May 18, 2006

Front Page

Salazar asks for investigation, halt to Village at Wolf Creek process

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With an environmental impact statement process clouded with allegations of collusion and questions of whether undue political influence was exerted by Village at Wolf Creek developers, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar is calling for the United States Department of Agriculture to suspend the development's application and review process until an agency-led investigation can be completed.

The senator made his request Tuesday in two letters to key U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel - namely, Inspector General Phyllis Fong and Secretary Mike Johanns.

In his letter to Fong, Salazar wrote: "I request that you conduct an investigation to determine if political influence within the Department of Agriculture was improperly or illegally exerted in the permit review process of the U.S. Forest Service for the proposed Village at Wolf Creek. I have contemporaneously asked Secretary Johanns to suspend any further action on the pending permit application and review process, until after your investigation is complete."

Salazar said his request stems from the Forest Service's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which, the senator argues, fails to consider the impact of the development as a whole and focuses exclusively on the impact of an existing right-of-way.

Furthermore, Salazar argues the limited scope of the Forest Service review process may have been the result of improper political pressure exerted by the developer, Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, on Forest Service, or other public officials.

In his letter to Johanns, Salazar writes, "I have requested an Inspector General investigation because the integrity of the review process has been called into question by individuals familiar with the facts ... I believe that the USDA and USFS have an obligation to investigate those allegations thoroughly and completely, for the good of the Department of Agriculture, the Forest Service, the permit applicant and the public."

Forest Service staff on the Divide Ranger District of the Rio Grande National Forest, and Forest Supervisor Peter Clark deny the political pressure assertion and have long argued they are bound by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 to provide the developer with access across National Forest Service land to the developer's private inholding that is adequate "to secure the owners reasonable use and enjoyment of their land without unnecessarily reducing the management options of the Forest Service or damaging National Forest lands or resources."

A reading of the EIS and Clark's Record of Decision follow the access argument to the letter, and this is precisely where Salazar's, and other village opponents' concerns lie.

For example, in section 4.3 of the Record of Decision, Clark writes, "The direct and indirect effects of the access roads and utility corridors on NFS lands are very minor in all the action alternatives. This is primarily due to the small scale of the project ... I find that the small scale of the Selected Alternative which has a disturbance area of only 2.8 acres, along with the design criteria and measures in Appendix C which I am requiring, will result in minimal environmental effects."

And this is precisely the problem for project opponents, including Ryan Demmy Bidwell of the Durango-based environmental group Colorado Wild, who also opposes the project and shares Salazar's concerns.

According to Bidwell, the Forest Service's failure to look beyond a 2.8 acre disturbance area, and their refusal to acknowledge in the document the overall impacts of the 287-acre village project, which, at build out could ultimately house 10,000 people, with 2,200 residential units, 220,000 square feet of commercial space and luxury hotel accommodations adjacent to the Wolf Creek Ski area, is a dereliction of the agency's duty to act as responsible stewards of public lands.

However, Forest Service officials counter that because the village project is on private land, project oversight is not their charge, and that it is up to the Mineral County commissioners to provide the necessary approvals and oversight.

In 2004, Mineral County approved the Village at Wolf Creek final development plan, yet that approval was revoked in October 2005 by 12th District Judge O. John Kuenhold, who called Mineral County's approval "an arbitrary and capricious exercise of authority" and said the county's approval "misconstrued state statute and Mineral County subdivision regulations."

In his letter to Fong, Salazar writes, "No one, on either side of this controversial project, denies that the Village at Wolf Creek - should it go forward - will have a substantial impact on the people, communities and environment of southwestern Colorado. Because of the size and scope of the proposed project, it is incumbent upon government agencies and decision makers at all levels to conduct their reviews and base their findings and decisions on the best information and science available, in an open and fair process, free of political influence."

Draft of Downtown Master Plan reviewed, comment sought

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The first draft of the town's forthcoming Downtown Master Plan was unveiled May 10 to a small group gathered at the Town of Pagosa Springs Community Center, and true to other recent town planning efforts, parking and traffic issues nearly took center stage.

In his presentation to the group, Noré Winter, of Winter & Company, the planning and consulting firm charged with undertaking the project, highlighted the plan's main elements, including ways to better move pedestrians and traffic through the downtown area.

Key in Winter's discussion was the importance of creating greater intra-downtown connectivity with a series of secondary streets that would provide viable alternates to using U.S. 160 as the primary artery for moving traffic within the downtown core.

As part and parcel of the various traffic concerns, the plan also outlines ways to deal with increased parking demands once people arrive in downtown.

The current draft shows the public parking area overlooking the river on Pagosa Street remaining intact, with ideas for a parking structure on Lewis Street, or on the hill in the Town Park area and enhanced parking options in the alley between Lewis and Pagosa Streets.

Winter said the goal in addressing downtown parking issues is to balance parking supply with the density of buildings.

"We can't continue to nibble away at the urban fabric by taking away a building and adding a few parking places," Winter said.

Winter said all parking ideas, and all plan components, are "not proposals, not requirements, they are conceptual."

Beyond dealing with parking, traffic and pedestrian issues, the plan breaks downtown Pagosa Springs into four key areas - the East End, East Village, Downtown Core and West End - with each area planned to have a particular function within the overall plan framework, including its own set of design guidelines.

For example, the East and West Ends serve as gateways into the core downtown area, while the East Village, roughly the area along Pagosa Street between First Street and Hot Springs Boulevard, is slated for mixed use with commercial and residential elements and enhanced pedestrian connections.

To date, Winter said the East Village plan calls for balancing a mix of new and old buildings and commercial and residential elements with the historic, residential character of the neighborhood.

Winter said the Downtown Core, roughly the area between Hot Springs Boulevard and Third Street, posed the greatest challenges.

"How do you accommodate some reasonable level of change without wrecking the neighborhood? This is a part of town that will take some serious thinking," Winter said.

Elements of the Downtown Core planning area include designing Lewis Street to accommodate street festivals, rehabilitation of historic buildings, and maintaining historic storefronts along Pagosa Street with enhanced pedestrian crossings on U.S. 160.

Winter said design guidelines for the Downtown Historic District are a separate project, and those guidelines, as well as the current draft of the Downtown Master Plan, can be viewed online at

The Downtown Master Plan is a planning document that will provide policies and guidelines specific to the downtown Pagosa Springs area.

Phase one of downtown planning began more than a year ago with the creation of the Conceptual Master Plan. The current phase, or phase two, expands on the broad concepts put forth in phase one, by adding in details such as design guidelines and examinations of various issues such as parking, parks and open space, traffic and circulation and pedestrian trails.

The comment period for the first draft ends May 21.

A second draft, incorporating comments received on the first draft, will be available in late June, with the final plan scheduled for completion in late summer.

Road will get $1 million overhaul

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With Tuesday's, Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners approval, County Road 975 will get a near $1 million overhaul.

According to Archuleta County Public Works Director Alan Zumwalt, $500,000 in funding for the project comes from an Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Grant, with the county contributing $206,000 in cash and adding $283,000 in-kind labor and equipment contributions.

According to Zumwalt and project documents, the road improvement project includes widening the southern portion of the road from 17 feet to 24 feet with two-foot shoulders, horizontal realignment, rebuilding the road with proper road base, improving drainage and asphalting 9,200 linear feet of the road surface.

The northern portion will receive the same improvements, except for paving, on 5,300 lineal feet.

The road runs north-south, straddling Colo. 151 between Allison and Arboles and dead ends on the north side near Southern Ute Indian Reservation land. The southern portion traverses the state line, providing a connection into New Mexico.

The road serves 53 active coal-bed methane wells, with 14 more wells permitted in 2005, and a total of 12 homes.

Although residences are few along the roadway, Zumwalt said CR 975 provides a major connection between Archuleta County and New Mexico.

"It's a surprise how much traffic is on the road. It's a real problem on maintenance with the shape it's in right now," Zumwalt said.

The county has classified CR 975 as an unsafe collector road with heavy truck traffic.

Zumwalt said the grant funding, which is derived, in part from severance taxes paid by the oil and gas industry, will provide the means to bring the ailing and overburdened road up to county standards.

Zumwalt said the project will begin this summer.

Inside The Sun

Health district gets new ambulance, reelects officers

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors has selected officers for the coming year, and will have a shiny new ambulance in 90 to 120 days.

At last week's monthly district meeting, board chair Pam Hopkins, vice-chair Neal Townsend, secretary Bob Scott and treasurer Bob Goodman were each reelected to serve another 12-month term in their respective capacities. Choices were made by nomination and majority vote among board members present.

Meanwhile, district manager Pat Haney told The SUN Tuesday that he and EMT/Paramedic Devon Schrader, as instructed by the USJHSD board, had gathered the necessary information to select between two models for the immediate purchase of a new four-wheel-drive ambulance. The choice was made and the order placed that same morning.

At last week's meeting, Haney and Schrader presented a list of six possible options for board analysis, with total cost, availability time frame, and vender history being top considerations. In the end, a 2006 model built by Leader Emergency Vehicles of South El Monte, Calif., was chosen, at an agreed price of $102,513.65. That amount includes necessary district-specific add-ons, such as logo and custom paint, and falls short of the $105,000 spending limit established by the board earlier in the year.

According to Schrader, Leader has built ambulances for 20 years, and is the exclusive provider for American Medical Response, the largest ambulance company in the U.S. Leader has also been the only company willing to work with the district in maintaining its aging fleet of ambulances, particularly since the original vehicle manufacturer ceased operation and parts have become increasingly difficult to obtain. Schrader also said Leader's initial presentation was very professional, and superior to those of other venders.

Typical of modern emergency transport vehicles, the new ambulance will incorporate a boxlike structure mounted onto a Ford 350 chassis. The box, which is manufactured by Horton, a company that builds roughly 30 percent of all ambulance boxes nationwide, carries a 15-year warranty and can be remounted on a new chassis up to two additional times.

Ironically, the USJHSD estimates the economic life of the Ford chassis at five years, based on historical records. To purchase it, Schrader first worked to qualify the district for a Ford fleet discount, shaving $6,700 from its final cost. As new, the chassis carries a "typical" new-car warranty and cost $34,163, or one third of the total ambulance cost.

When asked if the district had any plans for the eventual replacement of the rest of its enfeebled ambulance fleet, Haney said, "We'd like to buy another one down the road, perhaps in two years, and get on a regular replacement schedule." Haney believes the forging of a long-term relationship with Leader and Ford will make that possible.

As an illustration of Leader's commitment to district needs, Schrader said Leader will pay the cost of two district employees flying roundtrip to California to attend a "pre-construction conference," before the ambulance is actually built. Reportedly, paramedic supervisor Thad Miller and emergency medical technician Eric Hernbacher will seize the opportunity to provide valuable input on district design preferences.

With a new ambulance ordered, the USJHSD has entered into a five-year tax-exempt Municipal Lease Purchase agreement with Government Capital Corporation for its financing. At an interest rate of 5.75 percent, no down payment is required, and the district will pay five annual installments of roughly $20,500 each to satisfy the loan. The first payment is due in February 2007 and, according to Haney, if the district is able, it may pay off the loan early.

Health department creates program for Latino residents

Promoviendo la Salud is a new grant-funded program of the San Juan Basin Health Department.

The goal of Promoviendo La Salud is to reduce health disparities among Latino residents of Archuleta and La Plata counties.

The primary focus is the prevention of chronic disease, including cervical and breast cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular illness. The method is to access the target population via culturally appropriate outreach activities, provide information and education to empower people to make healthy lifestyle choices, identify individuals who might be at risk for chronic disease, and assist those individuals in managing their health.

The staff of Promoviendo consists of a nurse coordinator, a health educator and three "promotoras," or community health workers.

Promotoras are bilingual, bicultural members of the community, who will serve as liaisons between the medical community and the clients, providing information, support and referrals in a culturally sensitive manner.

While the program does not aim to provide direct services (apart from basic screenings), the hope is that it will be able to develop excellent working relationships for referral to other service providers in the area, to facilitate provision of existing services to an underserved population.

Education will include such topics as obesity and weight loss, nutrition and exercise, lowering cholesterol, and the importance of early screenings for cervical and breast cancer. The risk identification will be accomplished by a series of basic screenings, which will include blood pressure, pulse oximetry, BMI calculation and counseling, blood sugar and lipid testing.

Promotoras will provide follow up and referrals to any individuals for whom it is indicated.

Contact Karen Forest at 247-5702, Ext. 2067, for further information or to arrange a presentation for your staff or other group.

Concerns mount about drought

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The drought continues, and water concerns are mounting.

Even as bright morning sunshine has occasionally given way to towering afternoon thunderheads (complete with lightning and spotty showers), little measurable precipitation has graced the Upper San Juan Valley in recent weeks. The air is just too dry.

Local weather statistician Toby Karlquist's records show a total of only .34 inches of rain having fallen on the Pagosa Lakes area of Pagosa Springs since May 1, with most of it — .28 inches — arriving Tuesday of last week. Karlquist recorded another .06 inches during a brief shower Monday, but officially speaking, that's been it for the month.

Following several years of drought conditions across the state, dry spring weather is the last thing residents were hoping for this year. Even with good early-winter moisture in the northern half of Colorado, the south remained dry. But, northern weather patterns have dried out since mid-January, and by May 1, all state river basins reported significant declines in high-country snowpack.

According to the official water supply outlook issued by Mike Gillespie of the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on May 1, April was a warm, windy and dry month statewide. Measured precipitation totaled just 69 percent of average, and the high-country snowpack melted steadily.

Gillespie's statistics reflect a statewide snowpack of 94 percent of average on April 1, but a mere 65 percent of average by month's end. Even the Colorado, Yampa, White and North Platte basins, which boasted snowpacks in excess of 130 percent in January, ranged only between 75- and 85-percent of average by the end of April. At the same time, the San Juan River Basin was just 55 percent of average.

The runoff outlook has also decreased significantly. While the Eagle and Blue rivers in the Colorado basin, and the Yampa River, are all forecast to flow at 110- to 115-percent of normal this spring and summer, southern Colorado basins will see well-below average to critically low flows in some areas. Streams originating in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains will see the lowest volumes.

Though above-average reservoir storage remains the silver lining in all of this, continued drought will eventually reduce water supplies, causing regional shortages.

While precipitation patterns between now and the onset of monsoon storms in mid-July will, no doubt, remain relatively dry, we can only hope for an early and active monsoon season this summer. Time will tell, but for now, water conservation should become a way of life in Colorado.

Rotary selects July 4 parade theme

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club Independence Day Parade Committee has selected "Helping Others Be Independent" as the 2006 July parade theme.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 4.

Application forms will be available at the Chamber of Commerce office by June 1. Deadline for turning in parade applications is June 28. Anyone intending to enter the parade must have an application in by that time. There is no entry fee.

'Cops on the Run' for Special Olympics

By Wayne Reese

Special to The SUN

Archuleta County law enforcement officers will run 22 miles Saturday, May 20, as part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run to support Special Olympics Colorado and Special Olympics athletes in Archuleta County.

Archuleta County Sheriff's Department deputies and Pagosa Springs Police Department officers will start their run at 10 a.m. from the Rotary Club turnout at the Pfeiffer Park Monument west of town on U.S. 160. The run will end at Treasure Falls at approximately 5 p.m.

Officers will join Special Olympic athletes and community residents at Town Park at noon for a ceremony to recognize Archuleta County Special Olympic athletes and thank contributors. Community attendance is encouraged. The run will continue to Treasure Falls from the park after the ceremony.

According to run organizers, the goal is to raise community awareness and financial support for the Special Olympics Colorado and Archuleta County Special Olympic athletes.

Special Olympics provide athletic opportunities, including training and competition, across all four seasons for athletes with developmental disabilities. Over 500,000 athletes participated in Special Olympics competition last year in the United States. Over 7,500 athletes competed in Special Olympics Colorado, including 14 athletes from Archuleta County.

The Pagosa Springs area real estate industry, local businesses and civic organizations have provided substantial support to the Archuleta County Law Enforcement Torch Run this year. Organizers extend their thanks to Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors, Coldwell Banker, Galles Properties, Jim Smith Realty, Clarion Mortgage, Kiwanis Club, JJ's Upstream, Farrago Cafe, Custom One Insulation and Wild Springs Ice and Water Co. Donations to Special Olympics Colorado can be made at the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office.

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. A Zellner medical fund has been established at Wells Fargo Bank.

The event will be held in Town Park. Bring donations at 11 a.m.

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

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

Sanchez memorial fund established

A memorial fund for Randy Sanchez has been established at Rio Grande Savings and Loan, 80 CR 600 (Piedra Road).

Bring donations to the bank or mail them to Rio Grande Savings and Loan, PO Box 69, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

One stolen item recovered, investigation continues

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs police continue to investigate two recent burglaries in town, have recovered one stolen item and are still seeking help in identifying possible suspects.

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.

According to Det. Scott Maxwell, a SUN reader contacted the police department after an article about the burglaries appeared May 11. The unidentified Pagosa resident had discovered the stolen cash register on the banks of the San Juan River on the east end of town and turned it over to authorities.

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

Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, in the Board of County Commissioners' meeting room in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

Call to order / roll-call.

Revised Schaffer Minor Impact Subdivision.

The purpose of the project is to subdivide a 21 acre parcel into three parcels and provide developable lots for family members. Each lot will be developed with one single-family detached residence. The proposed project is located 3.0 miles +/- north of the Town of Pagosa Springs and is accessed off of County Road 200 (Snowball Road); T35N, R1W, N.M.P.M, portions of Sections 5 and 6

Seminole Commercial Park - Conditional Use Permit.

A Conditional Use Permit for a commercial office/storage facility located on approximately 1 acre is proposed in a portion of Lot 45 in the Replat of Village Service Commercial. The property is located at 175 Seminole, approximately .1 miles from the intersection of Park Avenue and Seminole Drive.

Wedgewood Villas - Amended Plat.

Whispering Pines is requesting a plat amendment in order to change the originally platted building envelopes that were originally approved March 10, 1986. The remainder of the development will remain the same. The property is located at NE 1/4, SE 1/4 of Section 17, T 35N, R 2W, N.M.P.M. The proposed project has been assigned an address of 1600 Park Ave.

Coyote Cove - Final Plat.

The applicant is requesting approval for the final plat to subdivide 30.37 acres to create 35 lots ranging in size from .33 acres to 4.72 acres. The property is located at the SE 1/4 Section 25, and NE 1/4, Section 36, T36N, R2 1/2 W, N.M.P.M. The site is along the south west side Piedra Road (aka CR-600) approximately 5 1/2 miles north of U.S. 160.

Review of the planning commission Minutes of April 12, April 26 and May 10, 2006.

Other business that may come before the commission.



New rules at Echo Canyon, Williams Creek

By Joe Lewandowski

Special to The SUN

To protect natural resources and to maintain recreational safety, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has set new rules at Echo Canyon Reservoir State Wildlife Area in Archuleta County and Williams Creek State Wildlife Area in Hinsdale County.

Echo Canyon SWA, located about four miles south of Pagosa Springs, is a small reservoir used primarily for fishing. Because of heavy surface use of the reservoir by anglers boats will not be allowed to create wakes. Anglers using small craft have complained that they are worried about being swamped by the wakes of boats traveling fast. Also, snowmobiles are now prohibited from Echo Canyon SWA. Recreational snowmobilers were causing safety problems on the lake during the winter.

Three new regulations will be enforced at Williams Creek SWA which is located about 30 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs: boat wakes are not allowed; no camping or open fires are allowed on the SWA property; snowmobiles can only be used to assist with ice fishing.

"Both of these state wildlife areas are heavily used by families out for a quiet day of fishing," explained Patt Dorsey, area wildlife manager in southwest Colorado. "These new rules will protect the recreational users and enhance the quality of their experiences."

Conservation workshop for teachers this summer

Teachers from throughout Colorado are invited to participate in the 2006 Teachers Conservation Workshop sponsored by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts in collaboration with Project Learning Tree's Fire Ecology Institute.

This year's workshop, "Conservation on Fire: Legends of the Land," will be held June 12-15 at Cortez. Designed and led by resource professionals, the workshop costs $250 which includes meals, lodging and workshop. Teachers who complete the workshop can receive two credits from Mesa State College.

"The teacher's workshop is a field-oriented course that is designed to enrich teachers' understanding of essential conservation practices and fire ecology," said Callie Hendrickson, CACD executive director. "The course offers information that can be effectively and easily integrated into the classroom."

The workshop will include:

Sessions on how irrigation and fire have transformed the Southwest landscape from ancient times to present.

Visits to a variety of vegetative communities to view the effects of fire and vegetative response, with opportunities for hands-on vegetative analysis.

A visit to a seed company that produces seed for land reclamation and participation in the design and implementation of a reclamation plan.

Interaction with experts on land use and its effects on agriculture, public lands and development.

Opportunity to transform the workshop experience into curriculum.

Other major sponsors include Dolores Conservation District, Mancos Conservation District, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology, Southwest Seed, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State Conservation Board, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management.

