February 23, 2006

Front Page

Suspect charged in stabbing

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

A suspect in a Jan. 14 stabbing incident, Angelo Rivard, 17, of Pagosa Springs, was charged as an adult Wednesday, Feb. 15.

"Obviously, 17-year-olds are usually charged as juveniles," said District Attorney Craig Westberg, "but the filing is permitted under Colorado Law because of the nature of the crimes and the level of the felonies." Rivard's charges "as an adult makes the case somewhat unique," said Westberg.

Rivard is charged with attempted 2nd Degree Murder, a class 3 felony, and 1st Degree Assault, also a class 3 felony, in connection with his alleged role in an incident that took place last month outside a local bar.

On Jan. 14 at 1 a.m., Pagosa Springs police were dispatched to 475 Lewis St. following reports of an altercation, and discovered 35-year-old Tina Vigil (previously incorrectly reported to be Tina Medina) and 25-year-old Chris Stahr with stab wounds. Both Stahr, who had suffered multiple stab wounds, and Vigil were subsequently transported to Mercy Medical Center for treatment. No charges were filed immediately after the incident, pending further investigation by local law enforcement officials.

Rivard is being held at Denier Detention Center in Durango and his bond has been set at $25,000. A court appearance is set for March 7 before District Judge Greg Lyman.


County treasurer, husband, injured in Oklahoma crash

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Archuleta County Treasurer Traves Garrett and her husband, Darall Garrett, sustained serious injuries Monday when their vehicle rolled over after hitting a patch of black ice on U.S. 270 about 23 miles southeast of Woodward, Okla.

According to Archuleta County Deputy Treasurer Lois Baker, the incident occurred at about 6 a.m. when the Garretts were transporting items from their recently-sold Oklahoma home on a utility trailer to a storage facility.

According to reports from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Darall Garret was driving southeast on U.S. 270 in a 2006 Ford truck with his wife as the passenger and the trailer in tow, when the vehicle hit the ice, causing the truck to careen off the left side of the road.

According to the highway patrol report, upon exiting the roadway, the trailer jackknifed, the truck plowed through a fence then rolled two and three quarters times. The truck landed on the driver's side leaving Darall Garrett pinned for nearly an hour.

Baker said both Garretts sustained multiple severe injuries in the rollover and were taken to Woodward Regional Hospital immediately following the accident.

Darall Garrett was admitted to the facility with head and internal trunk injuries and was listed in critical condition. He was later transferred to Oklahoma University Medical Center where, Baker said, he remains in critical condition.

Traves Garrett was also admitted to Woodward Regional Hospital with head, leg and internal trunk injuries and was listed in stable condition. Later, she was transferred to Oklahoma University Medical Center where she remains in stable condition.

Baker said the county's treasurer is improving slightly.

Flowers cannot be sent to the hospital, but cards can be mailed care of: Judy Blakley, 17907 West Highway 66, Calumet, OK 73014.


Scant snowpack: Low runoff possible

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Southern Colorado has suffered a very dry winter thus far, and area water users should begin planning for summer shortages now.

That recommendation stems from details found in the latest Colorado Basin Outlook Report distributed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Lakewood earlier this month. According to data collection office supervisor Mike Gillespie, "In some locations, there is the potential for near record low runoff and water supplies."

October 2005 brought good moisture statewide, but precipitation patterns have since shifted, resulting in numerous storms dumping heavy snow on the northern and central mountains, even as the southern mountains and eastern plains have remained relatively warm and dry. As a result, snowpacks in the Yampa, White, Colorado, North Platte and South Platte basins are well above normal now, but further south, in the Gunnison and Arkansas basins, snowpacks are about average, while those across southern Colorado are on par with some of the lowest ever recorded.

What a difference a year makes. In the North Platte basin for instance, this year's Feb. 1 snowpack was 134 percent of last year's total at that time, and 123 percent of the 30-year average. Meanwhile, that of the Rio Grande basin was only 28 percent of February 2005 readings, and 43 percent of the average overall. Statewide, this year's Feb. 1 snowpack was 86 percent of a year ago, and just below the 30-year average at 99 percent.

Like other areas of southern Colorado, conditions here in the Upper San Juan basin are getting serious. With warm sunny weather persisting through most of January and the first half of February, the water equivalent of the area snowpack was measured at only 36 percent of average by Feb. 1. By Feb. 13, it had fallen even further, to just 30 percent.

Fortunately, snow fell last weekend, particularly on Friday, and the water equivalent edged back up to 34 percent of average. However, with essentially two months remaining in this year's snow season, the likelihood of reaching average moisture levels for the year is now considered extremely remote.

Like winter precipitation patterns, stream flows in the coming year are expected to vary considerably statewide. According to the NRCS, the 2006 water year is shaping up as one of drought recovery in northern Colorado, with above-average runoff anticipated throughout the Yampa, White, Colorado, North Platte and South Platte river basins. Additionally, the headwaters of the Arkansas and Gunnison basins can expect runoff to exceed normal levels, as good moisture eventually spills over the top of basin divides.

However, the NRCS believes runoff in the state's southern rivers will likely fall well below normal this year, with volumes only reaching 70 percent of average in the Dolores, Animas, San Juan and Rio Grande basins. Some of the lowest volumes, ranging from 40 to 55 percent, are forecast for areas along some of the smaller tributaries of the Rio Grande and Arkansas rivers originating in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

If there's any good news coming out of the NCRS report, it's that statewide reservoir storage is holding close to average for this time of year, and some of the drier locations actually have above-average volumes following last year's heavy snows. The latest survey of 75 reservoirs around the state reflects storage volumes at 97 percent of average, and 113 percent of last year's volumes.

The survey suggests storage volumes have increased this year over last in every basin except the South Platte, which is just 94 percent of last year's level. Volumes in the Colorado, Rio Grande, and combined San Juan, Animas, Dolores, and San Miguel basins are 130 percent of those a year ago. Conversely, storage volumes in the Arkansas and Rio Grande basins remain well below average at 65 and 70 percent, respectively.

While regional storage levels were 111 percent of average by February 1, spring runoff is expected to be below, or well below, average this year. That of the Piedra River near Arboles, for instance, is forecast at just 52 percent of average, and the San Miguel near Placerville is expected to be 76 percent of average. The San Juan should flow at a level somewhere in between.

Even with 40 percent of the winter snow season still remaining between now and the end of April, it's safe to suggest that southern Colorado runoff, summer stream flows and subsequent reservoir storage will suffer this year. With that in mind, ranchers, farmers and other water users should plan now, for what is sure to be a continuation of the prolonged drought that has gripped the area for several years.


Pilot program to collect county SMM tax

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It is said there are two unavoidable things in life - death and taxes. Yet for years, many county residents have managed to avoid paying part of the latter - the Colorado Special Mobile Machinery Tax.

However, under a new pilot program initiated by the Archuleta County Assessor and the Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder, the tax holiday is over. Things are about to change.

"We're not saying 'watch out, we're out to get you,' but we want to make it fair for everybody," Archuleta County Assessor Keren Prior said.

June Madrid, the county's clerk and recorder, echoed Prior and said, "It's not fair one person pays and there are three others that don't. We're trying to find the best way to make sure the taxes are collected and it's fair for everybody."

According to Madrid, the tax is mandated by state statute and is like a motor vehicle tax, in that it requires businesses and private citizens to register and pay fees for mobile machinery such as backhoes, bobcats and loaders.

"If it can go by itself it gets a plate. If it has to be hauled it needs a sticker," Madrid said.

And Prior took it one step further, "If they're ever going to have it on the highway, it has got to be tagged."

Madrid explained the sticker or plate fees vary according to the item's age, purchase price and weight. Generally speaking, she said, the newer, more costly and heavier the item is, the higher the registration fees.

According to documents provided by Madrid, current Special Mobile Machinery (SMM) taxes for some of the most common pieces of equipment found in the county include: $82.13 for a 1986 Kubota tractor; $292.46 for a 1993 Caterpillar backhoe and $497.12 for a 2001 John Deere backhoe. And Madrid said the SMM fees add up.

With the current construction boom and the preponderance of heavy equipment and significant numbers of unpaid SMM taxes, Madrid estimates the county is missing out on about $200,000 - funds she said could be put back into the general fund and could be used to help pay for maintenance on roads the same equipment degrades while en route between jobs.

Prior agreed and said, "People need to think about what they don't do because it has a repercussion, it has a ripple effect," Prior said.

In light of tight budgets, constant funding shortfalls and increased county operating costs, Madrid and Prior said the county should tap into every available revenue stream, and that no tax, including the SMM tax, should go uncollected.

"This is not new," Prior said, "but it is something that needs to be followed up on and enforced."

And follow-through and enforcement remain the lynch pins in the success of the pilot program and the collection of the tax.

Madrid said during the past decade, the county has pursued enforcement and collection efforts in fits and starts. And she said, success in the past, and success in the future, depend heavily on cooperation between the assessor, clerk and recorder, the sheriff and the treasurer.

During a six-month period in the county's recent history, when interoffice cooperation was functioning smoothly and a deputy was assigned to enforcing the tax, Madrid said $30,000 in SMM taxes were added to the county coffers.

But even with a degree of success, Madrid said the effort was not sustained, and SMM enforcement efforts were shifted again to the back burner.

In 2005, she said the effort was resurrected and the budget reflected funds allocated for an enforcement deputy from the sheriff's office. Unfortunately, Madrid said, that effort never got off the ground.

And now, in 2006, the budget calls again for an enforcement effort, yet Madrid and Prior have taken a different tack.

This year they will each provide two members from their own staffs to work overtime on weekends, scouring the county looking for unregistered machinery.

The effort will cost $19,000, but Madrid and Prior said they believe it is worth the expense and will make payment of the tax equitable for all county residents. However, Madrid said, in the worst-case scenarios, the treasurer would have to enforce collections and a deputy would be required to impound the equipment. In short, Madrid said, the program will still require the political will of all four county offices to get the job done.

"This has to be a county-wide, collaborated, concerted effort," Madrid said.

With staff already in the field, Prior said they are on the watch for suspect equipment. If a piece of suspect machinery is discovered, she said it will be tagged with a notice stating the owner must report to the clerk and recorder's office to either pay the registration fees, or to prove the equipment is already accounted for as personal property with the assessor's office.

"In most instances," Prior said, "It will actually be cheaper to go register with the clerk and recorder than it will be if the assessor picks it up as personal property."

In light of recent, unprecedented population growth, both Madrid and Prior said it is possible that many newcomers are not aware of the tax.

"Some people don't know. We're hoping to educate everyone in the process," Prior said.


 Inside The Sun

Archuleta County Red Cross - ready to act

By Kathi DeClark

Special to The SUN

Your home just had a fire or the latest winter storm has caused your roof to collapse. Or, the sheriff has just told you that there is an emergency and you have to evacuate your home. Where will you go? It's cold and in this turmoil your family is upset, cold and hungry. You ask yourself, Where will we stay? What do we do now? Who can help us?

Yes, Virginia, there is a Red Cross chapter in Archuleta County.

The Southwest Colorado Chapter of the Red Cross, our parent chapter, is headquartered in Durango and covers the five southwestern counties. Though they have tried to support the county over the years, the distance from Durango to here was just too great for a timely response by their volunteers. With their encouragement, guidance and the support of the regions' disaster managers, fire chiefs and some dedicated local citizens who saw the obvious need, a small group of us put forth the effort to establish a local capability. While attempts to do this have been made in the past, they were challenged by the tremendous time and effort required to start up and run such an operation. We certainly hope that this time we'll endure and so far we have.

We are a small local Disaster Action Team (DAT) of 17 members who have been trained to help on small local disasters such as house fires, storms or small floods. We help those affected by a disaster with temporary food, clothing, medical and shelter assistance. We support emergency services personnel such as fire and Search and Rescue (SAR) when they are on extended calls.

Our plans are to become qualified for Mass Care, which means the capability to set up and run a shelter if we have evacuations in our area. Such an effort would require help from volunteers across the region. Our chapter is comprised completely of local volunteers who have given their time to not only set up operations, but to take the required training. Since we are not large enough to have a facility, when activated we operate out of the SAR base at the airport with the county emergency services team. The folks at the Humane Society have been kind enough to store our emergency gear. We have received welcome support from local hotels, restaurants, medical and welfare agencies with donations, discounted goods and services to support those we help. We have a watch team always on call and emergency services personnel know how to reach us or we can be reached through our watch cell phone (970)759-8438 or the sheriff's dispatch.

Last spring, a week before we became formally operational, we were greeted by the spring floods. It was time to test ourselves in the real world. We helped three families that were temporarily displaced. We supported the sandbag and emergency response crews with food and drink, as well as the SAR crews that were working searches. We were also ready to setup a shelter if the waters continued to rise and mandatory evacuations were required.'

During the hurricane crises, two Pagosa DAT volunteers, Kathie Baughman and one whom wishes to remain anonymous, were deployed to the affected areas to run two Red Cross shelters and otherwise assist with the efforts there. Here in Archuleta County, we had the opportunity to assist one of the families that had relocated to our area after the disaster. The rest of our local volunteers were "on standby" to assist with shelter operations in Farmington, where FEMA was very close to placing a large shelter for Hurricane Katrina's homeless.

Many don't know that the American Red Cross is chartered, but unfunded, by Congress to provide disaster services to the community and that 97 percent of the membership is comprised of volunteers. The organization is almost entirely operated by public donations. Most local operations do not cover their costs and are subsidized by the regional or national organization.

If you are interested in becoming an Archuleta County Red Cross DAT volunteer or making a donation to the local Southwestern Colorado Chapter, call Edie Newberg at (970) 903-4083 or Frank Elge at (970) 903-8746.

In a forthcoming article, I'll address the purpose of the Red Cross trailer parked at Trucks & More, which you see as you come down Put Hill.


Democrats Colgan and Deitch discuss platforms

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Joe Colgan and Jeff Deitch, the two Democratic candidates vying for the 59th District state representative's seat, met in a gentlemanly face-off in Pagosa Springs last Thursday.

The event was sponsored by the Archuleta County Democratic Party Central Committee.

Although not touted as a debate, the meeting allowed each candidate to outline their campaign platform, followed by a question and answer period where the candidates, in turn, answered questions posed by members of the audience.

In their opening remarks, both Colgan and Deitch outlined a series of priorities which looked typically Democratic and remarkably similar - the differences appeared to lie largely in personality and presentation.

Like a boxer erupting from his corner at the sound of the bell, Deitch let quick, succinct verbal punches fly. Although this was shadow boxing, and his blows were not aimed at Colgan, but rather to demonstrate his political prowess, his personal fire and his firm ideological and intellectual physique. With quick jabs and punishing uppercuts, he sent a message that he wasn't afraid to mix it up, that he could tussle with the big boys and that he would challenge the Republicans on all fronts—from the environment to health care, to the economy and education— that he was a man of passion and vision, that he had the fire to go the distance, that he was a Democrat's Democrat.

If Deitch was the youthful upstart, then Colgan ambled into the ring as a seasoned, almost grandfatherly, political master.

"My life has been about public service," Colgan began, and in his presentation he described his 40-year tenure years as a scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America and of numerous board and committee appointments in local government and affairs. He talked of his two terms on the Durango Town Council and of his post as Durango's mayor.

Beyond differences in personal style, both men said environmental protection, health care and public education were cornerstones of their campaigns, yet the two diverged slightly on issues of economic development.

During his presentation, Colgan tapped into his accounting background and said he advocated long term budgeting to help ensure and sustain a healthy economy.

Deitch said a strong economy and economic development relied on an interconnected web of factors such as the ability to produce a well educated work force, developing and attracting green industry and providing decent jobs for those who live in southwest Colorado. As part of creating a healthy local economy, Deitch said affordable housing played a pivotal role.

"I have the formula for affordable housing," Deitch said. "To afford a house you have to have a decent job."

Colgan said the key to unlocking a wealth of decent jobs could lie in the development of the medical industry in and around the new Mercy Regional Medical Center near Durango.

Colgan said he envisioned the area as a hub where medical professionals and medicine-related businesses could thrive, providing much needed jobs for locals.

No decision on who local democrats might support in the primary was made during the event.

Ben Douglas, chair of the Archuleta County Democratic Party Central Committee, said the scope of the event was to "get acquainted" with the candidates, not to make a final decision.

Douglas said, depending on delegate support for the candidates during the March 21 caucuses, it is possible that both men could end up on the primary election ballot.


June Madrid signals bid for reelection

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With a campaign message focused on the need for cooperation between county agencies and elected officials, Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder June Madrid has announced her intent to seek the Republican Party's nomination and reelection to the post she has held for the last 17 years.

"After much thought and consideration, I have chosen to run to maintain my position as Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder. I made a promise to continue to do the job to the best of my ability, always keeping the county's best interest at heart," Madrid said in a press release.

As part of her campaign pledge, Madrid said she is, and will remain committed to, facilitating interdepartmental cooperation to ensure the county runs efficiently and smoothly. She added that cooperation amongst elected officials was key to achieving that goal.

"I know the public is aware that it takes all eight elected officials working together, with no hidden agendas of their own, to make Archuleta County the best county it can be. I agree with that concept and strive to work with all departments to the best of my ability. Truthfully, the past four years have been the hardest of all the years I have worked for the county," Madrid said.

Despite the struggles of her most recent term, Madrid said she is committed to public service and that tackling the issues and challenges facing the county and its citizens make the pursuit of another term worth the effort.

The first, most pressing challenge, Madrid said, deals with changes in the voting process resulting from the 2002 Help America Vote Act.

"The big changes will be in the voting equipment and making sure every voting precinct is handicap accessible. There will eventually be a voting machine in each precinct (hopefully) that will handle all types of disabilities," Madrid said.

"Another challenge Archuleta County is still facing is collecting taxes due for the Special Mobile Machinery (SMM). In the past, we have tried utilizing the sheriff's office in the process but that did not work this past year. I feel it is important enough to keep trying until we find a system that is fair to everyone," Madrid said.

Madrid said her office, working in conjunction with the Archuleta County Assessor's Office, has instituted a pilot program to create a fair, equitable system for collecting the taxes.

"Taxes should be collected fairly and throughout the county and that has not been happening with the SMM taxes. It will not happen without all four offices involved (clerk and recorder, assessor, treasurer and sheriff) working together," Madrid said.

The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 8, 2006, with the general election scheduled for Nov. 7, 2006.


Keren Prior to run for another term

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

After eight years as Archuleta County's Assessor, Keren Prior has announced she is seeking a third term in office.

In a press release announcing her bid for the Republican nomination to the assessor's seat, Prior said she originally took the office with a promise to ensure "that values were done fairly and equitable throughout Archuleta County.

"The clean up from previous years has lessened and I feel good about the progress my office has accomplished." Prior said.

According to a press release, during the course of her two terms, the governor appointed Prior as assessor member to the Colorado Board of Real Estate Appraisers.

In addition, Prior said she was recruited in 2004 to sit on the Sixth Judicial District Nominating Committee for the Colorado Supreme Court judges.

The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 8, 2006, with the general election scheduled for Nov. 7, 2006.


Sign up for AARP driver safety course

Would you like to sharpen your driving skills and reduce your auto insurance premium?

You can do this by taking the AARP Driver Safety Program, a motor vehicle accident prevention course for persons age 50 and over. Students will learn defensive driving techniques, how to compensate for normal age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time, how to deal with aggressive drivers and much more.

The course consists of eight hours of classroom instruction conducted in two half-day sessions. There is a $10 fee.

The class will be taught at the Community United Methodist Church March 15 and 16. Class hours will be 1-5 p.m. both days.

Contact Don Hurt, the AARP volunteer instructor, at 264-2337 for additional information and to make your reservations. Class size will be limited to 24 students.


PAWSD seeking bids for Hatcher project

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District is accepting sealed bids for the Hatcher Water Treatment Plant Granular Activated Carbon Treatment System Project.

Bids must be submitted by either mail or hand delivery before 2 p.m. local time, Friday, March 3, 2006. Those received after will not be accepted.

Copies of contract documents and project specifications for use in preparing bids are available at Briliam Engineering Services at 228 Village Drive, Suite B, Pagosa Springs, Colo. Their phone number is (970)731-9338.

No independent subcontractor bids will be accepted, and qualified bidders shall be licensed in accordance with all applicable laws of the state and local governments where the project is located - in this case, Archuleta County, Colo. Lump sum bids shall be submitted, with a schedule of unit prices.

As described by PAWSD, "The project will consist of fabrication, supply, shipment, off-loading, installation, inspection, and startup of a Granular Activated Carbon Treatment System including the carbon absorbers; activated carbon; influent, effluent, and backwash piping with valves; carbon fill and discharge piping with valves; vent and pressure relief piping; utility connections; accessories, and manufacturer's services."

The owner (PAWSD) reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to waive irregularities or informalities therein. All bidders shall agree that such rejection shall be without liability on the part of the owner for any damage or claim brought by any bidder because of such rejections, nor shall the bidders seek any recourse of any kind against the owner because of such rejections. The filing of any bid in response to this invitation shall constitute an agreement of the bidder to these conditions.

At precisely 2 p.m. Friday, March 3, all bids will be opened and read aloud at the PAWSD office located at 100 Lyn Avenue, Pagosa Springs, and all interested parties are welcome to attend.


District to increase cost of self-serve water

The Pagosa Water and Sanitation District board approved a 12-percent increase in the cost of bulk water at the self-serve water filling stations, from 47 cents per 100 gallons to 53 cents per 100 gallons. The increase will be effective May 21.

