May 11, 2006

Front Page

Land use code approved, 2 key players absent

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It was like a scene from Houston's mission control, but instead of Neil Armstrong's voice announcing the safe touchdown of a lunar lander, it was the voice of Larry Garcia, chair of the Archuleta County Planning Commission, announcing successful completion of stage one in the approval process for the county's revised land use code and zoning program.

"It's unanimous, we have an adoption," Garcia said, before dropping the gavel and adjourning Monday's joint, planning commission and board of county commissioner's public hearing and work session.

With Garcia's words, applause rang out in the commissioners' meeting room and much handshaking and backslapping ensued.

For proponents, the approval marked a new beginning for county land use, including institution of county-wide zoning; but for the plan's opponents, the approval marked the beginning of the end. And for both, proponent and opponent alike, it was an historic moment in Archuleta County history.

However, despite the poignancy of the event, those in opposition did not stay for the revelry. After their demand that the question of zoning and the land use code be put to county voters was denied, the handful trickled out of the meeting room.

And aside from the momentary drama between plan opponent Sandy Bramwell and Archuleta County Commissioner Ronnie Zaday, who offered a stiff, emphatic rebuttal and ultimate denial of Bramwell's "put-it-to-the-voters" request, the meeting moved forward without incident, and drew a standing-room-only crowd, including full representation from the county's planning commission, attendance by county planning staff and Archuleta County Commissioners Mamie Lynch and Ronnie Zaday.

Despite the strong turnout, there were two notable absences - Archuleta County Director of County Development Blair Leist and Archuleta County Commissioner Robin Schiro.

County Administrator Bob Campbell said Leist had submitted his resignation to county officials roughly two weeks prior, but had agreed to stay at his post until completion of the land use code adoption process in June.

Campbell said following an escalation of personal pressures, Leist opted to leave last week but would be available by phone during Monday's meeting.

Leist did not call during the session, and David Alvord, senior planner and interim director of county development, filled Leist's role.

Also missing, and one who offered to call into the session, was Schiro.

According to Campbell, Schiro had left town to attend the National Association of Counties (NACo) Western Interstate Region Conference in Sacramento, Calif.

According to the commissioner's rolling calendar, Schiro had scheduled May 8 to travel to the event and May 9 to begin attending the conference.

According to the convention schedule posted on the National Association of Counties Web site, the convention does not officially start until May 10, although the conference does offer an optional May 9 agriculture/rural affairs field trip.

Neither Lynch nor Zaday were aware that Schiro serves on a NACo agriculture committee.

In a letter to the editor published in the SUN, Schiro stated the current draft of the land use code was rife with "many unresolved, significant issues," and she implored county residents to attend Monday's meeting, stating it was an "important topic that will affect all of Archuleta County for years and perhaps generations to come."

Although county residents and staff came, Schiro and her phone call did not.

According to county documents, Schiro had scheduled 31 out-of-town trips between Jan. 27, 2006 and the present - a time period totaling 104 days - and at a current cost of $470 to the county. However, days absent could exceed 31, because trips are defined as any out- of-Archuleta County-excursion, with a one-day or multi-day trip both counted as one.

For example, a six-day NACo conference held in March in Washington D.C. counts as one trip, as does the present, multi-day Sacramento conference.

By press time, The SUN was unable to confirm how many of the 31 trips Schiro had taken.

Future tentatively scheduled items include trips to Durango, Keystone, Colo., a six-day NACo conference in Chicago and a "PEAK Afterschool Conference" regarding after-school learning at Copper Mountain Resort.

According to PEAK conference documents, "The PEAK Afterschool Conference provides a forum for practitioners, program directors, community partners, and leaders in the field of out-of-school time to network and learn through high quality professional development experiences."

According to Lynch and Zaday, neither Schiro nor any other commissioner has been appointed to NACo because Lynch and Zaday believe the county coffers cannot weather the burden of the travel expenses.

"We cannot afford the travel that's involved and I think our resources are better spent for the immediate needs in Archuleta County," Lynch said.

With the planning commission's approval, a revised set of county land use regulations, a zoning transition plan and a zoning map are well on their way to becoming official documents designed to guide growth, development and land use in Archuleta County.

With the current draft incorporating changes brought forth during the Monday work session, the document includes basic design guidelines for commercial structures, a voluntary scenic overlay program, eight zoning districts and comprehensive oil and gas regulations.

The oil and gas regulations include criteria for monitoring methane content in water wells, mitigation requirements to minimize the impact of oil and gas truck traffic on county roads and setbacks for oil and gas sites near recreational areas and schools.

"Our new oil and gas regs will probably be the best," Alvord said.

In addition to his satisfaction with the oil and gas regulations, Alvord was pleased with the land use code project as a whole.

"It gives us a baseline to address future growth, it allows us to preserve what we have, it will help keep costs reasonable for development and infrastructure, and will identify and maintain viable areas of open space for community use and preservation. It's a long time coming," Alvord said.

However, the planning commission's unanimous approval serves only as a recommendation, and the question will be put to the board of county commissioners for final approval at 9 a.m. May 23 in the south conference room of the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

As part of the May 23 adoption hearing, the board will also decide on a zoning transition plan that will provide a set of procedures for the creation of the county's first official zoning map.

Public participation is encouraged at the May 23, adoption hearing.

District looks to finance hospital, buy ambulance

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday and, among other things, discussed funding options for a new hospital, recent election results and the purchase of a new ambulance.

Once board chair Pam Hopkins called the meeting to order and secretary Bob Scott recognized an official quorum, Hopkins administered the oath of office to Scott, Kitzel Farrah, Neal Townsend and Michelle Visel, all reelected to the board in a special election last week. Final canvassing by a three-member election committee ratified candidate vote totals at 1,197, 1,190, 1,137, and 1,046 respectively.

The issue receiving the most attention in last week's election was the Upper San Juan Health Service District Ballot Issue A, which asked registered voters if district debt should be increased by $12 million (with a repayment cost of $33.5 million) to pay for construction of a new Critical Access Hospital (CAH) in Pagosa Springs.

Voter turnout was higher than expected, and the official results showed 1,321 in favor, with 107 opposed. The canvassing committee finished final canvassing the afternoon of Wednesday, May 3.

Having obtained voter approval for a new hospital, the district suddenly faced the enviable position of selecting from a list of lenders to borrow from. The choice ultimately came down to four different institutions, which all offered attractive rates. However, upon further evaluation, viable options were reduced to two, including Wells Fargo and United Missouri Bank. In the end, United Missouri Bank got the nod, largely because of its low rate and extensive experience in lending to health care facilities. The rate was not revealed at Tuesday's meeting.

According to Hopkins, borrowing will be done in two phases. The first will take place in July, and involve $10 million at a guaranteed lower rate. In November, the second phase will make $2 million available, but the district will not take possession until sometime in 2007, depending on need. Collectively, the board hopes it won't need the $2 million, but Hopkins suggested construction costs are rising rapidly, and the money will be available if necessary.

When asked what affect rising costs could have on the hospital project, Hopkins said, "If costs go up considerably, we'll start cutting. The voters approved a cap of $12 million, so we have to build smart, and the architect's design has to be very specific to reduce the need for later changes. Changes increase the cost and length of the project."

The district is now in communication with architects (Prochaska) and its contractor, G.E. Johnson, to ready plans for the commencement of construction sometime next fall.

Goodman outlined the district's current financial status, which reflected $296,375 cash on hand at the end of March, and approval of a request for district manager Pat Haney to become a signatory on USJHSD expenditure checks up to $5,000 generated a lengthy exchange. Approval was eventually granted, with further review set in 60 days.

Meanwhile, USJHSD has been searching for a new ambulance and at Tuesday's meeting, choices were narrowed to two. Of the seven originally considered, three were priced above the $105,000 budgeted, another was a demo with 14,000 miles on it and a fourth couldn't be ready for nearly eight months. And, based on the current condition of the district's Emergency Medical Services fleet, board members felt the need was more immediate.

Therefore, the choice has come down to two different units, one built by Braun, Inc., and the other by Leader. Both are 2006 models mounted on Ford 350 chassis, both are box-type construction, and each will require certain add-ons to completely satisfy district needs.

Polling places, procedures changed

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Archuleta County voters accustomed to casting their ballots by precinct are in for a change.

Following a May 2 decision by the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners, voters countywide will now cast their ballots at one of three new vote centers, rather than the usual precinct polling places.

Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder June Madrid said part of the push for vote centers is built on the premise of creating greater convenience for voters. Rather than rushing around after work or on a lunch hour to reach a potentially distant precinct polling place, Madrid said voters can now vote at any vote center location.

"The whole gist of it is that you want people to vote near where they work. It provides a conveniences to voters, there's no wrong place to vote," Madrid said.

As established by the board's approval, all three centers are within the Pagosa Springs area - none are located in the outlying areas of the county.

Madrid said the decision to concentrate the vote centers in Pagosa Springs had much to due the with distribution and concentration of voters in the Pagosa area, economics, the availability of grant funds and the county's responsibility to meet the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requirements.

Madrid explained that according to the HAVA act, each polling location is required to have special voting equipment, called Direct Recording Equipment (DRE), that can accommodate the needs of physically challenged electors or electors, with virtually any disability. With Archuleta County's 10 voting precincts, the act requires installation of 10 DREs.

While Madrid said the machines are impressive in their ability to meet the needs of disabled or physically challenged electors, they are also new, utilizing relatively new technology and are, as of yet, unproven in a real election scenario.

Furthermore, rather than receiving a $160,000 grant for a 10-precinct installation, the county received only $56,000 from the Help America Vote Act.

In order to fully comply under the 10-precinct scenario, Madrid said the county would have to provide the remaining $105,000 - funds Madrid said, the county does not have.

Each machine costs roughly $12,000 with associated software and set-up costs.

Therefore, in order to bring the Direct Recording Equipment to Archuleta County as per the HAVA mandate, Madrid said she opted to establish vote centers. This strategy, she said, would allow the county to meet the needs of disabled or physically challenged voters, would keep the county in line with the Help America Vote Act and would keep the initial cash outlay for the Direct Recording Equipment at a minimum until the bugs could be worked out of the new technology and the county coffers could better weather the expense.

Madrid said the upcoming primary election would be a key proving ground for both the new voting machines and the election centers. She added that if the process proves unwieldy or compromises electors in outlying areas of the county, a fourth vote center could be established if Direct Record Equipment can be procured.

Currently, there are 396 registered electors in the Arboles area, and Madrid said after analyzing voter numbers and historic voter turnout she concluded it was not economically feasible to put a vote center in Arboles and she opted to concentrate vote centers in the Pagosa Springs area.

"If vote center's work, we'll stick with three and have a back-up (DRE)" Madrid said.

How vote centers work

In the past, electors voted at a polling place based on their place of residence. With vote centers, electors will cast their ballots at the nearest, or most convenient, vote center location.

Prior to the election, Madrid said electors will receive a signature card in the mail. The card must be filled out and brought, along with a valid form of identification, to the election center on election day - the primary is on Aug 8 and the general election is Nov. 7. If an elector does not receive a signature card via mail, one can be filled out at the vote center, however Madrid said electors should budget extra time for the procedure.

Once at the vote center, electors will present their documents to election officials, and a ballot containing all pertinent questions relating to where the elector lives, such as questions regarding special taxation districts, will be produced.

To cast their ballots, voters will have a choice between the familiar paper ballot or using one of the new voting machines.

Madrid said the new voting machines require about 10 minutes for voters to cast their ballots.

The following is a list of the three Pagosa Springs vote center locations:

- Archuleta County Elections Department, 449 San Juan St. - on the backside and in the basement of the Archuleta County Courthouse.

- Our Savior Lutheran Church, 56 Meadows Dr. at the intersection of west U.S. 160 and Meadows Drive.

- The Restoration Fellowship Church, 264 Village Drive

Early voting

To ease the pressure on election day, the board of county commissioners also approved early voting for Archuleta County.

Under state statute, and without a county resolution, early voting must begin 10 days prior to the primary election and 15 days prior to the general election.

With the commissioners' May 2 approval, early voting will commence when Madrid receives the ballots - roughly 30 days prior to either election.

Madrid estimates primary election ballots will be available around July 10.

Once received by the county, Madrid said registered electors can come to the county clerk's office to pick up a ballot. She said ballots can be filled out and returned at the same time, or electors can take the ballot away and return it by election day.

Madrid added that electors can only take a ballot for themselves. For example, spouses cannot take ballots for their wives or husbands, however, an individual can return a completed ballot on someone else's behalf.

Inside The Sun

Police seek to identify evidence

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs police investigators have some interesting evidence from one of two recent burglaries in town, and are seeking help in identifying possible suspects.

According to Det. Scott Maxwell, there is a strong suspicion the two incidents are related.

The first burglary was reported April 29. An exterior door at the Adobe Building, 475 Lewis St., was kicked in and a suspect or suspects entered the building. The entry resulted in damage to the door.

A door to an office inside the building was kicked in, but the office was vacant and nothing was taken.

When the owner of the building discovered the damage April 29, he found a key ring in the entry to the building - a key ring Maxwell believes might have been dropped by a suspect. As seen in the accompanying photo, the key ring is distinctive and could be easily identified and linked to the individual who dropped it.

A second burglary was reported May 1 and Maxwell said officers believe the incident at The Antler Shed, 150 E. Pagosa St., occurred Sunday, April 30.

The manner in which the building was entered, with the exterior door kicked in, leads officers to suspect a link with the burglary at the Adobe Building.

In the case of the Antler Shed, there was a loss. The thief or thieves stole an antique cash register as well as some knives and belt buckles, among other items. The loss - in stolen items and damage - is estimated at $3,000.

Maxwell asked SUN readers to examine the photo accompanying this story and, if they recognize the key ring, to call him at the Pagosa Springs Police Department, 264-2131, Ext. 241.

Work continues on Mill Creek Road dilemma

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The search for answers to the Mill Creek Road winter access puzzle continues.

Thursday evening, U.S. Forest Service officials met with Archuleta County authorities and affected property owners to discuss the successes and failures of last winter's restricted access and snow removal arrangements on Mill Creek Road, and where the group should go from there.

In a meeting lasting nearly two hours, the assembly gathered at the county Extension Building, where forest representatives described shortcomings associated with snowplowing and gate management agreements, which led to unauthorized road use and significant off-road resource damage, following a mandatory gate closure. Those shortcomings were detailed in a letter from the Forest Service to "Mill Creek Road users" in March 2006, and have prompted the agency to look for new ways of handling access restrictions and snow removal next winter, and in the years beyond.

The access restrictions pertain to a three-mile stretch of road beginning at the San Juan National Forest boundary approximately four miles from the intersection of Mill Creek Road and U.S. 84, and continuing into the High West Unit 11, Mill Creek Ranch, Rito Blanco Ranch and Cimarrona subdivisions. The entire stretch lies within national forest jurisdiction.

Last fall, following several similar meetings, the Forest Service agreed to rebuild three-tenths-of-a-mile of the road to an all-weather standard, install a road closure gate, build a parking lot, and provide a public winter access trail from the parking lot to the forest. The improvements were subsequently completed as promised, at an estimated cost of $27,000.

In return, landowners agreed to supply a community lock for the gate and monitor its use, restricting access to all but authorized users and essential service providers. They were also to oversee snowplowing operations conducted by a private contractor working under a required special use permit issued by the Forest Service, who owns the road.

Unfortunately, Forest Service employees reported numerous occasions over the winter where the gate was left unlocked or wide open. As a result, the Pagosa Ranger District received several calls from angry citizens who passed through the gate, only to find it closed and locked upon their attempted departure. At one point, when the gate was left open, forest employees say unauthorized off-road traffic caused significant resource damage to the surrounding environment.

Construction traffic also raised concern among forest personnel. According to the original agreement between the Forest Service and residents living beyond road's end, access restrictions were intended to authorize residential use, but not heavy construction traffic. Nevertheless, traffic related to three separate construction projects has continued since the original gate closure, and forest officials insist resulting road damage would have been severe under normal winter precipitation patterns.

At this point, even with the glaring failure of last season's temporary approach to solving access issues, the Forest Service remains committed to helping affected Mill Creek residents find equitable short- and long-term solutions to their winter woes. And, while a group of resolute landowners remain steadfast in their pursuit of answers - in part, by applying pressure on county government to assume some responsibility - county authorities now seem willing to take on a more active role.

Naturally, all sides prefer a long-term solution, which would involve upgrading the entire three miles to an all-weather standard (through a cooperative effort) and turning jurisdiction and maintenance responsibilities over to the county. The Forest Service and landowners favor this approach, and at Thursday's meeting, commissioners Ronnie Zaday and Robin Schiro described what conditions would be necessary, before the county could fairly accept the road, including forming a Local Improvement District (LID) and a Public Improvement District (PID).

Both districts would have to be approved by a majority of registered voters living in the concerned areas, and both could take on various forms, depending on exact community needs. However, a LID would create a one-time tax, or mill levy, on all affected residents, which would pay to upgrade the road to acceptable county standards. A PID would then establish a continual tax on the same residents, which would offset annual county costs of maintaining the road.

Of course, while a LID and PID would satisfy county requirements and alleviate the Forest Service of further responsibility of road ownership, getting them approved by a majority vote remains the primary obstacle to a final resolution. For now, only a handful of the approximate 140 landowners up Mill Creek Road live there year-round. Many of the rest seem content with seasonal access, even if it perpetuates lower land values.

Meanwhile, by the next meeting (scheduled for 6 p.m., June 12 at the county Extension Building), County Administrator Bob Campbell has promised to provide residents comprehensive information on how to achieve a vote, and how to structure improvement districts, should a vote ultimately be successful.

Certainly, formulating a long-term solution will take a while, perhaps even years. In the meantime, the Forest Service has offered three other short-term options for consideration, and by meeting's end, residents unanimously agreed to pursue one, over the others.

While involved parties will work out the finer points in coming months, residents must now attempt to form "an association" or other legal entity that can accept a special use permit from the Forest Service, and take responsibility for snow removal. In doing so, they will have to post a bond, which protects the Forest Service from incurring significant costs related to subsequent road damage. They will also have to closely monitor the gate, and agree to a seasonal suspension of all construction traffic and any unauthorized access.

With time to iron out details before next winter, Mill Creek Road residents are, nonetheless, facing stiff challenges. However, as long as the Forest Service holds its commitment, landowners continue their resolve, and the county remains engaged, most agree, answers are forthcoming.

Time will tell.

Zellner benefit scheduled

Pagosan Kirk Zellner was injured while cutting down a tree in late April.

After spending a week in the hospital Zellner is home. However, he will not be able to return to work for up to three months.

Friends have organized a May 27 benefit for Zellner and invite everyone to bring donated items to be auctioned off. Items don't need to be new, and can be in the form of a service to be auctioned off.

Cash donations will be accepted at the auction. Make checks payable to Kirk Zellner. Checks can be mailed to 3576 C.R. 335, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

The event will be held in Town Park. Bring donations at 11 a.m. Music by Brother to Brother starts at noon. Karaoke will be led by Bill Wood and son.

The auction is set for 1 p.m., with more music to follow.

For more information call Norm and Freda Whisman, 264-0038.

New regs could be an intrusive inconvenience

Effective May 15, 2006, the Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder's Office will implement a new policy mandated by Colorado Department of Revenue.

This policy requires all motor vehicle transactions to be accompanied by any Department of Revenue accepted form of secure and verifiable identification. The following is a list of transactions that will require your identification: New titles, duplicate titles, new registrations, temporary permits and new handicap placards.

In addition to requiring seeing your Secure and Verifiable Identification (SVI), effective June 1, 2006, the Department of Revenue requires with all new and duplicate title applications, a photocopy of an SVI to accompany the paperwork to the state. Without this photocopy, a title will not be issued. The photocopy must be a readable photocopy or it will be rejected.

Secure and Verifiable Identification (SVI) as defined by the Department of Revenue is:

- Any Colorado Driver's License or Colorado Identification Card expired less than 1 year. (Temporary paper license with previous Colorado license is considered acceptable.)

- Out-of-state issued photo driver's license or photo identification card expired less than 1 year.

- U.S. Passport expired less than 10 years.

- Valid foreign passport with I-94 or valid Processed For I-551 Stamps; No: B1, B2, WT, WB, CP or NC status. H1, H2, J1, J2, F1, F2, etc. requires verification of Colorado employment or education.

- Valid I-551 Resident Alien-Permanent Resident card. NO Border Crosser or USA B1/B2 Visa/BCC cards.

- Valid I-688 Temporary Resident Card, I-688B and I-766 Employment Authorization Card.

- Valid US Military ID (active duty, dependent, retired, reserve and National Guard).

- Tribal Identification Card.

- Certificate of Naturalization with intact photo.

- Certificate of (US) Citizenship with intact photo.

In certain circumstances, the following identification documents may also be acceptable for purposes of processing an application for a Certificate of Title and/or registration, although it is strongly recommended that a photo identification card from the list above be required.

- I-94 with refugee-asylum status.

- Certified Birth Certificate (federal, state, county, Dept. of Justice, Dept. of State and Bureau of Indian Affairs). Birth certificates issued by a hospital are not acceptable.

- United States or United States Territory Certified court order of adoption (must include date of birth).

- Original or certified copy of a DD 214 (US Military Separation Papers) from the Department of Defense or Veteran Affairs. Any DD 214 with the disclaimer "not to be used for identification" is not acceptable.

- Temporary Colorado Paper Driver License, Colorado 7-day Affidavit and Notice of Revocation or Affidavit and Notice of Suspension.

When someone other than a named owner chooses to complete a transaction for the named owner, they will be required to provide a non-secure power of attorney naming them as agent. The agent will be required to provide SVI.

All dealers are required to include a readable photocopy of the SVI to complete title transactions.

Mail-in registrations and placard renewals will not require SVI.

Many county clerks across Colorado do not agree with this new policy. However, state statute requires them to follow the Department of Revenue's policies. Colorado counties are committed to the citizens and customer service.

Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder June Madrid said she thinks this policy could be an inconvenience to citizens and appears to be intrusive. Madrid said she is working with other county clerks in an effort to change this policy. If you want to voice your concerns, Madrid urges you to do so to one or more of the individuals listed below.

- June Madrid, clerk and recorder, 264-8350, jmadrid@archuletacounty.org.

- Department of Revenue/State Titles and Registrations Section, (303) 205-5608.

- Maren Rubino, operations director, (303) 205-5607.

- M. Michael Cooke, executive director, (303) 866-3091.

- Joan Vecchi, senior director, (303) 205-5935.

- Robert Sexton, (303) 205-5697, robert.sexton@cdps.state.co.

Town clean-up week May 15-19

To assist citizens in cleaning up the community, the town and other entities will undertake the following during clean-up week, May 15-19:

1). Dumpsters for trash will be located in the following locations:

- May 15-16: North Sixth and Loma streets;

- May 15-16: North Second and Lewis streets;

- May 15-16: South Ninth and Zuni streets;

- May 17-19: 703 South Fifth St. (town shop);

- May 22-26: Hill Top Cemetery.

Removal of junk vehicles can be coordinated by calling Druex Williams at Town Hall at 264-4151, Ext. 225. Call and request the removal of your junk vehicles and the town will facilitate the removal; however, the town cannot guarantee that all removals can be completed. Proof of ownership is required.

The town will not pick up household trash (this must be placed in the Dumpsters), but will remove larger items such as old lumber or appliances. These must be placed along the road right of way.

If a hardship exists, call Town Hall at 264-4151, Ext. 238, and if hardship is confirmed, the town will enter property and remove the junk with the landowner present.

Remember, the town cannot remove or pick up hazardous materials and motors, and freon must be removed from all refrigerators prior to pickup.

3). Tree program - the town is continuing its residential tree program this year in which the town will pay half the price of a tree to be planted between the front of a house and a town street. Call the parks and recreation office at 264-4151, Ext. 233, for details as restrictions apply (drought conditions may restrict this program).

Chapter 11 of the Municipal Code of the Town of Pagosa Springs defines junk and outlines procedures for abating junk. "Junk means old motor vehicles, auto bodies or parts, old rubber tires, old farm machinery, refrigerators, and all other abandoned personal property or other appliances stored out in the open on public or private property. The municipal court shall consider the following factors in determining whether any of the above-described property constitutes 'junk':

- whether or not a vehicle is currently licensed or has been licensed during the past two years;

- whether or not a vehicle is in good operating condition;

- whether the property is an eyesore to the other people in the community and whether it is aesthetically pleasing;

- whether or not weeds are growing around or in the vehicle or property;

- whether the property is stored or kept in a garage or enclosed building; and

- whether the property being used for the purpose for which is/was originally made. (Ord. 427). 'Litter' means any scattered refuse or rubbish."

The Town Police Department will issue notices to anyone who has junk or litter on their premises after clean-up week.

Two PSHS students headed to national competition

Thirty-two Pagosa springs High School Future Business Leaders of America members traveled to Vail April 22-25 to attend the FBLA State Leadership Conference where they competed with nearly 3,000 other FBLA students from across the state.

Two FBLA students qualified to attend the FBLA National Leadership Conference held in Nashville, Tenn., June 28-July 3. Rosie Lee received first place in Business Procedures, and Heather Andersen received second place in Business Calculations which qualifies them both to compete at the national level.

In addition, the local FBLA chapter received three awards in the "state only" events: Andersen received ninth place in Job Search and the Poster team of Hayley Goodman and Julianna Whipple each received fourth place. In competitive events, in addition to Lee and Andersen, Tad Beavers received sixth place in International Business, Trey Quiller received sixth place in Business Math, Shanti Johnson received sixth place in Public Speaking II, Julia Nell received sixth place in Public Speaking I, Veronica Zeiler received 10th place in Accounting II, and Tesh Parker received tenth place in International Business. Pagosa Springs FBLA received the Peak III chapter achievement award completed by and accepted by Emilie Schur.

Pagosa Springs received a first-place chapter award for providing items on a "wish list" for Children's Hospital and advisor Dorothy Christine was recognized for her 15 years of service to Colorado FBLA and her impending retirement.