For more information or to register, contact CACD at (970) 248-0070 or e-mail


High Country Reflections

If I am cold, Raven will bring me the sun

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

The harsh chill of a November dawn gnawed at my nose, cheeks and chin, as a slight shiver danced the length of my spine. My fingers and toes had gone numb, and even through a thick woolen cap, my earlobes were beginning to sting. I'd sat motionless much too long, watching and waiting, but so far, the elk were no-shows.

Based on earlier scouting, I knew I was in a prime location for spotting game, but in the freezing cold, as I watched night slowly turn to day, the surrounding subalpine forest remained quiet. The sun still dangled somewhere below the eastern horizon, and in time, as hopes for the opening-day hunt gradually faded to concern for the extremities, I knew I must rise to my feet and move around.

With faint legs and an aching back, I struggled to stand. It took a few seconds, but once upright, though still wavering, I stretched out the stiffness, shouldered my pack and moved to pick up my rifle.

At once, a deep croonk croonk echoed through the woods, fracturing the otherwise deafening silence. It was a lone raven calling to something, and at that same moment, a single beam of sunlight appeared at the base of a tree where I had just been seated. At long last, the sun crested the ridge to the east.

I pulled off my pack and sat down again, and within minutes, that fiery ball rose fully into view. Its dazzling warmth, though psychological at first, brought measured relief and eventually, I was back in the hunt.

I failed to harvest an elk that year, but I'll never forget the raven's resounding call, or how it seemed to produce the sun's radiant glow that cold late-autumn morning. When I think of it, I am reminded of a Native American tale, which tells of "Raven" stealing and releasing the sun, bringing light and warmth to the people.

A long time ago, as Tsimshian legend has it, the only light in the world was hoarded by a mean old chief unwilling to share it. Raven, meanwhile, grew weary of flying around in the dark, and decided something should be done. So, he turned himself into a cedar leaf and fluttered into a cup of water the chief's daughter had dipped from a spring. As she raised the cup to her lips and swallowed Raven down, she became pregnant, causing all sorts of confusion.

The daughter soon gave birth to a temperamental child with raven-black hair and dark glowing eyes. The baby often grew restless and threw tantrums for attention, so to appease him, the chief gave him a bag of stars. The child played happily with them until one day, in his wild excitement, the stars flew through a smoke hole in the ceiling and scattered across the heavens.

When the baby threw another fit, the chief gave him a second bag containing the moon. Again, the child played joyfully, bouncing the moon all around the teepee, but eventually, it too, flew through the smoke hole and into the sky.

Having lost another toy, the child became extremely disruptive, and the chief was at wits' end. This time, he tried calming the boy with homemade playthings, but the child pointed to the third and final bag. Reluctantly, the chief handed it over, explaining that it contained light, and asked that it not be opened. But the child suddenly turned back into Raven, and flew through the smoke hole with the bag in his beak.

According to legend, Raven had stolen the sun, then spread light throughout the world.

In this story, as in many Indian traditions, Raven is a trickster whose black color suggests magical power to be feared, only if misused. Some accounts claim ravens are symbolic of a black hole in space, which draws all energy into itself and releases it in new forms. Many Native American stories tell of ravens changing shapes at will. And, as a trickster, Raven was the first bird to leave Noah's ark with a promise of finding land, but once successful, failed to return.

Various cultures around the globe see ravens as creators and spiritual messengers, capable of carrying magic and healing powers over great distances. Because they can learn to mimic human speech and have a complex vocabulary of their own, they symbolize both wisdom and prophecy.

Of course, ravens also suffer ill repute in the minds of other cultures and some religious circles. In Europe, for instance, early Christian beliefs considered black a negative color. Because ravens ate carrion and shared a symbiotic relationship with wolves, they represented darkness, destructiveness and evil. Sometimes, ravens were associated with deities of evil and death, and both witches and the Devil were said to occasionally assume the shape of a raven.

In the poem Beowulf, it is written " craving for carrion, the dark raven shall have its say, and tell the eagle how it fared at the feast, when, competing with the wolf, it laid bare the bones of corpses."

Scientifically speaking, the raven (Corvus corax) is a member of the Corvidae family of birds, which also includes crows, jays and magpies. Ravens populate much of the Northern Hemisphere and thrive in a wide range of habitats, including deserts, canyons, mountains, boreal forests, and coastal beaches. Even casual observation will reveal an abundance of them in the Four Corners and surrounding countryside.

As the world's largest songbird (and all-black bird), the average raven is 24 inches long with a wingspan of nearly four feet. It closely resembles a crow, though its shaggy throat feathers, wedge-shaped tail and notably larger size clearly distinguish the two.

Ravens are impressive flyers, and often soar, tumble and roll with incredible aerial agility. Flight patterns are generally a mix of wing-flapping and gliding at illusory speeds, and winged courtship displays are complex and more variable than perhaps any other birds. Often soaring to great heights, ravens are considered the aerial equal of hawks and falcons.

Ravens mate for life. In the spring of their third or fourth year, courtship begins with mutual preening and bill-touching, then progresses to amazing airborne acrobatics that include half rolls, barrel rolls, dives and backward loops. The pair assembles a large cup-shaped nest of sticks, shredded bark, grass and animal fur, usually on a high rock ledge or in the upper reaches of a towering conifer, and a single annual brood generally yields three to seven chicks. The chicks master flight in just six or seven weeks, and remain with their parents for several months, learning to find food and avoid predators like owls, hawks, wildcats and man.

Ravens are omnivorous and will eat eggs or nestling birds, rodents, shellfish, insects, seeds, berries and grain. While scavenging carrion is their preference, they do occasionally kill smaller birds and game, and will often cache food supplies for later needs.

Without a doubt, intelligence is a raven's most remarkable attribute. As a highly gregarious species, ravens will often gather in large flocks and collaborate in a broad search for food. When a source is found, its location is announced to the entire group. And, if a predator is near, individual ravens will work to distract it, as others sneak in for a feast.

I once observed four ravens, as they systematically relieved a bald eagle of a large trout. The eagle had plucked it from the frigid waters of the Colorado River, and was about to have lunch on a large sheet of bank ice. But then the ravens moved in, and before the eagle could manage its first bite, it was separated from the fish by relentless torment. The eagle soon left, in search of another meal.

Whatever legend or one's spiritual beliefs decree, the raven is an integral element to the natural world. Whether fishing a high mountain stream or wandering deep in a secluded canyon, whenever I hear that low resonating croonk, I know I am not totally alone. Raven is there and, if the light is low and I am chilled, he may bring me the sun.


Not effective

Dear Editor:

I just reread your editorial and James Robinson's news article (SUN May 11) about the May 8 joint planning commission and board of county commissioners' public hearing and work session. I also reread Commissioner Schiro's strong letter to the editor (May 4) exhorting the public to attend that "crucial meeting," because "there are still many unresolved, significant issues."

In my opinion, the most reprehensible part of Schiro's behavior is her decision to attend the National Association of Counties' (NACo) Western Interstate Region Conference instead of the May 8 public hearing. According to Robinson's article, changes were made to the proposed land use code. Who can say that she would not have been able to get her concerns resolved had she been there? When the board of county commissioners meets to consider adopting the planning commission's recommendation unanimously approved at the May 8 meeting, Schiro doesn't deserve any consideration for discussion or debate.

Archuleta County is listed as a member of NACo in the published membership list. Fifty-four other Colorado counties are members. NACo holds four conferences annually. They are: Legislative Conference, Western Interstate Region (WIR) Annual Conference, Annual Conference and Exposition, and Health, Human Services and Workforce Conference. Robinson reported that, "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." That makes it a personal absence and travel for Schiro and she should not be allowed to use county funds for her expenses, unless there is a policy that allows for such expenses.

Schiro's supporters complain that the other two commissioners won't allow any of her ideas and proposals to be adopted. In my opinion she is not an effective board member. She either doesn't know how to be one or doesn't want to be one. I don't buy the idea that the other two always gang up on her. If she had been there May 8 and Robinson had reported her battling for what she and others wanted, I would have a different opinion; at least in this case.

Sincerely yours,

Earle Beasley

Spanish Americans

Dear Editor:

Recently, visiting with an associate, he shared that a study had come up with evidence suggesting that a mere 500 years ago, the world was still thought of as flat.

We all know "history written" enough to know that the culture primarily credited with that conquest proved otherwise. The provers, the conquerors, were, of course, the Spanish Conquistadors. My people!

Okay, by now you're likely saying, "Huh?" or "Where are you going with this?" Thank you! Yes, I'll tell you, just hold that thought a minute or so.

My grandma, mom's side, was born near here in 1886. My grandma, dad's side, was also of Spanish descent. Both four generations past. Here on southwest American soil. Nearly 110 years later, here I am. Still. That makes me Spanish American. I am American by country. I am Spanish by heritage; I am not Mexican American. My people didn't come from Mexico.

Spanish Americans are a people that believe and through the generations have been taught by our culture, that our heritage is a result of early Spanish conquerors that made their fierce, noble way through northern New Mexico and into southwestern Colorado, leaving their seed there. As a result of their fierceness, valor and passion, Spanish Americans ensued.

Spanish people marrying other Spanish peoples in earlier history with a tinge of our carrier blood flowing through our veins. Not enough carrier blood to start any casinos, however, just enough to make us native. We are called Spanish Americans.

Currently, there is a trying-to-be-politically correct agenda out there calling every one of us "Hispanic" and in this term including Spanish Americans and Mexican nationals here legally or otherwise. Just lumping us all together as if one. These are two distinct countries, America and Mexico. These are two distinct countries with different cultural values, mindsets and influences, yet these agendas out there don't seem to know or care to note the differences. Our people, we know the difference.

Spanish Americans did not immigrate here from anywhere nor are they guilty of illegal immigration. The difference is the countries. Spanish Americans are from America. Mexican nationals are from Mexico. If you don't know that difference, ask us, it's okay to ask. It's better than making the assumption that all "Hispanics" are from Mexico. A simple, "Are you American?" will suffice. You know what is said of people who make assumptions.

Do you want to know how you'll be able to distinguish between the two? Spanish people speak English as well as you do and we never need a translator or an interpreter. Spanish people get about quite confidently; head held high and proudly. Yes! We've got reason to be proud. Like you, we want to convey America is our country. We belong here. We feel honored and proud to have been born American generations ago.

Spanish American people pledge their allegiance to this country at every opportunity. We don't protest for our "rights" in foreign countries and we tend to our jobs and schooling to avoid losing the privilege of both.

The powers that be will take care of the illegalities, as they surely should. I'm attempting to take care of the misconceptions, as I surely would. You take care of the assumptions, as you surely could.

C. Ferguson

Bad decisions

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to inform the people of Pagosa Springs of the consequences of bad decision making by the PAWSD board of directors each year.

Last week, the PAWSD meter reader knocked on our door to inform us that we had a leak that had gone undetected all winter, resulting in over 350,000 gallons of water draining into our ground. Because we are at the foot of a large hill, back pressure kept us from noticing any dip in our water pressure and because the leak occurred in a marshy and water-soaked natural runoff, visual detection was impossible. Our water bill was $14 a month all winter long, and we had no idea something was amiss in our system. The only way this leak could have been detected by us was by opening up the meter cover itself, something I would never have thought of doing.

PAWSD informed us that because of the possibility of large amounts of snow (which haven't been seen in this area for quite some time, at least since we moved here four years ago, during a five-year-long drought) PAWSD suspends its meter reader from the months of November through April, a period of six months. To rectify this situation, I was told, would require the installation of radio meters which could be read by a passing vehicle and at a cost of over $600,000.

This seems reasonable until one takes into account that the meter reader reads the meter not by opening up the metal cover which covers it, but electronically from a device mounted on a pole extending about four feet out of the ground, ours with enough slack wire to increase that height to a good six feet, if needed. Our propane tanks are further off the road on our property than is the water meter, yet the good folks at our local company somehow manage to monitor and fill our propane tank all winter long.

Does this sound reasonable to you? Our meter reader (a congenial and helpful guy), informed us that we were lucky, our leak was relatively small and we were home. Others, he said, were not so lucky. Being that our leak nearly accounted for a half-million gallons of wasted water, this is a problem that seems to commonly occur each year at a cost of tens of millions of gallons of water and of thousands of dollars to those affected.

I ask, is this good decision making? Are you being served and protected by those authorities entrusted with this responsibility? Perhaps when it happens to you, you will have an answer to that question.

In the wake of the drought, Pagosa area residents were urged to conserve water and my wife and I took this challenge very seriously, as our low water bills attest. The water we saved through conscious effort on our parts was a drop in the bucket compared to what leaked into our ground over the winter.

Our fresh water is as precious as our money, if not more so. We therefore urge concerned citizens to take up this issue with the PAWSD board of directors, as we are now forced to do ourselves, and we ask that anyone reading this who has also been thus affected, either this year or in previous years, to contact us directly that we may discuss strategies of changing this wasteful and nonsensical policy.

Jon Terry and Ann Cheers

Chem trail alert

Dear Editor:

Did anyone see the skies last Saturday morning? We were totally bombarded by chem trail grids! What started out as a crystal blue sky morning, gradually became overcast by noon. I am getting increasingly frustrated and agitated as the occurrence of chem trails increases.

My question is: Do other people notice these? And do they realize the harm that is being done by them?

The chemicals emitted by these chem trails are directly linked to upper respiratory problems and flu-like symptoms. Ask yourself and observe your friends and family members to see if they are experiencing these symptoms. These chemicals are not only weakening the population of Pagosa, but polluting our land and water. Why is Pagosa one of the targeting areas for this "violation?"

The government denies that this is even happening. I think it is time we unite as a community to get some answers before our paradise valley community is ruined.

A very concerned citizen,

Paulette Heber

Treatment unit

Dear Editor,

I have been serving on a task force that is working toward building an inpatient acute treatment unit (ATU) for individuals in southwest Colorado who are in psychiatric crisis. As anybody who has experience with mental illness in their family knows (and this includes most of us), finding help has become more and more difficult. But this task force consisting of a wide grouping of citizens and governmental bodies from southwestern Colorado has been successful in almost completing the task.

The Crossroads facility, which will contain the ATU, is already 35-percent complete and sits on the new Mercy Hospital campus. Hopefully, it will be open to serve our needs in October of this year. It will provide for psychiatric emergency evaluations, short term psychiatric urgent inpatient care, and movement of the current detox unit. No longer will all the mentally ill have to travel to Pueblo or Grand Junction for inpatient care.

This facility came about because of hard work by many of your fellow citizens who have donated their time and money — not the least of whom are Sen. Jim Isgar and Rep. Mark Larson. In Archuleta County, the board of county commissioners, the Pagosa Springs Town Council and the Upper San Juan Health Services District have all given support and money. Pagosa resident Ben Johnson has volunteered many years in working toward this goal by serving on the board of the Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center.

However, this facility costs money to build and operate. While most of the money has already been gathered from donations and grants, there is still more to be done. I hope some of you can find it in your hearts to send a donation, large or small, to help treat the mentally ill in our community. I see our Crossroads working hand in hand, not only with Mercy Hospital, but also with the new Critical Assess Hospital planned for Pagosa. I am hopeful that soon we may finally reach the place where we need to be in treating the mentally ill in our area.

You can mail donations to Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center, earmarked for Crossroads construction, at P.O. Box 1328, Durango, CO 81302. You may also give on our Web site at

James L. Knoll


Dear Editor:

It has come to my attention recently that AT&T has complicity in the NSA's illegal/unconstitutional electronic surveillance. I've been a customer of AT&T for some time now, but I'm strongly considering switching to the only major carrier who didn't sell us out.

AT&T may have believed that doing such was "helping" America, and not illegal, but it has hurt not only Americans, but AT&T as well. I am expecting to hear a public apology from AT&T or I will be canceling my service and switching to an "American" company with lawful practices.

Jeff Maehr


Dear Editor:

Many thanks for printing the splendid letter from Sandy Bramwell in the May 4 issue — she said things I'm not eloquent enough to write.

Our place straddles U.S. 84 close by Chromo and has been maintained scenically for 46 years, not for the speeding traffic nor to satisfy some bleeding bureaucrat but because that is our nature. We expect the upcoming fourth generation to continue that tradition.

Jim McLaughlin

Chromo and Midland, Texas

Water storage

Dear Editor:

Big water storage equals big development.

Pagosa is hurting with growing pains, so much that I've renamed Pagosa Springs to Pagosa Hole. Daily holes are being dug for big foundations, probably with two-three plus toilets. Water, water, where will thee come from? But yet PAWS cannot put a hold on water hookups, they tell me. So they want big water storage, which could lead to a dry river.

Doesn't make much sense. But folks left Mesa Verde and many ruins. Why? No water, do you think?

PAWSD, please listen to Trout Unlimited. Yes, I have done work with this group, they try to save and do save watersheds.

Pam Morrow

Step up

Dear Editor:

Batter-up, Pagosa SUN: It's baseball season — time to step up to the plate!

There must be some vast intrinsic value to all of these National Association of Counties (NACO) conferences that requires an Archuleta County commissioner's presence all over the U.S. — so let's find out.

Solution: If the SUN offered Ms. Schiro the same salary that she receives as a county commissioner, with a full benefit package, maybe she'd resign as county commissioner, be a reporter on the NACO get-togethers, and the local Republican party could select someone who will find the time to attend critical meetings on issues "that will affect all of Archuleta County for years and generations to come."

Unfortunately, The SUN would also have to fund her airfare, hotel rooms, meals and side trips; at least it wouldn't be coming from tax revenue.

So, step up to the plate, SUN; help "make the repair." Hit a home run and knock Ms. Schiro outta the commissioner ballpark. Give her a job and hold her accountable!

Jim Sawicki

Editor's note: There was no indication in The SUN's reports and comments on the commissioners' travel and absence from the meeting that her expenses were paid by the county.

Clean it up

Dear Editor:

It's that time of year when the city has asked the people to help clean up Pagosa. I have lived here for 25 years, and things have really changed for the better, but there is one place that never changes. It's on the intersections of U.S. 160 and 84. The place I'm speaking of cannot be seen from 160. You have to turn on 84 and look to the right. For all the planning the city has been doing over the last few years for Pagosa, I cannot imagine how they could not see what an eyesore this area is for tourists coming into Pagosa. I see it every day I come to town and I'm sure it is obvious to others. I'm not speaking of the businesses that are there, it's all the other mess that's up behind the businesses and against the mountain. I hope someone will take it upon themselves to change the view from what looks like to me to be "outhouses," to something more appealing.

Helen L. Thompson

  Community News

San Juan Historical Society Museum open for season

Following a flurry of activity, the San Juan Historical Society Museum is open for the season.

Museum board members and volunteers spent hundreds of hours in April and May reorganizing, building displays, and moving and cleaning artifacts in anticipation of the summer 2006 season. The results of their efforts are interesting and informative displays of Pagosa Springs' and Archuleta County's history.

Among the treasures to be found are the old town fire department's water hose cart, a safe from an early lumber mill, quilts, desks from an early one-room school, the Hersch Mercantile cash register, a horsehide coat and a one-horse sleigh.

Step back in time with special exhibits depicting an early dentist's office, a general store, a front parlor, a country school room, a farming and ranching display and more.

The museum, located a short walk from downtown on the corner of U.S. 160 and 1st Street, is partially housed in the old waterworks building constructed by the WPA in 1938. In the 1970s, the society added a metal building to the front of the water works to provide additional display area.

Be sure to visit the newly expanded gift shop. Members have carefully selected items which may be of particular interest to residents and visitors of Pagosa Country, including "Remembrances," a series of books, in its 11th year of publication, celebrating the people, places and history of Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area.

The newest in the series titled "Federal Forest Reserves" will be available this summer. The book series is compiled and published by the San Juan Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which also manages the museum itself. All proceeds from the sale of the books, and the nominal admission fee are used toward museum operating expenses.

Staff members are available to answer any questions visitors might have.

Monthly meetings

The San Juan Historical Society meets the first Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. Meetings in the summer are held at the museum and in the winter are held at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Center. Please join the society and help ensure the future of the museum.


Regular admission charges for the museum are $3 for adults $3 and $1 for children 6-12, with children under age 6 admitted at no charge. Annual memberships are available at a fee of $15 for individuals, $25 for a family, $10 for a senior citizen, $50 for a contributor and $125 for a business. Membership benefits include admission to the museum for the season and a 10-percent discount on items purchased there.

Hours of operation

Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m Tuesday through Saturday. The museum is located at the corner of Pagosa Street (U.S. 160) and 1st Street, next to the bridge on the east side of town.

Film society screens 'The End of Suburbia'

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

On Friday, May 19, the acclaimed documentary "The End of Suburbia" will be screened and discussed at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.

This joint presentation of the Pagosa Springs Environmental Committee and the Pagosa Springs Film Society explores the prospects for the American way of life as the planet approaches a critical era: peak oil.

Many scientists and policy makers contend that world peak oil and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are already upon us and that the consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous.

What does peak oil mean for us? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will we react and what can be done individually and collectively?

All are invited to explore some of these topics in this informative, but alarming documentary. There is no charge, but any donations will go to the environmental committee.

The Fellowship Hall is 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. Childcare will be provided.

The Churro - a rare breed at the fiber festival

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Fiber Festival will host its second Navajo rug auction this year with several unique features.

