PAWSD to levy water resource fee, retroactive to Nov. 2005
By Chuck McGuire
As the Pagosa Springs area experiences substantial growth, so too does the cost of obtaining water service.
Consequently, a number of local developers and concerned citizens attended the regular Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District monthly meeting Tuesday night, to express their dismay over what amounts to a new and significant impact fee. The fee is something PAWSD has been mulling for some time, and has now established in respect to residential and commercial development or expansion in need of new water service.
According to PAWSD board members and staff, the new Water Resource Fee, in the amount of $7,265, will be assessed on each newly constructed "Equivalent Unit" requesting water service in the district, as of Nov. 8, 2005. The fee is designed to help PAWSD pay for future raw water development, including a proposed reservoir in the Dry Gulch area northeast of town.
An equivalent unit is defined as a separate residential, multi-family residential or commercial space, such as a home, townhome, apartment or commercial business that requires connection to the district water service. Individual residential properties are typically considered one equivalent unit, while a particular formula from the American Water Works Association is used in determining the number of equivalent units in a commercial property, depending on its nature and size.
While the PAWSD board hasn't yet decided if, or how much, fees could vary, it has said reduced fees might be a consideration for certain entities like low-income affordable housing projects, schools or other public facilities.
Board Vice President, Bob Huff suggested a tiered fee structure may be more fair under certain circumstances, but cautioned that future income is vital to the continued development of additional water resources and the district couldn't afford random reductions or the waiver of fees under normal conditions. His comments came in response to a developer request to consider waiving fees for a proposed multi-family development billed as affordable housing.
While a private resident hoping to build a new home voiced concern over the fee amount, attending developers were more troubled with when the fee would actually come due. PAWSD has considered several options, including requiring payment as final plats are recorded, building permits are issued, or when certificates of occupancy are achieved. Most builders balked at those suggestions, however, claiming several months could pass between then and the closing of a sale, causing them to have to pay up front, or pay interest on bank lines of credit.
One builder stood up, exclaiming how his up-front water resource fees on a proposed subdivision of 1,800 lots would total $13 million if he had to pay at the time of plat acceptance. Another requested the board consider requiring payment as each lot or home sale closes, and individual services become necessary. That way, he said, the fee could be passed on to buyers, and not break a builder's bank. All insisted that up-front fees would preclude the feasibility of building many of the large residential developments now before the Archuleta County Planning Commission.
The PAWSD board seemed to hear the cries of those in the audience, and vowed to examine fee structures and their timeline. Huff recommended the board make a concerted effort to finalize the issues before the next regular meeting in April.
Repubs, Dems to caucus March 21
By James Robinson
What do an eastern European mountain range and the Archuleta County elections have in common?
Nothing, except a similar sounding name.
The mountains are the Caucasus, and the March 21 Archuleta County caucuses mark an opportunity for voters to get involved on the ground floor of local politics and the upcoming elections.
Whether you believe the word comes from the Algonquin for "council" or the Finnish for "meeting," today's caucus holds true to both these roots.
And the caucus is, in fact a key gathering of members of either political party where candidates begin jockeying for position and the election ball is set rolling. It is a meeting where attendees will witness the wheels of representative government at work.
One of the primary tasks of a caucus is the party's nomination of delegates to attend the county assemblies in April. At the assembly, those delegates will then push for a particular candidate's placement on the primary, or general election ballot. This year's primary is scheduled for Aug. 8.
In addition to nominating delegates, attendees might also nominate party officers and discuss the issues facing the party, voters and the potential candidates. And in the end, the caucus can prove to be a key party strategizing session.
In order to participate in the caucus you must have been a registered voter with your respective political party by Jan. 23, 2006, and must have resided within your precinct for at least 30 days prior to the caucus date.
Both the Democrat and Republican caucuses will be held March 21 at 7 p.m. at the following precinct locations throughout Archuleta County.
The Democratic caucus locations are:
Precinct 1 - Pagosa Baking Company, in the 200 block of Pagosa Street. Contact Becky at 264-2171.
Precinct 2 - Community United Methodist Church in the 400 block of Lewis Street. Contact Sandy at 264-6486.
Precinct 3 - Pagosa Springs Community Center, south conference room, Hot Springs Boulevard. Contact Ginny at 264-5299.
Precinct 4 - Appenzeller residence, 53 W. Cedar St., Arboles. Contact Mitch at 883-5511.
Precincts 5 and 6 - Unitarian Universalist Hall, Greenbriar Plaza. Contact Lynda at 731-4795.
Precinct 7 - Pagosa Springs Community Center, arts and crafts room, Hot Springs Boulevard. Contact Dave at 731-2554.
Precinct 8 - Pagosa Springs Community Center, arts and crafts room, Hot Springs Boulevard. Contact Claudia at 731-3665.
The Republican caucus locations are:
Precinct 1 - County commissioner's meeting room, Archuleta County Courthouse.
Precinct 2 - Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St., Pagosa Springs.
Precinct 3 - Archuleta County Fair Building, 344 U.S. 84, Pagosa Springs.
Precinct 4 - Saint Peter Saint Rosa Catholic Church, Colo. 151 and County Road 975, Arboles.
Precinct 5 - Chimney Rock Restaurant, 18710 U.S. 160 West.
Precinct 6 - Pagosa Lakes Vista Clubhouse, 230A, Port Ave., Pagosa Springs.
Precinct 7 - Restoration Fellowship, Education Building, 264 Meadows Drive Pagosa Springs.
Precinct 8 - Our Savior Lutheran Church, gymnasium, 56 Meadows Drive.
For more information contact Mojie Adler at 731-4277, or e-mail at Gadflymoj@cs.com.
Back to drawing board on elementary principal
By Kate Collins
There is still no new elementary school principal following a March 14 meeting of the Archuleta School District 50 Joint Board of Education.
Sandy Caves presided over the proceeding Tuesday when President Mike Haynes' arrival to the meeting was delayed. After general meeting business, the board entered executive session for deliberation to choose a new elementary school principal, as well as renew current superintendent and principal contracts.
After nearly two and a half hours of executive session, the board emerged to vote on whether or not to issue a job offer to Superintendent Duane Noggle's recommendation for the principal's position - David Hamburg, who is currently employed as an assistant elementary school principal in Oxford, Penn.
A series of interviews were held by a committee of district teachers and board members with five finalist candidates Feb. 27 and 28. That committee did not recommend a candidate. Policy states that if the faculty committee cannot reach an agreement regarding which candidate to recommend, the board turns to the superintendent for a recommendation.
The vote on Hamburg was split, with Haynes and Linda Lattin in favor, and Matt Aragon, Caves and Ken Fox opposed.
The board will now review policy to determine its next course of action to fill the position now being held by an interim principal, Terry Alley.
Noggle's contract was renewed until June 30, 2008, as were the contracts of Assistant Superintendent Bill Esterbrook, and high school Assistant Principal Sean O'Donnell - both for the 2006-2007 school year.
The board then moved to considerations of construction and site-related matters.
Change orders calling for an additional $5,353 for various projects on the Maintenance and Transportation building project adjacent to the high school were approved unanimously by the board. The estimated completion date is early summer.
At its February meeting, the board was approached by John Britton, representing Reynolds and Associates, regarding the proposed Trujillo Heights development, named the "Dakota Springs Subdivision." The proposed subdivision is located west of the high school site.
Reynolds and Associates has requested an easement that would enable the planned development to utilize the sewer system currently used by the high school. The board agreed to move discussion of the matter into a work session, scheduled for Tuesday, March 28. Britton will be asked to attend to offer a more complete request.
A first reading was issued for Policy BE regarding a time change for future school board meetings, marking the starting time at 6 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. A first reading was also given to Policy GDK, describing support staff schedules and calendars.
The board gave audience to Don Ford, pastor of the Community United Methodist Church, regarding drug usage in Archuleta County. Ford suggested drug testing new employees of the district, as well as creating a random testing program for all staff and faculty. Caves recommended discussion of the issue by the board at a later date.
In other business, the board offered "congratulations and celebrations" to a number of students:
- the high school drama team for their stellar performance in the Intermountain League drama competitions;
- junior high history fair participants for marks of excellence, including Emily Greer, Julia Adams and Katarina Medici for their documentary, "Pillage at Wolf Creek," which received first place and qualified for state competition in Boulder;
- the high school students who produce PHTV, including Ashley Maddux, who won a first-place national award as one of more than 1,000 students competing;
- the Future Business Leaders of America club, highlighting the 47 of 51 Pagosa Springs students to place in the top 10 in their divisions, and the 37 students who will be competing at the state competition;
- the Pirate and Lady Pirate varsity basketball teams for their outstanding performance at the state finals in Fort Collins, as well as seniors Liza Kelley and Emily Buikema for their invitations to play in the all-state game; and,
- former San Juan Board of Cooperative Services (BOCS) member, Jon Forrest, whose service on the school board ended last fall due to term limits.
The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be held April 13 at 6 p.m.
New standards ahead, meeting set
By Mark Thompson
Counselor, Pagosa Springs High School
Special to The SUN
Recent state legislation concerning college admissions in Colorado will affect students that are currently in 10th, ninth or eighth grade, and those younger.
These students will have to meet certain standards in high school in order to be admitted to any public four-year college or university in Colorado. These are called the Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR).
If your student will graduate from high school in 2008 or later, and plans to attend a four-year college or university in Colorado, then he or she will need to complete the following classes to fulfill the Higher Education Admissions Requirements:
Graduates in 2008/2009 will need to complete four years of English, three years of mathematics (algebra I level and higher), three years of natural/physical sciences (two units must be lab-based), three years of social sciences (at least one unit of U.S. or world history), and two years of academic electives.
Graduates 2010 and later will need to complete four years of English, four years of mathematics (algebra I level and higher), three years of natural/physical sciences (two units must be lab-based), three years of social sciences (at least one unit of U.S. or world history), two years of a foreign language, and two years of academic electives.
The Higher Education Admissions Requirements do not apply to community colleges, which have open enrollment policies, meaning that students applying to these schools do not need to meet the admissions requirements outlined above.
We are fortunate to have Rana Black, a representative of College-in-Colorado, and the Colorado Commission of Higher Education, in Pagosa Springs to speak to us 6:30- 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, in the high school gymnasium.
Black will discuss HEAR, as well as scholarship opportunities for these three grades (10th, ninth and eighth).
In addition, our registrar, Melinda Volger, and I will talk about the process of registration for next year's classes. This part will be especially helpful for the eighth-graders, as they have not had this experience.
The counseling department at Pagosa Springs High School cordially invites all parents, students and any other interested persons to attend this meeting. We look forward to seeing you there.
Garretts' conditions improve in Oklahoma
By James Robinson
Following a harrowing automobile crash resulting in a string of serious, and potentially life-threatening injuries, Archuleta County Treasurer Traves Garrett and her husband, Darall Garrett, are on the road to recovery.
According to Kim Aldridge, one of the Garretts' daughters, both elder Garretts suffered numerous injuries including head trauma, collapsed lungs, dislocated shoulders and broken ribs when their truck and trailer rolled after hitting a patch of black ice Feb. 20 on U.S 270 about 23 miles southeast of Woodward, Okla.
Aldridge said, despite the severity of her parent's injuries, both are doing better and are improving.
"Mom was released Friday, but still has to do outpatient therapy," Aldridge said.
Aldridge explained that both her mother and father are receiving care at the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center in Oklahoma City and that her mother still has about a month of outpatient therapy.
Aldridge said Darall suffered the brunt of the force in the accident, and was pinned in the vehicle for nearly an hour.
In addition to injuries similar to his wife's, Judy Blakley, one of the Garretts' other daughters, said the impact left her father with a broken back, a bruised spinal cord and five fused vertebrae, but added that he is doing better.
"Darall took his first steps yesterday, so that's a good sign. He's tough; he's gonna make it," Blakley said.
Aldridge said the fact her parents were wearing seatbelts probably saved their lives.
Both Aldridge and Blakley said their parents were thankful and appreciate the support they have received from friends in Pagosa Springs.
Village faceoff date set
By James Robinson
A faceoff between state, federal and local legislators, federal agencies, Village at Wolf Creek developers, and representatives from the Wolf Creek Ski Area is scheduled for April 7 in Creede.
The meeting follows a move by state Rep. Mark Larson to bring the controversial Village at Wolf Creek development under greater legislative scrutiny and was scheduled by Jon Boyd, president of the Upper Rio Grande Economic Development Council.
In a press release issued by Boyd, his agency has invited Larson, state Sen. Jim Isgar, U.S. Rep. John Salazar, the United States Forest Service, Mineral County commissioners, Wolf Creek Ski Area CEO Davey Pitcher, Bob Honts CEO of the Village at Wolf Creek, state Sen. Entz and state Rep. Rafael Gallegos to attend.
Boyd said the invitations were delivered March 13, and by presstime Wednesday only Entz, Gallegos and the Mineral County Commissioners had confirmed they would attend.
"The meeting will go on no matter what. We'll have a party if no one shows," Boyd said.
According to the press release, the meeting was originally scheduled March 24, yet due to a scheduling conflict Larson said he was unable to attend on that date.
Boyd said he hopes the new date will work to everyone's satisfaction and will allow all parties to attend, to ask and answer questions and to express their views.
"In rescheduling the public forum," Boyd said, "It is my hope that this new time will work better for all interested parties. This meeting will allow the public to come and hear the actual facts and truths from all parties concerning the Village so they can base their opinions on hard evidence."
The forum will begin at 6 p.m., April 7 in the Creede Community Center in the Underground Mining Museum.
Citizens urged to step up for council seat
Following zero candidate turnout for the District 2 town council seat, the Pagosa Springs Town Council is seeking letters of intent from citizens wishing to be appointed by the council to the post.
Those interested can submit letters either in person or by mail. Hand-delivered submissions should be addressed to the Pagosa Springs Town Council, care of Town Clerk Deanna Jaramillo, and dropped at the Pagosa Springs Town Hall located at 551 Hot Springs Blvd.
Mailed submissions can be sent to the following address: Pagosa Springs Town Council, care of Town Clerk Deanna Jaramillo, P. O. Box 1859, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Letters must be received by 5 p.m. March 31.
In order to qualify, an appointee must have resided in District 2 for at least 12 consecutive months; must be a registered elector in the Town of Pagosa Springs; and be 18 years of age or older. District 2 includes everything within the town boundaries east of Hot Springs Boulevard and south of U.S. 160; and everything within the town limits east of North Sixth Street and north of U.S. 160.
PLPOA directors deal with water, covenant questions
By Kate Collins
The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA) held its monthly board of directors meeting Thursday, March 9, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. A full board was present to discuss new cluster mailbox units, a proposal to acquire a lot on Lake Pagosa for sediment removal purposes, and the particulars of an Environmental Control Committee (ECC) prompt approval color chart regarding building materials and colors.
General Manager Walter Lukasik reported that one postal cluster box unit was erected in the Meadows subdivision on Hersch Avenue Tuesday, March 7; distribution of keys by the post office has begun.
Seven additional box units are currently in storage, waiting for location approval by the United States Postal Service. An additional 25 box units have been promised to the PLPOA, but have not yet been ordered by the USPS.
Larry Lynch, manager of the Department of Property and Environment, and representing the Ad Hoc Lake Study Committee, offered a power point presentation to the board discussing a drainage problem at the intersection of Cloman Boulevard and Piedra Road. After two years of observation and study, the committee and board have come to the conclusion that a sediment removal system needs to be in place in order to maintain current water capacity and quality in Lake Pagosa.
"This is the worst inlet problem we have in Pagosa," stated Lynch. In a water flow study, it was discovered that five tons of sediment dislodged by rain entered into Lake Pagosa in a 24-hour period.
At the February board of directors meeting, a report was made discussing a land trade between the PLPOA and a citizen. In this trade, the PLPOA acquired lots 6 and 7, located on Sundown Circle, with the intended use being the construction of a sediment removal system. The structure will include a temporary holding basin, offering a pause in water flow to allow sediments to settle prior to entry into Lake Pagosa.
Lynch reported that, after discussions with engineer Chris Phelps of River Bend Engineering, it was decided the lots in hand do not provide "enough room to build a meaningful structure."
Lynch proposed the acquisition of lot 5 on Sundown Circle to ensure adequate space for a structure which will be able to accommodate the runoff produced by a "two-year" storm, but not flood waters. Cost is estimated at $20-25,000.
The board agreed to look further into the acquisition process for lot 5, which includes locating the owner and beginning negotiations.
The ECC, represented by board liaison Ernie Karger, presented the board of directors with a color board - a selection of committee-approved colors and materials to be utilized by homeowners constructing new homes, and those remodeling the exterior of homes.
The goal of the color board is to provide homeowners with a streamlined approval process. Theoretically, if a homeowner chooses color schemes from those represented on the ECC color board, a permit will be issued the day of presentation. If a homeowner chooses colors not found on the color board, their choices will have to go before the committee for approval.
PLPOA President Dave Bohl suggested the ECC provide a color board consisting of a "standard group of colors regardless of materials used." The current color board differentiates between colors and various types of housing materials, automatically approving certain colors corresponding with certain materials. The directors agreed with Bohl's suggestion and requested the ECC compile a board depicting only approved colors, rather than pairing colors with materials.
Directors also discussed committee member roles and responsibilities. The board agreed that if a committee member, after notification of behavior expectations and standards, acts in a way that implies his or her own morals and opinions are beyond that which is required by the office, the board of directors has grounds to dismiss that committee member. The discussion of a specific incident in question was tabled for deliberation in executive session.
Lukasik brought to the board's attention a proposed subdivision on the northeast shore of Lake Hatcher, named "Coyote Cove." Plans for the subdivision were submitted to the county planning commission March 7. According to Lukasik's report, "The subdivision will contain 35 lots ranging in size from 1/3 acre to over two acres. The subdivision will have their own Declarations, which will be subject to [the PLPOA's], its own Architectural Control Committee and its own Covenant Compliance. Plans for new homes will also have to be submitted to [the PLPOA] Environmental Control Committee."
Directors also discussed a workable definition of a commercial truck and clarification of parking requirements and prohibitions within the PLPOA area. The board has been discussing these issues for some time, and even after a joint work session between the board of directors, the ECC and PLPOA staff, a definition has yet to be reached.
"The definition of a commercial type truck is similar to pornography - you might not be able to define it, but you know it when you see it," stated Bohl.
Although a definition has yet to be agreed upon, the board of directors agreed to restrict the ECC to granting a single, six-month variance for residents found in non-compliance of the commercial truck parking guidelines, effective April 1. Within those six months, a resident not in compliance must be able to show they are attempting to remedy the parking problem by either building a garage or finding alternative parking for commercial trucks.
The next PLPOA board of directors meeting will be held April 13.
AEDA meeting to feature author Jack Schultz
Archuleta Economic Development Association will host its first communitywide event at 11:30 a.m. March 31 at the First Baptist Church.
The program features an address by Jack Schultz, author of "Boomtown USA." Schultz is recognized as a national authority on rural community growth dynamics.
This event will include the AEDA's annual membership meeting, and is open to the entire community. Admission is $40 per person for unsponsored guests and $25 for AEDA members.
Ready for a new season at Chimney Rock
By Karen Aspin
Special to The SUN
Another seemingly quiet winter at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area now passes. Yet, behind the scenes, there's a steady current of organizational activity within Chimney Rock Interpretive Association that evaluates the past and optimistically prepares for another busy tourist season.
In this article you'll learn a little about this local treasure, its stewardship, and some interesting operation facts and figures.
For those unfamiliar with this spectacular site, Chimney Rock Archaeological Area features the remains of an ancient Ancestral Puebloan village and Chacoan Great House, perched high atop a mesa overlooking the Piedra River valley.
It is one of the most unusual and intriguing archaeological discoveries related to the Ancestral Puebloan people in the Four Corners area. It was designated an Archaeological Area and National Historic Site in 1970. Chimney Rock, as most locals call it, is located 20 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs on San Juan National Forest land surrounded by the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.
Here, the Ancestral Puebloans built over 200 homes and ceremonial buildings high above the valley floor probably to be near the sacred twin rock pinnacles, we now call Chimney Rock and Companion Rock. Of the hundreds of individual sites dotting the landscape, researchers have thus far found 91 structures - possibly permanent, plus 27 work camps near farming areas, adding up to more than 200 individual rooms, containing about 400 residences.
Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc. (CRIA) operates in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District, through a special-use permit. The Pagosa Ranger District supports CRIA's interpretive program through administration, office space and facility maintenance. Law enforcement, resource management, and protection are the responsibility of the Forest Service, which coordinates Chimney Rock activities with Native American tribes and approves the content, media, and implementation of the interpretive program.