There are two self-serve water filling stations - one on Sam Houston Boulevard (in the Chris Mountain area), and downtown on 2nd Street (referred to the "Museum fill station"). In 2005, over 9 million gallons of water were sold though the filling stations.

The coin operated system, accepting only quarters, was noted by the PAWS board to be "Mickey Mouse," and problematic because of coin jamming. The board agreed to review upgraded systems which could accept credit cards in the future.



Local NWTF chapter

will hold dinner, auction

By Bob Curvey

Special to the SUN

Help support wild turkey conservation and have a great time with family and friends by attending the eighth annual Wild Turkey Super Fund auction and dinner, hosted by the San Juan Gobblers chapter.

The event will be held April 1 at the Archuleta County Extension Building. Doors will open at 3 p.m. with dinner at 5:30 and auction to follow.

All ticket holders will be eligible to win valuable prizes exclusive to NWTF events. Also, a great array of door prizes, sporting art, hunting guns, knives, calls, outdoor equipment and more will be available.

You can get your tickets by calling the following committee members' numbers: 264-2415, 264-9377, 731-9172 or 731-4984.

Your membership will help the NWTF support wildlife conservation and management on public, private and corporate lands and help preserve hunting as a traditional American sport.

Since 1985, more than $202 million NWTF and cooperator dollars have been spent on over 31,000 projects benefitting wild turkeys throughout North America. The NWTF now has nearly 525,000 members in all 50 states, Canada and 11 other countries.

The work of the NWTF's dedicated volunteers and supporters is paying off. There are now nearly seven million wild turkeys found in 49 states and Canada, and almost three million turkey hunters.


Camp Rocky offers unique outdoor learning

Youth ages 14 through 19 who are looking for a unique outdoor learning opportunity should attend Camp Rocky.

Camp Rocky, sponsored by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, will be held July 9-15 in the mountains above Colorado Springs near Divide. Cost is $250, all inclusive. The San Juan Conservation District is offering two, all-expenses-paid scholarships on a first-come, first-serve basis.

"At Camp Rocky, we treat the students as if they were resource professionals," according to Bob Sturtevant, Colorado State University extension forestry specialist. "We give them lots of responsibility to make decisions about how the property should be managed to conserve natural resources."

Camp Rocky staff members are resource professionals from around the state, who help participants learn about their environment while working in teams and making new friends. Campers can choose one of the following resource fields for their area of focus: forest management, rangeland science, soil and water conservation or fish and wildlife management.

"The students are encouraged to become more knowledgeable and productive citizens as well as explore possible careers in natural resources," said Sturtevant. "They spend a week making new friends, learning about natural resources, and being outdoors doing hands-on activities. They gain new insight about the natural world."

Students have the opportunity to, among other things: Identify native plants, learn how ranchers determine how many grazing animals can use a pasture, how wildfire crews are organized and how they fight fires, how wildlife managers track animals and determine how many fish are in a stream, how to determine if a stream or lake is healthy, how foresters measure trees, how to prevent soil erosion and how watersheds work.

Participants also take part in sports games, hiking, a campfire, the Camp Rocky Challenge and a dance. At the close of camp, students receive a certificate of completion.

Youth must have completed eighth grade by June 2005 to be eligible. Various agencies, organizations and businesses including local conservation districts, Colorado's Section of the Society for Range Management, Arkansas Valley Seed Solutions and others provide financial support.

For information on registration or scholarship opportunities, contact the San Juan Conservation District at 731-3615. Registrations must be in by June 28.


Hunter education class offered in March

There will be a hunter education class March 6, 8, 10 and 11. Times are 6-9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. Classes will be held at the Pagosa Springs Town Hall, 551 Hot Springs Blvd.

Students must attend each session. There is no charge for this class.

This course is open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.

All programs, services and activities of the Colorado Division of Wildlife are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, contact Justin Krall, Doug Purcell or Mike Reid at 264-2131, or Don Volger at 264-4151, Ext. 239. To assure the Division of Wildlife can meet your needs, notify Krall, Purcell or Reid at least seven days before the class.

Class size will not be limited and no preregistration is required unless you need accommodations due to a disability.

This course is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Police Department in conjunction with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.


High Country Reflections

Happy birthday dad: What does the future hold?

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

It's a chilly February morning, and I'm sitting in my home office, thinking of my late father. If he was here now, still around, still among the living, he'd be 100 years old today.

In the 23 years I knew him, dad was much more than a loving father. He was my friend, mentor, fellow woodsman and fishing companion. My earliest childhood memories are of crawling in bed with him on Saturday mornings, wrestling, giving each other backrubs, and reading outdoor magazines together. My last is of sitting at the edge of his hospital bed, gently holding his hand, as he quietly slipped from this world into the next.

A sudden bizarre illness ended dad's life prematurely, but in his 66 years, he accomplished many things, and witnessed an incredible transformation of the physical, social and technological world around him. Throughout, as our country faced some of its most difficult challenges, dad managed a college education, succeeded in government work, provided well for his wife and four children, and still found time for his other passion, the great outdoors.

When dad was born in rural Kentucky, 1.6 billion people occupied the planet, 85 million lived in the United States, and the American industrial revolution was in full swing. Expanding transportation, new technology, cheap labor and abundant resources fueled rapid growth in mining, agriculture and manufacturing. Immigrants poured into the nation's cities, as labor unions negotiated higher wages, shorter hours and better working conditions for employees. Two years later, Henry Ford's new gas-powered Model T was readily affordable to ordinary wage earners.

Of course, industrialization also created vast disparities in wealth and business cycles, causing fluctuation between prosperity and depression. For laborers, job competition increased and workplace accidents and illnesses, such as respiratory diseases, were common. The environment suffered through the exploitation of natural resources, the discharge of oil and chemicals into rivers and the spewing of smoke into the atmosphere.

In early U.S. history, American forests were looked upon as impediments to cultivation, and settlers sought to remove them as quickly as possible. The resulting clear-cuts opened land for farming, but unlike Native Americans, who planted several crops on small plots of land, immigrants planted just one crop per parcel. With hope of producing the greatest yields possible, they planted several single crops over broader areas, thereby exhausting the soil more quickly, and creating greater demand for more cultivated land. As a result, vast expanses of forest were cleared without regard to environmental consequences.

Concern for the nation's forests resulted in the development of the U.S. Forest Service in 1905, just a year before dad's birth. Since then, the USFS has provided for the conservation and management of forests and national grasslands in 44 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

When dad was 8 years old, the Panama Canal was finally finished, and as he turned 11, the U.S. was dragged into World War I. He was 14 when women gained the right to vote, radio programming echoed through many American homes, and the sale of alcohol was banned, ushering in the era of Prohibition.

By age 24, just six months after the collapse of the stock market in 1929, dad broke the family farming tradition and graduated with a degree from the University of Missouri's School of Agriculture. Through the Depression years that followed, he married, had two daughters and began working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

By 1940, when he was 34, the number of U.S. citizens had swelled to 132 million, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was created through the consolidation of the Bureau of Fisheries and the Biological Survey. Charged with a variety of conservation, propagation and regulatory activities, the USFWS began federal oversight of the nation's fish and wildlife populations, while protecting species in imminent danger of extinction, and helping states to establish viable hunting and fishing regulations.

A year later, Japan pulled the U.S. into World War II with an attack on Pearl Harbor, and American auto makers promptly switched from passenger car production to the manufacture of tanks, trucks, bombs, navigation equipment, and bomber aircraft. The first practical television system began operating soon after, and with the invention of the powerful electron microscope, scientists began viewing cell structure that would ultimately lead to the discovery of DNA in 1953.

In February, 1945, dad turned 39 and a month later, my brother was born. By August, WW II ended with the surrender of Japan, costing an estimated total of 55 million human lives worldwide, including 30 million civilians. In October, the United Nations was officially established, but with Britain, France, Germany and Japan no longer considered military powers in the traditional sense, the balance of world strength shifted to the U.S. and Soviet Union.

In 1950, I was a year old and one of an estimated 152 million Americans nationwide. Roughly 2.5 billion people inhabited the earth, and with the Cold War heating up, President Truman committed American troops to Korea. In the meantime, the perceived threat of Communism spread throughout the nation and the world, and the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear devise.

In the few years to follow, an atomic arms race led to U.S. and Soviet thermonuclear developments and testing, raising global concerns over the threat of radioactive fallout. As some citizens built personal doomsday shelters beneath or beside their homes, schools, churches and government buildings designated their lowest levels as public emergency shelters and stocked them with food, water and medical supplies.

Meanwhile, in spite of his demanding work as a milk market administrator in several Midwestern communities, dad had become an avid angler and upland bird hunter. Living near the Mississippi River then, and not far from the northern woods of Minnesota and Wisconsin, he often ventured out with friends to fish or hunt pheasants, ducks or quail. As brother Jim and I matured enough to handle light bait-casting rods, we too, were included on occasional outings, and for a few years, several of us traveled to Lake of the Woods, Ontario for some fine walleye fishing.

By the early '60s, we had a newfangled color television. The Vietnam War was brewing, President Kennedy had just been assassinated and jet airliners carried hundreds of passengers at a time across the country and around the globe. Artificial satellites orbited the earth, the race to the moon was on, and by July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong placed his left boot on the powdery lunar surface, becoming the first human to visit another world.

Dad passed away in November 1972. By then, 210 million people lived in America and 3.8 billion inhabited the world. My brother lived in Colorado, and I was married and working as a land surveyor. A few years later, following a civil divorce, I joined my brother in Vail, where I spent most of my spare time skiing, camping or fishing with Jim and a few close friends.

Today, largely due to dad's influence, I am an avid angler and outdoor enthusiast. Thanks, in part, to him, I am able to recognize the intricate and interdependent beauty in all of nature, and I realize its extraordinary value to every one of us. Yet, we are destroying so much at such an alarming rate.

I must say, as humans continue to proliferate, so does my concern for what the future of the world may hold. With 295 million people currently living in the U.S. and 6.1 billion worldwide, it's becoming a serious matter. One might ask, by 2025, when there are 349 million Americans and a total world population of 7.9 billion, what of the natural world will remain?

It's something to think about.




Hoohah 1

Dear Editor:

I managed to suppress my urge to respond to your editorial, "Make it a race," Feb. 9. But then you published Ben Douglas' letter, "Went walkabout," and your editorial, "Ban the hoohah," Feb. 16.

Douglas' letter is polite, objective and informative in its expressions of his disagreements and agreements with the content of "Make it a race." Also it appropriately defends the Archuleta County Democratic Party, of which he is the elected chairman. Your editor's note is condescending.

Your editorial, "Ban the hoohah," is unintelligible.

I had never seen or heard the word; so I went to the dictionaries. One defines it as, "a commotion, fuss or to-do." The other one doesn't bother to define it, but gives the synonym, "hullabaloo," which it defines as, "a confused noise." Neither dictionary has the terminal "h" you use. My spellchecker gives "hoo-hah."

You state that, "It's (hoohah) heard everywhere there are established institutions," and you list some; but you didn't specifically include newspaper editors and reporters. I would.

You can't possibly have thought through your "simpleminded" plan to solve the hoohah problem. If superintendents, principals, and other administrators left their positions every third year and went to a classroom for a year, who would take their places? There is no doubt in my mind that chaos would ensue throughout the district. Would you go to the pressroom and run the presses for one year out of three? Your time would be better spent if you got really involved in the political process.

Your editorial, "Make it a race," reveals your contempt for the political system of the great state of Colorado. Such phrases as, "stale process of caucuses, assemblies, and primaries"; "specter of partisan thinking"; "tame the partisan beast"; "knee-jerk political reactions"; and "But until we have the sense to change it, we must deal with what we have - an antiquated system," are examples in point. Didn't we have a referendum or an initiative in a recent year proposing to change our system? As I recall, it failed miserably.

Your failure to become thoroughly familiar with the system, how it works, and its terminology causes you be guilty of hoo-hah in your editorial, "Make it a race." You owe it to your readers to ban it from your editorials and news articles. If you want to make a case for changes you think we should make, do it. But meanwhile you can get more citizens to participate by respecting our system and helping them to understand and accept it.


Earle Beasley

Editor's note: You are correct: There is plenty of hoohah dispensed by newspaper editors and reporters. As there is by many authors of letters to the editor.


Bloom off the rose

Dear Editor:

What continues to be amazing is the look of astonishment on the faces of GWB's few remaining supporters when a critical remark is overheard. Why, even FOX News has questioned his responses to the outcomes of his projects and actually reported on his management failures.

GWB's remaining two major initiatives, not yet totally a failure, are the "tax cuts" and the exportation of democracy. The primary problems with the latter Wilsonian effort are that neither history nor practice nor preceding sages are on his and the NeoCon side. Early in our history, a French historian, A. Tocqueville, wrote that democracy in America grew organically over many preceding years. GWB and fan club chose to ignore all lessons and advice from history.

It has been pretty much a rule of thumb that governments are determined not by what liberal humanists desire but rather by what business people, the local military and local citizens desire for security purposes.

As hard as it is to hear, no nation, including the U.S., ever developed a democracy without emerging (sometimes requiring a revolution) from a dictatorship that provided time for a strong middle class and efficient institutions to develop. Due to varying cultures and ethics, the nominal system of a government is less significant than the nature of the society in which it operates. Most surviving new democracies are hybrids with global corporations and the military playing a strong hand. (Excerpts from R. Kaplan)

The ultimate on-the-ground fact ignored by GWB in exporting democracy to the Middle East is that Islam has provided security, functioning societies and relative happiness for millions of people for 1,400 years. GWB began this war on terror calling it a crusade.

What is truly amazing is the degree of difficulty in getting the bloom off his rose. Good government means relative safety from corruption, from breach of contract, from property expropriation and from bureaucratic inefficiency. Which of these have you experienced since his first term in office?"

David Blake


Morale problem

Dear Editor:

As a 14-year member of this community, I have never written a letter to the editor. I find myself compelled to do so now.

I am a retired peace officer with over 32 years service. During the last five years of my employ with the San Diego District Attorney's office, I worked as a supervising investigator in charge of a homicide team.

Since my retirement, I have served this community both as a DA investigator and a volunteer member of the search and rescue team for 11 years. During the last six months with the SAR team, I was hired by Sheriff Tom Richards as supervising coordinator. I replaced Sgt. Karn Macht, who resigned after difficulties with Undersheriff Grandchamp. In that position, I reported directly to the undersheriff.

I have read with interest the recent letters of hubris written by newly-hired deputies. It is my understanding that Bob Grandchamp has been undersheriff for approximately two years. During that period of time, at least 18 people, including 11 sworn personnel, have resigned from the sheriff's office. Is there a morale problem at the sheriff's department?

I have spoken with most of those people and learned that most, if not all, resigned because of difficulties with Undersheriff Grandchamp. The most recent resignation of Deputy Valdez is a shame. I have worked with him in the past and he was one of the most respected and finest officers in the community. Sgt. Bybee's recent comments about "cry babies" do not apply to any of the people who left the department.

With my background and experience in law enforcement, I found Bob Grandchamp to be an ineffective manager with poor people skills. He is a micro-manager who needs to have total control over all aspects of the office. I myself resigned from the department shortly after he and I had serious differences with regard to the SAR budget. I believe morale problems still exist within the department.

Folks, it is time for a new administration in the sheriff's department, which does not include the current undersheriff.

Dick Cole


Baseball Pirates

Dear Editor,

There will be 14 home baseball games this spring.

The first game is scheduled March 11, 2006. Thank you's are owed throughout. The field has been in disrepair for two seasons. There are kids very excited about an opportunity to play in front of their Pirate fans and families.

The high school improved the field by moving the fences out to regulation size. The school also provided great new surface material for the infield and the outfield warning track and put in a new water system.

The finish work last fall was donated by professionals. Without their excavating experiences, the fields would have remained unplayable. Heavy equipment and many hours were donated by Ken Smith and Doug Hampton. These men donating their professional time and equipment cannot be adequately appreciated.

Finally, the coaches must be thanked also. Charles Gallegos and Len Richey spent more time doing heavy labor than anyone else. These men had blistered hands from all the shoveling and raking done last fall. Now we have an infield to be proud of and more importantly a place for our athletes to play.

We are ready to watch our Pirate baseball teams. We hope lots of fans will be there to watch the first pitch on our great new field on March 11, 2006.

David Cammack


Double standard

Dear Editor:

Talk about the press double standards. The hoopla over VP Cheney's delay in reporting the shooting doesn't compare to Sen. Edwin Kennedy's reaction when he drove Mary Jo Kopecpney off the bridge in Chappaquidic and killed her. Dear Edwin went home and took a shower and a nap before he went to the police the next day What a pile of baloney that is the current press "outrage." Get real!


E.H. Mergens



Dear Editor:

This letter was also sent to our county commissioners.

Please accept this public input, in regard to our airport and community.

1. The recent air traffic noise seems to have increased.

2. With increased air traffic, be aware of air quality going down!

3. This airport needs to keep a small level airplane requirement, to save our community from the above concerns.

4. Stop monies and road maintenance being a priority for the airport.

5. We are not Durango and myself and many others in this community do not want Pagosa Springs to become another Durango!

6. We do not need to be comparing community changes to Durango. Keep Pagosa, Pagosa, let it have its own ID.

Pam Morrow


Chop chop

Dear Editor:

When Clinton and/or Bush give tax credits to multinational corporations who export jobs from the U.S. to other countries, should we consider that good business or politics or a crime?

Chop chop y'all.

Don Reid


Morale problem 2

Dear Editor:

How many more?

I normally do not write letters to the editor, but this is an exception to which I am compelled. It concerns the resignation of Deputy Richard Valdez from the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office this past week.

I have not only known Richard as a friend for many years, but have had the privilege of working with him in the law enforcement community, both as a police officer and a deputy sheriff. I have watched him mature in this field, and have often given him direction when he has come to me for advice. Richard never was shy about asking before he acted.

Having seen all caliber of people become law enforcement officers in the last 27 years, I see Richard Valdez as one of the best; ethically, morally, and professionally. He is the epitome of what all employers strive to recruit for their departments. Whoever is fortunate enough to inherit him as a police officer, will find themselves laughing at his prior employer for being foolish enough to allow him to get away.

I know why Richard resigned. It has everything to do with poor morale, double standards and favoritism. It absolutely has to do with the miserable job the undersheriff has done to bring the sheriff's office into the substandard department it currently finds itself.

The timing of recent letters to the editor from current members of the sheriff's administration regarding an absence of a morale problem is so obvious as to be ludicrous. What would you expect from a handful of new deputies who have been promoted to ranking positions without the benefit of a promotion process? As a matter of fact, I believe that of the 15 budgeted, sworn personnel positions the sheriff's office has, nine of those employees have come aboard during the last year or less.

In my experience this situation is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

Carl Smith


Hoohah 2

Dear Editor:

Kudos for the editorial featuring "hoohah!" The following is my list of those who do not qualify countywide - sorry it's so short.

First and foremost is my hubby, Fire Chief Warren Grams; of course his motto has always been, "I don't ask my people to do anything I wouldn't do myself."

Then there is Pagosa Fire District Business Manager Diane Bower. Come see her digging through ashes and refuse to pinpoint a starting point and cause of a fire.

Third would be Gene Tautges of PAWS, who still likes to get dirty even though he's assistant manager for the water district. He's also a volunteer firefighter of 20 years.

And last, but by no means least, is June Madrid, our county clerk, who has always worked side-by-side with all her people.

Now if any readers are interested in my "do qualify" list, feel free to give them my home number.

Keep on keeping on, Karl.

Kay Grams


Community News

Benefit concert March 4 features roster of great local talents

A benefit concert for Danna Laverty and the Laverty family will take place 6-10 p.m. March 4 at Restoration Fellowship.

Proceeds from the concert will help defray the family's medical expenses while Danna is undergoing chemo and radiation treatment for breast cancer.

The concert will feature the Pagosa Hot Strings, Wildflower (the Laverty daughters) and Foxfire Bluegrass Band, along with other community talent: Jack Ellis, Chris Baum, Ian Kelly, Bluegrass Cadillac with Robin Davis, and vocalist Darcy Downing.

Danna is currently in Los Angeles and is away from her six children and her husband, Kurt, and can come home periodically.

A tax deducible donation account has been set up for the Laverty family in Danna's name at Restoration Fellowship.

For more information on the concert, to help or contribute your talent, call Darcy or Sean Downing at 731-1687.


'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' next up at film society

The Pagosa Springs Film Society will screen and discuss director Lasse Hallstrom's "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," starring Johnny Depp and Leonard DiCaprio (who won an Academy Awards nomination for his role) Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Gilbert Grape lives in Endora, a place where nothing much happens. He has to care for his autistic brother Arnie and his obese mother, a situation which gets in the way when love walks into his life

Critic Roger Ebert comments: "What's Eating Gilbert Grape makes of these materials one of the most enchanting movies of the year, a story of people who aren't misfits only because they don't see themselves that way. The special quality of this film is not its oddness, however, but its warmth."

The program starts at 7 p.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit B-15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. A suggested donation of $3 will benefit The Friends of the Library.


Sign up for Night of the Young Child

Do you have a future rock star in the family?

How about an up-and-coming ballerina?

Maybe an "excellent" hula hooper?

Sign them up today for Night of the Young Child.

The entertainment event is part of Week of the Young Child, held every year to honor young children.

Night of the Young Child will take place Tuesday, April 11, in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium. This is a free event for children to age 14.

