April 20, 2006
Front Page

Plague discovered in local's pet cat

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

A concerned local pet owner took his cat to a veterinary clinic Saturday for an emergency examination.

Examination and testing revealed the cat had contracted plague - the first reported case of plague in Archuleta County this year.

The cat was taken to Dr. Joe Schmidt, at Aspen Tree Veterinary Clinic. The cat's neck was swollen and an exam by Schmidt showed the swelling was not caused by an abscess — common among cats.

Further examination, with the cat under sedation, showed no obvious bite wounds and showed both lymph nodes were swollen. Samples were taken and sent to the state health department laboratory in Denver.

Officials at San Juan Basin Health Department called Schmidt Tuesday and confirmed the cat had plague. The cat was reportedly euthanized at the request of its owner.

Joe Fowler, epidemiologist with San Juan Basin health Department said Wednesday cats are the primary victims of plague in the area, adding an infected cat in La Plata County was discovered Tuesday. Two infected cats were found in Montezuma County in April. "Dogs can get infected," he said, "but rarely show signs and symptoms."

Fowler indicated health department officials, "have been seeing an increase in plague in western Colorado the last few years."

Fleas are the problem, said Fowler - fleas that move from rodents to cats and other animals, and occasionally to people.

Fowler said there were two cases of humans with plague in La Plata County last year and there are five to 15 human infections reported nationwide each year.

The risk can be minimized, said Fowler, for humans and their animals.

Flea treatment should be applied to cats and dogs that are outdoors for any length of time.

Humans should avoid dead rodents and should not linger in rodent infested areas or near prairie dog colonies when on walks with pets. In most cases a human must be bitten by an infected flea in order to contract the disease.

Symptoms to watch for in animals, said Fowler, are swelling or sores on the head, mouth or neck. He added the disease is "very treatable" in cats and humans.

Pet owners who suspect an animal is infected should take that animal to a veterinarian.

Commission denies Pagosa Pointe plan on Piedra Road

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A developer's push for approval of a seven-building, 112-unit, affordable housing apartment complex, hit its second, and perhaps final obstacle Tuesday, when a split vote by the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners killed the project - at least temporarily.

County attorney for the project Lindsey Nicholson said the developer has the right to appeal the board's decision in district court.

Called Pagosa Pointe, the project would have brought a federally-regulated, affordable housing apartment complex to the Pagosa Springs area at a site on County Road 600 (Piedra Road) across from Cloman Boulevard.

But two denials, the first from the county's planning commission March 8, and the second from the board of county commissioners Tuesday - both despite planning staff recommendations for approval - leave the project in limbo.

During the hearing, Nicholson explained to the developer, Parr-Harrison & Associates, L.L.C. and their attorney, James Beckwith, that with one board member missing, (Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch was absent due to recent knee surgery), a split vote would result in a denial of their appeal.

The developers gave their attorney the green light and after a lengthy hearing, including a presentation of the project's merits, pleas by local residents for the board to deny approval and enthusiastic recommendations from county staff, the board split, with Commissioner Ronnie Zaday voting for the project and Commissioner Robin Schiro voting against it.

Schiro followed the planning commission's lead and said the project was incompatible with the area.

"I see this as somewhat of a mini-Village at Wolf Creek in this area," she said. And she explained that, in her opinion, the adjacent areas and neighborhood would be forced to bear the brunt of the development's impacts.

"It is a much needed project, but not in this area," Schiro said.

Zaday said she disagreed with Schiro's argument and said the county was in desperate need of affordable housing and the area was conducive to such a project.

"We have to look at the county as a whole. Nobody wants it in their backyard, and I don't care what location Mr. Parr takes his project, he'll get the same attitude."

When asked if he would appeal the board's decision, Beckwith said it was too early to tell.

Town considers significant projects

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It was an impassioned plea from an elderly Pagosan to the town's planning commission that kicked off a series of public hearings for numerous, large-scale developments in the town of Pagosa Springs - and they were words that everyone heard, but which the developers, and the powers-that-be, did not heed.

"They're raising our taxes, we're losing our land. Please, no more buildings."

Her words fell on the packed boardroom like dry leaves tossed in the wind, and it was too little, far too late.

With the commission's agenda filled with reviews of virtually unprecedented development proposals, the town she knew, and probably grew up in, was in the process of being transformed. But, there was no turning back, and after a brief, uneasy silence, the planning commission charged ahead with the evening's agenda.

The first two items up for review by the commission, acting as the design review board, were commercial structures - the first a new, 19,000 square-foot building at 63 North Pagosa Blvd., for First Southwest Bank; and the second, a 35,000 square-foot building to be located at 115 Cornerstone Drive in Aspen Village for the local headquarters of Parelli Natural Horsemanship. Design was approved for both structures, however parking issues remain at the First Southwest Bank site.

The next key item on the agenda was a public hearing for a conditional use permit for a mixed-use, 22,900 square-foot, commercial/retail building slated for construction near the intersection of Piedra Road and Eagle Drive.

According to plans submitted by the developer, Fred Schmidt, the project will include 10 commercial units and 12 residential units. The residences will range in size from 900 to 1,500 square feet, with the intent that business owners can live above their businesses.

Those who spoke against the project cited traffic impacts on Piedra Road and the Piedra Road/U.S.160 intersection as one of their chief concerns.

Schmidt said he would modify his project to allow for the widening of Piedra Road to four lanes, would work with town to tap into existing or planned trail systems and would work with nearby property owners on site drainage issues.

The commission gave Schmidt the "go-ahead" to continue with his project.

Following the review of the Schmidt project, the commission tackled Tracy Reynolds' sketch plan for a 18-townhome development to be located at 344 South Seventh St.

As presented, the project was to be built on a shale cliff, overlooking both Sixth Street and the San Juan River, and would incorporate duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes with individual units ranging in size from 1,400 to 2,800 square feet with prices planned for upwards of $200 per square foot.

The commission denied the sketch plan saying it was inconsistent with the lot and block nature of the adjacent neighborhood, and that the plan was inconsistent with the recommended uses of the neighborhood as described in the town's forthcoming comprehensive plan.

The planning commission acknowledged the comprehensive plan had not yet been adopted, but asserted adoption was scheduled for May 2.

Two projects that were not denied, but were recommended for continuation and further review, were the sketch plan proposal for River's Edge - an eight-townhome project planned for 274 San Juan St.; and the preliminary plat for Dakota Springs — formerly known as Trujillo Heights - a 219 unit subdivision on 52 acres off of Trujillo Road near the Pagosa Springs High School .

River's Edge, as proposed, would add eight new townhomes to Pagosa Springs averaging 2,400 square feet at roughly $200 to $250 per square foot.

The commission expressed concern that the project did not adhere to the land use recommendations for the area as proposed by the town's draft of the comprehensive plan.

"I think this is a little outside the box for this area right now," planning commission chair, Tracy Bunning said.

Also at issue was townhome height and the size of the structures.

The commission asked the applicant, Robert Hart of Pagosa River Investment Group, to work with town staff to address public and staff concerns and to resubmit the sketch plan.

The sketch plan review and a recommendation for a continuance on the Dakota Springs proposal, stemmed largely from a series of variance requests by the developer related to engineering challenges.

Due to the number of issues raised by various agencies such as Archuleta County, the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Colorado Department of Transportation, Town Planner Tamra Allen recommended the continuance and said the project would also be subject to full review by the town's engineer.

"We have no objections to continuing this project, there are a number of issues to wade through," Reynolds, of Trujillo Partners LLC, said.

Lastly, the commission approved the preliminary plan for the 11-acre, 108 unit, Rock Ridge Country Estates project located at 72 Great West Avenue.

With the commission's approval, the preliminary plan will be presented to the Pagosa Springs Town Council for review and an approval or denial.

And, although the preliminary plan received the green light from the planning commission, two transportation issues remain.

The first is a requirement imposed by the town for the subdivision to have two access points - one access route is provided by Great West Avenue and U.S. 160, but the second requires the developer, Todd Shelton, to negotiate a route, through the Alpha-Rockridge subdivision via Baldwin Way, with subdivision homeowners. The homeowners remain staunchly opposed to the idea.

The second transportation issue questions who will bear the financial burden of potential impacts the project may have on the intersection of Great West Avenue and U.S. 160.

According to Allen, the planning commission, in their approval recommendation, left it to the town council to decide whether Shelton should submit the plan to CDOT for a full traffic study.

To date, the developer claims the project will create a 10- to 12-percent increase in traffic at the Great West/U.S. 160 intersection, while Archuleta County estimates a 46-percent traffic increase.

According to Allen, without a traffic study the questions remain: What is the project's impact at the intersection and who should pay - the developer or the town?

Allen said it would be highly unlikely for CDOT to provide intersection improvement funds, and without a clear delineation of financial responsibility, and the subdivision in place, the intersection would continue to degrade.

Inside The Sun

Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, in the Board of County Commissioners' Meeting Room in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

- Call to order / roll-call.

- Coster - Variance.

Applicant is requesting Variance from Section 13.7.6 of the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations. The property is located at 2051B Catchpole Drive.

- Grey Hawk Full Subdivision - Preliminary Plan.

The applicant wishes to subdivide a 75.39 acre parcel into 12 lots for future sale. Tract "D" as shown on the preliminary plat is comprised of 7.74 acres and will be dedicated as open space. The property is located in is located in tract 2, Pagosa Meadows 3 - T35N, R 2W, N.M.P.M, Section 30.

- Kennedy - Minor Impact Subdivision.

Applicant is requesting Sketch Plan approval to legally subdivide an improper subdivision of 2 contiguous lots. The parcel is off of Catchpole Drive, approximately seven miles south of U.S. 60 at U.S. 84.

- Cass and Cait's Take and Bake - Conditional Use Permit.

The applicant wishes to remove and replace an existing building which has been vacant for the past five (5) years and open a restaurant/take and bake pizza business. The building they will be demolishing was previously operated as the "Wild Hare Gift Shop." The new facility will be completed by the end of August 2006. The project is located at 118 North Pagosa Blvd., directly across from the intersection of North Pagosa Boulevard and Village Drive.

- Cloman Industrial Park Subdivision - Preliminary Plat.

The applicant is requesting approval of the preliminary plat phase of a full subdivision to subdivide 40.4 acres into 29 lots; between 0.8 and 1.5 acres in size. The property is located in the NW º Section, Section 9, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County.

- Walter/Cyr Minor Impact Subdivision - Final Plat.

The applicant is requesting approval of the final plat phase of a minor impact subdivision in order to subdivide two lots previously consolidated. The property is located in the Section 19, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County. The property is Lot 483X of Lake Forest Estates Subdivision.

- Review of the planning commission minutes of March 8.

- Other business that may come before the planning commission.

- Adjournment.

Be ready for slow traffic as work begins

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Motorists traveling on U.S. 160 through the west side of Pagosa Springs should plan for construction-related traffic delays from now until Aug. 1.

The construction zone begins west of Piedra Road, with the chief areas of impact occurring at the intersections of U.S. 160 and Alpha Drive, Boulder Drive and Aspen Village Drive.

Mike Clark, project manager, said the construction is part of the Aspen Village project and will include: widening U.S. 160; installing acceleration and deceleration lanes; installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. 160 and Aspen Village Drive; 5,000 cubic yards of grading and safety improvements.

Clark said the peak commuter hours of 7-8:30 a.m. and 4:30-6 p.m. have been designated as "no work" hours and commuters can expect all lanes to be open.

Clark said the most significant delays will occur during the primary project work hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., when only one lane will be open.

Clark said motorists should plan ahead and allow extra time for travel across town during peak construction times.

The speed limit through the construction zone is 35 miles per hour.

For questions concerning the project call Aspen Village at 731-3655.

Village decision appeal period underway

The 45-day appeal period for the Record of Decision concerning the Village of Wolf Creek access and utility corridors began April 14, following the publication of a legal notice in Alamosa's Valley Courier.

According to the United States Forest Service, publication of the legal notice initiates the 45-day appeal period; and only those individuals or organizations who submitted substantive comments during the comment period may file an appeal.

The Record of Decision and the Environmental Impact Statement may be obtained at Forest Service offices in Pagosa Springs, Del Norte and Monte Vista, or viewed online at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/riogrande/.

To learn more about the appeal and administrative review process, see section 9.0 in the Record of Decision.

Town authorizes wastewater plant compliance schedule

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following a series of recent ammonia violations, and as part of long-term planning efforts, the Pagosa Springs Town Council, acting as the board for the Town of Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District, authorized formal pursuit of a waste water treatment plant compliance schedule to be submitted to the Colorado Department of Public Health.

In effect, the compliance schedule outlines the steps the district will take as it works toward constructing a new wastewater treatment facility, while bringing the current plant in the line with state effluent regulations.

Town Manager Mark Garcia said ammonia violations, for wastewater treatment facilities utilizing lagoon technology, such as the plant in the town of Pagosa Springs, often occur during the coldest winter months when lagoon water temperatures drop and the system operates at less than peak efficiency. Garcia said the low water temperature adversely affects the biological ammonia conversion rate and throws the variables required for effective system operation out of balance.

These factors, coupled with more stringent state effluent limits, Garcia said, will make it difficult for Pagosa Springs, and all lagoon technology users, to fully comply with the new state regulations, and is part of the town's push for a new plant.

"Everyone who has aerated lagoon systems, particularly in colder climates, will have difficulties meeting state effluent limits," Garcia said. The second project driver is area growth, and Garcia said the new plant will utilize more efficient, mechanical plant technology, which allows for greater initial capacity and easier expansion on the same site, to meet the town's future needs.

According to preliminary plans, the project allows for expansion in seven phases. During the first phase, two cells, each capable of treating 500,000 gallons per day, would be constructed, which would double the town's current capacity. And each phase thereafter would add another 500,000 gallons per day treatment capacity and would be built when the need arose.

Garcia said the current plant's location could accommodate the new facility, yet future development along Light Plant Road and U.S. 84 makes locating the plant on an eight- acre parcel about a half mile downstream and adjacent to the old light plant a more logical and cost effective option.

Garcia said the downstream property has not been acquired, although negotiations are in the works.

"A new site down river allows us to design a gravity flow wastewater treatment plant," Garcia said; while utilizing the current site would require installing lift stations and pumping facilities, which would mean increased overall system costs and maintenance.

Garcia said constructing the new plant on the site of the existing facility would cost $2.5 million, while the downstream project would mean construction costs, plus costs related to extending the town's main trunk line - a project which could cost roughly $1 million.

Preliminary plans being prepared for submission to the state call for constructing the new facility on the town's present, waste water treatment plant site, yet the plan will be modified if downstream land acquisition efforts for the new facility succeed.

According to the proposed schedule, the target completion date is September 2007, yet Mark Dahm of Briliam Engineering called that an ambitious target date.

Garcia said the town would seek a variety of grants and funding options, yet at some point, the question may be put to voters for approval.

Prescribed burns could begin today

Conditions permitting, fire managers from the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest are planning to conduct prescribed burns at two locations in the Pagosa Springs area this week. The intent is to begin burning today and continue for several days.

The Devil Creek units are located approximately seven miles northwest of Pagosa Springs in the area generally called Turkey Springs. . The purpose of the 630-acre prescribed burn is to reduce slash from those thinning projects and other hazardous fuels.

Smoke will be visible from Piedra Road, U.S. 160, and several subdivisions north of the highway. Smoke is expected to linger in the mornings after burn days, but clear away by mid-day.

The second area proposed for burning is on Vigil and Abeyta mesas about 30 miles south of Pagosa Springs, and about two miles southwest of Chromo. The plan is to treat 477 acres within an area managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Smoke will be visible from U.S. 84.

Prescribed burns are low-intensity fires, which are set and carefully monitored by fire crews. They are used to improve forest health and reduce ladder fuels - those shrubs and other plants that can carry flames up into tree canopies. Spring and fall are generally the best times of year to burn, because temperatures are more moderate and the fuels have enough moisture to keep the fire at a low intensity.

Several conditions must be met before a prescribed fire is ignited. A burn plan specific to each unit spells out those conditions which include: temperatures; relative humidity; moisture level of the grasses, needles, and trees; wind speed and direction; and smoke dispersal. Those conditions continue to be monitored throughout the burn. Additionally, there must be adequate crew and equipment to conduct the burn, as well as available back-up crew.

For more information contact the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.

County approves airport grant application

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners approved various airport-related issues Tuesday, not the least of which was a grant application to acquire land for a new taxiway.

Changes to the Airport Advisory Commission bylaws were also authorized.

Even with Commissioner Mamie Lynch absent, commissioners Robin Schiro and Ronnie Zaday approved a county application for a $398,033 grant from the Federal Aviation Agency. The money will enable the county to purchase a strip of land about a hundred feet wide that must be procured from several tracts of real estate owned by two separate families.

According to airport officials, the land is necessary to meet safety zone requirements for a new parallel taxiway scheduled for construction next year. Once built, it will compliment runway improvements completed earlier this year, by providing a means of safely moving aircraft from one airport location to another, without using the runway.

For the county to take advantage of FAA funds while they're available, a representative from the FAA office in Denver 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.

Meanwhile, according to county administrator Bob Campbell, negotiations with one of the families has proved fruitful, with family members indicating a willingness to sell their portion of the real estate needed. However, attempts to contact the other family have, thus far, been unsuccessful.

When asked what would happen if the county failed to contact the second family, or the land purchases were not completed by the June 15 deadline, Campbell said the full grant, less approved expenditures, would have to be returned to the FAA. Approved expenditures were described as engineering and appraisal fees, and other costs incurred in the initial evaluation of the properties.

According to Campbell, if the county fails to satisfy grant requirements this year, it will have to wait until the next cycle to reapply. While that would delay completion of the remaining improvements planned for the airport, future grants could also be reduced, or eliminated altogether. Officials remain hopeful that the land purchases will be completed in time.

In other airport business, county attorney Teresa Williams recommended a few changes to existing bylaws for the Airport Advisory Commission (AAC), and the board ultimately agreed.

DOW to hold public meeting in Pagosa The Colorado Division of Wildlife will discuss big-game management issues in the Pagosa Springs area, Tuesday, April 25. The public meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Vista Clubhouse, 230 Port Avenue, Pagosa Springs.

DOW staff members will talk about deer and elk management. Topics will include:

- recommended license numbers for the 2006 seasons;

- population objectives and age-sex ratios for big game animals; and

- impacts of development on big game herds.

The public is invited to ask questions and talk about local concerns regarding big-game management. Local DOW officers Mike Reid, Justin Krall and Doug Purcell will attend, along with DOW area terrestrial biologist Andy Holland.

For more information, contact Joe Lewandowski of the DOW, (970) 375-6708.

Outdoors

Free CRIA lectures set this week

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

At the invitation of Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc. and Fort Lewis College, archaeologist Dr. Jim Judge, astronomer Dr. J. McKim Malville, and Peter Pino of Zia Pueblo, are scheduled to speak in the local area this week.

This opportunity enables the public to learn more about the history and peoples of Chimney Rock and its interesting connections, from a variety of perspectives.

Long-time Chimney Rock friend, Dr. J. McKim Malville, professor emeritus of astrophysical and planetary sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and the former governor of the Pueblo of Zia in New Mexico, Peter Pino, will present free evening lectures in Pagosa Springs Friday, April 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street.

Malville's lecture is entitled, "Ancient Celebrations at Chimney Rock and Modern Festivals in India and Nepal: Cross-Cultural Comparisons."

Pino's topic is "My Ancestors and their Environment - Examples from the Four Corners Area." Pino will also give a similar lecture 7-9 p.m., at Fort Lewis College (FLC), in the Lyceum Room of the Center of Southwest Studies, adjacent to the FLC Community Concert Hall, at the north end of the campus. Ample parking is available at the college.

The invitations to such highly respected individuals, known by many in the Four-Corners area, is possible through the support of Fort Lewis College and a grant provided by the Colorado Historical Society's State Historical Fund.

Malville, who is also a professor at the Centre for Astronomy, James Cook University, Townsville, North Queensland, Australia, is most widely known in our area as rediscovering the Northern Major Lunar Standstill (MLS) phenomena at the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area. The Northern MLS happens every 18.6 years when the moon comes up periodically between the two spires. This event is occurring in 2006 at Chimney Rock.

Dr. Malville has written and participated in the publication of seven books and 120 research papers. Most recently he was involved in locating a lost Inca ceremonial center and sun temple in the cloud forest near Machu Picchu. Malville will sign books and have them available for sale at the public lecture in Pagosa.

Pino has been a Zia Pueblo Tribal Council member since 1967. Since 1977, he has served as the tribal administrator and treasurer. Pino is a traditional spiritual leader, holding a lifetime appointment as the tribe's Keeper of Songs. He is also a traditional craftsman who tans deer hides and makes moccasins, bows, arrows, digging sticks, rabbit sticks, and bone tools, using the same techniques employed by his Puebloan ancestors. His archaeological interests have led him to studies and board commitments with Crow Canyon and Mesa Verde, and consultant work for Mesa Verde National Park. He has served on the board of directors of the Mesa Verde Foundation since 1996, and was vice chairman of the board of commissioners for the State of New Mexico, Office of Indian Affairs. Currently, he is serving as the first Native American on the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission.

Pino has degrees in industrial education and electronics, including a master's degree in business administration. Pino's traditional arts and crafts will be available for purchase at the public events.

Judge taught anthropology and Southwest archaeology in various capacities at Colorado State University, the University of New Mexico, Southern Methodist University and Fort Lewis College, until his retirement in 2001. In the 1990s, as director of Fort Lewis College's archaeological field school, he conducted extensive test excavations at three unit pueblos near the Lowry Ruin. In 1974 he became a research archaeologist with the Chaco Project, serving as its director from 1977 to 1985.

A prolific writer on Southwestern archaeology, Judge's current research interests focus on environmental archaeology - examining the relationship between humans and their habitats of the past.