The auction will be organized and run by a Navajo organization - Dine be iina (DBI or Navajo lifeway) - and will be conducted by Navajo Auctioneer and musician Bronco Martinez.

A special Churro collection will offer works made of the strong, resilient yarn that's hand processed from the fleece of the rare Navajo Churro sheep. Several of these rare and rather unusual looking sheep will be available for viewing Saturday during the two-day fiber festival, May 27-28. These sheep are different: they have a long silky protective top coat; rams not infrequently sport four horns and the animals come in all colors and patterns.

While the Churro is the traditional sheep of the Navajo people, in 1986 The Navajo-Churro Sheep Association (N-CSA) was formed to help preserve a breed that was threatened with extinction at that time. These non-Navajo farmers around the country own several thousand sheep and more than 3,000 of these hardy, drought-tolerant animals roam the reservation. The Churro sheep is America's first sheep, a very old breed that holds great promise for the future in both fiber and meat production.

Navajo Churro sheep are descended from the Churra, an ancient Iberian breed. The Churra, (later corrupted to "Churro" by American frontiersmen) was prized by the Spanish for its remarkable hardiness, adaptability and fecundity. The Churra was the first breed of domesticated sheep in the New World. Its importation to New Spain dates back to the 16th century, where it was used to feed and clothe the armies of the conquistadors and Spanish settlers.

By the 17th century, the Churro had become the mainstay of Spanish ranches and villas along the upper Rio Grande Valley. Native Americans acquired flocks of Churro for food and fiber through raids and trading. Within a century, herding and weaving had become a major economic asset for the Navajo. It was from Churro wool - a fleece admired by collectors for its luster, silky hand, variety of color and durability - that the early Rio Grande, Pueblo and Navajo textiles were woven.

As early as 1789, the Spanish controlled the export of ewes from the province of New Mexico to maintain breeding stock. But in the 1850s, thousands of Churro were trailed west to supply the California Gold Rush. Most of the remaining Churro of Hispanic ranches were crossed with fine wool rams to supply the demand for garment wool caused by increased population and the Civil War. Concurrently in 1863, the U.S. Army slaughtered the Navajo flocks to bring the tribes under control. Efforts to "improve" and reduce numbers continued into the 1900s by U.S agencies. True genetic survivors were to be found only in isolated villages in northern New Mexico and in remote canyons of the Navajo Reservation.

In the 1970s several individuals began acquiring Churro phenotypes with the purpose of preserving the breed and revitalizing Navajo and Hispanic flocks. Criteria for the breed had been established from data collected for three decades (1936-1966) by the Southwestern Range and Sheep Breeding Laboratory at Fort Wingate, N.M. Since 1986, when the N-CSA was formed, many flocks have developed with over 150 members from coast to coast, including Canada and Mexico.

Even though the Navajo Churro breed still exists, it is considered a rare breed. The gene pool is presently large enough to maintain the breed type with the diversity of available unrelated lines. Fortunately for breeders, a well-established network of registered stock is available, scattered throughout the U.S. and Canada. Individual N-CSA members, Los Ganados del Valle and the Navajo Sheep Project have shared breeding stock and information with other producers to insure continuity of the breed.

Navajo Churro sheep, with their long staple of protective top coat and soft undercoat are well suited to extremes of climate. Some rams have four fully developed horns, a trait shared by few other breeds of the world. The Navajo Churro is highly resistant to disease, and although it responds to individual attention, it needs no pampering to survive and prosper. The ewes lamb easily and are fiercely protective mothers. Twins and triplets are not uncommon. The wool is still prized by hand spinners for the open locks in an unsurpassed range of color. The very finest of Navajo rugs are made of Churro yarn and an important mission of DBI is to encourage the Navajo weavers to return to this traditional source of yarn.

The flavor of the meat is incomparably superior, with a surprisingly low fat content. In 2002, Slow Food U.S.A. selected Navajo-Churro sheep for Ark U.S.A., Slow Food's program to protect food threatened with extinction.

For more information on Navajo-Churro sheep visit the N-CSA Web site at . (Source: the N-CSA brochure)

Two prime reasons for visiting the Festival this year are the Churro sheep and the Navajo rugs; but that's not the end of the story. Come also to see beautiful fashions for sale, presentations, demonstrations of all kinds by fiber artists, fashion shows, competitions in fiber arts and handspun yarn, fiber animals of all kinds, workshops, lectures, shearing, etc. All this and food.

Admission is $1 for adults and kids under 12 are in free. The festival opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. each day. The rug auction begins at 6 p.m. Sunday with registration for the auction at 3:30. Rugs will be on display Saturday, and on Sunday until 3 p.m.

Workshops in all the fiber arts - knitting, weaving, spinning, dyeing - will be held Thursday and Friday, May 25-26. Contact Barbara Witkowski at 264-4543 for information about workshops or e-mail to For general or vendor information contact Pauline Benetti at 264-5232, e-mail to, or log on to the Web site Interest in the festival is always welcome.

Correction: Children's choir

Directors of the Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale have submitted a corrected list of names of members of the Dolce Cantare choir that competed earlier in the month in Denver.

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

Eliza Gilkyson returns to Pagosa for Indiefest

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

The countdown is on - just 21 days until the campers start arriving for the inaugural FolkWest Independent Music Festival.

Indiefest will deliver ten top notch sets over two days from a diverse collection of artists on June 10 and 11 on Reservoir Hill. The festival will also include a kids program, arts and crafts vending, on-site camping and more.

One of the amazingly talented performers on the bill this year is Eliza Gilkyson, who has played in the past at the Four Corners Folk Festival. The daughter of successful songwriter Terry Gilkyson, Eliza is a third generation musician who grew up in Los Angeles knowing that her life would revolve around music. "I got into it for all the wrong reasons, more as a survival tool than anything else, but it proved to serve me more than I dared to imagine." As a teenager, she recorded demos for her dad, who wrote folk music hits "Greenfields," "Marianne" and "Memories Are Made of This," among others.

"He would use me in the studio because I had a mature voice at an early age and would work for free," joked Eliza. Soon after, she was writing and recording her own material as well.

At the end of the '60s, she moved to New Mexico, eventually raising a family, all the while developing a loyal fan base in the Southwest and Texas. She cut numerous records, including "Pilgrims," released on Gold Castle Records in 1987.

After a period in Europe working with Swiss composer/harpist Andreas Vollenweider, Eliza returned to the United States releasing "Through the Looking Glass" in '96 (Private Music), and 1997's "Redemption Road" (Silverwave/ MTI), which she has recently reissued. Eliza started her own label, Realiza Records and put out "Misfits" in 1999, a collection of outtakes that received favorable press as a sound that connected the worlds of folk and modern storytelling.

In 2000, Eliza released her first album on the Red House Records label, "Hard Times in Babylon." The album was a critical success followed quickly by more acclaim for her second recording with them, "Lost and Found." She has also been on several compilations issued by Red House, including the Bob Dylan tribute album, "Nod to Bob," and a Greg Brown tribute called "Going Driftless," benefitting a breast cancer research group.

Eliza has appeared several times on NPR's All Things Considered, recently played Austin City Limits, and in February of 2003 she was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame, alongside such luminaries as Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Nancy Griffith and others. Eliza recorded "Land of Milk and Honey" in 2004, a recording decidedly more sociopolitical in theme, which was nominated for a Grammy. Her most recent CD is "Paradise Hotel," which has already made DJ Top Ten lists all over the US and Europe.

Eliza Gilkyson will perform at Indiefest Saturday, June 10. Two-day or single day tickets for the festival are on sale downtown at Moonlight Books. Children 12 and under are admitted free with an accompanying adult. To purchase tickets with a credit card, or for additional information, call (970) 731-5582 or visit There are still a few volunteer positions available; if interested please call the number above.

Group sees need for cultural arts facility

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The auditorium at Pagosa Springs High School is almost always buzzing with activity with daily, weekly, monthly and year-round scheduled events.

Our auditorium facility serves our high school programs well, and has provided a home base for the Music Boosters, Pagosa Springs Performing Arts Company and arts supporter of the Pagosa public school system. The auditorium was the result of the forward thinking, hard work and advocacy of a small group of teachers, professionals and other private citizens in our community.

On any given day or evening, the auditorium might be used for one the following school-related events: IML one-act play rehearsals and competitions; PSHS musical rehearsals and performances; high school assemblies; school music and vocal concerts; drama class; drama club; PHTV; media, communications and other classes; CSAP and other standardized testing sessions; in-service teacher trainings; counselor presentations; parent presentations and meetings; coaches' meetings and trainings; student assemblies and presentations; visiting artist concerts and presentations; talent shows; student awards ceremonies; IML league festivals and competitions. Community use on evenings and weekends during the year includes: Pagosa Springs Music Boosters; Pretenders Family Theater; community choir; fair royalty; Elation Center for the Arts; Night of the Young Child; David Taylor Dance Company; National Forest Service; Albuquerque Youth Symphony.

The above lists are not complete, but are offered as a way to demonstrate the heavy use of the auditorium. However, the impact on community usage is now becoming evident. It is becoming more and more difficult for community groups to schedule events because of conflicts with school activities.

Additionally, if there is a sporting event in the gym, the auditorium cannot be scheduled because of its proximity to that space. Sports events outside of the gym scheduled at the same time as an auditorium event result in parking issues. The high school lobby is also used quite heavily: cheerleading practice and workshops; school banquets and awards ceremonies; summer camps; firefighters wildfire base camp; bike races and overflow performance rehearsals, to name a few. Lobby usage restricts and often prevents scheduling in the auditorium. Summertime finds both the auditorium and lobby spaces used by various schools and community groups. The auditorium has no air conditioning, which is a concern for patrons and performers during the summer months.

The time has come. We have outgrown our performance space. Our schools are utilizing their existing facility to capacity, and are creating more and more programs in a continuing effort to offer a variety of educational opportunities for our students.

The Arts Alliance is working to build a cultural arts and education facility for our community. If you would like to help, call the alliance at 731-3370.

ECA concert to feature local talents

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

One of the positive aspects of growth in the Pagosa community is the arrival of professional performers like Matthew and Tiffany Brunson.

Having moved to Pagosa less than a year ago, the Brunsons are already becoming well known on the local cultural arts scene.

The Brunsons will share their singing talents at a community concert produced by Elation Center for the Arts. The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

Joining the Brunsons will be local legend John Graves, concert master/vocalist/trumpeter Larry Elginer, singer June Marquez, saxophonist Bob Nordman, harpist Natalie Tyson, flautist Joy Redmon, violinist Chris Baum, and ECA founders Paul and Carla Roberts.

The production is a work in progress, so keep your eyes on PREVIEW articles and for updates.

Matthew and Tiffany Brunson have toured internationally in professional music ensembles and also have extensive backgrounds in musical theater.

Matthew Brunson grew up performing in professional theater. "I did a lot of drama with my father," he says. "He was a professional actor, who did a lot of home town theater in North Carolina. That's what got me interested in music and musical theater."

Tiffany Brunson grew up in Grand Junction. Besides being very active in school music programs, she distinguished herself as soccer star in high school.

The Brunsons have performed together for six years. "We have a very eclectic approach to our music," says Mathew. "We love it all." John Graves will accompany the couple at the performance on piano.

The June concert will be a good warm up for the Brunsons, who both have roles in an upcoming Music Boosters production. Mathew came to the attention of Music Boosters director and choreographer Dale Morris when she attended the community choir's holiday concert last year.

"When a young man stepped up to the microphone and started singing a solo," says Morris, "I just sat up really straight in my seat and said, 'who is this guy?'"

Come find out on June 17. Join the Brunsons and a stellar cast of musical performers for an inspiring evening of music.

Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children under 18. Tickets will be available at the door. Please bring a dessert to share, if you wish. Volunteers are needed to help with setup, cleanup and refreshments. For more information, call 731-3117.

Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Avenue in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take 160 to Vista Blvd. Turn north on Vista and left on Port.

Elation Center for the Arts is a local nonprofit that strives to serve the people of Pagosa Springs through artistic excellence.

Pagosa dancers succeed at Canadian competition

By Belinda LaPierre

Special to The PREVIEW

In Step Dance Club's Charles Jackson and Deb Aspen recently attended Arthur Murray's Dance-O-Rama in Banff, Alberta, Canada, and have returned to Pagosa bearing trophies, medals, plaques and scholarship winnings; not to mention memories galore.

For a change of scenery, Deb and Charles opted to visit Canada April 27-30 again for their international competition this year.

Not only was the area new and refreshing, the competition took on a new face for Deb as she danced with instructor Bob Long in the Smooth Scholarship, and the Pro/Am Divisions as well as the Amateur Couple Division with Charles.

In the Full Gold Category, Charles and Deb danced two solo routines. For their swift-paced Viennese Waltz they received a gold medal, and for a very stylish fox-trot, a gold medal and a trophy for Top Solo Routine in the Full Gold Division. Then, in the Closed Freestyle Division, they placed first in rumba, Country Western Swing, polka, and bolero. In the Open Freestyles, the dancing duo swept their entries with golds for waltz, Viennese Waltz, fox-trot, East Coast Swing, Country Western Swing, polka and cha cha.

Aspen realized by the middle of the first day that the competition was more intense in the Pro/Am Division and Full Silver Category. Dancing with her instructor, Bob Long from Albuquerque, earned her a third place in cha cha, seconds in East Coast Swing and rumba, and first places in West Coast Swing, hustle and Argentine Tango in the Closed Freestyles. In the Opens, she nabbed a silver medal in the Viennese Waltz, but took the gold in all of the following: waltz, tango, fox-trot, West Coast Swing and Argentine Tango.

March and April trips to Albuquerque for lessons and practice culminated in the best results of the competition for Deb and Bob as they were awarded a gold medal for their solo routine in the Argentine Tango, and the very coveted Gold with Honors for their waltz. A trophy was also given to Deb for Top Full Silver Solo Routine for that same dance.

Later in the competition, Deb and Bob took the floor and vied against dancers from many parts of Canada and the U.S. in the Smooth Scholarship Division. This was the first time Deb has competed in this program and against this kind of competition. After performing the waltz, tango and fox-trot once in the semifinals and again in the finals they were awarded scholarship winnings for third place.

Deb is teaching jitterbug this month, and has Night Club Two Step slated for June. Stay tuned for details about the Night Club Two Step/Samba Workshop coming up June 3 with Richard and Debbie Love from Colorado Springs.

For more information about the In Step Dance Club and its events call Deb at 731-3338.

Chair Event raises funds for Relay for Life

By Paula Bain

Special to The PREVIEW

The 2006 Chair Event silent auction is now in progress at some area banks and at the Sisson Library.

What is the Chair Event?

Area artists have been busy embellishing small furniture items such as chairs, benches, tables and even a painted cow's skull, as part of a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

These one-of-a kind-items are for sale in a silent auction and have bidding sheets attached and can often be purchased a very affordable prices.

Make the tour of the library and some of the larger local banks; you'll be pleasantly surprised when you see the items available.

If you have questions, contact Paula Bain, Chair Event coordinator, at 731-1009.


Take a hip hop crash course

The Pagosa Springs Teen Center is sponsoring a Hip Hop Crash Course at the community center gymnasium, 451 Hot Springs Blvd.

Courses will be held 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 20; 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 21; and 4-6 p.m. Monday, May 22, with a potluck to follow.

Cost is $10 per person for all three days, and adults and teens are welcome.

For more information, contact Rhonda LaQuey, teen center coordinator, at 264-4152, Ext. 31, or


Unitarians consider unity versus separation

On Sunday, May 21, the topic for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service is "Unity vs. Separation." The speaker will be Pagosa resident Gwenneth Morgan, an up-and-coming writer of philosophy and social commentary.

Morgan's message is designed to encourage those who are aligned with "the Light" to come forward and show the world that "we are finally a majority." She will discuss different aspects of life that create separation and ways to overcome it.

The service and children's program begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. A potluck luncheon will follow the service.

The Fellowship Hall is 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.

Peter Laue to recount Israel trip

Mountain Heights Baptist Church has invited Peter Laue to share about his recent trip to Israel. Please come and bring anyone who has a heart for the Jewish people and for the land of Israel.

Laue will speak Tuesday, May 23 at 7 p.m., 1044 Park Ave., across from the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center.

For more information, call 731-4384.

PCC offers summer college courses

Pueblo Community College's Southwest Center is offering more than 40 courses for the summer semester that begins May 30.

PCC's Southwest Center offers area residents an opportunity to obtain a college education at a reasonable price. Some scholarships are available.

A sampling of summer courses includes ceramics, drawing, anthropology, history, biology, business and accounting, early childhood education, English composition, literature, math (including fundamentals, algebra and statistics), psychology, reading skills, Spanish level 2 and public speaking.

PCC also offers several online courses taught by local instructors.

Information about courses offered by Pueblo Community College for summer and fall is available at (970) 247-2929, or and click on the Southwest Center Campus.

Misconceptions about Freemasonry

By Bob Case

Special to The PREVIEW

The meaning of "light."

Some of the critics of Freemasonry are concerned that when masons use "light," someone might think the word is referring to salvation rather than truth or knowledge.

But that's a word confusion again. Light was a symbol of knowledge long before it was a symbol of salvation.

The lamp of learning appears on almost every graduation card and college diploma. Masonry uses light as a symbol of the search for truth and knowledge. It is unlikely any Mason would think Masonic "light" represents salvation.

Salvation by works

Some believe Freemasonry teaches salvation may be attained by one's good works. Masonry does not teach any path to salvation. That is the job of a church, not a fraternity.

The closest Masonry comes to this issue is to point to the open Bible and tell the Mason to search there for the path to eternal life.

Masonry believes in the importance of doing good works, but as a matter of gratitude to God for His many great gifts and a matter of individual moral and social responsibility. The path to salvation is found in each Mason's house of worship, not in his lodge.


There are those who claim Masonic writers teach the "heresy of universalism." Universalism is the doctrine that all men and women are ultimately saved.

Masonry does not teach universalism nor any other doctrine or salvation. Again, doctrines of salvation are the province of a church, not a fraternity.

It is important to remember that any Masonic author writes for himself alone, not as an official of the Masonic fraternity. Masonry does not have a position, official or otherwise, on salvation. Since men of all faiths are welcome in Freemasonry, Masons are careful not to offend the faith of any.

Racial exclusion

Other critics allege "most lodges refuse to admit African-Americans as members." Masonry is not a whites-only organization, as the hundreds of thousands of black, Native American, Hispanic and Oriental Masons all over the world can testify. The petition for Masonic membership does not ask the race of the petitioner, and it would be considered completely wrong to do so.

If you still have unanswered questions, come to the open house Saturday, May 20, 3-5 p.m., 227 Lewis Street.

Meagan's Place expanding services in Sisson library for Pagosa's teens

By Carole Howard

Special to The Preview

Nothing succeeds like success - especially when students are involved.

That adage is being proven again, this time in a special area called Meagan's Place to the immediate right of the front door in the Ruby Sisson Library. This space is a living memorial to 12-year-old Meagan, who died tragically in Ohio almost two years ago. It is being funded by her grandfather, long-time Pagosa Springs resident Bob Bigelow.

Meagan's Place is devoted entirely to books and games of interest to early teens in the sixth through ninth grades.

"Our library is a safe haven and valuable learning center for Pagosa's youth after school," said Christine Anderson, Sisson Library director. "Children's programs at the library are a foundation for literacy, an issue that becomes even more important as schools' budgets are strained."

Since its inception, materials in Meagan's Place were chosen by a sixth grade committee composed of Kyle Anderson Andresen, 11, son of Christian and Donna Anderson Andresen; Danny Shahan, 12, son of Raymond Shahan; and Hailey Dean, 11, daughter of Harley and Shi Dean.

Their input has been so useful that another committee now has been formed, this time to represent the seventh and eighth grades. The seventh graders are Andrea Fautheree, 12, daughter of Mary Kaye Mayo, and Cy Parker, 13, son of Juilene Johnston. The eighth graders are Josie Snow, 14, daughter of Marilyn Krings, and Seth Blackley, 14, son of Kerry Jo Blackley.

Sally High, a 15-year teacher of secondary geography and history who also has a master's degree in reading, is adviser to this new student committee. Its role is to select books of interest to teens a little older than the original group's focus.

Meagan's Place is gaining popularity among the Pagosa youth for whom it was created. It is not uncommon on an after-school afternoon to see the area being enjoyed by readers, kids playing games or chatting quietly in the corner — or all three. A major advantage to Meagan's Place is that all books appropriate for this age group are easily accessible in one area of the library.

The furniture in Meagan's Place undoubtedly adds to the attraction. The area has a homey atmosphere because it is furnished with comfortable chairs and a couch, plus tables more reminiscent of a living room than a study area.

"One the best things about Meagan's Place is the input from the student committees," Anderson said. "Their involvement ensures the books are relevant to their lives and interesting enough to attract more teens to take advantage of the treasures in our library."

ManKind and Women Within to hold graduation ceremony

By John Gwin

Special to The PREVIEW

Women Within and ManKind Project have scheduled a graduation ceremony June 8 to honor women and men who recently completed their initiation weekend.