Call Lynne Bridges at 264-5513 to sign up.


Cha Cha at In Step in March

By Deb Aspen

Special to The PREVIEW

The In Step Dance Club is bringing back the ever-popular, sizzling Cha Cha to Pagosa Springs in March.

Class dates will be March 2,8,16 and 23 from 7-9 p.m., with practice sessions March 12, 19 and 26 from 3-5 p.m. All classes and sessions meet at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. Please arrive 10 minutes early to register, and have your attendance recorded towards merit points. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that have smooth or split leather soles, (something that does not leave black marks or mud). A little shy? Afraid your Latin rhythm isn't exactly sizzlin'?

Not to worry ... Deb Aspen will teach a Latin Technique Workshop Saturday, March 4. She has been training under Latin specialists such as Bob and Cindy Long of Albuquerque; Bobby Gonzales from California; John Speros from Rockford, Ill.; Leslie Spearin from Grand Rapids, Mich.; Michael Mitsui (four-time Canadian Professional Rhythm Champion) from Vancouver - all from the Arthur Murray Dance Organization.

Deb also studies under some of the top DVIDA (Dance Vision International Dance Association) former champions such as Ron Montez, Chris Morris, Michael Kinkaid, Jim and Janell Maranto, Cody Melin and Resa Henderson, Paul Overton and Sharon Ashe, and Bob Powers and Julia Gorchakova (recently retired 14-time National Latin Champions).

The Latin workshop will run from 2-5 p.m., followed by beverages and appetizers (provided by In Step) from 5-6, a potluck dinner from 6-7, then dancing to a variety of C.D. music until 10. Everyone is welcome. No prior dancing experience necessary. Just show up at the PLPOA Clubhouse around 1:45 p.m. to register. Call Deb at 731-3338 for more information.

So what about Cha Cha?

Cha cha first appeared in the West Indies where there is a plant that produces seed pods that make a "cha-cha" sound. In Haiti, in the early 1950s, the cha-cha pod was used by band leaders as a metronome to set the pace for dancing and singing. Also, there is a direct correlation between the sound of the feet sliding sideways (the chassé) in the triple-step, and the name of the dance which was originally "Cha-Cha-Cha."

In 1953, the Cuban orchestra America started playing a mambo with a different beat. It was slower, allowing the dancers to use a slight hip undulation on the low count, like the "Cuban motion" in the rumba. As the dance migrated to the United States where it came under the influence of the swing dances, the rhythm was changed into a triple-step, step-step; and the Cha Cha, as we know it today, was born. By 1959, U.S. dance studios reported that it was their most requested dance. Cuban in origin, the lively Cha Cha rhythm is found in much of today's popular music. Even Tim Sullivan plays some songs to which you can Cha Cha.

It's a must-learn dance!


"Primarily Found Objects" opens with weekend hours at SHY RABBIT

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

SHY RABBIT proudly opened its highly anticipated exhibition, "Primarily Found Objects," Saturday evening to a crowd of more than 200 people.

Both SHY RABBIT galleries will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m., beginning Saturday, Feb. 25, and running through show closing March 25.

Private viewings are also available by request. To schedule an appointment, call 731-2766, or 731-2659. You are invited to meet the artists and talk to them about their work in Pagosa's only contemporary venue, SHY RABBIT.

This innovative exhibition features the work of 32 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.

SHY RABBIT is located at: 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 and B-4, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147. For additional information or directions, call 731-2766, 731-2659, or e-mail shyrabbit01@aol.com.


Rotary Casino Night coming March 11

By Justin Dorsey

Special to The PREVIEW

The fans are cheering and the stadium is rockin'!

That can only mean one thing: It's time for the Pagosa Springs Rotary Casino Night. Thanks to Ears 2 U Hearing Center and Eichinger Financial, this year's casino event will be the best game in town. You may be a fan of John Elway, Tiger Woods, or even Michael Jordan. Whoever it is, just show off your team spirit, break out your favorite sports gear and head down to the community center Saturday, March 11.

The event is a bit earlier this year, but we couldn't wait to do it again. There will be food from all types of sporting events, cash bar, silent auction, casino gaming and raffles for some great prizes.

Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased from friendly Rotary members, at the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center and at local sponsoring banks. By purchasing one ticket, you could win a trip for two for a Denver Broncos weekend getaway. You will also receive $50,000 in funny money to take your "A" game to the black jack, craps, roulette or Texas Hold'em tables for more chances to win great prizes.

The silent auction will have fantastic autographed sports memorabilia items from world-renowned players and numerous items from local businesses and attractions.

By the way, if you're wondering where all the money goes - 100 percent goes back into the community of Pagosa Springs through community and teacher grants, scholarships and other very worthwhile causes.

We all have fun at these events and win some great prizes, but the real winner is the community of Pagosa Springs. Last year, we were able to raise over $30,000 at this event. That money allowed Rotary to provide over $15,000 in college scholarships, $5,000 to the Town of Pagosa Springs Sports Complex, $5,000 to the Pagosa Outreach Connection and the rest to various Rotary Community Grant Fund Projects. As you can see, this is an obvious win-win situation.

So, buy your tickets now for the Pagosa Springs Rotary Casino Night.

This event is made possible by these generous sponsors: Ears 2 U Hearing Center, Eichinger Financial Inc., Bank of Colorado, Citizens Bank, Four Corners Broadcasting, Jann Pitcher Real Estate, KWUF, LaPlata Electric Association, Wells Fargo, Coyote Hill Lodge, Clarion Mortgage, DeClark Granite, Jem Jewelers, UBC, Appraisal Services, Bank of the San Juans, CenturyTel, Colorado Dream Homes, Comfort One Insulation, Davis Engineering, Edward Jones, First Southwest Bank, Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures, Skywerx Internet Services, Sunetha and Tim Miller Customer Homes.


Fiesta Club seeks volunteers

for Cinco de Mayo celebration

The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club invites all those interested in participating in the Cinco de Mayo 2006 celebration to attend a planning meeting Tuesday, Feb. 28. The meeting will be held at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce at 5:30 p.m.

Volunteers for a variety of committees are needed to continue a long tradition of Hispanic culture in this community. The entire community is welcome - you do not need to be Hispanic to participate.

Plans for this year's event include a dinner and dance, plus a children's education carnival with lots of entertainment. Volunteers are is essential if the event is to be a success.

If you have any ideas, or need more information, contact Isabel Webster at 264-4604.


People's Choice award presented at photo contest

By Joan Rohwer

Special to The PREVIEW

The votes are in for the People's Choice ribbon at the 18th annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Photography Contest.

More than 300 people have viewed the show and 183 were brave enough to make a solitary choice for their favorite image.

Most years, the photograph with the winning number of votes is an entry that did not win a ribbon - a local favorite. However, this year, for the most part, the voters agreed with the judge.

Barbara Rosner received the People's Choice Ribbon for her entry in the Black & White category. "Puppy Love" is a soft image of two sleeping siblings. Curled tightly together, their black noses are the defining element in the image.

This year, the votes are so close that we are recognizing runners up for this award. Jennifer Alley's "One Beautiful Butterfly" in the Floral category catches the eye with it's vibrant colors. Jerrold Granok's General Landscape of "Beaver Creek, New Hampshire" is a subtly-lit, boulder-strewn image. In the Architecture category, Bill Woggon's "La Puerta-the Door" invites the viewer to enter.

The photography contest committee and Moonlight Books are delighted with the extraordinary interest in this event. Our mission is to provide the opportunity for broad local participation, to allow individuals with differing interests to express their artistic sides and display their skills.


Key Club to sponsor talent show

By Shanti Johnson

Special to the PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs High School Key Club will host a talent show April 21.

Anyone from the community is welcome to come out and express their talent. And yes, we will be giving awards!

If you would like to participate in the show, you can pick up an application at Ruby M. Sisson Library, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, or at the high school office.

For more information, contact Rosie Lee, club president, 264-6506, or e-mailpagosakeyclub@yahoo.com.


Soup for the Soul

benefits Hospice of Mercy

By Don Strait

Special to The PREVIEW

Please join us for a night to remember, at Soup for the Soul.

Ten Pagosa restaurants and many other supporters are serving a full supper at the community center 5-8 p.m. March 2.

Soup, bread and desserts will be provided by Boss Hogg's, Dionigi's Italian Cafe, Dorothy's Restaurante, Farrago's Market Cafe, High Grounds Coffee, JJ's Upstream, Pagosa Baking Company, The Getaway, Victoria's Parlor and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee. Other sponsors include Alpine Bank, Bank of the San Juans, Goodford LLC, Herman Riggs and Associates, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Pine Ridge Extended Care and Ponderosa Do-It-Best.

Other contributors are Aspen Tree animal Caring Center, City Market Downtown, City Market Country Center, Naturally Yours, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Shamrock Foods, US Foods and more!

Tickets are $10 each, available at the Chamber of Commerce, and all proceeds benefit Hospice of Mercy.


Scopes Trial, creationism topics for unitarians

On Sunday, Feb. 26, Prof. Jim Cross of Fort lewis College will present a program for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship entitled "Revisiting the 1925 Scopes Trial and the Evolution of Creationists."

This past year saw the 80th anniversary of the Scopes Trial in which John T. Scopes was put on trial for teaching evolution in a Dayton, Tenn., classroom. In addition to reviewing the events, participants and significance of the Scopes trial, Cross will address how creationists have adapted, and indeed evolved their arguments, positions and strategies in their attempts to have a religious view of creation taught in public school science classes.

Although this historic trial is well known, the events, and particularly the outcome, have been widely misunderstood. This topic is again in the news with the recent court decision in Dover, Penn., regarding an attempt to teach "Intelligent Design" in high school classrooms. How Colorado has handled this controversy will also be discussed.

An educator for over 30 years, Cross has taught at The Fieldston School in NYC, Queens College, Colorado College, and is currently in his 18th year as a professor in the exercise science department at Fort Lewis College in Durango.

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


World Day of Prayer to be celebrated at IMH

Friday, March 3, is World Day of Prayer.

It will be celebrated this year at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, starting at 11:30 a.m.

There will be a potluck salad luncheon in the Parish Hall following the service. All who attend are asked to bring a salad to share.

World Day of Prayer is cosponsored by Church Women United and World Day of Prayer USA. Founded in 1941, Church Women United is an ecumenical movement reaching 25 million Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian women. World Day of Prayer is an international movement in 170 countries and regions whose prayers follow the sun across the globe on the day of the celebration.

This year's program was written in collaboration by women from South Africa. The theme is "Signs of the Times," which asks us to look at the world and see where our prayers are needed to heal the sick, especially those people living in Africa with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

In the last four decades, South Africa has experienced enormous change. From oppression and apartheid, it has become a republic which guarantees human rights and freedoms to every citizen. However, this changing country has extreme health problems; the unemployment rate is approximately 37 percent; up to 50 percent of the population live below the poverty level, and women and children experience the highest rates of poverty and abuse.

The women of South Africa ask communities across the world to join with them March 3 to pray for justice, peace, healing and wholeness.

For more information, call Lynne McCrudden, 264-4629.


Local Chatter

It's time for carnival around the world

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Wednesday, March 1, is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, the Christian period of fasting and penitence preparatory to Easter. It lasts 40 days (minus Sundays). The fifth Sunday is Passion Sunday and the last Sunday is Palm Sunday.

Easter is a movable feast day always on the Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or after the spring equinox on March 21. This full moon may happen on any date between March 21 and April 18 inclusive. It cannot be earlier than March 22 or later than April 21.

The day before Ash Wednesday is Shrove Tuesday. The French term for Shrove Tuesday is Mardi Gras, and Mardi Gras is carnival time around the world, usually lasting a week or more.

To mark your calendar, Easter Day in years to come ais April 5 (2007), March 23 (2008), April 12 (2009) and April 4 (2010).

World Day of Prayer

The annual World Day of Prayer is Friday, March 3 at 11:30 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 451 Lewis Street.

This year's program was written by a collaboration of women from South Africa. The theme is "Signs of the Times," which asks us to look at the world and see where our prayers are needed to heal the sick, especially those people living in Africa with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

In the last four decades, South Africa has experienced enormous change. From oppression and apartheid, they have become a republic which guarantees human rights and freedoms to every citizen. However, this changing country has extreme health problems, the unemployment rate is approximately 37 percent, up to 50 percent of the population live below the poverty level, and women and children experience the highest rates of poverty and abuse.

The women of South Africa ask communities across the world to join with them on the 3rd of March to pray for justice, peace, healing and wholeness.

Potluck luncheon to follow and attendees are asked to bring a salad to share.

Around Town

Ten Pagosa restaurants will provide the food for the annual Soup for the Soul, a fund-raiser for Hospice of Mercy that will be held between the hours of 5--8 p.m. at the community center. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Chamber of Commerce.

Fun on the Run

As the crowded airliner is about to take off, the peace is shattered by a 5-year-old boy who picks that moment to throw a wild temper tantrum. No matter what his frustrated, embarrassed mother does to try to calm him down, the boy continues to scream furiously and kick the seats around him.

Suddenly, an elderly man in the uniform of an Air Force general walks up the aisle. Stopping the flustered mother with an upraised hand, the white-haired, soft-spoken man leans down and, motioning toward his chest, whispers something into the boy's ear.

Instantly, the boy calms down, gently takes his mother's hand, and quietly fastens his seat belt.

All the other passengers burst into spontaneous applause. As the general slowly makes his way back to his seat, one of the cabin attendants touches his sleeve.

"Excuse me," she asks quietly, "but could I ask you what magic words you used on that little boy?"

The old man smiles serenely and confides, "I showed him my pilot's wings, service stars and battle ribbons, and explained that they entitle me to throw one passenger out the plane door, on any flight I choose."


Community Center News

'A Garden of Lights' dance fun for all

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

They ate pizza.

They danced.

They popped a lot of balloons.

Last Friday's snow did not stop 100 teens from attending the Teen Center's Grand Opening Dance, "A Garden of Lights." The community center gym was decked out in swags of greenery and still-beautiful Valentine flowers donated by the Flower Cottage.

The party started at 5:30. Teens made quick work of the pizzas donated by The Buffalo Grill, Pizza Hut and Dominos. Isabel Webster, owner of The Flying Burrito, donated sloppy joes and coordinated the small army of dedicated bakers who donated sweet treats. City Market and ALCO donated party goods.

P.R.E.C.O. Plumbing sponsored DJ Bobby Hart, who threw down a great mix of music from multiple decades and genres. Teen Center Coordinator Jen Stockbridge insisted that the music not contain any explicit lyrics. "It's tough to find music kids want to hear that isn't explicit," said DJ Bobby. "I had to dig deep."

Door and contest prizes were donated by The Flower Cottage, Treasures of the Rockies, The Wild Rose T-Shirt Outlet, The Flying Burrito, Pagosa Office Supply, The Springs, Subway, and SONOCO. Sponsors providing additional support were Bank of the San Juans, Bank of Colorado, Citizen's Bank, Wells Fargo and 1st Bank of the Southwest.

The dance ended at 9 p.m. and cleanup continued for another two hours. "The teens were asking me when the next dance would be," said Jen. "I told them that it would be when they would all pitch in to clean up." Jen was pleased that all the teens behaved themselves and did not break anything but balloons.

"This event was successful because of the community's support," she said. "We had great sponsors, donors and chaperones who stepped up to make this dance something special - and free of charge. Their participation indicates that Pagosa really does want the Teen Center to succeed. That's encouraging to me."

Relay for Life

A kickoff meeting for the annual Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, will be held at the center 5 to 7 p.m. today.

The Relay for Life will take place June 16-17. This kickoff gathering is for any interested parties: those who will participate as a team member or leader, survivors, sponsors, or anyone whose interest is of a general nature. During the meeting there will be a short ceremony, local survivors will speak and there will be an opportunity to have your questions answered. Actual training for team captains will take place in March.

Soup for the Soul

On March 2, from 5 to 8 p.m., 10 local restaurants will provide soups, salads, breads, and desserts for this annual event at the center.

Proceeds will benefit the Hospice of Mercy. This organization provides care and assistance to those who are facing difficult times at the end of their lives. It also focuses on the patient's family, even providing bereavement counseling for thirteen months after the death of the patient. The caregivers use a team approach involving doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains, physical therapists, and volunteers, all of whom meet often to discuss how best to help each individual and his/her family. Don Strait tells us that there have been instances when a person's life has been extended by as much as a year and a half.

Tickets are $10 and are available now at the Chamber; they will also be sold at the door. Please come and enjoy a soup supper, while you support this wonderful service to our community.

Aus-Ger Club

A reminder: Today there will be a potluck brunch at the community center from 10 a.m. to noon. Call Roger Behr at 731-0409 for information about this group of Pagosans who have an interest in all things German, Austrian and Swiss.

Cooking classes

To those of you who are registered for the next Thai cooking class, note the class has been moved to 10 a.m.-noon Monday, Feb. 27. The fee, $10 per person per class session, must be paid before the day of the class. A prepayment has become necessary because there are so many people wanting to attend that we need to be able to fill any vacancies that occur.

A third Thai class is being planned, so let us know of your interest and we will add your name to the waiting list.

Computer lab news

As the costs of propane and natural gas hover at record highs, wood pellets are in short supply, and electric rates are due to increase, saving energy at home has become a major area of interest for most of us.

Fortunately, the Internet provides a wealth of information on how to save energy. A few sites that seem particularly useful are:

- www.homeenergysaver.lbl.gov - a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) site that has tons of useful information for both existing homes and new construction. The mass of information ranges from detailed energy saving hints for various types of homes (including log and manufactured homes), to typical energy demands of household electric products, to tips on selecting a contractor. I found the site to be relatively easy to navigate considering how much data is to be found there.

- www.energystar.gov - another DOE site that has information about the Energy Star Program, which is a government-backed program to help businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. This site also has many good tips for saving energy in new and existing homes, as well as a link to information on new tax breaks for homeowners and for the purchase of energy-efficient vehicles.

- www.aceee.org - the site of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. In addition to general energy saving tips, this site has detailed lists of the most energy efficient products from furnaces to refrigerators by brand and model. The site also has suggestions for those who are selecting heating and air conditioning systems. Lots of links here too.

- www.energyguide.com - a commercial site that sells hundreds of energy-efficient products from weather stripping to fans. However, it also has an interesting home analyzer tool that can help you determine potential savings from various home improvements and from replacing older appliances and heating systems.

- www.eia.doe.gov - a DOE site, worthwhile if you are interested in statistics and trends, such as fuel prices.

The last sessions in the eight-week series of beginners classes will be held Tuesday, Feb. 28, and Wednesday, March 1. In the two following weeks, our emphasis will be on learning some solid keyboard and mouse skills.

Please note that you don't have to be signed up for one of our beginning classes in order to take advantage of these two weeks of practice sessions. Here are the dates and times: March 7, 8, 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to noon.

We will talk about the best way to hold a mouse, how to avoid shoulder pain when you do a lot of mousing, alternatives to double-clicking, and keyboard alternatives in general, for those of you who just don't like to use a mouse. For example, it is often easier and faster to shut down your computer using the keyboard rather than the mouse; it's just a matter of knowing the steps. The steps on an XP machine, by the way, are: ctrl + esc, u, u, Enter. Simple and fast.

Some of you may not know what to do with that little key on the keyboard that has the flying windows logo on it, or the one labeled Fn. Beginners need to know the difference between the backspace and delete keys. The hunt-and-peck method of typing is fine for some, others want to know some basic typing skills. If you have a laptop, the keyboard is even more interesting, since all the keys found on a regular keyboard are scrunched into a much smaller space.

Please do call and ask to have your name added to the list for any of these sessions; there are only 10 seats for each session. On Tuesdays, we will focus on tools to help you learn and, on Wednesdays, we will have practice sessions with me there to help and cheer you on.

If you can't make any of these dates and times, you can still take advantage of the computer lab's PC's to learn these skills. Each PC will have shortcuts to keyboard and mouse tutorials on its desktop. There will also be shortcuts to games like solitaire, mahjongg, and bookworm; playing any one or all of these is wonderful mouse practice. If you come to the lab at times other than those listed above, let me know if you need help in getting started.

By the way, there are a few spaces still open for the beginning classes. Call soon. Questions about computer use? Call me at 264-4152.

Winter hours

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

Activities this week

Today - AARP free tax help, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Aus-Ger Club, 10 a.m.-noon; beginning yoga, 11 a.m.-12 noon; Teen Center open (poker), 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5-8 p.m.; TOPS Comprehensive Advisory Committee meeting, 5-9 p.m.; Relay for Life kickoff meeting, 5-7 p.m.; Leading Edge/Small Business Development, 6-9 p.m.

Feb. 24 - Seniors' walking program, 11:15 a.m.-noon; Cloverbuds, 1:30-3 p.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8- p.m.; Mage Knight, 3-6 p.m.; volleyball, 4-7 p.m.

Feb. 25 - TOPS sports complex architectural presentation, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Key Club, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Teen Center open (dodgeball), 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.; private birthday party, 4-7 p.m.; basketball practice, 7-10 p.m.;

Feb. 26 - 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. 27 - Senior bridge, 12:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Teen Center open (poker), 4-8 p.m.; drumming practice, 5:15-6:15 p.m.

Feb. 28 - Seniors' Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon;; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open (Uno Attack!), 4-8 p.m.; Arts Council board meeting, 5-7 p.m.; Town Recreation Planning public meeting, 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 5:45-7:45 p.m.

