May 4, 2006

Front Page

Hospital issue passes by huge margin

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

It's not quite official, but Pagosa Springs will have its Critical Access Hospital.

By a wide margin, registered voters from the Upper San Juan Health Service District of Archuleta, Mineral and Hinsdale counties approved Ballot Issue A Tuesday, in what election officials described as a surprising turnout. By the time the Vista Clubhouse polling place closed at 7 p.m., more than 1,400 ballots were cast, with less than 8 percent of the voters opposing the issue.

The vote approved $12 million in debt (without an increase in taxes) with a maximum payback of $33.5 million.

Electors also confirmed four members of the USJHSD Board of Directors nominated to serve four-year terms. They are Bob Scott, Kitzel Farrah, Neal Townsend and Michelle Visel.

By press time, the unofficial results were as follows:

- The Upper San Juan Health Service District Ballot Issue A received 1,295 votes in favor and 106 votes opposed.

- Bob Scott received 1,175 votes.

- Kitzel Farrah received 1,166 votes.

- Neal Townsend received 1,113 votes.

- Michelle Visel received 1,025 votes.

As mentioned, election results are preliminary, and will not be declared official until a three-member canvass board validates provisional ballots and certifies the final count. The board is allowed seven days to complete its work, though member and designated election official Kim Nemecek believes it will take much less time. Apparently, only about a dozen provisional votes were cast.

Provisional ballots are those submitted by voters, but not yet legitimized. They typically result when voters are unable to present a valid form of identification at the polls, or when their names, for whatever reason, fail to appear on the official voter registry. Ballots are verified by comparing voter signatures on the affidavits completed while voting, to those found in county voter records.

"That was a pretty exciting election (Tuesday)," said USJHSD board chair Pam Hopkins. "I'm just grateful to our community for coming out in such large numbers and giving us a clear mandate to build this hospital. No one anticipated this large a turnout, and I think it illustrates the public's belief in this board and the direction it's going."

While the USJHSD viewed the day as a huge success, not all went smoothly. Because the election was a special district vote and not a county-organized event, and because turnout for special district elections is historically low, the district chose to have only one polling place. Consequently, an unexpected throng of ardent voters waited in long lines throughout the day, and a few eventually huffed off without voting.

In response to the voting process, Nemecek said, "A few people were upset because of the line and the time it took to fill out the affidavits. Some even left, but many others said the wait was worth it. No one anticipated this kind of turnout. If we had, we'd have had more judges."

Meanwhile, regarding the election results, USJHSD board member Bob Goodman said, "I always felt this community was behind this, and I thought it would be about a 90- to 10-percent win. This hospital is probably the most important thing that's happened to Archuleta County in my lifetime, and I'm proud to be a part of it. Now, we can go forward and provide the proper health care that our district deserves."

When asked what the next step in making the hospital a reality is, Hopkins said, "Now, we choose a lender. Because we have such a good financial model, we actually have three different banks wanting to be our lender.

"Then, we work to finish the engineering and final plans, and our contractor (G.E. Johnson Construction Co.) claims they can have this building up and running in a year from this fall. Some say I'm optimistic, but these people often come in under budget and ahead of schedule."

In respect to selecting a lender and securing a loan, Goodman believes the interest rate will be considerably lower than originally expected. "Because we're going with a limited tax bond, and because we have the luxury of choosing a lender, we may get a rate about half of what we thought. That could lower the (overall) payback amount by millions of dollars."

Ski area plans projects, comments sought

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Rio Grande National Forest, Divide Ranger District is seeking public comment on three proposed projects at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The first is the replacement of the Dickey Lift double chair lift, with a new, detachable chair, quad chair lift. The second is the construction of waterless restroom facilities near the top of the Treasure Lift and Dickey Lift. And the third is the construction of a two-story, 14,000 square-foot multi-use building between the Base Camp and upper parking lot.

Construction of the three projects is proposed for this year.

Because the ski area, owned and run by the Pitcher family since 1976, operates under a 40-year permit on United States Forest Service land, all proposed projects are subject to Forest Service oversight, including a formal comment process.

In addition, the same permit governs what expansion projects can be undertaken, and Forest Service project leader Steve Brigham said his agency works closely with the ski area to ensure that projects are within the parameters of the ski area's permit and that all public or agency concerns have been addressed.

Brigham said Wolf Creek's permit allows them to build lifts or add amenities when the need arises.

"Future projects are based on skier-driven need and skier enjoyment of the area. Our goal is to provide a good experience for the skiers," Brigham said.

However, according to the Forest Service, replacement of the Dickey Lift is also about public safety concerns and the agency has indicated the lift replacement is necessary in order to meet Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board requirements.

"There are numerous reasons why a 34-year-old lift needs to be replaced," said Davey Pitcher of the ski area.

Pitcher said heavy use and the elements exact a heavy toll on ski area equipment and that he had been considering replacing the aging chair lift for about 10 years before he brought his proposal to the Forest Service nearly two years ago.

Following presentation of the proposal to the Forest Service, Pitcher said Tom Malecek, district ranger for the Divide Ranger District, and a team of specialists visited the ski area to review the chair lift replacement proposal.

According to the plan, the replacement chair lift would follow the same footprint as the Dickey lift, and would increase lift capacity from 1,200 skiers per hour to roughly 1,200 to 2,400 skiers per hour.

Pitcher said the new chair lift allows chairs to be added and the speed to be adjusted depending on skier need and skier area capacity, and that lift operations can be fine tuned to accommodate the needs of beginning skiers.

Pitcher called the plan a "one-for-one" replacement and added that the new chair would follow the existing Dickey Lift alignment and that no new terrain would be added. Pitcher said the multi-use building plans include an additional ticket sales area, a warming and picnic area, food service and additional rental facilities. And he said the building and restroom plans are the product of customer feedback regarding long ticket lines, bathroom lines, overcrowding in existing public buildings and a less-than-efficient rental operation coupled with the ski area's desire to provide an enjoyable experience for its skiers.

"The existing buildings are exceeding comfortable capacity," Pitcher said, and he added that the ski area is cautious in its approach to development or expansion.

"We are very conservative with our projects and we feel these projects fall within the historical development pattern of the ski area," Pitcher said.

To learn more about the projects, contact Steve Brigham of the Forest Service at (719) 657-3321 or by e-mail at

The formal comment period ends May 18, and comments should be sent to: Wolf Creek Ski Area Proposed Projects, Attn: Steve Brigham, Divide Ranger District, Rio Grande National Forest, 13308 W. Hwy. 160, Del Norte, CO 81132.

PAWSD water, sewer rates increase

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has announced higher rates for water and wastewater services, effective with the May/June meter-reading period.

At that time, the monthly water service charge (per equivalent unit) will increase from $6 to $8, and volume charges (per 1,000 gallons) will increase as follows:

- 0 to 8,000 gallons usage will increase from $2.10 to $2.20.

- 8,001 to 20,000 gallons usage will increase from $4.25 to $4.45.

- Over 20,001 gallons usage will increase from $5.20 to $5.40.

During times of mandatory water conservation, an additional drought surcharge will be imposed. Again, rates are per 1,000 gallons, with charges reflecting total monthly use. The new rates are as follows:

- 0 to 8,000 gallons usage, no additional surcharge.

- 8,001 to 20,000 gallons usage will increase from $1.20 to $1.30.

- Over 20,001 gallons usage will not change, and remains $2.40.

The monthly service charge for wastewater system use (per equivalent unit) will increase from $17.50 to $18.00.

The PAWSD Board of Directors actually adopted these fee increases back in January, but has delayed implementing them until the end of the winter pro rata billing period. The pro rata billing period is a five-month time frame from November through March, during which water bills are based on the district-wide average monthly use of 4,000 gallons per household, rather than actual meter readings. Heavy snow accumulations during those months typically impede access to most meters, making readings difficult, if not impossible, to obtain.

In April, meters were read and billing adjustments made, depending on the difference between pro rata and actual uses. In other words, those having used more than 20,000 gallons over the five-month period will see an additional charge (per 1,000 gallons) on their May statement, while those using less will receive a credit based on a similar rate.

As mentioned, the new rates take effect in the May/June meter-reading period, and likely increases will appear on statements consumers receive in early July.

At a time when the cost of virtually everything is rising, wise water use can actually reduce monthly bills. Even with higher rates, when consumers consciously conserve, they typically pay less for drinking water. Following, are a few proven methods of reducing water waste:

- Inspect all pipes, faucets and toilets for leaks. Place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 15 minutes. If coloring appears in the bowl, there is a leak. Make necessary repairs immediately.

- Install low-volume toilets and showerheads, or place a one-quart (or liter) plastic container in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used with each flush. To anchor the bottle, fill it partially with sand or small stones.

- Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth, and take shorter showers.

- Load the washing machine and automatic dishwasher to capacity before use.

- Place a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator to avoid running the tap.

- Landscape with low-water plants and rock gardens to reduce groomed lawn areas.

- Instead of the hose, use a broom to clean sidewalks or the driveway.

- Adjust sprinklers to water only the lawn and not the house, sidewalk or street.

- Water the lawn early in the morning, not midday, and never water on windy days.

- If the local car wash recycles water, wash the car there. If not, use soap, water and a bucket, and attach a shut-off nozzle to the hose for a quick final rinse.

For additional information regarding water conservation and beneficial landscaping techniques, including booklets and brochures, or for answers to questions regarding the new water and wastewater rates and how they will affect monthly billing, district residents should visit PAWSD at 100 Lyn Ave., Pagosa Springs. The phone number is 731-2691; the Web site is

Inside The Sun

Results in from parks and rec survey

By James Robinson

Staff Writerx

A recently completed parks and recreation survey commissioned by the Town of Pagosa Springs indicates Pagosans are emphatic about keeping and improving the town's parks, trails and open space.

In fact, 84 percent of survey respondents listed open space acquisition and preservation as a top priority, while building a recreation center, although important, came in as a slightly lesser priority.

According to survey data, open space and trails placed first in importance, parks second, and a new recreation center third.

"Open space and trails came back really high - higher than expected," said Town Manager Mark Garcia.

Angela Atkinson of RRC Associates, the consulting firm charged by the town council with undertaking the survey, agreed.

"Open space acquisition was a big surprise to me," Atkinson said, and she added that it appeared survey respondents were sending a message.

"What the community is saying is: 'We don't want to be this nucleus of urban density surrounded by public lands. We want open space interspersed and integrated throughout our neighborhoods and throughout the community,'" Atkinson said.

A second key survey finding, Atkinson said, was respondents identifying a crucial need for teen activities.

According to Atkinson, survey respondents of all age groups supported creating expanded teen activities in general, and the need for integration of teen activities into a future recreation center.

Atkinson said the creation of teen activities ranked fourth on the respondents' priority list.

"This issue of finding activities for our youth is a pressing, community-wide issue that everyone recognizes is a priority," Atkinson said.

In February, the Pagosa Springs Town Council commissioned Atkinson, of the Boulder-based, market research and consulting firm, to conduct the survey.

According to Atkinson, during February, 2,200 mail-back surveys were sent to area residents and second home owners in Archuleta County. Of the 2,200 surveys mailed, 459 were returned, giving the survey a response rate of 21 percent and a margin area of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

The intent of the survey, Garcia said, was to assess area residents' parks and recreation needs and priorities and to determine if those needs were being met.

Garcia added that, with the survey complete, the next step is to appoint a facilitator that can use the survey data to help the town develop a parks and recreation strategic plan.

Garcia said the facilitator will work with the town's parks and recreation advisory commission and that further public input would be a vital component of the process.

Garcia said the survey results give the town a clearer picture of the respondents' parks and recreation priorities and what the community might be willing to pay for in the future.

Counterfeit check, lottery scams arrive in Pagosa

The Pagosa Springs Police Department has become aware of some recent scams in the area and warns local residents to be wary.

In one of the scams, potential victims receive counterfeit checks, which may purport to be drawn on JP Morgan Chase Bank, out of Syracuse, N.Y.

Along with the checks, the recipients receive a letter postmarked in Canada, stating the recipient has won a lottery. The letter instructs the recipient they need to pay the taxes on their winnings by Western Union or Moneygram. The amount of tax is less than the amount of the check, thus leading the potential victim to believe they have nothing to lose. When the check returns as counterfeit, any money the recipient has sent by wire is lost.

In another recent scam, a victim was called on the phone and told she had won a Canadian sweepstakes and needed to send $3,500 to U.S. Customs by Western Union, to allow for her winnings to be transferred to the U.S. In this case, the victim sent the money and it was not recovered.

Citizens need to be on the alert for such scams. Be suspicious of anyone who claims you have won money and states you need to send money to them by Western Union in order to pay taxes or fees to receive your winnings.

A common thread linking the recent scams is the connection to Canada. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, they are aware of numerous such scams originating in that country.

Contact a local law enforcement agency if you have any questions about these scams or about possible counterfeit checks.

Pagosa Imaginators win regional DI tournament

By Julie Davy

Special to The SUN

Pagosa Springs Intermediate School fifth-graders in PEP (Pagosa Enrichment Program) have been taking part in the Destination Imagination program since January.

Destination Imagination (DI) is an academic competition where teams across the country are given six challenges to choose from that include areas like technical innovation, creativity, design and performance.

Pagosa's fifth-graders named their team the "Pagosa Imaginators" and have met twice a week since February to design and build their solution to the "Back At You" challenge.

The regional meet was held March 11 in Durango and the Pagosa Imaginators won. They came in first place in their age group for their specific challenge in which they designed a device that launched ping pong balls through the air into a "dream catcher" that continually funneled the balls back again.

This successful feat, along with their "Instant Challenge" task qualified them for the state tournament which was held at Denver University last weekend. They netted a team personal best of 110 balls, and they placed 12th out of 28 teams.

"Overall, our kids have really learned to listen to each other, trust other's judgement, skills and knowledge, work well as a team, and have fun while creating an awesome device!" said Julia Hampton, who coached the team along with Linda Gill.

County announces three key meetings

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

For citizens interested in helping shape the future of Archuleta County, May marks a critical time.

During the Tuesday board of county commissioners meeting, the commissioners announced a number of May public meetings where citizens will have opportunities to weigh in on a variety of issues, from land use, zoning and the struggle of property owners facing the threat of future east-west roadway connectors or a U.S. 160 bypass being built through their subdivision.

The following is a list of key events.

May 8

At 6 p.m. Monday, May 8, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners and the Archuleta County Planning Commission will meet in the commissioner's meeting room for the final public work session of the Archuleta County Land Use Code Project.

The meeting will provide citizens a last opportunity to voice their ideas or concerns on the forthcoming land-use regulations before the project is presented to the board of county commissioners for final approval and adoption.

For more information, contact the Archuleta County Building and Planning Department at 731-3877 or view the April draft of the regulations online at - follow the "Land Use Code Project" link.

May 16

At 11 a.m. in the county commissioners' meeting room, Alpha subdivision residents will meet with the commissioners and county planning staff to discuss their concerns regarding the wider, long-term implications of developer Todd Shelton's plans to create a secondary access route to his proposed Rock Ridge Homes subdivision by connecting a road within Rock Ridge to a road in the Alpha subdivision.

Topics of discussion will include: the role of Alpha roads in future plans to create east/west, crosstown connectivity or a U.S. 160 bypass; how Alpha fits into the county's forthcoming land use code and future Alpha zoning; and discussion of creating a density transition area between the proposed Rock Ridge Homes subdivision and the Alpha subdivision.

May 23

At 9 a.m. in the south conference room of the Town of Pagosa Springs Community Center, the Archuleta County Land Use Code will go before the board of county commissioners for final approval and adoption.

If the code is adopted, the first portion of the project will be finished, yet the question of completing and adopting a zoning map, which is a critical component of the project, remains.

Archuleta County Manager Bob Campbell called adoption of a zoning map a "big step for the county to take," and added; "The zoning map may have the biggest impact on certain individuals."

A joint work session for the zoning map project is scheduled for July 19, with an adopting hearing scheduled for Aug. 15.

In other board action during Tuesday's meeting:

€The board authorized county planning staff to move forward with the Blue Sky Village development agreement.

David Alvord of the county planning department said the agreement would be the most effective and comprehensive planning tool in light of the mixed use nature of the project.

Alvord said the project includes a combination of single family units, multi-family units and open space. And past developer presentations have included a strong retail component.

The project is proposed for a 96-acre on U.S. 84 about three miles south of Pagosa Springs.

Campbell said, "A development agreement is common for projects that don't fit clearly into land-use regulations." And Campbell added that, although they are not uncommon, it may be Archuleta County's first use of such a planning tool.

Both Alvord and Campbell said once the agreement is forged between the county and the developer, it would run through the regular planning channels, including review by both the county planning commission and the board of county commissioners and that public input would be a part of the process.

Town council approves Comprehensive Plan

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It has been a year in the making, and following Tuesday's town council approval, the Pagosa Springs Comprehensive Plan is on the books and will guide the town's planning decisions 20 years into the future.

Acting in front of a capacity crowd packed into the council chambers, the Pagosa Springs Town Council passed the plan virtually without incident.

In fact, the only drama occurred when Town Planner Tamra Allen revealed a last-minute request by BootJack Management to change certain facets of the comprehensive plan - ostensibly to accommodate future, although, as of yet, undisclosed development plans.

According to Allen, BootJack's request involved redesignating a part of north First Street from "town residential," with six dwelling units per acre, to "mixed-use residential" with 16 dwelling units per acre.

In addition, BootJack requested the town's aqueduct site and the San Juan Historical Society Museum site be redesignated from public, or quasi-public space, to a "mixed-use, town center" designation.

John Egan, who resides on north First Street, lambasted BootJack, and charged the development firm with flagrant disregard for neighborhood residents, and called the developer's request outrageous.

In his presentation to the council, Egan said he was not formally notified of the redesignation request, nor had the request been presented during previous public work sessions. He said he learned of the request at the last minute, and Allen stated the town had received a letter from the developer regarding the request last week.

"That BootJack did not have the courtesy to inform the public is unconscionable," Egan said.

Ultimately, with the motion put forth by the town's planning commission and unanimous approval by the town council, the comprehensive plan was not amended to meet the developer's requests.

In other town council action:

- An ordinance imposing impact fees passed on first reading.

- The town council passed a resolution adopting a fee schedule for the town's recently adopted business licensing program.

Pagosan appointed to Workforce board

The Southwest Colorado Workforce board announced that Penelope Stowell, of Parelli Natural Horsemanship, has been appointed to the board by the Archuleta County commissioners.

Stowell has been the financial comptroller at Parelli for more than two years. She has 15 years administration and finance experience in not-for-profit settings, and specialized exclusively in the field of financial management since 1990.

The Workforce board is comprised of private employers and public organizations from Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan counties. The board was formed under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) as a mechanism for addressing local work force issues and for overseeing various certain aspects of the Southwest Colorado Workforce Center.

If you are interested in learning more about the Workforce board or representing Archuleta County, contact Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado at 247-9621.

Public hearing to be held on judge's retention

The Sixth Judicial district's Commission on Judicial Performance will be conducting public hearings regarding the retention of County Court Judge James E. Denvir, Archuleta County and County Court Judge Martha T. Minot, La Plata County.

The public hearing for the Archuleta county judge will be held 6 p.m. May 10 in Judge Denvir's courtroom located in the Archuleta county Courthouse, 449 San Juan Street, Pagosa Springs.

A public hearing will be held 6 p.m. May 11 for the La Plata county judge in the La Plata County courthouse located on 1060 E. 2nd Avenue, Durango, in Judge Wilson's courtroom on the second floor of the courthouse.

The commission will produce narrative profiles and retention recommendations for each judge. The information will be available in the Blue Book published by legislative council, which is mailed to every voter household in the judicial district. The information will also be posted on the Colorado State Judicial Branch Web site at and the Colorado Bar Association Web site at

Once appointed, every judge serves a provisional two-year term before standing for retention in the next general biennial election. County court judges then serve a term of four years if retained; district court judges, six years; court of appeals, eight years; and supreme court 10 years. All judges must retire on their 72nd birthday.


 Catch and Release

We have a choice, and it counts

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

I walked to the end of the pier with my father. The July sun beat down on us, the pier's weathered timbers and its creosote-slathered, barnacle-encrusted pylons.

From our vantage point, we looked out across the bay. The inky, green Puget Sound moved in slow undulations, rose slowly in gentle tidal fluctuations, and occasionally heaved with the passage of a boat, the sound of water against the pier changing from a gentle slap-slap, to a cacophonous, albeit temporary, clamor of buoys and boat rigging.

When the wake passed, all returned to calm, and it was just us, the pier, the occasional gull, and the sun reflecting off the water like a mirror. It was hot, dead calm, and probably a bad day for fishing, but we persisted, we were committed.

We'd begun the day by making the requisite stop at our favorite store on the other side of the bay - Seamart. It was a vast, sprawling place filled with all sorts of treasures — monkeys in cages, army surplus gear, pellet guns for shooting wharf rats, pinball machines and caramel corn. It was part hardware store, part marine supply warehouse and part tackle shop. We lived on a sailboat moored at a marina within walking distance of the store, and therefore spent a significant part of every day there. It was where we kept abreast of the hot fishing spots and it was where we gobbled Olympia's finest caramel corn while logging high-scores on the pinball machines in the arcade.

On this morning, we had big plans - we were going after cod - and we ducked in early and loaded our basket with all manner of saltwater tackle.

We were normally trout fishermen, and were a little out of our element, so this was an all business tackle stop. After rummaging through hundreds of lure packages and dozens of containers, I remember my dad deciding rubber jigs should be our primary arsenal - we rarely fished with bait - and he selected a couple dozen bright purple and black rubber worms, a few packages of swivels, lead sinkers and fishing line and we were off. We didn't even stop for caramel corn.

By the time we reached the pier, it was late morning. We realized we should have started earlier, but it was summer, we had no place to be, nothing pressing to do, and we decided we would fish well into the evening if necessary.

As usual, my dad helped me rig up, tying all the necessary knots, arranging the lead and giving me a quick run down on where the fish might lie and what technique I should use. And with that, he turned me loose, and I launched the day's first cast.

At the time, I was probably 10, maybe 11, and could barely see over the wood and chain link security fence. Therefore, in order to cast, I had to stand back and away from the fence railing to get a better vantage point. Once in the proper spot, I would heave the line up and over the obstacle. And once the line was out, I could step closer to the fence, hold the rod up with the tip resting on the topmost fence beam, and peer through the chain link to my line, my jig and the water down below.