The three speakers are on the 2006 Chimney Rock Interpretive Association's volunteer training agenda this week. The volunteer training workshop is currently in progress, running three full days, from today through Saturday, April 22. The seminar is intended to educate and train both new volunteer recruits and seasoned volunteers to assist in the operation of the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

Volunteers will hear Pino speak on "Understanding Chimney Rock - A Pueblo Perspective." Malville will engage volunteers in a discussion on "Understanding Lunar Standstills," followed by a talk on "The Transformation of Chimney Rock to a Ceremonial Center by Trade, Astronomy, and Feasting." Judge will speak on "Understanding Chimney Rock - A Chacoan Perspective."

To top things off, volunteers will enjoy a panel discussion with Judge and Malville. The free training also includes a host of local and Four Corners speakers and an introduction to the widely varied volunteer roles that need to be filled. A picnic and guided site tour complete the program Saturday afternoon.

These events can provide some insight and theory about those who walked the same lands a thousand years ago. The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, in partnership with Fort Lewis College and the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District, sponsors this speaker's series.

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is a spectacular site, featuring remains of an ancient Ancestral Puebloan village and Chacoan Great House, perched high atop a mesa overlooking the Piedra River valley. CRIA conducts it's interpretive program on the site through a special use permit from the USDA Forest Service. The site is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, and three miles south on Colo. 151. Guided tours are available May 15-Sept. 30.

Elk foundation to hold banquet

The annual Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquet is scheduled June 3 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds Building. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dinner is set for 6 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Andy Anderson at 731-9530.

Comment sought on proposed sale of federal public lands

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

President Bush, in his fiscal year 2007 budget plan, advocates the sale of thousands of acres of public lands to private enterprise, including more than 23,000 acres in Colorado. Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service has extended the little-advertised public comment period, but only until May 1.

If approved by Congress, the administration believes two separate proposals will generate a total of $1.15 billion in revenue over the next 10 years - by sacrificing approximately 807,000 acres of National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands. The Forest Service would peddle as many as 307,000 acres in 32 states over the next five years, and within a decade, the BLM would auction off 500,000 acres in, as yet, undisclosed areas.

As one proposition, the Forest Service plan would generate $800 million in funding for the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, which has, in the last five years, paid nearly $2 billion for schools, road projects and other services in rural counties suffering from declines in federal timber sales revenues. The new plan would replace the act (set to expire in September), while providing only about 40 percent of its funding. Consequently, members from both sides of the congressional isle think the act should continue, and believe funding can come from more viable sources.

"To propose selling off public lands we will lose forever, in exchange for a program we can pay for by other more prudent means, is simply irresponsible," said Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.).

Rep. George Miller, Jr. (D-Calif.) agrees. "The suggestion that the only way to fund rural schools is we have to sell off our national forests is just ludicrous in a nation this wealthy."

Meanwhile, in a Feb. 10 press release, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said, "The Forest Service's shortsighted scheme to sell off public lands to partially and temporarily fund the County Payments is a non-starter. This remarkably successful program provides rural Washington counties with critical funding for schools, roads, and emergency response services. Many of Washington's rural communities depend on this program and I will continue working with my Senate colleagues to ensure this program gets reauthorized."

Under the second proposition, the administration would expand existing BLM authority to sell land, and fundamentally change how revenues are spent. According to budget documents, the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act would be amended, thereby substantially increasing the list of BLM lands available for sale, and allowing 70 percent of the money to be spent on deficit reduction. Currently, the act directs land sales receipts to the purchase of critical inholdings within national parks, national forests, and BLM conservation areas.

While the BLM already has the power to sell land, the non-profit, non-partisan National Environmental Trust believes budget targets for the period from 2007 to 2011 would require the sale of acreage at least 20 times greater than historic levels. NET suggests such ambitious sales quotas could cause greater emphasis on federal land sales than management obligations, while providing just $351 million in revenue over a 10-year period.

The concept of pawning off public lands is nothing new. In fact, just four months ago Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-Nev.) moved to sell millions of acres of federal real estate to private mining interests and developers. The measure actually passed the House, but combined bipartisan opposition from conservationists, hunters, anglers, local communities, businesses, governors and lawmakers has defeated it for now.

In reference to forest lands marked for sale in Bush's budget, Forest Service officials say the parcels in question are expensive and difficult to manage, lack essential wildlife habitat or recreational benefits, and are separated from primary forest properties. Administration officials say they are of no particular public value or consequence.

Yet, the disposal list includes 700 acres of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Oregon and Washington, 1,300 acres along a remote river gorge with rare low-elevation old-growth forest, again in Washington, and 160 acres in a popular recreation area in the Big Creek drainage near Emigrant, Mont. More than 200 acres of forest approximately five miles north of Pagosa Springs are also included.

Many opposed to the budget plan feel these lands should be traded, rather than sold off. According to a recent story in High Country News, "The lands for sale are some of the agency's best trade bait, and auctioning them off could undermine the Forest Service's ability to swap for lands that would be more valuable in the long term."

In response to Bush's budget proposal, Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) simply said, "This proposal is merely the camel's nose under the tent. If this passes, the administration will be back with more proposals for larger sales of national forest land. Philosophically, the administration doesn't really value the national forest."

The 23,248 "disposable" acres of Colorado's forests are scattered throughout the state's higher elevations, but local opposition to their sale is no less apparent. "It's like selling your homestead to pay your credit cards," Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said.

In a Feb. 28 press release, Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) said, "I oppose the President's proposal to sell off 300,000 acres of forest lands to address budget needs. I have made it clear to Forest Service officials today that I will fight the proposed sell-off of Forest Service land as part of a budget gambit."

With mounting bipartisan discord clearly disputing the president's public lands sell-off plan, it's increasingly difficult to imagine Congress signing off on the scheme. Montana's Gov. Brian Schweitzer thinks, "If we sold off a piece of land every time we needed to raise money, we wouldn't have any public land left. Maybe just the parking lot in front of the Capital building."

The Forest Service is requesting public comment on the proposed sale of National Forest lands, with the comment deadline extended to May 1. Anyone wishing to weigh in on the issue can contact the U.S. Forest Service on line at www.fs.fed.us. Since lawmakers will ultimately approve a final administration budget, providing your senators and House representatives with substantive comments would also be useful.

James picked, returns to town council

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following a bout of severe candidate apathy, leading to zero candidate turnout and a non-election for the District 2 town council seat, two candidates emerged after the town-requested letters of intent from those wishing to fill the District 2 post.

Those letters came from former District 2 Councilwoman Judy James and John Steinert; and during an April 12, Pagosa Springs Town Council Meeting, James was unanimously selected to re-take the post.

The process of fielding letters of intent is standard procedure when there is no candidate turnout for a town council seat.

Originally, James had declined to run for re-election, but when no one stepped forward, she decided to re-enter the mix.

With her position secured on the council, James will serve a four-year term and during that time, she said she believes the Pagosa Springs Town Council will grapple with two significant issues: large scale development and traffic.

In other town council action during the April 12 meeting: The council passed Ordinance 648, which institutes business licensing in the Town of Pagosa Springs.

After some discussion, the ordinance passed by a majority vote with council member Darrel Cotton dissenting.

The ordinance took effect following the council's vote, yet a licensing fee structure remains to be determined.

Town Manager Mark Garcia said licensing fees will be discussed and ultimately adopted during the council's regular meeting May 2 and that public input would be welcome.

 Catch and Release

No column this week

High Country Reflections

A treasured possession and exceptional fishing tool

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Personal sentimental attachments notwithstanding, my J.E. Arguello flyrod is my most valued possession.

In this materialistic society of self-indulgence and uncommon wealth, each of us has our own individual treasure. For some, it may be a large and lavish home, or high-priced automobile. For others, it's an extraordinary work of art, or a collection of rare antiquities. Still others may cherish something as simple as an odd-shaped and colorful stone, or a prized doll passed down from a loved one.

For me, it is a custom-built split-bamboo fishing tool - a one-of-a-kind, unmatched anywhere in the world.

Keep in mind, by "one-of-a-kind" and "unmatched," I mean there are no other rods exactly like it anywhere. There are certainly many replications produced by able builders, but by the very nature of something custom-made from a natural material, even among those fashioned by the same maker, there is no such thing as a precise duplicate. Nevertheless, generally speaking, Arguello rods stand out among the rest.

Handcrafted bamboo flyrods have been around since at least the mid-1800s. By the late 1870s, "the father of the bamboo rod," Hiram Leonard, had established the H.L. Leonard Rod Company, which eventually spawned a number of talented craftsmen, not the least of which was a hobbyist named Dr. George Parker Holden.

In 1920, Holden authored a milestone book entitled "The Idyll of Split Bamboo," and eventually taught a man named Everett Garrison the fine art of rod building. In 1977, Garrison, along with coauthor Hoagy Carmichael, wrote "A Master's Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod," which has been the fundamental authority on the trade, since.

Today, many of the rods crafted by contemporary masters are built to Garrison specifications. So too, is my J.E. Arguello rod ? J.E. Arguello, of course, being a remarkable craftsman and rod builder.

I first met "Joe" Arguello in the spring of 1997, when a mutual friend, Pete McNeill, suggested I give him a call. I was a magazine columnist and fishing guide living in Kremmling, Colo. at the time, and Pete ran a small flyshop and guide service in the nearby community of Hot Sulphur Springs. I remember telling Pete I was looking for a good story line for an upcoming column, and he told me about Joe's flyrods.

One thing led to another, and I soon spent an entire day with Joe at his Front Range flyshop/rod-building shop. We seemed to hit it off well, and I was immediately taken by Joe's easygoing demeanor and obvious enthusiasm for making and fishing bamboo rods. As I listened and shot photos, he led me through the step-by-step process of turning a raw culm of Tonkin bamboo into a beautiful and efficient casting tool. At the same time, he described how his affinity for "cane" rods gradually developed from childhood.

Incidentally, according to noted author and self-proclaimed lover of bamboo rods, John Gierach, "some aficionados will yell at you if you call bamboo 'cane.'" As Gierach insists he's not one of them, he explains, we're talking about rods "made from split Arundinaria amabilis 'McClure', commonly called Tonkin bamboo in America and Tea Stick bamboo in China." He goes on to say, "There are many other species of bamboo in the world, all of which are vastly inferior for fly rods, and all of which you can call cane if you want."

Anyway, Joe grew up in Trinidad where, during his youth, local merchants carried little in terms of flyfishing equipment and supplies. As Joe explained, "Money was scarce and even the newfangled, low-cost fiberglass rods down at Riverside Drugs were beyond my budget." So, he mainly fished inexpensive "garage-sale" cane rods, because, as he said, "that was mostly what I could afford."

As a teenager, Joe occasionally managed to scrape enough change together to purchase a new rod from a large Denver department store. During his rare city visits, he'd spend around $15 on a low-end production model like a South Bend or Wright & McGill. While they were among thousands mass-produced, and appeared about as cheap as they cost, they were, nonetheless, made of split bamboo.

By age 20, Joe splurged and spent 30 bucks on a new Ed M. Hunter, another production rod, but to him, it was a thing of beauty. He fished it for years, and as his angling skills steadily developed, so did the allure to casting bamboo.

At some point, Joe read a magazine article telling of Al Bellinger and his handcrafted bamboo rods. The article, and others like it, moved him to a fascination with classic cane rods and traditional English-style reels. Finally, during another visit to the city, he stopped by an upscale flyshop and asked to see a stunning new rod, gleaming in a large illuminated display case. Following a brief pause, the clerk refused, saying something to the effect that the rod was expensive and only "serious" customers could handle it.

"They approached me with an air of condescension, as if I had no business being there," Joe said. "At the time, the world in general just ticked me off, so I decided to make my own rods."

By then, Joe had worked in an auto body shop for 20 years, and ran his own air-conditioning business for five. He was comfortable working with his hands, and had the confidence to delve into a new craft ... even if he lacked the knowledge or necessary tools to begin.

But Joe was not a typical self-starter. The knowledge came easily enough, as he read several books, including Garrison and Carmichael's Master's Guide. But it was soon obvious that certain tools and equipment were required and, as Joe explained, "You can't just run down to the local Sears and purchase cane rod-making tools."

So, he read several other books and bought a lathe, jig saw, table saw, drill press, and other machinery used in creating his craft-specific tools. He learned to machine the necessary implements, including planing forms, a binder, dipping apparatus, heat-treating oven, and tools for the further machining of reel seats and snake guides. To replicate the agate stripping guides found on antique rods, he bought metalworking tools and a stone cutter, took jewelry classes and learned to cut, polish and set the agate.

By 1991, when Joe started producing custom rods, he also manufactured every component in their makeup, including the split-cane splines, hardwood reel spacers and cork handles. He machined reel seats, ferrules, slide bands, stripping guides, and snake guides, and even sewed rod socks and made the black wrinkle-finished aluminum tubes the completed rods were packaged in. Today, with 15 years experience, that practice continues.

It is this level of skill and creativity, and Joe's painstaking attention to detail, that make Arguello rods stand out among the rest. Even as a number of individual makers are assembling quality rods, most must purchase pre-made hardware, wood spacers and tubes. Precious few have the tools and ability to do it all.

Several weeks after visiting Joe in the spring of 1997, he visited me in Kremmling. As planned, we managed an afternoon of dry-fly fishing on the upper Colorado and, of course, we fished a couple of Joe's handcrafted rods. However, the rod in my hand that day was one built especially for me.

I remember the moment Joe first handed it to me, still in the tube, and I recall the scent of fresh marine spar varnish, as I slipped the butt-section and matching tips from the sock. A handsome two-piece five-weight, I admired its lightly-flamed character and sparkling clear finish, as the clean nickel-silver hardware glistened in the summer sunlight. The variegated-olive silk wraps and black accent wraps, along with the orange agate stripping guide, reminded me of the natural colors of a greenback cutthroat trout. Like the rare and beautiful native salmonid, the rod is a sight to behold.

As pretty as the rod is, its feel is even better. At 7 feet 9 inches long, its Garrison taper affords ample power in the butt, yet the tip is forgiving enough to handle large fish on light tippets. Its action is smooth and comfortable. In the cast, there is a distinct presence, an energy, in the hand that has been lost with the latest and lightest technological advances in graphite or boron. If the rod imparts a challenge, it is only in resisting the urge to constantly stare at it, rather than fish it.

The rod, my J.E. Arguello split-bamboo flyrod, is an attractive and amazing fishing tool, and it is my personal treasure. I am fortunate to have it, and I am fortunate that its builder is my friend.

To learn more about J.E. "Joe" Arguello and his extraordinary bamboo rods, visit him at jea-bamboo-flyrods.com. Click on the "contact" tab, or e-mail Joe at jea5@comcast.net.

Letters

Quality care

Dear Editor:

I am a part-time resident of Pagosa Springs. We own a townhome and visit Pagosa quite often.

On our last visit, we decided to look for a dog. My wife suggested we check with a local veterinarian to find out what breed and what size would be compatible with two senior citizens.

Dr. Joe Schmidt gave some ideas on size, but not breed. He suggested a visit to the Pagosa Springs Humane Society. He said to visit there often and the dog you like will come in some time and you will know when it is the one.

That's exactly how we found our dog. I arrived at the Humane Society and checked the cages and, there, just like the doctor said, I saw my dog. I asked the personnel to hold the dog until my wife could see her. They said, no problem, come back when we have better weather as there was a snow storm. I am writing this letter to tell all you Pagosans that you are so very lucky to have the people that work at the Humane Society. They drive back and forth in very nasty weather to care of these animals. They are very dedicated people.

They are remarkable people and they care for their dogs and cats like they were all their own. They know every dog by name and there were no favorites. The place was always clean and the dogs were carefully housed with mates they were compatible with. I learned from them that there is no such thing as "it's just a dog." They treat those dogs with loving care, toys, clean blankets, clean cages, treats, baths, etc. Archuleta County is very fortunate to have such dedicated people working for them.

I want to say a big thank you to Trish Waltrup-Sanchez, Sheila Farmer, Hattie Arama, Fred Aki and Jim Sawicki. They run a good ship and were always very polite and cordial when I stopped there. I'm sure there are more that I didn't meet and thanks to them also. I made some really nice friends there and got a wonderful little dog in the process!

We are happy that Pagosa and Archuleta County will build a better place, in the near future, for our four-legged friends and for the people that care for them. They deserve it!.

Sincerely,

Alfred "Buck" and Dorothy Buchner

Cowboy country?

Dear Editor:

Where is Red Ryder?

One of the first things I did when I visited Pagosa Springs was tour the Fred Harman museum. During my visit I spent some time with Mr. Harman discussing his father's works and his creation of the Red Ryder character. He told me that his father had molded some of the characters in his newspaper series around people who lived in Pagosa Springs. I departed the museum with the idea that this must be cowboy country. That thought was reinforced by my touring the Pagosa area for the next week and seeing all the open spaces and the cattle and horses grazing in the pastures. Cowboy hats and boots were part of the working man's attire. This was definitely the area that I wanted to live in.

And so it came to be that my new home and property adjoin the Valley View (Blue Ranch). During the summer we have seen cattle and horses grazing along with elk, deer and other wild creatures on the ranch. I finally had attained my lifelong dream of living in cowboy country.

But wait, the latest rumor (and I admit it is a rumor) is that the out-of-state developer (why are they always out-of-state?) that has recently purchased the Valley View (Blue Ranch) is considering putting in a golf course! A golf course in cowboy country? That's like placing a cemetery in the middle of Denver Stadium. Houston we have a problem!

I would hope that these people (the out-of-state developers) would spend some time in cowboy country and let some of the Red Ryder mystique rub off on them. And then maybe they would understand why the golf course thing is a bad idea.

Oh, where is Red Ryder when we need him?

Fred Bunney

Editor's note: Are we to understand there is a significant difference between an "out-of-state developer" and a developer who is born in Colorado? If so, can a similar distinction be made between someone born in Colorado and someone who moves here to live?

Oversize

Dear Editor:

I manage the Bill and Vicki Mitchell ranch that is located south of Pagosa Springs. A mile stretch of the San Juan River runs through the ranch and we have irrigation rights. So the issue of significantly, and needlessly, reducing the flow of the San Juan for the oversized Dry Gulch Reservoir affects us personally.

We know that this flawed proposal will also negatively affect the town of Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area. People come to this area for its breathtaking scenery and wonderful recreational opportunities that include kayaking, rafting, fishing, hunting, etc. Any significant reduction in the flow of the San Juan will drastically affect tourism and those aforementioned activities, resulting in a significant reduction in tourism and tax revenues for Pagosa Springs, but also in the quality of life for the local residents.

Currently, the San Juan River is running well and high, approximately 600 cubic feet per second, due to spring rains and snow melt. The flawed proposal calls for taking 200 cfs from the river, one-third of its current rate. For much of the year, the river flow rate is about 150 cfs. So what happens in the summer when there is no rain and no snowmelt? It means no San Juan River. Or but a mere trickle.

Pagosa Springs is a beautiful place and the San Juan is an integral part of that "magic" that is the place we call home.

We urge the board to reconsider the negative effects of the excessive diversion of precious water from the San Juan River. This will be to the detriment of the aesthetic beauty of our town, fish and wildlife, recreational sports, tourism in general, and the quality of life of our wonderful city's residents.

Thank you,

Tim Collins

Gun safety

Dear Editor:

The tragic death of 11-year-old Kevin Abbott of Durango from an accidental gunshot wound last week is a reminder that we need to emphasize gun safety in our homes and especially in our schools.

When I was young we had firefighters and police officers visit to talk about fire safety, not talking to strangers, etc. I am sure the concept that the firefighter and police officer are your friends is still taught. Maybe besides talking about fire and drugs and strangers, we also need to discuss weapons safety. I was lucky, when I was a kid, as a Boy Scout I took the marksmanship merit badge taught by a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant, "Gunny Truelock."

Some of what we learned was:

- Always treat a weapon as if it were loaded.

- Never point a weapon at anyone even as a joke.

- Never leave a weapon loaded.

- Always keep your weapon pointed down range.

- Whenever you pick up a weapon check the chamber to see if it is loaded.

- Keep your finger off of the trigger

- Keep the safety on, but do not trust it.

- Pistols are far more dangerous than rifles because it is easier to point them in the wrong direction.

I do believe that weapons should not be sold to people who have not taken a weapons safety course. Adults should sign an affidavit that they or their children or both have taken or will take a gun safety course when purchasing a weapon.

It may offend some parents for a police, state patrol or a Division of Wildlife officer to take a rifle or pistol into a school but the United States has a culture that supports gun ownership and we need kids to understand how dangerous these weapons are.

My thanks to Gunny Truelock and every marksmanship and weapons safety teacher.

Raymond P. Finney

Uniforms

Dear Editor:

I just got off the phone with a sixth caller willing to pay for the Pagosa Fire District's chief's and assistant chief's dress uniforms. Callers I did not know personally. Many thanks to all of them. FYI: After attending a memorial service for one of our Pagosa Fire's finest where Durango Fire Authority, Upper Pine (Bayfield) and Los Pinos (Ignacio) presented themselves in their dress uniforms while Pagosa fire had only their satin jackets to wear, it was brought home to the fire district that dress uniforms were not only a sign of respect but also a long-standing tradition.

Standard fire department command structure for fire service officers is as follows: chief, five bugles on collar, five stripes on sleeve; deputy chief, four bugles, four stripes; assistant chief, three bugles, three stripes; captain, two bugles, two stripes; lieutenant, one bugle, one stripe. Once again, tradition.

I resent Mr. Ramsperger's mean-spirited comments concerning the dress uniforms for our fire officers. In the fire service, as in the military, you earn your rank as you move through those ranks. So Mr. Ramsperger, at the next Marine banquet, I will salute you in all your finery because it is a matter of honor and tradition! Hoorah!