Have you wondered what ManKind Project's New Warrior Training Adventure and the Women Within Weekend are about? MKP's southwest Colorado community will host a graduation celebration Thursday, June 8, beginning at 7 p.m. at Heartwood's Clubhouse located in Bayfield. Family and friends will honor four women and six men from southwest Colorado.

This celebration is open to the public and is an opportunity to hear the newest New Warriors and Women Within describe their initiation experiences. The southwest Colorado MKP community's 50 New Warriors are some of the 40,000 international men dedicated to empowering men to live their life's mission in service to others.

The motto of MKP is "Changing the world one man at a time." MKP is a secular, non-profit men's organization. An open men's circle is continuing to meet in Archuleta County bi-weekly. Every man is welcome. Call 731-9666 for assistance in transportation to Heartwood and for information regarding the open men's circle in Archuleta County. Also check the Web sites: and

Local Chatter

Marvelous Mother's Day music in Pagosa

By Harvey Schwartz

Guest Columnist

Musical enchantment and joy filled our high school theater this past Mother's Day weekend.

Both the Children's Chorale and the Pagosa Springs Community Choir just get better all the time.

The young ones sounded magical under Sue Anderson's inspiring direction. They recently took top honors at Denver's "Music in the Park" festival; 1,700 young singers and musicians participated from 17 states.

Congratulations to you kids who form the Dolce Cantare group, and way to go Bel Canto.

Please consider this activity for your children. Organized singing is among the best of experiences, especially in younger years. Watch Kate's Calendar in August for the next auditions.

Then, there's us older ones.

The spring show, "I'm Gonna Sing," must be as good as community choirs get. Co-directors Larry Elginer and Pam Spitler assemble the snazziest arrangements and adept musicians to accompany this mighty pack of voices.

Christmas concert rehearsals begin in September. To join, contact Sue Diffee at 731-1305 or Pam Spitler at 264-1952. Check online at

Fun on the Run

The children begged for a hamster, and after the usual fervent vows that they alone would care for it, they got one.

They named it Danny. Two months later, when Mom found herself responsible for cleaning and feeding the creature, she located a prospective new home for it.

The children took the news of Danny's imminent departure quite well, though one of them remarked, "He's been around here a long time - we'll miss him."

"Yes," Mom replied, "But he's too much work for one person, and since I'm that one person, I say he goes."

Another child offered, "Well, maybe if he wouldn't eat so much and wouldn't be so messy, we could keep him."

But Mom was firm. "It's time to take Danny to his new home now," she insisted. "Go and get his cage."

With one voice and in tearful outrage the children shouted, "Danny? We thought you said 'Daddy'!"

Community Center News

Arts, crafts, dancing and eating at the center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Two weeks to go until 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.

Thirty-four 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, to list just a few of the items. Snacks and food will be available on both days.

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.

Patriotic sing-along

We're planning our annual Patriotic Sing-along for June 30. The evening will kick off the festivities for Pagosa's Fourth of July celebration.

We are asking for some help: we need pictures of men and women currently serving in the armed services and of those who have served in the past. These pictures will be used in a presentation honoring our military. All pictures will be scanned and promptly returned to you.

Please plan to attend this celebration of our country's heritage; bring the whole family and be sure to invite visitors to come along. Bring your favorite dessert - it's a dessert potluck, too. The center will provide hot and cold beverages.

May dance

You still have a little time to pick up some tickets for the next community center monthly dance.

Tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. the center will come alive with music from DJ Michael Murphy from Durango. Michael promises to play a wide variety of music. The dance will end at 10:30 p.m.

Tickets purchased prior to the dance are $5 each 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 available 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 can be made for parties of 8-10 at the community center. There will be one or more tables reserved for singles as the need arises.

Mark your calendars for the June dance which will be Friday, June 23. It will feature music by Durango's Hi-Rollers and a Mexican fajitas buffet.

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

eBay Club

Have you sometimes wondered whether eBay is a way for you to pick up a bargain or to sell some items you no longer need?

Drop by the community center this morning for the second meeting of the eBay Club, at 9 a.m. Ben Bailey, who first proposed the creation of this group, is full of ideas and information. Everyone who attends is welcome to offer questions, comments and suggestions. The focus is on using eBay efficiently and successfully. Anyone who is interested is welcome to come. This group is not affiliated with or endorsed by eBay, Inc.

League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters' annual meeting is tonight at 6 p.m. at the center.

As a nonpartisan organization, the League of Women Voters of Archuleta County never supports or opposes any candidate or party. It does take positions on issues based on in-depth study.

Everyone is welcome to attend this annual meeting; refreshments will be served. The league will also accept new memberships from anyone who is interested in joining. There will also be an election of board members. Angela Atkinson will be the featured speaker. Check out the league's Web site at

Hip Hop

Rhonda LaQuey, our new Teen Center coordinator, has planned a three-day hip hop dance course. It will be taught by Jenny Osmialowski, an exchange student from Germany.

The dance class will span three days, at different times each day: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 20; 2-4 p.m. May 21, and 4-6 p.m. May 22. A $10 fee covers all three days. After the Monday session there will be a potluck.

Call Rhonda at 264-4152, Ext. 31, for information. By the way, adults are welcome too.

An evening with foodies

This is an evening for those who enjoy food.

Michelle says no one is allowed to say, "Oh, I shouldn't have that." Or, "I can't have anything with fat or sugar in it."

All we have to do is smile and enjoy the smells and the tastes. This evening is about food. If you are thinking happy thoughts as you read this, perhaps this get-together is for you. You're invited to join us at 6 p.m. May 31.

Each time we get together we will showcase a different food or course or ethnic cuisine. This 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. It will be fun.

Games for fun

This new program is for all those who enjoy playing games - Scrabble, Monopoly, Poker, card games, dominoes, mahjong, etc. Come to the center Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. and Thursdays 10-2. We need a volunteer leader for each game. Be sure to bring your games with you and, if you come on Thursdays, you might consider bringing lunch; Mondays, you can lunch in the senior dining room before the gaming begins.

Photoshop classes

Bruce Andersen's next Photoshop class will be held 7-9 p.m. June 5, 12 and 19. Call the center at 264-4152 to be included on the waiting list for upcoming classes.

Line dancing

Men's two-step: Learn the basics and two leads before adding the women - just enough to go around the dance floor. All will be done in secrecy at 9:20 a.m. Monday before line dancing. The price is a sense of humor. Must be under 100 and ambulatory. Call Dick or Gerry Potticary at 731-9734 for more information. There will not be a class Memorial Day, Monday, May 29.

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

Dates for the next beginning computing classes are June 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28, and July 5, 6, 11,12, 18, 19, 25 and 26. The Tuesday class is open to everyone; the Wednesday class is for seniors.

Currently, the waiting list has enough people on it to fill both Tuesday and Wednesday classes. However, it is not unusual that someone who requested space in one of the classes is 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 who has signed up as soon as I can.

The new intermediate class will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 8. The class schedule will be determined at the time of the first meeting. Call 264-4152 for details.

A reminder: classes on May 23 and 24 and the free Q&A help session Thursday, May 25, are cancelled.

Summer hours

The community center is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10-4 Saturday. The center will be closed May 29.

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; eBay Club, 9-10 a.m.; games for fun, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; arthritis class, 6-8 p.m.; League of Women Voters, 6-8 p.m.

May 19 - Virtual Academy Share Fair, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.

May 20 - Social services, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; drawing class with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen Center Hip Hop Crash Course, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

May 21 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; High Roads Baptist Church, noon-2 p.m.; Teen Center Hip Hop Crash Course, 2-4 p.m.; volleyball, 4-6 p.m.

May 22 - 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 Hip Hop Crash Course and potluck, 4-8 p.m.

May 23 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; county commissioners' hearing, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; arts council board meeting, 5-7 p.m.; volleyball, 6-8 p.m.

May 24 - Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; preschool play group, 10 a.m.-noon; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

May 25 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; games for fun, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; volleyball, 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 Boulevard. Call 264-4152.

Senior News

Take care with medications and schedules

By Jim Pearson

SUN Columnist

Many seniors who came into The Den to sign up for the Medicare Prescription Drug program were taking numerous prescription drugs and possibly a variety of over-the-counter medications as well.

Prescription medications are prescribed by a doctor for a specific ailment or condition. Over-the-counter medications can be purchased by any person without medical authorization. Many over-the-counter medications were once prescription drugs and can be very potent and dangerous if misused.

By not following instructions printed on medication containers or on included data sheets, people can put their lives at risk or lower the quality of their lives.

Antibiotic prescriptions are often misused, for example. People tend to take these medications until they start to feel better, then they either quit or forget to take the antibiotics. Antibiotics fight bacterial infection. When you begin to feel better, the medicine is working, but it may not have taken the bacteria completely out of your system. The danger is that if not completely wiped out, the infection could come back twice as bad in the next four days or so.

According to the National Institute on Aging, you should ask the following six questions when your doctor prescribes a medication:

What is the name of the medicine?

What is the medicine supposed to do?

How and when do I take it, and for how long?

What foods, drinks, other medicines or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?

What are the possible side effects and what do I do if they occur?

Is there any written information available about the medicine?

There are many reasons why people don't take their medications properly, but the complexity of their daily routine ranks high.

I heard people describing what medications they were taking to Medicare counselors here at The Den. It was typical for the applicant to describe their pill-taking in full detail. It would go something like, "I'm on four medications. I take one of them four times a day, and one them is a half pill twice a day, and the third one is twice a day with food, and the fourth one is needed for pain, but must be taken with food." I wondered how anybody could remember such a regimen, especially when it was clear that some of these folks had severe memory and psychological issues.

I can remember members of my own family talking about not taking their high blood pressure pills because they felt just fine. High blood pressure is a condition that you can't feel, so you have no way of knowing whether or not it's high. Another reason for not taking medication is that you feel better when you don't take it, so you alter how you are taking it. The important thing to remember is the reason you were prescribed the medication in the first place.

If you are having difficulties with taking any medication, you should consult with your doctor. There are many aids to help you remember which medications, dosage and frequency that you should be taking them, so you don't have to rely on your memory, no matter how good you think your brain works. One of the simplest ways to remember is to write the information down in a drug diary. This diary should not be used for anything else like grocery shopping lists or other daily activities. Using it like a calendar, write down the time you take your medicine each day, and as you take your medicine, cross it out. You can pick up a free drug diary at The Den. There are over-the-counter aids available as well, such as those where you place your pills in plastic compartments for the week.

Remember, it is important to communicate with your health-care provider and to accept a greater responsibility in our own health care by taking your medications safely.

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 and instructor Linda Mozer are 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 cost of this course is $20, to cover the cost of the course book.

The Arthritis Self-Help Course is a group education program, lead by a trained instructor, designed to help you learn and practice the different skills needed to build your own individualized self-management program and gain confidence to carry it out. You will share experiences with others, providing you the opportunity to help and learn from people like yourself. This program is designed to complement health-care provider services. Participating and completing the six-week program will aid you in:

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

Gaining knowledge of different types of arthritis and osteoporosis.

Learning to manage pain, relaxation, stress and fatigue.

Gaining exercise and nutrition knowledge.

Development of problem-solving skills.

Obtaining information on doctor-patient relationships.

Obtaining information on the latest developments in alternative therapies.

The Arthritis Self-Help program had its beginnings as a controlled research project funded by the National Institutes of Health in 1979. The purpose of this research project was to develop and evaluate a community based self-help program that would assist people with arthritis.

The program content was the result of focus groups made up of people with arthritis who were able from personal experience, to identify the most important areas that needed to be covered by such a workshop. The Stanford School of Medicine did further research and fine tuned the self-help program developed by these focus groups.

This program has been further evaluated by numerous organizations involving different ethnic groups worldwide. Results obtained from research participants show that people suffering from arthritis were able to reduce their pain and sometimes their disability, improve their quality of life and reduce their need for medical services. Individual benefits from a single workshop series were found to last four years or more.

The Arthritis Self-Help Program has been endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control, American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation. Anyone with any type of arthritis, or persons in support roles, are encouraged to attend. Class size is limited to 20 participants, so please 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.

Final details

A loved one passes on and you find yourself dealing with many complex emotional and physical issues.

You may wonder if there are any benefits out there that could help make this impact on your life a little easier.

There are three areas that you should consider. The first is Social Security. There are two types of benefits accrued by the deceased who paid into Social Security for at least 40 quarters. A death benefit of $255 is available to eligible spouses or dependent children. If qualified, the survivor should contact the nearest Social Security office to complete the proper application. The Durango office phone number is 247-3128. The other option is to have the funeral director complete the application and apply the payment to the funeral bill.

The second type of benefit under Social Security is a variety of survivor benefits available depending on the age and relationship of any survivors. You may qualify if you meet any of the following circumstances:

Spouse age 60 or older.

Disabled surviving spouse age 50 or older.

Spouse under 60 who cares for dependent children under 16 or disabled children.

Children of the deceased under the age of 18 or who are disabled.

Contact your nearest Social Security office to determine benefits and eligibility available to you. The toll free number for Social Security is (800) 772-1213. You will need to have birth, death, and marriage certificates, Social Security numbers, and a copy of the deceased's recent federal income tax return when applying for this benefit.

The second area that you should consider is the Veteran's Administration. Notify the VA of the death if the deceased was a veteran receiving monthly payments under another benefit. If the deceased was a veteran who received a discharge other than dishonorable, survivors may get $300 toward funeral expenses and $150 for burial costs. Burial in a national cemetery is free to a veteran, spouse and dependent children. Veterans are also eligible for a headstone or grave marker. The surviving spouse and dependent children of disabled veterans may also be entitled to a lump sum death benefit, monthly payments, such as educational assistance and medical care.

For assistance, contact Andy Fautheree, Archuleta County Veterans Service Officer either at his office at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7, or by calling him at 731-3837. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday.

The third area that you should consider is employee benefits. Many employers provide life, health or accident insurance. The deceased may be due a final paycheck for vacation or sick leave. Contact all past employers, including federal, state or local governments, to see if you are entitled to death benefits, continued health insurance coverage for the family, or payments from an annuity or pension plan. Unions or professional organizations that the deceased was a member of may offer death benefits to their members as well.

The Den is a good place to get the support you need. Not only can you talk to other Den participants who have been through a loss, but we have helpful publications and staff to assist you. If you need professional emotional support, we have free counseling services available at The Den every Monday morning at 11 a.m.

Computer lab news

The next beginning classes will start the first week of June and last through July.

The Tuesday class is open to anyone. The Wednesday class is for seniors. Currently, the waiting list has enough people on it to fill both the Tuesday and the Wednesday classes. However, often, those who requested space in one of the classes are unable to come. Call and leave your name and phone number in case a class has an opening.

An intermediate class is now in the works; the schedule is being finalized. It is anticipated that some of the same topics dealt with in the beginning series will be covered, but this will be a more detailed course taught by Becky Herman. For example, the beginning class covers only the basics of e-mail. The intermediate group will focus on e-mail attachments, your provider's options and settings, and e-mail problems such as privacy, spam and phishing.

Call 264-4152 for details. A reminder: May 23 and 24 classes are cancelled.

Free movie

Our free monthly movie at The Den at 1 p.m. Friday, May 19, is "The Incredibles," rated PG. Meet the Incredibles, the award-winning Pixar team's superhero family that comes out of banal, suburban hiding to don their old costumes and save the world again. Bob Parr has given up his swashbuckling days to log time as an insurance adjuster and raise his three children with his formerly heroic wife, Holly Hunter. But when he receives a mysterious assignment, it's time to raise hell one more time. Join us in the lounge for free popcorn for this enjoyable film.

Wildfire detectives

How do wildfire investigators determine where and how a devastating forest fire started?

Come to The Den at 1 p.m. May 24, when I demonstrate how it's done. As a retired U.S. Forest Service investigator, I have over 30 years of wildland fire investigation experience in Southern California and Alaska, including work as the lead investigator on several major California wildland fires which caused firefighter injuries and property damage.

Senior discounts

Join hundreds of other seniors in our community taking advantage of the many discounts available through local merchants by joining Archuleta Seniors, Inc. Memberships are available for folks age 55 and over and can be purchased at The Den for $5 on Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9-11. No memberships are sold Thursdays.

Not only will you receive generous discounts from local businesses, but you'll be eligible for our Mystery Trip program and other trips in addition to discounts at such senior activities as Oktoberfest.

Membership also entitles those who meet annual income guidelines to scholarships for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental, prescription drugs and medical equipment. Your membership also entitles you to 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. This is the best discount program in town, and a great way to help our senior community. Sign up now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

Home-delivered meals

The den provides home delivered meals to qualifying homebound individuals who want the benefits of a nutritional lunch. The Den's caring volunteers deliver the meals to homes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays while taking the time to check in with the individuals. The appetizing lunches are served hot and ready to eat. Whether you want a meal delivered one or four times a week, we can accommodate your needs. For more information, please call Musetta at 264-2167.

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 our senior citizens. We have two openings available and an urgent need to fill them immediately. 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.

Oktoberfest volunteers

Archuleta Seniors, is looking for volunteers to help with Oktoberfest. Volunteers are needed 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 service, etc. This is the largest fund-raiser of the year for Archuleta Seniors, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping our seniors. For more information contact me at The Den, 264-2167.

RACOA member needed

The Regional Advisory Council on Aging (RACOA) is making an effort to form a more diverse board, and is seeking a senior to represent the Latino community of Archuleta County on the board of directors. This is a volunteer position, and the new member will be one of three who represent our county. The RACOA offers advice and recommendations to the Area Agency on Aging Board of Directors relative to a four-year senior services plan, which is annually updated and revised. We are looking for a person to help us with our outreach effort concerning senior services and programs for our Latino community. If you are interested in serving, contact Musetta at The Den.

Medicare prescription drugs

The May 15 deadline has come and gone, and if you didn't get enrolled in the Medicare Prescription Drug program, you will not be able to enroll until November, and you will incur a 1-percent lifetime penalty for each month that you have not enrolled.

This penalty does not affect those who turn 65 after May 15. They can enroll in the Medicare Prescription Drug Program at the same time they enroll in Medicare and are not affected by the May 15 or November prescription drug enrollment rules.

If you need additional information, contact Musetta at The Den, 264-2167.

Senior of the Week

We congratulate Lydia Martinez as Senior of the Week. Lydia will enjoy free lunches all week. We also congratulate Marion Goodnight in Arboles. She will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day during the month of May.

Activities at a glance

Friday, May 19 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; free movie and popcorn, 1 p.m.

Monday, May 22 - Gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 23 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 24 - Basic Computer, 10 a.m.; wildfire detectives, 1 p.m.

Thursday, May 25 - Mystery Trip.


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 19 - Smothered chicken, corn bread stuffing, cauliflower and broccoli mix, Waldorf salad and garlic roll.

Monday, May 22 - Beef stew, green beans with corn, diced pears and crackers.

Tuesday, May 23 - White chili with chicken, carrot and celery stick, cooked cabbage, spiced apple slices and whole wheat bread.

Wednesday, May 24 - Pasta primavera with beef sauce, spinach salad, apple and pear salad with almonds and garlic bread.

Veteran's Corner

Veteran health care enrollment

Andy Fautherlee

Perhaps the most visible of all VA benefits and services is health care.

It is the No. 1 benefit that most veterans seek, especially with the skyrocketing costs of private health care or lack of health care programs through private sources such as employers.

VA's health care system now includes 154 medical centers, with at least one in each state, as well as Puerto Rico and District of Columbia. VA operates more than 1,300 sites of care, including 875 ambulatory care and community-based outpatient clinics, 136 nursing homes, 43 residential rehabilitation treatment programs, 2006 Veterans Centers and 88 comprehensive home-care programs.

VAHC enrollment

For most veterans, entry into the VA health care system begins by applying for enrollment. To apply, complete VA Form 10-10EZ, application for Health Benefits, which may be obtained from any VA health care facility or regional benefits office, or by calling (877) 222-8387. It may also be filled out online at the Web site under health care. Once enrolled, veterans can receive services at VA facilities anywhere in the country.

I have filled out hundreds of these VAHC application forms for our local veterans right here in the Archuleta County Veteran Service Office. I fill them out on the computer and save them under the veteran's name.

Later, when many veterans are required to provide an annual VAHC Means Test, I have the information already filled in and need to only update current financial information and fax or mail to Albuquerque VAMC. This saves the vet from filling out of 2-3 pages of VAHC forms by hand.

Just part of the local service of this Archuleta County office proudly provides.

High priority

There are three categories of veterans that are not required to enroll in VAHC, but are urged to do so to permit better planning of health resources:

1. Veterans with a service-connected disability of 50 percent or more.

2. Veterans seeking care for a disability the military determined was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, but which the VA has not yet rated, within 12 months of discharge.

3. Veterans seeking care for a service-connected disability only.

Priority groups

During enrollment, veterans are assigned to priority groups VA uses to balance demand with resources.

Changes in available resources may reduce the number of priority groups VA can enroll. If this occurs, VA will publicize the changes and notify affected enrollees. Veterans will be enrolled to the extent congressional appropriations allow. If appropriations are limited, enrollment will occur based on the following priorities.