I remember casting relentlessly, working the jig up and down, switching lures, changing positions and beating the water until the sun sank deep into the Pacific. For my hours of persistent, dogged pursuit of cod, I was rewarded with nothing - not one fish, not even a hit, not one tentative strike.

A fisherman, no matter how young, hates to get skunked, and I remember reluctantly packing up the tackle box to go home.

That pier haunted us the entire summer, and we often questioned why, even me, the flounder-catching king, didn't haul in something. In the end, and in retrospect, it seems the bay on that blistering July day was dead. Perhaps my bad luck was due to my own, insufficient skill. Perhaps, it truly was just a bad day for fishing. Or, perhaps decades of ship traffic, diesel and industrial leaks, over fishing and waterfront timber mills had ruined the bay as a fishery. Perhaps it was a combination of all three.

That July day was more than twenty years ago, and as I read the current statistics on the dire health of ocean fisheries world wide, my heart sinks. If my chances of catching a cod back then were slim, what would they be like now? Could I take my 8-year-old nephew to the same pier and hope to catch anything more than an old tire, or some other bit of industrial detritus? I'd like to say yes, that the bay is a thriving fishery, that our chances of landing a healthy rock cod or flounder are good, and that he might be able to enjoy the thrill of a surging fish at the end of a line, although I doubt it.

According to a 2004 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, "Seventy five percent of the major marine fish stocks are either depleted, overexploited or being fished at their biological limit."

The report goes on to state that, "In 12 of the 16 FAO established regions, at least 70 percent of stocks are already fully exploited or over exploited, suggesting that the maximum fishing potential has been reached."

And, according to other United Nations statistics, my nephew's chances for cod look exceedingly grim.

"In the commercial fishing areas between North America and the British Isles, there has been a 90 percent decline in predatory fish populations, notably cod."

And despite technological advances such as larger fleets, transparent nets and lines, huge drift nets, bottom trawlers and electronic fish finders, our efforts to coax more fish from the oceans have not succeeded in the long run. In fact, as of 2005, earlier, temporary catch increases had tapered off. And with declining numbers of large predatory fish, fishermen are now catching smaller species that used to be considered bait or were food for the larger fish that are no longer abundant enough to catch.

In short, the oceans have no more to give.

And although some fisheries experts might look to aquaculture, or fish farming, as a panacea which would put protein on the dinner table, the practice is not without its biologic and environmental costs.

According to the FAO, fish farming is analogous to factory farming and industrial agriculture, and the biologic and environmental fallout is largely the same.

Under high density, high stress aquatic farm conditions, fish must be raised on antibiotics to prevent epidemic disease, and some species, such as salmon, are fed meat offal from poultry and hog processing which has been linked to dioxin concentrations in the salmon's flesh.

Notwithstanding are concerns related to losses of genetic diversity and natural habitat and worries that high concentrations of farm-generated sewage will smother bottom dwelling organisms and create toxic algae blooms.

The FAO estimates that some fish farms generate as much daily sewage as a small city.

But what does all this mean to those of us living in the Rocky Mountains at more than 1,000 miles from the coast. It means everything.

It means we have choices to make when we go to the supermarket. It means we have choices to make when we go out to eat, and it means we, as a society, have hard questions to ask about our species' relationship with wilderness, the planet and all wild things. And it means we have questions to ask ourselves when we venture out to fish this summer.

Although we live far from the ocean, we do have our own fisheries to protect. Will we allow our rivers and watersheds to be sacrificed in the name of greed, development and for short term personal profit? Will we kill wild trout, out of carelessness or out of blithe disregard for life? Or will we choose to tread lightly and to fish carefully such that no one knows of our passing?

How we behave here, in the Rocky Mountains and far from the sea, does have an impact. All things are connected, and respecting and protecting our wild ocean fisheries, begins with respecting and protecting our own wilderness fisheries here at home.


Re-discovery of lunar standstills at Chimney Rock

By J. McKim Malville

Special to The SUN

During the summer of 1988 I led a group of undergraduate students from the Colorado State University to study various examples of archaeoastronomy in the Four Corners area of Colorado and New Mexico.

Professor Frank Eddy, who had led the CSU excavation of Chimney Rock in 1970 to 1972, had suggested to me that the high mesa at Chimney Rock was an ideal location for astronomical observations and might contain evidence of ancient astronomy practiced by its inhabitants. Looking over a topographic map I noted that the orientation of the mesa is approximately along the line toward sunrise on summer solstice.

My first hypothesis was that we could have spectacular summer solstice sunrises between the double chimneys and that such spectacles may have been one of the reasons for the construction of buildings on the high mesa. With that in mind, I visited the Chimney Rock Pueblo on early dawn of June 21. To my disappointment, I found that sunrise was well to the south of the chimneys. During that summer I continued to wonder what kind of astronomy might be associated with the high mesa and those majestic rock towers. I knew Venus sometime rises slightly to the north of the sun at solstice, but after checking out its orbit I found that it could not rise in the gap as seen from the Chimney Rock Pueblo.

By the end of July we had surveyed the outline of the chimneys, and I knew the necessary coordinates for an astronomical object to fit between the chimneys. I checked out the moon and discovered that at its major standstill, it just might fit between the towers. We already had evidence that the Ancestral Puebloans knew about major lunar standstills at the three-slab site of Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon. Near the top of this nearly inaccessible butte, a 19-turn spiral has been pecked into a rock wall behind three large fallen slabs of rock. A dagger of light passes through the center of the spiral at summer solstice. Two pecked lines that pass through its center, and tangent to its outer edge, mark the shadow cast by the moon at the major and minor standstills. It may not be coincidental that 18.6 can be rounded up to 19. The spiral with its "sun dagger" may be essentially a lunar icon and emblem.

By a wonderful bit of good luck the moon was nearing the end of its two years of major standstills during that summer of 1988. I calculated that - just possibly - on the early morning hours of Aug. 8, the moon might just fit between the towers. My students were justifiably skeptical that it would be worth staying up until two in the morning on that high mesa based on my calculations. I joked with them that Chinese astronomers often lost their heads when wrong, and I swore them to secrecy, just in case my calculations didn't work out. Fortunately the moon behaved beautifully. Everyone was stunned. The moon came up as predicted; we captured its spectacular rise on film, and the rest, as they say, is history. The next time the rising moon was photographed between the chimneys was in the fall of 2004, some 16 years later.

Other discoveries followed. The next year, I returned with more students at summer solstice, and we found that the sun appears in a gap on the distant horizon as viewed from the Sun Tower of the high mesa. Then, in 1991, I suggested to Glenn Raby (USDA Geologist with the U.S. Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District), that it would be a wonderful public event to get people up on the high mesa to watch the rising of the full moon.

On June 27, with the help of many volunteers we ran the first of many full moonrise events at the great house. We had carefully planned it so that moonrise occurred 30 minutes after sunset. About 170 people had signed up, and of those 130 actually walked to the upper mesa amidst wind, a slight sprinkle of rain, and thunder in the distance. I guess they had confidence than Glenn and I could perform a clearing and achieve a magical moonrise. It would have been a great event had it been clear. But, while waiting for the moon to rise, I began thinking about major standstill moonrises over the Sun Temple in Mesa Verde. Just a few weeks earlier, on June 8, we had discovered that the great Sun Temple aligned with winter solstice sunset as seen from Cliff Palace. In the drizzle and wind of Chimney Rock I realized that there was a just hint that the Sun Temple might also mark a major standstill moon. So I drove back to Mesa Verde and on June 30 set up my theodolite (a surveying instrument for measuring horizontal and vertical angles with a small telescope that can move in horizontal and vertical planes, according to Webster's II, New Riverside Dictionary) on the wall of the Sun Temple, (one is now allowed to do that today). I discovered that a line tangent to the two circular structures (perhaps towers) of the Sun Temple lines up the major lunar standstill. Most astonishingly, turning the telescope of the theodolite in the opposite direction I saw the door and window the square tower of Cliff Palace in the eyepiece. Furthermore, it came as a wonderful surprise to recognize that those possible towers in the Sun Temple replicated the rock towers of Chimney Rock. Some 50 years after Chimney Rock had been abandoned, the residents of Mesa Verde appear to have built miniature spires of Chimney Rock for observing the moon. Fajade Butte, Chimney Rock, and Mesa Verde give us three examples of an interest in lunar standstill among the Ancestral Pueblos, which in combination greatly increase the meaning and significance of the phenomenon.

On June 21, 1995, we returned to Chimney Rock with students from Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and cameramen from the Discovery Channel to watch the sun rise from the Sun Tower. As soon as the sun came up, on a hunch, Jim Walton and I raced over to that enigmatic bedrock basin on the mesa and discovered that the solstice sun also rises exactly along the north wall of the Great House as seen from the basin. We now understand the meaning of the basin as it marks the place to watch solstice sunrise, and we recognize that the Chimney Rock Great House designates and celebrates both the sun and moon.

Dr. Malville is professor emeritus of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and professor at the Centre for Astronomy, James Cook University, Townsville, North Queensland, Australia. Malville is most widely known locally for rediscovering the Northern Major Lunar Standstill (MLS) phenomena at the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area. This current event happens every 18.6 years when the moon periodically rises between the two spires. One Malville theory is that Chimney Rock played a vital part in providing calendrical information for the whole Chacoan area, knowledge important to their economic survival - such as planting, harvesting, and timing for ceremonial pilgrimage festivals. He points to several local connections that support this theory. He has written and participated in publishing seven books and 120 research papers. Most recently he was involved in locating a lost Inca ceremonial center and sun temple near Machu Picchu.

USFS uses prescribed burns for healthier forest

By Phyllis Wheaton

Special to The SUN

Early recorded observations of the Pagosa Springs area describe open ponderosa pine forests consisting of clumps of very large ponderosa pine interspersed with openings and clumps of smaller pines and Gambel oak. Native bunch grasses were abundant on the floor of the forest.

The forest of the 1880s was shaped by a pattern of low intensity ground fires ignited by lightning or humans and carried by grass and forest litter - fallen pine needles and branches. These low intensity fires occurred every six to twenty years and kept the forest open by consuming light fuels and thinning oak and small trees. The Forest Service refers to this as "pre-settlement" conditions. Fire history studies in the Turkey Springs area found that the last large scale fire occurred here in 1871.

Since the settlement of the Pagosa Springs area, a number of activities have influenced the forest: intensive livestock grazing and heavy logging along the narrow gauge railroad lines in the late 1800s and early 1900s, followed by a hundred years of fire suppression. Now we see dense forests with an increased build-up of woody debris on the forest floor and thick stands of underbrush.

Today, the Forest Service management emphasis is on forest restoration. Ponderosa pine forests are dependent upon fire for ecological health. Frequent low intensity fires thin small trees and underbrush, lessen competition for water and nutrients, create sunlit openings where young ponderosa pine take seed. Mature ponderosa pine have thick bark which is resistant to fire. Native grasses and forbes are reinvigorated by fire. Many species of wildlife are attracted to the new growth that occurs following burning.

In an effort to return the forest to this healthier pre-settlement condition, a variety of treatments are occurring on the San Juan National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Lands. The recent smoke in the air is indicative of one of those treatments.

During the last few days of April, firefighters conducted prescribed burning in the Turkey Springs area (Devil Creek Prescribed Burn) near Hatcher Lake, and on Abeyta Mesa, between Chromo and Edith. Before each burn, these areas were treated with hand thinning and/or mechanical mowing and shredding of oak and small trees. Although each area is unique, the main objectives of these burns were to reduce slash from thinning projects and other hazardous fuels. Scott Wagner, fuels forester at Pagosa Ranger District, said, "Burning is the last step in the process of fuels reduction and ponderosa pine restoration."

Prescribed burns are low-intensity fires, which are ignited and carefully monitored by fire crews. They are used to improve forest health and reduce ladder fuels - woody debris, shrubs, small trees, and low hanging branches that carry flames up into treetops.

A plan is written for each burn that describes the risks, objectives, constraints and special considerations specific to that burn. A prescription is developed that provide parameters for a variety of conditions, including temperatures; relative humidity; moisture level of the grasses, needles, and trees; wind speed and direction; and smoke dispersal. Also listed are the requirements for staffing: adequate crew and equipment to conduct and monitor the burn, as well as available back-up crew. These conditions must be met before a prescribed fire is ignited and are monitored throughout the burn. Spring and fall are generally the best times of year for burning, while temperatures are moderate and fuels have enough moisture to keep the fire at a low intensity.

Manageable units are defined within the project area. Firefighters outline the perimeter of units with defensible lines. These fire breaks may be roads, trails, or line built by hand or machinery. Natural barriers such as barren ground, rock and snow fields also serve as fire breaks.

The decision to proceed is not made until firefighters are at the location, with a "spot" weather report that is specific to the location and on-site weather conditions that are within the prescription. Once conditions are met, ignition can begin.

Firefighters use drip torches to ignite woody debris in strips across the treatment area. Each strip serves as a fire break for the following strip, slowing or stopping the next line of fire. Working with the light winds during the burn, fire managers adjust burn patterns and timing to manage the intensity of the fire and the amount and direction of smoke. During ignition, many firefighters are assigned to "holding." Their responsibility is to monitor and hold the fire within the defined perimeter. They are equipped with firefighting tools, including wildland fire engines.

When ignition has ceased, firefighters mop up hotspots near the edge, while downed logs and large diameter slash continue to burn in the interior. Firefighters monitor the burn and continue do so as long as there is smoke.

Residents are often concerned about the smoke from prescribed burns, however it is generally short term and much less significant than smoke from a wildfire.

Post-burning monitoring of the effectiveness of the burning related to the consumption of fuels and the effect of burning on vegetation is occurring in the Devil Creek and Abeyta Mesa Prescribed Burns.

These burns were conducted by approximately 35 firefighters from the San Juan Public Lands offices, including San Juan Hotshot crew and staffed engines from Pagosa Ranger District, Cripple Creek Volunteer Fire Department and National Wildland Fire of Durango.

Conditions allowing, you may see smoke in the air again this spring.

For more information, please contact the Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office at 264-2268.

High Country Reflections

We're crowding them off the face of the earth

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

A few weeks ago, Susan Cenkus and her two small children, Elora, 6, and Luke, 2, stopped to visit Benton Falls, a popular recreation area in the remote Cherokee National Forest of southeastern Tennessee.

As they were about to leave the area, a large black bear suddenly appeared on the trail ahead. Nearby hikers attempted to frighten the animal away, but instead, it rushed in and grabbed little Luke by the head, at once puncturing his skull. Susan tried repelling the bear with rocks and sticks, but it turned and attacked, eventually dragging her several yards from the trail.

In the ensuing chaos, young Elora apparently ran off. A frantic search quickly followed, and a short time later, a rescuer found her lifeless body a hundred yards from the trail, the bear still standing over her. When the man shot at the bear with a pistol, it fled into the forest.

Meanwhile, Susan and Luke were flown by helicopter to a nearby Chattanooga hospital, where both were listed in critical condition and required emergency surgery. They are now expected to recover.

Just two days later and a lot closer to home, a seven-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion near Artist's Point on Flagstaff Mountain west of Boulder. The unidentified victim was walking hand in hand with his father, just 30 yards from the scenic overlook parking area, when the lion grabbed him by the head and dragged him toward the woods. Again, the father and other family members and friends fought back with rocks and sticks, and the lion finally released the boy.

The child suffered bite wounds to his head and jaw, and lacerations on his legs, probably from the cat's hind claws. He was taken to Boulder County Hospital and later transferred to Denver Children's Hospital, where his injuries were not considered life threatening.

In another incident in southern Colorado, a 29-year-old man from Farisita sustained bruising and possible nerve damage to his neck and shoulder area last week when a bear swatted him, knocking him to the ground.

Harold Cerda was working on a private ranch 25 miles west of Trinidad when he crossed paths with the bear, which had just emerged from Cerda's car through an open window. Evidently, Cerda had left his lunch on a front seat, within easy reach of the hungry bruin.

After knocking Cerda down, the bear ran partially uphill a hundred feet, then returned and chased him to his car. Cerda jumped in, started the engine and managed to close the electric windows in the nick of time. He was later treated and released at a Pueblo hospital.

Other perilous wildlife confrontations have occurred in recent weeks, and not all have involved large predators. In March, for instance, wildlife officers responded to two separate moose attacks in the small resort community of Grand Lake in north-central Colorado.

In the first episode, a woman was knocked to the ground and stepped on repeatedly by an angry moose that was probably frightened by her two unleashed dogs. In the second, a 92-year-old former Grand Lake mayor was attacked by a charging bull while walking to church one Sunday morning. According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, that assault was unprovoked. Both victims survived.

While DOW officials never identified the animal connected with the first fracas, the moose implicated in the second was shot and killed, and later determined to have several broken ribs and two disjointed vertebrae. Officials believe its painful injuries were the result of an earlier collision with an automobile, and could have been the cause of its erratic behavior.

In every human/wildlife conflict where a so-called rogue beast has attacked someone, causing injury or worse, wildlife officials immediately attempt to kill or trap it and remove the perceived threat to society. In most cases, once a live animal is captured, it's quickly euthanized and sent to a lab for testing to determine if, in fact, it is the same animal involved in the mishap. Unfortunately, tests are often inconclusive.

Recent news of serious and sometimes fatal wildlife encounters, though deeply disturbing, is not surprising. Indeed, as civilization pushes ever further into what's left of the world's wild and untamed places, we can almost certainly expect more. After all, the earth offers only so much space.

With the probable exception of closely-managed game animals like deer, elk and moose, or those creatures which are highly adaptable to a changing environment, such as coyotes, bobcats, raccoons and rattlesnakes, virtually all wild species are in decline. Of course, the primary reason for their steady demise is the overwhelming loss of suitable habitat.

In some cases, dwindling habitation stems from global warming, or the fouling of the earth's soil, air and water resources. In others, it is the product of incessant human sprawl, with its inexorable consumption and alteration of all things natural. Either way, it is all tied to a burgeoning human population that has more than doubled in my lifetime.

Looking back to my elementary school days in a modest Midwestern city, I recall a third-grade geography teacher attempting to explain how many people inhabited the earth at the time. I remember him telling me and my fellow classmates that 2.5 billion people lived worldwide, and I remember how impossible it was for any of us to really comprehend such a number.

Today, there are an estimated 6.1 billion souls on the planet, and the population in the U.S. has nearly doubled as well - all in roughly half a century.

Of course, the rise in human inhabitants has not been evenly spread around the globe, or across the U.S., for that matter. For instance, the population of my home town is only 75 percent of what it was 50 years ago, while that of Pagosa Springs has climbed 13 percent over the same time frame. The population of Archuleta County has more than tripled, and the proliferation of places like Phoenix or Las Vegas has simply been staggering.

With census figures reflecting steady U.S. growth in general, and a trend toward western migration in particular, our overriding encroachment on western wildlife habitat is fundamentally assured.

Already, we are feeling its effects. In the past decade, California has experienced a marked upsurge in coyote encounters, including attacks on family pets, and in some cases, small children. The aforementioned bear and mountain lion incidents, while still extremely rare, are ostensibly on the rise.

More often than not, garbage, pet food and bird feeders are drawing the bears in, while certain landscaping choices actually invite deer and a variety of small game, thus attracting the cougars and other large predators. And, while some suggest the animals are becoming "more aggressive," they are more likely less fearful, as man's growing presence becomes familiar and often relates to food.

It's a complex problem with few easy answers, but finding ways to curb exploding birth rates may be a good place to begin.

Certainly, planning environmentally sound developments which address the genuine needs of a community, rather than the financial whims of developers, will help. Building for the sake of building, particularly when it requires out-of-town marketing, must end; and fulfilling resident requirements, while maintaining cultural, ethnic and economic diversity, should become the guiding principals on which further expansion is deemed acceptable.

Priority must be given to maintaining wildlife habitat, including seasonal ranges and migration corridors. While we humans enjoy viewing wild animals in their natural surroundings, they don't share the same affinity for us. They need their space, and we should allow it. After all, most adverse encounters are the result of our interference with their feeding, mating or establishing territory.

We must tread lightly, act responsibly and extend full respect to all of our fellow inhabitants. Otherwise, as Dan Fogelberg has sung, "They will pass into the timeless, and nevermore be found. They'll be eternity bound Š"


Stupid corridors

Dear Editor:

I am very upset that there would be one person that could possibly think that the scenic corridors are anywhere correct. If you want scenic areas, tear your house down and move. Where your house is, was scenic. I did not want all of the developments when they started, but did not feel I had a right to tell someone what they could do with their property. Now I have to put up with idiots that think they should be able to tell me what I can do with my property. Our family has paid taxes for several generations on this property, and we have kept the land open for agriculture purposes. Any restrictions you put on us will hurt us from making a living.

You that want a scenic corridor should kiss our feet. If we did not work to make a living with agriculture there would not be the open spaces that there are. Everyone needs to understand that agriculture is the backbone of our great nation. When agriculture is gone, so will this nation. Agriculture is not growing because it is getting hard to pay taxes because of higher property taxes.

Putting scenic corridors is communist. Any time there is an unlawful taking, it is killing what our forefathers fought and died for. There are many among us that have fought for each of us to have the right to work and achieve our piece of the pie. Now you are not only taking our piece, but that of my kids and grandkids. Is your wanting of a pretty place to look at more important than our right to make a living, and the heritage of our grandkids? Think just how stupid scenic corridors really are.

You say that there needs to be some control, well tear your house down, continue to pay taxes on the land and leave. The control will happen. You want us to pay taxes so you can look. How utterly slimy.

Those of you that realize this is wrong, call each of the commissioners, state representatives, and even President Bush. I think we need a new director of the planning commission, one that will listen to the people that are going to be hurt and not to a few new people.

Sandy Bramwell

King George

Dear Editor:

It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to pull into a gas station and pay over three dollars a gallon. I realize the oil court of King George needs the money. I read where one member was trying to scrimp by on just a tad over 140 thousand dollars per day. Happily, King George showed his compassion and arranged a tax cut for the poor fellow.

Bob Dungan

Crucial meeting

Dear Editor:

I believe it is crucial that the public be made aware that the last opportunity for public comment and input on the proposed Archuleta County Land Use Regulations occurs next Monday, May 8, 2006, at 6 p.m. in the commissioners' hearing room in the courthouse. This meeting is a joint work session between the BOCC and the Archuleta County Planning Commission.