Respectfully,

Kathleen Grams

P.S. Let's talk taxpayer monies. All the above-mentioned towns are now hiring and paying shift firefighters because they can't keep volunteers, what with our present economy. God bless our guys and gals!

Clarify

Dear Editor:

I'm hoping that the Upper San Juan Health Services District will clarify a number of points relating to the bond issue election. The most important concern is the excessive interest rate for the bonds. Current municipal bond rates average only 4.7 percent for 30-year obligations, slightly more than one-half of the 8.5 percent for the bond issue.

Because of our rapidly increasing population, increased tax base, and high net worth of many of our new citizens, the district should be able to obtain a much lower interest rate on the bonds. Perhaps the underwriters recognize that the venture (acute hospital) is a very risky investment - high risk equates to high interest.

How are the bond proceeds to be used? What portion of the proceeds will go to attorneys, financial consultants and developers? Has there been more than an arm's length association between the board members and the underwriters and consultants?

In case of default by the district, who will be left holding the bag? Will it be the individual members of the district? Who is the trustee in event of default, and is there a third party guaranteeing payment?

Since the venture is dependent on the success of the underlying acute hospital, the district should provide an analysis of the likelihood of success and the risk of failure, including information on comparable projects in other communities. The district should also disclose the assumptions used in determining that the hospital will generate enough revenue to pay operating costs and annual repayment of the bond debt.

Did the district attempt to have the bonds rated and was bond insurance considered? Bond insurance may result in a significant interest rate savings.

There certainly is need for improved public health services in the county, but I question whether the current proposal is the best the district can do. We are about to be burdened to the tune of at least $2,500 per man, woman and child over the life of the bonds. I'm disappointed that the district has failed to obtain a reasonable and acceptable interest rate on the bonds. Even a small rate reduction would be a significant savings for voters.

Thank you,

Larry Guckert

Editor's note: The interest rate noted in the TABOR-mandated statement is the required "worst-case scenario." At present, with the mill levy pledged as part of the agreement, organizers and supporters are looking at a 25-year obligation with an interest rate lower than 5 percent.

Airport

Dear Editor:

The county commissioners are advertising to fill the position of airport manager. The salary is over $42,000. It is not necessary to have an airport manager for an airport this size. The airport can be managed by a volunteer team of five persons, an Airport Authority Board, thus saving the county taxpayers the salary of a manager. It is a very common form of management for small airports. The commissioners have been advised of this alternative, but our suggestion falls on deaf ears. Mamie admitted (to me) long ago that she knows nothing about managing an airport. Yet she, Ronnie and Robin continually ignore advice from knowledgeable airport-related persons. If taxpayers of this county really care about $42,000, and what's spent at the airport, it's up to you to make a phone call to your county commissioner.

Marilyn Hutchins

Overdue

Dear Editor:

A hospital in Pagosa Springs is long overdue. As an emergency physician practicing at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, as well as being the medical director for the Upper San Juan Ambulance Service here in Pagosa Springs, there is no question in my mind that this should be the top priority for the citizens of this county. Every day that I work in Durango at the emergency department, I find that a substantial number of patients have traveled from Pagosa Springs and the surrounding areas. Many of these people are seriously ill or injured. It is undisputed that this number will only increase due to the rapid growth in the area. My experience after working in much smaller rural communities with a hospital leaves me no doubt of the hospital's benefit to everyone. Ultimately, it is much more cost-effective to have this local resource.

In directing and overseeing the medics who provide excellent service to this area, I have a perspective of the issues from the Pagosa side. Because of the long transport to the nearest hospital, patients who are seriously injured or sick are at serious risk of their condition becoming much worse. While the local clinics provide essential and oftentimes life-saving care, they are not fully equipped to do all that is necessary to stabilize some patients. All too often, my colleagues and I must consult the medics whom have been called to transport someone, only to find that the person refuses to be transported. It is obvious that one of the primary reasons for refusing transport is due to the long transport and its associated cost. Many of these people put themselves at great risk by doing so.

I am encouraged to see that the health district is taking action to make a hospital a reality. I can guarantee that its benefits to people of this area will be substantial.

David Hughes, M.D.

Health care

Dear Editor:

A big thank you to all the people who were involved with the Pagosa health fair on April 1 at the high school. Although I've been involved with health fairs before , this one was very well organized and well run. It says a lot for the people of Pagosa. I was especially impressed with the very fair price of the blood tests and all the knowledgeable volunteers manning the booths.

I would say a very worthwhile day was had by all.

If this was just a glimmer of how many caring individuals live in town, and if we can tell by the number of attendees how important affordable health care is to everyone, just think how wonderful it would be to have a critical access hospital here.

Cynthia Quigley

Uniforms 2

Dear Editor:

In response to Mr. Ramsperger's editorial:

I congratulate Mr. Ramsperger for his praise of our fire department and the men and women who serve it. They are indeed exceptional in the time they put into training and firefighting to serve our community.

However, I take issue with the second part of your letter regarding "new threads" for our fire chief and assistant chief. How dare you, sir, deprive the paid chief and assistant chief a dress uniform. After all, they do represent our community. For years they have gone without dress uniforms and have gone to many functions representing our community only to see other fire departments in dress uniforms.

My husband was a retired fire chief in New Jersey. He was with the fire service for over 30 years, both paid and volunteer. He was proud to wear his dress uniform and wore it to fire department functions, as well as funerals, proudly representing his fire department.

John served as a volunteer for the Pagosa Fire District. Last year at my husband's memorial service, I felt so sad that our Pagosa fire officers were not in dress uniform, because they had none. All the fire departments in the area who attended were dressed in Class A dress uniforms.

Fire departments use the para military structure to denote the chief (five gold slash marks), the assistant chief (four gold slash marks) and so on, down the line. They are not Navy captains as you referred to them.

In closing, why would you deprive our officers, representing our town, the dress uniforms that they so proudly deserve? You sir, have given these men a "backhanded" compliment.

Widow of a very proud firefighter,

Diane Rieck

P.S. There is one part of the chief's uniform that the community did not buy and that was my husband's chief's hat that he gave to Warren Grams and told him to wear it proudly.

Support

Dear Editor:

As chairperson of the Mercy Regional Medical Center Board of Directors, I would like to express Mercy's support of the actions the Upper San Juan Health Service District is undertaking to build a hospital in Pagosa Springs. Our staff has been working closely with the USJHSD board and their staff over the past year, and we look forward to continuing to build our relationships working with your community to help your new hospital become a success.

Joanne M. Spina

Board chairperson

 

  Community News

Garcia to conduct Shy Rabbit sculpture sessions

Beginning Sculpture, with Roberto Garcia, Jr. runs May 10-June 14 at Shy Rabbit.

This 18-hour course meets for six, three-hour sessions on Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. This workshop is limited to 10 participants. Cost is $250, plus a $25 material fee.

In this course, students will work with oil-based clay, using an armature. Every student will create a half-size human head using one of Garcia's own sculptures as a model. Through this process, all will learn the basic techniques for modeling in clay.

Garcia is eager to share his knowledge and experience and encourages students to also bring their own sketches or ideas to create a second project of their choice. He will help students design appropriate armatures and begin creating the sculpture of their dreams.

Since the oil-based clay is only a temporary form, Beginning Sculpture will be followed by a mold-making workshop and will conclude with a foundry arts workshop in which participants can learn how to pour bronze.

In an ongoing effort to present master artisans in their fields, Shy Rabbit is thrilled to offer this sculpting workshop with Garcia, a local artist and foundry owner. Garcia owns and operates The Crucible Gallery in Pagosa Springs. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and studied at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in Princeton, N.J.

Garcia apprenticed with Charles Umlauf in Austin, an internationally-known and well-respected sculptor. Garcia even cast some of Umlauf's later work. Garcia is a master artisan who personally models all of his work in clay or plaster, creates molds and does all of his own bronze casting. For 30 years, Garcia has lived and worked as a freelance artist. He has done everything from monumental commissions to gallery-sized bronze sculpture. For Garcia, "art is a discipline and it takes much practice to be skilled. Every piece is a step or lesson to create the next one."

Garcia has shown at Shidoni in Tesuque, N.M., Good Hands Gallery in Santa Fe, the Loveland Sculptural Invitational, and most recently in solo retrospective at Texas A&M International University Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Gallery.

To register, contact Shy Rabbit at (970) 731-2766. Leave your full name, address and phone number. Then mail a nonrefundable check for $275 to secure one of 10 participant slots in this workshop to: Shy Rabbit, P.O. Box 5887, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Shy Rabbit is located off North Pagosa Boulevard at 333 Bastille Street, Units B-1 and 4.

Spring festival of music, dance

A spring festival of folk music and dance comes to Pagosa Springs the weekend of May 5-6.

During this two-day immersion in the performing arts, performances, demonstrations, workshops and classes will take place at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

The festival culminates with a Saturday evening concert of world music by Paul and Carla Roberts and special guests.

A schedule of activities for the weekend will appear in next week's PREVIEW. Also, check elationarts.org on the Web for more information.

The weekend will include the Spanish Fiesta's Cinco de Mayo celebration at 2 p.m. This free family event highlights the beautiful Hispanic cultural heritage of our region.

Other events include a family drum-jam, a songwriters' and poetry showcase, banjo, mandolin and Irish bodhran demonstrations, a clogging workshop and much more.

This festival is produced by Elation Center for the Arts. For more information, call 731-3117.

Spanish Fiesta Club plans Cinco de Mayo events

The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club has announced plans for the Cinco de Mayo Celebration weekend.

Friday, May 5, will start off with an enchilada dinner and dance at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church Parish Hall. Enjoy a delicious meal with all the trimmings, then dance into the night to the lively Hispanic tunes of Latin Express.

The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and the dance starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Dance -only tickets are $8 in advance, and $10 at the door. Tickets are available at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, the community center or from a Spanish Fiesta Club member. All proceeds after expenses will benefit the Spanish Fiesta 2007.

On Saturday, May 6, at 2 p.m., enjoy a pinata party at the Vista Clubhouse. Paul and Carla Roberts from the Elation Center of the Arts will co-host the pinata party and will share their talents with all who attend. There is no charge for this party and families can enjoy the festivities together. Donations will be accepted and club members are looking for sponsors for this event to help defray the costs. Any proceeds from this will benefit both the Elation Center for the Arts and the Spanish Fiesta 2007.

The fun does not stop. At 3-5 p.m., Sunday, May 7, gather the family again and come to the Pagosa Springs Community Center for a presentation by Mariachi Rio Grande from Taos. These talented musicians will raise the roof with their beautiful and entertaining traditional Hispanic mariachi music. There will be sopapillas and chili available for a small charge. Tickets are $8 and kids 12 and under are free. There is a special family price of $25 (parents and children). Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, the community center or from a Spanish Fiesta Club member. Proceeds after expenses will benefit the Pagosa Springs Community Center and the Spanish Fiesta 2007.

Music Boosters audition for next show

Music Boosters announces auditions for a full-scale production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a musical comedy about Jacob's son, Joseph, and his 11 brothers.

"Joseph," a hilarious spoof of the historical tale, opened on Broadway in 1982, with over 20 musical numbers.

The Boosters are looking for adult men and women, high school-age and older, for approximately 30 roles. The Boosters are also casting for a children's choir that is incorporated into the production, looking for young boy and girl vocalists elementary through junior high school age.

Auditions will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, and 1-5 p.m. Saturday May 6, (time change).

Please prepare one verse of a song, and bring your music - either from "Joseph" or another Broadway type show. An accompanist will be provided. Auditions include readings and a group dance audition.

Music Boosters is excited to bring "Joseph" to the Pagosa stage, after many requests over the years. Experienced performers and novices alike are welcome. If you've been waiting for the right show or the right time to audition and become part of the Music Boosters productions, come on out and give it a try.

For information, call Dale Morris, 731-3370.

Annual clothing giveaway at St. Patrick's

It's spring again, and time to clean out the closet and try on those summer clothes.

St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, in cooperation with the Pagosa Outreach Connection and other service organizations, will be giving clothes away on Saturday, April 29.

St. Patrick's is currently accepting all clean, usable, gently-worn clothing, linens, bedding items, children's clothes, shoes and accessories. Please provide clothes on hangers if possible. Children's clothes are always needed.

Anyone wishing to donate clothing and unable to deliver them to the church are welcome to call 731-5801 for pickup. St. Patrick's Episcopal Church is located at 225 South Pagosa Blvd., just south of Mary Fisher Clinic.

Everyone is welcome to come and get free clothing.

Volunteers are needed to unpack and arrange clothing the Wednesday through Friday prior to the giveaway. Choose a time and sign the volunteer sheet in the narthex.

lame Sally will appear at Indiefest

By Crista Munro

Special to the PREVIEW

The first-ever Indiefest is set to take place June 10 -11 on Reservoir Hill.

The two-day outdoor music festival will feature live performances from 10 different independent musicians, plus a kids' program, arts and crafts vending, on-site camping and more.

The Bay Area-based group Blame Sally plays an eclectic blend of pop-motivated folk that's intelligent, emotional, and alive with syncopation, melody, lush inventive arrangements and compelling songs.

Band members Pam Delgado, Renee Harcourt, Jeri Jones and Monica Pasqual are exceptional players from very different musical backgrounds who sing and write with distinctive voices. Sitting between Pasqual's classically influenced keyboards and Delgado's world-influenced percussion, Harcourt and Jones effortlessly trade back and forth the bass and guitar bringing their own Americana and pop flavorings to the mix. It's like Tori Amos meets Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or ... The Beatles meets Rickie Lee Jones. Whatever you call it, it seems to be working.

Blame Sally songs are getting played on radio stations all over the country and the band's been touring in California, the Southwest and even in Europe. In 2004, Blame Sally was invited to play three concerts in Italy; played the main stage to thousands of people at Santa Barbara's Live Oak Music Festival (along with Richard Thompson and Robert Earl Keene among others); headlined Albuquerque's Botanical Garden's Twilight Concerts Series; was featured on United Airline's in-flight programming for two months and was the honored "One to Watch" artist last December on the nationally syndicated radio program Acoustic Cafe.

Their music has been described as emotionally charged, passionate, highly melodic, and compelling. An all-female quartet with "a unique command over the song," these four accomplished instrumentalist/singers combine their strikingly different approaches to create a distinct and beautiful sound. San Francisco's KFOG selected tracks from both Blame Sally CDs to appear on their compilations from 2003 and 2004, along with tracks by Paul Simon, Spearhead, Jackie Greene, The Waifs, Dar Williams, and more. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle called their self-produced/self released album "intelligently emotional, intricately harmonized folk-pop" with "imaginatively arranged, expansive narrative songs Š"

Blame Sally is currently busy in the recording studio putting the final touches on their next album which will be released in mid 2006, but they'll take a break to perform Sunday, June 11 at the inaugural Indiefest.

Tickets can be purchased downtown at Moonlight Books by cash or check. For additional festival information, or to purchase tickets with a credit card, call 731-5582 or visit www.folkwest.com.

Kids' Earth Day activity at library

By Barb Draper

Special to the PREVIEW

Earth Day is Saturday, and I hope many of you kids out there, kindergarten through grade six, are planning on joining us at the Sisson Library 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for our big celebration.

We will meet and organize at 10 then take a bus and/or carpool to a site a short way down Trujillo Road to gather rocks.

Why rocks?

Each of you will be looking for a very special rock that you will paint, then place along a walking path in our new front yard. We are excited about having all of you help get our landscaping off to a great start.

Also, we will be gathering lots of other rocks because Liz Parker from the San Juan Mountains Association will be showing us how rock dams are built and telling us how important such water dams are to our area.

There are 75 seats on the bus. The only way to reserve your spot on the bus is to have one of your parents come to the library to sign a permission slip and get your name on the reservation list. If you have not already done this, be sure you are on this list between now and Saturday morning. The library will be open until 5 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) and will open at 9 Saturday morning.

Plan to dress appropriately for outdoor activity, and for whatever the weather may be Saturday. Also, a pair of gloves will be helpful when you are carrying your rocks. There will be drinks available for all of you, as well as a dessert snack; but please bring your own sack lunch labeled clearly with your first and last name.

Some families may have other plans Saturday. You do not have to stay for the entire day. Come for part or all of the day. Your parents do not have to be there with you, but they are welcome to stay and see what is going on.

And, a notes for parents: We welcome and encourage any of you who would like to gather a few kids and carpool them to our rock site. You might wish to bring along a camera as well. Please pick your children up before 3 p.m. That is when the library will close and our staff will be leaving at that time.

This day's activities are planned for school-aged children. Younger children would be frustrated with the activities we have planned, and we do not have sufficient staff to supervise them. They will have an opportunity for their own "rock activity" Tuesday, April 25, and Wednesday, April 26, at the regular preschool story hour at the library.

New exhibit at Anasazi Heritage Center

The Anasazi Heritage Center invites the public to celebrate the grand opening of a new exhibit: "Archaeology Grows Up: 1906 - 2006," 1-4 p.m. Sunday, April 23, with a reception co-hosted by the San Juan Mountains Association.

The exhibit celebrates the centennial of the Antiquities Act and reveals the transformation of archaeology from 1906 to the modern computer-assisted study of ancient people. Spectacular artifacts and historic images make this a must-see.

This exhibit was designed by Anasazi Heritage Center staff with funding and support by the Colorado Historic Fund and the San Juan Mountains Association. It highlights cutting-edge techniques that were developed in the Southwest and spread throughout the world, thanks to archaeologists who began their careers at the Center and who went on to shape the face of modern science. The exhibit will run from April 15, 2006, through April 1, 2007.

At 2 p.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. there will also be a reader's theater entitled "Much Trouble, Some Expense, No Danger" written and narrated by Judith Reynolds. Reynolds and crew will re-create Gustaf Nordenskiöld's, (a young Swedish scientist), 1891 visit to the Southwest, his excavation and removal of artifacts from Mesa Verde, and the ensuing uproar surrounding his arrest in Durango. Kevin Johnson will represent Nordenskiöld, Rory Mullett will play Al Wetherill and others, and David Reynolds will perform various roles. Judith and David Reynolds are the co-authors of the forthcoming book "Nordenskiöld of Mesa Verde."

Other upcoming events at the Center include a May 20 site stewardship workshop for landowners, hosted by the San Juan Mountains Association. This workshop will help landowners learn how to identify archaeological sites, provide advice on how to deal with them, and offer resources available to those who are interested in preserving their sites.

Thursday, June 8, at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m., Dr. Linda Cordell, professor of anthropology and director of the University of Colorado's Museum in Boulder, will review the surprising history of Mesa Verde and the Antiquities Act, including early feminist issues. Seating is limited. Visitors will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Cordell's lecture is part of the Mesa Verde National Park Centennial Lecture Series.

The Anasazi Heritage Center will host other Centennial Lecture Series events throughout the year. Please pick up a copy of the Anasazi Heritage Center's Special Events Calendar for more information or call (970) 882-5600 for specifics.

The Anasazi Heritage Center is operated by the Bureau of Land Management and is the headquarters for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. It is located near Dolores, on Colo. 184. All programs are available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. Exhibits and special programs are paid for by visitor donations and entry fees through the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program.

For more information visit the Center's Web site at www.co.blm.gov/ahc, or the Monument's Web site at www.co.blm.gov/canm.

Local Chatter

What does the teacher really mean?

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

The new officers of the Sarah Platt Decker Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Pagosans Margaret Wilson as vice regent and Sandra Have as recording secretary. The chapter is located in Durango. It meets the third Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. at the senior center.

Around town

Elation Center for the Arts is producing a music festival to Celebrate cinco de Mayo May 5 and 6 at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

Fun on the Run

What a teacher says and what he/she really means Š

1. Your son has a remarkable ability in gathering needed information from his classmates.

Really means: He was caught cheating on a test.

2. Karen is an endless fund of energy and vitality.

Really means: The hyperactive monster can't stay seated for five minutes.

3. Fantastic imagination! Unmatched in his capacity for blending fact with fiction.

Really means: He's definitely one of the biggest liars I have ever met.

4. Margie exhibits a casual, relaxed attitude to school, indicating that high expectations don't intimidate her.

Really means: The lazy thing hasn't done one assignment all quarter.

5. Her athletic ability is marvelous. Superior hand-eye coordination.

Really means: The little creep stung me with a rubber band from 15 feet away.

6. Nick thrives on interaction with his peers.

Really means: Your son needs to stop socializing and start working.

7. Your daughter's greatest asset is her demonstrative public discussions.

Really means: Classroom lawyer! Why is it that every time I explain an assignment she creates a class argument.

8. John enjoys the thrill of engaging challenges with his peers.

Really means: He's a bully.

9. An adventurous nature lover who rarely misses opportunities to explore new territory.

Really means: Your daughter was caught skipping school at the fishing pond.

10. I am amazed at her tenacity in retaining her youthful personality.

Really means: She's so immature that we've run out of diapers.

11. Unlike some students who hide their emotion, Charles is very expressive and open.

Really means: He must have written the Whiner's Guide.

12. I firmly believe that her intellectual and emotional progress would be enhanced through a year's repetition of her learning environment.

Really means: Regretfully, we believe that she is not ready for high school and must repeat the 8th grade.

13. Her exuberant verbosity is awesome!

Really means: A mouth that never stops yakking.

Community Center News

Dance into spring tomorrow night

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Tomorrow night, April 21, 7:30 - 10:30 p.m., is the Spring Fling Dance.

Come see our "blooming" tables. Tickets are just $5 per person if you purchase them in advance at the center or at WolfTracks Bookstore. If you wait until the night of the dance, they will be $8 at the door.

A jitterbug demonstration will be given by Deb Aspen and Charles Jackson of the InStep Dance Club. KWUF is providing a DJ and, as usual, we will have a cash bar with beer and wine. We promise to have a much better selection this time. Snacks are free.