CRIA is a 501(c) non-profit organization devoted to public education and protection of Chimney Rock Archaeological Area. Through participation in CRIA's tours and programs, and through the public's generous donations, memberships in CRIA and Friends of Chimney Rock, and visitor center purchases, the site's care, protection, and preservation are assured. Donations are an important ingredient in CRIA's ability to create a future to interpret the past.
Run almost entirely by volunteers from a variety of disciplines, CRIA offers an array of educational programs, including daily walking tours in season. Typical event calendars include monthly full-moon programs, major lunar standstill events, summer solstice and fall equinox sunrise programs, workshops and tours, and Native American flute concerts, dances, and cultural programs.
Volunteers are truly the heart of the CRIA program. In 2005, 84 volunteers contributed a whopping 6,855 hours and drove 38,639 miles to keep Chimney Rock open and operational.
On Saturday, April 1, volunteers will host an open house at the community center to inform the public about Chimney Rock and the great opportunities to be a volunteer. CRIA offers comprehensive training to their volunteers who do everything from administrative work to cabin hosting and leading site tours. They are trained in CPR, receive beautiful T-shirts, and enjoy the camaraderie of outings and potlucks throughout the calendar year. Training for 2006 is scheduled April 20-22, so it's not too soon to think about bringing a new dimension to your life through this wonderful volunteer program.
Here are some highlights of the activities that kept Chimney Rock volunteers busy last year:
- Of the 10,539 visitors who actually signed in at the visitor center, during the May 15-Sept. 30 season last year, nearly 7,200 took a guided tour of the site. Almost 700 of the tour participants were children, age 12 or younger.
- Based on those who freely signed the visitor comment book, 47 states were represented, including Hawaii. International travelers came from the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and eight major European countries.
- Six full-moon programs, accompanied by Native American flute music and a lecture, sold out, and together with the summer solstice and fall equinox programs nearly 900 participants enjoyed these celestial programs. Around 300 full moon program attendees also signed up for a guided mini-tour option prior to the program start. For 2006, a special preseason, full moon program will be offered Wednesday, April 12.
- The six major lunar standstill events, held monthly from July through December, were also quick sellouts. In its first year, with only two seasons remaining until another 18.6 year cycle brings this viewing phenomenon our way again, 150 participants trekked up the mesa, often in the dead of night, to join the finite number of people who will witness the moon rising between the twin spires in this century. If you missed out, tickets go on sale again May 15, with only limited tickets available per viewing.
- The Native American flute concert, featuring Charles Martinez, was an intimate delight for 23 attendees who were not put off by the threatening thunderclouds and a forest fire that broke out just before the concert on Southern Ute tribal lands at the junction of U.S. 160 and Colo. 151. The magical melodies encompassed the adventurous and not a drop of rain or a puff of smoke ventured onto the mesa top.
- More than 200 people attended the Life at Chimney Rock Festival weekend, enjoying demonstrations of the skills utilized by the Ancient Puebloans, including yucca pounding to make rope, basket and flute making, fiber spinning, flint knapping, rock art, and use of the atlatl for hunting, and the metate and mano for grinding corn. Indian fry bread, flutes, baskets, and jewelry were among the treasures some visitors purchased during the event.
- During a two-day, Local Appreciation Days, Chimney Rock hosted about 100 visitors, offering half-price tours to local area residents. A three-day hosting over Memorial Day weekend is scheduled for 2006, so mark your calendars to take advantage of this discount to local residents.
- Special organizations, such as The Archaeological Conservancy, Chaco Canyon's volunteer staff, guests of Crow Canyon Center archaeological organization, college students and local Chamber of Commerce delegates, were granted 138 free visits. Discounts were granted to other special interest groups, including those from the local senior center and the Boy Scouts. These groups are hosted on private, volunteer-led tours.
- Roughly another 750 grade school students visited Chimney Rock on free school tours, conducted pre- and post-season. One tour hosted fourth- to sixth-graders traveling over 100 miles from their school in Shiprock, west of Farmington, N.M.
- Fee waivers for these special organizations, students, plus some Native American visitors and other guests totaled nearly $13,000 in 2005.
Chimney Rock Interpretive Association is pleased to share this operational information with you and appreciates and encourages your continued support for the interpretive program.
Watch for local news and further details on Chimney Rock's 2006 upcoming event schedule or view the CRIA Web site at www.chimneyrock.org.
For assistance with preseason questions and reservations call 264-2287.
Report all possible wolf sightings
The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is reminding residents to quickly report any potential wolf sightings.
Though a majority of the sightings are coyotes, dogs or other animals, a recent report in north-central Colorado's North Park area appears to have some merit.
On Feb. 16, district wildlife managers with the DOW were able to capture brief video of a suspected wolf. The DOW was able to observe the animal because a landowner quickly reported seeing it about 10 miles south of the Colorado-Wyoming border north of the community of Walden. Biologists and wolf specialists who have examined the video say the animal seen on tape looks and behaves like a wolf.
"There's really no way to be absolutely sure just by looking at an animal, and even genetic testing isn't 100-percent reliable" said Gary Skiba, senior wildlife conservation biologist and DOW coordinator for the state's Wolf Management Working Group.
The animal on the video tape had no visible tags or collars. Such indicators could more easily link the animal to federal efforts to reintroduce the northern gray wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Many offspring wolves lack any markings, but so do wolf-dog hybrids that could also be in the wild.
Reports from southern Wyoming indicate that this same animal was spotted approximately eight miles north of the border several days before and after the North Park video was filmed. It is possible that the animal is searching to establish territory or looking for a mate along the Colorado-Wyoming border.
Whether the North Park animal is a wolf or a hybrid, and whether it stayed in Colorado, doesn't affect the way the state handles wolves that migrate into Colorado. Wolves are currently managed under federal law due to their status as an endangered species. The Colorado Wildlife Commission adopted a comprehensive plan for migrating wolves in 2005, but it will only take effect when the wolf is removed from federal protection.
DOW began wolf management planning with a series of public meetings around the state in March 2004.
These meetings were designed to identify issues the public felt should be addressed when developing a wolf management plan. The wolf working group was appointed in the late spring of 2004. The group (four livestock producers, four wildlife advocates, two sportsmen, two county commissioners, and two professional wildlife biologists) was given the difficult task of coming to an agreement on how the DOW should manage wolves that migrate into Colorado from recovery areas in the northern Rockies or Arizona and New Mexico. The state of Colorado has no plans to reintroduce wolves, so the plan only focuses on migratory wolves that might enter the state.
Initially the group operated under the expectation that management of migrating wolves would be turned over to the state at any time, however a federal judge ruled in January 2005 that US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) rulemaking regarding distinct population segments was in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The judge's ruling keeps management of all wolves under the control of the USFWS. Discussions continue about the possible transfer of management of wolves from federal wildlife officials to states. When state management is approved, the Colorado Wolf Management Plan will be implemented.
Highlights of the state management plan include:
- Wolves should be allowed to live without boundaries in suitable habitat in Colorado.
- Wolf populations will be carefully monitored.
- Voluntary non-lethal methods should be used to prevent wolves from causing damage.
- Livestock producers should be compensated when wolves kill or injure livestock and herding and guard dogs.
- Research will be an important component of wolf management.
- Funding for wolf management should come from sources other than hunting licenses.
- Wildlife managers may control predators if they are inhibiting management of other wildlife populations as directed by a species management plan.
- Wolf-dog hybrids should not be released into the wild.
"It's important that everyone understand that, for now, wolves remain under the protection of the Endangered Species Act," Skiba concluded. "Federal protections of all wolves continue to be in effect."
The Zen of shoveling opens a door to the desert
By James Robinson
It has been snowing for two days, and the flakes will not stop.
Shovel in hand, I walk back and forth across the driveway, the blade skittering across the frozen ground. As the blades slides, it gathers snow and I move it to the driveway's edge.
I pace back and forth and the snow gradually piles in knee-high berms. My movements are mechanical - six steps one way, dump, turn, then six steps the other, dump and turn, repeat.
Shoveling snow is the most tedious of labors, but I measure my progress by 24-inch swaths cut through the powder. Eventually I stop, look over my shoulder and watch as the rapidly falling snow fills the same swaths back in. I continue. Perhaps it is the absolute futility of the task which pleases me. Perhaps it is the monotony of mindless manual labor that I love. It's like digging a ditch - the fundamental skills are mastered in moments, and while the body moves, the mind is free. Perhaps this is its only consolation.
I make another pass and for a moment, the snowflakes stop, the wind subsides and the clouds break. A solitary patch of azure sky is revealed and I am baited into thinking salvation is at hand.
It is not.
The patch of clear sky vanishes and the storm returns with a renewed fervor. I push on but my mind is gone, the glimpse of azure takes me back to a different time and a much different place.
I've been up since before sunrise and I have prepared my things and packed my backpack. I have all I need for the trip - compass, flashlight, fleece jacket, a bag of dates, three slices of gritty Egyptian pita bread, half a jar of orange marmalade, three liters of water, a half package of Ramses cookies and my journal. I carry no map. They don't make maps for this part of the desert.
Before the village fully awakens, I slip out of my room, across the hotel compound and down narrow, serpentine alleys between mud-brick buildings. In moments, I arrive on the edge of the settlement. Once on the outskirts of the village I orient myself. I put the sea and the cluster of adobe buildings to my back; a high craggy outcrop lies straight ahead and to the west; and a far-off mountain stands high off the desert floor to my right and slightly northwest. The three points make a triangle of sorts, and I take my compass, shoot a bearing and head for the mountain. If I had known then how flawed those bearings were, I would have never ventured into the desert.
I walk as the sun rises, and gaze deep into the desert toward my destination. I remember reading somewhere that while at sea, objects viewed on the horizon are seven miles from the viewer, and I apply that formula to my journey. Fact or fiction, I don't know, but I calculate that I should arrive at the base of the mountain well before noon.
In the coolness of the morning, I cross alternating stretches of terrain, from fine compacted sand to black gravel, from high dunes to parched salt flats. The landscape is static, but not monotonous, and my progress varies. At times, while climbing dunes, I slog through soft sand, but on the gravel I make good time. But no matter how, or through what I move, I keep my destination fixed. To get lost would be foolish.
Midmorning arrives and with it a marked rise in temperature. Heat waves emanate from the desert floor, and the shape of the mountain ripples and shifts like a reflection in a funhouse mirror. Distances are distorted, but I should be getting near. I press on.
Another hour passes and the mountain appears to be no closer. I stop, drop the pack, and drink. Perhaps I have miscalculated. I look at my watch and the hands tell me mid-day is rapidly approaching. I should have been there by now, but instead of getting closer, the mountain appears to recede into the distance with each step. I shrug it off, my arrival is not important. The mountain is merely a destination, my time in desert solitude is what's important. I decide to trudge on for two or three more hours and if I don't come close, I will turn back. I check my compass, and plod off into the growing heat.
It is February, technically winter, but I have underestimated the desert. I stop, take another drink and re-wrap my kaffiyeh. Everything in this arid desolation craves liquid, and even the flies are thirsty. They crawl into folds of the scarf and nip around the edges of my eyes - there's water there. I swat them away, but they persist, and together we trudge deeper into the desert.
Past noon, the sun hovers high and there is no shade, no respite and no cover. Out here there is nothing but heat, rock, sky and sand and the Arabs call the fusion of these elements al sahra the desert. The Bedouin call it hell.
I look at the sun, glance at my watch and realize my window of time has expired. I turn back.
When I turn around I am greeted by a sea of sand, and although I just passed through the landscape, the scene looks eerily unfamiliar. The outcrop near the village has long since disappeared and I must rely on my compass bearing, rather than line of sight to return to the village. The arrow inside the plastic case points the direction and I follow. I trust the reading - the desert is vast, it's not possible I would recognize all the landmarks.
As I walk, thinking perhaps I can arrive back before dark, I spot a lone, thorny, leafless bush. Its skeletal shape throws just enough shadow to provide shelter from the sun, and I dig a shallow hole in the sand beneath its branches, and curl up to escape the heat. My water is almost gone and I will wait until evening to travel again.
The hours pass and I nap in fits and starts, straddling the dreamtime and the gritty reality that I am lying alone, beneath a bush, far out in the Egyptian Sahara. I study the stark landscape, and understand what T.E. Lawrence meant when he said "the desert is clean." Out here there is no frivolity, no excess, no gaudy pretensions. It is a landscape scoured by sun and wind and either you belong, or the desert consumes you, it's as simple as that. And I realize I don't belong and it is time to get out.
My bearing leads me into the evening and across a vast stretch of gravel, where things begin to look vaguely familiar. I see what appears to be the craggy outcrop near the town and move in that direction, knowing that soon my route back to the village will make itself clear. A few more steps, and the gravel turns to sand, the sand turns to gelatin and I sink calf deep in mud. I thrash in the muck and try to understand what has happened.
On the surface, the sand appears firm and unchanged, but below the surface crust, the soil moves in a quivering mass, obviously transformed by an underground water source. I pull my feet free and backtrack to terra firma, where I survey the situation.
I am standing on the edge of a vast sea of viscous sand and it is obvious I have not traveled back the same way I came. My gut tells me the village and the sea are far off to my left, behind a low ridgeline, and if I can get to higher ground, the direction will be apparent. I lob a few rocks in the general direction and they land with a sloppy splat - more mud, but with night approaching I have little choice. I must move and I set off across the mire.
Immediately I am sucked back in and it pulls me down like quicksand. I backtrack, try an alternate route and the results are the same. I skirt the edge, but the bog seems to extend for miles and after numerous stops and starts, I give up - crossing the mire seems foolhardy and going around seems futile.
I take another sip of water, one of the last I have, and scan the desert for inspiration. In the distance, I spot the silhouette of another twiggy bush, and I decide I will make it my home for the night; I will try again tomorrow.
As I approach the bush, it appears to be moving. I look again and realize the bush is a man. He wears a loincloth, a battered, loose fitting cotton shirt and headscarf, and he is working the mud with a hand-hewn hoe. A closer inspection reveals he is using the hoe to shape the mud into adobe bricks.
I approach slowly, and shout out a greeting. He turns, somewhat surprised to see me, and I ask him the way to the village. He approaches, legs caked in muddy scales and smiles. We exchange greetings, I explain my predicament, and he guides me along a maze of twisting dikes and makeshift paths, out of the bog, to solid ground and the ridge beyond. We scramble up the hill together, and look out on the village below. I thank him; he smiles and disappears.
As darkness gathers I emerge from the desert like an apparition. With my headscarf still wrapped tight, I walk to the edge of town and a group of Bedouin, standing near their Toyota trucks, witnesses my arrival. When I approach, they greet me as one of their own. When I reply, they realize they are mistaken; the headscarf has them confused.
As night falls, we smoke Cleopatra cigarettes while they question me about my journey. They say I am foolish but that I wrap a headscarf just like the Bedu. They clap me on the back and send me off.
I shuffle back to my hotel room - a mattress on the floor of a low-ceilinged adobe hovel - toss my pack into the corner, light a candle and in moments, fall fast asleep.
I am a private pilot in the process of moving to Pagosa Springs from south Florida. With excited intentions of purchasing one of the newly-built hangars on Stevens Field for housing my airplane, I recently procured a copy of the county's new ground lease agreement from Rob Russ, read their very lengthy lease quite thoroughly, and knew immediately I could not sign it because of the many problems brought to light by other letter writers before me. And, after two phone calls to Mr. Russ to address my concerns, he became annoyed of discussion and quickly referred me to attorneys in Durango. Those attorneys didn't return my phone calls, so I decided to avoid this legal mess and sadly now hangar my airplane in Durango.
Bob Jasper recently portrayed the local pilots/tenants as a bunch of spoiled, party animal "Good Old Boys." Unlike 99 percent of the good citizens of Archuleta County, those animals actually use and financially support the airport. They are local pilots that undergo intense annual FAA scrutiny and constant training to maintain their valued flying status. They are responsible citizens that have sustained the airport for years, even decades, and never elected to suddenly shoulder the brunt of all of the creative newfangled debt piled up from the airport administration's obvious irresponsible overspending spree. If Stevens Field is really "an airport for all of Archuleta County," then why would some of our Archuleta County administrators wish to exclude "people who don't own hangars or are not airport people." Can't one simply be invited to a private airport event just like he/she can also be invited to share a private round of golf? I challenge you 99 percent of Archuleta County airport non-tenants to just try sometime to get onto "your airport." It's even become quite a gauntlet for those animals trying to get to their own airplanes. They are enthusiastically being killed off by friendly fire.
My initial impression of our Archuleta County administration is not very positive and I can only hope that Ms. Schiro and our other Archuleta County commissioners will soon wake up and recognize Russ and Jasper have identifiably been scheming rogue dictators that have hawked a benevolent cause to spin the fact that they have actually flown our airport into the ground without a viable flight plan. Let's be glad that Jasper has found a new career.
This airport problem is very simple we shouldn't alienate and abandon those few respectable pilot/tenants that have provided financial support to Stevens Field all these years. Stop this stupid fight! Honor those agreements and get on with it! New airport business is diverting elsewhere. We need a (flight) plan to advance our airport into a revenue (re)source that actually embraces the use of this valuable asset by that other 99 percent of Archuleta County residents also. And, we desperately need new aviation appreciative leadership running Stevens Field.
In her letter, "Contrails," March 2, Mira T. Woods is sounding an alarm that contrails she has observed are a harmful substance being sprayed from the accompanying jet airplanes.
It is a false alarm.
The two World War II bomber pilots, "Contrails 1" and "Contrails 2," March 9, reported their first-hand experiences with contrails during bombing raids on Germany. They reported severely reduced visibility in large formations of bombers, but no medical problems.
The National Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Weather has two color plates showing photographs of exactly what Woods describes. The text describes the environment in which contrails are produced as "nearly saturated conditions at higher levels colder than freezing." It goes on to state that, "Flying aircraft emit water droplets into the atmosphere. The droplets freeze immediately into crystals (the temperature is typically colder than minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit); the crystals last much longer in the sky than water droplets." The season for contrails is listed as "All year" and the range as "All locations."
"Chemtrails" into Google brought about 617,000 items. The Web site by New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR) was headlined, "Chemtrail Fears Thrive on Internet." Particularly pertinent was a 1999 letter to the attorney general of New Mexico from physicist M. Kim Johnson of NMSR. The AG had asked for help in answering questions from constituents regarding the alleged dangers.
Some excerpts from the letter: (1) "In each of these letters, the writers express concern that aircraft are spraying biological or chemical materials into the atmosphere for unspecified purposes." (2) "I have read the letters and reviewed the referenced web pages. In so doing, I have viewed a number of photos purporting to be of aircraft spraying the chemical or biological material into the atmosphere. I have also discussed these letters with another scientist familiar with upper atmosphere phenomena from Sandia National Laboratory and a retired general and fighter pilot who is an Air Force Hall of Fame Member." (3) "In summary there is no evidence these 'chemtrails' are other than expected, normal contrails from jet aircraft that vary in their shapes, duration and general presentation based on prevailing weather conditions." (4) "When a jet engine burns its fuel, the major byproduct is water vapor." (5) "If the atmosphere is not at saturation, the contrail will not persist. The formed ice crystals will sublimate into the surrounding atmosphere; hence the appearance of a short, well-formed vapor trail." (6) "If the water content is very low, no discernible contrail will form. All the exhaust water will be absorbed by the atmosphere before there is time to form ice crystals." (7) "If the atmosphere is highly supersaturated, the formed ice crystals may act as nucleation centers for a continual spreading of the contrail. In other words, the contrail actually causes the supersaturated moisture to condense, spreading out from its original path. This causes the formation of a cirrostratus cloud structure, far in excess of what would occur from a simple contrail."
The two protections of individual rights set up after Nixon's power abuses were: the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), striking a balance between national security and bedrock civil liberties, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. They endured for a quarter of a century until George and Cheney left FISA in tatters and the Senate Select Committee on its deathbed. Whose national security is being protected?
The Senate panel is so paralyzed that it could not do its basic job this week and look into George's warrantless/illegal spying. Without hesitation, biblical Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman, said there would be no investigation. Instead, the committee's Republicans voted to create a subcommittee to get reports from the White House on any future warrantless surveillance.
It's breathtakingly cynical: while George breaks the law, the Senate sets up a panel to watch him do it.
The only Republican showing any intellectual and personal courage is Colorado's Mark Larson (not running again), by taking on the idiocy of "Village at Wolf Creek."
Congressional oversight by Republicans?
Support our kids
There are more than 35 million children from birth through 8 in this country. The early years are a crucial time for their growth and development, and a time when we help children prepare to succeed in school and in life.
April 8-14 is Week of the Young Child in Archuleta County, a time to recognize the needs of young children, and the adults involved in their education and care. Parents, teachers, caregivers and other adults play important roles in the lives of young children, and Week of the Young Child celebrates their efforts.