The reason I believe this is so urgent is that originally we had communicated to the public that the adoption of these regulations would take place in early June. Now, with Commissioner Lynch leaving at the end of May, by a majority vote not a unanimous one, the BOCC decided to move the date of the adoption of these regulations up to May 23, 2006. This was done so she could act upon it before leaving office rather than wait for a new commissioner, who will ultimately have to live with the adopted regulations. I commend previous commissioners Downey and Ecker for not adopting a road plan shortly before they left office as they had originally planned, thereby allowing Commissioner Zaday and myself to do so instead.

At this time, it is my opinion that there are still many unresolved, significant issues. For example, under the current proposed regulations a Home Occupation shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling or accessory structure with no more than one employee who is not a resident of the dwelling. Anyone who has a Home Occupation will be severely limited regarding the number of employees that they can have involved in the business. With the new era of technology, one can have numerous employees from a Home Occupation that are from all parts of the country.

Ultimately, the adoption hearing for the Land Use Regulations will now occur May 23 at 9 a.m. in the South Conference Room at the community center. The meeting on May 8 is likely the last and final time the public can directly question and provide thoughts and concerns regarding this important topic that will affect all of Archuleta County for years and perhaps generations to come.


Robin Schiro

False concept

Dear Editor:

I am the developer of the proposed Peaks at Hatcher Lake project. I would like to respond this week to the letter published on April 27.

There is a false concept of what is being proposed and I'm very disappointed at what is being propagated in the letter to the editor of the newspaper.

Unfortunately, people have formulated ideas about what it will look and function like, without having any conversation or communication with the developer. The information printed last week is predominantly incorrect. Usually, people wait until they have gone to a meeting about a project and listen to the information presented in its entirety before passing judgment. Sadly, this is being condemned before all the facts and plans have been reviewed by anyone.

To start, this is a low density development involving two parcels that will have multi-family residences and office/retail spaces on a 2.3-acre tract. Only office/retail spaces will be on a .76-acre tract. The number of multi-family residences will be 12 and the number of office/retail units will be six on the larger parcel. The number of office/ retail spaces on the smaller tract will be six with no residential units anywhere. This is less than six units per acre, which is below the maximum density allowed by single family development guidelines. The size of the commercial building is hardly of large scale having about 6,000 square feet total up and downstairs. All the building heights will not exceed the allowable restriction regardless of number of floors.

The uses for the office/retail spaces will be well defined and restricted. Only those businesses that will enhance the community will be allowed. These restrictions were going to be discussed in a formal meeting to give everyone assurance. Again, there will be no residential units above the office/retail allowing for non garaged vehicles to remain outside. The issue of lighting was raised and it will be constructed as to not create any light pollution. The design and look of the office/retail units was created to attract quality businesses, provide needed services and enhance the local neighborhood. This is not going to be a stucco and cinder block construction.

All this information and more would have come out in the meeting scheduled for May 10 along with color renderings of all the buildings and site plan. It is sad that there have been a lot of assumptions made based on inaccurate or incomplete information. It is also sad that a lot of emotion is being stirred up before all the facts are presented. This area of Pagosa is rapidly growing and will do nothing but benefit from this development in terms of services, amenities and increased property values because of what will be constructed there. All we ask is for everyone to keep an open mind, hear the facts and reserve judgment until all has been presented.

Thank you,

B. Thornell


  Community News

Playin' in the Park, family fun May 13

By Joanne Irons

Special to The PREVIEW

Playin' in the Park runs from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 13, in and around Town Park.

There will be music, clowns, balloons, food, games and activities and an opportunity to visit The Spa. There will be an activity for the children to do to surprise their moms.

Eddie Spaghetti will be on hand to autograph his CD and book, "A Visitor in the Dark." There will be other vendors involved in this fun family day.

Eddie will be part of the festivities, not only in Town Park, but also at the grand finale children's concert at the community center Saturday evening. Doors open at the community center for a spaghetti dinner at 4:30 p.m. The spaghetti dinner is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Board of Realtors.

A family of four can purchase wristbands for $100 for the entire day's activities. Participants will receive a CD of Eddie Spaghetti, T-shirts to be decorated, lunch, dinner, and the concert and all the games and activities that are part of the ticket price.

This is a communitywide fund-raiser to help build the new Seeds building to expand early childcare in our community. Individual wristbands may be purchased as well. In case of rain, the community center has been reserved.

Wristbands, CDs and books can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, or call Susan Thorpe, 264-5253, or Joanne Irons, 946-7545.

See you in the park!

A World of Music Festival this weekend

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

A World of Music Festival 2006 will be held Friday and Saturday at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

Produced by Elation Center for the Arts, the two-day event includes interesting music and dance workshops, evening concerts and a dance jam.

Local legend John Graves kicks off the weekend with a program entitled "The Evolution of Popular Music," Friday at 3 p.m., followed by a community drum circle at 4.

Larry Elginer - a musician whose abilities and efforts have been a huge inspiration to the Pagosa community - leads a workshop in vocal techniques for singers of all ages. Elginer's workshop, which takes place at 5 p.m. Friday, will focus on breath control and other fundamentals for singing properly.

Elginer will also participate in the Songwriters Showcase (as singer and emcee), the dance jam and the Saturday evening concert. He has had a distinguished career directing one of the top school music programs in the U.S. and can teach a phenomenal number of instruments. Elginer has had a successful career as a jazz trumpet player and is also a master orchestra, band and choral conductor.

Friday evening's Songwriters Showcase will feature original songs by John Graves (two from his new musical), Jessica Espinosa, David Snyder, Larry Elginer, Bill Hudson, Denny Finn and Stetson Adkisson. The concert is followed by a dance jam, featuring live jazz and folk dance music.

Saturday bounces in with a demonstration on five-string banjo by Paul Roberts at 10 a.m., followed by a clogging workshop at 10:30 with Carla Roberts. Beginning at 11, Carla Roberts presents a demonstration of Native American flute and Irish Bodhran.

At 2 p.m., the Spanish Fiesta Club pops in for a wild piñata party, with entertainment and refreshments.

The Joy of Movement dance workshop takes place at 4 p.m. with Lori Sadira (see profile on Sadira in this edition of The PREVIEW).

The festival culminates with a concert of world music and dance at 7 p.m. The concert is a collaboration between multi-instrumentalists Paul and Carla Roberts, saxophonist Bob Nordman, flautist Joy Redmon, trumpeter Larry Elginer, dancer Lori Sadira, singer June Marquez and special guests. It promises to be an interesting new blend of world music, classical, folk music and folk dance.

Admission to the weekend's events are as follows:

Friday. May 5

- 3 p.m. - John Graves talk and demonstration, "The Evolution of Popular Music," $3.

- 4 p.m. - Community Drum Jam, $3.

- 5 p.m. - Vocal Techniques with Larry Elginer, $3.

- 7 p.m. - Songwriters Showcase. Adults, $5; under 18, free.

- 8:30 p.m. - Dance Jam, $3 (free, with admission to Songwriters Showcase).

Saturday, May 6

- 10 a.m. - Banjo Demonstration with Paul Roberts, free.

- 10:30 a.m. - Clogging Workshop with Carla Roberts, free

- 11 a.m. - Native American Flute and Irish Bodhran demonstration with Carla Roberts, free.

- 2 p.m. - Spanish Fiesta Club piñata party with live music, free.

- 4 p.m. - Joy of Movement workshop with Lori Sadira. Adults and teenagers only, $5.

- 7 p.m. - World Music and Dance Concert. Adults, $8; under 18, $4.

Tickets will be available at the door. Please bring a dessert to share, if you wish. Volunteers are needed to help with setup, cleanup and refreshments.

Log on to which has been recently updated for more information, or call 731-3117.

A World of Music Festival is produced by Elation Center for the Arts, a local nonprofit. Through community concerts, recording, touring and educational programs, Elation Center for the Arts strives to serve the people of Pagosa Springs through artistic excellence.

Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard, turn north on Vista and left on Port.

Roberto Garcia will share

life-learned knowledge at Shy Rabbit

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

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

This 18-hour course meets for six, three-hour sessions 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 where participants can learn how to pour bronze.

In an ongoing effort to present master artisans in their field, Shy Rabbit is thrilled to offer this sculpting workshop with local artist and foundry owner Roberto Garcia, Jr. Garcia owns and operates The Crucible Gallery in Pagosa Springs. Garcia 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, Tex., 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, N.M., the Loveland Sculptural Invitational, Loveland, Colo. 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 St., Units B-1 and 4.

Concert highlights Mother's Day weekend

By Sue Diffee

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Community Choir will present its fourth annual Spring Concert entitled "I'm Gonna Sing", at 7 p.m. May 12 and 13, and 4 p.m., Mother's Day, May 14, at the high school auditorium.

The choir is made up of 65 local volunteers who love to sing. The accompanist is Melinda Baum.

Choir directors Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer have chosen some wonderful music for this concert. The program will include a Celtic song called "Riversong," a song about traditional Native American wisdom, "All Things Are Connected," "All I Ask of You" from "Phantom of the Opera" and an Appalachian Folk Song called "Poor Wayfarin' Stranger." The men will perform "American Folk Rhapsody" and the ladies will perform "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." The concert will last approximately 60 minutes.

Baked goods will be available for purchase after each concert.

As always, the choir is pleased to provide free admission for this program as its gift to Pagosa. Tax deductible donations are gratefully welcomed.

Indiefest to feature Canadian sensations, The Clumsy Lovers

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

May is here, which can only mean that the FolkWest Independent Music Festival is just weeks away!

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 ten different independent artists, plus a kids program, arts and crafts vending, on-site camping and more.

Adding an international flavor to this year's inaugural event is the Vancouver, B.C.-based group The Clumsy Lovers.

The career of many bands follows a depressing, predictable course: the flame of initial promise, followed by great expectations, followed by swift decline and demise, brought about by internal and external pressures, arrogance, poor instinct, a loss of the naive charm that marked the band as special in the first place ... or all of the above. You've heard the story, read the best-selling biography and seen the major motion picture time and time again.

So it comes as no small surprise that The Clumsy Lovers, 10 years and over 1,500 live performances deep, are only now poised to achieve the creative and popular breakthrough of their lives. Without ever having courted or discouraged success, the happy-go-lucky Vancouver quintet has made an album that expertly walks the tightrope between tradition-minded roots music ("Raging bluegrass Celtic rock," a reviewer once said) and sparkling modern pop. In trying to please no one but themselves, The Clumsy Lovers have conceived a collection of songs that may prove to please darn near everyone.

"We've been a band for a long time, and we've never really imposed any kind of musical restrictions on ourselves," says bassist and band spokesman Chris Jonat. "It's really just, 'Whatever happens, happens.'"

"Smart Kid" is the Clumsy Lovers' seventh album. Like its acclaimed predecessor, "After the Flood," it was made in collaboration with producer John Webster, who encouraged the band to approach the studio with a more adventurous spirit. The band has long felt at home on any stage, whether in front of 50 raucous patrons at a roadhouse or thousands of music-lovers at a festival or concert hall. But the band used to view the studio as a necessary evil, a domain in which to make audio souvenirs for audiences to take away from Lovers live shows. Those older recordings were reasonably accurate documents of the band's onstage sound, but they were hardly the sort of artifacts that would help take them to the next level.

From the rollicking story-in-song "Bobby Banjo" to the bittersweet knees-up "Coming Home" to the mournful and poignant "Not Long For This World," "Smart Kid" is the Clumsy Lovers' long-playing pinnacle and a strong suggestion that, after having come so far, the band is only going to go further, get better. Long may they clumsily stumble from strength to strength.

The Clumsy Lovers will take the stage Saturday, June 10.

Two-day or single-day tickets for the festival are on sale downtown at Moonlight Books. Children 12 and under are admitted free with accompanying adult. To purchase tickets with a credit card, or for additional information, call (970) 731-5582 or visit

Celebrate the joy of movement

By Carla Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts is proud to present an exciting movement workshop with Lori Sadira, Saturday at 4 p.m.

The workshop is part of a two-day music and dance extravaganza entitled "A World of Music Festival," to be held at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

Sadira is one of the Southwest's most accomplished movement specialists and dance performers. Her workshop, Celebrate the Joy of Movement, offers a safe environment to experience the joy of movement and rekindle the passion of dance and is geared towards any level of dance experience. The fee is $5 per person and is open to adults and teenagers. She will also perform in concert this Saturday night at the festival.

Sadira creates a fun environment in her workshop that brings the elements of play and community-style learning to participants. Her approach incorporates ethnic styles, martial arts, jazz and ballet. Her Afro/Haitian/Cuban style dance performances have been popular at the Durango Main Street Festival, the Crestone Arts Festival and at assemblies in area schools.

As a young girl growing up in San Diego in the '60s, Sadira loved to watch the ever-popular dance shows on TV, especially the ones featuring the go-go dancers in white boots. The Supremes were another inspiration. With her friends, Sadira choreographed jump rope routines that went with the Supreme's pop hits of the day.

Years later, Lori's college courses of jazz and modern dance ended abruptly with the tragedy of a serious auto accident and two months of hospitalization. Still wracked by pain even a year after the accident, she bravely tried to resume her dance training but found her physical condition too limiting. The intense joy of movement that she craved seemed out of reach.

However, Lori did not give up her dream to dance again.

Working closely with an experienced teacher over many years, she slowly regained the fluidity of movement so crucial to a dancer by practicing a slower form of movement from China called Tai Chi, which became the vehicle for her complete recovery. The intensive focus and success with her healing led to a desire to help others.

She became a Tai Chi instructor (now with 20 years experience), then trained in the Afro/Haitian/Cuban dance style in 1998. Discovering a new therapeutic movement training called Nia Work, which blends principles of tai chi, yoga, martial arts and dance, Sadira obtained her teacher's credentials, and has been a popular Nia teacher in Durango for the past four years. She collaborates with a local psychotherapist in a workshop format to assist people with eating disorders and addiction recovery. This innovative work helps participants to reconnect with their bodies and integrate the joy of movement.

Elation Center for the Arts welcomes Lori Sadira, inspired teacher and outstanding performer, to A World of Music Festival this weekend at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Tickets will be available at the door.

For further information, call 731-3117 or log onto the ECA Web site,

Adkins Ensemble to provide rare treat for Music in the Mountains audience

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

One of America's most talented classical music families will be showcased at a Music in the Mountains concert Friday, July 21, when the outstanding Adkins String Ensemble performs on strings and piano in Pagosa Springs.

On the program are Mozart's "Piano Quartet in E-flat major," Briley's "Quintet for a Healing Nation" and Frank's "Piano Quintet in F minor."

All the Adkins family musicians are famous in their own right as leaders in major orchestras, popular soloists and ensemble players extraordinaire. So when five members of the family take to our stage together, the audience will see a remarkable powerhouse of musical talent.

Christopher Adkins is principal cello of the Dallas Symphony. After completing a master's degree at Yale, he played with the Denver and Milwaukee Symphonies before returning to Dallas to take over the principal chair. The Dallas Morning News critic recently declared, "I can't imagine that any orchestra has a finer principal cellist."

Elisabeth Adkins is associate concertmaster of Washington's National Orchestra. She earned both masters and doctoral degrees at Yale. A Washington Post critic recently praised her "impeccable technique and a tone that melted the heart and warmed the soul," going on to say, "As I listened to Adkins, I realized there is no violinist (including Perlman, Menuhin - anyone) whose playing I prefer."

Clare Adkins Cason is concertmaster of the Sherman Symphony Orchestra, where she performs on violin and viola. She also plays Baroque violin and viola with the Dallas Bach Society. During the summers she pursues her interest in chamber music at various festivals around the country.

Madeline Adkins is assistant concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a position she won after completing her schooling in 2000. The youngest of the Adkins siblings, she has performed as soloist with orchestras in 11 states and served as concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.

Edward Newman, husband of Elisabeth Adkins and a Juilliard graduate, is a concert pianist who has been a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony and Baltimore Symphony. He combines the qualities of "brilliant technique" (Washington Star) and a "light touch of dazzling clarity" (Cleveland Plain Dealer) with "expressive lyricism" (Washington Post.)

All the string players in the family (including two more at home) are natives of Denton, Texas, and received early training at the University of North Texas where their parents were on the music faculty. The Adkins Strong Ensemble has four CDs to its credit.

"Few families boast as many accomplished musicians as the distinguished Adkins clan," said Jan Clinkenbeard, chair of the steering committee in charge of Music in the Mountains in Pagosa. "Having an ensemble of their stature play for us is indeed a very special treat for our town."

Tickets for the Adkins String Ensemble are $40. When you purchase tickets for this or any of this summer's Music in the Mountains concerts at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, you can pay by cash, check or credit card (MasterCard or Visa). Tickets also are available on line at or through the Music in the Mountains Web site at

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

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

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

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

Piecemakers to host annual spring sale

Pagosa Springs Piecemakers Quilt Guild is sponsoring the second annual Spring Clean Your Stash.

The Guild will have a sale of unwanted sewing items and invite the public to attend. The sale will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Community United Methodist Church at 434 Lewis St. Sewing-related items such as quilting fabrics, notions, patterns, books, magazines, unfinished projects, and garment fabrics will be on sale.

There will be a special table for a scrap/remnant exchange. Stuff a 1-gallon size zippered plastic bag with usable quilting scraps or remnants. For every bag you bring you can exchange it for another. No charge. No limits. There will be handouts for making scrap quilts for those participating in the exchange.

The Guild's raffle quilt tickets will be available for purchase. The quilt is king size and includes two pillow shams; it has an Asian flair with lots of deep, saturated and sun-drenched color - bright reds, metallic gold's, rich, robust browns and bold black. The design is Hidden Wells.

Donations are priced at $5 per ticket or five for $20. Proceeds of the sale will be returned to the Guild's community projects. The quilt will be auctioned July 4 at the close of the biennial Quilt Show.

Call Fran Jenkins 264-9312 for further information.

Fiber festival includes work, products of area artists, ranchers

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Fiber Festival is fast approaching.

Readers current with this newspaper's coverage of the event already have it on their calendars. For new readers: the festival takes place over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28, with two days of fiber arts workshops May 25-26.

A unique feature of the event is that it offers something of interest to almost everyone. Families love the livestock tent with its exotic alpacas, llamas and Navajo Churro sheep, the tiny Shetland sheep, curly angora kid goats and fuzzy angora rabbits. Fiber artists are happy to have another showcase for their outstanding handmade garments and home accessories. Aspiring artists have the opportunity to take workshops in such subjects as spinning, weaving, knitting, natural dyes, felting and Navajo weaving.

Navajo rug enthusiasts can participate in an auction with the hope of taking home one of the prized rugs created by Navajo weavers, perhaps even meeting the artist. Everyone, enjoys the offerings of the many vendors who display handmade garments of fine animal fiber. And then, of course, there is yarn, roving, batting of every description and color to satisfy every desire to create one's own garment or home accessory.

Every organization has a mission and the Pagosa Fiber Festival is no exception. With respect to the public, the aim of the Pagosa Fiber Festival is to educate everyone about the wide variety of fiber animals - alpacas, angora and cashmere goats, angora rabbits, llamas, Scottish Highlander Cattle, sheep and yak - and the wonderful products made from their fibers. Those lessons are very well learned during a visit to the Festival.

In addition, the organization's Web site ( ) states that the festival is a celebration of:

- the efforts of a growing cottage industry involved in fiber-related businesses- spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, crochet; and

- the efforts to preserve a rural lifestyle and landscape by providing the small livestock raisers a venue to promote their product.

The best way to understand these ideas is to examine the lives of two families who live in southwest Colorado: Pam and Jim Dyer, and Pam and Doug Ramsey.

Both Pams have offered their wares at the Pagosa Fiber Festival since its inception in 2000 and both are a part of a "growing cottage industry." And certainly both the Ramseys and the Dyers live the rural life style.

The Dyers run the small farm, Dyers Wool, located near Marvel, (about 20 miles southwest of Durango). On their 16 acres, they raise animals and crops using water conservation and organic methods as much as possible. Their livestock include the endangered and unusual Navajo Churro Sheep (the male often sports an extra set of horns) and Corriedale sheep. From these sheep comes a range of colored wool coveted by spinners and weavers and those who locker hook, the subject of a book recently authored by Pam. The Churro wool is particularly coveted by weavers of rugs because of its length, strength and coarseness.

The crops they produce supply them with fresh vegetables and fruit during the summer and dried, canned and frozen produce for the winter, as well as enough to make the trip to the weekly Durango Farmers Market profitable. Free range chickens and their eggs complete the picture.

No surprise that both Pam and Jim are active in and promote sustainable agriculture in the Four Corners community. Jim recently started a Farm-to-School program, a project whose aim is to include local agriculture products into schools. More information is available about this effort at . This is a project of Southwest Marketing Network, a group whose purpose is to identify new markets for small scale, alternative and minority producers, including both food and wool. Jim is also director of the Colorado Organic Producers Association, seeking to foster organic agriculture production and eating habits. More information at . In addition to her position on the Durango Farmers Market board, Pam is active in several local spinning and weaving guilds.

They do all this because they enjoy the challenge of working toward self-sufficiency and the involvement with other organizations with whom they share the same path.

In nearby Hesperus is the 30-acre La Plata Farms owned and run by Pam and Doug Ramsey since 1979. The Ramseys produce irrigated alfalfa hay and grass hay and run a custom hay business, swathing and baling for other people. They also do consulting and promotional work for other agriculture organizations such as San Juan Wool Growers and Colorado Wool Growers.

Livestock products include Lincoln and Navajo Churro breeding ewes, butcher lambs, replacement breeding stock and wool. In 1982, they turned to premium wool and supplies such as spinning wheels and looms. The unique practice of "coating" their sheep results in exceptionally fine and clean wool which is so desirable to spinners that the supply is sold prior to shearing every year.

Pam also does custom dyeing, spinning and yarn design and offers classes in these as well as felting. Her newest interests is spinning beaded yarn using semiprecious stones as a design element - the results of which will hopefully find their way to her booth at the Pagosa Fiber Festival. Jim's other life is as a resource conservation and development coordinator. He coordinates projects for multiple community conservation groups and assists with funding and administration. A current proposal is a bio-diesel plant in Dolores.

Pam and Doug love the challenge of making things grow in this altitude and climate; find satisfaction in seeing fat sheep in green pasture and knowing that they are self-sufficient in producing the best possible feed for their own livestock.

The Pagosa Fiber Festival is achieving its mission as it offers both Pams a venue to display the fruits of their own looms; it supports both families in their quest to be land and animal stewards, to be self-sufficient and to produce beautiful and useful animal fiber products. Finally, its support families in their quest to preserve the rural life and landscape.

