March 30, 2006

Front Page

Commissioners slow pace of airport land acquisition

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners held a public work session Thursday and, among other things, moved to slow the pace of an airport management request for further land acquisition.

Stevens Field manager Rob Russ came before the BOCC, asking permission to send letters of intent to acquire property to two families owning land adjacent to the airport's western boundary. He described the letters as a necessary first step in launching the next major phase of planned improvements at the county airport.

"I'm here today to ask permission to send a couple of letters of intent to acquire property," Russ said. "We're seeking money (from the Federal Aviation Agency) to first acquire land, then we'll pursue an FAA grant for the taxiway."

The taxiway Russ refers to is part of a six-year capital improvement program envisioned for the airport, and is tentatively scheduled for construction in 2007. Once built, it will complement runway improvements completed earlier this year, by providing a means of safely moving aircraft from one airport location to another, without using the runway.

But first, according to Russ, a strip of land about 100 feet wide must be procured from several tracts of real estate owned by two separate families. Russ said the land is needed to meet safety zone requirements for the taxiway.

In reference to the letters of intent, Russ said, "They contain some strong language, including condemnation and eminent domain, but they're similar to letters used by the airport before."

Upon review of the letters, the board quickly expressed concern over their tone, with Commissioner Lynch asking, "Shouldn't the initial letter not be so strong?"

Commissioner Robin Schiro asked who wrote the letters and if county attorneys had seen them.

At that point, county finance director Bob Burchett explained, "What we're looking for is approval to go forward with the grant application. I've talked to Rob (Russ) about the tone of the letters, and my suggestion is, first, we have conversations with both of the parties and let them know this is our plan, that we need your involvement, we want to work with you."

Russ said he'd already spoken with members of one family, who happen to own a plane and an airport hanger, and suggested they were aware of, and fully support plans for the taxiway. He added that other parcels of interest are owned by a trust and said, "The trust people were aware of the capital improvement plan.

"Basically, we're asking for permission to send out these letters of intent," Russ asserted.

To which Lynch promptly replied, "Um, no."

Lynch went on to describe general anxiety among the public regarding all matters involving the airport, and suggested the county "take a step back" and look at the broader picture. She also said simply, "The letters are too strong."

Russ then asked the board to keep in mind, "There are certain guidelines that we have to abide by when it comes to these letters, and with the FAA, you know, they mandate what has to be in the letter, what it has to say specifically. Especially if you look under the Uniform Relocation Act of 1970, it'll tell you just what these letters have to actually say."

However, a review of Chapter 13 of the act, which specifically addresses land acquisition and relocation, only suggests general guidelines and offers sample letters that may be used, depending on whether the acquisition involves voluntary or involuntary participation by the landower(s). In reality, the document falls well short of dictating specific points or language that must be included in an initial notice, and in fact, recommends that a first correspondence "stress that the notice is not an intent to acquire, but only a preliminary statement of interest."

Meanwhile, in response to Russ's claim that a letter of intent such as his must be sent, Commissioner Ronnie Zaday said, "While a letter has to be delivered, it doesn't mean we can't negotiate for the property prior to this letter going out."

"Yes it does," Russ responded. "We can't negotiate right now, because what we're doing is, we have to just send them a notice of intent that we plan on acquiring the property, and that we'll use every means available to do it by negotiations, first."

Reacting, Zaday asked, "You've had the attorneys look at this, and that's what they told you?"

Once Russ professed to county attorneys not having seen the letters, Zaday suggested they be involved. She also recommended that Russ and county administrator Bob Campbell talk to the landowners prior to sending letters.

Russ then expressed concern with timing, and insisted the FAA had imposed a strict March 31 deadline for county notification of intent to acquire the land.

At once, Lynch asked Russ how long he'd known of the deadline, particularly when the board had just been told of it, and the affected landowners had not yet been formally notified.

Russ sidestepped the question, instead, explaining that "it took a long time just to find out who the property owners were."

At that, Zaday recommended Russ contact the FAA and ask for an extension of 30 or 60 days, thus allowing time to consult legal counsel and approach the landowners in appropriate fashion.

In the meantime, a representative from the FAA office in Denver has told The SUN that this project (of acquiring land for the taxiway) is on a very tight schedule and must be "under grant" by June 15. Between now and then, letters of intent to acquire, and offer letters, must be delivered to landowners by May 1. Landowner responses must be back to the FAA by June 1.

Estimated costs to acquire the necessary real estate and build a parallel taxiway are $5.6 million. If all goes well and the FAA comes through with the requested grants, the FAA will pay 95 percent of the total costs, with the state possibly covering another 2.5 percent. If so, Archuleta county taxpayers will have to pay $140,000 for the improvements.

The only other matter addressed at Thursday's BOCC work session resulted in a green light for the early activation of four seasonal firefighters with the sheriff's Emergency Operations Division (EOD). The board also consented to initiating the hiring process of two others, in case they're needed.

While addressing the board, EOD manager Greg Oertel expressed concern over the potential for an early and intense fire season this year, and asked if four regular wildland fire suppression personnel could be activated by mid-April instead of the first of May, when they normally report for duty. He also requested funding for the hiring of two temporary firefighters, with hope that they could eventually be added as regular seasonal staff.

Following discussion on this year's perceived wildfire threat, and the likely costs associated with early personnel activation and two new hires, talk turned to how added staff could generate additional county revenue at times of minimal need.

While assuring consistent and adequate fire protection coverage countywide, Oertel described how his people could aid the U.S. Forest Service in managing prescribed burns. Under such an arrangement, which is common during most seasons, the Forest Service pays worker wages, and $75 an hour for the use of a wildland fire truck.

Oertel was quick to suggest the EOD wasn't interested in "making money" on such occasions, but explained how the cost of adding auxiliary personnel could, nonetheless, be reduced through similar cooperative agreements.

In the end, county administrator Bob Campbell suggested the county bring the four regular seasonal firefighters on board early (mid-April), and begin the hiring process of two additional personnel, to be employed as needed. The BOCC agreed, and went a step further by asking Oertel for regular two-week updates to help determine just when the ancillary firefighters should begin work.

Town residents to pick mayor, vote on lodger's tax issue

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

On April 4, registered voters in the Town of Pagosa Springs will have an opportunity to select the town's next mayor, and to approve or deny a lodger's tax.

Vying for the mayor's seat are two candidates: Ross Aragon, the incumbent with a 30-year tenure at the post, and Paul Nobles, a Pagosa Springs Realtor and long-time area resident. Both men provided biographical information and position statements in last week's issue of The SUN.

The second ballot question asks voters to approve or deny an additional lodger's tax, and although the question may sound familiar, it is not quite an exact repeat of the same question ultimately approved by voters last November.

The intent of the original lodger's tax was to provide a revenue stream that would be used to fund tourism related marketing and capital improvements. As part of the program, the funds generated by the tax and the tourism-related projects would be overseen by a tourism advisory committee whose members would be appointed by the town council.

According to last November's legislation, and to achieve the program's goal, a 3-percent tax would be added to a lodging bill and those funds would flow from the lodger, through the town and ultimately to the committee.

The thrust of the legislation was that the town's 3-percent lodging tax would be levied in addition to the county-wide 1.9-percent lodging tax and a 6.9-percent sales tax, which are already added to a lodging bill. The 1.9-percent county lodging tax has historically been passed through the county to the Chamber of Commerce for its marketing efforts.

When voters approved the original legislation, the intent of the measure was to maintain the 1.9 percent county tax as a funding source for the Chamber of Commerce, while providing a new revenue stream for the tourism marketing committee based on the 3-percent additional tax.

Unfortunately, following voter approval and while putting the pieces in place to enact the legislation, Town Clerk Deanna Jaramillo discovered that a county lodging tax cannot be collected in a municipality that collects it's own lodger's tax.

In this case, the town's recently enacted lodger's tax trumped the county lodging tax within the town boundaries. Therefore, with the 1.9-percent county lodging tax removed from the equation, what was supposed to be a revenue boost, actually resulted in an inadvertent revenue cut. And the 3 percent tax that should have gone entirely to the tourism advisory committee was slashed, with the first 1.9 percent going to the chamber as a substitute for the lost county lodging tax, leaving just 1.1 percent for the tourism advisory committee.

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

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

To vote in the April 4 election, you must be a registered elector in the Town of Pagosa Springs who registered to vote prior to March 6, 2006. A list of registered and eligible electors will be present and an elector's status will be verified prior to an elector being permitted to cast a ballot.

The polls will be open Tuesday, April 4, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the Pagosa Springs Town Hall is the sole voting location.

 Inside The Sun

Session to address draft of county land use code

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

As the Archuleta County Land Use Code Project nears completion, the county is hosting a work session April 5, with the county planning commission and the board of county commissioners to review the current draft of the document.

Archuleta County Director of County Development Blair Leist said that although the session will consist primarily of a dialogue between the planning commission and the board of county commissioners to discuss the draft, potential concerns and to provide feedback on the project thus far, the public is invited to attend.

Leist said, following the April 5 meeting, the draft and the comments gathered to date would be resubmitted to their land use consulting firm, HNTB Corporation, and a subsequent, revised draft would be completed and brought back to the county for further review. As part of that comprehensive review process, the county will host a series of public forums at locations throughout the county between April 20 and May 3.

Leist said the forums would provide the public with another opportunity to review the most current stage of the project and to provide further input.

Leist said the most recent draft of the code incorporates elements of both traditional zoning and performance based zoning, and that they had achieved a project milestone by establishing descriptions for the various proposed zoning districts. Leist added that although the descriptive language had been crafted, the location of the zoning districts would be determined later in the spring, following further public input.

Other new elements being woven into the forthcoming land use code include a transfer of development rights program and a rural land use subdivision program. Generally speaking, both programs allow large-parcel property owners to retain the ability to profit from the sale or development of their land, while maintaining a portion of the acreage for future generations via the use of conservation easements.

Leist said the programs would allow the county to better preserve such things as view corridors, wildlife migration corridors or other sensitive habitat - items citizens established as valuable in the county's community plan - without trampling on individual property rights.

"It's striking a balance," Leist said. "We recognize the need to protect private property rights, but we also recognize the need to honor the goals put forth in the community plan."

By using a variety of zoning and planning techniques, combined with innovative land use practices, Leist said he hopes the new code will bring a degree of predictability to growth in Archuleta County.

"We're striving to create predictability in growth," Leist said, "we don't want it to continue to be haphazard."

Wednesday's meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the board of county commissioner's meeting room at the Archuleta County Courthouse

The Archuleta County Land Use Code Project is scheduled to be completed in late May, with an adoption hearing anticipated in June.

Pagosa's Larry Bartlett receives prestigious FAA award

Local pilot Larry Bartlett was presented the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award by the Federal Aviation Administration March 11 at a ceremony at the DoubleTree Hotel in Denver.

This award is presented to active pilots with over 50 years in aviation who have been nominated, undergone a detailed records check and received at least three letters of recommendation by those in the aviation industry who have known the recipient in an aviation capacity.

The award is presented in appreciation of the recipient's "dedicated service, technical expertise, professionalism, and many outstanding contributions that further the cause of aviation safety."

Bartlett soloed in August of 1945 and in the ensuing 61 years has amassed over 12,600 hours of flight time, including over 7,100 hours as a flight instructor.

He holds airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates for both land and sea.

As an FAA-designated pilot examiner from 1968 to 1983, he administered over 1,200 pilot flight tests for all ratings through airline transport and flight instructor.

From 1968 to 2003, he was a volunteer FAA aviation safety counselor and participated in safety seminars throughout the southwest.

He has served as chief pilot and director of operations for several large flight schools and charter and air ambulance companies. As a corporate pilot, he flew throughout the western U.S. for many years.

In 1994, Bartlett was inducted into the El Paso Aviation Hall of Fame.

Larry and his wife, Virginia Bartlett, have lived in Pagosa Springs full time since 1983 and maintain a hangar at Stevens Field, where they keep their vintage 1953 Cessna 195 which they have owned for 43 years. In that classic airplane, which they call their "magic carpet," they have traveled all over the north American continent. Since 1988, they have produced a series of training and touring videos designed to reflect their love of aviation.

Democratic Party caucus results

The following are the results of the March 21 Archuleta County Democratic Party caucus:

Precinct 1 - Delegates: Gary Dean Cox, Monica Greene, Henry White, John W. Porco, Rebecca H. Porco, Jean B. Smith, Anna O'Reilly and Donald A. Ford.

Precinct 2 - Delegates: Robin Auld, Sandy Sue Caves, John T. Egan, Mary E. Greene, Michael J. Greene and Kevin C. Caves.

Precinct 3 - Delegates: Lesli Allison, Robert Nash, Virginia R. Douglas, Ben A. Douglas, Frank G. Reardon and Charlie R. Reardon.

Precinct 4 - Delegates: Randle R. Fox, Dennis B. Finn, Diana M. Finn and Kathleen R. St. Germain.

Precinct 6 - Delegates: John F. Tallman, Barbara Conkey, Maureen V. Covell, Kerry Dermody, Dan Burgess, Richard Goebel and Sharon Porter.

Precinct 7 - Delegates: Ray Finney, Ed Funk and David Swindells.

Precinct 8 - Delegates: De Etta June Lavery, Donald Pastin, Darin Rome, Laura Rome, Edward Kaumeyer, Virginia Kaumeyer, Gary McNaughton, Claudia Smith and Denise Rue-Pastin.

Republican Party caucus results

The following are the results of the March 21 Archuleta County Republican Party caucus:

Precinct 1 - Delegates: Michael M. Valdez, Paul F. Hogue, John D. Rosenbaum, Richard A.Cole, Donald D. Volger, Barbara A. Cole and Ross Aragon. Alternates: Lawrence M. Dick, Robert C. Moomaw, Robert G. Nordman, David W. Spitler, Debra K. Brown, Walter L. Green and Doris F. Green.

Precinct 2 - Delegates: Warren Grams, Bob Goodman, Carolyn Church, Judy James, Kay Grams, Darrell Cotton, Peggy Cotton, Lou Poma and June Madrid. Alternates: Randall Davis and Pam Schoemig.

Precinct 3 - Delegates: Susan Crabtree, Jessie Formwalt, Roberta Crowley, Bob Formwalt, Norman Frazier, Theresa Frazier, Alan Fulmer and Gene Crabtree. Alternates: Russell Crowley, James M. Gillentine Jr., Charles A. Martin, David L. Cammack, Christy Lynn Dunham, Michael Pat Bennett and Ann Martino.

Precinct 4 - Delegates: Steve Jaramillo, Larry Ashcraft, Betty Jo Quintana and Joseph Charles Quintana. Alternates: Robert A. Terrman, Ginger Jaramillo, Steve Theys and Mary Tearnan.

Precinct 5 - Delegates: Diane Rieck, Mason Carpenter, Cindy Carothers and Edna Maria Olsen. Alternates: Floyd McKee, Larry Garcia, Lori A. McKee and Doug A. Hellman.

Precinct 6 - Delegates: Lim Koon Mui Steen, Thomas Steen, Bob Huff, Don Long, Myra Sue Long, George Schnarre, Joanne Irons, John Weiss, Gene Cortright, Steve Wadley, Gordon McIver, Mary Ann Huff, Dennis Barber, Eva Iwicki and John Bozek. Alternates: Pam Eaton, Robin Schiro, Tony Kop, Ron Barsanti, Tom Gaskins, Kathy Gaskins, Kathy Kulyk, Doug Call, Ken Rogers, Scott Maxwell, Billy Joe Bruce, Jim Iwicki, Richard Wholf and Sabra Miller.

Precinct 7 - Delegates: Curtis Miller, Carmen Miller, Joshua Bramble, Dennis Ford, Brock Gorman, Mary Ann Stewart, Richard Manley, James Saunders, John Schultz, Susan Little, William Lucero, Seana Cahill-Lucero and John Baker. Alternates: Matthew Lattin, Lawrence Michael Little, Joseph Donavan, Diane Bower, Jon Bower, Dennis Eichinger, Tomi Fredendall, Gilbert Perales, Earle Beasley, Linda Lee, Victoria Perales, Stephen Schwartz and Karen Wessels.

Precinct 8 - Delegates: Roy Vega, David E. Bohl, Patrick Ullrich, Patterson Curtis, Donald H. Brinks, Frances V. Bohl, Rodney L. Preston, Robert A. Walan, Carrie L. Campbell, Julie Marie Jessen, Ronald R. Maez, Homer McClure Trout Jr. and Mojie J. Adler. Alternates: Susan M.N. Walan, Mary Ann Foutz, Gary B. Waples, James J. Rains, Richard A. Simmons, Judith Waples, Lois E. Baker, Robert E. Dobbins, Stephen M. Keno, Georganna L. Curtis, Richard L. Aldahl and Barbara A. Bohl.

Class of '77 plans reunion

Members of the Pagosa Springs High School Class of 1977 are invited to help with plans for the class reunion.

Meet April 6 in the elementary school cafeteria at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, call Steve Voorhis at 264-4233 or e-mail svoorhis@pagosa.k12.co.us.

Junior high school honor roll

Following is the honor roll for the third, nine-week grading period at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

Eighth grade - 4.0 average

Julia Adams, Denise Bauer, Thomas Bernard, Seth Blackley, Ashley Brooks, Megan Bryant, Casey Crow, Jordan Davey, Natalie Erickson, Michael Gallegos, Emily Greer, Michael Heraty, Amber Lark, Katarina Medici, Brian Montoya, Amanda Oertel, Sarah Sanna, Josie Snow and Wesley Vandercook

Eighth grade - 3.285 to 3.99

Gary August, Taylor Cunningham, Dale Preston, Desiree Ewing, Paul Hoffman, Kala Matzdorf, Rebekah Riedberger, Nahtanha Sell, Shevi Tunnell-Hunt, Amie Webb-Shearston, Jessica Blum, Victoria Espinosa, Tamra Leavenworth, Haley Malesic, Rose Quintana, Taylor Shaffer, Ryan Stahl, Courtney Hudnall, Mary Brinton, Kara Hollenbeck, Presley Payne, Wesley Ricker, Nicola Shaw, Lauren Silva, Edgar Torres, Sean Vick, Jordin Frey, Samara Hernandez, Sarah Smith, Kiaya Humphrey, Joshua Jones, Jocelyn Havens, Riley Aiello and Michael Flihan.

Seventh grade - 4.0 average

Kelsea Anderson, Amanda Barnes, Christopher Brown, Andrea Fautheree, Amelia Harbison, Mele LeLievre, Zachary Lucero, Danielle Pajak, Cy Parker, Crystal Purcell, Sienna Stretton and Tyler Vaivoda.