This dance is for folks 21 and over; IDs may be checked at the door. Please call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Youth job and career fair

Young people ages 14-23 are invited to meet local employers concerning full-time, part-time and summer jobs at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 22. The Governor's Summer Job Hunt is a vital link between classroom learning and actual on-the-job experience that matches young people's skills and interests with employment opportunities.

If you are an employer who is interested in participating, call the Colorado Workforce Center at 731-3832 to reserve a table. Please bring applications if you are interested in hiring for this summer. There is no fee to participate.

The job and career fair's sponsors include the Kiwanis Club, San Juan BOCES/SWAP, the Colorado Workforce Center, The Archuleta Economic Development Association, and the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Firefighter appreciation dinner

The fire department is having a dinner to show the community's appreciation for our volunteer firefighters and their families. The dinner is by invitation; approximately 95 people are expected to attend the western-style barbecue on Saturday, April 22.

Post prom party

The third annual after-prom party will be held right after the high school prom Saturday, April 29. The party will start Sunday morning at 1 a.m. and go until 5 a.m. This year's entertainment includes a hypnotist, a riding mechanical bull, sumo wrestling in inflatable suits, casino games, a live D.J., hip-hop dance demonstration, a cash booth full of money and prizes, and temporary tattoos. There will be an ice cream-eating contest, a coffee bar, pizza and snacks too. Big prizes this year include drawings for a laptop computer for the seniors, and for everyone else ... an iPod Nano, portable DVD Player, a TV with a DVD, a casette player, a bike and a digital camera.

The after-prom party committee is still looking for volunteers to help with decorating after 3 p.m. Saturday, and for clean-up at 5 a.m. Sunday morning. Please contact Kathy Fulmer at 264-2117/946-6017 or Lynn Johnson at 946-2728. Cash donations from parents of junior and senior high school students are needed to make this safe and alcohol/drug free party a success. You can drop off donations at the community center.

Photoshop classes

Bruce Andersen's Photoshop classes will start 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, April 24 in the community center's computer lab. A class will include three, weekly sessions (each one on a Monday evening) and the fee will be $90, payable before the class starts and including materials. The first series of classes is full, but the center is accepting names and telephone numbers for the waiting list.

eBay Club

The first meeting of the new eBay club was held at the center this morning at 9 a.m. Please call Ben Bailey at 264-0293 or the center at 264-4152 for information about the club's schedule and goals. This group is not affiliated with eBay Inc.

Annual arts and crafts show

Eighteen vendors have reserved their spaces and tables for this annual show. There is still plenty of space available and plenty of time to make plans to display and sell your artistic endeavors and handicrafts at this annual event.

On Friday and Saturday, May 26, from 3-6 p.m., and May 27 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., the multipurpose room is given over to the work of local artists and artisans. Space assignments for booths are being made on a first-come, first-served basis. The 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.

Sewing classes

Please call the center if you plan to attend Cecelia Hopper's sewing classes; the class size is limited. This group will meet 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. Bring your own sewing machine.

This is another free offering at the center; Cecelia is a volunteer teacher. There is no charge for any of the community center-sponsored programs, except when there is a nominal charge for equipment or materials.

Line dancing

The line dancing group is looking for first-timers, previous failures, or thosesaying, "Gee, I'd like to try that." This group will be learning basic steps and putting them into very simple dances at 10 on Monday mornings. As Gerry Potticary, the group's leader, says, "Brave men and timid women welcome."

Then, at 10:30, the class moves into more difficult areas in order to challenge everyone. Gerry promises a good time for all. Another tip from Gerry: if you can't remember the steps, get in the back row and watch everyone else.

Call Gerry at 731-9734 or the center at 264-4152 for more information.

German cooking class

The center is offering another cooking class, this time featuring a volunteer teacher and some wonderful German food. The $10 per class charge helps defray the cost of ingredients. There is still space for the next two sessions; call the center to reserve your slot. Thank you, Karin, for sharing your time and talent.

Upcoming events

Please consider volunteering to help at these events:

Aug. 11 - Around the World in Pagosa. This event will feature a parade of traditional costumes and tastes of food from different countries. We need men, women and children to participate. Volunteers will represent a country and display the traditional costume of that country. Others will sell foods that represent the different countries. More details to follow. Volunteers can call Mercy at 264-4152, Ext. 22.

Oct. 21 - Hunters' Ball. This will be a dinner and dance fund-raiser for everyone, but especially for hunters. All kinds of volunteers are needed, such as women dressed in early 1800s costumes, groups to perform short, funny melodramas, or businesses to sell souvenirs and gifts. More later.

December - Festival of Trees. We are looking for individuals, families or groups to sponsor trees which will be decorated and displayed for a week at the center; the trees will be on public display. There will be a nominal entry fee for each tree. At the end of the week, all trees will be auctioned off and the money will go to a non-profit organization chosen by the tree's sponsor. More information later.

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.; eBay club, 9-10 a.m.; German cooking class, 9:30-noon; Aus-Ger club, 10 a.m.-noon; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; laser seminar with Dr. Moore, 7-9 p.m.

April 21 - Senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Cloverbuds, 1:30-3 p.m.; Humana Medicare meeting, 2-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.; Spring Fling Dance, 7:30-10:30 p.m.

April 22 - Job and career fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; fire department dinner, 6-10 p.m.

April 23 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church service, 2-4 p.m.; volleyball, 4-6 p.m.

April 24 - Line dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; T-ball, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; T-ball, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Photoshop class, 7-8:30 p.m.

April 25 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor with Denny Rose and Ginny Bartlett, 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, 4-8 p.m.; volleyball, 6-8 p.m.

April 26 - Watercolor with Denny Rose and Ginny Bartlett, 8 a.m.-5 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, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; T-ball, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; CarQuest training, 6-10 p.m.; T-ball, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.; Pagosa Hill Property Owners association meeting, 7-9 p.m.

April 27 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; open house - county commissioners, 2-5:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; volleyball, 6-8 p.m.; CarQuest training, 6-8 p.m.

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

Senior News

Buy tickets now for 'Senior' Senior Prom

By Jim Pearson

SUN Columnist

It's time to kick up those heels to celebrate the arrival of spring.

A great place to celebrate the season is at the "Senior" Senior Prom at the high school Sunday, April 30.

The high school junior class leaves all the decorations in place from the high school senior prom the night before, so all you have to do is buy a ticket in advance at The Den and show up at 6 p.m. to celebrate "A Night in Paris."

Couple up or come single and hang out with friends. Dress up or dress down. Go formal or casual. Any way you choose to do it, put on those dancing shoes and get ready for an exciting afternoon filled with great music, courtesy of John Graves and his band. If your idea of a good time is relaxing on the side, then come to listen to the wonderful music, watch people boogie and have some fun with great company.

This is an Archuleta Seniors, Inc. event, so the money goes to help Archuleta seniors in need of medical assistance and other worthwhile services and activities. Appetizers will be served, photos taken, corsages and boutonnieres provided and a king and queen crowned. Tickets are now on sale for $5 per person and cannot be purchased at the door.

Elderly Alcoholism Part II

Some healthcare experts are labeling elderly citizen drinking problems as an invisible epidemic.

According to a 2002 article published in the Elder Law Journal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as many as one in six Americans, 60 and older are over dependent on alcohol. Twenty-percent of seniors admitted to psychiatric wards show symptoms of alcoholism or substance abuse.

I noted in last week's elderly citizen alcoholism article that it's common these seniors will show no sign of alcoholism until a major physical or lifestyle change occurs. Health problems, death of a spouse, financial worries, depression or sleeplessness, to name a few, can trigger overdrinking.

Not only are women more prone than men to late onset of alcoholism, they are prone to developing alcohol-related health problems more quickly, according to some health experts. Some women and men also suffer from shame and embarrassment of having a drinking problem and are reluctant to seek help. Moving an alcoholic to a retirement community may actually increase the problem because the social activities provide more opportunities to drink.

Even when alcoholism is properly diagnosed, the standard methods of treatment of substance abuse may be ineffective for elderly abusers. Effective withdrawal from alcohol is a psychological as well as physical process. This process is enhanced by a spouse and other family members helping the abuser. The elderly often do not have a support system. Family members, such as children, often live elsewhere and longtime friends have left the neighborhood. Relying on government for help may not be the best option. Medicare will cover the cost of alcohol detoxification, but will not cover a hospital stay for rehabilitation if a less expensive way is available.

Alcohol abuse in the elderly is complicated by the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications. The elderly spend millions annually on medications. Combining medications and alcohol frequently result in significant adverse reactions. Due to a reduction in blood flow to the liver and kidneys in the elderly, there can be a 50-percent decrease in the rate of metabolism of some medications. Additionally, some medications can have prolonged sedation effects, which combined with the sedative effects of alcohol, can increase the risk of falls and fractures and cause confusion over dosages. Taking extra doses or other medications can lead to a drug overdose and even death.

The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment published the following list of signals that may indicate an alcohol- or medication-related problem in the elderly:

- Memory trouble after having a drink or taking a medication.

- Loss of coordination (walking unsteadily, frequent falls).

- Changes in sleeping habits.

- Unexplained bruises.

- Being unsure of yourself.

- Irritability, sadness, depression.

- Unexplained chronic pain.

- Changes in eating habits.

- Wanting to stay alone much of the time.

- Failing to bathe or keep clean.

- Having trouble concentrating.

- Difficulty staying in touch with family or friends.

- Lack of interest in usual activities.

If you suspect there is a problem, what can you do about it?

A family's awareness of an elderly member's daily life can be extremely helpful in identifying medical and social problems more specifically. It is vital that family members not only become aware of the elderly member's daily life, but attempt to determine what it is that is causing the abuse of alcohol. It is important to develop an inventory of all prescribed and over-the-counter medications. This list of medications can be brought to a local pharmacist where a drug interaction list can be generated.

Try to increase the activity level and social interactions of the elderly family member. The Silver Foxes Den, with its physical, social and cultural activities is a great place to begin. The Den encourages companionship and self esteem of elderly family members. It is also recommended that self-help and support group participation be considered.

For more information on how The Silver Foxes Den can help with building socialization skills and self esteem, contact us at 264-2167.

A mix of scams

Prescription drug scams, income tax scams, investment scams ... and the list continues on.

There's even a Bird Flu stock scam out there, where con artists are touting large gains from companies that are supposedly poised to capitalize on helping the world avoid a global pandemic.

How do seniors protect themselves from financial fraud?

1. Don't expect something for nothing. Be suspicious of get rich quick schemes or unsolicited offers and bargains.

2. Don't be pressured into saying yes to an offer without being able to investigate it by requesting that written information be provided to you. Many of these scams are advertised as time limited offers.

3. Don't give personal information on yourself or family members to somebody who you have suspicions about. Use your instincts, especially when talking to a stranger at the door, by mail, on the Internet or over the phone.

4. Don't be afraid to be rude with high-pressure sales people. These people can be overly friendly and are trained to get personal information from you. There is nothing wrong with hanging up the phone or closing the door on sales people.

5. Take time to check out a salesman's identification, and always ask for, and check out, customer references before committing to a service or product being offered. Don't fall for the line that your neighbor just signed up for the service or bought the product.

6. Hire only licensed contractors, or go through trusted agencies such as the senior center to have home improvement or maintenance work done. Only pay for work that has been completed to your satisfaction.

7. Be careful when someone shows up at your door unsolicited and wants to inspect your home. Look outside to see what vehicle the person came in, and carefully check out the validity of the person's identification. Even then, you are not obligated to let these people into your house.

8. Contracts and agreements are difficult to understand. Don't sign anything unless you fully understand what you're signing. Have the document fully explained as you read it.

9. If you are making a major financial decision, it's best to get a second or third opinion from a family member, trusted friend, attorney, or other professional.

10. Guard your social security number. Try only providing the last four numbers of your social security number.

11. Visit the Silver Foxes Den for a variety of free information filled with advice on protecting yourself from scams.

Medical shuttles

A shuttle service to Durango for medical appointments is available through Archuleta County Senior Services. This service is available to adults of all ages and will get you to and from your non-emergency medical appointments. In most cases, service can be provided with 48 hours advance notice. The roundtrip fare is $30 or less with rates varying depending on the number of passengers. If you are a 2006 member of Archuleta Seniors Inc., your fare is $10.

Our mini-van is unable to accommodate wheelchairs.

Call Musetta at 264-2167 for further information.

For cancer patients needing transportation for cancer treatment, the American Cancer Society provides free round trip transportation to Durango. For more information, contact the Durango office at 247-0278.

Seniors Inc.

Seniors Inc. memberships for folks age 55 and over can be purchased at The Den for $5 on Mondays and Fridays, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays 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 you'll get senior activity discounts. Membership also entitles those who meet annual income guidelines to scholarships for eye glasses, hearing aids, dental, prescription drugs and medical equipment. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. will pay up to $20 for medical shuttles handled by The Den. Join now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

Home-delivered meals

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

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

For more information, call Musetta at 264-2167.

Medicare counseling

The May 15 deadline for enrolling in the Medicare Prescription Drug Program is fast approaching, with less than one month left. If you wait until May to enroll, and need assistance in finding the best prescription drug program, you may not be able to get an appointment. Enroll early and avoid the 1-percent penalty per month. For information and appointments, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Senior of the Week

We congratulate Kurt Diedring - last week's Senior of the Week. Kurt will enjoy free lunches all week.

Qigong

Qigong comes from two Chinese words.

Qi, pronounced "chee," means energy.

Gong, pronounced "kung," means skill or a practice. At The Den, we pronounce it as "gong," for the Chinese musical instrument.

Qigong means the skill of attracting vital energy. It is not a religion. Qigong is a self-healing art that combines movement and meditation.

Visualizations are employed to enhance the mind and body connection which increases your awareness of where your body needs changes related to diet, exercise, sleep and lifestyle.

The Qigong Association of America maintains that regular practice of Qigong can prevent and treat illness, reduce stress, establish balance and integrate the mind, body and spirit to bring inner peace. Since this is National Cancer Control month, it's worth mentioning that in China Qigong gained its recent fame in the treatment of cancer. If you are interested in trying out this version of Qigong, come join our instructor Suki Fridays at 10 a.m.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, April 20 - Arboles Meal Day by reservation, $1 birthday lunches.

Friday, April 21 - Qigong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; free movie, "A League of Their Own," 1 p.m.

Monday, April 24 - Medicare counseling by appointment, 11 a.m., gym walk, 11:15 a.m., Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 a.m.

Tuesday, April 25 - Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m., canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, April 26 - Basic computer, 10 a.m.

Thursday, April 27 - Mystery Trip, by reservation.

Friday, April 28 - Qigong, 10 a.m., gym walk, 11:15 a.m., 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., except in Arboles.

Thursday, April 20 - Arboles Meal Day. American lasagna, herbed green beans, seasoned cabbage, Italian roll and peaches.

Friday, April 21 - Beef stew with crackers, herbed green beans, whole kernel corn and diced pears.

Monday, April 24 - American lasagna, herbed green beans, seasoned cabbage, banana and Italian bread.

Tuesday, April 25 - Combination burrito smothered with chicken green chili, black beans with cilantro and diced pears.

Wednesday, April 26 - Baked pork chops with country style gravy, mashed potatoes, hot bean casserole, cinnamon applesauce and fruit salad.

Thursday, April 27 - No meal served.

Friday, April 28 - Honey BBQ chicken, oven browned potatoes, spinach, diced pears and whole wheat bread.

Veteran's Corner

Court case affects VA claims process

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

I recently received this information from the Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs regarding VA disability claims.

Already, many veterans are receiving letters from the Regional VA Claims Center in Denver advising them of their rights and what they may expect in the claims processes. Many of these veterans are bringing these letters and forms to this office for clarification.

The information from the VA is apparently the result of a court decision in such matters. The letters can be confusing to even a trained claims specialist. Hopefully, the following information will clarify this.

The issue

At issue: What notice and development is VA required to provide in a compensation claim?

Until now, the VA requires that, once a vet has submitted a substantially complete application, VA must notify the vet (claimant) of any information, medical or lay evidence not previously provided that is necessary to substantiate the claim.

Additionally, the VA must tell what evidence it will obtain, what evidence the vet must provide and what evidence the VA will assist the vet in obtaining, should the vet tell the VA where to look for it.

VA to provide notice

In the Dingess case, the Court Of Veteran's Appeals held that two additional decision points exist and the VA is now required by law to provide notice and assistance to vets/claimants at the beginning of the claims process.

VA must now provide information concerning:

- the proper evaluation to be assigned; and

- the correct effective date.

How evaluation determined

COVA further states the VA must tell the vet/claimant how it intends to evaluate a SC disability and how the correct effective date is to be determined.

VA has written a letter to claimants which describes the Dingess decision and contains general paragraphs:

- outlining the criteria used for assigning evaluations; and,

- explaining how effective dates are selected.

Started this month

These letters were being mailed and received starting this month.

This has an impact on 624,000 additional completed cases in the last 12 months - since these decisions may not be final and are affected by the Dingess decision.

This also includes cases in an appeal status (approximately 500,000) and certainly could slow down already overwhelmed VA claims backlog.

Who, me?

In short ... (who me?) these letters may/will confuse claimants about what they need to do (next).

Claimants are to be given notice as to all five elements of the claim:

- veteran status;

- existence of a disability;

- a connection between the vet's service and the disability;

- degree of disability; and

- effective date of the disability,

Note: Current VCAA letters do not provide the required notice of the last two elements.

Ensures adequate notice

It is my view that in most cases, while the Dingess decision is to ensure vets/claimants receive legally adequate notice of what evidence is necessary at each decision point, it is likely this change will have little impact on most vets.

See the VSO

I would suggest if you receive such letters that you bring them in to me and we can decide together the best course of action, if any, that needs be taken on your pending service-connected disability claim.

In most cases so far, the claimant has signed off on the letters saying no additional information in support of the claim is available.

Share-A-Ride

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

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is (970) 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7 (behind City Market). The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, cell number is 970 946-6648, and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

Library News

Speaker forum tonight at library

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

Pagosa Reads!, our learning excursion about water in the Southwest, is chock-a-block with interesting events this week.

We are tying up our Cadillac Desert presentations with a speaker forum at the Library 6 p.m. tonight, April 20.

Chuck Lawler, from Southern Ute Water Resources, Jody Martinez, a local rancher from an original homesteading family, and local resident Albert Schnell, who seeded clouds locally and in Peru for large agribusinesses, will speak. The panel will be moderated by John Taylor, former Water Commissioner.

For Saturday April 22, Liz Parker of the San Juan Mountain Association is working with Children's Librarian Barb Draper to put on a terrific Pagosa Reads! kids' event in celebration of Earth Day.

One of our anonymous angels has made it possible for a school bus to be available to take elementary school kids (who have obtained and bring parental permission slips to the library at 10 a.m.) out for a rock-gathering field trip. Barb will be reading, Byrd Baylor's "Everybody Needs a Rock." The children will select, handprint and initial their rocks, and bring them back to the library for a lesson from Liz on geology, dams and dam building on the library grounds. I understand the dam may even be filled! The rocks will become part of the library landscaping. Parents who wish to take kids out in their own vehicles and participate are invited. For more information about this event (which will replace the usual Friday afternoon reading club), call Barb at 264-2208

And, at 6:30 Saturday night, April 22, we are sponsoring our first-ever radio play at the library. "Chinatown," the screenplay, will be read for radio (at this time, we do not know if it will be broadcast by KWUF). Participants include Mary McKeehan, Mark DeVoti, Bill Nobles, Karen Kauffman, Christine Anderson, Ron Chacey, John Porter and Rick Artis. Please join us for a steamy, crime filled evening.

Finally, there will be a tour of the water treatment facility at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 26. Meet at the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Office at 100 Lyn Avenue ( 9/10 mile north off U.S. 160 on North Pagosa, left on Lake Forest, left on Lyn).

National Poetry Month continued

Two Chilean Nobel laureates.

Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American writer ever to be awarded a Nobel for Literature (1945). She started contributing poetry to local papers when she was 15, under her pseudonym, which she derived from the Archangel Gabriel and the fierce mistral winds that blow over the south of France. A schoolteacher, she championed children and the downtrodden. Her third and fourth books, "Tala" and "Lagar," are considered her greatest works, and the best expressions of her lifelong quest for religious harmony, brotherhood, spiritual acceptance, and communion with nature and with children.

"Now in the middle of my days I glean

this truth that has a flower's freshness:

life is the gold and sweetness of wheat,

hate is brief and love immense."

(From "Serene Words.")

Pablo Neruda, the 1971 Nobel Laureate, wrote the most beautiful love poetry imaginable. Poet, activist, Chilean ambassador to France, he was held by many to be the greatest poet of the last century writing in any language. His fiery political poetry took form in España en el corazón ("Spain in Our Hearts," 1937) documenting the agony of the Spanish Republic. His love poetry includes, "Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada" ("Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair," 1924), "Cien sonetos de amor" ("A Hundred Love Sonnets," 1959), and my own tattered (bilingual) favorite, "Los versos del Capitán," ("The Captain's Verses," 1953) which are poems he wrote for the woman he married in 1955, Matilde.

"Take bread away from me, if you wish,

take air away, but

do not take from me your laughter."

(From "Your Laughter.")

We have Neruda's "Memoirs" and "The Essential Neruda," as well as two collections of poems of Mistral, on order. Call and ask to have a hold placed if you want to be notified when they come in, 264-2208.

Pagosa Reads! art contest

The library, in conjunction with the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, announces a community art contest based on the Community Reads One Book, Pagosa Reads! selection, "People of the Moon by the Gears," our last book in the program.

The winner of the adult contest will be the piece of art or photograph that best represents any image evoked by "People of the Moon." All media will be accepted.

The theme of the children's contest will be "Why is water important?" and contest winners will be the creators of the best posters in any of three age categories: preschool through age 6, 6-10, and over 10. Preschool through age 10 will create their contest posters Friday, May 19, right after school, at the library.