Early education programs, including home child care, Head Start programs, preschools, and elementary schools provide crucial learning experiences for many young children. Supporting these programs is the right choice for kids.
Every adult in this community has opportunities to make a difference, from volunteering at a local program to supporting efforts that help more young children benefit from quality early care and education. Week of the Young Child is a great time for all of us to acknowledge the needs of children, and work together to build better futures for all children.
I was intrigued by the letter attacking Franklin Anderson on wolves. I would hope that Dina Seigwald will move to where she can hear wolves instead of recreating a problem that we had thought our grandparents had solved.
I submit that if it was not for the eradication of wolves, Archuleta County would not be populated.
Man as a predator is ill-equipped by nature, the wolves, bears and big cats are larger, stronger, faster and much better equipped with claws and talons. Man's one advantage was his ability to create tools. However, it took millennia for man to get tools that allowed equality in combat with the large predators. It is still problematical for humans who may not be extremely skilled in the use of tools (rifles) and hunting skills.
Game animals are unreliable as a food source, and humans have learned to domesticate animals for food sources, for transportation, for hunting and herding assistance and companionship.
The other large predators would prefer domestic livestock as food sources, as cattle and sheep are slower and less agile than deer and elk. The predators prefer to not work too hard for food. This requires that domestic animals be protected, otherwise man would not have this reliable food source. Starvation would be an ever-present danger as it was to the American Indian tribes that relied on hunting.
So if the wolves had not been eradicated, the homesteaders would not have been able to live here, including my grandfather who lost 5-year-old cattle to the wolves that Franklin has pictures of.
Another facet of this debate: In Wyoming in the early days, the most feared animal was not the grizzly bear, but the rabid wolf. What would it be like if a rabid wolf went through the heavily populated area of the county?
So if the homesteaders and ranchers had not been able to live and prosper here due to continued wolf predation, this county would not be populated now. It is all a part of the progression from hunters, to farmers to towns and beyond. If you stop one step, the others will not occur.
Big box apathy
Apathy, a word we have heard a lot recently as it concerns the lack of interest in local elections. I was born into a political family and in my family, apathy or lack of opinion on any issue was worse than eating meat on Fridays. Apathy is hands-down the most difficult nut to crack regarding any contentious issue.
My own contentious issue these days is the apparent apathy or lack of concern about big box developments moving to Pagosa Springs, specifically WalMart or Home Depot
It's as if we are wondering if we even have any choice. As if WalMart and Home Depot moving in are as inevitable as the sun rising. Let's focus on WalMart as a model. Not too many years ago, when WalMart's net profits were only in the small billions, they touted themselves as a "Made in America, Sold in America, Bought in America" company, that made all of us feel proud to shop there. Well, "Everyday low prices. Always" have changed the supply line. Now, these days, WalMart is a "Made anywhere we can get it the cheapest, worker welfare and environment be damned," behemoth that economically tends to eviscerate smaller communities like ours. Gee, call me cynical, but how many Super Centers do we need in a 60-mile radius? Can't we concentrate on getting a new Paint Ball store? Say, 50,000 square feet? Or some decent restaurants?
Most of what WalMart sells is manufactured in countries in factories that would not even be legal in the United States. The argument that WalMart forces small businesses to be more competitive may be true to a certain extent, but WalMart has become a steamroller, where a small business's competitive edge may not even be relevant. WalMart has changed the way shopping and business are conducted. Cutting to the chase, the decision to allow a WalMart into your community is as much an ethical decision as a business decision. In a world in which first world economies dictate global living conditions, WalMart must be held to ethical standards just as we would with our elected officials, with our own children and with our friends. We tend to shop at businesses we feel good about. I would hazard to guess that most of us that shop at WalMart would not consider it a quality shopping experience, just as a zoo is not a quality wilderness experience. We feel a certain uneasiness, an ambivalence toward the strangely low prices. "That price just ain't right" echoes deep within us. How can someone make that so cheap? The answer is they can't without violating human rights and the environment. Many of WalMart's suppliers over the past 15 years have gone from manufacturers of goods to importers of goods. They can no longer make the product cheap enough or fast enough for our insatiable consumer appetites.
One definition of ignorance is contempt prior to investigation. There are some excellent resources out there. Check out the library. Do a Google search. Buy the book, "The WalMart Effect" by Charles Fishman. There is no substitute for an informed decision.
Is anyone reading the Pagosa SUN carefully nowadays? Did anyone see the proposed land sale (giveaways) consisting of 40 acres the BLM is considering?
There goes more of our public land into private hands. Little by little, it's all going away an acre here, 100 acres there. This one will be a biggie, allowing 2,000 acres of development if the developers, gain access.
Then there's the proposed development off Piedra Road comprising seven multifamily housing complexes.
All of these acquisitions and buildings will be dumping on to Piedra Road. Has anyone driven Piedra Road lately? It's in sad, sad condition and here we are, allowing more traffic to access this poorly maintained road.
I'm not saying we can't allow any more building, but I do think these developments have to be more thoroughly thought out as to infrastructure. Shouldn't we, as a community, temporarily halt construction on our local and main roads until Road and Bridge gets its act together? Until Pagosa Springs gets its planning done? Until we can catch our breaths and see just what we, as a community, can handle and not handle?
We seem to be running pell-mell downhill with not a thought as to what's at the bottom of that hill. Let's not get into the predicament other fast-growing communities are in. Let's grow sensibly, slowly, (if needed) and with a little bit of intelligent planning. There are many plans "in the works" but we aren't there yet. Take a deep breath, Pagosa. Remember what our parents said: "Stop, look and listen." Good advice right now.
Not wanting to nit pick, but I believe both explanations of contrails mentioned in letters to the editor last week are generally understood to be incorrect.
First of all, water vapor, as in "these vapor trails" is invisible. Only after it condenses back into water can it be seen.
The second article states that, "It forms when supercooled ice crystals are disturbed." I doubt that a glider being pulled behind one of those B-17s would cause a contrail. I further believe that the accepted theory of contrail formation is that the water vapor in the aircraft engine exhaust, when mixed with the water vapor in the cold air, causes the dew point to be exceeded and a cloud of water droplets is formed. It may even freeze if cold enough and last for a longer time before it evaporates back into water vapor.
If one looks closely at a contrail, they can see that it forms many feet behind the engine. This is where the dew point is reached. A similar thing happens when one sees his breath condense a few inches out from his mouth in cold air.
That small portion of a contrail that may be formed around the nuclei of matter such as the hydro carbons in the exhaust, I think is caused by different phenomena.
At least that is the way I understand things.
Why is this?
This is the first letter I have written since the election of May 2004 and will be my only one prior to this May. I feel compelled to support Karl Isberg's editorial of last week regarding community apathy. It is such a shame that, in this county of compassionate, skilled folks, elective positions continue to go unfilled and/or unchallenged. Why is this, do you suppose?
There exists a well-organized group of less than a dozen, whose total commitment to this county and community is to tear down and destroy good works accomplished rather than to build upon them. Harassment and hateful activities towards elected board members in the past most surely has lended cause as to why good folks "stay away" and avoid the "fray."
Elected folks need to be allowed to conduct their business meetings with civility and public attendance should be only to gain information but then to use other means to address opposite views with honesty and respect through letters to the editor, meetings with friends, other public gatherings, etc. Good democracy demands opposing views but honest, respectful debate.
In early May, you will be asked to vote on an extremely important ballot issue which will determine if there will be future tax support for ambulance services and basic health care for all ages and incomes in deference to 100 percent of tax monies dedicated to construct a building.
I challenge everyone to begin now, learn all sides of the issue, consider the needs of all citizens, both young and old, all incomes then be ready to vote your conscience.
With sincere devotion to community,
Cat in the Hat draws record crowd at library
By Carole Howard
Special to The PREVIEW
In spite of this winter's biggest snow storm to date, a record crowd of 83 youngsters and about half that number of moms and dads enjoyed a special free event at the Sisson Library Saturday, March 11, that involved reading, food, fun and an interactive performance by Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2.
The gathering was sponsored by the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre and Pagosa members of the Pi Beta Phi alumnae club as part of the sorority's national day of service focusing on literacy. Timing of the sorority's volunteer events across the U.S. and Canada was set to coincide with the birthday this month of Dr. Seuss, creator of Cat in the Hat and so many other delightful characters such as Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Highlight of the event was the appearance of Cat in the Hat, known in real life as high-school freshman Honor Nash-Putnam. He entertained the crowd by singing a song, then teaching the kids a verse and some dance steps. Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2 participated in the library event courtesy of the Pagosa Springs High School's spring musical "Seussical," in which more than 15 of Dr. Seuss' beloved books are woven together amid 30 songs and dances to be performed in the high school auditorium April 4-8.
Included in the Sisson library event were special reading sessions of three Dr. Seuss books as well as cookies and juice. Every child participating was given a free Cat in the Hat bookmark plus a picture of Cat in the Hat for coloring.
The audience of more than 120 attending this Cat in the Hat event was the largest ever to attend a family event at the Sisson Library, which regularly hosts special reading activities for children.
Rotary sponsors banner design contest
The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs has celebrated its 25th year here in Pagosa and its 100th birthday internationally.
As members of a service club founded upon the principle of "Service Above Self," Rotarians continually strive to meet the needs of the community, both local and international.
Rotarians visit Pagosa Springs from all over the world. It has been a tradition of the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club to exchange a 6- by 8-inch banner as a token of goodwill to visiting clubs. Over the many years, Pagosa has had the pleasure of collecting and exchanging hundreds of these banners.
In honor of the 25th birthday locally and 100th birthday internationally, the Rotary Club is looking for art designs for a new banner depicting Pagosa Springs and its beautiful surroundings. The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs invites every local artist or art student to submit their creative designs.
Designs can be submitted to Kim Moore (946-5619) or can be dropped off at Moore Chiropractic Wellness Centre, 163 Pagosa St., during normal business hours.
Deadline date of entries is Friday, March 24.
A $100 check will be awarded to the winning artist.
"Primarily Found Objects" continues through March 25 at SHY RABBIT
By Denise Coffee
Special to The PREVIEW
Both SHY RABBIT galleries will be open 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 25 for the current exhibition, "Primarily Found Objects."
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 were given to the participants creating the most compelling and unusual works.
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.
SHY RABBIT is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 and B-4. For additional information or directions, call 731-2766, 731-2659, or e-mail email@example.com.
Have a 'Blarney' good time
By Siri Schuchardt
Special to The PREVIEW
Join us 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, for the community center dance celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
This month's dance will feature DJ Bobby Hart, who is back by popular demand. Bobby is the son of local builder Bob Hart and works at Hart Construction as an estimator and contract manager. He attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where he worked as a DJ for school-affiliated and private events. After graduation, Bobby decided to join his dad and step-mom, Mary, here in Pagosa and learn the construction business. The community center is pleased to have Bobby back as this month's DJ.
Since the dance is a regular monthly dance with a DJ, the cost is $5 per ticket bought in advance and $8 at the door. Tickets are available at WolfTracks and at the community center, where you can reserve a table with the purchase of eight to 10 tickets. Tickets are nonrefundable.
This dance is an adults-only event and those attending should be prepared to show ID, if necessary. There will be a cash beer and wine bar and soft drinks will be sold for a nominal charge. There will be salty and sweet snacks provided.
Make your plans now to attend the parade, then head with friends to the community center for the St. Patrick's Day dance.
It will be a "Blarney" good time!
Special programs for kids at library
By Barb Draper
Special to The PREVIEW
Just what is a leprechaun?
Why do so many people say "wear green" on St. Patrick's Day?
Where is Ireland, anyway? Who was Fin McCoul?
If you attend the Friday Afternoon Library Club tomorrow, March 17, you can find out the answers to these questions and more.
Schoolage children, kindergarten through sixth-grade, are invited to the monthly reading and activity time at the library right after school (1:30 p.m. or so, until 3).
Parents: You might have your children attend the program, then pick them up in time to find a great spot on San Juan or Pagosa streets from which to watch the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
And, kids, be sure to wear green and find out why we've made such a request!
Babies and preschoolers are not left out of March activities at the library.
Next week, there are two different activities scheduled. On Tuesday morning, moms, other caregivers and little ones through age 2 are invited to the children's room from 11 to 11:30 to enjoy interactive stories and "Board Books."
Then, next Wednesday, March 22, and the following Tuesday, March 28, older preschoolers can continue this month's adventures with Curious George. The same program will repeat both days so, hopefully, one of these sessions will fit into your schedule.
All of you who attended Curious George last week will be able to pick up your bookmarks. Remember, the Curious George stories and activities next week will be different from the ones you have already heard. And, if you haven't been here yet, you will be able to make a bookmark.
This article would not be complete without a big thank you to the Dr. Seuss characters (Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two) who entertained us so wildly last Saturday. The Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Association and the Pagosa Pretenders did a fantastic job putting this program together for us, and we appreciate the efforts of all involved.
Did you miss the program? Keep in mind that the Pretenders do a presentation on the second Saturday of every month at 11 a.m. Check The PREVIEW or call the library at 264-2209 to find out what the presentation April 8 will be.
Idea for parents: Make this program part of your Saturday. Fit it into your day at the Family Fun Fair at the Elementary School.
See you all at the library!
Film society features mid-month screening
The Pagosa Springs Film Society is experimenting this winter with mid-month "special interest" screenings and discussions.
This month, the feature-length documentary, "Ayurveda," will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, March 17, in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.
A true master of this method of healing, which has been practiced for centuries by trained practitioners in India, takes the viewer through the Ayurvedic methods of crafting remedies from herbs, oils and even rocks, to treat everything from insanity to childbirth.
The Film Society's regular meeting March 28 will screen and discuss the 1983 classic, "The Grey Fox," starring Richard Farnsworth.
The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall is 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 $3 donation will benefit The Friends of the Library.
March into Music, at a spring break music camp
The Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale is offering a two-day mini camp for former, current and future/potential singers Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25.
This event will be facilitated by seven teen members of Singers Council of the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale .
Fun-filled workshops will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the Power House youth facility on Hermosa Street.
Participants will learn what it means to belong to a children's chorale and will be taught skills involving vocal production, posture, warm-ups, choreography, drama/stage presence, team-building, leadership and etiquette. Teen participants will learn how to facilitate musical activities for younger singers.
Informative classes for parents will be hosted by the adult leadership of the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, who have over 35 years of experience developing their organizational techniques. Topics such as Commitment, Fund-raising, How to Grow Your Choir and Hardwork equals Excellence are included, and question and answer sessions will be featured for the adults.
A minimal workshop fee of $10 will include lunch for participants and will help offset camp costs.
All interested youth ages 6-17, boys and girls, are invited to attend and should call Sue Anderson at 264-0244 to reserve their space.
Fair royalty orientation meeting
An orientation meeting for those interested in participating in the Fair Royalty Pageant at the 2006 Archuleta County Fair will be held 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29.
The meeting will take place in the Extension Office at the fairgrounds on U.S. 84.
Pageant applications are available at the Extension Office and the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.
Bring your completed application with you to the orientation meeting.
The pageant will be held Sunday, May 7, in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.
Mid Act Rotary Club formed at intermediate school
The Pagosa Springs Intermediate School has formed a junior Rotary Club called Mid Act.
Students gathered in January to elect a board of directors and officers. Elected by their peers were: Heather Brooks, president; Jenny White, vice president; Tristen Bennett, secretary; Brandan Thomas, treasurer; Kevin Crow, songmeister and jokemeister; Joey Onello, senior service; Jonah Sanchez, club service; Hayley Hudson, international; Darryl Zito, community service; Jaime Kirkland, fund-raising.
Mid Act imitates Pagosa Springs Rotary Club and often joins in the same activities and programs. This year's group will join the Rotary Club on a Relay for Life team and will help with trash pickup.
The group meets Thursdays after school, 3:30-4:30 p.m. and new members are welcome. Currently, membership is limited to fifth- and sixth-graders. The club will expand its membership next year to include seventh and eighth grades. Mid Act has already raised funds by selling hot cocoa and has supported Relay for Life by selling Hope bands.
Guest speakers at club meetings have included Kathi DeClark from Relay for Life and EMS members who provided a tour of an ambulance. Future plans include a meeting with Ellen Griffiths - an Australian exchange student - and starting a pen pal club with youngsters in Ellen's home town. Events at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center and Seeds of Learning, as well as activities in conjunction with Week of the Young Child, are also planned.
If you have questions, or would like to support Mid Act by being a guest speaker, call Joanne Irons, Rotary Youth Service chair, at 946-7545.
Spring break at Teen Center dance
Are your going to the beaches of California for spring break?
If not, come get your fix of "Spring Break in Southern Cali" at the Teen Center 6-9 p.m. Friday, March 31.
The Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors is sponsoring DJ Bobby Hart. Tickets are $3 before the day of the dance and $5 March 31. Tickets are available at the community center Office, the Teen Center, the high school and the junior high school. Ages 12 to 19 are welcome.
This dance will raise funds for Teen Center operations.
To volunteer as a chaperone or for more information, call Jen Stockbridge at 264-4152, Ext. 31, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open house, enrollment at Lutheran School
By Stacey Lewis
Special to The PREVIEW
Our Savior Lutheran School will present a kindergarten open house 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, for all interested parents.
There will be a presentation of the programs offered, followed by a question and answer time and the opportunity to register.
Prospective kindergarten students will go to the preschool and have special activities until 6:45, when they will come and visit the classroom.
Teacher Mary Jo Janowsky has had 10 years experience in full-day kindergarten, as well as nine years in pre-first and first grade classrooms. This is her third year with Our Savior Lutheran School.
Janowsky received her master's degree in elementary education from Adams State College with concentrations in music and Spanish. The program included a field study project in developmentally appropriate kindergartens. She has presented her program at a Colorado State Kindergarten Convention.
Her first two years of college were in Christian education and Biblical studies at Houghton College in New York, in preparation for a career in church work, and she says she values the opportunity to include the Scriptures in character education with children. Her enthusiasm for nature study, music, and especially beginning reading keep the five-year old happily busy.
Our Savior Lutheran School is located at 56 Meadows Drive.
For more information call 731-5910.
"A Great Place to Grow" was the National Lutheran School's theme for 2005/2006 school year that culminated in a week long celebration March 5-10.
During the celebration week, Lutheran Schools share their vision of high academics, strong moral character, and a Christ-centered approach to teaching together with the more than 2000 Lutheran Schools located across the country. In addition, the students have the opportunity to participate in a week of fun events, which, in this case, included dress-up days, special Bible studies and a Hawaiian Luau. As a part of the events, the students raised funds for hurricane relief and gathered cat and dog food for our local Humane Society.
NLSW also marked the opening of enrollment for the next school year.
The 2005/2006 school year at Our Savior has begun to reflect national trends at the Lutheran Schools, with record enrollment.
"We couldn't be more excited about the way God continues to bless us in Pagosa Springs," said Sheri Bahn, principal. "We are a small community, and most big city people say that we couldn't survive here. Our growth is a wonderful testament of the commitment the members of Our Savior Lutheran Church have in providing Christian education to the kids of Pagosa Springs as well as the parents have in ensuring their kids are educated in a environment that puts Christ first. More importantly, it provides powerful testimony that, through God, all things are possible."
Our Savior Lutheran School was founded in 1992 and is a Nationally Accredited member of the National Lutheran School System. It offers "Christ-centered core curricula" in classical education, which in addition to traditional subject areas, includes Latin, Spanish, music, and hands-on learning experiences for K-6 children.
"I think our biggest strength, from an academic perspective, is that we are nationally accredited, yet, because of our low pupil-to-teacher ratio, we can meet children more directly where their need sets are" said Bahn. " If a third-grade child is gifted in math and weak in reading, we can challenge him in math at the fifth-grade level, and work to catch him up to the third-grade level in reading. We also have an outstanding preschool and offer after-school care."
Call 731-5910 for a personal visit and tour.
Ed center luncheon a gala event
By John Graves
Special to The PREVIEW
Most locals love the relaxed charm of a small town, or they wouldn't be living here.
However, once in a while it's gratifying to attend an event which could be easily taking place in a large, sophisticated city. The Archuleta County Education Center's gala annual luncheon is such an event.
The date is Wednesday, April 26. The place is the First Baptist Church, and the time is 11:45 a.m.
Keynote speaker this year will be Dave De Forest-Stalls, president and CEO of Big Brothers and Sisters of Colorado. This dedicated, dynamic youth worker initially gained national recognition as a defensive tackle for the NFL Superbowl champion Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Raiders, as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The luncheon is the primary fund-raiser for the Archuleta County Education Center, one of Pagosa's most vital and productive organizations. This elegant affair will be catered by JJ's Upstream restaurant.
Tickets are available for a donation of $45 each.