Priority Groups 1-8:

Group 1: Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 50 percent or more and/or veterans determined by VA to be unemployable due to service-connected conditions.

Group 2: Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 30 or 40 percent.

Group 3: Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 10 and 20 percent, veterans who are former POW's or awarded a Purple Heart, veterans awarded special eligibility for disabilities incurred in treatment or participation in a VA Vocational Rehab program, and veterans whose discharge was for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty (as recognized by VA).

Group 4: Veterans receiving aid and attendance or housebound benefits and/or veterans determined by VA to be catastrophically disabled. Some veterans in this group may be responsible for co-pays.

Group 5: Veterans receiving VA pension benefits or eligible for Medicaid programs, and non service-connected veterans and non compensable, zero percent service-connected veterans whose annual income and net worth are below the established VA means test thresholds.

Group 6: Veterans who are seeking care solely for conditions associated with certain

Service in the military mostly deemed presumptive to conditions (Example: Diabetes Type II associated with exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam). The list is long for some of these special categories.

Group 7: Non service-connected veterans and noncompensable, zero percent service-connected veterans with income above VA's national means test threshold and below VA's geographic means test threshold, or with income below both thresholds, but who net worth exceeds VA's ceiling (currently $80,000) who agree to pay co-pays.

Group 8: All other non service-connected veterans and zero percent., non-compensable service-connected veterans who agree to pay co-pays. (Note: Effective Jan. 17, 2003, VA no longer enrolls new veterans in priority group 8). If you are in this category and enrolled prior to that date, you are "grand fathered" into the VAHC system for the present.

Enrollment fee

As a side note, the president has asked Congress for an annual VAHC enrollment fee of $250 for Group 8 veterans in the 2006 and 2007 budget requests. So far, Congress had not approved such a fee.

However, as health care costs continue to escalate, and budget matters and deficits become more acute, veterans in this latter group could be faced with paying such a fee in addition to co-pays. I fear many veterans would opt to drop from VAHC if this happened, and would be "flushed" from the system as perhaps some in Washington desire.


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 please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7 (behind City Market). The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, Cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is The office is open from 8 to 4 Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA.

Library News

Pagosa Reads! Of cannibals, corn and water

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

Pagosa Reads! concludes with a special panel discussion at the library at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 20, featuring Glenn Raby. He will talk about maps and events in preparation for the Chimney Rock tour he will lead at 10 a.m. June 3.

We are wrapping up with our last book, "People of the Moon," by W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear and the special tour of the Chimney Rock site. Call the library at 264-2208 to be put on the limited tour list. A $15 fee will be paid to Chimney Rock at the tour site.

"People of the Moon" is a steamy, gore-filled, historical fiction thriller with a climax set at Chimney Rock, our intriguing local historical site. Pagosan Glenn Raby is cited in the acknowledgments of the book for having given the Gears a personal tour of the Chimney Rock Archaelogical Site, and forwarding copies of vital excavation reports and out-of-print articles on the early fieldwork conducted there, to them.

The book takes the reader on a shocking trip through the events that led to the collapse of the northern Chaco frontier in the mid-12th century. Paleoclimatic studies show that the Southwest became colder and dryer around A.D. 1150. Crops failed and populations began to starve. The writers tell the reader how ignorance, religious superstition and hunger leads to terrorism, civil war and holocaust - at any time in history.

While the characters in the book are fictional, the sites - Aztec, Lowry Ruin, Far View and several others - are actual sites, many of which are open to visitors. The events in the book are documented in articles like, "Cannibalism, Warfare, and Drought in the Mesa Verde Region during the Twelfth Century A.D." by Billman and Lambert, and by Leonard in "American Antiquity." And the writers assure us that the real events were even more brutal than those recounted in the book, which made me decide not to order the articles on interlibrary loan, lest I have nightmares. Should you be braver, citations to the articles are in the foreward of the book.

Particularly interesting is the comment, also in the foreword to the book, "Should you travel to any of the archaeological sites fictionalized in the novel, you will find no mention of many of the events portrayed in People of the Moon. Government personnel and volunteers are not allowed to mention violence, burials, witchcraft, or other 'culturally sensitive' information.

"The fact is, we are at heart a messy species, especially when economics, political philosophy, religion, military technology and deprivation get mixed together. Atrocities occur with great regularity in prehistory as well as in our modern world. Sanitizing the past is every bit as morally irresponsible as whitewashing atrocities in the present. It trivializes and dehumanizes the victims.

" We genuinely believe that in remembrance lies redemption."

In short, censorship is an evil that perpetrates ignorance and allows more evil to flourish in the vacuum of knowledge.

Other events

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation district will host a tour for kids of all ages, 10 a.m. May 24. Meet at PAWSD headquarters, off Lake Forest Circle in Pagosa Lakes.

Poster contest

This contest is for youngsters of all ages. For kids age 9 and older, make your own poster that answers the question "Why is Water Important?" and bring it to Ruby M. Sisson Library by 6 p.m. Monday, May 22. It will be displayed and judged in the art contest.

For preschoolers to age 9, drop in anytime Friday, May 19, and make your poster at the library. Materials will be provided for you, and there will be a special event winner for this age category.

Prizes will be awarded in both age groups.

Call 264-2208 for more information.


Thank you for the books, magazines, books on tape, CDs and large print books: Mrs. Archuleta, Donna Carman, Marilyn Falvey, Scottie Gibson, Carole Howard, Suzan Joy, Dave Krueger, Kate Lister, Carol Pacurari, Kent Schaefer, Margaret Rouke, M. Short, Cate Smock, Dave Speicher, James Van Liere, William Wetzel, Zhena, and of course, our dear favorite, Anonymous.

Winning the romance and losing one's head

"The Other Boleyn Girl," by Philippa Gregory, Touchstone, New York, 2003.

Reviewed by Nancy Grovhoug and Alicia Brodner.

This work of historical fiction is a page-turning romp through 16th century England at the beginning of King Henry the VIII's venture in serial monogamy and ruthless consolidation of political power.

The author captivates the reader right from the start with an intriguing combination of both documented historical facts and pure, unrivaled imagination. The character development is fascinating. Gregory captures complex relationships within families struggling to use their children as pawns in the all too deadly game of accumulation of wealth, power and influence in the 16th century royal courts of England, Spain and France.

The life and death element of sibling rivalry between two sisters, Mary and Anne Boleyn is the focus of the plot. The additional portrayal of their brother George creates a lively picture of a family of children whose lives are not their own. Their choices are dictated by parents and uncles who have no regard for them as human beings.

The story is told through the eyes of Mary Boleyn, offering an oblique view of the life of the court, with all its grandeur, baseness and intrigue. The reader experiences the excesses of food, drink, entertainment, and material luxury counterpointed by the difficulty and requirements of everyday life, raising children, and travel. This rich portrayal of power and its effects, self-destructive ambitions, pettiness and contempt, people with too much idle time and self-importance rings true.

The evolution of Mary from a young girl who accepts her family's dictates, to a mature woman who develops the inner strength, wisdom and the intelligence to survive the web that kills her sister and brother, keeps the reader moving in fascination towards the difficult yet satisfying conclusion. Following the horrible life of Anne, who goes to her fate on the dock, as the second of Henry's wives that could not produce a male heir, is disturbing. Seeing how their brother George is entwined in their lives, as well as caught in his own illicit moral dilemmas, completes this engrossing family portrait.

The amateur historian who reads this novel will not be able to resist going to reference sources to try to verify and sort out the "facts" asserted by the book. Interestingly, many of the "facts" of the character's lives are not clearly known. There is enough unknown to make one wonder, what indeed, is the truth about the tale, and what is fiction. Regardless, the effect of time travel, through the places and events and incidents that are concretely known, the castles and battles and religious leaders and politics of church and state, is satisfying.

This was a great period in English history. This book documents its tumultuous beginning, including the birth and dreadful early childhood of the Henry and Anne's daughter, who became the great Queen Elizabeth.

Take this to the beach or mountains this summer and enjoy!

Alicia Brodner and Nancy Grovhoug are members of the Alpine Lakes Ranch Book Club which has run the Pagosa Reads! program for the library this spring, under the direction of member Gail Shepherd. "The Other Boleyn Girl" was one of their book club selections.

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

PSAC annual calendar exhibition opens

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

The 2007 Pagosa Springs Arts Council Calendar Exhibit and Sale will be held at the Town Park gallery, 315 Hermosa Street, May 18-June 5.

An opening reception, with several of the artists attending, will be held 5-7 p.m. today.

All artists and photographers whose work was selected for the calendar are local residents. PSAC received hundreds of entries for the annual calendar.

Judges were Carly DeLong, artist and illustrator with Studio Abuzz in 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.

The cover of the calendar features a painting by Claire Goldrick, titled "Evening Rhapsody" depicting Chimney Rock in a vibrant color scheme. The other art and artists that appear 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.

Art/Spanish camp

Pagosa Springs Arts Council is proud to sponsor Soledad's Children's Summer Art/Spanish Camp.

Ongoing classes will begin June 5 and last through August. Classes will be held at the community center and are open to children between the ages of 4 and 13. Campersges 4-7 meet from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. and ages 8 - 13 meet 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Classes are $150 for two weeks or $275 per month.

Classes are filling up quickly, so call PSAC, 264-5020 to register and for more information. If you prefer to speak directly with Soledad, you can reach her at 731-1314.

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.

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.

Get to know the artist

If you are a PSAC member and would like to be featured in our upcoming, weekly "Get to know the artist," send your bio, photo and up to six samples of your work for review. Format requirements: (Bio: Microsoft word file. Images: jpeg format, 300 dpi / up to 4x5 inches, or pdf file). For consideration, your information should be presented in CD format and mailed to Wen Saunders, PSAC, P.O. Box 4486, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157.

For more information, call me, 264-4486. Of course, if you are not a PSAC member, perhaps you should be. Visit our Web site,, or call 264-5020 for membership information.

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.

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 nonmembers. More details will be announced, so stay tuned.

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.

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

Call for entries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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 and

Shutterbug Series

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

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

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

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

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

The sessions are:

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

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

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

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

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

For more information and registration, call me at 264-4486 (or visit and


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

Today - PSAC 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 ( We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

Tasting Notes

Cold day, gruff friend, good burger? Think BPW

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It was mid-winter and a chill wind ripped across the high desert. The cold cut easily through our jackets and jeans, flayed our hands and faces, and forced us off the street, down a flight of stars and into one of Georges' favorite Santa Fe haunts.

Inside the subterranean eatery, where even the midday sun failed to penetrate through the sidewalk-level windows, the tables and booths sat shrouded in cloaks of shadows. A few low wattage bulbs fought back the cavernous gloom, but darkness prevailed and as my eyes adjusted, I glanced around the main dining room.

The restaurant was laid out in a long rectangular fashion, with one long wall consumed by a polished ebony bar, and the other, providing a home for a row of private booths. Out in the middle of the floor, tossed like salt and pepper, were a handful of tables. We took one and sat down.

As we settled in, my eyes roamed the darkness, and by the look of the place, I expected to find a pair of Colombians sealing an illicit deal over drinks at a corner banquette while prostitutes hovered languidly at the bar beneath clouds of blue cigarette smoke.

As it turned out, there were neither, and despite appearances, it wasn't that kind of place. What it was, was Georges' hangout, a place he went for a burger on his day off, a place he could fly under the radar, and avoid the typical gossip and backbiting of the restaurant-worker milieu. And this was ideal, because Georges was a chef, a good one, and he could hardly go out without talking shop or without being bombarded by offers for restaurant partnerships, requests for recipes or other professional advice. But at Georges' haunt, he had found anonymity and an ideal place to avoid the bombardment and the inane restaurant banter.

As we sat, waiting for the server, Georges stroked his grey, tightly trimmed moustache then folded his hands neatly on the table in front of him. His hands were small, the stubby fingers and compact palms like raccoon paws, and they matched his short, stocky stature.

During the wait, he didn't say much, but then again, Georges never said much. To him, the world was "merde," and when given the chance, he would unload a verbal barrage in French-accented English on any and all comers, but none so far, on this afternoon, had come into his sights, but his fingers twitched nervously. He was poised. He was ready.

Georges' dour demeanor, had earned him the nickname, Grumpy George, and his friends simply brushed the less-congenial aspects of his nature aside. They said it wasn't his fault, that he was a product of a harsh upbringing and of his chosen profession.

Georges was a chef in the purest sense of the word, but he hadn't achieved the title by attending a few classes at a community college or trade school, and then calling himself such.

Unlike many of his younger colleagues, Georges was a product of old Europe, and he, like many of his contemporaries, was schooled during his early teens in the galleys of Parisian restaurants, on the front lines of the trade.

During his apprenticeships, he often worked under the tutelage of tyrannical chefs, sometimes chopping parsley every day for a month until he had perfected the task. After mastering parsley, he would graduate to straining soup - another month of labor. During the off hours, he polished the copper cookware and for his transgressions, back to the parsley table to begin the slow climb again.

The grind, the verbal abuse and the heat, pressure and hardship of the kitchen had turned Georges hardboiled, had made him gruff and cantankerous, and he doled out the same to friends, strangers and line cooks alike.

His credentials and experience had taken him from Europe, to New York, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Taos, and he served as personal chef to various Saudi sheiks.

Georges was a recognized authority, an old master, and when the server asked him what he wanted to drink with his burger, and he growled back, "Merlot," I had little choice but to follow suit.

With glasses and burgers before us, Georges began a brief, barking lecture, punctuated by French and English curses, on what wine to drink with a burger. Hence, in my mind, the concept of the BPW was born.

In winespeak, a BPW, is a "burger-pizza-wine," but if I said that Georges had coined the term I would be a liar. However, what Georges did on that cold February afternoon was explain to me, a young, green maitre d', when, how and with what, his beverage of choice should be consumed. And, as Georges barked, I listened.

According to George, there was a time and a place for all wine. For example, why waste a glorious Bordeaux or Burgundy on a burger? A burger warrants something simple, an inexpensive merlot, for example, but something with guts.

According to Georges, why crack a bottle from your special stash after a long night spent working in the kitchen when all you really want is a buzz and a simple Cotes-du-Rhone will do?

And that is where a BPW comes into its own. A BPW is one of those simple, inexpensive reds you can open any time day or night when you've got a thirst for a red wine.

Hence their name; BPWs work well with burgers or pizza, and are considered everyday quaffers. They are wines you aren't afraid to throw a couple of ice cubes in if you want something cold after mowing the lawn. They are wines to have with a sandwich at lunch, or better yet, to pour into a flask for drinking streamside during an afternoon of fly fishing.

And best of all, they are wines to take to a dinner party where you're unsure of the guest list, or you're sure the guests won't appreciate one of the finer options in your collection.

They're the sacrificial reds you put on the chopping block in order to keep that coveted Gevrey-Chambertin for that special meal in the future. They are a working-man's-red, the kind they serve by the clay jug at Portuguese roadside cafes. They are wines that go with no food in particular but that work well with just about everything. Every home wine rack should have a few BPW's on its shelves.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Corte Gardoni "Le Fontane" Bardolino 2004: A blend of corvina, rondinella and molinara grapes, this wine from northeastern Italy's Veneto region is light bodied, with flavors of tart cherry and bitter almond. Overall, the wine is dry, wound up tight, and makes for a fine companion to grilled or roasted chicken with Mediterranean herbs, or a pizza topped with strong meats and aged parmesan - it definitely shows better with food.

Saint Martin De La Garrigue "Cuvée Reservée" 2003: Dry and tannic with layers of cedar and Spanish leather, the Saint Martin is a chewy, muscular red made from the usual Languedoc suspects - grenache, cinsaut, carignane and mourvedre. This solid red can pair well with summer barbecue and is perfect for charbroiled burgers stuffed with sun-dried tomato, shallots and crumbled bleu cheese.

Charamba Douro 2001: The Douro region is Port country, yet not all the acreage is devoted to making the famous fortified red. In fact, in addition to port, the region produces many fine table wines and although the Charamba may not necessarily exemplify the cream of the Douro crop, it does embody the elements of many, simple Portuguese reds - a dry, leathery rusticity surrounded by elements of earth and red fruits.

With the Charamba, think olives, cold cuts, hard cheeses and crusty bread, think picnic fare - pour it in a flask and take it on a day hike — it also drinks well slightly chilled.

Food for Thought

Listen up, lads, your mentor is here

Karl Isberg

I wish I had known someone like the 2006 me when I was young and just wed.

I would have had a best friend and confidante. Life would have been easier, blanketed with far less stress and confusion.

I would have had a mentor. And, what a mentor I would have been.

Truth is, all young, newly married guys need an older male mentor. Women usually have their mentors and, if they listen, there is plenty of wisdom passed along from the older dames. There must be - newlywed women generally gain the upper hand too quickly, and too easily.

Young guys enroll in the institution of marriage and receive very little elementary education. Pardon the mixed metaphor, but young grooms wade into the marital surf and, kaboom, they step off a shelf into unfathomably deep and dark water. They don't know how to swim.

And, they drown.

I was sitting with a couple of my disreputable pals at a local cafe the other day, discussing important things (interesting Dutch Internet sites, NFL draft picks, the role of sausage in human history, the relation of Motown and hip hop, why there are dimples on golf balls) when a young couple walked into the restaurant and sat at the booth opposite us.

The kids were crazy about each other. It was obvious: they sat on the same side of the booth. They smooched frequently and the guy couldn't keep his hands off the young lady.

She wore a ring. And she kept looking at it - when he didn't have his mug plastered on hers.

"He's in love," said Ronnie, momentarily diverted from a huge breakfast burrito.

"He's in trouble," said Jack, interrupting a fascinating discussion of odds bets in craps.

"He needs some advice from a mature guy," said I. "A guy who has mastered the art of dealing with a woman. A professor of marriage."

What's the problem with the scene we witnessed in that other booth, you ask?

Oh nothing, as long as the lad is blinded by endorphins.

But, hoo boy, when his brain ceases production of those tantalizing chemical blinders, he will wake, terrified, in a world of arcane rules and odd customs. He will be a babe (albeit a hairy babe) lost in the woods. And he will be lost for a long, long time.

I got to thinking after I left the restaurant - first, of how to hide the fact that I bought breakfast on the credit card from my wife, Kathy; second, that I could, and should, create a school for newlywed young men.

I could assemble a faculty of long-married guys - men who have achieved high rank, as it were, through a series of battlefield promotions - and provide just the help the neophytes need to ensure they safely navigate some often stormy, but ultimately satisfying, seas. (Newlyweds males pay heed: Note how I slickly mitigated the impact of the "stormy seas" image. Learn, my young friends. Learn).

I decided to create Karl's Marriage Skills Academy and set to designing the curriculum.

Here are a couple examples of courses that will be offered at the academy.

Romance 101.

Sure, the youngsters think they have this topic covered. And they do, in their limited way, for several months. Maybe even a year. Then, the fog begins to lift, oh so slowly, and the guy realizes not everyone in the marriage has the same idea as he does of what constitutes romance. And, the poor devil hasn't an inkling of what waits down the line, say 25 to 30 years, when he, still 18 years old in his mind, is living with a fully mature, bored woman who has a very different perspective on the realm of the senses and regards him as an bumbling idiot.

You need help, kids; you need sage advice. There are rules; you need to memorize them and work on your style. Life is not modeled on a fraternity house.

In-law management 220.

Put simply: How to make sure you mother-in-law loves you. Your father-in-law, no matter what he says or how he acts, will never love you. Don't worry about him; he will merely simmer for years, then die.

Youngsters need a full tool bag in order to work on this one, and they'll acquire the tools at the academy.

Perhaps the most important course the youngster will take, however, has to do with remembering key dates.

This was driven home last weekend.

Mother's Day.

Now, you newlywed fellows must be thinking: "Mother's Day? Isn't that the day, if I manage to remember it, when I send my mom a card I bought at the last moment, or when I call her up and chat for 30 seconds or so?"

Yes, indeed it is. And, as dean of students at Karl's Marriage Academy, I know what you are thinking next.

"So, I'm married. Maybe we have a kid or two. My wife is not my mother. Why would my activity on Mother's Day matter to her? Once the kids are old enough, they can send her a card or give her a call, if they manage to remember."

This is the accurate and logical thing to say, lad. No doubt about it. And, thus, it has nothing to do with the reality of being married.

Accurate and logical thought on matters such as this will bring you no end of trouble - similar to the problems you will experience when you forget things like birthdays and anniversaries. (And, for heaven's sake, when you forget an anniversary, take it from me: don't try the "every day's an anniversary with you, sweetheart" gambit. It intensifies her rage.)

Learn from your elders.

When confronted with Mother's Day and its meaning to your bride, don't ever say, "What do you mean, you're hurt that I didn't get you a card. You're not my mother." Or, as I said last Sunday: "Hey, my mother's dead. So what are flowers to her?"

Nope. Big mistake.

Also learn that, in the face of a gross error, food helps.

Here's how to handle a gaff like the one I committed on Mother's Day.

Make sure your mother-in-law is at the house for an overnight visit. (See In-law Management 230, above).