All students competed in competitive and/or "state only" events, attended motivational workshops, and attended general assemblies, including listening to a national keynote speaker who sued magic tricks to relate leadership ides.

Students relaxed by attending a dance that also gave them the opportunity mingle with FBLA students from other schools.

Attending from Pagosa Springs High School, in addition to the reward recipients, were Kelly Crow, Ben DeVoti, Patrick Ford, Darran Garcia, Jamilyn Harms, Casey Hart, Jennifer Haynes, Anna Hershey, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Kristin Hopper, Kim Judd, Jessica Lynch, Elise McDonald, Aaron Miller, Kyle Peterzen, Michael Spitler, Chesea Taylor, Trevor Trujillo, Katie Vowles, Jenni Webb-Shearston and Adrienne Young. They were accompanied by advisers Christine and Nancy Esterbrook.

Big agenda, little progress at PAWSD meeting

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Despite three days of testimony and a judge's pending decision, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Board of Directors nearly averted mention of its Dry Gulch Reservoir litigation Tuesday.

With a packed agenda for its monthly meeting, the PAWSD board rapidly advanced through the first several items with minimal discussion, and it appeared progress would be swift and complete. But, as the board began to address requests for reconsideration of various fees assessed to developers and private landowners recently, progress quickly ground to a screeching halt.

Without the benefit of legal council present, board members and staff struggled to find fair and equitable ways of handling relatively minor, yet complex questions, which ultimately absorbed the better part of three hours. By meeting's end, a full third of the agenda items, including an update on the Dry Gulch litigation case, were rescheduled for next month's meeting.

Just prior to adjournment, when pressed for a quick comment on the reservoir matter, district manager Carrie Campbell said, "We had three days of court testimony, each side presented its case, and the judge will render a decision within a month. And frankly, I feel pretty optimistic."

The proposed Dry Gulch project has come under fire from the Five Rivers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the San Juan Citizens Alliance. The groups view the water district's move to secure a 35,000-acre-foot reservoir, plus the right to divert 200 cubic feet per second from the San Juan River east of Pagosa Springs to continually refill the reservoir, as essentially a water grab.

"We think the project is much bigger than any substantiated need. We're not opposed to water storage and we're not opposed to a reservoir at Dry Gulch, but this project is extremely expensive and ties up way too much water," said Drew Peternell, an attorney for Trout Unlimited.

According to water district documents, the Dry Gulch reservoir would be constructed about two miles east of Pagosa Springs and south of U.S. 160.

View major lunar standstills at Chimney Rock

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

A major lunar standstill occurs on an 18.6-year cycle.

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is the only venue we know of where a natural observatory frames the view of this lunar phenomena and a public viewing program has been established for the event.

The first official public viewing since the rediscovery of the local major lunar standstill (MLS) phenomena at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, by astronomer Dr. J. McKim Malville in 1988, was a success, according to Victoria White, MLS program administrator for the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA). "All who attended were very pleased."

The night was spectacular, said White, following the August 2005 viewing. "Rising on a nearly pitch-black backdrop, the moon was a stark contrast to the rock silhouettes, and everyone was ooohing and aaahing. Plus we had ... an awesome viewing of the Milky Way."

CRIA has hosted seven events for the public to view moonrises between the spires at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area. In 2005, 183 participants trekked up and down the mesa, often in the dead of night.

White said one point she thought should be stressed is that, during the major lunar standstill cycle, there are very few actual full moonrises between the rock spires, and that this seems to be one of the biggest public misconceptions - right up there with the notion that during Chimney Rock's full moon programs, visitors will see a full moon rise between the stone pillars, which is not the case. The Chimney Rock Web site, www.chimneyrockco.org, provides details on both the major lunar standstill program and the full moon program.

White said 2005 ticket sales were brisk for MLS events, which are fund-raisers to support native Puebloan involvement at Chimney Rock. Due to limited viewing capacity, only 24 tickets were offered for each event. White said most of the available 2005 tickets were sold out by mid August.

Reservations are required, said White. The $50 fund-raiser ticket includes a pre-event talk, mesa-top ascent and descent, and a presentation at the viewing area, with complimentary light refreshments and an optional presentation afterwards. White said participants should allow approximately three hours for the entire program, which is not suitable for children under 12.

"All programs will be unique," White said, and she suggested those interested in tickets understand that, "There are many things to consider in deciding which program is best for you: the phase of moon, the moonrise time, and weather conditions one may encounter during various times of the year."

The 2006 tickets go on sale May 15.

The season schedule, with gate times, is:

- Saturday, July 22, 1:30 a.m., a crescent moonrise.

- Thursday, Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m., a crescent moonrise.

- Wednesday, Sept. 13, 9:15 p.m., quarter (half-moon) moonrise.

- Wednesday, Oct. 11, 8 p.m., a gibbous (bulging/more than half) moonrise.

- Tuesday, Nov. 7, 4:45 p.m., a gibbous, yet more bulging, moonrise.

- Tuesday, Dec. 5, 3:30 p.m., what many consider the biggest gift of the season - a full moon rises between the spires at sunset.

This standstill cycle will provide one more viewing season in 2007, albeit still limited, because during the first half of each year, moonrises occur during the day, making them difficult to see, if at all.

Due to nature's unpredictability there is no guarantee you'll enjoy a moonrise between the spires, even at a scheduled event during the second half of a year. "We are only offering an opportunity to view this event," said White. "We will not cancel it or give refunds if the moonrise is obscured by weather. Participants are also paying for the program itself, which will occur unless weather conditions are deemed unsafe. If hazardous weather conditions prohibit our ascent to the viewing area, and this results in the cancellation of this program, we will make every effort to reschedule it for the following night, weather permitting." White urged those interested in participating in these programs to read the full cancellation policy on the Web site.

For MLS tickets, call Chimney Rock Interpretive Association at 264-2287, beginning May 15. If you get voicemail, leave a message, as tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Your call will be returned in the order it was received.

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is located three miles south on Colo. 151, which is 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs via U.S. 160. The site is open for guided tours beginning May 15.

The major lunar standstill viewings are sponsored by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District.

Lauren White golf tournament Saturday

Former Pagosa Springs residents Cindy, Burly and Chris White wanted to find some way to pay special tribute to their daughter and sister, Lauren, following her tragic death in a 2002 automobile accident.

They also wanted some way of giving back to a community that had captured their hearts with a remarkable outpouring of generosity and love during their most difficult time.

The family recalled how excited Lauren had been about receiving scholarships for college and thought a scholarship fund and program might a good place to start. They realized a scholarship to a student with special needs inspires a youngster, giving them a sense that there are those who believe in them and in their ability to achieve.

With the help of directors of the Charles W. Hughes Foundation, the family found a way to establish the Lauren White Memorial Scholarship - a scholarship now administered with the help of staff at Pagosa Springs High School.

A golf tournament was created to raise funds for the scholarship.

The first tournament was held in the spring of 2003. The Whites believed the tournament was a great way to raise money to supplement what had already been donated, and to keep the scholarship active. "We love doing it," said the Whites. "The response from the community, and especially from local merchants, has been fantastic."

This year's four-person scramble tournament is set for a 10 a.m. shotgun start Saturday, May 13, at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club. There will be contests and giveaways, with lunch at the clubhouse.

Everyone is invited to participate, at $50 per person.

To sign up, call 731-4755, or visit the golf shop. Club pro and manager Alan Schutz said, "This has become an annual event we all look forward to. We have lots of fun with it; it is a community celebration where we can get together and help out with an important cause."

Merchants who wish to be sponsors can contact the pro shop at the club.

Volunteers needed for home meal program

Are you looking for a way to volunteer some time to your community and make an immediate impact on someone's life?

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate one lunch hour per week to the home-delivered meal program for the community's senior citizens.

Applications are currently being accepted from individuals - as well as businesses, churches and other organizations - who would like to make a difference.

All applicants must provide their own vehicle and be available in one-hour increments once a week. The Den is also accepting applications for substitute drivers. A background check will be completed on all applicants.

Adopt a home-delivered route today and brighten the lives of a few senior citizens.

For more information, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Meditation Sunday for Unitarians

Sunday, May 14, is Meditation Sunday at the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Leader April Merrilee explains that the group meditation experience helps in developing the ability to calm and center ourselves. The process also strengthens the skill of verbally sharing insights or questions about the meditation experience.

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

American Ideal at First Baptist Church

The American Idol craze has swept the nation and landed in Pagosa.

The kids at First Baptist Church will eliminate their own contestants and choose the American Ideal, 7 p.m., Sunday, May 21, at the First Baptist Church Worship Center.

In this program, contestants discover it's not about being first, trying to outdo each other or exalting themselves, but it's about living lives of humility and service.

Come see the undiscovered talent in Pagosa.

Admission is free. Bring the family.

Senior services receives Daniels grant

Archuleta County Senior Services announced last week it has received a $32,000 Daniels Fund grant to support the senior programs of Archuleta County.

The Silver Foxes Den strives to enhance the health and well being of the lives of the senior citizen population of Archuleta County through a variety of means. Programs include nutritious meals through congregate meal sites, transportation for their activities of daily living, the promotion of socialization through the extended family, life long education and mind and body stimulating activities, and a variety of physical activity.

"The grant will enable our program to provide additional meals and transportation services to the young at heart senior citizens," said Musetta Wollenweber, director of senior services.

The Daniels Fund operates the Daniels Scholarship Program and the Daniels Grants Program in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The fund was established in 1997 by Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity to those in need.

For more information about the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, call 264-2167 or visit www.archuletacounty.org.

Pagosa Reads! kids' programs

By Barb Draper

Special to The PREVIEW

Why is water important?

This is the theme for all the youth programs at Sisson Library this month, in conjunction with the ongoing Pagosa Reads! programs.

Children's programming for May runs through Friday, May 19.

Our regular Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre activity is 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13. This month, the drama and story presentation will take place in Town Park, not at the library. We will host an audience interactive time based on the book "Common Ground," by Molly Bang.

Come to the Seeds of Learning Playin' in the Park celebration and look for us by the straw bale seating area. Learn how water is important to all of us, and be ready to be one of our actors if you'd like. This is one of the many free activities offered that day in Town Park.

From now until May 22, youth of all ages (preschool through high school) are encouraged to enter the library's art contest as a part of Pagosa Reads! The youth part of the contest is to design and submit a poster based on the theme, "Why is water important?"

Preschoolers through elementary school students are invited to the library Friday, May 19 at any time to work on posters. Poster board and other materials will be furnished. Create a poster, leave it to be put on display and you will be entered in our contest.

All older youth can create artwork of any type and enter the contest. There will be age divisions for prizes. Call the library (264-2209) for more details.

Preschool story hour

Formal story hour will not be held between now and Tuesday, June 27, when our big Summer Reading Program begins. Thank you to everyone who has attended these programs since they began in January.

And, speaking of that, watch for lots of information - in The PREVIEW and in a flyer that will be sent home with the kids from the schools - about the Summer Reading Program. Dates are June 27 through Aug. 4 with a final "rewards party" on Aug. 9. (Yes, SRP is being held later than usual this year.)

There will be activities for preschool through grade six in "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales" and there will be a separate series of programs for teens called "Creature Features." Sign up for these programs begins June 1 at the library.

Outdoors

Mule Deer Association makes donation

By Joe Lewandowski

Special to The SUN

The Colorado Mule Deer Association has donated $9,000 to the Colorado Division of Wildlife to aid mule deer habitat improvement.

Eddie Vita, president of the Pagosa Springs chapter of the association presented the check to DOW Director Bruce McCloskey.

"The association appreciates the work done by the Colorado Division of Wildlife to improve mule deer herds throughout Colorado," Vita said.

In February, the association held its annual Governor's Tag auction in Grand Junction. The Division of Wildlife donates one mule deer license to the association that can be used by a hunter anywhere in the state. A hunter from Utah offered the winning bid of $45,000.

The association donated $9,000 of the proceeds to the DOW. The association uses the money for its own mule deer enhancement programs throughout the state.

Council seeks help with trails projects

By Larry Lynch and John Applegate

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Area Trails Council is alive and well, even though we have not been in the news much this past year.

The council is a non-profit organization formed several years ago to promote trails and facilitate trail construction and maintenance in the Pagosa area.

The council was instrumental in the development of the Archuleta County/Town of Pagosa Springs Master Trails Plan that was adopted in 2003.

The trails plan includes many miles of future trails in the community, details community needs and desires based on public input forums, trail design and criteria, trail locations and priorities and timelines for trail construction. A lot of time and effort went into this plan and the document is used extensively by both the town and county planning departments whenever trail issues come up. The council also monitors the implementation of the Trails Plan as new developments go through the approval process.

The last few years, the council has concentrated on the completion of two new huts to add to the Turkey Springs Cabin. One new hut at Hotz Springs is complete and the other at Monument Park is very close. The Pagosa Hut and Trail System will allow users to take extended overnight trips that include the Turkey Springs area, Middle Mountain, Monument Park, Hotz Springs and connections to the Piedra River and Devil Mountain. Sounds like fun doesn't it?

For more information on this hut and trail system go to the Pagosa Area Trails Council Web site at pagosahuts.com.

This summer, the council wants to refocus on trail construction and maintenance in the Pagosa area. We are planning several trail days this summer and we need volunteer help and involvement to make these trail improvements happen.

Some trails just need maintenance and upkeep such as minor reroutes, brush and downed timber clearing and new drainage features. As part of Colorado Trails Day, the council announces volunteer trail work days June 3 and 4 to work on sections of trail near Monument Park. Contact John Applegate at 731-9325 for information on this project and to sign up for volunteer work.

The council has also been working with the Forest Service over the past several years to construct a trail system in Martinez Canyon, just west of Pagosa Lakes. This system will include a loop trail that follows Martinez Canyon and Stevens Draw near the Vista and Trails subdivisions, as well as connect to the other side of the canyon, providing access to the trails on Brockover Mesa, Turkey Springs and Chris Mountain. When completed, this will be an amazing trail system that has the advantage of being within walking distance of many residents in the community, or at the most a short car or bike ride away. Future trailhead parking areas are included in the project providing four different parking and trail access locations complete with informational signs.

This project has always seemed like a quality community trail proposal but the catch is there is no federal or local funding for trail construction with this project. It will have to be done entirely through volunteer efforts. This is where the council needs your help. If you would like to become involved in the Martinez Canyon trail project call Larry Lynch at 731-5635 for more information and to be added to the list of helpers.

We have scheduled a trail work day for Martinez Canyon Saturday May 20. We plan to meet at 9 a.m. at the Vista Clubhouse then drive to the trail access point and walk into the canyon.

The council will provide tools; please wear a good pair of work boots, work gloves and bring sunscreen and water. Bring a lunch and we will all eat together in the canyon.

We would like to have several of these work days over the course of the summer and early fall. Even if you can only make one or two work days, your help will be much appreciated and the reward will be an amazing trail we can all enjoy.

The Pagosa Area Trails Council depends on community volunteers to get the job done. If you are interested in joining the council, we meet as a group once a month, on the second Wednesday of the month at the Chamber of Commerce meeting room during the lunch hour. Feel free to just show up. The council always needs new members to help plan and run our activities.

Donations sought for fish stocking project

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Fishing in the San Juan River through Pagosa Springs is about to improve dramatically. But first, the fish have to arrive.

According to Thadeus Cano, acting coordinator of the Pagosa Quality Fishing Project (PQFP), the annual supplemental river stocking through town will again take place some time between now and July 1. By then, if all goes well, some 1,700 pounds of large catchable trout will have been introduced to various sections of river between the Apache Street bridge and the Conoco station near the intersection of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84.

Though the Colorado Division of Wildlife permits the annual project, it is considered supplementary, because it is not part of the official DOW stocking program conducted each year. The DOW, of course, stocks several million catchable and sub-catchable trout in a broad variety of state waters every summer.

Cano said the exact timing of the community project will depend on how soon the high-country snowmelt and subsequent San Juan runoff ends, but he believes, this season, it'll be sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, earlier concerns over the potential effects on stocking by the town's planned river improvements have apparently dissolved, as those plans have encountered bureaucratic delays that may push them into next year.

This year's PQFP details are still being worked out, like how many deliveries it can actually afford, and how many pounds of very large, large and medium-sized fish each delivery will include. But, once all donations are in, special tanker trucks full of wriggling rainbows, and perhaps a few brown trout, will arrive in the days to follow.

Even as the program enters its fourth year, it remains completely dependent on the generous contributions of a long list of Pagosa area citizens, merchants and financial institutions, who have supported it to the benefit of local tourism. Donations have increased steadily each year, with those of the 2005 season totaling $6,123.

According to Cano, that amount allowed the stocking of 159 pounds of 10- to 12-pound cutbows, 502 pounds of three- to five-pound rainbows, 450 pounds of 14- to 18-inch rainbows, and 200 pounds of 11- to 14-inch rainbows.

When asked how the project determines the number and sizes of trout to stock, Cano explained that donors complete a form suggesting their preferences. All the forms are compiled, then reconciled into a formula that reflects the general consensus.

This spring, Cano hopes to raise $7,380 in contributions, which will reflect the average annual increase seen over the previous three seasons. While confidant he'll reach his goal, he admits to lagging behind at this point, although some of the program's top supporters have yet to remit promised allocations.

"We're looking for new supporters too, so we can meet this goal," Cano said. "We're asking our current supporters to twist arms, sweet talk, and beg other business owners or fishermen for their support."

Cano said the cost of each delivery is expected to rise this year, but the hatchery supplying the fish, River Bend Trout Farm of Monte Vista, is also a program donor and provides certified disease-free trout at reduced rates.

Cano hopes donations will arrive soon, to allow stocking by mid-June. He believes runoff will have come and gone by then, and the fish will have time to settle in to their new surroundings before the height of 2006 tourism, which should be the week of July 4.

An account has been established at Wells Fargo for those wishing to contribute directly to the program. The account number is 624-5002974. For more information on the Pagosa Quality Fishing Project, call Thadeus Cano at 264-2370.

"Providing this level of fishing right through town is a real benefit to the local economy," Cano said. "Fishermen can walk to the river and catch big fish, while their families shop local stores, and they can all meet for lunch."

Don't disturb the swans

According to Robbie Schwartz, of the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, the organization has received many calls regarding the swans that live at Pinon Lake at Pagosa Lodge.

Schwartz said she contacted Pat Jackson of St. Francis Bird Sanctuary. Jackson, in turn, contacted Mike Reid of the Colorado Division Wildlife.

According to Jackson, Reid said the adult swans are nesting on the shore of the lake and should not be disturbed. There is concern that dogs, other animals or people will bother the adult swans and cause them to leave their nest.

The adult swans cross the roads to go to other lakes; the four young birds are old enough to fly but haven't been seen doing this yet. They, too, walk to Village Lake.

Even though the swans are wildlife they are privately owned by the lodge. Lodge management is encouraging people not to walk up to the nesting area to check on the swans.

The Division of Wildlife is monitoring the situation. Officials would like the adult swans to be comfortable during the repair of the dam on Pinon Causeway and not abandon their nest.

Colorado Wildlife Commission meets

The Colorado Wildlife Commission met May 4 in Montrose. It took action on several issues and referred other items for further study and discussion. The following are the major issues decided by the Commission during the meeting:

- The commission approved big-game license numbers for deer, elk, bear, moose, and pronghorn. Highlights: Deer populations continues to rise and the number of licenses available overall will increase slightly; elk populations are stable and at objective, consequently cow licenses will be reduced by about 10 percent (there are no limits on bull licenses in most of the state); pronghorn populations are rebounding from drought years early in the decade and doe licenses will be increased by 33 percent, buck license numbers will remain stable; moose populations are growing slowly and 185 licenses will be available statewide for 2006, up from 159 licenses in 2005; bears continue to struggle in many areas of the state, so the number of licenses will be reduced by 9 percent to 2,540. The complete list for license numbers for all game management units can be found at the Colorado Division of Wildlife's (DOW) Web site: http://wildlife.state.co.us. The commission also approved a requirement that all wildlife harvested through the use of an auction or raffle license shall be presented to and inspected by an employee of the DOW on or before the fifth working day after the animal is harvested.

- People who are guided for hunting, fishing or wildlife viewing on Colorado State Wildlife Areas by a professional outfitter or guide will remain required to purchase a wildlife habitat stamp.

- To assure that wildlife remains the primary focus at Colorado's State Wildlife Areas, the commission approved new restrictions at several of the areas around the state. These include a variety of restrictions pertaining to off-highway vehicles, camping and dogs at these State Wildlife Areas: Echo Canyon, Williams Creek, Lake DeWeese and Gypsum Ponds.

- The commission heard testimony on a proposal to restrict collection of antler sheds on public lands only from April 1 through Dec. 31, starting in 2007. The restrictions would be imposed to prevent shed collectors from harassing wildlife during the most severe months of the winter. The prohibition would be in effect during late-season hunts in specific game management units. The final regulations will be considered at the July commission meeting.

- The commission considered proposed dates for upcoming waterfowl seasons. Dates are changed every year according to federal migratory bird guidelines, which are published by the federal government in June and July. These proposed dates can be found on the DOW web site and will be up for final consideration at the July commission meeting. If new federal regulations occur after the July meeting, the commission may modify its regulations in August.

- The commissioners heard testimony to expand the number of small game species that can be legally taken. The Colorado Trappers Association had requested to add mink, marten, long- and short-tailed weasel, opossum, ringtail, western spotted skunk, swift fox and gray fox to the list of small game species. The final regulations will be considered at the July commission meeting.

The Wildlife Commission also heard a presentation from the DOW staff regarding recommended restrictions on the taking of prairie dogs. The staff is recommending that the taking of prairie dogs on public lands be prohibited statewide on all species from March 1 to May 31 to provide protection of breeding adults and dependent young. The staff also recommends the Wildlife Commission consider allowing a shooting season on all prairie dog species outside of the closure period, including black-tailed prairie dogs which are found primarily on the Eastern Plains. The commission will consider this issue again at its July meeting.

The commission also heard a presentation by the DOW staff regarding the use of an explosive device to control burrowing animals in areas where they are causing damage. The device uses a mixture of propane and oxygen and is detonated in a burrow. Staff explained that: The device offers a more humane method of killing the animals than the use of poisons; and the device is preferred by certified organic agricultural producers who are prohibited from using certain chemicals on their lands. The staff was directed to present the issue for future consideration at the commission's July meeting.

Take simple precautions in bear season

By Michael Seraphin

Special to The SUN

There are between 8,000 and 12,000 bears in Colorado and most of them have awakened from their winter hibernation.

As the temperatures warm and snow pack melts, nature provides and new generation of tender young plants for bears to eat.

Adult male bears usually emerge from their dens first. Females with cubs tend to come out later.

For the first few weeks following hibernation, bears drink lots of water, helping their digestive system adjust. Once they are ready to eat again, they become relentless in their search for food. New grass, dandelions, and young plants are typical natural foods - but bears are opportunists and will eat anything they find.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) reminds people that an ounce of prevention is worth 200 pounds of cure. "Many people do not realize that a few simple precautions can minimize the chance of unwanted encounters with bears. Right now, is the best time to walk your property and remove any bear attractants from sight and smell," said Bob Davies, a senior biologist with the DOW. He recommends "bear-proofing" your property by removing items a bear might consider potential food sources such as bird feeders, pet food left outside or unsecured trash cans.

These things may seem insignificant, but they can create behavior patterns in bears which often cannot be reversed. If there was bear activity in your neighborhood last year, you'll need to be extra careful this year, as bears will return to the same locations where they have been successful finding food in the past. If the home or business owner does not take action to remove the bear attractants (anything that smells like potential food), it is only a matter of time before the bear will return.

If you regularly see a bear on your property, assess the situation by discovering what is attracting the bear and take steps to remove the attractant.

Bears are generally shy and usually avoid humans, but their need for food and sense of smell often draws them to human residences.

Remember, "A fed bear is a dead bear." By making food available to a bear, people train it to associate humans with food. Once a bear learns this association, it can become dangerous and often must be killed.

Colorado has a "two strike" rule for dealing with problem bears. The first time a bear gets into trouble, it receives an ear tag marking it as a problem bear. Another serious encounter, or "second strike," means the bear will be killed.

Here are some tips to prevent bears from becoming habituated to human food:

- Take down, clean and put away bird feeders. Bear damage to bird feeders is a common complaint. Once a bear has found a feeder in your yard, it will likely look around for other easy foods within reach.

- Keep garbage in airtight containers inside your garage or storage area. Clean trash cans with ammonia or bleach occasionally to reduce odors that attract bears.

- Consider a bear-proof Dumpster - if not available, ask your trash-removal company for options.

- Place garbage for pickup outside just before collection and not the night before.

- Do not place meat or sweet-smelling food scraps such as melon rinds in a compost pile.

- Do not leave pet food or dishes outdoors at night.

- Clean up and store outdoor grills after use. Sticky barbecue sauce and grease can attract bears to your yard.

- Never intentionally feed bears to attract them to your yard for viewing. It's illegal to feed bears in Colorado - in addition to being bad for the bear; you will be ticketed and fined.

Public invited to review and comment on plan revisions

The San Juan Public Lands Center is hosting round of public meetings in May to offer updates on the San Juan National Forest Management Plan/BLM Resource Management Plan Revisions and to get feedback on three resource topics not discussed in detail during last year's study group meetings:

- Draft Travel Suitability: areas where motorized use is appropriate, where motorized use is emphasized, and where non-motorized use is emphasized;

- Draft Mineral Lease Areas: areas where oil and gas leasing is being considered;

- Draft inventory of rivers and streams eligible for consideration as Wild and Scenic Rivers

Maps showing the latest version of land allocations for the revised plan and possible alternatives will also be available for review.

Study Group members and all interested members of the public are invited to attend the meetings. Meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. Meetings will include maps and information for the entire planning area, with an emphasis on lands in the adjacent USFS Ranger District and BLM land.