For more information, call 264-2835.
9Health Fair: Health through awareness
By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
Nine Health Services, Inc. - a nonprofit endorsed by the Colorado Medical Society - has been supporting free and low-cost health screenings and education for 27 years in communities across Colorado, and Pagosa Springs has been one of those communities from the outset. Our community shares the mission of this organization: to promote health awareness and encourage individuals to assume responsibility for their own health.
Plan to visit the 9Health Fair 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 1, at the Pagosa Springs High School. You will find almost two dozen medical screenings and interactive education centers available at low or no cost to you and staffed by concerned local volunteers.
Among them are:
- San Juan Basin Health. At this education center you can find knowledgeable, caring people and information that could lead to a free mammogram or Pap smear if you are qualified. Get the latest updates on Hanta virus, West Nile virus, and plague.
- Organ Donor Awareness. Perhaps you think that organ donation is a good idea but you have questions. Visit this education center and get answers.
- Ask a Pharmacist. Do you wonder if there is possibly a "bad mix" of the prescription drugs, vitamins and other supplements you might be taking? Bring a list of what you are taking, or just throw everything in a bag, and bring it to this interactive education center to discuss with a local pharmacist.
- Going for an elective surgery? Ask what you can do to help ensure a safe hospital stay and speedy recovery. Diagnosis is not allowed at any of the screenings and interactive education centers. Participants will have the chance to discuss health concerns in strict confidence and for no cost whatsoever at the Talk with a Health Care Professional station.
- Available at a very low cost is the blood chemistry analysis ($30), prostate cancer screening ($25), and the colorectal test kit ($5).
Through the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club and Quest Laboratories a limited number of vouchers for free blood tests are available for those who qualify. For information about those vouchers contact Site Coordinator Sharee Grazda at 731-0666.
If you are unable to attend the fair in Pagosa, you can find other site locations and times by contacting 9Health Fair at (800) 332-3078 or at their Web site, www.9HealthFair.org. The two closest to us are located in Bayfield at the Bayfield Elementary School, 511 Mustang Lane, (April 22) and Durango at the Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane, April 8.
Free lecture about hypnobabies childbirth method
By Marianne Calvanese
Special to The PREVIEW
Imagine you are beginning to experience the onset of labor. You immediately use the self hypnosis tools you've learned and drop into a deep state of relaxation, moving around, thinking clearly and focused on what your next steps will be. Your partner, with joy on their face helps you ready for the profound event that is about to occur.
Birth is a transformative and natural life event. In non westernized cultures women, from the beginning of time, have given birth without fear, drugs or violence. Most of the time birth progresses exactly as nature has intended, simple and uncomplicated. Birthing in this country, over the past 100 or so years, has become a medically managed event as if it were a disease. We are expected to go to the hospital and be the recipient of a multitude of possible interventions and have our babies "delivered."
We are conditioned by friends, family and the media that birth is something to be feared and medicated for. These negative messages are deep in most of our unconscious minds and have a powerful impact on the outcome of our pregnancies, births and babies. Becoming aware of our negative programming and fears, and transforming them into positive expectations for a healthy, normal, natural pregnancy and birth is by far a more healthy, empowering and life affirming approach.
When our minds have positive expectations, our experiences will usually reflect that. When we are deeply relaxed, we let go into trusting our body's natural processes. Hypnosis is a powerful tool used in the Hypnobabies Childbirth Education Course, for creating new belief systems as well as helping the body deeply relax. Hypnosis helps you reach a state of deep relaxation in which you are in total control and can accept or reject any suggestions you hear. With your mind and body working together you can completely and deeply turn inside where your true strength lies. You can feel every contraction, every move of your baby while being confident, relaxed and comfortable. You can experience the profound beauty and power of pregnancy and childbirth.
Research shows that when the hypnobabies tools are used it results in shorter labors, fewer complications and interventions, fewer drugs or no drugs at all, and elimination of the fear/tension/pain syndrome (which can be the result of discomfort during childbirth.)
A free lecture will be held tomorrow, 6-7:30 p.m., about this cutting edge approach toward pregnancy and birthing. Call Marianne at 731-8808 for more information and location.
Origin of species topic for Unitarians
On Sunday, March 19, retired Unitarian Universalist minister Liz McMaster will present a program for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship entitled, "Where Did We Come From? Ape or God?"
Having served congregations for over 16 years and in seven states, Rev. McMaster is now settled in Albuquerque, where she works with the Unitarian Universalist Association and with local churches in the areas of conflict management, justice issues and long-range planning for church development.
McMaster points out: "We've struggled for decades, even longer, over the question of the origin of the species. The growing intensity in the struggle between those who cannot fathom our origins as anything other than miraculous and those who believe there are scientific proofs to explain it all has cultural, sociological, and religious implications."
In exploring this topic, she stresses that people of a liberal faith need to have a base on which to stand, both privately and as responsible, concerned citizens.
The service, Sunday school and child care begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. A potluck luncheon will follow the service.
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.
Meet our staff, learn about our programs
By Livia Cloman Lynch
The Archuleta County Education Center has many subprograms: after-school programs and tutoring for K-8 youth, adult education classes to prepare for the GED tests, English as Second Language classes, community education classes and an alternative high school.
Over the next few weeks I would like to introduce some of our key staff members and programs at the center.
Let me first introduce Danielle Sullivan, who joined our staff last year. Currently she is the learning needs coordinator for our GED program (coordinating services for students with special learning needs). She also teaches an English class and is our family work counselor at our alternative high school.
When asked about her varied job responsibilities, Danielle stated, "My main focus at the center is to help students build assets. The Search Institute has identified 40 assets that help make youth stronger. There are external assets that come from the youth's family and community, and there are internal assets that youth need to possess, such as how the youth feels about him or herself, how they function academically, and how they spend their time. Basically, the more assets a youth has, the more successful the youth tends to be. Success is defined as engaging in less risk-taking behaviors such as drug and alcohol use, sexual activity or criminal behavior. Successful students tend to do better academically and socially, and have higher self-esteem, which promotes positive decision-making.
"The alternative school is working hard to build assets and increase the academic performance of each student. We have four certified teachers," she said, "a prevention specialist and a director on staff for a student population of about 50. This high staff-to-student ratio enables us to give students individual help and to place them in courses that are best suited to their academic ability. As a staff, we have been steadily increasing academic expectations. Besides classroom work we also reinforce class concepts through weekly workshops. This approach is working well. Each academic year we pre and post test our students to determine their grade level equivalent in math and reading. The majority of our students annually increase at least one grade level in each area. We know that increasing their academic ability is critical to building their self-esteem and giving students skills to pursue post secondary education. I spend a substantial chunk of my time, counseling students about post secondary education and trying to foster a mentality where college is an option rather than a distant dream."
Service learning program
Danielle's responsibilities also include teaching a service learning class.
When asked how service learning ties into asset strengthening, she replied, "Two critical developmental assets are having a sense that one can affect change and having positive adults outside of the family in a youth's life. The service-learning program at the education center directly creates these assets. During the service learning class time, students volunteer in the community three days a week and have classroom activities the other days. In class, they discuss philanthropy so that we give students a real stake in this community and a sense that they can positively affect their community.
"The community is truly outstanding in its willingness to work with our school and provide volunteer opportunities," said Danielle. "We currently have students volunteering at Seeds of Learning, Head Start/Colorado Preschool program, the elementary school, at the airport and at a video game store.
"Our school also participates in group service projects. Last semester, we helped move the library back into its newly-remodeled building. We also volunteered at the Humane Society, Seeds of Learning and at Pine Ridge."
Stop by the Archuleta County Education Center located at 4th and Lewis streets or call for more information about any of our programs at 264-2835.
Dance will feature demo by Durango clogging group
By Becky Herman
Today and tomorrow are the last two days to buy your St. Patrick's Day Dance tickets at the advance purchase rate.
Tickets bought now at the center or at WolfTracks are $5 per person. Tomorrow night, at the dance, they will be $8 each. DJ Bobby Hart will be cranking up the music at 7:30 p.m. This community celebration of St. Patrick's Day will last until 10:30 .
Trying out our new dance floor panels will be the Durango Country Cloggers who will provide a clogging demonstration from 8:30 to 9.
The price for beer and wine at the cash bar is $3 and for pop is $1. While this is an adult dance, for those 21 years of age and older, it is not a BYOB event. Anyone who brings liquor will not be allowed to enter the building.
Call Siri at 731-9670 or Mercy at 264-4152 Ext. 22 for information.
The community center is pleased to announce yet another free program focused on fun, friendship and easy exercise - line dancing.
Gerry Potticary says this type of dancing, forms of which are Irish and Scottish folk dancing, as well as the U.S. country style, is done in honkytonks, gyms, on cruise ships, and just about anyplace else where people dance.
Come try it; the schedule is set for the first three Mondays of every month at 10:30 a.m. in the center's gym. If you're new to line dancing, Gerry suggests coming 15 or 20 minutes early to get a head start on learning the steps.
Another tip from Gerry: If you can't remember the steps, get in the back row and watch everyone else. The first session was last Monday - lots of fun, smiles and laughter.
Call Gerry at 731-9734 or the center at 264-4152 for more information.
Don't forget the regular meeting of the Austrian/German/Swiss Club is today at noon, with lunch at the Buffalo Inn. Come enjoy the food, fun and camaraderie. Roger Behr is president of the club. He can be reached at 731-0409 for information about activities and membership.
The scrapbook club had another productive meeting last Saturday in spite of the weather.
Melissa Bailey demonstrated a technique called dry embossing with some metal stencils, a light table and a stylus. She also demonstrated a product called The ShapeBoss, by Fiskars. "I love to have product demonstrations, at our meetings, because it gives everyone the chance to use a product before they invest their time and money." said Melissa.
The next meeting will be 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 15, in the South Conference Room. There is no charge to attend. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.
Spring rummage sale
Our recent snow storm has tricked us into thinking that winter is still going strong. But April is only two weeks away.
And April means that it's time to clean out your cupboards, closets and garages and put things in order.
Why not rent one or more tables at $20 per table for both days of the community center's spring rummage sale 3-6 p.m. Friday, April 7, and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 8.
This is recycling at its best: You provide others with useful items and at the same time your surroundings are tidy and you've got some extra money.
Call Michelle at 264-4152, Ext. 21, to reserve your spot. For those who are not yet thinking about spring cleaning, plan to come, browse, buy and enjoy the day. The center will be selling snacks, food, and hot and cold beverages.
Post prom party
The community center and the Teen Center program are sponsoring this event 1-5 a.m. Sunday, April 30.
The purpose of this party is to keep our youth safe while they have lots of fun. Entertainment will include giant inflatables, casino-type games, a live DJ, a hypnotist, a coffee bar, food and much more to be announced later. Electronic and cash prizes will be given away during the party. The committee has arranged to have a laptop computer as the grand prize.
Arts and crafts show
The center invites all artists and artisans to display their handcrafted items for sale during the show on Friday and Saturday, May 26-27, at 3-6 p.m. and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. respectively.
Space assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Cost is $40 for an 8x8 space and $50 for a 10x10 space, including one 3x6 table.
Proceeds from this show will be used to benefit community center programs and defray operations costs. Call 264-4152, Ext. 21, to reserve your spot.
This is a go!
Several interested individuals have called and signed up for these beginning sewing classes. There are still two spaces available.
Students will learn the basics, such as threading a sewing machine, adjusting and cutting out a pattern, choosing the right fabric, etc.
Call the center at 264-4152 to let us know of your interest. A tentative start date is sometime in April, possibly on weekends. If anyone has a sewing machine that isn't being used, we would appreciate your donation of the machine for these sewing classes.
Thanks to Diana Baird who is teaching until Richard Harris is back. The weekly yoga group meets Thursday mornings for an hour, starting at 11 a.m.
Spiritual practices like yoga and meditation help quiet the mind and reduce stress. The focus in Richard's class is on stretching and relaxation, and awareness of your body and particularly of your breathing. Join in to experience for yourself how yoga can affect your life. Dress in comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat or a towel.
Computer lab news
I have received some questions about the computer and Internet information which used to appear in this space.
In order to still be able to get that information to you, I have created a listserv to which you can subscribe. A listserv is a way of disseminating ideas and information through an e-mail service.
If you do choose to subscribe, you can receive messages as long as you wish and unsubscribe at any time. The good thing about this method of communicating is that it's interactive; for example, someone in the group can ask for help with a problem. All the members receive the message. Another member answers and perhaps provides a solution; again, all the members receive the message. We can all communicate and learn from each other.
If you wish to subscribe and haven't already received the instructions for doing so, stop by the center and pick up the handout which will walk you through the process.
By the way, you do not need to have taken a computer class here at the center in order to subscribe to this listserv.
If you want to put your name on the waiting list for classes or if you have computer questions, call me at 264-4152.
During the winter months, the center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10-4 Saturday.
Activities this week
Today - CO Rural water, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; AARP free tax help, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; yoga class, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Leading Edge/Small Business Development, 6-9 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.
March 17 - Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.; Mage Knight, 3-6 p.m.
March 18 - Drawing class with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen Center open , 11 a.m.- 4 p.m
March 19 - 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.
March 20 - Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; senior Bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open (poker), 4-8 p.m.; drumming practice, 5:15-6:15 p.m.
Mar. 21 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; beginning computing skills, 10 a.m.-noon; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open (Uno Attack!), 4-8 p.m.; Bible study, 5:45-6:45 p.m.; Democratic Party Precinct caucuses (Precincts 3, 7 and 8), 7-9 p.m.
March 22 - Beginning computing skills for seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; 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; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.
March 23 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; AARP Free tax help, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; yoga, 11-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Leading Edge/Small Business Development, 6-9 p.m.; basketball practice, 7-10 p.m.
Need a place to have a party or meeting? We have 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.
The green goes worldwide
By Jeni Wiskofske
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery.
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years.
The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City March 17, 1762. Over the next 35 years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished. With time, the Irish soon began to realize that their great numbers endowed them with a political power that had yet to be exploited. Annual St. Patrick's Day parades became a show of strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of political candidates.
In 1948, President Truman attended New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in America.
Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds especially in the United States, Canada and Australia. In modern-day Ireland, beginning in 1995, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, 1 million people took part in Ireland's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, a celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks shows.
St. Patrick's Day party
Is your name O'Reilly, O'Malley or Monnahan?
Well you do not need a good old Irish name to celebrate the festivities of St. Patrick's Day!
Join us at The Den Friday, March 17 (and Thursday, March 16, in Arboles) during lunch for a St. Patty's party. Wearing the green on St. Patrick's Day can win you some cool prizes for the most festive authentic Irish costumes.
There will be a green cake, green drinks and a little green on your plate to add to the tradition of the most celebrated color. John Graves will also be playing some favorite Irish tunes on the piano. Join us for an afternoon filled with fun, music and laughter.
Sky Ute Casino
Step into the action and play to have fun during our monthly trip to Sky Ute Casino Tuesday, March 21. Free transportation (with limited seating) provided by Sky Ute leaves The Den at 1 p.m. returning approximately 5:45. A $5 coupon for a meal and a $2 coupon to play the slots also provided by the casino makes it a hard bargain to pass up.
Have you ever wanted to learn the creative skill of quilting?
Join us at The Den in the dining area at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, 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.
If you like to hike, you'll love snowshoeing.
Snowshoeing is a great way to introduce yourself to winter backcountry travel. The wonderful thing about snowshoeing is that it's easy to learn and lots of fun.
To see how much fun snowshoeing can be, join The Den Thursday, March 23. We will meet our guides, Nancy and Jim Cole, at 9 a.m. at Pagosa Ski Rental, then head up to the West Fork trail (great for beginners) to enjoy the level terrain and beautiful scenery while walking in our snowshoes.
Cost is $6 per person for snowshoe rentals. Please sign up at The Den by Friday, March 17, for this outdoor adventure. Whether your goal is to get out for a leisurely walk in the snow or to go for a more physically challenging adventure higher into the mountains, snowshoeing is for you.
Free monthly movie
Our free monthly movie (popcorn included) at The Den 1 p.m. Friday, March 24, is "Finding Neverland," rated PG.
Peter Pan and the imaginative place of Neverland have captured the hearts and minds of J.M. Barrie's readers. But how did the creative author ever envision a world so wondrous yet perilous? Johnny Depp plays Barrie, a writer inspired by genius and dedicated to seeing his vision come to life on stage at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1904 London. Kate Winslett co-stars in this magical film that nabbed seven Oscar nominations.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
The risk of colon cancer increases with age. More than 90 percent of cases are diagnosed in individuals over the age of 50.
Colon cancer develops in the lower part of the digestive system (the gastrointestinal or GI system). This cancer usually develops from precancerous changes or growths in the lining of the colon and rectum. These growths in the colon or rectum are called polyps.
Overall, colon cancer is the third most common cancer in men and in women and the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women combined. Risk factors that are uncontrollable are as follows:
- Age. The risk of colon cancer increases with age. More than 90 percent of the cases are diagnosed in individuals over the age of 50.
- Family history of colon cancer or polyps.
- Race. African Americans have the highest colon cancer rates of any ethnic group.
Other risk factors that are controllable are: smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, physical inactivity, diet high in fat and /or red meat, and diet low in fruits and vegetables.
Early colon cancer usually causes no symptoms, but it can be detected by several available colorectal cancer screening tests. Beginning at age 50, both men and women should discuss the full range of testing options with their health care professional. Testing will also be available through the April 1 9 Health Fair for $5.
For more information, please call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
The AARP sponsored Tax-Aide program is back this year.
This program provides free tax counseling and preparation by IRS/AARP trained volunteers. The counseling is confidential and the emphasis is on serving the low and middle income taxpayer, with special attention to those sixty years of age and older. Appointments for tax assistance may be scheduled via a sign-up sheet in the Senior Center dining room. Appointments will not be accepted by phone. This program will be offered every Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., through April 13 in the art council room of the community center.
In March, Seniors Inc. memberships for folks aged 55 and over can be purchased at The Den for $5 on Mondays and Fridays, 9-1:30 p.m., and Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9-11. No memberships will be sold Thursdays.
Your Seniors Inc. membership entitles you to a variety of great discounts from participating merchants in our area, plus much more. Join now and acquire the benefits for 2006.
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 delivered meals
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 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 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 are the heart attack warning signs?
- chest discomfort - pain that is found in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back.
- discomfort in other areas of the upper body - including pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- shortness of breath - usually comes along with chest discomfort. But it can occur before chest discomfort.
- cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness - may include breaking out in a cold sweat. If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the above signs, don't wait longer than a few minutes (no more than five) before calling for help. Call 911 and get to a hospital right away.
"As I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to love it more and more." Jules Renad.
"The future depends on what we do in the present." Mahatma Gandhi.
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi.
"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." Leo Tolstoy.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." Albert Einstein.
Activities at a glance
Thursday, March 16 - Lunch in Arboles (reservations required) with $1 birthday lunch celebrations and a St. Patrick's Day Party; AARP tax assistance by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday, March 17 - Green day, wear your color green to celebrate St. Patty's Day; Qi gong, 10 a.m.; St. Patrick's Day party with music by John Graves, lunchtime; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; final day to sign up for snowshoeing tour.
Monday, March 20 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 21 - Yoga in motion, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30; canasta, 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, March 22 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; quilting club, 1 p.m.
Thursday, March 23 - Snowshoeing, 9 a.m.; AARP tax assistance, by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday, March 24 - Qi gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; free movie, "Finding Neverland," rated PG, 1 p.m.
Suggested donation $3 for ages 60-plus, all others $5.
Salad bar every day - 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, March 16 - Lunch in Arboles (reservations required). Chicken tenders, steamed rice with gravy, glazed carrots, whole wheat roll, pineapple and birthday cake. $1 birthday lunch celebrations.
Friday, March 17 - Oven fried chicken, potato salad, spinach mandarin orange salad, cornbread, plums and a green cake.
Monday, March 20 - Swiss steak with mushroom sauce, whipped potatoes, seasoned greens, waldorf salad, whole wheat roll and orange wedge.
Tuesday, March 21 - Oriental pepper chicken, steamed brown rice, oriental veggies, wheat bread and pineapple.
Wednesday, March 22 - Tuna salad with lettuce and tomato, pasta salad, wheat bread, peaches and orange juice.
Friday, March 24 - Baked ham, sweet potatoes, broccoli, whole wheat roll and cranberry.
VA emergency medical policies
By Andy Fautheree
Many veterans or their spouses ask, "What about emergency medical services? Will the VA pay for emergency services at a non-VA facility if I am a veteran enrolled in VAHC?"
The VA has a very strict set of guidelines for health care services outside of VA facilities.
As one VA official put it, "The VA is not a health care insurer." It provides health care through its own facilities. In general, it does not pay for services in non-VA health care facilities except in special circumstances.