Make sure you tell your mother-in-law how much you love her. Several times. Make sure she knows how much you look forward to her visits. Give her a can of relatively fresh mixed nuts (do not open and remove the cashews before giving her the gift). Rub her shoulders gently. Let her know how distressed you are that she can't stay a few more days. Make sure the bed she sleeps in has clean sheets.

Arrange to have at least one of your children visit while grandma is at the house. Make sure the kid brings a card for grandma and mom and dresses well. Make sure, after she tends to her grandmother that she tells her mother how much she adores her. Several times. In front of witnesses.

Then, cook.

Be serious, do well; your life depends on it.

Last weekend, it was a simple chicken dish, (could have been pork tenderloin) with roasted potato and sweet potato wedges, a salad, two types of artisanal bread, and asparagus. After she finished telling her mother how much she adored her, several times, my daughter Ivy made hollandaise sauce for the asparagus. There's no such thing as to much butterfat when you are doing the marital backstroke.

First up were the spuds. Easy business: the potatoes were peeled and wedged then tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of rosemary. They were put on an oiled baking sheet and placed in a 425 oven. I knew it was time to turn them when they smelled brown. They took about 30 minutes total in the oven. I hit them with a bit more salt when they were removed from the oven and still hot.

I butterflied some boneless, skinless chicken breasts, completed the separation of the flaps, then beat the hunks o'poultry mercilessly between sheets of plastic wrap, reducing them to about 1/4-inch thickness. I seasoned them, dredged them in flour seasoned with salt and pepper then browned them two or three pieces at a time over medium high heat in extra virgin olive oil and butter. I put the browned pieces in a heated dish and, when all the chicken was done, I added a bit of oil to the pan and sauteed some minced shallot, tossing in minced garlic at the last moment. I deglazed the pan with a splash of dry, white wine then added chicken stock, some tarragon, a large wad of chicken demi-glace and the juice of two lemons. I had capers ready, but I resisted the urge, thinking my mother-in-law might object to those "funny green things." There was no way I was taking the shine of that apple! Back in went the chicken and the heat was reduced to medium low, allowing the sauce to thicken nearly to a glaze, seasonings adjusted as necessary.

The asparagus, meanwhile, was set to steaming and, in fact, Ivy used a pan over the asparagus as her double boiler for the hollandaise. The lovable little tyke made the sauce extra-lemony and it was the perfect buttery-yolky complement to the vegetable. I ate about a half cup of the sauce with a spoon.

All was spectacular.

I toasted the moms at the table - nothing suspiciously grandiose (you'll learn this in Life-saving Toasts 410)

Then, despite the fact there was an NHL playoff game on the tube, I went to a choral concert. Exuding good cheer, as best I could. Kathy was part of the choral group and expressed several times (all right, 30 to 40 times) over the course of two days how much she wanted me there. Students at the academy will master this kind of move in Sacrifice 100. They can add extra credit by completing Dealing with Misery 330.

Ah, but its food that is the ultimate marriage saver. Learn to cook and cook well, boys, and your bride will appreciate, against her better judgment, despite years of errors and mindless transgressions.

That's right. Put an outstanding meal in front of her, turn down the lights, torch up a candle or two and, between bites, she'll look across the table and be overwhelmed with a desire she hasn't experienced since that wonderful first month of marriage.

If you believe this, you'll need to sign up for a new graduate course at the academy: Delusions 575.

Extension Viewpoints

Try drip irrigation in home garden

Bill Nobles

May 19 - 2 p.m., Rabbit Project meeting.

May 19 - 3:30 p.m., Poultry Project meeting.

May 22 - 4 p.m., Veteran Archery at Ski & Bow Rack.

May 22 - 4 p.m., Entomology Group 2 Project meeting.

May 22 - 4:30 p.m., Dog Obedience Project meeting.

May 23 - 6 p.m., Rocky Mountain Riders Club meeting.

May 24 - 4 p.m., Entomology Group 1 Project meeting.

May 24 - 4 p.m., Sportsfishing Project meeting.

May 24 - 6 p.m. Red Ryder Rodeo Royalty meeting.

Record book judges

The Archuleta County 4-H program is fortunate to have a quality livestock program that is increasing in volume every year. We are in need of a few more Livestock Record Book judges to accommodate the increase in 4-H livestock members. Therefore, we are asking for anyone familiar with 4-H and livestock to volunteer as a record book judge at this year's fair.

Judging is twofold: you interview the 4-H member, then you judge their record book. The interview process takes place at the Archuleta County Fair 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6. Each judge is assigned a species: beef, swine, sheep, goat, horse, turkey or rabbit. We will provide breakfast and lunch for all the judges..

Prior to the fair, we always have a judges' orientation luncheon meeting. This meeting gets the judges acquainted with each other, as well as prepares the new judges for the interview/judging process. As in the past, we will try to limit the number of members for each judge to around 10 . We are looking for three volunteers to judge swine, two each to judge beef, sheep, horse and goat, and one volunteer each to help judge rabbit and turkey. If you think this is something you are interested in, call Pamela at the Extension Office, 264-5931.


Field bindweed is one of the most widespread and difficult to manage weeds growing throughout the U.S. 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. One way to help control bindweed growth is introduction of bindweed mites to the infested area. The bindweed mite is a microscopic eriophyid mite imported from southern Europe. 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. The Archuleta County Extension Office will be receiving 200 releases of bindweed mites at $20 per release for use in managing Field Bindweed. Each release will treat 25 acres and is 75-percent effective in controlling field bindweed after two years. Mites will be delivered the end of June. If you are interested in purchasing the bindweed mites, contact the office at 264-5931.

June GPS class

The Archuleta County Cooperative Extension Office will offer a second Basic GPS class, 7 p.m. June 6. The GPS model of choice being reviewed will be the Garmin Etrex Legend. There will be units provided on which to learn, but if you have your own GPS, bring it. If you have specific questions on how to do something, write it down and bring it with you.

The class is free of charge and will last approximately two hours. Handouts and easy-to-use instructions will be provided. This class is open to adults and will be limited to the first 16 persons (no exceptions). Call Kim today at 264-5931 to reserve your spot.

Drip irrigation

People interested in waterwise gardening should consider drip irrigation.

Odd-shaped and narrow areas are easily irrigated with drip systems. Drip irrigation stretches water supplies and may be exempt from water restrictions imposed during drought. Drip irrigation equipment is readily available and can easily be installed by do-it-yourselfers.

Drip, or micro-irrigation, technology uses a network of plastic pipes to carry a low flow of water under low pressure to plants. Water is applied much more slowly than with sprinkler irrigation.

Drip irrigation exceeds 90 percent efficiency whereas sprinkler systems are 50 to 70 percent efficient. It is so efficient that many water utilities exempt landscapes irrigated with drip from restrictions during drought. Note that any irrigation system is only as efficient as the watering schedule used. If systems are set to water excessively, any system including drip can waste water. Low volume application of water to plant roots maintains a desirable balance of air and water in the soil. Plants grow better with this favorable air-water balance and even soil moisture. Water is applied frequently at low flow rates with the goal of applying only the water plants need. Sprinkler irrigation results in a greater wet-to-dry fluctuation in the soil and may not produce optimal growth results.

Micro-irrigation systems are more widely available and better designed for use in home gardens than ever before. Traditionally used for growing commercial vegetables, orchards, windbreaks, greenhouse and nursery plants, micro-irrigation systems are well-adapted for home use. Use them in landscapes, vegetable and flower gardens and for small fruits. They are well-suited to irrigate container plants as well. When combined with a controller, drip irrigation systems can be managed with ease. Micro-irrigation is ideal for berm plantings. Slopes are inefficient to irrigate because gravity pulls water downhill, causing runoff and water waste. The slow rate of water applied through drip irrigation is more likely to soak in before it runs off.


Drip irrigation delivers water slowly immediately above, on or below the surface of the soil. This minimizes water loss due to runoff, wind and evaporation. Drip irrigation can be operated during the windy periods frequently seen in Colorado. The mold spots on house siding and the staining and deterioration of wood privacy fences experienced with overspray from sprinkler irrigation is eliminated with the use of drip. Because water doesn't leave the landscape with drip irrigation, pavement deterioration associated with sprinkler irrigation runoff is eliminated. Properties with old, galvanized steel water service lines where corrosion has resulted in a narrowed diameter may benefit from a retrofit to drip irrigation. The low volume requirements of drip irrigation are a good match with restricted supply lines. Drip systems can be managed with an AC or battery powered controller. Automated landscape irrigation is an advantage to many people with busy lifestyles.

Adaptable and changeable over time, drip systems can be easily expanded to irrigate additional plants if water is available. Emitters can be simply exchanged or removed and emitter lines eliminated or repositioned. When plants are removed or die, drip lines should be plugged.


If emitters are poorly placed, too far apart or too few in number, root development may be restricted by the limited soil area wetted. Water seeping at ground level is hard to see and makes it difficult to know if the system is working properly. An indicator device that raises and lowers a flag to show when water is flowing is available to overcome this issue.

Regular maintenance inspections are needed to maintain system effectiveness — the same as with high pressure sprinkler systems. Clogs are much less likely with filtered water and proper pressure regulation used in combination with self-cleaning emitters. Drip tubing can be a trip hazard especially for dogs and children but is less problematic if covered with mulch and fastened with wire anchor pins every 2 to 3 feet. Drip lines can also be easily cut while undertaking other landscape maintenance activities.

Placing emitters

Drip irrigation emitters must be placed so that water reaches the roots of plants. Roots will grow where conditions are favorable, primarily where there is the right balance of water and air in the soil.

Design the drip system around the irrigation needs of the plant. For new plantings, make sure emitters are placed over the root ball. Initial placement on perennials is often permanent unlike trees and shrubs that require emitters to be moved away from the trunk and others added as plants grow. Generally, larger plants have larger and more extensive root systems. A greater number of emitters is needed with larger plants and higher water-using plants. Fewer emitters of lower flow are needed with lower water-using plants or plants that will receive only occasional water following establishment.

In clay or loam soils, consider two 0.5 gph emitters at the base of a perennial flower to ensure watering if one fails. A 1 to 5 foot shrub and small tree less than 15 feet at maturity will initially require two, 1 gph emitters 12 inches from the base of the plant. Change to 2 and then 4 gph higher flow emitters if planting a larger sized tree and as the small tree grows. A 5 foot or larger shrub may require three 1gph emitters.

A medium tree 15 to 25 feet may ultimately require four emitters two feet from the trunk. If planting a "whip," it's possible to start with two 0.5 gph emitters and change to higher flow and more emitters as the tree grows. Begin with three, 2 gph emitters on a 1-inch caliper tree planting and three, 4 gph emitters on a 2-inch caliper tree at planting.

Trees larger than 25 feet at maturity may be impractical to irrigate with drip because of the extensive nature of tree root systems and mass of the trees. Increase the number of emitters and change them to 2 or 4 gph or larger flows as trees and shrubs grow. Drip emitter placement is also related to whether the soil is sand or clay. To compensate for variations in lateral movement of water in the soil, locate emitters 12 inches apart in sand, 18 inches apart in loam, and 24 inches apart in clay. If one to two emitters are recommended for a plant in a clay soil, two or three may be required in a sandy soil to wet a sufficiently wide soil area.


There are two types of emitters: pressure sensitive and pressure compensating. Pressure sensitive emitters deliver a higher flow at higher water pressures. Pressure compensating emitters provide the same flow over a wide pressure range. More products made in recent years are pressure compensating. Turbulent flow and diaphragm emitters are non-plugging. Emitters can be attached into the mainline or placed on the ends of microtubes. Because emitters are generally color-coded by flow rates, purchase all emitters from one manufacturer because color codes differ among manufacturers.

Emitter tubing is useful for closely spaced plants. Turbulent flow emitters are manufactured into the mainline at pre-set spacings. Spacings in 1/4-inch tubing are typically 6, 12 or 24 inches. A wider range of spacings are available in 1/2-inch tubing, including 9, 12,18, 24, 36 or 48 inches. The in-line emitters are self-flushing and clog resistant as long as system water filtration with 200 mesh filters is used. Emitter tubing irrigates evenly over its entire length. Laser tubing and soaker hoses have holes in tubes but do not contain emitter devices for precise metering of water; the amount of water released varies along their length making them less satisfactory for maintaining plants. Bubblers are devices that emit higher flows of water in a circular pattern. They are useful for irrigating larger plants such as roses and shrubs, and for filling basins around newly planted trees or shrubs. Some can be adjusted for flows from 0 to 35 gph. Microsprays emit large droplets or fine streams of water just above the ground. They are available with nozzles in full, half and quarter circle patterns that wet diameters varying from 18 inches to 12 feet. They should be placed on a separate zone from other drip devices because of their greater water use that can vary from 7 to 25 gph. Fewer microsprays can be placed on a zone than emitters due to their high flow rates.

These devices are low pressure but share characteristics with high pressure sprinklers. Pop-up micro-sprayers are now available, eliminating a permanent irrigation riser in the garden. They are not as efficient as ground-applied water from drip emitters and care must be used to avoid over-pressurization and misting. Misters and foggers are not recommended for landscape use.

Check out our Web page at for calendar events and information.

Pagosa Lakes News

Couch potato alert - it's triathlon time

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Yep, it's that time of the year again, when the word "triathlon" creeps into everything I say.

E-mails and phone calls start early in the spring; they come from everywhere, from folks interested in participating in a triathlon here in beautiful Pagosa Country.

Did you know the recreation center hosts an annual triathlon? Most of you do, but we have a steady stream of newcomers who may not know.

This is no ordinary triathlon, either. The triathlon starts out from the recreation center parking lot with a 7.2 mile run on residential roads and forest trails on the rim of Martinez Canyon. Then you transfer to a mountain bike for two loops of the same course in reverse direction from the run - ending up at the recreation center where the final leg, a half-mile swim, takes place.

At this point, you may be asking, "Why would I want to do a triathlon?"

Why not? The event will help you discipline yourself to train in order to increase your endurance, stamina and overall conditioning. Besides, when asked what you do for recreation, you can say, "I'm a triathlete." It sounds a lot better than, "I'm a couch potato." Who says there's not hope for couch potatoes, even if you really, really are one?

This is a challenge in which many can participate. You can compete as a single and do all three legs by yourself - an enormous undertaking for a couch potato - or split it two or three ways by getting a team together.

For information and help getting started, contact the center at 731-2051. If you are interested in competing on a team but do not have enough athletic friends to do it with, the center can help you put a team together. You can pick up a course map and check out the race route. The single-track portion on the rim of Martinez Canyon is currently rough from springtime horse traffic, but over the course of the summer will get pounded out smoother from use.

Race information and registration is also available online (and at the recreation center). Visit Proceeds from this race are donated to the high school cross country club.

Summer swim lessons will begin at the recreation center by June 5 and go through the end of July. These are group lessons, a half-hour in duration. Students must be preregistered in order to enter the class and parents of registered swimmers are asked to get their children to the pool on time, dressed for the lesson. Parents are kindly asked to leave the students with the instructor on the pool deck and take themselves to the grocery store or take a latté break. The summer congestion in the building and the parking lot does not allow the recreation center to have families hanging out.


Randy Sanchez

Randy Chris Sanchez, 43, was born in Durango, Colorado, on Dec. 2, 1962, and was taken by the Lord from his home on Monday, May 15, 2006.

Randy lived in Pagosa Springs all his short but lively life. He drove trucks for a living and loved every minute of it.

Randy is survived by his loving mother, Martina Sanchez; sisters Clara Sanchez and Dee Dee Granados; brother-in-law Poncho Varela; nieces Tina Sanchez, Felicia Salas, Sandra Salas and Malaie Robles; nephew Richard Salas, Jr.; and great-niece Jasmine Salas. Randy was preceded in death by his older brother, Perry Sanchez. Many special family and friends will miss him dearly.

Viewing will be held at 5 p.m. at La Quey Funeral Home. Rosary will be held at 6 p.m., Friday, May 19, 2006, and mass at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 20, 2006, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Father Carlos Alvarez. Burial will be at Hill Top Cemetery.

Sofie Summer

Our Sofie Rayne Summer has returned home with our Heavenly Father. Her charming, sweet, lovable soul will forever be in our hearts. Mommy, daddy and sister Averie miss you and will love you always. "You are so beautiful, Sofie!"

Sofie Rayne's parents are Angela Summer and Jesse Hyde of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Her big sister, Averie Lucille Lynch, is also of Pagosa Springs.

Services will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church at 11 a.m. Friday, May 19, 2006. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up at the Bank of Rio Grande to purchase a headstone. Please mail donations to P.O. Box 69, or drop off at the bank located on CR 600.

Garland Wood

Garland Perry Wood was born April 21, 1922, in Johnston, Iowa, the seventh of 10 children of Orris Elisha Wood and Blanche Eddenfield. He died Sunday, May 14, 2006.

Garland graduated from high school in Plainview, Nebraska. After a year of teaching and four years in the Army, he started college, met and married Jeanne Hoyt, then earned a Ph.D. They lived in Michigan from 1957 through 1987, where Garland taught agricultural economics and organized and directed the Latin American Studies Center at Michigan State University. First as a family, then as a couple, they made many trips abroad, always seeking out soulmates with common interests in the spiritual and material development of the people in developing nations, and creating an international network of caring friends in the bargain.

"First" career international travel highlights include:

- 1960-1962 - Medellin, Columbia, agricultural research station, volunteer work with the Oriental Missionary Society and with Indian tribes in Galindo setting up a rice-hulling machine cooperative;

- 1969-1971 - Balcarce, Argentina, agricultural research station;

- 1973-1975 - Islamabad, Pakistan, plus volunteer work with TEAM missions;

- 1981-1983 - Rampur, Nepal.

Garland was named professor emeritus and retired from MSU in 1986. However, Jeanne and Gar did not retire from a life of learning, caring and sharing. They traveled across country that year, and discovered Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where they settled as a home base in 1988. They relished the beauty, and soon developed warm, close bonds within the community. However, in many ways retirement opened the door to their second joint part-time career working with small communities and individuals.

Perhaps Garland's (and Jeanne's) two key abiding principles have been "God helps those who help themselves" and "Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish, and he can help himself forever." His lifelong mission was "to teach a man to fish," or better, to teach a community to be self-sufficient, with an initial helping hand to buy a grinding machine for their corn or grain, to purchase a motor to raise well water to irrigate crops, or to develop a sustainable source of protein through a fish pond/duck pond.

While Garland was able (before being stricken by progressive supranuclear palsy), he and Jeanne enjoyed regular travel to wherever their kids (and grandkids) were living, as well as across the country to visit families and friends. When they were home, their home was open to graciously welcome family and friends from across town or across the world.

Garland is survived by his wife, Jeanne; their three children, Kathy Jewett and her husband, Steve, of east Middlebury, Vermont, Debbie Matherly and her husband, Roger, of Columbia, Maryland, and Brian Wood and his wife, Lanette, of Raleigh, North Carolina; eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; his sister, Marilyn; and many nephews, nieces and extended family.

The memorial service was held at Restoration Fellowship, Wednesday, May 17, at 10:30 a.m., and officiated by Rev. Al De Boer. The burial will take place at Pleasantview Cemetery, Plainview, Nebraska, Friday, May 19, at 10:30 a.m. Memorial gifts may be made to the Restoration Fellowship Missions, 264 Village Drive, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

 Business News

Chamber News

Philanthropy Days comes to Pagosa in June

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

"Philanthropy: Disposition or effort to promote the happiness or social elevation of mankind; desire, effort, or beneficence, as by making donations, intended to increase social comfort."

This definition of philanthropy was evident at last week's Seeds of Learning auction. Thank you to Joanne Irons for coming up with such a creative theme for the auction and for giving new meaning to the usual auction scenario. The individuals and groups who decorated the tables should be highly commended. The place settings were beautiful, fanciful, thoughtful, and just plain gorgeous. The community is very lucky to have so many creative people. I can't wait until next year to see what happens. What children's books will be chosen to challenge the imagination?

We continue with the theme of philanthropy by alerting the community to an important event happening June 15.

Representatives of numerous funding agencies will travel to the southwest region of the state June 14-16 to learn about communities, non-profit organizations and unique funding needs. These private and public funding entities, based mostly on the Front Range, will be in Pagosa to see our community up close and personal. They will meet with our non-profit organizations that are working hard to express their needs while celebrating their successes.

Although the funders are here in Pagosa for a very short period of time, non-profit groups and other community involvement should be aware of how important it is to try and get a "piece of the funding pie." The Loaves and Fishes organization will provide lunch, the high school media class is preparing a community video on "The Growth Gap," a review will be held at the Ruby Sisson Library, several businesses have donated desserts to the community review session, and many non-profit organizations have attended training meetings to learn how to "make the ask."

You will hear more about Philanthropy Days the next couple of weeks. We know the community could not exist without the help of the hundreds of volunteers to man our various non-profit organizations. It is also a reality that these organizations depend heavily on donations. Let's get behind our non-profit groups as we show off our community, display how we work together to make things happen and illustrate how we need financial support through grants and major donations. If you would like to know how you can help support Philanthropy Days, call Livia Lynch at the Education Center at 264-2835.