A meeting is set for May 23 in Pagosa Springs at the Pagosa Junior High School Library, with focus on the Pagosa Ranger District and BLM lands.

PDF files of the Alternative maps and other maps being used in the analysis will soon be available on the Web at: http://ocs.fortlewis.edu/forestplan.

For more information, contact Shannon Manfredi, 385-1229.

 

 Catch and Release

A mother's lessons

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It's true my father instilled in me a passion for fishing, but my mother is largely to blame for everything else. This thought came to me when I was reflecting on Mother's Day and time spent together during one of her more recent visits.

Two years ago, we decided a Four Corners road trip would be a good way to spend time together while seeing the country. As agreed, she and my sister flew down from Seattle and met me at my home in Albuquerque.

The plan was simple, I would act as tour guide and aside from two planned activities, the goal was to venture north through Santa Fe, Chama, Taos, Pagosa Springs and Durango, with stops at as many espresso joints, quilting shops and fishing holes as possible - she, and my sister, are avid and skilled quilters; I am an avid fly fisherman; and me and my mother are coffee addicts. The arrangement seemed equitable, the plan sufficient, and we set out.

After a leisurely drive north through the Rio Grande valley with stops in Santa Fe, Chimayo, and Ranchos de Taos, our first evening found us at a hotel in Taos proper. After an early evening meal at Orlando's, I convinced my mother and sister to join me for an evening of flyfishing on the Rio Hondo just outside of town. They agreed, and we drove up the ski valley road, found a riverside pullout and I dove into a pair of waders while my bibliophile mother and sister dove into their respective books and hunkered down next to the river wrapped in quilts. I fished. They read. Everyone was happy.

When I look back on that evening together, it strikes me that at that moment, me and my mother must have appeared very different - me decked out in high tech fishing gear stalking trout with maniacal intensity, she sitting at a picnic bench wrapped in a quilt reading - but in fact, although seemingly different, we are in fact, much the same, and who I am today, is probably due largely to her.

While my father taught me how to read a trout stream, my mother taught me the pleasures of reading and instilled in me a love of books. While in elementary school, she fed my habit with regular trips to the library and she never discouraged long Saturday mornings spent in bed finishing up a sci-fi, fantasy or adventure novel.

In her house, stacks of books were never clutter. They were a necessity. I remember the pile of a dozen or so books she kept next to her bed, and her sewing room, acting as a chaotic, surrogate library, bursting at the seams with countless volumes of fiction and nonfiction alike. And now, as an adult, it comes as no surprise, that in regard to books, my house is much like hers - books on shelves, books stacked on every flat surface and books next to the bed. Her passion for reading, exhibited streamside, is something I have inherited, and although I spent that evening on the Rio Hondo fishing, I have spent countless evenings, like her, nose buried in a book.

While my father taught me how to drink in cold mountain air and the beauty of a remote wilderness vista, my mother taught me how to drink strong black coffee - coffee the consistency of roofing tar or creosote - coffee with a kick. And although wilderness and coffee may seem disparate, the two, in fact, are inextricably connected.

Throughout the years, trips into the wilderness have helped maintain my sanity, while coffee, on deadline days at the paper, and throughout college during test times, has helped keep another part of me sane, and if not sane, at least functioning. Thanks to my mother, and perhaps genetics, I can drink the stuff any time of day or night and can sleep without difficulty soon thereafter.

Once, during a separate visit, we returned home around midnight after an evening out, and both craved a cup. I brewed a pot and we sat around sipping and talking for an hour then went to bed. At that point, it was clear we were truly of the same stock.

While my father taught me how to take it easy, to slow down and relax, my mother took those lessons to new heights, and it is due to her that I have mastered the art of pre-bedtime napping. It sounds bizarre, but there's nothing quite like a good nap in your favorite chair, book flopped on the floor and a cold cup of coffee by your side, before you really hit the hay. A pre-bedtime nap gives you that boost of energy needed to finish that last chapter, that last quilting square, or that last paragraph of a writing project, before you seriously head for bed somewhere around 3 a.m. It's a technique I employ nightly, and I've used napping to great effect on trout streams. It's hard to beat sleeping away an afternoon in a field full of wildflowers, only to wake up rejuvenated, casting for cutthroats as the sun goes down.

While my father taught me the patience required to stalk trout, my mother taught me patience with others. While growing up, she worked hard to raise five kids, and although my stepfather was there, I'm sure, at times, the pressures of motherhood were tough to bear. There were trips to the grocery store, times of sickness, the never-ending packing of school lunches, and the countless shuttles to soccer games and after school activities. And through all the chaos and occasional strife, she rarely lost her cool. I'd like to think I've absorbed some of that from her, and that patience is an integral part of who I am today. If it is, I have my mother to thank.

While my father taught me to trust the strength of a well-tied knot, of good tackle and my instincts, my mother taught me to trust others. She taught me to trust what people say, to give people the benefit of the doubt, that people are generally good and forthright, that they are honorable until proven otherwise.

Some might call her trust naiveté, yet my mother had confidence in the better side of human nature. And while trusting others was key, most importantly, she taught me to trust myself, because she did, when many probably didn't. I know that over the years I have given her much grey hair, and at times, I'm sure she had her doubts. But she always gave me room to roam, she let me discover, sometimes through hard knocks, who it is that I would ultimately become. She gave me freedom, and has taught, by her own example, acceptance.

Soon after our evening along the Rio Hondo, our trip culminated in Durango with a trip on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. We opted for the full-day excursion, and true to form we sat in the open car in the chill of the early morning, eating pastries and sipping espressos. It was a trip, and a morning, I remember fondly to this day.

It's true, my mother didn't teach me how to fish but she taught me respect, curiosity, and instilled in me a sense of wonder about the world and the people who live in it. It is her careful guidance, of knowing when to let go, of knowing when to be firm, of teaching by example not by lecture, that has shaped who I am today.

These are lessons that transcend those learned on river, but they are lessons I apply during every excursion and before every cast. They are lessons that guide me through the day. Thanks - and happy Mother's Day.

Letters

Pay the fiddler

Dear Editor:

I couldn't help laughing at Bob Dungan's letter about King George. No one likes the high price of gasoline, but we're getting exactly what we asked for, and it's not all George's fault. Americans have wasted energy like we have wasted food and every other commodity we have for years, and now we're "paying the fiddler." It amazes me how Americans gripe about paying $3 a gallon for gasoline while they drink their $4 bottled water, which probably comes from a well in Tennessee.

My wife and I just returned from a Caribbean cruise. We took an island tour on Curacao, and I asked our driver what the price of gasoline was there. Ready for this - $6 a gallon, U.S. dollars. They get their crude oil from Venezuela, which is 23 miles away. Venezuela signed an agreement with Curacao to provide crude oil, refine it on the Island, and provide their gasoline supply. I counted six big tankers from Venezuela dock the one day we were there. I'm sure some of that refined gasoline winds up in the U.S. Aruba, which is 18 miles off the Venezuelan Coast, turned down a similar agreement because they didn't want to get the shaft from Hugo Chavez like Curacao did. Aruba's gasoline is $3.79 a gallon, U.S. dollars. Oh, by the way, the price of gasoline in Venezuela is currently less than 20 cents a gallon. See, George isn't the only tyrant.

Bob must live in a very sheltered world. Has he looked at the salaries and golden parachutes of other CEOs nationwide, besides oil executives? They are pretty similar. Eisner of Disney was making $23,000 a day when he was their CEO. Ever wonder why the tickets to Disney World are so high?

Another highlight of the cruise, which reminded me of how arrogant we Americans are, and not just Republicans, came at Logan International Airport in Boston. As we were entering the American Airlines Terminal to fly home, I saw Senator John Kerry get into a stretch limo, which probably gets five miles per gallon. Write him a thank you note, Mr. Dungan, for his part in helping with gasoline conservation.

Roy Boutwell

Wichita Falls, Texas

100 years

Dear Editor:

On June 7, my dear grandfather, Harold Comstock, will celebrate his 100th birthday. He was born in Pagosa Springs to John and Anne Comstock in 1906. My grandfather lived in the Pagosa Springs area until he was about 15 years old, at which time the family moved to Texas looking for work.

My grandfather has many fond memories of his youth spent in the Pagosa Springs area. He loves to tell his many family members about growing up in Colorado. I thought it would be a wonderful surprise for his birthday if a few people from the Pagosa Springs area would send him a postcard from Colorado for his birthday. His address is: Mr. Harold Comstock, 715 Ave. D, Port Neches, TX 77651.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Carl Van Hess

Avoid "old"

Dear Editor:

Joe and I want to thank you for publishing the news, with pictures (yeah) of our 65th wedding anniversary, which we observed March 21, 2006.

There aren't many of our old friends left in Pagosa, but the memories are compounded by my 85th April birthday. We try to avoid saying the word, "old..."

Before anything else, including the most beautiful scenery one could hope for, are the people of Pagosa which kept us there for nearly 18 years. We were productive citizens as health permitted. Let's hope the current population keeps the faith, enjoys the snow along with the brilliant sunshine and says a "hi" to everyone.

Thanks again,

Doris G. Hudson

Forward looking

Dear Editor:

I wish to thank all the forward looking citizens who took the time to become informed and vote for our hospital. The turnout for a Special District Election was very healthy; and I was impressed at the number of people who waited in line; and also those who came back after seeing the long line to make sure that their voice was heard.

The overwhelming support, not only from the voters, but also from all the citizens who donated their time and money toward this cause is very heartwarming. There are just too many participants to mention them all. In addition there were many local businesses who contributed with services and spreading the word.

I know that the board, their committees and all the volunteers will now do everything possible to ensure that your trust is rewarded by building and operating the best hospital a small town can have. This is a real leap forward in medical care for our community that was started many years ago by foresighted individuals and previous boards. We owe them a big thanks too.

I hope to see many of you at the opening of our hospital in the fall of 2007.

Jim Knoll

No respect

Dear Editor:

We are going to have growth and progress in our area, but it needs to be with respect to the residents. Nothing respectful about the town going ahead with plans showing ranches swallowed up, homes gone, or businesses no longer there. Nothing respectful about plans to put in a Wal-Mart when the moratorium is lifted come June. Are those plans on Tamra's desk? Nothing respectful about BootJack Management's last-minute request to increase density in a residential area. Nothing respectful about pushing residents or small business persons around because you want their property.

How does the town planning and council approve developers' plans when the property is in the county? This is happening with Todd and Doug Shelton at Rock Ridge Mobile Home Park where they wish to build houses. Will it be rushed through annexation now? Thursday, May 11, at noon, is a town council meeting.

How do they go against the recommendations of CDOT on the increased traffic at 160 and Great West? Where does the county planning and BOCC stand on this project? Developers want a second entrance/exit for the project in the Rock Ridge area. Why should Alpha/Rock Ridge Metro District pay for more traffic on their roads? Why is the town going to pave almost one mile, as a "gesture of good will," more of Great West than first planned several years ago? They were to pave only in front of Rock Ridge commercial. Odd that this paving project now goes to a point just beyond where developers want that second entrance to come through. Highland Springs developers want a road coming into Alpha from behind the grade school area. This will create even more traffic at 160 and Great West, as well as within the metro district.

Properties in Alpha/Rock Ridge are three, five and 10 acres with a rural feel. That is why we live there and want to keep it that way. No one has the right to drastically change the value of your property to benefit a developer's pocket. If you think this does not affect you, think again. Will someone plan a road through properties on South Pagosa Boulevard? Meadows? Piedra Estates? Holiday Acres? Continental Estates? Once a road is put in, they will want to connect the dots with other roads and keep tearing away at open spaces.

Maybe an attorney needs to check to see if what they are doing is truly legal. There are too many items being rushed through a broken system without showing respect to those area residents. Some developers go through the right motions, but maybe that is just that motions and lip service. Ever hear of baffle them with BS?

Janet Valdez

Some brakes

Dear Editor:

When I was growing up in the Northwest, my brother and I shared a sled. The kind with wood slats and narrow steel runners. The main thing to know about our sled was that it had no brakes. You only got to decide where you were going, not if.

Archuleta County's growth is a lot like riding that sled. All steering, no brakes. There will be growth here. There will be development here. But where we end up is still up to us.

On Monday night, Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners took a big step by approving our first Land Use Code. The Board of County Commissioners, the County Planning Commission, and the Office of County Development (Planning), have for several months been soliciting help from consultants, ranchers, developers, and many other citizens in the arduous process of writing this Code. I have personally been to every meeting, and the process has been very transparent and responsive to input. The new Land Use Code is how we will steer toward our future. It will enable us to guide what kind of growth we have and where.

The trick with land use codes is to encourage and reward excellence, whether it is in development, in agriculture, or land preservation, while protecting us all from bad neighbors and preserving some of our rural heritage. Also, a Land Use Code, like all governance, should create balance. Fairness.

The Code will provide a necessary counterbalance to the tremendous force of development. High land values force developers outward from towns to create affordable and profitable developments. Meanwhile, it is nearly impossible for people struggling to stay in agricultural production to say no to thousands of dollars an acre to sell their land. The only way a landowner is able to use the full value of their land is to sell it. That is bad for everyone.

That is why I applaud the BoCC and Planning Commission, not only for their incredibly hard work in creating and enacting the Land Use Code, but also for including Scenic and Wildlife Overlays and Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) language in the Code. Overlays and TDRs have been combined as an incentive-only and market-based program to encourage and compensate landowners and developers for preserving some agricultural and open lands.

In the past, being in an Overlay District meant extra regulation and no net benefit to the landowner. Our Code does just the opposite. If we are going to tell landowners that their land is important to the rest of us by putting them in a Scenic or Wildlife Overlay District, then we should back that up by giving them more value for their land. The more valuable the land is to the community, the greater the compensation should be. The new Overlay/TDR program has few restrictions or "hoops" to get through. It will provide a voluntary opportunity to get greater value out of your land by keeping it agricultural.

Whether you are a person working to keep your ranch operating, or see that same ranch as an incredibly beautiful view, or you are an elk hunter, fly fisher, or want clean drinking water for your kids, everyone benefits when the land stays open and productive.

I encourage everyone to read the code, ask questions, and suggest changes, as the next steps in the process begin and continue.

Michael Whiting

Help with Fiesta

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Spanish Fiesta Club we would like to thank everyone who attended our dinner and dance on Friday, Cinco de Mayo, the piñata party on Saturday and the Mariachis on Sunday. It was also a great reminder of how important it is for all of us to keep the traditions that were started 25 years ago alive in our community.

There will be a reorganizational meeting for the Spanish Fiesta Club on Wednesday, May 17, at the community center at 6:30 p.m. The Spanish Fiesta Club gives three scholarships to local high school students annually. We must continue to celebrate our cultures that seem to be slowly getting lost. If you are interested in helping revive what was once a great chance to see, learn and hear the traditions that many of our residents grew up with, in Pagosa Springs and the surrounding areas, come help us get this going again. Remember the parade, the dance, the party in the park, the excitement that we once had? It can be done again with your help, if not there may be a chance it will be gone and lost forever. Let's be proud of our heritage and where we came from.

For more information contact Inez Lobato-Winter at 264-2740 or 946-2288, Laurie Echavarria at 759-9913 or Theresa Lucero at 264-4534.

Please remember that this is for the children in our community. We need to help them with their future education dreams. We hope to see you at our meeting on May 17.

Inez Lobato-Winter

  Community News

Shelter anniversary, plans made for new facility

By Robbie Schwartz

Special to The PREVIEW

A group of volunteers lead by Debra Rinker-Brown founded The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs in 1983 and raised the funds to build and open the current shelter May 3, 1986.

As the county of Archuleta and the town of Pagosa Springs have grown, so has the population of the dogs and cats in the community.

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is the only animal welfare organization for dogs and cats in Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. The Society's purpose is to provide a safe haven for animals in need, promote adoptions, reunite lost animals with their owners and to humanely reduce pet overpopulation through community education and aggressive spay and neuter programs.

The organization is a nonprofit, charitable tax-exempt corporation directed by a board of elected volunteers. The Humane Society is audited every three years and is in excellent financial health. Operating costs are covered through sales at our thrift store, private donations, fund-raising events, grants from private foundations and fees from the town and county for impounding services provided.

As with any small or large town humane society there have been many accomplishments and goals have been achieved throughout the years.

Landmark dates

October 1983 - Upper San Juan Humane Society created.

May 3, 1986 - Shelter grand opening ceremonies.

May 1991 - Shelter addition (18x20 foot) completed.

October 1993 - Repair and remodeling of shelter.

November 1994 - Pack Rack Thrift Store opens on Lewis Street.

June 1995 - Thrift Store moves to 180 South 6th St.

1995 - Initiation of spay/neuter programs for all adopted animals and for the public's animals.

1996 - Repairs and improvements completed at shelter.

1997 - Animal transfer program begins.

1998 - Nine chainlink dog runs added at shelter.

1998-- Educational programs created for public and school system.

April 1999 - Name changed to Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, Inc.

2000 - No animals will be euthanized for length of stay or space.

January 2000 - Crematorium installed at shelter.

March 2000 - The organization secures a permanent location for the thrift store on Pagosa Street.

September 2000 - Two direct donations made for acquisition of Cloman property, 11.25 acres for new shelter site.

2001 - Spay/neuter programs six years old, 8-percent decline in number of incoming animals.

2001 - Initiation of behavior and temperament testing of potential adoptable animals.

January 2002 - New shelter van purchased.

2003 -Archuleta County hired animal control officers.

2004 - Formed Four Corners Animal Resource Entities with 12 other animals groups in the surrounding area to collaborate on animals challenges and successes.

2004 - Organization awarded $18,010 in grants.

2005 - Court-order dog responsibility class for pet owners.

2005 - HSPS coordinated accepting 69 dogs and 35 cats from Hurricane Katrina areas.

2006 - Implemented home visit program prior to adoption of dogs.

2006 - Dedicated behavior help line established, 731-APET.

Future goals

2006-2007 - Phase one of new humane society shelter project.

2007-2008 - Phase two of shelter project.

2008-2009 - Phase three of shelter project.

If you have visited our current shelter, it would not come as a surprise that our existing facility is outdated and we are out of space for future expansion. One of the biggest challenges of an animal shelter is to avoid cross contamination of new animals arriving with current residents or having to move an aggressive 130-pound dog from one kennel to another for cleaning. We have been in need of a new shelter for several years.

The need

There are many reasons why a new animal shelter must be built at a different location:

- The land on which the current animal shelter was built is less than an acre.

- The size of the water line is inadequate for the water pressure needs of an animal shelter.

- The septic system, a septic lagoon, is already at capacity and cannot handle a larger load.

- The location of the existing shelter has become a desirable residential district and homeowners are applying pressure to get the animal shelter to move.

- The location is inconvenient for the public.

- The gravel road servicing the animal shelter is in poor shape most of the year and impassible during periods of rain and snow.

- The overcrowding of the pets at the shelter causes excessive noise and high stress on the animals. Stress affects the health of the animals and increases susceptibility to disease.

- Current conditions provide a poor environment for encouraging adoptions.

- Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation Department is expanding the storage capability of Stevens Lake Reservoir and needs our property for this project.

To date

In 2000, 11.25 acres was purchased in the Cloman Industrial Park and paid for by two private donors. The property is easily accessible via the well-maintained Cloman Boulevard and is already tapped into municipal water and sewer.

In order to expedite our move, the board and the building committee have decided to proceed in phases.

Phase One: Construct at Cloman property a 50x60 metal building that would serve as a temporary shelter to house all incoming and adoptable animals. Move pole barn to house crematorium.

Phase Two: Construct block building to house all adoptable animals. At this point, the metal shelter will become an isolation ward for all incoming animals.

Phase Three: Create memorial garden, walking trails and bark park.

Architectural plans

We enlisted the architectural services of Animal Arts to design a state-of-the art shelter. The plans for phase two, which are now complete, will meet the projected animal sheltering needs for the next 10 years and allow for future expansion. In addition to providing more space, the new shelter will keep animals healthier, make animal care easier, offer improved impound and isolation areas and provide critical rehabilitation space for those needing time to adjust or heal. The new facility will also provide space for education and training and be much more inviting to the public when they come to the shelter to adopt a new pet.

The town and county are relying on the Humane Society to maintain a facility that can handle all impounded pets. As the community has grown, stray and nuisance animals have increased. In recent years, property owners have put pressure on the town and county to allocate more resources for animal control. As a result, more pets and strays are being impounded and, as a result of our aggressive spay and neuter programs, the organization is struggling to keep up with demand at our current location.

Pagosa Springs is entering a new phase in its growth and development. Leaders, businesses and private individuals are working to maximize Pagosa's potential as a place to visit and a place to live. How a community treats its lost and homeless pets is a factor in its lifestyle rating. A state-of-the-art animal shelter will be an asset to our community and will provide a safe educational environment for the residents of Archuleta County to visit or enjoy with their pets.

Community choir concerts this weekend

By Sue Diffee

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Community Choir will present its fourth annual spring concert - "I'm Gonna Sing" - Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 14, at 4 p.m.

Included in the program will be "Jubilate," "American Folk Rhapsody" with soloist Matthew Brunson, "Once Upon a Time" with soloist Tiffany Brunson, "America the Beautiful," "Poor Wayfarin' Stranger" with soloist Larry Baisdon, "Do You Feel the Rhythm?," "I'm Gonna Sing" and "This Little Light of Mine."

Baked goods will be available for purchase after each concert.

A Christmas choir was started by Carroll (Doc) Carruth in 1989. It evolved into the Pagosa Springs Community Choir, a non-profit organization which provides two free performances each year. The choir hosts a monthly sing-a-long at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center and repeats the concert for those who were unable to attend. Members of the choir have been invited to sing with "Music in the Mountains" in Durango this summer.

The choir size varies from 65 to 95 local volunteers under the direction of Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer, accompanied by Melinda Baum.

If you are interested in joining the choir, contact Sue Diffee at 731-1305 or Pam Spitler at 264-1952. The only requirements are a love of singing, carrying a tune and a dedication to weekly rehearsals. Schedules will be announced in The PREVIEW for three weeks prior to the beginning of rehearsals and will be posted online at www.pagosachoir.org. Rehearsals for the Christmas concert will begin in early September.

As always, the choir is pleased to provide free admission for this program as its gift to the community. The group gratefully accepts any donations, which are tax deductible.

Children's Chorale brings home first-place trophies

By Anna Harbison

Special to The PREVIEW

Seventeen members of the Dolce Cantare choir, one of two Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale choirs, traveled to Denver last weekend to compete with nearly 1,700 young musicians from seven states at "Music in the Parks."

Cantare singers range in age from 8 to 16 and have been in rehearsal since January for this event and for the upcoming spring concert to be presented at 3 p.m. May 13, at the high school auditorium.

Musical selections - "I Am Being Woven" and "May You Always Have A Song" - were adjudicated by Dr. Galen Darrough, vocal department chair at the University of Northern Colorado, and Mike Kornelsen, director of choral activities at Metropolitan State College.

Pagosa Springs' Cantare, the only "community ensemble" which competed, received a Superior rating of 93.5 out of 100, which was the highest score in their division. They also were awarded the judges' Over-All trophy, acknowledging their musical achievement in their division, which included seven public school choirs from Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Leadville, Alamosa, Casper, Cheyenne and Laramie.

Director Sue Anderson, a 20-plus-year choral director veteran, is no stranger to Superior ratings for her choirs and ensembles. In 1999 and 2000, as Pagosa Springs Junior High School choir director, she brought home Superior ratings and the Judge's Choice trophy as well. While those choirs averaged 50-60 voices, this treble choir of 17 voices demonstrated it is not the size of the choir, but musical finesse that impresses the judges.

Choir members include Soprano I: Hope Forman, Johanna Laverty, Mariah Mondragon, Johanna Patterson and Breanna Voorhis; Soprano II: Madelyn Davey, Alex Fortney, Melinda Fultz, Brooke Hampton, Abby Hicklin, Desi Pastin, Shannon Rogers and Lark Sanders; Alto: Leslie Baughman, Megan Davey, Kitman Gill, Ami Harbison and Jordyn Morelock.

Bruce Hayes to perform in Pagosa

Bruce Hayes performs in a 6:30 p.m. house concert May 20 at the Karas house in Holiday Acres.

Hayes is no stranger to Pagosa, or to the Colorado music scene. He performed and recorded on the first String Cheese Incident and Acoustic Junction releases. He tours relentlessly, often accompanying these acts as well as Three Twins (former subdudes) and Leftover Salmon. His last band, Ragged Mountain, was active on the Colorado club scene and festival circuit.

Performing as a solo act, a sideman or with his various bands, Hayes has given over 3,000 performances in many of America's finest music venues including The Fox Theater-Boulder, The Berkshire Performing Arts Center, The Great American Music Hall-San Francisco, and at several prominent music festivals. His music has taken him across the continent a dozen times, and twice around Europe. He's jammed on stage with Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie and New Riders; opened shows for David Bromberg, Jorma Kaukonen, Merle Sanders, subdudes, Dave Mathews and David Lindley; and recorded in Nashville for Grammy-winning producer, Jon Vezner.

To reach the Karas house, take U.S. 84 to Holiday Drive. Go one block to Stagecoach, turn right, then turn left on Shenandoah. Drive one block to Peregrine Place, turn left, and the Karas house is at 160 Peregrine Place, the second driveway on the left - a cream-colored, earth-berm passive solar structure.

Monthly dance at center on the horizon

By Siri Schuchardt

Special to The PREVIEW

Spring has sprung, and it is time for the next community center monthly dance.

The center will come alive Friday, May 19, with music from DJ Michael Murphy from Durango. Michael promises to play a wide variety of music.

The dance will begin at 7:30 p.m. and end at 10:30. Tickets are $5 and are available at the center and at WolfTracks. Tickets purchased at the door will be $8. There will be a cash bar with assorted beer, wine and soft drinks for a nominal charge. Snacks are provided and included in the price of admission. The dance is an over-21 event and ID may be checked at the door. Table reservations may be made for parties of 8-10 at the Community Center. There will be one or more tables reserved for singles.