As we in this part of rural America know, this means we are far from the nearest full-service VA Medical Center. The local VA Clinic in Durango is outpatient services only.
VA provides urgent and limited emergency care in VA facilities. Emergency services also include ambulance services when deemed medically necessary. Some veterans may be eligible for reimbursement for emergency service provided by non-VA medical facilities. However, VA's ability to pay for emergency care in non-VA facilities is limited to:
- Emergency treatment to a veteran for a service-connected condition.
For the non-service connected condition:
- You are enrolled in the VA Health Care System.
- You have been provided care by a VA clinician or provider within the last 24 months.
- You were provided care in a hospital emergency department or similar facility.
- You have no other form of health insurance (including Medicare, Medicaid, other state program, or other VA program.
- A VA facility is not feasibly available at the time of the emergency.
- A reasonable lay person would judge that any delay in medical attention would endanger your health or life.
- You are financially liable to the provider.
- You have no recourse against a third party.
If you are an eligible veteran, the VA will only pay for your emergency care services in a private facility until your condition is stabilized for transfer to VA.
If you choose to stay beyond that point, you will be held responsible for the payment of all costs associated with your treatment.
If you are subject to VA co-payments, emergency room treatment is considered specialty care and the co-payment is $50. (Reference: 38 USC 1725, CFR 38 Chap 1 Part 17).
Call fee service
You should contact the fee service or the admitting staff at the nearest VA facility for reimbursement or to arrange for transfer. Albuquerque VAMC Fee Service phone number is (800) 465-8262, Ext. 4708, or contact the transfer coordinator at Ext. 5739.
Of course, you can stop by and see me with all of your emergency documents and I will be happy to assist you. Usually the emergency provider will make this contact for you. I have heard that notification is required in 48 hours, 72 hours, or in some cases 15 days. Needless to say, it should take place immediately to insure the VA requirements are met.
I think one of the key components in the above information that many VAHC enrolled veterans should be aware of, providing they meet all of the other requirements, is the provision they cannot have any other form of health insurance. For those veterans over 65, this includes Medicare. The VA will not pay the Part B deductible for Medicare. According to VA officials, you will most likely be responsible for additional costs that Medicare does not pay for, or any other insurer co-pays.
Next week, we will look into more information about emergency or urgent care at non-VA facilities.
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 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.
For information on these and other veteran's benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7 (behind City Market). The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is email@example.com. The office is open 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
Special books for special people
By Christine Eleanor Anderson
So, how is your vision?
Can the library do something to help you focus? Can we do something to magnify your view, to widen your world, to help you see, read, listen?
Aging and vision
More than 28 million Americans over age 40 have eye ailments that put them at risk for vision loss. Then, there are many more who have "low-vision," and many, many more, like me, who are moving up our reading glass strengths, one notch as a time.
The libraries of the world are busy trying to make sure that there is plenty of good reading/listening/computer help available to all of us who are in this boat.
The Sisson Library has a collection of a couple hundred large-print books arranged in one location for browsing. More are coming in all of the time, via donations, or being purchased on request.
A few weeks ago a patron came in and requested a large-print Bible for her mother. I was surprised we didn't have one, but it's on order now. Large-print donations that came in this week included works by John Jakes, Agatha Christie, James Patterson and Sydney Sheldon.
I took a look at the titles available on our shelves. I was startled to see "Bad Girls of the Bible: and what we can learn from them!" The staff and I have decided this is a must read.
And then, I found C.S. Lewis' "Surprised by Joy" and a wide range of fiction that I would have expected, like works by Tony Hillerman and Barbara Taylor Bradford.
State library resources
In addition, the state library has services and resources available through the Colorado Talking Library Program.
One of the benefits of this program is a rotating large-print collection. Sisson Library gets 50 large-print books per requested shipment and can keep them until whenever we decide to send them back and get a new set. Currently on loan from the state, and in the library for check out are works by Tom Clancy, Zane Grey, Robert B. Parker and Danielle Steele.
The state library also has a service that will mail materials directly to anyone who qualifies for eligibility in their Colorado Talking Book Library program. The application and criteria are available at www.cde.state.co.us/ctbl/tbapplications.htm. Or, you can call (800) 685-2136. Alternatively, come in to the library and we will help anyone get enrolled in this program.
For registered patrons, equipment and materials are delivered by mail, free of charge, including postage costs. The program includes adapted tape players for special four-track, half-speed audiotapes, as well as braille formats, for both books and magazines.
Brochures describing this service are available in the "Information Center" brochure holder at the entrance of the library.
The library also has a magnifying machine available for low-vision readers. It was a donation from a patron who had received it from the state of Colorado through one of its programs. Patrons regularly come in to avail themselves of this resource.
The library is studying ways to make our computers more accessible to patrons with vision problems. Aid is available for home PC users through Microsoft.com/enable, and for Mac users through apple.com/accessibility. Stay tuned for developments in this area.
Sources of help
Lighthouse International is a source of referrals to low-vision specialists and educational and rehabilitation services for both old and new low-vision aids. They can be reached at (800) 829-0500, or lighthouse.org, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another highly reputed organization is Prevent Blindness American at (800) 331-2020 or preventblindness.org. It has many services and can help people find support groups in their areas.
Suggestions for further library services in this area are welcome. Please let us know how we can help you, or anyone in your circle of family or friends, if you have visual needs related to accessing library materials.
A special thanks this week to the Oddfellows for their generous donation check in memory of FitzHugh Havens.
We also received appreciated book donations from M. Stern, Stan Church, Dave Swindells, Beverly Haynes, Lenore Bright, Aideen Karger, Ciels Powe, Debbie Smith and Michele Smith. Thanks to all of you.
Deadline extended, get calendar image entries in now
By Wen Saunders
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council has extended the deadline for the 2007 calendar contest.
Entries will now be accepted through Thursday, March 23.
The 2006 Pagosa Country calendar has sold out and the 2007 calendar is sure to be a big hit. If you would like the honor of having your artwork included, be sure and enter by March 23.
Entries can be dropped off at Lantern Dancer in the River Center, which is open daily, or at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, open 11 a.m.-2 p.m.Tuesday and Thursday.
Any type of artwork depicting Pagosa Country is welcome. A horizontal orientation is the only restriction. You may enter the actual artwork or photo or provide a digital image on disk. Up to two entries may be submitted. The entry fee is $25, which includes a one-year membership in the Pagosa Springs Arts Council plus discounts on PSAC-sponsored events. Current PSAC members can enter at no charge.
For more information, contact the Pagosa Springs Arts Council at 264-5020 or e-mail PSAC@centurytel.net.
Artists, send your info
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.
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.
By the 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. Call 264-5020 for further information.
Get out of your slump
It's time to wake up and market your business!
What business hasn't experienced a marketing slump? Perhaps it could be because of personal challenges, lack of motivation, the competition has a new service, technique, product, or maybe there's just more competition in Pagosa (and surrounding area) these days.
Pagosa Springs Arts Council presents a series of four marketing workshops, "Falling Forward: Web Site Marketing & Logistics" and "The Secret of Your Success: Marketing Your Biz," to be held April 18 and 20. The series is specifically directed toward artists, but would also benefit any business. Each session's information stands alone and sessions may be attended individually or as an entire series. All sessions will be held at the arts room in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.
As series presenter, I realize the marketing dilemma for artists and small businesses, as I have been in those very same trenches. For more than 25 years, I've continued to operate a thriving photography, graphic design, marketing consulting, marketing and photography workshops, and Web site design business. My business and artistic talents have given me ultimate success in an industry where most fail and I will present my successful strategies in this jammed-packed, two-day marketing series in Pagosa Springs.
Barring catastrophic events, businesses just don't dive into a "marketing slump." Marketing slumps can occur even when things are going well and you feel you can "coast." The problem is you can not coast uphill. Successful businesses don't wait to start their marketing ascent, as they know the longer they wait - the harder the climb!
"Falling Forward: Web Site Logistics" (session one) is April 18, 9:30 a.m.-noon.
Artists create great art and may even offer exception services, but how do they let everyone know it?
Creating and producing effective marketing for artists doesn't happen by accident. The public is increasingly turning to the Web as a quick source of information, working 24 hours for businesses. We'll deal with authentic Web site setup, design, and how to implement and market themselves through the Web's low cost in their business operations. Whether you have a site or are thinking about a site, this session will give you new ideas on how to fine-tune your site. Web site knowledge is not required when attending this session. And, if you are Web savvy, this session will turn you toward the next creative level.
Topics for this morning session include: Obtaining a Site, Setting a Web Site Budget, Hosting Resource and Fees, Registering a Site (Name), Sectioning Your Site, Web Editors (Front Page), Pre-Designed Sites, Creating "User Friendly" Sites, Choosing Images and Information for Your Site.
"Falling Forward: Web Site Updating & Front Page" (session two) is April 18, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
In marketing, you have to look forward and think ahead. This afternoon session will satisfy the attendee's need to gain more knowledge of how to update (or set up) a Web site. I will demonstrate the Web editor software Microsoft Front Page as a means to easily manage and change your site information. If you are familiar with Microsoft Word, then you can easily use Front Page.
In simple terms, Front Page is the word processing format (software) for the web. Surround yourself with others who have a desire to learn how to manage their own Web sites. This session will give participants a better knowledge of Web sites, providing them with a better ability and understanding when a need arises to communicate with web site designers. Topics for this afternoon session include: Creative Ideas to Market Your Site, Getting the Client to Your Site, Creating Repeat Site Traffic, Site Hit Number Strategies, E-Commerce, Co-op Sites, and Additional Site Links.
"The Secret of Your Success: Marketing Your Biz With Print Media" (session three) is April 20, 9:30 a.m.-noon.
When was the last time you broadened your print marketing habits? This session will help businesses fine-tune their marketing activities and target their customers more efficiently.
During this session, learn marketing failures and successes for large and small, new and established businesses. Learn more about how to grow your business. I will share those winning strategies and give participants the opportunity to interact and focus marketing efforts. Marketing is the true success for any business, including artists.
As a special bonus, resource vendors will be offering special marketing discounts to participants, allowing them to not only focus their marketing dollars but to also gain more marketing dollars to spend. Topics include: Print media (post cards, PR PACS, brochures), Press Releases, Coupons, Artist/Company Bio, Web Site Marketing, PR Images for Your Business, Self Printing Verses Professional Printing. Each participant will receive a free sample packet of successful marketing materials.
"The Secret of Your Success: Different Perspective Marketing Mix" (session four) is April 20, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
When it comes to spending marketing dollars, everyone is looking for the magic formula.
This marketing session is not about what's always right or wrong; it's about a different perspective.
Lining up your work passion with a keen marketing strategy will breed that "magic formula" for the marketing dollar. You may not be particularly good at coming up with marketing options on your own. This afternoon session focuses on the Perspective Marketing Mix for businesses. Highlights of the session include: Creating Print Marketing (Professional Design and Software Options), Implementing a Web Site, Media Resource List, Newspaper, Direct Mail, E-mail Marketing, Networking, Client Follow-up, and Company Branding.
This exciting marketing series is available to PSAC members and the general public. Advanced registration by April 7: Individual sessions are $45 for PSAC members, $55 general ($65 after April 7). Full-day sessions are $85 PSAC, $95 general ($105 after April 7). For advance registration and further information, call me at 264-4486 or visit www.wendysaunders.com and pagosa-arts.com.
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.
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 April 19.
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.
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. April 15.
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.
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: 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.
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.
If you are a PSAC member and would like to volunteer hours working at the gallery, call PSAC at 264-5020 for a listed of openings. Hours worked at the gallery may be used to attend PSAC workshops throughout the year.
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.
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 18 - PSAC "FALLING FORWARD: Web Site Logistics," 9:30 a.m.-noon.
April 18 - PSAC "FALLING FORWARD: Web Site Updating & Front Page," 1:30-4:30 p.m.
April 19 - Pagosa Springs Watercolor Club, 10 a.m.
April 20 - PSAC "THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS: Marketing Your Biz With Print Media," 9:30 a.m.-noon.
April 20 - PSAC "THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS: Different Perspective Marketing Mix," 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC by e-mail (email@example.com). 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.
Feedin' time at the Idiot Rodeo
By Karl Isberg
I takes a village Š ?
I'm walking down the alley the other day.
I like the alley - it reminds me of my childhood, when I spent a lot of time in the alleys of South Denver, hiding from a gang of predatory and downright mean Catholic girls from St. Francis De Sales. I'm on a brief break from the desk at work, ambling a bit, aimlessly, taking the air on a faux spring day in Siberia With a View.
School is out at the middle school and some of the kids are walking down the alley in the opposite direction from me. Kindred spirits, I think - as it turns out, wrongly.
Three pencil-thin twerps are approaching, little guys on their way home from school. How small are they? I hoist more than the three of them put together to get warmed up at the gym.
As I near the trio, I look at them, readying myself to say hello to these fledgling Pagosans, these new Americans.
One of the three looks up and says: "Hey, who do you think you're lookin' at, huh?" He curls his tiny lip.
The snappy teenser is carrying a small branch, no doubt ripped from a prized sapling in someone's yard.
"You want some of this?, asks Mighty Mite, shaking his stick.
Yes, indeed I do, I think. And I know just where I will put it before I break off the end. I continue on, silent. The mini mouth-off laughs.
I'm steamed, but I resist the urge to tear Bonzo's head off and I go on my way.
The incident - not at all unusual any more (just ask any local school teacher)-- sets me a'thinkin'.
First about the virus of rudeness and incivility that infects all parts of the social body, and about its roots in the cultural carelessness and poor parenting engendered by those of us who came of age, "enlightened," in the '60s.
Second, about how, in combination with an unparalleled softness in our younger residents, a potentially sour brew is being mixed.
This proliferation of incivility has grown so stale, and so destructive.
It's everywhere. Little Bonzo's alleyway behavior surely does not veer far from that of his parents and from what they allow from him at home. And his action is little different from that of many of his peers.
It's everywhere, this aggression, this lack of manners - in our entertainment, in ordinary discourse (or what passes for it these days), in schools, in courtrooms and meeting halls, in the gyms and on the playing fields. This is a behavior calculated to radiate contempt for the other; it is abusive, careless of the frail and necessary bridge built of generally tempered language and effective manners.
Incivility has also lost its power, due to overuse. A shame, too, for there is an appropriate time for an abrupt response, for a curt remark, even an obscenity. But, when they become ordinary, daily fare, they are stripped of a vitality born in an unexpected disjunction. Proffered too often in abundance, they sow nothing but discord, lead to nothing productive.
Remember when it was considered quaint not long ago by some to chant the mantra "It takes a village to raise a child?"
No, it doesn't.
And it can't, because the village is increasingly unable to do anything to raise its children. Propelled by the fuel of high falutin' politically correct jabber, we've legislated and moralized the village out of the arena. This is but another example of the extended, and often negative consequences of action taken with the "best of intentions" but without a thoughtful analysis of possible outcomes.
To put it in the context of the alley experience: Fifty years ago, had Bonzo expressed himself in that manner to a grown adult, Bonzo's chances of escaping unscathed would have been minimal. The mouthy shaver would have 1) been seriously thrashed by the recipient of his remark or, 2) seriously thrashed by his old man when the recipient made a complaint.
The first option is not possible now. The precious little dear is too dainty and, thus, is protected by a thick garment of law. The second option, given the overall sorry state of parenting, is unlikely. And were it likely, it too would be shadowed by the specter of impending legal action pursuant to laws passed under pressure by well-intentioned fools in the village.
Fifty years ago, the rare lad who dared take that step was, in a strange way, to be admired. He acted rashly knowing there were predictable and often dire consequences flowing from such cheek.
There aren't now.
Unfortunately, there is now an army of Bonzos out there and the numbers are growing. There is a clot of ill-mannered and, in most cases undisciplined and poorly educated scamps wandering about, set free physically and behaviorally by parents who shirk the task of maintaining decorum at home, who excuse failure and praise faint achievement with gaudy bumperstickers, who champion ever lower standards of conduct and achievement, who work hard to be the child's friend rather than a mentor and taskmaster, who duck and cover and buy more Play Stations and Internet services to keep the youngster occupied. Anything rather than impose consequences for rash and rude behavior and face the turmoil that would follow.
Anything but conflict.
Or legal reprisal. For it is also shame that those who wish to protect the undeniably delicate feelings of youngsters, (and elders of all stripes as well), go too far. So far as to create a condition in which laxity and low standards of conduct and achievement are used to boost a superficial self-esteem at the expense of true accomplishment, earned in a sustained process.
And, for that matter, at the expense of the future'- of the individual, of the society.
The last thing I think following my alley run-in is this: These poor little characters who behave so abysmally, who are excused from consequences in every aspect of their lives, who lack respect for others, are, for the most part, doomed in the kind of world that is looming on the immediate horizon.
If it is not here already.
It is a world in which there are youngsters in other places, say India and China, who live lives informed by respect: for elders, for their institutions, for each other. There are youngsters out there, folks, who are not the products of a short-attention-span, self-esteem gilded culture; youngsters whose discipline in general behavior laps over into discipline in their approach to studies, to goals. They are intent on developing and capitalizing on advanced skills. And they are more than merely encouraged by their parents, their schools, their "villages." As a result, they are determined to profit from their disciplined labors.
They are already doing it. They are willing to restrain their impulsive urges over the long run, waiting for gratification, working hard to make progress.
And they will do it in the future, increasingly at the expense of Š us.
The parent who allows the kind of behavior that breaks the surface as disrespectful remarks in school, in the home - in alleyways - is likely selling their child out, barring some kind of miraculous, unguided transformation. That behavior is a signal of an attitude that will not serve Bonzo well. It is an indicator of a lifestyle and a way of thinking that will not win the coming game.
Some advice, if you are one of these parents: Take the kid to a fast food restaurant as often as possible - at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Because that is where he or she will work. There, or in the prison commissary.
Or they will live in your basement until you die.
They are idiots. And we have a herd of them.
Instead of being members of a true village, we are more like spectators at the Idiot Rodeo.
Me, I intend to saddle up and feed the stock with a dish named to reflect the proliferation of these rude, walking, talking social disasters.
Bubble and Squeak, perhaps. Because, when all is said and done, that will be the extent of it - of their pending, pathetic performance on the world stage, and our collective response to the nonsense we've caused.
This is an easy one - simple, like the rodeo stock itself: All we need is roughly chopped cabbage, onion, sausage, bechamel sauce and bread crumbs.
Saute the sausage until done, Drain on a paper towel. Saute the onion in the drippings, toss in the cabbage for a few minutes when the onions are limp and cook until the cabbage lets loose.
Make a bechamel: a white roux, with half and half, salt and pepper.
Put a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a buttered baking dish, lay down a layer of cabbage and onion, a layer of sausage, some sauce. Repeat, until all the sausage and cabbage mix is used. Top with remaining sauce and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 until the melange bubbles and squeaks and the crumbs are toasty and golden brown..
How about a variation?
Use hot Italian sausage.
Warm the half and half you'll use in the bechamel in the company of a couple smushed cloves of garlic. Remove the garlic before making the sauce. Add some cheese to the thickened bechamel - a fine English cheddar seems appropriate (since many of the village young 'uns can no longer write or read the English language at more than a remedial level).
How about a touch or two (or four) of a hot sauce in the bechamel, just to torch things a bit ?
This should do the trick. And the resultant gastric turmoil should produce a bodily expression that accurately mirrors the quality of the young fellow I met in the alley - and his parents
As for dessert ...
I'm thinking about a trifle.
For heart health, watch your fitness level
March 16 - Beef Project meeting, 6:30 p.m.
March 17 - 4-H Fridays at CUMC - Leathercraft, Baking II, Quilting, 1:45 p.m.
March 20 - Beginning Archery at Ski and Bow Rack, 4 p.m.
March 20 - Dog Obedience Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.
March 21 - Republican Party caucus, 7 p.m.
March 22 - Sportsfishing Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.
March 23 - League of Women Voters meeting, 5 p.m.
Heart disease and poor fitness
Additional evidence to the growing body of research associating physical inactivity and poor cardiorespiratory fitness with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors has come to light. Previously, the prevalence of cardiorespiratory fitness has not been quantified in population groups.
Population surveys indicate that physical activity levels are generally low in the United States. Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago examined the prevalence of low fitness among U.S. adolescents (12 to 19 years of age) and adults (20 to 49 years of age) who demonstrated no CVD symptoms. An estimated 16 million Americans in this demographic group, or 19.2 percent of the surveyed population, fall in the low fitness category. Adolescents proved the greatest percentage with 33.6 percent, approximately 7.5 million adolescents, having low fitness. Approximately 8.5 million adults (13.9 percent) had low fitness. Results were similar between males and females in the adolescent group, but in the adult population, low fitness was significantly higher among females. Non-Hispanic whites were more fit than non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican-Americans. Body mass index and waist circumference consistently showed an inverse association with fitness. Higher fitness groups showed lower total cholesterol levels, lower systolic blood pressure and higher levels of HDL cholesterol.