Dance the night away

For all you dancers, the community center is hosting the May Dance 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, May 19. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. A cash bar will be available along with free snacks. DJ Michael Murphy is sure to get everyone up and moving. You may purchase tickets at the center and at WolfTracks. Friday, June 23, The High Rollers will be the entertainment. Come out and get your blood pumping at the May community dance.

PSAC auctions

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council invites the public to the 2006 silent and live auctions, Saturday, June 3, starting at 5 p.m.

Enjoy elegant hors d'oeuvres prepared by Wildflower Catering, entertainment by harpist Natalie Tyson and a cash bar, along with beautiful art items. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, Lantern Dancer Gallery, the PSAC gallery and WolfTracks.

Support this wonderful organization that promotes art and many of its offshoots while garnering a fine piece of art for your home or office. Also mark July 9 on your calendar and attend the 2006 Home and Garden Tour for 2006 as well.

Newsletter deadline

If you would like to have your insert placed in the Chamber of Commerce newsletter coming out the beginning of June, get them to us by Friday, May 26. The inserts need to be flat (not folded), 8 1/2 x 11 paper, and it can be two-sided. We will need 700 copies. This service is available to Chamber members. This is a great way to advertise new merchandise you may have in the store, a sale, a business move or new people who have joined your team.

Give Kimberley a call at 264-2360 if you need more information. This next newsletter will be chock full of events happening in June and July.

Welcome members

One of our new members this week is a group interested in preserving and helping people enjoy our beautiful San Juan River, the Friends of the Upper San Juan River. This group is dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating Pagosa's stretch of the San Juan River. The Friends are once again planning to have a mini-river celebration this year, Sunday, June 4. They will start the day with a river cleanup and then have some fun on the river and close out the festivities with a barbecue. If you are interested in joining this group or need more information, contact Connie Cook at 264-3804. We welcome the Friends aboard and wish them much success as they grow in community involvement and exposure supporting such a focal point in our community.

We also have Upstream Energy Consultants with David Grey joining this week. David offers geological and geophysical consulting services for the petroleum industry. For those developers or organizations that need site or exploration studies, give Upstream Energy Consultants a call at 731-2908. Welcome David and thank you for your involvement.

You know the ranch, you know the name, so welcome Ethel Poma and V.A. Poma Ranch. Poma Ranch offers rustic cabin lodging on a working ranch. This stunning piece of property offers a peaceful and serene setting perfect for fishing, hiking and cross-country skiing. The spectacular pastoral mountains will soothe your soul and give you a new lease on life as well as many fish to brag about. The V.A. Poma Ranch is located about 26 miles from town out Piedra Road. For more information, call 731-5746. It's the perfect getaway for the outdoor enthusiast.

We welcome Scott Taylor and High Country Fishing Charters. Scott offers full and half-day trips on the waters surrounding Pagosa Springs. He specializes in instruction and will be involved in a fly fishing school at beautiful Sunset Ranch. It's nice to go out and fish, but it's even nicer to out with someone who knows the waters and the best spots, and who can lead you to some great private fishing. Give Scott a call at 946-5229 to book a trip.

Moving on to our renewals, we welcome back Wells Fargo Bank; Mild to Wild Rafting, of Durango; LaVonne Wilson and Home Again; Pagosa Brat; Jaynes Corporation of Colorado; The Sewing Source; Karen Thomas at Oasis Graphics; Buffalo Trading Post; The Buck Stops Here and Cabin Fever Log Homes; and LaQuey Funeral Home.

Once again, thank you to all the volunteers who put on a great weekend of fun for adults and children alike at all the Seeds of Learning events. It is our volunteers who keep this community ticking.


Cards of Thanks


As we celebrate Emergency Medical Services week May 14-22, the staff at Pagosa EMS would like to thank the community for all the support given to us this past year. All the thank yous, handshakes, cards, gifts and smiles we have received have been greatly appreciated, and continue to inspire us daily.

Upper San Juan Health Service District

Pagosa Springs Emergency Medical Technicians


I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who brought cards and flowers to my 80th birthday anniversary party, which was held on April 15. Then more cards and flowers at the time of my shoulder surgery on April 17. I was dismissed from the hospital on April 19. It isn't everyone who gets a new shoulder for their birthday.

Thank you one and all.

Elaine Nossaman

Seeds of Learning

The board of officers and directors of Seeds of Learning extends a big thank you to the many volunteers and sponsors who helped make Once Upon a Time and Playin' in the Park such a success. Thanks to your generous support, we reached our financial goal for this FUNdraising weekend — $40,000.

Special thanks go to those who decorated tables for the Once Upon a Time dinner and auction. The spectacular table decorations were the highlight of the evening attended by well over three hundred people. Thank you to Wildflower Catering for providing the dinner and to Jake Montroy for running the live auction. Thank you to the many others who contributed to making this a magical evening.

Special thanks go to Kiwanis for providing lunch at Playin' in the Park and to Rotary for running the tractor train ride. Thank you Barb Draper for bringing story time to the park and to Sue Gorman and the Children's Choir for sharing their talents. A huge thank you goes to Karen Carpenter (aka Kalamity) who "clowned" with more than 200 children and their families. Thank you Isaiah and Silas — you did a super job as a Mouse with Cookies and a Moose with Muffins.

A big thank you goes to the Board of Realtors for the spaghetti dinner and help with cleanup at the community center. Thank you to Eddie Spaghetti, our featured entertainer, who traveled from Evergreen to support the FUNdraising weekend.

Mary McKeehan from Old West Press deserves a big thank you for help with last minute details and thank you Jeff Laydon, of Pagosa Photography, for documenting the weekend. Thank you to all who helped with their time and support of Once Upon a Time and Playin' in the Park. The Seeds of Learning FUNdraising weekend was truly a community effort.

Susan S. Thorpe, Lynne Bridges


The family of Betty and Earle Beasley announce the celebration of the couple's 60th wedding anniversary. They were married in Betty's hometown of Alva, Oklahoma, on May 18, 1946. Upon Earle's retirement from the Air Force, they relocated to Colorado, settling in Pagosa Springs in 1974, where they have been active members of the community. Both were employed in the Archuleta County school system, Betty as middle school secretary, and Earle as math and science teacher at the high school. Please join us in congratulating this special couple.


Ethan Lance Sanford

Ethan Lance Sanford, a 2002 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in commencement exercises May 12, 2006. Ethan attended the university as a Norlin Scholar and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science in biochemistry.

Ethan is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Golden Key International Honour Society.

Sports Page

Pirate girls win regional title, state next for track team

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Lady Pirates won the regional track title.

The boys finished third in the team standings.

Twenty-three Pirates qualified as individuals or members of relay teams for the Colorado Class 3A track meet in Pueblo Friday and Saturday.

All in all, a pretty good day at the races.

For the Lady Pirates, Saturday's regional championship at Bayfield (against the other Intermountain League teams plus Salida, Lake County and Buena Vista) was sweet revenge. The team had placed third, behind Bayfield and Centauri, in the prior week's IML championship meet and appeared somewhat disjointed in league action.

Not so at regionals.

The team point total, 135, came with some strong performances by relay teams, as well as a result of a bevy of top-three finishes by individuals. Bayfield was second with 129 points; Centauri third at 127.

Among the individuals taking first in events were Mia Caprioli in the 100-meter dash (13.41) and Nikki Kinkead in the 200 (27.71).

Among the athletes posting qualifying performances in individual events were Jessica Lynch (second in the 400, 1:01.33 ) Emilie Schur (second in the 800, 2:23.85) and Chelsea Cooper (third in the 300 hurdles, 50.47).

Kinkead (200), Schur (1,600), Jessica Low (high jump) and Kim Fulmer (400) had performances earlier in the season that will put them in state competition in those events Friday.

"We qualified all five girls' relay teams," said Coach Connie O'Donnell. "This really impressed me; we had some broken teams at the beginning of the season. People picked up the pieces and put things back together."

The girls' 4x400 team of Fulmer, Schur, Low and Elise McDonald won the event with a time of 4:15.93.

Fulmer, Schur, Lynch and Jenni Webb-Shearston took first in the 4x800 relay in 10:00.36.

The Pirate 800 sprint medley relay team of Caprioli, Low, McDonald and Lyndsey Mackey was second, at 1:57.02. Caprioli, Lynch, Kinkead and Low took second in the 4x200 relay, finishing at 1:49.08. Mackey, Kinkead, Caprioli and Low were third in the 4x100, with a time of 52:41.

Mackey managed a leap of 15 feet 10.5 inches to take second in long jump and qualify for the state meet.

"Our girls finished third in the league," said the coach. "Someone lit a fire under them this week. They were excited. That's what I love about the regional meet: character comes out. People want to get to state and they leave everything on the track. They made it fun. We also showed our depth by qualifying two in the one-hundred and the two-hundred. Kim Fulmer didn't run in the four-hundred since she had already qualified, but she took seconds off her four-hundred and eight-hundred splits in relays. She starts both relays and really set the tone. Mia won the hundred; she wanted it so bad, and she got it. And this will be the fourth season Emilie Schur has competed in four events at the state meet."

The boy's team scored 116 points to finish behind Bayfield (150) and Buena Vista (118).

Caleb Ormonde won the regional title in high jump. The Pirate junior went 6-3 for the victory.

Brian Patane qualified for action in Pueblo with a second-place finish in the 110 hurdles. Patane's time was 17.42.

Gunnar Gill will make the trip to Pueblo to compete in 200 following a third-place finish, at 24.08.

Jackson Walsh qualified in the 3,200, taking third at 11:07.2.

Craig Schutz took third in discus, with a throw of 141-5.

David Dunmyre was third in shot put, heaving the iron 45-7.5.

Casey Schutz was third in triple jump, with a distance of 41-2.25.

Three boys' relay teams will go to Pueblo this weekend.

The 4x400 team of Gill, Chase Moore, Orion Sandoval and Travis Furman was second at Bayfield, with a time of 3:39.61.

Furman, Moore, Sandoval and A.J. Abeyta took second in the 4x800, at 8:32.58.

Gill, Patane, Corbin Mellette and Mike Smith were third in the 4x100, at 45.91.

"Our four-by-one relay just about gave us a heart attack," said O'Donnell. "They pulled it off. That's the only event for two of them. Everyone said we'd get a sprint relay, and they did. I was impressed by Gunnar Gill, running the two-hundred; it's only the second time he's run it and he is really stepping up. He's our quiet leader; he anchors the four-by-one and is on our four-by-four. He has a great attitude and he's worked very hard.

"I remember Orion when he was a freshman, and he has really matured in four years. Orion ran his fastest splits on two of the relays; he really wanted to make it to state. And Jackson Walsh was very impressive for a freshman, qualifying in the thirty-two hundred. It was fun to watch."

Preliminaries in state events begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Dutch Clark Stadium with finals in boys' shot put, the 800 and boys' triple jump held that day as well. Other finals are set for Saturday.

"I'm excited, as usual," said the coach. "I have a lot of expectations again, and I'm glad. We're involved in most races and I am hoping our kids run with the same attitudes and determination they showed Saturday at Bayfield. They need to run hard Friday and qualify for the finals, get team points. We could see a lot of school and personal records broken. The last two weeks have seen a lot of camaraderie develop. They have decided to be a team and have been really supportive of each other."

Pirates lose playoff match, season ends

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pirate soccer coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said last week that Friday's first-round Class 3A playoff match between Pagosa and Fountain Valley would be a low-scoring affair.

He was right.

The game was won 2-0.

But not by the host Pirates.

The Danes took the match, advanced to a Tuesday meeting with top-ranked Faith Christian, and ended Pagosa's season.

It was a match Pagosa could have put out of reach early. The Pirates took it to the Danes in the first part of the first half of action. The balance of play during the first 20 minutes was in the Danes' end of the field. Several Pirate attacks inside the box went high or wide and it appeared only a matter of time before Pagosa would beat the Fountain Valley defense and goalkeeper and put a point on the scoreboard.

It didn't happen. Pagosa couldn't finish and slowly the tide began to turn the Danes' way. A pattern was established that would persist until the end of the match: Pagosa's attack, for the most part, stalled at midfield, while Fountain Valley began to advance the ball to the forwards, penetrating into the midst of the Pirate defense and putting shots on Pagosa keeper Erin Gabel.

For her part, Gabel was up to the challenge, making numerous key saves as the Danes pressed into the Pirates' half of the field.

Finally, however, the odds caught up and Fountain Valley scored - a shot that went off Gabel's hands and into the net.

The first half ended with the visitors ahead 1-0.

The game was still within reach as the second half began, but Pagosa could not create and turn to offense. Too many times, the home team could not take control of the ball in the midfield and turned it over to an increasingly coherent and persistent Fountain Valley offense. The Dane defense stopped the Pirates short, keeping them out of the box. The few times the Pirates made a run past mid field, it ended with a sole Pagosa attacker, unaccompanied on the open wings, stacked up with three defenders on her and unable to produce a shot on goal.

At the 47-minute mark, Fountain Valley's most prolific scorer, Wrendy Rayhill, put the nail in the pirates' coffin taking a pass clear in the middle and driving in for the goal.

The Pirates had one chance for a goal as Laurel Reinhardt connected on a long header but the Danes continued to close down the home team at midfield until the final whistle.

It was a close game in many ways," said Kurt-Mason. Both teams made mistakes in midfield and Fountain Valley had some weak defenders. We just didn't take advantage."

The coach commended his defenders. "Our defense played well," he said. "And Erin (Gabel) played well. She owned the box and shut down their attack quite well."

On offense, Kurt-Mason singled out strikers Iris Frye and Mariah Howell.

"They didn't get as much support as they needed, but they were running around, creating space."

Despite the playoff loss, the coach considers the season a great success and a big step forward for the Pirate program.

"It was a brilliant season," he said. "Our kids played more aggressive than in the past, more physical. We had some strong players - playing through the ball - and we'll work in the weight room to get stronger yet. This team came together at the end of the season and did a fine job."

Pirate basketball camp next week

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.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Summer programs and projects on the way

By Jim Miller

SUN Columnist

Someone perambulating the public spaces of Pagosa this week will have likely noticed the presence of numerous school kids, reluctantly dragged from their classrooms on the last few days of the school year to assemble outdoors for fun and games instead of their preferred pursuit of the mastery of the "Rs." I assume there are more than three these days.

Off South 5th Street, an august assemblage of architects-to-be is diligently erecting the picnic shelter they so creatively designed for our lucky town.

Their efforts are taking shape just upstream from the site of our future boaters' and fishermen's access, a dramatically improved facility awaiting Corps of Engineers' approval for the creation of a suitable launching and beaching eddy. This river access will replace the large impromptu spot just north that's been used for years, which will no longer be accessible by vehicle as our new park takes shape.

And soon to fill the parks with their youthful numbers is the Park Fun program, a venerable delight, one of the most successful of our many organized offerings. Under the careful tutelage of Heather and Becca, some 30-40 cheerful tykes per day will be seen trooping through town in pursuit of more fun-filled hours.

Adult softball

Deadline for registration in the 2006 adult men's and coed softball leagues 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.

Youth baseball update

Due to insufficient numbers, the Pony (13- and 14-year-old) and Bronco (11-12) division leagues have been canceled.

Attempts to work out a traveling schedule with recreation teams in Bayfield have proved fruitless. All registration fees for these divisions will be refunded; refunds will be available at the recreation office in Town Hall beginning Monday, May 22.

Rosters for the 9-10 Mustang division have been finalized and teams are currently scheduling practices. Parents who have not been contacted by a head coach with Mustang roster information by the end of this week should call the office Monday at 264-4151, Ext. 232. Games in this division will begin May 31.

Games in the 6-8 Pinto division begin next week at Pagosa Springs High School baseball complex at the following times and field locations:

- Monday, May 22 - A's vs. Dodgers at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2; Angels vs. Orioles at 5:30 p.m. on Field 3; White Sox vs. Rockies at 6:35 p.m. on Field 2 and Reds vs. Yankees at 6:35 p.m. on Field 3.

- Wednesday, May 24 - Rockies vs. Yankees at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2; Reds vs. A's at 5:30 p.m. on Field 3; Dodgers vs. Angels at 6:35 p.m. on Field 2 and Orioles vs. White Sox at 6:35 p.m. on Field 3.

Pinto division uniforms will be handed out on each team's opening night. Pinto division schedules are available at town hall and will be posted weekly on the town Web site, in The SUN and recorded on the sports hotline, 264-6658.

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.


Last week brought the 2006 tee-ball season to a close, and the recreation department staff commends all of this year's players and parents for demonstrating utmost sportsmanship throughout the spring.

This year's sponsors and coaches merit our gratitude as well; the commitment to our young athletes from the individuals and businesses listed below ensured another successful season.

First, we thank the following businesses for their generous sponsorships: Mud Shaver Car Wash, GDI LandCo, Allen's Auto Body and Paint, The Concrete Guys, Edward Jones Investments and From The Ground Up Trucking.

In addition, thanks go to the following head coaches and assistant coaches who volunteered their time and knowledge this season: Craig Vrazel, Kelly Miller, Lisa Scott, Ronnie Doctor, Duane Breman, Joe Garcia, Marc and Sherrie Murray, Scott Pierce, April Hessman, Jim Amato and Allen Gregg.

Thanks again to one and all for your dedication and support throughout another great spring.

Adult basketball

Congratulations go out to team members on High Mountain Performance and South Pagosa, who claimed respective championships in the 2006 men's competitive and men's recreation league tournaments held last week at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

Thanks to all involved for another interesting men's basketball season; see you next spring.


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 and going to the parks and recreation link.

All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis. If you have questions or concerns, or need additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.


The respect test

It's nearly time for the annual test here in Pagosa Country. No, its not a driver's test, or the CSAP test. It's the respect test, taken by those present at our high school's graduation ceremony. It is a simple exam, and one easily evaluated. We have failed this test as a community for quite a few years now (as, no doubt, others do), and we fail it in a more striking and sad manner every year.

The test? Do you respect what the young graduates have accomplished? Do you respect the system through which they have successfully passed? Do you respect your fellow community members who have worked with the youngsters, in many cases for 12 years of education prior to high school graduation?

If so, how do you show it?

The sad truth is there is scant respect left for the accomplishment involved in high school graduation, or for much else for that matter. Go to the ceremony and you are likely to see, and hear the proof.

People scream, some yell, many make fools of themselves; they treat the ceremony like a TV sitcom or an athletic event. Many people in the audience do whatever they can to draw attention to themselves. Some dress as if they were on a trip to the mall or to a picnic.

No, there is little respect shown by these people. And little shown by some of the students — in particular those who treated their years in the educational system as a waste of time, preferring instead their video games, their CDs, their televisions, to any sustained, honest study — behavior actively encouraged by far too many parents, themselves concerned with maintaining friendly relations with their children, too frightened to make real demands on a child or to set real boundaries, all too willing to demand school standards be lowered while offering excuse after excuse for poor behavior and meager effort, becoming irate when the child is judged to be anything but wonderful.

Add all the nonsense of No Child Left Behind and the bureaucratic drivel and demoralized staffs left in its wake. Add the politics, burgeoning bureaucracies and increasing parental interference in the system, and there is no wonder respect does not flower.

Add the fact we, as a community, have encouraged the lowering of standards in most aspects of our collective life and the picture is worse yet.

We have created honors and awards for everything. Anything, no matter how poorly done, no matter how ordinary, is a candidate worthy of an award, worthy of graduation. We have graduation ceremonies for kindergartners, for fourth-graders. We dispense "best of" awards for everything; merely show up and you are a success. We live in a community and culture that exalts the ordinary, revels in the mundane without considering consequences, gives standing ovations to anything and everything.

We have stopped demanding excellence. More precisely, we have redefined "excellence," made it available to any person, product or performance.

We need to take a serious look at our standards and behaviors and we need to change.

We need each of us to consider how to reinstitute a sense of real excellence, personally and in community — reconstruct high expectations and put them into play. Even if we, and our children, can't always meet them.

We could start Sunday, at the high school graduation.

If there is any real accomplishment to be honored at that ceremony, it should be recognized in a respectful manner.

It would be refreshing were good manners to win the day. Refreshing, and encouraging. To those youngsters who sincerely care about their efforts, and to all who care about those youngsters and their future.

We'll see. And hear.

Karl Isberg


Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 19, 1916

Axel Nelson had a miraculous escape last week when the team he was working on the Dyke ranch ran away, dragging a heavy drill over his body. He has been at home for several days with a sore arm as a result.

Cement blocks are now being made for the new M.E. parsonage, to cost about $3,500, to be built on the old Chase property next to the M.E. Church.

Chas. White, forest ranger at Squaretop station, will be transferred to the Yellow Jacket station by the first of June, succeeding Al Snyder, who leaves the forest service to go into the sheep business. It is not known who will be at Squaretop.

The Schonefeld millinery store and the phone office are newly painted.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 22, 1931

Saturday morning, at chambers in Durango, District Judge W.N. Searcy approved the sale of the Pagosa Drug Store fixtures and stock of goods to L.C. Jackisch by the assignee, Fred Catchpole. Mr. Jacksich, who is a registered pharmacist, arrived the same day with his family from Cedaredge, Colo., to take possession and reopen the establishment. The new proprietor is busy redecorating the fixtures, rearranging the stock and daily acquiring additional merchandise.