The June dance will be held Friday, June 23, from 7-11 p.m. This dance will be a combination fund-raiser for the community center monthly dance program and a fun event to kick off the Bike Tour of Colorado which begins the next day. Music will be provided by the fabulous High Rollers, out of Durango. Prior to the dance, there will be a catered fajitas buffet with all the trimmings. Our plans for the dinner and dance are currently being firmed up and details will be printed in The PREVIEW the next few weeks.

The community center dances are a wonderful way to have an affordable evening out on the town. They are usually scheduled the third Friday of the month. We begin setup and decorating at 9 a.m. the day of the dance, and we would love to have anyone interested come down and help.

For additional information on the dances, contact me at 731-9670, Mercy at 264-4152, Pam Stokes at 731-1284, or Suzy Bruce at 731-1211.

The Pagosa Springs Community Center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd.

Register now for Pretenders Summer Drama Camp

The Pagosa Pretenders are excited to announce their first Summer Drama Camp. Open to students going into fourth grade, up to 12th-graders, this camp promises to introduce, challenge and develop acting skills in every age group.

It begins Tuesday, May 30, continuing through Saturday, June 3, for a fun-filled week of dramatic instruction.

Classes will be offered each day 8:30 a.m. to noon at Pagosa Springs High School. Students will attend classes in voice, improvisation and monologue/scene studies.

The Pretenders are producing this drama camp with money receive from an El Pomar Foundation Award. "The timing is perfect," said Pretenders president Susan Garman. "This drama camp fills a need in our community. We have many students who want to be involved in theatre, but do not have any place to acquire the skills to be successful. We're very excited about being able to provide that place."

Classes and their instructors are as follow:

Improvisation will be taught by Jon Bernard, a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Californian Bernard also studied the Sanford Meisner approach to acting for several years. He is passionate in his belief that "acting stems from instinct and tuition." The Improvisation class will offer creative activities to inspire young actors to develop characters and relationships with other characters on stage.

Voice will be taught by Darcy Downing and will explore the actor's voice as an instrument. Students will develop their voices theatrically and musically through the study of breathing techniques, articulation, projection and volume. Downing received her formal training at Adams State College. While the roots of her training lie in classical music, she understands and enjoys experimenting with voice, writing music and encouraging others to sing and speak loudly.

Felica Lansbury Meyer will teach Monologue and Scene Studies. Trained as an actress at New York University, and receiving her M.F.A. in film directing from The American Film Institute, she has worked as an actress in theatre and television, including a role last march in "Skins," the acclaimed production at La Mama E.T.C. in New York City. In February of this year she taught an acting course at Fort Lewis College. Monologue and Scene Studies will hone acting skills such as memorization, characterization, dialogue and scene-blocking. Actors will be practicing monologues in class.

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre is known for its spontaneous productions such as "2001: A Space Oddity" and "Escape to Broadway."

"Lack of something like this was brought our attention early last fall," says Pretenders secretary Sean Downing. "This camp is just the sort of thing we need to sustain interest in theatre here in Pagosa, and to give kids the tools they need to begin a lifelong enjoyment of the performing arts."

Registration for the camp is $95 with some scholarships (which pay 50 percent of the cost) available.

For more information, contact Garman at 731-2485 before May 15.

Playin' in the Park takes place Saturday

By Lynne Bridges

Special to The PREVIEW

Seeds of Learning's Playin' in the Park is Saturday and there will be fun for the whole family.

Free entertainment will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. in Town Park with a special story discussion and dramatization presented by Barb Draper from the Sisson Library.

Barb will share the book, "Common Ground," by Molly Bang, as part of the Pagosa Reads program.

At noon, April Merilee will share an interactive children's story titled, "Swimming Lessons." April's presentation will incorporate music and movement with lots of audience participation.

The Children's Choir, under the direction of Sue Anderson, will perform several of their favorite selections at 1 p.m.

At 2 p.m., Eddie Spaghetti will read his book, "A Visitor in the Dark," and sing a few songs from his latest CD..

The day of fun in the park lasts from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and includes several fun activities that are free of charge.

Eddie Spaghetti will be on hand throughout the day to greet children and sign autographs. Families will also be entertained by a clown with bubbles and storybook characters with cookies for all.

There will be a tractor train ride sponsored by Rotary, as well as a jump house, balloon characters, paper hat decorating and games.

In honor of Mother's Day, children will be able to select a plant and make a card for their mothers.

Families can purchase wristbands that bundle the full day of entertainment and fun, including a lunch provided by Kiwanis, T-shirt decorating, a family swim at The Spa, and the Eddie Spaghetti concert and spaghetti dinner held at the community center at 4:30 p.m.

Individual wristbands for the full day of activities are $25. If a family purchases four wristbands for a total of $100, they receive a free Eddie Spaghetti CD. Wristbands for the Eddie Spaghetti concert and dinner only can be purchased for $10 per person. Wristbands are available at the Chamber of Commerce and will be available Saturday at the ticket booth at Playin' in the Park.

All proceeds from this FUNraising event support the Seeds of Learning capital campaign for a new facility. Come out and help our community build a new early care and education center.

Meditation Sunday for Unitarians

Sunday, May 14, is Meditation Sunday at the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Leader April Merrilee explains that the group meditation experience helps in developing the ability to calm and center ourselves. The process also strengthens the skill of verbally sharing insights or questions about the meditation experience.

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

Fiber festival a boon to economy

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

This will be the sixth year of the Pagosa Fiber Festival.

What began as an event conceived of and sponsored by one family - the Belt family of Echo Mountain Alpaca - has moved into the non-profit world with a board of directors. The festival is also now permanently settled into the Memorial Day weekend date, May 27-28.

For a second year, the festival will sponsor a Navajo rug auction Sunday evening at 6 p.m. with registration beginning at 5. New events this year include two competitions: one in fiber arts and the other in hand-spun yarns.

Anyone involved in the non-profit world will understand how this festival depends on the effort and devotion of a few hardworking people, the support and generosity of our community and an occasional grant. It is appropriate, then, that our community understands how the festival is good for Pagosa.

Enterprise zone marketing funds have come to us through Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, and it is their report that helps demonstrate the value of the Festival.

The Region 9 Report-2003 tells us that "Economic diversification is a high priority for the Region." The diversity is needed "to improve the number, quality and variety of jobs that are available to local residents."

The fiber festival meets that need by supporting the efforts of a growing cottage industry involved in fiber-related businesses. Whether raising animals for breeding, sale and fiber production (alpacas, llamas, goats, sheep and rabbits) or working their fibers (spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, designing patterns) to make products for sale, these people are helping to diversify economic activity in the area.

As we all know, employment economies in Archuleta are currently based primarily on tourism, construction and retail trade. At the same time, according to the Region 9 report, "The preservation of a rural lifestyle and landscape has been identified as priorities in all discussions of economic development in the region." Once again, the fiber festival supports that priority by providing the small livestock farmers a venue to promote their products, thus making a rural lifestyle economically feasible.

The Pagosa Fiber Festival is a perfect fit for the community at this critical juncture in its history. We are in a frenzy of development activity right now; large ranches are being bought up with plans to turn open grazing land and forested mountains into home sites. Empty lots are being bought up with plans for spec houses in the works. Community planning committees have produced a Comprehensive Plan in an attempt to insure that Pagosa Springs does not lose its quaint and rural aspect - that quality many of us came here for and that quality that continues to bring tourists to our area.

The community will benefit as the festival grows and the festival needs community support to grow. Our goal is to attract crowds the size of the Taos Wool Festival, estimated at 3-5,000 in 2005. The Taos event is now totally self-supporting with vendors bringing in $50,000-$60,000 in sales. A percentage of that goes directly to the town and county coffers as sales tax revenues. Here the town and county's gain is directly related to the size and success of the festival.

Organizers of the festival want to put Pagosa Springs on the map as a center of wool and fiber production, processing and handcrafts. The interest in spinning, weaving, knitting, etc. is already here, and is growing by leaps and bounds. The farmers have been here for a very long time and in 2004 fiber processing began with the establishment of the Mountain High Fiber Ladies Mini-mill. All the elements are present. We are looking for people of vision who realize the potential and will work with us to realize that potential.

Here is a flavor of what goes on during the two days of the festival:

- Half-day and full-day training workshops in beginning and advanced spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, dyeing, locker hooking and color theory.

- Lectures on the care and maintenance of small livestock.

- Livestock farmers exhibiting and selling alpacas, llamas, sheep, goats, Scottish Highlander Cattle, Yak and Fuzzy French Lops.

- Shearing of sheep and goats throughout the day.

- Fiber artists selling a variety of outstanding handmade textiles and articles of clothing.

- Spinners demonstrating how to card, sort and spin fiber.

- Knitters, crocheters, weavers, and felters demonstrating how to utilize the finished yarn.

- A fashion show at the end of each day illustrating the theme "From Fleece to Fashion."

- Families with young children viewing and touching the animals, a unique and educational experience to be found nowhere else.

New this year:

- Fiber arts competition: Fiber artists will enter their prize creations, offering the public a view of wonderfully handcrafted pieces of clothing and home accessories.

- Yarn competition: Fiber artists will enter hand-spun yarns of every style, color and natural material imaginable, in either advanced or novice classes.

Contact Barbara Witkowski at (264-4543 for information about workshops or e-mail workshops@pagosafiberfestival.com. For general or vendor information contact Pauline Benetti at 264-5232, e-mail to pauline@pagosafiberfestiva.com or log on to the Web site, www.pagosafiberfestival.com.

Music of Slambovia at Indiefest

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

With 10 successful Four Corners Folk Festivals behind them, the FolkWest board of directors decided it was time to create a new cultural opportunity in Southwest Colorado and Indiefest was born.

Tapping into the popularity of independent musicians that's been fueled to great degree by the Internet, Indiefest will deliver 10 top-notch sets over two days from a diverse collection of artists.

The inaugural event will take place June 10 and 11 on Reservoir Hill here in Pagosa Springs. Offerings also include a kids program, arts and crafts vending, on-site camping and more.

In 1998 Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams (try fitting that one on a festival poster!) emerged from the misty hills of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., and exploded upon the Hudson Valley music scene with their stunning self-produced debut release, "A Good Thief Tips His Hat." The quirky quartet then began touring throughout the Northeast and rapidly developed a fiercely loyal, all-ages following.

The band has been featured recently in Relix Magazine, The New York Times and on the CBS hit show, Joan of Arcadia. With a sound that toes the line between Tom Petty and electric Bob Dylan with a smattering of Greg Brown and a twist of Celtic rhythms thrown in for good measure, the band's charismatic live performances and whimsical blend of folk, rock, hillbilly and pop have captivated audiences and critics alike.

Their much-celebrated newest release "Flapjacks from the Sky" has garnered high praise from music writers, sparked generous activity at radio stations across the country, and continues to invoke wave after wave of enthusiastic response from music fans worldwide.

The music of Slambovia has been described as "Hillbilly-Floyd, folk-pop," "alt-country roots-rock" and "surreal Americana." Yet as earthy as their music seems, The Circus has a spiritual side - "Talkin' to the Buddha," "Call to the Mystic," "Living with God" and "Flapjacks from the Sky" dance freely between religious and philosophical mythologies. Gandalf Murphy's music is not only uplifting and empowering, but fun. And, as Woody Guthrie once said: "It's not enough for a song to be good, it must be good for something."

Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams will take the stage Sunday, June 11 on Reservoir Hill.

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

Two Pagosa artists in Farmington national show

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs artist Linda Echterhoff received an honorable mention in the "Gateway to Imagination" National Juried Art Competition at the Farmington Museum and Visitor's Center at Gateway Park. The $50 award was for her mixed media work, "Seed Pod" an organic floral structure made of cardboard, fiber pulp and packing tape.

Juror Jill Chancey, curator of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Miss., said of Echterhoff's sculpture: "I like this because it is a floral, but it's scruffy. It's sturdy, not delicate. I like the contrast between subject matter and material. It's very clever."

A Ph.D. candidate, the soon-to-be Dr. Chancey completed her dissertation on the abstract expressionist painter Elaine De Kooning. Her interest in abstract expressionism explains why Chancey selected another Pagosa Springs artist - Kathy Steventon. Steventon's oil painting of a cow, "Standing Gaze," was chosen for it's strong, visceral texture and painterly technique. "How can you not love a picture of a cow?" Chancey said.

Surprisingly, Chancey chose few other works that could be considered abstract expressionism for the Gateway show. However, my personal favorites in this vein were both works by New York artist Ha Rhin Kim: "Rotte Tree 2005-11" and "Rotte Tree 2005-03." These abstract figurative works are black and white with shades of gray; only the black is almost purple. The work is acrylic painted on white Mylar. The Mylar provides a vitreous quality to the opaque areas of paint, which contrasts with the crisp, fine lines of organic forms that look like the veins of leaves.

The Gateway to Imagination show is all over the place. It features traditional landscape painting, plein aire work in big gilded frames, contemporary painting, quite a bit of different photography, some digital prints, some bronze and ceramic sculpture, some pottery, a fiber quilted wall hanging, some metal art, a piece of silver jewelry and a lot of diverse painting from figurative, to abstract, from oil to pastel to acrylic and water media.

"Not everyone is going to agree with my choices," Chancey said, but then added: "The prize winners are of such clear quality that anyone would have picked them."

Quality? Yes. I'll agree with her on that point. But as I walked around viewing the work, considering what Chancey told me about her selection process. I found myself disagreeing.

Chancey made 105 selections from 342 submissions based on her belief that a successful work of art has two components: an interesting idea and successful execution. She said she was looking for "aesthetic quality and some evidence that the artist was thinking about something when creating the art. Good art represents an aesthetic resolution."

More than that, she deemed work to be most successful that expressed the idea of the past as part of one's present identity, of ancestor's traveling with us as we move forward. "The U.S. is a nation full of immigrants and their descendants; several artist refer explicitly to their immigrant heritage, while other draw on Native heritage," Chancey wrote in her statement.

I agreed with her selection for Best of Show: "The Passage" by Gil Bruvel of Wimberley, Texas. Bruvel's work is highly skilled. "The Passage" is a bronze sculpture of a female head representing the ocean and atop her head is a boat and in the boat is an armored man riding the waves. The patina is a gorgeous blue and the face is exquisite. This sculptor has not only mastered technique and aesthetic, but explores ideas and communicates those ideas to the viewer. As Chancey said of Bruvel's work: "He has such a unique vision. I've never seen anything like this and the execution is excellent."

Bruvel's other sculpture, "Mask of Whispers" is a stainless steel female head, bound with other faces cut out and protruding from windows in the forehead and cheek. Bruvel manages this without stimulating the grotesque. The female face is beautiful, but bound by susurration.

I also liked her first-place winner: "Cherries Under Ice" by Janet Collins, Sedona, Ariz. The detailed colored-pencil drawing looked more like a photograph or a pastel painting than colored pencil. And the light glinting off the melting ice, dripping off the cherry is very nice. But this was a straightforward drawing of cherries covered in ice. I didn't see the artist pushing any boundaries or exploring any interesting ideas. It was simply masterful execution.

"Cherries Under Ice" did not fit in with her other top picks, which all expressed the idea that the past is always a part of one's present identity, ancestors travel with us as we move forward. "The U.S. is a nation of immigrants and their descendants; several artists refer explicitly to their immigrant heritage, while other draw on Native heritage," Chancey wrote in her juror's statement.

Her second-place winner, "Immigrant," by Barbara Giorgio, Selma, Ind., and her third-place winner, "Missed Fortune," by Veronica Day, Morris, Conn. both explore this theme using photographic techniques. Giorgio's work is a digital print while Day's work is a palladium print.

I found myself drawn to diverse works. In color photography, I loved "Fish Wanting to Fly," by Jefferey Jue, Oakland, Calif., a playful, yet thought provoking and brilliantly executed photograph. For movement and texture I liked "Annexation of Control" by Jennifer Peel, Tyler, Texas, graphite and latex paint on paper mounted on canvas. For whimsy, David Edgar's "Bluetail Reef Cruiser" and "Goggle-Eyed Swallow Tail," fish made from recycled plastic containers. I found myself transfixed by the aboriginal detail and maze-like paths in "Satellite 781," an acrylic and ink composition by Julie King, Nacogdoches, Texas. And I kept coming back to "Unified Theory of Forces" by Nancy Pollock, Santa Fe, a layered canvas of oil paint with a tree in a box on the left side of the canvas and mathematical formulas peeking through layers of paint are.

The Gateway show is an interesting collection of work from 85 artists in 28 states. I suppose, given the name of the show, "Gateway to Imagination," I was hoping for more works that challenged existing concepts and ideas, for works that pushed the boundaries. I think that is why I liked the work of Ha Rhin Kim - because I'm not exactly sure how the artist achieved the technique.

However, I felt Chancey's focus on immigration, a hot political issue, influenced her choices more than the aesthetic resolution of the work. Perhaps immigration is on many artists' minds, or perhaps in the difficult challenge of trying to rank diverse works of art, she grabbed at a theme and used it to award prizes.

Gateway to Imagination is on display through July 15, at the Farmington Museum and Visitor's Center at Gateway Park, 3041 East Main Street, Farmington, N.M. (505) 599-1174. Hours: are Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

ECA dance, music classes begin soon

By Carla Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts is offering many new weekly classes this spring and summer. Tuition is $5 per class and you may register by calling 731-3117.

Classes are held at various times and locations. Some classes have started, others are forming now. It is never too late to join in! Find out more on our new Web site, elationarts.org

Hand drumming classes are forming now. No previous experience required for this beginning hand drumming class. ECA offers women's hand drumming, men's hand drumming and also children's classes. Bring your own drum, and if you do not have one, various percussion instruments will be available. Children's drumming class is held at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall at 2 p.m. Thursdays. Men's and women's classes are forming now so call to register.

Beginning Clogging starts Wednesday, May 17. Clogging is a great way to develop your sense of rhythm and keep fit at the same time. This uniquely American dance form has roots that go way back, and beginning classes are held at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays. New class starts May 17. .Wear comfortable shoes for dancing. Another daytime class will be offered for those who cannot make an evening class. Call 731-3117 to register.

Native American Flute begins Monday, May 15. The enchanting sound of Native American flute reflects the solitude of earth, sky and the gift of nature. Now is your chance to learn how to play this beautiful melodic instrument. If you don't already have an instrument, quality flutes are available for this weekly beginner's class. Learn about breath control, fingering, and how to play solo or with a group. Classes are held Mondays at 1:30 p.m.. Call for location. New class starts May 15.

Learn to move with grace and poise in Beginning Middle Eastern Dance, and find out why this dance form is so fun and popular today. Create a colorful costume with dancer and costume designer Carla Roberts. This folkloric style of belly dancing is a fantastic way to stay trim. A new class is forming now. Call if you are interested.

Beginning to advanced classes and individual lessons on guitar, banjo and mandolin are on the schedule. Learn American folk styles and creative techniques. Group and individual lessons are available.

A response to critics of Freemasonry

By Bob Case

Special to The SUN

Most of the issues surrounding Freemasonry deal with language, in one way or another.

Almost every organization has a special vocabulary of words which are understood by the group. It's hardly appropriate for someone outside a group, and without the special knowledge of the group, to object to the terms unless he or she full understands them and why they are used.

If someone wants to read the Journal of the American Medical Association, that is his right; but he doesn't have a right to complain that the articles use medical terms. A person reading a cookbook had better know terms like fold, cream the butter, or soft ball have special meanings, or he'll make a mess instead of a cake.

The same is true of a non-Mason reading Masonic materials.

Offensive titles

Some don't understand the historic source of the terms used in Freemasonry.

They complain of "offensive" titles, such as "worshipful master" for the leader of a lodge. This is simply a matter of misunderstanding. The leader of the lodge is called Master of the Lodge for the same reason the leader of an orchestra is called the concert master, or a highly skilled electrician is called a master electrician, or the leader of a scout troop is called a scoutmaster.

Masonic use of the term "master" originated in the guilds of the Middle Ages when the person most skilled was called master, Much Masonic vocabulary dates from that period. For instance, "worshipful" is a term still used today. Worshipful John Doe means exactly the same thing as the Honorable John Doe.

Archaic, offensive rituals

There is nothing offensive in Masonic rituals. They are ancient but there is nothing bad in that.

Rituals are present in our everyday life. Do courts use ritual opening and closing court sessions? Do boards of directors use a ritual in opening and closing their meeting? What about the opening and closing of the Olympics?

Bloody oaths

As to the allegedly "bloody oaths," the historic penalties associated with the Masonic obligations have their origins in the legal system of medieval Europe and were actual punishments inflicted by the state on persons guilty of fighting for civil liberty and religious freedom.

In Masonry, these penalties are entirely symbolic. They refer to the shame a good man should feel at the thought he had broken a promise, and they remind us of the price so many have paid for the liberties and freedoms Masons are pledged to protect.

Next week, we'll explore paganism, the meaning of light, salvation by works, universalism and racial exclusion.

Please come to the lodge open house, 3-5 p.m., May 20, 227 Lewis St., for answers to your questions.

Tierra Alta Schools plans fund-raiser, graduation, school trip

By Dan Loper

Special to The PREVIEW

Tierra Alta Schools is giving away a week-long vacation for four to Orlando, Florida. This fund-raising project, entitled the Florida "Family FUNraiser," includes airfare from Albuquerque, resort accommodations, a rental car and three-day Disney Jump Passes.

Buy a giant Hershey candy bar for a $20 donation and you will be entered into a drawing that will be held May 16 at Tierra Alta's Graduation and Awards Night.

Candy bars are available at Made in Colorado, Holy Smokes, Agape Gifts, from school families or by calling 903-3382.

The end of the successful premier school year for Tierra Alta Schools is almost here, including end-of-the-year projects, trips and activities. Students at Tierra Alta Schools enjoy hands-on, active learning through projects and activities all year. Recently, the students participated in the Invention Convention which generated great interest in technology, safety, creativity and marketing. School families gathered to view projects and share in a meal together.

The elementary science students have been learning how to grow block gardens. Each student is being encouraged to grow a garden this summer as a family activity. The junior and senior high science students enjoyed watching a demonstration on plasma making.

Next week, Tierra alta Schools is anticipating two major events; graduation and the end-of-the-year overnight field trip.

The inaugural graduation will be held Tuesday evening, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. Combined with that ceremony will be an awards night which will honor student activities and accomplishments. The end-of-the-year trip will combine fun with learning about local geology and history, as well as physical activity.

Expectations for next year are high with several new students planning to join the Tierra Alta Schools family in the fall. Registration is underway for the 2006-2007 school year.

For more information or a registration packet, call (970) 903-3382. Call today, space is limited.

Chuck Bob at the Movies

A beautiful animated feature for the family

By Charles Streetman

PREVIEW Columnist

I thought that I'd take another look back and bring more attention to a little-known and overlooked animated film that was the runner up for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature at this year's Academy Awards - "Howl's Moving Castle," based on the novel by author Dianna Wynn Jones.

Written and directed by one of Japan's most gifted and innovative storytellers, Hayao Miyazaki, "Howl's Moving Castle" continues to prove that Studio Ghibli is one of the most extraordinary animation studios in Japan.

The story is centered around Sophie (voiced by Emily Mortimer, "Match Point"), a young girl working in her father's hat shop, who has a chance encounter with a handsome and mysterious stranger with a gift of magic, named Howl (voiced by Christian Bale, "Batman Begins").

Sophie falls head over heels for the young man, but she soon learns of the danger she's in, when the evil Witch of the Waste (voiced by Lauren Bacall, "Birth") grows jealous of Sophie's attraction to Howl. The witch intrudes on the hat shop one night and places a curse upon Sophie, turning her into a 90-year-old woman (she is now voiced by actress Jean Simmons, "The Dawning"), and to make matters worse the curse forbids her from ever telling anyone about it.

Horrified, Sophie sets out the following day into the Wastes to find a wizard who can break the curse. On her journey, she comes across wizard Howl's moving castle, a giant, lumbering mechanical beast that crawls across the countryside at great speeds. Reluctantly, she takes refuge in the castle.

Inside she meets Calcifer (voiced by Billy Crystal, "Analyze That"), a smart-alecky fire demon residing in Howl's fireplace. He senses the curse cast upon Sophie and agrees to help her break it if she can find a way to help him break a spell that binds him and Howl together. She also meets and befriends Markl (voiced by Josh Hutcherson, "Zathura"), a young wizard in training and apprentice to Howl. Sophie decides to stay in the castle and serve as a new cleaning lady for Howl, hoping to find out more about Calcifer and Howl's spell and to see if they can lift her curse. While staying with Howl, Sophie learns of the agitation and struggle he faces with having to hide from the Witch of the Wastes' henchman, and to avoid serving on both sides in a war against two neighboring nations over the mysterious disappearance of a prince.

Visually, Miyazaki's adaptation is a breathtaking experience! He continues to captivate us with Studio Ghibli's astonishingly detailed animation, as it entices us into yet another world alive with wondrous enchantment and charming characters, providing a true feeling of escape.

The most incredible aspect of the animation in the film is the combination of computer-generated animation and cell animation used to bring the Howl's castle to life. The castle is unlike anything ever seen in film, and has as much of a unique personality as the rest of the cast. The exterior looks like a massive heap of scrap metal and steam pipes walking around on four legs, while the interior resembles a simple two-story house. Another part of the castle that's fascinating is the front door, as it serves as a magical portal to four different locations in the movie, including the Wastes.

Since the movie was made in Japan, it's obvious that it was not originally in English, but Disney and Pixar Studios have done a terrific job in re-dubbing the whole film into English. The dialogue is well translated, and the English cast is well fitted with the characters, especially Billy Crystal providing the voice of Calcifer.