Deadline for submission of art entries to the library is May 22. Winners will be announced May 27. All art will be displayed at the library.

For more information call the Arts Council or the library.

The lowdown on umami, and other science food facts

By Fran Jenkins

Special to The PREVIEW

"Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor," by Herve This. Translated by M. B. DeBevoise, Columbia University Press, 2006.

Have you ever given any thought as to why mashed potatoes made with milk stick less than ones made with water? Should one salt a steak before, during, or after cooking?

Herve This (pronounced "teess"), uses modern day science to de-myth some common, everyday culinary instructions, and gives scientific insight on methods and principles of cooking.

In differentiating between food science, which deals with the composition and structure of food, This explains that molecular gastronomy deals with culinary transformation and sensory phenomena associated with eating. This, the first person to hold a doctorate in molecular gastronomy, is a physical chemist on the staff of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris and a popular television personality in France.

In one chapter the author offers insights into umami. Umami, or the so-called fifth taste, is the buzz word in food circles these days. It had been believed that there are only four taste sensations: salty, sweet, sour and bitter. Asians have long believed that another taste exists: umami, derived from glutamic acid. In February 2000, physiologists at the University of Miami identified a taste receptor associated with the taste called umami. This's chapter on "Detecting Tastes," explains these taste receptors and suggests that with further study and computer assisted design further identification of other tastes may be in our future.

The contents of "Molecular Gastronomy" are presented in short chapters: Secrets of the Kitchen, The Physiology of Flavor, Investigations and Models, and A Cuisine for Tomorrow. There is a very good glossary and extensive bibliography for further reading.

There are no recipes in the book, but countless suggestions for cooking techniques and analysis of what happens as the food is baked, braised, chilled, cured or otherwise manipulated. The last chapters deal with experiments. So, if you are adventuresome in the kitchen and have an insatiable quest for the whys and wherefores of cooking, This offers some thought-provoking opportunities for play in the kitchen.

As to salting your steak, it depends a great deal on the type of meat and how it's cut. And the mashed potatoes? It's the protein in the milk that modifies the thickening and gelatinization of the starch in the potatoes. And we all know that mashed potatoes taste better when made with milk and butter.

Fran Jenkins, a Pagosa resident, is a Certified Culinary Professional with the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is a cooking teacher and food writer and served two years as a judge for the IACP Cookbook Awards.

Pagosa Reads features book reviews of all kinds of books from the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, reviewed by local readers Š just like you. If you would like to review a book and share it in this PREVIEW column, contact Christine Anderson, library director, at 264-2208.

Arts Line

Mion watercolor workshops in May and October

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

Internationally-known artist and illustrator Pierre Mion will teach a watercolor workshop May 8, 9 and 10.

Classes will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the arts and crafts room in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Students may opt to take an optional fourth session on May 11.

Mion worked with famed illustrator Norman Rockwell for 12 years. Rockwell stated, "Pierre Mion has packed a lot of remarkable experience and fine work into what, to me, seems a short career. When working with me he has always been so kind, intelligent and understanding. He has a great deal of talent."

Mion is a PSAC member and serves on the PSAC board. He was commissioned to illustrate a great variety of subjects including historical, oceanographic, architectural, geological, mining, forestry, environmental and transportation themes, and is best known for his paintings of space exploration themes. His works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the NASA fine arts collection and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collection.

Mion offers individual attention, assistance, and a lot of fun in his well-attended workshops. Subject matter and instruction for this special class deals with figure and character portraits. PSAC has received many requests for this subject, and here is an opportunity to learn from one of the country's finest artists. Mion will provide photographs of subjects for participants to paint. Participants are also encouraged to bring a special photograph for a portrait watercolor. The workshop atmosphere is relaxed and open to all levels of students who will learn Mion's step-by-step watercolor techniques. For artists' convenience, watercolor kits are available at an additional cost, or students may supply their own materials from Mion's minimal supply list. Students should bring a bag lunch (drinks available through the community center's vending machines).

The price of the three-day workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for nonmembers. (The extra $25 will automatically give you a one-year PSAC membership.) An optional fourth day is available for $60 per person, minimum four students. The main workshop is limited to 10 students.

Do not miss this fun-filled workshop. Sign up early by calling PSAC at 264-5020. For further workshop and supplies information, call Pierre Mion at 731-9781 or visit www.pagosa-arts.com.

Mion will teach a watercolor landscape workshop at PSAC in October (see further listing in this Artsline).

Call for entries

The annual PSAC Juried Painting and Drawing Fine Art Exhibit will be held at the art gallery in Town Park, June 29-July 17.

All work must be original in concept and created without the assistance of an instructor.

Artists may enter up to two entries and those may consist of watermedia, oil, pastels and drawings (a photography juried show will be held in October). Framing is required on all work submitted, except those works specifically intended to be unframed. Entry size is limited to 40x40, including mat and frame. All entries must be for sale and PSAC will retain a 30-percent commission on all sales.

Entry fees are $20 for PSAC members and $25 general; $30 for PSAC members for two entries and $35 general for two entries. Cash and item prizes will be presented for first, second and third, and there will be People's Choice awards.

Entries will be accepted June 24-26, noon-4 p.m. at the arts and crafts room located in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Artists should pick up work not accepted into the show on June 28, noon-5:30 p.m. Accepted work may be picked up after the show on July 18 , 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The opening reception for the show is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at the gallery in Town Park. Entry applications may be obtained after May 15 at the gallery or online at www.pagosa-arts.com. For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

PSAC auction

Are you an artist new to Pagosa Springs?

Donating artwork for our silent auction fund-raiser provides free exposure of your work to our community. PSAC is seeking donated items for its silent auction. Local businesses can keep their names out among the public with their auction donations and gift certificates, and show their support of art in Pagosa Springs.

The silent auction and general membership meeting will be held 5-7 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. The event is open to the public with tickets priced at $20. Ticket price includes food and beverage. A cash beer and wine bar will also be available.

Over 40-percent of the PSAC budget comes from fund-raising events and your support is needed to keep the arts thriving in Pagosa Springs.

Contact PSAC at 264-5020 for information and your advance ticket purchase.

Judges needed

PSAC has announced its schedule for the 2006 season, with 10 upcoming shows.

Judges are needed for two juried shows - PSAC Annual Juried Fine Art Show (June 29-July 17) and PSAC Annual Juried Photo Show (Oct. 12-Nov. 1). Judges should be available two days prior to the show openings for judging.

Perspective judges should live outside Archuleta County, submit a resume and three samples of their work. Past judging experience is helpful.

Persons interested in judging these shows (or future shows) should contact Wen Saunders at 264-4486 or Pierre Mion at 731-9781 for more information.

Dolores festival

The Dolores Fine Art Festival announces an upcoming art show.

"The Best Kept Secret in the Southwest" will be held at Dolores Flanders Park in Dolores June 3-4.

Artists are invited to show their work. Categories are paintings and drawings (all media), three-dimensional work (sculptures, pottery and fiber weaving), photography and music. All artwork must be original and produced by the artist submitting and showing the work (no crafts please).

Booth Rentals are $ 110. This fee includes a 10x10 white canvas tent and security. Artists may share tent space with another artist. Fine food vendors will be in the park and wine will be served in West Fork Gallery's courtyard. The West Fork Gallery will host this event, featuring local music. Music will be played in the park during the show by local and national musicians. Applications are available; contact Michelle Pickens at (970) 882-2211. The Dolores Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring this event.

Pagosa Reads art contest

The Pagosa Reads! program, sponsored by Ruby M. Sisson Library, announces an art contest for adults and children. The deadline for submitting art entries to the library is May 22.

The winner of the adult contest will create the piece of art or photograph that best represents any image evoked by "People of the Moon," written by Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, the last book in the program series. The setting of the book is the area that is now northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, including Chimney Rock. The story is about the Chaco Anasazi, and the internecine war that results from an intersection of overpopulation, drought and class rebellion.

The theme of the children's contest will be "Why is water important?" Art entries should be a poster depicting the child's response to that question. Children preschool through age 10 can create their contest posters at the library Friday, May 19, directly after school. Children (age 10 and older) may submit their posters to the library at any time. Contest winners will be selected by age categories: preschool-6, 7-10, and 10 and older.

All media will be accepted in the contests. The deadline for submitting art entries to the library is May 22. Winners will be announced May 27, with all art entries displayed at the library.

PHOTOlearn® kids' arts camps

Parents are always searching for creative summer camp options for their children.

PSAC is excited to announce a special art camp, PHOTOlearn®, July 17-20 for youngsters ages 5-10.

I will be the presenter in this, a series of children's PHOTOlearn®' classes, held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. I've covered life's events as a photojournalist for more than 25 years, and I'll share my knowledge with aspiring child photographers. I hold a B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in communications arts and design and I have spoken numerous times at professional photography conventions and was featured as the one of 12 wedding photographers in Wedding 2000, a live video cast program in 1998. My cowboy and rodeo images have appeared in American Cowboy Magazine and western images will be featured in the Greeley Independence Stampede Art Show in 2006.

The series of photography PHOTOlearn® class sessions is a special opportunity for children to learn with a real working professional. Space is limited to 15 students. There are two sessions (total of four days) offered. Students may attend two or four days, with budget pricing for those attending all four days.

The two-day session fee is $145 (PSAC members $125). The four-day session fee is $195 (PSAC members $155). A second child is $95 /$125. The fee includes all materials, disposable cameras or film, and image processing. Participants should wear sunscreen and hats, as we'll be photographing outside (water bottles provided). Preregister for the summer camp by April 17 and save $10 per session.

For more information and registration, call me at 264-4486 or visit www.wendysaunders.com and www.pagosa-arts.com.

PHOTOlearn® Shutterbug Series

The unfortunate truth about photographs is that the picture we often see is not the picture we get!

The human eye sees differently than a camera, and it's our job to compensate to get the picture we see.

PSAC announces a series of PHOTOlearn® photography sessions designed for practical shutterbugs. I will conduct these workshops.

The solution to better images is a simple understanding of photography and it normally takes no more effort than making endless mistakes. PHOTOlearn® (which I created) is a quick option to educate the average shutterbug and avoid wasted time and errors.

Sessions are open to all levels of shutterbugs (film or digital), including high school and college students (who attend for about half price). Five series topics are dedicated to individual two-hour sessions and will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, Art and Crafts Room. Register by April 17 and receive $10 discounts on each session!

The sessions are:

- 35mm camera operation - July 10, 6-8 p.m.

- Available Light (F-stops/shutter speeds) - July 11, 6-8 p.m.

- Electronic flash systems - July 12, 6-8 p.m.

- 35mm B&W infrared film - July 22, 10 a.m.-noon.

- Processing B&W film - July 22, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

For more information and registration, call me at 264-4486 (or visit www.wendysaunders.com and pagosa-arts.com).

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 May 21.

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.

October Mion workshop

Pierre Mion will teach his fall watercolor workshop 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 9-11.

Classes will be held in the arts and crafts room in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Students can sign up for an additional session Oct. 12.

Mion offers individual attention, assistance, and a lot of fun in his well attended workshops. The subject matter and instruction for this special class centers on landscapes of Glen Canyon and Lake Powell. Participants will work from photographs, provided by Mion. The workshop atmosphere is relaxed and open to all levels of students. They will learn Mion's step-by-step watercolor techniques. Attendees will explore color guide, various watercolor techniques, and mixing colors. For artist's convenience, watercolor kits are available at an additional cost, or students may supply their own materials from Mion's minimal supply list. Students should bring a bag lunch (drinks available through the community center's vending machines).

The price of the three-day workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for nonmembers, the extra $25 will automatically give you a one-year PSAC membership.) The optional fourth session is available for $60, per person, minimum four students. The main workshop is limited to 10 students. Sign up early, by calling PSAC at 264-5020. For further workshop and supplies information, Pierre Mion at 731-9781 or visit www.pagosa-arts.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 me, 264-4486. Of course, if you are not a PSAC member, perhaps you should be. Visit our Web site, pagosa-arts.com, or call 264-5020 for membership information.

Time to join

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

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

Membership rates are: 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.

Volunteer at gallery

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

PSAC also has several committee openings for volunteers - Exhibit and Gallery, Art Camps and Workshops, Home and Garden Tour, and Public Relations. If you are a PSAC member and would like to volunteer on one of our committees, helping support art in Pagosa Springs, call 264-5020.

PSAC CALENDAR:

All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the arts and craft space at the community center, unless otherwise noted. All exhibits are shown at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park. For more information contact PSAC at 264-5020, unless otherwise noted.

May 4 - PSAC Pagosa High School Student Show Exhibit reception, 5-7 p.m.

May 4-17 - PSAC Pagosa High School Student Show Exhibit.

May 10 - Pagosa Photo Club, 5:30 p.m. Presentation by Al Olson.

May 8-10 - PSAC Pierre Mion watercolor (figure) workshop, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

May 11 - PSAC Pierre Mion watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

May 15 - Preregistration discount deadline for PSAC PHOTOLearn® classes and kids' camp in July. Contact Wen Saunders, 264-4486.

May 15 - Preregistration discount deadline for PSAC PHOTOLearn® classes in July. Contact Wen Saunders 264-4486

May 21 - Pagosa Springs Watercolor Club, 10 a.m.

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

Tasting Notes

She discovers...terroir

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

I was having dinner recently with a particular group of friends, and this occasion, like nearly all the occasions we get together, turned into a Bacchanalian event.

And it's not surprising.

We're a crew of ex-cooks, ex-waiters, and ex-restaurateurs, and some in the group still own restaurants. Those who aren't professionally connected to food, either in the past or present, love it as much as anyone else, and the evenings always prove to be fun, and spent largely in the kitchen eating and drinking ourselves into oblivion. To do otherwise would be sacrilege.

The fare for this event was simple and the menu was planned to serve a large group without too much difficulty - Moroccan couscous. We expected a large turnout and were short on dishes so it was a b.y.o.p. affair - bring your own plate.

True to the spirit of the dish, we gathered a wide array of fresh vegetables - squash, yams, rutabaga, turnips, carrots, green beans and parsnips - and slow cooked them in vegetable stock with generous helpings of harissa.

We prepared the dish to go two ways, the first was a vegetarian option for those among us who had temporarily lapsed into insanity, the second was a complete carnivorous paradise with all the vegetables plus chunks of lamb and chicken on the bone. The couscous itself would be prepared at the last minute, with raisins and sliced almonds, probably a Tunisian twist, but who was keeping track?

With the menu locked in, the question remained: what to do about the wine? The couscous would start moderately spicy, with extra dishes of harissa on standby for those who wanted to spice it up more. We are all red wine drinkers so we opted for sturdy, muscular reds out of the south of France - wines with a firm backbone of grenache, syrah and mourvedre - the staple varietals of the region.

After the guests arrived, we soon found ourselves seated around the table with heaping, steaming plates of spicy couscous, and with glasses full the meal began.

One in the group is a self-admitted novice. She's not particularly well versed in food nor wine, but enjoys each immensely. Her budget allows her to drink wines from the entire price spectrum, from inexpensive Australian to high-end California - unfortunately she rarely tries European wines. And as requested — the deal is that one or two cook and the others bring drink — she brought a simple Shafer meritage to the dinner.

By taste, it seemed to carry near equal parts of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. It was solid, balanced, fruit forward, and luckily not an absolute California merlot bomb. The cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc seemed to temper the juice and in the end it proved typical, not terribly exciting but entirely suitable and enjoyable for the meal.

As we ate, she oohed and aaahed over the Shafer and admitted the French reds left her feeling perplexed and less than satisfied.

It could have been a question of quality, and it was fair to ask if the Shafer was superior to the Provencal wines. After a quick survey, it was clear that each bottle came in at a similar price point and came from a respectable producer. It seemed then, in this case, the question was one largely of style, of what her palate understands, of where her comfort zone is. It appeared, in part, to be a question of terroir.

Over the years, we have discussed varietals, key vintages and new world/old world differences, but nailing down the idea of terroir has proved challenging.

While key dates can be memorized, and basic varietal characteristics can be learned, a coherent discussion of terroir without a concrete example, can be an elusive task.

To describe terroir solely within the context of its literal translation from the French as simply "soil," or a wine's inherent earthiness, is missing the mark. True, terroir is about soil type, but in French viticulture, terroir is the foundation of the wine and the winemaker's craft. Terroir is the signature of the land and the environment's imprint on the wine. Terroir relates to elevation, the vine's orientation relative to the sun, the angle of incline, and how the soil drains. Terroir takes into consideration the field of poppies growing adjacent to the vineyard or the wild lavender or thyme on the next hill over. It speaks of vineyards in symbiosis with apricot and apple orchards. It takes into account historical oddities such as in Pouilly-Fuisse, where prehistoric men drove thousands of wild horses to their deaths from the heights of the rock of Solutre. What affect did those equine bones have on the soil and the vine?

With terroir, a Sancerre is not just sauvignon blanc; a Meursault not just chardonnay; an Echezeaux not just pinot noir; a Gigondas not just grenache; and a Pomerol not just merlot. Terroir, or gout de terroir - the taste of the soil - is something almost tangible. It is tasted, it is smelled, it is a wine's irrevocable connection to the vine, the land, the winemaker and the region. It is the wine's history and its legacy. It is what enables the connoisseur to put their nose in a glass and pinpoint an appellation by aroma alone. It is what allows an aficionado to swirl and sip and remark, "Ah, now that is a Saint Estephe." In short, terroir takes the drinker someplace else.

By the time everyone had gone through two helpings, the group began to disperse. Some stayed in the kitchen chatting while fixing crepes suzette, others went outside to digest and smoke, while a core group of us stayed at the table to drink. As we talked, my eyes scanned the china cabinet where our guests had deposited their wine contributions for the dinner. Among the rotund bottles from Provence, lay a Sangiovese and another bottle that had caught my eye early on - a pinot noir from the Touraine - something unusual, something my wine novice friend definitely had not tried, and something, if true to the appellation, should scream of terroir.

I pulled the cork and poured tastes for those of us left at the table. The wine danced in the glass, almost electric, with hues of fresh raspberries and bing cherries. It's color was not dense, and it faded rapidly from its core out to the boundaries imposed by the glass.

We swirled, sniffed and sipped, and immediately, a smile crept across my face. It was spot on. It was pure Touraine and pure Loire.

I turned to my friend, who, true to form, looked utterly befuddled.

"What do you smell?" I asked. "What do you taste?"

She refused to answer.

I prodded her further, but she held her ground, and demanded that I go first.

"It's like chomping on a mouthful of fresh cranberries accented by a hint of fresh raspberry. It's slightly bitter with a touch of Campari and pencil lead. It's absolutely true to its appellation."

She smiled. "I also got the pencil lead, but I didn't want to sound stupid. I wanted someone else to say it first."

"This," I told her, "is terroir. And this is what you are missing."

We sat talking, and as we did, I observed her out of the corner of my eye.

She swirled and sipped, contemplated the juice and cupped her glass and cradled its bowl like a mother cradles a baby. She interacted with the wine, in a way I'd never seen before, like it was something alive, like it was something worthy of respect, like it was more than just fermented fruit juice. And as she did, her eyes gleamed like a child who had made an important discovery. This time she didn't ooh and aah. This time it seemed her pleasure was beyond words - she had discovered terroir.

The Wine

The red wines of the Loire Valley are made primarily from two varietals - pinot noir and cabernet franc. And although the varietals are the same as those used in the great reds of Burgundy and Bordeaux, the Loire wines tend to be lighter, and the varietals reach a level of distinction and expression that is uniquely their own. This is due, in large part, to the distinct, Loire Valley terroir.

With these characteristics, the Loire Valley reds make great, thirst-quenching, summer quaffers when served lightly chilled. These are not barbecue wines, but are perfect for lighter fare such as seared Ahi tuna, a Salad Nicoise, or a truffle paté.

Food for Thought

Springtime in the Rockies - it's lamb eatin' time

Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

Its springtime in the Rockies.

To many folks, the arrival of spring provides for meditations on budding flowers, on the wonder of the lively seasons - spring, summer, fall.

Others dig out their camping gear, preparing to do whatever it is they do out there under the sun and among the insects. Its a mystery to me, but I have little room to play the critic.

For some, the nearness of gardening season is enough to send them into fits of joy.

Me, I think about eating small, lovable animals.

Lambs, in particular. Adorable, furry little creatures with big eyes. You can give them a name before you eat them.

And the thought of devouring the cute tykes leads me to considerations of history - little-known tidbits of Colorado history, and personal history.

I think of Syrians.

The history of the Front Range mining towns is ethnic history.

And when you get to the coal mining towns at the southern end of the Front Range, that history involves Mexican Americans, Italians and Slavs.

But, tucked away in Walsenburg, in the heart of coal mining country, was a group of Syrians. They owned businesses in Walsenburg, including bars and restaurants.

One of those Walsenburg Syrians lived with my family when I was very young. Her name was Helen Habib.

She taught me to make kibbeh.

She taught me to eat lamb.

To a 6-year-old chubby guy like me, Helen was the most beautiful woman who ever lived. She had coal-black hair and an almond-shaped face with large dark eyes.

Better yet, she paid attention to me.

She let me do exercises with her in the front room (the "bicycle" was a particular favorite - Helen in her pedal pushers, legs flying oh so graceful, me struggling to keep my stubby little legs off the floor) - and she let me watch her cook.

Several years later, when Helen moved out, she married a guy named Eddie. He was a lout who hung out at taverns, wore bowling shoes and drove used Buicks. Helen's hair turned white at a very early age.

It was that rat, Eddie.

I digress; its the kibbeh that's important.

One of the best things about making Kibbeh was the trip to the market.

The biggest and best market in Denver for a long time was the International Market, and it was a circus for the senses.