For more information on workshops, registration and competitions contact Barbara Witkowski at 264-4543 or For further information about the Pagosa Fiber Festival or to reserve a vendor or exhibitor space, contact Pauline Benetti at 264-5232 or The festival Web site is

Evangel University Choir to appear in Pagosa Springs

The Evangel University Concert Choir will appear in concert at The First Assembly of God Church, 110 Trinity Lane at 7 p.m., Monday, May 8.

The Evangel University Concert Choir is a 48-member ensemble that will be touring Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana this spring.

In the past 22 years, the choir has toured in the 48 contiguous states, Canada, the Bahamas and 15 countries in Europe. In addition, the choir has performed for the Missouri Music Eductors Conference; has been honored with solo performances at Carnegie Hall in 1992, 1996 and 2000; and has performed for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The repertoire of the concert choir ranges from classical to contemporary sacred literature. The program is as varied and energetic as the 48-member choral ensemble.

The choir is directed by Mrs. Sharon Wilkins, who has served on the Evangel University faculty since 1984. Mrs. Wilkins received her music education from Evangel University, Drury University, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Wichita State university, Georgia State university and Missouri State University. The choir will have CDs and cassettes available for sale at the concert.

Evangel University, located in Springfield, Mo., is the national Assemblies of God University of arts, sciences and professions. Evangel is accredited by the North Central Association, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the Council on Social Work Education.

Learn about Freemasonry at open house

By Bob Case

Special to The PREVIEW

Freemasonry - a secret society?

If it is, it is the poorest kept secret I can think of.

Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternal order in the world.

Fraternity means an association of brothers and that is exactly what Freemasonry is - a society of friends and brothers. No member hides the fact that he is a Freemason, and Masonic temples or lodges are openly and plainly marked.

Freemasonry is not a mutual benefit or insurance society. It offers no protection or material gain or advantage to its members.

It is not organized for social enjoyment only, though there are many areas of pleasure and fellowship.

It is not a "secret society" per se. Freemasonry does have some secrets, all extending from historic tradition. Our modes of recognition, opening and closing ceremonies, and rituals for conferring the degrees of Masonry are our only secrets. Thousands of works discussing Masonic history, traditions, craft, and proceedings are widely available to the public.

If you have questions about Masonry or want to know more about it, come to the open house Saturday, May 20, 3-5 p.m. at 227 Lewis St.

The Lodge will be open to the public with Masons present to help you in understanding Masonry.

Volunteer leaders are a vital part of 4-H program

By Pamela Bomkamp

Special to The PREVIEW

Archuleta County 4-H Council Vice President Megan Condon has a favorite Harry S. Truman quote: "Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better."

Megan thinks our 4-H project and club leaders have made our 4-H program better. As our Nation celebrates volunteers with "National Volunteer Week", here in Pagosa Springs we would like to recognize our 4-H leaders. These leaders give so much more than their time and energy to the Archuleta County 4-H program; they take the time to teach our children more than just parliamentary procedures, how to raise an animal and how to complete inside as well as outdoor projects. They help our youth develop important life skills.

As our community grows, so does our 4-H program. We could never offer the amount of quality projects to our 200 members if it were not for the generosity of our local volunteers. We have a lot of new volunteer leaders this year as well as longtime leaders like Betty Shahan who has been with us for 50 years

This years 4-H Leaders are: Larry Baisdon, Robin Ball, Emzy Barker, Robyn Bennett, Cheryl Class-Erickson, Mark Crain, Carrie Espinosa, Kathy Gaskins, Addie Greer, Becky Gulliams, Cynthia Havens, Kerry Hoobler-Riek, Eric Hornbacher, Lynn Johnson, Kenneth Jones, Charlie King, Jeff Laydon, Pam Martin, Sabra Miller, Marci Mitchell, Leslie Montroy, Lindsay Morgan, Jan Nanus, William Newell, Mary Nickels, Bill Nobles, Doug Purcell, Mike Reid, Bob Scott, Lisa Scott, Betty Shahan, Nancy Smith, Joe Steele, Diana Talbot, Misty Talbot, Kim Vernon, Brenda Wanket and Stephen Williams.

These locals give of their time and talent because they believe in the Archuleta County 4-H program and it's philosophy, and because they enjoy being with youth and sharing with them what they know and love. Their love and dedication shows in the service work the 4-H youth do and the projects they complete. Many of the life skills Archuleta County youth learn with enrollment in 4-H will blossom as they grow into responsible and capable adults.

The Archuleta County 4-H Council's annual Leaders Appreciation Dinner was held April 28.

At the dinner, the council presented its first-ever member-nominated awards. The 2006 Archuleta County 4-H Club Leader of the Year award went to Lynn Johnson and Charlie King was named 2006 Archuleta County Project Leader of the Year.

Essay contest winners announced

By Lynn Constan

Special to The PREVIEW

Should there be requirements for adopting a pet, or should anyone be able to have one?

This was the question that the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs asked Archuleta County junior high-age students to address in its essay contest.

For Jacob Ormonde, the winner of the $100 first prize, the three main requirements to be considered before adopting a pet are affordability, a safe environment and commitment. Jacob drew on personal experience, since his animal family includes two dogs, a cat and a duck who is "the boss over all."

Concerning affordability, Jacob made the point that it is not only routine expenses like food that must be considered, but also the possibility of unexpected costs like emergency surgery. Jacob had a good insight into what constitutes a safe environment. He explained that a safe environment is not just a fenced yard but how a pet will interact with other family members, such as young children, or other pets.

The Humane Society has recently instituted a mandatory home visit prior to all dog adoptions, which evaluates these issues. The most important factor to be considered according to Jacob is whether someone has, "the commitment, love and time to put towards" a pet.

In addition to the winning essay, two essays were selected to receive Honorable Mention awards of $25 each. These winners were Danielle Pajak and Jordan Wagner.

Danielle stated, "it is not only logical, but ethical" to have requirements for pet adoption since "the point of adopting a pet is to give a good home to an animal, not a bad one."

In her essay entitled "Great Pets Deserve Great Owners," Jordan cited having time, patience and love as important criteria for pet adoption.

It was gratifying for members of the contest committee and the judges to see how well all of the 28 students who entered the contest understood the importance of having requirements for pet adoption. While some of the animals at the shelter are strays, too many dogs and cats are brought in by their owners because they did not understand the responsibility involved in having a pet. Since the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs doesn't euthanize for space or length of stay, many of these animals spend a long time at the shelter waiting for the right person to come and adopt them.

It is always rewarding when the Humane Society staff is able to find the right home for each animal. While it might be tempting to place the animals with anyone who wants one, the staff has learned this can result in the animal being returned to the shelter, an experience which is devastating to the animal or the family members.

An essay contest award ceremony was held at the Humane Society Thrift Store in conjunction with the April 26 SunDowner and Chocolate Auction. Winners were presented with their checks, and Jacob was given the opportunity to read his essay to the assembled group of more than 120 people. The three winning essays are posted at the entrance to the Thrift Store and may also be accessed through the Society's Web site,

Local Chatter

Taking tests in this week's Chatter

The driver's license office moved some months ago from downtown Pagosa up the hill behind the Pagosa Country Center City Market, to the building at the corner of Eaton and Village drives.

The office is open one day a week - Wednesdays 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. The telephone is 731-3840, and Diane is the office manager.

If your driver's license expires, this is what you do: You have a year to renew it without having to take a written or road test. After that year's grace period, you have to take the written and road test.

Around town

The Pagosa Fire Auxiliary is accepting donations for its annual scholarship rummage sale to be held at Station 1 located at 191 N. Pagosa Blvd., Saturday, May 13. Goods may be dropped off at Fire Station 1 up to May 12.

Fun on the Run

Want to take a test that will humble you? Try this one:

1. How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2. Which country makes Panama hats?

3. From which animal do we get catgut?

4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6. The Canary Islands in the Atlantic are named after what animal?

7. What was King George VI's first name?

8. What color is a purple finch?

9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10. What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

Quiz answers

1. If you said 100 years, you're wrong. It was 116 years.

2. Panama hats are made in Ecuador.

3. Catgut comes from sheep and horses.

4. The Russians run late with the October Revolution observances. It is in November.

5. Squirrel fur.

6. The Canary Islands' namesake: dogs.

7. King George VI's first name was Albert.

8. A purple finch is crimson.

9. Chinese gooseberries are from New Zealand.

10. The black box in a commercial airplane is orange. x

Community Center News

Volunteers reap rewards at community center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Time on your hands?

Yes, I know, most of you are really busy with family and friends. Then there's church, and there are various meetings here and there, not to mention the fact that summer is almost here. That means outdoor activities will be starting any minute now.

The reason I'm bringing all this up is that the three of us who work at the center are frequently astonished at the large number of events that happen here every week. The phone rings constantly, and we're oh-so-grateful and happy that the center is well used. There are more free offerings now - including sewing, games, dancing, cooking, crafts, play groups and yoga, to mention just a few - than there have ever been since the opening of the community center in 2002. In addition, we often have all the spaces rented. Lots of folks coming and going; the place is humming.

Here's the bottom line - we need a little volunteer help.

Mondays are especially tough, and we're looking for some help with staffing the office. Even an hour or two of your time would make a huge difference to us.

Of course, it doesn't have to be Monday; there are always things that need to be done.

Volunteering at the center will bring you great rewards: meeting and greeting so many wonderful people, and knowing your contribution is truly a benefit to the entire community.

Think about it, and call us at 264-4152 for details.

After Prom Party

I guess the word is out. Lynn Johnson reports that 236 kids attended this year - a significant increase.

Evidently, the mechanical bull was a hit, even though Lynn tells me no one could stay on for very long. Another new and different offering was the cash cube, an inflatable box with lots of air blowing through it. And floating in the air were dollar bills and gift certificates. The idea was to catch whatever you could in a short amount of time.

Thanks to the young people who attended, the volunteers who helped, the parents who donated time and money and, of course, to the Pagosa Springs businesses and the whole community whose donations made this fun evening happen.

Arts and crafts show

I was just looking at pictures of wonderful turned wooden bowls, jewelry, framed photographs and handmade clocks.

These are just a few of the creative items which will be offered for sale at the annual arts and crafts show at the community center 3-6 p.m. Friday, May 26, p.m. and 9-4 Saturday, May 27.

There are 23 artists and crafters signed up. We could accommodate a few more. Assignments for vendors' 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. Flyers are ready and vendors may pick up their share for distribution.

Games for Fun

The center will begin another free program for anyone who enjoys playing games - Scrabble, Monopoly, Poker, card games, dominoes, mahjong, etc. Whatever suits your fancy, but just games for fun - no gambling.

A lady from the Pagosa Women's Club wishes to start a "bunko" game. Come on down! The group will meet Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. and Thursdays 10-2. We will need a volunteer leader for each game. Be sure to bring games with you and, if you come Thursday, you might consider bringing lunch.

The first meeting of the gaming group will be Monday, May 15.

May and June dances

Friday, May 19, is the next date in the community center's series of dances for adults. The DJ will be Michael Murphy from Durango, and once again there will be a cash bar with beer and wine and snacks.

The June dance, which will feature live music from The High Rollers out of Durango and a catered Mexican food buffet will be Friday, June 23. Mark your calendars for both these dates. Stay tuned for more details.

Scrapbooking club

The Pagosa Community Scrapbook Club meets Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the South Conference Room. This month's meeting is special because it's National Scrapbook Day.

There will be various product demonstrations, door prizes and snacks to munch on, with plenty of time to get your own projects done. Guest speaker is Scott Allen. If you would like to attend, call Melissa Bailey at 731-1574 by Friday, May 5, to reserve a spot.

Photoshop classes

Bruce Andersen's Photoshop class started with methods of enhancing and resizing photographs. Each three-week class will be held on the first three Mondays of the month; the fee will be $90 which includes materials and which is payable before the class actually starts.

Call the center at 264-4152 to be included on the waiting list for upcoming classes.

eBay Club

The next meeting of the new eBay club will be held at the center Thursday, May 18, at 9 a.m. Anyone interested in buying or selling (or both) on eBay is welcome to attend. Call Ben Bailey at 264-0293 or e-mail him at if you plan to attend. This club is not affiliated with or endorsed by eBay Inc.

Line dancing

Gerry Potticary and her line dancing friends meet Monday mornings at 10:30. This comment comes from her: "We are currently featuring the Electric Slide, Tush Push, Black Velvet, New York New York, a waltz and a cha cha. No one remembers it all ,but we have a lot of laughs. Come join us. If you need a little preliminary coaching, come early, at 10."

Mariachi concert

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo weekend, the community center and the Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club are featuring the Mariachi Rio Grande from Taos, N.M., in concert 3-5 p.m. Sunday, May 7, at the center.

Tickets are $8 per person and $25 per family (parents and children 13-19). Children 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at the community center, the Chamber of Commerce and from members of the Spanish Fiesta Club. For more information call 264-4152.

Upcoming events

The community center needs volunteers for all three of the following events. Please let us know if you can contribute costumes, your time, or your expertise in other areas, such as decorating or distributing tickets or flyers. The center needs your participation to make these efforts successful. Please consider helping.

- 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 each represent a country and display the traditional costume of that country. Others will prepare and sell foods that represent the different countries. More details to follow; volunteers may call Mercy now at 264-4152, Ext. 22.

- Oct. 21 - Hunters' Ball. This will be a dinner and dance fund-raiser for all, 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.

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 displayed for the public. 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.

Computer lab news

OK, a little bit of good news: one of our pieces of network equipment might still work. We're talking nicely to it with great hopes that it will talk back.

Thanks again to Musetta Wollenweber of the senior center who has generously agreed to share her Internet connection with the community center while we recover from our recent network problem. While our content filter is being reconfigured, we have been forced to suspend use of the computer lab by minors. Adults are, of course, still welcome. Our hope is that all will be well in another week or so.

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor Club, 6:30 p.m.

May 5 - Senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Cloverbuds, 1-3 p.m.; Humana Medicare meeting, 2-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.

May 6 - Tee-ball, 9-10 a.m.; Tee-ball, 10-11 a.m.; Sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Scrapbooking club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

May 7 - 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.; Mariachi concert, 3-5 p.m.

May 8 - Watercolor with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; line dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Tee-ball, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Tee-ball, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Photoshop class, 7-8:30 p.m.; Loma Linda HOA board meeting, 7-9 p.m.

May 9 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Chamber of Commerce hospitality training, 9-11 a.m.; watercolor with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; beginning computing skills, 10 a.m.-noon; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Chamber of Commerce hospitality training, 2-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; TOPS Master Planning committee meeting, 6-8:30 p.m.; Creepers Jeepers, 7-8 p.m.

May 10 - Chamber of Commerce hospitality training, 9-11 a.m.; watercolor with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; beginning computing skills for seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; preschool play group, 10 a.m.-noon; Chamber of Commerce hospitality training, 2-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Tee-ball, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Photo club, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; TOPS Downtown master plan meeting, 6-8:30 p.m.; Tee-ball, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

May 11 - Archuleta County Violence Prevention committee meeting, 8:30-10 a.m.; watercolor with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Chimney Rock Volunteers potluck, 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

Arthritis self-help class offered

By Jim Pearson

SUN Columnist

May is National Arthritis Month.

People who have arthritis generally experience pain and stiffness in their joints. The most common symptoms are swelling in one or more joints, stiffness around the joints that lasts for more than an hour in the morning, constant or reoccurring pain or tenderness in a joint, difficultly in the normal use of a joint and warmth and redness in a joint.

Rheumatic diseases are characterized by stiff, sore, red, swelling joints. There are more than 100 rheumatic diseases, and some of them affect internal organs.

Literally, arthritis refers to joint inflammation and is commonly used to refer to all rheumatic diseases. Examples of rheumatic diseases are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythematosus and gout.

The list goes on but the most common rheumatic disease is osteoarthritis which affects about 21 million adults in the United States. This rheumatic disease primarily affects cartilage, which is the tissue that cushions the ends of bones within the joint. The cartilage frays and may wear entirely away. Joint pain and stiffness can be attributed to osteoarthritis. Disability from this form of arthritis results when this disease affects the spine and weight bearing joints of the knees and hips.

Rheumatic diseases are the leading cause of disability among adults age 65 and older. Risk factors associated with rheumatic disease include family history and gender. Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and fibromyalgia are more common among women.

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases says it is vital that you give your doctor your complete medical history. It may be helpful to keep a journal and be able to answer the following questions:

- Is the pain in one or more joints?

- When does the pain occur?

- How long does the pain last?

- When did you first notice the pain?

- What were you doing when you first noticed the pain?

- Does activity make the pain better or worse?

- Have you had any illnesses or accidents that may account for the pain?

- Is there a family history of any arthritis or other rheumatic disease?

- What medicine(s) are you taking?

Dependent on your symptoms, your doctor will order tests to confirm a diagnosis. You may be referred to a specialist depending upon the doctor's diagnosis. Sometimes it's best to get a second opinion when diagnosed with a rheumatic disease as there are other serious diseases which resemble arthritis but require different treatments. Only upon a successful diagnosis can a doctor prescribe the proper treatment plan.

It is important to maintain a good relationship with your doctor during treatment. Don't be afraid to ask questions about your condition or treatment. You must understand your treatment plan and be able to tell your doctor whether it is helping you or not. Be careful about treatment plans you hear about from friends and others. Always keep your doctor informed, as some treatments using herbs, chemicals, special diets and other means may be harmful, leading to serious side effects. One beneficial way of helping you or a loved one deal with rheumatic disease, is to participate in a self-help program. The Arthritis Foundation through trained instructors, many of whom also suffer from rheumatic disease, is offering such a program at The Den beginning May 18.

Arthritis self-help class

For people with arthritis, living the most active life with the least amount of pain and disability involves building skills, gaining knowledge and developing relationships. The Den, through the instruction of Linda Mozer, is offering a six-week Arthritis Foundation Self-Help Program course beginning 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, to encourage people affected by arthritis to be proactive in their health and well-being.

The Arthritis Self-Help Course is a group education program led by a trained instructor, designed to help you learn and practice the different skills needed to build your own individualized self-management program and gain confidence to carry it out. You will share experiences with others, providing you the opportunity to help and learn from people like yourself.

This program is designed to complement healthcare provider services. Participating and completing the six week program will aid you in:

- Learning and practicing the skills needed to build your own individual self-management program.

- Gain knowledge of different types of arthritis and osteoporosis.

- Learning to manage pain, relaxation, stress and fatigue.

- Gaining exercise and nutrition knowledge.

- Development of problem-solving skills.

- Obtaining information on doctor-patient relationships.

- Obtaining information on the latest developments in alternative therapies.

Those with any type of arthritis, or persons in support roles, are encouraged to attend. Class size is limited to 20 participants. Call The Den for registration and further information at 264-2167. Registration deadline is May 12. We hope you take advantage of this educational and supportive opportunity to help you overcome some of the challenges of arthritis.

Flute performance

Chimney Rock's dramatic twin spires mark the home of the Ancestral Puebloan people a thousand years ago.

Experience the intriguing story of those who came before us as the architecture, pottery and other artifacts give us a glimpse into their daily lives.

Join The Den Wednesday, May 10, for a private $5 tour of Chimney Rock to learn its mysteries, myths and legends. In addition, David Nighteagle, an accomplished flute player and storyteller, will perform for us at the Great Kiva. David combines his Lakota knowledge of flute making, playing the flute, and telling stories to engage audiences. His recordings include "Torn from the Heart," "Mesa Anthology" and "Circle Around the Moon."

David has performed for student groups nationwide and has performed at Disney World, Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde National Parks, Crow Canyon Archeological Center, and for the Sierra Club at Hovenweep National Monument. He was a guest performer when former First Lady Hillary Clinton visited the Four Corners area. He was also a featured artist at the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics.

Sign up for this archeological excursion and incredible musical performance at The Den office by Friday, May 5. The tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours. The lower part of the tour is handicap accessible and lasts approximately one hour. Carpooling will be the mode of transport. We will meet at Chimney Rock at 1:15 p.m. Immerse yourself in this ancient culture with a stunning backdrop as you listen to Native American music and explore the wonders of Chimney Rock.

Learn to play bridge

The Den has a very active bridge group, and this popular card game is our top Den activity.

If this is an activity you think might interest you, but you don't know how to play, Marty Groulx has offered to teach a class. This class will take place at 11 a.m. every Friday, beginning May 5. Call The Den to get signed up and for additional information at 264-2167.

Housing needs

Our community needs your input concerning affordable housing solutions for seniors. At 1 p.m., May 9, Tony Stohl and Molly Johnson from the office of Casa De Los Arcos, which represents senior housing interests, will be at The Den to make a presentation on affordable housing in the Pagosa Springs area. Come and hear what is being planned for the community and take the opportunity to ask questions and provide input.

Medicare workshop

Medicare recipients, or those who will be enrolling in the prescription drug program this year, this workshop is for you. Senior Center Director Musetta Wollenweber will provide an overview of the prescription drug program at The Den, 10 a.m. May 6. Musetta will handle enrollments following the workshop from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., by appointment only. The workshop and enrollment is a free service, so all this will cost you is a little time. Deadline for enrollment is May 15. Avoid the penalty and enroll today.

Senior of the Week

We congratulate Violet Echavarria, our Senior of the Week. Violet will enjoy free lunches all week. We also congratulate Marion Goodnight, in Arboles. She will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day during the month of May.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, May 4 - Arboles Meal Day, Mother's Day party, noon.

Friday, May 5 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15; veterans' services, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, May 8 - Gym walk, 11:15 p.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 9 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m., gym walk, 11:15; blood pressure check, 11:30; canasta, 1 p.m.; housing solicitations, 1.

Wednesday, May 10 - Basic computer, 10 a.m.; Chimney Rock, 1:15 p.m., last day to sign up is May 5.

Friday, May 12 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15; Mother's Day party, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.


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

Salad bar every day -11:30 a.m. Unavailable in Arboles.

Thursday, May 4 - Arboles Meal Day. Beef stew with vegetables, diced pears, tossed salad and corn bread.

Friday, May 5 - Sweet and sour pork, brown rice, vegetable medley, diced pears and whole wheat bread.

Monday, May 8 - Baked potato topped with BBQ beef, broccoli, fruit cocktail and drop biscuit.

Tuesday, May 9 - Stuffed peppers with corn, spinach, applesauce with raisins and whole wheat roll.

Wednesday, May 10 - Turkey sandwich, tomato soup, grilled green beans and almond peaches.

Thursday, May 11 - No meal served.

Veteran's Corner

New Web site for records

I recently received information regarding the new National Personnel Records Center Web site for obtaining copies of DD214s and all other military records.