Despite the extravagant animation, this is not Miyazaki's best film, especially when compared to some of his most recent masterpieces "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke." Having read the book just last summer, I can say that the film hardly follows the book at all. The story is a little offbeat and tends to get confusing at times. The ending as well has the problem of resolving everything too quickly, leaving some significant things left unsaid - such as whether or not Sophie was indeed a witch (as in the book). It's simply implied that she could be one. And as for the missing prince, when we learn of his whereabouts, we only know of what happened to him and not of who did it to him. Another problem that I felt would be that some of Miyazaki's artistic liberties in his adaptation seemed out of place at times. When the movie stops following the book and takes off on it's own adventure, I wondered at times whether I was watching "Howl's Moving Castle" or "Hayao's Moving Castle." However, Miyazaki somehow makes it all work and a makes it a thoroughly compelling story that remains somewhat true to the novel itself.

"Howl's Moving Castle's" captivating story and gorgeous animation earned Hayao Miyazaki his second Oscar nomination. He was previously nominated for his masterpiece "Spirited Away," which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature back in 2002. "Howl's Moving Castle" did not earn Miyazaki his second win. Unfortunately, it lost to "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" earlier this year. Regardless, this movie is a wonderful family film, and is one of the most beautiful animated features from 2005 you'll see.

The DVD features on the two-disc edition of "Howl's Moving Castle" are plentiful. It contains several featurettes including interviews with the American voice cast of the film and the writers and director responsible for translating the film into English. The features include the original Japanese trailers. There is also a mini-documentary detailing Hayao Miyazaki's visit to Pixar Studios for one of the first U.S. premieres of the film, and a Japanese interview with director Pete Docter of Pixar Studios. Disc 2 of the special edition features the entire storyboard version of the film.

Education News

Helping us Make a Difference

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

The Archuleta County Education Center's "Making A Difference 2006" luncheon was held April 26 in the First Baptist Church. We would like to recognize and thank all of the wonderful community members who supported our fund-raising event.

First, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our student speakers for their willingness to share their experiences : Brady Ward (Archuleta County High School), Jesika Brule (Archuleta County High School), Christina Prunty (GED student), Lizbeth Coba and Angela Ibarra (English As Second Language students).

We would particularly like to thank all of our table captains for their willingness to sponsor a table and ensure the success of our annual event: Jody Cromwell, Bob Eggleston, First Southwest Bank, Ed Funk, Ann Graves, John Graves, Mark Horn, Jeff Laydon, Lora Laydon, Bob Lynch, Jackie McGuire, Curtis Miller, Susan Neder, Jann C. Pitcher, Glenn Raby, Malcolm Rodger, Jack Rosenbaum, Pagosa Springs Rotary, Jerry Sadler, Lisa Scott, James Vincent and Sherry Waner.

A big thank you is extended to all 34 of our 2006 luncheon sponsors who helped support our event; we couldn't have done it without you: David and Carol Brown, Jack and Katy Threet, Wells Fargo Bank, Citizen's Bank of Pagosa Springs, Edward Jones Investments, KWUF, Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, The Pagosa Springs Sun, Appraisal Services, Bank of Colorado, Bank of the San Juans, Circle T/Ace Hardware, DeClark Granite and Fabrication, Elk Meadows River Resort LLC, Hart Construction, Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat, Home Again, Pagosa Brat, Rio Grande Savings and Loan, Wolf Creek Rod Works, Aspen Tree Veterinary Clinic, Century 21/ Wolf Creek Land, Peggy Cotton, First Southwest Bank, Great Divide Title, Harmony Works Organic Café, Old West Press, Paint Connection Plus, Pagosa Photography, Pagosa Veterinary Clinic, Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, Jim Smith Realty, The Hideout and The Tile Store.

The Archuleta County Education Center would also like to say thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and attended our luncheon. When you support the education center you support a family of important educational programs in our community.

Contact the Archuleta County Education Center at 264-2835, or stop by our office at 4th and Lewis streets, for additional information on any of our programs. Additional information is also available on our Web site, www.archuletacountyeducationcenter.com.

Local Chatter

Inspiration in a small package

The summer after I finished the sixth grade, we went to visit my aunts at the home place in Kentucky.

One afternoon, as I rummaged in the bookcase in the parlor looking for something to read, I came across a small book and a booklet that greatly influenced my thinking in the years to come. The book was, "The Man Without a Country," written by Edward Everett Hale in 1863, and the other, "A Message to Garcia," a 15-page booklet written by Elbert Hubbard.

Hale's book had to do with a navy lieutenant who said he never wanted to see his country again, and those who saw to it that he never did and how the man regretted his decision. It was written for the Americans of that day (it was Civil War time), and later used as a reading book in schools, where it was used to inspire leadership.

The book inspired love of country in me. My family was patriotic. I was used to that, but the book made the feeling of love of country more so.

The booklet, "A Message to Garcia," was written in 1899 by the philosopher Elbert Hubbard. Maybe he was a modern day Benjamin Franklin.

One of his sayings was, "Folks who never get paid for any more than they do."

Another saying was, "When put to the test, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness."

The booklet has to do with initiative and the story is an example of how a message needs to be delivered and one man being recommended for this duty. The man had the reputation for loyalty and taking the initiative.

Some time during the past year, when I was watching the TV show, "Jeopardy," a question was asked. I can't remember what it was, but I immediately knew the answer, for it referred to "A Message to Garcia."

I have been told to hang onto "A Message to Garcia" for it will probably be worth something one day. That's good! I've kept both book and booklet all these years.

As Johnny Carson said, "if it isn't broke, don't fix it."

The Burma Shave signs are a good example.

In the 1950s-1960s, the O'Dell brothers started a business making shaving cream. Their marketing system was simple. They put signs up in fields along the highways. The lines to the verses were spread among two or more signs and people would read them as they rode along.

The signs entertained and the company profited, but when Phillip Morris bought the company, they dropped the signs and began advertising in NFL programs with TV ads a minute long. Each cost $150,000, but the fancy advertising failed.

Here are some of the memorable Burma Shave signs:

- Trains don't wander

all over the map

'cause nobody sits

in the engineer's lap

Burma Shave

- She kissed the hairbrush

by mistake

She thought it was

her husband Jake

Burma Shave

- Cautious rider

to her reckless dear

Let's have less bull

and more steer

Burma Shave

- The midnight ride

of Paul for beer

Let to a warmer

Hemisphere

Burma Shave

- Don't stick your elbow

out so far

It may go home

in another car

Burma Shave

- Brother speeders

Let's rehearse

All together

Good morning hearse

Burma Shave

- Don't lose your head to gain a minute,

You need your head - your brains are in it.

Burma Shave

- Drove too long - driver snoozing

What happened next is not amusing.

Burma Shave

- Brother speeder, let's rehearse

All together - good morning nurse.

Burma Shave

- Speed was high - weather was not

Tires were thin - X marks the spot.

Burma Shave

- Around the curve - lickety split

It's a beautiful car - wasn't it?

Burma Shave

No matter the price, no matter how new

The best safety device in the car is you.

Burma Shave

- A guy who drives a car wide open is not thinkin'

He's just hopin'.

- At intersections look each way

A harp sounds nice but it's hard to play.

Burma Shave

- Both hands on the wheel, both eyes on the road

That's the skillful driver's code.

Burma Shave

- The one who drives when he's been drinking

Depends on you to do his thinking.

Burma Shave

Car in ditch - driver in tree

The moon was full, and so was he.

Burma Shave

- And here is my favorite:

Passing school zone, take it slow

Let our little shavers grow.

Burma Shave

Fun on the Run

Passing the buck down the line .

Said the college professor quite profoundly,

"Such rawness in a student is a shame.

Lack of preparation in high school is to blame."

Said one high school teacher to another,

"Good heavens, that boy's a fool,

The fault, of course, is with the middle school."

The middle school teacher almost cried,

"From such stupidity may I be spared.

They sent him up to me so unprepared."

The grammar school teacher in a huff shouted,

"Kindergarten blockhead sent to me.

His lack of preparation is easy to see."

The kindergarten teacher sadly noted,

"Such lack of training never did I see.

What kind of woman must his mother be?"

The mother moaned as she held him tight,

"Poor helpless child, he's not to blame."

His father's people were all the same."

Said the father at the end of the line,

"I doubt that rascal's even mine!"

Community Center News

Visit the community center, get involved

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

How long has it been since you've been in the community center?

I know that we see some of you almost every day - and believe me, we love seeing you and saying "hi."

But now I'm talking to the rest of you. If you haven't visited lately, please stop by. And if we haven't met you before, please come to the reception area and introduce yourself; chances are very good that there are activities which will pique your interest. Come in and pick up a copy of our latest newsletter; it details many of the community center-sponsored programs which are regularly presented here. We look forward to seeing you and to having you as a regular visitor to the center.

Last Sunday's concert in celebration of Cinco de Mayo was fabulous. The group, Mariachi Rio Grande, received a standing ovation from the crowd of about 80 people who enjoyed two hours of music. At the end, they stepped down from the stage and serenaded the crowd with special participation of a man from the audience named Ricardo . He has a great voice! Thank you Ricardo for being a sport, and thank you Mariachi Rio Grande.

May dance

Dance lovers ... if you haven't been to one of our monthly dance program you're missing a great, fun evening.

Words is out about this fantastic program and it's time to throw away the alibis - c'mon down and shake those bodies.

On Friday, May 19, the community center will come alive with music from DJ Michael Murphy from Durango. Michael promises to play a wide variety of music so we can dance the night away.

The dance will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will end at 10:30. Tickets are $5 and are available at the center and at WolfTracks. Tickets purchased at the door will be $8. There will be a cash bar with assorted beers, wines and soft drinks for a nominal charge. Snacks are provided and included in the price of admission.

The dance is an over-21 event and ID may be checked at the door. Table reservations may be made at the community center for parties of 8-10. There will be one or more tables reserved for singles as the need arises.

The community center dances are a wonderful way to have an affordable evening out on the town. They are almost always the third Friday of the month. Setup and decorating begin at 9 a.m. the day of the dances, and we would love to have anyone interested come down and help.

For additional information on the dances, contact Siri at 731-9670, Mercy at 264-4152, our decorations chairman, Pam Stokes, at 731-1284, or our food chairman, Suzy Bruce, at 731-1211.

Arts and crafts show

All of us, including 30 artists/artisans, are excited by the variety and quality of 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, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 27. Local artists and artisans will display and sell turned wooden bowls, several different types of jewelry, framed art photographs, portrait sketches, handmade clocks, hand-painted nail files, watercolors, leather and fabric creations, and many other items.

There are 30 artists are crafters signed up. We can still 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 - vendors, you may pick up your share for distribution.

Evening with the foodies

Are you one of those people who likes talking about food, trying new recipes - making them or just tasting?

Do you search out the best cheeses and just the right wines? Do you get excited about fig balsamic vinegar?

If so, maybe you qualify as a foodie.

Here at the center we've been thinking that it might be fun to get some of Pagosa Springs' foodies together. Michelle and I are planning an evening of good food and good conversation and if this idea appeals to you, you're invited to join us 6 p.m. May 31.

Each time we get together we will showcase a different food or course or ethnic cuisine. The first meeting, we'll explore the world of appetizers. We would like you to bring a favorite appetizer, something you'd make for a really special occasion. Or perhaps you'd prefer to bring some wine to share - that's OK too. We'll taste and talk. Dessert and coffee will be provided. And, by the way, bring your recipe; we'll be sharing those too.

Be sure to let us know if you plan to come. We need to plan ahead in order to have enough dessert for everyone. Call to let us know what you plan to bring so we don't all come with pickled shrimp. It will be a fun evening.

Games for fun

We invite all those who love to be indoors and/or play games. This program is for anyone who enjoys playing games like Scrabble, Monopoly, poker, card games, dominoes, mahjong, bunko, Mercy's popular Filipino domino - whatever suits your fancy, but just games for fun. No gambling.

Volunteers needed for each game. Job responsibility is simple: just come forward and be the leader of the game you're interested most. The group will meet noon until 4 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays. Be sure to bring games with you and, if you come on Thursday, you might consider bringing lunch.

The first meeting of the gaming group will be Monday, May 15. If you have questions about this program, call Mercy at 264-4152, Ext. 22.

Scrapbooking club

The Pagosa Community Scrapbook Club met last Saturday and they were hard at work on their projects. The group also celebrated Cinco de Mayo with lots of food.

The next meeting will be 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 10 in the South Conference Room. We will keep you posted with what special activity Melissa Bailey is planning for next month.

If you would like to join this club, give her a call at 731-1574.

Photoshop classes

Bruce Andersen's next Photoshop class will be held 7-9 p.m. June 5, 12 and 19. The fee will be $90 which includes materials; your registration is confirmed when payment has been made. 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 at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 18. Anyone who is interested in buying or selling (or both) on eBay is welcome to attend. Please call Ben Bailey at 264-0293 or e-mail him at benbaileynewton@yahoo.com 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 at 10:30 Monday mornings. 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 ten."

Hip hop crash course

Rhonda La Quey, our new Teen Center coordinator, tells us she recently saw Jenny Osmialowski, an exchange student from Germany, at the Key Club Talent Show. Rhonda was blown away by Jenny's dancing and asked her to teach a three-day hip hop dance. As a result, the Teen Center is presenting a Crash Course in Hip Hop on May 20, 21 and 22.. Cost is $10 for all three days. The time varies each day: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on May 20; 2-4 p.m. May 21; and 4-8 p.m. May 22. After the Monday session there will be a potluck for all who participate in the class. Call Rhonda at 264-4152, Ext. 31, for information.

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

The cavalry is coming.

A new 24-port switch has been ordered and is on the way. Another good thing, as Martha would say, is that a powered vent is being installed in our network closet. This should prevent the overheating problems we've been having in there. Computer networks are finicky things - they frequently require TLC. Ours is on the mend; we'll keep you posted.

Just a little news about the status of our free computer classes. The next beginning classes will start the first week of June and last through July. The Tuesday class, by the way, is open to anyone; the Wednesday one is for seniors. Currently, the waiting list has enough people on it to fill both the Tuesday and the Wednesday classes. However, it sometimes happens that those who requested space in one of the classes are unable to come. So, my suggestion would be to call and leave your name and phone number in case we have an opening. I'll be calling everyone in about a week.

An intermediate class is now in the works; right now we are finalizing the schedule and what will be covered. I anticipate we will cover some of the same topics as in the beginning series, however we will go into more detail. For example, the beginning class covers only the basics of e-mail. In the intermediate group we will focus on e-mail attachments, your provider's options/settings, and e-mail problems such as privacy, spam and phishing. Call for details.

A reminder: classes May 23-24 are cancelled.

New summer hours

The community center's summer hours started Monday, May 1. During the summer, the center is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10-4 on Saturday.

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Archuleta County Violence Prevention meeting, 8:30-10 a.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.

May 12 - Senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Seeds of Learning dinner and auction, 5:30-9 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.

May 13 - Sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Medicare information in the Senior Center, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen Center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Seeds of Learning spaghetti dinner and concert, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

May 14 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; volleyball, 4-6 p.m.

May 15 - Line dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; games for fun, noon-4 p.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

May 16 - PSAAR MLS training, 9-11 a.m.; beginning computing skills, 10 a.m.-noon; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; volleyball, 6-8 p.m.

May 17 - Beginning computing skills for seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; watercolor club, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; preschool play group, 10 a.m.-12 noon; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; volleyball, 6-8 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

May 18 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; eBay club, 9-10 a.m.; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; League of Women Voters, 6-8 p.m.; arthritis class, 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

Get to know your senior center and programs

By Jim Pearson

SUN Columnist

Who oversees the senior center in Pagosa Springs and what is its purpose in serving our community?

The Senior Center is known as The Silver Foxes Den, or The Den. Senior Services Director Musetta Wollenweber maintains an office at The Den, located in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. She supervises a staff of two, nearly 50 volunteers, senior center operations and activities.

Musetta is responsible for assessing the needs and strengths of senior citizens within our county and develops programs and service delivery plans to meet those needs within her program budget. Supervised by County Administrator Bob Campbell, Musetta manages various programs and services provided for by local, state and federal agencies. Examples are home-delivered and congregate meal programs, senior transportation and the Home Chore Program. She serves on various committees as a resource and technical advisor. She also promotes senior programs and events through marketing, promotional, and public relations efforts, which includes developing brochures and publishing event calendars and newsletters. Musetta also submits news articles of senior interest, and conducts public presentations on such topics as the Medicare Prescription Drug program. Most of these programs are closely tied to publicly funded programs which require stringent accounting. You can check out what is going on at The Den by going to http://archuletacounty.org/Seniors/senior_center.htm.

Archuleta Seniors. Inc.

Is Archuleta Seniors, Inc. part of the senior center, supervised by the senior services director?

The short answer is that Archuleta Seniors, Inc. plays an important role at the senior center, but is not supervised by the director. Archuleta Seniors, Inc., also known as ASI, is a non-profit corporation, organized exclusively for charitable purposes under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The corporation is served by a board consisting of four officers and eight directors, two of whom must reside in the Arboles area. Musetta Wollenweber and designated representatives to San Juan Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and Regional Advisory Council on Aging (RACOA), serve as ex officio members of the board. Commissioner Ronnie Zaday is assigned to represent the county at board meetings.

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. works to promote and enhance the health, well being, social, cultural and intellectual activities of its members. Through fund-raisers and donations, money is raised to provide medical assistance to seniors in need, and to provide transportation, equipment and activities. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. works closely with Musetta to achieve the goals and objectives of both entities.

If you are interested in helping support senior services in our community, tax deductible donations will be accepted by either county senior services or Archuleta Seniors, Inc. If you are interested in joining Archuleta Seniors, Inc., memberships are available for folks age 55 and over and can be purchased at The Den for $5 Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 9-11 Tuesdays and Wednesdays. No memberships are sold Thursdays. Your Seniors Inc. membership entitles you to a variety of great discounts from participating merchants in our area, plus you'll get senior activity discounts. Membership also entitles those who meet annual income guidelines to scholarships for eye glasses, hearing aids, dental, prescription drugs and medical equipment. Your membership can provide a great discount on the purchase of a dental water jet and electric toothbrush. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. even offers financial assistance for medical shuttles to Durango handled by The Den. Join now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

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. Thursday, 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 and 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 health care provider services.

Anyone with any type of arthritis, or any persons in a support role, is encouraged to attend. Class size is limited to 20 participants, so call The Den for registration and further information at 264-2167. We hope you take advantage of this educational and supportive opportunity to help you overcome some of the challenges of arthritis.

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, sign up by calling The Den. Bridge lessons will be scheduled Fridays as long as people are interested. The next bridge lesson is scheduled for 11 a.m. May 12.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was first suggested in the United States in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the words to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," as a day dedicated to peace.

In 1907, Ana Jarvis began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day. Jarvis persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, W.Va., to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the second Sunday of May. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessmen, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day.

By 1911, Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the second Sunday in May. We will celebrate Mother's Day at the Senior Center Friday, May 12. The Den will have a special gift for all women who attend lunch on this special day in honor of all the love, support, strength and warmth they add to the world. Please come to The Den for lunch and help us say "thank you" for all they do.

White Cane Society

This support group is for people with low vision and their supporters.

Susan Kimbler from the SW Center for Independence leads this informative and helpful support group 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 17. For more information, call Susan at 259-1672.

Oktoberfest volunteers

October is fast approaching, and Archuleta Seniors, Inc. is looking for volunteers to serve on committees charged with making this the best Oktoberfest ever in Pagosa Springs. We need a person interested in teaching the polka to adults, and the chicken dance to elementary-age children. We are also looking for committee help with the program, food preparation, food serving, etc. This is the largest fund-raiser for Archuleta Seniors, Inc. For more information, contact me at The Den, 264-2167.

Medicare prescription drugs

We would like to thank all Medicare and Medicaid recipients who used our Medicare Prescription Drug Program services at The Den to get enrolled with the insurance company that best fit their needs.

We realize that many recipients encountered problems in purchasing prescription drugs under the new program after they were enrolled and we applaud their perseverance as we at The Den worked with the pharmacies, insurance companies and Medicare to resolve problems.

Medicare recipients can still enroll in the Medicare Prescription Drug Program after May 15, but will incur a 1-percent lifetime penalty for each month they wait. This 1-percent penalty does not affect those who turn 65 after May 15 and enroll in the Medicare Prescription Drug Program at the same time they enroll in Medicare. If you are eligible for the program, but have not enrolled yet or need additional information, contact Musetta at The Den, 264-2167.

Medical shuttles

A shuttle service to Durango for medical appointments is available through Archuleta County Senior Services. This service is available to adults of all ages and will get you to and from your non-emergency medical appointments.

In most cases, service can be provided with 48 hours advance notice. The roundtrip fare is $30 or less, with rates varying depending on the number of passengers. If you are a 2006 member of Archuleta Seniors Inc., your fare is $10. Our mini-van is unable to accommodate wheelchairs. Call Musetta at 264-2167 for further information.

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

Home-delivered meals

Many people don't realize that Meals on Wheels was the result of the Blitz, a period of intense bombing of London during World War II. Many residents of Britain lost their homes and their ability to cook meals for themselves and their families. The Civil Defense, Women's Volunteer Service, prepared and delivered meals to these people. They also brought refreshments in canteens to service personnel. This canteen refreshment program became known as Meals on Wheels, and was the first organized nutrition program.

Following the war, our country began experimenting with its own home-delivered nutritional meal program. The program in the United States began by feeding seven seniors, and has since grown to serve millions of elderly, disabled or at-risk persons across the country.

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

Are you looking for a way to volunteer some time to your community and make an immediate impact on someone's life? The Den has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate one lunch hour per week to the home-delivered meal program.

Applications are currently being accepted from individuals as well as businesses, churches and other organizations that would like to make a difference. All applicants must provide their own vehicle and be available in one-hour increments once a week. We are also accepting applications for substitute drivers. A background check will be completed on all applicants. Adopt a home-delivery route today and brighten the lives of a few senior citizens. For more information, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Senior of the Week

We congratulate Jerry La Quey as our Senior of the Week. Jerry will enjoy free lunches all week. We also congratulate Marion Goodnight, in Arboles. She will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day for the month of May.

Mystery trips

Up, up and away you go, but come rain or shine, a jacket will protect you, if you're not afraid of the dark that is.

But where we are going, we cannot tell you.

A mystery trip is a secret, but we can give you a clue: this will be a ride you will not soon forget.

Mystery trips at The Den are very popular and are scheduled on a reservation basis. Most of these trips are limited to 18 people. You must be a member of Archuleta Seniors, Inc. to be eligible, as most of the cost is paid for by the organization. Mystery trips are advertised in the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center newsletter, which is published monthly. Reservations are not taken until the first day of the month and are only for the mystery trip for that month. Physical requirements for each trip differ, but limitations are always provided. Participants will also be given instructions on how to dress and what to bring. All trips to date have been one-day trips and departure and return times are posted.

Trip costs are kept at a minimum to allow everybody a chance to participate. If you are a member of Archuleta Seniors, Inc. and would like to spice up your life with a mystery trip, come to The Den to find out more about it. The next trip, May 25, is already full, but we are putting names on a waiting list. Cost of a trip is $5, plus money for lunch at a restaurant.

USPS presents

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, as part of the crime victims' rights and consumer protection initiatives, has provided The Den with an informative DVD film. The film, titled "Delivering Justice - All The King's Men," is a story of financial crime victims and their efforts to recover.

If you are a victim of a financial crime, want tips that may help you avoid becoming a victim or want to become aware of what recourse you would have should you become a victim, you can check out this 15-minute DVD from The Den's library to view at home, or watch in our lounge.

Yoga in Motion

Most of the exercises today mainly focus on the muscles, usually executed in jarring and abrupt motions that in the long run could cause injuries.

When your body moves, your bones and muscles move too. When your joints are too tight, you can't move freely.

Yoga in Motion works to free up your joints. With graceful dancelike movements, Yoga in Motion consists of fluid, nonstop circular movements with breathing patterns that stimulate better circulation. It loosens the arms, shoulders and chest, working gently on the joints and muscles. You can extend your limitations the more you stretch and rotate your joints, which promotes flexibility. Benefits include improved posture, increased strength and energy and less chronic stiffness. Anyone can perform the workout regardless of body type, age and fitness level. Yoga in Motion relaxes the mind and revitalizes the body's natural energy, while promoting an overall sense of well-being. Come experience this type of yoga through our instructor Suki at The Den 10 a.m. every Tuesday.

Activities at a glance

Friday, May 12 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; bridge lessons, 11 a.m., sign up at The Den; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Mother's Day party, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; last day to sign up for casino.

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

Tuesday, May 16 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m., Sky Ute Casino, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 17 - Basic computer, 10 a.m.; White Cane Society, 11 a.m.

Thursday, May 18 - Arboles Meal Day by reservation, $1 birthday celebrations.

Menu

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.

Friday, May 12 - Enchilada pie, lettuce and tomato, yellow squash, pineapple tidbits and whole wheat bread.

Monday, May 15 - Salmon patty, steamed rice with cream sauce, mixed vegetables, apricots and whole wheat bread.

Tuesday, May 16 - Lasagna, green beans, seasoned cabbage, banana and Italian roll.

Wednesday, May 17 - Hamburger with bun, lettuce and tomato, baked beans, potato salad and plums.

Thursday, May 18 - Meal Day in Arboles. Barbecue chicken with oven potatoes, spinach, mixed fruit and whole wheat bread.

Veteran's Corner

Are you a veteran, and what are your benefits?

I often encounter veterans who do not know anything about the VA benefits for which they might be eligible.

They tell me they have never looked into VA benefits or in some cases may have not had a good experience with a VA representative or VSO in the past and did not pursue matters any further. Many do not even think they are veterans because they did not go overseas to fight in a war or conflict.

I hope I can set the record straight on who is a veteran and the eligibility requirement for most basic VA benefits and claims. Much of the information here comes from official VA information sources.

General eligibility

First of all, eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions.

Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Generally, men and women veterans with similar service may be entitled to the same VA benefits.

BCD or dishonorable

Dishonorable or bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial may bar VA benefits.