Mar. 1 - Edward Jones, 9 a.m.-12 noon; watercolor workshop with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon; preschool play group, 11 a.m.- noon; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, weigh-in at 5 p.m., meeting at 5:30.

Mar. 2 - Watercolor workshop with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; AARP free tax help, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; yoga class, 11 a.m.-12 noon; Computer Q&A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Soup for the Soul, 5-7 p.m.; Leading Edge/Small Business Development, 6-9 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor Club, 6:30-9 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.


Senior News

Celebrate Mardis Gras at The Den

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Mardi Gras or, literally, "Fat Tuesday," is the final day of Carnival, a festival day ending a period of celebration and excess, which begins on the Feast of the Epiphany, Jan. 6.

This festival of fun finds its roots in various pagan celebrations of spring, dating back 5,000 years. But it was Pope Gregory XIII who made it a Christian holiday when, in 1582, he put it on his Gregorian calendar (the 12-month one we still use today).

He placed Mardi Gras on the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. That way, all the debauchery would be finished when it came time to fast and pray. Mardi Gras arrived in North America when French explorers came to defend their claim on the territory of Louisiana. The explorers eventually found the mouth of the Mississippi River March 3, 1699, Mardi Gras of that year. They made camp a few miles up river, named the spot Point d'Mardi Gras and partook in a spontaneous party. This is often referred to as North America's first Mardi Gras.

This year, Mardi Gras is Tuesday, Feb. 28, and The Den is going to whoop it up with a party during lunch! Dress in your bright Mardi Gras colors (purple, green and gold) and we will have plenty of masks, hats and beads for everyone to add to their costumes.

There will be a King Cake, a very popular custom that is still celebrated, which represents the three kings who brought gifts. A plastic baby is baked inside the King Cake, and whoever receives the baby in their piece of cake will win a great prize.

So, let your hair down, paint the town red and hang loose at the Mardi Gras celebration at The Den and enjoy some of the traditions of Fat Tuesday!

Free monthly movie

Our free monthly movie at The Den at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, is "Chocolat," rated PG-13. An iconoclastic single mother (Oscar-nominee Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter move to a village in France and open a chocolate shop - that's open Sundays - across the street from a church.

At first, Binoche's rich, sensuous desserts scandalize the town, but soon the villagers welcome the newcomers with open arms. Join us for free popcorn in the lounge for this 2000 Best Picture nominee film.

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or over and your birthday is in February, come down to The Den on Friday, Feb. 24, for a delicious lunch and celebrate your birthday. Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will only cost $1 for a great lunch and birthday cake.

Oral hygiene/general health

How does your oral hygiene relate to your general health?

Can bleeding gums contribute toward heart disease?

What can you do about it?

Barbara Conkey, a local licensed dental hygienist, will be at The Den 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, to discuss the importance of oral hygiene and the prevention needed to protect your general health. Barbara has been practicing dental hygiene for 30 years. Join us at The Den for this informative presentation and learn the benefits of proper oral hygiene.

Quilting lessons

Have you ever wanted to learn the creative skill of quilting? Beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, join us at The Den in the dining area for quilting lessons.

Whether you are a beginner, want to improve or learn new quilting techniques, or even just come for the fun of socializing, you are sure to enjoy The Den's quilting club. Come to the first meeting to find out what materials you will need to begin making your first quilt. The quilting club will meet every Wednesday at 1 p.m. beginning in March.

Baking class

Have you ever tasted the mouth watering goodies from the Pagosa Baking Company? Would you like to make cookies for your grandchildren that will go down in family history? Or maybe just pick up a few baking tips to add a little ease and spice to your normal baking habits?

Whatever your motive, join us for an afternoon of fun taking a baking class at the Pagosa Baking Company 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, March 8. Cost is $5 per person and each person will get to take home a dozen delicious, homemade cookies. The class is limited to eight people, so sign up by Friday, March 3, to learn the secrets from the baking experts.

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 9 a.m.-4 p.m. every Thursday through April 13 in the arts council room at the community center.

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 ("60 at 60+") 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 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. No memberships will be sold Thursdays. Join now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

Medicare Drug appointments

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

Home meal program

The Den provides home delivered meals to qualifying homebound individuals who want the benefits of a nutritional lunch.

The Den's caring volunteers deliver the meals to homes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, while taking the time to check in with the individuals. The appetizing lunches are served hot and ready to eat. Whether you want a meal delivered one or four times a week, we can accommodate your needs.

For more information, call Musetta at 264-2167.

What is blood pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure, also called hypertension.

About 24 million women aged 60 and older have high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your blood vessels. Your blood pressure is at its greatest when your heart contracts and is pumping blood. This is systolic blood pressure. When your heart rests between beats, you blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic blood pressure. Blood pressure is always given as these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic, for example, 120/80.

Is high blood pressure really a big deal?


When your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder than it should to pump blood to all parts of the body. High blood pressure is called the "silent killer" because most people feel healthy and don't even know that they have it. If it is not treated, high blood pressure can cause the following: stroke, heart attack, kidney problems, eye problems and death.

Have your blood pressure checked. It is easy, quick and painless. Your blood pressure should be checked by your health care provider at least once each year. If you have high blood pressure, it should be checked more often. You can have your blood pressure checked every Tuesday at The Den at 11:30 a.m. Strive for an optimal blood pressure of 120/80 or less.

If you have high blood pressure, you may be able to lower or keep your high blood pressure down. Practice these steps: maintain a healthy weight; be more active every day; eat fewer foods high in salt and sodium; cut back on alcoholic beverages; eat more fruits and vegetables; have blood pressure checked. You may also need medicine to lower your high blood pressure.

Tell your doctor about any medicine you are already taking and take the medicine the way the doctor says. If your blood pressure is not high now, take the above steps to prevent it from becoming high. The good news is that high blood pressure can be controlled - and better yet, it can be prevented.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, Feb. 23 - AARP tax assistance by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; snowmobiling tour (weather permitting), 10 a.m.

Friday, Feb. 24 - Spirit Day, wear your Silver Foxes Den shirts. Qi gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 1 p.m.; free movie of the month, "Chocolat" rated PG-13, with popcorn, 1 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 27 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Susan Stoffer is available for appointments, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 28 - Green, gold, and purple day; yoga in motion, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30; Mardi Gras party, lunchtime; canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, March 1 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; "Is Oral Hygiene Related to Your General Health?" with dental hygienist, Barbara Conkey, 1 p.m.; quilting club, 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 2 - AARP tax assistance by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; lunch in Arboles (reservations required by Tuesday, Feb. 28).

Friday, March 3 - Spirit Day, wear your Silver Foxes Den shirts. Qi gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.; final day to sign up for baking classes.


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

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

Friday, Feb. 24 - Roast pork with gravy, oven browned potatoes, parslied carrots, strawberry Jell-O salad and dinner roll.

Monday, Feb. 27 - Beef stroganoff, broccoli cuts, whole wheat roll, apricots and pineapple.

Tuesday, Feb. 28 - Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), asparagus, and citrus cup.

Wednesday, March 1 - Ham and beans, cut broccoli, parslied carrots, cornbread, and orange juice.

Thursday, March 2 - Lunch in Arboles. Scalloped potatoes with ham and cheese, Brussel's sprouts, dinner roll and apple crisp.

Friday, March 3 - Roast beef and gravy, whipped potatoes, seasoned greens, whole wheat roll and orange wedge.


Veteran's Corner

Defense Authorization Act will affect veterans

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

I recently received information about elements of the FY2006 Defense Authorization Act that pertain to veterans.


Here are some of the provisions that will affect veteran benefits.

1. Concurrent Receipt: Congress agreed to accelerate full concurrent receipt to Oct. 1, 2009, five years earlier than allowed under the previous law, for the nearly 15,000 military retirees rated 100-percent disabled for Individual Unemployability. A plan to make it happen immediately was rejected.

2. Serviceman's Group Life Insurance: Under a supplementary spending bill earlier this year Congress approved increasing SGLI maximum coverage to $400,000. This provision, however, was set to expire Oct. 1, 2005, unless Congress approved to continue it into the 2006 Military Authorization Act.

3. Death Gratuity: The supplemental spending bill allowed an increase in the military death gratuity (money that is paid to the family members immediately upon the death of a service member to $100,000. A section of the bill makes the $100,000 death gratuity payable for all members who die while on active duty.

4. Tricare: Nearly all members of the Selected Reserve will now be eligible for military Tricare coverage, but the price will be steep for those who haven't been mobilized since 9/11. Unmobilized members who don't have access to health care through a civilian employer will to pay almost twice the premiums paid by those previously mobilized - about $145 per month versus $81 per month for singles and $452 per month versus $235 for family coverage. There are some other details I won't go into here.

No SBP fix

Many veteran advocate groups were very disappointed that the House refused to go along with the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) fixes that were proposed by the Senate.

So, SBP widows will still have VA payments deducted from their SBP benefits if the member's death was service-connected, and the "Greatest Generation" retirees who already have paid more than 30 years of SBP premiums will have to wait at least another year to win the same paid-up SBP coverage that post-1978 retirees enjoy.


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 veteran's benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7. 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

New computers, system in use at library

By David Bright and Peter Welch

PREVIEW Columnists

Hopefully, you have all had a chance to see and use the 13 new public computers that have been installed at your library.

The computers are primarily intended for Internet access, Web-based e-mail (like Yahoo or Hotmail), word processing and online courses. Various online databases can also be accessed from the computers.

Presently, the computers are open to anyone for an indefinite period of time; we only ask that you sign in at the front desk before using a computer. If activity picks up this spring, we may need to look into time limits on computer use, but right now, access is unlimited.

Also, there are no restrictions on library patron age. However, some safeguards on Internet access have been imposed. Content Filtering, provided by WebBalanced has been enabled on all computers. Filters are set to block access to adult content, computer hacking, hate speech, illegal activities, mature sexual language, partial nudity and lingerie, and pornography. Restrictions are also set for main shareware sites, online games, "pay to surf," and streaming media. However, for patrons who need access to filtered Web sites, filtering can be temporarily disabled on a computer-by-computer basis. (Please consult a member of the library staff to disable filtering.)

With the intention to provide a modern, fast and familiar computing experience to library patrons, the new computers were purchased with state-of-the-art hardware and software. The computers are Dell Dimension 3000-series machines, with 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 processors, 512MB of RAM, and a CD-RW drive for "burning" CD's.

For ease of use and low maintenance, each computer is equipped with an optical mouse (as opposed to the older "ball" mouse). Front USB ports and a sound port allow patrons to connect a jump drive (removable USB disk drive) or headphones to the computer, if they bring in their own equipment. (Please note that installing programs on the computers is not allowed.)

For patrons who wish to use floppy disks, there is a portable USB floppy drive available at the front desk. Two ergonomic keyboards are installed - one for each bank of computers. The computers use Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2 installed. Monitors are 17-inch LCD flat-panel displays. A Hewlett-Packard LaserJet printer is available for black and white printing at a cost of 15 cents/page. Floppy disks and CDs for recording are available for purchase at the front desk. By negotiating directly with Dell, we were able to secure this equipment without having to pay sales tax or shipping fees, and received a three-year warranty on the equipment.

The library computer network consists of two sub-networks: one for the library staff and one for library patrons. The public computers, children's computers and catalog computers are all located on one network. New CAT5e Ethernet cable was installed as part of the library renovation, along with new wall jacks, patch panels, and Ethernet switches. Both networks are connected to a broadband wireless service, provided by Skywerx. The available bandwidth for this broadband connection is 2.5 MB/sec, which provides ample support for both patron and staff computers. A SonicWall firewall protects the network from outside attack by hackers. From some of the wall jacks, cables are installed to support laptop computer users.

There are two Web browsers installed on the computers: Microsoft Internet Explorer (necessary to access some Web sites) and Mozilla Firefox. Instead of purchasing Microsoft Office with MS Word and MS Excel at considerable cost, we have installed OpenOffice, an open-source product of Sun Microsystems. This product provides the same look and feel as MS Word and MS Excel, and files can be saved with .doc or .xls extensions on floppy disk or CD, or e-mailed as attachments for later use at home. Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed for viewing .pdf files. CD-burning software is included, or patrons can use Windows XP's native CD-burning function.

Security for the public computers is accomplished by anti-virus software from AVG, anti-spyware software from Microsoft, and the Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit. The toolkit restricts configuration changes to the computer and desktop, blocks access to Control Panel, and rolls-back any changes made by a patron when the computer is restarted. This latter feature is intended to protect user privacy, by deleting any user files, saved passwords, and browser history. Accessibility functions are not disabled, so that vision-impaired patrons can make use of these features when needed. Once a week, the toolkit software opens to allow Windows Critical Updates to be applied. Weekly checks are made to ensure that virus and spyware definitions are up-to-date, and to apply application software updates.

We plan to install the latest Macromedia Flash Player (version 8) on all public computers, and Google Picasa 2. If there are other browser plug-ins or applications that you would like us to install, please notify a staff member.

In the future, we plan to investigate wireless access for laptop computer users, color laser printing, document scanning, and other technologies of interest. If you have specific suggestions or recommendations on our computing environment, please let us know.


Arts Line

Enthusiasm the key in PSAC workshops

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

Registration is strong, anticipation is building and excitement is buzzing around the March 1,2, and 3 Intermediate Watercolor Class with Betty Slade.

"Everything That Grows Workshop" is designed to stretch the artist to the next level on their artistic journey. Everyone is asking, "What will we be painting?" There will be new ideas, techniques, designs and color, but most of all Betty Slade, instructor, will introduce artists to a new way of thinking.

Betty hopes to bring artists to a new place - a place where artists dwell - through switching frequencies, changing channels in their head, thinking on the right side of their brains. An artist thinks in another realm.

Betty Slade understands that if she doesn't create, she is not living fully. Art feeds her soul, so she must paint, not only for herself but for others. The world needs artists. She knows that a painting must be painted, whether it is seen or understood by others.

"Status quo is not a place to stay; if you continue there, you will diminish," says Slade. "The key is to keep learning, keep practicing, keep reading and continue to be with other artists who are honing their skills, too." Slade says, "The world needs the art that you are producing. They just might not know it yet. It's okay, they will thank you one day for being persistent in doing what you knew was inside of you."

"Everything that Grows" will prove to be a necessary step in your journey in growing as an artist. Details and supply list will be available at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 1, 2 and 3. Cost for the three-day workshop is $120 for PSAC members and $145 for nonmembers. Call 264-5020 to reserve your place.

Dodgson workshop

JoAnne Dodgson is a healer, teacher and author ("Gifts of the Grandmother and Walking the Spiral Path: Awakening Power and Passion"). She will conduct a series of workshops in March and April. Her work is centered in the ancient tradition, Ka Ta See, living in balance from the heart. She has been involved in counseling, holistic healing, teaching and community outreach for over 20 years. Her workshops and seminars invite the dynamic awakening of personal empowerment, compassion, creative passions, and joy. She has a doctorate in counseling psychology and has been on the faculty in holistic health, women's studies and psychology programs. Light of the moon

The moon is a powerful teacher about natural cycles of growth and creativity. Connect more deeply with your own creative process as you connect with the cycles of the moon. Learn to set clear intentions for new beginnings and intentionally focus your energy and attention to enrich the potency of your creative endeavors. Explore empowering tools for letting go of patterns, judgments and fears that inhibit the creative flow and which keep you from nourishing yourself and honoring your process along the way. The class will meet for four weeks, beginning on the new moon.

Classes meet 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 28, April 4, 11 and 18. Cost of the workshop series is $80 for PSAC members.

Gathering for artists

Come explore your personal journey as an artist; honor who you really are. Claim your passions and gifts. Learn empowering tools to access your vast inner resources and let go of old patterns, expectations and assumptions that block your creative process and expression. What do you really want to manifest in your life and with your art? Cost of the session, 1-5 p.m. Saturday, April 1, is $35 for PSAC members and $40 for nonmembers.

Watercolor club

The PSAC Watercolor Club, (formed in the winter of 2003) meets at 10 a.m. the third Wednesday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center. The next meeting will be held March 15.

Watercolorists of all levels are provided the opportunity to use the room for the day. Each attending member contributes $5 for use of the space. The goals for the day vary, with watercolorists getting together to draw, paint and experience technique demonstrations from professional watercolorists or framers. Participants are encouraged to bring still lives or photos to paint and draw; or a project to complete. Attendees should bring a bag lunch, their supplies and a willingness to have a fun, creative day.

For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

Volunteer at museum

The Fred Harman Museum is looking for volunteer docents. Museum hours are 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Summer hours (starting Memorial Day) include Saturday and Sunday. Both half-day and full-day hours are available.

Working in the museum provides the opportunity to preserve a part of our western authenticity and to meet visitors from throughout the world. For further information, contact Fred Harman III, curator, at 731-5785.

Drawing with Davis

Drawing class with Randall Davis takes place the third Saturday of every month at the community center. The next class will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 18.

Subjects vary month to month and all levels of aspiring artists are welcome. Attending each month is not necessary, since each session is focused on different subject matter. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience your creative talent together with the guidance of a talented professional.

Attendees should arrive with a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils (preferably a mid-range No. 2 or 3 and a No. 6 (bold and hard leads), ruler and eraser. Participants should bring a bag lunch (soda machines available). Fee is $35 to PSAC members and $40 for nonmembers. For further workshop information, contact Davis at 264-2833. Reservations should be made by calling PSAC, 264-5020.

PSAC exhibits program

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

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

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

Photo exhibit

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

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.

The show continues through Feb. 25 and is worth a visit, even if you attended the opening. PSAC thanks all who entered the show and congratulates all ribbon winners.

Call for entries

PSAC announces the call for entries for the PSAC annual Pagosa Springs 2007 Calendar.

Entries may be submitted to the PSAC Town Park Gallery through Thursday, March 9. Subject matter should be limited to Archuleta County and should represent a particular month. Twelve images (one for each month) and a cover image will be selected for the calendar. Local artists representing all media are encouraged to participate.

For judging purposes, low resolution files can be submitted. If chosen for publication, artists will provide image 8.5x11 at 300 dpi 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, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, for calendar consideration. Please call the gallery at 264-5020 for further information.

Pretenders program

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre, a division of PSAC, will present another "Pretending Books and Stories" program at the Sisson library, 11 a.m. Saturday, March 11. This presentation program will focus on works by Dr. Seuss. The mission of the monthly program is to promote reading and creativity and is offered the second Saturday of each month.

If you would like to take part in this program, call Susan Garman, 731-2485.

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.

Time to join

PSAC is a membership organization that helps ensure a flourishing and diverse community by enriching lives through the arts.

The privileges of membership include involvement in membership activities, involvement in the community, socializing and participating in the camaraderie of the arts, discounts on PSAC events and workshops, recognition in Artsline and listing in PSAC Artist Guide and PSAC Business Guide. Workshops and exhibits are sponsored by PSAC to benefit the art community. In addition, your membership helps to keep art thriving in Pagosa Springs .

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

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.

Upcoming events

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.

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

March 8 - Pagosa Photo Club, 5:30 p.m.

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

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

March 15 - Pagosa Springs Watercolor Club, 10 a.m.

March 18 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.

March 28 - "Creativity by the Light of the Moon" workshop with JoAnne Dodgson, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

April 1 - PSAC Workshop "A Gathering For Artists" by JoAnne Dodgson , 1-5 p.m.

April 4, 11 and 18 - "Creativity by the Light of the Moon" workshop with JoAnne Dodgson, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

April 12 - Pagosa Photo Club, 5:30 p.m. Program topic featuring Web site design and maintenance for small businesses.

April 15 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.

April 19 - Pagosa Springs Watercolor Club, 10 a.m.

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

Kaphas beware: Avoid the mall

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I'm Kapha.


And I'm on the road.


I'm in a suburb southeast of Denver, sitting in a "business suite" in a hotel (there's a desk and a microwave oven), watching a television documentary about the plight of the cheetah (numbers are down, despite the cat being the world's fastest mammal).

I'm also burping every 20 seconds or so, reliving a dinner I regret - but for one reason: I got to go out with my daughter, Aurora Borealis, and my granddaughter, Ipana.

Thank goodness there is something that redeems my journey.

The trip to Denver was difficult - a walk on a vehicular tightrope.

I'm driving a 1993 Chevy pickup and any trip in the truck - even from home to the office - is dicey at best. There's 140 grand-plus on the odometer and the seat is disintegrating. If I open the window, bits of desiccated foam rubber fly around inside the cab like snowflakes in a stiff wind.

The windshield on this rattletrap cracked last winter and I expect it to collapse in my lap at any moment. I get the oil in the truck changed now and then, and when the clutch gives up the ghost I have it replaced. Other than that nothing. Each time I take the truck in for an oil change, I'm warned about something they call a "seal" or a "bearing."

"Too tight a turn, pardner, and the wheel's gonna cave in on yuh."

Ah, a lot like life in general, eh? I too am reaching an age where one of my own wheels might cave in without warning. Peril lurks at every corner.

The bottom portion of the front bumper of he truck is about to fall off, but it's plastic, unlike my own bumper, so it doesn't matter.

The driver's side door will not close tightly. The window will not roll up all the way. There is a sound coming from the front of the engine that reminds me of chipmunks carousing in a coffee can.

To make matters more interesting, I take a side route to Denver, coursing down a winding canyon road from Salida to Canon City. I am halted for about an hour midway down the canyon. There's been an accident up ahead. The wind is blowing like nobody's business and there is a tremendous amount of dust in the air. I hear on the news that a large truck filled with radioactive dirt overturned.