The authors suggest that low fitness is a significant public health concern and education efforts, similar to national campaigns to educate about the dangers of cigarette smoking, are justified. Widespread educational programs promoting the health benefits of physical activity, along with revised public policy to make environments more conducive to physical activity, could be effective in reversing this alarming trend.
Previous research has shown that obesity increases the risk of heart disease. However, these studies have mainly been done in populations of European and North American origin. The evidence for other populations is therefore sparse.
Researchers, who published their results in The Lancet, wanted to determine whether other markers for obesity, especially waist-to-hip ratio, would be a stronger predictor of heart attack than the conventional measure of Body Mass Index (BMI) in different ethnic populations. They looked at BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, waist measure, and hip measure in more than 27,000 people from 52 countries. Half the participants had previously had a heart attack.
The investigators determined that BMI was only slightly higher in heart attack patients than in controls, with no difference in the Middle East and South Asia. Heart attack patients had a strikingly higher waist-to-hip ratio than controls, irrespective of other cardiovascular risk factors. The researchers found this observation consistently in men and women, across all ages, and in all regions of the world.
Waist-to-hip ratio, not BMI, is the best obesity measure for assessing a person's risk of heart attack. Interestingly, the study's authors concluded that if obesity was redefined using waist-to-hip ratio instead of BMI the proportion of people at risk of heart attack would increase by threefold. Larger waist size (which reflects the amount of abdominal fat) was harmful, whereas larger hip size (which may indicate the amount of lower body muscle) was protective.
Note: The waist-to-hip ratio is calculated by dividing the waist measure by the hip measure. More than 0.85 for women and 0.90 for men indicates above average risk of heart disease; above 0.95 for women and above 1.0 for men is the high risk category.
Check out our Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and information.
Plan rec center visits, avoid spring break crunch
By Ming Steen
Just when I had given up on seeing snow this winter, we get a storm, a mother of all snowstorms.
It's beautiful. We love that white stuff - now to play in, and again this spring and summer to live on.
Pagosa Springs Rotary Club put on "March Madness - A Casino Night" last Saturday.
In spite of the frightful weather, some 200 folks showed up to party and make merry.
My thanks to the community for your support in enabling yet another successful fund-raiser. Every dollar will be returned in scholarships, grants and funding of local projects.
At this time, a final dollar figure is still not available, as some silent auction items await payment and pickup. As soon as all the payments are accounted for, the final number will be announced.
With spring-like weather up until just last week, recreation center staff had started planning for a spring party, an egg hunt, for Saturday, April 8.
Our plan is to continue working toward that date and to fine-tune the details as we get closer. Stay with this column for the time of event (which will be held at the recreation center).
The recreation center has been bombarded with timeshare owners who are here to enjoy their spring vacations. The crowding of the facility and parking lot is temporary - just for this month.
During the day, there is still plenty of room. It's mostly in the evening, after our visitors come off the ski slopes, that we feel the pressure. We are encouraging our local users to work their schedule around this temporary period of business boom.
The Pagosa Lakes Porpoises are training Monday through Thursday from 4:15-5:45 p.m., and on Friday when school is out early, they train from 2:15-3:45 p.m. The hot tub and kiddie pool, during these swim team times, will remain open.
Local youngsters interested in joining the swim team will need to meet some requirements. Every swimmer is required to have a current recreation center membership, U.S. Swimming Association registration, and to pay a monthly $20 team fee ($15 for every subsequent child in the same family). USSA registration is $25 for the year and this is required for insurance purposes.
Swimmers are also required to purchase their own team suits. Mandatory participation in the annual fund-raising swimathon is expected. While the recreation center pays the coaching costs, the money from the swimathon covers travel expenses for the swim team coach and cost of any additional training equipment.
Interested parents and swimmers can call the coach, Jennifer Fenton, at 731-0717, or stop by after practice on Tuesday or Thursday at 5:45 p.m.
Don't miss St. Patrick's Day parade
By Mary Jo Coulehan
Just a little bit of snow this past week. I don't think the spring breakers have skied this much fresh powder in years!
Lots of hard work by county and town personnel to keep up with so much snowfall in such a short period of time. EMS and law enforcement staff were also taxed. Thank you all for your hard work and for keeping us mobile!
St. Patrick's Day
Mother Nature typically likes to honor St. Patrick's Day here in Pagosa with a little rain. But this year, according to the long range forecast, I think our parade may just hit between two storms. So, decorate those floats and get ready to have a rousing good time.
Most of us will have to work a little bit Friday, March 17, but come the afternoon, adults and children alike will be decorating their floats for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
This year, as usual, the parade will line up on South 6th Street starting at 3:30 p.m. The parade will then begin at 4 p.m. and continue down San Juan and Pagosa streets to 2nd Street.
We already have all sorts of entries, but you can still deliver your entry form to the Chamber by noon Friday in order to participate. The entry fee is $3.17 and there will be cash prizes for the best float, the greenest float and the most bizarre float. With these categories in mind, there should be some interesting entries.
Remember businessowners, this is a big tourism week and we expect a lot of visitors to be attending our fun, local parade. So, enter now and show off your business or just come out for the joy of a parade. Application forms may be obtained at the Chamber or check the back of your latest newsletter for a form.
After the parade, you can walk around the corner to Lewis Street where the Knights of Columbus will again be serving up their renowned fried catfish dinner. With French fries, cole slaw, hush puppies and more, the Knights will be ready to serve the masses who can't partake of the traditional corned beef and cabbage menu. From 5-7 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall, this Lenten ritual continues to gain in popularity. Remember, takeout orders are also available.
After you have walked in the parade, acquired an appetite and eaten, you can go out and dance your food off at the community center's St. Patrick's Day Dance. Starting at 7:30 p.m. and going until 10:30, DJ Bobby Hart will get your dancing blood boiling.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at the center and WolfTracks for $5 in advance . They cost $8 at the door. There will be a cash bar available at the function and this is a 21 and older event. At 8:30 p.m. the Durango Country Cloggers will give a special performance, featuring Irish dancing. For more information, call the community center at 264-4152.
Lots of activities this St. Patrick's Day. Dress in your best green attire and we'll see you at one of these festive events.
Archuleta Economic Development will host its annual meeting and lunch at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 31, at the First Baptist Church on U.S.160.
Jack Schultz, author of "Boomtown, 7 1/2 Keys to Success," will be the keynote speaker. After a delicious lunch and brief report on the changes, successes and upcoming plans AEDA has identified, Schultz will relate his "keys to success" to Pagosa's increasing popularity and our growth climate.
Tickets for the event are available to individuals or businesses can sponsor a table. Call Bart Mitchell, AEDA executive director, at 731-1443 for more information. If you are involved in a business here in Pagosa, you should consider attending this informative function. See how you can handle growth smartly and synchronize your business with the changes.
Calling all parents
Here are two children's events I would like to make you aware of.
The first is an essay contest sponsored by the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs for junior high students. The essay should be based on the question: Should there be requirements for adopting a pet and should anyone who wants a pet be able to adopt one?
Since members of the Humane Society deal with this question every day, they would like our future generations to think about this dilemma. The contest is open to Archuleta County students in grades seven and eight or those between 12 and 14, if they are home schooled. There is one entry allowed per student. The essays must be typed, double spaced and no longer than three pages. A cash prize of $100 will be awarded to the winner. All entries are due no later than March 31 either by mail or hand delivered to the Humane Society Administrative Office at 269 Pagosa St. Questions concerning the contest should be directed to Lyn Constan at 264-5451.
It is also already time to start thinking about the 2006 Archuleta County Fair, and one of the first activities is to choose new royalty.
An orientation meeting for girls interested in vying for fair royalty will take place 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at the Extension Office. The pageant itself will be held Sunday, May 7, in the high school auditorium.
Age groups for royalty are: Queen - 14-18 (no graduating seniors); Princess,10-13; Junior Princess, 6-9.
Application forms can be obtained here at the Chamber, the Extension Office or the schools.
These young ladies become very involved with the community and they represent one of our biggest events here in the county. For more information, call the Chamber at 264-2360.
Members, mark your calendars for March's SunDowner hosted by Pagosa Candy Company, Paul Nobles and Romar Realty.
The event will take place Wednesday, March 22 at the Candy Company and the downtown Romar offices next to Liberty Theatre. The function starts at 5 p.m. and lasts until 7. The food will be catered by Farrago's Market Café.
SunDowners are open to Chamber members and their guests or newcomers with an invitation. For more information, contact Kimberley at 264-2360.
Yes, you did just receive a Chamber newsletter, but it is time for more information.
For those who missed the first announcement, the Chamber is now issuing newsletters every other month to keep our community members better informed, to recognize our new members and renewals, and to give Chamber members an opportunity to advertise in a more timely way.
The next newsletter will be out the beginning of April, so if you are interested in placing an insert into the publication, we will need them by Friday, March 24.
If you have a new business or an end-of-season sale coming up, or just want to keep your name in the forefront, we will need 725 flyers. Cost is $50 and we do all the collating and stuffing.
The next newsletter will highlight a town business licensing ordinance that is in the works, hospitality training sessions that will take place in May (a must for all service-related businesses), and the April 5 "Selling on e-Bay" training seminar.
If you have a suggestion for our newsletter, give us a call at 264-2360 or drop us a note. We want to keep you informed about your business community.
Members and activities
Just because it's the day after St. Patrick's Day doesn't mean that we still can't have a little bit of Irish fun. Art Franz with PhotoGraphic Art will provide it for us at his grand opening 1-6 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Art will cut the ribbon on his new place at 2035 Eagle Dr. in the Mountain View Plaza. There will be food, door prizes, Irish dancers, gift certificates from Howlin' Music (another loyal chamber member) and other Mountain View neighbors, and portrait sittings and other photography specials from Art. Don't miss the ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. Take a few minutes out of your day to have a little fun and welcome another new member to the Chamber fold.
We have a few new members to welcome this week. First on our list is WILDSPRINGS Ice & Bottled Water Company. This is not just another ice or water company. Dyan Parker and Tim Peterson use "healthy" water to make their ice and bottled water. They use filtered water; they fortify the water with needed minerals, energize the water with magnetic technology that makes the water highly absorbable, then they alkalinize the water, which helps give your body a healthy PH balance. They believe the ice melts slower, the water tastes better, and it is better for you. Ice is now available for sale, wholesale and retail, by calling 731-8600. Bottled water will be available soon and you can get your business logo on the bottled water. Give Dyan or Tim a call to find out more about healthy water and ice. We look forward to the growth of this unique, community compatible business and we thank Lyn DeLange with the Welcoming Service for referring this new member.
Another new member is located on the far east end of town in the newly relocated historic building that Randall Davis had moved to 101 Pagosa St. This business is The Flower Cottage, owned by Tamara Evans. The Flower Cottage has beautiful fresh flowers and is also a gift shop. You can get anything from individual stems to pre-arranged displays for your home, a gift or a party. Buy a card to go with those flowers or add a little trinket to the bouquet. Call in for orders at 264-2610. Tamara also has three floral services you can use to send or receive flowers: 1-800 Flowers, Telafloral and FloraSource. We thank Bill Goddard from the Choke Cherry Tree for referring this new member. Both Lyn and Bill will receive complimentary SunDowner passes for their referrals. We do appreciate the networking and the support.
We now welcome a new business but not a new member this week. This new business is Dynamic Workforce Training with Kathy Saley, also with P.R.E.C.O. With years of training experience, Kathy brings her passion and expertise to Pagosa to help businesses succeed by offering all facets of training. She will align learning with strategic goals, improve results and build key skills and competencies among your employees. She addresses topics such as leadership skills, communication skills, diversity, and her passion - customer service. She will design a program to meet the needs of your business. Kathy has been teaching the START Hospitality Training sessions here in Pagosa and also teaches at San Juan Community College. For more information about her programs, give her a call at 731-9809. Invest in your business by offering your staff growth training.
We have many long-time, loyal supporters renewing this week: Circle T and Terry's Ace Hardware; Ken Smith with Smithco Enterprises; Brian Shaw and Shaw Electric; The Kraftin' Post with owners Carla Shaw and Diana Smith; Whispering Pines Development Co. with Pat Alley at the helm; Bud Short with Short Civil Engineering and Land Surveying; Colorado Dream Homes with James, Tegan and Debra Brown; Mountain Storm, with Traci Sharp; Paula McFaddin and Primerica Financial Services; Domo's Portable Toilets with Dominique Lucero; Becky McCranie and Touch of the Tropics; Felicia Meyer and Standing Mountain Yoga; Pagosa Fire Protection District, with Warren Grams at the helm; and The Pagosa Area Trails Council.
Remember to get out all your green clothing and paraphernalia and come downtown for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade and community festivities.
We would like to express our gratitude to all of our wonderful friends and neighbors for your kind wishes and prayers in our time of loss. Our thanks go also to Hospice of Mercy in Pagosa Springs for their comfort and support, and the ladies of the Methodist Church for their help after the service. We are very fortunate to be a part of such a supportive community.
The Margaret Havens Family
Pine Ridge Extended Care Center would like to thank the following people for helping out in various areas: City Market and Alberta Lucero for donating flowers; R.I.C.A. for the valentines and candies; Mrs. Fox's third-grade class and her two special helpers for the valentine and roses; ACHS for the valentines and goodies; Baptist church group: Jo and Jerry Arrington, Lynn Grandberger and Laura Dunn; and Ben Johnson for providing the music for our Valentine's Day party. Thank you all so much for everything
Mary Ann Martinez
I would like to express my gratitude and publicly thank the personnel who responded to my 911 call, and for the service rendered for my ambulance ride over to Mercy Medical in Durango 3/4/06. We in Pagosa Springs are fortunate to have Thad Miller and Angela Meyers as EMTs providing first-class, competent service in a medical emergency. They deserve a pat on the back and recognition by the management of the system. My recovery is well underway thanks to them.
I want to publicly thank Roy Vega for buying one of my books, "Stetson, Pipe and Boots, Colorado's Cattleman Governor, Dan Thornton," and donating it to the high school library. I'm sure one of the reasons Roy wanted to do this is explained in Colorado Historical Society President Georgianna Contiguglia's forward in my book as follows. "Dr. Preston has provided an in-depth look at one of Colorado's most effective governors ... whose activities always focused on building the economic foundations of Colorado ... and has provided insights into the national context on which the course of Colorado's future was set."
John and Fran O'Brien, a big thank you for picking me and Delpha Sunday for mass. Also, for lighting my water heater.
I expect you've noticed that Red Cross trailer parked at Trucks & More on the south side of U.S.160 as you come down Put Hill. What's it for? It contains the basic resources to set up a 100-person shelter locally if a disaster should strike us. It was funded by Department of Homeland Security grants with the support of regional fire chiefs and disaster services managers. We would like to thank Drew Harbison, owner of Trucks & More and Hydro Cut Inc., for helping acquire the trailer and giving us a place to store it.
Over the year, our local Red Cross has received welcome support from local hotels, restaurants, medical and welfare agencies with donations, discounted goods and services to support those we help. Without them we could not have functioned: Alco, City Market-Pagosa Lakes, First Inn, High Country Lodge, Pinewood Inn, San Juan Hotel, Super 8, Back Country BBQ, Dionigi's, Boss Hogg's, Elkhorn Cafe, the Junction Restaurant, the Malt Shoppe, the Rose Restaurant, KFC/Taco Bell, Subway restaurants, McDonald's, Humane Society Thrift Store, Methodist Church Thrift Store, Vista Clubhouse, Pagosa Springs Community Center, Cooperative Extension Office, junior and senior high schools.
Pirates bring home the third place trophy - again
By Randy Johnson
For the second time in as many years, the Pagosa Springs High School basketball Pirates brought home the third-place trophy from the 3A state basketball tournament last week in Fort Collins.
For anybody who is counting, that's the third best 3A team in the state.
Seniors Craig Schutz, Casey Schutz and Paul Przybylski, playing in their last game in the black and gold, accepted the trophy at half court to the loud cheers of a big crowd from Pagosa.
The Colorado Springs Christian Lions, from the Tri-Peaks League, could only watch in envy.
The Lions, wearing their home white uniforms and all sporting dyed yellow hair, came into the game with a good record, a lot of height and a lot of attitude. CSCS started three players that were 6'6" or better and looked to use that advantage to do away with the "shorter" Pirates.
The Pirates played smarter and "taller" than the Lions to win, 49-40, and go two-for-three in the tournament.
In the end, both teams matched up pretty well and were almost even on field goals and three-point tries. The smart Pirates won it at the free-throw line, hitting on 10 of 22 while the Lions went to the line a total of five times and hit only three for the difference in the game. The Pirates went on a cold streak at the line late in the fourth quarter or the win would have been bigger.
If the Pirates played this way against Roaring Fork Rams Friday, who knows what might have happened in the tournament? The Denver Christian Crusaders defeated the Rams in the finals, 68-52, to win the state championship. In other tournament action the Kent Denver Sun Devils defeated the Buena Vista Demons 65-56 to win the consolation crown and take fifth.
Led by Craig Schutz's game high 22 points and 10 rebounds, for another double-double, the Pirates (18-7) stayed close to the Lions (20-6) in the first quarter, then took a four-point advantage going into intermission. Both teams played close in the third, then Pagosa, who led by as many as 12, won it in the fourth.
Coach Jim Shaffer, who coached an outstanding game, stated after that, "I really like the character of this team, especially our seniors. It is difficult to come back in a tournament after a loss, but these kids stepped up. Going two-for-three at state was good and this was a great win."
He added, "In years past, we had good height to match up but I was really pleased with how big Craig (Schutz) played in all three games."
Shaffer went on to say, "I was happy for our seniors to win this trophy. They worked hard all year and deserve it. I was also pleased with the play of our juniors and this experience will only help them next year." Junior Jordan Shaffer came back strong with nine points on three of five from the field including one trey. Junior Caleb Ormonde, who had a huge game off the bench, carded eight on three of six from the field.
Following Craig Schutz, Shaffer and Ormonde was Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, with three points. Shaffer pulled down five rebounds and Ormonde and Casey Schutz four each. Shaffer also recorded three assists.
Matt Baarts, a 6'7" forward, led the Lions with 13 points and six rebounds on six of 13 from the field. He was followed by guard Jake Selley with 11, on three treys. Tim Kohere, a 6'7" center, followed with seven. Taylor Broekhuis, another 6'7" forward and matched against Hilsabeck, netted four. Aaron Henderson and Tucker Veltkamp rounded out the Lions scoring with three and two respectively.
The Pirates controlled the opening tipoff against the taller Lions but the opponent scored first on an inside jumper from Baarts. Craig Schutz answered with six points and Ormonde came in to add five to keep the score even. Selley hit two long treys, one at the buzzer, to give CSCS a one-point lead after one.
The Pirates would go on to outscore the Lions in each of the last three quarters.
The Lions scored three straight by Kohere to open the second. Casey Schutz added two and Craig Schutz a trey to swing the lead back the Pirates' way. Baarts netted another jump shot and one from the line at the 3:54 mark for another Lions' lead. The momentum swung back to Pagosa on two straight treys from Shaffer and Casey Schutz to put the Pirates up 26-22 going into the locker room. Coach Shaffer went to the bench more in this quarter and got help from Ormonde and juniors Derek Harper, Casey Hart and Adam Trujillo.
Both teams traded buckets to open the third until Craig Schutz nabbed two on a putback, but the Lions' Selley found the range for his third trey to cut the Pirates' lead to one. Schutz added four more and Shaffer two from the line on a shooting foul to put the lead back at six. The Lions committed a turnover with seven seconds remaining to end the quarter.
Neither team could find the range in the fourth quarter until Craig Schutz sank two from the charity stripe at the 5:37 mark. He came back for another inside putback and Shaffer netted four from the field to give the black and gold a 10-point lead with under four minutes to play. The Lions went to the foul strategy to get back in the game and three different Pirates missed chances. Ormonde, Hilsabeck and Craig Schutz finally hit one each to end the scoring.
This was another fine basketball season for the varsity Pirates. Even though the record shows six losses the team could have just as easily been six wins with a free throw here or one less turnover there. In the end, the schedule got the black and gold to a second, third-place showing at the state tournament and the fourth invitation in a row to the "Great Eight". This experience, as has been shown over the past four years, will be invaluable for the underclassmen who participated. The seniors hang up the black and gold having been to the big dance in each of their varsity years.
What a great learning and educational experience!