I checked out the Web site myself and found it fairly easy to fill out the records request forms. Here is the Internet Web site address:

Speedy process

You can fill out the records request form at this Web site, submit it electronically, and speed up the process of obtaining copies of your military records that may be stored at the center, according to NPRC Web site information.

Signed copy

You still must sign and mail in a copy of the request. The NPRC requires a signature of the veteran requesting the records, or in the case of a deceased veteran, the next of kin can request the information.

According the NPRC if it does not receive your signature copy within 30 days, the request will automatically deactivate and be removed from their system. You may also fax the signed form to NPRC at (314) 801-9049.

When you fill out the forms on the Internet you will be assigned a "service request number." Print or write down the number for future reference in case you do not receive the records in a reasonable amount of time.

Phone number

The phone number of customer service at the NPRC is (314) 801-0800. I called this number and found it fairly efficient, except for the wait time to speak to a real person. The recorded message said the wait time could be from 10-40 minutes.

The phone message also gives an e-mail address to check on the status of a records request. This is where you would enter the service request number. That e-mail address is

Physical address to mail your signed copy of the form is: NPRC Web, 9700 Page Ave., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.

Information required

When you fill out the online request form you will be asked for information including branch of service, enlisted or officer, name, Social Security number, service number, date of birth, place of birth, etc. Some of this information must be entered in the format requested, such as "/" between month, date and year, or no spaces or hyphens in the service number. If incorrectly entered, it will not proceed to the next step and will require you to fill out the space correctly.

Check off "benefits"

In the second step, you will be asked to choose a category for your request. I would suggest just check "benefits" rather than specific request reason. This will allow you to specify the type of records you want, rather than the NPRC sending you what they want to send you.

Deleted or undeleted version

On the third step you can request a deleted or undeleted version of your DD214. Also, there is space available for additional information. This is where you can request all your military records including medical records, which could be important if you are filing a claim with the VA.

I expect more Internet-related methods of obtaining and filing benefit claims with the VA in the future. Using technology like this is the key to more efficient and accurate means of communicating.


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

Durango VA Clinic

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

More 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. The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is 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

Water talk and book sale help

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Reads! continues into its fifth week of learning about water in the Southwest and the world.

Tonight, May 4, at 6 p.m., John Taylor, local rancher and former water commissioner will lead the "Chinatown" book discussion group at the library. Come and join us for a discussion of the "Chinatown" screenplay and politics of water in the Southwest.

On Wednesday May 10, at 10 a.m., Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District is providing us with a tour of the empty Stevens Reservoir. Meet at the Humane Society parking lot out on Stevens Road (off Piedra Road) and join us for more learning about how we get and keep our water.

Last week we had a great tour of Pagosa's plumbing, compliments of the wonderful guys at PAWSD. I have never been given a tour of the plumbing system of a town and I was fascinated. And, I was especially fascinated by the tank full of little microorganisms that eat up the sewage and make it bubble. We were told that if you fell in, so much of the material (it looked like bubbly dirty water) was air, you wouldn't be able to swim in it, you'd just sink. Sounds like a good setting for a murder mystery plot to me.

The library has the map of the PAWSD plumbing system on display as part of our celebration of National Drinking Water Week, the first week of May. Also provided by PAWSD, the San Juan Water Conservancy and the Water Information Program are several other informative displays about our luxurious, clean drinking water supply. Come see the displays; learn about your great fortune in having good water come out of the tap when you turn the faucet.

And, remember that the Pagosa Reads! art contest deadline is May 22. For more information on submitting your entry of an interpretation of a scene from "People of the Moon" (the last book in the Pagosa Reads! program) or a children's entry, call 264-2208 or visit the library's Pagosa Reads! display. Contest entries will be judged by Glenn Raby and Pierre Mion.

Documents available

The Village at Wolf Creek Final Environmental Impact Statement documents were donated by a local resident and are now available for limited checkout. Ask at the circulation desk if you wish to borrow them.

We have the full two-volume set entitled, "Application for Transportation and Utility Systems and Facilities for the Village at Wolf Creek," a CD, and the Record of Decision and Summary, March 2006, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U. S. Forest Service.

A call for help

The dates for the Friends of the Library annual meeting and book sale are Aug. 25-26. It will be held at the Extension Building, as it has been in the past.

On the afternoon and evening of Aug. 24, we will take the books accumulated in storage to the Extension Building, set up the tables and price the books.

The evening of Aug. 25 we will have the Friends annual meeting. This year, there will be new bylaws to approve. Then, the potluck dinner before the rampage towards the books in the Friends' presale.

On Saturday Aug. 26, the sale will be open to the public.

The library is still in the difficult position of not being completely moved into the renovated building.

We knew it would take close to a year to sort and clear the storage areas where all the library books and furniture were stashed away during construction. Obviously, since the entire library was in storage until mid November, the huge task of moving and getting settled had to take precedence over a book sale accumulation effort.

So Š we are behind schedule in the annual book accumulation effort. We have been selling books off the carts at the front of the library, but have been stashing the best of the lot that come in by donation for the book sale. Now we need to move fast on taking in donations.

Interestingly, the little library in Pennsylvania that won the ALA Library of the Year Award takes in 20,000 donated books a year. It has both a bookstore in the library and an annual book sale.

If they can do it, we can do it too.

But 20,000 donated books is the equivalent of two-thirds of the entire Ruby M. Sisson Library. It takes a lot of books, a lot of storage, a lot of paid staff time, as well as a lot of volunteer time, to receive, sort, price, box, store or dispose of the books. Then the books have to be pulled out of storage and trucked over to the Extension Building for the sale. Afterwards, there is cleanup of the Extension room and disposal of books that aren't sold.

In short, we will need a great deal of community help and support to make this a profitable venture.

Call me at 264-2208 if you have ideas, or if there are groups or clubs that want to volunteer for portions of this effort. The library staff and the trustees realize this is a very popular community event. We want to make it fun for you and even more successful than it has been in the past. But we really need help Š especially this year, when the library is still working out the aftermath of the move.

"Miles Davis: The Man with the Horn"

By David Bright

Special to The SUN

"Miles Davis: The Man with the Horn" by Ross Porter, abridged book on CD, Canadian Broadcasting Co., 2004.

"Man with the Horn," contains five hours of music and discourse on the life of Miles Davis.

The discs cover Davis' life from the early days through 1991 and contain music from the earliest bebop recordings to his groundbreaking works in later years. The narrative includes voices of many greats who worked with Davis, and of Davis himself. Porter attempts to explore the contradictions of Miles Davis and speaks with those who knew him best.

Davis was born in 1926 to an affluent family in Alton, Illinois. His mother was a blues pianist but kept this hidden from Davis as she felt that "Negro" music was not genteel. She wanted him to play the violin. He was given his first trumpet at the age of 9 but didn't start lessons until 13.

He married Cicely Tyson in 1981 and they were divorced in 1988. Despite the fact that he suffered from diabetes and sickle-cell anemia, he continued to tour and perform during the last years of his life. He died of a stroke in 1991 at the age of 65.

Miles was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was not inducted as an early influence, but as a "rock star" in his own right for his "electric" period. His music covered many genres, including jazz and blues. Some say that the obvious bridge between rock and jazz is the blues. He influenced rock, but will always be remembered as one of the essential jazz artists of all time. He was an innovative musician who changed the face of jazz, and even rock and roll.

The Davis family recently told reporters that a biographic movie, possibly starring Don Cheadle as Miles, was being considered.

Several other new Miles Davis recordings are now available at the library, including "Birth of the Cool." This album covers work from 1949 to 1950. Davis moved to New York to study at Juilliard in 1944. In reality, he tracked down Charlie Parker and started his recording career. Some of the artists featured include Gerry Mulligan and Gil Evans. "Boplicity" is a must-hear track on this album.

"Kind of Blue" covers the period from 1959 to 1964. The solo piece "Kind of Blue" is considered Davis' masterpiece and may be the bestselling jazz record ever. Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane are part of this recording. It is noted that Davis would ask musicians to come to the studio on short notice with no idea of what would be in store. Davis would give them a few chords and scales and they would begin. "All the Blues" on this recording is one of his great hits. The song "So What" was an innovation in modal jazz.

"In a Silent Way" was Miles' first jazz fusion album, recorded in 1969. It was influenced by James Brown and Jimi Hendrix and introduced the use of electric instruments and keyboards. Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea are featured on this album.

"Bitches Brew, "was considered to be one of the most successful mixtures of jazz with rock, a combination that would come to be known as "fusion." Both "Bitches Brew" and "In a Silent Way" were improvisations edited together into a single composition which only exists in the final recorded version. "Brew" is a masterpiece in the use of electronic effects, multi-tracking, and other editing techniques.

I particularly like the track titled "John McLaughlin." The guitar work on this song is tremendous.

Pagosa Reads features reviews of all kinds of books and materials from the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, written by local readers, 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.

David Bright is a cataloger and computer technician at the Ruby M. Sisson Library. He enjoys music and has a large collection of rock and roll, blues and jazz. He wants all of you to come in and enjoy the new Miles Davis collection.

Arts Line

High school art show opens with reception today

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

The opening reception for the annual Pagosa Springs High School Advanced Art Student Show at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park is today 5-7 p.m. The public is urged to attend. Refreshments and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

The students, taught by Charla Ellis, will exhibit a variety of works at the gallery through May 16.

Artists include Heather Andersen, Shaina Etcitty, Caitlin Forrest, Hayley Goodman, Kelsey King, Matt Krone, Charlie Hoch, Ursula Hudson, Saber Hutcherson, Josh Pringle, Emilie Schur and Ashley Snyder.

Register early and save

The deadline for savings with early registration in Pagosa Springs Arts Council Web and marketing classes is fast approaching - May 14.

Because of requests from throughout the community, PSAC has added more dates for Web and marketing classes.

Local businesses and artists have a unique opportunity to increase their Web site and marketing awareness through a series of seminars, sponsored by PSAC. It's time to wake up and market your business.

What business hasn't experienced a marketing slump? Perhaps it could be because of personal challenges, lack of motivation, the competition has a new service, technique, product, or maybe there's just more competition in Pagosa (and surrounding area) these days.

Pagosa Springs Arts Council presents a series of four marketing workshops, "Falling Forward: Web Site Marketing & Logistics" (June 7) and The Secret of Your Success: Marketing Your Biz" (June 16). The series is specifically directed toward artists, but would also benefit any business. Each session's information stands alone and sessions may be attended individually or as an entire series. All sessions will be held at the Arts Room in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

This exciting marketing series is available to PSAC members and general public. Advance registration is required to assure seating. Individual sessions are $45 PSAC member, $55 general ($65 after May 14). Full-day sessions are $85 PSAC, $95 general ($105 after May 14). For advance registration and further information, call Wen Saunders 264-4486 or visit and Space is limited; call now to reserve your space.

Pagosa Reads! art

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.

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 For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

Mion watercolor workshop

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

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

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.

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 and

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 and

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

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,, 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.


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.

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

Today-May 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 14 - Preregistration savings deadline for PSAC Marketing Workshop. Call Wen Saunders, 264-4486.

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.

June 7 - PSAC "FALLING FORWARD: Web Site Logistics," 9:30 a.m.-noon.

June 7 - PSAC "FALLING FORWARD: Web Site Updating and Front Page," 1:30-4:30 p.m.

June 16 - PSAC "THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS: Marketing Your Biz with Print Media," 9:30 a.m.-noon.

June 16 - PSAC "THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS: "Different Perspective Marketing Mix," 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC by e-mail ( 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.

The Wine Whisperer

Cinderella comes to ...

Laura Winzeler

The possibilities sounded too good to be true.

The potential ramifications that this opportunity might bring to my life astounded me. I was dizzy, yet sober.

With a stroke of the "send now" key, a spontaneous and cheeky little e-mail whisked off to California had quickly escalated into an interview with a prospective employer on the west coast in an industry that I love.

Randall Grahm liked my online review of two of his dessert wines and yes, in fact, he did have a marketing position open. He offered to fly me out to Santa Cruz. I floated along in a surreal state of shock for days. Could this be? Would this be? Had my brass ring finally come around? And where were my golden slippers?

I left the California coast exactly six years prior and headed for the Southwest. After five years in Pagosa - back then, a town with one stop light, one grocery market, and not one sushi or wine bar - my ongoing refrain went something like: "Every day is the same here. Choices are too limited. Everybody knows everybody. People move too slowly. Does anyone wear a watch? Why don't we have any good restaurants?"

I thought I missed the Pacific Ocean that I had lived beside all my life. I thought I missed family and friends. I knew I missed simple things like stores with interesting inventory and restaurants with interesting food and wine, along with a population large enough to foster some healthy competition in the business community. I was tired of dull and monotonous; bored with quiet and slow - severely deprived of excitement, endless options and multiple choices.

Or so I thought.

I flew into Monterey, the city I last called home. I was struck by the absence of any feelings of homecoming. I did not visit my last apartment to see what was growing in my flower garden. I did not race straight to the shore to touch the ocean and breathe the salt air. I got into the rental car and drove north to Santa Cruz while some subconscious, internal device kept me oriented east. A deeper, more authentic part of me was pulling me back to Pagosa. Two-and-one-half days, four airports, one wacky interview, a quick overnighter with Mom and Grandma in Napa, and a plethora of major highways later my tiny plane prepared to land in Durango, surely the most user-friendly airport on earth. The seasonal, late afternoon lightning storm was warming up for a majestic performance. The mountains and flatlands of southwest Colorado never looked as stunning to me as they did in the shadow and light display that early evening. I drove home in a near-trance state of elation and gratitude, awed that I could travel miles on U.S. 160 and never see another car. No concrete walls divided multiple lanes crammed full of frenzied drivers who drove right up my rear, regardless of my speed. My eyes did not need to stay glued to the rear view mirror, only on the winding road ahead for deer crossing.

"I can't believe I live here" was my spontaneous and deeply-felt mantra. After five years in the same place, 60 hours in another blessed me with beginner's eyes. I fell in love with my Pagosa life with an intensity not felt before. I was ferocious and protective of my lifestyle. I was deeply committed to preserving it.

As the weeks passed after my juxtapositional journey, my sense of wonder deepened for my quiet, uncomplicated and creatively fulfilling life. More often than not, I awoke to deer in my yard, mere feet from my bedroom window. I acquiesced to no leash laws when I walked my dog, nor was she banned from any parks or beaches. I hardly ever noticed the wail of a siren, and the Big News in town that summer was the installation of the second traffic light. I kept a log in which I recorded the precise dates of annual leaf break on my two, huge sentry aspen. The dates never deviated by more than five days. A family of birds nested just under my roof for five consecutive years and I bore up-close witness to the tenuous first flight lessons.

I did not get the dream job offer. The position was not made for me after all. It was not the possible move back to the California coast that was too good to be true; it was my daily existence in the verdant mountains of southwest Colorado that was the grand prize. I grabbed my own brass ring in June of 1996 when I moved here. I remain grateful to this day that I had the chance to explore something that I thought I wanted so badly - a return to a more dynamic and exciting place and time. Most days I move about in silent contentment, the whir of my computer, the snoring of the cats, and the chatter between my ears the only sounds.

In spring I wonder what new species of wildflower might appear spontaneously in my yard. Last spring the Village Lake swans presented us with four cygnets who made their winter home on Lake Forest, my lake. Last month their feathers turned from grey to white overnight. Come late summer, I will be tasting and smelling aphrodiasical fall, the restorative elixir for my summer-heat-weary soul. As the aspen flaunt their gold, I will be wondering if our first real snowfall will come before Halloween. When will the ski area open? How many times will my driveway need plowing? Will I ever experience the "real winter" that the old timers memorialize?

These questions and observations give me a sense of continuity - palpable access to the seasonal rhythms and patterned perfection of nature. Here in my Pagosa home I have the time, the silence, the slowed-down-enough pace and presence to witness these daily wonders. Talk about your dynamic and exciting lifestyles. The one thing I do regret about not working for Bonny Doon is all that free wine. Grahm bottles a ton of interesting offerings under several different banners and their Web site is a great resource.

The corporate mantra includes this promise: "Bonny Doon is the champion of the strange and the heterodox - Ugly Duckling grape varieties whose very existence is threatened by the dominant Cabo/Chardo-centric paradigm." When I met with him, I brought a custom-made, pique assiette mosaic wine carafe. He quipped that I bust "shards" like he busts "chards." What a beautiful mind.

The Doon wines suffer from more year-to-year variation than I enjoy; it can be a tortured and frustrating love affair if you seek relative consistency in your wine producers. It's not too hard to find a decent sampling of Bonny Doon wines here in Pagosa - each wine shop carries at least a few:

2003 Big House Red - I just tried this wine last week and found it incredibly pleasing, smooth and warming, and very harmonious. Year-to-year this blend of syrah, petite syrah, zinfandel, carignane, barbera and malbec is pretty reliable. Aromatic fragrances tickle the nose and an exuberant burst of tart bing cherry fills the mouth upon first sip. Spice and plum appear mid-mouth with an earthy herbal, tobacco-laced finish. Had I known this vintage was so good I would have consumed more last winter. I'll be looking for the 2004 to hit our shelves soon, but don't turn up your nose at the 2003.($11)

I praised the 2004 Big House Pink ($10) in a previous column but it's worth re-praising. Italian grape varietals are blended into a fragrant and fresh rosé replete with berries, citrus and light mineral notes. Do look for what Grahm calls "the more cerebral" and bone dry rosé, the Vin Gris de Cigare ($12), a blend of southern French grapes. The 2004 might still be around but the 2005 is on its heels. I was delighted to find the 2004 Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc ($13) in New Mexico. This was a new one for me. I discovered crisp green apples and honey on the refreshing nose. It was softer in the mouth than I expected - less acidic - with strong mineral nuances and ... butter? This got me musing about the winemaking in terms of oak aging and malolactic fermentation. I found this one to be unremarkable and disappointing, but drinkable.

The Pacific Rim Riesling ($12) is the most torturous and fickle of all my beloved Doon. The 2000 rocked my world. In 2001— not so much rocking. I drank the 2002 all summer long, but the 2003 disappointed. I tried to be patient until last month when I found the 2004. Can you spell "insipid?" It was watery and thin at first sip. My heart sank. It got a bit better as I drank on, but I found it to be far too light in fruit, acids and body. It's not bad, but it's not good. Maybe in a few months?

Maybe next year?

Food for Thought

Old and (still) stupid in Las Vegas

Karl Isberg

Boy, I'm old.

How do I know this?

I am in Las Vegas.

It is 10:30 p.m. and I am in bed.

I am also incredibly stupid?

How do I know this?

I am in bed because I am depressed - emotionally and physically drained.

I am depressed because I am feeble, and made two serious mistakes in one day's time.

First, I listened to my friend, Jay, when he said he had a "feeling" about a certain Wheel of Fortune slot machine in the high-limit parlor at Bellagio.

Not only did I listen to Jay, but I joint-ventured a massive bet at the Wheel of Fortune machine. I have a taste for wagering, and know full well slot machines provide the revenue needed to recarpet casinos. Generally, I avoid them. And yet, now in the grip of senility, I move full speed ahead.

We set the devil's wheels a'spinnin' 25 times, at max tokens (I am embarrassed to tell you how much money that is, per spin) and never hit a thing.

Not a thing.

Not once does the joyous, multi-voice chorus sound out: "Wheel Š of Š fortune."

Not once do we witness a lineup of bars, cherries, rabbits, skulls and crossbones - whatever the emblems that whirl at light speed on the display.

The random number generator fails to reward us.

All we experience is the distinct smell of money burning.

Our money.

A lot of our money.

If I need further confirmation of how feebed-out and idiotic I've become, all I need to do is realize I am broke and in bed at 10:30 p.m. in Las Vegas - in one of the worst dives on The Strip.

While Jay and I lose our money at Bellagio, we are not staying there.

Oh, no.

Remember, I am stupid.

We are at The Tropicana. Mistake Number 2.

We, and a gaggle of dissolute and increasingly demented friends, have booked into the Trop for nostalgia's sake during our annual spring venture to this garish desert oasis, this concrete and neon monument to avarice and lack of restraint. We make this ridiculous choice because we hear the aged anchor of the intersection of Tropicana Boulevard and The Strip is headed for implosion.

"Let's stay there one more time. After all, it's the old Vegas."

It certainly is. The old Vegas - as in the peeling, cracking, molding and decaying Vegas.

It wasn't always this way. Not too long ago, maybe even as recent as a decade ago, some of the highest rollers in Vegas shot craps under the stained-glass vault inside the entry of the Trop. The place was hopping, alive with the energy and anxiety accompanying major risk. It was a glamorous place.

Now, it's where ancient cocktail waitresses go to die on the job.

The only rollers at the joint are 21-year-old halfwits from Southern California who arrive on roller skates, backpacks stuffed with unwashed secondhand clothes and arsenic-tainted meth. You step over heaps of these bozos, scattered willy-nilly on the soiled carpet just outside the elevators and in the hallways, the few of them who are still semiconscious bellowing into cell phones, calling each other "Dude" at the highest possible volume, over and over and over.

Worse yet, the Trop is a place where food is just another four-letter word.

I take a serious bruising in the food department just before my head hits the somewhat greasy pillowcase in Room 1478, Paradise Tower (ah, how ironic), Tropicana Hotel.

My battering occurs at the Island Buffet. This is where the nadir of my trip is established.

The problem is that I've been defeated by my Wheel of Fortune experience - drained of anything resembling good judgment (as if I had any when I entered the high-limit hell at Bellagio). I do not turn and run; I enter the Trop's "famous" buffet.

If it is famous, it's fame echoes loudest in emergency rooms at local hospitals; this dump is as low on the food ladder as you get before stepping on to swampy culinary ground.

I end up with some salad greens to which the word "green" barely applies - brown being the predominant color. I pile on a bunch of "fried shrimp" which, as far as I can determine, do not involve shrimp. I top off the torture with a "sugarless dessert" just to remind me what a moron I am.

Acid reflux anyone?

Two monumental defeats in one day.

I ask myself as I recline on the lumpy, cigarette smoke-saturated mattress in 1478: What can I do to remedy the situation, to change course, steer out of the doldrums, at least create the veneer of marginal intelligence?


The next night, Jay and Marion and I hustle down The Strip to The Venetian and to Bouchon - Thomas Keller's addition to the Vegas fine dining scene. I have been to Bouchon several times and know it will do the trick. If Keller can't reverse ill fortune, no one can.

We decide to lowball the visit, since a dedicated effort at Bouchon can make a trip to the high-stakes slot parlor look like economic child's play.