That explains the folks dressed in the yellow suits.

So, I have driven this piece of junk to Denver and passed through a mile-high Chernobyl.

And survived to tell about it.

But, the real danger is ahead.

When I arrive at my sumptuous digs at the "all suites" hotel, I am a bit tuckered out, stretched to the breaking point by a hundred or more turns during which, to hear tell, the darned wheel should have collapsed. My sweatshirt is glowing.

Naturally, I'm thinking about food.

I've got a slew of favorite restaurants in this, my old hometown: French, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Greek, Indian.

But, I am miles away from pay dirt, stuck in a "suite" in a hotel next to one of the area's premier suburban malls.

And, I have the opportunity to see Ipana and my daughter, Aurora Borealis.

This means the kid gets to pick the restaurant and my options will be limited when I inquire as to Ipana's preferences for dinner. She is, after all, six years old ("six and a half and two weeks").

Ipana has clear notions of acceptable establishments and, what a stroke of luck!, there's a joint with the word "Factory" in its name a mere two blocks from my "all suites" hotel. The girls will meet me there. Stat!

I repeat: What a stroke of luck!

It is at dinner that I learn my stressful reaction to my drive is wasted. I'm in for a lot more trouble at the restaurant and after.

We settle into our booth. Aurora scans the menu. Watching her read a menu is like observing an Irish monk as he studies the Book of Kells, a scholar as he analyzes the Talmud. I made a lot of mistakes raising this beauty, but one thing she knows is food, and one thing she can do is eat. With the best of 'em.

Something, however, is amiss. Aurora's brow is furrowed. There is a problem, and it doesn't seem to be one of her ordinary restaurant problems, e.g. is it possible to order three entrées?

"This is going to be difficult. I'm a Kapha," she announces.

"Oh sweetie," I say, in my most compassionate tone, "have you tried an over-the-counter treatment? By all means, see if you can buy something off the shelf before you spend a lot of money on a prescription."

"Oh, for crying out loud, Dad. I didn't say 'I'm coughing.' I said I'm a Kapha. That's my Ayervedic type. Incidentally, you have some Kapha characteristics. But your fingers aren't stubby. Neither are mine, but we're dominant Kapha. You've probably have a lot of Pitta in you, since you're so erratic and temperamental."

"Pitta? Is that anything like being Hasidic? If so, I'm not doing the hair and beard and phylactery thing."

"Very funny, Dad, You're a real card. Anyway, I'm a Kapha and I'm on a strictly Vegan diet. I've got to cleanse myself before I go to Santa Fe for a week's intensive Ayurvedic treatment. This is going to turn my life around."

"Aren't Vegans that race of aggressive, lizard-like warriors that threatens the Starship Enterprise in Episode 26 of Star Trek?"

"Dad, please, you're fooling with my spiritual foundation. You know better than anyone, that's never funny."

"Sure you don't want the Kobé beef burger? Looks mighty tasty: A half pound of high-grade ground Wagyu in a hand-formed patty, cooked medium rare, served on toasted baguette with grilled onion, a slice of aged cheddar, some tomato and a delightful aioli."

"Dad, I'm not kidding."

"Neither am I, sweetie. How about the herb-crusted roast salmon?"

"Dad! We Ayurvedic devotees are deadly serious. This is not some passing fancy, some temporary fixation. This is intensely spiritual business. I've chanted and I am dining Vegan only. I am going to have the roasted eggplant and red pepper sandwich."

"Okey dokey, but it says here the sandwich comes with mozzarella cheese and mayonnaise. That doesn't fit the Vegan profile."

"I'll have them hold the cheese."

"And the mayo?"

"A little won't hurt."

That's my baby.

I turn to Ipana.

"What do you want, sweetheart?"

"A Shirley Temple. A double. That means really big."

"But, what do you want for dinner?"

"A Shirley Temple. A double. Don't forget the cherry."

With that, she's outta the booth and speeding out the restaurant door.

Next thing I know, Ipana is in the mall hallway, outside the window next to our booth, doing a fabulous ballet rendition of the War of 1812. I motion for her to come back in the restaurant. She blows me a kiss and scampers off to the kiddie play area.

"My daughter will have the penne with shrimp," Aurora Borealis tells the waiter. "Me, I'll have the roasted eggplant and red pepper sandwich. Hold the cheese. Whatever you do, don't let a molecule of cheese end up in that sandwich. Understand?" She fixes the poor wretch (his name is Jaden and he is our "server for the evening") with a look that clearly communicates her intent to do him great harm should her injunction be ignored.

"Oh, and bring me some extra mayo on the side."

She notices I am staring at her.

"Hey," she says. "Don't pull that judgmental thing with me. The sandwich might be dry. It's been known to happen."

Ipana is back at the window. She does a nearly perfect grande jetté, then stumbles. Her precious little mug is smashed up against the widow glass. She spots a huge Shirley Temple sitting on the table. She rushes toward the restaurant entrance. In a moment, she is at the booth.

She takes three or four gulps of the drink and she's outta the booth. Next thing I know, she's back at the window, this time accompanied by a teensy blond tyke who joins her in a modernistic performance on the theme of flight. Ipana is, obviously, a butterfly. The little blond appears to be a hummingbird.

Finally, our food arrives and Aurora fetches Ipana.

Aurora carefully inspects her sandwich for any trace of cheese then slops the entire side of mayo on the eggplant and peppers. She corrals Jaden and requests another side of mayo.

That's my baby.

Ipana nibbles at the shrimps, taking a small bite of each, and begins to play with the pasta. She takes frequent swigs of Shirley Temple, her blood sugar spiking higher with each swallow, her limbs twitching, her eyes starting to bug out. Pretty soon, she's jumping around like a grasshopper on a hot griddle.

"She's unusually sensitive to sugar," says Aurora Borealis, dipping half-eaten shrimps in mayonnaise. "She's a Vata, for sure."

I take a bite of my food.

I've made a mistake. Or mistakes.

First, I've broken what is usually an ironclad rule for me: Never eat at a restaurant in a mall. Bad things invariably happen in these establishments, in particular in a "Factory."

Second: Don't order "ethnic" food in anything but an ethnic restaurant. Don't order hummus anywhere but in a Mideastern restaurant. Don't sample a curry outside its natural environment, etc.

And, for heaven's sake, don't order "Mexican" at a mall restaurant whose menu features approximately 600 entree choices.

What is wrong with me?

I order "rolled chicken tortillas."

Right there, the alarm bell should ring.

It probably did, but Aurora was yakking about Deepak Chopra and I didn't hear it.

"Rolled chicken tortillas?"

What, exactly, is rolled - the chicken or the tortillas?

Plus, don't we ordinarily call this an "enchilada?"

"Generously smothered in our special green tomatillo sauce with plenty o'melted cheese."

Again, why didn't I hear the bell? Tomatillos are green; if you make a tomatillo sauce, it will likely be green. And, just a side note: What kind of cheese?

To add insult to injury, I fail to abide by rule No. 3: Never order anything with "plenty o' something" as an ingredient.

To compound the damage, I order a glass of pinot noir. Can you believe it? Pinot noir? the bottle must have been opened some time in 2004.

I eat. I drink. I deserve all the trouble I get.

The one positive thing I can say about the restaurant is the portions are enormous.

I watch Aurora Borealis use a wad of Ipana's pasta to wipe up every dot of mayo on her plate. She finishes off the last of the shrimps. "They aren't really meat, Dad. They're more like insects than like cows."

I get in the spirit of the moment. I continue to eat.

Everything on the plate.

And now, after bidding adieu to the coosome twosome, I sit alone in my "suite" paying for my transgressions.

The rolled chicken enchiladas are as bad the second and third time around as the first. I'm worried the authorities might have to put crime scene tape across the doorway of the room after I check out. Could be a Superfund site.

I feel awful, and I make myself a promise: If I survive the night, there'll be no more mall restaurants.

No more displaced "ethnic" dishes and no more plenty o' anything.

No more letting the granddaughter choose where we eat.

Perhaps this calls for a bit of that special diet of Aurora's - to cleanse the system.

When I get home, I'll purchase ciabatta at the store, cut the loaf in half smack down the center and toast a hunk or two. I'll slice an eggplant, salt it and let it drain on paper towels. I'll wash a couple red and green peppers, cut them in half, remove the seeds. I'll pat the eggplant and peppers dry, slick 'em up with some olive oil, season them and grill them until they begin to char and get soft.

I think I'll make my own mayo: a couple egg yolks in the processor with a touch of salt and a smidge of crushed garlic. Process, then add a mix of four parts canola oil to one part extra-virgin olive oil one drop at a time with the processor running until the mix reaches desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, a pinch of dried basil, maybe whip in a touch of Dijon and slather the bread. Thickly.

Heap on the eggplant and peppers, add a lot more mayo, top with toast. Eat.

With a side or two of mayo.

It'll work.

It has to.

I'm a Kapha.



Extension Viewpoints

Last call for Cookie Dough

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Feb. 23 - Bio-diesel Conference in Lewis, 9 a.m.

Feb. 23 - Vet Science Project at SJVH, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 24 - 4-H Fridays: Baking, Horticulture and Leathercraft,1:45

Feb. 24 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1:30 p.m.

Feb. 27 - Sheep Project meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 27 - Swine Project meeting, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 28 - Master Gardener at Vista Clubhouse, 9 a.m.

March 1 - Weed symposium in Farmington, 9 a.m.

March 1 - Shady Pine Club meeting, 7 p.m.

Get orders in

Last call for Cookie Dough orders.

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 cookie dough will be delivered March 15.

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

Weed symposium

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 $25. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Contact the Extension Office at 264-5931 to register or for program topics.

Pesticide applicator

There will be a Private Pesticide Applicator Training at 6:30 p.m. March 6 at the Extension Building.

This training is for those who want to purchase a restricted-use applicator's license or for re-licensing. A $10 registration fee will be charged for the class.

Please R.S.V.P. to the Extension Office at 264-2388 or you can e-mail us at archulet@ext.colostate.edu.

The Private Pesticide Applicator License is required of individuals who use or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides on land in agriculture production that is owned, leased, or rented by them or their employer. This includes farm and ranch land, forestlands, nurseries, Christmas Trees, orchards and other properties on which agricultural crops or commodities are produced.

No license is needed if only general-use pesticides are used. Private Pesticide Applicators are required to maintain records of their applications of restricted-use pesticides. To become certified as a Private Pesticide Applicator, an individual must obtain a score of 70 percent or higher on the Private Pesticide Applicator examination. Once an individual qualifies by becoming certified, he/she are entitled to become licensed as a Private Pesticide Applicator.

Beef symposium

The 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 or $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

Welcome to our Rotary exchange student

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

For the past 14 years, our Pagosa Springs Rotary Club has sponsored incoming foreign exchange students. They've come from Norway, Italy, France, Australia, Belgium, Sweden, Ukraine, Denmark, Brazil, New Zealand, Argentina and now, Australia again.

Pagosa Springs Rotary has sponsored, in addition, "outbound" youth exchange students from Pagosa Springs High School. Starting in 1994, Pagosa students have participated in this international exchange in Sweden, Australia, Turkey, India, New Zealand, France and now, Denmark. Kyle Kamolz has been in Denmark since late July 2005 and he will return to Pagosa this summer.

The "outbound" program has in addition to a one year exchange, a month-long summer exchange. Alaina Garman will participate in the month-long exchange this summer, in Italy.

Rotary Youth Exchange is a club-to-club program which promotes peace through better understanding via the exchange of high school students who are hosted by local Rotary Clubs and families. The program aims to enable students to acquire knowledge of life in their host community and to promote the general interest and good will of international exchange.

Ellen Griffiths from Australia, arrived in Pagosa last month. She is being hosted by the Lynch family - Livia, Bob and their daughters Jessica and Mesa. Jessica is a junior at Pagosa Springs High School, and Mesa is a fourth-grader at Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Ellen's adjustment to living in Pagosa has been one of instant and total immersion. Even before her bags were fully unpacked, Ellen was already keeping stats for the girls varsity basketball team.

My thanks to the Lynch family for welcoming Ellen into your home - grandma Mamie Lynch is delighted with her "exchange granddaughter," whom she calls "a gem."

My interview with Ellen follows:

Tell us where you are from?

"I am from Australia and it is the only country that is a continent as well. Australia, about the same size as North America has the same population as New York - roughly 20 million. Eighty percent of Australians live within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the ocean, making us a nation of beach goers, especially during the summer. I live in the state of South Australia, about 22 miles away in the hills of Adelaide, the state capital. My trip over here was long. It took five flights and over 24 hours in the air, plus a six-hour delay due to snow. The weekend I left Adelaide a lot of other Rotary exchange students also left, and I met them. That was exciting."

What about your family, friends, school and sports?

"My immediate family is my mum and my brother. My mum is a school teacher. My brother is 21 and is an accountant. He has just recently finished his university degree and got his first suit job. I went to an all-girls Catholic school run by the sisters of St. Joseph. There were 450 girls at the school, from grades 8 to 12 with about 80 in my grade. I was close to a lot of them. I have a great group of friends from school who have been really supportive of me going on an exchange."

"I'm really into sports. I love playing basketball and volleyball. I also play netball, which is a sport played only by commonwealth countries. I also enjoy watching sports, especially Australian football and cricket."

What prompted you to participate in this exchange?

"Doing an exchange would be a chance to challenge myself. I am putting myself completely out of my comfort zone and forcing myself to do new things. I chose to do my exchange through Rotary because they have a world-renown program and also my mum did an exchange through Rotary to San Jose, California."

What are your first impressions of Pagosa?

"The first thing I noticed was the snow. I left a really hot Australian summer. I also noticed the mountains. We claim to have mountains but they don't even compare to here."

What do you hope to do here in the USA besides going to school?

"While I am here I would love to see different parts of the US, meet lots of different people, make lots of friends and experience new things."

Do you think this exchange will be a valuable experience for you?

"Going on exchange is going to be the most rewarding and valuable experience I will have over my whole life. This year will stay with me forever and I am sure it will make me a truly better person."

We are glad Ellen is here to share a year with us. When you see her, introduce yourself.

If you would like to look into the organization behind Rotary International Youth Exchange, you can contact Joanne Irons (731-4065), who will be happy to help in your desire to participate - either as an exchange student or as a host family (for three months). During the course of a year's exchange, the student lives with four different families.

Fuel reduction

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association is planning on conducting wildfire fuel reduction operations in a large Twincreek Village greenbelt.

This is the greenbelt situated to the west of North Pagosa Boulevard near the Aspenglow Boulevard intersection and along the Dutton Draw rim.

The association maintenance crew and a private forest management firm will be thinning brush, removing the dead lower limbs from most of the trees and removing some small and over-crowded trees with the goal of creating a band of defensible space between the canyon rim and homes to the east.

There will be chainsaw work and chippers in the work zone, so please exercise caution in this area over the next couple of months and do not enter work zones when work crews are present. Work zones will be signed and flagged during operations.

Work may commence in the next few days, weather permitting, with the goal of finishing the project by early to mid-spring. There will be periods of heavy work in the project area over the next couple of months, as well as periods of down time as weather and schedules permit.

The recreational trail that passes through the work zone may be closed for short periods of time during operations but will be reopened at the end of the day. There are four different target areas that have been delineated and marked, totaling around 7 acres.

For more information on this project, call Larry Lynch at the Pagosa Lakes Administration Office, 731-5635.



Jaydrian Joseph Martinez

Jaydrian Joseph Martinez arrived Jan. 30, 2006, at 6:06 a.m. at Mercy Medical Center. He weighed 4 pounds, 15.8 ounces, and was 17 inches long. The proud parents are Shanley Lujan and David Martinez of Pagosa Springs. The maternal grandparents are Joseph Lujan and Dolores Garza of Pagosa Springs. The paternal grandparents are Gilbert and Annette Quezada of Pagosa Springs. The great-grandparents are Santana and Emma Lujan of Pagosa Springs.




Ralph "Bud" Creech

Ralph "Bud" Creech, 79, passed away Friday, Feb. 17, 2006, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango.

Ralph is survived by one son, Sidney Creech, of Pagosa Springs, and one daughter, Johni Creed, of Tennessee. Mr. Creech was retired from the Navy and moved to Pagosa Springs last year from Boulder to live with his son.

Ralph's wishes were to be cremated, and his ashes buried at sea.

The family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society in Ralph's name.


Margaret Havens

On Monday, Feb. 14, 2006, Margaret (Maggie) Havens passed to her eternal rest at her home in Chromo, Colo. She was 92 years old.

She was preceded in death by her son, Walter Havens, 1966; daughter, JoAnn Bamrick, 1996; and her husband, Fitzhugh T. Havens, 2004.

She is survived by her brother, Charles Young, of St. Helens, Ore.; her son, Fitzhugh Havens, Jr., of Golden Valley, Ariz.; her daughter, Kay Havens, of Spokane, Wash.; and son Andrew Havens of Pagosa Springs.

She was grandmother of 10, and great-grandmother of 19.

One of eight children, and the only girl with seven brothers, Margaret was born to George and Pablita Young on April 11, 1913, at Edith, Colo. Her childhood years, and almost all of the years thereafter, were spent in her beloved Chromo. She and Fitzhugh Havens were married in August of 1935. As years went by and their family grew, they continued to live in Chromo, with only a brief stay in Los Angeles, Calif. They returned to Colorado and established ownership of the Chromo Mercantile Store and Post Office in October of 1942. Margaret served as acting postmaster in place of her husband, 1944-1945, while he was serving in the Navy. Upon his return, Fitzhugh returned to postal service. As the mercantile business grew and required more of her husband's time, Margaret again became acting postmaster in August of 1958. She was assigned the full postmaster position in March of 1959. In addition, she was a full partner in the workings of the family business, putting in long days in the store and post office. She continued as postmaster until she retired in January of 1984, and her daughter, Jo Ann Bamrick, took over the post office. She and Fitzhugh were then able to enjoy some "down time," doing some traveling and seeing some of the places she had previously only heard and read about. Now they could visit some of the many friends that had come to Chromo over the years. She enjoyed those trips, but was always happy to see those Navajo Peaks on her return home.

Margaret was a true "giver," always wanting to do for others. She always had a kind word for each and every one of her many friends and neighbors. She was also a real optimist, knowing that if a day was grey or stormy, the sun would be soon to follow.

She greeted so many strangers over the years in the mercantile and, more times than not, knew them by name when they returned. They may not all have remembered her name, but they remembered her smile.

Chromo is growing now like most other places, but with the loss of Margaret Havens, its heart just got a little smaller. She will truly be missed.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name of Hospice of Mercy, 35 Mary Fisher Circle, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


Margaret May

Her final performance was peaceful, and like her life, full of love and grace.

Margaret May passed away Monday, February 13, surrounded by the beautiful family she and her husband of 60 years, Charles May, created.

Margaret served in the WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) during World War II. Brought over from England in 1947 as a war bride, Margaret lived in Wisconsin, Ohio, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, California and Arkansas. She always bloomed wherever she was planted. Her years were full of community service, community theater, gardening and dear, dear friends.

Margaret became active in community theater as a teenager in the Penrith Players in England. Starting with the Bay Players in Bay Village, Ohio, Margaret's acting and directing activities spanned the United States. Community theaters in Jackson, Mississippi, Alamogordo, New Mexico, Sherman, Texas, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and of course the Village Players all benefited from her acting, directing and administrative talents.

Other organizations dear to Margaret include PEO, Hot Springs Village Community Concerts, the Hot Springs Village Landscape Beautification Volunteer organization, Hospice and St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, ECW and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. She organized and was director of the first Hot Springs Village Festival of the Arts.

Her life was characterized by courage, beauty and determination. She will be greatly missed. She is survived by her husband, Charles May, her three children and their spouses: Michael May of Austin, Texas; Christopher May of Burnsville, Minnesota; and Elizabeth Porter of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Her four grandchildren are Marianne, Caroline and Charlie in Burnsville and David May in Austin, and were a very active part of her life.

A memorial service at Holy Trinity will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages memorial contributions to be made in her name to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 199 Barcelona Road, Hot Springs Village, AR 71909.


 Business News
Chamber News

Off to Phoenix, with tales of Pagosa

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

As you read the Chamber column this week, I am hitting the trade show floor in Phoenix, at the 54th annual Arizona Sportsmen's Vacation & RV Show.

Now, before everyone thinks that really I'm out on the golf course, let me assure you the trade show hours are not a lot of fun. This show will stay open almost every night until 10 p.m. to accommodate the working folks who like to travel, play and RV.

This is a new trade show venture for Pagosa and a market I am very excited to explore. A recent Fort Lewis College market study done for us revealed that inquiries coming from the Phoenix area ranked second only to Albuquerque.

From a Chamber standpoint, we are looking forward to the show so we can give exposure to other types of businesses here in our community - like outfitters, rafting companies, the RV parks and all the amenities that go with the outdoors experience. People in Phoenix like to come to our land of cool pines, and I am going down there to sing our praises.

I would like to also mention that summer Chamber diplomat Ann Rasich, who lives in Phoenix part time, will be helping me at the show. As with all our other diplomats, Ann loves Pagosa and will be a great addition to our booth. We appreciate her volunteering to promote Pagosa and to help out the Chamber.

Chamber members will also hopefully notice the Chamber newsletter is out a month earlier than expected. This is because we are adding two additions to the regular quarterly newsletter. Your newsletter will come out every other month from now on.