Pagosa Springs 11, 15, 10, 13-49
CS Christian 12, 10, 8, 10-40
Scoring: Shaffer, 2-4,1-1,2-4,9; Hilsabeck, 1-2,0-2,1-3,3; Przybylski, 0-2.0-0,0-0,0; Trujillo, 0-1,0-0,0-0,0; Harper, 0-2,0-2,0-2,0; Casey Schutz, 2-3,1-4,0-1,7; Caleb Ormonde, 3-6,0-0,2-4,8; Travis Richey, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Casey Hart, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Jeff More, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Michael Delyria, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Craig Schutz, 7-16,1-3,5-8,22. Rebounds: Shaffer 5, Hilsabeck 3, Harper 2, Casey Schutz 4, Ormonde 4, Craig Schutz 10.
Rams outlast Pirates in state semifinal
By Randy Johnson
Craig Schutz was hoping for a chance to throw up another buzzer beater Friday evening against the Roaring Fork Rams.
The senior post player had sunk a three the night before to advance the Pagosa Springs High School Pirates to the 3A state semifinal round in Fort Collins
It just wasn't to be.
The Rams (23-2) used a lot of bench strength and some good, old-fashioned luck to outlast the Pirates (17-7) by a low score of 49-39 and send the Pagosans into the finals against the Denver Christian Crusaders who defeated the Colorado Springs Christian Lions in their semifinal match late Friday.
The Pirates would face off against the Lions Saturday afternoon for the third place trophy, the second time in as many years Pagosa would play for the third spot in the tournament.
The game against Roaring Fork was a good matchup and closer than the final score indicated. Either team could have won and would make a good showing in the finals. This time, the luck went to the Rams. The game just went by too quickly for the Pirates.
Give credit to the Pirates. They opened behind the eight ball - the Rams using a quick 7-0 run and three treys in the first quarter - then fought back from as much as 11 down on their own 8-2 run in the second to make it a five-point game at intermission. Both teams played the third even, but the Pirates found themselves down by six with less than a minute remaining in the contest. The Rams ended it at the foul line.
Craig Schutz led the Pirates with game-high scoring honors and 18 points on 6 of 10 from the field, one trey, and three of four from the line. Casey Schutz followed with 15 on three of six three-pointers and two for two from the line. The only other Pirate scoring came from Jordan Shaffer with three, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck with two and Paul Przybylski with one.
Craig Schutz pulled down five rebounds.
Christian Tena led Roaring Fork with 12 points while guard Derek Parker netted 11. A balanced attack showed Torrey Udall and Kyle Raaflaub carding seven apiece and several others with two each.
Coach Jim Shaffer commented after the game, "We didn't shoot the basketball well tonight. If some shots went in, we probably could have won the game." The Pirates shot only 32 percent from the field while the Rams shot 49 - the difference in the game.
Shaffer went on to say, "I liked the way our kids came back after being down. They did not let up and kept us in the game. Even though we lost, it was a good experience for our team."
Roaring Fork controlled the opening tip and used a 7-0 run to start the game. Casey Schutz put the Pirates back in it with a three from the left wing at the 5:30 mark. Craig Schutz got in the game for two and Casey Schutz answered with another trey and it looked like the momentum was with Pagosa. The Rams quickly changed that on two threes by Tena and one by Udall to put them up by seven after one.
The Rams opened the second on a deuce by Parker that increased the lead to nine. The Pirates came back on a 6-0 run at the 5:50 mark on buckets by Craig and Casey Schutz and two from the line from Hilsabeck to bring the black and gold within five at half time.
The Rams opened the third on four straight points from Tena and Parker Nieslank. Casey Schutz countered with another three pointer. Craig Schutz was left open on the left wing, on the same play that won the game on Thursday night, and the three hit nothing but net. Shaffer scored his first points on an inside layup and a foul with less than three minutes remaining to bring the black and gold within two until Tena scored again to put the score 34-30 at the buzzer.
Craig Schutz scored four straight to open the final stanza on a fast break layup and inside jumper to tie the game with 6:12 on the clock. Both teams matched points until the Rams netted six to put them on top to stay with under two minutes remaining, then closed it out at the charity stripe.
Pagosa Springs - 11, 8, 11, 9-39
Roaring Fork - 18, 6, 10, 15-49
Scoring: Shaffer, 1-2,0-1,1-1,3; Hilsabeck, 0-4,0-1,2-2,2; Przybylski, 0-2,0-2,1-3,1; Adam Trujillo, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Derek Harper, 0-5,0-1,0-0,0; Casey Schutz, 2-5,3-6,2-2,15; Caleb Ormonde, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Travis Richey, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Casey Hart, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Jeff More, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Michael Delyria, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Craig Schutz, 6-10,1-1,3-4,18. Rebounds: Hilsabeck 1, Przybylski 2, Harper 2, Casey Schutz 1, Ormonde 1, Craig Schutz 5.
Pirates spring huge upset over Kent Denver
By Randy Johnson
Senior Craig Schutz sank a long three-pointer from the top of the key with four seconds remaining in the game to give the Pagosa Springs High School Pirates a huge 58-57 quarterfinal upset over the Kent Denver Sun Devils in the state 3A basketball tournament last Thursday in Fort Collins.
The Pirates (17-6), who led most of the game, found themselves in a hole in the third period when Schutz had to sit with three fouls. The highly-ranked Sun Devils (20-4) took advantage and erased a six-point Pagosa lead to start the fourth down by just one point.
The fourth seesawed back and forth, but the Pirates got the last possession on a five-second turnover violation committed by Kent with 44 seconds left in the game. The Pirates worked for the last shot and they found Schutz wide open for the look.
Kent has some excellent college-level quality, especially at the guard positions. Senior Paul Przybylski and junior Kerry Joe Hilsabeck held them both in check. Coach Jim Shaffer said,"They still got their points but Paul and Kerry Joe held them way below their averages." Guards Robbie Pride and Kyle Lewis, both seniors, were held to 17 and 16 points.
The coach went on to say, "Craig (Schutz) had an outstanding game especially against their taller center. He played real big tonight." Shaffer added, "We finally won a close one. Our kids played a lot of close games this year and the losses could have gone either way." The Pirates' losses so far this season were all within a five-point margin and many went to overtime.
The win sent the Pirates into the semifinal round against the Roaring Fork Rams (22-2) who advanced earlier on Thursday by defeating the Faith Christian Eagles (19-7), 52-49.
The Pirates, with one of their more balanced scoring attacks this season, were led by Craig Schutz's 16 points on his big trey and six of seven from the field. Junior Jordan Shaffer followed with 12 on three of five from the field and three of four from the line. Przybylski was next with 10 on four of eight from the field including two treys. Senior Casey Schutz totaled eight on three of six from the field and one trey. Hilsabeck added seven and junior Derek Harper, who had one of his better games, netted five.
Craig Schutz led the Pirates with six rebounds and Hilsabeck recorded five assists.
Following Pride and Lewis for the Sun Devils was senior post Tim Collamore, who also carded 17 points.
The Pirates controlled the opening tip and Przybylski drove inside for two and Shaffer hit four on a quick 6-0 run for Pagosa. Collamore and Lewis netted long treys and Shaffer answered with one of his own to put the score at 9-6 with 3:40 showing. Craig Schutz got into the act on four straight of his own but the Sun Devils kept it close. Schutz put up his first buzzer beater of the evening to give the Pirates a four-point lead after one.
Craig Schutz started the second quarter scoring on two from the line, then Przybylski tanked a three with just under six minutes remaining. Casey Schutz added two more on a 7-0 run for the Pirates but Lewis put up two more long treys for the Sun Devils to answer. Points by Przybylski, Hilsabeck, Shaffer and Craig Schutz maintained a nine-point lead with 2:30 until intermission. Przybylski came back with another trey from the right wing and Casey Schutz a 15-foot jump shot with 25 seconds remaining to end the second with Pagosa up 38-27.
The Sun Devils bounced back in the third on a 12-4 run with less than five minutes showing that was capped by a three-pointer by Pride that brought them within one point. Craig Schutz had to sit with three fouls. Hilsabeck and Harper swung the momentum back to the black and gold on their own treys to put the lead back at four with just over a minute showing. Harper added two more to end the quarter with the Pirates up by six.
The fourth opened on two more long threes by Lewis and a 6-0 run for Kent to put them in the lead by one at the 4:36 mark.
The Pirates wouldn't score until Craig Schutz hit one from the line with just over three minutes showing. He hit two more to tie the game at 55 but Lewis hit two as well to give the Sun Devils back the lead.
The key play came when Kent committed the turnover on good defense by the Pirates that gave the black and gold possession with 44 seconds remaining and down by two.
Following a timeout they worked the clock and found Craig Schutz open at the top of the key for the three with four seconds left ... and the crowd went wild.
Pagosa Springs -16, 22, 14, 6-58
Kent Denver - 12, 15, 19, 11-57
Scoring: Shaffer, 3-5,1-4,3-4,12; Hilsabeck, 2-2,1-1,0-0,7; Przybylski, 2-4,2-4,0-1,10; Derek Harper, 1-2,1-1,0-0,5; Casey Schutz, 2-4,1-2,1-2,8; Ormonde, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Casey Hart, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Craig Schutz, 5-6,1-1,3-4,16. Rebounds: Shaffer 3, Hilsabeck 3, Przybylski 1, Harper 2, Casey Schutz 1, Craig Schutz 6.
Lady Pirates' great run ends in state consolation round
By Randy Johnson
It's inevitable: The basketball season will end.
And a great basketball season ended for the Pagosa Spring High School Lady Pirates last Friday in Fort Collins at the 3A state tournament. Being one of just eight teams to make it that far, the Pirates were looking for more.
Just one win and they would play again.
It wasn't in the cards.
The Platte Valley Lady Broncos, led by senior Alison Cheney's 30 points and junior Kayla Warehime's 22, got that chance. The duo was basically unstoppable as the Broncos outlasted the Pirates in the consolation round 70-48 to play one more time for the consolation championship.
In other state action, the Intermountain League's Centauri Lady Falcons (24-1) won the 3A girls' state championship by defeating the Denver Christian Lady Crusaders (26-2) in the finals 62-57. The only loss for the Falcons this season came at the hands of the Lady Pirates in the district championship game.
The Lady Pirates (19-7) seemed like they just couldn't put it together in this game or in the tournament, and it appeared they were every bit as good as their opponents.
But the Broncos (22-5), opened strong and never trailed. They led by six at the end of the first quarter, 12 at intermission, and the rest, as they say, is history. The announcers even stopped the game to note that Cheney, with her 30 points, had just passed the 2,000-point mark in her career. She could hit from almost anywhere.
The Pirates couldn't.
Outstanding seasons, and high school careers, ended for seniors Liza Kelley, Emily Buikema, Caitlin Forrest and Keri Beth Faber. But they got to play a lot longer than many other teams in the state. The good news for the juniors and sophomores is they got some great experience at the state level that should bode well for them in the years to come. The seniors get to move on.
Going into the state quarterfinals, after winning the regional tournament at home, it appeared the Pirates would have a good opportunity to advance. But shooting only 33 percent from the field and 50 percent from the line makes it tough at this level.
Coach Bob Lynch echoed these sentiments. "We did have a great season and what a good opportunity for our team to get experience at the state tournament. We needed to play better at this level and nothing seemed to drop for us. I'm disappointed in the outcome, but am really proud of how our team played and conducted themselves this season"
Following Cheney and Warehime were senior Chellsie Seyler and junior Jamie Ehrlich with seven points each. Junior Whitney Smith and sophomore Danelle Zehnder rounded out the Broncos scoring with two each.
Forrest led the Pirates with 10 points on five of 12 from the field.
Kelley followed with nine on three field goals and three of six from the line. Buikema and junior Jessica Lynch followed with eight each, while junior Kristen DuCharme netted five. Juniors Samantha Harris and Lyndsey Mackey added two and one.
Buikema and Forrest led the Pirates with six rebounds each, followed by Lynch, Kelley and Mackey with four apiece.
The Pirates controlled the opening tip, but kept missing easy looks. After Buikema added two, the Broncos went on a 10-5 run to go up six after one. And nothing would drop for Pagosa.
The Broncos scored six quick points and Buikema a putback as the momentum stayed with Platte Valley. At the 5:30 mark, Cheney hit her first of four three pointers and another 7-0 run extended the Bronco lead. Kelley sank a jump shot at the buzzer but the black and gold were still down by 12 at intermission. And Lynch had yet to score.
The Broncos kept the scoring barrage going in the third on another Cheney trey and a 10-2 run. Faber, Lynch and Forrest brought the Pirates back to within 12, but Cheney tanked another trey and was fouled for her own four-point run. Lynch scored at the buzzer.
Forrest scored on a driving layup to open the final stanza. Cheney and Warehime kept the pressure on for the Broncos to put the game out of reach. Lynch finally found her range on a trey with less than three minutes remaining. Harris hit a short jumper but Cheney added another three to end the scoring.
This has been a good year for the Lady Pirates who can hold their heads high on an outstanding 19-7 record and some invaluable experience to contribute to the years to come. Hats are off to Coach Lynch and assistants Fred Martinez, Greg Schick and Nicole Looper.
Pagosa Springs - 8, 12, 14, 14-48
Platte Valley - 14, 18, 14, 24-70
Scoring: Lynch, 2-10,1-4,1-1,8; Mackey, 0-1,0-0,1-2,1; Kelley, 3-9,0-2,3-6,9; Harris, 1-1,0-0,0-0,2; Kim Canty, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Faber, 2-6,0-0,1-2,5; Buikema, 4-8, 0-0,0-0,8; Tamara Gayhart, 0-2,0-0,0-0,0; Camille Rand 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Emily Martinez, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; DuCharme, 2-5,0-0,1-4,5; Forrest, 5-12,0-0,0-0,10. Rebounds: Lynch 4, Mackey 4, Kelley 4, Harris 1, Faber 3, Buikema 6, Gayhart 2, DuCharme 3, Forrest 6.
Crusaders outduel Lady Pirates in state quarterfinals
By Randy Johnson
A run for a 3A state basketball championship ended abruptly for the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates last Thursday night in Fort Collins.
The Denver Christian Lady Crusaders outdueled Pagosa in the state quarterfinals by a score of 53-36 in the Moby Arena at Colorado State University. The loss sent the Pirates (19-6) into the consolation bracket and a chance to rebound and bring back fifth place. The Crusaders (25-1) advanced to the 'Final Four' against the Eagles (23-3) in another Denver Metro 3A League matchup.
Pagosa kept the game close in the first quarter by matching buckets with the Crusaders' two big, inside players and were down by just one after eight minutes. Pagosa went flat; Denver Christian used it to their advantage and opened the second on a 7-0 run. The Pirates could manage only a four-point output and Crusaders' post players Kiley Gill and Chelsea LeFebre played well for a 22-11 lead at intermission.
The third was closer when the Pirates used a pressure defense but the early lead was too much to overcome. The Pirates used fouls to conserve clock in the fourth and Denver Christian made the most of it.
LeFebre, a senior, led all scoring with 18 points while junior backcourt mate Gill netted 17. Senior Lauren Baity followed with six, senior Robin Van Deren with four and senior Jenn Conner with two rounded out the scoring for the Crusaders.
Senior Liza Kelley led the Pirates' scoring with 10 on two of five from the field and six of eight from the line. Senior Emily Buikema and junior Jessica Lynch followed with eight each. Senior Caitlin Forrest and juniors Samantha Harris, Tamara Gayhart, Lyndsey Mackey and Kristen DuCharme all had two each. The Pirates shot only 24 percent from the field on 10 of 41 attempts.
Buikema led the Lady Pirates with six rebounds while Forrest pulled down four.
Pirate Coach Bob Lynch said, "We came out really flat tonight. Nothing would drop for us." Lynch added, "This was a good experience for our team and hopefully it will help us get better."
The Crusaders won the opening tip and LeFebre scored to put them in the lead. The Pirates could not find the range and missed some easy looks until Buikema hit an inside deuce with just over four minutes remaining. Kelley scored five straight and gave Pagosa its first lead at the two-minute mark. LeFebre scored again to give Christian a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Gill scored two that started a 7-0 run for Christian to open the second period. The Lady Pirates were cold again until Buikema hit one from the foul line at the 3:33 mark. The Pirates could manage only four points in the period and the Crusaders used a 14-4 quarter on more inside points from LeFebre and Gill and had a 22-11 lead going into the locker room.
The third period seemed a carbon copy of the first two: The Crusaders seemed to score at will and the lid stayed on the bucket for the Pirates. Gill was left alone on two long treys that put the Crusaders up by 15 with just over three minutes remaining. Coach Lynch sat the starters and DuCharme scored on a driving layup. Buikema and Mackey scored, but the Pirates found themselves down by 14 at the buzzer.
Lynch scored first in fourth on a fast-break layup, but it was too little, too late. The Pirates had to foul to stay in the game and the Crusaders took advantage from the line on 19 of 34 chances for the evening. Forrest, Lynch and Gayhart put up points for Pagosa but Denver Christian continued to answer from the charity stripe to end the game.
Pagosa Springs - 7, 4, 12, 13-36
Denver Christian - 8, 14, 15, 16-53
Scoring: Lynch, 1-6,0-6,6-8,8; Mackey, 0-2,0-2,2-4,2; Kelley, 2-5,0-2,6-8,10; Harris, 1-1,0-0,0-0,2; Kim Canty, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Faber, 0-2,0-2,0-0,0; Buikema, 3-5,0-0,2-6,8; Gayhart, 1-2,0-0,0-0,2; Camille Rand, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Emily Martinez, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; DuCharme, 1-2,0-0,0-0,2; Forrest, 1-5,0-0,0-0,2. Rebounds: Mackey 3, Kelley 3, Harris 2, Faber 4, Buikema 6, Gayhart 1, Forrest 4.
Bluegrass is xeric, so let's water it a bit
By Jim Miller
Kentucky Bluegrass is xeric, and it does an exceptional job of converting carbon dioxide to oxygen.
I know this is true, but it's a hard sell to those who would restrict all uses of water they find frivolous. Like Puritans, they seem to sense the pleasure I obtain from watching things grow, and they find it somehow indecent.
How about this one: We live upstream and tolerate the wild meteorological fluctuations and ridiculously short growing seasons brought on by hard freezes in June with good humor. Should we not then be entitled to water our plants during those too few days when such water is actually in a liquid state?
No? Well then: I'm not actually irrigating in the daytime, sir or madam, but only repairing and/or adjusting this sprinkler system for optimum efficiency. I've tried working on this problem at night, but couldn't see where each precious drop was falling. Please forgive this brief, impertinent extravagance.
Then there's this chestnut: Our youth soccer program is growing at the rate of 30 percent per annum. Nothing takes a cleat, cushions a fall, or pleases the eye like healthy, living turf. We don't want our youngsters missing out on the time-honored traditions of soft, flat surfaces and stubborn grass stains, do we?
I've been working on my rationalizations in anticipation of yet another summer of drought-induced watering restrictions. I've got a million reasons to keep growing grass, and I keep them sharpened and polished.
And then it goes and snows a lot.
Foot upon beautiful foot of heavy, moist, slow-release irrigation falls over a long beautiful weekend. No amount of sleep deprivation, lousy driving conditions or anticipation of months of mud can desiccate my enthusiasm. La Nina is vanquished. There will be runoff.
I can put away my tired excuses for at least a little while.
So, as you cruise through Pagosa and see a town minion shoveling away, grinning like an idiot, you'll know who he is and why he's smiling.
And remember, Kentucky Bluegrass is xeric.
The recreation department will accept late registrations for this year's tee-ball season through the end of the day tomorrow. 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.
Coaches and sponsorships for this year's tee-ball teams are also needed. Cost for sponsorship is $150, which includes sponsor's name on team uniforms, commemorative plaque with team picture, and designation on season banners and in media articles.
Coaches and parents will be contacted after rosters are finalized next week. Practices will begin the first week of April, and games are tentatively scheduled to begin April 11. For more information, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.
There are no games scheduled in the adult basketball leagues during spring break, March 20-24.
Please note that when the season resumes the week of March 27, all games in the men's competitive league (Mondays and Wednesdays) will be played an hour later than originally scheduled, in response to a request from the junior high school administration.
All games in the men's competitive league originally scheduled at 6 p.m. will be played at 7, and all games scheduled for 7:05 will be played at 8. All games will be played at the junior high school.
General information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department can be obtained by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the parks and recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis.
If you have questions or concerns, or need additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.
Erosion of rights
A recent study showed an alarming ignorance of our basic rights, as guaranteed by our Constitution. According to the study, only one in five Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Can you?
More than half of those polled, however, could name at least two of the characters in a popular television cartoon series.
