Indians. Amargo also saw the likes of U.S. Cavalry units: notably the 9th and 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers; prospectors; timber men; cattlemen; Hispanic explorers, traders and settlers; frontier Anglo families looking for a home; and a flotsam of drifters who preyed on whoever was vulnerable during those times when law enforcement was a long and tiring horse ride away.

Remember, not many years later, Gov. Lew (Big Foot) Wallace of the Territory of New Mexico had to send New Mexico militia into the Farmington area to restore law and order to a region completely out of control.

Today as you leave the Apache reservation westbound on U.S. 64 for Farmington, between the mesa at the western edge of the reservation and La Jara Cañon, one travels through Vaquero Cañon. Earlier maps show a post office called Vaquero at the eastern end of that cañon. Knowing that the English-owned Carlisle Cattle Company ran cattle through that area, I am tempted to speculate based on those names. Vaquero is the Spanish word for cowboy.

In any case, a visitor to Amargo during 1881 or thereabouts would have seen a pretty scabby population in that place.

And as did Jackson, that visitor needed a gun or to be close to someone who had a gun. Heaven help the man who wandered off by himself.

An item in an early Pagosa Springs newspaper describes the body of a man found in the San Juan River in the lower part of Archuleta County. The body was described as containing several knife wounds in the back. The local explanation, joking I hope, was that it was a suicide.

In any case, the border area between New Mexico and Colorado was a rugged, challenging place for those first pioneers. And, perhaps most rugged of all was Amargo, a place that is no more.

I'm tempted to speculate that Amargo self destructed and, in a way, it did. That is a story for a future column.

Next week we'll look at more of Jackson's memoirs describing 1881 Amargo.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Moon takes center stage this week

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The following sun and moon data for Feb. 9, 2006, is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.

Sunrise: 7:04 a.m.

Sunset: 5:41 p.m.

Moonrise: 2:22 p.m.

Moonset: 5:55 a.m. on Feb. 10.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing gibbous with 90 percent of the visible disk illuminated. A full moon will illuminate the skies over Pagosa Country Feb. 12.

The moon will take center stage for sky watching activities during the latter part of the week and through the weekend. Beginning tonight and on successive evenings, observant sky watchers will note the moon at gradually lower points in the early evening sky, with the moon appearing just above the horizon on Feb. 13.

As our lunar companion makes appears to make this gradually-sinking journey, it will pass near key stars in the constellation Gemini and also near the planet Saturn. By Sunday, the full moon will appear to be nestled within the crook of the Sickle of Leo asterism.

To observe the moon as it appears to make its passage near Gemini, Saturn and Leo, begin sky watching tonight about 8 p.m. At this time, the moon will be found in the east-southeast and quite high in the sky - just a little higher than a point midway between the horizon and a position directly overhead.

Looking just a few degrees to the left of the moon lies the twins, Castor and Pollux, the key stars of the constellation Gemini. To locate the stars, imagine a triangle with the moon marking the farthest point on the right. Moving to the left and the uppermost point lies the blue-white, magnitude 1.6 star, Castor. Just below it, at exactly 4.5 degrees away, lies its mythical twin Pollux, which completes the third, and lowest point on the triangle.

To the naked eye, Castor appears as a single star, but telescopic observations reveal a multiple star system consisting of six separate components. In fact, a 60 millimeter telescope with high magnification will split Castor into two stars of magnitudes 1.9 and 3.0 which astronomers calculate orbit each other every 470 years. The third star, a red dwarf, lies some distance from Castor, but it is still considered part of the multiple star system.

Professional observations indicate that each of these three stars then has its own companion star, however, the two stars lie too close together to be discernible with just the eye and a telescope.

Astronomers call these types of stellar pairs spectroscopic binary stars, which means that an analysis of the light emitted by the star is required to reveal the companion star's presence.

What makes the Castor system more interesting, is that the red dwarf is not just a spectroscopic binary, but also an eclipsing binary system. In an eclipsing binary system, the fainter star eclipses the brighter star and causes a change in the star's magnitude. Thus, the red dwarf varies between magnitudes 9.3 and 9.8 every 19.5 hours when the eclipse occurs.

Pollux, which at magnitude 1.2, is the brightest star in the constellation, but is unfortunately, far less interesting than it's twin. However, as a pair, the two stars provided solace to sailors and because the stars are exactly 4.5 degrees apart, they make for a convenient yardstick for measuring other angular distances in the night sky.

Tonight, in addition to views of Gemini, Saturn will also be visible as a bright, cream-colored object below and slightly to the left of the moon and the stars of Gemini.

By Friday, about one hour after sunset and into mid- evening, look for Saturn a few degrees down and almost directly below the moon.

The moon will be waxing gibbous and all but the brightest objects will be lost in the moon's glow. This should make Saturn, which is one of the brightest objects in our night sky, easy to locate.

Recent observations of the planet with a good amateur telescope, and even with tremendous inner city light pollution, revealed stunning views of the planet's ring system, and at least one, if not three, of the planets 30 known moons.

The brightness of our moon may make it difficult to resolve Saturn's own lunar companions, but telescopic observations of the planet are often worth the effort.

As the weekend progresses, the moon will appear at gradually lower points in the sky, and by Sunday the full moon will sit just to the right of the sickle shape representing the head of the lion in the constellation Leo.

The lion's head is outlined by six stars, but unfortunately, with the full moon glowing brightly, only the brightest of the six will be visible - namely, Regulus and Algieba.

Regulus, also known as the "little king," is a magnitude 1.4 blue white star and the brightest of the constellation. The star lies on the path of the ecliptic at 77 light years away. It has a magnitude 7.7 companion that is visible with both binoculars and amateur telescopes.

To locate Regulus, look for the brightest object just below and slightly to the right of the full moon.

The other visible star in the asterism, Algieba, from the arabic for "forehead," appears as a single star to the naked eye. However, telescopic observations will reveal the star not as a single object, but as a pair of yellow giant stars with magnitudes of 2.3 and 3.6. Astronomers estimate the two orbit each other every 600 years.

For those with amateur telescopes, the pair makes for particularly fine viewing of double star systems.

To locate Algieba, shift your gaze, while remaining on the same plane as Regulus, a few degrees to left. The positions of the moon Regulus and Algieba appear to make a near equilateral triangle and Algieba can be found below and to the left of the moon at about the same distance as from the moon to Regulus.




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Week's forecast is easy: dry, dry, dry

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

According to the National Weather Service, the weather forecast for Pagosa Springs through next Tuesday is easy - fair to partly cloudy, mild and dry, dry, dry.

Daytime highs will be in the upper 40s, and nighttime lows will range from the low to middle teens.

So, what's new?

In the past week the valley received virtually no precipitation, and only two inches of snow fell on Wolf Creek Ski Area. To date, the mountain has received a total of 135 inches of snow (would you believe, way below average), yet 100 percent of the mountain is open for skiing.

Here in town, temperatures ranged from a chilly low of 5.4 degrees last Monday morning, to a balmy high of 46.5 degrees last Thursday. Of course, with the exception of last Sunday (high of 38.2), every day was in the 40s and winds were mostly moderate, with an occasional gust exceeding 10 miles an hour.

According to an unreliable source (are any weather-related sources reliable), there is a slight chance of snow next Monday or Tuesday, but given the patterns so far this season, no one is betting the farm.