For starters: duck confit and brandade.

The duck leg and thigh is perfect, simmered for hours, days perhaps, in a barely bubbling bath of duck fat. It's perfect with bits of buttered baguette.

But, oh, that brandade. Normally a fairly common opener, this salt cod-based mix is transformed into something wondrous at Bouchon. The chef has deconstructed the peasant puree and its accompaniments, rolled the blend into fat cylinders, breaded and deep-fried them. The golden cylinders are placed on rounds of tomato confit and topped with a fried sage leaf.

Brandade is easy to make, and a swell starter come summer.

Everyone has a slab of salt cod hanging around the hacienda, don't they? I realize the markets here in Siberia with a View run short of salt cod now and then, but it can be ordered on the Internet. And, if you're ever in San Diego, stop at Fillipi's in Little Italy. The woodlike hunks of fish are stacked near the entrance to the store. You'll smell them before you enter the building.

Soak the salt cod in water, in the refrigerator, for at least 24 hours, changing the water frequently. Perhaps the last bath the ever-softer hunk o'fish gets is in milk.

The fish is cut into chunks and poached until it flakes. Skin and bones are removed and the fish is pulverized with garlic in a processor. Into the mix, with processor on, goes a smidge of boiled cream and a steady but slow drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Some folks add steamed, mashed potato as well, but why? - the puree should be the consistency of mashed potato when done, as is. Seasoning: some pepper (white if you're finicky) and a touch of salt, if necessary. The puree is traditionally served with classic croutons - bread fried in oil and butter.

The deconstruction at Bouchon is obvious, eh?

I eat.

This is top-of-the-line fare and my fatigue is remediated.

Things get better yet with the next course.

Jay selects a gnocchi with sage brown butter as an entrée. Despite his robust appearance, he is a weenie when it comes to red meat. Won't touch the stuff and often tilts toward vegetarian fare. We continue to work on him, but have made little progress in 10 or so years of effort. The gnocchi are French, not Italian, Thus, the tasty little dumplings are made of paté a choux and cheese, not a speck of potato to be found.

Marion opts for a slab of barramundi - considered by those in the know to be Northern Australia's prime freshwater/estuarine prey. The fish, perfectly cooked, the skin and scales edible, rests on a puddle of sauce - a creamy affair built on a fumet foundation. Reminiscent, perhaps, of the barramundi's fresh-water/estuarine home.

I zero in on a special - a dish heartily recommended by our waiter. When a waiter at Bouchon gives you advice, you'd best take it.

His eyes sparkle when he describes the special and its preparation. He is in the Keller zone, an acolyte at the altar.

"We take the entire breast of veal," he says, as his hands trace the outlines of a massive piece of meat in the air. (Breast of veal?, you ask. Veal has breasts?).

"We braise the entire breast for six to eight hours." His eyes close, his lips part slightly. His head tilts back.

I turn to Marion. "If he swoons, I'll do the chest compressions, you handle the mouth-to-mouth."

"Then," says the waiter, "something magical occurs. We take the serving-size pieces and we bake them at an extremely high temperature, melting the fats in the deep pockets of the meat, drawing them to the surface and creating a crust. Your fork breaks through the crust with a snap; the meat beneath is so tender it will melt in your mouth."

He is breathing heavily.

Bingo. I'm sold.

We order a liter or so of a grenache/syrah blend and we are off to the races.

The crusty slab o'infant cow comes bedded in a simple demi-glace-based sauce aflutter with mustard seeds, with a pillow of potato puree and a comfort of English green peas.

Hoo boy.

I'm nearly back.

And I am totally back, following a bit of dessert.

Bouchons. Wine corks.

Dense chocolate cake/brownie formed in the shape of large wine corks set in a deep slosh of dark chocolate sauce, right next to a scoop of vanilla ice cream, made on the premises. I'm so thrilled I eat the little mint leaf garnish.

I'm physically revitalized. I feel like a pre-haircut Samson - strong, confident, (I'd say "virile" but ... ).

We pay our tab and stroll leisurely down to the main building of The Venetian.

We wander through the casino, ostensibly looking for an exit to The Strip.

We pass the high-stakes slot parlor.

And I hear it.

It is so clear, so loud, rising distinctly above the binging, bonging din.

It can't be a coincidence.

"Wheel Š of Š fortune."

I may not feel quite so old, but I am still stupid.

Oh, and did I mention Š weak?

Extension Viewpoints

Basic GPS instruction offered

May 4 - 5 p.m., Fair Royalty, dance practice.

May 4 - 7 p.m., Shady Pine Club meeting.

May 5 - 1:30-3 p.m., Cloverbuds at community center.

May 5 - 1:45 p.m., 4-H Fridays, session 3.

May 5 - 2:15 p.m., Colorado Mountaineer Club meeting.

May 6-7 - Home and Garden Show.

May 8 - 4 p.m., Veteran Archery at Ski and Bow Rack.

May 8 - 4 p.m., Entomology Project meeting, Group 2.

May 8 - 4:30 p.m., Dog Obedience Project meeting.

May 8 - 6 p.m., Swine Project meeting.

May 8 - 6:30 p.m., Livestock Committee meeting.

May 9 - 6 p.m., Rocky Mountain Riders Club meeting.

May 9 - 6:30 p.m., Junior Stockman Club meeting.

May 10 - 4 p.m., Entomology Project meeting, Group 1.

May 10 - 4 p.m., Sportsfishing Project meeting.

May 10 - 6:30 p.m., Pagosa Peaks Club meeting.

Basic GPS

The Archuleta County Cooperative Extension Office will offer a basic GPS instruction class at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 16.

The GPS model of choice being reviewed will be the Garmin Etrex Legend. If you have any type of Etrex - the features are all quite similar. There will be units provided to learn on, but if you have your own GPS, bring it. If you have specific questions on how to do something, write it down and bring it with you.

We will cover topics such as installing the batteries, using button functions, start-up sequence, previewing main pages, setting the time zone, adjusting contrast, navigating, marking and entering waypoints, personal settings and more.

The class is free and will last approximately two hours. Handouts and easy-to-use instructions will be distributed.

This class is open to adults and will be limited to the first 16 persons who sign up (no exceptions). There will be other classes offered later this summer for those who can not make this date.

Call Kim today at 264-5931 to reserve your spot.



Madeline Finney

Madeline Clare Lassuy Finney was born January 28, 1914, and passed away April 22, 2006.

Madeline (Ms. Fin to her sons, Ray and Ed) truly was a friend to many people. As a Navy wife, Madeline had a global view and traveled extensively, following her husband Carleton's ship and later with him and on her own across the United States and to every continent, including Antarctica via Chile.

Madeline was a great friend to many and was truly supportive of her friends. Once, many years ago, when her sons were still home, there were so many neighborhood kids showing up that her sons dubbed the home, "Ma Finney's Settlement House."

Madeline was the only daughter in a family with three brothers. Luckily, according to her, she had two sons because she really felt more comfortable with men. One day, when her mom asked her to stay in and learn cooking and sewing, she said, "It's a lot more fun outside playing ball and hunting frogs with the boys." She eventually learned how to cook and sew also.

Madeline grew up during the depression in Moline, Illinois, in a family that was supportive but low income. Following her dream, she became a nurse, and in 1937, became a Navy nurse. In 1940, she left the Navy Nurse Corps to marry Edwin Carleton Finney, then a young lieutenant USN.

Madeline, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic parish, is survived by her husband, Carleton, two sons, Ray and Ed, their wives, Teddy and Daisy, many wonderful nieces, nephews, grandchildren and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at St. Ann's Catholic Church and interment at St. Mary's cemetery, East Moline, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Maryknoll Missions, El Porvenir (water and sanitation in Nicaragua), Habitat for Humanity, Scottsdale Public Library, or a charity of your choice.

Please send memorials care of Ray Finney, 1215 Cloud Cap Ave., Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Karl H. Jaeger

Karl H. Jaeger, 76, died Friday, April 28, 2006, at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango. Mr. Jaeger was born July 10, 1929, in Settin, Germany, the son of Otto and Herta Dietrich Jaeger. He married Elfreida Pasurka 52 years ago.

Karl and Elfreida's lives have seen many changes through their moves. They came to Canada from Germany in 1956, moved from Canada to Houston, Texas, in 1960, and then to Pagosa Springs in 1995.

Mr. Jaeger was preceded in death by his father, Otto Jaeger, and his mother, Herta Dietrich Jaeger.

He is survived by his wife Elfreida of Pagosa Springs; his two daughters, Connie B. (Darwin) Reingloss of California and Yvonne (Danny) Williams of Arizona; his grandson, Kevin Williams, and granddaughter, Heidi Monchamp, both of Arizona; and his two sisters, Brigette Arnohold and Barbel Rossel, both of Germany.

Memorial contributions may be made to American Heart Association, 123 N. 7th St., Suite 110, Grand Junction, CO 81501.

 Business News

Chamber News

Do your part to keep Pagosa Country beautiful

The Chamber has been receiving lots of calls the past couple of weeks inquiring about Clean-Up Week 2006.

Flyers have gone out from the town to businesses and residents, and announcements are in the paper, but I will recap the highlights of this annual project for you.

The purpose of this annual effort is to keep our community clean and as free from "junk" as possible. The town places Dumpsters around the community so residents and businesses can rid their places of unused or junk items.

Dumpsters will be placed at North 6th and Loma streets, North 2nd and Lewis streets, South 9th and Zuni streets, May 15-16; at the town shop at 703 S. 5th Street May 17-19; and at Hilltop Cemetery May 22-26.

Removal of junk vehicles can be coordinated by calling Druex Williams at Town Hall at 264-4151, Ext. 225. Proof of ownership is required.

If you are disposing of an appliance such as a refrigerator, freon must be removed.

Continuing with the beautification effort, the town will pay half the price of a tree to be planted between the front of your house and a town street. Call the parks and recreation office at 264-4151, Ext. 233, for more information. Drought conditions may restrict this program.

If you have "junk" still stored on your property out in the open after the end of Clean-Up Week, you may be eligible for a fine. So clean it up, spruce it up, and plant it up to keep Pagosa the beautiful community we know and love.

There will also be many organizations out doing their highway cleanup. Remember, The Welcome Service, owned by Lyn DeLange will provide free doughnuts to members of highway cleanup organizations who volunteer their time and efforts to keep Pagosa beautiful. Give her a few days notice by calling 731-2398 and she will have doughnuts for your crew. Also, the Chamber has orange bags available for trash pickup. Just stop by and we will give some to your organization.

May 6 weekend

I don't know how we're going to get to all the functions going on this weekend into this article!

Let's start with Friday, May 5 - Cinco de Mayo. In traditional style, Isabel Webster and The Flying Burrito will offer free tacos and salsa and chips from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. What a generous offering to our community. This year, she will also have entertainment as Jessica Espinosa sings from noon to 1 p.m. Start off the holiday with some tasty tacos and some musical heritage.

Throughout the day Friday, enjoy various musical programs put on by The Elation Center for the Arts with their "A World of Music" festival at the Vista Clubhouse. Each class or event has a small fee associated with it. You can attend a community drum jam, get vocal technique tips from Larry Elginer, or attend the Songwriter Showcase with John Graves, Larry Elginer, Jessica Espinosa and more. There will also be a dance jam starting at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $3.

Continue your Mexican food fantasy that evening at the Spanish Fiesta Club's Cinco de Mayo dinner and dance at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall ,starting at 6 p.m. Enjoy an enchilada dinner and dancing to Latin Express starting at 8 p.m. Dance only or dinner only tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door ,and the full dinner and dance ticket price is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. This is a no alcohol event. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber.

On Saturday, get your roller skates on because businesses all over town are celebrating and throwing the doors open, getting ready for the summer season. Of course the big event this weekend is the builder's association Home and Garden Show. The show will once again take place at the fairgrounds. Saturday, the show is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10-4. Admission is $2 and children under 12 are free. Now in its seventh year, this show just gets bigger and better. Talk to builders, see a huge array of home products, and don't forget the garden. Even the utility companies will be in attendance to offer new advances in water and energy savings. You'll also be able to get information on building permits, zoning, and other interesting topics.

At 2 p.m. Cinco de Mayo festivities continue with a pinata party at the Vista Clubhouse. The Elation Center for the Arts and The Spanish Fiesta Club will co-host this fun event. Admission is free and, having been the piñata meister at the Halloween festivities, I can tell you that you have to bring the children out for a swinging good time!

Throughout the day, visit the many stores hosting open houses. In the downtown area, stop by Happy Trails Ladies Boutique to help them open the season. Along with snacks and drinks, there's a free gift with every purchase. Right next door, Harry and Cathy Kropp of the Silver Mine Country Company will also be celebrating their anniversary with a beach party theme and you'll enjoy more snacks and beverages. Travel down the road to Bonnie Nyre's store, Slices of Nature. Continue your enjoyment of food and drink and see all of Bonnie's additions to the store.

One way to see the stores is to attend the Historic Walking Tour, sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board. A guided tour by Glenn Raby will take you through the newly-designated downtown historic district. Information will be presented dealing with the buildings and important local historic events. This tour is free to the public. Meet at Goodman's Department Store at 11 a.m. I encourage our Chamber volunteers to go on this tour and learn more about our interesting town.

The Elation Center for the Arts continues the A World of Music Festival Saturday. You can choose from a clogging workshop, a banjo demonstration, a Native American flute and Irish bodhram demonstration, and more. A concert at 7 p.m. with Paul and Carla Roberts, Larry Elginer, Joy Redmon and special guests will entertain you. For more information on the festival, and to see the full schedule of events, check out their Web site,, or call 731-3117.

Get ready for Sunday. If you were too busy shopping to fit in the Home and Garden Show, don't worry - the event continues 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can leave the show and head over to the community center where the Cinco de Mayo festivities wind down (not really). Actually, the place will be rockin' with the Mariachi Rio Grande group from Taos performing. These talented musicians will entertain us with their beautiful and traditional Mariachi music. There will also be sopapillas and chili available for a small charge. Tickets are $8 for adults and there is a family pack price of $25. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets for this event can be purchased at the Chamber and the community center.

Ten young ladies will be competing at the Archuleta County Fair Royalty Pageant Sunday evening, starting at 5 p.m. at the high school. Winners will represent our community during the next year at numerous community events aside from the county fair. Thanks to Aubrey Farnham, Keturah Class-Erickson and Brianna Voorhis for serving our county so well this past year. Admission is free, so please come out and cheer on the contestants.

There is something for everyone, so take advantage of all the festivities this weekend.


They're back! It's the beginning of May so we welcome back longtime Chamber members and restaurant owners, Troyena and Eddie Campbell, at the Branding Iron.

Here's another seasonal business that's back: Pagosa Outside/BackCountry Angler. Welcome back to Jennifer and John Dean and their new addition: mountain bike rentals.

Anything you need to know about a cruise, our next renewal has the answers: Sally Bish, with Cruise Planners.

Keeping themselves very busy these days with all the growth is our next renewal, Davis Engineering.

As they celebrate their second year as a Chamber member, we welcome back Ears 2U Hearing Aid Center.

Moving over to the realty world now, we welcome back Pamela Novak and Equus Realty Colorado.

We also welcome back Jerry Driesens and Associated Brokers/Jerry Driesens Real Estate. Still located at 140 Solomon Dr. No. A, by the Super 8 Motel.

Fun, funky, sparkling, tasteful, beautiful - these are just some of the words used to describe the items in Daisy Valentine's, our next renewal.

Next, we welcome back Mike and Martha McMullin and Monograms Plus.

Let's move out of town a little to the Arboles area and welcome back Navajo Lake Alpacas and Jim and Lois Burbach.

By the time you read this article, voters will have determined if we will build a Critical Access Hospital. Welcome back Chamber member, Upper San Juan Health Service District.

Welcome back, also, to the Archuleta County Democratic Party.

And just in time for their big festival over the Memorial Day weekend, we welcome back the Pagosa Fiber Festival.

We have a few associate members to welcome back this week: Philipp Merillat, Kennith Ceradsky, and the fun, funny and generous Jack and Katy Threet.

Businesses: Make sure we get current business flyers, cards, and takeout menus to help us help you. The more you let us know, the more we let the community know.

I could also use a few more adoption families for Ride the Rockies cyclists. We could use two-night stays, June 19-20. If you are interested in housing a cyclist, call the Chamber at 264-2360 for details.

One more reminder: Sign up your employees for the customer service training May 9-10 and May 16-17. There will be four classes offered each week. Cost for both classes is $20 for Chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. This is a great time to get you and your staff pumped up for the summer season and to acquire some long-term training tools. Give us a call at the Chamber at 264-2360 to reserve your space.


Cards of Thanks


We would like to thank Pastor Aaron Hatfield, Pam Brown and the congregation of the Seventh Day Adventist Church for their help with the funeral services for Virginia Bramwell and the wonderful meal prior to the services.

We also thank Pam Brown, Karla Mundall and pianist Kathy Goley for the spiritual songs and Phil Janowsky for the old cowboy songs.

We appreciate all the friends and family who have expressed their sympathies through their presence, cards, flowers, food, etc. Thank you to the active bearers: Dustin Bramwell, Forest Bramwell, Dayton Kirkham, Kacey Rhodes, Gary Brown and Charles Davis.

We also would like to thank the staff at Pine Ridge for their care of Virginia the six years she resided there.

We have established a memorial for Virginia at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, 40 Orem, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


Doug and Kathie Lattin of Pagosa Springs are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter, Traci, to Michael Bishop, son of Stuart and Kim Bishop, also of Pagosa Springs.

Traci and Michael will be married in July 2006 in Pagosa Springs.

Sports Page

Terry Alley Invitational gets off to snowy start

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Last Friday night's heavy spring snow was a welcome sight to many residents of Pagosa Country.

Unless they were members of the Pirate track team, or the team's coaching staff.

The annual Terry Alley Invitational track meet was set for Saturday at Golden Peaks Stadium and those who arrived to prepare for the meet were greeted with a wintry scene.

But, the show must go on ... and it did. After some shoveling and after staff and volunteers chipped ice from the stadium bleachers.

By the scheduled morning start time, the snow had melted from the track surfaces and enough indoor-outdoor carpet had been rolled out in the mud bogs next to the shot put and discus venues to permit the competition to begin.

Ten teams showed up for the meet and, by day's end, the Pirate girls had placed second and the boys had placed third in the team standings.

"It looked like a winter wonderland," said Pirate Coach Connie O'Donnell. "When we got to the field, we were scraping ice off the bleachers, but it turned out to be a beautiful day."

The Pirate girls had a number of placers contribute to the team point total, including four first-place finishers.

Kim Fulmer continued with her series of strong performances, taking first in the 400-meter dash. The junior won the race with a time of 62.18 seconds.

Veteran distance runner Emilie Schur won the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:29.44 and in doing so, posted a state meet qualifying time.

The girls' 4x200 relay team of Mia Caprioli, Nikki Kinkead, Jessica Lynch and Jessica Low took first place in the race. The foursome posted a time of 1:51.24.

The 800 sprint relay team also topped all opponents. Caprioli, Lyndsey Mackey, Fulmer and Elise McDonald won with a time of 2:00.21.

Other placers earned key points for the girls' team.

Kinkead took third in the 100, with a time of 13.29. Caprioli finished fourth, in 13.80.

Low improved on a sixth-place finish in the prelims for the 200 and boosted herself to fourth in the finals with a time of 27.97.

Lynch was second in the 400. Her time was 63.05.

In the 800, Jenni Webb-Shearston was fifth, at 2:38.84.

Jaclyn Harms took fourth in the 1,600 with a time of 5:55.14. She was also second in the 3,200, at 12:45.98. Jamilyn Harms was fifth, at 14:02.19 and Rachel Jensen sixth, with a time of 14:25.06.

Chelsea Cooper took sixth in the 100 hurdles with a time of 19.51. Cooper was fifth in the 300 hurdles, at 51.92.

The girls' 4x100 relay was third, at 54.20. The team consisted of Caprioli, Kinkead, Mackey and Low.

The 4x400 team of Schur, Webb-shearston, McDonald and Rosie Lee was fifth, at 4:36.90.

The 4x800 relay team of Schur, Webb-Shearston, Fulmer and Low took third, at 10:40.19.

Low was third in high jump, setting a new school record and qualifying for state with a jump of 5 feet, 1 inch. Samantha Harris jumped 4-4 for fifth place.

Mackey was second in long jump at 14-11.5. Lacy Hart took fifth at 12-9.5 and Kylie Corcoran was sixth, 12-9.25.

Corcoran finished second in the triple jump with an effort of 29-5.75.

Harris took third in shot put, with a throw of 29-5.5. Kristen DuCharme was fifth (28-3.25) and Alaina Garman sixth (28-1).

DuCharme took third in discus with a throw of 87-11.

On the boys' side, three first-place finishes led the way.

Caleb Ormonde won the high jump and qualified for state with a personal best of 6-2.

Brian Patane won the long jump, leaping 19 feet.

Craig Schutz was first in discus. Schutz had a throw of 135-4.

Other Pirate placers among the boys included Corbin Mellette, sixth in the 100 at 12.24.

Gunnar Gill ran 55.07 to take fifth in the 400.

Travis Furman posted a 2:08. 91 to finish sixth in the 800.

Jackson Walsh was fifth in the 3,200, at 11:05.45.

Patane ran 17.38 for fifth in the 110 hurdles.

The 4x100 relay team of Patane, Mellette, Ormonde and Gill was third, finishing at 47.03.

Furman, Chase Moore, A.J. Abeyta and Orion Sandoval took fifth in the 4x400 at 3:51.88. The same team was second in the 4x800, at 8:37.57.

Casey Schutz was third in long jump, at 18-6.5 and Ormonde took fourth at 18-5.5.

Ormonde's 39-3 was good for third in triple jump. Casey Schutz was fourth at 39.2.

David Dunmyre finished fifth in shot put, with a throw of 40-10.25.

Despite the pressures of running the home meet, O'Donnell had plenty of time to observe her athletes as they performed throughout a long day. And she was pleased with what she saw.

"The kids performed well," she said, "even with prom (held that night at the school) on their minds. We had to adjust some races for hair appointments, but when the day was over, they had done well."

The coach singled out Schur for her state-qualifying performance in the 1,600. "And she and the others on the four-by-four hundred team stayed at the track all day long. They put in a very long day, and had good attitudes about it. Those kinds of attitudes will take them far."

O'Donnell also took note of Low's qualifying leap in high jump. "She did that," said the coach, "and she was in two relays. She is coming on strong, seeing some success and enjoying it."