Reportedly, only one in a thousand Americans can name all five First Amendment freedoms. Who knows what the picture would be concerning the entire Bill of Rights.
Why does this matter?
Because our rights are now being constantly assailed, at all levels, flying off like ash from the window of a burning house. Beguiled by individuals and groups proposing laws and actions reinforced by unexamined conventional wisdom, many of us, and many of our elected officials, fall into line supporting this erosion of our liberties, following along like sheep.
Our general ignorance of our rights, our growing gullibility and our immunity to facts that counter what seems obvious and the product of common sense, are leading us to sacrifice our rights and responsibilities; leading us to give government and institutions more control over what we do, what we say, what we believe.
It seems we cannot heed the evidence of history.
Lately, the architects of a climate of fear propel this move. Look at the damage done to our rights in light of engineered fears. Look at the consistent erosion of privacy, of freedom of expression all undertaken under the umbrella of "good intentions" intentions that satisfy lazy minds, minds willing to accept conventional wisdom rather than test it at every turn.
Rarely do many of us demand verification of claims. Too many of us swallow whole the assertions of those who stand to gain by our acceptance of fear of terrorism, of drugs, of violence, of crime, of the other, etc. Too many of us accept erosion of our rights as a necessary consequence of a response to a threat, and fail to demand the threat be substantiated, incontrovertibly. They shuffle along with the crowd, toward the cliff.
Further, many of us increasingly accept oversimplifications of situations, eager to digest them quickly and move on to oversimplified solutions. We are bombarded by politicians and avaricious characters with emotionally-loaded terms and moralistic interpretations. And we are the worse for it, because unanalyzed and simplistic solutions to oversimplified problems produce more problems, worse problems.
It seems we cannot heed the evidence of history.
We believe it wise to take caution: there are, no doubt, those among us who would fertilize the culture of fear and attempt to capitalize on it. There are those who would convince us to accept the weakening of our rights, who would have us accept actions taken without probable cause, who would have us believe our problems are simple and that they will melt under the pressure of attractive and simple solutions. We face problems, here in Pagosa Country, for example roads, development, growth, drugs, crime, change none of which is simple. We should be wary of those who make them seem so, for if we succumb to their approach, we are likely to suffer a miserable fate.
We live in an atmosphere in which there is growing disrespect for individual rights and much of the action proposed by those who harbor this disrespect is justified with "good reasons." Beware if those reasons rest on a foundation of fear.
We need, all of us, to read the Bill of Rights. And read it again. And to be careful.
To paraphrase the theologian Bonhoeffer: When everyone else has lost their rights and been taken away, they come for you.
90 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 17, 1916
The ladies on the river are trading turkeys and ordering garden seeds and seemingly a good feeling prevails not a hammer to be seen and we verily believe that with the coming of the balmy spring days, ball games and the telephone that ought to materialize, Chromo is the coming little burg. With the auxiliary highway, good roads and more automobiles, just watch us.
There will be a new school house built on Sheep Cabin Creek, where Miss Bessie McChesney will teach the summer term. Portions of Districts No. 10 and 4 in the vicinity of Stollsteimer Creek have been transferred to No. 9 so that the latter will provide a school near the mouth of Stollsteimer Creek.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 20, 1931
The Pagosa Baseball Club is preparing to give a dance at the Odd Fellows' hall on Wednesday night March 25th, for the benefit of the club, which is badly in need of funds to start the season right in the newly formed San Juan Basin league. Whether you dance or not, give the boys a dollar for a ticket.
The county spelling contest will be conducted at the court house tomorrow afternoon by County Superintendent Susie J. Ford.
Live news is extremely scarce in this section this week.
Miss Eloys Howard, teacher of the Taylor Canon school, has purchased a new Chevrolet couple from the Dunagan Motor Co.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 15, 1956
Typical March weather blew into town the first of the week and left about ten inches of new snow with near an inch of moisture. The storm started early Monday morning. It still appears likely that more snow will fall before this storm clears away and that there may be considerable moisture yet this month. In the high country there was quite a bit of new snow and on Monday the Pass was reported to be just about as slick as it ever gets.
Many town streets were just about dry enough for a little work when this storm came along. The moisture is welcome but the mud does get a little old. It has been several years since we have had so much mud and since the streets have been in the condition they are this year.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 19, 1981
The March 1 runoff forecast from the Department of Agriculture, and cooperating agencies, indicated that there would be a serious deficiency in runoff water supply for irrigation and storage unless there are some exceptionally heavy storms within the next few weeks. High altitude snowpacks are at a record low for the date.
Retail sales in Archuleta County for the third quarter of 1980 were up 29.1 percent over the same period in 1979. Almost every category of retail sales and services showed a gain. Biggest percentage of increase came in wearing apparel and accessories, and it was 91.8 percent. Biggest decrease was shown in furniture, with a decrease of 35.9 percent.
Looking backward...quilting forward
Pagosa quilt maker's book out this year
By Kate Collins
"It's like spinning straw into gold. That's how I feel when I do it," said Cindy Vermillion Hamilton, 32-year resident of Pagosa Springs and author of the book "Medallion Quilts: Inspiration and Patterns."
"I take pieces of tradition but I mix it up and do it my own way. I want it to look traditional - I want it to look like a quilt, not a painting."
Hamilton has been quilting by hand since age 17, when she began to teach herself the craft. "Quiltmaking and quilt history have always been inseparable for me. My involvement began in the 1960s, when I taught myself to quilt by trial and error, guided by worn copies of old quilt books by masters Š that I found on dusty shelves at the library," states Hamilton's biographical sketch entitled "Looking Back Š Quilting Forward."
"At that time, there were no quilt shops. You could hardly find cotton fabrics - everything was polyester," added Hamilton with a smile. "I was just really interested in antiques. I really had the desire to make a quilt for an old brass bed."
Hamilton specializes in medallion, sunflower and sunburst designs that are spinoffs of tried-and-true patterns that were created and used by women for centuries. "As a child, I was fascinated by lives of people who lived before me," she said. " As a young adult, I soon realized that I could enter the past by stitching a tangible object, using similar techniques that women long ago used. It is important to me to keep my quilt making simple Š I still can fit all of my essential quiltmaking tools in a shoe box.
"My goals for each quilt are simple. I want to create a quilt that would look familiar to a woman of the time period I have chosen, in pattern, style, fabrics and technique Š I work with well-known, historical patterns and styles, but I rarely copy a quilt. I prefer to draft and design the patterns I use, changing them just enough to satisfy my creative urges. Quilt historians recognize and appreciate the way I combine pattern with fabric," explains Hamilton's biographical information.
"Medallion Quilts: Inspiration and Patterns" is a book comprised of 25 years of Hamilton's quiltmaking. After retiring from teaching two years ago, Hamilton dedicated her time to her other passion: writing about quilting.
"I gave myself a year to write the book," she said.
Hamilton has been submitting articles and patterns to national quilting magazines since the 1970s, and her quilts have been featured on the covers of several. Her masterful quilts have won national contests and two are featured in permanent collections of museums in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. She is so well known and respected for her quilting, editors of quilting publications pursue her for articles and submittals, as the American Quilters Society did for "Medallion Quilts."
"This book was a nice surprise. I've always dreamed about doing a book," said Hamilton. "I started working on it and thinking about it in the 1990s. It takes time." Two more books are in the works, and Hamilton is hoping to see them published as well. American Quilter magazine will also feature an article written by Hamilton, including one of her patterns in an issue due out later this year.
"I started early making medallion quilts of our house, the [space shuttle] Challenger when it exploded, and for the 500th anniversary of the landing of Columbus," said Hamilton of her theme-based quilts. "Medallion quilts are very creative; it's not just making one twelve-inch block and repeating it."
Medallion quilts have a unique format in that each quilt has a central focus or theme. After completing the center, borders are added until the desired quilt size is reached. According to one quilting Web site, www.mqsc.org, medallion quilts were a favorite of historic quilting guilds. After one person completed the center, each member would add a border, building the quilt one creative addition at a time.
"[Quilting by hand] takes a lot of focus. People say it takes patience. I'm just passionate about it, so it's just second nature because I love it so much," said Hamilton. "I'm usually thinking about ten quilts ahead.
"I've done needlework all my life," explained Hamilton. "My mom taught me to crochet 'granny afghans,' which are made up of blocks. There are some real parallels with quilting." Hamilton, in turn, has passed her love of quilts on to her three children.
"I raised three children, and I [quilted] in bits and pieces," added Hamilton. "They saw me doing this throughout their entire lives. They have homes now, so I'm trying to go back and finish [quilt] tops I started for them. I'm going to be a grandma later this year, so I'll also be doing a lot of 'grandma things.' All of my kids appreciate what I do."
"Within the first few years of making quilts, while she was mastering her art, it became obvious to her that trying to pursue a career in quilting by hand wasn't feasible, and she decided she would quilt for the love of it, not for money," stated another biographical piece. Hamilton pours her heart into her work, and does not offer her work in a retail setting. "I want my quilts to be touched and loved by my family Š" she wrote.
Hamilton travels across the state, "within a day's drive" from home, to teach techniques and provide programs for quilting guilds. "I will sell patterns, and I will lecture, but I don't sell my quilts," she said.
She recognizes the artistic value of her creations, and treasures her ability to create. "I've always loved art and manipulating colors," said Hamilton. "I've never had much formal training. It's all intuitive."
According to Hamilton's biographical information, she considers herself to be an artist. "After forty years of making quilts by hand and seriously studying quilt history, I now consider myself to be a folk artist."
Though many fine artists are beginning to create their canvasses as quilts, Hamilton's goals lead her in a different direction, since she wants her quilts to look like quilts rather than paintings. "That's really where fine art and quilts differ. Some people 'paint' with fabric. I'm a quilt maker," said Hamilton.
Quilting is a versatile art form in that a person can quilt "wherever you are, with whatever you've got," explained Hamilton. "You don't need an all-out sewing room. Our dining room table is my work station.
"I really hope that what I do inspires people to try [quilting], and try it by hand. There is so much peace in just sitting and doing it," she said.
Hamilton's art is a throwback to another era, and a slower pace of life. Her motto, "Looking backward Š quilting forward," is at once a challenge and a calling: to embrace the gifts of the past and to pass them on to future generations.
Nastiness prevails in early Pagosa Country politics
By John M. Motter
Lawlessness in early Pagosa Country was not limited to Amargo and other communities south of the border.
In fact, the exact location of the border remained in dispute for many years.
That blurry border led to a number of disputes and at least one killing. Was Edith in the state of Colorado or the Territory of New Mexico? No one seemed to know for sure, but after Archuleta County was legally formed in 1885, the residence of voters along that border between Amargo and Pagosa Springs became highly relevant.
It seems a faction of voters from the south led by J.T. Martinez and the Archuleta family, for whom the county was named, a group mostly with Spanish-sounding names, were in conflict with a group of Anglos in Pagosa Springs for control of the county government.
When the county first formed, the Colorado governor appointed interim officers to run the government until an election could be conducted. Several of the early country elections were troubled affairs. The Pagosa Anglos accused the southern Hispanics of bringing in voters from Amargo and other points south of the state line.
John Taylor (not related to the John Taylor we know today) was superintendent of schools and active in politics on behalf of the Anglos. Many years later, Taylor recorded his memories of those early elections. Here are his words:
"In the southern part of the county was a voting precinct known as the Archuleta precinct, here over a hundred Mexicans from New Mexico were voted to hold their gang in power. All this enraged the settlers who were engaged the cattle business. Chas. Loucks, E.T. Walker, Judd Hallett, Wm. Dyke, John Dowell, Jake Dowell, Robert Chambers, Charles Chambers, Maurice, Willet, and Siegal Brown, Frank Cooley, James and Doc Gilliland, John and James O'Neal, Mr. Whitaker, Judge Price and his two sons and some 50 others including the writer organized the People's Party of which I was elected chairman and we began a bitter four year's fight to gain possession of the government of the county. The State Administration and the Courts were against us.
"There were three precincts in the county. We carried Pagosa and Edith precincts to gain which I and the above named men worked day and night, but 300 illegal votes polled under the supervision of the Archuleta brothers and Martinez defeated us. They worked to have me removed from the school but every one of their wives and children were with me. This gang even paid a Mexican to kill me, he met me on the bridge one night, knife in hand. I carried a walking stick with which I struck him on the head, he fell and rolled into the river, he swam and came out at the old bath house. I walked into the old court house, those commissioners were in session, and invited the man who planned the deed to come out and settle the matter in any manner he wished but he did not function although afterward he killed two men and a woman. Charley Johnson, Durango's criminal lawyer, cleared him though each was a cold-blooded murder."
Motter's note: the commissioner Taylor is describing was obviously Jose Benedito Martinez, who is said to have carried a six-shooter with several notches in the handle. It is also said he killed one of the men who was testifying against him at the time in a Durango courtroom. The woman was probably the Pagosa lady of ill-repute Martinez shot. It is possible she was a direct ancestor of Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell.
More next week on early Pagosa Country politics.
Saturn: Herschel, NASA and you
By James Robinson
The following sun and moon data for March 16, 2006 is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.
Sunrise: 6:18 a.m.
Sunset: 6:16 p.m.
Moonrise: 8:10 p.m.
Moonset: 7:23 a.m. March 17.
Moon phase: Waning gibbous with 97 percent of the visible disk illuminated. A full moon graced Pagosa Country March 14.
From the astronomically inspired architecture of Stonehenge and Chimney Rock, to Greek and Arab efforts at codifying the night sky, to contemporary missions to Mars, throughout the course of our existence, humans have been awed and inspired by the heavens.
Driven by a sense of wonder and a desire to understand Earth's place in the cosmos, early astronomers used architecture, the naked eye and later, rudimentary telescopes, to observe the happenings in the night sky. And while the history of sky watching can be traced back for millennia, two recent dates, March 9 and March 13, mark important stops on our astronomical journey - one looks back on where we've been, the other looks forward, to the future. And although the dates and their events appear unrelated, they are, in fact, curiously connected.
On March 9, NASA scientists announced the Cassini spacecraft may have discovered water, spewing geyser-like, from the surface of Enceladus, one of Saturn's 47 known moons, while the second date, March 13, marks the 225th anniversary of British astronomer, William Herschel's 1781 discovery of Uranus.
The thread that binds the two events together is Herschel himself, for not only did he discover the massive, blue-hued planet, but eight years later, in 1789, he discovered Enceladus as well. And although coincidental, it seems fitting that NASA would release their Enceladus report within days of the anniversary of Herschel's Uranus discovery.
During Herschel's day, scientists armed with telescopes making astronomical observations were not an entirely unusual breed. In fact, Herschel had many contemporaries and numerous astronomers had come before. In essence, Herschel represented just another step in the astronomical tradition.
What set Herschel apart was that he was not necessarily a man of science. He was a composer, a musician, a music teacher, and a band leader. And as an astronomer, he was an amateur - he tinkered with mathematics and astronomy.
But those tinkerings eventually consumed him, and by 1773, he was building his own telescopes and using them for lunar observations and to systematically catalogue double stars and stars down to the eighth magnitude.
According to Herschel's notes, on March 13, 1781, while searching the sky for stellar bodies, he discovered "a curious either nebulous star or perhaps a comet."
Perplexed by what he saw, Herschel persisted and concluded the object was neither, but instead was another planet. Herschel reported his discovery to the astronomical community and after further calculations, they confirmed his assertion and Herschel named the planet Georgium Sidus, Latin for "George's star" in honor of England's King George III. The name was later changed to Uranus.
Although Herschel was not the first astronomer to observe Uranus, in fact, in 1690 John Flamsteed catalogued it erroneously as the star 34 Tauri, Herschel was the first astronomer to assert it was a planet. This assertion, and the mathematical proof that followed, made Herschel famous and he became known as the first person to discover a planet beyond those that are visible with the naked eye.
Herschel's new-found fame gained him favor with the king, and in 1782 he was named the "King's Astronomer." With the royal blessing, Herschel's fortunes improved dramatically and he devoted himself to astronomy and telescope making. He ultimately constructed more than 400 telescopes during his career, including a reflecting telescope with a 40 foot focal length and an aperture diameter of 49 1/2 inches.
Herschel's 40-foot reflector telescope was a far cry from the six-inch telescope he used to discover Uranus and he would ultimately use the massive scope to locate two of Saturn's satellites - Mimas and Enceladus.
Herschel's discoveries proved that amateur astronomers, given enough curiosity, persistence and study, could achieve great things. And although NASA scientists with their discovery of potential water on Enceladus are far from amateurs, the desire to look beyond our own planet is part of an astronomical legacy, of which, Herschel is a viable part.
Although Uranus is now hidden in the glow of dawn, and Enceladus is beyond the reach of amateurs, Saturn is within range of the naked eye, binoculars or telescope.
Star gazers can find the ringed planet and one of its principle moons, Titan, high in the east-southeast by mid-evening between the constellations Gemini and Leo.
By Chuck McGuire
At long last, winter dropped in on Pagosa Springs and the surrounding mountains this past weekend, ultimately bringing heavy snow and much needed moisture to the Southern Rockies region.
When all is said and done, the impressive storm was beautiful and blissful Š but was it enough?
Until Wednesday of last week, when the precursor of what would become a major winter blast slowly settled in, Pagosa Country was hurting. For too many months, days were mostly sunny and warm, nights remained clear and mild, and critical precipitation was practically a no-show.
Certainly, it's difficult to complain about balmy weather in the middle of winter, but too much of a good thing is often bad. By the end of February, the forest fire danger had already crept into the "high" category, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recommended area water users begin planning for serious shortages this summer.
According to the NRCS, the current Colorado water year began last Oct. 1. The first month brought good moisture statewide, but precipitation patterns quickly shifted, resulting in frequent storms and heavy snow in the northern and central mountains, while the southern mountains and eastern plains remained relatively warm and dry. As warm sunny weather persisted in the south through January, the north received above-normal snowfall, and by Feb. 1 the statewide snowpack was just below the 30-year average at 99 percent.
Unfortunately, February was dry across the entire state, and by month's end, the statewide snowpack had fallen to only 89 percent of average, while those of the southern mountains were on par with some of the lowest ever recorded. Precipitation levels in the combined San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river basins hovered at just 40 percent of average.
The first week of March suggested an early spring. Daytime temperatures peaked between the mid-40s and low 60s, with five of the first seven days topping out at 51 degrees or higher. Skies were clear, robins and spotted towhees were invariably singing, and water users were praying for snow.
Then came last Wednesday.
Cold air and gray skies moved in by morning, the winds picked up and snow showers dampened area streets and bare lawns. The forecast suggested a good chance of snow through Monday, particularly Friday night into Sunday. Though Pagosa residents had heard it before, and at least some skepticism seemed unavoidable, television images of an approaching storm showed real promise.
This time, the meteorologists nailed it.
According to Toby Karlquist, a local resident who maintains an amateur weather station in town, three-and-a-half inches of snow fell on the Pagosa Lakes area Wednesday, with little or no measurable snowfall following on Thursday. By late Friday afternoon however, as the weekend storm finally gathered strength, skies again darkened, temperatures dropped sharply and snow began falling heavily.
The blizzard continued off and on through the weekend, and by Monday morning, Karlquist had recorded a total of 24.5 inches of snow in Pagosa Lakes. The Wolf Creek Ski Area, on the other hand, reported a storm total of 104 inches in seven days, with 22 inches falling in a 24-hour period Friday. Over a 72-hour timeframe, from Friday morning to Monday morning, Wolf Creek received 64 inches of fresh powder just in time for spring break.
In terms of accumulated precipitation, the NRCS reported 3.9 inches of water equivalent over the five-day period from Thursday through Monday. The NRCS Web site shows a graph indicating the beneficial spike, but unfortunately it also illustrates how far below average the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan basins remain.
According to NRCS data collection office supervisor Mike Gillespie, our recent storm raised the Upper San Juan basin water equivalent from 41 percent of average to 61 percent, still suggesting a low spring runoff. The precipitation summary indicates precipitation levels are now 74 percent of average for the water year.
When asked how much precipitation we'd need to receive in order to finish the winter season with an average water-equivalent snowpack, Gillespie said, "I don't think anyone is expecting the Upper San Juan to finish at average. You'd need about 489 percent of average moisture between now and April 7 to get there." Apparently, April 7 is the average peak snowpack day, and after that, the snowpack begins melting away.
For what it's worth, the Pagosa Springs weather forecast is calling for additional precipitation beginning tonight and running through the weekend, although, at this point, only showers are predicted. Daytime highs should range from near 50 today, to the low 40s by Sunday. Nights will remain mild, with lows in the mid 20s. Long-term predictions call for warmer, dryer weather over the next two weeks.
With that in mind, ranchers, farmers and other water users should continue praying for snow, while still planning for continued drought conditions this summer.