Seventh grade - 3.285 to 3.99

Shea Johnson, Kayla Catlin, Michelle Garcia, Brittnie Kraft, Viridiana Marinelarena, Tayler McKee, Dakota Miller, Rachel Shaw, Garrett Stoll, Sarah Stuckwish, Cheyann Dixon, Kenneth Hogrefe, Derek Hujus, Magan Kraetsch, Joshua Long, Kelsi Lucero, Kaitlin Mastin, Jefferson Walsh, Luke Baxstrom, Briana Bryant, Tiana Johnson, NaCole Martinez, Tyler Martinez, Sierra Suttles, Gabrielle Dill, Trace Gross, Roxana Palma, Brinda Wallis, Lukas Morelock, Taylor Loewen and Maegan Walters.

Kindergarten registration starts April 19

Next school year, there will be half-day and full-day kindergarten classes at Pagosa Springs Elementary.

If your child will be in kindergarten for the 2006-2007 school year, registration will begin Wednesday, April 19, and continue on through the end of the school year.

Registration begins April 19

Registration will start at 9 a.m. and go until 2 p.m. Bring a copy of your child's birth certificate, immunization records and his/her social security number. You will not be able to register your child without these items.

You may request full-day or half-day, a.m. or p.m., at this time. If there are more than 40 requested slots for full-day, the slots will be filled by a lottery drawing. The morning and afternoon slots will be filled as students are registered.

There will be waiting lists for any classes that are completely filled. Tuition for the full-day class will be $150 per month. A $100 deposit is required at registration. If your child's name is not drawn, your $100 will be refunded. If your child's name is drawn, September's payment will be $200 and each payment thereafter will be $150. There will be no charge in May because of the initial $300 payment.

Half-day kindergarten

There is no tuition fee for half-day classes.

The morning class meets 8:10-11:05 a.m., Monday through Thursday. On Friday your child will attend class all day, every other week, 8:05 a.m.-1:10 p.m. Afternoon classes begin at 12:05 p.m. and go until 3:10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day every other Friday.

Things to think about

A half-day schedule can be a low-stress way to ease your child into the school routine.

A student may be away from home for the first time, and a half-day experience could be the best for your child.

As a parent, you may not be ready to send your child to school for a full day; you may prefer to spend extra time with him or her for one final year. A student may still need a nap or a later wake-up time at this age. As you know, each child is unique.

Full-day kindergarten

A full-day schedule allows for additional activities to enrich the variety and depth of our young children's educational experience. There is more time to give individualized attention to students. A full-day schedule helps parents manage their day between family and work. Students have additional time to process the concepts being taught.

Kindergarten students must be 5 years old by Sept. 15, according to school district policy.

If you have any questions, please call the elementary school office at 264-2229.

Public Health Week April 3-9

By San Juan Basin Health Department

Special to The SUN

During observance of National Public Health Week, Colorado and its health care community will spotlight, "The People of Public Health - health care workers who strive to protect the health of the residents of Colorado and the environment in which they live."

National Public Health Week begins Monday, April 3, and continues through Sunday, April 9.

Lynn Westberg, director of the San Juan Basin Health Department said her agency, which serves Archuleta and La Plata counties, is among the 15 public health department, 39 county public health nursing services and 17 environmental health offices that work with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to provide public health services throughout Colorado.

"The employees of San Juan Basin Health Department are dedicated to protecting the public and environment health of the area that we serve," Westberg said. "We work to provide a wide variety of services including preventing disease outbreaks; protecting against avoidable injuries; promoting healthy eating habits and the importance of regular physical activity; keeping Colorado's water, air and soil clean; and helping prepare local residents for a large-scale disease outbreak should one occur. There are few groups of people who are as dedicated to what they do as the staffs of public health agencies across Colorado."

Public health employees in Colorado include public health nurses; environmental scientists and specialists; environmental engineers; health planners, statistical analysts and researchers; epidemiologists; infection control and disease investigators; licensure, inspection and regulatory specialists, including persons who inspect restaurants; public health educators; laboratory professionals and laboratory specialists; public health nutritionists; physicians; veterinarians and animal-control specialists; data analysts; support staff; program directors; administrative workers; public information officers; and computer specialists.

Public health employees provide vaccinations required for international travel; inspect child care centers; inspect public pools and spas; clean up outdated, dangerous chemicals in schools and college chemistry laboratories; assist in land use planning; conduct household chemical roundups; provide parenting education and breastfeeding support to expectant and new mothers.

They also conduct intake for Medicaid, Medicare and the Child Health Plan Plus insurance program; provide services for children with special needs; provide testing and conduct programs to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis; provide dental care and work with Colorado communities to encourage the adding of fluoride to drinking water; work to encourage people to stop using tobacco products or not to start; and work to develop emergency preparedness and disaster recovery programs to deal with threats as diverse as anthrax exposure, a flu pandemic, blizzards and the aftermath of a major hurricane.

Outdoors

NWTF dinner and auction April 1

By Bob Curvey

Special to the SUN

The 8th Annual Wild Turkey Super Fund auction and dinner is April 1, at the Archuleta County Extension Building.

Doors will open at 3 p.m., with dinner at 5:30 and auction to follow.

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

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

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

Volunteers make big contributions at Chimney Rock

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association volunteers will host an open house 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1, in the south conference room of the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

This is an opportunity to become better acquainted with the "old" neighborhood. We're talking really old - over 1,000 years old!

Just imagine how different it must have been back then. Next time you take a drive by the twin spires out west of Pagosa Springs, think about how the Ancient Puebloans provided water to their village. You can bet the developers for the Village at Wolf Creek wouldn't even want to consider any of those ancient options. And as you peer towards the mesa top, just try to imagine how they moved all those rocks up to build those incredibly beautiful walls of the Chacoan Great House without the benefit of mules or backhoes. It's simply mind boggling, indeed.

As one Chimney Rock volunteer, Wynn Wasinger, put it last season, "When seeing the Great House gives you goose bumps, you know you must volunteer."

Volunteering is absolutely the key to Chimney Rock Interpretive Association's success in meeting its mission to provide an enjoyable and educational experience, which is sensitive to native cultures, to all who visit the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, as well as assist the Forest Service in protecting the site.

In pursuit of these goals, CRIA conducts informed tours of the site, displays artifacts as they become available, provides educational materials for sale, and presents historical seminars and exhibits when possible.

Volunteers Ed and Lynn Funk present a fine example of the type of spirit and commitment that epitomizes Chimney Rock volunteers. Having retired from careers in secondary education in the Chicago area, the Funks moved here in 1999. The couple started volunteering four years ago, when the San Juan Mountain Association ran the interpretive program for the archaeological area, so they have had many opportunities to help support the fledgling CRIA through the transition of program ownership and responsibility. "After retirement, it is time to pay back to your community in some way," Lynn said.

The Funks have a willingness to jump in and fill those community service gaps whenever and wherever they can. You may know Ed from his volunteer work as a site tour guide; a full-moon program lecturer/host; his demonstrations of the ancient hunting weapon, called an atlatl, during the Life at Chimney Rock (LCR) Fest; or from his interviews about Chimney Rock on the local KWUF radio show, Good Morning, Pagosa. Ed is also editing a new guidebook on Chimney Rock archaeoastronomy that is being funded with grant monies from the Colorado Historical Society. Ed volunteers for CRIA, because, he said, "Working at Chimney Rock provides an opportunity to learn about ancient cultures that lived here for centuries prior to the European settlement."

Lynn added, "Chimney Rock is a learning experience and a fun way to participate in community service." Aside from her volunteer work as an on-site cabin host or exhibit host at events like the county fair, and helping out with the garage sale, Lynn has provided the kind of background support that keeps organizations like CRIA afloat.

Last year, Lynn served as a board member and as board secretary. As a member of the media committee, she took on the updating of the media contact list, and has provided other administrative assistance. Lynn also participated in demonstrations at the LCR Fest. Together, the Funks have filled in when needed during the Major Lunar Standstill (MLS) programs, performed maintenance on trails, as well as the cabin, most recently putting a protective seal on the building and new trim boards.

Many volunteers come to Chimney Rock as couples, and the Funks are just one of the many couples CRIA simply could not do without. The current chairman of the board, Bob Henley, and his wife, Dahrl, have been volunteering for Chimney Rock for around 13 years. They invite you to come by the open house so they can tell you what keeps them coming back year after year.

The open house is also a fine time to see what's on the schedule this year. Some new features include two preseason full-moon programs April 12 and May 12. Both programs offer optional early tours of the lower site. If you've never been to Chimney Rock, or if you like the idea of an off-season visit, you must make your reservations for these events in advance.

This spring, mega volunteer Ron Sutcliffe, master of the MLS program, has arranged for a couple of very interesting speakers, Jim Judge and Peter Pino, to give evening lectures on Chimney Rock in Pagosa Springs Friday, April 21, (time to be announced), and at the Center for Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango Saturday, April 22, at 7 p.m. Further details are coming soon.

Come by the open house and learn more about Chimney Rock.

CRIA's 2006 upcoming event schedule can be viewed on the CRIA Web site at www.chimneyrockco.org. For assistance with preseason questions and reservations call (970) 264-2287, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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.

Fix ditches and ponds to save valuable water

By Heidi Keshet

Special to The SUN

Leaking ditches or ponds are a problem that can cause the loss of valuable water that you could be using for your crop or livestock.

With the snowpack at extremely low levels and the possibility of drought this summer, now is the time to order the pond sealer known as PAM.

PAM (Polyacrylamide) is a product available from the San Juan Conservation District to help with leaking earthen ditches and ponds. PAM is a granular polymer that is used in sealing leaks. When PAM is dissolved in water, it acts as a flocculent, which means that, in moving water, it develops a negative charge and attracts positively-charged sediment present in water. The sediment attaches to the PAM molecule. As the PAM molecule builds up with sediment, it becomes heavier and falls to the bottom of the ditch or pond, fills in the cracks, and forms a seal. It is nontoxic and completely safe for all fish, animals and plants. Many ag producers in our district have used PAM and reported great success in stopping leaks, thus conserving precious water.

We can help you calculate the amount of PAM you may need as well as the appropriate method of application, so give us a call at 731-3615.

San Juan Conservation District Supervisor George Martinez and Jerry Archuleta, district conservationist, have just finished putting up some SJCD signs.

There is one located at the bottom of Yellow Jacket Pass, on Colo. 151 and one located on U.S. 84, at the New Mexico border. We are still looking for a place to erect one on U.S. 160 East, and any landowner who would care to offer a few feet of highway frontage would be greatly appreciated. Call 731-3615 if you want to help.

If you ordered seedling trees, they will be available 8 a.m.-6 p.m. April 12 at the Fair Building. There is still a nice selection of species left over, so give our office a call to see if we can help you out with your planting needs.

 Catch and Release

Spring does not come easily to the mountains.

James Robinson

SUN Columinst

The season moves forward in fits and starts, and although all living things crave spring's rejuvenating warmth and light, winter is not ready to let go, not yet. A walk around my house, a study of the sky, an ear tuned to the birds fluttering in the willow thicket tells me this is so.

On the southwest side of the house, the spring sun warms the stucco, the snow is nearly melted and slender shoots of new, bright green grass poke up from beneath pine needles and dead leaves. In the morning, robins bounce across the lawn and by afternoon, rabbits zigzag across the yard and disappear into the underbrush. During midday, I sit in my shirtsleeves and watch, expecting the family of snakes to emerge from the marsh to return to their summer home in the flowerbeds. But my wait is in vain. They don't come and a glance at the sky tells me why.

A strong wind carries foul weather down from the pass, and as clouds move across the sun, the landscape cools. The wind has a bite that tells me spring is still far off for the high country, and near the woodpile on the north side of the house, the chill breeze slices through my shirt, and I am forced into a jacket and a hat as I split firewood. Winter is not over yet, but in the language of the river there is hope.

I first heard it about three weeks ago.

It began with a profound silence, followed by days filled with otherworldly grunts and low, laborious groans. Next came a series of sharp cracks and pops as the heavy ice of winter slowly gave way. The river had begun to move. One evening while out walking, I paused; there was something uncanny, something foreign in the texture of the night, and I realized it was the river. It was the unmistakable sound of cold mountain water, free of its winter burden, rushing unencumbered over stones and after months of cold, mute, torpor, the river was speaking again. It was a language I knew well, but in the frozen darkness of winter, it was one I thought I had forgotten.

Since that night I have listened and I have watched. I have watched the river slither past in morning hues of aquamarine and pewter. I have listened to river's raucous midday chorus and watched it rush over boulders in a turbid frenzy, energized by early season run-off. And I have walked along its banks in the stillness of the evening, listening to that slow poetry, to that cool, hissing rhythm, to that ancient language of the river and it has given me hope that perhaps spring will soon to arrive.

I swing, and drop the axe on an aspen log, and the sharp, cold steel cuts deep and peels away a sliver of kindling. I strike again, and another sliver falls to the snow-covered ground. Then I stop, lean on the axe, and listen. The river beckons. It says "springtime" and I can't resist. I heed the call.

I toss my axe, leather gloves and firewood into the wheelbarrow and rush it to the garage. There's about an hour left of daylight, and it's probably too late in the day to fish, but its worth a try and I hurry. After stashing the wheelbarrow, I dash inside, grab my fly rod, a reel and jam a handful of flies into one jacket pocket, and in the other I stuff my Leatherman. I have all that I need and set off.

At streamside, I study the river. The murky water rushes past like chalky glacial till, and despite the tiny midges hovering above the current, I line up with a fast sinking line and tie on a large, black, rubber-legged wooly bugger. Considering the conditions, casting a dry fly seems futile and instead, I choose to go deep, hoping to drag the imitation across a trout's nose, thus provoking a strike. Even then, a hit seems unlikely, but it doesn't matter' — this about movement, about going through the motions, about reconnecting with the river.

I wade out, and the river tops my hiking boots. The water screams winter, and I backpedal to more shallow water where I settle in with frozen toes, secure my footing and begin. I pull hard on the line, the reel spins and slack gathers in coils near my feet. I pull more line from the reel and begin to rock slowly back and forth. I feed line through the guides, and the steady momentum of my body and the weight of the line gradually generate energy and it gathers in the graphite of the fly rod. The rod flexes, builds more tension, and somewhere beneath the cork grip it begins to sing. It is ready. After a final thrust, I release, and the line shoots out in a long loop across the river.

As I cast, my Australian shepherd joins me in the stream, sits, and together we watch intently as the line sails above the water. Within minutes, the movement takes me back and I am soon lost in a flood of memories of trips past, of trips partially forgotten and the overwhelming feeling that nothing has really changed - that after all these years, it's still the dog, a cold mountain stream, a fly rod and me. And for a moment, time seems static, even frozen, and it is as though this moment is fixed and will be repeated forever.

But when we are thoroughly lost in the depths of our reverie, the line snaps taught with the unmistakable tug of a trout, and I am jolted back awake and I am reminded that the universe is governed by flux, that change is inevitable, that all things are dynamic. The shepherd is aware of it too, and his ears shoot up as he moves toward the fish and together we play the trout on the end of the line. Three or four flashy leaps reveal it is a young but powerful rainbow, but the fish is outmatched by the heavy, high water tackle and we work the youngster gently to shore. As I squat and reach to remove the hook, the fish surges, throws its spiky burden and in an instant is gone. But the excursion is a success, spring has arrived, albeit in fits and starts, and with it begins a new time — a time of trout.

 

Letters
Greed

Dear Editor:

In response to Jennifer Dingman's letter about whistle blower protection.

Colorado healthcare facilities will never be safe for patients because of greed.

A whistleblower bill will be a start, but we must remember that healthcare facilities want the same profits they had when Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance gave them carte blanche. How do they continue with the same profit? Best way is to cut down on licensed personnel. Does anyone ask if it is a real nurse providing their care? Remember, nurses are not a billable item.

Sample: Hospital and nursing homes decrease staff to satisfy stockholders. Patient falls because no one is there to respond in a timely matter to the light. Who now pays for the broken hip, x-rays and longer stay? The healthcare facility assumes no responsibility for the fall though they decreased staff and increased patient load to meet plan.

Why have our president and our lawmakers not asked healthcare providers to justify their high costs? Do lobbyists somehow enter the picture?

Let's all wake up! Let's make our health system providers accountable, not rich.

Diane Benesch

Ignacio

Ski trails

Dear Editor:

Dick Cole and I have been maintaining cross country ski trails in the Pagosa Springs area for many years. In the future, the Forest Service will require a liability insurance policy to do this work. We are pleased to announce that this effort has been saved by the Chamber of Commerce voting to help pay for the insurance from the county lodger's tax. We are very pleased the grooming work will continue next year.

Cross country skiing is a favorite of local folks and a positive tourist draw for our area. Having good trails will bring more tourists and their money to town. Due to the need for insurance along with the noticeable lack of snow, there was no trail maintenance this year. Starting next year, with the grace of Mother Nature, ski trails will return to Pagosa Country.

We are currently writing a second grant to a likely organization to build a new grooming plow. This device is pulled behind the snowmobile and compacts and levels the snow. Want to help? Pagosa Springs needs a cross country skiing/snowshoeing organization.

Call 264-4542 for information and ideas.

Norm Vance

Whistleblowers

Dear Editor:

I read with interest Jennifer Dingman's letter regarding HB 1193, to protect whistleblowers from the consequences of breaking the "Code of Silence" when reporting substandard, negligent, or criminal healthcare. I agree that shielding ethical complainants from the wrath of their "superiors" is to be desired, and the rights of patients upheld.

But I wonder, based on recent personal experience, just how many medical professionals, cognizant of a colleague's egregious mistreatment of, or even substantial injury to a patient would report it, testify, or even objectively examine the evidence and confront the practitioner with his wrongdoing. Judging by 10 months with seven local healthcare professionals —four D.C.s, an M.D., an N.P. and an M.S.P.T. - the answer would be none. These locals would not lose their jobs or be harassed, were they to redress a grave injustice. Nor would their reputations suffer - indeed, they might be enhanced, as would their integrity, if they took a stand against incompetent, unethical and injurious practices. Their only risk is losing good will (and referrals?) from the offending practitioner. Yet seven out of seven have supported the practitioner's conspicuous cover-up, with no evident concern about consequences to already-injured clients, or current and future patients who place their trust in him. They closed ranks, and he continues his practice unimpeded, unchastised, uncorrected, unpenalized, and manifestly remorseless.

Some of them accepted my money to try unsuccessfully to repair the damage (and to unwittingly prolong or increase it); I've been ordered out of two offices (with x-ray proof in hand); the perpetrator refuses to speak to me; an associate quickly declined an appointment, because it would be "very hard" to be confronted with evidence of a colleague's dishonorable acts. Four of these trusted practitioners looked at me - broken, torn, and financially wasted from resultant income loss and payments to them and their colleagues - and assured me heartily that the man who caused my condition is "an excellent chiropractor." None considered the muscle, ligament, gland and organ damage, or referred me to someone who could. None referred me to the physical therapist who's qualified to do the specific work and prescribe the exercises I need if I'm to heal. None reported anything significant in the x-rays, until I learned not to mention that a chiropractor was responsible. The sternum crack, dislocated shoulder, and major rib displacement were apparent to those who weren't told the cause.