The market was in a huge building, the space long and dimly lit. Each nationality had its own aisle: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Indian and Pakistani, North African, Middle Eastern (subdivided into Israeli, Lebanese, Syrian, and Jordanian).

Each aisle had its own smells, with bins of spices and spice mixtures and leaking packages of stuff with names like "murb," "Harissa," and "Garam Masala." There were tubs in which bricks of odd-looking stuff floated in murky water. There were brightly labeled jars on the shelves - many of which oozed dark substances and emitted sharp, alarming odors. I later discovered this was regarded as a good sign by the customers.

At the back of the store was an old-fashioned butcher shop fronted by immense display cases. And in those cases were sights to turn all but the most dedicated carnivores to a vegetarian regimen.

A variety of faces stared at you - albeit somewhat blankly - from the display cases at the back of the market. The cases were littered with lambs' heads, the heads of pigs and cows, slabs of flesh, and a plethora of whole (plucked and unplucked) birds of many kinds.

Whew.

It was a dramatic lesson about the food chain. (We're darned near the last link in that chain ... as far as we know.)

This is where we got the meat for the kibbeh.

Lamb. (Not mutton, Bunky. Steer clear of the mutton at all costs!). Ground.

And the market was where we got the three other key ingredients for the dish: pinon nuts, bulghur wheat, and mint.

To make kibbeh, you also need white onion and high grade olive oil (none of that 10W40 junk the chain stores try to pass off as olive oil. If you can't procure some Syrian or Greek oil, at least get the Extra Virgin - a name, incidentally, that was given to my friend Chas until that fateful day after the state spelling bee. But, that's another story.

What I remember most about Helen's kibbeh is the smell in the kitchen when it baked.

And eating it cold the next day.

My wife hates lamb (it is among the 600 foods she dislikes or is allergic to) so, if I make kibbeh, I have to lie and make up a story bout "grass-fed beef."

But, I refuse to give you a compromise recipe.

Go to the market and have the folks in the back grind you some lamb. Keep it moderately lean. Make sure the butcher removes any "silver" from the meat prior to grinding.

Take a couple of cups of Bulghur wheat and put it in a bowl. Add boiling water to about 1/2 inch above the top of the wheat. Cover and let stand for half an hour or so. Drain and squeeze the excess water out of the wheat.

Mince the onion. Mash a clove or two of garlic. Mix the two meats, add the onion and garlic. Add salt and pepper. Add enough of the Bulghur to firm up the meat - enough so you notice there is wheat in the mix.

Mince a couple of tablespoons of mint and add two eggs, beaten.

Take a baking pan (9x13 will do). Oil the bottom and sides of the pan with a heroic measure of olive oil. Spread a layer of meat mixture, approximately 1 inch deep, in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the layer with pinon nuts. Cover with another layer of meat. Deeply score the meat in a diamond-shaped pattern. Slather the top of the meat with the oil.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until done - about one hour.

Eat the kibbeh with mashed potatoes, peas and a simple green salad dressed with a vinaigrette. (If, like my brother Kurt and my wife you sully the kibbeh with ketchup, do not tell me. This is an offense to the lamb that gave its life for your eating pleasure.)

Make a kibbeh sandwich the next day, or just nail a couple of diamonds in the rough.

Right before you hit the living room floor to do the bicycle.

Extension Viewpoints

Erase workplace stress and tension

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

April 20 - 4 p.m. GIS/GPS Project meeting.

April 20 - 5 p.m. Cake Decorating Project meeting.

April 21 - 1:30-3 p.m. Cloverbuds at community center.

April 21 - 1:45 p.m. 4-H Fridays at Community United Methodist Church.

April 21 - 2: p.m. Fair Royalty dance practice.

April 21 - 2 p.m. Rabbit Project meeting.

April 21 - 3:30 p.m. Poultry Project meeting.

April 22 - Republican Party Assembly.

April 22 - 10 a.m. Fair Royalty dance practice.

April 24 - 4 p.m. Entomology Group 2 meeting.

April 24 - 4 p.m. Veteran Archery at Ski and Bow Rack.

April 24 - 4:30 p.m. Dog Obedience Project meeting.

April 24 - 6:30 p.m. Beef Project meeting.

April 26 - 4 p.m. Entomology Group 1 meeting.

April 26 - 4 p.m. Sportsfishing Project meeting.

Seed potatoes

Orders are being taken now until Monday, May 1, for seed potatoes.

There are two kinds available: Sangre and Yukon Gold.

Yukon Gold potatoes have an oblong shape with buff skin and yellow flesh. They tend to be high yielding and are used for baking, mashing and roasting. They generally have an attractive appearance and a good flavor which make them suitable for many culinary uses.

Sangre potatoes are round 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 and tend to emerge erratically, developing a slight net in some soils. Sangres store well and have excellent cooking quality.

The cost is 40 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. This way you can experiment and see if you like them and then order more next year.

If you are interested in ordering seed potatoes, 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.

Eat smart, work smart

In today's world of high-stress, high-demand jobs, it can sometimes be difficult to remember the importance of practicing healthy habits while at work.

However, whether you sit at a desk, work behind a counter or are on your feet all day, incorporating good nutrition and physical activity into your workday can make a big difference in your work performance, energy and stress level, as well as your overall health. Follow these simple recommendations from the American Dietetic Association to eat smart and move more while at work.

- Start your workday with breakfast. You'll replenish your body's blood sugar stores, needed for sustained mental work and physical activity throughout the day. You'll also stave off midmorning hunger that may reduce your concentration.

- Take short stress-breakers. Take a brisk, 10-minute walk at least once or twice during your work day. Talking on the phone? Use this time to stretch various muscles, holding each stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Relieve tension in your shoulders and neck by tilting your head from side to side and from front to back.

- Take time for a lunch break - even when you're under pressure. Eating lunch may help you avoid a dip in your afternoon energy level.

- When you go out for lunch, order a nonalcoholic beverage. Alcoholic beverages can make you feel drowsy, which is a problem when you need to feel alert at work. Further, if you handle dangerous equipment or drive as part of your job, the combination of drinking and working is risky.

- Need a snack break? Stash nutritious foods in your desk drawer or in the workplace fridge. However, avoid mindless munching while sitting in front of the computer.

- What about office celebrations? Enjoy just a small piece of cake. When it is your turn to bring goodies, bring bagels and fruit in place of doughnuts or cake.

- Don't forget to move. Walk or take a strength training class over lunch, or team-up with co-workers for an after-work volleyball, baseball, golf or bowling league.

Do you work from an office at home?

- Keep routine in your life. Instead of rolling out of bed and into your home office, start with breakfast. Try to set a regular time for lunch as well.

- Need a work break? Opt for a walk outside rather than automatically checking out the refrigerator.

- Keep nutritious food on hand for quick workday meals and snacks. With a kitchen handy, you have almost any food option that you plan for.

- Give yourself a treat occasionally. Make a workday lunch date with others who work at home. Social contact that goes with eating out is especially beneficial for those who usually work alone.

- Take advantage of working at home to do other food preparation needs. During a work break, start preparing for the dinner meal.

- Make time to move more. When you work at home, your chance for routine physical activity may decrease because there is no need to walk from the parking lot or bus stop to your place of work. To compensate, make sure you take planned action breaks like walking the dog, walking down the street to pick up the mail or taking 10 minutes to work out on the treadmill or stationary bike. You'll be amazed at how much sharper your brain can be after a short break.

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

Pagosa Lakes News

Lakes stocked, enjoy the fishing

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Springtime is when many owners begin thinking about plans to get their lawn and landscape ready for the summer.

Here's a reminder to lakefront owners: PLPOA carries a special lakefront formulation fertilizer, here at the association office. This is a special slow release formulation designed to help protect the lake from harmful doses of phosphorus. It does contain some phosphorus but at a reduced level, and contains a good amount of nitrogen for healthy roots and iron for greening. This fertilizer comes in 50-pound bags, with one bag covering about 500 square feet (at a cost of $14).

Many communities and property owner associations across the country have actually implemented municipal codes and restrictions that require homeowners to use only reduced nutrient fertilizers near lakes and waterways. Although PLPOA has not yet placed any such restrictions here, it is highly recommended for the benefit and health of our lakes. If you would like to purchase a bag of lake front formulation fertilizer, just come by the association office on Port Avenue where a supply is kept.

Fish stocking

Lake Forest, Lake Pagosa, Village Lake and Hatcher Lake were all stocked this week with an array of trout, bass and crappie.

On Monday the hatchery delivered 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout and 500 pounds of brown trout up to Hatcher Lake; 1,200 pounds of rainbow trout and 1,000 pounds of cutbow trout to Lake Pagosa; and 1,800 pounds of rainbow trout to both Lake Forest and Village Lake.

We plan to do some additional trout stocking again in June and in late September.

All four lakes were also stocked with a good number of largemouth bass and Lake Pagosa and Lake Forest were stocked with crappie. Village Lake was stocked again this year with an additional 1,000 pounds of channel catfish to compliment the 1,000 pounds from last year.

Needless to say. the fishing is going to be outstanding this spring and summer.

Pagosa Lakes fishing regulations for 2006 are basically the same as last year with the daily limit of three trout, two bass and five crappie. In Village Lake, the limit for catfish is two per day.

This year we do have the special regulation applying to largemouth bass once again requiring that all bass be released during the spring spawning period April 15-June 15 in order to help protect and enhance the bass populations in the lakes. Fishing permits are available at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center and Pagosa Lakes Administration Office.

With all these additional fish in the lakes, your chances for success is good. I recently read an article on catch-and-release, and here's a five-second summary.

Pose with your trophy fish for too long before releasing it, and you might as well eat it. Exhausted fish exposed to air for one minute have a 28 percent survival rate. Help the fish live to swim another day by keeping it submerged and minimizing handling, which can strip its protective slime layer and damage internal organs.

Obituaries

Mary Carpenter

Mary Winter Snow Carpenter, "Mommo" to many, entered into eternal rest April 15, 2006.

She was born July 26, 1917, in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, to Reason Noble Snow and Lucy Lee Dickens Snow. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 54 years, Howard Franklin "Poppo" Carpenter, Sr.; one son, William Noble "Billy" Carpenter; three brothers, John, Robert and Dick Snow; one son-in-law, Bob Shahan; two granddaughters, Sara Lee Register and the infant, Mary Lorraine Carpenter; and two infant great-grandsons, Christopher and Ryan Sanner.

She is survived by many: daughters and sons-in-law, Betty Shahan of Chromo; Maggie and Fred Chavez and Nora and Neal Smith of Pagosa Springs; her sons and daughters-in-law: Howard Franklin "Hank" Carpenter, Jr., and Sylvia of Jessieville, Arkansas; Jimmy and Grace Carpenter of Bloomfield, New Mexico; and Onis Lee, Arthur Ray "Arkie," and Tommy Carpenter of Pagosa Springs. Three sisters and one brother-in-law: Helen Girardin, Inez Seavy and June and Faye Sweat. Twenty-two grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren made her a matriarch of five generations. She also leaves behind a multitude of nieces and nephews and countless friends, including the staff at Pine Ridge Extended Care.

Mary was a lifetime resident of Archuleta County who had many jobs which she balanced with her real life's priority of being a mother, grandmother, sister and aunt. She was a school bus driver, a school cook, she managed Goodman's Fabric Shop, and was even a sheriff's dispatcher. At one point, she also kept up with current events from Trujillo in her own column in The Pagosa Springs SUN. She was a 4-H and Girl Scout leader and was even honored as Archuleta County's My Fair Lady. In her later years, she loved picking wildflowers and spent many mornings watching birds and filling crossword puzzle books. She never refused an outstretched hand and found it very easy to give to others, even when she didn't have much for herself. She always found the good in everyone, leaving a footpath for all of the "Snow Clan" to follow. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Graveside services were held at Hilltop Cemetery on the morning of April 17, 2006. They were conducted by Pastor Bart Burnett. Pall bearers were Hank Carpenter, Jimmy Carpenter, Onis Carpenter, Arkie Carpenter, Tommy Carpenter and Fred Chavez. Honorary pallbearers were all of her grandsons.

Wilhelmina Clevenger

Wilhelmina Anna Marie "Goomie" Clevenger passed away early morning on April 16, 2006, at the home she shared with a couple of her daughters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the time of her passing, she had been with us for 73 years.

She was born in Ignacio, Colorado, on August 8, 1932, to Simon Ben and Susie Garcia. The Garcia family was raised in Durango, and consisted of 10 siblings, five brothers and five sisters, and "Goomie" was the sixth child in the family. The Clevenger family were longtime residents of Pagosa Springs, where each of the girls graduated from Pagosa Springs High School.

"Goomie" is survived by three of her sisters: Sue McIntosh of Atlanta, Georgia, Rose Mary Farley of Durango, and Elizabeth William of Bloomfield, New Mexico; and she is survived by two of her brothers: Lawrence "Cookie" Garcia of Anchorage, Alaska, and Alex Garcia of Cortez. She is also survived by her daughters: Jennifer Gallegos of Las Vegas, Nevada, her husband Robert and her grandchildren Jedeka Hamilton, her husband Terry and her great-grandson Denver of Las Vegas, and Robert Jr., also of Las Vegas; Kindra Martinez of Albuquerque, New Mexico, her husband Leonard, and her grandchildren Palmira, Estrella and Jose Martinez; Oma Jetuan "Tonnie" Taylor of Artesia, New Mexico, and her grandchildren Tawny Trujillo of Phoenix, Arizona, and Dominic Trujillo of Klamath Falls, Oregon; Sabrina Bowden of Ruidoso, New Mexico, and her husband Ridge and her grandchildren Tristan Bowden and Steven Hatch of Portales, New Mexico; Felicia Clevenger of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and her granddaughter Jade Michael.

"Goomie" was preceded in death by her parents and five of her siblings: Ben Garcia, Dolores Nutt, Pauline Gross, Billy Garcia and Johnny Garcia. She was also preceded by her husband, Harold "Red" Clevenger, in July of 2003, and her daughter, Desiree Clevenger, in 1982.

The celebration of her life will begin with a rosary and mass at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The rosary will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2006, and the Mass will be presided over by Father Carlos Alvarez at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2006. She will be interred after mass at the Hilltop Cemetery next to Red and Desi.

Gwen Woods

Gwen Woods of Pagosa Springs passed away on the evening of April 10, 2006. She was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, on April 6, 1919 and moved to Colorado Springs in 1957. In 1979 her husband passed away and in 1995 she moved to Denver. When she relocated to Pagosa Springs in 1999, it was a great joy for her to go to the Senior Center for lunch.

She is survived by her sister, Dody Smith, and her niece and husband, Karen and Richard Feldt.

If desired, memorials may be made to the Silver Foxes Den, P.O. Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Business News

Chamber News

Hospitality training sessions help employees, improve business

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

"There is less to fear from outside competition than from inside inefficiency, discourtesy and bad service," (Anonymous).

We can always use a refresher course in the customer service industry and here is our chance.

During the month of May, the Chamber of Commerce and Dynamic Workforce Training will host several days of hospitality training for local businesses.

The sessions will be geared to helping your staff understand the concepts of providing exceptional customer service and how you can offer better service by meeting the personalities of your customers, not yourself.

Facilitator Kathy Saley, of Dynamic Workforce Training, teaches how to "treat customers as they would like to be treated, not necessarily how you would like to be treated!" Learn the tricks of how your business can master this customer service technique.

Classes will be broken into two-week seminars. The seminars held the second week will build on the techniques learned the first week. We encourage businesses to sign up staff members for both weeks. Classes will be held at the community center. The cost is affordable, at $20 per person for the two-week seminar for Chamber members and $25 for nonmembers.

If you are not able to attend both sessions, we will make arrangements for your business. Dates of the classes the first week are Tuesday and Wednesday, May 9-10, from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. Follow-up sessions will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, May 16-17, from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. - again, four chances for you to attend the seminar.

Seating is limited and reservations are already coming in, so call the Chamber at 264-2360 to reserve slots now. We can take names later, as the training dates draw closer.

I'm confident that businesses will be able to hire staff at the job fair Saturday, April 22. Try to get these people enrolled in the classes. If your staff is not able to attend due to school requirements, depending on the number of interested parties Kathy and I will entertain the idea of hosting another class to accommodate the after-school hirings. Contact us at the Chamber if you would be interested in having staff attend a class after June 1.

These classes are not just for the "hired help." I encourage business owners to give themselves a break, come and refresh their skills, and contribute to the success of the class by sharing their knowledge and experience.

We are lucky to have Kathy Saley in our community; she has taught clients from small businesses and from Fortune 500 companies. Her goal is to work with clients to develop innovative concepts that are solidified into realistic performance models - thus the two-week course structure.

We want to see what worked for people, what might need to be tweaked, answer questions that may have come up in your business, and continue the education process from the previous week. We are passionate about customer service. We want to demonstrate what it takes to provide exceptional customer service and integrate the skills of other customer service providers into the classes. We hope employees from all types of businesses will attend: lodging, restaurant, banking, retail - just about anybody, because we're all in the customer service industry!

Job fair

I've already mentioned it, but another reminder won't hurt - for businesses to reserve a table at the Job and Career Fair Saturday, April 22.

The fair will be held at the community center 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is open to youth, ages 16-21. If you would like to reserve a table at no cost to your business, call Martha Garcia at the Colorado Workforce Center at 731-3832.

If you are interested in hiring youth for the summer, but are unable to attend, I will have a booth at the conference. As a Chamber benefit, I will take requests from businesses for employees to fill their open positions. I will then work with the Colorado Work Force to try and fill those vacancies. Call me at the Chamber, 264-2360 to communicate your needs.

Even if you are not interested in hiring, but would like to discuss the requirements for work in your line of business, please attend. My congratulations to the sponsors - The Colorado Work Force, Archuleta Economic Development, San Juan BOCS, the community center and the Kiwanis Club - for making this event happen.

Ed center luncheon

Another organization "making a difference" is the Archuleta County Education Center.

They will have their annual luncheon Wednesday, April 26, starting at 11:45 a.m. Keynote speaker this year for all you sports fans is Dave DeForest-Stalls, president and CEO of Big Brothers and Sisters of Colorado. There are some great sports role models out there, and Dave DeForest-Stalls is one of them. Having made a difference in the lives of youth in the Denver area, Dave will bring his innovative ideas and expertise to the listeners of Archuleta County and all those who strive daily to make a difference in our own youths' lives. Tickets can be obtained for a donation of $45 by calling 264-2835. The luncheon will be held at the First Baptist Church on U.S. 160 and will be catered by JJ's Riverwalk Restaurant.

SunDowner

Chamber members and invitation-holding guests are reminded that the next SunDowner will be held at the Humane Society Thrift Store at 269 Pagosa St. at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 26.

The Humane Society will get Donna Summers singing for their annual chocolate auction and disco-themed event. You don't have to come in '70s attire, but knowing the Humane Society, I'm sure a prize will be given for the "best dressed." Food and beverages will be provided with a $5 admission fee.

This Chamber co-sponsored event is for the benefit of our Chamber members or those interested in becoming Chamber members. It's the networking that helps your business, folks. Take advantage of it while having some fun! You never know who you will meet who might help your business, or the referrals that might come at a later date.

There will also be opportunities to bid on all the super chocolate goodies that have been donated for this event. So pull out those gold chains, bell bottoms and flower power shirts for a swinging and tasty good time.

Volunteer week

Without the volunteer organizations in our area, our community would have a hard time being as successful and beautiful as it is.

Now is the time to thank your volunteers as National Volunteer Week is held April 22-28. Our community is lucky to have organizations that have a volunteer position for almost any passion: adults, youth, civic, political, outdoor, etc.

We at the Chamber are no different. Our primary volunteer season rapidly approaches and we will have many opportunities this summer for volunteers to talk about how great Pagosa is and to help our visitors. Not only will we have time available for people to help out at the Visitor Center, but we also need volunteers to staffthe information booth at both bicycle tours in June. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, give the Chamber a call at 264-2360. We have missed our tourism ambassadors and have a fun-filled business touring schedule ready for them in May. Can't wait to see everyone and catch up.

Chamber membership

We are a community that lives and breathes the success of all our businesses and the Chamber wants to be a part of that process. Not only do we have lists, booklets, cards, pamphlets, flyers and other material about local businesses, we also have business tools for you. Next week, I will write more about the tools available for your business. For now, let's welcome back our renewing members.

A loyal Chamber member for years and years, we welcome back Brenda Eaves and Rainbow Gift Shop.

Located on the west side of town in the Greenbriar Plaza, Affordable Kitchens renews this week.

We have a slew of realty renewals, starting with Pagosa Land Company and J.R. Ford. We also have Land Properties, Inc. with Brian Burgan. We welcome back Lynn Cook and Four Seasons Land Company. Not a new business but a new name and with greater national exposure, we welcome aboard Jim and Deneice Stacey, now with Re/Max Eagle's Nest Realty.

Moving out of town we welcome back our historic neighbor to the west, the Strater Hotel in Durango.

Once again, don't miss these important events: the Job and Career Fair Saturday, and the hospitality classes May 9 ,10, 16 and 17. Don't just assume your employees know the tricks of the trade in the hospitality industry and throw them to the hospitality wolves. Give them some training; invest your money in your staff and therefore in your business.

Biz Beat

Taminah Custom Framing Gallery

Lindy Moore, a 14-year resident of Pagosa Springs, is the new owner and operator of Taminah Custom Framing Gallery at 2343 Eagle Drive.

Taminah provides creative, quality custom framing and preservation services. With a degree in graphic design, Moore is committed to continuing the high-level of service established at the gallery in the past .

Taminah features an exceptional selection of moulding and matting for any and all custom projects, however simple or complex.

You can have your photos, art, needlework, keepsakes, mirrors and antiquities preserved and framed at Taminah with preservation mountings and framing techniques. The staff can also stretch canvases and needle art.