Veterans in prison and parolees must contact a VA regional office to determine eligibility. VA benefits will not be provided to any veteran or dependent wanted for an outstanding felony warrant.

Wartime service

Certain VA benefits require do require wartime service. Under the law, VA recognizes these war periods:

- Mexican Border Period and World War I are recognized as official war periods, but I do not believe there are any veterans of these conflicts now alive or residing in this area.

- World War II: Dec. 7, 1941, through Dec. 31, 1946.

- Korean War: June 27, 1950, through Jan. 31, 1955.

- Vietnam War: Aug. 5, 1964 (Feb. 28, 1961, for veterans who served "in country" before Aug. 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975.

- Gulf War: Aug. 2, 1990, through a date to be set by law or presidential proclamation.

Important documents

Those seeking a VA benefit for the first time must submit a copy of their service discharge form (DD-214, DD-215, or for WW II veterans, a WD form), which documents service dates and type of discharge, or give their full name, military service number, and branch and dates of service. The veteran's service discharge form should be kept in a safe location accessible to the veteran and next of kin or designated representative.

Many of our local veterans bring a copy of their discharge form to be kept on file in the Veterans Service Office for future needs. Also, county clerks' offices nationwide will record the document free of charge. If the clerk's office records from the original document they will certify any copies. If they are recording from a copy of the document, they cannot certify its originality. This could be important for future benefit or claims purposes (SSA applications require an original or certified copy of this document).

Death benefits

The following documents will be needed for claims processing related to a veteran's death:

1. Veteran's marriage certificate for claims of a surviving spouse or children.

2. Veteran's death certificate if the veteran did not die in a VA health care facility.

3. Children's birth certificates or adoption papers to determine children's benefits.

4. Veteran's birth certificate to determine parents' benefits.

Common Law marriages are recognized by the VA with certain documentation and statements.

24.3 million vets

Of the 24.3 million veterans currently alive, nearly three-quarters served during a war or an official period of conflict. About a quarter of the nation's population, approximately 63 million people, are potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members or survivors of veterans.

Long-term responsibility

The responsibility to care for veterans, spouses , survivors and dependents can last a long time. Five children of Civil War veterans still draw VA benefits. About 440 children and widows of Spanish-American War veterans still receive VA compensation or pensions.

Next week: Specific eligibility requirements for certain VA benefits.

Share-A-Ride

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

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

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

Library News

'Where the Wild Things Are'- at the auction

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

The Seeds of Learning benefit suction is 6 p.m. Friday, May 12, at the community center.

Carol and David Brown generously sponsored the library table. One of our great volunteers, interior designer Anita Sherman-Hughes, took the decoration of the table on as her library project (some volunteers ask for one-time projects rather than regular weekly library work) for the year.

Each table setting, fabulously decorated on the theme of a children's book, will be auctioned off in its entirety at the end of the evening. Lucky people will go home with new dinner settings and table decorations. Seeds of Learning will get the proceeds for their new building.

For the library table theme, Anita chose "Where The Wild Things Are," by Maurice Sendak - her daughter's favorite book. She scoured and begged and bargained and bought an amazing bunch of dishes, goblets, napkin rings and table decorations (from eBay yet). The Unitarians chipped in when our volunteer designer went a wee bit past the modest library budget allocation. Then too, Anita garnered lovely donations from Lee Riley, Mike Coffee and Jackie and Peter Welch.

The storyboard and some of the dishes and decorations are on display in the exhibit case at the front of the library. Tomorrow they will come out to go to the auction table. Go "Wild" for the Seeds of Learning. And, thank you so much, Anita.

Volunteer orientation

And speaking of volunteers: the summer volunteer orientation will be held at the library at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 6. Come and volunteer for all kinds of summer projects at the library. We rely on all of our volunteers to keep wonderful things happening here. Hope you'll put this date on your calendar and join us.

Pagosa Reads!

Pagosa Reads! continues this week with the "People of the Moon" book discussion group at the library at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 13. This eye-opening piece of fiction by the Gears gives us plenty to contemplate besides water in a time of drought.

Human behavior in a time of stress will be one of the topics of the discussion. We hope to see you and hear your views on this subject and its treatment in the book.

Remember, the People of the Moon Art Contest deadline is May 22. And, see Barb Draper's column in this issue of The PREVIEW about the children's programs for Pagosa Reads! and the popular summer reading program.

The regular second Saturday of the month Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre activity will be at Town Park at 11 a.m. this week, not in the library. It will be an interactive drama based on the book "Common Ground," by Molly Bang.

Chimney Rock tour

Our final event for Pagosa Reads! is a special tour of Chimney Rock led by Glenn Raby, 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3. He will focus on water-related ruins and other matters brought up by "People of the Moon."

If you wish to join us for this tour, please sign up at the library desk. We are limited to 80 participants and the slots are going fast. Call 264-2208 for more information.

Summer plans

The trustees and staff and I have decided on some summer landscaping and decor to make the entrance of the library welcoming while we are still thinking about final plans for the entire library grounds.

By early June, we should have picnic tables, benches, a coffee/refreshment cart, outside book sale carts and some colorful plants at the entrance of the library for your enjoyment. Our lovely blue Pagosa Reads! banner will be flying in front too.

The Mountain High Gardeners will help us spruce up some of the planting beds. Bill Nobles has recommended red and white clover on the rest of the grounds as an interim yard cover while we are deciding on permanent arrangements.

Harold Morrison, a very loyal and wonderfully productive volunteer, is taking care of the mulching of the picnic table area. We are so grateful for all of the help you give us, Harold. Thank You.

Book sale change

The date for the library book sale and annual Friends meeting this year has been changed to Sept. 8 and 9. We did not realize there was a conflict with the Humane Society auction when we previously settled on the August dates.

Stolen children and collapsing societies

By Kate Terry

"Collapse," by Jared Diamond, Penguin Group, New York, 2005.

In his Pulitzer Prize winning bestseller "Guns, Germs, and Steel" (1997), Jared Diamond examined how western civilization developed the techniques to dominate much of the world.

Now, Diamond has written, "Collapse," an account of the great civilizations that collapsed and why those that survived did so.

He gives the reader a five-point framework of possible contributing factors he considers intriguing to understand when considering why changes occurred or not.

1. Environmental damage.

2. Climate change.

3. Hostile neighbors.

4. Friendly trade partners.

5. Society's response to it's environmental problems.

He uses this framework to trace the Polynesian civilization on Easter Island, the doomed medieval Viking colony on Greenland, and the formerly flourishing Native American civilization of the Anasazi and the Maya. Why did they fail and other cultures find solutions to their problems and survive?

Diamond points out that, despite our own society's apparent inexhaustible wealth, ominous warnings have begun to emerge even in robust areas like Montana. In his very readable style, Diamond spells out what happens when we squander our resources and he tells us what other cultures are doing to prevent failure.

This is an important book, highly recommended by Dr. Andrew Gulliford, professor of Southwest studies at Fort Lewis College. The book is at the Sisson Library.

"The Captured : A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier," by Scott Zesch, St. Martins Press, New York, 2004.

"The Captured" is the account of 10-year-old Adolph Korn who was abducted by an Indian raiding party while tending sheep in the Texas Hill Country. The year was 1880.

Korn was the ancestral uncle of Scott Zesch, a sixth-generation Texan who grew up in Mason, Texas. When he stumbled on to Korn's tombstone in a remote corner of an old cemetery in Mason County, he knew who Korn was, for he had heard the legend of how Korn had been captured and forcibly returned nearly three years later, never to fit into society.

Zesch was determined to know more about his ancestor and understand how a timid German boy such as Adolph became so thoroughly Indianized in such a short time. He interviewed family members, dug into archives and talked with Comanche elders. He expanded his research to seven other children in the region who were captured by the Comanche and Apache. All were returned to civilization after much wrangling between the U.S. Government but none of the "recaptured" ever readjusted to established society.

The story is important history, well researched and easy to read.

Scott Zesch graduated from Texas A&M, and Harvard Law School. He is the author of one other book, "Alamo Heights" and is a songwriter and a dramatist. He divides his time between New York City and a ranch in Art, Texas. He is the nephew of Peggy Laverty. This book was the winner of the TCU-Texas Book Award for the Best Book on Texas. Ruby Sisson Library has this book.

Kate Terry is a longtime Pagosa resident and has been a loyal volunteer at the local library for more than 30 years. She writes for several publications and is a PREVIEW columnist.

Pagosa Reads features book reviews of all kinds of books from the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, reviewed 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.

Arts Line

Get ready for summer auctions, shows

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council received hundreds of entries for the annual calendar.

Judges selecting the calendar images were Carly DeLong, artist and illustrator with Studio Abuzz (Durango) and Mary Jo Coulehan, executive director of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce.

The 2007 calendar, priced at $9.95, is scheduled for sale beginning July 1 at the Town Park gallery and at several local businesses. There will an exhibit and sale of the calendar images at the gallery, May 18-June 5, with an opening reception 5-7 p.m. May 18.

All artists and photographers selected for the calendar were local. The cover of the calendar features a painting by Claire Goldrick, titled "Evening Rhapsody" depicting Chimney Rock in a vibrant color scheme. Those whose art appears in the calendar are January - "Tenderly Drawn Away," a painting by Betty Slade; February - "Alberta Peak," photo by Jan Brookshier; March - "Blue Moon Ranch," photo by Art Franz; April - "Pagosa Junction Water Tank," photo by Diana Re Baird; May - "Fast Water," photo by Al Olson; June - "Wolf Creek Valley," photo by Jeff Laydon; July - "Red Ryder Ballet," photo by David Hunter; August - "Buffalo Dancer at Chimney Rock," photo by Barbara Rosner; September - "Opal Lake," fabric collage by Jeanine Malaney; October - "Twisting Elk," stone mosaic by Emily Tholberg; November - "A Colorful Ride," painting by Claire Goldrick; December - "River Lights," photo by Al Olson.

High school art

The Pagosa Springs High School Advanced Art Students show "In the Park" is currently on display at the PSAC Town Park Gallery, and can be seen through May 17.

Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Students participating in the show are Heather Andersen, Shaina Etcitty, Caitlin Forrest, Hayley Goodman, Kelsey King, Matt Krone, Charlie Hoch, Ursala Hudson, Saber Hutcherson, Josh Pringle, Emilie Schur and Ashley Snyder. Charla Ellis is the Pagosa Springs High School art teacher.

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.

Summer drama camp

This summer, Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre, a division of PSAC, will offer its first summer drama camp to area students who will be entering grades four through 12 next school year.

Each day, students will attend classes in theater appreciation, improvisation, voice, and monologues/scene study taught by Sean Downing, John Bernard, Darcy Downing, and Felicia Meyer. Each of these instructors brings years of experience and expertise in theatrical production and education to this program.

The camp will run Tuesday through Saturday, May 30 -June 3. Each day, classes begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. and last until noon. On the last day of the camp, students will be able to share what they have learned with parents so, on that Saturday, the time may be extended to accommodate activities.

It is a goal of the Pretenders to provide quality education, creativity and experience in the performing arts to camp students. Flyers/registration forms are available in each public school office and the Sisson Library. Cost for the entire week is $95.

Register early to receive an early registration discount (registration postmarked by May 12) and to secure placement in the camp, as enrollment is limited. If you have additional questions call Susan Garman, 731-2485.

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, call Pierre Mion at 731-9781 or visit www.pagosa-arts.com.

Call for entries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PSAC auction

Are you an artist new to Pagosa Springs?

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

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

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

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

Judges needed

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

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

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

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

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 list 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.

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.

Marketing technology

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 www.wendysaunders.com and pagosa-arts.com. Space is limited; call now to reserve your space.

Kids' photo camp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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® is a quick option to educate the average shutterbug and avoid wasted time and errors.

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

The sessions are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home and garden tour

Mark your calendars for Sunday, July 9, and plan to attend the PSAC Home and Garden Tour.

This year our tour will concentrate on the U.S. 84 area, featuring homes and ranches between the intersection of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 and Alpine Lakes. Ticket prices are $10 to PSAC members and $12 to non-members. More details will be announced, so stay tuned.

Calendar

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

Today-May 17 - PSAC Pagosa High School Student Show.

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

May 14 - Preregistration savings deadline for PSAC marketing workshop.

May 15 - Preregistration discount deadline for PSAC PHOTOLearn® classes and kids' camp in July.

May 18 - PSAC 2007 Calendar exhibit and sale opening reception, 5-7 p.m.

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

May 22 - Deadline for Pagosa Reads! art contest.

May 30-June 3 - Pagosa Pretenders children's drama camp.

June 3 - PSAC live and silent art auction, Pagosa Springs Community Center, 5 p.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 (psac@centurytel.net). We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

Food for Thought

I scan, can you scan?

Karl Isberg

Broccoli?

No problemo: 3082.

Garlic?

A snap: 4068.

Spring mix?

Hah, easy, Child's play, in fact: 4825.

Ever used the U-Scan line at the local grocery store?

You know, the checkout line where the customer does all the work in order to allow the store to save on wages, and thus pass those savings on to customers? Remember all those savings you've realized lately?

You bring your goods to the stand, titillate the machine, choose to hear a digitized voice deliver instructions in either English or Espanol ( the Spanish speaker is extremely friendly), scan in your items using, if you must, handy and vivid graphic displays of various fruits and vegetables to find codes for items without a bar code on them.

I use the U-Scan every time I go to the store.

Not only do I use the service, but I am, with all due modesty, the U-Scan King of Pagosa Springs.

Perhaps of southwest Colorado.

Perhaps, dare I say, of the continental U.S. of A.

Oh yes I'm good.

This is not a talent acquired easily, or with haphazard effort. It is, moreover, a skill to which only a few are born and the rest (that's most of you, dear readers) must labor long and hard to own.

Plainly put: There is a small number of us who possess an innate talent, an inherent ability to manipulate U-Scan technology and techniques.

Comes naturally to us.

Just as some folks are born to play basketball and others to run the football or do differential equations, there are those of us who are born to pass through U-Scan lines like a hot knife through butter. Who knows why? Perhaps our mothers passed too close to a source of radiation or drank some air freshener when we were in utero. Perhaps it is an evolutionary adaptation. Why, simply doesn't matter.

What matters is some of us got it, most of us don't.

I've got it.

And I'm not afraid to show what I've got at our local supermarket, on a daily basis.

Because of my obvious expertise, I have drawn the attention and admiration of the store personnel who man the assistance stand at the U-Scan terminus. I have become their friend. Yea, their colleague.

And, I should note, somewhat of a role model and hero at the store.

Given my stature, I and those like me (and, believe me, we proud few recognize each other) are more than a bit peeved by U-Scan novices and, especially, by U-Scan idiots.

Plenty of them around, mark my word.

The earmarks of the U-Scan idiot?

Here are some of the worst.

First, there's the pinhead who ignores the 15 item or less rule. (He or she is kin to that other obnoxious group - the Express Lane violators). There they are: Clem and Elly May, slowly scanning the 4,256 items they've crammed in three grocery baskets - baskets blocking the path of we U-Scan pros - one frozen burrito at a time.

For crying out loud, people, can't you read the sign? It is brightly colored and illuminated for a reason!

Then, there's the mental midget who can't figure out the machine itself, even with perfectly clear instructions delivered in English or Espanol. Once the rotary telephone disappeared from the scene, this twit was adrift as far as technology goes and observing him at the U-Scan terminal is like watching a gibbon try to drive a Ferrari.

Then there's the simp who can't find the number codes for items. She shuffles to the cashier stand with an item clutched in her limp paw, whining about the darned code. A moment later, she's back. And on and on and on

And, maybe worst of all, there is the clown who demands the attendant run and check an item on the shelf because the U-Scan machine did not credit an alleged discount. He keeps those of us who possess superior U-Scan skills from promptly paying and receiving our receipt. The fool is delusional and doesn't realize a critical truth: U-Scan technology is infallible.

As are those of us who are recognized U-Scan experts.

U-Scan idiots are getting in our way, making life difficult.

Take yesterday. I hustle through the store because I am in a hurry to get home and watch House Hunters on the Home and Garden Channel - my new favorite show. Deb and Lance are moving from their cramped apartment because Deb is expecting twins. (They're optimists and they've named the fetuses Cyrus and Mandy). Will they choose the modest bungalow with some fix-up necessary, or will they go beyond their comfort zone, break the budget and spend a lot more on that loft Lance has always wanted? My bet is the loft, since this is America and credit is never a burden or a worry. We're a Chapter 7 kind of culture.

I have a hankerin' for eggplant Parmesan. I whiz to the produce section and look for eggplant. Nada.

"The guys at the warehouse have been shorting me on eggplant for three days," says the section manager.

OK, I buy two zucchini (4223), two yellow squash (same code), a red Bell pepper (4088), a head of garlic (4608), a white onion (4663), greens (4825) and a can of garbanzo beans. I fly over to the flesh section and pick up a pack of 85/15 ground turkey. I've got the other ingredients I need at home.

I streak to the U-Scan and every terminal is occupied.

By idiots.

One halfwit keeps setting off a U-Scan alarm because he fails to put his scanned items in the bag when ordered in English, at that.

Another goof is trying to scan a cantaloupe.

A mooncalf at Terminal 3 is trying to stuff a twenty-dollar bill into the credit card slot.

The lad at Terminal 4 is picking his nose. He looks hungry.

Arrrrrggghhhhhhh.

I miss the essential first half of House Hunters, and my day is nearly ruined.

My only solace is the food.

I dice the onion and pepper. I peel and chunk the squash. I mash five cloves of garlic and mince the remains. I finely dice some celery. I saute the onion, celery and pepper in extra virgin olive oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, oregano and basil and, when all is soft, in goes the garlic.

I cook for a minute or so and add most of a can of crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes and a cup or so of chicken stock. I rinse the garbanzos and toss them in and amp up the herbs a bit. In goes a tablespoon of chicken demi-glace and I set the mess to simmer.

I cook it into squashy oblivion, adding stock when necessary.

With it, some simple turkey burgers (I'm broke; I've been spending our savings on wine). I add panko to the ground turkey along with minced onion and garlic, salt and pepper, a bit of oregano. I brown the patties with a vengeance then pop them into the veggie stew and let them simmer in the goo for 15 or 20 minutes. I top each with three slices of sharp cheddar and let the cheese melt.

A salad with the greens (4825), some sliced tomato and oil cured olives - a lemon vinaigrette with crumbled feta - and the deed is done.

Though I know it is oh-so-wrong, I have a half bottle of a wonderful Cahors and I drink the hefty red with the meal. Darned good, simple food and wine.

But, I am still agitated.

We need to do something about folks flooding the U-Scan line who have absolutely no right to be there.

I have a plan to rid the U-Scan line of the feebs who clutter the process.

The first thing: seal off the U-Scan area with a tall fence. At the gate - armed guards. We must protect the border.

Then, for those who wish to be admitted (and have not proven their expertise to the staff's satisfaction), a test.

Every Tuesday, between noon and 3 p.m. card tables can be set up at the store entrance. Several U-Scan training monitors will be placed on the tables and attendants will be at the ready, evaluating a mock U-Scan run-through. Candidates take the mock test as well as a written exam. A combined score of 180 is sufficient for the candidate to receive a "green card" - a document stating the customer is granted probationary status and can use the U-Scan, under supervision. Each time through the U-Scan line, the probationer will be videotaped and timed. Three months (or 100 visits, whichever comes first) and the customer's record is reviewed by management. If everyone on the manager's review committee agrees, a customer is granted permanent U-Scan status. Those who fail are sent back to the regular checkout lines.

I think this will work.

And, at last, I will be able to whip through the process unhindered by amateurs and interlopers.

And be home in time for House Hunters.

Stan and Betsy are thinking about selling their condo and finding a place with a yard where their Australian shepherd, Boxy, will have a lawn on which to do his vile canine business.

I'll need something to nibble on while I watch the show.

Perhaps some of that sharp cheddar and a Gala apple (4133).

Extension Viewpoints

Manage field bindweed with mite releases

May 12 - 1:45 p.m., 4-H Fridays Session III

May 12 - 2 p.m., Colorado Kids Club meeting

May 12 - 3:10 p.m., Goat Project meeting

May 13 - 10 a.m., mandatory 4-H Livestock Weigh-In

May 15 - 4 p.m., Beginning Archery at Ski and Bow Rack

May 15 - 4:30 p.m., Dog Obedience Project meeting

May 16 - 6 p.m., 4-H Council meeting

May 17 - 10 a.m., Garden Club meeting

May 17 _ 4 p.m., Sportsfishing Project meeting

Second Basic GPS class

Due to a huge response for the first Basic GPS class, the Archuleta County Cooperative Extension Office will offer a second class scheduled at 7 p.m. June 6.

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 about how to do something, write them down and bring them with you.

The class is free and will last approximately two hours. Handouts and easy-to-use instructions will be given. This class is open to adults and will be limited to the first 16 persons (no exceptions).

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

Manage field bindweed

The Archuleta County Extension Offices will receive at least 100 releases of bindweed mite at $20 per release.

Each release will treat 25 acres, and is 75-percent effective in controlling field bindweed after two years. The releases will be delivered at the end of May or early in June. Releases will be limited to 10 per person and must be prepaid. If you are interested in purchasing the bindweed mites, contact the Archuleta County Extension Office at 264-5931 or e-mail archuelt@ext.colostate.edu.

Field bindweed (Convovulus arvensis) is one of the most widespread and difficult-to-manage weeds growing throughout the United States.

The vining plant produces an extensive root system that stores enough nutrients to fuel extensive growth. The plant thrives in the arid western states and will grow on many sites where other plants cannot exist.

Control with herbicides is difficult. Bindweed can be successfully managed on some sites with fall applications of glyphosate containing herbicides. Control in localities with desirable vegetation, inaccessible areas, as well as many agricultural systems is nearly impossible with herbicides.

The bindweed mite, Aceria malherbae, is a microscopic eriophyid mite imported from southern Europe as a biological control agent for field bindweed. The bindweed mite feeds only on field bindweed and closely-related wild morning glories. It does not damage other plant species, and it requires bindweed to survive.

Bindweed mite feeding causes the formation of gall-like growth of plant leaves. Leaves of infested plants become thickened, and have a "fuzzy" texture. In heavily infested plants, the shoots are misshapen and growth is severely stunted. Newly emerged leaves on recently infested plants appear folded with thickened midribs. The thickened texture and fuzzy appearance are good diagnostic characteristics to identify bindweed mite presence.

Bindweed mites have the potential to aid in suppression or control of field bindweed in many arid regions, and under many plant management regimes. They can be useful in wild land settings, pastures, roadsides, disturbed areas, landscape plantings, and other areas. The best results will be obtained with active management by mowing the bindweed, which moves the mites around and stimulates new growth for the mites to feed on. Bindweed mites survive better in drier settings. Their impact in sprinkler irrigated settings, especially lawns, will probably be less than in nonirrigated sites.

Bindweed mites spend the winter on the underground buds of bindweed rhizomes. The protected overwintering site allows them to survive extreme winter conditions, and they have successfully overwintered in the harsh environments of Canada and Montana.

Excessive moisture appears to be one of the environmental factors that limits their establishment. Attempts at establishing them have not been successful in areas with significant rainfall and high humidity. Bindweed mites can survive extended drought periods by actively moving to underground buds when plant tops die down. Initial establishment of bindweed mites has been most successful on the drier sites, as long as the bindweed is actively growing when the release is made.

Bindweed mites are available from collections of infested plant material. It is best to release mites in the cooler part of the day to maximize their survival. The infested plants should be placed in direct contact with the bindweed that is to be infested. They should be either tucked under the plants or twisted up with the bindweed vines to keep it in place and from blowing away. Newly infested galls (folded leaves) should be apparent within a week or so after spring releases.

In many cases, establishment may take a full growing season. Do not disturb the release site for a few weeks, then mow the area (if feasible) to distribute the mites and stimulate new bindweed growth. When galls are easily found, they can be harvested and spread to new areas.

Success in managing field bindweed with bindweed mites is highly dependent on your expectations and long-term commitment. If you expect the bindweed to disappear shortly after releasing the mites, you will be disappointed. The initial impact will be a reduction of growth and limited flowering and seed production in infested plants. It will take a year or more for infested plants to die. Control of bindweed over a large area can take years: be patient, mow, move mites manually and you will increase your chances of success.

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

Pagosa Lakes News

Do something meaningful for mom

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Back in the days when I was a new mom, I tried to do everything right. I breastfed, and responded to each and every cry with anxious alacrity. When my babies were ready for solid food, I cooked and pureed homegrown vegetables. I awoke early, and eschewing TV or personal pursuits, curled up on the couch with a stack of books that I could recite in my sleep (which I did).

Was I trying too hard? No - I was a committed mother, eager to do right by my children. I was proud of the fact that I could get in a couple hours of high-intensity parenting before I left for work; prouder still that, when I came home in the evening, I could count on at least three more similarly intense hours to follow.

I wasn't alone. I was surrounded, it seemed, by women who had surrendered themselves - and part of their sanity - to motherhood, women who pulled all-nighters hand-painting paper plates for a class party, who obsessed over the most minute details of play-group politics. Women who, like myself, appeared to be sleepwalking through life in a state of quiet panic.

I read that 70 percent of American moms say they find motherhood today incredibly stressful. For many moms, work and motherhood becomes a juggling act - a very tough act.

I no longer have children at home. My husband and I are at a stage in our lives where we dream of grandchildren - a much longed-for gift, when the time is right, from our children. But that dream is utterly incompatible with where our children are at in their lives.

When my children were still at home, my life as a mother was very different from that of my own mother. She was a stay-at-home mom to ten children who lived in a state of virtual isolation because she couldn't afford any time for herself. Myself, with only two children, 10 years apart, I was able to work full time. Unlike my mother, and in a different age and culture, my husband shared in the responsibilities of child-raising. I don't need to valorize motherhood. I do wish to acknowledge, however, that it is the toughest job in the world and often thankless. Rewards - most definitely, but even then it's sometimes hard to see when you are in the trenches.