I doubt my experience is unique. How is this acceptable?

Bill HB 1193 might erode the "Code of Silence" but I'm not persuaded it would produce quality healthcare, if the gratuitous cronyism among professionals prevails. If they, with casual indifference to the Oaths they've sworn, and seemingly devoid of conscience, compassion, ethics, or professional pride, continue to place their peers physical, emotional and financial well-being above that of the powerless patient, then the "Code of Cronyism" will prevent any major change.

Are the "Codes" also observed by newspaper owners and editors, who could lose buddies or advertising revenue?

We'll see.

Yours truly,

Wendy Wallace

Editor's note: One seeks redress for alleged damages in court. The question is whether the purported "Code" is observed when an individual is called to testify and is put under oath.

Community News

9HealthFair Saturday at the high school

The month of April will see 9HealthFair events throughout the state of Colorado.

Here in Pagosa the event will happen Saturday, April 1, at the high school.

The entire event is the result of volunteers' efforts, consisting of a small core group that works before and after the event, and over 200 volunteers who are present the day of the event.

The 9Health Fair provides health education and basic health screenings to individuals 18 years of age and over throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Over the past 27 years, as a result of fair participation, thousands of lives have been saved through early detection, prevention and our dynamic educational programming statewide.

If you are unable to attend the fair in Pagosa, you can find other site locations and times by contacting 9HealthFair at (800) 322-3078, or at their Web site, www.9HealthFair.org. There will also be a posting of the statewide sites at the fair on Saturday.

Basic screenings at all locations include height, weight, body mass index, vision, blood pressure and colorectal screening kits. Optional screenings at our site include hearing, oral, skin fold measurement, lung function, body in balance and breast exams.

Interactive education centers include organ donation, hospice, veterans' services, Alzheimer's Association, senior center, American Cancer Society, Southwest Center for Independence and many more.

The Lions Club will collect used eye glasses for distribution to those in need. The Cerebral Palsy Association will collect used printer cartridges - both inkjet and laser - and cell phones. So bring any of these along if you have them.

The blood screening provides a 31-component blood analysis including coronary risk ratio, thyroid, diabetes, full lipid panel and liver and kidney function. The cost for this test is $30. During the same blood analysis, men over the age of 40 years can receive a prostate cancer screening for an additional $25.

A colon cancer survivor will be present to educate and encourage you to take advantage of the test to detect blood in the stool and to have a regular colonoscopy.

The ColoCare Kit will be available for $5 and serves as a first step in testing but is not meant to replace a colonoscopy or other care by your physician.

Individuals taking the blood chemistry analysis will want to note the following instructions:

- You must fast for 12 hours with these exceptions: Drinking water is highly encouraged and tea or coffee is permissible if taken without sweetener or cream. Those on medication should take their scheduled medicines as usual. Diabetics should not fast. If you enjoy late snacks, eat your last meal or snack a little later than usual and arrive later in the morning.

- Please wear short-sleeved shirts, or shirts/blouses with loose fitting sleeves.

Lab results from blood analysis will be sent to your address that you include on your registration form. We encourage you to provide a copy of the form to your physician and to seek follow-up care if any of the results are outside the norm.

Screenings are not a substitute for a physical examination and no diagnosis will be provided. Please take advantage of the opportunity to visit the station, "Talk with a Health Care Professional," once you have collected data from your screenings. Three local physicians will offer this service which includes an explanation of how to understand the lab results of your blood screening, based on a sample form.

The 9HealthFair is the largest and most successful health fair in the country and is endorsed by both the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Health and Hospital Association. Support from Colorado physicians and thousands of donors and volunteers is crucial to this success. Please thank the donors and volunteers in our community for their support of this very worthwhile event.

If you need further information, call Sharee Grazda, site coordinator, at 731-0666.

Malaney to discuss fabric art painting

Local artist Jeanine Malaney will present a program and workshop at the regular meeting of Pagosa Springs Piecemakers Quilt Guild Saturday, April 8, at the Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street.

At 11 a.m. Malaney will present a program , "Fabric Art Paintings." She will bring several finished paintings for display and will discuss the step-by-step techniques used to produce a picture with fabric that has an enhanced, realistic, three-dimensional effect. Her inspirations come from the beauty of the western landscape and wildlife. She composes a fabric collage then adds detail features and shading with fabric paint. Malaney then quilts the entire image with smoke monofilament thread, thereby increasing texture and highlighting features.

Malaney's work appears in the Pagosa Springs Arts Council 2006 Calendar. There will be handouts and discussion of the process and working with monofilament threads.

After a brief lunch break the group will reconvene at 1 p.m. and Malaney will present a workshop and an interactive demonstration. She will delve further into her work, discussing and demonstrating design, composition and her quilting and binding techniques. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to help Malaney select fabrics and create a demonstration painting in class.

There is no charge for the workshop; Malaney is donating her time and talent.

For further information, contact Fran Jenkins 264-9312.

'Seussical' opens April 4 at high school

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The cast, crew and musicians of "Seussical, The Musical," by Stephen Flaherty, are entering their final week of rehearsal and are hard at work perfecting the dozens of songs and dances that make up the intriguing worlds of Dr. Seuss and his imagination.

"Seussical" played on Broadway, opening Nov. 30, 2000, and has seen several national tours since then. Amateur rights were released in 2004, when "Seussical" became the most produced musical in American high schools. In 2001, it was nominated for Best Musical Show Album. "Seussical" continues to delight hundreds of high school, community and regional theater audiences across the country.

Please come out and support our actors, performers and musicians who have been working since January in preparation for their opening on April 4. Get your tickets early, (remember the "Beauty and the Beast" sellout last year).

"Seussical" will play April 4, 6, 7 and 8 at 7 p.m., with an additional matinee April 8 at 2 p.m. Advance purchase reserved seating tickets are available at the Plaid Pony (731-5262); adults $8, students $5.

Put on your PJs, it's storytelling night

By Stephanie Jones

Special to The PREVIEW

Partners in Education will sponsor an evening of storytelling 6-8 p.m. April 6 at the elementary school The event is held in conjunction with the Scholastic Book fair.

Families are invited to attend in their pajamas, have a snack, and hear a variety of interesting stories. The book fair will be open for shopping throughout the evening.

There are eight storytellers to choose from with four different storytelling sessions.

Included in the evening's entertainment will be Charlie King, telling his own story of growing up as a beekeeper. The kids will have the opportunity to try on his beekeeping gear.

Lori Lucero will tell the story of "Skippjon Jones," by Judy Schachner. The story is about a Siamese cat in Mexico that likes to pretend he's a Chihuahua.

Jann Pitcher will read "The Grouchy Ladybug," a wonderful story about a ladybug and why we need good manners.

Jeff Laydon will repeat his award-winning performance from last year with "The Trunk. Children will have the opportunity to create a story with Jeff by pulling out items from his "magical trunk of goodies."

Catherine Frye, Heather Hunts and Mark Brown will also be telling stories.

This will be the sixth annual evening of storytelling at the elementary school. Partners in Education provides these family nights to the community so kids can come to school with their families and enjoy a wonderful evening of entertainment, fun and education.

Children's Chorale begins fund-raising effort

Members and families of the Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale are kicking off a fund-raiser April 5 with the Pagosa Springs area Peelers Fund Raising System - a peel and save mini coupon card.

In an effort to raise necessary funds, members and other volunteers will offer area residents savings at local restaurants and other businesses.

The unique, full color, peel and save mini coupon card folds to the size of a credit card and contains buy-one-get-one-free offers and other discounts valued at over $230. The Peelers card will sell for $10. Offers on the Peelers card appeal to moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, high school students, college students, and others of all ages.

Cards will be available from any Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale member or can be purchased by calling the fund-raising coordinator, Juli Morelock, at 946-2137.

Fund-raiser organizers believe the Pagosa Springs Peelers card is a wonderful program for the entire area since it allows them to give back to their supporters at least 25 times more than they give.

Tickets on sale April 3 for Music in the Mountains concerts

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Tickets go on sale Monday, April 3, at the Chamber of Commerce for this summer's five Music in the Mountains concerts. The events will bring a wide variety of world-class musicians to Pagosa Springs in July and August, providing the most exciting performances ever in celebration of the festival's fifth season in our town.

The concerts take place in a spectacular mountain setting at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, owners of the ranch.

Broadway benefit concert

The first event will be something totally new for our festival - a gala benefit concert featuring soprano Lisa Vroman, best known for her starring role as Christine in "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway and with the cast that had a record-setting run in San Francisco.

In addition to solo performances with major orchestras, Vroman has performed starring roles in "Oklahoma," "Les Miserables," "Aspects of Love "and many other musicals.

This month she is starring as Rosabella in the revival of "The Most Happy Fella" with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. Animal lovers will be interested to know that she often drives wherever her career takes her, even if it is back and forth across the country, so she can bring her loyal dog Romeo.

Vroman will sing her Broadway favorites in the concert tent at BootJack Ranch on Saturday, July 8. This special benefit concert and reception will include sumptuous hors d'oeuvres and libations beginning at 6 p.m. Attendance is limited. Cost is $175 per person, $105 of which is tax-deductible as a donation. Proceeds from this event will support children's musical events, music scholarships and school music programs in Pagosa Springs.

For her Pagosa concert, Vroman promises a mixture of Broadway standards including Gershwin, Irving Berlin and other classic show tunes - plus some great stories to go along with the music. Music in the Mountains is grateful for a generous donation from Citizens Bank that is helping to fund this extraordinary evening.

Four classical concerts

Four classical music concerts will take place during the summer, also at BootJack Ranch at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass.

July 19 - The season opens at 7 p.m. when dueling violinists Vadim Gluzman and Philippe Quint will provide an incomparable opportunity to see two of the world's finest violinists on stage together, accompanied by Gluzman's wife Angela Yoffe on piano, at 7 p.m. Tickets for this concert are $40.

July 21 - The outstanding Adkins String Ensemble, five family members on strings and piano will perform a unique concert for our Pagosa audience. All the Adkins musicians are famous in their own right as leaders in major orchestras, popular soloists and ensemble players extraordinaraire. So when five members of the family take to our stage together, the audience will see a remarkable powerhouse of musical talent. Tickets are $40. (Please note that the above two concerts' dates have been switched because of last-minute artistic schedule changes.)

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

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

Free family concert

In addition to the five paid concerts, for the third year Music in the Mountains will host a free summer Family Festivo concert for "kids of all ages" in Town Park. This year's concert will take place Thursday, July 27. It will be the world premiere of the musical score by Simon Sargon for "Breman Town Musicians," based on the Grimms' fairy tale.

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

In addition to Citizens Bank, corporate donors for the 2006 summer season include BootJack Ranch, Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship, Coleman Vision, Bank of the San Juans, Harts Construction and Harts Rocky Mountain Retreat, Prudential Triple S Realty, Coyote Hill Lodge and the Town of Pagosa Springs. Various promotion opportunities are available to program advertisers and major donors. For more information, contact Clinkenbeard at 264-5918

All of the planning and organizational work for Music in the Mountains in Pagosa is done by Clinkenbeard and her local volunteer steering committee composed of Melinda Baum, Mary Jo Coulehan, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft, Ed Lowrance and Lisa Scott.

Tickets available online

When you purchase tickets at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, you can pay by cash, check or credit card (MasterCard or Visa). Classical concert tickets also are available on line at www.tix.com or through the Music in the Mountains Web site at www.musicinthemountains.com.

Clinkenbeard pointed out that in past years the concerts have sold out well before the event, so she recommends that you buy your tickets as soon as possible.

For more information on the concerts, call the Pagosa Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360 or (800) 252-2204.

If you have questions about the gala Broadway benefit concert, contact co-chair Teresa Huft by phone at 731-1978 or e-mail at teresa@lazy8.net or Maribeth Hill at 731-3234 or bluesky@centurytel.net.

To be put on the mailing list for information about future Pagosa Music in the Mountain events, call 9385-6820 in Durango and specify that you want to be on the Pagosa Springs mailing list.

Since its debut in Durango in 1987, Music in the Mountains has grown to become one of the best summer music festivals in the country. With 2006 being the fifth year of concerts in Pagosa Springs, community support is broadening and the addition of a Broadway show tunes concert should involve new enthusiasts in the local festival.

'Making a Difference' luncheon features DeForest-Stalls

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

Who could me more appropriate as the keynote speaker for the Archuleta County Education Center's annual "Making a Difference" luncheon April 26 than the president and CEO of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Colorado?

Throw in the fact that Dave DeForest-Stalls not only founded and led numerous youth organizations and programs, as well as founding The Spot, an award-winning youth center in Denver - he also played defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys, the Los Angeles Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - and you have makings for a truly exciting event.

The luncheon is the primary fund-raiser for the Archuleta County Education Center, one of Pagosa's most innovative and productive organizations. Its activities include such "Making a Difference" opportunities as the successful Archuleta County High School, GED programs, first aid and CPR Training, English and Spanish language programs, computer classes, creative activities for elementary students, and several tutoring programs.

This elegant affair starts at 11:45 a.m. and lasts until 1:15 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on U.S. 160. It will be catered by JJ's Upstream restaurant.

Tickets are available for a donation of $45 each.

For more information, call 264-2835.

Doug Bowen to speak at Unitarian service

On Sunday, April 2, Doug Bowen, principal of Pagosa's alternative high school (the Archuleta County High School), which is operated under the auspices of the Archuleta County Education Center, will present a program for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Principal Bowen perfectly exemplifies the Ed Center's motto: "Making a difference." One of his major projects is the El Pomar Youth in Community Service Program, which gets students involved in a wide variety of significant community service activities.

Doug taught business courses and was a counselor and coach for 14 years at Pagosa Springs High School before moving to the Ed Center. Prior to his involvement in formal education, he was a home inspector and also worked in the financial world of insurance and securities.

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

Pagosan featured artist at Durango Home and Ranch Show

Emily Tholberg, of Pagosa Springs, has been named featured artist for the 2006 Durango Home and Ranch Show, to be held April 29-30 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

Tholberg is the owner of Emily Tholberg Mosaic and Murals in Pagosa Springs. Her mosaic, entitled "Sparkle Sun," of mosaic glass tile and slate, will be used as the image on the show poster and promotional materials. She will also be an exhibitor at the show.

This year's show will be the 12th annual Durango Home and Ranch Show, with more than 100 exhibitors and 140 booths. Show hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. More than 3,300 visitors are expected during the two-day event.

Gate proceeds will be donated to the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado.

For more information, contact Sharon Hermes, show coordinator, at 375-4511, or sharon@durangoherald.com.

Sign up for Night of the Young Child

Do you have a future rock star in the family?

How about an up-and-coming ballerina?

Maybe an "excellent" hula hooper?

Sign them up today for Night of the Young Child.

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

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

Call Lynne Bridges at 264-5513 to sign up.

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.

Local Chatter

Buy an eraser, and try Sudoku

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

"Mommy, could you teach me my numbers so I can learn to do this puzzle?"

This is Dennis the Menace talking about wanting to know numbers so that he can work a Sudoku, the word puzzle that is the latest craze.

I bring this to your attention because The Pagosa Springs SUN is now including it, which means our SUN is on the ball.

A Sudoku is a numbers game, using all nine single digits. The puzzle is worked on a grid made up of nine blocks, each with nine squares. The idea is to fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every box has the nine digits in order. There is only one solution. Fortunately, the puzzle answer is upside down underneath in most newspapers and one can always "consult" the answer, and there are sudoku books out.

Sudoku has a history. It is much easier to quote the NRTA winter edition of Live and Learn so as to not miss anything.

"Dubbed the Rubic's Cube of the 21st century, the puzzle known as Sudoku first appeared as 'Number Place' in the U.S. in 1979. But Sudoku (from a longer Japanese phrase meaning "the numbers must occur only once") caught on big-time in Japan in the mid '80s.

"In 1997, New Zealander Wayne Gould, 60, was intrigued by a puzzle he saw in a Japanese book shop. A retired Hong Kong judge, Gould spent his free time for the next six years developing a computer program to generate Sudoku puzzles. On his way through London in 2004, Gould made an unannounced visit to The Times newspaper, to pitch his puzzle. The paper picked it up, and it wasn't long before the Sudoku craze took off worldwide.

"The appeal may be that the rules are simple, and yet the completion is challenging. No math is required - just logic and patience."

And logic and patience describes working a Sudoku. It can be addictive. You are on your own. The puzzles do come in easy, moderate and hard. As one syndicate says moderate, challenging and hoo boy!

Your m

Fun on the Run

ind won't go stale working a Sudoku. One piece of advice is to draw up an enlarged grid on graph paper.

You'll be doing a lot of erasing.

See if you can decipher this

A research team proceeded toward the apex of a natural geologic protuberance, the purpose of their expedition being the procurement of a sample of fluid hydride of oxygen in a large vessel, the exact size of which was unspecified.

One member of the team precipitously descended, sustaining severe damage to the upper cranial portion of his anatomical structure; subsequently the second member of the team performed a self-rotational translation oriented in the same direction taken by the first team member.

In simple English, how does this translate?

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

Education News

Meet our school's director

The Archuleta County Education Center's annual "Making A Difference" fund-raising luncheon is coming up Wednesday, April 26, at the First Baptist Church.

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. Tickets are available for a donation of $45 each.

For more information, call 264-2835.

Elementary enrichment

Mondays will be fun after school with Renee Haywood leading a class titled "Movement, Dance and Fun." Elementary youngsters will learn how to combine modern, folk, country, and soul music with the excitement and beauty of flowing streamers and other fun props. Don't let your kids miss a fun time, sign up now, classes start next Monday.

Another great opportunity for kids Friday afternoons is storytelling with Felicia Lansbury Meyer. Youngsters will have the opportunity to explore storytelling, writing, drawing and performing - all based on the theme of a weekly story.

Meet Doug Bowen

Last week, I started introducing key staff members of the Archuleta County Education Center.

Today, I would like to introduce Doug Bowen, director of the Archuleta County High School (ACHS), our alternative high school program. Doug has lived in Pagosa Springs for over 20 years, with over 18 of these years spent in education, and he has a real hands-on understanding of the youth in Archuleta County.

When asked about the role of an alternative high school in a community such as Pagosa, Doug stated, "The concept of an alternative school is a bit of a mystery to the general public and even amongst educators in public school systems. I have had the opportunity over the years to visit a variety of alternative schools in Colorado, New Mexico, New York and Massachusetts. Every school visited was unique. I have come to the conclusion that there is not one model that works in every community. You might say that every school is tailored to fit the student population being served.