The gallery carries ready-made frames and prints by local artists Claire Goldrick and Wayne Justis, as well as Milton Lewis.

Moore provides complimentary consultation and design services and can come to your home if you can't come to the gallery.

Taminah Custom Framing Gallery is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10-2 Saturday. Call 731-4484.

People

Cards of Thanks

Curvey

On behalf of our family here in Pagosa and in Illinois, we want to thank everyone for their phone calls, mass intentions, wonderful cards and outpouring of love for our mother and our family during this time of our loss.

God bless you all for your prayers and support.

The family of Helen Curvey

Gustafson

On a cold blustery morning these friends did Aspen Springs highway cleanup in fine, quick fashion: Bill Aspin, Carole Bliven, Leann Skoglund, Kelly Carson, Nancy Green, Mo Hollendor, Ben Qualls, Ron Gustafson and Bob Grandchamp.

My thanks go to them and to Lyn DeLange for providing us with delicious doughnuts when the task was completed.

Cindy Gustafson

ACT

The ACT (Archuleta's Children's Team) Council would like to thank all the people who contributed to making Week of the Young Child such a success in Archuleta County. The Kid's Fair was a huge success. A great big thank you to everyone that provided a booth and fun, free activities to all the children. Thanks to Kiwanis for serving great hot dogs. Thanks, too, to Terry Alley for providing the elementary school and free janitorial services! Thank you Head Start for organizing Doll Day and Seeds of Learning for being the event coordinator for Night of the Young Child. Thanks to Lisa Hartley, Shawna Carosello and crew for making sure the night went off without a hitch and to Brad Iverson for being a great emcee. Thank you San Juan Basin Health for providing over 82 free immunizations and to LPEA for providing the funding. Thank you Tena Saltzman for a wonderful SIDS presentation. Thanks to the Education Center for hosting a wonderful parent and child night. Thank you Ruby Sisson Library for hosting a storytelling time! Thanks, too, to the Department of Human Services for donating funds to help pay for the week long event. Members of the ACT Council are Pagosa Springs Head Start, Our Savior Lutheran Preschool, Seeds of Learning, Debra Ewing, Department of Human Services, Amber Anderson's Early Learning Center, Teresa Mael's Lil Blessings daycare and Judy Graham's daycare. Thank you Pagosa Springs for participating and supporting this event.

Sports Page

Pirates fight back for two big wins at Centauri

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs baseball Pirates were in a tough situation.

They were winless in Intermountain League play going into La Jara last Saturday morning and were in a must-win situation. Two wins would get them back in the league race. A loss or two would put them deeper in the hole.

Two obstacles stood in their way.

The first was a pretty good Centauri High School Falcons team, playing on the home diamond. They were also in the same boat as the Pirates, with a goose egg in the league win column and were in a must-win situation as well.

The second was the winds of La Jara.

Blowing out to left field at what seemed like 110 miles an hour, it appeared the wind would play a big part in the outcome of this doubleheader. It was difficult to throw in, pitch in and hit in. It was blowing so hard that outfielders couldn't make a throw to third base and a bloop single to left would probably leave the park. The advantage appeared to go to the home team.

Not so.

The Pirates (7-5, 2-2 in IML) used good pitching, good defense and took advantage of the wind on five home runs, 11 hits and nine RBIs to dominate the Falcons (2-4, 0-4) in the first game 14-2 in just five innings.

It started in the first inning when Matt Gallegos, playing left field and batting in the fifth spot, jacked a three-run homer. The next batter, centerfielder Travis Richey, followed with his own to put Pagosa up 4-0. Second baseman Casey Hart, not to be outdone, hit two out of the park — in the second and fourth innings — followed by a single shot from catcher John Hoffman in the top of the fifth that would get the mercy rule from the umpires.

In the second game, the wind died down but the Pirates didn't. They scattered 15 hits and 11 RBIs to win 17-6 when the umpires stopped the game after five innings in this one as well. The home runs weren't as plentiful, but the black and gold put the ball in play when they needed to build a commanding lead in the top of the fourth after Centauri had tied the game at six. The Pirates added five more runs in the sixth inning to end the game.

"This was a big series for us," commented Coach Charlie Gallegos after the morning doubleheader.

"The wind was so bad that we weren't sure how our kids would react. We were worried they might hurt their arms trying to throw. We were also concerned that they (Centauri) might be able to hit everything out of the park."

Wes Walters pitched a complete first game allowing only two hits in the game for the win. Karl Hujus and Adam Trujillo shared the mound in the second game allowing only four hits and two RBIs.

"Wes (Walters) pitched an outstanding first game for us," the coach added. "We needed someone to step up on the mound and he did. I was also finally able to get Adam (Trujillo) back after his injury. The trainers allowed him to go just three innings but he came in the second game and helped close out the win."

Pirates 14, Centauri 2

Josh Hoffman, leading off and playing shortstop, stroked a double for the visitors to open the first. Hujus, a designated hitter in the first game, was hit by a pitch that put two on and two out. Matt Gallegos came to the plate and started the Pirates' rally with his shot over the center field fence. Richey went deep to right center and the score went 4-0.

The Falcons would come back with two runs in the bottom half on two walks and a single by leftfielder Greg Shawcroft.

Josh and John Hoffman both reached base in the top of the second on an error and a walk. Josh Hoffman would score on a passed ball and John Hoffman would reach third base. Hart hit U.S. 285 with his first homer and the score went to 7-2.

Walters struck out two and walked two Falcons in the top of the second. The third out came when third baseman Daniel Martinez hit a deep fly to Trujillo in left field.

The Pirates went to work for two more runs in the third. The fifth and sixth batters came to the plate again. Gallegos reached base on an error and Richey singled to put Gallegos at third. Both scored on Centauri errors to put Pagosa up 9-2.

Walters faced only four Falcons in the bottom of the third on one hit by pitcher Nate Lucero who was left stranded.

Ten Pirates went to the plate in the fourth for four more runs. John Hoffman singled to left center and Hart, hitting in the number three spot, sent his second home run over the left field fence to score two. Up came the fifth and sixth hitters again. Gallegos walked and Richey singled again. Both scored on Falcons errors to put Pagosa up 13-2.

Walters pitched a shutout in the bottom of the fourth.

Seven more Pirates came to the plate in the top of the fifth. John Hoffman tanked his homer then Jim Guyton and Dan Cammack both singled to center to end the scoring.

Pirates 17, Centauri 6

The Pirates opened the second game on two quick runs. Josh Hoffman was hit by another pitch and John Hoffman singled. Hart walked and Josh Hoffman scored on an error. Gallegos walked and Richey singled to drive in the second run. Pagosa went out of the inning with the bases loaded and thoughts of the Ignacio series came to mind.

Hujus, starting on the mound for the Pirates, allowed no hits in the bottom of the third with his side arm delivery. Two Falcons did reach base on a walk and an error but both were left hanging.

John Hoffman, playing behind the plate again, singled with two outs in the second to start another Pirates' rally. Hart walked. With two on and two out, Hujus helped himself with a run scoring double. The number five batter came up again. Gallegos reached base for the fifth straight time of the day when he singled in another run and put the visitors on top 5-0 and the Ignacio thoughts went away.

Hujus put two Falcons on base in the bottom of the second when Matt Sandoval singled and Martinez was hit by a pitch. The Pirates defense stepped up on a 6-4-3 double play that allowed Martinez to score. Hujus then struck out catcher Brian Stencio to end the inning.

Estevan Armenta, on the mound for the Falcons, had some control problems and walked Richey, Cody Bahn and Guyton to open the third. Richey scored on a passed ball then Armenta recovered to send the next three down in order with the Pirates up 6-1.

The Falcons' Ernie Abeyta opened with a double in the bottom of the third and Mark Mondregon singled to drive in Abeyta. Armenta then helped his own cause with a two run shot over the left field fence and Centauri was back in the game. Lucero singled. Coach Gallegos switched pitchers and went with Trujillo. Shawcroft walked and both he and Lucero scored on errors. Guyton made his own double play at first base and Trujillo caught an infield fly to end the inning with the score knotted at six.

Hart and Hujus both singled to open the Pirates' fourth and then up came the fifth and sixth batters again. Matt Gallegos singled for one RBI. Richey singled to get his sixth straight time on base and scored two more for a 9-6 lead. Armenta walked two and the Falcons switched pitchers back to Lucero, who was on the mound in the first game. Coach Gallegos sent in Julien Caler to pinch hit for Trujillo. Caler hit a deep sacrifice to center to score one. Josh Hoffman doubled to add another and the visitors were back on top 12-6.

Trujillo sent three Falcons down in their half of the fourth. Stencio flew out to Hart at second. Abeyta struck out. Mondregon reached first on an error but was out trying to steal second on a nice throw from catcher John Hoffman.

Hart opened with a double in the Pirates' fifth and the Pirates had Lucero's number. Matt Gallegos was finally held off base when he hit a deep sacrifice out to center that sent Hart to third. Richey reached first for the seventh time on an infield hit that scored Hart. Averey Johnson, playing at third base, singled in another RBI. Guyton doubled to score Johnson. Trujillo, who missed at bats with his injury, finally singled and scored Guyton. Josh Hoffman was hit yet again and the bases were loaded. John Hoffman connected on a double to left center for two more RBIs and a 17-6 lead.

Trujillo struck out two Falcons and forced the third into a ground out to end the game.

The Pirates continue play with a four-game home stand starting today at Golden Peaks Stadium. Pagosa will host the New Mexico 3A Bloomfield Bobcats (8-6, 2-0 in league) with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. The two teams met earlier in the season at the Bloomfield Invitational, with the Bobcats coming out on top. This will be a big test for the home team.

The Pirates return to IML play Saturday when they host a scheduled doubleheader with the Bayfield Wolverines. This series, as are all regular season league games, is a must-win for the Pirates to keep pace in league play. Game times are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The IML-leading Ignacio Bobcats were defeated twice last Saturday by the Monte Vista Pirates, which puts the Buccaneers back in the hunt.

On Tuesday April 25, the 4A Montezuma-Cortez Panthers come to Golden Peaks for another rematch. The Pirates overwhelmed the Panthers in Cortez earlier this month by a 17-6 score. The Panthers will be looking for revenge, and the Pirates will need to keep the momentum going. The start time is 3 p.m.

In other IML action last week:

€ Cortez (2-4, 0-3 in league) defeated Bayfield (5-4, 1-1 in IML) 5-4.

€ Monte Vista (7-6, 1-1 in IML) defeated Center (2-5, 1-3 in league) 28-2.

€ Dolores (4-4, 0-1 in league) defeated Ignacio (6-1, 4-0 in IML) 23-9.

€ Ignacio (7-1, 4-0 in IML) defeated Dolores (4-5, 0-1 in league) 6-5.

€ Monticello, Utah, defeated Bayfield (5-5, 0-1 in IML) 8-6.

€ Bayfield (6-5, 1-1 in IML) defeated Monticello 12-2.

€ Monte Vista (8-6, 2-1 in IML) defeated Ignacio (7-2, 4-1 in IML) 10-2.

€ Monte Vista (9-6, 3-1 in IML) defeated Ignacio (7-3, 4-2 in IML) 11-4.

Pirates beat two league foes, stay atop standings

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Four games in a week's time.

Two wins, two losses.

And still undefeated in Southwestern League play.

The Pirate soccer team lost to a very good Cortez team April 13, rebounded for consecutive league victories over Ridgway, April 14, and Ignacio April 15 then lost to the Durango junior varsity 4-0 following an uninspired performance April 18.

All four games were played at Golden Peaks Stadium.

The loss to 4A Cortez resulted from the Pirates' inability to break the Cortez midfield and set up chances for shots on goal. The Pirate wings were not open for the long lead pass, and the Panther defense was not going to give ground up the middle.

Most of the match was played in the midfield area, with only the Panthers able to fire passes to wings and strikers and take the ball in on the opponent's goal

It took some time for Cortez to put a point on the scoreboard. That point came with a little over 25 minutes remaining in the first half when a Panther shot from the middle, from a distance of 25 yards, beat Pirate keeper Iris Frye.

Frye was not about to give up an easy goal, however, and she proved it with a stop of a drive with 13 minutes left in the half and a great save on an attempt off the corner kick a minute later. Frye had 11 saves in an excellent effort against the Panthers.

Cortez continued to pressure from the midfield in, and a drive from the right wing gave the visitors a 3-0 advantage at the half. In the second half, the physical nature of the game continued, with players jostling for position, arms and elbows up, collisions the rule of the day.

Pagosa got its single goal of the contest from junior midfielder Laurel Reinhardt who scored on a direct kick from 35 yards out, the ball lofting to the corner and over the goaltender's hands. Cortez continued to dominate the midfield, however, and move the ball on the offense, scoring two more goals for the 5-1 victory.

"Cortez is a physical team," said Pirate Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason. "And playing that kind of game tightened up our defense. That game showed us what we needed to work on. Our girls appreciated the game; it's like playing a Metro League team and the more times we do that, the better we'll be. Playing a physical game against Cortez really paid off when we played Ridgway."

Ridgway came to town the next night for the first Southwestern League match this season between the two teams.

It was a rough and tumble affair, with the referees giving the players wide berth and allowing for open, and often maximum-contact play.

The Pirates emerged from the battle the winners, 5-1.

Ridgway got the first goal of the match. A wing went unmarked on one side of the field as players were drawn away by the action near the opposite sideline. The pass went to the wing and the shot was a success.

That was all for the visitors.

Reinhardt scored two goals for the Pirates, getting the first two scores of the match. Reinhardt's second goal was assisted by junior striker Mariah Howell.

Stephanie Erickson scored the third Pagosa goal, on the assist from Reinhardt. Nichole Kazarinoff put the ball into the net, off an assist by Jennifer Hilsabeck.

Hilsabeck rounded out the five-goal tally with an assist from Erickson.

"This one was also a physical game," said Kurt-Mason. "After that first goal by Ridgway, our kids started playing hard knock soccer. We started dropping it to our midfielders. Our forwards started creating havoc in the box and that left our midfielders and wings open. I had players leave the field bleeding: This was a rough one and we handled it well."

And the team went on to handle the Ignacio Bobcats well the next day at Golden Peaks stadium as the Bobcats came to town for the second, and final regular season meeting between the two squads.

The pitch belonged to the Pirates, who controlled the match throughout for a 9-0 whitewash of their league foes.

Defender Kailey Smith put the first point on the scoreboard for Pagosa, nailing a drop from the middle. Allison Laverty was next for the Pirates, the left defender getting a rebound off a corner kick directly in front of the goal line and putting the ball home.

Reinhardt got Pagosa's third goal, the midfielder scoring on a long, high shot from 35 yards out.

Frye then broke down the middle with ball working through the Bobcat defense and put a shot past the Ignacio keeper. Frye was at forward for Pagosa against Ignacio, Kurt-Mason testing an injury that has kept her out of the attack and in goal. Laci Jones took Frye's place in the net.

Frye proved she is ready to return to full-speed action. The junior scored on her fourth touch of the season.

Reinhardt had what was perhaps the prettiest goal of the day to put a fifth point on the scoreboard. The junior took a corner kick from Smith and, at a full run, headed the ball past the motionless Bobcat defense and into the back of the net. Reinhardt then made it 6-0 with a shot off the Bobcat keeper's hands.

Hilsabeck scored Pagosa's first goal of the second half and Lexi Johnson put one in the net for the Pirates' eighth tally. Smith ended the day, converting on a pass from Frye.

"The toughest thing our kids had to overcome was getting up for the match," said the coach. "They had to guard against getting lethargic, and they did well. They kept the two-touch game going and stayed energetic."

The victory kept the Pirates in the league lead, at 5-1. Pagosa has rounded out its regular season schedule against Ignacio and Center, has one game remaining at Ridgway and two games each with Telluride and Bayfield.

The league schedule wraps up in quick fashion, as the Wolverines are in town tomorrow, April 21, for a 4 p.m. match. The Pirates play their final nonleague contest in Cortez at 11 a.m. Saturday; Telluride is at Golden Peaks Stadium Monday, April 24, at 2:30 p.m. and the Pirates travel to Ridgway Tuesday for a 3 p.m. rematch with the Demons.

Pirates post strong team finishes at Bayfield

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Despite the loss of veteran athletes, despite injuries, despite adverse weather conditions, the Pirate track team continues to succeed and to improve as the regular season enters its final two weeks.

Both Pirate girls' and boys' teams finished strong at the April 11 Pine River Invitational at Bayfield. The girls' took second place in a field of 13 teams; the boys finished fourth among 18 teams at the meet.

It was a nasty day for a track meet, with clouds, moisture, wind and cold, but the Pirates put together some notable performances, in particular in field events.

The sole victory during the day was posted by junior Kim Fulmer. She won the 400-meter dash with a time of 62.83 seconds.

Second-place individual finishes among Pirate girls were posted by Emilie Schur in the 800 (2:33.30) and the 1,600 (5:37.59), and by Kristen DuCharme in the discus with a throw of 101 feet, one inch.

The girls' 4x100 relay team of Fulmer, Nikki Kinkead, Mia Caprioli and Jessica Low was second, with a time of 54:47.

Third place went to the 4x800 relay team of Fulmer, Schur, Jenni Webb-Shearston and Elise McDonald, with a time of 11:04.24; to Lindsey Mackey in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet; and to Alaina Garman in shot put, with a throw of 30-07.75

On the boys' side, Caleb Ormonde had a good day in field events, finishing second in the high jump at 5-10. Craig Schutz was second in discus with a throw of 136-02.

Casey Schutz took third in triple jump, with a distance of 39-09.75. A.J. Abeyta continued with his series of strong efforts in the 3,200, taking third with a time of 11:04.74.

David Dunmyre was third in shot put, with a throw of 46-04.75. Dunmyre's throw set a new school record, eclipsing the former record of 46-03.5 set in 1972 by Jim Goodenberger.

Two Pirates qualified for state meet competition.

Craig Schutz had a throw long enough in discus to ensure him a place in the field at Pueblo at season's end.

Kinkead qualified for the 100 in a preliminary heat with a time of 13:39, though shin injuries are a real concern for the senior veteran sprinter.

"It was pretty cold in the morning," said Coach Connie O'Donnell of the Bayfield experience. "But, I was proud of our kids. Our field events were great, placing a couple in most events. That hasn't happened a lot before. It was good competition."

O'Donnell was impressed by the girls' second-place finish. "That shows a lot," she said. "It shows what good athletes we have, given how many girls were not out."

O'Donnell said she tried two experiments she hopes will produce results. Fulmer was moved to the 4x800 relay for the Bayfield meet. "She ran her first 800 ever," said the coach, "and she did very well."

Likewise, Chase Moore was moved to the boys' 4x800 team. "Chase ran well and it will help with his four-hundred times," said the coach.

The Pirates go to Durango Saturday to compete in what is traditionally a fairly large meet — with at least 15 teams. The regular season ends April 29 with the Terry Alley Invitational, at Golden Peaks Stadium.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Get the kids registered for youth baseball

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

Youth baseball registration began Monday and will continue through May 1.

Cost is $25 per player and $15 for each additional child in the same, immediate family who participates. The season is tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-May.

The recreation office will accept registrations for coach-pitch Pinto division (ages 6, 7 and 8), Mustang division (ages 9 and 10) and Bronco division (ages 11 and 12).

The office will also accept registrations for Pony division (ages 13 and 14), but if the number of registrations turned in is not sufficient to support a league in this age bracket (at least two teams), registration fees will be refunded and the league will be canceled.

Registration forms have been supplied to local schools and are also available at the recreation office, which is now located upstairs in Town Hall.

Coaches and team sponsors are needed and appreciated. Cost for sponsorship is $150, which includes sponsor's name on team uniforms, commemorative plaque with team picture and designation in media articles.

For more information call 264-4151 Ext. 232.

Tee-ball schedule

The tee-ball schedule for the coming week includes:

April 24 at the community center — A's vs. Royals at 5:30 p.m. and White Sox vs. Rockies at 6:30 p.m.

April 26 at the community center — Angels vs. Orioles at 5:30 p.m.

Parents and coaches should be aware that all games scheduled for the community center may be moved to Town Park, weather permitting, and will begin at the same start times. Coaches will be notified in advance when there is a change in venue and the sports hotline (264-6658) will be updated accordingly.

Adult basketball

Please note that the men's competitive league schedule has recently been revised due to the number of teams in the league dropping from nine to eight. The competitive league schedule (all games at the junior high school) for the coming week includes:

April 24 - Concrete Connection vs. Chama I at 7 p.m. in the upper gym, Chama II vs. M. Kely at 7 p.m. in the lower gym, High Mountain Performance vs. Buckskin at 8 p.m. in the upper gym and Slack Attack vs. Bear Creek at 8 p.m. in the lower gym.

April 26 - Buckskin vs. Chama II at 7 p.m. in the upper gym, M. Kely vs. Slack Attack at 7 p.m. in the lower gym, Bear Creek vs. Concrete Connection at 8 p.m. in the upper gym and Chama I vs. High Mountain Performance at 8 p.m. in the lower gym.

The recreation league schedule (all games at the junior high school) for the coming week includes:

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

April 25 - South Pagosa vs. Tim Miller Custom Homes at 6 p.m. in the upper gym, Ponderosa vs. Allen's Auto Body at 6 p.m. in the lower gym and Green Machine vs. Citizens Bank at 7:05 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

Who's in control?

Government-mandated tests were administered in Archuleta School District 50 JT buildings and, once again, it is obvious how the tests symbolize the erosion of local control over public education and the growth of administrative buffoonery in the educational arena, rather than any real gain in our ability to teach our young people.

No Child Left Behind. Sounds great, doesn't it?. An idea gilded with fine rhetoric and sloganeering; a general failure and a bit of political skullduggery. The same, we think, can be said for CSAP - the state's take on the notion.