Among the boys, the coach was impressed by Patane's performances during the day. "He won the long jump, placed in hurdles and was on our four-by-one hundred relay team. He's stepping it up every week, improving every week."

Ormonde also stood out, in the coach's opinion. "Caleb does a lot of jumping and he ran a relay leg. He and the others on that four-by-one hundred relay will get the handoffs down by next week."

The Pirates head for Bayfield Saturday for the Intermountain League championships.

Though there will be a number of teams at the meet, the Pirates, noted O'Donnell, "will compete against just four other teams. We have seen Ignacio, Monte Vista and Bayfield. We haven't seen Centauri yet, but we know their girls are tough. I think we'll do well, and I'm excited. We have a lot to prove, especially on the girls' side. We need to step it up. And if our boys get out and compete, especially on relays, they're going to do well."

The meet is expected to begin at 10 a.m.

Pirates win league title, wait for soccer playoff info

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirate soccer team had a lot riding on the final two games of the regular season - Thursday at Bayfield and Saturday at Telluride.

Namely, the top spot in the Southwestern League standings and a possible home-field opener in the state playoffs.

By the time the players returned to town Saturday, two wins, the league title and more than a week's rest were secure.

The drive to the league championship began on a high note at Bayfield as the Pirates dominated the Wolverines on their home pitch, taking the match 5-0.

It was not much of a contest, as the Pirates dominated play, firing 11 shots on the Wolverine net and scoring on five of them.

By contrast, Pirate keeper Erin Gable was called on to make only four saves.

The Pirates' first score came in the 22nd minute off the foot of Laurel Reinhardt, who took the ball at the defense and went the length of the field up the middle to score.

The second Pagosa goal came from Iris Frye, who took a lead pass in the 23rd minute from Stephanie Erickson and, like Reinhardt, also went up the middle.

Jennifer Hilsabeck got the third goal, off a feed from Frye, in the 35th minute of the match.

Three minutes later, striker Mariah Howell took the ball into the box in front of the Bayfield goal, then dished the ball back to Reinhardt who one-touched the ball and put it into the right corner of the net.

Reinhardt finished the Pirate scoring in the 79th minute, off a feed from Frye.

"We were finishing well," said Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason, "just like we did in the previous game against Ridgway. We're following our shots, making sure they go in."

Kurt-Mason applauded the intensity shown by the Pirates. "Our kids got ahead," he said, "but they didn't relax; they kept it in Bayfield's end of the field. We're usually going up against a flat-four defensive system, which means we have to look for a seam. Now, we're finding it and exploiting it, and our defense is moving up to keep it in. We're becoming a good finishing team."

And the team finished just enough at Telluride Saturday - one time - to nail the 1-0 win and the top spot in the standings.

Reinhardt had the game's only goal. As is her custom, she took the ball up the middle. With two defenders on her, she put her back to them, spun and put a low shot past the keeper from just inside the box.

Despite the 1-0 score, it would be a mistake to assume the game was close.

Pagosa owned the Miners, and a lot of the credit goes to Gabel.

"Erin owned the entire box," said Kurt-Mason. She made four saves, but consistently robbed Telluride of chances by leaving the box and aggressively playing the ball.

And the defense in front of Gabel performed as required.

"Our defense played with great confidence," said the coach. "They started our attacks, moved the ball, cleared it, made short passes to the midfielders. And our midfielders were looking for our forwards as they made runs behind Telluride's defense. The forwards never went offside and the girls kept moving. It was a beautiful game."

Beautiful due, in part, to the fact that depth on the Pirate bench gave Kurt-Mason the luxury of generous substitutions. A luxury the Miners' coach did not have. As a result, fatigue on the Miners' part became a big factor in the contest.

"Toward the end of the game," said Kurt-Mason, "I was subbing every four minutes. The Telluride girls had no legs left; they were falling down. After Laurel scored, we kept control, maintained possession pretty much the entire game. We had seventeen good shots on goal, and their goalie had a standout game. We took quality shots. This was pretty much a one-sided game.

"And," said the coach, "we made it back in time for prom."

Back with the league win, and a first-round playoff bye, the Pirates must now wait to see who they will play, when and where. The playoff game will likely be set for May 12 or 13.

Pirates squeak by Demons in eight innings

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The two remaining seniors for the Pagosa Springs baseball Pirates weren't going to let their last home game in the black and gold get away from them.

Playing a good Durango Demon team last Thursday, which consisted of both varsity and junior varsity players, wouldn't make it easy. The two teams met in the second week of the season in a tournament in Alamosa in another exciting game that went the Pirates' way by one run.

This one wouldn't be any different.

Josh Hoffman and Jim Guyton were playing on the local diamond for the last time and both wanted to make sure they would go out in a winning way. It took an extra inning to decide, but the Pirates (10-7, 3-3 in IML) squeaked by again, with a 13-12 win.

Hoffman, starting on the mound, pitched six and a half innings to give the Pirates a 12-9 cushion, and also scored on an inside-the-park homer in his first at-bat. Guyton went three for four at the plate and made some big outs at his first base position.

But they weren't in it alone. After all, it is a team sport.

In what appeared to be one of the best team efforts so far this season for Pagosa, the two seniors got some great help from their teammates.

With one out in the bottom of the first extra inning, Casey Hart, playing at second base, hit a single through the hole in center to get on base. Karl Hujus followed with the run-scoring double to deep right center that ended the game.

Cody Bahn, just a sophomore and playing at short and third, hit a bases-clearing single in the bottom of the first inning to help give the Pirates an early 6-0 lead. Adam Trujillo, playing in left field, had two RBIs. Right fielder Matt Gallegos had two doubles, a single and another RBI. John Hoffman, in at catcher, also singled in a run. Wes Walters beat out an infield hit and scored. Travis Richey and Hujus pitched well in relief. And the list goes on.

"This was a big game for us today," said Coach Charlie Gallegos after the game. "I was glad to see (Josh Hoffman and Guyton) get a win in their last home game." The coach presented both with a token of appreciation after the game, then they ran the bases one last time.

The coach added, "This was one of our best team efforts. We had to fight back more than once after the lead went back and forth and then (Durango) tied it in the top of the seventh. We didn't give up and that showed lot of character from our kids." The lead changed hands three times before Hujus' hit.

Josh Hoffman walked the first Demon, then sent the next three down in order to open the first inning.

Hoffman, hitting in the leadoff spot, put the first run on the scoreboard with his inside the park homer. Three more Pirates reached base and Bahn cleared them with his single to center. Guyton singled and Trujillo drove him in for a Pirates' 6-0 lead after one.

The Demons would add three in the top of the second on singles by Christian Silva, Collyn O'Brian and a double by right fielder Clayton Parks.

The Pirates went down in order in their half of the second on good pitching by Durango's Matt Dufra. Dufra had pitched for the Demons in their first meeting back in March.

The Demons added another run in the third and it appeared the momentum had swung Durango's way. Colton Bourne and catcher Chas Tabone both reached base on a fielder's choice. Silva singled again for an RBI, but the score was still 6-4 for the home team.

Pagosa came back in the bottom half. Matt Gallegos singled to center. Bahn reached first on an error and Gallegos scored. Guyton singled again and Trujillo sacrificed him in to put the Pirates up 8-4.

The Demons would not be outdone: Parks and Cory Finney both singled, putting one more on the board. Alex Fryback, playing in center field, doubled to score another. With runners on, Tabone doubled and Silva singled in a big five run inning that put Durango in front for the first time at 9-8.

Hart opened the Pirates' fourth with a double to deep right center in a hit the wind held from going over the fence. Hujus reached base on an error. Gallegos blasted his second double down the first base line that scored Hart. Richey sacrificed Hujus in and Bahn out ran the throw to first for another RBI. Guyton singled again and Pagosa was back on top 11-9.

Josh Hoffman settled down on the mound and allowed only one hit and no runs in the top half of the fifth inning.

Walters, in for Trujillo in left field, outran the throw to first for an infield hit to open the Pirates' fifth. Josh Hoffman, helping himself in the win, singled to left center and Walters scored on a passed ball throw for a 12-9 lead.

Three Demons would reach base in the top of the sixth inning to load them up. Richey came in to relieve Josh Hoffman and struck out Parks to end the inning with three left on a big defensive stand and good pitching by the Pirates.

Larry Romero replaced Dufra on the mound for Durango in the bottom of the sixth. He walked the first two Pirates. but the inning ended on a double play and strike-out with Pagosa hanging on to the three-run lead.

Durango would not go away. Eight batters came to the plate in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 12. Two pinch hitters, Graham Brook and Colton Cherry, reached base on a walk and a single. Fryback singled and the bases were full of Demons. A walk scored one. Tabone was hit by pitch, another went home, and the bases were loaded again. Finney reached first on an infield hit for another RBI and the score was tied.

Hujus, pitching in relief of Richey, made two big defensive plays. The first was a throw to John Hoffman at home plate, to keep a run from scoring. The second was a good pick-off throw to first that caught the Demon's O'Brian off guard to end the inning.

The Pirates went three and out in the bottom half.

The Demons were held scoreless in the top of the eighth inning on a good defensive stop by shortstop Josh Hoffman and a Hujus throw to Guyton for the third out.

And then the Pirates went to bat.

Monte Vista sweeps Buccaneers, wins district title

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Monte Vista Pirates were on a mission last Monday in a home series against the Pirates from Pagosa Springs.

If Monte wins both games they win the regular season Intermountain League title outright. If they split the series with Pagosa they end up in a tie with the Bayfield Wolverines.

No problem.

The doubleheader was rescheduled from Saturday to Monday after several inches of snow blanketed the San Luis Valley. Pagosa probably wished the series was cancelled.

Monte (13-6, 7-1 in IML) swept the Buccaneers (10-9, 3-5 in IML) in the two-game series to win the IML regular season title and the top seed in the IML district tournament.

The two losses put the black and gold in fourth place going into the district tournament next Saturday in Monte Vista. They will face the top-seeded Pirates again in the first round.

Adam Trujillo started on the mound for Pagosa in the first game and pitched well enough to win it. The junior gave up only four hits and four earned runs in a complete game but Monte took advantage of three errors in the bottom of the fourth inning to score three unearned runs and go up 4-1.

The Buccaneers had been leading up to that point.

Monte kept the momentum going and went on to score three more on a home run by pitcher Sigi Rodriquez in the fifth and a two run double by center fielder Kyler Cooper in the sixth inning. Pagosa outhit Monte 5-4, but could manage only three runs in the 7-3 loss.

The second game started the same way. A Pagosa error in the bottom of the first inning put a runner in scoring position again. A sacrifice fly by Jacob Jaron, playing at third base, started the scoring for the green and yellow. They went on to record three runs in the third inning, one in the fifth and three more in the bottom of the sixth to win going away, 8-1. The Buccaneers could manage only four hits and one RBI in the loss.

"Adam (Trujillo) pitched very well for us in the first game that we could have won," commented Coach Charlie Gallegos afterwards. "The errors just killed us. We outhit them (Monte) and we hit their best pitcher."

He added, "We will have to work on the fielding problems in practice this week. I'm sure we'll face (Rodriquez) again in the first round and I know we have a good chance to win if we play error-free baseball."

Monte Vista 7, Pagosa 3

The Buccaneers went three and out to open the first on good pitching by Monte's Rodriquez.

Monte Vista went down in order in the bottom half. Cooper reached base on an error but Trujillo picked him off at first on a good throw to Jim Guyton.

Both teams went down in order in the second inning and there were still no hits. Trujillo and Rodriquez were matching each other on the mound.

In the top of the third, Pagosa got the first hit on a Trujillo single to center but he was left stranded and the score was still 0-0. Trujillo walked one in the Pirates' half but was left on base and Monte still had no hits.

The Buccaneers scored first in the fourth. Lead-off hitter John Hoffman, playing at catcher, singled to left. Second baseman Casey Hart reached base on an error that sent Hoffman to third. Karl Hujus, being used as a designated hitter due to injury, sacrificed a run in and Pagosa was starting to hit Rodriquez.

Then the scoreboard indicated the bottom of the fourth.

Monte's Cooper reached base on an error then Rodriquez singled him in for their first run. A walk and another Buccaneers' error loaded the bases with one out. The second out came on a force out from Guyton to Hoffman that kept one run from scoring. Trujillo looked frustrated and walked one in. The third Pagosa error of the inning scored another and Monte was up 4-1 with just one hit and one RBI.

Guyton singled to deep shortstop in the top of the fifth for the second Pagosa hit. He was left on base to end the inning.

Rodriquez helped himself in the win with the home run to left field in Monte's half of the fifth and the score went to 5-1.

Hart doubled down the third base line to open the sixth. Hujus walked. Right fielder Matt Gallegos reached first on a fielder's choice to put runners on first and third. Travis Richey, playing in center field, doubled again for the Buccaneers fifth hit and two RBIs that put the score at 5-3. Richey was called for the third out when he tried to stretch the double into a triple.

Robert Montoya, playing at shortstop, singled in the bottom half of the sixth for the third Monte hit. Cooper doubled again and the Pirates went up by four.

Pagosa went out in order to end the first game.

Monte Vista 8, Pagosa 1

The opening of the second game appeared to be a carbon copy of the first. Cooper reached base in the bottom of the first inning on another Pagosa error. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jaron and Monte was up 1-0 with no hits.

Gallegos singled to lead off the second inning. Cody Bahn, playing at third, reached on an error and there were two Buccaneers on base. The next three went down in order and Pagosa had recorded two hits and no runs and two left.

Sophomore Jaylon Mendoza, on the mound for Pagosa, put Monte down in the bottom half and they still had no hits.

Josh Hoffman was hit by a pitch in the third inning. Hart walked but both were left on base and the score was still 1-0.

Monte would score three in their half of the third. Cooper, playing well at the plate, singled and Rodriquez was hit by a pitch. Jaron singled in two runs. Catcher Matt Gonzales singled to left that put runners on first and third. David Salazar, playing second base, sacrificed a run in and a Buccaneers' error put the Pirates up 4-0.

Bahn walked to open the fourth but Seyler Bradshaw, pitching for Monte, sent the next three down in order and Pagosa still had not recorded a run.

One Pirate reached base in the bottom of the fourth on another Buccaneers' error but was left on base to end the inning.

Pagosa tried to rally in the fifth. Josh Hoffman opened with a walk. Brother John singled to left. Gallegos was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded. Hart hit into a fielder's choice that forced the runner at home. Richey hit another fielder's choice for an RBI. Bahn walked to load the bases again. The Buccaneers went out with just one run scored and three left on base.

Jaron and Gonzales opened the bottom of the fifth for Monte with a single and a double to left field. David Salazar hit into a fielder's choice to Josh Hoffman who threw Jaron out at home. Bradshaw singled in a run but the Buccaneers got out of the inning with only one run scored on a good 5-4-3 double play.

Pagosa went down in order again in the sixth with the score 5-1.

Michal Salazar led off with a single to center in the bottom of the sixth. Coach Gallegos changed pitchers and went with sophomore Steve Schofield. Robert Montoya reached base on an error that put runners at first and third. Another Buccaneer error put Cooper on and scored two. Jaron singled to score the third run of the inning and put Monte up 8-1. Gonzales recorded the ninth Monte hit, but his courtesy runner was thrown out stealing second on a great throw from John Hoffman to Hart.

It appeared Pagosa might rally in the top of the seventh; Josh Hoffman singled and Matt Gallegos reached on an error. Hart hit into a fielder's choice then Monte ended it with a 6-4-3 double play.

IML district tournament

The IML district tournament will be held Saturday in Monte Vista. This will be a four-team, single-elimination tourney with the last-place team in regular season play, the Centauri Falcons, failing to qualify.

The fourth-place Buccaneers will open with the top-seeded Monte Vista Pirates. The first pitch is set for 10 a.m. The second-place Bayfield Wolverines will face the third-seeded Ignacio Bobcats immediately following. The winners will face off at 3 p.m. in the championship game, with both qualifying for the state tournament that begins next Friday. The two first-round losers will end their seasons and go home.

Check next week's edition of The SUN for the state tournament brackets and schedule.

Pagosa gymnasts win another meet title

By Jennifer Martin

Special to The SUN

Competing in their second meet of the season, this one in Montrose, Pagosa gymnasts brought home another first-place team trophy.

The Optional A girls made a clean sweep, winning both age divisions.

Re'ahna Ray won the all-around in the senior division with a 36.95. She placed second on beam and floor and was the uneven bar champ with a 9.20. She bettered her last meet by more than a point.

Danielle Pajak placed fifth in the all-around, second on bars, fourth on floor and was the vault champ with a score of 9.60.

There were 16 girls in the senior division.

Toni Stoll was the junior division winner with a 36.00 in the all-around. She was first on vault and floor, and third on bars and beam.

Carrie Patterson had a great meet, bettering her all-around score by more than two points. She placed fourth in the all-around, third on floor, fourth on beam and vault and was the bar champion with a 9.10.

The Optional A girls beat six other teams to win the first-place trophy.

Pagosa's Level 4 team placed third in the competition.

Jaqueline Herring placed fourth in the all-around in the senior age division Level 4 group with a score of 35.65. She also was the vault champion, receiving the highest score of the meet with a 9.60.

Zoe Rohrich placed ninth in the all-around with a 34.70 and placed third on the balance beam.

There were 15 girls in the senior division.

In the junior division Marley Gabel placed fourth in the all-around, fourth on beam, and fifth on vault and bars.

Madelyn Davey was seventh in the all-around with a score of 34.50. She also placed third on bars and sixth on vault.

Hannah Rohrich placed eighth in the all-around with a 34.30, bettering her last score by almost two points. She was also the beam champion with an 8.90.

Sierra Trout competed in her first meet and placed twelfth in the all -around, seventh on bars and beam and also qualified for the state meet.

Next week the Pagosa gymnasts travel to the Front Range to compete against larger, Denver teams.

Sign up now for junior golf program

The Rising Stars Junior Golf Program has announced the addition of Daniel Jarvie to the staff of instructors and volunteers. Jarvie is a "master" level instructor with the United States Golf Teachers Association. He will join Jim Amato to direct program activities.

The junior golf program is for youngsters ages 5 to 12, and runs May 30-July 17, with a championship tournament July 18. The program will consist of 10, 90-minute sessions from which to choose - up from six, hour-long sessions last season.

Cost for the year is $75 and $140 buys the program and an annual pass at the golf course for the participant.

Scholarships will be available, with decisions made on a case-by-case basis.

Youngsters can be enrolled in the program at the Pagosa springs Golf Course.

Volunteers are needed for this year's program.

For more information, call Amato at 903-8814.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

A new park for Pagosa Springs

By Jim Miller

SUN Columnist

An ex-resident, returning to Pagosa after an absence of a few years, caught my eye in Town Park Monday.

In response to my "welcome back," she replied, "It seems like we never left; everything looks the same."

That is a sentiment I rarely hear these days. The trauma du jour of rapid upheaval and unstoppable change informs most of my downtown conversations. Yesterday's eyesore becomes today's shiny new development with a rapidity that leaves heads spinning and tongues wagging.

Maybe that growth is mostly in the eye of this beholder, who spends a sizable portion of his waking hours scrutinizing the town for signs of change, unwelcome or otherwise. The perspective from the eyes of someone who takes for granted a certain amount of progress lends proportion to the daily uncertainty.

But there is a transformation taking place that is obvious, remarkable and great for the town; a park is being created. From an open lot off South 5th Street the town's newest public space is becoming noticeably improved. Drainage is being installed and grading work begins to reveal the finished topography. A group of trees ordered to take advantage of seasonal availability, healed into moist mulch, awaits planting around a picnic area and shade structure that has its completion scheduled for the end of this month.

Look closely, and you can almost see how this large space will accommodate a population that is growing at a pace that our dear Town Park will not much longer be able to comfortably serve.

This new park will be the culmination of many years of dedicated effort by a number of individuals. It will benefit Pagosa's residents in obvious and unforeseen ways for the conceivable future. It's a great idea whose time has nearly come.

Youth baseball

Registration for youth baseball has closed, and rosters in Pinto division (ages 6-8) are being finalized. Coaches and parents will be contacted with roster information by early next week. Practice times and fields for Pinto division will be available beginning Monday, May 15, and games are tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, May 22.

Skills-assessment day for Mustang division (9-10) is Saturday, May 13, from 1-3 p.m. at the high school baseball complex. All head coaches and players who registered in this division should attend. Draft night for Mustang division is Monday, May 15, at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. All head coaches should attend.

The number of registrations turned in for Pony (13-14) and Bronco (11-12) divisions is sufficient to support one team in each of these age brackets. Parents and coaches will be contacted to see if there is interest in the possibility of working out a traveling schedule with teams in Bayfield. If not, the leagues will be canceled and all registration fees for these divisions will be refunded.

We are still in need of team sponsors. 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:

- May 6 at the community center - Royals vs. Angels at 9 a.m. and Rockies vs. Orioles at 10 a.m.

- May 8 at the community center - A's vs. Orioles at 5:30 p.m. and White Sox vs. Royals at 6:30 p.m.

- May 10 at the community center - Angels vs. Rockies at 5:30 p.m. and Royals vs. A's at 6:30 p.m.

Parents and coaches should be aware that all games scheduled to be played in the community center will 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

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

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

The single-elimination tournament for competitive league will begin Tuesday, May 9. Playoff schedules and pairings will be provided Monday, May 8. The championship game will be played Thursday, May 11.

The single-elimination tournament for recreation league begins tonight; all games will be played at the junior high school. Call 264-4151, Ext. 232, or 264-6658 for game times, pairings and tournament updates.

Horseshoe pitching

Horseshoe pitching commenced Tuesday at the South Pagosa Park horseshoe courts and will continue each Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. through September.

From beginners to experts, everyone is welcome to play and improve. Now is a good time to come out and sharpen your eye for this year's county fair tournament. If there's enough interest, we'll hold a town tournament in October.

So remember to attend Tuesday evening practice and pick-up games at South Pagosa Park's horseshoe courts, just north of the basketball courts. Come when you can.

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 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.



Political season

The days are longer; we're on Daylight Savings Time. The tempera-tures are warmer, night and day, the snow at the lower eleva-tions is almost gone and it is melting at a good clip in the high country. The creeks are rising, the birds are tweeting.

It can mean only one thing: We're heading into political season in Pagosa Country.

There is an important election set for Tuesday, as the Upper San Juan Health Services District asks the voters to approve an issue that, if successful, will lead to construction of a Critical Access Hospital for Pagosa Country.