"The design of a school begins with a basic philosophy of education. What should a student at the alternative school 'be like' when he/she graduates? What do they need to know? What needs (academic, social, financial, vocational) do the local population of students have and how do we meet these needs? Should the school be structured or unstructured? All of these questions are open to debate.

"Unfortunately, some people view alternative programs as those that work only with students who are unable to perform academically in a public school and/or who are always in trouble and can't function in the 'regular' system. Granted, we do serve students who find themselves to be academically deficient and who have not been able to socially acclimate to the public system, yet the reasons why students attend ACHS reach far beyond these two ideas.

"Some students attend our program because we are able to provide flexible scheduling that will allow them to work and earn money. This is especially important to students who come from low-income families, are living on their own, have children of their own, or are homeless. Many students benefit from our low student/teacher ratio and small classes. This extends to having direct access to help in maneuvering through the maze of applying for post-secondary education and financial aid. ACHS also provides a 'community' where every student is noticed, accepted, and allowed to fail or succeed without judgment."

When asked about the learning philosophy at ACHS, Doug replied, "The philosophy used at ACHS is one that places the responsibility for education on the student. We believe that every student will choose to learn in his/her own time. Although we encourage students to earn credits on a consistent basis, the traditional pattern of moving through each grade level at a certain age is not a major focus. Student choice becomes a strong motivator for students who have felt pushed in their education prior to attending our school. In reality, students who are given the opportunity to extend their high school education until they are 21 years of age decide against this option, leading to better attendance and improved focus. Of course, there are always students in the system who never decide to improve attendance and focus. This results in a situation where graduation with a high school diploma becomes an impossibility. An advantage we have at ACHS is that these students can be moved to the GED program, a program that exists alongside our diploma high school program. This option creates an additional opportunity not found in most alternative settings.

"The program at ACHS tends to be unstructured, a system that lends itself well to meeting our philosophy of making education the student's responsibility. We don't have bells between classes, rules to cover every conceivable situation that might occur, or strict guidelines as to when and how long a student has to complete a class. We award credits in quarter increments. For example, a student who has attendance challenges or moves away for a brief period of time may only complete enough work to earn one-fourth or one-half of a credit. We transcript these partial credits and provide another opportunity for the student to complete the rest of his/her credit at a later date. By doing this, frustration and the possibility of becoming a dropout is reduced. Most public schools will transcript full credits only. If a student does not complete the entire class at a given proficiency level, he/she fails the class and has to retake the entire class. Although this system may be the most efficient for public schools, it may not work for some students who have life situations beyond their control that lead to poor attendance, attitude, and performance. The alternative school provides solutions for these students.

"Alternative schools take on a variety of shapes, sizes, and character. Some are experiential. Some tend to be more academic. We attempt to combine both of these by providing academics that mirror the public high school while providing additional opportunities outside of the building. In addition, we focus on relationship-building and socialization skills in our daily classroom activities. One of the opportunities provided is in the form of service learning, a variety of activities that give students a chance to do volunteer work and to give back to the community. Our students are required to participate in the service learning class during their time at ACHS. Volunteering in local non-profits and businesses is one avenue. Another is participation in the EPYCS (El Pomar Youth in Community Service) program. This program provides a venue for students to earn money for the benefit of local non-profits. We give over $8,000 per year to the non-profits in our region. Students learn about non-profits and philanthropy. They are empowered by selecting the recipients of the funds and the amount awarded."

Every year, new and different kids enter the alternative program. When asked how the program meets these challenges, Doug replied, "Our alternative school will continue to change and improve to meet specific needs of our community and student population. The bottom line is, we love our kids."

Information

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. Or visit our Web site at www.archuletacountyeducationcenter.com for current program listings.

Community Center News

Spring teen dance Friday at center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Just one week to go before our community spring rummage sale and we now have 15 spots reserved.

The snow is melting - time to start cleaning out your closets, cupboards and garages, just in time to rent one or more spaces at $20 each for both days. Call Michelle at 264-4152, Ext. 21, to reserve your spot.

For those who are not yet thinking about spring cleaning, plan to come to the community center 3-6 p.m. Friday, April 7, and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 8. , browse, buy and enjoy the day. The center will sell snacks, food, and hot and cold beverages.

Teen Center dance

Did you go 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.

This dance will raise funds for Teen Center operations. 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. Ages 12 to 19 are welcome.

To volunteer as a chaperone or for more information, call Jen Stockbridge at 264-4152, Ext. 31, or e-mail pagosateencenter@centurytel.net.

Post prom party

The post prom party is 1-5 a.m. Sunday, April 30.

A committee headed by Lynn Johnson is having a rummage sale at her house tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. All money raised will be used for this program. The address is 401 Shadow Place. Please support this fund-raising effort for our youth.

The community center, under the Teen Center program, is sponsoring this event. 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.

Annual arts and crafts show

The center invites all artists and artisans to display their handcrafted items for sale during the show Friday and Saturday, May 26-27, at 3-6 p.m. and 9-4 p.m. (changed from 10-5), 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 to defray operations costs. Call 264-4152, Ext. 21, to reserve your spot.

Aus-Ger Club

The Aus-Ger Club will meet at the community center at 11:30 a.m. today.

It's a potluck. Everyone is invited. Bring a special dish to share, something German or Swiss, if possible; or bring anything yummy. The center will provide the paper products, coffee and soft drinks.

Plan to be here and have fun. The club is a community center-sponsored program. This is one reason for having the center - to have a place to gather for social, sports, civic, arts and cultural, educational, business and faith-based activities. So, take the opportunity, this is your center.

The Aus-Ger group will also discuss the future of the club. For more information, call Roger Behr at 731-0409 or Mercy Korsgren at the center, 264-4152, Ext. 22.

Thai cooking class

The class enjoyed cooking and eating green curry beef, chicken salad with fresh ginger and peanuts and the soft white noodles. All dishes were delicious and the presentations were superb. Oh, that lemongrass flavor is to die for!

Pao and her husband will be traveling, so we won't have the class until later in the year - unless someone out there is willing to volunteer. Thank you, Pao.

Yes, we're looking for new volunteers to teach other ethnic cooking classes: Indian, Korean, Japanese, Greek, Mediterranean, etc. Call Mercy at 264-4152.

Line dancing

Last Monday, Peggy Carrai covered for Gerry Potticary, who is out of town.

This is another community center-sponsored program. Peggy had 15 students, including two handsome guys.

All are welcome to join the fun on Monday morning at 10:30. 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.

Thanks, Peggy for handling the class.

Call Gerry (she should be back next week) at 731-9734 or the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Yoga

Richard Harris is back.

He's feeling much better now and led the group for another hour of poses and stretches.

This weekly session is for those interested in meditation, relaxation and breath awareness. The group meets 11 a.m.-noon Thursdays.

Yoga is not a religion, but a spiritual practice which does not require any specific belief system to participate. The philosophies of yoga are universal and can be incorporated within any belief system.

Join in to experience for yourself how yoga can affect your life. Dress in comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat or a towel. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Sewing classes

This program starts 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 8. The class is full. Those interested who haven't signed up yet may still call and ask to be on the alternate list or to fill a spot if there is a cancellation.

This program is a series of beginning classes. 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 for more information. If anyone has a sewing machine that isn't being used, we would appreciate the donation of the machine for these classes.

Scrapbooking

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 or Melissa Bailey at 731-1574 for more information.

Newsletter available

The community center now has a monthly newsletter.

The first issue highlights the community center-sponsored programs, which are designed to provide learning experiences, entertainment and fun for the broad spectrum of the Pagosa community. For the most part, these programs and services are free to everyone. Volunteers give their time as leaders, facilitators and teachers. The center provides a place to meet, publicity for the programs and help with organization and record keeping.

Stop at the center to pick up a copy of the first newsletter. We will appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Photoshop classes

The community center has agreed to partner with Bruce Andersen when he begins a series of Photoshop classes in the center's computer lab. No details are yet available; however, Bruce hopes to begin sometime in April.

Call the center at 264-4152 to let us know that you are interested in learning the ins and outs of your digital camera and how Photoshop will help you to manipulate and enhance your digital photos.

Computer lab news

The center's beginning classes have now had two weeks of keyboard and mouse practice. During that time, we came across a very complete list, which details the use of regular keyboard keys and especially the combination keys such as ctrl, alt, and the Windows key. Stop by the center to pick up your copy of this handout. Knowing these keyboard shortcuts will allow you to access many tasks, which would normally be accomplished by using the mouse. The beginning computing classes, which started this week, will not be held March 28-29; classes will resume April 4-5.

Would anyone who has a Lexmark color inkjet printer, model Z12, Z22, or Z32 please give me a call; I have a question for you.

I will be off March 27-31. Call after the first of April with your computer questions.

Center hours

The Center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10-4 Saturday.

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; AARP free tax help, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; yoga, 11-noon; computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; High Peaks volleyball practice, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Leading Edge/Small Business Development, 6-9 p.m.; basketball practice, 7-10 p.m.

March 31 - 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.; 4-H Cloverbuds, 1:30-3 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.; Teen Center dance, 6 -10 p.m.

April 1 - Chimney Rock open house, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.; Teen Center open , 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; private birthday party, 12:30-6 p.m.;-"A Gathering of Artists," 1-5 p.m.

April 2 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon.

April 3 - Line dancing class, 10:30 a.m.-noon; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open (poker), 4-8 p.m.; bridal shower, 5-9 p.m.; drumming practice, 5:15-6:15 p.m.; T-ball practice, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

April 4 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; police department training, 8 a.m.-5 p.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.; SWC ASA girls' softball, 5-7 p.m.; "Creativity by the Light of the Moon," 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Cadillac Desert Library Project, 6-8 p.m.; Echo Ditch Co. business meeting, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

April 5 - "Doing Business of E-bay" training, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; 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; SWC ASA girls' softball, 5-7 p.m.; T-ball practice, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Cadillac Desert Library Project, 6-8 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

April 6 - 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.; ManKind Project, 6:30-9 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor Club meeting, 6:30-9 p.m.

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

Senior News

Do what you can to guard health, and wallet

By Jim Pearson

SUN Columnist

Each year, National Cancer Control Month is proclaimed by the president in April.

Cancer control includes prevention, detection, treatment and support to the patient, family and caregivers.

The Colorado Cancer Coalition is a unique gathering of organizations and individuals with interest in the prevention and control of cancer in Colorado. The coalition dedicated itself to achieving increased prevention, research, early detection and improved treatment of cancer for all Coloradans in the coming decade. The Colorado Cancer Coalition Newsletter can be found at www.coloradocancercoalition.org.

One resource provided by this organization is a publication available on their Web site titled "The Cancer Journey." It takes the cancer patient through the steps of beginning and navigating the journey, managing side affects through therapies and home remedies designed to help treat side affects, and ways of dealing with personal relationships, job, and finances. Participating in this year's 9HealthFair to learn about ways of preventing and detecting cancer is a good first step.

Health fair

The Den will be at the annual 9HealthFair Saturday, April 1, and we would love to see you there.

The advantages of attending the fair, at the high school from 8 a.m.-noon, are many. A wide variety of medical screenings will be available, such as a blood chemistry analysis for $30, a prostate screening analysis using a blood test for $25 and a colon cancer screening kit for $5. (Remember, if you are going to do the blood chemistry analysis, you need to fast for at least 12 hours prior to your blood test.)

There will also be plenty of helpful, free screenings as well as blood pressure checks, eye exams, hearing exams and lung capacity checks. Educational and useful information will be available at the diverse selection of booths.

Make sure you stop by The Den's booth to say hello. We will have freebees and Medicare counselors will be available to answer questions on your coverage and the Medicare Drug Program. Attending the 9HealthFair is a great way to get an overall checkup and visit with friends in the process.

We hope you join us for the healthiest event of the year.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all of your body's cells.

Although some cholesterol is an important part of a healthy body, a cholesterol level that's too high is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. There are two types of cholesterol: HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein). These two combined equal your total cholesterol level. HDL is "good" cholesterol that consists of high levels of protein that help protect against heart disease by carrying cholesterol away from the arteries.

LDL cholesterol is commonly referred to as "bad" cholesterol. We absorb bad cholesterol through fried, fatty foods. It has high levels of fat, but little protein, which makes it unstable, causing it to breakdown as it travels through the bloodstream. When LDL breaks down, it is deposited on arterial walls, blocking blood flow to the heart.

Total cholesterol is the measure of both HDL and LDL combined. A total cholesterol level less than 200 mg/dL is desirable and a level of 240 mg/dL or greater is considered high.

Triglycerides are also a factor to watch. Triglycerides are a form of fat. People with high levels of triglycerides often have high cholesterol and may be at high risk for coronary artery disease and stroke. Levels under 150 mg/dL are desired. High cholesterol rarely causes symptoms. It is usually detected during a routine blood test performed by your healthcare provider.

There are several risk factors for high cholesterol. Some risk factors are within your control and others are not. The risk factors that you can control are: eating a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, being overweight or obese, not exercising regularly and smoking.

Risk factors that you cannot control are: family history, age and gender.

In many cases, cholesterol can be managed simply by monitoring your lifestyle habits or making a few changes such as: 1) Reducing weight - losing weight can help reduce LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. 2) Exercise - moderate physical activity for 30 minutes most days of the week may help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. 3) Diet - diet changes may lower cholesterol as much as 5 to 20 percent. 4) Quit smoking - studies have shown that HDL levels increase soon after quitting smoking. So remember, take care of your health and be proactive in lowering your cholesterol.

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or over and your birthday is in March, come to The Den Friday, March 31, for a delicious lunch and celebrate your birthday. Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will cost $1 for a great lunch and birthday cake.

KWUF Radio tour

Your local radio station, better known as "The Wolf," has invited The Den to visit their station for a tour Wednesday, April 5, at 1 p.m. Sign up at The Den office by Tuesday, April 4, for this entertaining tour. Join us to see the operation behind the scenes at our local radio station and meet the faces behind the voices.

Seniors Inc. membership

Seniors Inc. memberships for folks aged 55 and over can be purchased at The Den for $5 on Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m. No memberships will be sold Thursdays. Your Seniors Inc. membership entitles you to a variety of great discounts from participating merchants in our area, plus much more. Join now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

Tax time

The AARP sponsored Tax-Aide program has returned 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 60 years of age and older.

Appointments for tax assistance may be scheduled via a sign-up sheet in the senior center dining room. Appointments will not be accepted by phone. This program will be offered 9 a.m.-4 p.m. every Thursday through April 13 in the art council room of the community center.

Medicare Drug appointments

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

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

Home meal program

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

The Den's caring volunteers deliver the meals to homes 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.

Lower phone bills

CenturyTel is actively participating in two national programs which help low-income, eligible individuals and families lower their phone connection costs.

Through the "Lifeline Assistance" and "Link-Up" support programs, customers and potential customers within CenturyTel service areas can reduce their cost of telephone installation and their monthly basic service bill.

The "Link-Up" assistance plan is designed to absorb the charges normally associated with local telephone service connection and installation for low-income customers who qualify.

"Lifeline" assists qualifying low-income households by providing a monthly telephone bill credit.

To find out if you qualify for Lifeline and Link-Up, contact CenturyTel Customer Service toll free at (800) 201-4099 or pick up an application at The Den.

Jury duty scam

Begun in August 2005, this scam is making its way around the USA.

This is just one more reminder to never give out your personal information to someone calling you. When in doubt, ask for their information and contact the Colorado Consumer Line, Elder Watch program immediately at (800) 222-4444. Report fraud or financial elder abuse, seek consumer information, obtain referrals and assistance and locate local Better Business Bureaus. Elder Watch is a program with the Colorado Attorney General and the AARP Foundation.

The superior court in Riverside California issued a warning about this scam. Here's how it works: The scammer calls claiming to work for the local court and claims you've failed to report for jury duty. He tells you that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. The victim will often rightly claim they never received the jury duty notification. The scammer then asks the victim for confidential information for "verification" purposes. Specifically, the scammer asks for the victim's Social Security number, birth date, and sometimes even for credit card numbers and other private information - exactly what the scammer needs to commit identity theft.

So far, this jury duty scam has been reported in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington.

It's easy to see why this works. The victim is clearly caught off guard, and is understandably upset at the prospect of a warrant being issued for his or her arrest. So, the victim is much less likely to be vigilant about protecting their confidential information. In reality, court workers will never call you to ask for social security numbers and other private information. In fact, most courts follow up via snail mail and rarely, if ever, call prospective jurors.

Action: Never give out your Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal confidential information when you receive a telephone call. This jury duty scam is the latest in a series of identity theft scams where scammers use the phone to try to get people to reveal their Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal confidential information. It doesn't matter "why" they are calling - all the reasons are just different variants of the same scam.

Protecting yourself is simple: Never give this information out when you receive a phone call. You may also contact Musetta at The Den for assistance.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, March 30 - Lunch at the Dogwood Cafe (reservations required), 11:30 a.m.; AARP tax assistance by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday, March 31 - Qi gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, April 3 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 4 - Yoga in motion, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30; canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, April 5 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; KWUF tour, 1 p.m.

Thursday, April 6 - Lunch in Arboles (reservations required); AARP tax assistance, by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday, April 7 - Qi gong, 10 a.m.; veterans' services, noon.; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.

Menu

Suggested donation $3 for ages 60-plus and kids 12 and under, all others $5.

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

Friday, March 31 - Roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans amandine, whole wheat roll, apricot peach compote and salad bar.

Monday, April 3 - Porcupine meatballs, whipped potatoes with gravy, California veggie medley, almond peaches, whole wheat bread and salad bar.

Tuesday, April 4 - Ham and beans, rice, cut broccoli, orange wedges, corn bread and salad bar.

Wednesday, April 5 - Salmon patties, steamed rice with parsley with cream sauce, mixed vegetable, tangerine, raisin nut cup with white bread and salad bar.

Thursday, April 6 - Lunch in Arboles (reservations required). Salmon patties with cream sauce, steamed rice, mixed veggies, whole wheat roll, tangerine and raisin nut cup.

Veteran's Corner

Veteran's transportation program a gift - use with care

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

We veterans in Archuleta County have a unique transportation program for getting to our VA health care appointments. It has proven to be one of the most successful health care transport systems in this whole area, maybe in the entire state.

Supportive county

Thanks to supportive county government leaders, working with local veteran's groups such as the American Legion and Veteran's of Foreign Wars, we have been successful in providing new vehicles for those veterans to use that are in need of reliable transportation.

Grant vehicles

The vehicles have been obtained by grants from the Colorado Veteran's Trust Fund through these organizations with the support of the county with maintenance, licensing and insurance. We are the envy of many counties in Colorado, judging by communications with other county veteran service officers.