Jenny, a full-time mom to two boys, ages five and three, put it so aptly as she huffs up the hill with her load in a double-occupancy baby jogger: "I just want them to make something of themselves." A mission statement for motherhood.

Looking back, I can see the challenges my mother faced and the sacrifices she made to give me and my nine other siblings a better life. When I was growing up, I didn't realize or appreciate how much my mother did for me and how her care made it possible for me to make something of myself.

You have three days before Mother's Day, Sunday, to do something truly meaningful for your mother to appreciate the selfless love she offered to you and to understand the "other" existence she forwent in order to be the mom she was. Tell her often and plainly how much you love her.

Obituaries

Irvin Peterson

Irvin "Ovie" Peterson, who was born February 10, 1926, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has gone to meet his Lord on May 9, 2006.

His love for life took him on many journeys. After serving two and a half years in the Navy at the end of World War II, Ovie returned home to Minneapolis and attended the Minneapolis School of Art where he graduated with a degree in industrial design. Shortly after his graduation, he moved with his wife Joan to San Diego, California, where he worked in the home construction industry for many years. In the late '50s, he returned to school and graduated with a teaching degree from San Diego State College. He spent the next 20 years teaching high school woodshop where he influenced and inspired many young men and women with his love of working and creating with wood.

In 1981, Ovie and his wife of 57 years, Joan, moved to Pagosa Springs, where they dedicated their lives to their family, the community, and serving the Lord. While enjoying retirement, Ovie always stayed busy with many interesting adventures. He built the family home on Lake Pagosa in the early years of Pagosa Lakes development, and was always busy in some type of building project for friends and family. He and Joan also owned PG's ice cream shop and managed the Spring Inn for awhile. One of his favorite relaxing pastimes was playing horseshoes. He also spent many years as a volunteer for C.R.W.R.C. and the Red Cross in a Christian outreach and relief effort. No task was too large or too small for him.

He adored his four children, Ken Peterson of Pagosa Springs, Kristi Brown and her husband Gary, of Temecula, California, Linda Gill and her husband Stan, of Pagosa Springs, Dan Peterson of Denver, and foster daughter Susie Hall and her husband Mike, of Pagosa Springs. He leaves a legacy of 13 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

The Christian life that Ovie lived in this community will leave many lasting memories for all of us that knew him. His commitment to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ was an inspiration to each of us. Although we shall miss him, we feel that his work on earth is finished and that he is now enjoying the sweet rest, joy and peace that Jesus Christ has prepared in heaven for all who love and serve Him.

A memorial service celebrating his life, officiated by Al De Boer, will be held on Friday, May 12, 2006, at 11 a.m. at Restoration Fellowship in Pagosa Springs. Immediately following the service, there will be a time for fellowship with the family and friends.

Memorial gifts maybe made in Ovie's honor to the Alzheimer's Association, 701 Camino Del Rio, No. 319, Durango, CO 81301.

John Romero Jr.

John Romero Jr., "Little John," age 48, passed away Friday, April 21, 2006. He is survived by his wife, Cheri; daughters Lacey Sage Romero and Casey Reese; parents John and Cristy H. Romero; brothers Alex and Gary Romero; godchildren, Dion and Felina Romero; siblings Veronica, Sarah, Jasmine, Belinda, Maria, and Matthew.

Memorial Services were held in Albuquerque, with burial at Mt. Calvary Cemetery on Wednesday, April 26, 2006. John, a member of Pagosa First Assembly of God Church, will always be remembered for his love in working with children, and will be greatly missed by all his friends and family.

Joan Thomas

Joan Lewis Thomas, 75 years young, entered eternal life peacefully Friday, April 21, 2006, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Joan was born Sept. 24, 1930, in Wilson, Okla., to Zelma and J.D. Lewis, whose loving arms welcomed her into heaven.

She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas and attended SMU and Mary Hardin-Baylor.

She married her high school sweetheart, Otis Thomas, April 28, 1956, and began a new family together in Fort Worth.

She wore many hats and served her Lord well through years in the United Methodist Women, where she served 10 years as president at her local church, as well as district offices and was chairman of the administrative board for five years.

Joan was a member of DAR. Researching family genealogy was a favorite hobby she shared with her husband and daughter.

Throughout her life, Joan had the gift of volunteering for schools, church and community services.

Care Corp. will miss her commitment.

Joan and Otis bought a home and property in the Blanco Basin in 1977. It was a favorite of the children and grandchildren during the summer, but Otis and Joan lived there full-time until the '90s when they left for a lower climate for health reasons.

The family she loved and enjoyed included husband Otis Thomas; daughter Jackie Wommack and husband Gary; son Ronnie Thomas, all of Azle; daughter Janet Jones and husband Wes of Richland Hills; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; favorite cousin and lifetime friend, Sue Jane Marutsky and husband Joe of Grand Junction.

Gerard Williams

Gerard "Jerry" Reese Williams was born on October 9, 1957 in Akron, Ohio. He entered in to rest on May 5, 2006 at 6:35 p.m. at the age of 48 at the Pine Ridge Nursing Home.

Survivors are Jeri and her husband Glenn Shively with their daughter Taylor, all from Sarasota, Florida; Danielle and Angela Williams of Pagosa Springs, Cleo Gurule, a 27-year companion. His mother Roberta is currently living in Atlanta, Georgia, with Jerry's sister Christina, two brothers, Pat and Paul. Nephews Michael Raccuia, Michael Williams, Jamie Williams, and a niece, Melanie Richardson. His father, Carl Peyton, proceeded him in death.

He worked for Curt Johnson approximately 17 years, dedicated to doing many tile jobs. He began his career laying carpet and linoleum. He is very well known for his work on many homes in our area. He also worked with and has very good friends in Pagosa Springs.

Jerry was an avid fisherman and hunter. He loved to go out on his boat with his girls and fished for countless hours to bring home many trophy largemouth bass and channel catfish.

Jerry had been battling lung cancer since 2004. In 2004 he had the left side of his lung removed in Albuquerque. He then had chemo and was fine until February of this year. The cancer attacked his lung, liver, backbone and brain. He then went through radiation and was going to start his third treatment of chemo. He was hospitalized on May 1 due to complications of a collapsed lung. He was transported to the Pine Ridge Nursing Home for the last four hours of his life. He passed away with his daughters Danielle and Angela, plus with Jessie Cardoso, Dolores Gurule and Ramona Gurule, by his side.

A Rosary will be held Friday, May 12 at 6 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. The burial service will be held Saturday, May 13 at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Jerry will be buried at Hilltop Cemetery. Reception to follow at the Gurule's residence.

 Business News

Chamber News

Time to clean up community

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

As always, it's a joy to work with the youth of this community.

I would like to congratulate the three new winners of the Archuleta County Fair Royalty Pageant: Marissa Maddox - queen; Michelle Garcia - princess; Belle Zellner - junior princess. These ladies will represent our community at the Archuleta County Fair and numerous other activities throughout the year. Just about every month they participate in some community-sponsored event, learning to give back to the community in which they live. There is often a considerable amount of work involved, and I want to thank them for their efforts and want them to know Pagosa residents appreciate all their volunteerism.

So, speaking of volunteering and youth, get ready for a wonderful couple of days dedicated to families and youth, sponsored by Seeds of Learning Child Care Center. At 6 p.m. Friday, May 12, head to the community center where a tasty dinner catered by Wildflower Catering will be served, at 40 differently designed tables for this "Once Upon a Time" benefit dinner. There will be tables designed by businesses and creative individuals. Come dine at the Willy Wonka table created by Pagosa Candy Company. You can feast at the Alice in Wonderland table prepared by Cherlyn Gwin, who also creates beautiful and functional tea pots, French presses and cup cozies. The tables will then be auctioned off, from tablecloth up. You can walk home with your own fanciful or elegant table setting. Tickets for the event are $300 for a table of eight and $75 for two. There will also be a cash wine and beer bar. Get out of the ordinary dinner and fund-raising mode; come out for an evening of frolic and festivities while benefiting the Seeds of Learning Center. Individual tickets or whole tables are available at Seeds of Learning on San Juan Street through the day, today.

Saturday, you can enjoy a full day of activities. Start at 11 a.m. in Town Park, where there will be games, face painting, flowers and plants just in time for Mother's Day, clowns, storybook characters, food and much more. Eddie Spaghetti will be on hand to sign autographs as well. Many of these events are free to the public. There are also activities set throughout the park that have fees associated with them. For these events, you can purchase a family pack of tickets for four for the whole day and evening at the Chamber, for $100. This price includes an Eddie Spaghetti CD. You can also purchase an individual all-day pass (including the dinner) for $25. Enjoy a soak at The Spa for your family, lunch, T-shirts and more fun activities included in your package price.

Park events continue until 4 p.m., giving everyone just enough time to get to the community center. Starting at 4:30 p.m., an Eddie Spaghetti concert and spaghetti dinner will take place. There will be an autograph signing and tons of singing and fun. If you can only attend the concert and dinner, tickets are $10 and may also be purchased at the Chamber or at the door.

As the weather starts to warm up, this is a perfect time to get your family out, involved and together for a day of activities, music and dinner. What a nice gift to give mom for Mother's Day: a day off!

For more information, contact Seeds of Learning at 264-5513.

Spring cleaning

I have seen lots of roadside cleanup the past couple of weeks.

Thanks to all the organizations and volunteers who work hard to keep Pagosa beautiful. Remember, we have orange trash bags here at the Chamber and Lyn DeLange, owner of the Welcoming Service, will provide doughnuts to your group the morning of your pick-up project. Give her a call at 731-2398 a few days ahead of your clean-up day and she'll get you all sugared up in the morning.

Starting Monday, May 15, the town of Pagosa Springs hosts its annual Clean-Up Week. This effort includes Dumpsters available throughout town for deposit of junk, household trash and larger items. You can also arrange to have junk vehicles removed from your property by calling Druex Williams at Town Hall at 264-4151, Ext. 225. Not only can you remove trash, but you can add some greenery to your property by planting a tree. The town will pay half the price of a tree to be planted between the front of the house and a town street. Call the parks and recreation office at 264-4151, Ext. 233, for details.

Let's keep pride in Pagosa on a high! We live in an area surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Keep our community beautiful by participating in Clean-Up Week in all its various forms. Then work on maintaining the cleanliness of our town all year long.

Members

We have a few new members to welcome this week, and what creative businesses they are.

We start off with Ted McGinn and Pagosa & Durango Limousine Services. They offer airport pickup and drop off, corporate transportation, casino runs, weddings and transportation for just about any special event. If you know you're going out for a fun evening, schedule a special run. What a great way to make that progressive dinner more fun, and safer. Please give Ted a call at 264-2111 or visit the Web site, www.twinklet@pagosa.net. Ride in style, comfort and safety.

Helping grow businesses and managing complex benefit packages is Employee Benefits of the Southwest, run by Margaret Simon. Employee Benefits of the Southwest wants to help your business manage the ever-increasing demand for employee benefits. They also provide a mix of services tailored for your specific business needs. Increase your benefit package without increasing your cost and let Uncle Sam help. Call Margaret at (970) 884-9607, located just a skip away in Oxford. See how she can help you and your employees through the quagmire of benefit packages.

Coming to us from the Durango area is Soaring Tree Top Adventures, with Dionne Beggrow. This extreme arboreal excursion takes place in the "City in the Trees." People of all ages can enjoy the experience of soaring over a mile of stainless steel helicopter-grade cable through 27 trees to 31 stainless steel platforms. This "City" can only be accessed by the Durango-Silverton train; there are no roads and no cars allowed. You can soar over the Animas River and through the aspens, and be rappelled to the forest floor, all with the aid of guides. You can also arrange for a gourmet lunch on an elevated platform high above the Animas River. Now, this is something very different for your next family reunion or birthday party. For more information about this extreme, nearby outdoor activity, call Dionne at 769-2367 or check out their site at www.soaringcolorado.com.

And although not new, I would like to welcome aboard the new owner of the Liberty Theatre, Mark Monaco. Still offering popular movies at popular times, it looks like Mark is still offering the half-price night until Memorial Day weekend. We welcome back Liberty Theatre as a renewing member and Mark as a new member to our Chamber.

Now for our other renewals. We can never forget them; they return year after year to support the efforts of our local Chamber of Commerce.

First out of the chute this week is a local favorite, Victoria's Parlor and Victoria's Reign.

As they get ready to participate in the grand reopening of the county airport, we welcome back Avjet Corporation and owner, Mark Foulkrod.

Welcoming our neighbor just to the south of the Chamber, we have Bank of the San Juans renewing. Bank of the San Juans offers full banking, loan, and investment services. They challenge other banks by believing they extend the best customer service skills in the area! As you check out banking qualifications, rates and service, include Bank of the San Juans on your list. Located right on Hot Springs Blvd. across from the Post Office, give any of their staff or officers a call at 264-1818.

Moving over to the west side of town, we have renewing real estate member, Roger Horton and Fairfield Pagosa Realty.

Herman's been involved in the real estate business for nearly 30 years, and we welcome back Herman Riggs & Associates Real Estate.

Moving over to the housing arena, we first welcome back David Conrad and Millennium Renewables.

We also welcome back Wolf Creek Interiors with Steve Vaile, Susan Day and their capable staff.

Moving on to associate members, we welcome Juli Morelock.

Having sold the business, but still giving their support to the Chamber, we welcome Gary and Carol Dillard, former owners of the Corner Store as associate members.

Last but not least, we welcome back community volunteers extraordinaire, Jim and Jean Carson.

I would like to commend the organizers of all the activities that went on this past weekend. The Home and Garden Show was great and appeared to be well attended. Thank you to the Spanish Fiesta Club for providing great food and entertainment on Friday night ... and those mariachis. If you didn't go to the Sunday concert, you really missed a chance to hear some romantic, lively, soul-gripping music. The Mariachi Rio Grande was awesome.

Get ready for more entertainment news soon, as we begin to talk about IndieFest and all the activities planned for both bicycle tours this summer.

Biz Beat

Ron Etz, and his wife, Linda, own and operate Country Hearth and Home at 301 N. Pagosa Blvd., B-6, in the Greenbriar Plaza.

Ron and Linda are specialists in alternative energy, heating stoves, fireplaces and inserts, wood- and pellet-fired stoves. They sell and install dual-pane, energy-efficient windows and patio doors.

The staff at Country Hearth and Home are experts in natural gas and propane fueled fireplaces, stoves and inserts. They install and service what they sell, have over 18 years experience and offer free, in-home consultation.

Country Hearth and Home is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday by appointment. Call 731-1729.

People

Cards of Thanks

Reinglass

Dear Twin Creek (Glenwood Court/Walnut Place) neighbors:

Thank you all so much for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time since my father, Karl Jaeger, died. It is so comforting for my sister Yvonne and I to know that my mother, Elfriede, has such wonderful neighbors, since we live out of state.

We both sincerely appreciate you all, as I am sure my mother does too.

Connie (Jaeger) Reinglass

Pine Ridge

A big thanks goes out to Mountain View Homemakers for the pillows. Maggie Chavez, Nick Bergbower, and Keele Smith and family for the flowers. Also the Methodist Thrift Store and City Market - our residents love the fresh flowers on their tables.

In Memoriam

Lauren White

Lauren, you made the stars dance, the valleys echo and the sun smile.

In your short time on this earth, you brought joy and laughter to the world around you.

We celebrate that life.

Love,

Mom, Dad, Chris, family and friends.

Mary Carpenter

Dear Mammo,

(Mary Carpenter)

God saw she was getting tired

And a cure was not to be

So He put His arms around her

And whispered, "Come with me."

With tearful eyes he watched her suffer

And saw her fade away,

Although we loved her dearly

We could not make her stay.

A golden heart stopped beating

Hard working hands to rest

God broke our hearts to prove to us

He only takes the Best!

I love you and will miss you forever,

Trish

Engagement

Bill and Nancy Esterbrook of Pagosa Springs are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter, Janae Esterbrook, to Brad Ash, son of Larry and Rhonda Ash, also of Pagosa Springs.

Miss Esterbrook is a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and earned her master's degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. She is a special education teacher at Red Rocks Elementary School in Morrison.

Mr. Ash is a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and earned his master's degree in architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver.

A July wedding is planned.

Locals

Mable Barber, of Pagosa Springs, was among Adams State College students honored at the annual Academic Awards Presentation March 9.

Offices of the president, housing and residence life, student and academic affairs, and the associated students and faculty hosted the event.

Kenneth Marquez, interim dean of students and Interim President Dr. David Svaldi, handed certificates and pins to the students on the president's academic distinction list and the vice president's honor roll.

Barber was on the vice president's honor roll for academic excellence.

Sports Page

Pirates host Fountain Valley in soccer playoffs

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It's on.

One game.

Win, and you go on to another match.

Lose, and the season is over.

The Colorado Class 3A soccer playoffs have begun. There are 16 teams in the running and the Pagosa Pirates (9-3-1), the No. 8 seed, take on No. 9 Fountain Valley (11-2-1), of Colorado Springs, Friday at 4 p.m. at Golden Peaks Stadium.

On paper, it appears the teams are well matched.

The Pirates won the Southwestern league title this season. The Danes placed second in the Tri Peaks League, behind Manitou Springs.

"They have a very good team," said Pirate Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason, "And so do we."

The teams surge into the first round of the playoffs, emerging out of similar leagues and schedules.

"They played a couple 4-A teams," said Kurt-Mason of the Danes, "and so did we. With similar results. Their league is similar to ours - both feature a couple strong teams that are head and shoulders above the rest of the league. They are pretty much like us."

The Danes feature a prolific scorer in Wrendy Rayhill, who has 26 goals and 20 assists this season. And Fountain Valley features a stout defense, putting three consecutive shutouts on the books to date.

Pagosa can score too, however, (Laurel Reinhardt has 24 goals on the season) and the Pirate defense should be a big factor in Friday's match.

"Our defense has been solid in practice during the last week," said the coach. "And I think defense will be a key in this game. I wouldn't expect a high-scoring affair; I look for tight game, with little scoring."

The Pirates have had more than a week off and Kurt-Mason said he has worked his charges hard in preparation for the playoffs. "We've gone hard-easy this week," he said, expecting one last tough practice Wednesday before giving his players a rest. "We did speed work Tuesday and the kids are tired. But, with a day's rest, they'll be ready."

Kurt-Mason reported his starters "are all healthy" (Kailey Smith's broken nose being the only notable injury - and not enough to keep her out of action) and ready for competition.

"It's pretty much an even match," said the coach.

Sign up for Pirate basketball camp

The Pirate Basketball Camp will be held May 22-25, in the Pagosa Springs Junior High School gym.

The camp is open to boys who will be in grades three through eight next school year.

Campers in grades three to five will meet 8:15-10 a.m. Campers in grades six to eight meet 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Cost is $50. Each camper receives a camp basketball and a camp T-shirt.

The first two days of camp will feature former Mesa State College basketball coach Doug Schakel, one of the premier shooting coaches in the western U.S. The remainder of the camp will be staffed by Pagosa Springs High School boys' basketball coaches and players.

The camp will provide instruction in all phases of the game, especially shooting skills. Camp contests will be held throughout the week.

For additional information, call Jim Shaffer, 264-2231, Ext. 230.

Pirates place at league meet, set for regionals

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pirates track teams finished well at last week's Intermountain League championship meet at Bayfield, but coaches and athletes alike expect bigger things at Saturday's regional meet.

The Pirate boys took second in the IML standings with 106 points, behind Bayfield (137.67). Pirate girls (91) finished third, behind winner Bayfield (107) and Centauri (98).

A number of top-three finishes paced boys' results.

Corbin Mellette won the IML title in the 100-meter dash, finishing the race in 12 seconds.

Pirates finished one-two in the 400. Gunnar Gill won the race in 53.89; Chase Moore took second place at 56.67.

Travis Furman was third in the 800, finishing in 2:12.39.

Freshman Jackson Walsh had another good day in the 3,200. He finished third in the IML with a time of 10:56.88.

In the 110-meter hurdles, Brian Patane crossed the line at 17.46, good for second place.

The 4x400 relay team of Patane, Gill, Mellette and Mike Smith was second, in 46.74.

The boys' 4x400 relay of Gill, Moore, Furman and Orion Sandoval ran the race in 3:42.33, for second place.

Moore, Furman, Sandoval and A.J. Abeyta were second in the 4x800 relay, in 8:40.61.

In field events, junior Caleb Ormonde had a big day. Ormonde won the high jump at 6 feet, two inches. He also won the triple jump at 40-6 and took second in long jump, leaping 19-3.5.

Pirates were first and third in discus. Craig Schutz is the IML champ, with a throw of 146-11. Zane Kraetsch took third with 110-06.

For the girls, Mia Caprioli was the sole first-place finisher in an individual track event. The senior took the title in the 100, at 13.74.

Junior Kim Fulmer nailed two second-place finishes at the meet. She ran the 200 in 29.34 and the 400 in 62.33.

Emilie Schur was second in the 800, with a time of 2:25.88.

Jaclyn Harms finished third in the 3,200, at 12:59.07.

Chelsea Cooper was third in the 300 hurdles, at 51.45.

Girls' relay teams ended the meet with three firsts, a second and third.

The 4x400 team of Fulmer, Schur, Jessica Low and Elise McDonald was first, at 4:23.81.

Schur, Fulmer, Jessica Lynch and Jenni Webb-Shearston ran a 10:08.8 for first in the 4x800, 19 seconds ahead of second-place Centauri.

Caprioli, Low, McDonald and Lyndsey Mackey took first in the 800 sprint medley with a time of 1:59.87.

Second in the 4x200 went to Caprioli, Lynch, Low and Stephanie Lowe with a time of 1:51.94.

The team of Mackey, Low Caprioli and Lowe was third in the 4x100, at 54:47.

"The boys' four-by-one hundred was extremely close to qualifying," said Coach Connie O'Donnell. "If they get their handoffs down, hopefully, they'll qualify this weekend."

O'Donnell singled out Ormonde for his performances at Bayfield. The Pirate won the high jump, equalling his personal best of 6 feet, 2 inches. He also won the triple jump in a personal-best performance, and posted yet another personal best in long jump.

The coach recognized that freshmen Walsh and Kyle Brookins had a great day. Both took significant time off their 3,200-meter times - a feat rare among underclassmen.

Despite the third-place league finish, O'Donnell is upbeat about the girls' prospects at regionals. The third place came with one notable competitor absent from the track and O'Donnell said she is "very excited about our girls' chances to make it to state. At the regional seeding meeting, it was obvious we have a lot of girls on the verge of making it. At regionals, the top three in each event go to state (as well as those who have posted qualifying times earlier in the season). We have a good chance to get quite a few of our kids qualified. We were missing a major point earner at the league meet in Nikki Kinkead, but I was very impressed with the attitude our girls had. It didn't phase them."

The coach attributed much of that positive attitude to good team leadership, in particular from senior Mia Caprioli. "Mia has become a very good leader," said O'Donnell. "She's been to state two times and really wants to go back. She's a hard worker, and she encourages people at practice."

Lynch also drew comments from her coach. "Jessica almost qualified in the four hundred. She was a tenth off and she ran a very tough race."

Saturday's regional meet at Bayfield will be a proving ground for many of the Pirates.

"I'm hoping we get most of our boys' relays to state - at least three of four," said the coach. "We should do well in the field events and, maybe, we'll qualify someone in each event."

On the girls' side, O'Donnell sees some stiff competition. Bayfield, the IML winner, will be at the meet, as will Centauri. Salida, Buena Vista and Lake County will be there as well. "Salida has some tough girls," said the coach. "And so does Bayfield and Centauri. I think we can fight our way back. We're missing just a few points in a few places. There's a couple of events where we'll have two pretty good contenders. I love this weekend; it's one of my favorites in track. I love the competition; character comes out at this meet and it takes a lot of heart to do well. People want to get to state, and they go all out."

Field events are set to start at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bayfield. Track events will begin at noon.

Pirates' season ends with 10-inning loss

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Pirates had to play Monte Vista for a third time in less than five days in the Intermountain League district baseball tournament held on the Monte Vista field last Saturday.

Based on tournament seeding, they were matched up again, and the fourth-place Pirates would have to meet No. 1-seeded Monte.

Pagosa was hoping the third time would be the charm. It didn't turn out that way, but it sure came close.

The Pirates came with swords drawn and a slightly different look on defense. Coach Charlie Gallegos moved Casey Hart to third base and Cody Bahn to second. The rest of the infield stayed the same with seniors Jim Guyton and Josh Hoffman at first-base and shortstop respectively. Adam Trujillo was on the mound and John Hoffman behind the plate. The outfield consisted of Wes Walters in left, Travis Richey in center and Matt Gallegos in right.

The Pirates (10-10, 3-6 in IML) fought hard but finally fell in 10 long innings to the hard hitting hosts (15-6, 9-1 in IML). Third baseman Jacob Jaron hit a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth inning to win it 10-8. The win put Monte in the championship game later that day. The loss sent Pagosa home.

Monte Vista went on to defeat the Ignacio Bobcats 14-4 for the league title and advance to the 3A state tournament this weekend. The second-place Bobcats also advanced after they defeated the Bayfield Wolverines 17-14 in other first round action.

The Pirates played like a different team but still found themselves down 4-0 after four innings. Sigi Rodriquez, on the mound for Monte, was throwing a no-hitter and had Pagosa baffled at the plate until the top of the fifth inning when they finally came up with two runs. The Pirates would tie it at five in the top of the seventh and then they matched scores until Jaron's hit to end it.

There was also a play for the highlight films. Rodriquez slammed what appeared to be the game-winning home run over the left-center field fence in the bottom of the 10th. The umpire called a balk on Richey, pitching in relief for Pagosa, and the run was called off. Rodriquez walked and then Jaron came to bat.

If the Pirates were the home team and batting last, they probably would have won it ... but that's baseball.

Coach Gallegos was proud of the way his team played. "We fought hard all day and probably played our best game this season. Our kids came to play and it was a real team effort."