With this schedule, we can get information out to you in a more current fashion; we can recognize new members and renewals sooner, and advertisers can share current happenings with you as well. Note there is now a mini business tip section and a section dedicated to customer service. I hope business owners will share these hospitality tips with their staff. As we get ready to have very busy spring and summer seasons, customer service should be at the top of everyone's list. We hope to have mini hospitality training sessions this spring, but know I am also available to come to your business and do a "private" training session geared toward your business and your employees. Just call me to schedule a time; I will work with you to meet your hospitality needs.

This leads me to follow up on my closing statement in last week's column. We want to offer some mini-business topic seminars to our constituents out there, and we would like your feedback on different ways to host these sessions.

Here are some suggestions on topics and delivery methods. Some training topics would be: customer service; marketing to include print; what grabs a customer visually and verbally; e-commerce; handling business debt; business development and more. Each session would only last about 1 1/2 hours. Formats for these sessions could be early morning "breakfast brain food," "lunch and learn" or after-hours sessions.

Let us hear from you. What would be a desirable topic, and what would be a good time of day? Cost would be a nominal $15-$20 for Chamber members, and we would like to host one session per month or every other month, depending on the season (summer is usually a difficult time to leave the business).

All you have to do is call, fax in your ideas, or e-mail us at info@pagosachamber.com. We want to call in guest speakers who can help you and your business. We want our businesses to have current information and insights into market trends, and to be the best they can be.

Invest a little in yourself as a business owner and you might be surprised how much return you can get. Contact us, we want to hear your ideas!

Soup for the Soul

I would like to remind everyone to mark their calendars for Hospice of Mercy's Soup for the Soul dinner 5-8 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at the community center. Some of the participating restaurants are Boss Hogg's, Dionigi's, Dorothy's, Farrago's Market Café, Higher Grounds Coffee, JJ's Riverwalk Restaurant, Pagosa Baking Company, The Getaway, Victoria's Parlor, and Wolf Tracks Bookstore and Coffee. These businesses will be serving up soups, breads and desserts. There are many other supporters of this function as well, including Bank of the San Juans, Alpine Bank, Hermann Riggs and Associates, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Pine Ridge Extended Care Center and Ponderosa Do-It-Best.

You can purchase your tickets at the Chamber for $10 and know that all proceeds benefit Hospice of Mercy. The individuals with this organization give of their time and talent to provide comfort with dignity to those at the end of their life's journey, and to family members who travel that road with them. We hope to see many community members out at this worthwhile function, while having some great food.

Daffodil Days

Don't forget to order your daffodils to support the annual American Cancer Society Daffodil Days drive.

Orders need to be in by Friday, Feb. 24. The Daffy Order Line is 731-9458. You can e-mail acspagosa@earthlink.net or can fax your order to 731-5634. Call us at the Chamber or come by and get a form on your way to the post office.

The flowers will be delivered March 8-10 on in-town orders or you will be able to pick the flowers up at The Plaid Pony or the new Flower Cottage at 101 Pagosa St. These flowers are one of the first signs of spring and represent renewal, rebirth and hope for a cancer-free future. Bouquets of 10 daffodils are $10. Ten bouquets are $75; 25 bouquets are $175. Don't let springtime or the daffodils pass you by.

Member renewals

No new members this week but lots of renewals. Let's give these longtime Chamber supports some recognition.

First on the renewal list is a two-fer, the Pagosa Lodge and the restaurant inside The Lodge, Chez Pagosa.

Another wonderful lodging facility is Mountain Landing Guest Quarters run by Jeannie Sinkey.

Other longtime supporters who we mentioned last week - but they are back with one of their other businesses - are Dick and Vimmie Ray with the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park.

Ever effervescent and very knowledgeable of the industry, we welcome back Jari Sage and High Meadows Mortgage.

Same last name, but a completely different business. We welcome taxidermy expert, Charlie Sage and Trophy Classics Taxidermy.

Previously San Juan Snowmobile Tours, we welcome back Duane Graham's new name, Rocky Mountain Adventures. I

We are lucky to have such a variety of qualified builders in our area, and one of them is David Brackhahn and Foxfire Construction.

Same great exposure for the real estate market but under new ownership, we welcome back Homes and Land of SW Colorado.

Don't let the winter weather take advantage of your car, give Mark Holladay a call at Holladay Auto & Truck Repair.

With some of the most beautiful llamas in Pagosa and around the country for that matter, we welcome back Doug and Jamie Sharp and Firefly Ranch.

Located right on South Pagosa Boulevard at a beautiful, functional facility, we welcome back St. Patrick's Episcopal Church.

Another worship organization rejoins with us this week, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Last but not least, is one of our renewing associate members, J.B. Smith.

I'm off on the road show, drumming up tourist business and singing the praises of our wonderful community. Please let us hear from you about the business mini-seminars we are planning. We put these programs together to help you and your business and to help you invest in yourself and your success.


Biz Beat

Mountain West Insurance

Mountain West Insurance announces insurance broker Larry Page is reopening the Pagosa office, effective March 1.

Larry can assist with all your insurance needs. He specializes in commercial and workers' compensation, and contractors' liability.

Mountain West Insurance is located at 703 San Juan St., Suite 202. The phone number is 264-1024.



Cards of Thanks


The family of Christopher Young would like to express our gratitude for all the prayers, cards, phone calls, words of comfort, food and flowers we have received.

A special thank you to Pastor Judge for his help in planning and for delivering the funeral service for Chris. It was a great comfort to all who attended. Thank you, Laverne Judge, for your help with the service bulletin, and to Old West Press for printing the bulletin.

Thank you to the ladies of Our Savior Lutheran Church for the luncheon after the service.

Thank you, Ashley and Chris Torres and Jeff Laydon, for the senior pictures of Christopher.

A special thank you to Cody and Dawn Ross of Buckskin Towing. Your help and patience and compassion have been such a help to us.

We would also like to thank all our customers of At Your Disposal for your patience and understanding during these last few months.

Thank you to all who have donated to the Chris Young memorial fund.

And to all our family and friends, your continued thoughts and prayers will be greatly appreciated.

In Christ, Kathryn and Mark Young

Amy, Mark Jr. and Jason Young



Thank you from Katy and Larry Page who are expressing their gratitude for all the prayers and heartfelt good wishes from all our friends in Pagosa.


Katy and Larry Page



I entered the Valentine sweepstakes that KWUF had this year. And surprise, I won. Now, maybe this is not real unusual, but my gift was. I received a phone call from the radio station: "You have won a romantic dinner for two, including dessert, at McDonald's." Well, let me tell you, I received all the "You might be a redneck if" jokes and in good humor, I might add. Then I received a call from McDonald's to schedule my dinner. On Thursday, Feb. 16, when we arrived at McDonald's, we were seated at a table with a beautiful dinner setting - white tablecloth, single red rose in a vase, red candle in a nice holder, and a small bowl of candy kisses. Our meal was wonderfully prepared and set in front of us. We had our very own waitress and an enchanted meal. So, let me tell the KWUF and McDonald's staff - bravo, and thanks for making it special.

Kim Cox



The community's generosity and love of horses and other large animals was evident in the successful evening event Saturday. Chama, Ignacio, Durango, Pagosa participants - you outdid yourselves! Special thanks to everyone who generously donated items for the auction, dinner guests and all the volunteers who made this event a huge success. Thank you.

P.S. Please call 264-0095 if you left a pair of glasses at the dinner.


Bear's parents

We, Bear's adoptive parents, would like to thank everyone who has called, e-mailed or otherwise inquired as to our puppy's health and well-being since the mountain lion attack last month. He is well and healing good physically but he is very scared of strange noises and does not like to go outside by himself. Who can blame him?

Leroy and Ann Oldham



The family of Wyoma Richards would like to thank all the people who were so supportive at the time of our loss. Thank you to all who sent cards and flowers. To everyone who brought food to the house, we thank you so much.

To all of the wonderful people from Hospice, words alone cannot thank you enough. Thank you for caring for and keeping Mom comfortable during her last days.

Thank you to the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department for the painstaking work they did at Mom's funeral. Thank you, too, to the Mounted Rangers, Search and Rescue, EMS, the fire department and the Colorado State Patrol. Thank you to family and friends who travelled such long distances to be with us. These thank you's cannot begin to express how thankful we are.

If we have left anyone out, we apologize. Thank you again to everyone.

Tom Richards

Bill and Debby Richards

Barry, Mary, Lacee and Cody Emmert


Smile Makers

SouthWest Smile Makers and the CDA would like to thank and recognize the following local dentists for graciously donating their time and services for "Give Kids a Smile Day," Friday Feb. 3: Dr. Gerlinda Ehni and Dr. Harold Thompson. We appreciate all that they are doing in their community to improve the health care of local children.




Mindi Dodd and Davie and Lanell Dodd of Brighton, Colo. (formerly of Pagosa Springs) announce the marriage of their daughter, Tiffany Jo Dodd, to Cody Aaron Maniates, son of Nancy Applegate and the late Danny Maniates of Brighton. Grandparents are Jack and Mary Peterson, Davie and Dottie Dodd, Lu and Cliff Buchholz, and Pauline Maniates.

The couple exchanged vows Aug. 20, 2005, in Brighton.  The bride's uncle, Doug Dodd officiated.  Toni DeLoria prayed over the couple during the ceremony.

The couple resides in Brighton.


Sports Page

Martinez, Smith earn medals at state tournament

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Two Pirate seniors ended their high school wrestling careers last week, winning medals at the Colorado Class 3A state championship competition at Denver's Pepsi Center.

Bubba Martinez took third place at 215 pounds; Ky Smith was fourth at 140.

Martinez (22-3) got a highly unusual bye in the first round of 215-pound action.

Advancing to a quarterfinal match versus Dustin Frank, a sophomore (20-12) from Roosevelt, Martinez was hungry for a fight. He got it, but it didn't last long.

Martinez took Frank in the air and put him down for two points, then added two back points. From there, the Pirate was efficient and economic in his strategy: he put Frank's shoulders to the mat and won with the fall just as the tap was set to hit the referee's shoulder to end the first period of the match.

Martinez returned to the mat to face unbeaten junior Brian Hendricks (34-0), of Burlington, in the semifinal.

Hendricks stayed unbeaten (and went on to win the championship). The Burlington athlete got the initial takedown, Martinez escaped and the first period ended with the Pirate trailing 2-1.

Hendricks began second-period action down and Martinez let him up, looking for a takedown. Instead, it was Hendricks who got the takedown off the escape and he turned Martinez and pinned him at 2:49.

That put the Pirate senior into the consolation semifinal against a familiar opponent - senior Sam Udell (32-2) of St. Mary's, the wrestler Martinez defeated to win the regional championship a week before.

The two athletes struggled on their feet in the first round. Martinez attempted a single-leg shot at period's end, but time ran out.

Udell was down to start the second period and Martinez allowed him to escape. Martinez scored with a takedown and Udell tied the score with another escape. Martinez got the headlock and the takedown. Udell attempted to roll through the move and nearly succeeded, but Martinez managed to control Udell, get his weight on him and pin him at the whistle.

There was another tall, strong opponent waiting for Martinez in the battle for third place: Tyson Bossow, a Weld Central senior with a 30-14 record

The two wrestlers stayed on their feet throughout the first period of the match, tying each other up, slapping at each others' heads.

Bossow went to the down position to begin the second period and escaped to score the first point of the match. Martinez responded in the latter half of the period with a takedown and had a 2-1 lead heading to the final two minutes of the contest.

The wrestlers started in the neutral position on Martinez's choice and the Pirate used the opportunity to take Bossow down for a 4-1 lead.

Martinez allowed Bossow to escape and the Weld Central wrestler's frustrations soon cost him. Bossow was penalized a point for a head butt and that point was the last scored as Martinez won the match 5-3 to take third place in the state.

"All year long, in the back of our minds, we knew we were good," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky of Martinez. "But, we knew there were one or two other good guys out there - guys we hadn't seen in two years, guys from other ends of the state. Against Hendricks, Bubba went for broke on a headlock. He wanted that hold and we probably should have bailed on it. It might have been interesting, and possibly a different outcome if we had bailed. I think if Bubba wrestled different against Hendricks, on a different day, in a different venue, the result would change. That was a match that could have gone either way."

Janowsky was impressed with the matches Martinez wrestled Saturday in the consolation round. "Bubba came back strong Saturday," said the coach. "He wrestled a couple tough matches. The third-place match was brutal. I was so proud of Bubba; he held his cool when that kid was trying to provoke him. He was a true leader and a fine representative of our program."

Smith (38-5) began his tournament at 140 pounds with a decisive victory over freshman Carey Salazar (15-14), of Valley. The Pirate senior used a single-leg strategy to put Salazar to the mat and added three back points. Salazar escaped but Smith quickly took him down again and completed the rout with a fall at 1:34.

The quarterfinal match found Smith facing a tested wrestler, senior Luke Hanna (27-3), of Eaton.

Smith got in a hole early, surrendering a takedown and a two-point near fall to Hanna to trail 4-0 at the end of the first period. Hanna scored a takedown from the neutral position to begin second-period action, but the Pirate responded, escaping and taking Hanna down at period's end.

Smith allowed Hanna to escape at the start of the final period of the match then took Hanna down again. A two-point near fall tied the score 7-7 with 1:36 remaining.

Smith again allowed Hanna to escape and score a point. Hanna was then assessed a point for stalling. Hanna was out of gas, visibly fatigued and, in a remarkable coincidence, appeared to suffer a shoulder injury. The time it took for Hanna to be checked by a trainer also allowed him to recover his energy - again, a remarkable coincidence. Hanna got the takedown with 43 seconds on the clock. Smith escaped with 23 seconds remaining and struggled, in vain, to win with a takedown. Hanna, and his injured shoulder, had the 10-9 decision.

That loss dropped Smith to the consolation bracket for a matchup with Hotchkiss senior Alex Farinelli (33-8). Smith went out front 5-1 in the first period, getting the early takedown then scoring a three-point near fall. Farinelli started the second period down; Smith put Farinelli on his back and got two back points before Farinelli reversed. The period ended with Smith ahead 7-2.

From the neutral start, Smith scored the final two points of the match with a takedown and advanced with a 9-2 victor.

In the consolation quarterfinal Smith fought sophomore Ryan Fountain (32-11), of Frederick, and made short work of the opponent. Smith took Fountain down. Fountain escaped; Smith took him down again, turned him and got the fall at 1:32.

Smith's semifinal match was against Brandon Montoya (27-8), a freshman from Roosevelt and Smith fashioned one of his most impressive battles of the year as he controlled Montoya throughout and took a 13-2 win.

The Pirate nailed the first takedown of the bout and allowed Montoya up to set up another takedown. Smith held the 4-1 lead at period's end. Starting down in the second period, Smith received a penalty point when Montoya was called for locking his hands. Smith escaped and took Montoya down near the end of the two minutes, for an 8-1 lead.

Another penalty point was awarded to Smith at the outset of the final period. Smith took Montoya down again, let him up, then took him down a last time for the win.

The victory set up a rematch with Hanna for third place. While Hanna's phantom injury did not recur, the Eaton wrestler still found ways to rest when fatigue became a factor.

Smith was the aggressor in the first period, taking a succession of shots, but it was Hanna who scored with the period's only takedown.

Ahead 2-0, Hanna started the second period down and Smith released him. Hanna got the next takedown to thwart the pattern Smith intended to establish. Smith escaped, but again the Eaton wrestler was able to score the takedown and he added three back points to extend his lead over Smith to 10-1 at period's end.

The final period belonged to Smith, but there was not enough time to stage a complete comeback. Smith tallied three takedowns in the period before losing the match, 12-9.

"I think maybe Ky got overexcited in this tournament," said Janowsky. "He got out of position against Hanna and dug himself into a hole. I think his best match was against the kid from Roosevelt (Montoya). He did a lot of things and did a lot of things right to get a major decision.

"Ky is a very good wrestler and he has been a natural leader for us. I can't say enough about the way he conducted himself: he played a strong role for us and he wrestled with passion every time.

"Bubba and Ky are fine representatives of our way of wrestling, our way of training, our way of doing things."


Pirates do battle at state meet

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Colorado Class 3A wrestling tournament provided several Pirate underclassmen with valuable experience and gave the team's veteran qualifiers a chance to perform at the Big Show.

Freshman Joe DuCharme (23-17) had a rough introduction to the state tourney in his first-round 130-pound match against Levi Tredway 31-8), a junior from Gunnison.

DuCharme scored a takedown in the early going, but Tredway responded quickly, taking a 5-2 lead with a reversal and a three-point near fall. DuCharme managed a point on an escape, but the Cowboy took him down again at period's end for a 7-3 lead.

The Pirate was back in the running as he started the second period down and scored two points with a reversal, closing the gap to a manageable 7-5. Tredway reversed DuCharme, however, and went in front 9-5 at the end of two. Tredway scored the only points of the final period, getting a takedown and the 11-5 victory.

In his consolation match, DuCharme took the mat against Justin Heuer (23-15), a senior from Roosevelt. Heuer nailed a takedown to start the scoring; DuCharme managed an escape and the opening period ended with the Pirate trailing 2-1.

Heuer started down and escaped to begin second-period action. The Roughrider added another two points to his total with a takedown. DuCharme escaped near the end of the period and was behind 5-2. The Pagosan escaped at the start of the final period, but Heuer took him down again and DuCharme was unable to escape his grasp. Heuer took the match, 7-3 ending the young Pirate's mat time at state.

"Joe's development over the year has been outstanding," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "The three guys who finished ahead of him at regionals placed at state, and so did one guy who beat him at the Pepsi Center. Joe wrestled them all well. He's tough, and he doesn't take a back seat to these guys. When you're like that and you don't win, you're disappointed. Joe was disappointed when he didn't do better; he was there to take home a prize. That's a great quality in a freshman."

If one went on the evidence of the first period in Mike Smith's first-round 135-pound mat against sophomore Casey Seifert (33-5) of Sheridan, the Pirate freshman (26-16) was headed immediately to the consolation bracket. Seifert went out to a strong 6-0 lead, scoring a takedown and two, two-point near falls.

With the wrestlers starting neutral, Smith cut the lead by two points with a takedown, but Seifert reversed. Smith added one point with an escape then suddenly had Seifert on his back. Seifert could not escape Smith's grasp and the Pirate won with a fall at three minutes, forty-six seconds.

Smith did not fare as well in the quarterfinal match against senior Gary Kinnison (27-3), of Highland. Kinnison set the tempo and dominated action throughout the first period, taking Smith down, then racking up a series of back points to win with a 16-0 technical fall.

The loss dropped Smith to the consolation bracket where he took on Lutheran's Adam Gurule. It was Smith's turn to fashion a tech fall. The Pirate was down 2-0 at the end of one period, then amped up the action. Gurule started down and Smith tied the score with a reversal. The Pirate then put together a string of near falls, scoring eight unanswered points to take a 10-2 lead as the period ended. In the last period, Smith continued the pattern. Gurule was in the down position; Smith turned him on his back scored two back points then two, three-point near falls to win with a 19-2 tech fall.

The win put Smith into the consolation quarter final against senior Jeff Greiner (36-4), of Middle Park. Smith scored first with a takedown, Greiner escaped near period's end and the Pirate led 2-1. Greiner was down to start the second period and scored a single point with an escape. Greiner then got a takedown and had the 3-2 advantage after two periods.

In the final period, Greiner took control of the match, keeping Smith on the mat, turning him, getting three back points for the 7-2 win, and ending Smith's first state tournament.

"Mike was one match away from a medal," said Janowsky. "At that point, you know you're good enough. As the year went on, Mike's confidence and ability increased and, where older guys roughed him up in the early stages of matches at the first of the year, he didn't fold at season's end. When he gets a bit older, he's not going to be pushed around early in a match. Then, he's going to be a problem for his opponents. Mike had a great tournament, going that far in what is really the heart of the weights, with no easy matches. He's on everybody's list now."

In his opening match at 152, Pirate senior Justin Moore (17-19) was in charge during the first round against junior Cody Burch (25-10), of Olathe. Moore scored the first takedown and, following an escape by Burch took the Olathe wrestler down again. Burch escaped at period's end and Moore had the 4-2 lead. Moore seemed to be in the flow as the second period began, but Burch was able to work the headlock, turn Moore to his back and get the fall at 2:34.

Dropping to the consolation round, Moore looked across the mat at Shahn Monson (9-19), a senior from Lamar. In what turned out to be a point fest, the Pirate took a 9-2 first-period lead and appeared to be on the way to a relatively easy victory.

Monson had other ideas. The Savage got a takedown off a neutral start in the second period then nailed a three-point near fall to close the gap to 9-7 at period's end.

Moore started the final round with a takedown and three back points, but Monson responded with a reversal. The two wrestlers exchanged points until time ran out, with Moore winning the match 20-15.

Moore's final tournament match was against Cain DePriest (24-11), a senior from Salida. The wrestlers tied 2-2 in the first period with Moore getting the initial takedown and DePriest scoring with a reversal. DePriest started down and Moore allowed him up. The Spartan got the takedown and ended the match with a fall at 3:33.

"Justin got a late start as a wrestler," said Janowsky. "He didn't begin until eighth grade and I remember he started with a small group of guys. It was his only sport and he told me then he was going to stick with it. Well, the other guys went on to other things, and Justin stuck with it, just like he said. This was something he really liked and he developed wrestling skills. He's a real success story. He had the opportunity to learn about himself and to express himself. He made the season and the team better for all of us."