Two vehicles

We currently have a 2003 Ford Taurus and a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer. Along with the vehicles, Veteran's of Foreign Wars (VFW) and I were successful in obtaining grant funds in 2005 to help pay for fuel and lodging costs incurred during transit to VA health care facilities, especially for the 530 miles trip to Albuquerque VAMC and back. The Albuquerque trip often requires an overnight stay for our veterans because of the distance or for medical needs.

New grants

American Legion has applied for a new grant to purchase a vehicle that will replace the Ford. We have also applied for fuel and accommodation VTF grant money again this year. Our program has been successful because of the very careful handling and use of these vehicles. Our veterans have logged several hundred thousand miles without a mishap.

Two accidents

However, in the past few months there have been two accidents that have damaged the Ford. Fortunately the damage has been minor, but certainly it is a concern. As nearly as I can tell, in both cases, the accidents were caused by driver error or inattention to safe handling of the vehicle.

Trade-in value lessened

It is planned that the Ford transport vehicle will be traded in on a new vehicle if we are successful in obtaining another VTF grant this year. Because of the cosmetic damage to the vehicle in the second accident I'm sure the value of the vehicle for trade in will be much less.

Used by many

Because the vehicles are used by many of our veterans, it is important to understand that what happens to one driver in one moment of inattention can affect many of our other local veterans. If the vehicle is damaged by one user, it may be out of use for many other veterans.

Suspended privilege

I had to suspend the driving privilege of these vehicles for the two persons that were involved in the accidents. Both veterans are personal friends and long time residents of the this area, but I can not afford to take the chance that the vehicles will be damaged again and put out of commission for the rest of our veteran users.

Caution urged

I urge all users of our transportation vehicles to be especially cautious and defensive drivers to ensure that the vehicles will be available for a long time for all our veterans. Many of our veterans are dependent on these vehicles to get to their VA health care appointments. It would be a shame to lose this important program for so many because of the careless moment of one.

Share-A-Ride

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 (970) 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

For further information

For information on these and other veteran's benefits call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7 (behind City Market). The office number is 731-3837, fax is 731-3879, the cell number is 946-6648 and e-mail can be sent to afautheree@archuletacounty.org.

The local veteran's office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.                                                                                                                                

Library News

Read yourself healthy at the Sisson Library

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

If you've been paying attention to the signs posted all over town, you know that the 9HealthFair will be playing, for your benefit, at the Pagosa Springs High School from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 1.

Tests available

Blood chemistry analysis will be available for $30, and prostate specific antigen tests for $25. If you want to take one of these tests, you must not eat for 12 hours before having blood drawn (water is OK). For more information about the free and optional health screenings you can call (800) 332-3078 or visit the Web site at www.9HealthFair.org.

Library resources

Your library will have a table at the fair, featuring information about resources available to patrons.

The 600 section of the Sisson Library stacks includes a wide range of medical books that can be used as starting points for research in many different areas. There are classic reference books like the PDR (Physicians' Drug Reference). The Merck Manual of Medical Information is also a standard resource. There are books on cancer, like one of the ones I used when I had to do research for my own bout with breast cancer, Michael Lerner's great "Choices in Healing" and Dr. Susan Love's "Breast Book."

Then, we have books on alternative healing, like Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier's, "The Best Alternative Medicine and the classic, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Materia Medica." And, we have some new books that are specifically directed towards library patrons who may feel that they cannot afford medical help, like "Where There Is No Doctor and Where There is No Dentist." We are also getting these titles in Spanish.

The library subscribes to a newsletter, Well-Connected, which many patrons find useful. It comes out frequently, with each issue is on a specific health matter.

For instance, the one I am looking at right now is titled "Headaches: Cluster." Each topic is updated with a new newsletter at least once a year. And, each newsletter contains an analysis of one health problem, the treatments available, and references to sources for more help, in this case, for instance,www.headaches.org - National Headache Foundation, (888-NHF-5552). You may find this better than aspirin!

National Library of Medicine

The Sisson Library staff and volunteers are gearing up to teach individuals and groups how to research medical issues through the National Library of Medicine online resources, especially Medline Plus. At our desk at the health fair, we will be using handouts to help familiarize people with these wonderful, free resources.

I cannot recommend too highly that residents of Archuleta County go to http://medlineplus.gov and begin to familiarize themselves with all of the help that they can get from this wonderful group of databases. The basic database, Medline Plus, is an entry point for every kind of medical and dental information, including alternative. It was designed for use by the general public and is written in layman's language.

Also for the general public is the source at http://caphis.mlanet.org/consumer/index.html.

This is the CAPHIS or Consumer and Patient Health Information Web site. Particularly helpful is the CAPHIS Top 100 list of "Web sites you can trust."

Then, for those, like me, who are insistent on doing their own research when they have medical problems, there is PubMed. This site is at www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/pubmed.html. The site is designed for health professionals, not the layman. It leads to abstracts from medical and scientific journals. Some of the abstracts are extensive enough that the reader can form an opinion of the results of the research involved, and some of them are not. Regardless, you can usually decide if you wish to order the original article, or in some cases the entire issue of a journal, on interlibrary loan. The library staff will be glad to help you.

Researching through this database is not for the faint of heart. However, I will tell you from personal experience, if you are in serious medical trouble, you will learn how to read professional journals, certainly to the degree that you can take them to your medical professional with questions, if necessary. And, these resources can help you make decisions, big decisions, with much more confidence and peace of mind.

See you at the 9HealthFair.

Pagosa Reads!

Two months of Pagosa Reads! events kick off this coming week, with showings of "Cadillac Desert," the four-part PBS video. Parts 1 and 2 will be shown at the community center at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 4. Parts 3 and 4 will be shown at the same location at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 5. Everyone is welcome and the showings are free.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, April 8, Dr. Andrew Gulliford, of Fort Lewis College and The Center for Southwest Studies, will present a slide show on the same topic at the library.

Be on the lookout for a new column in The SUN, "The Ruby Sisson Citizen Reads" a book review column. During the weeks of the Pagosa Reads! events, the books reviewed will be related to the topic of water on our planet.

Arts Line

PSAC workshop schedule highlights spring program

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

JoAnne Dodgson is a healer, teacher and author of "Gifts of the Grandmother and Walking the Spiral Path: Awakening Power and Passion."

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 more than 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.

She will conduct a workshop - A Gathering for Artists - April 1.

Come explore your personal journey as an artist and 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 with JoAnne Dodgson, 1-5 p.m. Saturday, April 1, is $35 for PSAC members and $40 for nonmembers.

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 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 jam-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 cannot 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 exceptional 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 spur you toward the next creative level.

Topics for the 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 and 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.

Photo club Web seminar

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will meet 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in the arts room at the Community Center. This month's program, Web Site Design and Maintenance, will be presented by Wendy Saunders, product development manager with WebbyIMAGES. Topics discussed will include: Web site logistics: setting up a site; using a Web editor (front page to load and work on your site); adding images and products to the site (scanning to digital files, using digital files); hiring the right Webmaker; designing and maintaining the site yourself with a template; hosting pricing options and resources; and marketing your site (getting people there and search engine logistics).

Prior Web site experience is not necessary, as Web site information will be broken into easy-to-understand material. The presentation will include an evaluation of a series of sites, discussing pros and cons. This free presentation is especially tailored to persons who want to gain Web site knowledge either to work with a site, create a site, or communicate with others maintaining a site.

Photo competitions are held at each club meeting. The two competition categories are the theme category and the open category - where any subject is permitted. This month's them is "green." Members may enter one print in each category. Ribbons are awarded in each category to the top three prints as voted by the members during the meeting.

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

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

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.

Watercolor club

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

Gallery hours

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

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.

Upcoming events

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

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

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 (psac@centurytel.net). We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

Food for Thought

Read the name, watch the walls

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

What's in a name?

When selecting restaurants a lot.

In the past I've warned you, dear readers, about patronizing an eating establishment whose name includes the word "shack" or any of its variations - shak, shaque, zhaaaack, etc. (This alert, of course, excludes restaurants located within eyesight of heavy surf, in certain areas in the Mississippi Delta, or in select regions of Texas, Kansas, the Carolinas and other states noted for superior barbecue.)

Ignore the admonition and dreadful things invariably follow.

Choose to eat at a "shack" in, say, Phoenix or Des Moines, and you deserve all the trouble you get.

And you will get it, mark my word.

I note this as a segue to a meditation on extremes: a consideration of the vast gulf that exists in the food world between the "shacks" and those businesses that take care with the products they create, honor-bound to provide diners with the highest quality experience.

I am at the wheel, westbound on I-8 in Yuma, Arizona. Kathy and I are on our way to La Jolla, California, for some rest and relaxation. Expensive rest and relaxation. As Kathy frets about the hypothetical tab, she realizes she is hungry.

"I think we need to stop and get some lunch before we head out," says my love bunny. She is perky as all get-out, wearing her newly-purchased "grape" outfit - resplendent in eighty shades of purple.

I take an exit and drive down a main drag, a street cluttered on both sides with all manner of garish fast-food joints. I am not in the mood for fast food. "It's a no-burger day; pick something else," I say.

I realize I've created an opportunity for Kathy to scan the avenue and find her travel favorite - Coco's - a franchise to which she has developed an unnatural and inexplicable attraction. I cringe, knowing I cannot undo the error.

No Coco's emerges from the mix.

As it turns out, it is a shame.

There is another side to my bride: Coco's does not totally dominate her food consciousness. No, she can be daring, undaunted by the unfamiliar.

As it turns out, it is a shame.

"Look," she says, pointing ahead and to the left.

"That place painted red, green and white - like the Mexican flag. Let's give it a try. Huh? Whaddya say, hombre?"

She has issued a challenge, and I respond. I park at the front of the building and I soon learn, once again, you must pay heed to the name when you pick a restaurant.

In this case, please, listen to me, for your sake and that of family and loved ones: Under no circumstance, regardless of how hungry you might be, regardless of your desperation, should you eat at a restaurant that combines the words "Mexicali" and "Taco" in its name.

Because we ignore this clue, agony is ordained by carelessness.

Absent analysis of the name, the flies should provide a clue. But, no.

The glass in the front door is so dirty it looks frosted, like a shower door in a cheap motor court. We press on.

I nearly fall when I step on the scuffed and torn linoleum floor and hit a puddle of who knows what.

And yet, we keep going.

It's a challenge, after all.

The menu is somewhat limited. I belly up to the counter, making sure I don't touch any exposed surface with my hands and I order a "relleno and bean burrito." I do this thinking of a memorable dish I've enjoyed many times at El Taco de Mexico, on Santa Fe in Denver - a place with a decidedly shabby veneer, but spectacular fare, including lamb brain tacos and cheek meat from all your favorite animals (and some you don't recognize). I remember a huge, freshly-made flour tortilla wrapped around a crispy, deep-fried, asadero-stuffed chile, some wonderfully spicy rice and a ladle full of incredibly tasty frijoles.

Slathered with a smoky salsa, the bite and depth of which develops in the mouth over the course of a minute or two, the Denver burrito is incomparably good.

Not here. Not in Yuma, Arizona.

Kathy steps up to the counter, brow furrowed (she knows something is terribly wrong, but she doesn't want to admit it), and she orders a carne asada soft taco and a bean and cheese burrito. We are told we are Order Number 64, and we wander off in search of a place to sit.

Here is a sure sign you are in trouble. Note it well. If you can't remember this, write it down.

In many a quaint dive, it is the custom to leave your mark on the place in one of a number of rough-hewn ways - much like a feral dog marking a truck tire outside a Kayenta convenience store.

Perhaps you use a marker to leave name and date on a board posted in a conspicuous spot. Perhaps, as is the custom in some low-end Italian joints, you dispose of the contents of a bottle of cheap Chianti and write name and date on the raffia wrapped around the bottle. The bottle is then hung with hundreds of others from beams in the ceiling. In many a rustic roadhouse, customers take it on themselves to carve their initials in booth backs or wooden tabletops.

At this eatery in Yuma, the custom is to place some - how to say it? - nasal secretions on the wall next to the booth.

Organic stucco, as it were.

Kathy is unable to finish her carne asada taco when I point out the similarity between one notable hunk of wall art and the desiccated pellets of mystery meat tossed carelessly inside the stale tortilla. She has trouble with the burrito, but ingests most of it.

My meal is also marginal, at best.

OK, less than marginal. But I don't understand how much less for about an hour.

The realization hits me as we speed westward, cresting the spine of desert mountains outside San Diego. Kathy is in a lard-induced coma, her complexion ashen, her breathing shallow and labored.

At first, I think the sound I hear is coming from the transmission of the car.

But, no, it is coming from me. Down there.

And, every other minute or so, it comes from Kathy. Down there.

Mexicali.

Taco.

One or the other.

Never both.

It takes a day of serious rest to recover from our gastric misadventure. We recuperate between purges in our hotel room then take a quasi-romantic stroll on the beach (how romantic can it be when you hear each other's stomachs gurgling?). We finally convince hotel management to remove the crime scene tape from the door to our bathroom.

We are ready to eat again. And to make our way to the brighter pole of the food globe.

What's in a name?

By all means, if the words "French" and "Gourmet" appear in a restaurant's name, take the plunge. These two words go together quite well, thank you.

For years, we enjoyed an establishment in La Jolla called the French Gourmet. It was a combination bakery and restaurant that offered reasonably-priced and quite tasty French food and drink. Then, four years ago, it disappeared. In its place was a disappointing facsimile that stayed in business a year before it was replaced by one of the worst Italian restaurants on the West Coast. On the continent.

Then, this year, a miracle: A French Gourmet, located in Bird Rock, at the southern end of La Jolla. We set off to find the restaurant and, after a series of poorly executed U-turns, we succeed.

It is our old favorite, reincarnated in another location, menu and service as we remember them.

French.

Gourmet.

Together, at least in La Jolla, the words translate as "heaven."

Baguette, baked on premises. Double-cream butter.

Kathy: a major-league hunk o'salmon filet, grilled perfectly, still pink and squishy in the center. A side of papaya relish. Potato puree. Grilled asparagus and zucchini. Ordinary ingredients, prepared with extraordinary attention and served with grace. With a glass of pinot noir.

Me: not quite so ordinaire.

Chicken forestiere, potato puree, the same grilled vegetables, all piping hot. Yeah, I know, I should have gone white with the wine, but I don't care: Cotes du Rhone, s'il vous plait.

I linger over every bite. I no longer hear weird noises coming from down there.

Skip the cheese course; dart straight to dessert. After all, there is a bakery here.

I am excited by the forestiere. It's been a while since I've had the sauce and I produce a doable variation when I return home.

What do you need for my version?

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed, dried, halved and pounded out to a quarter-inch thickness.

Three or four shallots, finely diced.

Four or five cloves of garlic, minced.

A wad of parsley, chopped.

A melange of sliced mushrooms - cremini, chanterelle, shitake (stemless), morels, etc.

A touch of madeira. Wanting madeira, a dry white will do.

A dusting of tarragon.

Chicken broth.

Veal demi-glace.

Olive oil, butter, flour, salt and pepper.

Lemon.

Want to go extra fancy? Unmarinated artichoke hearts, rinsed and dried.

The chicken is dredged in seasoned flour and browned in a mix of oil and butter over medium high heat, two pieces at a time. Don't crowd the hunks of bird in the pan or the chicken will merely steam. When the pieces are done, they are removed to a heated plate.

When all the chicken is browned, into the oil go the mushrooms and they are cooked until they give up their moisture and begin to caramelize. In go the shallots and they are sauteed until translucent. Next, the garlic and parsley. After a minute or two, a half cup or so of the white wine goes in (somewhat less if madeira) and is reduced. Pour in a cup and a half or so of chicken broth, apply the dusting of tarragon, add some freshly cracked black pepper, a teensy pinch of salt and a tablespoon and a half of the demiglace.

Reduce by half, then add the chicken back to the pan. Turn to low, add the artichoke hearts, and simmer, adjusting seasonings as needed, until the sauce is thickened. When ready, remove chicken and swirl in a knob of butter. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve with a yam, green chile and jack cheese rough mash, with a potato puree or with pasta (angel hair, spaghettini, the like). Add a grilled veggie and a simple green salad with a light balsamic dressing. For a wine - the same darned white you cooked with, Bronco.

Ahh.

Enjoy.

Think French.

Think gourmet.

Ponder the words, the name.

Oh, and try not to wipe anything on the wall.

Read the name, watch the walls.

Extension Viewpoints

Place your orders for seed potatoes

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

March 30 - Vet Science meeting at San Juan Veterinary, 5:30 p.m.

March 31 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1:30-3 p.m.

March 31 - 4-H Fridays at Community United Methodist Church, 1:45 p.m.

March 31 - Rabbit Project meeting, 2 p.m.

March 31 - Poultry Project meeting, 3:30 p.m.

April 3 - Beginning Archery at Ski and Bow Rack, 4 p.m.

April 3 - Dog Obedience Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.

April 3 - Livestock Committee Meeting, 6 p.m.

April 4 - Photography Project meeting at Pagosa Photography, 4 p.m.

April 5 - Sportsfishing Project meeting, 4 p.m.

April 5 - Fair board meeting, 6 p.m.

April 6 - Shady Pine Club meeting, 7 p.m.

Seed potatoes

The Archuleta County Extension Office is now taking orders for seed potatoes. There will be two kinds available, Sangre (red potato) and Yukon Gold (white potato). Currently we are charging forty cents per pound for both species. Those of you who are just starting out and are experimenting, it is our suggestion that you order 2-3 pounds of each species instead of ordering a whole lot of them. This way you can experiment and see if you like them and then order more next year. When orders arrive in at the Extension Office each person will be contacted to pick up their order. If you are interested in ordering seed potatoes please call 264-2388, e-mail us at archulet@ ext.colostate.edu or stop by the Extension Office. Orders should be available the second week of May.

Growing potatoes

Potatoes add diversity, versatility and convenience to menus. They can be boiled, baked, fried and prepared several other ways. Skin color does not determine a potato's use, its texture does. Potatoes that are high in starch or dry matter are more mealy. They tend to bake up nicely and make good fries and chips. Those low in starch are waxier and often higher in sugar. These varieties hold together better during boiling and are best used for salads, soups and similar dishes. Select varieties that suit both your culinary needs and your local growing conditions. Many early varieties provide "new" potatoes in early to mid-July. Later maturing varieties take about 100 days from emergence to produce a crop with an acceptable yield.

Yukon Gold potatoes have an oblong tuber shape with buff skin and yellow flesh. They tend to be high yielding and are used for baking, mashing and roasting. Yukon Gold's generally have an attractive appearance and a good flavor which make them suitable for many culinary uses. Sangre potatoes are a round type tuber with dark red skin. They tend to be high yielding and are used mostly for baking, boiling, and for salads. The Sangre was developed in Colorado. They may emerge erratically and tend to develop a slight net in some soils. Sangre's store well and have excellent cooking quality.