Party caucuses are over; delegates and alternates were selected and made their way last weekend to their respective party assemblies. We have a number of candidates emerging from the Republican Party who, at this point, are unchallenged and should, barring a petition or two, pass unscathed to county government positions. Most notably, Bob Moomaw sailed through the Republican assembly as the clear choice as the party's candidate for commissioner in District 3. Incumbent clerk June Madrid is a unanimous choice of her party, as are incumbent assessor Keren Prior, coroner Karl Macht and surveyor Dave Maley. Lois Baker, a longtime fixture in the treasurer's office was also selected unanimously by Republican delegates as their candidate in what is, to this point, an uncontested November general election.

We will have a primary election as two Republican candidates for sheriff - Pete Gonzalez and Steve Wadley - take it to a vote in August.

The Democrats did their business Saturday, but produced no local candidates Š to this point.

We say this because the political season brought some surprising, but understandable news to our desk Tuesday. A call from Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch revealed she intended to tell the local Democratic Party leadership that night she will resign her position on the commission, effective May 31.

Asked why the decision, her response was typically forthright. As she rested from a recent knee replacement, she realized her second tenure on the commission had been difficult, with the last year and half abysmally difficult, given the contentious atmosphere on the board. She was tired of the constant turmoil, tired of the unending upset. A little bit of rest gave this veteran public servant the time to reflect, and the will to change course.

Like so many county employees of late, Mamie is giving up the ghost. And, as she leaves, we lose years of experience, years of history, years of connections with the Pagosa of old. We lose meaningful input into the Pagosa that will be. Mamie has been here a long time and served a long time. It is difficult to replace that.

Mamie leaves confident the county now has a competent administrator Bob Campbell. She also has faith the public works department can handle the enormous problems it faces.

But, enough is enough.

Mamie's departure saddens us in one respect. We admire her devotion to service. Agree with her decisions or not, an honest observer of her conduct - first as financial manager for the school district, then twice as a county commissioner - must respect her integrity and her sincerity, must note that, invariably, she has done what she believed best for all of us. But, she is our friend, and we love and respect her as a person and we recognize the move is in her best interest.

The All-American Redhead is leaving the game before the final whistle. It's a shame.

But, it's political season in Pagosa Country. The polls are open Tuesday. There will be primary elections in August. The general election is set for the first week of November.

Life goes on. Unfortunately, it goes on without Mamie in office. She'll be happily tending her own garden.

Karl Isberg


Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 5, 1916

The legal technicalities necessary to the increasing of the capital stock of the Citizens Bank to $50,000 has been completed and now ranks along with our other big southwestern financial institutions.

Jersey Todd had the misfortune to lose 25 head of fine lambs last Sunday by poison from some unknown source.

The highway from Pagosa to the La Plata County line is a boulevard speedway; from there on to Durango a slough of despond in mud and bumps, so say those who travel it. If La Plata County would have drag busy on every seven mile section as Archuleta County does during the season, its road troubles would end.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 8, 1931

Charles Murray, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.G. Murray of Pagosa Springs, who has been attending the Curtis aviation school at Denver for several months, and a companion are expected to land at Pagosa by plane tomorrow morning for a visit at the Murray home in this city. They will arrive from Denver and the landing will probably be made in the Decker field east of town.

Field Day was a big success; all the school took part. This was classed by grades, weight and height. In the High School Charles Cotton, Senior, was high point man with 23 points out of a possible 25; Irving Martinez, Senior, was a close second with 20 out of a possible 25; and Dixie Nossaman, Junior, was third.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 2, 1956

The Mayor and Town Board have designated May 5 and 6 as the official clean-up days at the local cemetery and the week of May 6-12 as clean-up, paint-up and fix-up week for the town.

The park is starting to green up very nicely and will certainly be a pleasant place for travelers this summer. The school portion of the town park is also starting to look better. The Town Park always makes a big impression on visitors and it will soon be a place to be proud of.

Some of the snows last weekend made night and early morning travel on the Pass a slow business with the road being very slick until the sun came out and thawed the road a little.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 7, 1981

Much was discussed but very little resolved at Tuesday's four-and-one-half hour meeting of Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees. The board discussed vacation of an alley for school construction, the Trujillo Road landfill, goethermal well land exchange with the Lynn family, and a cable franchise ordinance.

High school principal Ron Shaw clarified some of the confusion surrounding tickets for the May 17 graduation. "If we are able to have the ceremony outside, there will be no limit on the number of people who can attend," Shaw explained, "but I've talked with several engineers and they advised against having any more than 700 people on the gym floor." Shaw said the floor would probably be unable to support more weight than that.


Duty, honor, country:

Larry Bartlett, Korean War veteran

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"I guess you could say that the average day was hours of sheer boredom, punctuated by moments of stark terror," remarked Larry Bartlett, 78, of his 13-month tour in Korea.

"I was drafted in the summer of 1945 right out of high school Š at age 18. World War II was just coming to a close," said Bartlett, who was in the Army for a total of 23 years - 20 years active duty - and achieved the rank of major.

"I was shipped to the Far East and served in the army of occupation in Korea through most of 1946 and the first half of 1947. Returning to the states in 1947 as a 19-year-old staff sergeant, I was discharged at Fort Lawton, Washington. In February of 1951, I was recalled into the service to serve in the Korean War. After going to officer training (school) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I graduated in December 1951 as a second lieutenant of artillery.

"Ginnie and I had been married since June of 1948 and had two children, and she was pregnant with our third in October 1952, when I was sent to Korea and assigned to the seventh infantry division as an artillery forward observer (FOs). FOs served with the infantry and were responsible for directing artillery fire in support of the infantry. An FO's life expectancy was about the same as infantry platoon leaders: not much. At that time, there were twelve FOs assigned to each infantry regiment. While I was there, in one particularly grueling night, we lost nine out of the twelve.

"During my tour in Korea, a stalemate had developed and the trench and bunker system resembled that of World War 1. Typically, most combat took place at night as patrols clashed in no-man's land. Days were spent coping with artillery and mortar attacks. Periodically, actions occurred which involved major combat for several days - Triangle Hill, Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill to name a few during my tour," said Bartlett.

After the armistice in July 1953, Bartlett was assigned to work with the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion in completing "Operation Big Switch," the prisoner of war exchange at Panmunjom.

"Our job was to accompany returning American prisoners on the boat home and debrief them about their experiences - how they were captured, treated and so on. I came home on a boat with 800 returned POWs and spent 15 days debriefing them," explained Bartlett. "Arriving in San Francisco in September 1953, I finally got to go home to Ginnie and our three young children. The youngest was seven months old, and I was seeing her for the first time. My two-and-a-half-year-old son and my five-year-old daughter didn't remember me."

Ginnie, Bartlett's high school sweetheart and wife of 58 years, recalls the tension she felt while trying to manage a home while her husband lived in a war zone: "I didn't know what he was encountering daily," said Ginnie. "I tried not to think or worry too much about the dangers that Larry was facing and kept track of what was happening in Korea from radio and newspaper reports. Mostly, the newspaper talked about the patrols being ambushed and firefights, and I felt he wasn't involved in those so he must be okay. Little did I know that he was going out on patrols on a regular basis. News then wasn't as detailed as it is now."

"Thoughts of home," of his wife and children, spurred Bartlett on during the dreariest moments he faced in Korea.

"Letters were very important for both of us," added Ginnie. "And it was always good to hear from him. I really don't remember at this time too much about their content and, as I said, news reports then were nothing like what we have now. I do remember sending him lots of pictures of the children and especially of his new daughter. I only remember one phone call during the whole time he was away, and that was when he was promoted to first lieutenant - there were no e-mails and phone calls as are available now. He received the news that he had a new daughter from a telegram from his father.

"Being left alone with children to care for while their father is off fighting in a war is very difficult to handle, but one must maintain a stable environment for the children's sake and for one's own sake. I would offer this thought to other wives of servicemen: be positive and encouraging in letters, e-mails, and phone calls. They don't need to hear everyday problems. Share good news, positive things the children are doing or achieving. Let him know he is loved and missed - and most important of all, keep him in your prayers," said Ginnie.

Bartlett recalls with ease the night the war finally came to a conclusion: "One memory that is very vivid in my mind after 53 years is the night the armistice took effect and the war ended. The armistice had been signed in Panmunjom and we had been ordered to cease offensive action and to fire only if fired upon. However, the president of South Korea, Singman Rhee, had loudly proclaimed that South Korea would not honor the armistice and he threatened he would not release the thousands of North Korean prisoners being held in the south.

"At that time, U.S. units were severely under strength, the seventh division was at about seventy-percent strength. We were 'on line' and on our left was the South Korean first ROK division. I was with the third battalion of the thirty-first infantry regiment and we were on the left immediately adjacent to the first ROK. The armistice was due to take effect at midnight and as the night came on, we were holding our fire as instructed, but the Koreans on our left were firing everything they had. The sky was alive with tracers and artillery fire.

"The Koreans had cut all lines of communication with us and, in fact, laid barbed wire along the boundary with the seventh division. We sat in our bunker listening to all that racket less than a quarter of a mile to our left and wondered what was going to happen at midnight. A macabre joke going around was that maybe we should move north and ask for political asylum.

"As the minutes ticked down to midnight, and the firing grew in intensity next door, the tension was almost unbearable. At the stroke of midnight, it was like turning off a switch - all firing ceased. Silence. I don't have the words to describe my feelings. I stepped outside the bunker and looked up at the night sky and for the first time in many months, I didn't hear the sound of machine guns and artillery.

"It was eerie, to say the least. At dawn, I was in the observation post and saw a sight I shall never forget. There, fifteen-hundred yards away, on the ridge, were hundreds of Chinese troops sunning themselves. The ridge was lined with red banners every 15 to 20 yards. It looked like a carnival.

"The instructions were that twenty-four hours after the cease fire, both armies would withdraw two-thousand yards creating the demilitarized zone which still exists today. I will never forget that night in July 1953 when the shooting stopped in Korea," said Bartlett.

Bartlett's heart beats with humble valor as he discusses what led him in his various courageous acts throughout the Korean War: "My inspiration? I don't know. I persevered because that was my job," explained Bartlett. "Duty, you know Š a strong sense of duty.

"All those I served with I felt were heroes — fighting an unpopular war, but doing their duty. Much like Vietnam, and Iraq today. Incidentally, my brother, Don, who with his wife, Helen, are also Pagosa residents, served in Korea at the same time. He was assigned to the twenty-fifth infantry division."

One memory that haunts Bartlett is a "what ifŠ" moment from his days in Korea.

"I have one memory I occasionally struggle with," he said. "Friendly fire incidents are a fact of life in time of war. I was almost the cause of one of the worst. During the chaos of the battle for Pork Chop Hill (there were several struggles for Pork Chop, but this one occurred in April 1953), I mistook a large group of troops ascending the side of the hill to be enemy and called in artillery fire on them. Thank God for a sharp duty officer in the battalion fire direction center. He knew these to be friendly, and cancelled the mission. If not for him, I would have been responsible for one of the worst friendly fire incidents of the war. I had not been informed of this counterattack, and I still get chills when I think of it. I have no excuse: they were wearing steel helmets and flak jackets. The Chinese, on the other hand, wore padded suits and soft caps. I have no idea why I made such an error," explained Bartlett.

After retiring from the military, Bartlett had a career in the aviation business in Texas. Among the titles he held are chief pilot for a corporate operation, flight school instructor, and Federal Aviation Association pilot examiner for 18 years. This spring, Bartlett was awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for lifetime flying accomplishments and excellence. "I've always been fascinated with flight," said Bartlett.

Bartlett's love of flying began as a child, and he took flying lessons while still in high school. "My bad eyes prevented me from going in the air corps, as it was called back then. I made twelve dollars a week playing in a little dance band and flying lessons cost ten dollars, so that left me two dollars a week to spend on Ginnie, whom I was dating at the time."

Bartlett has resided in Pagosa Springs for 23 years, since his retirement from the aviation business, and he still flies his Cessna with Ginnie. The union of Larry and Ginnie Bartlett has produced three children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Because of the honor and courage of soldiers like Bartlett, his numerous offspring have a free, safe and stable country to call home. "I realize we live in the greatest country in the world," said Bartlett of the worldview he acquired through his military service.

Bartlett and his contemporaries helped to make America the "greatest country" because of the timeless values represented by his generation - and stand as role models for the generations that have followed. Bartlett described his life lessons: "Duty, honor, country sums it up."

May future generations learn from Bartlett, that the same may be said of them.

Pagosa's Past

Mixed opinions of legendary Emmet Wirt

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Emmet Wirt, legendary trader to the Jicarilla Apaches in Dulce, spawned as many fables as he did real-life stories.

Wirt died in 1938 at the Mayo Clinic after having lived in and around Dulce all of his adult life.

Wirt was one of those pioneers who exerted an extraordinary influence on the history of our local area, including Pagosa Country. It is surprising that a comprehensive history of Wirt has not been written.

J. Denton Simms, onetime pastor of the Reform Church in Dulce, serves as Wirt's biographer. Because he was personally acquainted with Wirt, Simms is well-qualified for the job and something of an icon himself. One of Simms's articles on Wirt is contained in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country." Simms has also written an autobiography which contains about the same information about Wirt. Unfortunately, the information about Wirt is not comprehensive, nor is it unbiased; Wirt's daughter married Simms's son.

While talking about Four Corners pioneers who deserve to have a book written describing their lives, the name of T.D. Burns comes to mind. Burns moved into the Tierra Amarilla area in the early 1860s, but later in life certainly was well-acquainted with Wirt. Burns spoke good Spanish and had a Spanish wife. He operated a store in TA and Los Ojos and ultimately obtained huge chunks of land from TA north through the Chama area. His name is linked with lawyer Thomas Catron of the infamous Santa Fe Ring credited with obtaining title to many of the Spanish and Mexican land grants in New Mexico including the Tierra Amarilla Land grant which once stretched from TA to the Navajo River in Archuleta County.

From Simms we learn that in 1915 Wirt married a nurse he met while undergoing treatment at Mercy Hospital in Durango. He was 47 years old at the time. His wife's maiden named was Christina Schirmer. The couple had one daughter, Cecelia, who, with her husband, had two children. Her husband was Simms's son.

It should be noted that Wirt's escapades with women, in Dulce and out, were as legendary as the rest of his life. It is commonly believed that Wirt fathered a number of children, some of whom live yet in Dulce, a fact I can neither affirm nor deny.

In 1936, Wirt's health began to fail following a series of strokes. His strength slowly ebbed away until in August of 1938 he passed away in a hospital in Battle Creek, Mich., where he had gone a few times for short periods at the beginning of his physical decline. Some thought it strange that he did not spend his last days at home among his Indian and white friends; but he wanted them all to remember him as he had been - strong and forceful. He told the writer that he could not bear to have them see his wasting form. He was brought back to the place where his heart really lived, to Dulce, for his burial, and rests beside his wife who preceded him in death by many years.

Simms summarizes his account of Wirt's life with the following tribute: "The San Juan Basin of Colorado and New Mexico and especially the Indian Trading Post at Dulce, does not seem the same without him. The stamp of this rugged pioneer in his honesty, courage, and generosity was indelibly put upon all his dealings with rich and poor, and this community is poorer without him."

I had a pleasant telephone conversation last week with Franklin Anderson concerning stories he has heard about Wirt. Many of Franklin's ancestors lived in and along the border region connecting Colorado with Dulce and were well-acquainted with Wirt.

One of the stories about Wirt, according to Anderson, is that Wirt was instrumental in promoting the education of the Apache children, thereby helping advance their individual and tribal well being. The story goes that Wirt kept in close contact with the school teachers. If he learned from a teacher that a child or children were not attending school, he threatened to cut off those children's parents' credit at his trading post unless the children returned to school. Since Wirt owned the only store in town, he possessed considerable leverage.

Not all remembrances of Wirt are complimentary. In her 1953 history of her native people titled, "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe," Veronica E. Velarde Tiller wrote from a report prepared by anthropologist Morris E. Opler based on information gathered in 1934 and 1935:

"The main point of his (Opler's) report was that the Jicarilla reservation was under the absolute control of Emmet Wirt, the post trader, and his son-in-law's father, J. Denton Simms. Both of these men had a profound influence on the Jicarillas; and they had become well-entrenched over the past decades. Wirt's control amounted to an economic stranglehold; he had a virtual monopoly on trading with the Indians due to their physical isolation. By extending credit, he bound them to his store through indebtedness. They were penalized severely for any deviation in their trading patterns. Since he charged high prices, most of the government employees did not trade with him. Wirt, according to Opler, was dictatorial and ruthless. He not only had complete economic control over the Indians, but he controlled agency affairs as well. His control was made possible because of his political connections with the Republican party of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, and partly because of his long acquaintance with and residence on the reservation."

More next week on Emmet Wirt.

Pagosa Sky Watch

Take a stargazer's vacation

James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:10 a.m.

Sunset: 8 p.m.

Moonrise: 11:57 a.m.

Moonset: 2:38 a.m. on May 6.

Moonphase: The moon will be at first quarter May 4 at 11:13 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

Dedicated skywatchers know winter is the best time of year for stargazing, yet only the truly steadfast relish the thought of venturing outdoors on a January evening decked out in hat, gloves and parka, with a thermos, star chart and telescope in hand.

Therefore, for many amateur or casual stargazers, the bulk of sky watching occurs during the spring and summer months, when warmer temperatures make for long, pleasant evenings spent under the stars with family and friends.

Unfortunately, the warmer months also mark prime vacation season, and the hectic pace of a summer full of activities often forces many amateur astronomers to put their hobby on hold for the season, but this doesn't have to be the case.

With many national parks offering astronomy and stargazing programs, it's now possible to combine skywatching with almost any family vacation and the choice is yours how structured, or how casual, to make your vacation stargazing experience.

With this in mind, the following is a list of astronomical hot spots for sky watching vacationers venturing beyond Pagosa Country this summer.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Located near Nageezi, N.M. and just a few hours south of Pagosa Springs, Chaco Culture National Historical Park might be an oft overlooked destination, but is one that rewards the visitor with few crowds, dark skies and fascinating glimpses into the realms of ancestral Puebloan culture, archaeoastronomy and contemporary astronomy.

For stargazers, the park boasts a comprehensive, well-equipped night sky program which includes a 45 minute ranger presentation followed by opportunities to explore the sky with the park's 25-inch reflector scope and a variety of other telescopes, including a 14-inch telescope and a solar scope.

The programs are held at 8 p.m., Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from April through October - and best of all, they are free to park visitors.

Vacationers who get an early jump on the summer travel season may want to visit the park on May 27 for an all-day star party hosted in conjunction with The Albuquerque Astronomical Society.

Other special events for the 2006 season include an ongoing full moon program and a summer solstice celebration featuring Hopi dancers.

Park amenities are few and camping is offered on a first-come first-served basis.

For more information, contact the park at (505) 786-7014, or on the Web at

Bryce Canyon National Park

Touted as lying beneath some of nation's darkest skies, Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the preeminent sky watching destinations. According to park literature, Bryce Canyon is one of the few places objects of magnitude seven can be seen with the naked eye - typically magnitude six is the naked eye threshold - and on moonless nights, skywatchers can gaze at as many as 7,500 stars burning brightly overhead.

To complement the park's exceptional sky watching conditions, the park service offers an extensive astronomy-based interpretive program offering park guests the opportunity to explore the wonders of the heavens.

During spring, summer and fall, the programs are offered twice weekly, beginning with a one hour multimedia show followed by one to two hours of star gazing with a number of park telescopes - including two eight-inch and one, three-inch telescope.

During 2005, the park logged 27,000 astronomy-oriented visitors, and this year's sixth annual, Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival should attract thousands of star gazing vacationers from around the country.

The festival is scheduled for June 21 through June 24 and is a collaborative effort between Bryce Canyon's "Dark Rangers" (astronomy-oriented park rangers) and the Salt Lake Astronomical Society.

During the event, stargazers can enjoy observing with large telescopes, day time workshops on buying and operating telescopes, educational astronomy games, night hikes and solar viewing.

In addition to the astronomy festival and regularly scheduled astronomy programs, the park offers one to three mile, full moon hikes during summer and fall. The hikes are very popular, and reservations must be made in person the morning of the hike.

To learn more about the park's astronomy programs and the 2006 astronomy festival, call (435) 834-5322, or visit Bryce Canyon National Park on the Web at

Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station

For those traveling farther afield this summer, Mauna Kea, located on the big island of Hawaii, is home to several of the world's foremost astronomical research facilities. And, at 9,300 feet, the visitor information station at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy provides a bird's eye view of the island and boasts some of the planet's foremost sky watching conditions.

For stargazing visitors, the information station is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, and offers an astronomy program each evening from 6-10 p.m.

During the program, attendees will have opportunities to explore the heavens with 16-inch, 14-inch and 11-inch telescopes. In addition, on the first Saturday of every month, the station offers a special guest speaker program featuring an astronomer from one of the many Mauna Kea observatories, discussing their most recent observations and discoveries.

For more information, contact the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station at (808) 961-2180, or on the Web at

Yosemite National Park

For those seeking fantastic star gazing conditions but desire less structure in their astronomical pursuits, Yosemite National Park makes for an ideal destination.

Over the years, the park has become the favored stomping ground of San Francisco area astronomy clubs while the park service has long recognized the near pristine quality of Yosemite's night sky. The result of this private/public recognition is an astronomical symbiosis, where astronomy-oriented park visitors can enjoy a wide variety of both formal and informal stargazing activities.

Between June through Labor Day, the park plays host to numerous star parties, with amateur astronomy clubs setting up telescopes at the 7,200-foot Glacier Point observing area. Generally speaking, many clubs meet informally at the site Saturday evenings.

For the beginning observer, and throughout the summer season, the park offers a wide variety of astronomy-oriented interpretive programs at various locations within the park. The park newsletter, "Yosemite Today," offers a complete schedule of astronomy-related activities.

For more information visit Yosemite National Park on the Web at, or call, (209) 372-0200.

Although the world is filled with fantastic skywatching locales, those who plan to spend their spring and summer in Pagosa Country can look forward to a season of prime, skywatching opportunities of their own. As many know, the area is blessed with dark skies and superb viewing conditions and this weekend should prove to be no exception.

Saturday, May 6 marks National Astronomy Day, and as though it were timed specially for the event, Jupiter is at opposition, thus offering skywatchers spectacular views of the king of planets and four of its largest moons - Callisto, Io, Europa and Ganymede.

To view Jupiter face east about two hours after sunset, and look for the brightest object in the sky.


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