What's wrong with testing kids in schools? Nothing, in theory. Tests can be positive additions to the educational arsenal.

But, when one combines test results with punitive action? When one considers how curricula and educational objectives might be shaped by fear of that action, rather than by attention to the goal of a targeted, rounded education? Then Š there's a lot that's wrong.

One of the most common justifications of NCLB and CSAP is that test results show us "what we are not doing well."

Defined by whom?

By bureaucrats whose nests are feathered by a punitive system? By systems that increase administrative spending in response to "pressures," thereby squandering money better spent on new teachers - employees who are underpaid to begin with? By politicians who buy votes with codified rhetoric?,

It is not defined by the community and we have to ask: Can we still set a course of action designed to prepare our youngsters for a future that is chanxging in ways a traditional curriculum and approach cannot meet?

Or do we have a system that scurries around, trying to avoid the punitive aspects of NCLB and the state-mandated CSAP process, producing mountains of paperwork, unable to stand against the tide?

We recognize many school districts are financially strapped to a point they cannot face the prospect of funding withheld, of sanctions imposed for not meeting arbitrary and ill-conceived programs fueled by politicians - many of whom could not pass the tests they mandate. And so, the districts go along.

But, why? What sense does it make when punitive measures loom over a district's test results and, at the same time, the politicians who craft the legislation make it so parents can choose to have a child opt out of CSAP tests, but a zero must be factored into the school's overall test results for consideration by the powers that be? What kind of idiocy is this? And why do we put up with it?

Why would you have a student who has just arrived from another nation, barely able to speak English, if at all, take language tests and have his or her abysmal score factored into a school's results for consideration by the powers that be? What kind of nonsense is this?

What possible good is done here and in like examples? What good is the potential loss, under test pressure, of verifiably valuable programs like arts, music and the like?

The good is done for bureaucrats and politicians. But for few others.

CSAP, NCLB, administrative dominance and growth, all are symptomatic of a society that has lost control over core processes - in this case, education. We suffer from a failure of elected leadership and public will. We accept sloganeering and endure bureaucratic trumpery in order to avoid responsibility. We have not taken a clear-eyed look at the world our children will face and we do not demand effective educational responses, rather than test-driven reactions, to probable realities. Educational responses, not administrative responses. We are succumbing to over-control of education by big government and the manipulation of that lack of control by bureaucrats at the expense of the youngest members of our society.

If we don't change, those children will pay a huge price.

Karl Isberg

Legacies

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 21, 1916

A telephone meeting was held this week to see about getting our line fixed up. Haven't been able to get central this month. Both the poles and wires are down.

Get right with the religious sentiment in the community, then get right with your neighbor, but if you're too infernal "ornery" to get right with neither, bury your hammer, clean up, paint up and get ready for the big highway opening celebration this summer.

The annual losses of livestock on the national forest ranges of the west alone due to predatory animals are over $500,000. Wolves are responsible for about 70 percent of this loss.

A small blaze of unknown origin destroyed the ice house at the Springs Hotel last week.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 24, 1931

Les Bishard of Pagosa Springs, government trapper who has been operating in the Chromo section, led the 33 hunters of Colorado for the number of predatory animals captured during the month of March. In 25 working days his catch consisted of 2 bobcats and 12 coyotes - a total of 14 animals.

This week's heavy rain storm was another welcome visitor to the farmers, but greatly interfered with Mayor Taylor's Clean-Up Week in Pagosa Springs.

The I.O.O.F. picnic, which was scheduled to be held near the Devil Creek bridge next Sunday, has been postponed until the Sunday following, May 3, providing the weather permits. A large attendance is expected.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 19, 1956

Courtesy Patrolmen are starting to crack down on persons who do not make the proper signals to indicate turns and stops. Better watch it.

Exactly 30 days from today the fishing season starts. Better get your tackle in order and your fishing tales practiced up a bit.

It seems as if there should be some appropriate award for a citizen of the town when he does an outstanding job on a community project. If there were such an award, it should be given this year to Bud Patterson, fire chief. Bud has worked hard and long on the new fire truck project and more credit is due Bud than any other person for the fact that we are to have a new fire truck.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 23, 1981

Donald W. Winter and Herman Riggs announced this week that they have leased The Pagosa Springs SUN to David Mitchell. Mr. Winter and Mr. Riggs will maintain their position as publishers. During the term of the lease David will serve as assistant publisher. The management affirms their intention to do all that is possible to provide the community with the same publication quality Glen Edmonds, editor emeritus, has provided for the past thirty-two years.

Town Mayor Ross Aragon has proclaimed next week as spring clean-up for the town. The surrounding area is also joining in the clean-up campaign. There will be no dump fee charged during the week and trash piled in the proper place will be hauled free of charge.

Features

A new way of learning Pagosan's company produces virtual teaching tools

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"At the heart of every game is a problem solving challenge," said Russ Phelps, founder of Intelligence Gaming, a Pagosa Springs-based company that produces video games to simulate real-life scenarios in conjunction with his partner company Whatif Productions of Boston, Mass.

The purpose of each game is to train the user in the necessary thinking skills required to excel in the field for which he or she is training.

"Young people today think differently," explained Phelps. "Teachers often teach as they were taught," and those methods may not be the best for reaching today's younger generations, asserts Phelps. "The MTV generation has an attention span - they can sit for twelve hours and play a video game. Additionally, they are much more sophisticated in their ability to see and absorb complex, multi-sense media. The question is not can we change them, it's can we adapt to better reach them. What we're trying to do is adapt (curricula) to optimize their learning performance.

"The ultimate convergence of entertainment and serious simulation applications is occurring in the commercial video game market. As defense, government and industry virtual worlds expand in scope and scale, they will increasingly adapt gaming technology in order to add 3D visualization, distributed environments and scenarios that are adaptive and responsive, and, are cognitively attuned for rapid decision making," states the Intelligence Gaming Web site, www.intelligencegaming.com. "More than fun, the methodology of gaming is widespread - and has been for centuries. The defense of nations and industry strategies has long been tested in 'war' games. The application of emergent gaming technology can bring revolutionary transformation to serious 'gaming.'"

Intelligence Gaming is poised on the edge of future technological teaching methods and curricula to be utilized in fine-tuned training in many fields, especially in the military branches.

For example, if Intelligence Gaming contracted with an organization, the goal would be to design curricula, in video game or simulation form, that would enable the student to virtually live through the training scenario. After evaluating the curricula and its effectiveness in training a cross-section of students, Intelligence Gaming would then produce a "game" that would, in effect, enable a student to live through a proverbial lecture or experience learned by others.

"There is no mistaking the explosive growth of the Gaming Industry - it is the fastest growing sector of entertainment, education and business applications. Too often, the gaming industry and video 'games' are misidentified as mere entertainment. To be sure, a game is supposed to be fun, but it is also an application," states the Intelligence Gaming Web site.

The main focus of games designed by Intelligence Gaming is to train military and government personnel to do their jobs more effectively. For example, video games can help train soldiers to locate terrorists or to track down and locate (computer) hackers.

"We never build just one game - every year it's expanded, and changes as the curricula develops," said Phelps.

"Three-D is compelling and easy to understand," added Phelps. Intelligence Gaming also has the capacity to develop simulations that can be used on an explanatory basis, such as briefing legislators on complex scientific or academic scenario.

Intelligence Gaming starts with curricula, and teaches the game user how to use the curricula. Gaming technology allows the student to gain hands-on experience without rote memorization in the traditional sense. The goal of each game is to "translate information into a meaningful application that mirrors real-world experience," said Phelps.

"We start by asking, 'What is it that we want them to have learned to think about? What can we do to strengthen their analytical process?'" explained Phelps. "We've developed technology that allows organizations to start to building their own 'games' so they can do it faster and cheaper, and better suit their specific needs, rather than paying millions of dollars to have someone else do it. Building games can be terrifically complicated and expensive. Top-of-the-line commercial games cost in excess of $40 million to produce," estimates Phelps.

The partnership between Intelligence Gaming and Whatif Productions, along with their cutting edge technology, has been written up in various national magazines such as Forbes, the business journal Mass High Tech, and a gaming industry-specific Web site, eToychest.com.

"Whatif Productions and Intelligence Gaming, with several defense projects in progress, are looking forward to delivering this essential resource to the defense and intelligence communities. Whatif's(R) COO and Production Unit President Fred Skoler adds that 'The partnership between Whatif Productions and Intelligence Gaming provides an unmatched combination of technology, creative talent, and subject expertise to provide the defense and intelligence industries with a long term source for computer simulation and data visualization,'" states the Feb. 16, 2006, Business Wire posting of Forbes.com.

The entrepreneurial spirit runs in the Phelps family, as father and brothers all started businesses. After retiring from a 20-year naval career in 2002, Phelps was ready to take the same leap. After working with a Washington D.C.-based start-up company, Phelps sold his share and founded Intelligence Gaming in November 2005.

"It's not for the meek," said Phelps of laying the foundation for a company. "You've got to be persistent. Actually, you've got to be relentless. Everybody's got a million-dollar idea, but not everyone has a plan and the energy to make it (work)."

Phelps has the passion and the drive to make his company competitive and a leader in the field of academic gaming. He travels an average of 20 days every month to explain his product and build relationships with the organizations that would benefit most from simulation technology.

"This hasn't really turned out as I thought it would be - it's better," said Phelps of Intelligence Gaming. "Ultimately, I'd like to have a studio in this town that could produce simulations and games."

Phelps is currently working with the Computer Science Information Systems department at Fort Lewis College to raise gaming awareness and to adjust the curriculum accordingly.

Phelps and his wife, Diana, moved to Pagosa Springs in 2005. Diana is an acupuncturist who opened her own clinic in Pagosa Springs and currently handles the bookkeeping for Intelligence Gaming, but will soon hand over the books to an accounting professional. "It's getting big," said Phelps.

Although Phelps' business interests frequently keep him away from his adopted hometown, he plans to make time to explore the streams of Archuleta County as spring creeps into the mountains. Phelps anticipates the approaching fly fishing season and jokes, "When May comes, I'm here - full time."

Pagosa's Past

Emmet Wirt, trader to the Apaches

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

A cowboy turned trader to the Indians, Emmet Wirt was an extraordinary man.

According to his biographer, the Rev. J. Denton Sims, Wirt spent most of his life helping the Apache Indians in Dulce.

Wirt first began trading with the Jicarilla while operating a butcher shop in Amargo, a frontier community located a few miles along the railroad tracks east of Dulce. Wirt's butcher shop became a general store. From Amargo, Wirt moved about a mile west with the other Amargo merchants and helped found the town of Lumberton.

Not much time elapsed before Wirt established the first trading post on the Jicarilla Reservation in Dulce. The Jicarilla gave Wirt all of their meager patronage from the beginning. The only cash income Indians on that reservation had was from government funds spent to develop the agency and Indian school.

When the depression of 1907 struck, almost all work stopped. The only support for the Indians was the limited rations issued twice monthly to Apaches who were either too old or too disabled to work. This small amount of food was consumed long before more rations were issued. The poverty-plagued Indians would have starved without Wirt's help, according to Sims.

The records in old books show that Wirt dissipated much of his savings to keep the Apaches from starving. Sims, who moved to the reservation in 1914, reported seeing huge scars on many of the pine trees, scars made by removing the outer bark in order to make a subsistence kind of soup from the inner bark.

Emmet felt that better times would come. When some of the Indians passed away as the result of old age, illness, or epidemic, and several times whole families died as the result of epidemics of smallpox or influenza, his ledger at the store would, with the passing of the only bread winner in the family, carry the inscription in red ink, "Paid by God."

The world little knew and for a time cared not how much this great-hearted man succored these benighted people, Sims wrote. Their plight was so bad that had their death rate continued as it was at that time, the last Jicarilla Apache would have passed from the scene in 1932.

What Sims did not mention was the great tuberculosis scourge between 1910 and 1920 which reduced the Jicarilla population from several thousand to about 300. Reminiscent of the Black Plagues in earlier days in Europe, Apaches were dying so fast, there weren't enough well people to bury them.

Sims credits Wirt's faith and practical vision for saving the Apache, coupled with those who were convinced by him that these starving people could and had a right to live, and not only live but earn a livelihood on their rich reservation, a large expanse rich in grazing and timber.

Efforts were made to persuade the Indian Bureau that the Indians at Dulce should become raisers of sheep. These programs were inaugurated with difficulty through the slowness of governmental bureaucracy and the Indian's lack of confidence in any thing the government offered. Sims asks, "Was it surprising that they would lack confidence in a government that stood idly by while they were dying of malnutrition and tuberculosis caused by it?"

More next week on Emmet Wirt, trader to the Apaches.

Pagosa Sky Watch

Hydra and Lyrid meteors stars of weekend show

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:27 a.m.

Sunset: 7:48 p.m.

Moonrise: 2:16 a.m.

Moonset: 11:38 a.m.

Moon phase: Last quarter

Although spring in the mountains often seems to arrive late, the night sky remains right on its seasonal cue.

During the past weeks, and true to the season, sky watchers will have observed the signature spring constellations, Bootes, Virgo, Leo and Ursa Major, soaring high overhead and along with them, their fainter, seasonal celestial companions - Coma Berenices and Canes Venatici.

But not yet added to this list of seasonal celestial sights, is perhaps the quintessential spring constellation - Hydra the water snake. The legend of the water snake originates from two stories found in the Greek mythology. The first story links Hydra to the tale of Corvus the crow, who was sent, by Apollo, to fetch water from a spring. According to the legend, while en route, Corvus discovered a fig tree whose fruit was not quite ripe, but that looked promising. Tempted by the prospect of gorging himself on such a fantastic treat, Corvus sat and waited for the figs to ripen. Ultimately, Corvus returned obviously very late, and even worse, empty handed. When Apollo questioned the crow about his failure, Corvus said a water snake had delayed him by thwarting his access to the spring. Apollo, angered by the lie, banished the crow and the water snake to the heavens.

The second story links Hydra to the multi-headed sea monster slain by Hercules as part of his many labors.

While there is no linkage between Hydra and the spring season in either story, the constellation's passage across our night sky is uncannily spring-like.

Like spring, Hydra begins to make a full appearance for northern hemisphere viewers by mid- to late- March, gradually reaches peak height by late April, then slowly disappears below the horizon by the end of May. Although the brevity of Hydra's passage appears to mirror the passage of the season, the constellation's transit has more to do with its sheer size than with seasonal fluctuations. In fact, Hydra is ranked as the sky's longest constellation.

Its head begins in the northern celestial sphere and its tail lies south of the celestial equator. From head to tail, the constellation spans more than 100 degrees, or one-third of the celestial sphere. With such tremendous length, it requires a large swath of dark sky to contain the creature and as summer approaches, and due to the faintness of Hydra's stars, the head of the snake disappears below the western horizon before sufficient darkness arrives and Hydra's full outline can be revealed. Although the summer months mark Hydra's demise, March and April provide sufficient dark sky viewing conditions for star gazers to view the snake in its entirety, and tonight is arguably prime viewing time - the constellation is on meridian and the moonlight should not interfere. But don't expect the constellation to jump out at you - most of its stars are faint at magnitude 3.0 or dimmer.

To view Hydra, face south and begin observations after 11 p.m. when the full length of the constellation will be above the horizon. Because Hydra traverses such a vast swath of sky, it may be helpful to identify the area in which to limit your search. Looking southeast, the vertical plane of Jupiter roughly marks the terminus of the water snake's tail, while the southwestern terminus and the snake's head are marked by the vertical plane of Saturn — between these parameters meanders Hydra.

To locate and trace the constellation, sky watchers have two options. First, using Saturn as a landmark, you can attempt to locate the six stars marking the snake's head. They will be found a few degrees below, and slightly to the left of the ringed planet — their outline is clear, and is usually quite distinct.

The other option is to use the bright, blue-white star Regulus, in Leo, as a guide. From Regulus, traveling down and slightly to the right, look for a bright orange object. This is Alphard, a magnitude 2.0 orange giant which mark's Hydra's heart and is the brightest star in constellation. Once you have located either feature, the head or Alphard, you'll need dark skies to locate the remainder of the constellation.

In addition to the stars of Hydra proper, the area does hold a few objects of interest for binocular- or telescope-equipped observers

Slightly to the right and a few degrees below the snake's head lies M48 - a large open cluster of about 80 stars that shows well in binoculars.

About midway down Hydra's body lies NGC 3242, a ninth magnitude planetary nebula that gives off a ghostly blue hue. The nebula has an apparent size similar to that of the Jovian planet, and has become commonly known as the "Ghost of Jupiter."

Finally, down near the snake's tail lies M83, a beautiful face-on spiral galaxy sometimes called the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy. Star gazers observing with more sophisticated hobbyist scopes may be able to resolve the galaxy's wispy spiral arms.

For sky watchers who are unable to trace the water snake tonight, the constellation will remain within excellent sight range, with abundant viewing opportunities persisting through the month and into May - although moonless nights, such as tonight, provide the best opportunities for viewing the constellation in its entirety - and a star chart will prove invaluable when viewing the constellation and for those who wish to locate the area's deep space objects.

While the moon should cooperate with star gazers who desire to locate Hydra and its neighboring deep space objects, our lunar companion should also remain a relatively minor factor for those wishing to view a Lyrid meteor streaking across the sky.

The Lyrid meteor shower will peak after midnight April 21, and the best views should be had during the hour before dawn the morning of April 22. This year, at the shower's maximum, astronomers estimate the shower should produce an average of 10 to 15 meteors per hour racing across the sky.

Weather

Date High Low Precip.
Type
Depth Moisture

4/12

66

27

-

-

-

4/13

70

28

R

.09

.09

4/14

65

34

-

-

-

4/15

53

33

-

-

-

4/16

62

27

-

-

-

4/17

64

27

-

-

-

4/18

48

25

-

-

-

 

March saves the day ... for now

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Thank goodness for March.

Until last month, the southern mountains of Colorado were solidly entrenched in one of the driest winters on record. Even as the current water year began October 1, followed by a month of above-average moisture statewide, the storm track soon shifted, and for the following three months, only the northern and central mountains received meaningful snow.

In fact, the north received a lot of snow. By February 1, for instance, the North Platte basin snowpack was 123 percent of average for the date. In contrast, that of the Upper San Juan basin was just 36 percent of average. Statewide, the overall snowpack was near normal, at 99 percent of the long-term average.

February was a relatively dry month across Colorado and by March 1, the statewide snowpack had dropped to 88 percent of average. The Upper San Juan slipped to 34 percent, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) feared a repeat of 2002, one of the four driest years recorded.

But the storm track apparently shifted again, and by the end of the first week of March, snow began falling over the southern mountains. In just one storm, Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 104 inches of powder in seven days, with 64 inches piling up in just 72 hours. Meanwhile, slightly more than two feet blanketed the Pagosa Lakes area over the same period. By the first of April, the snowpack in the Upper San Juan basin had improved to 61 percent of normal.

The north, on the other hand, suffered a third consecutive month of below-average precipitation and by April 1, snowpack percentages in the Colorado, North Platte and South Platte basins were just above average, ranging between 103 and 110 percent. Those in the Yampa and White basins continued to lead the state, but decreased to 114 percent of normal. Statewide, the overall snowpack rebounded somewhat, to 94 percent of the long-term average.

Even with the blessings of March, the NRCS predicts streamflows in southern Colorado river basins will be well below average this spring and summer. Runoff in the Rio Blanco at the Blanco Diversion is expected to peak at 64 percent of normal, and the Navajo River at the Oso Diversion should run at just 61 percent. The San Juan River at Carracas is expected to flow at only 52 percent of its normal spring volume, while the Piedra River at Arboles will reach 55 percent of average. Streams originating in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains will be the lowest, at less than 50 percent of typical volumes.

Though northern streamflows are expected to exceed normal levels, some by significant amounts, March weather has boosted predictions in central Colorado too. The Gunnison basin, which earlier appeared destined for below-average volumes, now appears average. The Eagle River will flow well above average, and the South Platte should see its highest runoff volumes since 1997.

Reservoir storage across Colorado is in relatively good shape now, with only two basins reporting below-average volumes (the Rio Grande and the Arkansas, at 72 and 66 percent, respectively). Amazingly, by April 1, this year's volumes were at, or well above, last year's levels, with statewide storage at 98 percent of average. The combined San Juan, Animas, Dolores and San Miguel basins actually lead the state with 137 percent of average storage.

Of course, with low runoff expected in the south (where storage is high), and high runoff anticipated up north (where storage is low), overall storage levels could diminish significantly by the end of the water year, particularly if dry weather persists through the spring and summer months. If so, above-average mountain snows will be necessary next winter, to reduce the danger of depleting vital water supplies.

Unfortunately, the long-range weather forecast suggests drought conditions will continue in southern and southeastern Colorado, at least through June.

The immediate outlook calls for continued sunny to partly-cloudy days, with clear nights and moderate temperatures through early May. Daytime highs should range from the mid-60s to 70 degrees, with nighttime lows hovering around the freezing mark.

According to Greg Oertel, Director of Emergency Operations for the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, April moisture (1.12 inches in Pagosa Springs) has delayed this year's anticipated wildfire season in southern Colorado, but things could heat up fast. The moisture content among heavy fuels in the surrounding forests is at 13 percent, roughly 10 percent below average. By comparison, the moisture content in 2002 was 16 percent, and conditions this year compare to those in 1996, when southwestern Colorado suffered a record 127 wildfires.

Fire predictors believe this year's wildfire season will begin by early May, and southwestern Colorado could see more fires than average. What's more, predictors think fires may be up to 40 percent larger than average.

As a result, fire bans are an almost certainty in the coming weeks, and all of the nation's 11 air tankers are assigned to the southwest region. As necessary, single-engine aircraft can land at Stevens Field for reloading.

Meanwhile, the county Community Fire Plan is being revised, and should be out next week. But, for now, think rain.