It is possible to grow potatoes from true botanical seeds set in small berries on many potato plants. This is not a good practice, however. Each seed is genetically unique. Therefore, seeds cannot be used reliably to produce a uniform garden crop. Most home gardeners, instead, get better results from whole tubers or cut seed pieces. This practice is called vegetative propagation.

Plant potatoes up to 2 weeks earlier than the average date of the last spring frost. The soil temperature should be 45 degrees or warmer. Potatoes prefer a sandy to sandy loam soil. Till the soil to a depth of 16 inches and pre-irrigate the soil until moist. You need about 15 pounds of seed for each 100 feet of row. Commercial fertilizer may be used if desired. Place the fertilizer in a band about 6 to 7 inches deep and to the side of where the seed will lie in the bed. Do not put fertilizer in direct contact with the seed, as this may damage it. Potatoes use approximately 0.38 pounds of nitrogen for each 100 square feet of garden space. Use a complete fertilizer like 20-20-20; i.e., the fertilizer contains 20 percent nitrogen, 20 percent phosphorus and 20 percent potassium. Some gardeners find that applying half of the fertilizer at planting and the other half in late June works best. Some gardeners prefer to use manure. If manure is applied, do it the year before planting potatoes. Make sure it is well aged to prevent burning and the possible introduction of diseases and weeds. Manure also promotes common scab on new tubers.

Plant potatoes in rows 30 to 36 inches apart. Space seed pieces within the row at 10 to 12 inches at a depth of about 4 inches. Hills may be formed at the time of planting or in the following four weeks. Hilling provides more space for the developing tubers to grow and helps prevent green potatoes. It is a good idea to rotate spots in the Garden for potato production. Planting in the same area year after year may lead to disease and insect problems. Keep soil moist but not wet. Potatoes require abundant oxygen and do not flourish in compacted soils. Generally, potatoes have a shallow root system. Most moisture is taken up from the top foot of soil. Be particularly careful to avoid over watering during the first weeks after planting. After plants have emerged, irrigate every three to five days, thoroughly wetting the soil to a depth of about 2 feet.

Treat insect pests with insecticides or, for those preferring organic controls, with insecticidal soaps. Common Insects in Colorado home Gardens include aphids, flea beetles, psyllids and, in some areas, Colorado potato beetles. Potato diseases may be seed-borne or acquired during the growing season. Many diseases can be avoided by using certified seed. Remove plants that are small, yellowing and sickly. Commonly encountered diseases in the Garden include scab, early blight, pink rot and black scurf.

Potato plants mature and begin to die about 70 to 100 days after planting, depending upon variety. As plants mature, they use less water. To promote skin set, leave tubers in the ground for 10 to 21 days following vine death. This decreases bruising during harvest and permits better storage. Harvest when the soil temperature is 50 to 65 degrees.

Store potatoes in a cool, dark and humid place. Air circulation through the pile of potatoes is desirable. Potato tubers are living, breathing vegetables. Storage sites are not potato "hospitals" but rather "hotels." Potato quality does not improve with storage. Proper care at harvest can prevent many storage related problems. Cure the tubers at 50 to 60 degrees for two to three weeks, and then cool to the desired storage temperature. Most Gardeners store their crop at 38 to 45 degrees and 90 percent or higher humidity. Do not allow condensation to form on tuber surfaces - it may lead to rot problems. Tubers stored in this manner will not sprout for approximately three months. Significant variation in either temperature (above 50 to 65 degrees or below 30 to 37 degrees) or humidity (below 75 percent) during storage will decrease potato quality and often result in earlier sprouting. Do not store potatoes with fruit. Apples, for instance, give off a growth-regulating gas, ethylene, which promotes sprouting of potato tubers. Do not eat green tubers. Instead, cut away green areas and discard. These areas contain glycoalkaloids, which impart a bitter taste and can give you a stomach ache.

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

Pagosa Lakes News

Thanks to those who pick up the trash

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The snow we received earlier in the month was a real delight. It came just in time to lay down a thick base for the spring vacation crowd. We've all enjoyed it while it lasted and now it looks seriously like spring again.

I've been admiring the crocuses around the recreation center as they push out of dormancy into new life. It's so fascinating how incredibly fast it all happens once they start growing. Very soon the flowers will be blooming.

Other not-so-beautiful things are also blooming this time of year.

Trash.

It's everywhere you look and in increasing quantities from a vigorous construction season and fast food establishments.

Does it seem I am picking on fast food businesses? I'm picking on some patrons of fast food who live such an awfully hectic and important lifestyle they do not have the time to deposit their trash in a receptacle. What doesn't go into their alimentary canal, goes out the window of their car.

The same people who litter are not the likely ones to volunteer to pick up trash. It's the folks who care, the ones not doing the littering, that are the volunteers who are cleaning up (either with groups or as individuals).

Perhaps you have noticed the Adopt-A-Street signs posted in some of our neighborhoods. This program allows people to adopt a section of road and help keep it litter-free. These are generous volunteers taking responsibility and helping keep our community beautiful. If you'd like to help them, or adopt a street of your own, please contact Larry Lynch at the PLPOA office at 731-5635, extension 25. The association will supply you with bags, pick-up tools and, if you wish, put your name on a sign for your stretch of street. We will also pick up and dispose of the full bags along the road if you let us know where they are located.

Lynn DeLange of the Pagosa Welcoming Service will supply volunteers who pick up trash with free donuts. Call Lynn ahead of time to arrange for the treat (731-2398). Thank you, Lynn, for sweetening the deal.

The association also thanks the following volunteers for participating in the adopt-a-street program: David and Fran Bohl, Bart and Erica Cox, Jack and Lynn DeLange, John and Cheryl Nelson, Mojie Adler, Jim and Dagmar Huffman, Jim and Eva Iwicki, Gene and Patti Gramzow, the Dermody family, Archuleta County Democrats, David and Margie Lucero, Joe Donovan, Russell and Kristin, Jean Carson, Ella Olson, Richard and Joyce Beaudry, the PLPOA, Ed Funk, Joseph and Guadalupe Rivas, Joe and Debbie Hannigan, Bruce and Nettie Trenk, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Jim Cole, John and Terri Hoehn, Horsepower Equestrian and Cliff and Carolyn Jensen.

Egg hunt

The recreation center will host the fourth annual Egg-Stravaganza (or mighty big egg hunt) Saturday, April 8.

It will be held outside, on the front lawn, beginning at 9:30 a.m. In addition to goodie-filled plastic eggs, there will be other surprise gifts, clowns and general commotion.

The hunt will be broken up into two waves; toddlers-4 years of age, and children 5-8 years of age. Older siblings are welcome to watch, coax and add to the activity and noise level.

Extra parking will be available next to the recreation center at Mountain Heights Baptist Church.

If we should get rained out, the Egg-stravaganza will be held the following Saturday, April 15. Or, you may call the recreation center at 731-2051 for event verification.

Public forum

The Archuleta County Sheriff's Department invites all owners and residents of Pagosa Vista Subdivision to attend an open discussion of important issues affecting their neighborhood and community. Some of the issues to be discussed will be:

- Animal control and response.

- Traffic.

- Speeding.

- Abandoned vehicles.

- Other quality of life issues.

Attendees will be challenged to join in a community effort to solve the above issues and to discuss those items of importance to the neighborhood as presented by those in attendance. This meeting will be an open forum and after the formal presentation will be open to all questions.

Presenters will be Capt. Eugene Reilly and Sgt. Anthony Bybee.

Cake and refreshments will be provided by the sheriff's department.

Births

Grayson Samuel Elliott Capistrant

Taylor Lenee Capistrant would like to announce the birth of her brother, Grayson Samuel Elliott Capistrant. The little guy was born Feb. 27 to Sally and Floyd Capistrant of Pagosa Springs. He weighed nine pounds, 5.4 ounces, and was 20 1/2 inches tall.

Also celebrating his birth are his grandparents, Herman Riggs of Pagosa Springs, Jan Riggs of Colorado Springs, and Floyd and Susanne Capistrant of Grantsburg, Wis.

Obituaries

Cindy (Martinez) Johnson

Cindy (Martinez) Johnson, former resident of Pagosa Springs and the daughter of Diana Martinez and the late Jerry Martinez (former Archuleta County Commissioner) died Saturday, March 25, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

A Memorial Mass will be held in Pagosa Springs at 10 a.m. Monday, April 3, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

 Business News

Chamber News

A caring community continues to help

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

I would like to senda special thank you to the Dogwood Cafe for continuing the relief efforts for D'Iberville.

In honor of the Mardi Gras season, so prevalent in Louisiana and Mississippi, the cafe hosted its own Mardi Gras celebrations. They sold or auctioned off items (including beads), had specials and ended up raising another $650 for D'Iberville.

I just spoke with our contact in Mississippi, Irene McIntosh, and once again she is amazed at our community's generosity.

Here are some updated statistics on that area: Currently, the D'Iberville community has completed 358 houses for people to move back into; they are working on 268 houses, and they have 1,200 to go.

The monies we are sending go toward homeowners' reconstruction costs. This means that people can apply for a $1,000 "grant" from the D'Iberville Volunteer Organization. An account is set up at one of the home improvement stores where contractors have access to building supplies for the project. Once the project is complete, or the "grant" money used up, the account is closed. There is also an auditing system in place where, after so many houses are completed, accounts are reviewed to make sure the money was used properly and the project work done.

We are pleased to continue helping this town. My counterpart in D'Iberville with the Chamber of Commerce also sent a thank you note for the supplies we took down last December to help them set up offices destroyed by the hurricane. They are now back in their facilityworking to build Chamber membership and working with the businesses.

I again thank all the participants who helped out in the past and continue to be concerned about this community. If any group is interested in having a presentation on our trip to D'Iberville done at their meeting, contact me at the Chamber. Kim Moore, Helen Richardson, and I will be happy to show you the recap of our trip, what we did as a community and pass on any updates we have.

Business on eBay

On Wednesday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Lewis College Small Business Development Center will host a seminar, "Doing Business on eBay."

This seminar is designed to help people get started selling products on eBay, help people who might want to start a part-time or full-time business, or help businesses sell their products online, giving them direction on how they might start an eBay co-op store. eBay is one of the most successful online stores ever, working with over 8 million visitors a day and with sales of over $32 billion a year.

Cost of the class is $60 and this includes training materials, continental breakfast and snacks. Seating is limited, so call the Chamber at 264-2360 to reserve your space.

The trainer, Terry Dowling, from Glenwood Springs, will make southwest Colorado training tour. He is already sold out in Cortez. We look forward to an informative class and are pleased we can offer this opportunity to businesses to help them market their niche products or find ways to increase their sales.

9HealthFair

It's spring, it's April, and that means the 9HealthFair.

This year, the fair takes place April 1. The health fair will be held at the high school starting at 8 a.m. and will last until noon.

Participants are reminded not to eat for 12 hours prior to having blood drawn. Do drink water and continue to take regular medications. Also, diabetics should not fast. You can have a blood chemistry analysis done for $30 and, gentlemen, you can take a PSA test for $25.

This service is brought to you by many generous sponsors and tests are made available at minimal costs to the public. Take advantage of this opportunity. If you have any questions, call (800) 332-3078. See you at the fair.

"Seussical"

It's time to get out your red-striped top hat and head over to the Pagosa Springs High School for "Seussical, The Musical."

Performances start Tuesday, April 4, with shows continuing Thursday through Saturday. All performances start at 7 p.m. with an additional matinee at 2 p.m. April 8. Tickets can be purchased for $8 for adults and $5 for children, K-12, at the Plaid Pony or at the door if they are still available. This will be an absolutely delightful show. A bit of Broadway comes to Pagosa Springs, so don't miss it!

Basketball tournament

It is anearly time for the annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament. The tournament will be held April 13-15, and the team roster is already full. There are lots of prizes in a variety of different categories including the all tourney team, the three-point shootout, and the slam-dunk contest.

For more information, you can contact Troy Ross at 264-5265.

Remember, proceeds go to a scholarship fund to benefit local youth, and college competition is expected at the tournament. This event is in its 11th year and has grown into quite a popular fund-raising activity.

Chimney Rock open house

May is right around the corner, and that means the Chimney Rock Archeological Site will soon open.

The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest Pagosa Ranger District, will host an open house 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 1. After you leave the health fair you can break your fast and partake of some of the foods that ancestral Puebloans might have eaten years ago.

The open house is at the community center and admission is free. Volunteers will provide information on Chimney Rock, volunteer opportunities and the programs that will be available this year. For more information, call 264-2287.

Goodbye friends

After 18 years of business, we say goodbye to a mainstay in Pagosa - Juan's Mountain Sports. John Steinert and Wayne Pippenger, owners of Juan's, close their doors on Hot Springs Boulevard April 1. Suppliers of ski and snowboarding equipment, cycling gear, tubes for the river, cool clothing and so much more, Juan's has been here in Pagosa since 1989. We appreciate all they have done for this community these many years - as event sponsors, leading snowshoe tours, participating in the winter triathlon when it was on Reservoir Hill, and supporting other activities in the area. You'll still be able to see John and Wayne around town, and we wish them all the best in their "new lives." What will I do this summer when I can't see the endless lines of tubers running through the parking lots with their equipment from John's and Wayne's store to the river? I'll have to find a new entertainment pastime. Thank you for gracing Pagosa with your business. All the best.

I was also informed that Dollar Rental Car will close its doors here in Pagosa effective April 1 (what is it about this date?). Robin, who has done a super job for locals and visitors here in Pagosa, thanks all who have patronized Dollar in the past. She is the get-out-and-go girl, and I have seen her walk the extra customer service mile many times. We still have Enterprise Rent-A-Car with Carolyn Church at the helm to call on. Dollar Rental Car services are still available from the Durango office.

No new businesses to mention, but lots of renewals.

Two renewing businesses share space, but at different times of the year. One will be closing its doors, but only for the season, and that business is Alpen Haus Ski Center located in the Pagosa Springs Golf Course clubhouse. As they clear out the winter products, the Pagosa Springs Golf Course gets into gear.

We welcome back another longtime member, Buckskin Towing and Repair.

Hosting two convenience stores in town, Eddie Vita renews with Vita Pagosa.

Coming back on board is Azure Engineering and Environmental Association with Robin Schiro.

Another renewal is Timothy Miller Custom Homes.

Also on our list is Shoffner's Piano Service. Back with us is DIG Enterprises and we have a renewal from 4 Corners Buy Owner. Coca-Cola Durango renews its membership as well.

It seems like a government and education week this week as well. We first welcome back the administrator of our tourism funds, Archuleta County, and all its various entities.

We also welcome our neighbors to the south, the American Postal Workers Union.

Now in the last throes of the season, we wish all the teachers and students good luck and much patience until May. Thanks to Archuleta School District 50 JT for renewing this week.

We welcome the renewal of the Archuleta County Education Center.

Lastly, Habitat for Humanity renews its Chamber membership.

We'll see everyone out and about at all the various events, especially on April 1.

People

Cards of Thanks

PEELERS

Special thanks to these progressive Pagosa Springs businesses for their support and participation in the Pagosa springs children's Chorale PEELERS fund-raiser. Subway, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Taco Bell, KFC, Chavolo's Taqueria, The Getaway, Higher Grounds Coffee Co., Ramon's, Farrago, The Malt Shoppe, Squirrels Pub and Pantry, Radio Shack, High Performance Speedy Lube, Pagosa Candy Company, The Plaid Pony, Snips and Miss Jeans.

Juli Morelock

Library

Many thanks for contributions to the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library. The books on tape, puzzles, hardback and paperback book sections of the library have been enhanced because of the generosity of Bob and Carole Howard, Susie Reno, Shanti Johnson, Linda Van Patter, Aideen Karger, Lynne Wainright, Vimmie Ray and Margaret Wilson. Thanks to all of you.

Pine Ridge

Pine Ridge would like to thank City Market for donations of fresh flowers. We would also like to say thank you to Pagosa Piecemakers for the beautiful Alzheimer's quilts they donated. To Kate Kelley, Truett Forrest and Mike Moore - the residents love your music and voices. A big thanks to Melissa, Carolyn, Cliff and Jessie for all your help and time. Last, but not least, we'd like to say thank you to Carolyn Mitchum for the wonderful piano music you provided.

Weddings

LaQuey - Nelson

Kevin T. LaQuey and Rhonda L. Nelson, of Pagosa Springs, will be married Saturday, April 1, at 1 p.m. at Mountain Heights Baptist church.

Best man will be Casey Lynch, and the groom's man will be Grady Lynch. There will be a reception following.

Sports Page

Wolf Creek hosts final Fun Race of year

The season's final Wolf Creek Ski Area Fun Day Race was held March 25.

Winners of Boys 3-5 were: gold, Carson Laverty, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 1 minute, 3.5 seconds; silver, Isaac Bonin, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 2:12.9.

Winners of Boys 6-8 were: gold, Stuart Bucker, of Phoenix, Ariz., with a time of 42.27; silver, Keaton Laverty, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 44.85; bronze, John Patterson, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 45.56.

Winner of Boys 9-11 was Billy Kemper, of Albuquerque, N.M., with a time of 47.12.

Winners of Boys 12-14 were: gold, Tyler Moore, of Pagosa springs, with a time of 29.8; silver, Tyler Brooks, of Albuquerque, with a time of 36.85; bronze, Adrian Love, of Wichita, Kan., with a time of 37.67.

Winner of Boys 15-17, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 26.99.

Winner of Boys 18-20 was Michael Shaefer, of Galveston, Texas, with a time of 30.43.

Winners of Men 21-25 were: gold, Brenne Wieser, of Albuquerque, with a time of 28.2; silver, Lander Ibarra, of Atlanta, Ga., with a time of 43.45.

Winners of Men 26-30 were: gold, Ben Alexander, of Dallas, Texas, with a time of 32.02; silver, Tom Artalo, of Albuquerque, with a time of 33.34; bronze, Luke Martin, of Federicksburg, Va., with a time of 33.93.

Winners of Men 31-35 were: gold, Jason Cowie, of Glenwood Springs, with a time of 27.96; silver, Tim Moreland, of Fort Collins, with a time of 29.36; bronze, Jason Sherry, of Erie, with a time of 30.44.

Winner of Men 36-40 was Peter Reaka, of Grapeview, Texas, with a time of 32.69.

Winners of Men 41-50 were: gold, Jeff Speck, of Albuquerque, N.M., with a time of 25.38; silver, Ralph Maccarone, of Marysland, Fla., with a time of 26.92; bronze, Steve Laverty, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 27.09.