The coach added, "Rodriquez was pitching a great game and (Monte) was hitting the ball well, but we kept our poise and didn't let up. It's too bad there had to be a loser in a game like this. I was sorry for our seniors to have their season end, but we will dedicate next year to them." The Pirates lose only two to graduation and will add several from a good junior varsity squad.

Pagosa went three and out in the top of the first inning. Then Jaron jacked his first two-RBI homer in the bottom half to put the yellow and green up 2-0.

Designated hitter Karl Hujus, still nursing a sore ankle, reached first on a passed ball for Pagosa to open the second inning, but Rodriquez sent three more Pirates down in order.

Monte second baseman David Salazar reached base in their half of the second, but was tagged out after a nice pick-off throw from Trujillo to Guyton.

Two Pirates reached base in the top of the third inning. Trujillo walked and Bahn outran a bad throw to first, but both were left on base.

Michael Salazar, playing right-field and batting ninth, hit a long double to center to open the Monte third. Shortstop Robert Montoya reached base on an error and Salazar scored to put Monte up 3-0.

Rodriquez continued to pitch shutout ball for Monte Vista through the top of the fourth inning after Hujus reached first on a walk, but was left stranded again.

Jaron walked to open Monte's half of the fourth inning. Two sacrifices put him on third and he scored on a passed-ball to increase the lead to four.

The Pirates finally started hitting in the fifth to score two. Guyton and Trujillo both singled, then scored on passed-ball pitches to cut the lead to 4-2.

Cliff Shaw, playing at first-base, singled for Monte Vista to lead off the bottom half of the fifth, but two good defensive plays by Pagosa ended the inning.

Rodriquez seemed to be tiring and walked three Pirates to load the bases in the top of the sixth, but rebounded with two straight outs to end the inning with three left on.

Monte would score another in sixth on another long home run to left-field by catcher Matt Gonzales and the score went 5-2 for the home team.

Josh Hoffman, leading off in the seventh, doubled to left for the black and gold. John Hoffman walked to put two on. Hart singled to left and the bases were loaded. Rodriquez walked two runs in and Richey sacrificed for an RBI. The scored was tied at five.

Trujillo pitched another good inning for the Pirates, allowing just one hit and regulation play ended with the score 5-5.

Trujillo helped himself in the first extra inning by beating out a hard shot that bounced off the pitcher's leg. Josh Hoffman also beat out the throw to first that advanced Trujillo to third, who then scored on a passed-ball. John Hoffman reached base on an error and the Pirates took their first lead of the game at 7-5 with only one earned run.

The hosts showed their hard hitting again in the bottom of the eighth. Kyler Cooper, playing in center field, started the inning with a home run. Coach Gallegos brought Richey in to relieve Trujillo and sophomore Cole Kraetsch went to right field. Rodriquez walked and Jaron sacrificed him in to tie the score again at 7-7.

Both teams went three and out in the ninth inning and it appeared this one might never end.

Kraetsch, in his first at-bat in a varsity game, calmly jacked one over the right-field fence in the top of the 10th to give the Buccaneers the lead.

And then Monte came to bat.

And a season came to an end.

Pagosa gymnasts continue successful season

By Jennifer Martin

Special to The SUN

Last weekend, Pagosa gymnasts competed in Denver at Vertical Sports.

The Level 4 team placed first in a small session with two other teams.

Jacqueline Herring received a special award for earning the highest all-around score in the entire competition. She also placed first on beam, second on floor and third on bars.

Madelyn Davey placed third in the all-around, third on vault and was the floor champion with a 9.50.

Katie Blue competed for the first time and placed fifth in the all-around, second on vault and third on beam, qualifying for the state meet on her first try.

Hannah Rohrich tied Blue for fifth in the all-around and placed fourth on bars.

Zoe Rohrich placed eighth in the all-around, fourth on floor and was the vault champ with a 9.30.

Marley Gabel was seventh in the all-around and Megan Davey placed tenth. The girls were grouped together in one age group, with 11 total competitors.

The optional team had a small session as well, competing against only one other team.

Danielle Pajak earned the special award for the highest all-around in the second session with a high score of 37.60. She won vault, bars and beam and placed fourth on floor.

Re'ahna Ray placed second in every event and second in the all-around with a 37.20. Pajak and Ray had six girls in their division.

Gabrielle Pajak won her first competition of the year in the younger age division. She placed first on bars and second on floor, beam and vault.

Toni Stoll placed second in the all-around, first on vault and floor, second on bars and third on beam.

Carrie Patterson placed third in the all-around, first on bars and third on vault, bars and floor.

These girls were the only ones in their age division.

The gymnasts have a short break until their next competition, May 20 in Northglenn.

Pagosa women open golf season

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association celebrated the opening day of its season, May 2, by playing 18 holes in the "Five Alive" format.

All participants kept their gross scores for the round, and at the end of the round, tallied how many holes they scored a five. Handicaps were deducted from each hole to determine the net winners.

Winners in the gross division were Lynne Allison, first with eight 5s, and Cherry O'Donnell, Barbara Sanborn, Jane day and sue Martin all tied for second place, each with seven.

In the net score division, Doe Stringer was first with eight 5s, second was Carole Howard with six, and tied for third were Jundy Horky and Sandy Bish, each with five.

Register 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.

Bow club to hold practice shoot

The Pagosa Bow Club will have the first Tuesday practice shoot at 6 p.m. May 16 at the Laverty range.

The first major 3D shoot will be June 25, with setup on June 24.

For more information call Kurt Laverty, 264-5548, or Herb Stipe, 731-2401.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Register for softball and Park Fun

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will accept team registrations for the 2006 adult men's and coed softball leagues beginning Monday, May 15. Deadline for registration is June 1.

Registration forms are available at the department office, which is now located upstairs in Town Hall. Team registration fees are $250, plus a $25 fee per player.

The leagues are tentatively scheduled to begin in early June. For more information call 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Park Fun registration

Spring is in the air, with summer vacation just around the bend.

The Park Fun staff is already in full swing, planning a fun, active and safe summer for your children.

Park Fun is Pagosa Springs' summer recreation program, designed to keep your child happy and busy while you work or take a moment for yourself.

The program includes swimming, hiking, biking, wading, rollerblading, art and daily field trips. Your child will get plenty of fresh air, exercise and fun.

The Park Fun staff, co-directed by Becca Blauert and Heather Hunts, will commence registration at Town Hall Thursday, May 25, and Friday, May 26, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Punch passes may be purchased as well.

Park Fun has a home base at Pagosa Springs Junior High School. Drop-off is at 8 a.m. and pick-up is at 5 p.m. The program starts May 30.

The first day will open with a Hawaiian theme and bingo at Town Park. All scheduled events will be posted weekly and daily for your convenience. Your child requires a sack lunch, sunscreen and a towel; we will provide the fun.

For more information call Heather Hunts, program director, at 731-1146.

Youth baseball

Skills-assessment day for Mustang division (9- and 10-year-olds) 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 for Mustang division should attend.

Rosters in Pinto division (6-8) have been finalized. Parents who have not been contacted with roster information by the end of this week should call the office Monday at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Practice times and fields for Pinto division will be available beginning Monday, May 15. Games will be Monday and Wednesday nights from May 22-June 28. Schedules will be available at town hall May 16 and will be posted weekly on the town Web site, in The SUN and recorded on the sports hotline.

We are still in need of three team sponsors for our Pinto division. Cost for sponsorship is $150, which includes sponsor's name on team uniforms, commemorative plaque with team picture and designation in media articles.

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.

We are still attempting to see if it is feasible to work out a traveling schedule with recreation teams in Bayfield. If we cannot get a commitment by early next week, the leagues will be canceled and all registration fees for these divisions will be refunded.

For more information call 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Tee-ball schedule

The final games in our Tee-ball season will take place Saturday, May 13, in Town Park. The schedule includes: Rockies vs. White Sox at 9 a.m., Orioles vs. Angels at 10 a.m. and A's vs. Royals at 11a.m.

Medals will be handed out to each of this year's participants and Jeff Laydon of Pagosa Photography will be at the games distributing this year's picture orders.

If there is a cancellation due to bad weather, the sports hotline (264-6658) will be updated accordingly and the games will be rescheduled.

Adult basketball

The adult men's basketball schedule concludes tonight at Pagosa Springs Junior High School with the recreation league championship at 6 p.m. and the competitive league championship at 7:05 p.m.

Winners in these respective leagues will be announced in next week's parks and recreation column.

Horseshoes

Horseshoe pitching at South Pagosa Park 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 townofpagosasprings.com and going to the parks and recreation link.

All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis. For any questions, concerns or additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Editorial

Create the codes

There are times to put on the brakes, pull over, take a deep breath, get your bearings, figure out the route. Such was the case two weeks ago with the reaction of county government to a proposed, large-scale development: Keep the speed down, take a gander at the possibilities and the probable consequences.

Not to say we advocate a halt to development. But, when the change proposed is massive, there is a line between governmental control, community impact and private property rights in need of illumination, a zone of compromise that must be recognized. With regulations in hand.

Lacking refined land-use regulations and tools, and concrete planning strategies that mirror a well-conceived community vision, it is sometimes difficult to determine where that zone is.

Thus it is we applaud the April 18 decision by the county commission to, in effect, put the brakes on a proposed "low-income" or "affordable" housing project on Piedra Road.

Not because it was "low-income" or "affordable." But, because the plan was ill conceived - too much, in too little space, with too much potential negative impact.

Granted, there is a need for affordable housing. And that need could increase in the immediate future. It is something that must addressed. But not in this form, this size, in this place. And not without workable regulations in hand to deal with the proposal.

One argument in favor was that such a development will ultimately be in someone's "backyard" and that, as a result, someone will gripe no matter where the development is located. Therefore, went the argument, the project should be built.

It is an argument in which one premise is true: Build a 112-unit, seven-building complex anywhere in the county where land prices permit such a venture to profit and someone will complain. But, the argument pays no heed to the fact that not all backyards are the same. We must discriminate between neighborhoods, and the effect a project will have. The effect differs relative to location and this location was wrong; there are not 112 living units within a half-mile radius of the proposed location. The traffic situation and the impact on existing roadways and intersections would be unacceptable. The impact on the adjacent neighborhood would have been dramatic, and harsh. The environmental impact - considering this site is, in effect, part of a large drainage and at the entry of one of the major lakes in the area - could have been extreme.

The vote put an end, at least temporarily, to plans for such an unacceptably large project in that spot.

It shouldn't have come to that. The tools that would have allowed plans to be halted or changed at a lower administrative level are not yet in place in the county. We are paying the price for a lack of foresight on the part of community leaders 50, 30, 25 years ago. Proof again we need to amp up the process of creating and implementing regulations so we do not leave utter wreckage for those to come.

Until the means are in hand to deal with large-scale development (and, here, we are not talking about several downtown lots, but rather about hundreds of units, on major acreage) all such projects should be put on hold. At least the town has made a step in the right direction with passage of its Comprehensive Plan. But the county is not yet there.

There are hearings coming soon on the topic of county land use codes.

There is still time left for those interested to get involved.

There are places for developers to put large-scale housing projects, where they will work to the greatest good. There must be; if growth continues, we will need them. But, for now, we must codify the processes that allow us to put them where they will fit best.

Karl Isberg

Legacies

Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 12, 1916

Ed Mowbray lost a valuable horse last week. The horse attempted to cross the railroad bridge and fell through, breaking its leg and making it necessary to kill it.

A meeting of all owners of autos is hereby called for Saturday evening at the town hall for the purpose of organizing a Motor Club. Be sure to come in. - O.S. Galbreath Jr., E.M. Taylor, Com.

County Surveyor Howe left on Wednesday with a crew of four men to begin the survey for the Pagosa state line secondary highway. They will commence work at the state line this side of Chama and work this way through Chromo and Coyote Park to the top of 15 mile hill, a distance of about 20 miles.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 15, 1931

The town board has authorized the construction of a cement crossing and sidewalk on the north side of San Juan Street from the corner of Fifth Street to the alley at the Arlington Hotel.

The ladies of Pagosa Springs will next week have on sale the official American Legion poppies for Memorial Day, the sale being in charge of Mrs. Clara Mullins, gold-star mother.

Fred Catchpole, assignee of W.C. and Pearl McComas, today received five bids for the purchase of the Pagosa Drug Store fixtures and stock of goods, the best bid being made by L.C. Jackisch of Cedaredge, Colo. The matter will be presented in district court tomorrow when it is expected that the sale to Mr. Jackisch will be approved.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 10, 1956

A group of local businessmen and interested citizens met last week to discuss the possible widening of Main street in the business district so that additional parking facilities would be available. Such a project would also give more room on Main street for traffic and decrease the traffic hazards. It would consist of widening the main business block street by filling in the river and straightening and deepening the channel. This project would require a great deal of work and a lot of cooperation on the part of everyone. It would take a terrific amount of dirt and fill as well as considerable rip-rapping and some work in the river with heavy machinery and drag lines. Those present at the meeting all expressed themselves as being heartily in favor of such a project.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 14, 1981

The town board, at a special meeting Monday, agreed to take over the operation of the proposed geothermal heating system, providing that a land exchange could be satisfactorily completed. The Geothermal Project Advisory Committee concluded over two years of study with a two-page affirmation of the project. "Our approach to this project has been to see if the know benefits will outweigh any possible disadvantages," the committee report said, "and our answer to that is a resounding yes." The committee listed the rising cost of fossil fuel as a primary reason for building the system. According to the committee's report, the cost of geothermal heat will remain fairly constant, while natural gas prices may triple in the next four years.

Features

Heroes in Our Midst: Carlos Trujillo, Korean War veteran

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"I wanted to go in and do my part," said Carlos Trujillo, a 74-year-old, third-generation Pagosa Springs native.

Trujillo began his active service in 1951, when he volunteered for service in the Korean War in the 25th Infantry Division, 14th Company L.

After just eight weeks of basic training, Trujillo found himself three miles in front of the main line resistance, on the infamous Hill 351.

"The tanks would come in and fire, and we'd move in to get (hit with) all the artillery," recalls Trujillo.

After weeks of fighting, Trujillo's company would be pulled back for "rest and recuperation," although there was not much rest to be found between training and drills. Always near the front, along the 38th parallel, Trujillo battled in the Punch Bowl and on Heartbreak Ridge, as well as Hill 351.

Trujillo spent 11 months on the front lines, "living in trenches and bunkers," and witnessing ravages of war that are difficult for him to speak of, even 50 years later.

"To this day, I don't watch war movies," stated Trujillo. "I remember one time on Hill 351, we had our 'whites' over us. All of a sudden, they pounded us - shell after shell after shell. We lost quite a few of our brothers over there. It was just terrible to see all the wounded, the soldiers begging for help and crying."

Trujillo met another Pagosa Springs native while on the front lines in Korea: "We were on Hill 351," he said, " and North Korea and China broke through the front lines. They sent tanks and half-tracks and trucks to get us out. After I loaded up onto a truck, I saw someone I recognized.

"I hollered out, 'Archuleta!' He turned around and came closer to me, and I saw that it was Waldo Archuleta," said Trujillo. "It was a real joy to see someone from my home town."

Trujillo and Archuleta were able to visit with each other for about five minutes before Trujillo was sent back to the front, as the line had been secured. Archuleta was a member of the 77th tank battalion. The two soldiers renewed their friendship after the war, at home in Pagosa Springs.

By 1952, Trujillo had earned enough points to be pulled back from the front or to return to the United States. He returned stateside and was based at Camp Carson, Colo. After 21 months of active duty, Trujillo was issued an early discharge.

The armistice was signed in 1953, but Trujillo felt as though he had not given enough for this country that he loves, and just three months after his discharge, he reenlisted in the 11th Airborne Division, 503rd Infantry Regiment. Trujillo was trained as a paratrooper and completed more than 70 successful jumps.

Trujillo was placed in a special platoon that was given the task of testing equipment, such as sleeping bags, in Alaska. "We had good clothing in Alaska," said Trujillo. "Not like we had in Korea.

"The service has done a lot for me," stated Trujillo. "I've been places I never would've seen. I've been all over the world. Being in the military for seven years gave me so much discipline. It really helped me in life, and to understand what was happening in the world.

"I wonder, 'Why me? Why am I here and all my other friends are gone?'" Trujillo remembered friends of years past with a wistfulness in his voice. "God must have me here for a reason," he added.

After seven years in the service, Trujillo met his wife, Clorinda (Gallegos) Trujillo, also a Pagosa Springs native. "I was planning on making a career of the military when I met my wife," said Trujillo with a smile. He exited the military as a sergeant first class. He and Clorinda celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary this year. They have two living adult children as well as grandchildren residing in Pagosa Springs - now the fifth generation to call the Four Corners home.

"My dad came over Wolf Creek Pass in covered wagons," said Trujillo. "They had to lower the wagons on ropes down the steepest parts, and lead the horses on foot." Trujillo had 15 siblings. "We were raised up here sawmilling, ranching and herding sheep."

Of his eight brothers, all but one - due to work-related disability - served in the military: four in World War II, Trujillo in Korea, and two in Vietnam. All came home without injury.

"I was really proud to serve in the military. It really made a difference in my life," said Trujillo. "Even though I'm Spanish, I'm American first. I think every young man should spend at least two years in the military."

Trujillo continues to keep in touch with men who served with him in the 11th Airborne Division, and his commitment to the United States remains as strong as when it first led him into active duty. "I wanted to get in again when we jumped into Iraq. The recruiter said, 'No way!'" said Trujillo with patriotism shining in his eyes.

"Life is what you make of it," added Trujillo. "Life has been good to me, thanks be to God. I don't regret for one moment the time I spent in the military."

Trujillo represents a generation whose heart beats true with a love of family and of country. The men and women of his day and age offered of themselves utterly and completely, to secure a hope in the life Americans dream to achieve.

Thanks to Trujillo and others like him, future generations are free to dream the desires of their hearts.

Pagosa's Past

Wirt held great power south of Pagosa Country

By John Motter

For several weeks, we have been reporting from accounts of the life of Emmet Wirt, credited with saving the Jicarilla Apache Nation from starvation and helping that people convert from a hunting-gathering economy to a body self sufficient in today's economy.

Our first source was J. Denton Simms, long time pastor of the Reformed Church in Dulce and father of the boy who married Wirt's daughter. As you would expect, Simms's account was very flattering.

Last week, we began reporting from a book titled, "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970," by Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, an Apache Ph.D. Dr. Tiller, I understand, operates a financial consulting company.

Last week we reported that Morris Opler, an anthropologist who did much work on the reservation during 1933-34, saw Wirt as owning a virtual stranglehold on Apache finances and even on Bureau of Indian Affairs policies.

After learning of Opler's report, BIA Commissioner John Collier ordered Field Representative Louis Balsam to investigate Opler's claims. Balsam was a bit more poignant and blunt in his findings than Opler had been.

He wrote that Wirt's power rested on a rather strong base; his ability to get what he wanted from congressmen and governors, for this reason he encountered no opposition.

According to Balsam, it was Wirt himself who told him, "When Grave (a former agency superintendent) left I began to worry that they might send me a crackpot down here as superintendent, so I wrote Faris a letter to be sure we got the right kind. Faris did not answer so to make sure I had Jack Dempsey, the Senator, go in to see Mr. Collier. Right away Dempsey wrote me that he had seen the Commissioner and that no one would be appointed Superintendent here who did not meet with my approval."

Another story that Wirt told Balsam that illustrated his power had to do with the money advanced to the Jicarillas in the aftermath of the severe winter of 1931. Wirt and Graves, so the story went, had gone to Washington and obtained an outright grant. "Mr. Graves has said that due entirely to my pressure upon Senator Sam Bratton and Commissioner Rhoads a bill was put through Congress giving Mr. Graves the power to spend that $80,000 free and without red tape as he saw fit. Mr. Graves then turned the bulk over to me and I personally went out and bought sheep for him. Within two years the Indians had paid off my debt."

Continuing to quote Tiller, we read, "The reports of Opler and Balsam perhaps had some truth in them, although interestingly, their opinions are in direct contrast to those popularly held about Wirt. Occasionally, similar views are found in pre-1934 inspection reports. Faris perhaps best reflected what Jicarillas and former associates of Wirt preferred to think.

Faris sums it up this way: "The story of the Jicarilla cannot be divorced from Emmet Wirt. He came to the reservation in 1889. He was gruff and determined to the outside, but there is an interchange of understanding and sympathy with the Indians."

More next week on Emmet Wirt, trader to the Jicarilla Apaches.

Pagosa Sky Watch

Disaster in the skies ... or not

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:03 a.m.

Sunset: 8:06 p.m.

Moonrise: 6:54 p.m.

Moonset: 5:22 a.m. May 12.

Moonphase: Waxing gibbous with 98 percent of the visible disk illuminated. The full moon is May 13.

Depending on your point of view, this weekend's near-Earth passage of Comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (SW3) means either firestorms, tsunamis and the annihilation of humankind, or it is simply another relatively routine astronomical event to add to the astronomical history books.

"We are very well acquainted with the trajectory of Comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3," said Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office. "There is absolutely no danger to people on the ground or the inhabitants of the International Space Station, as the main body of the object and any pieces from the breakup will pass many millions of miles beyond the Earth."

But Frenchman Eric Julien is not convinced, and he, and others like him, believe SW3's breakup and near-Earth passage mean the end of the world.

According to Julien, who claims to have regular telepathic contact with extraterrestrials, the 1995 fragmentation of SW3 was the work of a race of malevolent extraterrestrials responding to the United States' nuclear program and the then burgeoning Star Wars defense system. Both of which, Julien asserts, pose a direct threat to their national security.

In effect, Julien says, the extraterrestrials caused SW3's 1995 fragmentation and sent scores of galactic ice hunks hurtling toward earth in an effort to thwart the United States' global and galactic hegemony.

And although Julien concurs with Yeomans that the largest comet fragment will pass by Earth without incident, Julien asserts it is a small , truck-sized hunk that will strike Earth, causing tsunamis, underwater volcanic chain reactions and the destruction of life on Earth as we know it.

Julien says, after further telepathic consultation with his extraterrestrial friends, May 25 is the day of reckoning.

NASA scientists don't see things quite the same way.

In 1930, German astronomers Arnold Schwassmann and Arno Arthur Wachmann discovered the comet as it passed within 5.8 million miles of Earth - roughly 24 times the Earth-moon distance - and calculated its 5.5-year orbital period . Following their initial discovery, the comet was lost from view until 1979. On its subsequent voyage around the sun in 1984-1985, researchers missed the comet again, but on its next journey, astronomers locked it in their sights and have tracked it ever since, including its spectacular 1995 fragmentation.

Since SW3's fragmentation, the comet has been comprised of a chain of fragments, named alphabetically, stretching across several degrees of the sky. To date, there are more than 40 fragments zipping through space, the largest of which is fragment C.

Astronomers estimate fragment C, will pass closest to Earth May 12 at a distance of roughly 7.3 million miles, while the smaller fragments' passage will peak from May 12-28 at a distance of roughly 5.5 million miles - more than 20 times the distance between the Earth and moon.

In astronomical terms, SW3's passage is close, but it is not the only object in space on a near-Earth trajectory. As of May 5, NASA researchers at the Near Earth Object Program have catalogued 4,056 other Near-Earth Objects - objects, such as asteroids or comets which have been nudged by gravitational forces into Earth's neighborhood. Of the objects identified, 834 are asteroids with a diameter of one kilometer or larger, and 785 have been classified as Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.

An analysis of the data collected by the program indicates the universe is abuzz with asteroids, comets, and other celestial debris, much of which occasionally passes close to our own planet. And in fact, comet SW3 is not the first comet astronomers have watched shatter.

In July 1992, comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was ripped to pieces by Jupiter's gravity, and astronomers watched two years later, as fragments of the comet pummeled Jupiter's atmosphere.

Observations of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 event indicated to astronomers that comet fragmentation is probably fairly routine due to the physical structure and chemical composition of a comet's nucleus.

According to astronomers, a comet's nucleus is a porous, relatively fragile mix of dust and ice, that undergoes tremendous stress as it races through the universe. Due to their relatively fragile nature, astronomers believe comets can be ripped apart by gravitational forces, such as when Shoemaker-Levy 9 passed near Jupiter, or they can fly apart due to the rapid rotation of the nucleus. Other disintegration theories include break up caused by thermal stress when a comet passes near the sun, or disintegration caused by an explosion created by an outburst of trapped volatile gasses.

"Catastrophic breakups may be the ultimate fate of most comets," said planetary astronomer Hal Weaver of the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Weaver used the Hubble Space Telescope to study the disintegration of Shoemaker- Levy 9.

Unlike Julien, it appears NASA astronomers are not predicting the end of the world. And in fact, many may be working around the clock with a variety of observational equipment, including the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes and the Arecibo and Goldstone planetary radars to record the event.

Spectral analysis of the cometary fragments, can provide insights into the early physical and chemical make-up of the solar system.

For the backyard, or naked-eye astronomer, viewing SW3's passage presents an opportunity to be a part of astronomical history.

On May 12, fragment C and a variety of other fragments will pass within 7.3 million miles of Earth, this is closer than any comet's passage since 1983. Although, fragment C is currently at magnitude seven, which is just dimmer than the naked eye threshold, the fragment may increase in brightness as it makes its near-Earth passage. Fragment C will be visible in small telescopes and with binoculars as it travels near the constellation Vulpecula located within the Summer Triangle asterism marked by the stars Vega, Altair and Deneb - best views should be had in the early morning hours.

From May 12-28, the comet will pass through the Summer Triangle and by May 17 will be found to the south and west near the Great Square of Pegasus. Again, the early morning hours may provide the best viewing opportunities during the latter portion of the comet's passage.

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

4/26

66

26

-

-

-

4/27

68

30

-

-

-

4/28

59

33

S/R

-

4/29

57

24

-

-

-

4/30

65

27

-

-

-

5/1

66

29

-

-

-

5/2

65

35

-

-

-