The Eighth Grade commencement exercises of the Archuleta County schools will be held at the High School auditorium next Monday evening under the direction of County Superintendent Susie J. Ford. Thirty-eight boys and girls of the county will receive diplomas.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 17, 1956

The work of widening the Main drag got underway last week and considerable progress has already been made. This is a big project and will take a lot of co-operation. If you want to help, those overseeing the job will find a job for you.

There are rumors that there will be two new filling stations constructed in or near town this summer. One outfit has supposedly purchased its location. There are also rumors of another large motel near town.

Ralph (Hoppo) Yamaguchi has finished construction of a greenhouse back of the Court House and now has some plants for sale. Billy Lynn will open his drive-in stand which will feature sandwiches and dairy creme malts and ice cream sometime within the week.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 21, 1981

Glen Edmonds, Kurt Fishcel, and Dr. Randall Davis were appointed by Chairman Bob Joslen of the Upper San Juan Hospital District Board of Directors to study matters relating to siting of a future emergency medical facility.

Sixty-eight seniors received diplomas during graduation ceremonies held Sunday in the Pagosa Springs High School gymnasium.

The Upper San Juan Water Conservation Steering Committee is preparing six proposals to submit to Colorado Water Conservation Board. The proposal will outline six potential storage sites. The six sites are Dry Gulch, East and West forks of the San Juan, Trujillo Reservoir, O'Neal Park reservoir and Weminuche reservoir.


Heroes in Our Midst: Jim Huffman, Vietnam War veteran

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"I played soldier instead of cowboys and Indians as a kid," said retired Lieutenant Colonel Jim Huffman.

The Huffman family legacy is one of bravery, commitment and active military service.

"We've been involved in every conflict of the last one hundred years in one way or another," said Huffman. Huffman's grandfather served in the navy in World War I, his father was a pilot in World War II and Korea, Huffman served in Vietnam, and his eldest son, Kylan, a 1994 graduate of the Naval Academy, was killed in Iraq in August 2003.

As Huffman was raised in a "military" family, he moved around the country frequently according to his father's posts, attending three high schools in four years. Huffman climbed aboard his first plane at age four, to move to Hawaii when his father was called to Korea, and has "been in the military ever since."

Following in his father's footsteps, Huffman was prepared to offer himself for the sake of his country during the Vietnam War, enlisting between his junior and senior years of college. "I was afraid the war would be over before I had a chance to go," he said.

Huffman attended Infantry OCS in 1967, then went on to jump school and the 82nd Airborne Division. He then attended Ranger school en route to Vietnam in 1968, where he was a platoon leader in Company C, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, of the 101st Airborne Division. He first set foot on Vietnamese soil in September 1968.

"One of my most enduring memories of Vietnam is the triple canopy," explained Huffman, speaking of the jungle foliage that covered the ground with three levels of growth, ending with enormous 120 foot tall trees. "The dripping water and being wet every night. It would continue to rain 'inside' thirty to forty minutes after the rain had stopped." The tree growth was so dense that it took over half an hour for rain to fall to the ground through the leaves, or for smoke to rise above the highest layer of the canopy.

"Most people visualize Vietnam as really hot," explained Huffman. "There were hot times, but in the Highlands it would rain every afternoon, and then it would get dark and cold. We spent almost every night wet."

Huffman's other most enduring memory was imprinted into his mind the moment he first stepped from the plane: "The smell of burning feces." Due to the high water table and the fact that the waste produced by nearly half a million soldiers cannot be buried without quickly running out of space, the contents of each latrine - at every base - was collected in fifty-gallon barrels and burned every day.

"Since it doesn't burn easily, you have to add diesel fuel to it and stir it continuously to keep it burning," said Huffman. Soldiers around the country had to tend the fires each day, ensuring the disposal of the matter. "It gave a whole different perspective to being on the first sergeant's s- list, " said Huffman with a laugh.

Company C's main operation was to comb lowlands, beaches and the mountains that rose sharply from the beach up to 1,500 meters.

"Basically, we patrolled," said Huffman. Though they generally maintained radio contact with the larger company, Huffman's platoon of 17 men usually conducted patrols on their own.

On one patrol in the middle of the jungle, Huffman's platoon found a Viet Cong training camp comprised of 15 to 20 straw huts of fairly large size.

"We found fresh greens and warm rice (in the mess hall)," said Huffman. "No one was there, fortunately for us, because we weren't a very big unit. They were apparently more interested in getting away from us than fighting."

The rear guard of Huffman's platoon set fire to the huts as they left the camp, and Huffman called for artillery or attack helicopter support when they began drawing enemy fire on the way out. When the helicopters flew over the area, the pilot asked for an exact location and Huffman said to look for the column of smoke from the burning buildings. "What smoke?" asked the pilot.

"We thought we were starting a forest fire," explained Huffman. After about 45 minutes, tendrils of smoke spreading over an area of about three kilometers drifted through the upper canopy. By that time, Huffman and his men had reached a ridge line and were able to join up with their company in safety.

"You just go and go and go carrying a really heavy rucksack" said Huffman of his days on patrol. On Nov. 16, 1968, Huffman was wounded and airlifted out of the combat zone, weighing only 125 pounds - at least 20 pounds less than when he arrived in Vietnam. November 16 was to be the day of his promotion to first lieutenant.

On the day of his injury, Huffman's platoon was operating in front of their company in the "rocket belt," the area just at the edge of the 15- to 20-kilometer range for rocket launchers targeting their base, Camp Eagle.

The platoon found wide, well-used footpaths and "road signs" carved into tree trunks. "It was a very organized setup," said Huffman of the group of soldiers targeting Camp Eagle. As they patrolled, Huffman and his men spotted Viet Cong soldiers walking on a trail.

Six Viet Cong soldiers approached Huffman and his men and they "took them under fire - and missed them all," said Huffman. One of the Viet Cong soldiers was carrying a rocket launcher, one carried a rucksack and a radio, two carried rocket bodies and two hauled warheads.

"It was kind of like Laurel and Hardy," said Huffman. He led his men in the chase, and the fighters disappeared over a ridge and into a base camp. As Huffman and his platoon followed, they split into two groupings to cover the camp on two sides.

Huffman and his men came under heavy enemy fire - first from in front of their position and then from the side. Huffman crouched behind a tree, as he witnessed "bullets going everywhere.

"The shooter had his gun on fully automatic and couldn't control it," explained Huffman. "We started taking a fairly heavy amount of fire, and we called in helicopter gunships.

"When he opened up on us from the side, the bullets landed between each man - it was almost an accident that he hit me. I was the only one who was wounded, and they pulled me back," added Huffman. "We put down suppressive fire, and he left or we shot him. I'm not sure which."

Huffman's sergeant directed fire for the helicopters while Huffman called in a "med-evac" for himself. He had been shot in the calf and thigh, and was to find out later that the bullets had missed his femoral artery by a fraction of an inch, and narrowly missed his major nerves and all of his bones.

While waiting for the helicopter, Huffman drank a quart of water and ate a can of peaches. "I didn't want them to put me completely to sleep, and cut my leg off," said Huffman. "The medic said it looked pretty bad."

After arriving at the wrong location, the medical helicopter discovered Huffman's whereabouts via a radio conversation with him.

"When they got there, there was no place to land," said Huffman. The helicopter let down a cable with a seat fastened to the end, and Huffman strapped himself to it. As they raised him to safety and medical assistance, he bumped into branches while the seat swung in the jungle canopy behind the helicopter.

After finally reaching the hospital, Huffman was placed on a gurney to be taken into the emergency room when a fire broke out in the hospital. The building lost all power, and Huffman was transported by ambulance to the nearest operable facility.

About ten days after his surgery, Huffman was flown to 249th general hospital at Camp Drake, Japan:

"I ran into about six soldiers from my platoon. The guy who had replaced me had lasted only a week. He walked them into an ambush. He had been killed - the RTO had been killed, and so were others. More than a half a dozen were wounded - the worst five or six had been sent to Japan."

Huffman was awarded a Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained in combat.

"In my case, it was pretty cut and dried because there was no denying there were a couple of bullets holes in me," said Huffman.

After his recovery, Huffman attended Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He returned to Vietnam in October, 1971, and later took command of a Special Forces A-Team. Their mission was to train Cambodian battalions to go back to Cambodia and continue to fight.

"Special Forces are commonly known as 'Green Berets,' although most of us don't care for that term," said Huffman. Offering further explanation, he smiled: "A beret is a hat!"

Huffman continued his military career until he retired in 1988. He and Dagmar, his wife of nearly 35 years, moved to Pagosa Springs in August 2002. Huffman currently works as a training development consultant for the U.S. Army.

"I guess it makes you tolerant of some things and intolerant of others," remarked Huffman as he reflected upon how the military has shaped his worldview. "It certainly makes you appreciate what someone has to do to give us the freedoms we have."

Huffman and other brave and selfless soldiers like him have built and protected a legacy in this country of fortitude and endurance - and freedom. To them we offer our gratitude for their service and dedication.

Pagosa's Past

A brief history of the Jicarilla Apache

By John Motter

We've been writing about the relationship between pioneer Emmet Wirt and the Jicarilla Apaches.

Wirt operated a trading post in Dulce for many decades and is credited by many who knew him with helping the Jicarilla learn to live in a white man's world. Perhaps a brief history of the Jicarilla is in order to provide background for Wirt's accomplishments.

How did the Jicarilla differ from other, better-known Apaches such as Geronimo?

A reservation for the Jicarilla Apache nation was established in 1887 in New Mexico just south of Pagosa Springs. The Jicarilla had been attempting to get a reservation since becoming virtually homeless shortly after the United States took over New Mexico following the Mexican American War.

The Jicarilla had formerly ranged throughout northeastern New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, and even into Kansas and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma.

Prior to Mexico winning her independence from Spain in 1821, the Spanish government had done its best to keep anglos out of New Mexico territory. After gaining independence, the Mexican government opened the doors for trade between the United States and their New Mexico outpost. Almost immediately, caravans of huge covered wagons known as "Conestogas," carrying upwards of 5,000 pounds of freight, beat a path between Missouri and Santa Fe and back that became known as the Santa Fe Trail.

This commerce crossed Jicarilla land and led to almost immediate conflict. The trading parties lived off of the land as much as possible, disturbing the Jicarilla ability to earn a living by hunting the same land. It was also true that a time-honored, and honorable method of earning a living employed by many Indian tribes was plundering whoever was vulnerable.

Some of the commercial wagon trains on the Old Spanish Trail were particularly inviting. From the beginning, the U.S. provided limited military protection for the Santa Fe traders as far as the Mexican border. Following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 which settled the Mexican American War, the U.S. assumed full responsibility for dealing with the many bands of New Mexico Indians. The Spanish and New Mexican governments had never subdued any of these Indians. The United States did little better until after the Civil War during the years ranging from 1868 into the early 1880s when the Western Apaches, Mimbreño, Coyotero, Chiracahua, San Carlos, White Mountain, etc., were finally vanquished.

Meanwhile, because of traffic along the Santa Fe Trail and because of increased settlement of Anglos and Hispanics along the route following the Mexican-American War, conflict with the Jicarilla and their allies, the Southern Utes, increased.

On March 31, 1854, Jicarilla Apaches attacked a mail coach with an escort of 60 troopers of Companies F and I, 1st Dragoons, at Cienquilla, 25 miles south of Taos. In a bitter, three-hour fight 23 soldiers were killed. Lt. Col. Phillip St. George Cooke pursued with a mixed command from the 2nd Artillery and 2nd Dragoons, Taos Pueblo Indian scouts and Kit Carson as a guide.

Brought to bay in a deep canyon near Ojo Caliente, the Jicarilla were held down by the rifle fire of the scouts and artillery acting as infantry while the mounted dragoons charged through the skirmish line and routed them. Four or five Jicarilla were killed and their camp destroyed.

For a period of time, Kit Carson, who lived in Taos, was agent for the Jicarilla, Ute, and Pueblo Indians. Following the bloody battle, Carson said, "The Indians that are now committing depredations are those who have lost their families during the war. They consider they have nothing further to live for than revenge for the death of their families that were killed by whites; they have become desperate "

A number of engagements between Jicarilla and often their Ute allies on one side, and the anglos on the other side took place well into the 1850s. The Jicarilla finally sought peace when their losses mounted to the point that tribal survival was in doubt.

Except for smaller incidents, warfare with the Jicarilla was basically over by 1860. Anglo conflict with the Western Apaches came 10 or 15 years later.

The most celebrated incident revolved around a Jicarilla attack on a wagon load of settlers near Wagon Mound, New Mexico, during 1849. The incident attracted considerable national attention, perhaps because it was about the first Anglo/Apache conflict.

My first account of this incident comes from Kit Carson's autobiography. I will follow that with Dr. Veronica Tiller's version of the incident.

The leader of the wagon train was James M. White, a merchant of Independence and Santa Fe. In October of 1849 he was traveling to Santa Fe with his wife and small daughter. White had traveled in company with the caravan of Francis Xavier Aubrey, a well-known Santa Fe trader of the period, until reaching a point where the danger of Indian attacks was thought to be past, when White hurried on in advance of the caravan, escorted by only a few men. White's hurry provided the Jicarilla with all of the opportunity they needed.

More next week on the White party.

We've been writing about the relationship between pioneer Emmet Wirt and the Jicarilla Apaches.

Wirt operated a trading post in Dulce for many decades and is credited by many who knew him with helping the Jicarilla learn to live in a white man's world. Perhaps a brief history of the Jicarilla is in order to provide background for Wirt's accomplishments.

How did the Jicarilla differ from other, better-known Apaches such as Geronimo?

A reservation for the Jicarilla Apache nation was established in 1887 in New Mexico just south of Pagosa Springs. The Jicarilla had been attempting to get a reservation since becoming virtually homeless shortly after the United States took over New Mexico following the Mexican American War.

The Jicarilla had formerly ranged throughout northeastern New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, and even into Kansas and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma.

Prior to Mexico winning her independence from Spain in 1821, the Spanish government had done its best to keep anglos out of New Mexico territory. After gaining independence, the Mexican government opened the doors for trade between the United States and their New Mexico outpost. Almost immediately, caravans of huge covered wagons known as "Conestogas," carrying upwards of 5,000 pounds of freight, beat a path between Missouri and Santa Fe and back that became known as the Santa Fe Trail.

This commerce crossed Jicarilla land and led to almost immediate conflict. The trading parties lived off of the land as much as possible, disturbing the Jicarilla ability to earn a living by hunting the same land. It was also true that a time-honored, and honorable method of earning a living employed by many Indian tribes was plundering whoever was vulnerable.

Some of the commercial wagon trains on the Old Spanish Trail were particularly inviting. From the beginning, the U.S. provided limited military protection for the Santa Fe traders as far as the Mexican border. Following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 which settled the Mexican American War, the U.S. assumed full responsibility for dealing with the many bands of New Mexico Indians. The Spanish and New Mexican governments had never subdued any of these Indians. The United States did little better until after the Civil War during the years ranging from 1868 into the early 1880s when the Western Apaches, Mimbreño, Coyotero, Chiracahua, San Carlos, White Mountain, etc., were finally vanquished.

Meanwhile, because of traffic along the Santa Fe Trail and because of increased settlement of Anglos and Hispanics along the route following the Mexican-American War, conflict with the Jicarilla and their allies, the Southern Utes, increased.

On March 31, 1854, Jicarilla Apaches attacked a mail coach with an escort of 60 troopers of Companies F and I, 1st Dragoons, at Cienquilla, 25 miles south of Taos. In a bitter, three-hour fight 23 soldiers were killed. Lt. Col. Phillip St. George Cooke pursued with a mixed command from the 2nd Artillery and 2nd Dragoons, Taos Pueblo Indian scouts and Kit Carson as a guide.

Brought to bay in a deep canyon near Ojo Caliente, the Jicarilla were held down by the rifle fire of the scouts and artillery acting as infantry while the mounted dragoons charged through the skirmish line and routed them. Four or five Jicarilla were killed and their camp destroyed.

For a period of time, Kit Carson, who lived in Taos, was agent for the Jicarilla, Ute, and Pueblo Indians. Following the bloody battle, Carson said, "The Indians that are now committing depredations are those who have lost their families during the war. They consider they have nothing further to live for than revenge for the death of their families that were killed by whites; they have become desperate "

A number of engagements between Jicarilla and often their Ute allies on one side, and the anglos on the other side took place well into the 1850s. The Jicarilla finally sought peace when their losses mounted to the point that tribal survival was in doubt.

Except for smaller incidents, warfare with the Jicarilla was basically over by 1860. Anglo conflict with the Western Apaches came 10 or 15 years later.

The most celebrated incident revolved around a Jicarilla attack on a wagon load of settlers near Wagon Mound, New Mexico, during 1849. The incident attracted considerable national attention, perhaps because it was about the first Anglo/Apache conflict.

My first account of this incident comes from Kit Carson's autobiography. I will follow that with Dr. Veronica Tiller's version of the incident.

The leader of the wagon train was James M. White, a merchant of Independence and Santa Fe. In October of 1849 he was traveling to Santa Fe with his wife and small daughter. White had traveled in company with the caravan of Francis Xavier Aubrey, a well-known Santa Fe trader of the period, until reaching a point where the danger of Indian attacks was thought to be past, when White hurried on in advance of the caravan, escorted by only a few men. White's hurry provided the Jicarilla with all of the opportunity they needed.

More next week on the White party.

Pagosa Sky Watch

The mythical healer moves overhead

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 5:57 a.m.

Sunset: 8:12 p.m.

Moonrise: 12:59 a.m.

Moonset: 10:42 a.m.

Moon phase: Waning gibbous with 68 percent of the moon's visible disk illuminated. The moon is at last quarter May 20.

With summer rapidly approaching, the night sky is following suit with many of the familiar, warm weather constellations moving into positions of prominence overhead.

As part of the new, celestial lineup and one of the first harbingers of the summer season, the constellation Ophiuchus begins a slow creep from below the horizon, and is one of the first of the seasonal favorites to arrive on the early summer scene.

The mythology of the constellation dates back to the ancient Greeks, and it is said Ophiuchus, the serpent holder, represents the mythical healer Aesculapius, the son of Apollo and Coronis, the predecessor to Hippocrates, the physician to the Argonauts and a healer capable of raising the dead.

According to the legend, Aesculapius unlocked his special power when he observed a serpent use an herb to revive another, apparently dead snake. Awed by the act, Aesculapius located the herb for himself and began using it to bring dead humans back to life.

Hades, the god of the underworld, soon learned of Aesculapius' deeds and demanded that Zeus kill the errant healer. Zeus conceded, but placed Aesculapius and the serpent in the sky as testaments to their skill.

As is true with many constellations, Ophiuchus hardly resembles the character it is said to represent, and the constellation takes a vague, oblong, pentagonal shape, with two dangling appendages. However, despite its wandering outline, the constellation's four main stars are easily discernible with the naked eye.

To observe Ophiuchus, begin tonight after 12 a.m. and start by facing east-southeast, while fixing your gaze a just a few degrees above the horizon - the constellation is framed by Hercules, above and to the left, Bootes, directly above, and Libra and Jupiter to the right on almost the same horizontal plane.

Beginning at the tip of the pentagon - the leftmost, or easternmost point of the constellation - lies the alpha star of the constellation: Rasalhague, "the head of the serpent collector," a white, magnitude 2.1 main sequence star lying 47 light years away.

From Rasalhague, and moving down and to the right in a counterclockwise fashion, the next key star encountered is the constellation's beta star: Cebalrai, " the shepherd's dog," a magnitude 2.8 orange giant, lying 82 light years away.

From Cebalrai, moving counterclockwise across the bottom of the constellation, the next bright star marking the constellation's lower, southernmost corner, is Sabik, a magnitude 2.4 blue-white, main sequence star.

From Sabik, travel straight up to the last key marker of the constellation: Yed Prior, a magnitude 2.7 red giant.

For those viewing with binoculars or telescopes, the region of Ophiuchus provides opportunities for viewing numerous globular clusters and open clusters - well worth the effort, are NGC 6254 (M10) and NGC 6218 (M12).

In addition, Ophiuchus is home to the famous, magnitude 9.5 red dwarf, known as Barnard's Star, which is the second closest star to the sun; and to Kepler's Star, the site of a 1604 supernova explosion which was the last supernova seen to erupt in our galaxy.

While views of Ophiuchus can be had throughout the weekend and well into summer, one last celestial sight is best viewed Sunday about an hour before sunrise.

During this time, the moon will provide a useful landmark to view the mysterious, and often difficult to locate planet Uranus.

Facing the moon, scanning with binoculars, stargazers with dark skies should be able to locate Uranus just above the moon at about the 10 o'clock position. Through binoculars, the planet will look like a tiny, blue-green point of light.

While scanning the skies Sunday morning, keep a keen eye out for Comet 73 P Schwassmann-Wachmann. Fragments of the comet can be viewed whizzing through space just a few degrees to the left, and slightly above the horizontal plane of the moon.


Date High Low PrecipitationType Depth Moisture