Winners of Men 51-60 were: gold, Wayne Harley, of Albuquerque, with a time of 24.95; silver, Mike Evans, of South Fork, with a time of 25.33; bronze, Dean Sell, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 25.45.

Winners of Men 60-plus were: gold, Dallas Weisz, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 29.12; silver, Bryant Lemon, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 29.49; bronze, Klaus Neuberg, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 29.96.

Winners of Girls 9-11 were: gold, Abby Hicklin, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 35.28; silver, Sydney Brooks, of Albuquerque, with a time of 27.01; bronze, Sandy Shaefer, of Rapid City, S.D., with a time of 27.93.

Winners of Girls 12-14 were: gold, Katie Laverty, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 49.33; silver, Camille Rucker, of Phoenix, with a time of 56.52.

Winners of Girls 18-20 were: gold, Danielle Hull, of Tulsa, Okla., with a time of 36.27; silver, Amanda Mowbray, of Houston, Tex., with a time of 47.32.

Winners of Women 21-25 were: gold, Marlo Maroon, of Albuquerque, with a time of 26.40; silver, Kirstin Dion, of Albuquerque, with a time of 34.07.

Winners of Women 41-50 were: gold, Cris Hicklin, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 31.21; silver, Mancuso Lemon, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 33.51; bronze, Karen Rossetto, of Bailey, with a time of 34.54.

Winner of Women 51-60 was Randy Young, of South Fork, with a time of 26.53.

Winner of Women 60-plus was Carrie Weisz, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 34.19.

Pirates strong second at the Alamosa tournament

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs baseball Pirates had their work cut out for them last weekend at the "Dirt Bag Bash" hosted by Alamosa.

The 3A Pirates would have to play three games in two days against quality opponents from 4A and 5A schools for a chance to win the championship.

Their first opponent was the host 4A Mean Moose, followed by a good 5A Durango Demons JV team in a doubleheader Friday afternoon. The Demons were a late substitute when another scheduled team had to cancel.

The Pirates continued their hitting streak and fought their way through the doubleheader for two wins and a chance to play in the championship game Saturday.

And what do they get for their efforts? A chance to meet the 5A Rampart Rams from Colorado Springs.

The Rams also had visions of a championship trophy, and would not be denied. The Pirates fought hard but could not find an answer for the Rams' hitting and finally lost 21-11.

But two wins against this kind of competition is good.

"Our kids should hold their heads high," commented Coach Charlie Gallegos after the game. "We were up against a very good 5A team today and this is the most runs scored against them all year. We just couldn't find an answer for their hitting. They were a big team and everyone could hit the ball."

The Pirates (4-2) would stay close in the hitting department but the difference in the game was they left 11 stranded on base, gave up eight walks and committed five errors.

"To beat a good team you have to minimize the mistakes and can't leave that many on base, which was the difference in the score," said Gallegos. "We still played pretty well and this will help us get better."

John Hoffman started on the mound for Pagosa with Karl Hujus behind the plate. Coach Gallegos continued to make pitching adjustments during the game to try and find a combination that would work by going to Wes Walters, then Travis Richey and finally, Josh Hoffman.

Pirates 8, Alamosa 5

The first game of last Friday's doubleheader pitted Pagosa against the hometown Mean Moose. The Pirates' hitting machine continued and the visitors came away with a hard fought 8-5 win.

The Pirate runs came off eight hits and two home runs, one by Josh Hoffman and the other by Casey Hart.

"I wondered how we would do in this game after the win last weekend (against Pojoaque)," said Coach Gallegos. "We were able to close this one out and I like how our hitting continues to improve. Eight hits and two home runs are great against a team like Alamosa."

Walters started on the mound and went five innings, then Hujus replaced him to close out the win.

Pirates 14, Durango JV 13

The Durango Demons JV team substituted for the 4A Summit Tigers in the second game of the doubleheader. The Tigers had to cancel because of some team violations that left them shorthanded. Coach Gallegos said, "Durango always fields a good team and they did bring a varsity pitcher."

The Pirates went ahead early and maintained a 13-8 edge going into the bottom of the sixth inning and the Demons at bat. Coach Gallegos had to pull starting pitcher Adam Trujillo, and Durango came back to tie the game at 13 and send it into extra innings.

Pagosa scored one in the top of the eighth and Josh Hoffman pitched an error-free bottom half of the inning for the win.

"We almost let this one get away from us," said Coach Gallegos. "I had to pull Adam (Trujillo) in the sixth because his elbow was really getting sore. They (Durango) hit us hard after that and luckily we got back in it and won. This was a tough one especially when it went to extra innings in the second game of a doubleheader. But I'm glad we were able to come back and win it."

The Pirates had 15 hits including three home runs. Hujus found his bat and jacked two while Hart hit his second in as many games. Matt Gallegos, the teams' leading hitter, went four for five including two doubles. One almost went yard when it hit the center field wall. Richey also did well at the plate getting three hits.

The Demons got back in the game when the Pirates walked seven and committed seven errors. "We'll need to work on the mistakes and make adjustments," said the coach. "A team just can't make this many errors in one game. We were lucky to win."

The only truly bad news from the weekend came when left-hander Trujillo injured his throwing elbow and could be lost for at least two weeks.

The Pirates will head back on the road this afternoon (weather permitting) to face the Montezuma/Cortez Panthers in a 3 p.m. contest.

Pagosa's next scheduled outing is a home doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. April 6 against the Ignacio Bobcats in the first Intermountain League encounter of the season. Based on current field conditions, the games may have to be switched to Ignacio. Check next week's edition of The SUN for updates.

Pirates playing exciting soccer, open with 10-0 win

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

This year, they've got talent, they've got experience and they have a sense of themselves as a team.

And, with a dominating 10-0 victory over Ignacio March 17, the Pirate soccer team is off to a fast start in the 2006 girls' soccer season.

"This is an experienced team," said Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason. "They've really come into their own."

And what they've come into is a faster-paced game than that played by most previous Pirate teams - a game that will rely on fleet strikers paving the way for an unusually strong midfield and defensive corps to move in and score goals against opponents.

"Once they get back into soccer shape after spring break," said the coach, "they are going to play a lot of two-touch - a fast-paced game."

Kurt-Mason has a blend of tested veterans and promising newcomers on the pitch at the start of the season and the foundation is anchored in a five-deep defense.

Emmy Smith is a veteran defender who can also come up into the midfield. Grace Smith is one of the fastest members of the team, with a great deal of experience. Allison Laverty plays outside on defense and has shown power when it comes to advancing and scoring - with a goal in every scrimmage and game thus far this year. Trina Zielinski, a transfer from Durango, has played well on defense as has a surprise freshman, Azure Lord, working outside as a marking defender.

"What we've got here," said Kurt-Mason, "is five great defenders who can also play in the midfield."

In the midfield, the Pirates have a spine that will be hard to break. Two tried-and-true veterans - Laurel Reinhardt and Kailey Smith - present a problem to any team, in either the defensive or offensive modes.

Stephanie Erickson is playing at left wing for the Pirates. The sophomore has a great left foot and has scored in every contest so far this year.

Another surprise freshman, Nicole Kazinoff, a transfer from Florida, can play both midfield and keeper.

Mariah Howell has shown her skills at striker this season. The junior was hampered by an injury last season, but has overcome her frustrations to become what the coach calls, "a spark plug. She's talking, has quick feet and she is moving around a lot more than I expected."

Senior Jennifer Hilsabeck could return to the lineup at striker and junior Iris Frye, currently slowed by a leg injury, is playing in the net for the Pirates until her recovery allows her to move to midfield.

In the 10-0 romp over Ignacio, Reinhardt had four goals. Kailey Smith scored three goals and Laverty, Erickson and Howell each put one into the net.

The fact that nine of 10 goals were scored by defenders or midfielders is an indicator of what Kurt-Mason is looking for as the season progresses and the team faces stronger opponents.

"We're using our strikers to create havoc in the box," said the coach, "and that opens the way for our midfielders to come in. We're looking at feeding our midfielders and defenders to score, especially against better teams."

So far, the plan looks like it will work.

"In the scrimmages they played prior to the start of the schedule, they really came together," said the coach of his charges. "They played a quick-touch game, and it is fun to watch. Their level of play should be better against the better teams. Telluride is one of the best teams in our league and Cortez will be a tough opponent - we play them twice."

Pirate fans will get the chance to see the team in action at 4 p.m. tomorrow, March 31, at Golden Peaks Stadium, when the team plays Center in a league match. Tuesday, the Pirates travel to Durango for a game with the Demons at Riverside Elementary School at 5 p.m.

Pirates return strong teams to track and field

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Your combined team had the most successful season in Pagosa Pirate track history in 2005.

Both boys' and girls' teams were regional champs.

Your boys' squad took third in Colorado 3A; the girls' team captured fourth.

The squad that returns to action in 2006 is seasoned, suffering only minimal losses to graduation - four key boy athletes, two girls.

If you are Pirate coach Connie O'Donnell, you've got to be optimistic with the start of the schedule just around the corner.

O'Donnell admits she has plenty to look forward to, but the veteran coach, while positive about her team and its chances, is still somewhat guarded in her predictions.

After all, the test is on the track and in the field.

The boys' team returns a state champ - Daniel Aupperle - who, as a junior, captured the Class 3A title in long jump at the state meet at Pueblo last year.

And, it is the field events that appear strongest for the boys' team prior to the beginning of 2006 action.

Besides Aupperle, several accomplished field competitors return to the team.

Casey Schutz, a senior, is back after qualifying for state last year in triple jump and his brother, Craig, returns after making a trip to state last year in discus. Caleb Ormonde, a junior, is back after qualifying for the state meet last season in high jump. Senior Bubba Martinez comes out for track for the first time in his varsity sport career and could make a difference in shot put.

Odds are good, though, that the Pirate boys will be a force on the track as well.

"We'll definitely have a strong distance team in the eight-hundred meters and up," said O'Donnell. Veteran distance men, and cross country runners A.J. Abeyta, Travis Furman and Orion Sandoval are tested and ready for competition.

Question marks loom over the sprinters and the sprint relay teams.

Only Aupperle returns from last year's successful sprint relay teams and only he and Corbin Mellette are back in the individual sprint events, with Mellette likely moving up to a regular sprint relay slot this season.

"I think we'll be okay in our boys' sprints and relays," said the coach. "It's just up in the air right now who will end up on our relay teams. We could be surprised by some of our younger athletes who have matured during a year's time."

O'Donnell sees some success ahead in the middle-distance races. "Gunnar Gill is a junior now," she said, "and he has taken a couple seconds off his four-hundred time. Hopefully he'll drop some more."

There are not many questions concerning the probable strength of the Pirate girls. This is a team that could exceed last year's accomplishments.

"We're going to miss a couple girls from two of our relays," said O'Donnell, "but most of our relays have three or four returners and they should be very strong."

In the sprint relays, Nikki Kinkead, Mia Caprioli and Kim Fulmer should make their marks, with Kinkead and Caprioli excelling in the 100 and 200 individual sprint events; Fulmer will be back in the 400 (where she was third in the state last year) along with junior Jessica Lynch. Chelsea Cooper returns to the team having qualified for the state meet last year in the 300 hurdles.

In field events, the team will not have the services of senior Liza Kelley, who excelled last year in long jump and triple jump. Kelley is recovering from an injury suffered in the fall and will not jump. She will, however, run - likely to secure a spot in the 4-by-4 relay. Jessica Low is back with the potential to qualify in high jump and could run in some relays.

In the distance events, senior Emilie Schur ends a great high school career on the track with a chance to return to state in the 800 and 1,600 - possibly the 3,200 - as well as on one or two relay teams. She qualified for state last year in four events. Joining her on what should be a strong distance contingent are Jen Shearston, Elise McDonald and Jaclyn Harms.

"We also have quite a few freshman girls I'm excited about," said O'Donnell. "Shelby Stretton, for example, is a natural hurdler.

"I think if we can get our boys figured out and get some guys to surprise us, we could be in the top five in the state.

"If everything goes well, our girls could be in the running for the title."

After all, the test is on the track and in the field.

That test begins Saturday after a long journey to the eastern plains of the state with the Pirates slated to open the season at Rocky Ford.

Sign up now for Courage Classic

The Children's Hospital Foundation has announced the dates of the 17th annual Courage Classic to benefit The Children's Hospital.

The three-day premier cycling event will take place July 22-24 at Copper Mountain. The 155-mile route starts in Leadville and goes through Summit County and back.

Riders can register online at www.couragetours.com or at (303) 456-9704. Registration is $105. Additionally, each rider must raise a minimum of $250 donations that will go directly to The Children's Hospital. These funds will help the Children's Hospital Foundation to build a state-of-the-art facility at Fitzsimons and continue to provide important programs throughout the community like The Handicapped Sports Program.

Last year, the Courage Classic had more than 2,000 riders and raised more than $1.6 million dollars for Children's.

For more information about the ride, visit www.couragetours.com or call (303) 456-9704.

Tryouts set for traveling baseball program

Local youngsters interested in trying out for Pagosa's traveling baseball team are asked to meet at the high school parking lot 3-4 p.m. April 2 (weather permitting).

The team is for players 11 and 12 years old. Prospective members are asked to bring their baseball glove and to be accompanied by a parent.

For more information, call Lisa Vrazel at 731-3721.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

New lessons for an old hand

By Jim Miller

SUN Columnist

With the crocus blooming downtown and unsettled weather forecast for the immediate future, the seasonal transition is upon us.

Before the summer rush spins us off into new and exciting projects, I want to briefly reflect on the highlight of my winter - the CSU Master Gardener course.

Having worked with plants for over 40 years, I approached this return to school with blasé confidence. After all, how significantly could soil and trees and their care and cultivation have changed since I last formally undertook their study?

According to one of our professors, the curriculum for his postgraduate horticulture seminars changes by 25 percent, per year. That means that nothing I thought I knew has been valid since Yul Gibbons last ate a pine tree.

Thank goodness the program is conducted by such patient, capable scholars. The long Tuesdays fly by, and my head reels the rest of the week with new concepts and improved techniques for performing tasks I've been instinctively undertaking for too long. It's true, again: the more you learn, the less you're sure you know.

Last night, while checking a favorite reference for new varieties of street trees to replace some strugglers in town, I scanned back from the index to the list of contributing editors to this prestigious gardening guide. Sure enough, there was the name of one of our professors prominently featured. I don't have many answers to the myriad questions citizens ask me, but I'm confident now that the sources I consult and recommend do know.

This fine program is an opportunity provided to our community, and many other rural towns, under the generous auspices of the Colorado State University Office of Cooperative Extension Services. Anyone who has an interest in plants and how to help them grow will find these classes invaluable. I'm very grateful to have been able to attend them.

Tee-ball

The 2006 tee-ball schedule and rosters have been finalized and are available at the recreation office in Town Hall.

Coaches who wish to practice may reserve gym time in the community center (practice times are 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.) April 3 and 5. Games will begin April 10; uniforms will be handed out prior to game time on each team's opening night.

Parents who have not been contacted by their child's head coach bay April 3 can call the recreation department office at 264-4151, Ext. 232, for roster information and coaches' contact numbers.

Adult basketball

A reminder: 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 throughout the remainder of the regular season. All games will be played at the junior high school.

The competitive league schedule for the coming week includes:

April 3 - Bear Creek vs. Concrete Connection at 7 p.m. in the upper gym, Slack Attack vs. M. Kelley at 7 p.m. in the lower gym, Ruff Ryders vs. Chama II (Ballerz) at 8 p.m. in the upper gym and Chama I (Nathan) vs. High Mountain Performance at 8 p.m. in the lower gym.

April 5 - M. Kelley vs. Bear Creek at 7 p.m. in the upper gym, Buckskin vs. Ruff Ryders at 7 p.m. in the lower gym, Chama II (Ballerz) vs. Slack Attack at 8 p.m. in the upper gym and Chama I (Nathan) vs. Concrete Connection at 8 p.m. in the lower gym.

The recreation league schedule for the coming week includes:

Tonight - Ponderosa vs. Shot Callers at 6 p.m. in the upper gym, South Pagosa vs. Allen's Auto Body at 6 p.m. in the lower gym and Tim Miller Custom Homes vs. Citizens Bank at 7:05 p.m. in the lower gym.

April 4 - Shot Callers vs. South Pagosa at 6 p.m. in the upper gym and Green Machine vs. Tim Miller Custom Homes at 6 p.m. in the lower gym.

Sports hotline

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

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

Editorial

Get with it, people

April 4, registered voters living within town boundaries of Pagosa

Springs will go to the polls. Voters will choose a mayor. There are

two candidates - incumbent Ross Aragon, and challenger Paul Nobles. The voters will also decide whether or not to rectify an error made when a lodger's tax issue passed last year.

The primary question has little to do with the results. The most interesting speculation does not center on who will be the next mayor or whether the lodger's tax question will pass muster.

It is whether a significant number of voters will go to the polls.

The prelude to this election has been somber, marked by apathy in a time most critical to the town's future. Three town council seats were up for grabs - with contests next week anticipated, given the extent of recent controversy. None of the seats will be decided in this election.

Why? Despite all the noise, all the loud pronouncements at public meetings and the heated letters to the editor, only two residents of the town stepped forward to get on the ballot. Each - incumbent Darrel Cotton and newcomer John Middendorf - was the only prospective candidate in his district. With no challenge, each was declared a victor. Without ever passing the test of a vote.

The third district seat, vacated by Judy James, was apparently not important enough to cause any resident to summon the initiative to run. That seat will be filled by a vote of the council when - or perhaps, if - anyone living within district bounds signals an interest in the appointment.

This is sad business. As sad as the paltry number of voters who turned out to cast ballots on the home rule question two years ago, an issue proposing a significant change in the way the town governs itself now, and will govern itself in the future. In an initial vote to determine whether the town would assemble a charter commission and produce a draft home rule charter, only 54 of more than 900 registered voters saw fit to exercise their rights.

When the charter came to a vote, and the question of whether or not the town would change to this different form of government was considered, a mere 96 ballots were cast.

Out of 926 possible votes. About one in 10 citizens signaled an opinion.

Get with it people. It is your town, your representatives, your issues, your future.

Next week, you pick a mayor. Do you favor the incumbent, the veteran, or a newcomer to the position? Have you studied the comments by each printed in last week's SUN? Do you care, considering the nature of this community is going to change radically, and your elected officials, including your mayor, will make the decisions that determine your future?

You will be asked next week to approve a 1.9-percent lodger's tax in town, to bring up to 3 percent the amount of revenue dedicated to a council-appointed tourism advisory committee - to be used to promote tourism in town, its only persistent industry. Do you care?

Are only a hundred or so voters going to turn up? Only, say, one in nine eligible?

If so, here is something for the eight of nine who do not vote to chew on.