At 160, the Pirates' Matt Nobles (33-10) took on a tested veteran in Brush junior Aaron Quinlan (9-1). Each wrestler took his shots in the first period, but neither was able to finish. The period ended in a scoreless deadlock. Nobles started the second period down and escaped mid-period to log the period's only point. Quinlan was down at the beginning of the final period and the Beetdigger escaped to tie the score. Quinlan got the first takedown of the match, with 53 seconds left on the clock. Nobles escaped with 31 seconds left but, 20 seconds later, Quinlan managed another takedown to lead 5-2. Nobles escaped with three seconds remaining but there was no time left to get the takedown and the tie.

Nobles fared much better against Ed Page (19-11), of Denver's Holy Family.

Each athlete was cautious in the first round, with only two points scored by Nobles, with a takedown.

The Pirate started down in the second period and escaped for point. He then took Page down for a 5-0 advantage. Then, it was a matter of allowing Page up in order to take him down again. Nobles did this twice before period's end, for a 9-2 lead.

Nobles started the third period down and escaped quickly. He followed with a takedown and a series of near falls. Page managed one more point before the buzzer, giving Nobles the 16-3 win.

Roosevelt's Nathan Heuer, a freshman with a 17-17 record, was next on the card for Nobles. The wrestlers spent the first period on their feet, handfighting, both failing to score.

Nobles chose to start the second period down and escaped to put the first point on the board. He took Heuer down, Heuer escaped, and Nobles took him down again to build a 5-1 advantage.

Heuer was down to begin the third period and escaped for a point. He then took Nobles down to close the gap to 5-4. It was anyone's match and Heuer made the first mistake, penalized a point for a stall. Nobles then escaped and had the 7-4 win.

Nobles ended his tournament and his Pirate wrestling career in the consolation quarterfinal match against junior Chris Diaz (19-21), of Olathe.

The wrestlers battled on their feet through the first period, each attempting but not finishing shots. Diaz broke the drought at the whistle, getting a takedown and two points.

Nobles started down in the second period and spent the entire two minutes trying to escape - with no success. Diaz maintained his 2-0 advantage.

Nobles opted to have his opponent begin the third period down and allowed Diaz to escape. Diaz was penalized a point for stalling, but woke up and took Nobles down. The Pirate reversed and tried in vain for back points as time ran out.

"Matt was just a shade behind," said Janowsky. "He lost by one to the kid from Brush and the loss to Diaz was close. Those matches could have gone either way. I have no doubt Matt is good enough to place at state. But, you know, he didn't hang his head. He gave it all he had to the very end and he conducted himself impressively, in victory and in defeat. Matt has been a tremendous credit to this program for four years."

Dale August (15-6) took on Chris Tumbull, of Roosevelt in first-round action at 171 and the junior fell behind 4-2, scoring with two escapes in the first period. Tumbull escaped to begin the second period then took the Pirate down. August got a point with an escape, but Tumbull hit another takedown to lead 10-3 going into the third period. From there, it was an escape-takedown pattern to the end of the match, with Tumbull scoring two points with each takedown and August tallying one with each escape. Tumbull won the match 16-6 to force August to the consolation bracket.

In his first action in consolation, August faced freshman Easyn Coats (8-10), of Hotchkiss. August scored the only points of the opening round with a takedown. August got two points quickly in the second round, reversing Coats as the action began; three back points followed and August seemed to be in charge. But he also looked fatigued - due to an illness suffered the week before competition. Coats escaped, then took August down. Near mid-period, August managed to escape, catch Coats in a headlock, turn him to the mat and score the fall at 3:52.

In his next match, and his final match of the tourney, August faced Eaton's Brian Cook, a senior with a 33-8 record. August took Cook down; Cook reversed to tie at 2-2. Cook followed with three back points. August scored two points with a reversal and Cook surrendered a penalty point. The score was knotted 5-5 at the end of one.

Cook reversed out of the start in the second period then scored two back points. The second period ended with the Eaton wrestler ahead 9-5

Thee wrestlers started neutral in the third and August got two points on a takedown. He let Cook up hoping to score with a takedown, but it was Cook who took August to the mat, turning him and pinning him at 4:46.

"You know," said the coach, " Dale has gone from a bout with strep, to the flu, and to a sinus infection. He lost a lot of his strength over a period of three weeks, but he gave it a go. In a different circumstance, he would beat guys who ended up on the medal stand. His was a hard-luck story this season, with illness, but he was still there. If we're going to have much of a team next year, he could make a big difference for us."

Joe Romine battled Troy Appel in his first match at 275. The Pirate senior exchanged blows to the head with the Savage and delivered as well as he received as the two heavyweights fought on their feet throughout a scoreless first period. Appel started down in the second period and escaped to tally the only point during the two minutes of wrestling. Romine was down to start the final period and reversed Appel to tie the score. Appel escaped, however, took Romine down and got the fall at 5:37.

Romine's tourney ended with a consolation match against Scot Wilkins, of Salida - a much larger athlete. The two wrestlers struggled on their feet, handfighting throughout the first round without a score. Romine started the second period down and could not keep Wilkins from using his size advantage. Romine lost in a fall at 3:44.

The story, in a nutshell: at state, Romine faced bigger opponents, with more strength and greater athletic skills than wrestlers seen earlier in the year.

"There are certain things you don't see until you reach the top sixteen," said Janowsky, "and those are size and athletic ability. Joe gave away six to seven inches in height and as much as forty pounds to most of these guys. But, there's no question about it: His heart is as big as any of them. He's a remarkable success story; he didn't wrestle as a freshman but he came back and he found a home, decided he liked it and made something of it."

Concerning the tourney as a whole, Janowsky was succinct in his appraisal.

"Our guys wrestled as hard or harder than most. They each held it together when the match was over, and they took the results, one way or the other, win or lose. I'm proud of them."


Pirates dismantle Centauri, snare IML crown again

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

They are too big, too fast, too strong and just too darn good with the basketball.

That is what Coach Larry Joe Hunt and the Centauri High School Falcons must have been saying on the long, stormy trip back to La Jara Friday night. Pagosa dismantled them again, for the second time in as many weeks, by a score of 60-48 in front of a big hometown crowd that came out on a nasty, snowy night to watch their Pirates snare yet another regular season Intermountain League (IML) crown.

The win is the fourth straight for the Pirates (12-6, 7-0 in IML) and the seventh in the last eight, with the only blemish being a loss at 4A Alamosa by two points. With the title, the Pirates have a bye directly into the district championship game Saturday night. The other four schools will play off to determine the right to face Pagosa in Bayfield.

The Falcons dropped to 10-9 and 3-4 in league play with one more game Saturday night against Ignacio.

The outcome was never in doubt. The Pirates opened on a 6-0 run and led by 14 after one quarter. The two teams played fairly even in the second but Pagosa still led by 15 going to the locker room. The third period was as cold as the icy streets outside the gym. The Pirates could only net eight but good pressure defense held the Falcons to just two to put the lead at 22. The Falcons came back to outscore the Pirates in the fourth on a 24-15 quarter for the visitors but the game was already out of reach.

After the game Coach Jim Shaffer indicated, "We played really well in the first half of the ball game. They (Centauri) came out in a match-up zone defense in the second half that slowed us down a little. It was kind of hard to keep the momentum going after getting such a big lead.

"This was a good win for us," Shaffer added, "and we now get a bye to the district championship game. We'll have to wait through the playoffs to see who our opponent is, but hopefully we'll be ready."

Junior Jordan Shaffer led Pagosa and all scoring with 15 points on five of eight from the field and four of five from the line. Senior Craig Schutz followed with 13 points on six of seven from the field. Senior Casey Schutz added 12 on four of seven from the field and a perfect four of four from the charity stripe. Juniors Kerry Joe Hilsabeck and Caleb Ormonde netted six and five each. Senior Paul Przybylski had one trey and juniors Derek Harper, Adam Trujillo and Travis Richey all netted two.

Craig Schutz led the Pirates with seven rebounds and Hilsabeck carded five assists.

For the Falcons, senior Greg Shawcroft and sophomore Ramon Espinoza tied for high honors with eight points each. Seniors Nathan Lucero and Estvan Armenta followed with seven and six while junior Kyle Martin carded five.

The Pirates opened an early 6-0 run on two buckets by Craig Schutz and one by Shaffer. The Falcons finally scored on a short jumper from sophomore post Albert Dunn but Schutz answered with his own trey from the top of the key. His nine points and Shaffer's six in the quarter plus help from Casey Schutz, Przybylski and Ormonde put Pagosa in the lead for good at 22-8 at the end of one.

The Falcons scored four quick points in the second period but then Shaffer found a long trey with 6:30 showing. Hilsabeck was fouled and went to the line for a one-on-one. The Falcons' Tate King, a sophomore, committed two lane violations to give Hilsabeck three chances. On his third the basketball hung on the rim, for what seemed like an eternity, before dropping in for the point. Centauri continued to show some momentum when Espinoza scored from the line and Martin tanked a three but Casey Schutz answered on a fast break deuce with an assist from his brother. Hilsabeck hit four more and Craig Schutz netted two straight buckets to go into intermission with the black and gold up by 15.

The third quarter opened slowly on turnovers by both clubs. Casey Schutz finally lit the scoreboard for two after a Pagosa timeout at the 4:37 mark. Full court pressure saved the day and had the Falcons in trouble with only a two point quarter. Casey Schutz added four from the line and Shaffer was fouled on a three point attempt. He netted two on an 8-2 quarter for the home team.

The Falcons came back in the fourth to outscore Pagosa 24-15 but the game was already over. Shaffer and Casey Schutz scored again and coach Shaffer gave everyone a chance to play. Harper, Ormonde, Trujillo and Richey all found the range for the Pirates.

The Pirates were supposed to host the final regular season IML game against the other Pirates from Monte Vista last Saturday night. Due to weather conditions, Monte Vista chose to cancel the trip and forfeit the game to Pagosa.

This is the Pirates' third straight undefeated regular season in league play and the fifth straight title for the Buccaneers. Pagosa has lost just three league games in the last five years, putting their five-year IML mark at 38-3.

In other IML action last week;

- Bayfield (17-2, 6-2) defeated Ignacio (8-9, 2-5) 68-55 Friday.

- Centauri (11-9, 4-4) defeated Ignacio (8-10, 2-6) 64-52 Saturday.

District tournament

Three schools from the Intermountain League (IML) will qualify for the 2006 boys' 3A state basketball tournament. The IML district tournament is scheduled annually to qualify those three teams. Based on the bracket a team can lose one game in district and still qualify for state.

With the bye directly to the district final, as a result of winning the regular season title, the Pagosa Springs High School Pirates automatically qualify for state action. However, because of their overall season record, this is a must win for the Pirates to get higher seeding and the potential to host one of eight state regional tournaments. The two first round district games were hosted by the highest seeded remaining teams. The rest of the tournament will be held in Bayfield.

Saturday's championship game will be held at 6:45 p.m. The third-place game is at 3:30.


Centauri - 8, 14, 2, 24-48

Pagosa Springs - 22, 15, 8, 15-60

Scoring: Shaffer, 4-5,1-3,4-5,15; Hilsabeck, 1-1,0-0,4-4,6; Przybylski, 0-1,1-1,0-3,3; Adam Trujillo, 1-1,0-1,0-0,2; Harper, 0-2,0-1,2-2,2; Casey Schutz, 4-7,0-3,4-4,12; Richey, 1-1,0-1,0-0,2; Ormonde, 2-3,0-0,1-2,5; Hart, 0-2,0-0,0-0,0; Craig Schutz, 5-6,1-1,0-0,13; Michael Delyria, 0-1,0-0,0-0,0; Wes Walters, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0. Rebounds: Shaffer 4, Hilsabeck 2, Przybylski 2, Trujillo 1, Harper 1, Casey Schutz 1, Ormonde 3, Hart 2, Craig Schutz 7.


Skiers compete in Washington's Day races

The Wolf Creek Ski Area Washington's Day Race was held Sunday, Feb. 19.

Winner of Boys 6-8 was Daniel Rahn of Boulder, with a time of 31.55 seconds.

Winners of Boys 12-14 were gold, Matt Pullan of Albuquerque, with a time of 34.53, and bronze, Ansel Bodelson of Santa Fe, with a time of 39.91.

Winners of Boys 15-17 were: gold, Matt Moore of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 26.79; Chris Davis of Dallas, with a time of 32.67; and bronze, Jochen Graf of Dallas, with a time of 32.7.

Winner of Boys 18-20 was Bryan Mansaneras of Del Norte, at 37.53.

Winners of Men 21.25 were: gold, Ryan Carlson of Colorado Springs, with a time of 24.97; silver, Ryan Yates of Colorado Springs, at 26.67; and bronze, Will Ritchie of Colorado Springs, with a time of 32.52.

Winners of Men 26-30 were gold, Bryan Hyatt of Stillwater, Okla., at 26.46, and silver, Gary Pyles of Albuquerque, with a time of 25.54.

Winners of Men 31-35 were: Bode Adams of Phoenix, with a time of 28.02; silver, Alex Tappan of Albuquerque, at 34.20; and bronze, Bryce Tappan of Santa Fe, with a time of 35.68.

Winners of the Men 36-40 were gold, Jim More of Rio Rancho, N.M., with a time of 31.42, and silver, David Anderson of Scottsdale, Ariz., at 32.63.

Winners of the Men 41-50 were: gold, Jim Hadfield of Newark, N.J., at 24.01; silver, David Rann of Boulder, with a time of 26.66; and bronze, Dean Namken of Lubbock, Texas., with a time of 28.22.

Winners of the Men 51-60 were: gold, Mike Evans of South Fork, at 24.83; silver, Karl Koomoa of Hawaii, at 24.88; and bronze, Duncan Coleman of Lamar, with a time of 26.83.

Winners of Men 60+ were: gold, Bryant Lemon of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 27.54; silver, Glen VanPatter of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 28.16; and bronze, Klaus Nuebert of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 29.07.

Winners of Girls 9-11 were gold, Cheyene Rollings of Oklahoma City, Okla., at 34.13, and silver, Alison Gurule of Albuquerque, with a time of 38.04.

Winners of Girls 12-14 were gold, Lorlen Moore of Rio Rancho, with a time of 33.11, and silver, Cheyanne Sprague of Boulder, at 40.07.

Winner of Women 21-25 was Claire Merchant of Albuquerque, at 26.38.

Winner of Women 26-30 was Ashley Northcutt of Phoenix, with a time of 32.05.

Winners of Women 31-35 were gold, Laura Anderson of Scottsdale, with a time of 32.11, and silver, Den Patton of Scottsdale, Ariz., at 34.50.

Winner of Women 36-40 was Stacy Sherer of Albuquerque, with a time of 50.37.

Winner of Women 41-50 was Carolle Ash of Pagosa Springs, at 32.76.

Winners of Women 51-60 were: gold, Poppy Borland of South Fork, with a time of 30.33; silver, Jean Hendy of Australia, with a time of 34.76; and bronze, Debbie Northcutt of Flagstaff, Ariz., at 36.27.


Get Ross Tournament entries in soon

The 11th annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament will be held April 13, 14 and 15 in Pagosa Springs.

There will be three divisions - open, 6 feet and under, and 35 and over. A fee of $250 per team, with a 10-player maximum on each team, is required.

The tournament will feature quality referees from the Four Corners area, adjoining quality gymnasiums, with a special memorial presentation during the tournament.

Registration deadline is April 1, with a deposit of $125 required of the first 30 teams to enter.

Prizes will be awarded to first-, second-, third- and fourth-place teams, All-Tourney Team, Tournament MVP, Mr. Defense, Mr. Hustle, Slam-Dunk Contest, and 3-Point Shootout.

Door prizes, cash prizes, T-shirts, jackets, hooded sweatshirts and bags will be awarded.

Don't wait too long to register - the roster fills up fast.

Proceeds go to a scholarship fund to benefit local youth.

For more information, call Troy Ross, 264-5265 phone, fax 264-2123 or mail to PO Box 727, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


Lady Pirates baffled by Centauri

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Falcons from Centauri High School used pressure defense, speed, athleticism and a lot of attitude to baffle the Lady Pirates Friday night in the Pagosa Springs High School gym.

The Falcons beat Pagosa for the second time this season, by a 75-47 score, and secured the regular season Intermountain League (IML) title and a bye into the district championship game Saturday night in Bayfield. The district tournament is hosted by the Wolverines this year.

The Falcons improved their undefeated record to 18-0 overall and 7-0 in IML play.

There seemed to be no answer for the Falcons' full court pressure. The Pirates turned the ball over at least 10 times in the first quarter to give the Falcons some easy looks and a 13-4 lead. The pressure continued in the second period and gave Centauri a lot of momentum and confidence. They netted four treys to build a 12-point lead going into intermission, and never looked back. A quick 14-0 run to start the third put the Pirates deeper in debt and the Falcons went on another scoring spree to put the game out of reach.

The loss breaks a six-game winning streak for the Lady Pirates (13-5, 5-2 in IML) but they do end with a lock on second place in IML regular season standings and a No. 2 seed in the district tournament.

To win the district tournament the Pirates would need to win a first-round matchup played last night, a semifinal game tomorrow afternoon, and the finals against the Falcons Saturday night. Head coach Bob Lynch and staff won't have a lot of time to figure how to beat a team like Centauri, but it will take a lot of attitude, toughness and, most of all, heart.

Or maybe the Falcons are just that good.

No one has disproved it so far.

Senior Kari Beth Faber had her best scoring effort so far with a team high 13 points on four of 10 in the paint and five of seven from the foul line. Seniors Emily Buikema and Liza Kelley followed with eight and six while Caitlin Forrest, also a senior, and junior Lyndsey Mackey netted four each. Junior Samantha Harris carded three and a host of other Pirates had two.

Faber and Forrest led Pagosa with five rebounds each and junior Jessica Lynch had three assists.

For the Falcons, junior Marcie Cooley led another balanced scoring attack and had game high honors with 15 points followed by senior Janette McCarroll with 14. Seniors Lucia Muniz, Wynona Miller and Amanda Gylling had 11, ten and nine points respectively.

"We had some turnovers to start the game and a terrible third quarter," said Coach Lynch after the game. "We got behind early and couldn't find a way to get back in it. Our kids will have to find a way to break the jinx if we want to win the district. Centauri has an excellent basketball team." Pagosa had a season high 34 turnovers and shot only 41 percent from the field.

The Lady Pirates opened the scoring on a short jumper by Faber. The Falcons pressed and went on 7-2 run off turnovers at the three minute mark on points by Miller, Gylling and Muniz. Buikema banked one in with two minutes remaining but Centauri would score four more to end the quarter.

Pagosa matched buckets with the Falcons in the second period on five more points from Faber. Forrest found the range for four points but then Centauri hit four big treys, two each by Cooley and junior Lindy Norton, to put the score at 31-19 at intermission.

The Falcons used the 14-0 run to start the third period on eight straight points from McCarroll. Turnovers continued to haunt the Pirates and coach Lynch sat the starters. Junior Kim Canty hit a short jump shot at the 5:21 mark to end the scoring jinx for Pagosa. The third quarter ended being the big difference maker on a 29-8 quarter for Centauri. Faber scored two from the line and Kelley netted four inside on the only other points for the Pirates.

The Lady Pirates did come back in the fourth quarter to outscore the Lady Falcons 20-15 but the outcome had already been determined. Both teams substituted freely to end the contest.

Pagosa was supposed to host the final regular season game against the other Lady Pirates from Monte Vista last Saturday night. Due to weather conditions, the green and gold Pirates chose to cancel the game and forfeit the win to Pagosa.

In other IML action last week;

- Bayfield (12-4, 4-3) defeated Ignacio (1-5 in IML) 68-55 Friday.

- Centauri (19-0, 8-0) defeated Ignacio (1-6 in IML) 89-29 Saturday.

District tourney

Three schools from the Intermountain League will qualify for the 2006 girls' 3A state basketball tournament. The IML district tournament is scheduled annually to qualify those three teams. Based on the bracket, a team can lose one game in district and still qualify for state.

With the bye directly to the district final, as a result of winning the regular season title, the Centauri Lady Falcons automatically qualify for state. The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates, along with the other three remaining IML schools, will play off to determine the right to meet Centauri in the final and also determine the other state qualifiers. The two first round games were hosted by the highest seeded remaining teams. The rest of the tournament will be held in Bayfield.

Wednesday, Feb. 22:

- Game A (first round) - Pagosa Springs hosted Monte Vista.

- Game B (first round) - Bayfield hosted Ignacio.

Friday, Feb. 24, in Bayfield:

- Game C (semifinal) - winner of Game A versus winner of Game B at 2 p.m. (winner advances to the championship game, loser to the third place game).

- Game D (consolation bracket) - loser of Game A versus loser of Game B at 5 p.m. (winner advances to third place game, loser is eliminated).

Saturday, Feb. 25, in Bayfield:

- Game E (third place) - loser of Game C versus winner of Game D at 2: p.m. (winner advances as third IML representative to state, loser is eliminated).

- Game F (championship) - winner of Game C versus Centauri at 5 p.m. (both advance to state).