Your vote is your buy-in. Not just to the decision-making process that selects elected representatives and approves or disapproves taxes. It is your buy-in to the right to complain.

That's the least you get for your effort: the legitimate right to moan and groan, to castigate elected officials, to gripe about all manner of things

You vote, the decision goes against you go ahead and howl.

You don't vote?

Go watch TV, because someone else has done the work.

Karl Isberg

Legacies

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 31, 1916

Mail carrier Clark is sure having some strenuous time carrying the mail on account of the mud.

The storms are proving disastrous to some cattle, especially the ones that have lived on scenery for several months.

A letter was received from John Ewing Jr., mayor of Del Norte, suggesting that the San Juan Basin towns cooperate with the San Luis Valley people in the preparations for one great big statewide celebration on the lofty summit of Wolf Creek Pass, on the opening to travel of this, the most famous link in our state's highway system. The top of Wolf Creek Pass is an ideal spot for a great gathering, and Mr. Ewing's idea is to have all the state officials and other prominent people to grace the occasion.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 3, 1931

The Juniors are doing everything possible to insure the success of their play, "Madame X??" on Saturday, April 11. They have created a marvelous setting for their production by providing a complete set of new scenery. The lights have been specially arranged for the occasion, and the results are highly impressive. Followers of the stage should see this play, if only for the physical aspects.

Mrs. Mary Hatcher, who has been in charge of the M.E. Aid clothing station, reports that the present greatest need is children's shoes from infants up to 14 years, besides good clean rags and layette equipment. Mrs. Elmer Chapson, noting previous appeals in this paper, recently sent two girls' dresses from Santa Rosa, Calif., for local distribution.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 29, 1956

Next Tuesday is Town Election day. This is the best opportunity local citizens have for expressing themselves regarding town matters. BE SURE and vote Tuesday. In addition to the mayor and six councilmen to be elected, the question of a bonded indebtedness for a new fire truck will be voted on. This is an important question and one that should be given serious consideration. Just ask yourself whether or not you will pay a few dollars a year to help protect your property and the property of your neighbor. The selection of the Town Board is equally important, so be sure and visit the polls Tuesday.

If it's true that women dress to express themselves, some have very little to say.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 2, 1981

It was announced this week that Dr. Jay Swedberg has entered into an agreement with the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center board of directors to lease the medical center and operate it as a private practice. Dr. Swedberg came here in June of 1979 and will start operating the center as a private practice around the first of July. He plans to keep Jim Pederson as a Physician's Assistant, along with the nurses and technicians at the medical center. The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center operates on 24 hour a day service for emergencies, with regular hours for normal medical practice.

Wolf Creek Pass will again be closed at night during the summer months. There will also be work in progress during daylight hours and motorists may face short delays.

Features

Make a U-turn, and you're back home ... in Pagosa

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

Just as the wilderness tugs at the heart of Buck, the legendary dog and hero of Jack London's "The Call of the Wild," Pagosa Springs emits a powerful draw that envelops some of its residents and captures their hearts forever.

Pagosa Springs has undergone many changes over the past several years, and has grown in population remarkably quickly. One segment of the growing population is made up of U-turn traffic: one-time Pagosa Springs residents who left the area and return to the home of their hearts.

"What brought us back are things you cannot measure - friends and family," said Dan Keuning, a local nurse practitioner. Keuning and his wife, Lisl, have three children - Jake, Josh and Kylie. They discovered Pagosa Springs while on their honeymoon and have lived here since 1994, excepting a seven-month adventure in Alaska.

"After graduation from the Master's in Nursing Program as a family nurse practitioner in 2001, the opportunities for an NP were better elsewhere. We had two children and decided to move for better jobs a job as an NP in Alaska to work with native tribes became available so we packed up in May 2001 and drove and moved to Alaska," explained Keuning.

"The job in Alaska was not what it was made (out) to be. Part of the reason for going was to get my student loans paid back while working; that corporation never did the paperwork so nothing was paid. The cost of living in Alaska made Pagosa look cheap. The hospital district had an election in November 2001 that increased funding for the clinic, so they were able to hire me on at the Mary Fisher Clinic. Life in Alaska during the summer was great, winter was ugly with wind and cold and no light. We missed Pagosa sunshine. We painted our living room in Alaska yellow to feel the warmth of the Pagosa sun until we returned to Colorado," said Keuning.

David Cammack's parents found Pagosa Springs in 1972 "by mistake," when he was 13 years old, and moved the family to the mountains. While attending Pagosa Springs High School, he met his future wife, Mary Helen, who also moved here with her family as a young teen.

David and Mary Helen attended Fort Lewis College after graduating from high school. After earning their bachelor's degrees in 1984, they married. The newlyweds moved north to pursue higher education. David earned his law degree at the University of Idaho College of Law and Mary Helen a master's degree in special education. The Cammacks then moved to Arizona where David practiced law. "The Call of Pagosa" brought David and Mary Helen back eight years after they departed the Four Corners area.

"A desire to raise our kids here (is what brought us back)," said David, now a local Realtor. "This is a great place to raise kids, including education and athletic options. It's a beautiful environment for hunting and fishing, and has an awesome four-season climate. Local family and friends - these are the reasons we returned."

Beauty is what made an unforgettable mark in the memories of the Cammacks, and led them to choose Pagosa Springs as the place to plant their proverbial roots over 14 years ago. Their sons, Jake and Dan, have thrived here for the greater part of their lives.

Sean Downing, an English teacher at Pagosa Springs High School, his wife, Darcy, and their two daughters, Brianna and Tiarra, lived in Pagosa Springs for six years then moved to New Hampshire. "God and a job" initially brought them to Pagosa Springs. Sean Downing interviewed for only one job after receiving his master's degree in English, and that job was in Pagosa Springs. When questioned about their reasons for leaving, Darcy Downing explained:

"Temporary insanity! No, really, we were exceedingly restless. We were both drawn to the east coast in a wicked strong way. Sean received a job in Elliot, Maine. We sold as much as we could live without; drove an overstuffed U-Haul (Beverly Hillbilly-style) twenty-five hundred miles to what we thought was our promised land.

"I experienced my dream of living in a one-hundred-year-old Victorian house. We lived on the top floor. Unfortunately, it still had the original insulation: newspaper. It was the coldest winter New Hampshire had seen in years. In fact, there was a two-week run of 40-below weather. Our daughters received new bikes for Christmas and had to ride them indoors because of the degree of cold. Our saving grace was the ocean and care packages from Pagosans Curtis and DeLynn Mayberry," said Downing.

"Our beloved friends and family in Christ brought us back to Pagosa Springs. We needed to discover exactly where home was. I'm glad we went; now we know that this is home and these are our friends and family," added Downing. "The best gift we came home with was our youngest daughter, Sierra, whom we named for the mountains that we love."

The Downings U-turned back to Pagosa Springs after one year on the coast, "almost to the day," stated Downing.

"I have traveled to many places and still have yet to find a place as cool as Pagosa Springs. My family lives here and half of my wife's family lives here - it just feels right," said Kalei Pitcher, a Pagosa Springs real estate agent and recreational adventurer.

Pitcher moved to Pagosa Springs with his family at just three years of age. After graduating from Pagosa Springs High School, Pitcher left southwest Colorado for college and lived in Steamboat Springs for five years. Ten years ago, Pitcher U-turned and became a permanent resident, and met his wife, Christine, here in Pagosa Springs.

When asked what brought him back, Pitcher listed the benefits of Pagosa Springs:

"It's safe, clean, in the mountains, the lifestyle, friends, family," he said. "The way it made and makes me feel to be here it's home."

Pagosa Springs has countless "draws" that make it a prime location for relocation, but once residents become entrenched in the daily duties of life, they often forget why they moved here in the first place. The qualities that entice are easily taken for granted.

"You only appreciate this area when you move, and don't have the advantages," explained Cammack.

"It is a busy place now, and people often forget why Pagosa is so great," stated Pitcher.

"We took [those qualities] for granted until we left and realized what we were missing," said Keuning. "Now, we are here for good."

Downing disagreed: "There is something about Pagosa Springs that causes a person to look within and decide if they like what they see. It is as though the reflection from the beauty of the place allows one the permission to explore the depths of one's own soul. In 2001, I had given birth at home to my second daughter and almost lost my life to hemorrhaging. One year later, I had to be rushed to the hospital and had a tumor and my right ovary removed and a miscarriage due to the surgery. I had to reconcile this past pain. Now, almost four years later, there is a tenderness I share with Pagosa because of the people who held my family in the palms of their hands while we recovered. Since returning, the number of friends called family keeps on growing."

Although Pagosa Springs is rapidly evolving in appearance and population, U-turn-ers agree that the heart and soul of Pagosa Springs remains unchanged.

"To live in Pagosa Springs is to persevere in life. There is a fire that burns constantly in this place, burning or igniting a strange desire to grow and know: for myself, more deeply the love of God," said Downing.

"Pagosa is definitely changing. However, I would still return for the same reasons (that brought me back)," stated Cammack.

"Change is happening, but the 'old" Pagosa is still here - you just have to slow down to see it," added Pitcher.

As the "Call of Pagosa" pulls more residents in its direction, Pagosa Springs, at its heart of hearts, is made up of the same network of dedicated, hard-working, long-loving residents who call this place home.

Make a U-turn, and you're back home ... in Pagosa

Pagosa's Past

Early records in Pagosa Country are few

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Pagosa Country politics during the first years of Archuleta County were of the rough-and-tumble variety, as we have documented over the past few weeks.

Much of what happened is probably lost to posterity. News of events in Pagosa Springs before the first regular county newspaper was printed in April of 1890 had to come primarily from newspapers in surrounding communities.

The first newspaper in the San Juans probably started at Lake City followed by newspapers in Del Norte and Silverton. After Durango was organized in 1881, that city also had a newspaper, as did Alamosa and probably Saguache. Earlier newspapers were published on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains

For purposes of comparison the first permanent homes in Pagosa Springs were probably built in 1877. At that time, the area that became Archuleta County in 1885 was part of Conejos County. We know little of Pagosa Springs events transpiring between 1877 and 1890. Military events taking place when Fort Lewis was located in Pagosa Springs were well documented and most of those documents remain to this day in old archives in Washington D.C.

I have found records of some Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County occurrences by spending almost uncounted hours pouring over neighboring newspapers from those early days. Many of those early newspapers are in microfilm files in one central location - the Denver Public Library. Another good source is the Center for Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango.

Other historic occurrences can be found in county courthouse records. Unfortunately for Pagosa Springs historians, Pagosa-area records from their Conejos County era no longer exist because the Conejos County Courthouse burned. I have browsed through county records in Conejos County, Rio Arriba County (south of us in New Mexico), La Plata County, Mineral County, and a small amount in Rio Grande County.

I've just about memorized Archuleta County Courthouse records from before 1900.

Some of those Archuleta County records are also missing due to fire. Rumor has it that the questioning of a county treasurer circa 1900 (I think it was either Siegel or M.O. Brown) concerning the whereabouts of certain county funds took place just before the fire.

The Town of Pagosa Springs incorporated in 1891. That event is well documented in The Pagosa Springs News and also in the Archuleta County Courthouse. It is also nice that town records seem to be on file from the beginning. Thus it is easy to find out who town officers were at any given time. Also on file are town budgets and the record of major town actions such as installation of central water and sewer systems, side walk paving, and other actions taken by the town board and recorded in town board meeting files.

On Feb. 28, 1890, an unimpressive 38 votes were cast in the election to determine if Pagosa Springs should become a town, 26 in favor of incorporation and 12 opposed. The notice of incorporation was filed March 2. The first election of town officers conducted April 7, 1891, attracted 51 voters.

John L. Dowell, the Mill Creek rancher who also owned a place in town, was the first elected mayor. All of the first board of trustees were active businessmen. They were C.H. Harpst, C.H. Freeman, M.A. Patrick, J.C. Strawn, A.J. Lewis, and C.D. Scase. Scase had also been one of the first county commissioners elected in 1886.

H.R. Bowling was appointed the first treasurer, A.D. Garvin the town marshal, John A. Walters the street commissioner, N.G. Peterson the town judge, and E.M. Taylor the clerk and recorder. Taylor had also been the first county clerk and recorder.

Pagosa Sky Watch

It must be spring, here comes the bear

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The following sun and moon data is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.

Sunrise: 5:57 a.m.

Sunset: 6:29 p.m.

Moonrise: 6:33 a.m.

Moonset: 8:24 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing crescent with 3 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

As winter gradually relinquishes its hold on Pagosa Country, sky watchers will notice there is more at hand than just the temperature changing.

During the winter months, Orion and Gemini, among other constellations, dominate our night sky, but as spring approaches, the hunter and his celestial companions gradually move to positions of lesser prominence, making room for a whole new cast of seasonal characters who will eventually replace them.

One such character, and one of the first on the springtime scene, is the well known constellation Ursa Major, home of the Big Dipper asterism.

Although the constellation is visible year-round, late winter and early spring marks the time when stargazers will witness this familiar, ladle-shaped grouping of stars standing on its handle high in the north-northeast. When the dipper stands on end, it is a clear indication that winter is nearly over and spring is just around the corner.

But sight of the dipper standing on its handle is more than just a harbinger of warmer weather. In fact, the dipper is one of the night sky's most distinct and valuable landmarks and the peculiarity of its springtime position can help star gazers locate other fainter and lesser known constellations that are also hallmarks of the season.

One such constellation is Canes Venatici, or the hunting dogs.

Named in 1687 by the Polish astronomer, Johannes Hevelius, the two stars of Canes Venatici represent two dogs held on a leash by a herdsman, represented by the neighboring constellation Bootes. In the mythology, Bootes and his canine cohorts relentlessly pursue the great bear, depicted by Ursa Major, around the north celestial pole.

For naked eye star gazers, Canes Venatici's two stars, Cor Caroli and Chara, are faint and often difficult to identify. However, this week, Pagosa Country sky watchers have an added advantage to our already-dark, country skies - very little moonlight. Without interference from the moon's glow, stargazers should be able to locate the constellation nestled in the arc of the dipper's handle.

Chara, the uppermost star of the two-star constellation, and the star nearest to the cup of the dipper, is a magnitude 4.2 yellow star similar to our sun.

Directly below Chara lies Cor Caroli, the second star in the constellation. The name translates as "Charles' heart," and is named for the executed King Charles I of England.

To the naked eye, Cor Caroli appears as a single star, but it is actually a double star system - one star of magnitude 2.9 and the other of magnitude 5.6 - and those viewing with telescopes can easily split the double system into its separate components.

While Canes Venatici may not necessarily make for exciting viewing in its own right, the region surrounding the constellation is rich in deep space objects, some of which are visible with binoculars - those with telescopes, again, will have an advantage.

Of the deep space objects near Canes Venatici, M51, commonly known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, is perhaps the most celebrated. The galaxy can be found to the left of Cor Caroli, and about three quarters of the way between Cor Caroli and Alkaid, the final star in the handle of the dipper, and the dipper star closest to the horizon.

Although the galaxy is stunning and renowned for its beauty, at magnitude eight, M51 is challenging to discern with binoculars and will probably appear as a dim, elongated fuzzy patch at best. Prime views of the galaxy are best had with a large, professional telescope, or, to revel in the whirlpool's full splendor, the Hubble Space Telescope images are unsurpassed.

While M51 may be beyond the reach of backyard astronomers, the vast globular cluster known as M3 is well within reach of the amateur.

The cluster, which is widely regarded as one of the finest clusters in the northern sky, lies about midway between Cor Caroli and the bright-orange star Arcturus in Bootes. Through binoculars, M3 will appear as a hazy, single star, while telescopes, depending on the aperture, will coax more detail out of the cluster, including many single stars.

The last two objects worth attempting to locate are both galaxies - M63 and M94. Whereas M3 and M51 are within the greater Canes Venatici region, M63 and M94 are located near and slightly to the left of the constellation proper and about midway between Cor Caroli and Chara.

M94 is a compact, face-on spiral galaxy that lies closest to the constellation. In amateur telescopes, the galaxy looks like an eighth magnitude comet with a star-like nucleus and an elliptical halo.

M63, also known as the Sunflower Galaxy, is slightly farther out from M94, and will appear in amateur telescopes as an elliptically-shaped haze.

With dark skies prevailing throughout the weekend, naked eye observers should have an excellent opportunity to add another constellation to their repertoire, while those equipped with telescopes can capitalize on the prime, dark sky conditions to explore the wonders of deep space.

To locate Ursa Major, the Big Dipper and Canes Venatici, and to take advantage of the dark sky conditions, begin observations after 8:30 p.m. when the moon has set. Once the moon has sunk below the horizon, face north-northeast and look for the dipper with its handle buried in the eastern horizon. With the dipper located, follow the handle up from Alkaid, its lowest star, to Mizar, the second star up in the handle. From Mizar, shift your gaze a few degrees to the right where you will find the hunting dog stars of Canes Venatici.

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

3/22

37

25

S

7

.7

3/23

47

11

-

-

-

3/24

51

17

-

-

-

3/25

56

22

-

-

-

3/26

51

21

-

-

-

3/27

52

16

-

-

-

3/28

43

28

S

.5

.05

With all the recent snow - still below average

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Just as Old Man Winter has finally made the scene, it appears he may be on his way out again.

In the past three weeks, according to Toby Karlquist, local weather statistician, Pagosa Springs has received more than three feet of snow - finally. Wolf Creek Ski Area, on the other hand, has been blanketed with accumulations totaling nearly 11.5 feet in the same timeframe.

In the past week, temperatures in Pagosa Springs ranged between a low of 10.7 degrees last Thursday night, to a high of 55.6 degrees Saturday. Most daytime highs were in the low 50s, with nighttime lows hovering in the low to mid-20s.

With seven inches of snow (0.7 inches of moisture) recorded on Wednesday of last week, just under 2/10 of an inch of precipitation arrived Tuesday night into Wednesday. That moisture fell in the form of rain.

Unfortunately, it may be too little, too late. By the end of the big storm on Monday, March 13, the Upper San Juan Basin snowpack still held just 61 percent of average moisture content for the season. It's reasonable to assume those levels have improved somewhat since, though statistics illustrating how much have not yet been released.

Nonetheless, time is running short. Based on the 30-year average, April 7 is when the Upper San Juan typically records its highest snowpack of the season. After that, even as additional moisture is common, the spring melt begins, with snow levels dropping steadily through May.

Predictions for the upcoming week, and longer, don't offer much cause for optimism. Forecasters are calling for a slight chance of precipitation Saturday, and again next Tuesday and Wednesday. Otherwise, skies will be partly cloudy, with daytime highs in the mid- to upper 50s, and nighttime lows in the mid- and upper 20s.

Even moon watchers are in the dark.