Centauri - 13, 18, 29, 15-75

Pagosa Springs - 4, 15, 8, 20-47

Scoring: Lynch, 1-6,0-1,0-0,2; Mackey, 1-2,0-1,2-4,4; Kelley, 3-6,0-0,0-0,6; Harris, 1-1,0-0,1-3,3; Canty, 1-2,0-0,0-0,2; Faber, 4-10,0-0,5-7,13; Buikema, 3-5,0-0,2-2,8; Tamara Gayhart, 0-0,0-0,1-2,1; Camille Rand, 1-2,0-0,0-0,2; Emily Martinez, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; DuCharme, 1-3,0-0,0-0,2; Forrest, 1-4,0-0,2-2,4. Rebounds: Mackey 2, Harris 1, Faber 5, Buikema 4, Gayhart 3, Rand 1, Forrest 5.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

The arborist's work can preserve the past

By Jim Miller

SUN Columnist

On the way to Durango a few months ago, we stopped to walk the dogs at the little park on the highway, just past the Vallecito turnoff near Bayfield.

We had not stopped there in years. There was a new bridge, with a new trail that met the creek, forked, dipped through some willows and led back to the car. The cottonwoods in the parking area strutted past us as we returned, flaunting their new haircuts. Someone had pruned them recently with care, skill and awareness. The cuts, each one a decision, were beginning to heal over.

Artful pruning isn't conspicuous. It's subtle; a cautious dance with the tree, revealing its structural beauty without imposing the arborist's prejudices. It takes training and practice to do well. It's an abomination when botched.

Monday I spoke with Tom Eskew in Town Park about the work he was undertaking on our heritage cottonwoods. He had been recommended by Chris Pierce, the local arborist whose abilities I've admired for years. Chris was my first choice to do the job, but without a bucket truck to reach the highest branches, he would have been climbing the trees. Cottonwoods are notoriously unsafe to climb.

While discussing the aesthetic and safety issues of having such potentially unstable trees in such a popular area, Tom mentioned that he had done some work in Bayfield for a man who had held my position in Pagosa a few years back: Doug Call. I asked if he was the trimmer of the trees I'd noticed that day last fall while walking the dogs. He was, and is.

If you get a chance, notice the big cottonwoods by the gazebo in Town Park. See how gracefully they anchor the space. Thank those who have nurtured them through the years, and admire the talent and sensitivity of the arborist.

Adult basketball meeting

There will be a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, in Town Hall for all managers who registered teams in this year's adult basketball leagues. The meeting will last approximately 45 minutes and will cover topics such as open-gym dates, league schedules, rule changes and playoff dates.


The recreation department will accept registrations for this year's tee-ball season beginning March 1. Registration deadline for this year's season is March 15. Any child who will be 5 or 6 years old as of April 1 is eligible to participate.

Registrations are available at the recreation office in Town Hall. Cost is $25 per player and $15 for each additional child in the same immediate family who participates. The season is tentatively scheduled to begin in early April.

Coaches and sponsorships for this year's tee-ball teams are also needed. Cost for sponsorship is $150, which includes the sponsor's name on team uniforms, a commemorative plaque with team picture, and designation on season banners and in media articles. For more information, call 264-4151 Ext. 232.

Teen center advisory board

The town is also seeking members to serve on the Teen Center advisory board that meets monthly. Passion to create a better community for our youth is desired. Please contact Julie at 264-4151 Ext. 226, or e-mail jjessen@centurytel.net for more information.

Youth basketball pictures

Parents and coaches who ordered youth basketball pictures can now pick them up at Pagosa Photography, 480 San Juan St. If you have questions concerning your photo order, call Jeff Laydon at 264-3686.

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



Can't do without them

Let's face it: this nation has a critical problem with the presence of illegal immigrants within our borders, and the continued flow of undocumented workers across those borders. No question about it. And no question that the federal government has failed to protect our borders, to seal them adequately. We have two long borders that allow for easy human traffic, not to mention our "borders" that function as ports through which cargo passes - a mere 20 percent or so checked effectively. A nation cannot exist without secure borders. Given the state of the world, we are asking for huge trouble as long as this condition exists.

With the lack of attention to the borders, some states are jumping on the illegal immigrant bandwagon - many politicians using the issue for gain, but many sincere in their efforts. As usual, the result is probable overkill, that ends up doing as much harm as it does good.

Colorado is a good example of a state inundated by undocumented workers and one in which legislators are scrambling to find solutions to the problem. A raft of bills went to committee hearings this week, some more rational than others.

Among the more extreme is a proposal that employers be held liable for illegal activities and crimes committed by undocumented workers, on or off the job.

Somewhat closer to the surface of the planet is a proposal that professional licenses issued by state agencies to employers who knowingly employ illegal workers be revoked. Another proposal would prohibit state agencies from entering into contracts with employers of undocumented workers.

Several slightly more reasonable proposals would require collection of information by school districts and bail bondsmen that identifies illegal aliens, and the reporting of information concerning illegal aliens by local law enforcement agencies to the federal government following routine traffic stops. Local "food establishments" would be required by another proposal to verify the immigration status of employees. Another proposal would require employers to verify Social Security numbers of all employees.

Closer to the bone are several proposed bills that would shut off the flow of tax dollars from public institutions to undocumented workers and their families. One would exclude undocumented aliens from worker's compensation payments.

One of the proposed bills would make fraudulent documents in order to obtain legal residence a crime and would impose a $50,000 fine for the first offense and make a second offense a Class 5 felony.

Finally, another proposed bill would require all local law enforcement agencies to identify, process and, in some cases, detain persons suspected of an immigration offense when that person is encountered in a routine law enforcement activity.

Few among us will argue the borders do not need attention. Not many will argue that legal immigration status should not be mandatory. The key question, perhaps, concerns how "legal status" can be formulated for the tens of millions of undocumented workers now in the U.S., perhaps via a guest worker program. Once the flow across the border is stopped, what can be done aside from the continued passage of increasingly Draconian regulations? Something must be done.

Take a look around. Look who is doing most of the work that - unless one is truly delusional - one cannot conceive being done by most native-born Americans in our current culture. Look who is doing the most work for the smallest return. It is often not U.S. citizens.

If we are realistic, we need to understand there is no way all these people can be forcibly removed from this country. If not for humanitarian reasons, then for economic reasons, we need regulations, and ones that reasonably address this situation and need.

A nation cannot exist without secure borders. And this one cannot exist without migrant workers. We must find a way to make most of them legal and let them pay into the system.

Karl Isberg




90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 25, 1916

It is alleged that one of Archuleta County's most desirable masculine "ketches" is outfitting himself with two new suits of clothes and accessories, including a fine $40 set of teeth, preparatory to storming the fortress of a handsome widow of Pagosa, who is also the proud possessor of some new molars.

The bootleggers and bootleggeresses will find it advisable to get married and thereby be enabled to dispense their hospitality in their own home. It will require an extraordinarily brave man or else a fool to search his premises.

The snow is disappearing rapidly under the benign influence of warm wind and sun.

Don't miss the dance at Lone Tree Saturday night.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 27, 1931

Coach Roy C. Lindley and the Pagosa Springs High School basketball team departed yesterday for Durango to enter the San Juan Basin tournament, which began last night. Pagosa's first game is with the fast Farmington aggregation, and is in progress this afternoon. Members of the team who journeyed to Durango are Charles Cotton, Richard Nossaman, Don Joy, Willie Trujillo, George Yamaguchi, Earl Nelson, Hedric Harlan, Robert Matthews and Harry Patterson.

Heavy advertising has encroached upon our reading material this week, but we will endeavor to catch up in future issues. We have been forced to postpone the insertion of considerable good reading.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 23, 1956

The Fire Department can furnish plenty of opportunity for conversation this year. They are working very hard for the purchase of a new fire truck for the community. The firemen, as individuals, will derive no more benefit in one way than the other citizens of the town. They will derive the benefit of a better chance of fighting a fire successfully and safely. They will also pay their fair share of the taxes in the purchase price of the truck.

It is rumored that some political activity for the Town Election is being started with at least one ticket being proposed. No petitions for nomination have as yet been filed with the town clerk. March 9th is the deadline for these petitions, so if you plan on running or if you have a good candidate, this date should be kept in mind.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 26, 1981

An unusual amount of construction is still taking place in the community. Winters when construction work can continue for the entire winter are very rare in this area, but this has been an open winter and construction in 1981 has a good start.

A snow course survey by SCS employees Wednesday of this week showed the snow pack to be 48 percent below normal. Snow depth on top of the Pass was listed at 37.8 inches. Last year at this date it was 113 inches. There is still time for more snow, but that time is getting short.

Voters in the area gave a 440 to 93 vote in favor of a proposed hospital district Tuesday of this week at a special election. Seven directors were also elected for the newly formed district.



Pagosa artist's painting in top 10

of wildlife habitat stamp contest

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"I love the watercolor look," said June Jurcak, a Pagosa Springs resident and artist. "I've just always loved it."

Jurcak answered an advertisement placed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife calling for artwork depicting the many animal faces seen in Colorado's wilderness for the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp. Jurcak's watercolor depiction of a sage grouse was selected as one of the top 10 finalists of all the pieces submitted from around the state.

"I keep coming back to birds," added Jurcak with a smile.

Jurcak's "Sage Grouse," was auctioned off at a fund-raising dinner and reception for the artists and guests given by the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Fund Feb. 8 in Parker.

"I created these paintings with the support of my family and friends. Like everything in life, it has its price, but the time I spend painting is rewarded when someone else 'sees' what I 'see' and wishes to own my painting," states the short autobiographical sketch that accompanies Jurcak's work displayed at a local gallery. Jurcak has seen her artwork find homes all across the country - in California, Texas and Michigan, and now Colorado.

The proceeds from the heritage stamp go toward funding the preservation of natural habitat in Colorado. "The loss of habitat is the single most significant cause of wildlife population decline in Colorado. Recognizing the need to preserve Colorado's wildlife habitat for future generations, a group of sportsmen and conservationists took its idea of a habitat stamp program to the state Legislature, where it was enacted into legislation and signed by Governor Bill Owens," states the Colorado Division of Wildlife Web site.

Jurcak moved to Pagosa Springs from Michigan with her husband and two daughters in July 2005 and fell in love with the beautiful natural surroundings as well as the charm of the community.

She and her husband of 15 years, Ken, visited the Pagosa Springs area only once before they decided to relocate. "We chose a house to lease on the last day of our visit - we didn't see Pagosa again until we arrived with the moving van," said Jurcak. "I keep meeting all these great people, and I keep thinking, is someone going to pinch me?

"It's just beautiful. We're always outside," said Jurcak. "I'll get to paint new things in Colorado."

After exploring the area with her family, Jurcak buries herself in books describing the names and habitats of the animals they've seen. She's excited to discover more about her new mountain surroundings and the myriad creatures who live there.

"Here we'll enjoy fly fishing, and even tying my own flies. Maybe this will be my way to put off my painting, but chances are good that it will be a whole new inspiration to put the paint brush back into my hand. If not, see you on the river I can always paint the fish that you catch and release," states Jurcak's autobiographical information.

Jurcak is hoping to become proficient at painting the wide variety of fish, birds and flowers that thrive in the area. "My husband will go fishing, and I'll paint the fish," said Jurcak. One of her favorite fish projects is to paint a trophy fish that has been caught and released, with the fly matted with the portrait along with a plaque describing the catch.

Jurcak is a self-taught artist who was introduced to watercolors as a child. She has been hooked on the delicate look of the medium ever since. "People always ask me if I'm going to try something else, but I have no desire," said Jurcak.

"Everyone should be able to have fine art in their home," she said. It is this conviction that drove Jurcak to learn to mat her own artwork, making it more affordable. "I got the tools one day and said, 'I'm going to learn this.'"

After her children were born, Jurcak took a break from painting. "Once they're in school full-time, I'll paint full-time," she promised herself. As her daughters are now 9 and 6 years old, Jurcak has rolled up her sleeves and devoted her time to painting. "They'll paint with me when I get the stuff out."

Jurcak is also planning to teach a watercolor unit to her eldest daughter's class after spring break.

Like the mountains of Colorado that become an addiction to some, painting the wildlife found in those mountains has an irresistible draw for Jurcak. "I have to admit I try to do everything in my power to do anything but paint, from working odd jobs (that I don't need to do), to tennis, golf, and stamping and sporting clays but ultimately I always go back to painting," explains Jurcak's autobiographic notes.

Jurcak's time and attention to detail has paid off in the form of an exquisite collection of paintings that offer a glimpse into the beautiful life of detail that she observes everyday. "You learn so much," she said.

Jurcak's watercolor collection is currently on display through the end of February at the Wild Spirit Gallery in downtown Pagosa Springs.


Pagosa's Past

Fishing in Arboles ... with dynamite

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

We've been talking about Amargo and the general lawlessness which accompanied the arrival of the narrow gauge railroad to the San Juan Basin.

The railroad triggered an economic boom because it provided an inexpensive means for hauling quantities of the Basin's resources across the Continental Divide to markets along the eastern slope of the Rockies.

While the railroad was building, another market was the labor force stationed at whichever point served as a terminus and work station for laying the next few miles of track. The money in the pockets of the work gangs attracted gamblers, bars, loose women, and just about every other kind of vice.

We have focused on Amargo when it was one of those railheads, as described by pioneer Harry Jackson. We left off as Jackson described the move to Arboles, the next work station. Because Arboles was located on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, the commander of Fort Lewis has just ridden into Arboles with a number of cavalry troops and ordered the shady elements to leave. Picking up Jackson's account from last week we hear the Colonel saying:

"If this order is not obeyed in that time (three days) I will order the cavalry under my command to remove you forcibly.

"At once all saloon and dance hall business was suspended, and removal made by teams to Durango. All other business had the privilege of continuing. But needless to say, after this element left the place was a deserted village, and there was no business left.

"Arboles was certainly a pretty place to camp in, being at the junction of the San Juan and Piedra rivers (Motter's note: now under the waters of Navajo Lake). There was a large pool close by the grove and on warm days it was our delight to go in swimming. The rivers at that time were full of trout and suckers. Here was the first time and place I ever saw anyone dynamite the fish. The men could have caught all they wanted with hook and line, but that was too much work. I saw the railroad men go to the river and throw in and explode a stick of dynamite; that killed the fish by thousands and was a needless waste, as they did not use half the trout they destroyed. There being no game wardens in the country at that time, there was no danger of their ever being discovered.

"Fred Jones and I stayed in Arboles until the terminus of the railroad was moved to Durango when we packed up and shipped all of our belongings to Durango. Upon our arrival in August, 1881, we disposed of our tent and other articles. Fred Jones went back to Pueblo, I boarded with a family named Carlton and went to work in a little shop located where the Ball Foundry now stands (this article was written in January 1939). My employer was John Delaney, a nice little Irishman, but a poor pay-master. After awhile Delaney sold out to Jean Humphries, a wood-worker, and myself, and we paid up what he owed to Adams and Bailey (which was the original of the Graham Hardware Company)."

Next week we'll answer the self-imposed question, "What ever happened to Amargo?"


Pagosa Sky Watch

Cepheus - not just for amateurs

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The following sun and moon data for Feb. 23, 2006 is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.

Sunrise: 6:47 a.m.

Sunset: 5:56 p.m.

Moonrise: 3:41 a.m.

Moonset: 12:46 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waning crescent with 24 percent of the moon's visible disk illuminated.

During winter evenings, the constellation Cepheus hangs low in the northern sky. It is an easy target for amateur sky watchers, and locating the constellation provides an opportunity to add one more grouping of celestial objects to one's star gazing repertoire.

But Cepheus is not just for amateurs. In fact, professional astronomers working on the McDonald Observatory's Planet Search project have had Cepheus in their telescopic sights for nearly two decades. And, after extensive research and the discovery of a planet, many astronomers believe conditions may be right within the Cepheid planetary system to support extraterrestrial life.

Cepheus is regarded as one of the most ancient of the constellations, and its outline represents the mythological King Cepheus of Ethiopia. Cepheus was the husband of Cassiopeia and the father of Andromeda who are both depicted in nearby constellations of their own.

As is common with many constellations, the outline of Cepheus does not resemble its namesake, and the constellation's shape resembles more a child's drawing of a house with a steep roof, or a church steeple.

The point of the steeple is marked by gamma Cephei, and it is this star that has the McDonald Observatory researchers most interested.

In 1988, a research team began observing gamma Cephei with a 2.7 meter telescope. Their observations revealed that gamma Cephei was, in fact, a binary star system comprised of a magnitude 3.22 orange subgiant as the primary star orbited by a much smaller red dwarf. But the real news came following further data analysis, when researchers announced they had discovered the first extrasolar planet in orbit around the primary star of the binary system.

In 1992, the team retracted their claim based on the quality of the data, but researchers were hopeful and kept after the gamma Cephei system.

In 2002, following the collection of more recent and refined data, researchers were confident in the planet's existence and announced their discovery to the scientific community.

Their data set revealed the primary star is about 1.59 times as massive as the sun, and is orbited by a planet about 1.76 times as massive as Jupiter. The planet orbits the star at about two Astronomical Units, or a little farther than Mars' distance to the sun.

Discovering planets that orbit stars in binary systems is not unusual, but what makes the gamma Cephei system different is the proximity of its planet and stars.

Generally speaking, the stars in a binary system are often spread over vast distances, such that each star could be regarded as acting independently. However, the gamma Cephei system is an exception to the rule. Its stars and orbiting planet are relatively close together, and ideal proximity of a planet to a star is critical in whether that planet has the potential to support life. Considering the distance between the objects in the gamma Cephei system, researchers are curious whether the planet inhabits that sweet spot and the system has what it takes to make life possible on the planet.

To date, astronomers have located 120 extrasolar planets and the Planet Search team at the McDonald Observatory have located similar, Jupiter-sized planets orbiting sun-like stars in the constellations Cygnus and Eridanus.

Although gamma Cephei is clearly a binary system, not even the most powerful telescopes can split the star into its binary components. Thus to all observers, it will appear as a single point of light.

To locate Cepheus and gamma Cephei, venture outdoors at about 9 p.m. when Cepheus will be found almost due north.

Begin by locating the Big Dipper's pointer stars, Dubhe and Merak on the dipper's cup, and follow them to Polaris in Ursa Minor. From Polaris one more short jump down, in the same line of travel, will bring stargazers to the orange star, gamma Cephei and the tip of the constellation. The square, house-shape portion of Cepheus extends down and slightly left toward the horizon.





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Jet stream split, highs in the 40s

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

After last week's active weather patterns, the troposphere has settled down considerably, with mostly clear skies predicted for the coming week. The jet stream is currently split and flowing both north and south of our region. Highs will be in the 40s, and lows consistently in the teens.

Last week the shifting jet stream brought a welcome dump of snow over the weekend, with six inches of new snow reported in town. The Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 25 inches of new snow, bringing the summit base depth to its peak of 63 inches for the year.

The SNOTEL measuring sensor, located at 11,000 feet on Wolf Creek Summit reported a jump in its snow depth from 33.3 inches to 48.8 inches over the weekend. The San Juan/Dolores/Animas/San Miguel basin is currently at 51 percent of normal snowpack, and Colorado as a whole has dropped to 94 percent of normal snowpack for the year thus far.

Last week, when the jet stream was directly overhead, we had a peak wind speed in town of 39 miles per hour reported on Wednesday afternoon. The peak wind speeds gradually tapered over the next few days, when the temperatures dropped and the snow began to fall. A low of 2.4 degrees was reported last Sunday morning, and highs went from the mid- to high-40s earlier in the week, and dropped to the mid-30s for the remainder of the week.

Sunspots and Climate

Of course, the sun's warmth on our spinning planet drives weather patterns, but what is not certain is how the natural variation of solar radiation affects our weather.

Periodically, the sun undergoes a cycle of sunspot activity which peaks every 10.5 years or so. Each cycle begins with a minimum, then reaches a peak of sunspot activity about 5 years later, when more than a hundred dark, swirling sunspots can cover the sun. Sunspots can be observed using white-light telescopes as dark areas, some larger than Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

Although dark, indicating cooler regions of the sun's surface, sunspots are anything but calm. Sunspots are huge magnetic storms, which periodically "flare" and eject giant plumes of superheated polarized gases of ionized particles. Typically the sun ejects a million tons of matter out in space every second, but during peak activity, the sun can eject a billion tons of matter in a single event. Solar flares and other periodic activity can potentially double the temperature of the earth's upper atmosphere.

Normally, the earth's magnetic field creates a bubble in space (called the magnetosphere) that protects us from the violent solar activity and carries the polarized gases to the poles where they appear as auroras and the Northern Lights.

But recently scientists have discovered cracks that develop in the earth's magnetic field that remain open for hours, allowing the solar wind to gush through into the atmosphere, creating havoc with electrical transmission equipment and radio communications. In 1998, 45 million people lost their pager service due to a satellite electronic failure caused by a solar event.

Harold Frey of the University of California in Berkeley relates the magnetic cracks to a "house with a window stuck open in a storm. The house deflects most of the storm, but the couch is ruined."

Some scientists are recently theorizing that the solar particles passing through the cracks in the magnetosphere are a driving force in shifting ocean and jet stream currents, thus greatly affecting weather patterns during the subsequent 48-72 hours.

By measuring radioactive elements in layers of polar ice created by solar activity, calculations from geophysicists indicate that the sun is more magnetically active now than it has been for a thousand years. In 850 AD, the scientists estimated 30 sunspots on average appeared on the sun each year. Between 1900 and 1944, from direct observation, the rate increased to 60 per year. Currently, the sun averages 76 sunspots per year, with peaks of over 200 sunspots in a single day.

If the connections of sunspots to weather are true, the increasing sunspot activity could be one of the factors involved with our currently warming planet.